So, I was catching up with a friend and colleague the other day, who told me she hadn't received notification of a blog update for a good while. I had actually stopped blogging (I'm not sure I ever really started, knowing nothing about blogging) so it gave me a little thrill to know that at least one person was actually reading them :)

My friend's call couldn't have come at a better time. Things have been difficult, but I've made progress this week working on new projects and learning new skills and this is down to a number of reasons. I think what really kicked the change in mood was a challenge, set by the lovely MissPigeonVintage for the amazing collaboration of local artists, makers and small businesses at Arttopia in Cleethorpes (check them both out), to celebrate the shop's first birthday.

The challenge has me reflecting on my learning journey in ceramics, the inspiration behind it and what is so great about Arttopia.

It's a very good thing sometimes to consider where you've come from, what you've discovered along the way and where you're going. It's given me the confidence needed to try some new techniques and projects. As I'm mainly self taught, learning new things can be very time consuming and can result in lots of 'failures' but even they go into my garden to light up a dull area. I was feeling panicked that I wasn't producing fast enough but this past few weeks has taught me it's ok to slow down and think more. What has helped me is spending time digging over the vegetable patch and tidying up everywhere, digging a new flower bed, sowing seeds and brightening up a waste corner, all the time under the (mostly) clear sky with only an abundance of beautiful bird song to listen to. Purely physical work like this cleanses and relaxes the mind.

Now for a nice cuppa ...

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