GOODBYE 2013, HELLO 2014

I don't believe in resolutions. I believe in goals.

But I thought I would do a 2013 recap.
For me 2013 was the the year for learning, growth and direction.

It was the year I I fell out of love with Deesigngeek and didn't want to design any more, a scary concept as it is all I have done, 
it defined me.

It turned out it was the type of work I was creating that just wasn't rocking my world any more and I had to take it in a new direction, I tried not to be too hard on myself - sometimes to go forward you have to go back. 
So I got creative, I mean "picking up paintbrushes, pencils and cameras" creative and learnt how to have fun again rather than how much could I sell this for. 
I appreciate that money allows you to travel, buy art materials and have a nice life but does it motivate me? I have to be honest and say a big fat "nope".
For me to get excited about designing it has to bring some beautiful to the world and make someone feel good.

I realised I had put too much importance in work and I started to enjoy life, time with my friends and family and to achieve goals I never thought I would be able to like run a Half marathon. 
I also decided to live positively and started meditating, this helped me to see situations with clarity which had a great knock on effect on my design work and business planning. I had the idea of bringing everything back in-house under the DeesignGeek brand, Graphic design, Illustrating and Photography, it means learning a lot of new skills it will be worth it to ensure I'm creating a truly unique and original brand.

I have learnt to be honest with myself about what I want, the courage to go after it and to see mistakes as opportunities to learn.

2013 was all about learning but 2014 will be all about action, I can't wait!

Have a fabulous New Year! X



Finally putting my Christmas tree up makes me ecstatic! I absolutely love Christmas and thought I'd give you a sneaky peek at my very eclectic decorations.

When I pulled the tree away from the wall to take a better picture it threw some amazing, smoky style shadows on the wall which I got slightly obsessed about. I don't know how I managed to pick my three from about a hundred pics I took!



I am a happy and positive person and I get on with people. 
Although I dislike confrontation I don't avoid it at all costs and sometimes THAT thing happens that forces you to pull on your big girl pants and have that uncomfortable chat with THAT specific person.
It always astounds me how we still don't really know how to communicate with each other or articulate how we're feeling which means any difficult situations usually result in a shouting match and days of regret about how you reacted and wishing you could have changed the outcome.
A situation recently arose where I felt I was being professionally undermined, I tried to push the feeling away and listened to the little voices that were saying I was being to sensitive and not to worry about it, but I DID worry about it and I knew in my gut that I had to deal with it.
But how? I knew how I didn't want to approach it, not in an embarrassingly emotional way where you don't even get your point across.
The good thing was I had the weekend to think it over, and not in a hamster wheel style of worrying, replaying, worrying and replaying where no action is decided, but in a clear and concise manner.
This all sounded great in my head but I really didn't know where to start so I placed an SOS text to my friend Angela McDougal, I know about 3 Angela's so she is usually simply called "McDougal" and she is AMAZING! Everyone should have a McDougal in their life!
She made me aware of a conversation structuring technique called "TGROW" and it's so good I wanted to share it with everyone!

OK so before the conversation think about the structure it will have by following:
T: Topic. Both parties to agree on the topic that they will talk about. What it the main point of the conversation?
G: Goal. Agree on the goal that you want to achieve.
R: Reality. The reality of the situation of the situation. Each person will have their own perseption of the reality so they will have to discuss the present situation in detail and be specific.
O: Options. Brainstorm as many possible actions to move forward (I did this before I had the conversation so I was prepared). The important thing here is quantity NOT quality. Don't worry about how they would work or be implemented. You are being proactive by giving solutions.
W: Wrap up and when. The conversation must be converted into a decision of what action to take and the timescale of this action.
I have also noticed through conversations with friends that one reason people give for calling a meeting is because they feel another collegue is "incompetent", but before you take this perception personally it's important to know that competence is measured in three things: 1. Knowledge 2. Skills 3. Behaviour
It might be one element of your working style that is out of sync with the company or person but that can be worked on or they might actually be working incompetently.
All of this info definitely helped me take the emotional side out of the situation and come up with a clear and concise plan of action of how to move forward which ensured my positive and professional attitude remained intact. So next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable conversation TGROW it!
Hope it helps you as much as it helped me!



Autumn is such a short but beautiful season so I took some pics of the changing colour of the trees in Kelvingrove Park (one of my favourite places!) to remind me of this, I also tried to catch images of the leaves as they were falling but my shutter speed skills let me down, maybe next year.

I found some lovely quotes about Autumn too which are so true ~

“Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they're falling like
they're falling in love with the ground.” 
― Andrea Gibson

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.” 
― Ernest HemingwayA Moveable Feast

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” 
― Albert Camus



I've recently started sketching and illustrating after 10 years solely creating computer generated graphics and I am absolutely loving it. I came across this quote on Pinterest (what did I do before Pinterest?!) and it made so much sense to me. 

It's important for me to continue to learn and to constantly create but I can be my own worst critic and over think a task to a standstill, to combat this I came up with a mantra of "Start It / Try It / Do It"! 
This has helped me to simply get started and see where it leads which feels like an accomplishment in itself. Writing goals down and sharing what I have been working on helps keep me focused and I will definitely be sharing some of the illustrations I have been working on.

I'd love to hear what you've always wanted to try and how you chase the fear away.




I'm just back from Berlin and it was AMAZING!!!
Any place that is packed with that much history and art that does a mean mulled wine definitely gets a special place in my heart.

I was there for 2 days and will definitely be going back now I have an idea of the different places to visit.
I took my brand new shiny SLR, here 
is a collection of my fave pictures, and I was a bit apprehensive about using it for the first time in a city like Berlin but I got over that pretty quickly and I'm so glad I did. It allowed me to show the gorgeous sights of Berlin exactly as they were.
We managed fit in some jumping jacks at the Brandenburg Gate, a tour of the Reichstag, Potsdamer Platz, Checkpoint Charlie, East Side Gallery, Anne Frank Museum, go up the TV Tower, visit the Holocaust Memorial where we star spotted Mary "Queen of Shops" Portas! (but couldn't ask for a photo which I totally regret) eat way too many Bratwurst and drink the best mulled wine.

Tschüs Berlin, See you soon!



Can you believe it's December already!
I meant to do a 6 month catch up on the goals I set my self at the start of 2013 but it looks like it's going to be a total recap.

I'm a fan of reflecting and as I look back over 2013 I feel so chuffed that I've met 3 out of the 5 goals I set myself, turns out writing them down does give you a better chance of them becoming a reality!

1. Take photography classes.
I signed up for a 10 week evening class in March and am so glad I did, I absolutely loved it.
The black and white picture of a twisted iron gate is my favourite.
At the start of every class the tutor explained what we would be learning which almost always sounded like a foreign language but after 3 hours I would like to say that it did actually made sense! A definite plus to learning a new skill was meeting a lovely bunch of people which made 3 hours every week fly by. 
I was lucky enough to get a SLR 600D Canon and my top goal for 2014 is to definitely take more (hopefully professional) pictures.

2. Run a Half Marathon.
Although I like to keep fit  I get bored just going to the gym so decided to run the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon in October. To start training for it I started running 5kms and took part in my first ever organised Park Run event in February, although I nearly died I completed it without stopping and did it in a better time than expected.
I then ran the Bupa Womens 10km Race and raised £255 for Breast Cancer Care, running for charity definitely gave me the boost I needed to finish. They definitely helped prepare me mentally and physically for the Half Marathon on 6th October but it was harder than I thought it would be although I'm proud to say that I didn't feel like crying until the 15th kilometre. The pic is me at the finish line and can't believe I'm actually smiling!

3. Travel More.
I honestly feel that travelling and visiting different places are good for my soul and at the start of the year I decided that no matter what I would visit some places that have been on my wish list forever. There are so many factors that can affect this goal - mainly money but I managed to visit Gothenburg at Easter which was gorgeous and sooo clean (still can't believe that's something that I keep saying when I think of the trip but it was!)
I have wanted to visit the culture and art soaked place that is Berlin for the longest time and am pleased to say it lived up to my expectations. I took a pic of the Brandenburg gate but I have so many other pics I'll have to put them in a post of their own.

Goals still on the list:
4. Create a T-Shirt design & 5.Create a Tote Bag design.
Goals 4 and 5 are sot of the same.
I absolutely love a T-Shirt and tote bag design and have always wanted to create my own range. However sometimes I have so many ideas I can't decide on just one and end up coming to a stand still.
I'm working on this procrastination so this goal will be moving soon.