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29 April 2016

What's on the jukebox, Jo?



This week has been non stop with lots of lovely shop orders, including my new Hand Pressed Flower Pendants! Thanks for the orders you lovely lot!

And this weekend will be non stop packing as I continue to tackle my studio ahead of my house move. This packing malarkey even inspired me to squeeze in a blog post on how best to pack up your craft room when moving house. Have a read of it here.

The jukebox has been cranking out tunes too, helping me to cope with the fact that my house is fast becoming one big cardboard box, ha ha! And top of the playlist has been this little collection - a little blast from the past I think you'll agree! Pop them on, have a dance and enjoy your bank holiday weekend!

Space Shanty - Leftfield
Grassman - Dodgy
Senses Working Over Time - XTC
Step On - Happy Mondays
Movin' On Up - Primal Scream
Travelling Light - Tindersticks


28 April 2016

Craft and sewing shops in Bristol



Over on the Simple Stylish Makes blog I'm sharing some fab craft and sewing shops to check out in Bristol. Head on over to find out more and don't forget to share your makes with all of us at the Simple Stylish Makes team using the hashtag #simplestylishmakers. We LOVE to see what you've been creating!

Want more inspiration? Check out my Haberdashery and Sewing Pinterest too!

Happy crafting!

26 April 2016

How to move your craft room


Moving house can be stressful. Moving a craft room/studio/supplies even more so! And being of the creative variety you never throw anything away because hey, those loo rolls are going to come in handy for your next great craft project, right? Hmm, you might want to see my sort and declutter tip below ;-)

However much craft stuff you have, and as someone who is currently packing to move house, it needn't be that stressful if you're crafty about it, ha ha! So, here are my top tips on how to move your craft room with ease.


Prepare and plan

If you know the date you're moving, get your diary/planner out (you've got several, right?!) and plan what days/nights/weekends you are going to pack. Be realistic and give yourself ample time because it always takes longer than you think. Remember to also put one whole day aside for sorting and decluttering (see below).

Get supplies in

If you haven't already got them stored away, get plenty of boxes, bubble wrap, parcel tape, a pair of scissors, labels, a notebook (see below) and your favourite pen because you're going to need them. Also, buy or borrow a load of supermarket bags for life. They are amazing for shifting books and odd shaped craft tools in. They're super sturdy and because they have handles, they're really easy to carry into the van!

Sort and declutter

Before you even start packing, spend a whole day going through all your craft supplies. Do you really need ten pairs of scissors? Have you even coloured that colouring book in yet? Be honest with yourself and put a pile of stuff together that you don't want/need/are never going to use. 

When you've collected these items up, you could either donate them to a charity shop, ask your fellow crafty friends if they would like them or you could run a flash sale on Instagram if you've got tonnes of really good, unused craft stuff. See Claireabellemakes' brilliant blog post on how to organise a successful Instagram sale!

Get clever with space

Don't just chuck everything into a box, be clever by putting all those miscellaneous odds and sods into that box you plan to d├ęcoupage, iron and fold fabric and put those sewing and knitting patterns into an A4 folder. It saves on space in those boxes and makes unpacking a lot easier.

Be organised as you pack

Have your notebook, pen and labels at the ready! As you pack use those labels to number your boxes. In your notebook write down the box number and what is in it. When you've moved and you're trying to find that Modge Podge gloss, you'll know exactly which box you put it in.

Lack of time? Get an extra pair of hands

If you only have one weekend in which to realistically pack everything, then ask for help. Your family and best mates (especially those of the crafty variety!) will be more than happy to help as you can return the favour at a later date. And it needn't be completely boring! Pop some tunes on, get some biscuits in to have on your tea break and a pizza to gorge on when you've finished. You'll get it done in no time with two pairs of hands!

Happy packing!

25 April 2016

How to get your creative mojo back

how to get your creative mojo back
You've set aside half a day to paint/draw/knit/sew/photograph/craft/create/make/bake/write....great! You're looking forward to it and you even get up extra early to start and pop your favourite stripey socks on.

You sit down at your desk/table/comfy chair with a cuppa and tools in hand, then disaster strikes. You've lost your creative mojo. Nothing, nada. Your brain is devoid of all creative ideas, thoughts and inspirations. You're devastated.

Ok, so everyone gets these moments. It's not as uncommon as you think but thankfully there are solutions to help get your creative mojo back with these ten tips.

1. Go outside and get some fresh air and exercise

You don't need to go far, even just a few laps around the block but 15 minutes of walking and fresh air will help get those endorphins going. You'll be refreshed, in a happier mood and ready to start.

2. Location

Head to a different room in the house, the garden if it's warm enough or to your local library/park/coffee shop. Sometimes looking at those familiar four walls will stifle your creativity and all you need is a fresh view.

3. Just start

A well known trick for figuring out your opening line when writing a book/letter/blog post/poem/short story is to simply start. You may end up writing a rubbish opening line but you can always go back and edit this when you've got into the flow of writing. This technique applies to every creative medium and sometimes that's enough to get your creative juices flowing.

4. Try something new

Instead of doing what you do best, why not try something completely new. For example, if you draw, why not give cooking a go or if you knit, try drawing instead. It will give your brain a bit of exercise.

5. Books, blogs and classes

On the topic of mental exercise, go and find an inspiring blog to read or even pick up those coffee book tables you have lying around and actually look at them. Alternatively, expand your creative knowledge by signing up to a class. It could even be a one day course, just enough to give you a much need creative push.

6. Rest, relaxation and regular sleep

Are you getting enough rest, relaxation and regular sleep? This is so important for numerous reasons, one of them being that it gives your body and brain time to rejuvenate. So, give yourself an hour to unwind before bed. Switch your mobile and tablet/computer off. Have a bath, get into your pjs, make a camomile tea/cocoa/milk and honey and head to bed with a good book. Do this every night at the same time and set an alarm clock to get up at a regular time too. I know it sounds a bit boring but trust me, your body will get into a much better routine of relaxation and sleep. You will sleep better and have way more energy the next day.

7. Eat well and cut out the booze

Eating healthy food and cutting down on sugar, salt. caffeine and booze will give you lots more energy. Try not to eat a massive meal or have caffeine or booze just before going to bed, otherwise you'll have a rather disrupted sleep and feel low on energy the next day.

8. Socialise

A catch up and good laugh with your friends is just the tonic to get your creative mojo back. 

9. Go somewhere new

Take a day trip to a place you've never been before to spark that imagination. It could be a trip to a local museum, a day trip to a city, a bit of rambling in the countryside or a weekend away. Whatever it is, a change of scene is good for the soul and will get those creative ideas flowing.

10. Deal with stress

If you can't concentrate because something is stressing you out, deal with it as much as you possibly can. Write down what it is that is bothering you, chat it through with family and friends and look at solutions to tackle it. Sometimes all you need to do is breath, take some time out to relax and mostly, be kind to yourself. Tackling stress is like taking a mental road block out the way, so that your creative mojo can come flooding back.

I hope this is helpful to any of you struggling to get your creative mojo back. Do you have any other ideas for getting your creative hat back on? I'd love to hear them, so please do share in the comment field below. Thanks and happy creating!

22 April 2016

What's on the jukebox, Jo?



What a week for creative geniuses taking their leave :-( Two incredible, unique and multi-talented icons who will be greatly missed.

When I was younger (and prone to putting on plays, shows and dances to anyone that would watch. My poor parents, ha ha!) I wanted to act and perform like Victoria Wood. I even did my Theatre Studies A-Level monologue exam performance in the style of Victoria!! She was such a funny, brilliant person that it's impossible to pick a favourite performance of hers because there are so many insanely funny ones to choose from. But two that always spring to mind when I think of her and which leave me in hysterics without fail are, The Pam Song and Lets Do It. So, if you're not already familiar with them (or even if you are), have a listen, a laugh and sing along.

And Prince? Where to begin? What an amazingly talented guy. Since hearing about his death, I've realised how little I truly know about him, so this weekend, I'm going to tune into Radio 6's Purple Reign - The Story of Prince to hear his story. I'm also going to pop these two classics on When doves cry and Kiss and have a think about my own creative journey and where I want to go with it next.



21 April 2016

Gardening Corner - Spring Flowers


spring flowers


Over on the Simple Stylish Makes blog I'm sharing some lovely flowers you can grow now. Pop on over to grab some ideas and get gardening this weekend. And don't forget to share your beautiful flowers with all of us at the Simple Stylish Makes team using the hashtag #simplestylishmakers

Happy gardening!


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