A little update of where I'm at (well, a big update)

This is going to be raw and unedited so pardon me if it isn’t as clear and concise as usual. When I write blog posts I usually obsessively proof, edit and re-read it until I feel like it’s ready for the world. Right now, my energy is a little different and it’s going to be more like my thoughts vomited on a page. So much has been happening lately. For my lovely clients, explaining it might give a little insight to any changes you may (or may not) have noticed.

Dealing with loss

This year I have endured a couple of losses. My dear Uncle Riki passed earlier this year from Lung Cancer. The waves of grief keep coming. He was a big part of my life and one of my biggest supporters. I have lost an Uncle and a mentor. I have been trying to manage and regulate this grief (exhausting). Also trying to process our new family dynamic without him. I want to be as present as possible to all my family members who are also grieving.

More recently, a friend who I have known since I was 11 passed away from Breast Cancer. Gemma, like me, just had her 32nd birthday. We were supposed to celebrate with a party tomorrow night and seeing it written in my diary is sobering. I am again, hit by unexpected waves of grief and want to be a present as possible for all my friends who are also grieving.

Gemma and Uncle Riki both shared a positive attitude despite their diagnoses. Incredible. A big lesson on attitude for me. On the 27th of October, my cousins and I are participating in the Front Up Challenge for Hospice. This is a way our family can give back to Hospice. They made Uncle Riki’s last days brighter and more comfortable. Hospice is something I knew little about before we needed them. Fundraising is part of the competition. Riki had a competitive spirit so this challenge is a perfect way to give back! If you would like to contribute, visit: https://frontupchallenge.everydayhero.com/nz/team-sensational. All money raised goes to Hospice so they can help other families in need.

Lessons: Appreciate those you love, make time for them. Don’t take good health, or life for granted. Hospice is AMAZING. Attitude is everything.


A few months ago, I had a lovely young woman (Caro) contact me about carrying out an internship. As a course requirement, she needed to complete 60 hours of work experience. I wondered if I was the best candidate since I work by myself (at home). I brought this up she insisted that pursuing a freelance career was something she wanted. I negotiated some working space at Musicways (Uncle Riki's legacy now run by his son Rhys). Caro worked with me on Wednesdays and Fridays. I studied to be a High School teacher and I get a real buzz from passing on knowledge. This was an invigorating experience which released loads of endorphins for me. MAN AM I GLAD I SAID YES! Haha, sometimes it pays off to say yes to experiences that deviate from your norm. What a competent, mature, great designer she is. Her 60 hours is over now and I miss having her around but I will be looking to work with her again soon. She has a bright future.

Lessons: Say yes to experiences. Share knowledge more (it makes me happy).


My partner Ikr and I are due to move to Puhoi. We were due to move on the 22nd of September but due to unforeseen circumstances, this has been postponed. Frustrating. I’m a foot out the door and half my stuff is packed, stored, and ready to go. I’m also still working from Musicways rather than home so all my stuff is all over the place. Something I don’t cope well with. I can not WAIT to have all my stuff in one place and to decorate. Haha, I’m a little obsessed with the decoration part. I’m sure I am driving Ikr nuts with my op shop scavenging and big, beautiful home decor dreams. Did I mention furniture restoration? I’m obsessed. Turning trash into treasure is one of my newest creative outlets. Chalk paint is amazing! Very little prep-work involved and the results are outstanding.

I’m feeling a little in limbo while we wait. However, I am thankful that I have a space to work and we have a place to live and store stuff in for the interim.

Lessons: Cheyney can’t control everything, haha. Furniture restoration is a newfound creative outlet. I LOVE op shops (great for the environment too, less going to landfill). I'll pop a post up of our new place once we move and settle in so you can see what I mean.

Feeding Neptune/Freckle

The book that I wrote and illustrated has been assessed by a professional. It is now in the hands of another publisher (about the 6th or 7th). It has had a rebrand - Neptune the cat/main character is now Freckle. I wake up everyday hoping that today is the day I will get the email of acceptance from the publisher. Forever hopeful.

Lessons: Patience and persistence.

Camille Co.

Camille Co. is my other business. On the 3rd, I turned 32 and received some beautiful bouquets of flowers from some friends. I took these flowers and found some time and space to style and photograph Camille Co. products for Spring. SO HAPPY with the results. I have added a couple of these photos at the bottom of this post for you to look at. They’re reflective of themes I talk about in this post - Friendship, ageing, creative outlets etc. More of these photos can be found on the Camille Co. Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.

Lessons: I have great friends. Creativity is a crutch that keeps me sane, driven and happy.

Design by Cheyney

I have loads of projects on the go at the moment and I’m working with some really great people. I often talk about how I work on creative highs and lows (or ebbs and flows). I’m currently at the start of a big creative rush (I can feel it). So this is great news. My energy is up and I’m excited to show you all some of the projects I have been working on. There are loads of projects I am really proud of. With all that’s going on, this energy surge couldn’t have come at a better time, it will propel me through my growing todo list.

Lessons: When a creative high comes along, DON’T WASTE IT. I am thankful for the opportunities given to me by clients. Filling my todo list with your projects allow me to exert my creativity, keeping me happy and fulfilled. Thank you.

This was longer than I anticipated. Thank you to all of you who were compassionate and patient with my bereavement leave earlier this year. If I have been slower than usual responding to emails and completing designs, all of the above is why. The great news is, this creative high is rolling in thick and fast and I cant wait to make good use of this energy and crank out some designs to be very proud of for my clients <3

Please feel free to respond in the comments if you read and liked this post :) It’s really nice to hear from you,

Cheyney xxx