The start of summer...
A summer like no other!
To put something bright and cheery into the world
and to try and keep us all uplifted in spite of everything,
my June desktop wallpaper features a very bright and beautiful
kingfisher perched near the wildflowers.
If you would like to get this FREE desktop wallpaper,
then here's a link to where to join my mailing list:
JOIN MY MAILING LIST HERE
How have you all been this past month?
Let's talk a bit about May, if only to document it a little for future reference.
This is my experience of the May lockdown...
Like most home based freelancers, daily life has a weird sense of normal for me.
My husband has been working throughout this whole lockdown. It has been business as usual with homeschooling the only change to our daily routine. I'm used to working with our two girls home, the annual six week summer holiday has taught me how to do it, so even to some extent that feels normal too. However, I have found it much harder than before to focus on things, my mind wanders with all the things going on in the world and all the worry, especially with a household member going out to work in this pandemic. Like so many others, we try to carry on as best we can, but we are very 'alert' to the risks and we all have to carry that worry daily.
Now it is June 1st and the schools are taking in many more children. I refuse to say they are re-opening as many of my close friends are teachers and work in schools, I know they have been working all the way through, including the Easter and May half term holidays.
This also makes me very 'alert' to the risks my friends and their families are facing.
I am sure I am not alone, but I have to be honest and say I have 'staying alert' fatigue right now, I can see why people are wanting everything to relax and be over. However, that won't stop me from being careful as the risks are very real, the virus has not gone away. Here in the South West of England, the rate of infection has gone up recently and at the end of May we've had a nearby general hospital (Weston General) close to new patients to cope with the COVID-19 cases. So as we try ease out of our national lockdown, it's important that we carry on being very careful, alert and mindful of others while remembering that we are not all in the same boat.
So, to stay positive and keep going from the safety of home, I have been dipping in and out of lots of creative projects. Things are slowly getting done or edging forward, but I am aware it's not as productively as before. That's OK though, things are making progress and that feels good. By focusing on small chunks of time and working on the project that feels right at that moment is helping me get through. An hour here and an hour and half there, it all tots up and helps me escape from my worries for a bit....
Some of those projects have been inspired by garden flowers and garden life.
If in doubt, I find it helps to seek inspiration from your surroundings, especially nature.
I also found a warm, fresh colour palette I wanted to try out that had neutral ivory, ochre, burn orange, coral pink and sage green hues in it. Sometimes just playing with a new set of colours can take you to different places creatively and feel great . These are great ways to start a new creative project when your mind feels a bit fuzzy and lost for inspiration -
pick an easy to access theme and/or colour scheme and simply begin.
The result has been some new patterns to add to my Society 6 and Redbubble shops...
I also added lots of new illustration wall art prints to my Etsy shop, including this
'Go Get 'Em Tiger' print. There's a lot of tiger love going around at the moment, so I thought this would be a bright and sunny image to sign off this month's blog post with...
I hope that you all have a great June - we are half way through 2020 already!
Stay creative, take inspiration from the beauty of the nature that surrounds us,
but most of all stay safe and take care!
How life has changed since my last blog post only one month ago.
I hope you are well and coping with our new collective situation. Regular followers of my emails will know that every month I offer up a bright and cheery desktop wallpaper to brighten your screens with.
This month it feels more important than ever to give you something colourful and uplifting. Which is why I have adapted one of my existing designs to create a hopeful 'stay home' rainbow illustration, packed with all the bright blooms of springtime.
If you would like to get the FREE desktop wallpaper,
then here's a link to where to join my mailing list:
JOIN MY MAILING LIST HERE
Along with the free desktop wallpaper, I've also created a colour-in sheet version of the design. You will be able to download it along with the April desktop wallpaper.
It is also available from the new 'Freebies' page on this website.
One of the things I have been doing to help adjust to our new 'normal' has been to create some colour-in freebies to help make this situation better in some small way, by providing plenty of resources to help calm anxious minds. This new 'Freebies' page is where you can find all these new resources I create, along with free creative resources I discover from other artists and small businesses....
I wanted to create somewhere that's a one-stop place to find lots of useful things to do, to
keep minds busy and focussed on creative activities. I also want the page to direct you to free tools I've found other businesses offer, that help to calm and relax stressed and anxious minds.
Which is why, on this new Freebies page you will find lots of offers that caught my eye and I thought you may find useful. My plan is to continue to add to this page with things I spot as I go along.
It is my little way of showing some support to help make things a bit better....
Many artists and creatives are doing similar things at this time. Please know that as a creative community, we are here for you!
Many of us will struggle because of what is happening to our businesses right now,
so all we ask is you please remember to support our little businesses if you can,
whilst our online shops remain open...
Talking of online shops.
Over at my Etsy shop I have added some new sets of printable colour-in sheets,
should you wish to take the colouring-in that little bit further. These printable files can also be used for personal card-making or scrapbooking projects.
So there's plenty of scope to get creative and busy at this time.
My Etsy shop is currently still open and stocked with lots of occasions cards.
I am able to use Royal Mail's Click & Drop service to send cards out via the post box opposite our home. Please be assured that I always ensure my hands and desk area are very clean before packing orders (grubbiness and paper goods just do not mix and it has always been my routine). During UK lockdown, deliveries will be weekly and please expect some delays. To find out more about Royal Mail's service updates, here is a link to their site:
One last thing...
This past week I have struggled a little with whether to keep the online shops going.
However, also last week your online orders made it clear to me, that there is still a need to be able to choose and send birthday and anniversary cards, for example, to grandparents in isolation, or thinking of you cards to family and friends.
It has been quite emotional to think what those cards now mean for the people they are intended for and I want to do all I can to ensure those cards get to them.
So it is for those reasons I will try and keep those items available as long as possible. If you need to send a card with a message directly to someone, please drop me a note with your order and ensure I have the correct delivery address and I will make that happen for you.
The card I would most like to send right now is a massive THANK YOU card
to all the NHS and key workers for putting others before themselves,
saving lives and keeping our country going.
They are heroes, every single one of them.
I hope that you all have a lovely April and make the most of spring
by staying creative,
staying safe, staying at home
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