High five to small successes and hello to new packaging

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At the end of August this year something metaphorically kicked me up the arse. Not enough time has passed for hindsight, so I won’t ponder on the whys of what happened – all I know is that something happened and it made me start selling on the internet.

I’m not selling anything to you now, by the way. I know that feeling of dread when you feel like you’ve being swindled.

So I sell on etsy and ebay. Not massive rewards and I’m learning each day. I also have days where I just can’t be bothered and whatever is kicking me up the bum seems to have put on a slipper.

But wanting to be true to myself, and myself likes pretty things, I wanted to hand make packaging – just a little print and on the back I will write ‘thank you’. This was at the very beginning, one of the first things I did, and, like I said, it was all a massive shrug of the shoulders.

Well, about 20 parcels later..

..I’ve had to make my second lot.
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And this post was not going to be about this feeling in my body right now, just that I made some pretty pictures that go along with any package, but it feels good. I didn’t see it as a success till I started writing it up.

But if you don’t celebrate small successes what’s the point?!

So last night I packaged up my two leaf stamp wall hangings I made and they’re off in the postal system somewhere, with the last original print.

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And my new prints?! Well, if England’s sky wasn’t so orange right now – like is this a hurricane or aliens? – I’d take some photos in natural lighting. It’s not meant to be, even though it’s only 4 pm while I write this (we’ve gone from a sunny October day to this spooky, orange, darkness all in a couple of hours. Now all I can ask is whether Hocus Pocus actually happening?).

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My quick DIY – free autumn decor

 

IMG_5363After collecting acorn caps yesterday, I had a little crafting session while catching up on some YouTube. I’m sure there was a cup of tea, so lets say there was just to set the scene.

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It took me a while to make the ball of acorns but I plan to make more in the future – does this mean I’ll have to collect more?! Damn! Well, if I have to collect more then I’ll have to. It’s not like my favourite thing in the world, or anything.

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A welly full of acorn caps

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This morning I wanted to go on a mission for the last remaining conkers, for decoration and in hopes they’d rid our house of spiders. Instead, my Mum took me to a gold mind of oak trees.

I still pick up conkers and pine cones but I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve picked up acorn caps – never the actual acorn, too many experiences of finding maggots in them.

Why have they gone under the radar for me? I think I’d more likely stamp on them on purpose than collect them. And they’re so pretty. Also, my Mum said the trees don’t produce acorns every year, fun fact for the day.

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Without a bag, we ended up using my little brothers welly to carry them. (He wasn’t with us, we didn’t make him hop around just for my gain.)

So, today is the day that I appreciate acorn caps and make some sort of craft or decor with them, along with these real leaves. Tomorrow you will find out what I decided to do, but, for now, I still have no idea.

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Wind chime of collected junk

 

A few months ago I finally made my wind chime, my sacred wind chime of rubbish I’ve collected from all different places, and of course it’s not and may never be finished.

I couldn’t actually start making it till I had enough stuff collected, not that this was a thought nor a plan, but in my mind I was building it every time I found a new treasure. I probably had enough items months and months ago though, to be honest, but it was June when one morning I woke up and decided to go collect sticks and start. And, like I said, there wasn’t much thought then either, and if you carry on reading you’ll see my failure in having no plan.

If any of you have seen the film Harriet The Spy (just to let you know I was completely obsessed with it as a child) this was inspired from the junk yard where they play. To think of all the things that could capture your imagination – it’s the freedom of junk.

Look up some photos, you’ll understand.

It hangs from my door and truly jingles. I want to move it but I haven’t got a place yet. When I have my own house I want to have it in my garden.

So what is on my wind chime?

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My Mum had collected old keys from past houses, old locks, or sheds etc, and I think I had a few from the past too. Why it feels so wrong to throw away keys, we will never know.

I dripped them into little pots of fence paint that I bought for 10p each (so it’s water proof). I did it on a very hot and sweaty June day (remember that heat rise?) and I struggled in finding ways for them to dry – as you can tell by the photos. I also got my first sun burn of the year, which was a massive cross on my back because of my bikini.

 

(I have photos of the process because I naturally document a lot of things I do, whether I share it or not)

I also have shells and a starfish from all different beaches from all different countries. I didn’t drill any holes, I purposefully searched for ones with existing holes. My favourite shell is the one in the first photos with sand stuck on it.

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And stones, one with a natural hole in and one without a hole.

I was experimenting with some shells and the hole-less stone that I picked up on a beach where my friend got married in Zante, and I ended up gluing the sting to the stone. Everything else is tied.

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When I was making my wind chime I also made this wall hanging below, just to hang in my bedroom rather than outside. It has the same collected junk on: keys, stones, shells and another real starfish. Because this one looked great with natural wood, I made my wind chime with natural wood originally. Which, if you’re ready for it, is the big failure!

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It was just so wrong! It’s from a horror film. I took so many photos, in different places, in different times in the day, from different distances, just to try and make myself like it. After everything was I just going to throw it all away?! So frustrating.

It reminded me Mexico’s Day of the Dead. I sent photos to a few different people and the stories I got back, oh deary me, one person said it’s like people have hung themselves, and another said its the keys from people who have died.

Like, great stories but nooo I wanted something pretty. Luckily, my friend (the one that got married in Zante) suggested painting it white and although I really wanted natural wood I just had to do it.

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Luckily, it’s perfect. In the imperfect sense.

I have so many stones and shells, with holes in, scattered in different corners of my life which I have yet to add, so in the future I hope to just keep tying them on.

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I also have lots of other stones, shells and bits and bobs without holes, and therefore will not be tied up. (I collect random other stuff too, one being corks). I’ve brain stormed some ideas of what I want to do with them, although I do like them just sitting around on my window sill and surfaces. The main idea was to fill a jar or vase with them, and write each location on each layer – but I don’t remember which things came from where anymore. That idea is gone, for now.

So I’ll have a think and if I come up with something you’ll know where I’ll come to!

 

Side note: don’t you think it’s weird that I’ve technically hung up dead sea creatures for decor?

 

 

Documenting your adventures – travelling idea

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Now the days are getting darker and greyer, and although that stirs excitement in me, right now feels like the perfect time to sit back with a cup of tea and go through your holiday photos.

Probably with a few biscuits too – they already have the Christmas boxes in supermarkets. We are only human. After all.

My holiday, my road trip around Europe, happened in April and I’m yet to print the photos even though my friend bought me the perfect Up photo album for it. So with these middle months between Summer and Christmas, the months where you get shit done, I will fill that album up.

Meanwhile, I am going to share a little travel idea that my partner and I have been doing since we have been together.

One photo for each place we’ve visited

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Simple as that. We took a photo for each place we travelled and to prevent me feeling pressured (and therefore not doing it) it is more so we see how much we’ve changed rather us standing outside famous monuments. We can Google them anyway.

Almost all of them were taken on timer, placed on bins or walls, encase you were questioning some camera angles or focusing.

Each photo is then labelled.

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I am so glad we started it – literally a month after we got together – otherwise it never would have happened.

Not to say you can’t start now! It’s really easy to be honest, just choosing one photo from a place.

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This photo album is filled up and is sitting happily on my shelf. I recently bought our next one, from Wilko, which is a little bigger this time and I need to put in our photos from our camping trips this summer. It’s just wicked to think that one day we might have a shelf full of photo albums of places we’ve been, and we will look back and thank our 2016 selves for deciding to start it, not knowing what places we were going to visit. Thank you 24 year old Emily – even a year and a half on I’m thankful.

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Oh this idea is just so perfect for the sentimental or those who love documenting. To be honest they might be the same people anyway?!

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A few bits and bobs on my end of the internet

Happy Monday! 

(We can pretend Monday’s are happy right?)

Today I thought I’d share a few bits that are on or will be going in my shops, From Miles, on either my etsy or ebay accounts.

(etsy has the bits I make, and ebay has my finds)

Go have a stalk if you would like to see what I’ve been up to, we are curious beings after all.

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Thanks for having a read and a look!

‘You believed in Santa for 8 years – try and believe in yourself for 10 seconds’

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‘It was actually 11 years,’ I didn’t want to give up that dream, but wise words from my boyfriend, James, there.

I’ve had the unpleasant experience recently of being graced with someones presence that loves to shit on other people. Not literally, that I know of, other wise this whole blog post would be about something completely different and I’m not sure I would want to go on. What I mean is bringing others down. Especially if they aren’t part of the norm. And hellooo, here I am, definitely not part of the norm. I am playful, I am young at heart, I love making stuff and I’m not afraid anymore. You hear me? I’m not afraid anymore! Name that reference.

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“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.” 

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” 

Jim Morrison

I’ve always been an analyser so I’m aware if someone is insecure they like to bring others down to feel better, they feel powerless and so want to regain it. Even so, it still works, it’s not nice. Growing up I’ve always been sensitive (which isn’t a bad thing, no matter what others say) and now I suffer with anxiety and depression (which this person knew about!) but because of that I had to toughen up. I think that’s a natural byproduct of mental health problems. My whole life I’ve balanced along a line of ‘Emily, it’s cool, chill’ or ‘am I making excuses for others when really I’m not being sensitive, they were just being a prick?’ When you are younger it’s more confusing and you aren’t sure of the situation, it’s clouded in hormones, and I tended to question why they say stuff in the first place and then blame myself. I’m 26, I think I’m allowed to say when it isn’t cool.

Some people are just walking targets for those who are too self aware of what others think, and it comes to a point where you just accept it. Even take it as a compliment. ‘You’re attacking me because I’m not afraid to be myself? Cool. What does that say about you?’ I never have covered up, I’ve always been unapologetically myself and after this recent situation I’ve realised I’ve allowed myself to decide, I don’t need anyone else to guide me, whether that person was wrong or not – my life and my choices. That person was a prick.

 

“I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.’

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

I’m not going to lie to you, this incident brought me really down low, like phoning James at 6:30 in the morning crying low. Sidenote: I was walking to work, I didn’t randomly wake up crying nor am I just being dramatic with the time of day. His wise words lifted me a lot, which is where this title quote was slotted among – along with a lot more graphic worded ones.

 

“Power over others is weakness disguised as strength”

Eckhart Tolle

It’s hard when someone does stamp on you after trying to help yourself for so long. You feel like you’re back at square one. Especially if they are hitting all your triggers and checking off that list of things you dislike about yourself – even without you realising at the time. What plays on my mind even more is that I was so polite back, as usual. I hated myself after for that but at the end of the day it’s because I’m nice. That’s a good thing, self reminder, it’s a good thing.

Although I don’t think I would have felt better if it wasn’t for James, I love that I have gotten to a place where I’m like fuck it. There’s no other way to explain it than fuck it. If you’re the kind of person that kicks someone down for being themselves then you have a big problem, not me. Fuck people like that. I’m chill, I love who I am. What more; I’m proud.

So you may have noticed the random photos of things I’ve made or done, cushioned in with quotes from things I love, and thought it had no relation to the text – well that’s me putting up a massive middle finger.

(Not to you reading this, that’s just rude – that’s not me.) (Has the impact of that last sentence gone now? I’m okay with it.)

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“If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

RuPaul