Sunday, 19 April 2015

Amy Tangerine's Creative handbook - post 1 x

image owned by Amy Tangerine

If you love blogging, and I do, then you possibly have this lovely lady's blog either in your Bloglovin or blogging feed. This is Amy Tangerine and she is an incredibly talented and inspiring creative lady.
A couple of months back, she and her friend Jamie Waters posted a YouTube video which introduced the new Creative Handbook you can see in the picture above with Amy. In order to get this freebie all you had to do was fill out your name and email here. So I did and hey presto it was printed out. Now I have had a bit of a creativity hiatus and only got it out again last week. But it has been a really great push to reignite my creativity.

So this post, and subsequent posts, will demonstrate my personal journey with this handbook, and I will show you what I have created within it.

Within the handbook, are 5 practices which Amy uses herself to inspire her creativity. These are discussed in detail inside and there are pages laid out for you to vent your creative juices. The first practice is all about looking at the handbook as a side project to all those big projects we all have, and to dip into it regularly and create something fresh.

The first page to play with is this one...........................

In the video to accompany this page, Amy and Jamie use watercolour paints to add decoration, so I treated myself to some for £1.99 at my local outlet. This first page, I first decorated with a simple border and some stamping. I added washi tape to the mid-section. The writing above the top box is a basic statement you are asked to make.....................

"I plan to create more, live more, have fun, spend time in the sunshine, love, live and enjoy"

I thought this would be a simple but to the point mantra for where I wanted to be over the next few weeks, and to write it down felt like I was making an actual admission of intention.

The box below is an ideas box where I basically brainstormed ideas and doodled. In this area I have written about friendship, blogging, journaling, writing, memory keeping, photography and all manner of things I am doing or planning to do this year. 

In the bottom two boxes, I simply added in my reading goal for 2015 and some words and images for my One Little word - Light. I love how this page came together and it is so bright and cheerful, everytime I look at it, it makes me smile and remember my goals.


The second practice in the handbook, is about journalling your intentions. Amy explains how she journals and doodles in a notebook before she gets up each morning.

This page was completed one evening, in fact, and I wrote my three prompts :

  • make sure I spend time creating
  • be open to new inspiration
  • find fun in friendships

I find inspiration in so many places, from walking around my garden, reading, listening to music, watching the sky and dreaming so I felt these simple statements gave a flavour of that. Friendships are important to me, both on the Internet and in the real world, so I wanted to make a statement about that too. I find a great deal of inspiration from my friendships and felt this was important to remember.

This page is mainly writing, some washi tape and doodling. The writing is fairly personal and is a free writing exercise Amy suggested to get the imagination going. I found it really helpful in focusing me onto this handbook and what I aimed to achieve.

If you would like to watch the videos which accompany these pages by Amy and Jamie, they are below...........

Is anyone else working through this handbook? How are you finding it helps you?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Two on Tuesday x

Welcome to another edition of Two on Tuesday, a post sharing things I have found and loved in the past week.

Firstly, a little indoor gardening. For many years I have had houseplants, they are beautiful and I love to see greenery and the odd flower in the dull winter months and when I lived in the flat having no garden it was my chance to get all green fingered. At the moment my plants are having a fun time growing new leaves so I am all about the plants. So colour me happy when I found this lovely post about making your own terrarium.

A mini greenhouse with little to no upkeep and hours of beauty to watch. What is not to love about this idea?

Secondly, a book review and recommendation. I have been busily reading through my pile of books and last week finished this book.......

This is my review from Goodreads.............

I came to this book after reading a brief synopsis in a magazine and thought I'd give it a go. The story centres around a grieving family - Sarah, Angus and their daughter Kirstie aged 7. Kirstie is the surviving twin after her identical twin sister Lydia died in an accident. The family are about to move to an isolated island near Skye when Kirstie tells her mother that she isn't Kirstie, she's Lydia and they made a mistake. Kirstie died. This sets off a chain of events which will significantly affect the whole family.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect, a ghost story, a thriller, a crime novel or an emotionally tugging drama. What I got was a little of all those. The story moves forwards and back seen from the perspectives of primarily Sarah and Angus as they try to make sense, if you can, of losing one of their daughters and being face everyday with the fact that they still have another daughter who is in great distress, as are they. The sense of isolation of all the characters is portrayed brilliantly, communication is a central part of the story, or lack of it in this case. Everybody has secrets they can't, or won't share. 

The beautiful Scottish islands are described perfectly and the imagery is beautiful. The island is literally cutoff everyday by the tide and the family rely on a boat to go across to Skye. The ideas of local folklore and Gaelic lyrical language are also highlighted in the book. The final pages of the story kept me on the edge of my seat and guessing until the very last lines. I would recommend this book to anyone.

Would you/have you made a terrarium? and what books are you giving 5 stars?

Thursday, 9 April 2015

One photo, twenty words x

Welcome to One photo, 20 words in association with the lovely Abi. Yesterday I went to meet friends at a beautiful National Trust property in Devon and this is my favourite shot.........

Just 4 lovely, little people picnicking on their rug totally unaware of Aunty Jo snap, snapping away as they ate

Oh to be a child again.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Two on Tuesday x

Hello and I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend, didn't eat too much chocolate but enjoyed yourselves whatever you and your family did.

Today I would like to share with you two things which I found interesting and useful to me.

Firstly a post on self-love and dealing with rejection in life. I have been dipping in and out of Marc and Angel's blog for a while now and have really found their thoughts on life and its challenges very, very helpful. I haven't said anything much on here about my personal life recently but I have been using an online dating site to try and meet a life partner. One of the things I have always found incredibly tough is the feelings of overwhelming rejection and pain in dating. It is something I have struggled with since I had my first crush as a teenager. The article I am sharing today is not giving you the answers to everything but I found it quite uplifting and more positive than some of the advice you are offered. You know stuff about fish and sea or the they're not the one for you malarky. You can read the full post here.

Secondly, I do have rather an unhealthy love for the minibook of a scrapbooking variety. After the number of pictures I took at Lacock the other week, I can feel a special mini coming on for that occasion.

This month the lovely team at Write Click Scrapbook are having a whole month, yes a whole month, focusing on the minibook. So far I'm loving this travel album by Christina C.

I love the beautiful wood veneer globe cover and the pink and gold numbered tabs.

And this accordian pocket album by Jenny Larson who used a premade album by K and Co.

Having places to put extra journalling and photos in is something I love doing with my minibooks so I'll be looking out for ideas to do just that too.

What exciting things have you found to inspire you this past week?

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter x

May I wish you and yours a very Happy Easter. The Lord is risen.....

let's eat chocolate.............

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Two on Tuesday x

Welcome to edition 2 of Two on Tuesday, a post highlighting interesting blogposts, books, music, creativity. Generally, items I have found that need a good old share.

Firstly, some blogging help for blogging. I love reading posts which help me to redesign my blog. I feel it is a vital part of being a blogger. Updating your blog, or redesigning the blog, is an important part of breathing new life and energy into your blogging. Anything which aids me in my design is a positive.

Last week, Chaitra aka PinkPot and Holly aka Bloomin Rouge began a short collaborative series on Blogging Building blocks. This is a 4 week series and these lovely ladies will be sharing their top ideas and tips for building your blog.

This week Chaitra focused on resources for your blog and Holly has focused on blog design. I will be following their series over the next 3 weeks to see what helpful ideas I can use for my blogging.

My second is a new author and book series. As you know I love to read and each year for the past 3 I have set myself a challenge via Goodreads to read a certain number of books within that year. This year I am aiming for 60, and last week I read 3! I was pretty impressed myself. Anyway, onto my recommendation.

The author of these 3 books is M J Arlidge who has worked in the television medium for many years as a writer and producer, but has now published the first three novels in this series following the work of Detective Inspector Helen Grace.

As you imagine, this series is a crime/thriller. I love this genre of novel and have read alot of them over the years. The reason I chose the first novel was because I loved the book title which is Eeny Meeny and the blurb sounded interesting. A young couple wake up to find themselves trapped in a disused swimming pool unable to escape with a mobile phone. Unable to ring out, however their abductor rings them and gives them a chilling choice. One of them can go free but the other has to die. Choose!

The story behind the abduction of this and subsequent pairings is told at a fast pace with real detail into police procedure. There is a gripping back story for DI Grace and her team and the characters are clearly drawn, flaws and all. I could see this being adapted for television and making great drama.

One of the other reasons I chose this book is because the series is set in Southampton and the vicinities. Having lived there for 16 years, I loved reading about the city again and I felt drawn into the book because of that link. M J Arlidge writes a great story which keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through and I finished the first 3 books in 3 days. His newest novel in the series comes out in September and is now on my wishlist.

So what interesting blog series are you following or looking forward to and are you reading any great books? I'd love to now.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Two on Tuesday x

I feel sorry for Tuesdays. It's not the beginning of the week exactly like Monday and it certainly isn't the middle of the week like Wednesday nor is it humpday when you're on a Monday to Sunday rota or night duty. It doesn't have the excitement of finishing work on Fridays or the decadense of the weekend.

Tuesday is not anything as far as I can see. Even in blogland it's all about the Mondays, Fridays, weekends and Thursdays. So in true underdog fashion, Tuesday is being given its rightful place as I present to you........

From now on Tuesday can hold her head high, justified in her belief that one day her true nature would be seen, that the ugly sisters of Monday and Wednesday would no longer hide her true flair and she should shine like the star she is.

So without further fanfare, let me share with you two items I have found interesting, insightful, inspiring, creative, helpful or just simply fun this week.

Firstly may I present for your delectation Sarah's blogpost on clearing up your blog in preparation for freshening up your blog and making her glitter and shine. She's like a bloggers Fairy godmother.

Sarah writes really simple but very effective blogposts on all manner of blog related goodness and her hints and tips give you a great jumpstart if you're wanting to learn about blogging, how to redesign or refresh your blog or quite simply how to write a good post on "how to". I have used her ideas on several occasions to redesign my blog here. This year I've redesigned my header and updated my about page and I'm in the process of also updating my other additional pages.

Secondly, I'd like to share a new video show courteousy of Amy Tangerine and Jamie Waters. They have recently collaborated together on a great new handbook called "5 practices to squeezing more out of your creative life". It's free to donwload and if you go to Amy's site there is a link in the video for it.
I have to say my day was made by their co-host Tudor Williams who made me want to wrap him up, bring him home and let him sing to me while I scrapbook. He's good to look at and sings up a fine tune.

These videos will follow Amy and Jamie as they are given 3 random items and have to scrapbook using those in some way in only 15 minutes and as always they create something truly inspiring.

Below is the first video of the handbook work she and Jamie began .......

 For a lovely look at the handbook in use then hop over to my friend Jennifer's blog for a peak at how she used hers