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Friday, 23 December 2016

Crunchy Chocolate Biscuit Truffles: Christmas Countdown

Christmas Post: final post     Christmas Countdown: 2 days

This is the last of my Christmas Countdown posts and my final post for this year! And what better way to end it than with a crunchy and delicious Chocolate Biscuit Truffles recipe. A fun, festive snack or a perfect, party treat - so simple and they barely create any washing up!

Ingredients for Chocolate Biscuit Truffles
I can't believe 2016 is almost coming to an end! I am pleased that this year I acheived my ambition of starting and maintaining a blog and I've been blogging for almost 3 months! As much as I enjoy it I do need a break to enjoy the festivities.

2016 has presented really good moments as well as low moments but I am excited to see what 2017 will bring; hopefully, lots more creativity so keep watching for my new posts about all things creative!

I am so grateful to everyone who has read and supported my blog this year and I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Method
1. Melt the butter in a pan.
2. Whilst the butter is melting crush the biscuits in a bag.
3. Once the pan has cooled mix all of the ingredients together in the pan.
4. Pour the mixture into a tray, divide it into squares using a knife and place in the fridge for a few hours.
5. Roll the squares into balls.
6. Coat the balls in your desired toppings (suggestions: coconut, grated chocolate, pistachio nuts) or leave plain and place each ball into truffle paper cases.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Magical Lantern Festival Review: Christmas Countdown

Christmas Post: 7      Christmas Countdown: 4 days
On Sunday evening myself and my Mom visited The Birmingham Botanical Gardens but not to look at plants! Instead to view something so much more magical - the Magical Lantern Festival (MLF).

MLF, "a spectacular fusion of art, heritage and culture", takes you on a journey of illuminations through the trees and bushes. They aren't ordinary Christmas illuminations; lantern scenes of all colours, shapes and sizes, lit up amongst the trees, create a visual feast for your eyes.

Scenes include the Iconic Birmingham Bull statue formed out of lanterns.

There are even stalls selling yummy food to indulge in along the way such as The Marshmallowist. Offering intriguing flavours, such as raspberry & champagne, this stall makes the magical experience 'toasty' by allowing you to warm your marshmallow over a firepit.

And to finish The Little Camion awaits with Ferrero Rocher, Terry's Chocolate Orange or Bailey's hot chocolates, crêpes and Nutella galore on offer - food and drink creations to make your mouth water.

Fact File
Location: The Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Opening times: 25/11/16 - 02/01/16
Ticket prices: Starts at £12.50 for Adults & £8.50 for Children (Wowcher/Groupon deals available)
Duration: Takes approx 1 hour to walk around.
History: Established in October 2015 MLF made its UK debut at Chiswick House Gardens in January 2016 and attracted 110,000 visitors. Following this success it launched in Birmingham this year.
Heritage: The giant lanterns, which visitors will explore, represent Christmas, traditional Chinese culture and the astonishing 2000-year heritage of Lantern Festivals.

It is the first year the MLF has illuminated Birmingham so I had no idea what to expect but I was amazed. It's just the escape you sometimes need from all the crazy Christmas hustle and bustle.

It's called the Magical Lantern Festival because it really is magical!

But don't just take my word for it, go and see for yourself. It is a lovely trip out to entertain young children or a festive activity to do with friends or perhaps even a romantic evening for you and someone special. Whatever the occasion prepare to be amazed by a magical land of Christmas lights.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

DIY Creative Christmas Cards: Christmas Countdown

Christmas Post: 6      Christmas Countdown: 7 days
You can get such a varied range of crafty Christmas cards in the shops these days but we all know receiving handmade cards makes us feel just that bit more special because they are personal.

I know you're thinking it's only a week until Christmas but it isn't too late to create some personalised Christmas cards. By following my quick & easy guide to DIY creative Christmas cards you can still make sure everyone on your list has their own unique, arty, festive card design...

You Will Need
  • Plain cards & envelopes in your desired colour (Hobbycraft have a good selection)
  • A festive stencil or image from the internet (to create your own stencil)
  • Spray paint(s) of your desired colour(s)
  • Christmas stickers
  • Blue tac
  • Scissors
  • Plain, thin white card (suitable for printing)

Get Creating

Choose your festive stencil or choose an image of any festive shape you like from the internet. If you already have a stencil skip step two.
2 If you have chosen an image from the internet print it onto your plain, thin card. Then cut out your image, starting from the centre, to leave your stencil outline.
3 Place your stencil in position, on top of your plain Christmas card, and use Blu Tack to secure it.
4 Follow the instructions on your spray paint and spray into the stencil - ensure the remainder of the card is covered with scrap paper so that no spray paint will reach it.
5 Allow it to completely dry before gently peeling the stencil away from the card. This will reveal your festive spray paint shape; if it smudges slightly don't worry because it all adds to the arty effect.
6 Add your desired Christmas stickers and they're ready to send!



Keep the design simple or add some sequins, add a colourful star or just go completely multi-coloured. The decision is yours but creating personal Christmas cards will definitely have you feeling festive too! Give it a try and share your designs :)


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Personal Festive Traditions: Christmas Countdown

Christmas Post: 5     Christmas Countdown: 11 days

Do you have any creative or unusual festive traditions?

We all have personal festive traditions that signify Christmas to us. It might be watching a certain Christmas film, going to a specific carol concert, visiting certain family...Whatever it is, because we repeat them every year, it's almost as if they become the 'norm' at Christmas.

It's always nice to hear about people's unique traditions so I want to share some of mine with you.

Real Christmas Tree
Each year, during the first weekend of December, we turn on the Christmas tunes, decorate the house and pop out to buy a real Christmas tree. This to me signals the 'real' beginning of Christmas. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to real Christmas trees; luckily this is only if I touch them so I can still enjoy the experience of getting the tree and admire it.



Family Christmas Meal
Every year myself, my mom, dad and brother all get together (which is quite rare these days) and we go out to basically stuff our faces with delicious food.The location and date changes each year but the celebration doesn't. This year we went to Akram's (a Kashmiri restaurant) and did just that! We were so full we could barely move. This definitely signifies Christmas and I always look forward to it.

Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas has to be one of my favourite Christmas films. Without realising it watching this film has become a festive tradition for me. Every year I watch this film and I even have a specific occassion now. I save it to watch until the week before Christmas - the wait even makes it a little more exciting (sad I know). If I didn't watch it, it wouldn't feel like Christmas.

These aren't the most creative traditions but they are traditions that we created ourselves at least! What are yours?

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Christmas Countdown: Inspirational Christmas Creativity

Christmas Post: 4   Christmas Countdown: 14 days

As part of my Christmas countdown, with just two weeks to go, I am focussing on all the inspiring Christmas creativity around us.

Whilst I was Christmas shopping, on Friday, I only had to pop into Paperchase and my eyes were met with loads of colourful, unique and beautiful Christmas Creations. I want to share my inspiring finds...

Floral gift wrap - wrapping sheet prices vary.




A bold floral gift wrap which really makes any gift a striking statement.













8 Inky snowflake charity Christmas cards - £3.50



Their arty design print is very unique. See them online.














2ft Rainbow Christmas Tree - £8.50

These Christmas trees which are all the colours of the rainbow truly are eyecatching and have been flying off the shelves. They only have a limited amount of 2ft trees left in store but they are also available in an original 4ft skinny style. View it online.

I hope these Christmas creations have inspired you as much as they've inspired my Christmas card designs. I won't give anything away because I'll be featuring a 'how to: creative Christmas card making' post soon. They really will be innovative designs so watch out for the post!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Christmas Countdown: Have Yourself a Merry Mindful Christmas



Christmas Post: 3     Christmas Countdown: 18 days
As you probably noticed this post's title is a famous festive song... with a difference. We all want Christmas to be Merry but we musn't forget about being Mindful as well.

As part of my Christmas Countdown this also leads us to December's Mindfulness of the Month post.

All that rushing around wondering "have I got gifts for everyone?", "do I need a new outfit for that Christmas party?", the preparations for that annual epic dinner, all the partying and travelling to meet with loved ones.

Whilst this is all fun sometimes the hectic nature of Christmas and the pressure to make it 'perfect' means this is when we need to be mindful the most.

We take a lot of things for granted at Christmas because we are so focussed on the 'big day'. We forget to enjoy the whole experience - we just need to take a step back and reconnect with our senses.

12 Days of Mindful Christmas
Here is a list of 12 activities, recommended by experts, to make sure you have 12 Mindful days of Christmas.

(Of course you can choose when to do which or repeat certain activities if you find one which works well for you. Plus they aren't just for the 12 days of Christmas - use them in the lead up too!)

1. Each morning think of something you are grateful for - it will help to begin the day positively.
2. Listen to Christmas tunes - really listen to the song lyrics and sing along.
3. Treat yourself not just your friends/family e.g. eat chocolate - don't forget yourself at Christmas.
4. Sit in a room with Christmas lights on - really notice the wonderful colours and relax.
5. Give plenty of hugs - experts say this reduces stress and even helps fight infections.
6. Bake a tasty festive treat - don't rush, take your time and enjoy it.
7. Go for a walk in the winter air - sometimes the cold can calm you.
8. Watch Christmas films - really get in the Christmas spirit with a festive film.
9. Do something spontaneous e.g. unplanned shopping - apparently we enjoy the unexpected more.
10. Add a Christmas diffuser - fill a room with seasonal smells and really notice them.
11. Meet a friend for a festive drink - not to 'tick something off your list' but because you want to.
12. And, if it snows, build a snowman!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas Countdown: Need Christmas Decorating Inspiration?

Christmas Post: 2     Christmas Countdown: 21 days


The first weekend in December is when the majority of us really start to get in the Christmas spirit by decorating our homes.

But do you want to create something different with your decorating this Christmas? Perhaps out do your neighbours? Or are you simply stuck with what image to go for this year?

Well do not fear - here is 5 Christmas theme ideas which may help inspire your creativity this Christmas...

1 The Traditionalist
If you are short on time this year one option is keeping it simple and sticking with the traditional red and gold colours of Christmas. There is something about these two colours which just clicks - the red without the gold would be like the turkey without the stuffing.






2 Modern Makeover
Create some modern magic by making over your house, right down to the cracking accessories, with white and silver this Christmas. These subtle colours add extra sparkle to Christmas when the lights glisten on them.


3 Calming Christmas
Christmas is called the holidays for a reason - it is about chilling and taking it easy even if it is just on the day itself. So turn your Christmas purple or blue for a relaxing festive season.





4 Rustic/Shabby Chic
A rustic approach will create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Snuggling up in style inside is the best thing for a frosty Christmas outside and this theme will accompany those cosy Christmas treats.



5 Bold Statement
Go all out and turn your whole house into a winter wonderland with one specific theme. Be daring with Disney to create a Christmas to remember for both kids and adults.


Which festive theme is your favourite? What have you done with your decorations this Christmas?

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas Countdown: My Creative Trip to Cardiff

Christmas Post: 1     Christmas Countdown: 24 days


It's December 1st so that means many of us have started opening our advent doors or burning our advent candles to countdown to Christmas! Whatever type of advent you have I have created another one for you to open on my blog. In my new series Christmas Countdown every week, from now until Christmas, I will be posting at least one creative, Christmas themed post. Expect festive food and drink (because ditching the diet is what Christmas is all about), Christmas crafts and lots more... it's going to be exciting!

As a newbie blogger I decided not to completely dive into Blogmas this year - a term I have just discovered and, for those of you wondering, it's when you post every single day up until Christmas - but I hope you enjoy my festive countdown all the same. Please let me know your favourite features and what you want to see more of.

It would only be right to begin this series on December 1st. This was not actually intentional but I have just returned from a trip to Cardiff, where I was attending a postgraduate open day, and there was so much creativity which had me feeling festive I want to share my experience with you all.

I hadn't realised how much I had been missing out on so I would say check out my festive favourites because Cardiff at Christmas is definitely not to be missed!

The The Frozen Express in Cardiff - the 'coolest' train ever
The Frozen Express 
As I was walking through the city I came across this amazing discovery - a Frozen themed train! And no matter how old you are you can't deny being a Frozen fan. Although I'm small I'm unsure I would've been able to sneak on this train so a photo had to do.





Santa may get a bit cold in front of that windmill
- Cardiff Christmas Market




Cardiff Christmas Market
Like many cities Cardiff has its own Christmas Market but this cute, little set of wooden stalls sells a variety of creative and crafty items. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to look around but I would defintely return and I recommend visiting. Check out the Cardiff Christmas Market website for more details.




A rather big wheel at Cardiff's Winter Wonderland







Cardiff Winter Wonderland
If you have been to London at Christmas then you will know all about Winter Wonderland and you'll be excited to hear that Cardiff has one too! Whilst it is on a smaller scale it  includes festive food stands and funfair rides. It is set in beautiful surroundings, and great news for me as a prospective student, it is right by Cardiff University. Imagine finishing a lecture and just popping over the road for some warm roasted chestnuts and a go on the Giant Wheel. Find out more about their Winter Wonderland.


Have you ever experienced Cardiff at Christmas? Share your experience.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Yummy Dessert Creation: Chocolate Apple Betty


Don't be put off by the strange name of this dessert. I have absolutely no idea where the Betty part originates from but this dessert has to be one of the best things I have tasted so trust me, when I say, this is a chocolate and apple creation which you need in your life.

And yes you read this correctly - chocolate and apple together! So technically we can say it is (slightly) healthy and indulge guilt free :)

What's even better is that if you are overloaded with home-grown apples or apples which have seen better days then it's a delicious way to use them up. It makes a lovely warm November dessert and is the perfect end to a Sunday roast.

Enough of me telling you about it though. Here is how you can taste it for yourself.

Method (serves 6-8)

1. Peel and core the apples, then cut into chunks. Place them in a pan and toss with the butter and a couple of tablespoons of water over a moderate heat. When the apples start to soften but are still keeping their shape, tip them into a 1.5 litre baking dish.

2. Mix the crumbs, sugar and chocolate and cover the apples loosely with the mixture.

3. Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a small saucepan, then pour it over the crumbs, making sure to soak them all. Bake in an oven preheated to 190C for 35 mins, until the apple is soft and the crumbs are golden and crisp.

Serve, top with a little bit of cream and enjoy!

If you make it please share your pictures and let me know if you find it as irresistible as I do!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Inspirational Creationist: Soraya French

Snowstorm by Soraya French
Tulip Fusion (left) and Anemone Fusion (right)
 by Soraya French
I have to be honest I have only just discovered this artist. I was flicking through a book and Soraya French's use of vibrant acrylics, in her paintings, caught my eye. But anything which captures my attention is what I class as inspirational.

I love the way you can still tell what her paintings are of whilst her abstract nature adds a sense of mystery. It definitely inspires me to get my acrylics out and continue improving painting with them.

Visit Soraya's website to see more of her inspirational pieces.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Mindfulness of the Month: Declutter Your Life & Become More Mindful

I admit my mental wellbeing has not been great recently and I know how important mindfulness is in conquering this. I even committed myself to writing 'mindfulness of the month' posts to address this.

However, it can be difficult to write about mindfulness when you are not feeling mindful yourself. I had been avoiding writing this post until I realised writing about mindfulness doesn't mean I need to be an expert in it. It's simply about sharing my experiences and the advice I have discovered which I hope will help myself and others to become more mindful.

Today I want to share Glamour magazine's 4 decluttering steps, which are sure "to really sort your life out", because they really resonate with me and the way I currently feel.

1 Declutter Your Bag
They say "a cluttered bag shows a fear of being caught short" - in other words only carry your essentials in your bag and organise them to stop that endless searching through our bags which we all hate.


2 Declutter Your To-Do List
Be specific about the tasks you need to complete, give them a time frame and prioritise tasks by numbering them. Apparently this way we will avoid that feeling of failure because we will have a clear and achievable action plan.


3 Declutter Your Social Circle
They say "the greatest sources of social stress is that sense of obligation". Basically we should make time for the people we want to see and not for the people we feel we have to see. Solution: choose 5 people you want to make time for each month and arrange to meet them.

4 Declutter Your Head Space
The reason some of us may be unable to make decisions about our future is termed 'decision paralysis'. This occurs when our minds become cluttered with conflicting ideas about our future. To resolve this we should focus on our passion rather than what we feel is the 'right' next step.

I am hoping following these tips will help me but it would be great to hear if they work for you too!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

I aspired to get my article published & I did it! Find out how...

Aspire Autumn 2016 cover -
click here to read my article (pages 10-11)
I have gone on about it quite a bit now but not long ago I graduated from Birmingham City University. As you may know when you have been studying somewhere for a while you form a little 'study bubble' separate and protected from the rest of the world. Then you suddenly leave; it's daunting and you may feel a bit lost. Well that is exactly how I felt and I didn't really know what to do next.

Other than beginning this blog, through my passion for writing, I decided to use the contacts closest to me. As a member of the BCU alumni I had access to their Alumni Association. I contacted their alumni publication: Aspire magazine and simply asked if I could contribute. They said yes, gave me the contact details of someone who had been nominated 'Alumni of the Year' and allowed me to take it from there.

This was now the tricky bit. I had to introduce myself, interview someone I had never met before and write an article which would suit the audience of Aspire.

Along the way it didn't always go to plan but I aspired to get my article published and that is exactly what I did! Here you can read my article, about another alumni member who is achieving his aspirations, in the latest Aspire issue (pages 10-11).

It was nice to contribute something back to BCU after all they have taught me.

The purpose of this post is not to brag about my success but to provide tips for everyone who wants to succeed in their desired field. Often it's about starting closest to home - use the sources/opportunities you already have. Aspire to do what you want and you will succeed!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Thank You Friends, Family & Fellow Bloggers

Hey beautiful people,

Just a short post to say thank you!

I have now been blogging for just over a month and I've just reached 10 followers and 1,500 blog views in total!

Thank you to everyone who has read and supported my blog so far because it allows me to follow my passion. It sounds cheesy but honestly without you guys my blog wouldn't work. So thank you! 

I am really enjoying blogging; it gets me out and about, doing creative things and the best part is I get to share it with you guys. I love reading other blogs too and it makes me feel welcomed and part of a very creative community.

I hope you're all enjoying reading it too. So please continue reading and helping me to promote my blog so you can continue to enjoy it; Let's make it 20 followers in a months time! 

And please let me know what you like about my blog and want to see more of and I'll make sure it happens!

Remember to follow your passion and keep creative! :)

Sunday, 13 November 2016

My Best Friend is my Creative Inspiration: Baddies Boogie Review

Myself (left) and Beckie (right)
As you will know by now I often write inspiration posts which feature creations and/or creationists who inspire me. Here is my latest inspirational creationist post with a twist...

On Friday night I attended the Baddies Boogie gig at The Victoria in Birmingham which showcases national and local acoustic talents. I had been invited there by one of my closest friends, Beckie Rose who had been headhunted by the organisers, to watch her perform with her friend.

As I entered the quirky and lively pub with another friend we were told the gig was taking place upstairs in a private room. As we headed up the stairs we left the hustle and bustle behind us and could hear the sounds of other performers and see the mood lights which created a more relaxed and intimate environment.  It was ticket only entry so it felt very professional.

Once the other performers had finished, at 9.30pm, I wished Beckie good luck because it was her and, her childhood friend, Jerome's turn to take to the stage. I have known this girl since we were 11 and to watch one of my best friends go up on stage and sing so stunningly made me feel so proud.

And they didn't fail to impress the crowd as they made Bob Marley's famous Turn Your Lights Down Low their own which was followed by, one of my personal favourites from the night, their cover of the classic Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae. Check out the clip below for a sneak peek...

video

When it comes to creativity you can't get much more creative than Beckie can with her voice and song writing. She also performed some of her own original material which included Freedom and I Need You. You can listen to I Need You via the video below and hear the full version on Beckie's SoundCloud.

video

How she gets up on stage and sings with so much confidence is really admirable; you can really see how singing makes her come alive. Beckie truly is my creative inspiration.

We need to support such an amazing talent so please listen to my videos and check out her SoundCloud, YouTube, Instagram and YouNow. And remember to visit her Facebook page for details about upcoming events - who knows you may even see her performing near you soon.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

My Favourite, Funniest I'm a Celeb Moment: Stacey Solomon Throws a Stone at Dom Joly

This is a completely random post but with one of my favourite TV shows, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!, returning to our screens tomorrow I could not resist!

I just have to share my favourite, funniest moment accidentally created on this show (it's a TV creation so technically it's still a creative post and not completely random - but really that's just my excuse for sharing it). This moment had me in stitches and I'm pretty sure it isn't just my favourite moment too! Was anyone else practically wetting themselves after watching this?!

If you don't know what I'm on about then definitely give the video a watch! The moment that had us all laughing was during the 2010 series when former Queen of the Jungle, Stacey Solomon, was given the task of getting Dom Joly's attention as part of a secret challenge. Nothing more needs to be said; the video speaks for itself...


What is your favourite I'm a Celeb moment?

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Simple Smoothie Creation

A banana for energy, a kiwi for vitiman c and raspberries &
blackberries just because they're delicious
Want a breakfast which makes you feel good, without the fuss, tomorrow morning? Give my simple smoothie creation a try and you're sure to feel more positive!

Positivity
There's no better way to start the day than with a healthy smoothie. It not only makes us feel good on the inside but in a weird way, and I don't know if this is just me, it can make us begin the day with a positive outlook on the outside.

Simplicity
For the majority of us there isn't much that's more important than sleep in the morning so we don't want a lot of fuss when it comes to making breakfast. Another reason why my smoothie recipe is a great way to start the day.

And the best thing, for those of us who prefer to sleep until the last minute, you can get yourself a decent blender for less than £20 from Amazon which includes a bottle with a screw on handle lid. The perfect on-the-go brekky which is actually healthy!!

The result...mmm
Method 
The preparation is the longest thing you'll have to do so if you know you will be short on time or too busy sleeping in the morning then prepare the fruit the night before, add a squeeze of lemon juice (to retain the nutrients), apply cling film and pop it in the fridge to keep it fresh.

1. Slice the banana and kiwi into the smoothie container; then add a handful of raspberries and blackberries. We all know raspberries and blackberries can be hard to come by or expensive if they aren't in season, or if you simply don't like either fruit, try swapping one ingredient for a pear - trust me it is just as tasty!
2. Add your desired amount of milk and blend all of the ingredients together.
3. Give it an extra shake to make sure it's all mixed and you're done!

Enjoy your simple smoothie which is delicious and nutritious too.

Try different combinations of ingredients until you find your favourite. Then it's not only simple but fun to create as well. Please share your own smoothie creations so I can try them too!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Inspirational Creationist of the Week: Clare Sykes

Your Blushed Beauty (left) and Found my Love in You (right), Clare Sykes. Images courtesy of Whitewall Galleries.


Such striking floral statements. Such vibrant colours. Such bold brush strokes.

Truly inspiring...

Friday, 4 November 2016

Remember Remember...what is your favourite firework?

Bonfire night is just around the corner...which of course not only means bonfires but fireworks too!

It always gets me remembering...the vibrant colours and creative patterns which fireworks create in the sky.

It also makes me remember...the different types of fireworks and which ones were my favourites when I was a kid. Here is my pick of the top 5 fireworks:

Catherine Wheel doing its thing

1 The spinny old favourite: the Catherine Wheel
There aren't many garden firework displays which do not have one of these whirling sparks around - just some advice (from past experience) be sure to screw it to the fence properly or the colourful sparks could come spinning at you! :)




2 The sparkly ones: Sparklers
I'm sure you would agree that it just wouldn't be bonfire night without sparklers! And the great thing is no matter how old you get you can still write your name with these without being judged (well maybe slightly).

Some rockets ready to soar

3 The noisy ones: Rockets
It is great fun to see these soaring up into the air but they don't half make a racket - let's face it the whole neighbourhood knows when you have purchased one of these.


So massive it barely fitted in the picture



4 The big one: 200+ shot firework
Now everyone has at least one of these that they cannot wait to set off on firework night (even if it is just to show off to the neighbours). They are massive in size, sound and massively spectacular too.


Oooh so colourful!


5 The ooh aah ones: pretty fireworks
Saving the best until last the pretty, colourful fireworks somehow have us all saying oooohh aaaaahhh without even realising it - you know we all do it.





I hope you all have a fantastic firework night and many of these famous fireworks feature in your displays! Which fireworks are your favourites?

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Keep Creative & Follow Your Dreams: Craft Open West Midlands

Craft Open West Midlands
September 17 to November 6 2016

My university assignments allowed me to visit art galleries which I loved but now I have finished uni it is even better because I can visit them simply because I enjoy it. And I want to share my experiences with you guys.

Following my visit to Wolverhampton Art Gallery last week I came across Craft Open West Midlands which, as the gallery's first exhibition of this kind, gives creators in the West Midlands the chance to showcase their artwork.

The exhibition gave me an epiphany. I know you probably think I am talking rubbish but the artworks featured are created by people just as ordinary as you and I. It isn't just about the famous faces when visiting galleries - even they weren't famous once. And being ordinary isn't an insult...my point is even if you aren't an expert in crafting or creativity, initially, don't give up because one day it could be you displaying your creation at your local gallery. Keeping creative teaches us to follow our dreams.

Here are the top 3, not so ordinary, creators whose work led me to this realisation:


Shokki Range by Chloe Smith
Chloe Smith, Shokki Range 
www.casabidesigns.co.uk
  • Artwork: tableware range
  • Material/Technique: slip-cast & earthenware
  • Influence: Japanese aesthetics
  • Background: Chloe enjoys designing objects for the home, which are both decorative and functional, under the brand Casabi Designs. She founded Casabi Designs in 2014 and during 2015 travelled around Japan to gain inspiration.


Bird with Blooms by Amanda Anderson


Amanda Anderson, Bird with Blooms 
www.wigwamarts.com
  • Artwork: decorative interior piece
  • Material/Technique: ceramic, glass mosaic
  • Influence: the natural world
  • Background: Amanda Fine Art (sculpture) at Liverpool's John Moores University and co-founded Wigwam Arts in 1995. She creates stained glass and patterned ceramic pieces for their colour and vibrancy. She then finishes her designs with a black, charcoal grout to emphasise them.



Clare Pentlow,  and  www.cjpdesigns.co.uk

  • Artwork: geometric paper designs
  • Material/Technique: hand-cut paper
  • Influence: turning an everyday material into something extraordinary
  • Background: Starting out from the fascination with paper as a great alternative to fabric Clare has already exhibited her work at over 20 galleries within the past 7 years. Clare finds the hand-cutting and folding of paper theraputic which allows her to remove herself from the technology driven, fast-paced world. Her use of bold colours, folding and layering of the paper provide a hypnotic sense which draws the viewer in.

Craft Open West Midlands is only running until November 6 but it's definitely worth checking out if you get chance. Or if you can't make it then why not visit the creators' websites to find out about upcoming exhibitions.


Click here to visit the gallery website for more details.