Ah, the alliteration.

Here are some funky freebies I’ve been collecting from different corners of the Internet to mark the beginning of 2013 and with which you can mark off the days that follow! Click the images or links below to visit the crafty creators’ pages…

Sweet New Year calendar
Free Printable “Sweet New Year” calendar by Amy Ross of Eat Drink Chic – download it here.

january2013 calendar 91 magazine
January desktop background (let’s just pretend we’re not half way through already) from 91 magazine – here (via Heart Handmade).

The Best is Yet to Come
Love Party Printables’ 2013 calendar is downloadable from Catch My Party here, and there’s a whole set of matching party printables there too!

Love Mae downloadable desktops
These downloadable desktops are released each month from Love Mae, one of my favourite blogs that makes me feel unashamedly girly. Get January’s here or wait a while for the brilliant March design which will instantly be at home on my laptop!

That’s all for today, have amazing weekends folks!

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Meredithe over at Pomegranate and Chintz has been spreading the organisation inspiration by publicly announcing a Working List of ten craft projects and encouraging others to do the same.

The idea is, you list ten WIPs (Works In Progress), UFOs (Unfinished Objects), ideas or designs you’d like to work on, and then you do it. So simple! This is great for me. I am a Procrastinator. An Unfinisher. An Easily Distractable. I get half way through a project and then see something else I’d like to start, and like a fickle fool I drop one for the other. Chances are I finish neither. I’m the same with books – and will be talking more about the solution for that sometime soon too!

With this Working List I am publicly naming and shaming them. Ten projects that I will be working on from now. And since I know what I can be like (an easily distracted procrastinator who never finishes anything), I won’t let myself begin something new until I finish something off my list first. I know for sure I want to do 30 Days of Lists in March (sign-up opens 4th February!) so I need to get at least one of these projects completed in the next two months in order to do so guilt-free. Shamefully I have more than ten projects on the go right now, so this list will be my focus to get things done, until finally I have walls of handmade artwork, lovely personal gifts to give and definitely not a cupboard full of half-completed items.

Typography painting updates01 Typography painting
I was given a set of canvasses last Christmas (in 2011!) and chose to use the biggest one to paint an A-Z in different fonts and colours. It was a lot of fun to plan and begin but I gradually seemed to lose momentum and enthusiasm for this and haven’t touched it for over six months. Most of the base colours are on but I’d like to work on the texture and depth of the letters, and perhaps rough it up a bit – at the moment it seems flat and dull to me. The canvas is so large that this is probably the biggest project in terms of both time and space demands.

02 Knit an entire scarf
So far I have two lines. Learning to knit has been slow-going… I am yet to demonstrate the rhythmic clickety-clack that many knitters seem to have mastered!

03 A photo album for Laura
Beautiful Dutch Laura is well worthy of a photo album. I started this when she moved away from Edinburgh, two whole years ago. The ridiculous thing is that it’s almost complete, but now it’s two years out of date!

Two clipboard pinboards04 Clipboard Décor

I posted about these two clipboard pinboards I created for my old flat months and months ago. I really liked these at the time, even though the cork coasters made them totally unbalanced and wonky, and the washi tape wasn’t especially well colour-coordinated. Now I just want to refresh them – remove the coasters and the lengths of washi and cover them with some interesting paper or fabric instead. I’d like to continue using them to organise myself in my new flat for the new me.

05 Pattern book
Something I started to prepare for the screen-printing course that sadly fell through in November. I have no purpose for this book now, but I like the idea of collecting and sketching patterns. This is not the project I am most excited about, but will probably be one of the quickest to complete, since once I start doodling I often find it hard to stop!

wax crayon painting
06 Wax crayon painting
Ok, this one is a lot of fun. I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided to give it a go myself a few months ago. It’s super simple; all it takes is some wax crayons, a canvas and a hair-dryer (or some other source of heat). I built up a layer of wax crayon drips in purples, blues and greens, but soon discovered that the individual shades were almost indistinguishable, and some of the darker colours didn’t stand out so well on the darker-than-expected navy blue that I’d painted the canvas. So, while I’d planned to make another painting using the brighter, warmer colours from the crayon box, instead I’ll combine them all onto this one canvas. Since getting this far I’ve seen some really cool designs using the dripping wax – instead of a bunch of straight down wax drips that is! Until I begin anything more exciting with wax, I must complete this one – a straightforward wax crayon canvas should be an easy evening activity.

07 Mixed paper Minibooks
This is one thing I’m just itching to work on. In the last year I have totally fallen for all the colours and patterns of scrapbooking paper. And while I’m still not a scrapbooker, I do seem to be accumulating beautiful papers. I’ll be making a minibook for March’s 30 Days of Lists and would like to make a few more while I’m at it, for friends, family or even Etsy!

Laura birthday card08 Handmade cards
It’s totally crazy that while I have a couple of large boxes of interesting card and paper, alphabets and embellishments, I still find myself buying expensive and generic last minute birthday cards for people. I made this handmade card for Laura last September (apparently she is the most frequent recipient of my handcrafting!) and really enjoyed making something personal for her birthday – it was also surprisingly simple and quick to create.

Making handmade cards is more of a habit that I’d like to curate rather than a specific project. So for this list item I’ll set myself the goal of six handmade cards within the next six months. This allows for real life to get in the way, but I can always cross this item off sooner if I reach my goal quicker than that!

09 Postcard wall art
I just bought three different postcard box sets. It felt incredibly lavish of me. I also recently broke a large clip glass photo frame – leaving me with a sizeable ready-to-hang piece of chipboard. Oh, and my new bedroom has a large wall begging for a feature. So, how exactly these items will be combined I am yet to decide, but I am excited at the possibilities…

10 Font book
A while ago Emily Jeffords shared some attractive new fonts on her blog Beautiful Hello and mentioned her Font Book, which made me think of an actual book of fonts. While it turns out she was talking about her computer’s font library, the idea of flicking through a big shiny book filled with my favourite typography sounds glorious, and would also be a pretty useful resource for design projects. At the moment this is purely an idea, but I see a Blurb book in my future.

And that’s it! I’ll be keeping this list updated monthly and/or as I check things off it, since that’s the whole point of publicly committing to a working list. In fact, what better time to launch the new ‘Projects’ page of this blog – up the top there just under the ‘About Me’ tab. It’s a page to collect together all of my favourite and current projects – the things I aspire to do more of!

So, I moved! It was hard work. My arms ache and I am tired. But I am now finally in my new home for my fresh start. And the experience proved what I had already suspected: I have some of the best workmates in the world. A few kind friends brought their muscles, vehicles and enthusiasm to move my (surprisingly plentiful) piles of boxes and mismatched furniture from the comfortable modern flat that I’ve shared with the recent ex to the homely yet eccentric flat-share I’ll now be living in. Aside from the hours of sorting and packing beforehand, the entire move miraculously took just over an hour. And now I only have a few more hours of furniture assembly, rearranging and unpacking to do!

debbiedoesdoodles new space 1
debbiedoesdoodles new space 2
debbiedoesdoodles new space 3

This is my new bedroom – before all the boxes of possessions arrived! I love the large, light, bay windows and the beautiful fireplace, even if both are a little old and draughty. I also love the vintage light fitting at the entrance to my room, although I can’t figure out what one of the switches does!

The rest of the flat is equally quirky. Bookshelves line the hallway, including around the curved walls, and are filled with books from almost every genre. Which is likely to be handy for the 13 in ’13 reading challenge! An assortment of tea is stored in a fake sink with no taps, our food is kept in a walk-in pantry and the kitchen units contain collections of interesting teapots and cups and saucers. It’s a change for me to be in an old flat with it’s associated upkeep ‘niggles’, but it’s got lots of character and so far the flatmates seem friendly and fun. And fans of both Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead! Result.

So, I plan to turn this space into somewhere I can both sleep and be creative – plans are afoot which I will share here as soon as possible. I absolutely love seeing how other people organise their creative spaces and I can’t wait to have a proper place of my own for creativity – even if it’s just a small corner and features an interesting whistle when the wind blows hard enough!

Something embarrassing happened to me recently.

In Scotland, it’s not unusual for someone to tell you a wee story.

wee adj.

[Scots] Very small; tiny

That is not what this is.

So I was travelling on a train on New Years Day, from London to Edinburgh. It’s almost a five hour journey and I knew I’d be hungover (which indeed I was), so I’d booked a first class ticket. Ordinarily that’d be crazy talk but on this occasion first class was only £8 more expensive than standard, which is well worth it considering the endless supply of tea, cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches that are then thrust upon you during your journey. Not to mention the free Wi-Fi and general feeling of sophistication as you lounge on your extra comfy seat.

The East Coast train line has those big toilets with the automated sliding doors. They’re disabled-friendly. They look über modern. They have big flashing buttons to open and close the doors. And to lock the doors.

To lock the doors, Deborah.

debbiedoesdoodles Toilet Door buttons

So there I was, mid-flow, when an unsuspecting fellow passenger hit ‘Open’. And then the door gently slid open. It seemed as though it was in slow motion, but in reality the door just opened that slowly. Reeeeeaaaallly slowly. The equally embarrassed man tried to close the still-opening door, but these doors are ingeniously designed so that you can’t close them until they’re all the way open. So there I sat, as the door slid open. I made a horrendously awkward joke about my worst nightmare coming true because WHAT DO YOU SAY in this situation?! And there I sat still as the door slid all the way closed again. Then I hurriedly hit ‘LOCK’ and cursed myself, possibly aloud, for thinking I had done so already.

greetin’ match n.

[Scots, slang] A sorrowful incident; a bout of tears; an upset

On the plus side: the middle aged stranger saw the funny side; he turned his back rather than standing there watching me pee for thirty seconds; first class was dead quiet meaning that there was no queue of people to gawk at me; a seated lady is possibly more easily made modest; it was nearing the end of my journey; I’m definitely not the first to do it; and finally the tale has apparently been enjoyed by many of my Facebook friends! Hopefully some of you now too.

So, let this be a lesson to us all… Just because the LOCK button flashes… you still have to press it!

If in doubt, whistle loudly.

debbiedoesdoodles | View of Leith

For the last four years I have lived in various different flats (of distinctly different levels of niceness) sharing with a brilliant selection of flatmates, all around Leith in Edinburgh. It has been an amazing four years. I’ve met some really genuine, insane, hilarious and interesting people, done some fascinating work and have absolutely loved living here.

This weekend I’m moving. It’s not far; I hope to still spend time with those great people and will still be doing a job that is different every day, as part of a supportive team that pulls together even when there’s no money and the days drag, and celebrates with enthusiasm and a huge amount of alcohol when something goes our way.

But for the first time in four years, I won’t be doing those things from Leith. Well, except my job, since that’s where I work. Oh, and drinking and eating, since that’s where some of Edinburgh’s best pubs and restaurants are nowadays. So really, it’s just that I won’t be living there. I’ll be an EH7 instead of an EH6 resident.

I’ve taken so many photos of Leith while I’ve been living here, mostly just using my iPhone as I walk around here and there and spot a view I like the look of. Here are those I’ve considered nice enough to share via Instagram over the last year or so, presented in gallery form which means that should you do desire, you can click to view them bigger:

Hopefully there’ll be a new selection of photographs to post here soon; those from my really quite lovely new place in Bellevue. I cannot wait to begin turning that empty room into my own home and forming new relationships with my new flatmates, who so far seem nice and friendly and not axe murderers. One can never be sure when it comes to people you meet over the Internet… 😉

What better way to welcome the new year than with a brand new favourite shade?

Years ago, Pantone Inc. established the first standardised colour matching system that led to reliable printing as well as funky Pantone branded stationery and fashion. For the last few years they have predicted a Pantone ‘Colour of the Year’ with great fanfare and certainty. While critics may denounce this as a marketing ploy, it’s got to be said their colour selection is usually bang on trend.

Pantone colours of the year

Last year’s colour Pantone 17-1463, the deliciously named Tangerine Tango, was definitely still en vogue as the year drew to a close. In fact at some point in autumn I pulled together this little assortment of items available on the British high street that were a vibrant shade of Tangerine. Why I didn’t publish this then I’m not sure, but since I hate to waste good Photoshopping time, here is the collection now! My favourite has to be the beautiful bird dress, which was on sale in Dorothy Perkins for £15 but is sadly no longer in stock – boo!

tangerine tango uk products

So, as 2012 and the Tangerine Tango era is now officially ended, it’s time to embrace a new shade for the new year – which according to Pantone is Emerald 17-5641. Described by the company as a lively, radiant, lush green, to me Pantone’s Emerald is a surprisingly blue-ish tone, closer to jade than the bright Wizard of Oz green I would imagine being described as ’emerald’. But, I like it nonetheless!

Pantone Emerald 2013 colour of the year

I’ve been pinning an entire board of Emerald items recently, and here are a few of my faves:

Emerald fashion Pantone colour of the year

Find these items online: ASOS Gem Drop Earrings £8; Louche Zaza Crayon Print Dress from JOY £45; Dorothy Perkins Green cityscape dress £28; Green Pieces Green Funky Jeggings from New Look £21.99; Dazzle Dust in Parrot Green by Barry M £4.59; Hoxton Satchel from Accessorize £25; Women’s Green Toms Classic Seasonal Cord from Schuh £24.99; Thread Wrapped Ethnic Teardrop earrings from Accessorize £8

On a whim I bought the Hoxton Satchel a month or two ago and absolutely love it. It’s the perfect size, I love the way it looks, and now according to Pantone it’s also uber fashionable. Hooray for accidental trendiness!

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is to capture 2012 in just twelve photos. SO HARD choosing just twelve but these ones best sum up the moments or moods that have most stood out for me throughout this year. What I can’t sum up here is how brilliant blogging has been this year! What started as a fun idea in July became a bit of an obsession for the next few months, which I am absolutely dying to do more of in 2013.

Here’s to more adventures over the next twelve months. I will be taking part in little white dove’s 13 in ’13 reading challenge, organising my craft projects using a working list, and definitely doing at least one more month of 30 Days of Lists. AND moving into a lovely new flat, watching loads of exciting films, making new friends and spending time with old friends, going to some exciting places and making an actual effort to become fit and healthy!

See you NEXT YEAR YOU GUYS!!!!

Aaaaah, madness.

Moon over Prestwood

This has seemed like a month of transitions. And since life has been full of change and activity, all of my blog posts seem to have been catch-ups lately. But hopefully this is ok – there are new and exciting and creative things to come in 2013 which will be much more interesting and blog-worthy! This is my promise!

So I hope everyone’s Christmases were exactly what they needed. Mine was totally manic, each day leading up to Christmas was filled with activity and travelling and shopping and working through lists, and then the day itself as busy and hectic as the preceding days. My sister’s twin boys ripped open everyone’s presents for them in the quickest present-opening ever! Not caring what was inside the wrapping of course, even if it was theirs. We drank too much, we ate too much, we recorded all the brilliant Christmas day telly and have spent the last three days lazing around watching it, eating leftovers and going on the occasional muddy walk, working our way through my new New Girl boxset, drinking more, listening to Seasick Steve, playing Cluedo, laughing till we almost peed at the new season of Miranda, catching up with friends over the phone and Skype and having good conversations with family about the things that matter.

So, transitions. The acts of a theatre performance are separated by intervals, which allow the audience to relax, the actors to rest, and the settings to change. This Christmas has been an interval for me – when I return back to chilly Edinburgh my settings will be changing and my life will be different. Hopefully better. I am looking forward to the new year and all the possibilities 2013 brings. #reverb12 has provided some brilliant inspiration for this, with daily prompts such as “what will you let go of” and “how will you make time?” encouraging some active thought about what kind of life I choose to live. I don’t think these kinds of decisions necessarily happen automatically.

So for now, enjoy this middly-bit between Christmas and New Year! I think this period really needs a name of its own…. Boxing Week? New Year’s Eve Eve Eve…? Answers on a postcard!

Continuing in the ‘all about me’ vein, I return from a week taken up by a weekend away and evenings of German markets and mulled wine with rum to share something totally me-focussed… and you thought this blog was about creativity, and life in Edinburgh, and other interesting things? Oh, you. Now, back to me…

I Saw You Dancing’s Kat recently shared a lovely photo of her lovely self for #reverb12 with a prompt asking bloggers to select their favourite photo of themselves from 2012. Right now, that choice is easy. Here I am, less than a week ago, admiring a sunset over Tenerife with my great friend Sam. Life post-break-up is still not exactly back to normal (and won’t be until I am living in my new place at the beginning of next month, which I am OH SO excited about), but for now it is totally do-able. I had the best long weekend away; I read three and a half books in four days, got a vague hint of tan that could at first glance have been mistaken for just a thin layer of dirt, ate some (= too much) great paella and tapas and drank jugs of cold sangria.

Doing nothing in Tenerife

Here is what I have discovered in the last week of adventures, home and away:

  • Spanish playing cards only consist of 48 cards. There’s no queen, and the suits are clubs, coins, cups and swords. Patience and Rummy work just as well, but Hide the Queen would be never ending.
  • A drunk and easily led Debbie will ignore all warnings otherwise and happily take the coastal path back to the remote hotel resort in the dark in a foreign country, with only a camera’s flash to ward off the ‘ass banditos’ sure to be prowling.
  • A drunk and easily led Debbie will find that nicknaming potential attackers ‘ass banditos’ makes them infinitely more endearing.
  • In the south part of Tenerife, the sand is black. But hard. And will leave little marks all over your face if you fall asleep on it.
  • ‘No Diggity’ is probably the most addictive song in the world and therefore is sure to make a well deserved comeback just as soon as everyone watches Pitch Perfect and starts their own battling a cappella groups.
  • Mulled wine with rum is nicknamed ‘Heisse Liebe’ in German which translates to ‘hot love’. Which totally works, because it’s hot, and I love it.
  • ‘cz’ in Polish is pronounced like the ‘ch’ in ‘cheese’
  • Nobody knows where the Basque language came from.
  • One day in the distant future, we may replace food with New Hair, and that would be a shame.
  • There is a real life reindeer in St Andrew’s square right now, which I intend to visit tomorrow.

Guess where I am right now?!

Holiday in Tenerife

TENERIFE BABY!

Last week I was just feeling very ‘meh’ and spoke to a friend down in London (Samantha, of Rain Room fun) when we figured out we both had two days of annual leave for 2012 left over… and a great desire to see some sunshine! So we found somewhere warm, easy to fly to, with connections from both Edinburgh and London over one of the few weekends we were both free. At this time of year hotels are ludicrously cheap, and while it won’t be totally scorchio it’ll be so lovely just to feel a little heat, lounge all day reading books, and maybe even swim in the sea. Great girlie chats are guaranteed and a vague hint of a tan may even be gained.

So if you’ll excuse my absence, I’m just oh so busy lapping up the sun as I lie on a beach in the Canary Islands. Hasta la vista!