April is my favourite month of the year and I can give you 10 (maybe 9!) good reasons why it should be your favourite too.
- spring has officially started, whether the weather knows it or not
- end-of-winter blues are generally over
- the days are visibly longer
- the air smells good
- there is colour everywhere
- people have a positive attitude
- wool clothing is no longer around
- you can say hello to fresh food
- it is ok to have ice cream outside
- it is my birthday month J
I’ll leave you with a few pics from last weekend.
It has only been this year that I started to blog more regularly and started planning in advance my blog’s posts. The switch happened after reading an article from Kam of Campfire Chic in her ‘better blogging’ archive (this one). Before then, I never really thought myself as a blogger, and still don’t to be honest, but reality is I have been blogging since 2009 and that makes me a blogger. I don’t want to start talking about the reasons why I blog, that is a possible subject for another post, but I started to enjoy the weekly tasks, the coming up with a topic and, most of all, the record of things I have been building up during the past five years.
My editorial calendar is very simple and flexible. Since I’m using the Moleskine 12-month diaries this year, I have downloaded one of their free templates (the weekly notebook alternative template in pocket size, here). I have printed out 13 pages to cover the 52 weeks in a year and folded each in 3 pieces to nicely fit at the back of each monthly diary.
Since my planning is more or less on a weekly basis, I tend to shift things around very often, especially is something comes up at the last minute and I want to blog about it. For this reason I use post-it notes, the index ones, as they perfectly fit in the space allocated for each day. I write down the topic and I stick it on the planner, and eventually move it around.
So far this method has worked wonderfully for me; it gives me the flexibility and organisation I need to stick to my plans and gives me time to plan and schedule in advance, especially when I’m too busy or on holiday.
This year has been a good year. I opened an Etsy shop, I joined a few monthly projects, I completed the “oneportrait of my child, once a week, every week” challenge, I experimented. And I discovered a few interesting thing about what I love, like and dislike. I happily discovered that I like taking pictures with my Iphone and posting them on Instagram or on the blog. I like getting mini albums of events, or years, printed out. But I’m not a scrapbooker. As much as I admire those who are, it’s not in my genes, it doesn’t come natural to me. I love making notebooks, my favourites have been watercolour sketchbookswith a fabric cover. I also very recently discovered journaling, but not the traditional way, meaning keeping a diary and just write things (I’m not good at writing!). I prefer keeping a visual journal, with drawings, doodles, stamps and small daily facts or notes, or just birthdays’ reminders. I love, and mean LOVE, botanical art. It is my passion, but it is something that requires practice and time, which I don’t seem to have these days. I like sketching when on holiday or outdoor, but this year somehow I didn’t put enough effort towards it and ended up with very few sketches. I discovered rubber stamping and loving it so far. We’ll see if it will be another temporary thing or something that will stick. I discovered a lot of new artists and bloggers, and to name a few Oana Befort, Golly Bard and Jennine Zlatkis. If you happen to not know them, they are all artists whose work is inspired by nature and the animal world, and although they have very different styles, there is something in their work that makes me want to paint like them. Because I do love painting, and watercolour is my number one medium. But what I lack in, is the ideas, the coming up with a design or composition, the thinking behind a painting. And that’s where I struggle. I can copy, replicate, but very rarely I can come up with something original. Art tutors and teachers always say that copying somebody else’s work we admire is an excellent exercise for finding your own style, but to me it feels like cheating. And that is exactly what has happened to me during this past year. I’ve jumped from one thing to another, following the trend of the moment and thinking that if other people have succeeded in that particular field, I could too. But what I had not considered at all, is the lack of passion when doing something and sharing it with others. You can instantly tell if things are done to just try to make money or because they have been given some love and you have truly believed in them. And that is exactly what has happened to me this year. And it’s a good thing because now I know more about my strengths, and recognised some of my weaknesses. There’s still a lot of work I need to do, but I’m hoping all this work will get me somewhere.