this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


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Scribbling on the wall

Feeling a bit lost for words. Not taking to the blogging very easily right now. I have a load of posts in the queue that I want to write, but the words are getting stuck somewhere and I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps in spite of the beautiful snow.

In an attempt not to get stuck in the black hole of despair, I decided to do something different. A digital doodle using a surprise Christmas present I received. I’ve been holding back and telling myself I’d use it as a reward for having organised things. But organisation is hitting a wall today, and I feel like I accidentally got crumpled up and smashed against the wall with it.

By contrast, you are all being so very impressive. We’re in the last third of January and all the resolutions are going so well! Roxy has not just been sharing a photo a day, she’s been making me envious of the amount of sunshine in the stories attached. Although the snow photo is my absolute favourite so far, followed very closely by the yellow butterfly. Ziggy has already written TWENTY letters with elves on them, and they have been flying all over the world. Ginna even went and ran a marathon on Saturday (woah, yes, I know! I’m in awe of anyone who runs further than the bus stop.)

I feel like a lazy bum, so here is the result of gingerly peeling myself off the wall and trying to do something positive, albeit so quick and unpolished:

Experiment

How is 2013 treating you so far? Have you set yourself any challenges and how are they going?


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Frivolity and friendship (4) …and finally, for now…

Thank you everyone, for being so enthusiastic about the award nominations thus far. It certainly has been fun writing these posts. It has also helped me to get back into the swing of things, especially since the past few weeks have been exhausting and not all that pleasant. I’ve definitely been feeling very under the yucky weather.

Having already taken a couple of days sick leave at the beginning of the week, I sat up in bed one morning towards the end of last week, and was almost knocked backwards with a horrible dizziness and nausea. Thinking that I was perhaps very hungry, I dragged myself woozily downstairs to make some breakfast and tried to eat it. Half-way through my muesli and not feeling any better, I tried to put my head on the table. That usually works on dizziness right? Nope. I felt so ill, and yet the nausea was not the kind to make me want to throw up. It was horrible. I lugged my body back upstairs and crawled back into bed. I stayed there for another age and finally got up gradually around four in the afternoon. Actually, this time of year, I think we call that evening over here.

I hear that my symptoms were down to a bug that’s going round. I haven’t apparently been the only one to be KO’d by this monster. It took me days to get over the feeling of dizziness. I didn’t dare drive or anything. Hopefully that bug’s defeated for the winter. Hope those of you falling towards winter out there are wrapping up warm and are not inhaling germs from people who indiscriminately sneeze into others’ faces. Ugh. So inconsiderate. And disgusting. Please icky people on the Underground, smother your germs.

Aaanyway public health announcement over and, without further ado, let’s get onto the final award. The first three nominations posts are herehere and here. And the first ever, almost five months ago, is here. So feel free to check these out too for some great weekend reading, if you haven’t already done so!

The supremely creative Matt Gajdoš of Mister G Kids, in his nomination spree, put me forward for the Kreativ Blogger award which I graciously accept with thanks. More about his blog here and here! And in the spirit of all things creative, here are my three nominations:

Kreativ Blogger Award

  • All About Ami – Stephanie is about as sweet as her delightfully cute amigurumi creations. If you love crocheted things, you will love this site. And there will be a long awaited first addition to the family this month, how exciting!
  • How About Orange – Jessica, a graphic and textile designer, has a bright and fresh blog  featuring craft projects, lots of inspiration for people who like to create and not a little bit of orange.
  • ziggyshortcrust – Last but definitively not least, the blog of my first blog friend ever. Ziggy is a friend of elves for a start, but there is so much more to discover than first meets the eye. For a start, she elfed my imaginary daughter for me. Just check this out to see what I’m talking about for yourself.

Thank you to everyone for taking your time to read and comment and like. Welcome to friends old and new! I do really appreciate your being here. Have a restful weekend.


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Beautiful things….

I love beautiful things. I’m very selective, but once I’ve fallen for something, I will enthuse about it forever.

At random times. In unexpected ways. Suddenly a passing word, a fleeting flash of colour, a sound, a particular level of humidity in the air, the frosty wind….something will trigger a memory of whatever I fell in love with and it will bring a smile to my day. I get really excited about texture, colour, form, a shape or line, a voice, music, reflection, a small discovered detail…a print…which is what brought me to write this post:

Printed skirt : Wendy's Lookbook

Printed skirt : Wendy’s Lookbook
(Clicking on the image will take you to the source.)
I love the ink-drawn lace-like quality of this pattern as well as the purple-grey shades that remind me of what you get with blotting paper and fountain pens…

Because the dearly beloved gathered around me don’t usually get it, they will only perceive my over-excitement for a tiny bit too long. Their blank expressions usually prevent me from oohing and aahing too much. But I will continue to glow inside from the beauty of whatever it was that captured my imagination, and every time I remember what I loved about that thing, it will flood me with intense happiness and give me that elusive warm and fuzzy feeling.

In my mind, are countless memories of beautiful things I have seen, touched, tasted, heard and internalised. The unspeakable grandeur of a Norwegian fjord, the crisp pure air on a Swiss mountain, the enchantment of walking up a Roman fort in heavy snowfall, the expansive calm of the Lake District in temperate spring, the moodiness of the heather-cushioned Yorkshire Moors underfoot. The feel of the wood on a gently crafted chair, the intense flavour of a ripe avocado and the different shades of its buttery green flesh, the sound of birds singing after rainfall, the magic of a double rainbow…a bright ray of sunshine in a land that is prone to cloudy skies…

Many moons later, I will have forgotten the exact detail of the beautiful silk dress I handled or the simple form of a piece of porcelain that caught my eye, but I will remember the feeling that I wanted to hold on to for a little bit longer. I may even have whipped out my camera at that brief moment in time in an attempt to encapsulate the senses that came to life as I took in the hue, texture and weight of the object before me. In vain. Dissatisfied, I probably deleted the crisp digital image and walked away with just a slight skip in my step and an arguably disproportionate sense of euphoria. I very rarely buy things I love. Sometimes they are simply not for sale (like the breathtaking views from the Minack Theatre in Cornwall) but mostly, I just don’t have enough room in my life for that much stuff!

Minack Theatre

Minack Theatre panorama
Click on the image to view the panorama file

I love thoughtful design because it connects you to the creative process someone else went through; those moments of inspiration enjoyed by another human being. There are eureka moments but, largely speaking, truly beautiful objects are the product of someone else’s hours of labour, frustration, experiences and collated ideas of what is beautiful to them.

So I propose to dedicate Thursdays to compiling a treasure trove of beautiful things, places and experiences. Things that I have loved in the past, things that I am still discovering, things that I would love to share with you.

I don’t know if, like me, you also find that things of a particular kind of beauty give you a certain added buoyancy on those dark heavy days. Perhaps there are things of significance to you that no one else quite understands. I’d love to hear from you below. Hopefully you will share gems that I’ll not be able to resist adding to my own treasure trove. Happy rummaging!


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Introducing Mr. G

Frivolous Fridays are a celebration of the lighter side of life, and we all need some of that. Even if it has to be hidden somewhere in the dark, buried where no one else can see it. Somewhere, there needs to be light, or we can’t live. So, we’ve got to Friday, let’s celebrate!

And what a way to begin the series…with Mr. G and his wonderful kids! I stumbled ROFL onto the Mr. G comic blog just this week (actually, I think the artist Matt Gajdoš might have stumbled onto my blog first, and aren’t I glad for it)! It has been one of those weeks when I won’t even remember what has been happening if I don’t brew myself a quality Earl Grey and sit down for a good long think. Except that I’ve run out of Earl Grey..so you’re out of luck.

Anyway…where was I?

Aah…here’s a treat for you if, like me, you could do with a daily pick-me-up. Look no further for the reason why I think you should all go on over and have some deep belly chuckles at Mr. G.

Mr.G : FLOWERS

Matt Gajdoš : Flowers
(This is the one that got me hooked..aww..*chuckles*)

I love the reference to yellow in this particular post. The more I look at it, the more I love it. I think because yellow is such a bright and cheerful colour. Right now, it’s grey outside and pouring with rain. But yellow is the colour of sunshine, sunflowers, daffodils, dandelions, daisy hearts, buttercups and lemons…which make lemonade! Yellow is in spring, summer and autumn…aaah I’m bursting with bright yellow happiness. I totally know what yellow smells like :D

Mr. G is “A 100% true comic about stuff kids say in elementary school” and if you have kids or have ever worked with them, I think you’d say it’s the truth in how the kids talk and the spot-on way Matt captures their expressions that makes this a winning, heart-warming comic. Genius!

Needless to say, I am now a follower, and Mr. G even updates every weekday at midnight GMT. Great if you want to have cheerful dreams! Thanks Matt!


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ziggyshortcrust : An Elf Child is born

When I started this blog, I never in a million years thought that I would so quickly meet such amazing people with such wonderful talents. I thought that I would look at it as a bit like a personal journal. Write a bit, see how it goes, and maybe tell my friends after a while what I was doing. See if they would be interested in reading.

So I was blown away, when I received my first comment on Monday.

Knowing that someone else out there is reading my blog, that’s something. Getting my first comment, that’s pretty special. Receiving my first comment from someone who deals in “Scribbles, Doodles and Campervan Tootles”…that’s quite charming. Going on that person’s blog and finding that she’s a tea aficionado and works in a museum dedicated to the art in children’s books is kinda getting really magical…then finding that she spends a few minutes a day putting a fine liner to paper and creating elves…that’s simply enchanting stuff…especially if you get to ask for your very own elf! So how could I resist?

An Elf Child is born

ziggyshortcrust : An Elf Child is born

I came home from work yesterday to find that I now have an elf child, and it would be an understatement to say that it made my day. I might be biased, seeing as she is my elf child… but I think that she has the makings of a real children’s story book character…what do you think?

Make sure you pop over to ziggyshortcrust to see the magic for yourself…Thank you again Ziggy!


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marc johns : this is a stick

this is a stick

I love this drawing, it reminds me of when I was in primary school. At play time, I could often be found squatting among the trees at the bottom of the playground with my best friend, playing with small twigs. Digging moats in the mud, weaving walls and fences, imagining houses out of sticks. Immersed in a world of possibilities where very little was needed to achieve big things.

As an adult, it is easy to become limited by reality and I forget to dream most days. This simple drawing reminds me of something bigger than just myself and my circumstances. Make of it what you will……but whatever situation you’re in right now, think outside of just yourself, see if you can’t be inspired!

I hope you have a meaningful week…

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