Step inside this wonderful decay and you will find treasure. We used to live right across the road and its a building that I always looked out on. Visiting it was always a treat and used to take me right back to the days of studying fine art at uni. The smell of turps and paint, the sound of buzzing minds and the silence that is creativity. I absolutely love the studios, each one so personal to the artist. I love peering into work in progress’s and things just waiting to happen. Its messy and old and looks almost abandoned. What was an old fabric factory on the what was once the main highway of Barcelona. This building bares its bones and houses magic. I love it a lot and I hope it always remains. One day I would love to have a place in a studio like this, in the meanwhile I can dream a little.
This is a little series I started on my blog to help me keep track of and share and celebrate some of my most treasured places. Places where I feel happy and that make me feel like me and places that I find super inspiring. Here are past places
I wrote in my last post that I have recently made a massive life change and have upped sticks and moved to the country. We are now pleasantly situated in the hills that surround Barcelona. It has been the change, the literal breath of fresh air, that we have needed.
We are spoilt with the choices of walks and hikes to explore and have been out quite a few times on dog walks that have taken us to the most beautiful vista’s of the city and the surrounding country side. I love nothing more than going out and just noticing the area around and nature as it grows and changes. I love going out with my camera and taking a million and one pictures of every tiny leaf and bit of beautiful light.I also love using these photos later as a reference for sketches and incorporating them into my work. I love drawing plants and botanical things. They will forever feature in my work because that is when I am most at peace and that is where I feel my happiest. So things are good and I am forever grateful to live here and often find that I am pinching myself just to see if it is all real.
It all went a bit quiet on my blog as I have been busy with “The Big Move”. That’s right, we upped sticks and moved to the country. We are still here in Barcelona but now live amongst green and tree’s in the hills that surround Barcelona. I have been enjoying going out and being amongst nature and getting fresh air and just being away from the daily stresses of the city. Being out in the country side has changed my priorities a lot, especially when it comes to what I want to wear out and about. I want to be comfortable but at the same time still feel like me. I think you can be stylish and still embrace the outdoor’s life. Both I and Came have enjoyed getting out and about and going on dog walks. I have put together some of my outdoor wear favourites as a future style inspiration reference.
I quite like the sporty style of outdoor wear and I am currently hunting for the perfect padded jacket. I am always armed with my camera and also a good backpack to keep all necessities such as water. I wear my Activite pop watch by Withings to keep track of my daily steps and sleep.
My next inspiration comes in a more lets-go-out-for-a-stylish-picnic walk. Roaming outdoors in meadows whilst wearing the most perfect wellies, stopping off for a brisk picnic and a spot of tea. Combining that with nature spotting and rosy cheeked healthiness.
Can You Pull Off the Countryside Look?
You can always tell a city dweller in the countryside as they often stick out like a sore thumb through their ill-advised fashion choices. Countryside clothes are a fashion in their own right and in order to help you fit in we look at some examples of classic countryside style.
When it comes to inspiration it is always best to start at the top and in this case that means the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. Last year Vanity Fair reported that the Duchess of Cambridge posed for her first ever fashion shoot with fashion magazine Vogue. The pictures were taken in the Norfolk countryside where the Duchess lives and they show how effective a simple country getup can be. According to the magazine, Middleton swapped glamour for a “Burberry trench coat and a £293 white jacquard shirt by the same fashion house.” While this may seem expensive, it’s worth knowing that country clothes exude quality and longevity. The clothes you wear need to be able to face the unpredictable British weather. So when choosing your country outfit think about whether it can withstand the rain and be a part of your wardrobe for many years to come.
The great thing about trying a new fashion style is being able to try new looks and outfits. For example, when in the city would it ever be ok to wear a cape? The answer is never. But in the country there are plenty of occasions when a cape is perfectly respectable. Lady Alice Manners told The Telegraph that it is best to “wear well tailored trousers when sporting a cape to avoid the shape drowning you out.” If you’re not so keen on a cape then a good quality coat can make any look work.
Of course it is not all-suitable clothing and if you are going to live in the countryside you need to be ready to dress up. Horse racing is one of the few events in life where wearing a fancy hat is almost a requirement. Next month the Cheltenham Festival will take place. It is considered one of Britain’s most prestigious and famous events alongside the notorious Grand National, which “is the biggest race in British jumps racing, according to Betfair. Both of these race meets require horse racing enthusiasts to dress smartly. In terms of the Cheltenham Festival, the second day of the festival is called Ladies Day and it is where the best of British countryside style meets high-end fashion. If you are going to fit in and be considered a proper country girl then a bold dress complete with an outrageous hat is essential. The Guardian did a photo article from last year’s event to give you a good idea of what to aim for.
Shoes are a women’s best friend (alongside diamonds of course) and dressing for the country allows you to wear shoes that would be completely out of place in the city. A good pair of boots is essential for walking through muddy fields. Even Wellington Boots are acceptable for everyone to wear all the time.
So there you have it. Hopefully you will be fully prepared for the country the next time you are heading out by following these tips.
What a week. It has been filled with highs and lows. The low’s been very very low indeed. I have had many a hospital visit (infiltrations, new medicine etc). ATM it seems like the second round of Rituximab has worked and I can finally (for the first time in over a year) reduce my cortisone dosage. Which is a small, good new step (YAY!).
This week has been the hottest so far and I can say that summer has officially started. Sleeping and feeling sluggish and heat and the sun for me in general are terrible. I try to hermit away in the day as much as possible because I just CAN’T. But it is nice to get outside and go on little strolls either to the beach or the park. Getting my legs out and freckles on my arms.
Thursday night was so nice, getting out for San Joan. San Joan is crazy, fireworks and fire and noise everywhere. We went down to our beloved Poblenou (our barrio) and watched the parade of the Corre Foc, with its amazing percussion band, go and ignite the bonfire. We then walked along the beach and watch the fireworks and chinese laterns before sitting in a park talking about our future and drinking a clara. Perfect.
Waking up in tears to the news on friday, manic family chats and feeling genuinely shocked and scared at the state of things here, there and everywhere. I feel sad and scared for my future as an EU Migrant/citizen. Now more than ever borders need to be opened. I can’t stand this “Great” Britain rule Britannia island mentality. Which to be honest I find embarrassing- its actually something I have noticed more and more when going back. I am also VERY angry that my postal vote did not arrive on time and my proxy vote was unable to vote for me. DESPITE sending everything well in time. I am shocked to the core at some of the things I have seen people I know think and believe (everyone has a right to their opinions and beliefs BUT when they are just down right offensive and racist etc it hurts my heart). I will write something more on this in the future as my head is fuzzy and still reeling from it all. Tuesday marks my 10 year anniversary so expect a post then.
Friday I escaped to my favourite place, sat on a rock and watched my busy, hot chaotic home from above and felt a sense of pride and belonging for one of the first times since arriving. It felt right to be where I was and looking at it all pan out from above I felt incredibly lucky and fortunate to experience it. I took a deep breath and felt instantly better. My favourite place is magical like that. It is healing and where I shall escape to more frequently.
This week started by going to “the top”, whilst Borja runs I sit and watch the view with this chap.
A few new updates to my shop, some new things added.
Daily life things like spaghetti and comfy patterns.
Sketchbooking some idea’s. More on this in another post 😉
Felt very lonely and a bit lost this week. My remedy for that is to get my self out of the flat for a walk and an adventure. I need to listen to the warning signs and listen to when things get too much and get out and distract myself.
A giant massive 8 kilo tortilla de patatas at my neighbours birthday party (convenient social events next door means I can see people and literally go straight to bed!).
This baby boys sleeping smile <3
Walking around Poblenou (love it here).
Not much to say about this week that isn’t a repeat of last week and the week before that and so on. The treatment has left me really knocked out with very swollen glands and a very swollen knee. I have barely left the house. I did venture out around my barrio of Poblenou though and snapped a few of my favourite bits.
Next week I have the second round of treatment so I am expecting much of the same then. Heres to naps, sleep, comfy beds, puppy hugs and good books.
I have changed this little section into Notes from this week. As it is more accurate to be honest. I can not get out every week and take pretty photos (sad face emoji) and I do love doing a weekly journal dear diary round up. So it will be a gaggle of things that have happened. Notes/videos/pictures/work etc/general gathering of thoughts and words and images. A little scrapbook of my life.
So this week. One long week of flat-prison-hermiting. Kind doctors, I dearly love my GP. Its so important to have the constant support and understanding of ones doctors when going through scary health stuff. I have been extra clumsy this week (i have knocked my self, fallen over and dropped one of my favourite mugs) and in such a fog. When I say a fog it is like having the flu and being feverish feeling like ones body is actual poison. My knee, jaw and left hand and wrist are ever so painful. There have been tears and wondering how I can get through it all. I have been addicted to snap chat, netflix and pinterest this week. I have also been enjoying cafe mocca’s and home made food (thanks Suegra!). Drawing has been tricky. This week has seen me round up a month of pattern making and I feel good that it is done, because phew thats a lot of patterns (pattern fatigue ha!) and also yay because I have learnt another new skill. I also keep reminding my self to look at the bigger picture as I tend to scurry along with tunnel vision and only look at small tiny details and trip up on them. I have come so far and I need to take a step back and breathe and remember all of that. Spring has sprung. Sunshine and rainy days and a nice cool breeze. Its been lovely watching the tree’s change and hear the bird tweeting.
So here are some patterns a few photos.
Spring and all things new have really inspired my patterns, as has being ill and medication and my puppy. I also like these dark factories.
That has been my week. Next week: hopefully venturing out, a swim, doctors doctors and doctors and catching up on some over due things.
Notes from this week (jotted down on my phone as they sprung into my head- I like this way of recording thoughts)
-So February you are over. You’ve been a tough month that has been swallowed up into a black hole. I can’t even recall much of your events as you have passed by in such a daze. Waiting for news, getting news and then feeling so switched off from it all. March you will hopefully bring new blooms, better news, and cheerful spring like feelings.
-This past week has been another one of those weeks. Doctors >flat > dog walk> supermarket and drawing. Nothing else. I wish there were more notes from this week. This week I am struggling, this week is hard. This week I have cried when I don’t want and when I do want to cry I have become blocked. Next week though, next week shall be better.
-Kindness of strangers Monday found me back at hospital (again- I know!) Whilst sat in the waiting room for what seemed like ever, watching people slowly have their turn and visit the doctor and filter out until I am one of the last. Get chatting to two old ladies, one in a wheel chair, and they were the kindest and sweetest with me. When people genuinely are lovely and compassionate. I keep thinking that this is what makes the world go round. Kindness, especially from strangers. It can make such a big difference.
-Thinking a lot about self care and acceptance. Accepting that I need to look after and love my self a little more and also stop being so nasty to my self and to rid myself of the guilt of being sick. Also be more accepting of my limitations and illness and give my self a bloody break. I also need to realise that I am a bloody super human for dealing with this stuff by my self (with the help of my boys and others of course) and I still come out of it fighting and wanting better. This all done in a foreign land far away from home.
-Thinking about goals and asking where next. What do I really want out of life? What is best for me? Where do I want to be and also how can I get there and do it. I feel stuck at the moment. Stuck because of health and other worries like being able to work again. And when I am able to work again- how and what. I want to be happier and owe it to myself to do something about it and use my skills and talents and not hide them away and trying to fit in somewhere that makes me unhappy and stressed and really affects my health. After being so sick this year I deserve something good for myself, also it makes you realise how short life is when faced with challenging health issues. I can’t wait around any longer.
-Asking for help and it being ok. It is not failing, it is not going to make the other person feel better than me. Its ok to realise that I have limits and its not my fault.
-Good things (YAY): soups, dog hugs, sweet messages, kindness of strangers, pink bubble baths, lavender oil, scissor shopping, face masks, changing tree’s, clean balcony, making plans, realising I am making progress even if it doesn’t feel like it.
-Brain breakthrough: its about what I am doing and not about the numbers (followers etc), its about slowly achieving bit by bit a body of work and a good community. Lost followers and all the numbers do not match up to this feeling. Slowly but surely building up my work. Stop and take stock, look at the big picture every once in a while. This is a reminder!
-Little things like going off my self and having alone time and getting a hair cut. Makes me feel more human. Making time for myself and wandering alone. Time to think and also time to treat myself.
-Mothers day. I wish I had a choice to turn it all off for a while. It seems like everyone is a mother or becoming one lately and it hurts my little heart that I might not ever be able to or it can’t just happen in one lovely spontaneous surprise. This is a difficult pill to swallow. Not that I hold it against others. My heart is just hurting about all the could be’s, would be’s and should be’s. Then I realise that hopefully one day my time will come. Please stop asking though, as it hurts my heart to be reminded that I am not able to.