Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Thursday 3 November 2011

Heart and Home

I feel as though I have been living in a state of limbo for most of this year, and that is why I have not done much blogging lately. My cottage has been on the market again since June, and although my first buyers pulled out a couple of weeks ago, in a stroke of luck a new buyer has come along and I am hopeful this time it will go through (fingers crossed). 
For a while now I have been restless (in my New Year post I wrote about needing change and that I was the only person who could make it happen). My shop will celebrate it's tenth anniversary in two weeks time, and although the experience of starting up and running my own business has been rewarding in so many ways, especially in the meeting of so many wonderful people who have walked through my shop door, the experience has also been challenging and draining. I need to break away for a while and assess what the future holds for me, and the first step I am taking is to sell my home.

On the 22nd of October I attended the evening wedding reception of one of my belly dancing friends, Sarah ( this is the heart I made for her and her husband to remember their special day), and it got me thinking about 'Home' and what it means. She and David have just bought their first home together. My little cottage has been my home for the past 12 years; my first home after leaving my parents and the house where I was brought up. 

So what will it be like to walk out of this front door knowing that I will never return? Well, I am quite philosophical about it really. Essentially I have lived alone here for the last 12 years. There are no memories of children running about the place for me to hold dear. Having two old buildings to constantly maintain has been a challenge and expense. The cottage is actually, now I realise, bigger than I really need it to be, so why pay a mortgage on this house when I could downsize to a smaller one? And, quite radically you may think, I am seriously considering not living in a house at all for the next year or so. My plan is to rent somewhere this winter, and then in the spring when the weather warms up, set off in a camper van and live on the road! 

I know that I am the kind of person who feels at home wherever I happen to be, and just because my home will be a mobile one will in no way make it less of a home to me. I am very excited at the prospect of breaking free from the responsibilities of mortgage and bills (although I will still have the responsibility of maintaining the shop). The other reason I feel the need to break free is in order to develop my own creativity, which has necessarily become somewhat stifled with the need to make things which are (hopefully) guaranteed to sell. My mind is buzzing with ideas all the time, but time is the one thing you don't get much of when running your own business. To not feel the pressure to constantly earn a living will be a luxury which will allow me to pursue those avenues I have been thinking about: going back to painting and drawing, creating more ambitious stitched pieces, photographing gardens and exploring this beautiful country of ours.

But before all that happens, I have the Vintage and Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury to think about! ( Saturday 3rd December ) So here's what I'm making at the moment.....

Decorations to hang made from an assortment of chandelier drops, glass beads and pearls, mother-of-pearl buttons, and vintage metal and diamante bits

Some of the drops have been backed with vintage fabric and old handwritten documents, and these are the tiny offcuts left over....

I have an idea to convert them into another sort of decoration, but that will have to wait for another posting......
I hope that you, my Blogger friends, haven't minded me sharing some quite personal thoughts in this posting; your support and friendship means a lot to me. Perhaps on my travels roaming the countryside I will be able to meet some of you in person! I hope so!
x x x


  1. awww what a lovely post with such deep thoughts about your new beginnings- i so wish you all the very best wherever you may travel or make your home. i hope it all works out for you and you find a real creative happiness ;0)
    i love your jewel pendants they are so lovely.
    Sometimes its hard in life to close doors on old chapters in our lives but in your case you have such an exciting adventure in front of you i can tell it will open happy doors and give you a sense of freedom in your art, best wishes,
    kazzy x

  2. So lovely to see your beautiful posting...I am sitting here though thinking goodness how brave but how amazing of you Christine to set of on an adventure like you are planning. I hope your Fair goes well and I would imagine it will with all of those lovely things that you make for sale.
    I shall be following your travels wishing you all the luck and fun in the world xxx
    Lynn xxx

  3. I wish you wonderful times in your new venture and home, wherever that may be. I certainly take my hat off to anyone who follows their heart. It is so easy to get bogged down with a conformed way of life but if your heart is pulling you in a different direction then DO IT!

  4. I have loved reading this post and understand where you are coming from.
    If you get the camper van I think you should come over to Brittany and see Kerjacob !!

    I love the things you've made.
    I'm sailing to Plymouth next Monday so I'll wave in your direction !!


  5. Good luck with the house sale. It sounds like a great idea to me, if you change your mind you'd be no worse off, nothing to lose.

  6. Hi Christine,
    I just wanted to stop-by and wish you luck with your courageous decision. I have always loved the pieces you create and can only wonder what you will achieve with your mind freer and more able to wander...You are amazing. May you be happy and fulfilled and find what you are looking for...

    Look forward to seeing you at the V&H and hope to buy one of those gorgeous decorations! :)

    May 2012 be your year,
    Niki xx

  7. Christine, What a fabulous adventure and a new way of living to come.
    I am always heartened as I find others who take to the road in search of a new life and freedom.
    Life will be enriched, surprises and much pleasure... good luck with the sale, the wanderings ... and creativity a new..

  8. Your plans for the New Year sound very exciting Christine and I wish you every success and happiness in them. Good luck with the Fayre in December, the drops are beautiful and very different.

  9. I wish you all the luck in the world, you should always follow your dream, you have no ties so you world is your oyster.
    I love what you have made for the Vintage Fair.

  10. I understand exactly how you feel.....whilst you have to make things under pressure with a view to sell, the real things you want to make are slipping further and further away.
    These are hard descisions....I am a textile artist and am now being true to myself by adding to my "real" body of work which satisfies my soul. I recently tried making some things for an event....because I needed extra finance, and it made me sad....so I have elected to stay poorer at the moment by the worlds standards, but true to myself...life is short.
    I live in a 38ft static caravan surrounded by fields...not very much space, but somehow there is so much more freedom in it, than brick walls.
    Ellen x

  11. Dear Christine,

    I hear a real sense of resolve in this post, its so fresh and heartfelt. You will be a success whatever you do, or where your caravan takes you.
    All the best and loads of luck and happiness

  12. Good luck with your house sale. Your plans sound very exciting. I would love to have done something like that, I'm sure it will be a great adventure.

  13. Hi Christine,
    I think it is fabulous you are going to break free and i wish you all the look in the world on your new adventure.
    We are renovating a timber cottage at the coast that we are moving to next Summer and our family and friends have said but your work,friends,family are here in the city etc? but some times you just have to follow your heart and your dreams and set sail to new horizons.
    Your decorations are gorgeous they look like something from Marie Antoinette and the heart you made for your friend is beautiful,

  14. Change is always scary and exciting!! good luck with your new plans, they sound wondeful xx

  15. I think this is a wonderful idea and really hope that your house sale goes through so that you can prepare for your wonderful adventure.

    Your decorations are wonderful I'd love one on my tree or even just hanging in my house all year round.

  16. All the best & enjoy the journey x

  17. A wonderful heartfelt post and I wish you the best on seeking your next adventure.
    Love the little shiny bobs too.

  18. Hi Christine, I do wish you luck in your adventure. A very brave task but there's nothing worse than getting older and wondering what if. Go for it but I hope you will still be keeping your hand in at the shop and Homespun. Take care, Lynne

  19. I wish you all the best in your new way of living !!
    Your art in this post is lovely !

  20. Oh Christine I wish you so much that is good for your future happiness. I envy you and your freedom ahead. We downsized almost four years ago ready for my husband retiring and have mortgage. Once the children (26 & 24!!) we will downsize again, their is no point in living somewhere that is too big for your needs, live is for living and I cannot wait to join my husband in retirement and frugal though it will be we will have time and that is the most important thing in life. Good luck in your wanderings - I envy you your youth, your talent and your adventure.

  21. Christine, what a wonderful post. I do hope all goes well with your house sale now and that you can plan your future 'on the road'.

    I appreciate your reasoning and the opportunity to be able to wander at will must be taken while it is still possible to do so. I'm sure you'll have a wonderfully creative time. Hopefully your travels will bring you to Somerset and Dorset occasionally, although I'm sure you are intending to travel much further afield.

    Are you going to Shepton on Friday? Hope to see you if so.

    Sue xx

  22. Christine
    I wanted to write to wish you luck as you sell your house and set off on your new adventures. It sounds as if it will be lots of fun and will continue to spark your creativity! I loved the christmas decorations.
    Hope to meet you one day.

  23. These are beautiful images, I found you on Pinterest and I am so glad I clicked through and found you lovely blog!

  24. i too found you through pinterest. and your creations are lovely. but in all honest, that little bowl of offcuts is the the thing that made my heart go pitter patter. I am adding you to my bloglovin feed list. I really want to keep up with your work. Have a great afternoon