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.
A member at my Southchurch Slimming World group came up with an idea for a ham and pineapple pizza using the porridge pancake recipe. As a fan of the original porridge pancakes, I simple had to try this out! If you are new to Slimming World and haven't got a clue about these pancakes, follow this link for the recipe: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/slimming-world-porridge-pancakes
Now, I love pizza! It is one of my big downfalls in trying to stick to plan. I tried the cauliflower base pizza. It was yuck! I got so excited making it, I photographed the whole process with a view of posting a blog about it! But what was I expecting? It was hardly gonna be up there with the big names (that I won't mention because then you may well start craving it!).
So although I've labelled this recipe as pizza, it's not. Get it out your head. It is simply some healthy porridge pancakes, topped with tomato sauce, your choice of toppings and some cheese. Nothing more, nothing less. Sticking to plan can be such a struggle. As an addicted foodie, I have to constantly re-train my brain. I've previously described Slimming World as filling but not always satisfying. We have to learn to be satisfied with low fat, low sugar. And it is tough! For me, it is an addiction that has to be managed.
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.
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.