Saturday, 30 April 2016

The World Of...... (insert name here)


In the imaginary world of somewhere else, this is taking place. Who is her creator? And what defines her? Who are you?

I have not been here for a long time. This is because I've been on one helluva journey. It is GOOD, but it has also been tough. When rites of passage hit hard. When realisations of what hasn't been dealt with need to be dealt with hit home. And it can be private. It can be energy consuming, it can feel un-ending and it can sit with the possibility that you (I, in this case) don't know where it is going to end.

However, with Spring new things come forth. There is new birth, renewal, survival. A kind of lifting from the depths of murk that can feel so good.

I am shedding skins and realising the journey is never-ending. But I like the concept of 'mind-movies' at the moment. Remembering as often I can, that I am a creator as well as recipient. Positive focus on where one is headed whilst trying to scatter the thoughts that leap up to hinder and remind, taking us a journey into the past, or to fear. Always a tension between light and dark - the balance is to be found. I am searching.

This piece is in Sprout Affordable Art on show until Saturday 21st May (opening times 11-5pm Tuesday to Sunday). I was invited to put a piece on and this piece is from work done on Mimesis with Evy Jokhova. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

something to knit (simple knits for easy living) #creativetuesday


There is ground frost here, but the Sun is bright in the sky! A frosty February morning in half term.

One day I won't have half terms, just days, weeks, months rolling one into the next. My kids are getting older and I can feel a  new lease of life dawning slowly but surely. I'm still young enough (at least I feel) to do tonnes more. Dreams I held just before I started having kids (I started young), are beginning to pop their head back up again - it's quite strange.

This time of year always seems to bring a burst of creative energy and it's when I start dreaming about creating a home built, stitched, created by me in every way. So I've started a knitting project and thought I'd share it's simplicity with you + I haven't had a #creativetuesday in quite a while!

I love looking on Pinterest and getting ideas. 'Chunky Knit' seems to be happening all over the place (now that I'm looking). In my local hobbycraft store I saw this wool and thought yes! It's Rowan wool made with merino (www.knitrowan.com). I intend to knit a large set of squares to make a cosy warming bedcover for my double bed up in my attic room.

Also inspired by this book Simple Knits for Easy Living, I adapted the moss stitch squares to make a bedcover (they suggest a box for bathroom bits). So, this is what I'm working on:

- cast on 19 stitches, then start with a plain stitch (therefore you end with a plain stitch)
- moss stitch is: knit, purl, knit, purl etc
- repeat until you end the square with a plain stitch
- cast off in moss stitch too (i.e. knit one, purl one until you're cast off) at least that's what I'm doing!
- create as many squares as you desire for your project

When you have enough squares for your project, stitch together to make cushion, blanket etc of chosen size. I may still be knitting this in a year's time, but I find having a project like this is a great way to keep me occupied and have something to focus my energies.

I find myself dreaming of country lodgings too these days, hence my purchase of Country Living Modern Rustic.

Some other knitting inspiration for you:




Enjoy and do feel free to share any simply knitting projects you're working on: links, projects, ideas etc....

Amelia.x

Thursday, 4 February 2016

10 POSITIVE things TO DO to feel better about the world & YOU!

on a walk this morning to enquire about ice skating! the Earl Ferrers pub (fabulous!)

Am I the only one that sometimes gets totally overwhelmed by horrendous news of atrocities happening across the globe? I find it gets me down if I'm not careful and feeds feelings of powerlessness and helplessness. Maybe it's made worse by individual personal (tough) circumstances. But I lay awake last night and made a promise to myself that today I would find and do some things that made me feel positive and would help me take a more redeeming view of humanity and an antidote to so much negative news! 

I thought I would share with you too. Here goes:

1. Sign up to Positive News, see here: http://www.positive.news/join/

2. Random Acts of Kindness is something I've come across before and probably posted, but here it is again for today: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ 

3. Do something you've longed to do that will make you feel really good about yourself, your body and the world you inhabit. I used to ice-skate as a child & have decided I'd like to take it up again. Feel good about my body, rather than wondering why I have yet another ache or pain ;) Mid life crisis? Who cares. I need some fun! :)


5. Start your own local or community garden, allotment or guerilla gardening as a way to say no to GMO farming & environmental destruction. Apparently if you're not a gardener and need somewhere good to begin, lunar gardening is a great way to start: http://www.lunarorganics.com/ 

6. Positive Affirmations. I've just received my copy of this book: I AM/YOU ARE courtesy of Watkins Books (www.watkinspublishing.com)

All about affirmations: "Affirmations are powerful words or short statements. They are one of the easiest ways to turn negative thought patterns into positive ones." See: http://www.rosemarygallagher.com/

7. Walk. Walk as meditation to clear the mind and channel good, positive thoughts and a time to think up solutions to challenges or problems - one of my favourite things to do!

8. Give a gift. Check out the Git Economy idea. You could start or join a gift economy. 

9. Be the change you wish to see in the world (the basis of starting this blog and the quotation has remained at the bottom since the start). Make, create, fund or join something that does amazing, positive things in the the world. See: https://www.globalgiving.org/

10. Stand up and be courageous enough to be the individual you are, and share/live your values daily - even if it goes against the status quo! Go do something you totally believe in :)

Amelia.x

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Some creative inspiration for you


Yesterday, dear friends, I was walking home along the pretty, tree-lined streets of south london, when this burst of colour in front of a small English house that makes up the residential streets near me, caught my eye! Made me think of Spring, of beautiful things and being creative once more - capturing images with a phone quickly but ensuring the frame and composition is right, because that's what I love doing.

It reminded me of sleeping Winters, when hibernation is at the forefront and creativity can lie dormant too. Or maybe Winter's of the soul where are 'things' sneak in and steal the time that could be best met creatively.... and a little burst came forth of ideas and inspiration. It awoke a little spark in me.

And as a result I thought I'd share a little bit of inspiration with you from across the way:

- Tracey Emin: What Do Artists Do All Day



- I am waiting for this book to arrive:
and simultaneously fell across this site: http://www.nourishbooks.com/









- Not so long ago, I found this blog post: Will Blogs Survive? Def seems different out there these days!

- An artist to peruse: Lucinda Metcalfe

Amelia.x

Monday, 18 January 2016

Friday, 15 January 2016

Dream & Goals: The power of a goal, date, reward..


Dear friends,

Yesterday was an amazing meeting with author of this book. We spoke at length, it was inspiring, motivating and gave me lots to think about (all good!). Lots about the status quo and politically activist inspired art, and knowing why you're doing something and not just because everyone else is and society thinks it's a good idea. 

I am so happy that this meeting came out of the Mimesis show just before Christmas, and that word gets round. I put my heart in to that project and all good things came back. Like our filmed interview with Studio International - have you seen it? Like lots of interest in what I'm doing and why and even sales - always a great bonus and I'm grateful to be able to support myself like that, as no one supports me to do my art other than me! Feels like an even greater achievement :)

And so I can now say my works are in Jeremy Cooper's postcard art works collection - I'm thrilled! And grateful too.

I have a tonne of personal stuff going on right now that's not the best, but if I remember that every problem is a pro blem (an opportunity in disguise to grow/progress to the next level) then I can see it in a different way.

I had a fantastic (and free!) training day through Neal's Yard Organic on Wednesday also this week. It was so spot on for what I needed to hear that I walked out floating. All about choosing what you see, do, have. How we experience something is up to us. (reminders are always good). Taking a positive perspective and more possibilities and opportunities open up. This is the other way I'm supporting me and my art right now. You can see more on my Facebook page about it.

The thing that really struck me is we were made to state aloud, and write out our goals - and needing to know why we had them. And then write a time frame next to them (date to be achieved) and finally what reward were we going to give ourselves when we achieved that goal by that date. It was powerful stuff making me home in on what exactly I wanted (our overall 'life' goal was asked about too and got me thinking - you know, why are we here kind of thing?)

And so its about making a decision about something, then writing it down - you may not know the 'how is it going to happen', but you've put it out there - and then you write a date next to it and then work backwards - what do I need to do yearly, monthly, weekly and then daily to get to that place? Write it down, tick it off, say it out loud.

And so my friends, I have begun to do this (and always have in one form or another, the above meeting is testament to that, yes, it was a dream I put out there that became reality!) and already (more) strange and weird 'coincidences' are happening. Maybe it's also about being detached from the outcome - something I also hear frequently. Trust.

I leave you with those thoughts. Try it too?

Here's to an amazing 2016.

Amelia.x

Sunday, 3 January 2016

8 Things to do in 2016 + A Neal's Yard Remedies Organic GIVE AWAY!

Welcome to 2016! We made it here! I know there's been mixed feelings about 2015 and so with the start of a new year, I feel it brings opportunity for fresh starts which is exciting.

I have been doing my VISION BOARD book, here's a sneak peak:


So with this in mind, here's 8 things to do in 2016.....

1. Design your own Vision Board or Sketchbook. Mine (above) is an eco one from Cass Arts. Filled with torn pages and cut images from my fav magazines. What do you want to achieve? What would you like 2016 to look like and bring you? Fill your mind (and book) with images of what you intend to have, do, be.....

2. Create a Playscape! I came across this in a book in 2015 and thought it a wonderful idea: Do It Yourself: 50 Projects by Designers and Artists  

3. Learn a new skill

4. Throw a party!

5. Read and DO (i.e fill it in) Be a Free Range Human

6. Book a trip to a previously unvisited foreign land

7. Do ONE major thing this year that you know will impact this world/environment positively (make a big change?)

8. Plant a tree. Here are two ways of doing this if you don't have land yourself: overseas or in the UK

GIVE AWAY TIME!


As many of you know. I started my own Neal's Yard Business last year and it is going swimmingly well. I love it. I get to share and help others whilst on my own journey to health. I'm learning, I feel happier and better, and it's all part of an ongoing unfolding it would seem. Fills me to the brim too knowing it's all environmentally friendly and supports other women across the globe.

Therefore I'm starting the new year with a NYROrganic give-away! I'm putting together a gift pack of goodies I love, worth over £50, and will send it to one lucky winner (this is a UK based give-away). It's a surprise so no pics here yet, but I will eat my hat if you don't like them and see an improvement to your skin! I will also announce the winner in a blog post with a pic. That's how confident I am and happy to share!

I am waiting for my own detox kit to arrive - hurrah a helping hand for a healthy new year!

How to win:

you will need to: 

- like my Facebook page here 
- sign up to my mailing list (if you haven't already), see left-hand sidebar to sign up
-  Have bought something through me or my shop since I started
- Email me and let me know one thing that you would like to see improved with either skin or health this year - this also means I get to know exactly who's entering too! ameliacritchlow{at}hotmail{dot}com

If you haven't already bought something you can do so now to enter and it can be as small or as a large as as you like! (+ there's a great sale on at the mo, see here).

Feel free to spread the word to anyone you think might be interested as it's open to anyone in the UK!

Join Me?

I'm also looking for more people to join my team this year (I'm now a 'Team Leader' - can you believe it? All because it is going so well). If you are interested in starting your own Neal's Yard Business, and joining me, please do get in touch. I would love to hear from you. There are no targets, year round 25% discount on all products & only hosting parties if you want. You can find out more here.

See my latest newsletter here, all about detoxing and wellbeing tips for the new year.

I'm so looking forward to this year. There are things that need to 'clear' and to move on, and it's my intention that they do! 

Wishing you a Happy New 2016 full of all good things!

Amelia.x