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Just keep Swimming!

We’re in a third lockdown in Wales. The kids are homeschooling once again. The house is in a perpetual state of chaos and the cat constantly wants feeding! 


This is hard. And I don’t have any words of wisdom for you this time. Except for “Just keep swimming!”


Running an online business, whatever it may be has its challenges at the best of times. If you’re a sole trader/self-employed like me, then you wear many hats. Marketing, accountancy, business strategy, web development, blogging, project management.


It all comes down to you. And that can get a bit much at the best of times. let alone during a pandemic, with three school-age children to home school. Although, I am lucky in the sense that the three of them are at an age where they are 90% self-sufficient. They can cook simple meals, like beans on toast, make a cup of tea. They can get through their school work on their own no problem (With a little help from mum checking they’re doing more than the bare minimum of course!) But what they can’t do so well is manage their time and recognise when they’re spent a little too much time on Minecraft. 


So this is where I have to step in! I’ll be honest. I’m guilty of much the same. Too much time on Twitter and Facebook and my brain gets fried with trying to process all the information. Social Media seems to be full of political debate, negativity and people wanting to be right about everything. 


So I switch off….


And concentrate as much as I can on my little (but growing!) business and the kids. Hubby is in there somewhere too 🙂 


Last spring, right around when the lockdown was just starting. I wrote about surviving the whole work from home situation we had all been thrown into. In that article, I gave you some tips on how to organise yourself, and manage what we thought would be a very short term solution to a situation we knew very little about at the time. 

Today’s plan is to get back to the “Sunday Plan Day” Or maybe just get back into planning altogether!, Print off some time tables and stick them to the fridge, feel more in control and be able to plan more days out to the beautiful coastline on Anglesey.  – Current restrictions considered of course!


Anything just to feel more on top of the day to day running of a business. 

The printable planners I designed a while ago were designed with one thing in mind.


“Sometimes planning, and sometimes not planning”


Because let’s face it. There are times where we are more inclined to plan our days down to the minute, and other times we don’t. We just want to get through the most basic of tasks for that day so that we don’t feel like a potato!  This is why I enjoy using my own perpetual calendars so much. Sometimes I feel on top of my game and in the zone to plan everything down to the smallest detail. Other times, I stick to a list. Sometimes, I just totally wing it, and won’t put pen to paper in my planner for ages. 


Whenever I missed a few weeks of planning, I’d go back to the Filofax and feel guilty for all the missed pages. The weeks of wasted paper. That’s why I decided to design my own planner pages, without the dates! 


As a thank you for getting this far with this article, and my droning on!! Here’s a 50% off voucher for any of the printable planners in my Etsy Shop. 


Just type in PLANNER50 to the vouched code section at the checkout and you will receive 50% off the total of your purchase. 


If this article has resonated with you, please share it to someone who you think needs a little boost in their day. 


Remember, we are all in this together, and there will soon be a time where Covid-19 coronavirus will be a distant memory. 


But for now, Just Keep Swimming!

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Colouring page!

The free colouring book that was released the other day seemed to be quite successful!! So I’ve decided to release the first colouring page that I created weeks ago at the beginning of the lockdown free to download. I love to doodle, so creating these printable colouring pages for my children is a win-win for us all. I get to doodle, and they get to colour! Ava and Maia (my twin daughters) especially love to spend time colouring in printed pages off the internet. And this is what gave me the idea to create my own colouring pages, whilst incorporating my first language; Welsh. This colouring page has the word Ynys Môn emblazoned across the A4 sheet. Ynys Môn in English in Anglesey. 

Once your children (or you!) have finished colouring the page, I’d love it if you tagged me in a photo of you holding it up! 

The photo below is a completed colouring page, done by my daughter Ava. 




Nia xx

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Adobe Photoshop on the Ipad Pro – My Thoughts.

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The Logo Design Process

The design process can be daunting and overwhelming and confusing. So I’d you are new to design or have have an idea of what happens when you work with a designer, I’ve put together a step by step guide to what happens when and what is expected of you as a design client.

1.                Initial contact is made. You will most probably want to find a designer who fits with your ethos and style. Creativity and design are very individualistic and personal disciplines. And so is setting up your own business. So, it’s worth looking through designers past work.

2.                Once you have chosen your designer and made contact, you will discuss what you want: your designer may have some previously set out packages that she has put together or they may just go with your lead and formulate a bespoke project plan for you.

3.                You and your designer will then decided on a course of action. You will be handed a proposal document. This document will be your point of reference detailing everything you agreed on and the price that was agreed on.

4.                At this stage, your designer will be getting to work on some ideas. If its a logo design, she may begin by putting pencil to paper. This is the quickest and easiest way for a designer to get rough ideas out. At this stage, nothing will be refined and perfect. There may be some use of colour, or not. There may be a lot of scribbles, notes and little diagrams. But on the whole, there should be a few emerging ideas based on the design brief and your specification.



5.             Your designer will send you some sketches, with some of their thoughts on how the idea could or should work. Your job now is to decide which one or two of the initial ideas you would like to see digitised. You could tell your designer that you like an aspect of one idea and a part of another and would like to see those two elements combined, or you might like what your designer has sketched out. Either way, you should be getting close to figuring out what your logo will look like.


6.                   After digitising the chosen concepts, you should get another round of ideas. This time, they should look more refined and polished. All that hard work at the beginning (ideation, sketching, refining, re-sketching, collaboration and discussion) should make the rest of the process a bit easier. Getting close to a final design is exciting, but its important to make sure you are working closely with your designer to ensure that you are getting a good quality logo that stands out (but also, doesn’t infringe copyright, look like everyone else’s, and is also appropriate for the industry your business will be in!)


7.                   Once you have looked over your final draft designs and have given your designer your feedback, your designer will get to work on finalizing your logo, either in illustrator or photoshop or any of the other design programs available out there. Generally, Illustrator is the best program to use and is one I have been using for years. I loves it 😊


8.                   Final designs should be (fingers crossed) sent to you now and the project is almost at an end. At this end stage, you will normally be sent a digital folder of documents as agreed with your designer. People generally use their logo designs as their profile images for social media business accounts, so as part of “The Simple Logo Design” package, the files you will receive from me will be .jpg, .png, .pdf and .eps all in high resolution and then another set of files ready for your social media, labelled for ease of use.


I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Let me know in the comments below what you think, and what your experiences of working with a designer has been like.

The Simple Logo Design

If you would like to know more about the Simple Logo Design Package or any other of the design packages I offer, click on the link below.
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School illustration project

hoarding illustration project


Around 18 months ago, I was approached to create a series of illustrations, that would be used to decorate the hoarding being put up on a local schools fencing. The children’s playground was open to the car park (apart from having the fencing, which obviously anyone could look through) of the school and the adjacent local secondary school, so the problem that needed solving was the lack of privacy for the children and staff. But in having the paneling fitted to the fences surrounding the school, a second issue arose. Plain sheet metal isn’t the most inspiring to look at for any adult, let alone a child, so the headmaster decided it would be best to have some illustrations created so cover the plain and boring panels.

The initial brief was to create something that reflected multiculturalism, education and a sense of welcomeness. Following a brainstorming session with the headmaster and the director of the chosen signage company whom I worked with on this project, we decided on 4 main themes – Classroom, outdoor learning, welcome to the school and physical education/sports.

The images shown are mock ups of the illustrations, and not photos of the work in situ, so as to afford the school some degree of privacy.