30 June 2020

TIME TO REFOCUS


I popped an Instagram post up yesterday to explain that I am going to take a break from this blog for a while. The reason for that is because I am trying to put all my focus and energy into Leaf Lane Studio and getting it on its feet (running a business is a lot of work guys!). 


It has been a tough decision to actively step back for a bit, because I LOVE this space that I have created. I adore you guys, and I feel so excited to share things I write with you, but the fact is that I need to earn money and I don't (and never have) earned a penny here and, whilst that isn't a problem (I didn't start it to earn money), I need to use all my energy and creativity on my buisness. Once that is more established I will be back here for sure.

I have goals for this space just as much as my buisness, but I have learned that I cannot be everywhere at once and definietly can't find the time to make it all perfect. I wanted to relaunch my blog on a different platform, and rebrand it, and I will certainly be looking to do that in the future, but for now my concentration has to be with Leaf Lane Studio.

Than said, I am still going to be mini-blogging over on Instagram and will just be putting my weekly gratitudes there instead. I will continue to write and share, just not right here for now!

My studio vlogs are still going to be 'a thing' over on YouTube too, so really not much is changing! I haven't been able to show up as much as planned here since I started working with a group coaching programme because I am learning so much and want to make sure I get the most out of it, which involves work too.

I will be back here for sure, so please bear with me! In the mean time, make sure you are following me on Instragram, YouTube and Facebook (all linked in the side bar). I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you guys being a part of everything I create on line and I am so grateful for you. 

Stay tuned for what is to come!
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22 June 2020

WHAT A WEEK!


I am going to keep this blog post SUPER short and sweet because I have A LOT of catching up with myself to do this week after last week and all its happenings!

On Tuesday morning I turned on my computer and saw a screen that filled me with dread 'hard drive no available'. Yep, the bloody critter had given up and took a lot of things with it. Thankfully I have an external hard drive for all Leaf Lane Studio bits and bobs, but I hadn't backed up anything else. It was always one of those things I put off. Let it be a lesson to us all... get cloud storage and avoid the panic! I will be sorting out mine TODAY.

Luckily for me I have a husband who knows 'all the things' about computers and also has the patience of a saint when it comes to technology (I have ZERO patience for anything like that so was losing my sh*t left, right and centre as you can imagine).

New hard drive and SSD drive was promptly ordered and by the end of the week I had a new, very fast, computer to bring back to life. Thanks Joe for all your time and skill(z), because I would not have known how to even try to get things working again. I have now been shown how to fit a new hard drive into my computers base unit, and I predict the knowledge of that hanging around for approximately another week or so (the knowledge of how to 'initialise' it has already vanished - sorry Joe!).

What I have learned from last week is that Mercury Retrogrades really do upset technology (!) but also that we must back up! It becomes so evident how much we take for granted at times like this doesn't it. So, for now, know that my biggest gratitude of last week was living with someone with computer knowledge, and also being able to rescue my computer without totally losing my marbles, because right now there really isn't much room for manoeuvre.

I will leave you with some pretty pictures from my walk taken the very morning my computer died, because it was STUNNING, and I will be back soon with a 'proper' post! Have a great day!

PS: I lost my latest Studio Vlog, but am looking at what videos I still have on my memory card and phone today, so may be able to reconstruct it! Watch this space for that coming soon!

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15 June 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


The last couple of weeks have been, quite frankly, bloody exhausting, but I am back here to try and get into my normal routine again. I haven't been able to even think of working 'as normal' until today (and it still is a bit of a struggle!). You know when you just feel a little off kilter? I think it just takes throwing yourself back into it again in order to almost force the reset of your brain you know? At least that is what I am trying!

As much as it has been a strange time all round, I can always find little things to be so grateful for; it is important to remember the things that make you smile when you are struggling isn't it. That said, let's jump into those things right now!

:: I have been taking myself out for early morning walks before work to clear my head and enjoy some moving-meditation in nature. My mind feels at home outside, when it is really quiet and no one else is about. The coastal paths have been full of nature and the wild flowers are so beautiful at this time of year. I have tried to capture some of the moments I love on my recent couple of vlogs, one of which will be going up on YouTube in the next couple of days and the other will be close behind it. I am also sharing my walks with you guys over on Instagram too, so make sure you are following both my Leaf Lane Studio and From Lucy with Love accounts to see them! My walk this morning included a herd of cows, which I thought I may have to negotiate on the way back, as they were very close to the gate I needed to walk through! The walk was so beautiful though and it set me up for the day and gave me so much energy.


:: Over the last couple of weeks I have made a conscious effort to be eating a lot more fruit and vegetables in my day to day diet. I have no issue with eating carbohydrates, but my body is struggling a lot with things like pasta and bread, so I have replaced pasta with lots of vegetables and just started putting my homemade pasta sauce on top of the veg. It tastes so good and I have been feeling so much better in myself for it. I have tweaked my breakfasts to go from smoothie shakes to smoothie bowls; which doesn't take too much more effort, but tastes like I am eating a really creamy fruit ice-cream! This morning I had a tropical smoothie bowl, made from a frozen fruit mix I got from Morrisons (consisting of mango, papaya, pineapple and passion fruit), and I just add a little Fage Greek yogurt, some protein powder and almond milk. I then put it into my Nutri-bullet and mix it until everything is smooth and it is super thick and like you need to eat it with a spoon, rather than drink it with a straw! I add a tiny bit of granola and a few chia seeds and some mixed seeds and there you have it! Delicious and good for you!

:: I have been working on my goals for Leaf Lane Studio over the last ten days or so and have been trying to break them down into something that I can work on (and actually achieve!). When it comes to goal setting, I am really great at listing lots of things, but sometimes I feel really overwhelmed with things and feel stuck when it comes to knowing how to start. Through a recent lesson on Holly's academy I have now started to see a better way of breaking goals down and actually working on them in a quicker, more achievable way. I am now trying to set goals quarterly, based off a huge list I made recently, and then just pick a few to achieve and work through them in baby steps. Wish me luck!


:: Speaking of projects and things on lists... if you have watched my Studio Vlogs from way back when I was designing my 'Cute Cats' collection, you may recall me mentioning an idea that I had for producing some 'sweary cat' designs. On Saturday, after chatting this thought through with all the wonderful souls in the Nourishing Soulfully Kindness group, I decided to make it a 'thing'. So, you can now follow 'Sweary Cats' on Instagram and will soon be able to get Sweary Cat products too... think cards, stickers and calendars! Lots more information to come soon! Please do not follow if you are easily offended though, these kitties are rude and don't care what anyone thinks!

:: One thing I did last week, which really helped to shift my mindset, was to have a little shuffle about in my office. My desk was too small for my computer and so I moved a few things about and now have a larger desk with my computer on it and much more room to pack orders too. I remember how, as a kid, I always loved changing my bedroom around, and recall that feeling of new energy in a room that you have rearranged. It really does work wonders for creativity I think. I also moved a new plant into my office, which is such a lovely little feature on my desk now too. Plants are just everything right now!

:: Something that made my heart really happy this week was watching a little magpie following a pigeon about in the front garden. Everything the pigeon did, the magpie had a go at doing right after, and it was so adorable to watch. I think the magpie was still really young, but it seemed to want to impress the pigeon, who didn't seem at all fussed for a new pal in its life at all!

:: Having binge-watched the new season of Queer Eye when it came out, I have now started right at the beginning again and I am enjoying it so much. I adore all those boys; they make me laugh, cry and want a make over too! If anyone wants to nominate me go right ahead! 

:: This weekend I started working on some Christmas card designs for Leaf Lane Studio. I haven't done Christmas cards since I launched the business, but I wanted to try and get just a few designs listed in my shop this year. I have started working in a sketch book again, pulling together ideas and colour palettes I like, and am currently painting some things on pre-prepared jewel-toned backgrounds, and I am loving how they are looking so far. I am trying to be a bit more playful with what I am creating and allow myself freedom to make mistakes, which is something I do struggle with. I can be really hard on myself when I start a new project as I often think I need to get it right immediately, which we all know is not possible! Watch this space for more on those designs! I am excited to develop them and to get them out for Christmas!

I will leave it there for today but I will be popping up a new studio vlog soon, so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep up with the latest videos as they come out!

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1 June 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


Well, that was a busy old week last week! In case you didn’t catch it, I threw myself into a bit of a project which, in full transparency, totally pushed me out my comfort zone! I decided, rather on a whim, to put together a three day mini series called ‘Beginners Tips for Hand Lettering’, as well as putting it up on my Leaf Lane Studio IGTV, I also uploaded all three videos to my YouTube channel too. If you’re interested in watching it I would love to know what you think! I put it together because I am considering structuring a beginners hand lettering course that you could download and work through in a far more in-depth way. Let me know what your thoughts are!
 
Let’s jump into this weeks gratitude (and general random happenings from the week!).

:: I am so grateful for the feedback I have received from those of you that have watched the hand lettering videos. It makes my heart happy to watch you having a go at lettering the quote and showing me your amazing efforts on Instagram! I find lettering such a mindful exercise and feel really glad that you do too!



:: Last night I closed my charity sticker for the Last Chance Hotel, with the current total at over £160. I’ll confirm the exact amount this week on Facebook and Instagram because I need to just double check everything again! I’m so proud of what we have achieved with this fundraiser guys and I wish I could hug you all for buying a sticker and helping me do this for such a truly wonderful charity. Thank you so much.

:: I talked a lot about the houseplants in last weeks list, but this week, something amazing arrived in the post and I am thrilled about it. Emily (from Emily and the Whippet, who is the plant enabler I mentioned last week!) sent me a little parcel of the most wonderful plant cuttings EVER! I have so many now and they fill me up with joy! I can’t list them all here but if you keep your eyes peeled on my YouTube they will be popping up in a Studio Vlog soon! Thanks Emily!

 ^^ I love watching how the water droplets form on Barry, the banana tree! ^^

:: This amazing weather we’ve been having is creating such a wonderful feeling for me throughout the day. I love lighter mornings and evenings, hearing the birds sing, watching the light in the trees and smell the summer scents in the air. Recently I have been sitting in the kitchen, at the big table, with the back doors open and the little blinds pulled down half way, just painting in the early evening light; it’s gorgeous. There’s something magical at that time of day.

:: On Friday I finally launched my Bay wedding stationery collection on Leaf Lane Studio, and on Saturday the samples arrived from the printers! They are stunning guys, I’m so happy with them! I need to get a couple of props for the Bay photo shoot and then you’ll be able to get samples of it on the website. I’m also about to start work on another new collection too, which will be super simple, very versatile and elegant. I can’t wait to start work on it!



:: Whenever I am spending a while at my painting table, I love having a series to get stuck into. On Saturday I started watching Killing Eve and I love it! I don’t know how to describe it, because it is equal parts humour and total darkness, but it is brilliant! Have you watched it? Any recommendations for my next watch welcome!

:: I went out the front door to look for Gizmo on Friday and there were three horses, with ‘drivers’ (!) busy munching the weeds out the front of the driveway. One of the ladies called out in what seemed like a panic ‘... they’re only eating the weeds, not your trees!’. It dawned on me that they probably thought I’d leapt out the front door like a right old battleaxe to tell them off! Gizmo had been MIA for a while and I was in a panic, so didn’t think that they might worry when I appeared! We get horses and their owners trot past the end of the house every day, several times a day, and I love it so much. I also very much appreciate the stubbornness of a horse that refuses to move until it finishes its weedy snack!

:: I have been wearing my super soft, stripey maxi skirt and more summery clothes recently, which feels so nice. I am trying to get myself into different clothes whilst I am working, because it always makes me feel so much better in myself, as does a good, trusty lippy! What self-care do you put in place to make you feel ready for the day?

:: On Thursday I had a little treat meal of curry, rice and the most delicious naan bread (yum!). I had also ordered a packet of white chocolate buttons as pudding and they were fab! I love curry and all the trimmings so much, not that we have it very often at all, but when we do I am so grateful for it!


:: Whilst mooching about on YouTube yesterday, I stumbled up these really short videos on the House and Garden channel (of all places!), that are called 'Things to Put in Frames'; they are little films showing artists in their spaces, discussing their work. I love things like this (which is why I adore watching and creating studio vlogs). I find artists sketchbooks, inspirations and processes so interesting. You should check them out if you enjoy that sort of thing, they are only 3-5 minutes in length and truly lovely to watch.

I hope you enjoyed that weekly run down! Last week was truly mad but it a good way! Included in all the madness was a magpie that found its way into the kitchen and was flapping about all over the shop trying to find an exit. It wasn't in there for long and flew out absolutely fine after just a few seconds, but it came as a bit of a shock!

Have a wonderful week and enjoy this wonderful weather!

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MINI SERIES | BEGINNERS TIPS FOR HAND LETTERING


Last week, over on my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram, I decided to pop up a three day mini series, for beginners who wanted to have a little go at some lettering! It is a basic look at some of the important things to think about when starting to get into it, and includes tips on how to link letters together, make your lettering look like it has been done with a calligraphy pen, without actually using one, and ends with some ways to make your envelopes look super pretty so you can impress your friends and family!

I have popped all the videos below for you to watch, and keep this post really short so you can get stuck in! If you enjoy them, please let me know as I am seriously considering putting together a mini course that you can access on line, going into far more detail for you. Think of this as a little 'hand lettering taster'!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you are liking the content I am sharing with you right now; there will be a new Studio Vlog appearing in the next 24 hours too!

Thank you for being here and supporting me, you are so appreciated.

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25 May 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Hello, hello! Welcome back to another ‘Weekly Gratitude’ post, but not only a new post but also a new STUDIO VLOG too (and about time frankly!). With my vlogs I sometimes worry that I don’t have ‘the right’ sort of content for you and then panic a bit, struggle with the feelings of ‘what if I bore them all half to death’ and finally I get over myself and put the bloody thing up! I actually have another one heading your way sooner rather than later too (why am I like this?!). Anyway, I will link my studio vlog at the bottom of this post as normal if you fancy watching it. I am also going to ring the ‘please subscribe to my channel’ bell again. Here’s why I keep going out about subscribing... 

Back in the day, YouTube allowed anyone to monetise their channel, meaning it plays adverts occasionally and pays teeny-tiny pennies to the creator of the video. You didn’t get paid out until you reached something like £50 of ad revenue, which I was a couple of pounds from making, and BAM, YouTube change it’s rules. The new rules stated that you had to have over 1k subscribers to monetise, meaning that 'my' money/earnings are stuck in the system until I get to that amount of subbies and can release it. What a sh*t! Anyway, I am on around 555 subscribers now... almost there then eh?! (Sobs silently into a gin). So, along with just wanting you to subscribe because you’re all my readers and I appreciate each and every one of you, and wouldn't want you missing out on all the excitement that comes to you via a vlog, but it would also be so helpful to me, my blog AND my business. Click right here to subscribe!

Right, enough YouTube waffle, you get it! Onto the gratitude post...

Oooh, one more thing, I am doing a final push on my charity sticker, if you haven't got one yet I would so appreciate you checking out all the information right here and considering helping out with this fundraiser! I was so excited this week as my local radio station, Pirate FM, popped up a blog post and Facebook post in support of this and, as they have over 150k followers I figured I may reach my overall target, but not even one person visited the page... I wanted to cry, but then I remembered how many amazing people have helped and got myself back on track.



:: Unlike last week, this week has just zoomed on by. It’s been full of work, Zoom calls and creativity, and for that I am so lucky and so grateful.

:: My new banana tree, Barry, is settling in fabulously, and has even started growing a tiny baby tree right next door to him. having consulted my plant ‘Yoda’, Emily, from Emily and the Whippet, I now know I can leave ‘baby Barry’ for a bit, until he’s older, and then give him a pot of his own! We spent too much time this week choosing names for the plants in this house, and now we have ‘Puff’ (no, not a drug, a Dragon Tree... Puff the Magic Dragon), Spike (a Christmas cactus), Barry (banana tree dude), Matilda (Monstera goddess), Laura ( a new cutting who’s planty name currently escapes me), Pea-Pod (soon to be Burro’s Tail when they grow from cuttings) and Kevin (Pilea). I also have recently taken cuttings from Puff, so have two new ones I am hoping to grow (I have not named these yet) and also there are three cuttings from Spike currently drying out, so I am hopeful about those too. As a beginner I am learning on the go, but very much enjoying myself. I blame Emily FULLY for all of this happening. I’ve always wanted to get 'into’ houseplants and she just tipped me over the edge and enabled my fall! I don’t mind at all though really!

:: I’m not sure if any of you guys have seen my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram this week, but I’ve been having quite the moment with the colour pink! My paint palette has been (and still is) full of gorgeous baby pinks, which means my water is also the most pretty pink ever! Just when I thought my week couldn’t get more pink, my new phone case showed up, well over a month earlier than expected from Amazon! I am in love with it guys! It has cat ears for heavens sake! If you fancy laying your paws on it, here’s the link!* It definitely isn’t a massively great quality case, but it is so adorable and I would buy another one! In fact, there was a two pack that I am now wishing I had gone for, which has my pink one and a black one too! I just wanted to make sure it fit my phone first!



:: Thanks to an afternoon spent reading in the garden yesterday (and getting a bit burnt...oops, we have ordered sun-cream now), I have almost finished my Jonathan Van Ness book*. I have loved this book so much; his openness and wit has kept me gripped. I think there is a new series of Queer Eye coming out soon and I really cannot wait to watch it!

:: Gizmo has been hilarious this week with her ‘zoomies’; she comes indoors, after a few hours outside, and then proceeds to go absolutely mental for about 15 minutes, sliding about on the floor, crashing into things at full speed and trying to climb up the doors. It really makes me smile to see her play, she is the best little bear!

:: We have the most gorgeous hedgerows and trees around the house right now; the garden is full of wildflowers, bees, all kinds of birds and it makes me so happy! Nature is thriving in a way that I have never seen before. Earlier in the week Joe spotted a male and female Bull-Thrush in the front garden; I have never seen one before and they are stunning! The male has a bright orange breast and they both have the most gorgeous markings. I don't know whether this lock-down is making more birds come into places that they may normally avoid, but either way it makes me so happy.


:: On the subject of nature, with all the trees around where we live, it is really something to lay in bed at night and just listen to the wind blowing the leaves in the trees. It is such a soothing sound to just here owls and trees and that's it. So wonderful.

:: I have been continuing my training and sweating myself half to death in the garage. I still want to get my hands on a kettlebell and maybe a box to jump on, they are just so expensive and, getting a proper box will mean it takes up quite a lot of space too! I am enjoying the different way that I am challenging my body at the moment. I also threw in a BodyCombat workout this week, which was awesome, but I had totally forgotten how sore my toes get with all the jumping about! They will toughen up soon if I keep at it though! Persistence (and stubbornness) is key here!


:: I have been so grateful everyone’s response to pictures I have put up showing my wedding stationery collection, Bay, and am pleased to say that it will be making its debut on Leaf Lane Studio on Friday 29th May! You will be able to browse the entire collection on my site as a preview, and when I have my samples here I will put together the brochure (photos need to be taken first you see!). I am excited to see this collection be on my website for people to see very soon!

* = Amazon affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase using this link, I will get a few pennies.

That's all I have for you this week, but scroll on down to watch my new vlog if you fancy it! I would love you to head to YouTube, give the video a 'like' and subscribe too, it really makes a difference!

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21 May 2020

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE FULLY 'YOU'



How many sides of 'you' do you show to the world everyday? Go back to before lock-down, and imagine yourself going through your normal routine; how did you act around people? Did you have different 'versions' of yourself for the various situations you found yourself in each day? If so, what did they look like?

I'm asking these questions because I have been thinking a lot about the subject and analysing myself, which is not unusual, but is something I have allowed myself to do for a bit of self-development through this lock-down thing. I have been questioning myself, in a gentle way, and trying to see if the Lucy I am every single day at home, is the same Lucy I am showing up as when I set foot outside the door and mix with other people in different situations and environments. The answers have been interesting. 

What would you say if you asked yourself the same questions? Could you say you were consistently the same person? I can't, but I think that might be okay actually.

Right now I am reading Jonathan Van Ness' book, 'Over the Top', and, in the book, he unpicks a little of why he thinks that we all have these sides to us that we draw on at different times, saying.:

'...(Dr Richard Schwartz) created something called Internal Family Systems Therapy. According to him, we were all born as a centered 'self' who is perfect and whole and can handle anything. But as we experience trauma in life, the centered self doesn't know quite how to deal with it, so it develops pieces of ourselves that we can call upon based on the situations we find ourselves in.... we all have these parts in our personality, but some people's are more extreme...'

That is a far more articulate way of explaining what I am trying to say here I think; and he goes on to say:

'if you think of your personality like a car, it's like this: my busy bee sits in the drivers seat, saying yes to every job coming my way with no thought of overbooking...my people pleaser is in the passenger seat... and my inner child is in the car seat. Meanwhile, my inner critic...can't stop backseat driving and telling everyone how I could be driving so much more effectively...'

I think we can all relate to this can't we; all the facets of 'us' that can sometimes drive us crazy?! It can be thoroughly exhausting for us to keep switching roles like that. Of course there is a time and a place for it, but it is when we are doing it to please others or to try and conform to something we feel we have to: that is when it is destructive.

So, a few questions that may help you unpick this subject a little bit, if you are interested in delving into it more are:

- When am I most true to myself? (Ask yourself who you are with when you feel completely you. You may discover that it is only when you are in the safety of home that you feel like you can be totally you, so just keep asking 'why'). 

- Who am I with when I feel like I really need to dig deep into my energy reserves in order to function in that situation? (Here you are exploring your energy zappers! Be honest with yourself.)

- Ask yourself why you feel the need to act a different way around certain people. Do you feel you have to 'dumb' yourself down because it is easier? Do you feel like you have to agree with opinions because you feel like they may question yours? Why? 

I think journaling on those points, or something similar, can be really useful to start uncovering the roots of this.

I guess the reason this is at the forefront of my mind right now is that I don't want certain behaviours to continue post lock-down. I want to show up as me as much as possible. The routine I find myself in right now has opened up new parts of my mind and I feel happy about that, so of course, it is only natural, to not want to slip back into being 'the funny one' in one situation, or 'the one who is always self-depreciating' in others. I am a business owner, a creative, a little nerdy/geeky, very awkward most of the time, but that it who I am. I do weird things, I enjoy loud music and total silence. I need to get into bed in the middle of the day to switch off from normality for a bit and I don't always want to mix with lots of people, but that is who I am and, do you know what? That is okay with me.
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