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EXTRAS CINEMA TICKETS & POPCORN BOXES BUILD A DESKTOP GREENHOUSE 8 SCENT-SACHET ENVELOPES RIVER-INSPIRED CARDS
Find mindfulness in gardening, create your own perfume, make a den, immerse yourself in silent cinema, go for a river walk, try chi running, host a movie nightâ&#x20AC;¦
W E LO V E C R A F T
EXT RAS I N THIS I SSU E Make all these projects using o u r exc l u s i ve p r i n ts, pa p e rs and templates
Fold and stick your own mini desktop greenhouse filled with paper plants
Host your own movie night!
Make popcorn and sweetie boxes
Be inspired by our river cards
Make sweet scented sachets
CON TEN TS 06 NATURE 08 Nature news 12 Mindful gardening 18 Greenhouse papers 19 Profile: Clare Lewis 20 Create a mini greenhouse with paper plants 22 Inspired by: monstera 24 Plant-based recipes 28 Winning flash fiction 32 MIND & BODY
34 Wellbeing news 36 Creating natural perfume: AS Apothecary 40 Two scent recipes 44 The science of scent 49 Pull out paper sheets 53 Make fragranced paper sachets 54 Inspired by: feminism 56 Claim your creativity 60 Women making waves 064
64 Try chi running 68 HOME 70 Home news 74 Silent movies
78 Create your own cinema 82 Everything you need to 112
host a film night 83 Make popcorn boxes 88 Inspired by: cinema 90 Homemade dens 96 TRAVEL 98 Travel news 102 Spiritual places 112 What the river means 114 River concertina cards 115 Profile: Brittany Molineux 116 Take a river walk 121 Carve a driftwood talisman 122 Inspired by: water 124 Tips for calm travel 128 Susannah Conway 115
Cultivating compassion Whether you have a small patch, a windowsill or a large garden, Clea Danaan shares the peace plants can bring.
There’s something about a garden that’s unlike any other environment. For many, the garden is a place to come home to oneself – with our hands tucked into living soil, we breathe in the scent of rosemary and mint, and we know who we are. The garden, whether a place for edibles or flowers or cactus, connects us to our physical self, our compassionate heart and our infinite soul. It is art, food and relationship with literally billions of beings. In the middle of this simple yet complex dance, we enter into mindful presence. We are here and now, this breath, this taste of fresh green leaf. Our hearts need green and growing things to feel strong and healthy, not just in terms of eating your greens, but in growing things green. Certainly, it just feels good to be around plants. There is so much more to a garden than the plants themselves. A garden is nutrients and soil, bees and nematodes, water and light. When we begin to explore all the different parts of a garden, including ourselves, we see how vast and complex
it truly is. We begin to see ourselves as a part of a greater whole. We see how our actions affect other parts of that whole, and how they in turn affect us. In this way, the garden is a tool for compassion and deeper understanding. It’s a wisdom we come to by doing, though reading about the garden can guide us to a different sort of knowing, too. When we nestle a tiny seed into the soil, we plant a prayer. We ask the soil to protect and nourish this seed of life. Then we wave our magic wand – the kind that water comes out of – and whisper a spell that sets off a series of relationships that will eventually lead to a salad or a soup gracing our table. We pray: grow. The soil wraps its damp darkness around this little seed, this promise, and when the seed bursts its skin and reaches out with a tiny root filament, the soil says yes. The roots grasp on to tiny particles of sand and stone, and the soil hugs back. It affirms the life of the sprout, holding it in place and time.
TAB L E TO P
GA R D E N
Even if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have much outdoor space, you can create the scene in miniature with our tiny paper greenhouse, designed by illustrator, Clare Lewis. It even works as a good visualisation technique â&#x20AC;&#x201C; allowing you to acknowledge the dream and welcome it into your life.
MA K I N G
RE A L
O u r p a p e r g r e e n h o u s e d e s i g n e r, f r e e l a n c e i l l u s t r a t o r C l a r e L e w i s , o n c r e a t i n g so m e t h i n g t a n g i b l e a n d b e l i ev i n g i n yo u rse l f.
Plants seem to feature prominently in your work – would you call yourself a plant lady? Yes, definitely. I particularly like tropical leaves, cactuses and leafy house plants, and I’m not as attracted to flowers as I am to leaves. I simply love the shapes. I have family ties to Mexico, and I really enjoy seeing all the lush foliage over there, in all their different shades of green. Where does your love of paper stem from? Paper comes in such lovely colours and textures. I also like making work that has a physical presence. As much as I enjoy the convenience and variety of digital artwork, there’s something about having a physical product that I really like. I also like work that you can see through, or that has space in it. What do you do to stay inspired? I think just making everything that pops into my head helps, whether it’s a small one-off thing or part of a bigger
series. If I’m struggling for ideas, I need to take a break. While I was at university, I hit a big wall. I went on holiday and it really helped me to work out what direction I wanted to go in. Headspace away from your work really helps to focus you. How do you keep calm? Early on in my career I experienced a lot of doubt over my abilities as well as when and if my business was going to expand. On top of this I have the same worries that everyone does about bills etc and it can be overwhelming at times. My partner is great at talking me through where I am, how far I’ve come and putting everything in perspective. Taking a moment to realise that things aren’t as bad as they seem helps a lot. Where do you have your best ideas? When I’m comfortable at home; sometimes when I’m half asleep at night and have to hope that I remember them! clarelewisillustration.co.uk
Clare’s first job after starting her own illustration business was with book publishers Penguin Random House (right). Since then she’s worked with a host of companies and design agencies.
Many people discover creativity later in life. Whatever age you are, itĂ&#x2022;s never too late to try something new.
Yo u ’ r e n e v e r t o o o l d t o s t a r t a c r e a t i v e j o u r n e y . J u d e H i g g i n s celebrates the experience and confidence that comes later in life.
There seems to be a rush in today’s western world to ‘find your passion’, with many of us feeling lost in our 30s and 40s, searching for our ‘thing’. But the wiser (perhaps older) among us know it’s far more important to be curious. Look around your community and you’ll find women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and older involved in all sorts of creative enterprises. The brain has no age limit. Research shows that changes in the brain after mid-life can even facilitate creativity. The right and left hemispheres become increasingly integrated, learned ideas come together in new combinations – we can draw on a vast storehouse of life-long learning to be expressed in unique, fresh and complex ways. And contrary to what was previously believed, the brain is capable of positive change throughout life – it just depends on us being involved in activities that optimally stimulate novelty, complexity and problem solving. These days women re-invent themselves at different ages. I’ve always been a creative person – my work as a Gestalt psychotherapist meant that I constantly devised new ways of helping the people I worked with become more aware of self-limiting beliefs and experiences. I believe nothing is fixed in a person and that change occurs by finding out more of who we are through the awareness process. Nevertheless, with all my background in psychotherapy, it was still hard to think that as an older person, I could be fully involved in a different aspect of creativity and make a success of it. It wasn’t my ability I doubted. I thought my age might get in the way. Even so, I retired at 60 to focus fully on writing fiction, an activity I’d always loved. I applied for and was accepted on an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. There I found that writing a novel draft, the focus of the course, was not for me. My energy dwindled. It was only when I discovered short-short (or flash) fiction that things took off. Eight years on and I’ve won many prizes, my short fictions have been accepted by literary magazines and in 2017, my chapbook The Chemist’s House, was published by indie publisher, V Press. I also founded an international flash fiction award in 2015 and directed the first ever flash fiction festival in the UK last year. Both enterprises have been hugely successful. I’ve found that now I am rarely frightened of trying out different things. Every venture is slightly more of a stretch, whether it is writing a new piece of fiction in an experimental style, submitting it to magazines and risking rejection, teaching a class to inspire others to write, or conceiving of large projects to bring others together. Creativity in older people can sometimes be thought of as a hobby – an activity to keep you busy in your later years, but describing your creative pursuit as a hobby only, can diminish the enterprise. Older people have much to be passionate about and express, based on decades of experience. Many, like me, decide it’s ‘now or never’ and are impelled to switch focus in
E ASY E X E RC I S ES
Whether it’s a newfound passion or something that’s been burning inside you for years, try these five simple exercises to get your creativity flowing. WRITE MICRO FICTION Very short fiction is hard to perfect, but easy to experiment with. Why not begin by writing a micro-memoir? Choose a memory from the house where you grew up. Write an incident, not just a description. Include the senses. Start in the middle of the action. Think of a title that adds something to the piece. For regular writing practice, try the weekly micro contest at adhocfiction.com
BECOME AN ONLOCATION SKETCHER Buy a small sketchbook, a water brush (a brush with a water tube attached), and a few water soluble markers. Go out and just draw what you see around you. Your favourite places or new and different locations. You don’t need to have previous drawing experience, or worry what it looks like. Think of it as a visual diary to record your experiences. If you want to go out drawing with others, find a meet-up group – urbansketchers.org organises them around the globe.
The Science of Scent Fr a g r a n c e s h a v e t h e p o w e r t o u n l o c k m e m o r i e s and influence our tastes and emotions. S a r a h G a n e d e l v e s d e e p e r.
Close your eyes, take a deep inhale through your nose. Allow a few moments for your mind to process the smells in your surroundings. While this is a conscious act, so much of what we smell day to day isn’t given a second thought. Yet, this sense is important; it’s a bit like a superpower, piecing together a picture – our own unique version – of our surroundings. “Our sense of smell is said to be 10,000 times more sensitive than any of our other senses,” says Rosie Frost, complementary therapist and aromatherapist (touchforlife.co.uk). “Other senses, such as touch and taste, must travel through the body via neurons and the spinal cord before reaching the brain. Our sense of smell is linked via olfactory bulbs to the primitive part of our brain called the limbic system responsible for emotions, memory and behaviour.” Consider the first time you step out on to the beach, walk in the woods or climb
into a bed with fresh sheets, your sense of smell can help you to feel relaxed and content. “Smell plays a huge role in how we connect with the world around us and to the people we share it with,” confirms Duncan Boak, founder and chair of The Fifth Sense, a charity for people affected by smell and taste disorders (fifthsense. org.uk). “It has this profound connection with our memories and emotions. I’m sure many people can recall an instance when a smell has evoked a memory and transported them back in time, bringing a rush of emotion with it.” While we know animals rely on this sense to survive, humans need it more than we might think, as Rosie explains: “We bond and are attracted to mates by pheromones, the unique body scents we all have. Expectant mothers become very sensitive to scents which can be part of the nausea experienced in pregnancy. Pheromones begin their mother-infant connection before the baby is even born. They are very important for bonding
and attachment, which has been shown to affect future health, wellbeing and ability to have lasting relationships.” This early human experience can also influence taste. Vanilla, for example, is said to be similar to breast milk, but why we like or dislike a smell can often be dictated by our previous experiences as well as the olfactory receptors in our nose, as cognitive neuroscientist, Dr Rachel Herz (rachelherz.com) explains: “Every single person, unless you are an identical twin, is different. To some extent our genetic predisposition may modulate our basic attraction to something but apart from that it’s actually all learned. It’s learned through experience, through personal interaction and through culture.” An example of this is the smell of wintergreen mint: “I am sure in the UK you find it unpleasant because it is connected to toilet cleaning products and medicine,” says Dr Herz. “In the
Mary Pickford, a star in the silent movie era, was also a film producer and powerful business woman.
Silent Cinema Wa n t a n a l t o g e t h e r q u i e t e r m o v i e e x p e r i e n c e ? Lo o k u p so m e o l d ( a n d n ew) s i l e n t m ov i es, s a y s Lo t t i e S t o re y.
There are times when you want to feel at the centre of the action, watching the latest superhero flick or Hollywood blockbuster. But sometimes, the surround sound experience of the modern multiplex can feel like an unwelcome bombardment of the senses, even a sense too far in the case of 3D and 4D movies. Want a calmer alternative? Dial back the speech, remove at least one of those senses and you can experience a different kind of movie magic. There are few genres of film more atmospheric than silent cinema. The first three decades of cinema gave us some of the greatest films ever made, thanks in part to the technological restrictions of the day. With just visuals to play with, filmmakers of the silent era had to eke out creative ways to tell their tales. The storytelling that ensued was innovative, emotive and relied heavily on clever editing. Acknowledged classics such as Battleship Potemkin, Nosferatu and The Phantom of the Opera may well be
on any film school’s core curriculum, but that doesn’t mean they make for a mindful watch. In fact, if you’re after a gentle introduction to the silent genre then avoid the Westerns, horror and war films that make up a large part. These movies were not conceived or even ‘performed’ as silent films; often they were screened with live music and sound effects, making for a raucous atmosphere and an intense screening experience. Slapstick, too, was and still can be an unrelenting genre to watch, despite its silent nature. So which films fit the peaceful connotations suggested by the term silent cinema, appeasing the more meditative needs of the mindful moviegoer? Nanook of the North (1922) follows the lives of an Inuk family as they hunt a walrus, build an igloo and trade their wares in the Canadian Arctic. Much has been made of the staging of some of the scenes, placing it somewhere between documentary and drama, but it’s a gentle and intriguing watch
N AT U R E
P I LG R I M AG ES
T H E S P I R I T O F W A T E R Over the centuries, the spiritual significance of lakes, waterfalls and springs have grown, creating sites for worship or places to ease mind and soul. Sarah Baxter chooses five places imbued with magic.
LA K E
T IT I CACA
T h i s e t h e r e a l h i g h - a l t i t u d e l a g o o n o n t h e B o l i v i a Pe r u border is believed to be where Inca life began.
A cool breeze ripples the water’s surface while the sun dazzles off it with blinding intensity. You’ve never seen such a brilliant blaze of blue; an ultramarine lake meeting cobalt sky. A few little birds dart and chirrup among the stunted trees. A tortora reed boat floats lazily past, poled by a man in a bright woollen hat. Grassy hillsides and terraced fields fall down to the lake shore and, in the far distance, a wall of mighty mountains rears up to kiss the heavens. You gasp for air, unsure if it’s the oxygen-poor altitude or the remarkable spectacle that’s leaving you so breathless. Or perhaps it’s because you’re gazing over the very cauldron of creation... On the border of Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca shimmers between the snowcapped Andes and the wild, windblown Altiplano at a breath-stealing altitude of around 3,800 metres (12,470 feet). It is vast – the largest lake in South America – measuring 190 kilometres (118 miles) long and up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) wide, with a maximum depth of 280 metres (919 feet). But it’s much more than a set of impressive numbers. For some pre-Columbian peoples, Titicaca was the cradle of humanity. Take the Inca, the civilisation that emerged here in around AD 1200 and quickly rose to rule much of
LAKE TITICACA EASTERN PERU
the continent. One of the Inca’s key deities was the creator-god Viracocha. According to their legends, when all was an empty void, Viracocha rose from Lake Titicaca and formed the earth and the heavens. He made animals. Then, by breathing life into stones, he fashioned a race of rock giants. However, because he failed to make any light, these giants lived in a state of dimwitted darkness. They began to annoy Viracocha. So he sent an almighty storm to wipe them out. Then he tried again, this time using clay to mould a new mankind, and bestowing on them gifts such as language, songs, clothes and agriculture. He also made new animals and plants. And he used the islands dotted on Lake Titicaca to create the celestial beings that would light up the world: from Isla del Sol he made the sun; Isla de la Luna the moon; Isla Amantaní the stars. His work done, Viracocha then set off dressed as a beggar to spread his knowledge. But Lake Titicaca wasn’t only part of the Inca’s great creation myth, it was also central to the birth of their civilisation. One story says that the Inca founder, King Manco Cápac, was brought up from the lake’s inky depths
by the sun god, Inti; another that Cápac emerged from a rock on the Isla del Sol. Consequently this Island of the Sun, on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, became an important religious hub. Thousands of pilgrims from across the Inca empire came to visit its shrines. As well as many temples, the island was renowned for its excellent maize. Pilgrims would return home with Isla del Sol grain, believing it would ensure an eternally good harvest. After the Spanish conquest, the island was looted and many temples were destroyed. But it remains a place of peace and spirituality. There is no motorised traffic, just a network of rocky trails leading between the small villages, tumbling farms and Inca ruins. The holiest site remaining is the Santuario, the now ruined complex housing Titikala – the Rock of the Puma. This slab of pink sandstone, after which the lake is named, is said to be where Viracocha created the sun. In Inca times, offerings of gold, feathers and shells were left here; sacrifices – both animal and human child – were made; elaborate ceremonies were held. Most common pilgrims weren’t allowed into the complex’s inner sanctum. Even after making arduous journeys across the Andes, they would only have been permitted to view Titikala from the Intipunku (Sun Door), the gateway to the sanctuary. Now anyone can walk right up to this sacred rock and put their hands where the light of the world began.
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EXTRAS IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE...
Cut and create your own mini desktop garden and plants.
Send your friends retro, perforated home cinema tickets.
Make two river-themed concertina greetings.
Fold and fill mini scent sachets, or use as envelopes.
Popcorn box templates for cosy film nights in.
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