Wednesday, 29 June 2011


One thing about not reading anything (see previous post) is that it gives you quite a lot of time to be creative, which of course is the point. Here are a few of my doodles from this month's challenge:

They are (from left):  pick your favourite shape and fill a page with only that shape; draw a picture of the sun.  What does sunlight mean to you?  Doodle it; and draw a picture of a project you want to try (pinwheels, of course!).

The Moo coloured in the heart on the first doodle.  I was a bit cross to start with, but actually I think it looks rather good!

Monday, 27 June 2011

A weird week

I am currently following The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  It has been recommended to me by several different people as a way to overcome self-doubt and make the creative process part of my daily life.

It took me several weeks to accept that flicking through it and dipping into the bits I thought sounded quite nice wasn't really going to cut it.  So three weeks ago, I started working my way through it properly and I am now at the start of week 4.  The NO READING week.

And I have to say I am quite anxious about it.

I mean, I started off thinking "huh, no biggie, I read a few pages of a novel every evening before I go to sleep and that's probably about it anyway". 
Then I thought about it properly.  Umm, by no stretch of the imagination is that all I read (and in some ways, thank goodness....)  So for the next week I have given up:

All books from novels to my photography and craft books which I at least refer to on a daily basis.
All magazines.
All the stuff I read online - news sites, entertainment sites and (here's a big one) other blogs. 
I also figured substituting reading time for pinterest time was probably not OK, so I have ruled out pinterest as well.

What will I do?  How will I fill my time?  Which of course is the point of the whole exercise.

I am kind of hoping my house will be really clean at the end of it, but unless it gives me the time (and wherewithal) to invent a self-cleaning house I fear this is a vain hope.  Perhaps my creative ambitions should be a little loftier anyway.  So I'll start with the lofty ambition of "not watching too much crap TV" and see how I go.

For those of you who haven't given up reading, go here to read a very entertaining story about a giant rusty chicken named Beyonce.  (Be warned though, the language is pretty fruity).

Friday, 24 June 2011

Summer Craft Bucket List

After a rainy couple of weeks the sun is FINALLY out.  Woo hoo!  I hope I am not jinxing it by posting my summer craft bucket list but here it is anyway

Now, I'm pretty good at starting projects.  Let's see how many I manage to finish this year - the year of bunting and pinwheels it seems.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Making memories

Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros is one of my all time favourite books.  It is a beautiful collection of family recipes interspersed with childhood and family memories and photographs. 

Food has always been a hugely important part of our family life and I have been looking for a way to record our family recipes and associated memories both for myself and to one day pass down to my daughter.

Today I found this and it is perfect. 

I had been idly considering how I could make something like this but paper craft is not really my thing.  I love the way the book is thought out with space for recipes and their associate memories and photos. The other pages have questions such as "tell me how you learned to cook", "tell me about your favourite meal" and "what are your favourite restaurants" which I will tweak a bit so we have me and my husband's childhood memories as well as our shared family memories.

Our very own  Apples for Jam.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Daddy is very bold (apparently)

For Father's day, my five year old (the Moo) and her class all did lovely portraits of their daddies and wrote down words to describe their daddies.  Lovely words like 'you're the best' and "funny" and so on.  I was quite surprised to see that one of the words the Moo had written down was 'bold'.  Impressed, but surprised.  This is how the conversation went:

Me:  "Wow, daddy is bold?"

Moo:  "Yes mummy".

Me:  "Bold is a great word.  Can you tell me what it means?".

Moo:  "Oh you know mummy.  Daddy is quite bold.  On the top of his head.  Where there is no hair".

Me:  "Aaaaaah....that sort of bold.  I see what you mean".

I would love to be a fly on the wall in that class room.  Thank goodness for tactful teachers!

Here is a picture of her daddy - as some sort of Christmas super-hero by the look of it (it's never too early for Christmas stickers.  Not in this house anyway).  I did comment to her that he didn't look terribly 'bold' in this picture but was told very firmly that he is only bold on top of his head which you can't see.  So there you have it!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Currently loving...

Top left:  Play everyday necklace from Lisa Leonard; top right:  Mollie Makes magazine (issue 2).  Available internationally and digitally; bottom left:  Asami Sayo D, Tana Lawn Liberty fabric - currently on sale at Liberty; bottom left:  Pinwheel hair clip tutorial at The Mother Huddle.

On my travels on Monday, I picked up Mollie Makes, a new crafting and lifestyle magazine that I had heard talk of on Dottie Angel.  I don't usually bother with craft magazines much as there is so much to be found for free on the internet but this one is very pretty with lots of inspiration and ideas and some interviews with some lovely, talented artists and crafters.  There is a sweet garden embroidery how to on page 32 which is definitely going on my summer craft bucket list.

My other lovely finds this week are the beautiful Lisa Leonard play everyday necklace which I am totally in love with.  To keep me going until I can afford that loveliness, I thought I'd have a go at the pinwheel hair clip tutorial.  Anyone spot a theme?!

Last but not least is the Liberty material.  I am on the look out for cushion material for a little chair revamp I have planned.  This is definitely a contender.  Even more so now it's on sale, though that does mean making a decision......

Monday, 13 June 2011

Internet treasure

A rainy Sunday afternoon saw me doing a spot of  internet surfing and I stumbled upon this loveliness on the Penguin book site.

Combining two of my most favourite things, reading and creating!  What a fabulous idea.  I have ordered myself Magic Tales by the Brothers Grimm.  Thinking about Alice in Wonderland and The Great Gatsby too.  So much choice! And really hoping that they do this with some more of their children's books.

Don't you just love stumbling on internet treasure!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Beach wear

I don't know at what age we stop wearing what we really feel like to the beach but next time I go, I am joining my 5 year old and going for party wear.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

30 Days of Doodles

In my quest to stay creative, I am always on the look out for new, achievable challenges that are fun to do.  There are some fantastic art challenges out there which I fully intend to tackle further down the line.  But for now I need something fun and not too intimidating.  This really fits the bill:

30 Days of Doodles

Every day during June you get a doodle prompt.  There have been some really fun ones.  My favourite so far is "If you were a super hero what would your power be?   What would your outfit look like?".
There is a fab flickr group where you can post your doodles and get inspiration from others.  Allie and Liz also give their take on each prompt.

I am no great artist but sometimes I think the process is more important than the actual outcome.  In the interests of total disclosure, here is an example of one of the challenges I've done.  This is for day 2 - draw your favourite flower.  Now, my favourite flower is a peony but I know my limits so I doodled this instead.  Didn't take long and I really enjoyed doing it.

Why don't you join me and give it a go too?  Follow the link above or there's a button on the side.

My superhero power/outfit is starting to become an obsession!.....

Monday, 6 June 2011

I'm a fish

This post has been  a long time coming.  I have spent forever talking myself out of things I really want to do.  Mostly because I have compared myself to other bloggers, photographers, writers, creatives and found myself coming up short.  But I recently took the indie biz 3.0 course (fabulous) which has given me the courage, bolstered up with a couple of fantastic quotes that have come my way:

Comparison is the enemy of creativity

(Carrie Lundell of thismamamakesstuff quoted in an interview on Created by Chicks) and

If you are taking pictures, you are a photographer; if you are writing, you are a writer; if you are hitting "publish post," you are a blogger. I am not afraid to take bad pictures, to publish fuzzy ones or to write something I might later regret. And I think this is the best advice I could give. Don't be scared. If you love doing something, do it. Learn it, stand by it, put yourself out there. You will fail. But you will swim a fish.

(Kelle Hampton on her beautiful blog Enjoying the Small Things)

So, here goes.  Come join me for some fuzzy pictures and regrettable writing.

And maybe some swimming.
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