I’ve Moved!

The time has finally come for Doing it the Open Way to close its doors. I’ve loved this little blog, but I feel like it’s time to move on to bigger and better things! On that note I’d like to introduce my new site, Open Way Designs:

Header 2

All of my old content has been migrated over, so you’ll still have access to all the fabulous stuff that came before… and I have big plans for more great things to come your way over the next few months.

Thank you so much for all of your continued support!

D x

GUEST POST – Inspiration and Creativity

Daisy's Guest Post

Today the fabulous Daisy, the Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle blogger behind Daisy’s World, is going to talk to you all about how (and why) she tries to keep inspiration and creativity in her life. So without further ado, over to you Daisy!

Hi all,

Daire and I were both looking for bloggers to write guest posts for us and we thought it would be a good idea to write one for each other; she requested a post on creativity and inspiration so today I’m going to share the things that inspire me and the creative projects I work on daily to keep me busy.

I am a Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle blogger over at Daisy’s World. Daire and I were both looking for bloggers to write guest posts for us and we thought it would be a good idea to write one for each other so today I am going to share the things that inspire me and the creative projects I work on daily to keep me busy, while she tells my readers how fashion inspires her artwork


I think it is extremely important to be inspired, it keeps you focused and motivated in achieving your personal goals. I would love to own my own house one day, have a successful blog and an enjoyable job. I use the below tips to keep me moving in the right direction in accomplishing these. Hopefully you will be able to apply them to your own life.

Other People:

Whatever you are hoping to achieve you can be inspired by other people. If you are trying to lose weight for example, other success stories will keep you motivated and prove that your goals are achievable. You can look at why they have been successful and use those tips yourself. I use this in my blogging – I may like a person’s writing style, an idea they have used or how they have designed their blog. I will never copy an idea but I will develop it in my own way to suit me.


When you travel it gives you time to re-evaluate your life and realise what is important. You will see the world in a new light and it may make you change your opinion on your hopes for the future. Being away from home and travelling makes me appreciate my friends and family, as I miss them when I am away.


The more experience you gain the more you will realise what makes you happy. Gaining work experience from several companies for example, will help you decide the career that is best for you. I have only been blogging for three months and since then I have written about several different topics. I have done this so I am able to discover which category suits me best and which topics I will continue to write about.


The words of others can be really powerful and can change the way you feel about a situation. One quote that I like is ‘Stop waiting for things to happen. Go out and make them happen’. This quote really encourages you to take charge of your life and confirms that you need to work towards your goals if you want to achieve them.


 It is important to be creative to show your individuality. Whether you like to write, draw or make, it is fun to be unique. Writing a blog in itself is creative – I have set up a website where I write, edit and develop my ideas, and in order to stand out it is important to be different. At the moment I am into nail art, it is a fun way to make different designs with many colours and techniques. I would like to introduce more creativity into my life. This year one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to make something; whether it is a gift, something for the home or something to wear, I plan to make something.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my guest post today. I would love to know what inspires you and how you bring creativity into your life.

Love Daisy x

Thank you for visiting us today Daisy, we hope to see you again soon!

D x

A Sunday Summary

A Sunday Summary 2

So… what have I been up to this week…

Well I managed to get my evil assignment out of the way (we had to adapt a short story we’d written into a script for stage, radio or screen). I chose to write a screenplay, and I can tell you, I do not have a future as a screen writer! Painful is the only way I can describe it!

On Thursday I guest posted for my friend Jo – ‘50 things to make me read your blog‘, if you’re looking for a few tips on how to keep your readers interested, you should definitely check it out!

Yesterday I met up with a bunch of lovely creative and crafty bloggers in the centre of Nottingham, it was so much fun! It’s the first time I’ve met up with any bloggers ‘in real life’ and it really wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be!



[I’m practically glow in the dark, I didn’t notice the spotlight above my head!]

We had such a great time talking about all things crafty – I’ll be posting about the day more in-depth later this week, so stay tuned!

I’m still managing to stick to my daily ‘15 Minutes of Mixed Media‘ challenge – if you want to see some of my creations then check out my Instagram feed and if you’d like to play a long, tag me (@dairecharlotte) in your photos and I’ll come and cheer you on!

I’ve got back into the swing of the whimsical reading challenge I’m hosting, after a little time away from it and I’ve also been working on a TOP SECRET project, that I can’t reveal yet, but I promise you’ll be the first to know!

So what have you all been up to this week? Feel free to leave me a link to your posts in the comments below – I’m always looking for new reading material!

D x


{21 Secrets} Watercolour Playground

21 Secrets
As promised, I’m back with some more of my creations from last year’s 21 Secrets workshop… today I want to share the pages I made following Tammy Garcia’s Watercolour Playground lessons.
Historically, I’m not the biggest fan of watercolour. It annoys me that you need to use certain paper to get a result. It annoys me that it reactivates if you spill something on it (and I do that a lot). Having said that, I actually really enjoyed this class. It’s quite a slow medium to work with, and as I was testing out a few new techniques, I was going extra, extra, slow… which is very therapeutic, especially if you’re a ‘mile a minute’ kind of person like me.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love rainbows? Blending all of the stripes was sooo calming but do you now what wasn’t calming? Watching the cat knock my pain water all over it, and seeing a big white splodge materialize in the middle. Grrrr. I think you can see a few of the water spots in the top corner…)
One of my usual bug bears with watercolours is that they’re just a bit wishy washy… and I have an expensive little set that I never even touch for that reason…. BUT my Crayola set (which was about £5) are so vibrant and lush that I can’t leave them alone now!
Here I went a teensy bit rogue and put my own mark on the lesson by adding lots of doodles and dots… You can’t really tell from this photo, but the white dimensional paint sucked up some of the watercolour and tinted itself – a very cool effect!
This page was a collection of all the different tips and techniques Tammy shared throughout the workshop and I’m not kidding when I say it took me FOREVER. I think I managed to watch the entire second season of Stella while I was working on it!
So what do you think? Am I a watercolour whiz now? You should definitely hop over to Daisy Yellow, Tammy’s blog. It’s filled with fabulous creative prompts, in fact, my first ever art journal page was created as a response to one of them!
Have a great weekend guys, I’ll be back soon🙂
D x

A Belated Year in Review

As I mentioned last week, Beth from plasticrosaries.com recently tagged me in her ‘2013 in Review‘ post, and even though I’ve already summed up 2013 elsewhere, I thought I’d play along anyway…

A belated year in review

1. Your top 5 new favourite blogs to read in 2013  (you’re totally tagged if you’re listed here – no pressure of course but putting it out there…)

Satchels and Pearls (ok, I’m biased. This is my friend Michelle’s blog, and she gets bonus points for making me Auntie to the cutest dumpling ever!)

Girl XOXO (I love the combination of bookishness and blogging tips. She takes really great photos too!)

iHanna (Her blog is just full of creative inspiration, and her archives are filled with fab tutorials!)

Rae Missigman (A fairly recent discovery, but now she’s definitely one of my favourite mixed media artists)

The Tangerine (The brain behind the Book Chat)

And of course there are the great blogs I mentioned in my last round up post, and thelovely lady who tagged me in this post.

2. List Your 5 most read blog posts in 2013

The Art of Benin (I still can’t understand why you keep coming back to this one!)

Myth and Magic Notecards (I have the fabulous Julie Fei-Fan Balzer to thank, as she featured my tutorial on her awesome blog)

Documented Life – Staying Organised in the New Year (I’m pretty impressed… this one ranked at number 3, despite being published 5 days before New Year’s!)

De-stressing with Doodles (My oh-so-sophisticated method of stress management…)

{21 Secrets} Doodling Our Way (And the first installment of my 21 Secrets 2013 portfolio)

3. Name one blog you wish you had found sooner

Hands down Jo Gifford a.k.a the Dexterous Diva – I think I’d have mastered the art of blogging waaay sooner! (Plus, she’s lovely!) Did I mention I’m guest posting on her blog today?

4. Your favourite blog post of 2013  

I really loved creating the art for The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and the Giraffe Note Cards Tutorial and I LOVED taking part in Love Triangles 101, check out my review of Before I Met You or When Love Triangles Just Don’t Count for a taster!

5. What would you like to improve (if anything) on your blog next year?

Plenty! I have a list of goals for my blog that I’m constantly adding to. One of my aims for the year is to write 10 guest posts (if you’re interested, let me know!) I’d also love to hear any thoughts you have on how I could improve Doing it the Open Way. Is there anything you’d like to see change?

6. Name one blog you have a blog crush on.

Alisa Burke’s blog is amazing – her outlook, her design, her voice, her imagery, her features…. everything is just gorgeous! She’s currently running a course on blogging if anyone’s interested?

7. How often do you post?  

I go through phases… I vary between every other day and once in a blue moon. One of my aims for 2014 is to become a much more consistent blogger.

8. Share your first post of 2013

Bienvenido 2013 (also known as an introduction to my whimsical reading challenge!)

9. Name one thing you would be doing if you weren’t typing this post right now.

Coffee! And probably working…

10.What have you loved the most about blogging this year?

I’ve loved getting my mojo back – I actually want to blog now! I’m really enjoying learning how to do new things and make little improvements. I know it’s a slow process, but I’m feeling very inspired!

And with that I conclude the looking back, from this very second, it’s all about 2014!

D x

Whimsical Reading – Family Relationships


As I mentioned when I was talking about my aims and intentions for 2014, this year I’ll be continuing with my whimsical reading challenge, if you need a refresher of the rules, check out this page.  Today I thought I’d share some suggestions for the ‘Family Relationship’ category; there are tons you could pick, but here are a few I would recommend:

Mama Rose’s Turn by Carolyn Quinn

This fabulously written biography tells the story of Rose Thompson, the infamous stage mother of burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee and actress June Havoc. Rather than mulling over the already well publicized lives of her daughters, Quinn looks into the wild and controversial life of the woman who shaped their destiny.

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

Most people say their favourite Dickens novel is Great Expectations, but this is mine. I’d never been that interested in reading his work before I was given this as a set text, but I have definitely been converted! Check out my review (link above) for more ramblings.

Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler

Feiler’s memoir documents his battle with an aggressive form of cancer, and the way he chooses to deal with it – by putting together a group of men to help raise his twin daughters after his death. I know I’m making it sound quite morbid, but it’s more of a celebration of all the men that have influenced his life.

The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke

This was one of my favourite books read in 2013. I first decided to read it when I start the Richard and Judy Summer Book Club challenge, and I’m so glad I did – I absolutely loved it. The story starts as Katie finds out that her sister has died while travelling of what appears to be a suicide. Overtaken by grief, she uproots her life and follows in Mia’s footsteps, with only her journal as a companion. It’s indescribably well written, hugely emotive so unbelievably worth reading.

Granny is my Wingman by Kayli Stollak

Granny is my Wingman is based on the blog of the same name, and tells the story of Kayli and her Grandmother’s experimentations with online dating. It’s a fun light-hearted read.

Mother’s Curse by Thaddeus Nowak

This is the first instalment in a fantasy series by Thaddeus Nowak, which follows the quest of Stephenie, a princess with a curse, attempting to flee her evil mother and find her brother. Throw in a lost city, a ghostly love story and a few big betrayals and you have a recipe for fantastical excellence. Enjoy!

There really are soo many you could pick for this category… what would you go for?

D x


A Sunday Summary

A Sunday Summary 2

How have you been enjoying the first week of 2014? It’s been a pretty busy one for me, so I have lots of things to tell you!

  • This year I’m writing a collaborative story with my friends Paola and Tory – the first chapter goes live next week, but right now you can read our introductory ramblings or our three mini-prequels. I hope you’ll follow us along this journey, we’re so, so excited!
  • Today I got an honourable mention from Beth over at Plastic Rosaries in this post (thank you Beth, my follow-up is pending) – I’m honoured to be one of her bloggy discoveries of 2013!
  • I’ve been getting stuck into the fabulous Documented Life project I’ve signed up for – I’m posting all updates for this project on my Facebook page, so if you’d like to see my quirky, one-of-a-kind planner you should hop over and have a look!
  • Although I promised myself I wasn’t going to commit myself to so many reading challenges (I have this crazy idea that reading shouldn’t be so stressful…), but after seeing this one on I Believe in Story, I just couldn’t resist! Last year I really enjoyed dipping my toe into new genres, so I think this might be the one for me.
  • I’ve been sticking to my New Year’s Resolution of doing 15 minutes of mixed media each day – I’ve decided to post photos on my Instagram every day (I’ve even manage to recruit my friend Jo a.k.a. The Dexterous Diva to join in on this arty goodness) – If you’d like to play along, or just see what we come up with, you’ll find my updates here.
  • Last but not least, I’m currently advertising for guest posts – for more information, check out this post.

I hope you have a really great second week of the year… I’ll talk to you soon!

D x