If you've been following my work for a while will probably know the origin of my business’ name, ‘blackdogandgingercat’. For those of you that don’t, I’ll explain.
Back at the end of 2012, I went to a needle felt class taught by the very talented Jennifer Barnett – I was in heaven and immediately hooked.
This class took place just weeks before I left my beloved teaching job due to on-going, repetitive, very boring & exasperating clinical depression.
I was devastated – I had been convinced that I’d be teaching until retirement so having to leave was a major blow and certainly didn’t help me, at the beginning.
And this is where the ‘black dog’ of the title came from.
As for the ginger cat, well that’s my beloved Jack – it’s well know that just by stroking, sitting next to or playing with a pet can help one relax and calm and that was Jack’s role in my improving mental health.
After I left teaching, I continued to needle felt because I found it to be so calming on my brain, but also, I’d really found ‘my thing’.
Eventually, as I did more and more, family, friends and then even strangers became interested in my work and wanted to learn to needle felt too.
And so began the business, with classes and kits.
One of the kits I make now is the black dog, seen here in the first picture, with 10% of profits going to the charity SANE.
Today, things are still changing. I still use needle felt, it’s still my main thing and I am so grateful that I found it because it’s taken me to places I could never have imagined.
Just lately, though I’ve felt tiny stirrings of the black dog’s attempted return, he’s nipping at my heels.
Because I know the naughty little pup quite well, I can recognise when he’s trying to creep back and why. Anyone else?
My mum, a very wise woman, says I probably need a little ‘fallow time’, to rest my brain after the adrenaline and creative rush of the last few months. And I think she's right. This is the card I sent her this week cause I thought it was perfect (this black dog seems quite lovely).
So, I’m practicing a little bit of self-care: resting, walking, reading and not much else. What about the rest of you - what do you do for self-care?