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!

The lost girls

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DSCF8170 DSCF8171DSCF8171 DSCF8172DSCF8169Ama de casa. House bound and house proud, tied to her home.

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la Marinera Grumpy nautical and lost at see, unable to see the horizon.

DSCF8189 DSCF8197DSCF8193Bubble gum pink, sugar and spice and not all things nice. This lost girl is forever trapped in a little locket looking pretty (grumpy).

DSCF8202 DSCF8203 DSCF8204DSCF8201The redhead. Firey and prone to having a bad temper, especially when made to sit in a traditional portrait frame. She is sulky but strong.

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DSCF8219 DSCF8220Cheerful and sunny. She is not of the sunny disposition and quite likes her own company and staying indoors thank you very much.

DSCF8143 DSCF8145 DSCF8146 DSCF8148DSCF8146Watery and light, always watching and feeling alone. Sad and lonely but always there.

DSCF8155 DSCF8158 DSCF8159 DSCF8162 DSCF8161This girl is happy living in the forest and being wild and free. Rosy cheeks and botanical hair. Wild and free.

DSCF8213DSCF8215DSCF8214 DSCF8215Lost in the wilderness, brambles and leaves forever camouflaged, nature grows in her bones.

DSCF8233 DSCF8234 DSCF8235 DSCF8237 glittergirl Golden girl. When she was good she was very very good. Lost in her own bubble of brilliance. Lethargic and bored this lost girl is captured day dreaming about adventures and better times. She is surrounded by a gold glitter glow but sometimes feels a bit dull in comparison.

DSCF8122DSCF8121 DSCF8122 DSCF8124 DSCF8125This girl is under lots of mean clouds that tell her naughty things, sometimes she ignores them and then sometimes it rains (and really pours!)

Lost girls is a series I created to explore an alternative image of what it is to be a girl. A project of portraits that explore femininity in an alternative way. They also celebrate fragility, differences and a certain darkness that is not always explored in fairy tales. I wanted the illustrations to be an extension of myself and the stories I have within. I also wanted them to be quite imperfect. The series also explores the depression and anxiety that we often suffer due to not being quite perfect enough. They have been hand painted and hand cut out of thick grey card. They are “pocket” sized. A pocket sized alternative princess.

They have been painted using water colour, pencil and gouache on thick grey card and have all been hand cut.

They have been listed on my etsy shop but are currently on a special summer flash sale over on my instagram. If you would like to purchase one here then they are around 15€ (around £11).

It has been so therapeutic doing these little projects and bits of art work, as a way of reclaiming who I am a little bit. As I have been unable to work it would also be quite lovely to have a little help, both financially and for my self esteem which is why I have wanted to give a go at trying to sell my stuff.

Life lately…

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Hello! Its been a while since I have sat with my laptop and opened up this little white box to write an update. The week in photos came to a stop for a while after the last round of treatment as I have been feeling totally whacked out from it, both physically and emotionally. I just haven’t felt like sharing a whole lot. I took a big break from my daily project and everything really and I still feel like I am gathering up the pieces a little bit. However I have missed these updates and diary like entries. I love looking back on them and seeing what I have been up to and reading where I was. I also want this space to be more about my work and what inspires me. My little corner of the internet and my home. I want to make sure that I am updating this place for the right reasons, because I want to and feel like and not because I have a schedule to keep and feel like I ought to. So yep. Weekly updates will most likely continue but they won’t be forced and I will update when and where I wish. Non of that scheduled best time of day blogging for views shite. I love my little blog and want to nuture it and want it to feel natural and like me. I know the blogging world feels dead at some points but I want to do it because I love recording, writing, remembering and creating content. In fact thats one thing I have realised about my self. I LOVE CONTENT CREATING. I want this to feel real and not some weird false instagram version of myself. I think we are all getting a bit bored of the perfectly created sponsored posts right? I get it, blogging and content takes an absolute AGE to do and put together and why should their not be some monetary reward for that? But its making the right, conscious intelligent choices and also not being scared to be different and stand out and have a voice. Its alright if its not all polished, in fact the blogs I love the most are those that show interesting, different things and not in a weird stylized, shiny box. GAH! I needed to get that off my chest. I feel like I can take a step forward now and get back to doing what I love without feeling all the pressure.

So where have I been at? In a black lonely hole to be honest. I haven’t been feeling all too great at all. I have been trying to make the most of my “up” moments by getting out on walks and sitting in my favourite cafe and trying to buck myself up a bit. Its been hard to do and I still feel like I am there. Is it ok to admit that I am not ok? I am not. Just for the record. Not working, not being able to go out, feeling guilty when I do go out, not seeing friends, not having family, being stuck creatively and just feeling in a lot of pain has taken its toll. Funnily enough the moment I start to embark on a project about my illness is when I become stuck and unable to continue and hating everything I do. I think maybe the project is still a bit too raw and I don’t have enough perspective on it to feel great. Alas push through I shall do.

So here are some bits and pieces (that might be the new name of this here feature) of my life lately. Oh and a video from last summer that I hatched together that never saw the light of day.

Back for more next week. I am thinking of doing another weekly what I am working on round up that is separate to this. However not made my mind up yet? What do you think? An illustrators week in photos including bits and pieces or bits and pieces and a separate post with just my work? How have you all been? I hope not in the same black hole as me! <3

 

My week in photos- 5

What a week! This little project/series/diary has really made me realise that even if the majority of the time is a bit (a lot) shit the best bits and things are about stopping and appreciating the small little tiny details and capturing them, holding onto ones breath just to breathe it in and saviour it all. Time goes so so fast and in a blur and its easy to get stuck in it all and just trudge along. So this week, lets start with the not so good:

  • Monday starts with stressed trips to the hospital (typical Sarie style I wrote down the wrong time). Also scary MRI results (bleed in my spinal cord and having lesions on it). Also bad bad back pain and a buggered knee that just won’t give up. Finding out that the strong medication is not doing the trick and walking into my consultants office to find 6 dr’s al wanting to study you because you are such a weird rarity. Scary stuff.
  • Scary test results resulting in yet more tests and uncertainty. I now have to visit a neurologist as have CNS involvement to add to my list of ever-growing symptoms. More MRI and more medication. More doctors and more diagnosis’ and more puzzle solving. I have had enough of this.
  • Bed has been a place I have been for 80% of this week (these pictures and weekly posts are quite deceiving!). My body has felt like sludgy led iron and the tiredness (plus pain, mouth ulcers, burning face and flu-like symptoms). These do not make for great pictures though.
  • Behind on my drawing project and being so uptight about trying to produce the impossible and not letting my self off the hook. I am too ambitious and then end up being late and not doing anything at all.
  • Bad moods and black clouds. I get angry, ashamed and feel so trapped and stuck with this all. I also have the imposter syndrome and constantly feel like I don’t deserve stuff or that I am not good enough.
  • Feeling isolated with my illustration stuff and work and like the above point illustrates. I JUST DON’T FEEL GOOD ENOUGH. Also working on it alone with NO feedback is hard. I just don’t know if what I am doing is achieving anything or if it is any good. I am finding it really hard to judge my own work and have lost all confidence in my self (thanks to health and other traumatic stressful situations which I will write about in the future when I can ;))
  • News on having to go to a tribunal to be judged by people who don’t know me on whether I am sick or not. This is so stressful and scary. I know I have all the facts behind me. I just want this all to be resolved and to feel better. I don’t want this unknown hanging over me. Its one of my trigger points for anxiety and such a cause of stress and worry.
  • Being that flakey annoying friend who can’t ever keep a date or a promise.

Lets get onto the GOOD things:

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The view from my hospital is pretty spectacular. Also my medical team are amazing and have seen me and are working so hard and are so passionate and amazing really.

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My dearest most -querido- Poblenou. I love this place so much. Its industrial glory (it was once all waste land and old factories).

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Can we just take a moment to look at these great textures, colours and lines? Its spotting little details like these that make me happy.
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This week has been one of spotting great vans. I love old vans. I want one, and often day-dream about travelling around in one and stopping off at the most amazing places. One day!

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Finding really good little places tucked away inside of old warehouses. Pretty foliage and good installations (see bird houses <3).

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Sushi for lunch when I am too tired/ill to cook!

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Going to an event with my partner in crime Borja . He was invited to a Instagram Spain event. Free food(!!). I was umming and ahhing about going (didn’t feel up to it and guilt about doing anything). So glad I went though. We were totally awkward and joked around together in the corner and ate all the free food. It was so nice to get out for a few hours and just be doing something a little different from hospital or lying in bed. The place was amazing. Its places like this that is why I love Poblenou so so much. It’s also good for me to try to do semi normal things, even if it did mean straight to bed after only a few hours out. Had the best time though, thanks Instagram!

IMG_2882 IMG_2883Finally sorting out little prints and all of my illustrations!

IMG_2906 IMG_2909Oh the moon and night-time walks to the beach with my little family. I need these mini adventures to clear my head and feel like me again. The moon oh the moon. How can you not feel better by seeing this big guiding light in the sky?

IMG_2966My outfits are literally just the most comfortable things that I own. I don’t think I have worn proper shoes in so long now and just live in trainers. These are new, a present from the sales.IMG_2977My little family keeping me sane, I am not the nicest to be around when I am so ill and in pain. I am like a grumpy old woman. It’s these two that are always by my side. Thank you both, I would be lost without you. (even if I am a grumpy beast 99% of the time!)

IMG_2994 IMG_3002February has been a month of focusing on little favourite things and birds are top of my list. I do love them, and drawing them too. Swans and magpies. Ideas swirling around in my brain.

IMG_3019IMG_3029RAIN, it has really rained like it only can here in Barcelona. I’ve enjoyed the wet and damp so so much. Pretty pavements and reflections.

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Lastly enjoying how weird people and things are in this city. Very random and strange.

200 days of 30 years.

A bit misleading the title maybe. However today marks the 200th day of my 30th year on this planet. I will dedicate a 30th learnings in a separate post however I wanted to celebrate reaching my 200th day. 200 days of learning, struggling, fighting, living, enjoying, loving, laughing, travelling, working and in general being.

As if to remind me that its all the small little details in life my body has decided to slow right down, as you know if you are a regular reader and know me irl, you will know that I have spent most of two-thousand-and-fifteen in pain and suffering with a flare up/brote (flare up in spanish). We (my medical team and I) are working hard to get it all under control and I am having to trial new drugs and things to make my body be a bit kinder. It has given me a lot of time to reflect and re-evaluate what I want out of my little life. Any way, moving on. Lets celebrate these sweet days of my thirtieth year on the planet.

This project serves as my daily diary and has really pushed me, no matter how shitty or great the day has been, to record my best (or worse) moment. To document all those little things in life that I am likely to forget. Its pushed me to work in my little sketchbook almost daily and also to record the other goings on.

365

jan

The start of the year started in England. At my dad’s on the sofa watching Jules Holland with a hotwater bottle and period pain. I really hope this wasn’t an omen. I am starting to think it was. Not that I mind the quiet life.

It was good to explore and be back in the cold in England. However within a few days we crossed 3 different borders, crossed a sea, travelled thousands of miles whilst drinking coffee out of a thermos and eating far too many scotch eggs and sausage rolls. I love road trips and the wide open road and seeing different contrasting landscapes whizz by. We travelled back through France on the day of the Paris shootings. Horrible, however we were none the wiser until we got home. The rest of January passed by in a bit of a daze, shocked that it is now 2015. I had my thirtieth birthday and henceforth some sort of freak out. Ouch. My birthday was quiet, cinema (Paddington) and a meal. Just how I like it, the older I get the more introverted and quiet I become. January was long walks, trying and failing to be healthy, birthday breakfasts, starting of new sketchbooks, ink pen discovery and crazy insane sunsets.

feb

February, you brought grey skies and broken worried hearts. Things changed that month and started the long reflection. I lost my faith in humanity but had my eyes opened to many things. Making it clearer where and what I want to be. Came my baby Pup as ever by my side. Naughty hiding doggy. The light as ever is the very best in Barcelona in winter. The sunsets and winter sun. Dinners and chats with the very best friends, glad to have these memories and hang outs. The best food (roast dinner, key lime pies and lotso pizzaaaa). I was attacked with the dreaded lurgy and therefor a mini flare up (on going its just flared and flared). Basically February was a celebration of food and trying to be together and there when needed. (A cryptic month).

march

March. You were good, healing and restful. What was needed after February’s sluggishness and black cloud. I watched my doggies pups being born on skype with my sisters and my dad. The very best memories and excitement of that. Long soul searching walks in my small town and along the country fields. Alone in cafe’s and walking around Cambridge. Birthday parties and curry. Catching up with all the family. Falling in love again with London. Back in Barcelona I discovered walks at the top. Still up and down with health. Planning and learning new skills (caligraphy).

april

April you were the start of this bad health and rest. You bought family (sister) visits and yet more quiet days (see a theme for this year yet?). We celebrated and enjoyed our little boys birthday (doggy). I can’t express in words how much this pup means to me. He is always by my side when a lot of humans are not. He knows when I am not ok and just lays next to me. He licks my face when I am crying. He is a sweet, but grumpy, little soul and I would be lost without him. Here’s to seven more years little boy. I also did a lot of planning and started to draw the faces I have in my head. They collect there and need to come out. Yet more turmoil and talk of future plans, it seems like we only ever talk about things. However slowly getting things in place and plucking courage and strength. Also had scary hospital visits. I hate the places they make me nervous as do new doctors.

may
May was done and gone in a blink of an eye. Spent more time in doctors waiting rooms and in bed than should be normal. Read 5 books on my kindle. Again my boy (both of them) were by my side. One of my best friends brought her beautiful bebe Maia into the world. I can’t believe she is here and its incredible to think she made her. So amazing to meet her and have our first cuddle in the hospital. There was a street party in my street for a weekend, people painting walls and houses and lots of food and music. The heat started, the kind of heat that you can’t even breathe properly. To combat that I have been having cold showers and drinking loads of water. May also brought good news. Once again I have been thinking about change and where my life is going. Lots of anxiety about not being able to control my current health situation.

june

June. You made stifled me and made me unable to breathe. Its too hot. I do not bode well in this heat. It literally kills me. Marvelled at the view of the hospital waiting room, its become my second home. I can’t quite grasp that it isn’t June still, which I suppose shows you how June went for me. I drew, rested, hibernated, stressed and worried. I reflected and thought about everything. I made new friends and connections, for which I am so grateful. Good news from friends and family have lightened my heart. Rested and slept and felt nauseous. I feel like I have lost control of my days, they seem to slump and sweat along. Its too hot to do much else.

july

July, you only have a week or so left of you. You bring my (other) boys birthday. I do appreciate that one, 8 or 9 hours sitting with me in hospital holding my hand constantly by my side and never complaining through painful waits and procedures. I am so grateful. My mum has come over with a days notice to look after me. I will never forget this, I often try to get on with things and not show people my pain so it was very nice to have the distraction. July though, you have been hellish and I don’t know when its going to end. This heat, sweat in places I didn’t know were possible. Some drawings have been done for my sister and my brain is clinging onto being a human. I have become even more anxious about future and realise I am living in some sort of limbo. My body is up and down and in pain, just want to get on with normal life now! Evening walks either “up the top” or to the beach have been my savour. They clear my head and heal my heart.

I hope the second half of the year is more healthy and positive and I am able to inflict the changes in my life that I have been reflecting on so much through these past few months. Never has the expression “the days are long, the years are short” been more apt for this year so far. I just hope I can feel more positive and make some very needed changes. I want to feel like I am doing something again.