November Happy Highlights ~ Sunray Sister Monthly Favourites


It’s that time again, the end of one month, and the start of another! At this time I like to share all the little things and moments that brought me joy in the past few weeks, and I call this list my Happy Highlights. (I’ve been using a ‘5 year diary’ to record how each day has been for the past few months now, and this helps me remember all these things that go into my list.)

I would love to read your list of happy things from November. Share it in the comments, or over on Facebook or Instagram.

My Happy Highlights for November…

  1. I started my 365 day art challenge! I’m now at day 33 and going strong. Plus I am really enjoying it, and discovering little things about my style and process.
  2. Went out to a local fireworks display, which was very DIY! It was exciting though!
  3. The following day me and Fraz had lunch at our favourite café in town, called Penguin, and walked around Rudyard lake. It was lovely!
  4. Had a good long chat with my parents; must do this more often!
  5. Went to London for a weekend. Fraz needed to go for work, which was so amazing, because he is doing so well in his new job. We also got to spend time with my sister and her boyfriend, in their new flat and neighbourhood, for a lovely catch-up. Additionally I had some time to myself; I treated myself to new art supplies and a visit to the V&A, (plus I successfully navigated the underground!)
  6. I got some of my handmade notebooks and Christmas cards stocked in a local shop, which is a big step for me!
  7. Had fun using gouache paint. I rediscovered the magic of colour mixing, and the freedom of using a brush and paint to flow around the page.
  8. Fraz’s sister had her second baby, called Alison Artesia. We haven’t met her yet, but she looks so cute and tiny in photos!
  9. One Saturday morning we had freshly baked cinnamon rolls (thanks to Jus-Roll!), and homemade pineapple, banana, almond & ginger smoothies. Yum, yum, YUM!
  10. I filmed two new YouTube videos! The first was published in November, and is all about my Etsy shop. I’ve also just released the second one at the start of December, which is a fun chatty video sharing my Autumn favourites. It feels so good to be back in the YouTube game! I have so many ideas and footage ready for lots more videos in December and the new year.
  11. We woke up to snow in Leek! I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen snow in November; it was so magical.
  12. I received a letter from my new pen-pal, Mandy, who contacted me after watching my pen-pal video. Her letter was so sweet; I’ve just finished my reply today, ready to send out this week.
  13. ‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ was released, and I am obsessed! It is SO. DAMN. CUTE.!!! GAAAAAAH!

…and now – to celebrate the full moon – I’m off to have a special pamper night, including a bath and face mask! See you soon sisters.


Peace and love,

Rachel x


Shop News and December 365 Theme ~ Dear Diary #12

Dear diary,

Goodness, have I been busy in the past few weeks!

First up, I got some of my handmade products stocked in a local shop!!! The adorable shop and café called ‘Tea Cake’ is also new to town. But they are already jam-packed with gorgeous products from local artists and crafters. I feel so proud and grateful to be included in such a wonderful shop, in a magical Victorian side street called Getliffes Yard in Leek.

Then, I re-launched my much neglected Etsy shop, and kicked things off with a seasonal sale, which continues until 20th of December. I have Christmas cards and handmade textile gifts for sale at the moment.


To promote this sale, I also made a new YouTube video, after a couple of months without uploading. It felt so good to be making a video again, and I already have a few more videos lined up for the following weeks, and hope to stick to a weekly upload schedule.

Next up, I am doing a Christmas fair again this year! My first ever market was a Christmas fair last year in Bristol. This will be my second market, and I will be taking a slightly different approach by doing live portrait drawing/painting, whilst also promoting my portrait commission service (which will be launched officially in the new year), selling Christmas cards, and possibly some textile gifts.


Speaking of portraits, I have been spending every day of November drawing faces for the first month of my 365 day art challenge. It has been brilliant! I am making progress, discovering how to get work done every day, and realising what tools and mediums I prefer to use. Below are my four favourites from the month so far, with just a few days left.

Now I have a new theme for December: ‘what I ate today’. I was originally going to write out separate food related prompts for each day, but I think the one negative point from November was feeling too restrained by the words I chose. This way, having an open theme for the month, all I have to do is draw/paint some or all of what I eat each day. Sounds fun!


(I am working on improving the quality of my scanned images! Sorry for the slight fuzziness here).

That’s all for today!


Peace & love,

Rachel x

Etsy and YouTube Relaunch! ~ special Sunray Sister update!


I have some exciting news!!! My Etsy shop is back in business, and I’m kicking things off with a crazy festive sale. From now until the 20th of December 2017, you can enjoy 50% off my entire shop! You will find unique Christmas cards based on my original artwork, and handmade, embroidered textile gifts.

Check it out now, and support independent small businesses this holiday season!

But wait, the fun doesn’t stop yet; there’s more…!


Not only have I relaunched my Etsy shop, I have also got a brand new video on my YouTube channel, showing all of the products in my shop, so that you can learn more about them and get a closer look. Watch the video below, or over on my channel.

My enthusiasm for producing videos has been revived, and I will be returning to my weekly uploading schedule from now on.

Of course, I will continue to share my 365 day art challenge here, and over on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. I am enjoying the project so far! Read more about what’s to come in this Sunday’s Dear Diary blog post, along with even more exciting news!

Have a wonderful weekend sisters 🙂


Peace & love,

Rachel x


June Happy Highlights and Mid-Year Goals Review! // Sunray Sister


Welcome to the Sunray Sister blog! At the end of each month, I like to look back at the little things that made me smile, and the bigger things which I’m pretty proud of. Then I put them into a list which I call my ‘Happy Highlights’. (I’ve also included a bonus mid-year goals review today, so there is slightly more to read than usual if you’re feeling brave!)

This month I…

  1. Completed the #ColourMyEveryDay Instagram challenge by Adventures and Tea Parties… minus a few days. But it has helped me get back into the swing of social media, and take my Instagram game more seriously!
  2. Created a pen pals video – and it now has the most views out of all my videos so far, at 268!
  3. Recorded a music cover video as a special surprise for my dad.
  4. Went home for father’s day, and soaked up lots of sunshine.
  5. Experienced a super hot week, followed by some nice cool weather.
  6. Had a successful interview and got a new job, at the same place where my boyfriend works!
  7. Started a daily yoga practice using Yoga with Adriene‘s ’30 day yoga camp’ video series – and I feel great!
  8. Went on some mini adventures in Bristol – featuring Leigh Woods, Ashton Court and Blaise Castle.
  9. Enjoyed the most incredible vegan chocolate sorbet at Swoon!!! And then my work colleague Allison baked an awesome vegan chocolate cake! Yum!
  10. Felt super creative – experimenting with mixed-media and collage, as well as finishing my next YouTube video and getting endless ideas for other videos to create next!

What were your best achievements and happiest moments from June? Share your stories in the comments below, or join the party over on Instagram!

As a special bonus, I’ve decided to incorporate a 2017 business goals reflection into this month’s happy highlights post, seeing as we are now 6 months into the year!

First of all, here is my original list of goals, as explained in my 2017 business goals post:

  • Focus brand on spreading positivity through creativity
  • Write business plan
  • Stick to products which are sewn/made of fabric
  • Use reduced and sustainable packaging
  • Create YouTube videos
  • Have 60+ items in Etsy shop at one time
  • Have 50+ Etsy sales
  • Get public liability insurance
  • Have a stall at 20+ craft fairs
  • Get products in at least one local shop
  • Attend 5+ Etsy seller monthly meet-ups
  • Increase social media following to 300+ on each platform
  • Use a social media strategy
  • Write blog posts at least one week in advance
  • Gain 20+ WordPress followers

Now I ask: what can I eliminate or change to feel better about my goals? What still applies? What new goals can I add? Using a mid-year review worksheet by Lavendaire, I have gone back over my goals below, and then created a totally new set of goals for the next 6 months.

  • Focus brand on spreading positivity through creativity Before I was set on helping other people first, and myself second. Now I see that if I focus on myself first, I will be happier and be able to set an example. Show don’t tell. So I changed ‘Positivity via creativity’, into ‘Adventures in art and nature’.
  • Write business plan  I still need to clarify my purpose, so I’m not ready to write my business plan after all!
  • Stick to products which are sewn/made of fabric This definitely does not apply anymore, since I’ve been rediscovering my love of collage, paint and paper, and the freedom this provides.
  • Use reduced and sustainable packaging Something still close to my heart, but right now it isn’t relevant, since I’m not selling anything.
  • Create YouTube videos Yes! This is going well so far, and I intend to keep it up!
  • Have 60+ items in Etsy shop at one time Since I’ve gone back to square one, I don’t really have anything to sell right now, except for my sewn products which don’t really reflect the new direction I’m taking! Maybe this will change by the end of the year, but I don’t want it to be a goal.
  • Have 50+ Etsy sales 
  • Get public liability insurance
  • Have a stall at 20+ craft fairs
  • Get products in at least one local shop Even though I don’t have anything new to sell yet, I do still have quite a few of my fabric creations. Right now they’re in my Etsy shop, but this creates a constant expense, so selling them in a local shop could be more beneficial. 
  • Attend 5+ Etsy seller monthly meet-ups I went to one in December, but haven’t been since. This is still relevant, but I don’t want it to be a goal; it just needs to be a natural thing that I feel comfortable doing when I’m ready.
  • Increase social media following to 300+ on each platform I am making gradual progress here, and think this number is still achievable by the end of the year, but only for Instagram.
  • Use a social media strategy This is an area I have been working on recently, especially for Instagram, so I plan to keep this up. I have other social media sites, but I’m not focusing on them right now.
  • Write blog posts at least one week in advance I still can’t quite master this, but it will definitely help to have posts written well in advance!
  • Gain 20+ WordPress followers I’m not sure how relevant this is, since most people only seem to follow on social media sites, and maybe not on blogs. So I will leave this off my revised list. 

With all the above in mind, I have written out a new set of goals below for the next 6 months. They are organised into four key areas, with a clear break down of focus points for each.


  • Create more art, whilst being mindful of impact on the environment – use recycled materials, avoid plastic packaging etc.
  • Combine love of collage, paint and drawing to find/define my style – see Alena Hennessey, Karen O’Brien and others.
  • Also explore nature/landscape art – see Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long, also Keri Smith.
  • Absorb inspiration everywhere!


  • Post every day – both on my grid (permanent) and in my ‘story’ (temporary).
  • Plan content for whole week in advance – done by Sunday of each week.
  • Focus on art content, with occasional nature related images.
  • Comment on similar posts by people I admire.
  • Reach 300 followers.


  • Post every Wednesday.
  • Create videos in advance – uploaded by Sunday of each week. Ultimate aim is to have four videos ready at the start of each month.
  • Focus on art & crafts content, with occasional adventure and lifestyle.
  • Comment on similar videos by people I admire.
  • Reach 3,000 total views across all videos – this is the number which will let me ‘monetize’ my channel once I get to 10,000 views!


  • Post every Wednesday and Sunday.
  • Write in advance – ready at least 2 days before post day.
  • Focus on ‘Dear Diary’, ‘Happy Highlights’ and YouTube posts.

As you can see, most of my rewritten business goals revolve around the online world. Doing art things in person often requires a large investment. Money is something I don’t have to spare right now, especially not for expenses such as public liability insurance, craft fair fees and ordering products like prints and postcards.

So for the next few months at least, my focus will be on creating original artwork, and sharing it via online content. Instagram, YouTube and WordPress are all free, and I have time to spare. Therefore I have a safe place to experiment with art and share my adventures in nature, without the risk of losing anything.

To summarise I have chosen my top 3 business priorities for the next 3 months, also inspired by Lavendaire’s video and worksheet. What would be on your list? Let me know in the comments!

  1. Create art to share on Instagram.
  2. Create art to share on YouTube.
  3. Share my journey and behind-the-scenes on WordPress.

Coming up I will (finally) have a new YouTube video on Wednesday; this week sharing the process behind a fun, Summer-themed collage. In the meantime remember to come and say hi on Instagram! I’m there every day!

See you soon and enjoy the sunshine sisters!


Peace and love,

Rachel x


Reflect & Refocus // Return from my digital detox!


Today I return from a two-week internet break and digital detox. It’s been lovely! So what did I get up to? And what’s coming next for Sunray Sister?

In my time off I went to a musical with my wonderful Fraz for a birthday present (from December!); I put a face mask on and painted my nails for a bit of self-love; I spent some time at the library and gathered ideas; I found a couple of pen pals who I will be writing to this week; me and Fraz went on an amazing long walk; we enjoyed some awesome vegan food; I went to my part-time job and thought a lot about Sunray Sister.

By the second week offline I was getting a bit restless, so ended up watching some YouTube videos; no one’s perfect! I actually found they were inspiring my own YouTube plans, which I will discuss in a blog post soon. I think it’s important to look around at who I admire and how they are being successful.

Overall I have concluded that the internet cannot be denied for an aspiring artist like myself; it is an essential tool. And viewing it as such I can learn to use it skilfully and in a controlled way, so that I don’t get overloaded. I must balance the creation and the business; and have fun too!

As for what’s in store for Sunray Sister, I will talk more about that this Friday. But right now it’s a lovely Sunday evening; the sun is shining, and there are whispers of Summer in the air. So I will leave you to lounge in this lazy haze before the new week begins!

Coming up this week:

  • Wednesday: escape the city with me in a new adventure video. Find my most recent video below!
  • Friday: a study of my inspirations and how I can learn from them.
  • Next Sunday: My May happy highlights; another month is almost over! Let’s make the next one even better than the last and enjoy each small moment!



Peace and love,

Rachel x


Time to Retreat // Digital Detox


As promised, today I will be explaining my upcoming digital detox. From this Sunday evening I will be going (almost) offline for two whole weeks!

I have given myself the following guidelines:

  • No browsing on social media
  • No posting or engaging with content on social media, including WordPress and YouTube
  • Social media accounts I usually use are:
  • Also try not to browse any other websites
  • Check only emails – this is how I get my work rota

Steps I will take to make sure I savour my time offline:

  • Delete all social apps on my phone
  • Logout of all social media on computer
  • Spend the time focusing on what Sunray Sister is, what I want it to be, what kind of work I want to be creating and sharing, what product I want to sell to people, what message I want to put across… etc.!
  • Report back on Sunday 21st May in a blog post.

Coming up… nothing for a while! I think this time off is really going to help me, and I already feel positive about coming back refreshed and refocused for the next chapter of Sunray Sister’s journey.

See you in a little while; I hope your days are filled with sunshine and glitter!


Peace and love,

Rachel x


Spring walk in the countryside // Sunray Sister Ventures Out

Happy Wednesday sisters! How is your week going so far?

Apologies for the lack of video last Wednesday, I had some issues with uploading and then my schedule suddenly got a little hectic. This week I am much more organised and I’ve even started a bullet journal (the ‘normal’ diary which I showed in this post wasn’t working for me!)

Last weekend I took a much-needed mini-break to my parents’ idyllic home in the countryside, and gave thanks for my brilliant and lovely mummy! Of course I made the most of the sunshine and the beautiful green surroundings and filmed my outdoors adventures.

Today I have a solo walk to share and a sweet garden tour, then in a few weeks I will also share another adventure we went on up a local hill.

Find the video below, and continue reading to find out what’s coming up from Sunray Sister, and what I’ve shared recently in case you missed anything!


Coming up on my blog and YouTube…

  • This Friday I will finally share part one of my new series, ‘Love Lessons’. Lesson one will teach you about the wonderful world of tea.
  • Then on Sunday I will have a more chatty/informal post with an explanation of why I would rather celebrate Spring, not Easter. I will also be launching something special on my Etsy shop, which I have neglected for a while!
  • Next Wednesday I will have a new craft tutorial video on my YouTube channel. Find my first three tutorial videos in my Sunray Sister Shows You How playlist.

In case you missed my recent posts, catch up below…

  • On Sunday: I reviewed my business goals for 2017, which is something I will be doing at the end of each month from now on.
  • Last Friday: I celebrated the little things and big achievements in my monthly Happy Highlights post.
  • The Sunday before that was Mother’s day, so I shared a special mother-themed playlist!
  • In my previous YouTube video I shared the process of decluttering my wardrobe; there will be a few more decluttering videos coming soon!


Enjoy the rest of your week sisters!


Peace and love,

Rachel x


2017 Business Goals Review January – March // Sunray Sister

Welcome back sisters!

Following on from my Happy Highlights post – where I reflect each month on the small things that made me smile and the big things that I achieved – today I want to zoom in a little closer to focus on my Sunray Sister 2017 business goals, and think about where to go next.

From now on I will be doing these goals reviews every month (on the Sunday after Happy Highlights), in order to closely assess and re-evaluate my goals (business and personal) as the year progresses.

Here is my original list of goals, as explained in my 2017 business goals post:

  • Focus brand on spreading positivity through creativity
  • Write business plan
  • Stick to products which are sewn/made of fabric
  • Use reduced and sustainable packaging
  • Create YouTube videos
  • Have 60+ items in Etsy shop at one time
  • Have 50+ Etsy sales
  • Get public liability insurance
  • Have a stall at 20+ craft fairs
  • Get products in at least one local shop
  • Attend 5+ Etsy seller monthly meet-ups
  • Increase social media following to 300+ on each platform
  • Use a social media strategy
  • Write blog posts at least one week in advance
  • Gain 20+ WordPress followers

I have highlighted the ones which I have already made some progress with, and will discuss further below…

Write business plan

At the end of January I attended a Prince’s Trust Explore Enterprise course, which focused on starting a business, and gave us all the tools to go away and write a business plan. Since then I have had a 1-1 meeting with a mentor, which gave me a much-needed boost. I now have more clarity and enthusiasm to continue with my ideas, get serious in terms of creating a business, and get back to making products and art again!

Stick to products which are sewn/made of fabric

Even though I have not yet made many new products, I have been focusing on my sewing behind the scenes, and showed a few examples at my first ever exhibition as Sunray Sister a few weeks ago. At the same time, I have realised in the last week that I really want to create drawings and paintings to sell too! Don’t worry, I have a plan for the art to work alongside my dolls. All will be revealed soon.

Create YouTube videos

I have definitely achieved this one! On Valentine’s Day I launched my first video, and have been creating one video per week since then (expect last week!) Check out my channel and be sure to subscribe to support this new branch of my creative tree! Find my latest video below:

Write blog posts at least one week in advance

This goal hasn’t quite been met. But it is certainly at the front of my mind. Writing this blog feels so important, natural and fun to me. I have started planning my weeks more thoroughly overall, using the ‘bullet journal’ system, and just need to find a good time to focus on blog writing.

Gain 20+ WordPress followers

It may not seem like much, but I now have six followers here on WordPress, and this means so much to me. Clicking subscribe means you believe in someone, and want to support and see more of their content. So thank you, thank you, thank you a million times! If you are not subscribed, what are you waiting for? Simply find the little blue follow button in the menu, or click follow in the bottom right corner if you are already signed up to WordPress.

A few small steps. A gradual journey. It’s hard work, but it is so important to keep my eyes and mind open, keep reflecting, make changes if something isn’t working. And keep going.

I hope to see you again this Wednesday, when I will definitely have a new YouTube video! (It finally uploaded after a few failed attempts!) Have a brilliant start to the new week!


Peace and love,

Rachel x


Exhibition Reflection and Moving Forward // Sunray Sister

Good evening sisters! How are you? Have you had a beautiful weekend?

Today was the final day of my first exhibition! The work has been taken down, holes filled and marks painted over. And lots of hugs have been given and friends made!

As I wheeled my suitcase of creations home, I was treated to these beautiful skies and the St Mary Redcliffe bells were ringing out…


If you weren’t able to see the exhibition in person, please check out my video tour below, which shows the work of all eight artists involved in the show; all the links are in the video description (just press the little YouTube button in bottom right of video). And of course, big, big thanks to Spin of The Spiralling for bringing us all together.


It has been a lovely experience. I have met some wonderful, creative people. I also discovered that I can achieve what I set out to do. And I don’t have to give up and quit at the last-minute.

So that’s all in the past now. Where do I go from here?

  • I will re-open my Etsy shop in the next couple of weeks with some new and updated listings.
  • I will continue to upload YouTube videos every Wednesday.
  • I will also continue to publish posts here on Fridays, Sundays and Wednesdays. I have a HUGE plan of the content I want to share with you all, including specific posts planned out until May! So I’m feeling pretty organised.
  • And in the real world… well I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my personal values, and what I believe in, and I’ve started making a few changes which I will probably talk about here at some point.
  • I’ve also been thinking about how my personal values can help inform Sunray Sister: these include focusing on natural products and methods (such as fabric dyed with plants); creating little or no waste from my making process and the packaging I offer my products in; promoting less waste by making useful items like tote bags; simplifying our lives and slowing down; generally helping and informing people about how they can love themselves, all creatures and the planet even more than ever before! 
  • I would love to run workshops helping people in this way; sharing practical ideas for a more earth-friendly lifestyle, as well as getting outside in nature, being creative and having fun. I would love to get involved with forest schools too, and maybe something to do with art therapy.
  • I will finally be writing my business plan, and hopefully discussing my ideas with a mentor.
  • Even though I promised to stick to textile products in my 2017 business goals, I have realised this isn’t true to myself. I love to pick up whatever I feel drawn to, as long as I am being creative. I will be doing a full evaluation of my goals at the end of March, and plan to do the same at the end of every month; goals should evolve as you grow, not be rigid like a prison cell.

Altogether, I’m feeling positive, inspired and energised, but also calm, balanced and clearer than ever before! I am happy in the moment. I am not waiting for things to be perfect. I do not want things to be perfect. I am making small changes every day, and taking small steps. I am forgiving myself.

I feel that I have finally realised my whole aim in life: to help others achieve a simple, natural, creative life, (this TED talk actually helped me come to this conclusion, and might help you too!) Who cares if I’m sewing, drawing, singing, walking, collaging, writing, speaking… these are all vehicles for my message of joy!

I hope you are onboard and receiving me loud and clear!



What have you achieved recently? How will you learn from it as you move forward? I’d love to hear about your experiences; leave a comment below or find me on social media.

Coming up:

  • Wednesday: my fifth YouTube video! This week there will be a tutorial with a twist.
  • Friday: an introduction to another new post series, (did you read about my other new series on Friday? It’s called Love Lessons, and is going to be all about sharing my love of learning with you all!)
  • Sunday: ideas for celebrating Mother’s Day. Because mothers are worth celebrating!

See you soon sisters! Enjoy the start to a fresh new week, and remember to love yourself and look out for others.



Peace and love,

Rachel x


Starting the Next Chapter // Sunray Sister’s 14 Days of Love Re-cap

Welcome back sisters, did you miss me?! It’s felt weird not having to publish a post every day. I don’t think I will be doing it again any time soon! I am ready to focus on sharing some new content with you on the blog, building my YouTube channel AND creating some new, more natural, minimal and zero-waste-promoting products for my Etsy shop!

Before we move forward, below is a recap of every single post from my 14 day challenge, in case you missed any! Make sure you don’t miss another post by following my blog. It would mean a lot to me! (Simply click the menu/three lines in the top right corner, and hit the blue follow button.)

  1. Launched my first Instagram giveaway
  2. Celebration of my love story
  3. Love themed playlist
  4. Assessed where I am and where I’m going, along with some anxious thoughts
  5. Happy Birthday to my love
  6. The beauty of handmade cards
  7. Alternative gift giving; skip the flowers and chocolates
  8. Some problems with love being misused
  9. My favourite self-love and learning resources
  10. My recommended love themed films
  11. Step 1: love yourself
  12. Step 2: love others
  13. Step 3: love the planet
  14. My YouTube channel launch! (see below!!!)

Have you watched my first ever YouTube video yet? I had a lot of fun making it, and video number two is in progress already. I hope you enjoy my new creations!

So now that we have covered what’s happened, let’s look at where the Sunray Sister blog is heading next…

From now on, my blog schedule will be as follows:

  • Fridays and Sundays – a fun or serious post about a subject I feel strongly about, a new topic I’ve been learning about, new creations and designs I’m working on, an upcoming event, a personal story, or a list of cool stuff (like great music or books).
  • Last Friday of each month – ‘Happy Highlights‘, a short and sweet post showing gratitude for the things that made me smile during the last month.
  • Last Sunday of each month – a business/personal update and review of my goals. Plus a celebration of any milestones I reached.
  • Wednesdays – a YouTube video and brief written overview of the content. I shared a whole post about the type of videos I will be creating; you can expect craft tutorials, discussion on alternative living, sketchbook flip-throughs, adventures outside and more.

I will see you back here on Sunday for yet another special announcement, involving some new handmade creations and a few other artists!


Peace and love,

Rachel x