Thursday, 7 January 2010

Hibernating and Creative Business

Hello friends :)

Well, what a week it has been in the UK for weather!! I look out of the window and what do I see? Snow. I turn on my TV and what do I see? A special program entitled the BIG FREEZE dedicated to this icy cold spell!! People are a bit obsessed aren't they, so today, instead of giving you heaps of snowy photographs to look at, Im going to show you what we made when it snowed hard for 14 hours here the other day.

And it involves the Queen of strawberry jams, Little Scarlet.

Me and the Little One got busy making scones, because I had a yearning for Cream Teas and summer, I was totally brassed off with all things white and cold.

And we decided to use different cutters to make our plain scones, ending up with hearts and rabbits...and a couple of unidentifiable ones that a Small Person was tremendously proud of!

If you've ever been lucky enough to get a jar of Little Scarlet jam, you will know where Im coming from with my rapturous description of it. Once the lid is off, tiny wild strawberries of the most sweetest kind practically burst out of the jar - indeed this is not jam, it is a jar packed with strawberries for there is hardly any room for the jammy bit.

Its not cheap, but sometimes its good to indulge isn't it, and on that snowy day we buttered fresh warm scones, and piled oodles of tiny strawberries on top and watched the whirling white snow fall out of a heavy grey sky, although our thoughts were perhaps far away right then, in a tea garden far south of this Yorkshire border.

Anyway, I lied - I said I wasn't going to show you any snow pictures but I couldn't resist a few - its so very, very pretty when the sun is shining on a fresh downpour of the stuff!

This is across the road from our house, the tremendous trees are weighed down. Its bitterly cold standing on the doorstep so I hurry indoors....

...but not for long - the Little One wants to go and make a snowman, so we navigate the back garden and are both rather surprised how deep it is, she in particular as its well over her knees and she's never seen anything quite like it!
The sunlight glows through the snow that has fallen between the boughs of our little flowering cherry tree...hard to imagine that in only a matter of weeks this will be frothing over with pink blossom.
The river looks very pretty, peaty black and icy cold against the bright white snow. To add to the theme of black and white was a little dipper who was out braving the weather, he was standing on a stone watching us before he took off under the bridge, his little white bib a blurry flash as he flew by.

Well, following my last post there have been a couple of my readers interested in the books I mentioned, and silly me, I should really have put the titles in that post for you! Never the less, here they are now for those of you who are interested in following the creative business dream:

The Creative Entrepreneur
by Lisa Sonora Bea

Creating a Life Worth Living
Carol Lloyd

Make Your Creative Dreams Real

The Small Business Start Up Workbook
Cheryl D Rickman.

If you click the links it will take you to the amazon page so you can read up on them a bit more and see if they are what you are after.

The top three books are written with a real focus on creativity, and include some great tools and exercises which teach you how to become a businesswoman (or man), and make your business real, one which makes money and brings customers...sound good?? It is.

These books also suggest keeping a journal/art journal to encourage your creativity. If you can, take the time to really work through the exercises. The good thing is that you can do this in your own time, and when you do sit down and answer the questions and think about what you're reading, you begin to learn things (which sounds obvious, but Im the best in the world for skipping the practical exercise bit, I always want to be at the finish post first, but Im realising that these people can teach me things I don't know and through making an effort Ive learnt more in the last week than I did in a whole year of going round doing the same stuff yet expecting different results!!)

The last book I mentioned is more practical nuts and bolts, crammed full of information about marketing and promoting yourself and starting a biz from scratch. Very good.

So there we are. Id love to hear from any of you who decide to work through one of the books Ive mentioned here. It can be quite a challenge starting off in business, but its not impossible and perhaps the ones of you who have decided to grow a business properly this year might like to share experiences here? Sometimes its nice to have someplace to chat about our journeys and what we've learned, and it can also be really helpful for others who are doing the same thing!

Let me know what you think - you know where to find me!! :D

So here's to the creative journey, wherever it may take you (be it kitchen to bake cake, or reaching for the stars and becoming the next Deborah Meaden :)

Big love to you,
Keep warm,
Eat nice stuff :)

Julia xxx


  1. Am writing that jam on my shopping list!! Your scones make me think of Cornwall in the sun - a thought that helps me treck the 2 hours to work as I have decided to leave my car at home!! (as Johnny Vegas would say - For safety reasons monkey!!). xxxxxxxx

  2. Hello julia,
    Tiptree jam form my neck of the woods,tiptree is only half an hour down the road for us.!
    It always makes me laugh when we are in cornwall & we see tiptree jam on the shelves. I love cream teas so does mr h we usually fight over the clotted cream!! So yummy!!
    Keep warm you & your little one.
    Big hugs heidi. x

  3. They look yum! & baking with little people is so much fun.

    Will have to try the Little Scarlett jam, my Grandma always used to buy Tiptree, so it holds strong childhood memories....

    Yesterday the children were off school, and we had a red lunch - Strawberry jam sandwiches, red apples, strawberry yoghurts & cherry tomatoes, washed down with strawberry ribenea. I told them it was to match their red cheeks from being out in the snow.

    Simple but fun!

    Love Lydia

  4. Hello Julia. Love the idea of those books and will take myself over to Amazon for a look. Thank you and have fun in the snow x

  5. Where can I get me some little Scarlett jam?!!! It will make a pleasant change from eating mincemeat! I love your blog Julia. You are so full of enthusiasm and encouragement. I am going to have a look at the links now. Lovely pictures too. x

  6. my taste buds have awoken, my mouth is tingling at the thought of that jam, those scones... can I come for tea? Please?
    As for the books... well, as they say, been there and done that, had my own business as a counsellor many years ago, now don't want responsibility any more. And the Sark book, with all those different sorts of people it was aimed at... I don't fit any category!

  7. Hi Julia,I have now added jam too my shopping list! :0) and I’m now off to check the books out, this could be an expensive visit too your lovely blog.

    Have a lovely weekend love Lou xxx

  8. OK now my taste buds are aching for Little Scarlet! And thanks for the links to the books - off to investigate ....

  9. Little Scarlet is the perfect jam for a cream tea!

    Have a lovely Sunday
    Keep warm and snuggly
    Carolyn ♥

  10. Hello Julia! Just thought I would pop over and let you know that I have bought and received 'The Creative Entrepreneur' on your recommendation. I have had a quick flick through and not quite sure what I am supposed to do yet! I think I need to make a start by getting myself a blank journal and see what happens from then on! Thank you for letting me know where to look for the jam too! x

  11. I'm going to look for the jam here in the States, we have a drug store that has a manager from England who stocks an English food section. You've made it sound divine I need to find some.

  12. The jam sounds lovely - we have never grown enough strawberries to jam them, much to my children's disgust. They put strawberry jam on their Christmas list, poor deprived things!

    Pomona x

  13. Like your header, Julia and the snow photos and heart shaped scones! The books are a good idea too - I might be tempted in a while, but which one to choose? Bye for now, Lesley


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