Towards the end of last month, when the weather was a little brighter, my Mum and I had spent a lot of time out in the garden admiring the flowers, and making lots of different decorative items for the home. We had watched the YouTube tutorial from the lovely Chris Myers at The Cozy Club, who had shown us how to get cozy during lockdown, and we thought making her beautiful glass lanterns would be a lovely thing to do together. It was during this time that we got a bunch of my different coloured ribbon bundles and tags and started having a play around with what we had made. You've got to love a little finishing touch, so I thought I'd share some of our ideas with you to try for yourself.
On Wednesday 24th, it was my Mum's birthday, and as we're currently in partial lockdown and trying to be safe with our loved ones, we had an isolated birthday celebration. So, in the spirit of celebrating with a garden full of flowers, and having just made flower crowns to celebrate the Midsummer Solstice at the weekend, I suggested we make some smudge sticks for the next full moon. Using the herbs and plants found in our beautiful garden, these are the three smudge sticks we created. We had so much fun making them that I thought I'd share a little step by step guide so you can create them at home too.
This month I am supporting the Black Minds Matter UK charity with 20% of all ribbon sales in the month of June 2020 being donated. However, I also wanted to help the mental health charity in other ways, by auctioning off one of my original paintings. I did this earlier in the year in order to raise money for the NHS, and the auction raised so much money, I thought this would be a perfect way to help raise funds too.
For those of you who follow me on social media will know, I have spent this last week joining in with the #amplifymelanatedvoices movement initiated by Jessica Wilson and Alishia McCullough on instagram. The cause was set up in order to 'mute' people of white privilege, and have them stop posting about themselves/their businesses, and only post information and resources regarding the BIPOC community and BIPOC in general. During this week I have been reading, watching, listening and talking with those around me on this issue, discussing the things I have learned. It truly has been an eye-opening experience, and is clearly only the beginning of a lifelong commitment of work towards an anti-racist future. As someone who is in a bi-racial relationship, and will hopefully one day bring children into this world who will also be a part of the BIPOC community, this work is incredibly important to me to continue, and to share with those around me. Now that the week is up, this is where the real work begins. A question I have been asking myself all week is 'How can I make Edie Rose Ashley an ally to BIPOC?'. Well, I'd like to show you how I am going to start taking action towards this moving forward.
Since the beginning of lockdown, I've had a lot of time to think about where I want to take my business. Actually, I think about this quite a lot anyway. My business will be three years old in November, and I can't believe how far I've come since then. So much has changed, and yet, so much is the same. Little old me, in my converted garage studio creating art and other nature inspired products for like-minded nature lovers. I love that it's just me, and I love that I get to imagine into reality all of the swirling ideas I have floating around in my mind. I suppose now, most of us small business owners don't really have a choice at the moment. Unless you live with a photographer, stylist, or a creative of some sort, we've been left in lockdown to fend for ourselves in our quest to continue to put beautiful works out there in the world for people to love.
Earlier this month I held my first ever Modern Calligraphy Tag workshop at my home, and it was such an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I had spent so many weeks prior to the workshop creating my very own beginners calligraphy workbook as I wanted to ensure that each attendee was able to learn practical skills that they could then take home and practice at a later date. Calligraphy requires so much repetition, therefore having a good guide book was so important to get right. I tested the workbooks on friends and family, and through trial and error, I was also able to create a book specifically for left-handed people to use.
As those of you who follow me on instagram may know, I attended a wonderful wreath making workshop at the weekend, hosted by the lovely Emma and Gina of 'The Cosy Shed'. I saw a while ago that they had released workshop dates, but as they are based in Norwich, I thought there was no way I would ever be able to attend (as I absolutely hate driving, and I won't even drive to Nottingham, a mere 30 minutes away). However, my lovely boyfriend Jai offered to take me there and back, and I very graciously, and quickly, accepted. After a long 3 and a half hour drive, we finally arrived at the big black gates, and drove through the park to Hayman Lodge, where the workshop would take place.
I've had a couple of requests to do this blog post, and honestly, the only reason I've decided to do it now is that I finally had some advice to give. As a fellow creative person, I often find it really hard to stay focused, and remain passionate about my work and my business when things just aren't going 'according to plan'. There will be times when I'm overly self critical, or I fall down the treacherous rabbit hole of comparison, and it can take days or even weeks to start to feel that inspiration trickle back into my life again. So, now that I find myself here, at a point in my life and my business where I am extremely excited for the future, whilst also being slightly nervous, I thought I would try and impart some wisdom onto you, my lovely readers.
Photograph by Charlotte Clemie Photography
Disclaimer: The following article may include certain anxiety based triggers. If you aren't feeling in the right frame of mind to read this, then please click away now.
After attending the wonderful YorksInstaMeet last week at Priory Cottages, along with over 100 other creative people, I thought this would be a great topic to address. As someone who suffers with anxiety myself, agreeing to go to networking and social events like this can be more than daunting. If you would have asked me to go even 6 months ago, the answer would most probably have been a firm 'erm, no thanks!', with my eyes resembling a deer-like alertness and fear.
I've seen this conversation crop up so much recently that I thought it was time to sit down and really think about how to stay motivated when you run a business from home. One, so that I could actually learn some tips myself, and two, so that I could share my thoughts and findings with you, and hopefully provide some insight.