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  1. This made me want to cry!

    This lovely painting was created by Pauline Leger, at the end of the Do What You Love e-course summer session.  She wrote…

    “Rather than attempt to describe with words how I feel about the course coming to an end, I’ll describe it with this painting.

    I feel like a bird with lots of wings…

    I am forever grateful.”

    Looking back at the journey it is hard to believe it was just six weeks.  So many people have expressed a new feeling of possibility, and perhaps more importantly, a new sense of direction. 

    I never expected the e-course to make me want to cry – powerful stuff!

    The Autumn session is open for registration now – can’t wait to see what emerges next time round…

    ***

    Life-changing”, “Revolutionary”, “Awe-inspiring”, “Transformative – just a few of the ways former participants have described the Do What You Love e-course

    Do you fancy some of that in your life? Do you want to get closer to identifying your true passion and finding a way to do what you love, for life?  Then this is for you! 

    The Do What You Love e-course is open for registration now.  The adventure begins on September 26 but places are limited so book now to secure your place.  This is the last time it will run this year

    This is your chance to join a global tribe of like-minded people who will support and encourage you to find your way. 

    It could be the most influential six weeks of your life…

    Join now!

  2. Do What You Love interview: Cristina Adami

    [Image: Lewis Buchan]

    It feels like such a privilege to share this interview with the incredibly talented up-and-coming fashion designer and artist Cristina Adami.  A recent graduate of Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design, Italian-born Cristina is literally a ‘rockstar designer’, having created costumes for Florence Welch, lead singer of Florence and the Machine, for the band’s latest tour, and recently established her own label.  Cristina’s gorgeous ethereal work caught my eye at a fair in London recently. It is hard to describe just how beautiful her work is – light as air, romantically wispy, other-worldly – so I asked Cristina describe it herself, and tell us how she has gone about making her way in the industry.  I am delighted to share this fascinating insight into Cristina’s world. 

     

    [Image: Lewis Buchan]

    Can you tell us a bit about your creative journey so far? 

    It has been a long and beautiful one. A collage of memories, dreams, magic and a bit of rock and roll. It’s a work-in-progress that makes me happy every day

    When did you first develop your love of fashion?

    When I was very little. I always enjoyed drawing and would spend hours with pencils and watercolours. My grandmother was my first inspiration to get into fashion. She was a pattern maker for a bespoke garment business. I learnt from her how to make clothes from my dolls, using leftover swatches of fabrics and would – try – to put  it together with a toy sewing machine I was given as a gift for Christmas. I then knew what I was going to do in my life

    [Images: Lewis Buchan]

    How would you describe yourself as a professional?

    When I had to create my business card I had to think about what to write! I think I’m a designer/artist more than anything else. I have never really like the word ‘fashion’.  I’ve chosen fabric as the medium but what is important to me is exploring a concept, an idea, an emotion that can be translated into a shape.

    How would you describe your clothes?

    Soft, feminine, ethereal, elegant.  They’re for anyone who wants to feel unique and special no matter what the occasion

    Your style is beautiful – elegant and seductive – is this something that developed over time or as a result of a particular influence?

    I was born in Italy and spent all my teenage years there.  Growing up close to the seaside it means you get quite comfortable on your own skin. When it is really hot you don’t need much on. This feeling always stayed with me and I still like to think of the things I design as if they are made of air, light and wind.

    [Image: Lewis Buchan]

    What kind of materials do you use and why?

    Silk georgette and vintage lace are definitely my favourite. Georgette has that slightly wrinkled soft feeling that seems like skin to the touch.  In vintage lace I find my world of wonder. The unusual shapes, the flowers and small creatures, the little faces appearing from the intricate patterns… I like to explore it, combine it and cut and sew my own story

    What was the most important thing you learnt in your studies at Central St Martin’s?

    To look at things upside down, to look at what is all around, to wipe everything out and start again. I’ll never forget what I learnt there

    And what is the most important thing you have learnt since setting up on your own?

    To try and try and try again! And to keep believing it even when seems like you are doomed to fail! If after few months you think you’re going nowhere but you’re still awake at night doing what you love , well maybe you’re doing the right thing. Money management is also important.  I’m currently self funding my project – it’s not easy and I still have quite a lot to learn.

    [Image: Lewis Buchan]

    How much of a factor is ‘who you know’ in success in the fashion industry?

    I suppose it is quite a big factor – if you know the right people you can travel along the road much faster. Having said that I want to believe that even if you don’t know anyone you can still get recognised if you do something truly valuable.

    Can you talk us through the main steps involved in launching your own womenswear collection?

    I’d been wanting to do it for many years, but there have been a number of obstacles. Firstly, to study fashion in a good college in Italy was very expensive, so I decided to go for a Graphic Design BA instead. After graduating I moved to London to pursue a career as a graphic designer/illustrator. After two years in a publishing job I had managed to save enough money to accept a place at Central Saint Martin’s. It has been easier since then.

    Since leaving Central Saint Martin’s I’ve been working for a number of labels between London, Paris and Italy.  It has been an amazing learning curve, but I could never stop going home at the end of the day and doing my own thing. In the beginning it was only trying things out – clothes for myself and a few friends. But I gradually realized people kept asking me where I bought the clothes I was wearing so I decided to get more serious about my own label.

    Over time I developed a personal style, but one day a friend (who is a professional brand consultant) suggested I should write down in just a few words exactly what I was about. I suppose it all came together that day. Working with Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine (see below) happened around the same time, gave me the confidence to go on with the idea and present my first range. Dreams sometime do come true!

     

    [Images: Avital Aronowitz]

    How did your collaboration with Florence Welch come about, and what did it feel like to see her wearing your clothes when performing?

    I entered a design competition on Talenthouse (www.talenthouse.com), an online platform that helps promote new talents around the world. I had just bought the Florence and the Machine ‘Lungs’ album and was finding the music rather inspiring. The day after I saw the design competition, I put the album on and worked through the night to meet the deadline. I could not believe it when I was told Florence and her stylist Aldene Johnson had chosen my work out of 800 entries.

    [Image: Lewis Buchan]

    It was a very enjoyable experience working with them from beginning to end, and it was a rather flattering moment when – at the end of the gig in New York – Florence thanked me for the outfit in front of a massive crowd!

         

    [Images: Avital Aronowitz]

    What is your big dream for your own fashion business?

    I’m quite keen, at least for now, to keep it as a collection of one off garments, but I would like it to grow over the next couple of years.  I would like to work in the music industry again, and perhaps in theatre. In the short run I’m looking for a space here in London where I can exhibit more of my creations – hopefully in late September.

    My big dream is to have an atelier where I can drape and experiment with fabrics, beads, sequins and build a close relationship with my customers – I’m a bit romantic that way!  

    Find out more about Cristina and her gorgeous work on her website or blog.

    ***

    Life-changing”, “Revolutionary”, “Awe-inspiring”, “Transformative – just a few of the ways former participants have described the Do What You Love e-course

    Do you fancy some of that in your life? Do you want to get closer to identifying your true passion and finding a way to do what you love, for life?  Then this is for you! 

    The Do What You Love e-course is open for registration now.  The adventure begins on September 26 but places are limited so book now to secure your place.  This is the last time it will run this year

    This is your chance to join a global tribe of like-minded people who will support and encourage you to find your way. 

    It could be the most influential six weeks of your life…

    Join now!

  3. On interviews and privacy

     

    I seem to have had an influx of requests for interviews lately.  As I sit at my desk right now, I have two written interviews to respond to and an audio interview to prepare for by the weekend.  The questions are interesting, thoughtful and inviting, but they have made me realise how uncomfortable I am with being asked questions about myself.

    This is a very odd realisation for someone who has interviewed over 100 other people on TV, radio, podcast and in writing.

    This is a very odd realisation for someone who has invited scores of other women to share their bravest, most personal stories on her own blog.

    This is a very odd realisation for someone who has been interviewed countless times on television, radio and in newspapers in the context of previous jobs. 

    But the difference now is that it is about me.  What do I think? How do I feel? What do I dream of?  No briefing notes, company policies or ‘official lines’ to take.  No media officers on hand to consult.  Just me, my thoughts and my words.

    It is strange, because when I created the Do What You Love e-course I managed to pour so much of me into it – through tales of adventures, musings on my approach to life and questions I asked myself.  But it is as if the e-course classroom space is like an extension of my own home – warm, safe and private.  Outside is a whole different matter.

    Not long ago I was talking to a PR professional about my life, and she bombarded me with question after question to try to understand who I was, unpicking each thread of my complicated life web to understand how I got to where I am now, and what that really means.  And then (after two hours of me answering her questions), she said something that really surprised me.  She said, “You are a really private person, aren’t you?”

    Really?  Me?  World-travelling-people-loving-beauty-seeking-wandering-adventurer me, a private person?  But then I realised she was completely right. 

    I would much rather tell other people’s stories than my own, even though I have some fairly crazy stories to tell by anyone’s standards. 

    I would rather keep my dreams quiet until they have come true, and then celebrate with family and friends. 

    I would rather only hint at the love story in my life, than spread details and photos across every blog post. 

    I would rather be an ‘international woman of mystery’ (as my friends often call me when I email them from far-flung lands) than in-your-face or predictable.  

    I would rather seek out knowledge out in the world, than endlessly analyse my own internal world. 

    But that’s just me. 

    I am happy that way. 

    A conduit for other stories, and slowly – very slowly – opening up the pages of my own book and turning them leaf by leaf.

    ***

    How about you? Do you ever question just how much to share?

    ***

    Life-changing”, “Revolutionary”, “Awe-inspiring”, “Transformative – just a few of the ways former participants have described the Do What You Love e-course

    Do you fancy some of that in your life? Do you want to get closer to identifying your true passion and finding a way to do what you love, for life?  Then this is for you! 

    The Do What You Love e-course is open for registration now.  The adventure begins on September 26 but places are limited so book now to secure your place.  This is the last time it will run this year

    This is your chance to join a global tribe of like-minded people who will support and encourage you to find your way. 

    It could be the most influential six weeks of your life…

    Join now!

  4. Are you ready for an adventure?

    (image: NavyBlur)

    “Life-changing”,

    “Revolutionary”,

    “Awe-inspiring”,

    “Transformative

    - just a few of the ways former participants have described the Do What You Love e-course

    Do you fancy some of that in your life? Do you want to get closer to identifying your true passion and finding a way to do what you love, for life?  Then this is for you! 

    I have been completely blown away by the response to the Do What You Love e-course, and am excited to offer it one more time this year, by popular demand.

    The Do What You Love e-course is open for registration now.  

    The adventure begins on September 26 but places are limited so book now to secure your place.  

    This is the last time it will run this year

    This is your chance to join a global tribe of like-minded people who will support and encourage you to find your way. 

    It could be the most influential six weeks of your life…

    Join now!

  5. *shared stories* (22): Hillary Rubin and Cathy Bueti

    sharedstories

    ***

    Today’s *shared stories* come from Hillary Rubin and Cathy Bueti

    ***

    Hillary Rubin

    For me doing what you love is being in alignment with your desire. I’m not a believer of purpose even though it’s in my tag line and women come to me to discover what their purpose is. Most of it really is work to go back to what they love, tune into what they desire or rediscover what they love now.

    I have seen from my personal experience when I’m not doing what I love my soul aches. When I’m not doing what I love my body cries. When I’m not doing what I love the best part of me dies.

    In 2010 my husband had a crisis – or what I call a course-changer. He was not doing what he loved and like a good man was providing for our family. His soul suffered so much that he ended up in the hospital.

    It was scary to see the man I loved suffer. He had a foot of his colon removed and made a promise to himself never to do it again. Today he is healthy in mind, body and spirit.

    Now we have a contract that we do not take on projects, jobs, or clients unless it is for something we love to do. I cannot think of a better commitment to have to yourself and with your partner.

    Being a Gemini, I love to do so many things and always like to have a healthy learning curve. At the beginning of my life most of my choices were from survival of what I had to do. I chose to move to NYC to study at Fashion Institute of Technology. I loved it. I felt alive and free.

    I went from doing windows at ABC Carpet and Home to being a fashion editor at a menswear magazine, and then to styling, to producing fashion shows, to having my own PR company and then at the top of my career landed a plum job at Prada.

    Prada was not as cool as I thought. I hated it but wanted to be on the in-crowd so I stuck it out as much as I could.

    Until my time in fashion came to a painful end with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. After I let myself out of a prison of victimhood,  I was on a new quest to heal myself and to my surprise found what I loved.

    It was through my pain that I found what was next on my what-I-love-to-do path as an artist, healer and cultural creative. I devoured all I could in the alternative realm to defy my prison sentence of ending up in a wheel chair. In 2002 I moved to LA to take a yoga teacher training course and worked as a PR director for a fashion company. It was worth giving up a six year relationship, a fabulous apartment in the west village and the fast hip lifestyle for my healing cocoon.

    But I really did not give anything up… I got so much more.

    Right after my yoga teacher training ended, I started teaching and never stopped. Something came alive in me. Not only was I healing but I was stimulated like never before. It was love at first sight. I was on my path. I traveled the world teaching yoga, connected to amazing people and ended up getting certified in Anusara Yoga(TM).

    Not only did I love teaching classes, I went on to create a yoga podcast called Hillary’s Yoga Practice + produced my own bestselling DVD called Yoga Foundations with Hillary Rubin.

    I loved it and never looked back.

    With hindsight, I know now that whatever I do creatively is my body of work. It will always evolve and I cannot do it wrong. I listen to myself and let my intuition guide me. When the fun stops that is my red flag to shift my attitude or let it go so the next wave of creativity can come in.

    If you are feeling challenged to do what you love then I suggest you release the following:

    > Release the need to care what others think – live your life for you.

    > Release the need to have it ‘perfect’ and take small baby steps.

    > Release the need to believe your fears – you don’t know if you’ll fail or succeed unless you go for it

    Once I released this for myself I was able to flow and evolve. I have a foundation in yoga, am a spiritual life design coach and a multi-passionate entrepreneur. I help women stop licking their wounds and create a life filled with passion, purpose and unshakable self-confidence. I love creating valuable content that breeds transformation and freedom to live the life you desire.

    What’s next for me is launching a group program for women to get back to prosperity without shame, be healthy without guilt, find purpose without overwhelm and be happy without excuses, publishing my first book and hosting my television show called Get Real with Hillary.

    [All images courtesy of Hillary Rubin.  Find out more about Hillary on her website or connect on Twitter]

    ***

    Cathy Bueti

    I remember loving art when I was a child.  I was always doodling something or spending hours with my coloring books.   My most vivid art memory was when I created a pastel butterfly in the 4th grade.  As I grew older art seemed to disappear as life got in the way.  A crazy childhood with an alcoholic father, my parents divorce, becoming a widow at 25, and then a diagnosis of breast cancer at 31 halted any thoughts of creativity.  I graduated college with a degree in occupational therapy and worked for almost 20 years in the healthcare field.  After my husband was killed I began keeping a journal.  I discovered I enjoyed writing. I continued journaling during my cancer experience and began writing a book hoping to one day share my experience and help others. It was during this time I also discovered a love of photography and most recently painting. 

    I remarried 8 years ago and am now a 10 year cancer survivor.  During the first few years after I finished my treatments I realized that something was missing.  It was getting more and more difficult to work with patients after having been one myself.   With my husband’s support I left my day job as an Occupational Therapist a couple of years ago and have the opportunity to create everyday.  My life has been tough but what I have found is that creativity helps me deal with the fear that comes in a life after cancer.  Being creative gets me to a nice place in my head and quiets my mind.  I get lost in those moments with my art.  I am discovering myself and seeing all that I am capable of which is more than I ever imagined. 

    In May 2009 my memoir “Breastless in the City” was published and I was able to fulfill my dream of being a writer.  Last August I started my blog Artsy Butterfly where I share my creative life, pieces of my art, and pieces of myself.  I also opened an etsy shop which allowed me to achieve another goal and put my art out there into the world to hopefully inspire others.

    It was scary to leave a career I had done for so long.  I thought, “who am I to even dream of anything else?”  Then I thought about how much I have lost and how short life is.  I started to realize that I couldn’t let the chance pass me by.  I longed to live in the moment and do what would make me happy every day.  I believe that everything I have been through has led me to this moment.  I wouldn’t be who I am without surviving those difficult experiences. 

    I can’t help but smile when I think about the man who has shared a few pieces of my art with his little girls. One of them wants to be an artist too.  It makes my heart happy to know they enjoy my work.  It connects me with the little girl I was so long ago… the one who drew that pastel butterfly. 

    [All images courtesy of Cathy Bueti.  Cathy is a  self taught photographer and mixed-media artist living in Brewster, New York.   Visit her at Artsy Butterfly]

    ***

    The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap is back!

    Sign up now to join in the fun – make a stitched postcard and receive some gorgeous stitched loveliness in the post from somewhere else in the world!

    Last time we had people from 14 countries on 5 continents. For this swap (the fourth!) the theme is BLOOM.

    You can use any materials you like (paper, ink, fabric, ephemera, ribbon etc) , and put it together anyway you like to make a postcard.

    You can include ‘stitches’ any way you like – with a machine or by hand.

    It’s free, and it is a whole lot of fun!

    Sign up here and get stitching!

    ***

  6. Lazy summer Sundays

     

    Feet in flipflops.

    Sun in the sky.

    Friends in the garden. 

    Love lazy summer Sundays

    ***

    What are you doing with yours?

  7. If I ever write a book…

    … I hope it makes people feel the way I felt when I discovered ‘My Heart Wanders’ by Pia Jane Bijkerk

    It is so beautiful it made me gasp. 

    It is like a precious treasure, which reveals breathtaking natural elegance and soulwarming words with every page. 

    It even has a little gift buried at the back – a paper heart tied with a ribbon and the note ‘from one wandering heart to another’. 

    Aesthetically this has to be my book of the decade…  These photos really don’t do it justice.  It was as if the book didn’t want to be photographed, but I really wanted to share a peek with you.

    The perfect gift for a close friend – or even for yourself… 

    ***

    The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap is back! 

    Sign up now to join in the fun - make a stitched postcard and receive some gorgeous stitched loveliness in the post from somewhere else in the world! 

    Last time we had people from 14 countries on 5 continents.  For this swap (the fourth!) the theme is BLOOM. 

    You can use any materials you like (paper, ink, fabric, ephemera, ribbon etc) , and put it together anyway you like to make a postcard. 

    You can include ‘stitches’ any way you like – with a machine or by hand.  

    It’s free, and it is a whole lot of fun! 

    Sign up here and get stitching!

    ***

  8. Morning rituals

    When I woke up this morning I had this really strong flashback of my time as a student in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan (and my favourite city in the world).  I was sat in my homestay family’s kitchen some 15 years ago making cheese on toast in their strange grilling machine, using the delicious squidgy doorstop bread I have only ever found over there.  I had this incredible sense of joy in the moment, as I went through my breakfast ritual in this foreign land, before heading off to school past rice fields and bamboo forests, a whole day of adventures stretching ahead of me.

    I keep feeling a very strong pull to Kyoto these days.  It comes in waves and my mind keeps wandering East.  And when I woke up this morning it struck me what an incredible sense of freedom I had at that point.  I was virtually alone the other side of the world, with very limited money but a whole year to savour all for myself.  I was picking up the new language piece by piece, with mini triumphs every day as I managed to converse with the old man selling sweet potatoes, or read a new roadsign or sing along with a festival chorus.  I went to school in the mornings, and spent the afternoons exploring.  My time was my own, to spend how I chose.

    And then I realised it is not that dissimilar now.  I have a business to run and bills to pay, but one of the reasons I made the leap away from the corporate world was to have that freedom to choose how I spend my time.  Sometimes you find yourself working so hard that you forget that it is completely up to you whether you start your day on the computer, or in the park, or in the studio…  So I’ve started a new routine for my mornings – tea in the garden and half an hour with a book about Japan before the day begins, and a moment of thanks for this freedom. 

    ***

    What about you?  What is your morning ritual?

    ***

    The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap is back! 

    Sign up now to join in the fun - make a stitched postcard and receive some gorgeous stitched loveliness in the post from somewhere else in the world! 

    Last time we had people from 14 countries on 5 continents.  For this swap (the fourth!) the theme is BLOOM. 

    You can use any materials you like (paper, ink, fabric, ephemera, ribbon etc) , and put it together anyway you like to make a postcard. 

    You can include ‘stitches’ any way you like – with a machine or by hand.  

    It’s free, and it is a whole lot of fun! 

    Sign up here and get stitching!

    ***

  9. *shared stories* (21): Kim Beller and Jenny Wynter

    sharedstories

    ***

    Today’s *shared stories* come from artist Kim Beller and comedienne Jenny Wynter

    ***

    Kim Beller

     

    For me, doing what I love means to follow my heart wherever that takes me, to surround myself with people I love and to be open to all the possibilities that are usually right in front of me!

    I lost my mom a few years ago to cancer.  She was only 62 when she died, but lucky for me, we were best friends and she taught me many lessons while she was here.  It was after I lost her that I began to listen more closely to the voice in my heart.  Things that used to matter didn’t matter so much anymore.  I poured myself into art and journaling and making jewelry…..anything to stay busy but more importantly to express myself through art.  I have said more than once, “art saved me”.  I decided that I wanted to be more serious about my art and creating, but couldn’t come up with exactly how I wanted that to happen.

    [With Mom]

     This idea has evolved over the past few years and kept coming up over and over until it pretty much hit me in the face.   Thanks to the encouragement of a dear friend, Nicole, I began to share my love of art journaling with others.  It started with a few girls in a yoga studio and has since gotten bigger and bigger.  I recently co-taught a book-making  “playshop’ in Manteo, North Carolina.  The joy of sharing the things I have learned over the years and creating with other women (men are welcome too)  is priceless. 

    My world was rocked with my mom’s diagnosis several years ago and we found a house with an apartment so she could live with us, but have her own space. It was really hard to go into that space for quite a while, but thankfully, time heals. 

    I have recently turned her living space into “heART space”, a place where anyone can come and be true to their self….to make art, work in  journals, whatever they need to do in a safe, nurturing and loving space.  “heART space” is where I teach “playshops” and share my journey with others. Although it was a lot of work emotionally to re-create this space, it has paid off in so many ways.  Being able to share what I love with others, and to honor my mom in this way has been a huge part of my healing.  I am able to make art, teach art and share with others in a way that I know my mom would love and be proud of.   I love being able to stay home with my girls and  to create and work at the same time. 

    Now that I have this beautiful space to create and teach and play in, my bigger dream is to have some of my favorite artists come and teach workshops here. Perhaps Judy Wise, …..Misty Mawn……L.K. Ludwig…..just to name a few! 

    [All images courtesy of Kim Beller.  Kim Beller is a mixed media artist, inspired by the sea and all of nature.  Her passion is to create expressive pieces with recycled metals, found objects, heartfelt quotes, photography and bits of nature in her art and jewelry.  Most days Kim can can be found in her in the studio with the music turned up and the windows wide open. Find out more about Kim by visiting her website or Etsy shop]

    ***

    Jenny Wynter

     

    Doing what I love means feeling grateful for the opportunity to make a living – and indeed, just a life – out of something that I would gladly do for free. My own mother was an artist, a singer actually. She was beautiful inside and out, and when she was around my age now, she won a very prestigious song-writing competition, the prize of which was a recording contract in Sydney. Very sadly, she never made it; she very shortly thereafter, completely out of the blue, died. (She had an aneurism.) Thus, not only have I been inspired by her example to do what you love, but I also realized from a very early age that life is finite. That knowledge, that it could end at any moment, has I think, ultimately made me feel like there’s not much point wasting the short time that I have here doing something I’m not passionate about! ·

    The first time I saw Edward Scissorhands, I desperately wanted to be an actor. I cannot explain it, other than that it moved me in such a profound way (I was only twelve!) that I remember thinking “I want to make people feel as deeply as I felt today!” From that point onwards, I was hellbent on being an actor. I never sought out comedy roles (indeed, quite the opposite, I really wanted to be the pretty girl, the romantic lead!) but instead found myself constantly cast in them. That probably should have been a hint…

    When  I was 22, I finally made the move to Sydney to seriously pursue acting and three weeks later found out I was pregnant. I was completely shocked and at first I thought performing was over for me. A couple of years later, with two kids under two, I heard through the grapevine about an improv comedy troupe looking for players. It sounded so fun, so I called up, auditioned and the following week was performing! That gave me enough confidence that people thought I was funny to start pursuing it professionally, and it just kinda snowballed. Not long after that I entered a stand-up comedy competition and to my surprise, it went really well and it didn’t take too long before I was making a meager living from comedy. It’s funny now to think that I accidentally fell into my comedic calling, because in hindsight I think it had been biting at me for quite a number of years before I really recognized how much I loved it! ·

    In 2007 my family and I moved to Canada, so that I could pursue some comedy opportunities over there. I had these grand dreams of returning to Australia a comedic superstar, but my hubby asked that before we move to the big smoke in Canada, that first we go to a quiet little town just to get our family on track (my family having received the brunt of the time sacrifices involved in making my comedy career happen). Then something strange happened - we ended up loving small town Canada so very much, in that it was so fantastic for our family’s sense of togetherness that we ended up staying there the whole time. I was able to do bits of comedy here and there, certainly not to the extent that I would have liked, but enough to keep the flame burning. While I was there I developed a new full-length show, which is much more theatrical and incredibly personal than anything I’d ever done before. On the opening night of its work-in-progress showing, I was literally four minutes away from the curtain opening, with my newborn baby still breastfeeding on me and not a scrap of makeup on my face. I had a moment there of thinking “What am I DOING?!” and wondering whether I was insane to attempt this kind of thing.  But then afterwards, when the show had finished and I was basking in the afterglow of post-performance euphoria, I have never felt more happy. ·

    I wish I had known how long it would take to actually get good. I think that as an artist, you have to have a certain amount of cockiness and belief in your ability to succeed. But I think that, especially in the first couple of years of my work, I really thought I was a whole lot better than I actually was! Who knows, I’ll probably be saying that about myself throughout my entire life, but I think at the beginning I really thought my stratospheric rise to success was going to strike at any time. Now I’m realizing more and more how it really does take time to master a craft and that actually, whatever that ‘meteoric rise’ I was chasing even looked like, it’s a damn good thing it didn’t happen in my first couple of years because I was not even close to ready! ·

    Now I have HUGE dreams. My new show (the one I developed in Canada) is called “The Unexpected Variety Show” and I just debuted it last month at the Cabaret Fringe Festival, where, to my delight, it received some beautiful glowing reviews. So now my biggest dreams are for the show. I’m taking it to the Melbourne Fringe this September, Adelaide Fringe early next year and have my eyes set on Edinburgh in 2012. My ultimate goal for it is that we will deck out a big family tour bus and spend the next couple of years taking the show around Australia and then the rest of the world. Blogging and video-blogging the adventure along the way.  That would be heavenly. And I’m sure at times, hell-ish! But I’m so, so excited about the prospect of it and you know, I think we might just do it. Life really is too short not to! 

     

     

     [All images courtesy of Jenny Wynter. Jenny is a comedian, musician, writer and mother-of-three. To find out more about Jenny and her work visit her website or blog, or connect on Facebook or Twitter]

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    The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap is back!

    Sign up now to join in the fun - make a stitched postcard and receive some gorgeous stitched loveliness in the post from somewhere else in the world!

    Last time we had people from 14 countries on 5 continents.  For this swap (the fourth!) the theme is BLOOM.

    You can use any materials you like (paper, ink, fabric, ephemera, ribbon etc) , and put it together anyway you like to make a postcard.

    You can include ‘stitches’ any way you like – with a machine or by hand.

    It’s free, and it is a whole lot of fun!

    Sign up here and get stitching!

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  10. Wandering contributions…

    [image courtesy of Gypsy Girl's Guide]

    I am so excited and honoured to have been invited to join a tribe of inspiring women – including Christine Mason Miller, Boho Girl Denise Andrade, Marianne Elliott and Jen Gray – as a wandering contributor to the gorgeous Gypsy Girl’s Guide

    One of the most delicious sources of travel and life musings I have come across, Gypsy Girl’s Guide was one of the first blogs I ever read when I discovered this online creative world. 

    So now it feels so precious to be invited along for the ride by founder and talented photographer Alessandra Cave.

    This is my first ever ‘column’, and today I posted my first contribution (here), musing on ‘Travelling Light’.  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts - so please do stop by and share how you travel these days…

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    The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap is back!  Sign up now to join in the fun - make a stitched postcard and receive some gorgeous stitched loveliness in the post from somewhere else in the world!  Last time we had people from 14 countries on 5 continents.  For this swap (the fourth!) the theme is BLOOM.  You can use any materials you like (paper, ink, fabric, ephemera, ribbon etc) , and put it together anyway you like to make a postcard.  You can include ‘stitches’ any way you like – with a machine or by hand.  It’s free, and it is a whole lot of fun!  Sign up here and get stitching!

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