Monday, 2 December 2013

Diving Into the Seasonal Magic

And Opting out of the Holiday Madness

I'm setting out a new tradition, one that suits our truly authentic life.  I chose my word for this year back in January (in this post), True.  And 2013 had brought with it life challenges that have highlighted just how true my life needs to be.

I'm looking forward to spending the next 3 weeks with a community of Creative women.  And upgrading my lessons from 2013 in order to take this new truth forward to 2014.


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Chilling out for Christmas

For those who have stuck with me through this year, Thank You.  As you may know 2013 has been a challenge in so many ways. So, I've decided to to take December out - focusing on my own Handmade Christmas and prepping for 2014 and beyond.

For my prep I'm delighted to be able to put my prize from Molly Mahar (for my Pinterest Quote)  to good use and will be taking part in the Holiday Council.  I  am so looking forward to spending December with a community of creative women - definitely just what I need.

So, I'm off to get my Christmas Card design for this year done - so far it looks a bit like this...

The background is a canvas I had in our old kitchen I'm planning on painting it a cloudy midnight blue.  I just have to add some words to my embroidery work.  Having spent the afternoon chilling out watching Craft Wars I'm feeling inspired and getting ready to dust up some of that Christmas Sparkle.

Namaste and Happy Holidays



Sunday, 29 September 2013

Crafting an Authentic Life - My September Issue

Right now,writing this, I'm listening to Gavin DeGraw's Follow Through.  I used to be really good at this 'doing what I say I'm going to do'.  Lately I've realised that I'm no longer so good at it.  Blogging is good for calling you out on that one because one week you blog that you're going to re brand your blog, your shop, smarten everything up and weeks if not months later you still haven't followed through.  Now my habitual reaction to such a revelation would be to beat myself up something awful.  Then to do that big deep dig and ask myself - did I not do it because I don't believe in it or me, because I know it won't work, because I'm kidding myself that I can make a difference.  You know what, sometimes shit happens and we kind of let it take over and find we're constantly on the wrong end of a shovel.  We lose sight of our priorities and values and just focus on the shit.  Well, you know what else, we get more of what we focus on and, you've guessed it, if you focus on the shit you get more of it.  I've reached the time for throwing down the shovel and looking up and seeing the light, because it's up there, it always has been I just forgot it was there.

This week I watched a fabulous documentary on Channel 4 - 'Fabulous Fashionistas'.  If you haven't seen it yet I thoroughly recommend that you do.  It tells the story of 6 women, with an average age of 80, who live the most authentic lives.  I took the front end message to be that 'style keeps you young'.  And there were some strong messages 'people notice what you wear more when your older' And hitting our screens in the midst of the fashion world's fashion weeks it had some powerful messages for the fashion industry.  The strongest message was in the lives lived by the women.  Every one of them authentic, with a zest and gratitude for the life they have. Definitely all living in the now.  And definitely something worth a whole post of its own.

I'm continuing to enjoy texture art and focusing on the Paisley Pattern.  I've completed another canvas and have been doing some drawing.  I found a tutorial for Lace Skeleton Leaves at How Did You Make This. I'm thinking this will be a great way of putting together some Paisley pieces.  And hope to be showing some of those off very soon.  And popping over to Handmade Monday to see what all you other crafty folk have been up to.

I had intended to have a folio of work together by now and be well on my way to living that authentically fit and happy life.  But life happens, there have been a few hiccups.  And whilst we're still in the thick of it I am shifting focus.  We do get more of what we focus on - and from here on in I intend to focus on the sugar.

My aim from here on in is to put more of my art out there, to use what I've got and to add texture.



Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Professional Mindset

Day 5 - Still Clarifying the Mindset

TODAY’s challenge:

1. Write a response blog post to this question:
What’s does your perfect day look like?

My Perfect Day looks like:
 Autumn Sunshine.

Did you want more?

Usually I'm all about the visual.   I listened to a webinair recently that had no visual aids and it was great.  The presenter, Samantha Bennett, explained that as her audience comprised of creative folks that she felt that the best pictures came from our own imagination.  This had at least 2 great results.  1. I got to appreciate my creative imagination. and 2. My answers were not coloured by someone else's ideas.  That really is the way to get the creative juices flowing.

I chose 'Autumn Sunshine' because of the way it makes me feel and the wonderful memories and pictures those feelings evoke.  Cosy days complete with sunshine and layers, filled with creativity and happy thoughts.  I wish I could show you a picture, but then, maybe I already did.

They say a picture can make 1000 words, sometimes a couple of words can create 1000 pictures. (as Marie Would say it's a tweetable)

Day 6 - Time to prioritise

TODAY’s challenge:

1. Write a response blog post to this question:
What are my three priorities for the next 30 days that will move me closer towards living life on my own terms?
Three priorities :
1.  Monetise my free range life
2.  Learn about Aspergers
3.  Be Creative

Day 7 - 

TODAY’s challenge:
1. Write a response blog post to this question:
Which key tools will you turn to regularly to maintain your mindset and how will you use them effectively?

In the spirit of using what I've got, the tools I intend to use to maintain my mindset are:
Meditation - I intend to meditate daily, I'll use the creative sources I've already tried i.e. Jamie Ridler's Creative Visual Meditation and Lissa Rankin's Self Healing Meditation.
Reminding myself daily that the professional mindset gels fully with my authenticity.

Day 8 - 

TODAY’s challenge: is to take a break

Failing this one miserably - as taking a break is not really an option as I'm cramming 30 days worth of challenges into 9.


30 day challenge
In Just 9 days?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Am I a Suitcase Entrepreneur? - 30 Day Blog Challenge

I already sorted my label out and it didn't involve a suitcase.  And I don't know I've never really been comfortable with the 'entrepreneur' label.  Why?  Because I equate it with money and sharp suits, and then I think Richard Branson, barefoot and Necker Island - and am forever reminded that there are no rules and stereo types are just that, stereo types.

So I'm getting things in order and taking on the 30 Day Blog Challenge - 30 days to 'create freedom in business and adventure in life.  Initially I'd intended carrying this one through to September and giving myself those 30 days to put it all together.  Not being one to stick with a method if a better one comes along I've decided to do a bit of cramming - I was always good at that - and cram those 30 days into 9.  Which means at least 3+ challenges per day.  I did want this blog to be a chronicle of how I put my business together so here goes the fast track version - starting with challenges 1-4.

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 1

TODAY’s challenge: Write a post on why you started your blog, who you wanted to reach, what you wanted it to be all about. Then state why you joined this blog challenge and what you want to get out of it.

The first post I published was back in November 2011 where I suggested that it was All Coming Together.  I started my blog to bring all my 'authentic work' together.  I wanted to create a place for like minded creatives to meet, share and connect.  I wanted it all to be about creativity, design and realising that everything we want and need comes to us in the 'perfect' way. And ultimately I wanted it to bring all my creativity together in one place.

So why did I join in the challenge?  Basically because I haven't achieved what I wanted to do with my blog - part of that may be my not realising what that goal really was until I just wrote it down.  Maybe more having lost sight of the initial goal, I kind of got caught up in the connections and drawing inspiration from all the great creative bloggers out there.

What do I want to get from this?  To end the 30 days with a specific and clear journey in progress, having created order, routine and a blue print for the future.  Order and routine are not necessarily ingrained creative characteristics but in order to live my authentic life, in line with my core values, order and routine are key.  Especially with our daily realities.

Originally used in a Sunday BS Post

30 day challenge

Day 2 of the challenge

1. Write a response blog post to this question:
If you woke up tomorrow and were free to do anything you wanted with your life, what would you do and who would you be?

When I wake up tomorrow I will be free to do anything I want with my life.  This is how every day begins.  Why do I choose to do the things I feel I should do rather than what I (I'm reading Stephen King on Writing and am trying to rid my writing of 'really'.) want to do?

Until now, a major reason for this is that I didn't know what I wanted.  I'd figured out what I didn't want.  I didn't want to work for someone else - yet continue to do that on a daily basis.  I didn't want to sit at the same desk, doing the same thing day in and day out - I may have cut the number of hours and days I do my day job but I still do the desk thing.  Before I beat myself up beyond recognition I will stop here because what I don't want is not what I want and is therefore not the subject, and not on the radar.

Today we are talking about what I want to do.  I want to work for myself.  Now there's a really broad answer.  Doing what?  Being creative. Again with the broad answer? I want to help people find their creativity and leadership potential and most importantly their authenticity.  I want to help those that want to be helped find their authentic fit in life. 

Be the Best You, You Can Be
And as for part 2 of the question, I haven't put all this work in to be anyone else but me.

On to Day 3.
30 day challenge

1. Write a response blog post to this question:
What’s your definition of freedom in business and adventure in life?
Top Tip: You can carry on from Day 2 and the work you did around clarifying what you could do if you could do anything at all.

Freedom in Business and Adventure in Life are one in the same.  I spent many years in my life playing different roles and keeping part of my life in separate compartments.  I have learned through hours of counselling and finding my authenticity that compartmentalisation is not an option.
My definition of freedom in business and adventure in life


30 day challenge

Day 4 - And look how far I've Come

1. Write a response blog post to this question:
What is your definition of location independence?

I don't know that location independence is what I crave most.  In fact I know it isn't.  My location independence is not being tied to a mortgage with the option to pack up and move at a month's notice.

This means that I cannot make that rash decision which I will later regret and it means there is time to prepare some kind of plan.  Don't get me wrong I'm all for spontaneity and running off to Paris at the drop of a hat should the right offer arise. (who ever done anything at the drop of a hat?) But my life needs some kind of structure and routine, or at least it does for now.

I'm going to go all new aged here and say, For me Location Independence is more about being able to work in my own space and not in some battery hen like environment.  And my own space is free from any falsely imposed restrictions, a no rules environment.  And my own space is wherever I choose to be.  And in case you didn't get it I like my own space.  It has taken years for me to be this comfortable in my own space and I am not giving it up for anything.  Don't have to, it's portable and I take it with me wherever I go.  The old 'Dirty Dancing' scene comes to mind here 'this is my space'.  It's not necessarily very big but it's home.

In working my way through this blogging challenge I find myself smiling at how far I've already come on this journey.  Since I decided to use what I've got I'm realising just how lucky I am, I hadn't realised just how much I had.

A little deep digging is worthwhile when it uncovers stuff you forgot was there.

30 day challenge
Perhaps not a Suitcase Entrepreneur
more of
An Authentic Champion

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Return of Authentic Weekly BS with some Handmade Monday on the Side

So, I've swithered over this decision for a while now.  I started the month joining the August Break, and I managed to get to day 15.  Did I enjoy
the experience?  Yes, thank you Susannah Conway for bringing so many creative folks together.  I really enjoyed seeing what other folks brought to the screen, especially the Brandi Girl Blog colour palette for each day, and I shall continue to follow and share the great finds.  I've come to realise that I really am not a joiner, never have been really.  I only lasted about 6 weeks in the Brownies.  And my track record hasn't improved much since then.  What I do enjoy is sharing?

Part of the reason I chose to do the August Break came with the title, thinking it would be a break.  I'm not really one for taking pics every day so it was really becoming more of a chore than a break.  That and as I seem to be getting my creative act together,  it's important I find my voice here on my blog. In order to do that I need to write and get my stuff out there.

  So the thing that I was most sure about was my Sunday BS.  My Sunday BS is a great tool for me.  I get to review the week gone by, plan for the week ahead and share some of the great stuff I've found on my journey.  And it feels right to bring it back tagging on to Handmade Monday with a look at my and others' crafting antics.

I could review the 3 weeks gone by in depth or just give the cliff notes.  It's been an eventful few weeks, we discovered that my son has aspergers and that my depression is more work related than I've given credit to.  To be honest I don't like to give much thought let alone credit to my 'day job'.  I think Lisa Esile summed it up when she wrote about her depression.  She's begun to see it as a call for change.  Don't get me wrong I know there is the whole chemical imbalance thing going on but if you can get yourself to a place of acceptance - no, acceptance isn't the word.  If you can make peace with yourself, give yourself a break and realise that some days will be harder than others to deal with.  And 'yes' there are some times it's best to give in to the dog, save the energy you would use for the fight and recharge your batteries.  If it seems like I just skimmed over the whole aspergers thing believe me it is way up there in playing the starring role over the last year and a half of our lives, but it is something that really opens a whole new avenue and not one that can be covered in a few lines.  I'm sure I will write lots about it as time goes by and as my knowledge and understanding improves.

On the old Feedlysphere I have quite a backlog of posts to read/skim through.  I would say my major find was Miki Strong's Unemployable Woman.  As much as I relate to Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Woman now and again I definitely resonate with Miki's Unemployable Woman. I am loving the whole Connection Collaboration and Contribution vibe echoed at Handmade Harbour and most recently at KnitnRun4Sanity  with the introduction of BloggingBuddies.  Sometimes I just want to smile out loud with how much I love the blogging community. (that's a tweetable)

And I am not blind to this serendipitous arrival as I have been spending time getting myself organised at linkedin and people per hour.

My crafting this week has been a little sparse to say the least as I've been doing so much organising.  I've arranged a display of my Unique Handcrafted Ribbon Jewellery as a reminder, to me, of what I can do.  I'll be adding my textured art soon.

In the meantime I'm off over to Handmade Harbour to see what all you other lovely creatives have been up to - and then a 'quick' cuppa as my Crafty Mag has just arrived.



Monday, 19 August 2013

Handmade Monday - I'm back on Etsy

This is a short and sweet piece to announce my return to Etsy.  It felt appropriate to make the announcement on a Handmade Monday.

I've changed things up a little.  I'm using the same logo and banner as here for my shop header and renaming it Catherine McAtier.  It's the label I was born with and is one thing that has definitely stayed with me throughout good times and bad.  So I thought I'd give myself some recognition.

Taking baby steps at first I've only added 12 pieces so far, some of them you may recognise already.  The plan is to get the content right and work the bejeesus out of the promoting - that is way up on my list for this week.
Using advice from the Etsy Site itself and knowledgeable sources like Craft Blog UK I'm feeling pretty chuffed with the whole thing.  The proof now, as they say, will be in the pudding.

I would be delighted to hear your comments on my shop - descriptions, pictures, pricing - all comments welcome.  Nothing like a little constructive criticism to start the week off. 

In keeping with the Handmade Monday ethos I'm dropping over to Handmade Harbour now to check out what you other lovely creatives have been up to.  You should check it out if you haven't already.  And anyone who knows me, knows I'm not really one for 'shoulds'.

Lots of Love


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

What do you draw with?

Gorgeous at Ailsa Burke

I was going through some old pieces I’d drafted and came across the pic above – this was all I had on the draft.  And in the spirit of using what I’ve got I’m doing just this.

The piece by Ailsa shows some gorgeous techniques for drawing with ballpoint pen – her sketch books always look great.

So I put together some tweets from recent Feedly feeds about different meduims for drawing.  I love that there is so much variety – no rules.

Pen, paint, paper – what do you love using?



Monday, 29 July 2013

Monday is for Making

I was feeling a little bashful hopping over to Handmade Monday this week as I hadn't made anything.  Then I remembered that I had put together this little necklace for myself.  I had to add my signature London Bus piece to it and a little charm my son gave me for Christmas.  I must admit to cheating a little because I really wanted to wear something bright last week, I had the chains done but nothing to hang them from so I just took a strand of bright pink chiffon ribbon and tied it on.  Lazy but I liked it.

As Worn By Alice

Today is short and sweet and I am so looking forward to Thursday when I go on August Break - no words, just pictures for 31 days, I'm sure some of my pics will incorporate words too.

Susannah Conway's August Break

Have you checked out Handmade Monday yet? Wendy really does get a lot of great people together, and being late to the party means there's so much more to see.

Hope you all have
a Happy and Healthy Week


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Usual BS Again

Working toward potential

Image from Warrior Poet Wisdom

An organised, yet unproductive week has gone by.  For the first time in forever I had my posts scheduled for the week and my hoot schedule down so there was so much room for work on other projects.  The foundation was there, the mood was good and yet I hate to admit that I really feel like I done nothing this week.

Sure, Monday I popped over to Handmade Harbour to check out all those lovely Handmade Monday participants, showing off my new logo.  Tuesday was a mini piece on follow through, featuring Gavin McGraw, and whilst 'follow through' is a key value of mine this has not been the week for it.   Wednesday was my least looked at piece yet the one that gels best this week with my authenticity as 'happiness is' my main goal - to have and to hold on to.  Thursday highlighted one of my favourite Feedly finds, i.e. Bits of Truth - I love how short, sweet and very much to the point their pieces are.  Friday I highlighted the joy of writing for yourself showing a short piece from Life Without Pants Matt Cheauvront.  I'm not so sure that it's more of a writing 'of' yourself than 'for' yourself, putting yourself into your writing and making it real.  And Saturday I highlighted some of my favourite things, keeping things light and fresh for the weekend.  A pretty full week all in all, I did get the majority of my branding out there, still a little to do in the Etsy shop and running about a bit like a headless chicken on the book front - it's at that really messy stage of throwing all the 'stuff' at the wall and seeing what sticks.

I think it's been a bit of a tumultuous week in lots of ways.  One of the best pieces of news this week was young Toby being on the mend, Toby is Yvonne of Coke Floats and Chemo's son.  He has had a really bad week but hopefully has now turned the corner.  When your child's health becomes the major focus everything else kind of reverts back to it's proper place.  I say kind of because this piece by Samantha Bennett highlighted to me how I have really let the 'Helena Handbasket Days' take over this past year, if not forever.  And so the key learning point of this week has been how important it is I live to my full potential.  Were I living to my full potential I would have more freedom and there would be no danger of my priorities being out of sync.  This is really turning into a whole other post so I'm going to save this tangent for Wednesday when I'll be writing my review of Lissa Rankin's Mind Over Medicine.

So, what lies in the week ahead.  I have two whole weeks away from any 'day job' commitments and nothing really planned, something of a blank canvas.   The canvas may be blank but there is a whole lot of noise going on in the background.  I so want to use this time to get things here in order and ready for lift off.  There may be no plan on paper but there is so much mulling around in my head, taking in both home and business.  I want to get organised, whilst I have been a bit of a rebel against routine I am growing to realise that some routine can make life easier.  And routine can actually provide some of that consistency that is so needed in my home life.  Don't get me wrong my life has not been 'chaotic' up to now, at least not to me but when you look at things from a literal perspective it's not exactly been predictable or harmonious.  It's strange but relabeling 'routine' as 'harmony' makes me wonder why I would rebel.  A whole load of lost energy gone by the wayside.  Now I know better, I can do better.

As we move into a new month this coming week I plan on taking the lead from one of my favourite blogs Going Home to Roost and joining in the August Break .  This way I can have August organised and focus on reaching my potential.  I really loved the quote from Will McAvoy last night, I was watching this week's The Newsroom. Will  (Jeff Daniels) said he was "Just a middle aged man who never lived up to his potential" with the glorious follow through of "you don't want to be on the wrong side if I ever do".

Here's to a week
of staying on the 'right side'

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Favourite Things - Weekends

And Pink Tissue Packages tied up with Ribbon.

This was inspired Kelly Barton guesting over at Roots of She - loving the idea of Soul Juice.

Sunny Sunday Afternoons
The Smell of Barbecue Cooking
The smell of summer rain drying up
Friends and Family
A Smile from Someone Special
Being Here

Just some of my favourite things...
Hope your weekend is full of yours

Friday, 26 July 2013

Writing for Myself - Back to Basics

Kind of using this Zen background to death this week!

Who knew writing for yourself was the best foundation?

And it would appear Matt Cheuvront, another star on My Feedly, figured it out too
at Life Without Pants - check it out

We All Start With
An Audience of One

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Start Over as many times as you need...

Found via Bits of Truth
I regularly find inspirational quotes at Bits of Truth as I check out My Feedly - you'll find a lot of them on my Pinterest Board.

From someone who has started over more times than I care to remember - I wish you all the courage to find your path.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Happiness Is

What We Need..

I recently watched a great TED Talk with 13 year old Logan LaPlante, and he seems to already have it sussed.  Not only has he hacked the school system and is getting himself a truly wonderful education but he already knows what he wants to be when he grows up.  And he's already there - because he not only wants to be happy, he wants to be as happy as he is now.

I remember sitting in a Paisley Pub whilst I was a student and being asked what I wanted to be - and my answer then was "happy".  It didn't strike me that I wasn't happy already.  But I do believe that I believed I was working toward "happy".  Get my degree, get a good job, meet a decent bloke and live a happy life.  Sounds like a plan.

I now believe that happiness is not a destination - I'm sure there's a quote about that.

From my Inspirational Quotes Pinterest Board

From my Inspirational Quotes Pinterest Board

If this is all seems a bit too altruistic then I must admit that it's not always the 'good stuff' that makes me happy.  I get a lot of happy when karma shows up sometimes...
From my Inspirational Quotes Pinterest Board
Wishing you lots of Happy 


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

What You Do is Key..

I've used this as the background for my August Calendar
I'm getting better at doing.

And Gavin De Graw sums it up really well in his intro to Follow Through

If we all keep following through
life will be good.


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