22 August 2014

The C word

No not that C word... Christmas! 

Having received a commission for some festive design work this week I have realised that really, it never is too early to start thinking about the holidays, especially from a business perspective.

Though I can't share that work with you just yet, here's my Christmas card design from last year. 


Having done a year's freelance since that card... I have to admit it's not my finest work but look at his face! I'm much more proficient now, and 12 months along the line have the joy of taking on commissions for logo design and modifications, and custom cards.

Get in touch if you have a logo, branding or custom card designs you'd to festive-ify a little for the winter season - I've already got a few booked in! After all, you'd want to get them printed by end of November...that's only 14 Fridays away! If you've started shopping already, I'll be adding small bits and pieces to the shop over the next few weeks!

20 August 2014

Planning my Autumn wardrobe

You may remember that I've been trialling the 'capsule wardrobe' for the last month. Well... I love it. But hold onto your hats, because in this land of white walkers and dragons drizzle and concrete, winter is coming. That means it's time for my wardrobe to change season. Goodbye silk vests, hello fine knits. 

I posted a picture of my planning technique on twitter the other day, and promised I'd share it here, so instead of my blurry sketched version, here's a fancier Excel sheet! YAY SPREADSHEET. Some would call me a little bit obsessive ... I call it super-organised-perfectionist.

Taking my tips from unfancy, I plan my wardrobe the following way - Smart/Fancy, Inbetween, Casual. I want one item (at least) of each, and I know I can dress things up/down with the right accessories. You'll notice I have 'bottoms' and not skirts/trousers etc, and that's because I don't really like skirts. But you knock yourself out with what works for you. As I've said before, this list does not include PJs, gym kit or dog walking attire (which is usually a combination of PJs and kit, to be fair.)


So there you have it - my shopping list contains all those yellow squares! I argue, however, I don't really need another coat so I'll leave that, but it's clear I do not have a very smart or work appropriate wardrobe!


Shopping List: 
2 x smart bottoms
1 x casual dress
2 x smart tops/blouses
1 x casual top
1 x fancy knit
1 x fancy vest 
1 x smart cardi
1 x semi-smart flats
1 x semi-smart boots

When I say 'I have no clothes' I'm not kidding!

So - anybody want to be my personal shopper? 

19 August 2014

Mates Rates

For the past year or two, everything I've done as 'The Mrs Makes' has been for free or as 'mates rates'. I think this is because I wanted to find my feet, felt I owed my friends and family favours, wanted to prove I could.


My husband considers that ridiculous. And I think so do my parents.

I've recently watched this TED talk by Amy Cuddy, however who mentions that all of a sudden you may realise that 'yes I am supposed to be here, doing this'. Last week that happened for me. A year is what it took for me to say 'Yes, The Mrs Makes is where I am meant to be'. I feel confident telling my friends that it will be £20 for XYZ that they need, or I'll send them a quote when I get details of their order. 


It's not to say I'm getting expensive, far from it, but when you love what you do, and you want to do it for a living, you have to put a price on your abilities. 

I'd like to think everyone I work with becomes a friend,  so you're all on mates rates anyway! 

Check out my services page to see how I can help you make it yours.

18 August 2014

Blog Hop

Happy Monday everybody! You may have noticed on my instagram that I've been quite busy this weekend, so unfortunately I don't have a Monday Montage for you (though I will be writing a post about the weekend when I get some pictures). So I’m starting the week with something a little different – Blog Hop. If you’ve not already heard of it, it’s a fun way of finding new bloggers and discovering the whys and wherefores behind their blogs. Having read a few other bloggers’ Blog Hop posts, it also seems like a really good way of reaffirming why we actually blog in the first place. Why did we start a blog? What inspires us? What do we get out of it? I was nominated by Emma of Oh Gosh to participate, and I'll be nominating two other lovely bloggers at the end of this post.


Why do I write?

I started this blog as a little hobby to share my wedding DIYs, plans and ramblings. Then, as I started to write freelance for other wedding blogs, I decided I'd like to create a space for me, my projects and life. 
I've been writing my Ph.D. thesis for the entire time this blog has been going, and I struggled, occasionally to write here as well as academically, but as my Ph.D is coming to a close I am finding it easier and more enjoyable to sit and write, and am opening my writing creatively to explore my daily discoveries (such as black gems and  the 6am club). 


What am I working on?

In terms of this blog, I'm working on more creative content, getting my name 'out there' a little more and constantly improving my photography. My freelance work has included some photography and I absolutely love it, but I am still working on increasing my workload in a freelance capacity. 
Non-blog I'm looking for a job post-Ph.D, and am working on my creative skills and fitness (as always). 

 

How does it differ from others of its genre?

I'm a 'lifestyle' blogger I suppose, so there are a fair few of us. But this is me. Only I can blog about my lifestyle - no-one else. I have a few regular features and my shop and freelance work appear regularly. And the puppy, of course.

 

How does my writing process work?

I sit, most days, all day, at my computer. Sometimes things just come to me, and I find myself writing 3 or 4 posts at a time. Other times I'm running and start writing in my head, playing with opening sentences, or am travelling and start drafting posts on a scrap of paper. Early morning's are best for me, but I've known to be up at 4am trying to get down the thoughts keeping me awake. 

So there's my answers - I hope it's a nice change of scenery for your usual Monday morning post. I'm going to nominate Hollie at Tulips and Tea, and Bex/Roz of Olive Dragonfly. They are ladies I admire a great deal, are kind and generous, and I wish I could spend more time with them!   

15 August 2014

Brewing Something at Hatties

 Hatties of Baslow - Shabby Chic Tea Rooms
Hatties of Baslow - Vintage plates on wall
Hatties of Baslow - Vintage tea cups
Hatties of Baslow - Vintage tea cups
 Hatties of Baslow - Vinatge China


To commisserate, celebrate, welcome the day or relax at the end. It hosts chattering conversations, diffuses arguments, consoles the bereft and welcomes the weary. 

You can use a pot, throw a bag in a mug, rattle a cup on a saucer or watch loose leaves dance as they infuse. From a van thrusted at you, scalding, in a squeaky polystyrene cup in exchange for 50 pence, or from a tremendous trolley, laden with treats and patisserie.

With a crumbly biscuit, a slice of towering sponge, a splash of cold milk or two misshapen lumps of sugar, it's official, we love our tea. 

Hatties of Baslow - Shabby Chic Tea rooms
 Hatties of Baslow - Jars of TeaHatties of Baslow - Tea and Carrot Cake

The pictures in this post are from a little tea rooms in the Peak District - Hattie's of Baslow. There's wall-to-wall china, and Gunpowder Green Tea.  Under new (as in, Monday) management, there's talk of an impressive array of sponge and plates of tarts, quiches and tempting pastries. I had the pleasure of visiting on Wednesday for a little meeting with manager and owner, and left full of love for the passion, commitment and buzzing with excitement for what's to come (and that wasn't just the immaculate coffee I'd poured down my neck as soon as I arrived).

With rolling hills and valleys on the doorstep, at this time of year an enchanting purple hue, and the granduer of Chatsworth around the corner you'd think that it would be rammed, impersonal and crowded. However, due to the position - tucked behind it's sister pub The Devonshire Arms - it's a little bit of a secret. Take the time to hunt for it, and I promise you there will be no disappointment. You'll get a cheerful smile, a selection of vintage china and expertly brewed refreshments.

I highly expect Hattie's to go from strength to strength, and so encourage you to check it out now... and I promise it won't be the last time you hear about Hattie's from me.

You can read my other tea adventures here.

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