There are all kinds of reasons for blogging. I’m sure that a quick web search on why should I blog would come up with a whole heap of information.

Still, I have had to explain why I write my thoughts online to say many people. Family and friends don’t always understand the desire I have to write articles and share photographs. Sometimes, I don’t fully understand it either.

I was writing my ‘About’ section this past weekend and I realised that I just couldn’t really explain why I write this blog, or why I felt compelled to start blogging in 2005 (!) through MSN. Over the years, I have had a wide span of blogs, some public, some anonymous. I’ve dabbled in different subjects and reasons. I have learned a lot about what to put online, what not to put online and how to manage my own expectations when it comes to blogging.

So, yesterday, I sat down and wrote out my reasons for wanting to blog.

Blogging provides an outlet

There are many beneficial purposes to blogging. For me, The Lemon Hive provides a space for me to be creative, to share images, art work and design. It allows me to practice and share my skills, connect with like minded people and write. Writing used to be really important to me and I stopped doing it. Now it provides a cathartic outlet for me to type out my feelings, experiences and document my life.

Staying connected through my blog

I wanted to stay in touch with people, to share information with the people in my life. That is why I first started blogging in 2005. In 2010, things got real! I started to look toward moving to Canada, far away from all the relationships I’d built up over a lifetime. Leaving England meant that I would miss an incredible number of awesome people but that it would be increasingly difficult to keep them all updated on my doings as I acclimatised to a new culture.

When we moved to Ontario, I also wanted a way to stay in touch with my Albertan friends, to keep them informed of where I was in the world and what I was doing. It’s the little things that keep relationships strong. I love that my friends and family read this because it means that when we do talk, I get to listen to their stories, we save time and I’m not constantly repeating myself. It makes for much better and improved conversations. Streamlined, ya might say.

Blogging helps my creativity to grow

I used to love writing, drawing, painting and using computers but one day, I just stopped. In 2010, I decided to try being creative again. I started reassessing my skills with technology and started considering my photography as  a real hobby and my desire to learn web design as more than a passing fad. The progress was slow. Finally, I found my rhythm in 2013 and I needed somewhere to share it. It provided a way of documenting all the little things that I do and The Lemon Hive was born from that.

The Lemon Hive helps me to stay positive

I am a pro at hearing other peoples’ stories and seeing the positives hidden within them. I am so proud of my friends and family members who achieve goals and great dreams. However, I’m also brilliant at not applying my own advice and being unable to see the silver linings in the dark parts of my own story. I am a mastermind at looking at other peoples’ lives and seeing only to how brilliant they are in comparison to my own. Blogging has allowed me to document my life in a way that I had never done before. It holds me accountable. I have to share the positive moments, the accomplishments the battles I have fought and in doing that I create my own record of my life, which is equally vibrant and rich.

Life is so quick to become a chore, to become tired. Documenting my story allows me the opportunity to rewrite it, to see those chores and daily bores in a different light, and to reminisce about the small things that make life so bloomin’ fantastic.

Blogging allows me to document my growth

I already said that blogging allows me to grow creatively, but I failed to mention that The Lemon Hives mere existence means that I compare one year to the next. Every time I post something I am left feeling a little more confident in my ability to be creative. Confidence is key and that key is found, partly, through my ability to share and receive feedback.

It can be difficult to maintain a consistent attitude toward blogging, especially when it can seem embarrassing or awkward to have one. I mean, what’s the point of pouring yourself into it?

It can be scary pouring yourself into something because when you do that you risk failing. This is why I find it important that you pour yourself into something with reasons that encourage your growth. That way, even if it doesn’t work out you finish it off and you still win!

Why do you keep a blog? What are your reasons?

Over winter I was unwell and feeling very sorry for myself. I spent an embarrassing amount of time over that weekend watching Pretty Little Liars (don’t judge me!). I spent time thinking about how I’ve moved around so often and I’ve made friends and then lost touch because of distance.

I was thinking of developing a few greetings card/postcards to send to friends reminding them that even if we aren’t physically close, I miss them, I wish we could do coffee (or tea) and that I’d love a catch up/skype date. Skype dates are where it’s at don’t cha know?

I then realised that there are never any ‘tea’ dates. Coffee dates are rubbish because I really dislike coffee. I also incorporated some fun Yorkshire-/British-ism because I’m amazing like that.

I know that I previously spoke about Micron pens and how amazing they are but these were done with a ballpoint Bic and I love the fluidity of it. Scribble, scribble, scribble.

Tea or coffee? What’s your poison?

I love Pinterest. It has been a great place for me to keep track of my changing tastes, as well as an endless source of inspiration.

Recently, patterns and texture has provided the main source of pleasure. I just love patterns! Especially those with ikat and geometric inspired print. In my opinion, the brighter the colour the better.

So, here are my top 7 pinterest boards that provide a great source of pattern inspiration:

Kimokame: Textiles, Surface and Pattern

This board has over 26k pins, and 510 pinners. It’s forever being updated and filled with patterns, texture inspiration and fashion pieces. It’s a great place to start, and, if you’re new to group pin boards, this  board is for you. They welcome new pinners often.

Laura Bolter: Patterns 

This board is regularly updated, with beautiful patterns and art inspiration to encourage your creativity.

Hannah Teej: Design: Patterns and Texture

Over the past year, I have worked hard at developing a board of patterns that I love! When I first started drawing and painting again, I was often stuck with where to start or what to do. Emulating patterns in creative ventures is one of the best ways to practice. They don’t take up as much time as detailed drawings and can be really useful for practising new styles and exploring your own tastes. It’s also one of the many boards I look over when I just need some eye candy. Bonus, because it’s very low in sugar!

Myro Doodles: Inspiration

I love Myro Doodles Pinterest. It’s the ultimate happy place. Her boards are overflowing with design, pick me ups and general feel good moments. Most of her pattern choices are inspired by Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Indian-esque traditional design.

Ana Sender:Pattern

Ana is a fan of intricate pattern. I love looking over her board and getting lost in the complexity and detail. Definitely not something that I can use as inspiration (yet!) but her board is a reminder of what I aspire to be able to do.

Erin Dollar: Patterns

This board is completely different to Ana’s. It comprises of print, pattern and texture with tonal colours. The simplicity of the board is amazing. As an added bonus, Erin has includes examples of ‘pattern in action’, in the home, on clothes and in the workplace.

Kiriki Press:Pattern Inspiration

Patterns are simplistic, colourful, cheery and cute. It’s the sort of board you want to look at for a pick me up. Amazing.

I also love these boards for pattern and creative inspiration. These ones are not necessarily limited to pattern but they’re still really fun:

  • Celi Valiño has some really awesome graphics and patterns collected on this board. I am also in love with the super awesome ceramic one as well.
  • Camila Barreto has a collection of doodles and icons and, although not really about pattern, it is a great source of clean cut images and simple design. Her journalling board is filled with great writing inspiration and great examples of how to apply pattern into creative and personal development.
  • Charuca‘s boards are filled with colour, design and just general brilliance. I love the colours and the prettiness. I spent a long time purusing through these.

Does anyone else have a pattern board on Pinterest or is it just me? Leave links to your boards below! There is nothing better than a colourful, bright, exuberant and bright pattern Pinterest feed when you log in.

In 2012, I drove around Lake Superior, which really was one of the most fantastic journeys I’ve ever been on. Talk about breathtaking.

A year later, when I was just starting to take an interest in drawing again, I decided to sketch an image of a -meh- photo I had taken.

The ink sketch was ok, but it was lacking something, so a few months later, I started incorporating ink and acrylic into the drawing.

It’s not completed yet (because I am scared) and not really sure how to finish the top part. Any suggestions, should I just wash it with ink, should I build more into the boat? The biggest barrier is that I am not particularly confident when it comes to detailing vehicles, people etc. If it’s a rock or a landscape then I can use my imagination and interpret it in whatever way I’d like, but that doesn’t work the same with, ya know, boats. Thoughts?

Emeli Sande lyrics on hand drawn patterned wedding card by the lemon hive

Weddings are one of my favourite things to celebrate. I love that wedding cards are one of the most intimate and special items that can be given at a wedding. Most people keep their wedding cards to review time and again and it provides the perfect opportunity for me to really invest time and effort into the card and leave a lasting impression.

I loved spending the time on this detail and, for many months, it was blank. Then a friend in Edmonton told me that she was getting married and incorporating an old, vintage theme into her decor. This card took about 2 hours to complete and, I knew instantly, that I wanted her and her, now husband, to get this card. After listening to various love songs and came across this one by Emeli Sande. Her song seemed to fit their relationship perfectly.

Her album later came to inspire a whole host of art projects for the remainder of the autumn. I love it when a plan comes together.

I think this style would make a brilliant congratulations on your engagement, job promotion, graduation. I just love the potential that white on black offers.

Is it just me that keeps special and memorable cards, or do you too?

Being grateful is not easy. In fact, the term grateful itself makes me uncomfortable. It reminds me of the awkwardness of having to recite all the good in your life, in front of your class. The term is uncomfortable, often associated with the deeply religious or deeply free spirited. I am neither of these things and finding a middle ground, reclaiming the experience of gratefulness and feeling it’s benefits did not come easily to me.

These experiences are definitely my own and I am not suggesting that being religious or free spirited is good or bad. It is, however, difficult to figure out how it applies to you if you do not identify with a category your action is mostly associated with. So, where does this leave you? How can you be grateful if, like me, you’re usually a pretty grumpy, gloomy and negative person?

How to start being grateful

Following on from some of the research I did into gratitude (thanks Amit!), it has been suggested that individuals can improve their attitude and encourage their feelings of gratitude.

“Increasing focus on the link between mind and body can encourage feelings of gratitude”

– Bono and McCullough (2006)

There are lots of ways to share gratitude and experience the benefits. Even if you’re not at the stage of wanting to share all that you love with the world around you, you can still experience the benefits.

How to be grateful

Gratitude and Thinking

Thinking of grateful events has a bigger impact than when you write them down. It’s suspected that this is because when we write them down we are forcing ourselves to be grateful in a moment that may not be conducive to the act. Thinking can be done at any time and mindful thinking can help you experience really positive feedback as the thought occurs rather than stocking it up for later. Eamons & McCullough (2003).

What should I be grateful for?

People often think that they need to be grateful for actions of another person but it’s been found by Wood, Joseph and Linley that those that find gratitude easiest are more likely to involved a wider range of people and events. Such as:

  • Being grateful for being able to see a sunrise
  • Being grateful that you met your partner
  • Being grateful for the love of your partner
  • Being grateful that your church leader makes the weekly sermons relevant and engaging

Gratitude and writing

Writing is an incredibly rewarding way of expressing gratitude. Although it has not been found as effective as just thought, writing is still a useful tool. Unlike thoughts, written word is available for those days that you require a boost in your mood or any ailment

What other ways can you express gratitude? What works for you?

Bono, G. and McCullough, M., (2006) Positive responses to benefit and harm: bringing forgiveness and gratitude into cognitive psychotherapy, Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy.

Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E., (2003), An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 372-389.

Christmas is drawing to a close and my attention is fast changing to focus on the new year and resolutions. As 2013 draws to a close, I am reflecting upon my goals and what I want my 2014 path to look like. I wrote about my feelings of uncertainty and direction over here and I have spent a lot of my December taking time to think about me. Although my plans are not yet set in stone, I know that I am inspired to be more constructively creative and active in my life. As soon as I plan it out more, I will be sharing.

In the meantime, I’ve been developing an awesome friendship with Pages Matam, who spoke here earlier this month. We’ve been talking about creativity, purpose and direction, all the things I’ve been struggling with lately. He kindly offered to share some of his tips on how to start being creative and focused.

 

When did you become interested in poetry and teaching?

I first was interested in poetry in middle school. I fell in love with teaching may be about two years ago working for Split This Rock building the LTAB-DMV Youth teaching and empowerment program. Seeing the way these kids were impacted by not just my work with them, but how they found their voices and used them to grow not just as writers/artist but people it is so beautiful. Those kids inspire me to do and be better.

When did you realise that your work was making a difference?

After the first time a young boy came up to me after I did a poem about a friend of mine
committing suicide, saying that he wants to do and be better with his life and being a good
kid to his mother. The kid must’ve been no older than 10 years old. A few moments after,
the boy’s mother came up to me and confessed on how she was ready to give up on life
and call everything quits, and how her poem inspired her to keep pushing and going forward.
At that time, i was may be 16/17. But something clicked in me, on how art can be a  source
of healing and inspiration, and that words hold such power and can make a huge difference.

What does your son think of your poetry and work?

He is only 6 years old, he thinks it’s fun…he is not really into poetry though, he just likes being able to stay out late and be at venues with lights and he gets to eat all the food and hear adults say crazy things.

Tell me a little bit about why art heals and words have power.

Art heals because there is something about Art that allows to manifest healing. It allows you to use your imagination to express whatever darkness you may be going thru, but also it gives what a lot of people tend to lack in that time of darkness – power and control: whether it is over their own bodies, their minds, their feelings, the outcome of a situation. With your imagination you can create any outcome that you so desire. And that in itself is powerful and can provide such a great step in healing. With that said, words are extremely powerful. There is energy in the things that we say and how we act upon them. knowing how to navigate the world with that energy, how they can empower or hurt people, how they can give or take away, is extremely important.

6 Tips for Increased Creativity and Staying on a Creative Path

  • Just write. No matter what it is. Whether a single word or a thousand paragraphs, write. Allow the words to spring forth on their own, don’t force them.
  • Read. Watch and listen to other work too, but also read. I could not be where I am without having read/watched/seen such a diverse array of work from writers/artists from all around the world and from all walks of life.
  • Find a trusted person/mentor and loved ones that you can share not only your work but yourself with. It’s important to have people you trust in your life. 
  • Be authentic and genuine. Your work will reflect it.
  • Be open minded and receptive of change, especially in competitive slam. Bad scores don’t mean your work is bad, but it doesn’t mean that you’re better than anyone else either. They’re just a reflection of other people’s opinion.
  • Remember always why you do what you do. The purpose in your work and keeping a clear sigh of it. Be fierce and unrelenting in that notion. Don’t let anyone take that away from you, no one.

What do you do to stay creative, inspired and confident?

Pages Matam is a multidimensional national touring artist, residing in the D.C. metropolitan area, but originally from Cameroon, Africa. He is a Write Bloody author, playwright, and award winning slam poet (2time DC Grand Slam Champion, 2013 Southern Fried Champion) with passions in the field of youth, activism, and education. Along with his greatest accomplishment, being a father, he is also a proud gummy bear elitist, bowtie enthusiast, professional hugger and anime fanatic. As he takes stage – as a poet, educator, or host – be prepared to be taken on an experience of cultural, socially conscious, and personal discovery unapologetic in its silly, yet visceral and beautifully honest in its storytelling.

This post contains reference to topics that are of a sensitive nature.

 

To the man on the bus I overheard in conversation, tell a woman, presumably a friend…

The words starting simply, slowly built with intensity to an unheard rhythm, leaving a harrowing echo and adrenaline coursing through my body. This is the talent of Pages Matam and the power of his poetry.

Pinata hit the internet through Upworthy a few weeks ago, making Pages a star in the way only a viral video can. The poem is a dark commentary on societal views and beliefs about rape and abuse. It left me dumbfounded, it left me intrigued.

I sought out Pages’ work; my research leading me to discover that not only is Pages a talented creator but he is also dedicated to his craft and the improvement of society. The 2010 and 2012 Grand Slam Champion, co-host of the GraffitiDC Slam series and winner of the Write Bloody New Author Award for his newly released book: “God Circus”, he is not without major success.

A few weeks ago, I sat down to have a chat with man who had left me speechless. A far cry from the 11 year old with little English, Pages has developed a strong relationship with words and is diligent with their presentation. Within minutes of our chat, he explains the energy and power that words have, ending by sharing that he is wary that once words are out there’s no taking them back. Having spent the last few years developing workshops for all generations to pursue their passion of creative writing, he now offers sessions on the healing power that words and creativity can create.

Art gives you access to your unknown self, forcing you to face your truth

To Pages, words, poetry and being creative are the best way to actively listen to yourself. With an outlook like that, it’s hard not to feel goosebumps when you consider that his personal history has not been the easiest. It is through writing poetry and using it to reflect, that Pages has been able to combine the power of therapy and self-awareness to overcome addictions and abuse. However, it’s only in recent years that he has started pouring parts of himself into his published work. For years, he ignored reflective pieces in favour of commenting on the world and neglecting the issues impacting his personal life the most. A seemingly innocent conversation with his son made him turn inwards, leading to his first personal history piece, Cancerous Growth. Since then, he has started discussing broader truths, moving away from love poetry, which, he assures me, were really very bad and beginning to build his own balance between personal history and commentary on the society he is most passionate about. He has joined Split This Rock and developed a passion to fight social injustice and promote positive culture change through creativity.

Bringing the truth to power through words…

It is clear that Pages has a great passion for change, creativity and politics and he seems to have found a balance between them all. I asked why creativity had a place in the realm of social awareness and the campaign for social change and he went quiet. Slowly, he told me a story of what it is like to be an immigrant with a memory and understanding of one culture but the socialisation and habituation of another, one that does not always recognise who you are. His story weaves through and around topics of ethnicity, gender, and belonging, acknowledging but not forgiving the problems society has created around them. Stereotypes, he explains, are difficult, because you cannot challenge them without feeding them and encouraging their growth. He continues on, explaining that expressing yourself creatively, providing a platform that anyone, regardless of background can relate to, is one of the many ways safe discussions about social injustice can occur.

Just write, I started writing love poems; they were dreadful things…you can be a doctor or a banker but you need to be creative

At this point, my 30 minute conversation has fast morphed into 40, 45, and, eventually, 60 minutes. It is easy to become wrapped up in conversation with Pages, he is intelligent and relaxed. He tells me about his dreams to build a school that focuses on the importance of creativity. Why, I wonder, is creativity so important? “…because it forces you to face your truth”. He tells me stories of his youth and the dedication of his mother to ensure that he had creativity in his life. It doesn’t matter what field you end up in, you could be a doctor or a banker but creativity is going to help. You need to know how to deal with emotion, you need to know it’s ok to feel and that feeling a particular emotion is neither bad nor good, it just is. It’s what you do with it that counts and this, Pages says, is where creativity plays a role.

It’s ok to be angry and guilty, even if they’re useless emotions

I cannot leave without asking him about the Pinata success. He is surprised by it, he didn’t really think that so many people would be interested in it. He tells me that he has received messages from men and women all over the globe, Pakistan, England, Canada, US, the middle east… Most, he says, are messages of support, promotion or relation. What makes Pinata so special? At first he’s unsure, but then he quotes something his friend told him “you’re giving a voice to the voiceless”, he elaborates further, not taking credit for representing other peoples’ experiences but instead highlighting the importance of speaking about pain and using it to heal. Your story, he says, is your story. But you never know how it will resonate with other people.

Your story is your story but you don’t know how it will resonate with other people

We speak a little longer and eventually call it a day. I leave our conversation feeling inspired and refreshed. Some how, I feel like I have just left a particularly good therapy session where previously uncovered truths were revealed. Pages has a funny way with words and is definitely someone to keep watching.

If you’re interested in following Pages Matam’s journey, reading his work or learning more about him check out the links below. Over the next two weeks, I’ll have a question and answer session from Pages and 6 step guide on how to get creative. It’s going to be fabulous!

Pages Matam is a multidimensional national touring artist, residing in the D.C. metropolitan area, but originally from Cameroon, Africa. He is a Write Bloody author, playwright, and award winning slam poet (2time DC Grand Slam Champion, 2013 Southern Fried Champion) with passions in the field of youth, activism, and education. Along with his greatest accomplishment, being a father, he is also a proud gummy bear elitist, bowtie enthusiast, professional hugger and anime fanatic. As he takes stage – as a poet, educator, or host – be prepared to be taken on an experience of cultural, socially conscious, and personal discovery unapologetic in its silly, yet visceral and beautifully honest in its storytelling.

I love writing cards and letters but knowing where to start can be really difficult, even for those who love words.

Embarrassingly, it took 6 months to post out our thank you letters following our wedding. Dreadful etiquette, I know. Really bad. Some of that guilt lifted when I realised many people don’t even send a thank you tweet let alone a card after their big day, but I digress.

Thank you notes are important. Whether they are sent verbally, through Facebook or through the mail, saying thank you is what makes the world a nicer place to live in and it makes you feel better.

Verbal Gratitude

This is, hands down, the best way to say thanks. It is fraught with awkwardness and the necessity of showing sincerity, two things that are not easy to do.

To sincerely thank someone in person, or, by stretching it, over Skype or Face Time, just remember these simple rules:

  1. Make eye contact.
  2. Be sincere. Don’t make jokes or diminish the gratitude. If you must joke, save it until the end.
  3. Start by saying that you’re grateful/thankful/incredibly happy for XY and Z. Express how it made a difference, why you enjoyed the act and how much the gift meant to you.

For example:

“I am really grateful that you spent last night talking with me after my break up with So-and-So, it meant a lot to me knowing that I still had a great friend.”

“I love you for cleaning the house on your day off, it means so much that you cleaned the areas I hate and that you did this for me! Thank you.”

“Thank you very much for the wonderful wedding gift. It is the perfect, as Husband and I had decided to become healthier before the wedding. Your juicer will definitely make it easier to consume all those exotic fruits that we’re not sure what to do with”

Hand Written Gratitude

Writing a thank you card or letter is really awesome. Especially if it has to go through good old fashioned snail mail. There’s something delightful about receiving mail thats only purpose is to iterate how fabulous you are.

I have a tendency to be incredibly flowery when I write thank you cards, ask any one of my friends anywhere and it is likely they will have received note cards with both inside pages filled with squished writing and gushing words of love. Sometimes, there are drawings. When I feel particularly creative, I will limit words and just make little people express my intention through stick figure dance.

There’s no right or wrong way to write a thank you card, although I would leave the more wordy and elaborate ones for close friends and family.

As a general rule, follow the formula below.

Thank you for + specific action / item + what impact it has on your life / how you will use it

A written card has more impact if its sole purpose is to convey thanks, so leave out the updates, further requests for money and gossip. Just write thank you.

If you want your card to be a little fuller and more ‘robust’, you could elaborate in my detail, focusing on feeling and expressing sincerity.

“Thank you for your friendship over these past years. It is amazing to me that even though we are literally thousands of miles away, you and I have maintained a strong relationship. I know that often we go weeks, and sometimes months, without talking to each other but it always feels as though no time passed at all. You are truly wonderful etc. etc.”

Electronic Gratitude

Ok, so I debated putting this one in. Does saying thank you electronically even count as anything?

I’d like to think it does. Although it’s definitely not conventional and doesn’t have the impact of a handwritten note or verbal expression of thanks, it’s still good for reconnecting, reaffirming gratefulness and connecting with those who you are close with to those who you’ve just met.

Sending a thank you message through any electronic medium is really very easy and should be used as a minimum.

Choose your format properly. E-mail is a safe bet generally, but you could use Facebook/Twitter etc.

E-mail allows you take anything from an informal to formal approach, whereas Facebook and Twitter do mean that some informality is expected. Don’t send anything important via social media, saying thank you for your job interview through FB just sends a bad message. Don’t do it. Just send the physical thank you note card and skip electronic altogether.

What are your go to thank you guidelines? Which way do you prefer to express thanks?

I have been working away like a fiend on my Etsy shop and it is now officially ready for Christmas and holiday business.

With these brand new features:

Now you can buy all your favourite cards from the lemon hive for even less! Each card is an original, hand painted or hand drawn notecard. These are not prints! They double up as art and look fabulous in a frame and they are individual. As unique as you and the recipient. Basically, they are a gift in themselves.

Why did I start creating hand painted cards?

Having moved to Canada and having left all of my friends and family behind me, I was finding it difficult to afford sending them gifts all the time. It wasn’t the gift itself but more the postage costs. I wanted to give them something they could frame, that would bring them joy when they picked it up at the post office or when it landed in their letterbox. It was frustrating not knowing where to start. So, eventually, I started making my own cards. Writing great words in them and expressing my gratitude for their continued existence in my life and for their friendship and love.

I received wonderful feedback about these cards. They became my go to for letting my loved ones know that I still missed them even if I couldn’t afford to send large fancy parcels of maple syrup.

I started working on my art technique and dabbling in different styles and it’s fair to say that now I definitely have a rhythm and a definitive style.

What makes the Lemon Hive Etsy Shop special?

Customisation. I will tweak, add to, make and design cards for you. I just completed a 130 Christmas card order for a bride in London. She wanted to have greetings cards at her reception that doubled up as place cards. It was a brilliant experience and I’m really looking forward to seeing them in action.

I put customer service as a priority, with a 10 day turn around. It was intense but she received the cards within 2 weeks of ordering them.

Writing the cards is another service I offer. I am very mushy gushy by nature but I know this isn’t for everyone and it can be difficult to think of the write words (see what I did there? right/write?). I  am happy to chat with you about the recipient and pop it all into the card, posting directly to the person you miss. It saves you an extra postage cost and makes for a really awesome experience for the person receiving it.

How has been an expat affected your take on notecards?

I must admit, I didn’t really ‘do’ notecards before moving. Then my friends started sending me beautifully written notes and postcards. It was then that I realised I genuinely looked forward to ‘just because’ mail. I started decorating my envelopes and writing beautiful sentiments. I never throw a card away. They are all here in a, once little but now big, box in my office. Every now and then I look through them.

Expressing gratitude and greetings cards

Recently, I’ve been talking a lot about gratitude, what it can do for you and what it is. For those who are familiar with the 5 love languages, mine is words of affirmation. I like to express my love for others through telling them what they mean to me and why I think they’re fabulous. Being able to put this in something pretty and offer them a gift at the same time is part of what makes The Lemon Hive store so special. I want to broach that gap and be able to offer a great gift regardless of cost.

They’re also a great choice for secret santa gifts and they pair up nicely with a bottle of wine!