Category Archives: Blogging

The 7 Month Itch….

about meSo, it’s been nearly a month and I would like to, firstly, thank my lovely guest posters for all their hard work and wonderful posts that have kept this place going whilst I’ve been silently squirreling away on my first love, my novel.  If you haven’t read them, take a moment to have a look through and read some of their great pieces – some wonderful tutorials, blog help and a whole lot more!

Well, I say I’ve been off writing, I’ve done a lot less than I wanted in favour of a bit of, yes you guessed it, soul-searching!  I spent a week in Somerset with my parents, reconnected with old friends and tried to get to grips with how to move forward.  I’m a wistful old soul at heart and life has been tearing by at such a rapid and unexpected speed, that I have felt anxious and uneasy for the past few weeks and in need of some big life decisions making!

For quite some time now, I’ve been feeling at a crossroads with what to do with life and I think I might have reached my conclusion.  The big thing is, I’m too capable of taking on tasks and projects and exciting endeavours without thinking about how I’m going to devote my time to each and every one and get them finished.  It’s something I come back to time and time again and if you are a regular reader, then you’ll know how topsy turvy life has become in recent months.  So perhaps it’s not a surprise to you that I’m struggling to fit everything around my family’s needs and, heaven forbid, a little bit of time for me too!

When I say I love writing, I really mean it, I love writing and I write because I can’t not!  I write because it feels as natural to me as breathing, it always has done and somewhere, tucked underneath months of to-ing and fro-ing, are seven story ideas and a whole bundle of paragraphs that are dying to get out there.  When I say I love writing, I love fiction, I love immersing myself in story-telling and, to be frank, it feels like the thing I was put on this earth to do.  Which is why, after allowing myself to get back into it for a little bit and start looking at my future plans and goals, I think I need to start devoting more time to that, to those stories and characters which lay so heavy on my heart at the moment.  Which, you guessed it, can only mean one thing, over the next couple of weeks I’m going to wind down blogging.

I guess you could say I’ve become a little jaded with the blogging world.  There are some truly amazing bloggers out there, many of whom I have been lucky enough to talk to and meet.  But it ain’t easy to keep on keeping on when I don’t really feel as if I have anything to say.  Behind the scenes, I’ve worked hard to adjust to my life as a single mama, have kept to my ethos of spending a year without high street shopping and I’ve tried my best to keep up with everything as best I can.  But, the truth is, when it comes to blogging, my heart just isn’t in it anymore.  In a world of sponsored posts and social media etiquette, not to mention the pressure that you feel under, I don’t think there is any fun in what I do, anymore.  And without the fun, there isn’t much point, considering the time it takes to run this site.  I think I’ve reached a point where I want to devote my time to my true passions and ambitions, where I want to go out and LIVE my life, without feeling pressured to write about it.  I have so much admiration for people who blog endless inspiration, day in day out, but I’ve realised that I’m not cut out for this, that my ‘old soul’ belongs in books and poetry and writing that will hopefully, one day, knock the likes of EL James off the chart!

So what next?  I have a few posts to finish up – including my post for White Tree Fabrics, so I’ll be popping them up over the coming weeks.  I’m going to continue to administrate #CraftBlogClub with my lovely co-hosts and, hopefully will have some exciting updates coming in the next couple of months.  I’m still going to be active over on Instagram and Twitter, still plugging away on some DIY creativity and projects, so please do give me a follow (@LivePeachy) and stay in touch with what I’m up to – please note that I tend to Elvis-spam quite a bit on Instagram, I need some sort of therapy I think.

As for me, I’m going to keep on with the writing and see where it takes me, I’m considering lots of options for the future at the moment but I’m almost certain I’m going to book on to a dressmaking course locally, which starts in October, to try and hone my very poor sewing skills!  D is growing so quickly, my house is taking shape and I’m generally feeling pretty cool – even if I’m little stressed, but just writing this post has eased it all a bit.  Last night’s downpour was so refreshing, for the first time I felt pretty solid about what I wanted to do.

I wanted to take the time to thank each and every one of you for your comments, likes, follows and for keeping me going with blogging for as long as I have.  Even though I’m a little jaded about the ‘industry’, I have met some amazing people through my blog and various social media sites and I hope to continue talking to you all.  But I’m really grateful for all the blog love and I hope you all understand – it’s not you, it’s me!

Keep your eyes peeled for my last couple of posts and, as ever, stay forever peachy!! x

Guest Post – DIY Photography Tent

Well, today seems like as good a day as any to post this lovely guest piece from Fiona – who co-hosts #CraftBlogClub with me and is hosting tonight’s chat about photography – which runs in line with this great post about a cheap and easy way to get great photos for your blog! Thanks Fiona!

Hi!, I’m Fiona from fizzi~jayne makes…. and I also co-host #CraftBlogClub with the lovely Emma.  Over on my blog (fizzijaynemakes.blogspot.co.uk) I have been doing a photography season with lots of hints and tips for taking great photographs.  I reviewed the book “The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos” by Heidi Adum and in this book there is a tutorial on how to make a light tent from a cardboard box.

If you have a blog or sell your products you know how important it is to have professional looking photos but not everyone can afford a professional photographer or have all the gear, so I wanted to see if this cheaper alternative does the job.

You will need:

1. ingredients1

Required

  • A Cardboard Box.  The larger the box/tent the more the light can bounce around.
  • Semi-transparent paper such as tracing paper or baking parchment
  • Stanley knife or something suitable to cut through the box
  • Sellotape and Double-Sided Tape
  • Thick white paper, I used wallpaper lining
  • Natural light bulb and lamp

What I used in addition to the instructions:

  • Cutting mat to protect your surfaces whilst cutting the box
  • White paint (I used some white emulsion left over from decorating last year)
  • Have parcel tape on hand in case you get carried away with cutting, like me!

Hopefully most of this you have stashed away or you can easily get hold of them cheaply.

The camera I used is my Digital SLR, a Canon EOS 600D. I took all the pictures on shutter speed 1/125.  ISO was on auto.

How to make it

Take your cardboard box with the opening facing you and cut out large pieces out of the top and side panels.  Leaving enough of the edges to keep the structure and keep the base and back intact.

I painted the inside of the box white, allowing light to reflect more.  Light picks up colour and could cause a colour cast on your product.

2. box cut and painted3. box with sides cut outReplace the sides and top with semi-transparent white paper, I used baking parchment. However, being waxy it didn’t stick well so I would advise using a strong double sided tape or use tracing paper instead. 4. Box covered in parchment inside

5. completed box from outside

Create a runway from the back of the box with the wallpaper lining. Make sure there is a curve at the back to create a seamless background.  I attached the paper with double-sided sticky tape.

6. completed box insidePlace tent near a light source such as a window, outside or lamp.

Place your product inside the tent so it is within the three papered walls.

7. product in box

As with all my photo shoots I took these pics in my conservatory, depending on the direction of the light and time of day I use a lamp with a natural light bulb to balance the light and remove dark areas. On this particular day I did not need additional lighting.

So does it work?

I was pleasantly surprised! I took the following pictures and the only editing I did was cropping the image.

Here is the image of one of my custom orders that was ready for its portrait before being delivered….

8. card image taken in box

And then I took a picture of my favourite mug….

9. mug in box

The lighting was particularly good when I took these pictures and I know not everyone has a conservatory and not every day is a heatwave! So I took more photos of my favourite mug in a darker room.

10. lounge shot I thought I might need my lamps for inside.  I took a photograph with the lights on….

11. mug inside with lights And without the light….

12. mug inside no lights The lights did help but some further tweaking of the brightness would be needed in post-production, however, this is what I would expect from taking pictures in my lounge.

Overall I think it did work as a light tent.  The problem I have is it won’t fold flat so I am not sure where I will be able to store it.  The box is also fragile, you may have seen the amount of parcel tape I ended up using, so I do not think it will last long but as a short term solution I am happy with the results.

If you fancy making your own light tent I would love to know how you get on and see your photos.

fizzi~jayne x

fizzijaynemakes@blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @fizzijayne

Facebook: FizziJayneMakes

Guest Post: The Potential of Handmade Merchandise

I’ve been an avid follower of Icy Sedgwick for quite a while now, her Friday Flash Fiction pieces are fabulous over on her blog and I was more than impressed with her latest offering, The Necromancer’s Apprentice.  Today on the blog, Icy shares her ideas on Handmade Merchandise – see she’s a pretty awesome crafter as well as writer!  Thanks Icy for appearing on Frugally Peachy and please do check out her work!

Apprentice_coverPublishing used to be much more straightforward. A publisher took on your book, and their marketing department would swing into gear, getting the word out and getting the cover in front of potential buyers. Nowadays, even getting a traditional deal with a publisher is no guarantee that it will receive much of a marketing push, unless you’re Lee Child or E. L. James, and a lot more of the onus is placed squarely on the author. It’s even more of a challenge if you sign with an independent publisher, or if you decide to go it alone and publish yourself.

I’ve got two books out, although my marketing strategy currently places the emphasis on the more recent title – The Necromancer’s Apprentice only came out in March, and while I’ve been undertaking the usual such as tweeting the occasional link (careful not to spam), conducting blog tours, writing guest posts (such as this one), and even holding a book launch in my hometown. That’s all well and good, but I can’t help thinking I can do more. So this is where my idea of merchandise comes in.

Merchandise is nothing new. In the movie Spaceballs, Yoda-like figure Yoghurt explains that merchandise “is where the real money of the movie is made”. Think of all the lunch boxes, colouring books, action figures, video games and clothing that accompany major Hollywood releases. Literature isn’t really as ‘hot’ on merchandise – books like the Harry Potter series, Twilight and Lord of the Rings only really have merchandise as a tie-in with the movies. True, there is a plethora of literature related jewellery on Etsy, but little of it is specific to titles, or designed to promote the books – they’re more to promote the wearer’s love of literature. So is there any way of making merchandise to sell a book? I’ve seen it done before, as my friend Synde Korman makes jewellery to promote Carrie Clevenger’s Crooked Fang novel, but I did start to wonder if I could make something to promote The Necromancer’s Apprentice. After all, people who find my goods on Etsy might be interested enough to then read the book, while people who read the book might decide to support it further by buying associated products.

MummiesI started off with these little guys – a pair of crocheted mummies. The mummies in the book are bloodthirsty and far from cuddly, but these two cute critters accompanied the paperbacks at the book launch in June. They’re not listed on Etsy just yet, but I’m hoping they’ll help pique interest. After all, I love to knit and crochet, so why not combine my love of crafting with my love of books?

I also decided to make a bottle pendant, using coloured resin, to tie in with the bottled enchantments that the book’s villain, the Necromancer General, keeps in her vaults.

BottlePendant

I made these anatomical engraving pendants some months ago but I’ve decided to absorb them into my Necromancer’s Apprentice range as I think they really fit the book.HeartPendant I’ve also got plans to design sigils to add to pendants as the use (or misuse) of sigils is an important part of the plot, and I’d like to crochet some more of the figures. There is a lot I can potentially make.

I think that’s also hopefully part of the appeal. These products aren’t just handmade – they’re handmade by the author of the book. I also hope that they have value outside of the book, so you don’t need to have read the book to necessarily appreciate them – they’re just a bonus if you have.

What do you guys think about the idea of handmade merchandise tailored to specific book titles? Would that be exciting if you’d read the book, or might it pique your interest if you hadn’t?

Bio

Icy Sedgwick was born in the North East of England, and lives and works in Newcastle. She spends her non-writing time working on a PhD in Film Studies, considering the use of set design in contemporary horror, as well as knitting up a storm. Icy had her first book, a pulp Western named The Guns of Retribution, published in 2011, and her horror fantasy, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, was released in March 2014.

Links

Website

Amazon

Etsy

Guest Post: It’s Hip To Be A Granny Square

image 9Have you ever been keen on trying crochet?  It’s something I’m determined to master, but I’ve always been put off by the notion that you’re either a knitter or a crocheter.  Today on the blog, the lovely Kelly from Bibble Dibs has written a wonderful beginner’s tutorial for learning to crochet a granny square, so whilst I’m up to my eyes in research, unleashing my inner Bronte and Nazis, why not have a go using Kelly’s easy-to-use instructions!

I have been crocheting for about 3 years now, starting off with simple colourful rows of double crochet and half double crochet, but my discovery of Granny squares has led onto a more adventurous crocheting life!

Granny squares have been around for a long time and can be used to form many crocheted lovelies, including blankets.  I am currently working on one that will be big enough for a double bed (once iv finished it!) and is a colourful jumble of love.  Crocheting is my way of relaxing and taking some time out for me, recently some research has shown that Crocheting is as relaxing and calming as yoga and really helps to slow your heart rate down.

So, back to the granny squares.  This pattern is not designed by me but I will take you through the steps so that you too can create something big or small using this basic pattern

For this pattern I will be using a size 4 crochet hook and style craft yarn, which is super soft and lovely to use.

This pattern calls for the following stitches…chain stitch (ch), Slip stitch (sl st) and treble stitch (tr) and I am using US terms

What to do…I am writing this in the simplest way possible, but if you are still having trouble then I am happy to help you, you can contact me at www.facebook.com/BibbleDibs

 So, fasten your seatbelts, here we go…(good luck) image 1

Make a slip knot on your hook, this is the first thing you are required to do in any crochet pattern.  Wrap the yarn over your index and middle finger with the end of the yarn up toward your index finger

Next, put your hook under the second strand of yarn and pull through

image 2 Keep pulling the hook away from your fingers and you have slip knot, make sure it’s not too tight, so it will slide up and down the hook with ease.  And breathe…you did it!

Now, Chain 4 and join to make a ring. To do this push the hook through the ch st furthest away from your hook, pick up the yarn and pull through that ch st and through the ch on your hook, it should look like this

image 3Now, ch 3 – this counts as your first treble stitch. If you need help on the treble stitch check out www.littletinbird.co.uk for super help

image 4Next, Make 2 tr into the ring and ch 2

Now make a cluster of 3 tr and chain 2 and do this twice more, join your ch2 to the last st of the ch 3 at the start of the round with a sl st.

image 5You now should have something that looks like this…

image 6Hooray, congratulations, pretty hey? but no time for a break, now onto the second round

Ch 3, 2 tr st into the first ch space (where your chain is coming out of), ch 1 and then 3 tr st into the next ch space. Now to make the corner ch 2, 3 tr st into the same ch space. Like this…

image 7Continue around…so ch 1, 3tr st into next ch space, 2 ch, 3tr st, 1 ch, 3tr into next chain space, 2 ch, 3tr.  When you get to the first ch sp, 3tr, 2 ch and join to the top of the original ch3.

And there you go, you have done the second round…loving it yet???

image 8 Ok, onto the third round and once you have done this a few times you will be able to continue working round and round to make the square grow.

So this time, ch 3, 2tr st into the ch space, ch 1 and move to the next ch space, 3tr and ch 2, now the corner, remember this? 3tr, 2ch, 3tr, ch1, continue round until you get back to the first ch space, where you started round three make 3tr, 2ch and join to the top of the ch 3.

image 9 If you are stopping there, pull the yarn through and snip it off. Darn in the ends with a darning needle. You can find some brilliant Granny inspiration from Lucy at Attic 24 http://attic24.typepad.com/ her crochet is truly magnificent and the choice of colours are lovely…trust me, you’ll be hooked!

You have now completed three rounds and have done very well. I hope you didn’t have too many glitches along the way, if you did shout and I’ll try to help. I would love to see your makes, you can find me over at Facebook and if you pop over to www.wordpress.com/Bibbledibs i will be doing a blog about joining colours.

I really hope you found this tutorial useful, I have so enjoyed writing it. Happy hooking,

 

Sherwood Art Week and A Crafty Meet-Up

bannerLast weekend sort of flashed by in a yarn-bombing blur and, to be honest, much the same is to be said for this week so far.

On Saturday, I had the great pleasure of finally meeting my wonderful two #CraftBlogClub co-hosts, Katie and Fiona, in Nottingham.  Since the two lovely ladies hopped on board the good ship Craft, they have been such a huge help and it was lovely to finally meet up and talk big plans for driving #CraftBlogClub forward.  More on that to come, in the meantime we were all busy updating the Twitter account and brainstorming new challenges and topic ideas for our weekly chat.

We spent the majority of the day at the Nottingham Contemporary – a perfect gallery venue with a cafe bar, freshly prepared food and child friendly too.  We chatted about all things craft, business and The Tudors (that was mostly me, lowering the tone).  It was so wonderful to meet the ladies I have been chatting to, and who have provided such great support for my idea, in ‘real life’!  Both Katie and Fiona are passionate about craft and passionate about the community we have built, I look forward to sharing more information with you all soon – but a huge thanks to Fiona and Katie for such a lovely day and, if you haven’t already, please check their blogs out!

CraftBlogClub ladiesSundays in Sherwood tend to be pretty quiet, but with the lovely weather and the tale end of Sherwood Art Week, Little D and I decided to take a walk up to the community centre to check out the Remarkable Recycling Gala; a fab day featuring recycling workshops, lots of interesting info and some lovely craft stalls.  D was a little young for most of the workshops, but it was fantastic to see lots of local children getting involved with craft projects and learning new skills.

Sherwood WIFor me, the real magic of Sherwood Art Week lies in the installations that pop up along Mansfield Road – this year there were some amazing Yarnbombs and some wonderful installations celebrating local artists in the shop windows.  So, with that in mind, what kind of renegade craft-blogger would I be if I didn’t share some of these with you?!  Check out some of these lovely images from our stroll on Sunday – I can’t wait for Sherwood Art Week next year!

benchyarn bikebike close upcaterpillar

Stay Peachy x

The ‘Move More Challenge’

movemore2With Summer well and truly on its way well, occasionally, it’s getting easier to get out and about with Little D.  Always conscious of beating ‘cabin fever’, getting my own exercise and mingling in amongst nature, I’m a walker – even in the pre-pram days.  Being as accustomed as I am to the rain and gloom of England, one cannot help but be a little bit in love with the dry, especially with a tottering 15 month old, who gets bored easily.

I’m a pretty active lady, I walk EVERYWHERE and try to put as much energy as I can into our daily routine.  As an ex-dancer, I’m only too aware of how energy levels can slump and becoming a mama, does throw your so-called lifestyle out the window.  Gyms and classes are out of the question, so it’s down to keeping active in my daily life.  So I was really interested to be contacted by a representative from World Cancer Research Fund, who have just launched their new campaign, the Move More Challenge, to get families out and about and improve their health.

movemore3Following Cancer Prevention week, the World Cancer Research Fund, is encouraging families to sign up to an interactive, two week challenge – the Move More Challenge – supported by a website full of ideas to help you get out, about and stay fit and healthy, whatever your lifestyle.  Research from the University of Bristol has shown that time spent outdoors can have the most positive effect on children; however the researchers concluded that most children spend their afterschool hours indoors alone, or with parents.

So, somewhere in between struggling to find easy ways to stay fit with a tiny in tow and wanting to keep my fitness levels up and shift a bit of post-baby weight, I decided to sign up for the two week challenge and I’m starting today!

By just taking a simple questionnaire, the website has offered several indoors and outdoors activities to undertake with D – from beanbag games to treasure hunts, I’m looking forward to adapting some of these suggestions for a younger babe and seeing how much better I feel after two weeks.  Being out and about doesn’t have to cost the earth, or anything, if you’re lucky enough to have a fair-sized garden (no chance) or a decent park nearby (thank God).  With the Move More Challenge, you are encouraged to try new ideas that help you get a little bit more exercise, without signing up to a fitness regime that doesn’t work with you or your life, whilst setting a healthy example for the whole family.

So, if you’re looking for new ways to get your family out and about, or just an excuse to get out in the sunshine, why not sign up for the two week challenge yourself?

movemore1Stay Peachy x

#MidsBlogMeet 2 – The Beauty Brum Edition!

all of usIf you’re a regular reader of Frugally Peachy, you’ll be aware that back in February, alongside the PR-mastermind that is Kelly from To Become Mum, we hosted our first #midsblogmeet in Nottingham.  A selection of mummy and beauty bloggers from around the Midlands area all came together for a fabulous event…an event we were so proud of, we immediately set to work organising the next one!

cherry reds1On Saturday 31st May, a group of stylish and beauty-obsessed bloggers (and me, who is basically a walking eyeliner), descended upon the quirky and fabulous Cherry Reds cafe bar, in Birmingham, for #midsblogmeet mk 2!  This was to be a little more focused on beauty and it was wonderful to meet some lovely new faces, some great tweeple I often converse with – I’m looking at you, Caroline and Naomi – and get to grips with two amazing brands who came along to talk on the day.

Elvis and Me

Elvis and Me

We had an upstairs room in Cherry Reds all booked out with lovely mood lighting and red walls (I thought I’d just woken up in my own room).  The tables and chairs were mismatched with fabulous colour schemes and a vintage feel to the decor, throughout.  I must say, at this point, Cherry Reds are lucky to still be in possession of this beautiful Elvis mirror – thanks to my enabling blogger friends who did offer to throw their coats over it as we exited!

One by one, some lovely familiar faces from our first meet arrived and some fab new faces too.  We had a very chilled start to the day, sitting around a table and reminiscing about Heather Shimmer lipstick (they still make it) and grungy band tees!  Once we all introduced ourselves (something I STILL haven’t mastered from the first meet), we had our first talk of the day.

cherry reds 2

Che…e…ee.rry Bay-yay-by!

The lovely Jo, from Weleda, brought a range of products to show us from the brand’s many ranges.  Starting with the baby range – using soft and calming calendula and camomile, right through to the natural anti-ageing properties of Pomegranate.  Being interested in organic products, Kelly and I thought Weleda (who played a huge part in our first meet) would be a fantastic brand to promote on the day.  With over 100 years experience, Weleda started out as a medicinal company, founded by the great Rudolf Steiner, who developed the range to care for both the inner and outer body.  Today the brand can boast such celebrity fans as Jessica Alba, Victoria Beckham and Simon Cowell – luxurious and natural products but at a surprisingly affordable price.  Weleda can trace each ingredient back to its origin – which is great news for those of us who are becoming more interested in what EXACTLY has gone into our cosmetics.

Jo talks us through the Weleda products

Jo talks us through the Weleda products

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to test such great products from Weleda, I was particularly interested in trying their deodorants and toothpastes – the salt toothpaste was amazingly zingy!  Whilst the baby range seems wonderfully calming for BOTH baby and me and outstanding products such as the bath milks and skin food are well worth the investment.  Jo was passionate about Weleda, it was interesting to hear more about the properties of each ingredient as well as the four stages in which Weleda’s ranges are tailored.  Thank you Jo for sharing such a great talk with us!

weledaaaa

ambienceAfter a spot of lunch (a grilled halloumi and roasted veg sandwich, to be precise), a bit of caffeine fuel and a chance to test more Weleda products, we welcomed the equally wonderful Suzie from Xenca to talk about the brand’s many many wonderful products.  I’ve been lucky enough to chat to Suzie over Twitter quite regularly, so I was more than excited to finally meet her lovely 9 month old boy Harry – a most gorgeous and very well behaved babe throughout the whole day and her very helpful husband Chris – who endorses the work of Xenca just as much as Suzie does!

I had been really keen to get Xenca involved with our meet – at just 2 years old, the company is still relatively new and, much the same as Weleda, endorses natural and organic products that are ethically-sound, cruelty-free and work WITH your skin.

suzzzeeh

Xenca’s very own Suzie…and a chair

Suzie’s talk was highly informative, after a few scary skin statistics, we had a chance to try to some of the products from the Eternity skincare range – from cleaners to moisturisers.  The range was delicate on the skin, leaving no residue but carefully and thoroughly removing traces of make-up.  Within the Eternity range, we were all given the opportunity to try a shot of Collagen powder AND a Five a Day + shot too – all geared up to help our bodies with general health, wellbeing and aiding in the ageing process!

Lastly, Suzie took us through the extensive range of Xenca’s Perfection make-up line.  A collection of make up made from natural and organic ingredients (everything bar the eyeliner and mascara), complete with cruelty-free testing AND recycled cardboard packaging.  Whilst the foundations and concealers are available in basic colour ranges, Xenca have some gorgeous lipstick and eyeshadow shades AND Suzie very kindly gave our bloggers a free gift of a lipstick or shadow of their choice.  It will come as no surprise to you that I chose the ‘Cherry’ shade in their lipstick range…here I am being all Coco Chanel (Chloris Boris you made my life with that comment on Instagram) and roadtesting it.  One long town trip, one mardy child, one cheese scone and a cuppa and two cheeky glasses of peach ice tea later… the lipstick was riding high!  And I absolutely LOVE the shade!

me and cherry lipstick

Coco Peachy!!!!

So, after a fun and fact-filled afternoon, it was time for some of the more dedicated to hit the shops, whilst I squeezed onto a train back to Notts and took the opportunity to catch up with Caitlin (in literary form) and Marilyn (in Spotify form), before I had my dinner stolen by a very cheeky Miss D upon my return home!

We had an absolutely blast organising and hosting this event and I’d like to thank the lovely bloggers who came to see us on the day and I hope you enjoyed what we put on as much as we did.  Also another thank you to Suzie and Jo for coming along and giving such interesting talks, the success of the day made everything so worth it that, I’m sure, in the future, Kelly and I will get our heads together to organise the third!

And if you’re looking for some fab new blogs to read…check out these beauties and go give them some bloglovin!

 

And, if you took part in the day, be sure to link your post up at the bottom here, I can’t wait to read more of your experiences of #midsblogmeet the Brum edition!

#midsblogmeet Brum

Stay Peachy x

Come Join Us



Hello June!

mainThis is it…my Frugally Fabulous Year is hitting the halfway mark – and WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN SO FAR!  I guess, like everyone, there have been some great bits and some not so great bits!  But I’m really excited to see what the rest of the year brings…

May: The Month That Was…

So that was May – a month of accent walls, true colours, larking back to my teenage years, wanting to be Mrs Emma Reznor all over again, the world’s biggest knitting needles, DIY Gardening, lovely bloggers, big changes and exciting developments!  I often find myself holed up making big plans and half-starting them, May was definitely a month for that as well!

I got back into the reading flow this month too – I’ve set myself a challenge over on Goodreads to read 20 books by the end of the year (not including such avid titles as ‘The Little Go-To-Sleep Book’, ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ and ‘That’s Not My Fairy’) – which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be difficult to squeeze some time in for relaxing and reading – but it remains one of my most favourite ways to wind down!  Anyway, May saw me complete my 6th and 7th titles this year:

booksThe World According To Bob by James Bowen: Having had the pleasure of meeting this loveable and unlikely duo, I was really excited to follow more of Streetcat Bob and James’ journey from Big Issue sellers to stars in their own right.  A heartwarming tale of hope, survival and the most incredible journey for a most unlikely pairing.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Zafon is, without a doubt, a huge influence as an author.  His poetic writing and magical stories are second to none.  The Prince of Mist was his first published novel, written for a YA audience.  Zipping through this in just a few days, I found the gritty and fantastical story of Max and his adventures that lead him to the grimacing and frightening Prince of Mist.  Moody, atmospheric with a tale of innocence and love interwoven in the reams of fright, this is a must-read.

Currently Reading: Moranthology by Caitlin Moran: Hilarious, poignant in places and a most unglamorous interpretation of a seemingly glamorous career – Moran keeps it real, whilst keeping it hysterical!

I’m definitely feeling as if the blogging mojo is returning a little, after a slumpy period, I’ve started making plans and even getting more creative!  I launched my #Project34 last month – an opportunity to get back some creative time and start making bits and pieces for myself and the home.  Check out my mini tutorials for the Novice Drawstring Bag and Rustic Garden Tealight Holders, not to mention my Cross Stitch Poetry.  Not only that, I embarked on a little secret project/challenge that I’ll be able to share more of later this month!

I also got to grips with some advertising space on the blog – if you fancy being one of my ‘beautiful people’ check out my sponsor page and get in touch!

And to top off a fantastic month, we had another amazing turnout for our latest #MidsBlogMeet.  What started off as a conversation between the wonderful Kelly from To Become Mum and I, has led to us organising and hosting two fabulous meet-ups with some wonderful bloggers from around the Midlands.  Our latest was a beauty-focused meet which took place in Birmingham, read all about it tomorrow.  A huge thank you to everyone who came along and to our lovely speakers Jo and Suzie for their informative and wonderful talks!

May: The Month That Was….Instagrammed

I’ve been keeping myself so busy lately, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll be aware that I was on a NIN-countdown for most of the month (my absolute favourites) and, let’s just say they didn’t disappoint!  Totally worth the 15 year wait to see T-Rez live!  So, with that in mind, I thought I’d take my favourite Insta-pics from the last month and let them speak for themselves!  If you’re on Instagram – be sure to give me a follow!meanddaisy

leanoradrzhivagomeladybirdninttingT-rezSo…June?

Well, this month I’m in full swing with making and shaking for the wardrobe and the home.  Plus, I’m very excited to share with you that I am going to be part of White Tree Fabric’s Blog Team.  Keep your eyes peeled for more posts and info about this coming up – but I’m excited to be working with them and I’ll have my first White Tree Fabric Post coming shortly!

Not only that – a new month can only mean one thing, a new #CraftBlogClub challenge! All will be revealed TOMORROW EVENING!

That aside, I’ve been getting stuck into some interesting articles, falling back in love with my sewing machine (though I think she needs a name…) and getting more creative on a tiny budget.  Fancy it?  Then be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin to be kept up to date with all the latest Frugally Peachy news!

I’m also planning to take a break in July to complete #PeachysWritingMarathon, and I’m still looking for a couple of guest posts – fancy it?  Give me an email at missemmaberry@gmail.com with your ideas!

I think that’s about it for now folkies – as ever thank you for reading, let’s smash the hell out of June, shall we??!

Stay Peachy x

Writer’s Tag: What Am I Working On?

It isn’t often I take part in tagged posts – but I was really pleased to be tagged by the oh so talented Icy Sedgwick – who is enviably talented as both a writer and crafter – to talk about what I’m working on!

Here’s the thing, I’m a little ‘cards close to the chest’ about my work; only the very closest people to me know much about my fiction work BUT, as I am intending to take an extended blog break in July, to work some serious magic on my novel, I thought I’d divulge a little bit!  So thank you Icy for the tag….here we go!

berlin 1Source

1. What Am I Working On?

Well, I’m still mostly working on feeling comfortable in calling myself a ‘writer’, but I have had a half-draft stashed away since my London days, based on a story that I am simply compelled to write.  It’s a piece of historical fiction, set in 1930s Berlin, 1933 to be exact, a story of love and tragedy set against the backdrop of the Nazi uprising.  A huge task in hand, I know, but it’s just something that needs to be written!  The most I’ve ever shown anyone is the first page, read out to my old writer’s club in London – it’s become The Precious to my Gollum – which really needs to change!

2. How Does My Work Differ From Others In Its Genre?

This is such a subjective question to answer at the moment as I’m the only one who has read any of it.  I am toying with writing on a multiple character platform, which is going to be challenging but, I feel, could also be the best way of telling the story.  I love reading stories that take the readers one step deeper, I think it would be exciting to read three perspectives, whilst getting to grips with each character’s motives.  I want my readers to really see all sides of each character, the good and the bad.

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?

I’m often asked this, but I can only really say ‘I Write Because I Can’t Not’.  I love everything that I do in the creative spectrum whether it’s crafting, baking, DIY-ing, but nothing quite centres me as writing does, I believe it is what I was born to do.

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

You’ll be unsurprised to hear that I have a renegade approach to writing.  I don’t tend to write in any particular order.  When I have an idea, I tend to write in a random order, depending on what I’m inspired to write and then fit around it.

With my ‘Big Novel’, I had a brainstorming wall up in my flat in London with lots of images and quotes – it was a great way of piecing bits together and I’m tempted to try and put one up in this house too, the constant visual reminder kept me going!

Well that’s about all I can part with right now! My new brand The Gothic Librarian, will hopefully be a chance for me to showcase some of my fiction writing – so if you’re interested, keep it here for more info coming soon!

Other than that – I hope to catch you on a book tour one day! 😉

Stay Peachy x

The Importance of Happy Mail!

flowers in springWhat do you like to do when you’re relaxing?  Do you like to take time to connect or reconnect with people?  Today I thought I’d pop a little post up about Happy Mail and the art of sending letters!

Over Easter, I took part in a lovely little Mug Swap, held by Hannah over at Cupcake Mumma.  The rules?  You were given a swap partner and send them a present – which should consist of a mug!  You had the opportunity to send a few likes and dislikes to each other – I always pity anyone who gets me – my tastes can be off the wall to say the least!  I thought this was a lovely idea – I have some incredible friends around the country, and a very lovely penpal in America – who I don’t write to often enough; not to mention some of the fabulous tweeple I regularly chat to on the Twittersphere.  I always have great ideas to send postcards and bits and bobs to people I don’t see regularly, no matter how often I see some of my closest friends, they are always on my mind and I wish I had more time to spend with them!  So this mug swap with a new snail mail friend would prove to be a turning point!

mug swapThe lovely Sarah from Young Ones Five was my swap partner and I was thrilled to receive this lovely big red mug with the word ‘Love’ on and some wonderful Easter-themed chocolates and a little notecard.  I’m happy to say I use my mug every day – it’s perfect for the first brew of the day!  So a huge thank you to Sarah for her lovely gift and I’m SO PLEASED she liked mine! You can read Sarah’s post about the swap HERE and I was so pleased to receive another postcard from Sarah from her holiday in gorgeous Clovelly, the week after!

I plan to do a LOT more letter writing in the coming weeks – I love getting old-school mail and it’s such a great way of making new friends as well as letting our long-standing loved ones know they are always with us!  So next time you have a spare five minutes and a stamp, why not get creative and handwrite a bit of happy mail?!

Stay Peachy x