Tag Archives: Challenge

Water reminder!

I have continued with the morning flush (a big glass of water first thing in the morning) since January. It has helped me with my water intake as knowing that I have had a big glass of water first thing is a boost. As a teenager I had lots of head aches and my Mum would always say “Have you drunk enough?” and I would always say “I don’t think so”. Since being more mindful of how much I drink I have noticed what a difference it makes, adding a slice of lemon helps too. Over the weekend I get out of the habit of not drinking as much as I do during the week, I have a good routine while at work but have yet to bring it hope for the weekend. I just find it a lot harder to remember to drink. I always notice the the effects when I don’t drink enough. Water the life giver, make sure you are drinking enough.

Glass of water with a slice of lemon

Glass of water with a slice of lemon

Writing and fears

A while back I listened to a webiner about business and how to promote yourself and your art online. One person spoke about how search engines are now looking at blogs more and how it is important to have a detailed description about the piece of art or product and to tell a story of how it came about. Well as you can imagine I haven’t completed this task yet. I think I wrote a list of the paintings that I would like to write about but that was as far as I got. I have started to write more and I am almost enjoying it. I really want to change how I feel about writing, I have been making more of an effort to write on my blog. I write more comments within the Facebook groups that I am members of and I now have a few pen-pals. This is all helping me face my fears of writing. ‘The more you practise, the better you get’ however I am one of those people who thinks that I should be good before I have even tried! So over the next few weeks/months I am going to write a description/story about my artwork that is for sale in my shop.

Manifesting Abundance

My Abundance altar

The start of this month saw the start of the “Manifesting Abundance” with Laura Emily from the Apothecary Circle. It is all about getting your finances in order; so you have control of them and they don’t have control of you. I received my loan deferral pack from the student loan company on the same day, every year without fail I return the paperwork late, every year I think I could of paid it off by now, why the heck didn’t I start by paying off xxx amount each year. Every year I look at it and ask myself was going to art college really worth it, would I be in the same position now had I not gone. Each year I say I will pay it off each month. Each year I say I should be earning way more than I do…I completed my BA 13 years ago!! Just seeing that has made me realise I should have paid it back by now.

I have never struggled with money. I put myself through Art College and I also did two years to gain an MA in Contemporary Craft. To this day I have no idea how I did it, I have always had enough money to get by. When I left college I had no idea what to do next! I hadn’t thought beyond my degree show. I can remember to this day being sat on the sofa in no.4 with the yellow door with my friend talking about what to do next; when reality struck me like a slap in the face, “Shit, now I need to live in the real world, I need to get a job.” So that afternoon I popped into a gallery and asked if they needed anyone and low and behold they did! So I worked there for five years, two of those years I worked part-time while completing an MA. Every since then I have worked, apart from a couple of blips and the year we took off when we spent four month in New Zealand and then house sat for the in-laws while they travelled. I would love to earn a living from my art but as yet I have not put in enough effort in to make this happen. I have decided that any sales I make form my artwork will be going towards paying off the loan.
I think I have a good relationship with money, I am good at budgeting and never over spend. I hate to say it but I would like more, I feel a little guilty saying that. I do have enough each month but if I had more I could pay off the loan quicker, and give more to the charities that are close to my heart. I would love to pay my loan off in the next year, watch this space the universe works in wondrous ways.  

Creating new habits

I find it hard to start and keep new habits. It is east to break good habits but starting ‘good’ habits is difficult. I gave up chewing gum on the winter solstice, must days after lunch I would still like a piece but instead I have a mint that doesn’t contain all the yucky chemicals that are in chewing gum. At the beginning of the year in the Apothecary Circle we did a water challenge. One thing involved was doing a morning flush; drinking down a big glass of water before anything else, sometimes I take it with a slice of lemon and always slightly warm water. I have continued this habit for over four months and I can’t see a reasons to stop. 
A section of my latest painting in progress
My most recent habit is getting up at 6am and being creative for an hour. I have found it works best if I think about what I am going to do the night before and have stuff out and ready, so I can just start and not have to think about what it is I am going to do. I have joined Leo Babauta at Zen Habits Sea Change programme. The best way to start a new habit is to have a trigger. The trigger for drinking my daily flush is getting up and putting the kettle on. The trigger for being creative is making a cup of tea and sitting at my desk. I think the idea of a trigger is a really good idea to form habits. Another trigger I have is when I am waiting for someone I get out my sketchbook and have a doodle. It relaxes me and makes waiting less of a pain.    

Sacred Space (part 1)

Opps I found this in my notebook and realised that I had not posted it! In the AC there are three sacred space projects, the first part was to clear out any unwanted stuff. I find this hard to do as I always think “that will come in handy one day”. I also buy art equipment whenever I get the chance! It wouldn’t matter so much if I was prolific at creating artworks but I’m not. I have loads of paint and now I have finally found my favourite brand the others don’t get a look in and don’t ever get used.  I have a box of paper that never gets used because it is too nice…although after realising that was why I never use it, it is now going to get used. I have a box of bits and pieces that looks as if the bin has been emptied into it but this is all my textures that I use for monoprinting. These scraps get used all the time and my all time favourite piece is the cardboard sheaf that is used to protect your hand when carrying a cup of tea, it is from ‘Prêt Mange’. I also love fruit nets!
Books are another problem…I have some that I haven’t looked at since we moved back to London (3.5 years ago) but when I pick them up to give away I can’t. I did manage to get rid of some that I had never used or not looked at in ten years. These went off to the charity shop. I never keep any novels as I know I will never read the same one twice and the ones I normally buy were purchased from a charity shop anyway!
All in all I found this quite difficult, it was suggested that we did a foot a day. I did sort though my stuff and ended up with more than a box full to give to charity. I also think this is going to be an ongoing thing because some days it is easier than others. I also need to be mindful of what I bring into our flat, as we don’t have much room.Follow my blog with Bloglovin

February Photo-a-Day

Here are the photos I taken this month for the Fat Mum Slim Photo-a-Day challenge. All of these photos have been taken using my phone. I have a few apps that I like to use, ‘Retro Camera’ being a favourite this month. I am pleased with most of them and I did try and take more while I was out and about. I have to confess most were not taken on the day, it was kind of more like a week in one day! I only missed one prompt this month and that was ‘Inside your fridge’.Each month I am going to share with you the photos from the months challenge and also a couple of my favourites. You can check out more of my photos here.

View from Compton car-park

Snow drops

These two were both taken while on the Isle of Wight for the weekend. Snow drops are a sign that spring has sprung and that longer days are on the way.

Ten Day Fast – Reflections

The Apothecary Circle ten day fast finished on the 14th Feb. I managed to last without some things and not others. The night before the beginning of the fast I had a dream about eating a bacon sandwich, I don’t normally remember my dreams so it made me chuckle that even before I started the fast I was already dreaming about eating meat. I think deep down I knew that I would not be able to not eat meat while visiting my family the following weekend. I didn’t want to cause them any trouble and I know my Dad always likes to send me on my way with a fry-up for breakfast the day I leave, it has become a little ritual for us and I didn’t want us to miss out by not spending this time together. 

I didn’t eat any biscuits, drink any caffeine or use social media on my phone. I am going to continue not to use Facebook on my phone as it gave me more time to do other things, such as not being late for work! I am also going to continue to eat less biscuits, I didn’t really miss them and I don’t think I need them as part as my regular diet. Biscuit will now be eaten on special occasions only! Dark chocolate however will be eaten when necessary. I think I owe Greenpeace in the region of £20, doing the swearing fast has made me more concious of my swearing and I think I have almost stopped, which I am glad of.

My moon time grumpyness didn’t really appear this month, not sure if that was down to not drinking caffeine and eating less sugar but I will be experimenting with both of these next month by cutting these out a week before and seeing if it makes a difference, will be interesting to see.

So I am back drinking my one cup of regular builders tea, not eating as many biscuits, eating meat (not everyday and I have realised that I need a vegetarian cook book), eating dark chocolate when I need it, no more Facebook on my phone or reading blogs before bed. Who knows what the next fast will entail…..

Ten day fast

Apothecary Circle – Ten day fast

February seems to be the month of firsts; so far I have eaten Sauerkraut, oil pulled,smudged and used oracle cards, lit a candle for Candlemas, made tinctures and started a fast. It was a busy weekend! 

I have now started a ten day fast. This is linked to the Apothecary Circle. I didn’t want to fast from food/solids as I don’t think my body would react well and I don’t feel comfortable doing it while having to go to work. I think maybe this will be something for the future, possibly the summer.

I have never fasted before. I found it quite a challenge to think of something to give up. (I don’t drink or smoke). Once I really thought about it, I came up with these – 

  • Caffeine – not much of a challenge as I only drink one cup of tea a day.
  • Chocolate – this will be be difficult, I eat it about 2-3 times a week. I like to sit and relax with a detox tea and a few squares of dark chocolate.
  • Meat – this will be a challenge as I will have to make yummy meals (must remember to marinate the tofu) so my hubby forgets he is not eating meat. (failed this one meals are not yummy, need for follow recipes). I have offered to cook meat a couple of times, fairs fair.
  • Biscuits – I am giving these up because they are over processed and full of sugar, I eat about 10 a week.
  • Swearing – I do this too much and I am very blasé about it. f**k being my favorite. For this one I have decided to have a swear jar, every time I swear Green Peace gets 50 pence.
  • Social media – I use social media on my phone way too much. I wake in the morning and check Facebook and I read blogs before sleeping both of these habits I would like to stop. So this is a good time to start stopping.    

I am getting the urge for all of these things. Why is it when you say ‘no’ something in you says ‘yes’.

Wow, that is a lot to remember! Wish me luck I may need it…

February – Photo a Day

Here is the February list for the Photo a Day by Chantelle over at Fat Man Slim, once again she has shared a great list with us. If you want to follow along you can share on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. I share my photos on Stremzoo, here is the link to my stream. Enjoy and happy snapping.

January – Photo a Day

Here are the photos I took for the Fat Mum Slim Photo-a-Day challenge. All of these have been taken using my phone. I am pleased with most of them and I must remember to take photos while I am out and about!  Each month I am going to share with you the photos from the months challenge and also a couple of my favourites. I have to confess I did miss a few days but no-ones perfect. You can check out more of my photos here.

View over the River Thames to the Houses of Parliament. Word of the day ‘Sun’.
 View after it had snowed on the way to work. Word of the day ‘Electric’.