My commitment to creativity in these lock-down days

Creating

You know, where there’s change, or where there’s a problem, there’s an opportunity. 

And even though I hate being forced to be kept at home, I may not deny that these days could be really productive if I do things well. But they should be fun as well.

So I’m doing this mini-challenge of dressing up everyday as if I was going to work and sharing it – and hopefully it won’t be just another selfie post for Instagram.

Is that vanity? Is that a waste of time? I like to think that I’m practicing some skills : I’m styling, I’m making aesthetic decisions, I’m getting practice with my new camera, getting comfortable with how I look and the act of sharing it. And I love when clothing reflects how you feel inside!


Is this all? 

Hahaha nop. I have plenty of creative projects waiting for my attention. And a lot of resources to check up, and actual work. But you know what, as I can’t pursue a balance in life (no meeting with people, no swimming, no surfing, no running, no biking, no beach time…) I may try at least to juggle different kinds of projects that can help me hone my skills. In this way, even if I don’t accomplish and finish all my projects, I will have improved myself!


What’s the point, if nobody sees it?

Would you dress up if no one could see you? In the past, I wouldn’t. When the days come and go and nothing changes, it’s easy to lose motivation (for anything) as there is no compensation waiting for you in a foreseeable future. Although, guess what? There will never be. The motivation that you need is knowing that in the future you’ll be a better version of yourself because you did what you thought you had to do. You decided it, you struggled in its pursuit but you did it, even if some days you failed. You progressed, you made an effort, and that’s what really counts. Even if nobody sees it. You know it. Every past experience adds up to who you are becoming, even if it doesn’t show. 

While staying home these days, nobody sees us if we don’t show up on social media (or personal messaging / calls / DMs). But we still decide how to do it. Will you be sharing this exceptional meal you’ve just cooked? Will you be showing your past vacations? Or will you enjoy this time on your own to do the work that is never shown? Like the household duties, the studying, the listening to your own desires? 

We have temporarily lost the freedom to go out, but we have won the freedom to stay in, to stay invisible, to do our own without asking for permission or approval. Let’s take advantage of that. And let’s keep our minds sane.

To Be Updated – daily 

Sunday 22/03

This weekend had a special feeling. Like time has been paused, like there was more silence in the world (probably there was). This is the start of some weeks that will be different. Trying to be positive here, but I already liked how weeks were. With no outdoor activities to do, it’s time to be creative and do more of the indoors stuff. But…

Monday 23/03

It’s never a good day when you start it by having to erase the hard-drive of your computer. So I got a busy techy day, trying to make my Macbook come back to its full functionality. But no time is ever wasted, so I cleaned my car 😛

I spent sometime too dreaming up this fantasy like scenario, peacefully playing with a typewriter, worrying about nothing else than the letters on the paper…

But on these calm days, I feel everything but peace…

When time stops and the magic happens

Tuesday 24/03

You know what? I’ve been wanting to wear this blazer since the day I got it. So, I thought, well, as it doesn’t seem as if I’m gonna have the opportunity right away, why don’t just wear it today? So yes, I loved working from home with this on. Why wear pajamas when you can look busy-chic?

Wednesday 25/03

Chose to show up on a quite cold and sad Wednesday in pink and black, heavy textured items. Maybe too much of a soft look for such a moody day. Wanted to bring in some light, but only got new shadows (did you get it ;)?

Thursday 26/03

Did I see the light? There actually was a window of time during midday when the sun finally shone in the sky. Then, it actually rained. When Thursday arrives, I always feel like the week passed by too quickly. It was no exception. I woke up with a firm intention though, that even if I’m not gonna be on fire all the time these days I’ll be making an effort to try to change my scattered self to a focused one. I’m well-known in my circles for always being over the place, I like so many things that I’m always pursuing multiple interests at the same time. It’s a great way to have a broad view of the world but also a good one for not going deep into anything. Now, it may take me a while to learn how to stop the multitasking, the multi-interesting thing, however, I must start at some point.

And because I woke up full of energy, I got myself my brown ankle boots, a pair of shorts with hose and a jersey to be comfy and casual. Ready for my tea party with my zoom friends. But where’s the booze?

Friday 27/03

There’s been moments of sunshine, so we can say the week has improved! Apart from that, though…

Saturday-Sunday 28/03-29/03

Let me take a break and reflect. The weekend calls for time away from the week routine, even in these lock-down days. I’d like to be able to embrace it like any other day and spend many hours on my computer, but, after being used to using the weekends for doing very different things, it’s not easy to not to do so. And yes, I skipped this commitment for the whole weekend. How embarrassing… Well, not really. Saturday was for exercising, cleaning, watching a movie and doing some crafts. Sunday was for sleeping until late -it seems I needed it, as I didn’t hear the alarm go off- cooking, painting and a bit of computer projects. I could have shared my go-to-gym clothes, but… Better days will come.

Monday 30/03

Do you know something I really love about working from an office, with set hours? You can’t get bothered with tasks that are not part of the job, no personal life or personal projects coming in. Time is completely blocked. That’s something I rarely get at home. Part of it is my fault, but it’s just easier for anyone or anything to take your attention away, especially when you don’t live alone. I honestly have a great admiration for parents and the like who manage to work from home. I should find my situation so easy!

But anyways, today I’m showing up again! Got the comfiest pants in the world, super-stretchy black corduroy plus the basic black blazer. And heels. Because you get a better view of the week over heels. 😛 Pink sweater underneath.

And guess what? Today snowed. 🤦‍♀️

On other news, I decided that today’s the last update for this post. I may keep on with something similar (probably a Me-Made-May article) but won’t be updating it everyday. Let’s see if I can create less quantity and more quality for the next edition. Also, doing tasks in bulks is more productive and I have to focus, so… See you at the end of the week!

Stay home, but keep going

Exploring

We are staying at home and we are staying safe. But are we staying sane? 

It is from experience that I say that being locked at home for long hours and days, even as a purposeful act to accomplish a higher level of productivity, never turns out as good as I’d hope not for me, at least). So, how are you doing? 

We all need some routines and ways to get accountable 

These are hard days for all of us. For the world, for society, for the economies… The truth is we don’t even know why or how we got into this situation.

Our routines have been broken, almost vanished. We are uncertain about many things. But we hold tight onto the hope that everything will be OK and that we’ll go back to normality. Maybe we will even be stronger and develop tools to better process similar events that may occur in the future.

Now we find our day to day to be total chaos. We go with the flow. It seems like we are all bored, refreshing our social feeds endlessly in hopes to see that everything is coming back to normality and seeing that we are all feeling the same way, sharing our boredom, anxiety and suffering. We are trying to stay connected when we have to stay apart. 

 But maybe we can have our say in how we all want this to develop.

We are building something new. We are finding new ways to do and adapt to what feels like a different world. And we will be building new routines, while taking further advantage of technology to fill the voids. 

Striving for a better version

But can we choose to do it consciously? Can we use this moment to create that improved version of ourselves that we have failed to become every 1st of January? I believe so. 

There are few things as powerful as habits. And if you add the right attitude, you can just crush it. 

So, what now? 

So, I’ll be trying to walk the talk. I have a strong drive to do more and become better as I want to prove myself that I can achieve all that I really want to and believe in. It’s not just a self-centered, selfish ambition, I want to share this feeling that mostly everything is possible, that where there’s a will, there’s actually a way. And the only way I know is by doing and creating. So that’s what I’ll be pursuing these weeks.  

It’s a moment to reflect on our own personal and professional situation. Even those who are lucky to now have “time”, may confront the fact that there are actually many things that could benefit from our energy. This energy is not endless though, and this “time” will not be available forever. 

So, it may be now or never. 

We may have a choice. How will these events impact our lives in the areas that we have some control over?

One day we’ll be ocean

Exploring

Water we are and water we’ll become.

Not ashes. Ocean. Water we are and we’ll find our way to the ocean. I much better prefer that mental image. And then, being a drop in the ocean makes a lot more sense. Or the ocean in a drop, like Rumi says.

I don’t think I’m the only one, but I feel a kind of obsession about the quick passing of time and the presence of death. Let me put it in a picture for you: I was flipping pages through a local magazine that my boyfriend had passed me. And I spoke out loud about a place in the cemetery for sale (I always find it funny that you buy a “block” for when you are finally dead or to Rest In Peace) and then I also saw an ad for funerary services and had to say “do someone who really needs them at the moment will be reading this?”. At which point my boyfriend pointed out how he didn’t notice any of this ads. I’d like to think that I’m just so amused at life that I always notice a threat to it, even if its just by naming the end of it.

About the passing of time, maybe it’s more noticeable because of having a clear routine. And, although it doesn’t feel comfortable to be thinking constantly about time running out, it clearly is a necessity and one that not everybody takes seriously enough. We all go around hoping and doing as if things won’t change any time soon. Until they do. And I don’t say we should be doing otherwise, at least not to expect what we don’t want, but we should think about it to gain perspective in life and about our priorities. Because when change does really break into your routine, we get a better picture of what we really liked about our past and we’d really like to change for our future. And then be able to break our patterns and beliefs to get the life we want.

And so, I had to share these summer photos, those stills that remind me of how free I can be and that are moments that can last forever even if they don’t actually do. Does it make any sense to you?

Remember to breath!

Cheers

xx

Lena

A new season starts, a new day begins

Exploring

I believe you could divide the world into two types of people: those who are on time, always prepared and write the posts on time… And those who always run late. In the blogosphere at least. Ok, no, I just changed my mind: I believe we all do this thing off-time. Unless you are doing live streaming. That’s the real deal.

It all started with the title of this article. As you may know, I adore summer or maybe I just hate being cold, which happens most of the time in my life: be it indoors, outdoors, because of the AC, because of cloudy days… So I’m always a bit resentful of time flying by specially after summer has ended.  Actually, I feel like I just skipped autumn altogether. I enjoyed warm temperatures (at least at middays in the sun) and now I’m just freezing, wearing some cut-off gloves while I type under the blanket. It’s cold in here and dark night outside. But let’s cultivate some optimism!

Why do I write?

I just recently thought, what if someone tries to write my biography when I’m dead? I know, quite an ambitious dream (not the being dead part, of course). I was just reading a biography of Diana Vreeland and there are many quotes in there from her diaries. The thing is, I don’t write a diary, and when I’ve written something similar to that I’ve made sure, like really sure, that nobody could ever read it. Although there was little on those entries that could help in a biography rather than have a psychological profile made of my inner conflicts and unresolved emotions, which are the only things that make me write in secrecy in the first place.  🤔 So, my only legacy, if I never get the chance to write a book (I have many books in my mind!) may be this blog. Until the day I (or someone on my behalf) stop paying for the hosting.
So, this blog does serve as my legacy, not only to showcase what I create (occasionally), but also share a small piece of my mind and vision of the world. And this, my friends, kind of serves me as a consolation for writing about my “average” life. I keep promising to myself that one day I’ll only write good, informative and inspiring stuff, but here I am again.

[Changing the subject]

How to keep motivated when it gets colder

Life has been quite good for the last months. And I felt really, really good. I practiced sport, I worked, I started lots of sewing projects, got great ideas I hope I’ll find the time to pursue… And now I have to be positive and embrace change. In my clothing at least. I adore doing sport in shorts, I can tolerate being too hot but I totally hate it being so cold until I’ve actually being active for a while. If you are like me, hold on. Let’s put our favourite tunes and … think about what we can control to make the transition to winter much, much easier.

1- Let’s get some nice winter sporty clothes! 

I don’t want to promote consumerism but maybe it’s not the best of to the ideas to try and motivate yourself to go for a run wearing some old, boring and worn out leggings. And what about a matching shirt and running jacket instead of an old jumpsuit? (Remember fashion is our friend as long as you don’t fall for every fast-fashion trend and learn your own style)

Quick update: I did get some real “sport clothing” just for that, and it did work! It looks amazing on me (no modesty here) and gives me the same feeling that I used to get when wearing my wetsuit for surfing  – that of empowerment and freedom.

2- Picture yourself having fun out in the cold


3- Picture yourself feeling so great in the hot shower afterwards

4- Think about the big goals you want to achieve for next summer. It won’t happen if you keep sitting by the fireplace


5- Oh, did I say to start with some good music to kick it off by moving that awesome body?

🎶

6- Last but not least, think about that great dinner or that glass of beer that will be waiting for you when you come back

One thing I realised not long ago is that I used to put on warmer clothing than I needed. So I was uncomfortable all the time, having my exposed skin so cold but then I was too warm where I was covered. Just saying, for those of you who also thought, how on earth can they be outdoors with shorts, in this temperature?

There’s no chance I’ll be going running these days just with a pair of shorts, but you won’t find me with gloves and an infinity scarf neither.

PLUS

Now, let’s remember the good moments of the last season: (oh, yes, it’s an excuse to tell you that I got the chance to surf and finally tried scuba diving! It won’t be my last time!)

Tadà!

I don’t have much to say about Autumn though. But now I can get excited about Christmas!! Aren’t you already?? Decorations are on the streets already and Black Friday is coming fast. Will I be able to create something christmassy inspired?? I hope to at least get to style some cozy shots. Keep posted! 😉

UPDATE : fuck, nop. 😩 I didn’t even get to finish this post before Christmas, nor publish it before 2020. Let’s say I’ve kept pretty busy during this last quarter. Maybe next year? 🙏

But let’s remember and repeat our winter mantras :

Everything will be ok, even if it gets colder.

And this shall pass too.

Cheers

xx

Lena

Things worth sharing – #November2019

Exploring

Summer Autumn may be coming to an end, so let’s embrace this moment to share a couple of things I’ve been enjoying and digging in and that I want you to know about.

First of all, and this may be coming too late for those of us in the northern hemisphere, what do you use to avoid sunburning? Did you know that your suncream may be killing the coral reefs?  I kindly and highly recommend you to read this article to learn a bit about this issue. You’ll realise it’s not a small issue: there are days that you get on a crowded beach, go for a swim and there’s no way to smell the sea as there are so many smells of suncream around you… Did you notice? How much suncream goes into the sea??

Some components in our sunscreens are endangering life in the oceans, so we should take that into account. Do we need to use all that solar protection? It’s far more beneficial for everyone to be aware of the time and hours we spend under the sun, to protect ourselves with clothing and the right accessories and avoid sunscreen as much as we can. Suncream should actually be our last resource.

My way of dealing with it? First of all, I don’t spend that much time under the sun. I’m not trying to get tanned either, but if I did, I would try to spend less time in a day laying in the sun but spending more days in a row doing so. The worst thing I did this summer was to go running at noon, on one of the hottest days 😅 So what did I do? I used a zinc solar protection, which should be safe for the ocean too, and I only used it for my nose area, as it’s my most delicate spot – I’ve sunburned it too many times. And, of course, I wore a shirt and shorts. This kind of protection is what I’ve seen surfers use plenty of times (though not in Spain) and it works for me too. And you should totally check it out. More info on the link mentioned above.

Now, the good stuff! Links, links, links!!

On travel-housing

These two are some housing and travel options I would move right in, right now. Please? 🤩 Which one would you prefer : Futuristic camper van VS Eco-friendly travel trailer ??

On fashion

· What is Glocal?? And what does it mean in the fashion industry? If you are curious, head over here.

· What is really going on with the re-cycled polyester? Is it really better than conventional polyester?

· So, what are some industry trends or innovations that may shape the future of fashion? Let’s take a look at these and start imagining… The possibilities are endless.

· “The five biggest trends of the season include joyous fashion, puff sleeves, modern tailoring, patchwork and allover florals.” – Spring 2020 Fashion Trends at New York Fashion Week

· Textile art is having a moment and we can see it in the Dior Lady Art Project 😍 Look at those bags!!

On Tech

What will the web 3.0 be like? More centralisation or less? Make your bet!

Will curators take the place of influencers? I hope so, but… Let’s see.

 

Random

Pantone has been very active lately… they launched a new red colour: Baywatch red. But 294 shades of colour have also been added to their book libraries, which are “trend and market-relevant graphics colours.”

I wondered about how could one cultivate seaweed… and finally decided I won’t be having a seaweed garden at home (yet).

And finally, if you like wildlife and also photography… you’ll probably appreciate this.

Morning rituals and other summer life updates

Creating, Exploring

As I get back to the flow of sharing things around here, summer is getting to an end. And I don’t say that easily. It’s breaking me to see myself already wearing my soft pullovers and zipper ups indoors while the beach is still calling me with warm waters. Still, I’ll try to ignore all of those who already share pumpkins and fall collections. Ain’t giving up on summer yet, even if my clothing says otherwise!

Now, let me share a bit of what is going on around here. Did I enjoy summer at its fullest? I’d had to say no. I did get to the beach quite a few times, though I think what I did most was running. And snorkelling. Freediving and apnea are a growing interest for me this year. Anyways, I’m not a big fan of going where the crowds are, the surf hasn’t been much convenient (if there was actually any) and, of course, life is always busy.

Maybe you recall me talking about reading that much early in the year. Well, I’m not keeping up very well as I’ve been shifting my focus on trying to staying on track with practising my drawing/painting skills as well as trying to work a bit on my body, aka doing some sport or activities. And summer is great for that. I’ve felt so much more active during these last couple of months!

So, let me tell you about my morning routine. Beware, I’m not another blogger talking about the importance of self-care, those who get to spend three hours in the morning doing what makes them feel good… I’m just trying my best to make the most of my days. The days in which I go to my full-time job.

So, what do I do? Firstly, I try to wake up as early as possible (trying to sleep around 7 hours during the week though) which means that luckily I’ll get up at 5.40 am – but which also means I can’t watch any series before sleep. While I start clearing my mind and pulling away from the sleep in my eyes I spend a good chunk of time having my breakfast, usually while scrolling Instagram. I sometimes even make a post or start preparing one.

After that, I’ll go for like a half an hour of stretching/yoga/plank exercises to wake up the rest of the body while I listen to some music. I totally need that, even if I’m too tired, just some stretching makes wonders for my body. Especially, if you consider I’ll be sitting for almost the rest of the day!  Then, it’s time for some art! For half an hour or so I’ll be sketching or painting, still with my music on and I use every minute available before I have to rush to get ready for work. And so here my secret revealed as to why I still get rushing to work when I get up so early.

Not all days go so perfectly, some days I’m too tired, some days I have something else to prepare or do, some days I exercise more and paint less, and otherwise. On lucky days though, I may even get 20 minutes of painting on my lunch break. And that, my friends, is why I’ve been able to paint these things below.

 

 

Oh, and this is me, trying to smile still sleepy, in those days when I could still go around with just a shirt in the early morning…

 

 

 

 

I messed up ~ ink experiment

Creating

Did I get to tell you that I moved from creating with watercolours to trying my hand at inks? I may have not. Well, while on this blogging hiatus in my life, I decided to change my focus to using ink and a calligraphic pen to create new artworks and hopefully, one day, new patterns in a kind of a new style. It feels like a creative challenge, as I’m leaving behind the bright pastel colours I used to use these last couple of years but I’m gaining skill on using the “line” more (which I really enjoy). I’m also intentionally using fewer colours, being my palette mostly blues, a bit of brown and black – you’ll see what I’m talking about in a coming post.

So, while starting to try my hand at this ink thing, something happened.

Do you know that moment when something you’ve been fearing might happen finally happens? You saw it coming. You didn’t know when, but it was meant to happen, sooner or later.

That was the thing with using inks. I knew someday a pot would fall and spill all over the place. And so it happened. Even though I knew the time would come, I wasn’t prepared. I had not thought about what I would do.

So I just cleaned the mess. Luckily, the table didn’t wasn’t damaged, neither did my phone, which was right there and got some drops. However, I did realise while I was wiping the table with a piece of clothing that I should have done something with the ink that was now flowing down the sink. I hope next time I’ll think about putting all the liquids in another, bigger crystal jar – the ink would be dissolved in water but at least I could still use it.

it did happen again 🙈

( I spilled some ink again while I hadn’t published this post yet and I did store some of it into a jar, yay!)

So after realising I was losing all that ink I thought: “Couldn’t I do something with it right now? “. So, as quick as I could, I got that piece of clothing (intended to clean the mess) and I used it to create an abstract texture. Then I added some shapes more intentionally, even with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and voilà, out of a mess, I created this print below. I know I’m not getting into the history of art for this but… the takeaway is that not everything is lost when things don’t work out as expected, nor when accidents or messing ups show up. There’s always something to be done to improve any situation, you can always make it better.

So here it is, my free-of-guilt abstract. Truth be told I somehow still feel that abstracts are the art that those who can’t draw can still do, and because of that, I shouldn’t do it. Lately, I’ve been trying to acknowledge my blocks around creation, what I’m supposed or I’m not supposed to do, the reason why I “can’t” be an artist, etc. You know, the everyday reflections of a creative type. Maybe another day I’ll talk about that (I know a couple of books that help!).

I thought that the purple texture would make for a great pattern but as I am not that much into abstract patterns either… well, I just used the opportunity to play around. (You can actually save this image to your computer as desktop wallpaper).

 

So here it is to the creation of unexpected things. And playing in life. 🥂

~x~

Lena

 

get rids of ads thumbnail

How to remove ads : the most effective way

Exploring

Internet is a great place for businesses and for marketing. We all know it. But why? Basically, because the internet makes it a lot easier to find the right audience for any product. Also, everybody is consuming a lot of content, which means that our behaviour makes it even easier for companies to reach us. So, advertisers will look for and find you on the internet. But, can you avoid them? And if so, how?

Yes, you can. That’s the short answer. But you’ll have to take action. And they’ll try to put you back on the ads consuming wagon at every turn.

You should be conscious that most services track you so they can get the right ad in front of you. Every time you accept the cookies of a new site, you should take a good look at which cookies are those. The most basic ones and the reason why most websites need to warn you is because of the social media cookies. That website that you are visiting may not be tracking you but as they use social media widgets and other third parties (and those do track all your activity) they must warn you. But I’ve found that many sites will even specify which services and companies work with them, which might actually be many more than we are used to and will share your data for a wider range of purposes and to far many companies. Unfortunately, there are some of these cases when it is actually not possible to deny accepting those cookies and to navigate the site.

How to remove ads (some at least)?

First of all, start by getting some tools. Aka:

  • Adblock (for your favourite browser)
  • Use a browser that doesn’t track you and blocks most ads

Then, accept that you’ll have to say no. Every time you say you consent to have ads better suited to your interests, you are accepting ads and trackers.

a gratuitous picture of my cat, depicting privacy 😆

 

How to get more privacy using google

First, check this(!) It freaks me out to see it. They just have too much information. Imagine you could access that info about any person. Or every person. You could know much more than where they work and live (which is not little).

Then :

And now for the action that changes it all: go to these sites and turn off all the companies:

Last but not least, stay informed and keep trying to push off the ads. You may even find that you are not seeing ads on Youtube! I rarely see any and I can enjoy Youtube music for free without interruptions (most of the time).

And rest assured, the day you are actually on the internet looking for a product you want or need, you’ll be able to find it without the help of constant ads floating all over the sites.

 

Now, go surf the amazing web.

small ink flower

 

 

Rolling time – video edit

Exploring

Some days I roll around, some days I cruise around. This video is one of the rolling ones. There’s not too much to it, just a casual day.  Thought I would get some footage and then decided to edit it to make a little video. I’m sure you won’t be enjoying it as much as I enjoyed the afternoon but… I’m sharing a piece of my life that hopefully will inspire you someway.

Check my youtube channel. There’s not much there yet but I’ll try to create better things in the near future!

Wanna see another very small part of my life? Meet (briefly) who I spend the most time with in this other post/video.

 

 

Video edit – Sunny days

Exploring

Coming today with a video I made…. in which I am not 😛 I could have made a vlog but I decided to try out my camera video options in a more ¿artistic? way and made my first edit in ages. It’s just a way for you to meet (briefly) my twin sister, my boyfriend and our pets, and the landscape that surrounds me. How nice were the warmer days! (and yes, I recorded this before the summer started… it’s embarrassing having to admit that I’ve neglected my internet presence for a year). Anyway, we are all on a never-ending quest for finding balance!

You can find this video also on youtube. And do follow me on Instagram to see my pictures more often or on Twitter to get spammed with links when I get some time to surf the net.

 

Things worth sharing #August2019

Exploring

Here comes what used to be my “links of the month” post : Links and recommendations I found that (I think) are worth sharing along with some life updates.

YOU CAN SKIP THIS PART

The year started 8 months ago and I didn’t get to publish any post. So embarrassing and shameful. But here we are. So, let me tell you REAL quick what my intentions were when 2019 started. I decided not to focus on a list of goals for the year. Instead, I want to focus on the bigger picture and work on it slowly and steadily. That’s my only goal. To move forward. To lower my expectations over myself and all the things I should be doing and achieving and to acknowledge that I’m already working hard on balancing all the things on my plate and giving priority to building habits that will help me achieve my big dreams. And I encourage you to do the same. I can’t jump to a future life without being here right now and doing the things that need to be done right now. Taking care of oneself is not as social media lays it out to be (pink baths and cute pyjamas) but about being brutally honest with the self and starting to learn what those activities are that do you well but that you deny because, in your mind, you are not that sort of person. (I feel so mature now that I’m 26 yo LOL) Let me put better: I tend to avoid people and sports, not because I dislike them (maybe some people and some sports, but not in general), but because I don’t see them as a priority. As it happens, though, I do feel a lot more alive if I spend a good chunk of my free time engaged in both of them. And that’s hard to listen to, as I usually think I need to stay in when I most need to go out. You may understand this better if your personality type is 5 too. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check this. And you may also be interested in this (it seems I’m a logician). These are personality groups, with tests and information on every type. I’m not a fan of being put in a box like that but when it happens to be quite right and the texts become enlighting, I must admit it can be helpful. And I’m always up for some self-improvement.

NOW THE LIST

Here comes a mix of links I found on the interwebs with no connection:

– This video: ” In “Dream”—a harrowing video by Zombie Studio—critically endangered animals poignantly sing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.”

– Ever wondered about the beaches in South Africa? I did and I want to keep this article close for the day I get to go. You know, even though I’m not the cliché surfer who gets every surf break they can, I do like to travel to places where it is possible, so if I get the chance to surf the better.

– If you are a designer too, you may like this. How important do you think typography is for science fiction movies that picture the future? Well, quite a bit actually. You can see some case studies on this page.

– Here is a short guide to Instagram basics (characters related) that comes handy.

– Do you have all the new emojis?

 

AND THE BOOKLIST

I started doing so well with my reading this year… And rapidly went back to the old habits. I love reading but I have to do it squeezing the small chunks of time I have left in my day and that means being focused on reading, while I still want to be thinking about so many other things, my projects, designs, illustrations… Anyway, here’s a list of what I’ve been reading this year (yeah, there’s a theme around here – I’m always up for a business/ marketing/ self-improvement book):

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson – This book sets the tone for the start of the year. The idea behind it is simple but that makes it just more powerful. I totally recommend it to anyone but to explain it in a sentence:  there lays a great power on every small action you take every day and it will change your future.

This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin.  You probably know Seth Godin as he’s a marketing guru on the internet and you have probably come across something he said already… Anyway, in this book he talks modern marketing in the era of online commerce and it’s a nice read, good to brush up on some ideas.

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis. I love how he talks about building and keeping a small business small and how that’s important. I totally buy into the idea that small businesses have a real future and the idea of not trying to grow bigger and bigger as a business should be pursued more broadly.

The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea  by Bob Burg, John David Mann. This is a fast read, very powerful, and I would give a copy of this book to everyone (with a slight interest in business). It teaches you values, it teaches relationships, it teaches business. Go for it!

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay. This one’s a bit off-topic, but I really enjoyed it. Not in the way I would enjoy a novel, but as a book that knows how to clearly break down what it means to be a 20-something, the worries we have, the problems we face, how we feel about our lives. And it gives solutions or at least it shows us the path. How to grow up and keep going forward in the way that better suits and benefits us. I wish I had this book when I entered the twenties but at least I had it 4 years to go before entering the so cursed 30’s. Anyone else has noticed that all benefits of being “young” or “under x” end at 30? Is there something that they don’t tell us, like that we will be dead inside or something when we reach that age?

As a man thinketh by James Allan. I had listened to/ watched videos with James Allen’s voice overs for a while and heard (actually read) about this book lots of times previously, so it was a matter of time I would read it eventually. It’s a short read and it teaches how to think, which is not a small feat.

Rich dad, poor dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Did you miss having financial classes or some kind of guidance while growing up about money issues? Well, here you’ll find what you wanted and what you need to start progressing. I enjoyed it, was motivated by it and have to keep digging in that field (I have a full course on financial studies ready to study).

When Coffee & Kale Compete: Become Great at Making Products People Will Buy by Alan Klement. How can you get a great idea for a business? How to prove it’s worth pursuing it? This book is full of good ideas, case studies and ideas on how to find a good idea, how we know it’s a good idea and how others have made it. Learn what you need to know to develop a good business idea – that what you can take from it. I loved the approaches taken in this.

And now I’m currently reading these :

I’ll tell you more when I’m finished. And probably the list will have grown longer, as my to-read list is endless (f***).

And here goes a video I enjoyed recently about this great surf artist and his path to it.

And lastly… A product that has saved me this year: glasses with a blue filter. I had my doubts they would actually work… But spending most of my day in front of a screen (retina screens and my Xiaomi’s) I had to try it, as I would have red eyes almost every day. And they do work. I still get red eyes from time to time and some days they even hurt, but it has now happened on occasion when it would be like this every day before. If you are thinking about taking the leap and trying them, go ahead!

 

red eyes portrait illustration

Because I don’t want to feel like the drawing above, I end up looking like below. A bit too geeky for my taste.

 

See ya soon (hopefully)🤙

x Lena x

 

 

 

Always Wondering ~ Sometimes Wandering

Exploring

Grab your backpack, fill it with your fav equipment and leave the house without knowing what time you are coming back.

What do I feel is the best thing about practising sports or any activity outdoors? Just being outdoors. That’s why sometimes I’d rather sit in the wild with my camera at hand and just look around, observing everything and noticing the details of every little leaf, rock… Maybe it is because of my childhood holidays spent on the mountains, allowed to spend all day on the outdoors, doing as I pleased, playing my own games and the ones I’d make up with my sister.

I dream of the day I’ll be able to spend time in my own garden, working under the sun, enjoying the breeze and letting my imagination wild.

Nowadays, though, I just enjoy going out. The sun always warms you, even on the colder days and the air is fresh. Natural light and different views will always be highly appreciated (especially after a week on the office).

As much as I can love routine, I love breaking it even more, or simply escaping from it. And those become the happy times, the moments to remember, the days I’ll remember in the future. Because routine, as good as it can feel sometimes, just gets lost in countless moments you won’t be able to tell from each other.

Nothing can beat outdoors time. It will keep me grounded and steer my imagination in ways a screen will never do. And it improves my sight and not otherwise!

The quietness lets your mind breath and all shapes, colours and feelings are an endless source of creativity.

Here below find some memories from a day out, being inspired by the late-fall feelings.

See you in the wild? Hope so!

 

ode to my beach

You little beach! ~ Ode to my beach

Exploring

Oh these little beaches! White sand (at least before the winds blow and the sea rises) and blue, green and purple waters. Fluffy foam and funny waves… The beach is where I go when I just want to go somewhere. Where I go on my mind to think, dream and relax. I love where I am when I’m not at the beach and I love going to the seashore at the same time.

 

 

It is the place where I go on Summer to … just go.

It is where I go on Winter to walk the dog and breath the salty air when it’s flat. And surfing whenever the stars align.

Let me fly away underwater and listen to the sounds down there.

 

I dream of going to the desert and look at those endless mountains of sand, soft under the feet, slipping between the toes, too hot to step over for long.

 

In the water the world morphs, it’s more flexible, open… It seems reality isn’t as stiff as it often seems to be. I see more glimpses of freedom in the water, may it be because I get to play and be myself as we used to do when we were kids.

 

I like to remind myself that this is what can be home. I don’t need a place to call my own, I am home and the sea (and nature) is where I like to hang out. Not much else I need.

The shapes of on the water make me crazy (in a good sense). I find it so fascinating to look at the changing shapes, the movement and colours. It’s like a kaleidoscope. I always love waiting for the swell to come while I enjoy the peaceful landscape, the changing colours, the lights and skies, the surface of the sea… I’ve seen so many wonderful skies thanks to being chasing waves.

 

Most of these pics are courtesy of my twin sis. As well as this nice butt %$s Sorry, I meant legs 🤪. You can see (read) her stuff here. You should take a look (and not just because I helped with the brand-web-graphics).

 

beach style

My sis, you’ll see lots of pics of her on my insta. Don’t think that’s too bad, we are twins xp

PS. This post may have been published like some months after it was actually photographed and written. It may just be that I like to fake I live in Australia or that I’ve been busy with other business.

A walk that inspires ~ Colours and landscapes to remember

Exploring

Time is so relative! So different from one time to the next. That afternoon hour in the office when you forgot to have coffee and you get so sleepy runs so slow… that day spent indoors cleaning and organising that flies away before you can put your feet up… those days you drive for several miles and have some fun outdoors…

girona

And then there are those days you can stretch. When you get away to have a bit of an adventure. To go up to the mountains and then back to a new town, when you walk and you talk, and dream and walk and see new things non-stop.

These pictures are from one of those times.

Berguedà
The top of the world is always a good choice! Even if it’s not literally the top of the world. The satisfaction of eating a sandwich upon the summit of a mountain, when all you have to do for the day is going down to catch some rest; it feels so comforting and liberating!
la creu la gallina pelada
It seems quite unreal too to reach these new highs and see such a different landscape just a couple of hours from home, just a short walk upwards to get to these green and blue sights that look like the landscape from a children’s tale.
la gallina pelada
the top

Sometimes I even get the feeling that the surreal thing is our daily lives, so far away from places like these, walking only over concrete, having forgotten that we should be running wild and free a lot more most of the day.

besalú

After the hike in nature, we went back to meet civilisation but we remained on awe. We walked over ancient rocks and buildings, made so long ago, standing the pass of time while we pass by in a flicker.

 

de la roca
besalú
walking over ancient streets

I was marvelled stepping over these colourful cobblestones.

colourful cobblestones

Oh, and this pattern of flowers! I could totally have that door in my dream house. Maybe not that tall though.

 

How fun it is to find old buildings in such colourful palettes! Every little adventure could keep me inspired for months!

Everything comes to an end and this was it. Roadtripping back home, seeing the sun shine, driving under a storm and getting home to a peaceful night.

 

 

PS : locations are the summit La Gallina Pelada, the town of Besalú and the city of Girona. There was so much we saw and have still left to discover!

 

Have it all ~ Sea and Mountains

Exploring

Winter calls and we answer.

I made a commitment to myself to not be so angry about it being winter. I chose to enjoy it like any other time of the year. I think I’m doing fine. Though, winter is really just starting. As it will not end officially until the twenty-something of March, I still have three months to put my new attitude to the test. I’m feeling positive, though!

Does it feel less cold and comfortable now? Indeed. But I’m at peace with myself, I make sure I don’t feel the cold that much and that I still do things I love. Even if it means going less and less to surf some waves. As you’ll see below, that doesn’t mean I stop going to the beach!

 

When mountains call

 

Does it feel like winter in the pics above?  It surely feels cooler and the sun was almost gone when I took the pictures, so you can bet it doesn’t feel like summer. But it is wonderful as well, as always. Also, wherever you go, if you are in good company, there’s not much to complain about. And here we brought our dog and cat with us, while E. climbed and I entertained myself running around trying to keep the cat on sight. We even found some (lots of) mushrooms to take home for dinner. Win-win!

When the sea calls

I could stare at the ripples of the sea endlessly. Remember, you won’t see them ever again, not the same, not in all eternity.

 

And how wonderful is the beach? Much more enjoyable than in summer, where people are lying all around. We can bring our dog and have some fun while she runs and plays with all the other pups. I get to enjoy the salty air, enjoy the beach views and even watch some wild shrimps.

 

Folk Sunsets ~ It’s not all beachy around here

Exploring

As much as I love taking a few good shots of the coastal life, I can’t ignore the beauty of the rural life I’ve got. Being those mountains and country sights my day to day, sometimes I also feel the urge to capture the beautiful lights and colours that shine all around on the peaceful moments I go outdoors, even if it’s just to walk the pets.

These pictures were taken on one of those days when the sun was setting and creating a warm palette of colours.

Now, enjoy some folk vibes for a change!

folk landscape during sunset
canes and sky
mountains and water reflections

 

Water reflections are always a favourite sight. Though Pumpkin the cat doesn’t like them very much.

close up flowers

When I get to spend some time on the outdoors I always feel grateful to be able to enjoy our beautiful landscapes. And I’m especially grateful for not living in the heart of a grey big city where those peaceful moments and sights are even more precious and harder to find.

 

May we all find a peaceful walk for each day, one that brings us closer to the world, keep us grounded and frees our minds.

country side sunset

 

folk reflections

I have no green thumb but I’m lucky enough that plants outside home live perfectly without my help and I even get to enjoy their fruits! How gratifying it is to collect food from the woods and wild plants. During this year I’ve learnt about many more plants that are edible and it is eye-opening to discover that you can buy your groceries, grow them and even find some in the wild.

folk sunset
blackberries

 

Sweet snacks on the wild!

 

 

 

Don’t cry for Summer, cry for waves

Exploring

Summer doesn’t want you to be sad.
She is not going that far, and she’s coming back in 9 months. She’s just going on a trip, and you could even join her.
But the sea… ahhh the sea. She is not so kind. She’s that kind of girl who likes to play with your feelings. You never know when she’ll be ready to move forward or when she is leaving. She won’t give you waves when you are ready and will bring the best swell when you’re on duty. We forever chase her, like trying to catch the moon on the mirroring waters of a peaceful black lake. And she always slips away from our fingers and wetsuits.
She likes our salty tears as much as we like her salty foam. But she doesn’t want you to be sad, not specifically. You can cry with excitement and fun too. She’d be satisfied too, but who really knows with Sea?
However, we should cry with excitement indeed. We are lucky to be able to play where Summer and Sea hang out. Don’t you think? Will you join us?

 

coastal view
crystal clear water wave

There’s a special feeling when you get to the sea for a quick swim, with nearly no one on the beach, when the water’s still warm and the sun is strong on the skin.

water rainbows legs
wavy surface underneath

Who else loves to swim close to the bottom sand? It looks like there’s another sea behind, with its sand dunes (or waves) and all the reflections playing around…

waves under waves
blue landscapes

And what about the light rainbows? And the light shining on all the white shells looking like diamonds underneath your bare feet?

rainbow underwater sand waves

I have so much fun in the water, even when it’s for a short amount of time, even if it’s occasional and not a daily thing. It’s dreamy as well, and a very precious time I’ll recall for a long time.

underwater the face of happiness Not picture perfect, but surely filled with joy[/caption]

Sweet new designs that will make you dream awake

Creating

Lee este post en español ~ Llegeix aquest article en català

Ice pop dress - Awakening Dream collections

It’s been quiet around here and it’s taken just a bit longer than expected for me to come and tell you the story of my new things. But I’m back and fully charged. Let’s do this!

Give them bananas dress
THE STORY OF “THE AWAKENING DREAM” COLLECTION

Centuries ago, born by the beach and looking at the sunsets right behind the mountains, there was a wind that blew relentlessly but softly over the coastal beaches and the endless roads that went north. The sun was pouring its kisses over all the thirsty skins laying on the sand and the fruits radiated their smells and sweet juices to water the arid soils.

That wind became a summer breeze blowing in all directions. It couldn’t stop exploring the world. Now it travels around the Earth looking for you, for the next person to inspire and take into a summer dream journey.

pssst… they say this breeze is a muse that presents herself to those who fall asleep looking at the clouds. Just saying…

 

Give them bananas Dress

Wearing the Give Them Bananas Dress

 

Ice pop dress

Ice Pop Dress

 

Eyes on fruit dress
eyes on fruit dress
Eyes on fruit dress

Eyes on Fruit Dress

have a nice day leggings

Have Nice Day Leggings and Warm Ground Tank top

teal waters
we need to talk tank top

We Need to Talk Top Tank and Have a Nice Day Leggings

 

we need to talk

We Need to Talk Tank top and Rainforest River Sounds Leggings

 

Frosted mornings

Frosted Mornings Tank Top and Forest Wanderings Leggings

 

palm margalló
summer mirage

Summer Mirage Tank Top  and When the Sun Goes Down Leggings

 

Lusurious tee

Luxurious Long Sleeve Tee

 

See you at the other side of (my) Summer! 

You can check all available products on the shop. Also, follow along on social or our Telegram Channel to see all pictures from this beautiful shooting.  

La historia de “THE AWAKENING DREAM” COLLECTION (Colección el Sueño del Despertar)
Muchos años atrás, nacido en el regazo de la playa y mirando los atardeceres detrás de las montañas empezó su existencia un viento suave. Suave pero imparable soplava ligero por playas salvajes y por interminables caminos que se alejaban hacia el norte. El sol brillaba con fuerza como si quisiera derretir las pieles de aquellos posados en la arena, pidiendo a gritos más calor y más luz que les oscureciera, y la fruta maduraba y radiaba su olor y dejaba fluir sus jugos para calmar los áridos suelos. Ese viento se fue convirtiendo en una brisa de verano, esparciéndose en todas direcciones. No podía parar, quería seguir viendo mundo. Ahora viaja por todo el globo buscándote, buscando a aquella pesona a la que inspirar y llevarse en un sueño de verano. pssst… dicen que esta brisa es una musa que se penetra a los que se duermen mirando las nubes…. Puedes encontrar todos los diseños en la tienda.  También puedes seguirnos en las redes o unirte a nuestro canal de Telegram.

 

La història de   “THE AWAKENING DREAM” COLLECTION (la col·lecció El somni del despertar)
Fa segles, nascut vora la platja, mirant amunt cap a les postes de sol rera les muntanyes, habitava un vent que bufava sense parar però suaument; des de les platges costeres fins a les carreteres infinites conduent sempre al nord. El sol vessava carícies sobre totes les pells esteses a la sorra, sedentes de llum i calor. I mentrestant, les fruites de la temporada, dolces i madures, desprenien les seves olors i preparaven el suc amb el que regar els sòls àrids. A poc a poc, aquest vent va anar esdevenint una brisa d’estiu,  estenent-se en totes direccions. No podia deixar de voltar món. Ara viatja per tota la Terra i et busca a tu, la pròxima persona a la que inspirar i a qui emportar-se en un viatge de somni d’estiu. pssst… diuen que aquesta brisa és la musa que es presenta a aquells que es queden adormits mirant els núvols. Jo només ho dic… Pots veure tots els productes disponibles a la botiga. També ens pots seguir a les xarxes o unir-te al nostre Canal de Telegram per veure totes les imatges d’questa bonica sessió.   
spring lettering

Spring and other exciting things

Creating

Just a generic intro

We are well into Spring and we’ve been able to start feeling the season. Warmer temperatures and much longer days. It seems like we are ready for summer. I can even smell it, don’t you?

I’m so happy I’ve been able to go surfing a couple of times already. The water is still so cold (I’m not a fan of cold) but the softer weather is very welcoming.

 

What’s new?!

So it’s time for new things to see the light!!  Today I’m bringing you a couple of freebies, the announcement of what’s to come in the shop (new products, follow along to see which) and some behind the scenes.

Here one of the packages I’ve received to test the new additions to the shop!

 

 

Now a drumroll, please! Because the first products I have to present you are something really new! So…

 

Summer dresses!!! Sleek, elastic and as wonderfully comfortable as all the other clothes I have in the shop 😄

I’m so excited! They fit so well and the colours are amazing, as always.

Also, I have a long sleeve shirt that we’ll go up in the Stargazing category next month! Wanna know a bit more? I can’t stop myself from telling you! It’s white with a graphic in the front, super soft and feminine.

Where are the photos, you’ll ask!

I know, an image will tell best but I’m still working on preparing the photo shooting. But it will happen soon. I’m so excited! I have many ideas and want to prepare the best presentation for you guys.

 

 

In the meantime though, let me give you something!

My sister just got a new bright amazing phone and you know what you need time and time again for your pocket friend? Beautiful wallpapers. (also a matching case… would you like me to design you some phone cases?)

So here they go, I bring you not two but four phone wallpapers ready to download in the shop (for FREE! 🤩)

Click on your favourite one below to go to the product page.

~ Fun Small Waves

~ Shells and Tans

~ Welcome Spring

~ Goodbye Winter

 

Some behind the scenes

Here some process images (I apologize for the quality… you know I’m not a fan of shooting while working).

When doing the letterings I like to start with a very rough sketch, vectorize the letters in the computer, print and redraw it and add all the illustration and decorations. Then I trace it all and paint it in watercolours. And then I edit it as needed to get to the desired final result.

 

See you soon with new beautiful things to brighten the season! 🌟💙

 

xx

Lena

 

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Tides are changing – Tidal knowledge for surfers

Exploring

 

THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY MY SURFING DREAMS (JK)

Tides are a funny thing. When we think about the beach we don’t usually think about the tides. And surely we don’t take into account how beaches change with tides. D’you know those paradisiacal beaches you see in travel sites in those wonderful photos? They may not look the same on low tide.
But how do tides work and what should you know about them?

Tides are sooo important when going surfing. I’m used to not thinking about them because in the Mediterranean they are almost inexistent. But whenever I go surfing to a new spot, I realise how dependent we are of the tide.

 

Picture by a surf mate 🤙

 

Surfing spots are very different and tides are a key factor in creating the best moment to surf. With surf forecasts, it’s easy to know when the tides are changing but you must know what’s the best condition for that beach. There are beaches that work best in high tide, others in low tide, some in the medium high tide and some others in the medium low tide.

 

Tides are created as a result of the gravity of the Moon and the Sun on the Earth and their movements.
Every tide lasts approximately 6 hours and there are two low tides and two high tides every day. Between the two high tides, half a day it’s gone (12h and 27 minutes).That’s because the Moon takes almost 25 hours to circle the Earth. So every day the tides come an hour later than the day before.

 

 

How’s that there are two high tides (and lows) if the Moon only takes one trip around the Earth a day? Well, it seems weird, right? While the water rises when the Moon is overhead your beach, it has the same effect when it’s just on the opposite side of the Earth (just below your feet). This is because the gravitational force of the Moon creates two water bulges that also move contrary to the movement of the Earth as a result of a centrifugal force (created from the difference in the rotation of the Earth – it rotates around an axis that isn’t exactly at the c

enter so one side will rotate faster giving some inertia to the second bulge of water).

The bulge on the side of the moon will be the high high tide and the one on the other side just a high tide (but it’s more noticeable on certain spots, for example, on caves or narrow indentations of the sea).

 

 

What’s the role of the Sun? Well, because of its distance from the Earth, its gravitational force doesn’t affect the seas as much as the Moon does, but when it aligns with the Moon and the Earth spring tides happen (when the high tides get higher). Conversely, when the Sun gets on a right angle with the Moon, the neap tides happen (the lowest of high tides).

Also, the distance from the Moon affects those bulges differently (you know, it doesn’t go round the Earth in a perfect circle, it’s more like an ellipse). So, when it’s closer to the Earth (perigee), the tidal bulges increase and they decrease when it’s at its furthest (apogee).

 

 

Further reading :

(Quoody) Tides

Physical Geography

– Science of tides

– How the tides affect breaking waves

 

 

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New watercolour art (R)Evolution

Creating

Hello friends!

Time flies around here and it seems like I’m just starting new and amazing projects but can’t get to the finish line. Luckily, that’s just my impression of things and time and some work are actually getting closer to seeing the light. And that’s probably because I’ve been deeply immersed in the ideas tank.

Before spring comes I wanted to paint some new characters while I’m starting many new projects in a little different direction. So we may say these are transition paintings. And for that, they’ve been named the (R)Evolution Series! Text is gaining importance, while also an implicit message addressed at firing motivation or a sense of power, determination and decisiveness emerges.

Now that they are done it’s time for reflection and getting back to the drawing board. So, I’m able to come up with new interesting concepts and images I want to build now. You can expect my colour palettes to stay on the same line but I will be incorporating some of those magic vibes from the Tropical Collection. I hope that nicer weather will accompany me in my pursuits and inspire me with its wonders. Also, hand-lettering was just showing up in these paintings but it’ll be gaining importance in the future (yay!). And I’ve been thinking about expanding the techniques I use. I love watercolours in a big way but I want to experiment a bit more and create more complex compositions and feelings. I’ve used other mediums in the past and had fun as well. But watercolours will still be my signature move. I’ve missed including more mystical references but I’m totally in exploring emotions, poses and references to the millennial (or just tech and current) world.

As usual, haven’t done a great job at documenting the stages of my work, we’ll keep improving though. If you’d like to see more, stick around for coming posts! I feel very creative lately!

PS: As you can see I’ve even built a digital stage for my new posters. I’m loving this aesthetic of combining digital and real worlds and will go on exploring it further soon.

 

watercolour art

Sketch and almost finished watercolour painting

 

artist workspace

My desk is blooming (in all senses)

 

wip watercolour painting

Interesting picture of the work in progress of Unapologetic

 

holding watercolour painting

Watching it in a better light, the figure is finished

 

You can find the four new posters as limited editions in the shop! Get it as a miniprint (a5) or a big poster size. Just click on the one you like the most.

 

BE FOUND

Be Found Watercolour Painting

 

 

WORLD’S DOMINATION

Go Plan World's Dominations Watercolour Painting

 

 

REBELLIOUS

Rebellious Watercolour Painting

 

UNAPOLOGETIC
Unapologetic Watercolour Painting

 

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email messaging books icons pattern

3 Digital Tools That Can Increase your Productivity

Creating

I can say that I’m constantly surrounded by the best advice. I listen to multiple podcasts, I read books and articles and get a good number of newsletters. Many of them tell me about the tools that most productive, successful people use. They usually give some of their personal favourite tips on organising their work, life or both. So, as you know, there are thousands. There are people using Slack for working with teams while some others use Asana and before these apps they used just email or Dropbox. There are those who use Evernote, others use paper. Today I wanna share just my three favourite tools (applications). The ones I would even pay for. They do not belong to just one category but I’ll share along why they are so useful.

 

pattern of books icon

 

A tool for writing, organising your writing and even your business

Imagine you wanna write a book. You start scribbling down ideas. Then you add notes. After that, you do some research. Save research files, links and websites. Add your first rough sketches. You make an index and a table of contents for the book. Also, add the structure. Prepare scenes, characters and key events. You start writing chapters. You move things around. Finally, you end the book, you pack everything and it’s done.

Well, there is an application for that and it’s called Scrivener. It’s power go far beyond writing books. But if book writing is the case, it has templates (and you can find more online) ready to help you with a novel, poetry or anything you have to write. Though, if you are a true creative, there are many more things you can accomplish with that.

If you’re a blogger, for example, you could make very good use of it. In fact, I’d love to be using it more for blogging, but I have this thing for writing directly on my WordPress. One day I’ll improve on that.

Wanna know what I really use it for? For all of my business. As I said, you can organise files into folders, save webs, add descriptions and so much more. So I read this book called She means business in which the author explained a bit about her system – using Asana. But I realised that to me, it made much more sense to use Scrivener.

In that way, I have a structure in which  I save my ideas, templates, resources concerning the different aspects of the business, from product ideas to marketing and outreach. I had tried it a very long time ago and finally, I bought the latest version of the App Store. It’s quite inexpensive so if you’re one who writes a lot, this might be a good investment (also, I plan to write a few books in my lifetime so it could come in handy).

 

email love icons pattern

 

A tool that is making email less painful

Email is that thing we all love and hate at the same time. I love it quite a lot. I would even change my mobile phone to just email if I could. But I’m not a big fan of having to go and send emails at the time I write them or later on. I don’t like to be thinking all the time about that email that has to be sent at what time and don’t want to be there to press the send button. I also have some recurrent emails that have to be sent periodically.

So, there must be a better way right? Yes, and it’s called Right Inbox. It lets you schedule emails so you can send them whenever you want. If you are writing an email at 1 am, you can have it sent at 9 am and you’ll look so much more professional. There’s a free version that lets you schedule like 10 emails a month and you can customize everything time and date related. In this way, you can write a draft, check it’s good enough to hit send, but then maybe it turns out it’s not the right time. Maybe I want it to be opened in the afternoon, or maybe on Monday morning. Then, I would schedule it and could leave happy to enjoy the weekend. Isn’t that true magic?

Also, it could be paired with the Mailtrack feature (shhh, don’t tell anyone about it) and you’ll be notified when your recipient opens the email. Very handy to know if that email address is really working or, if it’s a matter of high priority, if you need to make a phone call instead.

messaging icons pattern
A tool to talk how you wanna talk to who you like to talk and so much more

Let’s face it. I never liked WhatsApp. Now that it belongs to Facebook I dislike it even more. I just have it because most people use it. And from time to time I have to communicate with them. I’d prefer to send an email but… it’s this thing about having to do what the crowds do. Probably the crowds don’t do all I need to do because then they’d be using something different.

The thing is I spend most part of the day on or by my computer. I have a mobile phone, but it’s more like an emergency thing or entertainment on the go. I don’t like to check the phone. It’s unproductive, time-consuming and, why should I take a look at a small screen when I’m in front of a bigger one? Also, who is happy enough with emojis? I like to use GIFs and stickers to communicate in one-on-one (sorry Instagram Stories). I did once that thing of pairing the WhatsApp with the laptop. It was so useless. Having to read a QR on the phone and then have it by my side…

Although, there’s a messaging app that is quite better. It’s Telegram! Famous because it has always had a concern for security it has many more features than WhatsApp. Yes, it’s secure, but I don’t know how to explain much of it. I can tell you though that you can make messages disappear in a time slot you choose, having private conversations that will go blank.

There’s a desktop application you can use. You can send images (and choose if you want them to be optimized or not) and many more files. There are thousands of stickers! The big, funny, more representative type of communication after emojis. There are gifs and video and voice notes. Also calls, muting option, passcode and all of that a messaging app needs. There exist bots that use it (in a good way). And you can message yourself! Why? To save links, send files (from my phone to my laptop for example), take notes, etc.  I type much faster on my laptop keyboard so it’s quite nice to be able to talk to friends through that. So please, don’t hesitate and get Telegram!

What are your favourite tools and why? Tell us in the comments.

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My 6 travel hacks illustrated (packing anywhere)

Exploring

Ready to pack and leave towards a new adventure? Here, my favourite hacks for preparing before leaving

We all know the importance of preparing your suitcase, or better, your backpack before going on a trip. You only have to type “how to pack” on Google and you’ll find endless resources about how you should pack. And they are really good, so I’m not going to show you how to do that. But there a few steps that have been really really useful to me for when going away.

 

My hacks before going on a trip

– If I know I’m going away for more than a couple of days and knowing that I have spare time or will be flying/train/whatever I’ll make sure I take my Kindle with me. It’s not only great for entertainment – and honestly, long flights are the best moment to tackle that Goodreads list that has pending reads from 5 years ago. What’s more, you can store dictionaries inside, as well as any text resource you found on the internet. Also, you can navigate the web too, in case something happened to your phone. And it’s great for storing digital versions of your important documentation.

– In the same line, I loved having a private folder in my Drive where all my important documents, copies and research for the travel were. In the last trip, I shared it with my sister who wasn’t coming so she could help us in case I couldn’t access them and needed them emailed, printed or just a quick check for info. It did help in consulting about our travel insurance. When you’re on the go, some help from home can be a great relief.

 

– One of my musts before leaving: saving offline maps from all the sites I’m planning to go. I know there are people who still don’t know about it but it’s extremely helpful. Now that we can go almost everywhere in Europe without being charged for Internet use seems less relevant. But still, there are some small countries where that doesn’t apply. And what about the first day in a new country without a phone? It’s quite useful to have google maps working without the Internet. Usually, the GPS functionality would work anyway so it can help you find your accommodation the first day in the new city. Now, how does it work? Here are the instructions.

Zipped plastic bags (those used for food) are the greatest thing to pack everything in your backpack. If you choose different sizes you can organize your clothing and all items by size, type and usability. Also, you can squeeze all air out and you’ll get a vacuum packaging. A similar thing is the now so popular packing cubes. But if you want to try one of both, start with the zipped plastic bags, they are a cheaper option, plus less weight and less space.

 

A portable power bank. It is a must. Not only you don’t know when and where you’ll run out of battery but even if you don’t, you may need to connect multiple things to just one or two plugs. If you charge first your power bank, you’ll be ready to go, able to charge multiple items at once and always charged! Choose a good one depending on your needs (more power or less weight?)

Paper list of what you are taking. No digital here. And I’m not saying it just because I like to design printable lists. It’s easier to visualize and count and see more things missing when you can handwrite, cross and draw all that you’re taking. It’s good advice too to start your list several days before living and checking the list many times to see if there’s something you should add (or cross out).

 

 

Finally, take care of packing well. Fill the gaps (no room for air in the backpack). You should play Tetris for a while and manage to have your stored items organized in a way that you get easy access to the most used ones and everything is packed using the less amount of space possible. But for more nice packing tips I found this article, which it’s cramped with wise advice. Take a look.   http://herpackinglist.com/2017/04/how-to-pack-minimalist-packing-list/

 

 

Organise your digital life : minimal check

Exploring

Did you ever find yourself lost in a sea of files and archives, the desktop full of things you don’t remember, the status bar showing 20 different icons, notifications every 10 minutes and a dock full of applications?

Maybe it’s time you strategize your digital life and organise your Mac. It will make your life so much easier. This way, you’ll know what you really need to save on your hard drive, you’ll need less space (meaning you’ll have to erase things less often) and your interface will look cleaner and nicer. Because there’s enough noise out there to have it on your computer too. Or phone. Nowadays, these devices are our second home.

 

A place for each thing and everything in its place

📁

The best way to start is to organize your folders as you need, and have as many folders as you’d like. In a way, your mac (or pc) will probably help you a bit. Movies, Music, Documents and Pictures have their own folders already. Do you use them for that? Instead of saving your newest pictures to a document folder with the name of your camera you could try and use the pictures folders. If you download a book, movie or picture don’t let it rest in the downloads folder. Download it right away into the folder they belong to or move them without waiting.

 

📸

For photos, I don’t use the Photos application. First of all, it uses far too space.  Also, I’d have to manually select the pictures I want to copy on my hard drive or move the whole library around. In addition, it makes me go through a long menu to be able to open them on Photoshop. I’d rather use Image Capture to load the pictures into the camera and choose where to store them. Then I just preview them or drop them into the app I need to.

 

 

🖥

The best way to have a clean desktop is to not store anything in there and keep everything organised. You should move it to the right folder or make a new one in the right category. I have this bad habit of leaving these things I think of “temporary” in there but they end being around for ages. The worst thing is that they could actually be in the trash right now or in their own folder.

 

 

👎

Don’t store apps you don’t use. There was a time when I wouldn’t have internet at home and because of that I just downloaded everything. I still find myself storing things when I don’t need to. If it’s something that will stay online, don’t download it. If it’s valuable, you’ll know how to find it. In case you’re afraid you don’t, share it on one of your social networks or save it as a favourite. To erase apps I use Appcleaner, it will erase the files that are stored out of your sight so you don’t end eaten up by old useless apps files that you don’t see.

🍔

In order to have a clean menu bar, you’ll have to go to System Preferences and go from menu to menu to unmark the checked boxes that say “show in menu bar”. For example, you’ll have to go the network for the wifi icon, to energy saver for the battery one, to users – login options for the username etc. I like to only have the battery menu. Also, I don’t use the native battery status from the MacBook. Instead, I use Slim Battery Monitor, that lets me change the moment when the MacBook tells me I need to connect it to charge and I can change the looks of the icon.

For the clock and date, I prefer to use the ones on the dashboard. Same for wifi networks (when not connected automatically I can check them in 2 clicks – I keep the System Preferences app on the Dock bar).

 

🕰

Change your interface to help you to work better and smarter. You know most apps have shortcuts. Use them or change them or add some of them. They make life easier and you’ll be quicker at whatever you do. Invest a few minutes to learn them and you’ll save many more in the future. I promise.

Furthermore, you can change which tools show and how they are distributed on your screen in most applications. You could start by changing the position of your dock (if another one fits you best) and get to play with the reader option on safari. Or download a writing app that will block out everything else.

[bctt tweet=”The key to an organized life is thinking carefully and taking decisions upfront.” username=”lenasingla”] We are used to going by reaction instead of action but a little thought here and there can help a lot. Maybe just writing the things you wanna do at the start of the day will stop you from procrastinating and from mindlessly falling from activity to activity.

 

 

On your phone

Certainly, a place where we spend a lot of time. And most of it is not productive. In this case, you may not have to create folders and organize files, but probably you should do so with apps and crap. All those gifs and pictures from the messaging apps that are just silly? Cut the crap! The apps you don’t use, erase. The ones you shouldn’t use, keep them far from reach.

Need more advice? Take this.

Some more reading.

 

How do you keep track of all your digital stuff? Tell me in the comments!

 

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Links of the month – to get you back creating

Creating

While days past and months end we should never lose track of our own goals and projects. I believe that being creative is an essential part of just being oneself (it doesn’t matter what you do or if it looks good – the thing is squeezing those creative juices!).So today I’m digging some articles that will get you back on creating. Or at least inspire you to imagine a more creative life. Now, grab a too hot drink and wait for it to cool down as you read along.

 

We are so used to consuming… Content, goods, whatever. But it’s so much fun to create! And only creating we want to create more.

THE LINKS OF THE MONTH, FOR YOU CREATIVE REJOICE

 

· How’s the life of a magazine editor? I love to get to know the lives of creatives in any field, but especially when they are in content creation, decor or design. Read this interview and learn some valuable things and got a better idea of a job that is so appealing (and what looks cooler than it is).

Interview: S Magazine Lifestyle Editor Victoria Gray

 

· If you like surfing, graphic design, photography, film or art I’m quite sure you need to read and know about John Severson (if don’t already). He created Surfer magazine and his life and work are quite inspiring, creative and visionary (at least to me!).

LESSONS FROM JOHN: WHAT I LEARNED FROM SURFER FOUNDER JOHN SEVERSON ABOUT LIFE, ART AND WHERE THE TWO BECOME ONE

 

I want (at least) my spirit to be young forever. Please, let me know when I fall in the adulthood-too-serious-no-dreams-the-world-is-what-it-is type of mindset and living attitude.

 

· As in so many industries, we know very little of great women doing great work in design through history. In this article, you’ll learn a bit about them, see some of their work and hopefully, you’ll get fired up to show your work and put a woman’s name on the scene (you go girl!).

Poster Girls: “Women in graphic design have been criminally neglected”

 

· I love going back to my childhood days through stories in nature, animation and not many words. In CG society you’ll often find short films of new studios, students and industry professionals that we’ll make you feel that feeling of wanting to create that little world of yours to share with others. Go feel something without wasting time social.

CGI ANIMATED SHORT FILM “WAKAN SHORT FILM” BY ISART DIGITAL

 

This gif is from Princess Mononoke film. Have you seen it?

· If you are like me, you are not an adrenalin junk but likes to watch the work of them. Meaning, you like to see Redbull videos and have some athletes that you admire. I do. And I also tend to think about those that are on the other side of the lenses, taking the pictures of our heroes. Because on most occasions it’s impossible they aren’t being skilled as well. With the article below, you’ll meet one of those photographers and see a little bit of how it is to be the cameraman for those challenges.

HOW TO CAPTURE CREATIVE GOLD WHEN YOU’RE AT THE END OF YOUR ROPE —LITERALLY. [INTERVIEW WITH JIMMY CHIN]

 

· Are you in need of some cute illustration… in motion? Check this portfolio! You’ll want to start creating right away… In fact, I think I have to leave you now, too much work and ideas coming to my mind… *oh no… please stop, just let me finish this* (You could check this article with some of his gifs as well, for a quick look)

 

· Ok, finally, this article I really enjoyed. It’s a very interesting and honest insight into the fashion world: Branding Anarchy 

 

If you need to, you can start a new creative hobby. What about calligraphy?

 

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Catching trends for Spring/Summer 2018

Creating

Last weekend I attended a fair in the field of decor and gifting full of wholesalers and exhibitors presenting what the small shops will be offering this next season. The exhibition was small, surely smaller than years ago. But it’s always good to know what’s happening in the world so here I’ll be sharing a quick take away based on what was exhibited, the trends for this season spring/summer 2018 for the small shops.

Color trends

Muted colours are not going anyway this season. From earth colours to the blue/pink pair they are all here to stay. Especially present on textile (from bandanas to handbags) and in a variation of lightness and intensity. This colour trend was also very present on stationery.

In decor, a deep green, yellowish and some sparks of blue and saturated pink were in. I found it to be quite on the line of jungalow/bohemian style (which I like pretty much, even though in my home I’d go for a more neutral style).

What about the 2018 ultraviolet colour chosen by Pantone? Well, it wasn’t much of a trend. Maybe a handbag here, some complements there. Maybe it was too soon to show or, what is more likely, we’ll be seeing more of it in the fashion industry.

The blue-green and bright turquoise are still hanging in there, quite present in all sorts of products. But earth tones may be a hit for the season and the truth is that they work so well as a base colour:  from solids or as a background colour for patterns to designs featuring some bits of brighter colours.

Featured elements

Wanna know what are some elements you’ll easily find in stores near you? Well, if you like flamingo and cactuses you just got lucky! We’ve been seeing them for a while as a trend in decor and it looks like they are some of the most popular things still. Greenery is a must these days for any home, even if it’s in form of wall art. There were glimpses of vintage and kitsch elements for decoration but those things are always there anyway, right? Of course, both in vintage and kitsch the most popular elements were surf related (vans!) and vintage florals.

In patterns, we could find the classic florals, geometrics and abstracts for bags for youngsters and solid colours paired with animal prints.

 

 

Popular products

I found that the most relevant products that were in bigger amounts were baskets and basket style-all kinds of objects (from bags to decor swings) and also hand fans (I may be biased, but I’m not used at finding or seeing much in hand fans popularity).

 

Personal take on a business scope

Seeing all of this wholesalers gives me a feeling and transports me to the typical Chinese shop full of cheap things (not that they’re cheap necessarily, but there are too many of them, coming from enormous productions). It triggers on me a stronger will to create things that are unique not only for their design but for the number and the quality. I want to be in business to create a shop that offers a small selection of items to a very small selection of people so there will never be that many products like them and they will be kept as unique pieces or very limited reproductions. In a world where we could be so creative (even buying), I see an opportunity to develop smaller brands that offer niche things or a niche style in a way that will bring more value to the consumer. Because I don’t want to wear jewellery that millions of people will wear too nor I want to hang the same thing on my wall as my neighbour. Even if it’s trendy.

 

Head North, Winter is calling for us

Exploring

 

It was winter, the cold was here, the holidays too – So we had to go, to go on a winter trip

Christmas Holidays are over and we are glad about it. Preparing for them was exciting but meal after meal you start realising the time for wreaths and lights is ending. Now the new year arrived and we are back to normality. And maybe hoping for some summertime already, the next destination in the train of work life. But winter is not leaving us (could it be any more present with the recent storms and cold temperatures??) so there’s no reason to stop enjoying it. Between those meals, we got to escape north. If you haven’t done it yet, do it soon!

Before the year was over we went out on a winter trip and I’m here to bring you some white inspiration! Put some layers on, lace your boots and go for a winter adventure now that we can enjoy the snow!

DON’T LET THE FEELING GO AWAY,

 

EVEN IF BRANDS ARE TELLING YOU SO!

(have you also seen ads about the spring and summer collection yet? No please, let me enjoy the winter while it lasts, even if I prefer summer. Because summer is not here yet.)

 

 

 

TBH I don’t enjoy most of the wintertime. Well, I don’t look forward to it to be precise. But I do love winter lights, the Christmas feeling, presents, the meals and get-togethers and some snow. And going outdoors on cold but sunny days it’s still so much better than staying indoors.

But the feeling of a snow day? That’s awesome. Last year we had a few, but not any without taking the car and going north. If we hadn’t gone to the Philippines, we would have enjoyed one, but we were there already in summer mode! Sad and happy at the same time! I’m hoping for it to snow right at home again.

Anyway, we went north again just right before the year ended to have some fun in the snow and delight our senses with the snowy scenery. The purpose was just to go north to be surrounded by bigger mountains and spent some time outdoors.

 

Pedraforca

Pedraforca! 💚 I missed a great shot on this so we’ll have to go back 😛

Watch these mountains! I call this a VIEW!

 

Ever walked on iced mountain paths? This is one. I  prefer soft snow. 🙃

 

 

It was cold as hell, especially where the sun wouldn’t get through and at night. But the snow was so beautiful and shiny and the mountains looked so sweet with their white tops like sugar glacée. Stepping onto fresh untouched snow is addicting for me. That sound! And there’s no day in the snow if I haven’t made a snow angel or thrown some snowballs!

 

angel in the snow

I’m an angel!

exploring the snow

badass tree house in the snow

What a badass tree house we found!

ski slopes

We may have stepped into a ski slope (closed) and went down in it.

walking on fresh snow!

That sound!

 

We hope you enjoyed your time and are ready to live a better year. Don’t expect another “New Year, New You” post from us, as we’ve seen too many of them. I haven’t even written a list of goals for the year. I know what I want to accomplish in every cell of my body and I hope you do too. Let’s work and live happily towards it, shall we?

live your best life

This is a clue to my next collection for the shop 😉

 

What’s your favourite winter trip? Have you headed north already? Let us know in the comments!
 

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Let our hearts be full of thanks and giving

Creating

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I hope you’re all on the way to a great gathering and a full table.
You know, when I think of Thanksgiving my mind goes 🍲🥗🍖🍰🎃🍁🍂🎊👯‍♀️👯‍♂️ (food food people family friends more food ) and brings flashes of all the movies and series that show this celebration.

What a wonderful tradition, a day to be thankful and share the feeling (although practising gratitude every day is miraculous too). I find it a very nice thing to have a day devoted to gratitude, maybe because I don’t really celebrate it (it’s not a tradition around here). I do have my own day for gratitude BTW but I use the 31 of December instead. That day I sit down for a while and write a list of all the things I’m grateful for that year. And then I write another list of all the things I would be so grateful to happen the following year.

But there’s never too much gratitude to spread around so I wanted to share some of it already on time for Thanksgiving. And I think we are going to celebrate it this year. Only not Thursday as we all have to work today.

 

thanksgiving postcards free printable

Thanks

I want to thank everyone who spends the time to read some of my words, who visit my site and watch my work. Without you my creations would only serve my need for creating but I make them to share them and touch others. Nonetheless, on a personal note, I’m humbled by the support I’m receiving and for the people who are part of my life. And I feel so lucky I am able to do what I love (and to discover what that is). I’m also healthy and strong. When I get my million bucks in the bank I’ll have everything. But there’s always room for growing! 💪

 

thanksgivinggratitude jar sticker free printable

 

Giving

I hope you all receive all you need to live a fulfilling life and let it grow bigger, fuller and richer with prosperity and love. And I hope we all get to appreciate every little thing that makes life so wonderful.

And for the giving thing, I’m bringing you some new printables! FREEBIES!! To keep the spirit thankful all year long.

You’ll find 4 gratitude jar stickers, since I’ve been seeing the gratitude jar all around and I wanted to do my own. Now we all can do it. If you don’t know about gratitude jars, it’s basically a jar or pot (or whatever you want) where you put all the good things you are grateful for in little pieces of paper: your blessings, the happy moments, etc. It’s a wonderful way to practice gratitude; you could add a thing every day or maybe once a week but also take a paper on a blue day to cheer you up and get you back to an attitude of appreciation.

There are also 12 gift tags, 6 with warm colors and 6 way cooler. You’ll be able to print them on both sides.

And finally, there’s a Thank You postcard in two different colors.  Please enjoy!

 

 

Ps. Wanna know what am I planning? Some hints may be these recipes I’ve been looking at 🤤 Stuffed roasted butternut squash , Vegan Mushroom Wellington, Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Gobi Mussalam (roasted cauliflower) and One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake.

 

free thanksgiving printables

cold sprinkles new collection winter

He likes it cold. But we don’t. Holidays are coming and our Cold Sprinkles Collection is here

Creating

The 24th of October we opened our little shop, Florals and Waves. It’s been almost a month now and we are so proud of the work. And excited about all our future projects.

The good news for you is that a lot of new designs are rolling in just on time for the Holidays!! (we are so amazed at how they turned up!) Also, carols are already playing in the studio and we are longing for decoration time!

This time our Collection is called Cold Sprinkles and it is all about freshness, delicacy and life inspired by the best days of autumn and early winter.

Featuring more delicate flora and water forms, with colors and textures that will hug you with the memories of a day of cold breezes and warm afternoons by the fire. You’ll be able to experience the wild and the cozy of any winter adventure and fuel your soul with inspiration for the lazy days.

Here’s a pic of one of those days, some time ago.

As it happened with our first collection, the surf experience is a bit of an inspiration still (but also hiking and escaping to the mountains). Think of a winter day, when putting on the wetsuit is tough, but especially taking it off and getting back home as fast as possible to be warm and cozy. But it feels good after being chilly and wet. And, having had some fun and stretched the muscles, how welcoming it is to spend a nice afternoon indoors!

 

 

The patterns for this collection are more varied in subject, less in the color palette. We wanted some color to spruce up the grey days but keeping it kind of neutral. You’ll find lots of soft blues, then some darker ones and some sprinkling of a warm color.

 

 

We are also adding two new types of product: tank tops and tote bags.

They are all very versatile and we wouldn’t mind having a full collection of them. (I must confess, even in winter I wear tank tops underneath all those long sleeve layers). They work pretty well for stoking. And for tote bags, anyone could use one and you don’t need to choose a size!

So now you can shop products with a summery feel and some with more of a cool vibe. Because we know it’s not winter everywhere.

Now, make sure to check the cards of this new collection, as we have a few and they are not your supermarket type.

These are many of the print options (art cards size a5) but you can also find them as folded postcards.

And I can’t let you wonder what are the posters of this collection. I love each a bit more.

 

Visit our shop or check all the designs and products of this new collection.

 

Tropical Fantasy: From DayDream to Collection

Creating

I created Tropical Fantasy, my first collection, to honour the beautiful mystery of exotic lands – not for what they are but how they inspire us to imagine better lives.
This collection was inspired by a real travel, and the images featured are from my own collection of memories, pictures and experiences. Traveling is a great experience in which the senses go wild, you find your curiosity again and the world seems more vibrant. I wanted to take some of that into our everyday lives so we can realise that sometimes you don’t need to go on a new travel to experience all of that. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Here it is.

8 ways to say goodbye to Summer (August links)

Exploring

goodbye summer picture

I’m very sad to be the one saying this but… Summer may be over already.

Temperature has been dropping fiercely here in Catalan lands and the weather is already calling for some blanket and sofa time. I must confess I’m actually wearing a long sleeve top and trousers (and I’m in need of changing my short socks for long ones or I’ll be freezing in no time). Sun is still warm but clouds have been coming and going all week. I hope this winter comes slowly. I hate wearing really thick clothing.

So… what now?

Well, the cold brings with it a lot of good things too. First of all, we will be able to go on new adventures! It was too hot and too crowded lately but now… Well, I predict a year full of great times spent outdoors.

Also, I can’t stop my mind from thinking about October already, seeing pumpkins and hearing about Halloween all over the place. Which, I don’t know why, makes me think of hot chocolate, the fireplace and chilling afternoons. But you must know how to make a cup of hot cocoa so I can’t share that with you. However, I’ve found some recipes that would make for a perfect plan for a Friday or Sunday afternoon.

Here’s a cake that is also a cookie and a pie. I’m melting inside like a coulant. I want to taste that. Right now. Please.

– Don’t like cookies? Here is another one making my mouth go water-nuts… A one bowl vegan chocolate cake .

– Wanna see who else is excited about Halloween? Follow @loveandasandwich and her cute monsters!

– What about something healthy for breakfast? Lately, I’m testing how to introduce some oats into my life and I’ve just found this recipe that could be quite handy. Are you ready for an a-mues-zing month?

– Did you ever hear about vegan bacon? Me neither but here it is. I’m buying cauliflower this week.

With more time to spend indoors, going back to our work and life routine we may end spending more time in front of our screens. But try not to! Contradictorily, I want to share a couple of articles (on the net) about it.

– Are you an avid user of Instagram? Maybe you’ve heard about the new movie about it. If not, you’ll learn about it here: How Instagram Makes You Basic, Boring, and Completely Deranged.

Want to know more about how social media hurts us? Read how Designers are using “dark UX” to turn you into a sleep-deprived internet addict.

– Not everything is dark and sad in this world. Now look at what Disney is doing. I love it (spoiler alert: breaking princesses stereotypes with photography).

– I’m missing the surf. This cooler weather should mean more waves coming in right? Hope so. In the meantime, I was reading about this exhibition in California that “tells a Complex Message of Access and Environmentalism”. If non-surfer people loved the beach as we do (and if we all loved all natural places) would all of us take better care of them?

Now I leave you with these links and wish you the best time going back to “normality”. But let’s try it doesn’t become “normal”.

Doing the Thing

Lena *


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August Moodboard

Exploring

holding my watercolor artwork

What’s my August moodboard ?

I like to start every month with a little challenge. This consists in finding a topic, elements and a color palette that could potentially inspire me for some of the works in the month ahead. So I never stop learning new things, adding different objects and developing new ideas.

For August’s month, it’s all about fruits. In the hottest month of the year (here in this side of the world) I can only thing about fresh food and fruits. Honestly, I’m not much of a fruit person, but I do eat some (more) during August. Be it watermelon, melon, strawberries or the good blackberries.

Once I had thought about the topic for the moodboard, of course I went deep into Pinterest. And instead of looking for nice pictures I just started browsing and pinning (into my to-do secret board) all kind of recipes.

I’ve just been eating a delicious chocolate cake with blackberries that my mom cooked with some of the fruits we collected just a couple of days ago. It’s so yummy!!

So I did some watercolor paintings of all that food stuff! And girl, I just can’t stop looking at that sheet of paper. Bright colors, nice contrast, sweet food. All very summery (is that a word??)

But, what’s in it for you? Of course, my theme could inspire you too. Although, you get to keep my illustration if you like it!

Go over here and you’ll be able to download it as a wallpaper, just ready for your desktop (and you can even choose from some different background colors! yay!).

Download now!

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It’s too hot to go outside at this time of the day

Exploring

Me in a perfect not-moving-soon position

“It’s too hot to go outside at this time of the day” said I on Saturday’s afternoon. “But I do want to go somewhere, to do something.”  As usual, he knew a good place to go.

The mountains were calling, and so we went. The car couldn’t take us passed the uphill path. So there we started walking. First on the wide path, then on a smaller trail. We were surrounded by trees and small bushes, walking in the shadows broken by the afternoon’s sunlight. It was upward all the way, but now it was not only prettier but arduous too. Leaves on the deep brown track and harder rises. It didn’t last much though.


Soon the big trees led to an open sky. We were much higher, starting to see the top of the mountain. Now we had a great view of the landscape already.
We started walking a tight trail, with some pines at sight but mostly bushes of the height of my shoulders. Flies made their appearance and wouldn’t stop flying and chasing our faces.

More climbing and we’re at the top. The wind was blowing and so it was cooler up there. No more flies on our faces, just the breeze on our hair and the sights for ourselves. We stayed for a while. It was a great place to be.

Of course, we eventually got down, but the moments up there feel like a time outside of times.

 


 

 

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The perfect summer adventure : Down the river

Uncategorised

A little friend we found along the way up to find the river

In the middle of July under the raging sun not all activities outdoors seem so appealing. These days are calling best for top-of-mountain, by-the-beach, and by-the-river time.

For this one time, we chose the river. We still put our (surfing) wetsuits to use. And in this case the route was pretty simple. No rappel, bug jumps or the like. Just on my comfort zone (it was my first time going down a river! So exciting!).

It was one as many other afternoons of last week when I heard the “let’s go do something” soon after lunch. I must confess I was comfortably sitting reading and happily avoiding the hot out there. We had talked about it before. And it was time to do it. We’d go down the river, walking and sliding through it. So I put on my bikini, we took the wetsuits and drove to somewhere close enough to the lowest part of the river.


Now it was time to walk up and go find our starting point.The walk was nice. At some parts, really really nice, when we started going by some water, surrounded by plants and big rocks.
Finally, we arrived to a fountain. There were some people there and they shared their afternoon snacks with us! So we started our journey down energised and refreshed.

When it was time to enter the water, ohmygirl, I was wearing my trail-running shoes and it felt so cold! I honestly had to take my feet out of the water for a while because it felt like pain. But we had arrived here to do something exciting (so new to me) and couldn’t get back.

So I’d step into the water, quickly go forward to the next stop / big rock, would take my feet out of the water and wait for them to feel better. Five minutes in and I forgot about it all. The feet get used and there is no more pain, no cold, and we are in full action mode!

The experience of going down the river was breathtaking. You get to see all the best spots, to swim, to see little waterfalls, to jump up and down many rocks. Even find some balls for the dog and see water snakes. All in all, my favourite kind of fun.

Arriving to the end of our route, we started hearing thunders. The middle of a river is not the right place to be if a storm breaks, as the water levels could rise in no time. There were clouds on top of the mountain but stormy ones. Also, the level of the river, after all these dry days was very low. Luckily (and unfortunately for the area) it didn’t rain.

We arrived to the end of our route, by a path that would take us back to the car and we called it a day. A very good day.


 

 

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7 things to uncover this July (monthly links to checkout)

Exploring
A movie

The last word

Here it is what Imdb says about it “Harriet is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth resulting in a life-altering friendship.”

It’s a good movie, with special attention to female relationships, empowerment and speaking your mind. It’s drama and fun and a lot of good stuff packed for 2 hours of a good time on a Sunday night.

A book

Gidget by Frederick Kohner
Most Americans will know this book (or the series) just because of the popularity it had some decades back. Or maybe just because it became a pop icon. I had heard of it –well, actually read, as it’s mentioned quite a bit when talking about surf’s history.

It’s not the kind of reading I’m doing these days : it’s a teen novel really, but with that spirit and atmosphere of the surfing from the 60’s. A girl discovering the beach bums, surfing culture, surfing herself on Malibu beach and, of course, finding love.

5 new Instagram accounts I’m following
1 – @sguixs

Sara Guixs is a videographer and fellow catalan. She is living in New Zealand and has just released a documentary about where she is staying, Raglan. I discovered her through an article and has the kind of dreamy pictures that fuel my dreams of freedom, which are actually not so different from my own reality.

A post shared by Sara Guix (@sguixs) on

2 – @theanastasiaco

I love her photographs, full of greenery and quotes. When it comes to succulents and quotes I’m touched. Also the green and brown backgrounds make for a cozy feeling, always nice to pop up from time to time on my feed.

3–@meeta_p

Sometimes I need to follow people who do different things from me and aren’t what I want to do either. That doesn’t make me less appreciative of their work. In this case, I love the vector cute illustrations, with their nice colors and characters!

A post shared by Meeta Panesar (@meeta_p) on

4 – @annadrivis

A letter and illustrator. (May I be getting back to my comfort zone in the Instagram following world?) Probably. What can I say? I like her style!

A post shared by Anna Drivis (@annadrivis) on

5 – @spirits.of.life

Last one for today. And I wanted it to be an account that will make you dream of your next adventure. Because we all need more motivation to go outside and live. Here you’ll find all you need to feed your wanderlust, or maybe just make you thirstier for a vacation. It may not be original, but it surely is inspiring.

One video

Wanna see a bunch of skater girls recreating “Stand by me”? If yes, follow along. If not… just move on.

It looks like this is a bit nostalgic post … And this is the skater life I didn’t have. I skated a bit, but only started when I was 19 and never did much more than carving in the pool and a poor ollie or two. I didn’t have the girl gang neither. But I now enjoy cruising around by the sea, with my boyfriend and/or my sister coming along.

It’s a very nice video!

One trailer

New Disney’s movie that will be on theaters next year. It’s based on the novel “A Wrinkle on Time” and it is for sure known as that movie starring Oprah Winfrey. I can’t tell you about the movie but I certainly like the trailer (and the music!).

An article

Are you ready to set out on your next adventure? Check this if you are also ready to document it appropriately.

There are many ways to immortalise your outdoors escape but not all of them are the right fit for you or your travel. What do you plan to do with the material? What do you want to bring back from the travel? Pictures to share with the family? Awesome shots? Natural references? A journal that will become the next “Eat, Pray, Love”? Have all that in mind before you depart so you can squeeze the trip and make gallons of lemonade.

How to document your Alaska Adventure 

Music album

Sorry about this. But I’m kind of a fan.

Lana del Rey new album is now available, and I’m so totally into it!

I don’t know exactly what it is, but I love her music. I’m a very positive and quite optimistic person but I love that nostalgic feeling of the 60’s in America… And the songs and their lyrics are to me that rock and roll life I will never live.  Also, it is the kind of music I like to listen to when I’m on the painting or drawing stage, between podcasts and firing up music. I must admit, Lana del Rey is not the music I’d listen to while driving at four in the afternoon with the sun on my eyes.

7 inspiring links to check out, from last month (JUNE)

Creating, Exploring

Another month has gone, so fast. The more I do, the more it seems I have to do and the quicker the time goes by. But that didn’t take any fun of living the start of the summer, with some beach days, river days, climbing days and many movies. I can’t even remember all of the good stuff.

Though, I’ll make you a quick list of links to check. (psst, don’t worry, you don’t have to check all of them now, we’ll be waiting for you).

1. A newsletter : Lecture in progress

I have subscribed to many newsletter this month. And they look quite promising. Lecture in progress surprised with their emails, so I want to recommend it to you. If you’re after some good advice from creatives, interviews and have interest in the creative industry you’ve found an ally in them.

2. A song :

I love every single song by Lana del Rey. Just recently listened to it.

3. Additions to my following list on instagram

Loving is sharing! And today I want to share a few inspiring designers! Their images are so wonderful, modern and striking!  They just make me want to design more.

BIRGIT PALMA

A post shared by BIRGIT PALMA (@birgitpalma) on

THEMISHAART

A color palette I couldn’t love more. Check her incredible patterns.

SPRINKLEDLIFE

This one will take you into rainbow daydreaming.

ARCHIPROUDFOOT

Don’t ignore the signs. This is one to follow.

HOWABOUTORANGE

There’s something about her patterns that calls me.

A post shared by Jessica Jones (@howaboutorange) on

4. A book :

She means business. You know I’ve read quite a few books about the creative life, entrepreneurship and success. I’m still doing. Maybe a new post of Books for Girlbosses will come soon. Anyway, my point is, this is a good book on the topic. At least, one that resonated a lot with me. It packs practical tips and strategies with felt advice alongside visualization talk and the like. And her personal journey and those of her closest ones. But not only that, she also has a lot of resources for you to build your success journey. I’m totally diving into those, so be sure I’ll be shining in no time 😉

BTW, I got myself the audiobook, so it’s Carrie Green herself talking, so cool and nice to listen to while painting.

5. A place :

Siurana. We started June at full power. We got on the car for two days and didn’t stop for a minute (okay, maybe some, I just like to make things big!). We went for lots of exploring and climbing. Here some shots. Get inspired and go find your next adventure!

6. Do your to-do stuff while playing

Have you ever heard of gamification? In few words, it’s transforming some activities into a game. The example I want to share with you today is Habitica. It’s a game developed to help you get better habits and do your to-do list with a more engaging twist. My sister (Mariposas de papel) introduced me to this, and even I’m so behind her in the game, I’m still going there day after day.

What’s in it for you? If you ever played online games like Gaia online, wanted to have the nicest avatar or just liked pixel art you can be sure you’ll like it. Though, the funniest part is doing it with friends. You can even get into battles that you’ll only able to win doing a hell out of things from you list.

(Need a tip? Have lots of dailies and do as many as you can to keep healthy).

7. Surfing freely (online) : a safer anonymous Browser, Tor

Do you ever feel that google, or the internet knows you too well? Would you like to be able to browse the internet without it knowing all about you? Maybe just because you should be able to. Because you don’t have to be giving your info all the time.

I’ve started using it. No regrets. More freedom. Always strive for freedom.

Tor Project: anonymity online


 

 

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A present for you! (and Happy Birthday to me) 🎉🎈🎊

Creating

Let’s go strike to it. Today is my 24th birthday! I’m only taking the almost a quarter of century very positively because 24 is one of my favourite numbers 🙂 (the other one is 12, so double lucky here today). Well, and maybe also because life is good at me.

To celebrate I’m bringing you the whole pack of monthly wallpapers I designed for this year, in the hopes of having you motivated and inspired to go out outside after the hustle. Now you can download all of them for free in my sellfy shop, clicking the button below!

Have the nicest day!

Download now

PS :we (because I celebrate with my twin sister!) already kind of celebrated our birthday (in advance). That’s why the “soon to turn 24” poster. We had a great day cooking and decorating and of course celebrating!

 

8 relevant things of the month (MAY)

Creating, Exploring
1. A festival :

Sitges Next

It’s all about communication and innovation. There were two days of conferences and a couple of workshops. I attended only Saturday’s conferences and my favourite take aways came from this talk :

Let’s see what they bring next year.

2. A song :

This song (Era)

3. Some additions to my following list on Instagram:

@katerina_chivil_art  (Watercolor)

@emilysanforddesign  (Surface pattern design)

@tinacrespo  (Watercolor)

@vanessavanderhaven (Illustrator and designer)

@south.elliott (Graphic design)

Go check their profiles and share some love!

4. Illustrated book :

Ernst Haeckel

He was a natural illustrator (well, actually he was a lot of things, see here). I find all the forms of underwater species so fascinating and inspiring. Take a look!

The book. – A pinterest board

5. Lettering book :

Lettering and type by Bruce Willen

Found it a little back looking for a lettering book that had lots of images and different types, so I could use it for reference and inspiration to try new things. And keep learning!

6. An article:

 Why you shouldn’t work set hours  

7. A sad story:

One of the world’s most polluted island is a remote island

8. Some good news:

Barcelona’s urban forest climate plan

I’m looking forward to seeing this!

 


 

 

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My 7 favourite things to do in Siargao (for non surfers)

Exploring

Oh my girl! Did I forget to mention that I was away for a month? I can be such a bad person at times…

Well, the thing is we (my bf and I) went on a holiday to the Philippines!! So exciting. Had never been on a travel like that: to Indonesia, different culture, tropical climate and coconuts and palm trees everywhere! We visited Cebu, went to Bohol and stayed most of the time to the beautiful island of Siargao. I could write about the travel for hours, but I just want to explain you the things I loved the most that weren’t the main touristic activities of Siargao.

So, let’s deep in!

1- First of all, what we did first.Visiting a big city 

(Please, forgive me! This is not something you’re gonna do in Siargao, but you may need to in order to get there). Which was Cebu. We arrived at the Mactan-Cebu airport and found our way (thanks to many nice filipinos) to our guesthouse in the center of Cebu, taking many jeepney’s and seeing the afternoon get darker and darker. We stayed two days and came for another one before leaving. Did we love the city? No. Did we enjoy it? Not so much. What was undeniable is that it’s something worth to experience for a day at least. Bohol and Siargao are beautiful islands, plenty of little villages and a couple of small cities, but they look not much alike. It’s a different world. Cebu is crowded, the traffic is insane, the electric cables can’t say if look crazy or they are art… There is poverty and there are also the commodities and shops that we see in Europe. A place of contrasts. Eating out can be very cheap if you do so in local streets.

street cebu

A main road in Mactan Cebu. It was more peaceful and closer to the airport, so we stayed there before taking our flight home.

2- Next thing you’ll love to do is to find a paradisiac spot.

Yeah, something like this.

Lena in paradise

Who haven’t dreamed about some palm-trees like that, by a white sand beach and crystal clear waters? Dream *completed*!

As we stayed over 20 days in Siargao, we had to spend quite some time in the beach, so this one was always first on the list. I think its name was Paradise Beach 😛 For those who surf, G-spot and Magic spot are pretty close, but far enough so we hadn’t to share a piece of beach with anyone!

peaceful palm trees girl

3- A similar one, but not the same: explore *your* beach!

As you can imagine, there are many beaches in an island. Though Siargao is small, you still can try and find one nobody talked to you about. We did spent days going into little trips to new places with our motorbike and find some really nice places. Where we could relax, see a special village, an island or just snorkeling. Also bathing into rockpools. (There is a main attraction in Siargao called Magpupunko, which is a very beautiful rock-pool, but you may find some other beaches full of little rock-pools as well). We enjoyed one like this, and it was wonderful. Hot water, peace, silence and crashing waves on the horizon. Have in mind that they usually are rock-pools only when the tide is low. So it’s always good to know the tide times, as even paradisiac beaches doesn’t look  the same in low tide than in high tide (you can ask a surfer to help you 😉 ).

rock formation in the beach siargao

small rock pools siargao

diving in siargao

looking for a desert island in siargao

sandy island siargao

You may even find your desert island. (My take though? I don’t ever want to be left in a desert island without a boat to get back).

4- Something tasty!

Go to a bakery and shop and try everything! (Ok, almost everything.) Pastries are very unexpensive and quite good. When we discovered them we couldn’t stop taking some for breakfast, afternoon snack… until we get bored. They are different to what I’m used to, quite fluffy. I loved the ones with something purple. They usually seemed to have chocolate and then we would find out that it was actually this purple thing (called “ube”). What’s typical in Siargao is “pan de surf” (surf’s bread), called like this because the shape of this small bread resembles a surfboard. You can find women baking them by the roads, burning coconuts. Also, they make “pan de coco” too, which is very good and tasty when still warm.

pastry ube siargao

 pan de coco siargao

5 – Watching fireflies.

It came almost a surprise. I knew there were fireflies on the island but never thought about it. Then, in the way back to the cottage after a walk by the sea at sunset, we spotted them for the first time. It was already dark and looking to the side of palm-trees and gardens you could see very bright points moving in the dark. I’ve seen fireflies before, but never so bright. At the first moment I thought it was a spark or something similar. Then, other nights cruising on the motorbike we would spot more of them flying into the jungle.

6 – Step out of the beaten road.

Siargao is mainly an island with a big road that goes all along the coast, in a circular circuit and also crosses in the middle. A part from this, you may found some smaller roads and paths that will take you to villages, rural homes or just palm-trees. But who knows what can be hidden into the jungle?

We followed some small roads off the way to get to beautiful villages and also into the jungle. It’s not like the great imaginary tropical jungle we usually have in mind. Not so many colourful animals and rare plants. But you’ll surely spot some wonderful butterflies, small flowers and big leafs.

in the jungle siargao

big leafs siargao

tall palmtrees

7- Be sure to know and go do some activities that you enjoy.

There may be days when it rains, or you have nothing to see or just want to not sit on the motorbike for two hours. So it will be helpful to know some activities you’ll enjoy doing. In my case, I had very good times taking pictures (what you see here is the top of the iceberg), we also enjoyed very much snorkelling and looking for shells and submarine life (so many starfish!!!). We “even” surfed! (That was on the list for sure). We also had some books with us, went to bars and the like, played and trained in the common area of our accommodation, etc.


beach resort siargao

drawing in the sand siargao

I spent a month away from my pencil and watercolors. Hard for my hand

art photography splash

jump into the sea siargao

8- *Bonus point!*  Bring good company (or find it along the way)

happy couple

What else I wouldn’t like to miss

Visiting Bohol. I loved seeing the tarsiers, the Chocolate Hills and getting all over the island with the motorbike.

tarsier official sanctuary bohol

chocolate hills bohol

Spending some time with locals was also great. Kids were always happy to meet us and in most villages people were also very friendly. And getting to far villages always offered a new wonderful scenery.

Facts and tips about Siargao

  • It’s getting more popular and you may need to book your hotel previously or be able to change plans.
  • Because it’s more of a touristic place, prices get a bit more expensive than in others places of the Philippines.
  • Most tourists stay in General Luna. You won’t find so many foreigners while exploring the island. It’s also where you’ll find more accommodation options.
  • If you have questions, I can answer them (from my experience)… Because there are too many things that could be said.

 

 

You may want to check out the prints, clothing and homeware I designed inspired by this travel called the Tropical Fantasy Collection in the Shop.

Books for the girl boss – UPDATE

Creating

girl boss books

Do you remember my last post about books? Well, it’s this one .

So maybe it’s time to update you on my reading list.

I’ll start with the books I haven’t finished reading yet.

My so-called freelance life

 It’s a wonderful guide for the wannabe freelancer that has never been in that situation before, is starting now or in need of a bit of help. There’s plenty of good and practical advice. I haven’t been through it all though because I feel like I already know the theory and I don’t need to go over it (again). In my case, I should be working the path instead of informing myself. But if you’re considering going freelance, this book could be the prefect reading for you.

Design is my job

I only started it. It is nice but it’s not a great guide like the one above. It gives you the author’s advice on everything he considers necessary. And even though I appreciate the tone of it, very close to the reader, it won’t help me feel good about my job…so I said Next!

The Power

I’m 30 pages away from the end. It’s a good read to start feeling better about your life and spreading the love. A read I’d recommend. But I must add, I’ve been working on The Magic book for the last month too. And it is incredibly good. If you liked The Secret I would totally recommend it. It’s a great way to really put some gratitude into your daily life, with daily exercises. And it’s awesome how it really works. 

Also, if that’s not enough and you liked everything about The Secret, I would also recommend you the book “The Science of Getting Rich”, which is the one that Rhonda received and inspired all The Secret series. It’s a very short read, you can find it free online (because it’s 100 years old!) and gets you to the point in a straightforward way. I’ll be rereading it, for sure!

Books that I did finish reading

Girl code

I had a bit of trouble getting hooked by this book at first, because I couldn’t align with the author’s voice or tone at first. But as I got further I started liking it more and more. It may not become my favourite book but it is inspirational and motivational for all women in business and will empower your dreams (which I’ll always be grateful for). Let me show you some of my favourite quotes – the ones that speak the most to me.

“You must find the place inside of you where everything is possible.”

“You must envision your world through the eyes of positivity and possibility. The moment you do that, you open up a world of endless abundance.”

“Her success is not your failure.”

Leave your mark

As I told you in the previous post, I skipped the first part, because it was mostly about how to get a job. Now, the social media chapters and branding are good stuff. It’s a nice read because it feels like a different way to learn about what to do and what not to do on social media, along with some stories and advice. Who knew it that it could be so entertaining and helpful!

Want more books for the girl boss in you?

Find more on my pinterest board here.

Also, you can subscribe to receive new posts like this. Thank you!

What to do on St. Valentine’s – Are you ready?

Creating

It seems like Christmas was just a few days ago. Winter has been around for some days and cold is here to stay. But ads are broadcasting it, it’s time for another festivity, St. Valentine’s. Do you have any plans ready?

Honestly, I’ve never celebrated it (though I must admit I used to be single those dates) and never felt like it was a big thing. I even hated it one year – and turned that feeling into creativity, which was much fun.
I still think it’s not a big thing, but – But I feel it is, or could be, something like Thanksgiving.
Here in Catalonia we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (and Valentine’s is not a tradition either) but I believe it’s a very interesting celebration and I use it to think about all the things I’m grateful for and to start my list to thank the year that’s almost gone.

A day to celebrate love, in this case. And even single people do have some love to celebrate and be happy about. Even if it were just self-love. What date could anyone have more important than with oneself?

Want to hear something a bit more extreme? Do you have a passion? If you do, you can celebrate it. It’s a kind of love, a love for one activity.

So there’s really no excuse to not feel happy in a day like this. February 14th, the day of
Love. Well, sure there’s an International Love day too but who remembers that? (Actually, it’s May the 1st, Global Love Day 😉)


How to get ready for St. Valentine’s Day

For a date with yourself

So you’ve chosen to give some time and much needed love to yourself. It’s an afternoon to treat yourself, just think about yourself and love your life. Nice choice! So what are you gonna do?

Maybe take a long bath, watch the last episode of that series you can’t stop binge-watching and start reading a new book. Want a recommendation? If you’re on a girly vibe maybe pick up “Girl Code”. If you are in a more philosophical state, how about taking a chance on “Become What You Are”?

For the adventurous souls out there, with your body full of energy on a winter day like this… Why not do your favourite activity? Treat yourself to an afternoon climbing in the boulder, ride through your favourite park or just go hiking by the beach and watch the waves crashing.

Be aware, though, that you may be crossing paths and sharing ways with couples… So if that’s something you want to avoid… try going to the less crowded places. Or maybe to a disco.

I must add, though, that if you feel kind of resentful about not being in a relationship right now, it could be a great moment to think about what you want in a relationship and organize your thoughts. Are you searching for a lifetime partner? What do you want him/her to be like? Which life do you envision together? How would that work? What interests do you expect him to have and which will you share?

You can’t plan a relationship but it surely will be easier to see the possibilities if you know what you are searching for and what are your expectations. I did a list many years ago with musts, shoulds, and nice traits of a perfect boyfriend… and now I’m with someone that aligns to those 🙂

For a date with your boyfriend/girlfriend

This one is a hard one. Especially because I can’t give you good advice about it. You are the one that knows what your boyfriend likes the most. So a good plan would probably be some activity that you both enjoy (could be as simple as a nice dinner out) or maybe one thing that he likes and another one that you like – and he is ok with that.

For a date with friends

Share the love with the ones that share their time with you. You could prepare them a meal or buy them a beer or maybe just plan an afternoon of your favourite games. Lately, I’m playing this board games: Sushi go! and Catan. Those are perfect for 3-4 people. Dixit is fun too, for as many people as possible. Or you could try Zombies; that’s quite fun too. Need something a bit nerdier? Then maybe you are the expert.

Another funny option I’d totally go for would be to try a new activity all together. Something like going ice-skating, bowling, rafting, going to that place to play Escape the Room, etc.

Don’t forget the heart-shaped chocolates! They will bring a smile to everyone’s faces, even if it’s just to make fun of St. Valentine’s.

For a regular afternoon (or a date with your passion)

It’s a Tuesday. I’m tired. I don’t want to do anything special. I would just lie in bed and let the day pass by. – Nice move, but don’t. Sure there’s something you’d enjoy doing, even if it’s just something similar to nothing. Or maybe there’s some hobby you have that you want to take to the next level. Then, have a date with that. What do you need to do to make that activity more important in your life? Do you need more practice? Do you need to start showing it to the world? Do you need to find someone to share it with?

Whatever it is, work on that. You’ve heard it, those who do something they love won’t work a day in their lives. I surely want to be one of them. Don’t you?

What about gifts?

I believe days like this are perfect for postcards. They are cheap, can mean a lot or can mean just a little nearly nothing.

If you’re thinking about something expensive, go to amazon’s homepage and I’m sure they’ll have plenty of options to pour over you.

But I’ll be writing a note, probably into a nice postcard or a new painting for that special one.

If you want to get mine, I have some postcard designs I did last year and three new ones. You can even choose to have them on apparel or accessories! They are adorable!

(pssss: look for the articles tab, all designs have multiple options!!)

 

Gift tags free download : Christmas edition

Creating

Ho ho ho! The Christmas Spirit is here!!!

In fact, we are all in in Holiday Mood today. Am I too late to say to you… ?? :

MERRY CHRISTMAS AWESOME PEOPLE!!!

I wanted so much to write a killer blogpost before Christmas Eve but failed at it. The good point is I didn’t failed to celebrate it. It’s been the best xmas in years   and I’m so happy and grateful for that! I’ll be telling you about these celebration in an upcoming update.

I did have a gift for all of you though! Some gift tags for your presents! So if you still have a present needing some wrapping, even if it’s just that self-present… scroll down and download this freebie.

 


Christmas is all about giving (and a bit of receiving too) so I’m still crafting some good more freebies to give out before the new year. Don’t miss them!



 

How to use gift tags

Print them! Print so many of them as you need. Download the file you’ll find at the end of the post, open it and hit download. For better results, print it on a paper with a bit more width than usual ( 120gr – 200gr will work great).

After that you’ll need to do some cutting (I can’t do it for you ). Use a cutter and rule if you are really good to that or just use our old beloved scissors. I started with the cutter but got tired of having to put my strength to keep the rule from moving and missed my good cutter. So scissors came to action.

Doing the holes is easy peasy! With a hole punch, take out the lower cover, get one gift tag down-face and move it in order to center the point in the tag with the center of the hole. Press, release, and you’re ready to go!

(like on this photo)

hole gift tag

Now time to use them!

click to download free gift tags

·· DOWNLOAD HERE ··

Get some inspiration for the New Year: MiniAdventures

Exploring

The Holiday mood is already everywhere. This week we decorated for Christmas. We have half of the presents bought. I’ve heard carols in the radio and the streets are decorated with its coloured lights. We are ready for this season!
I like this time of the year. Specially when we are still getting some days that aren’t that cold. Even then, that’s the prefect excuse to warm up with a cosy blanket on the sofa, something to drink, a panettone to eat and a movie or book to entertain ourselves.
I also find it’s a very good moment for creativity and imagination. You know, it’s the magic time of the year. But it’s also near the end of it and the start of the new. How will it be? How was this year?
Imagining the future feels good. We can start planning next year adventures, travels and activities.What can be more fun than that?
Make a couple of new boards on Pinterest and start planning the year! I’ll be doing it!

In the meanwhile, I want to share with you some pictures of my little adventures of the last months. A good way to remember the best and get some inspiration for the next MiniAdventures.
Have you heard about this term? Checking it I see they are called MicroAdventures instead. I like mini though. It’s basically about getting outside, do something different without having to travel far away or for a long time. You can find more about it here and here. It’s something I really like, because MiniAdventures are short but good, in new places but not at days of travel, challenging but affordable. Any trip, every cycling day or hike could be one. I like to see any activity as an adventure. Life is an adventure. Every day can be an adventure.

For today’s, I want to show you about my last surf trip to the north, in France. One week of chances, challenges, nice weather and some calm.

Are you coming?

Pack your board and bikini, some clothes and get in the car. We are going! Road trip mode on

on the road

Be there, do that. Ready for da surf? Let’s go!

Look for that beach with perfect waves, park the car in the woods, surrounded by magical forms and get ready. Walk over the dunes of sand and paddle hard for the waves of fun.

beautiful trees

Feel the salt in the skin, the sun in the eyes, the freedom of the sport.

I don’t usually take a camera into the water… so let’s pretend the picture below belongs to the same trip… 😉

lena singla surfing

Surfing base camp – Boards, wet wetsuits and shiny noons.

wetsuits drying

surfboards

Transport yourself into a week of nice sunsets with bright colours and beautiful skylines.

hossegor river side

sunset in the camping

sunset in hossegor

When the summer is gone, it feels even better : Beach on the morning, beach on the afternoon.

golden sunset wave

gold beach

Have a laugh; this is my stylish way to the top of the bunker.

bunker