Friday, 1 August 2014

So a new month is upon us, I feel like I made a bit of head way with finding balance in July. I've been enjoying as many flashes of summer as I can - taking lunch breaks outside instead of in the canteen, having dinner in the garden and hey I even had a sneaky spa break and didn't freak out that I should be doing stuff, which is a big step in my quest to do less. Anyway onto August here's what I have brewing for the month;

 I have  a few sunny tutorials that I want to make and get online before September and the change of season arrives.

Some furniture renovation and hopefully getting my craft room/space up and running (so exciting)

A visit en masse from my best girls to see the house for the first time

A weekend camping

Teaching two workshops

And a wedding today - whoop! The above is what I'm wearing and I just love the blush and blue combo.

Have a good month everyone. x

Inspiring me this month - dress Whistles (sale find), shoes Louboutin, earrings handmade, perfume Tocca, nail polish SpaRitual (it's vegan and lasts for ages), clutch Forever 21 (old), candle Jo Malone (smells amazing)

Workshop - Introduction to Jewellery Making

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

I've been teaching locally for almost a year now at Make, Do and Mend in Chelmsford. Hannah, Hayley and Alie have made me feel so welcome, I really look forward to teaching my tutorials to all the lovely ladies that come along. At times teaching still feels very new but I'm slowly figuring it all out, I've learnt that I can't do enough preparation and am really grateful to the team for letting my try new ideas and classes. Teaching people to make and be creative has turned into a bigger passion than I ever thought it would be and seeing all my tutorials come to life is amazing, I always try and take a few seconds to observe, I'm so hard on myself I need to remember take pride in what I am doing and how far I have come in a year (see first workshop post here). 

A few Saturdays ago I taught an Introduction to Fashion Jewellery - three techniques, three bracelets, three hours. The class was more leisurely that I have done before with the focus on students really learning the basics of jewellery making so that they could take the skills away with them after the class. The feeling of someone 'getting it' never wears off and I always get so excited to see what everyone is going to create - it always amazes me how different the results are with the same materials. I've listed my upcoming classes at the bottom of the post,  if you're Essex way I'd love to see you sometime - until then happy making! x 

Statement Necklace - 9th August and 15th September

Introduction to Fashion Jewellery - 18th August

We're finalising September, October and November dates so I'll share those as soon as we're done.

You can book all the classes here (scroll through until you see the classes)

DIY Love - July favourites

Monday, 28 July 2014

I really don't need any more things on my to make list but there is such good stuff out there I want to make and make and make! This months round up is all about simple summer DIY's  that make the most of the glorious sunny days we've been having. 

Flower hats - Just as I think I've OD'd on flower crowns along come some more and I'm back in love! These floral party hats from 100 Layer Cake are so pretty and fun I want to find an excuse to make them. 

I've got friends coming round in a few weeks and I'm definitely thinking this peach sangria from Feasting At Home would make a perfect aperitif! 

I love baskets and am building quite the collection. These colourful baskets from Mollie Meg are just asking to be DIY'ed with some colourful wool. 

Whilst I don't have any parties to plan, I love these spotty balloons from A Subtle Revelry. I'm thinking of transferring this idea to maybe a table runner or napkins. 

Floral Friday - Creative Slumps

Friday, 25 July 2014

I've been been feeling a bit funny of late not hilarious funny but a bit off . Its been a struggle to get my ideas out of my head and onto walls, into jewellery and up here on my blog. I think the worst of it has passed but I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels like this so today I thought I'd share some of things that I have found helpful in getting over a creative slump.
Sleep/rest - my ideas always stack up when I'm exhausted and have run out of my usual energy and enthusiasm to pursue. Taking some time to just sit down and be quiet is enormously refreshing. I have been making a real effort to go and sit outside during my lunch breaks, there are so many beautiful gardens and secret places around Temple that I having just five minutes of peace has been really restoring.

Get off the internet (especially Instagram) - I love Instagram but if I'm feeling bad I try and take myself off it for a few days. I find looking at a perfectly edited world stops my creativity rather fuels when I'm feeling wobbly.
Break out of a routine - If like me you have a 9 - 5 job, the monotony of catching the same train, eating the same breakfast, waiting for the clock to hit 5 can really break down any creative thoughts. Instead I've been trying to make things differently, something as small as changing what I have for breakfast each day definitely put my head in a different place. I've also had a few mid-week holiday days, I took an afternoon off for Dan's mums birthday we went for tea and have a fab afternoon strolling around London parks, it felt so luxurious to have some time to enjoy being rather than rushing around doing. 

Speak to different people (in actual real life) - Email, Whatsapp, Twitter etc are wonderful wonderful things but nothing beats a proper conversation with real life people. I recently had a lovely brunch with a new friend and I left the conversation feeling so much lighter and full of positivity.
I hope you find some of these helpful, I'd love to hear how you get out of any creative pickles - all ideas are welcome! Have a great weekend. xx

Psst - you might like these too

How to get stuff done

Slowing Down

Home - Lounge before and after

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Its seems fitting to be sharing my first before and after post a year ago exactly to viewing and offering on the house. Our lounge was the very first room to go under renovation and in comparison to the rest of the house it needed a bit of tlc rather than anything structural. I didn't take as many during steps as I was busy doing but I'm going to talk you through the best I can. 
There was rising damp in the front bay so putting in a damp course was the first big job that we had to pay out for.  Once that was completed, I think it took about a week, the first decorating step was taking off the board covering the fireplace. Much to my delight this beautiful fireplace was underneath, all the other fireplaces have been ripped out throughout the house which breaks my heart - all I get is the odd glimpse of  dusky pink or duck - egg tile, I try not to think about it too much as it makes me really upset. 

The second job was removing the hideous smelly carpet,  the previous owner had smoked in here and it stank, really stank, it was so gross.  I think it took me about 10 minutes to take that carpet up, I couldn't wait for it to be gone. I also cleaned the windows which took my mother-in-law and I a full day to get through the grime and nicotine - another delightful task. 
Once the room was clean I could finally get decorating, I replaced a panel of wall paper that must have had a piece of furniture in front of it and painted the ceiling, which took about three days in total and four coats of paint - it was grim and smelly up there. I then painted the walls in Dulux Brooklyn Nights 6. Lilac isn't a colour I'd normally choose but I wanted a colour to set off the green of the fireplace. 

Ever since my first trip to New York, I've had a dark wood floor on my home wish-list. The floor-boards in the lounge were in pretty good shape so we hired a sander and stripped them back. Because of the age there is quite a bit of 'cupping' to the boards so the finish is a little uneven which I like but if you're someone who likes things to be smooth and straight then it might be worth getting a professional in, I have done some research and its not as expensive as I thought it'd be and would save you two days work. Once the floor was varnished we painted the woodwork white, which made everything so fresh. 

We also had a couple of extra plugs put in as there was only one socket for the whole room and also moved the radiator to under the window, the electrics and plumbing were part of a bigger job but you should allow about £400 for a radiator (this includes a new radiator) and about £200 for electrics. These things cost so much more than you think. 
 There are still bits I want to do/ add (like find something to put DVD's in) but I do love this room, its perfectly sunny in the morning and cosy at night. I can't wait to get the chimney swept and a grate for the fireplace so we can have open fires in winter.
I furnished the room with mainly second hand finds, the sofa and chair we already had and the rug is from Everything else has either been given to me or from various charity or junk shops. I think the best find was this chandelier for £45. 
 My mum is a very talented painter, she painted this especially for the room and I just love it -it's so special. It looks tiny in the photo's in real life it really fills up the wall.
The bookcase was an existing piece of furniture, it used to be so crammed with stuff. I'm only just getting used to seeing it empty again! The sofa which you can just see is another junkshop find - it's Ikea Erktop which I just replaced the covers on. I'd like to change it to something velvety in the future but for now its just right.
I'd be lost without a fireplace, I've kept this quite paired down for me. I've had the beautiful birdcage (from Rockett St George) stashed away for a few years, I'm so excited to finally have a spot for it.

As there has been so much to do I have kept this and all the other rooms really simple, we're over the half way mark on decorating now so I'm looking forward to adding bits and pieces to make the room feel more homely over time. I hope you've enjoyed this mammoth post, there is so much more I want to share so expect to see more home posts around here.

My Favourite...Pink Trousers

Friday, 18 July 2014

After a half-hearted attempt to share some of my favourite things, I have decided to try again, This time I want to talk about my favourite clothing purchase of the year - pink trousers. I bought these on sale in Mango at Christmas and have worn them for all occasions; my birthday (see post here), when I need to feel confident teaching (see here) and like in the photo above hanging around orange groves (I admit this is less frequent). The beauty of these is they work with all the classic colours; black, navy, grey & camel, all heel heights from Converse to a jazzy flat and then all the way up to my personal favourite, a classic Louboutin, they actually go with everything - amazing! I have fashioned a little moodboard below if you still need convincing. If you don't and want to jump straight in, this fitted pair from Asos look good and also these from Mango (I think they are my actual pair). Come and be the girl in pink trousers with me, its fun! Have a great weekend everyone. xx

DIY - Woven bead bracelets

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

My subconscious is obviously on a beach kick this week as this is the third beach inspired post in a row! These woven bead bracelets are a recent tutorial for Jewelry From Home, they use one very first techniques I learnt and when getting into jewellery making and are so much easier to make than they look. I bought all my beads and findings from The Bead Shop, Covent Garden, they have a great selection of matt glass beads like these ones. Hop on over to Jewelry From Home to see the full tutorial. Happy Making! x 

Psst - these seed bead circle bracelets use exactly the same techniques but are more delicate.

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