Her Lovely Heart

November 28, 2014

PROfile / 9 / Rosie Harbottle

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.
PROfile is a series of interviews with artists and creative souls who have built businesses around their craft and passion. We’ll dig deeper to try and find out everything you could want to know from seasoned pros who have experienced the full gamut of highs and lows that come from running a creative business.

This week we are interviewing Rosie Harbottle, a Devon based illustrator with a fun and whimsical style, which will brighten up anyone’s day. Here she shares with us how she accidentally became an entrepreneur.

What was your first ‘proper’ job and how did you land it? Was it what you intended to do as a career?

After university I got a job as a teaching assistant at an Art College on their Illustration and Graphic Design course. I had always been torn between going into teaching and being a designer, so it was a fantastic first job after I graduated. However, after only a couple of months in I landed a job with Paper and Cloth Studio and I knew I had to take it as it was my dream job!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Has art always been in your blood?

Yes, my mother did fashion at college and is extremely creative, so from a very early age I was painting, drawing and making things. My family are all very creative as well; one of my brothers is a fantastic musician and used to be in Giffords Circus, my other brother is a brilliant painter, and most of my cousins are involved in the arts, so it seems only natural to be following this path…

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

How did you know you were ready to have your own business?

To be honest, I didn’t, it kind of just happened for me! I had moved back to Devon, as I missed being near the sea and my friends and family. Lifestyle is very important to me you see. After the move I had take a job as a Graphic Designer in a local printers, which was a huge step down, and it did make me wonder whether moving back was the right thing to do. I was then made redundant, but it turned out that was the best thing that could have happened, as it forced me to go freelance, and I’ve never looked back!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

How did you go about starting your own business?

I worked really hard on my portfolio and CV and sent out a lot of emails. Within a week I secured a meeting with the London Tigerprint Studio who offered me a freelance contract, and it all took off from there really! My experience with Paper and Cloth was the biggest help, as without that studio experience on my CV I think I would have had a much harder time securing clients.

What is your typical daily routine like?

I try and start work between 9 and 10 every day. Some days I’ll work until midnight, others I’ll be more flexible. I will do admin first thing, such as answering emails and writing invoices, but I mostly try to let the day flow organically, as I work better like that. If I have a pressing deadline then I will be much more strict with myself and set myself mini deadlines throughout the day.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

What traits do artists have that help with running a business?

Passion! Though I’m not saying that it’s only artists that have passion, but I do believe this is one of the most important attributes to running a business. I also think the ability to think creatively and outside the box really helps too, especially with publicising yourself.

What does the process from a idea to a finished artwork and a product to sell look like?

I will loosely sketch a few ideas first, but generally with my personal work it will be an idea that I’ve had in my head for a while whilst completing commissions etc. With my freelance work I will have briefs that I have to follow fairly closely, I will create mood boards so I’m clear in my own head about direction. Sometimes so many ideas can be swimming around in my head that it’s hard to pin down just one. Once I’ve created a design, depending on who I’m working for, I may be asked to do a few tweaks or colour changes, and after that it’s down to the client to produce the finished product…

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Where does your love of pattern come from?

As I mentioned earlier, my mother did fashion and she has an obsession with collecting textiles and fabrics, so I was exposed to pattern and colour from a very early age. My mother’s obsession seems to have filtered through to me and I just adore finding beautiful prints wherever I go…

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Do you have an allegiance to a particular type materials or techniques?

I think I will always find myself going back to the humble pencil, but at the moment I’m loving mixing it up with watercolour as well. Many commercial Illustrators use a tablet and draw straight onto the computer, but I don’t think I could ever work that way. I really enjoy the whole physical process of putting pen or pencil to paper, drawing straight onto the computer feels far too removed for my liking…

Artists and writers often describe the compulsion to work – do you experience an overwhelming desire to create new artwork?

Yes, I do. Especially if I’ve had time off from creating. I don’t think that desire will ever leave me, it’s what drives me after all.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Do you ever feel alone in your work?

I do, as I work alone from home. Most of the time it suits me, but I would like to move to a studio with other creatives, as I’m really rather sociable, and it would be nice to bounce ideas off other people from time to time.

How do you relax?

I love cycling. Throughout the summer I will try and get out on my bike every day for an hour to refresh. I’m lucky that I live close to the moors and the sea, so if I need to relax or re-charge I’ll go outside into the fresh air and take a walk. I love being active as well, as I’m sat down at my desk all day, just getting out there and doing a sport such as climbing or surfing really helps me relax…

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Where do you find inspiration?

I couldn’t possibly pinpoint as to where. Inspiration often strikes when you’re not expecting it, but I’m an avid pinner, and travelling and being out in the great outdoors is always a source of inspiration. I also find other designers a huge source of inspiration and motivation, if I come across an illustrator I love, it motivates me to create.

What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?

Do what you’re passionate about, experiment and don’t worry too much about the future. I left a teaching degree at the age of 20, as I wasn’t ready for a ‘sensible’ job and went travelling. I was confused and wanted to pursue a creative career, and taking a bit of time out really helped me put things into perspective.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

What would you like to be remembered for?

For creating beautiful artworks and having a fantastic sense of humour!

What’s been the best moment of your career so far?

I’d say the moment when I could move out of my parents realising I was making a good living from doing what I love, whilst working with some fantastic clients. I pinch myself nearly every day!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.
Photo: Marianne Taylor

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part is when I’ve designed something that I’m really proud of, and hear that the client is happy too. Also, seeing my work in the shops is always so exciting, whether it be on kidswear or greeting cards, it’s all very rewarding!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome them?

At the beginning, there was a lot of challenges, mainly money worries and doubts about whether I was really good enough to go freelance and whether I had enough experience. But I somehow just had to believe in myself and my abilities, push my work and show it to as many people as I could, whilst working around the clock taking on as much work as possible.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Be brave, work hard and fight for what you believe in!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

If you could have dinner with any inspiring person (past or present), who would you choose?

Oooh tough one, there’s so many to choose from! I think probably Anna Bond from Rifle Paper Co.. I have followed the company for a while now and seen her build such a beautiful brand, I would love to pick her brains!

Bonus!

Rosie has kindly designed a wallpaper for our Goodie Bag, guaranteed to cheer up any desktop!
Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.
Free desktop wallpaper by Rosie Harbottle for Her Lovely Heart.

Click here to download this gorgeous wallpaper by Rosie: Download

You can see more of Rosie’s lovely work on her website, and follow lots of prettiness via her Instagram.

Her Lovely Heart


November 27, 2014

Yay! 1K followers! Thank you for loving our Instagram!

Pink balloons by Her Lovely Heart.

We’re in a party mood over on Instagram, as we got our 1000th follower last night! Thank you so much for loving what we’re doing!

Thank you for 1K Instagram followers.


Her Lovely Heart


November 26, 2014

Quote of the Week / 15

‘This world is but a canvas to our imagination.’
– Henry David Thoreau

This World is but a Canvas.

The amazing Mari Orr, who recently opened an online store selling her beautiful artwork, made something a bit special for out Quote of the Week this week. This original oil painting by Mari is just breathtaking, the colours lift my spirit to no end, so it’s definitely the perfect desktop wallpaper for dark winter days. And what a perfect quote to go with it.

This World is but a Canvas desktop wallpaper.
Free wallpaper download by Mari Orr for Her Lovely Heart.

P.S. from now on we’re combining the connected Goodie Bag and Quote of the Week posts into one, as it makes it a bit easier to find the associated downloads.

Designed for Her Lovely Heart by Mari Orr. You can also find her on Instagram.

Click here to download Quote Wallpaper by Mari Orr: Download

 
Do you have a design you’d like to submit for our Goodie Bag? Create one design, or example of a digital product, and email it to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Goodie Bag’. We’ll review your submission and get back to you if it’s a good fit for the site!
 

Her Lovely Heart


November 25, 2014

How to curate a cohesive inspiration board for your office

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

I love inspiration boards, whether digital compilations, Pinterest boards, or physical boards to pin things onto. I’ve always had one in my office, but lately it had become so overcrowded that rather than inspire me, it made me feel a bit anxious (I wrote a little impromptu post about clutter-free surroundings and mindfulness last night). So, on a rainy Sunday (just the best for trying to take nice pics, yeah? Not.) I decided to freshen up my board once and for all.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

This was the starting point. At first glance I did kind of like the abundant look (probably why it got like this in the first place!), but it was just too much stuff. There was no cohesion, or real purpose for the board.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

I began with taking everything down, which was super weird. It also revealed how wonky my boards were underneath it all. Never mind eh. These magnetic boards are from Ikea, I’ve used two here, but I wish I had more space to create a proper monster-sized board.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

I then divided all the existing stuff into piles based on their colour & tonal quality, and the type of items they were (photos, memories, cards etc). It became clear quite quickly that the reason the board had gotten out of hand was because it had become more of a collection of memories, rather than a curated place of inspiration. I love all the photos that were on there, and all the personal notes (like these cute stickies my friend Susanna used to write back in the day when she sent me videotaped (yes, I said videotaped) episodes of Big Brother UK, so that I could keep up with what was happening at a time when I lived in Finland for a part of each month. Those were the times. When we hadn’t even heard of digitally downloading TV shows, and when Big Brother was still a super exciting new concept called ‘reality TV’.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

I wanted to keep some memories up on my board, but some of them were not that visually interesting, like this little note in the corner of a card. So I stuck some pretty images on top, thus creating a new piece which fitted into my colour scheme.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

I laid all the stuff I was considering down on the floor, just to see how they flowed together. This wasn’t really the final arrangement, just an exercise in getting the tones right. Not all of these made it.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

When I started pinning things back, I wanted to keep them straight and organised, so that it will be easier for me to switch things around. I want to use the board to test new ideas and plan colour schemes, and that will be so much easier to do now that the board is not a huge explosion of stuff.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.
Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.
Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.
Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

I did leave one of the old sticky notes up. I needed a pop of colour, and it was the perfect thing. And now I can actually see what it says, when there’s not a whole collection of notes pinned up there.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

I just had to add some baby pictures of Astrid & Sofia. They did fit the colour scheme after all…

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

It adds interest to have some variety in the hight and texture of different items. The polaroid gives some depth, while the little magnetic frame keeps things from looking too two-dimensional.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

Using a variety of different magnets helps to bring a bit of texture, too. I did consider going with just one type of magnet to keep things super tidy, but I gave into my magpie tendencies here.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.
Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

Some tips for curating your inspiration board:

1. Try to keep to a cohesive colour-scheme. You can re-create your board for different projects, or even seasons of the year, which will keep you thinking of new ideas and helps you realise different ways to visualise things.

2. Keep things straight and evenly spaced. Having a clean layout will help you take in all the different elements (think Pinterest) without being overwhelmed. It will also make switching items that much easier.

3. If you’ve received cute cards, cut the back off the card off. That way your cards sit more evenly on the board, and are not too heavy for smaller magnets. You can then collect the backsides of cards with the notes into a folder or a scrapbook, where you can read the messages easier (it’s easy to fill our lives with too much clutter, so only keep ones that have true emotional value to you).

4. Combine items that are too plain into a collage with other bits, like images, creating a new piece that fits into your scheme.

5. Move photographs of friends or family into frames or a photo album, or make a book out of them. They deserve to be displayed properly.

6. Do keep a couple of mementoes up to make your board feel personal, but make sure they fit within the colour scheme.

Her Lovely Heart: curating a cohesive inspiration board.

All photographs: Marianne Taylor.

Her Lovely Heart


Catch the now by learning to breathe again

‘The living moment is everything.’ ~ D.H. Lawrence

Minna & Millie by Marianne Taylor.

Recently, I’ve felt a huge urge to organise my surroundings, and purge myself of things I no longer need. I find that at times clutter reaches a point that invades my inner balance, and unless I clarify my surroundings I feel overwhelmed and unable to focus properly. After a busy few days sorting out most of my office and closet, I sat on the sofa with one of my cats, Sofia. It had been a while since I had been able to lose myself so completely to the moment. All I could feel was her warm little body and silky fur under my hand, our steady breathing and her gentle purr as she was enjoying our moment as well. Having pets has certainly helped me to catch those fleeting moments of now a lot more frequently, but I admit that I could be better at it still.

Clearing out your clutter helps clear your mind + allowing yourself get lost in the moment gives you a glimpse of life, right now.

If you want to be a little bit more mindful about trying to catch the now, try learning to breathe again (yes, really, most of us have forgotten how to breathe deeply).

1. Sit comfortably.
2. Relax your shoulders and let your hands rest on your lap (or on your cat).
3. Exhale completely, so that you can feel your diaphragm draw in.
4. Inhale slowly through you nose counting to 6. You should see your tummy rise first, followed by your chest.
5. Pause.
6. Exhale through your mouth slooowly, try to count at least to 6, but keep going as long as you can.
7. Repeat.

Throughout the process, try to concentrate only on your breathing. If other thoughts come, acknowledge them and then let them slide along, bringing your thoughts back to your breathing.

(This is a pretty common breathing exercise which I’ve adapted from many different sources over the years.)

Photo: Marianne Taylor

Her Lovely Heart


November 24, 2014

Latest from Instagram / 9

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

It’s been an exciting few weeks on Instagram. So many of you have connected with us, and it’s a nice feeling to know we’re helping to keep your fires burning. Last week we focused on goal-setting.

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

Keeping your eyes on the goal is so so important. It’s too easy to get distracted, or discouraged, on your journey, so it’s super important to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. For us, it’s because we absolutely LOVE seeing creatives embracing their businesses, and have fun making a living out of their passion. We’re working on multiple exciting new resources to help you do this. Just watch this space.

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

That’s just how it is. Forge your own path!

If you don’t want to miss any inspiration or latest news (and there are a LOT of news a-coming), make sure you’re subscribed to our weekly newsletter!

If you have an Instagram you think would inspire the rest of our readers, just hashtag it with #herlovelyheart for a chance to get featured on our feed.

Her Lovely Heart


November 21, 2014

Goodie Bag / 17

Here’s a proper Friday treat for your eyeballs, guaranteed to make any working day that much more enjoyable! The amazing Rose & Ruby Paper Co. (who are by the way behind the design of the Her Lovely Heart website and interviewed in yesterday’s PROfile) created this collection of the most adorable desktop and mobile wallpapers for you, and they are quite literally bursting with prettiness. Enjoy!

Free desktop wallpapers design by Rose & Ruby Co. for Her Lovely Heart.
Free desktop wallpaper designed by Rose & Ruby Paper Co. for Her Lovely Heart.
Free desktop wallpaper designed by Rose & Ruby Paper Co. for Her Lovely Heart.
Free desktop wallpaper designed by Rose & Ruby Paper Co. for Her Lovely Heart.
Free desktop wallpaper designed by Rose & Ruby Paper Co. for Her Lovely Heart.
Free desktop wallpaper designed by Rose & Ruby Paper Co. for Her Lovely Heart.
Free desktop wallpaper designed by Rose & Ruby Paper Co. for Her Lovely Heart.
Free desktop wallpaper designed by Rose & Ruby Paper Co. for Her Lovely Heart.
Free desktop wallpaper designed by Rose & Ruby Paper Co. for Her Lovely Heart.

Designed for Her Lovely Heart by Rose & Ruby Paper Co.

Click here to download pretty wallpapers by Rose & Ruby Paper Co: Download

Do you have a design you’d like to submit for our Goodie Bag? Create one design, or example of a digital product, and email it to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Goodie Bag’. We’ll review your submission and get back to you if it’s a good fit for the site!

 

Her Lovely Heart


November 20, 2014

PROfile / 8 / Rose Murphy

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rose Murphy.
PROfile is a series of interviews with artists and creative souls who have built businesses around their craft and passion. We’ll dig deeper to try and find out everything you could want to know from seasoned pros who have experienced the full gamut of highs and lows that come from running a creative business.

This week we are profiling Rose Murphy, the gorgeous and talented lady behind Rose & Ruby Paper Co. Not only does she design the most sumptuous stationery, she’s also a dab hand at branding and visual identity, and she just happens to be the brains behind the visual identity of Her Lovely Heart.

What was your first ‘proper’ job and how did you land it? Was it what you intended to do as a career?

My first ‘proper’ job was head of design for a start up fashion company when I was 17. I saw the job advertised and thought the interview process would be good experience never thinking I would ever land the job. They loved my portfolio and a few days later I got the call to say I was hired! It was exactly what I intended to do as a career and was the most brilliant experience and a magnificent learning curve. I couldn’t have asked for a better first job!

Rose & Ruby Margaret Suite Wedding Invitation 5

Has design always been in your blood?

Definitely. My mum had a childrenswear label when I was very small, selling her beautiful handmade designs to Liberty and lots of the big childrenswear boutiques. My creativity was always encouraged and mum helped me learn to design, sew and make clothes from when I was really young. When I started school at 4 we made my PE shorts from fabric I’d chosen, with me sitting on her lap at the sewing machine, and by about 8 I had my own sewing machine. From there I was unstoppable, designing and making outfits, researching, drawing, designing and dreaming.

I’ve always loved drawing, painting, sewing and making things, but I also always loved the technical more ‘engineering’ side of design. I’m fascinated by maths and numbers, and understanding why and how things work, so things like creating repeat prints and pattern cutting came really naturally to me as there are a lot of similar processes and ways of thinking involved. I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer from an early age and felt lucky to know what I wanted when all my friends at school didn’t have a clue. It’s much easier to get to where you want, and make it happen, when you know your end goal!

Rose & Ruby Margaret Suite Wedding Invitation 6

Why did you make the transition from fashion to stationery?

I think it was just the right time in my life for a change. I’d left my ‘proper’ fashion day job and had set up my own business freelancing. I was doing really well, but even though I was landing great projects and prestigious clients from around the world, I just felt like it wasn’t exciting me any more, like my heart wasn’t in it and it was becoming a chore rather than something that lit me up. Fashion was no longer making me happy, not so much the process, but more the way the industry works and the people you’re dealing with. What WAS making me happy was weddings. I’d just gotten married myself, and following our own wedding (photographed by the fabulous Marianne Taylor herself!) being featured in various places online and in print, I found myself working on more and more little side projects with other brides. So, I just decided to follow my heart and focus on what was making my heart sing: working together with brides designing their wedding stationery and ‘branding’ their weddings.

Rose & Ruby Charlotte Balbier Event Invite 1

How did you know you were ready to have your own business?

I’d been working towards it for some time freelancing alongside my day job. I was working with more and more clients and it just felt like the right time to do my own thing. By the time I started Rose & Ruby it didn’t feel like such a scary jump, as I’d already made that transition leaving full time work to freelancing full time, and had already had a taste of a working life out there on my own.

Rose & Ruby Charlotte Balbier Event Invite 2

How did you go about starting your own business?

At the beginning it involved a lot of very late nights and not a lot of sleep whilst I juggled full time work and getting everything off the ground. But aside from a lot of hard work, and getting on with it, the process has been quite organic really. I was lucky enough to work with really great wedding clients, as well as really amazing wedding professionals within the industry, who recommended me and very kindly sung my praises so it just grew from there. I’m a strong believer in saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way even if it seems really scary at the time. You can worry about it later, by which time you’ll probably be so busy you won’t actually have time to worry at all!

Rose & Ruby Margery Suite Wedding Invitation Menu 9

How did you secure your first clients?

My first Rose & Ruby clients were all people who had seen my wedding featured in blogs and magazines. Brides to be got in touch asking about the stationery, and the other little bits I’d designed for our wedding, and it went from there. My brides then recommended me and it grew purely by word of mouth.

Rose & Ruby Bianca Suite Wedding Invitation 1

What is your typical daily routine like?

I’m an avid list maker and organiser so I always plan my day ahead at the end of the previous working day, and try to schedule my day hour by hour to keep on top of my to do list. It doesn’t always run to schedule, but it gives me a good head start. I’m not a morning person, more of a night owl, so planning ahead means I can get straight into productive work as soon as I get to my desk first thing in the morning, rather than trying to work out what needs to be done while I’m still waiting for caffeine to kick in.

Things are a little different at the moment as I have a little puppy which means a few more interruptions than normal, but generally I try to focus on reactive work in the mornings; designing, making proofs, creating artwork and getting jobs to print. I try to schedule in set times for email so that I’m not distracted by my inbox all day.

The afternoons are more varied and can be anything from research and new design work, working on styled shots and collaborations and meetings with clients, to working on branding projects for other professionals and creative businesses, which I’ve been doing more and more of recently. My days are pretty varied depending on what’s booked in for the month, and I do try to get in at least a couple of lunchtime Pilates and Yoga sessions per week just to keep me from feeling too sluggish.

Rose & Ruby Edith Suite Wedding Invitation RSVP 1

What traits do artists have that help with running a business?

I’d say mainly a real genuine and honest love for what they do which really drives forward not only the heart of your business, but also relationships with your clients. It makes a huge difference to the service you can offer your clients if you’re coming from an authentic place.

How do you decide which suppliers to use?

Trial and error and recommendations! It took a long while to get to a place where I had found the right people to work with (there are a LOT of bad printers out there!) but I now have a great network of printers and paper suppliers that are totally fantastic. They are all really passionate about what they do, and skilled within their specialisms.

Rose & Ruby Eleonora Suite Wedding Invitation 1

What’s been the most beneficial business decision you’ve made?

Asking for help and outsourcing. There comes a time when, however much of a perfectionist you are, you need to take a step back and look at your strengths and weaknesses. If someone else could be doing a task, they probably should, giving you time to focus on your strengths – probably the real essence of what makes your business a success. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn (still working at it..) but it really is the only way to take your business to the next level. However much you’d love to, you can’t do everything yourself.

Rose & Ruby Flora Suite Wedding Invitation 1

Artists and writers often describe the compulsion to work – do you experience an overwhelming desire to create something new?

Always. Compulsion is a great word to describe that feeling! I absolutely passionately love designing and creating beautiful things, the whole process. My mind is always on the go dreaming of new possibilities, picturing new ideas, planning the next creative vision.

Do you ever feel alone in your work?

I don’t really. There is such a big lovely wedding community of beautiful amazing people out there that it never feels like I’m alone. There’s always someone there. And I actually relish working alone, and quiet time, especially when I’m really busy. I find it much easer to stay focused and be productive when there are no interruptions and immediate distractions, so I try to keep the studio as quiet as possible on purpose!

Rose & Ruby Lacey Suite Mulberry Wedding Invitation RSVP 6

How do you relax?

I really love to read. I love to visit museums, galleries, historical properties and cherish time relaxing with my husband and family taking long walks with the dogs, tea and cake get togethers, that kind of thing. My biggest guilty (but not sorry) secret for unwinding is trashy TV. I am completely addicted to Real Housewives (all of them) and anything Kardashian. So if you catch me revelling in a Real Housewives bonanza you know it’s been a long week!

Where do you find inspiration?

It’s a bit of a cliché but I find inspiration everywhere. Fabrics, wallpapers, illustration, fashion, architecture, museums, historical detailing, books, fonts and lettering! What I’m most into at the moment is plasterwork. It might be because we’re moving house at the moment, so have been looking at lots of different properties, but I just can’t get enough of cornicing and mouldings. All that translates beautifully into vector artwork, so you’ll see a lot of that coming through in our new wedding collection!

Rose & Ruby Lacey Suite Mulberry Wedding Invitation RSVP 1

What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?

I would tell myself that sometimes it’s okay to not work so hard all of the time. Hard graft is good, but you don’t need to run yourself into the ground – you’ll still get there in the end. Having a little time off to have fun will only make your work better and more inspired. And don’t scrimp on time with friends and family. That time is well invested.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Creating and sharing beauty. If we’re aiming high, then I’d love to be remembered for designing and making things that are so magnificently beautiful that they stir your soul. But generally just for being a really nice genuine person with a good heart and an inspiring character.

Rose & Ruby Lacey Suite Mulberry Wedding Invitation RSVP 3

What’s been the best moment of your career so far?

There have been so many! I have so many ‘YAY’ moments at my desk when I get lovely feedback and a ‘you were the best part of planning our wedding’ messages. I think most recently working with Charlotte Balbier on her wedding, and then rebranding her business, has been lovely – she’s such a lovely lady and the wedding was so fantastically opulent and glamorous! A real pleasure to be a part of.

Rose & Ruby Margery Suite Wedding Invitation Menu 3

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Working with lovely clients and receiving amazing feedback. I’m so lucky to work with the most wonderful people and to be able to call creating lovely things my job.

What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome them?

Learning balance. It’s a constant battle getting the work/life balance right. I think it’s even harder when you genuinely love what you’re doing to the point that you would choose to do it anyway, even if it wasn’t your job. I’m not sure I’ll ever get that balance right, but as long as I’m still having fun and enjoying everything, I think I’m doing okay.

Rose & Ruby Flora Suite Wedding Invitation 8

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

That you don’t have to do the same thing forever, however hard you’ve worked for it. It’s okay to try something new.

If you could have dinner with any inspiring person (past or present), who would you choose?

At the moment it would probably be one of the most wonderfully decadent Neo-classical Architects/Interior Designers like Robert Adam. I’d love to discuss scrolling cornicing, ribbons and bows, decadent plasterwork, drapery and gold leafing!

All images by Alex May Photography.
You can see more of Rose’s gorgeous work on her website, and follow lots of prettiness via her Instagram.
P.S. Look out for a gorgeous Goodie Bag offering from Rose tomorrow!

Her Lovely Heart


November 19, 2014

Goodie Bag / 16

Jorica Glen hand-lettered our quote of the week this week, and here’s your chance to stay inspired, and to remember to always keep exploring and dreaming, with a free desktop wallpaper download.

Mark Twain quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Jorica Glen. Mark Twain quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Jorica Glen. Mark Twain quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Jorica Glen.

Designed for Her Lovely Heart by Jorica Glen.

Click here to download Quote Wallpapers by Jorica Glen: Download

 
Do you have a design you’d like to submit for our Goodie Bag? Create one design, or example of a digital product, and email it to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Goodie Bag’. We’ll review your submission and get back to you if it’s a good fit for the site!
 

Her Lovely Heart


Quote of the Week / 14

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ ~ Mark Twain

Mark Twain quote hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Jorica Glen.

Explore. Dream. Discover. Yes, THAT.

Hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Jorica Glen. Download a desktop wallpaper of this Quote of the Week in today’s Goodie Bag.


Her Lovely Heart


November 18, 2014

Guest Blog: look back to see how far you’ve come

Her Lovely Heart guest blogger Joie Takaki.
Photographer Joie Takaki is pursuing her dream of building her own business. In this guest blog series, she shares her journey from beginner to expert with us.

It seemed as though days had passed without being able to shake off my sombre mood. And I couldn’t figure out why. The usual things that instantly brought me great joy had lost their magic. Then, somehow, that all changed. All it took was an ordinary day and a coffee date with a long-time friend to discover incredible realisations about each other – and about life.

My friend and I live on different continents and don’t have much time to be in touch with each other throughout the year due to the huge time difference. So it was such a rare delight to share this moment of catching up face to face, with stories of our most pivotal moments of the year. It’s incredible how much we can learn about ourselves through the eyes of others. Through our friendships we can see greatness in ourselves, and in each other, that we might otherwise miss.

My friend was telling me details about her new job and all her high profile clients. I was so utterly impressed, that I was almost speechless to find out how completely unfazed she was by how much social impact her line of work created, and how unimpressed she was working for people who held so much power and influence.

Then it was my turn. I told her about my year, and my mini breakthroughs in my new photography adventure; the people I’ve met, the events I’ve shot. When I was done, I could sense that she felt a little sad. She told me how she really envied that I was so enthusiastic about my accomplishments and wished she could feel that sheer joy I was expressing in her own job and with her own clients. I was stunned by her response!

Perception is a peculiar thing. It is incredible how we each view things so drastically differently. Here I was talking like a starstruck giddy school girl about meeting all these super talented people who, on the surface, don’t appear to be necessarily changing the world profoundly, but simply crazy passionate about what they do. (Which I personally think does affect the universe in a less direct way, but let’s not get off topic). And I was over the moon meeting them. But I couldn’t even fathom how I would react to even the idea of working with clientele of the calibre that she was describing! I was completely baffled by how nonchalantly she viewed her situation. And we both laughed at how vastly differently we viewed our own perspectives.

Her current experiences, and her comment about how she felt about mine, made a huge impression on me. Suddenly I came to a very important realisation; it felt like I had cracked the code of some underlying mystery lesson we were both sharing right there at this little coffee shop…

Her Lovely Heart guest blogger Joie Takaki

‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’
~ Albert Einstein

I recognised that the real reason I was feeling stuck and unmotivated was that after such an eventful summer, suddenly I didn’t have any ‘big’ projects or photo shoots to look forward to in the next couple of months. It’s nearly winter, which means it’s down time and it happens to also be my first time experiencing it. And I’m not one to ask for advice. Essentially, this was the core issue of what was really bringing me down and causing uncertainty and anxiety because it was something I felt I couldn’t solve on my own.

Simply reminiscing on memories of this past summer sparked something inside. All the surprises and excitement of the photo shoots and photography events from the recent past came rushing back, fresh feelings surging through me just as clearly as the first time they were actually happening. I was instantly feeling uplifted and ecstatic, because each of those moments was really precious to me.

I call them my ‘small wins’. They weren’t life changing or epic or impactful to anyone else but to ME, yet they were MY challenges and MY victories. And I realised, too, that although I had been spoiled this summer with several major events, the key is that it is not about the size of your accomplishments but the frequency.

No matter how big or minute, they were each personal, extraordinary and momentous. Each was a step towards the right direction. Each was an individual achievement. Each step bringing me an inch closer towards my dreams. I am enthused by them. I deeply cherish them. And I excitedly celebrate having experienced each and every single one of them!

And that, right there, is the whole point.

To appreciate all the little steps along the way on your journey to wherever it is you want to be. To view every step as milestones, and to celebrate every little win. The problem had been that I had been so focused on the next step. And it wasn’t until I stopped and turned around to look back at my tracks, that I could appreciate the ride and feel inspired again to carry on.

You need to keep moving forward, but it is equally important to look back to see how far you’ve come!

And that realisation was the ammunition I needed to snap out of my mood and actively start creating more opportunities.


Her Lovely Heart


November 17, 2014

Ask Marianne / 12 / How to approach social media as a photographer

Q&A with Photographer Marianne Taylor.
In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor answers some of the burning questions submitted by photographers, business owners and blog readers, spanning everything from technical questions to personal mantras. Read on to find out what people are longing to know about…

I’m in the first year of my wedding photography business, and I’m feeling kind of intimidated and overwhelmed by the idea of social media. I’m afraid that getting into it will take too much of my time with not enough return. Am I overthinking this?

I hear you, the idea of social media can feel overwhelming. I think it goes down to not being entirely comfortable with the idea of self promotion, and the way social media can often feel like a lot of noise with no focus. You should just simplify your approach and really focus on what you might want to use social media for. The feeling of chaotic noise comes when you dip in and out of social media, or follow a lot of people who are not targeting their communication to you. You want to be talking specifically to your clients and figure out which avenues might reach them the best.

1. Don’t spread yourself too thin

You don’t need to be on all of the different platforms. The worst approach would be to be on everything, but not really systematically updating anything. As a photographer I would say Instagram, and its wildly growing reach and engagement, is the best social platform for communicating to new prospective clients in a visual way. A Facebook business page is crucial in reaching those who are already your clients, so you should view it as way to share weddings sessions with your clients so they can tag their guests and thus create the modern equivalent of word of mouth for you. Twitter, to me at least, is more about connecting with your peers. A lot of networking between different suppliers happens via Twitter, new connections get forged and the relationships with those you love to work with and recommend get fortified.

2. Create your own content

The reason why social media works so well for photographers is that we already have that content, our images. But there are always ways for making what you share more engaging. For example, when sharing an image from a wedding on Instagram, add a testimonial from the couple in the caption, or perhaps a little story about how they fell in love. Anything that makes prospective clients able to identify with the story of the image, and have an emotional connection to what you share, is much more engaging than just showing pretty pictures of strangers.

3. Piggyback some of your content

If you are posting an Instagram that will be interesting to your other social networks as well, share your update to those at the same time. You can do this directly from Instagram, or by using account management services. It will save you time, and engage your different audiences all at once. Don’t do this with ALL of your updates though, you should add some posts that are directly meant for the audience of that particular channel into the mix, too.

4. Be clever about it

The are services that help you manage your accounts and schedule posts for different platforms in one go. Check out Hootsuite, Buffer and Pagemodo.

 5. Keep your brand’s visual identity in mind

It’s ok to post personal images and updates in between promoting your work, your clients will generally love a peek into your real life and these updates add a lot of value to your social channels, but always keep your brand in mind and make sure the visual aesthetic of what you post stays cohesive. This is especially important for us photographers, we should always be aware of how every image we share, no matter whether an iPhone snapshot or a picture from a client’s session, advertises our skills, vision and taste.

6. Step away from social media when you’re having a bad day

You don’t need to be a constant cheerleader, but try not to bring any temporary negative thoughts into your social media. You’ll most likely regret it later.

7. Don’t ignore your own site.

One of the things to keep in mind is that your own site is the only place where you can be sure your content is safe for the future. All the different social platforms could disappear (it’s feasible!), and if you haven’t kept your website and blog as your main channel, you could end up with no content and a lot of wasted hours. It’s a good idea to make blog posts out of any Facebook conversations that have been engaging to your clients, or to post ‘latest from Instagram‘ posts like we do at HLH. That way you know that all that content creation will never go to waste.

How to approach social media as a photographer.

If you want to learn how to use your camera to better translate your vision, join us on January 19th for our Thru Your Lens workshop!

Do you have a question about photography or running a photography business for Marianne? You can email your questions to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject like ‘Ask Marianne’. The best questions will be answered on the blog throughout this series.
 

Her Lovely Heart


November 14, 2014

PROfile / 7 / Neri Karra

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.
PROfile is a series of interviews with artists and creative souls who have built businesses around their craft and passion. We’ll dig deeper to try and find out everything you could want to know from seasoned pros who have experienced the full gamut of highs and lows that come from running a creative business.

This week we are profiling Neri Karra, the creative powerhouse who built a worldwide brand around her name. While we normally interview mostly small business owners, it’s good to get a reminder that it’s ok to be a creative and still dream BIG.

What was your first ‘proper’ job and how did you land it? Was it what you intended to do as a career?

First proper job was when I was 15, translating for the CEO of a leather products label in Turkey. It was a fantastic way to get started, and gave me the confidence to go further, and it served as a stepping stone to build my own brand years later.

Has design always been in your blood?

I am not sure if you can call it ‘design’, but I have always liked fashion and style, and was fascinated by beautiful clothes, and how one can express oneself through fashion.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

How did you know you were ready to have your own business?

I had no choice but to do it. I was either going to work for someone else, or simply take that first step towards building my dreams. It was a scary one, I must admit, and there were a lot of challenges ahead, but I never gave up. What makes the road interesting is the fact that you never know what comes up ahead – be it good or bad. It is a fascinating journey so far!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

How did you go about starting your own business?

I came back from the States, having finished my Bachelor’s degree. My family were immigrants from Bulgaria, living in Istanbul, and my motivation was to make use of the education I got, and create better lives for ourselves. I gathered my family together, and we were in my cousin’s house in Bulgaria, when I shared my idea with them. Then, the next steps were relatively more practical and business related. But what mattered most that the decision was made. The intention was very clear, and once the decision and intention is clear, then the path ahead also becomes more or less clear. This is what I know to be true.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

How did you secure your first clients?

My father was working as a sales agent of a leather products label, selling their products in the Russian market. So, I first started approaching people I already knew, and people who already knew our ethics and how we work.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

What is your typical daily routine like?

It really depends where I am – I travel often, and I live in two cities: Istanbul and London (and sometimes I travel to Bulgaria where our showroom and online operations are located). If I am in London, I always wake up with a song in my heart, and first thing I do is look up at the sky and give thanks for the day ahead. I do tend to have many meetings in London, that are mostly related on the creative side of the business, such as branding, PR and marketing. In the evenings, I would be attending events, openings, or I absolutely love going to the cinema and any cultural activities like opera, theatre, or ballet.

Istanbul life is very different to London. I am in the factory, where all of my products are manufactured and I employ over 300 people. I work on the latest collection, and normally, I would select colours and trends. We don’t work by seasons, and therefore, I always have to offer something new and exciting. In the evening, I would entertain clients (suppliers, distributors) or friends who would visit me from abroad. Istanbul always fascinates them, and I tend to have many friends visiting me.

I also visit Italy quite often, as all of our suppliers are located there, and we also have a design studio outside of Florence. I visit every single factory myself, and I pick every single skin that is used in our products.

Ah, and I forgot to mention that I teach Fashion Business once a month at Conde Nast College of Fashion.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

What traits do artists have that help with running a business?

Creativity. Being sensitive, and bringing beauty to anything they do.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

Why did you decide to specialise in bags?

I have had experience with working as a translator and brand expert for a leather products label, but what really drew me to bags was the fact that my grandfather was a saddle maker and I grew up watching him work with leather. Also the fact that I grew up in communism, where we did not have a lot of choice, let alone anything ‘fashion’ like, and I wanted to express my own individuality and create something that would be different and unique.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

Artists and writers often describe the compulsion to work – do you experience an overwhelming desire to design new items or to develop something game-changing?

Absolutely. You have to! Otherwise, why be in the creative industry at all.

Do you ever feel alone in your work?

No, not at all. I am more and more realizing, and living the fact that we are all delicately interconnected, and whatever I have achieved, created and keep creating is because there is a very delicate balance of everyone else being part of it. I actually feel incredibly connected when I work.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

How do you relax?

Reading, going to the movies, yoga, meditation and dancing.

Where do you find inspiration?

Nature, every day life, watching other people, observing.

What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?

Know that all you need is already within you. Believe in yourself, and keep on!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

What would you like to be remembered for?

That I have inspired countless others to follow and achieve their dreams.

What’s been the best moment of your career so far?

It is hard to pick one. But I would say realising that what I do has nothing to do with me. It is about sharing the love, sharing what I know, what I have, and that the meaning has always been about giving, not getting. This realisation was the best moment in my life, and it changed everything, and how I do business, and interact with others.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Knowing that what I have achieved, and what I do inspires others.

Have you had to conquer any fears when growing your business?

Yes, of course. I face and conquer my fears every day. When you are in the creative business, it almost feels like you are naked in front of others, in a way, because you show your soul to the world, and there will always be nay-sayers. However, now I know better… I know that what others say or do has nothing to do with you, and I am therefore freed from the fear of what others will think of me.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome them?

I am not sure if it is a challenge or an obstacle, but I started my business when I was 22. Many people assumed that I was doing things out of my bedroom (I have a business that employs over thousands of people, and a brand that is now sold in 15 different countries, and over 100s of boutiques). Again, it is just the assumption of others that I had to overcome.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Treat others as you would like to be treated.

If you could have dinner with any inspiring person (past or present), who would you choose?

Oprah – I watched her every day, when I was in the States, and she could easily be counted as one of the people who inspired me.
Tarkan – a Turkish singer, who I think is very sexy and have been his fan since I was 13.
Eckhart Tolle – a spiritual teacher, who has had a great impact in my life.
Steve Jobs – fearless visionary.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Neri Karra.

PROfile intro photo by Marianne Taylor, all other images by Neri Karra
You can shop Neris’s amazing handbags on her website, and find more style inspiration on Instagram.

Her Lovely Heart


November 13, 2014

Latest from Instagram / 8

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

It’s been a rather busy week on Instagram. I think it’s this dark time of year that makes us all yearn for some colour and encouraging words, it certainly makes me want to surround myself with bright things and inspiration.

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

Today I’ve been battling with not feeling the greatest. My weapons of choice have been the colour yellow, audiobooks, and dark chocolate (too late to include in the photo!).

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.
Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

In honour of ‘throwback Thursday’ I’ve been reminiscing over our lovely shoot at the amazing Aynhoe Park. If you haven’t seen what we got up to, or need a little injection of quirky that only a giraffe hanging from balloons can deliver on, you can see the behind the scene images here, our romantic theme here, candy here and glitter here.

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

Earlier in the week we put a word out for some beta testers for new resources we’re developing (we have more than enough peeps now, thank you for your enthusiasm!). Keep your eyes peeled for when we release the first of our new products, it’s worth the wait, promise!

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

My head is bursting with ideas on how I could better help inspire you on your journey of building your creative business. More than anything, I want to show how fun running a business can be, it’s certainly one of the most creative things I’ve ever embarked on. If you don’t want to miss any inspiration or latest news, make sure you’re subscribed to our weekly newsletter!

If you have an Instagram you think would inspire the rest of our readers, just hashtag it with #herlovelyheart for a chance to get featured on our feed.

Her Lovely Heart


November 12, 2014

Quote of the Week / 13

‘Wherever you go, go with all your heart.’ ~ Confucius

Confucius quote hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.

Simple advice is often the most effective. This quote by Confucius reminds us to always commit fully. If our heart’s not in it, it’s not the right direction.

Handlettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia De Antoniis. You can also find her on Instagram. Download desktop wallpapers of this Quote of the Week in today’s Goodie Bag.


Her Lovely Heart


Goodie Bag / 15

Gioia De Antoniis hand lettered our Quote of the Week, and you can keep it close to your heart by downloading these sweet original desktop wallpapers.

Confucius quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.
Confucius quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.
Confucius quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.
Confucius quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.

Handlettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia De Antoniis. You can also find her on Instagram.

Click here to download Quote Wallpapers by Gioia De Antoniis: Download

 
Do you have a design you’d like to submit for our Goodie Bag? Create one design, or example of a digital product, and email it to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Goodie Bag’. We’ll review your submission and get back to you if it’s a good fit for the site!
 

Her Lovely Heart


November 11, 2014

Inspiration Board / 4 / Greeting cards

I’m craving colour in these dark winter times, so for todays’s Inspiration Board I scoured the internet for colourful greeting cards I could use to brighten up someone else’s day. There really is nothing like receiving a hand-written note in the post, and the only thing that can make it even more special is if the design of the card makes it feel like the sun is shining just that little bit brighter. So, go on, say thank you, or write that encouraging note, and makes someone’s day!

Greeting card inspiration board by Her Lovely Heart.

Colour block thank you card by Rifle Paper Co.
Hooray letterpress card by Parrott Design Studio.
Hello gold speech bubble notecards by Paperchase.
DIY printable envelopes from Zü Galerie.
Personal letter stamp by Berinmade.
Hello you geeky glasses card by Feb10 Design.
‘You had me at hello’ folded notecards by Ashley Buzzy.
Wish birthday card by Rifle Paper Co.
Set of 8 stripy thank you cards by The First Snow.
Turquoise creative cards set by Paperchase.

Follow us on Pinterest for more inspiration!
 

Her Lovely Heart


November 10, 2014

Ask Marianne / 11 / Is it crucial to have photography qualifications

Q&A with Photographer Marianne Taylor.

In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor answers some of the burning questions submitted by photographers, business owners and blog readers, spanning everything from technical questions to personal mantras. Read on to find out what people are longing to know about…

I’m an aspiring children’s portrait photographer and have spent the past 2 years learning the basics of my camera and Photoshop at home. Do you think it is important to have photography qualifications to get into the business or is a great portfolio enough?

I don’t think qualifications are crucial when it comes to getting work, your ability and confidence level in that ability matters a lot more. If you feel like you can deliver a quality product to your clients and charge for it accordingly, qualifications don’t matter. However, if you don’t feel entirely comfortable with your equipment, or the level of work you produce, then I think the right thing to do is to get some training, and practice, practice, practice before you start charging money.

It’s also important to realise that just knowing the rules, or having a qualification that says you do, does not necessarily mean that you are able to translate that knowledge into a working situation. That’s why constant practice and shooting a LOT in order to push your skills is so important. A camera is a tool through which you translate how you personally see and want to present a scene. You’ll have to be able to make technical decisions based on not only the situation, but also on what kind of aesthetic and message you want your image to have. There are no universal rules or settings that would work for everything, especially if you want to make work that is distinctively yours.

Spending a lot of time with your equipment and learning how to use it to deliver specifically your vision is the most important thing on the road making work that gets noticed.

Photography by Marianne Taylor.

If you want to learn how to use your camera to better translate your vision, join us on January 19th for our Thru Your Lens workshop!

Do you have a question about photography or running a photography business for Marianne? You can email your questions to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject like ‘Ask Marianne’. The best questions will be answered on the blog throughout this series.
 

Her Lovely Heart


November 7, 2014

Latest from Instagram / 7

Latest from Her Lovely Heart Instagram.

Lately, on Instagram, we’ve been concentrating on adding a bit of light and colour to these dark autumn days. The lack of light is what hits me the hardest when we have to say goodbye to summer, I think that’s one of the reasons why I can’t get enough of gold at the moment.

Latest from Her Lovely Heart Instagram.

If you needed further proof of my current gold addiction… Some of my current favourites here, like my beloved new iPhone 6 (case from here), golden iPad case, these fab ‘gentle reminder’ pencils, and a gorgeous Working Clasp pendant (check out also this gorgeous geo-hive necklace) I received after giving a talk on customer service at the Flourish & Prosper Wedding Academy.

Latest from Her Lovely Heart Instagram.

Once in a while, we also like to throw some bigger questions out there. Answers on a postcard, please (or below in the comments!).

Latest from Her Lovely Heart Instagram.

And just remember, where ever you are on your journey of building a creative business, or whether you’re still thinking about taking the leap, we believe in you. You’ve got this!

If you have an Instagram you think would inspire the rest of our readers, just hashtag it with #herlovelyheart for a chance to get featured on our feed.

Her Lovely Heart


November 6, 2014

How to change your life by rewriting the way you experience things

Change your perspective, change your life.

I looked at the blinking cursor. I felt anger and disappointment coursing through me. Losing trust in a friend felt like a rejection, and I almost closed the window down, wanting to just move on and not delve any deeper, like I had done so many times before. But for some reason, this time, I let my fingers start typing. It was painful, and at the beginning felt too much like hard work, but the more I wrote, the more my view started to expand. New words made way for forgiveness, new sentences rewrote my reality.

I’ve always considered myself pretty good at being able to see the bigger picture, but recently, I’ve come to realise that there’s still a LOT for me to learn on this front. I’ve been dealing with a situation with a friend where my values and limits have been pushed, a situation where in the past I would have given up and turned away, but this time something in me decided to push through and see whether there was a lesson to be learned. And boy, was there ever! I’ve prided myself on being able to look at things from different points of view, and yet, what I learned is that the scope for growth is infinite, and I haven’t even scratched the surface of seeing all the options that could change the trajectory of my life completely.

One of the things that has really helped me through this experience has been writing. Writing letters, writing a journal, writing and writing some more, and seeing what I can learn about all these thoughts and feelings laid out in black and white. And what I’ve come away with is an absolute faith in the fact that we create our own realities. Life is not set in stone to be experienced in a certain way. The way we react to anything dictates what our life turns out to be. I’ve believed this, and always loved quotes that hint to this, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it quite as fundamentally as I have since starting to explore all the options when I write.

Change your perspective, change your life.

Try these steps next time you are writing your journal.

1) Imagine that you’re all seeing, watching yourself and everyone else from above, like tiny dollhouse people going about your lives.

2) Think of a scenario that you’re finding hard to deal with, let it play out in your miniature world, and write down what happens from your all seeing point of view. Be as detailed as possible, but not involved. Just write down the course of events. This is the point where miniature you felt things were going good, here’s when you got frustrated, this is the point where you got sad about what another character said or did.

3) Once it’s all written down, allow yourself to interpret what happened from your point of view. Who do you feel purposefully made you feel bad, how did the universe conspire to make you fail, does it feel like you’ll never live down the shame.

4) Then, try to write down at least four different interpretations to the same situation. From your point of view as all seeing spectator, did the main character, i.e. tiny you, overreact because of something that they had experienced in the past. Or did another character say or react in the way they did because they had different information, or had something you couldn’t see happen to them just before the interaction? Imagine different scenarios, how would these tiny people react if you set something else in motion that might not be seen by the other parties (including tiny you), if your original interaction with a crucial character happened just after they had tripped over and hurt their toe, were shouted at by someone else, or found out devastating news you weren’t aware of.

5) Would any of these other interpretations make you feel differently about the situation? Would the knowledge, whether factual or not, affect the outcome of the situation, and crucially, would it change your experience?

6) Try to come up with a framework that you could use to test yourself in every situation, so that you are not just reacting on auto-pilot based on old hurts or fears, but actually allowing yourself a chance to react to any situation in a way that is most healthy for you.

Change your perspective, change your life.

Learning to re-interpret situations at your own will is an incredibly powerful tool. The funny thing is, we are actually already very good at doing it, but usually in a negative way. How often have you been dreading a situation where there’s a possibility of failure? Say, a speaking engagement, which is something that it still slightly nerve-wracking for me. No matter how prepared I am, I always feel that cold fear that tries to get ahold of me just before I need to get in front of people. Previously, even if the talk has gone just fine, afterwards I would pick it apart in my head and find all the possible things that could have been seen as embarrassing, the way someone coughed when I forgot a word, or looked at me funny when I pronounced something in a silly way, and then flog myself with those thoughts. Nothing about that situation is a fact, it’s all my interpretation, and one that makes life a lot less enjoyable. It also teaches me to be fearful of these feelings the next time, even thought they were all my own creation. Learning to be more gentle with myself, to not barrage myself with the negative interpretations when a more productive interpretation would make my life so much richer, is one of the most freeing things I’ve ever tried to teach myself. And even if there was a sideways glance or a badly timed cough from the audience, I have the power to create my reality for those and interpret them in a way that isn’t detrimental to me and the way I experience life.

Change your perspective, change your life.

‘The world is what you think of it, so think of it differently and your life will change.’ ~ Paul Arden

Go on, give it a go. Take out a notebook, or open a word processor or journaling app, and get writing. How are you going to rewrite your life?

All images by Marianne Taylor.

Her Lovely Heart