Where does the time go?! Being a busy mum of two, working part time and running a small business means sometimes I tend to neglect my blog and end up writing for others instead of myself – which is all very good but surely I can do both? I know it’s my own fault but there always seems to be something else I need to do, (including the gardening, keeping the house running, shopping, oh and of course coffee and a chat with friends, very important for my sanity!)
I was thinking the other day, “what’s missing from my life right now?” Well, I was actually sitting down with the Headspace meditation app which I have been doing for 18 months or so. (I’d really recommend it – whenever I feel like my head is too busy, which it often is, I get back to Headspace on my phone). The app is great; you just download the ‘pack’ you want to follow and away you go – ten minutes of calm a day, bliss.
The new pack I have just started is called ‘Acceptance’. Basically, I had to think about what, and who I am resisting right now. To be honest, I’m pretty happy with my lot, in fact very happy. So I found it hard to answer this question straight away (well, the whole point is that you don’t answer it straight away, but anyway). The only thing I could think of is that I’m a little frustrated that I’m:
a) not writing enough for my own blog and
b) not drawing or sewing at the moment.
Both are things I really enjoy but have to be in the right frame of mind to do. Since I started working part time a couple of years ago (after 2 years off work, just being creative and doing ‘gilhoolie’ stuff) I do find it hard to fit it all in and these things always seem to come last. I absolutely love my job though so I wouldn’t have it any other way. And here I am, finding time to write (at last), and I have some ideas on what to draw too so I plan to get on with that ASAP. So it is possible! Hoorah! I’m even finishing this off at 8 o’clock at night rather than watching TV 🙂
For this blog post, I thought I’d tell you a bit about the lampshade workshops I run from my house in Maidenhead, Berkshire; in particular the one I ran this time last week, the day before my birthday.
It was with two ladies who had traveled from Milton Keynes and been in touch by email a lot over a period of six months or so. I teach private lessons too but it’s always nice for someone to bring a friend to keep them company and learn a new skill together. It’s fantastic when we come to the end of the 2 hours and they can sit back and compare lampshades over a cuppa.
As soon as I opened the door I knew we were going to get along and have a really fun time. It’s not like working at all and I’ve come a long way since I ran my first lampshade workshop a few years ago.
The workshop starts with a cup of tea or coffee and a chat while I have a look at the fabric they have brought with them and then iron it to make sure it is nice and flat for making into a lampshade. In this case, they had brought some fabric remnants from John Lewis so made identical lampshades but you can bring whatever takes your fancy as long as it isn’t too thick and doesn’t fray too easily.
Ironing and introductions made, we crack on with the fun part – making a lampshade. I’m obviously not going to tell you what goes on exactly (you’ll have to book a workshop!) But everyone ends up with a perfect, 30cm drum lampshade for a table lamp or pendant fitting. All with a little help from yours truly – I show them what to do and then hand over – doing it yourself is the best way to learn. Some techniques are more tricky than others but the most satisfying bit is definitely when they roll the rings along the panel and the lampshade starts to take shape. You can see the relief on their faces that they have done it right!
And the end…
We always end with homemade cake (gluten free brownies today, Victoria sandwich with cream and jam last week) and tea or coffee, plus a bit more of a chat about making lampshades of course. I advise on attaching trims, making lampshades using paper, making lined lampshades and answer any questions they may have. They’re always welcome to contact me afterwards too for advice, all part of the service.
So the two ladies last week really enjoyed themselves and went home clutching beautiful handmade lampshades for their homes. One of them wrote a lovely testimonial for my website (before I asked her to!)
“Many thanks for giving us a thoroughly enjoyable time today: making lampshades, eating your scrumptious cake and generally having fun! it was a great pleasure to meet you and spend time in your lovely home.
I am absolutely thrilled to bits with my new lampshade and now feel confident to embark on making more – you gave an excellent course.”
When I close the front door after a workshop I always feel satisfied and incredibly lucky that I get to do what I do.
Now I need to get on and draw – that’s my aim for the next couple of weeks – I mustn’t put it to the bottom of the list of things to do… (must look back at this blog post to remind myself that).
To find out more about drum lampshade workshops click here or contact me for more information and a booking form. I tend to book them when asked so I’m very flexible on dates. Anyone can learn with the right guidance, even those who say they’re no good at using their hands or not creative can make a lampshade on a workshop with gilhoolie!