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colourful sticky9 magnets + a giveaway!

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instagram magnets from sticky9
if you know me at all, you’ll know i’m super forgetful. this has actually improved vastly since i started having cod liver capsules a year or two ago, but i’m still pretty forgetful. anyway, one of the ways i remind myself to do things is to put notes on the fridge, or this little magnetic board in my room for more immediate ‘to do’ things. as well as notebooks, writing on my hands and phone reminders, haha.

if you tie in to that my love of instagram and colour, you have sticky9* (who used to be known as stickygram). as magnets they do their job well & don’t slip easily like some slightly bigger magnets do, and i really like that you have a bit of choice when it comes to size. you can go for a smaller size, or the slightly bigger ones like i have. you can also split up a photo into a ‘puzzle’ which i think is pretty awesome.

animated gif of instagram magnets
generally i think these are great, and i’ll definitely be ordering more in the future to make the fridge a little more snazzy. the colour reproduction from my photos is pretty good, but i think they’re just a tiny bit duller than i would have liked. pretty typical with phone photos and printing i find though, so it’s just me being fussy. miles better than some instagram photos i go printed at photobox some time ago, and as you can see they’re still pretty colourful!

colourful sticky9 magnets + a giveaway!

sticky9 have also offered a reader a chance to win a set of their own! you have two chances to enter too, woohoo!

1 – comment telling me what you’d get printed on your magnets. would you go for a theme (colour, family etc) or just whatever strikes you? this is a mandatory entry.

2 – post a favourite photo you’ve taken on to your instagram and tag @cardboardcities & @sticky9 and hashtag it with #cardboardsticky so we can keep track of your entries! i’d love if you could tell us why it’s your favourite, too.

the giveaway is on for 2 weeks starting today and is open internationally!

* – these were sent for review, but as always, all words and opinions are my own.

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this is the year i make it happen

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nearing the end of 2013, i decided 2014 is the year i’m really going to start pushing my creative business. i love making things as much as i do drawing and painting, and selling my own handmade wares has been a long time dream/goal of mine. i kind of started on this last year, but i felt a lack of motivation and let it sizzle out.

so, this year i’m taking a fresh start (whilst taking heed of mistakes and little sucesses in the past). i’m talking about the marketing side of it too, as it seems a waste of all that hard work if no one is going to see it! people really underestimate the effort that goes into getting your name and work out there!

you can do this illustration by laura redburn
do you have any goals or dreams for this year? i’d love to hear what they are and how you hope to achieve them! i thought i’d share a few tips that have helped me in the past, and hopefully will again now.

» make lists! 
 seriously, this helps SO MUCH. you can just scribble your ideas down, or make an awesome colour coded extravaganza. whatever works best and motivates you the most!

»  make smaller more acheivable goals, that lead up to your bigger goal.
this way, you don’t have one big scary goal! for me anyway this really helps. if for some reason you don’t achieve what you want, it’s a bit less disappointing too. silver linings, eh?

» use twitter.
if you have twitter, use it to your advantage. get your friends and followers to help you stick to your goals. join in with chats, and maybe join up with others. that way you’re helping yourself and other people. win/win!

» ask for help.
i think this one is a bit underrated. people sometimes forget that it IS okay to just ask for help! be that a family member, friend, or a fellow internet buddy. if you have no-one, i am here for you! just send me a message or tweet me anytime (@cardboardcities on twitter)

» tell people.
this one doesn’t work for everybody, but if you thrive on a bit of pressure, let people know about your goals. they’ll help you (or constantly go on at you) until you do it. once you’ve done it you’ll feel a sense of relief as well as feeling awesome for reaching your goal!

» don’t be ashamed.
it doesn’t matter if your goal (or goals) for 2014 are big or teeny tiny. try not compare what you do and what you plan to do with others. focus on yourself, it is your goal after all! also, don’t feel too bad if you don’t stick with your goals. just pick yourself up. you can do anything with hard work and time ..and a pinch of patience.

and just a general motto for life..

focus on the positive illustration by laura redburn
i know some little bits about the more business side of creative businesses, but i definitely need a bit of extra advice, and i know others out there do too! if you’re stuck for where to look, and want to make your goals for this year more tangible, lloyds bank have recently released a facebook app where you can make your own pledge, and give you some helpful tips at the end of it!

it’s super simple and only takes a minute! totally worth it for some free and  incredibly useful advice, right? hopefully telling your friends and family about your goals will motivate you to make it happen in 2014!

if you have any tips for helping to reach, and sticking to, goals let me know in the comments!

this is the year i make it happen

review – laptop sleeve & phone case from caseable

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phone case and laptop sleeve from caseable

recently i was sent a laptop sleeve and phone case to review from caseable. i have to be honest, the main thing that excited me about this is that i can finally have a case for my phone! it’s a samsung galaxy s3 mini, which isn’t a rare phone but seems difficult to find nice cases for! it looks more interesting than just plain white if you’re a fan of colour and patterns like me.
i chose for the phone case to have my own doughnut design, and the ‘macro9‘ laptop sleeve by gela behrmann which i chose because of the marbled print. i had a hard time deciding which i liked best!
it’s super easy to use your own work on any of the products. all you have to do is click on ‘create your own’ choose your device, upload, and size to fit! as with anything like this, you want something high resolution if you want a clear print.

phone case from caseable with illustated doughnut pattern by laura`redburn

illustrated phone case from caseable by laura redburn

when i put the case on my phone, i felt that it seemed a bit loose at first, but after using it for a week or so now, it’s totally fine. this was probably because i’ve never used a case on a phone before and wasn’t used to the look and feel. talking of, i love how it looks! it does constantly make me want doughnuts though.
as you would expect, all the holes are in the right places and everything is easy to access. it takes a day or so to get used to it if you’ve never used a case on your phone before like me, but after that it feels completely natural. i don’t think i could go back to having a plain case again.

laptop sleeve with marbled print, doughnut brooch

marble print laptop sleeve

marble print laptop sleeve
i don’t go out that often with my laptop, but when i do, i obviously want it to be protected. i have a (very old by todays standards!) early 2008 macbook so its creaky old bod needs protection, especially when it has a clumsy owner. 
they’re made with recycled neoprene which means it’s very soft and thick enough to protect your laptop all whilst allowing it to fit snugly inside. you could easily fit a book or something else in there too! it does have a bit of a smell for a couple of days, but with use it quickly fades. kind of like when you get a new car and it has that ‘new car smell’.
please note: these products were sent for me to review, and all words are my own.