Morning rituals and other summer life updates

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home, The Great Outdoors

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…

 

 

 

 

Rolling time – video edit

The Great Outdoors

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

The Great Outdoors

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 Âżartistic? 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.

 

Always Wondering ~ Sometimes Wandering

The Great Outdoors

Grab your backpack, fill it with your fav equipment and leave the house without knowing what time your 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

The Great Outdoors

 

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 đŸ€Ș. 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

The Great Outdoors

girona

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…

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.

BerguedĂ 
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.

besalĂș

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
besalĂș
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 BesalĂș and the city of Girona. There was so much we saw and have still left to discover!

 

Have it all ~ Sea and Mountains

The Great Outdoors

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

The Great Outdoors

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

The Great Outdoors

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]

Barefoot Beach Style in the Mediterranean

The Great Outdoors

 

It was the first of September. It indeed smelled like fall. And it was that time again to go check the beach and spend the morning breathing in the salty air.

How good it feels to walk barefoot through the beach and forest, by the sea, with a gentle sun and the perfect temperature to wear summer clothes without sweating it out! Will totally do it again.

 

I’m sure that if you have stuck around, if you have already been reading or watching my pictures, you may have seen this beach. Well, some have Byron Bay, I have what we like to call Waikiki beach. I may love to discover new places but I  really enjoy spending time and watching the places I already know in a different light as well. And the more time I spend there, the more I appreciate them.

 

 

We walked a few miles (5?) on the sand, over pine old leaves on the warm and wet soil of the forest and over the seaside rocks. It was like having a massage and my body started to feel the move again after a long week of sitting in the office’s chair.

 

We ended the hike with a good swim playing with the waves, bodysurfing in the warm water and trying to stay longer. Sadly, I was so busy having fun that I didn’t get to bring the camera into the water to share those funny waves.  How I get to move and exercise at the beach is something exceptional that surely makes this girl’s muscles feel alive.

 

 

Those walks always run fast by but the beach will still be here at the same spot, and we will be back soon. We people come and go but our beloved places we’ll still be here (as long as we don’t destroy them in the meantime).

But I’m coming back soon, though it will be a cooler day. And then on warmer days, I’ll return again.

 

PS: I just love so much these blues and greens we’ve got here by the Mediterranean Sea.

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

The Great Outdoors

 

Winter seems to be gone and spring is blooming but I wanted to share with you a bit of the latest adventures… and a bit of snow, in case you didn’t get enough.

Let it snow before it’s too hot

Do you remember how I said it was more likely to snow after the new year? Well, it happened again. It snowed at the end of February (and a bit more in March, just when spring was supposed to start).

The scenery was delightful and we had to enjoy it so… We went for a late afternoon hike (second set of photos) and to a very morning one (the day after) to see the peak of the mountain in its full “winter” splendour.

 

It looked totally as if we had stepped into a winter story, right at the other side of our door. My car had never piled up so much snow on it and I had never walked over snow as it kept snowing hard!

These are from the first day, the landscape seemed to finish just some steps forward to where we were standing.

 

Collecting more inspiration in the South!

But then, spring actually came and we went south. 8 hours south to be fair, to visit family. Though we had time to enjoy the place too! So much to see and so much inspiration!

I can see a collection coming out from here. Those white streets are from Priego de CĂłrdoba (Andalusia) and of course, the columns belong to the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. It’s amazing and so incredibly exciting to see that amount of decorative arts!

The Great Outdoors

 

See, I even found some beautiful colour palettes 😍

 

Then, back here there’s a lot of work to do and things to experience. In my next post, I’m telling you more about my creative projects and will have some presents for all of you! Don’t forget about me!

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Tides are changing – Tidal knowledge for surfers

The Great Outdoors

 

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 đŸ€™

 

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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My 6 travel hacks illustrated (packing anywhere)

The Great Outdoors

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/

 

 

Head North, Winter is calling for us

The Great Outdoors

 

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 glacĂ©e. 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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8 ways to say goodbye to Summer (August links)

The Great Outdoors

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

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home, The Great Outdoors

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!

What things are inspiring you this month? You can tell me in the comments or reply anywhere in my social here: [do_widget id=wpcom_social_media_icons_widget-3]

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

The Great Outdoors

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

Sweet Home, The Great Outdoors
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)

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home, The Great Outdoors

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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8 relevant things of the month (MAY)

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home, The Great Outdoors
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)

The Great Outdoors

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.

7 Photos to Inspire you to go to the Mountains

The Great Outdoors

We are breathing winter all around. Cold temperatures, Christmas spirit everywhere, foggy nights…

Today is the last Sunday of autumn.

Long gone are the days by the sea, at the beach, the long sunny days, the hot and the comfy bikinis. While the last memories of summer disappear and winter becomes a reality instead of fancy photos of folk indoor life, my mind drifts to the mountains. I must say, I’m not giving up on the beach, I may even get more chances to go (surfing) than in summer. But the reality is now mountains feels so much closer and more appealing in the cold days.

There are countless days we’ve already been lost to them. And so we can count those days.

Spending so many hours in front of the computer, working indoors or even just resting, makes it almost necessary for me to have a break and go outside. Breathing fresh air, seeing real colours, the light… it all becomes even inspiring for the work as well as a calm reminder of the beauty of the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always dreaming of going hiking but it always comes with a reward. It feels so weird to remember the hardest moments of the path as the best…

I often find little treasures on the way.  A flower to photograph, a nice texture, a romantic sunset… I feel content of being on above the town, closer to the sky, almost touching the clouds. Even when I don’t go one hundred percent willingly.

There are no paths that look the same, and usually, not even the same look equal every time.

When I’m outside, I’m listening. The sounds are so different, but I don’t usually realise until something gets my attention. The unfamiliar sound of an animal in the far distance, a branch breaking near me, a long silence broken by the wind.

The quietness and the stillness are hypnotic and sometimes frightening as well. But they are good for the mind, for the soul, for the creative inspiration. I don’t come back home with thousand of ideas for new paintings, but I do collect ideas of stories inspired by the wild. Fantastic scenarios, worlds and strange characters living lives worth writing about. And that gets me excited. Of returning home or of returning high.

I can’t deny those mysterious atmospheres. All that I know can take new forms and show me different realities.

Furthermore, the mountains recall in me the adventures I imagined, read about, and dreamed about as a child. And what can feel better than recovering part of that inner child in a little adventure?

Don’t you hear the call of the mountains? Will you come along?

 

How I get inspiration from nature and MiniAdventures

The Great Outdoors
When not knowing what to paint… paint flowers

And that, my friends, is good advice. Well, unless you hate flowers.

Flowers are always a good option, be it for a present be it for honing your art skills.

I myself enjoy very much portraying flowers in my paintings, though that may be as a result of admiring flowers so much in real life. Not that I am a nerd of flowers nor paint them in a scientific way. But I must stop and watch them when I find some in the wild.  They are like little souvenirs from my trips.

So today I want to transport you with some pictures to that special feeling into the world of flowers.

Why Flower Inspiration

Just starring to flowers brings me a sense of calm and I get lost with the colours, textures and complex forms.

The smaller the detail I get my eye on, the bigger my fascination. It kind of feels like seeing nature from the point of view of a fairy.

And, in these cold days, feels so good to go back and see some of the findings of the year, during miniadventures and hours spent outside…

Do you feel the call of nature, the call of freedom? Don’t you want to create something that beautiful right away? Cause I do want!

flower inspiration

flower inspiration

flower inspiration