Just Keep Swimming? A Lucy & Lucylu dreams Update.

Posted by

Hello dear blog readers,

How are you? It has been a while since I was here with proper news and any creativity, hasn’t it? I have been mostly over on instagram, which becomes trickier and tricker to navigate. I also write a Love Letter that goes out 2 to 3 times a season with shop updates and occasional offers, which you can sign up for in the margin on the right. I have an online shop full of embroidery patterns for beginners and a few lovely products too. But I have decided to share tales of my work and my creative life here on the blog again. I realised while job hunting that my website/blog holds evidence of my work, whether that is magazine work, products I have launched, poems I have dreamed up or tutorials I have written. And, I think it is important to allow my creativity to reach as many people who wish to access it as possible. I have never liked the idea of exclusivity really.

This post is an update on me and my business, plus my plans going forward. Things have changed for me and Lucylu dreams and I want to tell you a bit about how I got here. If you are a Love Letter subscriber, you will have had this same news in an email.

In truth, things have been tough but the light is starting to shine through the cracks in the darkness. I can feel the warmth and it is so welcomed. I love and need the light, like I need air. Did you know Lucy means light?

Without going into detail of the whats, hows and whys, my marriage of 22 years ended in May this year and it has been difficult and complicated to say the least. I am heartbroken. Initially, with the pain came a sense of relief because I had been working so hard to save it. I was (and still am) exhausted. I even felt a little excited about the possibilities in my future. I threw myself into my work, loved on my kids, spent time with friends and found a love for wild swimming. When I immersed myself in the cool, soothing and smooth waters of the women’s pond on Hampstead Heath, I felt calm, refreshed and hopeful. Although things were hard, I prioritised my mental health and I enjoyed the beauty, warmth and freedom of the summer holidays. 

My energy and hope started to wane as the Autumn term loomed. I was feeling anxious about the effects of my separation on my kids. My youngest was starting secondary school and my middle baby was beginning his GCSE years. I was also especially apprehensive about the upcoming emotionally and physically taxing task of taking my eldest to University in September. I found myself becoming more and more shaky about the precarious position I was in emotionally, practically and financially.

I was still working on new things for Lucylu dreams behind the scenes but felt unable to share them: The swimming pond embroidery kit, printed fabric products based on The Swimming Pond, Christmas product plans and a magazine commission. At some point, all of it – the worry, the heartbreak, the work, the struggle to keep going – overwhelmed me entirely and I just stopped. I downed tools. Metaphorically, I realised that I just couldn’t keep swimming, that I was tiring and that I was in danger of sinking. 

I popped the telly and the kettle on, I wrapped up, I cried and I let myself feel the weight of it all. I faced the truth of my situation. Although I just wanted someone to rescue me, to provide answers for all my questions and remove the real and perceived obstacles in front of me, I realised that that was not going to happen. I didn’t have a generous benefactor who was going to make my financial worries go away. There was no headhunter banging down my door to offer me my ideal creative job with a salary that I deserved. And there was no prince or princess charming who was going to sweep me off my feet and carry me (and my kiddos) away to live a peaceful, creative, fruitful life by the sea or the woods or preferably both. Loves, it was all on me. I was or was not in possession of the answers and the solutions.

I especially had to face the fact that my business had grown a little over the last couple of years but nowhere near enough to sustain me and enable me to build a life around it. I was and am sitting on stock which is not selling, and I cannot justify spending more on my business. The cost-of-living increases and a daughter at university cemented it for me. I know the former will definitely resonate with many of you. There was no way around or out – I would just have to get a paid job. 

And here I am, a month or so along from then. I have been so brave…. I have a temporary (with the hope to become permanent), part time job at a large and well-known store in the city, working in a department that is right up my creative street. I am just two days in and gosh, it is a big change! It is hard and I am scared. It will take me and the kids a good while to adjust to the change and I do so hope I am physically capable of it, but these are the first steps along a new path. A path that very much still includes Lucylu dreams.

I have every intention of carrying on making lovely things inspired by the seasons, nature and heritage and of connecting and sharing my creativity under the banner of Lucylu dreams. The important thing for me right now is that I don’t put any pressure on myself to grow my business (although of course if it does, I would be so pleased!), to post or share a certain number of times a week, to record video, to pay attention to the numbers etc etc! I will be creating and sharing for the love of it, not for any algorithm, amen!

I have a stash of fabric, threads and many other supplies that I am excited to use and I am going to set myself free in terms of sticking to just one medium. However, I do have my favourites and if you are here for the embroidery, you can still expect it. In fact, I have a new pattern release coming soon. Here’s a sneak peek…

So, I am swimming again, albeit slowly and gently… and not literally speaking mind you! I haven’t been able to bring myself to swim in the ponds since it got a bit colder, but you never know. PS this post is full of pictures of The Swimming Pond, the embroidery project I had planned on releasing as a kit. The expense of the upfront costs proved too much with no guarantee of selling them (my first kit, Joyful Flora didn’t sell well), so it remains a piece of work in its own right inspired by my time in the pond this Summer. I will tell more of that story another time.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your love and support.

Love, warmth and light to you always,

Lucy xx

One comment

  1. I’m very sorry to learn of what’s been going on in your life this year. What a challenging time! This is a beautiful new design you’ve created and I hope it is well-received, however you might market it. As you venture a little deeper into the water of your new life, I will say a few prayers for you. May you experience peace and healing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.