Saturday, 17 November 2012

New Blog

Well I am nearly there with the completion of the new blog and would love for you to continue to follow and be part of my blogging journey, so if you would like to join me I shall be over here (click on the image below).

If you link or follow me in any way you may need to update that information and change my blog link, otherwise it may be coming up with an error(!)
Also do feel free to join with me on twitter and pinterest. So many places these days that you can join in with people and what they are doing!
My new blog is still very much a work in progress but hey you've got to start somewhere haven't you?! I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy blogging about things. Please feel free to leave me comments on there or advice as to the look and how the blog works as I am still working everything out. So it may take someone like you looking around to notice that something isn't working or that I'm missing something in some way!
I look forward to seeing you over on the new blog x

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Moving underway

Well I know that I've been a bit quiet over here lately. I've now completed my blog e-course; there was so much information to take in! I think that every student has come away with armfuls of knowledge and advice to implement and continue forward with, to be able to refer to it again and again on our own individual blogging journeys. It has been amazing.
Part of my journey with my blog is to change the look of it and how it works and is managed, and therefore I am undertaking the move from here on blogger over to wordpress. It feels like a huge thing to be doing, but one which many people have done before me, nothing like setting yourself a challenge hey?!
So that's why it's been so quiet over here the last couple of weeks, while I work behind the scenes as it were setting this and that up and sorting things out to be able to make this move. Like many of you I also have a day job so this is fitted in around that, otherwise I'm sure I'd have completed it by now! So I am hoping that many of you will continue with me on my creative blogging journey and join me over in my new home when I make the move complete! x

Monday, 29 October 2012

A change of seasons

So the clocks have gone back (apparently it's officially now autumn/winter!) and on Sunday I woke up to sunlight streaming through the window which was lovely after the gale force winds and rain we've had here for the last few days. 
Normally I don't mind this time of year, as long as I'm wrapped up with several layers on and a scarf of some description (pretty much indoors and outdoors!). But this year I've really noticed the change in light, and am not liking the idea of getting up in the dark and returning home from the day job in the dark either... 
so to combat this negativity I'm making sure any photos that I need to take (for blog posts, etc.) are done during my day off or at the weekend, so that I can make the most of the natural light I prefer to take photos in. I'm also thinking it gives me reason to get on with anything that needs doing indoors(!) and I'm also going to get down to some more journal pages, accompanied by my daylight angle poise lamp, it's been such a good investment my daylight light bulb. Now is a good time to finish off all those half started projects or ideas you've been meaning to try out.
It's a perfect time really to just be creative indoors, as when it's better weather and brighter, we all try and make the most of the time outdoors, so now we should be doing the opposite right?! :)
So what tricks do you have up your sleeves to combat any seasonal blues? Any items 'to do' on your autumn/winter list?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Hand printed wrapping paper

This is one of the items on my to-do list and has been for way too long. Now I know that I could screen print these and have had the opportunity to do so in the past but I want to print them in a different way. Either by hand with small size stamps, carved from either lino or the softer block option (so much easier to cut!) or by creating a repeat pattern from a drawing scanned to computer using photoshop. 
So my question to you is have you done this? and if so to what success?
My other question on this subject is where to get the right size paper from. I know that on average I'm looking at paper sized around 50x70cm. So where would I be able to purchase such sized paper? and where, if I wanted to get a design printed, would do this/print such a size?
Your help on this question would be much appreciated. I have thought that I could get an A3 size printer at home to do limited runs, as I don't want to print reams and reams of the same design(!) but A3 paper falls quite a long way short size-wise at 29.7x42cm and I'm guessing I'd need to stock up on inks as well!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Blog moodboard

Well as you know I'm one of the many students attending bootcamp this October. Our homework this week was to create a mood board for our blog - mine is for how I'd like my blog to be.
We had the option of creating a digital mood board or an actual physical one. I've never made a digital one so would like to have a go at this but in reality I don't think I've ever made a proper physical mood board for a project myself either; so as I have a number of pin boards knocking about I thought I would use one of those as a base to lay inspirational bits and pieces on. Here's what I came up with:
I've gone for what I feel/hope is a clean fresh palette with blue/orange/grey, accents of colour to go on white. I want something simple, workable, not too busy. As once the look/layout and 'pretty' aesthetics of my blog have been finalised then my concentration will be on what I post about. I've included a lot of text on my board (using handwritten fonts), love these and want to use them more on the blog and in my photos; these snippets of text are my focus points, giving ideas as to the focus of my blog too. It's a work in progress at the moment.
So what do you think? I know there isn't any right or wrong but it would be good to get your feedback :)

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Getting organised

I've had a week's break and have been getting all my paperwork for bootcamp organised, so that I could concentrate on my 'blog mood board' and gain focus as to what I would like this blog to look like in appearance/layout/colour/fonts etc. and also as to the content of the blog/blog posts themselves. It's not been easy, but I think I'm getting there. I know in my minds eye what I'd like to be doing, seeing and getting from this blog and that can only be a good place to start. It may be that I even move this blog to another platform to give me more scope for how I want it to look as well. Have you done this? I would love to know of anyone's experience(s) and why you decided to do so. 

You may be wondering about the picture - well these are a few plates I happened upon in a charity shop recently and as I want to focus again on handmade, recycling and reusing, I thought they fitted in quite well. That and the feeling that I've been juggling ideas (metaphorical plates?!) for a while about my blog x

Sunday, 14 October 2012

One of my favourite blogs: Dispatch From LA

I know that if you're anything like me you probably have more than one favourite blog. However that said, I do have a few blogs that I perhaps favourite more than others, maybe this is because they inspire me in a different way, or a way that I need at this particular point on my creative road. These are blogs that I visit often to see what they are up to, what they've been doing/creating/sharing. Blogs whose words, views and work I am interested in reading and absorbing; learning from and being inspired by.
One of my favourite blogs is Dispatch From LA written by Mary Ann Moss.
I love her blog as she shares a mixture of bits of her life (teaching, etc.), her handmade journals and travel. The combination of her travel exploits with her journals is truly inspiring. I love that she is a keeper of experiences and memories in her journals, that she does them for her own enjoyment and benefit. She keeps travel journals, visual journals and written journals. It is also a relief that she has an attitude when working in her journals, that anything goes, there are no mistakes! Sometimes we can all be too precious with our sketchbooks/journals, thinking that they need to be perfect, when really they are our practice spaces, playgrounds for experimenting in and keeping notes/memories/thoughts as we please. Her views inspired me to journal and to be braver when working in my own journal(s) as well. I have done a couple of her creative online courses over the last few years and thoroughly enjoyed them. Her approach is fun and infectious. She teaches and shares her knowledge through written and visual ways, with easy to follow instructions and provides bags of inspiration from which your own ideas spring and evolve.
So what are your favourite blogs and why? I'd love to see. Leave me a link in the comments, who knows I may need to add them to my list of favourites too!
(images courtesy of Mary Ann Moss)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Vintage paper leaf garlands

I have been cutting up vintage book pages(!), I know some people would say that's a crime but I'm recycling those books that even the charity shops end up reducing to move. They are going on to have new lives that even they didn't dream of! I've been using pages in my journal, cutting shapes from the pages for paper garlands and will be using the hard covers for some handmade journals, so thumbs up all round I feel. And what is even better is the price that I paid for these books in the first place, and the amount of items and enjoyment I can and will get from them (in fact already have), all for the princely sum of 20/40p per book, bargain I'd say!
pile of autumnal leaves?!
I know that there are so many shapes/images that can be cut from paper, but I have to say as well as all the intricate papercuts that are out there I do love a simple shape, cut and stitched together to create a garland. And to be honest I have hung these up across one side of my little workroom as I've completed them, and they look better the more that there are. If you've only got room for one string it would look great but a few definitely makes more of an impact.
vintage book pages and doilys, delicate combination and simple
I've strung these up with the other circle ones I made a few weeks ago. And in the morning light the other day I could envisage them working so well at a fairy tea party, ethereal and light and how perfect as a back drop or around the room for a sweet hen tea party or a reception. hmmm...something magical...
intertwining strands
I am so loving keeping it simple with these garlands at the moment too, basic black and white text, white self-patterned paper, sheets of musical songs, lace like doilies. The only touch of colour on them is the thread they are stitched together with. As you may know, as I've mentioned it before, I'm helping with the decorative bits and pieces for a friends daughters wedding next year, and I'm thinking a 'wall' or backdrop of lengths of garlands would look great, catching the breeze, rustling lightly and even working as a background for photos too. I'm really liking the ideas I've seen of enormous lengths of crepe paper fringes as decoration as well. I have such love for paper at this time!
What are you loving right now?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Blogging Your Own Way: bootcamp for me!

I'm sat here in the spare room aka my little work space, my place to be. I'm here bare foot but dressed(!) in front of my laptop typing to you and for me. It's October already, where has the year gone? and I'm taking a fresh look at my blog and it's content/quality/focus/look/goals. I think that I've said before that I want my blog to be a creative and inspiring place to come to, for you and for me. I don't think I've necessarily felt that way for a while, lost my creative mojo a bit. So instead of languishing or hiding my face under a pillow I am meeting this 'problem' head on. I've enrolled with a host of other creative bods on to Holly Becker's online course 'Blogging Your Own Way' but to make this even more of a challenge it is 'bootcamp' which you know is going to tougher than a plain ol' class!  
oh which notebook to use for class?
So I am ready and already enthused and excited about the next few weeks. The class is full of talented creative individuals to be inspired by as well as the teachers! However where normally I can feel intimidated by such classes' as this, feeling a tad inferior, I'm making an effort (for me) not to, as we are all there to learn, whatever has brought us to the class and everyone's ideas and opinions are as valid as the next person's; it has been so lovely to see 'students' helping each other as well. Great camaraderie in class.
pens + 'enthusiasm' in my bag for class!
So if you notice changes in and on my blog over the next few weeks this will be why! I will be working hard (in the time that I have) to make my blog a more enjoyable place for me to be, because if I love it, that can only be a good thing hey?!! So I am aiming to:

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Photography reflection

can you see my lovely pink geranium reflected in the spoon?!
Well I've been so carried away researching and reading about this and that, and things I can and will be doing over the next month to improve my blog that I totally forgot to do my Friday post! *tut tut shame on me*
I've also been experimenting more with my camera, snapping the most ordinary I suppose everyday things really to see if I can simply take a 'better' photo. Experimenting more with light, composition and a favourite I've found in reflections.
I hope you're enjoying your weekend. We've been lucky with the weather here and spent the afternoon perusing a v yummy food festival x

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Handmade Journal (2)

Well as you may know from previous posts I have made my own journal and am now starting to 'play' in it. So, I wasn't happy with my first page spread (although that's probably not the right word really). I didn't feel like it was 'finished' in a way so that I could move on to the next spread. Hmmmm..... I know it's not supposed to be 'perfect' but I could not leave it as it was, so I have been back to adjust things a little and to add bits. I'll know when I'm finished with it! 
I have also been adding some bits as base elements for the next couple of page spreads too.
I've also been using my new washi tapes in the journal mix! It's the first time I've actually purchased and used any. I've seen them from afar as it were, used in other people's work and in many projects but it's the first time I've got my hands on any. I love them! So satisfying, such colours and patterns available.
I seem to have gone a bit neon pink?!! Ah well, there is more work to be done here, so back to play! x

Monday, 1 October 2012

Inspiration: mosaic

I think that you can always be inspired by these, whether it's the shapes, the colour, the pattern or just the sheer skill that can go into making/constructing a mosaic. In some cases the attention to detail and the placing of all those tiny pieces of colour to create something bigger is amazing.
Three totally different mosaics and all eye catching in their own ways. It inspires me to use blocks/tiles of pattern/colour in paper and fabric; one for the 'to do' list! x

Friday, 28 September 2012

Spiced chai latte

This has to be my most favourite hot drink of the moment! And yes I'm afraid I'm cheating for now as I'm a little short of time to make it from scratch, so I'm using Drink Me Chai. I will get round to making my own though as you can't beat having a go even just to satisfy you're own curiosity!
I may have to even try the 'cheat' recipe for spiced gingerbread latte and add a shot of gingerbread syrup (you can get it from Amazon!) into the mix for the festive season too! Ooo enjoyed all toasty by a fire, wrapped up in a snuggly blanket hey?! love! x
Do you have a favourite 'warming' drink?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Handmade Journal part 1

Well as promised these are the first spread of pages in my unique handmade journal
It's always the details that are so much more interesting it seems and can even be the beginnings of other ideas, who knows where they may lead...

It is so good to play and experiment x

Monday, 24 September 2012

Vintage album journal

Well finally, here it is, the photos of my completed journal using one of my old charity shop find albums. I have loved making this journal and plan to make some more to use and sell as well. Who doesn't like starting a new sketchbopk/journal? You've just got to remember not to be scared by that first blank page as well as the fact that this is your own personal place to experiment and play in. Nothing is wrong here, it's all experimentation and for your benefit. Who cares if no-one else likes it hey?!
all stitched and glued by my own fair hand
glorious spine!
worn corners that could probably tell a thousand tales. new pages waiting to be experimented upon
Now the fun of making the journal has started, it continues with 'playing' in it. So I'll be showing you the pages as I 'journal' so you can be nosey(!) and share in my play. Things will not be perfect and each page won't be a master piece, far from it. I love seeing what people are doing in their sketchbooks and journals, perhaps even more than seeing a 'finished' product/item.
Do you journal or use a sketchbook? if you've shared photos etc. on your blog, leave me a link in the comments and I'll drop by for a nosey!! x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Pink lemonade

One of the weekends I spent visiting my sister this year we tasted some lovely pink lemonade at Moksha. A cafe we have visited quite often for a drink and a sweet treat. I loved the idea of pink lemonade and so looked for a recipe to make my own at home. I've yet to try this (it may be something my sister and I make together, we love cooking/making in the kitchen with the radio on!); but here's the recipe if you'd like to try it yourself.
300g caster sugar
1 1/2 lemons, sliced
1 orange, sliced
3x 170g/6oz punnets raspberries
ice and fresh mint to serve, optional
Place all the ingredients in a a large saucepan and pour over 350ml of cold water. Bring to the boil, stirring often, then leave to cool. Pour through a sieve, pressing down with a spoon to extract all the juices. The syrup can then be stored in the fridge for up to a week. To serve, pour a little into a glass and top up with sparkling or still water, ice and mint.
(Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food).
Have you made pink lemonade before?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Renegade Craft Fair London

So, book and magazine in hand I set off on the train Sunday to London, to meet up with my sister to go to Renegade Craft Fair. It was fab! Full of inspiring people and their creative work. Lots to see and tempt the pocket!
Image courtesy of Renegade Craft Fair
There were so many talented and creative individuals to be seen. Here are a few purchases I made
earrings by Lovely Pigeon
print by Drew Morrison
necklace by Ladybird Likes
There were so many gorgeous things to buy but alas we could not buy everything! Here are a few other artists/crafters that we loved:
to name a few!
If you want to see all the artists and links to their websites then check out the Renegade Craft Fair site itself x

Monday, 17 September 2012

Paper garlands

I love garlands and enjoy making them as well. Way back when I was at art college I used to have a small washing line with inspiration pieces pegged to it, so to me a garland is almost an extension of that. Having something decorative strung about your space.
I've seen a lot of different people make simple paper circle garlands, so thought I would whip up a few myself.

old music paper + self patterned waxy paper + thread = pretty musical garlands. I think they work best when there are a few strings draped about together.
Have you made any?

Friday, 14 September 2012

Cucumber agua fresca

Making anything is rewarding, that feeling of having created something, achieving the goal that you set out to. So, beautiful cook book in hand (I'm a sucker for good photos!), page bookmarked, my sister and I decided that we wanted to have a go at making this lovely refreshing drink; which was to accompany the tasty chilli and slaw that we were having for tea (all homemade of course!) that weekend.
4 English cucumbers
1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
juice of 5 limes
4 tablespoons agave syrup
1 litre of water
handful of mint leaves, plus extra to garnish
pinch of salt
Whiz all the ingredients in a blender; then strain through a fine sieve lined with muslin. Pour into glasses and serve with plenty of ice and mint!
(Recipe from Wahaca Mexican food at home by Thomasina Miers)
Now since making this drink - and it was v lovely indeed - I have actually located agave syrup on the sugar isle in the *big* supermarkets; we didn't have any this particular weekend and so substituted with maple syrup which actually worked fine. We also didn't have a fine sieve and had totally forgotten the muslin - so used a clean old pair of tights stretched over a colander!!! now there's creativeness in the kitchen for you, and two people determined to make these drinks! x

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Handmade wedding ideas

I've been asked to help out with a friends wedding, contributing to the making of bits and pieces for it. It's going to be a lovely day (not until next year though, so plenty of time for the making!) and one which they are making very unique to them; which for me is how all weddings should be. So I am armed with a small list of 'makes' to do and am in fact making a few samples so she can see and choose the 'look' that she likes the best. (Next 'wedding meeting' is in November - samples to be complete by then!)
Image courtesy of Alice in Wedding Land
Image courtesy of The Creative Boom
Image courtesy of Green Wedding Shoes
I've even created a board on pinterest where I've been madly pinning away handmade and quirky items/ideas and creative individual elements that people have had at their weddings. It is such a big market these days - Weddings - that you are pretty much spoilt for choice as to ideas and items to achieve the perfect vision for your day.
Do you have any ideas or good resources for handmade weddings?