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2018 Creative Goals | Regaining Creative Motivation

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When it came to 2018 resolutions, I decided this year to take the focus away from materialistic things or the usual dieting goals that leave your self-esteem in tatters, instead, I tried to think of achievable goals that I know I would be inspired to work on throughout the year. Resolutions I'm actually excited about!

So I decided to log in my bullet journal a few creative areas that I wanted to improve on or put more time into this year. I would love to look back this time next year and see actual improvement in my skills instead of focusing on the things I haven't achieved! I feel like tracking it this way will keep me motivated to be creative and will have a positive impact on my productivity. Maybe I will do a 6 month update to prompt myself and see how I'm doing!

If you feel that your creativity has lagged somewhat at the start of this year, I urge you to jot down 4 or 5 achievable creative goals you can keep working on to help you feel motivated again. Here are mine...

My 2018 Creative Goals:

1. Take Better Photographs
This year, I feel really inspired to learn more about photography. I've been watching tutorials on Youtube about DLSR photography and iPhoneography, however, I'm pretty sure the best way to work on this is just to get out and about and actually take some photos! I think I might set myself some mini projects this year and maybe even look into a short course I could do to really immerse myself in. It seems so appealing, mainly because it would just be taking up a new hobby, no pressure! Unlike with my art, which I am always working on for my Etsy shop, this will just be for fun. Fingers crossed for pretty Instagram feeds and colourful blog posts!

2. Visit More Art Galleries
Sometimes, when the only art you look at is created by your peers on Instagram, you can get in this weird headspace where you constantly compare yourself to others and inevitably, don't feel that great about your own work. Not all the time of course, it can be super inspiring and it's always great to see what everyone else is up to! However, visiting galleries has this refreshing impact where you can just walk around, look at completely diverse work and feel so inspired. Not one floral painting in sight! Even sculpture and installation can spark your imagination, which is great, if like me, you mainly work in 2D.

3. Read More
It doesn't get much better than finding a book you completely love and struggle through very tired eyes to put down, does it? I really enjoy reading but never really make time for it anymore. Well, this year, that is going to change! I don't think I'm quite ready to start a 50 book challenge, but I definitely want to work through some books that have stacked up in my bookcase, that I've wanted to read for ages. It's just finding what book to start with that will be the problem!

4. Keep Painting
Quite a straight forward goal, but I want to keep up the time and effort I put into my painting last year. I really felt like I was getting into a rhythm with it, but with the rush of Christmas and new year, that has dropped off somewhat. I'm looking forward to making new work and start some new products for my Etsy shop!

So there are my (slightly belated) 2018 goals, already I feel like these prompts have made a difference. I've been to a few galleries and I've been playing around with photography! Did you set any creative goals for 2018? It's not too late to think of some now! 

Katie x

Starting Over | My Creative Year in Review

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What I learnt creatively from 2017

As it approaches the end of January, I've been feeling reflective about the last 12 months. 2017 was definitely a year of transitions and adjustments. In some ways, it felt like I didn't move forward enough but in others, I know a lot has changed. In the obvious sense, I got a new job which I’m so happy about, I travelled more and created life-long memories. I visited Hastings for my birthday, went to Barcelona for my friend's hen do and enjoyed a week in the sun in Menorca! These were all amazing experiences that I feel so thankful for. I’ve really tried to impose more gratitude into my life this year and focus on the positives. Overall, it had its ups and downs but a lot of good came out of 2017!

It definitely has been a year of personal development. 

2017 reignited my love of painting again. It was a funny one because putting time aside to develop my work meant that my Etsy shop and little craft business took a back seat for a while. I feel like I asked myself a lot of questions this year about where I’m at with my creativity, which has always been so influential in my life. 

Before I went to uni, painting was such a huge part of who I was. Making art was the bane of my life and also the thing that pushed me the most! Art school made me question so much, teamed with the most challenging years for my mental health, I never felt like I was achieving enough. It has only been this year, at 27 years old that I’ve really allowed myself to start painting again. I've allowed myself to make mistakes and see where this could take me. If you had told me a few years ago that I would find a passion in watercolour, I would have never believed you! Oil painter through and through me. Well, that’s why experimenting and pushing yourself is such an interesting exercise, you never really know where you're going to end up! 

I can’t wait to see where getting back into painting will lead me. I have so many ideas already for updating my Etsy shop, YouTube videos and more topics to talk about on my blog! It really is quite amazing how creativity has a grasp on your life, it can affect your mood, your personal progression and even your confidence. So bazaar. But there you go! 

Who thought anyone could get so emotional about painting, eh?! I guess you’ll either get it, or you won’t! I hope 2018 brings you the confidence to push yourself and your creative projects. Did you grow creatively last year? I’d love to hear your stories! 

Katie x


My Etsy Shop Relaunch! Christmas Cards Galore!

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It's been a very crazy few months for me and one of the reasons has been my Etsy shop relaunch. I've been working away painting and designing a small collection of Christmas cards for what feels like months. I can't believe they are finally all finished and in my shop! At some points, it felt like this would never happen.

This year has been a huge learning curve for me, I'll talk more about this as we approach the new year but I'm hoping 2018 will be the year I finally find my feet creatively. Relaunching my shop this month has been a huge step towards this and I'm so excited!

I would love to hear your feedback on this, every bit of support is so precious to me so I would be so grateful if you came and said hello on Instagram or Facebook.

I'm now in the full swing of festive cheer and to have my Christmas designs out in the world is the cherry on top of a wonderfully plump mince pie.

Here's to a wonderful December!

Katie x


DIY | Felt Poison Apple Halloween Tutorial

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It's that time of year again! Pumpkins at the ready, it's nearly Halloween! Oohhhh! I'm really excited about the DIY tutorial I've made this year, it's based on one of my favourite Disney films, Snow White. I've wanted to make a poison apple since last year, originally I wanted to do it in clay but I was a bit pushed for time (clay projects take a couple of days due to drying time) so decided to do it in felt. I'm actually so pleased I did it as a sewing project because I think it came out great. I wanted to make a decoration that could be hung on a door handle or hung amongst other decorations. I think it would be perfect for any Halloween party!

Watch the video below:

Make sure you check out my previous Halloween videos in my Youtube playlist.

Happy Halloween folks! Let me know if you take on any crafty projects this weekend and make sure you pop over to my instagram (@katiekdiy) to say hello!

Katie x


Bullet Journal | October Set Up & Time Lapse Video

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It's finally October and I had been looking forward this month to setting up my bullet journal based around all things autumn. October may just be my favourite month of the year. I always think of myself as more of an autumn/winter person, so when the temperate drops and the layers can come out, I'm in my element. In terms of inspiration, the colours of autumn are ideal to refresh ideas and relight some creativity. I also LOVE halloween, I've never been one for scary films, guts and gore but I'm one of those cop outs who love decorating with pumpkins and dressing up for a party. The past few years have always been so fun, it means by the time October roles around I can't wait for the celebrations to begin!

I really enjoyed setting up my journal this month, however, I timed it very badly. My only opportunity to get it done before October 1st was a late Saturday afternoon, where I desperately set up my questionable lighting situation (I'm sure it used to be light at 4pm...) and rushed to film my set up video. Surprisingly, I'm quite happy with the outcome, although I did make a few silly mistakes in my state of panic; getting ready with half an hour spare is NOT my style. The most obvious flaw would be my brain fart of leaving the 'T' out of October. How I managed that, I have no idea. I didn't even notice this until a later date when I started to fill out my monthly plans, only to wonder why October looked so strange to me. Quick to rectify, it wasn't the worst thing that would happen to me that week, that's for sure.

I also ran short of time so decided to leave my weekly spreads until a few days later. These, however, haven't changed since last month, so you can always watch my September video if you're looking for some simple ideas for these. Speaking of last month, I didn't write a blog post about September's bullet journal set up, strangely, I did make a video though so I will link it below if an arty time lapse is your kinda thing.

So there we go, all ready for autumn! Im trying to post new, autumnal themed work on my Instagram at the moment so pop over there and say hello if you haven't before. It's --> @katiekdiy

Are you a fellow fan of this time of year? Let me know!

Katie x


Hand Painted Floral Wedding Welcome Board | Handmade Wedding Touches

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Above photograph by Sung Blue

There is something very special about being asked to have your artwork included in someone's wedding. Every detail of a bride's day is so meticulously thought out and so be asked to create a painting for that day, is very touching as well as quite daunting! The pressure is on to make something beautiful! Thankfully, I love working on canvas and painting anything floral! My dear friend Sophie's wedding took place at the weekend and a few months ago, she asked me to create a hand painted welcome board for the entrance of her venue. She was incredibly laid back and open to any ideas I had, which made it a very fun and relaxed project from the word go!

I have previously painted similar welcome boards so I was excited to start planning a new canvas and play with some new ideas. I mostly prefer working on a larger scale and have always found details, lettering and general composition easier to work with sized up. This year, I have spent so much time trying to improve my ability and confidence working with smaller pieces and experimenting with different mediums such as watercolour, so it felt great to be able to start a project in complete contrast to those. 

 One of my favourite parts of the painting is the banner displaying the wedding date. I really enjoyed hand painting the lettering with a fine brush, it inspired me to start practising with this technique in my sketchbook and I intend to incorporate it in more of my work going forward.

The painting is on a 60x80cm canvas, which I painted with acrylic paint.

If you like the style of my work and would like to include it in your wedding decor/stationery or anything else, please get in contact! Be sure to follow me on Instagram @katiekdiy for regular updates on what I'm currently working on.

Katie x


DIY | Painted Planters & How To Video

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Over the past few years, my love for all things botanical has grown some what. When we moved from an upstairs flat to our current home with its little courtyard garden, we started to build a collection of potted plants. We grew things from seeds such as tomato plants (which are now huge!) and collected new shrubs to fill our home and garden every time we popped to the market at the weekend. It is not only rewarding but makes your home look so pretty and colourful! 

I've been wanting to decorate some pots for a little while now to add some variety to the array of terracotta that we have accumulated over time. (Watch the tutorial video for these designs below) 

This was a really fun project which is very simple but allows you to get very creative! Choose colours and designs that match your decor or go as colourful and loud as you like! I wanted to show 3 easy ways of doing this taking inspiration from different styles. Watch the video to learn the process and make sure you read to the bottom of this post for my extra tips and advice! 

My first idea was inspired by the many Scandi style prints and colours that are so popular at the moment. I love the combination of the light blue in contrast with the black lines. You could do the same style but with pastel pink, peach or mint green and make a little matching set. 

The next design was inspired by all things kawaii, I liked the idea that with a leafy green plant in this pot it mimics the colours of watermelon! I think the ombré fade is really effective and again could be recreated with different colour combinations.

My final design was inspired by all things 90's...Think Saved By The Bell! If you look at any kind of 90s print, they are mainly made up of lots of small shapes and squiggles and I think they look really effective against the white background.

Tips and advice
  • To avoid the pots weathering, it is best to keep them indoors. So fill them with your favourite house plants! I think the small Scandi style design would look great as a set of 3 in a bathroom.
  • Make sure to do a least 2 coats of paint for each layer. Terracotta planters will need the build up of paint to avoid the stark orangey tones coming through.
  • A varnish will help the durability of the paint over time and will avoid it flaking. I used trusty Mod Podge but if you use something a bit more heavy duty, it would allow you to put the pots inside or out without any worries. 
  • Make sure to paint and varnish the inside rim of the pots. This will give an overall neater and more professional look once a plant is potted. 
I really enjoyed decorating these pots and I will definitely be making more in the future! Let me know if you try any of these, I would love to see your recreations!

Katie x
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