Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Social commentary for all occasions

Apologies for poor quality photos

I’d been wanting to create a set of greetings cards for a while, and it was whilst complaining about our reliance and obsession with social media (something that I too am guilty of) that I decided upon a set of Facebook themed cards. Ironically, they have been well received on Facebook.

They are a set of 6:
– "Congratulations on your relationship becoming Facebook official"
– "I only remembered it was your birthday because Facebook told me"
– I like you"
– "Happy fake birthday! (I fraped you last week)"
– "Sorry I forgot your birthday, but you've deactivated your Facebook account"
– "Congratulations on your new baby, I can't wait to see hundreds of photos on Facebook every week"


I made it! It's over!

The day I was offered my job was also the day of my final university hand in. 3 years at the University of Cumbria (plus the 1 year at Leeds Art) and it's all over.

I've learnt so much during my design education and I'll be forever grateful to the people who have supported me and helped me through it. I've learnt a lot about myself during my time at uni but even more so this last year and I've channelled that into my work and used it as my drive to succeed. There have been plenty of ups and downs but I can definitely say I'm ending on a high, both in terms of the friendships I've made and my future.

If I can survive university, then so can you.


Not quite a room tour

I could lie and say this is a room tour post, but I'd be lying. That is something I think I'm going to do for a future post though as my room and the stuff in it is my pride and joy. This is just something I needed to do after living out of a suitcase for several weeks and realising my room was an absolute cesspit. I gave it a total overhaul and a huge clear out because a tidy room = a tidy mind and holy moly my mind was a total mess. 

Welcome to my room
My room is my favourite place and I feel like it's got a lot of personality (because of all my "junk") I've also come to realise my desk hasn't been used for its intended purpose once. It's just where I store all my favourite little things and the books that won't fit on my bookshelf. Also, I will never let anyone tell me I have too many soft toys, there is no such thing (and this isn't even half of my collection, it's just all I could bring to uni)


King and Queen of the castle (for the weekend)

The weekend in between my two interviews we stayed at Banwell Castle (between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare) for Bryce's cousin-in-law's 30th birthday. It was such a lovely weekend surrounded by Bryce's family who are all so welcoming, and it was so exciting to be staying in a castle – the owners have tried to keep the aesthetic as genuine as possible and it's definitely different to a normal getaway. 

Each room has a four poster bed and ours was the most colourful which made me very happy (I'm not going to lie though, it definitely wasn't the comfiest of beds) 

I was also able to have a bath, in what was coined the "Beamish bath" and used one of my carrots from my Lush "Bunch of carrots" which made for an amazing orange coloured bath which smelt incredible.

The day before the party we went to Weston-super-Mare. I'd say it was to see the sights and enjoy the beach etc, but really it was just so Bryce could go on the claw machines at the amusements: he likes winning and I like teddies – it's a perfect match. Over the last year Bryce has won several Minion toys for me, but we've always tried and failed to get the one wearing a maid outfit. Not this time! We came away with 2 Minion toys and they both came out within about 10 minutes – Bryce has gained some serious skills from all the practice over the last year or so. 

There was also 2 resident peacocks who were absolutely beautiful, but so noisy outside our window first thing in the morning! I don't think anything has felt more surreal than being at a party in the grounds of a castle for the weekend, with four poster beds and peacocks. 


So I kind of have some HUGE news

I actually couldn't wait to get to the end of the post to write this:

But here's how it happened:

Back in February I applied for a job as Design Assistant to the Children's department of Penguin (now Penguin Random House) and I remember thinking there is never going to be a job more perfect for me than this; reading/books and design are my 2 favourite things ever and in a position like this I would get to be a part of the 2 combined. I already had my CV and PDF portfolio ready but I needed a cover letter and it needed to be a damn good one for such a prestigious company. I put my absolute heart and soul into that cover letter (that might sound cliché but it's true) and was very honest, because that's the best way to be. People want to see enthusiasm, and I've got plenty of it. 

Just under 3 weeks ago I received an email telling me I'd been shortlisted and invited for interview at Penguin publishers down in London the following Tuesday and I couldn't believe it. I actually think I'm still in shock. So early Monday morning Bryce and I packed up the car, got some coffee and drove down to London for a couple of days so we could make the most of being there around my interview.

Making the most of being in London included visiting the new flagship Lush store which has 3 floors(!!!) There's so many new and exclusive products I could have spent hours in there, and probably did. I restrained myself though and came away with just a couple of soaps and bath melts. The soap is salted caramel scented and I can't get enough of it. I also bought a present for Frankie as she was letting us stay with her – nothing says thank you like Lush products (or people might think you're saying they smell, hopefully it's the former)

I also fell absolutely in love with the carrier bag.

We didn't actually do anything hugely tourist-y as we wanted to use the couple of days to relax, not including the panic before the interview, and before we knew it it was time for my interview.

I don't want to get too much into the actual interview itself as that's my personal experience and I'd quite like to keep it to myself as it was such a great experience but I fell in love with the place as soon as I walked into the reception (the table has books IN it!) I remember thinking "even if I don't get this job, at least I got to come here and oh wow it's amazing!" – this excitement did not leave me the whole interview. The 2 people who interviewed me were absolutely lovely, and I can't believe I get to work with them. I was so over-enthusiastic about Adventure Time they gave me this book to take home with me which I thought was so nice of them and now I have it as a permanent reminder of my interview (as well as my job)

The following week I was invited back for a second interview, which was to take place in 2 days time, which meant I got to go back to London, see Frankie again, visit Lush again and then relive the dream at the Penguin offices and show more people my portfolio. I really felt like the pressure was on this time, but knowing I'd got so far gave me the drive to really go for it even more this time. Being interviewed by someone else who was easy to talk to definitely helped too. I didn't think I could be more enthusiastic about the job, but apparently I had reserves and it paid off. I received a phone call the following day as I was just getting back into Carlisle offering me the job and I cried. Genuinely cried.

I still stand by what I said in my second interview:
This is more than just a job for me, this is a lifestyle and the absolute dream. I want a job that I'm passionate about, that I think about all the time and I really enjoy.

But now I've actually got it and I still can't believe it.
 Over 300 down to 20 down to 6 down to 2 down to 1

A hectic few weeks

I've been very absent from my blog for the last month because I've been super super busy travelling up and down the country between Carlisle and London, Carlisle and Bristol, and Carlisle and Leeds (plus lots of other journeys in between) for lots of exciting things which I'll go into properly in the rest of today's posts. There was also the small matter of my final hand in at university ever. EVER. As scary as that sounds it is an amazing feeling and after 4 years I finally don't have a tight ball of stress in my chest anymore (okay I lied, it's still there but it's definitely a lot smaller) I now finally have time to read!

On one of my many many many train journeys over the last few weeks I decided to tweak my icon slightly to make my hair look a little more realistic and less flat. The version I use as my Twitter icon can be seen at the top of this post, however for some reason Blogger has decided to give me an extreme tan which I don't have until I upload it which I find hilarious as I'm very pasty in real life and proud of it.

So from me and my fake tanned icon, we hope you enjoy this little catch up of what I've been doing for the last month or so which does actually include some work. Only some though.
I've been a very busy lady.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

One day at a time

"People cope with mental health problems in many different ways. I do it one day at a time"
– A personal zine exploring some of the ways I cope with anxiety and depression

 So this is what I've been working on for the past 2 days and I've really enjoyed it. I've been wanting to make a zine for a while, and I decided on the content idea on Monday whilst not feeling so great about coming back to Carlisle. I know I'm not the worlds greatest artist, nor do I pretend to be, but I'm pleased with myself for actually seeing this through and making something positive from it.

 This is just the digital copy until I print next week