I Stand No Chance of Growing Up // Dear Diary #7

Dear diary,

Life is hard. And I often feel like I stand no chance of growing up; no chance of having a proper job, saving money, driving a car, being a responsible adult… I was in a weird place the other day; so I went for a long walk around Rudyard lake and put Fiona Apple on in my headphones.

The lyric “I stand no chance of growing up”, from ‘Valentine’, seemed to be particularly poignant for me.

There are, however, four main things that keep me going and growing (in increasing order of importance):

1. Creativity
2. Nature
3. Family
4. Fraz

Then there are all the other little things that make me smile, and bring me peace and slow my racing mind. And it’s nice to make a list of them, because lists make me feel calm too!

Green tea, the smell of that lush bubble bar, everything vegan, cartoons, yoga in the morning, beautiful magazines, libraries, museums, galleries, artists and their Instagrams, YouTube channels and Etsy shops… piano, BBC radio 6 music, singing, Björk, Radiohead and all the other musicians I adore… cobwebs with dew on, hydrangea, rising fog in the morning, seed heads, home-grown food, the full moon, shooting stars, reading horoscopes, ruined and forgotten buildings, drawing, collage, new books, old books, post, pen-pals, washi-tape…

And walks, lots of walks. Walking through forests and fields, up hills and mountains, and by rivers and lakes. Note to self: go on more walks! Below is a little photo documentation of the walk around Rudyard lake mentioned above…

Robin friend, at Rudyard lake dam where I started my circular walk
Oh, the importance of punctuation!
Indian Balsam (I think) – I’m slowly learning names of plants, starting with wild flowers!
Spooky abandoned building, which is the lodge to…
…this even spookier huge house, called ‘Cliffe Park’, where someone lives…!


View to Rudyard lake, from Cliffe Park
Friendly (but slightly disdainful) cows. I had to walk right between them on that path, and they were so mighty and impressive!
Buzzards overhead
A never-ending private road to the spooky house, and the farm where the disdainful cows live.
The top of the lake


Love the silhouette of these Ash (???) leaves
Stumbled into a Studio Ghibli set…


Spider in the rain, I admire her taste in flowers; Hydrangea are my favourite!

Last week I also went on an art trail in Wirksworth, with Rosie (Fraz’s brother’s fiancée), which was wonderful. I ended up taking pictures of stuff that wasn’t meant to be art, as much as I was appreciating the actual art!

Abandoned rusty metal outside one of the locations
Perfect seed-head display above the art
Some actual art – made of rubbish!

Then finally, a little bit of creativity for this week, in the form of two scrap collages – literally made up of some little pieces of paper from various projects, which I’ve been collecting in a little box!!!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Until next time… keep creating, keep adventuring.


Peace and love,

Rachel x


July Happy Highlights // Sunray Sister


I am feeling so positive and inspired right now, and busy doing all the creative things, that I’ve gone completely off course with my weekly blog posts. Sorry!!! The weird thing is, I’m not beating myself up about it, because in the last few weeks I’ve been so full of creative energy all the time!

I will share more of what I’ve been creating, and the things that have been inspiring me, in this Sunday’s Dear Diary blog post.

For now though, seeing as it’s August already, I would like to share my list of Happy Highlights from the last few weeks; all the little things that made me smile, and the slightly bigger things that I’ve achieved.

  1. My new day-job is going really well! I feel like I actually fit in for once, and I’ve been given a few extra responsibilities which I haven’t had in previous jobs.
  2. … But alas, I have to leave! If you read my last blog post, you will know that I’m moving half way across the country in just a few short weeks. This is also a highlight though, because I’m ready for a big change!
  3. My parents visited for a special weekend with me and Fraz. We took them out on some adventures around Bristol, and treated them to a homemade three-course vegan dinner, and then had a bit of a sleepover!!!
  4. I received replies from both of my new pen pals! They were both so sweet, and I am just itching to write my replies. I also plan to film a little ‘what I received from my pen pals’ video, since my last pen pal themed video was so popular.
  5. Speaking of which, my Pen Pal YouTube video now has almost 2,000 views! TWO THOUSAND!!! WHAT!? I am so grateful that so many people have watched my little video. Of course, it has given me lots of motivation to get more videos finished soon, and get back to my weekly schedule. First though, I need to move house!
  6. I have been getting creative offline though, mainly doing some collaging/painting, and making a ‘junk journal’, which is something new I’ve just discovered. I’m also taking part in a journal collaboration with some lovely ladies on Instagram. More on these things very soon!
  7. I started reading ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I absolutely LOVE it! Elizabeth opens your eyes to what creativity is, your relationship with it, and how you can change your view of it for the better. Everyone should read this book (and listen to her podcast and watch her TED Talk)!!!
  8. I completed the Yoga Camp 30 day home practice from ‘Yoga with Adriene’ on YouTube, and I feel great! I have really enjoyed spending time on my body, and connecting my breath with my movements, as well as discovering what I am capable of, and visualising what I could do if I keep working at it. Highly recommended.
  9. When I want to chill out, I’ve been watching ‘Anne with an E’ on Netflix. Based on ‘Anne of Green Gables’, it is a beautiful series, and the actor who plays Anne will blow you away! I love her!
  10. Fraz and I discovered a couple of places that do awesome vegan pizzas, and we’ve even been making our own from scratch! I’m super happy about this, because pizza is probably my favourite thing to eat!!!

It’s been a fun-filled month, and I know that August is going to be super crazy but fun too!

What were your happy highlights from July? Share them in the comments below, or find me over on Instagram or Facebook, and leave a comment there!

The regular ‘Dear Diary’ Sunday blog posts will be back up and running this month. In the meantime you can find me over on Instagram, where I post almost every day, sharing some colourful snapshots of my creative adventures.

Have a fabulous week sisters!


Peace and love,

Rachel x

April Happy Highlights // Sunray Sister

Welcome back sisters!

As each month draws to a close, I like to pause and reflect on the moments that made me smile, and my biggest achievements or breakthroughs (however small they may seem to others). Sort of a ‘monthly favourites’, but about experiences, fun and learning! I usually type the list on my typewriter and combine it with some collage in my sketchbook, but this month a simple computer-typed list will have to do.

  1. Walked along the Avon trail/Pill path in Bristol for the first time – it was so beautiful! I will have a video of this adventure on my YouTube channel soon.
  2. Started working at The Colston Hall.
  3. Fraz returned home after 10 days at his parents’ house – distance makes the heart grow fonder!
  4. Fraz cooked vegan Sunday roast dinners – they were delicious.
  5. Went on a long walk with Fraz.
  6. Reading the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series.
  7. Watching ‘Adventure Time: Elements’ – I’ve followed Adventure Time from the beginning, and this latest season is more bizarre than ever before!
  8. Saw Gogo Penguin perform their score for ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ – it was incredible.
  9. De-cluttered more stuff, and even made a bit of money on eBay.
  10. Planning some big, exciting, grown-up things with Fraz!

I’d love to hear your Happy Highlights for April, let me know in the comments 🙂 See you again on Sunday for some thoughts on where Sunray Sister is heading next.


Peace and love

Rachel x


Spring Playlist // Playtime 10

Good evening sisters! On this sunny, sleepy Sunday I had a little wander around the local market and enjoyed a delicious roast lunch, what have you been up to?

To finish off a lovely day, I’ve put together a playlist of some of the songs I’ve been enjoying recently – with a vague Spring/nature/turning-a-new-leaf theme – for episode 10 of my Playtime series!

Find the tunes in a YouTube playlist below, and full details of all songs and artists under that. Enjoy!

  1. ‘Vitamin C’ – Can
  2. ‘Fool’ – Perfume Genius
  3. ‘Silvering’ – Lone Lady
  4. ‘Die Young’ – Sylvan Esso
  5. ‘Green Light’ – Lorde
  6. ‘It Changes’ – Amber Arcades
  7. ‘Alaska’ – Maggie Rogers
  8. ‘Roscoe’ – Midlake
  9. ‘Garden’ – C Duncan
  10. ‘The Valley’ – Laura Marling


What songs are on your current playlist? Do you love any of the songs on my playlist? Let me know your jam in the comments below or over on social media.

This week I will be sharing a new YouTube video on Wednesday, my April Happy Highlights on Friday and a little life update/goals review on Sunday. Hope to see you soon and have a brilliant joy-filled week!

Peace and love,

Rachel x


Day 10: Favourite Films about Love // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love

Happy Friday sisters! Welcome to the 10th day of this 14 day blog challenge, celebrating all things love. Hit ‘Sunray Sister’ above to see an overview of all my previous posts!

Today I have put together a list of my favourite films on the theme of love, (in no particular order), so you can get prepared for a cozy weekend, or a romantic Valentine’s evening. Snuggling on the sofa with your love interest/gal pals/fluffy companion is recommended for optimum enjoyment!

[all images from http://www.imdb.com]

  1. Moonrise Kingdom – oh Wes, you have my heart. His films are just so unique and special. So much detail, so much creativity.
  2. Miss Potter – Yes, she wrote Peter Rabbit (and many other stories), and was extremely successful in many ways. But Beatrix Potter also has a heartbreaking love story, tissues will be required!
  3. Amélie – Just the kind of quirky film that I love. All the little moments and cute clues. It’s just so beautiful.
  4. Romeo & Juliet – A classic reinvented. The juxtaposition of Shakespearean language with a modern setting is stunning. Added bonus of a brilliant soundtrack.
  5. West Side Story – Another take on the Romeo & Juliet story line, as an awesome musical, with even-more-awesome dancing. This film makes me want to learn to dance.
  6. Pride & Prejudice – I love costume dramas. I’m not sorry. I just get seduced by the longing looks, and the striding through fields, and the giggling in the ballroom. It’s all so dramatic! Thank you Jane Austen, I can always rely on you.
  7. A Room with a View – I studied the book at school, and then discovered the film. This story by E. M. Forster is one to learn from: reject what society expects, follow true love and passion.
  8. Chocolat – I was captivated from start to end. Any character trying to change stubborn old ways, whilst celebrating ancient tradition, has got my vote. And the leading lady Vianne does just that. Now I need to read the book by Joanne Harris.
  9. Atonement – Keira strikes again. Ian McEwan’s story is so clever and complex; I am a big fan of an unreliable narrator.
  10. 10 Things I Hate About You – Finishing off the list with something a little less serious, but also based on Shakespeare! Kat is just so cool. A cool Kat.

[all images from http://www.imdb.com]

What are your favourite films? How many of them are about love? Have I left any essential love films off my list?! Leave your recommendations in the comments or on social media; I love Instagram at the moment.

Tomorrow is the start of my three-day countdown to Valentine’s Day, when I will have an extra special surprise for you all, (stay tuned to find out what it is)! During the three days I will be covering three aspects of how to love: yourself, others and the planet. We’re almost on the home straight sisters!


Peace and love,

Rachel x


December Happy Highlights


2017 is here, and the Sunray Sister blog has returned. To kick off the new year, here is a list of my best happy moments from the month of December…


  1. Fraz and I had a lovely lunch and catch up with my mum in Bath, followed by a nose around the Christmas markets. (This was actually at the end of November, but some how I left it off my previous list!)
  2. After Christmas I visited my parents in the Herefordshire countryside, where I made the most of the frosty fields and beautiful views, whilst getting some much needed fresh air.
  3. I set some clear and attainable goals for 2017, and shared the business ones here. I also have another list of personal goals which I will share on the blog this Tuesday!
  4. Much to the amusement of everyone around me, I decided to become vegetarian basically the day before Christmas; you know, the celebration all about eating Turkey and pigs in blankets… I’m also taking part in Veganuary by trying to be vegan for the whole of January! I’ll let you know how it goes.
  5. Just before Christmas we were invited to Fraz’s brother’s house for a heartwarming meal with his fiancée, their daughter and their adorable baby!
  6. For my birthday Fraz got me tickets to see Wonderland the musical in May. I love musicals and going out to the theatre, but I hardly ever go, so I cannot wait!!!
  7. At the start of the month I had a big milestone: my first ever craft fair!


What were your best moments from December? I would love to know; share them below in the comments or via social media.

Coming up on the blog …. This Sunday you can expect another edition of Sunray News, then on Tuesday I will share my personal goals for 2017, and next Friday episode six of Playtime will be here! Stick around for lots of fun!


Peace and love,

Rachel x


rANDoM ROunD-UP #2: featuring self-love and craft tutorials

Welcome to the second edition of rANDoM ROunD-UP: a mishmash of all the bits and bobs I’ve come across on the wonderful world-wide web in the recent weeks. Let the browsing begin!!!

My random round-up ransom note!


Image from Roxwell Press


  • Make your own sketchbook by following the steps in this video by Pear Fleur – you could even use your marbled creations for fancy endpapers!


  • Print these cute illustrations from Rookie mag, make a collage and then upload it to their website by the 19th of December, and your collage could feature in their gallery! Awesome!!!
Image from Rookie mag


Image from Kristyna Baczynski’s Etsy shop


  • Heart and Hands’ shop seems to have a lot of press about it’s temporary tattoos to aid anxiety, but I love their incredible zines! These tiny books feature little pop outs, stickers and fun activities for self-care and positivity. The one below sold out, but there are lots of other designs!
Image from Heart and Hands’ Etsy shop


  • Speaking of positivity, check out these pastel painted rocks with brilliant words of wisdom, by Papered Thoughts. Such a cool idea!
Image from Papered Thoughts’ Etsy shop


  • Every cat should have one of these incredible colourful felted houses by Felt Field. Cute and practical!
Image from Felt Field’s Etsy shop


  • And last but not least on my list, a sweet dress making pattern from Cocowawa Crafts, called the Marshmallow Dress. It has joined the pile of many other adorable dresses I need to make!
Image from Cocowawa Crafts

Please note: these are all my own opinions and no one has asked me to advertise their websites/products in this post.

Please send me any fun randomness you’ve found online recently! Comment below, or come and find me on social media.

Tomorrow is a huge day for me: my first ever market stall!!! EEEK! It’s a free indoor event at The Southbank Club in Bristol, so if you’re about between 11am and 4pm, come and say hi! If you don’t make it, you can catch up on how it all went via my Sunday Sunray News post. See you soon sisters, have a lovely weekend!

Peace and love,

Rachel x


November Happy Highlights

Good evening sisters! Can you believe that there is just one month left of 2016?! But before we start mentioning resolutions (shhh!) and “did that really happen?!”, take a minute to celebrate the little moments that made you happy during November…

Here are a few of mine:


  1. An awesome fireworks night with my lovely Fraz at Victoria Park in Bristol, accompanied by a delicious ice-cream-brownie concoction.
  2. Cinematic Orchestra at Colston Hall. We booked the tickets a couple of months ago as something special to look forward to, and it was incredible!
  3. A mono-printing workshop as part of Bedminster Skills Week. It turned out that I was the only person that booked a space, so I basically had a one-to-one lesson in printing.
  4. Designed some proper Christmas cards and sent the designs to get printed! I can’t wait to see them this Tuesday.
  5. Had my first Etsy sale, and met up with some Etsy sellers in real life. Scary and exciting!
  6. Found out about some cool ways that The Prince’s Trust could help me with developing my business.
  7. And finally, we put our Christmas tree up! Because Christmas is the best, and makes all this frosty cold stuff much more jolly and acceptable.


What were your best moments of November?

Coming up on the blog will be my last Sunday news post before the big day: my first ever market stall! Then on Tuesday the second installment of Artist Dates, where I take myself on a little solo trip to inspire and get creative, and share it with you!

Have a lovely weekend sisters!


Peace and love

Rachel x


Playtime #4: featuring Massive Attack and Laura Marling

Episode four of playtime is here: a mixtape from me to you, complete with handwritten list and abstract painting! This time my choices are mainly current tunes with some older songs sprinkled in, all of which are quickly becoming new favourites; basically all the songs stuck in my head right now. The list begins with Laura Marling’s beautiful new song, ‘Soothing’, which is now on repeat, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Enjoy, and as always send me your cool recommendations!




The month is coming to an end, so this Friday I will share my November happy highlightsHave a brilliant week sisters, and don’t forget to join me on social media, especially Instagram. Let’s be friends! 


Peace and love,

Rachel x


Top Ten Creative Items on my Christmas (and Birthday) Wish List 2016!

Seeing as it is exactly one month until Christmas, I thought it might be appropriate, (if a little cheeky) to share my wish list of creative items that I am dreaming about right now. Plus it’s not only Christmas, but also my birthday two days later – so, you know, I’ve got to get all the requests in! Or at least save up my precious pennies and keep dreaming…

Here is the illustrated list!


…and details about each item and where to get them:

  1. Etsy gift card – for art prints (and other cute stuff) by my favourite artists; my favourites are never-ending.
  2. Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints set – stunning watercolour set as championed by the wonderful And Smile Studio.
  3. Faber-Castell Polychromos colouring pencils – perfect pencils to add details and texture to my watercolour painting.
  4. Copic marker pens (skin tone, pastel or manga set) – artist pens which every artist seems to be raving about! So of course I need to try them.
  5. ‘Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way’, book by Jennifer Orkin Lewis – an awesome artist and an awesome challenge.
  6. ‘How to Make Books’, book by Esther K. Smith – I love to make notebooks and little art books, so I am really interested to read this and try some new projects.
  7. ‘Making an Impression’, book by Geninne D. Zlatkis – then on the covers and inside those handmade books I want to print my own designs!
  8. Badge maker and hole punch – to truly join the DIY crew I will need to create my own production line of pin badges featuring my drawings.
  9. Tilly and The Buttons sewing pattern (coco, miette, rosa, cleo or any!) – I already have Tilly’s book and absolutely love her style, and I love the idea of a handmade wardrobe (a new year’s resolution I think!)
  10. Camera tripod – to get those professional product shots and join the YouTube bandwagon.

Plus of course anything handmade and personal – because I not only love to create handmade for other people, but I adore receiving unique arty gifts too!!!


What are you wishing for this year?

Next up on the blog will be Sunray News on Sunday where I’m going to be telling you about my first ever Etsy sale! Then episode four of Playtime will be up on Tuesday. Have a lovely weekend, I will be busy preparing for my first market which is just two weeks away!!!


Peace and love,

Rachel x