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When things go wrong, what I’ve learnt from a crap situation

I recently started an e-course for creative businesses. I had high hopes; I’d done other e-courses with the same tutor and got a lot out of them. I made good solid virtual friends that led to us being friends in real life. My creativity blossomed, it worked well for me. The courses had regular emails, regular online events and supportive, lively Facebook groups that went with them.

The last course didn’t work for me because there was no free speech on the Facebook group. Discussion was not encouraged. Comments were allowed on certain subjects at certain times only, comments were moderated, deleted without warning. Every time I posted I felt the tippy toe stress of an abusive relationship – ‘will I annoy them’ going through my head, ‘what will they do?’. What they did do is remove me from the Facebook group, which actually saves me shit loads of stress checking it all the time trying to find out if I had missed something. So that’s good.

I know that some people are able to create great works of art in prison environments. I’m not one of them. I cannot create anything in a moderated world, I can’t be myself if I’m censored. Having been mostly self employed since the age of 18 I’ve managed to build up a lifestyle around my inability to be someone else. Or even pretend to be someone else, really, what you see is what you get.

So what have I learned? The dreadful reminder that being a presence on the internet can go to some peoples heads, and hopefully it will never go to mine. Hopefully someone will tell me if it looks like it’s going to.

I’ve been reminded that full control of a situation is not necessarily a good thing. Sometimes letting other people in gives you a sense of reality that you might miss being in the middle of it. As a control freak myself (you have to be when you are a single parent) that is a difficult one for me but a good lesson to learn and remember, every time.

I’ve been reminded that even if you really know your stuff, a certain amount of humility can prevent meglomania.

I have run www.lactivist.co.uk  and the other websites in the lactivist empire for the last decade, which included many interviews, (the most exciting one being when the outside broadcast van came to my house because I had no childcare and they really wanted me to speak about breastfeeding on the World Service.) I’ve been complemented by 3 professional business owners, on 3 separate occasions because they were impressed that none of it went to my head. I’m not a prima donna blogger. If I ever become one, someone take me out the back and shoot me, you have my permission.

I’ve learned that in a learning environment with a group, be it on the internet or elsewhere, it’s really important for the members of the class to be able to form as a group, so they feel safe to share and so they are interested in the other people doing the course. This can only work if there can be discussion and comment.  I’ve learned that if I do a course it helps me to have clear tasks and deadlines. These 2 nuggets of info will help me be a better course tutor myself.

I’m still on the course, well maybe not after this post but I’d rather lose the (unrefundable) £95 I paid than my integrity. I’m happy to think of that £95 as payment for the excellent value I got from the previous courses. I have no hard feelings, it just didn’t work for me and I learned a lot from what didn’t work.

I am true to myself and I remain an honest warrior.

Metta is more powerful than weapons.

Lisa

 

30 days of creativity – Day 23 – Somerset Rural Life Museum

30 day creativity challengeDay  23, getting crafty.
I’ve driven past the Somerset Rural Life Museum hundreds of times assuming that it was an expensive attraction. In fact, it’s a free museum and if you catch it at the right time there are loads of things to do there.

We (me and my 10 year old) accidentally went on Family Harvest Day by noticing the ice cream sign for the cafe, then noticing the massive great threshing machine outside. A team of people were making bales of hay, feeding straw into one end of an amazing huge machine with lots of pulleys.

Ice cream came first, it was very nice Marshfield, the tea was served in willow pattern china which I always appreciate, then we noticed that it was free admission. Yippee!

Downstairs was a lady making corn dollies, and she taught me how to join straw so you can make bigger things. We both made carrots, we didn’t really aim to make carrots but they turned out that way. I’m happy.

somerset

Photos by ten year old.

In the kitchen room (where there is a patchwork curtain!) there was going to be a baking on a range demo, but we missed that because we went upstairs. T made a really cool tree out of a paper bag then spent 2 hours on an Inkle loom weaving while I helped and talked to some really lovely people about crafts and history. They sell the looms for £18 which is such a total bargain I am now kicking myself, but I have their email address so I can see if they are in Bristol ever.

We had so much fun we missed lunch and didn’t notice.

You can see the reason this started and the rest of the days here – http://www.ragbaby.co.uk/1120-2/

And if you want to join in we have a Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/154085144775381/
Over on Crackbook a bunch of us are going to be working through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence

The first exercises are to draw a self portrait, your hand and something else I can’t remember so you can see improvement. Then you move onto drawing a vase from a silhouette. You can see the vase exercise here – http://drawright.com/vaceface.htm.

The plan is to do an exercise every Sunday from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internet dating catch of the day!

Internet dating catch of the day

 

I’m not ready for dating yet, just checking out what is there.  I got this today. I’m not sure what I find most attractive about this one, maybe it’s his sweeping generalisations, his assumption that all women born around the same time are alike. Maybe it’s all the baggage and blame, cor, nothing turns me on quite as much as someone I’ve never met messaging me all about how horrible his ex is. 

Sadly I’m “tooooooooo dead and serious” for live life to the full Aries. Wasn’t Hitler an Aries?

I’m off to ‘chill out a bit’ now, what a fuckwit.

Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Chilli Soup Recipe – Paleo

Add to the slow cooker:

  • Chicken thighs or legs, skin, bones and all.
  • Roughly chopped onions, marrow or courgette and red pepper. (any veg would do)
  • Half a finely chopped long green chilli.
  • Half a pint of chicken stock or water
  • A tin of coconut milk

Cook on slow all day while you go out and do more interesting things that watch it.

About ten minutes before you want to eat add:

  • spinach
  • frozen or fresh veg (carrots, peas, cauliflower etc.)
  • the other half of the chilli.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

The chilli you use in the long cook will have a less aggressive spike to it than the fresh chilli you add at the end.

Would be nice with basil or coriander if you have any.

soup

Mine all mine – Rebejoo jewellery

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This scrunched up bit of recycled metal pendant from Rebejoo is mine all mine, and I love it. The middle bit is loose so I can fidget with it, it’s delicate and clumsy all at the same time, a bit like me. It’s made by a bloke called Dave in Southampton who uses bits of everything to make new things. He calls it “Alternative, industrial, cyber/goth and steampunk” but because every piece is totally unique it’s impossible to categorise. I think he is led in his design by the fates and what he feels like that day. It’s called ‘Rebejoo’ because it’s ‘recycled’ & ‘bijou” though some of his stuff is pretty chunky.

If anyone wanted to buy me a present, because I am worth it/sad/happy/ugly/gorgeous/stinky/lovely/horrible etc…. whatever reason, they might consider this one which is a total bargain for £12 and has a little squashed person at the bottom of it.

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You can see more of Rebejoo and stock up for Xmas before his very reasonable prices go up (which they really should) here – https://www.facebook.com/Rebejoo and you can get more background information about Dave on his blog – rebejoo.blogspot.co.uk

I only give good reviews for things I like, I’ve not been bribed to write this and I don’t bullshit, Rebejoo is good.

 

Vents at Club 1980 – aka the Birdcage

The Birdcage is a weird venue with little pixie boy barmen. I like little pixie boy barmen, they make nice G&T’s with Tanqueray.

It’s a weird venue because there is a lot going on in there. Cakes next to beer, shoes and clothes for sale next to coffee machines, huge sofas next to a tiny stage underneath a load of bicycles stuck to the wall. It’s all very confusing. The best bit about this place is the hallway and the loo. The walls are covered in pages from 70’s and 80’s music magazines, Playboy, the odd gay propaganda flyer and classical music manuscript. That I like a lot.

It wasn’t full at all but some stupid fucking bint stood in front of me and sometimes on me so my view of the stage was restricted. She was clearly blind or very very thick, I’m a 10 stone 5ft 6 ginger woman, and I’m hard to miss.

Vents at the Birdcage

Vents are 2 people, 2 gorgeously discordant guitars, one amazing voice and a backing track. Things went wrong but no one cared, I had fun. The singer Emily is a whole lot prettier than the light makes her look in the photo and even if she was piss shit ugly no one would care, she has great legs and like I said, an amazing voice. She’s all the best bits of Patti Smith with a bit of Siouxsie Sioux that can actually sing in tune.

You can see for yourself here:

 

30 days of creativity – Day 22 – At the Airport, full of drugs, and a haiku

30 day creativity challengeDay  22, waiting for a flight

To get on a plane I need the correct ratio of valium to alcohol. It’s fine if I’m with a friend because I can just zone out and pretend it’s not happening. If I’m with my son I go into mother overdrive and I’m more worried about him bouncing into a pile of expensive duty free I then have to pay for, than the flight.

If I am on my own it’s not easy.

So, I’m sat in Bristol Airport with a most delicious Guinness on top of the valium I’d had that morning, and the other one I had the night before. I was somewhat off my face, didn’t really need the plane to fly.

As you can probably tell.

plane

plant

Apologies for the fuzzy images, can’t find my camera, but the hazyness is reminiscent of shit loads of alcohol and valium.

If you can’t read my mind and tell what they are supposed to be, the first one is a plane, the second one is a plant.

 

In the airport bar

Sedatives clash with Guinness

I don’t like to fly.

 

 

You can see the reason this started and the rest of the days here – http://www.ragbaby.co.uk/1120-2/

And if you want to join in we have a Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/154085144775381/
Over on Crackbook a bunch of us are going to be working through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence

The first exercises are to draw a self portrait, your hand and something else I can’t remember so you can see improvement. Then you move onto drawing a vase from a silhouette. You can see the vase exercise here – http://drawright.com/vaceface.htm.

The plan is to do an exercise every Sunday from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorting my fucking self out. Day 1

This has to be done. I am now posting pictures of my fat and hated stomach into the world so that I will actually do something about it.

It’s been a summer of ice cream and salted caramel sauce, lots and lots of alcohol and no exercise at all.

Here I am, 46 years old. Sorry if this puts you off your ice cream and salted caramel sauce. I think I’m 10 stone ish. I’m 5ft 6 and I measure 36, 31, 39.

day1

The plan is:

Run a few times a week – school starts in one week so I can run regularly again (I do C25K) and use the walk to school as a warm up. Running glues my mind together and I feel a whole lot better if I know I can run away.

Sort out my diet properly – I eat mostly Paleo following the Whole 30 guidelines – so 3 meals a day of a palm sized bit of protein, a thumb sized portion of oil and the rest of the plate is veg – not chips. So that’s no bread, rice, pasta or cake. I quite often Faileo which is why I have those wobbly bits; I suffer terribly from cake retention, and I drink far too much!

Go to the gym – I love my gym because upstairs there is a nice open room (it’s in a church) and no music plays! It’s a boxing gym and it’s only open for women twice a week.

The Paleo UK  Facebook page are a very lovely bunch or people and they’ve suggested I mostly need to just stop eating non paleo, and do some planks and supermans.I’m not going to blog about this every day because that will be boring but the next picture should look a bit more streamlined.

Ideas appreciated as long as no one mentions crunches. I hate crunches.

30 days of creativity – Day 21 – Printing at the Mshed

30 day creativity challengeDay  21, Mshed Printing Workshop

Occasionally I get to do workshops at the Mshed in Bristol. The picture of me on my design site –  www.nakedwebsite.co.uk is from the Mshed, we spent a happy couple of hours throwing string around.

The theme of todays workshop was memories of Bristol. Since I’m not Bristolian and we live in the Mogadishu quarter I don’t have nice memories about our area. But I do like Cabot Tower, which you can helpfully see from the window of the Mshed studio.

One of the good things about Cabot Tower is the ice cream truck – Vee Double Moo which sells the most incredible salted caramel topped ice cream.

My 10 year old printed ice cream, with a random turtle on top and then made patterns out of turtles.

I printed the tower and the greenery around it.

 

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You can see the reason this started and the rest of the days here – http://www.ragbaby.co.uk/1120-2/

And if you want to join in we have a Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/154085144775381/
Over on Crackbook a bunch of us are going to be working through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence

The first exercises are to draw a self portrait, your hand and something else I can’t remember so you can see improvement. Then you move onto drawing a vase from a silhouette. You can see the vase exercise here – http://drawright.com/vaceface.htm.

The plan is to do an exercise every Sunday from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawnmower Haiku

My lawnmower rolled

Over your pathetic cock

What a lovely dream