Six month clothes challenge

HI!
So…
As the title of this post suggests I decided to enforce a spending no buying clothes/shoes ban. I can say that I successfully achieved my challenge.

WHY?

  1. Ok, we bought and moved into our new flat. It is more or less the same size as our old flat but a different layout (ie a kitchen that we can actually cook and be more than 2 people in and bathrooms that are more than just a cupboard) meaning that we have to be super careful with how we fill this space. It was also in the move whilst doing the mammoth tidy and sort out of the century/millennium that I began to realise I HAD TOO MUCH SHIT! I mean clothes have always been such a joy to me (more on that later). SO something had to give. A flea market was done and I am selling more stuff over on my depop account.
  2.   I have a buying/spending problem. I buy stuff on a whim without giving it much thought. Its only after I get the items (I am an online shopper/binger) delivered and decide after a lot of trying to ignore it when I check my bank balance and I want to cry. I like food and eating and also having a house over my head and electricity and all those fun things. A new pair of shoes won’t pay those, although they might look nice.
  3.  I am VERY compulsive. I can do a lot of damage on one of my shopping binges. I click and buy. I often get tempted by bloggers and instagram which brings me onto my next point.
  4.  I felt disgusting constantly buying into the instagram / bloggers world. ALways having to have something new and on trend and be the first to get stuff. There is a massive pressure on us all to constantly be current and have the new it bag or trend.
  5.  I wanted to start thinking about the clothes I actually wanted and my personal style and who I am as a person. I wanted to think about how clothes make me feel and how we can play dress up and be a character one day and another one the next. How clothes can change your mood and make you feel better (or worse) and how it is an expression of who you are. Its magical and I LOVE playing dress up!
  6.  Buying stuff out of boredom. When I worked in an office I was constantly getting deliveries of STUFF. Just lots of stuff. I was bored and unhappy and new clothes/shoes made me have that buzz for all of 5 minutes until I had to get the next best new thing.

So what have I learnt?

Well a lot actually. I feel like I know what I like more. I feel less dictated to in terms of trends and stuff like that (you will NEVER find me in a fluffy pair of sliders for example). I am growing older (32 eek!) and I feel like I know what clothes make me feel like. I know what things I want and what is missing. I know that I have a personal sentimental attachment to clothes which means I unwillingly hoard them. I also am attached to them because of the amount I have spent makes me feel guilty to just get rid of them (I know silly right?).
As I said above I LOVE playing dress up. But I also love sensible well made pieces. I like to know that my items are more or less sustainable or that they are going to last me for years to come. I think this has taught me to make wiser purchases and not to be so bloody impulsive.

At the start of August I purchased a few things. I broke my spending ban. Whilst originally I felt shit for spending money when I said I was going to last the year I think its ok. I made wise, thoughtful purchases and I didn’t really re purchase things in different versions. I think the new additions work well. However what I have decided is that this is only going to be a bi annual thing. Here in Barcelona we basically have two seasons; a hot summer and a mildish winter. There for there are a lot of clothes that I can use for the transition period. I am happy to wait and see what I really need. To weed out what I don’t wear or need. Or what simply doesn’t fit anymore. I am also eager to see where I have gaps. I would like to do an almost capsule wardrobe, but keeping it fairly loose and for me to keep treasured items (like my vintage dresses and handbags!). I also will operate a strict in and out policy. No more binging on random stuff. If I buy anything I have to LOVE it.

My aims are to:

    1. 1. Streamline my wardrobe and the amount of items in it.
    1. 2. Buy only quality stuff that is timeless and will last me for years to come.
    1. 3. Try and make as much as possible myself (I LOVE to sew and also I like unique to me items).
    1. 4. Have a bi-annual clear out of clothes that are unworn or just unsuitable.
    1. 5. Learn how to let go of sentimental items.
    1. 6. Only buy clothes bi-annually and giving myself a budget.
    1. 7. Try to buy as sustainable or from small indie brands as much as possible.
    1. 8. Stop buying from HUGE chains (btw I stopped buying from Zara, h&m, Pull & bear completely!).
    1. 9. Buy stuff that is ME and not trend led. Just because so and so blogger has it doesn’t mean I need it.
    10. Make sure I wear most of my wardrobe and have fun with the stuff I already have and not just wear the same thing everyday.

SO thats it. Thats my clothes buying/not buying manifesto. I am quite proud of myself for lasting 6 months and have learnt alot. Next step….beauty (scream face emoji!).

clothes, clothes illustration, fashion design, fashion illustration

A little catch up…

Its been a while isn’t it. If I could count the amount of times I have opened this little white box and typed those very same words accompanied by an apology and promises to write more. Promises to update and be more present. But life. It has a funny habit of getting in the way and makes it tricky to be super scheduled and here all the time. I want this place to be an enjoyment, somewhere where I record my best bits (and some bad bits too!). I mainly want it to be a place where I share my special bits and the stuff I wish to remember. A corner that is my own and can be what it wants to be. I have found out that I don’t deal too well with the added pressure and stress of having to follow the conventional rules of blogging/vlogging and posting on social media. And I like it that way. It feels more natural and me. So if I disappear I am just getting over health stuff and also just taking my sweet little time to do things MY WAY!

    What have I been up to?

Well I have been busy making a video every week (More or less). Just documenting my days and life with an autoimmune disease, whilst trying to illustrate and stay creative.
Here are some of my very favourite videos:

    What else then?

Well I have been living SLOW. I have recently decided to buy a lot less shit, and to be pescartarian. I will probably be writing about these two changes soon.
I have also been enjoying living in the beautiful hills of Barcelona and just taking each day as it comes. Exploring out and about and just being content with being here.

I have also been hammering away at getting my PORTFOLIO ONLINE! I will do another post in more detail but until then here is a SNEAK PEAK

I have also been out on many adventures with my doggy. Just enjoying being in nature and being quiet with nothing else to do but just to be in the moment.


I have also had treatment (that has knocked me for six!)


Been to a screen printing course (more coming soon!)


Cuddled with my boy

I have been doing bits and pieces of sketches. Some things I can’t show but here are a few bits.



I have had some lovely visits and some great exploring some of my favourite places.














So there you go, these are bits and pieces of my life (according to my phone!). Its been up and down and quiet and busy at the same time. I CAN’T BELIEVE ITS AUGUST!

Favourite places #4 Aixo


That wonderful serendipitous moment that you are out strolling, not entirely knowing where you are going, when you stumble across a beautiful little shop. Magical. I had just been out to get my hair cut and fancied a little exploration. I always find the best places when I unintentionally go out and look for them. And that’s exactly how I found this place.
I took these photos because I wanted to remember this little gem that you can find in Gracia. Aixo is a beautifully created little shop on Carrer de la Virtut, 14. It houses vintage furniture, an amazing photo exhibition and hand crafted gems. It also sells lovely objects from Hay. Which is fairly hard to find. I purchased my much longed for golden scissors and I love them very much thank you.
I love that the shop is small and quite typical of Gracia. It has little corners with beautiful pieces inside, I feel like every time you step in this shop you are likely to discover a new favourite. Belen, the owner, was super lovely and it was so nice chatting with her about photography and her furniture and shop.

I love the mix of old and new. Vintage against Scandinavian cleanliness. Those wooden handled ceramic mugs (heart eye emoji).

I would highly recommend a visit to this lovely little shop. Oh Gracia you have once again made me love you and have once again come up trumps with a little beaut of a place.

Adventuring in Delta

I love getting in the car and driving away from the city and going on an adventure. We didn’t have to travel very far, for we went to plane watch at Delta de llobregat which is just a few miles out of Barcelona (actually its where Barcelona El Prat airport is). Such a weird combination of industrial aeronautical, yet whilst being amongst a nature reserve. The landscape is absolutely beautiful. On the coast, you walk through paths of reeds, poppies and rivers. Beautiful abandoned houses and paths. Sea views and just the weird feeling of watching planes glide over. I love nothing more than just getting out and going on a nice long walk with my camera and enjoying seeing wildlife and nature. It felt like a perfect spring day.

Making things out of nothing.

On a cold blustery day in the Welsh/English countryside we found ourselves in this wonderful, worn little workshop. Tucked away at the bottom of a garden. Where a ginger cat ruled the roost and roamed in an out. A large old range stove constantly fired up and ready to go. Everything coated in a fine orange dust. Piles and piles of clay. Tools scattered. Projects ready to be created.

There is something about manual arts and crafts which always makes me feel better and more real. Making something beautiful out of quite literally nothing makes me feel myself and takes me back to the reason of being really. As cass as that sounds. I love from a lump of almost earth you can create beautiful objects that have use. I love that out of a sheep’s’ wooly jacket you can create clothes, out of a simple piece of cloth you can create a beautiful garment and out of a piece of led or ink on paper you can create a master piece. When nothing becomes something is quite magical. Thats the reason I make to create something out of nothing, to remind my self that thoughts become things.

Learning how to throw pottery is quite a task, it looks so much easier than it actually is. Its something I really loved doing, so much technique to learn. Its a craft I want to explore more and I am itching to find some studios here in Barcelona. I loved using my hands and getting stuck in, quite literally, I loved the feeling of making something useful and functional but beautiful at the same time.

In this studio, on a cold winters day, we learnt how to make little bowls with the help and guidance (and a hell of a lot of patience) of a skilled craftsman. Just being in this scene, in this studio, made me feel alive again. For its places like these that I do love the very most!

My favourite places #3

DSCF5299
DSCF5298
DSCF5288
DSCF5287
DSCF5285
DSCF5284
DSCF5283
DSCF5282
DSCF5281
DSCF5280
DSCF5279
DSCF5301
DSCF5290
DSCF5296
DSCF5295
DSCF5294
DSCF5292
DSCF5291
IMG_3706
IMG_3707
IMG_3709
IMG_3710
IMG_3711
IMG_3712
IMG_3713
IMG_3714
IMG_3715
IMG_3716

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

A country walk

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.
DSCF3939
DSCF3942
DSCF3943
DSCF3945
DSCF3946
DSCF3948
DSCF3949
DSCF3951
DSCF3952
DSCF3953
DSCF3954
DSCF3955
DSCF3956
DSCF3957
DSCF3958

DSCF3960
DSCF3961
DSCF3962
DSCF3963
DSCF3964
DSCF3965
DSCF3967
DSCF3968
DSCF3969
DSCF3971
DSCF3999