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  1. 100 days to go until the Do What You Love retreat

    (Photo credit: Natural Retreats)

    Have you secured your place yet?

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  2. January in pictures

                             

    This month Do What You Love was featured on: Crescendoh, Chrissy Gardner, My House is GreenStudio Mailbox

    Can’t believe we are at the end of January already!  How was yours?

  3. Toast in the post

    I don’t know about you but we seem to get more and more junk mail these days.  I miss the days when I would race home from school, hoping to find a pale blue airmail letter with a Canada or France postmark, bearing a letter from my penfriend.  And remember the excitement picking up the letters from friends and family which were waiting patiently in Poste Restante at strange post offices in remote countries when travelling.  Now we have email, mobiles, Facebook, Twitter and all, it is easier to stay in touch, but harder to properly communicate with old friends.  There is nothing like snail mail, and ink on paper, for this.

    And so, in protest, me and my two brothers (who live the other end of the country) have decided to start our own mini Campaign for Real Mail.  Every month this year we are going to send each other silly things in the post, and see whether they arrive. The only rule is ‘no envelopes allowed’.

    This started when we were reminiscing about our time at uni, when I sent my older brother a piece of toast through the post, and amazingly it arrived!  So for January, I am sending them both some tea bags – a nice cuppa from Yorkshire (which is famous for its tea).  I wonder whether they will get there…

     

    Have you ever sent or received something wierd in the post?  It’s completely pointless fun!  Why not try it?

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    Now here’s a lady who really is doing what she loves… Have you heard Flora Bowley’s story? Flora lives and works full-time as a painter in Portland, Oregon, where she is inspired by magical forests, abundant gardens and a thriving community of fellow artists.  Flora’s love for life and spontaneous nature are clearly visible in her vibrant, easily recognizable paintings.  Flora will be travelling to England in May to teach at the Do What You Love retreat.  Her work can be found in numerous galleries and homes across the US and internationally, and also on a variety of unique products made in collaboration with Papaya!   Listen to the podcast of the latest Do What You love interview here 

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    I am Guest Curating on Crescendoh.com all this week.  Pop over to read my Art Saves story, and see my collection of inspiring posts from other artists and writers

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    Are you doing what you love?  Would you like to have your story shared on Do What You Love?  New series starting soon…  see here for more details of how you can get published here

  4. Share your story on Do What You Love

    Are you doing what you love? 

    Whether the answer (right now) is yes or no, we all have a story to tell.

    In celebration of the Do What You Love e-course launch, I am putting out a call for guest posts for this blog.  It attracts four-figure weekly traffic, and I want to open up that platform to share your stories with the world. 

    I am starting a new series shortly, capturing the essence of what it means to do what you love, warts and all, and I’d love it if you would be part of that. 
    What’s your story? Are you doing what you love?  If so, what changes or sacrifices have you had to make along the way to get there? 
    If you aren’t (yet) doing what you love but want to, what obstacles are standing in your way, and how are you tackling them? 

    Please contact me if you are interested in having your story highlighted, and sending more readers to your part of the blog world.   

    You never know, your story may end up in the book proposal I am secretly working on…

    (PS If you have no idea what you love, it might be an idea to sign up for the Do What You Love ecourse!)

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    Now here’s a lady who really is doing what she loves… Have you heard Flora Bowley’s story? Flora lives and works full-time as a painter in Portland, Oregon, where she is inspired by magical forests, abundant gardens and a thriving community of fellow artists.  Flora’s love for life and spontaneous nature are clearly visible in her vibrant, easily recognizable paintings.  Flora will be travelling to England in May to teach at the Do What You Love retreat.  Her work can be found in numerous galleries and homes across the US and internationally, and also on a variety of unique products made in collaboration with Papaya!   Listen to the podcast of the latest Do What You love interview here 

    ***

    I am Guest Curating on Crescendoh.com all this week.  Pop over to read my Art Saves story, and see my collection of inspiring posts from other artists and writers

    ***

  5. Do What You love interview: Flora Bowley (podcast)

    So excited to share with you this interview with celebrated American painter Flora Bowley.  Flora’s work is simply beautiful, and she is an inspiring free spirit with a talent for luring amazing paintings out of those lucky enough to take classes with her.  Having admired her work from afar I first met Flora when I took a class from her last year.  In a single day she completely changed the way I approach painting.  For more info on Flora, see her website, blog, or connect with her on Facebook.

    (Image: Tyson Robichaud)

    Here Flora talks about how she became an artist and found her style, why she was drawn to teaching and why she believes retreats are such a powerful experience for those who attend.  She also talks about her licencing deal with Papaya and her plans for the year ahead.  The interview is just over 30 minutes long, so get yourself a cup of tea and settle in for a good chat!

    Listen here:

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    (Shhhh…  I have also recorded an extra-juicy additional exclusive interview with Flora for the Do What You Love e-course, which is now open for registration!  Like never before, Flora opens up about her attitude to risk, pushing her comfort zone, and how she uses travel and adventure to feed her creative soul.  Not to be missed!  More info here)

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    (‘Thirty-six’ acrylic on canvas, Flora Bowley)

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       See here for more interviews with inspiring people doing what they love

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    I am Guest Curating on Crescendoh.com all this week.  Pop over to read my Art Saves story, and see my collection of inspiring posts from other artists and writers

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  6. This is me

    So how did this crazy, mad, happy creative journey begin anyway? 
    Where did this artist thing come from?
    And why does it matter?

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    I am honoured to be Guest Curating on Crescendoh.com all this week.  Pop over to see my collection of inspiring posts from other artists and writers

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     Join us in the stunning English countryside for the Do What You Love art and creative enterprise retreat (May 11-15 2011).  Combining creativity, enterprise and community, it will give you the time, space, tools and inspiration to help you do what you love.  Choose from art workshops with outstanding teachers including painter Flora Bowley, mixed media artist Priscilla Jones and book artist Rachel Hazell, and put your burning creative business questions to successful entrepreneurs.  See here for more details and registration.

     
  7. saving time

    Time is precious

    We try to save it, to make it, to manage it.

    But sometimes it just seems to slip away.

    Someone told me the word ‘chronophage’ means ‘time eater’?

    I’m not sure if it is really a word, but I like it.

    I think the online world is a chronophage.

    So I made on little change in the organisation of my day, and it has made a huge difference.

    I just separated my to-do list into ‘online’ and ‘offline’.

    Now I get distracted a whole lot less.

    And I have more precious time to spend on precious things.

    How do you manage your time?

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    I am Guest Curating on Crescendoh.com all this week.  Pop over to read my Art Saves story, and see my collection of inspiring posts from other artists and writers

    ***

      

     Join us in the stunning English countryside for the Do What You Love art and creative enterprise retreat (May 11-15 2011).  Combining creativity, enterprise and community, it will give you the time, space, tools and inspiration to help you do what you love.  Choose from art workshops with outstanding teachers including painter Flora Bowley, mixed media artist Priscilla Jones and book artist Rachel Hazell, and put your burning creative business questions to successful entrepreneurs.  See here for more details and registration.

  8. Secret knitting

    sweet creative lady, sent me this thank you postcard.  It’s lovely enough from the front, but if you hold it horizontally, a secret message appears…

    A hidden heart – how clever!  Thank you Susan.  I love surprises

  9. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how lucky we are

    … and then someone does something lovely to remind us.  Like the man coming home with a huge bunch of fresh flowers, just because.

     

    Love, love, love!  Off to fill every vase in the house…

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    What has reminded you recently of how lucky you are?

  10. It’s in the bag (blog crawl)

    What does the contents of your handbag say about you?  I am taking part in the ‘It’s in the bag’ blog crawl run by Ashley over at A Hasty Life, and it is fascinating to see what is in other people’s handbags.

    Personally I don’t have one handbag that I always use.  I have a cupboard full of bags, and use different ones depending on what I am doing or where I am going.  In fact I am a bit of a handbag hoarder and really should have a clear out…  I’m not really a designer bag girl. I am more a fan of just choosing bags I am drawn to, for their colour, pattern, shape, material etc (rarely for how practical they actually are!).  I often pick them up on my travels.

    As I don’t have just one bag, I thought I’d share the one I had with me when I got stuck in Paris last Spring.  It was the most wonderful piece of bad luck that took me there, and I really was travelling light – I only had what was in my handbag.  

    I bought this bag on one of my trips to India.  All I had with me in Paris was my passport, camera, purse, phone, ipod, some lip gloss, mascara, a notebook and a pen.  There was probably some chocolate in there too.  What more does a girl need? 

    How about you?  What do you keep in yours?

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    Linking from ‘My Little Adventures’, who posted before me.  Others posting about this today, the last day of the crawl, include Dragonfly LifestyleGrace Hester, DodelineFrom retirement to pre-school, The Capital Barbie, Bows and SparrowsSassy Sasha, A Simple Kind of Life, Semper fi Momma, Caroline Leemis Design and Josiah’s Nest

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    Today is the last day to benefit from the retreat Early Bird Discount – register today and receive £50 off the Do What You Love art and creative enterprise retreat