Friday, 17 May 2013
just stopping in to say a very brief howdy from Austin, Texas. I'm having the time of my life, and I may never come home again. I left London in such a whirlwind, and didn't get a chance to schedule the blog posts I wanted to post while I was away, however now I'm all settled here I fully intend on taking a few hours to post them - there are some interviews with a few of my super talented friends which I think you will all enjoy reading.
but until then, if you need me I will be by the pool with a margarita in one hand and a taco in the other. I can't wait to share all my photos with you! wish you were here xoxo
Posted by Zoe Jade at 03:57
Friday, 10 May 2013
Friday, 3 May 2013
letting go is hard. sometimes it's almost impossible. letting go of a past relationship from which you never had any closure is one of the hardest. even when you think you're over it, and you've moved on with your life finally, you hear a song, or see a photo of them, and it's like someone just kicked you in the gut and all you want is to curl up in bed and cry until you fall asleep.
lately this is a topic that's been on my mind a lot. moving on. letting go. turning a new page. starting a new chapter. all those usual cliches. it's never that simple though, is it? continuing with the book metaphor (because it's easy and hey, I love me some books) you try to turn a new page, but in fact someone spilt something sticky and gross on the book, and the pages are all stuck together. you try to separate them but they tear, and the print rubs off from one page to another, and in places it's impossible to read the writing. because, let's face it, there is no quick fix. there is no new page to turn, because life isn't a book. all any of us can do is be here, and deal with each day as it comes, and face the fact that there will be some days where you don't think about the past, but there will be others where you feel like you cannot escape it. all I can say is those days get fewer and further between, and one day you will wake up and realise you haven't thought about that person for a whole week, or a fortnight, or a month. yes, that's probably the same day you will see a photo of them on holiday holding hands with their new girlfriend, and you will then eat an entire crispy duck on your own, but that's okay.
sometimes I think that part of the reason I've been single for so long (other than being a man-repeller) is because I haven't been able to move on from my ex. and I don't want that part of my past to influence or carry over into any new relationship. I wanted to be able to turn over to a new page and have the whole 'fresh start' but I realise now that's not going to be possible because, to quote Chuck Palahniuk (holler at me my fellow Palahniuk fans) 'I am the combined efforts of every person I've ever known.' that relationship, it made me who I am, it's part of me. sure it was a pile of horse crap, but I know it's made me better and stronger (try saying that without wanting to sing Daft Punk, I dare you) as a person. I AM SUPER WOMAN. no, but for reals, all that crap about hitting rock bottom and the only way being up, it's all true. it's easy to say I'd rather never have met that guy, but where would I be now? probably in the FBI as a world-renowned behavioural analyst (I KNOW RIGHT?!) but you know what, I'm pretty cool with how my life is right now, so whatever brought me here can't be all that bad.
but at the same time I need to not let that one negative experience affect how I think about new relationships - just because I had my heart broken once, doesn't necessarily mean I will again. it's like that cheesy quote that you always see on fridge magnets; 'love like you've never been hurt.' I don't want to hold back and not show affection because I'm worried history will repeat itself. maybe it will, maybe it won't, but either way I can't see into the future.
these posts are called 'thoughts and ramblings' for a reason - sorry to vent on you guys. I feel much better now. feel free to join in the group therapy in the comments, or email me direct if you prefer :) xoxo
Thursday, 2 May 2013
I can't believe it's taken me so long to blog about this but, in eleven days time, I am jetting off to Austin, Texas for two weeks. It's partly a bit of a holiday, and partly because I am going to be selling my jewellery at the Renegade Craft Fair there!
If you've followed this blog for a while you will know I sold at the Renegade Craft Fair in London last September and had an absolute blast. So this year I wanted to try one of their American fairs, and as I've wanted to visit Austin for many years now, it seemed as good a time as any to take a trip!
I will be away from Monday 13th May until Saturday 25th May, but my lovely assistant Freya will be packing up orders while I'm in the US of A, and I will of course still be checking emails and the like (what is this 'rest' you speak of?!) This is my first holiday in nearly four years, so needless to say I'm MEGA excited! Me and my bestie Emma are staying in a proper old school style motel and everything, it's going to be awesome! Two weeks of eating tacos, catching sun, shopping for tacky souvenirs, eating ice cream, eating in general....
Have any of you lovely people been to Austin before? If so can you recommend any particularly good places to visit/eat/drink?
I'm sure I have written a list similar to this one in the past... but hey, don't judge, it's hard coming up with new list topics! I have a really addictive personality, and will quickly become obsessed with something new, and then a short while later I will become sick of it. here are a few things which I'm obsessing over right now...
1. game of thrones - I'm trying to read all the books (well, the ones that are out) before I start watching the TV series... I'm so hooked, I spend every spare minute reading them, and I never want them to end! the last time I was this obsessed with a book series was with Hunger Games (shhhhh don't tell anyone!) so far the only thing on my birthday wishlist is a direwolf...
2. vanilla coke - yup, they have brought it back, but apparently it's only for a limited period, so obviously that means I need to consume at least three cans a day. Right? (I'm so addicted to this stuff it's unreal)
3. my diary/notebook - I have three diaries and three notebooks in which my entire life is planned out, and if I lost them I would genuinely shed tears. as Ladybird Likes grows I become more and more reliant on these to keep me organised. everyone keeps trying to convince me to switch to digital planners/apps but I really need to write things down and cross them off!
4. Texas guidebooks - it's only 11 days until my trip to Austin, Texas (the countdown has begun) and when I'm stressed out (which is pretty much ALL THE TIME at the moment) I stop and have a quick flick through these guides
5. the pitch perfect soundtrack - I can't stop listening to it. it makes me so happy. I think I have a problem. 'there's a party in the USAAAAAA'
6. vitamin E capsules - a friend told me a few months ago to buy vitamin E capsules, break them open, and put the liquid goo stuff inside on my face before bed and it's hands down the best beauty tip anyone has ever given me. i'm not really into any beauty stuff - I suffer from adult acne, and tend to just use stuff for that, but the vitamin E makes your skin look and feel amazing the next day. really soft and hydrated, plus it reduces scarring!
what things are you guys currently obsessed with/can't live without?
Monday, 29 April 2013
all four new designs of collar clips are now up in our Etsy shop - we have pugs, kittens, toadstools and leopards, so there is sure to be a pair to tickle everyone's fancy! we may also have a further two styles coming VERY soon (one of which is my current favourite piece of jewellery!), and perhaps some new necklaces....
ALSO if you head over to our instagram (and if you don't already follow us we are @ladybirdlikes) there is a giveaway to win a pair of our new collar clips, so be sure to enter!
there is a LOT going on here at Ladybird Likes HQ right now, not least because I'm going away for a few weeks (more on that tomorrow.) but I'm genuinely really excited to share it all with you guys - we have tons of new products, some collaborations, and a few exciting new ventures.
Posted by Zoe Jade at 23:41
Friday, 26 April 2013
one of the BEST things about designing and making jewellery is seeing other people wearing it. seriously, every time a customer posts a picture of themselves wearing Ladybird Likes, I get so excited, it's the best feeling. I also love seeing how different people style pieces. so I figured why not share some of the gorgeous faces sporting Ladybird Likes?
Alice from Schadenfreude wears her Black Cat Collar Clips with a gorgeous mint green jumper and shirt - I am obsessed with the colour of her jumper!
Emily from Emily Divine rocks a Scarlett Miniature Butterfly Necklace with a pink dungaree dress and white shirt - I love how her lipstick is almost the exact same shade of red as the butterfly.
Annika from The Pineneedle Collective also rocks the Black Cat Collar Clips, but this time on a dress that (wait for it folks) has LADYBIRDS ON IT. that's right, she's wearing Ladybird Likes jewellery with a dress covered in ladybirds. mind = blown.
Katie, the super cute lady behind Coeurs de Foxes, is one of my favourite fashion bloggers, so I'm super excited she now owns a pair of Zooey Butterfly Collar Clips, and I love how she styles them in a 'back to school' outfit. Also, that hat needs to be mine.
Posted by Zoe Jade at 17:00
Thursday, 25 April 2013
I know, I know, you wait ages for a bus and then three come along at once.... we only just launched our new range of bird jewellery, and now here we are with yet more new things! in all honesty, the birds really should have been launched about a month ago, but everything has been so hectic around here (sorry, I know it's such a rubbish excuse!)
but our other collar clips have been SO popular, it seemed only right to create more collar clips for you crazy kids. we have toadstools, pugs, more cats, leopards, and even a pair of curly moustaches (which aren't actually pictured here.)
I know you're not meant to have favourites of your own work (just like you're not meant to have a favourite child, but we all know that's a lie) however these pugs have stolen my heart, and the hearts of lots of my instagram followers too!
these will be up in my Etsy shop on Monday, priced at £12 a pair, so watch this space! there MAY also be a cheeky instagram competition happening next week to win a pair of your choice, so if you're not already following us on there (we're @ladybirdlikes) then get on it so you don't miss out!
Posted by Zoe Jade at 23:57
Monday, 22 April 2013
that's right folks, to celebrate the launch of our newest range of bird themed jewellery, we are hosting a giveaway where one lucky person will win a pair of bird collar clips, a bird necklace AND a bird brooch of their choosing. all you have to do to enter is....
1. be following Ladybird Likes via GFC or via bloglovin and then...
2. leave a comment below with your favourite item from the Ladybird Likes Etsy shop! SIMPLES.
and if you'd like to get an extra entry (or two) you can mention the giveaway on twitter (include a link to this post and be sure to include @ladybirdlikes), and you can also go over and like our Facebook page right here. please leave a separate comment for each extra thing you do - you can potentially enter THREE times!
entries will close at midnight on Friday 26th April 2013, and we will contact the winner via email so please make sure you leave your email address in your comment!
Saturday, 20 April 2013
I keep forgetting to post my iphone photo round up over here on the blog - I know most people that follow this blog will have seen these pictures already on my instagram (I'm @ladybirdlikes if you don't already follow me!) but thought I'd share them anyway as I like looking back over them and hope you will too! (descriptions are clockwise from top left photo)
my bestie drew a picture of me in exchange for some collar clips - I seriously have THE most talented friends ever // chocolate lollies made by another of my besties for the Lazy Oaf x Kickers launch party // new bird collar clips available in my Etsy shop right now // first hints of spring are starting to arrive (about time too - it's the middle of April!)
current favourite necklace by Me and Zena // the boy-o gave me this lollipop and now I cannot stop saying 'yea boi' all the time // Lazy Oaf neon sign at the Spring '13 launch party // cute graffiti in Brighton - I spent the day there with my sister selling at the Art Junky market
yes folks, vanilla coke is officially back // these cute little pugs will be part of my new range of collar clips! launching in a couple of weeks time, eek // pretty pens make me oh so happy // I finally got totoro decals for my laptop and they make me smile every time I see them
my ma and pa went on holiday to Italy and bought me some Marc Jacobs perfume back (so spoilt) // the pupster loves sitting on a chair at the table like a human // first ice cream van of the season - mr whippy ice cream oyster with a flake NOM // my favourite part of these lighter evenings is the incredible sunsets
Friday, 19 April 2013
Thursday, 18 April 2013
this week marks my four year anniversary as a single lady (holla holla at my single gals.) in some ways these four years have flown by, and in other ways they have been the longest four years of my life. going from being in a long-term relationship (I was with my boyfriend for nearly 5 years) to being on your own is so hard, but I'd made it harder for myself without even realising it. for five years I'd built myself a life as 'Dan's girlfriend' and had slowly isolated myself from my friends and family, to the point where I didn't know how to be anything else. it's the WORST feeling ever to realise you've become the type of person you hate. (okay hate is a strong word, but I really can't stand overly 'coupley' couples, where they live in each other's pockets all the time and have no life outside of their relationship. yet that is exactly what I'd become!)
so over the past four years I've rebuilt myself a life that doesn't revolve around a boy - I got a new job, built up a company of my own, made new friends, went back to study more, travelled a bit, and started to work out who I am. it hasn't been easy - most of the time I've been happy being single, but there have been occasions where the desire to have a boyfriend type figure has been almost overwhelming. I know there are other people out there in a situation like mine, and I just thought I'd share some of the ways I've kept myself (mostly) positive and motivated and enjoying life as a single gal....
1. keep busy - the times when I have felt really mopey and crappy have usually been times when I am alone a lot with nothing to keep me occupied, or nothing coming up in my diary to look forward to. since becoming single I've thrown myself into all sorts of things to keep busy - I've taken diploma courses in photography, japanese, photojournalism, and visual thinking. I've passed my PADI open water diver course in Thailand. I've worked as a freelance photographer and a vintage homeware buyer, started a blog, built up my own jewellery business, taught myself photoshop, learnt how to embroider and crochet, and numerous other things. these are all things I probably wouldn't have made time to do if I was still in my relationship, but they are things I really wanted to do. being single is the perfect time to be totally selfish, and do things you want to do just because you can.
2. don't feel sorry for yourself - this links into the previous point as the more time you have to sit and think, the more likely you are to throw yourself a pity party. it's okay to feel sorry for yourself for a while. I didn't leave my bed for two weeks straight, and hardly spoke to or saw anyone. I pretty much had to burn the clothes I lived in for that time. the only reason I'm not still there is because I had to finish my dissertation for my degree (excellent timing huh? we broke up 6 weeks before all my final projects and my dissertation had to be handed in. I came so close to not handing anything in, and throwing away 3 years of hard work. crazy.) but when the pity party ended, I didn't let myself mope. not alone at least. if I needed to feel sad I would invite someone over and tell them about how I felt. putting how I was feeling into words, and sharing it with someone else, really helped me to move on as I could analyse my emotions far better than if they were just swimming around in my brain.
3. embrace the change - when me and Dan split up my whole life changed. I lost a lot of friends. not straight away, but over time. now I have the most incredible friends, who totally get who I am, and love me despite my massive flaws, but hardly any of them knew me when I was with Dan. I think of it like a clean slate, but sometimes it makes me incredibly sad to think of the people I no longer see or speak to. but life is all about change - my life with Dan seems less like four years ago, and more like another lifetime. it would be easy to wish I was still with him, but I am finally realising that us splitting up was for the best, and that I have a much better life now.
4. let other people help you - I have trust issues. I'm a bit of a control freak. why trust someone else to do something for you, when you can do it yourself? that's pretty much my motto. but over the last four years I've learnt that I can't always make myself feel better when I'm having a bad day, but there are other people who can make me feel better if I let them. I have friends I can call or text when I have a problem, or need to talk, and they will drop everything to be there for me. luckiest gal alive right here.
5. not sweating the little things - okay, they're not such little things. living at home again, not being sure about where my future will end up, how will I ever afford to move out, can I be self-employed forever and live the kind of life I want to live, will I find someone who can put up with me and my obsession with musical soundtracks? these are all questions I ask myself on a regular basis, that I didn't worry about when I was in a relationship. but worrying about them doesn't make them go away, or give me an answer. so, very, very slowly, I'm learning to let go and not worry about them. not quite a 'whatever will be, will be' attitude, as I do believe you are in control of your own life - if I didn't work hard and push things for Ladybird Likes, they wouldn't just 'happen' as if by magic - but I can't predict the future, I can only make the most of what I have right now.
I don't know if this post will be of help to anyone else, but it feels good writing it down, and marking on this blog in a small way the fact that I'm still here after four years.
one of my favourite things about Etsy is looking at the treasuries other sellers/buyers put together - it's such a good way of finding new shops on there, and I love seeing how people group things they like together. we have been lucky enough to have been featured in some really beautiful treasuries lately, so I thought I'd share a few of them with you - click on the link to see the treasury in full with links to the products.
this amazing green themed treasury called Green POPs by jessjamesjake has some really gorgeous pieces in it (including our black cat collar clips) - that deer figurine in the top left corner is amazing!
how could I not fall in love with this moon themed treasury called Moonset by LunaEssence - anyone who knows me knows about my obsession with anything lunar or solar. one day I dream of living somewhere you can see all the stars at night...
AppleWhite included our black cat collar clips in their So Many Favorites treasury along with lots of other awesome pieces (I'm a bit in love with that 'hello' tote bag and the black spike ring)
and lastly look at this beautiful 'sweetie' treasury by nanofactory which includes lots of light colours and natural elements - how incredible is that vintage rotary telephone at the top? WANT!
Posted by Zoe Jade at 13:16
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
as the Ladybird Likes brand constantly grows and evolves, I've been focusing on trying to create consistent branding and packaging for the whole range. although I loved my old style of packaging (luggage tags in white and brown with handstamped logos on them) they were too flimsy and took extra time to make which was okay when I only had 50 to stamp, but when I had several thousand.... yeah! so I started working on rebranding and redesigning - I know the new packaging looks uber simple but, being awful at making any sort of decision, it took me forever to decide on what I wanted and how I wanted it to look! in the end I've gone with white matter finish cardstock, with grey writing on, and I'm SO happy with how it looks. I feel much more professional now, which is silly I know, but I do think it's all about how you present yourself and your work. I thought I'd share a little bit about some of my packaging on here as I know packaging is something business owners often struggle with!
I had new return address labels printed up in the same font (Lullaby - I think it's from dafont.com) as I used on my packaging, to go on the back of all the packages I post out. all my packaging in this blog post was ordered from printed.com and I can't recommend them highly enough. the quality is excellent, the service is spot on, and they are really reasonably priced.
to package my brooches on, I had some of the larger sized business cards printed up (they offer two sizes - there isn't much of a size difference but I figured as much space as possible would be good) - at the top on the front it says 'Ladybird Likes' and at the bottom on the reverse is our slogan 'making nice things for nice people' plus the website address. as you can see from the photos the brooches are pinned directly onto the cards.
for the collar clip packaging I had some heavy postcard sized cardstock printed up in a similar style to the brooch packaging, although underneath 'Ladybird Likes' on the front I added 'collar clips' as people are often rather confused as to what they are! the thicker card means the packaging looks crisper for longer (which is good when I need to be able to pack items up and lug them across London for a craft fair!) and as the card is larger than before, the collar clips can be displayed better.
what do you think of the new style packaging? I'm excited to work on rebranding the blog and website next so everything ties in that little bit better, although it may take a while as I'm currently also juggling my trip to Austin next month (more on that to follow), plus a new range of collar clips to launch before I go, and a press day a few days before I leave. Ladybird Likes HQ is a hive of industry right now!
Posted by Zoe Jade at 10:45
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
yes I realise I am several years behind on the whole bird trend! I don't really like following trends though - I just really love anything with birds on! I have a zillion vintage bird watching books, and they have the most gorgeous illustrations in them, so it was these that inspired my newest collection of Ladybird Likes jewellery...
there are 5 styles of larger bird brooches featuring different birds in different colourways
there are three styles of dainty bird collar clips featuring pairs of birds facing each other
and finally there are three styles of necklaces featuring delicate bird pendants on silver plated chains
all of these pieces are now available to purchase online through my Etsy shop - or, if you're a fellow Londoner, I will be at Old Spitalfields market this Saturday (20th April) selling these new things plus lots of old favourite, from 11am till 5pm as part of the Designer Makers collective. which item from the new collection is your favourite? I'm currently smitten with wearing the bird collar clips on vintage dresses - I just wish this weather would warm up a bit so I can break out my straw hat and sunglasses.
Posted by Zoe Jade at 15:19
Friday, 12 April 2013
1. Kinderkleiderbügel Mädchen - Children´s clothes hanger girl, 2. Rock City atop Lookout Mountain - Rock City, Tennessee, 3. Day#7, 4. The Buck Stops Here, 5. Fox brooch by Alisa of Ink Caravan, 6. wall o angles, 7. Orla, 8. Butterfly collection, 9. até amanhã
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Up until now I have never monetised my blog - I've never accepted sponsors, or anything like that, or been given freebies. But last week I was lucky enough to be sent these silver sparkly Toms courtesy of Leo Claims, who are specialists in medical negligence claims. They are going to be my go-to shoes for the summer as Toms are so so comfy - I have had a black pair for a few years and I've worn them to death pretty much! And now I'm thinking perhaps I should start opening my blog up to sponsored posts and the like? It seems a bit of a hot topic lately - I might write a 'thoughts and ramblings' post on it soon to see what people feel about it....
Getting these shoes has also made me realise I am woefully unprepared for my two week holiday in Austin, Texas - it's only just over a month away, and so far all I have to take with me are these Toms, and these new studded circle sunglasses I picked up in Monki the other week. I love them so much - perfect for wearing whilst drinking iced coffee and pretending I'm an Olsen.
I'm hoping to have a shopping day in the next couple of weeks so I can go and pick up some essentials - I've been after a pair of cut off denim shorts, and a denim pinafore, so need to hit the shops as the ones I've seen online look a bit meh.
Posted by Zoe Jade at 13:14