Win Free Goodies!

You know what’s neat?

When two business women have an idea and then it happens, I just love that!

My friend Erica is the owner & founder of the amazing Eteaket – the very finest place in Edinburgh (online too!) for high quality loose leaf tea with integrity. She and I had a conversation one day about wanting to give some fun things away to celebrate summer and after about 5 minutes of conversation we came up with the “Tea for Two Giveaway”.

Included in the giveaway are 2 of my favorite “Waveware Mugs”, 4 delicious loose leaf summer teas (shown in the photo, you can drink them hot or cold) and enough bleach-free teabags to last the entire summer.

If you want a chance to win, click here to enter the giveaway. One entry per person, but if you’re on Facebook or Instagram you can get an extra entry by sharing our giveaway posts in your stories.

The giveaway ends at 5pm (BST) on Saturday, July 27th and is open to pottery & tea lovers all over the world. Erica and I will share the cost of sending the booty to you when you win.

Good luck!!

~Avesha

 

Plastic free, can you dig it? 😉

July 1st starts the 6th year of the #plasticfree challenge which has been spearheaded by the wonderful Marine Conservation Society here in Scotland 🌊 🦀 Want to join me???

The purpose of the challenge is to bring awareness to our plastic use and help us make some kind of effort to reduce our use of plastics or even #goplasticfree if we are feeling especially courageous.


In our house, being entirely plastic free isn’t realistic quite yet, but we have made some “microsteps” by recycling and reusing as much as possible. We use metal straws & cloth shopping bags and we have a keep-cup each for our beloved take out coffees. There is SO much more we could be doing though, this is where the Plastic Free challenge will help.

What is one small step you could take to make (and keep making) a difference to the plastic waste crisis?


Please share your ideas with me in the comments to help us all find a way to help the Oceans 🌊❤

To sign up to the #plasticfree challenge go to www.mcsuk.org/news/join_plastic_challenge

Also, remember back in May when we were talking about how helping others works really well as a  microstep you can take to help your own mental & emotional health?

Well, being a part of the #plasticfree challenge and taking a microstep toward helping marine life by reducing the plastic waste threatening them can REALLY help us feel like we are making a positive difference… which makes us feel good 🌞 Win, win!

It’s ‘Just a Card Day’, woo hoo!!! (okay, but what is that?)

Have you been to any sweet local shops, or galleries, or grocers run by independent business people in your community?

What did you think?

Did it feel special and a little like you were connected into something bigger than yourself? Did you feel like a part of your community?

Those feelings are a large part of what is at the core of the Justacard campaign which began 2 years ago when Sarah Hamilton,  a printmaker in South London decided to do something to help keep independent shops open and thriving in her community.

(That’s her there  👇 Click on her photo to see Sarah’s beautiful prints)

Justacard has since become a global movement of independent shops and makers and artists of all kinds who believe in it’s purpose and mission. When you purchase something, anything, even ‘just a card’ from a local gallery or shop you make a difference to an independent business owner.

“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card’ we would still be open”

When I first heard about this campaign a year ago the first thing I did was get this bumper sticker for my car (that’s a Courtney Murphy Ceramics mug, isn’t it pretty?) and am so thankful I did!

People asking about the sticker has started many small but important conversations about how essential it is to shop small, local, independent and in your community, if you can.

So, today, June 17th is ‘Justacard Day’ and makers all over the globe are shouting from the rooftops about this beautiful, meaningful campaign that is already making a difference to how the general purchasing public spends their money.

Big things are in store for the Justacard campaign too, have a look at their website to see all of the fancy actors and famous people taking part in getting this message out to the world.

Now, when you see the Justacard logo in a photo or in a shop or car window you’ll know what it means and you’ll feel like a superhero when you buy that card, or mug, or book, or jewellry, or sticker, or journal, or painting, or toilet paper, or shoes, or whatever it is you’re looking for… because you know, whatever you need can be found in an independent shop.

Really, it can ❤

 

It’s always about the ocean, amiright?

Did you know today is World Environment Day? 🌎 It’s a day dedicated by the United Nations for us to slow down, educate ourselves and do something to help the environment.

For me, these days are about the oceans….it’s always about the oceans here, amiright? 😉 Who could blame me? They provide so much for us but are becoming crippled by trash and plastic waste. We need to do something to reverse this damage and days like today are inspirations to do so.

Days like this are also wonderful opportunities to implement Mental Health Awareness Month Top Tip #3, remember that one?  It’s about how doing something for someone else can help our own emotional and mental health and that “someone” includes the Earth and all the animals living on it with us.

So, some super simple things you can do to help today and every day are:

1) Always bring an extra bag to the beach for your trash and take away the rubbish you see left by others.

2) Donate to a reputable, charity supporting the Oceans and educating people about how to help. Five bucks a month makes a big difference if you can swing it. The Marine Conservation Society is AMAZING 🦀

3) Make your buying power say something by not purchasing plastics or by purchasing items that support reputable charities.

In case you didn’t know already, 100% of the profit from my “In love with the Sea” ornaments goes to the incredible work of the Marine Conservation Society 🌞 You get something pretty and are helping the environment at the same time. Win, win! 

❤Until later 

 

Top Tip #3: Mental Health Awareness Month

Do something for someone else every day.

Not because you’re wanting a thank you or some kind of validation for it, but because you’re wanting them to smile, or have an easier day, or feel loved… or just because it’s something nice to do.

It can be a teeny thing, something less than £5 or a ten second act of spontaneous helping… it doesn’t have to be anything major, I promise.

Believe me, when we step outside our own thoughts long enough to be there for another person, the effects of that on our mental and emotional health are incredible.

Try it for a week and see what happens.

Be well, Avesha.

 

Top Tip #2 : Mental Health Awareness Month

Okay, so this one may seem totally silly and super boring, but it really is at the foundation of mental and emotional health.

Are you ready for it?

Top tip #2 is… let yourself have your feelings.

We are told so often to “buck up & get on with it”. The majority culture would have us believe that experiencing our feelings makes us weak, so we try and try to bypass our actual feelings in order to get on with life and those feelings get stuck.

Or they turn into other things like chronic illness, explosive anger problems, depression, anxiety, etc.

Our feelings are energy and like all forms of energy when they get stuck they cause problems, your feelings need dealt with and directed in order to be released so you can get on with life free of that potentially destructive blockage of feelings… well, free-ish, this stuff does take work and isn’t usually done in a one-off, but is SO worth the extra effort!

There are many places locally, on-line and in-person to get help and instruction for how to feel your feelings, name them, and let them flow through you. Whether you are interested in one to one counselling, groupwork or simple worksheets and instructional videos the resources are there at your fingertips 👇👇👇

www.health-in-mind.org.uk

www.health-opportunities.org.uk 

www.actionforhappiness.org

At the core of all of this work is the act of simply giving yourself permission to have your feelings and then the space to feel them before moving on to the next thing. Give it it a try the next time you’re having a difficult or a happy moment (we struggle with joy too sometimes, you know), give yourself 10 minutes to cry, sob, punch a pillow, celebrate a success, dance or whatever it is that fits with what is happening for you. 10 minutes can be transformative!

“Nature’s Call”: this weekend!

Artist friends, Carol, Mary and I are trying out a new artist-led pop-up exhibition here in East Lothian and this is our inaugural exhibition.

If you’re in the area, please do pop in and say hi. We are excited to bring this kind of approachable exhibition space to East Lothian and to grow our artist roster. Your feedback will help us do that well.

A different combination of artist’s will be exhibiting over the weekend of Nov 1st, mark your calendars.

Did I mention there will be cake! 😉

Top Tip #1 for Mental Health Awareness Month

You know what’s neat?

One of the very best ways to lift your spirits is all around us, all the time.

Mother Nature.

The scientific world has been researching this for many years now and some interesting findings are here.

I have noticed that when I’m outside I tend to breathe more deeply and feel much more relaxed. I have noticed my thoughts slow down and I feel more present in my body and to what’s going on around me… birdsong gets louder, the ocean becomes bluer and the seaweed smellier (in a  good way), the colors around me are more colorful because I am noticing them.

Do you know what I mean??? Does this happen to you too?

As much as it may seem obvious to some people, being outside in nature is one of the best ways to ground yourself and lift your mood.

Just 5 minutes a day, that’s all it takes.

Here are a few things you can do outside in 5 minutes:  stand with your bare feet in the grass, walk around your neighborhood, sit on a park bench and listen to the birdsong around you, lay on your back in the grass or on a flat roof and watch the clouds go by.

Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference to your mental and emotional health. Make some time for you this month, okay?

Until later,

Avesha ❤

 

Happy May!

Here in the UK, May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  

It’s a month to help release the stigma surrounding mental and emotional health and shepherd in the awareness that creating space for the daily nurturing of our mental and emotional health is an essential requirement for happiness, empathy and compassionate living. 

And, you know what’s neat?

Nature is reminding us of this all the time, if we pay attention.  The sun always rises slowly, it always takes time to set beautifully… the birds always take time to sing in and out each new day as though it’s their first one. 

For me, being outside in nature is an essential part of my mental and emotional health toolkit and it keeps me centered in the studio as well.  Being outside reminds me to get out of my head and into my body,  just like our dog Remi does when we’re out walking… she is such a good role model for being in the moment!

I encourage you to take time each day this month to give your mental and emotional health the space it needs to flourish… even if it’s just taking a moment to breathe deeply and listen to the birds sing, those moments add up! Perhaps you’ll love it so much you’ll continue throughout the year, wouldn’t that be great? 

Check back in here throughout the month, I’ll be sharing some simple top tips from my work in the mental health arena for putting your mental and emotional health on the top of your to-do list.

For now, get outside as much as you can and please do share some of your own top tips for mental and emotional health in the comments below.

Until later,

Avesha