Thursday, 13 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I've been busy of an evening this last week...

...hugely inspired by Attic 24's latest creation, I felt a sudden need for a crocheted Christmas wreath of my own.  So the yarn basket was ransacked for suitable colours and once I had a decent pile (variations of DK yarn; acrylic, merino and cashmerino) I got busy making a long stripy rectangle to cover my polystyrene wreath (it's a flat backed one which I picked up quite cheaply in Hobbycraft).

I wasn't quite sure how the crocheted rectangle would fit around the wreath, but as Lucy reassured us on her blog; despite it looking like it won't,  it somehow just does - and it did.

My wreath was going to need some adornments too...and there was a sudden flurry of pom-pom making the other night, and cutting out of holly from felt.  A little jaunt to Homebase resulted in a top find of some Jingle Bells - only £2.99 for a tube of 10, and a chance find of some mini decorative baubles on wires in Paperchase were just too good to ignore.

Once home, I raided the button tin and ribbon stash, and got busy.

I sewed the Jingle Bells on, but the rest of the ribbons, pom-poms and holly leaves are pinned on.  It's very easy to attach them to the polystyrene using pins, and you can move things about a bit too, if you change your mind.

I think the mini decorative baubles and bells are lovely, they really catch the light.

We decided that it would be nice to have our new wreath hanging on the door which leads into our lounge, where everyone would see it best:

 I'm so pleased with how this turned out, and I'm already planning another one for Springtime, full of juicy colours, flowers and lots more pom-poms!

As we huddle indoors of an evening now, and cosy up on the sofa under our crochted blankets, watching telly and reading books by the glow of candles and Christmas lights, we are grateful to be tucked up warm with one another as the weather has turned decidedly cold.

Yesterday morning there was a thick frost which glittered beautifully in the rising sun.  The trees down the valley were gauzy white; the sky was a soft shell pink and the air was very still.  As I made my way down to the little wall to peek at the river, a flock of wintering goosanders that had been swimming downstream suddenly took off into the air, their beating wings a percussion of noise which broke the freezing silence.

So it's no surprise that we like cosying up in our little home together...

We love hunkering down of a Sunday afternoon to watch Elf and other favourite Christmas films, and we've also been enjoying a bit of Festive Makery together too...

This last Sunday saw an industrious bout of paper chain making (these are from Phoenix Cards), which we strung up alongside some of those funky and fabulous retro tissue paper balls.  I've seen these featured in a couple of magazines and on the internet but found them way too expensive to justify shelling out on.  Then we discovered some in Wilkinsons for just a pound a piece (the larger ones are still good value at £1.75 for a whopping 30cm sized ball) and we brought home some cheery red and white ones to go with our paper chains.

We think it looks very cool.

So, the house is finally decorated; the order book is closed and I'm winding up the last few hand painted goodies to go out to their new homes.  It's been a whirlwind these last few weeks and I am now looking forward enormously to relaxing and enjoying the holidays.

I like this time of year, as we head towards the end of December.  It's a very good time for Creative Percolation, and as I step back from my painting for a while to spend time with family and friends, I usually find new ideas blooming.  These are written down in my planner, for things to come back to in January.  But for now, the games will be brought downstairs and we'll play Monopoly and Guess Who; we'll eat too many mince pies and drink a tad too much mulled wine.  We'll see the little ones sing in the choir at church on Christmas Eve and go to the panto on New Years Eve.  We'll look forward to driving out to Castleton in Derbyshire to see the little trees lit up, a tradition almost as old as I am (my parents would take me and my sister, and now as we take our own daughter).  I like the gentle traditions of this time of year, and also the new ones that my own family are creating alongside them.

Sending love and peace to you and yours, wherever you are in the world.

Julia x

Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas is Coming and What 2012 Brought

After a very busy few weeks working on Christmas orders, I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and am starting to wind down.  I must say, I'm looking forward to my Christmas preparations enormously; and although we have already trimmed the tree there is still much to be done.  I'm looking forward mostly to sitting and making those decorations I've been dreaming about for the last few months, making a new Christmas table cloth from an old cotton bed sheet, and baking Christmas cookies.

Because it's the simple things that make me happiest.  I like the homely feel these little activities bring and I like the cosiness of my house at this time of year. There's nothing nicer than that time of day when the Christmas lights softly glow as the early evening twilight blankets the sky.

I like sitting in the big armchair with a cup of hot chocolate and a mince pie, and watching films like The Snowman whilst wrapped in a cosy crocheted blanket.  I like looking through my recipe and crafting books ~ at the moment I'm particularly enjoying Granny Chic by Tif Fussell and Rachelle Blondel; it's crammed with page after page of tempting delights to create for yourself and your home.  Like I said, it's the simple things that make me smile.

Last weekend, we decorated our tree and with a few of the tinier leftover baubles I decided to make a table decoration using the twigs I had saved from my Easter Tree.

What do you think?

Using some mini baubles and a felt bead necklace (that sadly proved too itchy to wear but was perfect as a mini garland), along with some tiny crocheted circles we were heartily chuffed with our efforts.  The reindeer was something I treated myself to at the Country Living fair in London, but you can buy them online from here.

I *love* making things from found bits and bobs.  It's very satisfying to know that items which don't really have much of a purpose can be pulled together to create something pretty.

As the year draws to its inevitable close, I find myself looking back and recalling some of its the day I stood on the sand island on Portminster beach and for a few minutes there was nothing but the warmth of the sun, the soothing sound of the waves and the calling of the gulls.  I remember feeling very peaceful and happy, and even now when I remember that day I get the same feeling again.

I remember meeting new friends for the first time, and feeling like I'd met the tribe of chums I'd long been yearning for - savvy, funny and bright, wise, clever and creative.  We are scattered across the UK, but have forged a bond that will endure.

And then there were some more difficult hurdles to overcome.  My partner lost his Mum in October, and I remember that heartbreaking drive to South Wales felt as if something hugely dark and inescapable were looming up behind us and there was a feeling of being at a loss, of grasping at hope although futile, of losing all sense of normality.  We spoke soothing words to each other to try and ease the painful reality of what was to come.

We made it to the hospital in time and we will be forever grateful that he was able to speak to her before she drifted into a sleepy coma.  She died on his birthday in the early hours, and there was a single clap of thunder and flash of lightening around the time of her passing that nobody could really explain.  She was a feisty woman with a heart of gold and a marvellous sense of humour which she has passed on to her son and grand daughter in turn.  She gave so much and was the most generous spirit that will be missed enormously.

It seems in some ways that 2012 was a year of losses, of surmounting hurdles and moving on.  I lost my Literary Agent earlier this year which although at the time was upsetting and disappointing, has left me free to pursue other avenues with my art.  We don't always see the gifts in loss at the time, but when we can accept the loss and start to move on then the blessings are revealed.

A long term friendship also dissolved, and I'm at pains to say that this was a very difficult journey.  There came a point where I felt the friendship was becoming toxic; I felt drained and tired being around this person and I began to realise that this friendship was no longer making me happy.

Despite several attempts to make the friendship work, it soon became clear that this wasn't an option and sadly it ended very sourly.  I experienced fear, intimidation, guilt, sadness and finally apathy.  I'm now much happier without this person in my life but am still grateful for the good times that we shared in the early years of getting to know one another.  I have emerged a much stronger person who now understands personal boundaries a little better.  I have strict rules on what I will and will not tolerate from another human being; perhaps if I hadn't tried so hard to please and to be 100% available to this person in the first place then maybe the friendship would have worked out differently.  Or not.  We are who we are, and sometimes we need to move away from someone in order to find the people who we truly fit with.
And so now I look towards 2013, and I am full of optimism for what's to come.  I have plans to create another Wish List of things to achieve next year - I started doing this in January of this year and it's amazing how when we write down our dreams and our goals we seem to add fuel to them actually becoming  a reality.  They can be large or small, it doesn't matter - but getting them out of our heads and onto paper creates real magic.

Some of the things on my Wish List that I achieved this year were:

1:  Spend Summer Solstice at the beach - we did, we were in Cornwall and it was beautiful!

2: Get an Indian Head Massage - done, and it was terrific and even more than I could have hoped for - more Indian Head Massages in 2013!!

3: Go to the Country Living Spring Fair - I had looonnnnng wished to go to this and this year I did!! And I went to the Christmas one too!

4:  Get an eye test - a pretty ordinary thing I know, but oh so necessary and something I'd put off for eons!! I booked myself in and huzzah, the eyes are top bonza!!

5:  Get a Kindle - I got one for my birthday, and although I'm very much a paper book person and still have a vast collection of books, I find my Kindle to be one of the best inventions in the world ever and wouldn't dream of being without it.

6:  Go to the Brudenell Hotel in Aldebrough for coffee and sit and watch the sea through the windows - done.

7:  See my friend Kirsty, who lives in Cornwall and whom I haven't seen in TEN YEARS!! - Done!! We went to the zoo with my daughter, it rained most of the day but we didn't care and it was the loveliest feeling in the world to see her again, the nicest thing being that it felt like yesterday that we had last seen one another.

Some of the things I didn't get around to...

1:  Sea swimming.  It was just tooooo cold this year.

2:  Kayak on a lake - my dream was to go up to the Lake District and do this, but the right time never presented itself.  Maybe next year...

3:  Make a proper Chilli Hot Chocolate.  Actually I plan to do this later on today :)


I think I'm going to love you and leave you now, finish up on my orders and sneak in a little Christmas Hooky time by the tree.

Have a lovely weekend, wherever you are in the world.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Simple Lovely Things

It's been a month of Simple Lovely Things.

From the first bite of a Russet apple, to warming ourselves around a glowing orange bonfire and watching jewel coloured fireworks bloom and glitter against a dark night sky.

I've loved seeing the leaves turn colour; the woods suddenly awash with a rainbow of colour, and in contrast, the sketch like silhouettes of seed heads against an afternoon sky soaked with the promise of a wind whipped squall.

Something else special happened this month.  I went to London to meet a group of women I had never met in person before (apart from one)...but let me start from the beginning and put you in the picture.

Many moons ago, a few of us arty crafty sorts began chatting on Facebook; we had connected through our Pages and over the weeks and months that followed began to chat on a daily basis, each providing a bit of conversation in an often quiet and solitary lifestyle (as it is for the folks who work from home alone), help and suggestions for business related things, a space to have a moan and a groan, all interspersed with huge doses of laughter.  I have to confess, and I know it may sound strange, but these women have reduced me to tears of hysterical laughter many times as I sat at my laptop working.

It came to pass that we decided to meet up.  There would be seven of us altogether, travelling from all corners of  the UK to meet in London on that damp, rain drenched morning at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, for the Country Living Christmas Fair.

Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting six kindred spirits?  Six people who all instantly connect with one another?  Have you ever had a day with six strangers, who in the space of a few hours become Very Special Friends?

from L ~ R: Sarah (Kate's lovely sister), Kate from Kate Creates, Andrea from Polka, Helen from Kindred Rose (who features in the December edition of Country Living magazine), Me, Marna from Little A Designs and Roslyn from Roslyn Mitchell Designs.

From that morning, til we left in the fairy-light sprinkled night, we talked and laughed constantly, and then laughed some more.  Around each corner was another discovery to OOhhHH and AaahHHH at; Christmassy food and drink to be sampled, decorations to be bought, and gifts to be taken home.

Crafty Chums

The Christmas Table by Susie Watson Designs

The bustle of the Fair

Later that afternoon, we went for a meal at an Italian restaurant.  Resting our weary feet and sipping a welcoming glass of wine I mentioned that the famous wool shop, Loop, was in Islington somewhere, and wondered whether I'd have time to find it before my train left.  It didn't take long to discover where it was; literally just across the road and down Camden Passage as it turned out!  There were murmers of excitement, and we all agreed to go.

We finished our meal and crossed the busy high street, crammed with big red buses, stores and restaurants and then disappeared down a quiet little lane.  We were suddenly in another world, quieter, and lit by twinkling fairy light stars that were strung up above between the quaint buildings.  Tiny shop windows beckoned, full of beautiful things which seemed suffused with a warm golden light.  There were candle lanterns on the pavement, the scent of delicious food and hot coffee, the air felt full of magic and glamours and suddenly nobody wanted to go home.

And then we found Loop.  I think it might be easy to walk past it if you weren't looking for it.

A peek through the window of Loop

Loop, for those of you who don't have a wool infatuation, is a treasure trove of a shop, full to bursting with delicious yarns from all around the globe; those hard to come by brands, those softer than a feather skeins, those rainbow infused balls that sat in plump stacks of colour co-ordinated lovely-ness.  There was a Sophie Digard scarf hanging up by the counter too, and I gazed in awe at the tiny stitches, the beautiful detail, the inspiring colours.

I confess to buying not a single thing, but I drank it all in and next time I go to London, I shall take myself there with some spending money and treat myself to something special.

All too soon it seemed, it was time to go and catch our various buses and trains.  At the tube station we said our goodbyes, all of us slightly teary eyed and sad to be leaving.  Many hugs later we were on our way, each of us a little bit richer from that day, with the wealth of  new friendships still warm in our pockets.

I feel very lucky to have the pleasure of having those six fabulous ladies in my life, and already we have plans to meet again.  I can't wait :)


I've been busy making a new range of decorations...

And they're proving rather popular - so much so, I haven't had a chance to get them on my website yet as the ones Ive had, have sold!

After a week or so where I felt I had run out of steam, and felt utterly devoid of New Ideas, my friend Helen told me to take some time out away from work things.  As it happened, my sister was visiting and it was the school holidays so I made merry for a few days and forgot about everything.

And that's when the magic happens, when you've forgotten about everything, left the stress behind and chosen to enjoy life for a bit.  The ideas creep in quietly and then suddenly, there you have it!

Little wooden heart decorations, hand painted and signed, some stamped with a vintage style typewriter stamping set text, varnished and given a pretty cord ribbon to hang up with.  I couldn't be more thrilled with the response these have had, and if you're interested, I'm currently taking orders through my Facebook Page for them.  Just drop me a message if you'd like to get on my list (my order book is currently still open) :)

So, Id best be away and get back to work - I've got some Christmas music playing (I know, I know it's only November but it really does help to get me in the mood when Im painting those cheery little robins!!) and there's a big mug of hot tea waiting for me.  Thanks for dropping by to see me today - oh, and one more thing - if you haven't signed up already to receive my Art Ezine which I send out each month, there's still time to do so for this months issue...there's a very special preview of another brand new Christmas product that Im launching, so get your hands on your copy here!  **Please do add me to your contacts list so you receive my mails please!**
Right, Im off.

Thanks for reading, I'll see you again soon.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Vintage Flower Doily Garland

Once upon a time, I discovered a crochet artist called Sophie Digard.  I fell into immediate rapturous love with her intricate lace like scarves; an alchemy of design and colour that had the inspiration levels soaring into overdrive!  I had never worked with cotton before, but decided it was something that I'd like to try crocheting with very much indeed.  My dear old Nan used to crochet doilies when she was alive, and these too held the same fragile allure for me.  Such care had been taken with the beautiful patterns, the elegant stitches creating a floral masterpiece that would have taken quite some time to create.

The thing was, a doily seemed doable, but a scarf or a shawl made with such fine threads seemed a little daunting.  Did I have the patience to work diligently at something that would surely be a labour of love, an endurance, a project that would take a Very Long Time?

In short, no.

I'm one of these people who sometimes like a quick result, a fast and happy little project that can be quickly made and installed; a project that I can work at alongside my Bigger Blanket projects.  And whilst I love the vintage feel of a crocheted doily, I wanted something a little more colourful and festive; something that would feel inspiring and exciting to look at.  So I decided to make a garland; a flowery, autumnal garland that I could hang in my home.  A garland inspired by my Nan's pretty doilies and the delicate threads of Sophie's beautiful creations, indeed it would be a miniature floral doily garland!

Oh the excitement at realising a new project is about to be undertaken!

So a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a handful of skeins of cotton thread.  I spent a happy half hour winding them onto old style wooden laundry pegs (my preferred method of storing all embroidery cottons).  I chose DMC perle cotton skeins #8, but you can also buy this in balls.

And then I dug out my Crochet Motifs book and looked for some pretty doily style flowers to make.

As most of the patterns are from the book, Im sorry to say that I cannot reproduce them here - but if you have the book yourself I can point you in the general direction of the flowers I chose (numbers 41 and 53).

I also designed a little flower myself - for which the pattern is here:

The stitches are written in US terms.

  • Ch4, SS to join to form ring.

  • Ch3, 14DC into ring, SS to join (15 stitches).

  • *Ch5, SS into 3rd stitch along* Repeat ** around circle, until you have 5 half circle loops made from the chain stitches.  SS to finish round in first stitch.

  • *6DC into each half circle loop*  Repeat ** into each loop to make petals, SS to finish and tie off.  Secure ends by sewing into the back of the flower.

You can use this pattern with any yarn of course, but for those of you who'd like to try out the cotton perle flowers that I made here, I used a 2.5 hook.

But's time for a little Ta~Dah moment!

I've hung my little flowery doily garland over some photos and decopatched letters.

What do you think??  I'm rather smitten by it, and am now contemplating making one for my kitchen!  The flowers, although a little fiddly to start with do crochet up quite quickly once you get the hang of working with the cotton (I'm used to working with DK yarn, so it was quite a difference to me and took a little getting used to).  However, I think it's worth persevering with as the outcome is so delicate and pretty.

To  join your flowers to form a garland, choose a cotton/yarn colour and start by attaching with a SS to the top of a flower; then chain across (I chained 25 here) and SS to join your next flower.  Just carry on in this way until all flowers are attached and finish off with a SS in the top of the last flower, secure and tie in ends.

I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial; I'm going to love you and leave you now as I feel a big mug of tea coming on!! Thanks for coming by today!

Much love

Friday, 12 October 2012

Autumn's Pleasures

It's the time of year when I get the urge to nestle and make my house cosy.  I want to make a new blind for my window and tie backs for my curtains...I have a desire to sort through my fabric stash, and fold it into neat piles whilst dreaming of things I can make with it.  I discover enticing projects in magazines and on Pinterest that I suddenly need to be making.  I want to be cooking delicious, seasonal soups and soul warming food; like French toast on a Sunday morning, gently scorched golden and crisp, and generously dressed with a spoon of my favourite Berries and Cherries jam.

Such simple things like making my home cosy for the colder months, and preparing good food makes me feel very contented.

I also like the colours of this time of year - if ever there were a siren from nature that Summer was up and Autumn was in it's the glorious rainbow leaves that adorn our trees so briefly, before the high winds have them spiralling and spinning to the ground.  Green melts quietly into the palest of yellow and deepest of ochres; and then the dramatic russets and golds, tarnished with bronze and amber illuminate the stark branches against vivid blue or wildly dark grey skies.  I see firey reds, scarlet and purple ~ the city is ablaze with colour and it's beautiful.

Out shopping the other day I stumbled upon a bunch of sunflowers, very reasonably priced in my little supermarket I might add,  that were just begging me to take them home.  I put them in a crochet covered jam jar and enjoyed seeing their happy yellow faces enormously.

The simple things... winding crochet cotton onto wooden pegs and planning a little project with those faded, vintage colours on a tiny little hook...something to brighten up my little house...

... and making a warming chicken and vegetable soup to eat whilst escaping amongst the pages of Country Living magazine...

It was whilst I was enjoying this very bowl of soup that the Postie brought me something rather exciting.  I'd been waiting for this particular parcel for some time, with a mixture of trepidation and expectation.  You see, I'd made the decision to have a collection of my art work printed professionally as greetings cards and had sent my images off to a lovely printing company to be turned into proofs.  I was over the moon with how they have turned out, what do you think?

From the Christmas Collection:

From the Coastal Collection:

I'm going to be busy placing an order for these now, and they'll be available in my Gallery Shop very soon.

There is much to do on the art front; I'm making plans for the work I'll be taking to the Christmas Fair in December, as well as keeping busy with several commission pieces.  In the midst of all this, I would love to make space to create a brand new Christmas card design - I suppose I'm rather late with this compared to some, but I'm sure I can make it materialise in time if I try!

I wish you all a beautiful weekend, wherever you are in the world.

Psssst!!! Have you subscribed to my monthly Art E-zine yet? I can promise you some wonderful seasonal discounts to come in the next couple of months on my art!  Just complete the box up in the side bar and look forward to it plopping into your inbox x

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sea Blue Hooky


I was all cosy on the sofa the other evening, wrapped up in my ripple blanket with a nice cuppa and a copy of Country Living magazine.  I noticed that twilight was infusing the blue sky with it's velvety darkness and I suddenly had an urge to start a new crochet project...darker nights make me want to dig out my hook and a stash of soft wool and get busy.  The next day, I took myself off to the local wool shop and browsed the shelves looking for the right shades for my new scarf.

Yes, another scarf.

I cannot help myself when it comes to making scarves - it's because it's such a portable project, and pretty quickly made up I think, so I enjoy making them.  Plus, it's always nice to have a cosy and colourful collection to dip into come the colder weather.

But this time, I wasn't after bold, bright splashes of colour.  This time, I was trying something very different ~ I was on the lookout for sea blues and greys, the colours that I associate with the coast in winter...I envisaged a smooth, round, charcoal coloured pebble encircled with an elipse of white sitting in my palm...I saw pale blue skies, with gulls wheeling high above on the thermals...I saw stormy grey blue seas, wind whipped into frothy white waves that crashed onto pale sandy shores...I felt the cool, bleak wonder of a beach walk in January, discovering bleached driftwood and tiny white shells sprinkled on the tide line amidst muddy brown fronds of seaweed.

I wanted to find these kinds of colours for my scarf.  And I discovered Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK and I was smitten.

The shades of this yarn are beautiful, and capture everything I was thinking of.  I also had a pattern in mind for this scarf, which is called the Starburst stitch.  You can probably get a free tutorial online for this stitch, but Im using the one that's in Handbook of Crochet Stitches.

I like how the Starburst stitch looks a little bit like waves on the ocean...

I must admit, despite being landlocked and yearning for brisk Autumn walks on a beach, I do like this time of year in these parts.  The countryside is slowly fading, the carnival of Summer packs up it's glamours and slowly moves on, replaced by that chill in the air, an undefinable feeling, a wistful sense of something passing...of log fires and hot chocolate, of walking in crunchy leaves down lanes where the air is tinged with the scent of a bonfire.  All of these things have me yearning to be in the kitchen making delicious things... aromatic parsnip and apple soup...*recipe can be found in October Edition of Country Living Magazine*

There is something very comforting about home made soup, fresh off the hob and dished up with a warm baguette, generously buttered and served with a big mug of tea.  It is comforting, and reassuring and homely.

I do enjoy these small comforts, they help me to make the transition from Summer to the colder months ahead.  I know I'm one of those souls who, despite liking each season enormously, deeply laments the passing of the warmer days.

I'm currently tucked up indoors working on a commission painting; I'm also starting new sketches for the solo exhibition I am in next year, at Studio 61 Gallery, in Derbyshire.  This is my first ever solo exhibition and I'm thrilled to have been invited to show with the gallery.

Also, for the first time in many moons, I have agreed to do a Christmas fair - it's hosted by the very talented Kate Brazier of Kate Creates, and I'll be down in Newton Regis on the 8th December to sell some Christmas and Coastal wares!

I can feel a cup of tea coming on now, I'll see you next time - thanks for bobbing by.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Painting Summer

After a rather wet Summer here, I sit at my easel and I'm noticing that Autumn is approaching; creeping in quietly and unobtrusively.  I notice in a sudden gust of wind a spiral of crisp leaves whirling to the ground.  I see that it's ever so slightly darker than usual in the mornings when we get up, and there's a chill come early evening.

September also sees the little people toddling off to school again, and a wistful feeling pervades the air.  I was in Brighton recently and walked past WH Smiths, I was instantly transported back in time to my own childhood; the smell of that shop reminds me of going to buy new pencil cases and pens, ring binder folders and wrapping paper to cover our exercise books with.  September is very much a time of New Beginnings, and with my girl back at school now, I can turn my attention to my painting again, and capture the essence of Summer on my mini canvas work.  My latest piece is this ever so tiny offering (above) ~ just 9 x 7cm!  It's called 'Cream Tea' and depicts the perfect scenario of a jam and clotted cream scone overlooking a sparkling turquoise sea.

Over the last few weeks, I've had the pleasure of creating several mini canvas commission pieces featuring things all seaside related - so to remind you of warm days with toes in the sand and boats on the ocean, here are a few of them for you to see:

Tea by the Sea

Camper Van

Lighthouse and Boat

So, with the wee one back in school, Im settling into my own routine again.  I've been updating my website a bit and I've finally got a gloriously colourful gallery store front which I'm chuffed to bits with!  I hope you like it too :)

I find now and then, that I'll have a burst of ideas, and they present themselves at the strangest moments when I've no way of doing anything with them.  The idea to do this to my web shop happened when I was 100 metres up the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

The children thought the glass floor was a hoot by the way...

...yes, those small things below really are boats.

But anyway - what to do when inspiration strikes and you can't act on it straight away?

I creatively percolate it.

This means day dreaming about my idea regularly, and by doing this,  it gives it the capacity to grow and transform into something bigger and better.

I also write my ideas down in a small book.  This is very useful for me to come back to, as it captures the essential buzz I had about the idea in the first place and gives me a starting point to work from when time has passed and the idea has become a little fuzzy around the edges, or even forgotten.  It's also a positive way of recording things that I can't get to do right off, and that feel important.  It's easy to feel frustrated or impatient when you can't work on your Next Big Thing right off, so harness that energy and use it to creatively percolate your idea instead.  You can use this energy to shape your idea into something bigger and brighter and all you need invest is just a few minutes doing so.  Your imagination is a poweful tool and you can use it to expand and change your vision into anything you want.  You'll know you're on the right track because you'll get that fizzy feeling of excitement in your belly about it.

Using these tools, the web page I finally designed was something much better than what I first pictured.

Try it.

One last thing before I go ~ many thanks to all of you who answered my short survey which appeared on the last blog post, Im very grateful that you took the time to do that and appreciate your feedback.

See you all soon,

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