How I am dealing with jealousy on Instagram

I have had a few instances recently when the ugly green eyed monster has reared its head in the context of Instagram and other people that I follow. I wasn't really doing a great job at thinking about it in a good and healthy way - so I decided to take a minute to write a list of things I could do so I'm ready to nip it in the bud next time it happens. I thought I would share it here as I am sure I am not the only one who struggles with this some times. 

Take a break from the app
Sometimes just removing yourself from the situation that is making you jealous helps. Just stop scrolling and feeding the green eyed monster - take a break, go and read a book or cook some yummy food - make something with your hands or play with your kids. Just get away and do something that doesn't involve looking at your phone. Scrolling Instagram can seriously be addictive, and although on the whole I love the app - time away is important for my happiness and well-being. 

Make a list of all the good things in your life that you are grateful for
Sometimes when I watch other people’s stories and look at their pictures and see all the fun things they are up to (bringing on feelings jealous or FOMO), I forget that some people might look at my stories and pictures and feel the same. People get jealous about different things and maybe there are aspects of my life that other people wish they had. So what I try and do is mentally or physically make a list of all the really good things in my life that I am grateful for. When I take the time to do this I can actually come up with lots of things. I don’t do this, or share my life hoping to make others jealous, but making a list and reminding myself makes me feel so grateful for what I do have, and not take any of it for granted. 

Remind yourself that you are not seeing the full picture
I am so so quick to look at others people’s lives and just assume that they are perfect. No problems, no money worries, no arguments, no heath issues. Every person that I have thought that about and then got to know, has had plenty of things that they are struggling with and working through, that you would never know from the outside looking in. I keep trying to remind myself about this when looking at Instagram. Not at all in a ‘wishing bad things on people’ sort of way, but just in a real life way. My life isn’t perfect - I argue with my husband, get frustrated with my kid, worry about all sorts of things, have health problems, struggle with some of my relationships - seriously why do I forget that everyone else is the same. Their struggles might not be the same as mine, but they will definitely have them. Sometimes people do share them online, and it's a bit of a wake up call for me. Anyway, I am going to try and remember this, but also use it to spur me on to be kind and loving to everyone online and offline, because you never know what really difficult thing they might be tackling that day.

Do something positive and productive that moves you closer to your goal
When I start to compare and get jealous of other people’s businesses or how much further ahead they are than me, I find having a think about something that I can do that takes me a step closer to my goal helps me feel inspired and motivated for my journey, instead of fixating on theirs. It could be sending an email I am scared to send about collaborating with someone, or designing a new product for my shop, maybe sharing something I have been working on for Instagram - Or even just going back to basics and designing something new. There are so many small positive steps you can be taking to move forward even if you can’t always move as fast as you would like. 

Remember you have something to offer
Sometimes it can feel like there is just too much going on online and it feels like you have nothing to offer. I actually feel like this a lot of the time. So many people are already doing what I want to do and doing it so much better - why should I bother. BUT there is a place for me. There is space for everyone and it is just about finding your group of people, who enjoy what you do and want to know more about you. You always have some insight to offer that no one else can - well not quite in the same way anyway. It could be your personal experience, how you live your life, what you believe in, the work you create, how you create it. There are always people who are going to be interested in other people's lives. I think that is why Instagram is so popular. Instead of soap operas we now like to follow along with other peoples lives and journeys. I love it when people share stories about things that are personal to them, that they have learnt or experienced. I generally find people really interesting though and love learning about people who are totally different from me.  

Send someone you know who is having a tough time an encouraging note
Sometimes when you are feeling dissatisfied and wishing your life was different and maybe more like someone else's it can be pretty easy to spiral. One way of getting yourself out of that is to try and be outward looking. Think of someone you know who is going through a bit of a tough time, or is struggling - or if you can’t think of anyone just one of your friends online or offline who you can support and encourage in what they are doing. A random note from someone out of the blue telling you they are thinking of you and they think you are doing a great job and keep going can totally change someone's day, maybe even their week or month! I really think there is so much strength and power in supporting and encouraging each other. It is way better to be working together than competing with each other.

If it continues unfollow
Sometimes none of these things will help and the jealousy is just really getting you down. At this point I would say it's time to seriously consider unfollowing that person. Not because you don’t like them or want to be mean - but sometimes you just have to do it to protect yourself, for your own well-being and mental health. Another thing is that if it's someone’s Instagram stories that are bothering you, you can mute those without unfollowing the person. Even something as simple as that might make all the difference. 

Is this something you ever struggle with? If so what do you do to combat it? I would love to hear anymore ideas of things I could try. 

Tips for freelancing mums: Keeping expectations low

Over the last few months and even the last year, working out how to continue my graphic design work whilst being a mum has been a tricky challenge and quite a learning curve. I know there are lots of other mums out there who are running a business whilst raising kids and trying to get the balance right and are always doing the juggle. Frankly I am in awe of them all! I want to share a bit of my experience so far in case it's helpful to others in the same boat and so I am starting a little blog series called 'Tips for freelancing mums'. There will be five posts which I will publish once a month and I will share some of what I have learnt so far (pretty sure there is still so much to learn!).

So let's dive into the first post. As you can see from the title it is about keeping expectations low, and although that sounds negative I don’t think it is - it's one of the most helpful lessons I have learnt, and am still having to learn since becoming a mother. 

Pre having a baby I was in control of my days and how things panned out. Yes, someone or something might throw the odd curve ball into the mix which meant things didn’t go to plan, but usually I could plan out my days and they were fairly predictable. I knew how much time I had to get things done and I could make plans accordingly. When you have a baby it is a whole different story. When you wake up in the morning you have no idea how your day is going to pan out. Yes you can make plans to do things - but that doesn’t mean your little human is going to be on board with those plans. He/she might have other ideas. Also, just when you think you have got the hang of a routine he/she seems to have fallen into (this usually lasts for about 2 weeks) they have a growth spurt or something happens and it all changes again!

I guess napping is a big area that has been a struggle for me, since realistically that is the time when I get to work on my business. When he was younger and not moving around, if he was chilled and happy I could maybe get some stuff done while he was awake, but now that he is moving and so engaged with the world around him that is impossible. So yeah, nap times are a big deal to me. 

Reuben hasn’t always been a good napper, but I guess things change as they get older. When he was younger (maybe 4-7 months) he would only do half an hour naps which I found so frustrating, because it wasn’t really long enough to get your teeth into anything, by the time you have rushed round the house tidying things up, made yourself a drink, sat on the sofa for a few minutes to relax - that was it, the nap was over! So annoying. Every now and then he would do a longer hour nap or maybe even longer and that would be amazing, but could sometimes also be frustrating because I assumed it was going to be 30 minutes and so hadn’t necessarily planned to use my time very well or effectively. As he got older though he did start to do more regular, longer naps. For a couple of weeks (it was a dream!) he was doing two naps of an hour and a half each, everyday and I was able to get a lot done. Recently he has been in the process of dropping down to one nap and seems to be starting to do one longer nap in the middle of the day. 

What I have started to do is to break up my work into very small tasks. Things that can be done in 15-20 minute amounts of time. It is a different way of working for sure, but it means that if he wakes up after half an hour, hopefully I have crossed off one thing from my list and although it's frustrating it feels like I am moving forward. If he wakes up after 2 hours, well then I have enough time to get 4 things done on my list with a bit of time for tidying, snacking and instagram scrolling too. 

I have realised for me that the battle is a mental one - and this is why I called this post 'keeping expectations low'. On the days when I had a long list of things to get done, and I only managed to get one done - I would feel disheartened, frustrated, annoyed that I didn't have more time to spend on my business - instead of enjoying the precious time I was having with my baby. On the days that I had in my head just one small thing to get done (but a back up of other things to do if I found that I did have time) then I would feel more content. I moved forward with my business, I took a small step in the right direction - yes it wasn't moving forward at the speed I hoped but at least it was in the right direction. And sometimes it's just a case of letting go and living in the moment. I really wanted to make sure I enjoyed the time I had with Reuben as I knew it would go quickly and that I would never have this time with him again. I definitely didn't get this right all the time, but there were plenty of days with him asleep on me on the sofa where I did nothing but lie there and soak it all in. 

One last thing to say, please don't put too much pressure on yourself especially in the early days. In the early days I definitely aimed for a no pressure approached and just did bits of work on my shop here and there because I enjoyed it, and found it nice to have something non-baby related to think about. It was only when Reuben got to about 9 or 10 months that I started thinking about taking on clients again. 

I hope you have found this helpful. Everyone's experiences and journeys are different and I would love to know how you have found juggling motherhood and freelance, and if you have any questions or any topics that you would like me to cover in future posts just let me know!

SHOP OPEN

Just popping in briefly today to let you know that the shop is open again for all your greetings cards, prints and enamel pin needs (haha well maybe not all of them, lets not carried away now). 

I have lots of ideas up my sleeve for new products and a bit of a redesign of the shop and website, and I will slowly be working on those in every nap time available over the next couple of months, but I thought I might as well get the shop up and running and then I can add and change as I go along. 

If you sign up to my newsletter which is going out tomorrow there is a 25% discount code to spend in the shop - a big thank you for those of you who have signed up already and are following along and getting up to date news, discount codes and freebies etc.

I have really felt so blessed because of all the support of my small business this past year - it has started to grow in exciting ways and I have really enjoyed working on it. 

If you do want the discount that I mentioned above I have made it super easy and have inserted the sign up box below so that it is easy peasy! 

Have a lovely Tuesday!

May - Life Lately

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As we approach Reuben’s 10 month birthday and he has been out in the world longer than he was inside cooking, I feel like I am very tentatively coming out of the first baby fog and am slowly starting to think about work and how things are going to look like juggling motherhood and working. I tried to keep up a little bit of work since he was born. I only did things that didn’t involve a client or a deadline so that I didn’t feel any pressure and could work on things at my own pace (i.e. when R treated me with a good long nap). The perfect low pressure thing for me to keep going was my shop. If I managed to get a new product up that was great but if I didn’t no one would mind. Posting orders was totally manageable and a trip to the post office was a perfect outing for me and Reuben. I actually found doing a bit of work that connected me to my pre-baby self really helped me. Just having a little something creative to think about that wasn't baby related kept me sane in those first few months I think. 

Since we moved to Cardiff I had to hand in my notice at the job I was doing before R came along. I was so sad to say goodbye to my lovely colleagues and I am going to miss them so much, but I am excited that I am going to get a chance to do more freelance work. 

So I will be working on freelance work, my blog and shop 2 days a week (which will feel like such a luxury I imagine) and then I will look after R the rest of the time - squeezing a bit of work into the odd nap time I am sure. 

I am tentatively taking on a few small freelance design projects already - ones that I am confident that I can get done during evenings and weekends - but going forward I think there is going to be a bit of trial and error in terms of working out how much I can fit into my two freelance days. 

I will write another post soon with a bit more information about what sort of design services I will be offering and how we could work together. But until then if you have a project that you need a graphic designer for, feel free to get in touch and I can give you a quote and let you know my availability! 

Family Shoot with Siobhan Calder

A couple of weeks before we left London for Cardiff we decided to get some family photos taken by Siobhan and I can't tell you how happy I am that we did it. I think I had always been put off from doing it in the past because in my head It always felt like quite a lot of money to spend and I didn't feel like I could really justify it. Siobhan and I actually did a skills swap for this photoshoot so although no money changed hands - having now done the photoshoot I have definitely come around to thinking that it is worth the money! 

Since Reuben was born we have taken absolutely hundreds and probably thousands of photographs - but so many of them are quickly snapped on a phone and not great quality and also as one of us is usually taking the photo of the other with Reuben or Reuben on his own, there are actually not many photos of the three of us. 

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We decided to do the session in Battersea Park, as it is a park that has a lot of memories for us, from before Reuben was born, but also I spent a lot of time there with him last summer when he was a newborn. It was also where we went for our first outing with Reuben after we got home from the hospital. It is totally one of my favourite parks in London. We did the shoot at 10am on a Monday morning and the sun was shining so brightly! It was actually not great light for a photographer but Siobhan did such a great job. I really love the photos with the dappled light streaming in through the tree and bushes. 

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To be totally honest neither Neil or I are naturals in front of the camera and I don't really love having my photo taken but Siobhan did such a great job of chatting to us and making us feel totally at ease - she gave us some directions to get in certain positions or look a certain way, but mostly we just hung out and played with Reuben and she just snapped away. 

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A few weeks after the shoot Siobhan sent us about 80 images that she had edited and it was seriously so hard to choose which ones to share in this blog post. But I got there eventually. These are definitely some of my favourites and they just make me so happy looking at them. Memories of a wonderful morning, but also my two favourite humans who I love living life with.

This last photo is my absolute favourite. I just love the look on both of their faces but particularly love how Reuben is looking over the Thames. I feel like now we have left London these photos from one of our last weeks there are even more precious and as soon as we have a new house sorted I will be getting this one, and some of the others printed to go on our wall for sure.

If you have ever thought about getting someone to take photos of your family, I can't recommended it enough, and obviously I think Siobhan is awesome so if you are in London you should totally hire her! She has just launched her new website which showcases more of her work and you can see some of the other beautiful family shoots that she has done. Also, something that Siobhan is now offering which sounds amazing, are various mentoring packages. There are a few different packages which would be ideal if you need someone you to help and support you with your photography or creative business. You could also go on one of her wildness tonic photo walks which sound so much fun! I am just gutted she didn't start them before I left! Anyway, I will leave you to go and explore her site and all the cool things she is offering. 

Hope you all had a wonderful long weekend and enjoy the 4 day week! x

We are moving!

'We Have Moved' by Paul Davis

'We Have Moved' by Paul Davis

Well the title of this post gives a pretty big clue as to what our latest life news is. That is right - we are leaving London and moving to Cardiff! Writing those words and making plans to leave (we leave in just 4 weeks!) has turned me into a big ball of mixed emotions and I think I feel equal amounts of excitement and sadness. London has been so good to us. My husband and I met here, have built our lives here - we had our son here. We have been through so much together in this amazing city from first dates to bringing our newborn home from the hospital. It feels so hard to be leaving all that and not to mention all of the amazing friends we have made in our nearly 10 years of being here.  

Neither of us ever really imagined staying in London for ever...it never really seemed like a viable option for the very long term and although it has all happened sooner than I expected everything has slotted into place and it feels like the right time to jump ship from this big city. We are both city dwellers for sure, and I have never really dreamed of living in the countryside...but I am looking forward to living in a smaller city - one that takes less time to get around but where the countryside and the sea are much easier to access. 

I am also excited about what this means for my small business. London is an expensive city to live in and by moving to Cardiff there is more flexibility in terms of my job. So I won't be going back to a 9-5 job after finishing my maternity leave - instead I will be doing something that I have dreamed of for a while and going it alone as a freelance designer. I am excited and apprehensive but mainly just ready to get stuck in. I won't be doing the freelance thing full time but will be fitting it in around looking after Reuben and I am so glad that I will still be able to spend lots of time with him and hopefully be flexible with my work depending on what he needs. We will be near family who will be able to help out with childcare and NM has a new job which he is excited to get stuck into too. 

Leaving something is always hard. And if it wasn’t hard there would probably be something wrong. It reminds me that we have really invested in our relationships and friendships here and that has been an amazing thing, so it's natural to not want to leave that. But I am embracing the motto on a print I used to have in my shop - ‘Change is Exciting’. I am excited for lots of adventures ahead of us and new opportunities that weren’t possible while living in London. 

We leave in 4 weeks and we will start off living with my parents for a few months until we can find ourselves a house. I am spending all of my time on rightmove and pinterest right now! 

If you live in Cardiff and have any tips of places to hang out (it has been over 10 years since I lived there last!) or fancy being friends in real life instead of online friends just let me know! 

Hope you are all having a great week and there is some spring sunshine where you are today! 

Family photo album: Inkify

A couple of weeks ago I shared a little review of our wedding album from Artifact Uprising and I mentioned that I found a company that do lovely photo albums in the UK - so obviously I had to try them out. 

Let me introduce Inkifi. Inkifi do what appear to be rather beautiful cloth bound books but for this photo album I decided to go for a soft cover square book. For NM's christmas present I wanted to get a photo album of the first 5 months of Reubens life. I found the inkifi website easy to use and I really liked their page layouts. They were simple and clean and I felt like there were enough options for me without there being too many to be overwhelming. I like my albums to be simple - I want it to be just about the photos and don't want any text or other embellishments (there are other photobook places that you can find that do that though if that is more your thing and you want more of a scrap book feel). The only thing that bothered me about the website and this may just be me being silly so feel free to let me know if I am wrong - but I couldn't work out how to save the project. This meant that I had to be a bit more organised and basically do it all in one go. It wasn't all bad - I just had to make sure that I edited and chose the photos I wanted to use before starting. It was then quick and easy to load them up and arrange them on the pages. (I even managed to do it while looking after a baby so it must have been easy!). 

I used the website to create my book as I didn't have all of the photos on my phone - but they do have an app and I imagine that if you were getting the photos from your phone or instagram it would also be super easy and quick to put together. 

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The paper quality is really nice. It is a good thickness and is a matt paper so feels really good in your hands. I am definitely planning to get more albums printed with them and am excited to try out their cloth bound books. Also, I am so glad to find somewhere in the UK creating these sorts of photobooks! It is going to save me so much money on postage. 

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Let me know if you have used inkifi and what you think. I am excited about getting more photos printed and off my computer this year. 

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Inspired by Lieke van der Vorst

An illustrator based in Eindhoven,  Lieke van der Vorst has to be one of my all time favourite illustrators. I absolutely love all of her work and can get lost in her instagram and website getting inspired (and maybe feeling insanely jealous - but I try and keep that in check!) for so long.

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I really love the colour palettes she uses in her work and also the texture of her pen/pencil strokes. She has a really distinct style. I don't know why but I am always in awe of people who have a really clear style - maybe because I feel like I am never happy with mine or clear what mine is in my design work. I also like how she combines human and animal characters in her pieces - it adds an element of fun and whimsy to the situations depicted. I want to have tea and cake in a rowing boat with a friendly bear! 

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She also has a shop where she sell prints, originals, postcards etc. There are lots of goodies in there and now I will have to have to start saving! I need to have her artwork on my walls! 

Anyway I really hope you enjoy exploring her work some more and getting lost in the beautiful worlds that she creates. 

Have a lovely and inspiring week!

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Wedding photo album: Artifact Uprising

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I am a little bit embarrassed to say that I only got our wedding photos printed into an album just before Christmas. That is 3 and a half years after we got married! Whoops. I had started and tried to finish it lots of times but it just seemed like too big a task and life was always so busy I just kept putting it off. 

Anyway I want to share some pictures with you of how it turned out. After umming and ahhing about who to get it printed with I decided to go for Artifact Uprising. I had admired their albums for a while but had been put off because they were based in America and I figured the shipping would cost a lot. In then end I just decided to go for it - and it did end up being quite an expensive option, but when it arrived I was so pleased with my decision. This is going to be a book that I will treasure for ever so I am glad I spent the money.

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The quality of the book is really incredible.  The cloth hardboard cover is beautiful and I really loved the colour choices they had on offer. I actually decided to go for a nice grey as I wanted something subtle and not bright. The print and paper quality is also stunning (and trust me I am a print nerd so I really care about that sort of thing). There were different options in terms of the paper cover - and I decided to go for one that only partially covered the book because I really love the cloth binding and wanted that to be a visible feature of the book.

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I found the whole process of using the Artifact Uprising website really easy (it was the editing and choosing the photos that took all the time!). They had plenty of different page layouts to choose from and you could even customise them to a certain degree if you wanted something a bit different (I didn't really make use of that as I liked the really simple existing layouts but I know other places where you can get books printed are pretty limited on page layouts so I like that it was an option). 

Another good thing about the website is that you can save products and come back to them later so you don't have to complete the book in one sitting. This was vital for me because it took me so long and I kept changing my mind so it was nice to go back to it and not have to start from scratch again! 

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I think if you want to get one really special book printed I would definitely recommend Artifact Uprising. The only draw back is the fact that they are in the US and so it costs a lot. I recently found a good UK company doing photo books so I will be sharing a review of that in the next week or two! 

This year since having a baby, getting photos off my phone and camera is one of my goals! We have never been very good at having photos around the house of us or our family but that needs to change I think.

Hope you have a great week! 

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Let's make this year awesome

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I can’t really believe that it has been over 4 months since I last posted on my blog. I knew when I had a baby that I wouldn't be able to keep all the plates spinning, so the blog has been neglected in the second half of 2016, but I don’t really mind because I managed to keep my shop running, create new products AND do a craft fair since Reuben came along, and I am pretty proud of what I've managed to achieve. I have missed it though, so it's nice to be back even if it won't be as often.

I am not really into resolutions but when January rolls around I do like to take time to think about what I would like to achieve in the coming year. It gets me all excited and motivated which can only be a good thing. Quite often though things change and as the year goes by my priorities shift. I decided to look back at 2016’s goals and I didn’t really achieve that many of the things on my list, but actually it didn't bother me in the slightest - some of them seem silly to me now and I've realised that I've achieved other things that weren’t even on the list, so on reflection I am really happy with what I managed to get done (also let's be honest, when I made that list I had no idea what life with a baby would be like and what would be achievable).

So I thought it would be nice for my first post of 2017 to share with you what I'm dreaming of and working towards in 2017. There are some goals which I'm still mulling over and might be for 2018 rather than this year, but here are the main things I want to work towards. I am still looking after a baby full time so I'm fully aware that things might change, or not be possible but it's nice to have something to work towards because I definitely want to keep moving my business forward this year.

1. Wholesale - I have really enjoyed focusing a bit more on my shop, designing new products and also getting rid of some of the ones I didn't love so much anymore. I think the next step is wholesale. I have had a few more wholesale enquiries recently and I think it is something that I want to push forward with. My plan is to put together a wholesale catalogue in the first few months of the year to send out to people and see what happens. I am also toying with the idea of doing a trade fair this year or early next. I know it will be a lot of work and might not be feasible right now but I am going to work towards it. 

2. Keep growing my instagram following - I have been loving instagram even more recently as since being on maternity leave I have tried to be more intentional and strategic with it.  I am convinced it has been making a difference to my business, and I just love all the creative people that I have connected with on there. This won't sound amazingly impressive to most people but I managed to hit the 1k mark this year which had been an aim of mine, so in 2017 I would like to work towards hitting 3k followers. Saying that I don't want to get too bogged down with numbers and I want to keep enjoying it - but it helps me to stay motivated and inspired to have something to work towards.

3. My newsletter - it has been pretty sporadic of late but my subscriber list has been growing and so I want to do more behind the scenes, share more info and goodies for those subscribers in 2017. I have a template which I am happy with now so it is a case of carving out time to do it. With all of these things I think it's a case of coming up with realistic goals and so I am going to aim to be sending out a newsletter once a month. 

4. The blog - As I mentioned before my blog has been a bit neglected recently. It is not something that I make money from, but I really enjoy it and I would like to keep up with it as a way to share news and information about my business and what is inspiring me creatively. Again I think the key will be to come up with a realistic goal, so I am going to aim to do one blog post a week, and then if I manage any more that will be a bonus. 

5. Freelance work - I have had a total break from client work since R was born - which has been great and I know I wouldn't have been able to cope with the stress of deadlines with a newborn. I'm still not sure I am ready to start back up again but I would like to at some point this year (maybe when R's naps start getting a little bit more predictable and regular).

So there we go. My goals for 2017. I am totally expecting them to change over time but its nice to have them down in writing. I also have some personal goals, but there are pretty much the same as most years. Eat healthier, exercise more blah blah blah! ha

Anyway if you have your goals written out for this year would love to read them! Happy New Year and thank you so much for following along with my blog despite it being so sporadic of late! 

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The letterpress bookmark in the photo above was printed by the lovely Prickle Press.

Shop Update - New Print

Just a quick one today to let you know that there is a new print up in the shop. I have been meaning to add this to the shop for a while and it is finally up there

I have always loved traveling and the feelings that it inspires. There is something really amazing about changing your scenery, experiencing new things and exploring new cultures. I find it so inspiring and refreshing. Not everyone has the means or the opportunities to travel the world far and wide but I think you can experience the same sort of things even just from a day out in a new place near where you live. I think often it is the attitude that you approach it with that counts. 

I don't think we will be going on any travels any time soon with little Reuben on the scene (apart from visiting family) - but I am looking forward to exploring new places in my own city and also trying to see the familiar places with new eyes. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! 

Dealing with disappointment

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Sometimes things in life just don't go as we hoped and planned. I experienced that feeling recently during the end of my pregnancy. I felt let down by my body and disappointed that the birth I had imagined and hoped for didn't happen (everyone did warn me that it wouldn't go how I had planned but I was still disappointed). 

In the grand scheme of things my disappointment has not been too hard to handle. I have got a beautiful and healthy son and that has sort of erased any of the other negative feelings – but at the time before he was born and during the birth it felt very hard and very real. I have been pretty blessed in life and yes I have definitely had to deal with disappointment and heartache in the past but nothing that I haven't managed to get over and move on from. 

Anyway, this experience leading up to the birth got me thinking about disappointment and how we deal with it and move on from it so that it doesn't consume us. I thought I would share some of my thoughts here. 

Expect disappointment
I don't mean to be all doom and gloom and expect the worst but I think it does help to expect disappointment and remember that life isn't always going to be perfect or go the way we planned. I think if you are expecting that sometimes things won't go the way you want, then you won't be so shocked or knocked when that does happen. 

Be thankful
Something that really helps me when I am in the midst of disappointment is to look at other areas of my life and make lists of all the things I am thankful for. There is usually so so much and it often puts the hard things into perspective. It is so encouraging when you can see the good things and be grateful for them. I think making lists of things you are thankful for regularly is a good habit to get into whatever you have got going on in life. (I really love these posts Laura does - they always remind me to be thankful for the small things in life that I take for granted).

Focus on others
When I am in a funk and feeling decidedly sorry for myself I find it really helps me to focus on other people. You can always find someone who is suffering through something worse than you - which doesn't mean your suffering is not real and valid - but sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. If you focus on encouraging and supporting others it often makes you (and them) feel better and stops you from getting lost in your struggles and what you are going through.  

Move on
Sometimes healing just takes time and I think making a decision to move on and focus on the present and the future rather than past disappointments can really do the world of good.  Focus on the things that you can control and put aside the things that you can't control. 

Although your disappointments may be a lot worse and totally different from mine, I hope that these thoughts will help you start processing them and moving on from them. Sometimes just acknowledging and telling someone how you feel is the first step to healing and working through things. I am a big believer in the healing powers of verbal processing and sharing your burdens with others. How amazing to live in a time and place with such an amazing an supportive online community as well. I have seen so much kindness and support among people I know online recently that it has really made me realise what a special place the internet can be. 

Anyway I hope you all have a good day and an inspiring week! 

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Shop Update: Enamel Pins

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I am so excited to let you know these enamel pins are now up in the shop. 'Winging it' pretty much feels like my life motto right now what with learning how to take care of a little baby - and I always feel encouraged when I remind myself that everyone else is usually winging it too! SO wear this badge with pride and let the world know - you have no idea what you are doing and you are just WINGING IT one day at a time - we are all in this together. 

As I mentioned you can get these pins from my online shop on this website and also from my etsy shop. They are currently available for pre-order at a special discounted price of £5 (postage is £1 within the UK) and will be shipped out on 15th August. On 12th August the price will go up to £7 - so get in there quick if you want one at the discounted price. You have a week to get your order in! The pins are 25mm wide and are black and gold. They will be pinned on a backing board and mailed out in a small padded envelope to keep them safe and protected. 

I would love to hear what you think of these pins. I am so excited to be expanding my product range and I would love to add more pins soon as I already have lots more ideas.

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Hope you all have a great pintastic weekend! 

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Our new arrival!

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Hello! I am so happy today to be able to pop in and share with you the exciting news of the new addition to our family. He took his sweet time arriving but last week we were joined by Reuben James Mosley. Obviously I am biased but I think he is the cutest thing I have ever seen! 

Nothing of his arrival went as I hope or planned for (I think that is pretty common though) but what a relief to finally have him with us, and I am just so grateful that he is healthy and safe in our arms now. 

We are enjoying the newborn days snuggling and getting to know him. So far he is doing great. After a week in hospital and him being being prodded and poked and basically treated like a pin cushion we are all home now and he is thriving. He is sleeping and feeding well and seems a pretty chilled baby so far. Saying that, it is easy to be anxious a lot of the time as a new parent when you can't work out what he wants or he won't go down to sleep etc. I am trying to be relaxed though and trust my mothers instincts where ever possible. 

I have a few posts scheduled for the next few weeks but forgive me if it's a bit quiet around here. I am looking forward, as the weeks progress, to start working out how I will juggle a new baby, blog and my small business. I will share it on here as I work things out! I am sure there will be a lot of trial and error for a while. I also have some exciting new products that I will be adding to the shop soon too so keep your eyes peeled! 

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Insta Faves (part 7)

It's been a while since I have done an insta faves round up (and we all know I love doing them since I am on part 7!!). I try not to get too fixated about numbers on instagram but I would love to make it to 1K followers in the next month or so and I have been trying to be better at posting regularly and being more present there. It is my favourite platform and I find it so inspiring. 

Anyway, in my travels on there here are some of the people I have found and love following at the moment - I have tried to keep them all stationery inspiration this time because there is nothing like snail mail and paper treats to make me happy!


@unpeusauvage - Delicate envelopes, stickers and notebooks and frankly life looks beautiful in the instagram feed of this italian knitter and stationery maker. 

@unpeusauvage - Delicate envelopes, stickers and notebooks and frankly life looks beautiful in the instagram feed of this italian knitter and stationery maker. 

@robertandstella - Stationery and flowers beautifully photographed. SO much inspiring goodness here! 

@robertandstella - Stationery and flowers beautifully photographed. SO much inspiring goodness here! 


@oonajuliar - This account is a combo of nature and paper and the style of photography is stunning.

@oonajuliar - This account is a combo of nature and paper and the style of photography is stunning.

@mrstudiolondon - pressed flowers but like you have never seen them before! Beautiful cards for all the nature lovers. 

@mrstudiolondon - pressed flowers but like you have never seen them before! Beautiful cards for all the nature lovers. 


@lucy_mail - Lucy's account makes me want to send snail mail! Lots of beautifully painted and decorated envelopes!

@lucy_mail - Lucy's account makes me want to send snail mail! Lots of beautifully painted and decorated envelopes!

@tinasosna - dreamy photography and a shop full of lovely envelopes that would make your post the most beautiful! 

@tinasosna - dreamy photography and a shop full of lovely envelopes that would make your post the most beautiful! 


@modernbotanics - I have been a fan of Mirta's work for ages. Absolutely stunning products created with lino cuts. 

@modernbotanics - I have been a fan of Mirta's work for ages. Absolutely stunning products created with lino cuts. 

@helloimemilie - Beautiful plant inspired line drawings. Pretty prints and temporary tattoos to make your love for paper grow.

@helloimemilie - Beautiful plant inspired line drawings. Pretty prints and temporary tattoos to make your love for paper grow.


I hope you enjoy checking out these different accounts and maybe find some new ones that you had not discovered before! You can check out my past insta faves one, two, three, four, five and six. Have a lovely creative week! 

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The nursery

This lamp shade makes me so happy - it catches my eye every time I pass by the room. It is from Lisa Jones Studio. 

This lamp shade makes me so happy - it catches my eye every time I pass by the room. It is from Lisa Jones Studio

We are very very blessed with our living situation in London because we live in a small 3 bedroom house just for the two of us. Frankly, having 3 bedrooms in London is pretty much a luxury whatever size they are and we try really hard not to ever take it for granted. 

Over the last few months we have been doing lots of re-arranging and sorting (and getting rid of stuff) and have turned the smallest box room into a little nursery for the baby. We haven't gone over the top and it doesn't look like one of these nurseries that you would see on pinterest, but it is functional and cosy and we enjoyed picking out a few pieces to decorate it and make it feel homely and cosy for the little guy. 

Since being pregnant I have discovered so many incredible small businesses selling amazing things for babies (and some of the things we got were not for a nursery specifically). I wanted to try and support some of those small businesses - because I know how important that is as small business owner myself. I have also included some things from creatives that we already owned. 

We decided to paint the walls a light grey and keep things pretty simple and neutral. Here are a few photos sharing some of the little details that we have put together. Some of the toys are things we have inherited or that have been made for us and I have even made some of the toys myself! 

This mobile was made by my amazingly talented and lovely colleagues at work. They spent months working on it and I absolutely love it. All of the little animals are made from felt and every single one is different and has its own little personality! At the moment I have hung them on the wall but when the baby is in a crib each strand has a ring on the top so that I can thread them onto a mobile! 

This mobile was made by my amazingly talented and lovely colleagues at work. They spent months working on it and I absolutely love it. All of the little animals are made from felt and every single one is different and has its own little personality! At the moment I have hung them on the wall but when the baby is in a crib each strand has a ring on the top so that I can thread them onto a mobile! 

I have loved this print from Sarah Abbott for ages and NM loved it too so we didn't hesitate to get one for the nursery. 

I have loved this print from Sarah Abbott for ages and NM loved it too so we didn't hesitate to get one for the nursery. 

In this room there is a weird sort of solid block that covers the stairs - which was always a strange feature in the room, but now it is making the perfect changing station. We decided to get a waterproof tablecloth from the local fabric shop and then just make sure everything was handy and in easy reach.

In this room there is a weird sort of solid block that covers the stairs - which was always a strange feature in the room, but now it is making the perfect changing station. We decided to get a waterproof tablecloth from the local fabric shop and then just make sure everything was handy and in easy reach.

I love this print from Kate Alizadeh (she is a super talented illustrated based in Cardiff). It wasn't in her shop but I think I saw it on her instagram and emailed her asking if she could do me a print and she obliged. 

I love this print from Kate Alizadeh (she is a super talented illustrated based in Cardiff). It wasn't in her shop but I think I saw it on her instagram and emailed her asking if she could do me a print and she obliged. 

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I recently started sewing more and attempted to make this bunny rabbit. You can find the pattern I used here on Purl Soho (amazing website!). It is pretty wonky and badly made but am hoping that adds to its charm and that the little guy will like it. I made another one for my Godson too. I really enjoyed making them and would like to experiment with making more toys. 

I recently started sewing more and attempted to make this bunny rabbit. You can find the pattern I used here on Purl Soho (amazing website!). It is pretty wonky and badly made but am hoping that adds to its charm and that the little guy will like it. I made another one for my Godson too. I really enjoyed making them and would like to experiment with making more toys. 

This wall hanging was a gift from a friend a while ago from Sass and Belle and fitted in nicely on one of the walls. 

This wall hanging was a gift from a friend a while ago from Sass and Belle and fitted in nicely on one of the walls. 

The print on the left is by Laura Redburn - Its not for sale in her shop but I saw it on her blog and she kindly made it into a print for me a while ago. The print on the right is one of mine and is available in my shop. You can choose between grey and green because its double sided.

The print on the left is by Laura Redburn - Its not for sale in her shop but I saw it on her blog and she kindly made it into a print for me a while ago. The print on the right is one of mine and is available in my shop. You can choose between grey and green because its double sided.

These two little guys were knitted by my mother-in-law and i LOVE them. She has serious knitting skills so I am pretty sure this little guy will never be short of knitted toys or clothes.

These two little guys were knitted by my mother-in-law and i LOVE them. She has serious knitting skills so I am pretty sure this little guy will never be short of knitted toys or clothes.

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I also made these little ABC cube rattles. I was inspired by some that Artemis of Junkaholique made - and I just sort of made it up as I went along but I think there are loads of tutorials for similar things online. 

I also made these little ABC cube rattles. I was inspired by some that Artemis of Junkaholique made - and I just sort of made it up as I went along but I think there are loads of tutorials for similar things online. 

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of our nursery. I am sure it will change over time as the baby grows and has different needs but I am really pleased with this as a start. I want to share some pictures of the new studio space too at some point so keep an eye out for those. 

Have a lovely weekend! 

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Illustrated Maps

Recently on pinterest I have been noticing and pinning lots of beautiful illustrated maps. I just love the creative ways that people represent different places. Obviously these are not the sort of maps that you would use to actually get around but they are a great way to see that place from different peoples perspectives - and you can usually get some great ideas of places to visit from creative types.

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London Map - Livi Gosling

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Sheffield Hallam University Map - Sarah Abbott

Amsterdam Map - Rifle Paper

I have dabbled with drawing a few maps in my time as a graphic designer but they are usually more practical rather than illustrative and I would love to have a go and create some fun hand lettered maps at some point. I will add it to my long list of things to work on - but in the meantime I hope you enjoyed checking out the maps by all of the amazing illustrators above! 

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Kew Gardens

Liz Mosley Kew Gardens

So one of my best birthday gifts ever was a membership to Kew Gardens this year. I have been a couple of times already and I just love it. It is such a beautiful place to wander around and explore and it is kind of amazing that you're still in London, only 30 minutes away from home, but feel like you are anywhere but a big city. I am so excited to spend the weekends taking the baby for walks around these stunning gardens and discovering new bits that I haven't explored yet. I am also looking forward to experiencing it during all the different seasons. 

These are just a couple of photos from one of my recent visits. I didn't take loads but I am hoping to take my camera and use these days out as opportunities to get creative and improve my photography. 

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Liz Mosley Kew Gardens
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Liz Mosley Kew Gardens

Have you ever been to Kew Gardens? Which were your favourite bits? I feel so blessed to have such a beautiful place to spend time at, that's so nearby.

Hope you have a lovely weekend! 

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Book Review: In Progress by Jessica Hisch

I have been a fan of Jessica Hische's work for a quite a while now, and have enjoyed listening to talks that she has given and exploring her website. I find her a really interesting person and she seems like she has a really good sense of humour (I seriously just want to be her best friend! ha). Anyway, when I discovered that she had brought out a book all about her process and a sort of behind the scenes of how she works I just couldn't help myself, I had to get a copy. 

The book itself has the feel of a coffee table book. The cover is very nice and thick and there are beautiful typographic end papers (see the photo below). It is a thick book and is the sort of book that you could just flick through and look at the images and feel inspired but there is also a lot of meat to it and plenty to sit down and read and get really stuck into. It took me a while but I finally got my act together and found time to read it cover to cover and it did not disappoint. 

The book is layed out really well. It starts off with a bit about Jessica's career history and the path that she took to get to where she is. I really like her writting style because it's quite friendly and chatty and you almost feel like it is a conversation. She then goes onto to share a lot of information about her process, all of the tools she uses and how she goes about working on a project. I thought this section was very generous. I always think it is so kind when artists and designers share a lot about their process because it is really helpful. Usually there has been a lot of trial and error and research for them to come up with their ultimate tool list, and their process always comes from years of learning from mistakes. 

The book then goes on to share a lot of Jessica's work. A lot of it was work that I had seen before online but what I loved was being able to see the sketches behind the final pieces and see the process that she had talked about earlier in practice. She has also written little bits about each project which are often really interesting just because of who the clients were and again she is very generous in sharing lessons that she learnt through the process of that particular project. 

I have to say, I think this is one of my favourite design books. I have to confess that often I buy books like this and flick through and look at the images and don't get around to actually reading them, but I am so glad that I took the time to read through this book. The length was ideal - it didn't take me too long to read but I really felt like I was getting a lot of quality information and behind the scenes insight into the work of one of my favourite creatives. It also helped me think through and evaluate my process and toolbox and how I can improve the way I use them and which tools are worth investing in. 

Anyway, if you haven't seen or read this book already I would 100% recommend you add it to your list. Enjoy looking at all the beautiful lettering and images but make sure you read it too! 

Hope you are having inspiring weeks so far!

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Inspired by: David Shrigley

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A few weeks ago we went to Sketch London for afternoon tea for my birthday. It has been on my list of places to visit for the longest time as I had seen so many beautiful pictures of it online. It was totally worth it and the afternoon tea was delicious - another cool thing about the place though is that the walls in the gallery room are filled with drawings by artist David Shrigley

I have been a long time fan of Shrigley's work. I think what I love about it is the simplicity in his drawings but also the humour. That guy is seriously funny. I remember going to an exhibition of his a few years ago and walking around laughing out loud for most of it. It was so fun. 

Anyway, I love seeing his work and being inspired by it so I thought I would share a few of my favourites on the blog today. Enjoy! 

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Hope you all have a lovely creative weekend!

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