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Nurture Vol. 2 Home Winter 2018 Cover Image Alexander J Collins Editor Kate Cullen

Contributors Charlotte Argyrou, Kiki-Sunshine Boonwaat, Alexander J Collins, Jess Collins, Jen Feroze, Nikki Frettsome, Georgina Harrison, Tamryn Henn, Corrina Lowe, Hayley Potter, Claire Spiller, Bethany Stanley, Laura E Patrick, Susan Studd, Toast Event Design, Imogen Xiana

Submissions Kate Cullen Subscriptions Logo Design Gemma Milly


Published quarterly by Nurture & Bloom All Rights Reserved.



Vol 2

HOME Alpine


The Botanical Way What Makes A Home Home From Home Unending Circle of Life DIY Wreath-Making Tips Emma & the Most Beautiful Snow Beast Floral Dreamscapes Belonging

32 41

My Wild Winter Home is a State of Being Finding Beauty in Winter




NOTES 01 Editor's Letter 14 Poem


19 Festive Treats 37 Recipe 40 Winter in the Garden 50 Travel 55 Seasonal

41 50

59 Poem 60 Winter Dining




THE CONCEPT OF HOME The concept of home can mean so many things to different people - from a place to shelter, to people, towns and villages or native lands. From places they've lived all their lives, to countries they may have never set foot upon.


For this issue I wanted to touch on all these disparate meanings of home, as well as the winter season, which for many marks not only the year's end, but new beginnings. Christmas, birthdays and new year's celebrations for my family, like so many others, results in frenetic activities (mostly centred around feasting!). We step back into patterns and traditions enjoyed since were were children, our 'rootedness' that evolves as we age, as we create new rituals with the arrival of new generations. The joy of mixing young and old alike. It is our memories of people in the these places that make it home. Our territory. Conversely that same feeling can spring from nowhere, a sort of physical affection or emotional attachment or 'deja vu' for a landscape that just feels 'right'. There are places I have never visited before that when I came across them evoked what felt like a deep bond to the landscape I viewed before me. Whether through some sort of inherited memory or natural force of belonging I'm not sure, but the question of what feels like home was opened up to me, beyond the present tense. Perhaps like some animals we naturally 'heft' to the places of our ancestors, without the need for boundaries.

What makes home 'home'; for you? I invite you to ponder this question as you read through this winter serving of creativity from our members.  




CHEMIN DE CHAROUSSE I first arrived in Chamonix not long after my A-Levels nearly twenty years ago with a disposable film camera and a desire to climb Mont Blanc. I have since lived there, holidayed there, worked there and nearly died there, all on multiple occasions. It has become a place I consider home. The two chalets next to each other are part of the high mountain pasture of Chemin de Charousse. Its a collection of a few traditional 'protected architecture' chalets that sit on the shoulder of Les Houches with stunning views across the Mont Blanc valley. It used to consist of five farms but I believe they are all used as chalets now. In the Summer there are many mountain walks that begin here and the area is flooded with wild flowers.








ICONIC VIEWS These images were all shot on Kodak Portra 160 and 400 on a variety of cameras; Hasselblad, Mamiya RZ67 and Contax 645.  The bridge is the entrance to the valley,where cars drive under the far left arch and trains cross it. The three mountain peaks in a row form part of the Chamonix Aiguilles where I have had some of the best and worst climbing experiences of my life, it is one of my most treasured images of the region. The single mountain on its own is the iconic Aiguille du Dru and is my absolute favourite in the valley, despite having never climbed a route on it. The lighter grey patch of rock to the right of the summit is a scar from a huge rockfall in 2005 where we lost the Bonatti Pillar and with it one of the best alpine climbs. As temperatures across the globe begin to increase, the permafrost in the mountains is slowly melting and is causing rocks (some the size of buildings) to move and fall.  



INGREDIENTS White vinegar Baking soda Water Natural fabric, eg cotton, silk

Chop up your red cabbage into small pieces (as if you were making spiced red cabbage for eating), and add to a stainless steel pot. Cover in water and add a cup of vinegar for pinks, or a couple of tablespoons of baking soda for blues. Bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour. Sieve out the cabbage and discard, add your fabric to the pot and continue to simmer for around another half an hour. Rinse your fabric well, allow to air dry. Iron your fabric to help set the colour.

Red cabbage is a fabulous natural dye as it responds to the pH of the water and give you either lovely blues or purpley pinks depending on whether you add vinegar or baking soda (respectively). It is however a fugitive dye, so it will fade with sunlight or washing. So enjoy it whilst it lasts! I quite enjoy the evolving colours as the weeks and months pass, although you could mordant your fabric first to reduce the fading.





enveloped by the peaceful winter darkness, the soft whisper of home




"My world is one of creativity in which I am happiest. I am an artist

Susan is a multi-talented artist working in variety of mediums including textiles and silver for her company The Magic of Fireflies and Dragonflies.

who readily accepts a challenge and am moving on to explore new avenues of the world of art through using different media." 15

Home is where the heart is... In my case, my heart lies with the people and animals that live in my building.

We moved to our present abode in Suffolk, to be nearer my family and to enjoy a quieter life from the hustle and bustle of London. Just over six years ago it was an extended bungalow with the wildest of untamed gardens that I had ever encountered. It was totally redesigned by myself with the help of a local landscape gardener and I am fairly happy with the results, but gardens are one of those magical parts of life that change not only with the seasons but with your imagination and skills. We had got our new home really comfortable with gorgeous rugs, log burner and stylish furniture. We had brought all our memories and childhood treasures with us and had carefully put them away in their new chosen places. We were enjoying country life, meeting new people, making new friends and finding new interests to inspire and fill our newfound leisure time. Walking the dogs in new places, the beautiful natural landscapes were awe-inspiring. We had time to breathe and take in our new surroundings and I was enjoying creating new landscapes and natural objects such as flowers in my painting and textile art. Time came to a halt on a day in August, when in the early break of day we sat with my mother as she passed away. My heart broke even though my family was expecting this to happen. Through the following few weeks we were kept busy with my mother’s affairs, sadly my father had passed over twelve years previously. One afternoon I noticed that there were several moths on our walls and ceilings; that summer was very hot and had accelerated the breeding of various insects. On looking in cupboards and under furniture we discovered that we had a host of unwanted of visitors. A moth infestation had occurred under our very noses, the more we looked the worse the situation became. Horrified we had to sort through all our belongings and we literally threw away most of our childhood memories - treasures, photos, my beloved collection of books and my textile art stash all ended up in five huge skips. The tears rolled down our faces as we realised that an insect could hurt you emotionally so much, we clung to each other as we let go of our most cherished possessions, a wool rug made for me by my late grandfather, a blanket crocheted by my maternal grandmother, things that had been given to us both by our late parents, the whole process was devastating. 16

A SEASON OF CREATIVE INSPIRATION A friend of ours fits insect screens so we called in him to fit windows and doors with these to keep any insects out. We called in a pest control company during the first few days of Autumn, they sprayed the inside of the building and we had to stay away for the day. The insecticide they had used was supposed to be safe for humans and our pets, my birds were staying at a neighbour and we took the dogs with us for the duration. On our return we carried on with normal life, but we kept seeing moths. The infestation was still there. We found out that everywhere, all the carpets, the walls, in cupboards had been sprayed and that the chemical should have eliminated the pest. Little did we know that it would nearly eliminate one of our border collies who had to be hospitalised on a drip for nearly 48 hours, and the other collie had a severe seizure. I hated that building and what was happening inside it. We decided after another few seasons to have heat treatment to get rid of the unwanted guests, this failed three times. We had only two more chances to rid of these winged devils - we had to get rid of all our carpets, the rugs had long gone in a skip. All the carpeted rooms were cleared and the carpet was replaced with a textured hard flooring, as one of our border collies has severe hip dysplasia and doesn’t like walking on shiny surfaces. The moths live and breed under carpets and inside skirting boards and this was one of two chances to be rid of them. I was praying for a hard winter too to kill them off outside, inside the central heating keeps them activated, but if they were culled naturally outside we wouldn’t have so much of a problem in the coming summer. By now I was being treated for a breakdown as the anxiety of it all was just too much for me. Creatively I couldn’t bring myself to work with fabrics as a textile artist I was lost and couldn’t channel any of my energies in a way I was used to, I couldn’t even bring myself to do my beloved watercolours.


My husband sealed every skirting board in the bungalow, the join between the flooring and the skirting boards had been sealed by the carpet fitting company that laid the flooring, they were wonderful. We both filled in cracks and holes in walls, ceilings, cupboard floors around pipework in ceilings, everywhere! But we were still seeing male carpet moths flying around (the females don’t fly). Our next quest was to have the loft emptied as the previous owners had left it full of rubbish. Everything was thrown away out through a hole in the roof into a skip during the first week of snow - even the loft insulation! We had new insulation put in, the whole space was boarded out, the floors, walls and roof and then it was plastered. We put our few rarely used belongings in airtight boxes. I was so grateful for a cold winter, ‘the Beast from the East’  was perfect for killing off unwanted insects, and although cold, it was so refreshing for me! Now I look forward to our coming Winter, and we haven’t had lots of unwanted visitors through the heat of this Summer. All our possessions and clothes remain in vacuum bags inside airtight crates as a precaution. Our home is rather empty - so much was thrown away, furniture, belongings - the bungalow is not a home but a place to shelter. There is love in there but for each other and not a place for where my heart is. It will never be a real home for me, my world has been dramatically changed... it has taken me three years to start working again with fabrics, but everything is sealed away from anything crawling, climbing or flying. I am now using plants from my beloved garden to make silver jewellery and am inspired by winter patterns, frosts, snowflakes, icicles, our frozen pond.

I look forward to cold days now. Winter is a season to rejoice... the season for nature to rest... and for me to breathe a sigh of relief, a season of creative inspiration. 18







1 x pack of Shortcrust Pastry 480g Cherries (de-stone) 60g Ground Almonds 3 tablespoons of caster sugar 1 egg - beaten

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°/Gas Mark 6


METHOD Put a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Roll out 375g of the pastry and use it to line a 1 litre pie dish, trimming any excess pastry with a knife. Mix together the cherries, ground almonds and 3 tbsps of caster sugar and tip into the pastry-lined dish. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into long strips, long enough to cover the whole width of the dish. Weave the strips together over the pie filling to form a lattice pattern. Press down the edges to seal and trim off any excess pastry. Brush the lattice with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the rest of the sugar. Transfer the pie to the hot backing sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.Â




HOT TODDY Put 1tsp of honey and a measure of whiskey in a mug or heatproof glass. Add two cloves and half a cinnamon stick, then top up with just off the boil water. Stir in a slice of orange and just enough orange juice to balance the sweetness of the honey.

ROASTED CHESTNUTS Pre heat your oven to 200C, simply cut a cross into the skin of each chestnut and 23

roast for 20 minutes.

TEAM Photography | Imogen Xiana Stylist & Food | Toast Event Design Florist | Anna Le Pley Taylor




Our homes are an extension of ourselves. Visit mine and you'll find a sofa that takes up 75% of the room, large enough for us to jump on with our daughter by day and pile onto at night with the dogs snuggled beneath blankets and candles lit. It feels calm and yet there are always flowers and the home is rarely without music of some sort. What makes a home is inherently personal and yet it’s not so much about what we know from visiting somebody else, it's about how we feel.

But the point of this article is not to give you a Rightmove-worthy tour of my home but instead to point out that just as our homes give off so much insight into the person that resides inside, so much is true of our virtual homes… our websites. In my job I see a lot of home pages, it is one of the pages I spend my time writing the most and it plays a massive part in who comes to visit.  After all, your home page sets the tone for your entire site, it is like the welcome porch, if you will.

Ages ago a relative commented to us that our house smells a little bit “dog”. Instantly I was horrified that my house didn’t smell like fresh linen with a side order of lavender.  But then I had a reality check, what matters most to me?  My family.  And that includes my dogs – and since I have more dogs than children, smelling of dog is about as likely as standing on a Duplo brick, it's just how we roll.

Is it stylish? Warm? Minimal? Filled with family photos? Practical? Trendy? How do you want your customer to feel when they land on your page and also, who are they? Who is the perfect house guest?   The one so ideal that you have the guest room made up and a teapot brewing the moment that they knock?  



start with the heart...

For me, I know that my client is a small business owner, she's soulful, authentic and wants to be seen for who she is.

And yet I see website after website that has the same format – the lead magnet pop up, the I’vebeen-where-you-are rags to riches tale, that same rhetoric introduction on repeat, accompanied with a cheesy photo and perhaps a rose gold flat lay for good measure. It feels as if so many people are following a template of how they think they need to appear to get work.

We have great conversation, she appreciates good quality and she isn’t afraid to go beneath the surface and answer the tough questions. She loves animals, trusts her instincts and has a dirty sense of humour. Above all, she's someone that I want to see again and cultivate a real connection with, long after the project has completed.

This is the equivalent of going to Ikea and kitting out your house in everything straight from the shelves or opening an interiors magazine and imitating another person and their join-the-dots décor design. It's more show home than soul home and that is the problem.  A show home will attract a certain type of person - sure, your house looks lovely and your taste is impeccable but the feeling will be lacking – where is the heart in this home?  You can copy the trends, the style, the oh-so-Scandi interior but you’ll be missing one vital element: you.

My website reflects this. It shows who I am and speaks to who she is.  It is not a catch-all website, it's designed to attract only the people my teapot is hot for.  It’s also unique to me.  It has little text but much feel, no bells and whistles and no shouting about any accolades or acclaim – I learned a long time ago, the people who care about my on-paper success are probably people I would change the locks to prevent.  And therefore it doesn't get a feature on my site.   27

And the same is true with your site. If your voice can’t be heard because you sound the same as everybody else then you’ll never truly attract your actual client, the type who is looking for what you really offer deep down.  Every time you rush around tidying up and staging everything to impress that potential visitor you run the risk of disengaging with the real-life creative who seeks what you sell and who you actually are.  The real, imperfect yet utterly authentic you. So when my clients begin working with me and planning their text, they always ask “where do we start?” and my answer is always, every single time “with the heart”.  Your home page is an insight into who you are, it’s the doorway to your soulful space, so don’t design or de-clutter to impress or blend in, don’t cookie cutter it up to sound the same as everybody else, simply throw open that door and show some soul.  Because home is where the heart is. 

And for all of the style, the glamour and the gloss of a perfectly polished show-home worthy website, it's only when you tell the truth about who you are from the very first word, that you learn there truly is no place like home. 28





We were the first to move in on the entire street, there were no road signs, no house numbers and it was devoid of homeliness. I set about designing, softening, colourinfusing our white box. But the hardest job in the process (and the one that most frequently stumps me) is getting our pictures on the walls and finding the right artwork that represents us. How do I choose the best from 10,000 photos of my children? Should they be depicted as babies? Together, or apart? And what about artwork – my own or a stranger's? An interior designer friend of mine once told me about a trip she'd taken adventuring through Cuba, long before she offered a design service. She was overwhelmed with a rush of emotion seeing how people would decorate their walls, even living in the most basic of circumstances. With nothing in the way of what we term luxuries, she visited homes that were nevertheless filled with colour and creativity. I found it a poignant anecdote, because it's a reminder that we are surrounded by endless opportunities to create.

One of my favourite things about visiting other people's homes is nosily peering up and around at what they have on the walls and doors. I love to see which objects, artwork and photographs they choose to transform their vertical space. Outwardly, this vertical space provides security and warmth of the most elemental kind. But inwardly, our walls offer endless possibility for adornment, personalisation and curation of a gallery filled with our favourite memories and inspirations. It’s a fundamental difference between a space and a home.

There have been phases in my life where I’ve been “too busy” – ha! – to decorate my home simply to mark the changing of the season. But keen for my children to connect with nature's cycle, I'm now placing more emphasis on these symbolic acts. In Winter, I'm grateful for an afternoon indoors detangling and erecting fairy lights, and that triumphant moment when I climb down from the chair and we countdown to the big Switch On.

When we moved to our home three years ago, a brand new build contemporary townhouse, I felt like I’d been dropped from outer space into Witness Protection. It was a white box.


My ultimate Preparation-for-Winter moment is the hanging of the wreath. Could there be a warmer invitation to the outside world to say, “Come in! There’s soup and buttery crumpets!”? I chatted to artisan florist Clare Oliver, who hosts annual wreath-making workshops in an interiors boutique near my home: "Wreaths represent the unending circle of life and are often made of evergreen leaves, along with an abundance of other festive foliage and berries which symbolise everlasting life throughout tough winters. Their symbolism and seasonal natural look brings warmth to our hearts and gives us that extra special Christmassy feeling".

3 TIPS FOR DIY WREATH-MAKING 1. Create a strong base – mine is simply a stretched-out coat hanger covered in pinecones – then refresh it each year with fresh foliage, fruit or decorations.

My street - now filled with families - put on a very good show of wreaths last Winter. I wanted to slip a note under every door, to say “thank you for making me smile”. Of course I didn't, too embarrassed that my emotional outburst would unsettle my neighbours.

2. Attend a workshop. So many florists offer an evening of wreath-making with mulled wine and seasonal celebrations. What nicer way to meet new friends and create something beautiful for your home?

But notecards aside, I am proud of those homeowners who choose to warm the coldest days with hanging a symbol of the unending circle of life. I am comforted by their subtle nod to the season. And naturally, I am intrigued by their design choices – be it abundant foliage or light-up baubles. I wonder what they have on their walls?

3. Do your thing. Choose a colour palette you adore and cover it in your favourite foliage, flowers, fruits, toys, sweets, baubles and ribbons. It doesn’'t have to look perfect to be beautiful.  




An easterly wind hushed you in, anticipation hung in the air, curtains twitched, feet raced back and forth to icy windows and breathing swirls of warm breath against chilled panes we signed our excitement for you to see. “Hurry” were our words.. Beast you arrived in force and all those whose hearts are open were instantly bewitched by your beauty. All the birds of the heavens came to play, swooping and dancing and singing to your velvet beat. Children were excitedly bundled up into a rainbow of woollen mittens and hats, a mass of colour, laughter and the pit-a-pat of feet broke the silence and frozen landscape. Unitedly we braved the icy front, numbed noses nipped by the wind certainly were no match for our fascination. Goodness no! Enchantment took over and charmed we watched you transfer our familiar land into a wonderland of white. Obscure silhouettes, muted tones of winter ravaged flora, and the gentle fall of pure alchemy transfixed us! ...It was a snow day! Then, there's you, embracing the whole magnificence with arms (and mouth) wide open. You're always one to feed all your senses, seeing just doesn't cut it with you, oh no you have to taste, feel, smell and hear every new experience and wonder to the fullest. Often space and deep reflection follows as you contemplate. I observe, the quiet voice inside reminding me, instinctive hands-on learning is always much more fun. Merriment echoed throughout the neighbourhood, community came together, and time stood still.  The only agenda? Total abandonment! Piping hot bowls of soul warming soup, mugs of indulgent marshmallow crowned hot chocolate. Often the simplest pleasures are truly the greatest.   “This is the best day ever!!” screamed many a child (erm… and a few adults).    February 2018 will be etched into our memories and hearts forever. March was the month gusts of Emma collided with the most Beautiful Beast from the East morphing our Cornish Land into a riotous magical snow globe…for this we are grateful.





BUNDT CAKE THE ULTIMATE DECADENCEÂ The perfect cake for an indulgent winter evening in with friends. This cake is a slice of calorific heaven!


Serves 10 - 12 250g plain flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp salt 200ml buttermilk Finely grated zest of an unwaxed lemon, plus 1-2 tbsp lemon juice 125g softened butter, plus extra for greasing 200g caster sugar 3 large free-range eggs Biscoff spread melted and crushed lotus biscuits to decorate


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Lightly butter a bundt or ring mould cake tin. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate and salt together. Mix the buttermilk (or yogurt mixture) and lemon zest. Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little of the flour with the last one. Gradually add the rest of the flour with the buttermilk, one after the other, until thoroughly mixed. Pour into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes or until well risen and pale golden brown. Loosen the sides of the cake with a round-bladed knife and turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Melt the biscoff spread in a microwave (a few tbsps should do the trick) and pour over the cake. Top with crushed biscoff cookies and leave to set before slicing and serving.Â



As the days draw in and mornings greet us with a frosty air, the garden slows down for Winter. Without their leaves, trees take on a statuesque like structure and the whole landscape changes in form and colour. Against this backdrop, splashes of colour are a real joy to behold. The sturdy heads of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ offer late colour in rich red tones.  The yellow flowers of Clematis tangutica 'Bill Mackenzie’ go on through November and transform into wispy seed heads, which add interest all Winter. At this time of year, I love the fiery red of Blueberry leaves before they drop and the stems of Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’, which offer firework-like shoots of gold and red. 

Drying your own flowers and seed-heads is easy to do. Simply pick flowers at their best on a dry day and seed heads once they’re fully formed but before they shed. Hang upside-down in a cool, dry and dark place until completely dry. If you're drying Hydrangea heads you will need to place them in a vase with just an inch of water and allow them to dry slowly in the vase out of direct sunlight. You can then enjoy these flowers as little memories of summertime and their muted tones work wonders with festive foliage.

At a time when it may seem that there’s nothing to pick for a vase there are so many treats to look out for. Instead of armfuls of summer flowers, think of seed-heads, dried flowers, foliage and branches. A few of my favourite dried heads include: Teasel - very spiky but definitely worth having, Allium – particularly the spidery form of ‘Schubertii’, Honesty – delicate and translucent, Hydrangea – a timeless dried flower, Clematis seed-heads, Sedum, Helichrysum, grasses, and Statice.

Hedgerows and shrubs left unpruned offer berries and rose hips, and nothing quite says Christmas like holly berries. We should all consider leaving some seed-heads and berries to stand over winter, rather than being too tidy in the garden. Not only will this leave you with structure and interest over winter, but it will provide a much-needed food source for garden birds. Look out for new growth in spring, then cut away any dead material to allow light to reach the emerging plants.

So many plants, if left, will provide you with beautiful seed heads to enjoy both in the garden and as excellent material for Christmas wreaths and garlands.



For me its always the subtle moments, colours and light that draw me in. The abstract, the second glance, the wonderful magic and mystery of the natural world. It was the simplicity of drying a Hydrangea and watching its colours fade from deep moody tones to pale pastels that started my floral dreamscape series. The light and the dark, the softness and the delicate. I took a series of multiple exposures on my beloved medium format Pentax 645 and wanted to really explore this notion of subtle colour and change, elevating it into an abstract dreamscape. I love the mystery they create and the colour palette rendered on beautiful analogue film.

Georgina's full dreamscape series is available to purchase as beautiful prints for the home. 41






ARTICLE BY KIKI-SUNSHINE BOONWAAT Images by Nkki Frettsome from The Edge of Elsewhere

Kiki-Sunshine is creator of Gather co. and an Empowerment and Business Coach. She helps women connect with themselves, their soul and their leadership so they can move into creating their next level vision with simplicity and flow. Kiki's work is a fusion of soul connection, intuitive development, somatics, psychological practice, quantum physics, neuroscience and business strategy that guides women through a gentle but potent transformational process and assists them in actualising their own unique way of living, doing business and creating results. 44

Over the past few years my definition of home has changed. In fact I think perhaps my true definition of what home has always meant to me has been highlighted intensely. I don’t relate the word home to where I live and house what is special to me, although obviously the place where my family resides is a treasured space and a place that has to energetically feel comforting, welcoming and open. BY KATE CULLEN

But home to me relates to the degree of belonging that I feel in my body. Over three years ago I fell pregnant and over the course of both the pregnancy and post partum period of my life I felt disconnected – from who it was I had previously been, from where it was I previously lived, from the body that I was enclosed within and from the ability to read, determine and translate the world around me via my senses, my intuition and the trust that I had previously held for myself. And when we call everything into question that way it becomes all too easy to loose our confidence, our trust, our ability to believe in ourselves and of course from there, our ability to build a life that we love. It takes a learning period of getting to know yourself again, becoming familiar with who you are, what you’r e capable of, what you enjoy and how you feel about all of the small elements, moments and things that create a life you enjoy. It’s hard to describe the feeling of intense disconnection with your body in words suffice to say though that it has been quite a journey of discovery, frustration, of unveiling and reshaping who it is I am, was or want to be and just what it is that I want to do and get out of this life that I have in this body. It’s the connection that you’r e able to build with yourself, with the senses and skills that your body holds and allows you to feel, to read and to know that creates a sense of belonging. It’s being able to stand up against all you may have thought you knew and ask what is right and true for you, whether you do actually still feel or believe the same thing that you thought you always had - whether you even like or enjoy something or whether it’s just become habit - that leads us into that connection, into that truth, that firm and deep knowing of who we are which leads to rebuilding trust, confidence, connection, respect and love for ourselves and our bodies. And it’s becoming truly embodied that gives us the clarity, peace and space for creativity to flow through our veins, to become the stronger part of our life force, the dominant magical feature that we find ourselves awash with before life distracts us from its path.



When I was a child creativity and imagination were omnipresent. My sense of belonging anywhere was not - a broken home, divorced parents, moving often, being of ethnicity in schools or towns that had no other mixed race children, my sense of placement in the world was never about anything external.

Home to me is a sense of presence - of life, of being alive, of being fully and truly open –

But the fire I feel in my chest when I hold my daughter, the sense of stillness and calm that washes over me when I indulge all of my senses in my art, in my craft, the envelopment of the emotions I hold, of the responses my body has, of the delight that brings to my soul, of the elevation and even sometimes the weight that we experience as the energy of our emotions pass through our being – that's what’'s familiar, that’'s what makes me feel alive, that’s what reminds me that I am whole, embodied and that’'s what tells me that I am home.

rid of any blocks - for creative energy to flow through your vessel and of being awake and aware of it all being there for you to embrace and mold into the life that you adore and that brings you belonging, happiness and fulfillment. 46




Walking and exploring has always been an important part of my creative process. I make short films, take photos, collect and sketch as I travel. I think it's essential to bring new resources into the studio as regularly as possible and these are some of the ways I do that. These brush and ink works were created last winter from film, memory and photographs after a walk taken at Badbury Rings in Dorset. They aim to capture my experience of this place on that day. Film as reference is the closest thing to drawing on location from life that I can achieve in my studio. Film captures the energy, movement and sound of something in a way my static photos do not. When I’m making, I blend this reference with my own memory and awareness of the spirit of the place. The fluidity of ink allows me to work spontaneously and quickly – I am not an artist who works in pencil first!

Hayley Potter is a British Artist and Writer. She trained at the Royal College of Art in London. Her work has been exhibited, commissioned and collected internationally. Hayley is inspired by the wild, folklore, the magic of the everyday and the stories that give us a unique sense of ownership over the land and spaces we visit.

I create many works, thinking through making and then edit them into a set that represents my intention. Sometimes this set will then go on to inform something else, like a ceramic piece. It’s a very organic process that is intuitively led, I try not to let my head get in the way too much!


Whilst my personal experience of this land is important to my creative process, so too is an awareness of the stories that gave our ancestors ownership over this place. Badbury Rings is an Iron Age hill fort, known for its history, flora and fauna. It is also associated with a lot of folklore and is believed to be where King Arthur had his greatest battle Mons Badonicus (Mount Badon). The legend is that after his victory he was turned into a raven by a witch and his soul lives on as this enchanted black bird, protecting this site. This National Trust site is a magical place to visit in any season. It is one of my favourite places to see the elusive hare, but that's a story for the spring‌





Is home a place or is it a feeling? A gravity that pulls not only our hearts but our souls themselves. Is it the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs and nothing else? The laughter of a loved one or the feel of their skin on your fingertips? For me home is both a place and a feeling. Home is amongst the mountains, where the clouds rise above the precipice and sit below my feet, where the idea of infinity seems somehow less mind twisting. Home is the crunch of snow beneath my feet, the air biting at my lungs and grasping at my chest, reminding me that I am very much alive. As a creative, home life and work life can often become very much intertwined and confused, so finding home outside of the four walls and outside of our own minds can often be essential to both our creative and artistic process, as well as our mental well being. I have found that home is a state of being, a realisation that sometimes feeling at home is the opposite of being at home, it is feeling free and unrestricted and in the arms of nature. Why do the mountains draw me? They are unattainable, and therefore a reminder that I am only very small, I am only human. Nothing grounds me more than being stood in the silent, thin air of a mountain top, it is an awe inspiring experience and one of the only places my mind seems to be still. I am able to switch off from the world and focus solely on what I want to achieve and how I want to exist. The danger in not finding our space, our place of peace where our minds come to rest, is the very real threat of burning out. I myself have experienced the feeling of running my energy stores dry, of waking up in the morning and not being able to get out of bed, let alone tackle the world. I truly believe that breaks from our work routines, especially as creatives and artists where so much of our heart and emotional resources end up being poured into our businesses, are as essential to our success, our relationships and our physical and mental wellbeing as our work ethic itself. In order to push forward, we must know when to step back, and we must know where we are most at ease. Finding this space, this home, is vital. Knowing where you need to be when you find that your mind is thick with fog and thoughts and insecurities is essential to growing as a person. Connecting with nature, our truest home, cleanses us in a way that nowhere else can. Whether that be the mountains, the ocean, the forest behind your house, find your home in nature and it will become your solace in a world of noise.










If you ask anyone what their favourite season is, the chances are that very few people will respond with Winter, and for me it's certainly not a time that I have enjoyed in the past. However, over the years I have come to what I might call an uneasy truce with this dark, moody and cold season. I've come to understand winter is a natural and necessary time for rest not only for plants and animals but also for we humans too, and I’m slowly learning to accept it rather than dread it. In the UK, the recent interest in the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ could arguably be due to the fact that over here many of us do struggle with winter, we don’t really ‘do winter’ well in this country. I for one was one of those that rushed to buy the latest books on hygge to help me find a way to lift my winter mood and embrace the darker nights and cold days. Certainly, making my home cosy, lighting candles, baking, and curling up under soft blankets on the sofa with my family on dark winter nights has helped. However, as someone who is so naturally drawn to being outdoors, I wanted to find a way to enjoy the daytime and being in a garden when everything outside seemed so uninviting, just as much as I enjoy gardens in summer, and as much as I had started looking forward to channelling those hygge vibes in my home in the evening. There's little a gardener can do on frozen or waterlogged soil, so how could I find pleasure in being outdoors and find my own version of the positive feelings that ‘hygge’ brings, but outside in a distinctly un-cosy winter garden? My work means that my eye is trained to notice colour combinations and texture. Naturally we gardeners and florists concern ourselves with flowering seasons and how planting/flower combinations work together, and certainly most hobby gardeners tend mostly to think of enjoying their gardens, or those of others, in the warmer seasons when colour and texture abounds. However, a well thought out garden has something to offer in winter too, it is something often forgotten, but equally as important, and that is structure and form. Structure is the backbone of the garden, it’s what holds it together when the froth of spring and summer has faded and the last leaf has fallen from the trees in autumn. Without structural elements, the garden in winter can become a barren landscape of bare earth. Structure mostly comes in the form of evergreen plants strategically placed to create interest, frame an area, or lead the eye. It can also come in the form of plants that offer beautiful forms such as magnificent seed heads, colourful stems or winter berries that shine out from the backdrop of greyness like precious jewels. 56

Plants such as this that retain structure and interest in the garden through winter also offer the opportunity for spiders to weave their silken webs between stems and branches which look stunning with dewy moisture droplets sparkling on a misty morning or shrouded in frost crystals on a crisp cold day. I now look at winter gardens as an opportunity to notice a different kind of beauty, the beauty of it when it’s stripped back to its basic structure and forms, displaying the parts of itself that are shrouded or disguised in summertime, to me a garden in winter has a delicate vulnerability but also displays great strength and spirit. Re-framing how I see a garden in winter has really helped me to stave off those winter blues and embrace the season. My hobby of garden photography has also helped greatly as I now make trips to gardens in winter too, or take myself outside with positive intention to seek what is interesting and different. I love to capture what catches my eye, not only for my own enjoyment but also to share with and inspire others. Purposefully seeking something to capture in a photograph or even a sketch book focuses your mind and trains your eye to see beauty in things that initially you may not have noticed or considered beautiful, and I have found the more you practice doing it the more you will see. That beauty may be much more subtle, but to me that is what makes it all the more precious.

You don't need a fancy camera, an iPhone would work just as well as it’s not necessarily about capturing the perfect quality photo, it’s more about fostering enjoyment in being present, aware and observing something you may not have noticed before.



The Nurture & Bloom Book Club runs monthly, and each new book is chosen by Kate or a Group member 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 Chasing Slow - Erin Loechner

Each month we set a date and Kate holds a Facebook Group discussion, this is followed up on the blog.




It’'s the key jingle, the lock click. Your hand in mine, fingers interlaced. The train pulling in, and the glint of sun on sea, lifting morning fog. It's too many books, the warm, spiced smell of Christmas, Nick Drake's Northern Sky. The hush and huddle PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA E PATRICK

of fireworks in the garden. Sparklers in small fists. Our golden windows as night puddles like velvet in the streets outside. 59



Dining with family and friends in winter is one of life's pleasures - the opportunity to set a log fire burning, light some candles and cosy up with a glass of mulled wine. I've put together a few ideas for celebrating in style and with thoughtful touches that will make your guests smile.

Decorate your table with mis-matched vessels filled with foraged leaves, bracken and flowers from your garden (or supplemented from a fabulous florist like these from Bramble & Wild). Scatter the table liberally with candles of different heights, sticking to warm neutral palettes that accentuate the cosiness. Use odds and ends of fabric and ribbon to tie small table gifts - a great alternative to wrapping paper, much of which cannot be recycled.








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.

Profile for Kate Cullen

Nurture & Bloom Magazine Vol 2: HOME