Happy New Year?

Is there a cut off date when we can no longer say happy new year? Well as I’ve not said it yet, I still think it’s OK; so “Happy New Year”. Right get yourself a mug of tea or coffee, maybe a slice of cake and lets FIKA!

Well I’ve taken a longer break from nurturing my friendship with creativity, than intended! For me trying to find the time to balance all of these friendships; work, creativity, play, life, all became a bit too much at the end of 2018 and into 2019.

We all have that friendship which is very one way. You give and give and get very little in return. For me this describes my friendship with work. Although at times I do love my friendship with work, for me it helps define who I am, recently the friendship has taken a darker turn.

So during my break with creativity, I’ve been doing some soul searching and I want 2019 to be my year of ‘balance’. For too long I’ve felt very unbalanced with all of these friendships and I need to become centred in what I’m doing going forward.

A lot of difficult conversations have taken place, and there are still more to come, but I know I will get to my goal of balance.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at the beach, for me it’s a great place to connect with the world around me. The weather in January can be very unforgiving at times, but it really helps to blow the cobwebs away and helps give me perspective.

It’s this perspective that has helped me to realise my overall goal of balance and helped me to take action to achieve this. Although I’m not in a place to share everything right now, I promise we’ll keep this dialogue going!

Finally I want to leave you with a quote that I’ve been carrying around in my wallet (yes written on the back of an envelope), which has really been helpful to me:
A dream written down becomes a goal.
A goal broken into steps becomes a plan.
A plan backed by action becomes reality.

I hope you all have a great Monday and speak real soon.

2018 – A creative review

Well we’ve made it to Old Year’s night, what happened to 2018? I remember starting the year full of creative energy, this was going to be my year to create more. And I feel like I achieved this.

I started with my take on the Creativebug 30 days of pattern challenge. I used brush pens rather than paints, as I couldn’t find my paints and I wanted to take part in something. I love this Matisse inspired pattern, and I think this was a firm favourite of the challenge.

February brought another Creativebug challenge, daily acrylic painting. After a bit of a overworked start, pomegranates aren’t my friends, I did get into the challenge. Painting objects I found easier than pets and people, so I did finish this one a bit earlier! From this class I did a study of chilli’s, which remain my favourite fruit to paint.

March saw my biggest creative challenge to date: The 100 days Project! I know now, the actual project starts in April, but at the time I was excited to start. My project took the form of water colour and journaling. It was challenging at times, but there was start a strong feeling of community on Instagram, which really helped me to finish!

Summer saw a break in formal creating. Although I loved the 100 day project, my creative well had run dry. I spent this time with friends and a holiday to Crete helped me get back to creating again.

July saw me enter the world of art journaling. I really enjoyed creating a new page everyday in the 100 day project and art journaling seemed a good fit. I started by following a Creativebug course, with the delightful Dawn DeVries Sokol. This is when my style started to develop and my love of minimal came to the foreground. Then I found Get Messy!

Get Messy was the art community I was looking for. It helped me to develop myself as an artist and I met some many creative and like minded people. I started with the Season of Seasons and have also completed the Season of Ubuntu and the Season of Freedom.

As always I end the year in a bit of manic rush of seeing family, friends an making the time for creating does take a bit of a back seat. However I’m feeling the need to create and I can’t wait to see what I create next.

As I look to 2019, what goals do I want to achieve? I want to find a balance between work, life and creating, this is something I have struggled with. I hope to have my garden studio/office up and ready for early 2019 creating. Having dedicated space will give me time and energy to create as well as a space to work and relax in. I really want to continue with this blog, having started it late 2018. So please stick with me as I work out the schedule and work out how this is helpful for you and me too!

Finally I like to end with a post I shared on Instagram a year ago today:

I’m walking into 2019 with a clear heart and mind.
If you owe me, don’t worry about it – you’re welcome.
If you wronged me, it’s all good – lesson learned.
If you’re angry with me, you’ve won, congratulations.
If we aren’t speaking, its cool..I wish you well.
If you feel I wronged you, I apologise.
If your waiting on me to fail, don’t hold your breath…you have a long wait!
I’ve already overcome more than you can imagine.
Focus on making your life better for you & your family and watch how doors open.
Life is too short for all the pent up anger, holding grudges and extra pain.

Take care and speak soon

Let’s FIKA

Grab yourself a mug of tea or coffee, a little snack and let’s FIKA.

Let's FIKA

FIKA is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to make time for FIKA every day. It means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of tea (or coffee) and a little something to eat, and it can even be considered impolite not to join everyone else for FIKA.

My beverage of choice is a large mug of (preferably) Yorkshire tea, a dash of milk and between half and one sugar. I tried to give up sugar altogether, but it just ruined tea for me! Ideally my snack would of course be a large piece of cake, but when trying to be ‘healthy’ I’ll settle on fruit. Maybe I’ll sneak in some nut-butter to spread on an apple.

Being creative

A big part of making time for my friends included reconnecting with one I may have lost touch with. One I’ve been hanging out with for a few years now is my good friend creativity. Creativity and I were inseparable when I was younger. We would often spend the day together; drawing, painting, making stories or going on adventures. Around High School we became more like acquaintances. Yes we had set time at school to catch up, but we were going through the motions, not really doing the things we enjoyed.

Word of work

Then a new friend came into my life, work. Work was always keeping me busy, not allowing me time to spend it with my other friends, and creativity and I just lost touch, or so I thought. In the background creativity was always there, helping me tackle work problems, in a different way to my colleagues. When I realised this I welcomed creativity back into my life with open arms. Work wasn’t happy to begin with, but realised I performed better with creativity in balance with work.

Now creativity and I try to FIKA every day. Sometimes we have time for a longer more leisurely get together, which is awesome, but I also treasure the little ‘breaks’ we have too.

Phill