A Year in retrospect

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Happy New Year 2021! It’s the beginning of another new year! Another chance to do all the things we didn’t get to do last year, another chance to try new things, another chance to love more, laugh more and…craft more! I could say that I hope we have a better year than 2020, but personally, 2020 was a great year for me for learning new things… and connecting with people!

With all the free time I had when I lost my teaching jobs cause companies were scrambling to put in place home office infrastructure, I used it to create a learning management system for a company to create online courses… for which I spent countless hours learning how to do, and even more hours creating the asynchronous courses! I also got certified to be an online teacher and once companies were equipped to send all their employees home to work and people got used to working online, I got even more jobs teaching online. Not having to spend hours travelling from companies to companies, I could spend more time teaching!

On the crafty side, after spending afew months thinking I wanted to take my art to a professional level, I decided that it was taking all the fun I got out of painting and reverted to just painting for fun and starting a 100 day painting challenge to learn how to paint more intuitively and from the heart. I am at day 16 and counting and I can feel my art getting looser, more intuitive and personal.

I also felt finally ready to learn how to sketch…by sketching daily. I decided that I didn’t care how it looked, as long as you could vaguely make out what I was trying to draw, that was fine with me! I would learn about perspective and dimensions along the way. So here’s one of my first sketches of my decorated door.

As for connecting with friends, we hooked up more often over Zoom, chat or one to one. As we don’t have our extended family in Germany and our closest friends here were only allowed to see their family, we spent Christmas Eve with a Spanish family that we only met once before, but with whom our kids are close, and hung out with more (teenage) friends of our kids on Christmas Day, and we had a great relaxing time!

So all in all, 2020 was a very productive year for me and I look forward to doing as much in 2021…and perhaps more! I will definitely continue making Christmas cards for the Merry Little Christmas challenge as this was what allowed me to have enough Christmas cards by the time Christmas came round…and this year I even managed to send them off in time…almost!

So what have you planned for 2021? I look forward to reading them in the comments. Thanks for stopping by and have a great start to 2021!

Lots of love,

A new challenge for 2021 – Learning to sketch

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As 2020 draws to a close and with no parties to organise, food to cook or friends to visit, I can concentrate on working on my goals for 2021. You noticed I didn’t say resolutions, but goals. I think having goals are more concrete than resolutions. To me, resolutions define your wishes, but goals define what you want to do & where you actually want to be at a certain time.

So my goals for 2021 are:

  • To finish my 100-day painting challenge by 21st march 2021 and discover what my personal style is
  • To learn how to sketch by sketching daily too & find my personal sketching style
  • To capture significant memories in my past 55 years in my sketchbook
  • To log an average of 6k steps daily
  • To get dinner on the table by 8pm latest at least 4 times a week
  • Create 3 more asynchronous English courses for website

As we might be moving to Madrid next summer, everything beyond those goals are uncontrollable, including my professional life, but those goals already take up most of my day to achieve so I think I’m set for 2021!

So as you can tell from my title, learning to sketch, by sketching daily, is a new adventure for me. I finally feel ready to set aside any notions of achieving perfection, imitating reality…and sometimes even perspective, in my attempts to sketch my life. One reason to this lack of fear of ridicule is the fact that I’m now 55, I’ve achieved a lot, travelled a lot, learnt a lot and I feel I’ve earned the right to exist without caring about the judgement of others… and also seeing accomplished artists like Skye Ali or Kelsey Buzzle succeed with their childlike illustrations is very encouraging!

“peeling” coconut leaves to make a broom

This step away from perfection and going back to childish drawing is a huge step for me as I cannot remember a time I actually felt like a kid. I guess as women, we shed that part of us really quickly, so my goal to sketch my life memories is also a great way to delve back into a past I haven’t spent much time thinking about. In the picture above, I’m peeling coconut leaves to make a broom, one of my rare memories in the garden. Can’t fathom why we are doing it and not our maid, we were probably really bored, or more realistically, it was probably a punishment!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll follow me on my adventure to a happy state of senility! I look forward to finding about your goals for 2021 in the comments! I wish you all, a very positive start to 2021!

Hugs,

Learning to be loose…

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So I’ve been painting daily for 5 days now and what’s different this time from any other attempts to paint daily, is that I’m re-doing paintings I’m already aesthetically happy with, but painting them again to try & do them more intuitively. Here are the first 3 tries, my first attempt on the left and last one on the right.

I know, it’s looks like each painting just got worst doesn’t it? 🤣 That’s because the 1st one was painted “copying” a photo and the last one was completely from my head. Painting it 3 times allowed me to remember where the colours should go, so I could just paint intuitively.

You would think that seeing how bad my painting was when painting intuitively, I would just go back to what I was good at, copying a photo. It actually had an opposite effect because I really treasured the process of learning to let go and so the 3rd painting is more valuable to me because of the freedom I allowed myself!

I also realised I needed to watch some tutorials to understand where to add focal points to bring out the centre image in a really minimalistic way. So I was really motivated to continue and I started another snowy bird scene, (I can’t help it, there’s snow all around me and I want to capture the beauty of it) with some help from Kristy Partidge’s tutorial.

This was my first attempt!

Which would have been ok if I wanted to bird on a branch of a coconut tree instead of a pine branch… I decided I needed a real life reference. So I went out and cut a branch from my tree. Isn’t it a beauty?

From the first painting, I put all my mistakes to good use by learning from them and painting something I’m rather proud of now.😊

I was so enamoured over the beautiful pine branch that I decided to do a painting completely focused on it and at the same time, practise painting snowy branches again.

Thanks for stopping by and I would love to hear about your painting process too.

Have a great day!

Foiled Christmas card

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Hi everyone! It’s the 1st of October so a new challenge starts at the Merry Little Christmas challenge blog where its always Anything Goes, as long as it’s Christmas themed. This means you can join us with anything you made, be it a scrapbook, home decor, card… with a Christmas theme.

I just received my new Gemini foiling machine from Crafters Companion so I had to try it out, and it works like a breeze! And I got some Christmas cut and foil dies to try out. So once it foiled on my foiling machine, I just ran it through my Gemini and it cut out my sentiment with the foil on it! I made a video and you can see it here on my Instagram story.

I’m off to make some more foiled die cuts so thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll join in the fun with your Christmas creations. I look forward to seeing them here. Don’t forget to pop over to my team mates blogs and leave them some love too!

Have a great October!

Warm hearts & Bright memories

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Hi all! It’s the first of September so time for another challenge over at the Merry Little Christmas challenge blog where the theme is “Anything Goes” with any crafty medium! You can create a card, like I did, do a scrapbooking page, journalling, house deco…as long as it’s Christmas themed.

My card was made in a minute as I used pieces that I found while clearing out my craft room to make room for another desk for my daughter. At their age, all my teenage kids want to do is to go out and see their friends, so I have to make it more interesting for them to stay home! As I know she loves drawing and painting, I thought it would be nice if we could do it together.

So I recycled a desk that belonged to my eldest son, which I used for my 2nd son, and now it’s for my daughter, so this cheap Ikea desk is now 22 years old!! I wish it was a much nicer desk so that I could call it a family heirloom. It’s now in a corner of my craft room so we can craft together! (All the art supplies in her drawer are my surplus art material…)

Anyway, back to my card, as mentioned, I found pieces of it in my piles of paper and just had to stamp the sentiment from Crafters Companion, and my card was done! The 3D embossing folder I used to emboss a red card stock is also from Crafters Companion, but I can’t remember where the diecut is from. I painted it with metallic pens from Spectrum Noir and I wish you could see the shine!

Well I hope you were inspired by my card to create something for Christmas and I look forward to seeing it in the link up here. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day, doing something you love!

Hugs,