Creating A Piece Of Embroidery Art

I've finally finished my hoop artwork! It was just in time as I've only got 3 more days until I move to Vancouver! This also allowed me to tick another thing off my new year's resolution list (interested in what's on my list, go take a read). 



This piece was inspired by the brilliant Elizabeth Pawle. I love looking at her work on Instagram and feeling so in awe of all the beautiful colours and textures that she creates. My version was far simpler but surprisingly took a few hours to create. There were many times I had to unpicked colours or recreate new shapes as I didn't feel like it was working. 

I definitely recommend you give something like this a go. I created mine with hessian, a range of wools and some embroidery thread. If you create your own piece of hoop artwork, make sure you tag me as I'd love to take a look :) 

Why not also check out my interview with Cinder & Honey where they give you their top 5 tips for budding embroiderers. 

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What If Beyoncé Thought This?


Image by Gauge Designs
Business Cake Advice

I heard a great line from Marie Forleo a little while ago when she was giving advice to people who felt their business ideas had already been tried and tested so haven't given them a go. She said something along the lines of

“What if Beyoncé thought this when she started out her singing career” and it really stuck with me.  Think about any of the great business out there that you admire, what if they woke up with their idea and thought “I’ve got a great idea but other people are kinda doing similar things”, their business would never have been born!

I think the “What if Beyoncé thought this” idea can be applied to many other things such as releasing new products or even your new website layout you’ve been thinking of making. Don't get me wrong, there's no point starting a business if it's literally copying a bigger more established one but just because you want to open up your own card shop and Paperchase is already doing its thing, doesn't mean your store couldn't become bigger and better in some way.

If you don’t give it your darn hardest try then you’ll never know if it will succeed or not. It takes a lot of hard work to get where Beyoncé is but if she never started, she would have never reached this pinnacle.

Go take that idea you’ve had for a while and start making it into a reality, you never know where it might just lead you.

P.S This is not a promotion for Beyoncé music, I'm more an indie / alternative kind of girl. Why not check out Alex Winston - Sister Wife for some musical inspiration. 

Creative Inspiration 
The Beyoncé image in this post is by Gauge Designs via Etsy

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Salted Caramel Cookie Recipe

I've been making these Salted Caramel Cookies for ages now, they taste so darn good! My friend Rory loves these too and it was recently his birthday so I decided to make him a batch.

This recipe is by the brilliant Sorted Food, go check them out.


Ingredients:
110g unsalted butter
350g light brown sugar
55 g cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
260g plain flour
100g milk chocolate chips
Sprinkle of sea salt (to taste)
8 tbsp chocolate and hazelnut spread (I love Meridian)
16 caramel chocolates (I love Galaxy)



Make sure you tag me in any of your salted caramel cookie creations!

Shooting On The Olympus Pen E-PL8

If you're on the look out for a new camera, I cannot recommend the Olympus Pen E-PL8 more! I've been shooting on it for nearly a year now and I love it. The video function isn't great but photography wise, it's the perfect inbetween for those looking to step up from a point and shoot who don't want the size of a DSL / can't afford a DSL.

Check out my previous post about the lens I use and my initial review.

The main reason I purchased the E-PL8 was that I want to get into Fashion Photography. With this in mind and having recently found a folder full of inspirational shoots that I'd torn out of magazines whilst at uni, I decided to set up a mini photoshoot and create some self portraits.

I simply set myself up against a beautiful deep turquoise green wall, shut the curtains, set my camera up on a tripod, programmed the camera's auto timer, popped on the flash and got my desk lamp positioned as the main source of light. I played around the settings until I got some beautiful double exposure effects.

These shots were created using the setting 0.4 sec, F4.5, ISO 200 


These two photos consisted of a lot of movement to create these effects. I also angled my desk lamp differently each time which changed the warm double exposure. I can't wait to try out some more photography ideas when I get over to Vancouver. Photography used to be like another language to me but over time and having shot on manual and with my dad's film camera, I've the got hang of it all now. 

Who's your favourite fashion photographer? I'd love to know :) 



Print Making at Burton Art Gallery

I recently visited The Burton Art Gallery in Bideford, Devon for a Print Making Course with Sarah Young.



I'd never done print making before so I wasn't sure what to expect but it was such a fun, creative day! I learnt a range of techniques from collagraph printing to intaglio printing which included both sticking things onto the medium and scratching things off the medium.

I would love another day to try these processes again, I feel like I was just getting the hang of it by the end of the course. Making abstract pieces is so much fun and my favourite one I made was the purple one above. I tried to create a grass scene with mountain and stars (told you it was abstract haha). I also had lots of fun incorporating my modern calligraphy in with the process, especially attempting to write backwards.

Take a look at my video below to see all the prints I created and how I created them, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel too as I'll be updating regularly with creative videos and updates on my travels to Canada.



If you're interested in trying something new, I definitely recommend print making. Sarah has a range of print making courses around the Devon and Cornwall area so go check out her website.

Lauren :)






Learning To Weave

I've been meaning to post this for a long long time now but I've been super busy packing up my life and moving back in with my parents because in 6 week's time I'll be moving to Vancouver, Canada! More on this in a separate post but for now I wanted to share my weaving project with you :)

You would have seen in my previous post, I made myself a mini weaving loom using some nails and an old photo frame. Things got even better when my lovely papa made me a massive loom which enabled me to create a larger wall hanging.


All the wool I used was from a charity shop, purchased by my mum (this project was a family effort!) and I basically taught myself some different weaving techniques through trial and error. I was super happy with how this beautiful hanging turned out. Since my move, my dear friend Morgan now has the hanging in her room. If you're interested in giving weaving it a go, I definitely recommend it. It's very relaxing when watching TV and really gets the creative juices flowing. You don't need expensive equipment to get started, you can even make a loom using cardboard! 




video

Having finished my wall hanging I was then able to tick "learn to weave" off my new year's resolution list, more about that here. I'll be posting soon about another resolution that I've just completed and it was a rather tasty one ;) 

Hope you're well and sorry for the lack of posts!

Lauren x 

Are You a Multipotentalite?



Last year I came across this person who described themselves as a “multipotentalite”. I naturally thought...what is this....? Google came back to me with the below.

“A multipotentialite is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life. Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny.”

Our destiny….. Something resonated in me. There was me kicking myself for having a successful career in marketing, a love for visual merchandising, an interest in beautiful design, a passion in sewing, photography, embroidery, weaving, pottery, cross stitch, watercolour, calligraphy, music, songwriting, baking, cooking, fitness. The list goes on and on!

I was kicking myself everyday for being interested in too many things and not being amazing at all of them.

When I saw that it said “being a multipotentialite is our destiny” I breathed a sign of relief. I wasn't the only one in this world who had too many things on their plate and that it wasn’t my fault for feeling so passionate about so many creative things, it was my 'destiny'.

I juggled this term around for a good few months and after having watched a video of GaryVee explaining it’s ok to have lots of passions in life but you need to have your “meat” and you need to have your “veg”. Your “meat” is your real hustle, the thing that you focus on fully, the thing that will bring in the moolah, the “veg” supports your “meat” but it’s only the extras on the plate.

This was a great analogy to help me understand how to pull off my multipotentalite passion and what to focus on to bring me money and what could be enjoyed as purely a hobby.

I’ve started to notice that so many creative people I know are multipotentalites too, it seems to be a ‘thing’, something I wish I’d understood sooner.

What’s your “meat” and what’s your “veg”?  How many multipotentalites do you know?

Papersmiths - Bristol


I just had to share this beautiful shop with you as it's every stationery lover's dream (especially mine)! Papersmiths specialise in design-led stationery and paper goods and is located in Clifton Village, Bristol.

I've been there twice now and I could honestly spend hours trying out all the pens, reading through the independent magazines, looking at all the beautiful artwork. Then there's the notebooks.... so many notebooks!

My model *aka friend* Morgan

The way Papersmiths curate their products makes the Visual Merchandiser in me smile. I'm such a sucker for beautiful products and beautiful displays *ok ok, I'll try not to gush too much more*.

Basically, what I'm trying to tell you is that you need to visit this store and experience it for yourself!


I left the store feeling super inspired. I just wanted to run back and start sketching or getting out my calligraphy pens and start writing something. It has almost an art gallery vibe where every product has been meticulously placed to show it off in the best way possible, you feel a bit in awe once you leave.


Can I just also mentioned the colours. You can see by the photo, there's so many colours involved in the displays, be that through the beautiful artwork on the windows of the rich colours of the stationery. The whole store was just...so good looking. Can you say that about a store? Well I just did!

I hope this has inspired you to swing by next time you're in the Bristol area. Tag me on Instagram if you visit, I'd love to see your photos.

Where to find them: 6A Boyces Avenue, Clifton Village, Bristol, BS8 4AA. 

Click here to visit their website

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