10 Reasons to go to an Adult Ballet Class

I went to my first ballet class when I was six years old in a small church hall in a town called Peebles. Since then I have been hooked. I’ve started and stopped over the years, with things like university and work getting in the way but one thing I’ve found is that without ballet, I start to go wonky. My body and my soul! I need to dance.


The great thing about an adult ballet class is that no one takes it too seriously. There is (generally) no scary teacher, you don’t have to wear your hair in a bun, it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, mainly you’re there for fun and self improvement.

1. Improves Posture
Good posture means that your bones are supporting you in the correct way and alleviates strain on the muscles. 

2. Improves flexibility
Improved flexibility has all sorts of health benefits. It can relieve back pain and prevent injury.


3. Boosts Confidence
Although it can be nerve wracking at first, as you get to know the steps and the faces around you, joining a dance class really does boost your confidence.

4. Stress Release
Dancing always releases stress!  There is so much to think about in ballet that you literally have no room in  your head for anything else. Sometimes I don’t feel in the mood, but I know that once I’m in there I’ll forget whatever’s going on in my life and have 90 minutes (or so) of full presence.

5. Make New Friends
It may take a few weeks for people to start chatting to you but it always happens sooner or later. You can break the ice by asking about a step or compliment someone on their leotard (and no, you don’t have to wear a leotard!)


6. Full Body Toning
Ballet is hard. It tones you everywhere.

7. Builds Strength
Again, ballet is hard. You will get stronger!

8. Improves Memory
Learning steps quickly is something that requires practice. The pace of the class will vary with the level and with practice, you will find yourself picking up steps quicker and quicker.

9. Performance Opportunities
Hello Diva! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE performing. There is nothing quite like the build up to a show, the anticipation of being back stage, the costume rehearsal, the lighting checks, the bond you form with your fellow dancers. The thrill of finally being on stage. I love it all.

10. Wear a Tutu
Where else are you going to have a valid reason to prance around in a tutu?


The great part is, you can dance whatever age you are and it’s never too late to start.

I plan on dancing forever!


Choose Something, Stick to it and Become a Pro!

10 weeks 10 patterns

That’s my goal.

I’ve always made things, drawn stuff, played music, made clothes, but never mastered any one discipline because I want to do EVERYTHING. I’ve always been the same. I don’t like missing out.  I’ve recognised that I’m like this in almost all aspects of my life, whether it’s choosing a doughnut or choosing a film. Lately I’ve been trying to make snappy decisions and stick to them.

Creatively, I’ve decided I want to get good at something. My problem is, I don’t know what. I’m okay at lots of things, I just need to choose one of my million interests and focus my energy on one thing.

Maybe I’ll discover that pattern design is my thing.

Inspiration: The Great British Bake Off – Lemon Drizzle Cake

image source: http://www.greatbritishchefs.com

Original Sources: Lemon and Orange Shopping

It’s always better to use your own sources if possible so that you know your work is 100% yours. Sometimes it’s impossible to go out and photograph a mantaray or something but where I can, I use my own source material.



Simple Sketches for Design Components



Colour Palette



Digitalise, Colour and Create Motifs in Illustrator


Final Patterns




More patterns coming soon!

Have a great week.




28 Day Drawing Challenge – It’s OK to Quit

Week 2 of my 28 day drawing challenge started out well. I was into it. I even started another, bigger personal project, which I’ll most likely blog about in the future. I was excited about creating and drawing and making and doodling. I’d wake up each morning as an eager beaver to see what creative project was in my inbox. That’s until I started getting so into my other personal project, that I began feeling a little frustrated that I had to spend my limited time on the 28 day challenge, particularly because the later projects of week two, were not so inspiring.

I had all these thoughts like ‘you have to continue, it’s a challenge- that’s the whole point’ or ‘don’t be a quitter’, but then I realised that the challenge had served its purpose exactly and that I no longer needed it.

The reason I started the challenge was to get my creative juices going again and it did! I felt great. So why force myself to keep going when it had already fulfilled its purpose. One of the videos at the start of the challenge actually even says, that it’s ok to quit if you feel a pull in a different direction. Follow your creativity, follow you heart. xxx

Day 8: Thirty circles in thirty minutes


Day 9: Seeing shapes in scribbles


Day 10: Blind portrait using a continuous line


Day 11: Photo doodle


Day 12: Exquisite corpse – Collaboration

This was that game where you draw a head, fold the paper and pass it to someone else who then draws the body, folds in and passes it on for someone else to draw the legs. When you unfold it, you usually end up with a pretty hilarious drawing.
I used to play this A LOT. When I was a kid and when I was at art college. My flat mate and I would sit in the kitchen doing this for hours.

I passed on it this time round because I didn’t have anyone to do it with in my work space.

Day 13: Textual observation (again)

It didn’t inspire me last time so I chose not to do it again.

Day 14: Rest Day

These were the following week’s challenges – I wasn’t feeling it!

Day 15: Make a mind map

Day 16: Blackout poetry

Day 17: Playing with tangrams

Day 18: Visualising sound

Day 19: Writing post-it notes and leaving them places

Day 20: Textual observation (for the third time!)

Day 21: Rest day


Although I chose not to complete the challenge, I LOVED what I did do of 28 to Make.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!


You can find the challenge I did here.

28 Day Drawing Challenge – Week 1

Hello! It has been forever! Have you had a good summer? Summer has thrown me totally off course with lots of things going on…including getting married! To get me back into drawing and being creative again, I decided to do a drawing challenge I found on Creative Live called 28 to Make which you can find here. It is basically 28 short drawing challenges, one a day. Here is how I’ve been getting on.

Day 1: Draw whatever you’re drinking, in 20 minutes


I can’t say I felt hugely inspired by this. I even considered drawing a different drink since what I was drinking was so boring. I decided to stick with it none the less and quite like the outcome. (Mugi-cha is Japanese barley tea, a summer staple here in Japan.)

Day 2: Draw a house plant in 20 minutes


Watercolours! Also, this plant died shortly after…rip.

Day 3: Draw your favourite album cover, in 20 minutes


A collage made from scraps I found in my paper recycling bin of The Cure Album ‘Boy’s Don’t Cry’. While it’s not my favourite album, I love The Cure and the cover is pretty cool.
It was between that and a picture of Britney Spears.

Day 4: Draw what’s in your bag in 20 minutes


This was probably on a good day too. I literally have so much rubbish in my bag, all the time.

Day 5: Draw a receipt, in 20 minutes


Like the ‘draw your drink’ project, this didn’t exactly ignite my passion but I actually got quite into it. As I live in Japan, all my receipts were in Japanese too, which was quite interesting!

Day 6: Textual observation challenge

I didn’t document this one as it wasn’t very visual or inspiring for me.

Day 7: Rest day

There is a video to watch on the importance of rest for creativity.

So that was my week! I really enjoyed the tasks actually. It’s good that they’re all quick as it means that you (or I) are more likely to do them. I found that the majority of the time I kept drawing or kept making because the challenges put me in a good creative mood.

More next week!


Hello Summer! Watercolours and Watermelons


I hope you’re all enjoying summer so far! This is my second summer in Japan and I cannot get enough of the sunshine and hot weather! Last year I felt like I was melting into my cereal every morning and sweating through everything, all the time, but this year I seem to have adapted a little bit to the heat.

This month has been all about eating watermelon, growing vegetables, having water fights and fireworks! So different to my lifestyle back in the UK and I LOVE IT!


Here is a little watercolour experiment inspired by my watermelon addiction. I’m still new to watercolours but I’m having so much fun trying them out and find it really relaxing.


Want to Draw but Lack Inspiration?

Have you ever wanted to draw but been stuck for what to draw? I’ve recently realised that you can really draw anything. Of course, that’s stating the obvious but I’ve started seeing day to day things more as drawing inspiration. Like when I had to get off my bike because I saw the cutest little chicks cheeping from a nest then a mummy bird swooped in and fed them all. So adorable! I took photos on my phone but they were rubbish so I painted it.

The great thing about painting is that you can enhance and embellish!


I even painted some weeds over the weekend. They were pretty weeds!

I’ve been exploring water colours a bit over the past couple of weeks and I’m really enjoying it. The effects you can get from mixing colours can be so gorgeous.