Miscellaneous

Hello folks and welcome to 2020, a brand new start to the New Year! I hope you all had a relaxing Christmas and New Year, unfortunately I was struck down with the flu over the Christmas so I was sick for most of it. We went round to my mother-in-law’s neighbours house for a big fat turkey dinner and we were completely stuffed by the end of it. I was still sick up to this point but by the Sunday I had a fever for most of the day and I couldn’t even get out of the bed… flu jab for me this coming Christmas (will be on my to-do list for sure!).

I’ve been meaning to write up a post about 2019 but I didn’t have the time to do it over Christmas or the fact of the matter is that I was so lethargic last week I had absolutely no energy to do anything. I’m now feeling much better so now’s a good time to reflect on the past year. Last year was jam packed with lots of life changing moments i.e. we got married, went to Japan, a friend had a baby, Savina went back to Australia…

I took part in Art at the Deli’s artist exhibition back in late spring and I show cased previous work under the theme ‘animal menagerie’, overall it was a great success as I had lots of people commenting about my work. Plus, it was great to be supporting a local business in Doncaster as well as the creativity within the area.

Me, matching my outfit with my work.

The next big thing that happened last year is that we finally got married! We spent the whole year planning, crying, shouting, raging and more planning (not in that order but you get my drift). I had to keep going back to Doncaster for my dressings but you know what? All those mega stressful moments was totally worth it. Everyone on the day was helping out and things fell into place; folks chipping in with moving tonnes of flower decorations, Savina (the super trooper person that she is) just stepped in and orchestrated people whenever they needed to be shuffled in and out of places. Totally couldn’t have done it without her, she held me and Sam together like cement. We’ve both said we were utterly grateful for her help right from the start. She’s now back in Australia so we were hoping to visit her at some point in the future.

After the wedding, we went out our mini moon to Cornwall for a quick getaway and we really needed that time just to breathe, be away from London for a couple of days and enjoy each others company.

A couple of months later we went away to Japan for our honeymoon and it was such a memorable and fantastic trip I’d love to do it all over again. Japan, you spoilt us and treated us like kings and queens. We ate so well those two weeks I can’t stop harping on about the food. The people are absolutely lovely; really helpful folks wherever we were and everyone went out of their way to help us when there was a language gap. That didn’t stop us from doing and seeing amazing things… a long and dreamy sigh here. Japan is calling me and I plan on going there again in the future and explore more of the islands down south. Sayounara!

Myself and my friend Monica Moro who runs Cook with Amore took part in two craft markets over Christmas. It was great to get back into the swing of things and I’d love to do more craft markets this year.

The London Crafters in West London

Last year I didn’t get the chance to make much artwork, so I’m a bit disappointed by that. Fair enough we had the wedding to plan but even times when I did have the time, let’s just say that I wasn’t super motivated and kept on doubting myself. Over the past month or so my Etsy shop has been really busy, as in, busy with orders for a particular print. Like I’ve said before, I have no idea where the traffic is coming from so I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has purchased it. I feel like the universe is in our hands- no matter how tough things get you have the choice and the power to make those changes. I honestly believe and live by this quote. So this year I’d like to be more focused on my work as well as concentrating on my Etsy shop and make a proper push for it. Let’s see where things go, who knows what’s going to happen in the next couple of months but it’s great to see the momentum gaining slowly but surely.

Readers. I’m going to end it here on a high. Wishing you all good health, luck and all that jazz for the start of the year and the end of the decade. Take care and thanks for reading as always!

Can I just start off with the post by saying out loudly…. we did it! I can’t believe I’m sitting here right now in front of my computer writing this up. As I’m playing back the day in my mind it went by within a blink of an eye. Looking back now it all seems like a dream. That whole year of planning, running from one shop to another to buy more paper for the paper flowers, hours of making paper flowers with my parents and two sleepless nights because I was thinking of my speech was all worth it. The day before the wedding I was that stressed out I had a cry, yup, not ashamed to admit it but I did have a solid cry for about 10 minutes. But once I had a proper cry I felt good again and the thought of marrying Sam, standing in front of everyone, and celebrating our love really got to me (pretty sure Savina offered me a glass of wine afterwards!).

Where do I even start? The whole day right from 9:00am when the makeup artist came in up until midnight the whole day was absolutely wonderful: busy, loads of family and friends around, constantly directing people what to do, talking, loud, fun, moving things out of the house, dancing, laughing, crying, feelings of bliss and excitement. As much as people tell you what to expect, take the advice and listen to them, because hell I needed people around me when things were busy. When we couldn’t even go in to set up the night before I was getting super anxious. BUT. Sometimes you have to leave things to other people to help out and we did exactly that and the venue looked far better than I had anticipated.

We didn’t have a wedding photographer but instead had friends and family to upload their photos onto a shared Google photo album, which turned out to be some rather funny and interesting photos in the end. There are no ‘best’ photos since they’re all equally as touching and meaningful, however, there are about 500 plus photos so I’m going to start off at Clissold House where we had out ceremony. Enjoy!

BTW, after I signed the certificate I almost fell off the chair as I couldn’t align my bum onto the chair as the dress was so big! Fernanda had to direct me on how where the chair was in relation to my dress!

Savina, my cousin and superstar of a person that she is, was a wonder woman right from the get go. She was amazing in giving us huge amounts of support throughout the whole day and beforehand; directing folks what to do, holding my dress and getting me in it (thanks Helen my other bridesmaid!), organising the Chinese wedding games, arranging flowers for the tables… I mean, I could list a million other things as well but you realise when you have good people in your life you’re forever grateful for it. Helen was also the same as soon as she stepped into our house. Her husband and good friend of ours, Tom, was also the same. They were both just absolutely fantastic and you really need to lean on people at times when it gets a little bit hectic!

Left to right: Savina, me (obvs) and Helen.

So up to this point I was semi-walking and running to the taxi with my mum and Tom as we were heading to the Reservoir centre for the reception. The other photo on the right is Vic, Sarah, Emma and Sam all watching from a distance me in my massive dress. By this point my biceps were big enough to lift some serious weights.

As soon as I stepped into the Reservoir centre with my mum I was completely stunned to the point where I almost cried simply because it was beyond what I was imagining. All those nights and hours spent cutting and trimming out flowers with my parents was so, so worth it. The caterers were incredible as well and we can’t thank them enough for what they did as I had written out instructions on where things should go and they followed it to a t. EVERYTHING, and I mean everything from all the booze, decorations, dresses, props etc. all of it went into a van which Sam’s dad had hired for it to go in the morning. Savina and I rearranged everything the night before so that it was as organised as it could be for the courier to pick all the stuff up without crushing the paper flowers. I cannot tell you how much team work and love comes into it! I didn’t see what was going on as I was getting ready by this point!

Here we are having a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for both sides of the family, to welcome all into each others lives by giving tea to the elders first then working our way down the family. You can tell by this point we were elated with emotions, sort of lost beyond words how I was feeling at this point. It was a joy for all our friends and family to see and be part of it too as the tea ceremony symbolises the union of families becoming one. Yes, we’re one big famalam now!

The food from FunThyme was just incredible. I don’t have any photos of the food as by this point I was a nervous wreck thinking about my speech (winged it in the end and it was all fine!) Everyone had said that the food as delicious as well as the service too.

Now we’re onto the cake. My friend whom I used to work with made our cakes for us. Two cakes you say? YES! She made one which was a dairy cake and the other one (the one tiered cake) a vegan cake. In my own cake opinion both cakes were incredible, especially the vegan cake. She said that she had spent ages researching the right ingredients for it and wanted it to be perfect. When I saw the cakes and the mini cupcakes I was literally jumping for joy, Monica had completely exceeded our expectations and funnily enough it blended in perfectly with the framed Double Happiness sign as as as well as the floral decorations.

I’m going to end it here and continue to mull over the photos for the next couple of weeks, I just wanted to take the opportunity here to say a massive thank you to everyone who were part of the day and behind the scenes. We honestly couldn’t have done it without those who were setting up and running around in the background. I will leave all the details about the suppliers below as we can only promote them as much as possible since they were also a major part of it too!

Suppliers:

Photography: David Fry plus lots of other very talented people. We shared all the photos using Google Photos and shared the album.

Dress: Jayne’s Bridal

Chinese wedding dress and red shoes: From Hong Kong

Floral hair vine: Luna Bea

Floral headband: Agnes Hart

Flower hair pins: Rene Walrus

Gold floral Chinese hair comb: Lovely Wanderers

Necklace and earrings: Wolf and Moon

Earrings for the Chinese Tea Ceremony: Rosita Bonita

Shoes: Irregular Choice

Ceremony venue: Clissold House

Reception venue: West Reservoir Centre

Caterer: FunThyme

Makeup: Spence and Oliver

Hair: Faces Hairdressing

Decorations: Me plus an army of people.

Cakes: Monica from Cook with Amore

Edible flowers: Maddocks Farm Organic

Flowers: Grace & Thorn

Flowers at Clissold House: Botanique Workshop

Oh my, I really can’t believe it’s a week from today until the BIG DAY. What happened to the time? It’s completely flown by from the moment we booked both venues and leading right up until now, time has quickly crept up on us I still can’t get my head around it!

I went on my hen do about two weeks ago to Margate and I had so much fun with my friends, my mum and soon to be mother-in-law. We were staying in a really lush house very close to the seaside and we were within walking distance to the Turner Gallery. If you’ve never been to Margate before I would highly recommend it- do a weekend like we did (minus crazy golf) and go and spend sometime walking down the little alleyways, eating fish and chips and watching the world go by on the beach.

All things end on a positive note; I quit my job at the school I was currently working at and I’ll be working in a private school at the end of the month. I had been thinking about it for months and it came to the point where it was the right time to leave. Had I stayed on I’m pretty sure I’d be feeling discontent and unhappy. Changes can only be made when you realise you have to do things for yourself. Saying that, I’m in a better positive mindset now and I’m looking forward to the big day.

I’m going to end my post here- keeping it short and sweet. The next post will be ALL, and I mean, ALL wedding related!

Thanks for reading as always and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Hello folks! How’s your week been? The sunshine has been absolutely glorious, hasn’t it? I’ve been hanging outside for as long as possible these days and the fact that it doesn’t get dark until later in the evenings, well, it’s fantastic!

 

I spent the half-term designing the wedding invites and I’m so happy with them! I showed Sam them the other evening and he’s over the moon. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal anything as it would be a bit of a bummer to post it here waaaaay before any friends or families have seen them. All will be revealed very soon- I promise!

 

I wanted to spend this post showing some more wedding ideas- this time on accessories for the bride, decoration inspiration and more! It’s going to be an explosion of colours this post.

 

 

In my first post I touched upon the style of the wedding dress that I wanted-and to go with it- if I could find an interesting headpiece or embroidered gloves to go with it then, hell yeah, I’ll be going for it. Think: quirky, different, surreal.

 

By now, my Pinterest boards are filled with beautiful images of all things flower-related: pattern designs, dresses, books, decoration ideas etc. I’m in the mood for big, bright and gorgeous flowers- even it if means wearing some on my head I’ll be totally happy with that. I came across a couple of DIY tutorials of how to make gigantic flower decorations so I thought I’d give it a go in the summer and experiment with different coloured crepe paper. This also includes roping in friends for the afternoon to give me a helping hand! I’m not exactly a technical wiz when it comes to paper craft, however, I’m more than happy to put some elbow grease into it and crack on with it (whilst drinking copious amounts of wine).

 

 

 

I’m going to round up the last part of the post with some ideas and inspiration for the location. Now, we’ve been talking about this for a while. We still need to 100% confirm on the area since most of our friends and families are based up and down the country, with some living in the USA and in New Zealand. This of course means we have to take into account how easy and accessible it is to get to the area since some people drive and others will be public transporting it (or carpooling). So the location is very important to us as obviously we don’t want it to be a mission for people to get there and to. So we’re looking into hiring out a village hall and possibly having a marquee as it’d be lovely to have the ceremony outside even if it’s chucking it down.

 

 

I’m going to end it there and if anyone has any tips or advice please send them my way!

 

Have a lovely week wherever you are!

 

Jo x

Hi All, I hope you’ve had a good start to the week. I can’t believe it’s June already- May came and gone so quickly it’s sort of scary in some ways or another. I’ve been listening to NTS loads lately as well as going on Floe Camp. ‘Lullaby for Cranes’ by Item Caligo is probably one of my favourite albums: no matter how I’m feeling everything about it takes to a place where I’m in my own world and there is something really calm, peaceful and beautiful about this album I can’t quite put it into words.

I suppose this post is unrelated to work as I’ve been quite honest about my anxiety lately as I feel that I shouldn’t really hide it any longer. I finally deleted Instagram off my phone as it’s been cranking up my anxiety levels lately; it was worst the other day and my gut instinct was the delete the damn thing. And you know what? I instantly felt so much better, as in, the physical symptoms went away instantly and my mind was at peace again. I noticed that whenever I was on it I would start comparing myself, my work, my house to others. I would think what changes I can make towards myself whilst looking at these edited and filtered images. Don’t get me wrong, Instagram is a powerful tool to share your work, your family life, your dream decor inspirations etc. However, that wasn’t positive for me at all. I become so wrapped up in other people’s lives that I stopped paying attention to myself. The self-realisation after the mini panic attack made me re-evaluate my way of thinking, how I see myself and how I want to always please others. For a very long time I’ve always been the type of person to make others happy, be extremely critical of myself and constantly beating myself down about the smallest things. It’s very easy to be sucked into the online world, I mean, I thought of all people it wouldn’t happen to me and it did. I look back at my timeline and I genuinely have fond memories of my photos such as holiday photos, birthday’s etc.

 

Instead, it’s getting far too repetitive for me as I’m constantly seeing the same polished photos of  people’s lives  I don’t even know- it’s just so transient. Someone had said to me that we should be enjoying life itself rather than living through social media and I couldn’t agree more than that. We’re getting to the point now where our personal and social lives are blurring into the digital world by being judged and analysed which is completely unhealthy in my opinion.

 

 

I’ve lost my passionate in it and my own creative path by being on it so I’m taking a step back and giving it a well deserved break for a while. Goodbye Instagram, you were good while it lasted.

 

Take care of yourselves everyone and look after one another.

 

Jo x