15   84
21   117
18   128
17   120
11   107
20   118
8   93
15   109

I’ve been lucky enough to collab with some wonderful bloggers already so I’m always excited when a new opportunity comes my way. A few weeks ago, the lovely Louise from Book Murmuration suggested the idea of working together on scrapbook memory jar posts and straight away I thought this is exactly my kinda thing! Admittedly, I didn’t quite know what a scrapbook memory jar was, but after a quick Google Image search I knew I would love creating my own.

Louise is a book addict, cat lover and kidlit fan-girl with a love for bath stuff, stationery, walking, writing, cake and all things Disney. If you love books, pretty stationery and colourful things, I encourage you to check out Louise on Instagram, and give a follow over on Twitter as well! Why not head over to Book Murmuration to find out what Louise has included in her scrapbook memory jar too…

After a bit of thought, I decided to make a jar dedicated to music memories. I have a dusty old box of CD’s which I am too sentimental (lazy) to get rid of and a collection of concert tickets which I rarely look at. The memory jar was the perfect opportunity to get all my old memorabilia out and create an awesome 3D scrapbook to display on my shelf. Other ideas could include holidays, days out or special occasions.

The cool thing about scrapbook memory jars is that anything and everything can go in them. I found a selection of concert tickets, album sleeves, pins, badges, patches, guitar plectrums, festival wrist bands and gig flyers which I had collected. It was so nostalgic seeing concert tickets from over ten years ago.

I haven’t bought a CD in actual years, so it was pretty awesome to get a snapshot of my music tastes during my CD buying days. Although not much has changed, I’m forever listening to Oasis songs.

I found these cute cassette bookmarks which were perfect for the music memory jar. I also added my pretty guitar plectrums as this represents both my love of playing the guitar and colourful things.

I couldn’t make a music jar without including a few musical enamel pins. The Rainbow Guitar Amp is by Brittpaperscissors, the 80s Mixtape is made by Colouryourlifeclub and the Union Jack Fender Strat is from Amazon and it is only £3.49, what a pin-lovers bargain.

A small selection of badges from my punk days (the rest of them were too rude for the blog, hah).

I love that everything here represents a little bit of my music tastes, yay for cheesy 80s tunes! 

A festival wrist band which I have had for 12 years now, wow.

And here is the scrapbook music memory jar decorated with washi tape, guitar plectrums, stickers.

This was a really fun thing to do, thank you to Louise for the awesome idea! Why not head over to Book Murmuration to find out what Louise has included in her scrapbook memory jar too… Have you made a scrapbook memory jar? What mementos would you put in yours? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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Whenever I see an opportunity to try something artsy and creative, I’m right there. The other week, The Tracing Co. were looking for bloggers to review their Tracing Books and it didn’t take long for me to decide that I needed to give this a go. Currently, they have three books to choose from: Wildlife, Bloom & Believe. Believe is the holiday edition with a huge Father Christmas on the front cover. Even though I was tempted to get festive early this year, I picked Bloom, the pinkness and the floweriness won me over.

The Tracing Co. are a husband and wife pair whose books are designed with the busy person in mind. You create thoughtfully layered images, doing as much or as little as you have time for. Tracing is both therapeutic and cognitively beneficial. The book says: While you relax and trace the elaborate lines, your mind is recognizing patterns and memorizing shapes, which increases your ability to recall information. 

I’ve already done paint by numbers, dot-to-dot, colour by numbers, and wellbeing journalling which are all designed to de-stress and calm the mind. However, I had never done a tracing book for relaxation, so I was very keen to see if it worked. I spotted this pack of Ryman Tracing Paper (25 sheets) for £2.99 in town the other day so was all ready to go!

You will need: The Tracing Co. book, tracing paper, two different thickness pens, a pencil and felt-tips.

The book suggests to use two black pens: a thick pen for the first image and a thin pen to trace the remaining images in the set. I have a pack of Staedtler Technical Drawing Pens with assorted line width, so I used the sizes 0.8 and 0.1 which worked perfectly.

Before you start creating your beautiful images, trace the triangle at the bottom of the page in pencil to keep everything aligned. There are three images in each set but there are no rules to say you have to use those three, you can mix and match – the possibilities are endless!

I really like the bolder lines in the middle and the more thinner lines as the drawing becomes more detailed and intricate. It doesn’t take long to get into the tracing-zone, I found it really calming knowing that the picture was going to turn out looking pretty so long as I followed the lines. I didn’t have to think about what to do next, I could just switch off and relax into the moment. 

I did a little experiment to see which felt-tips would work best on tracing paper, and my Stabilo Pens came out best. I picked six of my favourite colours and got colouring.

The cool thing is, you can re-trace the design again and colour it in completely differently. As it is a tracing book, you will never run out of pages to do, you can create so many pretty patterns and the book itself will always look as good as new. You can even gift it to a friend once you have finished.

I honestly spent hours and hours just tracing new patterns and colouring in the designs.

It is such a therapeutic activity – just pop your favourite music on and feel the stress melting away.

The book contains 12 stunningly detailed images and it is so easy to use.

It was enjoyable to try different colour combinations and see which worked best.

This book would be great for those who want to improve their drawing skills.

You could even cut these out and stick them onto cardboard to make your own colourful & creative cards. 

This was a really enjoyable and relaxing activity so thank you to The Tracing Co. for sending me Bloom to try. I’ve just ordered myself a copy of Believe – the Christmas edition and already looking forward to trying this out in a few months, so watch this space. Which pattern is your favourite? Have you ever tried a tracing book? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

*This is a sponsored post which means I received a product/payment in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own. 

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A couple of weeks ago a very happy parcel arrived through my letterbox. I’ve been looking forward to blogging about it for ages now and this has been the first opportunity to put it online. The very happy parcel was from The YAY Makers, a monthly subscription box for lovers of colourful, fun, happy, handmade mail. As with most things, I discovered The YAY Makers on Instagram and when I saw their boxes I knew I just had to place an order.

The YAY Makers is ran by Kate and her husband Stuart who have had six years experience working on a craft and vintage market in Aberdeen meeting fantastically talented people. They now bring the market to you by showcasing colourful exciting products from creative indie makers and designers from all around the world in their monthly subscription boxes.

This box is their July box and if you love it as much as I do you can order a one-off box here

You know it’s going to be an exciting package when the box looks as pretty as this (YAY for washi tape!).

Inside the box: Rainbow Life Pin by Nikki Miles, Follow your Dreams Postcard by Poppekins, Polaroid patch by Hand over your fairy cakesBean & Boy Soap and Be Happy Tote Bag by The YAY Makers.

As a self-confessed pin addict (see: this postthis post, this onethis one, oh and this one), this limited edition Rainbow Life enamel pin was the star of the show for me. It is designed by the talented illustrator, Nikki Miles. You may have seen Nikki’s creations already as they have been stocked in Paperchase stores throughout the UK via Whale and Bird. Nikki also won the 2018 Mollie Makes Handmade Award. This is such a bright and happy addition to my ever growing pin collection.

Check out Nikki on social media to keep up to date with the colourful creativity: Twitter / Instagram 

Follow Your Dreams postcard by Poppekins. The creator behind this fun and fabulous postcard is Carla van der Meer who designs vibrant prints and family portraits as well as custom made birth announcements, party invites, portraits or just about anything! I’m absolutely loving the rainbow theme in this box, everything is so bright and colourful and this Follow Your Dreams postcard fits in perfectly.

Add a splash of colour to your social media by following Poppekins on Twitter / Instagram

I love discovering awesome creators and small businesses. This natural handmade soap is by Bean & Boy. Stacey & Graeme started making their own natural soap alternatives when their daughter developed a mild form of eczema that was made worse by commercially-produced soaps. Bean and Boy is affectionately named using the family nicknames for their children.

This soap smells gorgeous, it is also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. Bean & Boy’s special recipes have been carefully formulated to ensure that each bar lathers well, cleans brilliantly, and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean. Check out all the different soaps here.

Check out Bean & Boy on Twitter / Instagram

Pastel Polaroid Patch by Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes (HOYFC). Firstly, I absolutely love the shop name Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes don’t you? Sally McAdam has designed acrylic jewellery, enamel pins, patches, accessories and stationery since 2006 and now has stockists all over the world. Secondly, HOYFC has an awesome range of enamel pins, I may or may not have just brought myself a little pin-sized treat. This pastel patch is easy to iron and I think it would be a cool addition on my Be Happy tote bag.

Follow HOYFC on social media to keep up to date with all the cuteness: Twitter / Instagram

As well as all these fabulous treats, I even received a handwritten thank you from Kate also offering me a 10% discount code, yay! I really loved this month’s box and enjoyed discovering more awesome creators. If you love the July box as much as I do, you can order your own here. You can order an August box (which I am very tempted to do right now) or even go one step further and sign up for a 3-month or 6-month subscription plan.

Share your boxes on Instagram tagging #YAYmakersmail and the best pic will win a YAY prize!

Which item is your favourite? Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

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I always love discovering new and unique small businesses whilst I am scrolling through Instagram. And a couple of weeks ago I did just that. I came across Emily Harte Designs and immediately liked pretty much every picture in her feed. Emily and I got chatting and it was so nice to learn more about her story and her designs. The special thing about Emily’s cards is that they are all limited edition, almost every card is unique, so the ones you see in this post are one of a kind.

Emily and I have teamed up to give both Twitter and Instagram followers a chance to win their very own bundle of awesome limited edition cards (see details at the end of the post). But first, I wanted to share the cool designs I received in my very own specially hand-picked collection.

Check out Emily on Instagram and Etsy. 

Emily sent me 8 awesome cards. What I love most about these designs is the mix of bold statements and pretty colours. They really caught my eye on Instagram and they are just as fabulous in real life.

Emily says: My products are inspired by my everyday life and my 2 kitties, Jasmine & Ruby. My aim is to provide high quality, beautifully made, quirky designs to add some fun to your home – or a friends!

Every effort is taken to minimise the impact to the environment and all my packaging is recyclable and reusable. I also try to be as plastic free as possible – which means I have sourced bio-degradable and recycled materials. In the studio I only ever use water based inks, and I source my paper locally.

This yay card is extra special as it is the only one ever printed in black and gold. It’s gorgeous! 

Currently in Emily’s Etsy Shop there is a range of different designs from quotes, statements, thank yous and birthdays. As well as classic quotes from Roald Dahl, John Lennon and C.S Lewis, Beyonce and Emma Watson also make an appearance!

Don’t Worry. Be Happy. A nice little card to tell someone you are thinking of them.

I especially love the Treat Yo Self! card. It makes a cool alternative to a birthday card if you are including a voucher or money. It’s simple and straight to the point, I like it.

Love this Robin Williams quote – it’s definitely getting framed to go on my wall.

Motivational quotes are my favourite. I think You Go Girl, Anything Can Happen If You Let It & Girls Should Never Be Afraid To Be Smart are all perfect cards to send to those who have recently passed their GCSEs/A-levels. They are much more fun than the standard “congratulations” don’t ya think?

Thank you so much Emily for sending me this fantastic bundle! Why not check out Emily Harte Designs on Instagram and Etsy? Also, if you live in London, Emily will be at Herne Hill Market every Sunday so pop along and see what lovely designs you can get your hands on (tell her Bexa says hello).

For a chance to win 5 limited edition cards (which you can choose yourself) all you have to do is:

1. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @HELLOBEXA

2. RT MY PINNED TWEET

3. EXTRA ENTRY: FOLLOW EMILY & BEXA ON INSTAGRAM & LIKE GIVEAWAY POST

That’s it! I will pick the winner at random on Friday 31st August 2018 at 6pm. Good luck to everyone who takes part!

Which designs are your favourite? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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