It’s felt like an age since I last blogged but actually it’s been more like 6 weeks. That isn’t major in the grand scheme of things. And I really need to cut myself some slack lately as my ill mental health reached a complete peak! It’s better now and I intend to write a few blogs about it. But basically, the short of it was, I had a bit of a crisis in my identity while the psychiatrists were trying to sort my medication. Somewhere along the line I’d started hiding behind my bipolar disorder. Needing the label to define myself.
The last few months has been pretty horrendous, I’ve been hurt and caused hurt with a close friend. I’ve cried buckets, and been triggered all over the place. I’ve been challenged and faced some hard truths. The negative swirling thoughts just got too much. Thankfully I’m on new medication now that seems to be helping. It’ll still take a while to adjust but feeling like I can finally cope with life is a wonderful thing! So I’m taking advantage of feeling better and here we are!
Now, onto the tutorial! Mother’s Day is only next week here in the UK! Sunday 31st March. I thought I’d do a quick DIY tutorial for this cut out hearts/window hearts card.
I'm no stranger to a creative community or two. If you've read any of my previous blogs, I've met some lovely, like minded people in the form of fellow colour lovers from In Colourful Company. And, how can we forget, my first foray into the creative bloggers world, Blogtacular. There is a third creative community that has been in my life since the middle of last year. Around August 2018, I became a paid member of the Indie Rollercoaster, Make it Happen group. There are no words to say how much of a positive impact this little group has had on me and my business. I just cannot express the love and gratitude I have for my involvement in all these communities. They hold such a special place in my heart.
I've been battling with my mental health again lately, which is a whole other blog post right there! I'm currently seeing psychiatrists to try to get a proper diagnosis but as you may've guessed, the NHS is rubbish for mental health. So it's a very slow process and in the meantime, I have to just roll with it! So most of January I was on a downer and am still struggling to get motivated. It was pretty apt to be going for a business networking event on Monday 21st January, apparently billed as the saddest day of the year, 'blue Monday'. It was just the thing I needed to kick start me into 2019!
The event was held at Dreamland Margate, in the ballroom. I didn't actually take any pics of the building as I was too nervous to just get there and get settled! However, as soon as I stepped off the train and saw the sea, I immediately felt at home! Living in Southend-on-Sea, my very own seaside town, it was just really comforting to be by the sea! As much as I love my creative communities and always have so much fun, it doesn't mean my anxiety levels are low. Far from it. I stress about what to wear, always overthinking about stuff such as being colourful and 'on brand' but still wanting to feel comfy and wear practical/weather appropriate clothing! And the fact of wanting to look my 'best self' as the youngsters say, because I know I will be photographed! If the meet up is in London, which, mostly, they are, as it's the closest, most central town for meet ups for me, then I'm usually on extra alert on what to wear. The reason being is that I see London as the trendy capital and so I worry even more about what people might think of me and wanting to fit in with this trendy persona I seem to build up in my head. It's so stupid and I hate caring what people think, but, hey, I'm only human I guess.
This Autumn recipe is long overdue. Ever the last minute queen, here I am trying to catch up on this before Christmas madness descends on us in the next few days. This recipe uses pumpkin but as Halloween is a distant memory, it can easily be substituted for any other vegetable in the squash family. Such as butternut squash or even sweet potato.
As you may have read from my recent Halloween posts on pumpkin decorating and a faith debate, I really got stuck in with it this year! My 4 year old was really excited to give out all the sweets to the children knocking on our doors. We even dressed up! He had a knight outfit and I wore a purple satin effect eagle cape! It was fun but it did get a bit much to keep getting up to answer the door. I think maybe we may go out for it next year and I could perhaps incorporate a prayer walk as we go between houses. Anyhoo, onto the recipe!
A good few weeks ago I went on my second colourful photo walk in London with the wonderful ‘In Colourful Company’. This time we hunted out colour in Camden. This creative community of colour lovers was started by Toni Bee and is now 2 years old! Toni’s inspiration behind it was simply to meet other fellow creatives and colour lovers.
Previously, these walks have been organised for free with members of the community donating their handmade wares for goody bags. This one was the first ticketed event at £25 and it was so worth the money! Instead of a goody bag we each received a mini zine and an illustrated map of our route for the day. The zine included lots of discount codes to members’ creative biz shops. A great way to share the love in a mutual fashion!
Halloween is here! Ever the last minute queen, I thought I'd do a post on decorating your pumpkins. As mentioned in my previous post, 'should Christians celebrate Halloween?', I've been really getting into it this year. This past weekend was a flurry of pumpkin carving then making some yummy pumpkin recipes with the flesh. I have a pumpkin puree creamy pasta recipe coming up so watch this space! I also found the best doughnut recipe! OMG it was to die for! Pumpkin spice doughnuts with a maple glaze. My overeating struggles were not helped by these and I pretty much devoured them within two days (cue the face palm emoji!). But boy did I enjoy them. Found them on the Olive magazine food website after googling pumpkin recipes. It was within a bigger article containing savoury dishes, desserts and also pumpkin seed recipes such as granola. Check it out here.
In this tutorial I will cover the steps to prepare your pumpkin for carving and best practice for carving your designs. I will also go through an easier diy for painting and then using stickers for some added fun! First up, the carving!
I have always hated Halloween. My faith in God aside, I just don't get why evil should be celebrated. When my Bible teaches me to think on whatever is lovely, pure, noble, right and true so that the peace of God will be with me (Philippians 4:8-9), I just can't see why anyone would want to focus on the opposite! When there is a general consensus that Halloween is 'just a bit of fun', I tend to disagree. As a Christian, I don't think this particular holiday should be taken lightly.
It has always been a bone of contention for me. Living at home at my parents and when I moved out in 2010, we would pretty much just turn all the lights off, lock the doors, and not open the door for anyone! Just hide away wishing it all to be over! But in the last couple of years, I've found my opinion changing. In my walk with God, I am called to shine my light, Matthew 5:15 states that people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.
By turning off all the lights, locking down the house and not opening the door to anyone, am I not letting Satan have his way on this already dark night? The meaning behind that scripture is about not keeping the gift of God to myself. To let it shine for others and illuminate His love to all.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, aka, the V and A is certainly one of my favourite places to visit for exhibitions. Before I had my son, now 4, I used to enjoy more frequent trips to London to soak up some culture. So I was overjoyed recently to make a London culture trip a reality.
The V and A is a design led museum, and, as a creative, design is one of my favourite aspects of my creativity. Combine that with being a thinking intovert, forever deep thinking/analysing/pondering on things, another reason why I love V and A exhibitions. They really do cause you to question.
I was attracted to The Future Starts Here exhibition as I’m forever deep thinking on how technology is changing us. So was very excited to see what sort of topics would be covered.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a strange relationship with food. I can only pinpoint a few times in my life when I’ve been a healthy weight. Apart from being pregnant, I am now at my all time heaviest weight.
Due to a combination of stress, poor mental health and being uprooted from a Church that was my spiritual family for the last 10 years or so, my eating habits have been out of control.
I tried Slimming World which seemed to work for a little while then became unsustainable. I tried following a book called ‘F.I.T, Faith Inspired Transformation’. That seemed to help for a short while too. Then I just gave up completely.
I gave in to what I was sure was an addiction I just could not control any longer.
It was calling to me. The pull was too hard to resist.
“You deserve this”, my brain said.
“You need this”.
I saw myself as a soap actress. The viewer shouting out at the TV.
“Don’t do it! You’re stronger than this!”.
My self control was shot.
All I could think of was the taste on my tongue.
The receptors in my brain already whizzing around at the anticipated pleasure.
It was no good. I gave in.
I grabbed it off the shelf and walked to the till.
As I paid for my item, words going through my head “why am I doing this?”. The guilt already seeping through.
Home. No one in. The way I like it.
Indulging in secret keeps me in denial.
I open the six pack.
Moans of pleasure escape my mouth as my teeth sink into the creamy, sugary frosting of the cupcake.
It was gone in seconds.
I ate them all.
With Blogtacular 2018 just around the corner, I don’t know why it's taken me a year to get the proper write up of last year's conference on this here old blog. I think it's a combination of a few things. One is that Blogtacular gives me so many pearls of wisdom that it was a lot of information to collate and gather into some valuable topics. That combined with it being a tough year of looking after my now 4 year old boy. My focus has been on him and, if you are a parent, you will relate to this, simply surviving through the demanding routines. He starts school in September so I am very much looking forward to getting a bit more me time back and dedicating more time to my blog and handmade items to sell.
Blogtacular 2016 (write up of that one here) was my first time. I returned again last year, filled up a whole notebook, wrote a blog about Finding Your Community and another one where the photo walk I attended in 2016 inspired me to create a new hashtag #localphotowalk. Which I haven't done very well in 'blowing it up' as it has a pitiful 7 posts on Insta! So please do fill it up! To find out more on what it means to do your own local photo walk, read here.
Blogtacular 2018 is just days away and I am so excited to be attending again, my third year in a row! My favourite thing about it is the creative community. As a creative lifestyle blogger and part time designer maker, it is so nice to find people on the same journey as you. I have made friends with creative lifestyle bloggers who do it as a hobby, those who blog for money and designer makers who sell their creative wares. Wherever you fall in these categories, there will be something for you.
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My main sections are: creativity including crafting, poetry and interior design; well being including mental health, recipes and my faith in God; personal including parenting and my general introvert deep thoughts. You can also have a browse in my shop and Etsy shop.