i met Helen at Squam Art Workshops, where we shared a cabin, sat fire*side & walked paths through the woods ~ arms & hearts linked together.
Helen's participation in the inHERview project provided me with the opportunity to discover more of her giftedness. she is a flavor*full one, this Helen. read on & savor the delicious*ness...
Who are you?
I'm a country lass at heart, rooted in place and season. A dreamer, tumbling with ideas. A perfectionist who's trying hard to reform (and failing miserably). A big kid in grown-up clothing. A girl who's desperate to give something of value to the world. And a creative spirit, of course, who just likes making stuff.
I remember telling my first-ever schoolteacher that I liked 'making things'. And that's pretty much what I do. I've dabbled in soap-making, chocolate-making, glass-painting, and textile art of various kinds. I've been a piano teacher, apprentice florist and a nervous harp-player at weddings. I'm a would-be writer, beginner photographer, an event designer extraordinaire (well, lots of piano parties, several egg-rolling contests and one wedding to date...but it was a pretty spectacular wedding if I say so myself...and I'd love to do another
- I collapsed at the altar on my wedding day (I was ill )
- If I laugh too much I get hiccups
- I was thrown out of the Brownies for earning too many badges (it's true)
- My nickname used to be Helen Hat (I always wore hats)
- Despite years of trying, I still can't roll my Rs
- I usually prefer to sit on the floor, rather than in a chair
- I love to read aloud to an audience
- If I turn round one way, I feel obliged to turn back the other way to unwind
- My secret talent is an ability to divide pies and cakes into an odd number of evenly-sized pieces
- I look seriously younger than I am
Where can we find you?
Online, you can find me at my very young blog, Dixon Hill Doings.
Or twittering at: http://twitter.com/dixonhillgirl.
And you can see images of my world here - on Flickr. That world exists in the Pennines of northern England, where I live in an old cottage on a hillside, surrounded by moorland and sheep. And I love it!
What makes home "home" for you?
My little family - cat, dog and husband.
Where do you feel most at home?
With my wellies on my feet.
How do you spend your days? Nights? Weekends?
They all run into one. Maybe I should consider defining them more. For the moment, at pretty much any time of the day or night, weekday or weekend, you might find me walking the moors with my dog; sitting at my desk, connecting with the world via my laptop; engrossed in some creative project or other; chatting with friends and family; cuddling with my cat; or perhaps playing the piano. Oh, and occasionally doing everyday, household stuff! My special treat when I feel like being indulgent is to watch a film.
Having just returned from the States, I'm not yet doing anything that officially resembles 'work'. But plans and schemes are afoot!
How do you define your tribe? Who is a part of your tribe?
To me, tribe is about belonging. And, in truth, I'm an outsider, a fringe-dweller. I always have been. I'm coming to the conclusion of late that lots of us creative types are. I've never felt I quite fit anywhere and, until just recently, it bothered me. I longed to fit in. But these days I can accept my 'edge-ist' nature and am looking for the silver lining.
Having said that, I have many circles of friends and acquaintances. I'm especially at ease with children and with elderly folk. I have a great extended family as well as a much-loved surrogate family who treat me as one of their own. For many years, my piano students formed another family of a kind for me. And there've been other groups along the way, tribes where I've fringe-dwelt more or less comfortably, some fleeting, some more permanent, some in the real world, some in the virtual. I recently declared myself in need of a new tribe with which to connect and share in a meaningful way...and, just a couple weeks later, found myself amongst the Fireside Beauties. Someone was listening.
What does October mean to you?
Autumn! - always my favourite season; a drawing-in of the nights and of the year; a bittersweet, melancholy something hanging in the air; turning leaves, crunchy leaves, glorious colours; lighting the fire for the first time since spring; wood-smoke curling into the sky; pumpkin-carving gatherings around the kitchen table; harvest festivals; my brother's birthday; digging out my snuggliest wrist warmers, cowls, coats, boots; soup and other comfort food; berries in the hedgerows; Russet apples, pears, pomegranates and figs; sedums and dahlias and crocosmia in the garden; and the Virginia Creeper blazing crimson on the front wall of our cottage.
What makes your heart sing?
Sunshine and blue sky; smiles; flowers
What are you committed to?