Autumn allsorts

So life potters on here at the cottage, as autumn creeps in. We have had a visitor to the trough, a small toad who obliges us by popping his head up from time to time. Sometimes he gets bath bombed by the sparrows who like to splash about.

I continue to struggle with my long term depression and anxiety. I am still suffering fall out from losing Andy, which continually finds new ways to haunt me. I constantly worry about our ongoing financial situation (while Joe has part time work, I seem to be singularly incapable of earning a living, even at the things I am supposed to be good at). It saps my strength and my silly body is getting a bit older and less useful. So I have good days, bad days and sometimes terrible days when I shut myself off from the world. But I keep as busy as my energy levels will allow and remind myself that my little battles are nothing compared to terrible global events and things could be  (and have been)  a lot worse. Part of the problem with depression is that it's not really the done thing to talk about it and we really should - it is an invisible disease. So I am mentioning it here, holding my hand up and wearing the badge, as it were.

But on to good things - there have been the small pleasures of various crops from the garden. 

And an article published in British Fibre Art magazine. They are, I think, the first UK magazine to dedicate a whole issue to needle felting. Sadly, the entire print run has sold out, but here are some snippets of my feature. 

One of my latest miniature heads, a bit of a one off - 'Sandra' - who reminds me of a 1960s secretary for some reason. 

As it's the season for the inevitable toadstools, I have put together some wool bundles, in suitable colours, which can be bought in my shop here

And finally, I have two last workshops this year, one scheduled to be held at Guthrie and Ghani, in Birmingham, on October the 7th -  dependent on places being booked. And a local workshop in Shrewsbury, on November 16th, which has two places left. Details on my website on the workshops page.


Karren said...

I'm reading your blog with a sympathetic heart here. You've had good reason to be depressed in the past few years, so it's good to acknowledge it and find ways to move on anyway. Celebrating those small stellar things like the frog is a wonderful thing. Please know that there are those of us who care about you and celebrate your triumphs with you when you tell us about them.

Wishing the best for you. Karren from Indiana, USA

Pam said...

I'm so sorry. You're wonderfully talented and have had such a bad time. I hope you begin to feel better soon.

Maudie said...

Thank you for 'putting your hand up' about your depression. It is so hard and you have so much to cope with. I think you are very brave. I have problems, especially at this time of year when the days get darker and understand how hard it is to cope with money worries. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must be grieving for a loved one too. I hope you find your way through and find some respite very soon. I will think of you and send *hugs* for everything you do.

Karren said...

One more thought to add. Dealing with depression is tough, and we need to be gentle and patient with ourselves in dealing with it. For myself, it's tougher still to handle it when I have too much time alone. I cope better when I have regular places to go with lots of social contact. Leading the creative life you do, with so many hours working on projects, gives you much time to focus on inner thoughts and it's harder to move beyond into new ways of feeling. I'm glad you have your workshops to be among happy people learning from you. Hopefully they help you move through your stages of sadness.

BumbleVee said...

Hiya Gretel... congratulations on a great write up ... always such great photos you take of your works..... I wonder if we get that magazine in any of the book shops around here? ...I should have a look.....


Lin said...

Hang tough, Gretel! You are not alone--have you read anything by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess)? Please, look up her blog and her books. It may help you feel not so alone and "broken"...because you are not.

You are incredibly talented and I hope that you can make your way financially through that. I am thinking of you and praying that things come together for you.

Love your frog friend!

rossichka said...

Hugs from me, dear Gretel! You have your talent - and that is your source of strength!:)