Sunday, 27 January 2013

DIY Valentine's Gift: A jar of love

Personally, handmade gifts mean everything to me. It means so much that someone has taken a lot of time & effort to make something special. Sam is not a creative type at all really but he make the sweetest handmade cards and really tries with handmade gifts because he knows that's what I love. There's nothing like a really meaningful gift that someone has really thought about. 

Here I'm going to show you a really SIMPLE DIY that you could make for a loved one this valentine's day. 

Mason/Kilner Jar
Heart-shaped punch 

All the above are optional, you can pretty much use whatever you can find in your house to create this.

Start by choosing some bits & pieces to decorate your jar and literally start putting it together. As you can see in the below photo I've stuck in place a piece of lace around the base. I used a little bit of glue from a glue gun to keep in place. Then I've tied some twine around it, cut a small heart out of red paper and tucked that in.
Choose some ribbon to go around the top and secure in place again with hot glue.

Cut strips of card or paper out and write out reasons why you love the person you are making this gift for. That's the beauty of something like this, you could make it for ANYONE! Your parents, best friend, husband, etc. Write out as many as you like, the more the merrier obviously!

Fold up all the strips so they have a little something to open out (like a present every time!) I also used a heart-shaped punch to cut out little heart to scatter inside. It just adds a little extra cute-ness!

Add a tag and voila! This is really easy, simple, inexpensive and quick to create! Go for it and make someone feel loved!

Friday, 25 January 2013

How to stay creative: Part II

You can view part one here.

Do more of what makes you happy. Keep doing the things that fulfill you. I find the happier I am the more creative I get and the more excited I am about projects I'm working on. I feel happiest when I'm most creative & working on projects I love so why wouldn't I just keep doing more & more & more! 

Clean your workspace. You all get what I mean right!? There is nothing worse (for me anyway) than trying to work in a space that is just too messy. I like to have a place for everything & I don't like to work on the next thing while stuff from the previous project is all over the place. Fresh project, fresh space! Then there is all the other distractions...I try to keep the rest of my home neat & tidy, then there's no excuse to tidy up everywhere else before you start working on something. Tidy space means more time to create and clear your mind from other worries or chores!

Take risks. Break the rules. If one method doesn't work for you like it seems to work for everyone else (right? huh?!) try something different that will work better for you. Maybe you'll discover a quicker or easier way or just a more comfortable way of making things. Who says you have to do it like everyone else?! I know when I've discovered a different way of doing something I feel like I can really own it and be proud! Take risks and if it doesn't work, keep going, try something different. Practice, practice, practice!

Finish projects. A good one I think. What is more satisfying than finishing a project you've worked hard on!? I'm currently crocheting a blanket that's been in process for about 3 years! I know I'll finish it one day & when I do I will feel amazing and will want to find a more challenging project to work on. Even the little things are satisfying, getting something into my shop or even a handmade gift, once it's finished that's just another achievement out of hundreds I could potentially do! However, there is nothing wrong with scraping a project if it's just not working, why force it!?

Collaborate. Work with others. Other people will have different talents to you and may be artistically stronger than you on certain things. Use your strengths amongst other people and let them use theirs to create something amazing together.

Have fun. Count your blessings & don't give up.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

How to stay creative: Part I

I found these notes on the internet a few years ago; as I was going through my files I came across them again and thought they would be good to share. They have certainly kept me motivated & encouraged.

Make lists . I love making lists anyway but I find this particularly helpful when it comes to being creative and sticking to plans. I have lists of the projects I want to get done in the next few months and equally it's good to make a list of materials you may need to buy for each project then you aren't spending money on materials you don't need or forgetting to buy things.

Carry a notebook everywhere. I've started to do this a lot more this year already. I sometimes get ideas for DIYs I'd like to try, recipes, blog post ideas, etc. It's always handy to have pen & paper at hand to jot them down. There's nothing worse than having a great idea & forgetting it! Obviously the note app on your iPhone's too is great for when you forget your book!

Get away from the computer! Much of my creative inspiration comes from the internet, particularly pinterest, etsy & other creative blogs BUT sometimes it's good to just get away from all that and find inspiration out & about! Maybe find somewhere new to go. Try it, you might be surprised! It feels good!

Quit beating yourself up! Allow yourself to make mistakes. Sometimes I still have to remember that! Have confidence in what you're creating and remember a mistake can be beautiful or at least can be changed! Tell yourself you're good and accept compliments & praise from others. More importantly stop trying to be someone else's perfect.

Take breaks. It's very easy to want to keep going until you've finished something or until you've found all your ideas but taking a break, going for a walk, having a cup of tea can be really good to clear your mind, unblock your brain and create fresh ideas. Most of my ideas comes straight after having a break, or at least during it! Trying to force creativeness never works.

Surround yourself with creative people. It's always good to be around others that have similar talents, great ideas & share your passion. Get feedback from people too, let them give you a different perspective. Talk to each other about what works, what doesn't and feel refreshed! be continued

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

All you need is love

Hey guys!
Well it hasn't stopped snowing at all! The last time it was like this I was really little and remember it going on for days & days! 
It is so thick on the ground and stopped my mom popping by today which I'm not too pleased with! Boo hoo. It has not affected me greatly at all and I've rather enjoyed it, quite a lot actually, but now it's making life more difficult for people. 
However, before the snow began again today Sam & I went on a date yesterday. We had a lot to catch up on, needed a diary meeting and discussed how we can make our life a little more balanced when it comes to normal life & church life. Last year was a little mental, dedicating ourselves to so much stuff so we wanted to figure out something a little more controlled. It was nice anyway to sit over a meal for a few hours, have some quality time together & then we treated ourselves to seeing Django. Highly violent but also comical...they can go together...I've seen it! I thoroughly enjoyed it - what that says about me I don't know but I suspect Sam will be purchasing it on blu-ray when the time comes.

Anyway, I've been crafting, yes I have! It's coming up to Valentine's Day so I've put some cards in the shop! Click on the link or ETSY SHOP tab at the top and take a peek!
They're perfect to send out to not only your loved one but also friends & family! Happy shopping!


Monday, 21 January 2013

'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us'.

(Photo taken in Perth, Australia on our honeymoon)

As I sit here snowed in (with a little cabin fever) and knowing I have so much space this week to sit, think, create & inspire I'm thinking of some of the things I want to make time for while I have this opportunity of free time. What will I do with it? 
I found an inspiring pinboard on pinterest reminding me what is important to make time for so I thought I'd share a few of them here with you. 

Make time to read. I touched on this in a previous post as something I want to do more of this year. I think instead of making my lunch & sitting down to an episode of something we've recorded on the box I'll read a chapter of my current book.

Make time to create & paint my dreams. I did a little of this today. I've written down some craft projects I want to work on in the next few weeks which I will share with you to keep myself accountable & maybe get you creating yourselves! I also want to find the time to learn a new craft but I have so many projects I'm in the middle of it's hard to prioritize that.

Make time to have coffee with a friend. I really need to do this more often & now I can find more exciting places to go a little further afield with my new driving license! Plus, I feel like I've become a recluse (honest moment) in the last few weeks! I really do love my own space & company sometimes but now it's time to get out of that bubble, leave my home (although it's difficult in the snow) & see people I love!
Make time to write a letter. I am NOT a good phone person. I find it really awkward unless I'm really close to someone like my parents or best friend. I love writing too & I love that someone can have something to keep reading over & over. I have so many letters from past times that mean more to me & remind me of things more than any past phone calls I've had. Time to invest in some beautiful writing paper!

Make time to find somewhere special. This may not happen this week because I will not be driving around in this weather but I'd love to find a place I feel I can go to just for a change of scenery, a sense of peace, escape just to gather my thoughts, write notes or have quiet time with God.

What will you make time for this week?


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Let it snow, let it snow...

...let it SNOW! I am LOVING it and enjoying every minute of it! I'm one of those people that dislike gritters & neighbours that shovel the snow out the way! I've been pretty lucky in that as soon as the snow started to fall I knew I'd be off work until Monday. Monday might be a challenge since our car battery died on Thursday evening, it's the third episode within a few weeks, and we need to get it replace as soon as. All going well I'll be driving into work next week otherwise I'm walking for an hour in the snow! I'll find joy in it though if that's the case. Best thing you can do right!?

We live surrounded by parks and the roads are never too busy so the snow fall has stuck good & proper. Sam & I made the most of it and went for a lovely walk at the back of our house. We don't have much of a garden so the park behind makes up for it big time.
We took photos, I made a snow angel and we had a BIG snow ball fight...just the two of us...and it was one of those "I know exactly why I married him..." moments. He's so much fun! (& I love him!)
I have to add though...I got him in the face THREE times!
Hope this weather lasts a bit longer!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Earlswood Lakes Adventure

Greetings on this cold & frosty morning!
January has been such a cold month already. We've had lots of frost and a lot of snow but none of the snow has stuck for very long! We've been promised more this week though so here's hoping!
Sam might disagree, but I think I'm pretty adaptable to the changes in weather. I'm always ready for the cold that comes or the warmth when it arrives, obviously there are dreary days when it's grey & rainy - that's not so fun - but I especially love the frost when the sun is shining bright!

I drove myself to work for the first time on Tuesday - it felt so freeing! I have a love/hate relationship with driving. I dislike driving but I love the fact I can get to places & stay warm! I've been taking public transport or walking for years, then I met Sam who passed his test soon after we started dating (winner!) & he lifted me everywhere but it's nice to feel independent again now. Looking forward to the day I can pick him up or drop him off somewhere! It's long overdue I think! Boy, do I appreciate him a whole lot more! 

Anyway, yesterday we both had the day off work together. We decided we needed to get out the house & do something fun. We went to Earlswood Lakes just a 20 minute drive from where we live where they have a beautiful lakeside walk & tea room!
I think we lasted about an hour & a half before we walked back to the car - it was soooooo cold! We took some photographs but the cold was so intense we didn't take many of ourselves. Boo. Still, we enjoyed every minute of our little adventure & the place was deserted so we may have pretended we were being chased by orcs!

 Hope you're wrapped up warm wherever you are! x