Today, we have the joy of sharing more about Zoeprose with you! Find Zoe's Cheerfully Given shop here, and read on for more of Zoe's beautiful story.
Hello! I am Zoe, I’m 27 and I live in Oxfordshire with my husband and our three little ones, who are currently six, four and two. I create weavings and floral prints and cards. Everything is inspired by either words or flowers- most likely both!- hence the name Zoeprose (which is also an anagram of my name, Zoe Rose P(owell))
I actually rediscovered my creativity shortly after we moved here. In the space of six months I had had our second baby, finished my English Literature degree, graduated and then moved from Sheffield down ‘South!’. I found myself adjusting to being at home full time with two little ones in a new place. I picked up my watercolours one evening and got started brush lettering. Since I love words and stories I was quickly painting book quotes, Bible verses and lots of florals. Shortly before my youngest daughter was born I realised I could also combine my love of books and stories with weaving, a new craft I had learned. So now I create both story inspired woven wall hangings and watercolour quotes, prints and cards.
I love connecting with kindred spirits and having the freedom to create everyday but also having a purpose behind that creativity. I love knowing that I am able to live the way God made me to, and to be present both in motherhood but also be able to steward the other things in my life too. I also created a journals for mamas when I realised I really needed a physical place to have some mental space and reflect on life as a mother, and that is so fun to do, especially as it was such a God-given idea and process making it.
I am most inspired to create and full of ideas when I feel truly alive and in line with God wants for my life. That’s not always easy, but I do try to prioritise spending lots of time in God’s word and making sure I really am seeking the kingdom first (not myself), praying continually and just living everyday life in the best way I can in the season I am in. By saying yes to the way God made me, and spending time reading books I love, absorbing the inspiration of nature all around us and being creative with my hands and words I find that I am able to be in that alive place more often.
I’m not sure that it counts as an ‘achievement’ but seeing the effect of me living out my creativity has had on my children is so nice. My oldest daughter has this love of reading her children’s Bible (that’s all God, not me!) and we all love to get out the watercolour paints and get colour splashed around together. I hope that the seeds planted in their faith and their own God given talents and loves will continue to grow as they mature.
Reading is really the best way for my brain to switch off from whatever is going on in life, in business or in motherhood. Absorbing myself in another time or place and using my imagination will never grow old.
Everything starts off as a sketch or doodle or a note scribbled somewhere in my sketchbook. My prints and cards are often painted alongside my little ones with watercolours before being scanned in, edited and printed with archival inks (they last for 100+ years without fading!) When it comes to my woven tapestries, I often have an idea for a collection (such as my fruit of the Spirit inspired designs) and sketch out little ideas on paper before warping up the loom and starting. Digging through my yarn and deciding on colour combinations to use is really fun. Often the ideas change and merge as I start adding the yarn but I love having those initial sketches as a jumping off point . Weaving is really therapeutic and takes a very long time and a lot of patience, but it’s so worth it when you can take it off the loom at the end.
We love our church family and go to a little community church in our village. It’s lovely to see our children playing with the teens and other children as well as having so many wonderful people around us. Of course we are at our church toddler group but my husband and I are also both involved in the youth work on Sunday mornings and have a week night Bible study at our home each week. I wasn’t very confident about leading Bible studies with the teenagers at first but I really remember being their age and really needing and enjoying the input that I had at my own church at that age. It’s such a good age for questions and deepening your understanding of God and often of owning your faith for yourself.
I just want to be able to continue being creative and being obedient to what God is calling me to do with that. Whether that is pursuing writing more, teaching somehow, creating more intricate collections of bigger weaves, growing The Mama Book to reach more mamas or something else I haven’t thought of yet, I’m excited to see what he has in store.
I asked my friend and she said ‘overflowing with love’!! I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, probably kind, quiet and creative.
In terms of intangible things I would say my faith, love and hope. Really the thing that matters above everything else is my relationship with God- and whilst I love my family, friends and wouldn't want to have to live without them, He is the ultimate thing. In terms of physical ‘stuff’ I do love my journaling Bible (I love to paint and document what I am learning in that), being able to connect with others and share on the internet, and probably my paints/ pens!