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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 découpage, 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!


19 April 2016

New in the shop - Flower Pendants

pressed flower pendants


I'm super excited to be sharing these brand new designs with you! Hand pressed flower pendants, available in four flowers:

Delphinium: big-heartedness, fun, lightness and levity 
Daisy: innocence, purity and loyal love
Daffodil: regard, chivalry, rebirth, new beginnings and eternal life
Chrysanthemum: fidelity, optimism, joy and long life 

Framed in an adorable glass and copper square pendant, with 18" chain they look lovely teamed up with a pretty white shirt, stripey top or denim dress.

They come wrapped in an Adventures & Tea Parties branded box, which also includes a cute little card describing the meaning behind the flower. 

Pop on over to my Etsy shop for a look and remember you can get 10% off with the coupon code: SPRING16 until the end of April.

Happy spring time everyone!


.....

These beautiful photos were taken by the super talented Sophie of Onetenzeroseven

16 April 2016

Making Home Link Up #26: Gardening Jobs For April





As part of Mrs Crafty B's Making Home Link Up, I'm sharing some top tips to get your garden ship-shape for the Summer! Pop those gardening gloves on and get going!

Mrs Crafty B's Link Up is a great way to share your own posts all about home; moving house, home decor, DIY, crafts, family activities, recipes, gardening and more. All you need to do is:

- Place the #MakingHome badge to the bottom of the post you are sharing (or in your sidebar), which you can grab over here (get in touch with Mrs Craft B if you have trouble). This helps to direct readers to all participants in the link up.

- Add your link via the blue button at the bottom of this post. Just click 'Add Your Link' and follow the instructions. Your post can be recent or past and you can link up more than once; please just remember to use the badge. You can link up from Friday until Tuesday.

- Visit some or all of the others who are linking up for inspiration and maybe offer up a comment or two so that we are all feeling the #MakingHome love. Don't forget to include the hashtag so they know where you are visiting from. 

- Be sure to tweet @MrsCraftyB using #MakingHome once you have linked up so that I can #RT.

Find Mrs Crafty B on Pinterest to be added to the #MakingHome board. You can pin your posts there too!

Sign up to receive a reminder when #MakingHome goes live.








15 April 2016

What's on the jukebox, Jo?


Wowza, what a week! On Monday I handed my notice in on my part time job. So, in less than a month I will be following my own little rainbow dream, moving to the south-west and going full time on my business. Nervous, excited and happy!

With this excited start, the rest of the week followed with business as usual and non-stop shop orders. Lots of lovely personalised handkerchief requests came in for second wedding anniversary, cotton themed gifts. I love seeing the types of orders that come in, especially when there's a clear theme to them.

Keeping me going through the week as usual has been music. I don't know how I'd cope without it! And, like my shop orders, there has been a clear, exciteable theme to the songs I've been playing on repeat. Pop them on, have a listen, have a dance and have a cheer for the weekend is here! (I'm a poet, don't you know it!) Happy Friday!

Main Hoon Jhoom Jhoom Jhumroo by Kishore Kumar
Rice Pudding by Jeff Beck
Düsseldorf by Teleman
Video Babe by Alan Vega
Country Girl by Primal Scream

14 April 2016

Spring Colours - Limpet Shell


limpet shell


One of the colours that is on trend this spring is, Limpet Shell. It's a gorgeous colour, conjuring up images of the seaside.

Over on the Simple Stylish Makes blog I'm sharing some ways you can have fun with this colour! Pop on over to grab some ideas and don't forget to share your makes using the hashtag #simplestylishmakers


12 April 2016

New in the shop - Spring Yellow and Pink

Inspired by beautiful spring colours, these designs are now available in both my NOTHS and Etsy shops. And for all you lovely lot, you can get 10% off in my Etsy shop using the coupon code: SPRING16. This is valid until the end of April.

Happy spring everyone!


Arrows and Spots Double Sided Hanky - this can be personalised too!

double sided hanky



Spring Handkerchief Set

hanky gift set



Personalised Spring Handkerchief, available in 6 colours!

personalised hankies



Spring Hanky Set

hanky gift set





11 April 2016

Going on an adventure: how to explore the great outdoors

explore the great outdoors

We have so many beautiful places in the United Kingdom from stunning coasts and shore lines, to magical woods and lush green fields, to trickling streams and brooks to breathtaking hills, mountains and lakes. So, in celebration of all that the UK has to offer today we're getting those walking boots on and looking at how best to explore the great outdoors starting with what to wear.

What to wear
This does depend on the weather but even on a warm day, those coasts lines and hill tops can be pretty cool, so remember to take layers with you. Other things to wear include:

Decent footwear that supports your feet and comfy socks too.
Waterproof jacket (possibly waterproof trousers too, which can easily roll up in your rucksack).
Warm jumper and several layers
Comfy trousers
Hat (I like to take a sturdy sun hat in the summer but keep a wooly hat in my rucksack just in case the weather changes).

What to take with you
Waterproof rucksack
Suncream
Decent blister plasters
Any medication that you're currently taking
Fully charged mobile phone
Small digital camera
Binoculars (if you're a bit of twitcher!)
Water 
Snacks or lunch

Where to go
Well, this is completely up to you but my top tip before deciding is to check the weather forecast first. If it's looking like it's going to be a glorious sunny day, then heading to the coast would be perfect. You could even take your swimming costume and finish your walk with a dip in the sea!

Other things to consider are going somewhere you haven't been before or that place you keep saying you must visit. Well, go visit, there's no time like the present. If you're more of a mountain person, find one you haven't climbed yet. If you like a bit of everything you could start at a National Trust house and walk around the fields, hills and steams that surround it before exploring the house itself. A great website for a bit of inspiration is This Is Your Kingdom, which has loads of wonderful suggestions. 

Remember to factor in food. Are you going to take a pack lunch and a flask of tea or head to the local pub afterwards? Remember to check out some good local pubs before you go to ensure they serve food and, more importantly, are open. Some pubs are so popular you have to book a table first, so do your research.

I hope this helps get your walking boots on and exploring the outdoors. Happy adventuring!

8 April 2016

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

The week kick started with a fab custom order request from a lovely customer. The brief: embroider on to a handkerchief a personalised logo being used for an upcoming wedding. 





As soon as I saw the logo, I was super excited! Fueled with tea and Ice Cream by Battles on repeat I set about testing the design. I manipulated the logo size in order to get it to fit nicely in the corner of a handkerchief and then found the perfect blue embroidery floss to start stitching with.


hanky embroidery

When I was happy with how it came out, I sent a photo off and was over-the-moon when the customer promptly ordered three! I immediately put Aisha by Death in Vegas on and did a little dance around my studio to celebrate! 

If you'd like your very own design or even your brand logo embroidered on to one of my handmade cotton handkerchiefs, get in touch! As you can see, I love a custom request :-)

personalised logo on handkerchief

As well as dancing around the studio, my second newsletter went out this week, which included a competition to win one of my new Double Sided Personalised Hankies. If you didn't have a chance to enter, simply sign up to my newsletter here. As soon as you've signed up, head over to the newsletter and follow the instructions for entering. The winner will be announced in my next newsletter, so stay tuned and good luck!

double sided hankies

Lots more of my designs arrived in my online shops this week, including this London Print Hanky and this Bikes, Stripes and Spots Hanky Set 


hanky gift set

When I wasn't embroidering personalised handkerchief orders and working through BORING admin, I was giving The Pop Kids by the Pet Shop Boys a good listen while sharing my latest photography practice, exploring light and shadow.



As well as making and sending out lots of lovely orders, I also rearranged my pegboard to give me some inspiration and keep me motivated throughout the rest of April. 




And those are the highlights of my week! Hope you had a great one too and have a super weekend!

7 April 2016

Interview with fashion, knit and crochet designer, Emma Wright





Read my interview with fashion, knit and crochet designer, Emma Wright, on the Simple Stylish Makes blog today!

6 April 2016

New in the shop this week - Spring Greens

Not exactly one of your five-a-day but close, these designs have been inspired by the refreshing green colours of spring, the longer, brighter days and that feeling of a fresh, new start. 

If, like me, you love nothing more than a spring clean and changing your accessories with the seaons, why not switch your handbag (you've got a pile of them, right?) and pop in some new accessories. And for all you lovely lot, you can get 10% off in my Etsy shop using the coupon code: SPRING16. This is valid until the end of April.

Happy spring everyone!

Mint and Gold Hanky Set
hanky gift set



Pastel Green and Birds Double Sided Hanky (can be personalised too!)
double sided hanky



Spring Green Hanky Set
spring hankies



Fabric tissue holders, available in five fresh colours and patterns
tissue holder

5 April 2016

Photography - light and shadow


When I'm not embroidering personalised hankies for customers, I can usually be found practising my photography. 

This weekend I did just that as the sunshine was perfect to explore a little light and shadow in photography.

I picked some stems from the garden and took them to my living room, where the sun was beaming in excitedly. I laid them on my old wooden chest and got snapping. Here's a selection of what I took. I haven't edited these in anyway, only cropped them. 

I really enjoyed playing with the light and especially the shadow patterns. I definitely want to explore this idea a bit more throughout spring, using a range of stems and flowers from my garden.

light and shadow photography

light and shadow photography

light and shadow photography

light and shadow photography

light and shadow photography

light and shadow photography

light and shadow photography

light and shadow photography

light and shadow photography




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