Category Archives: Creating

Needle and Thread – a fresh take on creative writing

On Saturday, I went to a creative writing workshop. It’s been a long time since I spent this amount of time on my creative self, and it was much needed.

The workshop in question was ‘Needle and Thread,’ run by Ebele. I have known Ebele for some time now, having met several years ago on the open mic circuit, and cannot overstate what a warm, grounding prescence this woman is. Her mango-love filled hugs draw you in and melt away any insecurities you might have been feeling and replace them with an empowering self-love. Honestly. I am not exaggerating.

So, the workshop. Needle and Thread takes place at Kai Personal designs, in Stratford (London, UK), a lovely space where Tumaini creates beautifully crafted bespoke embriodered products. From cushions to bookmarks, Tumaini creates each piece with love.  We there to drink in this environment and weave its magic into our words.

Sometimes workshops can bring out my inner critic, but not this one. There is no room for perfectionism in Ebele’s world and she even has all participants pledge to leave any negativity at the door before we begin.

A wide range of women, from the amazing 10 year old girl who had a breathtaking way with words to women in their 40s whose words were heavy with experience, created such a wonderful energy that my four month-old baby (yes, I was allowed, encouraged even, to bring baby along!) napped for the first time in days. After the workshop, we each recieved individual bespoke bookmarks embroidered with three words we had chosen on it. My words? Golden. Embrace. Awake.

If you are based in London would like a fresh take on creative writing, I highly recommend spending your Saturday afternoon at one of Ebele’s nourishing Needle and Thread workshops.

Below are the pieces I wrote on the day, hope you enjoy:

Needle and Thread

Yellow, red, golden thread
A button rainbow and cowrie shells
Sunlight pouring in through an open window
Reminds me of holidays and revitalised, I fell
Into the soft embrace of creation
And, fuelled by mango juice, I write

My hunger sated
The energy these woman have created
Fills me up

The mirror reflects
Beauty, Strength, Love

I am relaxed
I am refreshed
I am awake
I am.

Quietly creating

Rhythmic
Hypnotic
Quietly creating
Lime green people – full, round, loving
A triangle suddenly seems to hold
A refreshing beauty

Usually I find white noise to be
A distraction
Today it lulls me, womb-like
Into a state of quiet wakefulness
And I re-create
Myself.

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I am not… An artist

I am not an artist.

(part#3 of the ‘I am not…’ series)

I like being creative (you may already be aware of this). Usually the tools I use for creating are words, but sometimes I branch out. As you will have learned from parts#1 and #2 of this series, other creative outlets include taking photos, and cooking. Sometimes I use other tools. Paint, card, crayons, paper, glitter, glue, that kind of thing. All the stuff we used to create with as kids – I never grew out of that.

Last week I felt like doing something different again (it’s been a while), so I went out and bought a some finger paints and got out the play dough I bought to entertain my nieces some time ago and had a bit of a ‘make and do’ afternoon. Here’s what I made and did:

I am not an artist (not by any stretch of the imagination) but that doesn’t mean I can’t give it a go. Some of you might even call this art…

I am not… A chef

I am not a chef

(part#2 of the ‘I am not…’ series)

I like to cook. I am not bad at it (so I’m told). Apparently my tomato and champagne risotto is pretty good (maybe it’s the champagne that does it).

I never cook any really complicated recipes but it doesn’t matter. What I do cook, while it doesn’t always look great, usually tastes alright.

Recently, I made a chocolate and banana cake (yum).  It looked ok, and it tasted great – so those who sampled it tell me.

I am not a chef, but sometimes I cook stuff.  Some of it tastes really good.

And the winner is…

Congratulations to Miriam Drori, who wins both birthday blog prizes!  That’s an edible treat for being the first to post a reply to my birthday blog post, and a £10 amazon voucher for the most creative post.

Miriam also wins the most creative post for her poem because she clearly gave it some thought, and wrote the poem specifically for the competition, relating it back to both the post, and my year’s worth of blogging. Congratulations Miriam!

Many thanks also to Juliette Lleyellyn, for entering her ‘strandline‘ photo.

Prizes to be won!.

The ‘I am not’ series will return next week, for those of you who were waiting for part 2…

As there have only been two entries so far to The Birthday Blog competition, I have decided to extend this for another week – to Sunday 14th October. The prize for the first post has already been claimed by Miriam Drori, but the prize for the most creative comment is still up for grabs! So, if you fancy a £10 amazon voucher (or local currency equivalent) and the chance to star in my upcoming ‘Ordinary People’ series of interviews, please check out the original post for further details and leave your comments there (or here, whichever is easiest for you)!

I am not… A photographer

I am not a photographer.

(part#1 of the ‘I am not…’ series)

Sometimes I take photos. I know very little about photography, but I know what looks good (to me) and if I see an image I like; something that captures a thought or a moment and/or uplifts or inspires me, I will stop and take a photo. Sometimes I think they’re pretty good.

Here are some of the images I have saved over at Flickr, that I think might fit the ‘pretty good’ category:


You may have noticed that I sometimes include images in my blog posts. Occasionally I will buy a photo from an image bank, but most of them I have taken myself. So now you know.

I am not a photographer, but sometimes I take photos. Some of them are alright.

The birthday blog

I have just realised that my blog is now officially a year old! Well, one year and one month to be precise, the actual birth date (October 4th 2009) passed while I was taking a break.

But these details aren’t important. When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure how often I would post, and whether anyone would be interested in my ramblings, but here we are, just over a year later, and I have been (fairly) consistent so far, and many of you are reading! Again, I thank you.

So, as it’s my blog birthday, I would like you to share in the celebrations! I am offering two prizes – one for the first to post a comment below, and one for the most creative comment – any format is fine – you could write a poem, a short story, some prose, or post a photo or anything else you have created. Surprise me!

The first post will win an edible treat (to be agreed depending on your preferences and location!), and the winner of the most creative post will be the first to feature in a series of interviews I am planning, ‘Ordinary People,’ as well as an amazon voucher or cash prize (£10 or local currency equivalent). This competition will run for two weeks, and closes on Sunday 7th October, after which I will be in touch with the winners by email (so please do include your email address on your post).

Good luck! 🙂