Pet Portraits by THERAVIOSART

Cats and art are my two favourite things. So when I saw that Ravi, a freelance artist, was looking for bloggers with pets I jumped straight at the chance. Ravi is one of the most loveliest people. We chatted over Facebook, I sent her my favourite picture of Simba & Zazu as kittens and a few days later I received this AMAZING drawing! I was also sent Ravi’s fantastic drawing of a lion (it’s not mine, don’t worry, I only own cats he he).

Ravi is a Leeds based freelance artist with a passion for portraits. She draws both humans (in black and white) and pets. Her work is absolutely incredible, just look at her Etsy shop! I think this could be such a sweet gift idea for a loved one with a fur companion. Or if you want a little present for yourself, this is such a unique and special treat. Check out THERAVIOSART and order yourself the purrrrfect present:

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Etsy / Shop

THERAVIOSART:

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Etsy / Shop

Thank you so much for my lovely drawing, Ravi. I absolutely adore it and am amazed at your skill and talent! Make sure you check out Ravi on social media and give her your support!

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Reeves paint by numbers: a creative way to relax

The last time I did paint by numbers, I was about 10 years old, sitting in my Nan’s kitchen, trying to create something that resembled a Disney character. As an adult, I never gave it a second thought. Well, that is until Reeves contacted me. Reeves are one of the world’s leading creativity and lifestyle brands, they believe creativity isn’t about right or wrong, it is all about expression. Reeves’ ambition is to cater for a broader audience, like me and you. Not just for artists or 10 year olds’ sitting in their grandmas kitchen. They do a HUGE range of products, but being the cat lover I am, I knew what I wanted to try.

I picked the Kitten on Books Paint By Numbers Set – cats and reading are like my favourite things.

Admittedly, I was like woah! so many numbers, I better put my glasses on.

But when I figured out what I had to do, I mixed my first colour and started painting. I quickly relaxed into it.

You don’t need to be an expert painter at all. This was my first time picking up a paint brush in years and it was easier than I thought.

Some colours needed mixing and this was very straightforward. Other colours you just used straight from the pot. Easy.

It was so satisfying to see the picture start to emerge.

I was surprised how similar my picture looked to the picture on the kit. It’s so easy to create the right shades which match the original perfectly.

As you can see, my painting skills are not perfect but that really didn’t matter. This was such a chilled activity.

There are no rules, paint the picture in which ever order you like and use your imagination.

This took me about two evenings to complete and it was time well spent. It was the most relaxing thing I have done in a long time.

Ta-da! I am so impressed with how this turned out!

If you fancy doing something relaxing and creative, check out Reeves Paint By Numbers kits. There are tons to choose from and cost less than £5. Have you tried these before? Let me know your thoughts!

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5 Favourite Ctrl, Alt, Delete Podcasts

Ever since I discovered Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete podcasts a couple of weeks ago, I have done nothing else but listen to Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete podcasts. Emma chats to her guests about the internet, social media, feminism, creativity, identity, mental health, life, careers and everything in between.  I have found them to be ideal for a quick boost of inspiration, motivation and creativity. I listen to them in the bath, at the gym, on the train, when I wake up, before I go to sleep, all the time really. So I thought I would share with you 5 of my favourites (so far) – there is still tons of awesomeness for me to discover so I am sure there will be a part two!

CTRL, ALT, DELETE Podcast: #110 Jayne Hardy (On Self-Care)

In this episode Emma talks to Jayne Hardy the founder of The Blurt Foundation – A little movement that says, “I understand”, “I’m listening” and “I’m here for you”. It helps those who are affected by depression to feel supported whilst creating positive social change. At the height of Jayne’s illness she was unable to work, leave the house or even undertake the most basic acts of self-care – she lost a tooth because she didn’t feel worthy enough to clean them. She talks about her new book The Self Care Project – how to let go of frazzle and make time for you. Listen to the episode here.

CTRL, ALT, DELETE Podcast: #107 Lucy Sheridan (On Social Media Comparison)

Lucy Sheridan is the worlds first and only Comparison Coach. She encourages people of all walks of life to go from compare and despair to #comparisonfree. She helps people to stop comparing themselves to others (especially on social media) and aims to boost self-confidence and self-esteem. In this very honest chat, Emma and Lucy discuss openly: when *you’re* the trigger for someone else’s comparison, online mental health, and setting your own personal and professional boundaries. Lucy has co-written a book called #HigherSelfie: Wake Up Your Life. Free Your Soul. Find Your Tribe,  a modern guide to love, healing and connection. Listen to the episode here.

CTRL, ALT, DELETE Podcast: #84 Chloe Brotheridge (On Anxiety)

I enjoyed reading Chloe Brotheridge’s book The Anxiety Solution so was keen to listen to this podcast. As well as an author, Chloe is a fully trained hypnotherapist who helps people with anxiety, confidence, public speaking, stress, weight loss and sleep issues. In this interesting episode, Emma and Chloe discuss how anxiety is on the rise, how we deal with it, what to do when we feel overwhelmed and our relationship with social media. Listen to the episode here.

CTRL, ALT, DELETE Podcast: #83 Vanessa Van Edwards (On How To Be Liked)

Vanessa Van Edwards is the author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. I enjoyed this one as Vanessa is a researcher of human behavior and I do like a bit of sciencey stuff. Vanessa designs original research experiments to crack the code of human behavior. She doesn’t believe there are boring people, just individuals afraid to expose who they really are. Emma and Vanessa discuss social anxiety, worry, first impressions and how to be memorable. Listen to the episode here.

CTRL, ALT, DELETE Podcast: #60 Grace Victory (On Confidence)

The best thing about Ctrl Alt Delete is that Emma finds all the influential and inspiration people and brings them to you. Grace Victory is a blogger, YouTuber, TV Presenter and was awarded Most Inspiring Role Model by InStyle Magazine. In this chat, Emma and Grace speak openly about bullying, anxiety and body image. Her book No Filter is out now which shares Graces’ inspirational story of growing up in a troubled household, battling with depression and finally overcoming it all by learning to love herself just as she was. Listen to the episode here.

Are you a fan of the Ctrl, Alt, Delete podcasts? Which ones are your favourites? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

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6 Simple Ways To Boost Creativity

“The only unique contribution we will ever give to this world will be born out of creativity” Brené Brown

When you hear the word creative, do you immediately think of skillful artists, successful musicians, established authors or even long gone childhood memories involving sticky back plastic and washing up bottles? Maybe you think creativity is just a word reserved for those talented types on Etsy. Whilst those people are clearly artistic, I also think that everyone has the potential to live a creative life. I do not think you need to be born creative, I think creativity is just like everything else – if you work at it, whatever it is, you will get good at it. Simple. And I promise you, even if you don’t turn out to be the next Jimi Hendrix or J.K Rowling you will have fun in the process.  Here are 6 simple ways to boost creativity:

Try something new. A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to play the guitar. So, I got one and slowly taught myself using Youtube and guitar tabs online. My neighbors moved out around the same sorta time as I started learning so I dunno if that is just purely coincidence or not, but I did get better. I’m not rock star standard yet but I can string some chords together and play a few tunes which resemble Oasis songs. It’s a form of creativity that I enjoy and find super relaxing too. If there is something which you want to learn, I say go for it! Have the courage to try and the persistence to get better.

Listen to podcasts. Podcasts are a brilliant way to feel inspired and learn from those who have done it all before. Recently, I have been listening to Magic Lessons by Liz Gilbert where she talks about living creatively and Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon who chats about the internet, social media, feminism, creativity, identity, mental health, life, careers and everything in between. There are thousands and thousands of podcasts out there, so have a search online for ones which suit your tastes. You never know what snippets of wisdom you might uncover by tuning in and taking note.

Browse Pinterest. My favourite thing to do every morning is go on Pinterest and browse the latest pins. I like looking at motivational quotes, beautiful photography, colourful art, cute cats and cool haircuts. But that is just me. So instead of logging onto Facebook or reading some negative news, go onto Pinterest for a daily dose of inspiration and motivation. Start the day in a positive and uplifting way. You will feel better for it and it may even spark a little creativity too.

Be persistent. To get better at something, you have to keep doing it and doing it and… you know, doing it. There is no other way. For example, I must have taken the same photo today about 20 or more times, rearranging the props, adding something new, taking something away, approaching from different angles, zooming in, zooming out before I thought it was okay. I then spent more time in Photoshop messing around with fonts, changing the colours and moving things around before I was actually happy.  So I say stick with it and keep experimenting until you get there.

Get moving. Feeling in a creative slump? Get some exercise! My best thinking happens when I go outside, put my headphones in and just walk. The mix of fresh air and a change of scenery is enough to clear the mind and make space for some imaginative ideas. Exercise is my go-to activity when I am feeling uninspired and generally down. Whatever I do, whether is it is swimming, walking, yoga or a fitness class – I always feel better afterwards, full of inspiration and positive energy.

Let go of perfection. There is no right or wrong when it comes to being creative, you are free to express yourself however you want to. You don’t need to follow any set rules; just go with the flow and make it up as you go along. Your creation will be special, unique and tell its own beautiful story. Most importantly, don’t use self-doubt as a barrier that prevents you from starting a new project. Whatever your standard now, keep going and you will improve. So be brave, pick up the pen, practice the piano, paint that picture, whatever, and you might actually just surprise yourself.

I hope you enjoyed my post today! What do you do to boost creativity and inspire new ideas? Do you have any favourite podcasts at the moment? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

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