Notes from this week 11

This week has passed by in a blur, another week of staying at home and not feeling great at all (same old really- ground hog day). I have felt so frustrated and lonely and isolated. All normal feelings I guess when trying to cope.However I have tried to do small little things that make me happy by drawing, cooking and reading. The week started grey and rainy and I love it so much, lately the weather has been so good, Spring bringing showers, storms and a cool breeze to sunny days. I have started a sourdough starter, made spinach pasta from scratch and doggy biscuits. Cooking is my time, I like the manual task of it. I can think and use my hands and listen to a podcast and its so meditative. It was also my dearest pup Came’s birthday. I can’t believe my little chap is 8 (sad heartbreaking feeling at he same time magical for having these years with my babe)! We celebrated with homemade pup biscuits and he had a long walk to the beach with his daddy. I can’t wait to get back out on my long walks. I have listened to a few podcasts lately with inspiring women who all said that walking was their thing and I agree. Its the best just being free and outside and watching, listening and thinking.

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This week has also seen me start Aprils project of lost girls. I am a little behind because I just can’t seem to manage much at the minute. But I am enjoying exploring some ideas and concepts. So many more to come. Who is your favourite lost girl in history?

The idea behind the lost girl series is to try and show strength in vulnerability and a another side to being a girl and what is beauty and things. Lost, ethereal, broken and sad girls intrigue me. Girls with a story and something to say. An alternative to sickly pink princesses. Grotesque girls with scars and stories. Ghosts and past things that we carry with us.

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Notes from this week 10

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.

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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.botanicplantl came factory flowerbotanic handpill

 

That has been my week. Next week: hopefully venturing out, a swim, doctors doctors and doctors and catching up on some over due things.

My week in photos 9

Nine whole weeks of recording and capturing my weeks. These are the sort of moments that are normally swallowed, the non happening nothing days that get forgotten. I am glad to record these small little occurrences though, the mundanity that normally gets forgotten under the big important stuff. I feel this week has been one big recovery week. Starting with being kinder to myself and taking life a lot slower. I am slowly finding my, very wobbly, feet again and feel a little bit stronger. It has taken it out of me though, and I feel like the air has been knocked from my sails and I am a bit winded by it all. I want to run and try and pick up everything and juggle too many plates until I ultimately crash again and realise I can’t. So its baby steps, little by little and slowly trying to put things right. Its being positive and reminding myself I am still healing and not out of the woods yet. This week has been one of relearning and limit finding and putting them into practice. It has been hibernation and resetting. I have been so awfully drained and tired and I need to take my time.

Good things:
Bubble baths and reading
Catching up on drawings
Sketchbooks and inky fingers
Beautiful, bright and cheerful tulips on my kitchen table
Pattern making
My messy desk
Dark chocolate with caramel bits (its so good!)
Sunday Paella

Snap shots of the week that has been tiny little steps.

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Week in photos 6

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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.

My favourite places: Papersmiths

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Lets go on an adventure together, back to the cobbled streets and beautiful buildings in Bristols Clifton Village. I would like very much to spend the rest of my days here. Its so lovely and especially on a fresh, sunny cold day its the very nicest place to be. Popping into the small little independent shops, walking around the squares and tall town houses and spying beautiful doors. Lots of lovely cafes serving very good flat whites. Just off one of the main roads, tucked away on a corner near a lovely veg shop and other sweet shops leading up to it you can find a stationary addicts ultimate dream. Papersmiths. They have the best most extensive collection of stationary that I have ever ever seen. Perfect HAY scissors, notebooks, lovely cushions, funny sweet cards, posters and prints, the best magazines, pens and pencils (<3) lovely sweet cards and much much more. Everything is displayed so perfectly, all lined up and I do love how the pricing is displayed. On a day like the day I visited everything was bathed in a beautiful winter sunlight. Everything is white and wood, the floors are just so beautiful. Its worth a trip for the interiors alone (succulent wall!). Staff are super friendly and I love how you can just browse without being bothered. I would love to see my work in there someday, one can dream!

WIWT illustrated- v2 Paper doll

Happy Sunday to you all (as cheery as it can be all things considering). I thought that I would do an updated version of my what-I-Wore-Today. It serves more as a diary though like my last one

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So this month has passed in such a blur, like groundhog day. This sick lark is getting so very wall-climbingly-cabin-feverish boring. Trying to take an hour a day to record little ideas and thoughts either in my sketchbooks or through drawings like these. Its also about appreciating the little things like cups of tea, and enjoying those quiet moments. Its also about making healthy nutritious soups (broccoli being my fave- more to come!). Keeping dreaming too, mainly about nice little houses and wood fires and the like. We have had cosy nights in watching Sherlock and other series. Its a quiet life at the moment and all about all the small minute things.

WIP- Forest girl

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So I must start off by saying that I am in no certain terms a painter. Not at all. I like painting, but I am far too experimental and like to paint over and over things until I get what I sort of want. Thus creating a weird sort of mess in the process. However, I thought that I would give painting a go.

My idea with this piece was to create some sort of alternative weirdo lost girl princess. I decided on the pink hair for this reason, however as the piece went on and on I just didn’t feel it. It just wasn’t right. She didn’t feel like how I wanted to in my head, her skin was rosy and flushed but far too pastel and sweet for my liking. I wanted a tough girl that runs in the forest in between the brambles, her lips a blueish colour, her eyes like birds and her cheeks permanently ruddy from the cold. I will paint another bubble gum lost girl but she will be different. She will be sassier and not so earthy. I want to paint strong girls that most certainly do not need rescuing because they are quite fine on their own thank you very much. Alternative figures to what we are presented right now.
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I don’t see many other illustrators/artists share their WIP. I feel like I am baring all by doing this, you can see my mistakes and the piece in its raw sense. It was very hard with this piece to know where to stop, and I think that shows. You can see the thick layers of cracked paint. Funny how that adds to her worn forestry look though. I decided that I wanted her to have normal brown hair, albeit with twigs and brambles entwined in it. This piece was a great excercise into letting go and knowing when and where to stop and not allowing myself to get caught up in too much perfection. I like this and I am sort of happy with how she has turned out, I wish she wasn’t so WORKED but anyway. I think the process and sharing the process is so important and something that should be more celebrated. Even if the end result isn’t a super shiny well styled pinterest piece in the end. I think it’s what makes work more interesting and I for one love seeing process and WIP.

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You can find the “Lost girls” series in my shop here, either in print form or originals. Each come with their own little story, like this one, of why they are special and inspiring.