New Workshops (& a confession)

So it turns out I'm headed to Ireland in May to teach A WHOLE WEEKEND OF WORKSHOPS. 

*breathes into a paper bag*

First up, let me share those details before I clean pass out and then I'm going to reassure you all why it's going to be ok. There will be 3 workshops for anyone looking to improve their writing, photography and social media skills. The dates are 13th-14th May and tickets are selling, now. This is a weekend focusing on making the best of what you put out there in the world whether you're a blogger who really wants to take better photos or a business owner determined that you're going to nail online marketing. I'll be hosted by the good folks at This Is Knit, based in Dublin. I hear there will also be some sort of partying and such. This pleases me enormously. 

Feeling vulnerable online

So now you know the details, let's get back to that paper bag moment. Putting yourself out there, whether it's online or in real life, can be pretty scary. You tell yourself all kinds of lies that one day, it will be easier. You tell yourself a magic number of Instagram followers that will mean you've made it. You tell yourself that when that blogger snaps herself clutching your product, you'll find marketing a complete breeze. Landing a feature article in that magazine you love so much? Oh it will all be so, so much easier to be out there because by then, you will be A Thing. 

I hate to break it to you but that's not a thing really. Some of the most insecure people I've worked with are some of the most prolific, talented, well known and respected people. We are all still working at it and trying to make it through the day without digitally falling flat on our face. Heck, I'd settle for just not spilling coffee down my front most days. 


So you know what? I'm saying I'm going to be in a room full of people who feel just like me and my paper bag and that's going to be great for all of us. I'm going to be listening to what really makes people tick and what makes them feel they can't ramp up. In return for that, I'm going to be sharing all my experiences as a blogger but also as a brand manager and freelance journalist. It is hard. We can make it easier to feel less vulnerable when we share online and I'd even say, feel good when we do.  

Just know I'm right there, still working at it too. 

(Then come book those tickets because that helps immensely in getting this feel good out there. Here's those workshops again: Discover Your Writing Style; Telling Your Story Online & Getting to Grips with Visual Storytelling). 


New Wips to Add to Blooms

There is a special power that happens with sharing online. When we share images and videos of what we've been pursuing creatively, we open up spaces that otherwise remained out of view. Making and processes that are often tucked into the domestic spaces of our homes suddenly become visible. Studios I'd otherwise never see are there for me to drool over and dream of one day having myself.

Process is a big part of the #wipsandblooms hashtag that I cohost with my friend and talented ceramicist Katie Robbins on Instagram. From hosting this hashtag I've enjoyed getting to know a community of handmade business owners and makers who are crafting their online spaces to communicate the wonderful journey of realising creative ideas. Dresses, illustrations, mitts and prints nestle side by side with bowls, biscuits and bunting. To say it's my favourite place to cruise at the end of the day is an understatement. More than once I've fallen down a rabbit hole of clicking through to someone's profile and pouring over the images that they've left almost like a trail of breadcrumbs for me to find. 

It's why I am so pleased to share last month's winning entry with you. I've been absolutely thrilled to discover Rebecca thanks to her story telling of her #wipsandblooms as a natural dyer. It's a fascinating journey to observe and so beautifully captured for us to see. Congratulations Rebecca, you win a hand bound journal courtesy of last month's sponsor, 

Image via  @rebeccadesnos  for #wipsandblooms

Image via @rebeccadesnos for #wipsandblooms

So while diving down rabbit holes lately, I've been noticing I'm getting drawn increasingly to weaving. I kind of feel this was inevitable for a fibre lover such as me but with the forthcoming move, I've had visions of beautifully puffy clouds of merino roving and less frivolous plied wools sitting happily side by side in the same wall hanging. I'm intrigued, so it was particularly serendipitous when Fran from the We Make Collective jumped in as sponsor and collaborator for this month's #wipsandblooms. 

Fran has been also been hosting the #myhandsmaking hashtag so this month we're joining forces. If you would like to participate, you can join us by taking a picture of your latest projects with some seasonal blooms and get your hands in on the action too. Post them on Instagram and add #wipsandblooms and #myhandsmaking for your chance to win one of  Fran's incredibly popular hand-loom travel kits. You can read more about the We Make Collective here:

Image courtesy of Fran at We Make Collective (@wemakecollective)

Image courtesy of Fran at We Make Collective (@wemakecollective)

I can't wait to see what people invent this month!

Oh and for those of you wondering if it takes an Instagram husband to achieve such shots, a make shift tripod and the timer setting will work just as well or simply holding your phone high up to capture just one hand. Trust me on this one ;)