Nurture & Bloom Magazine Issue 5: Golden

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Nurture Vol. 5 Golden Autumn 2019 Cover Image Bowtie & Belle Photography Editor Kate Cullen

Contributors Kerri Awosile, Kiki-Sunshine Boonwaat, Charlotte Colehan, Jess Collins, Anne Corr, Sarah Diligent, Nikki Frettsome, Satdeep Grewal, Lynessa Hancock, Georgina Harrison, John Hersey, Maxeen Kim, Michelle McHugh, Emily Mulleady, Katie Musgrave, Hayley Potter, Laura E Patrick,

Submissions Kate Cullen Subscriptions Logo Design Gemma Milly


Published quarterly by Nurture & Bloom All Rights Reserved.



Vol 5

GOLDEN The Golden Light of Greece The Aurelian Dusk


Finding Gold The Golden Dream Golden Bubbles Golden Dawn Kintsugi for the Soul Gold Digger: The Perspective of a Prospector The Handmade Maiden's Tale Autumn

21 59

MUSINGS 01 Editor's Letter 39 Artwork - Golden Tree 40 Recipe 59 Dutch Masters & Gothic Florals 66 Golden Harvest




For every article to continue to be pure gold, I need that little extra time and thinking space. After all, something truly worthwhile is worth the wait don't you think?

It's been an eventful year for Nurture & Bloom - this issue marks one whole trip around the sun since we began. I'm so proud of the last four issues, and how much we have managed to inspire and support an ever-growing community of creatives.

In the meantime, I invite you to take an hour, sit back in your quiet space, cosy up with a blanket and hot drink (or a glass of wine!) and devour the latest beauty and insight from my team and from our wider net of talented creatives.

The truth is the magazine would not be here without this community, but it takes an enormous amount of time and expertise to pull together. So, this issue marks the last of our quarterly publications, and instead we are going to produce a biannual magazine (beginning in the Spring of 2020).

I promise you won't be disappointed.




A P H O T O G R A P H E R ’S J O U R N A L O N W H A T L I V I N G O N A TRADITIONAL GREEK ISLAND HAS TAUGHT HER ABOUT SAVOURING THE SMALL JOYS OF LIFE. In the modern world, we place a large emphasis on things, status and career... We celebrate the idea of being ‘busy’. Our lives are bound to a schedule, a diary or a planner, and every day needs to see us achieve. However, life in the more traditional islands of the Ionian Sea off the west coast of Greece is very different. A far cry from the bustling streets of Santorini with its 9,000 daily arrivals, or Mykonos with its’ luxury hotels and cocktails bars; life on Lefkada is slow and steady. If you’v e ever watched the BBC’s The Durrels, which is set on nearby Corfu in the 1930s, you will have got a pretty accurate view into some aspects of my daily life. While parts of the island boast luxury villas, and beach clubs with serviced sun-beds, the island still retains its’ traditional feel, with the west coast remaining largely untouched; a treasure trove of gorgeous beaches and dramatic cliffs. Winter sees the mountain tops covered in snow and every Spring the island bursts with new life as all the trees and flowers bloom and kittens, puppies, foals and kids begin to make an appearance. Jobs in town that should take 10 minutes can take up to an hour and I regularly find myself held up by ‘island traffic’ when the sheep herders decide to move their flock across the roads. The taverna in my village has two geese that roam free and go for evening walks along the cobbles together. I once woke up to find a goat had scaled my garden wall and was happily nibbling my olive trees, and my puppy was rescued from a rubbish bin on my way home from the beach one day.



So as you can imagine, watching The Durrels always leaves me smiling as time has not touched the Ionian Islands the way it has the rest of the world, and certain aspects of live have not changed much in the last 90 or so years. Dinners at my friends homes are amazing. A perfect table is one filled with all the ones you love – and no phones! In Greece, a family style sharing platter is how it’s done. All the food is served at once to the middle of the table, and meals with the whole family can potentially take hours. There is talking, eating, drinking, laughing, sharing and connection. You dish up what you want and if you’r e not quick, you won’t get any. I initially found it so strange that people would come over, eat and leave. There was no sitting for coffee after the meal because it wasn’t needed. The world had already been put to rights at the table. During my London life, I could tell you now, exactly what I would be doing this time next month because everything had to be planned, including gym. And if you weren’t going to gym at least three times a week, what were you doing with your life?! So you can imagine my surprise when I first arrived in Greece and tried to organise a meeting with a local venue owner for 'next week’. The man looked at me in complete shock and said, “I don’t even know what I will be doing tomorrow and you want me to tell you about next week? Next week... Maybe I’l l be dead!” Now, four years later, my time in Greece has taught me to relax and I have found a balance, splitting my life between shooting weddings in London and Greece. While I will never get to the laid back level of the locals, I can fully appreciate, and have bought into, their ‘subtle art of coffee drinking’ (and coupling this with people watching and turning it into an all afternoon event is perfectly acceptable, if not encouraged). I’v e replaced gym with taking my dog for walks up the mountains and early morning swims in the sea. I do still book in meetings (or I wouldn’t have a business) but I no longer schedule every second of the day. I have found that life will take you to the most amazing places if you leave a little space for her to come in and work her magic. Now, I will never tell you that next week ‘maybe I’l l be dead’, but possibly the most valuable thing I have learnt from the locals ‘live in the moment’ attitude, is to be more present. Life is precious and it’s fleeting. So while goals are important, don’t get too caught up or rush the journey there. Sometimes the scenic-route is the most beautiful, and if you really sit down and think about it, a lot of what we worry about may never even happen. So grab a coffee, take a deep breath and relax, because the day you have today is truly golden.








Based on inspiration from 'The Aurelian', a beautiful nineteenth-century journal on butterflies and moths, as well as the meaning of the word 'aurelian' which is 'golden'. Reflected in the chosen palette were the patinas and verdigris reminiscent of the passage of time, combined with Victorian botanical and naturalist illustrations.

Drawing on details from the natural world, paired with the classical gardens and orangery of Hamswell House, the ambience is one of delicacy and detail, the epitome of the era of academic endeavour and a fascination with flora and fauna.














“Oh the kind rain, watery blinking, twilight dreaming. I fell in love whilst you were far away, when the air was alive and the sky was heavy, when it was dusk, and it was calm, and I was alone.”











“Colours have meanings in their own intensities”. [1] For as long as humans are known to have existed, there are records of us collecting and creating gold. It has been cherished and gifted as something of great value, treasure or a symbol of status. Flakes of gold have even been found in Palaeolithic caves. From Egyptian mythology where the highest point of a pyramid was solid gold to Buddhist statues and Christian sacred sites wanting to be as close to the heavens as possible, gold has played an important role. Not just as a gift to the gods, but as a symbol of sacred or important space, of an appreciation of something rare in nature, as a symbol of purity and light, knowledge and an exchange between worlds. In ancient human ceremonies gold has been offered as a symbol of rising from one position to another and this tradition continues in events such as the Olympic games when a gold medal is far more desirable than a bronze. We continue to communicate with gold in everyday life, everyday speech and sayings, the stories we tell each other, the jewellery we wear and the objects we gift. We continue this lineage of passing this thread of gold from one person to the next even if we are not consciously aware of it.

[1] Winifred Nicjolson, Liberation of Colour, Javan Nicholson, Philip Wilson Publishers, 2016


...when the sky moves from hues of red to shades of golden yellow, before gradually falling into dusk then night... In nature, gold appears in abundance, it is most obviously found in mines where it is harvested for its metal value. Less obviously the colour is speckled across a butterfly's chrysalis, it can be seen in the feathers of a bird, across a fish's back, it’s a beetle, a bee, a poisonous gold frog, a coiled snake or even in the hairs of a marmoset monkey. It's the autumn leaves falling all around us as we walk through a park. Gold as it shimmers in the sunlight, makes us stop and look again. There is a fundamental connection between gold and the human condition that has never dated. It is a vein of colour that connects each and every living element of our world and on most days, it glows across the skies above us like a blanket of tightly woven stars and threads waiting to reveal the night. To many this time of day is called ‘The Golden Hour’ or simply ‘Magic Hour’. I have an app on my phone which tells me exactly when this hour will fall on every day of the year, so I do not miss it. On the autumn equinox for example, magic hour is 18.26 - 19.05 GMT. This is when the sky moves from hues of red to shades of golden yellow, before gradually falling into dusk then night. There are few natural things that bring me more inspiration than magic hour and it has been such a welcome opportunity to immerse myself in why for this golden issue. To really consider the importance of being aware of this fleeting time of day and how it may affect us both creatively and personally.

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.” J. M. Barrie Magic hour, golden hour, that enchanting collection of minutes when gold appears as a kaleidoscope of limited palette inspiration. When everything in its light fuses together to become one luscious silhouette of harmony. That time, the one when a glow passes through your window and paints itself upon your wall, a temporary abstract artwork. Not quite sunlight, not quite moonlight but magic light. When I thought of this issue's theme, I wandered about my studio looking for golden pieces I'd made, of which I have a few but then I realised the most were captured on my camera. Hundreds of photos of magic hours from the last four years all precariously stored across phone, camera and MAC. That's where this began. I'm not sure I can claim to be a photographer, but I am an artist who uses photography within their creative process daily. I guess photographing magic hour has become a ritual, it's something I always did, but not in the way I do now. That regular mindful appreciation and attention to how the light changes and fades to darkness both daily and seasonally. This collecting has led me through wonderful times and difficult. It is a reminder that there is magic to be found in the everyday, no matter what is going on in your life.



When this issue is published it will be approximately four years since the disappearance of my little brother. In the following January I was working in Tokyo, Japan. On my afternoon off I navigated the tube towards Shibuya. I must admit I thought I was there for shopping but when I turned around to see a huge forest, I of course went in that direction instead. I did no research on this shrine before I went, which I recommend you do if you go so you're aware of the customs. However, I simply followed the people ahead along the path amongst the trees and did what they did and that was just fine. I went under the shrine archways, observed the unfamiliar birds flying overhead until I was at the snow topped shrine itself.

So, they donated 100,000 trees from all over Japan and from overseas, and they worked voluntarily to create this forest. Thus, thanks to the sincere heart of the people, this shrine was established on November 1, 1920.”[2] This shrine, as open as the forest itself is now home to many creatures including golden koi, kingfishers and Tanuki (racoon dog). In the centre you are invited to donate your gold coin as a donation for an opportunity to write and leave a wish that will be included in the next ceremony. Writing this and looking back at my photos I now realise I was there at golden hour (of course). In between my busy schedule of meeting many wonderful people through my teaching that day, I created an interval in this space under this golden light to ask for the safety of my brother, and peace within all of my family at that time. This really wasn't something I often did, but I'd left a fairly confusing and turbulent situation behind me in the UK, and it felt like the right thing to do.

"Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine. Shinto is called Japan's ancient original religion, and it is deeply rooted in the way of Japanese life. Shinto has no founder, no holy book, and not even the concept of religious conversion, but Shinto values for example harmony with nature and virtues such as Magokoro (sincere heart). In Shinto, some divinity is found as Kami (divine spirit), or it may be said that there is an unlimited number of Kami. You can see Kami in mythology, in nature, and in human beings. From ancient times, Japanese people have felt awe and gratitude towards such Kami and dedicated shrines to many of them. This shrine is dedicated to the divine souls of Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken (their tombs are in Kyoto). Emperor Meiji passed away in 1912 and Empress Shoken in 1914. After their demise, people wished to commemorate their virtues and to venerate them forever.

At the Meji Shrine you can take part in a few of the customs as a mark of respect. They are not attached to any kind of religious belief or reward for yourself as such. When I was there, there was a big queue for the Temizuya Font which is an everlasting flow of water where you are guided to rinse your left hand, your right hand, pour water into your left hand, rinse your mouth, rinse your left hand then you rinse the dipper you used. Even in peak winter’'s magic hour this meditative ritual was being repeated many times.




My brother, as far as I know is alive and well as I write this but very far away. I'm not sure as many adults go fully missing since the invention of internet and smart phones. He's out there in that web of faces and I get an email from him occasionally. He chose to leave his life here behind and to begin a new one somewhere else, without leaving an address or phone number, or skype or Facetime… Maybe some of us have fantasised about doing that at different times in our lives. There have been a lot of magic hours since the day I realised he wasn’t coming back, and it took a while for me to feel calm enough about it to trust my intuition over what others said to me. I knew when his emails transformed from “I'll be back in a few weeks to a few months to no ETA” that he had found more reasons to stay ‘there’ than to return. I am still asked about him fairly regularly, because his disappearance is a mysterious story. For a long time, I wouldn’t know what to say. Sometimes I'd blame myself, that he wasn't able to tell me he needed to leave (and not come back). You can go back and forth as much as you like about why someone has chosen to leave, to find meaning in it, and there is a lot of meaning in it, but the truth is only one person knows why he left and what he is doing now. That's him.


"Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” J.M Barrie Magic hours in London, I believe are particularly special. Especially those in Kensington Gardens, they have that timeless ‘Peter Pan’ thing about them which is only right because that is where a bronze statue of Peter Pan stands. Reminding us that this was the location that inspired J.M Barrie's Neverland story. The way the light falls across the architecture and trees in London has always felt special. Particularly in the Autumn when the light and leaves in Kensington are at their most golden. Peter Pan was a story that my brother and I were both fascinated by when we were children. This idea of flying to another world. A world where time was very different. Neverland, the place where the lost boys go. When I was a student, I studied opposite Kensington Gardens for two years and I remember loving stepping away from the roads and the red buses to become lost in that huge royal park. After the rain, breathing in the autumnal air infused with pine, crisping leaves and damp earth. As the Meji Shrine does, those parks provide such an important space to appreciate nature and to pause amidst the urban. “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid.” C.S Lewis [3] I was working in Kensington and walking behind the Natural History Museum, back to my hotel near Gloucester Road the evening I received a text from my brother to say that was the last one I'd receive from him, he was boarding a plane without his phone. I remember looking up at the November sky and wondering if the plane I could see was his. For a long time, I couldn’' t remember this moment, I'd misplaced the memory until later. It was so surreal, like something from a movie. (3) C.S Lewis, A Grief Observed, Faber & Faber, 1963 36

Being the only person he communicated with when he first went, I felt a responsibility to pick up some of the pieces he left behind. The circumstances he described in his message to me made me very scared for his safety and I felt powerless to protect my little brother. This sent a potent but invisible earthquake through me. One I had no words (or even artwork) for and so I simply tried to carry on as best I could. Gold leaves lined the pavements where I stood when I received that news. But when something like this happens, how do you find the gold? When the sun rises the next day, and someone you love is missing. How do you look out of the window at the gorgeous autumnal day ahead of you and be ok with the mystery? Then how do you find the gold in the next one, and the next? There were some emails exchanged between myself and my brother when he first left. At first, he was still in Europe and then one day the plane he said he would board to come home turned into a plane that would take him even further away. I look back now and realise my intuition knew this wasn't a holiday or even a gap year. It wasn't just an Autumn/Winter getaway. Maybe that is one of the reasons it had such a great affect upon me. I'm grateful there was communication at all between us when he left but being placed in the position of being the only person who knew is not something I wish upon anyone. No-one wants to deliver that news and then unfortunately, if the missing doesn't communicate for themselves and continue to be missing, you become the main point of contact for updates. I don't wish that upon anyone either.

I'd only put the radio on whilst I finished making dinner but what I heard was a jigsaw piece for me, something I'd not had words for until that moment. Kinsley described her research into the effect of missing people on those that are left behind. I'm of course very grateful that my brother is out there, but not having actually heard his voice or seen him in four years, just very occasional email, well what does that do to you? That lack of human connection? “I wanted to capture the experience of those left behind... it's a kind of suspended grief that no one talks about” [4] It was Kinsley's words ‘suspended grief’ that helped me that evening. When someone you care about is not able to offer an estimated return, nor a phone call so you can hear they're ok and yet they are gone. No-one you know has seen them in person. Every birthday or Christmas you have no address to send something to, equally nothing from them comes through your letterbox. You have no way to speak to them and you have to trust that the emails you receive are from them. They are alive, experiencing their own magic hours each day, they see the same moon and sun and yet your relationship with them is suspended until further notice – how does the human body process that? The title of Kinsley's book is a bit of a spoiler and a very different story to this one, but her interview was a brave one I think, she was willing to speak of a grief we don’t really have a map for. There are some types of grief that are just not talked about so easily or even acknowledged as grief. Suspended grief is one of those because you cannot complete all of the stages of grief if the ending is not known.

The author Erin Kinsley was interviewed on Radio 2 about her book ‘Found’ one evening in late July this year.

[4] Mary Portas interviews Erin Kinsley, Radio 2, 22nd July 2019.


A few months after he left and his promise of returning became no ETA it stopped being about wanting to find him and more about trying to find myself. To understand why my body was struggling. Our human nature is to be cyclical and when we do not live in that way things can become stuck. I have experienced grief before, but suspended grief can sometimes feel like being trapped in the middle of that process of letting go. When someone passes away, the sun has set on your time together, its personal, difficult and unique for everyone but the human condition allows for this process of grieving. Suspended grief is the unknown. 38

At the time of writing, it's not something that comes to find me every single day as powerfully as it did in the beginning, it rises and falls but the tremors of that original earthquake are still there. Logically (and I can list the facts to you like a shopping list), I know my brother is alive and out there. I have seen a few pictures of the rough location he says he is in on my screen and yet my human body, it still cannot complete. Sometimes through various therapies and resources, I believe I've done it, only to find that when I'm asked about him again, my grief is still suspended. It is believed that the last stage of grief is acceptance and I would agree with that, alongside finding some meaning too. However, when there is no definitive ending, prolonged grief can occur. This becomes a tangle of hope and grief until you have absolutely no choice but to decide for yourself the ending. “How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to remember to say about it all. You understand the suffering that drove the offence to begin with. You prefer to remain outside the milieu. You are not waiting for anything. You are not wanting anything. There is no lariat snare around your ankle stretching from way back there to here. You are free to go. It may not have turned out to be a happily ever after, but most certainly there is now a fresh 'Once upon a time' waiting for you from this day forward.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes [5]

When someone chooses to disappear, it can be so easy to fear the worst, especially if there is a collective anxiety about their circumstances. But, what I have realised over the last (well, hundreds of magic hours!) is that just because a missing person is not physically found by you, or they are not alongside you in the way you hoped they may be, does not mean they have not found themselves in this process of going missing. Where they are, they are not missing at all, they are simply somewhere else. Finding peace within that became my only option, and the hope that his golden hours are even more magical than they were here. Trees are masters of letting go in the autumn. They don't shed their leaves and panic that they'll never have leaves again or hold onto them until it makes them sick, they turn golden and let go at the perfect time. They don't stop their seeds from travelling through the air to find somewhere new to grow either. It just is. I have learned to accept my suspended grief and for the first time here to write about it. I'm not voluntarily trying to stop the leaf from falling and blowing away. It's a far more complex journey than that. I continue to observe and be inspired by the natural cycles and transformations all around us and maybe one day, when I least expect it, my suspended golden leaf will travel across a magic hour and finally find its landing.

5] Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. 372, Rider, 1992.



A pen, ink and acrylic piece entitled 'Golden Tree' that was inspired by Satdeep's love of nature, particularly trees. Satdeep specialises in portrait and landscape painting and has been practising since 2011. Her work has featured in a number of international and national exhibitions as well as being reviewed and featured in art magazines and journals. Born in London Satdeep now lives in Fleet, Hampshire where she exhibits, produces commissions, and delivers art workshops for adults and children.




APPLE BLACKBERRY BARS 4-5 pink lady apples - peeled cored and diced 150g fresh or frozen blackberries 1 1/2 tablespoon granulated or caster sugar 50ml cold water 200g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 200g soft light brown sugar 200g self-raising flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 150g porridge oats

Preheat the oven to 200°C / fan 180°C


METHOD Grease and line a baking tin 30 x 20 x 2cm with baking paper. Combine the apples, blackberries, granulated sugar and water into a medium saucepan. Cover and simmer gently until soft, about 8-10 minutes. If there's too much liquid you can drain some off. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a food processor combine the butter and brown sugar until creamed. Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and pulse until combined - don't worry if it looks crumbly. Then add the oats and pulse again. Press two thirds of the crumble mix into the tin, pressing down with a spoon till the base is covered completely. Spread the fruit mix on the top right to the edges and sprinkle over the remaining crumble pressing down gently to cover the fruit. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the top is crisp and golden. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into rectangle bars or squares. Delicious as a teatime treat or try them warmed with hot custard, yogurt or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.







Looking out at her tree-lined garden, and the village woodland beyond, she pictured the

It had been a long, draining

difference a couple of months would make; not

summer. Wedding season had

just to the scenery but to her view of life. The

been as full on as usual, and

mixture of muted and burnt greens would be replaced by fiery reds and enriching golds. The

balancing work with the kids

perfect symbol of the seasons changing – of the ability to transition and progress through

being of school had resulted in its

the year. Rachel longed for autumnal walks,

normal, overwhelming chaos.

enjoying her own company, and embracing the comfort of hearty food.

Rachel cautiously shut her

She stepped away from future hopes and sat

bedroom door behind her, not

down at her dressing table. She would have gasped at the reflection before her if she

wanting to alert her children or

weren’t so tired. When did she become middle

husband of her whereabouts. She

aged? She gently ran her finger down a new

just needed ive minutes. Five

frown line, wondering when it had appeared (perhaps between the main course and dessert

quiet and peaceful minutes,

of last weekend’'s wedding, when the chef nearly caught on fire!). She had never

without having to dislodge a piece

been a vain character and she didn't fear

of playdough from her youngest’s

growing old in her own skin – but how was life going by so fast with barely a second

nostril or answer a frantic client

to enjoy special moments?

phone call. She walked over to the open window and took a deep

Her thoughts of golden leaves turned to thoughts of the golden age, described in Greek

breath of late summer/early

mythology as a time of abundance – not

autumn air.

needing to work for food. A time of peace, stability, and eternally youthful looks. 45

Rachel snorted at the idea, pulling a stray grey from her parting. ‘If only!’ she thought. She imagined feeling able to have everything she needed and wanted in life, without having to spend each day working or being torn from her family.

A tear pricked at her eye. She realised how much she carries her nan and heritage with her, and how she too could encapsulate youth in her later years. Some additional creases and uncoloured hair were hardly the measure of her spirit.

A picture frame beside the mirror caught her eye and she chuckled at the three beaming faces smiling back at her. The photo was taken last November, when her husband and two boys had jumped into a pile of fallen leaves – sending plumes of rusty foliage into the air. She happened to be ready with the camera at just the right time, and it made for the perfect shot.

Perhaps she didn't need to dream of the golden age but instead start living the golden dream. Maybe it wasn't as unrealistic as first thought. She could learn to cherish the harmony in family moments (even if they were few and far between for now). She could choose to live with a young heart and mind and push away thoughts of tiredness. She could even embrace the idea of abundance by indulging in numerous apple crumbles over autumn.

A thought dawned on her… she was already doing what she needed to be doing, and life was already providing the moments she desired. Everything was happening at the right time and in the right way for her, she just needed to allow herself to better transition with the seasons and appreciate the little trinkets of gold.

Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the bedroom door flying open. In stormed her husband – hunting for his right shoe. Without hesitation Rachel jumped from her seat and hurried her husband back onto the landing.

Rachel reached out for a second frame, the image of her late nan inside. She stroked her nan’s cheek and kissed her forehead. Despite her many wrinkles, she had remained youthful in her old age. It wasn’t her appearance that gave the impression, it was her personality and zest for life. Rachel continued to scan the photo with her fingers, pausing over one specific line on her Nan’s face – the very same frown line she had just noticed in the mirror.

“Get out!” she shouted, closing the door behind him. She shut her eyes and took a deep breath, then smiled at her own reaction. In time her new way of thinking would take hold, but for now she evidently needed a few more minutes peace.




I recently attended a business workshop for entrepreneurs and creatives, which unexpectedly ended with a guided meditation. A new one for me, and something I was a little sceptical about as I self-consciously settled down on my woven rug, inwardly scoffing at the stereotypically soothing music and flickering scented candle. Surely this was a little unnecessary and pretentious; wouldn't the time be better spent doing some sort of productive planning or networking? Meditation is not something I am familiar with, and therefore it is not something I am comfortable with; and unfamiliarity always breeds suspicion and fear, in every context. I’m so glad that old fashioned British politeness made me keep my lips zipped and my poker face in place for long enough to open my mind. The leading lady turned out to be a very non-stereotypical meditation guru, a completely normal woman about my age, normal clothes, normal voice, 10 toes, 10 fingers, the whole shebang. But surely ‘omming’ with your eyes closed in a roomful of strangers isn’t exactly normal for 11am on a rainy Wednesday? Before the meditation started, she gave us a little intro, and it was as though she could see my dubious thoughts quite clearly floating around the room (how embarrassing). She told us (in her very normal voice) the story of how she had ended up in the business of sharing and teaching yoga and meditation, and of her ongoing journey to find a creative, soulful and financially viable balance for herself. It was a great story but one thing she said really stayed with me, and actually ended up being the thing I thought about through the whole of the meditation that followed.


“Be still, and the golden bubbles of creativity will come. ”It was like she had spoken those words exclusively for my benefit. “Be still.” I am a creative person, but I am also a very hectic, very busy person. I like hustle and bustle, I like a full house, I like a packed schedule. For me busyness equates with ‘doing’, which makes me feel productive, which makes me feel validated. But I also experience frequent burn-out, writers block and lack of creative inspiration, which lead to procrastination and guilt. How can this be, when I have so much going on, so much happening around me to inspire and excite me?

In my busy life of small children and housekeeping and business-running, I seem to have lost the thing that sparks my creativity in the first place. Space. Stillness. Silence. I didn't have a thunderbolt of creative genius in the half hour meditation, but I couldn't stop thinking about how much I have come to trivialise the value of stopping and slowing down. In the current season of my life where everything is new and young and needing my attention (house, babies, business), taking a break is a luxury I can't afford, and that's OK right, the only one to suffer is me, and its only for a short time until things calm down…right? Wrong.

“Be still.”


Weeks turned into months, then years, and suddenly the children are sleeping and the house is (only just) manageable, and business is trickling in, but it's a habit now, why would I even think of pausing for breath – that just feels lazy at this point. My children have a wonderful life, the house isn’'t filthy, I am pouring my energy into my business, can’'t stop now! "The only one to suffer is me." Maybe that's not OK, actually. Because I am the backbone of my family, the owner of my business, and the only person who knows how to plait my daughters hair so she doesn’t look like Stig of the Dump on a daily basis. Maybe I am more important that I give myself credit for. And maybe all of these things would feel easier if in fact, I stopped trying so hard. Running a creative business needs grit, determination, a lot of coffee, but most importantly, SPACE. Space to be still and let the golden bubbles rise up. My head was so full of noise and schedules that the creative bubbles had no way out, they were exhausted, and eventually they stopped trying to bubble their way through the chaos. So the creative business that felt so inspiring to begin with became a slog, not just on the admin and financial side (which is always a slog, let's face it), but a creative slog. How can I call myself a creative person if I cannot come up with one good original idea? Must work harder, think more, organise more, that will help!! Or, I could just stop. Be still. Since the meditation I am trying out a new thing. When I hit the wall, I don't panic or freeze or guilt-trip myself for not being a vending machine of neat creative packages. I think about the golden bubbles and why they are struggling, and I give them a chance to rise.


For me, this often means just walking away from my computer and doing something completely different (for which I would have previously beaten myself up for being a Very Bad and Unproductive Businesswoman). Peg out the washing, paint a wardrobe door, potter in the garden, take the kids to the park, or have a quiet cup of tea on my own. Just stop. It's OK. When I stop for a ‘bubble break’, I let my struggling idea or brief hover in the periphery of my mind, and I stop stressing over it, and just let it do its thing, trusting that the bubble will rise when it has had enough space and peace to glitter and gleam. I think the key is not to force it or overthink it, inspiration can come from anywhere and the best always takes you by surprise. I haven't hit a magic formula for a perfect life, and I slip back onto my mental treadmill frequently, but I feel that I have learnt a golden nugget of wisdom at that meditation session that I was so sceptical about. Bubbles of creativity are like precious jewels, they need space and time to shine and sparkle, and it is up to us to help them rise.



There is something so magical yet so grounding about nature and the simple pleasures in life. Truly embracing seasonality, simply taking a step back to enjoy the natural ebb and flow of the changing seasons, whilst engaging in the art of slow living. Simplicity and seasonality just seem to go naturally hand in hand. Thinking of the well-known poem ‘I wander lonely as a cloud’ by poet William Wordsworth; the line ‘a host of golden daffodils’ paints a picture of Spring in bloom only within a few words. Daffodils holding their heads high, parading colours of gorgeous golden yellow. 'Golden', now this offers a wealth of inspiration, however as I sit right here


casually gazing out of the lounge window; my eye catches the glimpse of a golden field of barley.


Sometimes it can be the little things in life that can be worth their weight in gold. Bringing balance back into our life. Moments when we lose ourselves in our mind and just take time to soak up the present. As a creative, I truly believe that inspiration can and certainly does come from all around us, as we live and breathe. It may just be a field that I happen to live opposite, nothing extraordinary in that respect. However, what it does offer is a wonderful window of inspiration; an ever-changing living landscape of different colours, tones and textures. In Spring, a sprinkling of seed to the surface; emerges only days later to reveal the first fresh whisper of green breaking through the soil. Transforming what once was a bare blank brown canvas into a vision of green. Elements naturally playing their part. On a calm day, the barley barely sways, stands to attention whereas on windy gusty days it dances, creating the most beautiful waves reminiscent of the sea; wild and free. As the months prevail a previous palette of green marbles into glorious golden hues; a gorgeous golden sea of barley. I could stare endlessly at the motion and movement which is almost hypnotic. Colour that brightens and offsets the grey sky on the dullest of days, yet bounces light like a ray of golden sunshine when skies are blue. Summer rolls into autumn as those wonderful autumnal rich golden hues get harvested. Gigantic combine harvesters work long into the night with floodlights beaming, only at a glance of the field to appear as if UFOs have invaded the land. A new dawn brings with it a new day; I awaken by the morning light, to see a whole new sight before me. Although slightly saddened by the loss of the natural beauty that has provided such interest. Ears of barley no longer there to hear the little rustle of field mice however the window opens to reveal a whole new world of opportunities including wildlife once hidden from sight. Pheasants and foxes early at night. Big sculptural bales, the striking silhouette of a deer on the horizon or a couple of deer chasing playfully across the field into the nearby woods. The emergence into autumn, a turning point in the season. The geese head up the valley in formation, a gaggle that gathers in this field and settles for the night. Counting down the days until they head for warmer climes ready for winter.



The Japanese art of Kintsugi is a process of repairing broken pottery with gold, highlighting the scars on the patina of the object. Showing us the journey the piece had taken in its lifetime. And of course - as art reflects life, each imperfection, each scar, each golden line holds a story of life much like our own.

shows us a way to become whole again despite our journeys in life. Yet it can still be so hard for us to go through processes of mindfulness with ourselves. We're all too fast to want to fix, to mend, to clear up any mess, imperfection, anything that we may think other people may judge us on. Yet we forget that it’s this process that shows us that we’re already judging ourselves for our journey. We all do it.



Kintsugi is a treasured art in Japan and teaches us mindfulness, it teaches us self compassion and it

We're hard wired to care what others think of us, to worry about being less than perfect because we all have an innate desire to be accepted, seen, heard, loved and to belong. And our social structure, along with social media use, adds to the insecurities that we can experience because we do care, playing on our minds, weighing on our hearts and sometimes creating cracks, pathways on our patina, on our self trust, love and on our faith in our talents. It's this changing perception of ourselves that - if we neglect to nurture, to highlight as strengths, beauty and the journey we've not only walked but triumphed through, grown through and expanded from – we suffer for. Whilst painting our bodies gold, highlighting our scars and furnishing love upon them may not help us accept the scars we carry - we can help ourselves heal by acknowledging our stories, our experiences and our journeys, using key points in our life and memories to inform our art and creative voice. Transforming them into a more empowering form and letting that become the foundational basis of our signature creative voice, our creativity, our courage to share and be seen - minimises the insecurities and self doubt, healing the cracks and sealing them with gold. It starts with finally having the will to surrender to what exists rather than trying to pick up the pieces and make ourselves perfect.

Kiki Kiki-Sunshine is an artistic direction coach and well-being consultant to creative business owners. Creator of Solace: How to find your creative voice’ - she's helped over 4500+ people build something meaningful and enjoy their lives more. Because that's what it's all about – feeling good, enjoying life and letting the abundance of that seep into our everyday. She can usually be found with fingers plunged into earth or covered in paint, creating from her cottage in the Cotswolds.


Perfection isn't the goal. A feeling of wholeness is. A feeling of belonging. A feeling of contentedness with who we are. A self love, celebration, acceptance, nourishment and forgiveness.


Enabling us to give strength back to ourselves, reconnecting us with a part of ourselves that feels safe, at peace, creative and free. Any life experiences that have left scars can be transformed into our self expression, they can be used to inform our art, they can be sealed with gold, highlighted, healed, integrated and used to create a life more beautiful when we use them as a part of our creative voice. And our art, our creativity, our creative voices touch all areas of our lives – our homes, our clothing, our energy, our relationships, our businesses, our art, the way we speak, write, move, share – and love: both others and ourselves. So keep kintsugi in mind if you experience the feeling of being a little less than, which lets face it can be all too easy in such a chaotic world of media that we live in today. Taking the most poignant moments in your life, pulling out the elements that have scarred you and infusing them into your creative voice transforms the scars those experiences have left, highlighting them with gold, integrating them, healing them and making your creative voice more refined, unique, more you and helping you feel whole once more.


THE EARTH MOVES FASTER I recently heard a poem recited and it has stayed with me. It caught me unaware. Somehow it embodies all that I stand for, and all that I love. “The earth moves faster than we can comprehend, so seek a segment, find a strand of it that you can love. Listen to the movement in one hedge. Attune to it. See what it will give. Make no demand. If you've listened, you'll know we're balanced on the edge between oblivion and life and that the only charm for our salvation comes in the moments when we pledge to do no lasting damage, cause as little harm as we can manage in field or office, city street or farm.� An extract from - I Believed I Understood the Land, by Adam Horovitz

ARTICLE BY SARAH DILIGENT Sarah is a florist who works with nature. With flower growers and hedgerows alike. Currently, writing a book on sustainable floral design takes up much of Sarah's time, but any spare moment is devoted to friends, family, cooking, and to eating well.


Autumn inspires me more than any other season, it feels like natures last hurrah before everything slows and falls into a deep slumber. The golden light, changing hues and gentle tones seem softer and less urgent than the bright blooms of midSummer. We're blessed as floral designers. We get to work with the seasons, whose elements change week by week. The changing of the seasons is something we feel and see. We choose elements which speak of their moment in time, whether that be Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. No designs are ever the same because of this constant state of flux. Leaves change from green to gold and gently fall. Fruits, nuts and berries ripen. The opportunity to use these in floral designs and in the kitchen brings so much joy. Creating with nature, nurturing our souls and our loved ones. Embracing all that has happened and readying one's self for what's ahead. Things must end in order to make room for new growth. Flowers are brought in to be dried, fruits are gathered and stored, so that we might make the most of all that autumn offers us.




In April of this year, on the eve of The Whitby Goth Weekend we hosted a Gothic Style Dutch Masters Centrepiece Workshop, in our little flower school at The Shepherd's Purse Guest House. Workshops run throughout the year, for small groups to ensure that each participant gets plenty of individual attention. These are suitable for both beginners and experienced florists looking for inspiration. We provide an abundance of hand-selected seasonal blooms from fragrant flower markets, along with colourful gems picked at the peak of perfection from our local growers here in North Yorkshire. All combined with an array of stylish dried flowers from the Netherlands, and seasonal foliage collected from along the hedgerows, moor tops and morning walks through the woods. For this unique workshop we used seasonal flowers to create something really dark and beautiful for a dining table display, we had a selection of deep blood red Tulips, delicate butterfly ranunculus and very pale pinks mixed with burnt mustards, faded blues and chocolate tones. Using Westminster Abbey Roses, in faded dusty white as a statement flower. It's a beautiful rose and always reminds me of a dusty petticoat, with its grey hues and ruffled petals. Mixing dark and light shades creates a mystical and moody centrepiece. Using the traditional methods of chicken wire and floral taping, using heavy rustic pots, offering dried elements with gorgeous array of interesting foliage and seed pods.



The Workshop took place in our beautiful rustic workshop situated just off the cobbles of Church Street on the ancient East Side of Whitby. Amongst the hustle and bustle of The Whitby Goth Weekend. We took inspirations from Mary Shelley, the Victorian gothic styles and the beautiful work of the Dutch masters. Living in Whitby it's hard not to imagine the times of old, we are surrounded by the large merchant houses of St Hilda's Terrance and often imagine the lives of the sea captains, ship owners and traders of this time. Georgina captures this mood perfectly and turned a simple floral display into something truly majestic, she knows our style and honours it so well every time we work together.









It is no coincidence that whilst it is when I feel at my most content, this does not lead to a slowing in creativity or the flow of ideas as perhaps I might have expected. We are told that contentment breeds complacency, but instead I have found growth, and a more nourishing one than that of the fresh frenzy of spring or the sometimes-tiring loudness of summer. I should not be so surprised though. This growth is the effect of what is known as the abundance mindset; that is to say the belief that we have plenty, there is more than enough for all and there is room for everyone. In turn, nurturing a perspective of this kind brings with it a sense of security, happiness and the confidence to work with a generous nature. Unlike the scarcity mindset in which limits and finite opportunities are the focus, in abundance we see possibility. Then, as there is no fear, we are open to celebrating and recognising others and opportunities. We now eagerly forage exciting new ventures and collaborations that we would not have previously contemplated when fear directed our actions.

As amber haziness is adorned by a misty crisper air, Autumn gifts us the best of all the seasons. Hedgerow heavy with crimson berry and nuts of green-brown, it is the traditional time of the harvest in all its fruitful abundance; this is the golden period of our year when we take time to notice and enjoy the plenty. 68

Once we become conscious of our own storytelling, noticing the damaging thoughts of what we do not have, cannot be or do that we all too often recite to ourselves, we can start to shift our thoughts. We can practice nurturing a constant autumnal abundance perspective in the way we live, create and realise our ambitions throughout all of our seasons.

Be grateful for your harvest... Practice gratitude for what you already have. For centuries Autumn has been the time to give thanks for our harvest and what nature has given to us. Use this idea, taking a quiet moment each day to acknowledge and appreciate the positives and for what you are grateful, from the small and simple to the momentous. Gratitude is at the centre of an abundance mindset.

strengthen connections and your own personal brand. It may even lead to new aspects of your work and opportunities. Celebrate the harvest of others. To be genuinely happy for others when they achieve success is not always as straightforward as we may like, but an abundance mindset means that we celebrate others safe in the knowledge that there is more than enough to go around. Change your perspective – the success of others does not threaten your own. In fact it can clear the way for you, allowing you to follow a path already travelled. Learn, be inspired and connect with your competitors, and give yourself permission to live a freer, more creative life knowing that there really is enough harvest for us all.

And then share it… Share your harvest with others. It may seem counter intuitive to give anything away when you are trying to grow and it can be tempting to jealously guard your ‘hows’. However, sharing your gift and providing value to others will create and 69



I always know when I’'ve got gold from my clients. I can sit with them for ten minutes or two hours, I never know how long it will take. I'm not really doing much, just mining, hunting, scraping at the dirt that clings to their shell, then waiting. Lots of waiting. I encourage clients to talk and talk. To begin with they need prompting, questions about their lives and their line of work. Slowly they forget me and retreat into their own stories, relaxing a little, I sharpen my tools. Mining for gold takes time but it's always worth the wait. I know when I've got it because it is crystal clear to me. After so many years doing what I do, I’'ve seen so much pyrite, working in marketing it seems everything is dipped in nine-carat nothingness.

mining for gold takes time... So when I get to the good stuff it stands out a mile. The problem is, we're surrounded by pyrite. You can't trust so much of what is said now because everybody has a sales spiel and it's usually full of fools' gold. You know the sort I mean: six figure clichés and rhetorical questions, insincere sentences stuffed with sales fluff but not a whole lot of substance? Telling you how to make six figures or be the next boss babe? Yes, those. Well, when it comes to fools' gold, the only fool is usually the person writing these things. 71

Because even if they get clients that work won't fulfill them. It's empty, worthless, shiny until the plating comes off. Because real gold is about purpose, it's about authenticity, digging deep and showing yourself. And that's what I’m looking for all of the time. Clients always start off with their perfectly polished elevator pitch, moving on to their background, their beliefs and their brand statement. It takes a while to get them into a relaxed state but once I do, that's when the real client emerges – we get to the core. I can finally sit forward in my seat, pen poised to capture the 24 carat moment. It never fails to amaze me, seeing the gold in somebody that they don't even know is there. What does gold look like? It's not the success that you’re expecting. Not the glitz or the glamour, the six figures, the impressive CV, the multiple awards or any of the shiny trophies that clients carry around. Gold is usually hidden away, beneath the surface. It's the drop out you were at school, the loss that changed everything, it's the song you sang the lyrics to when you were five, the only memory you have of your mother. It's the sentence someone said to you once that you never forgot, it's the scent of the rain, the tattoo you had removed. It takes time to find it but true gold is a glimmer of your story. Not the tale you've been telling in your marketing, the real story that lies inside, it's pure magic. That's why I love my job. I mine for gold for a living, all I have to do is open my clients up and sift until I see it. It's always there, it's always awe-inspiring. It never gets old digging for gold. My advice to clients? To entrepreneurs and creatives? Save the spiel for someone else, put your hand on your heart and hear what it has to say. You've got the power to know. Always believe in your soul. That's how you get gold. I couldn't have said it better myself.






We in the Western hemisphere have somehow forgotten that play is how we began, and how children learn best. Learn to play, and you learn how to live well. Creating anything, from a cupcake to a spreadsheet, from a poem to an engine, is about that engagement of you with something else. And alchemy happens. One of my greatest pleasures in life is creating. To find yourself living that flow of easy ‘being’ when the mind and the body are occupied has to be the up there with the best things. I don’t care who you are, or what you have – this is the experience that tops status, recognition, fan appeal. Reading the wisdom of poets and philosophers helped me to find the preoccupations that left me calm, stable, comfortable in my skin. It is an ongoing process, and in that endeavour I read a lot, I think a great deal. And then I play with illustration and share the fruits of my ‘doing’ with a multiplicity of pursuits. If we are without our poets and musicians, our sculptors and our artists, where would we go to find ourselves? One of the darker aspects of living in the Western world in the 21st century is the effect neo-liberalism is having on the mindset of society.

‘Only connect! … Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.’ E.M. Forster

The human being is more than the sum of its parts, and should not be seen only as a unit of production. The more technology we use the more we need to balance our lives with connecting with nature, with life force, with the act of creating expression. 74

”I have spent my life watching, not to see beyond the world, merely to see, great mystery, what is plainly before my eyes. I think the concept of transcendence is based on a misreading of creation. With all respect to heaven, the scene of the miracle is here, among us. The eternal as an idea is much less preposterous than time, and this very fact should seize our attention.” M. Robinson

Curiosity is the spring board to doing something, whatever it may be, it is about the opportunity to dig deeper, to investigate. The process of making my books chose me really. I have loved mining the minds of past thinkers – and current ones too – I think in an attempt to understand more about how to be human. That seems strange, since being human should surely be the most natural of processes. I don’t find that, I find it discombobulating, I look at behaviour to learn from it. I know now I am not alone in that feeling of alienation from my own species, and writers and artists taught me that. I learnt from my early life that being a career girl disassociated me from what is most important to me. So I stopped. 75

I have found inspiration for illustration from historical botanical painting, and found the natural complement to the written word. A celebration of new life, from old – Spring always follows Winter. I think handmade creates connection – between the commissioner, the maker and the recipient. It is as though it has imbibed love – much like houses do, we have all felt the difference between houses that have been filled with love, and those that are just places to function in. It may be strange, and somehow difficult to quantify, but it is real. I even sold one of my tributes to Shakespeare to a University in America for an exhibition celebrating the 400th year of his birth. That was a yippee moment! I have enjoyed a few of those moments on Etsy – working to commissions which have brought me closer to people at special points in their lives. It is a privilege to share a wedding proposal by working on the intended groom’s poem and illustrating it, a rare joy to be given the opportunity to bring someone’s love letters together and make them a memento for their beloved to treasure. I work alone, I spend a lot of my time alone and the collaboration with others reminds me how good it is to connect.


I choose to make things because it feels good. It makes sense to me in a world of complexity where a lot of things make no sense whatsoever – how the local authorities spend our money, how the corporate institutions gamble, how corporate companies are allowed to default on tax bills, the list is endless. Making something slows down your world – you have to give your full attention to something you care about. It distances you from all the anxieties that threaten to overwhelm, there is a reason for occupational therapy in healing institutions. The brain is active on something that contains positivity. And it doesn’t end there – it connects me to other crafters – I only buy from small producers now, whenever possible. So I can attest to the value of immersing yourself in a pursuit that continues to stimulate and lead you into places you would never have dreamed of. Now I am not only creating my handmade books, I have branched out into illustrating for ranges of products at print on demand sites, and that has propelled me into making fine art prints which I now sell at galleries and via my online store at Etsy. All exciting developments from one thoughtful gift from my friend! 77


Golden is the thread that runs from summer into autumn. Golden crowns autumn in all its richness; the last rays of warmth of golden sunshine; flashes of gold in nature; stored in crisp leaves and textures dancing over grasses and golden energy in ripe abundant fruit. The glow of colour, fading, and drawing us into the magic of autumn.





We don't only make things beautiful. We look at how and why too. The drivers behind our creative pursuits, the passions that expand our curiosity, the inspiration from the world around us.