#thecreativesgetaway

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So I’m about to share with you one of the best weekends I’ve had all year, and it makes me giddy every time I think about it or comb through the photos.

It happened literally the weekend before I left to go overseas this month and you probably caught wind of it if you checked social at all that weekend…

A group of nine of us creative types hung out together over 2.5 days at Pearl Beach holiday home, just a couple of hours north of Sydney. We spent the entire time making, eating, Instagramming, laughing and bonding over fun workshops, meals and even an post-dinner game of competitive Monopoly!

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The best thing about this trip was spending the time offline, in real life, doing creative things and socialising with fellow creatives and bloggers. We often forget that we spend so much of our time online and engaging over networks like Twitter or Instagram, that it was incredibly refreshing to actually spend some real face time together!

I went into this having not met half the girls before, but found it so easy that I shouldn’t have worried since we had so much in common. Arriving on the first day and seeing everyone standing up on chairs hovering up over the top of food trying to take photos made me smile the biggest smile. Yep, so it’s not just me that does this crazy thing before I eat good-looking food - thank goodness!

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Over the entire weekend, we prepared nearly all our meals together across two teams. For example, my team took care of Friday dinner and Saturday brekkie.

The results were incredible - I felt so proud at the quality and taste of what we all put together - we were feasting like absolute queens! These s’mores were a definite highlight for me….

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We also made use of our talents and ran a load of fun workshops for each other.

Rachael taught us how to make a Parisian flan which brought me back to my days spending way too much time in patisseries in Paris, whilst Chloe introduced us to the art of book binding which was a first for me!

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We also had Galina take us through a modern calligraphy 101 session which ran completely over time as we were all completely immersed in trying to perfect our flourishes and strokes.

Chantal helped us go crazy with marzipan where she showed us how to make real-looking miniature fruit, but Erika, Jasmin and I decided to go all out and create a zen terrarium masterpiece instead. You can blame the competitive side in all of us!

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I ran a terrarium class which was so much fun! Apart from the standard succulents and pebbles, I also added in special clay-baked toadstools and golden animals for the girls. More on this one in a separate post!

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All up, this getaway was incredible. We didn’t want it to end as we bathed in the comfort of each other’s common creative interests, appreciation for the hand made and photography…

Luckily on the morning of the last day, the sun finally came out as we were about to leave so we captured some beautiful memories together at Pearl Beach.

The weekend simply wouldn’t have happened without the awesome forces of Nia and Erika, who combined to organise this entire thing. They also managed to pull together a really wonderful group of partners that helped make this event memorable:

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The Floury Baker gifted us with some amazing cake (seriously), Bahen & Co. chocolates were so stylish we fan girl’d all over their packaging before we broke into them, Frozen Dough Co. allowed us to get creative with all their cookies, it felt like we were in a sugar coma everyday.

I was also introduced to Innocent Bystander for their tasty moscato, paper confetti by Love Bex and Pepperink Tattoos for their pretty temporary tattoos! Sportsgirl for socks, Kettletown for tea, West Elm for their pretty tote bag and The Assembly's awesome wooden kitchen utensils - a big thank you for the generous support from all these brands!

And lastly, the girls!

Nia + Jasmin + Erika + Rachael + Chantal + Galina + Lindy + Chloe - until next time ladies….keep on creating and being awesome! :) 

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Image credits: Erika Rax

Trip Snippet #01 | San Jose

Oh my goodness, my trip so far has been insane and jam packed. I’ve hardly had a moment of rest so it’s been really difficult to string more posts together. 

I’m in San Francisco now, but for most of last week I spent time in San Jose, which is around 1.5-2hrs away from San Francisco. For the place that I work at, we have a big user conference every year hosted in California. This year it was it was based out at San Jose Conference Centre, running across two official days.

I tried to take some video shorts here and there on my iPhone and then just smashed something together to give you a tiny peek of what my week was all about. It’s hardly an amazing video so please bear with me since I’m a video noob!

The first shot is from one of the multiple freeways around the area from when I was in an Uber, then I had to record the stack of ketchup we received when we asked for tomato sauce for a single meal (insane!), a view from inside the conference centre when we were given a tour and then lastly the conference centre at night and surrounds. 

It’s the first time I tried out using the Lumify app too which was really cool and simple to use. You can stitch videos together, add in filter effects and some music, not bad!

Alright, I’m off to grab some dinner and ice cream in San Francisco now! 

A Pink & Peachy Sampler

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A few weeks ago, I had the honour and pleasure of being florist to my high school friend’s wedding! It was a beautiful event and I was so happy with how everything turned out. 

I put together the bridal bouquets, boutonnières for the groomsmen and parents, and as well as 3 small vases of blooms for 15 reception tables.

I seriously can’t wait to share the official photos from the event but I don’t think they’re ready yet, so in the meantime I’m sharing some sample bouquets I put together a month before the event.

Spending half a day with the bride to be, we travelled to the flower markets together, where I gained a real sense of what type of blooms and style she wanted from her florals. We then went back to mine where I put together some samples:

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A variety of different sized and coloured roses, lamb’s ear, ornamental kale and green berzelia berries were featured. She wanted a pink/peachy/apricot-themed look, one that had a soft and feminine feel but that also contained a bit of pop with a rustic edge to it.

She loved these samplers and I really enjoyed the process!

But arghhh! I’m so impatient I know, but I can’t wait to share the ultimate blooms I designed for the actual wedding. If you saw on Instagram, they had a bit more pop and variety in florals than this sample set.

I’m sure the photos are still being processed by the photographers, so we’ll just have to (impatiently) wait together :)

PS. I’m now in San Jose, California for my work conference, yay! I’ll be blogging here and there, mixing in some touristy videos so no fear, Helen is still here :) And I know a lot of you saw a heap of activity last weekend about #thecreativesgetaway that I was a part of (which was amazing). I’ve actually got all the photos from these now so expect a recap of that soon later this week!

Head & Heart | August 2014

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"A monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw"

It’s Head & Heart time guys! This is where I take pause once a month, reflect on the passing of the past 30 days and reveal a more personal side of myself on your own blog.

If this is your kind of thing, jump right in and join me by doing your own take on it! Simply add a link to your own post at the bottom of this one, so we can read each others. So here goes….

What I’ve been grateful for:

Friendship. In so many ways.

For the last few years, I’ve come to learn that friendships ebb and flow as you lead your life. It’s practically impossible to have the same exact collection of friends for your whole life and spend the same consistent time with them year on year. People change, circumstances change, it’s so natural for friendships to change too. I’ve learned not to get too caught up in worrying about changes in friendship, it’s really very natural. The key thing is to be mindful of friendships, particularly ones that you’ve noticed that have dropped off a bit with no real reason and doing your part in re-initiating contact from time to time. Can you think of someone who you haven’t spoken to recently that you’d like to? Or maybe someone you bumped into on the street and haven’t connected since then? Why don’t you send them a message and grab a bite? I’ve done both of these things in the past year and old friendships have been reignited, it’s beautiful.

Twitter. In a similar vein… I love how Twitter has been such a key player in fostering my online connections, it’s insane! I’ve met so many lovely creatives, bloggers and people I admire via Twitter, I seriously don’t know where I’d be without it. This sounds ridiculously corny (oh I know), but it’s just so true so I’m cool with letting you all know that this is how I feel about Twitter :D

What I’ve been thinking about:

Upcoming travels. I recently shared my travel plans to the US and Canada and I’m getting so excited to return to SF! It will be primarily work-focussed in the first two weeks but then I get to completely chill in the beautiful Canadian Rockies, so no complaints from me. I’ve been doing a lot of planning for this trip, including where to go, eat and shop. Also about my blogging plan whilst I’m away and my plan is to continue blogging, but it should be a bit more travel focussed. Plus I’ll try my hand at doing some videos - something new right! Instagram is a given, so follow me on there for more live posts :)

EPSCI mid-2009/2010. I recently got all nostalgic in a recent post I wrote as a dedication to my life-turning year abroad in Paris five years ago. Tears were shed and memories remembered as I trawled through old photos of such an inspiring year. Spending the time to reflect on what that year did for me was worth it. It helped provide real reason as to why my heart always swells up with such joy when I think about that year. Thanks again Paris and the lovely people I met that year.

What I’m excited for:

Upcoming travels. Ummm… Need I say more? :D I think I’m most excited to meet up with our Canadian friend from EPSCI days gone past. Not seeing a good friend for five years is quite a long time, so we really couldn’t wait any longer!

A creative bloggers getaway. In less than 24h, I’ll be up north in Patonga/Pearl Beach getting into all sorts of crazy creative fun with a group of fellow bloggers. The super lovely Nia and Erika have organised this splendid weekend away and it will be the first time that I’ve attended something like this - no prizes to guess who’s nervous? (Eek!) I’ll also be running a terrarium making workshop during the trip so that should be a lot of fun too! I’m sure there’ll be at least a few posts about this from all of us!

What I’ve been doing:

Listening to podcasts. I’ve been so slow on the game when it comes to podcasts. August was the first time that I downloaded a podcast and listened to if on my iPhone. I think it finally happened as I noticed a fair few podcasts recommended on Twitter and blogs around a similar timeframe. I noted them all down and just decided to try it out one arvo, and man are they great! Well at least the ones in listening to are great! Working Out and Seanwes are excellent and I’m just steadily going through each episode to catch up.

Getting my floristry craft on! I had the recent pleasure of being florist to a friend’s wedding and her kitchen tea. It was an absolute delight for me. Being surrounded by beautiful flowers all day long and creating bouquets large and small is truly my idea of heaven. My creative juices were on a high and even a 4.30AM wake up call couldn’t dampen my spirits! This is starting to become a growing passion of mine and I seriously can’t wait to create more with flowers - for fun and for events.

What I’ve been reading:

I quit liking things on Facebook for two weeks. Here’s how it changed my view of humanity. Easy, quick read but super useful!

This is a wonderful, refreshing essay on how to deal with people judging you and your work.

I now have a post-it stuck on my monitor that asks me daily “what are you doing to feel uncomfortable?” - all thanks to this blog post.

I loved this, it’s hilarious but so true! 10 tricks to appear smart in meetings.

What I’ve been spending money on:

Not very much in August as I was mostly booking accommodation for the upcoming holidays…. and biding my time until I get to SF and buy ALL THE THINGS!!

Although there is one thing that I had to lay my hands on…. and what do you know, it got delivered today: a mini version of Modern Art. I’m a sucker for board games and after I played this game for the first time recently, I knew I had to own it! Trading art + board games? Love!!

I hope you enjoyed reading my Head & Heart. It’s a chance for you to get to know me a bit better, and a way for me to reflect on the previous month.

If you want to get involved, simply write your own version and don’t forget to share your post in the link-up below!

Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo