Be Happy – Stay Happy

So, the last week or two I have been a bit under the weather. Nothing serious, but enough that I had to take a tiny break. But I soon missed the drawing board and was itching to get back.

Whilst laid low, there was little to do nut watch TV, which included the news. And that’s when you realise what a terrible place our world can be, and that being a little under the weather isn’t at all bad on the grand scheme.

It also reminded me why I started the Little Welsh Studio – and the mission of the Little Welsh Studio – To Make the World a Happier Place. One doodle at a time.

Smile and be happy
Start every day with a smile

It’s easy to get caught up in the sales side (I do need to earn some money after all) – but at the basis is always that fact that I create bright, fun work to make me smile – and to make others smile. Just a little happiness in a world where the media takes bad news global (bad news sells more apparently).

My aim is not to ignore the plight of others, or try to pretend that bad things do not happen – but it is to try to bring a little balance. Good things also happen. People are allowed to – and are entitled to – be happy.

So – if you feel a little bit down – you know that you can pop onto Jac’s many social media platforms and you will find something, even something very small, that will make you smile, even if it’s just a little, just for a while.

Be happy everyone – you deserve it xxx

Jac on Facebook – www.facebook.com/JacsStudio

Jac on Instagram – www.instagram.com/Jacs.Studio

Jac on Twitter – www.twitter.com/JacsStudio

And – if you would like to buy online, do check my Etsy shop – TheLittleWelshStudio.etsy.com

Can Anyone Slow Down Time?

OK – how did we get to nearly the end of April? I am sure it was February a blink ago!! Time just keeps on flying!

When I last wrote I had just signed up for my diploma in Art Therapy. I have to report that study is happening – but very slowly. Well, I say that – formal study is going slow, because I keep finding interesting articles on the benefits of art to well being (I convince myself they will be useful foe my essays 🙂 ).

The other things that I have found is good for well being is sunshine. The sun has recently made an appearance here – after lots and lots of rain – and it makes such a huge difference to everything! Everyone is happier – more positive. It’s hard to stay grumpy on a sunny day.

Smile and be happy
Start every day with a smile

The sun has also found me in the garden – which also appears to be good for me. Something about creating a peaceful space out of a pile of weeds is very rewarding – not to mention the calories you can burn doing a bit of weeding!?

Gardening can be so addictive!
Gardening can be so addictive!

The problem is – gardening is addictive, and eats into your time. Time when you should be studying!

So – if anyone can just find a way to slow down time for me, I might just get the garden complete and pass my diploma! Or, I suppose I could just focus more…

Let’s see how things go – I will update you soon 🙂 Don’t forget you can find me over on Facebook and Instagram too!

Till next time – be happy, stay positive xx

Love Jac xx

Hello February!

Well hello February! It seems only yesterday we were welcoming in the New Year….

It’s been a great start to the year – I think I mentioned last time that January was going to be busy with orders, and it looks like February is starting off the same way. Time really does fly when you are having fun.

So what is the plan this month?

Well – I’m working a number of card orders, for lots of different occasions. And I have stock to build up for a craft fair later this month at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. (Their St David’s Day event is on the 28th February, it would be amazing to see some of you there).

So far, I have orders for bunny rabbits, hedgehogs and frogs, and have an idea for some fruit and vegetable characters. You can, as always follow my progress on my Facebook page – and I’ll try to get some pictures on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. (there really is no escaping me now!).

Example of introductory bundle
Example of introductory bundle

Today I’m e-mailing the February colour sheet to the members of Jac’s Colouring Club – you can sign up to that any time, do contact me for further information.

How time flies!

23rd January. What – really – already? Time really does fly when you are having fun!

So far January has been an amazing month for Jac.

Normally January is quiet, but already I have booking for commissions all the way through to December, and membership to Jac’s Colouring Club has proved to be popular. (Click here for details on that).

The Daily Doodle is another hit – the best place to see them is my Facebook page, one new doodle, every day, just for fun. In the end I’ll have 366 of them – and perhaps some will be developed into illustrations or printed items. (If you have a favourite, do let me know!)

I’m currently working on Valentine’s day items – as well as commissions for weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. It will soon be time to start Mother’s Day items too!

Smile and be happy
Start every day with a smile

I have always loved drawing – and now I know that my drawings can bring a smile to people’s faces, it makes it all the more special.

Ooo – I almost forgot – you can now find me on Instagram too!

Until next time then,

Love Jac xxx

New Year, New Focus

Shame on me.

Really.

I have neglected this little blog for too long. What was I thinking!

Anyway – a new year seems a good time to make amends, so here I am. 2015 was a strange year for me. It’s been full of ups and downs – I won’t go into all that though – that’s just sooo last year 🙂

Things started to pick up for me towards the end of 2015, and I am now more positive and motivated than ever before.

This is the year to get Jac’s Little Welsh Studio to “the next level” (I’ve not yet decided exactly what that level is mind you – I promise you will be first to know when I find out!).

I have even made some new year resolutions. Ones I think I can actually keep. Crucially, I am not consciously giving up anything.

I am only doing more – smiling more, ready more, eating more healthily. By filling my life with good and positive habits I simply won’t have room for negativity and bad habits.

resolutions
At last – resolutions I can stick to!

And I will still have the odd glass of something – and I will most certainly not be be giving up chocolate or coffee. A little bit in moderation is key I find.

So – here is to 2016 – may it be a healthy and happy year for all of my fabulous supporters.

Love Jac xxx

So, Who exactly is Jac?

Hello Everyone!

Thinking back, it seems some time ago since I introduced me (aka Jac) to you all – and since so many more people have joined me via the various social media channels (I believe that’s the technical term?) that I thought perhaps you’d like to know more about the person behind the drawing board. If nothing else it may help you understand the madness that is Jac’s Little Welsh Studio. Here I am…

This is Jac

I do hope I haven’t frightened too many of you off! Anyway – me, what can I say. Well, my actual name is Jackie, but it’s been shortened to Jac by so many people for so long that’s what I became 🙂

I love to draw. My parents will tell you, I first started drawing when I was about 2 or 3 yrs old. And they will take great delight in telling you that if I didn’t have paper, then the walls would do (oops).

So, all through childhood I drew. All the time. And then I went to college and I studied Illustration. And then… well, I stopped. I got a “proper” job, a mortgage, a car – all the lovely things you want when you are young.

Now, I’m not so young, and about 3 years ago I picked up a pencil again and started to doodle. Then I started to doodle some more – I posted one or two pages on my personal Facebook page, and a friend suggested I set up a page just for my drawings. And Jac’s Studio was born.

Nowadays, my most favourite thing is to lock myself in my studio, surrounded by my special items (toadstool, Teddy, inspiration board), with a cup of coffee (lots of coffee) and draw.

Jac's Studio

And I am lucky – people seem to like what I do, people like you have helped grow my business.

My most favourite thing about my business is that from my happy place, I can spread happiness, with my cheerful, colourful and positive pieces. Which leads me neatly to my motto “Making the World A Happier Place – One Doodle at a Time” .

I am one girl, on a mission to spread happiness 🙂

So please – connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest.

And, if you would like to buy something I would LOVE you to visit my online ETSY shop (or you can contact me to discuss a bespoke commission piece).

I know it’s a cliché – but you all are my inspiration. Connecting with people, them telling me what they are up to, what they like, what their day has been like – it all goes in Jac’s head – and out pops a doodle (well, maybe not instantly – but ideas come from being social)!

Well – that’s enough about me (for now) – hope to see you all soon.

Till next time,

Jac xx

 

The Great British Weather

What is it with people and the weather. Why do we all talk about it so much? Is it just a British thing, or is it a worldwide thing?

Certainly, here in Wales I suspect it’s because it’s so changeable! Especially recently. Recently, we have pretty much all 4 seasons in a day (sometimes in an hour I reckon).

What I have noticed is how it affects people’s moods. We’ve just had a sunny spell – where everyone was all smiley and happy – the bright summer clothes came out (well mine did at least!).

When we had it for a few days – people got a little tired and grumpy (not used to prolonged hot weather here, are we?!). Then it rained – all of a sudden people are moaning. I even caught myself mid moan – but dragged myself back from the brink!

My artwork is also influenced by the weather – but not in the way people expect. Many people paint grey things on grey days. Not me. The more dull and grey it gets – the more colour I want to add – when the sky outside is grey I love to paint blue skies and flowers. And I post those on social media, hoping to bring a bit of sunshine to everyone’s rainy day 🙂

Smile and be happy
Start every day with a smile

Now, here in Wales, it rains a lot (hence the brightly coloured art all the time!). I suppose I could be sad about that. But if it didn’t rain, then Wales wouldn’t be so lovely and green now would it? (and then what would the sheep eat? AND Tom Jones couldn’t have sung the Green, Green Grass of Home could he?).

What I am saying is – don’t be sad because the sun doesn’t shine.

Don’t be sad – because without the rain we wouldn’t have rainbows, without the rain our gardens wouldn’t burst into bloom.

And anyway – a rain shower is ever such a good to excuse to duck into a café for a cuppa and slice of cake – erm, I mean shelter 🙂

So – whatever the weather in the next week – keep smiling 🙂

Till next week then – Love Jac xx

Anyone Can Draw – Yes, Really, Anyone!

I know I did say my challenge this week would be walking instead of taking the car – and I have tried. But it’s just so easy to jump in the car when it’s cold and wet (which it often is in Wales). Let’s just say, I have some work to do on that particular challenge, which I will write about that on another day 🙂

But – today is still all about happiness – another simple thing.

Making others happy.

It’s amazing how good you feel when you know that something you have said (or done) has made someone else smile. And the sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that Jac’s motto is “Making the World a Happier Place, One Doodle at a time”.

I cannot explain the feeling I get when someone comments on any of my social media posts that my pictures have made them smile. It’s a bit of a cliché – but it is really a warm glow deep inside.

But that lovely comment is often followed by “I can’t draw” or “I wish I could draw”.

I’ve said this before – and I mean it. Everyone can draw. We may not all draw in the same way, but we can all do it.

Can you honestly say you know any child who has never picked up a pencil or crayon and scribbled. And that scribble gets so much praise. It’s on the fridge for all to see (even if we don’t really know what it is)

But at some point in many people’s lives, they lose confidence. The praise dwindles to nothing, they stop showing off their scribbles… they stop scribbling. And I think that is so sad 🙁

So – this week on my facebook page I did a new thing. Step by step, I showed people how to draw one of my signature bees.

Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans
Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans

And a few people have had a go – and guess what – they could draw a bee, they just needed a little guidance. Every bee will be different – but then, that’s nature.

I’m hoping a few people will share their bees with me – so I show just what is possible with a pencil.

More importantly, I’m hoping it will inspire, I hope it will make people smile. Who knows what could happen then !! (It will definitely make me smile)

If you would like to learn how to draw a bee like mine – just pop on over to my album on facebook. Take a look. Tell me what you think. JOIN IN!!

(PS – If you are not on Facebook don’t worry. I am planning to do a sheet with each stage on so I can email that – free of charge. Just send me a message through my contact page)

Let’s see if together we can create a real buzz!! (Pardon the Pun). If you have enjoyed this blog, do let people know. I aim to post every Thursday.

See you next week!

Love Jac xx

Mmmm – Food, Glorious Food

Well – my quest to lead a simpler, happy life continues. Over the last week, my simple pleasure has been food – cooking and enjoy good home made and wholesome food.

I think most people who have followed Jac’s antics for a while have already realised that I rather like food (especially sweet things like cake and chocolate), and I have always enjoyed cooking. But when life starts to get hectic, it’s all too easy to turn to convenience food – chuck in a jar of sauce here and there, the ping of the microwave – that style of “cooking” has been more common at Chez Evans recently than the sound of vegetable chopping, or onions sizzling.

But then I read an article on the web (the BBC Dish it up website), which made me realise I could really be missing out.

According to that article, the amount of time we spend cooking has almost halved since 1993, During the same period, the number of stress-connected illnesses has doubled.

Could there be a link I wondered?

So – I set myself a challenge to only use fresh ingredients, to make every meal from scratch. Yes, I thought, it might be a struggle (I do have a “day job” as well as running the studio) – I may have to be more organised – but, it had to be worth a go. And wow- has it been worth it! I rediscovered my love of pottering around the kitchen (U found that I kept the kitchen tidier had more pride in it) and produced some lovely meals – all of which I believe tasted so much better than their more processed alternatives.

And most recipes were surprisingly quick – they didn’t take any more time than the jar of sauce option

I even had a go at baking (yes – me!). OK – it was only flapjack – Mary Berry need not feel threatened just yet. But, even if I do say so myself it was rather nice – and without any nasty additives!

I am now not only more relaxed but have more energy – so more time in the studio. And Ted loves it too!

So go on – give cooking a whirl if you have been stuck in a fast food rut – you may surprise yourself! And if you need added incentive – you can burn calories while you cook (43 every 15mins according to the same BBC website – I reckon it could be more if you dance round the kitchen at the same time!)

Ted loves cooking
Ted enjoyed my cooking challenge

Next week – the challenge to walk more – whatever the weather.

See you then – Love Jac xx

Gardens – Good for the Soul

So – last week, I wrote about true happiness. I felt that, rather than the material things like cars & clothes, simple things can bring longer term happiness.

Since then, I have been trying to lead a slower, simpler life. Walking instead of taking the car, listening to soothing music whilst working – rather than always popular music channels (although you can’t beat a good sing along!).

I’ve used small shops to get my shopping (I did not miss my local supermarket one bit!) and cooked every meal form scratch.

And of course, I’ve done lots of painting.

One thing I love painting are bees and flowers – and recently I have also discovered that I love gardening for real.

Now, I am no Alan Titchmarsh or Monty Don, but I have been out there, weeding, tidying, planting – and it is wonderful to see things that I have planted grow, to see flowers appear – bursts of colour springing up each day.

When out there I get lost in my own little world – listening to the buzzing of the bees, the chirping of the birds. It’s great therapy – and inspiring.

A quick 10mins just dead-heading some flowers, or pulling a few weeds starts to calm my mind (which rarely slows down, never mind stops!). I’ve seen a couple of programmes in the last week about the health benefits of gardening too, so I reckon it must be good for body and mind.

So – if you are struggling with a busy brain, give it a whirl! You don’t need a big garden – you could plant flowers in a pot or a window box – or offer to weed someone else’s garden (plenty in mine to go round!). But do get out there, get your hands dirty!

Ok, I’m off to draw flowers (and maybe some more bees)

Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans
Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans

PS – I haven’t had a go at baking yet – but I have eaten cake, so I am almost there 🙂

See you next week,

Love Jac xx