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/

 

 

Advertisements

Chase your dreams

20170318_063016

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

20170318_062801

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.

scots 1 074

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.

20161211_105448

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…

Storytellers-We-Are-Just-Getting-Started

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

Drawing from the past. 

 

Day 16. I started working today on a picture of one of my favorite New Zealand legendary characters. William O’ Leary aka ‘Arawata Bill’ and his pack horse Dolly. It will take me longer than I have today to finish so here is the in-progress start to his face. I have added a reference picture of him and Dolly. Will post when finished, loving working on his picture. Imagine going bush for 40 years and in a three piece suit? Such a strong charater and determined to do it his way. He inspires me and is great to tell stories about. I wanted to take longer for his picture so I could do him justice. #otago #goldminers #dunedinnz #localhistory #storyteller #arawata #williamoleary #alliesimpsonwriterartist

Day 15 of my 20 / 20 challenge

Do something everyday of my 20 / 20 challenge to get clearer  and closer to my vision of what I want.

Day 15. I completed my main character for my original story ‘how oysters got their pearls’. This sketch was a challenge but I got there in the end. Can you tell what mammal was my inspiration for my mermaid?

The challenge to get clear ideas and vision of my goals is working it has been difficult and confronting but worth the effort.

Hope you enjoy. xx Allie

#storyteller #author #mermaids #oysters#nzartists #moonlight #humpbackwhale#alliesimpsonwriterartist

Why taking time is important.

image

As some of you know I made a plan to pay attention to the 4 main season changes this year (2016) and celebrate the Summer Solstice, Autumn equinox, Winter Solstice and then Spring Equinox. With taking 4 focus points and keeping an eye on my life and career goals at each point it has helped enormously with my goal achievements and plans.
As a teacher I had always had a tendency to let the school year swallow me and my goals up.
Only surfacing at the end of the school year, often too tired to achieve much in the time between one year and the next. Now with having 4 yearly dates to analyse, celebrate, read-adjust and instigate I have found it easier to keep a healthy overview of what my students and clients need and what I need. The Winter Solstice is in 13 days and I am using it as a day to look at and celebrate what I have achieved in the past and to let go of anything that hasn’t worked. I will be using the symbol of winter warmth to remind myself that I need to rest and to fan the creative fires. I have been asked if what I am doing this year is based in a religion or similar,
the answer is no.

image

What I am doing is paying attention to the seasons around me which in turn reminds me that everything has a season. Also that everything changes. I feel that we do not take enough time to celebrate our successes and to keep on track with what we want in our year.

We stand on New Year’s Eve and worry about how we aren’t good enough or we need to lose this much weight or stop or start the list goes on and on. Resolutions not inspiring.

I have found that just one day a year looking at what I want in my life is just not enough nor does 1 day out of 365 days show any kind of life balance.

So this year I decided to try something new. Inspired by my story research I looked at how our ancestors had to pay attention to the seasons to live and I took a leaf from their book. (pun intended)

This is the plan I sketched up last December 2015.

The Summer is all about abundance so at the Summer Solstice (21st Dec) we had a fun family and friends get together. I payed attention to how much abundance I had in my life, and what I was grateful for. This helped me to shape my goals for the year as I came from a mind-set of what I was happy with and already had. Not a sense of lack like on a New Years Eve .
As a side note realising how much you have a week before Christmas is interesting.

image

The Autumn Equinox was for me about sustaining my momentum and laying in stores for the work ahead, also paying attention to change in your life. I had a wonderful time looking at how my plans were growing and taking time to listen to others plans and ideas inspiring me to keep going. I was also able to spend time doing storytelling outside and the landscape was just amazing.
For me I used the Autumn Equinox point to remind myself of my direction and goals

image

The Winter Solstice is on the 20th and 21st of June and I want to use it as a halfway point.
To take time to rest by a warm fireplace and look back at all I have done so far, then stop or change anything that isn’t working and move on. I wanted to be near the snow but due to work commitments I can’t (never mind next year) I do plan on warm food and company.

image

The Spring Equinox is in September on the 23rd. I plan on using the idea of new growth to check my success and put anything new into the mix. But we will see.

image

So what I am doing is using these 4 days as special markers to remind me that a life worth living is one that you are conscious of and always adjusting and developing. So far this year it has worked for me. Give it a try it may help you remember just how well you are actually doing and what you have around you to be grateful for.

We may not live as slowly as our ancestors and no there is no dancing around a fired in states of undress for me. But I feel more In-tune by paying attention as they did, just that bit more.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a goal plan that helps you?

So much has happened it has become a blur.

Wow I can’t belive it is almost June and Winter Solstice.

Half the year gone and so much has happened.
The best idea I have is to jump in a time machine and go back sharing what has been and gone and the lessons learnt. Time machines are not hard to find, are they? Hopefully you will get something that can be if use for you.
Starting this week we will travel to goals past, present and future.
We will navigate the trials and travels of art, storytelling and teaching. We can observe the success and failures of both my goals and others I help everyday.
But first to invent that time machine.
LESSON ONE:
Anything is possible, even a time machine.
See you later this week or is that last week with a time machine?
Xx Allie
image