Monday, 30 July 2012

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Today I ran my fourth stall at Skipton Collectors, Gifts and Crafts Fair, and it was the first day that it didn't rain heavily! Sunnier weather must have put people in sunnier moods, as I raised £74.30, the most I have ever taken on one day from people I don't know! A massive thank you to everyone who contributed!

Fundraising for Winston's Wish makes me view charity fundraisers in a new light. I had never realised before that when you give money to a charity collector, you give even more to the individual holding the donation box than to the organisation itself. I wish that I could thank each person who cares enough to buy from 'the girl selling pebbles for her sister', as I am often referred to as by customers. Nobody knows how much it means to me when they tell me anecdotes about the pebbles. One lady told me she was going to give 'Faith' to her daughter, "She has just finished her degree and is despairing about being unable to find a job. I keep trying to give her faith that she will." If The Pebble Garden gives something, even if it is only to one person, then that gives me faith in life.

L for Louise and Long Hair... S for Sophie and Short Hair
Fundraising is both more exhilarating and exhausting than I had imagined possible. Remembering Louise, and telling others about her is so important to me. I started The Pebble Garden to mark what should have been Louise's sixteenth birthday, a milestone. In a sense, I am trying to make up for the events she won't see this year: her GCSE exams, her results, prom, A levels, the Olympics, our little brother starting his GCSE courses... the list is endless. People know Louise's name now, even if only for the minute they spend in front of my stall. The Pebble Garden forces them to consider the life that Louise lost, and that her presence is still strongly felt in the little pebbles that are making a difference to those who receive them. Even in death, she is still the little girl with a big heart.

Understandably, I guess, spending seven hours stood up talking to people about my dead twin whilst surrounded by photographs of the little girl I lost somewhere on a motorway ten years ago is draining. I am inside all day, I can't see what the weather is doing. But even if it is raining, please smile at 'the girl with the pebbles'. You have the power to bring a little bit of sunshine.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

I have started painting 'Picture Pebbles'- pebbles with small images instead of words!

A few of the Picture Pebbles
 These pebbles have been inspired by the knowledge that sometimes words cannot quite sum up what you want to say. Sometimes pictures have a deeper meaning, and convey thoughts and feelings in a more powerful way.

Also, I love the idea that pictures are universally recognised, and so the Picture Pebbles cross the language barrier that words present.  As someone interested in languages and cultural diversity, it is important to me that The Pebble Garden is not purely monolingual.

Daddy's Flowers
I first painted a Picture Pebble in memory of my dad, with three flowers on it. They are a replica of the flowers he used to draw in everybody's birthday cards, which made me realise that pictures could be used to make pebbles even more personal than words or names can.

Picture Pebbles are unique and powerful when they stand alone, but they enhance the meaning of pebbles with words on, too. I have been experimenting with combining Picture Pebbles with words, coming up with a variety of different combinations.

A Picture Pebble 'Creation'!

The Picture Pebble range currently includes a star, heart, flower, cross, sun, sunrise, music notes and a treble clef. If you have any suggestions for other Picture Pebbles that I could paint as part of The Pebble Garden, please leave me a comment and let me know!