It was Blogtacular…..

Blogtacular
A few weeks ago I hopped down to London for a few days to go to the Blogtacular conference. It was very inspirational and I returned home full of new ideas. I’d also expected that it would have got me back into a blogging routine again, but strangely , that didn’t happen. I think it was because there was so much going on behind the scenes, a lot of online study and a lot of work on the house.

Some people manage to blog right through these things and document changes as they happen. I don’t seem to have the knack for that so much and take time to process and move through things before I am ready to write again.

I won’t do a full review of the conference, because , frankly, so much has already been written, so instead I’ll point you in the direction of the pinterest round up.

Shot from the Styling workshop with Ellie Tennant
Actually, the quality of the presentations did exceed my expectations and there were none that were not interesting in some way. A few favourites were hearing the “Mini Modern” guys talking about branding, Yvonne from Yvestown giving her take on blogging , Anne Ditmeyer from PretaVoyager talking about how she has created a business combining design and travel and Joy Cho from OhJoy talking about how blogging has shaped her own career. As this has included having her own product range and then moving into licensing it was particularly useful. I also really enjoyed Ellie Tennant’s talk on styling and picked up a few tips to try out on the next photo shoot.

If you are a teeny bit sad that you didn’t make it then there is the next best thing – a virtual conference. You can find the info on that here. I have also subscribed so that I can rewatch the talks – it is hard to take it all in at the time, even if you take notes. The two Kats who set up the conference are all set to do it again next year so put that in your diary too.

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Seaside Treasures

Sea Glass

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for sea glass , but used to hunt high and low and find very little. Now I find myself living near some spots where I can find it easily and it is very hard to resist. I especially like all the pale aqua shades and this time also found a few pieces of broken porcelain. I am sure this colour palette is going to show up in a design or painting sometime soon.

rail bridge low tide

The bridges have also been looking wonderful during the last few days – mostly lovely summer weather and some very low tides which make for interesting images.

two bridges

rail bridge

If you are visiting Edinburgh this summer South Queensferry makes a very pleasant wee jaunt out of the city, especially during the crazy festival period. You can even take a boat to Inchcolm island and have a go at spotting seals or even a puffin if you are lucky. Get yourself an Orkney Ice cream and stroll along the prom to the High Street.

Feast or Famine in the August Break

Burry Man

I signed up to join in with Susannah Conway’s August Break. Although in fact, I more or less had a July break too. A summer bug followed by visitors made quick work of July. I have been taking “August Break” pictures , but have been posting them to my Instagram stream instead of blogging with them.

So for a few days I’ll do a little catching up.
burryman

Last week was a big day in the South Queensferry calendar – the annual Burryman day. I posted more extensively about it in this post. This year I didn’t get up early to watch him setting off but just caught him as he went along the High Street instead. It really is a very wierd tradition. But if he is scooping up all the bad vibes from the town onto his sticky burrs and taking them out of town, then that is fine by me.

A little bit of advance notice too – I am planning a shake up in my Etsy shop as I am going to move some items over to a different venue. I am also about to have my annual birthday special offer which will be a last chance to purchase some items before they are “retired”. If you’d like to be sure of exactly when , I recommend subscribing to my Studio Newsletter as I will be announcing it there first of all – you can sign up here.

Day 28 – My Edinburgh – Bees Flower Shops

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Another post in my series of favourite Edinburgh places for you to discover.

When I got back from Holland I was delighted to discover that in the meantime a florists had opened in South Queensferry, and not only that, it is the very closest shop to me ! That made up a little for no longer being able to shop for flowers at the Leiden Saturday market which was a real highlight of the week for me.

Bees is run by Elaine who tries to select flowers that you might not find everywhere and also makes up bouquets that have a bit of individual flair. Over the last few months I have had some stunning flowers from her shop.

ranunculus

Now, in case you don’t make it out to the coastal delights of South Queensferry very often she has opened a second branch in Hanover Street ( close to the Queen Street end ). A beautiful space with sweeping arched windows. She is also planning to hold workshops as the space lends itself to that, for adults but also for children. Mothers can sit on comfy sofas sipping a coffee while their offspring have fun creating with flowers.

Of course she also does wedding flowers or can organise a weekly arrangement for your office.

Day 24 – Adding Colour

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I used to have a cork board that I pinned stuff onto regularly, but my current favourite thing to display bits of inspiration , or colour references , is this card rack.

If you are in the Netherlands you can get them ( also in smaller or larger sizes ) from the Hema . But I’m sure there must be places to get them in other countries too .

Featured at the moment is a notebook from Rosehip Cards , a polar bear by Pixie Campbell , a card by , I think , LilyMoon, a lovely graphic Swedish design by Maria Holmer Dahlgren and a couple of gorgeous cards showing Dutch costumes from Klederdracht Pracht, as well as a couple of my own postcards too .

Day 23 – My Edinburgh – Lovecrumbs Cafe

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I thought it would be nice to add a weekly post with a bit of a local theme. Where once we used guide books , now the internet helps us uncover unusual spots. I know Edinburgh is a city that lots of people are drawn to so once a week I will post a little bit of insider info. I have discovered many interesting cafes, shops and exhibitions in other cities,through reading blogs, so now I’m going to do my bit too ! (Although I’m not working as a tourist guide any more, I do still have that instinct for spotting places and passing them on ! )

cake

window
This week’s spotlight is on Lovecrumbs , which is a cafe that popped up while I was in Holland, and in the meantime has gathered quite a following. That does mean it can get quite busy and you might have to hunt around for a seat. You might end up using an old piano as a table, or you might sit on one of the two low chairs in the window. There are also a few large tables with lots of chairs round them so that helps in finding a wee spot.

But either way , you’ll have your work cut out to choose from the very inventive range of cakes on offer. Yesterday, amongst others there was a lavender cake, a rose and cherry cake and another one containing beetroot which I’ve had in the past. I went for the less exotic banana cake which was also delicious. On a previous visit an American friend couldn’t resist the peanut butter and jelly cake. There are ususally some gluten free options and things like brownies too, with a selection that seems to change quite regularly.

If you are visiting Edinburgh it won’t be on the main tourist routes so you’ll need to hunt it out – but it is well worth it. ( And if you are in Edinburgh for the Film Festival which is just coming up, then it is only a few minutes walk from the Filmhouse .)
street

Lovecrumbs
155 Westport Edinburgh,
Edinburgh EH3 9DP

Day 22 – Monday Inspiration

IMG_4440After a few sunny days it is overcast again here. Time for a little bit of colourful inspiration from a couple of videos I saw recently.

The first is an overview of the Finnish design company Marimekko. It is no cooincidence, apparently , that a company known for such strong colourful designs is based in a country with very long dark winters.

The second video gives a peek inside their printing factory and then shows how some of those prints become finished products.

If you want to have a closer look – here is the Marimekko website.