Monday, January 8, 2018

I'm just here to tell you I will be away again

Happy New Year my dear blogsy people!

It took a bit longer for me to get back to the blog than I expected, sorry about that.
I had intended to do a couple of posts before I would go on another blog break (because I have a vacation coming up), but life got in the way, or I got in my own way, or whatever, and it just didn't happen.

So basically this is a post to tell you I will not be posting for a few more weeks, just so you know I didn't fall of the face of the earth. ;-)

But I do have some pics for you of the last couple of weeks so you can see what I've been up to.

I took plenty of beach walks. The changeable, often rainy, weather makes for amazing skies.

A beautiful sunset over the Frisian frozen landscape, taken from a bus.

Visited the prison town of Veenhuizen with coworkers. That's right, a prison town.They have three. Long story. Google it.

The main street of our town went all out with christmas decorations this year.

At home I did the same.

Spooky assisting me in my journaling.

Spooky assisting me in wrting my christmas cards.

Trying new types of patterns in the journal. I'm intrigued.

Journaling with a cat on your lap is quite a challenge!

For the first time in years I had an actual christmas tree!

Fog over the Wadden Sea.

A christmas walk. The weather was unexpectedly beautiful.

Sometimes you just have to write and write and write.

Me being home during the holiday week was very much appreciated by a certain someone.

Drawing and sketching with a friend in a café. It doesn't get any better than that.

2017 in journals.

Dark clouds approaching.  We have had plenty of those this season.

My first walk of the new  year.

Finishing up some grid drawings, because I just never tire of them.

A beautiful tree on a lunch walk.

My christmas present to myself. Sigh.

Clearing away all the christmas decorations. I guess the holidays are really over.

And so we have entered a new year. 2017 for the most part was good to me.

Except at work, where a huge project has been causing me a lot of stress over the past year and this will continue into the next one, because we are not done yet.

In general I am  not a person who takes her job home with her, so this is a new experience for me and I don't much like it. I want my work to stay at work if you know what I mean. Now I find myself worrying in the middle of the night or checking up on things on my days off.

I think it's because of this that in my free time I need to unwind a lot and take a lot of rest and just do fun stuff and not think too much. In that respect 2017 has been a wonderful year. I have been on so many outings and vacations, trips and adventures and I've had a blast with all of them. I'm very grateful for tons of good experiences.

So 2017 was a bit of a dual thing. Wonderful in my free time, stressfull in my worktime. Not so strange then that sometimes I find it hard to really focus on the blog or other things that require a bit of discipline in keeping them up like my morning art. But I am not ready to give them up either. I just feel like I need to find a new kind of balance.

It's probably good that I have a vacation coming up where I take a bit of distance from everything that's going on and get a bit of a fresh perspective.
Just like last year I will be going to the island of  Schiermonnikoog, except this time I will go for two weeks instead of one!

The reason I chose this island again is because it's small and compact and I know it very well.
Some vacations I love to explore new areas and go on many outings, but this vacation I want to rest and read and just enjoy the beautiful landscape. So I have no great plans, except to relax without distractions. I look forward to it. A lot.

With a few workdays before I leave and a family weekend right after I return I will probably not be back on the blog until the beginning of February.

Until then I hope the beginning of 2018 is smooth sailing for you and that the new year will give you all that's good and kind.

I'll be seeing you in February and I wish  you all a wonderful and artsy time!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays!

My dear blogsy people,

I just want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season. Whatever you celebrate or don't celebrate, may the end of the year bring you warmth and joy and good times, and may the next year bring you everything that is good and kind. You deserve it!

Christmas at Casa Caatje

I will be off blog (not to be confused with offline, haha) until the beginning of the new year, so I hope to see you back then. Until then I want to thank you for visiting my little place on the interweb and for encouraging  me again and again with all your kind words and support. It means a lot  to me.

I'll see you in 2018!


Monday, December 18, 2017

Morning Mosaics

Still going strong with my morning art. Every morning, well almost every morning, I take half an hour to do some art. My current project is time consuming and slow, but very satisfying: watercolour mosaics.

Here are four more mosaics that I finished in the last weeks:

All these took eight or nine half hour morning sessions to finish, so this is over a months worth of work. I still have about 25 pages to go in  this sketchbook, so I will be working on it for at least most of 2018.

If at some point I get tired of these mosaics I may switch to something else, but for now the plan is to finish the sketchbook before I do that. The slow process is very zen indeed and a nice calm start of my day. ;-)

It's also a wonderful way to experiment with patterns and the colours in my paint box. And yes, I am using the good expensive top quality paint. No point in not using the good stuff!

Hope you are using the best you have and not letting it go to waste and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Decorating the Journal

I love journaling. For me the journal is a combination of writing and imagery. The imagery can be from daily life, photographs, stickers, ephemera and drawing. I do enjoy decorating the journal, but because I write so much not every spread gets a pretty layout to write in, I simply cannot keep up with my own writing, haha, so often I will just quickly stick a sticker or an image on there and move on.

Still every now and then I like to sit down for a little while and just prep some pages for future writing. I thought I would show you some samples of that from a decorating session I had a few days ago. I kept the same colour scheme for all four spreads and it was a lot of fun to do.

The colours (red, blue and yellow) were based on the washi tape that is on the right of the first spread. I like the simplicity of these layouts and they give me lots of room to write donw my thoughts, since I have many many thoughts.

In time I will show how these spreads look when they are written on. The writing will make the pages less pristine, but more alive and I like my journals to look as if they are being lived in instead of overly clean. I think of all the books an sketchbooks I keep the journals will always be most dear to me. They are the closest reflection of who I am and how I live my life.

I hope you are keeping some record of your life that is dear to you, in whatever form you choose and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Open grids

My love of grids can no longer be a surprise to you.
What is a surprise is how I can still find new ways to play with them. A thing I have been interested in lately is doing what I call 'open grid drawings'.

Usually I have the tendency to fill a page to the brim with colour, but now I am experimenting leaving empty spaces in between my patterns. It's a whole new grid world to explore!

Here are some examples of what I mean:

I will often work on these later in the evening when the day is mostly done. They relax me and give me an artsy closing to my day. I just sit on the couch with my feet up and this book on my lap and a podcast in my ears and all is well with the world.

I also enjoy exploring different colour combinations. To step out of my own comfort zone I sometimes like to look for colour palettes online and so use combinations I would not think of myself. The last two drawings are a result of that.

All these were done in Stabilo 68 felt tip pens, still my favorites for playing with grids. The sketchbook is a Moleskine XL softcover squared book. I love the size of this book which is very close to B5.

Hope you are exploring new angles of your favorite pastimes and that it is bringing you joy. Have a wonderful and artsy day!

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