The deadline is Midnight tonight. It is currently 10:20pm as I sit down to write this! Ever the last minute queen, but better last minute than not at all! What am I going on about? Well, excitement people! If you didn't know already, I am off to Blogtacular again, Saturday 10th June. Less than one week away! Excuse all the exclamation marks but I just cannot contain my jubilation at attending again for my second time! I pityingly only wrote one blog post about my time last year which you can read about here: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/the-future-of-creativity-my-takeaways-from-blogtacular-2016
Last year, one of the collaborators and sponsors, Sudo, held a cash giveaway competition. I remember filling out the entry form, thinking 'I never win anything. Can't see I'll win this'. And whaddya know, I did! I was so surprised! But the whole event was just such a blessed time. Put a bunch of creatives together and watch the sparks fly! Anyway, the point of this post, is that there is another giveaway this year. Run by West Elm, where the Friday Night partay is happening (ticket holders only, no gatecrashers please!). The prize is £2k of West Elm gorgeousness to furnish a dream makeover for one room in your home.
Last year, Spring 2016, was the first time I participated in an art swap. It was such a fulfilling experience that it was a no-brainer to take part again this year! I wanted to show you my finished cards and my thought process behind my designs and ideas.
One of my fave art journalling creative bloggers, Ihanna, organises a DIY art postcard swap every Spring and Autumn. When I first came across her I fell in love with her style and didn't hesitate to pay the fee to take part.
Doing a swap is great for a few reasons. If you are a fellow creative like me, it gives you focus to channel it and a purpose to create. Knowing there is a deadline and people are waiting on you, depending on you to receive their postcard. This gives that little bit of gentle pressure and moral decency to make completing the project a priority in this busy, noisy world of distractions.
It is 3:30am. I am lying awake in bed, typing this on my phone, in the dark with my husband sleeping softly next to me. Anxiety is a funny thing. Stress and pressure can worry you to withdrawal all day long. And the overwhelm can lead to depression when it all gets too much.
There seems to be drowsiness all day. The thought of having to cope with all my worries makes me feel tired. Shut down mode. But as the day starts to turn into evening and my duties as a wife and mother draw to a close, a strange thing happens. After feeling drowsy all day and wanting to sleep, when my time is my own, I suddenly wake up! Thoughts start whizzing around. My brain is powered with plans, dreams, organising, full of hope and opportunity.
It's a wonderful feeling but the problem is, I need to get to sleep. Or tomorrow will follow the same dreary pattern. The cycle starts again. Tired, irritable and struggling through the day. But unable to sleep at night for the overactive brain.
Mother's Day is fast approaching! If you're struggling to come up with gift ideas and/or want something a little different this year, then this list is for you! I thought I'd do a bit of networking to put together a list of handmade gifts. You could use them for your Mum or casually forward the list to your partner for a little something for you! (I've already done this as there were quite a few things I've got my eye on).
This list is compiled from all the lovely attendees of Blogtacular, the awesome blogging conference I attended in June last year. The header pic of the gerbera was also taken on the photowalk, as part of the Blogtacular experience . To read more on that, follow this link: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/the-future-of-creativity-my-takeaways-from-blogtacular-2016
1. Turquoise Tile Necklace by Fickle Craftroom
Every time I think I'm getting closer to opening my hand made shop, I seem to stall again. I was reading book two of Genevieve Cogman's 'The Invisible Library' series, 'The Masked City' and there was a part I really identified with.
I didn't highlight the exact part of the text to come back to, so you'll have to bear with me on my sketchy memory! The book is fantasy, full of faeries and magic so I'll try to explain as best I can. Irene, the main character is trying to reason with one of the faeries that is a horse but is posing as a train. Whilst inside the train, she needs to get through to the engine room. She is talking to the horse and trying to bargain with it to open it's doors to let her through. This may sound confusing but the main revelation is coming up so bear with me!
I've been feeling somewhat overwhelmed lately with the noise of this world. Creative introvert alert! I find baking so therapeutic, anything that gives you focus, a sense of purpose and an achievement as an end goal is always a winner!
Not to mention something to focus on that your 2, nearly 3 old son can also join in with. Having worked as a Playgroup Assistant, there are so many ways you can link baking to the EYFS. Weighing and measuring is maths and physical development in using fine motor skills. And learning about the world, exposure to the ingredients, how to follow a recipe and what that means. I love teaching and I find I just do it naturally (not that my son is always interested!).
So I found a recipe for banana bread and made it my own. It was so yummy I wanted to share it with you. Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients for your preference (gluten free flour, marg, dairy free spread etc).
Today I really needed to switch off. I felt my head spinning with thoughts to the point of feeling physically dizzy! Using my creative talent and getting lost in it is one way to rest but also give me focus and forget the noise of this world whilst I am in the moment.
So I decided to paint my nails and put Eastenders on in the background! Another perfect way of switching off. You don't have to deeply concentrate on it to keep up. And everyone is always so miserable, the drama makes real life seem not so bad after all!
I really love the galaxy look. You can use this technique on your nails, to paint a canvas, to decorate a glass jar and so on.
In May last year I was given a birthday treat to attend an Interior Design Masterclass with none other than Daniel Hopwood and Sophie Robinson. I missed my chance to blog about it at the time and shelved it. The current series of the Great Interior Design Challenge on BBC Two prompted me to get a wiggle on and finally write about it!
I so love #GIDC, now in its fourth series. It is a veritable feast for any fellow creatives. The inspiration, taking ideas and using them for your own, learning about new techniques, watching the contestants tackle the creative challenge. And my favourite bit is watching the process of transformation. Not just of the rooms themselves but of the contestants as they grow in their designing skills.
We moved house in June 2015 and the re-decorating/working on the house has been a slow process. So with my love of the Great Interior Design Challenge and needing ideas to get organised, I was so excited to be going on the course!
If you're a Christian, like me, you may be a bit ambiguous about Halloween. Personally, I'm not a fan. And on previous years I have been known to turn all the lights out, hide away and hope we won't be disturbed! But recently, it's become a debate whether, as Christians, we should be hiding away. After all, it's written in God's word that 'people do not light a lamp and hide it under a bowl' (Matthew 5:15). We should be the light in the darkness.
So, this year I've decided to embrace it. Not only have I ordered some 'bags of hope' from UCB (I plan to fill these with sweeties and hopefully, if time permits, copies of the Father's love letter) I've even made some cheeky little pumpkin earrings! That use God's natural creation of pumpkins and a heart design to show His love. No ghosts, witches or ghoulies here!
So I started Slimming World back in April but just wasn't ready for the commitment at that time. What with waiting patiently with my recovery from post traumatic stress disorder, I needed a bit more time to get my head round it.
Having gone from desserts every night and eating convenience food with zero prep, it was a shock to the system to start with! I started again in July and have continued since. I feel like I've found my groove with it. Adding in a few Iceland Slimming World ready meals and easier dinners with less prep. It takes the pressure off. I also went too hard on the exercise to start with. Now I just do a bit of walking when I can. It's not so intense and I love it. Put your music in and switch off. It really helps clear my mind.
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.