Hello to all my lovely readers and a big welcome to all of you have recently found Adventures and Tea Parties! Thank you so much for following!!
For those of you that aren't familiar with my Blog Gems, this monthly series interviews hand picked, special and awesome blogs, which are close to Adventures and Tea Parties' heart. It delves into their world, finding out what inspires them, what their favourite crafts are and who they would invite to a blog award dinner. There are lots of exciting Blog Gems coming up over the next few months and this month we're meeting the lovely lady behind the wonderful blog 'Ladybird Likes'. Shall we find out more? Lets go for it! Hello there, who be the face behind the blog?
My name is Zoe Jade, I am 26 years old, and I own and run Ladybird Likes selling handmade jewellery. I live in West London with my parents, my two sisters, and my dog Jasper. I studied Creative Writing, Photography, and Japanese at university (not all at the same time), and I have a pretty serious addiction to coffee and Criminal Minds. When I'm not working (which isn't very often!) you can find me at car boot sales, or at the cinema (usually watching horror movies!)
What's your creative space area like?
Ha, it's a bit of a mess! I have lots of things I need to work with, and I need space to lay out jewellery components and things like that, so my space isn't as pretty as I'd like it to be. But, I absolutely love my little studio - it's perfect for me. Everything has a place, and I have big empty walls to fill with whatever currently tickles my fancy. I love being able to change the look of the studio by putting new things up on the wall. As I like to spread out when I'm working, I have lots of worktop space around the edge of the room, plus a desk for my computer and printer and all my accounts/book keeping stuff. I also have shelves to store boxes of made up products on, a bookshelf for my favourite magazines and craft books, and drawers for keeping supplies in.
If you had to take only one of your crafts to a desert island, what would it be and why?
Oh gosh - it would probably be either crochet or embroidery. Time seems to fly by when I'm doing either of those so it would be perfect for a desert island, waiting to be rescued!
How do you work and get inspired?
Most of the time I try and just let inspiration come as naturally as possible - it's one of those catch 22 situations where the more you force it, the more stressed you get, and the less inspired you feel! When I am working to a deadline with designing, I look through lots of books and magazines - I hoard pretty cuttings and books and magazine pages just for this very purpose! I also like to go on pinterest and flickr and make moodboards of colours and patterns and shapes that I like. I then gather everything up and stick it all over my studio walls and stare at it until I feel ready! It's not exactly the most orthodox approach, but it works for me. I think that's the key really - finding what works for you, because no two people are the same.
What top tips would you give to any novice bloggers and those thinking of selling their designs?
There is so much advice I could offer on all manner of topics surrounding selling your work but pretty much all of it boils down to one simple mantra that I try and live by - 'work hard and be nice to people.' Everything else you can learn along the way.
Is there a story behind the name 'Ladybird Likes'?
When I was younger I was given the nickname ladybird by some elderly relative - I'm not sure why, but we had a bush in our front garden that always had ladybirds on it, and I have so many happy memories of letting them walk over my arms and watching them fly away. I wanted this blog to be a place to share all the things I like, so Ladybird Likes was born.
If you could go to a Creative Blog Award dinner with any 5 people/fictional characters (dead or alive), who would you choose?
This is such a good question! I think about this a lot, more than is probably normal, but my answers change depending on what kind of mood I'm in! Right now, I'd have to say it would be Matthew Gray Gubler (because, although he doesn't know it yet, he will be my husband one day, so it makes sense we should get to know each other better right?), Jenny Lewis (because she is one of my biggest girl crushes, and we could talk about having auburn hair, and she could sing to me), Wes Anderson (because he is my favourite ever director, and I'm pretty sure he's also the nicest man alive), Tim Walker (because I think he is such an incredibly inspiring person and I'd love to pick his brains), aaaaannnnddd finally it would have to be Hayao Miyazaki (because his animations make me smile whenever I see them, and he played a huge part in me wanting to learn to speak Japanese.)
And finally...book & tea or film & wine?
Ooooooh although I am a total movie geek, I think I'm just ever so slightly more of a bookworm, so it's got to be a book and a cup of tea for me (and a slice of cake of course!)
Thank you so much Zoe!! It's been fab getting to know you and more about your blog and creative process. That's the best advice I've seen to date - 'work hard and be nice to people'. Very, very true and good advice to follow.
I hope you've all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. Don't forget, Zoe has a gorgeous Etsy shop, which is super tempting beyond belief! Stay tuned for next month's Blog Gem, which delves into the world of a blogger who prints and I'm not saying any more...don't want to ruin the surprise!
All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Zoe at Ladybird Likes. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.