Friday, 31 May 2013

DAY 31 - May Challenge

It's the last day of the May Challenge (Woo hoo!), I made it to the end blogging everyday. After today I am on my own. I am quite glad the challenge is over, I didn't enjoy it as much as A-Z, I think because I didn't have as much freedom as A-Z because I had topics to stick to each day. I think I enjoy a bit of structure but need freedom too, if that makes any sense.

Some of the topics were really tough, including todays....a vivid memory. I have always considered myself to have a good memory but I was really stuck so I did a bit of brainstorming (creatively of course) and have come up with the following:

The memory I'm going to tell you about involves the 'Alice in Wonderland' ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We used to go to Blackpool quite a bit, ride on the donkeys, walk the golden mile, play bingo, see a show and go to the Pleasure Beach of course.

One year, I must have been about 6 years old, we were at the Pleasure Beach and me, my sister and mum went on the 'Alice in Wonderland' ride.  It's a children's ride, not meant to be scary or anything however we'd just started off on the ride and gone through the first tunnel when the ride broke down, we were stuck in the dark in the tunnel not moving. I screamed so loudly my dad ran up onto the tracks and grabbed me. My hero!

I'm a little traumatised by that ride. I've been back to the Pleasure Beach since and the ride is still there. I would never go on it again though. I'll go on the big, fast, scary roller coasters but not on that ride . I'll never forget that!

Here is an old picture of that ride (it gives me the creeps just seeing it again):

Have you ever had a scary experience at a theme park?

Thursday, 30 May 2013

DAY 30 - May Challenge

Letting's a tough topic today, it means so many things so I have decided to do a watercolour illustration with a lovely quote I found:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

DAY 29 - May Challenge


I love music and I have songs that remind me of so many places and times in my life. I’m always good at those  radio competitions where they play a few songs and tell you to guess the year (especially if it’s the 90’s).
Click on the song names for a listen to the following:
When we were in Skiathos, we used to go to this little bar (La Bussola) really close to our apartments and there was an older couple in there who sang this every night when they’d had a few too many drinks. I have happy memories of this bar and all the shots of Sambuca that made me ill.  
We both loved this song so much we chose to have it as one of our wedding songs when we got married (an acoustic version) and since then we have moved to California!
One of my oldest memories is singing this song at playgroup, I must have been about 3 years old! I remember being on a climbing frame.

Awesome tune! I made up a dance to this when I was younger. At my wedding party last year, I asked guests to give me a few songs that would get them on the dance floor, a lot of people said this one. When it came on at the party, me and my friend Lisa did the dance I’d made up when I was younger. The Killers sang this recently at the concert we went to!

I love the original version of this song by Tom Petty but I love this version even more by John Mayer. It’s beautiful and I always go all shivery hearing this, it makes me really emotional...but in a good way! I’m going to see him very soon...I hope he sings this.
After a lot of deliberation and pressure, we had this as our wedding dance, we both love this song and Stevie. Neither of us really wanted a wedding dance and Rich especially doesn’t like having attention on him. We were lucky, my niece joined us almost straightaway on the dance floor and saved us from total embarrassment and then everyone else joined in. Phew!

What songs bring back memories for you or make you feel shivery?

I've recently been working on a blog header for Lola Rose Lifestyle blog, one of my lovely followers! check out her blog here and follow her. These are the designs I have done so far...


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

DAY 28 - May Challenge

Pretty Garden shop in Temecula
Temecula transport
Me & Rich at the Winery
The Tasting Room
Rich & Ed tasting wine
The view on the way back
Off on a 14 mile bike ride!! (I ache today)
Rich in the park
William R Mason Regional Park lake
William R Mason Regional Park

Tree illustration I am working on...

Sunday, 26 May 2013

DAY 26 - May Challenge

One of the websites I regularly visit is This is Nottingham which is local news from my UK home town. I like to keep up with what's happening in the area, check out how cold the weather is (ha ha) that sort of thing.

Some of the articles are a bit dull.... but some have a few comments that readers leave. The comments are quite funny or abusive sometimes and other commenters have get into arguments about nothing.

The comments on this story about a drug dealer and a tank are quite amusing....(scroll to the bottom of the story to read the comments).

On another note, I went wine testing yesterday in Temecular with my neighbours Courtney & Ed. I'm taking a rest from being creative! I will share some of my photos though:
Me & Courtney

What did you do yesterday?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

DAY 25 - May Challenge

Many years ago, when I was first dating Rich, I 'd stayed over at his flat one night during the week and I got up early so I could get a taxi back to mine and then get showered and changed in time for work. I looked and felt pretty rough and I had no make-up on, clothes on from the night before and bed hair!
Anyway, the taxi came pretty quickly and I got in and gave him my address. The guy turned round and said:
"You remind me of someone.....I know who!... you look just like that girl from that band Eternal, Louise whatsername"....
He meant Louise Nurding (aka Louise Redknapp) who is gorgeous! Here she is back in the day (with the band - on the far right) and a more recent pic:

I was chuffed...he was obviously mad or blind but I will always remember him saying that.
For the record, I don't look anything like Louise...

Have you ever been told you look like someone famous?

Here is another Paris inspired blog header idea I'm working on.....its still work in progress for now!


Friday, 24 May 2013

DAY 24 - May Challenge

This is me....(I bet my husband could come up with a few more things too!)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

DAY 23 - May Challenge

Todays topic is 'Things you've learned that school didn't teach you'.
The first thing that I think of is what I did for my job in the UK and I always wonder why they didn't teach you about it...not that I would have listened though but maybe some of it would have sunk in.

I worked for a credit reference agency which is a company who holds information relating to everyone in the country. Things like whether you are registered to vote, if you pay bills on time, how much you have on your credit card, do you have a CCJ...that kind of thing. When you make an application to a company for finance (loan, credit card, mortgage etc), they check the information a credit reference agency holds when making their decision whether you should be accepted or declined. This can also affect what APR you get.

I've generally always been quite good with finances, my parents taught me how to save money from an early age. I did get into a bit of a mess with an overdraft when I was about 18 years old but my dad helped me out. Since then, I've always been pretty good and just about understand APR's now. All my credit cards are 0%.

Making payments on time might seem quite straightforward but it's surprising how many people don't and this can eventually lead to CCJ's and Bankruptcy, which means you can't get the loan or mortgage you need.

I think if they taught in schools the importance of making payments on time and not overcommitting yourself with too many credit/store cards/loans then there would be less bankruptcies and CCJ's.

My artwork today relates to something I am working on for a fellow blogger! Its work in progress at the moment so I won't mention who it is just yet but I've been asked to design a blog header and the theme is 'Paris'. This is just one of  the ideas I've done so far...

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

DAY 22- May Challenge

I get so annoyed by RUDE people.  
I am not rude, I am so polite and like to think I am a considerate person. I live in a small gated complex at the moment, its lovely and we have really nice neighbours. However, some of the other residents are quite rude, apparently it's a cultural thing? that is no excuse in my book. It doesn't matter what language you speak, you can always smile if someone holds open the gate for you or say good morning/hello.
Some of the residents leave rubbish around the pool (there are several bins!).
Others speak really loudly on cell phones (I don't need to hear your conversation do I?). I go to the pool to relax and read a book quietly, maybe have a little swim.
I was in the pool the other day, swimming up and down on one side out of the way (its quite a big pool) and about 5 children got in and started playing a game and screaming really loudly, they kept getting in my way so I couldn't swim.
I feel better now....rant over!
BTW - Thanks for all the recent comments and advice about job hunting. I have sent off some designs to card companies today. I don't think I am going to do the Etsy thing because it seems to complicated, living in California I have to get a Tax ID and add on sales tax, I wouldn't know where to start with packaging and pricing.
Anyway, one of the designs I have sent to card companies is this one below, called 'Jar of Hearts'

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

DAY 21 - May Challenge

I've not been blogging for that long really but on looking through some older posts, there are a few that I quite like.

  • I fell in love with Fossil in 2011 in San Francisco and wrote about it here
  • I really like the artwork I created for the recent selling myself post
  • I wrote about Paris before I went with Rich in 2011 (when he proposed!) and found some lovely Paris inspired images and gorgeous jewellery designs. Check out the posts here and here.
That's it really!

Inspired by Paris again (its hard not to be!), I have created this image this morning which I'll share with you all because I quite like it. I'm going to do more like this for Rome, London and New York today so I have a set of 4.

Monday, 20 May 2013

DAY 20 - May Challenge


I've written about this before here but I'm struggling to find a job. I am still employed in the UK but officially on a 'career break' until July by which time I have to make a decision. My choices are:

1. Return to my job in the UK (without Rich and Minnie)
2. Leave my UK job and stay in California and continue to try and find a job

Realistically, I can't leave my husband and cat and return to the UK, I will be miserable!

I am trying to stay positive about getting a job over here in California but I have applied for several positions now and not heard anything back. I have contacted temping agencies, I have looked at voluntary work but all those I've seen want a minimum commitment of a year for so many hours a week, which I wouldn't be able to do (if I did get a permanent job).

I have made sure my resume and portfolio are up to scratch. I have applied for design jobs and customer service jobs which is what my experience is in.

I have added myself to LinkedIn and updated my online portfolios.

I could try and go freelance but I'm worried about taxes and how this works.

I guess I am in a bit of a panic, I go through stages of being positive and relaxed about it (something will turn up) and then I get disheartened again and husband earns good money but not enough for us both to live on long-term. I have never been unemployed, I have worked since I was 15 years old, sometimes two jobs at a time. I am worried that the longer I am not working, the harder it will be for me to get a job (for me and the employer).

That's what I am struggling with right now!

This blog, my artwork and entering competitions is what keeps me focused. I recently entered the following pictures into a blank card competition with Tigerprint: