Springtime Joy

Spring has well and truly sprung in the usually rainy grey place that is Yorkshire.

And although I've been mainly watching it through the window from my desk, 
being able to sit out in the sunshine for my lunch and walk home while there's still light left in the day is enough to make me happy!

A little springtime doodle in my 2012 art journal.

The lighter evenings are just about the best inspiration I've had in months to get more done!
I love getting home and finding something to do as opposed to feeling like the day is over.

I've been working on a few embroideries which I've noticed are totally unintentionally weather-based.
How very British of me!

A little picnic I plan on making a reality this weekend.
First to find a really cute picnic basket...
and more to eat than just one apple.

My finished rainbow raindrops cloud... complete with a silver lining.

Happy Springtime!


2012 NYR #3 - Take time to relax

My Wednesdays (my day off from my full time job) are currently divided up between working as a women's crisis counsellor, volunteering for a charity supporting the victims of crime, taking driving lessons, and of course, planning my wedding!

I love all all these things and wouldn't give up any of them if you paid me,
but I promised myself at the start of this year that I would give myself more time to myself.

Today, between seeing clients, perfecting my 3 point turn and booking bridal shop appointments, 
I got just the nudge I needed when I saw this message from Starbucks floating around the internet...

"Nowadays everything seems a little impersonal. That's why from now on we're going to refer to you as your folks intended -- by your name. So come in and introduce yourself and we'll introduce you to a free Tall latte, Wednesday March 14th, until noon. We'll get to know you and you'll get to know our new latte -- now crafted with an extra shot of espresso."

...Why Starbucks, I don't mind if I do!

So I snuck out of the office for an hour at lunch and took myself on a little coffee date,
just me, a great book and some much needed time doing nothing.

They even wrote my name on it!

I don't know if it was inspiration from reading "The Gift" (amazing, by the way),
the impact of allowing myself to enjoy my own company,
or the extra shot of espresso...
but I've really been enjoying working on some ideas 
for Wild Olive's Stitch Swap I'm taking part in.

This may or may not be my final piece for it... 
I like it as a simple piece, but I think I want to do something more... something.

My plan is to keep stitching until the posting deadline and then send her my favourite... 

I hope everyone's having as lovely a week as I am.


Wedding Wednesdays 3 - Five things I intend to make myself

Every other Wednesday here on Nikki Joy, 
I've committed to sharing the latest in my wedding planning world.

and last fortnight I shared our Save the Dates

The last two weeks have been mainly paperwork and buying stamps,
and of course, hours and hours of daydreaming up more handmade wedding goodness...

Although I love flicking through the latest magazines, 
it makes me a little bewildered the amount of money some people spend on things that would be so much easier (and more fun) to make themselves.

There's so many amazing DIY ideas out there (and many more up there *taps noggin*) that it seems a waste to let someone else have all the fun! So... 

 1. Stationery

I do understand the cost of ordering pre-made beautiful stationery.
There are some incredible graphic design artists around, 
and you only need to spend a matter of seconds on Folksy or Etsy 
to see a huge variety of gorgeous designs by talented people.
But to me, stationery is setting the scene for a wedding, 
it’s that first little splash of personality, and so it seems right to do it myself.
Besides, I could not find any tartan stationery anywhere.

On this note... check out what arrived this week...

 Our designed-by-me Save the Date cards are here!!

I intend to design the invitations, orders of service, seating plan and place cards soon, 
all to our “tartan and lace” styling.

2.       Some very special winter based accessories for my bridesmaids

The fact that we’re getting married on New Year’s Eve (though so exciting) 
leaves me a little concerned for the warmth of my most favourite ladies.
So my head (and my Pinterest board) are currently buzzing with ideas for fur muffs and pretty wraps.

3.       Table centres

I must admit, although I’m a sucker for tradition, I’m not really one for floral table centres or candelabras. I am however one for tealights and jam jars and cosy touches.

I have so many ideas right now that I have no ideas which to use.
Currently I'm leaning towards having no two tables the same, just so I can try them all!

4.       Decorations

Our reception venue isn’t in need of much sprucing up, but there’s just too many fabulous DIY decoration tutorials out there, and I simply can’t let the opportunity pass.

I would love to try out this great tutorial to make lace heart bunting...

Or this idea for a garland of pinecones...

...which would be so lovely to create from pinecones gathered from my grandparents farm, 
just to feel like a little part of them could be present too.

5.       Favours

I’m a firm believer that handmade gifts are the best gifts, 
so why approach wedding favours any differently? 
It may be a time consuming task, 
but I would love to send everybody home with something I’ve put some love into.

I quite fancy learning the art of jam making, 
mainly to learn a few last minute life skills from my mum before I become a wife.
And they would look so perfect alongside old jam jars wrapped in lace with tealights in to light up the reception.