Sunday, 17 September 2017

Dream Create Journal #4 - The inner self personified.

Below is my post for Dream Journal Create <3

My post this week really follows on from Kelly's last week and the question she posed right at the beginning; what does 'Self Empowerment' mean to me?

If I'm honest I'm not sure I truly know the answer to this. I am both strong, powerful and independent, but I am also self critical and self doubting to the point of self destruction. Is this the flip side of strength and confidence? Or is my self empowerment a veneer for something more troubling underneath? 

In my previous post I mentioned my struggle with my creativity, more specifically my art. There is always some darkness to what I create, I'm not good at creating things that are light and fluffy. I'm just not made of the rainbows and unicorns type of stuff. This has been a cause of of much inner conflict, and annoyance with my artistic self. I've tried to create other things, to 'lighten up' shall we say, but it has always resulted in work left unfinished, screwed up in the bin and abandoned. I had unconsciously placed a gag on my true self and eventually she gave up the fight. My creativity and I floundered, and I'd spend more of my time staring at a blank page than I would do filling it. 

A short while ago I came across an article about horsemanship (another passion I have neglected). It was to do with our connection to ourselves and to our horses and how they become symbiotic. At the very end of the piece was a phrase I have since been unable to shake, it has resonated so strongly with me that I think of it every time I put paint to paper. So I shall share it with you (if I can find it I'll link it at the bottom). 

"To close off one part of oneself is to close off all of oneself" 

That is exactly what I had done. In denying her, I had denied all that is true about myself. So I guess in some sense, this act of reclaiming is self empowerment in it's simplest form. My inner self can now not just simply exist but she can flourish because she is acknowledged. I won't go so far as to say accepted, but she is certainly on her way. 

It sounds kinda fuddy to have personified her some much throughout but I feel to some extent my inner self, my creative self, my artistic self, is a character, a different soul. We are both different, yet we are one and the same. 

So her she is in all her glory :)

Holy fuzz balls! A short post for once :) I told you you'd have one one day!

In a bit guys xx 

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Autumn is so close!

As I'm writing this blog it is pouring with rain outside and is starting to feel a bit nippy. That means it is nearly Autumn!!

As soon as Anna posted a sneak peak of her watercolour Fox from this months Patreon and Mrs Brimbles Sticker Club, I knew exactly where he would go! My latest obsession - I have many, I am one of these people who become consumed by new things and spend hours researching it - is traditional or perhaps I should say more traditional forms of book binding. I have just finished learning the Kettle Stitch technique and so made a textblock with Tomoe River Paper (yes I jumped on that bandwagon too!). I had a rummage about in my random bits drawer and came across some very autumnal looking ribbon which was wide enough to cover the spine of my journal. Perfect!

Now just to make the inside as beautiful and autumnal as the outside!

Pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin! Completely inspired by Anna's watercolour pumpkin I decided it would be the perfect opening for my new Autumanl Art Journal.

I'm really pleased with how this little one turned out! I'm another to jump on the Tomoe River Paper bandwagon after hearing so many good things about it....especially the crinkle! It certainly takes some getting used to as the water and paints don't necessarily behave how you expect them to. I saw it mentioned on one of Anna's posts in the Mrs Brimbles group about being more reserved with the amount of water and paint, so I followed that advice.

I began with a base layer of watercolour and slowly built up the colours. I decided to just get stuck in with it and forgo sketching or swatching. I just went with what happened and moved forward from there. The result is certainly not the traditional watercolour style but I'm happy with it :) would certainly recommend giving the paper a go. I really saturated it with water when I painted the foreground, to the point where I thought it would struggle to maintain it's stability as paper. But to my surprise it withstood it and has dried with such a lovely wrinkle. My heart is now all a flutter when I turn the pages.

Moving away from the art stuff I've been busy back journalling since the weather has started to turn. I find my creative journalling can be quite cyclical, I tend to quieten down over the summer months, I journal and document less only to suddenly pick up again with such ferocity by Autumn. I'd love to know if anyone else experiences similar patterns in their creativity?

I began with creating the background with watercolour, splodging it about not too carefully. I left the paint quite concentrated and then washed over with water and let the pigment settle where they chose. I was aiming for enough colour to provide something to look at but for it not to be so strong it became the focus of my page. The photos are a little hodge podge and from over a couple of days but to me all signify the onset of autumn, misty mornings, long walks and seasonal house decorations.

At first I wasn't sure about adding the gold washi, I restricted myself to using it in a couple of places as often I have little restraint and have tendency to go overboard with sparkly things. I was aiming for just enough to compliment the warm earthy tones of the orange background - hopefully I did that!

I carefully cut out the Anna's watercolour animals from the collage sheets as I wanted to use them like emphera pieces - it was more fiddly than I thought it would be but totally worth it! I did however chicken out of trying to use my craft knife on the deer - I think she would have ended up antler-less!

I spent quite some time fussing around working out the placement of the photos and the other bits and bobs. It's one of the reasons I now tend not to stick everything down straight away as I have commitment issues and end up pulling them back up again. No more sticky glue marks or torn paper! Eventually I settled on what you see now :) 

That's all from me for this week, thank you for reading!

I hope you are all are looking forward to Autumn as much as I am!

In a bit guys x

You can also find me on my Instagram and over on my own (neglected) blog

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Beachin' Time

Now I'm not really one for Summer but I do have a real love for all things beach and ice cream *insert childish excitement here*. You can keep the hot weather though! So I was rather pleased when Anna shared August's Patreon content and collage sheets.

I had on the reverse of one of my pages watercolour swatches I'd made in attempt to create a skin tone for my vintage girls from last months patreon content and I was undecided as to whether I was going to a)leave them and move onto another page b) gesso over them or c) include them somehow in the next piece I created. I figured they looked enough like sand so I thought I'd just roll with it and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I added a couple of bits from the collage sheets - cannot go wrong with some ice cream or flip-flops. I love the simplicity of it, I'm usually one for adding faaaar too much to a page and I'm quite pleased with my self restraint!

....having said that....this is the bit I'm not sure about, having added the sea water I'm not convinced. Part of me wishes I had left it as it was whilst the other half of me quite likes it. What do you guys think?

It's funny how sometimes you start creating and it just sort of snow balls and you end up being inspired by something you've done and going on to create something else which in turn inspires another idea. That is what happened to me, there is just so much Anna shares and there's so many ways in which to use them!

When I was younger, whenever we went passed rows of houses on our travels I'd try and imagine all the lives behind the front doors. Imagining the comings and goings of the occupants, happy tales full great big adventures, with monsters and fantastic beasts - I had an uncontainable imagination. Nowadays I still dream and concoct stories, whole lives mapped out within single moment, although they are somewhat tamer than my childhood self would have created and the future of these imaginary people isn't based on the colour choice of their door or curtains. Anna's houses reminded me of this, I think it was the combination of the stylised way in which Anna has drawn them and the residual feelings of excitement over beaches and holidays away at the seaside. 

I decided I wanted to continue this feel by abandoning my perfectionist self in search of my inner child - which was not hard, she bounces around just beneath the surface waiting to be set free! I used my craft knife and carefully cut around the houses leaving a small amount a the side to use as a tab so I could lift them back to reveal the inside.

I went right back to basics with felt tips with a bit of watercolour thrown in. I happily scribbled away with my felt tips, even encountering the same problems of some colours starting to dry up and then just scribbling harder to make the colour transfer. 

I wasn't sure how I'd convey the life events of these fictional characters and dithered about a bit before settling on simple symbols. Ironically if you read it from right to left it tells a rather morbid tale and one I hadn't intended!

I really enjoyed the 'letting go' aspect of this page, there is something to be said for not worrying about placement or realism and drawing and colouring outside of the lines.

Here's where it gets all a bit planner-creative-desk inceptionesk! I absolutely love this collage piece and immediately felt drawn to it...I think it has something to do with the fact it resembles my desk 99% of the time. Rather unimaginatively I decided to recreate my surroundings.

First I began Gessoing the areas I wanted to add more detail, mostly to try and block out some of the collage sheet. I think perhaps next time I won't take the easy route and I'll cut into where I'm going to build upon.

I built up the planner page by adding several sheets of normal copier paper and offset them slightly to give the appearance of volume as it was looking a little flat. I tried to set the page up similar to one of my journals so I printed off a photo and placed some ephemera and used some of the other collage pieces to create some washi tape. When I'm working on a journal page I also like to have the bits of ephemera around me so I've also included a mini pile next to the page. 

I almost always have a cup of something at the desk with me too, so I used a bit of watercolour over the gesso. I quite like using gesso and watercolour in this way, although there isn't a great deal of blendability you do get some interesting textures as the water is not absorbed by the paper. I tried to recreate some bubbling but I became impatient and it didn't quite work! 

I also added some more paint splodges, if I'm honest that bit happened by accident, but it was a happy one so I just added some more and I think it ties in nicely. Lastly I added a quick 'To Do' I always have a couple of these floating around my desk, and inevitably they always become buried under a mountain of my stuff. 

I really loved letting go and just getting stuck in with this months collage sheets. I immersed myself in the process and forgot about the rules, and produced some pieces very unlike my usual style! But that is what I am loving so much about Anna's patreon, it really is pushing my boundaries and expanding my creative thinking. 

I've been enjoying the sketchy girls you've all been sharing! Cannot wait to see how they develop and come together :)

Till next time guys xx 

You can also find me on Instagram and over on my blog

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Dream Create Journal #3

Below is my third post on Dream Create Journal - The blog can be found here. It is a collaborative blog with my wonderful friends Geraldine and Kelly.  Please feel free to come over and join us!

Trigger Warning
Please note that I refer to and talk about depression throughout this blog post. I do not go into specific detail but the post does make mention of negative feeling and emotion. I've tried to keep it as non triggering as I can whilst still talking about the subject matter and how Art helps me through. I completely understand should you wish to stop at this point. If this blog post helps you in any way then I'm glad to have posted it x.

You always get a sense about how an artist is feeling when you look at their work, be it happiness, frustration, anger or sadness. For many like myself art has an incredibly powerful influence over the mind, emotion and wellbeing. It allows thoughts to be voiced and expressed when words alone cannot suffice. A safe and intuitive forum to let go and process the internal dialogue. 

It was studying Art at school that really killed the creativity for me, that may sound strange as for many Art at school was a form of development, a freedom building and manifesting in colour and texture. For me I felt stifled, confined and empty of thought. I painted a piece for our mock GCSCEs and was told it was 'too dark' and I'd not used the canvas artwork didn't 'fill the page'. It wouldn't have been fitting to paint it the way they wanted me to and it became a reoccurring story throughout the two year period. My creativity was slowly being eroded till I was left with nothing but silence and blank imagery. 

I all but abandoned my creativity – save a couple of pursuits – from the time I left school until around four of five years ago. I can't really remember what piqued my interest in art again, funny that seeing as now it has become so integral to my everyday routine. I think it was moving out to live with J and having more time, opportunity and space. I loved living with my parents, but moving back home after uni I was effectively having to downsize from an entire house to a single room. Space became a premium, and one that I couldn't afford either physically or mentally. The therapeutic nature of working with my hands using paints, pastels, or pencils was a noticed absence and my mental health and ability to process emotion began to decline. 

I ummed and ahhed about whether I should share this page with you all and the reason is two fold I guess. Firstly it is quite a dark image and the Dream, Create, Journal space, for me at least, is meant to be a place of positivity, creativity and support. It feels a bit at odds with what I think when I look back at it. Secondly it is a raw and exposing thing to share an image you've created in a time of struggle. I am opening up myself to people I've never met and do not know (although I hope this changes over time!), when I've failed to be open and honest with loved ones and with myself. 

There is a distinct lack of colour, care or attention in it. It is worked solely in charcoals. There was no thought involved when I made it, I just sat down and knew I needed to do something, and this was the result. The pressure in my head had eased slightly, and my feelings had somewhat abated.

The addition of colour in the second piece is an important one. Some feel for them that depression is a black dog that follows behind them wherever they go just watching and waiting. For me the black curtain, as I refer to it, can be absent for long periods of time, it is lifted away from my vision allowing the colours of life to mix and merge. Then suddenly the curtain starts to fall, it can be sudden and it can be a slow gradual drop, eating away at the vibrancy and light. Much of the artwork I create during this time is either purely black and grey or full of colour marred and obscured by black. Cliche portrayals perhaps but for me it is the most effective and intuitive way of gauging how I'm feeling.

I created the textured paint splodges by applying the acrylics directly onto the paper by squeezing the paint from the tubes – had I found my palette knife and modelling paste I'd have used them but I couldn't be bothered to look – so I just used the paint and my brush. Not quite as effective but it still works. 

Next I added black acrylic paint over the top. Working to ensure that it was properly worked over the texture I'd built in the base colour layer. Darkness coating all the edges, the drips and spills gently but surely blocking out the colour beneath. I watered down the acrylic greatly, and tested the consistency on a spare piece of paper, checking the ability for it to run down the page. I then began blobbing it at the top of the page, lifting the book slightly and letting it fall wherever it chose. 

I'm not sure about the character or where she came from or why she has bandages across her face. It just felt appropriate at the time. Her hair turned out quite well considering she came together at the last minute. That's something I'm still trying to master, the texture of hair is tricky. I jump back and forth from realism to cartoonish, I've not found my rhythm with it yet!

I can't say I had a lot of fun painting this because I don't think 'fun' is the right word. Cathartic is perhaps more appropriate in this instance. It took me a long while to realise that creating artwork or journalling doesn't always have to come from something or someplace happy. It can be used as a tool to process and expel the unwanted negativity from within and open up the path for greater and more positive things as hippy dippy as that sounds. 

I hope that if you made it to the end of my post that you'll think more about the art or journal pieces you create and the ways in which it helps you to achieve the things you desire, whether it is for pleasure, practice or work. 

Till next time guys :)


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Dream Journal Create #2

Below is my second post on Dream Create Journal - The blog can be found here. It is a collaborative blog with my wonderful friends Geraldine and Kelly.  Please feel free to come over and join us!

Wow! We've been really spoilt for the past two weeks with such awesome posts from the lovely Anna and Michelle <3 now you have to put up with me for another week....hahah sorry!

Bit of a short and (hopefully) sweet one from me this week! On the basis that I'm useless and forgot to document the beginning of the you'll have to use some imagination to begin with...sorry!

When we chose inspirational quotes for our prompt for this month, it was clearly a no brainer for me. 

“To live in a world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books” Manly Palmer Hall, 1928*

This is one quote that has followed me about wherever I go, both in the figurative and literal sense. It holds such a lot of meaning to me, and has helped me to realise and see the truth about what I once did (and I admit I still sometimes do) see to be a 'disability'. I don't connect with the world and the people in it in the neurotypical way, I am what they call atypical. I see and respond to the quote in several ways. Firstly, it's in the way Manly Palmer Hall probably meant it, which is about not understanding the world and about walking through life eyes closed and blind to the small things, the uncaptured moments and the brief encounters we share with one another and within ourselves. Little things made BIG. And then upon realising this truth, we ignore the real reason for being in such a place; why enter a library (it's very existence is to house books) and to not touch the books around you, to not connect with the words and experiences they contain? 

But secondly it is about my failure to connect to and engage with the people around me, to not understand the social rules and expectations. To be unable to engage means I cannot fully play the game of life. This has been an unwavering and utterly incapacitating feeling for the majority of my adult life. If I cannot play because I cannot intuitively know or follow the rules, then I cannot not 'win' the game of life. I fail to see the meaning of existence. Following this, on the flip side, I see that I have to find and establish my own atypical sense of the world, to engage in and actively seek out those books that call to me and to fill my soul with their words. 

Enough philosophising lol and onto some arty farty!

So here you just need to picture a girl surrounded by chaos, with messy messy hair printing some stuff from her computer. I began by pulling up clinical definitions and diagnostic criteria and printed them onto normal copier paper, which I then stuck down into my sketchbook using some good ol' glue stick. I blobbed a load of gesso over the top and worked a semi white wash. I aimed for a fairly even coat but with some lighter patches so that some of the text could peep through. I waited rather impatiently for it to dry...I then subsequently forgot about it and became absorbed in other things....mostly my rainbow crochet blanket. So imagine a page with some text covered in white chalkyish paint drying in the background and a bright colourful blanket :)

So once I remembered what I was meant to be doing I decided I'd have a go at a more mixed approach. I've been really inspired, by a book that a family friend passed onto me to really push the boundaries of what I'm comfortable doing in terms of my artwork. 

Mixed media is generally something I shy away from and avoid dabbling in. So in light of the qoute itself I decided it was time I changed that. I started work on building up my colours for the background, it was actually a lot harder than I thought. I found I was second guessing myself than I ever do with my other creations. I couldn't decide whether I had used too much or too little. So I just kept dabbing more and more acrylic paint on blowing it dry for a bit and then just splodging more on top. Sadly I lost quite a bit of the background text and it is only really visible when you really look for it. 

Yesterday I took a trip to Hobbycraft and had a good mooch about, I came across some stencils and decided to some up. I don't have many stencils in my art paraphernalia, and the ones I do have tend to be for lettering. I ummed and ahhed for a bit, got complained at for dithering and ended up going for a swirly one and one that reminded me of Lavender and Wheat. Stalks. I decided they would work well with what I was trying to achieve. Having never really created anything like this before I was sort of just winging it. Experimenting with contrasting colour and texture. I tried not to focus too much on placement nor a complete transfer. I also wanted to try out the reverse of the stencil, a tip I took from the book, so I flipped the stencil over and gave it a couple of good pats haha. It is definitely a trick I'd like to try again!

Having gone for some strong, bold colours against the pastel background I decided I wasn't keen on how strong the contrast was. So added another wash of gesso to try and dull the effect. It kinda worked, it did pull up more texture and deeper relief in the paint which I'm not sure translates so well in the photographs but you definitely see in person. An unexpected win! 

I then decided that one type of stencil wasn't enough so I added some of the swirls in gold and silver.

I had originally planned on hand writing the quote but decided against it and opted to print it out and stick it in, as a) my handwriting could do with a lot of improvement and b) I wanted to keep it looking more mixed media and follow the tips from the book. I felt the strips of paper were getting a bit lost in amongst the rest of the piece so I quickly and rather roughly edged them in black liner (which I stupidly didn't check whether it was waterproof) and smudged it a little in some places. 

This exercise for me was more about having fun and enjoying the creative process. As I mentioned in my previous blog post I can get a little too clinical and sucked into the realms of perfectionism. Geraldine (the very wise lady that she is) said to me (after I grumbled about it) that there is no room for perfectionism in mixed media and she's right. I tried to worry less about the placement and position of things and just got stuck in and came away with a pretty nice piece of artwork and some messy hands to boot. 

Well I guess that wasn't so short was it? 

I'd love to know what inspirational quotes or passages or poems speak to you and how you use that inspiration whether it is in your artwork, worklife or your day to day life! 

Thanks for reading :)

In a bit guys xx 

*  Hall, Manly Palmer (1928) The Secret Teachings of All Ages Philosophical Research Society 1994

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Mrs Brimbles "Sketchy Girls" July Patreon Content

Hi everyone! My first blog post of Anna's blog....eek! This month Anna has us working with her Sketchy Girls Artwork.

At first it took my a little while to get going with this months content. After watching the Patreon videos and looking through the collage sheets I felt really inspired, and several ideas were bubbling away, I was itching to get going! However, when it came to actually sitting down to do some arting, I kept hesitating. I don't know whether it is because Anna's style is so different to mine or the fact, that although life drawing is my area of interest, I never actually draw or paint faces. Always bodies, never faces. It didn't feel natural at first, and I felt my pictures were coming out very stilted but I preserved and boy am I glad I did!

I took Anna's advice about creating in pen and ran with it. I'm not a big pre sketcher, at most I put a few points of reference and then just dive straight in splodging paint around. When I do this I almost always use pencil, never pen, so sketching this way felt quite alien. You'll see from my pieces the progression and journey (it honestly did feel like one) I make from hesitancy to confidence.

The 1920s and 1930s Art Deco paintings and portrayals of women are a massive influence in my art at the moment. I just cannot get enough of heavy lines and victory rolls. As such I've tried to place a vintagey spin on my sketchy girls.

This is one of my early attempts and one I didn't run with and subsequently finish. You might be asking why I'm sharing this it if isn't complete. But I find an important lesson in it, and one Anna is always reiterating. Well I guess it is two lessons really; 1. Practice, Practice, Practice and 2. Always keep the things you create. The temptation with pencil sketches is to erase them when you're not happy with them, but in doing so you remove your ability to see the development and improvements you make. I'll hold my hand up and say that I'm the first to break this last lesson!

I tried to re create a classic 1920s bob and used one of Anna's collage pieces as a base for her face, however, I feel there's more of an Egyptian vibe to her. Not quite what I had intended but hey.

I decided that whilst I was pushing myself outside of my comfort zone I'd take it one step further and work with watercolours too. Acrylics are my safe place, watercolours I've always loved but never quite mastered. So mixing colours for skin tone and blending was a bit of a challenge. I used the back of the page to swatch test. I kept this one as I sketched it entirely in pen. I didn't feel tempted to pick up a pencil at all, but I did have a bit of a hiccup with her nose and lips but it works.

I then used some of the bits from the collage sheets to re create big puffed coat lapels in keeping with the 1920s/30s look, she felt quite glamorous so I gave her quite a pale complexion with softly rouged cheeks, contrasted with bright red lipstick. I wasn't feeling conventional hair so added a twist by opting for rainbow hair coloured pin curls. The curvy waves really helped to create a sense of volume, and the colours inspired by Annas artwork really pop against her pale skin tones.

My 'Women's Land Army' inspired lady. I've used a mix of acrylics, pencils and watercolour here and felt a little more at home. I love the contrast of the pink head wrap against the greens and khaki of her uniform. My love for victory rolls is evident here, big bold curls, initially she didn't have a fringe, but  I felt her face seemed too harsh so I added the fringe to bring back some softness. I've added a mixture of colours to create natural highlights in her hair and used a stiff bristled brush to recreate the fine texture.

My final piece is my beautiful Flapper Girl, I am absolutely over the moon with this piece (am I allowed to say that?).

I began in the same way as my previous sessions and sketched my initial outline, and then went straight in with her jet black bob. At first I thought it might be a little harsh but I think it gives a real sharpness and boldness to her, a real contrast to the soft watercolour background. Her headband, using Anna's abstract piece in the collage sheets, and then accented with gold really pops against the dark hair.

Every Flapper Girl needs *the* perfect dress, I really wanted to create a sense of movement and texture and felt that painting it just wouldn't provide this. So I used Anna's paint strokes and then made a series of cuts and gently ruffled them then tipped them with gold pen. The end result is really quite effective. I carried this touch of gold to her feather headpiece and the straps of her dress to really pull the ensemble together.

So that's all from me :) Would love to see any of you latest creations.

In a bit guys x

You can also find me here Instagram

Monday, 3 July 2017

Planner Girls Collective: Summer Holiday Bucket List

Summer Months Bucket List

I don't really have a summer holiday as such since I don't have children....I take my summer break whenever I want it, a luxury of being self employed. So my Summer Holiday Bucket List is more a list of things I'd like to do over the summer months. I would say hot or hotter months but given the weather at the minute I wouldn't necessarily consider that true...Ha! It's always warmish and raining here. 

So asides from ranting about the poor weather I should probably move on to my actual bucket list. It started out and finished with pretty much the same layout. The only bit I decided I didn't like was the placement of the wanderlust sticker, as I started my list further down the page I ended up with a big gap which was bugging me. 

I'm really enjoying using the mica powders at the minute, and finding every excuse to use them. I wanted to try and achieve a summery fresh feel, so I opted for a mix of blues, pinks and yellows. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Although I did end up with mica powder all over my desks, on my hands and face - awesome! 

Strangely for a planner, I really hate the look of lists. Don't get me wrong I swear by a good list or two but aesthetically I just really don't like them. Given this week is a list type topic I decided to try and change the presentation of the activities I want to do and included stickers and ephemera to break up the visual. 

So the actual list:

1.Venture to the beach for a walk and ice cream.
I'll be honest here, I don't particularly like summer. I don't like the heat and I don't like the sun. I'm a Autumn/Winter gal and the idea of sunning myself on the sand makes me shudder. Buuuuut I will go to the beach for ice cream....and doughnuts and possibly a paddle in the sea if it's cold!

2. Get another tattoo
This one is fairly self explanatory :)

3. Road Trip
J and I used to go on road trips a lot before we moved in together and were still living at opposite ends of the country. Every trip up would result in a further road trip somewhere else just a day or two together away from parentals haha. Was awesome to just shove some music on, grab some food to much and head out somewhere and not really know where we were going. It's been so long since we've just upped and gone somewhere. Time to relive old times!

4. Finish my rainbow crochet blanket
I have so many unfinished crochet projects it really is about time I finished one! Funny I can't knit in the summer, it has to be a winter thing for me yet I'll quite happily sit and crochet away the hours in summer.

5.Pre Dawn Walk
One of the things I miss about no longer dog walking/training as a profession is the early morning walks. Being up before everyone else and enjoying the peace and stillness of the morning save the other critters that are up and about at that time.

6. Drive in Cinema
I think this has been on my Life Bucket List for years. Finally located one and fingers crossed I'll be off for a visit one day this summer!

7. Meet friends for coffee
Ha! Any excuse for coffee and a catch up with my pals. I could drink coffee by the bucket load! The presence of friends means cake is also warranted and justified.

8. Have a picnic
Because who doesn't love eating food outside with lots of bugs to join you in your feasting?

9. Finish planting up the garden
Been a long time coming. I currently feel like I've run a million marathons and lifted weights at the olympics. I was in the garden all day yesterday pulling up plants that have been there for like a bajillion years to move to pots - as I'd rather they didn't die - whilst we relay the front drive.

10. Smile and Laugh Endlessly
Cheesey, buuuut bare with me. I want to remember the good times and document the laughter. Too often recently I've been sweating the small stuff, and I'd like to take the opportunity to kick back and laugh and smile till my face aches.

So that's me set for this summer. What are all your plans? Jampacked and adventure filled or chilled and relaxed?

In a bit x

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