Explore 2014


For the last couple of years I haven’t chosen New Years resolutions as such but chosen a word to live by for the next 12 months. My one little word for 2013 was “Grow.” My one little word for 2014 was “Explore.”

Why I chose “explore” as my one little word for 2014
My one little word for 2014 was Explore. I’d had a tough year in 2013 so wanted to give myself time to heal, to get used to my new life and also explore creatively as well. I wanted to take away the pressure of creating something for a specific reason. Before this year, most things I’d made were for education or for work, not for myself, not just for the sake of creating. This meant that when it came to creating for myself I would, for example, paint a picture, I’d expect it to be perfect first time, I wouldn’t practice, I wouldn’t explore all the possibilities. Professionally I would try but I guess, not exploring in my personal work may have affected my professional work too. It really seems silly admitting this now but it is the truth and I’m glad I’ve spent this year exploring the possibilities.

I chose 12 phrases to go with the word explore, they’re loosely related to each month of the year. These would be just a quick reminder of what I wanted to focus on throughout the year.

Reminder of the 12 phrases
Explore new things
Explore art
Explore silence
Explore love
Explore nature
Explore colour
Explore paint
Explore the process
Explore creativity
Explore places
Explore my voice
Explore design

What did I do throughout the year?
There were a few things that I purposely did to keep the word “explore” at the front of my mind. I have a little notebook that I’ve written the 12 phrases down on a page each, and throughout the year, I’ve written things that have happened or that I’ve done which related to that phrase. The only other thing I did was to keep a piece of paper at the front of my diary which I’d written “explore” on it as a note to myself in a way to remind me.

New things
I used brush pens for the first time this year, I enrolled on some online classes to try my hand at hand lettering, I also started making my way through watching a huge list of films, films that I wouldn’t necessarily watch. I’m not a film watcher and I’m always that person who hasn’t seen the film that people are talking about and I don’t want to be that person.

I’ve done a lot of painting, drawing and creating this year, a lot more than I usually do. I started an art journal that, when I started, I would work on it every day then it started to slow down after a while and now I just work on it every now and then. It has been a great experience though and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve almost filled a whole sketchbook in a year, that has never happened before and I think of it as an achievement.

This was mainly relating to yoga and rest. I’ve managed to get into a routine of practicing yoga regularly this year, I really notice when I haven’t been able to practice. I also explored silence in not using social media for two weeks. I learned that I didn’t always have to be looking for the next piece of information.

I closed my Etsy Shop (reluctantly) as it was clear to me that I wasn’t ready to have a shop and didn’t have the time to maintain it either. Having a shop just put more pressure onto an already exhausted Sian!

Rob and I moved in together. This year we celebrating our ten year anniversary, which I still can’t believe it has been that long! We’ve learned a lot this year and I very much look forward to the future in our house!

This was to encourage me/us to go on more walks on weekends. I now walk to the train station every morning and I’ve really enjoyed it. We managed to get to a country park in the summer which was really nice to walk around and observe the view. It’s difficult because Rob walks a lot for his job (he’s a postman!) he walks about 11 miles a day and so when it comes to the weekend, the last thing he wants to do is walk and I don’t blame him.

I created a orange journal in 2013 and wanted to explore colour a bit more, maybe do the same for a different colour. I didn’t do that! In creating my art journal, there is a lot more colour in it than I’ve used in the past so maybe I’ll explore a different colour next year.

I love to paint and this year I’ve used acrylic, watercolours and watercolour pencils for all sorts of things.

Taking part in two skillshare classes has been so beneficial to learn about different processes. In creating my art journal too I’ve learned more about the way that I think and work.

This year we’ve been to Bruges, Orlando, Bahamas, Jamaica, Mexico and Miami. Three of those were in the same trip and I loved seeing so many places. I never really considered the idea of going travelling but I love the idea of visiting a lot of different places on holidays.

My Voice
I’m not sure anyone really can say, “yes, I’ve found my voice” I think it is an evolving thing. I certainly haven’t even found one thing that I enjoy doing yet. I fear becoming a jack of all trades, master of none. I’d love to become a master of just one thing, or even just good at one thing that I enjoy. Am I a writer? Am I a hand letterer? Am I an ilustrator? I’m a graphic designer professionally and enjoy it but I want to find “my thing” that I’m good at!

It’s difficult to see where I’ve progressed as a designer. However, I have been pleasantly surprised when working on new-to-me projects at work and have felt like I’ve done well with happy clients all round.

Next Year
My little word for next year will be “create.” I want to continue the great work I started this year. I don’t feel like I created as much as I wanted this year due to buying our house, I’m sure there will be something that comes up next year and I’ll still be as preoccupied with other things but I’ll try my absolute best.

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Currently November




MAKING Christmas plans
WATCHING Lots of rubbish TV, also all of the Christmas adverts.
COOKING Chilli con carne and Jacket potatoes, an oldie but and goodie
DRINKING Green Tea and SO much water
READING Before I met you by Lisa Jewell, Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and “How to make sense of any mess” by my cousin Abby
LOOKING Forward to decorating for Christmas
BUYING Far too much!
PLAYING With water colour pencils!
FINALLY Getting to grips with my medication then taking two steps back again
WISHING Time would go a little slower
BAKING Mini Christmas Cakes
ENJOYING All the Christmas adverts on the TV
DRAWING Penguins
WALKING To and from the train station in the rain
NEEDING Weekends
SMELLING Christmas spices
WEARING ALL the layers
NOTICING The difference that 15 minutes of yoga in the morning makes to my entire day
THINKING About seasons
GIGGLING With the girls at work
FEELING Down and thoughtful
EMBRACING My crazy curly hair

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For the love of Pink


I’m not sorry that I love the colour pink!

My earliest memory of my colour preference is at Sports day in primary school. I must have been aged about 6 or 7. I loved the fact that I was in a house called Gade because it’s colour was red, which was the closest colour to pink (out of red, yellow, green and blue.)

At the time, I’d tell people that my favourite colour was red and not pink because pink was “too girly!” I have no idea why being “too girly” was a problem, my 26 self who has recently watched Emma Watson make a speech at a UN conference and is reading “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg would have had a quiet word with my 6 year old self and said you can be as girly or non girly as you choose, but that is beside the point!

I don’t really remember what my favourite colour was as a teen, I’m sure it changed weekly depending on what my best friend’s favourite colour was. I’m sure at some point I loved the colour yellow because it was the same colour as Tweety Pie!

Then when I was fifteen, I wanted to be girly, (make up your mind Sian!) and had my bedroom decorated pink…but with blue carpet and blue curtains! I’m sure it looked dreadful but I loved that room. My family made a video of that time and I did a tour of the house, when it came to my room, I excitedly sang “it’s pink, it’s pink, it’s pink!”

Fast forward to when I was packing my room off to university, I set my room in halls up exactly how I wanted it and I loved it. Then one of my new friends commented that everything was pink! And it was! It never even occurred to me! Then I realised all of my clothes were pink and I didn’t like it. Throughout my years at uni, I slowly and deliberately steered away from the colour pink. How could people take me seriously as an adult and as a creative if all I wore was one colour? (It wasn’t that bad but it might as well have been in my mind)

As time went on through uni and afterwards, I diversified with the colours that I wore and preferred. I wore a lot of stripes for a while, still do and floral patterns too. I then realised a few weeks ago that I just naturally gravitate towards pink without really thinking about it. A couple of weeks ago, it got to Friday and I realised I’d worn pink everyday that week!

But do you know what, whether it’s girly, or non girly, immature or bold, I am finally embracing the fact that I love pink.

I’m unsure even why I love it. It’s the colour of roses, the colour of the roses in your cheeks after you’ve been smiling, the colour of the sunset, the colour of strawberry ice cream, the colour of most of my nail polishes and lipsticks and the colour of Rosé wine.

And then all of a sudden it isn’t about a favourite colour any more. It has become about accepting what I love. I wrote in my advice to my younger self that I should embrace what I love and I guess this bit is still a work in progress.

I am coming to terms with who I am after “the horrible years” that tore my world apart. I suppose I am putting my world and myself back together piece by piece and accepting things that I love, things that I do, things that make me different and things I cannot change. And one of those things is that I love pink!

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Currently – October Holiday Edition

At the beginning of this month, my family, Rob’s family and I headed off on our travels. A holiday that we’d be planning for over a year, dreaming about for many many years and finally it was here, the trip of a lifetime. We were to spend one week in Orlando, Florida and then a week on a Royal Carribean cruise around the Eastern Carribean. It was really truly amazing, I tried to soak up every single second and take it all in.


We visited the Disney Parks and Universal Studios and they did not disappoint. Magic Kingdom was exactly how I’d expected it to be, magical, of course but just as cozy, and familiar as Disneyland Paris, but twice as big. We visited Disneyland Paris quite a few times when I was younger, as my Mum worked for the company and we got a discount. That feeling when you first walk onto Main Street just can’t be matched, it may be a cliché but it feels just like home. I’m a big Disney fan too (who isn’t) but I’d easily sit and watch Disney films whilst the cool kids watched other blockbusters at the cinema! I became star struck when I spotted Winnie the Pooh, Belle and Mickey Mouse. I’m such a big kid, I loved every second!



Universal Studios was also great fun, I loved walking around the Harry Potter part, I could have walked around that part all day! The Studios did have a lot of simulator rides though, which made a few of us feel quite ill and tired of simulator rides by the end of the day.

Other highlights included, Space Mountain, Finding Nemo the Musical in Animal Kingdom, Rockin’ Rollercoaster…until it broke down whilst we were on it! We were ok, just a little puzzled about what was going on, thankfully no one was left upside down. The Tower of Terror was fun. Slusher Gusher and the double dipper at Blizzard Beach were so so scary, (if I’d known how scary these would be, I would not have gone on them!) We made it to Epcot for one ride, test track which was fun and fast! We didn’t get too much time in Epcot as we had to rush back for Fantasmic, which was a really good show to end our day at the Hollywood Studios.


Our day in Islands of Adventure was full of fun, the queues were so short, which was good because it was so hot! After travelling on the Hogwarts Express, riding a dragon roller coaster and seeing Hogwarts, we went on the Jurassic Park ride which was so scary, not because of the dinosaurs but because of the drop into water near the end, I didn’t like it too much because I banged my knee. We all got so wet that we thought we’d carry on the water rides as there were three of them! All quite scary for me with the almost 90 degree drops but it was so hot and we got drenched, so it cooled us down nicely. We then spent some time in Hogsmeade, wondered around the shops and drank butter beer in the Hog’s Head. It’s not every day that you can say that!


After what felt like a very long time in Orlando, we took the 3 hour road trip to Fort Lauderdale and boarded the cruise ship. It was really very exciting, we boarded the Allure of the Seas, which is the biggest cruise ship sailing at the moment, it was huge! We took some time to explore the ship and then had a bit of a party on the top deck waving Florida goodbye before heading to Nassau in the Bahamas.

At dinner on our first night, we heard the captain announce that due to hurricane Gonzalo, we’d be taking a different course than what was planned. We’d be heading to Falmouth in Jamaica after the Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico instead. This was quite exciting, I’d never been to either place before so I was interested to see them. I didn’t know what I’d be missing because I’d never been to St. Thomas or St. Maarten before either.



Nassau was beautiful, we had a tour on a glass bottom boat and saw lots of Celebrity’s houses along Paradise Island, my favourite was seeing J.K Rowling’s house. I wish I’d seen more of Nassau but we’d woken up late due to our alarm not being in the correct time zone and had to go back to eat breakfast, also Rob had a headache unfortunately and wasn’t feeling great so we headed back to the ship for an afternoon by the pool.

The days on the ship were good fun, either sleeping by the pool, reading by the pool, sitting in the hot tub, eating, meeting the Captain (Captain Johnny, our new celebrity!) or playing crazy golf. We watched an Aqua show and Chicago too, you could easily not leave the ship but then you’d miss out on the beautiful destinations.


Our next destination was Falmouth in Jamaica, after not getting to a beach in the Bahamas, I wanted to go to a nice beach. We asked a taxi driver to take us to a beach and I think we were scammed, I think the taxi drivers were in cohorts with a beach owner, you’d have to pay $5 to get in to the beach, you pay that to the taxi driver and then the beach wasn’t too impressive, the sea was quite dirty, the facilities weren’t well maintained and you’d get locals trying to sell you something every 5 minutes. It wasn’t very comfortable but I enjoyed being by the sea and we made it a fun day.


We then made our way to Cozumel off the coast of Mexico, my Mum and Sister had decided to book an excursion to swim with dolphins, it was a little expensive so I decided not to join them. But then once the rest of us got to Cozumel and were trying to decide what we wanted to do, I decided to join them and within 2 minutes I was on my way to swim with the dolphins! Probably one of the most spontaneous things I’ve ever done! I’m so glad that I did it and it was worth every penny. We went to a National Park where we had a little wander round the beaches, which were clean and you could use the loungers and umbrellas for free (a big contrast to our experience in Jamaica!) We ate ice cream and then got changed for our swim with a dolphin. We did various poses with the dolphin, and then I grabbed hold of his fins and he pulled me along (the faces I pulled in this bit were hilarious, so much sea water in my face!) then the dolphin pushed me along by my feet as I held a body board, that was the most fun as he pushed me really fast! We then posed for a photo of the 3 of us with the dolphin, it was so fun and I’m so glad I made that quick decision to join my Mum and Sister.



We had one more day of sailing after that where we made the most of time by the pool and had a 6 course meal with wine pairing for our last night, which was so fun! Maybe a little too much wine but the food was delicious. We had booked a tour of Miami for our last day and it was so interesting to see all the sights of Miami, the Art Deco buildings and then South Beach was beautiful, I had a little paddle in the crystal clear waters of Miami, ate ice cream and tried to absorb every last second of holiday fun before our journey home. It was a horrible, uncomfortable flight home, I actually preferred the 9 hour flight there than the 7.5 hour night flight home!


Now that I’m home, it’s taken me a while to come to terms with not being on holiday any more. I was actually quite depressed about being home for a few days, I have a beautiful home and a great life but this holiday was just so amazing that I came back to reality with a bump.

I decided when we were away that I need to take more breaks and look after myself a lot more, a big sign for me was that I got a cold a couple of days after being in Florida. I always get a cold when we go away because I wear myself out and then as soon as I relax it comes out as a cold! It’s not good. I didn’t let the cold spoil my holiday though, I still had the most amazing time, I just want to go back and do it all again! I also did a lot of things “for holiday,” so I cut down on sugar and caffeine so that my skin was clear, I spent an evening pampering myself, painting my nails, doing a face mask, and bought some new clothes and saved them “for holiday” I hardly ever do any of these things for my everyday but everyday is well…everyday! So, I just need to do these things more regularly, rather than never!

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September Currently





WAITING Ever so (im)patiently for our holiday
SMELLING Fresh mornings
MAKING Holiday plans
WATCHING Cadillac Records
COOKING Dinner for our friends now that we’re settled in our house
DRINKING Green tea with Lemon every morning
READING Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (I gave up on David Copperfield)
LOOKING FORWARD TO The biggest holiday I’ve ever been on
PLAYING The Sims 4
FINALLY Making plans now that we’re settled
WISHING I’d have a bit more energy
ENJOYING All the chocolate in Bruges
WASTING A lot of time of twitter
LIKING My newly cut hair ready for our holiday!
PREPARING all the things to take on our holiday
BAKING Banoffee Pie/mess
WALKING Enough to hit my 10,000 step FitBit goal
WEARING Layers now that London has turned chilly and rainy one moment but sunny and warm the next
TALKING about how excited I am to decorate our house for Christmas
FEELING Proud of my little sister on her Graduation
EXPLORING my voice
THANKFUL that Rob finishes work early and prepares dinner for when I get home
PRACTICING Yoga most mornings

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Advice to my younger self


Yesterday, I proudly watched my little Sister graduate, it was such a lovely day and we celebrated in style. It was just what she deserved for all of her hard work. Four years ago today, I graduated (that’s me up there in the photo). It had been the most difficult summer of my life, for various reasons. Finishing university is hard enough and now that I’m four years older and probably less wise, I thought I’d write a letter to my 22 year old self (and then I wonder how weird this would actually be if this did happen, someone, you, from the future writing a letter to you. In reality, I’d think it was fake!) so here goes: 

Dear Sian,

Well done on finishing university, you’ve worked so hard but I’m afraid the hard work starts here. You’ve got some rough roads ahead of you and here is a bit of advice to help you through:

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Some things happen for a reason and it’s not because of anything that you’ve done. You’re doing absolutely fine. Some things don’t happen straight away and so be patient for things to happen in the right order, you can’t put pressure on yourself for things not happening straight away. You’ll have to be strong for everyone around you but let someone look after you sometimes.

You will get used to your new routine in time
Starting work will be the biggest shock to your system and you won’t believe it now but that hour commute each way will become almost bearable. You will learn not to read your phone the whole way and to invest in a good book to read …the only problem is that you don’t always put this into practice. Your iPod will also become invaluable.

Embrace what you love
You will continue to love the colour pink. You will continue to practice hand drawn lettering. You will have an embarrassing collection of Musical soundtracks and Disney songs on your iPod. You will always have more paper and notebooks than you know what to do with. Embrace that you love those things, maybe stop buying so many notebooks and try filling them, even the nice ones! Don’t let anyone (including yourself) make you feel bad for the things that you love, however embarrassing!

Keep saving those pennies
You’ve done so well in keeping to a budget whilst at University and you’ve saved loads of money, keep at it and you’ll thank yourself in 4 years time. (Thank you!) Your train ticket (into London!) will become more and more expensive as the years go on, take the plunge and get a credit card to buy a yearly ticket which works out cheaper, I wish I’d thought of this earlier, the monthly repayments have saved me £51 a month!

Listen to your body
Although you stay slim and look healthy, your body is crying out for you to do something about your health. See a doctor because some things aren’t normal and you shouldn’t have to live with it and suffer. The things you’ve read again and again online “could happen to you.” Yoga and linseeds are your godsend. Also, you love your hair short, never let it grow again!

Some spoiler alerts: You will survive 2010, 2013 will be tough but you’ll get through it and 2014 is such a good year. You and Rob are such a good team and you’ll have some great adventures together. You become an awesome team at building flat packed furniture and paying bills! Just have a little patience and life will start to look better.

The friends you have met in your 4 years of higher education will become lifelong friends, you may not see them as much as you’d like but it doesn’t mean they aren’t awesome!

Lots of Love
Sian xoxo

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August Currently





MAKING Time for us
WATCHING Guardians of the Universe (such a good film!) Iron Man and Burlesque
COOKING Jamie Oliver’s Feta and Spinach Filo pie, just with cheddar instead of Feta!
DRINKING Rooiboos tea all day long
READING David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
LOOKING FORWARD TO the adventures we’ve got planned for the next few months
BUYING All the things ready for our holiday
PLAYING With my new camera
SEWING All of my tops so that they fit!
FINALLY Watching Dr. Who Christmas special
WISHING Our big holiday would come quickly
ENJOYING Time spent in our new house
LIKING A break from the blog
DRAWING Selfies!
WONDERING how there are so many spiders and cobwebs in our house!
LOVING My new found attitude
MARVELLING At the growth of our chilli plant
BAKING Very gooey flapjack
WALKING Around Aldenham Country Park
LOOKING Back through the photo book of the year I’ve been putting together and loving how it’s coming along
WEARING Shorts with jumpers, my fave combination!
NOTICING The absence of rage now that I don’t tweet about it
KNOWING I need to do so much more exercise
THINKING About life, the internet and holidays
GIGGLING At this advert (SO funny!)
FEELING Inspired
THANKFUL FOR My health despite of all my complaining
PRACTICING Yoga every morning

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Drawing Self Portraits

A little while ago, I started developing a little self portrait character to go along with Penguin on his adventures sometimes and also as a bit of a drawing challenge for me. I know I haven’t drawn Penguin in a while but I’d like to.

I remember back to my art foundation year where I used a “me” character drawing in my reflective diary, I’d trace the same image over and over and just colour the clothes a different colour each time. Another thing I would do is, draw one version and not develop it further and further until I was happy with it. Looking back, I can’t believe how restrictive that was and how I didn’t just embrace the differences in size, shape etc and loosen up a bit. I’ve changed a lot since then I guess and I’m so glad that I have.

So, one evening I cracked open my sketchbook and got “doodling” as Rob calls it and this is where is how far I got:

Shines_Selfies2I tried drawing myself in proportion and with a few different outfits, different hands and legs. I always drew myself with curly hair because well, I do have curly hair. I have been wearing my hair curly a lot more often recently and an illustration with her hair tied back is difficult to draw!  I tried colour but felt that didn’t work so have resorted to a line drawing for now. I enjoyed drawing this little character in different scenarios too, to see if she’d work. I hope that this little character will evolve as Penguin has done. What do you think?



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Smile: It’s infectious


In the days following the death of Robin Williams, I had a heavy heart and mixed emotions. First of all, I remember the happiness that the film, Aladdin brings me. The laughter at the kitchen scene in Mrs. Doubtfire (with the cream cake on his face, “one lump or two”) I haven’t seen either of those films in years, in over a decade maybe, but the voices of these two characters resound in my mind, when I think of Robin Williams.

In the days following the news, I read many articles about depression that I had to stop after a few because it brought about a great feeling of sadness. There is someone very close to me who suffers from depression, so much so that he has turned to Alcohol as his escape for as many years as I can remember. When someone you love is being eaten away inside like that but refuses to ask for help, it is one of the hardest and most heartbreaking things that I’ve had to cope with. Someone else I love, lost a parent to suicide before I knew them, it brings depression so much closer to home but doesn’t mean I understand it anymore than anyone else.

I’m starting to understand a lot more of course as I read more and more about addiction and depression and am coming to terms with it all slowly.

There has been one thing that I’ve read a few times over the last few days in different variations of this: “be kind to everyone you meet because you don’t know what battles people are fighting” and it made me think: Of course! Of course I’m kind most of the time and I wish that a lot more people would look at this line and think, because I’ve faced my fair share of unkind people on my worst days. However, you don’t know what kind of sadness someone is fighting internally or how someone else is feeling. Sometimes all it takes is someone to do something so simple as to smile, to take a second to do something kind or to receive a text from a friend. I’ve made a small goal to commit random acts of kindness in an effort that it might make someone’s day, if it doesn’t then there’s nothing wrong with being kind and it doesn’t cost anything! I understand that this won’t cure depression in any way but a little consideration goes a long way.

I’m lucky that I haven’t faced depression first hand in my life so far, I’m sure there were times when I’ve been very close and it could hit anyone at anytime. Support those you love and be kind to your fellow humans, you don’t know what might be haunting them inside.

Equally, if you think you might be suffering from depression or other mental health condition, please do not be hesitate to speak to a doctor or call the samaritans.

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After the Jump


I thought I’d pop up for air now that we’re half way through August and half way through my “challenge”. I’ve gained so much from the first 14 days of August already that I thought I’d write an update on my thoughts on life and the internet. Just a warning: this post is long and rambley. I’ve been writing a small thought every day of this challenge, this is the condensed version of that and I’ve tried to put it into some sort of logical order. 

First of all, you could say that I’ve completely failed so far in my attempt to stay off social media. To be completely honest, I have popped onto Facebook or Twitter very quickly, but it hasn’t be for as long as I would before and I wouldn’t comment, like, tweet, favourite or share. I wouldn’t want anyone to know I was there. It was social media in stealth mode. 

It has been about what I’ve learned from it all so far rather than it being a challenge of will power. I knew I needed a change of mindset and a change of routine. Before these last two weeks, I think I’d been looking for distractions. Especially when I felt bored or tired, so I’d idley scroll through the many social media sites that I use, only to feel either more bored, jealous, inspired (when I was too tired or busy to do anything about it), then guilty for not doing anything. I realised that all these feelings were not needed. A tweet from one of my favourite artists which said “WARNING: if in the wrong frame of mind, instagram can make you depressed. Don’t look at it on a full moon you will feel inferior to everyone” had me saying “YES!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Maybe I have been feeling a little fed up after buying our house, a bit like “what now?” “Am I doing everything right?” but also confused because living in our house has made me so happy, I walk around smiling, so I can’t be that depressed. This wasn’t a huge problem but I realise now how much I needed a change of mindset. 

I wasted a lot of time procrastinating by scrolling idley through sites and not taking any of the information in. Was it a distraction for when I should be doing more difficult things? Was blogging a distraction from practicing the illustration I wanted to be doing? I would think a lot about blogging, thinking isn’t doing. I’d think of ideas, I’d write lists of things I wanted to do but never got round to them. Probably because I was too busy reading other people’s blogs and feeling jealous that they had the time to write and share. I know now that I should have stopped reading at that point and got on with my own work. I would also check in on facebook “I wonder how *insert friend’s name here* is?” Instead of doing this, I should have texted or called them to see how they are. 

At the beginning of the month, I read an article about refocusing your blog content. And throughout reading it I was thinking it’d be a good idea but when I really thought about my blog, I thought “ergh, bored!” This definitely got me thinking. 

Do I have time to blog? Do I actually enjoy it? Do I want to blog less regularly? My blog needs to display more work and less rambling (like this!). More progress images maybe? I have considered stopping posting on my blog all together. But what I’d like to do is share more work and punctuate it with personal blogging, not the other way round. I need to do a lot more photography and a lot more drawing and making to be able to make this work, I think I can. I have a new found creative energy for these kinds of things now that my very busy few months are settling down. 

I understand that there are blogging trends and over time, if you enjoy what someone is writing, you start to write about the same things and are inspired by that person but I hope that I can be myself, not copy anyone else or try to be anyone else. For this reason, for the second week of this month, I didn’t read any blog posts whatsoever and continued to write everyday to get my thoughts down and write as me, no-one else! 

Something else that I want to stop is complaining on twitter. I need to share articles, share instagrams, share my blog posts, share art related tweets, yes put some personal things in there sometimes but mainly positive. I’ve noticed that I have far less commuter rage now that I’m not in the cycle of feeling annoyed, writing about it on twitter, getting a reaction then finding something else to rant about.

Facebook is a little different but I don’t want to be a whinge on Facebook either. Keep it positive. Documenting life on Facebook is a strange concept for me because I’ll meet up with a friend and know exactly what they’ve been up to because it’s all on Facebook. (I won’t even get into documenting life on my blog, that’s a whole separate blog post!) Some things are meant to be kept private. However both twitter and Facebook are great for sharing interesting articles, communicating with friends and family who live far away and I love it for just that. 

Instagram has been an instant “take a photo and run” situation for me in the past. Now I’m taking photos on my proper camera more often, I don’t want to take too many photos on my phone. I want to practice photography techniques and take photos of my work then share it all later. The best camera is the one you have on you though and I rarely have space in my handbag for my camera everyday, we’ll see, I need to sort my handbag out a bit! 

With Pinterest, I’ve missed it but I can do without it. I really need to pin relevant things, not just pretty pictures. Useful links, behance pictures, images from dribbble and other design sites. And not get jealous by how lovingly styled someone else’s look or house is!

I just need to put a bit more thought into when/how/what I share. And use my time wisely. In the evenings, instead of sitting scrolling idley, is there something useful I could be doing?

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Writing process or “The Big Think!”


This post should really be called “the big think” because it’s one of those posts where I have a big think about what I’m doing with my life and my work. How dramatic?

It all started when I had a chance to cozy up on the sofa with my ipad and read some blog posts that I’d been meaning to read, one thing led to another and I’d found about 5 new blogs to read, all with similar views on life to me. It’s so refreshing to come across a few of those once in a while.

I first of all came across Amber’s post about her writing process. It was great to see how someone else processes through different thoughts to form them into a blog post. I’m at a stage where I want to figure where I want to go with this blog. What am I doing here? Where am I going? Why do I do it? Is anybody actually reading? and interested? In Amber’s post she answered questions asked by Erika and I thought this would be perfect to go through to answer some of my questions. So I started to answer the first question and see where it got me…

Goodness, so many things. I’m first of all working on making my house a home, it’s very nearly there and I’m slowly getting used to everything that being a homeowner involves. Getting used to living with Rob has been so easy and a natural progression, I just need to work on my mood when I’m hangry, I’ve been doing well I think.

Other things I’m working on are getting into a routine so that I can fit in some creative time most days and yoga time every morning. The yoga is going well but once I’ve done all the jobs for the evening, there’s very little time to sit down and draw and by that time, I’m exhausted so just want to watch TV. The same goes for the blog really, finding time to write is a problem, I mostly find myself writing on the train, then I tend to take/edit photos and edit posts at weekends, it seems to be all about routine these days, I’m sure I’ll get used to it all. I really want to feature more of my creative work on my blog and have started putting together a portfolio site (I know! But better late than never!) which is exciting!

I’d love to be able to see my friends more regularly too. The weekend I spent with them for the wedding was great and I don’t know why we don’t do it more often. Now that I have my own place, I can invite people over too, I need to do that!

There is so much going on and I’ve had a big think (hence “the big think”) and think that I should probably take some time off from the blog. This has been crying out to me for a while, I just haven’t been brave enough to do it. I feel like I need a holiday as it is so why should I give myself more work and putting pressure on myself to blog?

I actually want to have a complete detox from sharing, and social media. I originally wanted to share but not to read what everyone else is sharing but actually I want to live my life. I want to spend time with family and friends. I want to read, to write, to draw, to laugh, to meditate, to run, to explore, to walk and dance.

Blog Reading
I’m not sure if I should cut out reading blogs, that is something I have had to think about a little. I hate the comparison game and want to stop that. But like I said, I read two really great blog posts earlier. I think I can benefit from learning from other people, maybe I should read blogs more productively, I should comment, take notes so that I remember parts of what I’m reading, I started doing this just last night and look where it got me!

I will only go on Facebook messenger because it’s one of my main points of contact with groups of friends.

Just no! All I do is complain on there anyway and I need to stop.

No! Far too many nice things on there and feeling as though my photos should look like theirs, I want to work on my own photography style and play with my new camera.

No! Again, far too many nice things on there and time wasted by me.

This will be for all of August at least, so starting tonight, now on the 31st July. Let’s see what happens. I’ll still be writing everyday, maybe I’ll post my findings on the blog in September, maybe I’ll decide not to.

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On Film & TV watching


I’m sure if you’re like me, you’ve had the following conversation before, whether you’re the person asking the question or answering it:

“Have you seen {insert film/tv series title here}?”
“Ahh no I haven’t”
“Oomygoodness, I can’t believe you have seen {insert film/tv series title here}, how have you been able to go through life having missed {insert film/tv series title here}, you’re missing out, it’s such a classic!”

I’m the one who hasn’t seen that classic film. It’s likely that whatever classic film you mention, It’s more likely than not that I haven’t seen it, this also goes for most of the popular television series too. (No, I haven’t seen any of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones! Shock horror!) Every time I have the above conversation, I feel a little bit of a failure, I’ve missed out on something somewhere and I’ve been wondering what happened here.

Before I go on, a brief history of my life and film/television watching: I am the oldest sibling of two in my family, my sister was born when I was 4 and a half and up until that time, I think all I watched was Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Fireman Sam and Thomas the Tank Engine. I wanted to be a fire lady like Fireman Sam when I grew up until I realised that that involved a lot of fire, at that point I was out! I was petrified of fire!

When my sister was old enough to understand TV, all we watched was Barney the Dinosaur all day everyday, I know every song and most of the stories off by heart, it’s embarrassing I know! My sister was more of a TV watcher than I, she would watch Barney most of the day quite happily but I’d play with my dolly called Jamie, I’d spend a lot of time drawing and I’d turn our bedroom into a school room and teach all my teddies how to count.

Soon after my sister was born, my Mum became a childminder and our house would be filled with children a lot younger than me, they’d play their games, I’d also try to teach them in my school room of a bedroom but most of the time I’d draw. I think I learned how to entertain myself without having to watch TV or films. There definitely wasn’t any computer games around at that time, certainly no iPads or Netflix! It’s hard to believe that now and makes me feel quite old.

I digress. As I grew up, a lot of my time was used up with, first of all, School, like everyone. Then after school I was either going to Dancing School or Brownies or drawing or doing homework. When we did watch TV, my Sister, although she was the youngest, would have control over the TV remote and anything I wanted to watch as a teenager wouldn’t be suitable for her, this is weird to think of now as there isn’t too much of an age gap, I guess when I was turning 13, she was still 8, so it is a big age gap when you’re that age.

Even if I did have control of the TV remote, I wasn’t really that interested in TV or films. I much preferred doing other things. Especially when it came to films, sitting down for approx 2.5 hours just watching a screen seemed pointless. I could be doing so many other fun things! Maybe I just have a short attention span but I just see it as a waste of time. I guess all of this has worked in my favour, because whilst I wasn’t watching TV and films, I spent my time drawing, making little books with paper, I even created a magazine for mine and my sister’s “club.” The magazine was only one issue and the little books never got filled but look at where it has got me now. I’m a graphic designer by day and dream of creating my own stationery line by night.

It’s funny how things work out.

I am however aware that I have missed out on watching a lot of classic films that it seems everyone my age has magically watched and I feel so uneducated. I’ve started writing a list of the films that I haven’t seen and will tick them off as I watch them. I cheat a little and if I watch a film that I’ve never seen and isn’t on the list, it still goes on the list and gets a tick straight away. It’s just a bit of fun really.

Are you like me in missing out on a big part of growing up by following what you truly enjoy? Do you have any suggestions for my list? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

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