Thursday, June 28, 2012

Unfurling is ... unfurling

  • The moon phases have been checked...
  • My cycle too...
  • The date is set...
  • The invitations are written...
  • The cards are printed...
  • The price list is drawn up...
  • The guest list almost complete...

Houston - we have an exhibition!


After the private view here on the ground, the exhibition will go on line, so if you've had your eye on a piece you can grab it then!

Meanwhile greetings cards are for sale £7.95 for a set of five (I have brought the price down) + £1.20 P&P

Contact me if one of your favourites is not in those packs and I'll see what I can do!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The things that make me go - arrrrgggghhhh!

Today, for one day we only, we have the antithesis of Joy Pockets. Which could be otherwise known as the grumble bellies.

We all have 'em, the irrational things that make us go arrrggghhh! So I thought it would be fun to share my own idiosyncratic growlers. Mr Dreaming Aloud's involve children and water butts, children and hoses, children and light switches, children and freezers... can you see a pattern.

Mine are far less rational or orderly and include, though not exclusively:
  • Opening Facebook/ email/ twitter/pinterest and finding my husband logged in - the modern version of the toilet seat dilemma
  • Dogs being allowed to jump up at people, shit on the pavement, bark all night, come into our garden and harrass us - if my child did that people would not accept it - but it's alright, it's a dog...
  • Perfectly coordinated and accessorized or hideously expensive children's birthday parties
  • People without kids parking in the mother and baby spaces
  • Easy open packaging which breaks without opening - leaving you to hack dangerously away at the inaccessible packaging whilst feeling like an idiot for not being able to handle easy open packaging. 
  • The left overs from dinner being left out all night
  • Small print - no one can understand it, but you have to sign up to it
  • Having to type in captcha security codes when I want to leave a message - and can't read the effing thing
  • Random computer sulks/ printer malfunctions etc - for logical machines, they are very illogical and emotional!
  • Bad punctuation on printed signs - arrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh

Ahhhh! Feeling better - what are your "things"?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Come and get a (rainbow coloured) piece of me - with free postage!!

It seems astounding that I only started painting again four months ago, after a decade's hiatus. 

And in just a few weeks will be having my first professional exhibition - if I have enough paintings to sell - people keep buying them before they're on general release!!

I write in a room surrounded by my paintings which seem to have existed forever! I can hardly imagine life before them. 
I was becoming aware of what selling them meant, it felt rather like saying goodbye to dear friends. So I decided, having seen how well they came out as images on the blog, to print them up as cards. And I'm really pleased with 
the result which I got printed by the funky pro printer moo (I would need a whole other post to tell you how wonderful I think their products and services are - and at such good prices - if you need printing doing I highly recommend them!)

But I digress. I wanted to tell you that  you can get your own very affordable versions of some of the favourite paintings (and a few photos) that have appeared on this blog over the past few months.  I have put together three sets of greetings cards, made from my very favourite art. And for this weekend only, to celebrate my birthday - they come with free postage anywhere in the world (until midnight Sunday!) Your discount code is FREEPOST32

The three sets are:
Summer Dreams
Peacock Dreams 
Dreaming Aloud

Summer Dreams
Peacock Dreams

Dreaming Aloud
To keep for your own delight or gift to friends on their special days. 

Each is a set selection of 5 CARDS, professionally printed in full colour,
Blank inside they come with white enevelopes. £9.95 a pack.

Enjoy some rainbow therapy for your soul and support this creative mama!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sneak preview...

Hot off the easel... Well actually the floor, cos that's where I paint!

The cover for Moon Time for girls. Which might also be Reaching for the Moon.

With my two little girls, whom it is written for.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to rock rainbow income streams

This has been a busy month. A wonderful work month doing what I love - writing, editing, teaching, painting - the first draft of Moon Time for Girls is now out with trusted mama readers. Darina Allen's blog that I have been designing and mentoring her on is live! The blogging course went well and has been put on their course schedule for the next year. And another two paintings sold yesterday - before I've even set a date for the exhibition!  And what really made my day was that the buyers LOVED them. They were so happy to have them. So I was happy to let go of some creative babies to loving new homes, and accept some (well priced) abundance in return.

Sold to the lovely Dreaming Aloud reader who bought me dinner too!
And I just did my sums, and this month I have made 2/3 of what I made LAST YEAR!!!!


This means I have made more, in less days than our main breadwinner! Wowzer! (Sending massive gratitude to Mr DA, he keeps the bread on the table and the loo roll on the holder when I have quiet months.- and doing something he doesn't love quite a much as I love my work - big love, dear Mr DA for your constant hard grind supporting us all over the years xxx)

It couldn't have come at a better time, the finances were looking rather grim, and the bills for next years uniforms/ books etc were coming at us.

Thank you dear rainbow income streams, showering abundance on us! 

Let me give you a break down - so that you can understand WHY rainbow income streams are so cool, and vital if you're self employed.

This month I have earned:
  • 12% from consulting
  • 11% from contracted writing/ editing
  • 40% from selling my art
  • 9% from affiliate programmes
  • 8% from book sales
  • 20% from teaching
As a "writer" I could be spending all my time pitching ideas that never get published by editors. Or waiting for my royalties to stack up.and "proving" to myself and the world that you can't do the creative work you want to for a living.

But this is how I'm making it work - by adding rainbow streams which each trickle or gush abundance at us according to the season.

My top tips for rainbow income streams:
  • Don't be reliant on one employer/ contractee
  • Have a balance of online/ off line, local/global, products/ services
  • Use all your skills - brainstorm what you can do 
  • Price fairly but well
  • Tell people you're in business
  • Accept money!!

And you know where I learnt all of this - from the wonderful Leonie Dawson (who I am an affiliate for). Her Business Goddess e-course comes as part of the year's subscription to the goddess circle, which is great for meeting new, likeminded business networkers, clients and collaborators. 

A  big heads up... She is doubling her prices on July 2nd, so if you've been wondering about joining, get in fast for only $99.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Queen of Half Assed

AKA "She who starts with a flourish, gives up half way through, hacks it all together, and ends up quite pleased with the rushed finish job – which is always imperfect".

I just needed to reassure you all - the reason I'm an "inspiring blogger" is that I am GREAT at starting projects. I get all fired up and inspired. Evangelical even. I start. I continue. And then... ummm I get a little bored.

Follow through is not my middle name.

So from recent posts you would now expect me to be svelte, have lost a stone, be super rich and totally confident.

Well, no!

I've started all these things. Been totally on board and convinced in the moment.

But I'm a dancer. A two step forwards, one step back and wiggle your tail feather kinda gal.

So I have a profound realisation. A moment of complete clarity. A vision even. I act. I act. I get bored. I realise something else. And on it goes.

If I were growing up in America now they'd probably have me down for ADD or something.

But sod it. I'm the Queen of Half Assed. 

Each typo you spot is a sign that I made it through to the end. Without them the project, the post would not have been birthed.

Oh glorious typos. Wonderous hairs out of place, smudged lipstick and holes in my tights. You are the signs of my vision birthed into the world!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Joy pockets

It's Friday, so it's joy pockets. Sharing the gems of gratitude from my week.

Gooey chocolate brownies in the pottery cafe
A revamped Happy Womb website
An extra 120 Dreamers on the Facebook page in 48 hours - welcome one and all!
Roses in the garden
Cashing my second royalty check - guaranteed to make you feel like a proper author!
Summer holidays fast approaching
A heart warming thank you card from one of my blogging students
Two cute girls with bunches that their dada did
Making pebble spirals on the beach
Zooming into writing Moon Time for girls - due to popular demand! (Let me know if you want to help work on the first draft!)
Coming out the other side of the Venus transit and Crazy Woman time clear-headed and focused
Pinterest - man, I am hooked! (Request an invite below!)

What are your joy pockets for the week? Please do share them below or link up your blog.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A working definition of success

Do you have a working definition of success? One that is all yours. That articulates your values and ambitions, not someone else's in your family, or society at large? Have you taken time to evaluate the yardstick by which you measure your own success... or perceived failure?

For some success means lots of money, or fancy cars, their children's academic achievements or glittering promotions. 

But not me. I have always been a wanderer on a different path.

This is the definition of success which I adopted at college, when I fell in love with Emerson:

I am clarifying my work and intentions at the moment as I redesign The Happy Womb, and figure out which projects to give my energy to. 

In that process I have re written my About Page, here at Dreaming Aloud, to give you (and especially new visitors) a clearer idea of who I am and what I do, and what on earth this blog is about anyway!! (Though I am still figuring it out as I go along!)

And so I was delighted to find that although I have three children and a self made career, this is is still my definition.

The only thing I would add to it (apart from appearing on Oprah, and Desert Island Discs!!) is to have lots of my books, well thumbed, sitting on lots of happy women's bookshelves around the globe. And enough money to head off on our travels in a couple of year's time.

What's your working definition of success?

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Crazy Woman prowls...

This Creative Rainbow mama has been struggling with a lack of creating. Everyone else's needs and the flu took priority. And so the Crazy Woman has been with us, growling and pacing, sharpening her talons and dreaming of escape - I have been needing to write, to paint, to get on with delicious projects and feeling very trapped and frustrated by my womanly role, as though starved of oxygen. Bad mama, bad daughter, bad sister, bad wife. I have been trailing anger, not beauty.

So today, the sun is shining, and I headed off to the beach on my bike. just me and the wind. And I left behind me only beauty.

Here's what I have done already this morning (it's not even 9am!) - and will be doing for the rest of today - making art - creating - making images - working with words - building my business - finding my tribe... ahhh! This I can do.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer is here! Let's celebrate!

Today is June 1st, and the official start of summer - (Hello sun! Please stay!!!!!) and with it comes lots of creative beauty - the world is in full bloom, and, so it seems am I.

June is my birthday month and I am planning something exciting for the Happy Womb for my birthday on 20th June - so join the Facebook page if you haven't already and keep your eyes open!
I am getting prepared for my exhibition - baby steps, no date set yet, but I have made some important decisions - more of which another time...

We have had a few days of heatwave, and so I have been baking for afternoon picnics in the dappled shade...
Click for recipe!
I have gone Pinterest mad - and am pinning summer cocktails and strawberries galore - check out my boards here 

Other exciting news - Rhythm of the Home the quarterly ezine of divine craft, spirit and gentle parenting is out today and I have a piece in it on creating the magic of fairies with your children

And the summer issue of Juno magazine is out today as well, packed with joy and goodies, including my interview with Ina May Gaskin... Do head over to the Juno website for a chance to win a copy of my Moon Time book 

What creative beauty are YOU celebrating today?


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