Living joyfully

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Hello glitterbugs

I’m sitting here at 10pm, all the windows open and the fan blasting down my neck.  Summer has arrived!  Just a very quick hello as I wanted to share with you the joy that is this website:

www.makemejoyful.com

I get so excited when I come across new blogs and websites that really speak to me and her manifesto basically sums up everything I want to say.  Read it and you’ll feel more joyful, I guarantee it.

The photo above has one of my all time favourite flowers, taken last week in England, just so you know.

Wishing you joy and appreciation in your life my pretty ones!

xx

It’s grey and rainy in Barcelona today…

Jenny and Jamie by the sea March 2013

…which I don’t mind too much because sometimes it’s nice to just slob around at home and do not much – reading, coffee drinking, playing with Jamie, nail painting, hair dyeing, overdue craft projects (like my patchwork cushions which have been on the go for at least a year) pottering, tidying up my desk and discovering all sorts of forgotten materials and resources hidden in the depths…

And there’s no pressure to be outside enjoying the sunshine and doing something more productive.  I think it comes from growing up in England.  As soon as the sun’s out, because it happens so rarely, everyone always tells you to get out and make the most of it (you never know when it’ll be making its next lofty appearance!!) thus provoking some kind of profound guilt if you have to spend more than a minute indoors when the sun shines…

The photo above was last week.   Ahhhh…having just said all that, I’m really looking forward to the beach season being upon us again!

Have a lovely weekend!

Knitted trees!

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I can’t tell you how happy this knitting makes me!!  There’s such an urban knitting revolution going on now.  This was taken yesterday at  parc ciutadella, but it’s popping up everywhere!  Hooray!

I think I love it so much because (a) it’s unexpected – you just come across something really pretty and colourful in a random, everyday place;  (b) because it’s something creative done purely to be creative – what a great use of time!  (c) because it’s collaborative – I love the idea of secret guerilla knitting meetings and jaunts;  and (d) it’s anonymous – no one wants credit for such beautiful creations!

Here’s another photo from Urban Knitting Barcelona:

pilona urban knitting barcelona

Next up:  Wonderful Wednesday (stepping in for Things I love Tuesday). Tomorrow is officially spring, Hallelujah!!!

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle

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I love that quote by Plato (I think it’s Plato).  It really reminds me of the inter-connectedness of us all and how everyone is in the same boat in terms of our human-ness.  Of course the external surroundings differ vastly, but underneath everything we’re essentially the same, with our own struggles and strivings and desires to be happy.  (Ok, coming at you from a very white privileged western female point of view but there we go!)

So, keeping the love and kindness mindset alive with this week’s wee list of happiness:

♥ the luxury of turning down invitations. I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t get any, but sometimes it feels good NOT to do stuff and constantly be busy, as long as it’s a choice rather than an obligation because there’s no other alternative. ♥ Monday solo dates people watching and  reading my book at Cafe de l’Opera, I love that place! Always busy but you usually get a table, great coffee, good service, very old school art deco building and interior, and a good mix of locals and tourists.  ♥ my book, The Secrets of  Mariko by Elisabeth Bumiller.  A year in the life of an ordinary Japanese woman and soooooo interesting! Despite being non-fiction it’s so engaging it’s pure escapism for me.  ♥ empowering feelings that come with saying no!  ♥ being inspired by all the creative studios in another book Joe got me for Christmas. I adore seeing other people’s creative spaces.  ♥ planning Easter getaways  ♥  sending real mail, something I plan to do  more often ♥  March!  It’s nearly spring!  Yeah baby, I love the passing of the seasons!

Happy Tuesday!

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig…(kind of!)

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I had my first market stall yesterday, and it was fun!  I made a few sales, but also learned a bit about setting up and displaying my stuff, the need to dress VERY warmly, even in Barcelona- it is cold in February after all-, and the camaraderie that can be had between market stall holders.

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The AMAZING DJ, Joe’s mercy dashes bringing extra socks and hot pizza, the girl I was sharing the stall with, and a glass of vino definitely helped things go more smoothly!  I would’ve liked to have had more sales, of course, but a few people took my business card at least, so even if just one other person finds my blog or Etsy shop then  that’s a bonus, and the experience in itself was worthwhile.  Also  it was one of my New Year’s resolutions, so hooray, tick!  Feeling of achievement!  And it’s only February!  

Any New Year’s resolutions you’ve made accomplished yet???

Liebster blog award! and some random stuff about me

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Thank you so much Gina Drellack for nominating my blog!  What a lovely compliment.  Check out Gina’s blog, A Wisdom Within. A lot of inspiration for being the best selves we can be.

5 Random things about me:

1.  I didn’t know for sure I definitely wanted to have children.  Now I have a baby and it’s without a doubt the best thing to have ever happened to me.  To experience this kind of love is phenomenal!

2.  I’m a massive fan of Billy Joel! Pretty much know all the lyrics to all the songs.  We had a capello singers singing ‘The Longest Time’ at our wedding.  Beautiful!

3.  I knew as soon as I got together with Joe that this was it, no more searching, subconsciously or otherwise.

4.  I’ve always been able to put my legs behind my head.  Bound to come in useful some day….

5.  The majority of my clothes are second hand.  I love the bargainous nature of this, and the fact that I don’t see many people on the street wearing the exact same coat or dress as me.  One thing I really miss about living away from the UK is the lack of decent charity shops here.  Yay for bargains and creativity!

Gina’s Questions

1. Create three sentences using this format: “I used to…now I…”

I used to have pink hair, now it’s brown. Thinking of going blonde. I’ve always wanted to but was a wee bit nervous. 2013  is the year it’s going to happen!

I used to do what others expected of me to the detriment of my own will.  Now I know to please myself first doesn’t mean being selfish or ‘difficult’.

I used to rarely say sorry. Now I’m learning my pride is something to overcome.

2. Who in your circle of family and friends are you most similar to, and why?

Oooh tough one… Maybe my friend Sophie for her bulldog/terrier determination. Once she’s got a hold of something she doesn’t let it go!

3. If you had a surprise day off from your regular life, what would you do today?

Go to the Arabic Baths on my own for a little relax ( I once did this in an onsen in Japan alone on my birthday.  It wasn’t outdoors but there was a little hole in the ceiling which I positioned myself under to catch the rain that was falling.  I stayed there about 2 and a half hours COMPLETELY relaxing and it was one of the best days ever!), attend a yoga class, get a massage, go for Thai food with friends for lunch, alone again read a book and write my journal on the beach, swim in the sea, later Joe and Jamie would join me and we’d play on the beach with Jamie.  Then Joe and I would go for cocktails, the cinema, dinner, knowing Jamie was in safe hands being babysat at home. Pretty dreamy day…also didn’t include any time for creating-that would be in there somewhere, maybe after lunch when it’s too hot to be outside.  I’m guessing my surprise day off takes place in summer!

4. Pick an archetype that has lately been speaking to you; introduce who it is and share their message.

Very interesting, I love Caroline Myss.  I just took the test to see which one I am and I came out as Creative, Caregiver and Spititual in that order.  Not sure of their message but this is something I’m definitely going to be researching!  So insightful and useful!

5. What is your favorite routine maintenance task or chore?  Your least favorite?

I love vacuuming!  Maximum result for quite little input!  So satisfying!  Least favourite, doing the dishes. Yawn….

My Nominees:

http://krisatlarge.wordpress.com

http://cherryblossomtears.wordpress.com

http://honeydropstudio.wordpress.com

http://jennibelliestudio.blogspot.com

http://artsyville.blogspot.com

My 5 Questions:

1.  What little happy things do you do to cheer yourself up when you’re not feeling so good or just brighten your day in general?

2.  What are 5 worthwhile uses of your disposable income?

3.  What is your most treasured possession?

4.  What is your greatest fear?

5.  How would you like to be remembered?

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For those with blogs chosen for the award– copy and paste the award in your blog. Tell who nominated you with a link to my blog. Share five random things about yourself and then answer my questions. When that is all done, nominate five bloggers that you follow and send them the rules, creating five new questions for them to answer along with their random things.  Have fun!

On being a famous photographer of decoupaged boxes

I’ve been taking pictures of my decoupaged boxes ready to put in my Etsy shop in time for Christmas. I’ll explain how I make the boxes in another post. Trying not to rush it but I was stilll being a bit manic and dashing around like a maniac trying to fit everything in to when Jamie was  napping,  praying he wouldn’t wake up just as I was getting the perfect shot!  This is obviously what it feels like to be Diane Arbus, say, or Henri Cartier Bresson,  That’s the problem with looking after young children, you’re completely at the mercy of their schedule.  Little buggers.  And I’ve only got one.  Jeepers! (what a great word!)

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