C R E AT I V I T Y
PA P E R A R T
N AT U R E
T RAV E L
EXTRAS SPIRIT ANIMAL POSTERS
BOTANICAL BUTTERFLY CRAFTS ORGANISE-YOUROFFICE STICKERS 'FIND YOUR WILD' STENCIL
Find time for a morning ritual, look to the horizon, learn from shadows, listen to the dawn chorus, let your mind wander, host a tea ceremonyâ€¦
W E LO V E C R A F T
EXTRAS IN T H I S ISSUE Make all these projects using o u r exc l u s i ve p r i n ts, te m p l a tes and stickers.
Make a butterfly globe lampshade
Organise your work space
Create your own spray paint tote
Fold a butterfly hair clip
Be inspired by winged creatures
Display spirit animal prints
CONTE NTS 06 MIND & BODY 08 Wellbeing news 12 Making sense of change 18 Spirit animals prints 19 Profile: Lady Desidia 20 Nurture your talent 26 Nurture stories 32 Mindful moments for mums 34 Propagation tips 38 Create lino-print seed envelopes 074
40 Inspired by: plant care 42 NATURE 44 Nature news 47 Butterfly crafts to try with our pull-out sheets 52 Symmetry in nature 56 Inspired by: winged things 58 Short story: A Fallen Leaf 60 Make heart leaf tokens
62 50 words for rain 68 TRAVEL
70 Travel news 74 Global concepts of calm 80 Inspired by: world travel 83 Mindful murals 88 Nathan Evans on flow 92 Profile: ZoĂŤ Power 94 Profile: Hannah Adamaszek 96 Spray paint a tote 100 HOME 102 Interiors news 105 Listen to our playlist 106 Stylist shelfie tips 110 Create a calm workspace 114 Get organised with our office stickers 116 Time-honoured objects 124 Inspired by: eco material 126 Susannah Conway column
128 Profile: Yulia Brodskaya
International concepts of calm Megan Hayes travels the globe to discover the ways different cultures wind down.
Modern-day psychologists tell us that the positive emotions we feel during our calmer, contented moments of relaxation can both fuel our resilience in tougher times, and unravel the lingering effects of stress, such as rapid heart rate and raised blood pressure. But this is nothing new – all of the world’s major religious traditions from both the East and West have long prescribed calming and centring practices as a tool in living life well. Today there are many ways that we humans choose to relax around the globe. In Greece, you may go for a volta – the traditional activity in small towns and villages of taking a stroll around the winding streets or shoreline at dusk (the French language has the verb flâner with a similar
meaning). In the Nordic countries, a favourite way to unwind is to go for a collective sweat in a sauna – a small room of steam or hot air to refresh the body. The Finnish people are particularly committed to this practice, with virtually every home having one built in. In Spain, relaxation has traditionally been embedded into the workday via the infamous siesta – a long afternoon nap following lunch, when the sun is at its hottest. Even today, across Spain many shops and businesses will shut during this time. Whether a stroll, a good sweat or a quick nap takes your fancy, relaxation and leisure time are essential to our happiness wherever we live. We hope we inspire you to find new ways to get yours…
P L E A S U R A B L E STAT E O F R E L A X AT I O N A N D W E L L B E I N G
We often feel relaxation through a specified activity, but what of those times when we relax by doing precisely nothing? The Turkish people have a name for this: keyif, and those in the bustling city of Istanbul call it their secret weapon when it comes to wellbeing. Keyif (sharing roots with the Greek word kefi, yet having a unique Turkish interpretation all of its own) can have many shades, making it difficult to translate; it evokes anything from enchantment, to delight, to euphoria, to tranquil relaxation. In Istanbul, keyif is often described as the art of quiet, blissful repose; an absorbed form of peaceful contentment. In this busy city, experiences of keyif are defined by doing absolutely nothing: simply sitting still, being fully present in the moment, perhaps while gazing out at the glistening water of the Bosporus.
Keyif is interesting when we consider that, typically, we seek ways to relax – we hunger for practices like yoga, meditation, walking, having a bath or reading to help us slow down and pause. Even when we are not actively doing something and claim to be ‘relaxing’ with a coffee on our couch, our mind can still be a-buzz with thoughts of times gone by or things we are anxious about for the future. The Turkish keyif evokes the idea that we stop doing anything at all, both physically and mentally, enjoying the here and now without worries of the past or future. In this sense, keyif echoes the concept of mindfulness – though it seems to lean more towards savouring the pleasure of the moment, rather than attaining pure awareness. Keyif goes to show how, even in busy city life, we all treasure moments of peace and stillness.
T H E B E A U T Y O F S Y M M E T R Y Fr o m t h e s n o w f l a k e , t o t h e w i n g s o f a b u t t e r f l y, t h e n a t u r a l w o r l d s e e m s b u i l t a r o u n d s y m m e t r y. S t y l i s t , a u t h o r and presenter Hannah Read-Baldrey asks whether our admiration for mirror image could be an instinctive drive for perfection or a desire for balance.
My fascination with the beauty of nature, as with most of us, has come instinctively. As a child I spent hours in the garden, where I would watch the ants march in a line or catch a glimpse of a money spider scampering back to its delicate spiral orb web; studying the stylish domino patterned ladybird and listening to the gentle buzz of a bee collecting nectar. As I watched, I imagined each creature having a personality of their own, wondering if they found it equally as beautiful. It was at this point I realised all the insects, flowers and leaves that I was so drawn to had something in common. They were each symmetrical. Was this similarity just a coincidence of nature or did there lie a deeper meaning? “Symmetry is especially prominent in the fundamental laws of nature,” says Nobel physicist Frank Wilczek, who has looked in depth at the science of beauty in his book A Beautiful Question. We are literally surrounded by symmetry. Geometric shapes such as a square, triangle, circle or hexagon each have at least one line of symmetry. A word which comes from the Greek meaning “to measure together” it appears most noticeably in animals and nature,
mathematics, and in our own architecture and art. Our brains seem to be wired to subconsciously make note and approve of its presence, and to recreate it. When we think of things that are symmetrical, we think of positive affirmations such as beauty, evenness, correct form, trust, balance and even youth. But when we think of the asymmetric we are thrown into imbalance, mess and disorder. Why is this? To begin let’s look at ourselves, our beautiful human structure. When we grow in our mother’s womb, our cells form and develop simultaneously. From head to toes, all form in stages in harmony. As a mother, it always amazes me how unaware you are of this miracle of symmetry taking place inside you. Organs develop together; not one eye here and one toe there. The human body is bilaterally symmetrical. Our skeletal structure is in most part symmetrical, a mirror image. Skin deep, we are genetically programmed to think that the more symmetrical we are the more attractive we appear. It’s a basic assessment of engineering; physical defects are more obvious when symmetry is present, the more symmetrical you are, the healthier you are deemed to
What motherhood means to me Five women share their different experiences of maternal nurture.
LOT T IE
STO R E Y,
B r e a k i n g a n d m a g i c a l l y m e n d i n g , e v e r y d a y. Kids grow. Everyone knows that, from the classic comments delivered by distant relatives to the scribbled lines and dates on the kitchen wall. But what no-one tells you is how they grow you, too. I was never sure if I wanted to be a mother. Throughout my twenties, the thought left me indifferent. There weren’t many children in my life and the ones I did encounter scared me a bit with their noise and the chaos they brought. They seemed like a different species. But then the inevitable happened – like the buzzing of a neighbour’s alarm clock heard through the adjoining wall, that part of my brain finally leapt into life. And I could talk of nothing else. The physical mechanics of becoming a mother were mercifully straightforward: two months of trying and we were staring – gulp – at a positive pregnancy test. I muddled through an easy enough nine months – a bit of nausea, some headaches, the ubiquitous waddling. Nothing out of the ordinary. The birth itself was tougher than anything I’d experienced but manageable, exhilarating even. I emerged triumphant with my squashy little boy, prouder than an Olympian athlete, more besotted than a Shakespearean lover. This was the beginning. But then motherhood broke me. It ambushed me. Cracked me open, punched me in the face, threw me on the ground. The lack of sleep. The maddening mix of unpredictability and monotony. The loneliness. A friend said becoming a
parent was like crossing over a bridge, looking back and seeing your old life just over the water but knowing that you can never return. I sat on the riverbank mourning my old life for a long time. Too long, probably, before things began to change. I couldn’t put the pieces of my life back together in the way they fitted before. That person was gone. But, like a doublesided jigsaw puzzle, a new version appeared. Deep inside, I found qualities I’d never known before. The patience that ran under the surface like an underground river. The empathy that clung close to me like a shadow in high summer. The love that powered my heart like hot air balloon flames. I was a child before I had one. So I had another. And he brought me lessons, too. This child – blonde and curly, blue-eyed and magical – is not like other children. Yes, I know us parents all say that, but he really isn’t. At some point, the cells in his brain took a different path, growing a person we weren’t expecting. His autism runs through him like words through a stick of rock. And those words give me my instructions, telling me which armour to wear, which battles to fight. He taught me how to be brave. Motherhood first broke me all those years ago and continues to break me every day. But the mending of me, that’s where the magic happens. Like Kintsugi, the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with precious metals, my scars are made from gold.
Creatures of Change We a l l g o t h r o u g h h u g e c h a n g e s i n l i f e t h a t often challenge us; sometimes unavoidable, sometimes sought. How do we make sense of metamorphosis? Ruth Allen looks to nature for answers.
While metamorphosis in the truest sense is reserved for the complete change of form that insects and some animals make in their maturation to adulthood, the word itself has come to represent any profound change, transformation or reinvention that renders the earlier form wholly unrecognisable. Our enduring fascination with the possibility of substantial and transformative change is reflected in our global canon of literature, our visual arts, the structure and content of our language, and especially the way we view and manage our lives. From childhood we are reassured by the promise inherent in the story of the ugly duckling: that one day we will become the beautiful swan, and we remain forever transfixed by the miracle of butterflies, surely the most identifiable and hopeful expression of positive change. From the moment we are born, we mature to adults via myriad transformations that affect us, to varying degrees, physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. Many naturally occurring, others brought about through the power of self-will and creative re-imagining. We revel in the stories of our changes, comparing our younger selves with our old, laughing at the similarities that remain between our three-year-old and 30-year-old, selves. We enjoy the history of our changes, but we also seek (and agonise over) the meaning and value in our
present changes, the risk and potential in our future ones. Restless, we book personal trainers, purchase self-help books, seek therapy and hire coaches. All with the aim of welcoming positive change in to our lives or to help us deal with unwelcome changes brought about through difficulties, trauma, anxiety and depression, to name but a few of lifeĂ•s challenges. Beyond biological, survival, even global economic imperatives, change often brings texture, colour and taste to our lives. It allows us to express the ever-shifting desires of our heart. Change allows us to follow a whim, to pursue a new passion, to become engrossed in the rush of a new project. It liberates us from the need to be just one thing, when one thing doesnĂ•t express us fully. Indeed, many people who have undergone a huge transformation in their work or personal lives, testify to the priceless satisfaction they feel simply by having taken control of their lives; silencing the naysayers and expanding beyond their fears. Transformation, then, is as natural in the human species, as it is in any other. Its sheer necessity in the lifecycle of every living thing gives us permission to adapt, remodel and refine. To become our most adult, capable selves. The invitation to change means we donĂ•t have to suffer in what holds us back. We have a way forward. But we are also a species culturally and socially obsessed with
Calmer, happier, more productive Academic, writer and artist Pragya Agarwal shares her tried and tested ways to design a home workspace around enhanced creativity and wellbeing.
Personalising a calm space in your home to work, however small, can help minimise distractions from family or household matters.
T h e a r t o f d i s p l ay I t ’s t h e l i t t l e c o r n e r s o f y o u r h o m e t h a t g i v e i t p e r s o n a l i t y . Stylist Nancy Straughan shares some interior design tips, and puts together three shelfies, inspired by our themes this issue.
Where do you shop for beautiful items to style with? Botanique Workshop in Stoke Newington, London. I’m lucky that I live in an area that can support beautiful independent shops. I also go to Habitat and West Elm.
at least one natural element and various heights to my styling. I also avoid making things look too perfect or considered.
Do you have a ‘go-to’ when it comes to props? Definitely! I love handmade ceramics and natural, wild looking flowers. I also use a lot of books and small pieces of art too. I love a pretty postcard.
How do you style with the changing seasons? I think lighting is the hardest thing. I love the warm glow when the sun is setting in the summer so I take a lot of photos in the evening. This is impossible to achieve in the winter as the light is much colder. My work has a seasonal tilt, but I’d say I still have a recognisable style and colour palette across the year.
Are there any particular styling ‘rules’ you follow? I learned the basics when I started out but now I regularly break them. Sometimes it’s all about confidence. I’d suggest learning the basic principles of symmetry, balance and flow first and then you can add your own flair. I just make sure to add in
How do you find calm within your work? Being calm and grounded is important to me. I write buzzwords to help me focus – words like ‘hearth’, ‘warmth’, ‘soul’, ‘history’. When I’m in the zone I block everything out. Using plants and candles helps create a calm atmosphere, too.
Nancy starts with artwork and her beloved ceramics to create this scene and builds forward from there. If you’re trying this look yourself, use the colours of your piece of artwork as a theme for the whole vignette.
SYM M ET RY “Sym metry can be found everywhere in nature, that’s why people love to see it so much in their homes,” says Nancy. “Sym metrical displays in a home make us feel calm and balanced but if styled too perfectly they can also feel cold and sterile. To add some personality to this display I made sure that the arrangement wasn’t absolutely perfectly sym metrical by adding in different greenery to the two vases. The two small candles near the front are also complementary rather than exactly the same. Look for objects you already have that are similar in size and shape to achieve this.”
G E T T H E L AT E S T I S S U E ! WELLBEING
Welcome to our beautiful magazine packed with creative projects & ideas, gorgeous photography and insightful features. Discover new ways to bring the joys of mindfulness & making into your life. £9.99*
EXTRAS SPIRIT ANIMAL POSTERS BOTANICAL BUTTERFLY CRAFTS ORGANISE-YOUROFFICE STICKERS ‘FIND YOUR WILD’ STENCIL
EXTRAS IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE...
Four exclusive spirit animal prints to frame by Lady
Organise your workspace with coordinating sticker labels
Large, fold-out ‘winged things’ quote poster to pin up
Fluttery hair accessories to colour, cut out and create
‘Find your wild’ stencil for endless crafting
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Welcome to our beautiful magazine packed with creative projects & ideas, gorgeous photography and insightful features. Discover new ways to...
Published on Sep 18, 2018
Welcome to our beautiful magazine packed with creative projects & ideas, gorgeous photography and insightful features. Discover new ways to...