Creativity and having a creative practice is so important for our general well-being. For me, creativity has always been an opportunity to play, a safe place to explore, experiment and express whatever is going on in my life. It’s easy to see why those characteristics are so beneficial in helping us to feel good.
A while ago I mentioned that finding those creative moments seems harder than before. More accurately, the main shift over the last year and half is that I have started to earn money from my creativity – my writing, my photography, and this blog space.
Previously, my creativity was just for me, it didn’t really matter what anyone else thought or whether it fulfilled someone else’s ideas. However, now I am submitting features to editors and working with brands, and that context changes how it feels to create the work.
I realise it’s a dream for many to transition into earning money from their creativity and I feel very thankful to have been paid for my creative endeavours over the last year and a bit. However, when your creativity starts to become your source of income, how do you combine a creative self-practice that makes you feel good and fuels your well-being whilst also earning you money?
I’m really excited to share the next instalment of the ‘Inspired By Nature’ series with you today. I first came across this lady on Instagram and just loved the creativity and colours in her feed. She is a natural dyer, who loves to forage for plants. Last year she wrote and self published her first print book. When she’s not dying scarves, fabric and wooden beads, she is experimenting with plants and kitchen waste such as avocado skins, pomegranate skins and tea bags to make dye. She also has an E-book available, which I can throughly recommend. It’s a brilliant guide if you want to try your hand at natural dyeing but don’t know where to start.
Please welcome Rebecca Desnos…
December can whizz by in a festive frenzy if we’re not careful. That’s why there are some slow Winter rituals that I like to do each year, that help me stay calm. Seasonal things, that I can do mindfully and with intention. Tasks that help me take a breath and slow down.
Tomorrow is the first of December, the beginning of Winter, and the first day that Bailey will open her homemade and natural Advent Calendar. The seasons have shifted once more, and our mornings have been magically frosty this last week – they have had us reaching deep into our pockets in search of mittens, and wrapping up in our soft scarves.
I’ve managed to make time to finish Bailey’s natural Advent Calendar just in time for her to open the first little brown parcel tomorrow morning.
This week I had my first proper go at botanical dyeing, and it’s been such fun. One of the things that I’ve noticed about the process is it really is a ‘slow’ craft. You can’t hurry or rush dyeing your own fabric, and the more time you can give to each step of the process the better. It doesn’t take much effort, it’s just a matter of letting the fabric sit at various stages in different pots – the perfect activity to have ticking along in the background.
Natural dyeing is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, and I knew I wanted to start by making a curtain from a piece of muslin for the work room. Back at the beginning of the Summer I bought a copy of Botanical Colour At Your Fingertips by Rebecca Desnos. It’s a brilliant informative e-book available on Etsy here, (you can now also get a paperback version). It’s perfect if you want to dye natural fibres and not use any chemicals, which is exactly what I was after.