The Power of Positive


Last week was stressful. Very stressful. And upsetting. My working week did not end well and although I then had a lovely meal out with friends, a fun Saturday in town with my beloved and my siblings-in-law, and a lazy Sunday with lots of reading, this evening I found myself with that dreaded I-can’t-believe-it’s-Monday-tomorrow-I-don’t-want-to-go-to-work-you-can’t-make-me feeling. So I turned to one of my favourite pastimes and decided to journal the blues away. I love my journal. It’s my little portable creative workshop. I write in it; I doodle in it; I keep a reading log in it; I plan in it; I daydream in it; I escape in it. I put time and care and energy into making it a work of art, because that’s what I love to do. I like to make pretty things. It’s calming and satisfying and, well…me.

Imagine my frustration then when, in the middle of my calming-me-down, make-something-lovely journaling, I managed to somehow create a huge blue splodge, right where I absolutely did NOT want a huge blue splodge.

My initial reaction contained words that shall not be repeated here for fear of them damaging sensitive eyes and turning my happy little corner of the internet into something sour.

When you put time, care, and energy into something, even a tiny mistake can be upsetting, making you angry and forcing that morose little voice in your head to pipe up with: “Well that’s just friggin fabulous what is even the point?!” This was not a little mistake. This was a BIG, blue blob. Much like the Oreo that was offered to me last week by a friend to cheer me up, which, when I reached out to take it, broke in half and fell on the floor, my big blue blob felt a little like a metaphor for life right now.

I could have cried. Or slammed my journal shut and thrown it at something. (Indulge my melodrama for a moment, would you?)

But wait…was I to be defeated by this blue blob? Was a two dimensional splodge of ink to undo my initial determination to shake off the Sunday blues? Would I let this intruder into my happy place get the better of me?

No. No I would not. For I am WOMAN. I am FIERCE. I am ME. And I control my own happiness.

So I took that big blue splodge and I bent it to my will. I turned it into something beautiful. I turned it into a flower. The one you see at the top of this page. Imperfect? Sure. But since when does beauty have to be perfect? That depressing blue blob no longer exists. Instead, there is a perpetually blooming flower. This flower symbolises the coming spring and all good things ahead. This flower symbolises the power of positive. This flower symbolises that, even though I cannot always control the things that happen to or around me, I can control my reactions to those things. 

And that, dear friends, is the story of how my Sunday blues became even bluer, but how I overcame them anyway.

A small thing can have great power. I encourage you to embrace the power of positive.

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Off On The Right Foot


It’s August bank holiday Monday which can only mean one thing…the summer holidays are nearly over and autumn is nearly here. For some, this wouldn’t really be a happy thought – no more long, light days in the sun, back to school and work for those lucky enough to have had a break. But it is a happy thought for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer but I am an autumn girl at heart and September has always felt full of promise to me. It really feels more like a new year than the New Year!

I’m looking forward to getting back to work; a new academic year dawns with many changes, new challenges, and more opportunities than I can count! I’m excited to get back to a job I love, with people I love, and of course a new term means new stationery! 

In a few days time social media will be full of people lamenting another year without the arrival of their Hogwarts letter, or proclaiming they’re off to platform 9 3/4. Dreaming of joining the famous school of magic is a favourite past time of bookworms everywhere (myself included!). Whilst I wait for my letter however, I am determined to find and create magic wherever I can in the muggle world, and watch with glittering eyes as a new term begins, full of possibility.

I now have two days to get my body clock to readjust to the 6am wake up, and one of the things I want to try and do is find a morning routine that works for me. I am not a morning person. At all. So this will be an interesting goal for me to try and meet. If you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments!

Wishing you a happy end to your summer and an autumn full of promise and happiness. 

X

Art Journal Pages

Better late than never, I finally got around to finishing the pages for our wedding and honeymoon. Yay!

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For the wedding spread I printed off a bunch of our wedding pictures as tiny thumbnail images and created a little timeline of our day out of them. I left a few spaces in between some of the picture to add in little comments. I really love how this page turned out and I had SO much fun going through the pictures to decide which ones capture the little highlights of the day. It’s especially great because these pictures aren’t necessarily the ‘perfect’ ones that might end up in and album or on a wall, but show lots of tiny precious moments that made our day so fantastic!

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For the honeymoon pages I used thumbnail images again (although slightly larger ones this time) and instead of a timeline I just picked out a few of my favourite snaps that captured the essence of that special holiday. On the opposite page I listed words and thoughts and memories from our honeymoon to jog our memories about the little things when we look back.

This was such a lovely way to spend time over the summer and in all honestly it really made me want to journal more. I’d hit a but of a creative slump recently, not really knowing where to go. I’ve had hundreds of vague ideas but not found the right one to get stuck into. Turns out it was this one!!

Personal Project: Art Journal

There has always been something that compels me to reflect on my life, my thoughts, my fears, my blessings. I don’t know how much truth there is in the old saying “The unexamined life is not worth living”, sometimes I think I spend too much time thinking about life rather than getting on with it.

In the past I have kept a written journal, but I always found they ended up being very negative. When I was using only words I somehow strayed away from exploring the joys in my life (and there have always been many I assure you) and instead focused on my anxieties. It became a rather depressing past time. So I stopped that.

For a long time I didn’t keep any sort of journal, but I missed the outpouring of self onto a page. And then some time ago I discovered Pinterest. (If you haven’t yet encountered the joys of this website you should pop on over when you’re done here. Not before because you’ll be consumed by the need to PIN ALL THE THINGS  and may never come back.) Through the magical world of Pinterest I discovered art journalling and this ridiculously obvious solution to my negative words issue have given me a new lease of creativity, which I wanted to share with you lovely people. So here are some pages from my art journal (apologies for the poor quality photo’s – when I figure out how to use hubby’s fancy camera and we get some decent daylight around here there will hopefully be some better ones!)

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I use a lot of quotes and doodles in my journal, most found through Pinterest or in books I’m reading. Chbosky fans will recognise the one in the top right as being from The Perks of Being a Wallflower (one of my all time favourite books). The ‘If I had an extra hour’ page is copied from a pin I found and now can’t find again (it’s on one of my boards somewhere) and added to to make it my own. Sometimes I see other peoples pages and think I just want that exact page. So I recreate it as I see it with just a few tweaks to make it mine, fully endorsing the ‘steal like an artist’ philosophy. Whilst all the actual artwork from these pages is my own, sadly only some of the ideas are.

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I loved how my Christmas wreath turned out! This was from Christmas 2012 which was the first Mr H and I spent in our own home, so I wanted to record it. I printed some instagram photos out on photo paper, stuck them in in a circle and doodled a Christmas wreath around it! It’s one of my favourite pages. I was also really pleased with the lettering for the “all great changes” quote…which you actually can’t see all that clearly. Anyways there’s really something about lovely lettering that makes me happy. I’m no typography expert but I know pretty letters when I see them!

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These are some of my more recent pages. I got given a spirograph so had great fun playing with it in the pages at the top. I did this spread in the run up to the penultimate exam for my degree and with 9 weeks left before our wedding. It was a very busy and exciting time and doing this page, simple as it is, just took me away from the chaos for a bit. The quotes in the bottom two pictures both really spoke to how I was feeling at the times I did them. I think that’s one of the lovely things about quotes, sometimes you just find one that says exactly what you’re thinking or feeling and suddenly you know you’re not alone in that. You realise someone else has felt it too and there’s a beautiful moment of connection, sometimes across continents and centuries.  I don’t know about you but it always make me feel very real and somehow grounded.

That’s all I’m going to share for now but I am currently working on some pages from our wedding and honeymoon so you’ve got those to look forward to! Lucky you! Please feel free to share links to your own creations or Pinterest boards in the comments.

Hope you’re having a happy weekend 🙂