A week in photos / Notes from this week 15

Well this week. Not much to say apart from the fact that I have been under such a big black cloud this week battling ugly thoughts, anxiety, illness and other goings on. This has made me feel quite lonely and isolated. So there. Thats all I am going to say on here as I don’t want this blog to be a weekly moan.

There has been some shining lights through the black clouds though. Like having the time to catch up on my Lost girls series and experimenting with different materials etc. Also Saturdays quick outing, to the print studio in Gracia to see a friends work (it was great). Through all this I have realised that I am motivated and a fighter, even if I don’t feel like one. Despite everything I keep going and I am doing well. So yes.

Next week will be treatment week, so a quiet hospital recovering one. Its probably what is needed. I also need to see my family, so will have to arrange that happening.

This weeks glimpses of light (light chasing all the time atm):
1. This message from last week really rings true this week. I should get these as tattoo’s just to remind my self (a la Casey Neistat’s “DO MORE” tatt).IMG_3992IMG_3995

2. My lost girls. I love drawing them and seeing their different characters and stories come to life. I often feel like a lost girl with a lot of stories so I guess this translates into my drawings. I have really enjoyed this week, and working on the tiny postcard size drawings. They will be for sale in my shop next week and through instagram. Watch out for them. IMG_4104 IMG_4097 IMG_4072IMG_4063 IMG_4062 IMG_4058 IMG_4054 IMG_4051 IMG_4050 IMG_4046 IMG_4001 IMG_4034 IMG_4031 IMG_4036

3. Spotting the little tiny details in life.DSCF8017 DSCF8015 DSCF8002 DSCF8019 DSCF8018 DSCF8039 DSCF8072

4. Spontanious adventures and stumbling across good things like Els Gegants.DSCF8026 DSCF8034 DSCF8036 DSCF8037

5. Gracia’s streets and getting lost in them.DSCF8006 DSCF8079 DSCF8099 DSCF8096

6. Random nice/funny things.DSCF8102 DSCF8108 IMG_4040

7. Rainy Barcelona is the best. Its been raining ALL weekend and its been GLORIOUS!DSCF8008

8. Inspiring places and people (even if it was so very crowded).
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9. Watching these naughty birds squawk from my balcony.
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THE END, see you next week 🙂

 

 

 

April favourites

dearaprilI know April now seems like a while ago, and it is. We are edging further into summer and further away from the cooler months. April has been a funny month for me with highs and lows. There have been little things that have made all the difference and I am going to list some of them below.beautyletteringHaving a skin care routine and putting on a bit of makeup is a ritual that always makes me feel better. Its not because I feel the need to or because I have to. Its something I enjoy, always have done and its something that makes me feel brighter and a bit better. Like I am looking after my self.creamfavouritesA few months ago I was in Sephora with a dear friend when I was testing some products. Something made my terrible sensitive skin flare up loads and it was like I had dipped my hand into acid and also it was so itchy at the same time and came up with a horrible rash that almost blistered. The lovely lady at the counter came to the rescue with this cream on the right. Crème Fraiche® de Beauté Enrichie. I don’t really know what the magic ingredient is in it. It smells wonderfully floral and has something else that I just can’t put my finger on. Once on the skin it was awesome and felt so cooling and soothing on my alergic reaction that I knew I had to buy it. I use it at night time and it leaves my skin so soft and calms any redness I get from the sun (sun alergy here). I was actually in Sephora looking for an eye cream so I knew the Nuxe one would be a good bet and it is. It makes me feel ready for sleep and so nourished.handcreamfaveI picked up this hand cream in Carrefour of all places. It was only 1.99€. Its so soothing and smells like honey and doesn’t leave your hands all sticky and greasy. I love the fact it has yoghurt and shea butter in too and its fairly natural. SO good for the price, I will definitely repurchase as I seem to use hand cream loads due to being a messy illustrator and needing to constantly wash my hands. lushfavesMy medication constantly gives me acne around my neck and jaw line. After a month or so of using these products with a hot flannel my skin has totally cleared up. I adore, love and worship Lush a lot, I love what they stand for and their killer products. These two are my very very favourites. Ultra bland is amazing for removing any trace (even waterproof mascara) and just feels so soothing. If my skin is particularly sensitive I will just cleanse with this and nothing else, not even a moisturiser and it seems to restore the balance in my skin a treat. Aqua Marina really cleans, soothes and always gets rid of any impurities. Its like wet clay with herbs when applying and seems to get deep down and dry out any nasties without stripping my skin. I love them both and they are both firmly in my skin care routine.styleandfashionletteringvintagearmyYou have prob’s seen this jacket in my latest OOTD post. I love it so, it been perfect for these in between days where I don’t want to lug around a massive coat but still need to have some warmth. As I mentioned in that post I like how it scruffs up my outfits a bit. Sometimes I can feel a bit too dressy and throwing this on the top makes me instantly feel more me. I got it in the vintage bit of Topshop.IMG_0216This top from Monki is wonderfully frilly and victorian. I love this style of blouse, especially when worn with Denim. Its silky and soft and you can’t really tell from the photo but it has tiny little dots embroidered into it. I love its flouncy sleeves. I feel all Alexa Chung in it, inspired from her series on Vogues youtube channel (something I am going to get to in a bit).necklaceThis necklace from &otherstories was gifted to me and I love it. I love its simplicity and the length and thickness of its chain. Oh and its gold <3dungareedressMy black Monki dungaree dress owns a large part of my heart. Its so versatile, comfy and just makes me feel like me, but a 5 year old me. I love it.toolsletteringpenfavouritesL-R: 1 & 4 Windsor and Newton Water colour pens. They are amazing double ended pens that when mixed with water give an amazing texture. I love brush lettering with them. 2. Is my trusty mechanical pencil from Muji. Its my favourite drawing instrument ever and I have about 5 and a million refills. Just in case. 3. Faber and castle 1.0 mechanical pencil I also really like this, more for going over lines and being a little bolder.instagramslettinginstafaves@bowieseye (the best name IMO!) I love Julia’s sweet illustration style and simple lines and oh the colours.   / @maiuki Naia and her cute (best dressed) daughter. Naia makes/knits amazing kids clothes. I want her life! / @tincanhomestead This couple are super amazing. Natasha of @nastashalawler illustration fame. They travelled the states in a VW van called WesVanderson (brilliant!) and they are now doing up an airstream. Her style is incredible and I love love this project so much. Watching the progress is so cool. / @rynfrank I have been following this lady and her illustrations online for years under the name Katt Frank. I recently discovered that she changed her name and had a bit of a rebrand. I love love her IG feed so much, so perfectly curated. I can’t wax on enough about how much I love her illustrations and lines. I adore them.

aprilfavourites

And the rest. Youtubes I have been enjoying. Netflix series and books.

  • Elly Pears Fast and feast days
  • This Joy Division documentary on Netflix has reignited my love for this band and brings back memories of my student days dancing and sweating in grotty northern clubs.
  • This series on netflix, Love. (are you sensing a theme yet. I’ve had a lot of tv watching time ok!)
  • Helen’s vlogs. Love them, she is brassy and honest and bold and so her.
  • This amazing series presented by the super cool mega babe that is Alexa Chung
  • IAN CURTIS IN GENERAL and this film.
  • I have been a fan of Sarra Manning since her diary of a crush/J17 days. Her latest book was read in a few days. Loved it.

So that was April. This post literally took a day to do. What have your favourites been? How was your April? I am off to bed now. Night (or good morning when you are reading this)

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.

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.

Dear October

On the night before Hallowe’en (Hallows eve!) I got a bee in my bonnet about making a halloweenie wreath. I had exactly what I wanted to do in mind, it needed to be dark and creepy and deathly. I always start these monstrous tasks without thinking about the sheer amount of time it takes. So after hand drawing each element and then having the task of cutting it out (a new found technique that I am adopting- a real life photoshop if you like) and then placing it onto the board to photograph. I am yet to scan and work with each element but I am  so pleased with the effect. I also love spooky ghoulish stuff. I love the macabre and the eerie every day of the year, not just for halloween. I love vampires, zombies and old halloween iconography (old masks, eerie animals and dolls). I look forward to creating more of these in the future for different celebrations. Everything should be celebrated with nature and hanging up wreaths.

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So October. You have turned into November with a flurry of emotions and bad (good) weather. What a month. Its been one of my worse, thats for sure. I am still quite sick (an understatement). Keeping my everything crossed that I am going to get better soon.

You have been up and down, trialing new treatment. You have seen me in and out of hospital (my admiration of doctors and nurses has grown so much). You have also seen me try and get out of this ill slump and believe in myself a little more creatively.

You have been wonderful dog walks, watching the leaves turn and the nights draw in sooner. Duvets back on the bed, cups of tea and lots of rain. Pink skies at night and enjoying being inside a lot. Lots of soups have already been cooked on the stove. Dark lipstick has graced my lips and jackets have been pulled out. You have been so very happy and sad at the same time. You have been watching series on the sofa under blankets. You have been a slow quiet month. Sometimes they are the most tiring. October you have made me feel lonely this year. Heres to November!

 

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.