Personal Goals for 2016

personal goals

Earlier this week I talked about setting business goals but I also wanted to share with you my personal goals for 2016. I do definitely believe that we should always set goals and to make changes now instead of putting it off until the new year, but there is nothing like a fresh start to inspire a few new goals. I don't have a 'goals book' like I do for my business goals, but I am thinking of writing them down somewhere visible, and blogging about it is always a great way to hold yourself accountable.

I'm super aware of the fact that I'm going to be finishing uni in 5 months, and hopefully, moving in with Martin. I have a lot I want to achieve by this time next year, that mostly revolves around that. There are, though, a few simple ones in there just for me.

Read More Books:  Specifically: Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon, Sketchbooks by Richard Brereton;   How to Be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees and loads of others that are creeping around on my amazon wishlist.

Learn to Drive: So I don't have to go through the uniquely horrific experience of dragging all my christmas gifts home on the train ever ever again.

Pay off my overdraft: exciting. For this I will obviously need a job of some variety, which I guess is a goal in itself.

Do a Major Organise of my Whole Life: Once I've finished uni and settled, I need to do a serious sort through of literally everything I own and considerably condense down what I have.

Some are slightly terrifying (like the overdraft and, well, the job) and some, like the reading, I am much more excited to reach. heh! What are your personal goals for this year?

personal goals

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

have yourself a merry little christmas

Hey people! Today is just a little, sentimental one. I hope, for the most of you, you are looking forward to a night of films and Baileys, or getting ready for some festive gathering, or - hopefully not - rushing out to buy the last of your gifts. I wanted to wish you a lovely holiday, filled with loveliness that comes with the time of year. I know it's a cliche but I love the little things - employers let employees wear Christmas jumpers to work and occasionally you see people who are better off for the Christmas cheer. I know that the holidays can be stressful, and I'm learning that you can do everything you can to be festive, and still have things that are out of your control. But I also feel like things are what you make of them.

I wanted to remind you (I'm good at reminding these days) that it’s okay if your day isn’t earth shatteringly perfect.

I don’t want to blame it all on the internet and the commercialism of Christmas and milennials, because I hate that and think it’s dumb, but I do definitely think it’s easier than ever to feel bad about yourself.

Christmas can be a time that facilitates people prioritising what they want over what you want, so it’s okay to be a bit selfish sometimes.

It doesn’t have to be about making everyone else happy except yourself. It doesn’t have to be about conforming to the rules of ‘how Christmas day should go’.

So if you don’t find yourself crowded around the table with 8000 of your closest family members, chuckling over cracker jokes, receiving heartwarming advice-to-live-by from family members, transitioning seamlessly from breakfast to Christmas Lunch to Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, ending up tucked up in your beds fast asleep, that’s okay. Really, it’s just another day of the year.

My Christmas Wrapping this year

christmas wrapping Hey everyone! How is it going? I can't believe it is almost Christmas. Mine will be a quiet one this year, without my siblings, but as wrapping gifts is one of my favourite things, and I had designed some of my own wrapping paper this year, I thought I would share what my giftwrapping will look like this year. I used my own custom wrapping paper, some olive green ribbon and my own printable christmas gift tags. I am constantly torn between the super dreamy, highly patterned festive paper with a big bow, versus the super-minimal 'parcel paper wrapped with only some white twine and a chic little label' look. I feel like I may have found something of a middle ground here.

 

I love the look of those pinterest-y giftwrap pictures that have sprigs of pine and mistletoe and other festive greenery placed in them, but in the spirit of keeping things not squelchy and mouldy, I found some pretty berry sprig decorations in habitat, made of wire, which I split up into their singular 'sprigs' and stuck them under the bows. I really love how they look and I'm pretty proud of them this year!

I also generally go to the effort of putting some of the weirder shaped gifts into a gift box as I hate crinkly wrapping paper, so this way I pretty much ensure that I can get some nice, crisp corners on everything, and have my gifts look picture perfect.

How are you wrapping yours this year?

How to Propagate Succulents

How to Propagate Succulents Hey people! It seems like ages since I did a really lifestyle-y post. I got super wrapped up in the Japan posts, and then in the project launch, but I have been really keen to make this post ever since I got a bunch of clippings from my mum. As you might have noticed from my Instagram and my 'Why You Should Keep Plants' post, I have really gotten into plants, particularly succulents. They featured heavily in my new illustration collection.

One of the most exciting things about succulents (and cacti) is that they reproduce asexually. They don't rely on the wind or bees or wild animals to create new little baby plants. Different plants do it in different ways: some extend little tendrils that grow new babies on them, some drop their leaves which grow into new babies, some grow babies on their leaves and let them fall to the ground - the possibilities are endless. I find them to be one of those 'OMG, NATURE!' moments in life - the fact that there is some kind of chemical that tells them to do that absolutely delights me.

Anyway, I recently learnt how to propagate succulents - that is, making new babies from your existing succulents - and I thought I would impart the knowledge to the rest of you! I recently used this method to salvage an echeveria which had stretched out and was looking all gangly, so I'm using it as an example.

How to Propagate Succulents

First remove the part to be propagated. If it is a little succulent, you will probably need to gently twist off a few leaves. They should 'pop' off and not tear. The same method works for cacti, but instead you twist off the tiny cacti growing on it. If you have a 'tendril' plant, you will need to cut off a section of the 'vine' part which has begun to sprout little roots. With larger cacti, you may find that near the bottom of the plant you have baby versions of the original plant, which you can gently pull and twist off in one go.

How to Propagate Succulents

Next, you will need to leave your baby succulents/leaves to 'callous' over. This means the 'wound' where you removed it from the original plant needs a chance to dry up. Leave it somewhere safe and dry (not on soil) for a week or so, until you can see that the 'wound' has dried up. If you skip this step, it's likely that your leaves will just mould instead. However, you can skip this step with 'tendril' pieces that have existing roots, and baby cacti.

How to Propagate Succulents

After a week or so of callousing over, you can now place your cuttings onto damp soil. For my echeveria leaves, I tucked the 'wound' end slightly into the soil, to help the process along. They will need to sit on the soil for several weeks, watering every few days (do not soak the soil, just ensure it is slightly damp.) Eventually, your little leaves and baby succulents will start to sprout roots. Then, they will begin to sprout tiny baby plants, too! Once the original leaf has  withered and the baby plant is a size where it looks like an actual plant, you can place them in their very own pots to start their life as a new plant!

How to Propagate Succulents

With my Echeveria, I was trying to save it from stretching out, so I cut the top of the plant off, that still resembled a proper succulent 'shape' and hadn't stretched out,  and treated it the same way I would a baby cutting. I let it dry out, then popped it into a new pot to start a new life in a sunnier spot. However, the best part is, the leaves, the rose and the stalk that remains in the pot can be saved! I simply continued to water my little stalk, and now even more babies are sprouting. I have so many I'm going to have to distribute them amongst my friends! How to Propagate Succulents

I hope this tutorial was helpful and enables you to create millions of free new succulents from your existing plant babies, or inspires you to go out and get a few of your own the kick start the habit! Share your best succulent-related tips with us in the comments. <3

How to Propagate Succulents

Stationery I Bought In Japan

Annie Pancake// Stationary I Bought In Japan

So I got asked to share what I bought in Tokyo, stationary-wise, and I have no idea why I hadn't thought of doing that myself, (thanks Polly!) but here it is: What I Bought In Tokyo : Stationary Edition. ;)

Nearly everything was from Tokyu Hands which, as I mentioned in my Shibuya post, is an enormous lifestyle shop that has an excessive amount of art supply and stationary floors. PLURAL. 

I had to be super restrained with money and space, so I just stuck to stuff I knew I couldn't get at home, even thought they had a rainbow array of different Posca pens, which I love.

Annie Pancake// Stationary I Bought In Japan

Firstly, I bought a LOT of brush pens. I knew I wanted to pick up a lot of these as they are so hard to find at home (thought this is potentially a Nottingham/Coventry-based problem), so I got plenty to try out. I'm going to do a separate post on brush pens, but I did taake the liberty of doing a swatch of them all for your viewing pleasure.

From Left:

Pilot Supergrip Mechanical Pencil | Pentel Touch Brush Sign Pen | Copic Gasen Fude Brush Pen | Kuretake Bimoji Fude | N/a| Sailor Profit Brush Pen|

Sadly, I couldn't find the second to last pen anywhere, mostly because it's all in Japanese. Luckily though, this pen is a felt tip style one which is closer to the kind you can get at home!

Annie Pancake// Stationary I Bought In Japan
Annie Pancake// Stationary I Bought In Japan

Next, I got a handful of these coloured fineliners which are essentially the colour versions of the fineliners between me and my other graphic design friends. At 100 Yen per-pen (about 50p) they were a pretty good bargain and they fit nice and snugly in the gaps in my suitcase.

Annie Pancake// Stationary I Bought In Japan

Japan, naturally, is the land of Washi tape, so I had to be particularly restrained in this department. (Hello Shiba tape!) Still, I knew I woudn't use anything crazily patterned, so I just chose some simple coloured tapes by a brand called 'Maste'.

Annie Pancake// Stationary I Bought In Japan

Finally, I had to buy these ridiculously expensive Mt Fu Sticky Notes because how could you not? Especially considering the bonus bird-shaped stickers for extra-special notes. I also picked up this cute notebook from a shop in Shibuya/Harajuku that people were queueing to get into, called Asoko. Because, well, aubergines.

Let me know what you think of my spoils! I can't wait to start using them!