July saw the start of our six week school summer holidays, so as a mum of two my painting schedule and routine has had to adapt. I'm painting candle orders in the evenings now, and focusing on kids in the day.
Trying to rope the kids into my flower research, we have been out exploring our local RHS garden, which has some beautiful inspiration and lots of space for them to play. The courtyard cottage garden is currently my favourite area, filled with giant apricot hollyhocks and blossoms of every hue. It is where I discovered these gorgeous, and feathery accessory looking ‘Lilac Squirrels’ (sanguisorba), I can't wait to paint these fluffy tie dye tails.
July also saw a rainy weekend trip to a tiny village by a river in Devon (seven hour drive from Essex😐 do not travel on a Friday is a strong lesson learnt). Devon was packed with wild foxgloves and driving through a rainy rough Dartmoor, feeling sorry for the soggy sheep, but stunning views even in the fog was a great experience. We also managed a little camping trip to the fruit orchards of Kent, where we stayed at an empty eco campsite with incredible sunset views into a green valley, situated very close to over 4 castles (we visited Leeds Castle, the grand interiors and rolling gardens were fantastic.)
BEHIND THE SCENES: WHILST I'M PAINTING
With my hands busy and working on my own, I tend to listen a lot whilst painting away. Normally switching on the radio after dropping the kids at school, listening to Lauren Lervene on Radio 6 until 10am, then on auto-pilot, I switch over to Women's Hour (I love Emma Barnett). Then on to podcasts! I love business podcasts, but also True Crime. Here are my top 3 podcasts this month;
1. How I Built This with Guy Raz (will always be my number 1)- I love listening to how people built their businesses, and the roller coaster ride it often entails. If you haven't listened before, I would recommend scrolling through the episodes until a familiar name pops out- people from all industries are covered, and the unflinchingly honest detail covered is addictive
2. Wardrobe Crisis with Clare Press. This podcast focuses on sustainable fashion. I loved listening to the recent interview with Emily Bode (although chuckled that I've been pronouncing Bode wrong the whole time in my previous job in menswear). Bode is one of my fave brands everrrrr, providing so much beautiful inspiration, techniques and craftmanship.
3. Your Own Backyard- I listen to a lot of True Crime (apart from if I'm painting late as it sometimes freaks me out) and this podcast was gripping from beginning to end. It is so thorough, love the determined detail. There have been a few updates the last month but you definitely need to start at the beginning!
I'd love to know if you have any Podcast recommendations for me.
BEHIND THE SCENES: WHAT I'M PAINTING
I recently switched to pre-orders, as it meant customers are more likely to get the design they want, rather than me using my rusty buying skills, trying to work out how many to paint on each design. I would love to know if you prefer this or the older way with less wait. Please reply with what you think!
Aside from website pre-orders, wedding season is in full force! I have lots of wedding bespoke orders (a recent July wedding pictured below). My lead time is around 8 weeks on bespoke now, but do always email if you have any requests as I can often jiggle some orders about.