I felt a flurry of excitement when one of my favourite bloggers I follow asked me to take part in a blog hop all about your inspiration and your creative work. So the idea is you answer the same 3 questions and nominate 2 new bloggers to take part.
Katy blogs at Apartment Apothecary, a beautiful interiors blog, bursting with images I adore and inspiration by the bucket load. I love the fresh and serene styling of her blog and it was wonderful to read more about where she works and her passions. I so need those little galvanised buckets in my work space!
And now it's my turn. I think it's lovely to share a little more about ourselves than the blurb that goes on our bios and "About Me" page.
To really get an insight into the blogger behind the blog.
1. What have been the makings at your desk this week?
Well to start with I think I should tell you about my desk. My beautiful wooden trestle table desk is currently squished behind a child's wardrobe and plastic boxes full of my Summer shoes and party left over decorations. All of which I would like access to but are so jam packed, I shan't get the pleasure until we move!
So I currently work and blog at the dining room table.
And at the end of almost every day I clear all my mess to the dresser behind and lay out the table for our family meal. It's a lovely habit we've got into, making more of tea time. Just a few flowers and our mismatched crockery and every night feels like a feast. Even when it's frozen tortellini with left over sauce! I've been trying to follow the principles of Slimming World over the last 6 weeks, it's working 12lbs down, 11 to go, so I've been filling my plate with salads and even the boys are trying "leafs!"
Next to the dining table is my beloved armoire. It used to live in our bathroom filled with spare bedding and towels but since we are between homes, it has taken up residence in the dining area and is bursting with all my creative bits and pieces. My stationery, my scrapbook papers, little props, and pretty glassware I use in photos and for flowers.
I sit in a stripy chair that makes me feel a little like Daddy Bear in Goldilocks as it supports my back for a day on the laptop and I can spread out everywhere! This week I have made up Ollie's birthday invitation packages and today I am busy editing shoots and a wedding and I will photograph a new ice pop recipe to post on the blog later today to celebrate Andy Murray in the Quarter Finals of Wimbledon! A double posting day as I am catching up! The big window to the front garden means this space is flooded with natural light and perfect for taking work and blog photos.
2. Where are you currently finding your inspiration?
I have an obsession with beautiful coffee table books, to the point my husband seriously thinks I have a problem. He seems to think they all look the same, how very dare he! I love that classic topics such a recipes or interiors can spark ideas whenever you look through them. They are not in the moment like glossy celebrity weekly magazines (Which I used to adore, but I find it hard spending money on them now as they go to recycling after a week.) to me they are an investment.
My lovely library.
When I've worked hard on a project and earnt some money for my efforts, I treat myself to a book. And I have a wish list as long as my arm for the next 10 birthdays and Christmases! Thank goodness for Amazon and their public wish list option ;)
3. How important is being creative to you & how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance?
Being creative is essential to my ability to manage all that I am juggling at any one time! I race around at 100 miles an hour, I always have at least 5 different big projects on the go and I have commitments for my property related work, my photography work, my blog and raising two boys! Plus I am supposed to be helping Rich launch our tea company and up until now have been pretty useless!
I try and find pockets of time in the day to indulge my creativity. When the boys are dressed for school and playing around for 5 minutes, I'll whiz their packed lunches to the window sill and snap a quick photo, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday both boys are in school and pre school which means time for me to get on with my work work and time for me to set up photo shoots for blog posts over the next 2 weeks, I try and get ahead of myself when I can, so plan my blog a couple of weeks in advance so I balance my content. Sometimes I can't resist an idea - like the ice pops for later! Here's a sneak peek. I adore the little square of fake grass!
I have little scrapbook paper set ups all over the house with remnants of vignettes I've snapped on my phone to share on my Instagram feed. Petals often are scattered over the floor and each night I do a sweep like the barber at the end of the day! I cart bits around me with me and then they get left in a little pile, like the props I took to BritMums Live are still in the wire baskets in the lounge! Whoops!
I like to have things handy, which generally means I like clutter. I wish I could be more minimalistic but it's just not me. I like colour, I like print. I like things that make me happy all around me. So if I buy a bunch of flowers I will spread them out in little vases to pretty up lots of corners of our home rather than one bunch on the mantelpiece or coffee table.
Sometimes I fail at the balance between work and home life. My blog has become part of my work and so keeping up with Twitter mentions and replying to comments on Facebook or Instagram is all part of that. But that means I am never far from my phone (We say no phones at the table!) and I find myself watching the boys in the bath whilst checking in on my social media feeds or sitting in bed with the laptop finishing a blog post at midnight. Romantic!
I've tried to focus on quality over the last 6 months rather than quantity. Creating original content (I don't post guest posts no matter how lucrative the incentive.) that is useful to my readers, unique to my styling and that hopefully highlights my photography, which in turn helps promote me as a photographer.
And I've thought for a while now that I want to create a product. Something born out of the blog. And I have finally plucked up the courage to just go for it! So I have some news to share next week (I will hopefully have a sample to show you on the blog) which will right up your street if, like me, you love taking pictures for your blog.
Check back in. You'll be the first to know :)
The best thing about this blog hop is I get to introduce you to the next two creative bloggers taking part.
Zoe Stewart is the most talented newborn photographer I know. We had the pleasure of sitting next to each other at the MAD Blog Awards ceremony in London last year and in just a few hours I made a friend. A friend with a creative eye, a passion for capturing the moments we never want to forget and who has a teeny boy and a teeny girly in her tummy! I am in awe of how she is carrying two babies and managing to capture such beautiful images for new parents. Check out Zoe's blog Simply Ruby and watch out for her post in the next couple of weeks.
Alyssa Aldersley writes the blog I would love to write. Dreamy photographs, inspirational writing and a happy family life. She captures the tiny details we al want to remember in an effortless way. Every post gives me motivation and she is one of the most supportive bloggers in the community. She blogs at Agnes and Miller, her Instagram feed is delightful, every photo makes me smile and her style is enchanting. You can read her answers to these 3 questions in the next couple of weeks.
Psst I will update this post when their answers are live so they are easier to find if you are reading this in a few weeks time!
Now tell me what inspires you?