Celtic Storytelling in the Octagon, Dunedin.

Saint Andrews Day Celebration

“Now, if you had me in your mouth as I have you, tell me what you would do?” Said the Cat to the Pukeko. In this New Zealand re-telling of old Scottish tale.

Pukeko Storytime #1

Original watercolour by Allie Simpson.

I will be retelling traditional Scottish stories such as ‘Whippety-Stourie and ‘The Fairies of Merlin’s Crag’. Also my own original Woven Stories amongst them ‘Fern the Dragon’ and ‘Nana’s blanket bear’. The Saint Andrews Day celebrations in the Dunedin Octagon is a perfect chance to celebrate your Scottish ancestors and the new lives they forged for themselves in this, their ‘New Edinburgh’ come and join me in celebrating the weaving of old and new stories.

Amongst my stories there will be Selkies, Dragons, Brownies, a wayward fairy or two and they will be accompanied by Sheep dogs and enchanted Swans, Kiwis and a Tuatara … long story short, Something for everyone.

“The event is held from 10.am until 2.pm in the Octagon with a wonderful array of Scottish activities, music and dancing and family fun.
“I am so excited and thrilled that I may just burst!”

http://www.facebook.com/events/854608781366529/

 

 

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Chase your dreams

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Last year my horse mad 6 yr old Granddaughter asked me to do a painting of a unicorn for her 7th birthday present. I was a little nervous about a unicorn as my subject matter but what developed through the painting was a thought of what I would want her to know if I wasn’t around to tell her.
What would I say was important in life if I had to say it simply and clearly.
Life I believe is made of many highs and lows and you can never truly stop there being both in your life. To try to keep all bad things from happening, is like trying to hold back the tide.
No I would rather try to remember, that even when there are hard times, they can be survived and there will be good times again. Don’t get me wrong I am no Pollyanna I have seen or helped people through some dark times, but if you look for a dream,a hope that there will be better times you tend to find them. The first thing I would want to tell her is to chase her dreams, not in a corny go out kid and chase your dreams but in a clear know who you are and what you want in all parts of your life. So when things get tough you will have a path to follow to see the glimmer of hope. That can make all the difference when you are in the low points, knowing there is hope, when it is hard to see. That if you hold on to the dream of having a happy life you can create the reality and be happy chasing that dream. Why do I think this is a dream and not a goal? because goals have a deadline a finish date, achieve this goal by this date… etc, but our dreams tend to be things that are organic and change and move with us. One of my most important and cherished dreams is to have a happy fulfilled life and that is something I chase and achieve everyday.
It is not a goal that I will wait till the end to measure, nor is it a goal that has defined parameters, some times I am happy when I don’t get what I want. Because I got something or someone else and I am experienced enough to know I can respect the day as it is.

I wrote the key words of what I wanted for her to know in gold paint in the drips I deliberately let run off the paper. Because I think that is an important key to happiness. Finding the meaningful people and things in the mess or accidental moments. Then building your life on that foundation.

What do you think is important in life?

This painting and message was for her but if in some small way it is of use to you please take it and chase your dreams. xx Allie

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The words I wrote were these:

BE CREATIVE, in your own way.
Spend time with FRIENDS and those who love you, for they will strengthen you.
Always LOVE YOURSELF, not in a conceited way, but from your own truth and honesty.
Be quick to share LOVE everyone needs it, and it will not run out.
Free your IMAGINATION, it will not survive in constraints, not yours or others.
RESPECT all and everything will be your teacher and guide.
LEARN  from every mistake and from every situation and you will always see a gift you can take from it.
DREAM BIG, then put one foot after the other on your journey to get there.
THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU, don’t compare yourself to others, it waste your time and kill your courage.
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS, especially when its hard, don’t give up. Ask for help, it will come.
MAGIC HAPPENS everyday, look for it and you will see it.
When others can’t see it for themselves give HOPE for when given, hope grows.

Above all remember everyday:
YOU ARE SPECIAL, and needed in this world.
YOU ARE LOVED,by many, let it start with yourself.
YOU ARE ALWAYS IN MY HEART,as I am in yours.
SO WE ARE NEVER ALONE.
XX Nana

Storytelling Adventures

The last year has been full of new events, odd things and opportunities that would take to much time to explain on today’s blog, but lets start with a story…

Once upon a time this dyslexic creative decided
she needed to get her act together…

I have spent the last 12 plus months paying attention to my goals and using different techniques to keep my personal and family objectives on track. I have been lost in the story of career and daily living in the past and as we all know, time just gets away on you. But over the last year it has been different, I have achieved many goals I set out to do.

1477848587991Original and historical scary stories at a historical village for Halloween

This has been a catalysis in my life which has created many changes.
I have always aspired to write and illustrate my own children’s stories, which with dyslexia, no formal illustration training and a full-time career teaching, I haven’t manged to achieve. In fact in the past I had begun to think it may be an unrealistic goal altogether.

This year I made the choice to re-energise my writing and story skills in other ways,  to pursue my stories in whatever way I could, to not feel defeated by the difficulty to get published.  I decided not to go down the normal path and I changed my inner script from,
I must get published, to I must share my stories.
I went back to basics and fell in-love with traditional oral storytelling.

scots 1 025Storytelling at the Auckland Highland Games.

Wow what a difference it has made for me and my stories. I started telling traditional  and my own original stories to children of varied ages.
At events, libraries, and schools wherever I could, large and small crowds even quiet one on one tellings. They were all uniquely special and I learnt a great deal.
It reminded me what is important in a story and what is not and just how creative children’s and adults imaginations can be.

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I have a passion for historical early settler stories and Celtic heritage stories, my love of Aesop fables creeps in every-time and  I love the amazement on peoples faces when they sit down and I don’t have a book to tell from, then we can flit from story to story as fast as their minds can take them.

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The stories come from my head and heart.
After all isn’t that where all stories start?
In either our head or our hearts
It has been a wonderful telling year and I look forward to telling many many many more…

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My Summery
Part of my teaching role is to teach career planning and goal setting.
Over the past year I have reformed some key points.
Points that I would forget (ignore) for myself,
but would encourage my students to always do.
So what is good for the student is good for the teacher.

If you are not achieving what you want on your life journey, PAUSE FOR A MOMENT, don’t just keep trudging on, you can never reverse time, so do not waste it on the wrong path or project. Take time to analyse and adjust on a regular basis.

look at the vehicle you are trying to use?
Is it the right tool for the job?
Could you do it a different way?
Look at your inner script, what are you saying to yourself, about YOURSELF and your SITUATION?
Is it true, or incorrect self-doubt?
If it is true, change it and you can’t change it, how can you approach your challenge to minimise the impact?
If it’s not true or true for you anymore, think outside the normal box?
What could you do to achieve it from a different point of view?
Listen to all the feedback the world offers, find the silver lining it will be there.
What are your goals and dreams, Could you look at them from a different angle?

Find your story  xxx Allie

Where to from here?

2015-06-15 05.45.59Where have I been and where am I going? Two questions that can consume my thoughts, especially around ‘New Years’ and my ‘Birthday’.
I don’t get sullen and dark about it, I just take stock and check my life is tracking along as I want it. I am sure I am not the only one who does or thinks of doing this, especially around the New Year.
My birthday is mid-way through the year so it is my 6 monthly check up without the thermometer.
In the past I have faltered at the midway check up. I always got caught up in my daily work schedules and winters hurrying here and there and I tended to neglect my own creative career and life plans. Some of the passions that actually make me who I am.
I have a very fulfilling career and enjoy teaching a great deal, however my personal projects and creative goals are often neglected and left unfinished.
So no time like the present!
Yesterday was my birthday and today I have embarked on a creative year-long journey to continually learn and develop my artistic skills and techniques.
To explore more of my creative writing ideas and to complete and exhibit/publish/show … my work.
As a self-taught artist and writer with dyslexia I have a list of insecurities, this is where I am squaring my attention first.
I refuse to let these unproductive and often off-mark emotions hinder my progress. I started this in May with my daily sketches which I posted finished or not ( this was often done with a nervous temperament, but I did it all the same) and I will continue this month with offering my artwork and creative writhing ideas. I will also share in my more commercial projects as I design characters and finish the look and layout for my stories. I have a long list of books to read and experiences to have over the next 12 months. I will also be with working through the book ‘A year of creativity’ I will have monthly tasks to do and I will endevour to share it all.
The Good, The Bad and the (only a mother could love) Ugly moments.
Any tips ideas and constructive criticism is always welcome.
I hope you find some use or ideas for yourself in my journey.
xx Allie

Before I leave …

Maui's Dolphins family

Maui’s Dolphins family

Before I leave.

Is this it, the end of us?

Would you turn your eyes from me or watch me go in silence?

You look away because you know it is your fault.

There is no other like me.

Irreplaceable.

All we had you threw away.

For what?

For gold and excitement?

Treasures that even now fade,

as I leave you for the last time.

Why did you do it?

How could you let your heart harden so,

that you could watch them do this to me?

Taking our last chance to be together.

There is more to this than just you and I.

If you cared,

if you ever loved …love me now.

Call out.

Fight for us

Now.

Let your hands and voice be mine.

Let me come back to you and our future.

Hold me with all your strength.

Before I slip away.

Lost to you forever

and you are left alone

in your silence.

Day 22. The small things count.

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Kingfisher sketch

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Day 22. Today I was able to catch up on some tasks that have been piling up in the studio and office. Nothing very important, but as I worked through them I realised that small things make a difference. The truth is they are often only small in time or action not importance. When you have too many things saying, sort me…do me…finish me, you can’t focus on the so called big things. If you get through and clear the small things, you will free mental space and energy to be truly creative and focused. So todays drawing is dedicated to all the creatives slogging away out there. It is a New Zealand Kingfisher, small but spectacular. Feel free to leave a comment or share.  A special thank you to all my new blog community, I hope you enjoy my creative challenges.
Xx Allie