life lately

Liz Mosley by Samee Lapham

I thought I would do a little post today with a bit of a catch up on how things have been going. Since February I have been working 4 days a week at my job and then one day a week (and some evenings and weekends), I have been focusing on my own freelance work and my shop. It has been great and I have enjoyed it so much. I have been managing to juggle my job, the blog, the shop and freelance pretty well. I have been getting enquiries and jobs from new clients and it really feels like my business has been growing. 

Anyway part of the deal with me working 4 days at my job, was that over the summer when things get busy at work I would go back to 5 days, so that is what will be happening for the next 3 months. I have decided to try and be realistic about what this is going to mean and as a result I have decided to go down to posting two times a week instead of three. This will start from next week, and I will probably post on Tuesdays and Fridays. Then in October I plan to go back to posting 3 days a week again. 

I would love to get some feedback from you my lovely readers about what you like and what you don't on this blog, because although I blog because I love it and find it a great creative outlet, let's be honest I am hoping that people are reading and enjoying what I post. I think in the next couple of weeks I will put together a little bit of a survey, which should hopefully help me think about my content and how to develop and grow my little business over the summer. 

I am also planning to start a newsletter which will include discount codes for the shop and extra content and free downloads that are not available to anybody else. This probably won't start until October but I have put a sign up box in the right-hand menu of this blog, so if you are interested feel free to sign up now so that you are all ready for some inbox fun in the autumn!  

Ok I have waffled on long enough - I just wanted to end by sharing a little summer discount code for the shop. If you use the code SUMMERSUN you will get 15% off everything in the shop for the next two weeks. If there is something you have had your eye on now is the time to nab it! 

Hope you are looking after yourselves in this mini heatwave and have a lovely Wednesday! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

(photo by Samee Lapham

Inspired by Chuck Close

When we visited the MET in New York last month they had a piece by Chuck Close and it reminded me that he really is one of my all time favourite artists. I have been so fascinated by him and inspired by his work ever since I was in school. Here are some of his paintings that are my favourites, but there really is nothing like seeing them up close and personal! I am alway in awe of photorealist painters because I admire the skill required so much. As his paintings are larger than life they are so impressive and I love when you can get close and see each tiny brush stroke, but from far away it looks just like a photograph. 

I think one of the things I find so interesting about Chuck Close is how he has overcome adversity and where many may have given up he did not and found new ways to paint despite his limitations. You can read more about it here but basically he suffered from a seizure which left him paralysed from the neck down. He relies on a wheelchair and continued to paint with a brush strapped onto his wrist with tape. He continued doing portraits and creates them by painting low resolution grid squares - which when put together make the portrait. I find these painting just as impressive as his photorealistic paintings even though they are very different.

I found this quote by Close a little while ago about inspiration and thought it was so wise and spot on. Sometimes we just need to turn up and keep doing the work rather than waiting for a bolt of inspiration to hit us. This really helps me on days when I am not feeling it. Just turning up and doing the work is so important. 

The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.

If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to do an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.

Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction.

Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.
— Chuck Close

If you ever get a chance to see Close's work in the flesh I would highly recommend it. Although I am not a painter I just find his work and his journey so inspiring. 

Hope you all have a great Monday!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

 

places I would like to visit in the UK

I don't know if it is just because we have just got back from holiday so I am automatically thinking about the next adventure, but recently I have been thinking about places that I would like to explore that are a bit closer to home in the UK. I think I always forget how many incredible places there are on this little island to check out. I don't think we will do another holiday this year now...but if we do these are a few places in the UK that are on my list to check out. I think also after doing quite a lot of city trips we are both craving something a bit more remote and scenic (there are still a few cities on here though - we can't help ourselves!). 

The Lake District 
This is a place that I am kind of surprised I haven't been to yet but after seeing Siobhan's pictures from her trip there it is firmly on my list of places that I want to explore. The scenery just looks so beautiful. I can totally imagine staying in a cute cottage and going for long walks and watching films and reading in the evenings. The image below is one of Siobhan's

Edinburgh
A city that I feel like I have read a lot about and heard lots of amazing things about but have just never managed to spend any time there.....yet. I drove through it once and the architecture did look beautiful. Image found here.

Scottish Highlands
The photo below was taken by Josh Brine. Doesn't it just look out of this world stunning. I love the thought of hiking through these wild and rugged hills and then snuggling up with a good book in the evenings. 


Cornwall
Ok so Cornwall is a big place but I would love to do a bit of a road trip (maybe in a camper van?) and explore loads of the beautiful beaches, villages and towns. I spent 3 years studying in Falmouth and it was a pretty beautiful place to hang out. I haven't been back for years but I think NM would love it. Click image to see original source. 

Oxford
Oxford is where my parents used to live and where they met, and they did take me a couple of times when I was a kid but it was such a long time ago that I would love to go back and explore. The architecture and history is just so interesting. The photo below is by Ella Masters.

Cambridge
Another beautiful historic town not too far away from London. I fancy a trip here too. I think we could probably do it in a day which would be a fun outing in the summer. Click on the image to head to original source.

Are there any other places that you think I should add to my list? I am definitely hoping to tick off a few of these over the next couple of years and see more of what the UK has to offer! We explored Corfe Castle earlier in the year and I really enjoyed it. 

We are off on a quick road trip to Devon this weekend for the wedding of some lovelies. I hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are up to! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

 

handlettering // June

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

Can you believe it is the end of June - I reckon this summer is going to whizz right by. I have been trying to keep up with handlettering and here are a few of this month's offerings. I usually post them on my instagram so you can follow along with them there. I have been sticking with the white on black but I feel like I need to push myself and try something different so I might branch out a bit and try some other things. 

You can see more of my hand lettering stuff in my Etsy shop, I have been working on some commissions recently so if you have a quote or phrase that you love and that you would like handlettered feel free to get in touch for a quote! 

Hope you all have a great day!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

 

The Design Process

I have been thinking a bit recently about how I can do posts on this blog that are more helpful to people and inspiring and that actually help people learn. I guess design is what I know most about so maybe I will start a series about design with advice and tips etc. Today I want to share something with you that I remember being taught at University while studying graphic design and it was something that was really drilled into us regularly > the design process. 

At uni we had to show really clear evidence of each stage in all of our projects. I think now I use it slightly differently as I don't necessarily have that intense accountability (and assessment!) over my process and I probably spend different amounts of time on the various sections than I used to.

I still think it is a really great way to structure the way you work if you are a designer (and to make sure you don't miss out any of the important stages) and so I thought it would be worth sharing here for a reminder to myself as much as anything. I think this process isn't really limited to graphic designers either and would be useful to people working in any creative role. I hope you find it helpful! 

Identifying needs
This is the bit where you really get into the nitty gritty of what is needed for a project. In a commercial project this is where you work out exactly what the client wants and needs. Sometimes what the client wants and what they need can be quite different. It can be your job to be an investigator to get to the bottom of it all. You need to ask the right questions, give your opinion and use your expertise and then come to a decision with the client about what the brief should be. Some people have a questionnaire that they get clients to fill in to help them think about all the various aspects of the job they are commissioning. This can be a great idea and save you work later on if everything is clear from the beginning, sometimes though I am not sure a 'fit all' questionnaire will do the trick and a bit more hand holding on your part is needed. 

Information gathering
This is the time to get busy researching. To start off with you will need to find out and learn as much as possible about your client and the industry that they are in. Depending on what that is you will probably need to find out who their competitors are and what they are doing. The internet seriously makes doing research so easy and it is usually pretty easy to find out what other companies are up to when it comes to their design and campaigns. 

Analysis
This is the point where you take stock of everything you have found so far. You can start refining your brief. Often clients will want to do something similar to their competitors and stay safe but sometimes it is your job to push them and challenge them and encourage them to break out of the mould and do something new and fresh that will stand out from the pack. This is usually a scary prospect for a client so it is great to really develop their trust in you as the whole process goes on. 

Idea generation
This is the time to just let loose and come up with loads of ideas. At the beginning of this phase I just like to get down as many ideas as possible however crazy and unlikely they may seem. Part of being a creative is making connections and so often ideas can spark other ideas. After I have got everything down and out of my head and pushed it as far as I feel I can, it is good to take a break and come back to it again a day or so later. I think people (and me too) don't often totally realise the value of letting a problem percolate in your brain. It sort of hangs out there in the back of your mind while you do other things and often new ideas and connections hit you when you least expect it. When I am working on ideas for a client I usually want to present them with a few different routes to get their feedback on the initial ideas stage. The number can vary from client to client and project to project but I would say about 3 or 4 initial ideas are a good place to start. These don't have to be final designs, just enough for the client to get a good feel for what you are proposing. Getting feedback from these initial concepts can really help your client and you understand better what they like/don't like and what they are looking for. 

Design Proposal
This is where you refine your ideas and narrow down your final designs. This will often involve a bit of to-ing and fro-ing between you and the clients and it might involve quite a few iterations before the design can be finalised. It is quite likely that you and your client will have different opinions about elements of the design and it is helpful to think through which things you think are important to fight for and which are not. It is good to remember that you are the professional and the expert and you do have expertise to bring to the table that can help your client get the best solution possible. If you are fighting for some part of your design it is good to be respectful and explain your thoughts with good reasons that are backed up with research and your experience. Clients will often really respect that and take on board what you have to offer. I think sometimes as designers it is easy to give up and just make every change and suggestion that the client gives but this can sometimes be a bit soul destroying especially if you feel like it really detracts from the integrity of the design.
 

Evaluation
Now it is time to look back on all the work you have done and evaluate whether it has been successful. Have you achieved what you set out to? Did you fulfil all the 'needs' that were identified in the first stage? The evaluation can look different depending on the client and the project, but maybe you were creating a campaign to encourage more sign ups to a newsletter - in that instance the evaluation could take place over a period of time and would be assessed on how much sign up numbers increase. Maybe you created an infographic to help people understand some statistics better. In this situation it might be possible to ask for feedback from the audience. Either way it is good not to just walk away from a project and wash your hands of it immediately after it is delivered. Find out how things are working, learn from things that could be done better in the future, the evaluation stage is a great place to make sure you are gaining experience and learning lessons that will make you a better designer in the future. 

I think often as a designer client work can be frustrating because you don't have the freedom to just design everything exactly how you would like and you have to take into consideration the clients opinions and ideas. Though I think when the design/client relationship works really well, the working together and compromising element of the process can often create even better results than you could have created working all by yourself. I think when that happens I know that this is definitely a client that I could work with again. 

Anyway I hope reading through this process has been helpful and even if you are not a graphic designer actually thinking through these steps can be helpful whatever creative problem you are tackling. It is all problem solving after all. I would love to know if you found this post useful and if you would like me to do more design related/educational style posts. 

Happy Tuesday!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

New York, New York

Liz Mosley - New York

Earlier in the month you might be aware that we went on a bit of an American adventure. Originally the plan was to just visit friends in Boston but since we were so close it seemed a shame to not try and tag on a couple of days in New York. NM had never been and I hadn't been back since I lived there for 3 months about 7 years ago, so we were both excited about exploring the city. Anyway, I thought I would attempt a little run down of some of the things we got up to and places we went to eat out incase you might be thinking of going, or maybe this will inspire you to add it to your travel list! 

Our plane was delayed on the way there but we arrived at our hotel just in time to go out for dinner. NM had done loads of research and this place had been recommended all over the place. Cafe Habana - it was seriously such a good start. We were super tired but we sat at the bar, I had the most amazing taco's (mine were shrimp) and a cocktail and just had fun people watching - the place was small and nothing glamorous but had a great atmosphere (just how we like it).

The first day the weather was pretty grey and drizzly so we decided this would make a good gallery day. We started off with breakfast at a cute little vegan place near our hotel called The Butcher's Daughter. Smashed avocado on toast is always a winner with me...especially if there is an egg on top!

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed off to the MET, which even if we only ended up doing one gallery (which we did), was the one that I really wanted to check out. We mostly hung out in the modern art bit (we can usually only last about 1.5 hours in a gallery and this is the sort of gallery that you could spend a week in!) - and they have such a great collection. I was very happy to see Chuck Close, Anselm Keifer, Mark Rothko and a few other of my favourites, and the gallery was not too busy at all. The entrance was busy but the place is so big that when you get into the galleries it is actually really nice and relaxing. I wish London galleries were still like this. 

Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed off for a walk through Central Park which was so nice even in the grey and drizzle. If we had had longer in NY I could happily have spent a whole day exploring this park! 

Liz Mosley - New York

We walked and explored some of midtown having lunch at Empanada Mama, but then the rain got a bit much so we headed back to the hotel to re-group and get ready for an evening trip to Birdland a jazz club near Times Square. We seriously had such a fun night. We listened to Maria Schneider Orchestra while sitting at a little table eating food and drinking wine and it was just such a great vibe. I'm going to make an effort to go to some of the old school jazz clubs like this in London. It is a seriously civilised way to listen to music! 

Liz Mosley - New York

Day two the weather was AMAZING so we decided to cram in as much as humanly possible having had a pretty chilled day on Monday. We started off with breakfast at Black Seed Bagels which was a total highlight. I had ricotta, apple and honey in a sesame seed bagel and it was a total winner! I am definitely going to attempt to recreate this at home. 

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed straight to the Highline, which wasn't around last time I was in NY so I was keen to check out. It did not disappoint (but was maybe a little bit more crowded than we would have liked). But it was just so nice to walk along and the juxtaposition of all these plants and gardens next to the tall buildings around was pretty cool. There were some interesting sculptures and bits of artwork along the way too which was cool. 

Liz Mosley - New York

We jumped off at the end of the Highline and headed to Chelsea Market, but to be honest found it all a bit overwhelming and crowded...so we checked out our burger map and realised that in our wanderings we were close to Corner Bistro - so we popped in there for a burger. It had a really cool unpretentious old school vibe. 

After that we decided since the weather was so good it would be a nice time to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. I love this bridge and the views of the New York skyline as you look back are super cool. 

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

Once we got to the other side we explored DUMBO for a bit and then headed to Juliana's, got a pizza to take out and had our dinner sitting on a bench in a park in the shade looking over the most spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. I will be honest it was pretty awesome. NM and I are both pretty into our pizza and we both said we thought it was the best pizza we had EVER eaten which is pretty bold but I really think it was true. 

Liz Mosley - New York

After that we were both pretty exhausted from all the walking we had done but we decided to power on due to the good weather and headed down to the Staten Island ferry. We caught it just as the sun was setting (which was our plan) and watched the sunset behind the Statue of Liberty and then on the trip back we got another incredible view of that iconic skyline all lit up. I am sooo glad we did this and best of all it was totally free! 
 

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

Ok so this is probably going to be the longest post ever - but onto day 3. We started off with breakfast at the Egg Shop, again near our hotel (there were seriously so many good places to eat near where we were staying and I would totally recommend this area to stay if you're staying in Manhattan). I had a truly amazing breakfast of pulled pork, avocado, poached egg, with long thin tortilla chips on top. This is another one that I am definitely going to try and re-create at home. It was a total winner.

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed to wander around the upper west side a bit so that I could show NM where I used to live. Annoyingly I couldn't remember the exact address and every street looked the same and also everything had changed...so it was a bit of a disaster..but it was nice to explore a different bit of the city. I then dragged him off to see the Cupcake ATM! Haha so cool, and the coconut cupcake I had was yummy! 

Liz Mosley - New York

Next stop Grand Central Station...that place will never cease to blow me away with its stunning architecture and those windows! The onto lunch. I had it in my head that I wanted to try pierogi, so NM found a highly recommended Ukrainian place called Veselka and we got ordering. They did not disappoint that is for sure. We tried all different types but I think the pork ones were my faves and they probably would have been even better if they were deep fried (isn't everything?) like the other ones we had.

After lunch we headed back to Brooklyn this time to explore the oh so trendy Williamsburg. We started off with cocktails and nibbles in the bar at the Wythe Hotel. The views were so amazing and it was just nice to sit, chat and chill. We had some crostini that were really tasty and just gazed at that skyline again.

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then wandered around and checked out a few of the shops including the Mast Brothers Chocolate shop. As far as design is concerned these guys have totally nailed it when it comes to packaging. I could never justify buying chocolate this expensive back home, but since we were on holiday I treated myself to a bar - made from goats milk no less.

Liz Mosley - New York

Dinner was a bit of a disaster. We were planning to head back to the hotel and chill and then head out somewhere but my tummy started to feel pretty dodgy (probs too much food already) - so I went to bed and NM went off and got himself a pretty epic meatball sandwich from Parm.

The next morning we headed off to the very cool Jack's Wife Freda for brunch and then packed up our bags and headed to the Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch a bus to Boston, and all too soon the New York leg of our trip was done. 

Liz Mosley - New York

We felt really happy with all of the stuff that we had done...and while there were a million other things we could have done too, we explored lots of areas, saw some amazing sites and ate some incredible food. 

Tune in soon for a post about our time in Boston. Happy Friday, really hope you have a good weekend!  

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

things I am loving on Etsy

I felt in the mood for a little round up of some things that I am loving on Etsy so here is my latest edition. Recently I have been really re-thinking what artwork and prints that I have on my walls. I am moving some things around and also in the market for some new artwork to fill in some gaps. There is loads of amazing artwork that you can find on Etsy so I thought I would share some of my favourites that I have found in my searches. Hope you enjoy! 

1. Succulents Print - Small Adventure - Everyone is crazy for succulents right now and this would have fit in perfectly with yesterdays 'blush' moodboard. This illustration would be a beautiful addition to any wall. 

2. Sweater - Karolin Schnoor - I am a huge Karolin Schnoor fan and I have loved this print for a long time now. I love the monochrome and the composition of this piece. 

3. Coney Island - Sophie Backall - eek! how cute is this illustration. I think this would look so fun and playful on the wall. Those tattoos! That moustache! 

4. My Brain - A Pair of Pairs - This print totally sums up how I feel so often! That is probably why it's so popular, so many people can relate to it. Simple black and white but lovely hand lettered type.

5. Woman and branch - depeapa - I really like the childlike nature of this illustration. It is so simple but just so perfect. I think this would add a great pop of colour to a wall or room. 

6. Get Lost in Nature - Worth While Paper - This is such a great bold typographic print. Love the combination of type and foliage. 

Now just need to decide which of these to add to my collection! Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday. 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Tuesday Moodboard // Blush

Having being super organised and scheduling all of my posts while I was away, yesterday I totally fell off the blogging wagon and didn't get my Monday post up - So here we have a Tuesday moodboard! I decided this week I needed some inspiration and a pick me up after such a lovely holiday so I put together a moodboard of all things blush! I am not really a girly girl and pink is most definitely not my colour, but a few weeks ago I started spotting lots of 'blush' things on pinterest so I decided to start a board and well I kind of got a bit addicted. There actually ended up being quite a few rooms with beautiful blush accents (or just full on BLUSH) that I liked, so I thought that would be the inspiration for my moodboard this week. Is blush a colour that you would ever consider decorating with? I don't think I EVER would have, but these pictures are really starting to change my mind. 

Click on the images to link their sources. 

Hope you have a great Tuesday! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

 

insta snippets from Boston

IMG_6887.JPG
IMG_6894.JPG
IMG_6897.JPG
IMG_6889.JPG
IMG_6892.JPG
IMG_6895.JPG
IMG_6891.JPG
IMG_6896.JPG
IMG_6890.JPG

We have had a lovely week in Boston, staying with family friends, chatting about life and exploring this beautiful city. It is nice to have been doing things in a slightly more chilled fashion after New York. We also spent a couple of days at the beach which was lovely. 

This city has got so much to offer and I would seriously love to live here at some point in my life if that was ever an option. There is so much creativity, music and culture, I think it would be a great place to live as an artist...and there is also a great foodie scene. Anyway, I will do a much longer post on what we got up to in the next few weeks. In the meantime we are heading back to London after a lovely refreshing holiday and will have the weekend to get ourselves together before going back to work on Monday! (ha, I am sure that will be a shock to the system!) 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

My insta faves (part 4)

I have done a few of these posts now and I really enjoy putting them together and going through my Instagram feed, falling in love again and getting inspired by some of the people I follow. These are new people who I have followed recently and who I think all do a great job at noticing and documenting little details in life. I decided to go for a bit of a plant theme when choosing which images to share. Seriously go follow these guys. I love using Instagram to get a glimpse into the lives of people all over the world. 

@me_and_orla - I discovered Sara's feed not that long ago and I am in love. A lot of thought goes into her images and I love the dark moody vibe. She is based in the north of England. 

@me_and_orla - I discovered Sara's feed not that long ago and I am in love. A lot of thought goes into her images and I love the dark moody vibe. She is based in the north of England. 

@mattscorte - Lots of beautiful architectural shots of Paris and other travel destinations. I am in awe of Matt's aesthetic and how cohesive his feed feels. That is my long term aim with Instagram. Definitely check out this feed!

@mattscorte - Lots of beautiful architectural shots of Paris and other travel destinations. I am in awe of Matt's aesthetic and how cohesive his feed feels. That is my long term aim with Instagram. Definitely check out this feed!


@yas_in_amsterdam - I am OBSESSED with Amsterdam (even though I have only spent one day there) and so was really happy to find this beautiful feed full of corners of this beautiful city! I love seeing glimpses of other parts of the world in my feed. 

@yas_in_amsterdam - I am OBSESSED with Amsterdam (even though I have only spent one day there) and so was really happy to find this beautiful feed full of corners of this beautiful city! I love seeing glimpses of other parts of the world in my feed. 

@bonniemade - This Instagram feed makes me feel calm and does such a great job of capturing the quiet little moments in life. Lots of little beautiful details. Bonnie, who is based in Adelaide, Australia has such a great eye.

@bonniemade - This Instagram feed makes me feel calm and does such a great job of capturing the quiet little moments in life. Lots of little beautiful details. Bonnie, who is based in Adelaide, Australia has such a great eye.


@smlalexander - Lots of block colours and clean lines (this image doesn't really represent most of the feed). I really love the simple and artistic nature of the images.

@smlalexander - Lots of block colours and clean lines (this image doesn't really represent most of the feed). I really love the simple and artistic nature of the images.

@lenacorwin - This feed feels really earthy and gives snippets of life and adventures with little kids. Beautiful creative shots and lots of inspiration

@lenacorwin - This feed feels really earthy and gives snippets of life and adventures with little kids. Beautiful creative shots and lots of inspiration


@josephowen - Again I love the little details that Joseph shares. A lot of thought goes into colour and composition and the result is a stunning feed. I also love seeing bits of London through other people's eyes.

@josephowen - Again I love the little details that Joseph shares. A lot of thought goes into colour and composition and the result is a stunning feed. I also love seeing bits of London through other people's eyes.

@agirlnamedleney - Leney has a knack for making the little moments in life look beautiful. Images are from where she lives and travels, this is another one that totally inspires me and makes me happy. 

@agirlnamedleney - Leney has a knack for making the little moments in life look beautiful. Images are from where she lives and travels, this is another one that totally inspires me and makes me happy. 


I hope you enjoy checking these guys out. If you are looking for more people to follow you can check out part one, two and three

Hope you all have a lovely inspired Wednesday!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Book Review: Reinventing Letterpress

Everybody seems to be loving letterpress at the moment including me. A couple of years ago I did a letterpress course and it was so fun and really interesting. Setting type seriously takes SO LONG though! It took me hours just to set the type for the words 'Happy Christmas'. There was something that I really liked about the slow process though. It is a craft and it is very hands on. I guess ever since I have been practising design it has been about the computer so to get away from the screen and try and old school printing technique was amazing. Anyway back to this book. Since letterpress printing has become so popular there are loads of people giving a modern twist to the traditional art form and that is what this book is all about. 

letterpress07.jpg
letterpress03.jpg

The book is a showcase of a whole variety of different letterpress artists. Each artist has examples of their work, and I found it so inspiring to be able to see such a wide range of different styles and designs. The cover of the book is nice and thick and feels great because of the letterpress on the cover, and I just love the pattern and printing of the end pages. It's the details that make the difference. The layout inside is simple but showcases the artwork with each artist having a page or double spread. 

If you are at all interested in design, illustration or traditional printing then I think this book is great for inspiration. I just loved seeing all the different projects and also what is possible with letterpres, and this book is just a starting place to find out more. All of these artists have websites and so you can see more of their work and also buy some! 

If you get it or already own it I would love to know what you think! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

snippets from New York

IMG_6659.JPG
IMG_6680.JPG
IMG_6679.JPG
IMG_6661.JPG
IMG_6672.JPG
IMG_6678.JPG
IMG_6658.JPG
IMG_6673.JPG
IMG_6677.JPG

Guys we are in New York and it has been a total whirlwind! We have only had 3 days in the city and so we have really crammed in as much as possible. My legs and feet ache but I am a happy camper! We have visited the MET, Central Park, explored so many different areas, eaten A LOT of amazing food but also burnt it all off walking (I hope!). We went over the Brooklyn Bridge, ate the best pizza I have had in my whole life (for real!) in DUMBO, listened to jazz, walked the highline and eaten some more. Anyway I will do some more in-depth blog posts in a few weeks but just wanted to give a little taste of what we have been up to. You can follow along on Instagram too if you want. We are off to Boston today for what I think will be a much more chilled week! 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Inspired by Amelie Fontaine

The internet is a magical place but also a total rabbit hole sometimes. I really love Pinterest for getting lost and discovering new artists and a few weeks ago I stumbled across the website of Amelie Fontaine and totally fell in love with her illustrations. 

These are just a few of her illustrations that I loved but there are seriously SO MANY good ones on her website. She has a shop on her site selling a book that she has illustrated but I seriously hope she starts selling prints because I would love her work on my walls. I really like the black and white food illustration below. I really enjoy the lines and marks that she makes to build up her illustration and how she breaks some of the rules, and by doing that totally builds up and enhances her individual style. Hope you enjoy checking out these images and getting lost in her website!

What I learnt at Pinterest

IMG_5697.JPG
IMG_5698.JPG
IMG_5696.JPG
IMG_5699.JPG

Last month I was lucky enough to go to a little workshop at the Pinterest offices in London with a few other bloggers. I think Pinterest can be a really great tool and I have heard some bloggers talk about how it is the top traffic driver to their blog. That is not the case for me and so I figured if I learnt to use it better it could potentially be a much more effective tool. Saying that I don't want it to be come too businessy because I love using Pinterest as a bit of a leisure/relaxing/inspiration thing and I guess it's kind of personal - I am hoping I can find a nice balance of business and personal use as I go forward using it.

I found what I learnt at the workshop really helpful and so I wanted to share a bit here so that you guys can learn too!

1. Board and pin information is really important - Pinterest doesn't use hashtags and that is to encourage people to write really authentic content. Having good board titles and great descriptions for your boards and pins helps people to find your content. This kind of sounds like a lot of work to me but I can totally see the value and it's something that I am going to try and get into the habit of doing. Apparently statistically pins with longer descriptions perform better than those with short ones.

2. Use rich pins - Rich pins are pins that contain more information from your blog right there on the pin. There are 6 different rich pins (app, movie, recipe, article, product, and place) - I think these rich pins are particularly good if you do recipe posts as it brings in the ingredient list so people can quickly see what they need. It also works well for article posts where the beginning of your article is included on the pin...I guess it is another way of giving people a bit more information than just the image to encourage people to click over to your blog. It can also be helpful for products as it brings the price and product information into the pin. You can find information for how to use rich pins for your blog or website here

3. You can follow 'interests' not just boards - This was something that I totally wasn't aware of but it has been great for finding lots more of what I am interested in. I started following Graphic Design as an interest and a few others. You can see how to do it here.

4. Apart from pins that are about a specific holiday (i.e. Christmas) all other pins seem to be popular consistently throughout the year -  Going back and pinning old content from your blog is a good idea as there will be people who won't have seen it and who it will be relevant for, even if it's no longer relevant to you. Content has a really long life span on Pinterest. Maybe you got married a few years ago and blogged about it. Well someone getting married now will still find that content helpful. 

5. Don't ever delete your boards - If someone has followed just that board and you delete it then you are automatically losing a follower. Feel free to reorganise your board, change the name etc but don't ever delete them. This is something that I have definItely done in the past to try and make my profile look nicer, but we were reminded that unlike Facebook or Instagram, on Pinterest people don't really look at your profile so much. 

6. You can never have too many boards - I am not sure why but I thought that having too many boards would put people off, but actually people don't look at your profile the same way they might on Twitter or Instagram. You can't have too many boards and so recently I have added so many more and I am absolutely loving it. It feels a bit more organised and easy for me to find things that I want to refer back to. 

7. Think about your audience and what they care about - Do you run a fashion blog? It would make sense that on Pinterest you would be sharing that sort of content as well, and not just your own content, but also your inspiration. My blog is mainly about design, stationery/paper products, illustrators, photographers and all things creative...so it makes sense that a lot of my boards feature that kind of thing - people who follow my blog and check me out on Pinterest will want to see what I am inspired by. It is still personal though so it is not exclusively those things. 

8. The more you pin the more you get out of it - I guess this is the same for a lot of things in life. Since doing the workshop I have been pinning more regularly and have been enjoying it a lot more and have also seen a lot more engagement. One of my boards even got featured in one of the Pinterest UK email round ups. If you verify your website then you can actually see the stats of how many people are re-pinning and engaging with your pins. 

9. Don't forget to promote your Pinterest presence - I don't know why but I always forget to do this. I have started to do the occasional tweet to let people know that they can find me on Pinterest too, and have links on my website so people can get there. If people follow you on social media channels, the chances are they would like to follow you on Pinterest too. 

10. Vertical pins work better than horizontal pins - This is something that I really need to work on for future blog posts. I see loads of people doing it really well, and I am going to start trying to make sure that I include a vertical image in my posts. It makes sense, they will always appear bigger and are more eye catching. Also, it can often be handy to add text to your vertical pin so that people know exactly what your pin is about. You can use Over or PicMonkey to do that easily. 

11. You can now schedule pins  - I recently started using Buffer to schedule some of my pins and now you can do the same for Pinterest. I think for some people this can be handy, but I actually like looking on Pinterest and pinning during little pockets of time fairly regularly, so don't really feel the need. If you are interested in scheduling pins maybe check out Buffer or Percolate (there are a few others that do it too).

A few interesting facts:
1. Pinterest is not a social platform it is a bookmarking tool
2. The average pin is re-pinned 11 times
3. The search function is the biggest way that people find content
4. People tend not to follow people they know but they follow things they are interested in. 

Anyway I hope all of this has been helpful. I still think I need to improve how I use Pinterest, but to be honest you just need to do what works for you and most importantly what you enjoy. I really enjoy using Pinterest for personal enjoyment and so I don't really want it to become too businessy, but hopefully all these things I've learnt will help me to use it better and also encourage more traffic to my site. If you have any other tips please feel free to share below!

...and come follow me on Pinterest! Happy Monday!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

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

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

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:

IMG_5769.JPG
il_fullxfull.767769864_icdf.jpg

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. 

IMG_5768.JPG
IMG_4930.JPG

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. 

IMG_5770.JPG
Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.08.02.png

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! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

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! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

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!

MEDIUM.jpg
photo_1.jpg

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! 

liz-mosley-set-of-5-cards_resized.jpg

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!  

etsy_gift_cards_announcement-2.jpg

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!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Monday Moodboard

df61d6e9bce30952a5c0974ed598b929.jpg
tumblr_mlupe5pYnX1qaagyho1_500.jpg
6ce5490059a5e528aa2d75fc9a91e198.jpg

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!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy