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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Cocktail Creation - Dracula's Disaronno

You may have guessed that this is a Halloween post so, firstly, I want to wish you all a Happy Halloween.
I imagine there will be a lot of Halloween parties going on over the weekend and on Monday and we all know there's nothing like a great Halloween party with a terrifyingly delicious cocktail!

So I decided to have a go at my own frightful creation. Whether it is frightful by theme or by flavour you will have to decide for yourself but I thought is was amazing.

Those of you who know me well will know that disaronno is "my drink". So I decided to base my cocktail on this. And because of how similar to blood it seemed to look (which was really by complete accident may I add) I decided to give it the fitting name of Dracula's Disaronno!

Give it a try and let me know if you like it or how I could improve it for next Halloween :)

Method (based on one serving)

1. Firstly, sprinkle some sugar onto a saucer and add a few drops of red food colouring. Allow the colouring to be absorbed for a moment. Next, moisten the rim of the glass you are going to serve it in, place the rim on the saucer and twist. Allow the food colouring (I mean blood) to run down the sides of the glass for a spooky effect.
2. Blend a handful of frozen blackberries with 50ml of water.

Making the cocktail
3. Add 75ml of disaronno in a cocktail shaker.
4. Then add 200ml of cranberry & raspberry juice.
5. Followed by the blended blackberries.
6. Shake until mixed.
7. Pour into your glass.
8. Finally, add 10ml of grenadine so it sinks to the bottom.

9. Add 3 blackberries to garnish.
10. Add spooky accessories for decoration.
11. Add a few ice cubes.


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Cornwall Creatively Brought to Wolverhampton

I came across this bronze sculpture whilst visiting Wolverhampton Art Gallery today. Rock Form 1964, also known as Porthcurno, was made by artist Dame Barbara Hepworth.

She gained her inspiration from a rocky coastline near Porthcurno which is close to Lands End, Cornwall; I really love Cornwall so I just had to share this with you all - an inspirational creation.

The piece is currently on loan from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

When Is Your Creative Thinking Time?

Creative thinking time is as unique as creativity itself. Some people are most creative early in the morning whereas others burn the midnight oil because that's when their creativity comes alive.

I am the latter and it has always been the same; my creative thinking time is late at night. Apparently, as a baby, my parents could never settle me before midnight so I was obviously destined to come up with my best ideas late at night. They still often joke that I am nocturnal.

Whilst everyone else around me is switching the lights out and going to sleep at around 11pm, which is normal for the majority, this is when I am most awake and most creative.

My student days were no different. It was like I was always half asleep until 2pm and after that, the later it got, a light bulb switched on which allowed me to make my best creative decisions. At around 1am I would come up with layout and design ideas for the magazine I produced. Although, I would imagine, most students can probably relate to this.

And this post did not break the trend. It had gone midnight when I came up with the idea of this post; all of the words started flowing and I had to write them down.

So next time you have a creative idea perhaps note down when it was because then, like me, you'll know when you come up with your most creative ideas. After all, creative thinking time is needed to do the creating.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Inspirational Creation of the Week: Georgia O'Keeffe Magnet Art

Georgia O'Keeffe's famous painting: 'Grey lines with Black, Blue and Yellow, 1923' on a fridge magnet!

Proud to possess this cute and unique, little, floral creation.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Birmingham Big Art Project - Why We Should Support This Creative Initiative

So, you may not be familiar with it but The Birmingham Big Art Project (BBAP) is currently an initiative set to become an iconic, public, art statement within Birmingham's creative scene.

Whilst I was at uni I was lucky enough to meet the BBAP chairman, Glyn Pitchford, when the project was emerging and he convinced me to get behind it.

If you have already read some of my arty stories then you will know this is something I have been following for a while and that I have written about in my magazine: The Fresh Palette. Click here to have a look.

The Project's Aim
Other towns and cities across the world have a cool and recognisable piece of public art within them. There's the Angel of the North in Gateshead and many major monuments in London. Then, a bit further away from home, there's New York's prestigious Statue of Liberty.

Angel of the North, Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons 2016.
As the second largest city, in the UK, what does Birmingham have? The Bullring's Bull comes to mind, which has become quite well known, and Wild in Art's trails, such as The Big Hoot, have started popping up but there is no permanent public artwork which makes us recognisable at a global level.

BBAP aims to change this by installing an iconic piece of public art in Birmingham by April 2018.

Bullring Bull, Courtesy of Google Images 2016.
Currently, there are 5 shortlisted artist's work on display at Birmingham Eastside Projects until April 23rd 2017 and they will also soon be exhibited at the Library of Birmingham and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Click here for more dates, info and to check it out; I know I will be.

Why We Should Support It
A lot of people moan about Birmingham but not many people are able or know how to improve it. I believe this is a creative mission that will.

It is a project we should all follow and support because after all it is going to make us proud of our city! If you want to help our city stand out then get behind the BBAP. For more information or to donate to the project visit

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Creative Inspiration of the Week - The Big Apple

Photograph Poster of New York's Brooklyn Bridge. Poster Credit: GB Eye.
The black and white poster of New York's Brooklyn Bridge which sits on my wall really is inspirational to me.

Something so simple inspires me everyday; especially, at night when all of the lights sparkle as if they are on. It allows me to imagine myself there which inspires me to get creative.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Hungover & Have Writers Block? How to Avoid the Block...

So it's Saturday which of course means last night was Friday night and, like myself, many of us were drinking, partying, and letting our hair down after a hard week at work.

Or, remembering my own student days, then it probably doesn't matter what day it was, partying is the norm for you guys.

Either way we all know what can follow the day after a great party and are probably all feeling a bit worse for wear and sorry for ourselves.

So whether you write a blog, have an essay due in or just need to write for any reason writing creatively can be a struggle when you are hungover. Lets face it; anything is a struggle when we are hungover. The term #writersblock may come to mind and even regular writers can get it.

Apparently, I'm sorry to say, there is no official hangover cure so today I decided I would pass on my tips for writing through the hangover. As I'm writing this, I admit, I'm not really hungover but there have been occassions when I have been and I needed to write those 500 words of my dissertation or post on my blog. The words just seem to jumble up in my head and sometimes even when I think I've written an amazing sentence, which makes perfect sense at the time, I look at it the next day and it's like I have written it in a different language. You're probably reading this smiling and thinking to yourself "yes, I know that feeling".

Well, my advice for writing through the hangover is...
1. Don't panic if you have writers block.
2. Take a minute and do something else e.g. watch TV. You can't force creativity - it will come to you.
3. Have a short nap if you're feeling tired - remember to set an alarm though because that writing won't get done if you are out for the night.
4. Write it on a piece of paper first, leave it for a few minutes and then come back to it and read it again.
5. Finally, get someone else to read your work just to check it makes sense.

Or are you one of those people who writes their best work when you are hungover? The person we all envy? If so please help the rest of us out and tell us how you do it :)

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Colouring is the Key to Creative Mindfulness

Stress and anxiety is important to discuss. The more we discuss it the less ashamed we will feel about admitting we are stressed or anxious and need to be mindful.

So here is my first mindfulness post. I hope to do a #mindfulnessofthemonth post every month to help those feeling stressed/anxious or just to have a general stress rant.

Everyone gets stressed from time to time perhaps it is the amount of work you have on or, like myself, you suffer with anxiety. Maybe you want to be mindful but just do not know how?

Sometimes when we are stressed or anxious it can feel like we are trapped with no motivation or idea of how to escape. My advice is to turn to a hobby. Don't make it difficult for yourself - choose a hobby which you remember you enjoy and just spending 5 minutes doing it could make all the difference.

Personally, I find colouring both enjoyable and relaxing. I have about 5 different colouring books all filled with floral patterns. I just simply pick a page that appeals to me that day, depending on what mood I am in, and colour for 10-30 minutes. Life is busy so sometimes I even take myself to a quiet room, put my mood lamp and music on and just get lost in the colouring. It doesn't have to look amazing; it is serving a purpose of allowing me to be creative and relax at the same time.

If this is something you haven't considered before then maybe colouring is the mindful activity for you. Or if this is something you already do then let me know your thoughts on how it works for you and share your colouring images. You can buy colouring books for adults and colouring pens/pencils in most stationary shops for a reasonable price.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

When Chocolate & Creativity Mix!

Inspirational creation of the week: a yummy edible cookie dough creation from POPSUGAR Food. What is not to love? And filling Oreos with cookie dough sounds like heaven!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A Paint Party?!

As a few of you may know not long ago I was a student at Birmingham City University, and I know a few of my friends still go to BCU, so I thought I would blog about an upcoming BCUSU party just because it sounds like an amazingly creative idea.

Colourfest 2016 is a party which literally allows you to cover yourself and everyone else in creativity - well, paint. But that sounds like fun, right?

It is sure to brighten up your night as well as your outfit! The advice is to not wear your best party clothes as you will definitely leave feeling very colourful.

If combining colourful paint with partying is your idea of fun then this is the perfect party for you! Let your artistic side out or just let your hair down.

You can catch the creative event tonight at 6 on Broad Street, Birmingham, from 10.15pm until 3am. If I wasn't on holiday then I know I would be there.

Although it is a BCUSU official event non BCU students can still get tickets via Fatsoma. Find out more about the event and ticket prices.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

How to Improve Your Creative Passion

My Picture
My Painting
When I was younger, the majority of the time, I would be found with a paintbrush in my hand.

Then the uni life began and, in between all of the partying that students are renowned for, I actually had to work hard to get my degree. This meant I never found enough time for my passion: painting.

So after 3 years without any painting practice I decided to pick it back up. I imagined I would just pick up where I left off but like with anything else your skills get better with practice. It is similar to riding a bike - if you have had a break then you don't forget how to do it; it is just about building your confidence again. I don't think the colour of my flower painting is spot on but it was almost like starting again so I have to remember I need to take time to re-develop my painting skills.

The Three P's:
If you have a creative passion that you want to improve then keep practising and be patient and you will get there. But most importantly enjoy it! I'm definitely going to enjoy practising my painting. Keep following my blog posts to see how I get on and for more 'how to' advice.