How To De-Clutter and Why You Might Want To Do This Now…..

De-cluttering has been the subject of a massive amount of discussion and debate and as a fully paid up member of the the clutter bug club (no, it’s not really a club, I don’t think so anyway – but wouldn’t that be such a cool club to join !?), it’s something I think about and talk about quite a bit.

Recent attempts to make my home more eco-friendly has meant that we’ve got a new eco-heating system, which is great, but, it was intresting how much stuff we had to move to get it fitted! This got me thinking about our ‘stuff’ and once again I launched a de-cluterring project, so I thought I’d share some of that with you.

I do like Marie Kondo’s approach, it was a game changer for me. I used to worry ALL THE TIME about the tidal wave of belongings that swept through our home and I felt really guilty that we had all this stuff and it was everywhere and I needed to get rid of it….

Then I read her book and realized that I didn’t need to ‘get rid of my clutter’. Marie advocates for keeping the things that ‘Spark Joy for you’ and letting go of everything that does not. The concept of something ‘Sparking Joy’ can be tricky to start with – who finds joy in teaspoons, for example. So she recommends starting with clothes, as we have a very close personal relationship with clothes. ‘Sparking Joy’ is about knowing exactly why you have that item. It does not have to be the most beautiful or glam thing, but when we use or wear it we are happy. An old t-shirt that we love and wear often ‘Sparks Joy’. The beautiful shoes that are murder to wear, so we don’t -can go. Teaspoons that we stir out tea with every morning – keepers. Fancy breadmaker that got used once – out it goes! Once all the things that don’t ‘Spark Joy’ are gone, you then organise like with like and remove duplicates that are not needed. This then leaves you room to display and organise all the things in your home that do ‘Spark Joy’ and it’s full of things you love!

My top tips and take aways:

1. Read Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic of Tidying book.

2. Follow her system.

3. If you don’t have a large block of time or you’re doing a ‘mini’ sort, tidy and clean, then tackle a room or area at a time – but if you do this do remember to gather all the items from around your home that fit the the type of items you’re sorting.

4. ‘I’ll keep it, just in case / I might need it / or it might come in handy’ If these phrases trot through your brain, as you ask yourself: if the items ‘Spark Joy’? Then the answer is no!

4. Create a designated space for things you are going to recycle, donate or sell and set phone or diary reminders to to that next step. Items leaving your home is the key to success, so try to clear as much as you can and don’t leave unwanted items hanging around too long or they’ll get re-absorbed back into your home!

5. Repeat the process – it took me a few times, to embed the practises. It gets easier each time!

6. Give youself a pat of the back for your efforts and remember to feel postive about donating items and sending them back out into the world to live another life, it is good sustainable living!

Next, why you may want to do this now…..

1. In a few months Christmas will be on us and for those who celebrate this holiday, it will involve more ‘stuff’ coming into your home, so it’s good to have a premptive clear out.

2. You may come across items that you can gift to family and friends for Christmas, which will help with the cost and effort of finding all those lovely gifts for loved ones!

3. You will have a solid base for a functioning and welcoming home for the holiday season and you will be able find all the things you need for the celebrations – which always makes life easier.

4. if you have items to donate they will come in handy for others during the festivities.

5. If you have items to sell now is a great time, as people are shopping for Christmas and it could produce some much welcomed extra cash for you! – If this is something that’s important for you at present (as it is for most of us!) I’ll be doing a blog post on making extra cash soon!

I hope you find this a little bit helpful.

Thanks & have a great week!

Sarah x

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3 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Waste…

Recycling plastic is a fantastic step forward in helping to reduce plastic pollution and even better are reducing plastic use and re-using plastic items. Here’s three easy ways to reduce your plastic waste.

  1. Carry a water bottle. Grab yourself a good looking and practical reusable water bottle, this means that you’re not buying water in single use plastic bottles. A great way to easily reduce your plastic waste and also save some money too!

2. Reuse old plastic containers. Reusing plastic is even better for the environment than recycling. No processing is needed to reuse rather than recycle plastics, so wash thouroghly and then reuse plastic containers once you’ve used their original contents. There are all kinds of ways of re-using plastic containers. Here’s a few ideas: cover old containers with paper labels for organising and storage for small household items. Use them for storing and carrying food, they can be great for packed lunches. lidded plastic food containers are perfect for freezing food portions when you batch cook. Take well washed and lidded plastic containers to the refill store to hold your purchases.

3. Switch to bar soaps, shampoos & conditioners. Bathrooms can produce loads of plastic waste so it’s a great place to find easy reductions. Switch to bar soaps, shampoos and conditioners. I switched from bottle hand soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner and have saved over 70 plastic bottles a year from my bathroom alone!

I hope this ideas help and inspire you to reduce you plastic waste a little bit.

Thanks & have a great week!

Sarah x

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Art Deco – WHAT’S THE STORY?

Art Deco – it was a brave new look for a brave new world. As I sit here in summer 2022 embracing our ‘new normal’ and bracing myself for ‘The Roaring Twenties – The Re-do’, I’m instantly inspired to look back to the original and the design movement that redefined everything, from dinner plates to dancing frocks and back again. 1920s swept in the Art Deco design movment and in an instant it swept away all the tradition that had gone before and by crikey was everybody ready. After years of war, truma and loss followed by the Flu pandemic of 1918 the world needed a brake – enough was enough, so many had lost their lives and youths to the war and the flu and now they were going to live a little…..

Art Deco was THE thing that changed every thing. I always find the name a little strange: Arts Decoratif, to give it’s full title. It came out of France and means Decorative Arts and yet it is less decorative and fussy than it’s predecesor Art Nouveau (meaning New Arts).

Anyway, along came Art Deco and changed the world. It represented an un-fussy, elegant, sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate style. Featuring geometric shapes and stong lines it has a purity and simplicity which tells of it’s practicallity. It can be even be argued that it also had a role in the Rights of Women movement. Art Deco design removed the focus of the creation of a domestic enviroment from a purely female role and resposibility and made it much more gender neutral. Art Deco clothing design was a massive departure from the restrictive and inconvenient dress of the preceding eras, it clearly resulted in much more practical clothing styles for women, meaning thay could take part in many activities with increased freedom of movement – no small progress!

And it was fun! As the designs was simplified the materials and finishes became much more important and luxe. If you were able to go dancing, you could wear a flapper dress and dance the Charleston (and who doesn’t love THAT!)

And, even if you had a family to look after and your flapper days were behind you, Art deco could still bring a hint of modern glamour into your world, in the form of a Clarice Cliff or Suzie Copper teaset!

Art Deco Clarice Cliff tea set

The Art Deco design movement was so highly influential on our lives that it is still impacting us today and I love the beauty and purity of it!

You can easily add a a sprinkle of Art Deco style to your home or wardrobe. Here’s a couple of high style Art Deco ideas!

I often use genuine Art Deco beads dating from the 1920s & 1930s to create reclrecaimed and recycled vintage bead earrings for my eco-friendly range of jewellery, so if you’re an Art Deco fan then come and take a look at my Art Deco earring collection

All in all, the Art Deco movment represented a huge leap forward in our lives, it transitioned us from traditional to modern and we’re still feeling those changes today! The design influence of the Art Deco movement has been so far reaching and impactful. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little foray into the Art Deco world…

Thanks & have a lovely day

Sarah x

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Check Out Our New Jane Austen x Graffiti Range!

So, along with my love of the Bronte Sisters, i’m also a massive fan of Jane Austen and her work. It took me a few reads to get beyond the constraints of the language and hear her voice. Cricky what a voice – she’s very sharp and really, really funny. That lady really did have and eye for humanity and all it’s foolishness and quirks! Her words really inspire me and I’ve been feeling creative, so I decided to meld her amazing ideas with an art movement that, in my opinion, really represents just how creative, subversive and progressive she was. Welcome to our new Jane Austen X Graffiti range…..

I hope you enjoy the new Jane Austen X Graffiti gifts and clothing range and if you’re looking for a good read do check out Jane Austen’s books!

Have a great week & thanks for reading!

Sarah x

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Japan – you are always on my mind.

Japan, it’s culture, place and people facinate Johnny and I and we’d love to visit. But, we live on the other side of the world, in Yorkshire, so it’ll need a lot of saving up and take some time to get there. Despite the difference in languages, culture and the great physical distances, I love that there are also similarities. Yorkshire and Japan a both hilly and cold at times, tea drinking has big place in our hearts and Kintsugi – the Japanese method of repair that creates beauty from damage, feels very akin to the Yorkshire ‘make the best of it’ spirit. To bring a little of Japan to Yorkshire Johnny & I like to visit Japancentre.com – they delivery fantastic Japanese treats worldwide!

So it’s no suprise that the facintion with Japan has inspired Johnny to explore that theme in his art. He’s done several pieces, which explore facets of Japanese culture and our relationship with it, as observers. We’ve turned the original handpainted and drawn pieces into digital form and they’re available as t-shirts, hoodies, and art prints.

Come and check out the Japanese inspired art and clothing at johnnyinthe56.com

We hope you enjoy the Japanese inspired art & clothes.

Thanks & have a fantastic day

Sarah & Johnny

PS: After I wrote this blog piece, we were talking about it, which inspired Johnny to re-visit the Japanese Sumo wrestlers and he’s done another piece on them. Check out his instagram feed for up to the minute updates on it’s progress and all his artwork.

PPS: This blog contains affiliate some links, so if you purchase through them we get a small comission which helps support the blog and pay our bills, so thank you for your support!

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