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Dreaming Vs. Living the Dream: 3 Things I have learned from the past 3 years…

It’s been about three years and two months since I last wrote on my blog… Wow! A big well done to me for neglecting the FootprintsInButter blog, I do apologise blog… But in these last three years I have learned a lot of valuable lessons from life, people, digging deep, my persistence and my results.

So I thought, since I’ve missed 3 years of filling you in on my writing and puppetry, that I would share 3 valuable lessons I’ve learnt from the last three years:

 

  1. Unbelievable amount of determination & a vision.

This first one is vital for everyone who starts out with a dream or just a simple thought. For me, I always see my future and dreams as pictures in my mind. I sometimes like to draw them out as well as writing them down. However, one dream I had as a 20 year old emerged when I entered a writing competition.

I found out that I had made the short list for a children’s TV writing contest and I was super excited. I remember standing by my bed imagining a canvas, with a printed image of my puppets-my characters-and I posing for an official photo, hanging above my bed. The thought of seeing my words come to life as a puppet show was so exciting, I couldn’t wait for the results!

I didn’t make the finals, but hope was not lost, I continued to compete in competitions and didn’t look back. Little did I know that when I was 20 I had a small dream and one day when I turned 25 I would actually see that canvas-dream come half-true…

Half, since I haven’t written a children’s TV puppet show…yet.

However, I was blessed enough to see a Muppet dressed as me appear on TV alongside Cookie Monster. That was an unbelievable day in real life and seeing that scene on the TV screen too! That image had to go on the wall… The canvas-dream was just a small thought but the reality I got about 5 years later was larger than life and far from a dream, it was a fantasy-dream that actually became a reality.

This experience showed me that even the crazy-impossible IS possible with faith, work and a vision to start it all off with!

 

  1. Being a living example to yourself of the impossible.

What I have learned from the last three years is how each time I’ve written out a Disney-dream-plan or a goal I have eventually managed to smash them. That’s a pretty satisfying feeling and I wish it for everyone. However, it’s not just about ticking things off the list, it’s about growing, progressing as a person, as a soul. Building yourself up so that when your time comes, you’re ready and you are the person you need to be. Understand yourself, be so sure of yourself that no one, no negativity, nothing, can touch your core. Know yourself.

Also from spending time on self-awareness you also see how giving to others around you is a beautiful thing, and how when you nurture a dream with positivity you spread that positivity around you too. Trust me, that positivity and self-belief begins to spread through to your friends and work colleagues too. Before you know it, they listen to you talk about ideas and plans and eventually see them become a living result.

That’s when other people wake up and start to pay attention.

Also, that’s when you know that you’re true to your word/vision, also you learn another important lesson, nothing ‘suddenly’ happens… It takes a long time.

There’s a lot of no’s and ‘unfortunately on this occasion’ as well as curveballs life throws at you along the way. However, time is on your side always, it’s just a matter of perspective.

You choose how to view it. Attitude. It’s everything. So smile and become that person you know you were born to be and show that to yourself. When you look in that mirror, see the truth and share your truth! People are seekers of truth, finders of possibilities and dreams!

 

  1. Recognising how your sole journey has an impact on others & how your dream spreads.

For a long time it was just me and a head full of thoughts and dreams. Imagining what it would be like to have my work performed on stage, and it happened in the heart of London in the West End a couple of years later… I imagined what it would be like to write for a children’s stop motion and I did. I’ve been called back as an Alumni guest speaker to both my Universities and have been asked to talk on camera and off camera about the journey thus far. These opportunities have been a chance for me to give back.

To give back with time and to speak to students who also have exciting dreams and questions about how to find the strength in being uniquely and unapologetically themselves and allowing their inner-light to guide them in life and their career.

It’s been an amazing experience answering their questions and seeing them light up and be inspired-not by me I believe-but in fact, that self-belief they have and the re-lighting of those dreams they have inside! It’s always inside of you, just look inwards when you need answers.

As time has passed and as I have grown, as well as my work strengthening-going from a Quarter-finalist script to a Semi-finalist-I have noticed how I started to gather a team behind me and my dreams too.

That team began with God, my family, the universe, friends, work colleagues and random people I’d meet but who had an insane amount of faith in my vision and I. With each step I took, each result I got, the team grew and I wasn’t the only one hungry anymore…

Before I knew it, the people around me wanted the same things for me. They watched me put in the work and still do… Some have come and gone but others have remained. However, more recently I’ve learnt that my dreams no longer just belong to me, but they belong to my well-wishers too.

They’re just as excited and pumped for me with each winning, they still have faith even when it’s a miss, they walk with me with each progression, each venture, they’re there! They support me with love and they show my work the same love and respect. That is priceless and I am so grateful, you all know who you are, thank you so much for your support.

Recognise that you may sometimes feel like it’s just you knocking your head against the wall, but you’re not alone…

There are others who are pushing through the hard times and setbacks too, I do the same day-in and day-out but I never let the set-backs stop me. I view them as lessons, I use them as reminders that I need to grow even more. Remind yourself, you have come too far to give in and to let go. Just keep pushing and moving forward. The right people will come and they will stay. Just keep growing, keep blooming and watch your craft do the same.

I wish all the dreamers, hard workers and well-wishers the best of luck in the goals and dreams you wish to pursue. Remember it starts with a dream, but pretty soon you’ll be living it, and I can’t wait for that moment for you… In the meantime, I still have a long way to go so I’m gonna “Just Keep Swimming!” but don’t worry I’ll keep you posted before another three years pass.

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Warrior Symbols & Signs

Recently my friend got in contact over an awesome work mission she had…to find her warrior symbol! After talking through it and trying to strip it back to its core, she still can’t see or feel her symbol.

My friend’s assignment got me thinking about my warrior symbol, the first image that came to mind was the weightlifting emoji… I didn’t feel like that was true though, “an emoji can’t be my warrior symbol?!”

I thought about it again.

I closed my eyes and I saw a fire burning bright in the pitch black and I felt it. I felt the power, the strong will and determination. I opened my eyes and knew that my warrior symbol was fire. Shortly after a reflective ramble in my journal about how the warrior symbol is “so me” I looked out of the window and saw a white plane gliding across the blue sky. In that very moment, I was transported back to a park bench.

It’s 2013 and it’s lunch time, which means most of my co-workers, no…all of my co-workers are eating their sandwiches at their desk. But I on the other hand, like to go for my daily walk to the nearby park.

It’s a beautiful huge park with deer. Most of the time the deer don’t pose too well for my lunch time selfies but hey, seeing them is the highlight of my day so I can’t complain.

After completing my walk, I like to take a seat in the middle of a park bench overlooking a duck-filled pond. I throw the ducks some of my bread-crust as it’s not my favourite bit and also, it’s nice to share.

I remember sitting there on my own, happy, but not happy with my job. I remember looking up at the trees in the distance, knowing those tree tops were pointing back to the city. My heart ached to be back in the busy city of London. I liked writing as a job, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted something more. As I thought about this I looked up, above and past the trees, when I spotted a X in the sky.

The X was made out of those lines that planes leave behind. Sometimes when planes cross over at different times, their cloud trail can still be seen, so you know they were here not too long ago.

I always believed that these X’s in the sky were a sign for me, leading me in the direction my heart and soul needed me to move in. I held on tighter to my sandwich and smiled as I looked at the sky. I definitely looked like a weirdo in the park, but I was a weirdo who was sure about her future because I could feel it. I could feel the faith and hope fill my lungs. I took a deep breath in and smiled.

2018, at my desk, I watch the plane fly out of sight past my window. I take a deep breath in and smile. I’m filled with the same feeling again. It’s funny how certain things can bring back those memories and the emotions that go with them.

Shortly after that flashback, I started to reflect on how that moment at the park bench changed everything. How I felt and how things fell into place once I was sure. I looked back on all the extraordinary experiences and people I met along the way. It was all worth it and better yet, those X’s did lead me back to central London! The place where my heart ached to be. Those X’s were right and so was my gut. Sometimes, we just need to tune in and listen to our intuition.

Sometimes…it’s hard to decode signs and symbols.

I guess they’re just things we decide to give meaning to. But that meaning we assign to them, those feelings we assign to them, they can lead onto beautiful things… Allowing ourselves to blossom from the inside-out.

My friend is still stuck on her mission, to find her inner warrior symbol. Currently she has upgraded from a pencil to a leaf.

At the moment, I feel a strong connection with birds again and every time I see them float across the sky it feels like magic. I wonder, what’s your warrior symbol, and has it carried you to your truth yet?

Disney raised me, oh yeah, and so did these two people… my parents.

What’s your favourite film? What’s your favourite childhood memory? Who’s your favourite character? These are questions we are asked a lot.

Questions I remember being asked at school, University and in general. Normally I answer these questions with the first names and memories that come to mind without giving my answers much thought.

My answers always go back to “I love Disney!” or “yeah when I was a kid, that was the best bit!” or something else that involves the subject and me. However, there’s one important part in those answers I forget to mention and that’s the two people who introduced me to this enchanted world, my parents.

As a child, one of the most magical memories for me was when my dad drove us to the cinema. The walk up to the huge American-style Showcase Cinema was so thrilling. I remember looking up to the board to read the Top 10 movies they were showing that week and the joy of spotting the name of the movie my parents were taking my sister and I to watch. I remember standing in line with mum and how sometimes mum and dad would split up so that one of them could buy the list of snacks we wanted while the other paid for tickets. Once we had our pop-corn, hot-dogs, drinks, pick-n-mix and ice-cream (my parents would go all out) we would join the queue to watch the movie.

Just before that moment though, I remember looking up to the lights and posters they would have on the wall. A lady being carried by a robot. A black and white poster of a time and movie I didn’t have a clue about. King Kong who I was convinced was related to that annoying robot. Then, I would think about how I was about to join all the greats from the Hollywood posters and how I was about to enter their world, even if it was just for a little while…

A lot of the video tapes I watched when I was growing up was also thanks to my parents (and some relatives too). Especially the animations, The Muppet Show, Sesame Street at lunch times with Granddad, musicals like The Little Shop of Horrors and random kid’s TV stuff was all taped for me by dad. He would normally miss the beginning of most things but it never ruined the experience for me. After that initial fuzz and dipping in and out of the picture, the show or movie would begin and I was hooked.

I was happy making a playlist out of the video tapes I had as I knew exactly which order to watch them in and which movie complimented the next. I knew that if I felt like being Merlin for a while or if I wanted to be a dog who was about to go to heaven and eat waffles or even a great mouse detective, then there was specific order I would have to follow so that I could achieve this. Each video would pump me up for my next challenge as a puppet, teapot or mushroom! Either way, there was a movie/show to match it and there I was sat in front of our TV being transported into different worlds I believed in and believed I belonged in.

Often, I will look back to my childhood to find inspiration. Sometimes I look back on shows and characters to remind myself of how I felt when I watched them as a kid and what did they mean to me? How did the message of self-belief and dreaming speak to me? And often in conversation I give those characters, movies and stories credit. But recently I’ve begun to realise that I don’t think I’ve given enough credit to my parents for introducing me to this world which stretched my imagination, which showed me that literally nothing is impossible and much like my favourite protagonists you can be both kind and you can achieve anything that you really put your heart and mind to.

You can be the hero of your own story.

So, thank you mama and dada, not only for showing me an amazing world that shaped me, but also going out of your way to bring that world to us… I remember our parents booking us Disney-on-ice when we were kids, my first trip to Disneyland, plays and live musicals. I remember that time my parents took us to Stratford-Upon-Avon and showed me Shakespeare’s birthplace, we saw his house, we watched ‘The Comedy of Errors’ and we even got to visit The Ragdoll Shop! That was SO EPIC for me as a kid, the place that had Rosie and Jim! The place that even had the Teletubbies and their hill, I was in HEAVEN. I came out of that shop wearing my Ragdoll pin badge with pride.

I am so grateful for all these colourful memories and the joy they gave me in that moment and the joy these memories still give me now. So once again, thank you mum and dad for inspiring me and encouraging me in ways I never knew, your open mindedness and your enthusiasm for life and the world around us is probably where I get my outlook on life from. Thank you for making my world a brighter place.

A Reason to Write.

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I remember when I was at Uni we were asked why do you write?  This was a question we were often asked by visiting lecturers. Each time I tried to improve my answer to this question as I was also growing and discovering all the reasons why I loved to write…

One seminar our visiting lecturer, in his crisp clean white shirt, asked us this very same question. Why do you write? This time I thought about it. Like I really thought about it, so when it was my time to answer I said; I like to write because I would like to bring some positive change, or add/give something positive to the world.

All our answers were being scribbled across the white board as we went around the room; it makes me happy, I love telling stories, I like playing God (this last reason was a popular choice).Once we had all given our motives the lecturer took a step back from the board and skimmed through the list. Once he had finished, he popped the lid back on the marker and turned around to face the class. Who said something about writing to bring something positive to the world?

I smiled and raised my hand, me.

I revised my answer in my head and thought about my hopes and dreams of one day being a positive inspiration. Then I started to dream of how, if I were recognised one day in the near future, that I would love my stories to live on positively even after I have gone.

Hmm…he said with his face scrunched up like a piece of paper.

He repeated my reason for writing very quickly and compared it to some literature and then a handful of writers who managed to accomplish this and then finally took a breath of air. But really, this isn’t a REAL reason to write. He uncrossed his arms and erased my answer from the board. That was it. Gone.

My purpose stood tall and proud alongside the crowd of reasons to write and then suddenly it was swept away by the waves of unacceptance. The lecturer continued to pick out other reasons from the long list on the board and agreed with these motives for writing. I couldn’t hear him clearly as I was still listening to the waves, they had drawn in closer now and I was questioning whether my reason to write was, well, real?

Despite the invisibility of my motive to write I continued to believe in my passion for it. I had faith that if I stayed true to my purpose of writing that it will outshine the disagreements.

This was a memory I had forgotten about, it had been washed away with time, but then why am I discussing it today? Currently, I am reading Ed Catmull (with Amy Wallace), Creativity,  Inc. I am enjoying the journey of an inspirational man and company who were driven by their dreams and their futuristic ambitions.

I can reveal that it is this book that jogged my memory of that particular seminar at University. In fact it was the following line that triggered this blog post:

“My hope was to make this culture so vigorous that it would survive when Pixar’s founding members were long gone, enabling the company to continue producing original films that made money, yes, but also contributed positively to the world.” Creativity, Inc.

Reading this line made me smile because it reassured me that whatever my, or your reason to write is, no one will be able to stop you. If you are on a train with a ticket you’ve worked hard for and a head full of clear, focused and positive thoughts, then surely you will reach your destination. Thanks Ed for the reminder.

Creative Mother’s Day Gift Ideas!

Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy International Women’s Day, what a great day to celebrate Mothers, sisters, daughters, granddaughters and even your friends. Women are truly strong individuals who have inner and outer strength.

With Mother’s Day coming up I thought I should share some creative ideas with my followers, whether you’re struggling with finding a gift to give or simply need inspiration. I hope my ideas will help!

FootprintsInButter’s 3D Memories! Oooo

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I was inspired to make a small 3D picture frame for my Mum when I came across a photo of her on an old scooter from her teens.

I loved the colours in the original Polaroid, the layers and the way the picture was taken.

If you have a favourite picture of your Mum or Grandma get it ready!

  1. Do not cut the original photograph.
  2. Phew…glad you listened.
  3. Scan in the picture of your choice.
  4. Decide on the frame size you want. (The frame I used was purchased at Wilkinson-they have a range of sizes available to suit your project)
  5. Print the picture to the desired size and enough copies for the amount of layers you would like to use. (I used 4 layers)
  6. When the pictures have printed, place one print as it is to one side. Using the remaining prints figure out which areas you would like to create a 3D effect with.
  7. Once you have decided which areas of the picture you would like to stand-out, decide on the sequence of layering i.e. in the forefront of my frame there is half of my aunt and the scooter. The second layer consists of my Mum on the scooter and my other aunt standing on a path. The third layer focuses on the leaves from the bushes in the background. Then finally the fourth layer is the uncut (whole) picture.
  8. Having decided on your layering pattern it’s time to cut out the areas you have chosen. Now before cutting out the chosen area think carefully of the positing within the 3D frame and where it will sit. Bearing this in mind, create a tab for your chosen area before cutting out. The tab will later be folded (hidden) and attached to clear acetate which will hold the different layers in place in your frame.
  9. Once you have cut out the chosen areas of the first layer, begin to fold on the tabs and glue to the clear acetate. Position the layer in the desired area inside the frame and glue the acetate in place, ensuring the layer is stable and will not move out of its position.
  10. Hold the frame away from you to check whether you are pleased with the positing of the different areas. Ensure the tabs do not show and are firmly glued to the inside edge of the frame. If you don’t keep check, you’ll realise after the layers build up that something is out of place or glued in wrong, and that will not be fun…believe me.
  11. The clear acetate you’re using will give you a neat fixing as it will not be seen. Much like puppet strings…well…most of the time…
  12. Once you have positioned and glued all the different layers in place within the frame. It’s time to place the final layer, which is the picture which we had left to one side; acting as the backdrop and bringing your picture to life.
  13. Place the picture behind all the layers, if needed glue the picture to the backing of the frame to hold it in place.
  14. Hold the frame away from you to check to see if you’re happy. Happy?
  15. If so, place the backing of the frame securely. Polish the glass on that frame and bam!
  16. There you have it! You have made a beautiful memory come to life!

If that idea sounded like a bit too much work…well I have another arty idea which is simpler! Especially for the ones who claim “I can’t draw to save my life…” well this might be for you!

FootprintsInButter’s Montage Moments!

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When looking through a photo album of our family trip to Paris I was intrigued by a photograph of my Mum and Dad siting in Disneyland waiting for the parade to start. In the picture my Dad seems to be pointing something out to my Mum whilst they both snack on some chicken nuggets. Since we can’t see the reason why my Dad has a cheeky look on his face it made me curious. I wanted to zoom in and isolate this moment. 

So I did!

I decided to recreate the world around my parents using newspaper and magazine cuttings, along with some paint and tracing paper reading a Rocky quote which reminds me of my parent’s relationship. I also used fine liners to create a sketchy effect over the print-out. Then only colouring in details like the bag, cup and chicken nuggets so they stand out against the black and white.

Time to make your own! Remember no drawing required if drawing is not your thing.

  1. Choose a picture you would like to use. Either scan it in or if it’s on your computer then great!
  2. Crop and enlarge the image of i.e. your Grandma, and print it out to the size you wish.
  3. Cut around the image and leave to one side. Discard the background.
  4. Using a larger sheet of paper, maybe A3 if your image is A4, position where you would like the picture of Grandma to be.
  5. Lightly outline the area and mark it ‘place grandma here’ to remind yourself not to decorate this space.
  6. On your A3 sheet of paper decide how you want your background to look, do you like lots of colour? Do you want to create a black and white background? If so decide on the colours and textures you want to use in this piece.
  7. Once you have decided, collect the materials you need, using newspaper cuttings, old magazines, tissue paper, nail varnish …yes I said nail varnish…, paint etc. (I used one side of corrugated cardboard dipped in white paint to create the effect of the cobbled Disney floor in my piece. Printing different shaped cardboard dipped in various shades of maroon for the floor created a camouflage effect; maybe you could give that a go?)
  8. Once you have glued, painted and created your abstract background, or like me, have exaggerated the original background, you are ready to position Grandma in the piece once the A3 page is dry.
  9. When the A3 sheet is dry glue the picture of Grandma in place.
  10. Step away from the piece and decide whether you are happy with how it looks… If you want a sketch-drawing like effect, then continue reading the next step!
  11. Using a fine liner; sketch around Grandma’s features and shade areas lightly using cross hatching, or other techniques, to achieve the look you desire. Use the natural shading in the picture to guide you. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, then have a practice before gluing the picture down. When you feel you sketched over one picture better than another choose the best one and glue it in place.
  12. Take a step back are you happy? If so sign and date it, maybe frame it? And there you go your very own Montage Moment ready to wrap and give on Mother’s Day.

I hope my simple ideas have got your creative juices flowing! Please go and create! Give your loving Mum, Nana and/or Grandma a gift to remember this Mother’s Day by giving great pictures a new life and energy!

If you feel you’ve got it in you to draw then please go ahead! Woo hoo! Here’s a portrait I drew for my Grandparent’s last Christmas:

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The reaction was all worth it! Good luck creating! Please let me know how you get on in the comments section below? Or maybe post a pic of your creation! I look forward to it!

Have a Happy Mother’s Day! I hope my ideas have helped!

Change

Hey everyone!

I haven’t blogged in a while-blogged with words I mean… It’s mostly been my web-comic.

A lot has changed for me in the past year, especially during the last part of 2012 and early 2013. Things didn’t go as planned and before you knew it my world was falling apart rapidly in most areas of my life and to add to other pressures, my Nan passed away the day after my birthday…

I’m not going to relive negative moments of late 2012 and early 2013 with you, no…I am going to discuss the effects of change…for me personally.

Change has been one of those funny things that I found always stopped me in my tracks and made me wonder…then I’d wonder for days, weeks! Change was something I used to find difficult to decode, but what I have learned quickly from 2012 is to take my ultimate approach; “just go with it!”

Since letting go, I have decided to just go with change, for some reason things have become clearer and my mind feels like I am no longer weighed down by projects, people, ‘friends’, ‘family’ anymore. I feel freer as a person.

No new year’s resolution for the past two years… I think I’m moving forward with the flow of change, working hard and hoping that one day all the blood, sweat and tears will make my dreams, and career, a living success.

Welcome life! Welcome new experiences!