How I got creative in 2016…

Anyone else struggling to get going this year? The internet seems filled with images of new planners & inspirational quotes about ‘smashing it in 2017’ but my brain is still in festive hibernation mode, craving blankets & biscuits & an all round slower pace of life. So instead of waking up on January 1st, drinking a green smoothie & ‘smashing’ my new year goals I have chosen to ease back into work gently, posting out orders, writing some goals for the year, all from the comfort of my blanket of course. So its been a bit of a slow return to the blog too. Although I have exciting plans for this space in 2017 my first post of the year had to be a round up of my project in 2016 #daphnerosainbloom to share with you how I got creative in 2016…

2016 planner and stationery

At the beginning of 2016 I was a little lost. My business had begun when I made all of the flowers for our wedding. I then started to make them for others & off it went but it never felt completely right, like something was missing. This time last year I knew I needed to make changes but I had no idea where to start so I embarked on a monthly creative project to hopefully inspire new work with the structure & direction I craved & I couldn’t have imagined quite where is was going to take me…

Creative project planning with stationery

I planned to study a different seasonal flower each month in the year & create something by the end of the month as a result, although there were no parameters as to what this should be. I wanted it to give me the freedom to be creative without agenda, without it needing to result in a new product to be sold & to learn any new techniques or crafts that took my fancy. In short, have a little fun again! My planned list of flowers changed a little through the year as the weather interfered, encouraging early blooming at times – nature can be so annoying! – & the amount of posts each month also varied, getting less as the year progressed. It would be easy to see this as a negative or a failure but it was actually the result of my business taking off in new directions & being busier as a result, all down to the project which was my aim in the first place so that can only be a win right?!

So what did I learn? Well I learnt a whole heap about different flowers, where they came from, their origins & all the beliefs surrounding them. I think my favourite must have to be Alabama in America who host a whole festival for the Azalea flower including 50 ‘Azalea Trail Maids’ who are chosen as ambassadors for the city & get to wear these rather fetching outfits as a result… see more about the Azalea here.

Blue Azalea Trail Maid from Mobile, Alabama at Azalea Trail Run

One of my main aims was to learn new techniques, crafts & skills which I may never have had the motivation or confidence to attempt otherwise, including clay, digital editing, batik, lino-printing, embroidery & Fimo modelling…

Learning different ways to make flowers out of new materials was also a real joy. I was always completely self taught from the beginning & didn’t have much time at the start to explore different ways of making the flowers I was using for bouquets & buttonholes so it was great to get creative in this department too. I ended up using clay, paper, felt, glitter & different combinations too…

So what did the final outcomes look like I hear you cry… here they come…

January – Azalea

February – Daphne

March – Daffodil

April –  Tulip

May – Bluebell

June – Peony

July – Hydrangea

August – mini break!

September – Roses

October – Dahlia

Nov/Dec – Mistletoe

Phew, what a year! It’s such joy to put them all together & realise just how much I achieved in the project last year & how my creativity developed along with my ability to take half decent photographs! The project not only developed my creative skills & abilities but also instigated my first collaborative project, raised money for charity & encouraged a whole heap of new products that I may never have thought to embark on, but which have become an integral part of my business today.

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Collaboration with Georgie St Clair

I wanted another creative project to have fun with this year but one which had a bit more of a specific purpose. As a large part of my business now involves my own hand lettering – another new development from 2016 – on cards & stationery, I would like to develop my lettering skills this year & hopefully introduce some new products as a result. So I am pledging to practice my lettering everyday & have decided to use words in the dictionary to practice with so that I might expand my vocabulary at the same time! Staring at A & hopefully making it to Z by the end of 2017 I’ll be documenting my progress on the blog at various points in the year but you’ll be able to see it more regularly over on Instagram so do pop over & say hi! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I got up to last year! Are you embarking on any projects this year, I’d love to know what you’re getting up to!

Kate

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DIY handmade mistletoe…

So I may not have maintained my goal of blogging about my #daphnerosainbloom every week but I am pretty damn pleased with this DIY handmade mistletoe for November & can’t wait to share it with you! If you’re new to the project I have been studying a different seasonal flower each month in 2016 to gain creative inspiration to create something different each month. I have created postcards for charity, shibori dyed flowers & even used clay as the year has progressed & have loved having the freedom to create with no agenda. This month I decided to look at mistletoe as the festive season is fast approaching & one of my favourite christmas decorations is this glittery mistletoe…

mistletoe-decoration-daphnerosa

I’ve been wanting to use my clay We Make Collective box for ages now & this seemed a perfect little project to get it out & have a go! I’ve also been working with felt & glitter fabric recently on some new card wallets so thought I’d use these too as they were to hand & who doesn’t like a bit of glitter at Christmas! I thought it would be nice to create a DIY decoration that was super simple so here it is!

mistletoe-diy-materials-daphnerosa

You need…

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  1. First I took an equally sized piece of white & pale pink clay & squeezed them together to create a marble effect. I then rolled these into small bead shapes. I did insert the wire at this point to create a small hole for glueing onto the wire later but eventually decided against this so you an ignore the little holes! I then placed these in the oven – following the instructions on the packaging – at 130 degrees for about 20 minutes. They will still be soft when you take them out but will harden as they cool.mistletoe-leaves-diy-daphnerosa2. Then I cut the leaf shapes. I decided I wanted double-sided leaves, one side glitter & one side felt so I placed the felt & glitter fabric wrong sides together & cut out the leaves freehand. This ensures that both sides are the same shape for gluing later.glitter-diy-mistletoe-leaf-close-up-daphnerosa3. With all leaves cut I cut the wire into short lengths – approx 5cm – & using my hot glue gun glued a line down the middle of each glitter leaf, placed on the wire & then sandwiched the felt on top!mistletoe-leaves-diy-daphenrosa4. With all leaves glued on individual pieces of wire I then grouped them into groups of three & twisted the wires together. Then I twisted the groups of three leaves all together to create the mistletoe shape I wanted.  I decided I didn’t really like the look of the wire so wrapped the white florist tape around the wire, starting at the bottom leaves & working my way up. The florist tape sticks to itself when stretched so don’t worry that it isn’t sticky to start with!mistletoe-diy-taped-daphnerosa5. The last thing to do was to attach the berries which I did using my glue gun again, glueing them at various points on the stem & voila!

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I loved making this DIY handmade mistletoe & it now has pride of place hanging at home ready for a little festive smooching! If you give it a go I’d love to see what you create so do be sure to tag me & use the hashtag #daphnerosa on Instagram.

Happy making!

Kate

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Top picks from Renegade Craft Fair…

A couple of weeks ago I went to Renegade Craft fair in London with some of my favourite creative pals. If you’ve never been to Renegade before it is held in the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane & showcases some of the best designer makers around! Renegade hold fairs in various cities across America & makers from the states often travel over for the London fair. As my second visit to Renegade I felt much less overwhelmed as I knew what to expect & I had an idea of who I want to visit for the all important purchases!  So here are a few of my favourite makers & stalls from the day…

Image of coloured ceramic vessels from Duck Ceramic at Renegade Craft Fair

A stall at the top of my list to visit on the day was Duck Ceramics. They make the most beautiful glazed ceramic vessels I think I have ever seen, I mean just look at them! I didn’t buy on the day but I definitely have a few on my Christmas list, fingers crossed!

Image of products from I like cats at Renegade Craft Fair
Toby from I like cats was there with his cat related patches, pins, jumpers you name it!
Image of painted flower pots from this way to the circus at Renegade Craft Fair
This way to the circus with their painted plant pots & greenery hit us as soon as we arrived. I’ve loved following them for a while now & am still trying to decide which pot to go for!
Image of woven bags from The Basket Room at Renegade Craft Fair
The Basket Room work with small craft collectives in Africa to create beautiful hand woven bags & baskets & their stand was so inviting. I’m a sucker for anything woven!
Image of pastel paper products from Sarah Matthews at Renegade Craft Fair
I first saw the work of Sarah Matthews at Renegade last year & have loved following her ever since. I love the pastel colour palette & the intricacy of her work is just amazing.
Image of acrylic jewellery from Finest Imaginary at Renegade Craft Fair
It was great to finally meet Kim from Finest Imaginary & get a sneak peek at her new Palm Springs range of acrylic jewellery. I snapped up a pink crystal enamel pin too to add to my growing collection.
Image of products from Hello Sunshine at Renegade Craft Fair
Always a treat to see fellow Cambridge creative, Jo from Hello Sunshine.  Her cheery stand looked fab & look at her awesome Christmas pins!!
Image of Christmas pins from Hello Sunshine at Renegade Craft Fair
Image of screen prints from Basil & Ford at Renegade Craft Fair
Always a treat to chat with the lovely Matt & Lucy from Basil & Ford & have a gander at their prints. I just love everything they do & am the proud owner of a couple of pieces already so managed to resit on the day.
Image of soy candles from Hopscotch at Renegade Craft Fair
I snapped up a Spiced Apple candle from Hopscotch candles which is going to be my festive scent at home this year.
Image of resin jewellery from Rosa Pietsch at Renegade Craft Fair
Another definite visit was to Rosa Pietsch because her resin jewellery is just stunning. Another addition to the Christmas list!
Image of stationery from Oh Squirrel at Renegade Craft Fair
As one of the first designer makers I ever followed it is always a pleasure to catch up with Katie from Oh Squirrel. It’s always a little tricky though as her stand is always packed! I picked up a print & some pencils, of course!
Image of glitter products from PupTart at Renegade Craft Fair
And finally is the glittery joy that is Puptart! Catching up with Hannah is always a dream & I picked up the item top of my list for the day, a glittery bumbag! I can’t wait to rock it at all my festive fairs this year!
And here’s the haul…
Purchases from Renegade Craft Fair
Print Oh Squirrel/Candle Hopscotch/Cloud pin Sparrow & Wolf/Crystal pin Finest Imaginary/Glitter bumbag Puptart/ Mistletoe pin Annie Dornan Smith
Renegade Craft Fair is definitely one of my favourites fairs to visit in the year & it was so lovely this year to catch up with so many creative pals on the day. Roll on 2017!
Kate
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KikkiK Christmas planning workshop…

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When the lovely Claire – from Claireabellemakes – asked if I’d like to attend the first KikkiK Christmas planning workshop with her I jumped at the chance, I mean Christmas & stationery, is there any better combination?!

kikkik-christmas-planning-workshop-2016-daphnerosa-6

We had travelled to Kikkik’s flagship store in Covent Garden for their first ever UK workshop back in February which I wrote about here & had such a great time we couldn’t wait to go back. The fact it involved planning for my absolute favourite time of the year had nothing to do with it of course…

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The lovely Morgan who ran our first workshop was taking us through this one too & the shop was laid out ready for us with bubbles & festive snacks on hand & our very own festive bag with treats inside. At the beginning of the session we all partook in a Swedish tradition of breaking a gingerbread biscuit & making a wish which is a great example of the little touches that make the workshops at KikkiK such a treat.

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We were given the Christmas organiser book & pen which we were to work through with Morgan during the session.

kikki-christmas-organiser-daphnerosa

The idea was to encourage the planning of all the aspects involved in the run up to & Christmas day itself to avoid unnecessary stresses later on. The organiser is split up into all of the different elements of Christmas that you may need to consider including cards, gifts, food & the home. Morgan shared some tips & tricks of how to tick things off steadily such as writing your Christmas cards over a period of several weeks to take the pressure off & the organiser even had advice for writing meaningful messages.

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Morgan encouraged the sharing of ideas throughout the session from what Christmas means to us to family recipes. We also helped each other out with gift ideas for difficult people in our lives to buy for which was really helpful, especially when it comes to my father-in-law!

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It was lovely to see a few other ladies who had been at the first workshop with us & catch up with Morgan & the other staff who always make everyone feel so welcome. After the session we were then given time to shop in the closed store with a 10% discount for attending which we definitely made use of!

I snapped up some replacements for my trusty gold scissors which have seen some wear & tear, a pen & a paper lovers book which I’ve been coveting for a while. If you havent seen one before KikkiK produce one for each of their collections & it is full of paper activities, stationery & stickers. I grabbed the Christmas version & Claire & I are already planning a Christmas crafternoon to make full use of them!

paper-lovers-book-kikkik-daphnerosa

If I’m honest I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the workshop when I booked. I’d never heard of anything similar & I was a little worried that planning might take some of the magic away from the festive period which I love so much. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the session aimed to help us get organised in advance to ensure we could enjoy the magic when the big day finally arrived. No matter how hard I try I do always seem to be embarking on a stressful wrapping session on Christmas eve whilst trying to fit in drinks with friends & getting annoyed that I’ve run out of time to watch A Muppets Christmas Carol. But with my trusty Christmas organiser there should be no such stress this year, fingers crossed!

Kate

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DIY Dahlia garland for October…

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With October nearly over, the clocks going back & the leaves starting to fall it’s time to have a little look at October’s flower of the month, the Dahlia. When I started #daphnerosainbloom I had no idea where it would lead me, I certainly didn’t know I’d be creating a DIY Dahlia garland in October, that’s for sure! I wanted a project which would give me creative inspiration in 2016 with no agenda & I’m so happy that this is what I’ve achieved. Recently it has become more difficult to maintain however, as things happily get busier in the business I did at 1 point fleetingly consider not finishing. But knowing myself, I knew how disappointed I would be to have fallen short so close to the finish line so it may be a little rougher around the edges & not quite so detailed as previous months but it’s here…

dahlia-ink-drawing-daphnerosa-2

Not only have other things gotten in the way but if I’m honest I was also a little stumped as to which flower to look at for October. As the year has progressed & with changes in weather & climate it seems flowers have been blooming earlier so all my planned choices had shifted up a month which left October a little lonely. But as always Instagram came to the rescue & as the Dahlia seemed to be the bloom of choice for all the fabulous floral instagrammers I follow it seemed an obvious choice. So I quickly set to creating a Dahlia board on Pinterest to get inspiration from such images as this beauty which you can actually buy (very tempted!) – link below.

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Photo credit : Georgianna Lane

With limited time I knew I was going to have to be sensible with what I attempted to accomplish. I started in my sketchbook, as this has become my favourite place to begin, with a little sketching of the Dahlia using different media.

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I really am enjoying drawing with pen much more than pencil recently. I don’t know whether this is as a result of my new-found love for brush lettering & the practice I’ve done with this for new products for the business but it seems like I’m sticking with it & the Dahlia was no exception.

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dahlia-ink-drawing-sqaure-daphnerosa

Once I had a few drawings I was happy with I started to think about what I could create with them. I’ve said all along that the point of this project was never to create products, but to create for no purpose to take any pressure or expectation away from the process. However I am learning about myself in the process & it seems I naturally want to have an end product when I do anything! I didn’t want to create a print or a postcard as I have done this in previous months so I pondered what else I could use the Dahlia drawing for. We are currently adding to the decor of our home so I wondered what I could possibly create to add to this & I thought I would try a garland & I thought you might like to try it too so I created a download to share!

dahlia-diy-garland-daphnerosa

It’s a super easy DIY as all you need to do is cut out the flowers & washi tape some string or ribbon to the back to join them. I used gold & white bakers twine as I had it to hand but you could use coloured yarns & ribbons, whatever takes your fancy. I also kept the Dahlia flowers black & white to suit our monochrome bedroom scheme but you could print them on coloured paper or even pattern paper would look super fancy! Find the PDF to print here dahlia-download-daphnerosa.

diy-dahlia-garland-bedroom-daphnerosa

I’d love to see if you create your own & if you share any on social media do tag me @daphnerosaflowers on Instagram or #daphnerosa. Now to decide on the bloom for November…

Kate

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Christmas collection launch…

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Warning… this blog post may or may not include christmas related material… well the key was in the title! I know it’s only October but with only 9 more Mondays – yep that’s just 9! – till the big day I thought it was about time the Christmas collection went online & I’m really excited to show you what I’ve been up to!

ho-bo-ho-card-set-christmas-cards-daphnerosa

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen some hints as to what I’ve been designing for the festive period this year. I set out to design some cards & have ended up with 2 collections of A6 cards, a set of 5 mini A7 cards, 2 collections of gift tags & wrapping paper!! Anyone who knows me will be aware of my tendency to get a little carried away when it comes to Christmas…

A6 brush lettered cards…

A6 illustrated cards…

A7 mini cards…

Gift wrap sets…

Gift tags… black & white…

Gift tags… colour…

And there we have it… DaphneRosa does Christmas! All available now in the Etsy shop & will also be with me at the Christmas fairs I have over the festive period in Cambridge & London. Better start thinking about Valentines now…

Kate

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Creative project update…

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Howdy peeps! Checking in today after a little blogging break with an update of my creative project this year, #daphnerosainbloom. Completing my project this year has been a wonderful adventure into different crafts & disciplines & educating myself about all manner of flowers. It was my aim to be inspired to create by a different bloom each month for 2016 & I am determined to reach that goal. Life however has a funny habit of getting in the way & has had other ideas for me recently. My first instinct is to apologise to you all for  the interrupted service but I have also learnt the hard way that it’s far more important to just let go of what you need to, to make life easier, to look after yourself & allow yourself the space to be able to come back better & stronger. So for now I’m back – yay! – so back to the roses…

rose close up daphnerosa

When I embarked upon this project I had no idea of where it may lead me & I feel so excited & inspired when I think about the unexpected paths it has taken me down already. I’m already really looking forward to writing that final post of the year where I get to look back at all I have done & achieved, but back to September for now…

pale pink & fuchsia roses

Last month was a little different as I already had roses as part of my product line, in fact my leather roses are my best seller! So I used the beginning of the month to create different versions of these in printed cottons which have now joined their leather friends in the shop & have been well received so far with some new patterns coming soon!

splatter-monochrome

So the second part of the month I suddenly had complete freedom to spend the remaining time experimenting for no reason, the creatives dream. An outstanding custom floral canvas request seemed like it could be an ideal development for the roses so I started by drawing in my sketchbook & then moved onto experimenting with paint.

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Then it was time to start on the canvas… eek! I adopted the ‘get going & see where we end up’ approach – with a little designing first & luckily all seemed to end well! The final piece includes a combination of paint, machine embroidery, appliquéd flower shapes & a 3D metallic rose with glitter leaves… oh yes! I’m really pleased with how it turned out & so is the future recipient – phew! – especially the combination of 2D & 3D roses which add interest & texture to the canvas. Now just to stretch it over its frame & it’ll be off to its new home.

roses-canvas-daphnerosa

So already a little way into October I now need to get my bum in gear with the next bloom & I look forward to sharing all with you next week! I’ll end this week with just a little thank you to you all for reading, commenting & following along & not giving up on me, it really does means the world.

Have a great week!

Kate

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Roses, roses & more roses…

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Having missed last week’s post I have a little to catch up on with regards to the progress of  my creative project #daphnerosainbloom this month & it’s all roses, roses, roses! Now roses aren’t 1 of my favourite flowers so I was a little worried about whether it would be harder to get inspired this month. So I decided to re visit the roses that I already make & develop these to begin with & ease myself in gently.

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For a little background – if you haven’t already been bored with this story – DaphneRosa started when I made my own wedding flowers. As many wedding business’s begin I then ended up making them for other people & now although this is still a part of my business I have moved on to also making flowers for non-wedding purposes & paper goods. I first made these leather roses when I was experimenting with different flowers for a wedding bouquet. I loved the material to work with & thought they created a lovely rose shape so decided to list them as a single stem flower in the etsy shop. They are by far my best seller, mainly being purchased to celebrate 3rd wedding anniversaries which are signified by leather. I’ve recently expanded the colour range & they are going from strength to strength!

PALE PINK

Having already spent some time developing the shape of the petals & the flower for the current leather roses for the project I decided to change the material instead. As the 2nd wedding anniversary is signified by cotton I thought it would be fun to try them with some different cotton materials.

 

pic of cottons folded

 

I also thought it was a great opportunity to play with pattern a little so chose some gorgeous printed cottons from Cloth & Candy to experiment with. Cotton fabric does not hold its shape as well as leather so I needed to stiffen the fabric a little so began by applying some interfacing to the back which seemed to do the job. I then made the roses in the same way as before & here are my results!

green-gridwhite-grey-crosssplatter-monochromelinear-goldmonochrome-scales

I am a big fan of linear drawing which you may have seen in previous months & also geometrics so it’s been great fun to introduce some of these elements into my work. I gave some of them matching printed cotton leaves but others some of the coloured leather as an accent which I think works really well. I am really pleased with the results & although #daphnerosainbloom is not intended to produce a saleable product each month I can see these sitting alongside the leather roses as a new collection so are live in the etsy shop today! So jump on over & have a look if you want to treat someone to a little pretty or brighten up your own home or office, no watering required!

5-patterned-roses

Now all I need to do is decide what I am going to do for the rest of the month! I think I’ll just get the sketchbook out & see where it takes me, tune in next week…

Have a great week peeps!

Kate

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Roses for September…

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After a short break my creative project #daphnerosainbloom is back with a vengeance & September’s bloom is the rose. Having planned out all of my flowers for the year September was originally destined to be the hydrangea but when they started popping up in my instagram feed in July I switched things around a little which means the rose has now been bumped up to this month. If you’re new around here & would like to see what I’ve been up to in previous months you can check them out by clicking on the pics…

Bunch of hand made fabric and paper azaleas in white and purple displayed in blue vase2 clay daphne flowers with stamen painted shades of pinkIMG_9047shibori dyed handmade fabric tulipslino printed fabric with brush letteringpaper peony daphnerosa 5Hannah Arglye stitched hydrangea image daphnerosa

Wow, it’s actually kinda cool to see a little summary of everything I’ve done so far all together! The original purpose of this creative project for the year was a) to allow myself the freedom to create without agenda or purpose b) to experiment with different flowers to see what I could create & c) to develop skills using different techniques & materials. I’ve definitely been ticking these boxes so far & don’t want to stop now, my only hurdle is that I already make & sell fabric roses…

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These leather pretties are actually my best seller in the etsy shop at the mo & have been flying out across the globe recently as a popular pressie for the 3rd wedding anniversary which is leather. So this will be the first month in which I have already created the flower in question in 1 shape or another which is not a problem, it just requires me to think differently about how I will work with it to ensure I am still developing ideas & skills.

rose close up daphnerosa

Firstly there are many different roses I can study which will provide me with a wealth of information & hopefully ideas as to how I can continue to work inventively this month. I am also probably going to work in 2D as I have already created a 3D version & I have enjoyed working in 2D in previous months. So here’s hoping I can come up with something new & fun & you’ll enjoy seeing the progress again as I go! If you have any favourite rose varieties you think would be interesting for me to look at pleased do let me know below.

Have a great week peeps!

Kate

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Cotswolds love…

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The Cotswolds… a weekend away leads to planning our retirement… for real. A few weeks ago me & the hubs took a little spur of the moment trip to beautiful Stow on the Wold in the Cotswolds & it was too pretty not to share!

sunglasses flatlay cotswolds, daphnerosa

We stayed at Stag Lodge, the new addition to The White Hart next door which comprises 13 individually designed rooms.

stag lodge stow on the wold daphnerosa

Beautifully decorated with great attention to detail our room was cosy, comfortable & even had a roll top bath in the room!

stag lodge stow on the wold daphnerosa 2

As the reason we were getting away was mainly for a little r&r we spent most of our time wandering around Stow on the Wold, shopping in the lovely little shops & boutiques & eating & drinking… oh take me back!

huffkins bakery stow on the wold daphnerosa

Huffkins was the perfect place for breakfast, just a little stroll across the road & filled with delicious baked treats! Then we mooched around the shops, indulging in some goodies from The Cotswold Chocolate Company & The Cotswold Cheese Company… a little running theme! We stumbled upon a gorgeous little antiques centre which had a beautiful secluded garden out the back & snapped up a lovely antique platter & the husband didn’t even take much convincing, score!

Another delightful discovery was Vintage & Paint which does exactly what it says on the tin. Full to the brim with cool vintage finds, how I didn’t spend all my pennies on leather bags, lamps & wicker baskets I don’t know…

antique and paint, stow on the wold, the cotswolds, daphnerosa

After a little nap – well when on holiday right?! – we got ourselves ready for dinner. Wandering around the town we soon discovered that we might have a problem as everywhere was pretty chock full but we were lucky to sneak a table for some delicious grub before returning to The White Hart for a few drinks before bed.

stow on the wold, the cotswolds, daphnerosa

All in all it was just what we needed, the perfect getaway from real life in beautiful surroundings with yummy food & drink. We may have spent a large proportion of our time discussing how we could move to the Stow on the Wold but who could blame us!

doorway stow on the wold, the cotswolds, daphnerosa

Have a great weekend peeps!

Kate

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