23 August 2014

7 years of England...but ...


Here's the thing.

I'm not English. British. Scottish. Welsh....Irish...no... English is not my first language. But if you ever spoke to me, you most likely wouldn't notice.

I'm Croatian. And for those that are unsure where that is:




This isn't me being awkward, I do genuinely meet people who just don't know.And it's ok. It's kinda small and thin...kinda squished. Don't you think?

I have been here (England, in case you didn't realise) for just over 7 years now. I'm used to it now. I wouldn't say I'm a converted Brit, but I do enjoy my cuppa tea and the roast dinner and the ridiculous breakfasts...and of course, London is just down there...

Anyway - there are 3 reasons why I'm telling you this...

1. I love it
2. You will love it
3. I'm going home today :)

For a couple of weeks, back in the motherland (cheesy), back to my family and friends and the town and the beach and the glorious sea and mountains. I cannot wait.
I'm not just partial to my own little town, although it is rather cute...but I thought I'd let you in on a few places you might want to consider when you plan your next holiday ;)

Istria

The gorgeous peninsula, once owned by the Roman empire...





Zadar



Plitvice Lakes



Dugi otok (Long island ;)



There are many many more... Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Kornati islands, Korcula, Hvar...  Have a little Google time to yourself and see it. You'll love it before you even get there.

I will show you much more once I'm back.




20 August 2014

It's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen.

Because maybe it has all been done before, but not by me, you and whoever else you want to point to.

I had a quiet week on here. We went away for the weekend, up to the Welsh north and extremely windy beaches...







Loved it.

It got me thinking about being able to work anywhere, anytime - whilst enjoying moments like these whenever they occur. This is why I have decided to make a list. A list of things I want to do, near future - far future...doesn't matter. 

"The biggest mistake we could ever make is to be too afraid to make one"

The idea of the list is being able to cross things off. Y'know? The satisfaction of getting it done! It doesn't matter how big or small. And I'd like you to join me :)

More to come in next post.... stay tuned... ;)

Source - Pinterest


18 August 2014

Liebster Award Nomination

A big, big thanks to the lovely Becky Mortimer of Bex Morts who nominated me for the Liebster award!


The Liebster Award is a way for new blogs to be recognized, and to spread the word to others so they can check it out.  A lot of work goes into creating a blog, and it’s nice to be noticed!



These are the rules:

- Post the award on your blog
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog
- Write 11 random facts about yourself
- Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 250 followers
- Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions
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11 Random facts :)

1. English is not my first language
2. I love tea...I got to love the traditional tea drinking over here on the island
3. My boyfriend Ryan is also my very best friend, who I love, admire and would do anything for
4. I am incredibly calm in nature. 
5. I'm an undercover introvert
6. I have a fair few tattoos
7. I'm nearly 30 and I still get asked for an ID
8. I get excited about some very random things
9. I'm a self-taught crafter/maker/creative 
10. I'd love to write a book
11. I'm very impatient

11 Answers to Bex :)

How did you come up with your Blog name?
Quite randomly! I wanted something that will flow and be fairly memorable and sweet, but without committing to anything in particular - as I like to talk about many different thing. Also - I love birds.
And honey - on pancakes ;)

Why did you start a Blog?
I wanted to write. I'm also in the process of creating a number of things which I will sell online - I'm currently reviewing different websites to sell on.
But really, I read so many blogs, it was going to happen sooner or later. And I love it.

What is your favourite meal?
That is really difficult. I am partial to pasta, fish, seafood and of course - all of my mothers cooking. I will share some recipes at some point.

Your favourite music band/singer?
I am rather eclectic. My all time, always and forever favourite - Nick Cave.
My playlist is huge and ranges from Jerry Lee Lewis to Outkast. It all depends on the mood.

Which famous person would you most like to meet?
This may be sad - but definitely Robin Williams. I grew up watching his films and he always seemed like a genuine nice guy. Also - Stephen Fry, David Attenborough, Prof Brian Cox....

Describe the perfect day for you
Waking up to the sun shining through the curtains on some peaceful tropical island, having breakfast on the wooden porch overlooking the beach, following a lovely stroll with Ryan and our dog. Hopping over to a nearby town for a spot of lunch later on, talking to the locals, artists, random people you meet... then a lovely dinner back in our place with plenty of wine and fresh fruits under the stars.

Your favourite clothes shop
I don't have one! For my "work stuff" I love Next, Warehouse and sometimes H&M. For my own stuff - it's really random. A lot of my stuff is off e-bay or local charity shops. Thrifty!

What blogs do you like to read?
Hmmm.... ok so obviously there's the A Beautiful Mess. Then, One Sheepish Girl, DesignLoveFest, etc. I also follow ILoveTypography and Creative Bloq

Your favourite past time?
Scheming on what's my next make going to be.

What is your favourite post so far?
This means my own? This one although it is rather short, it's from the heart, to myself more than anyone else. I sometimes put too much pressure on myself.

Your favourite memory as a child?
I have so many :) My dad was an amateur videographer and I used to follow him around while he was filming. We also used to go hiking and we planted lots and lots of trees where the fire burned them down on top of a hill close to my home.
I also cherish the trip my mum took me on with her work, we went onto a fast boat to one of the most gorgeous set of islands for the day, enjoyed the scenery and lovely fresh fish for dinner. It was gorgeous, us girls had much fun.
_________________________________________________________________________________

11 Questions to my nominees

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. Who/what inspires you? This doesn't need to relate just to the blog.
3. What's the last book you've read? Any good?
4. If you could choose to do one thing for the rest of your life, what would your work be?
5. Do you have any unusual habits?
6. What makes you feel confident?
7. Can you recommend 5 blogs to watch?
8. If you were about to be on a cover of a magazine, which one would it be?
9. What would be your super power if you had one?
10. If I gave you a time machine, where would you travel to and why?
11. If you were directing a movie, who would you cast as the two leads and what would it be about?
_________________________________________________________________________________

13 August 2014

What I'm reading vol.2 - Books for Creatives and such

Ehm... yes please


Ok, a confession... this is more of a list of things I'm planning to read. I've been so busy with general life things lately, I haven't even read a full magazine, let alone a book. But, I am vowing to change that and soon!

So here's my "to-read" list

“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.”
“We need to be willing to risk embarrassment, ask silly questions, surround ourselves with people
who don’t know what we’re talking about. We need to leave behind the safety of our expertise.”

Just because he is brilliant.
Because so many people recommend it, it would be rude not to
Creativity is within all of us.

So that's 5. I'm hoping to get them on the way in the next week or so. What's on your list?

11 August 2014

Starting up - notes to self


I have read blogs about blogs. Blogs about crafts. Blogs about Etsy. Blogs about keeping your finances right. Then of course, blogs that randomly caught my eye.

So I've been at it for a little while. I have found and read and stored inspiration and information. I've written a few things so far...I've made a few things so far.... I've been chatting to fellow writers and makers.

And after this little time, I feel I'm learning.

And sometimes it's hard.

Sometimes, I had a long day at work and all I wanna do is eat, have a cup of tea and slump on the sofa. Sometimes I feel there are other things to do - around the house, usually. Or, go see someone or go food shopping. And so on...

Life, eh...
But then!

I made a little mental list of things to keep in mind for these kinda times:

1. Don't be too harsh on yourself. Sometimes, it simply won't happen.
2. It's ok to be tired. Mentally or physically. It's called being human.
3. Never compare yourself to anyone - you are unique and you may still be searching for "it" whatever "it" is
4. Have fun. Always have fun with it all.
5. This is a part of your future and as a future thing it will take time to grow and develop. And on the way there, there will be mistakes to learn from.
6. Occasionally, try and get some sleep. Tell the brain to shut up.

Because things worth doing quite often take a little extra time.

Have you had such thoughts? Do you have your own list to adhere to? A mantra maybe? Leave a comment or get in touch on Twitter :) @honeysweetbird







08 August 2014

Weekend Inspiration - making and writing




Friday. Finally. This has been a long week. I am so happy it's over... nothing that bad about it, simply one of those tiring never-ending ones. But - yay! We made it through. Those on the other end of the pond - nearly there!

So, weekend.

There is always the "making" side of it. I'm nearing a point where I will have enough items made to present them to you. And I am very mush looking forward to it. 
Although. there is that little bit of fear that comes with it I guess, I've never publicly displayed my makes (except maybe as a kid at a school craft fair). It's all been kind of hush hush and kept just for me and those close to me. So to suddenly open it up and go "this is what I made" is kinda weird. I am fine with criticism. It's the non-constructive comments that I dread.

Well, that and ending up with the lot stuck in my cupboard forever.

I am also going to a nearby Craft festival (as a visitor) on Sunday. This will be the first time I go to anything like it. I have always just done my own thing and not really thought about it. I heard about this one though and it's not that far away + there are free gifts involved so... I have no excuse. I will share more about it sometime next week.

Source - Etsy

These past few days I have been thinking about writing more. Not in a sense of blog writing or story writing as such. Just - writing. 

Have you ever had that feeling you just wanna sit down and write something? You may not know exactly what it is or why it is, you just feel the urge to do it? 

Source - Flickr


That's where I'm at now. I'm kinda trying to figure it out, see where it takes me. So I will shut up and.... oh... wait...


~~~~~ Come and say Hi on Twitter @honeysweetbird ~~~~~

07 August 2014

Planning a wedding in less than six months



Some time in early June a couple of our dear friends got engaged, and this is fabulous, of course. After some thinking and changing of plans, they have decided to move the wedding from next August to this December - right between Christmas and New Year.

Now, some of you will say - "oh that's nice".

But some of you will think "Are they mad? That's less than 6 months!!"

But, y'know what? It's ok. 
If you really want to speed it up, it's perfectly possible, with a bit of know how on planning.


I have this thing about organisation. I am very good at it. Our friends don't need that help as they are already pretty set, but it gave me an idea to write a little bit about it. 

And these are my tips.


1. Budget talk

How much money do you have that can be spent on this? Taking out a loan should be the last thing you consider as the repayments aren't the best memory of a wedding. Don't start thinking about weddings you've been to, especially if they were the ones planned way in advance. This is about YOU TWO and you are unique. You do not need to spend thousands to have a wedding of your dreams.

1.1 Enlisting help from people around you

My friends love my baking skills. I have agreed to create cute little cupcakes to go with their vintage theme. They even knew which flavours, as I made them this cake a while ago - I'll just need to adapt it a little.
Can someone bake you a cake you love? You can normally get them decorated professionally if you so wish - or simply have them looking gorgeous and homemade.
Is there someone who can arrange your flowers? You do not need to order a special "Wedding" bouquet. Buy some flowers even from the local supermarket and trim and tie and create your own. Add some beads, feathers, ribbon, fabric, pearls.... options are endless. OR explore the more crafty options.
You get the jist?

1.2 Guests

There is only one rule to this - this is your day. YOU decide who you want to share it with. If you cannot invite everyone, due to budget limitations or space, maybe you can organise a party afterwards for them. Or, invite them to the evening do only. There is no need to feel pressured about inviting someone you don't even speak to just because you invited someone else. This is your wedding. Your memories.

2. Reception venue and date

How about looking at some more...unconventional venues. Restaurants? Clubs? Your grandparent's massive garden? Local farm? There are so many options. And if you are more of a traditionalist, look for the nearby hotels, or - like another couple of friends - go further afield if they will offer a great discount on accommodation of your guests.




A venue can be found online and phone calls can be made to check availability. In this day and age, it should not take you any more than a day to find a few to check out. I would recommend lmiting yourself to 3, for convenience. Take a weekend to yourself and go have a look at them. Then book - most will accept a booking over the phone, once you saw them all and you made your decision.

Also, why not look at alternative days? Keep it right by the weekend, as people will need to take time off work - but Mondays and Fridays are getting increasingly popular due to lower pricing.


3. The photos and entertainment

Photographer? DJ? Band? Again, these days, getting some music for your wedding can be as easy as creating a playlist with your favourite tunes on your phone/laptop/whatever - use things like Spotify, why not? Then have someone acting as a DJ - we all have that one friend...
There are also plenty of bands around on the internet if that's your thing. You may want to consider having the band on just at the beginning for a few hours, rather than a whole night.
Photographers? No need to pay big money. Create an instagram wedding page for guests to share your pictures to, get an arty friend to take the more posed pictures - or even, see if there are any local photography classes or courses at the university/college - student will ask for less if it means they build their portfolio of work. Be very precise as to what you want and you could even create a Pinterest board for them to see what kind of thing you like.

4. Stationary

In my humble opinion - if you have a printer and a couple of hours time, you can create something amazing. Go to Etsy and browse for printable wedding stationary. For a few pounds/dollars you will be able to find something you can pay for - customise - download in a matter of hours and if you do not want to spend too much on paper and ink, use an online printing service.
Go to something like Printed.com





5. The all important - suits, dresses, jewellery

In terms of suits, depending on your wedding theme and style, there are plenty of options. For more relaxed themes, opt for something more casual. For keeping up with the tradition, go to the usual shops - in UK Next, BHS, Debenhams and the rest all have some fantastic offers that won'd break the bank.
Jewellery. There is probably already an engagement ring on that finger, and you'd probably like to match it. Again, Etsy is full of gorgeous non-expensive options. Try Ebay too, given enough time, overseas shipping sometimes is the better option. Just remember to go and get your measurements first.

And ---- the dress. Of course.
Vintage shops, Ebay, Sample sales, Local seamstress............. options are endless. You can find a local seamstress who will be able to create one for you. Bring some samples, show the Pintrest board... my sister in law had her crafty neighbour create one. And all she had to do is find the materials - measurements were advised by the lady that made it.
There are also wedding fairs, usually several in a year so chances are you may be able to find a dress on sale - remember, you can always customise.
Or - go to the vintage shops and find something in the right colour for you - who says it needs to be white and long?! You're the one wearing it!

And keep your mind open - customisation doesn't need to be expensive or difficult and let's be honest, you can probably do something yourself.

And - Google is your friend. Pinterest is a must. Keep a record of your spending and spend wisely. Shop around. Take note of any shipping dates on online orders. Think outside the box. Delegate responsibilities - you two do NOT have to do everything. Your friends and family will be happy to help too.

And most importantly - relax. There's enough time.






What are your planning tips? Have you had any experiences of speedy wedding planning? Please leave some comments below. If you have any questions, it is more than likely there will be someone on here with an answer!

05 August 2014

Colours love


It would appear Tuesday is definitely going to be a colour day over here. Although my personal style is rather simple (well, ok, most of the time), I do love colour. And creating hair pieces is probably my way of expressing that.
I will tell you more about them in due course (working on it!), for now though let's talk colour.

Do you have a favourite? Or is it a mixture that you like? There are so many options. I am currently geeking out on Pantone View and the Design Seeds blog. Seriously, if you haven't had a chance to look through these, you're missing out. Pantone does charge for a subscription, but there is a 30 day trial available so you can see what it's all about.

Things to admire right now

Pinterest search

So simple, yet so beautiful. Probably impractical as they are, but who cares?

Source

The blues, the pinks, the *gasp* gorgeousness.... Simple, yet fun

Source

This image is not helping my irrational wishing for a typewriter.

Source

It's been a while since I've knitted or crocheted for that matter.... This is making me wanna start again. What do you think?

Source

Eat or not to eat...that is the question.

Source

I wish I had the guts to colour my hair in pastel. Maybe, one day.


Tell me about your favourites. Who knows, maybe I make a piece to your directions? Go wild... ;)








03 August 2014

Something's in the making


Hi!

Had a good weekend? I sort of decided to do nothing on Saturday. We went for a nice big field walk with Al (of course, it rained) sometime in the afternoon, but other than that I really just did nothing.

Today though, I made a lovely breakfast and maybe because of my "total day off" yesterday I felt rested and ready to take on the day. Of course, it's not quite as exciting, but sometimes doing the chores can be quite rewarding as it is. Don't you think?

So now I'm looking at my gorgeous new pieces of fabric and my little chest of scraps dreaming up new pieces to make. I've shared a couple on Twitter already, but there are more to come. And I truly believe having had little to nothing to do with making and blogging for a couple of days inspired me. Letting your brain wander through ideas whilst you're going through your simple daily tasks really does help the imagination :)

But, for now a couple of pictures of what I'm staring at (yes that is a huge mug of hot chocolate in the background):



In honesty, there is another box, much larger, full of goodies.... but not as photogenic as this little thing. Shhhh

As for the hot chocolate, I make my own little mix. I promise I will share that soon, and you'll never look back, so watch this space.


01 August 2014

Weekend Inspiration - Home DIY


I have spent some time looking at all the gorgeous ideas on Craftgawker - I recommend you do too! Especially if you are looking to beautify your home. We have been working on our house for nearly 3 years now and are finally getting to a point where this is what we'll be doing - anyone who did the same will agree with me that buying fabrics to make cushions and curtains is SO much better than comparing prices of cement, flooring and tiles :)

These are my personal favourites. What will you choose?

Curly Made


GRAFFICALMUSE free printable art


Kristi Murphy

Sisterwhat


Burkatron - Magnets DIY




31 July 2014

7 tips on finding materials


Although I am relatively new to blogging, I am most certainly not new to art and crafting. Obviously, we all do something as kids, but for me, lets say around about mid-teens I started creating things that were a little bit more than random cuts of paper or endless threads of basic crochet (which I would wrap around my wrist and pretend it was super hard to make).

However, unless you have an endless supply of funds (yeah right), getting the right materials is kinda expensive. Even if you simply want to produce some handwritten A4 prints, you still need to have a variety of good quality pens, variety of good quality papers or cards or whatever. Oh and unless you want to constantly produce them until your wrist gives up, you should really get a good quality printer....and so on and so on...

I know all this sounds like preaching to the converted, but lets be honest, we've all been there (and heard the "HOW MUCH are you charging!?" comment).

So, a while back I created a list of things that I would do in order to get materials that are good quality AND cheaper.

And not all of them are internet based ;)

1. Let's get the obvious out of the way first - EBAY. Thing is, I don't necessarily look for specifics. There's a lot of people out there that either misspell or aren't sure what to call something. And when I'm "on the lookout" I'll create some generic searches which I can then follow. One of those is simply "Vintage", I made sure it's in order of Ending Soonest, so every day I'll have a quick scroll through while I'm waiting for my lunch or having 5 minutes off the desk to see if there is anything interesting. I found a gorgeous collection of brooches like this and about 8 of these lovely old pieces cost me a couple of £.

Or, if you are in a hurry for something, try misspelling what you're looking for. You never know.

2. Charity shops = good for the charity and good for your pocket.
Recently, I went to a local one and found a range of silky scarves for about £1 each. As a scarf they were never going to be used. They were really old fashioned, slightly torn or washed out. I got a few - cut them up and created lovely little flowers out of them. You'll be able to see some of them eventually, when I get to taking photos.

You'll find frames with terrible artwork, but ones you can use for your own after a few brush strokes of paint. Faux pearl necklaces and such things that girls buy, wear 3 times and then give up are gorgeous for tearing apart and getting you some cheap beads.

3. Your friends - maybe they're having a clearout? Maybe they have kids who have outgrown certain things? Maybe they have some cheap canvass pictures they don't like any more and you can re-cover and re-use?

4. DIY stores. Oh yes. I went to B&Q a few weeks ago and went to the chains display. They had a lovely selection of thin brass, copper and silver chains - and they are made to last! Yes you'll need some pliers and the such, but they look so pretty and you can get a metre length for about £1. And let's not forget, you get the free wallpaper samples anywhere - and no you should not take advantage of this too much, but a few bits here and there are ok if you wanna make little tags or wrap stuff up.

5. Sales - in clothes shops, accessories shops, arts & crafts shops.... be open minded. Just because something is built up in a certain way, doesn't mean you have to use it as such. 

6. Salvage yards - although it may sound an obvious one, I'm not talking about the little pretty antique stores with a bit of a yard of scraps at the back.
A number of them will have things like old knobs off olf chests of drawers, old tiny windows in their original frames, bits and pieces of metal/stone/whatever, cute little period tiles, old style massive keys....... at bargain prices.

7. Go to handmade and craft fairs. But also, go to the wedding shows or any kind of fair where there MIGHT be something of interest. If for nothing else then for inspiration - I'm going to a cake and sugarcraft fair in near future, just to see what's new with the colours and techniques used... you also might get some freebies.

Extra inspiration?:

For inspiration we have Pinterest, Instagram, and various other sites we follow religiously these days. But don't forget books. There is a huge collection of older or self published books on Amazon, for example, which are completely FREE. And you don't need a Kindle, just the Kindle app. ;) I have recently downloaded several free soapmaking books right onto my laptop... beautiful :)

And if they're no good, who cares, you didn't pay anything!


Do you have any tips you wanna share? This isn't just about your profit, but also about being able to have enough materials to create what you love without spending silly amounts of money.

Now....










29 July 2014

Colours and Changes


I know, I changed it again. But I like it better now. It was ... as you'd say "work in progress". I may change it again at some point but right now, we're good.

Today I have reserved a printer to pick up tomorrow. I am actually excited about this, as it means I will be able to transfer my doodles onto my laptop and make sure they are perfect for sending away to all the lovely people that may like them. Also, I like gadgets, but we'll get to that at some point in the future.

What I'm really excited about is the colour trends that are coming up for our colder months... especially the Tints! Or, as the lovely report from Pantone states "Soft sage, cameo pinks, palma violet and muted pale blue were favorites in the mix of boy-girl silhouettes and precise minimal pieces."



 



How gorgeous is this?

Excited much!