Master Class workshop with the legendary artist Priscilla Jones at Buttercup Home.

Master Class workshop with the legendary artist Priscilla Jones in the heart of Hebden Bridge at Buttercup home this January 31st and February 1st 2015 http://www.priscillajones.co.uk
Sign up to a very exciting master class with Priscilla Jones  by emailing Priscilla@priscillajones.co.uk the weekend of January 31st and February 1st 2015 and become a master yourself.

Priscilla Jones - Paper, Wire and Stitch (Jan Feb 2015)

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Living with your authentic self – A workshop with John Siddique

Living with your authentic self – a workshop of discovery with Writer and Author John Siddique

Book your place on this workshop at Buttercup Home with John on js@johnsiddique.co.uk. This workshop is located in the heart of Hebden Bridge. Lunch and refreshments are provided throughout the two days.

John Siddique 2

The Gratitude Equation

Ta 1

I’m so filled with gratitude that it constantly wants to pop out in the most inappropriate ways! Like trumpeting on my grati-toot when it’s really quiet or dancing around in a grateful spin, pulling as many non-dancing people with me as possible.

My Bhoomie motto has always been that if you’re grateful for the things you have then they will fill you up with more happiness than anything else ever can. You see it all started with the little word gratia which is a Latin term with one very big, grateful meaning. People started to recognise that they already had so many good things in their lives, so why chase after more? And so, gratitude was born…and out of the word came my grati-toot!

Because this trumpet came to be, my thank-yous have been able to grow their wings, helping them fly to anywhere and make everywhere happy. But to make these wings sturdy enough, I had to add some extra oomph to my grati-toot and so I programmed it with the following equation:

GRATITUDE = A VERY HAPPY SOUL

It’s official, since my moment of oomph, gratitude has become scientific! Bringing with it lots of studies of gratefulness. Such as Dr. Robert A. Emmons – University of California and Dr. Michael E. McCullough – University of Miami, who concluded that writing about the things you’re grateful for has a positive impact on your overall wellbeing. Not only does it make you feel so happy you could toot, but it also makes you feel like jumping – yes people, gratitude makes you want to exercise too!

So there you have it, saying a few extra thank-yous won’t just change you on the inside, it can have a great impact on your outside too. And if you don’t want to write your gratitude down, how about meditating on it or saying it aloud to yourself as you do little things around the house or whilst driving your car to work?

Whichever technique you prefer, if you start saying thank you more for the things that you have in your life, they’ll become much more valuable than the things you don’t. Give it a little go, after all, there isn’t anything for you to lose, just lots and lots of happiness to gain.

Sending you trumpets of thank-yous!

Ta xxx

UBUNTU – A Bond Of Sharing That Connects Everything

Samson Buttercup

Ever since I was a tiny cub, full of mischief and wonder, I used to hear my mother use the word “Ubuntu”. She explained it as a respect between all living things – a bond that we all shared and had to take care of.

Now that I’m a bit older and a little more well-read (thanks to Alpha-Betty!), I’ve seen the word described as “A bond of sharing that connects all humanity”. But what I’ve experienced in all non-human lands, is that Ubuntu isn’t just something that flows through humanity or bhoomanity, but something that also weaves through nature.

Just look at the bond between the river and the sea. They share a mutual respect where the one flows into the other, because their natural balance depends on each other. The river feeds into the sea and in turn the sea feeds the river with rain. This bond also flows through the land of animals, from Bonobos sharing their food with strangers, to heartfelt compassion in elephant herds.

For a little Ubuntu inspiration of your own, watch Boyd Varty’s share on TED about his African experiences with the word’s meaning, and think of tiny spaces in your day where you can show a bit of extra kindness.

 

Lots of Ubuntu love,

Samson xxx

Celebrate Your Inner Mother

Nurture

Here in Bhoomieland we often refer to our ‘inner child’ as a special sapling to be cherished and nurtured. We’ve even shared advice on how to nudge him/her to come out and play – but what about our inner mothers? The mother who cares implicitly about us, but that we tend to overlook or may have completely forgotten about. And just because I’m a mother, doesn’t mean I don’t need one to keep me in check, specially when Thuli turns my day into a chaotic whirl of creative, sticky play-mess.

She’s the voice that calms us when we’re storming around all upset, the arms that pull us closer when we hide away in fear and the cheer that lifts our legs to the finish line. But I have to admit, I often overlook her too and thinking about it now I really could have used her hug in some sticky situations recently!

Harvest Her Qualities

So how can we utilise her from within? For a start, we can be conscious that she is there for us to lean on. No matter who you are, she is the warm voice within that can lift you out of anything. For example, do you give yourself a cheer to get a task done that feels so out of reach at first, or do you keep demotivating yourself until you just give up? A mother would scream your name loudly, her lungs filled with the belief that you can do anything, if you just keep going.

Your Inner Stepmother

Not everyone has a great relationship with his/her mother though. Just look at stepmothers in the classics, Cinderella and Snow White are only two examples and although this may be a clichéd portrayal, what do you do if your inner mother turns on you?

Inner turmoil can cause chaos in our lives. Instead of trusting our instincts, we end up doubting ourselves, but in those times of doubt it’s important to remember that we are balanced inside. That the stepmother is just trying to bring out the natural fear we may feel before a change – facing this fear may help us to better deal with the change. So instead of viewing her as purely wicked, try to see it as her nurturing our fears – so we have no choice but to push through them with courage.

And if you find that your courage takes a while to catch up with you, call on your inner mother to calm you. Remember her soothing words as you try to hide away from moving forward. If you need a regular reminder of the qualities that you can access through her, then come and have a snuggle with me and baby Thuli anytime.

What will your inner mother or inner stepmother do for you today?

Lots of love, Mum xxx

Grab Your Imagination Goggles To Reframe Your View

New-View Bhoomie by Liesel Beukes © 2014

 

Have you ever found yourself in a moment of self-doubt? A point on your life ladder where you’re not sure of your own abilities, whether you made the right choice to climb that extra step, or whether you even belong on it at all?

I know I sure did! It was the day I had to goggle-up and do my first solo flight over Cloud 9, but in between the doubt I shifted my goggles a little and something iris boggling happened. The angle I was looking through, my view of the things around me (and my place within it), suddenly changed. Next thing I knew, I was presented the Distinguished Flying Leaf award! I’d done it!

Shift Your Goggles

Now, I know it’s hard to move your goggles about when flying and diving at full speed, but there is a way to change the way you look at things without losing too much altitude – it’s called ‘Reframing’.

Reframing is a tool (kind off just like your flight air drill) that can help to change the way we react to some things or in certain situations, especially the ones that bring up negative emotions. It’s an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) technique that helps us step back from the situation and flip it to something positive, because we’re suddenly able to see it from a different viewpoint.

For example, if you feel that something is a problem, then try to see it as an opportunity for you to learn something instead. There is a reframe lens for almost every situation – you can read more about it here.

Like I always say:

“Sometimes you have to change the scenery inside of your mind and look at things from another perspective to make the puzzle pieces fit”

So, if you feel like your puzzle pieces are hiding under the sofa, causing endless problems with furniture shuffling – then grab your imagination goggles. How about we view it as an opportunity to build a den instead?

See you on Cloud 9 fellow gogglers!

Bhoomie New-View

(read more about me and other Bhoomies here)

Follow Your Heart To Change A Life

Bhoomie of Whispers: All-Ears by Liesel Beukes © 2014

Bhoomie of Whispers: All-Ears by Liesel Beukes © 2014

Calling all hearts and intuitions!

As the Bhoomie of intuition I know all too well how important the music is that spills from your heart and what beautiful things can grow from it if you listen. I believe your inner music flows from your intuition straight into your heart, to tell you when there’s something on your path that you should investigate, clean up or follow.

If you ignore it, you could end up in a tangle on the wrong path – you know, the type of tangle in life that makes your stomach feel all knotted. But if you listen to it, you could find a way to things that you never imagined, things that can change the lives of those around you and sometimes even the life of someone far away. Here’s a Bhoomie friend who did just that, listened and then changed lives:

Nicolé Maurel’s roots lie in a small town in South Africa where she grew up during the last years of Apartheid. Her path changed in 2010 when she listened to her inner music and went to Aberdeen (the South African one) to teach ceramic art to a group of students from the surrounding impoverished townships. It was her goal to pass on skills that they could use to create and sell art, and so become self-reliant. In 2011 she won The Emma Smith Art Scholarship that was used towards funding a beautiful exhibition of her students’ work in a South African national art gallery. My good friend Zellie was lucky enough to have a chat with her. Here’s why Nicolé listened to her heart and how it changed lives:

Zellie: What inspired you to go on your first trip to Aberdeen and teach at the workshop in 2010?

Nicolé: DUT (Durban University of Technology) closed for four months in 2010 to do renovations, I decided to work during this time. Sharing my skills with fellow human beings has always been my main goal in life.

Zellie: How did you find out about the Emma Smith Award, what was the process involved in applying for it?

Nicolé: The Emma Smith Art Scholarship has been going on at DUT every year for many years.  It’s always been a dream to enter this competition, but you have to get chosen to represent your department.  The whole faculty of art and design enters this competition with only two students and sometimes one student from each department.  So, just to be a nominee and being able to participate is already a great achievement. 

I had to write a letter of intent (what would I do with the money if I win), artist statement, artist CV, artist biography, and I had to write about my work. When nominated, we had to set up an exhibition of our work and had an interview with about 12 judges. I never thought I could win against graphic design, fashion design and jewellery design etc. But what a surprise it was, Fine Arts, Nicolé Maurel won. This was an amazing achievement, wow. So proud of myself.

Zellie: Were you scared to apply for it and if so, how did you overcome your fear to take the first step towards this amazing outcome?

Nicolé: No, I’m not scared of anything. I believe in taking chances and always going for it. If I don’t succeed I try again or try something else. ‘n Boer maak ‘n plan. [A Boer makes a plan – an old Afrikaner saying when faced with adversity]

Zellie: Did you pre-plan taking your family with you when you entered the Award or was it something you discussed once you had won? How was it to have them there with you?

Nicolé: Yes, everything was planned and proposed.  It was an amazing experience and great honour to show my baby to the people of Aberdeen, my baby is my pride and joy. It was the first time they saw her. I wanted to take her with me, because I wouldn’t be able to survive a day without her. My husband supported me and helped taking care of baby while I was working and we all really enjoyed Aberdeen and Graaff Reinet.

Zellie: Have you learned anything about yourself that you didn’t know before you started this project?

Nicolé: I always knew it would be joyful to share my skills as an artist, but this project showed me the joy it brings to the people you share it with.

Zellie: Do you feel that collaboration of this kind with impoverished communities, where you transfer sustainable skills that can be transformed into work, is the way to beat poverty in the world?

Nicolé: Of course, yes, totally.

Zellie: How did the community in Aberdeen respond to your arrival and your coaching?

Nicolé: Aw, they were warm, open, friendly and so hungry to learn. What meant the most to me was that they truly appreciated and loved me as an individual. They listened and trusted what I taught them.

Zellie: If you could sum the Emma Smith Project up in one word, what would it be?

Nicolé: LOVE.

Zellie: Are you planning further work with the sculptors you taught in Aberdeen?

Nicolé: Yes, I would like for the project to continue. I’m planning to make it a lifelong project. I am organising a solo show for Charlene Matiwane at the DUT Art Gallery in January next year and then I would like to have another show for the workshop in Scotland, titled Aberdeen to Aberdeen in 2016. I would also like to teach people in Aberdeen how to work from their homes and how to fire ceramics from home. It will be so much cheaper this way and give more people the opportunity to learn. 

I’m hoping that Aberdeen can become a small artists town where all humans from all over the world can go visit and support this community. Where visitors can walk the streets and every little Mandela house in this town will be like the family’s own small personal gallery where they can exhibit their work to the world. And with time I will obviously come up with more and more ideas, because I never run out of new ideas.

Zellie: What would you say to someone who may feel too scared of taking those first steps in starting a sustainability project in their community?

Nicolé: Just do it. Follow your heart. You can never ever make a mistake by helping others. Plan it wisely. The only thing you will receive in return is love. There is always hope. 

So inner-music lovers, if you’ve ever felt like something is whispering for you to ‘start that painting’ or ‘travel a new path’, then in the words of a true inspirational: “Follow your heart.” You can enjoy more of Nicolé’s journey here, thanks to Tyler Dolan :

Nicolé Maurel

Wishing you a music-in-your-ear-ringing day!

Bhoomie All-Ears

PS. Read how Bhoomie All-Ears became Bhoomieland’s secret way-finder  here.

From Stranger to Friend to Family

Miss Tea-Time Bhoomie

Miss Tea-Time Bhoomie

Hello beautifully creative people!

I’m Miss Tea-Time, the Bhoomie that knows how much goodness can pour into our minds and bodies when we relax. That’s why I only live by one easygoing mantra: tea-time rhymes with me-time! Life on Earth can be pretty busy sometimes (I like to people watch from Bhoomieland as I sip my tea) and one thing I’ve sniffed out through my spout is that not many people take time out for themselves. So to counteract the bustle of busy lives I would like to introduce you to a mind-calming Japanese philosophy – Teaism.

Infuse your flaws

Teaism is a belief in simplicity and it celebrates all those beautiful things that can hide in the monotonous routines of daily life – like beautiful imperfections. The quiet time of the tea making ritual can sometimes lead our minds to focus on all the things that have gone wrong in the day, including the things that we could have done differently. But rather than pouring out negative energy on the things we see as flaws in our day or ourselves, what if we chose to infuse them with a bit of positive celebration. For example as you stir or sip your tea instead of thinking how rude someone was rather think… that person wasn’t really rude to me, they’re just having a bad day – here’s to having a better day from this point on! (And you can even lift your cup into the air as a bit of a triumph cheer.)

The three-cups approach

A village chief in Pakistan also has an inspirational mantra when it comes to tea:

“Here we drink three cups of tea…the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and the third you join our family, and for our family we are prepared to do anything…” – Haji Ali, Korphe Village Chief, Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan

Seeing that people have probably had countless cups of tea with themselves, doesn’t that make them their own closest family? And if so, why do some people give so little time to relaxing their minds and bodies?

Adopting the three-cups approach means that you can take time out for yourself. Don’t spend all of it thinking about imperfections, but instead celebrate it as a small moment of freedom, away from every day life. Over at Bhoomieland, we are drinking our first cup of tea to you. Join in anytime.

Sending you teabags infused with love!

Miss Tea-Time xxx

 

Weekend Workshops in May with Priscilla Jones

Textile workshops with the well known Priscilla Jones here in Hebden Bridge in May 24th and 25th / 31st and 1st of June. Lunch and refreshments provided along with lots of laughter and making. Book your Place on 07816 886522 or email Priscilla Jones at priscilla@priscillajones.co.uk We sill have a few places left!!! Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 00.34.43 Lost and Found Weekend Workshops Priscilla creates sculptures that draw upon her life long love affair with here vast collections of odd an curious objects. During this two day workshop, Priscilla Jones will share with you the creative techniques developed through her experimentation and process of making. You will make your very own 3D sculpture inspired by whatever theme you wish… using wire, wax, and found ephemera. You will learn a range of processes including how to construct a wire structure that can be in 3D or 2D using light weight wire and then work into this by creating a surface to hand stitch and embellish with paper, buttons, beads and trimmings. Materials will be provided all you need bring is enthusiasm and some found objects or materials from your own collecting. This is a perfect opportunity to develop ideas you may have started in previous workshops with Priscilla or you may wish to come along and learn a range of new and exciting techniques! Venue: Central Hebden Bridge 24th & 25th May 10-4pm 31st May & 1st June 2014 10-4.00pm £120 per person Including a lovely homemade lunch, tea and cakes! For more information contact Priscilla on 07816 886522 or email her at priscilla@priscillajones.co.uk

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, fresh air and creative chats.

Our second Away Day was at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park  and it didn’t disappoint. Meeting up with the Kim from The Red Corvid and Nicola Taylor from Nicola Taylor Photography has been one of the highlights of March, and that is nice. As work and family life take over, it is wonderful to have some space for yourself. We took in some art, went for a long walk experiencing the many interactive sculptures, and throughly enjoyed the day. At Lunch we managed to put our world to rights and I was given some wonderful advice too. Happy Days!  :  )

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