Friday, 25 June 2010

5 days of 365

Saturday 170/365 Jamie Oliver's Nan's Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe is a bit of a flop

Sunday 171/365 Lunch in my favourite cafe

Monday 172/365 The longest day 2010 draws to a close

Tuesday 173/365 Tudur had a snoop around inside my car.

Wednesday 174/365 finished the cake for Anna at housegroup tomorrow

And the weekend is here. Hooray.

Finally, Friday arrives and announces the long awaited weekend.
We have warm sun too. I am very pleased about that and am looking forward to enjoying time to sit in my garden to relax and to feel warm enough to enjoy the experience too.
It is supposed to be sunny and hot all weekend. I treated myself to this in anticipation of time to relax in the sun:

In between catching up with washing and Wimbledon and maybe a stroll down to watch the Races, that is.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Wednesday Musings

When I was growing up, I would eventually appear downstairs for breakfast, trying to not be too late for leaving for school. My sleepy face must have always looked crestfallen, I guess. My Mum would cheerily say:"Don't worry Luci,it is Wednesday already, Half way through the week."
So, half way through the week it is and I am making a cake. I must have withdrawal symptoms, after the wedding cake. Besides, the Jamie Oliver's Nans Lemon Drizzle cake recipe was, as I already siad the other day, a little rubbish. So, new cake, it is.
We have had "the longest day" on Monday.
It seems hard to believe.
We haven't seemed to have enough sun to warrant the dark evenings beginning to return.
My days can evolve and be completely different to my plan some days.
Today, is the "big" world cup Wednesday match for England. I wonder how many sick days the nation will have, or how many leave work early?
I think I will go to the gym and swim and finish decorating a cake ready for the girls at housegroup tomorrow after I finish work.
Anna is leaving.
I can already picture Abbies sad face as she will sigh and say the now well known phrase: "Everybody leaves."
Wednesday, I am glad you are half way through the week and await to see what today holds.

Monday, 21 June 2010


Monday after a Sunday is always tough.
I always find it hard to get out of bed, wrestling with my cozy bed and the dilemma of just how many times I can realistically press snooze.
I love the weekends so much.
Saturdays, to laze around, catch up with washing, shopping and cleaning.
Then Sunday, yesterday, I had fun catching up with friends over a relaxing lunch after church.
I love girlie chats and pots of tea, don't you?
Of course, it was also Father's Day but we still managed to find space in our favourite cafe to eat and catch up.
I chose my favourite:

but I could have had this:

Then time for Lemon cake. I hoped it would be nicer that the one I made this weekend. It looked nice. Hmm. Nah. Dry.

It had been a tough decision because I also liked the look of this:

I should have had the coffee cake.
Next time.
So, Sunday came and went and it became Monday.
I fought the will and duvet and got up, went to work.
Swam at the gym to relax on the way home.
It's back.
Welcome back Wimbledon.
I have missed you.
I can't play tennis, not at all.
Not even for toffee.
What does that phrase mean?
Anyway, I can't play and have yet to go and watch a match.
I will be watching you on the telly and eating a few strawberries too.
And maybe a Pimms?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Day 13 for the end of Creative Bootcamp

I am on a roll now with posting all the thoughts tumbling from my heart into my journal and the photos gathered form this bootcamp. I love this quote from Day 13
"Life beats you down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one."
There is the challenge to set some goals for maintaining creativity to feed the soul, listed as a few promises. Reminded me of promising to keep the Brownie Guide Law!

Anyway, some of the suggested promises I loved:

To be kind to my creative spirit.
(This last year I had the phrase to be kind to myself, so this is very much part of it for me.)

To cultivate relationships with people who share my creative interests.
(sounds fun and will help inspire, nurture and breathe creative life in order to grow.)

To call myself an artist.
(Ouch. The hard one. Right there. The challenge. The nail on the head. The one that makes me squirm.)

The creative prompt word: SMILE
I am sure he is smiling, don't you agree?

Creativity Bootcamp, thank you.
The End.

Or, just the beginning?

The fresh springboard into creativity.
Where future creativity begins.
by Luci, the artist.

Day 12 for Creativity Bootcamp

Creativity Bootcamp Day 12 had the creativity prompt: SMOOTH

So sit and enjoy a coffee, as you read some of the notes from my journal, following the journal prompt for Day 12.
We were asked to look at the dreams we have and look at the tiny baby steps we might take, as they might seem too big, for them to begin to achieve them. our dreams as children were limitless, perhaps silly and impractical but then as adults we just throw them all away. How can we remove some of the obstacles, smooth and make level the pathways for dreams to be fulfilled?
Some of the dreams I have for the future are still the marriage and family dream.
One of the things I wrote in my list for this year was to look at making my house bigger or to move to a bigger house. The impossible dream. And I love my house. But it is not big enough for children, currently. I had the fostering team come out and visit last year and they said it would need to be set up with my second bedroom set out as a spare room. Currently it is my spare room and office. Hmm. What would i do with all my stuff. I can't chuck it all out. Crafting, admin, stuff is all still needed but would need to go elsewhere. Loft? Maybe. Having spare bedrooms would then open up the opportunity for looking deeper into adoption/fostering possibilities.
Scary stuff and a risk. I go round in circles, thinking: Oh the mess of having my loft done and Can I afford it? Is my loft space suitable for a loft conversion? Will I have the energy, the capacity for children? What if I move or get my loft converted and then the adoption/fostering team turn me down?
This quote from Day 12 says:
" And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk took to blossom."
Over the last year and a half I have had the words of encouragement to enlarge my tent and to extend my borders and to think big. I think these are some of the tiny baby steps I need to do next.
What about you?
It's time.
Seize the Day.
time to take a few risks.
To launch into my destiny.

Day 11 for Creativity Bootcamp

The creative word prompt for Day 11 was: HUSH
An opportunity to stop.
Take Stock.
To Take A step Back.
To really look.
These thoughts all seemed to flow with the journal prompt:
"We need creativity in order to break free from the temporary structures that have been set up by a particular sequence of experiences." Edward de Bono
The challenge for us to look back at key times of our lives and how they led to creativity. The springboards of new birth, growth, freedom when we break out of the mould. How have some of the directions I have taken led to this point.
The answer is that it has all happened in the unexpected twists and turns. Often key times of growth have been after significant changes, failings, hurts, times of silence. New directions born out of dead ends.
The opportunity that silence brings.
Breathing time.
The be still and know that I am God stuff.
The refiners fire where I come out as gold.
The no pain no gain experience.
The after when God seems to be on mute.
These are the times when creativity flows.

The suggestion was to write a timeline. Here are a few of my twists and turns of the last year or so:

1.The growth in myself, I have realised, of just this last week in seeing my ex husband after so many years, in being able to and realising that sometimes it is still OK to say NO, with the beauty of family, their kindness and the joy and satisfaction in designing and making the wedding cake for my (ex)niece.
2.Last year, when I was poorly with post viral fatigue, a few months off work caused me to listen to my heart cry for some outflow of my perhaps dormant and stifled creativity. I started blogging and joined in with Make Some Art Monday and now Creative Bootcamp.
3.With help and encouragement from the same friend, Rachel over at My Slightly Crazy World, who helped me start blogging, I also began scrapbooking.
4.My friend Rachel is part of our housegroup, where we love to laugh, share creative ideas and eat cake. I did a cake decorating course last year, as an evening course, with my friend Abbie from the same housegroup. It was such fun and gave me skills and confidence to do the cake. And we got to eat lots of cake!
5. We started the housegroup, shortly after I moved churches. Not an easy decision, but the church I had been going to since I moved here, had gone through some changes as people left. I needed friends as well as Spiritual input, so I followed my friends. We had all become friends through church and later a cafe we set up, ran, and sadly closed together. It was a painful time but our coffee and waffles were amazing.
6. One of the first big creative projects we have done as a housegroup has been the banners we did for church. It was amazingly powerful to reflect on all that had happened to us in that year and a half as we cut, sewed, stitched, meshed together all the colours and textures.

Such a rich tapestry of life.

Day 10 for Creativity Bootcamp

The creative prompt for Day 10 was: FULL BODIED

The challenge to dial up our senses, to think about the memories, what stands out the most for Day 10 I came up with quite the list. Here is a glimpse:
1. The smell of Summer: cut grass, meadows, fields with memories of daisychains, lazy walks, laughter.Chocolate, coffee, strawberries, cakes baking in the oven and freshly baked bread. I love the smells of spices and freshly dried linen.
2. The sound of rain when I am indoors, the crackle of logs on the fire, the sounds of the waves on the sand. An orchestra, a cathedral choir, funky live music and the chatter in a restaurant or bar.
3. The taste of Sunday Roast, cake of course, chocolate that melts in your mouth, fresh salad, fresh fruit, pineapples, cherries, bananas, curry.
4. The feel of silk, smooth stones, sand, water running through my fingers,the fur on my kitten, the warmth of a hug.
5. Views through woods, across oceans wide, meadows and countryside, seeing snowflakes fall. The shades of pink, blues and rich spices.
"The artists world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep." Paul Strand.
I love this quote from Meagan. How true and refreshingly simple. Inspiration on my doorstep or wherever I am. I just have to learn to see with fresh eyes, breathe deep and tap into the wonderful possibilities.
Opportunity and Adventure.
Bring it On!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Creativity Bootcamp Day 9

I had to laugh when I saw the creative prompt for day 9: DRIZZLE
Would you believe it, the sun was actually shining?
Not a drizzle in sight.
Not a drop.
Sun, sun, sun.
Me: at work.
Came home and looked longingly at this:

and found this:

I must be missing cake.
I had to eat toast and drizzle honey, instead.

I made the lemon drizzle cake today, as it is now Saturday, as I write this up.
My thoughts?
Read this:

Dear Jamie,
I love your book but I have to say, that your Nan's Lemon Drizzle Cake is a bit rubbish. I will eat this one, but have to make another one now as this one is flat.
love from Luci

Creativity Bootcamp Days 7 and 8

Well, as I was at THE Wedding for the weekend, I was oblivious to the prompts for the weekend or the fabulous creativity going on over at Creativity Bootcamp. Ignorance is bliss, I hear you say?
Well, I did have chance to clear my head, wind the windows down and listen to lots of music loud, talk to God in the pour out my heart kinda way stuff, reflect, enjoy, cry, give thanks,laugh, think, ponder, dream, and refresh as I drove.
I came back and saw the journalling challenges to write, which I hadn't done, but sometimes a long drive is similar.
I also came back to see these beauties emerging in my garden.
They seemed to fit with the creative prompt word: ORNAMENT, (Meagan says: which by definition lends grace or beauty.)

The second creative prompt was the word: FLY
There are a lot of these around at the moment, with the world cup football happening.

I love this quote by one of my favourite authors, Meagan has included in the bootcamp challenge:
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." Maya Angelou

Creativity Bootcamp Day 6

As I travelled south after work with the wedding cakes, in boxes, within boxes, surrounded by towels to be secure and all lain on a duvet for cushioning to add to the suspension in my car, Creativity Bootcamp Day 6 was well underway.
I had had time to check the prompt for the day: FLUID and snap this shot:

Like clouds,
Watch, wait, stare, hope,gaze,
Come away with me,
Float, soft, fluffy,
Like candy floss,
No constraints,
Always unique,
Never seen before,
Original clouds,
Never the same.
I love you sky clouds.
Let me dream with you.
I'll come away with you anytime.
Let's do it.
Time to Dream.
Perchance to dream,
Breath Life.
My creative soul.

Creativity Bootcamp Day 5

For more inspiring thoughts and creations for this Creativity Bootcamp, you can look here
My notes from my journalling follow along the threads of the challenge to write about our hopes and dreams and the expectations of life and a trip down memory lane with the music we loved growing up.
If I share with you some of my hopes and dreams I had growing up they included being married with children and serving God in some way. I dreamed of living in a house in the country with dogs and cats and a big family table for us all to sit around with friends gathered.
The trip down memory music lane was fun. I tried to be all neat and tidy and come up with a list of my top 5 or my top 10, but couldn't. I am not tidy, so my list is here: my top 14.
1. U2
2. Simple Minds
3. The Waterboys
4. Blondie
5. Eurythmics
6. Everything But the Girl
7. Depeche Mode
8. Madonna
9. Ultravox
10. Madness
11. The Police
12. Sting
13. Bruce Springsteen
14. Abba
Thinking and writing about some of my hopes and dreams with the prompt word: GROW was interesting too as I put the finishing touches to the wedding cake, last week ready for the wedding last weekend.
The wedding cake for my niece.
My "ex-niece" strictly speaking, I guess, as it is my ex-husband's family, where I would see my ex-husband for the first time in 16 years. I have stayed in good contact with the rest of my ex-family all these years and love them dearly, but not seen the ex for all this time. Weddings always bring back memories and are quite emotive events, aren't they? They are for me. A big trip down memory lane right there. Memories of hopes and dreams broken and shattered, tossed aside and trampled on, some still yet to be replaced and renewed.
And yet, the amazing reality and contrast perhaps, that the last 16 years have been with amazing growth, joy, peace, safety, love, kindness, increased friends and family, creativity, opportunities and adventures and new hopes and dreams too, for me. Wow.
My hopes and dreams have taken on whole new meanings and twists and turns.
Some I never thought would have been possible.
Some of it has been excrutiatingly painful, some wonderful moments of experiencing mourning into dancing, lovely surprises and some renewed dreams and rediscovering of gifts, talents and creativity.
New adventures, new possibilities, new promises and possibilities and surprises.
So, here is my tribute to the word Grow is right here in the wedding cake.
All 3 tiers.

I want to continue to grow, don't you?

Creativity Bootcamp day 4

Creative Bootcamp is in Day 4. I had been working on the prompts and journalling challenges one day and posting it the next but somehow I woke early this morning to be mulling over the prompt for today all day.
And then didn't post it.
Then reality kicked in with time pressure of needing to finish and pack up the wedding cakes for the wedding last life became work and wedding cake.
So, here I am, Saturday, a week after the wedding and finally sitting down to pull together all my journalled and photographed creative thoughts to share with you of the last few days.
Day 4 prompt:"HEAVY METAL"
It has felt a bit like doing the full metal challenge.
Let me explain why:
There has been a lot of soul searching and re-aligning going on in my heart and head with the journalling prompts during this creativity bootcamp. Yesterday, we were thinking about the things that kill and destroy creativity. Today, when I saw the creative prompt HEAVY METAL, I continued with my thoughts of the protection I wear around my heart/head/soul - some of it is good and needed. The extinguishing fiery arrows kind of armour - those negative thoughts, doubt, disbelief, words spoken but also how sometimes we (or I) shield myslef form possibilities and opprotunities.
I need to live and breathe afresh my creativity and throw off the things that hinder.
Welcome to my full metal challenge.
As part of processing this, I went for a walk. Wind, fresh air, sunshine is great for clearing some cobwebs.
The river and my local park, with the question from today's prompt: What inspires me?
Opportunities, the sense of adventure and possibilities.

Colour and fun.

Life and vibrancy and gentleness and peace found in a garden.

I love being inspired, don't you?
I also took a few pictures of some HEAVY METAL for my scrapbook pages.

I visited my local hobby carft, treated myslef to these beautiful scrapbook papers to use. One a bit grungy, reminding me of the heaviness, the cacophany of sound of heavy metal music with the beautiful contrast of the coordinating flowers of creativity and inspiration. I found them inspiring and can't wait to use them.

What inspires you?

Friday, 18 June 2010

365 for these last 5 days this week

Monday 165/365 went to try on gorgeous clothes for the pre-launch of their autumn/winter collection and gained a voucher too as a Thank You!

Tuesday 166/365 my beautiful garden roses

Wednesday 167/365

Thursday 168/365 joint housegroup night. Badminton and chat til you drop. Guess which one I did?

Friday 169/365 in the absence of a dishwasher...

See you over the weekend, as I catch you up to date with creativity Bootcamp!

Continuing to catch up with 365

Thursday 161/365 packing up the cakes and I think Tudur hoped to sneak in the boxes too. I had quite a selection of different boxes as possibles to use. He lay in here purring for most of the evening.

Friday 162/365 Taking the cakes and these beautiful fresh roses to the wedding, 3 hours away.

Saturday 163/365 Congratulations to the bride and groom, my niece Charlotte and Aaron.

Sunday 164/365 Stopping off to see bestfriends and godson on the way back home, a good chance for a cuppa and catch up.

Catching up with 365

Life with wedding cakes preparation and the wedding and getting back has meant that I am waaaay behind in posting pohotos for my Project 365.
Ihave been taking some photos, though.
Here is a wee catch up of my life in photos.
Saturday 156/365 the last weekend of half term. Hair done, special offer including freebee gifts from the hairdresser. A welcome gift, especially before the wedding next week.

Sunday 157/365 Leading Messy Church, our once a month all age service, making dream catchers as part of geting fresh vision and dreams for ourselves.

Monday 158/365 levelling the cakes was a bit tricky

Tuesday 159/365 at least one of us is chilled

Wednesday 160/365 Finishing touches to the fruit cake.