13 December 2017

LESSONS



Today I really want to talk about the lessons that life sometimes has in store for us... let's jump right on into it shall we?

I haven't written a mental health related post for a while (I will link to some of my others at the bottom of this post if you are interested in those) but I guess this one has a little to do with mental health in some ways. When I am in a severe state of anxiety or depression (or both, which is bloody terrifying for me), it is so easy to get lost; lost among your own thoughts, which really aren't your own thoughts if you dissect it. Everything seems against you and there sometimes feels like there really is no hope. Speaking of my own experience, when I am right in the midst of it all, I cannot see any positive signs sometimes, but something I am trying to work on, mostly after a really bad day or two, is what I have learnt from being in that state of mind. How did it come on? Was I triggered by something or someone? What did it feel like to feel those emotions? What fears came to the surface? What things or people kept me going? How did I react to those people? And, more importantly, what have I learnt that I can use next time something happens to me? 

I am starting to use this practice within in so many areas of my life now; working through things to see what I have learnt or to try and see what pattern is occurring within my life (I believe we all 'sign up' for certain lessons and, as soon as we learn them, we can move forward). I am trying to become a more conscious person when it comes to what I am seeing come my way over and over again. It is not easy some times but, when you are going through a tough patch, let's just say at work for example, and something goes horribly wrong with a project or piece of work you were meant to do, and you may say that it wasn't just your fault and try and shift the emphasis away to a colleague... maybe the lesson there would be that you need to take more ownership, learn to talk it through with a more honest perspective and work out a problem constructively. Being open and honest is so much harder in our heads, but so much easier to do then we imagine and usually has far more uplifting results than we think.

This year especially, I have learnt to just lay my cards on the table completely and, if people accept me for who and what I am, then they are the right people, my people! There were times I would try to be who I was 'meant to be' for whoever was in my life (work, relationships... whatever), now I just feel that I want to lay everything out, show my true self to the world and those who stick around, well, they are keepers!

I have learned to hit back against fear in a big way in 2017. My 'word of the year' was 'Bold' and I can honestly say that I have held myself to that. My biggest fear about starting my business (which is why it took practically three years to launch) was that I was too anxious/scared to talk to a printer about my work. The day I did it, not only did it feel huge relief and a massive weight lift off my shoulders, but I walked out of there with my little part time job too; you have to see the funny side of that! Sometimes I am such an idiot! But that was a huge life lesson. I waited, quite literally years, to make that particular connection to get my business moving, through fear of looking like I didn't know what I was doing... crazy! That fear was all built up in my own mind, I had no previous experience to back up my concerns, just my own stories of 'what could happen'. Did any of it actually happen? Nope, of course it didn't!

Smashing the printers issue has shifted so many other areas of my life. I feel like one of my big lessons in life was (because it is now a was, not an is) learning how to do things despite my own stories of what could happen. Since then I have just done so many other things that I would've talked myself out of; a good example of that is contacting wedding magazines to try and get my stationery featured. I achieved that three times so far since my launch and all I did was send an email. That process would've scared me, but the whole fear of what people may think thing has started to fade since talking to my printer and launching Leaf Lane Studio! It is truly crazy how one, seemingly small thing, can impact so many areas of your life and hold you back for years! 

I am no life coach that is for sure, but what I think is helpful is to take a quiet moment to jot down areas of your life that are difficult or that you are feeling scared about and see if you can identify a pattern of behaviour and work out what you need to do to climb up that life lesson and smash the sh*t out of it.

My advice to you guys... go for it. Decide on your goals, move forward... feel the fear and learn the lesson that was intended for you! 
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10 December 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ A very windy walk at Hells Mouth ^^

Today marks just two weeks until it will be Christmas Eve (what?!) and I keep thinking to myself 'where did 2017 go?' because, my lovely friends, this year has passed by the quickest ever. The house is looking super festive now, with pretty fairy lights in so many places, and Gizmo is doing her usual chewing of the tree branches at every given opportunity too; thank God it isn't a real tree or it'd be stripped of its needles already. As a new year approaches I have taken up the challenge of a deep 'yearly review' in my Bullet Journal; more to come on that in a later post though, and I have also decided against the traditional route of 'resolutions' too. I have been on a path, for the last year or so, of identifying areas for self improvement, and I am just going to continue on that path but not label it as anything 'new-yearsy' (totally not a word!).

Shall we leap into the reason this post exists... weekly gratitude?! Let's!

:: This week, a book I have had my eye on for a while, Kyle Gray's 'Raise Your Vibration', dropped in price on Amazon, so I finally got myself a copy! I adore Kyle Grays work (he is all about angels and spirituality) and I find the way he talks / writes about things really easy to absorb. The book is lots of mini lessons to help you develop within your spiritual practice and, so far I am loving it.

:: Gizmo has been super cute all week, following me around like a little lamb (do they follow people? Probably not). She is just everywhere I turn and I love her to bits.


^^ Look at that little face! ^^

:: This week I received some gorgeously scented narcissus through the post and they are filling the house with their beautiful scent. I love them so much <3

:: On Friday I was having a bit of a rubbish day so decided to take myself out for a wander among the Christmas decorations at a local shop. Sometimes a distraction is just what the doctor ordered and, I must admit, looking at all the festive bits and bobs, as well as the stationery too (of course), definitely helped lift the mood.

:: On yet another mission to clear my head, I took a walk over at Hell's Mouth this week too; if you want to see the pictures and didn't catch Wednesdays post, then click right here to see it! With so many stunning places on the doorstep, here in Cornwall, it is not difficult to find somewhere to go and clear the cobwebs!

:: Having put my calendar up for sale a couple of days ago, I am so happy to have sold a few. Yes, it is only a few but it is early days! It is nice to think that someone likes what you create enough to part with money for it! If you would like to have a look at it then head on over to Leaf Lane Studio!

:: Whilst we are on the subject of Leaf Lane Studio, it got a couple of little features in 'Your Devon & Cornwall Wedding' magazines new issue (see below!) and I got emailed the pages this week, which was really lovely to see! I am so grateful whenever I get a piece of my stationery featured!


:: I have fallen just a little in love with Ed Sheeran's new single 'Perfect'. Pretty much every Christmas there is one song that makes me a bit soppy and this years prize goes to Mr Sheeran!

:: I managed to set aside some time for painting this week, which felt really nice. I popped on the radio (BBC Radio Two is the only station that can be picked up from the room I work in!) and set about a couple of new ideas. I am in the process of getting a couple of physical prints in my shop (coming very soon) and want to add more stock regularly, so am trying to keep my creative juices flowing somewhat!

:: This week, whilst trying to find a Cornwall based wedding photographer I could feature on my business Instagram, I stumbled upon Sarah, from Salty Sea Photography, who takes the most stunning photographs, that are so poetic and romantic that I had to mention her immediately on my account. It wasn't until I started reading a bit more about Sarah, on her website, that I realised I had been following her personal blog for ages! What a small world it is. I think I remember reading somewhere that she is in the middle of redesigning the blog, but head over and check her out anyway, her blog is called The Salty Sea Blog and it is gorgeous!

Thank you so much for stopping by this week, I hope you have a wonderful week ahead and are feeling the festive spirit building up (almost time for a few indulgent days off!). Don't forget that, if you want to check out my brand new printable 2018 calendar, then just click the image below! Go on, I dare you!
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8 December 2017

ARE YOU 2018 READY?



This post is a little shameless promotion for my new 2018 printable calendar, I hope you guys don't mind, but I worked my little painting socks off on it and I am proud of it, so really want you guys to know it exists. Although I am a full on Bullet Journal girl, I do have a calendar on my desk every year as I like to have something bright and fun to look at, but I also like to be able to quickly glance at a date whilst I work, or when I am on the phone, and I still love paper products for that. I also use calendars to plan out social media content or blog posts... just a few ways that you could use yours!

For more information on the best way to print digital products, ways to display a printed calendar and where to buy yours (or buy as a gift for someone else!) keep on reading!

THE DETAILS
:: Each month has a unique, hand-painted, watercolour garland to help bring a little bit of something pretty to your office or wherever you decide to put it!
:: One of my aims was to make this a super happy feeling calendar, so I have included inspirational quotes and affirmations for each month!
:: Each month comes with a small amount of space each day, so you can write in all those important plans for world domination!
:: There are even sneaky spaces for extra notes too.
:: The calendar was designed as A4 (210mm x 297mm)
:: Please remember that, if you do purchase my calendar, it is only a digital item, nothing physical will be dropping through your letter box!


WHERE YOU CAN GET YOURS!
:: My calendar is available in two places, Leaf Lane Studio and in my Etsy shop and it costs just £5.00 of your hard earned money! Obviously my website, www.leaflanestudio.com, is where I would prefer people to purchase, as this is directly through me, but I love finding new artists and makers on Etsy, so I really don't mind if it is over there of course!

WHY BUY A PRINTABLE CALENDAR?
:: A huge bonus of buying something that you download and print yourself is that you can print as many copies as you like! This means that mistakes are easily sorted out (if you are anything like me and you hate having to cross things out, then this may be a blessing in disguise!), plus you can print off more than one copy for whatever you like; one for work, one for home!
:: You get something super unique for a more affordable price. Often, when artists and designers try to make products, it is so costly to get the quantities printed that is pushes the price right up for the customer and the profit right down for the maker. Printing your own means you can still get a beautifully crafted product, with no extra costs for delivery, right to your inbox.

THE BEST WAY TO PRINT YOUR CALENDAR
:: Where possible try to use a good quality printer paper or card stock, which often results in a richer colour print.
:: Depending on the printer you have you may be able to go to 'advanced settings' and set the print to 'high quality'; just remember that this will use more of your ink then a standard print.
:: If the print doesn't come out at A4, check your settings are on 'print actual size' as some printers resize automatically before printing, more often than not this happens with PDF files.
:: Finally, when the image prints out it may, depending on the paper, appear a little rippled; if this happens just leave it on a flat surface to fully dry and then, if required, you could place it under a stack of heavy books to flatten out before placing it in a frame.

CREATIVE WAYS TO DISPLAY YOUR CALENDAR
:: I love big old bulldog clips, attached to my noticeboard, to display things I have printed, but a clipboard works well too, just lean it up somewhere you can see it and Bobs your Uncle!
:: Use washi tape to display it on your wall (safe for the wall and pretty to look at!).
:: Hole punch the top and use some cute ribbon or string to tie it together. Then all you need to do it pin it to your notice board or hand it on a picture hook or nail!

If you are interested in checking out my calendar or want to buy it just click right here to go straight over to my website!

Thank you to anyone who has left comments on either of my Instagram accounts about the calendar, you guys are so kind and super supportive and I appreciate it so very much.

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6 December 2017

CREATING SPACE



There are some days when you can just drive yourself a little bit crazy with 'all the thoughts' and need to clear some space in your head to gain the ability to compartmentalise everything that is busily driving you insane. Today was a bit like that in my head. I struggle sometimes with seeing all the things I have to do as individual things and, rather than doing the typical Lucy thing and making a list to clear my head, I let things bundle themselves up into this huge, tangled ball of sh*t that I just want to run away from.

So, what is the best thing to do when being chased, Indiana Jones style, by this metaphorical ball of crap? Well, there are a few things I normally do, including making said list to mind-dump the nonsense onto a page and see it for what it really is; but other than that I usually find that a nice cup of tea and half an hour of either a podcast or a TV show helps, just to distract my mind for a while, or I sometimes sit with my angel cards for a bit and ask for some guidance, but on the days where nothing else will do... I get outside, whatever the weather, and stare at the beauty of our planet. Today's place of choice was just past Godrevy, at the slightly scary sounding, but stunningly beautiful, 'Hell's Mouth'.



There was really no one else around as I crossed the quiet, winding road, over to the coast path, so it was just me and the seagulls for a while. You only really get the scope of how high the cliffs are when you see the huge gulls looking like teeny dots against them. Being out in nature like this makes me feel so small in a really grounding way. There is nothing like feeling the wind, rain and sea spray against your skin to remind you that you are just a little human being, in this vessel we know as a body, experiencing life in this form, at this moment.

All the things that I can often see as monumental issues or really scary problems and worries can often get dwarfed by simply stepping outside. Within our own four walls it is easy to feel alone in the world; isolated from every other experience happening outside your front door, and this is when (if you are anything like me) you can loose sight of what matters. Seriously, try stepping outside, go to a local park, a woods, walk the dog (probably not the cat) and just breathe; take it all in and see what a difference it makes.

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3 December 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ Beautiful sunset happening outside as I write this post! ^^

Happy December lovely friends! I am currently in total denial that we are, in-fact, a matter of days until the Christmas holidays kick in; it doesn't feel like it has been long enough since the last festive period to me! I do love Christmas though and, yesterday I received something through the post that kicked my butt into feeling a little more festive, more on that below!

How has your week been? Have you got your decorations up yet? What kind of traditions do you have for the festive season (if any!), let me know in the comments. I must admit that I am enjoying my little Cadburys advent calendar (thanks mum!) and I also have the gorgeous calendar that I received from Peta (www.pe-ta.com) which is 24 tea bags, beautifully packaged into individual calendar days (I need zero encouragement to drink tea of course!).


^^ My gorgeous little Christmas tree, I love it so, so much! ^^

Right then, let's hop into todays post shall we?

:: The first thing on my list of things I am super grateful for this week is something I briefly mentioned above; a surprise delivery that arrived only yesterday! The box was from Bloom & Wild and came with the cutest little message from my beautiful, amazing friend, Helena (thank you so much lovely lady). If you guys know Bloom & Wild, then you will know that they specialise in flowers that can be put through the letterbox, so imagine my surprise when I opened the box to reveal a mini Christmas tree, baubles, lights, moss for the top of the soil, a canvas pot and a star! Now, that is a well packed box! Honestly, I cried happy tears because it is so very beautiful! If you guys are looking to send something to someone for a little pre-Christmas present, then I highly recommend the mini Christmas tree from Bloom & Wild because it is super sweet!

:: It seems that as winter is setting in, we have so many more birds in the garden again and they are really into the bird feeder too. There are blue-tits and sparrows feeding regularly again and so many gorgeous little robins too (I love robins!). I adore just sitting at the window and watching them squabble over who is next to the feeder!

:: As it is getting colder in the cottage, it has been necessary to enter full 'old lady' mode and take a hot water bottle to bed each night. I lay it in the bed whilst I go about my little pre-sleep routine, and then sit in bed with it on my feet whilst I write in my Bullet Journal. Because I always overheat in the night I usually find that, within an hour, I am throwing it onto the floor, but it serves its purpose! (Is the next step of 'old lady' mode and electric blanket? Does anyone know?!).



:: I have been working like a mad woman this week to try and complete my Leaf Lane Studio printable 2018 calendar and I am almost there, celebration dance! Having never created a calendar in my life, I have probably taken a bit too long about the process, but I wanted to get it as perfect as I could (we all know that perfection isn't achievable though don't we!). Thank you so much to all of you that have left me a comment on Instagram or my Facebook page about it, you guys are so very sweet. I will be putting it up for sale (as a download only) within the next few days so stay tuned to my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram for that!

:: This week I watched a great video, by Fran ('Frannerd') about hitting a bit of creative block, which I do very often! It is nice to hear what other creatives do to try and get out of the rut that can drive us all a bit crazy! If you want to see it, head over to Fran's YouTube channel, the video is called 'In search of inspiration and motivation' - I love Fran's videos in general and often re-watch them whilst I work because it is lovely to see someone talk so honestly, whilst being so consistently herself and share her thoughts and processes without being too precious about them. Fran is genuinely so helpful and so insightful into her business that it keeps me really motivated and inspired to keep going!

:: This week I took part in the hashtag 'Meet the maker week' over on my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram and it was so great to have a few conversations with other makers that I haven't chatted to before and hear their feedback on what I create and talk to them about what they are working on too. It is one of my favourite platforms for striking up conversations with people and making new on-line buddies!

:: Lastly... the garden is looking a lot more thinned out since winter hit, but the little narcissus are already open (see below). You guys, who have followed me for a while, will definitely know that daffodils and narcissus are my all time favourite flowers. They are super happy and bright and I just love them in the house and in the garden! I can't believe they are already open but, then again, we are in Cornwall now, so it is a lot more mild this time of year than I am used to! I just hope they don't get killed off by a really cold night.

Thank you, as always, for taking the time to read this weeks post, you guys are amazing and hearing from you during the week always makes me smile. You can obviously message me on my various social media platforms (linked on the right) but you can also email me on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com if you want to have a good old fashioned natter! I'd love to hear from you. See you on Wednesday!

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29 November 2017

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN NO-ONE IS LOOKING?




Today I am talking about the things you do when you're in your own space, the door is locked and you can be completely and utterly you; but before your mind goes off on 'one of 'those' tangents, let's just keep it clean now people! I got thinking about this subject because as soon as I am left alone I generally will do one of a list of things. These things really make me content, restore my mood / energy or comfort me, so I wondered what other people do too!

Here is my list...

:: No matter what mood I am in, there is always room for a very loud blast of music! I love cheesy stuff that I can sing my lungs out too whilst I work or something that makes me want to dance about like a lunatic. These days I don't get much of a chance to throw on some loud music but, when I do, I love every, single second of it!

:: When it's been a long, tiring day, a cup of tea and a binge watch of Friends is the only cure! Friends always puts a smile on my face and leaves me floating in a bubble of happy for a while afterwards, you just can't beat it (although I also love Big Bang Theory and The Goldbergs too!).

:: This might be one of the strangest ones... and I have been doing this for years! Painting is always something I love to do when I get a free moment, nothing overly strange about that I hear you say, but it is more about what I watch when I paint... Most Haunted! Yep, there you have it! Do I think it is all real, no, does it keep me entertained, yes! Most of the series' (of which I think there are 19!) are available on YouTube, so I just stream them on my tablet whilst I create. Strangely, it keeps me calm, work that out!

:: Housework is a big stress reliever for me and I will clean the entire house within an inch of its life when I am left alone and in the mood to do so. The problem with this is that I go 'all in', cleaning skirting boards, doors, windows and everything in-between! I just feel so clear headed afterwards and that feeling cannot be beaten! I may even go all out rock n roll and throw on some loud music too!

:: One of my favourite relaxing routines is to have a bath, listen to a spirituality podcast, my favourite is Stepping Into The Light by Julia Treat, and then sit on the bed, with the fairy lights on and journal or do some angel cards. I love doing this sort of stuff when the house is totally empty because I know I won't be distracted at all. I am easily side-tracked by another sound in the background, so time alone is perfect for me to get a really good reading or journaling session done.

:: Alongside the practice I mentioned above I also like to try a short meditation. I usually find myself falling asleep, but the thought is there! I subscribe to the Hay House Meditation podcast, which is super varied and free!

:: Since moving to Cornwall and living in such a beautiful place, with a gorgeous garden, I adore sitting out on the edge of the big wooden table outside, with a hot cup of tea and just looking out to sea. I feel an instant calm wash over me and get totally lost in the sound of the waves and the birds every time. I think, for me anyway, this is a form of meditation (and I am less likely to fall asleep!).

:: I also spend a lot of time listening to podcasts or watching videos on conspiracy theories and really enjoy having them on when I am relaxing. I usually grab a notebook and sketch out business ideas whilst listening to them. I am pretty sure that it's a bit strange that I watch Most Haunted whilst painting and listen to conspiracy theories whilst brainstorming business things but, hey, each to their own huh?

So, over to you guys! What slightly random stuff do you like to do when you are home alone? Do you watch strange things when you work or are you totally normal and listen to background music?! Let me know in the comments!
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26 November 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



It's the very last Sunday of November, can you believe it and, not only that, but in less than a month it will be Christmas. Is anyone not feeling very festive yet? I am just not there this year. I get my moments when I get a little tingle of the Christmas vibe hit me but, on the most part, I am just not feeling the festive feels yet, despite having a big tub of chocolates given to me by my mum; I put them in the boot of the car on the way home in case I was tempted to 'get into the Christmas spirit' whilst driving for five hours! Any suggestions for how to get me feeling more festive are welcome; FYI I have watched some Christmas movies, listened to some Christmas music... nothing happening. I need your ideas!

Anyway, this week had been a bit different to the rest as I had mum staying from Sunday to Wednesday and then I drove us both back (to my parents house in Surrey) and I stayed with them until Saturday morning. My main aim for going over there was to make sure that I could attend the Christmas market that I used to organise at the school I worked at before. I wanted to show support, and so specifically arranged my visit to coincide with the event! It was lovely to catch up with everyone and here how they are all doing.

On to the gratitude/happy things/stuff I like list; although it is still officially titled 'Weekly Gratitude', you get the jist!

:: Having mum to stay meant that we had a couple of really nice lunches out. Tuesday was the best by far and involved a rather delicious vanilla and white chocolate cheesecake that was the best cheesecake I have had!

:: I think my poor mum was feeling a bit sorry for me... she knows I am scraping around all the odds and ends of make up products and so treated me to a new mascara to replace my very old one, which was all dry and gross (celebration dance!), and to a new 'base coat' (my mums description of foundation!). I wanted something with some skincare benefits and something that was a bit illuminating, so went with the L'Oreal BB cream, which is all kinds of magic! As I am now officially just a few years away from forty (seems less if I type the whole word instead of putting the actual numbers in!) I am finding that my skin really needs perking up on some days and is having phases of being dry and tired looking. To be honest, due to the non-money situation, I have had to let my normal skincare routine slip, and I am really noticing it. But hey, I will get there again soon! Small sacrifices for the bigger end goal.


^^ My little business, Leaf Lane Studio, features in the December issue of Wedding Ideas Magazine ^^

:: If you follow me on Instagram then you would have seen that Leaf Lane Studio got featured in the December issue of Wedding Ideas Magazine. I had an email on Wednesday and I was so excited! When I started the business I was so convinced that I would never have anything featured and, the fact that it has happened twice in two months, is super amazing! Thank you Wedding Ideas peeps! You guys... if you or anyone you know is getting married then you should send them over to the website as I still have my 10% off your order offer plus my 30% off hand-lettering service too.

:: Big thanks (again) to my mum for buying me a very festive poinsettia when we popped out the other day. The kitchen suddenly looks a little more Christmasy, even if I haven't caught it up yet!

:: When I returned from my travels, I was greeted with a very sleep bear, who didn't move for hours and hours... but look how cute!! She was so content, all snuggled up on my jumper and looked so so sweet!



:: I have gone back to having lemon juice in warm water in the mornings now. I find it is a really refreshing thing to drink before the gym, although not too much fun post toothpaste, especially if I have apple cider vinegar in it as well! I am pretty sure that, within four or five weeks, I will be looking like a totally new woman!

:: This last couple of weeks I have been planning my December bullet journal spread. I wanted it to be something that was really helpful in terms of reflecting on the year gone by and also had space for me to map out the things I want to achieve in the New Year too. I think I will get it up as a YouTube video this week so stay tuned for that. I still can't believe I have kept to a journalling system for a whole year!

:: With the winter weather setting in, we have had the most gorgeous sunsets around here of late. They are always stunning but, let's face it, there must be something about the colder air up there that makes them even more breathtaking, because the clouds have been looking epic and the colours are out of this world.

:: Today I finally started creating my hand-made Christmas cards. I am so late at starting them but have just had so many different things going on that I felt like I had ages! I wouldn't mind but a couple of them have a journey ahead of them so I am worried they may not make it! 

That is all for this weeks post guys. I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and let's all hit next week hard! I am planning a few bits and pieces I want to achieve next week in my Bullet Journal; a few business goals, but I am also switching up my gym training programme to be a bit more intense on the run up to Christmas too so, if what I type this Wednesday makes no sense, then you know I am exhausted and crumbled in a heap of misery on the floor, or else I am napping!

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