Busy, busy being creative..!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 was the year that....

So here we are on the last day of 2013 how has the year been for you? 

I've been doing bit of a review of my year. This is the first time I've really done something like this. It’s been a mixed bag to be honest and I've learnt loads. So what’s been great and also what’s not been so good?  Personally I think its important to celebrate ALL of that. Even though at times things have been pretty sh*t! It all adds to the rich tapestry and as a result I've learnt more about myself.

So here’s a list of what 2013 has held for me – good and bad! It is rather a long post and really is more for my benefit to say goodbye to 2013 and to welcome in 2014 with my arms wide open. ;-) If you do want to read it all - I'd suggest getting yourself a drink first. ;-)

Here we go pretty much in month order...(how organised!)

Learnt how to make bread
I went on an evening workshop with The Square Food Foundation in Bristol

Started Taste The World - A Culinary Adventure 
Throughout the year we, along with a merry band of folk who joined us, cooked our way through 12 countries learning new recipes and flavour combinations as we went. We even cooked food from Narnia in April. If you fancy joining for 2014 - you can join the group here ;-)

Ingredients to make a Malay curry - January's Country

Went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time! 
I LOVE going to the theatre. (Nope that isn't my real hair..!)

Went to Panto for the first time in YEARS with my good friend Gaynor.  
Was such good fun

Had a photo book made of my Bags of Love for Bristol project

Played in the snow!

Launched The Supermarket Free Challenge for The CommunityFarm 
- who I volunteered for as their Social Media & Marketing person for 6 months. 
They deliver great veg boxes by the way...

Interviewed on the radio 
BBC Bristol and Local BCFM about the Supermarket Free Challenge

Saw The Adrian Utley Guitar Orchestra Live - Beautiful

Had my colours done by the lovely Hazel which I wrote about here

Went to see Oliver!

Had a stand at Bristol City Hall the day after having branding issues with Bags of Love - that really threw me and knocked my confidence. I took advice from an Intellectual Property Rights Lawyer and did resolve the issue but it took me a while to recover and pick myself up from that blow. Looking back on that now I know that experience has made me feel stronger.

Went to Longleat! Yeah!

Took part in my second 30 Day Challenge run by John Williams & Selina Baker. 
This time I created a series of artworks using the elements - Air, Water, Fire & Earth which I wrote about here. I also made four films to accompany the artworks. First time I've made some short films like this. Have made more as result.

Was involved in the New River Cottage opening in Bristol. 
Sadly Hugh FW wasn’t there. I’m a fan of his. 
This was as part of my time with The Community Farm.

Went to see the Theatre group Living Spit at local pub – These guys are fantastic!

Saw Skunk Anansie LIVE – WOW she is one amazing lady! 
We were standing next to one of the band members parents. That was until we were asked to move by a burly security guard from the cordoned off area!

Tried a local yoga class - but it was too fast for me and more like an aerobics class so stopped going after one season. Am looking for a class now for 2014

Picked wild garlic. Made lots of wild garlic type products. Yum

Saw Beth Orton Live. She’s cool

Saw Ludovico Einaudi live – one of the highlights of the year. 
We managed to get tickets on the day of the performance at what was a sold out concert. 
It was an amazing experience.

Got Chickens! 
Answered an online ad offering Chickens to a good home as the lady who had them was moving to Scotland. They are a great source of fun and are great characters ;-) We started with four chickens and a bantam we called Louie. Sadly later in the year two of our hens died. Not due to any fox activity, rather old age – as the vet told us. RIP Princess Leia and Janet.  

Ran a workshop for Thornbury Craft Club 
First time I’d done something like this. Theme was ‘how many things can you make from a Man’s Shirt’. Was a good evening and I learnt lots too.

Feeling a bit unsure of where I was going I put together a Finding My Value survey
Was HUGELY helpful.

Went on a two day Permaculture Workshop which I wrote about here
REALLY interesting and  is so the way forward (I think)

pigs are natural rotovators

Saw the band Low live and wore my first handmade top out to the gig. 
They were fantastic live. Really chilled. I am looking pensive though!

In May I finished my 6 month volunteer post with The Community Farm

I took part in Laura Hollicks - International Soul Art Day and had my artwork featured on her site along with those who also took part from around the world. I wrote about that here

Having days when I didn’t want to get out of bed and just wanted to hide away under the duvet

Walked barefoot for 6 weeks 
This came about after doing the soul art with Laura Hollick. There were some magical moments during this 6 weeks. My fav was being out dancing in the rain! 

Inspired by watching interviews on The Good Life Project

Went on a super fun soundmapping adventure with my crazy creative friend Jen


Discovered Cranmore Tower.
 A magical secret in the woods. 
I’ll be running a workshop here in 2014.

Saw Nosfartu at Arnos Vale Cemetery
That was a great night out! Never seen the film before so seeing it in these surrounding 
made it very exciting and eerie...

Went to my first ever Steam Punk Fair 
met some great people including this super smartly dressed chap.

Made a short film about a walk I took to Blagdon lake. Watch here

Celebrated nature on a muse walk as part of the Bristol Walking Festival. Made green crowns for the May Queen and the Green man. That's me in the bright green scarf. ;-)

Went to see a Play about Stroke written by Everyman Theatre Cheltenham that I'd contributed to about my own experience of having a brain Haemorrhage (a type of stroke) when I was 12. The play was touring schools and highlighting the fact that stroke doesn't just happen to old people. In fact Stroke amongst young people is on the increase.

Went to see Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty with Alison (Bod) – who I actually met as a result of my Bags of Love For Bristol project! Wow-ee wow that was some ballet!

Set up mailchimp and created my first ‘playletter’ – am gradually growing my subscribers. Thank YOU to everyone who has joined so far.

Saw Philip Glass live. Inspirational

Tried out some 'creative marketing' coaching sessions with a client. Enjoyed this and will develop this offering further in 2014

Tried Biodanza. Not sure about that. I enjoyed the freedom of movement to music but felt uncomfortable with some of it. Could warrant investigation into why that was?

Got the Job! Working with John-Paul Flintoff
WHOOP WHOOP. Mega excitement as I read one of his books 'Sew Your Own' in 2009 which partly inspired my Love WhatYou Wear project! He has also written 'How To Change The World', teaches at The School of Life and writes for The Guardian. He's a busy guy full to the brim with ideas. I have huge respect for this man. Read what he's up to here

Took an art in nature course at Chalice Well, Glastonbury – which was fabulous. I felt free to experimented and created artwork with the water of the well. Read more about Chalice Well.

Made butter and yoghurt for the first time! 
Couldn't believe how easy it was! Wrote about making butter here

Went to Cornwall with friends Cress & Rob and spent time with family
That was fantastic. Discovered Kynance Cove where I collected some Cornish Serpentine. The only place in Britain you can find this beautiful stone. Walked barefoot around Tintagel and saw Waiting for Godot at the Minack Theatre. Although had no idea what was going on for most of that play the view is fantastic...

Went to a talk at Bristol Big Green Week that I’d help organise for The Community Farm. Jo O’Connell from The Guardian who’d been living Supermarket Free and blogging about it came to give a talk with Angela Raffle, one of the founders of The Community Farm.

Won prizes at the local fete!

Discovered an overgrown Secret Orchard! 
Was SO excited by this. Discovered from the farmer that the orchard has been here since 1912 and that most of the cider apples were grafted by the Land Girls during the second world war. Was also shown the ‘village’ cider press as at one time they used to press apples for all the villagers. Would be wonderful to bring that back. I did ask if they wanted to sell the orchard to me – but they weren't keen . ;-)

Went to a wonderful workshop run by Here Today Here Tomorrow in London called Dinner to Dye for & visited the Museum of Childhood which I wrote about here

Spent a delicious afternoon with my friend Alison (Bod) at Saltford Marina on her boat before she sold it and moved into bricks and mortor.

Saw The ukulele orchestra of great Britain live for the second time. These guys ROCK!

Made elderflower cordial. Tasty

Had my laugh recorded for a play as part of the Shakespeare festival!! 
That was fun. A group of us were given voice exercises as we had to ‘laugh like Americians’ Who, according to the voice coach, laugh from the back of their throats.

Met up with 30DC and P2W folk 
Has been great being part of this community. So supportive. Thank YOU

Saw Sheep having their haircut and now have 8 fleeces to turn in to lovely things – next to find a weaving club or someone to help me process it all! Wrote about that here

Got a puppy!

Wow - Tristan & Yseult by Kneehigh Theatre 
AMAZING! Never seen anything like it. They’re a Cornish theatre group and well worth looking out for. My Aunt told me about them then the next day I received an email to say they were coming to Bristol! Synchronicity.

Saw The Wurzels in a muddy field in the rain. 
Was a good fun night out. Am working though my ‘things to do if living in the country' list and this was one of them

Experienced a sweat lodge
Sang in front of the group of ladies in the lodge. Thankfully it was dark inside the lodge as I've never sung in front of anyone before which was pretty nerve racking. Especially as I didn't know any earth or goddess celebration songs – which the other women there seemed to know. So as the drum made its way to me I was wracking my brains as to what to sing. I had three options. 1 I am a Cider Drinker - the Wurzels, 2 Paradise City – Guns n’Roses or 3. Roam – B52s. I went with Roam. and they liked it! A VERY interesting day that was.

Heard Satish Kumar speak and met him afterwards
 what an inspiring and lovely man. I also bought one of his books, which he signed for me – but must confess to not having read it yet.

Created and ran the first Connect 2 Nature Connect 2 Self course with the fabulous Artist, Jeweller and Coach – Jaimie MacDonald
This came about as a result of me putting that ‘Finding my Value’ survey out there. It was a fabulous and enriching experience. It was also hard work and I so enjoyed collaborating.  
We’ll be running the course again in March2014.

Went to the Bristol balloon fiesta with friends Gaynor & Mike which was stunning. I love the night glow. Sadly at the same event – Henry, my car had his wing mirror smashed by someone so I was not a happy bunny ;-(

Drove a tractor! 
That was brilliant – until Ian suggested I reverse the tractor which all went horribly wrong. No one was hurt thankfully, but their trailer got damaged. ;-(  ;-(

Discovered Barrow Beach
A fantastic place to walk and look out to sea. Beware of the quick sand though.

Walked up Glastonbury Tor

Spent an afternoon at the Glastonbury Goddess Conference
Wasn't quite sure what to make of that to be honest as it was the first time I’d been. I went to see The Dance of The Minoan Snake Goddess (as earlier in the year when doing a visualisation to connect with my inner wisdom – the vision that appeared was holding snakes) so was intrigued. After the dance I attended a healing through nature workshop with Ella Hope. 

At one point during that workshop, the point when we were hanging onto trees in the park and making loud woozing noises through our throats, I just burst out laughing and then couldn't stop! Thankfully Ella, who was running the course, could also see the funny side. 

Had some of my workshop ideas used by others and not credited ;-(  I’ve had really mixed emotions about this to be honest as on the one hand it could be seen as being faltering that they think it is worth using – but on the other I felt angry and disappointed. ;-(

For every person who took our Connect to Nature course, we had a tree planted for them in the Calidonian Forest, Scotland. 

I really wanted to visit the site and see where the trees would be planted, so last minute decision I went up to stay with Jaimie in Edinburgh and then we went to the forest together.

It was FANTASTIC! After working together so closely online over skype it was great to spend some time together in person. ;-)

Visiting the forest was wonderful and we made a film about it here:

As a result of the courses created by myself and with Jaimie and run in 2013 - 22 trees were planted in the Calidonian Forest! 
That feels GREAT! Here's to MORE being planted in 2014!

Visited Findhorn
Going to the Caledonian Forest also meant I was able to include a visit to Findhorn. Findhorn is some where I’d read about a few years ago and it really captured my imagination. Tales of magical events and produce being grown in the thinnest of soil. My vision of everyone there wearing yellow and skipping about was very far from the truth and I discovered it was not the place I had expected. (Expectations getting in the way?) It was however a fascinating trip for that reason in itself. 

I also met Dorothy Maclean, one of the founding members who is now well into her 90s. Dorothy still lives there and attends the daily meditations.

Saw Steve Vai Live! 
OMG I’ve had a passion for Steve Vai since I was about 17. I even designed a chair inspired by him for an A Level CDT project. And to finally see him live and be right at the front of the stage was magical! It was pretty special. I even managed to get his song listing for the gig!

Ran a workshop at The community farm as part of their harvest festival

Interviewed for Evolve & Emerge Magazine

Took Cerys puppy to puppy classes - Hilarious! 
Saw a pug puppy for the first time. Cute yet funny

Lunched with my friend Amanda and her new baby boy Lisle awww

Started one2one coaching as part of my diploma

Submitted artwork to the RWA open exhibition. Was very chuffed to have one of my submissions be selected to round two. However it didn't make it to the final hanging in the exhibition. Was disappointed about that – but was mainly excited and pleased I’d actually submitted anything at all rather than just ‘thinking’ about doing it!

Created and ran my first repurposed book/repurposed you online course which I really enjoyed. It was fabulous seeing those taking part interpret the content into their own style. And to see the progress they’ve made since completing the course too. I’m running this course again – with a new name starting 11 January. They inspired me! Join up here

Pages from my own re-purposed book

Interviewed Mr. Benn. Yep the children’s TV character. Whilst creating some of the content for my course I realised that Mr Benn was actually a perfect way to explain one of the themes. So after a quick google I discovered he was on twitter. So I tweeted him and asked for an interview. Which he said yes to! 

The REAL live Mr. Benn is travelling around the world doing Mr. Benn type activities and is working for David McKee  - Mr.Benns creator. If you want to read this interview – you’ll need to be signed up for my course! ;-0

Not feeling that my personal relationship with my partner is always flourishing as I would like it to and sometimes feeling really unconnected. This makes me feel very sad and actually rather lonely at times. So there is a real conflict going on between feeling amazing and being excited to feeling flat and alone. Something I’m paying more attention to.

Got lost in the woods. After dropping off Henry for his MOT I decided to walk back home through a wooded route (I could have just walked down the road). I got lost and ended up hanging out with some sheep and climbing over barber wire fences. Nothing like a bit of an adventure!

Went to the Celebrating Women in Textiles exhibition in St.Ives Cornwall and met some women who’d worked with my mum. That was very special. My mum died of cancer when I was 15, so meeting women who’d know her as a young woman was truly special.  

This event had actually come about as a result of my Love What You Wear project – which had sparked me wanting to know more about where my mum had worked before getting married. This led me to the St. Ives archives who were inspired by my queries and the event was then created by the archive along with support from History 51. 
A special Day. I wrote about that here

Saw Reg D Hunter live – hmmm didn’t really enjoy that. He didn’t really seem himself.

Not always being kind to myself when feelings from previous situations resurfacing and cause me upset and pain. 

Booked Burgh Island for my BIG birthday in 2014!! 
After working out I’d only spent £124 over the past year on clothes I thought – you know what I’m totally going to book to go to Burgh Island. First time I’ve EVER booked something so far in advance!! Wrote about that here

Have not been so good at valuing and always looking after myself – e.g a tendency for overeating and not taking enough exercise.

Saw Milton Jones Live – funny fellow

Met up with some peeps from the Great Escape Artists group. Fabulous!

Whilst in Cornwall for the Celebrating Women in Textiles exhibition I took the opportunity to visit Penlee House in Penzance to see the Crysede silk collection
Am currently looking to see if there is a link to an Emily Woolcock who worked there in the 1930s. Wrote about that here

Went to Morocco! 
I’ve wanted to go to Morocco for a long time. We took the long way – travelling there by bus to London, train to Paris then to Madrid and Algercias, boat to Tangier – and yes Camels were also involved. It was a brilliant trip and there was so much that happened is hard to put it all into a few sentences. the ManinSeat61 was invaluable!

Turned 39 whist in Morocco. Went for a special Hamman at Palais Amani
where I was bathed and massaged and scrubbed to with in an inch of my life. Felt GOOD though. Then went for a superb dinner at Dar Romana. ahhhh lovely

Completed Love What You Wear project! 
One whole year of not buying any new clothes. Rather making, upcycling and buying from charity shops.

Ran workshop for Bath Carers Support Group all around setting goals for 2014 – based on my online course I ran in October.

Went on my first Coaching Academy Diploma Accelerator day all about DISC profiling. I’m an I type. ;-)

Spent a day at Clothes Show Live with Pretty Nostalgic Magazine on their customisation station in aid of Cancer Research. Met Joelle – one of the ladies who’d joined my LWYW project. ;-)

Made our Christmas Tree this year. Am rather pleased with it!

Have suffered BIG energy slumps. I put so much energy into everything I do that I tend to end up having days when I have no energy at all and just want to sleep. So that’s something I will be taking better care of in 2014

Christmas day was actually really Odd this year and I don’t really know why something just felt out of sorts. ;-( Am wondering if its the time of year and well frankly have just run out of steam! Now is a good time to rest and rejuvenate.

Went to see a Tibetan Doctor for the first time. Was a fascinating visit and I've been given some nutritional advice (avoid pork and acid foods, drink plenty of hot water and eat locally grown/sourced food especially green vegetables) as well as breathing exercises and some herbs to take. Amchi Tetsan said I would feel Lighter as a result and clearer of mind. Which is just what I'm after. 

I hadn't actually chosen a word for 2013 – but one word that has cropped up quite a lot during the writing of this post is magical so I think for me 2013 held some really magical moments.

Phew! That actually feels like a rather EPIC and also rather therapeutic post and am now happy to light a candle and let go of 2013. Hello 2014. I'm READY!

How about You?

What do you want to celebrate about your 2013? 

What has stood out for you as your magical moments? 

And what things made your heart sing in 2013? 

What do you want more of in 2014?

I have chosen a word for 2014. Exuberant.

And my colour for 2014 is: Gold

There were a few words rolling around in my head – and it was after reading a passage in the book Simple Abundance that word - Exuberant - jumped out at me. On further investigation this really summed up all the other words I’d been thinking so that was it. Perfect.

So I’ve started a pinterest board for inspiration. Perhaps you might like to do the same?

Happy New year to YOU and here’s to an Exuberant and Abundant 2014

Love Morwhenna

ps – last chance to join my course for £44 today – would love to have you start 2014 with me. ;-)

Click Here for all the details


  1. lovely long post...what a year, here's to 2014!! Great to meet you at the Clothes Show, and I'm off to make butter now.

    1. Yeah! Thank you Joelle - it was so great to meet you too. Let me know how your butter turns out!! xx

  2. Wow, what a year of amazing magical experiences you had Morwhenna. So inspiring!

    My magical moment of 2013 was collecting my first ever batch of greetings cards at the end of the 30 Day Challenge in March and filming myself opening them. It epitomised how I'd turned a negative experience (losing a job) into a positive one, it made me believe that I could do what I love for a living, and proved I was growing in confidence (I didn't care who could see me filming outside). I also felt moved by a text from one of my pet portrait customers in December, who said my drawing of his dog brought tears to his eyes.

    I'm looking forward to all the illustrations I haven't drawn yet in 2014, and the adventure that will be selling printed goods at craft fairs and markets.

    Wishing you all the best, Rich xx

    1. Thank you Rich - that's so kind of you to say. And lovely to hear about your highlights for 2013. Good luck to you for the year ahead and your exploration into craft fairs & markets xx

  3. Amazing post - I am worn out just reading it all - so many wonderful achievements. :)

    1. hee hee Thanks Hilary! I wear myself out sometimes talking about all the things I want to do next!! ;-0