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24 June 2016

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

Red Crayons

I'm completely heartbroken at the news today. And angry. And scared. And shocked. I really can't believe this has happened, so I'm immersing myself in music and as much live coverage of Glastonbury as possible. Too shocked to say anything else, so I'll leave it there.

23 June 2016

Grow your own food

Grow your own food

Over on the Simple Stylish Makes blog I'm sharing some tips on growing your own food. Have a read here, get those wellies on and start gardening!

22 June 2016

Instagram challenge - #colourmehappy

Over on my Instagram page I've set myself a little photo challenge to help improve my photography and composition skills. The challenge is to take three photos a day with one colour theme. Why colour? Well, I just love colour and colourful things; it simply makes me happy. 

Pop on over to my Instagram page to have a look at my gallery so far and don't forget to follow me so that you can see how I progress. Oh and do say hi too!

Have you set yourself an Instagram challenge or are you taking part in one? What do you love about the challenge?

19 June 2016

Blog Gem - Old Fashioned Susie

Yay, it's Blog Gem time! This month I had the great pleasure of interviewing the lovely face behind the gorgeous lifestyle blog, Old Fashioned Susie.

Hello there, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm 35, happily married with two daughters. My blog started as a way to stay creative after the birth of my first child and just grew from there. I love mixing vintage and modern and will often turn to ebay before a proper shop if i'm looking for something. I love the unique style that can be created by cherry picking the best of things from a variety of places.

Where do you blog? 
I blog mostly in my living room and I actually did a post on this here - I love this space as the light is so great and I can have the sliding door open into the garden if it's warm enough. Again the space is a mix of old and new. The Formica table we actually found in the shed when we moved in - I'd been looking for one on ebay, so it must have been fate!

If you had to take only one tool to a desert island, what would you choose and why? 
Er, if you mean actual tools, then a knife, so I can cut things and make things to ensure my survival. No point taking a phone as there'd be no signal!

How do you work and get inspired? 
Having two kids means it can be tricky and sporadic. Now smallest has given up her afternoon naps it means any proper content work gets pushed into the evening. She's starting preschool in September though so I should be more consistent later this year. Inspiration comes from all over the place, but more often than not other bloggers.

What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog? 
Think carefully about the name of your blog, you don't want to too specific to your subject as your subject may end up changing in later years. Be yourself! Get good at photography - there are loads of online courses for this.

Is there a story behind the name, Old Fashioned Susie? 
Not specifically but in many ways I am old fashioned. I believe in chivalry, being polite, making the best of what you've got, but still striving for self improvement. I think it's more about my values perhaps.

If you could go to a Blog Award dinner with any 5 people (dead or alive) and/or fictional characters, who would you choose? 
Gosh!! Freddie Mercury, Steve McQueen, Prince, Rik Mayall, Victoria Wood and Liz Taylor! Now that would be a great party! And that's 6 not 5, oopsy!

And finally...if you had to choose one song to represent Old Fashioned Susie, what would it be and why? 
Oh this is so hard!!! Maybe Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen. It's fun, got a bit of a vintage sound to it (Freddie does a great Elvis) and it's just so unapologetic. I love that "take me or leave" attitude.

Thank you so much, Susie! It's been wonderful hearing all about your blogging world! I love your choice of people for the Blog Award dinner - perfect! And that is one mighty fine song to represent Old Fashioned Susie, love it!

I hope you've all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. Catch up on all my interviews here and don't forget to sign up to my newsletter too! 

All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Susie at Old Fashioned Susie. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.

17 June 2016

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

Green Flatlay

What a crazy busy week! I have been a non-stop hanky making machine stitching up a whole bunch of Father's Day, second wedding anniversary and wedding hankies. I also sent the super talented Sam, from Fantastic Crafty Fox, her Stripes and Bikes Personalised Hanky, which she won in my last newsletter competition (sign up here!). The fabulous lady only went and made this awesome video of it! How cute is that?!

This week I also decided to start doing a daily colour theme on my Instagram page. Three shots of one colour per day. I'm giving this a go to practice my photography skills using my i-phone only. Pop on over and have a look. What do you think?

And of course, while I've been stitching and snapping, I've also been listening to music and singing along in my studio. Top of the playlist this week have been these little numbers. 

Tutti Frutti - Little Richard
Seven Days Is Too Long - Chuck Wood
Music Sounds Better With you - Stardust
Xed Eyes - Holy F***
Let It Happen - Tame Impala
A Lancashire DJ - The Lancashire Hotpots
This Is The One - The Stone Roses

Pop them on and have a dance for the weekend is here!

Have a good one folks!

16 June 2016

Gardening Jobs for June

Gardening jobs for june

Over on the Simple Stylish Makes blog I'm sharing some gardening jobs for June. Have a read here, get those wellies on and start gardening!

14 June 2016

Some of my favourite illustrators

Mimispot by Marijke Buurlage

I'm a sucker for awesome illustrations and have always been a massive fan of Quentin Blake and Shaun Tan. Quentin's Life of Birds and Shaun's The Red Tree are two of my favourite  picture books.

Being partial to illustrations and picture books, I thought I'd put together a list of my other favourite illustrators to share with you all. 

These are by no means a complete list, just some of my current favourites. So, make yourself a brew, sit down and feast your eyes on these.

Marijke Buurlage
Mattias Adolfsson
Laura Callaghan
Ella Osborne 
Laura Hughes
Chuck Groenink
Mikyo Noh
Melissa Castrillon
Delphine Durand
Mouni Feddag
Paul Blow

Do you have any favourite illustrators?

11 June 2016

Getting Out More Often

bridgwater and taunton canal

Have you heard of FOMO and GOMO? I hadn't until the lovely Cara from Eventbrite got in touch to ask if I'd like to share how I'm going to eliminate the fear of missing out and instead go out more often. 

Having recently relocated to Somerset to be closer to family and to run my business full time, I'm super keen to get to know my new surroundings and explore all the wonderful things the south-west has to offer. Also, as a solopreneur working from home, it's super important that I get away from the desk, stretch my legs and meet people. Rather than go with the easy option of "netflix and chill" after work and at the weekends, I want this summer to be an active one where I'm getting out more often. So, as a pledge to myself and to share my ideas with you, here are some things I'm hoping to do to help eliminate the fear of missing out.

Active / Join a local yoga class and take daily walks along the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, which is on my doorstep so no excuse!

Mind / Take a craft course at For Every Cloud and continue getting out to the veg patch to learn how to grow my own food.

home grown broadbeans

Nature / Pick up where I left off with my birdwatching addiction at aged 9 and head to local RSPB reserves with my binoculars and a handy bird guide.

Handmade / Check out handmade markets across Somerset. I've already been to Frome Independent Market, which is held once a month and it was spectacular! I can't wait to go back.

frome independent market

Outdoors / Go wild swimming, take a dip in Greenbank, a heated outdoor lido and take in the scent of the lavender fields at Faulkland.

History / Explore the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey and the medieval city of Wells.

freshly picked flowers

Gardens / Feed my gardening addiction by checking out some Open Gardens and local garden centres, such as the award winning Kelways.

Food and drink / Have brunch at Silvers Pantry and go tea shopping at the Alchemist's Tea shop

There are lots of others things I want to do but I think this lot is plenty to start with! Are you going to get out more often? What will be on your list? Eventbrite has some awesome events to inspire you, so do pop by and have a look and enjoy getting out this summer!


This post hasn't been sponsored and is purely based on my own opinion.

10 June 2016

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

Adventures and Tea Parties: behind the scenes

This week was good in terms of getting on top of jobs, sending lots of lovely orders out, making plans to see friends, booking on to an experimental textile course (woop!) and walking along the canal every evening. And firmly lodged at the top of the studio playlist this week has been these incredible songs: 

Bistro Fada - Stephane Wrembel
Wounded Wing - The Duke Spirit
The Summer - Spring King
Deboules Ballet - this is awesome! You will need access to Facebook to be able to see this. 
Big Bird - Eddie Floyd
Freedom! 15 - !!! (Chk Chk Chk)

Pop them on and have a dance for the weekend is here, hurrah!

9 June 2016

Review: Frome Independent Market

frome independent market

Last weekend I checked out the Frome Independent Market in Somerset. Held on the first Sunday of every month this pop-up market takes over the old market streets of Frome and is full to bursting with designer-makers wares, local food producers and a whole area dedicated to vintage homeware and goods.

frome independent market

Arriving at lunch-time, I just managed to find a spot to park within walking distance to the market. Next time I will be arriving earlier, so that I don't have the hassle of finding somewhere to park but also so that I have more time to take in all the lovely stalls because leaving myself 4 hours wasn't enough!

Meandering down Catherine Hill browsing all the gorgeous handmade gifts, I arrived in the main market square where the sights and smells of food left me salivating. After a good wander around I decided to head to The River House to have a sit down, lunch and use the facilities! I had the mexican fritters and an iced-coffee, which were mouth-watering! Next time I plan to find a nice spot to sit and eat some food from one of the independent local food producers.

the river house

Playing in the market square was a great band, which sadly I didn't catch the name of but they certainly attracted a crowd of music lovers.

As well as buying loads of lovely vintage goods including this yellow coffee pot, I got to meet two super talented designer makers: Justine from Elytra England and Kate and Gareth from Eggnogg. Their work is amazing, so do go and check them out!

If you are planning a trip to Somerset or the south-west I would whole heartedly recommend including a day trip to Frome Independent Market; you won't regret it! Follow on Twitter to keep in the loop.

How to grow herbs

how to grow herbs

Over on the Simple Stylish Makes blog today I'm sharing my tips on how to grow herbs. Pop on over and get your green fingers out! Happening gardening!

7 June 2016

Father's Day Gifts

father's day gifts

Pop on over to my Etsy and NOTHS shops to order a lovely personalised hanky for Father's Day. All of my handkerchiefs are made entirely by hand in my little studio and they can be personalised with a date, name or set of initials. They come wrapped in a cute Adventures & Tea Parties' gift box, including a wash care card, so that you can keep your hanky looking its best! 

personalised gift ideas

And for all my loyal followers, until the 15th June you can get 10% off in my Etsy shop by simply entering the following coupon code at checkout: FATHERSDAY16. 

personalised hankies

3 June 2016

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

work in progress
I've just finished my first week working full time on my business and boy has it felt strange. Throughout the week I've felt completely disorientated, despite being busy with orders, a pile of admin and freelance blogging work. 

I've been so used to squeezing my business in around a part time job, working every evening and weekend and not having any time to rest. It's been so odd having free evenings again that I've actually found myself feeling guilty about stopping at 5pm, which is completely ridiculous. I'm hoping that will go with time and like with any new job, I just need to settle into it and find my feet.

So, the things I've learnt from this week are:

-I need to plan my week more effectively
-Remember it's ok to stop at 5pm and I no longer have to work until I drop each day
-I can listen to Radio 6 ALL THE TIME, yay!!!

And talking of sweet, sweet music, top of the playlist this week have been these fab tunes. 

Another Girl Another Planet - The Only Ones
I'm Glad - Field Music
I don't mind - Buzzcocks
Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley
Girl at the end of the world - James
Casual Party - Band of Horses
Grapevine (The Reflex Revision) - Creedance Clearwater Revival

Pop them on and have a dance for the weekend is here! And if you haven't already, don't forget to sign up to my newsletter, the next issue of which will be landing in your inbox very soon!

2 June 2016

How to use an overlocker

how to use an overlocker

Have you just invested in an overlocker? Over on the Simple Stylish Makes blog I'm talking about how to use an overlocker. Pop on over for a read and get going on your awesome machine! And don't forget to catch up on my previous Simple Stylish Makes blog posts here.


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