Thursday 31 December 2015

Good Bye 2015

2015 hasn't been the most exciting year, still a lot of things that I would have liked to change this year, are the same as 12 months ago. But it hasn't been a bad year either. No illness, no misfortunes or bad surprises. The one or other serioush health issue within the family, but everyone is still alive and doing well. 

It's always easy to only focus on the things one didn't achieve and that didn't work out, and to ignore the ones one has accomplished, and the good things that happen. So here's a few good things to remember (in no particular order).

  • I finally managed not to kill every orchid that entered my home. I've tried again and again over the years, but they never survived for long. This year, all of my three orchid have not only survived, but are thriving and flowering, and continuously producing new flowers.

  • I wrote 85 blogposts, which is almost 2.5 times more than last year 
  • I started a (more or less) regular meditation and yoga practice, and am trying to live more mindfully
  • I read 33 1/2 books, among them Gombrich's The Story of Art, a book I have been wanting to read for years and years

  • I spent more time in the studio, worked through an online course and even got my art journal out again
  • I celebrated my 5th blog anniversary
  • I discovered instant photography and aquired a little family of vintage Polaroid cameras

  • I started to write in my journal regularly, and started a daily journaling practice 3 months ago
  • I met some pretty awesome people online, and even had coffee with one of them in person in West Bay, Dorset
  • I finally made my own Christmas cards, including carving a stamp
  • N and I spent some wonderful holidays together, inlcuding a 4 day trip to the Alsace and Southern Germany (at furnace like temperature) in summer, and some amazing day trips to Brownsea Island (and meeting lots of sweet red squirrels there), Charmouth Beach and some other plaes in Dorset in September

I might not have achieved everything that was on my "to do" list at the beginning of the year, but I'm sure there is lots more that could be added to this list and that I can't think of right now.

Good Bye 2015, all in all, you've been a pretty good year.

Happy New Year everyone!

Hope that 2015 has been good to you too, and that 2016 will be an amazing year for all of us!

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Journals, planners, and the new year

My pile of journals, diaries and notebooks is slowly growing. I've kept journals sporadically over many years, but it's only this year that I really started to get into a more regular journaling practice. Earlier this year, I read Tristine Rainer's The New Diary, which showed me a whole new way of using a diary, including many different journaling techniques, which were pretty much all new to me. And in September, I began a new journaling routine - writing in my journal every day. And with every new practice comes a new journal to suit that particular practice. I also like my 5 year diaries. I've kept them for the past six years, and it's fun to see, on one page, what you've been doing on a particular day over the period of 5 years.

I also like to take this time of the year to prepare for the new year. To sit down and reflect on the year that is coming to an end, and to write down my plans, goals, and dreams for the new year that is coming. This year, I'm also preparing a special book, a sort of guide to accompany me through the year and help me keep on track, as I tend to lose sight too easily of all the plans, intentions, goals, and dreams as the year progresses. I'm also trying out a couple of special planners to help me get organised and to get things done. I'm looking forward to see how and if they work for me. But most of all I want to take it easy this year. Over the past years, I've tended to put too much pressure on the new year. Too much of the "this year, everything will be completely different" attitude. I'm still going to write a big list of all the things I want to change, achieve, make come true, but instead of expecting big things to miraculously happen, I'll just get on with doing the work, step by step, and trying to do my best.

What's your practice? Do you keep journals, diaries, special notebooks? Do you have a special routine or ritual to prepare for the new year?

Thursday 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

I haven't spent much time in my studio lately, and I can't wait for the Christmas break to start. I plan to spend a lot of it in my studio, and with making plans for the new year. But first, a couple of relaxing days with family and good food.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas, and a relaxing, inspiring and creative holiday!

Saturday 19 December 2015

Winter colours

I love nature in winter. Decaying, sleeping, bare, and yet showing all kinds of beautiful textures and colours that lighten up a grey and foggy winter day.

All that's missing is now is some snow. Masses of snow.

Sunday 6 December 2015

A foggy walk in the wildlife park

Saturday was a day to my liking. Thick fog gave everything a beautifully mystical touch, a perfect afternoon for a walk in the nearby wildlife park. I love that wildlife park that is so close to my home, and which I don't visit enough. My favourite animals there are the moose. But unfortunately, we didn't see any of the at all this time. Many of the animals seem to have decided that a foggy day wasn't a good day to spend outside, so we didn't get to see as many of them as usual. 

Before I left home, I finally managed to get a sharp shot of a bird feeding in the little birdhouse outside my bedroom window. I've been hiding and freezing behind the open window several times, but never got a decent shot until today. A sweet little bluetit came to pick some food.

The deers are always out and always make for great photos, especially that stag, who posed so nicely for me.

To see one of the wildcats so close up also was a very special treat. They're usually hiding in the back, and when they move, are so fast that it is almost impossible to get a nice photo.

The wild horses where out as well.

No moose in sight in this eclosure either, but the beautiful reflections in the pond made up for it.

And of course the trees. I love trees. The more the merrier.