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Design Collective trip to Pallant House Art Gallery

One of my Blogtacular “takeaways” was to “do whatever it takes to feed your creative mind.” I realise over the last 12 months I’ve been guilty of counting the cost of babysitters and failing to take some of the creative opportunities on my doorstep, so I have resolved to try and restore the balance in that area. Not everything that matters can be counted and not all that can be counted matters, and all that…

The first step towards creative enrichment was an evening trip out with the Design Collective : Chichester. A wonderful group established by my friends Alys Bryan  & Julia Grant which meets regularly for work and fun. Our destination was Pallant House Art Gallery. How many times have I walked past this place over he last 5 years and thought “One day I must go in there”?  It’s frightening how the time goes by and these things elude us.

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5 messages from Blogtacular that every creative needs to hear

Last weekend I attended my third Blogtacular. The first two in 2014 & 2015 were held at a smaller venue and at times I felt a little restricted physically and mentally, but this year’s event was a very different experience, with loads of space to spread out and I came away feeling inspired.

The keynote speaker was Tiffany Han and a lot of the points in this post come from her presentation, but there were definitely several recurring themes running through the day and after a week to digest it all I wanted to share them in this post. Like the event itself, this post is for creatives across the board and not just for people who write a blog. So whether you are a quilter, a photographer, designer or writer, there’s something we can all learn…

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Free downloadable Christmas wine labels for teachers

I like to keep it really simple for teachers at the end of term, so I mostly buy them wine. I figure if they’ve been teaching for any length of time they must already have a whole houseful of Best Teacher mugs, handmade gifts, orchids and hand cream. Wine however is always welcome.


This year I looked in my wrapping drawer and discovered I didn’t have any wine bags, I briefly considered buying some, then I thought about sewing some out of fabric and I kept thinking back to my previous post about simplicity.

At the end of the day the bag might look good, but ultimately it will end up as waste, so instead I decided to make some custom labels which I paired with personalised gift tags. I’ve made all the labels available as free downloads, so as long as you have a bottle and a printer on hand you can do this the night before school ends and still look like you’ve gifted something special and personal.

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Design Inspiration – Beach Houses

Whilst British beach huts are quirky, colourful and (mostly) affordable, our friends in the States do their seaside real estate on a whole other level. Why have a beach hut when you can have a beach house? New England beach houses are typified by their vast verandas and decks, ceilings dotted with lazily spinning fans and neutral interior decor.

Whilst some of the ideas are hard to replicate in a British home (if only we had the square footage to start with!) there are many design principles which you can borrow for your own home.

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How to design your own business cards

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about how to design your own blogger business card and as blogging conference season is approachin, I thought I’d revisit that post and offer a few tips for designing business cards not just for bloggers, but for anyone with a small business.

It can be very daunting starting out with two blank canvases and trying to envisage what you want your design to look like, but there are so many amazing tools available online that the process doesn’t need to be daunting.

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