“Here’s to the ones that dream…”

winter view from Brantwood

Here I am, finally sitting down to write my first blog post of 2017 almost a month late and on the day when everyone will probably be too busy planning their Trump Armageddon survival strategy to bother reading about what I’ve been up too. Thinking back to how excited and optimistic I felt when Obama was elected I got nostalgic and read lots of old posts  which in turn reminded me what a really, really long time I’ve been doing this blogging thing and how it has been a constant throughout all the ups and downs of the past NINE years. I’ve made friends (and a few bizarre enemies), sold work, shared things I love,  tested ideas and got on my soap box plenty of times. So, I’m belatedly raising a glass (well a mug of coffee) to 2017 and all the creative adventures it might hold … but also hoping that somewhere there’s some hippy love magic, thats been lying dormant in the world since 1967, strong enough to overpower the hate and division that feels so evident at the moment (well there has to be something good about turning 50 this year! 50!)


My excuses for not writing sooner are mostly to do with the Great MacBook Disaster which happened just before New Year’s Eve as I snuggled up with my daughter to watch Jonathan Creek. She’d been working all through Christmas (getting hilariously bad, uncalled for Trip Advisor reviews for not being smiley enough whilst serving rude people their food on Christmas Day) so this was our little treat…only the screen went all psychedelic before going blue and that was the end of “The Kneewarmer” as I fondly called it. All my important things were -and still are – trapped inside it so I felt incredibly stressed until I decided to bite the bull on the horns and take the bullet which meant parting with £1,000 just days after leaving my job and driving back from Workington clutching a small cardboard box, feeling slightly sick. Anyway, as it turns out it was sort of a good thing, a new start, like opening a fresh sketchbook or tidying the cutlery drawer. I feel more organised and much less precious about some of those important things. Nothing else works…the sewing machine foot pedal melted to my sock this afternoon, my Wacom pen tablet is incompatible with the new Mac, the cutlery drawer keeps getting jammed and my phone is becoming obsolete but for now everything is lovely in the computer world…even that weird New Apple smell that is a little bit like curry.


I’m looking forward to being able to make some more interesting repeat designs for fabric prints now that I can in theory run a more up to date version of Photoshop. In theory because it costs real money and so far the free trial has made me realise I have a lot of learning to catch up on. I felt a bit angry with myself for not keeping up with all the changes and continuing to learn ( especially Illustrator which I’ve always wanted to use more but found quite annoying).

I didn’t really make any resolutions but I have decided to be a lot more committed to trying to make Etsy and online selling work for me; it has to.  I got some good tips from a friend of Sara’s who came to stay, and the initial results have been quite promising. Even after all these years I’m still not sure how to really crack that system and constantly slide into doubts about my work…if so many people like it why hasn’t it sold? I think the reality might be that I’m uncomfortable about money and placing a cash value on something that is essentially – me. I know I’m not the only one to feel this way about their creative work. (Except by the way there is a 20%discount code in my Etsy shop until the 31st … SNOWDROPS)


While Sara and Sophie were here we went to see La La Land, each with our own traumas and trigger points, three Art School graduates, one a little more crinkley and weather beaten, two newly single, all holding it together quite well in the circumstances! The bit that got to me was the sentiment behind these lyrics :-  “Here’s to the ones that dream, foolish as they may seem. Here’s to the hearts that ache, here’s to the mess we make”. Whatever you think of the film, the thing I took from it was that maybe the world needs the people who have a dream to follow and don’t fit into the boxes expected of them.


Oh dear, if you’ve read this far then you’re wonderful because it’s been a bit self indulgent, sorry. I think the start of the year (and the approach of a milestone) does lead to introspection and re-assesment but out walking today I wanted to write about other things. The mist cleared in the afternoon and when the sewing machine melted I took myself up the valley, plodding like an aged donkey, to look at the black water  where we swam in in the summer, avoiding the bleaching bones of a long dead sheep. I dipped my hands in the water and tried to imagine jumping in today. Coming back down I was full of energy, bouncing along like a furry fell pony, enjoying the splash of boots through wet peat and loose stone paths running with water. Blencathra summit was floating like an island in the sky, separated from its truncated lower slopes by pastel clouds (or clods as my keyboard would prefer). Can you see it?

And then a smell you could bottle and I’d buy the whole batch …something like wet earth and dead bracken mixed with woodsmoke and moorland sedges, causing a sudden jolt of remembering, a physical reaction to the places in the past; bittersweet.

Newlands Valley

Time to feed the fire and brew more coffee. I’m adding a new bit to the end of these posts; as well as books and music, the website of a maker/ artist/ inspirational person who I admire for various reasons. That’s why we’re here isn’t it…the internet should be about sharing the love. Happy New Year x

Reading:- Winter re-reading of all the Moomin books  Listening to:- City of Stars from La La Land  Shop/Web/Link:– A good friend from college who is always helpful, funny, strong and brave especially at the moment. She’s also cracked the Etsyy thing so is pretty inspirational.  Nutmeg and Arlo





8 responses to ““Here’s to the ones that dream…”

  1. Loved this very relevant , insightful and much needed post~ so much here to comment on. but for now, just want to thank you for it and the message you offer~ It feels like a day of a funeral here ~ and a preparing for a lot of battles ahead ~ I will come back and comment on other things you mention here as there is so much to respond to ~ You’ re so fortunate still to be able to seek the healing reality and separateness from these man made constructs , that the natural world offer~ not all of us have the luxury of access to that and could certainly use it’s restorative powers today. Thank you for this lovely and interesting post in multi faceted ways. peace and love to you.

    • Thank you Val and I hope things become brighter soon. I sometimes feel as though it isn’t my place to comment on happenings in countries that aren’t my own but there is only one planet and it’s still a very beautiful one. A positive thing I feel is that there has been a lot of good energy and creative protest happening, especially amounst women. It will be interesting to see how things turn out. Thanks so much for your comment and for reading, sending some mountain air your way x

  2. Happy new year to you Kim and coincidentally today we are celebrating Noah’s 5th birthday. Needless to say the felt slippers no longer fit but are still treasured.
    I hope all your ambitions are fulfilled and you crack all the techi stuff.
    Lynn x x x

  3. Happy New Year to you…….I hope this is a very good year for Witchmountain and for you personally. I think it’s so funny that a new Apple can smell like curry !! My new pc’s don’t smell of anything…..short changed. Your photos, as usual, are stunning and I’m looking forward to what you create in 2017. xoxo Kat

  4. Well hello there Kim, dear. I stumbled on some of your work in Pinterest and then blundered into Witchmountain. I enjoyed reading your blogs. You have done so much since we were 18. Do you remember, all those lunchtimes ago, we’d be drinking hot tea in Cook’s Galley with Ann-Marie trying to keep us cheerful? I have lost touch with everyone so I was glad to find you’re still alive!

    Happy New Year to you, no, happy 50th year to us!

    • Hi Susannah! good grief, how amazing to hear from you, it’s certainly been a long time although it has flown too quickly. I don’t really hear from many people from those days in Whitby, except, weirdly a lot of our old teachers! I’m sure we all helped keep each other cheerful back in the various cafes of Whitby! Its a shame I lost touch with Anne-Marie in about 1989/90. Do keep in touch, I’d love to know what you ended up doing…and happy 50th to you too. x

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