the winner and this months handlettering

Guy's the winner of the epic birthday giveaway is Laura! Please drop me an email and let me know your address so that I can post all the lovely goodies your way! I have had such a lovely week and so far being 30 is going great! Next week we are heading to New York and Boston and I CANNOT WAIT! If anyone has any good recommendations of places to visit in either city, please let me know. 

As I mentioned last month I haven't been keeping up with the #52handlettered prompts but I have been working on my hand lettering regularly and posting it to Instagram. Here are a few of the ones that I created this month. I am still enjoying the white on black look so that is good. 

Liz Mosley - Handlettering
Liz Mosley - handlettering
Liz Mosley - handlettering
Liz Mosley - handlettering

Hope you all have an amazing Friday and a great weekend. I have scheduled posts for while I am away for the next couple of weeks. The shop will be closed from this evening and will open again on Friday 12th (with plenty of time to still get Father's Day cards for June 21st). You can follow along on my American adventures on Instagram and Twitter

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This Month // May

The month of May is always a good one for me, the weather is usually getting better, there are sometimes holidays on the horizon and it's my birthday month! NM teases me that I usually make my birthday celebrations stretch out for a whole month but I think this year that is legitimate what with turning 30 and all! Here is a bit of what I have been up to:

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1. I did a little lino printing workshop with the lovely Olu and the Making Uncovered event. It was really fun and inspired me to get some new linocutting tools and get experimenting again. 

2. I launched the Father's Day cards in the shop - there are 4 different designs for you to get your mitts on. You can see them all here. The shop will be closed for the first two weeks in June but there is time this week to get your order in, or there will still be time to get them in time when it opens again. 

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3. I did the biggest giveaway I have ever done on my blog to celebrate my birthday and it is still on now! If you haven't entered already you really should, there are so many stationery treats to win AND an etsy gift card. 

4. I spent a bit of time this month reflecting on what I have learnt over the last 30 years and I shared some of this on the blog on Monday. It was an interesting post to think about and put together. 

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5. We did a flying trip to Cardiff to visit family for my birthday. There is this one park that I always love going to and the flowers were out in all their colourful glory! It was pretty impressive to be honest. Flowers and nature always make me happy. So much beauty!

6. I know I have mentioned this quite a bit here but the highlight of this month was the launch of Calder and Byrne. I have loved working with Siobhan on some products for the shop that she launched at the beginning of May. I was so excited to be involved. 

Anyway that is all for this month. On Monday we go to New York for a few days so am looking forward to putting some posts together about that. 

Another quick reminder, there is still time for you to enter my birthday giveaway! It closes at midnight on Thursday so not long to go - get over there quick! 

Hope you all enjoyed your May bank holiday and are having a lovely Wednesday! 

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30 things I have learnt in 30 years

So today I turn 30. I guess I feel like it should be a big momentous thing but I don't think it will be. I am looking forward to my 30s, I have heard lots of good things. I celebrated with my friends at the weekend and today I am celebrating with my family. My heart feels full. Anyway over the last month leading up to my birthday I decided to have a think about some of the things I feel like I have learnt over the last 30 years and I wanted to share them here...so here we go.

1. Don't look at people and think they have a perfect life (this SO SO often catches me out). Everyone has crap they have to deal with so be kind to people. It is also helpful to remember this about people online. 

2. I love living a creative life. Although there are days when I don't love it as much as others, Graphic Design was totally the right route for me. 

3. Since being married I have known for sure that I am an extrovert (it has been confirmed because my husband is an introvert). I know I need to make sure I don't go too long without quality time with people to refresh me...otherwise I start to go a bit crazy. 

4. Some friendships won't last forever and that is ok, some of them will. 

5. Boundaries are so important! I know this one is going to be a lifelong lesson for me, but I can see how far I have come already - (maybe I need to do a whole blog post on boundaries). 

6. Don't wait until things are perfect, just get started and embrace the journey, even the messy not so pretty bits. 

7. Know yourself. Learning to understand yourself and why you behave and respond in particular ways can really help you to change and be better. 

8. Tell people how much you love them. 

9. Be grateful for what you have - who knows how long you will have it for.

10. Change can be hard but it's best to get used to it and embrace it because it will keep happening

11. It is always good to try and see things from other people's perspective. This doesn't come that naturally to me, but my mum is always great at reminding me to do this. 

12. You can't do everything and so learning to say no is very important. I think this will be a lifelong lesson for me too but I am getting better. 

13. Don't take yourself too seriously. Learning to laugh at yourself and make fun of yourself makes life a lot easier...and more fun! 

14. Make lists of things you are thankful for. The fact is life isn't fair, but often you have so so much to be thankful for. It totally changes your attitude if you focus on what you do have rather than what you don't.

15. Make lots of plans but also be flexible, it is great to have plans but it's also good to be able to go with the flow when things change - and they often do! 

16. Make time for fun. It feels so good to spend an evening just laughing a lot with friends! 

17. You are in charge of your happiness so take responsibility for it.

18. Forgive people. Holding on to bitterness and resentment is more damaging to you than the person you're angry with. You might think you are punishing them but really you are hurting yourself.  

19. Don't work too hard. It's great to have a job that you love and want to work hard at, but friends and family are the ones that will always be there for you, not your job. Make sure you make time for those relationships.

20. Don't trust your feelings. We are often encouraged to follow our gut and our heart - and sometimes that is great, but my feelings change on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis - so possibly not the most reliable.

21. You need to choose to love. Sometimes you won't feel it, but that is ok - still make the choice to keep loving!

22. Keep learning and stay curious. I love learning and I want to try and make sure I always am! Sometimes I have to give myself a little nudge in the right directions as it is easy to get lazy about it. 

23. You define what success is. There is no formula, and success can look different for different people. Work out what is important to you and what you really care about and YOU define what success looks like. Some people won't agree with your idea of success - but that doesn't matter. 

24. It's ok if not everyone likes you. Not everyone will, but if you spend time trying to get everyone to like you you will just be exhausted and it will get you down. 

25. It is not all about me. It's so easy to get into my own little bubble and think that it is - but it's really not. 

26. Don't pretend to be perfect. Seriously nobody is, and it's just exhausting for you and for everyone else. 

27. Things don't make you happy, not for very long anyway...so make sure you invest in people too!

28. Make sacrifices and help other people. Not only is it good for them but it is good for you too. 

29. Learn to be content spending time on your own - I am not good at this one but I am working on it...but there is something very precious about being quiet with your own thoughts. 

30. This is the most important one but I saved it until the end - You need Jesus! Sounds cheesy I know but seriously my major life lesson - and I am striving to be more like Jesus every day. You can check out what I believe here

What about you? Have you got any important life lessons you have learnt? I would love to hear any I might not have included in the comments below!

The portrait above was taken by the lovely Samee Lapham. Also make sure you check out Friday's post for the mega birthday giveaway! There are so many treats and also an Etsy giftcard as an added bonus! You have until midnight on Thursday to enter! 

Happy bank holiday, hope you are having fun wherever you are! 

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BIG 30th BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY

So I was planning to post this on my actual birthday on Monday but I wanted to give you all a bit longer to be able to enter so here it is, the big 30 giveaway! On Monday I will no longer be able to say I am in my late twenties, as I will officially be into my 30's! I feel pretty ok about it actually. I think a lot of people freak out about turning 30 but I think I am looking forward to my 30's - I have heard good things. I am feeling a lot more comfortable about who I am and although I know I still have a lot to learn I am enjoying the journey (especially my creative and small biz journey). Check back on Monday and I will be sharing 30 things I have learnt in 30 years. 

Anyway lets get to business - to celebrate my birthday I want to do my biggest giveaway yet and I also wanted it to be a collection of beautiful items from some of my lovely creative friends. So here is what we have:

1. Gold Foil quote print and Ampersand print - Chloe Vaux  - Chloe and I studied together at University and she seriously has mad design skills and amazing taste. One of these ampersand prints has been on my wall for a couple of years now and I still love it and so I have an A4 one to give away today! The gold foil print is a new one that she has brought out recently and it is so beautiful and classy. I am going to find it hard to part with it! 

2. Two 'You are so cool' letterpress cards - Inky Collective - I love letterpress and Jen has a really lovely shop selling lovely letterpress goodies. You will get two of these cards and also 2 cute little letterpressed gift tags.

3. Medium Monthly Planner - JStory (sold by Naked Lunge)  - I use one of these planners to do my editorial calendar and I LOVE IT. Some lovely design combined with some kraft goodness. You can plan up a storm with this bad boy and I have one to give away! Hurrah!

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4. I adore you print - Belinda Love Lee - Ahhh this little print is so cute. Gold foiled in Belinda's lovely hand written style, this would make a great gift for someone or you could just keep it for yourself. I have one framed right now in my little studio. 

5. Set of 5 greetings cards - (sold by Calder and Byrne) - I wanted to include one of my products in this mix and these cards are my favourites. Calder & Byrne are selling them with lovely black envelopes so I thought instead of a brightly coloured mix I would go with a monochrome set for this giveaway! 

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6. £25 Etsy gift card - I am never short of things on my wishlist to buy from etsy so if you are anything like me, deciding what to spend your gift card on will be a real treat! You can start planning already what you will spend it on if you win!  

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All of these goodies add up to being worth a wopping £70 and all you need to do is log into the rafflecopter widget below and get going to gain entries. This competition is open to anyone anywhere in the world. Last time I did this I kind of got a little frustrated with all the twitter accounts that are set up JUST to enter competitions so I am adding a little list of rules: 

1. Genuine followers only please - if your account looks like it has been set up just to enter giveaways it will not be counted. 
2. The winner will be announced on the blog (and I will contact the winner directly) on Friday 29th May. If the prizes are not claimed within one week then I will choose another winner. 
3. This giveaway is open to the whole wide world. 

The giveaway is open until midnight on Thursday 28th May so you have until then to enter (and there are few different ways to enter), at which point I will use the widget to chose a winner at random who will then be informed on Friday morning. I am going on holiday the week after so if the winner wants to get their loot before I go you will need to get back to me with your postal address pronto! The etsy gift card will be emailed to the winner once they have provided their delivery address for the other items. 

Ok hope that is all clear...get entering and if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below.

Hope you have a lovely bank holiday weekend - I am off to celebrate the big 3 0 with my lovely friends and family!


10 places to eat in London

10 places to eat yummy food in London

We don't eat out as much as we used to but over the last year I have really realised we are so so spoilt with the amazing restaurants that there are in London. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming but there are so many places to get a truly fantastic meal. Anyway this won't be turning into a food blog or anything but since I love food so much and this is where I live, I thought I would share my 10 favourite restaurants with you in case you live in London and hadn't heard of them or are visiting and looking for a good meal. (Quite a few of them are South of the river as that is where we live!) 

1. Blanchette - oh boy - I think this has been my favourite find in London and I sort of stumbled across it with my buddy Samee. It does French sharing dishes and they are spectacular. This restaurant is small and beautifully decorated and the dishes are incredible. They are full of interesting flavour combinations and really interesting twists. And yes if you so desire you can get frogs legs (I did not desire). 

2. Mildreds - this has been a long time favourite of mine ever since my brother took me. It is an excellent vegetarian restaurant and has a great reputation. The butternut squash ravioli with mushroom sauce is one of the favourite dishes I have ever had. 

3. Ben's Canteen - I love going to this place with friends for brunch or dinner. They do comfort food totally spot on in a really hip and fun environment. Check out the macaroni cheese scotch egg (!!!) and their smashed avocado on toast with chorizo, poached egg and tomatoes is a thing of beauty. They also do yummy cocktails! 

4. Boho Mexica - I adore Mexican food and this place has totally nailed it. Authentic Mexican food that tastes soooo good! They also do great cocktails and the vibe of the place is chilled and really friendly with lovely staff. 

5. Franco Manca - This is where you need to go for the best pizza. There is only a choice of 6 but oh man they do it well! This is not the sort of place you go for a romantic date night - it is busy and popular and you can't book but it is oh so worth it. Their pizza's are all made with their special sourdough.

6. Bukowski's - Brixton village is such a fun place to go for food and this is my favourite place in London for a top notch burger. Make sure you get the tobacco onions as a side - YUM! 

7. Buona Sera at the Jam - This place is really fun! It does lovely Italian food but is also pretty quirky. The actual restaurant is really small and so some of the tables involve climbing up ladders to get to them. The waiters and waitress are pretty impressive as they climb ladders delivering the food. Make sure when you book you ask for a table at the top of a ladder.

8. Flat Iron - I love it when restaurants choose one thing and do it really well. That is the case with Flat Iron - They just do one type of steak...and it is really affordable (and then some delish sides to go with it). I have never been a big steak eater and would not normally order it, but I LOVED the steak here. The restaurant is pretty small and you are all kind of crammed in but this is definitely a fun place to eat. 

9. Mien Tay - These restaurants can be pretty crowded but they are popular for a reason! The food is really really good and I can highly recommend the stir fried goat with galangal! Go with friends and share, there are lots of good dishes to try! 

10. East Street - This is a great place to meet friends for a relaxed bite to eat after work. Sort of canteen style, long tables. You can get alcoholic drinks in beach buckets and they have a great sharing platter...seriously - what is not to love! 

Feel free to share in the comments any other restaurants that you love! I would love to try some new ones...and let me know if you go to any of these!

Happy Wednesday!

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Monday Moodboard

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I really love pinterest for discovering new artists that I might never have heard of otherwise. Some are super famous prolific painters and others are people with small etsy shops. Either way I kind of like getting lost down a rabbit hole of beautiful art. I have been tidying up my pinterest boards recently after going to a pinterest workshop at their London office and have also added a lot more boards. 

The above artists clockwise from the top left are:
Ernesto Artillo 
Satsuki Shibuya
Ammiki
Francios Henri Galland

Anyway these are all from the prints board. I hope they inspire you on this Monday morning! Hope you all have a great week!

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hand printed paper from Venice

When I was in Venice last year I discovered lots of incredible paper shops selling sheets of stunning hand-printed paper. It was like heaven for me. I just appreciate the craftsmanship so much.  I found one particular shop (I am sure there were many others) that had a really good selection of handprinted and also machine printed papers. I bought a selection of both. The handprinted was a lot more expensive than the machine printed understandably so I treated myself to 2 sheets of handprinted and 4 sheets of machine printed. I am such a geek I was just so excited about them. 

It got me thinking that I would really love to be able to print out large sheets myself to use as wrapping paper or for other crafty projects. In the shops they sold notebooks, frames, pen pots absolutely all sorts covered in the beautiful papers. 

Although I don't have a screenprinting set up I do have a few different options. I think I might try doing some designs and printing them on Kraft paper on my A3 printer, but also I really want to do some linocut wrapping paper. Last weekend I went to a great little linocutting workshop and it got me really excited to have another go after my attempts last year

Maybe next month's printable will be wrapping paper too. Even just printing out A4 sheets would work great for wrapping small gifts for friends and family. Keep an eye out!

Happy Friday all, hope you have  fun and inspiring weekend! I am off to the Etsy wedding fair with my buddy who is getting married so looking forward to checking out all the goodies!

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A weekend in Clifton (Bristol)

Warning - this post is mostly about food! Last month we spent a weekend in Bristol (staying in Clifton), for our second wedding anniversary. I used to visit Bristol a lot when I had a friend studying at university there but it had been a long long time since I had been and I was really looking forward to exploring the city again. While we were there, there seemed to be some sort of morris dancing competition going down - so there were morris dancers on every corner which I loved! NM did some pretty thorough restaurant research before we went so we ate very very well and I thought I would share with you the places we visited in case you find yourself in the area! 

Flinty Red > We went here on the first night and the thing that struck me most was how lovely, friendly and helpful the staff were. This restaurant had a chilled vibe but they were doing really interesting things on the food front, and we enjoyed everything that we tried. I have to say I think the polenta chips were my favourite. 

Bagel Boy > OH MAN - I love a good bagel and this place did not disappoint. We went here for lunch and there was so much choice. NM opted for a classic smoked salmon and cream cheese but on seeing my beast he was a bit disappointed he hadn't gone for something more exotic. In mine I had halloumi, roasted peppers, leaves and pesto mayo. We had sweet potato chips and coleslaw on the side and it was a feast!

St Nicholas Street markets > We didn't actually eat here but this was just around the corner from Bagel Boy and we wandered through. There were loads of delish looking food stalls and some cool crafty shops too! Definitely worth a look round, and if we weren't on the hunt for bagels I think we would have eaten here for sure. 

The Apple > After wandering around the city centre we stopped at The Apple which is a boat moored up, with a bar inside and is famous for its cider. I am not a big cider fan, but NM enjoyed his and I had a pimms. It was really nice to take a break from all the walking in the sunshine and watch the world go by. Actually quite a few stag and hen do's went by which proved entertaining. 

Amoeba Cocktail Bar > We went here late on Saturday afternoon before it got really busy and luckily for us it was happy hour! We had some delicious cocktails. We stuck to one each but there were so many on the menu that I would happily have tried. There is a nice decked outdoor area at the back. This bar is right in the heart of Clifton village.

Bells Diner and Bar Rooms > I have to say this restaurant was the total winner of the whole weekend. If I had to recommend just one place of all the ones we visited this would be it. The restaurant was very unassuming and was on the corner of a road in the middle of a residential area. Probably not the sort of place you would stumble across if you were visiting. The decor was fun and quirky with lots of vintage trinkets all over the place. The menu was sort of tapas style and it was SOOOO yummy. I am desperate to go back here and try some of the things we didn't get to try. One of the surprise highlights for me was the imam bayildi which I had never had before. I think the menu changes pretty often but I feel pretty confident after what we tried that there would always be amazing treats on their menu.

The Farm Cafe > We went to this cafe for breakfast and went for the granola and it was just perfect. I enjoyed every mouthful and now I am determined to try making my own again and see if I can get it as good as this. NM had scrambled egg on toast with chorizo which was a winner too!

Spicer and Cole > We actually visited two of these. One on Saturday when we stopped in for a coffee and then on Sunday we went to a different one for lunch. They're cool cafe's with yummy looking food that didn't disappoint - we went for a sausage roll, amazing bowl of salad and a sandwich. Simple but delicious!

Papersmiths > This is totally not a food place but is the most beautiful stationery shop that you ever did see. See the pic below to work out if this is your sort of thing...but if you are into beautifully designed magazines, notebooks and stationery tools then this is a place not to miss. I could have spent ALL of my money in here but was very restrained and just came away with a cute little map of burger places for our trip to New York. 

I know it looks pretty much like we just ate and drank our way around Bristol which is kind of true (we are gastro tourists for sure!) but we also did some other stuff. We lay in a park in the sunshine chatting about life and the future, we explored Clifton Suspension Bridge and went down to this pretty cool cave that had a great view of the bridge. We walked all along the harbour area - lots of walking basically. Food and walking that is totally how we roll! Below are a few more pictures from our trip! 

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday! 

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things I am loving on Etsy

I have noticed that there is a mega gold foil craze going on right now? I have always loved the look of gold foil prints and stationery so I am pretty happy with that, but I have also noticed that some of them can look kind of lame. There are a lot of people doing faux gold foil which I am not massively into. Anyway May is seriously the month of birthdays for me so I thought I would do a little round up of gold foil goodies that I have found that I think would make great gifts. The first print though is from my friend Chloe Vaux and it is classic, beautiful and real gold foil. You will actually be able win one of these (along with a lot of other amazing goodies) on May 25th when I am doing a mega giveaway. 

1. Chloe Vaux gold foil print - Chloe is a great friend of mine and has beautiful prints in her shop. She recently started selling this gold foil one which is think is really classic and beautiful! 

2. Meticulous Ink, Gold foil notebook - This little notebook would be great for carrying around while you're on the go. Beautifully classic.

3. Clouds and Currents, You're the bee's knees gold foil card - This card is super cute and would be a great birthday card, but also you could send it anytime to let a friend or loved one know how much you think they rock! 

4. Moospie, illustrated gold foil journal - This journal is a stunner and is hand bound and includes a cute little illustration in the bottom right corner by illustrator Francesca Eastwell.

5. Sparrow and Wolf, A6 gold foil notebook - I love the patterns on these notebooks. Especially the ones with the little plus signs. These would make a great little gift for a creative friend. 

Hope you enjoy all these treats, also did you see my post about the launch of Calder & Byrne last week? They are selling some of my prints and cards and I am so happy to be involved because they are all about supporting small local makers and designers and Siobhan who set it up has great taste! If you haven't seen it yet go and have a look around! 

Hope you have a great Monday! 

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Book Review: the 1000 Journals Project

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The book review for this month is a pretty cool one. The 1000 Journals Project. The idea behind the project was inspired by graffiti and the conversations that people have with each other through it in public. For this project 1000, blank journals were sent out into the world...either mailed to people or left in places for people to find. Each journal had instructions inviting people to contribute to the journal and then pass it along to someone else. There were no rules. This book is basically a collection of the 'best bits' of the thousand journals. 

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Every page is so different and so interesting. I just love thinking about how many people found and worked on these journals. Imagine the joy of finding one, the journey's that each journal have been on and the stories they tell. One of the beautiful things about journals such as these 1000 that were sent out, is the tactile nature of them. I guess part of that is lost when the pages are reproduced in a book such as this but there are some lovely tactile elements to this book, like the stitching on the cover and also in the leaves (above left) and on other pages. 

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" Based on flux and faith, the 1000 Journals Project is an experiment where journals themselves are a museum and every participant is an artist."
- Someguy, Project Creator.

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This is a small but thick, quality feeling book that is full of beautiful drawings, doodles, patterns, words and collages. It is the sort of book that you can dip in and out of and there are always new details to notice and enjoy! It makes me want to keep a 'visual' journal of my own too. I used to do that a lot in art college but I guess haven't made the time to do so recently. 

Anyway I totally recommend this book, it is a beauty and it pretty much proves that everyone is creative. 

Happy Friday, hope you all have a great weekend! Anyone got any fun plans? 

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Shop update: Father's Day Cards

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Guys, Father's Day is quite a way away yet but I wanted to give you all enough time to get your card orders in and if you are anything like me maybe you like to get this sort of thing sorted as early as possible! There are four Father's Day cards now available in the shop

It is always interesting to me that the card I think will be the most popular often isn't and it actually ends up being another! Which one is your favourite?

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The cards are up in the shop now if you want to check them out! The shop will be closed during the first two weeks of June but there is plenty of time before and after that to get your card order in. 

Hope you have a lovely Wednesday!

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Calder & Byrne

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Guys I have slightly switched up my posting schedule this week, because I am so excited to share with you today the launch of a new online shop called Calder & Byrne created by the wonderful Siobhan from Bless the Weather. I am so so honoured that she is stocking some of my prints and greetings cards, and I am looking forward to working with Siobhan and Calder & Byrne more in the future. Siobhan has such great taste and so this shop is just packed full of things that I want to buy. That was pretty much Siobhan's inspiration for the shop - to create a place where you can go and buy a whole variety of items that would be great for gifts and also to treat yourself, but they are all in one place so you can kind of do a one stop shop order! I know already that this is the place I am going to be going for birthday presents and also maybe little treats for me :)

The other main goal of the shop is to support local and UK based artists, and that is kind of how Siobhan and I connected, we actually live fairly near each other! She can pretty much just come round and pick up stock when ever she wants. I love that community feel and am just so excited to support her vision for this. So seriously, support the small businesses and the one man band makers in the UK and go spend some of your pennies in Calder & Byrne! Two of the prints they are selling of mine are totally exclusive to C&B so that is the only place you will be able to find them!

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All of these images are copyright Calder & Byrne.

I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday and enjoy browsing the shop

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Free gift tag printable

Guys I don't know what it is about May but it is one busy month for birthdays for me! Seriously there are so many. Anyway I have been wanting to make some gift tags for a while that I could use on my gifts to make them a bit cuter. I am a kraft paper, bakers twine wrapping kind of girl and like to keep things simple and I think these tags fit in with that perfectly. I printed them on white card and kraft paper but you could print them on any colour you like if you wanted to brighten your gift up! ALSO I doubled up on tags as some are patterned and some have type on which I think worked quite well. There are 8 tags for you to choose from and you can them HERE, All you need to do is print out on whatever card you like, cut them out along the lines and then punch a hole in the end! 

These tags are only for personal use and most not be re-distributed or used for financial gain. 

Hope you have a lovely Friday and a great weekend!

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This Month // April

This month has had a lot of fun things going on and some fun little trips. I have found it inspiring to explore new places and get out of London a couple of times and also we have eaten sooo well this month with lots of meals out due to NM's birthday and our wedding anniversary (we are living off baked beans on toast for now!). Anyway here are a few things that I have been up to:

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1.  I went to Brighton for the day to visit one of my all time fave friends. Was good to get out of London and have a little creative field trip. 

2. I worked on some prints for the ace new shop Calder & Byrne which will be launching very soon! So excited to be involved and I have had a sneak peak, they are going to be selling some lovely stuff (more about that next week!). 

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3. A birthday lunch with some total faves of ours. This Spanish dish was amazing! 

4. London has pretty much totally exploded into spring and is full of blossom! I have been walking A LOT this month and have been taking it all in and loving it!

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5. We went to Bristol to celebrate our second wedding anniversary! It was such a lovely weekend and we ate in some amazing places - all of which I will be sharing on the blog next week. 

6. Very excitingly I went to a workshop at Pinterest's offices in London. It was great to learn in a bit more depth how I can make the most of Pinterest and use it as a tool for my business - also a yummy breakfast was involved! Winner.

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday! I can't believe that April is nearly over but May is going to be a fun month so I am looking forward to it!

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#52handlettered (April)

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Guys I have kind of fallen off the #52handlettered wagon. I might dip into it again later on but I have stopped following the prompts - BUT I have been posting handlettering on my instagram regularly which I am loving and plan to keep up with (every 6th post guys..that is how I roll now) and I guess I have kind of been coming up with my own prompts just inspired by what is going on with me. 

This month I have stuck with white type on black and I really love how it looks and I think it works really well in my instagram feed so I am definitely planning to stick with that for now!

I am not sure I will keep doing this but I have still done a little round up below of some of my other favourites that I have found on the #52handlettered hashtag this month! Just click on the images to go through to the instagram accounts and see who created them. 

Hope you have a lovely Wednesday folks! Hope you are feeling inspired and having a good week!

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Maps of New York

Do you like maps? I am a bit of a fan of a good map. I have had these Herb Lester maps for a while now and I am so excited that now I am going to actually be able to use them when we go to New York in June. I really love these maps from Herb Lester. I have quite a few for London too and one for Paris. They are small and pocket size and have lots of interesting suggestions of places to go. There is just something so satisfying about a beautifully created and illustrated map - it is such an incredible skill, because let me tell you I have dabbled in map making and its not easy. There are so many things to consider! Not only do you want them to look good but they need to be accurate, and easy to read and there is so much information to fit in!

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I was really excited when I found the map below at Papersmiths in Clifton at the weekend. It is a map of lots of great burger places in NYC - ha that is totally something I can get on board with. I will be taking this one too. This is created by a company called 'All you can eat press' - they have a few different maps for NY including all you can eat doughnuts! 

Ages ago I had a dream about trying all of the restaurants in my local area and making a little local map like this and designing it all and including reviews and things. It could get pretty expensive and take so long but maybe one day I will do it...I would definitely like to practise my map making skills anyway!

Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse at these map beauties! Happy Friday, hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are up to!

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Book Review - Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design - Michael Bierut

When I was at university everyone was excited about Pentagram - it was THE design studio to get a placement at or work at. I wanted to get to know more about their work and the partners and I found this book by Michael Bierut and basically one summer holiday I devoured it. I read every essay. This book is very different to the last two that I reviewed but it is the similar in the sense that it is made up of a collection of small essays which don't take too long to read and which makes it really easy to dip in an out of. So over the last few years that is what I have done. 

Some people have criticised it saying it just seems like a collection of his blog posts - and basically it is - if you want to try before you buy you can check out some of the essays on www.designobserver.com. Now don't get my wrong I love blogs and reading blogs but the experience of reading on a screen and reading an actual book are still pretty different...especially when it is a beautifully laid out book. 

I really like the way that Bierut writes and I also like the topics that he tackles. They are well thought through and really highlight that as designers we need to be interested in the world around us and learn about all sorts of things to make us good at our jobs. Although most of the essays focus on design and from the perspective of a designer, Bierut's interest in the world around him beyond design really comes through. His first essay for example is called 'Warning: May Contain Non-Design Content'. I like that and I think I find it challenging as a designer. I think sometimes I can get a little bit stuck in a 'design bubble' and forget to be interested in and explore the rest of the world, because it is all linked and pretty much everything has a design element.

Each essay is laid out in a different typeface which I think adds a fun twist to the book. You can see my copy above is a bit battered and has little tags on the essays that I particularly like. There are essays on famous designers such as Paul Rand, David Carson and Massimo Vignelli but he also tackles so many other topics such as politics and whether graphic designers lean left and how to be a famous graphic designer. Obviously it is very centred around the American world of graphic design but I don't really mind that as that is the context that Bierut is working in and it gives a glimpse into his life and career and he is a designer to be admired with a long and impressive career. 

I would really recommend this book to professional graphic designers but I think if you are someone who is interested in design Beirut has a way of interpreting the world that shows the breadth and importance of design in a way that would interest anybody. 

Happy Wednesday!

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Monday Moodboard

It is time for another Monday moodboard to get you inspired for the week ahead (if you want to see more of them you can check them out here). After last month's brightly coloured swimming moodboard I have gone back to my beloved black and white for this one. Maybe I will get into the habit of alternating. 

The sources are (clockwise from the top left): One - Two - Three - Four

These are just a few of the lovely black and white things I have been spotting on Pinterest recently. Hope you have a wonderful Monday and a week full of inspiration. 

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What's the point?

A few weeks ago I wrote this post and didn't get round to posting it and I guess I was a bit nervous about posting it as it was quite personal, but then I read this post by Belinda and was inspired by her courage (she had been scared to share her post too!). So I thought why not share what I have been struggling with as well because I think in reality they are similar struggles to others. I think it always helps when you realise that other people are dealing with and working through similar things to you. 

Sometimes I start to wonder what the point is when It comes to my creative work. It just seems that there are so many people out there doing a similar thing to me and frankly doing it better - I wonder if there's room for me? And if another person doing this sort of thing is needed. I start looking at all the people doing it better and sometimes think I shouldn't bother. 

But then I remember that it is not just about what I produce and bring into the world creatively - it is also about the journey and the act of creating. And I LOVE it - and so I guess giving up is not really an option because there would be a hole/a void in my life. 

Before the Internet I guess there were still people all over the world working on similar goals as you and me, but we didn't know about it - but now everybody is sharing their work online and has a website, Twitter and Instagram. 

I suppose as I kind of mentioned above I am writing this in the spirit of authenticity and honesty. The last couple of weeks have been a bit tough creatively - I have been questioning what I have to offer, what I can bring to this global creative community that is new and fresh and am I good enough? I guess we all have days like this and the Internet is full of people reminding each other that 'comparison is the thief of joy'.

So what can I do about it? I wrote a little while ago about learning to live with less - and I think in my head when I wrote that I was really talking about physical objects - i.e. not needing as many possessions - but I need to remember I am a consumer too when it comes to the Internet. I think it is amazing that so many people can share their creativity, their writing and their journey online, (and that is exactly what I am doing here) but maybe I have a responsibility to my creativity and my well-being to consume a bit less of it. I am not exactly sure what it will look like but I guess it might mean having a bit of a sort through of my Twitter, Instagram and Feedly accounts and cutting back on how many people I follow. I read this article the other day asking the question can too much inspiration actually be harmful? I am the first to acknowledge all the amazing things about the Internet and one of the things I have been loving at the moment is the new creative friends I have been making on the Internet and actually meeting in real life...but I think it is time that I start to acknowledge that there are some downsides - I am starting to try and work out how I can protect myself and make sure my creativity is not affected negatively. 

I think it is a relief to know that other creatives that I admire struggle with similar things and so I am going to pick myself up, work hard and keep tackling my to-do list and coming up with new ideas. I really love what I am doing and am going to keep working at growing my little business. 

After I finished writing this post I read this blog post by Seth Godin, and was really struck by the following quote >  "Pretty good ideas are easy. The guts and persistence and talent to create, ship and stick it out are what's hard." - And he is right... that is the hard bit. But I feel even more inspired to stick it out and keep going when I am struggling and finding it hard. 

I hope you all have a really lovely and creative Friday! Don't forget you are unique and you totally have something to offer! 

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A day in Brighton

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When I met up with Siobhan last week she recommended checking out the Elise Gets Crafty podcast and what can I say, I am now addicted. They are so good and I am really enjoying the topics she tackles. One of her early episodes was about creative field trips - I really like this name and realised that this is actually something that has always been important for me. Just getting out of your normal everyday routine and getting inspired. This could be through travel further afield or could even be exploring a new city in your own country, or even just a new corner of your own city or town (or a new area of countryside if you live in the country). 

Last week I went on a creative field trip to Brighton which is always a fun place to visit. It is nice to be in a city with a totally different feel to what I am used to, to be by the sea and also to visit different shops and independent cafes. On Monday I was talking about how great it is to hang out with creative friends, well I got to hang out with an all time fave Kate. I don't get to see her nearly as much as I would like and still dream about us living in the same city again one day but whenever we meet up it is like no time has passed. 

Hope you enjoy these pics from my day. If you have an opportunity to take a creative field trip anytime soon I would totally recommend it. We are actually going to Bristol this weekend for our anniversary so I'm looking forward to a new place to explore and lots of inspiration! 

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Happy Wednesday folks! 

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