NURTURE NO. 01 | NATURE
FOR SOULFUL CREATIVES
Nurture Vol. 1 Nature Autumn 2018 Cover Image Georgina Harrison Photography Editor Kate Cullen
Contributors Grace Alexander, Charlotte Argyrou, Kerri Awosile, Kiki-Sunshine Boonwaat, Jess Collins, Emma Cullen, Jen Feroze, Georgina Harrison, Corrina Lowe, Kim Morgan, Emma Mulleady, Catharine Noble, Laura E Patrick, Claire Spiller, Joanne Truby
Submissions Kate Cullen firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions www.nurtureandbloom.co.uk Logo Design Gemma Milly
Published quarterly by Nurture & Bloom All Rights Reserved.
A MAGAZINE FOR SOULFUL CREATIVES
NATURE Human Nature This is how magic is made
Earthed Cover Shoot
The Landscape of Creativity The magic of the shoreline
Waves & Wingbeats
Nature as a creative force
Gardening for All Tips for growing
Making of a Modern Heirloom Tips for investing
Nature's Personality Designing for you
Find Your Nature Well-being through nature
The Good Life Seasonal living
Another Way Nourishing body and soul
06 NOTES 02 Editor's Letter 18 Poem 46 Instagram 43 Seasonal 28 Recipe 56 Get Involved
WELCOME BY KATE CULLEN
A very warm welcome. The idea for Nurture came to me a long time ago. A collection of inspired musings from fellow makers and creatives. As each season passes we welcome more wonderful creatives into our fold, each sharing and showcasing their talent. I wanted somewhere to celebrate and to connect with artists and entrepreneurs alike, those with racing minds and wild hearts, drawn to create out of pure passion.Â
And so Nurture was born. A place for us and hopefully, for you. Somewhere to soothe the soul and ignite your imagination. Above all it's about purposefully pursuing joy. Reclaiming time for yourself and choosing this community to be your own. This first issue is all about nature as we welcome autumn; a season of change, of paring back and taking a much needed breath. The beautiful juxtaposition of endings and beginnings all at once. Expect simplicity with a side order of soul. I will hold space for you here...
BOWTIE & BELLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Since we first created art, nature and her flora and fauna have been the source of our wonder. From the Palaeolithic cave paintings of Chauvet, to the flowers by Georgia O'Keeffe in the 20th century, there's something that holds our imagination like no other. The beauty that can exist without, and indeed, often despite our intervention, will forever inspire and excite us. Our modern-life disconnections from the landscape we live in, and from the circadian rhythms of our planet seems to cause us heartache. No wonder then that we seek it out in our art, that we try to understand how the softness of a petal, or the rugged profile of a cliff top can affect us so deeply. A mix of nostalgia for a simpler life, tinged with a sadness we cannot put into words - we belong to nature, we should not set ourselves apart from it. To do so brings us only unhappiness.
Art takes nature as its model Aristotle It is not unsurprising that art is seen as therapy. For as nature so inspires us to our art, we must therefore seek it out. The cycle of artistic expression through exposure to nature, which then again drives us forward in our imagination. Our art replaces the need for words, or for ideas and thoughts and feelings we may otherwise struggle to express. As Henri Matisse said, "An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language." 3
HUMAN NATURE BY JESS COLLINS
Jess is a wild woman, writer and creator of The Soul Sessions, working from her studio by the sea in Cornwall, creating courageous content for authentic brands worldwide. She has recently launched her new copywriting course, Audacity.
It has always been my belief that a relationship with nature fuels our creativity. There is something about being alone in nature that attracts the muse, opening our minds and allowing us to gain a sense of perspective and purpose.
About consumerism, commerciality and the contrived – appearing a certain way and superficial “connections” eg likes, fans and followers, to be seen and admired on social platforms and to soothe the ego as opposed to soothing our souls.
Nature in my mind not only enhances creativity, it allows us to recognise our calling. Incorporating nature into our lives and work connects us to a greater sense of self as well as giving us the ability to see the world from a more powerful place, one that lets us feel things rather than see things.
Smartphones are reducing our concentration spans, affecting our sleep, reducing our real-life relationships and erasing authentic connections, fuelling society with dopamine and depression, to the point where when a phone alert goes off, about six people in the vicinity twitch and dig in their pocket to check if it’s for them. We no longer switch off, we’re addicted to being “on” and available for every like or swipe. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the convenience and many uses of a smartphone like anyone else, but it feels to me that at some point popularity became more important than passion.
It feels as if nature evokes the essence of what it is to be human – to be, to experience, to feel and truly be present. Not only that, this magnificent muse is available to us twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year completely free of charge. However, nature’s nemesis, the enemy to creativity surely has to be the smartphone. If nature is about connection then digital is about corruption.
The digital world is all about looking outwards; seeing if we have any new emails (responding to other people’s demands of us) and putting out messages on social media to impress and quite literally flaunt our image.
NURTURE | AUTUMN 2018
ENCHANTED BRIDES PHOTOGRAPHY
But in nature, there are no bells and whistles, no sycophants or selfies to be seen. It’s just you and the ever-changing light. The sound of the water, the wind in the trees, a moment to pause and to connect with your breath, to feel life running through you. I challenge you to simply sit in nature for a while. Alone. Phoneless. Watch a sun rise, a sun set, a river flowing… let your mind open again. Enter a state of flow, of flux, allowing yourself to daydream. Don’t think about the email you received this morning or the to do list. Just let yourself sit and wait. It will come. It always comes eventually. When I was growing up, it was through exploring, playing and being alone in nature that I learned how to use my imagination and it probably has a large part to play in the woman and the writer I’ve become today. Nature not only helps us to create good work as writers, artists, makers and creatives, it inspires the next generation and teaches them to trust their intuition, indulge in their imagination and to stop and soak up every sensory experience, not just the software equivalent.
"this is how magic is made" You will be surprised what a few hours in nature will do to your mindset. I urge you to do it now, strip off and go for a sea swim, walk in the woodland, sit and breathe deeply amongst the flowers, forage for leaves or gaze at a stream and notice the different pebbles beneath the ripples. It's not about what’s out there or what they think (those numbers on an Instagram profile that don’t represent anything real or tangible). It’s about what’s inside and how you feel. About translating that and both re-connecting with and trusting yourself, all of which is possible with nature as your partner. So make the time in a world of scrolling, selfserve and cyber reality to walk, write, sing, dance, sit or maybe simply do nothing. Because this is how magic is made. 5
EARTHED BY KIM MORGAN WITH PHOTOGRAPHY BY GEORGINA HARRISON
NATURE'S HAND The kernels of inspiration for this concept grew from a conscious need to bring focus to nature's hand and her interconnected narrative that’s woven into our reality. A timeless continuum navigating a passage through time as each thread weaves it’s own journey through birth, conditioning and rebirth. The colour palette gave rise to earthy shades of powdery mustard and gritty bronze, coppers and rustic gold with hints of raven in flights of crimson and darkest chocolate. A ceremonious welcome to autumnal notes from the season prior and that ahead. All their natural strands rooted to the deep crystalline grid of the earth's core, reflecting a myriad of hues, shades and variant on interpretation. Bringing effortless strength in their beauty to demonstrate a grounded resilience, with a message that is whole, real and unfaded. Preservation through changing environmental climes on this path, we discover the true essence of timeless beauty. Barefooted aground she walks towards the light, our arms conjoin with nature, open, nurturing hands ripe in the cycle of birth.
Photography – Georgina Harrison Styling & Florals – Kim Morgan, The Gatherer Hair & Make Up – Catherine Elizabeth Dress – Not Perfect Linen Venue – Escrick Park
Barefooted aground she walks towards the light, our arms conjoin with nature, open, nurturing hands ripe in the cycle of birth.
The Nurture & Bloom Book Club runs monthly, and each new book is chosen by Kate and announced in the Facebook Group. All are welcome - the focus of the books is always creativity, although we explore many different forms of this.
Books we have read so far include: The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron Wabi Sabi: for artists, designers, poets & philosophers - Leonard Koren Making Winter - Emma Mitchell Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature - Rachel Corby
Each month we set a date and Kate holds a Facebook Live where we can all comment and discuss, this is followed up on the Nurture & Bloom blog.
JOIN FACEBOOK GROUP
THE MAKING OF A MODERN HEIRLOOM BY CHARLOTTE ARGYROU
One of the greatest privileges in my life is that I am blessed with the ability to create modern heirlooms.
Repeatedly, I am told the work I create – often in celebration of a marriage - will become a family heirloom.
I am engineering an entirely new career based around this privilege, and find fulfilment on a deeply fundamental level. As such, my job nurtures and extends my creative passion whilst doing all the others thing having a job should do.
But heirlooms can be problematic for twentyfirst century living, as our homes shrink and the curated nature of our lives means we often resist or resent other people’'s “stuff” being enforced upon us.
I am a botanical illustrator, and my primary income comes from working with private clients on commissions for their own homes.
Our storage-obsessed parents are burdened by the emotional ties of the objects they have inherited, and now there is nowhere for the stuff to go.
In researching this article, I read a thoughtprovoking piece on the Guardian about an inherited Welsh dresser. It was one of those giant floor-to-ceiling monsters, “more like a household god than a piece of furniture”, states writer Adrian Mourby. It took Mourby months to find the dresser a new home which would have appeased his latemother. Only after investigating charity donation, museum donation, setting it alight, offering it “free to a good home”, and committing £360 to six months’ storage in the process, it was delivered (at his own cost) to a neighbour's recently-divorced sister. “It might have been cheaper just to buy our friend's sister a new kitchen. But that is not the point. That dresser was never just a piece of furniture.” I'm in a similar quandary myself. I have been given two exquisite porcelain panels handpainted with roses by my great grandmother. I would love to display them in my own home, but they are different sizes rather than a perfect pair, they are not in-keeping with my preferred colour palette and they are housed in very oldfashioned (but not beautiful) frames. I took them to a professional framer for his analysis, and he sorrowfully advised that taking them out of their current frames would be “at my own risk”. If this Victorian heirloom artwork shattered because of my own vanity in curating my perfect interior decor, would I feel forever guilty and ashamed? Thus we have reached a stalemate, and the two porcelain panels will remain wrapped in a blanket on top of my wardrobe for the time being.
3 Tips for Investing in Modern Heirlooms Buy small. The larger or more cumbersome an item, the trickier it will be for future generations to accommodate. Buy authentic. It has to resonate with you, today. If an item possesses a meaningful story, then I believe there is more chance it will hold an emotional value in the future. Gift a photoshoot, or create physical photo albums. Just print your photos. Please.
My mother’s view is that her parents’ generation were so impacted by the effects of War, that their necessity to preserve and hoard was instilled within their children – both consciously and sub-consciously. Much like the owner of the Welsh dresser, my parents are lumbered with the emotional baggage of storing what their parents left behind. Meanwhile, our urban-dwelling generation are physically bound by space restrictions, but emotionally freer to let it all go. We have been preached to by Marie Kondo and are content to store our lives in a photographic or digital landscape. Though we live more affluent lifestyles, with disposable fashion and homewares at our fingertips, I expect many readers of this magazine feel a greater affinity to their grandparents’ philosophy, rather than their parents’. We yearn for fewer possessions, each with more emotional value. Of the wedding bouquets I have illustrated from photography, many of the brides tell me their physical bouquet is kept (in various degrees of condition) in their parents’' lofts. It is their mothers who refuse to throw the dusty rotten thing out, insisting they will hold on to it until the newlyweds move into their “big house with better storage”. I draw with this in mind, conscious that each bespoke illustration must contain a story, whispered to the recipient with their every glance.
It’'s about connection – having eyes, ears and heart open when I’m working with a client so that the page is filled with the meaning and memory they attribute to it. The result is nostalgic, sentimental, but it is also small, compact, and easily moved from home to home, or country to country. The modern heirloom fills the vertical space, keeping hallowed floor space clear. The sycamore illustration featured here is a gift to my daughter, inspired by our shared enjoyment of woodland walks. At four years old, she is oblivious to the sentiment I already assign to this activity, but I hope that as the years pass the illustration may evoke the same sensation. Wellies on, coats done up, and into the woods to spot bugs and collect treasures. We throw the sycamore into the sky and gleefully spectate as it spirals back to Earth. This single act is a glorious celebration of the season, and the illustration preserves the moment. Of course there is no guarantee that a simple drawing can possess such powers for another person, but that's just part of the mystery of what makes a true heirloom precious. What I learn from my parents’' and grandparents’' experience is that it is my responsibility to enjoy it for what it is, not my daughter’'s. I can do this safe in the knowledge it represents an authentic moment we share and I cherish. If one day she feels the same and it sparks in her what it ignites in me, then a modern heirloom has been created. As for my clients, my heart swells when I read feedback saying their illustration “will be something we have in our home forever” and variations of that. Whatever its fate beyond their lifetime, they have enjoyed it with all the purposefulness and sentiment of an heirloom. That, for me, is a very modern moment. 16
Charlotte is a botanical illustrator based in Greenwich, London. Her precise illustration style celebrates the colours and complexities of the natural world. She loves Autumn, wine, chips, Vogue, Wellington Boots, crime novels and art heist movies.
NATURE'S PERSONALITY BY KERRI AWOSILE
Kerri of Brambleolai creates modern, artistic, and nature-inspired wedding and celebration cakes, with personality, for style focused, romantic, and creative clients who appreciate quality and want designs that celebrate them. Outside the kitchen, she loves spending time with friends and family, going for walks, eating out, or snuggling up to watch a film.
It's an age-old cliché to say 'you can find inspiration anywhere' but when it comes to nature, in particular, there really isn't a truer phrase. Whether it be the shape and form of a pine cone that sparks an idea for a sculpture, the colour and texture of an autumn leaf that influences a piece of jewellery, or the movement and dance of swaying stems that inspires a wedding dress design – nature can capture our creative thoughts and take us down paths we would perhaps never have discovered if we only looked at a portfolio of previous work, peers' creations, and magazines for ideas.
wedding and events industry. I all too often see creations which look lovely, to a degree, but look the same as a hundred others. On the other hand I see many novelty designs which completely embody the recipient's personality – with buckets full of detail – but lack an element of finesse and style. Finding a balance between these two ends of the spectrum is a challenge I thrive on and eagerly work towards.
It took time to begin defining my own style and, to this day, I'm still fine tuning my techniques and ideas (I don't think we ever stop learning, especially as creatives), but once I realised the direction I wanted to I'm a cake designer by trade (and passion) take my business, and the clients I wanted and I love using elements of nature to to be working with, a common overarching influence my work. The variety of textures, concept started to emerge: nature. colours, and shapes you can find even within a square foot of garden, woodland, My clients like being outside – not or horizon, can inspire the simplest of necessarily rolling in mud or hugging trees, finishing touches right through to an entire but certainly being in fresh air, natural creation. light, and inspiring scenery – they also have a great appreciation of flowers, leaves, and The tag line for my brand is 'designs that trees... much like myself. Finding this celebrate you' and this came about after common ground and realising the breadth discovering a frustrating lack of diversity of possibilities it could open up within my and personality in some areas of the cake designs was quite a eureka moment.
My main focus for my designs is always celebrating what makes my clients who they are and expressing their personality in a stylish way, but using a hint (or feature) of nature is the perfect balancer. Instead of just focusing on the visual 'prettiness' nature can bring to a design, it's possible to actually express a client's personality through careful consideration and combination of details. Whether that be joining a soft and romantic feel of some delicate wafer paper flowers with a more modern touch of an understated cool texture, or showcasing how a client likes to spend their time in nature with a hand-painted design of a hillside vista – carefully balanced with clean lines and minimal florals. I really feel there is an element of nature to suit any personality. If you are looking for ways to incorporate nature into your designs – or perhaps you are a creative after my own heart and want to use nature to express personality. Consider a bramble (blackberry bush), for example.
"add a wild edge to a design" It could seem like a bizarre element to take inspiration from given it usually grows at the roadside, and it's covered in prickly thorns – but the humble plant can really add a wild edge to a design, and works especially well if teamed with an understated cool touch of metallic. Or, if you wanted to express a touch of ‘classic’ then freesias can be a great balancer. Complement them with roses and soft colours, or contrast them with rough textures (such as stone) and fresh tones to celebrate a diverse personality. There are many ways to use nature in design, and so much personality to be found. Close your webbrowser, and clear out your mind. Perhaps, for this article only, I will rephrase the saying 'you can find inspiration anywhere' to 'you can find inspiration in nature'. Next time you need a fresh perspective or influence in your work – just step outside. 19
INSTAGRAM INSPIRATION A selection of some of our favourite artists and creative entrepreneurs to bright up your Instagram feed.
FOLLOW THEM 1
@georgina_photo Fine art creative photographer
@lovefromengland Love, weddings and woodland
@c_colli Artist & photographer
@gracealexanderflowers Writer. Creator, purveyor & consumer of beauty
@emilymulleadyartist Professional wildlife + countryside artist
@nurtureandbloom Inspiring creatives
FIND YOUR NATURE BY GRACE ALEXANDER
Health and well-being advice is depressingly predictable. There's always going to be something about food (understandably) and sleep (rightfully so) and exercise (like we don’t know). Often in the list of strategies and tactics of staying sane in this stress-inducing, addiction-promoting and generally overwhelming world will be something about being outside. Something about being in nature. Sunshine on our skin not only helps with Vitamin D but we know it supports feelings of well-being, alleviates anxiety and improves memory. As well as running my own creative business, I'm a psychologist. I'm also a dog owner. The last bit means that, however crazy, pressured and deadline driven my day is because of the first two things, I get out into the back fields for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening. Non-negotiable. (You cannot negotiate with a spaniel who wants his walk. Don’t try.)
There are people who say that just being outside is enough to lift dark feelings and the worries of the day. I am not one of them. I need to be active in my engagement with nature. There needs to be more intentionality to it for me to feel the benefit.
3. Don't take photos. If you’re using a phone as a barrier between it and us, then you’re not actually experiencing it, not really being in it. If you're going to capture it, be intentional. Be mindful. Take your time. Mean it.
HERE IS WHAT I LEARNED 1. Nature is everywhere; find your nature. This isn’'t about getting in a car and going to look at nature in its glory and its wildness, just look at the hedges, the trees growing through the pavements, the weeds in the cracks. If you walk along the same paths regularly as me and my dogs do, you'll tune into the changing of the seasons. Excitement at the green shoots of wild garlic in the spring, the first dog rose flower in the summer, and then the fluffy wild clematis seed heads in the autumn. Noticing changes in the world around us connects us to something bigger. 2. Take photos. Framing, capturing and documenting beautiful aspects of the world around you can force you to really appreciate it. Lines, shapes, forms, the organic perfection of it all. Unarranged by human hand.
4. Bring it in close. A stem of something, a branch, one perfect seed head in a bottle. Don't think you have to make some sort of cleverly designed opulent arrangement, sometimes you can appreciate nature more if it is unadorned. If meditation is your thing, mindfully consider a flower. Really look at it, the colour, the lines, the shading and the imperfections.
Bring it in close.
5. Make it part of your everyday. Good mental health is built on good routines and good habits. It might be a walk each day or just ten minutes quiet time looking out at something green, I’ve heard it counts double if you do it in bare feet. 23
CLAIRE GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Embracing the season
by Joanne Truby Floral designer, teacher and writer.Â
The transition from summer to Autumn is something I really relish, whilst during the summer we have the glorious hot weather (this year especially!) and the lovely long days; there is something somewhat refreshing about the change to Autumn. The crisp cool air and the early evening golden sunlight that baths everything with its soft warm glow. More so then the change in weather itself itâ€™s the cosy feeling that Autumn brings, the hygge effect you could say. When you begin to slow down after what has probably been a hectic summer. 24
CLAIRE GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY
SOOTHING THE SOUL the magic of Mother Nature
You may have had a full-on work schedule (being a wedding florist myself, the summer is usually my busiest time of year) or maybe you spent most of your time rushing around with the kids ferrying them to different summer camps. Autumn acts as a reset button, bringing us back to a regular routine that comes with the start of a fresh school year and a familiarity that allows us to feel steadier and more grounded.Â I adore the more muted colour pallets that Autumn has to offer too, the mustard yellows, burnt oranges and deep burgundies.
Earthy organic tones that reflect the essence of the season so perfectly. Then there's the plethora of textures that you find with the blackberries and viburnum berries that grow in abundance. Rambling through the countryside and you will be sure to spot some. Dried grasses, poppy seed heads and thistles all shape the Autumnal landscape, and although not bright and vibrant hold an ethereal charm of their very own. Being a florist, nature is one of my biggest inspirations, a woodland walk energises my senses and leaves me feeling fuelled and inspired by the wonder of mother nature. 25
CLAIRE GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Equally being outside calms and soothes my soul, it’'s amazing what a dose of fresh air can do to clear your mind! Problems can be thought through and solved. Worries and anxieties squished (even if only temporarily). Feeling the breeze on your skin and the crunching leaves beneath your feet embeds a sense of calm and knowing that we are a small part of something much greater brings me an element of comfort. Similarly, when I'm creating an arrangement I feel lifted and happy, whilst at peace all at the same time.
Observing the colours and textures blend together and the shape and forms building with every stem placed. Working with your hands is therapeutic and creating with flowers for me is almost a type of therapy. The magic of mother nature will always amaze and inspire me and I’m very much looking forward to embracing all the delights of Autumn. Along with snuggling under a blanket, cup of tea in hand and enjoying a good book, total bliss!
What do you like best about Autumn? 26
GARDENING FOR ALL BY CORRINA LOWE
Few things in life are as rewarding for the soul as growing a plant from seed and watching it blossom. Time and time again I find peace in the great outdoors. So much of our lives can be utterly detached from what’s going on outside, and yet we find solace in a beautiful view or a breath of fresh air. The joy of having a connection with the soil is a most basic one and to my mind, should be felt by everyone. For me gardening began as a child in my parent’s garden and allotment, experimenting with planting, weeding and growing vegetables. I learned as I worked and bought myself two gardening books, which I still refer to today. Over the years I’ve read countless more books and articles
but have really learnt from trial and error, giving things a go. Nobody need feel afraid to have a go at gardening and growing. There really is no secret art other than having the desire to make it work and time to invest. No matter how much or little space you have there are ways in which you can enjoy the garden. In its simplest terms a garden can be any space where you can enjoy nature. Even with no outside space you can create window boxes and indoor plants at a favourite window to sit and relax. How you garden should be a personal choice – there’s little point in creating a garden which doesn't reflect you and how you want to engage with plants. Forget the rules and don’t feel restrained by general consensus.
From a practical point of view, it pays to look at what grows well around you as this will go a long way to helping you have an idea of which plants are likely to thrive in your space. If you're investing time and money into plants, it's well worth getting a simple soil testing kit and finding out about your soils make-up. Some plants may really struggle in your soil type and leave you feeling deflated. So, a little bit of planning goes a long way. Take time to see where the sun lands and take note of any dry or boggy areas, plants will usually come with advice labels letting you know where they are best suited. Plant them where they are happy, and they will thrive. Write a list of what you want and need from your space â€“ do you need space for children to play, would you like a shaded seating area? With all this in mind you can set about making a plan for your space. By all means enjoy this process taking inspiration from places you visit and love. Much of the joy and creativity in gardening comes from this process of design and planning. Consider what colours you think would work well together in your space.
Take time to see where the sun lands.. An entirely green space with contrasting leaf shapes, textures and forms can be just as effective as one full of flowers. Choose the plants you love and tending to them will be far easier than working with those you have no care for. Unless you're blessed with a team of gardeners and a huge budget you will need to set yourself realistic timescales. Taking on a whole garden can be daunting, so keep an overall plan in mind but choose one element to work on at a time so that you can see and feel your achievements as they take place. This can be as simple as filling some pots with colourful plants near a window or garden seat. If you're faced with a jungle of weeds, set out an area a meter square and clear this. You will soon begin to see that the bigger picture is possible in small manageable steps. Be patient with both yourself and the garden.Â Â Gardening is as much about the process as it is the end, working always within the rhythm of the seasons and never truly finishing. 28
Remember that plants take time to develop and buying smaller plants rather than more established ones is much more cost effective. Seed sowing is a very economical and satisfying way to create lots of plants for your garden. One packet of seed could produce enough plants to fill a large border! Put seedlings somewhere you will see them often, so that you can keep them watered and prick them out to larger pots as they develop. Younger plants are far more vulnerable to neglect and a bit of tender loving care in their early days will reward you with strong healthy plants. If the idea that you'll kill anything you touch is plaguing your relationship with the garden do keep in mind that plants want to grow â€“ they are striving to live and you need not be afraid of them. Observing how plants respond to changes in weather and season will teach you a great deal. Much like a child, a sulking plant is likely to be hungry, thirsty or exhausted! Without their favoured growing conditions, plants struggle to grow and may not flower - always expending energy on survival rather than flower production. Understanding a plant's basic needs demystifies the art of gardening and helps you build a connection with your garden. If you're hungry to know more find a fellow gardener and work alongside them if you can, do a bit of research and get some good advice. Although there is of course a wealth of information to be found in books and online, nothing will teach you as much as being outdoors working with your plants.
Corrina is a Farmer/Florist and owner at Chambers Farm Flowers, specialising in seasonal British cut flowers. Passionate about sustainability, they grow cut flowers with no harsh chemicals using methods which support a healthy ecosystem. All of their floral work is foam free. Corrina offers courses and talks in cut flower farming, sustainable growing and floristry. 29
THE GOOD LIFE
GEORGINA HARRISON PHOTOGRAPHY
SEASONAL LIVING 30
RECONNECTING Sometimes in a really busy wedding season its important to reconnect and do things that keep you inspired and creative. Autumn is one of my absolute favourite times. The trees are bursting with fruit/berries the colours are changing and the light is slightly lower and even more beautiful. My talented friend and florist Adam Prest and I hooked up and went to my favourite quaint little village near where I live and often walk my dog, Beckhole. On my dog walks I always notice a small patch of land that is always bursting with activity, hens clucking and pigs wallowing and beyond a small vegetable patch with produce over flowing.
Adam grew up on a pig farm and we had talked about doing a shoot inspired by Autumn and nature, thus the shoot came to life. Huge thanks to the extremely lovely and kind Neil and Glynis whose garden we kindly borrowed. Adam crafted a couple of stunning Autumn displays mixing seasonal tones and berries and as ever, in Adam style, putting them in found objects and bringing them to life.
THESE IMAGES WERE SHOT ON MY BELOVED CONTAX 645 ON FUJI & KODAK FILM FLORIST â€“ ADAM PREST LOCATION â€“ BECKHOLE, GOATHLAND 31
ANOTHER WAY GEORGINA HARRISON PHOTOGRAPHY
Surrendering to our creativity
BY KIKI-SUNSHINE BOONWAAT Kiki is an empowerment and business coach who helps women step into their next level life, business and income with leadership so they can create their vision with simplicity, soul and flow.
WE ARE ALL OF NATURE Weâ€™ve evolved with the planet. We grow in the same magical way flowers open their faces to the sun, plants grow, trees forge their way into the earth and sky producing air and food for insects, animals and humans. Our children grow in the same way. 97% of what makes us human are the same atoms and elements found in our vast universe. We are made of star stuff.
"WE ARE MADE OF STAR STUFF" surrender to creativity And yet we push so hard against our natural rhythm. Against flow. It’s not our fault it’s the way we’ve been taught to live, to work, to achieve what it is that we want to achieve. But in doing so we tend to forget the possibility of there being another way. A way that walks us to our vision, to our desires because that was what was meant for us anyway, that’s what our soul was directing us towards, that’s what all of our past has given us the tools for. We move against our seasons expecting always to be able to create the same results time and time again, we crave predictability when everything in life and in nature has a time, has a season, has peaks and troughs. Thinking we can create the very same energy, the very same goals, the very same results consistently is a conditioning. And it's a pressure that we place on ourselves to conform and fit into even though it fails to take into account our wellness and individuality. There is nothing wrong with wanting to create a consistent income of course but it’'s not ok if creating it is to the detriment of our peace of mind, our health, our vitality for my life. In fact surrendering to the flow, to divine inspiration, to creativity, to embracing our individuality, our unique essence and taking aligned actions with that towards our desires IS what moves us into that consistency in the first place. Yet we still push, hustle and stress out our nervous systems day in and out. So how to navigate our seasons? GEORGINA HARRISON PHOTOGRAPHY
NURTURE OUR ENERGY We need to be clear on our vision, build it, embrace it, know it intimately, meditate into what it would feel like if we already had it in our lives, cultivate connecting with that feeling retraining our bodies to exist in a new way, in a more relaxed state, in a state of joy and abundance signaling to the quantum field that you are calling in what it is you want to create in your life.
GEORGINA HARRISON PHOTOGRAPHY
Continuously take aligned action towards our desires throughout our seasons yes that means external actions to get your business seen but it also means doing the internal work to be the mirror of the abundance you want to call in,Â clearing the
blocks in your path to achieving your next level (fears, beliefs). The internal work is 90% of achieving what you want only 10% is strategy. We must allow ourselves to surrender â€“ into trust that we can create without the hustle because we know that our vision will pull us forward without creating the strain in our nervous system anyway. Just as nature will pull a plant towards the sky your desire and creativity WILL pull you up too. We have to nurture our energy, care for our well being so we can be the space for our flowers to bloom. Sleep well, breathe deeper, eat well, drink enough water, get back into nature, into pleasure, into fun.
GEORGINA HARRISON PHOTOGRAPHY
NOURISH OUR BODIES AS WELL AS OUR SOULS
All of these things are so much more simple than hustling. So much more organic, nourishing and are just as effective because when you find a way of being that you enjoy, a way of living that feels great and a way of working that flows even when you're busy you feed your energy banks, your soul, your enthusiasm, self esteem, confidence, momentum and actions connecting you with more people, more clients and allowing you to bring your goal, your income, your desires or vision into fruition naturally and much more rapidly than if you force. It also gives us a way to enjoy the journey not just the destination and isn't that what lifeâ€™'s all about? 35
Who could fail to be enchanted by the richness and depth of autumnal colour or the way the morning mist swathes cobwebs in the hedgerow with delicate droplets of moisture, sparkling like tiny diamonds as the morning light dances on all it touches? It’'s truly magical. There is such an abundance of beautiful material to design with, we still have the late summer flowers yet also the generous variety of texture, colour and form offered by the grasses, seed-heads, autumnal foliage and berries.
DESIGNING THE SEASONS ARTICLE & PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLAIRE SPILLER OF THE SOMERSERT FLOWER SCHOOL
Autumn, a season when much of the plant kingdom releases itself from the frenetic scramble to grow, flower, and set seed and embraces a more passive, gentle pace of life. It’s almost as if mother nature is taking a long slow breath to nurture herself in preparation for the harshness and challenges that winter may bring, and perhaps something we humans ought to take note of too. As a keen gardener I spend a great deal of time outdoors and I love to observe the subtle changes happening each day at this time of year not only in my own garden but in the countryside around me too. The daylight mellows, the countryside turns rich, abundant and sumptuous, the scent of damp leaves and wood smoke once again lingers subtly in the air. My work as florist is very much inspired by the natural world and autumn is undeniably my favourite season to work with.
the daylight mellows
I couldn’'t think of a more perfect season in which to launch this beautiful first issue of Nurture magazine, and I am delighted to have been invited to be part of it and to share with you some tips for bringing nature into your home as well as my design process to create a bouquet for couple whose autumn wedding was held in the beautiful Brecon 36 Beacons in Wales.
"ABSORB THE SPIRIT AND ESSENCE" go outside, breathe, and be present Bride Catherine asked me to design a bouquet and arrangements that reflected the beauty of the welsh mountains in early autumn. She didn’t constrain me with a restrictive brief and put her faith in me to design something perfect for her. I believe a floral design should sit coherently within a venue as well as reflect the landscape around it. It's important to really understand the location, spend time there and truly absorb the spirit and essence of the place. As I began the process of designing for Catherine, I spent the day in and around the venue, researched online and took note of the colours, textures and the way the light changed the landscape in different seasons. For many of us when thinking of autumn colour, it’s easy to conjure an image of the stereotypical red, brown and orange leaves and it would be easy to create something with this in mind, however not all landscapes look like this in autumn so to design in an authentic way it’s really important to study a location properly with an open mind, and no preconceptions, so that it can be truly reflected in the finished pieces. During my visit I noticed the slate grey, purple and pink colours of the heather-clad mountains, the barren rough craggy ground juxtaposed with soft mossy and fern filled woodland floors. I noticed the softness of the heather, the beautiful form of the bracken and how it changed from green through to gold and then bronze as it dried, and the yellowing of the leaves as they turned in the cooler weather. 37
GEORGINA HARRISON PHOTOGRAPHY
NOTICE THE LIGHT AND HOW IT CHANGES My overall impression was of grey skies, muted, neutral and soft colours in the landscape, with hints of depth, I wanted my design to reflect this as well as the textures and forms that I had observed. Working with Catherine I chose a palate of neutrals, soft greys, muted purples and pinks and mustard. I included lots of texture and softness in the foliage with the silvery senecio, ferns and grasses. I used the rose ‘Quicksand’ for its neutral colour, clematis for its depth and as it was one of her favourite flowers. The arrangements inside the venue used pheasant feathers as the birds roamed freely around the woodland surrounding the venues grounds, and the designs wouldn’t have been complete of course without heather.
There are many beautiful possibilities out there beyond the standard bunch of flowers. Maybe you see a branch that has an attractive form or some golden grasses bobbing in the breeze that you could gather and place in a tall bottle on your fireplace. Are there some leaves or flowers that are fading and developing interesting colours and imperfections as they start to decay, there is beauty in that. Hydrangeas are wonderful examples of this as their bold summer colours fade to muted vintage shades in autumn.
However, you don’t need to be designing a wedding to bring a little bit of autumnal beauty into your home. Why not go out this weekend and truly observe the landscape where you live? Create something for your home using the principles outlined above. Look not only at the colours but the shapes and forms, the textures. Notice the light and how it changes, where it falls, see the shapes in the shadows or how it filters through the leaves of a tree making them luminescent.
Go outside, breathe and be present, really notice what you see, something you walk past every day in a hedgerow can look incredibly beautiful if isolated and truly studied, have you ever noticed how beautiful the leaves are on a bramble or how the stems arch attractively when left to grow or do you just see a thorny weed?
Look for the way nature somehow manages to throw together beautiful combinations and think about how you could bring the essence of your landscape into your home.
Could one or two stems look good tumbling along and over your fireplace? The dried bracken that looks lifeless in the woodland looks wonderful used in an autumnal wreath fashioned from flexible branches such as birch or willow and adorned with pinecones, hips, nuts, dried flowers and autumnal foliage.
WE'D LOVE TO SEE YOUR CREATIONS!
The roses in your garden, their flowers may be fading but the jewellike red rosehips can be just as beautiful as the flower in a vase on the kitchen table. There is beauty in everything, but it is in the eye of the beholder. We'd love to see your creations so why not post them on Instagram and tag us @nurtureandbloom and @somersetflowerschool along with the hashtag #nurturemagcreations - we'll share our favourites! 39
THE LANDSCAPE OF CREATIVITY BY CATHARINE NOBLE
There are many reasons why a trip to the beach is always a delight and one of them is the wealth of inspiration I feel and find there. One of my favourite places is the sand dunes at Formby point overlooking a serene stretch of beach. There's an array of textures, tones and shapes ever-changing with the tide, a little breeze or even as your foot disappears into the sand creating a new landscape. A beach setting we don't often consider as inspiring is that of a pebble shore, but there are hidden treasures here too and I love that in this little piece of the world the changes that transformed this vista took longer. Over time you'll find the rocks wearing down to different shapes, revealing different patinas and colours within them, even textures with some being so beautifully smooth and others dappled by holes. There is seaweed washed up creating a border of fluffy green, a rim around the beach where you can tell where the tide comes in. As well as larger bundles of it further inland which is drier, a much darker colour and so intriguing to discover and study! I often find that nature is one of the biggest inspirations we can have as artist and creative hearts. It teaches us about the delicate nature of the tangible and also time, it can even feel scary to think about just how ever changing a place or a moment can be - and this certainly inspires me as a photographer to capture those moments as a record that it existed and a memory to look back on. It also inspires you that some things take time, to create, to happen or to change. Just as weathering of these pebbles will over the years reveal different patinas, so will your own creative nature and career.Â
Some things take time.
Catharine is a wedding photographer and editor of B.LOVED blog. Based in Manchester she lives with her fiancĂŠ and their two rescue dogs and loves to travel throughout the country capturing beauty. She loves to explore deeper meanings, mindfulness, the outdoors and creativity.
NURTURE | AUTUMN 2018
ONEIRIC BY LAURA E PATRICK
Deep in the embers of my soul I looked for the person who reflected my dreams. Without a moment to breathe I fell deeply into your arms, without thought, without a notion for what our future might hold. But now I realise our journey was just the beginning. You make me feel more alive, more passionate, more me that I ever dreamed. Come, sit with me now as I write it all down. Let's never forget how we started.
oneiric ə(ʊ)ˈnʌɪrɪk/ adjective formal relating to dreams or dreaming.
NURTURE | AUTUMN 2018
BY LAURA E PATRICK 45
WAVES & WING BEATS NATURE AS A CREATIVE FORCE
ARTICLE BY JEN FEROZE Jen is a writer, editor and self-confessed word nerd. After ten years in commercial publishing she started Jackdaw Editorial, offering copywriting services for the wedding industry from her house by the sea.
ARTWORK BY EMMA CULLEN Usually adorned with ink, paint splashes and mad hair, Emma is a writer, illustrator and mural painter who takes inspiration from the natural world, and all its ebbs and flows. Look out for intricate patterns and beautiful hues of blue in her work.Â 46
Taking the plunge and deciding to start up under your own steam, run your own business and become the sole custodian of all of your career dreams is exhilarating. You’r e in charge – no more glass ceilings or limitations placed on you by others. However, it can quickly become overwhelming. Even with the best will in the world, and the most carefully strategized approach, there will be days where you feel physically unable to handle your to-do list, let alone capture and harness those fluttering flashes of inspiration that allow you to be truly creative. At times like these, when you feel fenced in by deadlines and pressures and ‘must-dos’, the best thing is often to step away. I don't just mean put the kettle on and do a load of laundry for a screen break, but really step away; no matter how counter intuitive it may feel. Throw on your coat and boots, and get out there. Crunch your way through fallen woodland leaves; go flower spotting in communal gardens; feel the squelch and suck of muddy puddles on the soles of your boots; or the ripe weight of a bowl filled with freshly picked blackberries from a hedgerow or a verge. When I'm feeling trapped by pressure and starting that spiral of spending so much time panicking about how much there is to do that I don’t actually do any of it, I take myself off down to the water. I moved to Leigh on Sea from London two years ago, and when the tide is in, you can see the sea from my bedroom window. Heading down to the beach and pounding along the seafront in all winds and weathers is immeasurably soothing. It slows my whirling brain, and helps me to feel peaceful, so that when I get back to my desk, I’m ready to tackle that to do list, and remember that I'm the one in control here.
A PEACEFUL POWER Nature has always crept into my writing, for as long as I can remember. Looking back over my prose and, chiefly, my poetry, it’s punctuated by waves and wingbeats, seashores and starlight. I'm my own worst critic a lot of the time, but I definitely feel a creative boost when writing about nature, and I’m generally happier than usual with the way the words flow, and the way the images start appearing through the swish and flick of the language I’m using. However, I never really felt the physical power nature can have until my daughter arrived. My decision to start my own business is intertwined with my becoming a mother, and the heart-bursting, soul-searching shift in identity that parenthood entails. While in labour with my daughter, I unexpectedly found myself visualising myself standing calf deep in an ocean of emerald green, with the waves breaking around me. With each breath in I pulled the tide towards me, hearing it crash and foam, and on each exhalation, I pushed it away, leaving my toes buried in the sand. Feeling this surprising connection with nature held me fast and kept me centred and calm. It gave me a focus I never thought I’d have in that situation. Don’t get me wrong, I was far from zen – there was still an awful lot of shouting and I suspect some fairly spectacular swearing involved, but it gave me back some control, and stopped me from feeling powerless or scared. If nature can bring some serenity when in pain, don't underestimate what making a connection with the natural world can do for your creativity and inspiration levels on a normal day! Step away from your screen, allow your brain some muchneeded rewilding and see what starts to grow.
PASS IT ON All of us have the capacity to connect with nature, no matter where we live. A meaningful and useful experience with the wild doesn’t require access to wildflower meadows, crystal pools or hushed green forests. There’'s magic in the grit and glamour of the rain-soaked British seaside, or the shadowy slink of a fox across the roof of a London shed. An inner city habitat does not preclude you from getting out there and finding fresh points of green among the concrete, and going cloudspotting between the skyscrapers. And once you find that connection and feel that buzz, pass it on through your work. Write, paint, create. Share it. It terrifies me that the language of nature is being swallowed up for children today, with reams of ‘nature words’ being expunged from the Oxford English Children’'s Dictionary in favour of technological jargon that is deemed more culturally relevant to today's youth.
Words like bluebell, kingfisher, conker and acorn have been replaced with the likes of broadband, chatroom, Bluetooth and vlog.
Writer, masterful hoarder of language and something of a hero of mine, Robert Macfarlane, has published a ‘spell book’ called ‘The Lost Words’ which aims to re-conjure some of the natural words excised from the dictionary through poetry and illustration. It's a beautiful book, and a gorgeous execution of an important idea. So, with that in mind, allow me to share some of my writing. It's a bit of a nature word hoard in a prose poem for my little girl. These are the things I wish for her, and that I hope she'll find herself as well versed in as the necessary evils of technology as she grows up. Indulge me here, then get out there and make your own word hoard to share with your loved ones.
FOR ELEANOR WREN I'll remove the stopper from the clear glass bottle on your bookshelf and fill it to the brim watery springtime sunlight. I’ll cork it and watch with you as it becomes darker and honey-sticky at sunset. With needle and long thread I'll loop together the quacking strings of summer ducks and their yellow children. We can carry them on our backs and let their glassy rivers stream out behind us in wide, bright ribbons. When autumn comes I will give you a swollen October blackberry, bulbous with juice. Slot it into that secret place, that tiny, dark cellar under your tongue, and keep it safe. In winter I wish you glittering garlands of grass jewelled with the first frosts, winter moons and skies splashed with stars. And always, always the gentle roaring lullaby of the sea, wherever you lay your head.
CINNAMON BUNS RECIPE, FOOD STYLING & PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA E PATRICK
THE PERFECT AUTUMN TREAT
THE RECIPE FOR THE DOUGH
400ml milk 110g butter 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast 110g caster sugar 750g plain flour 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp ground cardamom or use nutmeg and cinnamon 1 egg, beaten
FOR THE FILLING 110g soft butter
Preheat the oven to 220°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.
To prepare the filling, in a
2 tbsp of cinnamon
bowl, beat the butter, sugar and cinnamon together until you have a smooth paste.
METHOD Start by slowly melting the butter in a large pot gently on a low heat, then add the milk. When the mixture is lukewarm, remove from the heat and add the two sachets of dried yeast, whisking to incorporate. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. Make a well and pour the wet ingredients in. Mix with a wooden spoon until you have a rough dough. When the dough has taken shape and is no longer sticky, turn out onto a clean floured surface and knead for about 6 minutes. Add some flour too if you find the dough is too sticky. Transfer the dough to a floured bowl, covered by cling film and a towel and let it rise for 45 minutes in a warm dark place (a little trick warm the oven before hand then open the door, sit the bowl on an upturned saucepan and sit it near the open door). When the dough has risen, punch it down in the bowl and cut it in half. Roll one of the halves into a rectangle about 3mm thick, and then spread the filling all over. Then, from the long side, roll the dough so you get a snail effect and slice into approx. 12 pieces. Place the slices in a greased muffin tray with twelve holes or in a round cake tin (or use one of each for the two dough halves). Coat lightly with beaten egg. Reduce the oven heat to 190C̊/350F̊/Gas Mark 5 and then bake the rolls in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough. Warm from the oven the buns are delicious as they are or wait till slightly cooled and drizzle with a little icing sugar. The buns will keep a day or two in an airtight container.
BY EMILY MULLEADY
IN NATURE 55
You take a deep, conscious breath of the air and, all of a sudden, things just feel ‘right’. As creatives, immersing ourselves in nature often means much more to us than just recreating what is before us. My drawings try to reflect the details of nature, but in contemplating that detail you cannot help but get lost in it. Much of drawing comes down to simplifying, looking for shapes and repetitions. A dried seed head is a collection of both of those with its circles upon circles, light against dark. You then look again, as you notice those circles are not quite perfect. They have dips, elongations, quirks. It is perfect in nature by being imperfect, and perhaps that is why nature simplifies and gives us that sense of belonging. There is no need for us to be flawless or the same as anyone else – nature doesn’t require that. We are just a part of it, no questions asked.
The low sun is still warm, but there is a crispness to the air; auburn and fiery russet leaves are holding back that first frost for now. You’re not quite ready for those gloves yet. Gathered acorns with their caps on and those ever-tempting polished conkers clack together in your pocket as you walk past hedgerows speckled with berries. You know they will inspire your work somehow, even if you are not quite sure how yet. Perhaps in that new logo design you’re illustrating, that seasonal bridal shoot you’re styling, or the shade of the glaze on that ceramic you’ve been wanting to create just for yourself. 56
Immersing ourselves in nature in this way, focusing on those little details, perfections and quirks alike, and reflecting them in our own work can make us more reflective and feel more connected. There is something about nature which makes it more restorative than other subjects we might be inspired by, with its patterns, the reassurance that the appearance of each season brings, and its ability to just keep being.
The shapes and patterns in an outline drawing are often the structure from which we can then hang the detail and character of what we’re creating. Whether the work is abstract or it reflects its subject as it is, whatever it is, we try to represent the soul of the subject. Think of the robin who visits our gardens. We watch him hop and then catch him triumphantly posturing having energetically flapped at any other visitor who may have dared to stop at ‘his’ bird feeder. There is the character! In adding detail to an outline I want to capture this bright defiant nature. This may be through a little light in his eyes which contrasts with the rich black surrounding it, a slight change in the angle of his beak as it meets those tiny copper feathers on his face or creating movement with the deep shadows of the graphite pencil.
Nature reminds us to take that deep, conscious breath, take in that crisp air and always to create.
REPRESENT THE SOUL
INSPIRATION & SUPPORT FOR CREATIVE BUSINESSES
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.