Slideshow Widget

I know its been a while!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

I know its been a while! and with it been the new year and all, I'm doing the typical thing.... attempting to change certain aspects of my life. One of them been to start blogging, I always attempt to blog but it fails pretty quickly.

I don't normally blog about personal things, I find blogging a difficult task one because I can't write! but also because I think what do people want to read.  Do they want to learn about me and my life what's behind the fa├žade or do people just want to keep it nice and see all the pretty stuff? The illustrations, the pictures that capture the odd fun stuff that I do, not real life, so I'm going to put myself out there and write for me a pretty personal blog post. ( I deleted most of the really personal stuff  before I pressed publish! not sure i'm ready for that!)

I find blogs and the whole of social media one of my favourite thing and also one of the things I loath. Why? because I look far too much at pictures on Instagram that portray peoples perfect lives, other designers perfect lives... been successful and doing awesome things all the time! My husband is constantly telling me not to look at social media as it gets me down about where I am with my business and that I haven't succeeded what I want to.

So what do I want to succeed? I'm not sure to be honest. I just know I love making, I love letting my imagination go into over drive coming up with ideas and new designs. I normally constantly have things going around and around in my head but never do anything about them, but at the moment there seems to be no new ideas. I currently feel like Jodie Anna has got stuck in a bit of a rut and I have fallen out of love with my designs and feel like I need a fresh start. In some ways I do feel like constantly looking at social media has contributed to this rut as I compare myself too much to what other people are doing. But also a lot has happened to me in the passed year, things that have changed me as a person and to be honest I am a little bit lost.

So the first step to get out of this rut and try and get new ideas my husband has challenged me to go a week with out social media..... a week doesn't sound that long but I think it will be tough!!! So here goes a whole week without social media and to keep my occupied I have challenged myself to do one drawing every day!

Here goes wish me luck!






Italy trip

Monday, 20 October 2014

It’s a little bit late.... but better late than never! A little blog post about our trip to Italy.

As a year anniversary and late honeymoon me and my husband Paul visited Sorrento. This is the first time I have been abroad since I was 16! Italy is one of the places I have always wanted to visit. We chose Sorrento as we wanted a relaxed holiday and felt Rome and Florence with all its beauty was more of a long weekend job which we are hoping to-do next year!


Sorrento was no disappointment filled with its beautiful scenery, architecture and of course lemon groves as Sorrento is famous for its Limoncello! Sadly I didn't get to taste this as I can’t drink alcohol but Paul assured me it was goooood! 





There was lots to see but not too much that we couldn't relax. We stayed in a lovely hotel at the top of Sorrento that had phenomenal views across the bay to Naples, Mount Vesuvius and Capri.






Italy is stunningly breathe taking and the sound of the hustle and bustle (including all the horn papping from the crazy drivers) at night and the church bells ringing from Sorrento town was one of my favourite sounds, and we loved looking out for the original Fiat 500s and the piaggio vans. 



During our visit we took a private boat ride along the Amalfi coast and across the bay to Capri and Anacapri. Capri is stunning but be warned it is very expensive if you are wanting a Rodeo drive experience in Italy this is the place to go if it’s not then make your way up-to the old town Anacapri for a more traditional experience. I would also recommend if you have a bit of spare money to take the open top taxi cab to the top, there is a bus but is very small and very busy and the taxi is really cool way to travel!





 At the top you reach the old town of Capri, Anacapri with its traditional eateries and gift shops and of course some amazing views! If you are feeling daring there is a single person chair lift which takes you to the highest point of Capri, it takes 13 minutes on the chair lift to get there to give you an idea of high it is!! Sadly.... I wasn't daring enough!





As well as Capri we took a car drive to Positano this is about a 20/30 minute drive from Sorrento and an amazing drive that makes you feel like you’re on the end scene of the Italian Job! Positano is one of the prettiest places I have ever visited and perfect for a romantic meal across the bay.







One of my favourite things to do and see when in Sorrento was to look out for their small shrines they were so well cared for and just loved stumbling across them. 






OOOOWWw one last thing…. Don’t forget to grab yourself some true Italian cannoli from one of the bakeries Amazing and of course the Gelato!!! 


Jodie Anna Studio

I have so many daydreams about how I would love a bigger studio! A studio in a vintage caravan or a lovely attic, but I am very lucky to even have a room and space to call a studio! I am looking to redesign it at some point next year and will be doing some Blog posts about my design process, but for now here a few images of where all the designing, making and packing take place!







 I love to surround myself with images and objects that inspire and make me smile! 







One of my favourite things about my studio..... the view! 

Designer maker Nook of the North

Monday, 13 October 2014

I'm very lucky to have amazing talented friends! and one of my closest friends Becca is the designer maker behind the stunning Nook of the North. After a little break she has recently re launched her shop with lots of new pretties!

Her work incorporates her love for mid century design and patterns and showcases her amazing ability to combine shape, colour and textures together. Using odd pieces of leather and fabric and the patience to meticulously hand sew each piece she creates unique statement pieces of jewellery.





I love her shapes and colour combinations and her stunning packaging! also hand made, so happy to see her shop back open! and look forward to seeing her future projects!

Have a look at her lovely pins and Instagram


Chuggington Birthday Cake

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

So my beautiful niece turned 3 last week! As part of my new trying to blog about different subjects and things I enjoy doing I have done a little blog post about my week of making and baking........, making and baking a Chuggington Birthday cake for Scarlett as she is obsessed with TRAINS!!!


Scarlett at The National Railway Museum


First of all I had to look at the characters as to be honest I was a bit unsure of who Chuggington was! Scarlett made sure I knew all the characters and the names after a lovely afternoon of playing choo choos and saving them from the wibbly wobbly bridge.... I think I may have enjoyed that game more than she did.

So first of all I drew up a plan of how I wanted the cake to look, I set about  the week before the party modelling the different train charcters for the cake! This part was much easier and more enjoyable than I thought it would be! The worst part which is normally the easiest part was the baking of the cake.... sadly the first cake crumbled and had to bake a whole new one.

For the cake I used my all time favourite chocolate cake recipe from Primrose bakery cook book... I have to say half way into melting 600g of 70% coco chocolate I did think this cake is far too good for small children!

If you are stuck for a recipe for chocolate cake try this one from Primrose bakery! it is scrummy!

Recipe 
Ingredients
230g 70% chocolate
170g unsalted butter, at room temp
350g light soft brown sugar
3 large eggs, separated
370g plain sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp salt
500ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temp
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract

Method
Pre heat oven to 170c (fan),190c/375f/gas mark 5. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper.

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl, melt on a medium setting in 30-second bursts until completely melted, stirring well in between. 

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until its pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 mins using a electric hand mixer. Put the egg yolks in a separate bowl and beat for several mins, slowly add the egg yolks to the butter mixture and beat well. Add the chocolate to this mix and beat again.

combine the flour,baking powder, bicarb and salt in a separate bowl. Combine the milk and vanilla in a jug, add one third of the flour to the creamed mix and beat well, pour in one third of the milk mix and beat again, repeating these steps until all the flour and milk has been added.

In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites,with clean beaters, until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold in the egg whites to the batter using a metal spoon.(do not beat as this will take out all the air). divide between tins and bake for 30 mins. Insert a skewer in the middle if it comes out clean its done.


Leave in the tins for a few minutes and then empty out on to a cooling rack. 


As Scarlett is just like her mummy and daddy and a chocolate monster of cause the cake had to have chocolate butter cream as well! 

Leave the cake to cool completely before adding your chocolate butter cream. 

Recipe 
350g 70% dark chocolate

225g unsalted butter, at room temp
1tbsp semi-skimmed milk
1tsp vanilla extract, good quality
250g icing sugar, sifted

Method 

Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave until smooth and a thick pouring consistency. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning the chocolate. Leave to cool slightly.

Beat the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla with an electric hand beater in a bowl until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat until thick and creamy.


So here are a few images of the process and the end product!




I made her a little cake topper with the Chuggington logo and her name on Photoshop, I just printed this out onto card cut it out and stuck it to some cocktail sticks.

Here are some lovely pictures taken by Paul 





The party was brilliant and Scarlett had a lovely time! it's fair to say after this experience.... I won't be baking a cake for a while! of this size anyway. 





What to blog about?

I always find it really hard to decide what to write about when blogging, I try to think about the things I like to read in blogs, Lifestyle, Fashion, Baking, thoughts and aspirations.

How can I start placing these topics in my blog. Blogging can be a difficult thing as it is sort of a window into your life, I always find it hard to decide what people would like to hear about and what I want people to know about me. So I am slowly going to try and place more things I like to read in blogs on my blog and also start share a little bit of the life and workings of Jodie Anna! And to start this I am going to share with you some corners of my home!

 I live in a small 18th Century terrace house in a sleepy village in West Yorkshire,



along with my bearded husband Paul one half of Stott and Atkinson photography and our imaginary pug, I say imaginary as I really want one!!!! and I am slowly talking Paul round! I love our little house and always try to put our tastes around us to keep us both inspired, I love to collect a range of things some people may see it as hoarding! but I love to be surrounded by objects that make me smile and keep me inspired. I collect objects and keep objects that mean something to me and hold memories. Here are a few shots of the corners of our house,








In these few shots I have included a sneak peak at my passion for collecting 1950's/60's ceramic animals and old cameras! along with my clock which is very special to me as it was the last Christmas present from my late Grandma Mabel and a little picture of my dressing table..... which Paul is wanting me to sell..... NOOOO!!!

Well thank you for reading and joining me on my new journey to start blogging more about what I like and what I am about.






New! circus range is here!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

It's taken a bit of time but it is finally here..... well the first instalment, The new Circus range. So far we have our Tattooed strong man brooch £13.95, Circus bear brooch £13.95 and Circus Giraffe Necklace! £19.95 And they all come in their very own big top tent! All our new Circus items have been printed onto 3mm think birch wood and then laser cut, we have also carefully added layers to each piece to create a more 3D affect







We will be launching ROARRRRRRRRRRR our Lion necklace very soon and currently working on a new animal! We were thinking of making some earrings we would love to hear what you guys would like to see? 




 
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