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.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital with ParcelHero....

This year I have taken part in the #PHWinterWorkshop campaign organised by ParcelHero to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. 

They asked a selection of craft bloggers and artists from around the world to create a gift box and handmade gift to auction on eBay. 

You can bid on my creation here!

My box was created using mixed media techniques adding lots of texture and dimension.  I'll share a tutorial on how I achieved this look in the new year.

For the gift, I made a crochet flower brooch and I added a bead in the middle for a bit of sparkle. 

ParcelHero are trying to beat last year’s charity record by raising £1,500 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.  All proceeds go directly to G.O.S.H, the postage is free and comes with a £20 ParcelHero Worldwide Shipping Voucher

I know there are a lot of charities asking for support at this time of year but if you can, please check out all the amazing creations. Not only will your support help Great Ormond Street Hospital provide inspirational and world-class care to hundreds of children every day, but if your bid wins you will receive a gift in the process!

To find out more about the #PHWinterWorkshop Campaign please visit ParcelHero's blog here.

To bid on my gift box please follow this link.

Bidding for my box ends on 12th December 2016 at 17:00 (GMT) and new boxes are regularly being added to eBay.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The final days of #100PatternsofCBC....

I can't believe it's the end of #100DaysofPatternsCBC and that I managed to complete all 100 days (even if I had to play catch up a few times!).

Here are my last 20 photos from the challenge....

Days 81 to 84 ~ A pretty plant growing through a fence / lots of leaves / close up of an autumn leaf / lots of multicoloured leaves on the ground.

Days 85 to 88 ~ A pretty mug found in the supermarket / tree trunk / two days of scarf patterns.

Days 89 to 92 ~ A throwback to my trip to Lisbon two years ago and a close up of tiles / mmmm chocolate! / day 91 was also my birthday and the butteflies were from wrapping paper / close up of packaging for fancy tea.
Days 93 to 96 ~ close up of crochet, love the colours of this yarn / fat quarter / creased stripes on a mans shirt / close up of a tree trunk.
Days 97 to 100 ~ An amazing quilt at No3 Royston / a hand drawn map of Hertfordshire from the 1920s on a tote bag / floral fabric / a close up of a beaded Christmas decoration by my clever crafty friend Debbie of Debbie Claire Designs.
The challenge has taken us from Summer through to Autumn, I have found patterns and inspiration everywhere! If you have enjoyed this challenge you can check out my previous posts here and all the photos from everyone who took part on Instagram here

This challenge has Inspired me and I have set myself another challenge ~ #100fizzijaynepatterns! 

This new challenge will start in the new year and 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 the first 6 months of 2017 I will create 100 patterns using various techniques and taking inspiration from #100DaysofPatternCBC. I'm feeling inspired and can't wait to get started!

Monday, 31 October 2016

Days 61 to 80 of #100DaysofPatternCBC....

As we head in to November we are in the final few days of the #100DaysofPatternsCBC. Where has the time gone?!

Here are my photos of patterns from days 61 to 80....

Days 61 to 64 ~ King's Cross station's impressive ceiling / building in the new Kings Cross development / pavement at a crossing / close up of a hydrangea.

Days 65 to 68 ~ Brick work of St, Pancra Renaissance Hotel / rows of beer barrels / a friend's blind / looks like ice cream sprinkles but I came across this in a department store advertising Clinque.

Days 69 to 72 ~ A close up of the seat from a Northern Line Underground train / a manhole cover / another manhole cover / leaves.

Days 73 to 76 ~ A stripe pattern made up of ivy, brick and leaves / close up of a marrow / somones's gate / it's another photo from #MadebyMrsMPhotoWalk, the ceiling of Clapham South tube station.

Days 77 to 80 ~ Butterflies from a visit to Jimmy's Farm / Another photo from #MadebyMrsMPhotoWalk, I think these tiles were at Balham station / Ivy / More butterflies. 
The challenge ends on 17th November 2016, so if you would like to join in over the last few days all the details can be found here.

Psst.... Have you noticed I'm sharing my photos in a larger format, what do you think? do you prefer them large or would prefer me to go back to a smaller size?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa....

It’s that time of year again and we are SO excited here at Craft Blog Club! This year marks our fourth Secret Santa, can you believe it?! I think it’s safe to say it’s our favourite #craftblogclub challenge of the year and tonight my co-host, Katie, launched the latest Secret Santa challenge. 

Here is how to join in:

  • If you want to take part please email us at  Please include your name, twitter name, email address and postal address. Email us by 8pm on Tuesday 1st November 2016. We will then email everyone back by Tuesday 8th November with the name and address of the person you are making a gift for.
  • You then make that person a Christmas gift, this can be anything you like and made from any craft. It would be lovely for everyone to receive their gift in time for Christmas, therefore we have set a deadline for posting the gift by Tuesday 20th December 2016. Make sure you include a note revealing who you are.  Who you make for won’t necessarily be the person that makes for you. Sadly, last year a few people never received their gift, so please only sign up if you can make and send a gift by the deadline. As crafters we all know how much time and love goes into making something handmade so let’s make sure no one misses out this year.
  • The real excitement then begins as we all receive a special handmade Christmas gift from our Secret Santa! We ask that you write a blog post about the wonderful gift you receive and about the gift you made. We suggest you do this after Christmas (so not to spoil any surprises) and by Tuesday 3rd January 2017, which will be our first #craftblogclub of 2017. It will make for a great first chat of the year to discuss our makes and gifts.

Anyone can take part, don't worry if you have never joined our chats or taken part in a challenge before, we'd love for you to be involved.

I hope you are as excited about this challenge as we are. We love seeing all the amazing gifts you lovely lot make for one another.

Want to know more about the #CraftBlogClub? find all the details here.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Made By Mrs M Art Deco Photo Walk, Part 2....

A few weeks ago I went on another photo walk organised by Kate of Made By Mrs M.  You can read about the first one here. This time it was the southern end of the Northern line following the Art Deco map.  The weather was a little wet but depsite the weather I had a great time meeting up with everyone. When the weather dried up we took the opportunity to walk between stations and I got to explore a part of London I've not been to before.

As I am doing the #100Daysof PatternCBC challenge I kept seeing patterns everywhere! Not all my photos are pattern related but I don't want to repeat all the photos that featured in this post. So I'm only sharing my favourite patterns of the day.

The Gang ~ Martha, Laura and Kate. Sophie joined us later.

What once was an Art Deco theatre is now a Majestic Wine. Found down the road from our meeting point, Clapham South Station.

This was one of my #100daysofPatternCBC from a florist next door to Clapham South Station.

Clapham South station ceiling.

Gorgeous uplighting at Clapham South and found at a number of stations along the way.

We're now in South Wimbledon Station.

I think this is my favourite photo of the day.

Not something you see on a regular basis, a tractor driving through London!

Street lamp outside of Tooting Broadway Station.

Stall at Tooting Market.

Street art outside of Tooting Market.

These are my favourite patterns from in and around Tooting Market.

An impressive Polish Catholic Church.

Gorgeous Art Deco apartments on route to Balham Station.

Final station, Balham.

A pattern I haven't used yet for #100DaysofPatternCBC!!

Tiles found under the rail bridge at Balham station. I shared a different photo of these tiles for #100DaysofPatternCBC

Pretty tiles found at the entrance of a patisserie, I nearly missed it as I was drooling over the cakes in the window. Of course this has featured as part of #100daysofpatterncbc.

By using the hashtag #madebymrsmphotowalk you can see everyone's photos of the day.

Check out Kate's post here where you can see a very unflattering photo of me as well as the opportunity to sign up to the Photowalk newsletter. Kate will be doing more in 2017. The next one will be in central London taking in a selection of both Brutalist and Art Deco buildings so if you are interested in joining us sign up to her newsletter.