4 Things / I’m Thinking About 7

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1.

I’ve always loved these little chatty posts about my life and everything that didn’t warrant a full post on its own, so I keep meaning to bring them back. I love reading them on other blogs, and I’m trying to strike a balance between life and style for my blog — which is a simple, vague way of saying I want to combine the two types of blog I like to read: storytelling and opinion articles about things, and pretty content — both fashion and my creative work as a photographer and graphic designer.

One of the reasons I’ve had some trouble making these posts is they overlap a little with the link love posts I also want to do regularly, and I’m frankly a bit afraid to go through my bookmarks for those posts. I did just manage to catch up on Bloglovin, though, so there’s probably hope. Probably.

2.

I started a daily photo project on Instagram called #WearYourDamnJewelry. It’s about what you’d expect from the hashtag — I accumulated a lot of jewelry over 2013 from trading products on Etsy, and I brought a fair bit of it with me to London because it was easy to fit into crevices of my various pouches and suitcases. I just, much like back at home, never wear it. And it’s silly because I love it, so I’m making a point of wearing a difference piece every day and Instagramming it. The hardest thing is going to be wearing the nicer bits because I never dress up or wear make-up and I basically have five outfits on rotation in winter — three of which involve hoodies.

So far I’ve kept up with it. I’ve posted: chalcedony necklace from Modern Vintage Style / heart padlock earrings from Black Cat Links / rondelle necklace from finntastic2006 / rock bead bobby pin from Romeo’s Factory (one of my first logo designs!) / watercolor necklace from Pixie Bone Jewelry / bonus: crochet cloche hat from Add Some Stitches

Definitely optimistic about this. Plus it gives me one thing to post to Instagram every day, which has gone a long way towards my goal of posting 2-3 photos every day, consistently.

3.

In fact, the only thing I’ve done consistently this week has been Instagramming. Just last Monday, the idea of posting that often every day felt incredibly difficult — and I still have a hard time thinking up appropriate captions for old photos, even though I fully intend to keep posting them. It’s too cold to go out and take new ones every day, and between Tuesday and Wednesday, I got enough photos around Belsize Park and central London to last me a while.

One of the reasons the daily Instagram goal felt difficult earlier this week was I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to start getting up during daylight again, but I’ve been making a lot of progress on that this week. Part of it is the fact that I’ve been coming to Starbucks every single day, so I no longer feel guilty thinking I’ll have to escape my room if I wake up when the heating is off. It’s an expensive habit, but it obviously works for me and I don’t have any other expensive habits, so my bank account is going to have to deal.

4.

On Monday, I woke up at 6 PM, and since I was going to a thing at 1 PM the next day and I know how terrible my sleep schedule is, I just didn’t sleep at night. Tuesday I put makeup on and I walked around freezing my hands off taking pictures, and then I headed to Leicester Square for the first time in a while.

I attended a press screening of The Singing Bird Will Come, an independent psychological thriller. It was a fantastic experience that made me want a lot more experiences like it, which backs up my reasoning back in December to want to post more entertainment-related content on my blog this year. It’s where my passion really lies.

After the film, I took a walk up to the National Portrait Gallery and then down Charing Cross Road, and ended up getting a chicken burger and sitting for a little while at a Starbucks on New Oxford Street that had terrible wifi. I stocked up on shampoo and shower gel and crashed as soon as I got home — I’d been up for over 24 hours, and my eyelids kept drooping on the tube. The day after that, I woke up at 6 AM, then again at 9 AM, and eventually got out of bed before noon.

I haven’t got up that early since, but I’ve been coming to Starbucks when it was still light outside, and it’s done wonders for my mood. And I have a reason to get up early — like, normal-person hours early — for the next two weeks, so who knows — maybe I’ll suddenly become a functional human being.

How was your week?


Recent Work: The Drifter Media Kit Design 2

Earlier this week, I finished a media kit design for The Drifter, a fashion and travel blog run by amazing photographer Ming Nomchong — seriously, you should check out her Instagram. It is beautiful and it will make you want to hop on a plane to warmer, ocean-adjacent lands stat.

The media kit is inspired by postcards from the beach, and incorporates her existing logo as well as play off the branding on her websites in terms of fonts and colors and vibe. Most of all I wanted her photography to take center stage, so the design itself is fairly clean and simple. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and it was great working with Ming.

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See a larger version on my portfolio.

If you’d like a media kit design, feel free to contact me through my portfolio or purchase directly through Etsy.


Quick Tips #2: Get Advice On Your Blog Design And Photography 9

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Mug from Zoz Pots | Notebook by Ted Baker

I always meant for this to be a regular feature, so I’m finally bringing it back! I will be doing this every month — specific date will depend on my schedule and workload.

Basically: leave your blog or shop link in the comments, and I will give you 1-3 tips on how to improve your brand visuals — that is, photography, graphic design, possibly writing if it catches my eye. You can leave links all week, and I’ll do my best to respond to everyone with personalized suggestions. It may take a while, but I’ll get to it.

(If I didn’t reply to you last time, feel free to comment again — I moved from my subdomain to my domain and Disqus ate some stuff when I migrated the comments, so I just gave up.)

If you have specific questions relating to design, photography, writing or modeling, you can also ask those. You’ll definitely get an answer, and you may also get a tutorial or longer blog post out of it.

And if you like my advice, feel free to check out my design portfolio and get in touch for a longer consultation, a design package, or a shoot!


Weekly Wishes · January 12, 2015 6

Haverstock Hill photo with 'Weekly Wishes' overlaid

And it’s no longer the first week of January, and that feels incredibly weird. Days kept going by last week without me having anything to show for them, and it was awful. I am determined not to let that happen this week. My blog schedule includes: this post, a photography post of some sort tomorrow (or maybe last Thursday’s activism post that I didn’t write), an outfit post, something about pop culture (movie review? Top N literary devices I hate? Shows that Mean Something To Me?), a Quick Tips post (the kind where you share your blog link and I give you visual advice), Etsy Finds + link-up announcement (yes, I am turning it into a link-up!), and link love on Sunday.

So hold me to that, yeah?

Goals for the week:

  1. Get through my email. All of it. Reply to everything I need to reply to, and:
  2. Catch up on design work and send those drafts. Self-imposed deadlines include two blog design mockups, a media kit revision, a media kit draft, and some photo-editing. List this somewhere. Keep an updated list so I can’t go into a spiral of ‘oh no too much to do can’t keep track oh no I just remembered another thing despair!’ as I’m wont to do.
  3. Write as many blog posts from my monthly schedule as I possibly can. Schedule, schedule, schedule.
  4. Skype my mom. I can’t believe I’m putting this here, but I clearly need to find time to do it. I wake up, go to Starbucks and by the time I’m back home, she’s going to sleep, so we’ve been missing each other for over a week. Terrible stuff.
  5. Be halfway functional re: my sleep schedule. I’m just not right now and I don’t know how to be but I need to. I can’t keep going to sleep in the early hours of the morning and getting up so late. It’s doing me in. I’ve been awake since midnight last night, so at least I hope I will be tired soon tonight. I’m in the best situation I’m going to be to make things work for me, so I need to seize it.

A nice round five for me this week. Which is obviously technically more than five things if you count blog posts and deadlines separately, but y’all know what I mean.

How’s your week looking? Anything you’re excited to accomplish?


Picture Friday: 2014 in Photo Booth Selfies 7

I wasn’t going to post this, but then I thought: hey, I look cute, and also it’s a good summary of my year. My year in front of my laptop, anyway — which was a lot of my year, let’s not lie. And since that is my life, and this is my blog, I’m making this post. This post is a collection of selfies from the Photo Booth app on my MacBook, taken over the course of the year. They’re under a ‘read more’ because they’re not exactly good pictures, and they don’t meet my visual standards. They do, however, showcase my penchant for making stupid faces whenever a camera is around, and the way my year started in my room in Spain with my cat and suddenly took a turn in April, but stabilized somewhat by the end of December.

Read More →


Hart of Dixie / Closet Cosplay 14

My first Style Wednesday on a Thursday, and not even early on said Thursday. But I didn’t want to move it into next week, so here we go!

I just spent a week catching up on Hart of Dixie — actually watching from start to finish as I fell behind halfway through the second season back when it was airing, and didn’t remember much of everything. I had a blast watching and I’m really excited about the new season, which starts tomorrow in the US. So I put together a series of outfits inspired by the characters on the show.

To clarify: I define closet cosplay as outfits a fictional character would wear and which are largely made up of pieces you can find in your closet — or at least see yourself wearing, if not in the exact same combination the character would. It differs from standard cosplay in that it’s budget-friendly, convenient, and you don’t need a special occasion to do it. You don’t even need to buy anything, sometimes.

Hart of Dixie Closet Cosplay / lixhewett.com

Zoe Hart — miss New York short shorts
Floral Collar Shift Dress (Miss Selfridge) / Suit Shorts (Ted Baker)
Black High-Heeled Shoes (House of Fraser) / Cross-Body Bag (DKNY/House of Fraser)
Cobalt Blue Print Scarf (Pia Jewellery)

Lemon Breeland — intimidating, perfectly put-together
Outfit #1: Silk Ruffle Cardigan (Pia Jewellery) / Jacquard Panel Leggings (Ted Baker)
Nude Patent Sandals (Office) / Dove Grey Leather Bag (Pia Jewellery) / Magnifying Mirror (Pebble Grey)
Outfit #2: Red Scalloped Dress (Ted Baker) / Court Shoes (House of Fraser)
Flap-Over Clutch (DKNY/House of Fraser) / Pearl and Bead Bracelet (Pia Jewellery)
Alt: Embellished Collar Dress (Ted Baker) / Red Shoes (Office)

Annabeth Nass — colorful florals
Necklace Trim Dress (Miss Selfridge) / Michael Kors Pink Bag (House of Fraser)
Dressy Sandals (House of Fraser) / Butterfly Brooch (Pia Jewellery)

And that is how I would personally channel each of these characters, using pieces I would actually wear in different combinations based on my own style.

Do you watch Hart of Dixie? If you were to draw inspiration from it to put an outfit together, what character or angle would you pick? Also, if you want to talk about the show itself, I am all ears!


To The New Year: 2015 Goals + Plans 41

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Earrings from Promethean Design on Etsy

Well, it’s 2015! And this is my first time blogging since the new year started. I didn’t announce it, but I did take a break over the holidays to recharge and reset and other things starting with re, and I do feel a little better! I’m really excited about my upcoming redesign and I’m excited about my ideas for my business. It’s a bit rocky, that excitement, but it’s there. I’ve always loved fresh starts and a new year is the most effective clean slate there is. I’m determined to make that work for me.

To that end, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with my business and my life, what I want to build and change and drop in 2015. I’m only just now getting around to making lists, but I’m hoping I can keep it up. So predictably, and aptly, this first post is a goal-setting post, linking up with Weekly Wishes as always, and setting down some solid plans. I’m not going to call them resolutions, because I don’t think of my goals for the new year that way. I don’t even think of most of them as year-round. They’re steps and milestones leading towards a very simple target, my overarching goal for 2015: making a full-time income from my business.

I’m defining full-time income as double the amount of money I need to survive on, so something like £2,000 a month.* I’m not currently making the amount of money I need to survive on, so it’s going to take a little while, but I can get there. I know I can. I frequently doubt it, but it’s not impossible.

* In December, I spent £900 on rent and bills (I pay weekly and there were five Mondays in December), £67 on groceries, £33.75 on Starbucks (I consider this a business expense since I can’t work when I’m cold), and £14.15 on an external hard drive. I kept track.

Anyway, goals! To begin with, I need to:

  • Write down the steps I want to take with my business and freelancing, and start working toward them. For reference — both yours and my own — there’s photo-editing, portfolio-building, workshop-creating, e-book-writing, photojournalistic-feature-writing (and possibly interviews), stock-photography-licensing, that blog redesign I started talking about in November, and creating passive sources of income.
  • Streamline my processes. Work smarter, I guess, is what it comes down to.
  • Finish my CV. Start it, even. To be completely honest, I don’t know if I’ll use it or what I’ll use it for, but I just need to have it. It’s ridiculous that I don’t.
  • Create and stick to a monthly schedule for my blog. I actually wrote this out today, but I never mentioned that I was resolving to do it, so I’m adding it here. Besides, sticking to it is going to be the hardest part by far. It always is. Also, I may make one of my weekly features a link-up. Maybe. Probably. Seems like a good idea. We’ll see.
  • Be consistent with social media. I’m fairly consistent on Twitter, but I could stand to promote my work more consistently on there. I’d like to keep up with my Bloglovin feed and use Pinterest regularly, and grow my Instagram account — starting by posting every day, which is going to require a bit of planning. I also have actual numeric follower and statistics type goals, but I don’t usually take those to heart because I can’t make them happen. Still, I’d like to hit 5,000 followers on Twitter by the end of the year and 1,500 on all my other platforms, and get a consistent 25k+ pageviews per month. That’s basically doubling (in certain cases, tripling) my following. I know where I’ve fallen short in the past, so I’ve got a good starting point. I also want to vlog every week.
  • Cultivate and track habits. This sounds like one of those vague resolutions I said I wasn’t making, but it’s not that exactly. See, the thing is I need to do things every single day to get into a habit. I can usually take a day off each week without that hurting the habit, but that’s it. Every three days doesn’t work. Every other day doesn’t work. It has to be daily. So I need to keep track of it. Back in late November, I started to write down my expenses and I’ve been keeping that up, so I’m just going to add other things to that list. Like the ‘business steps’ goal, this is a multi-parter involving exercise and continuing to eat properly and not avoiding people when depression hits and medicating wisely. Basically, what I put on the day log printable I shared last month.

And that’s it, I think! I’m optimistic about it all.

What are your goals for the new year? If you’ve blogged about them, share the link! I’d love to read it.

And of course, happy new year!


Diaries: About The Holidays, and Life Lately 6

(TW for anxiety/depression.)

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You may have noticed I didn’t talk about Christmas very much this year. The full extent of my Christmas-related blogging was a shopping guide for Christmas jumpers and a photography post showing you the Christmas lights and decorations along Regent Street in London. A couple of Christmas lights photos from Belsize Park made it into this “walk home with me” photography post as well.

The truth is, the holidays are always complicated for me. They are for most people, I think, and there’s a certain pressure to ignore that and be happy, or pretend to be, that hinders more than helps. I’m no less fond of Christmas than most people: it’s a big holiday, a holiday that carries with it a lot of familiar traditions, things you’ve known for years and which are comforting, reassuring in their longevity. The Christmas lights, the songs, the colors, the movies, the decorations, the good wishes and the gifts and the Christmas-themed foods and drinks — I like them. I honestly do. I’m still weirded out that all of London was decked out by November 3rd, but I’m not sick of it or anything. I’m not even sick of the Starbucks Christmas playlist, and trust me, those songs have wormed their way into my brain far more frequently than I’d have liked.

This is the first year in my entire life I’m alone over Christmas, in a foreign country, but it’s not the first year I’m struggling, not the first year I’m sad, not even the first year I’m stressed as fuck about money. For the past five, six years, the holidays have alternated between “depressing,” “gloomy,” and “well, this is better than last year.” For a few years when I was still a teenager, I sent out Christmas cards to my online friends. I remember the time I was living in Madrid and had to find the nearest post office to my dorm and sent out well over 20 cards to different destinations.

I cut that expense. I stopped getting presents. Sometimes my sister and I get something from other family; my aunt gave me a Pimkie gift card two years ago (technically last year, 2013, for Wise Men Day, January 6, the big gift-giving day in Spain) that I used to buy my ubiquitous black leather jacket (my first — my only, though I got a teal one in the sales the following summer — and you’ve probably seen it). To be completely honest, the lack of presents has never bothered me very much, but it was a reminder of the situation, and it made my mom sad, which made me sad — I’ve never been able to shield out my mom’s feelings.

But there’s more! One year, our electricity was suspended over Christmas. Another year, my mom went to a food bank to fill up the kitchen cupboards. Stir in my volatile relationship with my father, my anxiety and depression, and the pressure to have a good holiday season, and you’ll have a massive clusterfuck of emotions. To wit, note the fact that I told you the miseries of Christmasses past in two short sentences, and then think about how often I’m able to wrap up a sentence in fifteen words if it’s about something I want to talk about. Go on.

Now, I’m not super fussed about what food I eat for Christmas, as long as there is something to eat. Sure, I miss my mom’s roast ham and roast lamb leg and roast potatoes, but it’s something I can live without. I’ve been living without it since I moved here. I’ve been living without quail, too, because I’m too scared to walk into a butcher’s, which has nothing to do with Christmas but it has to do with “foods I used to eat on a regular basis and I haven’t touched since I was forcibly put in charge of my own cooking and grocery shopping.” I stopped eating seafood, my mom’s favorite type of food and a Christmas staple at our home, a few years ago, when a bit of prawn did something weird I could feel in my ear. Most years, the only Christmas sweet I eat is chocolate turrón. I hate marzipan and I’m not often in the mood for polvorones, so I just go for the chocolate(s), which isn’t a Christmas exclusive. Once again, this is something that mattered a lot more to my parents than it did to me. It makes sense, because Christmas is about family meals, to me and to a lot of other people, and it’s hard to get enthused about it if you can eat the meal in five minutes.

(It’s also hard to get me to stick around after I eat the meal, and by my last Christmas at home, I was eating in my room most days, so big dinners were the only family meals I participated in. There are reasons for this, see above re: volatile relationship with my father.)

But the suspended electricity — due to unpaid bills — and the food bank trip, well, those are things that stick. They’re specially sticky because it’s not like our situation is any better now. I’m making more money, but it all goes to rent, and I’m constantly worried I won’t make my next payment. My mom got a three-month government job as a street sweeper, which I hope means she can claim benefits again when it’s over, because otherwise it’s — hard to think about. It pays shit, too, and it’s exhausting, and I’m constantly in awe of her. I haven’t even managed to finish my CV. I keep hoping my freelancing will take off, and being concerned I won’t be able to make it to any interviews if I even get called in for one because of lack of transport money. I’ve been meaning to put in an application at Starbucks since I moved to Hampstead Heath, and I need to reprint it and still haven’t got round to it.

And I’m alone. I usually thrive on being alone. I know for a fact that not living with my family is a major reason I’ve been able to do more work. I didn’t have to worry about rent at home, but a myriad other things caused me anxiety. It’s not like my mental health issues are new. What’s new is that I’m eating properly and actually getting shit done on a regular basis. That happened because I left behind some of my main anxiety triggers. But I am alone, and it gets hard sometimes, and it’s Christmas, and —

I skyped my family on Christmas Eve, and it helped. It helped a lot. It helped more than it usually does, more than I expected. But I went right back to my funk afterwards. Today I’m feeling a little better, a little more optimistic, but I don’t know how long it will last. When I was still in Spain, many of my days ended badly, but they always started well. Now, my days start with a heavy heart and a knot in my stomach. I have no doubt that the reason I feel halfway capable of pushing through this evening is a client bought an additional label design and I can now pay next week’s rent. I didn’t use to worry about it until Friday, at least, but it’s more like Wednesday these days — and sometimes I worry in advance for future weeks’ rent. I used to start my weeks with optimism even if I was starting with £10 in the bank, but that’s no longer the case. Most days, I have to fight off my terror.

On Christmas Eve I was telling myself that I could go back home for six months, a year maybe, not now because it’s my parents’ turn to host my grandma, and that means no room of my own until July. Then July and August are summer, which I can’t handle in Spain. So I’d have to make it to the end of my lease — and maybe things will be better then. It’s a lot of months for things to get better. I’ve made progress, even if it’s slow and I can’t see it.

I’m still terrified. I’m so, so afraid.

I bought an external hard drive last week. I paid for most of it with an Amazon gift card from a sponsored post I did months ago, and the parcel arrived on Monday. I’d been needing an external for a while; I’m constantly struggling with disk space. I got a WD My Passport 1TB drive. Debs, whose new blog I’ve been working on, recommended that one, and it was 44% off so I went for it. I backed up my Mac on it yesterday and I’ll be transferring RAW photos from my USB sticks into that. I’m going to be pushing my youtube channel with movie reviews, mostly, and maybe feminist commentary and the occasional tag, because I love doing vlog tags. I’m actually kind of excited about that. It’s the only thing I’ve been able to get excited about in quite a while. I’m hoping it stays exciting when I start doing it. I want to make money off it, but I’m not counting on it, so hopefully it will just be fun.

How are you guys doing?


Etsy Picks #1: The Pink Rose Palette 7

I’ve been selling on Etsy for some time now — two years this month with my photography shop, a little over a year with the branding and design one. Before I started this blog, I was really active in the Etsy community, the teams and forums. That fell by the wayside over time for various reasons, but that time getting to know the site and the amazing creative people that sell on it instilled in me a love for carefully, lovingly handcrafted quality, and a desire to support fellow small business owners who are doing their best to live off what they love.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to bring back an old feature on this blog, Friday Loves – which later turned into Pretty Things, and which is now going to be called Etsy Picks, except for the times I include things from other platforms. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. The subcategory will still be Pretty Things, because it’s a good umbrella term for all of it.

Etsy Picks / by Lix Hewett

1. Hand Knit Beanie from Plexida / 2. Lace Ceramic Plate from Ceraminic
3. “Melody” Shirt (Magenta) from jekyllundkleid / 4. Statement Twig Necklace from BijuBrill
5. Abstract Floral Painting from lanasfineart / 6. Zipper Pouch from TheBlueRabbitHouse
7. Green Rose Gold Earrings from PoleStar / 8. Felted Acorn & Mouse from TheYarnKitchen
9. Ceramic Pottery Cups from juliapaulpottery


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