This Month // March

So last week was the first week after such a good run where I didn't manage to post 3 times in the week. Up until then I had been consistently posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the routine has been working well for me. Last week though I was feeling ill, work got on top of me and I decided to just give myself a break and not worry about it. Anyway I am raring to go this week and looking forward to a shorter working week because of Easter. Here are some of the things that happened in March. 

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1. This month was really exciting on the shop front because I had lots of Mothers Day orders. Thank you so so much if you ordered one. You kept me busy and I had so much fun packaging them all up. I am still loving working 4 days a week and have lots of plans for the shop

2. The weather has improved significantly and I have been walking LOADS. It has actually been really inspiring and I have snapped so many lovely shots on my walks to and from work. 

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3. Have been working with the lovely Sally at Bias Boutique in Peckham which means I get to visit the shop and drool over all the lovely products. I'm enjoying growing my freelance client base - if you have a project you would like me to work on I would love to hear from you! 

4. I have been loving the blogging.  I am developing my content and trying to work out which posts you like and which not so much - and despite the slight blip last week, posting 3 times a week seems to be an achievable amount at the moment. 

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5. We took a trip to Cardiff and went and watched the Severn Bore - Did you know that it is the second largest tidal range in the world. There's a geeky geography fact for you. It was actually a little bit disappointing, maybe I had built it up a bit in my head - but I always have fun going on random adventures like this with my family! (I had to brighten up this image to make it not look so grey and depressing!) 

6. I have been trying to be a bit better at noticing the details around me and have been sharing a few of the photos on instagram with the hashtag #noticingthedetails. Totally join in if you fancy! 

I am looking forward to April. We have a bit of time off over Easter and are going to tackle lots of jobs around the house. It is our wedding anniversary and we are going to Bristol for a weekend to celebrate. I am also looking forward to a day trip to Brighton to see one of my fave friends! 

Hope you all have a great Monday!

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New York, New York

New York has had a part of my heart now for quite a number of years. Pretty soon I after I graduated I headed over the pond for 3 months to do an internship with a guy who was a one man band design studio. I worked alongside him and learnt from him and worked on projects for some pretty awesome clients including the MTA and also the School of American Ballet. That trip was 6 years ago and I haven't been to NY since, but this year NM and I have a trip planned. He has never been before and I am dying to go back, so we are both pretty excited. We will be there for 5 days at the beginning of June (and then we head to Boston for some adventures there too) - so if you have any recommendations of things to do and places to see I would LOVE to hear them. I want to have a good list before we head off. 

Now enough about our holiday plans. I wanted to share with you some stunning New York related art work. When I started experimenting with linocut Luke pointed me in the direction of Hannah Cousins who creates these absolutely stunning linocuts of scenes in New York. They are getting me even more excited about our trip but I am also dreaming about having one of these on my wall. You can see (and buy) the whole series here. Also Hannah will be exhibiting her linocuts at the COB gallery in London from the 29th April until the 3rd May. Sounds like the perfect inspiring  outing to me. If you are in London you should check it out! 

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I really need to have another go playing around with linocutting!  Hope you are feeling inspired and enjoying your Wednesday! 

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things I am loving on etsy

Guys, I have been finding so many beautiful shops and amazing things on etsy recently and I haven't done a post sharing what I am loving on etsy for a while (since this one) so I thought It was time. I have been umming and ahhing because I have a gift voucher and I just can't decide what to spend it on! I have tried to keep it to the UK and Europe but the odd US/Aus entry might have sneaked in! 

1. How cute is this calligraphy kit. This would make such a great gift for a creative friend or just for yourself if you wanted to learn. Ever since taking this modern calligraphy class I am obsessed with all things calligraphy. 

2. I love this shop Depeapa - and I am a fan of all things spattered ink...this bag is cute with the little blush details too. 

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3. I love love love this shop and especially this hands print. Would look so good on my wall! 

4. This thank you stamp is so cute. It is always nice to say thank you right?

5. Not sure why but I am currently obsessed with ring dishes. I haven't bought one yet but am on the look out and this one is super cute.

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Hope you all have a lovely day - and enjoy perusing these etsy shops.

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noticing the details

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The other day I was popping to the post office - now that is no great event, but as I was walking along a route that takes less than 5 minutes and I have taken thousands of times I was thinking about instagram and how my instagram only seems to get interesting when I go on foreign adventures. Although that might be true it got my thinking that I want to be better at spotting little moments of beauty in my every day. I am really aware of how when I am deeply entrenched in the familiar routine I forget to look and I stop seeing. 

So I set myself the challenge to try and take 6 photographs on that 10 minute walk (5 mins there and back). It was actually incredible. I ended up taking more than 6 photographs and although they weren't all amazing I was really happy with them - and I felt like I really had spotted corners of beauty on a very familiar walk on a very grey day! 

You can see some of my favourite ones above (and obviously I have put some on instagram too!) This is definitely something I am going to try more often, to get me looking, appreciating and finding joy in what is around me. I am going to be using the hashtag #noticingthedetails to keep track of the pictures on instagram so feel free to follow along with what I find or also add your own spots to the hashtag too! 

All of the photos were taken with my iphone and edited using VSCOCAM. 

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Juggling 9-5, Freelance and a shop

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For the last year or so I have been juggling a 9-5 in-house design job, freelance clients, blogging and also setting up my own little online shop. Making it all work, getting everything done and not getting overwhelmed has definitely been a juggling act and quite a lesson in time management, but I thought I would share a little bit of what I learnt, as I know a lot of bloggers and people with creative projects have full time jobs too. 

1. Keep a notebook with you at all times - You never know when inspiration for a project or blog post is going to hit you so you need to make sure you have somewhere to write things down. Very often you won't be able to do anything about your idea straight away and so you need to get it written down so that you don't forget and so you can come back to it later. When you are juggling different things you can't always work on things when you want to and so this helps to make sure you are ready when you do have the time. 

2. Make the most of small pockets of time - I have got really good at dipping in an out of things when I can. 30 mins at lunch time, some time before meeting a friend. Some people find it hard to work in such short bursts but for me it has seemed to be working and when I use these little pockets of time throughout the day I can get a lot done!

3. Lists, lists, lists - I do not trust my memory and so making a list of what I need to do and setting reminders are so important for me. I have several notebooks with lists of things to do (except I am trying to get better at keeping them all in one place! ha). As much as I love technology, personally I much prefer a handwritten list that I can physically cross off rather than one written on my phone. 

4. Learn to say no so that you are free to say yes - Remember you can't do everything. I think learning to say no will be a lifelong lesson for me, but I feel like I have been learning more recently that saying no is not necessarily missing out on something...it is actually making sure that you are available for something better. 

5. Automatic Scheduling - One thing I have only been really making the most of recently is scheduling content. I am gradually starting to do that with my blog posts and some of my tweets so that I can do the work and then forget about it when I am at my 9-5. 

6. Make the most of your phone - One thing I have started doing a bit is writing blog posts on my commute using my phone. I usually use Evernote as that is where I keep my draft blog posts but if you have a smartphone you could easily use the notes facility. I have found this a great way to use the time on my commute (or anytime when I am waiting around) when I am often daydreaming and coming up with ideas for my blog anyway. If you don't have a smart phone go old school and use a pen and paper that you can then quickly type up later.  

7. Be all there - now this is a tough one and one I am still working on it, but it is important to be focused and present in the task that you are doing, not distracted by other things you might want to be working on for your other job.

Anyway these are just a few of the things that have helped me and that I am working on. If you are also someone who is juggling allsorts, and have any other tips I would love to hear them! 

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Moodboard Monday - Swimming

I don't know why but I recently realised that I was obsessed with swimming illustrations. I like swimming and everything but I am not a fanatic, but I just think these illustrations are all beautiful and so fun (ok so the one below to the right is more sunbathing than swimming). Anyway I thought I would collect together some of my favourite swimming illustrations for my moodboard this Monday. If you click on the images it will take you to the sources. Hope you all have a wonderfully inspired Monday! 

Book Review - Make Your Mark: The Creative's Guides to Building a Business with Impact

This month I am reviewing another book from the 99U Make Your Mark series put together by Jocelyn K Glei: Make Your Mark: The Creative's Guilde to Building a Business with Impact. Last month I reviewed Manage Your Day-to-Day

I found this book a little bit harder to get into than Manage Your Day-to-Day which I couldn't get enough of and read super quickly. I think part of the reason for that was the first half of this book it really felt like it was talking about tech start ups and companies that had grown quite big and so I guess it didn't feel super relevant for my little one man band 'company'. But when I did get into it I think this book did have a lot of valuable advice and ideas. 

Like Manage Your Day-to-Day (and I am guessing the other book in this series too) It was divided up into 4 sections which then each contained articles by various authors. These sections were 1. Defining your purpose, 2. Building your product, 3. Serving your customers and 4. Leading your team.  Again the book was peppered with lots of inspiring quotes too. The one below is one of my favourites.

"Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity"

- Simone Weil – The creatives guide to building a business with impact

The bits of this book that really had an impact on me and got me thinking about how I want to run my business was section 3 about serving your customers. It got me really excited and inspired about things I can start doing now in my little business to make the customer's experience as good as possible, and as a result I am going to sit down and brainstorm ideas to make sure that when people receive products from my shop that they feel delighted that they shopped with me. 

The other bit I found really interesting was section 4 about leading a team. Now, I don't have a team right now but it made me realise that actually I would love one day to grow my business to the point that I could employ a small team. There was so much good advice for leading a team and how to inspire and nurture your team. I think this is a book that I will keep on my shelf and although some of the content didn't feel totally relevant to me right now, I think as my business grows this will be a really helpful book to come back to time and time again. 

I think what I really do love about how these books are laid out is how easy they are to dip into and how the essays are by a variety of really interesting authors and in really manageable chunks. They also have a spread at the end of each section with the key take away points from each article which is so helpful. 

All in all I would definitely recommend this book to people. I didn't get as into it as Manage Your Day-to-Day but there was a lot of wisdom packed in the pages. 

Next month won't be another book from this series..I will move onto something different. I hope you all have a great Friday and weekend!

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Tips to keep the creativity juices flowing

I don't know about you but sometimes go through phases where I feel stuck in a rut with my creativity. I have been in one recently and I feel like I am only just surfacing from it. I have been thinking about some of the ways that help keep my creative juices flowing and so I thought I would share a few of them in case they might help anyone else. 

1. Walk lots. I have recently been walking a lot more (about 1.5 hours some days) and I make a point of not listening to music or podcasts and just daydreaming. I find that my mind wanders and I start thinking about projects I am working on and ideas seem to flow more naturally. I find myself coming up with designs in my head. (The photo above was taken from one of my walks to work recently).

2. Come up with ideas everyday. Sometimes I think it is good to train your brain in certain behaviours or to think in particular ways. I think you can do this with idea generation. Train your brain to come up with lots of ideas. Keep a notebook (can be physical and/or digital) and set yourself the challenge of coming up with 10 ideas everyday. They don't all have to be good ones, just get them down and you might be surprised by what you have. I try to do this with blog posts and I now have a pretty long list.

3. Travel. Now this doesn't have to be somewhere far away or exotic but I think going somewhere new where you haven't been before is stimulating for the brain. There are new things to see and explore and it can often be very inspiring. Time away from everyday routines can be great. If you can afford to visit other countries amazing, but I find a weekend away in another city or even exploring a part of town I am not familiar with does the trick. 

4. Read books. This is something that I have not been very good at recently but I have got a pile of novels that I am eager to crack on with (all the walking has meant less time on the bus reading!). We learn so much from reading and I think often reading about things that might be totally unrelated to the creative project you are working on can spark connections, or make you think outside the box and in new ways. 

5. Learn a new skill. Sometimes if you are struggling with a particular project it can help if you channel your creativity in a different direction and learn something new. So for example if I am struggling with a particularly tough design job - taking a break and making candles, practising calligraphy or linocutting can focus my brain in a different way and get me all inspired again, so I am fresh to go back to the tricky design I am working on. A great place to start with this is skillshare. There are so many amazing online classes that you can take and don't cost very much and it always feels so good to learn new things. 

I hope some of these work for you. I would love to hear if you have any other ideas for how to keep creativity levels high. 

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My insta faves (part 2)

Last month I shared a few of my favourite instagrammers to follow. I really enjoyed putting the post together and using it as an excuse to trawl through who I follow and get inspired, so I thought I would do another one! Here are another 8 of my favourite people to follow. Check them out for a good dose of inspiration. 

@kmsalvagedesign - Lots of beautiful things arranged in super cool ways. This girl knows how to bring order out of chaos. Some seriously awesome styling skills going on. 

@kmsalvagedesign - Lots of beautiful things arranged in super cool ways. This girl knows how to bring order out of chaos. Some seriously awesome styling skills going on. 

@thiswildidea - This guy documents his life on the road with his lovely dog maddie! His photos are just stunning and I love following along with their adventures. 

@thiswildidea - This guy documents his life on the road with his lovely dog maddie! His photos are just stunning and I love following along with their adventures. 

@tarapearce_ - A photographer living in Australia, there is a mix of all sorts in her feed but it is all held together with consistently lovely photography. 

@tarapearce_ - A photographer living in Australia, there is a mix of all sorts in her feed but it is all held together with consistently lovely photography. 

@emmadime - A graphic designer from Oakland, her feed is beautiful and clean but also full of colour! A nice mixture of life and design - inspiration central.

@emmadime - A graphic designer from Oakland, her feed is beautiful and clean but also full of colour! A nice mixture of life and design - inspiration central.

@halfgirl - Lots of earthy tones and wildlife shots from this natural history conservation student who lives in Copenhagen. Life looks serene and beautiful in this feed.

@halfgirl - Lots of earthy tones and wildlife shots from this natural history conservation student who lives in Copenhagen. Life looks serene and beautiful in this feed.

@samsette - I love seeing the world through this girls eyes, especially London! I am lucky enough to call her a friend not only are her photos amazing but she is ACE!

@samsette - I love seeing the world through this girls eyes, especially London! I am lucky enough to call her a friend not only are her photos amazing but she is ACE!

@themelodyh - This girl has serious style and an eye for capturing colour. Also pretty scenic shots from her travels. She is a designer and musician. 

@themelodyh - This girl has serious style and an eye for capturing colour. Also pretty scenic shots from her travels. She is a designer and musician. 

@minna_so - a graphic designer, photographer and writer from Seattle - her handlettering is so cute and I love all the inspiring quotes. 

@minna_so - a graphic designer, photographer and writer from Seattle - her handlettering is so cute and I love all the inspiring quotes. 

So there we go - I really hope you enjoy checking all of these guys out! I still have more that I love so maybe I will have to do a part 3 too! 

Hope you all have a lovely and inspired Monday!

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Illustrated envelopes - FREE PRINTABLE

These printable posts are seriously my favourite to put together. I love coming up with simple but striking things that are easy for you to print and use at home. This month's is a favourite because I love sending snail mail especially when the envelopes are a bit out of the ordinary, so make receiving post even more exciting. 

There are 3 different envelope designs in this printable and you can download them HERE

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All you need to do is cut the envelopes along the edges. Fold the bottom up (the line it should be folded on is in line with the bottom of the flaps). Then fold the flaps over. Try and make sure your folds are straight so the envelope looks like it is rectangular. Stick down the folds using glue or double sided sticky tape and then you are good to go! Pop your letter in, use some washi tape or sellotape to stick it down and send away! 

There is no way that receiving one of these in the post would not put a smile on someone's face. I am using them to send little encouraging notes to my sister who is in her final year of university and working hard to finish her course!

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Inspired by Rocio Montoya

Ever since I discovered Laura from cardboardcities blog, I have wanted to experiment with creating my own collages. (Aren't Laura's collages and patterns awesome!).

Anyway a little while ago on Fubiz I stumbled across the work of Rocio Montoya and fell even more in love with collage as an art form and now I am determined to have a go. I think what I would like to do is around the beginning of each month share an artist that is inspiring me and then use that as a catalyst to experiment and try different mediums out that I am not that used to. It may end up that what I create turns out to be not that good, but I like the idea of using this space to document my attempts. So later in March look out for some of my own collage attempts. 

In the mean time enjoy and be inspired by Rocio Montoya's work

I really love how she combines black and white photographs with nature elements that are in colour. They are just so beautiful and dreamy. I especially love the composition of the image above with the rose falling down below the bottom of the black and white image. 

I like the intrigue that is added to the image above with cutting out their faces and parts of their bodies. It makes you wonder who they are and what they were doing.

To see more of Rocio Montoya's work check out her website

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Fairtrade Fortnight

I am not sure if you know or not, but at the moment it is 'Fairtrade Fortnight'. It happens every year and is to raise awareness about how as consumers we can make a difference in people's lives across the world just by the decisions we make whilst we're shopping. By buying something that is certified as fairly traded you are ensuring that the people who made the item were paid a good wage, worked in good conditions and were treated with respect (amongst other things). There are lots of Fairtrade initiatives springing up but it can still be hard to find good and stylish products that you would actually want to buy and so I thought in the spirit of 'Fairtrade Fortnight' I would share some of my favourite places for buying Fairtrade products. A long time ago I used to work in a Fairtrade shop in Cardiff that had lots of amazing products from all over the world and I learnt so much about it all and even used to give talks on the topic in schools and even at a big conference once. Recently, as I have been thinking about consuming less and being more thoughtful about the products that I do buy (and wanting them to be really good quality) - I have been trying to make more of an effort to make sure they are fairly traded as well whenever possible.

There is still a long way to go with Fairtrade in the UK and I know it is not always possible to buy Fairtrade, but I wanted to encourage you when you're shopping to think about choosing the Fairtrade option and also to check out some of the lovely shops below. If you want to find out more about Fairtrade you can read more about it here

People Tree - Not everything is my taste but People Tree has some really beautiful clothes and some lovely jewellery. I love the bracelet above. I also just treated myself to this one. 

People Tree - Not everything is my taste but People Tree has some really beautiful clothes and some lovely jewellery. I love the bracelet above. I also just treated myself to this one. 

Marks and Spencers - M&S have a smallish range of Fairtrade things but I really like the range of flowers they do. These would make a great mother's day gift. 

Marks and Spencers - M&S have a smallish range of Fairtrade things but I really like the range of flowers they do. These would make a great mother's day gift. 

Myakka - This place does absolutely stunning Fairtrade furniture. I love the Mallani range and this is the sort of furniture that will last a long time and be handed down.

Myakka - This place does absolutely stunning Fairtrade furniture. I love the Mallani range and this is the sort of furniture that will last a long time and be handed down.

Decorators Notebook - This site is a recent find and I really love it. They have some beautiful Fairtrade products and are really good at sharing the story behind them. 

Decorators Notebook - This site is a recent find and I really love it. They have some beautiful Fairtrade products and are really good at sharing the story behind them. 

Those are the main shops that I wanted to share but there are lots of other places you can find Fairtrade goods. Supermarkets like Sainsbury's, Waitrose and the Co-op have a lot of Fairtrade food ranges for instance. I am going to keep researching and trying to find great companies selling Fairtrade.

For more information about Fairtrade in general check out  The Fairtrade Foundation - Happy Monday people.

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Mother's Days Card

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Guys, I want to do you a public service and remind you that Mothers Day is on March 15th (well in the UK anyway, US folk you don't need to panic until May) so you have two weeks to get yourself sorted and get a card to let your Mum know how much she means to you. 

I recently designed 4 different Mothers Day cards which are all available in the shop. I hand painted all of the designs with ink and then played around with them on the computer to get the colours and composition exactly how I wanted them. Each card is printed on really lovely white 270gsm card and they come with a kraft envelope. You still have time to order one if you fancy - just tootle on over to the shop

It's so funny because when I designed these cards I definitely had a couple that I liked more than others but it always seems to be the way that people prefer the ones that are not my faves. Bottom right of this set has been the most popular by far (so far) - not at all what I expected but interesting!

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I have been working on some other cards recently too - you can see some below but check out the shop to see the whole collection. I am trying to add new designs a lot more regularly to the shop these days so it is always worth checking back. I have been focusing on cards mainly recently but I have some new print designs in the pipeline so hopefully it won't be long until there are more of those up there too!

Hope you all have a great Weekend!

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#52handlettered (Feb)

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I really enjoyed the prompts from Miranti for this month's #52handlettered. I have decided to stick with the blue ink but to think more about my letter formations, style and try and vary it up a bit, and also think about adding little things to the pictures like the keys and the little hearts made out of old envelopes. At the moment I am photographing my ink creations but it is frustrating me that the backgrounds are not pure white and slightly different on each one. This is something I need to work on going forward. I guess I should probably be a bit less lazy and try scanning them. Will see if I can improve that for next month. 

I have done another round up below of some of my favourite offerings from other people. Click on the image to link through to their profiles. Happy Wednesday!

This Month // February

These monthly posts are going to replace my 'currently' posts. It is still going to be about what I am up to and what is going on, I guess a little round up of the month. February has been a good month. We went through a busy spell at the end of January but February has been more chilled and refreshing. I have been working hard but have also made time to stop and have fun. 

1. I went down to 4 days a week at work. This has been an amazing experience and it is just a huge gift to have a whole day all to myself to work on my personal projects, the shop and this blog. I am trying to develop good habits and get into a good routine to make sure I make the most out of that day. 

2. I had a few busy days painting and making cards. I am still getting my wholesale catalogue up to date but am excited about sending it out in the next couple of weeks. Below you can see a couple of new ones which I have just put up in the shop.

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3. We spent a long weekend in Corfe Castle in Dorset with friends and family and it was just really lovely and refreshing. Walks outdoors and seeing the sea are always so good for me and I always find visiting new places and getting out of my normal routine inspiring and good for getting the creative juices flowing. 

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4. I have been reading these two books and loving them both. You can read my review on Manage your day-to-day here. 

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5. I have been working on a new website for the lovely folk at Bias Boutique. If you have not checked out this cute shop in Peckham you really should. Keep an eye out for the new website! Sally who runs the shop has amazing taste and every time I go in I discover new and interesting products. This is a shot I took in the shop a few weeks ago to go on the website - I never wear yellow but that yellow jumper that you can see popping out was amazing.

A weekend in Corfe Castle, Dorset

Sometimes I get so excited about travelling and exploring different countries that I think a lot of time I forget how amazing and beautiful the country I live in really is. I need to make an effort to explore it more and appreciate it more than I currently do. 

Last weekend we went to Corfe Castle in Dorset and it was just stunning. We stayed actually in Corfe Castle (not the actual castle but the village it is in which is also called Corfe Castle) in a really cute - what looked like a cottage from the outside, but inside was actually a massive house that slept 15 of us and had a huge garden. You could wander around pretty much the whole village in about 15 minutes and I loved it. We went to the local pub for drinks and dinner, we went to the village bakery for croissants and bacon rolls, we went to the sweet shop/newsagents for the paper, eavesdropping on the village gossip and just generally wandered around enjoying village life. I don't think I could do it all the time but there is something so lovely about life in a little village. 

On Saturday we got the steam train from Corfe Castle to Swanage for the day to see the sea and then on Sunday we did a quick tour of the Castle before heading to Arne nature reserve. Check out some of the pictures...I couldn't recommend visiting this beautiful part of the country more! 

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I took all of these photos using my iphone and edited them with the VSCO app. 

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Learning to Live with Less

 

I am not a minimalist. My natural state is that of a hoarder. I guess this is a bit of a generalisation but I think a lot of designers and creative's are. It seems that a lot of designers are 'collectors' by nature. I have a few collections - nothing I have been very committed to, some that I have inherited and some that I have started myself. 

Now I don't want to become a minimalist in the sense of living in an empty white box with only the bare essentials and with a very clean and empty aesthetic - but I do want to learn to be more of a minimalist than I am now, and to learn to be content with less, to buy quality rather than quantity and to be far more thoughtful and less compulsive with my purchases. 

It seems that more and more people are talking about simplifying their lives and being content with less and maybe it makes sense that people are really focusing on this now. For the last however many years our western culture has been all about consumerism, owning more, owning the latest thing and our lives have got cluttered, busy and its almost too much to handle. Owning lots of things actually requires work...finding places to store everything, organising your possessions so that you can find them and then don't even get me started on the cleaning involved! 

None of this is going to come naturally as a compulsive hoarder, collector type but change is good and I like a challenge, so I thought I would do some regular (ish) posts on the blog just documenting some of the things that I learn and try, in case any others are interested in doing the same! 

I am going start off by sharing a few blogs that I have found and have been reading that have given me a glimpse into the fact that simplifying your life really can be a beautiful thing. They have inspired me and made me want to change and have lots of tips and ideas, so get stuck in and have a read.

Reading my tea leaves - This blog is all about a little family who live in a pretty tiny apartment in New York and has lots of ideas for keeping things simple and living in a small space. Erin who runs this blog writes in a really lovely and natural way and her posts are always partnered with simple and beautiful photography.

The private life of a girl - Sophie did a whole series on managing your wardrobe using the five piece French wardrobe technique. I really enjoyed reading through her process, seeing what she purchased and reading her tips for making it work, this is definitely something I am interested in trying.

Into Mind - This blog was such a great find and is about all things minimalism and living a slower and simpler life. There are so many great posts and tips and it always helps when the website is beautiful, simple and well organised so it is easy to find info depending on what you are interested in. I found this site through the 30 day minimalism challenge. Maybe I need to give it a go!

The Minimalists - This website is all about living a meaningful life with less. So many interesting articles on this site, it is full of inspiration. I particularly like this quote in one of the articles I read recently: Imagine all the possibilities we will unveil as we shift from a culture of ownership – a culture obsessed with personally owning every object we can get our hands on – to a culture of access, in which every citizen has unlimited access to virtually everything virtually.

I would love to hear what you guys think - is think something you struggle with, are you trying to live with less? Is this a blog series that you will be interested in? Also if you have any other website or blogs that you think I would enjoy reading on this topic, please share them in the comments!

Hope you all have a great Wednesday! 

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Moodboard Monday

It has been a little while since I have done a black and white moodboard so I thought I would indulge my monochrome pinterest addiction and get myself inspired this Monday morning. Looking at these above reminds me how much I need to make time to just experiment with making marks and patterns. 

We just spent a lovely long weekend in Dorset so there will definitely be lots of colour later in the week.

Sources of all of the above clockwise from top: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Hope you all have a great Monday!

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Book Review - Manage your day to day (volume one)

I started reading this book a few weeks ago on the recommendation of a friend and while I was reading, it inspired me to write this post about getting my attention span back. Since it is all fresh in my mind I thought I would feature it for the book review this month. 

What I loved about this book was how it was broken up into small manageable chunks and also included writing from a whole variety of really talented and inspiring people. The short essays are grouped into 4 sections: building a rock-solid routine, finding focus in a distracted world, taming your tools and sharpening your creative mind. Each section has 4 short essays and then an interview. The good things about having a book laid out like this is that it is really easy to dip in and out of and it also doesn't take long to read the whole book. I have been reading it on the bus when commuting in the morning and it has been a really inspiring way to start the day. 

I think one of the reasons that I enjoyed this book so much is because it deals with the sort of stuff that I have been thinking about a lot recently: i.e. taming your tools, and ways to work better and more effectively. It has given me a lot to mull over and think about. It also has lots of really interesting and practical suggestions to change and improve the way you do things and deal with your time and resources. 

"Just as we watch our intake of caffeine or candy or alcohol lest we become addicted, we need to conciously develop a healthy relationship with our tools – or we will lose perspective and become slaves to them"

- James Victore – Manage Your Day-to-Day

There were just so many great quotes that I wanted to scribble down and remember, the above being one of them. It is the sort of book that I will want to re-read quite a few times to really digest the content. I can imagine having it with me and picking it up to read one essay for a bit of a boost and inspiration. 

I think I have probably been a bit gushing in this review but I really can't recommend this book enough. I think if you work in any sort of creative industry you should read this book, but even if you don't I think a lot of the issues and ideas it deals with would be relevant to everyone.

Next up on my reading list is this one, which is also part of the series. Can't wait to get stuck in if it is anywhere near as good as this one. 

Hope you all have a great Friday and weekend! Our weekend has started early and we are currently in Dorset exploring Corfe Castle. It always feels so good to explore somewhere new...especially when it is this beautiful!

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Whats up in the shop

As I mentioned on monday I have been trying to be a lot more consistent with what I have been posting on my blog, instagram and twitter and so far this year I have been managing to do it and I am loving it - but as a result my shop has been a little bit neglected. Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on re-photographing the products and trying to make things a bit cleaner and more consistent in the look (haha I think my word for this year is consistent - that seems to be what I am all about right now). I still have a way to go but below are a few of the updated product shots. 

I am working on new prints and cards which hopefully should be up on in the shop in the next few weeks and I am also putting together a new wholesale catalogue...so if you run/own a shop and you think my cards would be a good fit please feel free to get in touch and I would be happy to send you a copy when it is ready.