Saturday, 31 December 2011

Year in Review - 2011 Creativity

Looking back over the year is such a brilliant exercise, I have just amazed myself with how much creativity I have squeezed in around my teaching job! (Pat on the back and a clip round the ear, as my Grandad -who sadly passed away this year- might have said).
So here it is:

This is not even all, but some highlights of things like: launching my blog and Re:Loved, getting my packaging and company ID finalised, meeting Kim Smith, teaching amazing creative sketchbook lessons at school after going on a course, commissions for large artworks and shoes, starting my art journal - which has been the key to my creative year, making artworks and accessories, selling in two shops locally as well as craft fayres.

It has honestly been the best year for me creatively, and I have had friends say I have inspired them to work on their own books/ ideas/ products...I am really humbled by that. I feel I have reached a point where I can just go ahead and be creative without suffering massive blocks, the major one of which I overcame this year, which was recovering from the damage my degree did to my work. Blogs really helped me this year, they have been my inspiration.

So, in the words of Julia Cameron, and the book 'Heart Steps - prayers and declarations for a creative life' I leave you with this on Creativity and Spirituality:

Life is energy, pure creative energy. This energy is the source of all I desire, all I need, all I want. When I call upon this source to supply me, I am freed from depending on people, institutions, and hierarchies. My good comes from me in all directions, from all quarters. No one person can block my good. No circumstance can circumvent me.

I have more round-ups planned over the next couple days as well as mine and Olivia's resolutions, which we are currently working on. For now, Happy New Year lovely people. Mucho Love x x x

Friday, 30 December 2011

---Outfit Post: Walk in the Park---

It has been unseasonably warm so far this winter in Blighty. So far from last year's big freeze. This week we made it to the park for a picnic after a morning at the sales. We ate smoked salmon sandwiches and cucumber sticks, cream cheese crisps and satsumas - the most christmassy picnic menu I could put together.

This is what I wore:

Outfit Details:
Blouse - gift (Next)
Skirt - Charity Shop £1
Belt - Charity Shop £1
Cardigan - Charity Shop £3
Leggings - Primark £3
Boots - Christmas Pressie
Bag - hand-me-down

Olivia commented that I looked like a cowgirl. I guess she was looking through the lense and thinking 'woman on a ranch', I can live with that!

We have been in town a lot this week, as it is a tad rainy and we love coffee shops. I was so please today to find a stall selling gelato. I have been moaning on Twitter for ages that we don't have it here and all the American bloggers post Instagrams of delicious looking Gelato cups...I now know where to get me some.

Have you been to the sales yet, madly I quite like it.

Love, me x

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas PJs

Hello from the other side. While I try and get a grip on normality after the emotional exhaustion of are a few snapshots of 'what went down'.
First off - our tradition to open our present to eachother on Christmas eve: the PJs. We started this last year after a friend told me she instigated it. We now get really excited about this part of Christmas, and nothing brings on better sleep than fresh PJs, or a freshly made bed. Olivia did go to sleep very well, which meant Santa could get in early and deliver her pressies...

Here we are on Christmas morning, with our baby Sandra (the hamster).
Hope you had a good one too. What traditions do you have?
Love me x

Friday, 23 December 2011

Today I have a guest stocking from the amazingly amusing Elizabeth Jane Liu, writer of comedy blog: Flourish in Progress. Not entirely sure if she intended it to be comedy but I laugh my pants off at each and every post she writes. She is also a genuinely lovely lady, and sent out funny fridge magnets to all her followers a while ago - and I got one! Perfect as I collect them. I didin't intend for it to be used as a prop to my life, but last week found my daughter held it up to me with a wry grin after I had put the milk in the oven by mistake. (The caption on it reads 'I need protection from myself').

Here she is with her beautiful daughter, Cal.

So here are Elizabeth's Christmas Wishes - can you guess what they are?

I hope you get all your wishes in 2012, remember to make some, and if possible visualise them.

x x Merry Christmas y'all x x

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Christmas bug

I wanted to share some of the creative things my daughter and I have been getting up to this Christmas. There seems to be no end to my creative flow, and I am finding myself getting up really early with a great idea, and burning desire to get on with it. No wonder people say they need an actual holiday after Christmas.
I think my creativity is being fuelled by the amazing blogs I am reading, and the more I read the more inspired I get. Sometimes I like to create my own things, other times I like to just do something that is like another persons idea. It's nice to know what the outcome will be.

Olivia and I made stamped salt dough gift tags which were inspired by the amazing Artful Parent blog (makes me want to have a go at parenting all over again), and Kirsty Allsop on Channel 4 'Kirsty's Homemade Christmas', who I simply love. I read about Amy's love of Kirsty last week - glad its not just me! By the way, Amy is going full pedal to the metal for crimbo and over at her blog she is running a '25 Days of Christmas' feature. You should defo check it out, so many great ideas (I have jam tarts on my list now).

The following are some pictures of the saltdough making, these photos are quite 'rough' so please excuse...haven't the time to process and fiddle around:

Olivia stamping away..
You can see how small our kitchen is, and how BIG Olivia's hair is
Normal ink stamps work well - I picked up a set in the 'pound shop', for...a pound.
Out of the 3 hour oven baking

An example of how they will look, you can write on the back with markers.

Salt Dough Recipe - makes about 30 stamped shapes

2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2/3 cup water

  1. Mix and kneed to a soft dough
  2. Roll out
  3. use cutters to cut out
  4. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet
  5. Stamp with ink stamps
  6. Make holes with a straw
  7. Bake in a low oven for about 3 hours (good if you can turn the oven off at the end of this time and leave them in overnight)
  8. Write messages on the back and attach to pressies!
A very fun and occupying activity for kids - Olivia was absorbed for hours!

I haven't shown it on this present but I have also been stamping ribbon and webbing to wrap around gifts:

A very dear friend gave me these wooden stamps from her travels to India. I have so many, these are just a few of the small ones.
I find stamping on something soft like this packaging foam sheet, makes a good quality stamp.
I got this idea when browsing around one day and can't credit the exact source, but this blog comes up trumps for a reference.

Today we are doing some more stamped salt dough with my new letter stamps - they will be even more like Kirsty's then. And we are making cinnamon cookies for Olivia's trampoline group.
Better get on...

What are you making this Christmas? Do you get the bug?
Love, me x

Monday, 19 December 2011

Me first!

a strange range of wishes, including: lose weight, get a bookshelf, world peace, a campervan, holiday in Greece, vintage clothes, get the car fixed, a studio space, bike rides, more money and a new sofa.
Thanks Santa x x

Sunday, 18 December 2011

I have a great idea for more participation, since I really enjoyed the post about Christmas Top Ten.

For me Christmas is all about making things; I have a major making marathon every year and the fruits are lovingly wrapped for my friends and family. I would like to share some creativity right here on my blog, I'd love you to join in! I actually did this activity with my year 11 group and they loved it. I told them (and I truly believe this), never underestimate the power of wishing, and if your wishes are more intense and focused at this time of year, get busy!

Below is a template for a stocking. Please copy and paste it into your documents. Then simply fill it with pictures that represent what you wish for most in your life right now, it can be material things or you can go for more spiritual and emotional wishes, maybe you want to recover or wish for strength to deal with something. Go for it. Wish it.

Once you have finished, email it to me and I will post it up here on the blog. You can send me any kind of Office document or a Jpeg/Gif file, but I don't have a Mac. You will need to get it in before Christmas to really concentrate those special Christmassy wish-vibes.

You can decorate your too if you have those kinda skills. Do try and make it look pretty and neat somehow :]

Love, me x

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

New Makes

I have just delivered a lovely bundle of freshly made goodies to Coastal Creatives for a pre-Christmas restock. In the mix were a few new ideas: embroidered badges and rosettes. I am working on some more of these for upcoming events like Valentines and Mothers day.

I had a little commission yesterday to make some personalised versions of these...hmmm good idea!

Once I made this dinky little brooch I fell in love with it, then had to part with it soon after. Although this is a massive close up, it is in reality only about 6-7cm accross.

I restocked on all the hair clip duo sets, these are always really popular, and each set is one of a kind. I have been using more embroidery stitches on them, inspired by this blog.

And I restocked on the large clips, these have alligator attachments so can be worn as a brooch or shoe clip too.

These little beauties are very popular too, all sold out from my last stock update - Coastal call them pompom earrings.

Lastly...dropped a few more of these in for good luck. I originally made them as wrap around bracelets, but Coastal sell them as hairbands. In fact one of my Year 11 students came into school with one a couple of weeks ago and it looked amazing. How sweet of her to buy my!

I love this new colour combo - claret and blue, very Aston Villa!

I wanted to show these ready for sale so I could share my packaging ideas. I make all my packaging out of old card: magazines, postcards, flyers etc. I cut them to size and apply my simple labels. I love it. It is born out of pure poverty and a desire to re-use as much as I can to make in an environmentally friendly way. The reverse has a label too with my Etsy shop address (which is empty at present...oops! Bad marketing!)

This is from a series of pieces: 1,2 and 3. Framed and ready to go...somewhere.

Lastly for today. I saw a funky idea for wrapping ribbon on a Google search and decided to give it a go. Hand stamped ribbon. Yes all my presents this year will be sporting it. Packaged with old Christmas cards to my daughter from her friends. I will post some images when I have done some wrapping with it. It's a super easy and satisfying little make, I just happen to have rolls upon rolls of ribbon that I bought in a charity shop bundle one lucky day.

Have you got plans for your wrapping or making this Christmas? My creativeness is on overdrive at the moment...
Love, me x

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Festive Top Ten: from me

It's time to say goodbye to the Festive Top Ten series of blogs. It has been a real challenge to go to work all day, cook dinner and blog every day...but I am proud of me for getting it done.
I am very grateful for those who have contributed, and left comments (always welcome and I will try and get back to eveyone).

Last post today is my Festive Top Ten. I decided to champion two loves of mine: Textiles and Etsy!


1 - amazing hand made embroidered card
2 - beautiful art quilt
3 - very pretty little alice piece
4 - wearable art
5 - delicate vintage image collage
6 - little textile book
7 - kindle cosy
8 - fabric bowl
9 - embroidered bowl
10 - textile art


This is totally a fantasy list. I wish I had enough money to buy things like this, I'd love to fill my world with other people's handmade lovelies. Of all of these things I would deeply love the wearable art neck piece, I would totally rock that with many an outfit.
These are just the things I like today, who knows what my wish list will be tomorrow?

What would you wish for today?
Me x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Festive Top Ten Guest Post: Sewindie

I have had such a long day today, and almost didn't write this post...but I really want to keep my promise to myself to blog every day while doing this Festive Top Ten. Why do we set ourselves such challenging targets sometimes, oh we can grow! Ok then, on with the show.
So today's guest blog comes from Cara of Shshhh blog, otherwise known as SewIndie.
I follow her blog and Twitter, she is very inspiring on both...and her tweets make me laugh a lot. Her blogs are about craft and art, making things and eating pancakes; maybe in that order on some days.
Herewith is her Festive Wish List - (hope you're listening Santa):
1. this gorgeous waxed canvas backpack:
The Camper Satchel in Tan Waxed Canvas
2. leah duncan's 2012 wall calendar (i'm obsessed with calendars!):
2012 12 Month Calendar
3. a set of five vegan soaps:
Detox Soap Set - Natural Soap, Handmade Soap, Unscented Soap, Cold Process Soap 
4. wooden bowls, forever:
5. vintage moon globe:
Vintage 1969 6" Moon Globe by Replogle
6. DIY twin lens reflex camera (that takes 35mm film!):
7. lush's rocketeer bath bomb - i don't care if it's for kids, i want to smell like candy! (the video of it looks amazing!):
8. lovely fingerless gloves:
Mittens Cable Handknited  - soft  grey fingerless gloves
9. this tshirt, because enid coleslaw has always been my #1 fashion icon:
Women's Large Raptor T-shirt from Ghost World
10. this couch, because we just bought a house and we need stylish furniture:
Never thought I could fall in love with vegan soaps, but smitten I is. And I can't look too long at that sofa because it makes me want to cry: it's too beautiful and my sofa is some crappy old thing I got second hand for £50 five years ago....*sniff*
Don't know if Cara, or any of you know this but Lush started as a company called 'Cosmetics to Go' and that was in my local town of Poole in Dorset. Their base is still here and they have factories all over the area - they smell amazing! many of my friends old and new have at some time worked there. The original shop is in Poole High Street, which is where I go to get my Lush-on.
What did you like best from Cara's list?
Me x

Monday, 5 December 2011

Festive Top Ten Guest Post: 'Enhabiten'

I have a right cracker for you today: Liane from 'Enhabiten'.
I have loved Liane's work for a long, long time. In fact hers was the first blog I subscribed to when I discovered them in 2009 (not like Columbus or anything, I'm pretty sure others were aware of blogs before this time). She makes the.most.beautiful things, and her Etsy shop is one I covet longingly on an almost daily basis; full of rustic looking objects that she has lovingly created, they seem to have a history, or to tell a story. She got skillz!
Liane is also a photographer, and has THE most awesome Flickr.
but enough about that, what does she want from Santa?
this would be my fantasy list!
here it is:
Eugénie Silk Velvet Dress
1- i'm a big fan of anna allen and this dress looks amazing and expertly stitched
Pro Heavy Duty Leather Work Apron with Pockets -- Very Rugged 
2- this apron for use when i'm fabric dyeing
Schacht Table Loom
3- a table loom like this
4- this antique aryana rug
from my local oriental rug shop
Woodfired tumblers, glowing embers
5- these tumblers
6- this new organic cotton/wool mattress
W.c Russel Mocasin Co. Boots Woman Size 9
7- these boots
  i have a vintage boot obsession
Waxed Canvas Tote: Autumn Spice, antique military leather, homespun fabric.
8- this bag made by my good friends margaux and walter
9- this book
Ethnic Jewellery (Pepin Press Art Book)
10- oh and this book, too
last but not least, you call it a shack, i call it a slice of heaven.
someday i will build myself something like this

I am definitely with her on the shack...ah, a place to escape to would be so lovely. I probably wouldn't come out though.
What would your fantasy list look like?
Me x
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