I’m just a mother of three, who has been inspired to create daily videos helping families – not just survive this Easter Holiday – but actually thrive and make it positively the best one ever during this lockdown.
Most families instead of going on planned travel or trips are stuck at home having battled to juggle home schooling and working from home. I’m with you in the same boat. Do you dread spending hours trying to research all the resources out there and plan more activities or just giving up and letting them run amuck.
I have come up with a perfect solution. I hope to deliver everything adventurous in a daily video overflowing with creative and imaginative ideas, building confidence and self esteme while learning new skills while having fun.
Do you want to be involved? If you have a family focussed business please get in touch. We might be able to share publicity and work together. I’d be delighted as can’t take this all on by my self but very excited about the idea. I’m planning on calling it the Egg-citing Adventure Tribe?
Starting on Monday on my newish YouTube Channel. Might be worth subscribing to Gillian Seale.
I made this picture in memory of both my gran and stepdad who sadly passed away within six months of each other. The former reached an impressive age of 94 and the latter two decades younger and completely unexpected. I remember it was very difficult telling the children the news and we still talk fondly about them together as the years pass.
As an alternative to children’s watercolour workshops during these difficult times of corona virus isolation Tailored Yarn has had to adapt. I’ve enjoyed painting watercolors and using calligraphy for inspirational quotes for many years. As a child I didn’t have the confidence or believe that it was possible to make a career as an artist. I’m now trying to prove that old theory wrong. I would love to meet other artists and etsy businessess for help and tips.
When I asked my kids this question I wasn’t expecting the answer to be Donald Trump. To be fair this was my youngest and she’s only six. Having established who the rightful owner was the conversation took a downturn when I asked which country President Trump resided over and the response was Africa.
Possibly a political quiz may be required during our time at home. Interestingly improving children’s knowledge on world affairs is what has prompted Jonathan Garry to write his children’s book on politics, leading to this illustration of 10 Downing Steet, which I’ve just completed.
Are you ever surprised at kids knowledge (could be in an impressive or concerning way)?
Have you considered the place politics and world affairs may feature in your home schooling timetable?
Have you ever done any voluntary work that you feel has really made a difference
This week I took a day out of the Tailored Yarn schedule to give a presentation to a group of mental health professionals at Manchester Royal Infirmary on a training course. I retold my story along with another volunteer from the national charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis. The audience told us how much they appreciated our imput as being more valuable learning about psychosis after childbirth from individuals who had lived through the illness than by textbook. I think this shows how something positive can come from our most difficult experiences.
Raising awareness and challenging the stigma are my two main reasons for writing my second book which will be called “Mummy’s Amazing Rainbow Mind”. It might be the first children’s book that’s ever been written on this subject and I’m currently completing the illustration work.
I’d love to hear about your experiences of voluntary work
Today, I think it’s worth mentioning the great scheme SheCan 365 which is run by volunteers, writing daily articles of female entrepreneurs, who have made an impact on their local and wider community. I was interviewed on the 11th November, as my new business Tailored Yarn, helping families with terminal illness to preserve memories through stories, had caught the attention of the team.
The project was inspired by Helen Pritchard and the interviews and article writing were compiled by Christian and Michelle Ewing over the space of a year. They made each one 365 words long with a photograph of the featured female entrepreneur. They are now using the articles to form the basics of a book which will be published over the coming months. This is a great way to share these amazing stories with a wider audience.
Today Tailored Yarn launches its first children’s fictional adventure story called Postpixie Missing in Action. This is a captivating and beautifully illustrated story about friendship; teaching children about empathy, confidence and perseverance. It is fourteen chapters long and suitable for children aged five to ten. I have read the book at my children’s school and it received a great reception. It has fifty pages of coloured illustrations which have taken years to complete but the results are breathtaking.
The story itself was inspired by a friend of mine who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a rare muscle wasting condition, at the age of eleven. She worked as a hospital dietician and enjoys baking. We meet up for lunch every week and have read countless books together over the years. It was her idea to make the theme about the importance of depending on one another in a world which teaches us all about being independent.
The tricky part is that I am raising the money to cover the publishing costs through a kickstarter campaign which is an all or nothing platform. To get this charming tale, of pixies and woodland animals, onto the shelves in family homes, we need to hit a realistic and achievable target. I am selling my artwork for the first time along with copies of the book itself. I will mainly be relying on friends and family along with social media. It would be amazing to have a little help with publicity on this platform where I have read some amazing articles and met wonderful people through a local netwalking group.
A lot of people, after reading my profile, have contacted me to say I love the sound of what you are doing. For those who do not know, I write and illustrate meaningful bespoke stories for families with cancer or other terminal illnesses. I want to use my creativity and passion to make a difference in people’s lives when they face tough times. I have found this positive response so encouraging and I hope it means you might help me promote this book, campaign and business to get it off the ground.
So here is the exciting part: you can make a difference to this campaign and business without it costing you a penny. Just share or leave a comment on this article and the posts that I create over the next few weeks. By doing this you become part of this story. Your influence can make a positive difference in the lives of families with cancer and other terminal illnesses by helping this small voice be heard above the noise and traffic.
Not many people know that I struggled to get through English at school with the help of a tutor. Then I chose mathematics, avoiding essay based subjects at university. I was not actually diagnosed until adulthood, due to high grades in other subjects, masking my disability. As part of Dyslexia Awareness Week I thought I should reflect on how this disability has impacted on my choices in life. As an aspiring author and illustrator of children’s fiction, it can be risky and require an ounce of courage to admit, what some people might mistake as a weakness or failing, but I see as a strength and challenge.
While it may have lengthened the process, making it more challenging to write stories, I learned through studying psychology, that it may also be responsible for fueling my creativity. My diagnosis of dyslexia has helped me gain access to support enabling me to pursue academic qualifications with a strong dose of perseverance.
Initially, I lacked a lot of confidence in my writing ability but have been encouraged by attending a local group called Riverside Writers where at the beginning I used to enjoy listening to the stories of others but was too nervous to share my own work. This group has helped me develop my skills in this area and over the course of three years. With the help and support from my friends, family, fellow aspiring authors, several librarians, an academic tutor and a professional editor, I would not be where I am today. I am delighted with this outcome, being on the brink of publishing my first novel and enjoying the process of writing it more than anything else I have achieved.
I therefore created and identify with Reuben, the dyslexic fairy in my story, who muddles his spells. See the illustration above. I am keen to help dyslexic children in school to realise their full potential. It does not need to hold you back in life.
A few weeks back, I attended a book signing with the previous Children’s Laureate (2015-2017) Chris Riddell, with his latest book Guardians of Magic from the Cloud Horse Chronicles. The venue was my local independent bookshop Linghams in Heswall, who have won many awards over the years for all the effort they have put in to encouraging readers, promoting authors and hosting a multitude of interesting literature events on a regular basis.
If I am honest, as an aspiring author myself, I felt quite nervous and in awe of meeting someone who has not only achieved success in the field but also been officially recognised for his effort and lifetime work. Two things made this book signing really special for me. Firstly Christ Riddell took the time to illustrate each book with a picture of a bear as well as his name and secondly he put everyone at their ease by chatting comfortably to them while he sketched and signed. He was incredibly down to earth. It really was an honour.
My children are thrilled with the book and I have made a short recording of them talking about it.
Thanks to Linghams, for hosting this wonderful event. I look forward to returning and hopefully participating in my own book signing for Postpixie Missing in Action which is due to be released next month.