Sunday, November 21, 2010

Randomness and links

I'm really enjoying reading blogs again and having time to explore new websites, spend a little bit more time on Twitter, read interesting articles... It really is amazing, this online world of ours, so full of inspiration and information. Of course what makes this possible is all the wonderful people who share their knowledge, all the artists and creative bloggers who are very generous with their own inspiration and processes. The Internet has only made this sharing easier, but could you imagine living in a world without it?

I was recently thinking about inspiration and how ideas spread while watching this fascinating video on "influencers" (or "trendsetters").


INFLUENCERS FULL VERSION from R+I creative on Vimeo.

Of course we all suffer from information and connection overload from time to time. Or worse, from a sense of not being enough or not doing enough after reading how many creative people are living their dream lifes. I have been there, but I do think that it had more to do with how I was feeling in other areas of my life than with what I was reading online. However, it's always a good idea to have a digital detox from time to time, don't you think? If you feel the need to do this right now, Susannah has plenty of advice on her blog.

If on the contrary you're looking for new blogs to visit, you should go and see  Paris vs New York. It's such a beautiful collection of illustrations about the differences between these two cities... It just makes me want to visit both! Which I'll probably do next year, if everything goes according to plan! These are my favourites from the blog:




There is so much beauty online, that perhaps sometimes we forget to transfer all that inspiration to our offline world.  I'm definitely guilty of this, sometimes I spend most my time working and when it's time to relax I sit in front of my laptop to read some blogs. The Tour de Word (see video below) is just one way of taking something that started as an online adventure and develop it into something to do face to face. Our Blog camps are another example of how you can take relationships and friendships developed on the blogosphere to the offline world. I haven't been to a Blog Camp in a while, but if there is one next year, you can bet I'll be there!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I can feel the quietness out there. More importantly I can feel the quietness inside me.
After the craziness of wedding planning,
after the magic of the day itself,
after moving house,
after some traumatic events that  I'll tell you about another day,

... everything is back to normal. And this is a good thing. For now.


I'm enjoying autumn, quiet evenings. The peace, the stillness. Soon I'll be restless again. I can't stay still for too long. And I'm already looking forward to the madness of Christmas, the excitement and possibilities of the New Year. But for now, this peace is all I need.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mr & Mrs

We did it! We got married! The day was perfect in all the important ways. We had an amazing time, we shared a beautiful and important moment with our friends and family and we didn't care about the fact that we forgot to display some of the flower decorations.

The honeymoon in beautiful Santorini was relaxing and suitably romantic and we now want to go back to the island every year! 

We're back in our new flat and we still don't have an Internet conection so I'd be missing from the blogospehere for a little bit longer, but here are some of the photos that our friends took on the day. More photos and details to follow...






Friday, September 10, 2010

Off to get married...

Before I disappear to get married (Yay!) I thought I'd leave you with some of the inspiration pages from the wedding booklet I've created this year.

First the inspiration for the big event, when we'll be getting married in Spain on 18th September...


We've also organized a picnic brunch the next day for a more relaxing catch up with our friends...



Then we'll go on honeymoon to Santorini, Greece, and then to Barcelona for a friend's wedding (She's getting married two weeks after me)



On our return, we've organized a stylish (I hope!) champagne and cakes party in Oxford for some of our friends who couldn't make it to Spain...



I'll be back with photos and stories (but not too many) of all these events at some point in early October...

More bloggy weddings.

Monday, August 30, 2010

We're moving!!

We thought it would be nice to come back to our own place after the wedding. Living in a shared house was supposed to be a temporary measure after we came back from South America, but somehow we stayed in this house for almost two years! I think it was meant to be as it means that we'll start our married life in a completely new place that will be only ours. Of course, and despite everything we have to do, I couldn't resist starting looking for inspiration on decorating the new place. These are some of my Flickr favourites. I'm going for a relaxed vibe and I seem to be drawn to white, blue and yellow (of course yellow!)




1. IKEA_Armoire_Cleaning_Closet, 2. Hip Home Offices, 3. Butterfly Bathroom-Elle Decor So Chic, 4. Hip Home Offices, 5. Hip Home Offices, 6. Strawberry Tart on Tray, 7. Living Room, 8. Silver Leaf Lamp, 9. Blackberry Sorbet, 10. HUGE soap dispenser!, 11. main guest room , 12. Jen's Corner, 13. mom's pillowcases - finished, 14. breakfast, 15. Corner of my home, 16. Kitchen shelves, 17. IMG_2569, 18. Untitled, 19. IMG_2616, 20. my redecorated entryway, 21. New corner, 22. muted metallic, 23. Spring Cure 2010: kitchen inspiration, 24. inspiration, 25. books on stairs

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Randomness and links

So, yep, I'm posting links, but hey, at least I'm posting! First a quick update: I'm stressing about work and stressing about the wedding... from time to time I get to talk to people about non-wedding or non-work related things, but not often.

When it all gets too much, reading your blogs helps. So I have been reading blogs, just not writing much. And I've been collecting inspiring images on my Tumblr. And I've been dreaming of going back to writing and taking photos, and reading, and crafting...  I'm really, really excited about our wedding day and the honeymoon, but I also can't wait to have my life back afterwards!

And with that, I'll give you the randomness and the links:

Best writing advice ever.

If you're a blogger who value your blog and your time, you need to read this.

It's never too late to realize your dreams

I found this article about model photographers interesting. I'm still thinking lots about what I like about photography and dying to go back to experimenting with my camera. I have On Photography, by Susan Sontag, on my bedside table but I haven't started it yet as I want to have the mental space to be able to enjoy and think about it 

I'm loving the Inspiring Women series on Ill Seen, Ill Said which includes, of course, Lee Miller. I saw an exhibition about her somewhere in London a couple of years ago and I've been fascinated by her life and fearless attitude to trying new things ever since. Her biography is also on my bedside table...

A very articulate post on artists' right to earn money on side jobs. It's not selling out it's being responsible! I've always thought this and have never been able to put it into words as well as Amanda Craig.

There is no link for this one, but I found this quote by William Burroughs, on inspiration, that really got me thinking about this inspiring blog world of ours: 

“Out of the closets and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief…. Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! A bas l’originalit√©, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons us as it creates. Vive le sol—pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.”

I'll be back soon... Some of my favourite bloggy people have  disappeared from the blogosphere so I hope they come back soon too :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Simple things... for a happy birthday

It's Christina's birthday today and we are giving her simple things as a present. Here are some of mine...

* A day off in the middle of the week

* Going on a date with my fiance: some wine, a fun French movie... just the two of us in the middle of wedding planning craziness.

* Beautiful simple posts by friends

* Dreaming about travelling

* Discovering details of New York through Kristina's camera

* A coffee date with a good friend

* A text message just to say "I'm thinking of you"

* Rain in the evening after a very hot day

* ... And (I had to mention it) Spain winning the World Cup!! I'm still smiling! This couldn't have happened at a better time for Spain, we really needed a reason to celebrate. I celebrated in Oxford with my Spanish friends but here's an account from a Brit in Madrid.



More simple things here and here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer

Remember when summer was a time for fun and rest? Remember when you were a child and summer days felt so long that you didn't know what to do with them?

I can't remember the last time that I allowed myself to do nothing, but this weekend I'm trying to bring back a bit of that summer feeling and I'm doing nothing but watching movies, meeting friends, and resting (and of course I'll watch the Spain-Holland game tomorrow!). I'll leave you with a beautiful video (via the lovely Frolic blog) that will hopefully inspire you to slow down and play as well...


Coeur de Pirate || Comme des enfants from Dare To Care Records on Vimeo.

PS. After watching (and loving) Heartbreaker and listening to Coeur de Pirate, I'm regretting not having paid more attention to my French lessons at school and am dreaming about moving to France soon...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our wedding invitations


I've been dying to show you our wedding invitations, and now that most of our guests have seen them, here they are! If you remember, the stationery was one of those things that we decided from the beginning were very important to us. J is a designer so we always knew he'd design something for the occasion. I was in charge of the text and of course there were several discussions during the process on whether words or design are more important!


We started with the colour red and the idea to reflect the wedding venue. As we're getting married in a beautiful old castle we used the medieval theme throughout the invitations, with the stamp on the envelopes or the icon of a knight proposing to his lady (probably not very historically accurate, I know!). We also wanted the invitations to be fun and hopefully reflect that we want our day to be relaxed and not too formal.

We included a card with the basic details (what, who, when, where) and  another one with information on getting there and accommodation. We also designed single postcards for our RSVPs. Finding a printers was the most difficult part. There isn't really that much out there for those who want to design everything from scratch and not use a template or buy designed ones, but luckily we found a good printers in Oxford that did the whole thing for us.

We are really happy by how they've turned out and it's been really good fun giving them to people. And that's one thing ticked off the list!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

No longer 30...

Remember my 12 months of being 30 series?  A year has passed since I started it and I turned 31 last week! I'm obviously getting used to being in my 30s, as I didn't feel the need to talk about my birthday incessantly this time. I had a great day but definitely more low key than last year's. I wonder if this is what being mature is like?

I didn't manage to write 12 posts for the series, but I guess that's also a sign of what this year was like for me. Busy and full of new challenges. I started a new job that has proven interesting but challenging, I got a flat in my home town in Spain, I attended three Blog Camps and met blog campers that soon turned into friends. I did more creative things that I can even remember doing, including art journaling, jewlery making, collaging, and sewing, and I enjoyed writing and taking photos.

And of course I got engaged and started organizing a wedding! 

It has been a wonderful year in many respects but it has also been difficult at times, and very, very tiring. I had to take a blog break because it was all becoming too much, but I'm slowly getting back and things seem to be slowing down in most fronts. At the moment, I'm trying to prepare myself for the madness that is surely about to start in the wedding front.

But in the meantime, I'm dreaming of beautiful and long summer days filled with books, photographs, flowers and walks in the beach. And plenty of time to think, to see, to love.


1. Print laundry I, 2. Larkspur Blues, 3. mini books, 4. Untitled, 5. ., 6. pale tulips, 7. Pretty days, 8. Untitled, 9. A la orilla del mar, 10. Colors, 11. rainy Tuesday (7), 12. *, 13. Love is in the air, 14. Always in my dreams, 15. Weekend is for rest, 16. Semana 3. Palabras/ Week 3. Words

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Right now...

It's windy, rainy and dark outside, my head is full of random thoughts, I can't focus on what I'm doing or decide what to do next. It's the perfect time for a bit of randomness...

I'm happy that I saw Beth, Polly and Jelica yesterday. I needed to step away from my daily life and talk blogging, photography, books and creativity. Thanks, girls!

I'm thinking about starting a photography journal, with ideas for shootings and notes on techniques. Do any of you do this? Is it useful?

I'm trying to decide between watching a romantic comedy that I know will disappoint (Letters to Juliet) or a beautiful movie that may require some brain action while watching (Fur, An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus)


I'm frustrated that I've been trying to write a post on learning and photography for three days and I can't seem to convey my thoughts on paper (or screen).

I'm wondering whether the fact that Borders is going to be replaced by a Tesco supermarket is a sign that it's time to leave Oxford. 

I'm happy that I came back to blogging. Each and every one of the comments in my previous post made me SMILE!

I'm sad that I'm missing the next Blog Camp.

I'm thinking where to go next... I've just finished reading Lone traveller, by Anne Mustoe (She was an amazing woman!) and the temptation of leaving it all behind and leave with the boy and our bikes in search of adventures is almost irresistible.

I'm waiting for things to settle, for my to do list to become shorter and for the summer to arrive.

I'm hoping that I can focus and write a proper blog post soon.

What are you doing right now?

Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm back

Dear Blog,

I'm back. Although my break turned up to be longer than I had initially planned, it seems it's exactly what I needed. When I decided to take a break, I could no longer decide if I was blogging because I enjoyed it or because I felt I had to. I didn't know if I was doing it for myself, or for others. It stopped being fun, and it was only stressful. If you remember, my word of the year was meaningful and when blogging stopped being meaningful, I knew I had to stop.

But now I'm ready to come back, to write again, to keep on exploring myself and my journey through this public diary. To keep on collecting inspiration, experiences and wise words from others. To keep on learning. 

So what did I do while I wasn't blogging?

I participated in a beautiful project on the Wishstudio.  The necklace I'm wearing in this photo is a clue...



I went to see She and Him live! Their music is so much better live and Zooey is cuter and Mr Ward more charming than you can imagine. It was a really fun night and the fact that it was on a Monday made us feel all young again!

We sent our wedding invitations. Only three and half months to go now... They deserve a post of their own but here's a sneak peek: 



I thought a lot about marriage, marrying the family, marriage for life, creating your own rules for marriage. As it so often happens when you are thinking about something, everywhere I turned, marriage wasa hot topic, even SATC 2 (great fun!) turned out to be about marriage more than anything else!

We went on long walks and I took my camera out again...


I even played with the Diana + ( a Christmas present!). But...



I enjoyed the good weather (Yes, we had good weather in Oxford for two whole days!!)


But I also worked too much and started staying late in the office almost every day. 

I read, and read and read.... Once I let go of the pressure to read all the posts in my feeder and to follow every link on Twitter, I found I had more time than I thought to read. For the first time in ages, I actually had time to read all my library books before it was time to take them back and still....

I missed my blogging friends, and I missed commenting on Flickr photos and interesting posts. And so...

I thought about balance, about routine, about taking care of myself, about how to find time to do everything, about priorities.

And now, here I am. Trying again. Looking forward to reconnecting with my blog and yours. To rediscover the magic of blogging, the power of the written word, the beauty of supporting comments, to being inspired. To everything that blogging brings. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

A holiday...

If you look at my browser right now, you'll see around 39 tabs. This is mostly your fault. You who post about interesting links that I just have to check out, you who write a brilliant post that I read in Google Reader but that I then have to open in another tab to comment on, you who suggest that book or that movie that I need to go and read about. I also have interesting articles or ideas that I think may the basis for a good post here, my Flickr page, where I've been planning to add some photos for weeks... I think you get the idea.
For the most part, I love it, all these interesting ideas, things to read, things to watch, things to think about. I love the stimulation and the creativity. But at the moment, it's all becoming too much, there is too much going on, I can't focus and it's distracting me from other important things in my life.
So I've decided to take a break from it all. Blogging, Flickr, Google Reader... For the most part of April, I'll be on an Internet holiday. I wasn't going to have much time for it, anyway, as I have a busy week of work ahead of me, 10 days of holiday back in Spain (aka wedding planning madness!), and a lot to catch up on afterwards. I'm not making any rules, I may pop up from time to time, but I'm giving myself permission not to.
I'm not leaving by any means, I'll definitely be back in May. If everything else fails,  I'm planning a nice day with a friend at the beginning of May full of writing and photography that will surely get my blogging juices going. So I'll see you back here in May! Enjoy the beginning of Spring!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A (new) meaningful year

Do you remember back in January when I told you I intended for  2010 to be a meaningful year? Well, it hasn't really been working out.

My purpose this year was to find time to get to know myself and what I want. I wanted to make time saying no to some projects so I could concentrate on the ones that are really important to me. I needed to make time to spend with those I love. I needed to stop doing too much and do more of the things that really matter. Instead, the first three months of the year have gone in a blur of wedding planning madness and crazy work hours.

I always see the beginning of Spring as a new start though, and this year, Spring also gives me a second chance to make 2010 meaningful.  I'm concentrating on writing and journaling and on taking photographs that tell a story. I'm loving Susannah's series on How to fall in love with yourself and I'm following her advice. I'm going to take this course, The Handmade Writer,  to get me back into journaling and writing. Because writing is the one thing I always come back to, what I've always wanted to do, what I've always imagined myself doing. So I think it should be a big part of my new meaningful year. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

12 months of being 30: Our wedding, our way

* This post is part of my 12 months of being 30 project, an attempt to record what happens during my year of being 30 through my own collage, photography and words.

I promise I'm not turning my dear blog into a wedding blog, despite evidence to the contrary. I do think that the wedding planning needs to feature in my 12 months of being 30 posts, even though I'll be 31 when I get married (but let's not think about that). And what better day than today, exactly 6 months before I get married? On the 18th of September, I'll be marrying Jon. I can't wait! And not only because the planning will be over then! :)

I'm still having a hard time with the stress of wedding planning, and with the pressure to do things "the proper way" (whatever that means), but for this post, I'm focusing on those things that I'm enjoying. The best wedding advice I've got is to pick two or three things that are important to you and concentrate on those. One of the most important things to me is the fact that we're writing our own vows (something still pretty unusual in Spain), but apart from that, these are the things that I'm looking forward to:

  • The dress: Yes, I'm that shallow but I think I'm allowed. I'm incredibly excited about my dress. I found it in two days, after visiting two shops in my hometown of Salamanca. On my first visit, I tried on lots of different styles. I thought I had a clear idea of what I wanted, but when I tried on those floaty, understated dresses that I had envisioned, they seemed a bit... boring on me, so I changed my mind and chose something a bit more fun! I won't post a photo here, but let's just say that this was my inspiration:


  • The photos: We both decided not to have video, as we can't really see ourselves watching it much after the wedding (I think I'll bow to the pressure, though, and get a friend to record the ceremony, but I'm not paying for it to be done professionally). I do see myself looking at the photos in years to come and remembering the day, the details, the guests... so it was important to find a good photographer that understood what we wanted. The search for a photographer was stressful, specially because we had to do it all online, but we think we've found the perfect photographers and we're meeting them in a couple of weeks, when we go to Spain for Easter.

  • The stationary: Jon is a designer and it was important to him to design our invitations and make them fun! They're now ready and we're about to send them so when they've reached our guests, I'll show them to you.

  • That people have a good time: Let's be clear, we all know (even if we don't like saying it) that weddings can be incredibly boring... I know my guests will be happy for us, but I also want them to have a good time! My biggest fears are that our guests get bored or hungry during the evening!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Random favourite things

It still amazes me what an inspiring place the web is. After only an quick browsing of my favourite websites, I've found some very inspiring things for the weekend...

You know how much I love yellow!


I'm a bit tired with my winter wardrobe (and totally fed up with winter now!!) and can't wait for spring so I can wear pretty dresses...


Via Spool No 72

Ah, my favourite girl crush has done it again... Isn't Zooey Deschanel the cutest?



We've decided to go to Santorini for our honeymoon! I can't wait! Two weeks of doing nothing but being together.... In the meantime, I've been scouring the web for pretty photos of the place:


Friday, March 5, 2010

The perfect digital journal

I've been waiting for this all my life (at least all my online life!). The perfect mix of access to the online world with a traditional journal to sketch, write or store inspiration on.
It's so good, I'm finding it hard to believe that Microsoft would be able to pull it off, but if they do, I'm definitely getting one! iPad, what iPad? (Said by a self-confessed Apple girl!)
I'm seriously excited about the possibilities, watch the video and see for yourself!




Information and video via endgadget.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ice skating

With everything going on, I didn't have as much time as I'd wanted to watch the ice skating during the Winter Olympics. I did stay up until 3am on one of the nights I spent in Barcelona watching the ladies semi-finals, but that was it!
I have been trying to find things online and in the process I remembered what is probably my favourite ice skating couple ever! My sister and I watched them every time they were on TV, and trying to pronounce their names provided hours of fun (Ah, being young and silly!). I haven't been able to find many videos of them online. I guess they were around in the pre-Internet boom years (Remember those times?). I did find this short program that I love:




Now that I'm learning ice skating, I've been trying to look at their technique, their posture, their transitions... but I always end up forgetting about it and just enjoying how beautiful this sport is and how easy these two make it look...

PS. I'll be sending Thank you presents next Monday!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Missing Spain...

I spent last week in Barcelona on a business trip. It was a week full of meetings, school visits, seminars and work dinners. Interesting, inspirational but truly exhausting.

As it sometimes happens (but not always!), I felt instantly at home and enjoyed every minute of it even though I was working most of the time.

The food, the sun and the people made up for the early starts and the intensive meetings. And how can you not love a city with a bicing scheme (Bici is bike in Spanish)?

I'm now back in Oxford, trying to remember why I live here and plotting how to take the boy (and the job!) to Spain. This will pass... it always does and I'll be happy once again to live in this wonderful city.

It'll take me a little bit to catch up on your blogs, but I'll get there! And the lovely people who are still waiting for my thank you gift, bear with me. I'll send them soon! :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thanks!

I feel I don't say it enough! Thanks to my bloggy friends, my Flickr friends, my Twitter friends. This amazing community of people who offer inspiration, wise words, a smile, a laugh. People who open my eyes and my mind to new possibilities, new ways of doing things, new places to visit, new things to say, new photos to take....

Some of my favourite photos that have been inspired me on Flickr: 



Thank you, most of all, to those of you who visit me here, read my ramblings and continue the conversation. Your comments always make my day. And your comments on my wedding post were amazing! They made me smile, they made me furiously nod in agreement, they made me so happy...  Happy that you understood what I meant and reminded me what's important about my wedding day.  Thanks Francesca, Jan, lamediterraine, An Open Heart, Cyndy, Spud, Rach, Kristina, Jane, Julochka, Green Ink, Ida and Christina. If you send me your addresses (My email is in my profile), I'll send you a little present to thank you! Because I'm feeling happy and generous today! :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Wedding Posts


I've been trying to write this post for weeks, a post about the wedding planning. And I struggled to put my feelings in writing, until I realized that I was actually trying to write two different posts.

One about how happy I am and how much fun it is to plan, to think about our day, to talk about what we want, to reflect about what it all means. I wanted to talk about the beautiful and fun inspiration around the blogosphere, and all the wonderful ideas.  Because I'm, at heart, a romantic girl and I'm excited about this day, I can't wait to wear the dress, and I'm looking forward to sharing and celebrating our love with family and friends.




But then there is this other post that I feel I also need to write. About how confusing, frustrating, at times incredibly boring, this planning also is. How the inspiration can overwhelm you to the point that you don't know what you want anymore, and you start needing wanting things that you never even knew existed and that you could never afford. How tiresome it gets when absolutely everyone has an opinion and don't hesitate to tell you what you should and shouldn't do, regardless of what you want. How upsetting it is when people assume that my future husband has no opinion and no say about the whole day (What groom? You'd think he's merely another accessory for your day, if you hear what some bride magazines are saying.)

And I suddenly don't know if I want...

... a vintage wedding...

... or maybe a beach wedding...


... or perhaps, I'm meant to have a winter wedding...


... a rustic wedding...


... or a modern one...



And so, I've been struggling, going back and forth between those two stages of mind, feeling all the above, often all at once. 

But then I read about other people who feel like me in this wedding blog with a difference, and I re-read the story of the best non-perfect proposal, and hear others talk about what it means to be married. And I remember that even though our wedding is an important day, it's not The Most Important Day In Our Life, it's only the beginning. And it's not all about me, it's about us, and it's not about having the perfect party, it's about getting together with the people we love to celebrate with them.

And then, I can dream again about our day and enjoy it, and I'm not thinking about eloping anymore...

 

And I know that certain things are important to me... and I can compromise on others.  I'm going to have red shoes and a red jacket... whatever my family thinks! Because it's the important things that matter... :)