This year seems to be flying by already, but I'm so happy to welcome spring - it's my favourite season! Here are some of my favourites things from this month and some recommendations for things to check out...
This month I took part in Joanne Hawker's instagram challenge #MarchMeetTheMaker and it was so much fun! Joanne wrote a prompt for each day of March and encouraged makers and small business owners to take part by posting a picture based on the prompt. This allowed people like me to tell the story behind their brand or business and to meet potential new clients, friends, followers, collaboraters. I had so much fun thinking of different things for each prompt, so much so that I'm a little bit worried about using instagram prompt-free again! I think I might have to set myself my own prompts... Go and check out the hashtag and find some new people to follow.
My doormat was consistently graced with all sorts of beautiful packages this month. I did lots of swaps with creatives ladies on instagram for patches and pins and the lovely Jo of Hello sunshine even sent me a cheese clock! My pin collection continues to grow and now I have a pin for every occassion you can think of.
Clock and sunflower patch: Hello sunshine, Pup in a Cup pin & Shit or get off the pot sticker: Pilfered, Deer & Toadstool pins: Lorelai, Viva Forever pin: Brave Kids Club, Black Cat pin & Tina badge: ThriftBox, Rainbow Pencil pin & sticker: Megan McNulty, Monkey pin: helloDODO, Alpaca pin: Corazon PomPom.
In February it was Random Acts of Kindness Day and I sent out lots of packages to people which included a preview of a new product I've been working on - Girl Power postcard sets. I sent one to Cat of catherinedoart and Jelly Armchair who was also taking part in RAOK Day and this week received the most amazing package from her which included a handpainted Girl Power postcard! The generosity and creativity of people I've met through instagram continues to blow me away. It's sitting in front of my on my desk to remind me how great girls can be and the power of collaboration (even if you didn't intend to collaborate in the first place!). Huge thanks to Cat for brightening up my week.
As some of you may know, I work for Phosphor Art illustration Agency 3 days a week. I love interacting with the artists and sometimes I get to interview them for our Meet the Artist series which is a lot of fun. This month I interviewed our latest illustrator Lee Ford who chatted all about balancing illustration commissions with his work as a lecturer, creative block and inspirations. Go and check it out if you're interested in illustration.
My instagram pal Samantha Eynon added this lovely botanical print to her Etsy shop this month. As you'll read later, I truly believe that getting outside and into nature is so important so this really struck a chord with me.
One of my goals for 2017 was to go to the cinema more and to be honest I haven't been doing as well as I could be on that one! KP has been working quite long hours and since he's my favourite cinema buddy it can be hard to find the time. A couple of weeks ago he finished work early and we went to watch Get Out at our local cinema. We were surrounded by fairly rowdy teenagers which always makes me a bit worried but actually it made for a very fun viewing, there was lots of laughter, lots of jumps (including one girl who let out a blood-curdling scream every time something even remotely scary happened) and even clapping towards the end! How very un-British. The film was excellent, and as someone who is too wimpy to go and watch most horror films, I'd recommend this. It's more of a thriller, with some jumps, a little gore, hilarious moments, brilliant one-liners and all sorts of twists and turns. It'll make you leave the cinema thinking, rather than looking behind you constantly. Plus there's a cute dog in it. Check it out!
I'm a big fan of podcasts, they're perfect for listening to when I'm drawing or running or walking George and they nearly always teach me something new! I really enjoy Kat's Blogtacular podcast, in which she interviews creative bloggers and indie business owners from around the world. It's introduced me to new people, given me a better insight into makers I knew of already and I've collected some excellent top-tips. Kat's enthuastic introductions always get me excited for the show and her questions are so well thought out. If you haven't listened yet then you have a lot of catching up to do since the podcast is now in its second season.
I can't wait to attend the Blogtacular conference in June, will you be there?
Issue 5 of Caboodle Magazine popped through my door this month and what a delight it is! If you don't know about Caboodle, it's a bi-annual compendium of all the wonderful things in life. It's full of recipes, fashion, crafts, travel, interviews, features and more. It has such a genuine and optimistic feel about it and I was really pleased to have a DIY tutorial featured in this issue - a rocket pencil pot made from a Pringles tube! Blue Peter eat your heart out!
From issue 6 onwards I'm going to be editing the crafts section of the magazine and I'm pretty damn excited about it. I'll be sharing some of my previous Caboodle crafts on the blog soon, watch this space!
This month I did a bit of touristing in my own city and also went up to Scotland to visit my Mum so I feel like I had a healthy balance of town and country! My biggest recommendation this month is just to go outside, get lost and breeathe in some fresh air. As Samantha Eynon's print says, nature heals. I'm trying to continue to get outside of the city at weekends and run in my local parks in the mornings before work becuase as hard as it is to motivate myself, once I'm outside and surrounded by trees I feel so much better.
On mother's Day me and my Mum took a trip to Kagyu Samye Ling, which is a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery and Centre for World Peace and Health. It's a surprising splash of colour hidden in the Scottish countryside and it transported me back to Thailand. The detail that has gone into the buildings is astounding and I found it very inspiring. It's such a peaceful place to spend a couple of hours. If you ever find yourself in Southern Scotland I'd recommend a visit - they even have a cafe which serves delicious food throughout the day.
In London, one of my favourite places is The Grant Museum of Zoology which is full of all sorts of weird and wonderful things. It's part of UCL and was opened in 1828 as a teaching collection, now housing about 68,000 specimens from the animal kingdown, including the famous 'jar of moles' and many now extinct creatures such as the dodo and the quagga. If you're squeamish then there are also lots of things in jars that might make you feel a bit sick, but I could get lost in here discovering new creatures and learning new things. One of my favourite parts of the museum is the micrarium - a converted storeroom which is now a beautiful back-lit cave displaying 2,323 of the tiniest specimens in the collection as well as 252 of their favourite lantern slides, all in just 2.52 square metres.
So those were some of my favourite things from March, I'd love to hear your recommendations too, especially for books and podcasts! It was nice to get away from my desk a bit more this month and I'm hoping to continue that in April! If you have any good recommendations find me on instagram or twitter or send me an email, I'd love to hear from you!