New Year Tag

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!

Hello folks! How are you all? The dreary rain that we’re having at the moment has made me want to hibernate for the next few days (or months even); Netflix and hanging out with the cats is my perfect night in! I’m not terribly fussed with having massive nights out either- getting sloshed to the point that everything is one hazy memory is like, nah, not for me. Binging on Netflix- hell yes! ?

I always enjoy writing up about the year as it gives me time to reflect on what’s happened, in terms of small achievements and goals that I’ve reached. I’m not one of those people who makes New Year Resolutions as a: I never stick to them and b: I find that if I restrict myself to stop doing or eating less of something, well, I’ll do it even more! So I decided not to do it anymore and I think everything in moderation is important.

For me, this year has been a lot of understanding my mind set and mood in that I can say ‘no’ to things without feeling guilty about it. There are days when I feel quite low and once I feel like that it can be difficult to go out and be ‘normal’. You know, put a brave face on and mask my feelings of anxiety and insecurities. I suppose when I look back at the year I think of all the negative things that have happened as well- those experiences seem to resonate with me the most. I’m not going to label them as ‘negative moments’, but instead, see it as a way of growing and learning to be kinder to myself.

By the way, this is in no order of importance or significance!

OUR HOUSE: A YEAR ON

This year we took out the laminate flooring and were planning on sanding and varnishing the floorboards… six months later and it’s still looking the same! I was going to do it myself over the summer, then decided not to since it’s a massive job to do on my own and it’s pretty messy as well. Apart from that, all the rooms are painted and we had the bathroom done back in spring. We were looking to getting an extension done, but all in good time I think! One can keep on Pinterest dreaming.

The cats are doing great (photos to show proof of this). They’ve been enjoying the back garden and lounging around the house where the sunny spots are!

TRAVELLING

Sam and I have definitely visited a lot more places this year. We went to Granada at the start of the year to visit some friends followed by a weekend trip to Cornwall. Unfortunately, my memory card for my phone seems to be corrupt so I’ve lost quite a lot of photos from this year! Ugh. Technology. 

Back in October we went to visit Montenegro with his mum for a couple of days and I would love to go back there again. The food was amazing and the scenery was absolutely breath taking; the mountains would look completely different depending on the time of the day. When the sun was setting the mountains turned to hues of blues and purples with the sun glowing in the distant- just beautiful is the only way I can describe it.I have always loved visiting new places (as you can probably tell) and I’d love to travel more next year.

CREATIVITY

When I look back at my work from this year I noticed that it’s changed slightly in that I’m now more confident with using drawing inks. I’ve moved away from making collages, which I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but it’s always great to be able to try new things out. The Inktober Challenge (ok, I didn’t finish it!) was brilliant as it really pushed me to make images in a short amount of time and just go with the flow.

This year I’ve made more of an effort with my Etsy shop in terms of developing more products across the year and paying more attention to product photography. The photos have been neglected for so long so I decided to give my Etsy shop a make over: new banner, logo, taking better quality photos and updating it on a frequent basis. So next year I’m planning on investing more time into it and looking to do more arts and crafts markets as well. The Blue House Yard Market gave me a proper boost of confidence and just getting out there and meeting other creatives is always fantastic. Plus, chatting to the public about what I do really inspires me to keep going and make more art. I really love what I’m doing right now so 2018 will be an interesting year!

MIND

I’ve been quite honest about my social anxiety and anxiety on my blog as it’s a good place for me to be open about it. I had a proper bad panic attack at the start of the year where I fainted and basically landed on the floor and hit the back of my head. That wasn’t a pleasant experience to say the least but it made me realise I needed to take control of my anxiety and get help; too long have I ignored it and thought I don’t need help. Now I’m waiting for CBT so let’s see where that goes.

THE END OF BEING IN MY TWENTIES

I turned 30 back in May and, nope, I don’t feel any different whatsoever. I still like Hello Kitty, Tamagotchis, Sanrio stationery so nothing will ever change by the sounds of it!

LOOKING AHEAD

There are a couple of things I would like to get cracking with next year. One is my driving lessons as I passed my theory test back in August so I need to get a move on with it. I had a couple of driving lessons back in the summer, however, I didn’t get on with my driving instructor so I’m still looking for one.

I also want to do more arts and crafts market so my action plan in the New Year is to get in touch with organisers and start doing more around London.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post! Is there anything you’d like to share in the comments section? How’s your year been so far? Are there any other things you’d like to do or start next year?

Jo

This is my first blog post of the year and I’d just like to say that I’ve hope you’ve all had a good start to the New Year! I know that I’ve been saying this every single year, but 2016 really did whizz by! I thought this post would be a reflection of last year as bits of it was crazy and mega stressful.

In January I started my new job as a teaching assistant (which is my current job at the moment) and I’ve been there for just over a year. I’m still happy with where I am and the people at school are amazing and super supportive as well. Shortly afterwards, we bought our house in Wood Green! Hurrah for adulting! There are no words to describe what was going on in my head as I honestly thought I was going to explode due to stress!

As that was going on, Emily and I were organising our very first group show of 2016 called ‘Tropical Safari’. The timing of it couldn’t have been better (hints of sarcasm there…) but I was extremely grateful for having friends to help us along the way as there were things which seemed to have snowballed and I felt like things were getting out of control. Everything worked out for itself and the show was really good- couldn’t have been happier about it.

My cousin asked me to do some custom prints for her for Christmas presents and she was really please to see the final thing. Also, a good friend of mine asked me to design her wedding invitations! I had a lot of fun with it as she was super flexible with how she wanted it, so as long as it followed the theme of blossoms with shades of blues and greys so that it tied in with the wedding.

 

I spent most of my time doing loads of DIY stuff to the house, and we’ve not even finished yet. So about the floors… we’ll come to that when we have the time/money.

I’m going to end it there as I wanted to keep the post to the point and not go on about the floors/DIY/the cats… Hope you all enjoy the rest of the week and take care!

I say this every year but this year seems to have whizzed by so quickly I’m not even sure where to begin. Over the summer we bought our very first house and, if I’m being very honest here, it was bloody stressful (I almost got teary at some point in the process) but it was definitely worth it.  I have to say, putting up our first Christmas tree was pretty special and I made a Mario angel decoration for the top of the tree:

In terms of how the house is going (DIY wise) it’s been going pretty well. We said adios to the laminate flooring (within half a day to be correct) and we now have beautiful wooden floors that are in pretty good knick. The plan for the coming months is to get the floors sanded, varnished, and probably sitting on the floor celebrating with a couple of beers!

I started the post about the house and veered off on a tangent… Now going swiftly back to my original point; my Etsy shop will be closed on Wednesday 21st as I’m going to be away for a few days. I need to rest my head and at the same time fill my belly up with food and watch Christmas films. All orders will be posted on Thursday 22nd December and it’ll be open again on Tuesday 3rd January… 2017!

Bring on 2017!

 

Christmas ended pretty quickly, right? By the way, I say this every year. I spent nearly two weeks between Newcastle and Doncaster, flitting up and down visiting Sam and my folks in Doncaster.

I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Sam, his mum and the dog called Darcy! He’s so cute and fluffy like a walking cloud!

Darcy

Darcy.

We travelled back down to Doncaster to see my folks on Boxing Day and it had started to snow. The next day the whole street was covered in thick layer of snow! Not so fun when it turns to slush though.

Snow

So far, I’ve spent the rest of the week here enjoying the peace and quietness of home. I’ve been overfed by my parents- can’t complain! We had two hot pots in one day, again, pretty awesome! Hot pots are good when it’s a little bit cold and you just want something warm and hot to eat. The way to eat a hot pot is to start with a savoury soup and it can be spicy, which I think is the best way to eat it! Or you could just add miso soup as the stock plus carrots, taro, tomatoes and sweetcorn to add more flavour to it. You then put meat, veg, noodles, fish balls, prawns etc. into a pot of soup and you just wait until it’s cooked basically. It’s also a great way of eating bits of everything and sharing tasty food at the same time.

Hot pot.

I’m sort of ready to go back to work on Monday… not. Sigh.