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.
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
Last week I was feeling so very down in the dumps. Everything was getting on top of me and I was feeling lonely and missing my friends terribly. When this package arrived it really brightened my mood so so much. For this was a care package and a half. I have written on this blog about my love of snail mail before. It really is the best thing ever to receive a package in the post. Full of treats and nice things, the best part about it? The person/people who have taken their time and resources in putting it together to make you feel better /happier and to let you know they are thinking of you and care. Thats the best bit for me and really made my week/month! Oh and lets just talk about the contents of the magic box shall we?
Camille’s MAGIC lettering, even the address was pretty!
There were many a treat for us all, including this doggy one for Came. He sniffed it out and said “Woof thanks Baku woof”.
Loved my little bag of treats, Camille knows me so well! Perfect gold HAY scissors perfect for my paper cutting illustrations as well as a doughnut (yum) sticker and a wowee pin that went straight on my jacket! LOVE them all!
Also lets just talk about the treats shall we? TWIGLETS! FLAKES! MINSTRELS! English treats don’t last long in this house, they are like gold dust. Thanks guys, you know the way to my heart!
AND lastly but by no means least, THE BEST BITS:
Camille and Blake are both awesome artists, Camille is a lettering extraordinaire and I want to live inside Blake’s weird world for a bit with his amazing creatures! You can find their work here & here. SO much love for you guys, currently constructing a reply parcel. We all really miss you guys terribly, its not the same without you here and our pizza dates and hang outs. Come and visit soon xxx
I 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.Having 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.A 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.I 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. My 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.You 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.This 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).This 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 <3My 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.L-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.@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.
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)
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!
This old week most certainly has not been a great one. One of those weeks to write off really. I sometimes write about how difficult it is living with a chronic illness. You feel like the biggest flake in life, that you are constantly letting everyone (including yourself) down by shrugging everything off to while away your time under the duvet. The pain and the fog and tiredness are indescribable and to say “I am tired and in pain” never seem enough to describe what it is actually like. This week has been soups, drawing where I can (its my escape and the only thing that makes me feel productive and like me), trips to the centre to stock up on lush (baths are my saviour!), scary MRI scans and yet more doctors visits. I haven’t picked up my camera all week, because well, I have been in a sore coma state and not really wanted to do anything. A lot of the time I don’t really want to make much of a fuss about being ill, and it doesn’t really notice on the outside (apart from the hobbling and mong like state). I like to keep it that way, I don’t want to feel stigmatised by it all, although I am on the inside. Good things, however, have been meeting with my lovely Silje, walks around the park listening to a multitude of podcasts (Serial, Womens hour, This american life) and Netflix (Luther again!). Its also been drawing and dreaming up future plans and goals for when I am better (If I am better). The cold and the grey have finally arrived here and its been nice to go out all bundled up. I decided to make Friday my getting up and going out day as I had to go into the centre to collect my MRI results and also had other medical like errands to run (doctors and the like).
I wanted to do the day in the life photo diary by taking a photo hourly but some of the time was stuck in a doctors waiting room or trying to rest and ignore being in such pain so here are some “glimpses” of my day.
8.30 am Woken up with a cup of tea in bed. Is there anything better than this? NO!
9.30 am (Yes it takes me a full hour to warm up my body and to be able to move in the morning). Finally up and out and a quick circuit of the local park to take the pup out. It is both a blessing and a curse having a dog when you feel like this. Its amazing because it forces you to get outside and in the fresh air and a tiny bit of soft exercise. But on the other hand its so hard to move and walk when you are in pain (I would liken it to knives stabbing your joints and being so wooden and stiff that each step is like running a marathon). Its good to get out though and notice the world around you and enjoy the fact it has rained after a 90 day drought in Barcelona.
10am- Time for breakfast (Marmite on toast and a cup of coffee)
11am- Some planning and yet another cup of coffee (did I mention I am
TIRED have chronic fatigue).
Time to do my daily drawing. Todays love/inspiration comes from right outside my window
13:00pm House chores and general pottering about at home. I liked the way my clean washing looked together. Good textures and colours. A little sit down with my pup.
14:00pm Time to get showered and dressed. A mammoth task in itsself. Always makes me feel better though.
2:30 And I am ready to go! See you can’t really tell there is anything wrong and I look “normal” or “you don’t look sick/ pero tienes buena cara).
15:00- 16:30 Not pictured as I had to go to the doctors and also had lunch at my inlaws (Soup and croquetas!)
16:45- In the centre and ready to pick up my results
17:20- Time to meet with my lovely Silje for an early tea and chats. We went to Flax & Kale. It was my first time there. Alright, not totally amazing and a bit hyped up. My “english muffin” was quite dry and the service was a bit too “I am too cool and hipster to serve”, also it was quite pricey and slow for what it was and would’ve enjoyed a bigger menu choice. It was pleasant enough though and the place was super pretty. But a bit style over substance IMO.
18:30- We decided after the “healthy” snack we would need to indulge. My lovely twin Camille once told me about this good Doughnut place called “Donuteria”. And it really did the trick. It was quite a walk/hobble there (what with my bad joints and Silje being nearly ready to pop)..
19:15 We arrived and it more than lived up to the recommendation!
Long chats and having someone to listen to my silly rambles is such a good medicine for me and I am so grateful that I have a few friends/sisters that I can do this with. And off back home on the metro and changed back into my pj’s and back in bed I went. Content and happy I was able to have one day of feeling like Sarie.
Sorry not sorry if this was a bit too honest and moany. I want these weeks to be a honest memory of my time.
long time no see and all that. I have had another unplanned break from this here blog. I have been keeping quite busy though over on my instagram feed. I thought that I would do a little post each week to record my week through the photos I take either with my camera or my phone. I love keeping and recording memories and reminding my self to look up and appreciate the things around me. This is actually one of my goals and resolutions. I meant to do a big grand blog post about that however never got round to it. So instead I will talk about it all in these weekly posts/updates. I love and equally hate looking back at old blog posts due to the fact they make me cringe but its ever so lovely to have things recorded and to look back on old memories.
This week started by popping to the centre, its been a busy week full of errands and appointments. Which has been great to get out. This week I have felt really low and having a lot of anxiety and just feeling dread, self doubt and being in a bit of a black hole. Walking around these streets sometimes is so very surreal. I just feel like this small tiny unknown island floating around a bit lost and not knowing where I am going. It all feels like its not actually happening and right and that scares me. However, I do get lost in its beauty, even if I am feeling like its not “my place” I can still enjoy it. This is one of my favourite bustling areas of Barcelona to visit. Its so pretty and old and I like that. Good bars too!
Mi querido Poblenou. I do love this little village within the city. Its where I live and where I feel most at home. Walks to and from doctors appointments have been a breath of fresh air and a good reminder of how much I do love this place.
I also had to pop up to Gracia, for an errand, I always forget how much I love it there and think to myself I should visit more often.
The centre of Barcelona always has its beautiful, charming hidden bits. I like to seek these out.
The rest of my week has been stuck inside my flat (no so photogenic) and drawing like a mad woman. Its what keeps me sane. Might even show some more off in next weeks photos.
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.
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.
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.
Hello, its been a month. A month (!) since I last blogged. How is that so? Well being an ill one and not really being able to sit at a computer for longer than half an hour has meant that everything is done in small, slow chunks.
I thought I would show some of these small chunks of work and my very messy studio. Living in a flat means that I don’t have a load of space, however am very lucky to have a room of my own. I posted my studio in the past here. I am always constantly surrounded by keepsakes and bits and pieces of inspiration and life. As well as tools and useful things. Here are some bits and pieces of work from late. If you follow me on instagram you will see my sketchbook/work sharing. Its been nice to have a bit of time here alone listening to the radio and podcasts, these little pockets of time have really helped me not feel like Lupus is all consuming. It makes me feel a bit human again which is great. Because I am a nosy so and so I gathered that the rest of you may well be too. I love taking sneaky peaks into others spaces, especially when they are work spaces. Its been a rather sweaty, long, hot month this old month so my little cave has been a good refuge. Where do you work and what are your spaces like? Are they as cluttered and chaotic as mine?
I will do a little life update when I feel better/have energy and time.