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.
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 have this Easter digital download in my Etsy shop priced at £2.50 so you can make them for yourself. See link 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.
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.