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.
It’s that time of year again... it’s Spring! Which is not only the biggest symbol of hope as the flowers start to bloom again and the weather is (supposed to be!) more ambient. But it also means it’s time for Ihanna’s DIY postcard swap. This will be my third year of joining in! I love taking part! The idea is you make 10 art postcards and you reveive 10 back. Who doesn’t love a bit of happy mail?!
You do have to pay a fee but it’s so minimal for what you get out of it. The impetus to create, the joy that it brings. And the joy of receiving all the postcards back! The fee is for the time it takes to organise the swap itself. A lot people sign up and Hanna then has to email all the people involved with the addresses for their matches. That means collating all the data, matching everyone up and emailing out. I think it’s reasonable to ask for a fee for all that work!
I haven’t done a craft tutorial for a while. With Easter just around the corner, a perfect excuse to create not one, but four easy cards. I’m giving away a free printable in my Etsy shop so you can make them for yourself. See links at the end of the blog.
I actually drew the cross picture for this back in 2016. Whilst scrolling back through my facebook page for Just Creative Julia, I came across it again. I immediately had the idea to use it for Easter cards for Eli’s key workers at his nusery and playgroup and the teachers I work with at my school.
The idea for the design came from my faith. To me, Easter isn’t about the Easter bunny. And although I enjoy celebrating with chocolate, it’s not all I think about. Easter is the perfect time to remember the cross. Which shows God’s heart of love for us. So it was obvious really I’d choose a heart over the cross. The flowers and vines simply represent the fruits of God’s blessings when we give our all to Him.
Although I’ve had this blog since 2014 when my son was born, it’s only been a creative outlet up until now and so I don’t have thousands of followers. Until Eli starts school in September, it will continue to get neglected. So when I try to apply for sponsored posts, I get rejected a lot as I assume my numbers are too small.
When the oportunity came to sign up for an affiliate program for a music festival, I got excited! This assignment on the Bloggers Required website you didn’t need to apply for as such. Just sign up!
The festival I’m talking about is Hogsozzle! I desperately want to go and I’m praying we will get some babysitting for Eli as it’s not family friendly. But it is perfect for creatives! Arts and crafts, fancy dress, face paint and glitter and an incredible paint war! The website states to wear white for maximum colour effect!
This is going to be a rant. Which I feel can be taken in one of two ways. Either frowned upon as an uber moan and you’ll tell me to shut up. Or, it’ll be treated like a juicy bit of gossip to be consumed and devoured with relish! Hence why I love a healthy debate. I really enjoy watching The Wright Stuff of a morning on Channel 5. I start with an opinion and sometimes find myself swayed to the other side. As a person, I always seek to understand. I always say ‘never judge a person until you have walked in their shoes’. I enjoy receiving both sides to an argument to really discern how I feel about it.
My bone of contention is about apparent falseness in the blogging world. I can totally agree with some of this. It is a tragic consequence of the social media, online world we live in. Nothing is real anymore. I’ve been saying this for years now.
7 months later and it's safe to say that I needed that long to process the sheer force of information received at last year's Blogtacular! Going back through my notes, I'd managed to fill nearly a whole notebook this time round! So much wisdom to be gathered up and made into some coherent blogs. Rather than a load of waffle and introvert ramblings!
Having attended the year before for 2016 - read my takeaways on that one here: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/the-future-of-creativity-my-takeaways-from-blogtacular-2016. This year was about building my creative community.
If you don't know what Blogtacular is, firstly, where have you been? I am yet to write up about this year's conference but you can still check out last year here: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/the-future-of-creativity-my-takeaways-from-blogtacular-2016. The long and short of it is that Blogtacular is an annual event for me. It's a blogging conference and my chance to be a part of a community of passionate creatives.
One of the things that is included in your ticket is a photowalk around London. Where street graffiti or pretty pastel houses are the focus point. I went on the one with graffiti. The photo below is one of over 100 photos taken on last year's walk!
''It was a simple trip to the supermarket. We only needed a few bits. ''Look at that," he said, shaking his head. I looked. "One for one. It's due to go below one come October". The bright LED numbers were winking at me, as I tried to make sense of it all.
"Is this because of Brexit?".
"Shocking isn't it?"
My mind started wandering. Brexit, North Korea, ISIS. Such fear, such uncertainty.
The buzz of the supermarket snapped me back to life.'
Today I was thinking about the fact that when I create something new, I find I don't like to go back and repeat it. I get bored. I want to move on to the buzz of designing and creating the next thing.
If you're a creative such as myself then I'm sure you can identify with this process! So if you're a handmade business owner, what's the best way to tackle the flighty, head in the clouds nature that often goes along with our personalities? I thought I'd come up with some practical tips that will seem very much like common sense! But I hope will serve you to get focused and be useful for you.
But, specifically focusing on the fact that, in life, there are plenty of things I'd rather not do, but I simply have to do! It's the same in business. I may want to go off on one creating something new, but I will need to discipline myself to make those things that just aren't so exciting. (There is of course the factor to test the market first. Only make a few of a new item and check it will sell. Otherwise you'll have a batch of product you can't shift! No matter how great you think it is or how much care and attention you put into making it, if no-one wants it, you're wasting your time).
This year my hubby made it easy for what he wanted for Father's Day from our 3 year old. A Cornish Blue mug. For something he's wanted for quite a while, he gave me about a week's notice! Just enough time to order some bits off Ebay and do my thang! Of course I wanted to share with you how I made it if you wanted to have a go yourself.
As I have been painting mugs for a while, (my shop is open, there's not many products on there but please do take a look! Click on 'mug shop' on the side bar!) it seemed obvious to create my own version of the traditional style. Rather than just buying one.
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 mug shop and Etsy shop.