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.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Monday is for Making

Been Making My Brand


I said last week that I'd be working on Branding.  I've finally settled on this logo, having decided to dispense with The MacsX and  start using the label I was born with.  I've placed my name in the middle of a Paisley Pattern as Paisley is where I am and it is a town with a great creative history, threads and Paisley Pattern playing one of the major parts.  I wrapped the embroidery hoop in London Bus Ribbon from The London Line by Helz Cuppleditch - the London bus having, played a major part in my creative story so far.

So, on the making table this week I have the Ribbon Jewellery Links I showed off a few weeks back.  And I have lots of embroidery patterns to put together for my new book.  Some might say 'busy, busy, busy' but I'm really having fun, fun, fun - long may it continue.

A 'little' late to the party, I'm off over to Handmade Harbour to check out all the other lovely creative goings on this week.

What have you made of Monday?


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Time For More BS

So, that was the week that was;

Checked in at Handmade Harbour on Monday and contemplated the concept of Christmas in July - the hottest July Ever.

I'm loving the Creative Mornings vibe and would so love to be involved in something like it at a local level - a theme that's kind of stuck, more later.

Wednesday I posted a piece about choices and my choosing not to be a Domestic Goddess.  My gut told me not to post the piece.  But I failed to listen and, at a time when the traffic to my blog is building up, this piece had the lowest hits ever.  Lesson learnt: Trust The Gut.  I had already said I'd only write 2 long pieces per week - that way I can focus on quality - and I can easily fill the other 4 days with Feedly and Pinterest finds, like the posts for Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week.

And, as always, Sunday is for the BS, round off one week and set up the next.

Branding was the key task for this week and I think I now have that sussed, I just have lots to do to put it all together, so watch out for the changes ringing through this week.  You may have noticed already that I've changed the name here.  Keeping it simple really, using the label I was born with Catherine McAtier.

Almost got the label sussed - just need to add the Paisley Touch

Whilst on the surface I'll be re branding everything in the background I'll be working on my first mini project.  I'm taking the advice of Marianne Cantwell being Free Range and jumping right in, giving myself 6 weeks to get the project off the ground.  I could say more but I'm still ironing out the creases.

Suffice it to say I'm still reading Lissa Rankin's Mind Over Medicine, and I'm thinking if my mind can help heal my body can it help heal my town too?  I wanted nothing more, when I finished college, than to move out of Paisley.  I so wanted to move to London - the grass is always greener etc.  I'm finally coming to love the beauty, history and possibilities held by Paisley.  There are a lot of positive Paisley vibes out there, it takes a little digging to find them.  But I've started digging and my first project will involve a lot more.  I believe it's time to be grateful for the history, be hopeful for the future and live and enjoy the now.

Namaste from a True Paisley Buddy
Casting wonderful wishes for the week ahead...


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Domestic Goddess - It's a Choice

I never said I was a Domestic Goddess.  In fact even in my darkest days when I had no belief in myself and searched deep for that big change to make everything 'all better'.  Even then, it never really came up.  I have never wanted to be a domestic goddess.

For some women it is their main calling, and because it fits with their core they are damn good at it.  Have you ever thought that the reason you don't excel at something is because deep down you just don't want to?  When we are very young we have a very strong belief in what we do or do not want to do.  Hence the child stiff as a board refusing to be taken in to Marks & Spencer.  If your body is putting up that much resistance perhaps there is a message in there.  I learnt very early on that my son did not like shopping trips.  And he learnt early on that sometimes we have to do what we don't want to.  But if that's the case we make that journey as enjoyable (short) as possible.

There are many compromises we must make in life in order to get from A to B.  But the ones we choose are just that, our choices.  After a certain age (16 legally but sometimes much later for many of us) we are free to make our own choices without requiring permission or approval from others.  We do not realise that the only one truly determining our choice is our self.
Yes, we are guided by external factors, by habits, by past behaviour, by our dependence on what others believe - or sometimes, even more screwed up (if we really check it out), by what we believe other people think or believe - having never really checked in on the reality of those thoughts or beliefs.

So, what, you may ask, has all this to do with being a domestic goddess (or not).  Well, I beat myself up on a regular, daily, sometimes hourly (if I'm at home all day) basis about how I should be doing laundry, should have a cleaner house, should do the dishes as soon as dinner is over.  The key warning trigger in all of this is "should".  I am slowly learning to expel said word from my vocabulary.  And I am getting really good at calling myself out when I veer down the "should" path.

Shoes Via DHGate.com

Sometimes it's OK to put our two year old shoes on and stomp and say NO.  Once you develop the habit of realising what you choose and want then there doesn't need to be so much stomping.

Because you just know, and can quite confidently and quietly say, 'This is my choice'.


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Creative Mornings - Epic Find

I've decided to take some time out each week to check out what's been happening at Creative Mornings, whilst cultivating my plan for gathering my own Creative Collective.

This week I settled down with my cup of tea and my notebook to watch Sharon Montrose and Clare Vivier.  After a few seconds I realised that I had watched this already.  But I decided to stay with it and really listen and learn.

I loved Sharon's honesty with her admittance to epic fails saying that "There's nothing I have done right without doing it wrong first."  I'm kind of hoping that I've turned a corner and can learn from my many fails to date, bringing their numbers down.

With Clare, everything was just so real.  While she spoke I had a quick swatch at her bags and their simplicity and total style left me adding a few to my wish list.  Clare's passion for what she does is so obvious and summed up beautifully when she said "I want to keep doing what I love."

Hope you enjoy their talks as much as I did, and probably will again.

Learn from the fails
Do what You Love


Monday, 15 July 2013

More Easter in July than Christmas

It would seem that I have spent the first half of this year playing catch up.  Signed myself up for all sorts of creative goodness and found myself backing out or showing up long after the train had left the platform.  Like this year's House of Pinheiro Swap pictured below.  I haven't been able to post the pic before now because I wanted to be sure that my swap partner, Vanessa from SimpleFibreLife had time to receive it.

From Vanessa to Me............................................................From Me to Vanessa

Now my burning question is - Can I turn things round and move swiftly on to Christmas in the space of one month?  Well,  I guess the first question I really have to ask is: Do I want to?  And that's followed with a resounding, YES.

In the spirit of using what I've got and taking advantage of my major fail from last year, leaving Christmas till December, I already have some Christmas stock put together.

Getting Ready for Christmas in July

Until now, I have dug my heels in and refused to embrace the whole Christmas package before December.  And that strategy time and again has got me nowhere.  So I can stay stubborn and repeat those old habits, or let it go and embrace the whole start Christmas early malarkey.  And in my tradition of wholeheartedly embracing things I'm jumping on the whole Hand Made Christmas bandwagon and planning the homeliest handmade Christmas ever.

This is, of course, all subject to change.  If I jump the success money hurdle before the end of the year I would swap it all (or postpone it slightly) for Christmas in New York - definitely high on my wish list.  What's your biggest wish for Christmas?

So, a (or not so) quick pop over to Handmade Harbour to check out what everyone else has been up to.  So much gorgeous creativity out there.

Have a crafty July week - whatever that may be

Sunday, 14 July 2013

What's on the Desk?

Usual BS

Sunday is a pretty good day for checking in.  I haven't decided whether it's the end of my week, or the beginning - maybe both.  I tend to use my Sunday Post to sum up the week gone by and to lay out my plans for the week ahead.

Definitely getting the attitude together

I have come to realise over the past couple of weeks that writing a 'good' post can take some time, and it can provide ideas for add ons and new posts.  As such, to gain and maintain the quality I want to have here I cannot write a post a day.  Well I could but then I wouldn't be able to do anything else.  And I want to do so much more too.  So I will write one or two full posts each week and stick with short and sweet more visual pieces on the other days.  Sounds like a plan.  And as Alex Franzen suggested as a meditation mantra 'I gave myself these tasks and I can un-give them too.'.  Here, I mean un-giving me the task of writing an indepth  piece every day - consider that one let go.

So this past week I created a piece for the Pinterest Contest at Stratejoy and in case you missed it already, I didn't come first but I did get an 'awesomeable mention' and won a free entry to the Holiday Council.  I am really looking forward to this and connecting with some like minded and awesome folks.

just in case you didn't see it already - the piece
So I'm feeling like I'm in a pretty good place right now.  There is a lot of stuff in my notebooks and on my desk - but it's all good.

Aiming at bringing some life and colour to these ideas

And I've already decided that this week will be all about Branding. I was going to tackle this over the weekend but got myself to get real.  I've got loads of stuff in my Marketing section on Evernote.  So I have lots to check out and have to check myself on limiting my research time and concentrating on getting things done.

Writing it down helps make it real

I'm feeling good about this week and about all the ideas that are coming to life, slowly and surely.

Have a great week

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Surfing Under the Surface - Saturday Sunshine

Surfing Under the Surface

Just the thought of this post title has me plunging into a light blue ocean, completely cool, with the sun glistening on top.  The reality is that I'm not really talking about that kind of surfing.

Surfing in the Sunshine

I got a beautiful comment on my latest post yesterdayYay me, and yay Ann for writing it.  It made me take a little time out.  Clicking on Ann's google+ feed made me realise that I follow Ann's blog because of her style and the beautiful pics she shares but I really don't know much about her.  Now that doesn't mean she hasn't shared who she is or what she does , it's my bad...  I haven't really taken the time to read deeply.  Until now I have been more of a surface skimmer, looking at the lovely pics and picking up on the highlighted words.  It's a habit I have developed over many years but one I am now working on breaking.  How can I create more connection in my life if I don't fully engage?  Are you as engaged as you want to be?

One of my Forgotten Pins

This was repinned this week - how many forgotten pins do you have? - Perhaps that's a whole other post.

Have a great Saturday




Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Myth of Completion

This got me an awsomeable mention
Realising that we are never done is not only a beautiful thing but a great relief.  Once learned it's important to hold onto the knowledge that it does not give us permission to leave things undone.

Namaste and Happy Friday

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

I'm Not Done - and that's a beautiful thing...

Getting Some Zen - my next needlework project

I’ve been thinking about a can of worms I opened last week.  It is true that we get more of what we focus on.  And for quite some time now I have focused on depression and stress and the innate lack of understanding of the effect of these illnesses on our overall well being. I have rallied to have them recognised as disabilities.  In so doing can it be that I have lost sight of the big picture?   Can it be that I have done nothing but feed the beast?

I’ve been reading Lissa Rankin’s Mind Over Medicine and having my belief reinforced that ‘what and how we think has a powerful effect on our physical well being’, positive or negative.  Then, today I happened upon Lisa Esile and her ‘7 Secrets Your Mind Does Not Want You toKnow.’  And it struck me that I’ve really been giving my mind too much space.  And working my way through ‘Mind Over Medicine’ I have come to see the big picture and finally found the ‘a-ha’.  It’s about everything working together – taking the whole person into account.

There is no compartmentalising, life is a whole package thing.  And we have to look after the whole package.  That’s why it’s so important we look after our mind, body and spirit.  Each relies on the other and if one is out of sync they all are.  And that is why I need to step up and live my life fully.

In living my life fully I am leading by example.  What I have been doing up to now has served its purpose but now I know better and serendipity sent me this on my Pinterest front page.

Because it's meant to be

Hope you all have a complete week.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Making - Never Done

A Thing of Beauty

I really enjoyed putting this piece together.  

One of the things I love about it is that it's not meant to be finished. And it led me to thinking about how we are never done - there is always space for change, for improvement for rethinking, yet there is a beauty in the unfinished.  I've already got so many ideas for other similar unfinished/finished pieces.

I particularly love the hanging thread and the possibility of more and the beauty of enough.

My new branding is still a work in progress - and it is progressing.  Texture, things being unfinished, words... all will be revealed very shortly.

In the meantime I'm off to check out what everyone's been up to over at Handmade Monday and to post this piece on Pinterest

The words are by Molly Mahar and this piece was originally made for entry into her Pinterest Competition at Stratejoy.

Hope everyone has a creative and fulfilling week.



Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Wishcasting on

Today I'm working on my branding so I'm casting wishes out there to gather the creativity, intuition and insight to bring together the wonderful idea that I know is just there...

Originally found via Lissa Rankin

Just under the surface and out of reach, but I just know that one extra burst of wishcasting wisdom will bring it to light.

Who knows, tomorrow this place could look completely different.

May the wishes that you all wish for yourselves
come to light in the best way possible.



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