30/12/2015

Happy New Year! A look back at 2015

It’s both easy and hard to believe that 2015 is coming to an end. Looking back to January, a lot has changed in those last twelve months, and yet, it almost feels like it was only yesterday. So, as its nearly New Years Eve, here’s a list of what 2015 has bought with it for me, and what I hope to achieve next year.

I think, both personally and academically, 2015 has been one to be proud of. Of course there have been set backs, both minor and major, but overcoming these has only bought with it the realisation that I’m made of more stronger stuff than I thought.

University

This year I graduated from Bournemouth University after three years with a 2:1 in English, as well as achieving a high first of 80% in my dissertation that was both the most fun and challenging piece of writing I’ve completed yet. It’s not every day I get an excuse to write about John Hughes’ movies and call it work!






Work

Saying goodbye to uni was both sad and exciting, as I started my first full time job as a Marketing and Communications Intern in August. I’ve only been there for four months, but I’ve found my feet and have met some of the loveliest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I’m looking forward to spending most of 2016 learning more and seeing where this experience takes me next.

Personal

This year, I travelled by plane for the first time in June when Kieran and I took our first holiday as just the both of us to Malta. We were also lucky to spend the week in Stockholm in October - which was one to cross off my bucket list as a destination I had wanted to see for a long time (you can read my travel diary so far here and here).




Gamla Stan, Stockholm

I also had my first piece of paid work as a freelance writer published in Biometric Technology Today. To me, there was nothing better than researching, writing and completing a piece that is now available to view to subscribers and students online. It seems strange that only earlier this year I would be that kind of student searching for an article for an assignment.

Kieran and I will be moving into our first flat after we found one in late December, which we get to call home in January next year. Even though we spend most of our time together at his house anyway, I’m looking forward to decorating it and making it our own with him. And yes, I’m even excited about buying cleaning products… I’m sure that will soon change!

Blogging

This year, I started to take my blog a little more seriously than I did the year before. I bought a new Nikon D3200, just so I could take better quality photos for it, and had the look and layout of my blog altered to reflect what I hope was more fitting for me and my content. I also attended my first bloggers meet up event at The Vintage Emporium in Bournemouth, where I met some lovely fellow bloggers from the area!



With Bournemouth Bloggers at The Vintage Emporium

What I hoping for in 2016.


Well, I think first and foremost I’d want to continue with good health for myself and those around me. But, going with the above, here’s a few things I’m hoping come my way over the next twelve months.

As my internship finishes in August, I want to progress into a career that allows me to take everything I’ve learnt with me. This is something I’ll focus on nearer the time but, as I know too well, time goes quicker than you think! So, I’ll be keeping an eye out and giving my next steps proper thought. Which is both exciting and daunting at the same time.

I know a lot of bloggers will say this, but I want to blog more. And keep it consistent. I’m the first to admit that I’m not that great at keeping to a blogging schedule, especially if it’s been a busy day and all I want to do is crash out and do nothing. I know this gets it nowhere! So, I’ll be buying myself a new planner (who needs an excuse, right?) and planning content in advance to make sure there are no date gaps. I also want to meet more likeminded bloggers and be more active in the community, as I really enjoyed the events I attended this year.

Again, another new year cliche, but I want to improve my health and fitness in 2016. This means more gym visits and classes, but I’ve already signed up for adult ballet classes and bought my shoes, so there’s no turning back now! This isn't just solely for physical reasons, but more for my fitness levels, as becoming less active in a desk based job has taken its toll slightly. I miss mid afternoon runs and long boarding along the beach early in the morning!

I also want to start being more creative. One of the perks of once working at Hobbycraft meant that my craft box was never empty. And, unfortunately, it remains full of things that have been left waiting for me to make a start on. Lack of time has meant I’ve not even opened a sewing machine that I bought this time last year, or an easel. This is despite knowing that I find drawing and painting therapeutic, or that making anything to give to someone makes me happier than stressing out about buying something less sentimental. I'd also love to be able to fill our flat with new creations and things we've made along the way!




My box for the Oh Comely Perfect Strangers project



The wreath I created at a workshop with The Wild Fox


As for the rest, well, I'll take it as it goes. Whilst a fair few of my achievements have been the result of hard work and perseverance, 2015 has also been about enjoying the unexpected and spending time with those I care about. Here's hoping 2016 brings me much of the same.

Wishing you all a happy new year and an amazing 2016.

Love,

06/12/2015

The Wild Fox Wreath Workshop

“Go big or go home” was the advice from Joey, founder of The Wild Fox florist, as our workshop began. Based in Hampshire, the florist specialises in ethical, natural and simply beautiful floral creations for a wide range of occasions. So, when Kieran’s mum Frances asked if we were interested in taking part in a wreath making workshop hosted at her house, I couldn’t, and didn’t, say no. I’ve always marvelled at those who could make stunning centrepieces and door hangings with a rustic touch, so fancied myself as being one of those people who had a little know how on creating one myself.





Joey arrived at Kieran’s house, armed with boxes full of various naturally foraged leaves, branches and holly, as well as dainty décor bits and pieces including orange slices, cinnamon sticks and glitter pine cones. It meant that whatever style of wreath we had in mind, we weren't short of anything we needed to get started!







To begin, the five of us taking part were given a copper wire circle to stuff with as much moss as we liked to create our base, secured with reel wire. Joey then talked us through how to secure our branches and leaves to create our desired effect, advising us to envisage how we wanted our wreaths to look before beginning as not to go into making one blindly. All I knew was that I wanted mine to look like something that wouldn’t look out of place in a forest, so my guidelines weren’t entirely set in stone!



After Joey’s demonstration, I headed straight for a mishmash of various branches and eucalyptus which I attached and wound with wire tightly to secure in place, tucking in browned leaves, twigs and pine cones for a rustic touch of colour as I went along. Joey showed us how pretty much anything goes in terms of décor for our wreaths, as she pulled off moss from a branch, scrunched it together and attached to the wreath with twisted wire sticks, adding a dainty but significant element of interest.



After much wiring, tea drinking and cat chasing (a certain little Lady was just as intrigued with the floral décor as we were!) my wreath began to resemble something vaguely presentable. Whilst “go big” was Joey’s advice, I think “go chubby” was more mine… I figured that at least it had character!





Joey then taught us a vital lesson in wreath making… how to tie the perfect bow. This has never been a particular forte of mine as I usually resort to tying mine like a shoelace, unforgivable I know! In this instance, I continued my rustic theme by adding a bow created from a strip of cut hessian sack, held in place with wire in the middle and pinned into my wreath. I positioned mine on the top left hand corner to allow my leaves to drop nicely from the side and to give a main point of interest at the top.



And voila! For my first attempt, I was pretty pleased with my chubby wreath, which has now proudly found a home in my hallway. Joey allowed us each to take on a copper wire for our future creations, which I’m eager to create in the run up to Christmas. Who says you can have too many wreaths?

I had such a lovely time with Joey during our workshop that I’m already looking forward to joining in on some of her future classes, which will include a terrarium workshop. I don’t need any persuading!

To find out more about The Wild Fox and any upcoming classes, visit The Wild Fox website.