In the mind of an Artist, in the blink of an eye.

This year has been, a fresh chapter in the book of life for me and Bridal Bliss, I turned 40 just in December and it has spurred me on to really take stock and enjoy life more so you will have seen I’m a little quieter on the old posting thing over on Facebook. I’ve been focusing on the new website and playing catch up with the kids. Now that I have moved from shop to studio I have came to terms with I am Bridal Bliss , not the shop front nor the sign above the door. SO time to really watch the kids playing not see them playing, take my eyes away from the i phone which has me on beck and call, to work and all the world. #beyourself


So I have decided, I will be doing more blog posts and more features on Facebook, Instagram will be a photographic portfolio of me , life and behind the scenes of Bridal bliss. perhaps not to much behind the scenes as my house looks like the hoarder next door still since the move from the shop. But I plan to sort this out ASAP. but baby steps and all about balance. I have turned into my mother with the words " just not enough time in the day " So it is time to inject well being and calm into my family's lives, I’m very passionate about this subject, as I don't connect well with negative things.



The ART of a small business.
The way I see it is that you (and me) buy professional beautiful works of art from us makers/crafters/artists what ever you want to call us. It not only helps small businesses and the economy but it keeps true traditional artistry alive when done at it’s best.
It keeps individuality and personality and independence on the high street alive so we’re not taken over by discount stores and the mass produced often unethically sourced things, be it in the bridal market or your every day items. Some of these stores are in fact selling things cheaper than what small independents can buy it in at from their wholesalers. I believe the consumer has changed the way things are on the high street. by pushing the prices down and creating a price war. but then complain things are not made as they used to be.  Some of you may have seen this image on the old interweb, but here it is again and I think it sums up how we should shop perfectly, especially after the recent BHS scandal.
A famous Image from Facebook

I want to spread my love of cottage industry to everyone, that doesn’t mean copying others by the way, undercutting them and then just selling stuff themselves. That’s not really what this whole being self employed or being able to make things should be about.

Artists ,(which covers a range of people from cake makers to photographers or even stationers and I myself. we are all artist in our own right ) aren’t doing it to make a quick buck, they very rarely live in big houses and go on fancy holidays if in fact a day off. They get by on usually lower than minimum wage and work all hours because they LOVE with a deep passion what they do. They train for years, they learn business skills, legal skills, marketing strategies on top of the the artistic skills, techniques and raw talent they have. We need to create and we’re more than happy to do that and suffer the consequences of riches and fancy cars.

Many people think it looks easy and feel that they are being over charged and forget how things should be priced , it looks easy because we’re THAT good, because we are trained professionals or naturally talented in our field. Our soul, personality and essence is contained in each little piece of joy that we produce.  The creative process is about making something truly yours, (not a copy or an imitation) that’s the whole point, making something that allows you to show the world who YOU are, not showing together yet another knock off, we have enough cheap imported tat to do that, we don’t need more devaluing our skills and expertise.

A story I love and makes me realize my worth I once heard about the famous artist Toulouse Lautrec. " One day he was sitting in a park and a lady sat beside him, recognized him and asked him to do a sketch of her young son. He said of course and puled out his sketch book and completed a sketch the lady turned to him and asked how much, Henri turned to the lady and said a price, she was shocked and said " but it only took you a few minutes." he replied no madame it has taken me years to get to this stage.  I Love it and it is true, we forget all the failed attempt to develop our own style and techniques, all the crying and asking why is it worth it all the cut and sore fingers we endure. Or the sleepless nights because we feel its just not right or needs a little more.

Henri Toulouse Lautrec


I’m often asked ‘Aren’t you worried that people will copy you? Or can you make this ? NO
Well you know what, there will always be people in this world that are selfish and after an easy buck we can’t stop it, usually they are the ones that are doing it as a hobby and charge rock bottom prices as it does tend to be a second income. I can’t change their inner thinking as nice as it would be. I have a definite style, and attention to detail, I can’t teach that. It is something that I have with in me and comes straight from the heart. I can tell you how I see things, the colours, textures and processes I may use to achieve my work but I don’t know what I’m going to produce from one moment to the next so I can’t see someone else doing that. I will always try to move forward and have new ideas because I am a creative and an artist and me, just me. 

So create for yourself? yes yes yes. Create as a business? yes yes yes but do your research first.
Which came first ?
I am saddened when I see people try to obviously emulate my or other's styles ( when I do comparative shops I can see the likes for likes and have to laugh but then ask myself who copied who ) especially when they under charge and make me look like we are ripping people off, which by the way I would never do!! But I do value my experience, my talent and my time. I charge based on costs and time and experience, I am happy to be explain about my costs if anyone has a problem with it. the beauty of it all is I am always price checking my suppliers and making sure I am passing on value giving the best for peoples budgets, clients rarely have a problem with it though because they do value creativity and the importance of it.
Famous cake copying classic flattery copy going on.
I have tailored my business to work in this new way because when I started out selling online, I was copied to such a huge extent my website images were stolen, (images of items set up in my child's bedroom, not that anyone know it as it was the largest blank wall I had at the time but I knew.) and used on eBay and other peoples websites, my designs were ripped off I had taken the time to work out how to make it , buy the materials experiment and then take about 100 photos to get the one just right, everything I cared about and showed the world was taken. It got to me, I couldn't believe it. So I had to rethink. I had to make something even more me. To separate myself in some way from what others could emulate and to show my designs to the best they can be. So I have my new website, with new technology I cant stop people from stealing etc. But I believe I'm trying. With plans in the pipe line to stop it even more. 
I guess in hindsight this was the best thing for me because, it was the highest form of a compliment and a confirmation I was on the right path, but the path was just to busy and I was getting caught up with everyone else. I am now in a very happy, and a lot prouder work wise frame of mind. I know what works for me and my family life, what I can give to people mentally and still have the energy to live and have fun. My style has evolved and now is a better representation of me than it ever has been. however I have no idea as to how I managed bringing three kids into the world and getting through some days, with all the things they can through at you. 
Be Brave.

All ideas are inspired from somewhere or something, there is always a source for all our ideas whether it be a past master artist, the landscape or mother nature, a even an  everyday object can inspire. But what is cool these things can inspire each of us in totally different ways. Which makes these ideas unique and couture to each of us. I don’t just mean altering it a little, I mean if we are asked to draw or colour a picture of something no two would be alike each one would be miles apart, Its all about enjoying the simple art of making something new. 

Don't be Scared, Give it a go. YOLO
All that being said, If you want to try something or do some making it is the best feeling in the world and anyone can do it, nothing stopping you other than yourself.
Live life with no regrets someone once told me and you know what I have never forgotten it. All ways try and say you tried it, it might not be for you but at least you can say that didn't work. Instead of wondering when its to late, I wonder if I could have done it or wondering what if ? In the blink of an eye. it might be two late. Your life can change in a split second effecting everyone around you. Don't put off something you can do today.
Have a go, let go of your insecurities and experience new life skills, cultures any thing and everything, Every time I go to a restaurant I pick something new. Why eat things you can have at home OK it might taste better than your cooking Ill give you that, but try something new cooked the right way as you know you will never buy it or get it to taste anywhere near it. Another inspiring moment was watching the movie about Fanny Cradock, entitled "Julie and Julia" 2009 Brilliant movie one for the girls. She loved to cook and let nothing stop her in her path.
Fanny Cradock


In today's society we are always on the go living busy busy lives. I know I am rarely without my phone in my hand as I said earlier. We never stop working, we never stop comparing everything from selfies to how our homes look, I call it edited lives though. My personal Facebook is definitely not an edited life I tell it as it is. which has my friends and family highly entertained sometimes. I feel it is more heart felt and overpowering. Showing we are all human. We just never stop and we become exhausted and lost in the cyber world. So now, more than ever, is the time we should be looking for something else to do with our hands, something constructive, a new skill that takes us back to a quieter time where we can relax with simple skills and minimum thinking. There has been a resurgence in the creative arts recently and it is now a scientific fact that sewing, knitting, crochet are great stress relievers and act as a form of therapy, get lost in a new world, rather then the cyber one.


That's Mental.

The reason I feel so passionately about this is that, my business has helped me through depression, a mental health issue. It continues to guide me as I go through good days and bad, it has given me a sense of self, independence and belief as a mother of three. Being creative is an essential therapy for me every single day. It is the process from a client consolation or an idea I have had, going through the stages to the end result. It is a journey, sounds cheese an escape. It takes me away from a moment and that is rewarding. It is a great stress buster, thinking time. My creativity and personality is what defines me.

You’ve got nothing to lose, creativity can be shown in so many ways, through music, writing, the list is endless. Remember when Sudoku came out , gosh we were all at it free thinking time. There are no rules to follow. You can make it up as you go along. Don’t expect immediate perfection in what ever you take on, an artist trains every day, like an athlete. You wouldn’t run a marathon without training, so be kind to  yourself & celebrate each step.

The secret is never compare yourself to others, and I'll leave with you with a quote 

‘To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it’

Kurt Vonnegut


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