Hello and welcome to my little corner of the world! Nice to have you pop by.
I wanted to sit down and write a few lines to set the scene of how I ended up here. Well, not the early days stuff (I'll spare you those details!).
I worked in events for about 15 years - not the glitzy, star-studded events people tend to initially think of, but more of the normal day to day training events for a wide range of people from the Army to surgeons. While I enjoyed the excitement, the planning and organising and meeting new people, when Covid hit in 2020, I started to re-evaluate things.
Having quickly changed from working long days to being at home with a lot of time to think, I started to wonder what I really wanted out of life. All of a sudden it had become even more precious. I had an honest conversation with myself and admitted that I never seemed to cope mentally with such an intense, fast-paced working life, but I hid it well. There'd be tears behind closed doors and I'd put that mask back on and carry on the next day. My anxiety was often through the roof and this had become so consuming and draining.
I'm not going to say I had a lightbulb moment and everything was amazing and it all worked out overnight - sometimes I wish it had! But after a few months of back and forth with my overthinking brain and discussions with my now husband, Jonathan, who was amazingly supportive, I knew this chaotic working life couldn't continue, it was just making me deeply unhappy. But what was I going to do? All I'd known was working in an office and helping run events. The first thought was I would do some part time temp work while I got my head together. And then our local tea room, The Kitchen Croxley, were recruiting. Those who know me, know I love to bake and love all things cake related, I have a real passion for it. It seemed like a no brainer to apply. But the doubts crept in - I had no hospitality experience at all! I didn't know how to use a till! But I knew how to be personable and chat to people from working in events and I have a genuine care for those in our community.
To cut a long story short, I got the job. It was the break I needed from the intense life I'd been living and a chance to be creative, chat to people from our community, be a good listener to them and be amongst a creative team who all had the same passion. It was, and still is, a much better match for me and what I actually enjoy doing.
It was then by chance the memory doodles happened last year. I wanted to capture some of the random moments from mine and Jonathan's relationship. I’ve always loved drawing little doodles and making things so I created an A3 memory doodle and framed it in our kitchen. The doodle included ice skating at the National History Museum, a shared love of Harry Potter and a walking tour of the history of London toilets (yes this is a thing and surprisingly fascinating! I highly recommend London Loo Tours). The memory doodle became a bit of a talking point when we had people over and I ended up doing a couple as surprise birthday presents, and it's just gone from there really!
The main aim for me is to create fun, personalised doodles that bring a smile to peoples’ faces and evoke sentimental and happy memories. I love learning about the stories behind each doodle, but more importantly, it’s a playful way to capture those unique life moments by using bright watercolour pencils so they pop against the white background.
So, the life I lead right now, is miles away from what I used to lead. But for me, it's working. I have a much better balance, I'm able to be more creative, I have more headspace and I go and visit my parents in beautiful Dorset most months and explore, paddle board and walk my crazy Tibetan Terrier Pippa.
Thanks for reading this far! Hopefully you enjoy the random content I upload and perhaps you'd like your own personalised memory doodle. Drop me a message if you want to find out more.