Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Unwanted Visitors

Doubting Thomas & Black Dog

are you like me dear reader?

at this time of year does everything seem just that little bit harder?

normally my collage-gypsy self skips gaily through the day swishing her petticoats as she picks up the flotsam & jetsam of family life - that is to say, dirty socks, mugs half full of cold tea, rubbish that needs sorting into recyling & compost - just the usual everyday mundane kind of thing.

collage-gypsy doesn't complain as she loads the washing machine for the 100th time, as she reads the list of jobs that her hubby has left for her 'just in case she has a spare moment to just do ..... because her family thinks she just idles the day away in her gypsy caravan sewing & crafting...

of course dear reader, the reality is rather different. 

here i am, an artist trying to fit in a business with family life, and i probably don't need to tell you which side usually wins.  yes you've guessed it, my business usually gets done after housework & cooking.

now don't get me wrong dear reader, usually i don't mind at all because i get everything done (in a fashion), but at this time of year everything seems doubly hard.  jobs that i wouldn't give a second thought to become a mammoth task.  i yawn & ache my way through the day wondering when did i morph into an old git?  i'm renowned for my energy & verve for life - so why do i become a tired, grumpy old so and so at this time of year?

i keep a diary (which i have done since i was 15) and i decided to look through some of my old copies and see what goes on at this particualar time of year.  as i read (with a stiff drink in my hand because i do not advise reading your past endeavours without a snifter!) a clear pattern was definitely emerging between the pages....

every year as far back as i can remember i get unwanted visitors that arrive after christmas and do not go on their merry way until spring arrives.   i've got no idea where they come from or where they go and more to the point i do not care!  i'm glad when they disappear and haunt me no more.

my visitors are Doubting Thomas and his side-kick Black Dog.

i can only assume that they are the best of friends because they always visit me as a pair, never on their own. 

they arrive unannouced and uninvited.  they gate-crash my happy home and set up camp in certain corners, mainly the kitchen and my studio where collage-gypsy works and dreams.

instead of collage-gypsy's head being full of crafting ideas, inspiring photos and poems, her head becomes the keeper of doubts, worries and artist's block. 

when collage-gypsy looks in her wardrobe, instead of wearing her bright colours and petticoats she wants to stay in her pj's and bath robe.

this is no good i hear you cry!! 

collage-gypsy needs to get her head together.  she can't go around like a walking sleeping-bag!  she need's to be crafting for the upcoming vintage fayre that she's going to be doing.  there's talk of collage-gypsy teaching a workshop.  she can't expect people to be inspired to craft if she's not inspired!

with that in mind when i take monty for his daily walk today, i'm going to give collage-gypsy a good talking to. 

i'm going to tell her to pull her stripey tights up, put her red feathery hat on, lace up her flowery chunky boots and put her best foot forward back onto the crafting path of retro loveliness.

i'm going to tell her that tonight instead of ordering a takeaway she needs to don her handmade vintage apron and bake her husband's favourite pie for tea.

instead of watching rubbish on the TV this evening she needs to sit in her studio nook and finish her sewing.

i'm confident that with a little persuasion i can get collage-gypsy back on the right path because as you know dear reader Doubting Thomas and Black Dog are unwanted visitors after all...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

New Year, New Website..

hello dear readers...

just a very quick update today to let you know that i have been very busy springcleaning this blogsite.

i now have extra pages which i will be updating with information on a regular basis (hopefully!)and over the next couple of weeks i will be adding more pages so that i can feature photos, inspiration etc.

you may also like to know that i have started a little website.  it's just a very simple one and as its early days i still have more information to put on it but i'm pleased to say that my shop is up and running on it so i will be adding more products over the next few weeks.  my website shop is also linked to my facebook page Collagegypsy.  it you take a look just click on CollageGypsy Shop and my little store will come up.

click on this link and let me know what you think to my little website.

so now, back to sewing and crafting.....

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Number Crunching v Crafting

Self-Assessment - what a nightmare!

hello dear readers.  i haven't blogged for a few days because i am in panic mode over the whole corporation tax and self-assessment rubbish that i've let myself in for, since i started my small business last year.

i didn't realise that there was so much red tape!  all i want to do is sewing and crafting, and instead i'm filling in forms and number crunching.  maths was never my favourite subject at school and this whole experience is confirming why!!

as well as filling forms, i'm trying to replenish stocks after my busy time at christmas.  i need more of everything - cushions, cards, aprons, teacups.  you name it, my stocks are low of it. 

i've got the crafting bug big time especially when the weather is dark and gloomy outside, and instead of being able to sort through my fabric stash i'm having to update my accounts book.

i am not a happy bunny!  i just want things to get back to normal so that i can enjoy crafting, stitching and baking.

there... i feel a little better for having a rant. thankyou dear readers...

tomorrow is only a day away... xxx

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Reflections and Resolutions.....

or... 'what collagegypsy did next'...

happy sparkly new year to all my dear readers!

i hope you all had a wonderful christmas break with family and friends.

although christmas is a lovely time of year dear reader, i must confess i do rather like to get back to normal and into a routine.

  i find the week between christmas and new year a bit of a 'no man's land.'  i never quite know what do with myself...

i've munched my way through a tin of quality street while taking up permanent residency on the sofa watching the usual christmas tv cheese-fest;  everybody starts to get a little cranky from too many late nights and heavy meals;  the christmas tree starts to look a little worse for wear (like me!), and as the new year beckons i start to look inwards and reflect on the past year.

on the 16th of this month, it's a year since my dog Max passed on into doggie heaven.  i miss him terribly and take comfort from the fact that he was nearly 17 (119 in dog years!)which is nothing short of a miracle for a springer spaniel and he had a fantastic life, pampered and loved by all the family especially in his twilight years.

  i like to think that he is looking down and wagging his tail when he sees me with Monty my 'newish' dog - he was 3 (21 dog years) on Boxing Day.  obviously Max will always have a special place in my heart, but Monty is my best friend and is always there for me when i'm having an off day.  although Monty is his official name he has lots of nicknames including Mr Snugglesworth, Pookie, Snookie and Snoop-dog.  don't ask me why - he just has.  he's the most pampered pooch ever and he loves it!

what with one thing and another 2011 was a pretty tough year but the highlight for me was having the courage and confidence to start my little business.  it's something i've wanted to do for a very long time.  quite often the first step is the hardest and with that in mind i have a few new year resolutions that i'm hoping to stick to...

  •  as well as keeping in check our financial bank balance (gulp!) i'm going to look after my 'spiritual bank.'  happy days; optimism; smiles; inspiring friends; crafting; wearing bright colours; recyling properly; turning 42 gracefully; daily walks with monty; baking; - these are all examples of deposits.
  •  the 'black dog'; stress; negative people; wasting money on crap you don't need; being taken for granted; - these are examples of withdrawals.
i'm hopeful that i will be able to keep my money and my spiritual bank in the black.

i'm confident that 2012 will be my year for upcyling, recycling, crafting every day, living a vintage life and hopefully living a simpler life where i will have time to stop and smell the roses and i hope you can join me.

wishing you a prosperous and healthy new year!