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Sunday night feeling

One Little Word 2014 prompt - Grow

Um, so where did last week go? Sunday evening has come round so quickly! Hope you had a good weekend whatever you were doing and feel rested and ready for the week ahead. I’ve spent the past hour trying to catch up on some of the prompts I’ve missed over the last few months form the One Little Word workshop that I’m doing this year. Although it’s tricky to carve out time to complete all the prompts I’d like to each month, I’m still very much enjoying the process. If anything it’s taught me that planning time to complete creative projects is no bad thing! The word I’m focussing on this year is ‘grow’ and the image above is a collage I made to represent the word. Each of the images carry a meaning for me and are metaphors for things I’m currently experiencing or have experienced this year. If you’ve not done a creative project like this before I really recommend it. I’m probably going to do it again next year as I’ve loved it so much. You can find out more about One Little Word via Ali Edward’s website (she’s the founder and teacher).

May God bless you for the week ahead folks,

Claire.x

Image Celebrate Creation

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Friday links

Celebrate Creation Friday links mosaic

It’s been a while since I last posted a ‘Friday links’ post so this feels long overdue. I’m so glad it’s nearly the weekend – this week has been good but I’m so tired! It seems I haven’t fully gotten back into the swing of the new semester at work just yet. So if like me you don’t fancy reading much today, here’s some great links that are informative, fun and inspirational.

1. I’ve been enjoying the lifestyle posts on Rosalilium recently, including this one on fun things to do in Autumn.

2. These paper boxes from I Heart Organizing are an easy make if you fancy a quick DIY project this weekend.

3. Love this home tour from The Everygirl.

4. I’m thinking of joining in with this photo challenge organised by My Creative and Emma Davies

Have a great weekend!

Images via Rosalilium, I Heart Organizing, The Everygirl and My Creative. Links to each source in text.

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Back to school!

Home office

September is upon us and the new school term has started (if the children in your life are back yet that is!) As I work in Higher Education myself, this week has started with a bang as we welcome our new cohort of trainee teachers to our degree programmes. It’s probably no surprise then for me to tell you that I love learning new skills and taking short courses. As you know, I took the ‘Blog Love 2.0′ e-course this summer by A Beautiful Mess and I’m slowly rolling out changes to this blog and updating posts as a result.

At the end of every summer I always find myself itching to enrol on a new adult education course of some sort (much to my husband’s angst. He thinks that I do enough with my spare time already and gets a bit nervous when I share a new idea that will undoubtedly take up more of my time. I have to admit he has a point). However, my workplace are holding short language courses this semester and so I’m signing up for French conversation. We are heading back to Paris for a break this December and I’m determined to be more confident when communicating in French!

Have you signed up for any adult education classes this autumn? Share a link in the comments if you post, tweet or instagram about it.

Image via My attic

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Kitchen inspiration

As I mentioned in a previous post, we are currently painting our kitchen and giving it a bit of a makeover. Before I share a ‘before and after’ tour, I wanted to show you some of the inspirations behind my design choices. We are happy with the exisiting cabinets and white goods in our kitchen so the update is cosmetic in the main. Here are some of the features we are looking to include:

Grey kitchen walls

 

Image via

We’ve chosen a light grey paint for the walls (no big surprises there then)!

Yellow stool

Image via

I’m looking to inject some colour with a yellow stool. We have one from Ikea at present which is nice enough but has a wooden seat so it blends into the background easily so I’ve decided to paint the seat yellow. Get ready Mr Ikea stool to step forward and make a statement!

Kitchen shelves

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Some kitchen shelves are a must as we really need to increase our storage capacity! I’m thinking of some simple white ones, or I may paint them the same colour as the walls as I saw this technique used in the September issue of Living Etc and really liked it.

Kitchen rug

Image via

Finally a kitchen rug to use under the dining table. I loved this image from a past home tour that I featured and pinned it straight away. I bought a garden rug recently for our decking area in the garden which was great for the summer but now that the drizzly weather has started to set in, I’m hoping I can use it in the kitchen as I don’t want to pack it away in the shed until next summer. I’m not 100% sure it will work but I’ll give it a try.

So those are my plans! You can see my kitchen inspiration board over on Pinterest if you’d like to see some more ideas. Sometimes I have no idea why I’m pinning an image other than I like it but it’ encouraging to see how you can take ideas or accent colours from a variety of sources and put them together to create your own room.

Kitchen tour to follow soon! I just need to get on with the painting…

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Recent happenings

Recent happenings mosaic

Hi there! I hope you enjoyed your weekend and if you live in the UK, didn’t get too wet in the rain on this gorgeous bank holiday! I joined the other crazy people at the local Homebase to stock up on paint as the sun wasn’t out so we couldn’t have a bank holiday bbq. I spent this afternoon painting the kitchen and am planning a ‘before and after’ room tour once we have finished. Here’s some other bit and pieces I’ve been doing recently:

Reading: ‘Dark Fire’ by C.J Sansom. It’s the next book on my list for this year. I’ve read 6 out of 12 books on my list so far so need to speed up a bit if I’m going to finish by the end of the year. I keep getting distracted by other books…

Visiting: Lovely Lupton house in Devon. Some of our friends got married there this weekend, it was such a great day. One of the images above is from the grounds there. I found the ruined stone walls and bright flowers so beautiful together.

Making: T-shirts, bead lizards and origami birds as I helped lead craft activities at my church this past week for a children’s holiday club. I cycled into Richmond as part of my commute to the holiday club – you can see the view from one of Richmond’s bridges above.

Seeing: Lots of colour! I’ve been uploading colourful snaps to my Instagram feed this past week in an effort to look out for more colourful and interesting details in everyday life that I can take photographs of.

Planning: New kitchen decor. I’ll share some of my inspirations later on in the week. It’s been too long since I wrote an interiors post!

You can see my first ‘recent happenings’ post here.

Images all Celebrate Creation

 

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Sunday night feeling

French shop

Over the summer I’ve been looking out for vibrant colours to photograph in an attempt to strengthen my creative eye and inject a bit more colour in my life. I’m such a fan of grey that I want to make sure I don’t get stuck in a rut or become averse to using colour in and around our home. I currently have yet another 3 tester pots out on the kitchen table as we look for a colour to paint the kitchen and also have some carpet samples on the floor in the living room as we are buying new carpet for the house. Bet you can’t guess which colour pallets they are all in? Yep, grey. Oh dear. So, I’m making it my mission to use colour as much as I can in accessories! I’ll do a home tour one day and share my progress with you.

What’s your favourite colour? Do you find it tricky to use anything else when decorating? I’m going to be continuing my quest for colour this week and will share my photographs on Instagram under the hashtag #questforcolour. Feel free to use the hashtag too if you want to join in or if you have some colour inspirations to share with me.

Have a good week,

C.x

Image Celebrate Creation

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Educate series: Embracing honesty

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It’s difficult to be honest and open sometimes. Honesty is powerful and an honest word can bring joy, relief, comfort or if used unwisely, pain. I’ve been reading and listening to some material recently that has had a significant impact on me due to the brave and honest voice of the speaker. The first source I wanted to share in today’s educate post is a book called ‘Let your life speak’ by Parker J. Palmer. Parker Palmer is a successful professor in the U.S who has written several books about teaching with integrity and authenticity. As a University lecturer, I’ve been reading his work lately as I seek to improve my teaching for the students who will join me again at St Mary’s in September. Palmer writes about his life in this book with sincerity, humility and gentleness. It’s easy to look at someone so successful and think that perhaps they haven’t ever struggled with moments in their life or career. Palmer is quick to dispel that myth. He is open and candid in his book about his struggle with depression and provides a rare and touching insight into mental illness. He also provides honest and open advice as to how you might like to support someone you know who is suffering with depression which I found to be invaluable. It’s important to remember that whilst those whom we aspire to be like may look as if they have the world sorted, the reality can sometimes be very different. I also appreciated the fact that Palmer is so candid in this book about his journey to becoming a professor – including some honest recounts in the book such as a position he was fired from as a student. We don’t normally hear those sorts of stories from people we admire do we? We are very good at ‘editing’ our lives – Facebook anyone?!

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The other resource I’d like to share with you today is a podcast on the Jess Lively blog. I’ve written posts in the past about how much I’m enjoying Jess’ podcasts and have also written about the blogger she interviews in this podcast – Kendi Skeen. So when the two came together on a project, I was excited to hear what they had to say. Kendi is very open and honest in this podcast about her struggles as a small business owner and the trials she has faced over the past few years. She shares a lot about what she has learnt from closing down a small business – although I believe she is about to reopen her store in the U.S again so I’m rooting for her! Both Kendi and Palmer are two very different personalities, yet I admire them both and appreciate their honest nature. It allows those who are listening to them to be encouraged, sympathise and to grow. Have a read or a listen and let me know what you think!

Is there anyone who has been honest with you that has helped you in some way recently?

Images via The Good Vibe, Jess Lively

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Sunday night feeling – Happy Birthday Celebrate Creation!

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Today marks 4 years since I registered my blog, Celebrate Creation. I can honestly say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my blog journey – I feel like I’ve learnt so much and yet still have much to learn! I remember so clearly writing my first ever blog post and being incredibly nervous as I published it. I wanted to write a short series on some interior decor shops that I loved which are based in Fowey, Cornwall. I nervously walked into all the shops I admired and asked the owners if I could take some images for my new blog, Celebrate Creation. Most said yes, some said no! Although I went bright red in the face as I asked each shop owner, I’m glad that I did as it took me out of my comfort zone, challenged me to try something new and taught me that nothing awful happens if someone says no to you. You may feel a bit embarrassed but that’s about it.

The blogging world has changed so much over those four years and bloggers are now much more influential than they once perhaps were. Now I can’t imagine any store owner saying no to some free publicity on the internet! I sound a bit bitter towards those folk who said no. I’m not honestly.

As well as learning how to add customised headers and widgets to my blog (ooh, check me out with the fancy tech lingo), I’ve also struggled at some points with the ‘success’ of my blog. Like most bloggers out there, I’ve faced common insecurities over blog content (is my writing engaging enough? what does it mean for me to find my niche in the blogosphere?) and at times felt bad that my blog readership wasn’t growing in the way I hoped it would. However, after having a day to think about these questions in more detail at Blognix a few months ago, I have found the answers to most of these questions and feel much happier about them. I’ll share more details in another post under the Educate series later on this week.

For today though, I wish to say a huge thank you to my readers and followers out there. You may be few in number but you are perfectly formed as one of my mentors at work would say! Let me know if you write a blog too and leave a link in the comments so we can follow you back.

Claire.x

Image via treats as tasty taters blog

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‘Recent Happenings’ – a new series

Hello! I have a confession to make – I originally hoped to post this up last night as part of a ‘Sunday night feeling’ post, but life took over with some unexpected ‘this needs to be done right now’ tasks and so here I am instead.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been wanting to fine tune my work here on Celebrate Creation for a while now but as I have a full time job (which can be quite demanding) and the usual family and friends juggling act that we all engage in, I find it hard to be as ‘present’ on the blog as I would like. So, over the past two months I’ve set some time aside to complete a blogging e-course and spent some much needed time planning some exciting new content and more regular features. This is going to take some serious organisation on my part, but I now have a blogging schedule for the month of August (for the first time ever) and I’m planning to stick to it!

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As part of my new schedule, I’ve decided to run a fortnightly series called ‘recent happenings’. This will allow me to share a little bit of my everyday life with you and hopefully help us to get to know one another better! I don’t know about you, but the main thing that keeps me reading a few blogs regularly is the fact that the blogger shares some of their life with their readers. I guess I’m a bit nosey really but I love to have a sneeky peek into the lives behind the blog I’m reading!

So here’s some of the bits and pieces that have been happening in my life recently…

France holiday 2014

ReadingThe Book of Summers by Emylia Hall – as recommened by my friend Angie

Visiting: The mid-west of France. T and I spent 10 days in Ronce le Bains recently and enjoyed some good French cuisine, sunshine and relaxation time.

Making: A fox cross stitch for the entryway to our house and an amazing chocolate cheesecake.

Seeing: My family. I just spent a lovely day with my sister this past Saturday which included an afternoon massage at a day spa. Yes.

Planning: To be disciplined and write a little bit everyday for my MA. (I’m currently studying an MA part time alongside my job).

What have you been doing recently? Let me know in the comments below.

Image 1 via House to Home, Image 2 all Celebrate Creation