Plastic Ocean

This time of year and in particular this year I find myself looking back over old projects and thinking about my time at university. In particular the moment when we finished and were navigating the industry to find work - I'm in a similar situation now!

I thought I'd use this moment to reflect on an old project I did back in my final year in 2011 which was about plastic in the ocean. To be honest now when you look at them from a graphic design point of view they are not the most inspiring in terms of design, however they are 7 years old!

You can find the books I created on issuu here here and here.

A creative lunch with Alice in Scandiland
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Oh beautiful bright space!

A delicious lunch and instagram chats with Alice in Scandiland 

Well where to start... It's been a long time since I've written blog posts (about ten years!), so you may have to bear with me a little at times!

Since becoming freelance and working from home I have known that I would need to over haul my website, my social media life and just get with the times. 7 years in industry and the security of the monthly pay packet has made me a little out of touch with technology and where to even start with marketing myself and finding work. Hell even my laptop / computer and printer is circa 2009 and is in desperate need of an update, but more on that another time. Today I'm going to tell you about the creative workshop I went to on Tuesday at the home of Alice in Scandiland.

I've been following Alice and her Alice in Scandiland blog on and off for about a year or two. It was while we were in the process of renovating our own home and sourcing furniture online that I first stumbled across her page. I think it may have been our joint love of Ercol Furniture... but also I really love reading the odd blog here and there.

A few weeks ago I saw on instagram that she was offering up a creative lunch to learn more about Instagram and I found myself thinking... do I need to learn about instagram? do I want more followers? do I step out of this comfort zone that is my house and go and meet some new people and see where it takes me? And I thought hell yes and I also thought her cooking looked pretty damn good so why the hell not!

Unfortunately by the time I had got in touch with Alice I had missed the boat and I had to wait until she launched more dates in August. I looked around and felt a little bit disappointed about the prospect of not actually leaving the house, sad even! I carried on with the weekly routine, searching online for new work, working on projects for current clients and doing the lidl shop... 

However, on Monday evening I received a message from Alice saying she had last minute availability on her workshop the following day. I sat and thought about it, pondering whether to make the drive to St Austell... and whether I needed to be spending money on a workshop... and whether I actually felt ready to put myself out there... I mean I don't even have business cards or a logo I'm happy with!

But you know what, I am so glad I did. It was flippin' fantastic. Alice was an incredible host, making us feel at ease and welcome right from the get go. Her home and garden is as beautiful in real life as it is on instagram and was adorned with gorgeous flowers including a wreath on her front door.

I instantly admired Alice and her bravery for inviting strangers into her home and holding such an event, truly an inspiration! Upon arrival she seated us in her garden which is full of wildlife friendly plants including some exceptional Fox Gloves. I got talking with Kelly a lady whom I instantly recognised as we had met 10 years ago on a Interior Design course in Truro. She runs the Midtown Deli & Cafe and Penperth Farm (which I am now desperate to go and check out when I next head to the Roseland). Soon after Anna and Kim arrived, they run JUNO, a stunning homeware and clothing brand of which they make everything for, which is just incredible!  

Alice made us introduce ourselves and then spoke about the session and introduced herself. We were invited into the kitchen as it began to drizzle and we were served a delicious lunch of salads and flatbreads. We then chatted about life, business and of course Instagram and how to make it work for us. Alice spoke with such confidence, teaching us the ways and secrets of the platform and I loved how she made each point relevant to each of us.

I learnt so much... with a mismatched instagram feed of homelife, cats, flowers, crafting and travel it was clear I needed to find some consistency and actually figure out 1. What it is I actually am and 2. Post images that will be beneficial to helping me find more work... I'm sure it will come together in time. If you want to find out more about how you can make Instagram work for you you'll have to sign up to one of Alice's workshops ;)

As we left I felt a little sad to be leaving the comfort and warmth of Alice's home, but it was time to put everything I had learned into practice and she had given us some lovely little goody bags to take home.

Into the world of freelance

The past year has been some what of a whirlwind, I left my design job in children's wear of almost 6 years to embark on a new career in Interior Design. I felt like I just needed a change, it was time to try something new. I spent just over 6 months working at an interior design agency which was incredible, I loved it but I had this feeling of trying to go it alone that I just could not kick.

So back in February I left the security of a full time job and went on my own. The first month I spent selling things on eBay, clearing some clutter and trying to pull together enough to pay the bills. I also went to see my Mum in Wales which was a rare luxury and got to spend some quality time with her. March and April flew by, I had some kids wear and graphic design projects on while also making all the decorations and organising our wedding which was at the beginning of May. 

I'm now just starting to think about my own branding, re-designing my website and trying to design some products of my own to sell. So watch this space!

All in all it's a very exciting, if not slightly daunting time and there is so much for me to learn... like trying to figure out how to let people know that this little website is even here!

Lisa Claire Stewart Flower Peony Coral Pink

Hello all and welcome to my new blog. I used to blog a lot, sharing my inspiration and adventures but over the past couple of years life has gotten in the way and I haven't kept up with it. This has mainly been due to a full time job, house renovation and caring for my grandfather who sadly passed away earlier this year.

I thought I would start with a photograph of one of my favourite flowers - Peonies. These beauties were bought from a flower stall in Truro, I couldn't resist the delicate neon coral pink petals. I am totally obsessing over our new garden at the moment, spending lots of time in the garden centre trying to decide which plants would survive our hill top location.

Also, Gardener's World has become a TV favourite as I love learning garden secrets. I'm still learning how to put together different plants to provide all year round colour and how to plant them. Sometimes I have underestimated how big they will get and sometimes the flower colour hasn't quite been as I imagined which leads to an interesting looking garden.

I'll share some pictures of our garden transformation soon!

Thank you for reading and welcome!