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

Day – (minus about) 40 odd. Yep all the way back to Easter!

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Unfortunately today I was very sick with a cold/ flu lurgie (Perks of being a reacher). I was able to go to work but not the studio. But I remembered that I never shared my Easter Pukeko family or the pukeko easter nest I made for Easter family lunch. There is more food with stories but I will share that in a later post. I enjoy drawing my stylised Pukeko characters for the blog and was pleased to add the chick. I drew them to represent a New Zealand Easter, my new ideas and returning to my blog. It was a new begining. The funny thing is I started the blog again but forgot to post her. Then I thought it was to late and past Easter blah blah blah. . Truth is It’s never to late to share your work. So here on my sick day is Pukeko family and here is to old and new friends. Plenty of room in the nest. Now I’m off back to my hot coco and I hope to join you tomorrow with another picture. good night. Xx Allie

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Family is … who you believe it is.

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My Nana card

I was blessed with a step-family.
I am very proud and greatful for them.
There are many difficult and confusing things in life.
Family is simple, it’s who you love. Happy Mothers (Moms) Day
to all the #Step-Mothers.
It may not always be easy,
but it is always worth the love,
care and time.
Xx Allie

Day 10. Loss and Love.

Today is the first Mothers Day without Mum here. In the studio I had time to think and reflect on what I have lost. Thankfully my heart didn’t seatle there. I remembered how much I was Loved, and how many and much we Loved her. Thats what makes life all worth it, thoes you #LOVE. Day 10. Is Love. I used liquid graphite, pencil and white conte on Strathmore paper. Is it perfect ..no ..but love is. Happy Mothers Day. Don’t forget to share the love today, thats what its for. Xx Allie

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New Zealand Fur Seal and cub.

Day. 8.5 Grandchildren on the loose.

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Day 8.5 I had a grandchild staying this morning and she heard me go out to the studio. So needless to say a wide awake keen 5 year old artist took too much attention for me to do a new drawing. So I revisited the Tuatara I ran out of time on. He looks better now he has scales. I’m calling this day 8.5 I hope you forgive me. Haga.
Xx Allie.

P.S I am really humbled by the likes and messages of encouragement both here and on FB. Thank you. X