Creating a beautiful life for ourselves is possible. And in order to do that we have to strive for balance and that means addressing all areas of life. I observed that last year I was very much only focused mostly on one area of my life and that was my businesses. I thought that I would use this blog to show you what I have been up to and also how I have got the balance back in my life.
Having just become a representative of Miessence selling certified organic personal care and house hold products meant I needed to pay careful attention to keeping my life balanced. I have two other small businesses to contend with meant other parts of my life had become unbalanced so this year was about adopting a holistic approach to get that balance back.
I thought that I would write this blog for people who tend to focus only on one part of their life. I thought I would use use my own experience and show you how I have been getting the balance back in my own life to help you do the same. Plus I thought that it would give you an opportunity to see what The Earth Faeries have been up too.
Firstly I looked at my creative area. I realized that while I was making accessories for my customers I rarely had time to make anything else for myself or my loved ones. When mum expressed interest in what I was making I always said I would make her something but never got around to it. Time was always a factor so I read an article about creating more time and doing things that are important to us.
I devised an affirmation that has worked wonders in my life and has done just that. As they say we are living in a quantum field and thoughts become things. And so do the affirmations that we recite every day. The affirmation that I use is: I always have time for the activities, people and experiences that are important to me. And sure enough time has been created and I suddenly have more free time.
And so I got to work on my mums ornament that I have made her. I made it in her favorite colour which is buttermilk yellow. You can find my full range here. It comes with a little hand made scroll too with a personalized poem in it so I am just working on that at the moment. I just hope she likes it. Here is a sneaky preview of the rose I have made for my mum. Each rose is named after its owner and I called this one Barbara Frances after her.
Secondly I decided to start focusing on doing more self development work on myself. I am a qualified and practicing life coach – specializing in spiritual coaching and well being coaching. I knew working on myself would creating more energy and momentum in my life to facilitate change.
As part of my self development I do earthing while practicing mindfulness in my big garden, forests, and woodlands. I practice earthing otherwise known as grounding about once a month but now have started to do it every day and am observing a massive difference in my energy levels. So how does it work? The free electrons in the earth move through our feet and into our body and create well being in our mind body and soul.
Many have lost their connection with the natural power of earth because Rubber and plastic soles on our shoes. They are not conductors so they prevent the free electrons from the earth moving through our body. So taking the shoes and socks off and walking on the mud, moss, forest floors, beaches, and grass is a great preventative measure. It is also a way to stay well and increase our well being and energy levels which contributes towards having balanced and a beautiful life
My word this year has been contribution. Giving back! Giving feels so good so I thought I would like to do more of it. I am all for looking after our planet so I decided to volunteer at Garth organic fruit and vegetable garden in Wales. It was the most enjoyable day that I have had in ages and it was lovely to do something different and to help others out too. It is surprising what opportunities you get given when you get out of your comfort zone because I got asked to run a mindfulness work shop there so am making time now to devise my lesson plans and I am due to run them this August!
It was an eventful day. I learned how to grow baby onions. Although I have grown potatoes carrots and lettuces in my own garden I have never grown onions. A lesson learned from there was not to plant them upside down and I suppose metaphorically speaking the same applies to us – so always reach for the light to get you to the places you want to go.
I also learned how to grow the food in rows and to measure the depth I was planting them in as well as how to space them correctly so they had room to grow. I did this by using rope tied around pieces of wood and put in the ground. The rope once stretched out helps you to plant the crops in a straight line.
I also got to see some slow worms too which resemble beautiful snakes – as Jude the owner of the organic gardens prized back the soggy straw they sliver deeper down into the earthy layers. They slithered away before I could get my camera out.
I got to meet some other lovely volunteers too and it was nice to share a common goal with them which was looking after the planet that I love so much. Plus I got an abundance of organic vegetable and salad in return for helping out. There is something lovely about eating fresh salad and sprouting broccoli from a garden that you have picked yourself. It tastes so much nicer!
I have just been asked to come canoeing in Llangollen canal with my daughter and while my mind says I have this to do and that to do I stopped, and said to myself I always have time for things, people and events that important to me so I said yes. My other friend has just invited me to London for the vegan and vegetarian food festival and I said yes! So one of the secrets to having a beautiful life I have learned is to say yes to more opportunities.
Getting balance in your life so you can have a beautiful life is not a destination. It is a journey. We are always striving for it as circumstances and goals change so we have to continuously address the balance. And what I have discovered is that with those changes we have to pause, reevaluate what is serving us and what is not so we can modify our goals and then get back in flow.
For me having a beautiful life is about keeping the balance in my own life on a consistent basis. For me keeping that balance means coming up to smell the roses regularly and not being hard on myself when I go off track slightly. It is also about being mindful too – living in the moment, being non judgemental if my mind strays elsewhere and jumping straight back on again.
What other techniques or practices are you using to keep your own life well balanced?
I like to be known as a transparent business which means letting people know what materials I use in my business and how I or my suppliers contribute to the environment.
I love wearing beautiful things but I realized that in order to do this I have to have a planet not only to live on but one that sustains me too. I also have a conscious and want to know that my suppliers do too. Hence why I only use materials to make my jewellery with that shares my ethics and pays their workers a fair income with great working condition’s for their employees. It is these ethics that has been the driving force behind my business practices and the products that I make.
In today’s blog I am going to be looking at one of the materials that I use in my designs – Swarovski crystals and Swarovski Pearls. You will learn who Swarovski is, what a Swarovski crystal is made of, how it differs from other crystals and how to care for it plus much more.
I was introduced to these wonderful orbs several years ago when a family member gave me a bracelet that had been made out of Swarovski. I was mesmerized by its brilliant shine and how it looked very much like a diamond and I was hooked!
A couple of years later when the Earth Faeries was born I decided to use it in my collections.
Firstly I was looking for vegan materials and was delighted that they passed the cruelty free test. Secondly they are environmentally friendly business and the company is an ethical one too so I more than happy to use their products in my creations. Here is a report detailing their good ethics and how they are protecting the environment. Click here for the report. Thirdly I love their cut, clarity, amazing vibrant colours (my favorite is blush pink) and their contour. Contour means perfectly shaped crystals. How could I resist?
I often get asked by my customers and friends about what Swarovski crystal is made of etc of so I thought I would write an article on it.
Who is Swarovski you may be wondering? Daniel Swarovski was the son of a glass cutter and following in the footsteps of his father he became skilled in glass cutting. Danial had a dream of creating a diamond that everyone could afford to have. He invented and patented an electric cutting machine in 1892 that was revolutionary. This allowed the crystal to be cut with more precision than by hand and create a wonderful piece of fine man made gem that had the brilliance of a diamond.
These beautiful crystals are used by well known designers and brands such as Chanel in their fashion collections. Famous models have adorned them on the catwalks all around the world. They have been featured in Victoria secrets collections – a famous lingerie brand. The Austrian brand has dated back to 1897 – spanning five generations of the Swarovski Family. You may be surprised to discover that the brand has dressed big names back in history such as Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe in Gentleman prefer blonds and Audrey Hepburn in breakfast at Tiffany’s. The Swarovski crystals where used in her tiara. Seasonal collections are added every year and the crystals are used in combination with precious and semi precious stones too.
What exactly is a Swarovski crystal? Unlike quartz crystals that are made by mother nature and found in the earth – Swarovskis are man made by using natural resources such as sand, quartz and minerals.
Why are they more expensive than glass? They use only the finest natural materials, the crystal is cut with precision using a special patented machine and are polished to a brilliant shine. The entire process is very complex as the crystal is created to have hundreds of identical facets in several directions. Each direction of the reflected light must be calculated on a computer then has to be simulated in 3D, optimized and converted into programs for the machinery to make them.
How do you know if they are the genuine article?
there should be no bubbles inside of the crystal
each one is identical size to the other. There should be no variations
the same colour family are identical shades
If there is scratches on the crystal or an oily sheen then this means its not an authentic one.
apart from the Swarvoski pearls the crystals come loose and are not stringed together
All facets of the crystal meet and point upwards.
How do you care for Swarovski crystals? They should be treated the same way as fine jewellery.
remove your crystals before swimming or any form of exercise and before applying any lotions or make up. If getting ready put make on and put lotion on and wait a couple of minute for lotion to penetrate into skin before put them on. If going to bed take Swarovski crystals off first and then do your nightly routine.
Mild soap and water and a cloth should be used to clean and polish them. Swarovski recommend drying with a soft lint free towel and finish with a cotton Swarovski cloth. When handling your crystals it is a good idea to wear cotton gloves to prevent getting finger prints on them. Swarovski do sell cleaning packs to keep your crystals in pristine condition.
Do not use any cleaners containing alcohol, sonic cleaners, commercial jewellery cleaners or boiling water as this will have a damaging effect on the crystal.
Store them in the original packaging or place tissue paper over them after use to prevent them scratching metal or loosening the crystal.
Do not store in excessive heat or sun exposure. Make sure you never wear them for bed time, bath time or when exercising.
Chains and necklace will retain their shine better when they are hung when not worn.
Adhering to these guidelines will keep your Swarovski crystals beautiful and lustrous for years to come.
In this blog I am going to talk about what The Earth Faeries have been up too – my high lights and the challenges too and how I have overcome them. I am also going to show you some of the places that have inspired me and also any new skills that I have learned on the way.
I have been going through a re-brand over the past couple of months and have made all of my products vegan. I thought I’d share with you some of the new materials I have sourced out so you can see what my products are made of and tell you about a new product I am working on that I am excited to finish so I can reveal it to you.
My highlights have been that my venture has started to become more visible and has attracted more new customers that I am very grateful for. There is something wonderful about seeing your products traveling around the world and putting smiles on peoples faces. My groups is growing organically and I am making some very helpful connections.
I am still learning about the changes to face book and Instagram algorithms as it affects all online businesses. If you are a business owner I know that this will resonate with you. It is also important to keep abreast of the field to ensure our businesses continue to get seen and grow. Otherwise we are offering a great disservice to our customers as they are never going to get to experience our lovely creations.
I have also finally learned how to take a picture that you can see now and no more glare from my blue tinge backgrounds. However it is all still a work in progress but each day I am learning more.
I am looking forward to using my new camera as at the moment I have been using my camera on my phone and pictures can become blurred if taking the pictures too close up to my products. Plus pictures on mobile phones can look beautiful whilst on there but once made bigger they become very pix-elated. I want them to look as beautiful for you all as possible so I am going to keep on practicing and will be able to get better results with my new camera.
I got rid of the white backgrounds and replaced them with a wooden one as firstly it fitted in more with my brand and secondly no matter what I tried I couldn’t get rid of that blue tinge. I have used my wooden window ledges in my new photographs and the light in the bedrooms at a certain time is perfect for doing photo shoots so no hanging out of my windows anymore.
This year I wanted to learn how to style my products. I think not only does it make them look more appealing but it adds interest to the pictures. Plus it’s where my passion lies and I am always on the hunt in my garden, house and shops for props that I can use. Here are some of my new product pictures of my hand made personalized roses that I styled. I made these two for my dinner table and I wanted it to look like a wood land theme. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself sat in a woodland with a long wooden table full of beautiful wooden cutlery, twigs and flowers for decorations. Faeries joining you for dinner and squirrels watching with interest from the nearby branches. This vision is what helped me to style my products.
Lavender pink personalized rose
Neon purple rose table decoration
I am always in awe when I look at other makers websites or shops as they have perfected the art of styling. I was always taught if you want to learn something then learn from the people who have already done it. And so I am on a mission! Several online courses later and after studying others who had perfected it I finally did my first product shots that have been styled with props. The wooden cup and cutlery is courtesy of my friend and a family member. The last picture is out of focus slightly so I will be retaking these with my new camera very soon and look forward to seeing the results.
I am also having to learn how to style my dolls heads hair so I can show case my hair slides so people can see how they look when they are worn. A friend of mine is a hair dresser and she has showed me some lovely but basic styles so now I have to put it into practice. It is all fun and creative in the Earth Faeries house hold.
I came up against some challenges in 2017. A super glue that I was using wasn’t lasting for long which meant that a couple of months down the line my flowers that I was wearing in my hair were coming off the hair slides.
I want to make strong products that last and that are the best on the planet so I knew I had to resolve this straight away. I contacted all of the people who I had sold my hair slides too and only one said it has happened to her too. I thanked her for her honesty and have since made her a replacement and thankfully I still have her as my client.
However challenges are there to make us grow and as long as we learn from our feedback and strive for better so we can resolve it then it is always a win win. After lots of trial and error I finally found another vegan glue called gorilla glue that I am now using and seems strong enough to glue a house together. Maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea.
I have also taken photography up as my new hobby. I have been photographing landscapes and buildings in the countryside. I was also put in for a black and white 7 day photography challenge that I thoroughly enjoyed and learned lots from it.
Making my hair accessories used to be a hobby but once I turned it into a business it became something quite different. Being up to early hours to ensure products are dispatched on time can take its toll so it’s important to get the balance. I counteracted this through taking up my new hobby and I am out in the countryside practicing my photography skills most days. There are so many beautiful places to visit where I live and getting out in nature is a sure way to replenish and change ones mood. Here is some pictures of my travels and some of the places that have inspired me.
This was taken near Ceiriog forest – a beautiful wilderness of different green hues.
Castell Dinas Bran in Llangollen – the ruins of a castle on top of hill with the most beautiful views of the countryside, cliffs and bigger hills.
The new products I am working on.
I am currently working on some new table decorations that can be used as home ornament too. My new project is a tree of life made out of wire work and beads.
I am making it for my daughter and her partner but there are plans to make them available to buy on my online shop and website in the near future. I planning on putting the Tree of Life on a pebble or rock because I want to add some of nature to the design. I have just received some of the Swarvoski crystals today that will be using in my new project. They are a lovely emerald colour and I thought that they would look lovely as leaves.
Here are some of the things that I have learned last year and this year too that I thought would help you in your business.
6 tips to go forward in your business in 2018
One of the biggest things I learned last year is either to make things that people want and to make them in the colours that are trending. Rather than what I like. Yes, it was a big learning curve. I have been researching the colour trends for spring and I must admit I do love all of the pretty colours that are going to be in for the Spring. Lavender pinks, navy’s, naturals, yellows, mint to name but a few are all going to be working our way into our wardrobes. However I have found that there are customers who don’t buy because of the trends and they wear the colours that they love and reflect their individual personalities. One of the things I love about the clays that I use I can create most colours with them. I mix them so if someone can’t find a colour they like in my shop or on my website I can mix them to get their preferred shade or colour. So you still get to be uniquely you and I get to have even more fun as it is one of my most favorite parts of making my products. You can see some of the spring collection on my online shop. Please click here.
I also learned that if something isn’t working to do something different. That way you get different results. But no matter what the outcome there is always something to learn from it and as long we learn from it, and strive for better then its always a win win!
Keep up to-date with changes in your industry. The internet is constantly changing all of the time and marketing strategies have to change to keep abreast of the field. Marketing that worked six months ago may not work now since the algorithms have changed so keeping update in this area is crucial if small and big businesses are to go forward.
Once your hobby becomes a business it is time to get a new hobby to keep the balance.
Get the best pictures of your products that you can. I am still learning and have a long way to go. That’s the beauty of life though. There is no such thing as perfection but we can strive to be best that we can be. And most importantly as one very successful online shop owner told me don’t get so caught up with trying to reach perfection with your pictures. This can prevent you from getting your products out there. Or you may be waiting for ever. Just do the best that you can and keep practicing. We all have to start some where and as your business grows you can always outsource.
If your phone camera pictures look pixelated once the pictures are made larger (like mine) then it is time to invest in more up to date model or buy a camera. There are some very good quality cameras out there that don’t run into hundreds or thousands which is great news if you are on a small budget.
What two most important things in regards to business did you learn last year?
In today’s blog I am going to look at some of the interesting places that I have been to this year that has inspired me. I am also going look at some of the challenges in my business & life I have had and how I have counteracted them this year. I have also been using some great mantras and other techniques that have been working for me so I thought that I would share them with you.
One of the biggest challenges I had last year was taking good photographs of my products. I am a designer and maker and my forte is not photography. However I soon learned that to run a successful business meant I had to get good at everything or if not hire someone else to do it. I am one of those people that will give it my all before considering the latter.
After sending off for a photography light box that didn’t work I became well known in my house hold for either running outside to capture products in ideal lighting or hanging out of my windows. I have been reading that there is a lot of crafting businesses that have been doing the same so if you are a small business this may resonate with you. I have tried all different kinds of back grounds and was partial towards the white ones but I could never get rid of that blue tinge even after adjusting my white balance.
And after many online photography courses and lots of help off a fb friend I was just about to hand it over to a professional when I had a dream. They say our dreams often have messages for us and I think this gave me much insight. I can’t remember much about that dream apart from the message that was given to me by a person in it that is unknown to me. He said “your photographs with the white background are awful and you should use a wooden one as it fits in with your branding.”
Deep down I knew that this was true so today I took his advice and took some more pictures using my wooden window sill. I have had fantastic feedback so far and I must admit I am very happy with them too. Challenges always make us grow stronger and it is our passion we always find a way. One of my new challenges this year is to learn how to style my products so I can make them look more interesting to look at it. I will keep you posted on how this goes.
One of the other challenges I had last year was that I was so busy working that I hardly got chance to do more of the other stuff that I love. So my new years intention was to make more time to enjoy the outdoors. So on New years Eve I wrote a big long to do list – one of them was to meditate more. This practice quietens the mind, replenishes the body, mind and soul. I have been practicing it every day this year with noticeable results two of them being more energy and more clarity of thought.
As we moved into another year I am proud to say my to do list has worked. It motivated me and I have five tasks already ticked off. I find that to do lists gives me direction and I get things done. No to-do lists and I have a habit of meandering through life. That is okay if I want to be spontaneous and have some outdoor adventures as its sometimes-fun not knowing where your going to end up. However it’s not ideal I have discovered when running a business, organizing an event or some other big goal.
Language has a big part to play in creating our life. Words have so much power to create a life that is either aligned with our goals or off track. Mine was the latter. I would catch myself saying all I do is seem to work and have hardly any time off. I feel so tired. This kind of thinking is not pulling in same direction of what I wanted to achieve so I started saying
‘I always have time times for things and people that are important to me.’
‘All I do is have fun and have outdoor adventures’.
‘All I do is socialize an meet new people!’
‘All I do is manage my day effectively and have time to relax and have fun too. All I do is feel energized.’
It is almost as if times responds to what we are saying as this year these mantra has worked and I got to start the year off with more time to relax, socialize, get creative and have some outdoor adventures.
To combat the tiredness I also started using some aromatherapy oils. I found a wonderful small business who customized an aromatherapy roll on for me that I could roll onto my pulse points. I chose grapefruit as it is stimulating and argon oil which is moisturizing. I loved the fact that it was all customized for me and the service was marvelous. You can find her range of products here.
To also combat the tiredness I decided to get out into the fresh air more and leave work behind me. And that meant not carrying it with me. This weekend I went hiking on the moorlands. I happen to live in an area that has a very diverse terrain from woods to forest hills to mountains and moorlands. it is a place that i am eternally grateful to live in. So when my daughter said do you fancy a walk today she didn’t need to ask twice. I was determined to make time for myself this year so we set off and after a twenty minute walk past lush countryside and forests we arrived on the moors.
In the summer months there are thousands of miles of heather all in full bloom with lilac and pink flowers on. But at this time of year the plants are more of a copper hue and stretch for miles There is an old watch tower on there that every time we go there we never seem to reach it through one reason or another. Word of caution when walking on moorlands or mountains the weather can change very quickly so one has to keep a look out on the sky.
We left the main path and took a different route that my daughter had plotted out on her map before we left. Our dog bounded through the heather looking more like Bambi than a Labrador and we jumped over numerous bogs. And as we reached the top of the path I noticed the mist had started to creep in and I decided that it was a good time to go back. We quickly walked along the moors so we could gain access onto the main natural path that would lead us off it. We could see the mist starting to circles us and it was one of those adrenaline moments. With no time to spare we picked up our pace.
We had phones with us but there was no signal up there and the moorlands are not a place you want to be in once the mist descends. Reluctantly we got off there in time. As we looked back over what was once a moorland of orange hue was just a blanket of dense mist with no visibility. We arrived back at our house to find a package that our friend had left us on the doorstep – about three dozen home cooked Oaties. She knows I am vegan so had kindly made them with no dairy products in. We sat munching them over a cup of tea reminiscing about our adventures. It was nice way to end the day.
The following day we decided to go to Llangollen and do some hill walking. I live up in the hills and the nearest village is 3 miles a way. Normally we have a car to get out and about but this day we didn’t so it was 40 minute trek down steep country lanes to catch the bus from the village bus stop. It made a nice change and the route was scenic – past hills, rivers and farm lands and was all part of the adventure. Some times it is nice to push yourself out of your comfort zone and do something different.
The hill we visited is called Castell Dinas Bran meaning fortress of crows. Yes it lives up to its name as there was lots of beautiful crows there and that made it quite mystical and magical. The hill was situated just slightly outside of Llangollen town. It’s not as rural or wild as I am used too and is more of a tourist attraction than a path through the wilderness. However it was fun to do something different and there were views of mountains in the wilderness that we could see from the top of the hill which we are planning on exploring soon.
As we walked up the path lots of the crows flew over our heads and you could see them circling the ruins of the castle. My imagination started to run away with me and I had some great ideas for my faerie stories that I write on here. I could imagine my faerie characters riding on the backs of these beautiful mystical creatures.
The walk was fairly steep and you would need a moderate level of fitness to get up there. However there is benches on the way up that we did sit on to take in the breath taking views. In one direction there was rolling hills and in another quarry type cliffs. The hill we were walking up had sheep roaming freely on and as we got to the top a crowd of these woolly fellows moved quickly as they spotted our Labrador who was on a lead I may add.
The wind was strong on the top of the castle and I could understand why my daughter had told me to put my hood up. It was quite a challenge to hold my phone camera still to get some pictures but I managed to get some for you all. The energy was very different to where I live where the odd tractor goes by and the occasional hikers and mountain bikers. The path was well worn by tourists and you could catch a glimpse of the town below so although not as rural as what I am used to it does have a nice contrast of yin and yang.
We wandered past run down walls that were dotted around the top of the hill. The castle had been build in 1260 by a Welsh Prince. We walked around small paths that circled around the ruins. Stunning panoramic views of the lush hilly and cliff terrain greeted you at every turn. We had chosen this time of year when there wasn’t a lot of tourists there so was only a handful of people up there. I am not one for crowded places so was happy I almost had it all to myself.
Afterwards we chose a less steep path that led us back down and past this beautiful wood carving.
Back in the town again which was about a five minutes walk from the hill we past a canal with paddle boarders on. It brought back memories of my paddle boarding adventure two summers ago. We had paddle boarded along the Llangollen canal before popping in for lunch in this cafe in our wet suits in a small canal cafe.
The climb had given us an appetite so we headed to a pet friendly cafe popular with kayackers. My daughter kindly bought me lunch whilst our dog sat next to the cafes owners dog. A beautiful gentle Alsatian by the name of Skye that she has known since they were puppies.They bonded well as they nuzzled each other as we had our bite to eat.
After a falafel burger with hummus on and a latte with soy mill (they cater for vegans) we headed down to the river to sit and watch the kayackers tackling the river rapids. My daughters’ partner is training to be a kayacking and paddle boarding coach so we thought that it may have been him as he was there on his course that day. However it turned out it wasn’t. We sat on concrete steps watching a kayacker tackle the rapids and go side on to navigate the fast moving water. I silently cheered as he got through the rapids.
I even managed to get a picture of these three ducks whilst our dog went for a paddle in the calmer part of the water. She was definitely a swimmer in another life as give her water and all you hear is splash. She is the only dog I know that swims like a human.
Pubs are not my favorite place as I don’t drink but some times when it’s cold outside it is nice to go into somewhere warm. And the corn mill was a quaint country pub that didn’t feel like a pub at all. It is set besides the river rapids and you can eat outside and watch the steam train opposite or watch the adventurers white water rafting which is a sight to behold. It also has a huge non working water mill that is fenced off by a cage but is a spectacular sight. And we went in there for a drink of non alcoholic ginger beer which I have never tasted before until then. It was delicious and has inspired me to make my own. I also got to go out onto the balcony and take some pictures of the river.
Part of the view from the Corn Mill
More stunning views from the Corn Mill
The old water mill.
We arrived back in the village before dark but as we began to walk up the country lanes the darkness crept in. Thankfully we had brought a head torch so we had good visibility. There was no stars in the sky that evening as normally I entertain myself by spotting the constellations. The only light was from our head torch and the reflective stickers on the field posts. After a 40 minute walk in the sleet we arrived back feeling like we had had a good exercise and already planning our next adventure.
My mantras are working as I have just been for an hours walk this evening with my pet dog despite torrential down pour and hail stones. And I am feeling full of energy and I am having more time to do more of the activities I love so I will keep saying these.
Here are some tips that have worked for me to overcome challenges:
Look at all your options and take some time to explore them.
Keep open to the universe as she always sends you new options and often knows the easiest way.
Meditate each day to replenish yourself. When the mind is rested the body follows suit.
If something isn’t working then try another approach.
Practice makes perfect. It is how we all learned how walk.
Go easy on yourself when learning new habits, skills etc. Good habits can be cultivated with practice and patience.
Get your mindset on board and enlist the help of supportive mantras and people too. Make sure that your thoughts are pulling in same direction as what you want to achieve. The key is congruence here.
Put to do lists together and follow through. You can see how much progress you are making then and it is sure to motivate you.
Reach for holistic remedies as they support the immune system naturally and many have been round for thousands of years and are tried and tested.
Make time for things and people that are important to you. I remember speaking to a lovely old lady and she said ‘at the end of our days we don’t look back and say ‘wow look at all those material things I accumulated. We look back at all the adventures we have had, sharing of good times with others and the lives we have touched. Not to mention the lives who have touched our own.’
Put the fun back into what you are doing. If there is no fun there then what is the point of doing it. If there is no fun in what you are doing maybe make it more fun or use it as a sign to go along another path which will make you happier.
As my friend puts it ‘Help others to rise’ Whether that’s sharing our knowledge or skills or whatever it may be it is a fact that helping others to get what they want helps us too. As when we help others we always receive help in return and our path becomes smoother and the challenges start melting away.
Has anyone had any challenges with their business or other goals? And if so how did you counteract them so you stay on track?
In this blog I am going to show you how I have got over those winter blues so we end the year on a high note. I’d like to show you some of the fun things that I have been up too that has replaced those blues with eternal sunshine.
There is something about this time of year that brings back memories of snuggling in front of a log fire and having snowball fun with my friends as well as with my daughter. However with everyone grown up now the fun has never ended and I am still doing the same.
You can imagine my delight when I drew back the curtains several days ago to discover a thick blanket of snow had descended on the Welsh countryside. Of course it has brought draw backs as we haven’t been able to get out in the car and have been official snowed in. But one has to make the best of the situation so I have been sledging, taking pictures of the products I have made, photographing this beautiful wonderland and of course helping to build a snow man. December is not complete without a snow man.
He did have a nose and arms but unfortunately our dog a 2 year old Labrador decided to eat them .
The lighting has been fantastic to do some photography shots of my rose ornaments. You can see my full range here on my online shop. I am thinking about investing in a photography box but until then I grasp every opportunity when the lighting is right. After several attempts I took this picture in my garden and then ran in to warm my fingers on our log fire. Yep, that is how cold it is here.
I took this picture in my garden.
The roads have been very slippery up here in the Wales but that didn’t stop me from going for lovely walks along the country lanes. I normally go in the fields but with about 3 foot of snow now it is virtually impossible to walk in it. It stays extra light here up in the hills in Wales so I have been going for a walk in the midnight hour and with my torch light on my head. However with the thick snow clouds it has been more darker than normal. Normally I can look up at the sky and see all of the constellations and almost touch them. I spotted the sauce pan the other night. But since the snow fall there has been dark skies most nights so there has been no visibility.
All of my senses kick in on my late night walks. Its is so amazing to hear the hoot of the owls, feel the soft snow flakes caressing the skin and the rustle in the bushes as some form of wild life dwells there. And then I stopped and listened and the sound was like music to my ears. It was the sound of silence!
Snow is very metaphorical to me. It always signifies a clean slate and a new beginnings. A transition into an even better future. It has been beautiful watching the seasons change and although I do love the summer I think this time of year is one of my favorites.
Snuggled up in front of the fire with a hot drink, a magazine or even with my goal work book is an enjoyable experience. It is a time of year to reflect and note the progress we have made, no matter how small or big it has been. It helps me build confidence and momentum to go forward in 2018. Occasionally I will glance out of my living room window to admire our handy work (the snow man). And this brings my attention back to the beauty of the now! As now is all we have. It’s a reminder to tell myself the past is over, the future is for my making and the now is all that matters. It is how I am feeling and what I am thinking now is paving the way for my future.
One of my lovely gardens where I went sledging on with my family.
And finally after 5 days of snow fall golden sun light has crept from beneath the clouds and the snow is finally melting. I can see huge droplets falling from my roof and the trees. I ventured out in the garden today to check the birds had enough food. I would have loved to have got some pictures as there was a huge robin red breast munching on the food. However the snow is all crunchy and alerted him to my presence and he took flight. It is always a good idea at this time of year to check the birds and wild life have food. Thankfully I checked as the birds had devoured the bird seed my daughter had put out for them so I’m off to the kitchen now to fill it up.
Three tips to beat them winter blues and put the inner sunshine back in.
So if you feel like hibernating at this time of year and feeling on the blue side then go out in nature. She will heighten all of your senses and make you feel alive! Being out doors is a huge mood changer.
Take up photography. You don’t have to be great photographer to do it and if if you want to develop those skills there are plenty of free resources on the internet so you can learn. The most important thing is you are having fun. Not only are you capturing the moment in time but your also creating great memories and adventures on the way.
Count blessings. Just think that you are in your lovely warm house and others may not be so fortunate.
Look after the wild life, whether that is hedge hogs or birds etc, it is making a difference and give you a warm glow knowing that you are helping others.
I hope you are all having a lovely run up to Christmas and enjoying the snow if you have it where you are. Keep warm and I will write soon.
I thought that I would use this blog to give you a look at the progress of The Earth Faeries so far and also any future developments. I have a couple of new products that I’m going to be launching in the near future so I thought that I’d give you a sneaky preview. I thought that I would also share with you some tips to end that procrastination and start living that life you know that you deserve. I have been procrastinating for the past couple of months so I thought I’d share with you what has worked for me.
It has been a very productive month. I had a craft stall in Whittington Castle in Shropshire last month. It has been all go go and my fingers haven’t stopped and neither has my imagination.
I was up bright and early and left my house at 8. I’d been up late the previous night getting everything finished and packed. My alarm clock didn’t go off but thankfully my mum was staying over so woke me up. With twenty minutes to go before my friend arrived I managed to have the quickest shower of my life, get dressed, put my makeup on and iron my table cloth.
Here’s all of my stuff in the back of my friends car.
My craft stall and the wall of the castle at the back.
The day was successful with a huge show of people. It was only my third craft show and I was very fortunate because my friend had done a lot of them so I was eager to drink in her wisdom. I had a quick lesson in ergonomics – which translates into the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment. She helped me to arrange my craft stall so it was pleasing to the eye so thank you Natasha.
There were a vast range of craft stalls there but not many handmade ones so I wasn’t sure I had chosen the right event. But it was an eventful day. I made some sales, had lots of people take my business cards, and the sun was shining. I even got to go canoeing in the moat around the castle which was an amazing experience and quite an experience getting into it considering we both had dresses on. I have never canoed before and thankfully my friend who also had a stall there next to me had and managed to get us out of the reeds. And this was all before we had even set up our stall.
Our canoe was the red one at the front!
The front of the canoe I was in.
I finally opened my online shop – not one but two and all in the past two days. A folksy shop and an Etsy one both of which feature handmade designers an makers. I have been up pretty late the past two nights uploading some of my pictures, writing out product descriptions, learning about key words to use on each platform and writing 2 bio’s. I am ready for a hand massage! 🙂 If you would like to have a look at them here are my links as I’d really appreciate feedback. My Folksy shop and my Etsy shop
I also joined Instagram today. Well my very kind daughter joined me as she manages lots of peoples accounts on there so was a wealth of wisdom. After a lesson from her in how to use this new platform I am now feeling a little braver to start networking on there and making great connections like I have on Facebook. If you would like to connect with me on Instagram please click here
All I can say is that setting up all these platforms takes a lot of time as does building relationships with the people on there so it is important that if you are thinking about going into business then it is your passion and you really do love people which thankfully I do.
The marketing side which was never my favorite is something I have come to love. This is because I’m enjoying the wonderful relationships I have made with my Facebook friends who have become my clients and I have become there’s. I have been sent a beautiful gift from two of my clients and have made wonderful friendships with them too. Plus they have just opened their own business – they are a mother and daughter team. Her daughter is only 11 but she is an amazing talented crafter and entrepreneur. Lots of the products in their shop are vegan too and they make everything from hair and body products to hand made flower pens. You can find them here.
I have a new product coming in the near future. I am making handmade recycled paper and tissue paper. I am planning on making my own eco friendly confetti so I’m excited about this project so I will keep you posted.
There has been so much progress in my Earth Faeries jewellery & hair accessories venture over the past year couple of weeks. As some of you know I also write The Earth Faeries tales on my website. It’s a story that follows the lives of three Earth Faeries and their adventures.
I had a dream and that was to have my characters drawn up for me and featured in the stories so my readers would be able to identity with the characters. Some of that dream has come true for me as I have been collaborating with an amazing artist by the name Roberto who has drawn two of them up for me. It has been an amazing couple of months designing my characters, looking on the internet for their eye and hair color, there style of clothes etc an sending pictures over to him so he could draw up something unique for me. Well my dream came true. I present to you:
Princess Ruby Starlight.
It feels so amazing when you see your dream, visions and plans come into fruition. I’ll tell you a little more about the process, the ideas behind them and the plans I have for them in a future blog.
I have also been collaborating with a professional photographer to have all of my product pictures done professionally. Another dream I had was to hire someone to have them all done for me and it has finally come possible. I am just in the process of letting him know my ideas and he is just about to send me a document with all of his ideas.
And all of this has happened in the last couple of weeks. Before then I must admit prior to this I was procrastinating a lot. I have seen it in my clients that I’ve coached so I recognized it well. It’s that nagging feeling you have that you know you should be doing something to take you forward but you never get round to doing it. I think most of us have been through this as some stage or other. You promise yourself you’ll do it tomorrow but tomorrow never seems to come.
There are many reasons we do this and one of them is fear. It could be fear of not being good enough – what happens if no-one likes my stuff, or fear of failure. For some it is fear of success. And I must admit all of them had crossed my mind. So how did I stop procrastinating, get myself out of the comfort zone and into the new zone. Here is 7 tips that have worked for me:
Ask yourself how will you feel in ten years time if you are still in the same place and no closer to your goals. That normally brings up a lot of discomfort and can be enough to get you taking action. It was for me.
What exactly are you afraid of? Identify it and then use affirmations to help zap it. For example if it’s fear you are not good enough you are really never going to know until you try and as they say practice makes perfect. You weren’t born walking but you learned how to do it. You can counteract this limiting belief by saying to yourself ‘I am always good enough when I do my best. I believe in myself.’ If it’s fear of success – yes people can be afraid of this as it can be lonely at the top or so they think. Say ‘as I grow more successful I am surrounded by other successful people who always help me on the way and have become my friends.’ If it’s fear of failure then know most successful people all failed on the way to the top of there game. They learn that if something isn’t working they do it another way until they do succeed. Say ‘there is no such thing as failure, it’s all a learning experience and I’m going to approach it another way until I do succeed. I will achieve my goals! I am achieving my goals.I am making amazing progress!’
Use positive self talk like shown above. There are many great coaching books out there that will teach you how to master your mindset.
Note the progress you’ve made so far. It builds up momentum and confidence. I did this last month and it really helped me do all of the things I was putting off.
Surround yourself with other successful people. It could be people who have already reached the level of success you want to have in your business, or other brides who have organized their own weddings successfully. No matter what it is the process is all the same. If you don’t know any highly successful people then look for examples on the internet. For example Etsy have a sellers guide which tells the stories of there sellers who have quit there day job and now have a full time business doing what they love. I was reading that last night and it really inspired me to keep going. Or find blogs on word-press of other brides who have organized their weddings. Read their blogs, make helpful comments on there blogs and build relationships with them. You may make lots of new friends in the process but it also gives you some good role models too.
I’ve said it before but I will say it again make a to do list. You will thanks yourself so much for doing this simple step. I know I did. Take three simple actions each day and tick them off as you go along. The pleasure that comes from seeing what you’ve achieved is wonderful. Plus it increases your confidence and momentum as you can actually see you are so much closer to achieving the goal. I got excited when I read my list of what I’d achieved in the past couple of weeks. This feeling will help you go forward.
Learn how to meditate. I do this each night and it has helped me enormously. Without all of those thoughts floating around in your head you’ll feel an enormous sense of relief. Your body, mind and spirit will relax and you will find that you have the energy to go forward.
And before you know it, the procrastination has gone and your staring at a list of your achievements and feeling so glad that you did the above.
Do you have any further tips that you have used to get rid of procrastination? Please share as I’d love to hear your thoughts
The rooms in the castle Mondevar were dim with only several golden strands of light partly illuminating the room she was in. Queen Veladera also known as the Gothic faerie was lay on her chaise lounge studying the statues that stood before her. She had had the statues for over a decade but unlike other statues they never aged. She stood up and strode over to them both and ran her purple talons over the roughness of the models features. Oh how she wished things had never come to be like this!
A tear fell down her pale cheek and her almost black eyes glistened in the dimness. She didn’t care much about the male statue but the female one she had once deeply loved. She had been her beloved sister. The most powerful of all of the faeries and known as the blue faerie. It had been a name that had stuck with her since birth as unlike the other fairies her skin and wings had been blue.
It had been said that every thousand years a blue faerie was born and that she would bring peace back to the people of faerie land. And the anomaly had been born into her family she thought, sighing. She was lightness and all that was good. The protector of the animals, the oceans, the seas and all that was living. She monitored the actions of the humans in the other realm to ensure that they kept the balance of mother nature and when some of them didn’t she would sprinkle magic dust onto the good ones to help rekindle their own powers. Some times she would cross the veil between worlds and enter human land and whisper into humans ears to remind them of the power they had inside of them that they had forgotten centuries ago. In her own world she had kept the peace between the goblins and pixies and other fellow faeries and she had been loved by many.
The prophecy had foretold that a blue faerie would come and create peacefulness in all of the dimensions, lifting the veil of faerie land so once again humanity could live side by side with the faerie folk. A lot of people in her land had not wanted that to happen and the Gothic faerie had been one of those people. And together they had conspired behind her sisters back. And whilst the blue faerie had been sleeping with her lover, a human by the name of Jack who had willingly been turned into her own kind, she had flew into her bedroom and had cast a spell onto them both turning them into faux crystals. And now there she stood in the middle of her room a constant reminder of what had transpired.
With a sigh she stood up and strode out into the castles long dark hall ways. She passed Prince Dereamie on her way out and he held out his arms to her calling sweet words of love into her ear. She pushed him away for she had grown tired of his empty words and he stood looking at with brown puppy dog eyes that were pleading her to love him. People who had had love spells put on them were no fun to be around she suddenly decided her face with a sudden sad expression on it as she continued marching down the hall.
Moving into the far end room which she referred to as the red room as the furnishings and fixtures were in every shade of red she looked through the windows at the land around her. There was a stillness as all the faeries who had dwelled near her home had been turned to stone. The birds and other animals who sensed her darkness had left for pastures new. And all that remained was her in a castle that had become more of a prison.
Out of the corner of her eye she seen a white glow and turned quickly to see her crystal ball glowing. Curiously she went over to it and peered into the clear orb that was so powerful it looked liked a humans television screen. Her eyes narrowed as she watched a very familiar figure materialize through the vortex and land in the middle of an open buttercup field. She could recognize that red hair and green eyes anywhere. It was Ruby Starlight the faerie who had come to her to ask her if she could make her human. Of course she had agreed but with one condition that she would never return to faerie land. She wondered how on earth she had got back into faerie form. Her eyes narrowed into slits as she wondered if she had returned for the ruby she had traded in for her new life in the human dimension. Her long talons curled around the red gemstone around her neck. It had been a fair trade and there was no way she was going to give it back for anything.
She knew Ruby very well. They were similar ages and had attended faerie school together. A very popular faerie unlike herself who had been shunned by others. She had never forgot how her and two other faeries by the names of Crystal Moonwand and Onyx had laughed at her when she had been trying to train her pet. Each faerie child was bestowed a pet crystal or gem to train to work with them for the greater good of faerie kind and hers which was a yellow diamond had proved one of the most difficult to train.
That memory had stayed with her for ever and it was one of the reasons she disliked the woman who was stood in the field with an eagle perched on her hand. The screen of the ball darkened and then began to glow again as it began to refocus on another faerie, Princess Onyx who was stood before the counsel who were surrounded by everything that she hated; Christmas spirit. The normally dark old underground chamber where the counsel dwelled had been decorated for the first time in a century. No wonder Onxy looked shocked as rumor had it that Christmas spirit had left the councel members a long time ago. But what was more shocking was the other faeries words.
“As you know the Gothic faerie has taken over the north of faerie land. Many of the faeries have been turned to stone and the ones that haven’t she has put them under a spell to do her bidding. She has plans to conquer the whole of faerie land and something must be done to to stop her.”
The counsel members exchanged glances
“We are aware of this Princess Onyx.”
“Oh, you are?” she said looking taken back. “I see. So what do you plan to do to stop her?”
The orb became dark again and she slammed her hand down on the desk before shoving it in a black satchel and slinging it over her head.
“Fools the lots of them” she shouted “How dare they try to conspire against me after she had allowed them to continue with their outdated rules that no longer fitted in with modern society.”
“Time to put a stop to them.” she said he eyes narrowed into slits “and to Princess Onyx.”
Grabbing her cloak that had been flung on the back of the chair she draped it around her and then gently pulled her bat like wings through the slits. Opening the castles window she surveyed the darkening of the landscape as dusk was creeping in. Then leaping into the air her huge black wings propelling her upwards and forwards over the land and though the forest. The only sound was the vibration of her wings and her own cackling laughter as she maneuvered around the trees.
All was still in the castle apart from a creaking sound as one of the crystal statues began to crack. One eye popped open and began to focus on the room she was in. The Blue Faerie was awake again and as the crystal began to crack over her chest, for the first time in a decade she took her first breath.
I thought that I would use this blog to show you the developments in my Earth Faeries venture and also give you some tips on how to organize your event which have worked for me. These tips are applicable to organizing any event whether it is a craft stall or your wedding day.
I have a craft stall in August in Whittington Shopshire UK so I’m looking forward to that. I’m being productive making products at the moment and on the look out for a new table cloth for my craft stall table. I used one with a pattern last year and it detracted from my jewellery so this time I am going for a plain one.
It is not a bridal affair but a craft day so I thought I would make some fun hair accessories for both adults and children for every day wear. Here are some of the hair slides I have made so far for it.
Hand sculptured rose hair slides!
I thought that I would make some fun children’s hair-slides too for my craft stall. Here are some of them.
I have also been working on my branding and I have had a wonderful artist draw me my first beautiful Earth Faerie character. If you follow my Earth Faeries stories on my blog then you will be familiar with my faerie characters. If not check out out my The Earth Faerie stories here.
I have used this drawing in my blog and I also plan to have her made into henna tattoos and silicone moulds so I can make jewellery out of her. Here she is. Her name is Princess Onyx. I named her Princess Onyx because is the keeper of those gem stones. Not many people realize that Onyx can be black or white hence why her gemstone in her hand is white. Although her magical pet Onyx does turn both colours in the story.
I received a compilation of the drawings from my artist recently showing each stage of her development which I found fascinating. Here she is being drawn.
My Earth Faerie character Onyx being drawn
Here are 6 tips that I have used to organize my event that has helped make it stress free.
Start organizing and making your inventory in plenty of time. Don’t leave it to the last minute.
Order all materials well in advance so no having to rush to make things and you can then enjoy the process.
Do a stock check to ensure you have all of the materials to make your products in and do it in advance just in case you have to source out new materials if they are not in stock.
Get a big calendar and mark the day of your event. Stick it up on your wall as insight is in mind and there is no chance of forgetting the day!
Write a to do list of all the tasks you have to completed in that time period and tick them off as you complete them. It will give you momentum and confidence to keep you going. Plus chunking your goals down in easy manageable steps helps you get so much more clarity and gives you more direction.
Take some time out for yourself to meditate, go for a walk etc to relax & replenish as when you are calm you are more creative and think logically so you get things done faster!
So now to finish making the rest of my products for my jewellery stall. I will post a blog telling you about it after I have attended it. Does anyone else do craft stalls? If so please tell me what you make and where your craft stall is. Or perhaps you have some tips you would like to share about organizing an event then please leave your comments in the comment box as I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In this blog I am going to show you how to replenish your energy so you can maintain that business life balance, and get that momentum to keep doing what you love most.
Running a jewellery business is a full time career. It involves all the usual tasks such as selling, marketing, making, gaining inspiration, developing new product lines, managing social media accounts, doing your books and processing orders to name but a few. And whilst I am doing all of this I am striving to have a social life and keep that business life balance going. Not to mention looking after and exercising our family dog and cat.
This is the big pup we all love and adore very much! She is such a character and often also keeps me company when I craft!
Some times I am inundated with orders and other times there are quiet periods which are all normal parts of growing a new business. In those quiet moments I will be working on new ideas for new inventory, marketing on social media platforms or learning new jewellery making skills so really there is never any quiet moments when running a business. I may have done all of the above in the early part of the day and then later on in the evening I will start making the orders I have received during the day. I also have another business so not only am I juggling one business but two. And If I’m honest it can take it out of me if I don’t watch the balance.
I thought I’d share how I keep my balance and replenish. The following information can be applied to anyone with their goals. Whether you are organizing a wedding, running a business yourself or any other type of event or projects.
I take some time off and smell my roses. I literally take myself off the computer, away from the phone and emerge myself in what I love most which is my garden. It really energizes me.
Here is my little summer house which I craft in when it’s too hot or rainy outside.
My magical garden where I am just designing a faerie garden and planning to plant some more roses. My friend is making a plaque for me saying Melanie’s Rose garden which I’m really excited about.
I eat good quality foods and reward myself with some dairy free vegan desserts such as this yummy recipe my daughter made me today. Click here to see the recipe.
I write a progress list of everything I have done in the year and give thanks for it all. This reminds me how far I have come, increases my confidence and gives me the momentum to keep going.
I look around for inspirational quotes that inspire me and make me smile.
I make time to meditate and if weather permits I will do it in my garden in my little woodland.
I’ll take an hour or two for myself and lay in my hammock watching the world go by. Often with big pup on one side and my cat on the other. But there is something really energizing about being with too super cute furry characters. Purring apparently is really good for our well-being!
My hammock where I just relax and unwind each day!
Pure silence. Not a thought in my head only the sensation of the rocking motion of the hammock. I feel like a baby again in my mums arms.
I live in Wales in the countryside so I go out walking and hiking each day and often take our family dog with me. She’s a curious soul and often makes me laugh. Laughing is so uplifting and gives you surge of energy.
Here’s the big pup!
I’ll relax of an evening and read two of my favorite magazines which is wander lust and country walking.
I write in my gratitude diary every day and thus always get more to be grateful for. After doing this I am always presented with solutions which helps me retain my energy.
I make it my mission to laugh about something every day. Laughing is good for the soul and I get a great energy boost.
Do you have any tips you would like to share how to replenish and juggle your business and life?