5 May 2015


Biscuit font via Present & Correct \\ DOUBLE YUMMERS
Image via presentandcorrect.com

I'm kind of mad with myself. Despite having a pretty relaxed long weekend for the bank holiday a.k.a LOADS of time to plan this week's Type Tuesday post, I may* have left things very last minute. Where does all this time go?! I took a wander around Brighton's North Laines at lunchtime today for a dose of type inspiration and actually came across the perfect thing, why did I not think of this earlier??? Not to be too cryptic, but in order to do it justice instead of a rushed post this evening, I decided to use that as next week's instalment, and so have just gone quickly back to the drawing board. 

Cue some shameful cheating and asking Pinterest to do my work for me. A quick 'type' search obviously brought up hundreds of pins, BUT how could I not pick this too-awesome-for-words-but-I'll-try-anyway BISCUIT FONT via my favourite stationery store Present & Correct?

YES. IT'S A FONT MADE FROM BISCUITS. Um, I don't think any other font will EVER come close to this. Oh and it's not just any old biscuits but possibly the best collection of biscuits there could be. Pink wafers, chocolate fingers, jammy dodgers, bourbons, custard creams, nice biscuits and party rings. All ingeniously crafted into an inventive and quirky geometric font. I may as well give up trying to top Type Tuesday right now.

I'm making a solemn promise right here and now to be more organised next week and I hope you'll stay tuned for that. In the mean time, take another little look at the font because it might just be the greatest thing I've ever seen. And maybe make a cup of tea and sneak in your own biscuit-y tribute or two.

*completely dropped the ball :(

28 April 2015


NSW Type

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a typography fiend. No, really, you say??? Welcome to the first weekly feature on the blog, Type Tuesday! Each week I'll share my latest type-inspired find including everything from products and fonts to snaps of typography around Brighton. I'm really excited!

Other than typography, stripes and geometric patterns, one of my most favourite things in the world is stationery. I think I have more notebooks, pens and stationery goods than I could ever actually use. EVER. So in honour of it being National Stationery Week this week (YESSSSSSSSSSSS), I've dedicated the first Type Tuesday to type-inspired stationery goods that I've been coveting recently.

All of these are either made locally in the UK or available through UK businesses supporting UK and local independent sellers.

Clockwise from top left: It Takes All Types typography print, helloDODO / hello card, Katie Leamon / glitter alphabet stickers, Just Daydreaming shop / hello tape by oh, hello friend, Quill London / ABC notebook set, Present & Correct / geometric alphabet print, The Calm Gallery / glitter cards by Abigail Warner, notonthehighstreet / notes flip notebook by Sugar Paper, Quill London / I Like Your Face hand stamped card, BetsAndBobs

Are you on Pinterest? Check out my S // Stationery and T // Typography boards for more inspo and let me know if you have any ace typography finds this week! 

26 April 2015


Back in February my favourite craft magazine Mollie Makes brought out their 50th issue, and with it a list of 50 crafty things to do before you're 50. I've been feeling a lot of pressure lately (from no one else but myself) about all the things I think I should be doing creatively, instead of actually telling myself to just forget about all of that and concentrate on simply having fun doing what I love.

Create Home Decor Typographic Banner Original Font Handmade Flag Natural Cotton Glitter Gold Black Velvet Iron-on Material
'create' banner by SummerBoyfriend on Etsy
There are quite a few things on my craft to-do-list that I've been wanting to try out... and in the spirit of simply having fun I've decided to get stuck in! In roughly six months I turn the big 3-0 and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to make my own list of 30 crafty things to do before I'm 30.

Six months gives me just over one crafty thing to do per week, which should be easily achievable! I'll be popping back to this project once a month to update my progress and share my crafty endeavours with you. I've made the list quite varied with a mixture of smaller and bigger projects, plus things I can do at home and things I'll need to venture out for. It's also quite vague in some places to just allow myself to go with it!

I hope you'll enjoy following along. In no particular order...

\\ *shows an idea from the Mollie Makes list which I've also included in my own \\

Weave some wall art*

Have a good nose round designer-maker's studios* (so handy that we've got Artists' Open Houses happening in Brighton next month!)

Get subversive with embroidery*

Make a patchwork quilt*

Recover my old blanket box

Become a craftivist and get behind a crafty campaign* (I've already been following the Just A Card campaign but want to support it more over the next few months)

Make some typography/alphabet cushions

Get back into crochet

Go on a photo walk*

Host a craft and cocktails night*

Refashion a charity shop find* (I'm going to hunt out some frames to repaint/upcycle)

Work on/finish my stitch sampler

Sew something inspired by maps

Take my camera out of manual mode*

Learn how to make tassels and trim all the things!*

Re-learn to knit

Make more gold things!

Paint with watercolours

Make a motivational print* (I'm going to change this slightly into a wall hanging)

Write more letters* (my typewriter is calling)

Visit at least 3 craft fairs

Have a go at fabric dyeing* (my mum dyes her own fabric so I'll be taking advantage of her skills for this one!)

Finish making a neon pompom garland for the bedroom

Make a piece of jewellery

Do a project/tutorial from one of the MANY craft magazines I have stashed away

Make something inspired by constellations

Make handmade envelopes from my paper hoard

Make a tea cosy!

Practise hand lettering

And finally... blog about each project!

P.S. I've also been inspired by the lovely Kalee Bones who is in the midst of her #YearOfCraft, check it out here.

19 April 2015


MM59 Final Cover
photo via Making magazine blog

I love magazines. LOVE them.
I'm mostly referring to the physical, paper version as, for me, you still can't beat the feel of the physical magazine in my hand and the special look and feel of each magazine's pages. (One day soon I shall write a post on how much I love paper. Magazine paper, book pages, notepads, I'm not ashamed to admit I'm slightly obsessed!)

That's not to say I'm adverse to the digital kind, I definitely see the benefits of digital magazines and the added features they bring, they're a brilliant way to give readers a different kind of experience. However when most of my waking hours are spent glued to a laptop, phone or iPad, I like to be able to go offline occasionally and reading physical magazines (and books) are one of the ways I put that into practice.

Most importantly, I find so much of my inspiration, creative and otherwise, from magazines. New craft projects, insightful and motivational articles, tips and advice, introductions to designers and makers, new things to read. You name it, I probably found it in a magazine. I can spend just as much time poring over the pictures and photo shoots as I do reading the features and love nothing better than taking a good few hours out to sit down with a hefty cup of tea and a stack of my favourite magazines.

So I was pretty excited when magazine.co.uk got in touch to ask if I'd be interested in becoming part of their blogger network for The Hub, their news and blog page. magazine.co.uk is the UK's leading magazine subscription site and has subscriptions available for pretty much all my favourite magazines (plus a whole host more!). As part of the blogger network I'll be writing some posts for The Hub on Making magazine, Living Etc and Digital Camera. Cue fun new craft projects to try out, interiors inspiration (from my favourite interiors mag) and getting to grips with photography, which will hopefully result in some lovely snazzy pics for the blog!

Take a look at my first blog post on Making magazine here!

\\ This post uses affiliate links. All words and opinions are my own. \\

5 April 2015


Happy Easter you guysssss! Hope you're all having lovely long weekends. I'm back in Somerset for a weekend of visiting family and friends. I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front of late. I actually have some super news which I'll be back to post later this week and I'm setting up an editorial calendar with a few blog series to help me post regular content, which I hope you'll enjoy!

In the meantime here's a quick snap of my mum's super cute Easter tree, Spring is in the air!

5 March 2015


My Mollie Makes collection.

If you happen to follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, this won't be such huge news for you, but a few weeks ago I was having a pretty rubbish day when the email of my dreams popped into my inbox....

It was from the team behind my favourite craft magazine EVER, the infinitely delightful Mollie Makes, with a fantastic opportunity to become their first ever ambassador! I honestly think I had to read the email about five times before it started to sink in that they'd actually asked me. Needless to say there was nothing that would have stopped me saying yes in a billion zillion years.

Becoming an ambassador for Mollie Makes means that I can represent them at events and generally spread the word about the amazing work the team and magazine do to support designers and independent makers across the UK. One of my personal goals for this year is to shop local or through independent UK makers and businesses and the magazine is often one of the places I turn to for sourcing these when looking for gifts. I’ve been an obsessive reader of the magazine and its inspiring approach to crafts ever since my mum (my crafty role model) came home with the very first issue for us to share. We both fell in love! I've had a monthly subscription ever since so becoming an official ambassador for them is an absolute dream!

Photo via White Stuff.
My first event as an ambassador was working with the fashion and lifestyle brand White Stuff, who held a tea party at their Brighton store for some of the city's best bloggers to preview the new Tea Ceremony Spring/Summer collection. Adding a little something different they asked Mollies Makes to host a small craft workshop for the bloggers, as they shopped and nibbled on a delicious afternoon tea courtesy of Brighton’s Metro Deco tea room. The theme was embroidered lettering in a contemporary, tattoo-inspired style that could be used to upcycle clothes for a new lease of life! Obviously this was right up my street... stitching, typography, tea. Practically paradise. I also made a mental note to pop back to the White Stuff store for a proper browse soon as there were lots of their ethically sourced pieces that caught my eye amongst all the threads and cake!

A huge thank you to all at Mollie Makes for making this happen. I can't wait for the next opportunity.

11 February 2015


Soooo it's been a bit longer than I was meaning for my next blog post (shhhhhh) but hopefully this one has been worth the wait!

I've mentioned in a few posts before that I'm part of the Brighton Etsy Team, with one of my big goals this year being to get my shop fully up and running and to blog about all the super fun things we do in the team. We've been discussing blogging as a big collective goal for this year over on the team forum. It's been so motivating to chat to other team members about getting stuck into blogging, ideas for posts, tips for beautifying our blogs and generally encouraging each other to keep going with it!

One of the ideas we've been chatting about is doing a blog hop to get to know each other's shops and inspirations a little better and for all our lovely readers to get to know us a little better too! I volunteered to kick things off so here goes...

\\ What inspired you to start your business or Etsy shop? \\

The idea for my products has actually gone through quite a few changes since I first thought about opening an Etsy shop. I'd wanted to start a craft business for a few years having always been into design and having a super crafty mum, and originally started off a couple of years ago making vintage-y style cards. But I could never quite get my head around exactly what I wanted to do and there seemed to be so many other great makers doing it much better than me! Since then my sewing and embroidery skills have developed and I've become ever more obsessed with type, fonts, lettering and colour! I started off making a couple of K and Ampersand hoops for myself, then as presents for friends and family and taking part in Mentor Month last year really helped to focus my ideas. 2015 is the year I really want to get Actually, I Do off the ground!

\\ We're looking at goals in the Brighton Etsy Team this month (you can follow along with #btnetsygoals!) Can you share one of your goals for your shop for the next six months? \\

In six month's time I really want to have at least 20-30 listings in my Etsy shop, so my main goal at the moment is to keep on making! A big part of that is also looking at how I photograph my hoops and style them for the shop listings and pics on Instagram. I'm hoping to do a short photography course in the next six months to help with that. Hmm that might be two, is that cheating?!

\\ What are you working on at the moment? \\

Getting a core line of hoops in my shop. I have so many ideas in my head that I want to get out, but I'm trying to focus first of all on a smaller core range of my hoops which I can then build on later. I'm also trying to get super organised with the blog, social channels and posting schedules, it's all go!

\\ If you could give other sellers or someone looking to start their own design/craft business one piece of advice what would you say? \\

Network! The information and tips you can pick up from fellow crafters or others doing the same thing as you are invaluable and become a really essential support system I think. Not only that but it's such a good way to make new friends as you already have lots in common, and fellow designers/crafters are also your potential customers! Joining the Brighton Etsy Team has been an amazing experience and I've learned SO much from all the members which I can now put into practise. We have a forum packed with the best advice and the team is so good at helping each other out, whether it's a technical question about a blog, thoughts on a new product launch or design or just general encouragement!

Hope you enjoyed! So in true blog hop tradition I'm now nominating Claire from YellowBearWares, Kate from Oh Someday and Emma from Harper & Finch to take up the challenge! 

If you fancy checking out more Brighton Etsy Team makers and their blogs, here's our blogroll.

17 January 2015


When I started Actually, I Do I wanted to come up with a mantra that explained my inspirations behind it... my obsession with typography, geometric shapes, design details and things handmade, which I hope you'll see in the pieces I'll be sharing here in the future.

\\ Spreading the word of typography through handmade crafts \\

The little phrase I came up with focuses mainly on the typography part, the starting point for my idea of creating fun, decorative wall art based on lettering, monograms and symbols.What do you think? It's still a work in progress, and as a great believer of progress I'm open to the idea of this mantra changing and developing as my project does. With a huge and borderline obsessive love of typography fuelling my creative process, I wanted to share a few thoughts about why I love type and lettering so much.

Letters and words are important, they make up our language, give us a voice and a means to express ourselves. Written down, type and lettering also means those who can't communicate through speaking also have a voice. When you combine these letters and words with the concept of design something magical happens...

\\ Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language readable and beautiful. \\

A quick Pinterest search for "quotes" or "words" brings up about 5000000 hours worth of typographic art and inspiration, so it's easy to see that this form of expression is becoming more and more popular and meaningful in our culture. For me personally, I love the details of type and lettering, how there are so many different versions, shapes, interpretations. I love how a simple letter from our alphabet can speak volumes or represent something dear to us... a name, someone close to us, a memory. From a design perspective there are just so many possibilities with what type can create or how it can exist, and that's exciting right???

Hopefully you can see why I love using type as the core inspiration in my makes. I'll be popping back regularly to share these with you, but for now I'll leave you with a few snaps of typography inspiration from around my home...

Would love to hear what you think!

Images: 1 - type inspiration abounds on the noticeboards above my desk, 2 - this little fella making friends with my favourite letter of the alphabet, 3 - my K Is For... screenprinted cushion from a workshop with the lovely Super+Super, 4 - fun things in the kitchen, 5 - that wonderfuk 'k' again on my fireplace, 6 - aren't ampersands just BEAUTIFUL?!, 7 - my first ever attempt at a type hoop which sowed the seeds for Actually, I Do, 8 - my most recent type-inspired purchases... 'Wander For A Bit' print by LolaHoadDesign and 'hello' lasercut necklace by Rockcakes,


5 January 2015

\\ 2015 RESOLUTIONS \\

Inspirational print by yellowbuttonstudio on Etsy

I've been stocking up on inspiration reading my favourites bloggers' resolutions posts... As lots of them have said, 5 is quite a nice number for resolutions, not too big as to not be achievable by the end of the year but challenging enough to get your teeth stuck into.

Here are mine...

I mentioned in my Getting Organised post that regular and considered blogging is one of my big focuses this year. I'm aiming for 1-2 posts per week at first, then who knows where motivation will (hopefully) take me! Plus I'll also be working on the design of my blog and growing my audience. I'm looking to do some kind of online workshop/course thingy like Blog Life from one of my fave blogging duos A Beautiful Mess to really get in the swing of things, but will also be glued to The Well and their expert tips.

Silly me actually opened my shop 4 years ago now but have never worked on getting it properly sorted and stocked with lots of lovely makes! Last year I took part in the Brighton Etsy Team Mentor Month and was sooooo lucky to have the ACE designosaur as my mentors! I shall be revisiting all their crazy-good advice and continued encouragement to finally get my shop up and running once and for all! A big part of my Etsy goals this year will also be getting more involved as a Seller in the team and hopefully doing my first market!

I like to think I'm already quite good at shopping locally for gifts (and lovely things for me too of course!) but I want to make 2015 the year that I consciously make the effort to shop local and independent as much as possible. I added a new button to my blog this week for the Just A Card campaign, in support of local businesses. When I'm not making my gifts this year, I'll be attempting to source them from local businesses in Brighton and Hove, or their online shops, as well as from the Brighton Etsy Team's 700+ members. For more info on how you can support the Just A Card campaign check out this post.

It's no secret that I flippin' LOVE books. And pretty much anything you can read... I've got three magazine subscriptions alone! This year I'd like to read 20 books (some big, some small), catch up on actually reading more of the magazines taking over my flat, rather than just looking at the pretty pictures, get out all the lovely coffee table, craft and design books I have, and keep up with my bloglovin' list. I also want to squeeze in more commenting on my favourite blog posts and networking with bloggers/fellow crafty types!

You'll often find me waffling on about how lucky I am to live in Brighton, it's genuinely one of my most favourite places in the world. So for a happier me and tons of inspiration I'll also be aiming to get out and about in the city and surrounding areas as much as possible this year. I'm a little bit embarrassed to admit that even after living here for almost 3 years, I've never ventured the short distance to Shoreham, or Worthing and I've been meaning to go to Brighton's Booth Museum FOREVER. I'm setting a goal for at least one new adventure per month.

The good news for #1 on this list is that all of my resolutions will provide me with lots of ace opportunities, ideas and inspiration for blog posts, wooooo!

I'd love to hear your resolutions for 2015 in the comments below. WE CAN DO THIS GUYSSSSS!

2 January 2015


Getting Organised

Happy 2015!!! Here's hoping everyone had a splendid New Year celebration.
This year I am super determined to get organised with all things Actually, I Do! I'm also pretty sure that I've been making that same resolution for some time but it's never quite happened. Something feels different to me this year however... it might be because 2015 looks set to be quite a big year for me (turning 30 just one of the things on my agenda!) Whatever the 'feeling' I have turns out to be I'm getting it out there that I'll be putting lots of effort into truly getting my little crafty endeavour off the ground. The first two things I'll be concentrating on is getting stock in my Etsy shop and regular posts on the blog!

It is my firm belief that the key to achieving my goals for this year is getting organised and what's more fun than doing that by shopping for new stationery! NOPE I'm NOT procrastinating already. I am NOT. This is just a simple and fun way of brightening up my desk space so I'm constantly inspired and motivated!

So here's my wishlist, which obviously includes a few typography-inspired goodies. Plus inspirational prints for my wall, plenty of notebooks and a bit of storage...

Clockwise from top left: Wire Basket, ferm LIVING / VÄLBEKANT Paper Clips, IKEA / VÄLBEKANT Clipboard, IKEA / SÄRSKILD Notes, IKEA / Coral Weekly Planner, M&S / Be Bold Print, Howkapow / Classic Brass Paper Clips, Present & Correct / Set of 3 Mini Notebooks, M&S / Be So Good They Can't Ignore You Print, LolaHoadDesign on Etsy / Alphabet Pencil Case, M&S / Pencil Notebook, M&S

For more typography prints to keep you motivated, check out my T Is For... Typography and W Is For... Words boards on Pinterest!