Tag Archives: Summer

May days

May is my favourite month of the year.

Obviously, I am a little bit biased, seeing as it’s my birthday month, and I did have a very lovely birthday!

balloon girl

No parties this year (phew), but I did have two massages in 2 days and along with some lovely presents, I bought myself a super cute pair of sparkly trainers!


Anyway, May is my favourite month as Spring is in full swing and Summer is on it’s way, and to take full advantage of that, at the start of the month we finally got our garden sorted!

This was the garden on the day we got the keys, 30th September:


The garden* hadn’t been touched since April, when the house went on the market (*at this point, I think calling it a garden is a bit generous).

Luckily, knowing our lack of garden skills, my mum and stepdad helped tackle all of the bushes and the lawn* (again, I think using the word lawn is a bit generous), and so this was our glorious garden in April, after 6months of doing nothing:


(bonus points if you can spot both cats)

A few highlights to note:

1. The falling down fence on the righthand side, 2. The hideous pale brown mess that used to be a lawn, 3. The weird central flowerbed, 4. The ugly and slippery sleepers, 5. The tiny, weirdly shaped patio, with equally tiny, pointless wall, 6.The strange piles of rubble dotted around the garden

Me and the boyf had spent an entire weekend on just that silly, central flowerbed by this point and we realised that we would need a bit of help if we wanted to use the garden this year.

Cue a very green fingered and patient gardener and two quick and skilled carpenters and in just over two weeks, it became:


A real garden!

Look! It’s green! It’s healthy! It’s stripy!

It’s now 3 weeks later, and it’s still green and healthy, no plant deaths yet and the sun has come out in force! We can’t wait to finally be able to have people round to enjoy the Summer in our cute (and importantly, easy to maintain!) garden.

Right, the sun is still shining, so if you need me, I’ll be in the garden.


IMG_2842 copy

Summer round up

It looks like Summer is officially over for yet another year, but that does mean that Autumn is just around the corner.

This Summer, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time at home painting and enjoying the sunshine (and rain showers!).


I designed and printed 16 new cards for my etsy store (go on, have a browse!), I painted 8 christmas card designs that I’m no longer keen on (typical!) and I’ve finally found my own painting style.


Well, hello there, indeed! I’ve been trying to figure out for so long what kind of style I wanted for my illustrations and I am so glad I’ve found it at last!


As a lover of childrens’ books, fairy tales and animated films, it’s surprising that it took me so long to realise that this is what would capture my imagination and give me most inspiration.


So now my sketchbooks are slowly filling up with cute and colourful illustrations of little ones on adventures, playing dress up and making friends. I share most of my favs on instagram, so follow me there for the latest illustrations!



Good weather for ducks

No matter how strongly the sun is shining, you know it’s only a matter of time before it starts raining again. After all, it is the Great British Summer!

Even as I write this, I’ve just had to dash outside to bring the sun lounger in. What started out as a glorious August morning has turned into an unpredictable day swinging between toasty sunshine and spots of rain. Oh well, it started brightly!

When I used to visit my Gran in the summer holidays, we’d look out on rainy days to see ducks merrily gliding along the river at the end of the garden. They’d be swimming along in the rain, diving in, in search of food or an unlucky holiday maker handing out bread under cover of a large umbrella. I’d huff and slouch my shoulders at another day wasted and my Gran would cheerfully say ‘well, it’s good weather for ducks.’


So maybe, it’s time to stop frowning at the rain clouds and embrace the British weather.


And perhaps, it’s also time to invest in a good anorak and wellies!



Where has the time gone?!

Time passes in strange ways.

It feels like it was only a few weeks ago that I was celebrating the arrival of spring and getting excited about designing a few new cards for my etsy shop. Now its over two months later, I’m sat in glorious summer sunshine, that may or may not be here to stay, and I’m still yet to print my new cards!

Life, or rather work, seems to get in the way!


Last week, I was in Denmark for work. It was lots of long days, laughs and walking in inappropriate shoes. After weeks of prep, it was over in a flash. I got to meet lots of lovely new people and explore a little bit of what seemed to be a beautiful and relaxed country.


And so, I’m back home, lounging in the sunshine, getting ready for the next project and putting the final touches to my new cards. As a little sneak peak, here is one of my new wedding cards, soon to be stocked in my etsy shop:


As a slight aside, a HUGE thank you to those of you who have bought my cards! I don’t think Clintons have anything to worry about at the moment, but it’s so exciting every time someone chooses to send one of my cards!

Recently, my sketchbook has been filling up with little characters such as the adorable little boy with his duck below. As you probably know, I love children’s stories and animated films, so hopefully, if enough little characters appear in my sketches, I’ll be that little bit closer to creating my own story.


So in celebration of the arriving Summer, here is my Summer girl dreaming of days filled with daisy chains, adventures and ice cream. I hope the sun is shining where you are, as I’m planning on making the most of my time off in the sun and am heading out in search of a cornetto!


summer girl

Making the most of Summer

With just under two weeks of August still remaining, it seems that summer has slipped away.

This week I’ve dug out my little scarf and jacket and contemplated bringing out the boots to combat the recent chill.

Ok, so anyone that knows me may be aware that I can be a little quick to over-react to cold weather – there is nothing worse than being constantly cold because you didn’t put on a thick enough jumper (except perhaps wet feet, which is my ultimate clothing-based nightmare), but still the weather has definitely taken a step towards chilly and brisk rather than warm and breezy.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent the summer wearing jumpers in our air conditioned office, or because we had such a sunny start to July, but I definitely feel like this summer has snuck by all too quickly.

I love snuggly layers as much as anyone, but I’m not quite ready to pack away the shorts and flip flops just yet.

I painted this back around Easter time, when we went on a little family boat trip and I had dreams of spending the summer in sun dresses and wide brimmed hats, trailing my fingers in the River Cam as we took impromptu punting trips in Cambridge… Needless to say, I’m a little short on summer dresses, straw hats embarrass the Boyf and the only times we went to Cambridge this summer it chucked it down with rain!

dreaming of boats

I may just consider this extremely advanced planning for next summer! Did you make the most of the sunshine or are there things on your next-summer to do list?



Festival season is here!

British festival season is edging ever closer.

As I waited for my train this morning I saw a group of guys and a girl stocked up and ready to head on their way to Download, the rock and metal festival that’s usually the first on the big festival calendar.

Seeing these 5 ready and set for their adventure at 7am this morning, over 48hrs before the first band walks on stage really brought a smile to my face.

They had 3 sack trolleys loaded up with boxes of beer and cider, each had a rucksack the size of a small child along with a collection of tent bags, roll up mats and even funnels (I can only guess what the funnels are for?!).

The best word I could use to describe them was stoked (not a word I often use!). They looked stoked to be going on this adventure together, excited about the weekend ahead and at least a little smug that they weren’t one of the commuters!

I can’t blame them one tiny bit! I’ve been to a few festivals and the atmosphere is always amazing. There is nothing better than a live band and everyone is there to have a good time.

The only problem I have is with the camping side of it – for all the predictable reasons, toilets/showering/bad hair days/cold nights in the tent/muggy mornings in the tent etc. but if you forget about all of those little bits, it is unmissable and unforgettable (alcohol levels depending)!

One of my best festival moments was watching Greenday with my bestie on a Sunday morning in Reading – they were the worst kept secret that we still managed to miss the start of, but when we entered the tent the atmosphere was electric, the crowd were jumping, dancing, singing, shouting, pushing, shoving, drinking and smiling and Greenday were belting out there best songs, from old classics to new. Everyone knew enough words to join in and they refused to leave the stage after their slot was finished – it was such a brilliant moment.

So brilliant that this photo sums it up so much better than I could ever capture with a paintbrush!


 Admittedly not the most flattering pic of either of us, but definitely worth sharing! Can I tempt any of you to share your ‘so happy, you just don’t care’ photos?!



Mastering the bbq, round 2

Just over two years ago me and the boyf moved into our first home together. As a little house (flat) warming present, my mum bought us an adorable little red bbq for us to enjoy on sunny days on our balcony.

One such sunny day came around and we lit the little bbq and eagerly waited for it to do what ever it is that bbq coals do, so we could break out the burgers and sausages.



Slowly, we managed to fill not just our flat with thick smoke, but also both of the flats either side of us… Then, the ever-so slightly irrational fear that we might melt the windows filled me with dread. So, we did what any other normal person would do in this situation. We admitted defeat and flooded the bbq with a bucket of water.

Which would have been a great idea, if I’d remembered to shut the ventilation grate at the bottom of the bbq and the balcony below us didn’t have a washing line filled with white clothing. Oh dear…

This year, we were determined to try again. So, we invited my brother round and put our little bbq in his trusted hands! We had a great evening, we didn’t set anything alight, didn’t melt down the conservatory and didn’t get food poisoning, the sun was shining, we had some 90s/00s rock music on and a few beers chilling in the fridge.

We even had a little stroll down to the pubs by the river, to enjoy a few drinks in the evening sun.

beth, rob and joe

But, of course, no evening out could be complete without a few lovely flowers collected in slightly suspicious circumstances!

stolen flowers

These are the things perfect weekends are made of!



Waiting for sunshine

It only took a few warm days over the weekend and my winter clothes have been consigned to the back of the wardrobe!

I think I may have acted a bit too soon… The clouds have come back with a vengeance, it may not be rainy, but it certainly is chilly again!

So in anticipation of sunny days to come and the hope for a long and warm summer, I give you the most glamourous yellow sundress.

yellow sundress

Doesn’t this just make you think of sipping chilled wine on the riverside terrace of a bar in the height of summer? Bring on the sunshine!