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Lifestyle and Interviews

WHY HOBBIES ARE IMPORTANT

April 21, 2016

LedByLucy-Pottery-ClassWe are often encouraged to do hobbies as youngsters. I remember I used to do dance on a Monday (jazz, freestyle and rock ‘n’ roll), netball on a Wednesday after-school (hated it), then drama club at lunch time with the occasional outward bound holiday thrown into the mix (so much fun). But as time passes we often grow out of them, because our vocation is unrelated and they get left behind.

I’ve always loved being creative. Art, textiles, photography, reading and writing are favourites of mine. One of my main reasons for starting this blog was so I could continue to practice and grow in those areas after leaving university. But the digital and social media side can dominate sometimes. That’s not always such a bad thing, but I have been craving to get my hands on a project that feels completely organic and none digital, resulting in a physical creation.

ledbylucy-making-potteryI went along to a pottery studio (something I’ve never done before) and did exactly that. I didn’t use my phone for inspiration from Pinterest or Google which has become the norm in the modern world. I simply sat down and began to paint using brush strokes that felt relaxing, colours that caught my eye, creating a pattern that was simply what I felt like doing in the moment.

This pot could of quite easily turned into a project. For example, a gift for someone. That would’ve been efficient use of my time, killing two birds with one stone. But that automatically comes with a specific brief or deadline, and we have enough of those day to day. I purposely didn’t take it too seriously and enjoyed the process rather than focusing on the end result. It was so relaxing!

ledbylucy-painting-pottery-berlinHere is my finished pot. It isn’t perfect but I love it. It’s a bit like a horcrux from Harry potter…hear me out. Rather than containing a fragment of a dark Wizard that makes Harry’s scar hurt… it reminds me of that calm and serene feeling that I had as I created it.Handpainted-pottery-orange

Suggested Post: DIY Washi Tape Project

Lifestyle and Interviews

West Indian Bay Bath Oil Recipe

March 24, 2015
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My lovely sister Rachael makes bath oils and she recently brought me a bottle from her latest batch. I lit my Heyland & Whittle candles and put on a face mask. It felt like I was floating on a dream cloud! It is so dreamy that I asked her for the recipe so that you guys can try it too.

Bath oil recipe for a 50ml bottle:

  1. Fill ¾ of the bottle with sweet almond oil
  2. Add 30 drops of clove bud, 30 drops of West Indian bay, 30 drops of rosemary, 20 drops of lavender, 15 drops of peppermint and 15 drops of eucalyptus
  3.  shake really well.

You will need a tiny funnel and the bottles that you choose need to be coloured glass to protect the oil from sun damage.

Rachael gets her oils from Amazon and says that they are a little expensive but well worth it, and I agree!

Suggested Post: Blueberry and Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe 

Lifestyle and Interviews

Apps: A Blogger’s Best Friend

February 21, 2015
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Once a blog post is complete it’s time to share it on social media. More often than not there can be a few hold ups at this stage, perhaps the image is too large or the URL wont fit due to the character restrictions of Twitter. Here are my top apps to help make blogging a breeze.

Latergramme

Instagram is by far my favorite social media platform. I love scrolling through snaps and seeing how people curate their little squares, and I have been known to post the occasional *cough* regular selfie too. Instagram is the perfect visual tool for bloggers to promote posts, the only catch is that it doesn’t allow you to post images directly from your computer or schedule images in advance. That is where Latergram comes in handy, this app allows you to post from your PC and select the time that you wish to post, the app then sends you a notification at the scheduled time, which you can open and post via Instagram.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the most accurate app for monitoring the progress of your blog. You can see everything from the towns that your readers live in, to how your visitors found you. This information is really interesting as it enables you to be smarter with your content planning. It also provides you with the relevant readership figures and conversion rates for sponsors. I found the Google Analytics site a little difficult to navigate around at first, but the app is super easy to use once you know the jargon and completely free.  This blog post is full of handy tips.

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PS Express

Cameras on smart phones are so smart these days that many bloggers use them to capture all of their visual content. Sometimes images just need little tweaking, perhaps some red eye removal here and a saturation adjustment there. The PS Express tool is fantastic for this, and free! This is the newest addition to my app list but it is quickly becoming a favourite.

Buffer and HootSuite

Twitter is the obvious choice for all bloggers, it is great for getting social and interacting with people. Tweeting is always best done in real time, so that you can be responsive and topical. Occasionally you do need to schedule content in advance and so HootSuite is my tool of choice. Among other things, it allows you to shorten links, set up streams and manage multiple accounts. The only downside is that it isn’t great for scheduling photos,  it converts them into links which don’t appear in your photostream. That is where Buffer comes in, it is a nice and easy way to schedule photos for Twitter. There are lots of other social media management tools out there which do similar things such as FutureTweets and sproutsocial so have a play and see which ones suit your needs best. I use the free versions of all of the apps mentioned in this section.

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Old School App

When my iPhone battery dies or I fancy some screen free time its nice to revert to a notebook. I’m a bit fickle when it comes to stationary, the prettier it is, the more it gets used. Pages with scribbles on get removed and black ink looks best. I was recently sent the book pictured in this post, it is a Nuuna Notebook The banana leaf print leather is gorgeous and it smells like the luxury accessories department in Selfridges!

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Lifestyle and Interviews

Paint Project

April 20, 2014

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I have a few pieces of inexpensive furniture that have moved around with me from place to place since my university days. They looked ever so sad and dowdy in my new apartment so I decided to give them a colour-pop make-over.

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Dulux tester paint pots are brilliant for jazzing up furniture. You’d be surprised at how far the paint from those little pots can go.

I chose Pretty Pink, Lemon Tropics and Mint Macaroon.

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Here are a few tips:

  • Clean the surface of the chair/table thoroughly before you start painting. If you paint directly onto dust it will look clumpy and peel within no time
  • Apply a few, light coats of paint. This will avoid brush streaks and drips
  • Be patient and allow each coat to dry completely before starting on the next
  • If any brush hairs get stuck in the paint, remove them quickly with tweezers. If the paint starts to dry before you do this it will look messy
  • Cover all surfaces, even those out of view for a professional finish
  • Wash your brushes in hot soapy water as soon as possible so that they are nice and supple ready for the next project!                                  image

Be warned it is addictive! I only intended on painting a chair and table but ended up getting a little carried away. The drawers of my dressing table are now Pretty Pink!

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You can read about my jewellery organisers (as pictured above) in this post.