i’ve always been a dreamer. not in the bad sense of the word. i’ve always loved to create. when I was a little girl i made perfume from the flowers in the backyard and wondered if I could sell it. i just loved to make things. anything. when i was a teenager i tried to make varnish from goo that flowed from a tree trunk. i can hear you laughing. but I was a dreamer and i dreamed about what my future would look like. i dreamed about singing. singing on a big stage – and i did. i dreamed of owning a little cafe. i didn’t. life went on and my dreams grew bigger. some were realised. many were not. regret grew. it was ugly. creativity seeped away. i was disappointed. spring came. my eyes opened. new life came. a creative food business. and old dreams revived. new dreams to. write.make.create came into being.write.make.create is a space for you to grow. a safe place to unpack your dreams. fan them into flame. share your ideas & creations. find motivation. nuture clearer direction. grow in strength and faith. find passion and purpose. dream again. you may even be inspired to turn your passion to profit.
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Today I walked down by the River. It was almost dusk. The water was still, and so was the air. I stood for a moment watching the faint ripple as a gentle wind touched the surface. It felt good to be out of the house and away from all the things that continue to beckon me, come.
I’d worked most of the day. Finally the weekend had come and now my real work could begin, but first, I needed to walk, just a quick walk to clear my head. Down the hill and toward the river that sits peacefully at the bottom of my street. This time I decided to turn left, walking along the side street, River Way, I like this quiet, more elevated laneway. It still affords me an odd glimpse of the river while I walk. I like peeking into the glamorous back entries of these rather palatial homes. They sit high above the river bank and below them they look on to the homes that line the riverfront street below.
I walk. Sometimes I imagine what kind of lives they live. Are these people that far removed from me and the humble life I live. Who knows?
These River Way homes sit haute. They overlook other mansions that sit at their feet. The breathtaking vista of the River below is their everyday view. I wonder if they tire of it, I know I wouldn’t. I imagine families sitting at their tables looking out of the grand windows. The sun is downing over the River, and beyond the river lights begin to flicker in the distant hills that surround our city. This is a painting made for them and everyday the colour changes, just a little. I sigh to myself and think how I would never tire of such a view.
I look down at my feet and notice the marble on a particular drive way and think to myself how much better it is than brick paving and then I see a door that resembles an entry to a Balinese resort. Lovely.
I must say, these grand ‘back’ entries are more glamorous than my entire humble home. Actually, the home I reside in is not even ‘my’ home, but I like living here, surrounded by this earthly glory and I remember the saying ‘location, location, location’. I remind myself how blessed I am to live here.
To be honest, I think I like the status of saying ‘I live in Salter Point’. Is that shallow? Probably. Sometimes I just let people imagine I am ‘well to do’, like my neighbours, but i’m not. I’m just a humble woman trying to make her way in the world. Trying to make life a little easier for my not so well lover. I’m working hard these days to build a business – not just write.make.create but I have another little venture I’m investing in too. Always working, always dreaming. Who knows, one day maybe I will ‘strike it rich’ and buy myself one of the lovely homes I see whilst on my walk.
But for now, I’m happy in my little humble home. It’s more than enough. I’m happy just dreaming.
I’ve been creating quite a bit lately but in the past couple of weeks I noticed my motivation waning, just a little,
so I asked myself why?
Sometimes it’s just weariness that takes over but even then I’m not one to plonk myself in front of the TV for too long. I confess – I’m not a Netflix binger like my other half. I find it such a waste of time when I have so many ideas bubbling in this head of mine. Tho, I’m not averse to it now and then and I do watch the odd flick while I’m creating. The trouble is, I always have some creative mission on the go so I’m never still for long. Yes, I know, I need to remind myself that the rhythm of work and rest is needful, but sometimes, for me, resting is making.
Whether it’s making (journal creating or sewing) connecting with peeps on “Write.Make.Create or working on our latest business venture “Eco n Me”, whatever the case, I’m busy – not the ‘woe is me’ kind of busy – but busy in a good way.
Anyway, I said all that to say this
I just got a bit ‘bla’ !
So after I asked myself ‘why’, I quickly realised it was simply because I hadn’t been feeding my creative self. I’d been madly creating and not putting any fuel back in. It was a simple fix!
I simply fueled up!
I went searching for some bits n bobs I needed for my journals and happened to see the sweetest mag, so bought that instead and read it from cover to cover.
I watched my fave peeps on youtube doing what they love – making journals, making soap – making anything!
I listened to a couple of podcasts on the way to work (my business coach, Anna Runyan is the sweetest honest girl – she makes me smile)
I picked up my guitar, jumped on my piano (well not literally), and made myself learn some new songs – Defender by Rita Springer and Refiner by Maverick and oh so wonderful, Champion by Dante Bowe. DEFINITELY FOOD FOR THE SOUL I was craving for.
and that was that – all fired up again
So my friends, if you’re flagging, lacking luster, just find what you need to fuel up. Before you know it you’ll be doing what you love more productively!
What happens when you lose motivation and you’re not sure how to get the cogs into motion again?
When it seems impossible to move forward, sometimes you just need to change tack and do something totally different. Changing ‘tack’ is simply finding another way to deal with the same problem. I have a problem. I’ve sadly lost my writing motivation. I’m stuck and I need to get unstuck.
Something has to be done and I know that I need to continue to be creative. Creating is something that has a way of fanning into flame embers that have almost died out. Yep, creativity can do that. Oh, how I hope it fans my writing back into motion. It’s early days but this is my hope.
Some of you may know that some weeks back I lost a substantial number of heartfelt words from the memoir I started just over two years ago. I was almost there. I can honestly say that seeing the end in sight was just an amazing feeling, albeit six months past my estimated completion date.
It’s still a mystery how this happened, but happen it did and I haven’t been able to move forward since that moment. How could I let this happen?
I feel so frustrated with myself. Frustrated that I feel stuck, again. Another roadblock. Yep, I’m stuck.
Almost defeated – but I won’t give up – so what do I do now?
I do the only thing I know to do, and that’s to keep moving. I can’t seem to move on what I want to move on, so I’ve started something, something that I know can help.
Creating is my go-to place. Not moving is not really an option for me. I’m not sure that this is a good thing or not, but at least for now, I’m moving and not sitting here thinking about what I’ve lost and how I can fix it.
Fix it – I can’t. But create – I can.
If I can’t create my book right now – I can still create.
This may just be the key to unsticking my stuckness.
So here’s my latest little venture.
I’m loving this and now that I think about it, it’s still connected to writing. This week I’ve started creating vintage journals. They still connect me to writing – even if I’m just creating them for someone else to write in.
These little beauties take time, a lot of time but for me, they are breathing new life into my thwarted writing soul and I feel good about that.
It’s a sweet interlude.
These journals are fun and I find I’m bubbling with ideas about what to do with them. New ways to create. My mind is awash with themes, colours, sizes, and styles. It’s running away with new ideas, but for now Stephanie, focus – just create.
Follow the link if you’d like to order one. Pre-Order your personalised journal or simply purchase one of my pre-made journals.
It’s been a while and my writing motivation has taken an all-time low.
It started some weeks back when I somehow lost almost 25,000 words. Precious words. Words of the book I’ve been writing. Almost six months of writing, editing, thoughts.
Not just any words, a real-life story, heartfelt moments, traumatic events that had me feeling again whilst I wrote. Moments when tears flowed as I dug deep as I wrote down memories of a time long gone.
After which, I had to ask myself, “have I reconciled with my past?, am I ok ?”
Thankfully the answer was yes.
It’s good to know that it’s actually ok to still feel a little when you remember tough times. I don’t want to be so together that I don’t feel anymore.
I don’t want to be that person who hides their real self behind an austere exterior.
I want to be a person who feels deeply, not shutting down what’s going on inside. Not denying emotions that make me feel vulnerable or even a little needy. We ‘need’ community. We ‘need’ people who gather around us when perhaps we just need a hug or need to know we belong.
I’m thankful for the life I’ve lived, for my story. A story that helped me know I couldn’t walk alone. One that taught me to reach out, to belong to something bigger than myself.
It’s made me who I am today and one day soon when I can gather back my momentum, I’ll share with you a link to the story that resounds within me and the words I lost will come again to paper and yes, I’ll probably shed another tear as I write but it will be worth it.
If my story can help one person to work through their journey and know that there is ‘a future and a hope’ for them, then it’s all worth it.
So if you’ve had a set back this week. Don’t give up. Look for the silver lining, it will come.
As I sit here in my little courtyard, in the centre of my little home, surrounded but not very much I’m still incredibly aware of how blessed I am in what appears to be the worst season we have ever faced, well, in my lifetime. I can imagine war times would have been much much worse but I guess we are facing our own wartime. Covid looms and with it, the future is uncertain but I have a sense that I am more secure than ever, kept safe in what I term “The Cleft of the Rock”.
There’s a Hebrew word, Sela’ which means “a cleft or an opening made a by a split in the mountain”.It was one of the safest places to hide in early times. In some ways, Covid has caused a split, a crevice and we have all retreated into the safety of our own space, our own homes, hoping and praying that we will be well. We’re on high alert, wondering what will come next, but strangely, I feel safe. I’m hiding in the cleft of the rock, a rock I’ve come to know as Jesus.
In this place, I’m grateful.
I’m grateful for the smallness of where I am. Perhaps in some ways, it’s like a little ‘cleft’ for me, and tho this place is still not my own, it’s it feels right, it feels very safe. A hiding place. A shelter for this season. A refuge.
I’m led to believe that light has been shed on how we view our families, our possessions, our dreams, our world. We’re asking ourselves ‘what is important, what now, what will our future hold? How do I navigate this season of uncertainty?’
For me, It’s the little things.
I’m so grateful for the little things.
A bird that wags his tail in joyful dance and makes my smile.
The way the sun shines on my garden bed, shedding rainbow light on a morning dewdrop
I’m grateful for air in my lungs, for breath, for life.
I am thankful beyond measure for what I have right now and I’ve decided that the little things are enough for me.
I’m not saying that I won’t be building for a future, because I am, but more than anything I am thankful that Covid has made me take a long look at what I value and I can honestly say, it’s not the big things.
As I sit here ready to end this little blog, the sun has dipped below the horizon. The sky is darkening and hues of blue and pink are lit up by a half moon light. I can hardly believe my eyes! A little bird has just now landed on the clothesline right beside me. He’s fanning out his tiny black tail. Little white-tipped feathers wag left and right as he performs his glorious dance, just for me and I smile with delight.
Here, in the cleft of my rock, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am safe and I am seen.
There is a name that is above every other name, good or bad.
There is a name over every other name that is raising its head at this point in time. It is a name that is above fear, a name above panic, a name above pandemic. It is a name above disorder, above the chaos, above feelings, above injustice. It is a name above the name of EVERY disease, it is above evil and it is above Covid 19.
We’re all reeling with what’s happening in our world right now. Fear is real, panic is real and there are moments when I feel moved by what I am seeing and hearing and I find myself giving in to fear. I have to shake myself and remember who I belong to. I remember the Name of Jesus, my friend, and my delight and I quickly encourage myself with words from the good book, words I’ve held dear for a long time.
1Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. 2He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
8Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
‘I shall not be greatly moved’
I’m not belittling the gravity of what’s happening around us. I for one have wept prayerful tears for Italy and for the nations that are hardest hit. Although my heart is heavy, I want to encourage us all to feed faith and not fear.
Media, although giving us good information and helping us to know how to practically battle this pandemic, it is also filling us with fear. In most cases, the name of ‘fear’ is lifted higher, exalted but we can and must fight this battle with FAITH. Let that be our focus, our battle plan.
If you’re not a believer, now, more than ever is a good time to reach out to the name I’m talking about, JESUS, he who is greater than all of this. No matter what the outcome, whether I live or die, I know he can turn this for your good. Your salvation can be secured today in Jesus by a simple prayer, by just reaching out to him in your little room, by faith, just a look in his direction and he’ll come running to you. Let him fight your battle.
Brazil running to Him…..
He’s like the wind, you can’t see him, but I know he’s there, he’s moving all the time and working things for my good, I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Oh that you could know how much he loves you, how much he wants for you to know and experience his great love for you.
How he wants to gather you in – to show you his love right now.
Turn fear into faith today.
I GLADLY CALL ON THE NAME OF JESUS – THE NAME ABOVE EVERY OTHER NAME
It’s a strange thing as I’m not Italian, but something within me has always been drawn to this incredibly vibrant, and in some ways, bombastic culture. Perhaps it was the Italian family who lived next door to my grandma’s house when I was very young. As I played in my gran’s backyard, the neighbor’s house loomed large, so much bigger than granmas humble house. White ornate pillars surrounded the palatial house, also white, three stories high. Lemon and olive trees dotted the large yard and constantly drew me to the crumbling grey stone fence that separated our backyards.
My eyes peered over, fascinated by everything that went on in their back yard. I often stood there just watching and listening to the cacophony of words that sounded out, words I never understood. Bottling days were the best when I could smell the aroma of thick red sauce, laced with Basil, simmering on the stove in the not so little backyard kitchen. I could hear the women bantering and knew Nonna, had everyone under control, even the men. Somedays, her grandson, a couple of years older than myself, would invite me over to play. I’m sure it was just to avoid the work because, on other days, he ignored me.
A few years later my sisters moved to Melbourne and dated Italian men and one married a man from Calabria. I visited them often. To me, Melbourne seemed like a little Italy, continuing to fan into flame my love affair.
Later, I met my dear friend Catena, and together we embarked on an Italian journey of travel and language. We’ve travelled to Italy together on numerous occasions and sat in Italian classes, me a novice and Catena, returning to her roots. It’s been a wonderful journey and I know she would feel the same about her homeland and mourning the fact that we can’t just jump on a plane any time soon to visit this beautiful land we both love so much.
Whatever the started this Italian fascination doesn’t doesn’t really matter. What counts is that all of those things, collectively, cemented a long love affair with Italian food and culture.
For now the doors are closed and the streets may seem empty but life goes on.
With so many people it’s impossible for it to sleep.
Did you know little Italy would fit into Australia 26 times? It’s population is over 60 million, that’s almost three times the population of Australia. A high percentage of the population is over 60 and they are at risk. The Covit19 virus is wreaking such havoc in our world and it seems to be hitting the elderly the hardest.
If you’ve seen anything on social media about Italy and the Coronavirus, despite the sudden lockdown, they are fighting back with their vibrant spirit! Young and old join together in songs for solidarity (Check out lovely Girl n Florence’s blog – who BTW I met when in Florence at Lisa Clifford’s Writers Retreat) from their apartment balconies, an old man plays the accordion as a younger one bangs out a rhythm on a tambourine while her little one dances next to her and they wave across to each other, defying the urge to give in to fear.
God is bigger than Coronavirus.
Right now, I feel sad that I may not see Italy any time soon. They’re in crisis. They need our prayers along with many others.
I say how about we learn a lesson from our Italian friends and let Joy ring out over fear. Carla Coulsen’s depicted their spirit in her book Italian Joy.
Let’s turn worry into prayers, trample fear with a song – this is definitely the best antivirus I know. ♥️
For me, there’s something so exciting about starting something new.
Planning for an unknown adventure, paving the way for something you’ve dreamed about can be so invigorating. I’m a pioneer at heart, a fire starter so setting out on a new journey is where I find myself at my best, that is until the honeymoon is over and the real rubber needs to hit the road in order to gain traction.
It’s about then that things start to get a little tricky.
When the excitement wanes, frankly there are many days when you begin to wonder if maybe this journey wasn’t such a good idea after all. The dream starts to crumble and along with it, your motivation.
The struggle starts.
Doubt, that feeling of uncertainty can come in like a flood. Lack of conviction can creep up on you inch by inch and snuff out the fire that once burned bright. Before you know it, you begin to question everything that brought you to the precipice. The one where you threw caution to the wind and bravely stepped out over the edge.
Suddenly the unknown seems daunting and you want to shrink back, forgetting this path that once seemed so right.
In all reality, I sometimes feel like the blazing trail is all too much an uphill battle. One I could do without and I find myself silently thinking “why don’t you just settle for staying home and reading the book you brought about someone else’s exciting journey?” It’s so much easier to talk about our goals, our dreams, to read about how to get there rather than actually DO what needs to be done to achieve them.
It’s then that we need reminding that
“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends to poverty” Proverbs 14:23
I’m not a quitter and I don’t want you to be. Keep believing.
There have been odd exceptions when I’ve stepped out and things have taken off with little effort and the pioneering journey has been somewhat effortless. Like when we started Down South Gospel, our little country church that lives on today and one of my last ventures with a dear friend. We stepped out together. Within a few months, our Gourmet Grazing Table business gained so much traction that we found ourselves run off our feet as our popularity grew. Oh that every journey was easy.
I wonder where your journey is taking you?
Maybe you’ve started writing that book, the one you’ve dreamed of for so long and you have no idea how you’ll get it published or if it’s even going to be good enough. Maybe you’ve finally had the courage to step into the coaching career that you know you were made for. Perhaps you’re trying to find the finance to start a new business or simply save for your dream home.
Whatever it is – it takes courage and it takes determination too.
It’s in these doubting moments, the moments when we struggle that we need to encourage ourselves and those we walk alongside to stay the course, to be there for each other. The hard work will pay off.
I encourage you today not to give up. Keep moving towards your goals. Baby steps at first, one after the other and then the bigger steps will come. You will reap a harvest if you keep going.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. ” Galatians 6:9
The Hebrew word Sojourn translates as ‘ger’ (pronounced gare) and means ‘a temporary inhabitant, a newcomer lacking rights, an alien’.
While we are not gypsies (a member of a race or people originally from Northern India, traveling from place to place) nor newcomers, we ourselves have become sojourners and it seems we have also adopted the “place to place’ part of the gypsy equation. I must say, while its quite freeing, its also quite a strange feeling to have no abode, no place to call home.
Something in me wants to settle, wants to nest and if it were only “I” – “I” think maybe, “I” would. My heart longs to let my roots go deep again, somewhere. Maybe a little cottage close to my little big ones, now bearing little ones all of their own.
I long to plant a tree and watch it grow, to gather some hens and shut them in at night, to plant a seed and delight in watching a flower bloom, to set up a desk with pretty pens and paper, to place a soft comfy chair nearby so I can rest when I tire of writing, to hang my favorite pictures on the wall nearby.
So many things, beautiful things, seem just out of reach.
And yet perhaps, in time, I would tire of this too. Perhaps I would soon long to be free of those roots and those chickens. Perhaps I’d be willing to take those pictures down from the wall again and place them back in the box from whence they came so we could set to the road again.
Why are humans so fickle, never at rest? Always longing for something better, something bigger. Something more exciting?
In the book of Timothy, it says
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6-10
So, my challenge to myself is to cultivate contentment. I have thought long about this, this contentment. This is something I yearn for, perhaps even more than those things above mentioned. I have contemplated contentment over and over. Some months back I even created a little logo with the idea that there might be people out there just like me, longing for contentment. So I added those words there, underneath the “write a little every day” logo, thinking maybe I would create something called the contentment co.
But the word stayed with me and another word came alongside it.