Owls, Elusive Muses and Velvet Magpies

summit of Low Fell

I got side tracked and didn’t write last week so now I’m all out of sorts, with the rambling left overs of what I had planned to say floating just out of reach. Failing to write a few words once a week has made me even more impressed by my good friend Susie’s wonderful blog which she has been writing every day for nearly a year; it’s called “Why Today is Brilliant” and must take ages to research let alone write! As for me, I have been thinking a lot about how the creative urge can be captured, tamed and made to keep more sociable hours. I’ve had several interesting discussions lately about sleeping patterns and daily routines. It seems that many of the most creative people I know keep very strange hours and also struggle with periods of frustrating inertia when inspiration and motivation refuse to co-operate.To completely contradict myself, the most amazingly inspirational artist I know keeps very regular hours and has pretty much painted 9-5, 5 days a week, for the past 60 odd years, so it could just be that I lack gumption and good self discipline. Either way, I often find myself at my most productive late at night which, according to my brother would have made me a rubbish cave man.


These are the kind of things I muse on as I wander about lost in thought; often planning out a whole blog post in my head only to lose the thread before I can trap it. Last week I could have written pages on the overcoming of fear (I’d climbed up the scary rocks on Robinson alone and without my magic “sticky” trainers, celebrating with hot Ribena and feeling as intrepid as anything), I imagined a whole piece on the sensory delights of walking slowly, mindfully I suppose… the sounds of boots in sucking mud, half frozen grass crackling, metallic ringing of rock and shale, a thousand different water sounds, the smell of approaching rain ( do Cumbrians have 50 words for rain like the Inuits do for snow..?) .

Anyway, that was last week; this week I slept like a bear, had no energy to walk except for my weekly volunteering at Calvert Trust and couldn’t be roused before 10 – but I feel like I’m getting somewhere in the evenings. Listening to Pilgrim on BBCiPlayer I’ve been cobbling my stand design together for BCTF and embroidering notebooks, making velvet cushions, trying to work out how to display things and putting together a trade catalogue.


At times it feels ridiculous and self indulgent; the annoying devil on my shoulder ( sitting on the big pile of chips) keeps muttering about “real jobs”, bills and pension plans but today I collected some card samples from Temporary Measure and I have to say they looked great, really professional and even I have to concede that I’m my own worst enemy. If only self confidence shouted as loudly as that little devil!

card samples

So there you go; despite a week in which I’ve felt incredibly lazy and unproductive because I got up late and didn’t walk miles everyday, I’ve actually achieved quite a lot and this is the point… not everyone is a morning lark, not everyone fits in to the neat slots expected by the modern world and being an owl is nothing to be ashamed of so long as things get done. Which are you an owl or a lark?

velvet cushion

Reading: Last weekend’s newspapers and a knitting pattern. Listening to: Pilgrim, a radio drama by Sebastian Baczkiewicz






10 responses to “Owls, Elusive Muses and Velvet Magpies

  1. Sometimes I’m an Owl………sometimes a Lark, but I never know who is going to arrive till they are right here…..frustrating.

    Loving your photos too. That one of the valley just takes my breath away….and the one of you with a cairn……is that a cairn?

    Between the seasons……here Summer is almost over, thank goodness for that, it’s been so uncomfortably hot and humid…..and I always feel a bit out of sorts while the season figures out who it is…..
    Blessings on you and your work.


    • Those pesky birds can be so unreliable! Yes it’s a cairn on the Top of Low Fell looking down on Crummock Water. I love hearing from the other side of the world and your contrasting seasons… Still winter here with more rain and snow forecast ! Thanks Kat x

  2. I’m here from the other side of the motorway. It’s a bit nearer than Kat haha.
    And I don’t know what I am than a complete procrastinator and unfocused. But you dear Kim are a star, your stand is going to knock em dead at BCTF, everything is looking fantastic. It’s like a story unfolding over books, cards, cushions, mugs….. Hey perhaps you could sit on a Cumbrian mountain and pen a few words to add to the collection.
    I wish you continued success in your creativity. Go girl.
    Lynn xx

  3. I don’t know what I am…I’m neither owl nor lark. I get up early every weekday to sort my son out for school with breakfast and packed lunch, but often can’t get any sort of creative energy going until lunchtime. Afternoons are my best time for working; once it gets dark I just want to sit in front of the fire with good company and a glass of red!

    • Exactly! I used to be the same, I’d get the kids on the school bus at 7.30 and then feel like a zombie until mid afternoon ( often I’d fall asleep at about 9am and feel guilty because Sara and Jake must have been feeling the same trapped in school) . There have been some really interesting articals recently about how our sleep patterns change from childhood onwards, the case for delayed school start times and so on .x

  4. Loved this post and for the record I am a lark!2 I have been known to get up at 3:30-4:00AM, yep it’s true! Now that doesn’t mean I don’t stay up late on occasion (11:00ish) but by and large I love to get up early enough to watch the sunrise! And by the way your work is amazing!

  5. Thank you for the mention Kim. Your work’s looking great. Did you know sleeping for eight hours is a fairly recent habit? People used to sleep for four hours, wake up for a couple of hours, maybe read for a bit, maybe visit a friend, then go back to sleep for another four hours. It’s only really since the end of the seventeenth century that we’ve begun to be forced into doing all our sleeping in one go. When do I sleep? When I’ve finished writing my blog probably…

    • You’re probably asleep now, since I’ve just had your latest blog delivery! thanks for the kind mention. Sounds much better to sleep in small doses, I like that idea… What I don’t like is the assumption that you’re lazy if you don’t get up early. X

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s