Filling the Well
Filling the well of inspiration in places that we love is so important before diving into the next project. And that’s exactly what I did last week in the beautiful English countryside.
Here are a few photos!
It’s amazing how some places can instantly feel like home even when you’ve never visited them before (at least not in this lifetime…). England always has this effect on me. The moment my foot touches the ground at the airport, I get this magical rush of joy, excitement and yes, this feeling of coming home.
This time we were in the Cotswolds, a delightfully charming region I had wanted to visit for many years. The little towns and villages all have such a cosy, friendly and fairy-tale-like feel. I love the color and texture of the stones that every building is made of (from the walls to the roof!), it creates a quiet, down-to-earth vibe that I find so grounding and comforting. And of course flowers were everywhere, rambling freely over the cottages like so many little works of art. Roses are my favorite and I made sure to bring back plenty of inspiration for varieties to plant at home (many thanks to the gardeners who take the time to label the roses in the beautiful gardens we visited, I always love to know their names!).
This trip was all about filling the well and recharging the batteries in-between two intense periods of work, and our little family made the most of it by switching off completely (at least for me!) and spending plenty of fun time together, just the 4 of us. When we travel to the UK or Ireland, we’ve made it a tradition to end each daily excursion with a stop at the tea-room to talk and laugh around a good cup of tea with cakes and scones (or sometimes hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows for the kids!). This year the weather was so lovely that we sometimes switched tea-time for ice-creams, yum! So good for the soul…
We stayed in the loveliest house in a village called Minchinhampton (which reminds of Miss Minchin in “A Little Princess”, only much friendlier…) and if you ever visit the area, I cannot recommend it enough. The house has lovely gothic windows which was perfect for our project of the week: hunting for Harry Potter filming locations and places that have inspired the author (J.K. Rowling is from this area).
As a result, we visited some incredibly beautiful, ancient places like the Cathedral of Gloucester, Christ Church College and New College in Oxford (hubby and I would so love to be students there!). Puzzle Wood in the Forest of Dean was magical and we could really imagine ourselves entering the Forbidden Forest… It was all so exciting and fun!
And no matter where we went, I made sure to open my eyes and my soul to all the magic and beauty we constantly came across. I took it all in and had to remind myself to take a few pictures too! The things that always attract my eye are doors and passages, flowers of course, and I also love to look at my feet for some less obvious beauty…
We are back home now and busy as honey-bees again because Soulful Abstracts has just started! There is still plenty of video editing to do as this is the inaugural session and we release the lessons every few days. I love that this encourages the students to really take the time to do the “pre-work” activities without being tempted to dive right into the bigger projects: we might do this again in future sessions. Speaking of which, enrollment will open again at the end of September! If this adventure is calling you, make sure to join my email tribe and put your name on the wait list (the first session filled in just 4 days!)
I also love that all the student interaction can now happen directly within the classroom on my site: people are sharing, connecting and engaging with the lessons even more, and it makes it so much easier for me to answer everybody’s questions (without having to scroll through a Facebook feed trying no to miss anything!). We do have a Facebook group to connect even more but I like to think of it as the students’ lounge, while I can now focus on the teaching part in the classroom! It also feels more inclusive because now everyone can participate without the need to be on FB (who said everyone should be?). This new system is now available in all my classes, yay!
Next up: Layers of Light opens again at the end of the month with a new and very special little something… and in the meantime, if you would like to create with me, you are more than welcome to join my free 5-part workshop all about art supplies! This video series comes straight from Soulful Abstracts and it is such a wonderful opportunity to loosen up and spend some fun and relaxing creative time. I’d love to see you there!
Light & Love
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Layers of Light
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