Paint By Numbers Abstract Art

Feeling inspired after reading the lovely Lauren’s awesome post on the Benefits Of Art & Creativity On Mental Health, I decided I wanted to do something arty and creative over the weekend. (Also, whilst you are on Lauren’s blog, go read all her latest posts, she has absolutely rocked National Stationery Week!).

As Lauren says, completing an art project or a creative activity can give a sense of achievement which leads to a boost in self-esteem. It releases dopamine, raises mood and helps us feel good. I love being creative, but sometimes I just want to go with the flow and not worry too much about the outcome. Paint By Numbers is perfect for this so I treated myself to the most colourful cat I could find on Amazon. 

The kit arrived the next day (no surprise, I paid for next day delivery) and it included 27 little pots of paint, 3 brushes, a photo of the multicoloured cat and a folded canvas. After having to figure out how to use an iron, iron the material and back it onto a board using double sided sticky tape, I was ready to get painting!

The best thing about this kit is that you don’t need to mix any paints! All the colours you will need are here, you just need to grab a pot, look for the numbers and get started. Yes, there are about a million tiny numbers and you will start seeing them in your sleep, but it’s worth it. Do it for the pretty cat.

I have done a couple of Paint By Number’s projects before, here and here, so I knew this was going to take some time and commitment.  In total, this took me 12 hours over the Bank Holiday weekend including tea and snack breaks. It’s one of those things, where once you focus and get into the zone, time just flies by.

My approach was simple – use all the pretty pastel colours first and save the darker colours for the end.

If colourful cats are not your thing, then there are plenty of different canvas designs available. Take a look at this adorable puppy, vibrant lion, decorative giraffe and magical deer – which one would you choose?

Painting by numbers is great because anyone can do it – you don’t need to be an artist to enjoy painting. 

You don’t even need to be too neat and if you make a mistake? Who cares? It just adds to the creativity! 

Painting is supposed to be super relaxing, but at some stages I thought to myself: AM I EVER GOING TO FINISH THIS?! Then I remembered, don’t focus on the bigger picture, take it one step at a time. And it’s true, looking too far ahead can be overwhelming. Just keep moving forward at your own pace and eventually you’ll get to where you want to be. There are your words of wisdom for today, thank you self-help books.

I love that you can switch off, forget the world around you and just create something pretty.

In the end, I wasn’t too strict with matching the colours to the numbers. I had fun adding splashes of colour here and there and making the picture my own. Just go with the flow – creativity is all about breaking the rules sometimes and trying something different. There are no mistakes with abstract art, go crazy!

Here is my finished colourful cat canvas – it’s amazing to think this started out as a ridiculous amount of tiny little numbers and now it’s burst to life with just 27 colours! This project is such a great way to spend some time away from the screens, slow down and create your own colourful abstract artwork to be proud of.

Have you tried painting by numbers? What is your favourite way to switch off? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

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30 Creative Ways To Use A New Notebook ft. Rachael Hope Notebooks

This week is National Stationery Week – a whole week to celebrate all things stationery! Yayy! Being a stationery addict all year round, I wanted to do a special post to mark the occasion. So, I was superrr excited when my lovely friend Rachael got in touch, offering to gift me a selection of her beautiful new notebooks.

Rachael is a UK based Freelancer, Artist and Blogger at Rachael designs the most fun, colourful, eye-catching, abstract artwork I have ever seen, just check out her Instagram and see for yourself, it’s bright, bold and beautiful! I’ve always admired Rach’s work and it never fails to add a splash of colour and creativity to my social media feeds. So actually having three gorgeous notebooks to share with you all in National Stationery Week meant that it was the perfect excuse to have a little photo partaay…

Rach’s Notebooks: Abstract Moon & Stars A5 Notebook / Abstract Moon & Stars With Clouds A5 Notebook / Abstract Mountainside A5 Notebook

Also invited to the party: Ok Play Catstronaut Eraser Pencil / Ok Play Bauble Of Cat Erasers / Pastel Cat Highlighers / Unicorn Paperclips

There is no better feeling than getting a brand new shiny notebook, knowing it can be anything you want it to be. It could be a life-changing project, inspirational quotes, a collection of random thoughts or maybe just a few doodles of cats in astronaut helmets. The possibilities are absolutely endless.

To celebrate the joy of getting these lovely notebooks (thanks Rach!), I am going to share with you a selection of suggestions on how to use them. I hope this inspires you to grab a pretty pen and cute notebook and start something exciting today… Here are 30 Creative Ways To Use A New Notebook. 

1. A book of new words

2. A sentence a day

3. Gratitude journal

4. Favourite lyrics

5. Netflix shows to watch

6. Stationery wishlists

7. A big (or little) trip planner

8. Favourite lines from books

9. A book of passwords

10. Guitar chords

11. E-mail/phone numbers backup book

12. List of happy things

13. Inspirational quotes

14. A book of achievements (to read when you are feeling down)

15. Daily to-do lists

16. Gift ideas for friends and family

17. Holiday journal

18. A book to learn a new language

19. Dream diary

20. Blog post ideas

21. Sketch / doodle book

22. A book of appreciating the little things

23. Daily mood tracker

24. A book of goals and aspirations

25. Notes from online courses

26. Something new you have learned each day

27. List of songs that make you happy

28. A book of favourite tweets

29. Recipes

30. Ideas of things to do on a digital detox

I hope this post has inspired you to grab a pen, open up a brand new notebook and start something exciting today! Don’t forget to check out Rachael’s stunning new notebook range here and keep up to date with all her colourful and creative projects over on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

What would you use a brand new notebook for? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear your ideas!

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Mode Prints – Art, Stationery & Gifts

[AD – I was gifted products from Mode Prints in exchange for an honest review]

I absolutely love discovering new and unique places to buy beautiful art and stationery, so when I had the opportunity to team up with Mode Prints, I was like ALL THE YESSS! Excited much! Mode Prints make gorgeous homemade art, personalized gifts, greetings cards and homewares all inspired by Scandinavian and nordic styles. I was very kindly gifted 12 lovely greetings cards of my choice to share with you all.

Mode Prints was founded by Summer, who whilst decorating her first daughters nursery, couldn’t find art that complimented the interior style. She took matters into her own hands and created a new series of art prints for her daughter’s room which is where Mode Prints was born. Very cool, huh? Mode Prints is now a small team of art and stationery fanatics, who have been featured in some incredible magazines and publications in the UK and around the world. You can read more about their inspirational story here.

Not only are the designs fun and funky, Mode Prints also use ethical packaging and recycled materials where possible. Double thumbs up from me! The team create fresh new products each week, so why not fill your socials with pretty prints and adorable art by following over on: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook. 

It was hard to choose just 12 cards as there were SO MANY designs I loved. You can check our their vast collection of handmade cards for every occasion here, from birthdays, weddings, holidays and many more! And if you are a stationery and art lover like me, click here and click here and thank me later =)

Abstract Print Greeting Card / Geometric Bold Greeting Card / Geometric Flower Greeting Card

I loved these abstract geometric cards, they caught my eye straight away with their bright, bold and vibrant colours. As they are not designed for a specific occasion, you can get creative and use them for anything you like. Perfect! You never know when you are gonna need to send that last minute thank you card.

Cat In Top Hat Greeting Card

I also couldn’t resist this cat in top hat card, because every cat looks cool in a top hat (and bow tie).

Happy Birthday Retro Cupcake Card / Happy Birthday Pink Doodles Card

Nothing says happy birthday quite like cupcakes and polka dots, right? I’m also automatically attracted to pink, so the second birthday card was easy to choose. You can see the full range of Birthday Cards here.

Pink Christmas Owl Card / Green Christmas Owl Card / Blue Christmas Owl Card

Yes it’s only April, but with this trio of Christmas cards, I’m feeling the most organised, ever. I’m loving the pastel colours and the cute owls and can’t wait to send out these adorable cards when the time comes.

Good Luck Bird Greeting Card

A beautifully illustrated good luck card, you can also send encouragement with the You Got This Card.

Floral Fox Greeting Card

A gorgeous fox with beautiful flowers. Also loving the Welcome To The World Baby Fox Card for new babies.

Happy Mother’s Day Floral Greetings Card

I also picked this pretty Mother’s Day card – see the full collection here and be prepared for next year!

Thank you so much to Summer from Mode Prints for sending me this awesome selection of beautiful cards! I know I’m not going to need to go card shopping for a while with this gorgeous bundle.

Which card is your favourite? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

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Mini Egg Easter Cake

It’s my birthday today *birthday dance* which only means one thing: it’s CAKE DAY! As Easter is this weekend too, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get my mini eggs out and do another Baking With Bexa stylee post. You can catch up on my previous 2019 culinary creations here, here and here.

Fun fact: A bag of Cadbury mini eggs has approx. 25 mini eggs. I used FIVE bags so this cake includes 125 mini eggs! Impressive huh! Disclaimer: You should probably only make this if you are a big fan of mini eggs.

You will need:

A ridiculous amount of Cadbury mini eggs

Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix

Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Style Icing

3 x eggs

Purple Flower Decorations

Lemon Flower and Leaves Decorations

Yellow Rose Decorations

Wafer Daisies

There are plenty of cute and affordable cake decorations out there so let your creative side run wild. I picked these pretty pastel flowers as they were giving me alllll the bright cheerful Spring/Easter vibes.

Betty Crocker is an absolute hero, she makes baking SO EASY! She did a fab job with my Love Heart Cupcakes. Here, just simply add cake mix, eggs, water and oil into a bowl and ta-da, step 1 is complete!

As I am now a serious baker (four baking posts in one year makes you a pro, right?!) I treated myself to some fancy baking tins. Check this out… these have a spring release mechanism so the side easily detaches from the base without damaging the cake. Cool, yes? I love gadgets so this impressed me more than necessary.

Top tip: After baking is complete, pop the cakes in the fridge to cool down for 10-15 minutes (it speeds things along if you just wanna start decorating and you have zero patience, like me).

Once suitably cooled, it’s time to secure the cakes together with delicious cream cheese… nom nom nom.

My advice here is to be very generous with the cream cheese, because… cream cheese *insert heart eyes*.

LOOK I’VE CREATED A GIANT MACAROON!! (or over-sized Oreo biscuit).

Make sure you use the entire tub of cream cheese on this cake. I mean, it’s not Easter without a sugar high.

…And now to get all creative with the decorating!

All you need is roughly 125 mini eggs handy… I’ve probably eaten a good 25 by now though.

I started off all nice and neat… then BOOM! Mini egg explosion (that escalated quickly)…

Here is my carrot cake-mini egg Easter Cake which was actually surprisingly easy to make.

Almost too pretty to eat (almost).

In my opinion it tasted delish, but I am a self-confessed mini egg addict and carrot cake has always been a personal fave. However, my sister who told me she doesn’t like 1) carrot cake, 2) cream cheese and 3) mini eggs admitted that it was very nice and ate a huge slice. Thumbs up from the fussy sibling = #winning.

Hope you enjoyed my Easter/Birthday baking edition! Do you like carrot cake and mini eggs? If so, this could be THE ONE for you <3 Are you doing any baking this weekend? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you! Hope ya all have a fantastic Easter weekend, eating alllll the cakes and chocolates!

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