If you follow all of my businesses, you’ll notice I’ve been on a bit of an accidental shopping spree recently… oops!
Needing some more stationery (when do you not need more stationery?) for the studio and also to perk up the day job desk, I popped to town and found these beauties the other day:
The folder is immensely glittery and very happymaking, and stands out beautifully on the day job shelf 🙂 I like the reminder to dream big, too. And it is always time to be a unicorn… though I probably didn’t need any more notebooks…
Talking of notebooks, this A4 hardback beauty has PINK LINED PAGES. I’m not sure when I started liking pink more but this one’s definitely on the favourites list. And again, besides the unicorn imagery, I really like the words.
Unicorn stickies were a silly but necessary purchase – you always need sticky notes & index tabs and they might as well have unicorns on!
All from The Works so didn’t even set me back that much – under a tenner for all four!
What’s your happiest everyday stationery?
Having recently rediscovered artist dates (I’m actually reading the Artist’s Way now, along with two friends, and it is so far both wonderful and a bit uncomfortable), and with the studio now finished enough to work in, I’ve been collecting ideas of what I can do with precious alone time.
There’s lots on there from the general list of things I want to do in 2017, but the one that caught my eye this afternoon when I returned home from spending Sunday with my parents was UNICORN BARK.
Chocolate bark is quite an American thing, I think, but chocolate is chocolate whichever side of the ocean you’re on, and when you can make it swirly, sparkly and pastel coloured, I’m definitely in.
It’s also easy and quick, which given everything I should be doing other than making chocolate, is a good thing!
Good quality white chocolate (I used Menier, and made a mini 100g bar of bark for this first run)
Food colouring in the colours of your choice (I went for purple, pink and blue. Online opinion says you should have oil based candy colouring. I couldn’t find this in a hurry, so went for Dr Oetker gel colours which worked fine!)
Greaseproof/waxed paper (I used foil/parchment which I believe was from Aldi)
Hundreds and thousands, glitter, sparkly sugar bits (all optional – mine were bronze sugar pieces from Waitrose which I had lurking in my cupboard)
Line a shallow container with your waxed paper.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of water on the hob. If you’re using the microwave, do it in 15 or 20 second bursts, or you’ll do what I did with the first bar, burn the bottom and end up with inedible crispy chunks in your chocolate. And wasted chocolate is practically a crime!
When smooth and stirrable, split between three or more bowls – one for each colour.
Working fairly quickly, mix your food colouring into each bowl. I used about five drops of the gel colour to get this strength, which I’d say is strong pastel – you can adjust as you fancy.
Dollop the coloured chocolate randomly into the waxed paper tray, swirl around a bit with a fork.
Sprinkle with your choice of toppings, then leave to cool (not in the fridge as this can do weird things to the chocolate’s finish).
When it’s properly cool, break into pieces.
And voila… unicorn bark!
Pssst! Looking for gorgeous brand images of your own creative work? Come and visit me over at my business & branding photography site and let’s make gorgeous images from your creative goodness!
Intriguingly, I’d always assumed I’d do some kind of massive post for my 30th birthday, to mark the first “big” birthday (by society’s norms, anyway) I’ve had since I was 21. I’d half expected some kind of breakdown, as we seem to put so much pressure on ourselves to do certain things by certain ages – as though the numbers actually make a difference.
Instead, I’m feeling better than I have in years, my current twin passions of mermaid school and photography are steaming along nicely and gaining traction, there are a ridiculous amount of exciting things happening this year, and very little to be sad or concerned or freaked out about.
I marked the occasion with an open house (in my actual house) for my family, an open house (in the pub) for my friends and a gorgeous lunch with my parents on the day itself, plus a sneaky trip to London the following day to meet my best friend’s new baby 🙂
There are still several dear friends who I need to celebrate with over the coming months, and that makes me happy – I’ve always been good at drawing my birthday out far beyond the acceptable realms of celebrating time!
I’ve had a few gratefully-received life lessons in the last month or so – to honour and appreciate and choose to use my precious and beautiful body and limbs, never to take my loved ones for granted, and that as much as I love my car, cars are replaceable and humans really aren’t.
If I have to come up with something around my 30th that’s freaking me out, my mortgage would probably do the trick – I love, love, LOVE my house but I get twitchy when I’m £100 in overdraft, so the concept of owing the amount I do on my house is bizarre to say the least. But it is nice to see the overall amount decreasing little by little, and it’s wonderful to feel stable at last, after so many years of being ready to pack up and move on at a moment’s notice!
I’m making good progress through my Daydreams To Do list, which started out as a 30 for 30 list and then got a bit out of hand. And I don’t want to feel like I’m putting time limits on myself, or rushing an experience which should be savoured just so it can be ticked off a list before a certain date.
And I have been overwhelmed by how well my friends & family know me… alongside a circus experience (!) and contributions to a new washing machine (oh, the glamour), I found myself opening an astonishing amount of mermaid and unicorn related presents, which made me very happy!
So here’s to the next decade… I have this sneaking suspicion it’s going to be a good one….
Some of you will have seen this already. I love my unicorn hat, and saw no reason why I shouldn’t wear it to the day job on the day of my appraisal. I didn’t wear it *in* the appraisal. But I make several people smile, do double takes or laugh out loud every time I do wear it, and for that reason it deserves a place in my 52 photos that represent 2015.
That hat is extremely Lotta.
The contenders are, as always, in my Flickr stream in chronological order.
I took my Mum to London a couple of times late last year for hospital appointments. We decided both times to make a day of it as the appointments were over by 11.30am. She suggested a walk by Tower Bridge. It’s not somewhere I go often, and I was struck by the architecture both old and new.
A glimpse of the poppies at the Tower – only a glimpse as the crowds were beyond belief.
With unicorns being my signature these days (and yes, my spirit animal is almost definitely a unicorn or a blackbird. Probably a unicorn), I figured it was high time I made a themed treasury on Etsy from my new shop.
Which was lovely – and really dangerous, I want to buy All The Things.
Without further ado, here are some of the gorgeous unicornified things in the world today (and don’t forget their underwater cousins)…
Unicorn goodness 🙂
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I’m happy to be home with my kitties, but I miss the freedom and warmth of being on holiday. So here’s me with extremely blue hair in the world’s largest shopping mall (so it’s said), the sunset in Wivenhoe the day I arrived home, my best attempt at being a unicorn (and keeping my hair out of the pool), the excellent Brick Lane curry house in Dubai, and my unicorn being reluctant to climb out of the suitcase and return to everyday life.
It’s just as well I’m releasing my Everyday Magic email series soon, isn’t it? If you’d like to be among the first to know when it’s released, pop your details in the form below.
Unicorn love and sparkles on a surprisingly light Friday night,
Since Irregular Choice released sneak preview pictures of their February unicorn shoes, a quite ridiculous number of people have pointed them out to me via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and excited texts and phone calls.
My sneaky secret was that I’d already discovered their existence on a trip down to Brighton in the summer and put my name on two pre-release lists.
I then promptly missed the calls from both boutiques who were holding pairs for me. Sad times!
Yep, they are mine! (and ironically another pair are now on their way to me – these are 7s and I want to try the 8s before I commit to keeping either pair).
I spent the day in town with Mum on Friday, and we ordered them next day delivery from Schuh. Full marks for customer service (and also for their delivery guy not thinking I was mad insisting I took delivery through the window, as the kitties were sprinting around the living room…).
Here are some more shots… I don’t think I’ve ever loved another pair of shoes more!!
The stripes are gold & black, but I think they still have more than a touch of the Night Circus about them. And the weaving is in shades of turquoise and blue. It really is as though they were made for me.
I won’t be wearing them on our snowdrop walk tomorrow, but I’ll take them for a test run as soon as I’ve decided which size I’m keeping 🙂