Thursday, August 16, 2018

Back on the blog!

Well, hello there my blogsy people!

It's high time I gave you a sign of life, so here it is. Yes, I know I said I would probably be back by July and yes, I know it's August already, but truth be told it was kinda nice not to have to do the blog for a while. As much as I enjoy blogging, it also can be a bit of a chore sometimes and it was nice to let it slide for a few months.

Also, we are having a very long and warm spring/summer thing going on this year, with several heatwaves and so being the winter person that I am I was not really at my most energetic. This also has been the driest summer in the Netherlands sinds halfway the seventies, so everything seems rather scorched. Only in the past week things seem to be cooling down a little and have we had actual rain. The first rain we had in ages actually scared Spooky so much he sat under the couch for hours to recover from the shock! That's how unusual it had gotten. ;-)

The past months have been a mixed bag for me personally. Good times, bad times, stressy times, peaceful times. I don't like to dwell on the negative on my blog, but I'm still trying to find some more calm and contentment when it comes to job stuff and one day it goes better than the next, but that's life. I have started to look into a mindfulness practice and hope it will help me a little to put things in perspective and see things for what they are instead of thinking up twelve thousand scenario's of everything that may or may not happen of have happened. It's busy up there in my head!

Anyway, now the weather seems to be getting a bit more normal and summer is slowly moving on, and I think it's time I picked up the old blog again and get to posting.

I'll start today with some everyday pics from the last few months so you can take a peek at what has been doing around here lately:

The first half of 2018 I have been mostly rereading old favorites. This was one of them. Still fabulous and impressive.

No journal is complete without a cat on it. Spooky knows this.

Bought a set of inktense watercolours and tested them right away.

Spend a day drawing 'actual things' instead of patterns.

My personal truth when it comes to making art as written by Liz Gilbert.

Visited the amazing David LaChapelle exhibition in Groningen. Highly recommended.

Trying out new patterns.

Neighbourhood cat decided to kill a homing pigeon it my back yard. It was a horror show!

A moment of quiet at sister's house during a family visit.

Spooky is ready for his close up.

Finished another journal and started a new one. The journal never ends!

Homing pigeon killer taking over my planner. He's a regular intruder at my house.

Drawing in the Ceramics Museum Princessehof in Leeuwarden.

Drank plenty of outdoor lattes on pleasant locations.

Setting up a grid drawing in my Moleskine XL in pencil.

Spooky sticking himself to a collage.

Two worktables in the house and still I prefer to journal at my small coffee table while sitting on the couch.

Out and about with a friend, chatting, drawing and ice coffee drinking.

He can be so adorable.

There was a sort of semi readathon in July that I sort of semi participated in.

The heat turned Spooky into a vampire!

The heat made the studio too warm to really work in, so guess where I went the minute things cooled down a little?

Prepping journal pages for writing.

The first time I got to wear socks again after it having been too hot for them for weeks/months on end. It's the simple things.

Taking pictures like these always helps me to keep an eye out for the good things in life, because there really are plenty of those. My personal challenge is not to get too overwhelmed by the stuff. Gotta keep working on that.

Anyhow, the past few months have flown by. I want to thank those of you who contacted me one way or another to tell me you missed my blog for your kindness and also thank everybody for their patience. Looks like I'm back and let's see where the coming months will take us!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Around here's really time for a blog break

Here are some random pictures of the past few months, because that is my life too...

A store display where some customer must have been thirsty for coffee ('bakkie pleur' is colloquial for 'a cup of coffee').

Cat Circle.

I am a control freak, so sometimes I  need to remind myself how much control I really have.

Visited a book-fair which was heaven.

My book-fair loot.

Visited the Drents Museum which had an exhibit on American Realism.

Trees, trees, trees.

My favorite doggy came to visit and brought my family with her.

Participated in another readathon and reread the last three Harry Potter books.

A very complicated pattern in progress.

Lots of relaxing with magazines and coffee, always a good idea.

Spring is here and so are spring blossoms.

Everything is so idyllic on the island right now.

Stay stubborn, again and again!

A little tapestry in my journal that I made on my lunch break at work.

Sometimes there is no real horizon over the Wadden Sea.

A day in the city of Leeuwarden. A fine day at that.

White flowers are everywhere!

My Lamys, my loves. The blue one is a new addition to my little collection.

Walking. Always.

 I seem to be rereading a lot of old favorites lately and am enjoying it very much.

The above pictures show the good stuff that my life is full off. Besides just helping me document the beauty around me, I like to take pictures to remind myself of all the things I am grateful for and enjoy.

What my life is full of right now too however, is work related stress. Or maybe not so much my life, but my head. I only work three long days a week after all, so it's not like I don't have any free time.
I am also usually pretty good at leaving my work at work and not fretting about it, but the past year or so it has been different, which I have written about before.

We are working on a big project together with the other islands and let's just say it's not always going as smoothly as we (I?) would want. I'm not going to get into detail here, but it's all about the building and implementation of documentation software across five different location and municipalities. It's ambitious and interesting and it will bring a lot of good stuff to all those involved, but it's also frustrating, nerve wrecking and tedious and there's just no way around that.

For me personally it's mostly about lack of control. I am but a cog in the system so to speak and have limited ability to speed things along or make changes that are necessary. This is simply part of the deal, but it's hard for me because I am someone who likes to make decisions on her own and fix stuff herself. So basically this whole  project is a bit of a test on my whole personality. Everything is dependent on so many different parties and people and technologies and software that nothing is simple and straight forward, so I need patience and I need to let go and trust the process.

All the above means that this project is on my mind a lot and sometimes even keeping me up at night, which is so not my thing. Being awake at night for me has always been about being full of exciting ideas for art or things I want to do in the day, in short: about the good stuff. Now it's more about worry and concerns and feeling frustrated and in general I am not good with stress, I'm just not.

In this state of mind it's absolutely essential for me to keep any responsibilities, obligations and chores to a minimum and just do things that I enjoy and that relax me. So I draw a lot, walk a lot an read a lot, and consciously try to focus on the things that bring me joy, but I am also slacking when it comes to things like the blog and have temporarily stopped my morning art practice. I usually love doing these things and am pretty consistent in keeping them up, but right now it's just not working and that is adding extra stress, because I don't like half assing things like this. Did I already mention I was a control freak? ;-)

So to take some pressure off myself (and I do realise it is me who puts that pressure on me in the first place) I am going to take a blog break for a while. I have no intention of quitting this blog or anything, I just don't seem to have the right mindset for it right now. I just feel I need to take extra good care of myself and cut myself some slack.

So I don't know exactly when I will be back, but I was thinking somewhere in July. In June I will be having another vacation dogsitting for my sister (see above cute dog in the pictures), so I will probably have some nice vacation pictures by then to share with you.

Also I will keep posting on Facebook and Instagram, because that's a thing that's fast and easy and ad hoc and I like keeping a record of the fun and beautiful things that my life is full of. So if you want to see what I'm up to you can follow my Facebook here or my Instagram here. Would love to see you there!

Hope you are all enjoying either spring or fall (depending on where you live) and having a wonderful artsy time! Hope to meet you all again here in July!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Morning Mosaic #15 - Step by Step

Another peek into my watercolour mosaics process through my morning art.

This is mosaic number fifteen and it took me eight sittings of half an hour to finish. Well...the last sitting was probably shorter, since I only had a few squares left to fill. But still...these things do take their time!

Again: changes in colour have to do with different lighting in the morning, depending on what time I got to sit behind my worktable.

I really like how this one turned out, it's like a chaotic and yet orderly pattern that I think would make a really nice tiled wall. I guess though for now it will just have to live in my sketchbook. ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!
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