What is a blog hop?
I've never taken part in a blog hop before; I've seen lots of them about, but as one of the most disorganised bloggers I know, I've never actually got round to getting involved in one. The idea is great, though; after being tagged by another blogger, you answer a set of questions before choosing two different people to take part - it's a great way to introduce readers to your favourite blogs, and also to join in with the blogger community. I was actually first contacted by Melanie from the lovely Geoffrey and Grace blog, but in my usual haphazard way, I completely forgot about the post - then Lori from Wild and Grizzly got in touch and told me that she'd tagged me as well, so here I am! Both blogs are favourites of mine; Geoffrey and Grace is vintage-crafty heaven, packed full of retro print goodies, beautiful projects and glimpses into Melanie's life, while Wild and Grizzly is home to stunning photography, quirky finds and book reviews, and is a constant source of inspiration - make sure you check them both out!
Due to being almost impressively skint, I've taken on some extra copywriting work and haven't had the time to be as creative as usual - that said, I have been messing around with fringing, denim (no, I'm not making a cowboy costume!), washi tape and patterned paper. I'm also working on a range of crochet patterns for a magazine, and I managed to make a quick anniversary card for the Husband as it was our fourth wedding anniversary last week - the fourth year is symbolised by fruit and flowers, so I did botanical with a comedy twist. (A vintage botanical print of pears, with the words, 'we make the perfect pear' written underneath..... *tumbleweed*)
Where are you currently finding your inspiration? (Influences, heroes, sources of inspiration, paths exploring)?
I always, always find inspiration in charity shops, markets and vintage shops - from the embroidery on an old dress to the way a pile of old suitcases have been stacked, I always come out full of new ideas. I also read a lot of magazines (although I have cut waaaaay back lately - it's an expensive habit!); I like Cereal for travel, Oh Comely for beautiful and interesting writing, and Mollie Makes for crafts and home tours (Davina Drummonds house appears in the latest issue, and it's a beaut!). I'm also always keen to champion the wonderful Lionheart magazine, which has an incredibly wide range of articles and photography.
How important is being creative to you, and how do you blend this with your work / life / family balance?
Being creative is incredibly important to me; I write for a living, so being creative with words is something I have to do every day (even when it's the dullest copywriting in the world, you still have to make it sound like it's the most exciting thing to have happened, in the entire world, ever). I'm also pretty much always making something; whether it's customising clothes, crocheting a blanket or swearing at the sewing machine, and I go a bit loopy if I don't do anything for a while. I had PND with both children, and have always been prone to anxiety, and crafting just brings an element of calm and order to my life - whether it's the repetition of stitching and sticking, or the fact that it's a distraction, I don't know. I think being creative is good for the soul, and I encourage both Ben and Daisy to be as creative as often (or as little) as they like - I'm lucky that I work from home, and can include them in a lot of the things I'm doing. I think there's something really valuable in spending time on something, and then being able to say, 'I did that'.
And now onto my two lovely nominations:
Kathryn from Kat got the Cream
Kat's blog was one of the first I ever read, and I fell instantly in love with it; we've spent countless hours chatting about charity shopping, vintage frocks, retro homewares and cake (because we really, REALLY like cake...). I love her regular features, like the Happy List, which inspires me to appreciate the small things in life, and also the Friday Frock - if Kat knows how to sniff out anything, it's a good dress!
Lou from Little Green Shed
If I could climb into any blog and live in it, it'd be Little Green Shed. Lou cleverly mixes breathtaking photography with great design, and showcases some of the best brands and creatives around; she's also the founder of the Nature in the Home series, which has since become a wonderful community on Instagram (if you're a floral fan or a plant lover, do join in!).
Both nominees will be posting their answers on Monday 14th July - don't forget to pop over and check them out!