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

Inspiration

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.

Travel:

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.

Experiences:

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.

Words:

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.

Creativity

 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

Advertisements

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!

DSCN2118

 

[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

 

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

Guest Posts: Creativity and Inspiration

What do you do to add creativity to your life? What are your favourite techniques and supplies? Do you have any tips and tricks to bring creativity into otherwise boring things? Where do you find your inspiration? How do you come up with ideas for your blog posts or stories? Do you get crafty with your kids? Do you have a tutorial you’d like to share? Would you like to share a review of your favourite art products?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES I’d love for you to write a guest post for Doing it the Open Way! For more information, or to submit something for me to read, drop me an email to Daire.Openway@yahoo.co.uk or a tweet @DaireCharlotte.
Hope to hear from you soon!
D x

GUEST POST – Finding Me

BeFunky_IMG_nfnbanner.jpg

 

Today I have a guest post lined up for you written by one of my best (in real life) friends, Gabby. When I first started talking about Non Fic November, she was eager to take part… to be honest I was expecting a post about her fave books, as I know she loves to read non-fiction, but instead she sent me her own true story. I hope you enjoy.

‘Finding Me’, I know, what a mind-stirring title to have. I bet all sorts of thoughts and feelings are swirling around your intrigued mind, I know they are for me.

The path of finding myself is an interesting whirlwind of adventures of the heart and mind, a story with no ending but continuous telling.

Childhood, what a thing of beauty! It is innocence of all things, but I had a disruptive one. Yes, I had all I could ask for materially, but there was nothing to be given emotionally. Two parents that hated each other’s guts but couldn’t live without each other’s emotional abuse; that is a story for another day.

Finding myself? Now that was a heartbreaking challenge. Destructive relationships of torment.

Adulthood started quite quickly for me as I moved out of my broken home at the fragile age of sixteen. I moved in with my boyfriend’s family (who I really disliked). They where the type of people who would sell poison to a child to earn a pound in return, so you can probably imagine the horrid experience I had there.

I fell pregnant within a few months of living there. It really was a God send, but not really the best age to be having a baby. I was seventeen, and with a man who couldn’t look after a fish, let alone a child and a woman. I had such a terrible time living within this man’s parents’ home I ended up finding myself homeless. Fortunately, the kindness of our country housed me, not something you dream of as a child – I know I didn’t. I thought I would be married to the man of my dreams, who would take my breath away with every kiss. I’d be living in a big house with lots of happy children. But life has a funny way of biting your butt into reality; still, I held on to the dream of prince charming.

So I had my beautiful little boy, with big bright blue eyes and wavy white soft hair. I can’t explain that feeling when you first hold your precious little bundle of joy. Feeling his skin against mine, his warm soft pale skin, the feeling of when we first looked into each other’s eyes so powerful it brought me to tears. I felt for the first time truly loved. Truly wanted. Truly needed. And I promised this gorgeous little soul in my arms that I would always be my best and do my best, and I would love him forever.

Two months later I got married. Still seventeen. I felt wrong having a baby and not being married. At the time all three of us were living in a motel, and my soon to be husband started changing into something dark.

We were married for two long hard years. I was raising a small baby and looking after a house, a load of animals and a drunk. Things quickly changed after the wedding. This man I had married became a monster, with abusive langue and actions. It got to the point where I completely lost myself. I became a walking, talking zombie. Until one day it became to dangerous to be this man’s wife anymore. So I ran, I ran as fast and as far as I could, abandoning my home and my beloved animals. I grabbed what I could. I took my beautiful baby and ended up in a women’s refuge.

I lived with women who have seen the ugly side of humankind and been victims of it. So safe to say, I was not in a good place.

For the next two years I experienced the world of dating and being a single mum. I came in to this unknown world; all I knew was how to be a wife and a mother. I met some very unpleasant people, but to be honest after what I went though, I wasn’t that pleasant any more. So I went around, destroying and hurting every man I could. I’m not proud of the things I did at all.

I realised I needed help to get my happy back. I took myself to counselling. I found that all the stuff that had happened to me turned out not to be the root of the problems. It was my childhood experiences that started it all off, but I didn’t realise that until I really started to look at myself.

So after many failed relationships and heartbreaks, mental breakdowns, I finally found my happy. How, you ask, well I deeply relied on my religion, and I still do. But there were certain things that I couldn’t understand, like “be God like” and “God is love”.

I found a book called Be Love to Find Love and it really saved me. I helped me let go of negativity, I finally understood so much more, and not just the things that had confused me in the Bible.

This book delves deep with you and shows you the meaning of what love is. We spend our lives feeling as if we have to be loved by another to feel love and to feel happy. The funny thing is that you will never truly feel happy this way, it feels almost as if something is missing, but what? I found it. I found out how to release every bad memory and burn it up. I found out how to replace the darkness with only good, joyful emotions. I learnt that, yet again, everything boils down to those hurtful things that happened during childhood. I’d never let go of it; I just carried it around like an old, stinky, heavy suitcase that I didn’t add anything new to. All I did was replay out the same hurt through my life, in many a different way, but it was all still very much the same. Once I let go of everything, and truly forgave.  I FELT SO FREE. I learned how to love myself and be love, not need it, or want it, but be it.

So you ask how all of this helped me to understand what the Bible meant by “be God like” and “God is love”. It’s quite simple really, being “God like” does not mean to be as a God it means, to have the qualities of God, so if God is love, so are you.

I don’t look at the past any more, or pressure myself about the future. As soon as any such thoughts return into my mind I burn them (not literally). I tell myself it doesn’t matter what has happened, it is history. And it doesn’t matter what hasn’t happened yet. Looking into your past is upsetting, and looking into your future is too – you feel as if you should be there and not where you are. That is the wrong way of thinking you. You should only ever be in the moment where you are; you should truly enjoy it every –  feeling, taste, sight and sound otherwise again it just becomes a distant memory that you can’t get back.

My happy has come from realising what I actually already have, not what I want or dream about. I have opened my eyes to see that my life is amazing. I am in love with my life and everything in it. I find just walking my son to school is such a pleasure. I get to see the beauty of the natural world in a leaf, the colour of a vibrant berry, the sounds of the birds singing, but the best of all is that I am in this moment with my son. Our relationship has gone from strength to strength, with me realising how to be here instead of anywhere else.

The really great quote “if you can’t love you who else can?” and “if you don’t love your life who else will?” brought it home. I can say everything in my life has improved drastically with just being present in it instead of looking for the next thing coming. I am more positive and my relationships with friends, family and everyone else have all changed for the better. My mum said she finally has her daughter back after watching me destroy myself for years. It is safe to say I have found myself again and it is still only the beginning of my life’s journey, but I feel amazing.

You all can do it to; you can all find your happy – it is already within you, you just have to let go. I wish you all love and happiness. 🙂

For more information on Be Love to Find Love, check out this site.

I’d just like to say a big thank you to Gabby, not only for being one of the greatest, most inspirational people I’ve ever known, but also for always being there to support me in everything I do. Love ya.

She’s recently set up her very own blog. I hope you’ll head over and share some love.

D x

GUEST POST: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books

BeFunky_IMG_nfnbanner.jpg

Hi, I’m Janet and I blog about books, music, craft, travel, and other daily goings-on at Words That Can Only Be Your Own.  I’m an avid reader, but as an English teacher my reading tends to be focused on fiction.  However, some of the books that have been most inspiring and life-changing were non-fiction, so I loved Daire’s idea for Non Fic November.  And so, without further ado, here are my top 10 non-fiction books (in no particular order)

non fic top 10

 

1. Ed. Michelle Tea It’s So You: 35 Women Write About Personal Expression Through Fashion & Style

A collection of essays musing on the often thorny topic of how clothes and make-up contribute to women’s personal identity and expression of self, I particularly enjoyed Diane di Prima’s (b.1934) essay Ideas of Fashion from the Great Depression to Today and A Torrid Affair by Cookie Woolner, who writes, “The mainstream fashion and beauty industries exist to keep us alienated from our bodies and desires, in a constant cycle of consumption and false expectations.  Fashion should be about joy and expression, not fear and loathing – loving and truly inhabiting our bodies, not hiding from them.”   She had me nodding along frantically!  I loved this book, which got me reflecting on the style choices I have made over the years (and made me excited about trying out red lipstick for the first time in my life: turns out it looks great, who knew?).  Be prepared for it to change the way you perceive the contents of your wardrobe and your make-up bag.

2. Tom Hodgkinson How To Be Free

I read How To Be Free two summers ago, just after returning from America. The trip had already got me thinking about the way I lived and my work-life balance (or lack thereof), and Tom Hodgkinson’s book – which is part comic writing, part political polemic, part philosophy, part manual for changing your life – was just what I needed to bring my thoughts into sharper focus.  It kickstarted my Not Buying It experiment in autumn 2011, and indirectly led to my £100 Challenge in autumn 2012. As a result of reading this book, I cut my hours at work and managed to pay off a large chunk of credit card debt. It genuinely changed my life.

3. Mark Salzman True Notebooks

An account of writer Salzman’s first year of teaching creative writing at Central Juvenile Hall – a lockup for Los Angeles’s most violent teenage offenders – this is a sometimes uplifting, often depressing, always inspiring book about the power of education, the power of the written word, the impact of teachers on young people’s lives, and more besides.

4. Jeanette Winterson Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Winterson’s autobiography covers much of the same ground as her debut novel, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. I loved this beautifully written, poetic account of Winterson’s childhood and her adult struggles with her past and her adoption. As much a paean to the power of literature to change lives as an autobiography, I especially enjoyed her musings on working class identity, the changing face of the North, and feminism.

5. Amy Raphael Never Mind The Bollocks: Women Rewrite Rock

A seventeenth birthday present, this is a collection of interviews with the women who were making waves in music circa 1994-95.  From big stars such as Bjork and Courtney Love, to Britpop frontwomen like Echobelly’s Sonya Aurora Madan, reading these women’s own words was inspirational to me as a teenager.

6. Sara Marcus Girls To The Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution

I can’t recommend Girls To The Front enough. It’s a heartfelt, passionate and beautifully written account of the genesis of Riot Grrrl, focusing on the Olympia and Washington DC scenes but encompassing the stories of girls and women from all over the USA. If you are at all interested in the 90s, in feminism, or in music history, then this is a great read.

7. Mark Yarm Everybody Loves Our Town: A History of Grunge

A really wonderful oral history of grunge and the Seattle scene that birthed it.  Full of great gossip and fascinating recollections, it’s a must-read if you enjoy early 90s music.

8. Tom Gallagher, Michael Campbell & Murdo Gillies The Smiths: All Men Have Secrets

This book was a Christmas gift almost 20 years ago (yes, I am actually THAT old).  A collection of fans’ stories about Smiths songs, my copy is full of penciled notes and underlinings in true adolescent style.  A lot of the tales are – rather like the songs themselves – rather keen to wallow in their own misery, but it’s a great reminder that when you think Morrissey is singing just to you in your loneliness and isolation, there’s no doubt someone next door thinking exactly the same.

9. Bill Bryson A Short History Of Nearly Everything

A book that should be required reading, it represents an incredible achievement by Bryson: to write a science book that is truly for the layperson.  Covering everything from quantum physics to geology and biology, it is as entertaining as it is educational.

10. Caitlin Moran How To Be A Woman

When I was a teenager I wanted to be Moran, who was a writer for Melody Maker by the age of 16 and presented Channel 4 yoof show Naked City in all her Doc Marten-ed, dyed red hair, size sixteen-glory. I loved her book – which is part memoir, part feminist polemic – and still can’t quite get over the fact that it won the Galaxy prize for best book of 2011. Even if this book was rubbish (which it’s not: it’s funny and moving and incredibly clever), I’m excited that a book about feminism is at the front of WH Smiths.

Thank you for posting for us today Janet! (But also, DAMN YOU for adding more to my ever-increasing ‘to read’ list!) D x

GUEST POST – When Truth is Stranger than Fiction

BeFunky_IMG_nfnbanner.jpg

Hi everyone! I’m Megan from Semi-Charmed Kind of Life, and I’m excited to be posting on Doing it the Open Way as part of Daire’s Non Fic November. (Great idea, lady!) Books and reading are a huge part of my blog, but I also try to find time to post about travel and other personal interests like pretty stationery. Please feel free to stop by after you read this post! 🙂 And now—for what you really came to read—the nonfiction stuff:

They say “truth is stranger than fiction.” Do you agree? I’ve compiled a list of fiction/nonfiction pairs based around certain topics. I initially wanted to do this because I’m hosting a seasonal reading challenge over at my blog, and one of the categories is to read a pair of such books. The example I used in my challenge post was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Woman Who Wasn’t There, which are both about 9/11. After soliciting ideas from my readers and perusing my local library, here are some other pairs: 

History: I’ll admit it: I love historical fiction. Once I had a few of my favorite historical fiction novels in mind, it was so easy to walk through the history section of the library and find nonfiction books to pair with them. You can also look in the back of almost any historical fiction novel and look at what sources the author used to research his or her book. Here’s just a short list of the many possibilities:

Health: I don’t know if “health” is the best word for this category, but this is for book pairings that address medical or other conditions.

Just for fun: Personally, I think this is the most fun-sounding pairing of the whole list. 🙂

Other ideas for topics include sports (e.g. a fictional book about a high school football team and Friday Night Lights), religion (e.g. Angels and Demons and a nonfiction book about the history of the Illuminati) or basically anything that interests you!

What good pairs can you think of? Thanks for letting me post today, Daire! I’m looking forward to the rest of the month’s nonfiction-based posts. 🙂