The Camera or The Creativity: Which Came First?

It has occurred to me over recent months, as it may have you, that social media ok Instagram, has opened up a whole world of creativity to people who didn’t even know they wanted to take photos.  In none of my school years or further education did I know I wanted to take pictures of pretty things, and ultimately it be a way of making a living.

Whilst upside down the other night in downward dog (err Yoga?!) the two questions below came to me:
How am I creative?   If you want to get a little bit further behind this thinking you can watch a video that inspired the above (here) it’s by Sir Ken Robinson, great thinker and totally my take on things too.
In Harrogate last week with my cousin and our kids, I was aware that, on a regular (albeit lovely) day I was walking along taking photos of most things; the children, the flowers, the townhouses.  I have not always been this way inclined.
Lavender and BlackBeautiful DoorsTwisted Trees Hide and Seek
It wasn’t that I was trying to capture every moment to brag about on Instagram (hello!) nor that I was so busy trying to capture the ‘perfect shot’ that I couldn’t be in the moment, but to me it is enjoyable to walk along snapping away!
Town Houses in HarrogatePink and Black, stunning contrast Black DoorLavender and RailingsFine Door at 108Huge HydrangeasWhat a PorchWellington Street
The Royal Baths
This is a new thing.  Taking pictures of beautiful things followed by the process of creating a feed or stream with them… I LOVE it!  Confession: I’m a little picky and if, after posting, I check my feed and I don’t like how the latest pics sits with the others, it comes down!
The purchase of a new camera a few months ago (Panasonic Lumix GF6) and discovering Instagram have definitely been instrumental in the desire to create something beautiful.  Yet to think that ten years ago this was not available?  Amazing!  We have Apps and editing tools at our fingertips, once only afforded to ‘designers’, now we can all experiment.  This is not idling away the time, it is being CREATIVE.
Creativity is ideas, it is new territory and is definitely the discovery of OUR STYLE OF LOVE.  I’m discovering my STYLE OF LOVE all the time.  Maybe you’re more creative than you realise….?  Can I encourage you to see the time spent doing things you love not as wasted time, but as time exploring your creativity which is vital to your STYLE OF LOVE.  The world needs it!

1 Pair of Shoes, 2 ways to Dress, 3 Sunsets

Hey peeps, it’s another Sunday and this one definitely getting off to a more relaxed start than last week!  Last Sunday was Day 2 of the Tour De France so we were up and out to get a road-side spot for the occasion.  How many of you saw it?  Do click (here) if you want to see how amazingly vibrant our town looked.  Ok, on with what we’ve been lovin’ this week…



1.  One Pair of Birkenstocks.  Now I didn’t do these when they were ‘in’ before because… well I have a thing about ‘in’ things… if they’re ‘in’ I don’t do them because every Tom, Dick and Jayne is; so we all look the same…?!  That said I did decide to break my own conviction, got some last month and have loved wearing because they are just so darned comfy and geeky and go with almost everything – do we need another reason?    Got mine from Amazon at just over £30 and would definitely recommend a pair for the summer months.

2.  Two ways to wear this stripy Maxi Dress!  My fav local clothing boutique (yes ATTIC) has been having a SALE so I got in touch to see if this dress was in the sale, (which it was) so I had to get.  Have wanted a maxi for a while so that then it’s warm (when… yes we do see the sun occasionally in Yorkshire!) and you want to have some skin out but not the legs – we can do the strapless thing.  It is uber comfy and can be worn as a full maxi – or the top rolled over itself to create a shorter dress (which is less requiring of stomach needing to be sucked in). It can also then be worn as a skirt which I’ve not done yet.  All that to say if you’re out and about and see this kind of style/multi ways to wear thing, it’s a very versatile piece.

The Facebook and Instagram post ⇓

Positively Nautical

3.  Lastly, Three AMAZING Sunsets!  The skies of recent have just blown me away and been so incredibly beautiful.  The darkest one, in fact all, have zero filters/primping, so what you see is what it was (except it was more beautiful).  Anyone following my posts for a while now will know how much I love my outdoors… utter soul food.  Some nights I’ve been working away at my desk then realised a sunset was happening so I jump up and into the window to try capture.  Such a sense of connectedness to the bigger picture and almost a spiritual grounding… (is it just me?).

Anyway, have a great week – school’s nearly out so we are happy to be in the last days here… what about you?



ATTIC Ilkley: more than clothes!

This is a post long overdue.

ATTIC is my favourite local clothing boutique firstly, because of the people  who work there, secondly, because of the clothes (it’s a no-brainer)!

ATTIC is now seven years established.  Owned and run by Sarah Lyles, it is as creative as she is and that’s a lot of creativity!


Coffee is always a good idea!
ATTIC moved location and quadrupled in floor space three years ago, a big leap for any business which, says Sarah, seems like an age since.  As a wife and Momma of two young boys I do not know how she does it, but let me tell you, she doesn’t stop at ‘running a shop’.  Sarah is always at the fore of some campaign or incentive raising awareness for one cause or another and this month, naturally, she’s on with a well-known cycling event?!  We caught up last week for a little tete-a-tete, here’s what she had to say about business life in Yorkshire.
What is the key to ATTIC’s success thus far?  “To be constantly evolving.  To never get complacent or take things for granted.  I’m in it for the greater good… for the good of our community and you can’t do that without collaboration… collaboration is everything.  Getting around like-minded people is key to running a great business”


Sarah is passionate about community and, as ATTIC sits in a Courtyard (Crescent Courtyard to be precise), it is her dream to see it become known for being a shopping destination rather than the individual shops there in i.e, strength in numbers!
ATTIC Ilkley
Another thing Sarah is brilliant at is her social media and the understanding that it’s crucial for ATTIC to be constantly in front of wider audience.  For me ATTIC has the balance of being present without being over-bearing. I know I am not alone when I say I have gone in to the shop purely because of something seen in the weekly newsletter or on a social feed; Sarah was recently featured on Sky News for the success ATTIC has had with this – her strategy is working!

Quick Q&A in 3…2…1…

Favourite SALE item?

This HOSS piece!  HOSS was a new label picked up this year and it’s been a great season!

What’s in store for Autumn?

Colour!  Lots of colourful knits!  We’ve not been afraid to buy colour and we’re really excited about it all arriving… yellow’s, raspberry, melon – just lots of bright and not the usual Autumnal colours we expect.

How do you manage it all?

I have a wonderfully supportive family who believe in what I do and a strong team here in the shop!  Each one of the team brings their unique valued skills that contributes to all we are doing and the success of the business!

Sweetie jars

If you are planning on being in Yorkshire for the Tour De France, be sure to head on down to The Crescent Courtyard – they are hosting a 3-day food festival… check out the website (here).  It will be the first of many Crescent Courtyard events and is set to be a goody!

You can engage with ATTIC:

On Twitter

On Instagram

On Facebook

On Google+ 

On Pinterest


Top 5 Tips for buying Christmas presents well!

“I just don’t know where to start”… A lady said this to me recently and I became aware that for some people, the task of getting presents under the tree for 24th December is as scary as bungee jumping is for others!
Wherever you are on the Christmas present journey, here’s a few tips that might come in handy. As an advocate for shopping locally, this post is naturally in favour of putting money back into our communities as we spend!
The Olive Branch, Addingham

Beautiful Christmas window at The Olive Branch, Addingham

Dare to try something new!
Your dare should you choose to accept, is to go in shops you never normally do; return to ones you’ve not darkened the doors of for a while.  I recently bought a handbag in a local shop I had no intention what-so-ever in purchasing, but window shopping turned into walking inside and discovering that in fact, the shop had changed a lot since I last went in (years ago) and actually most of it would make fantastic Christmas presents!  My point is, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Fit the person to the present! (Not the present to the person.)
Yes, I really did just say that.  Wherever you have a lot of presents to buy, make a start by finding presents first then asking ‘who will that fit?’  Yes, once you are down to the last few you need to be more selective and find presents to fit people, but starting this way should help you get a few under your belt and that feeling of ‘have made a start’ is only a good thing!
Use your Social Media
Most shops these days advertise their offers and promotional days on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  So, be aware of your local shops activity by following them on social media then go shopping on ‘said’ day or get them to put whatever you want aside!
Your Country needs you!
You live in the city and your local shops are the high-street brands… What then?  I say shop in favour of your country. Get to know great brands/suppliers who are producing their goods in your county.  A great example in the UK is Boden who are full of fun and quirkiness and the quality is second to none… When you buy Boden, you know it’s going to last!
Second, adopt a local smaller community if you can… I used to shop, eat and workout in Ilkley long before I ever lived here; invest somewhere and it will return the favour in more ways than one.
Make your spend count for others
Buy from places that are doing something for the greater good!  I have bought gifts for family from TOMS this year because I love their brand values and ethos.  Every pair of shoes bought buys a pair for someone in need of a pair in a deprived country-amazing!
One last thing…. If you are one of those people who can somehow wait till 2 weeks before then just go out and manage to nail all your presents on one day, I salute you… Seriously! Respect!
Love to hear your tips and suggestions bloggers – how do you buy?

Using our LIKE’s to find our LOVE’s

Have you thought about how many times a day we are given the chance to ‘like’ something. Read More

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