December 2016

My Daily Art In November

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In November I was all about mushrooms! I started a watercolour painting series of British woodland fungi. I researched the most common ones found in UK and then painted several of them. I will be turning them into a print like my British Butterflies and Culinary Herbs, if they go together well, that is!

I also did an oil painting and experimented with looser style. I am not very good at painting flowers (in my painting style especially) and this frustrates me ever so slightly because I love flowers so much that I want to be able to paint them! I like how it looked in the end but it doesn’t feel ‘me’ due to its departure from my usual style. But it is all about the process, right?

Again, like in September and October, I didn’t paint as much as I wanted – I was busy prepping for Handmade Nottingham winter market event where I was on a reserved list and got called to join with very very short notice. (It was worth the effort as my stall was a triumph!)

I try not to beat myself up for not committing to painting and sharing every single day as per my 2016 goal. My commission work and other business related committments do get in the way and sometimes I just had to pritorise them over my personal goal. I want to keep looking forward, and try to do better and better.

Follow my daily art over at my Instagram.

How To Support Small Businesses Over Christmas (And All Year Round)

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Christmas time is coming! Every year I try to shop with small businesses for presents for my family and friends. Christmas is always a critical time of year for small businesses, so here are my tips on how to support them over Christmas, and all year round, of course!

Buy from them

The simplest and most direct way to support small businesses is to buy from them rather than from big businesses that mass produce their goods. When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance.

Store their business cards

When you get their business cards via an order or stalls, remember to keep their business cards safe so you can look them up whenever you need to buy gifts. I keep and organise all of the business cards I’ve picked up all these years and go through them every time I needed a gift. It certainly helps me to shop small rather than relying on the high street shops you see every day.

Celebrate them

Retweet their tweets, share their Facebook page, regram their Instagram pictures and bring them up in your blog or better yet, when you see your friends. Keep them in the know that you are supporting them by tagging them and using their dedicated hashtag if there is any.

Share your purchases

Take pictures of your purchases from small businesses and share on them on social media. Word of mouth exposure on social media helps small businesses a lot, helping to build their brand and creating sales. Don’t forget to tag appropriately!

Let them know

A person (or a team) behind a small business sometimes needs encouragment and a boost of confidence, so show them that they are being acknowledged and loved. It doesn’t take long to pop them a short email expressing your love for their creations. You can even send them a quick tweet too! Don’t be shy – they will truly appreciate it.

Engage with them

Especially on Instagram, where engagement matters. If you can, comment and engage. Tag your friends you think will like the certain products. It is easy to forget that (I am guilty of this!) but try to quote retweet instead of just retweet, or do both! Facebook makes it difficult for small businesses to reach their audience so make efforts to visit their page and comment on their posts.

Do you have more tips? Share in the comments! I’d like to know your favourite small businesses too :)

Introducing RMBLR

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rmblr-socksphotos in courtesy of RMBLR

I have a love for the British countryside, despite living in and near London most of my life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to live in a cottage, look after pet chickens, make my own cheese, and have a field for my garden. I just wish that spiders as big as my hand didn’t exist!

I don’t go out to the countryside enough. Now that I live in Nottingham with a new car, it is more accessible and I intend to go out for walks and explore my local countryside as much as I can in 2017. I’ve been to the Peak District and Wollaton Park a few times this year, and loved them!

RMBLR, launching today, is a British made outdoor lifestyle brand and it is right up my alley. Everything about their products; classic designs, earthy colours and thoughtful textures, are gorgeous, and the brand’s whole feel has me craving to drop everything what I am doing and go out for a wintery walk.

The brand’s inspiration comes from the Mass trespass of Kinder Scout – in 1932 a group of ramblers led by Benny Rothman trespassed the part of Peak District National Park, where government denied public access. This act of civil disobedience was one of the most successful in British history and secured the right to ramble. Read their story here.

If you browse RMBLR’s products on their shop, you will know where exactly each of them are made in and the inspiration behind their names, which makes those carefully thought out products extra special. I look forward to trying them when I go out for a walk, celebrating the right to ramble and wonderful nature that is available to us for free.

“In the digital age where our purpose seems less defined, the need for us to protect our relationship with nature and each other is all the more important. Go forth, just as those who came before us did. Take a trip. Escape.”

Get to know to RMBLR more by reading their founder, Fred’s interview with Proper, and this article by Huck x RMBLR about hiking through the UK’s most iconic rave spots.

Are you a city, country or bit of both person? I think I am the latter. :)