Christmas Gift Ideas for Creatives

Today, I’ve got some fabulous Christmas gift ideas for the creative person in your life who is either looking for something new to inspire her or, would like to welcome more creativity in their life.

* Visual Storytelling 2 - Photography and editing essentials with Cristina Colli, artist, photographer, writer and teacher (and guest on my upcoming class The Art Of Contentment). Learn from Cristina on how to create ‘beautiful still life photographs that evoke emotions and tell a story’. It’s a comprehensive 6-week class and by the end of it you’ll know the various technical aspects of your camera, how to use Lightroom, information on flat-lays, backdrop, lighting and so much more. The class is open for registration with a limited time discount. Price: £125 (will increase to £150).

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* Your Journaling Journey with Sarah Raad (who is also a guest for my upcoming class, The Art Of Contentment) of Simple Happy Life has created a beautiful course which will open on 7th January 2019. It’s a ‘two week e-course with e-guide to help you to start using journaling as a creative, self discovery practice to bring more joy, understanding and meaning to your life’. You’ll have the chance to explore different types of journalling with Sarah, a beautiful downloadable journaling guide and a Simple Happy Life notebook with pencil sent through the post! Price: £29.

* Sennelier - Soft Pastels - half stick set of 30 - plein air landscape - I love Sennelier products and have used them in all of my online classes. The quality is second to none and I also love their oil pastels. Jackson’s Art has a really good selection of their products (as well as many other fine art supplies).

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* The Wild Remedy - book by Emma Mitchell of Silverpebble. A beautiful book that comes on on 27th December - I know that is just past Christmas but it looks so inspiring that it’s on my list. Emma shares her ‘characteristic wit and frankness, and filled with her beautiful drawings, paintings and photography, this is a truly unique book for anyone who has ever felt drawn to nature and wondered about its influence over us’.

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* Conscious Creativity; look, connect create book by the amazingly talented Phillipa Stanton. ‘Philippa Stanton is a professional artist and photographer with more than 20 years’ experience of creating and teaching art. She holds popular workshops and teaches courses online, while the inspirational qualities of her imagery have attracted more than 400,000 followers for her @5ftinf account on Instagram’.

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* Tate Modern’s online shop is ideal for any budding creative - they stock prints, bags, stocking fillers, books, homeware, tickets for exhibitions and other goodies. I particularly like the Frida travel mug below.


* Oh and last but not least ;), I have a shop which contains prints, original art, online classes as well as gift cards in case you’re just not sure what that certain person would like…

I hope this has helped take the pressure off you in you are looking for that ideal creative gift for someone or for yourself - go on, give someone a big hint of what you’d really like! :)


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Instagram + Inspiration Roundup w/e 22/11/15

Inspiration from the internet and snapshots of my week via Instagram.. 

You'll see a mixture of artwork I’ve created and posted, family pics, books I’m reading, inspiration from nature, life musings, quotes, interesting posts, podcasts, videos, resources etc.

instagram inspiration week ending roundup 22/11/15

Firstly, above is a new original watercolour painting entitled 'It's Ewe and Me' that I recently finished and I'm happy to say, it's now over in my new online shop, right here on my website.  For me this painting is about motherhood and the tenderness that evokes (most of the time lol).  It's also about making the most of the here and now, finding beauty and inspiration even where and when you might least expect it and then having gratitude for those moments of grace and pure bliss when everything just seems to flow.

I really must tell you about a podcast I'm listening to from the brilliant teacher, Rob Bell - it's called RobCast.  It's so thought provoking and relevant to all of us, no matter whether you are a God believer, aetheist or anything in between.  He is a fantastic communicator and the way he shares his thoughts on spiritual topics is so inspiring.

Above is his latest podcast that I was listening to today as I was driving back and forth to a meeting this morning.  Let me know what you think...

Oh, one more thing - Rob is offering a free download of his first novel Millones-Cajones (he has written numerous non-fiction books also) which sounds a blast - I've just downloaded mine.  :)

inspiration instagram week ending roundup 22/11/15

Another one of those 'grace filled' moments as I look at my son, listen to the pitter patter of the rain on the car and just absorb the wonder of my child as he eats his satsuma whilst waiting for his little brother to come out of school.

I was also interested in Judy Reeves' post about the evolution of a book because somewhere in me, there is a book screaming to get out (and maybe you too) - I just need a time slot ;)

inspiration Instagram week ending roundup 22/11/15

Another moment of noticing beauty.  I love the contrast of the red berries, the green of the grass in the foreground of the photo against the muted shades of the distant hills with the gritty, rugged feel and look of the stone wall.

Instagram inspiration week ending roundup 22/11/15

A view from the car whilst I was waiting for my husband to finish another hospital appointment regarding his leg from surgery he had in June.

I don't know where I've been that I've somehow missed Lysa TerKeurst.  She's a New York Times bestseller and has written many books with an underlying Christian theme.

She is also a keynote speaker, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, been on Oprah Winfrey and many other outlets.

Lysa writes a beautiful blog and I just wanted to share that with you - maybe the next time you have a few minutes with a cup of tea, go take a visit...

Instagram inspiration week ending roundup 22/11/15

Above is Mia, our little German Spitz Klein, (that I love sharing on Instagram) enjoying a little drip of tea after having had her breakfast on Sunday morning.  It amazes me how she loves sticking her head in the mug even though it must be dark and cramped - I wonder if she closes her eyes?

So, I'm hoping you are having a good week, have enjoyed a little inspiration and please join me over on Instagram.




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My Instagram Weekly Roundup - week ending 15/11/15


instagram weekly roundup I love to use Instagram and follow other people there too - it's my favourite place to be from a social media perspective and I thought it would be fun to share my week with you in pictures.

In the future, there will be a mixture of artwork I've created and posted, family, books I'm reading, inspiration, quotes, moments from my day etc.  I do hope you join me over on Instagram and join in the fun directly.


Above is a piece of original artwork painted in watercolour, called The Potting Shed - I just wanted to let you know it is still available via my Etsy shop.  My watercolours are going quickly these days, so if you're interested in one for a Christmas present, pick one up whilst you can.


A faded rose from my garden but oh so beautiful.  I find flowers/nature still stunning even when it's past it's best - metaphor for life there somehow I think?


Above is another original watercolour - this was was called Heather and Ewe.  I'm saying 'was' because the original has sold (before it was finished actually) but the print (next best thing to the original) is now available.


I made some celeriac and sweet potato rosti over the weekend and above were the ingredients I used.  I must say, it was divine and below is the book (published 2008), The Great Big Veg Challenge that the recipe came from.


Next up, a photo of my husband and our two boys.  They are my world.  No words for how much they mean to me.


Here's a pic of my Dad (hi, if you're reading this) and myself.  It was taken on Sunday when we all went out for a yummy lunch together...


So, have a happy week and I look forward to 'meeting you' via Instagram.  Until then...



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Soulful Photography: Observing Nature


This new series is all about using photography as a tool for self-awareness, self-discovery and embracing our lives.  I've used photography in this way for a number of years and I'm very passionate about it and want to share some of my own practice, tips and musings...

I love to take 'purposeful' photos of my family and loved ones (you'll know if you've taken my ecourses Embrace and Delight) but I also come back time and time again to nature (and other subject matter that I'll discuss in the future).

Most mornings I take our little dog Mia out for her walk after having dropped our boys at school and enjoy a few favourite walks.  I'm usually on my own and I delight in this time as my way of connecting to not only the land but God as well.


Part of the great enjoyment for me is the noticing of the seasons passing and another beginning.  All the subtleties that take place blow my mind with wonder.  I mean, all this happens (for the most part) without us having to do much of anything - how amazing!  (Thank you Lord).

Often the photos I take are not for the 'glory' shot (interesting post here by Richard Wong on self-discovery and photography) but rather for the sheer simple pleasure of both observing and capturing the subject.  But it even goes deeper than that... IMG_4486

I love to use photography as a way to dig deep at what's 'under the surface' (or screaming out at me!)  in my life.  Most often what I choose to take photos of, have a definite relevance to my life ie. where I'm going, how I'm feeling or not facing.


For instance, with these photos, I was really drawn to taking a closer look and marveling at the unfurling of life that takes place in Spring.


The photo below shows a tree bud that has totally opened up and there it is in all it's unabashed beauty.  So, I turn to my life and I wonder: How could I feel if I didn't hold back?  What would that look like for me and you?  What am I afraid of?


Suggestions on how YOU can make this a practice

* Well, of course you need a camera.  I mainly use my iPhone (for ease and convenience) but just use what you have.

* If you use a particular app I would suggest Instagram, Pixlr, Pixlromatic and LiveDOF.

* Follow your instincts.  Don't think about capturing a fantastic 'selling' photo - go with what moves you but try not to over-analyse it.

* Be curious.  Look at your subject from different angles, light, times of day etc.

* Don't think too much - snap away.  You can always delete what doesn't resonate with you later.

* Shake things up occasionally.  Try printing off a couple and perhaps writing a poem.  Sketch out what you've snapped or create an art journal page around your chosen image

* Write in your journal what the image represents to you without censoring.

* Keep it simple.  Don't get bogged down with the details.

Lastly, two thoughts - if you would like to feel supported, learn, feel inspired and connect with like-minded women, I'd be delighted if you joined my free Creativity Circle and my new Facebook Group.

Take care and by all means leave a comment if you have any thoughts or tips on the subject of photography for self-discovery.

Jane xo



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Capture Summer : journal page


It's the third day of the school Summer holidays and if you're anything like me, you'll already feel like you're creating some really special memories that you want to capture in your journal.  If you live in the States, then you'll definitely have lots of juicy memories since your holidays begin in June. Anyway, yesterday the boys and I met up with a friend and her son in this glorious weather at Newby Hall & Gardens in Ripon.  What a lovely place with inspiration oozing everywhere.  From Newby Hall itself, to the flowers, miniature railway, fantastic sculpture, the gardens etc.

I ended up taking several photos of flowers (lots of sighing from the boys), the boys (of course) and things of general interest and went ahead and printed out my favourites.  Then I did three quick watercolour sketches and adhered them to the prepared journal page.  See the last photo for the end result.

IMG_0469 IMG_0470 IMG_0451 IMG_0432 IMG_0447 IMG_0429 Summer flowers journalIMG_0479

IMG_0480Summer memories

Anyway, I'm happy with the result and the main benefit is that I have some of my fave photos of the day printed out and not stuck in my hard-drive!   It's amazing how many photos we accrue isn't it and I find so much of those memories are forgotten.

And yes, that IS the boys doing some stone sculpting.  They had a sculpture exhibition at Newby along with the opportunity for children (and adults) to have a go with a chisel (and goggles, thank goodnesss).

I'll be sharing the whole process of the above journal spread in the Delight ecourse this Autumn.

Jane xo







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I want to remember...

My ecourse is in full swing now and I just wanted to share with you one of the prompts that I invited the group to participate in this week...

To give you a bit of background, we started by paying attention to the 'little things' in nature and life.  You know, like a new bud forming, rain droplets, moss, even weeds!  It's so easy to forget, overlook and maybe even ignore the small stuff but I find when I do it's amazing how out of balance I become.  It's a way for me to disengage from the busy, busy treadmill, if only for a few minutes and to get 'out of my head'.

It's sparked a lot of conversation and memories spent just enjoying a bit of time sketching, painting or taking the time to observe our surroundings more closely.

Since 'embracing' the world about us has been on my mind so much this week, I thought it would be nice to extend this invitation to you.  Perhaps, you could go for a photo walk but equally there's so much inspiration to be had from your garden or even inside your home.  Whatever the topic, have it be something that resonates deeply with you. Then once you've chosen your photo, either print it out and stick it directly into your journal and hand-write your answer there, or, alternatively edit it in your favourite photography package and add your words directly...


The prompt is:

'I want to remember...'


i want to remember pic

Hope you try this out and if you care to share, please do - I'd love to hear from you.

Jane x


PS.  The ecourse can be taken as a self-paced course too, so this means you don't have to wait until I run it as a group again.  Go here for more info and what to do next.


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