I started my original blog, Bright & Illustrious in May 2012 to keep myself busy after I made the decision to get sober.  (The best decision I have ever made in my life.)
And that blog served me well. 
It helped me find myself again, realise my passions and get my life back on track.
It helped me to be me again.

Since then, my husband and I have bought a house, created a home, had two kiddos (here and here),  immigrated from the UK to South Africa.  Then we had to sort of start over again here.  We lived in a flat for 2 years which was HARD but it was just part of life.  We were then blessed to be able to buy a house here  in Cape Town and having space....let's just say with two boys it has changed our lives for the better!  My heart is finally settling.  It is a great feeling, albeit it was a hard journey to get here with many sacrifices.

When we were in the flat I changed the name of my blog to Gathered By Claire - inspired by my gatherings which really helped me get through a few hard years.  Foraging and gathering all started while on maternity leave with Jack when I needed something creative to fill the gaps as a SAHM and I found Instagram.

This is my first ever gathering.  And still my favourite.
I was drawn like a moth to a flame and soon started my creative photography journey.  I began gathering found and foraged things in our garden and around our village.
It made my heart sing to gather, arrange and photograph these creations and it still does. 
It slows me down, makes a hectic day with two kiddos seem like a breeze and injects my brain with a dose of creativity that keeps sane.

Sounds a bit crazy but it’s the truth.

While I still do a bit of gathering here and there - my creative handmade business - The Little Banner Company keeps me busy now and I feel I have found my purpose in life.

Creating and inspiring.

It makes me feel alive, it makes me so happy and it makes me a better person and wife.

After becoming a mother, I put my heart and soul into nurturing and loving my two boys.  I have come to realise though, that if I didn't look after myself - I couldn't be the best wife or mom.  I came across this powerful quote after listening to Magic Lessons podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert.

This has given me such clarity in the fact that - I must chase the dreams that I have - for this will make me a more fulfilled and happier person who can then be a joyful mother and wife.

This life is short.
It can be overwhelming and anxiety can sometimes get the better of me, as with most of us!
But this space, creating and sharing it all with you is something I love to do.

So thanks for stopping by.  And enjoy reading about my little part of this world.


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