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EXTRAS 10 MINI EUROPEAN HOUSES TO FOLD 4 EXCLUSIVE YOGA PRINTS CITY-INSPIRED POSTCARDS 3 SEED PACKET BOOKMARKS
Find sanctuary in the city, create a nature journal, gain perspective, notice the details, tell a photo story, write together, build your own worldâ€¦
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.
City postcards to inspire you
Create a mini street scene
Make pretty seed packet bookmarks
Take the time to write a card
Beautiful yoga prints to frame
Jot down all your good ideas!
CO N TEN TS 06 NATURE 08 Nature news 12 Life-changing nature book 18 Seed-filled bookmarks 19 Profile: Dawn Cooper 20 Create a nature journal 22 Seeds as symbols of hope 24 Mountain top perspective 30 Inspired by: great views 32 MIND & BODY 34 Wellbeing news 38 Mindful writing 090
41 Flash fiction competition 42 Find a writing partner 48 Inspired by: collaborations 50 Good ideas poster 51 Four yoga prints 52 Profile: Mia Charro 54 Ashtanga yoga journey 58 Six yoga poses 60 TRAVEL 62 Travel news
66 Find peace in the city 72 Profile: Bett Norris
74 Photo challenges 80 Inspired by: buildings 82 City postcards and cards 87 Keep letter-writing alive 88 Great cycling cities 90 Let literature guide your travels 96 Photo storytelling 98 HOME 100 Interiors news 104 The comfort of cats 109 Papier-mâché pets 114 Create mini paper houses 116 The value of living small 118 Inspired by: scale 120 Artist Sam McKechnie 122 Doll’s house makes 126 Imaginary friends 128 Susannah Conway column
T R E ASU R E D
BO O KS
S o m e c h a n c e m o m e n t s c h a n g e t h i n g s c o m p l e t e l y. M a k e r a n d i l l u s t r a t o r, E m m a M i t c h e l l s h a r e s a b o o k t h a t â€™s s h a p e d h e r c a r e e r a n d h a p p i n e s s .
When I was six my favourite thing to do was to spend time with my grandad. My grandparents lived just six doors away and had a glass lean-to accessed through the dining room, which was full of plants and smelled of compost. It was here that my grandad would show me how to plant both flower and vegetable seeds and propagate one of his favourite kinds of plant, Streptocarpus. A tiny baby plant would grow within a few weeks from a slice of leaf placed in an old yoghurt pot full of soil and dusted with rooting powder. In his lean-to he also had a small pleached apricot tree which he tended as lovingly as any of his grandchildren. He pollinated it with a small paintbrush each spring and made jam from the ripe apricots for my gran. Tiny little woody lumps in paper packets would transform into new green seedlings and then into sweet pea plants or cabbages or nemesia. My grandad’s world, the world of plants and soil and nature, was enchanting.
One day, I was at my grandparent’s house and my grandad was cooking soup. This seemed to be a rather boring process involving pans and vegetables and freezing a greenish liquid in old Stork margarine pots, so I wandered through to the living room where his library of books sat in a series of very tall bookcases. Most of these tomes seemed dusty and dull and were bound in green or brown rough fabric. One book seemed to glow in the bookshelf though and I drew it out for a closer look. It was large in my six-year-old hands: about A4 sized, and was covered in a tangle of wild rose flowers, rose hips and a beautiful pattern made by their pinnate leaves. I opened the book and gasped. Unlike most of my grandad’s library this was a picture book and on each page was a collection of wildflowers with their names alongside in neat but handwritten uppercase. It was The Concise British Flora in Colour and
We t a k e a l o o k a t s i x p o s t u r e s f r o m A s h t a n g a ’s P r i m a r y S e r i e s . Practise every day and you’ll soon notice increased flexibility!
VIRAB H AD RASAN A B WA R R IO R 2 P OST U R E
U TTHI TA PA RSVA KO NASA NA EXTEN DED S I DE A N G L E POST UR E “Legs are the same distance apart and same alignment as Virabhadrasana,” explains Scott. “Press both feet firmly into the floor and sink the open hips towards the floor. Take the right palm flat to the floor on the outside of the front foot. Avoid sinking the weight of the body through the hand. Keep the legs active to prevent this. Keep the bent knee pressing into the arm pit to help stability. Lengthen the spine and neck, extend the other arm. A common mistake is to let the chest collapse and have your heart facing the floor. Keep your legs strong and begin to revolve your ribcage towards the ceiling.”
“Keep your legs strong and active. Bend the front leg until the knee is above the ankle. Make sure the knee is directly in line with the toes of the same foot. Press firmly down with both feet,” explains Scott. “Keep your back leg straight, with the outer edge of the back foot pressing firmly into the floor. The hips and inner thighs are open as much as possible, sinking down to the floor. As you lengthen the spine, pull in the lower belly. Be careful you don’t lean forward. Stretch arms out through the fingertips and look out over the middle finger. Shoulders need to remain down, away from the ears even though the arms themselves are still active.”
U RD H VA D H AN U RASANA U PWA R D BOW POS E “Lay flat on your back, bend both knees, placing the feet hip-width apart. Place the hands flat on the floor behind the shoulders. Keep the hands shoulder-width apart and point the elbows towards the ceiling. Lift the upper chest towards the ceiling and open the upper back towards the chin. Pressing the hands and feet into the floor, lift the body by straightening the arms and legs. Keep legs active and strong. Relax the neck allowing the head to hang. When coming down, tuck in the chin to the chest, placing the shoulders then hips onto the floor.”
S C OT T PA R S O N S
Scott Parsons is Director and Founder of The Yoga Shala in Poole, England (www.theyogashala.co.uk). He prides himself on teaching traditional Ashtanga yoga, much like he has been taught in India.
BHA RADVA JASA NA BHARADVJA’S POS E
PADAH ASTASANA STA N D IN G FO RWA R D FOLD
“The aim is to work into the hand foundation (under the lotus knee) and the sitting bone of the opposite side (reverse folded leg). Then from this, work to find length through the spine before twisting through the upper/ mid-back. Be careful not to twist the lower back or move the pelvis too much. Work to keep both sitting bones down if possible. Relax the arm before taking it around to bind with the lotus foot. Engage the core of the upper body to support the spine and shoulder girdle. Be careful not to create tension in the knees, working towards a full posture over time. Beginners could sit on a block to create more space for the reverse folded leg and work with a bent leg rather than lotus if the hips are tight.”
“Your legs should be active in this posture,” explains Helen. “Engage the thighs and be careful not to hyperextend the back of the knees. The foundation should be equal between toes and heels, so avoid leaning back into the heels too much. As with all standing postures, the inner arches of the feet should be active too. Engage the core/midline of the upper body to support the spine, enabling the upper body to lengthen downwards; head and neck should be relaxed. Avoid overworking the neck and shoulders. For those with tight hamstrings or any lower back weaknesses, bend the knees and work towards straighter legs over time; take your hands to the shins instead of the floor.”
U T K ATASAN A C H A IR P OSE “Keep your legs active and engage the thighs. Think of sitting back into the heels rather than bringing the knees too far forwards,” advises Helen. “The foundation should be equal between toes and heels, so avoid lifting the heels and leaning inwards. Sitting bones pointing down toward the floor create length through the back of the pelvis. Try not to tilt the pelvis too far posteriorly or anteriorly. Engage the core/midline of the upper body to support the spine and shoulder girdle. Create a lateral rotation in the upper arms as they lift up to create space in the upper back. Avoid compressing the lower back or dropping the head back too much.”
Helen McCabe is Director and Founder of Yoga at the Space in Studland, Dorset (www. yogaatthespace.com). She teaches Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as the morning Mysore programme.
U R BA N
L I V I N G
Mindful city dwelling W h e r e v e r y o u â€™ r e f r o m , i t â€™s p o s s i b l e t o s t a y c a l m w h e n travelling into the urban sprawl. Lucy Anna Scott has f o u n d n u m e r o u s h e l p f u l w a y s t o f i n d p e a c e i n t h e c i t y.
Raised in a tiny village under a vast sky, I was unprepared for urban life – a rookie who would flinch as an underground train came clattering into the station and hesitate as the doors hissed open, fearful of being trapped in their jaws. It was not unusual for me to leap on a train heading in the opposite direction to the way I wanted to go, one that would spit me out on to some outpost of mysterious industrial units. Fifteen years on, however, I’m a Londoner and urbanite. Those years taught me that living in the metropolis doesn’t mean you cannot carve out a spiritually enriching life. To me, a happy, mindful existence comes from using your senses to engage with the environment, growing plants, marking the seasons, noticing the moon, being possession-light, living consciously.
This mindful life has come from getting to know the city deeply, exploring its layers, burrowing beneath the noise, smog and crowds. I had come to the city to make a career but I never imagined that it would teach me anything about a slower pace. Urban living, it is assumed, is too boisterous to provide peace, too pressured to allow time to connect to the moment, to others and to ourselves. I now know what a powerful force for wellbeing togetherness is. That urban life is where I belong. And if the city can make a country girl feel this way, it can have that effect on anyone. I once met a man who saw skyscrapers as mountains. He liked to hike them, from stairwell to rooftop, covering distances as vast as an expedition to Everest’s peak. Adventure, for this explorer, meant having inquisitiveness about your surroundings; it is found and felt when you strive to look up, down and all around.
A panorama of a metropolis at height makes a mockery of our sense that it is an aloof island, that it has no physical connection to the wild, that the pull of the moon has no power over its rivers. With our feet on the ground, our bearings are off; we don’t remember the city is always a place in a greater scheme, one landscape on an extensive map, an environment built upon and shaped by geological processes millions of years old. We rarely consider the history of the rocks in which the foundations of our skyscrapers are rooted.
L I V I N G T H E S T O R Y Books transport us to new destinations merely with their w o r d s . Tr a c e y E l l i s t a k e s r e a d i n g a s t e p f u r t h e r – l e t t i n g literature guide her travels for a more immersive experience.
Sometimes the most unexpected moments are the best ones. Travelling somewhere new, it doesn’t always go to plan. We create an itinerary, a ‘mustsee’ list, all in effort to tick that box, but how often do we really go outside our comfort zone and explore beyond the surface? We’ve all read books set in exotic destinations that make us want to pack our bags and go there at once. And while most of us read books on holiday, there are ways we can take ‘armchair’ travel to a new level. With a little research and pre-planning you can have a more meaningful experience just by absorbing a story set in the destination you’re going to. Searching for the unknowns, the undiscovered, the unpredictable, can give us a wider sense of what life has to offer in foreign climes, and inspire us to not only be ‘in the moment’ there, but also to create beyond the moment, taking us on a different journey than originally set out. As soon as I book a trip to a new destination, I start exploring the literary world set there.
Not only to help me pre-discover the place I’m going to, but also to build the anticipation of new experiences. Sometimes historical fiction fits the bill, a travel memoir, or an engrossing novel that transports me magically to the setting with a beautiful descriptive flow. From the moment I begin reading, I feel connected to the place, so by the time I arrive there, the physical connection is elevated by the literary scaffold already built. Getting a glimpse into a culture or place before you travel offers an engaging foundation on which to build upon, not only to enrich your experience in that place, but also to help spark your curiosity, inspiring you to discover more. Even for the most touristic of places, this technique of ‘book travel’ provides exciting alternative avenues. It’s an inspiring way to discover the world, which heightens and encourages your own creativity. Here is a tale of two cities, if you will – my journeys, through books, to New York and Venice.
“Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” ROALD DAHL, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
All photography: Tracey Ellis
H O M E N E W S Create your own sanctuary and warm your soul with inspiring workshops, podcasts, crafts and beautiful homewares.
C REAT E A SAN CT UARY When your home is a feeling and not a place, comfort, safety, acceptance and belonging are always available to you. Join Sas Petherick, a coach who helps women transcend self-doubt, for Write Yourself Home. During this day of self-reflection, conversation and connection, learn how to create a sense of sanctuary within you in this one-day workshop in Somerset. The result? Feel better equipped at carrying this new sense into your life, work and relationships. Can’t make the workshop but want to learn more from Sas? Listen to her podcast, Courage and Spice. Saturday 19 May, North Somerset, £199. saspetherick.com
G LASS H ALF FU LL & B EAU T IFU L Terrarium lovers, look this way! Yes, you can use these thick, hand-blown glasses for your succulent collection if you want but Root 7 Geo Glassware, with those beautifully metallic-styed edges, have actually been crafted as drinking glasses. Stackable and sturdy, choose from black or gold glasses that look at home both on the drinks trolley and as the focal point of many a beautiful table setting. Can’t get away from the glasshouse styling? Make sure you add plenty of greenery to your cocktail recipes – sprigs of rosemary are the perfect addition to a classic gin and tonic. Root 7 Geo Glasses, £12-£28. Shop online at root7.com, ships to Europe.
N ORD IC ST Y LE IN B LU E AN D WH IT E Chicks, ducks and bunnies aside, Easter is a time for new beginnings. And that includes
your home. Want an easy way to update? Try a new set of tableware. Nordic House has a beautiful range of blue and white plates, bowls and cups that are perfect for a classic Easter table – think sprigs of blossom in tiny vases, bowls of painted eggs and meals around the table with family. This Scandinavian style tableware is handpainted for a rustic look while its traditional colour scheme is made modern with unexpected detailing and up-to-the-minute forms. Maja Collection, from £9. Shop online at nordichouse. co.uk, ships to Europe. B E IN S P IRED BY 4 N EW C RAFT K ITS The Makery began life in Bath in 2008 as a creative space where children and adults could learn new resourceful crafting skills. Years on, The Makery offers regular workshops in Bath and London where they also sell a range of original fabrics and haberdashery, plus craft kits. The new Mindfulness range is a collection of fabrics and kits in a fabric range inspired by ‘that lovely continuous motion of pen on paper’ – think watercolour effects and the colours of nature. Choose from pyjama shorts in sleepy print, crocheted slippers in super-soft yarn, a cloudshaped cushion to make and embroider, lampshades, sweet tote bags and purses. Mindfulness craft kits start from £10. Shop online at themakery.co.uk, ships worldwide. S H ARE A COFFEE AN D C H AT A Playful Day is a podcast from Project Calm contributor, Kate O’Sullivan, that explores everyday life, creativity and identity. ”If we could sit and share coffee
for an hour together, this is what it might sound like”, says Kate – think interviews with featured guests as well as musings on life and moments that define us, all with a hefty dose of creativity. Kate created A Playful Day as a reminder to seek playful moments that invigorate us and make our hearts glad. Like it? There are three seasons of archive podcasts to trawl, featuring makers such as Casey and Jessica of Ravelry and a conversation with Claire Thompson of The Five O’Clock Apron. aplayfulday.com SHO P P ING E XP E RIE NCE Not Just Another Store is a new experiential retail space in the heart of London’s Shoreditch. Located across the road from the infamous Ace hotel in East London, this concept store is curated by UTTER and MARR, two independent companies, who aim to do things differently through creative collaborations with artists, illustrators, photographers and more. Not Just Another Store forms a community retail space that detaches from all the restrictions, rules and norms placed upon existing retail spaces, offering over 30 emerging brands across womenswear and menswear, literature, art, homeware and interiors. Not Just Another Store, 189 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6HU notjustanotherstore.com
MAK E YOUR HO ME CO LOURFUL Gorgeous new British homewares store, Mauds House, stocks all the accessories you need for a calm yet colourful home. Cushions are tactile and feminine, made with the kind of yarn you’d expect from a
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EXTRAS IN THIS ISSUE INCLUDE...
Seed packet bookmarks to fold, fill and give away.
Four exclusive, Six city quality yoga postcards and prints to pin cards to send up or frame. with envelopes.
Keep track of Build a mini good ideas with European street our pull-out scene with cutwall planner. out templates.
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