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

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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

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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

{Lucky Dip} Book Tin

As you’ll most definitely know by now, I have big love for books. I also have big love for bargains, so whenever I find bargain books I kind of have to snap them up. Unfortunately my buying is much quicker than my reading and I’ve ended up with a pair of bursting bookshelves… but now I’m faced with the ‘oh my God where do I start?’ problem. So I decided to make a lucky dip tin, just something I can pull out whenever I’m stuck in a reading rut (and might help me with my resolution of reading every book I own!)

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Here’s what you’ll need:

A lidded tin or jar (I used a Twinings tin).

Gesso and acrylic paint in a colour of your choice

A selection of different papers (I used some scraps I’d doodled on, a page from a Mandarin poetry book, a digital stamp from Robyn’s Fetish and a couple of pages torn from a colouring book)

Some sparkly embellishments (I used a selection of rhinestones, some glitter glue and some sparkly nail varnish)

A pair of scissors, some wet glue (my fave is Collage Pauge) and an old paintbrush

My free printable and a pen or two you love

Step 1

JpegCoat your tin with a thin layer of gesso. Once it’s dry, paint it with acrylic paint – this is going to get covered up, so don’t bother with anything too fancy.

Step 2

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Chop up your selection of papers and start pasting onto the tin. I’d recommend putting a thing layer of glue both under and over each piece to make sure it doesn’t start peeling off. Overlap the different designs (or maybe colours in your case) to create some interesting patterns.

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Step 3

Now you need to let all that glue dry. While your waiting, make the ‘lucky dip’ pieces.

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Print out the free printable (by clicking on the link at the top) and fill each box with the name of a book you’d like to read. If you have as many is me, the cutting out might take a while, but at least your tin will be completely dry when you’re done!

Step 4

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Paint around the edges of the lid with glittery nail varnish. Once this has dried, start sticking on your rhinestones.

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Step 5 

I felt in need for a bit more sparkle, so I also added a bit of glitter glue. While this is drying you can fold up all of your book titles.

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Step 6 

Stick in your hand and pull out a book name… then get reading!

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P.S. I made this book tin as part of my final Quirky Crafts challenge. The theme is ‘favourite things‘ and I used lots of my favourites here: I decorated a tea tin (my favourite drink), with reading in mind (my favourite hobby), using collage (my favourite technique), sparkles (every girl’s favourite thing) and Collage Pauge (my favourite adhesive). Check out the original challenge post for more design examples, and info on how to link up.

Car Booty

 

Today is day 6 of Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day in May challenge and the prompts is… it’s a long weekend! What are your favourite ways to enjoy the extra long weekend off work?

Unfortunately most of my weekend has been dedicated to my end of year assignment but I did give myself a couple of hours of fun to wander around the local car boot sale… and I managed to come home with a few nice bargains.

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A brand new Miss Selfridge skirt (tags still on) for £3 – with the lingering promise of springtime sunshine I feel like investing in a few skirts and dresses. These are typically colours I avoid like the plague, but it caught my eye straight away.

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Stencils. Stencils. STENCILS! Stencils are one of my absolute favourite things to use in my art journals… they’re great for jump starting creativity whenever I’m faced with blank page syndrome. I spent £2.50 and came away with 27 stencils and 2 cases to keep them in.

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Something that I absolutely love, but haven’t really invested much time in recently, is making my own jewelery. This string of rainbow heart beads will be cut up and added to my stash… and they were a massive bargain. Typically a bag of beads with about 1/3 of these in would cost you about £1, sometimes more. This cost me 20p.

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Two bottles of Soap & Glory Pulp Friction body scrub, and a tube of their Sexy Mother Pucker lip plumper. £2.50. Saving me £21. Bargains make me happy. [I’d only ever by cosmetics at a car boot if it’s still sealed, you’ve got to be safe!]

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I have a pathological need to buy stamps whenever I can. And as these only cost £1.50 for the job lot I was very satisfied – rubber stamps are bloody expensive if you buy them new… from a craft shop these would probably have totalled about £30.

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One of the things about working full-time and studying for the rest of it is that I have very little time for going out and stuff. A DVD and a night in is sometimes all I have the energy for… and it’s a great money saver too. [Road Trip was my pick, 10 Things I Hate About You was a gift from boyfriend, and Tears of the Sun was the obligatory ‘man movie’]

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We’ve both been looking for different music to listen to really, so we let our nostalgia take hold and pick up a few old CD’s for 50p each. As an added bonus, as soon as I got home and but the Blue one on, boyfriend started dancing around the flat like a crazy person. Pure joy.

So I managed to come home with all of this booty after spending about a tenner… in the process reminding myself how much I love a good car boot! This is the first one I’ve been to this year, and it’s only about 10 minutes walk from the flat… so you may be seeing a few more posts like this in the upcoming months!

Enjoy the rest of your bank holiday while I’m slaving over my laptop!

D x

Life Book Faces

Some art journal pages are like stand-alone works of art, other are pure experimentation… playing with alternative subject matter or new materials. My latest Life Book page falls into the second category. The instructor for this lesson was Danita, and she showed us a technique using gesso, water-soluble crayons and magazine images. I’ve only just added gesso and water-soluble crayons to my art corner, so it was good to get a bit of practice using them… I really like the effect of blending the crayons with gesso, I’ll definitely use that on future artyness.

This is the page I created:

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I used an ad from a magazine as the base for this, some artists would call that cheating but I disagree. If Frida Kahlo could do, I can do it! Sometimes if you’re feeling really uninspired, doing a bit of ‘cutting and sticking’ really helps spark an idea or two, and if you’re not too confident with drawing things from scratch (especially faces) then this technique might give you the boost you need.

Have a great weekend, it can’t come quickly enough for me!

D x