A real grown up or boring?!

I met up with Kathryn, one of my lovely mummy friends today and as we live about 40 minutes apart, we agreed on somewhere which was an equal-ish distance. As Kathryn has a little girl she suggested we meet at Snakes and Ladders, which is an indoor soft play centre - it didn’t matter too much to me where we met… as long as there were toilets, baby changing facilities, they sell tea and have somewhere to sit I am happy!

"Just get to 6 weeks..."

“Just get to 6 weeks…”

It has been over two months since I blogged & got creative (I can’t quite believe it) and I am itching to get back to writing and designing but what can I say, motherhood is all consuming!

I remember when I told my best friend that I would be starting Chellebelle, amongst the delight and excitement she asked me when I thought I would be able to do all of this, after baby arrives. My answer… (Naively from within my ‘rose tinted glass’ world…) “During naps, quiet time and play time?!” I can safely say none of this ACTUALLY happens in my ‘real’ world! 

7 weeks ago today I gave birth to our little Wann, Oliver George at 1.40am following a traumatic induction of labour which lasted just under 32 hours from induction to birth. He weighed an impressive 8lbs 7oz and was the longest baby I have ever seen! Here he is the day he was born…

It has been a rough ride - some call parenting a rollercoaster and they are right. Genuinely the first 5 to 6 weeks were horrific, yes it is a strong word and I love our son dearly but honestly, it was really hard going. That makes me feel horribly guilty because I realise we are extremely blessed and lucky to be parents and he truly is wonderful but it really is like being hit by a train. I cried every day (sometimes more than once) and my all my friends said… “it gets easier, wait til 6 weeks”…“just get to 6 weeks and it will feel better” … “wait for that first smile and it will all feel worthwhile” and do you know what? They were so right! During the thick of the screaming, colic, reflux and sleep deprivation, mixed with feeling completely mystified about what to do for the best and wondering all the time what was actually wrong with him, I didn’t believe them. 

But they were right, I remember the first proper smile. I had called my mum mid-meltdown and she came home for lunch to calm us both. I was crying and she was playing with Ollie when he smiled. Proper full-on smile and in an instant, my tears stopped. How could I cry when this little monster was smiling? Could you continue crying faced with this?

It is getting easier (slightly) which I think has a lot to do with getting into a little routine and me starting to let go of the need for perfection which I hate to admit I constantly strive for. The house is not always tidy, we eat at ridiculous times and I don’t have a moment to myself but we are getting there. 

If I could give some advice to pre-mummy me I would say… “Nothing, yes NOTHING will prepare you; no blog, no book, no advice. Go with it and remember it isn’t forever. The sleepless nights, the baby crying and the feeling of being helpless aren’t going to last forever (she says full of hope) and likewise, remember (I am trying so hard to remember this…) your baby won’t be tiny forever, cuddly forever or need you forever. Enjoy the good and get on with the bad. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.”

And on that note, the baby is screaming again, so until next time!!

The big reveal

When I first dreamt up Chellebelle I had so many ideas, the problem was I had too many ideas. I wanted to paint things, make things, design things… you get the picture but I think finally I am there, with a product that I LOVE! Very excitamondoes indeed but I thought it would be fun to share a bit about the journey I have been on as well as the exciting destination!

Instagram has been totally fab at helping me embrace creativity.  For anyone reading who hasn’t heard of it, Instagram is a social media platform which differs slightly to Facebook in that instead of a status made of words, posts are made using photography (which my friends know I love). It also differs to Facebook because instead of having ‘friends’ and ‘friend requests’, you have people you ‘follow’ and people who ‘follow you’, which is great because it feels a little less intimate than Facebook. Whereas I use Facebook for keeping friends updated with ‘news’, I use Instagram to post pictures of things I have found beautiful and/or inspiring – I also use it to record a snapshot of something important which is going on, after all they do say… ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’
With the use of hashtags it is possible to connect your photography with a global audience of like-minded people. You may be thinking I still digress, but this is heading somewhere… promise.

Here is my Instagram account to show you what it looks like!
As I just hinted, one of the features I love about Instagram is the ability to connect with like-minded people, in my case people who make pretty things! Craftsposure (a popular Instagram user) has been a real source of inspiration for me so far, as has their ‘Idea to Biz’ online course. The course has really helped me to tune into what I want from Chellebelle, think about what I enjoy to make and work on refining my product base. Until I started the course I had so many ‘potentials’ for products and it was really hard trying to contain them all, almost to the point where I was considering stopping before I even started… Hold my hands up and say ‘forget it’ because it just felt too big. Luckily for me, the e-Biz course was so fantastic at inspiring me and helping me get back on track until I had that ‘lightbulb’ moment, when I first made something I was proud of and thought, Yes – I actually would buy this!

So - are you ready for this? Ok… My main focus is going to be designing and making artwork using paper cutting techniques and a fusion of card and fabric which looks a little something like this… (deep breath!)

I have already cut a fair few designs but being a total faffer and perfectionist, I only have three final pieces that I am super happy to show off to the world at this point. I debated with myself whether to wait until I had more to show but thought it would be more fun if I had the ‘big reveal’ with each new one, rather than start with a load and run out of steam. This way I get to start sharing my work sooner and can also get a feel for each design’s individual appeal and success too.

The plan is to have artwork which can be personalised but will hopefully be just as pretty without and eventually, I plan to have a couple of sizes on offer. I don’t want to run before I start walking so I am spending most of my time (in the peace and quiet before baby arrives) practising my skills, playing with fabric and perfecting designs, developing my packaging and working out how I am going to do all this with a newborn!

Want to see the final one? My very first piece which I gifted to my husband…

So there you go, the cat is out of the Chellebelle bag, I hope you love as much as I do. Please comment below if you would like to share your thoughts with me about Chellebelle, starting a new craft business or any other wisdom you may have!

New around here!

Hi, I’m Chelle and totally new to the blog scene but VERY excited to be here!

I am 35 weeks pregnant with our first child (‘our’ being me and my utterly wonderful husband Davey) and have decided to set up my blog for a couple of reasons. The first being that following the advice of an old friend (and fellow blogger) I now see this as a fantastic opportunity to take a snapshot of our lives at this time, as I am well aware it is going to go by in a blink (hopefully the sleepless nights more so than the precious times). I am embracing my blog not only for our lovely friends to share this chapter with us but also for new friends (blog readers) and most importantly our new little family as it grows – how lovely it will be for baby to have an insight into how they were welcomed to the world?! Secondly, it works as a creative outlet for a little project that I am ‘playing around with’. 

Chellebelle has been slowly evolving for a while now – I was always creative in school and feel like over the years, I have kind of lost my ‘sparkle’ so I am taking it back! I have been surrounding myself with prettiness again, feeling no shame that I burst with excitement when I see glitter, pretty fabric and my own designs coming alive. I have also been embracing new ideas and skills – some have worked and some haven’t but I am now at the point where I am starting to develop a collection of gifts for new parents, newly married couples and a collection of homemade children’s décor.

I am conscious that there will be some sceptics and only being 5 weeks from baby arriving (assuming he or she is punctual…) I could be biting off far more than I can chew but it is a risk I have decided I am happy to take. After all, life is short and I just know I would regret not ‘having a go’ plus, if I do find it all a bit too much – I can take a break! I realise I am not superwoman but I am totally fine with it… Of course it would be nice for others to appreciate my ideas/ creations/ call it what you will, but if not – I will have had fun along the way making prettiful things!

I just keep repeating a very famous quote over when I hear that little voice of doubt…
‘If you can dream it, you can do it’ (Walt Disney). Let’s hope he is right!

The focus of my blog will be lifestyle/ pregnancy/ parenting because it’s what I am doing right now and it feels very real and I am hoping that others in the same boat will join me! Alongside taking my hobby and turning it into a new small business (as it evolves) and the trials and tribulations of becoming a new parent (also as it evolves…) I would really like a creative space to share my experiences, photos (bit obsessed with these) and feelings, without feeling like I am bombarding friends on Facebook – somewhere people who want to hear this news can read it! 

I am really excited about motherhood but I am hoping my blog will be where I can still be Chelle – as well as mummy!