Here is a little update about events I am participating in over the next few weeks
Local Creative Fairs
I’m so pleased to be participating in the above creative events this month, all of which are within a ten minute walk from my house. I’ll be selling my cards, prints and zines along with permaculture books and other resources by Graham Burnett, Pippa Chapman, Twigs Magazine and (free copies!) of Permaculture Magazine. As always I’ll also be happy to chat about most things permaculture related!
Thriving With Principles (Online Project) - An Update
Thriving With Principles is a design that Diploma apprentice, Kate Dickinson and I are collaborating on. Its a design about sharing and celebrating the voices, knowledge and experiences of permaculture designers using permaculture theory and practice to thrive while living with disabilities from chronic illness. We are at the stage of evaluating the first part of the design and are getting excited about where this will lead in the months ahead.
Check out Kate’s Instagram space for more of their creativity and wisdom
Tote Bags From Teemill
I’m really excited to be launching a range of ethically produced tote bags featuring some of my most popular illustrations as designs. Check out my Teemill site for more details
Winter Solstice Full Moon Cards & Prints
Check out my new Winter Solstice Full Moon cards and prints available in my shop now.
Some ideas to support our grief and celebrations of Alan’s life
Several of Alan’s friends are starting to plan an in-person event to gather and celebrate Alan’s life, probably in next Spring. I’ve created a list of ideas, incorporating different aspects of Alan’s life, to use as support for grief and celebration in the meantime.
(The text and images from this blog post are also available as a printable PDF here )
Colouring in - colouring books/cards with coloured pencils or pens. If you are someone who has a stash of colouring in tools, maybe rearrange them by colour, as Alan did.
Plant a tree, consider a fruit tree for added functions.
Plant tree seeds in pots for planting into the ground in years to come.
Support local creatives, by purchasing from them and/or sharing their work.
Spend time with a tree or trees who hold significance for you, reflect on Alan’s life and the connections you had with him.
Sing, dance, create, meditate, feast near trees.
Write a letter to Alan. Compost, bury or burn it. Grow food or a tree in the soil where the compost, letter or ash has been placed.
Start a practice of photographing patterns in nature, perhaps share these with friends either online or in person.
Start supporting a local, small business, practicing ethics similar to your own.
Visit a local independent café and eat cake.
Consider starting a new daily spiritual practice.
Create a nature altar, either outside or indoors, include space for a candle to burn in connection with Alan.
Get involved with a local activism group creating regeneration for community and/or land.
Consider starting a local activism group for regenerative change.
Gather with others who know Alan, either in person or online. Share stories and memories of connection with Alan and his work.
Consider mentoring someone who is wanting to develop skills similar to your own.
Check in more frequently with friends who you know are struggling in some way.
Prioritise your own self care. (We can best support others and participate in activism, if we place our own holistic wellness at the centre of our lives.)
Practice self compassion on a regular basis.
Remember that online activism is just as important as in person activism.
Learn more about a particular tree. Its story, magic, science and significance.
Mark and celebrate solar and lunar cycles & festivals.
The above list is just some of my own ideas based on my experience of friendship with Alan. There might be some you don’t resonate with or agree with and that’s totally ok. Please feel free to create your own activities or adapt any of the above.
Some further resources about grief
Climate grief - some resources to help
Some images about grief to print out and colour in
Just added to my online shop - cards and A4 prints of some of my recent illustrations.
Plus my very first publicly available zine!
As I continue to slowly recover from the long term impact that Lyme disease has had on my body, so the number of permaculture educator events I am able to be involved with are increasing.
This makes me very happy!
Here is a little round up of past, present and future happenings in my little corner of Earth.
Last month I took part in the Saltaire Festival Open Gardens & Pop-Ups event for the first time. I loved the preparation for it and the weekend itself. It pushed me into trying out some new creative ideas in my garden which have worked out really well. I also won the ‘highly commended’ (runner up) prize, which I was SO pleased, (and surprised!), about.
My open garden was also part of the Permaculture Association’s My Green Community event which saw permaculture projects opening their doors/gates to visitors throughout the UK
A new project, ‘Thriving With Principles’, I am working on with one of my Diploma apprentices, Kate Dickinson also started last month. Thriving With Principles (TWP), is a permaculture project documenting and sharing about how permaculture principles can enable people affected by disability and/or chronic illness/long term health issues (CI/LTHI), to thrive. Its a series of online discussions through Zoom, then the creation of a zine.
The first two Zoom sessions far exceeded our expectations of how much discussion would emerge from all of the wonderful people attending, so we have organised a further three Zoom sessions to take place this month, before Kate starts on their zine design.
Click here for further information about TWP - you are very welcome to join in with the October Zoom sessions
Earlier this month I facilitated my first ‘in person’ permaculture workshop since I became poorly six years ago. The hour long ‘brief introduction to permaculture’ was part of the bigger Sustainable Saturday event hosted by my local community centre, the Kirkgate Centre. I really enjoyed being back chatting about how permaculture can be applied to so many of our everyday life and work experiences. There was a lot of enthusiasm from the people attending for further workshops, and this is something I am going to be exploring for next year.
Next month I’m very much looking forward to two creative events less than five minutes shuffle from my home!
I’m going to be selling my prints, cards and zines and hosting a permaculture resource space at ‘Prints & Plants’, at the amazing Salts Works & People Powered Press on Sunday 13th November.
I will also be having a stall at the Peace & Craft Fair hosted by the Yorkshire Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament at the Victoria Hall here in Saltaire on Saturday November 26th.
I’m really looking forward to being participating in my local arts trail this year, happening over the May Day bank holiday weekend, in Saltaire, near Bradford.
“Saltaire Arts Trail prides itself in reaching out to new audiences and making art accessible to all by using imaginative venues - the internationally recognised Salts Mill, public buildings, the homes of Saltaire residents and outdoor spaces around Saltaire, to display visual art outside of traditional settings, as well as delivering new exhibitions and commissions”
I’m a resident artist in the Open Village Trail and will be displaying some of my permaculture themed illustrations in my windows via a walk through my garden. I’m excited to have two other artists - Grace Denton and Cameron Lings showing work in my garden and kitchen. I’ll be selling prints and cards of my work from my kitchen too.
I’ve been creating some new illustrations for this event. Cards and A4 prints of this design and five others will be for sale at the Open Village trail and available to buy on my online shop just before the event.
My edible garden. This is the second growing season using my raised beds system from British Recycled Plastic. One of their many great functions is the solar heat storage of the material making them perfect for seed germination and seedling growing at this time of year when the weather can be so variable.
Not very glamorous at all, but these plastic sacks which I buy pine cat litter in, are the growing space for 2 varieties of potatoes this year. They have been planted in partly composted contents from my home compost system. The sacks will be rolled down and more compost will be added as the potato plants mature.
Overwintered kale and chard. I’ve left the kale to seed because pollinators love the beautiful little yellow flowers. They also look really gorgeous too. The other plants in this bed are broad beans which were started off in small pots and then planted out a couple of weeks ago. Baby pea plants and sweet peas (also started in pots) will be planted out in this bed too over the next week.
This bed is going to be a mini “food forest” (or “forest garden”) - Ive planted a gooseberry bush and raspberry canes (bought online from RV Roger plant centre in Pickering) and just beyond the raised bed is an apple tree on dwarf root stock planted into the ground last year. Spare broad bean plants are in there too as are some perennial onions. I’ll be adding some more low growing (ground cover), plants to this bed over the weeks ahead.
This raised bed along the brilliant south facing stone wall is perfect as a plant nursery! Eventually tomatoes, cucumbers and sunflowers will be planted out here to make to most of the stored heat and shelter of the wall.
Through the gate in my edible garden is my wildlife garden. Ive been gradually adding a diverse range of perennial meadow/woodland plants into the “lawn” over the last two years and its so good to see more flowers, grasses and herbage get established
Some of the perennials planted as ground cover last winter, underneath baby trees forming a hedge along the main road boundary, are also getting established now too.
I love this time of year in garden design, sowing annual seeds and watching perennials emerge from their winter sleep. Over the May Day bank holiday this year, I’m excited to be welcoming people to walk through my garden as part of my participation in the Saltaire Arts Trail. I’m looking forward to some interesting conversations, (hopefully!), about all things permaculture throughout the event.
There is a lot of grief in our communities right now. Grief related to so many aspects of the Covid 19 crisis. Grief related to our damaged Earth. Grief relating to people close to us who are dying and who we can't be alongside. Anticipatory grief. Actual grief. Complex grief.
I made this colouring-in page about the web-like pattern and aspects of grief that often form in our lives. Please feel free to print off and colour in/doodle on.
Click here for a PDF version to print from.
If you want to read more about different types of grief and practical, creative ways of living with so much loss then I can recommend the blog at What's Your Grief as a good place to start.
I've created this A4 colouring in page for anyone to print off and get creative (and relaxed!) with. Here is the PDF Link
I know lots of people are really struggling financially ATM and a lot of charities are desperate for support, but if you do have some spare cash then it would be great if you could donate a couple of £s to Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice.
As well as providing amazing specialist palliative care in the area, Manorlands has also been my place of work for many years and I am passionate about helping to make sure it can continue to thrive through the current pandemic and economic crisis we are in. Creative ways of providing good symptom management, end of life care and bereavement support are desperately needed through these times of Covid 19/Coronavirus and I'm so proud that my amazing Manorlands friends and colleagues are at the forefront of designing this solutions focused care in the hospice, community and hospital.
I know the financial support for charities announced by the government on Thursday will help significantly over the coming weeks, but Manorlands Hospice is going to need as much extra financial help as possible in order to continue to do the invaluable work it does in the near medium to long term.
You can donate directly to Manorlands via this link
Many hospices are in a similar position so, donating to your own local hospice instead if you can, is very much encouraged
If you don't have any spare money to donate then please still feel free to print off as many copies of this colouring in page as you need. Also, feel free to share this post widely with people you think might be interested. Thanks so much
As part of the design for my art room/office in my recently moved to new home, I upcycled this desk and chair I bought from a local charity furniture shop. I used some low toxicity Chalk Paint bought from the fab My Vibrant Home, an interiors design shop, 10 mins walk from my house and then decorated the top of the desk with a collage made from old copies of Permaculture Magazine -Not only does it look pretty lovely, but I now have a constant abundance of inspirational images in front of me for my permaculture illustration work
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