Wednesday, 14 September 2016

This stupid wedding, how I design my cards.

I'm often asked where my ideas come from, how I keep track, how do I go from start to finish and how do I decide which will finally become living and breathing products (well, you know what I mean).
illustrated wedding cards, funny wedding cards
Well, today I have a new card in the shop all about weddings so I can give a little run through of how it came about.
I'm a doodler and there's nothing I love more than drawing little pictures for my fella. They're all pretty childlike but it always makes him laugh and it's pretty relaxing for me, I can highly recommend having a good doodle from time to time! They say adult colouring books are the new thing, but nah, adult doodling is the way to go.
We're both a little squashed from the impending 'big day' so I drew this little masterpiece on a blank card and wrote him a little message inside telling him how cool he is etc.
I don't want my wedding day
He'd fallen asleep before me so I left it on the coffee table for him this morning. Job done, he loved it ☺ good times.
When I looked at it again this morning and re-read what I'd written inside I knew that quote, 'You're the only reason I want to go ahead with this stupid wedding' would really ring a bell with a lot of people. I realised the way I'd written it was pretty Americanised but I loved the sentiment behind it. So I tweaked that a bit.
When you're in a wedding storm your plans get away with you, like, a lot. But all it takes to get back on track is the thought of your intended. When you're both feeling the same way it's pretty ruddy cool so I know that people in our boat will totally get this, or resonate as our American friends would say!

from the bride card
And here's the finished article. I added some love heart strings and what I'm hoping looks a bit like confetti.
So why did I write Frank? Well, I started off using our names in my products a few years back but having Lisa & Pete splashed everywhere felt a bit odd, plus it gives a chance for someone to say 'hey! that's my name'.
As I had a zombie day yesterday, Fear The Walking Dead was fresh in my mind so Frank seemed pretty good.

Anyway, hope this little glimpse into my process was of interest and I'd love to know if you feel like this too.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

A gift idea for the prickly hard to buy for.

If you've started your shopping for the big day already, well, my aren't you organised! I wish I could say the same. But today I just wanted to give you a few ideas for a sweet and funny gift for that hard to buy for person in your life.

The 'don't be a prick today, ok' personalised cactus range

cactus print, pink and green cactus art, cactus wall art
Personalised 'don't be a prick' print 

Now, if you're a little short on time, I also have a printable option. This is great if you just want to get your file and print out at home.
I aim to get all orders sent electronically within 24 hours.
printable cactus gift, art printable, instant download

Print from home

Also, and I'm really spoiling you here, take a look at this badboy!
custom mug, funny mugs, Christmas mugs
Get it on a mug

I even have a mug option too, so your prickly friend (or maybe that's you, no judgement) can get the message every day with their coffee or tea.

With a super cool green cactus print on a pink background, this design really packs a punch and is the ideal choice to get your passive aggressive dig in without anyone being the wiser.

Good times? YES!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

I'm only happy when it rains

I'm super excited today because it's been raining and I'm a real rain bug. Also, I painted that frikkin duck gold about a month ago and I have been waiting for the perfect day to shoot it!
Yes, I am your common or garden pluviophile.
gold duck floating on waterThere's something nice, warm and fuzzy about being tucked up inside when it's rainy out that really gets me deep in the feels.

bumble bee on flower

Luckily for me, in the UK it rains quite a bit. Which means not only can I sit inside feeling all motivated and chilled and creative but I can get out and about with my camera and catch a couple of my photography obsessions; insects, flowers and raindrops.

what are these orange berries, raindrops

I love rain so much because it puts a whole different spin on our environment, totally covering everything in its wake, yet somehow amplifying the beauty. It adds a glossy coating and turns up the contrast, it helps to make mini rainbows, reflections and watering holes for bugs and critters and it feeds all our lovely plants, flowers and trees.

Next time it's raining, take a closer look around you and enjoy!

Wedding planning for the freaks like us

Just over 6 months ago I proposed to my boyfriend (read about it here if you like).
We dicked around for three months before we asked our fave Priest to marry us, then left another three months before we even set a date.
what happens in a meeting with a priest to get married
Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing that brings me more joy and happiness than the thought of being this man's wife. Getting married in our favourite church in the eyes of God, taking another sacrament, well, that's just amazing.
But we both agree that the actual wedding & reception bit of the whole thing is scary af. Trying to meet the expectations (and perceived expectations) of your family, friends and guests drilled us both into the ground before we even got chance to think about anything.

So as you can see from our timeline, we buried our heads in the sand. But the dreaded 'so, have you set a date yet!' barks did not cease along with our inaction.
when you don't want to plan your wedding

Here's an image from Lord Of The Rings that sums up perfectly how my mind had been associating 'this stupid wedding' with pretty much the rest of my life.

It's been a while since I saw the movies but I remember the guys were trying to get somewhere (yeah, big fan here) and this eye ruins and casts a shadow and it's evil little feelers out wherever it can. If it gets you in its sights then you've pretty much had it. That's how I've been thinking of our beautiful day, for a long time actually. It's just something we need to get past, but it's casting a shadow over everything else and bringing down some Silent Hill style gloom to boot.

So what's the answer?!

Well, probably the same principle as a smear test. Just make the appointment, it's never that bad on the day is it? Just book it!
Unlike a smear test however, getting married is a (intended) one time delio, although you'll have to do similar ground work.
For us, the hardest thing by far has been setting a date. Now that we've picked it, things are happening, we're making decisions and everything is falling into place.

Our day is a Wednesday because that's the 'best of all' and the month is October because wow. There's no time more comforting than the month of October. The last slithers of summer still holding on, throwing their light through the cool air and changing leaves. Raindrops on almost everything projecting mini rainbows if you just look close enough. Crisp mornings, crunchy leaves, rosy cheeks and zombies. Scarves, wellies and cuddling up all cosy on the couch. Where days are days and nights are nights and coming in from the cold takes you back to a happy childhood memory.
I'll stop there......It's getting emotional.

Here's some wedding stats.

I had a quick Google and found some figures on how many weddings there are in a year in the UK. The latest figures showed 2014, which was a whopping 301,254.
how many people get married each day uk

I've been reading quite a few wedding blogs of late too. I sort of wish I hadn't started as there's a fair amount to live up to, but strangely enough I also found a lot of couples in the same boat as us, like a LOT.
Most had given in to their fears and favoured the eloping option but we are set on our Catholic church wedding so that doesn't come into play. The more and more I dug I found more and more like minded people!

It looks like there's light at the end of the tunnel guys & gals. If you're not that bridezilla (or groomzilla, whatever), then that's ok. Not interested in going shopping for wedding dresses when you don't even like going out to buy new jeans? That's ok too.

There's 301,254 marriages a year, broken down that's 5793 a week and 828 per day. Isn't that great? Makes me feel all squishy at the thought of how many others are getting married the same time.

I've found reassurance & magic in those numbers

Of those couples, I reckon at least 20% of them are forcing themselves into a day more geared around their guests. The result is that they are more in stressed out mode than enjoying the moment mode.
I just read a blog comment before from a lady who said that she pretty much destroyed her honeymoon by wanting to pick over the details of the wedding and if the attendees enjoyed it. You know what, I bet they all had a great time but it's a shame this woman had put so much pressure on herself.

So every day that's 165 couples having a bad wedding day, lol, just grinning and getting through it! Poor things. I don't want that for me and my man or indeed for you and your intended.

Here are my top tips for motivating yourself and just organising the shit out of something you just really don't wanna do!

• Talk to your Fiance
No-one knows you better and wants more for you than this guy or gal. Odds are you're both feeling the same way but were afraid to admit it. Talk it through, make a plan and get excited about it

• Stick to your guns
You're having mermaid hair for the big day but your mum thinks you'll regret it when looking at the wedding pictures in 20 years time. Just refer her to the perm she had in her photos and explain this is what makes you happy and comfortable.

• Be a bit sketchy.
If you're planning a less traditionally formatted day to suit you (the happy couple) then it's sometimes hard to articulate your ideas and vision so a bit of 'oh, wait & see' or 'we're just working on that' can throw people off the scent. They'll get it in the end, but sometimes you just CBA with the all the questioning, right?

• Remember the end goal
Now for a bit of romance. This has been my greatest motivator by far. Just spending time with my Fiance and hanging out keeps me in check and reminds me that yeah, all this is so we can be man & wife. I'll be his wife and he'll be my husband.
As I typed that out I got butterflies in my stomach and without making you lose the contents of yours, dare I say we've fallen just that little bit deeper in love since setting our date ♥

Now go forth and try to enjoy it

If you're one of the daily 165 freaks like us then I'd love to hear how you're getting on with your plans and what motivated you to finally bite the bullet.