Working from home can be really appealing, we’ve heard it said time and time again. But even the most organised of people can lose there motivation and focus when your forever surrounded by your personal life. The lines between work and self can merge to a point of burn out.

When I start to feel myself losing steam I like to take things back to the beginning, take a breath and start again so to speak.

The best fail-safe method I’ve found for clearing my head and getting motivated again is clearing my house.

As they always say:

“A cluttered house is a cluttered mind”

Sometimes I like to start by choosing a room that is so far away from my work area I can really get out of that head space and focus on other things for a time, but it can also be really useful to take the opposite approach starting with you work space and clearing out all the garbage and niknaks that draw focus and really shouldn’t be there.

For the past few weeks I’ve been using this technique on a regular basis to keep focus but also take time out, and the whole house has had some attention. I’ve got inventive with food that needed eating, creative with things I just couldn’t face parting with (up-cycling) and just got rid of a whole lot of stuff.

It’s such an uplifting feeling to downsize, your truly to clear head space when you clear your physical space, and the real bonus I’ve found is that its also discouraged me from being such a consumer.

When I walk through town and see that new note book, another skin care product, a book, a top, that desire to splurge has disappeared so quickly, either because I’m enjoying my new found space too much or because I’ve come across some things I completely forgot I had and I’m dying to try first.

And the only times I’ve bought things are to put those final finishing touches on new spaces, that really give them (or me) a sense of identity and home.


The green conscious person in me absolutely hates waste, so in the past I’ve found myself holding on to every little thing, and finding it impossible to part with anything. But it’s been really invigorating to clear out without actually throwing anything away. Everything that’s gone has either been sold, passed on, up-cycled or donated to charity, and the clear space has done wonders for my mind. 

I promise the reward of downsizing is infectious, once you start you’ll not want to stop! Just be careful you don’t come home and realise you have to sleep on the floor because you threw out the bed (unless that was your aim! I’m not judging!)

Do you find yourself hoarding every little thing (even that nail varnish that really stopped working two years ago? Guilty!) , or are you a minimalist in your prime? Let me know in the comments, and pass on your tips if you have any!


xxx
Hello hello!

Are you a Great British Bake Off fan?
My sister and I have been loving this season and as we do every year we've caught the baking bug!

So as her birthday coincided I thought I'd surprised her with our very own bake off with a twist.

For her birthday, instead of making or buying her a birthday cake, I held a

Great Birthday Cake Off!

The challenge - to make a Swiss roll birthday cake in less than 1 hour.

No-one knew anything before hand so I chose a cake at random (making sure I knew none of us had ever tried baking one before). I hit the shops for the basic ingredients and stocked up on a ton of other fun and "interesting" ingredients, toppings and decorations for people to get creative.

Cameras all set up, and stop watch at the ready one of us played as judge and TV presenter and the rest of us tried our hardest to create a master piece!

Let the chaos commence!

Cue the montage of terrible baking attempts!

The competition winner!
My attempt! Might not have let the sponge cool down before adding cream, rookie error!


As described the judge "the step affect. Not a roll but a contemporary alternative!"



The hour was full of fun, mess, a handful of underhanded cheats, and a sprinkle of ingredient fights, but mostly just lots and lots of laughter.

At the end of it all we had baked some very colourful and especially messy cakes, the Judge made her very funny comments and ruled a final winner, the chocolate roll!

In her words "It could have used more chocolate, but what chocolate was there....was chocolaty".

It has to be one of the best party games we've ever played and I can't wait to do it all again next season.

If you're looking for a fun birthday activity, or party game I think this one is just brilliant. 
It's reasonably inexpensive, you can get creative with all sorts lying around the kitchen, involve your drinks and party drink free (or throw in a few drinks of extra madness!)
We had the best time, cake fails and all.

If you'd like to set up your own Great British Bake Off it turns out that you can also get an official part pack full of instruction, invitations, recipe ideas and decorations completely free to download.

I'll put a link


for you to get your hands on one!

If you have a go I'd love to see your pictures of the chaos and your final bakes. Show me on twitter @theasthinkings and user the hashtag #GBCO.

Have fun!!
Source
Good Sunday to you!

I hope you've been having a good week, and enjoying the last rays of summer (can I still call it that?).
Now though its Sunday, so grab yourself a cuppa, put up those feet and lets have a good old catch up.

If you stopped by last week you'll know I've been making some transitions (and if you don't know go have a read... don't worry I'll wait).

I've taken some time away from the craft shop to dedicate more of myself to my two passions - Music and performance.

I say performance because I have so much passion for so many art forms I don't want to box myself into any one. This week I made a brave decision and applied for a drama bursary. Its quite a unique bursary in that its especially for late bloomers. People who've never attended drama school, and might have not realised their aspirations until later in life. So who knows. I know the competition with be plentiful and from a wide range of backgrounds, but in a way we're all starting from the same place so everyone has a chance.
I really don't know how I'll do but I'm proud to have tried, and I know this is only the beginning of many more brave steps to come.

I also mentioned a little something called a driving test I might have had this week?
Well... I passed!!! (only 10+ years overdue!)
I'm so so happy, on one level I feel like a confident driver, but I still can't quite believe that I could head out on the road unsupervised now! Madness.
I'm thinking of going for my Pass Plus now as well for some extra experience and to build my confidence.
If you've ever taken it would you leave a comment and let me know about your experience?

And the rest of my week? It's been filled with books, nature, home decorating and lots and lots of music.

Oh! Looks like my breads ready to come out of the oven better go!
So how's your week turned out? Let me know in the comments.
xxx

P.S. The GIVEAWAY finishes at midnight tonight! (27.09.15) if you've not entered go do it now! go go! ENTER HERE.
Hello!

A couple of months ago I did that thing when you start a blog post (My staple jewellery collection) and think “hey I could make this a regular thing” and then you know life happens and ideas become little dust clouds in the hidden depths of your brain. Well yeah, that happened. (Do you get that?)

But ta da! I remembered, yay, so onto the next one.

Music plays a huge part in my life. As a musician and an avid listener I’m always looking for new inspiration, artists or genres that can really draw feeling out of you, whether that's happy get ready to embrace the world music, or harmonies that allow you to dwell on important thoughts and feelings. But there are just some artists and albums that I go back to time and time again.

It was really hard picking out just a few bit these are some of my all time staples that get me through the week.

James - such a peaceful voice. I have his newer album Post Tropical too, but Early in the morning is my all time favourite. It really calms me down and helps me reflect on life.
Looks like a weird cover huh? You can't see the writing very clear (sorry!) but this is one of my most played albums ever "Kin" by IamamIwhoamI. From Sweden, I love their music and absolutely every album is brilliant. Not a band but electronic music and audio visual artists, every song contributes to a collective, each with brilliant music videos telling beautiful stories. A really talented group that I think I listen to more than anyone else!


My guilty pleasure and the next most played artist on my list. I wouldn't say any one album is more a favourite than the other but Taylor Swift just has that way of making me feel good!


Another beaut! My sister first introduced me to Foster the People, they have soem great songs and I like how up-beat they are. Great for walks and starting my day.


And saved till last one of my absolute all time favourite bands. From France, Cocoon produce such beautiful music. Very acoustic, some perfect harmonies and one the best things I ever learnt to play on guitar.


I just have to have music at the ready wherever I might be so I also carry my ipod around without fail (I’m sure you probably do too) and my music saviour at the moment has to be Skull candy! They haven’t sponsored this at all, and don’t know I’m writing this but I just wanted to say how super great they’ve been.

I’m always just super chuffed with the quality of the headphones especially because they were really cheap compared to some other brands. So when mine got a fault I was devastated to have to go without all week and worried they wouldn’t help because I’d bought them in the US. But customer services were awesome. They sent me a brand new pair (and an upgrade) totally free. Nothing tops good customer service! So now my new headphones will be my best friend from now on!



Do you have any artists or albums that never fail you? Let me know in the comments I’m always looking to find a new muse!

Bye!

When I first started blogging it opened a whole new world of crafting to me. I didn’t realise the Internet was full of such amazing resource for DIYs, home crafts and tons of inspiration. I had never heard of Pinterest! What a world I lived in.

I found the creative bug and began crafting whenever I could. I’d spend hours searching for fun new ideas and began to come up with some of my own.




I found the creative bug and began crafting whenever I could. I’d spend hours searching for fun new ideas and began to come up with some of my own.

But some things never change. One of the first ever DIY’s I found (and blogged) was making decorative tiles. It was such a simple idea but endlessly customisable. With different tiles, textures, shapes, sizes, and prints, you could make the perfect tile(s) to suit your personality.

(Did I mention they're heat and water resistant? Perfect for coasters!)


I still love making these and hope that when I get my first home I can make a creative display, or kitchen back splash with them.

But for now I’m enjoying finding fun prints and colours for my family and friends. This year I’ve also made a few to go to craft fair, and I’m really pleased with the way they turned out. They sold out fast so I've made up some more and with a variety of colours and patterns there’s something to suit everyone. You can now find them in my Etsy shop.

What fun and creative ideas do you have for Tile art? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Bye!
This last few weeks have been a head long rush towards the end of some small and some big steps in my life.

If I haven't already mentioned it enough times I presented at my first Arts Festival, quite an achievement for me. Only a few months ago I left a job and chose to fill some of that new found time exploring my creativity.
One of those things was crafting. Soon it lead to opening up shop on Etsy, invites to have my wares in other peoples stores and finally led to this: The INSPIRE Creative Arts Festival.



It's been a challenging week of new lessons and experiences, but I'm thankful for having been involved. In presenting I realised two pretty important things about my crafting goals:

1) Crafting is something I love, I'm more than happy to dedicate time to,
and with some hard work I can make some extra pocket money along the way (bonus).

2) With so many unexpected opportunities showing up, 
I've dedicated much more of my time to crafts 
than I'd ever planned so now the festival is over, I look forward to 
getting back on track with some of my bigger life goals.

The start of this week marked the end of the Festival and the beginning of much more free time.

It was also quickly followed by a very important scan for a big health milestone that will hopefully change my life. I've never planned on posting about my health or hidden illnesses, but depending on how this goes, and if there's any interest for it I might fill you in on this in the future. But for now, just know it's a big game changer for me and although I'm terrified I'm also very excited for what the future might hold.

(Oh I'm also on the count down to finally getting a drivers licence, it is way, I mean years, almost decades...overdue!).

And finally I've had time to really focus on the things that matter in life. Improving my overall quality of life and lifestyle, and spending much enjoyed timing working on my two biggest loves, music and performing.

So it's been a week of great changes all round.
I look forward to seeing where things go from here and of course keeping you clued in as I go.

So how's your week been?

xx

P.S. If you haven't entered already, don't forget to enter my 100 follower giveaway for a chance to win a custom jewellery piece made just for you.

Hurry giveaway ends 26th September!

Click here to enter!
During the last year I’ve been to a few craft fairs and really enjoyed the experience. So when I was approached by another crafter to join a new craft collective I was beyond excited.

This would be my first opportunity to share my crafts among other professionals in the field, all from a variety of creative backgrounds and demonstrate our skills, passions and knowledge with others.

I got straight to planning how I wanted to present myself and my craft and where better to go but Pinterest!

For me I sell a lot of jewellery so hanging space was essential.
There’s always a bounty of ideas and inspiration to be found on Pinterest so here’s a few of my favourites. 

Source

Source
Source
Source

Using a rug to make you stand out and invite people in, using a bench to create extra space...
Some super good ideas here you have to check them out!
Source
Source

Remember you don't have to just look for stall ideas. Think outside the box and imagine how you might present something in your home. Make your stall your own!

You can find the rest of my Pins here on my Pin board and if you’re as much of a Pinning addict as I am feel free to follow me and leave you links below!

Which idea was your favourite? 

A title that well and truly prepares you for the anti-climax that is probably more a realistic taste of life right now, but an accurate description of my feelings.

The last week has been a real up and down of emotions. I’ve had that “what am I doing with my life?” mid-week crisis, the excitement of music festivals, the exhaustion of preparations for my own festival, and an array of other feelings to accompany them. But today I want to remind myself of the highlights that have really made my week.

Live Music – Going in reverse order, I start with this weekend where I worked at Big Tribute Music Festival. Although I’ve been to gigs and concerts this was actually my first festival experience and I really enjoyed it. A friend of mine owns the local old-fashioned sweet shop (I know, he’s a real life Willy Wonka). Well very last minute he was suddenly left high and dry with no help for the festival, so I put up my hand and volunteered to help run the sweet shop at the festival. It was such a fun weekend, I have no idea how I resisted the urge to scoff all the stock, but the best part of the weekend had to be the music. All the tribute bands were top rated, I loved the vibe, the family feel, and spending my whole day getting paid to have a centre stage view!

Finished projects – In the lead up to my coming Art Festival I’ve been busy finishing projects ready for my stall. Its been really good to finally finish so many projects I’ve had sitting in the background ready to be done!

Reaching 100 followers – Well this happened the week before but still, I hit 100 followers! Only one of the best and never envisioned feelings in the world! I never really focussed on how many followers I had, but it’s such a great feeling to know that 100 people out there in the world enjoy the small nuggets of my mind that make in out into the ether! If I haven’t already said it enough thank you thank you!

My first giveaway! – As a thank you to all those people who’ve followed, commented or engaged with my social media online I wanted to hold my first give away. I’ve tried to keep it very me, and a little different to most blog giveaways so I’m giving a piece of jewellery from my etsy shop made by me for you! If you’d like to enter follow this link, and the simple instructions to be in with a chance of winning!

The changing weather – Last but not least, I can't help but feel excitement for the changing weather. Summer came and went so quickly I was disappointed to see it go, but I can’t help but smile for the thoughts of what this cooler weather will bring. Autumn is by far my favourite season, and Winter brings Christmas which is all sorts of yay! So I’m looking forward in anticipation to the months that follow.


So that’s a quick summary of my week! I’d love to know in the comments, what your favourite thing is about the coming of Autumn and Winter!

xxx
All content © Copyright 2013 Thea's Thinkings unless stated otherwise. Powered by Blogger.