CreativityPrintmakingA Day in the Life…squeezing a bit of creativity in around a fairly hectic family life!

January 23, 2017by Anna Deakin0

Hello there! I thought I would use this blog post to describe a day…today in fact! I’m all too aware of how things can look so idyllic and perfect on the face of all the social media posts, and people always ask me how I manage to squeeze any artistic ventures in. I’m not someone who is able to lock myself away for a few hours creative time, too many children to look after here, so everything is crammed around nap times, movie night times, Daddy being at home times and more often than not burning the midnight oil times…it helps that I suffer sporadically with insomnia, I’ve decided to use these extra awake hours to my advantage, rather than clock watching during the early hours cursing every other fast asleep person in the house that they are able to sink into that elusive sleep state I find damn near impossible to do, I instead make a brew and cut a bit of Lino. We do totally spend lots of time out in the fields, I avoid soft play like the plague…apart from my children having the ability to pick up the most random tropical disease possible from every visit…it also costs a fortune! Outside is free, and I’m blessed that my family have a farm. So yes, largely things are pretty idyllic and exactly how they are in my photographs…but here’s a insight to a day in the life at Bramble and Goose Towers…just so you know the stuff I don’t put into the photographs, that I am not a perfect, bionic supermum. I’m ever so guilty of being a little awe inspired and left with a feeling of defeat once I’ve had a good scan through social media, but everyone’s days have to totally go like mine too right? We’ll see…here goes!

7:30am…I can’t bloody believe I’ve overslept, again! I know half seven is plenty of time to leave the house for 8:30am, but not when you have yourself plus four children to dress and feed. Nothing like the realisation that you are running late to make you leap out of bed! I’ve also promised myself no shouting today, I already have three failed days at this under my belt which the children find very amusing, I swear they are going out of their way to make me fail at this. Every single child is snoozing away, why on earth they lose this ability to have a lie in Saturday/Sunday is beyond me! So the scrabbling around begins, the baby is dumped with my number one while I dash down to make milk and get breakfast ready to go (I normally make them do this themselves, but not on a late day) everyone’s clothes are always out ready for the next day so it’s just a question of geeing the older two along and getting myself and the two little ones dressed. Of course, after wrangling a now crawling number four into his outfit he decides to fill his nappy, impeccable timing every morning…coupled with a timely milky upchuck all over my bed, fantastic! I’m quite amazed that my number two has pulled his weight this morning and managed to get himself ready in super quick time, though my number one is determined to spoil his good efforts by tattle tailing that he’s not eaten all his breakfast. Number four is having to make do with a slice of bread whilst whizzing about in his walker and number two only managed a few spoonfuls of cereal (don’t worry, I do feed them properly after the school run!). At 8:30am, leaving the house time, number two announces he can’t find his shoes…there comes the dim realisation that I must have left them at the leisure centre Friday night after swimming lessons 😫…a quick scrabble round looking for anything that is not a pair of wellies ensues and I phone the leisure centre en route to school. Extra bonus for me this morning as I actually remembered to brush my hair!

Now I’ve changed direction into more original pieces of work there’s been a whole lot more interest…that confidence boost paid off! Most of my customers are still Mums at the school gate so I feel a little bit like Del Boy this morning doing dodgy deals, but I am branching out and have customers I don’t know, some live local so I’m hand delivering before popping to the post office, however in my morning rush I forgot my purse…thankfully I have lovely parents on hand, so to save dragging number three and number four back and to they end up happily at the farm, tractors are so much more fun anyway! I also realise that a large amount of badges need sewing onto my daughters Cubs uniform for her meeting tonight, grandma to the rescue again!

Deliveries sorted it’s off for a play in the muddy fields

I then recieve news that number threes shoes have been located at the leisure centre, thank goodness, was dreading a trip to the shoe shop! This of course means an extra little trip out, so between nap times, lunch time and school pick up my afternoon is pretty much scuppered!

Number three is pretty excited on school pick up that I remembered his balance bike…when in fact I’d totally forgotten to take it out of the car…but bonus Mum points for me! Here he is whizzing off ☺

A miraculous thing happens over the next few hours…all children at home in various stages of napping, needing tea and getting ready for after school activities whilst I need to do all the cleaning I’ve been unable to do all day…and I don’t shout once! Nearly there on the no shouting front but my number one seems pretty smug that she will be able to break me at some point…she will not win, I’m determined…I feel so much better for the not shouting thing. Another miraculous thing…Daddy is home on time for a change! Perfect, means I can get on with packaging a print order up that’s making its way all the way to Australia! Told you I was branching out.

The development of social media and a snazzy phone means I can work on the go, updating social media as I’m waiting at the school gate, waiting for the kettle to boil, waiting for the children to finish tea etc etc…writing this blog post sentence by agonising sentence throughout the day! As I have a give away over on my Facebook page I’m working really hard on my social media reach this week! Here’s a link to my Facebook page if you would like to be part of the giveaway to win an original print.

And so the time is currently 7pm, number three still hasn’t had tea due to a late nap. I’m off on Cubs pick up soon so I can squeeze in some more local drop offs of prints. I just have time to cut some extra reinforced board and package my international delivery, at the same time as fending off a very interested baby! A quick scan of the house before Cubs pick up and it pretty much looks like I’m back to square one on the cleaning front…an occupational hazard of having a large family…and I still have two of them to get ready for bed, and all four to actually get into bed! Cutting the Lino for my next print is going to be much, much later than I thought!

9pm, Cubs over ran…I snack on a breadstick whist I contemplate lights out for the tribe, tea not yet in the oven *reaches for the wine…

Nearly 10pm, tea eaten…delicious, though I guess anything vaguely edible would be delicious at this juncture of the day! Number three is still awake due the late nap…but I decide to get carving my latest Lino while daddy settles in for snuggles with him, here is my current work in progress,

Although I have a studio at my parents, it works out more convenient for me to take a chunk of the kitchen for my work while the children are young so I can multitask…thankfully we had a large extension as my work area also encompasses a large vintage mangle which I use for printing.

…and of course my make shift print dryer!

10pm, my number three decides to shun Daddy cuddles in favour of sitting with me to have a discussion about the very sharp pfeil cutting tools 😫

A few minutes more and I relent, Mummy cuddles it is, at least I got a bit of Lino cutting in. Tomorrow will be more productive, largely because I only have one at home who still likes to nap two to three times a day 😊…not the most interesting day, but a little insight into a run of the mill day, seeing between the lines of the glossy Instagram photographs.

So there you have it…no idling away in a studio (how blissful would that be though!)…but just me, working at a snails pace through the day in between family time. I might not be able to make prolific amounts of work, but I hope that people enjoy the work I do make.

Thanks so much for reading, and do pop over to the Facebook page if you’d like to have a mooch at my other prints…the small amount so far, I’m slowly working on building it up, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ as they say.

ttfn x

P.S….I totally didn’t shout today, even when number two took two hours to sort his uniform out, feeling pretty great about that.

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