Change is Coming // Dear Diary #3

Dear diary,

I’m leaving. And now everything looks brand new. All the views I’ve become used to after five years; suddenly I am seeing them with new eyes. With eyes that know this will soon be over. The photo above is one of the first I took after moving to Bristol in 2012, and soon I will be taking my last as a resident in this spectacular city.

I’m turning the page at the end of the most important chapter in my life so far. The Bristol chapter. The title of the new chapter? The North. Me and Fraz are moving to Staffordshire. On Tuesday Fraz got a phone call with an incredible new job offer! Of course he had to say yes!

The funny thing is, Fraz received this chapter-ending, page-turning phone call on the first official day of my new job with @Bristol; I found out that I’m leaving on my first day…! What makes things harder is I don’t have one job to leave, but two. That means I have to say goodbye to two incredible teams of awesome people who I’ve been working alongside. I’m only just getting to know them, and yet I always feel so appreciated, and like I belong.

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A few of the first photos I took after moving to Bristol

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In other news this week I received a beautiful letter from one of my new pen pals! The white envelope was decorated with painted flowers, and inside I discovered some knitted treasures, delicious tea, photographs, craft supplies, an adorable enamel pin badge, and a handwritten letter with some personal recommendations. I can’t wait to write my reply, and gather some sweet gifts for her!

The letter I sent to this pen-pal featured in one of my recent YouTube videos; that video is now the most popular on my channel, with over 500 views! What’s more my subscribers are growing, I’m getting lovely comments, and my Instagram is growing too. I feel so grateful to be part of these supportive communities of creative individuals, cheering each other on, sharing all the little things that make us happy.

For my YouTube content in the near future I am going to make an ‘opening my pen-pal letters’ video, to show the cute things I received, as well as a fun craft project video, a couple of decluttering videos, (especially now that we’re moving! My wardrobe declutter is actually my second most popular video), and some sketchbook/collage/mixed-media process videos. I also want to create a ‘Farewell to Bristol’ video before I go, to remember all the places, and faces that I will leave behind.

That being said, iMovie has been playing up this week! I edit all my videos in iMovie on my MacBook (which is a few years old now), and I think it’s getting a little bit tired. Due to this fact – alongside working two jobs, and moving across the country – I’m not sure how many videos I will be able to finish and upload in the next few weeks and months. As you might guess, I have a million ideas for videos and endless enthusiasm, but time and resources are out of my control at the moment. So, I will be kind and forgive myself, and upload when I can.

 

Amongst all of this, Fraz and I found time for a little adventure at the start of the week. Using our @Bristol free entry, we hoped aboard the famous SS Great Britain! This is a Bristol tourist attraction not to be missed; I’ve been before and found it just as interesting on this return visit. I don’t always pay attention to all of the facts and figures, but I love to absorb all the visual aspects, especially on the ship itself, where you feel as though you are taking a step back in time.

Bristol has so many incredible places to visit, and I’ve always enjoyed playing tourist in my own town, yet in two months I will actually become a tourist; just a visitor. Of course that is the positive thing to remember, I can always go back to a place. Change always comes, but I can return.


So it’s not quite goodbye, I’m just preparing myself. Time and me still don’t see eye to eye, so I thought it would be best to start saying my farewells now. This way I will be ready when the time does come to actually leave.

 

Peace and love,

Rachel x

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Exhibition Reflection and Moving Forward // Sunray Sister

Good evening sisters! How are you? Have you had a beautiful weekend?

Today was the final day of my first exhibition! The work has been taken down, holes filled and marks painted over. And lots of hugs have been given and friends made!

As I wheeled my suitcase of creations home, I was treated to these beautiful skies and the St Mary Redcliffe bells were ringing out…

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If you weren’t able to see the exhibition in person, please check out my video tour below, which shows the work of all eight artists involved in the show; all the links are in the video description (just press the little YouTube button in bottom right of video). And of course, big, big thanks to Spin of The Spiralling for bringing us all together.

 

It has been a lovely experience. I have met some wonderful, creative people. I also discovered that I can achieve what I set out to do. And I don’t have to give up and quit at the last-minute.

So that’s all in the past now. Where do I go from here?

  • I will re-open my Etsy shop in the next couple of weeks with some new and updated listings.
  • I will continue to upload YouTube videos every Wednesday.
  • I will also continue to publish posts here on Fridays, Sundays and Wednesdays. I have a HUGE plan of the content I want to share with you all, including specific posts planned out until May! So I’m feeling pretty organised.
  • And in the real world… well I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my personal values, and what I believe in, and I’ve started making a few changes which I will probably talk about here at some point.
  • I’ve also been thinking about how my personal values can help inform Sunray Sister: these include focusing on natural products and methods (such as fabric dyed with plants); creating little or no waste from my making process and the packaging I offer my products in; promoting less waste by making useful items like tote bags; simplifying our lives and slowing down; generally helping and informing people about how they can love themselves, all creatures and the planet even more than ever before! 
  • I would love to run workshops helping people in this way; sharing practical ideas for a more earth-friendly lifestyle, as well as getting outside in nature, being creative and having fun. I would love to get involved with forest schools too, and maybe something to do with art therapy.
  • I will finally be writing my business plan, and hopefully discussing my ideas with a mentor.
  • Even though I promised to stick to textile products in my 2017 business goals, I have realised this isn’t true to myself. I love to pick up whatever I feel drawn to, as long as I am being creative. I will be doing a full evaluation of my goals at the end of March, and plan to do the same at the end of every month; goals should evolve as you grow, not be rigid like a prison cell.

Altogether, I’m feeling positive, inspired and energised, but also calm, balanced and clearer than ever before! I am happy in the moment. I am not waiting for things to be perfect. I do not want things to be perfect. I am making small changes every day, and taking small steps. I am forgiving myself.

I feel that I have finally realised my whole aim in life: to help others achieve a simple, natural, creative life, (this TED talk actually helped me come to this conclusion, and might help you too!) Who cares if I’m sewing, drawing, singing, walking, collaging, writing, speaking… these are all vehicles for my message of joy!

I hope you are onboard and receiving me loud and clear!

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What have you achieved recently? How will you learn from it as you move forward? I’d love to hear about your experiences; leave a comment below or find me on social media.

Coming up:

  • Wednesday: my fifth YouTube video! This week there will be a tutorial with a twist.
  • Friday: an introduction to another new post series, (did you read about my other new series on Friday? It’s called Love Lessons, and is going to be all about sharing my love of learning with you all!)
  • Sunday: ideas for celebrating Mother’s Day. Because mothers are worth celebrating!

See you soon sisters! Enjoy the start to a fresh new week, and remember to love yourself and look out for others.

 

 

Peace and love,

Rachel x