It’s half way through October so in my naturally late blogging style, I’m going to tell you about September. It was a jam-packed one with lots of trips (and work!) so grab a brew and feel free to read on if you fancy seeing what I got up to…
As I hinted at in last little monthly update, I started September in one of my favourite cities, Glasgow with my friend Claire. We travelled up on the Friday and we were staying until Sunday. All we had planned was to join the In Colourful Company colour walk on Saturday and just enjoy exploring the city.
Last time I went to Glasgow (back in May), I flew but this time Claire and I took the train as it worked out much cheaper. Although it was about 6 hours of travelling on 4 different trains, the journey flew by! We enjoyed multiple brews, a bacon cob (and hash brown), played scrabble and Claire even taught me some brush lettering techniques - all worth getting up at 4.30am for that’s for sure!
As soon as we got to Glasgow we headed to our hotel, Point-A, to drop our bags and then promptly headed out again in search of lunch! Last time I was in the city, Paesano had some highly recommended to me but I just didn’t have enough meals or time to go there. Claire had also been told to go so we were both set on having pizza for lunch.
And my goodness, am I glad we did! The pizzas were incredibly good, we had a cheeky glass (a tumbler!) of fizz and learned that evoo is simply extra virgin olive oil - who knew?
We spent the rest of the afternoon with our friend, Sally (aka Hand over your Fairy Cakes) and enjoyed mooching about the shops, drinking tea and trying on pimp coats in Monki! Plenty of giggles were had, that’s for sure…
That evening, Claire and I were absolutely shattered so just collected some picnic snacks and headed back to the hotel for a night of movies and food in our ridiculously fun, rainbow disco light room. (see the video we took here).
Saturday was the day of the walk, hosted by Nikki McWilliams, Kim (Finest Imaginary) and Rachel (onrshop). Unfortunately Rachel couldn’t make it but Kim and Nikki were on hand with Toni (Toni Bee) to hand out the gorgeous goody bags Rachel had designed and meet everyone at the station.
The biggest, most colourful and friendliest group of people you could ever hope to come across began to wander through the streets of Glasgow and it was pretty magical.
We gathered around street art, took photos, boomerangs and very much enjoyed the GIANT Irn Bru piñata Kate of Pinyatay had made.
I mean just look at how perfect it is…
It was a lovely day, and the walk ended with donuts and lunch on the steps by the GoMA.
The street art we saw was amazing and although I’d seen a lot when I came up in May we explored so many parts I hadn’t been to before and found SO MUCH COLOUR! I definitely fell in love with Glasgow a bit more.
On Sunday we headed to meet Sally again and went to the place where Brunch dreams come true, Pot Luck. I can’t handle sweet stuff in the mornings but if I could I know I would have gone for these amazing hot cakes Sally, Claire and Keith all went for…
Instead I stuck to coffee, tea and an amazing savoury hash with sausage meat, fennel, leaks, potatoes and cheese. It was perfect!
It was still pretty early in the afternoon and our train back to Cambridge wasn’t until later that evening so we decided to hop on our open connection to Edinburgh a bit early. As we arrived in Edinburgh the sun was shining and we decided it would be rude not to have Pizza at Civerinos to kill some time.
Full of pizza (again!) we enjoyed a quick walk up the Royal Mile and around Princes Street park before it was time to hop in our train home again. It was the perfect chilled out way to end our mini Scottish adventure and Claire even got some bonus bike spotting in…
The following weekend The Beard and I took Buddy the Sunshine van to meet my family at Stanwick Lakes. We try to arrange regular catch ups with my Mum’s side of the family and have done since I can remember so I always look forward to seeing my uncles, aunts and cousins again as well as any excuse to see my sister and nieces!
Stanwick Lakes is beautiful place, one I’d never been to before and we all enjoyed some snacks in the cafe before exploring the Adventure Playground and wandering around the Lake trails. It was a bit of a grey day but that didn’t stop us having a great time and trying out all the slides and assault course…
The following day Buddy took us on another mini adventure as we trundled down the A10 towards Ely. For our wedding, our friends had gifted us a Red letter Day at The Animal Experience to meet MEERKATS! Eeek! It’s obviously a popular place as this was the earliest date we could book in and I had been excited about meeting Meerkats for nearly 4 months.
The excitement was valid too as the experience certainly didn’t disappoint! the staff at the centre are so knowledgable and friendly and we had a great time sitting in the pen watching, feeding and letting the little Meerkats run all over and around us!
They even seemed pretty keen on selfies too…
We also got to see all the different reptiles, super cute Coatis and all the birds of prey they have at the centre. We even got to hold a snake, which I bloody loved - snakes just feel so nice and fascinate me!
If you get chance or fancy gifting someone something a little bit different then I’d highly recommend an experience day at The Animal Experience. It doesn’t look much from the outside but they know their stuff, clearly care about and are enthusiastic about all the animals they look after. And who wouldn’t want to meet these little fuzzier??
My bestie lives in the glorious South West and it’s often hard for us to find time to get together but when we do, we do it right! When In Colourful Company announced they were planning a Bristol colour walk, I jumped at the chance and Laura and I got our planning caps on!
I arrived in Bristol is the pushing rain on Friday ahead of Saturday’s walk and by chance I stumbled upon Yurt Lush by the station while I was waiting for Laura’s train to come in. As the name may suggest, this cute cafe was in two beautiful Mongolian yurts and turned out to be the perfect spot for us to catch up, drink lots of tea and grab lunch before we went to find out hotel.
We weren’t staying far from the station as that was where the walk was starting so after dropping our bags we decided to take a wonder down the river into town.
We enjoyed the views, the street art and a couple of cheeky cocktails along the way. It was the perfect way to catch up on life and just enjoy each other’s company again!
The following day, we met a small group of colourful, friendly folk (and Frank the Sausage Dog!) at the train station ready for the walk.
Once we had everyone we took the ferry taxi along the river to take in the views from the water! The first ever colour walk boat trip and it was brilliant!
We got off the ferry at The Cottage Inn stop and spent the rest of the walk wandering around the streets hunting down some of the most incredible street art. Upfest, the famous street art festival in Bristol had taken place earlier in the year and there were some stunning pieces along our route.
With a drink break at Tabaco Factory and ending at Wapping Wharf surrounded by endless coffee and tempting food stops, we were spoilt for choice when it came to sampling some of Bristols delicious food and drink! It was the perfect spot to unwind after the walk… and some of us were pooped!
I was sad to go home again on Saturday as I’m sure Laura and I could have spent a week (and then some) exploring more of Bristol and catching up but I’m sure it won’t be long until we plan another mid-point catch up and I think Bristol may end up being a regular stop for us!
I know I do it every time, I start waffling about all the adventures and lovely little trips I’ve been on and leave you think that I never do anything… but hopefully this month, you’ll be impressed at how busy I really have been in the studio!
I turned #buddythesunshinevan into a sticker! For no other reason than I wanted to! So these happy campers have been going in to random orders from my Etsy & Sunshine shops and each time I pack one up it puts the most ridiculous smile on my face!
I had the absolute pleasure of drawing lots of beautiful wedding guests again this month. It was an intense but throughly enjoyable Saturday afternoon and I got to paint lots of gorgeous outfits and meet so many smiling faces!
I didn’t get any photos of me in action, and I really wish I had as I was sat in the most sunshine yellowish of rooms at the Grim’s Dyke Hotel! But I did manage to do a warm up doodle before the paint-athon began and I felt super special in my brilliant Aesthetic Laundry dress!
As I’d spend Saturday working at the wedding, I decided to work on the Sunday that weekend too. I had plenty of Christmas prep to tie up in anticipation of receiving some new product shots from Holly Booth and it was a good distraction as we’d had to take Buddy to the garage after our Meerkat trip and we’d been without him for a week. It didn’t stop me visiting him in the garage though…
durham university pins
Over the Summer I had the absolute pleasure of working with my friend Beth at Durham University. I had been given a brief to design a set of three Durham themed enamel pins for them to hand out at events and it was SO MUCH FUN to work on.
The Beard went to Durham university and lived there for 10 years where he completed his phd before coming back to Nottingham. We have visited together several times and I always love exploring the backstreets, wandering down the river and climbing up to the top of the cathedral.
So to be asked to design some pins to reflect the city was not only an honour but something I REALLY enjoyed working on. I think I came up with about 20 different designs and ideas because I was so excited! Luckily Beth and her boss were able to narrow it down to three pretty quickly and this month I got to see the finish pins in real life!
I know, I know, I promised myself I wouldn’t go Christmas crazy too early but against all odds I’ve been super organised this year and have nearly all of my Christmas products in the shops and ready to send to my stockists.
So I thought it would be silly not shout about them a little bit and figured it might be a fun way to end this post, especially seeing as Holly has smashed it again with some of the cutest photographs of my new pins…
I am FAR too happy that the naughty jumpers are going down a treat with you all - you guys are the best. The naughtiest, but THE VERY BESTEST!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little round up and just so you know, you can expect more festive action in the next one as well as a couple more mini adventure updates and Buddy the Sunshine van spam!
Until next time, stay naughty!