A little something about me…

I’ve been making ever since I was small! You could always find me happily absorbed in craft projects; quilling, fimo, decoupage… to name a few. I was always experimenting with different materials melting wax to create flowers! ( not sure how safe that was!), marbling with PVA! I can’t imagine a life without creativity !

I still enjoy experimenting with different materials and craft is still at the heart of what I do, but it`s about making the craft my own and I do that through play and experimentation. I now make jewellery, which I treat like wearable works of art, paper art and installations. After studying a mixed media degree in Fine Art in the friendly city of Cardiff, I moved to London to do a two year MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art. I began my degree by painting, but soon started creating miniature paper installations and by the time I started my MA I was creating room sized textile installations. I now use a mixture of fabric, paper, wood, perspex, which I laser cut to create my work.

I am passionate about spreading the word about how wonderful creativity is! so I do lots of workshops and projects with different communities from school children to adults suffering with mental health difficulties. I have recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy, which I loved!

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inspiration

Feeding Your Creativity On A Daily Basis….


There are so many great benefits to being creative regularly that it is absolutely one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you allow yourself to engage in creative pursuits every day, you will find that it leads to a number of distinctly positive changes within yourself. You are more likely to be open, you will find it acts as a kind of therapy, and you will be able to express whatever you want in whatever way you want with greater and greater ease. Whether or not you already have a particular form of creativity you like to pursue, there are many reasons to do so, and to try and find a way to feed your creativity on a daily basis. With that in mind, let’s turn our attention now to how you might be able to make this a reality in your life, so that you can enjoy all of those great benefits in the near future.

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The Means

You will need to first make sure that you actually have the means to create, and this is going to depend in particular on a couple of things. First of all, you should have some idea of the kind of creativity you tend to enjoy partaking in, so that you will know what kinds of supplies and so on you need to get hold on in order to practice such ventures. You will also need to think about what you can afford and what you can’t afford, which is a real practical concern which is likely to make a considerable difference too. Then it’s just a case of going out of your way to stock up on whatever you might need to create what you want to create – whether that means Calligraphy Pens, paintbrushes or just a notepad and pen.

The Ideas

Without ideas, you are unlikely to create much, or anything at all, but there is a lot of common confusion about how this actually works. If you are able to spend plenty of time working on your creative arts, you will find that you are more likely to be hit by inspiration, so it is much better to think of it that way around rather than trying to become inspired first and then creating afterwards. You will find that ideas of all kinds are much more likely to come to you if you are working hard at your craft day after day, so that kind of habit is the important thing to keep up. Do that, and you will find that you have as many ideas as you need in order to keep creating for good, and also that those ideas will generally improve in quality over time as a result as well.

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The Downtime

Remember too that you also need to have a little downtime if you are to really make it all work, as the last thing you want is to overwork yourself. If you don’t give yourself a real chance to relax, you won’t be able to keep your creative juices flowing for good, so make sure that you don’t overwork and that you are allowing yourself this as best as you can. It will make all the difference.

4 Reasons why you should explore your creative side…


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Image via Pixabay

A lot of people really like the idea of exploring their creative side, although it’s far less often that they actually get around to doing it.With life these days being as busy and full of distractions as it is, it’s easy to get seriously sidetracked and never find the time for more contemplative activities. From work obligations, to family events, social invitations, and — of course — the ever-popular desire to curl up alone in front of the TV and binge-watch, our attention is highly divided.

All that being said, however, if you feel that you have any kind of creative impulse at all — even if you just like the idea of doing something creative — you should really make time to have a go at creating something, anything.

If you’re into writing, get started on the first draft of a novel. If you think it would be cool to paint a painting, then do it, and don’t stand in your own way with too much perfectionism. If you want to make something out of textile, get the ingredients together and see what happens.

Not convinced? Well, here are a few reasons why you should explore your creative side.

It helps to balance your unconscious thought processes and your emotions

For a pretty long time, psychologists and philosophers have argued that a large part of our minds are unconscious, or subconscious.These days, researchers continually find new evidence to support these ideas, with some arguing that only the tiniest fraction of what actually goes on in our heads, happens in our conscious awareness.This isn’t too hard a concept to grasp when you sit down and reflect on it for a while. After all, where do you think dreams come from? And daydreams? And all the strange images and sentences that just pop into your head apparently out of the blue on a regular basis?

One thing about arts, crafts, and creative endeavours is that they help us to balance our unconscious thought processes and emotions with our conscious mind, because any creative activity has to reach into the unconscious mind first, and then call on the conscious mind for proper expression.

The upshot of this is that we can often “work out” and move past emotional blocks and things that we didn’t even realise were troubling us, but that were nonetheless bothering, and maybe even obsessing, us on some level.

You get to apply your own insight and intuition to create a tangible product at the end — that’s really satisfying

 These days, more and more of us work the kind of highly-abstract white collar jobs where we never really see the tangible results or benefits of our labours, in much of any sense outside of the fact that our paycheck arrives on time.

Not too long ago in history, the vast majority of people worked in industries and fields where there was a very tangible “end product” to take pride in at the end of a job. A farmer could look out over his field and see how much of the harvest he’d managed to bring in, in a certain number of hours. A steelworker might drive over the bridge he’d helped construct.The loss of this kind of tangible end-product has robbed quite a few of us of the kind of job satisfaction that gives life a lot of its joy.

By creating arts and crafts, you’re engaging in a hobby where that tangible end product is back in the picture again. At the start of the project, you maybe have nothing but a glue gun from Glue Guns Direct, a few basic materials, and some other improvised tools and equipment. In the end, maybe you’ve got an ornament that can sit proudly on your mantelpiece, or be gifted to a loved one, or sold on your Etsy store.That feels a lot like a meaningful achievement.

Creative work can be almost like a form of meditation — it’s a great stress-buster

Meditation is getting more and more popular these days, and regardless of which form of the practice you go in for, the core fundamental idea between them all is the same.You direct your focus on some object — whether that’s your breath, a mantra or sound you make, or anything else in your physical or inner environment. Maybe you even just watch your thoughts non-judgmentally.The key point, in any case, is that you direct your attention somewhere, in a focused manner, which helps you to disconnect from the constant cycle of rumination, worry, and over-analysis, that we are all so often prone to engage in.

Creative work achieves the same thing, to a large degree. When you’re working on some arts and crafts, your mind is calmed and focused on what you’re doing. You don’t get dragged this way and that to the same degree. Instead, you’ve got some physical thing in front of you that you’re busy working on, and your attention fixates on it and helps to get you out of your own head.

This, in turn, makes creative endeavours a great stress-buster, which is something we could all benefit from in our increasingly complex times.

Developing your creative skills can be a great entry-point to starting a side-hustle or a small business

It’s pretty common for people to not enjoy their day jobs one bit, and to want, desperately, to be able to direct their attention towards work that they find meaningful — and to make their living from doing such work.Developing your creative skills as a hobby can be an excellent entry-point for starting a side-hustle or a small business down the line.

If you develop a particular aptitude for a particular type of craft, and come up with something that other people find fun or useful, you’ll be in with a good shot of being able to sell it commercially.Of course, this process isn’t likely to bear fruit overnight. But it’s still something to aim towards, and the mere fact of having a target such as this can infuse life with a deeper sense of meaning.

Refugee workshop at Bolton Museum…


I had a really lovely time with the group from Central URC, who traveled from Darwen. It wasn`t without challenges, but this made it all the more worth while when laughter and chatter could be heard later once everyone became absorbed in creativity. I was truly astounded at the creativity and the willingness to experiment with new materials. Thank you so much to everyone who came you truly inspired me!

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I asked them about their thoughts and feelings regarding Bolton Museum…

“I enjoyed seeing” said one lady, “it was a new experience for me”

“It was an amazing place….saw new things that i wouldn`t have seen”

“I loved the Egyptian collection”

“Very interesting, my favourite was the loom and bike” I asked this lady how she felt about seeing these things, ” I`ve seen it in real life,” she said.

“New experience for me, I would like more experiences like that”

“I had a wonderful time”

“I felt happy i would like to be there again.”

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I asked them what the felt about the workshop….

“Art was lovely I felt very happy”

“My first time printing…it was amazing…I learnt it”

“Enjoyable i got some new skills, which i hadn`t got before.”

“I don`t like drawing, but liked this drawing…afterwards i felt relaxed. I will do it again now.”

“It was fun you don`t have to be perfect.” I particularly like this comment from a lady; I always aim to combat the perfectionism in participants I work with, so this was music to my ears!

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The group leaders observed how much the group were interested in finding out how people in Bolton used to live, “For them to see how Bolton people lived in the past was really interesting…they really want to know what it was like.”

“It took their minds of everything… being fully focused.”

Researching Bolton Museums` collections….


I was really excited to spend an afternoon looking into the collections at the fabulous and newly opened Museum in Bolton. My daughter loves the museum….

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The  purpose of my visit this time, was to plan an engaging workshop, using the beautiful collections, with a group of adult refugees.

I wanted to see what I most connected with and begin to think about how i can work with these collections to improve  well being. The building is beautiful, so I immediately felt inspired by the architectural details…

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The painting room felt really peaceful; most of the space in the museum is full of exciting artefacts, so the painting room felt like a tranquil spot.

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I was particularly drawn to this photograph and the painting below…..

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something so ordinary, but so beautiful…

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and this painting makes me feel quite dreamy, as if I am sitting on that chair. I was drawn to the printmaking, which inspired a seed of an idea to do a printing workshop for the refugees….I also was really inspired by the Botany collection, so thought the two might link together nicely. There is something very visceral about relief printing, so I thought this might be a way to engage a group, where there will be a lot of barriers to engagement.

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There is also a miniature museum, with wooden people and museum stands to arrange, which I`d played with on visits with my daughter. Even the ceiling imitates the sky and there is a tree, as if in a park! It can`t fail to inspire and hopefully I can use it for other workshops linked with the collections.

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There are such a lot of exciting things to see these were just some of my highlights.