Wanna give your creative business a HUGE boost?

Wanna give your creative business a HUGE boost?

1000-Business-Grant

You’ve got to subscribe to ‘tickle the imagination’ TODAY so you don’t miss out on this one!

For under $50 you get your crafty BFF the gift that keeps on giving all year – and it’s a great excuse to catch up!

Get together each issue and get crafty and creative together. You can pre-organise yourselves, pop down to Spotlight to grab your supplies and then have an afternoon of crafty goodness. Or you could get the plans for the next kiddo’s birthday party done and dusted – and impress all of the other Mum’s! Ahhh…

campfire recipes
S’mores recipes and fun things you can do with the kids to enjoy yourselves a little campfire party…
pom pom pillows
Jazz up the loungeroom with some cute pom pom pillows!
strawberry layer cake
Strawberry layer cake recipe and inspo! Just gorgeous!

 

 

Ooh, wait, the best part is, if you’re a crafty yourself and you’ve been looking for that little boost you need to make your dreams come alive then you need to get onto this TODAY!

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You see, you’ve got to be a ‘tickle’ subscriber to enter and that, my friends, is why I’m seriously hurrying you along – Forming Circles¬†are offering three grants of $1000 PLUS an additional $1000 of advertising (seriously, guys, this is what I do for a living and that’s a great start!) to get your dream soaring.

I don’t want you to miss out because, frankly, I love chatting to you all and adore that you bother following me and reading this! And also, I’m really super keen for the winner to tell me all about their dream and why they took the plunge and entered – there’s an interview in that – just lemme know or I’ll chase you up! ūüôā

But, you’ve only got until midnight on¬†23rd November because that is when the applications close.

So kids, get off your butts, dig deep and remember your dreams and why you keep thinking about that while you should be finishing the books for your boss!

Good luck possums!
Mrs Jones x

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Freebie Alert! Subscribe to tickle the imagination…

Freebie Alert! Subscribe to tickle the imagination…

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Hello Darlings!

I just wanted to let you know that Issue 17 of ‘tickle the imagination’ is now out in your local newsagent! And if you can’t find a copy, please let me know and I’ll get right onto making sure they start stocking it or stocking more!

If you’ve read my previous post on ‘tickle’ you’ll know that I’m an Official Ambassador for the magazine because I’ve been in love with it for some years now and after meeting Tanya asked for something to be done about this! ūüėČ

If you’ve not read ‘tickle the imagination’ and you’re a crafty, vintage-loving or creative lass you’ll just adore it! It’s full of all things handmade and creative in Australia through the ‘tickle’¬†online community and magazine.

 

Now apart from subscribing and getting a chance to win some ‘tickle’ goodies, I’m also running a competition too. So just to ensure you get a fair and, well kinda awesome extra few opportunities, at winning yourself some ‘tickle’ goodness¬†click on the link below as well as subscribing and you’ll get even more chances at winning!

tickle the imagination free giveaway

 

‘tickle the imagination’ is full of inspiration and ideas to spark creativity – by showcasing talented artists, crafters and designers, discovering emerging talent and sharing real-life stories and DIY projects.

But I just wanted to remind you that if you take out a subscription – ooh, AWESOME idea for your Bestie, your sister-in-law or any other creative girl you know – you’ll also get a gorgeous necklace – you can see it in the picture at the top of the page.

Now, I’m not telling you to be naughty here and keep it yourself (but you could!), or just wrap it up and give it to your giftee who will be so darn excited and frankly, I think they’ll be hard pressed to not adore you forever!

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tickle the imagination magazine is available nationally in newsagents and independent stores (click here to see ourstockists) but I find that it sells out rather quickly, so it’s heaps easier to subscribe here online (and remember if you subscribe this month you’ll be in the running to win a gorgeous birdynumnum dreamer – there’s another Christmas gift just for you!

So my friends, be inspired by gorgeous images, take a peek into the lives of Australian designers & makers and discover ways to include creativity & handmade into your everyday living.

Do something nice for yourself this Christmas and buy yourself a subscription – then each quarter you’ll have the gift of creativity delivered straight to your door!

Love, Mrs Jones x

Tickle the Imagination

Tickle the Imagination

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Hello friends,

As an official ‘tickle the imagination’ ambassador I would love you to do a few things for me.

  1. Get down to your local newsagent and grab the latest copy – which just happens to be Issue 17 –¬†paper.scissors.rock. which is all about celebration tradition fun, games and crafts that you can enjoy with the kids!
  2. Go to my Facebook Page and enter the ‘tickle the imagination’ refer a friend competition – seriously, winning this is kinda awesome! There is a ‘tickle’ goodie bag full of crafty and creative goodness just waiting for the winner
  3. Head on over to the ‘tickle’ site and take a look around, and while you’re there why not sign up for a subscription. At just $49 for the year it makes a great gift, but seriously, you’ll need to purchase two because you just won’t want to give it away! And this month’s subscribers have the added fun of winning a gorgeous ‘birdynumnum design’ dreamer (valued at $59)

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That is about it for today but I’ll be posting regularly about ‘tickle the imagination’ as well as holding some great competitions and giveaways from the girls at ‘tickle’!

Oh, and if you grab yourself this month’s copy and you’ll find lots and lots to keep the kids busy – awesome to stash away for school holidays!

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feature stories…

+ the sunshine gang
+ big kids or little women
+ being present
+ springtime crafting
+ make organising child’s play
+ rock of ages
+ campfire stories

create
+ painted rock cactus garden
+ chess piece tiara
+ mini rustic cakes
+ paper boat mobile
+ kokeshi paper dolls
+ paper mobile bliss
+ bookish creations
+ peg dolly
+ marshmallow s’mores
+ chocolate crackle cones

meet the maker
+ birdynumnum
+ charlie & rosie and paperchap collaborate

shopping
+ a few of my favourite things

plus all the regular features!

Regarding vacations…

Regarding vacations…


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So, I realised that it’s actually been more than 12 years – seriously, OVER twelve years since I had an actual vacation. Yes, I shall admit that I’ve travelled but it’s been for work and frankly, as you’ll know, that pales after a while and you don’t get time to relax, which is EXACTLY what I need.

This year has been absolutely TERRIBLE for me on the health front and I’ve had to change a lot of things around in my life. But, you know what? It feels like I’m coming through the other side. Each week there is a setback and be it minor or major, I’m 100% done! Done, I tell you! People talk about how health is the most important thing to them, and I’ve always thought ‘yeah, yeah, I agree’, but it’s not until you’re stuck in hospital, or at home and unable to look after your family that you really take stock and decide to give yourself a kick up the bot-bot and do something concrete about it….

I shall hold myself accountable to you, my cyber-friends, you! I have started a 100-day journal for this blog so that I actually turn it back into a proper website that details all of the services that I shall officially have back on the market come, January 2015! Yay! I’ll be offering photography for all of you delightful ‘vintagey-indie-gorgeous type product’ selling people; personal ‘small-home-based business’ mentoring to the same type of clients – but with a twist! –¬†and workshops for all of you guys who are running small (in fact, let’s call them what they actually are, ¬†MICRO-businesses!) micro craft or creative businesses. A business where it’s just YOU, well, there is probably a partner, friend or love who is on hand to help out when things get busy, or perhaps they’re not so busy? Well, that’s where I come in!

We’ll have fortnightly mentoring sessions, just you and I, over a cuppa and discuss vintagey/crafty/creative things and how they are going to make your business some money. Yep, you read right, M.O.N.E.Y!

We’ll also work on putting business goals into action and getting you ‘out there’ and by out there, I mean out in the marketplace, where and when it works for you. Do you need to work around family? You know what, if you’re going to get serious then we need to take very clear stock of exactly what can be achieved, in what amount of time and at what sacrifice to your family. Yep, you can have just about anything, but you cannot – I repeat – CANNOT have everything! Anyhow, we’ll chat about that kind of thing too.

I’ll also take some time to go over your marketing, PR and advertising – and we’ll work out just why you’re not getting the type of business you need, or not getting enough.

Oh, and we’ll talk about strategic planning for your business – you know what are you going to do to prepare for Christmas? What if you’d like to take a holiday every now and then (yes, I expect that once we’re on track with your business, you’ll have the time and money to take one of those!), and what should you do if things start growing and you’d prefer to stay small…

Basically friends, when it comes down to it, running a small, creative business is darn hard work and while ‘makers gotta make’ there is other stuff that YOU SIMPLY MUST get done if you’re going to have clients to sell your gorgeous goodies to.

So, there it is – Mrs Jones Vintage, may have a tiny, wee, rebrand come December, but I’ll be bringing the above to the amazing micro business ladies (oh, and of course guys if there are any who need help, but mostly we’re talking mamas here!) of Melbourne in January 2015… And I cannot wait! I really look forward to getting to know some of you better and bringing the skills I have to more people, more often.

Anyhow… back to the fact that I haven’t had a vacation in forever… well, my gorgeous husband suggested that I take the kiddos up to the Gold Coast to visit his family so I can have a break (they cannot get enough of their grandchildren!!) and I have a feeling he’ll be getting one down here even though he’ll be working each day! A holiday apart isn’t ideal, but it’s all we can manage this year and I think we’ll both be refreshed, miss each other and revived both personally, family-wise and professionally.

Love, Mrs Jones x

 

Organizing…

Organizing…

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Okay… so my workspace is a total mess! Seriously, I have to tiptoe between piles of wool, stacks of paper and baskets of stuff… Stuff, stuff, stuff everywhere and it’s making me feel so disorganized and out-of-sorts in every other area of my life.

There is a reason for this madness! I decided to ‘tidy’ or ‘consolidate’ or, well, I suppose you could say organize little crafting and workspace, but the problem is I seem to be working in circles and not achieving anything much!

This may have something to do with the fact that for the past 2 weeks, and for the following 4,¬†my¬†left arm is in a sling and out of action due to a tendon tear that hasn’t been healing. This also means I’ve got helpers in my home from 9 am to 5pm to pick up, play with and change my bubba and drive us where we need to go… (I adore and am incredibly blessed and thankful for these wonderful people, but being a bit of a lone-wolf it is actually causing me EXTREME stress and anxiety!!!)

I just can’t seem to get myself organized and I think it could be because the rest of my day is so disorganized because I’m not in my normal routine and cannot do the things I normally do around the house and to keep the house running smoothly!

What do you do to get back on track when you’re feeling overwhelmed?
How do you physically organize your craft/workspace at home?
Have you ever had a big craft supply clean out?

I’d love to hear what you do to get yourself organized because friends, I’m starting to sink over here!

Love Mrs Jones x

On Anxiety & Depression…

Sarah's flowers
Sarah’s flowers

Hello friends,

I certainly don’t want to bring you down, especially if life is grand and all you can see is sunshine outside your window! I just want to explain why I’ve been out of the loop lately and you’ve not heard from me for a while… (If you don’t want to get personal, leave this post and come back when things are sunshiny and gorgeous again!)

I won’t overshare, as the interweb is full of oversharing: both pictorially and word-wise, and frankly nobody needs more of that! So, in brief, I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for over 20 years now. Wow, that’s a long time when I see it written down like that!

For the past 10 years or so I’ve dealt really well with it with the help of medication and therapy. In more recent times (the past 2 years) I’ve only needed to see my doctor every 6 months or so because things have been easy-peasy (with the exception of a full-blown breakdown when I had to change medication while I was trying to get pregnant, but that’s another story!).

Of course, life is never a smooth sea and to quote “a smooth sea never made a strong sailor” which is something that always makes me feel better. I will admit that suffering from this affliction has made me a much better person for the most. I tend to see signs of depression in others who suffer and have, hopefully, helped a number of people who were suffering in silence, to seek medical attention and grab onto an anchor in their distress.

Unfortunately, things have recently taken a turn down a dark tunnel for me, and regardless of how awesome life is – wonderful, supportive (and I believe the most handsome man I know!) hubby; two funny, happy and healthy kids; teaching Sunday School at a small church; crafting my little heart out when I have time so that I can share my wares with those on Etsy; and lots and lots of exciting plans to share crafting with others through workshops – I’ve had to admit that I was beginning to go downhill fast and needed to see my doctor for an emergency appointment where we decided to increase my medication and have more ‘chats’ for a while. How sucky is that? Not because I’ve got to see her; not at all! My doctor is the most amazing, supportive and insightful woman I’ve met and I truly love the insight she gives me and do my very best to apply what she teaches me.

The suckiness is because anxiety¬†is without doubt the most invasive and distressing affliction I’ve had to deal with. For me the depression comes BECAUSE I’m so bloody anxious constantly (for no apparent reason) that I get so tired from being hyper-vigilant, sad because I let people down and angry because I can’t reason my way out of a feeling of impending doom that blankets my entire world.

This has been going on for 3 weeks now and honestly folks, I want to scream! I’m doing everything I should: exercising (I’ll admit I only began that again yesterday – but it felt great physically), keeping all stress and non-essential additions in my life to the bare minimum; seeking help where I can; you know, pretty much dropping out of life until I can breathe without feeling like a panic attack is just around the corner.

And you know what else is even suckier? I’m a Christian woman who tries her very best to give things over to God. Yep, I know this isn’t popular these days (and please don’t judge me. I’m not about the whole Westborough Baptist view of the world! My only aim is to be as much like Jesus as I can – love God with my whole heart, mind and soul and give people love, support and no judgement and as I go through life with them; hopefully showing them that regardless of what life throws at them, having faith can be an amazing and beautiful thing!)¬†but no matter how I try, when I’m like this I cannot, no matter how hard I try, stay on track to pray, read my Bible and give this crappy feeling over to God. (Interestingly, many other Christians I know who suffer in this way find they can’t either and reading the Bible is almost impossible because you cannot concentrate long enough to understand what you’ve just read. Depressing really.)

Look, I know by this stage that I suffer from a biological affliction and the serotonin doesn’t go where it should in my brain, but there are some days when this ‘cross’ is pretty hard to bear…

Anyhow, enough of that! This¬†will pass and I have amazing love, support and inspiration around me and I WILL feel better eventually. Many others around our world are dealing with MUCH, MUCH worse situations than I’ll ever see. Death, disaster and destruction of their lives.

So friends, I lied. I did overshare. Sorry.

I won’t burden you again with stuff about me that is so depressing and yuk, but I did want to explain why I’ve not been posting and sharing beautiful things with you. I do have some awesome plans for the coming months that will involve other crafty, vintage-loving mamas and awesome women from around the place, but unfortunately you’ll have to make do with some simpler posts until I finish climbing this mountain and begin coasting down the other side!

Love to you all. I’d love to hear from anybody else who goes through this kind of thing – not only can we be vintage-loving, awesome goodness loving people, we can now be online, anxiety buddies ūüėČ

Take care
Love Mrs Jones x

My latest Etsy purchase…

My latest Etsy purchase…

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I’ve gone knitting and crochet crazy lately but I’m finding that when I’m out and about and wanting to pass the time in a crafty way I’ve been unable to find a cool, handy, perfect-size bag to transport my current project. Not surprising really that the major chains don’t stock anything like this. So what’s a girl to do?

Get online and log into Etsy, that’s what you do! So, after taking a little look around I came upon a wonderful little shop run by the lovely Ms Vicki, called That Clever Clementine. Ooh, it’s just filled with bags for all kinds of things and she also works in some super-cute vintage style fabrics too!

I happened to find myself the most perfect little bag, wich is called the ‘Zipper Wristlet Bag‘ and it holds just enough yarn, plus needles or crochet hook and scissors for some on the go craftiness.

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The reason that I’m writing a post about this lovely little shop, and Ms Vicki in particular, is that I was so thrilled with the quality and workmanship of this little bag! Seriously, friends, you really do get so used to mass-produced crap that when you take the time to find the perfect item that works exactly how you want it to, it really is an eye-opener about just how much work our small, handmade, creators put into their craft.

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I sell and make stuff myself, but probably because the work is mine, I just don’t think of it as being super special (you know how it is when you make something, all you see is how much better you could do it next time around?!). So I just wanted to remind you all that it truly is worth the time to source what you can from the makers out there, online and at markets, who just love what they make and put in the extra effort into their craft. Trust me, you’ll get a secret little thrill every time you use/wear/consume your purchase, plus you’re supporting the most awesome people – crafters and makers, who are generally looking after our world, taking out only as little as possible but giving back in so much bigger ways.

So thank you Ms Vicki, you really did make my day!

Love Mrs Jones x

 

Valentine’s Craft Inspiration…

Valentine’s Craft Inspiration…

Hello friends!

If you’re feeling a little crafty this weekend I’ve collected some photographic inspiration to get your Valentine’s project started.

If you want instructions or more inspiration, head on over to my Pinterest Crafty Goodness | Valentine’s Board for heaps more.

Have a lovely Love Day.

Love Mrs Jones x

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Vintage-style Christmas goodies for creating…

2974784_600x6002974782_600x6002974777_600x600Crate Paper’s ‘Fa La La’ and ‘Bundled Up’ series are just perfect for making your own vintage-styled tags, cards and other gorgeous Christmassy stuff this year. Check out the whole range at Two Peas in a Bucket¬†and get crafty now! Otherwise it will be Christmas before you know it and you won’t have any time up your sleeves! With Love, Mrs Jones x

 

Vintage-style papery goodness from Crate Paper…

Vintage-style papery goodness from Crate Paper…

Crate Paper has just released a new series, Flea Market, by Maggie Holmes. The inspiration for this collection comes from treasures you would find at your local vintage store and you’ll find lots of gorgeous patterns and vintage graphics to inspire! Maggie has used her favourite accent colours – gold and lots of pink! So if you’re looking to brighten up your scrap stash, Project Life or other paper/mixed-media crafts, you’ll find everything you need in this fabulous collection!6a00e55210ddf58834019104459daf970c-800wi