Latest Posts

il_570xN.776773382_72ei

Etsy Seller Spotlight!

Okay so I’m sure that you guys know by now how much I’m LIVINNG for macarame & hanging planters, so what better product than a combination of the two? It’s a match made in heaven!

il_570xN.772781518_s6f1

This weeks spotlight I’m showcasing Scout Gathers, the sweet and aptly named etsy shop run by Melbourne based crafter and designer Kate Gordes.

il_570xN.734424618_rvlo

I’m astounded by the intricacy of her macrame skills and how she incorporates fresh and modern colours with this boho 70’s aesthetic.

il_570xN.783752598_ktnx

Her products have an elegant simplicity and the copper accents are bang on trend for your leafy living spaces.

il_570xN.766263211_8eyy

Not only does she make cool ombre planters, she also makes fantastic jewellery too! Go and envy at her amazing macarame skills, I promise you won’t be disappointed. :)

To see for yourself, go and check out some more of their products!

Shop

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

diy brass geometric hanging planter

5 Amazing DIYs To Trick Out Your Home Office

So I’ve been insanely busy in the last few weeks packing for the big move. In a way though, it feels incredibly cleansing throwing out bags and bags of old crap. Who knew you could accumulate so much random junk over 4 years?

Anyway, as I’m moving back into my family home, my parents have been gracious enough to let me have one of the unused outhouses in the garden and convert it into a studio, which I am SO excited about. I’m planning on decorating and furnishing it slowly and hopefully in the next few months I’ll have a pretty sweet studio tour ready for you guys!

DSC_0056

Directly in front of the space there is a bomb shelter that is covered by a very large lush vine and as a teenager, I never paid much attention or really cared about what kind of plant it could be. It’s only now that I’m returning to my hometown as an adult, have I realized that the plant outside of my new studio is a wisteria plant.

Everything happens for a reason, right?

Well anyway, as I’ve been poring over home office/workspace DIYs and tutorials lately, I thought I’d share with you some of the ideas that have inspired me the most!

Brass Himmeli Hanging Planter – I am freakin’ loving himmeli structures at the moment and these make a stunning alternative to the beautifully crafted (but very expensive) store bought ones.

Marble and Copper Stationary – What office would be complete without some seriously stunning stationary? Copper is such a huge trend at the moment and given the chance I would cover this in literally everything.

Metal Cabinet Makeover – I wrote about how I hoard craft supples in a previous post, so one of my goals for my new work space will be to have effective storage! This cabinet makeover is pure genius.

DIY Pegboard Wall Organizer – Hang up your coat and your worries with this awesome wall organizer. Make your space your sanctuary.

Leather Folders – I think I’ve shared these folders before, but they are seriously amazing. Just look at them!

So there you have it! Let me know if any of you guys try any of these, I’d love to see how it goes! If you have any neat office/workspace tutorials, let me know! I’m so excited to get crafting and show you guys what I’ve come up with!

Have a great day guys!

DSC_0343

6 Resources All Creative Entrepreneurs Need To Know About.

Hold Your head high, you can do this.

Listen to this because people will try to tell you that what you are about to do is not possible.

Read this because the world needs to know what amazing things you are capable of.

Order this because things will get hectic and you need a home for all of your thoughts, goals and plans.

Print this because you need to be able to mark and celebrate your accomplishments!

Make this because it will help you organize your office & work space.

When in doubt, remind yourself that you are extraordinary that you didn’t choose this path because it would be easy, but because it will be worth it!

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.

*This post contains an affiliate link, but only because I bought it last year and thought it was truly amazing.

Keep going, I believe in you!

MM_PaintingWithThread

Etsy Seller Spotlight!

Today’s Spotlight is with MaricorMaricar, a shop run by Sydney based twin sisters that specialize in commercial illustration, and textile typography. Their elaborate embroideries are colourful, free flowing and uninterrupted which matches their self professed ‘painting with thread‘ style.

MM_Love_1

Their quality craftsmanship is well respected and they have an impressive portfolio working with  high profile clients, such as Vogue Japan, Design*Sponge, and The Washington Post – to name but a few!

MM_vogue_01

It’s also their keen eye for detail and beautifully organic hand lettered script embroideries that I love the most. For anyone that has ever tried to replicate such beautiful fonts, you’ll know that it is not an easy feat, let alone embroidering it in such a fluid blend of colour. You really have to see it to believe it!

il_570xN.698120898_8r7q

Their embroideries are one off unique works of art which are priced accordingly to their craftsmanship. But fear not! The girls also sell high quality prints of their work via their etsy shop which means that we can all get a hold of their stunning pieces without breaking the bank. So what are you waiting for?

To see for yourself, go and check out some more of their products!

Shop

Facebook

Blog

Website

DSC_0319

Do Something Different – Go On Adventures.

DSC_0265

DSC_0263

DSC_0284

DSC_0287bw

DSC_0308

DSC_0315

DSC_0319

DSC_0320

DSC_0337

With less than a week to go before our big move, we decided to finally take a trip down to Norwich after 4 years of constantly planning and dithering about whether we should go or not. It was late in the afternoon and totally unplanned but still freakin’ awesome. I’m trying to get into the practice of taking my camera along during outings so I can practice my photography skills. I’m hoping that after enough outings, I’ll get into the habit of taking more photos of life as it’s happening instead of only dusting it off for special occasions. I heard a great piece of advice that really struck a chord with me recently.

You never regret taking too many photos. 

So I’m hoping that these wise words will motivate me to not miss out on a single moment.

Anyway, here’s a few highlights & photos of our day:

– Browsed for like 10 years in Tiger and almost spent all of my money on a fishing kit & some woven baskets.

– Found the most gorgeous bakery, Macaroons and More.

– Stopped for lunch at the most amazing place that sells chips with a TON of different toppings called Hot Chip. I ordered mine with southern fried chicken and homemade sweet chilli sauce and an extra ladle of home made curry sauce. If you’re in the area, you should go there. It was seriously yummy.

– Went to the oldest head shop in the UK. Seriously cool.

– Went to an antique market inside a huge converted church. Lusted over a beautiful vintage bike and a mint green vintage record player.

– Bought a white geode and a salt crystal candle holder at Inanna’s Festival. If you’re spiritual, or are comforted by the idea of magic and mythology, then this is definitely somewhere you should go. The staff are really nice and incredibly knowledgeable. Word of warning though, if someone tells you that something is made from salt, take their word for it. Licking a huge hunk of salt is totally not a good idea. :(

– Debated over whether to go to Waffle House or Merge Chinese Buffet for dinner.

– Went to the buffet.

– Got a bit lost and couldn’t find the car park. (Jesus, Norwich is so big compared to Colchester & Ipswich!)

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend, and don’t forget to do something different and spontaneous every now and again. It may seem like a lot of hassle to start with, but stick with it and it’ll recharge your batteries and make you feel much happier :)

DSC_0251

Thrifty DIY Gold Matchbox Gardens

Look at how mighty these tiny little gardens are! Yeah, you heard me right.. they’re gardens. I’ve seen some fantastic spring/summer time party/wedding favors going around lately on Pinterest and the bloggosphere and decided to try my hand at one of these nifty little organic gifts.

DSC_0243

The idea for these came about when I challenged myself to craft within my means. I know… as painful as it sounds, I have to learn to limit my DIY addiction. Well – this is not necessarily true, I just have to craft smarter, not harder!

Anyway, I’m sure that if you’re anything like me, you hoard supplies like a squirrel, often forgetting what is buried at the back of your draws and on the highest, dustiest parts of your shelves. This means that 90% of the supplies that I buy are never used.

I can’t be the only person that does this? I’ve tried everything from displaying everything in plain sight, to constantly tidying and reorganizing, but some things just never see the light of day.

This is why I’m trying to challenge myself to craft within my means, and I challenge you to try the same! Using your creativity to use the things that you already have in your home can actually really help you to come up with awesome ideas.

Have you ever had absolutely no food in the cupboards, but still found a way to make 3 eggs, some olives, rice and a few spices taste like a gourmet dinner? Well it’s basically the same principle here, limiting your supply can really help to hone your creative talents. I know that whenever I have too many creative options, I often feel paralyzed by the possibilities. This is why this can be such a refreshing exercise for nurturing your creativity.

DSC_0248

I value transparency, so I thought I’d give you guys a little heads up – I’m really excited to have started an affiliate program! Hopefully this new venture will allow me to cover some of the costs of blogging, and produce better content for you guys! So this post will contain affiliate links, but I would only ever recommend products that I’ve tried and loved. :) Thanks for your support!

Anyway, here’s the run down for how I made these thrifty party favors.

For this you will need:

small matchboxes

white acrylic paint. I always use Artiste Acrylic Paints, (I freakin LOVE all their pastel colours)

gold acrylic paint

gold glitter

pva glue

some cotton wool

1 packet of cress seeds

First off, empty your matchboxes and give the outside sleeves a few coats of white paint. It will actually take quite a while before your boxes are completely white, so just stick with it, let it dry between coats, and keep painting.

When the white outside sleeve is dry, grab a black sharpie or any fine point black marker and draw a grid shape along the top and bottom parts of your white sleeve. Don’t fret about it being too precise, just have fun!

Leave the outside sleeve to dry and start painting the inside drawer in gold acrylic. Again, you’ll need a few layers for this to look pretty and sparkly.

Once they’re all painted up, brush a thin even layer of tacky PVA glue onto the ends of the inside drawer. Then dunk the ends in some gold glitter! Yaayy! :)

DSC_0251

Now to sow your seeds! Tear apart some cotton balls with your fingers and gently pat your cotton inside the matchbox drawer like you’re making a bed for a mouse. (Awwwh I know, that’s such a cute image!)

I tried using kitchen towel to begin with but found that it dried out too easily and killed my first batch ):

From what I’ve learnt, the easiest way to sow your seeds is to spray a little bit of water onto your cotton and then pour a few seeds onto a clean worktop. Dip your finger in a bit of water to pick up the seeds from the counter top and place them directly onto your cotton. Once you have your seeds evenly distributed (it said sow thickly on my packet, but when I did that, they also died, so spread them evenly), grab a small flat surface like the back of a small metal spoon, and veeeerrryy gently just press the seeds into the cotton. Give your cotton another spray to keep your seeds in place and you should be good to go!

And there you have it!

I want to know what you guys can create with a little imagination from the things you already have around the house. I’ve done it, and now I challenge you to craft within your means.

(I did have to go out and buy pva for this project but shhhhh no one has to know that!)

Go forth and make!

Remember to share your results :)

DSC_0033

How To Reach Your Target Audience (Even When You Don’t Know Who They Are)

This is a subject that I could literally write pages and pages on. Which is why I’ve had to split this post into a few easily digestible chunks. So sit down with a coffee and some biscuits and read and reread it as many times as you need. :)

And there’s a cool little challenge for you at the end!


Start from the beginning.

Whether you are selling a product, or are just blogging for fun, you can make your content go much further when you know who it is that you’re talking to.

But what does this even mean? Who are these elusive target readers we are trying to reach out to?

For me, the ‘target audience’ has always been this wishy washy demographic that always reminded me of secondary school english lessons, when we would have to write posters and ‘magazine articles’ about healthy eating or the dangers of crossing the road incorrectly.

Does anyone else remember this? When you would write in a particularly zany and cringey way to appeal to a younger demographic, or write in an unnecessarily formal tone to appeal to the ‘older audience’.

If only it was that easy!

But there’s no need to fear, I have found your solution! First off, you’re going to need to wash away all preconceived ideas about what a target audience is. Everything we’ve been taught in school has been a lie.


Who Are My Target Audience?

The truth is, that they aren’t faceless grey people made up of age groups and genders, they’re real, tangible relationships waiting to be made. Thinking about them as a generic demographic can be dangerous because it makes us distance ourselves from our reader/customer.

A much better exercise for you is to create a few select profiles of your audience members and use them as a guideline for the kind of content you want to put out there.

It sounds silly, but you have to really make these people real.

And when it’s done right, you will find when you explain to others who your target reader is, many people will know someone who is exactly like that.

In an episode of one of my all time favourite (seriously, it’s like being taught business skills by one of your best friends) podcasts Elise Get’s Crafty, Megan Auman briefly touches on customer profiles and how she targets her pinterest towards specific people instead of large demographics. One of her ideal customers she has named, (which I totally recommend you do!) Bernise, “a hip grandma with a grey white bob and awesome red glasses,”.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but do we not all know a Bernise in our lives?

This is a great example of how to start building your customer profile. Give them names! Give them job titles! Give them favourite movies, hobbies, colours and styles! Do they rent? What is their monthly income? What are their hopes and dreams? What are they struggling with?

Make them real people, because that’s exactly who they are.


Create Good Content.

Once you have all of this information, you will be able to pinpoint exactly what it is that they need and produce it for them.

A good example of this is Kat Lee and her ebook Maximize Your Mornings. She was able to identify that her ideal readers were busy mothers with young children and found a solution for a problem that she felt they may have had.

You see how this works? Find your reader, then solve their problems! That’s the basic foundation of how you will be able to reach your target audience.

If you’re still unsure about who your audience is, then the best place to start is with yourself. Chances are, you are your target audience.

That’s right – the answer has literally been under your nose this whole time!

Jokes aside, you wouldn’t be writing this stuff if you didn’t find it interesting, right? Well that’s a brilliant place to begin.

Start by considering the content that you already put out, whether its a product, an awesome tutorial or an instagram post. Now you must ask yourself the toughest question of them all.

Would you care?

If you, yourself were surfing the internet, and you came across your post; would you stop to read it? If the answer is no then you may have to rethink what you’re producing, and how it can appeal to your target audience. (you!)


Become an Expert

Another way to use yourself in your customer profile, is to think about your own struggles. It may seem very daunting giving advice/value to someone you’ve never met, but I heard an awesome quote somewhere (probably from this podcast again, seriously I love it!) that ‘an expert is just someone who is one step ahead.’.

Think about yourself and how much you’ve learnt, lets say, in the past year. You’ve learnt an awful lot of things am I right? If you were to write a post right now about lets say – pinterest strategies, but last year you knew nothing about pinterest strategies, I bet that last year you would have found the information from that article very useful.

By using obstacles you’ve overcome and struggles you’ve faced, you can also create a customer profile that has so much more depth, than your run of the mill ‘woman between the ages of 20-30 that enjoys crafts’. You’ll also find that when creating profiles, you are really able to understand the problems that need solving, because they could be problems that you, yourself, have faced.


Be Authentic

Creating a character profile adds a level of accountability to your work. For example, my customer profiles are all women, who are at similar points in their lives as I am. Their hopes and dreams and fears and insecurities are all spliced up into different variations of my own.

When I reread their profiles, it gives me such immense motivation to write something for them, because I am writing to them, the words that I myself needed to hear at certain points in my life.

I am solving a problem that I have already found a solution to, and by doing this, I feel as though it makes me work so much harder to produce quality because I know what it feels like to doubt yourself, or to feel overwhelmed by business and social media.

By treating your profiles as your friends, and using them as a sort of, quality control for your content, (would they like this?) you will find that directing content towards them will feel much more organic. Your writing and your purpose will feel much more authentic, because you ARE authentic.


Call to Action.

Now, I know that this is a very long post (thanks for sticking with me!), but I would like to leave you with one last call to action.

I challenge you to create 3 customer/reader profiles.

I want you to flesh out these profiles until you feel 100% accountable for improving their lives.

Include things like:

  • Their Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Renting or Owning?
  • Income
  • Job title
  • Hobbies
  • Daily Routines
  • Goals
  • Spirituality
  • Stress levels
  • Concerns
  • Insecurities
  • Achievements
  • What inspires them?
  • What do they need in their lives?
  • What are they working towards?
  • How can you help them achieve this?

You don’t have to include all of these, and you can add more of their personality and likes/dislikes or anything else that I may have forgotten to mention.

So go! Run wild!


Thanks for taking the time to read all of this and please let me know if you found it helpful, or if you feel that there was anything I missed. If there are any other topics you wanted me to post about, let me know in the comments!

Also do you guys also prefer long or shorter posts? I was originally going to split this post into 3, but I decided to take the plunge and write it all into one big post. What are your thoughts?

And Finally – just out of curiosity, what are you guys like? Who reads this blog? I’d love to know how my audience compare with my target audience! I’ll let you in on a little secret.. My target audience profiles are called Laura, Elsie and Crystal. If any of you actually have those names, please get in touch! I’m curious, haha! :D

il_570xN.518258770_d7nu

Etsy Seller Spotlight!

This week, I’m spotlighting Depeapa, a quirky etsy shop that boasts the coolest geometric and graphic products in the land! Spanish based Verónica de Arriba, is the brains behind the business and it’s hard not to feel like you’d be the coolest kid on the block with some of her awesome prints and homewares.

il_570xN.689002671_s1kd


Her simple geometric aesthetic is beautifully captured by her boyfriend and photographer, Argider Aparicio in this business dream team.

il_570xN.452646432_dbr2

Her style is minimal, and uncomplicated, with the softest tones of marble, pink, grey, and mustard.

il_570xN.628023728_d50y

Her designs also include people, animals, and typography!

il_570xN.663823060_a2c1

Despite her refined and unique style, Depeapa’s price points are incredibly reasonable, which gives you no excuse!

To see for yourself, go and check out some more of their products!

Shop

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

DSC_0197nocurve

Prickly Pear Cactus Wrapping Paper DIY

DSC_0225

So, this DIY also comes with an announcement.. I’m leaving Essex! That’s right, my home for the last 4 or so years, will soon be but a distant memory and a tiny dot on the horizon in my rear view mirror. I feel incredibly happy, and also a little scared of this new path that I’m venturing down. As with anything, change is difficult. I’m also the kind of person that likes to have everything meticulously planned and organized.. something that is very hard to do when you’re relocating. It’s tough – but I need to learn how to step back, take a deep breath and just let it be.

Still though, I’m excited to be moving to Kent near my family and friends and me and Matt are both looking forward to living in an area that feels a lot more like home.

Amidst all of the chaos, planning and stressing out, I decided to carve out a few hours to do something simple, creative and calming.

94a0a16cfd018d3b1fde105c103cbbe7

After finding some dreamy lilac prickly pears on pinterest, (if anyone knows who took this, let me know! I can’t find the credit for it anywhere!) I became inspired by the pretty colours and patterns and wondered how I could turn that into wrapping paper.. Enter – the humble salad potato.

DSC_0160

It’s literally SO simple, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before!

For this you will need:

a roll of brown parcel wrapping paper

some different coloured acrylics, I used dark green, pastel green, lilac and white, but looking back I bet a few flashes of fushia woulda looked awesome

two small salad potatoes, try and find some that have more of a natural tear drop shape to them

a small steak knife, or anything that has a sharp point

and that’s pretty much it!

DSC_0167

Firstly, take your knife and carefully slice your potato length ways so you have quite a large surface area for the bottom of the plant. Next, take another potato and cut off the tip of the narrowest part of the potato. You should be left with a large circle, and a small circle. Once you’ve done this, take your knife and cut out very small circles so it should look like this.

DSC_0162

They don’t have to be perfect circles, you’ll get a more organic look this way :) Once you’ve done this, create lines of paint in a dish to stamp your potatoes onto. Try to think about how it will look when it is printed, and don’t let the colours mix too much!

DSC_0171

Then grab your potatoes and a few pieces of scrap paper to experiment!

DSC_0172

See what different colour combinations that you can create and experiment with different amounts of paint! This is really the fun part, just have fun and make a mess :)

DSC_0173

Once you are happy with your colours and how it’s turning out, you’re ready for printing!

DSC_0187

Use the larger circles for the main part of the plant and the smaller circles for the newer pear leaves.

DSC_0191

Once you’re done, let it dry and you’re ready to wrap! Add a simple white bow for some added elegance.

DSC_0202

DSC_0207

DSC_0225

http://heju.fr/

10 Chic DIYS That Will Instantly Add Style to Your Grown Up Spaces

I grew up in a bustling Punjabi household against the backdrop of busy flamboyant prints and vivid sequined fabrics. In our household, more was always more. Whether it was generous helpings of indulgent family recipes, or the cacophony of crazy patterned decor, life was always good, when everything was plentiful.

During my teen years this philosophy stayed with me, and loud prints would always find their way into my wardrobe. I would endlessly trawl boot fairs and seaside towns, collecting various handfuls of junk (ok, I still do this..) to surround myself with.

To be honest, I thought that this upbringing would always influence my lifestyle, but over time, I’ve noticed a decline in my interest for trinkets and patterns. Is that just a part of getting older? When we notice that our prized possessions are actually just junk and what we once called eclectic, we now call clutter…

Maybe it’s just the effects of moving out of your family home. You leave home and find yourself replicating your teenage bedroom in the whole house, only to realize that having tons of stuff crowding every surface doesn’t feel visually soothing like a home should be.

When space becomes a commodity, monitoring and refining what you choose to display becomes an artform reserved only for the adultiest of adults.

But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! For a long time, I always worried that refining my style meant losing personality, until I realized that it’s YOU that brings the personality into the space. Just because you are selective and sparing with your choice of decor, doesn’t mean it has to be dull.

Here are a few of my favourite simple ways to add style to your grown up spaces.

Upcycle a Ladder – Yep, you heard me right. When I first heard of ladders being used as decor, my immediate thought was, ‘oh my god, why didn’t I think of that??’. There’s tons of extra storage, you get like 5 shelves in one handy piece of furniture, and its also a really good way to utilize all of those weirdly sloped walls or inaccessible nooks.

Mid Century Planters – I’m in love with mid century furniture right now, it’s so clean and quirky! This three legged side table DIY made out of a cake tin has buckets of personality.

Woven Wall Hangings – These are the ABSOLUTE object of my desire! I seriously love them. The beauty of these is that you could go for bright vibrant colours and textures, or you could go for a more neutral minimalist feel. Either way, it’s a win win! I need to learn how to make these, they would look super cute woven under a copper pipe, or a branch of driftwood.

Dipped Chair & Table Legs – This tutorial is super easy and makes any thrifted piece of furniture look instantly new and modern. Extra points if you’re spray painting it gold!

Super Chunky Knitted Blankets – After stumbling upon tons of these on Etsy, chunky blankets have literally been at the top of my wish list for some time. But at £200+ each, I might have to buy some yarn and give this pattern a go instead.

Macarame Hanging Planters – Macarame is AWESOME and definitely adds elegance to unexpected places. There are tons of easy tutorials for this on the internet, so go out and make! You can go for a beautifully rustic boho look by using unbleached cotton around a concrete planter, or opt for a more modern approach with some colourful rope with glossy white ceramics. Succulents, air plants, or terranium fish bowls are great for the less green fingered of us out there!

diy-marble-tray1

Brass Marbled Tray – I feel like this one doesn’t really need an explanation. You’re not a grown up until you can make a kick ass cheese board. That is actual science. This DIY is so incredibly easy to make and you can also use it in the bathroom for your toiletries and fancy perfumes!

Storage On Wheels  – I don’t know whether it’s the design or the colours of these awesome multifunctional storage units, but I love how modern and playful they look! Adding wheels to just about any table or piece of furniture just instantly makes it look so cool! I love the geometric pastels contrasted with the exposed wood and the functionality means you would have no problem rearranging and sliding them about for a fresh new point of view.

Labelled Shampoo Bottles – This one will trick EVERYONE into thinking you’ve got your life together. Do it. You’ll thank yourself for it whenever you enter your bathroom.

Hair Pin Tables – Order a few of these hairpin legs from IKEA and run wild with all manners of table top inspiration. All you need is a drill and a vision. You can do this.

And there you have it! My top 10 chic tutorials for adding style and sophistication to your grown up spaces. Start building your nest. I believe in you!

If you have any other cool craft tutorials or ideas about giving your home personality, please leave a comment below!