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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Drawing your fears

I’m posting a quick one today. Stumbled across a comic blog by animator Fran Krause that I’m really enjoying. It also made me wonder what my deepest, darkest fears are …I’d love to submit something and see what he makes of it!

One comic that made me smile is this one below. When I was younger, I often had nightmares. My dad told me that my grandma warned him not to sleep on his left side as he’d be sleeping on his heart and that it would give him nightmares. Following that innocent tale, I developed a slight obsession with sleeping on my right side until I was a teenager. It’s all come back to me since seeing this comic.. and it’s relevant because there is lots of advice suggesting pregnant women should endeavour to sleep on their left side. Please click through on the picture to see the full comic. What would your deep dark fear be?

I ALWAYS SLEEP ON MY RIGHT SIDE | FRAN KRAUSE

I ALWAYS SLEEP ON MY RIGHT SIDE | FRAN KRAUSE

On another note, I came across a great #linefebruary sketch on Twitter by Russell, whose art blog I love following. Being a bit ignorant, I asked him what the hashtag was all about. Here’s the result…

Don’t hate. It’s a scribble by an insomniac. I might just get hooked though and not want to sleep – I love the idea, and there’s lots of great sketches to discover! Let me know if you take part…

Have a great weekend x


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Getting Into Gear

We are well into February, and thankfully, my rather shaky start to 2013 has stabilised somewhat for now, thanks to all your support and encouragement. (Really, I’m not just saying it – thank you.) End of January, I took my first tangible step to work towards my fourth goal as stated in the first post of the year: to give more thought and time to offline, tangible investments in my relationships. I bought this card which I just love and then I wrote and sent it off last week:

wiggletoes_card

Card from Pencil Diaries at Paperchase.

One thing that I have neglected in my personal relationships that I enjoyed so much in the past, was writing snail mail. Letting my loved ones know that I am thinking of them has not happened for too long, beyond sending a quick text, email or Facebook message. I had already been forming a plan in my mind, to write at least one card per month that is not a holiday or birthday card. It’s not even halfway as ambitious as Ziggy’s Illustrated Letters project, but I think it’s manageable for me.

I read Ginna’s February Goals post (haw haw, accidental pun) for her blog, My Pretty Pennies, on 1st February. What a great idea to link up and encourage each other to reach our goals! I’ve been a little slow to complete my post but I wanted to share the step-by-step goals I have set for February. All the goals I share are connected to my overall goals for 2013 to reduce the risk of overwhelming myself!

  • Write a card to someone for no particular reason, just to let them know I’m thinking of them
  • Complete a knitted surprise gift and send it by the end of the month
  • Fill a home made mini sketchbook by the end of the month
  • Clear my desk of things that are waiting to be filed away
  • Sort through old clothes that I have piled up as potential sewing material, deciding which to keep and which to donate

As I have explained, I don’t live life straightforwardly, so I won’t be too surprised if I get started on some side projects along the way. But now I’ve put this month’s goals out there, hopefully it will help me to focus and work towards getting them done! I’m excited to be able to cross the first one off already and to be almost through the second at this point. Hopefully, I will be able to cross everything off by the end of the month!

How about you? Have you tried regular goal setting? Does it work for you?


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New Year Firsts (ii): Threaded Thursdays

In a recent post, I shared my goals for 2013. In it, I told you that I wanted to get more creative with thread this year. I have known how to re-sew buttons onto my clothes for as long as I can remember, thanks to my resourceful mother. But I must say, the last time I did anything creative with thread was over ten years ago. In fact, it certainly feels like the last time I did anything truly creative was at least that long ago!

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been inspired by Martin’s Doodles. I’ve been following Martin almost since the beginning of my blogging journey, and if you have not yet popped over you really should. He makes my hometown look beautiful and interesting. Most of all, I love how he portrays people.

Martin entered a sketchbook in the Sketchbook Project in 2012 and is currently sharing what he has done, page by page. I’ve been toying with the idea myself, since a friend mentioned it about three years ago, but seeing that the project is no longer touring in Europe, I’ve decided against trying it.

Then last week, I was inspired by Marc Johns’ post, I make my own sketchbooks. I love Marc’s quirky illustrations, but in this feature post, he shares about his handmade sketchbooks and why he has been making his own for the last six years:

A nice, brand new leatherbound (not cheap!) notebook is intimidating for me. I’d want every sketch to be lovely and perfect. I’d want only my best ideas to grace its pages. In a nutshell, the preciousness would be too restrictive, and put a damper on my creativity. It would put a filter on my ideas. Not good.

I suffer from the inability to put pen to clean, crisp, new paper. I totally got that! And then I remembered a conversation not so long ago with a colleague. We had both done some rudimentary bookbinding in primary school. Some sugar paper and needle and thread. And that’s how, after about half an hour’s work, I came to be in possession of two new mini mini notebooks, made from scrap paper and some heavier grade paper taken from random marketing booklets:

My New Notebooks

I get fed up with all the brochures and junkmail that come through the door. It’s like 90% of the stuff posted through my letterbox goes straight through to the recycling at the back. Now I at least have some of it sewn up waiting to get graffitied on before it ends up in the bin. All I have to do is to start scribbling in them! Easier said than done, because I actually think they’re really cute… haha. Well, watch this space :)


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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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Urban Sketchers

Urban Sketchers

Be inspired!

I stumbled across this site over a year ago now and was completely inspired! I fancied that one day I might do my own urban sketching…one thing at a time though!

There is no shortage of beautiful sketches of interesting places here as well as links to a whole world of people who are sharing sketches on Flickr and Facebook.

Perhaps you are an urban sketcher of sorts? Or maybe this will help inspire you to pick up a pencil or pen and give your take on the world around you.  Just don’t spend too long browsing. Get sketching!

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