You love it, you hate it, blogging blah blah blah!

You love the idea of blogging but you just don’t know where to start, or what want to make totally sure that the post you want to right is perfect, maybe just another little tweak here, or a jig around there, no, it’s not quite ready to post yet.

Or you have a blog, but you know, other things come up, life gets in the way, more important or interesting things arise, so you post to your blog when you can, or when you think of something to write about but you want it to be something more.

Or you love your little blog. You like the fact that it is yours and you craft it the way you want, and spend time thinking of interesting subjects, and take care writing them up, and finding the perfect image to go with it. You have created a beautiful and useful space for your readers, but now you are ready for it to be something more. You want to push yourself and your blog to the next level.

It is OK because no matter what level you are at there are lots of resources out there to help. Take me for example, I have been all three, and depending how busy I am I still find myself fluctuating between 2 and 3! 

There are online blogging communities you can join and interact with, allowing you a space to chat to other bloggers.
There are reams of books on this subject, and whatever angle you are approaching your blogging from, there will be a book for you.
Books for:
·         improving your writing,
·         tapping into your creativity or
·         monetising your site

As well as these there is now an increasing number of blogging courses on the market.

Now don’t get me wrong, as long as there has been blogging, there have been people willing to teach about it, but it feels as if there has been a shift. Things are changing and as blogging has evolved, people want their blogs to reflect them, and tap into the unlimited creative resources that are now all around. There is a demand to find courses and trainers who understand this important element.

More women than ever have picked up the gauntlet of starting their own blogs or launching a creative business.  Coming to the forefront to rise to this challenge are funky, creative, business savvy women who understand this and have a passion for sharing their knowledge.

One of these women is Alex Beadon, and towards the end of the last year launched the Feel Good Blogging course.

To introduce her new offering and to get people engaged and excited she created the free Feel Good Blogging Challenge. In this 7 day challenge she set you a blog post a day to write. She introduced each new blog with a video  where she would give you the theme , the points your  post should cover and the expected learning outcome from each one, each post a step towards improving your blogging abilities. Alex is a huge bundle of energy and passionate about what she does and helping other people love what they do, and start living their dreams. To accompany this challenge and the course there is a Facebook group. The group was filled with passionate supportive women and the occasional man who made up the community that encourage every member to the finishing line, and gave you a place to discover new blogs, new friends and new inspiration.

Alex launched her official Feel Good Blogging course last year which was the real deal and was inundated with women signing up. 
At the time of writing this post there was a fault on the page for her Feel Good Bloggin on her site, but this should be rectified soon.

Another group of incredible ladies who have taken the blogging world by storm are the Headmistresses of the Blogcademy.

Kat, Shauna and Gala have brought their knowledge and their blogging expertise together to run workshops all over the world, and each one sells out! These workshops are a great opportunity to immerse yourself in this creative environment with like minded vibrant women (and the occasional man) who are determined to take their blog to the next level.

But if you cant get to one of these workshops, or afford to go, don’t despair! There are now more options which mean you don’t have to leave the comfort of your house.
You can choose to dabble in the Home School, which has easy to digest bite size learning videos available to buy and download. You can pick and choose what you want to learn and once you have downloaded it, it is yours to keep and watch again. This is good if there are certain aspects of blogging that you want to learn about.

If you still fancy the whole she-bang without the time and travel  they now offer Blogcademy Online. This is the full course, including workbooks and actual footage from the live workshops that you do over a weekend. You get all the goodness of the classroom just without the goody bag.

Other blog courses:

Other Resources:

Blogging Books:

Useful /Interesting books:

I was not paid to endorse any of the courses or items mentioned in this post. These are my opinions. They are courses and people who I admire and think their business offerings look interesting and could provide some use and resources that I thought you would find helpful. 

If you know of any other courses that you have found useful or you have attended and have got benefit from it, please add it to the comments section so others can take a gander and let us know what you thought of it.

Hope you have a good week

Getting in organised for 2015, it's time to kick some arse!

As 2014 is swiftly disappearing into dark evenings and wrapping paper it is time that many handmade crafty businesses are getting ready for 2015, to try and make it their best year yet.

I am tentatively joining the ranks as I have had a year of hibernation and spent much of it  pondering what I want from life and feel I am ready to stretch my creative wings again.

All over the country business plans are being made, financial goals agreed, check lists created and new stock arranged; so if you are also busy making to-do lists, check out my list of resources below to keep you motivated and raring to go!

I love the idea of making to do lists and drawing up pretty check lists and buying new notebooks to write plans in, and have loads of ideas of all the things that I can do, but never quite seem to make it happen. Great at the planning but not so much at the action bit!
So this year I thought I would kick my arse into gear and make a commitment, and having read all the information am feeling more positive that I can do it this time. *yeah you can. Whoooo!*

One article I am devouring and am religiously following is the Business Bakery's 2015 business goals. I have decided on my one BIG goal (I think!) and am doing my themes for this at the moment.

Happy preparing! Enjoy reading and if you have your own process, or a great way of making plans and organising yourself that works for you, please share it here with us! Most of need all the help we can get!

Setting your goals:

Inspiration to keep your creative levels up

Sum it up with some nice graphics

Have a great New Year, and here is to your first sale of 2015!

Fairytale themed Selfridges Christmas windows 2014

Hi there and Hohoho!

I have a couple of Christmas traditions I like to try and stick to if possible and one of those is to go to London and stand in awe in front of Selfridges Christmas window displays. Every year they pull out all the stops and I love to see what each window holds. I feel childlike in my expectation and remember doing this when I was little.

This year it is a fairytale theme with lots of gold and glitter and sparkle. Check out the amazing windows below, which include gold woodland animals, a full size unicorn and forests for having tea in.

If you have your own Christmas traditions that you enjoy doing share them below in the comments section or on my Facebook page.

London Christmas Lights

Hope you all have a great and relaxed Christmas full of fun, sparkles and giggles, and you feel refreshed and ready for 2015.


Support your Christmas Craft Markets and get some great gifts at the same time

Tis the Season for caring and sharing and looking after your fellow man. 

A brilliant way to do this is to go gift shopping at your local Christmas markets.

They are springing up everywhere this month and everyone loves a peruse of a craft market, and what better time to do it then when you need to buy gifts for your loved ones.

I am pleased to say that I have visited 3 separate Christmas markets this week alone, and I have another one flagged up for Sunday if I can make it.

What is so good about craft markets?

·         They are full of unique and interesting items that are more often than not lovingly crafted by hand by people who are bursting with creative artistic goodness.
·         They love what they do and care about the products they make so want to make sure that all their products are good quality and things you will love.
·         It is fun wandering around all the different stalls and you are always guaranteed to find some yummy tasties to help the journey taste that bit sweeter.
·         You will end up talking to the stall holders and getting to know a bit about them and their businesses and products.
·         They will mostly be local so you will be supporting your local economy by buying from them.
·         The gifts will be unique and not another duplicate ‘gift set’ from a high street chain.
·         It is a fun way to spend your weekend
·         It is inspiration if you are feeling stuck with a craft project of your own, you will find more impetus after you have seen all the lovely stalls.

So if they are not enough reasons to tempt you to head for your local Christmas market this weekend here are some photos and links to some of the stalls I have visited.

Winchester Christmas Market
There are stalls up the high street and through the month of December there is a Christmas market in the Winchester Cathedral with lots of stalls to investigate, and they are open late into the evening.

Petersfield Christmas Market  
Although the Christmas market which stretched the entire length of the town through the high street is not on every week, they do hold a lovely farmers market there once a month.

Maltings Christmas Market – Farnham
This indoor extravaganza was on for two days this week until 9pm, and was massive. Rooms that led into other rooms and halls and galleries of goodies.

Maltings Market stall links:
Smithbrook Glassblowing Studio

I would like to thank the stall holders who allowed me to take photos of their wares, and hope to find you at another market soon.