How Felicity was helped out of a dark day...

So it's Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and I've been listening to Radio 2 this week, each afternoon Jeremy Vine has been talking to someone with a different mental health illness each day, it's been very insightful and great to hear it being talked about openly and honestly in the mainstream.


Funnily enough this week hasn't been a great one for me.  It started Tuesday when something small was niggling at me regarding an order, that I couldn't sort and I was annoyed at myself for having to leave open like that.  Without thinking i went about the rest of my day, but it really was one of those days, things got on top of me, things didn't go how i wanted them to and i didn't achieve things i wanted to achieve that day.  I chalked it up to a bad day and went to sleep, but then Wednesday didn't get much better and my mood gradually darkened, and as it did so did my day, again i chalked it up to another bad day and hope today would get better. As i went to bed tired and grumpy i misread something on FB, commented and went to sleep.  I woke to a bit of a telling off, now i was the first to hold up my hand and apologise but one person in particular wanted to make their feelings known and with my mood as it was I just took it completely to heart and it really upset me.  I could feel my mood darkening even more.  As i made my lunch at work i was just wishing the day to end, i took my boiling hot soup to my desk, sat down went to prize off the Tupperware lid sealed by the heat and proceeded to chuck the whole bowl over my lap and the floor.  The pain was unreal, i jumped up realising i needed to get the soup of me and so quickly wiped down my clothes - to proud to make a fuss, whilst my colleague helped me clear up my chair, the carpet and my desk.  Once we'd done i came home to change, i could feel my legs stinging and as i walked in the door i just burst into tears.

I actually starting asking God what had i done, what had i done this week that was so bad that i was being punished with a crap week and finally burning myself stupid...  I felt at a loss.  But i had to get back to work, so i quickly changed my clothes, looking at my bright red legs and went back to work.  By the time i'd got back my legs were stinging quite badly, so I reached out to a FB group i'm in and a particular member who i know is a Homeopath hoping she could advise me of something i could do to help immediately.  Two goods friends Devenia and Kathy immediately reached out with their sympathies and some initial suggestions (unfortunately now the boys are a little older i don't carry Vaseline or Sudacrem in my bag anymore LOL) and then despite Michelle having being in the wars herself last week and still recovering, she replied telling me exactly what to do (and very politely ticking me off for not getting the homeopathic first aid kit she'd told us all about last week, lesson learnt, off to buy tomorrow!)  Interestingly though at this point having read some of my other comments about my week in general she happened to make an observation about how i needed to focus on the positive and that the negativity would just drag me further and further down.  Suddenly a light went off...


Earlier i couldn't imagine why God would have let me burn myself, I couldn't see where the lesson in that could possibly be.  But yet here it was, plain as day.  My negative mood that started from something so small on Tuesday had become a catch 22 (and this is exactly how depression takes control without you noticing) the lower my mood, the more i felt everything was against me, and the more i felt everything was against me the lower my mood got!  I had got myself into such a state by lunchtime today that it took something to make me LITERALLY jump out of it and shake it off to be able to receive advice and look at the situation for what it was.  Michelle really helped me today, i'm not even sure she knows just how much!  But i felt with it being Mental Health Week it was really appropriate to share what had happened to me this week and ask Michelle what suggestions she had for not only dealing with that type of situation, a bad day, a dark mood.

  1. Try and stop the bad days before they happen!  Each morning before you get out of bed or when you are in the shower, be mindful of everything you have, the roof over your head, the bed you had a good nights sleep in, your kids, your husband, hot running water, the breakfast you are about to eat etc. etc.
  2. Sit for 5 minutes and ask yourself 'how do i want to feel today?' Write down your intention and refer to it if you feel your day is not going the way you had asked.
  3. If you are having a bad day, stop, Take yourself off to a quiet spot and ask yourself why you are having a bad day. What's really important is not to lay blame, this is a hard one but it is important to own the emotions you are feeling and the thoughts you are thinking as once you have acknowledged them it is easier to let them go, If you can write down any negative thoughts and feelings. You can even write a letter to the person that has annoyed you and then Michelle takes it outside, burns it and place the ashes on the earth for mother earth to transmute as she sees fit.  I did exactly this to my school bully, but i posted it to myself, the writing of it was so cathartic and by the time i'd received back i was able to rip it up and bin.  I'd said my piece...
  4. If you are able, mediate for 10 - 15 minutes just breathing in new calm energy and breathing out stress, frustration, anger whatever it is that you think is creating your bad day, and remind yourself of your intention for the day.


Look no matter what your beliefs are, you cannot deny that we all have bad days and that it would be a much better place if they didn't happen or we could shrug them off a lot quicker.  Some of you know i have faith, but i'm not a big shouter about it, it's very personal to me and i'm certainly not telling you all you need to, just explaining how my day went.
I really hope this has helped you guys and you'll remember the steps the next time you feel you day going from bad to worse.  It's certainly helped me to put everything in to perspective and even look at my initial issue with an order and come up with a solution.

However first on the list for me is to go and get a homeopathic first aid kit so i can get on with my painting without my legs stinging LOL!

Much love,

Fay x


How Felicity Finds A Love of Colour

So how many of you are scared of colour?

Are you planning on decorating your nursery?

Does the thought of adding any colour fill you with fear?!

What colour do I add?

Can I add more than one?

Should I only paint one wall?

How do I tie in with the rest of the room?

Shouldn't nurseries be calming colours to sooth baby?

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Okay okay let's chill, let’s just take a moment to breathe LOL. Colour in a nursery really isn’t that scary and with so many options available to us we are definitely all being a little bolder nowadays, but do you know what, I absolutely adore bold colour (those who know me understand – I had to go and buy a black suit for my own father’s funeral as literally don’t own anything black) and I really want to push you guys even further with its use in the home.

Bold colours and shapes stimulate babies. So let’s get you thinking just how you can do that. Now the first 3 points are ways that we are fairly comfortable with already, but I wanted to show you how you can push that even further than you have already…

1. Soft Furnishings

2. Feature Wall

3. Art work

The next few points are maybe going to take you a little further than you’ve maybe considered before. But do you know what, it’s your home, it’s your style, so let’s show that off to its full potential in your home.

4. Furniture

5. Pattern/Print

6. Clashing Tones

7. Dark Hues

I hope that’s given you a little inspiration for your nursery!  You can find all these images and links on my Pinterest blog board. If you want to have a chat then please just follow me on FB, Pinterest and/or Insta and drop me a line; only too happy to discuss any ideas you are unsure about trying.

If you are already a colour aficionado in the home then I’d love to see your pics, tag me and I’ll feature some of my favourites!

Stay fun, stay bright!

Fay x

 

P.S As i said you can find all the links for the above images on my pinterst blog board, but a few of my particular favourite companies to help achieve your desires are below:

Somewhere Only We know 

Enchanted Interiors 

Crazy Little Crafts 

Hazel Loves Ivy  (if on holiday then please follow her, she's seriously worth it)

Jo Jones Creative

 

P.P.S And please check out Etsy before anywhere else, as there is so much talent out there x


How Felicity Finds 3 very different uses for Stationery...

It's National Stationery Week and today is World Stationery Day, which reminded me of a previous blog post.  What better way to celebrate than to look at how to use Stationery in some very different ways to decorate your home.

What! I hear you cry. But seriously there are some fab uses from everyday stationery.

  1. Clip Boards

 

These are a great idea as once placed you can easily change up the art displayed if you update your decor or use for your kids art and it means you can swap as often as they draw!

2. Hole Punch

 

You can use an ordinary hole punch to create art with the kids, get them involved using scrap pieces of card from previous projects, or wall paper samples, anything you have lying around, You could take this one step further and use specialist punches, bigger circles, hearts, butterflies, the possibilities are endless...

3. Post It Notes

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And if you ever get bored at work then what about trying to recreate this post it note creation, just awesome!  You could even let the kids try at home, for just a few pounds they could have hours of fun and the best bit... It's temporary!

Let's go and enjoy Stationery week, I'd love to see any of your creations!!!

Fay x


How Felicity Deals With The Loss

So I'd done really well today, I'd suddenly got some inspiration and despite having a post already started on draft I felt the need to write a whole new post.  I was inspired by some pins i'd found earlier in the week and just how fab the use of bold and striking colour can be in the home.  So literally within 10 mins i had a whole new blog that come tonight - I was at the day job - I just needed to add images and links and it was there. I felt almost 'professional' LMAO...

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Don't be silly that's not me, what did i do... I forgot to email it to myself so I'd have it at home (need to send my log in to work really that would be logical!) Yep so all that advice is gonna have to wait till next week I'm afraid folks.

However in the meantime a little tribute to one of my absolute inspirations in my life, Victoria Wood. I really am at a loss for words. 2016 has brought so much death and still it keeps coming and I guess a lot is down to me getting that bit older so my idols are also getting older, therefore will start to pass on, but Victoria was someone just so incredibly amazing to me, she shaped my younger years, she made me laugh, she made me cry, she gave me a lot of great impressions i could do in front of classmates to make them laugh with me instead of at me!

 

I don't think i realised just how much of an impact she had on my life.  She was 'normal', she was 'northern' she was AWESOME! I'm going to miss her a lot,, but will never forget and look forward to all the re-runs I'm very sure we will be indulged with.  Victoria you were a godsend and will be missed sorely x

 

Fay x


How Felicity Finds 3 reasons to be cheerful

It's been a good week this week.  I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone a couple of times, doing things I'd normally shy away from;

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  1. As mentioned in my last post I've booked the Baby & Toddler Show in Manchester Oct 7-9.  I am really excited but also pretty scared! I've done loads of trade & retail shows for other jobs before but this is me, I'm putting myself out there, what if i don't get all my designs made in time? What if I don't sell anything? What if I sell everything the first day and have no stock left? Hey you gotta let a girl dream a little ;-) Anyway 25 weeks to go and so much to do, so I'm hoping i'll be too busy to be scared LOL.
  2. I stopped a friend I hadn't seen in ages to catch up.  Sounds silly right, but that's a huge step for me.  Normally I'd put my head down and keep walking, as the fear of them not really wanting to talk to me would be so great.  This is a very good friend so deep down i know the fear is completely irrational, so i pushed that fear to one side, reached out and said hey.  Had a great catch up and a lovely hug to boot.
  3. I finished my website - BUT IT'S NOT PERFECT! Normally i would keep going and going, working and working whilst other elements suffered.  But with the guidance of many, particularly Devenia Besant I've realised that appearing as is, is better than not appearing at all and actually perfection is something never attained really.  I'm not saying turn up in my pj's for the school run, but there is a level that is acceptable, that can then be worked upon at a later date.

I'm really chuffed with myself, It's really liberating.  I also had a beautiful text from a very lovely soul, she knows who she is and I'm so privileged to have her in my life.  She had guided and supported me from the day I met her and she is such a massive part of me, it's hard to describe, love love love.

So now the hard work begins, I've orders to complete, samples to paint, fabrics to design and a soft furnishings collection to make! Not a lot then...

Hope you'll join me on my journey, as it's gonna be exciting...

With love,

Fay x

 

 


How Felicity Finds Some Personal Strength

I had an interesting conversation with my sister whilst she was down last week regarding self-confidence and how we carry ourselves.  It's funny how sometimes the most outwardly confident people are in fact inwardly the most shy; take me, i come across as pretty confident, I dress how i like (quirky, eccentric are a few words I've heard), I dye my hair... bright! and I will happily stand up in front of a room of people and talk to them... about anything.  However inside I'm painfully shy.  I wonder how many of us creatives are the same?

Wallflower: a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance. 2. any person, organization, etc., that remains on or has been forced to the sidelines of any activity.

I am happiest in my craft room, in fact i'd be happy if i never had to leave it sometimes.  Social interaction is something i truly dread at times, the school run, parties, phone calls (my pet hate) they have all filled me with a deep desire to run in the other direction at some point.  Kids have been good for me as it means i have to do things, i can't just hide away.  however those times when you thought i was being rude or standoffish, I wasn't, I just wasn't confident enough (no matter how well we know each other) to come talk to you.

Personal strength is one of my biggest weaknesses, I need to take my own canvases to heart! I've mentioned before about being bullied at school and then again in the workplace.  However it was Primary School that set the precedent, created the person i am today, pulled me down, tore me apart from the outside in and then spat me out 4 years later a different girl.

I will never lay the blame on my bullies as I am a firm believer in never judging, and I know a lot of the time they are hurting just as much if not more inside and it helps them to make someone else feel their pain, unfortunately it's not the best way to help themselves in the long run.  However i lost 4 years of my life, literally, i don't remember a lot from my last 4 years of Primary School, just days here or there, but what lives on is a deep-seated insecurity.  Why sometimes i would say what people wanted to hear as it meant they would like me. Why i still now find it hard to hold a telephone conversation, because in my mind the person on the other end is laughing at me; why i hate when people laugh at something I've done, a trip, a fall, parking badly, you name it, in that moment I'm suddenly 8/9 years old and everyone is laughing at me, pointing and i know i'll be walking home from school alone again.

 

Schoolgirl being bullied in school corridor I don't want sympathy, I'm not writing to gain anything, I'm writing because it helps me and I really hope it helps others.  My hair, my clothes, my persona are all coping devices; it gives you all something to talk about rather than 'me'.  I promise you that I amn't ignoring you and I amn't 'up my own a**e', I'm just that scared little 9-year-old who thinks you might laugh at me, or wonders why the hell you'd want to talk to me. I wonder how many of us are like that, but are too scared to admit.

Life is hard, and I know for myself and many others that our crafting gives us a release.  I also have so many beautiful friends and family who give me more than they know.  I pray my children will never go through what i did but i guess if they do at least I'll be right there next to them knowing exactly how they are feeling, kids can be cruel eh?! I have good days (mostly) and I still have bad but what gets me through each and every one of those bad days are the people around me and my fellow crafters, who inspire me daily to push and achieve more than i ever thought i could.

Thanks guys, love you all.

Fay x

P.S Almost forgot I've booked the Baby & Toddler Show in Manchester in Oct.  I would never have done something like this alone and special thanks goes to my friend Judith who is fantastic at pushing me to step outside my comfort zone.  I'm really excited for this next step on my journey, and do you know what if i can do it, you can!


How Felicity Finds Positivity, 1 Step At A Time

How is everyone doing? For me it's been Easter school holidays, which always proves difficult in terms of time, but it does mean some time off with the kids (not as much as i'd like) and some awesome family time with my sister and nephew. The kids go back in a week but i now finally have some decent time off, so not back at the day job till next Tues now and am looking forward to just pottering about the house, getting it a little more in order, but mostly spending time with my boys and getting some painting done.

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My Faceboook cover for Easter #cutebunny

It's funny, I'm not sure if it's because i've been so focused on getting my Etsy shop just right and finishing my website (nearly there) but I've been feeling really down about orders via Etsy, as they are very slow this month, and it's so hard when you see others thriving. On one hand you are so pleased for them, but on the other you can't help but question why you are not getting the same results. However when I actually began to plan out all my orders (not just via Etsy) in my diary I realised I had 5 to book in, with 2 more received this week for the canvases pictured below, before i'd even got a chance to list them on Etsy; and along with the new samples I'm working on, that's plenty to keep me busy for this month, and more!

I'm not saying i wouldn't like my Etsy orders to increase, but I think sometimes we can get so focused on one element of our business that we forget to look at the bigger picture and realise just how well we are doing.  As someone reminded me today, focus less on the negative and more on the positive.

Today for me was about remembering exactly what I've achieved since i re-opened my Etsy shop in Dec last year.  I'm busier than I've ever been before, I've built a new website from scratch, I've designed several new collections and will be expanding those into soft furnishings in the next few months.  However perhaps the most exciting was York Hospitals SCBU unit accepting my offer to make them a Welcome canvas for their reception area.  My eldest (now 10) spent the first 4 weeks of his life there and I'm so very grateful to them, this is the perfect way to give back and say thank you!

So you see after writing this I can see I have so much to be proud of, and I would imagine there are quite a few of you fellow crafters out there who might have been feeling the same as I was at the beginning of this, so let's just remember to take a step back and look at just what we have achieved!

I'll finish with one of my favourite quotes, it's shared a lot, but forgotten too often!

Don't compare your beginning, to someone else's middle.      Jon Acuff

So how has your week been?

Fay x

 


How Felicity Finds Her Voice!

Since i started blogging i've always been a little hit and miss with my content, do i blog about what i do and how i do it, or do i blog about running a small business and being a mummy.  There are so many blogs out there, so what makes me different, why would you want to read my blog over someone else's.  Truth is i have no idea...

So I have to just go with my gut and hope to god you find some value/interest/amusement in my blogs.  I'm gonna concentrate on my journey over the next year as i build my business back up,  I'm sure there are a lot of things some of you can relate to:

  • running a business from home
  • being a parentpreneur/mumpreneur/dadpreneur
  • juggling a day job with a small business and childcare

and some things maybe not so, but those i'll go into as i blog.  Don't want to scare you just yet, might scare you off ;-)

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This is something i've secretly always known but haven't had the confidence to go for 100%.  I've always felt that i'm expected to have a 'real' job or that what i do isn't much more than a hobby.  I'm not quite sure what happened at 40, but i suddenly thought, f**k it, i'm worth it, what i do is good enough and why shouldn't i aim to do what i love for a living!

I had to give it a little time till my youngest was old enough not to be 'on top of me' while i crafted (although if you see my latest Instagram, you'll see occasionally 'stuff' still happens LOL).  But since the end of last year i've started to view my business as just that, a business! Not a hobby, not something i like playing at, but a real bonafide business!  It's not easy, especially as a lot of people around don't quite understand/and or expect you to be an overnight success; but i do have some amazing support especially from my family, my friends and my boys.  Without whom really there would be no point.

I've worked really hard on my brand identity, developed my photography to fit my brand identity, built a whole new website and generally put myself out there, and this is where my issues start...

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Does anyone else struggle to stand up and be counted?!

I was bullied badly at primary school and then again in the workplace so i've spent a lot of time saying what i think people want to hear, not what my gut is telling me.  I've wanted to blend in (despite my outgoing persona), so I think this quote says it all, it really does take courage and that's what i was lacking massively.

But do you know what, i'm a grown women, i'm the mother to 3 boys, i work 4 days a week, keep a home and run a growing business from home; if i haven't got the courage to stand up and speak for myself now then i never will!

So it is my goal for the here and now to really just speak from my gut, say how i feel, use my positivity and really help myself and others around me.  It's even as simple as leaving a comment of a FB post with my honest opinion, rather than reading all the previous comments and making sure my views match with majority! Seriously i did that!!!! A lot!!!!!

I recognise the strength in everyone and i'm so determined about making sure i never make anyone feel the way i was made to, that they realise their worth; just a shame it's not as easy to do with myself.  But i'm one thing, i'm bloody determined!!! So if i'm there for you when you need me, might you be there for me? #letsdoit #together

Fay x