1 June 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


Well, that was a busy old week last week! In case you didn’t catch it, I threw myself into a bit of a project which, in full transparency, totally pushed me out my comfort zone! I decided, rather on a whim, to put together a three day mini series called ‘Beginners Tips for Hand Lettering’, as well as putting it up on my Leaf Lane Studio IGTV, I also uploaded all three videos to my YouTube channel too. If you’re interested in watching it I would love to know what you think! I put it together because I am considering structuring a beginners hand lettering course that you could download and work through in a far more in-depth way. Let me know what your thoughts are!
 
Let’s jump into this weeks gratitude (and general random happenings from the week!).

:: I am so grateful for the feedback I have received from those of you that have watched the hand lettering videos. It makes my heart happy to watch you having a go at lettering the quote and showing me your amazing efforts on Instagram! I find lettering such a mindful exercise and feel really glad that you do too!



:: Last night I closed my charity sticker for the Last Chance Hotel, with the current total at over £160. I’ll confirm the exact amount this week on Facebook and Instagram because I need to just double check everything again! I’m so proud of what we have achieved with this fundraiser guys and I wish I could hug you all for buying a sticker and helping me do this for such a truly wonderful charity. Thank you so much.

:: I talked a lot about the houseplants in last weeks list, but this week, something amazing arrived in the post and I am thrilled about it. Emily (from Emily and the Whippet, who is the plant enabler I mentioned last week!) sent me a little parcel of the most wonderful plant cuttings EVER! I have so many now and they fill me up with joy! I can’t list them all here but if you keep your eyes peeled on my YouTube they will be popping up in a Studio Vlog soon! Thanks Emily!

 ^^ I love watching how the water droplets form on Barry, the banana tree! ^^

:: This amazing weather we’ve been having is creating such a wonderful feeling for me throughout the day. I love lighter mornings and evenings, hearing the birds sing, watching the light in the trees and smell the summer scents in the air. Recently I have been sitting in the kitchen, at the big table, with the back doors open and the little blinds pulled down half way, just painting in the early evening light; it’s gorgeous. There’s something magical at that time of day.

:: On Friday I finally launched my Bay wedding stationery collection on Leaf Lane Studio, and on Saturday the samples arrived from the printers! They are stunning guys, I’m so happy with them! I need to get a couple of props for the Bay photo shoot and then you’ll be able to get samples of it on the website. I’m also about to start work on another new collection too, which will be super simple, very versatile and elegant. I can’t wait to start work on it!



:: Whenever I am spending a while at my painting table, I love having a series to get stuck into. On Saturday I started watching Killing Eve and I love it! I don’t know how to describe it, because it is equal parts humour and total darkness, but it is brilliant! Have you watched it? Any recommendations for my next watch welcome!

:: I went out the front door to look for Gizmo on Friday and there were three horses, with ‘drivers’ (!) busy munching the weeds out the front of the driveway. One of the ladies called out in what seemed like a panic ‘... they’re only eating the weeds, not your trees!’. It dawned on me that they probably thought I’d leapt out the front door like a right old battleaxe to tell them off! Gizmo had been MIA for a while and I was in a panic, so didn’t think that they might worry when I appeared! We get horses and their owners trot past the end of the house every day, several times a day, and I love it so much. I also very much appreciate the stubbornness of a horse that refuses to move until it finishes its weedy snack!

:: I have been wearing my super soft, stripey maxi skirt and more summery clothes recently, which feels so nice. I am trying to get myself into different clothes whilst I am working, because it always makes me feel so much better in myself, as does a good, trusty lippy! What self-care do you put in place to make you feel ready for the day?

:: On Thursday I had a little treat meal of curry, rice and the most delicious naan bread (yum!). I had also ordered a packet of white chocolate buttons as pudding and they were fab! I love curry and all the trimmings so much, not that we have it very often at all, but when we do I am so grateful for it!


:: Whilst mooching about on YouTube yesterday, I stumbled up these really short videos on the House and Garden channel (of all places!), that are called 'Things to Put in Frames'; they are little films showing artists in their spaces, discussing their work. I love things like this (which is why I adore watching and creating studio vlogs). I find artists sketchbooks, inspirations and processes so interesting. You should check them out if you enjoy that sort of thing, they are only 3-5 minutes in length and truly lovely to watch.

I hope you enjoyed that weekly run down! Last week was truly mad but it a good way! Included in all the madness was a magpie that found its way into the kitchen and was flapping about all over the shop trying to find an exit. It wasn't in there for long and flew out absolutely fine after just a few seconds, but it came as a bit of a shock!

Have a wonderful week and enjoy this wonderful weather!

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MINI SERIES | BEGINNERS TIPS FOR HAND LETTERING


Last week, over on my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram, I decided to pop up a three day mini series, for beginners who wanted to have a little go at some lettering! It is a basic look at some of the important things to think about when starting to get into it, and includes tips on how to link letters together, make your lettering look like it has been done with a calligraphy pen, without actually using one, and ends with some ways to make your envelopes look super pretty so you can impress your friends and family!

I have popped all the videos below for you to watch, and keep this post really short so you can get stuck in! If you enjoy them, please let me know as I am seriously considering putting together a mini course that you can access on line, going into far more detail for you. Think of this as a little 'hand lettering taster'!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you are liking the content I am sharing with you right now; there will be a new Studio Vlog appearing in the next 24 hours too!

Thank you for being here and supporting me, you are so appreciated.

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25 May 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Hello, hello! Welcome back to another ‘Weekly Gratitude’ post, but not only a new post but also a new STUDIO VLOG too (and about time frankly!). With my vlogs I sometimes worry that I don’t have ‘the right’ sort of content for you and then panic a bit, struggle with the feelings of ‘what if I bore them all half to death’ and finally I get over myself and put the bloody thing up! I actually have another one heading your way sooner rather than later too (why am I like this?!). Anyway, I will link my studio vlog at the bottom of this post as normal if you fancy watching it. I am also going to ring the ‘please subscribe to my channel’ bell again. Here’s why I keep going out about subscribing... 

Back in the day, YouTube allowed anyone to monetise their channel, meaning it plays adverts occasionally and pays teeny-tiny pennies to the creator of the video. You didn’t get paid out until you reached something like £50 of ad revenue, which I was a couple of pounds from making, and BAM, YouTube change it’s rules. The new rules stated that you had to have over 1k subscribers to monetise, meaning that 'my' money/earnings are stuck in the system until I get to that amount of subbies and can release it. What a sh*t! Anyway, I am on around 555 subscribers now... almost there then eh?! (Sobs silently into a gin). So, along with just wanting you to subscribe because you’re all my readers and I appreciate each and every one of you, and wouldn't want you missing out on all the excitement that comes to you via a vlog, but it would also be so helpful to me, my blog AND my business. Click right here to subscribe!

Right, enough YouTube waffle, you get it! Onto the gratitude post...

Oooh, one more thing, I am doing a final push on my charity sticker, if you haven't got one yet I would so appreciate you checking out all the information right here and considering helping out with this fundraiser! I was so excited this week as my local radio station, Pirate FM, popped up a blog post and Facebook post in support of this and, as they have over 150k followers I figured I may reach my overall target, but not even one person visited the page... I wanted to cry, but then I remembered how many amazing people have helped and got myself back on track.



:: Unlike last week, this week has just zoomed on by. It’s been full of work, Zoom calls and creativity, and for that I am so lucky and so grateful.

:: My new banana tree, Barry, is settling in fabulously, and has even started growing a tiny baby tree right next door to him. having consulted my plant ‘Yoda’, Emily, from Emily and the Whippet, I now know I can leave ‘baby Barry’ for a bit, until he’s older, and then give him a pot of his own! We spent too much time this week choosing names for the plants in this house, and now we have ‘Puff’ (no, not a drug, a Dragon Tree... Puff the Magic Dragon), Spike (a Christmas cactus), Barry (banana tree dude), Matilda (Monstera goddess), Laura ( a new cutting who’s planty name currently escapes me), Pea-Pod (soon to be Burro’s Tail when they grow from cuttings) and Kevin (Pilea). I also have recently taken cuttings from Puff, so have two new ones I am hoping to grow (I have not named these yet) and also there are three cuttings from Spike currently drying out, so I am hopeful about those too. As a beginner I am learning on the go, but very much enjoying myself. I blame Emily FULLY for all of this happening. I’ve always wanted to get 'into’ houseplants and she just tipped me over the edge and enabled my fall! I don’t mind at all though really!

:: I’m not sure if any of you guys have seen my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram this week, but I’ve been having quite the moment with the colour pink! My paint palette has been (and still is) full of gorgeous baby pinks, which means my water is also the most pretty pink ever! Just when I thought my week couldn’t get more pink, my new phone case showed up, well over a month earlier than expected from Amazon! I am in love with it guys! It has cat ears for heavens sake! If you fancy laying your paws on it, here’s the link!* It definitely isn’t a massively great quality case, but it is so adorable and I would buy another one! In fact, there was a two pack that I am now wishing I had gone for, which has my pink one and a black one too! I just wanted to make sure it fit my phone first!



:: Thanks to an afternoon spent reading in the garden yesterday (and getting a bit burnt...oops, we have ordered sun-cream now), I have almost finished my Jonathan Van Ness book*. I have loved this book so much; his openness and wit has kept me gripped. I think there is a new series of Queer Eye coming out soon and I really cannot wait to watch it!

:: Gizmo has been hilarious this week with her ‘zoomies’; she comes indoors, after a few hours outside, and then proceeds to go absolutely mental for about 15 minutes, sliding about on the floor, crashing into things at full speed and trying to climb up the doors. It really makes me smile to see her play, she is the best little bear!

:: We have the most gorgeous hedgerows and trees around the house right now; the garden is full of wildflowers, bees, all kinds of birds and it makes me so happy! Nature is thriving in a way that I have never seen before. Earlier in the week Joe spotted a male and female Bull-Thrush in the front garden; I have never seen one before and they are stunning! The male has a bright orange breast and they both have the most gorgeous markings. I don't know whether this lock-down is making more birds come into places that they may normally avoid, but either way it makes me so happy.


:: On the subject of nature, with all the trees around where we live, it is really something to lay in bed at night and just listen to the wind blowing the leaves in the trees. It is such a soothing sound to just here owls and trees and that's it. So wonderful.

:: I have been continuing my training and sweating myself half to death in the garage. I still want to get my hands on a kettlebell and maybe a box to jump on, they are just so expensive and, getting a proper box will mean it takes up quite a lot of space too! I am enjoying the different way that I am challenging my body at the moment. I also threw in a BodyCombat workout this week, which was awesome, but I had totally forgotten how sore my toes get with all the jumping about! They will toughen up soon if I keep at it though! Persistence (and stubbornness) is key here!


:: I have been so grateful everyone’s response to pictures I have put up showing my wedding stationery collection, Bay, and am pleased to say that it will be making its debut on Leaf Lane Studio on Friday 29th May! You will be able to browse the entire collection on my site as a preview, and when I have my samples here I will put together the brochure (photos need to be taken first you see!). I am excited to see this collection be on my website for people to see very soon!

* = Amazon affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase using this link, I will get a few pennies.

That's all I have for you this week, but scroll on down to watch my new vlog if you fancy it! I would love you to head to YouTube, give the video a 'like' and subscribe too, it really makes a difference!

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21 May 2020

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE FULLY 'YOU'



How many sides of 'you' do you show to the world everyday? Go back to before lock-down, and imagine yourself going through your normal routine; how did you act around people? Did you have different 'versions' of yourself for the various situations you found yourself in each day? If so, what did they look like?

I'm asking these questions because I have been thinking a lot about the subject and analysing myself, which is not unusual, but is something I have allowed myself to do for a bit of self-development through this lock-down thing. I have been questioning myself, in a gentle way, and trying to see if the Lucy I am every single day at home, is the same Lucy I am showing up as when I set foot outside the door and mix with other people in different situations and environments. The answers have been interesting. 

What would you say if you asked yourself the same questions? Could you say you were consistently the same person? I can't, but I think that might be okay actually.

Right now I am reading Jonathan Van Ness' book, 'Over the Top', and, in the book, he unpicks a little of why he thinks that we all have these sides to us that we draw on at different times, saying.:

'...(Dr Richard Schwartz) created something called Internal Family Systems Therapy. According to him, we were all born as a centered 'self' who is perfect and whole and can handle anything. But as we experience trauma in life, the centered self doesn't know quite how to deal with it, so it develops pieces of ourselves that we can call upon based on the situations we find ourselves in.... we all have these parts in our personality, but some people's are more extreme...'

That is a far more articulate way of explaining what I am trying to say here I think; and he goes on to say:

'if you think of your personality like a car, it's like this: my busy bee sits in the drivers seat, saying yes to every job coming my way with no thought of overbooking...my people pleaser is in the passenger seat... and my inner child is in the car seat. Meanwhile, my inner critic...can't stop backseat driving and telling everyone how I could be driving so much more effectively...'

I think we can all relate to this can't we; all the facets of 'us' that can sometimes drive us crazy?! It can be thoroughly exhausting for us to keep switching roles like that. Of course there is a time and a place for it, but it is when we are doing it to please others or to try and conform to something we feel we have to: that is when it is destructive.

So, a few questions that may help you unpick this subject a little bit, if you are interested in delving into it more are:

- When am I most true to myself? (Ask yourself who you are with when you feel completely you. You may discover that it is only when you are in the safety of home that you feel like you can be totally you, so just keep asking 'why'). 

- Who am I with when I feel like I really need to dig deep into my energy reserves in order to function in that situation? (Here you are exploring your energy zappers! Be honest with yourself.)

- Ask yourself why you feel the need to act a different way around certain people. Do you feel you have to 'dumb' yourself down because it is easier? Do you feel like you have to agree with opinions because you feel like they may question yours? Why? 

I think journaling on those points, or something similar, can be really useful to start uncovering the roots of this.

I guess the reason this is at the forefront of my mind right now is that I don't want certain behaviours to continue post lock-down. I want to show up as me as much as possible. The routine I find myself in right now has opened up new parts of my mind and I feel happy about that, so of course, it is only natural, to not want to slip back into being 'the funny one' in one situation, or 'the one who is always self-depreciating' in others. I am a business owner, a creative, a little nerdy/geeky, very awkward most of the time, but that it who I am. I do weird things, I enjoy loud music and total silence. I need to get into bed in the middle of the day to switch off from normality for a bit and I don't always want to mix with lots of people, but that is who I am and, do you know what? That is okay with me.
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18 May 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ There have been the prettiest skies ever recently ^^

As weeks in lock down go, this week has been the slowest. Up to now I have been commenting on how fast they’ve gone by, but this week has taken on a really slow speed; with each hour seeming soooo long! I’ve also been a little more tired than usual, which probably explains it, but it has still been an amazing week nonetheless. 

How are you doing? What has been the highlight of the week for you? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed some lovely weather too; it really was gorgeous here (but a bit chilly in the wind).

Shall we delve into what has happened this week?

:: I have found myself fully invested in my morning routine for a long time now but this week, after a coaching call with the gang, I found myself reassessing the evening routine too. Holly talked to us about how our evening routines play a huge part in our morning routines, which I have never really considered before to be honest, but of course they do. If we have sporadic bed times and lots of screen time prior to sleep, it is inevitable that we won’t exactly wake up feeling like we can take on the day. So, after a bit of a ponder, it has been decided that the new nighttime routine will be no phone from 9.30pm, and no TV in bed either, just reading and journaling. This is heaven for me quite frankly, because I got way too involved in my phone at night (just through habit rather than want or need really) as a means to try and fall asleep and wasn’t really reading any books just for fun. Don’t get me wrong, the books I read in the mornings are brilliant, but they are business/self development books, so to pick up something at night, that isn’t going to set my mind off back to business thoughts again, is really nice. I have finally started reading the Jonathan Van Ness book, 'Over the Top', that my lovely friend Kimberley gave me to read ages ago. I think I have half her book collection at home and am conscious to get them back to her (when I can!).





::  I am still pushing on with the charity sticker; I think we have raised just over £105 now, I say 'we' because you guys have helped so much and I am so grateful to all of you who have bought one and are helping to support the Last Chance Hotel. They are still working so hard throughout this pandemic and I can't stress enough the difference any donation will make to them. If you would like to buy a sticker and help the little fundraiser just click right here to go directly to the page. I am trying to reach out to local radio to help push things on their Facebook pages right now, but haven't heard anything back yet, so wish me luck! I have enough stickers to raise about £400, and I would love that to happen. If you fancy sharing the posts I have put on my Instagram I would be really grateful.

:: I mentioned, in last weeks post, how I have been bringing back calendar blocking in a big way. I used to do it but this is a whole other thing now (see the picture in last weeks gratitude post for details!), as you will see it is a very serious, somewhat military, operation! As much as it may look like a lot, it is so useful in terms of knowing that I have got everything done (or at least tried my best), rather than bouncing about like Tigger, from one task to the other with little thought about the end goal. I still have a lot to learn and will need to adapt things, but the bonus from it is that I managed to take the weekend for myself, well, 85% of it! I had a couple of little tasks to get done but otherwise it was all mine! It felt good!

:: On the subject of the weekend, it was beautiful here, and after cleaning the house and having the group chat with Peta and the girls in the Loving Kindness Support Group, I was free to do anything I wanted! On Saturday I ended up cooking a yummy pasta sauce to portion out and put in the freezer and then climbed into bed for a rest. I felt so exhausted all weekend long and just laying in bed watching the huge trees outside the window, with a film on in the background (film of choice: Martian on Netflix, because, well, space is life!) was honestly heaven to me. Sunday was more relaxed still; I sat out in the chilly wind and lovely sun, trying to shelter a bit behind the door that I had pinned open, with my book and Gizmo (and tea of course).  I am excited for more weekends like that and am now confident to be able to make them happen thanks to my more organised week!



:: There have been such beautiful skies recently; I think I may mention that every single week, but it's true and I get so much joy from looking at them, so it has to be mentioned! Just look how pink!

:: Whilst I was online ordering potting soil the other day, I saw a dwarf banana tree, suitable for indoors, in the sale and just couldn't resist getting it. Barry the Banana Tree arrived on Friday and I am in love with him! I don't have a picture for you today, but in the vlog I am about to edit he will make an appearance for sure! I am really on a plant building mission right now as they make me calm and content, which is a top priority at the moment (shouldn't it always be?). I also took cuttings from our Dragon tree on Saturday and I am hopeful they will root and grow into gorgeous little trees in time! The whole process of gardening and caring for houseplants is something I love so much, but haven't really taken the time to learn to much about, so I am now making that a thing I do to up my happiness levels! I am officially a 'plant lady in training'.

:: As well as attempting to graduate as a Plant Lady, I am already a fully fledged 'Mad Cat Lady' (and proud) so decided to celebrate that even more when my phone case decided to give up on life. It gave me the purr-fect opportunity to get this one from Amazon. It was super cheap and won't get here until July... but I had to get it, I mean, just look...!


:: I have been working really hard on my new commission piece over the last week; painting many blush-pink peonies and pretty foliage. It is coming along nicely and I really wish I could show you it properly. I put a few glimpses of it on my Instagram Stories, but that it all I can do right now (I think I will pop a few clips in my new Studio Vlog too... editing that today!). I am so grateful to be able to do something creative every single day.

:: I went out for a little walk last week, not too far as I stumbled across a bit of a road block in the way of some older ladies walking dogs very slowly on a skinny road, and I figured I had better turn back because a) I didn't want to give them a heart attack by making them jump and b) well, you know, we have social distancing in place still! (I still can't wrap my brain around the term 'social distancing' actually being in every day conversation right now). Anyway, on my slow walk back home, it was lovely to stand and watch the birds and the farmer in his field, busily doing something in a cute red tractor! It looked like a scene from a kids programme, seeing him trundling along in the far distance over the green fields, like old school Postman Pat from when I was a kid!

I think that is about all I have to share with you right now; I am sure there must be many more things, but it is Monday morning and my brain is trying to catch up with itself. I already started the day by missing a call I was meant to be having early this morning. Doh! Anyway, there we are! It is the way things are at the moment; waking up thinking it is a totally different day to the one we are actually on... that is my normal right now!

Have a great week guys, be sure to check back on Thursday for a new post! See you over on Instagram!

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14 May 2020

LET'S TALK ABOUT METAPHORICAL DOOR BUILDING!



If you want new opportunities, seek new doors to open. If you can’t yet see the doors, build them.

This came to me in a meditation this week and made me sit up and pay attention to where I’m at in my little world right now. Over the past few years I’ve been working really hard at peeling back metaphorical layers of myself in order to understand, heal and develop my life. I've really dug deep into experiences I have had, why I have had them and what it is I have gained (or perhaps lost) from going through whatever the thing was. 

I am super aware, and very mindful, of how some people view the world of 'self-development' and how it can come over as self-righteousness or somehow like it is the 'only way to be', and I hate that, but sometimes it is hard to articulate things surrounding that subject using the right words, and I never want to come across as preachy or anything negative at all, so I stress that I am only talking about my own experiences here.

I've been journaling a lot this week about how choosing, consciously, to tread the path of self development has been one of the most wonderful and excruciatingly difficult things I’ve chosen to do. Each experience I point light at and try to delve into, has revealed a new moment to internally resolve. But the more time I spend doing the work, the better I feel, so it’s more than worth it.

That is the hard part of this journey really, the part where you uncover a really deep emotional conflict or unresolved issue you have buried away (because burying things is so much easier) and then you have to work through it. I have learnt that if I bury things every time they stick their heads out the ground, and keep ignoring them, they will come back over and over again until I face them. Facing the big things is awful. You go into a dark place and feel crap and upset and hurt and like everyone knows what is going on behind your eyes, but it is what brings true growth. I didn't realise that part until I did it.

Recently, as a result of all the soul searching, morning journaling and meditation sessions (and exercising myself into a sweaty mess when I am full of emotions), I’ve entered a season of 'forward movement' in my life; of realising that no one is going to change my environment (to bring me into alignment with my goals and desires), no one but me anyway. I am the one in charge and I am the one that has to seek, create and leap into the arms of opportunities as I find them (or create them if they seem to have got lost on their way to me!). It is up to me to build doors to open and venture into the rooms they hold behind them. Scary? Yes. A good kind of scary though.

The biggest door I have opened recently is the one to working with Holly (from A Branch of Holly) and other business owners who are all there to level up. I thought it would be scary, in a ‘I can’t do this’ kind of way. I thought I would stick out like a sore thumb and people would think I wasn’t good enough to be there. I though a lot of things. Fear is a weird old friend. Taking the leap and showing up daily to what I am being taught, challenges I am being set and throwing myself into doing things that are far from my comfort zone is what will change how my life is unfolding. It will move me forward in so many more ways than just helping my business, and that is why I faced the feelings of fear and sign up to take part. This is what we have to do to see change.

What I’ve learned, first and foremost, in the last few years is that fear can make you so stagnant; it can keep you from achieving your goals in such a major way. When it comes to trying new things, no matter how big or small, if you feel fear, just do it anyway. Fear is, more often than not, the most brave and exciting thing to face. Before entering this coaching group for Leaf Lane Studio, I felt so much resistance... fear. Now I’m in it, what do I feel? Inspiration, motivation, sparks of creativity, renewed energy, happiness, increasing mental strength and so much more.

So, when I was meditating and I heard the whole door analogy, I knew what it meant. I knew that I had to go in search of doors to open or build the ones I need to challenge me; it all just made sense to me and I know it is right.

The lesson: build the door! Open it and leap in!
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11 May 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ I finished this commission and it is now in its new home with my lovely client! ^^

I'd like to start this blog post by telling you that this week is apparently 'National Donut' week... I won't be eating donuts, but I can be a bit of a donut, so I think that counts in the same way!

Anyway, now that I have proved myself a valuable public service I will go on to ask how your weekend was? Here in the U.K it was a Bank Holiday weekend, with the holiday part being on a Friday, rather than a Monday, which confused me immensely. I treated the day as a regular working day, but I did think that Saturday was Sunday and was basically in a state of confusion the entire time. Nothing new there to be honest!

Last week was a good week all in all, apart from disgusting hormonal fatigue (ladies, you know), which left me pretty much dragging myself about the place and only training four times, or maybe it was three now that I think about it. I may be counting Saturday, which I shouldn't, because although I put on training kit, I swiftly laid down on the spare bed, next to Gizmo, and went to sleep. These things happen and I am trying to roll with the days that my body is calling for rest, it is one of those harder things for my mind to do.

PS: A little friendly reminder that I am currently raising money for the Last Chance Hotel, a gorgeous animal sanctuary in Cornwall who really need support right now. I designed a sticker to sell and you can get yours (and read more about it) right here - I really appreciate all your support so far!

Right, let's jump on in to the gratitude list!

:: On our coaching academy call with Holly last Wednesday evening, we talked about creating our perfect day in terms of calendar blocking and how we can be more productive through setting our week out. I used to calendar block and it was something that worked well for me, but I let it drop away and have now brought it back. It is definitely a work in progress, but here is what it looks like... pretty huh?! I will update you on how that is going for me soon!



:: The lovely Peta, who I know I mention every blog post because I do her weekly group call and it's amazing, plus she's my friend and we are always sharing business, lifestyle and, let's face it, CAT related things with each other on very frequent basis, did the most wonderful thing for me this week and I just have no words for how grateful I am. A couple of weeks ago she mentioned to me a workshop that the gorgeous Sarah Powell is running, all about self-celebration. I had a look at it and thought 'wow, I really need this right now', but just sat on it a bit. Anyway, several different factors came along, one of which had me feeling very down about how I look and like I was just destined to fade into the pit of doom that my head was building for me, and just as I hit a real emotional point I had an email to say that Peta had booked me a place on the workshop. I am beside myself with appreciation for that human being. She just makes life better by being in it. Anyone who feels like they need support around food or body image needs to work with Peta, she is a fully fledged coach and is the best to work with on bringing more self-belief and self-worth to your metaphorical table. Thank you for being you lovely lady.

:: This week I managed to post my commission (pictured above) and it made it to its new home! I always feel nervous when I post a commission because if something happens to it then I would have no way of replacing it; whereas with products it is different. I am starting a new one this week, which will be super exciting for me to paint and uses some new colours for me too. I won't be able to show you much of it unfortunately, but will do a few little close ups for the Studio Vlogs as and when I can.

:: I have been having lots of lovely voice note conversations with Emily, from Emily and the Whippet on Instagram; and we got onto talking about plants this week and how I want more of them desperately. Well, we certainly released a can of plant-shaped worms there! It turns out that Emily's 'specialist subject' is plants and I couldn't be happier about it! She sent me videos of all her plant babies and has been telling me all about them - heaven! I am obsessed with plants, but i just don't have many at all. Fingers crossed that will change soon.



:: I managed to get out and trim all the crazy hedgerows in the garden this weekend and mow the lawn. The hedge here is rammed with gorgeous wild flowers and ferns and is such a beautiful place to look for colours and textures if that floats your artistic boat (it does mine!). I love cutting the grass and then watching the black birds hopping about and pulling out worms and digging in the newly disturbed surface! Hours of fun to see!

:: I finally reached the 1k mark on my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram account this week. I am not motivated by the numbers in a major way, but it was just a nice thing to happen! I love the fact that my followers grow slowly and usually because they are the right people for me to be engaging with, over buying followers, which I never understand. Why do people do that?! I like organic growth and interaction with people who follow me, and each and every time I get a message or a comment from someone it means so much. No one is faceless to me and I really like that. Thank you for all your support with my business so far guys, it means the world.

:: There have been some really beautiful evening this last seven days, with that lovely warm, summer night feeling going on. Stepping outside at 9pm, when there is still a bit of light and warmth in the air and taking a few deep breaths and listening to the day slowing down outside is one of my favourite things to do. I really enjoy that time of the evening, just as the sun is coming down. It feels magical.

:: I really enjoyed reading Sophie Cliff's blog post called 'The Lessons I've Been Learning During Lockdown', her blog is generally a total joy to read... well, she is a 'Joyful Coach' so I would expect nothing less, but it's a lovely one to check in with when you have time. I also have been loving Emma's (Beau Tie on Insta) Instagram stories; this girl is a) the ultimate boss - she has an wonderful Etsy shop, selling luxury bow ties and ties, has recently launched a scrunchy range too and is basically killing it online and b) her sense of humour is right up my street and her stories just make me giggle so much... oh, and her cat is cute!

That is all I have for you today, but I will be back again with a different kind of post on Wednesday, so check back for that! I will also be popping a studio vlog up soon - did you catch last weeks?

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