Location, location, location…

Earlier this year, it was time for us to pack up our home again and move. And after settling in, it is nice to see how my creativity has returned!

No - I am not trying to sell you a house!

After being back in Australia for almost a year, it was time for us to move, again! You would think we would either be experts at this or at least enjoy the process. Unfortunately I don’t think either is the case! 

Nevertheless, we had long ago decided we needed to move. And after a rather long and painful process, we were finally in our ‘new’ home.

Discovering the importance of location

Until we moved, I don’t think either of us realised just how ‘affected’ we both were by our surroundings. It’s not that our surroundings were ‘bad’ – they just didn’t really suit us.

Our apartment was brand new – but that meant it was full of open areas, and we couldn’t hide away and do our ‘own thing’. It was in a reasonably high density area. Which, after living in the countryside was something we never really got used to. And it was noisy. Oh boy, the traffic and planes just didn’t stop! So whilst it was never going to be a long term option for us, it served a purpose. We just didn’t realise the impact it had had!

So, what changed?

All that really happened was we moved across Sydney! But the change is a lot more than that.

We are now living somewhere with so many different bushwalks right on our doorstep. Every day we get to walk the dog in the Australian bush! And chase the poor unsuspecting bush turkeys. He’s not yet spotted the possums. I’m sure if his eyesight ever allows him to see one we won’t get any sleep!

a little cavalier King Charles spaniel enjoying his bushwalk

We have views over the harbour and into the various little bays with boats bobbing gently in the water.

We have space – I have my own ‘craft cave’ as my hubby calls it!

And we have the beauty of peace and quiet!

The beautiful Sydney Harbour is a brilliant way to unwind and stir the creativity within

Noticing the positive impacts!

Soon after we had moved, we all (as the dog is included in this!), noticed the positive changes. Hobbies and things we had previously enjoyed doing were ‘put on hold’ in the apartment. But they came back and we were all of a sudden fully engrossed again!

I started seeing design ideas everywhere. It must be all those trees! All of a sudden I’ve got way too many ideas to be able to keep up with!

Getting out into the native Australian bush generates creativity

And for the first time I think  ever, I am finally organised! Everything has a place, and even better, I know where that place is!

And this all means... exciting times ahead!

With the positive change to my environment, I feel like I can finally pick up where I left off in the UK. And there are exciting times ahead!

Behind the scenes....

And these exciting times have started!

Behind the scenes so to speak, there’s been a few things going on.

Website changes

Firstly, my website has undergone a few changes to the ‘backend’ of it. It was somewhat ‘forced’ on me, as my original theme for my website became unusable – everytime I tried to do anything the whole thing would crash. It was incredibly annoying! And a rather large process for someone who knows nothing about these things. So if you notice anything ‘odd’ please let me know! There’s still a few things to do, like resizing a few images, but hopefully it is in a better place for all involved now!

Coming soon - an online shop!

Despite the ‘website frustations’, this does means I can finally do what I have been thinking of for a while, and that is opening up a small online shop. I have mailed off my first kit, and am starting to teach online. What that means is you will see in the coming months a ‘shop’ added to this website (there’s still a few things I don’t really understand!). I have a couple of designs ready, so it will be small! But I hope to add to it semi-regularly. 

And, It's time to learn again!

After a year of having no ‘formal education’, I have decided to start the San Fransisco School of Needlework and Design‘s ‘Comprehensive Studies‘ programme. So in October I will be spending a busy two weeks in San Fransisco learning all about metalwork embroidery! I’m so excited to be starting this course. There was a lot of deliberation, thought and comparison between this and the RSN Diploma. But for me, and my learning style, I believe this is the ‘right’ course to take. And I can then ‘capstone’ my learning my going back to the RSN if I want to. 

Have you ever experienced a location related change to your creativity?

I’d love to know if I am alone in this or not! I know there were a few changes going on last year, but I certainly didn’t expect where I lived to be the biggest factor in all things creative and stitching related! 

Maybe the old saying ‘home is where the heart is’ has more to it than first thought.

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20 thoughts on “Location, location, location…”

  1. Hi Catherine, I am so happy to hear that you have found your Peaceful Place. I agree that surroundings can have a great impact and influence on how you feel about creating, and moving to a place the sparks your creativity can be so energising. I look forward to following along on your next embroidery journey. Regards, Sally

    1. Thanks, Sally, it is quite a relief to have found ‘balance’ again after such a long time of missing it. I’m excited about the SFSNAD. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the RSN, and I’m hoping I get a lot out of it. All the best with your VERY exciting journey too – you have made several of us very jealous!

  2. So good to see your creative mojo is back, Catherine! It looks like a beautiful area to be in ~ no wonder you are inspired. I am in Portsea, on the beach and in the bush, and am very inspired by my environment . However, I do find that I need to be in an area for a while before the creativity flows from it.
    I really like your new website. (I did find the sliding photos of the last theme was hard on my eyes.) Good luck with the add-ons you want to make.

    1. Thanks, Anne! It is quite a relief really to be able and inspired to stitch again. I’m glad you have been inspired by your time in Portsea, you have certainly been busy whilst down there. Thanks for the comments on the re-jigged website and the images too! Very useful information.

  3. Sometimes for me it’s not the location that causes a shift in my creativity…but in a way the new found idea of creating semi-junk journals has come about through a couple of “location situations” – the first when I was away 5 days at a retreat centre and I just happened to be allocated a twin room, with much floor space. I had gone there to make “pages” and I took a bunch of papers and oddments…this wasn’t the pages I do now.
    Then a few months later I was there again, but an oopsie with my packing saw me with some unusual tools/supplies…that’s when I found I could write on different type of real leaves…
    Move on another few months, and I needed to make a presentation type brochure but as I’m not much cop with computer, I created some books – one an altered book, the other more notebook of the style I do as part of now…

    And then life took extraordinary turn of events, and whilst traveling in SI for a month, life and collage took hold. Came home – and just couldn’t settle…

    So one day I thought “I shall make another notebook” you see whilst I was away making mini collages I had torn out a page of the handmade notebook I took with me!

    1. Thank you for sharing Catherine! It’s so interesting to hear how you have evolved your craft through the different situations you have found yourself in. Certainly very inspiring! And your website is beautiful, I will have lots to keep me interested!

  4. Congratulations on your wonderful new and inspiring location. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next. I can totally understand that unless urban spaces inspire you, you would be stifled in such a place. Yes we all need our own craft space.

    1. Thanks, Cathy. It is nice to feel settled again at last. I’m excited about the next steps, though part of it just could be the need for a holiday at present! A designated craft space is so important isn’t it?!

  5. It’s not necessarily the surroundings, but the circumstances, that affect creativity, for me. I’m on antibiotics at present and I can’t make a decision at all – and when my father died, last year, I couldn’t embroider at all for months..

    Good to know you’re feeling ready for new adventures!

    1. Thanks for sharing Rachel, and I do hope you are better soon and feel back to your normal self. It’s odd how these things can affect us, they don’t usually tell us about those side effects! I’m not surprised last year that you didn’t feel like embroidering, but it’s good to see that you have been able to get back into it. All the best, and I do hope you are better soon!

  6. So good to see that you are back! Not that I am the most regular of posters but I missed your updates and I am really glad to read all is well and that you have some exciting things planned! Can’t wait to see the items in your shop. As I am busy trying to set up and work out mine I really love to see how you are doing it. I can totally relate to losing my mojo, not just space related but just general frame of mind and what else is going on in my life. It passes just as suddenly as it appears.
    Sad to read that you are not continuing with the diploma as I had hoped to meet up in London again! We will have to find another location! I still have my eye on beating around the bush, so you never know it might even be in Australia!

    1. Thanks, Marlous! I hope all is well with you, even if your crafting mojo has disappeared of late. It is interesting how affected we can be by what else is going on in our life, isn’t it?
      There is every possibility I will still end up in London doing the Diploma. It just won’t be my main focus, and it might be tied into any trips I am able to make for work (a big IF but you have to hope!). I like the fact you can do it during the intensive period now, which does potentially open it. I can’t believe Beating around the Bush is on again next year! I just don’t have enough annual leave to do all these things!

  7. So happy to hear that you And DH are once again Happy at Home! Space is important, and the right mix of with city, or country, depending on what gives you peace. Looking forward to seeing what you work on now that your creative juices are once again flowing!

    1. Thank you so much, Kathy, and I do hope you and your DH are well and that he is now fully recovered. I’m afraid my new problem is time, but I know I’m not alone there!

  8. Hi Catherine, I’m so pleased for you both that you have found the perfect place to live. I wish you every success with all your exciting creative endeavours 😊
    Tracey xx

  9. Yes, yes, yes to location, Catherine.
    I seldom feel like writing or stitching in the city when we have to be there. Except when I meet my social stitchery group on Fridays.
    But get me back home, on the coast by the sea and things just happen. Restful perhaps, lack of city buzz and hum, only the melody of birds and waves – the sound of silence.
    Best thing ever for creative drive.
    LOVE the sound of your online shop and am hoping for great things as I really enjoy your blog.

    1. I can just imagine your writing place from reading this! We have just come back from a much longer than anticipated walk, another ‘new’ one. I could actually feel myself getting reinvigorated just walking through the bushland! And I love the sound of silence too. That’s my favourite part about getting up early on occasion. Then it is just the sound of the thread passing through the fabric. So soothing!

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Catherine at Hillview Embroidery

Thanks so much for visiting today! I’m Catherine, and it’s great to have you here. You will find here lots of information about my projects and designs, what worked, what didn’t, what I enjoyed, what I didn’t!

With a Certificate in Technical Hand Embroidery from the RSN, I strive to complete each piece to a high degree of technical excellence. But I also like to stretch the ‘rules’ and explore my own methods and techniques!

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Join my community to receive all the latest news, be the first to know about special offers and releases in my shop, and some general embroidery chat in a monthly (ish!) newsletter. I’d love to see you there!

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