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"Believe you can...

...and you're halfway there" ~ Theodore Roosevelt's inspiring words.


Inspiration was the Instagram prompt today. To be precise an inspiring object. Here is a selection of mine. They are next to my desk and all have a genuine reason for making it into the cabinet.


When I was fifteen I went to Germany, my first time out of the country, I was terrified. My penfriend's grandfather, a retired museum curator of the prehistoric collection, gave me the neolithic tools, the belemnite fossil and large ammonite. Holding the ancient artefacts, realising the implements had been created 12,000 years ago still inspires me. Knowing that we all have the capacity to achieve should we put our mind to it helped me put my fear into perspective



In 1972 the first Paddington Bear toy was created by Gabrielle Designs, a small company run by Shirley and Eddie Clarkson, the prototype was for their children Joanna and Jeremy Clarkson.

We couldn't afford one, so if you want something get on and create it yourself. Little Ted (who you may have come across in previous blogs) was more than happy to step up to the plate for a makeover with a knitted duffle coat and suitcase on loan from Barbie; she never got it back.



Ten years after that first trip abroad I packed up my suitcase and my life to teach in the Caribbean. Four years of inspiration, from the beauty beneath the seas to the tenacity of students to achieve against the odds. Now I'm sure you've heard of the Cayman Islands (I hadn't!) The dollar seemed a fitting reminder but it wasn't the money and wealth of some inhabitants that impressed me, no it was the vibrant colours, gyrating rhythms, slow pace and a love of life that changed me forever.



The piece I sought out for the Instagram post was presented to my Nan, Emily, in 1908 for her unbroken attendance at school. Not that inspiring you may think but you see she was the eldest of 13 children. It was her responsibility to get them all ready in a morning and then clean the fire before setting out across Birmingham to deliver a meal to her Aunt. She said the potatoes, which had been baked in the fire over night, kept her hands warm in her pockets. Then she walked back in time for school, never missing a day. That inspires me.


When I feel like giving up and believe me as a small business owner there are many times that thought crosses my mind, I think what my Nan would tell me "nothing worthwhile is easy"


The #makersathome2021 challenge is run by an amazingly supportive group of creatives - Makers Cornwall. We started holding online events almost a year ago when our physical markets, fairs and exhibitions were cancelled. Their companionship and support on this rocky road has been invaluable.


We are holding a Spring Fair on Saturday 27th Feb, it's a Facebook Live event at 11am, in time for your Elevenses. Find out about the makers here Makers Cornwall Hope you can join us.



There are times we all need encouragement, a push to keep us going, some belief that we can make it. We all stumble at times and usually, with support, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep pushing forward. Be kind to others but remember to be kind to yourself, Jx