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

YouTube Plans! // Sunray Sister

Hello sisters! How are you? I’ve written just over 30 posts on this blog since it launched in October 2016, and I thought it was about time to spice things up a bit. So, I am going to be launching my very own Sunray Sister YouTube channel! Aaaaaaah! I am so excited. A bit too excited!

Today I thought I would give you a taste of the types of video I will be creating. As always I have a million and one ideas, but it’s best to start with lots and then narrow it down. Let me know what you think: anything I should cut out? Anything I haven’t thought of? Tell me down in the comments or reach me on social media.

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Overall idea for channel…

The main point of producing videos for Sunray Sister will be to further promote my message of ‘positivity via creativity’. This means not only making videos about craft and art, but also about having a creative lifestyle and a positive mindset. The channel will be about finding creative solutions, celebrating creativity, leading a positive life, going on adventures and having fun! 

I have put all of my ideas into five categories…

copy-of-copy-of-seize-the-daySunray Sister Shows You How

These videos will be the main feature of my channel to begin with. There will be a wide variety of techniques and materials covered, with clear instructions and a focus on using craft to relax and have fun! I will also include longer projects (such as dressmaking and knitting), spread across a few videos.

seize-the-day-1Sunray Sister Show & Tell

Similar to ‘…shows you how’, but I will be showing you some finished projects instead! These could include new items for my Etsy shop, as well as personal work such as sketchbook pages.

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-seize-the-daySunray Sister Ventures Out

Let’s go out and explore! These videos will take you on a mini-adventure, anywhere from the woods to the museum.

copy-of-seize-the-day-1Sunray Sister Sings a Song

For this section of the Sunray Sister YouTube channel, I will be re-connecting with music. I love to sing and play piano, and I would love to share this with you!

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-seize-the-daySunray Sister Gets Personal

The final area of my channel will explore creative and alternative lifestyles, including minimalism and veganism. Plus simple ‘plan with me’ and ‘my routines’ videos, which I love to watch, so I would love to make my own versions!


 

That’s it, all my content ideas!!! Please let me know what you think! I’m feeling so positive about this. I believe it will help me to build my confidence, clarify my thinking, reach a new audience, and it will be a lot of fun!

In the next few weeks my blog schedule is going to be shaken up a bit, so watch out for extra content very soon – more on that this Sunday!

Have an awesome day, and see you back here on Friday for a sneak preview of new hand-sewn goodness coming your way this February!

 

Peace and extra love!

Rachel x

Personal Goals for 2017 // Sunray Sister

Hello sisters! How is your week going so far? Today I want to share a few personal things with you, because this business is a huge journey for me, and I want you to know what’s going on behind it. I want you to know what matters to me.

Last month I shared my business goals for 2017. Those goals are about fixed targets and going out of my comfort zone to achieve new things. My personal goals are about coming back to myself, so that I can create my best self. They are about being able to have a solid foundation from which I can jump up to my business goals, and then still have something comfortable to land on!

For my personal goals, I have created four main categories: Health, Habits, Finance and Fun. These are four broad areas which I want to improve throughout the year. Let’s see what’s in each one…

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Health – diet and exercise

In 2017 I will get better at looking after my body and my mind.

I have already made a major change this year by becoming vegetarian. I have always eaten meat, but I suddenly realised that I don’t need to, my body doesn’t need it, and I no longer need to harm animals. What’s more I am taking part in Veganuary, a vegan challenge for January.

I also want to move more, and breathe in more fresh-air. In 2017 I aim to walk outside everyday. Doing a lot of work from home often means I get stuck inside all day. When I get outside I feel a million times better. Obviously I need to build up to doing serious exercise eventually, such as running and cycling.

By eating well and exercising regularly, my mind will become clearer and my body will feel happier. To add to this, I want to revisit yoga and meditation. I have done some basic meditation in the past using the Headspace app on my phone, and I have learnt some yoga moves from a class and books, so I would like to pick these up again in 2017.

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Habits – planning and possessions

In 2017 I will become more organised and have fewer possessions.

Time is my biggest demon. Yet I know that I can conquer it, with the power of lists! And lists! And more lists!!! Plus a lot of willpower. If I want to be self-employed, or at least to begin with be able to juggle a job with running a small business, I need a daily routine. That means no lie-ins, no late nights. It means creating effective to-do lists, daily and weekly schedules, and prioritising.

Aside from all the serious stuff, I need to remember the mundane things. Cleaning and chores. Planning meals and doing food shopping. These basic things often get forgotten. But in 2017 I want to give them a place and respect my chores with a set routine and plan.

Before I can truly see clearly however, I need to get rid of the physical things that are in my way. I’m talking about clutter. Possessions. Stuff. There is a big trend at the moment for minimalism and I think this is great. So over the next couple of months I will be clearing out a lot of my belongings. I might also film the process to share later, when I launch my YouTube channel, which is one of my business goals!

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Finances – the necessary stuff

In 2017 I will be financially secure and be in control of my money.

To me, money is such an abstract concept. Quite similar to time. In the age of plastic cards, and online shopping and banking, I basically never see money. And yet it makes me miserable. So it is another demon which I need to conquer, this time with the power of spreadsheets!!! And possibly an accountant. Money is also quite a private thing, so I won’t say anymore here.

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Fun – the nice stuff

In 2017 I will have fun and do things that I love.

There are a lot of things that I love to do, but I hardly ever do them. So this year I am determined to make some time for fun.

I love music, but it has got slightly buried in my life recently. In 2017 I want to start practicing piano and singing regularly again; just for me to start with, and eventually for sharing at gigs and in YouTube videos again.

Of course I love art and crafts as well. This year I want to start building a handmade wardrobe by sewing clothes from patterns that I already own (I have quite a lot of dress patterns!), and I will probably film the process for YouTube as well. I also want to get back into collaging and start a journal that combines collage, drawing, paint and my written thoughts, in order to reflect on my emotions.

I often forget about the people in my life, so I also want to add a final, and most important goal for 2017, to plan special dates with Fraz, my boyfriend. These could be dates out to the cinema, for a walk, for a meal, or dates in to watch a film or play games.

 

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My 2017 personal goals list

  1. Be vegetarian and try being vegan
  2. Walk outside everyday
  3. Practice yoga and meditation
  4. Plan each day
  5. Respect chores and create a routine for them
  6. Plan meals and prepare in advance
  7. De-clutter and become minimalist
  8. Become financially secure and track finances
  9. Practice piano
  10. Learn cover songs
  11. Sew clothes from patterns I already own
  12. Keep a collage journal
  13. Plan special dates with Fraz

 

What are you planning this year? Do you want to change? Are you going to be your best possible self? Let me know about all of your crazy plans in the comments or via social media. You could also follow me on Instagram for more personal insights and daily inspiration.

See you again this Friday for episode six of Playtime. Have a great week sisters!

 

Peace and love

Rachel x