Monday, 6 February 2017

Day Out at the Tate Modern....

The other week I felt the need to venture out of the craft den in search of inspiration.  I went to the Tate Modern to see their extension, the Switch House which opened in June 2016. It's simply amazing and the day I went was beautiful, look how blue that sky is! Perfect conditions for photos.

The design is really impressive with 
latticed brickwork and folded surfaces. 

I went to the viewing gallery first and I couldn't have picked a better day to view London in its glory. 

I spent a while up there taking in the views as well as taking these photos.

View of St Paul's

The Shard with the city skyline in the background

Patterns in the brickwork with the sunlight beaming through. I'm still seeing patterns everywhere after the #100DaysofPatternCBC challenge.

Blackfriars rail bridge over the Thames

I went around the galleries scribbling ideas in my sketchbook. In one room I 

spent time just doodling and didn't worry about the end result of my sketch, as you can tell!

In this sketch there are 4 pieces of art represented, the backs of 3 people and a hat!

I was inspired by the Gerhard Richter collection 'Cage' on display.  He worked on these paintings whilst listening to the music of John Cage.  This got me thinking of how music can influence your work. I'm going to play around with this idea and with a paintbrush in hand I will listen to different music and see what happens.  It may be one big mess but it will be fun to see what happens.

A souvenir for the craft den wall.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

#CraftBlogClub Challenge ~ crafty resolutions....

It's time for our first #CraftBlogClub challenge of 2017!

The challenge is.... "Crafty Resolutions".

Following the popularity of this challenge in previous years, we thought it would be perfect to start 2017 challenging you to learn a new craft or technique.

Whatever craft you want to learn this challenge is hopefully the motivation to get you started.  Alternatively, you may have received a new craft tool/machine for Christmas that you still need to take out the box, it's time to get it out and give it a go!

As it is a new craft/technique and the thought of having to complete a project may be terrifying. Don't worry, the whole point of the challenge is to have fun learning a new skill and if you don't have a completed project we still want to see your work in progress.

If you don't have time to learn a new craft or don't have one in mind, why not go back to something you haven't done in a while? Dust off those sewing machines / crochet hooks / knitting needles / paint brushes etc and get crafting.

Anyone can join in the challenge, don't worry If you've never joined a #CraftBlogClub chat before, everyone is welcome!

The Rules....
  • Challenge;
    • Learn a new craft, or,
    • Try a new technique within a craft you already enjoy, or,
    • Pick up a craft you haven't done in a long time.

  • We will be revealing our makes in our Twitter chat on 14th March 2017 and If you have a blog also present your lovely project in a blog post by this date.
  • Please mention #CraftBlogClub in your blog post and link back to this page.
  • There will be a linky set up on THIS BLOG to showcase your blog posts and please take some time to have a look at the other posts, it’s lovely to see some of the amazing creativity we have in our #CraftBlogClub!
  • Let us know how you’re doing throughout the challenge on Twitter. Don't forget to use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag.
I hope you will join in and I can't wait to see what everyone makes!!...

Psst.... If you don't know what #CraftBlogClub is and you like the sound of this challenge, we'd love you to join in and you can find out more here.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

2017 Goals....

It's that time of year to plan and think about what you want to achieve in the year ahead. I'm taking my experiences and lessons from 2016 to make 2017 a great year for me and my business, so this is what I have planned....

This blog
  • I'll go back to posting weekly with more tutorials in 2017.
  • Write everyday. This will help keep on top of all the posts I want to write but also improve my writing, practice makes perfect! I worry this may not be realistic but I'm planning to fit in 15 minutes every day whilst having my morning coffee.
  • Start my #100fizzijaynepatterns challenge inspired by #100dayofpatternsCBC. I will be designing and creating my own patterns.  It's not a 100 day challenge, I don't want to put myself under that sort of pressure but through the course of 2017 I will create 100 patterns using various techniques. I'm really excited about starting this and seeing how I develop creatively.
My business 
  • Start teaching craft workshops. I want to share my passion and knowledge to help others have a creative lifestyle. I'm in the early stages of planning and sourcing locations in my local area at the moment but hope to start these in Spring.
  • Regularly list products into my Folksy shop, at least 10 per month.
  • Launch new products and designs. 
  • Following the success of selling through No3 Royston I want to find another stockist in 2017.
To help me plan and to actually achieve these goals I am following the 100 Day Goal and using the Your Best Year 2017: Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner


I need to have a better work/life balance, so I will take time off when I need it, I just need to work on not feeling guilty and be able to switch fizzi~jayne off once in a while! 

I want to....
  • Read more. I have a pile of fiction as well as business development books I want to read.
  • I started to practice calligraphy last year and this year I want to try out brush lettering.
  • Sketch more. I want to make time to just doodle and improve my drawing skills.
  • Learn German. I did a year of German at school and was actually quite good at it but due to timetable clashes I chose to continue in French and Art. I always wanted to go back to it and I've been recommended the App Duolingo which I'm finding really easy to fit into my day. I feel a trip to Germany needs to be planned for this year!
  • If nothing else, I need to start believing in myself more and not put any limits on what I can achieve.
Overall I want a healthy, happy and creative 2017. 

Disclaimer: The Amazon links in this post are affiliated.

Monday, 2 January 2017

#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa....

Happy New Year! I hope you have enjoyed the festive break and 2017 has started well for you. I hope this year is a happy, healthy and crafty one!

To start the year off it's time to reveal my #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa.

My Secret Santa this year was for the lovely Kay who has been one of our guest hosts on #CraftBlogClub. I made her a Christmas decoration....

I painted an MDF bauble and stamped it with a funny sentiment in black ink.  I used green irridescent and silver metallic acrylic paints giving it a satin finish.

Along with it I sent a Made By Mrs M notebook, I love these, I have some myself. They are a handy size to keep in your bag and I thought a great place for Kay to keep ideas for blogging, crafty projects or whatever else she would like to use it for.

Tonight is the first #CraftBlogClub chat of the year and we will be sharing our Secret Santa gifts.  Don't worry if you haven't taken part we will also chat about any handmade gifts we made or received for Christmas.

If you have taken part in this year's Secret Santa please link your blog post below so we can all go and check it out.  This is the best part of the challenges, seeing what everyone has made.

Tonight's chat is over on Twitter from 7pm (GMT). If you have not joined us before we are a friendly bunch and welcome newbies all the time, you can find out more about our club here.

Friday, 23 December 2016

My 2016 in review....

What a year! 2016 you really tested me! 

My struggles at the beginning of the year forced me to take time out but during this time I learnt a lot about myself and I had the chance to take stock.  It has also helped me take a step back from my business and have the time to think about what fizzi~jayne makes... is about and how I want it to grow.  It proved how I need to schedule regular times to review my business (including my blog) and plan ahead in order to develop and grow successfully.

This year has taught me a lot and I thought I would share this with you.....

Take time off when you need it
I'm not a robot, I can't work all the time, so why do I feel guilty if I'm not working? 
As a business owner or freelancer, we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves and feel bad for not working as there is always something that needs to be done. We all need time off to recharge so we can perform at our best, how can we be successful otherwise?  

Self care is important and it should be the number 1 priority on everyone's list!

Just show up and work.... may be surprised what you achieve.  
During my difficult days I felt I couldn't do anything. What I found is just starting something (no matter how small or mundane) is all I needed to make myself feel better and have that sense of achievement. It would almost always mean I would achieve a lot more than I thought I would and certainly more than had I done nothing.

However, if you're not motivated to work, is it because you need a break? Go to first point. 

We need to celebrate our achievements, no matter how small.
It's this time of year when we tend to look back at our year and see if we achieved everything we planned.  It's easy to beat yourself up, but focus on what you have done, not on what you haven't achieved.

One of my successes this year is I managed to get ready for the Christmas craft fairs even after having time off and feeling like I'd never have enough stock.  I'm exhausted and ready for a rest over Christmas, but I survived! 

I attended the Royston craft fairs and for the first time I went to the Hatfield House Frost Fair with No3 Royston.  This was a 4 day event and although sales across the board were not as expected, my scrabble cards were selling like the proverbial hot cakes!

I was chuffed to be asked to be one of the craft bloggers and artists from around the world to create a gift box and handmade gift to auction on eBay.  This was part of the #PHWinterWorkshop campaign organised by ParcelHero to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.  I hope we have managed to raise a lot of money for a great charity.

Brain chemistry does not define who you are
Whatever goes on in my brain I am still living my life and I don't let my mental health problems define me.  

I still have my inner demons but I'm fighting them. I understand myself better and the root of my problems compared to at the start of the year. It is said a lot but life is a journey and sometimes there are bumps in the road, you just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Ask for help
We all need help, even Batman had Robin to lean on and share the load.  I am so grateful for the love of my friends and family who support me and for my virtual friends who have shared their emotional stories with me and offered their support.  For all the bad things that can be said about social media and the Internet I am lucky that I have met some great people.

I really enjoyed meeting up with some of my virtual friends in the flesh this year thanks to Made by Mrs M's Photowalks.

Don't measure your success based on other highlights on social media
The risk with blogs and social media is that everyone looks like their life is fabulous. So if you are having a bad time of it, don't think you are the only one and everyone else is living the high life, the truth is you don't know what is going on behind the computer screen.
We are all on different journeys and I need to focus on where I am going not where everyone else is.

Daily fresh air helps clear the mind and refocus on what's important
One of the highlights this year was getting our puppy.  Jenson is 8 months now and his waggy tail always puts a smile on my face.  He needs a lot of exercise and our daily walks have helped clear an overactive mind.
Look at that cute face!

Before I sign off I want to thank you for reading my ramblings, for every comment or interaction you've had with me on this blog or other social media sites. Thank you to those who have supported my business and have ordered anything from fizzi~jayne makes.... or come to see me at an event. 

Thank you for all your love and support.  I hope you enjoy the festivities and will have time to relax. I'll be back after a little break, sharing my plans for 2017.