May 22, 2014

Fruits of the Womb // catchup

I have been very lazy and tired over the past two weeks, not to mention busy, and my weekly blog's calendar has been thrown out the window. As I seem to have re-gained some much needed energy, I'm trying to get back on track with all the small projects I'm working on. The pregnancy is progressing well, and apart for the ups and downs and general discomfort, I think I'm coping like a champ so far!
This baby boy likes to move a lot, but seems to get quiet when I go to sleep at night...I'm seeing this as a sign that he will sleep through from the start? we'll see! Anyhow, this is how this baby is supposed to be growing (according to babycenter, although I still don't understand some of these fruit and veg comparisons!) and how my belly has changed over the past  four weeks.
28 weeks and this baby boy is about the size of a large aubergine. He weighs about 1kg, is almost 38cm long from head to heel, and can blink her eyes (which now sport lashes).
29 weeks and this baby boy is about the size of a butternut squash; he weighs about 1.1kg and is a tad over 38cm long from head to heel.
30 weeks and this baby boy is about the size of a large cabbage. He tips the scales this week at approximately 1.4kg and is 40cm long from head to heel.
31 weeks and this baby boy is about the size of a coconut. He now weighs about 1.5kg and measures more than 40.5cm from head to heel.
PS: Still arguing over the name for this one!!!

May 21, 2014

On letting go

I never had many problems in letting things go when it comes to physical things. I’m one of those people who likes to gather stuff, and keep them for any possible future use (you never know when you might need this or that!). But also, I’m one of those people who like a big clear out once in a while, especially when my space reaches saturation point. And when that happens, I throw away everything I have never used, everything I’m not using anymore, everything I will probably not be using in the near future.
Physical things are very much replaceable and, although moneys are involved, if you really need something you have thrown away you can always buy it back (thank you ebay!).
Where I’m not very good at letting go is opportunities.  I have always struggled to make decisions when choosing between options, could it be school, career, friendship or artistic path. I’m always afraid that if I choose just one option than I will deprive myself of the opportunity to try something different.
I always tend to pick the solution that will give me more options to choose from later on. The more wide and generic the choice is, the better. So I often end up with one foot in two, or more, shoes and basically delaying the real decision at a later date. I always thing I’m missing out on something if I choose one thing over another. But what I’m really missing out is the opportunity to give that thing a real chance and the freedom to really focus and put my effort on just one thing.
Some people might argue that it’s always better not to put all the eggs in one basket. But from my personal experience this is true up to a point. Diversification is probably great if you have already achieved something in a specific area; if you have, than nothing stops you from trying something new and, if it doesn’t work, to go back from where you left.
If you, on the other hand, are just getting started on something, than you should really give it the best shot…”put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket!”
I like trying new things, but then when a little more commitment is required I pull back. Not because I lose interest or I’m afraid to work hard, but because that would mean closing the doors on things that seems brighter and more intriguing from the outside. And what if I get stuck in that specific role forever?
To give you a practical example of what I’m talking about, over the past 10 years, more or less, I have been experimenting with lots of different things. I started with traditional watercolours, then outdoor sketching, moving on to botanical painting, to making mini-books and sketchbooks and trying lino printing and hand carved stamping. Adding some knitting, crocheting and quilting in between.
Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy learning new things and experimenting, but at end of the day, I have been distracted by so many things that I didn’t have the time, or the courage, to take any of them seriously. I switched from one subject to another before giving myself a chance to become good at it, and to fully explore. So after 10 years I really can’t say I excel in any of the areas above. And worst of all, my confidence gets shaken up every time I see somebody’s work and achievements only to find out that they have been doing it for only a few years.
 So after reading Ali’s assignments from the One Little Word® workshop last month, I thought it was really time to LET GO of something more meaningful than just getting rid of some clothes! Let go of all the noise, of all the things that distract me to really be who I want to be. It is not an easy task, and it will require a lot of work and inner search to actually understand what I really want from life, but hopefully I will get there.

In the meantime, and since we will be moving home soon, I made the decision to take with me only my watercolours and hot pressed paper (great for botanical work!) and have another go at it. It will be manic with a new house to furnish, a new town to get accustomed to, a newborn, a toddler at home and the summer holidays. But even more because the time will be tight, it will be good for me to just have one single thing (that’s an overstatement!) to focus on. And let’s see where I’ll be in September, when hopefully, most of the things will be into place, and I will have time to reassess.

May 20, 2014

Sketchbook #1 // Butterflies

I had a go at illustrating butterflies during the month of April, and it turned out more difficult than I thought. My mind wasn’t really there and I recognise I didn’t put much effort into it. The colour choice and composition are not my strong points, and it clearly shows in these pages.
Anyhow, I wanted to try some new watercolour pencils, but also I came across my old watercolour palette and thought I would give it a try.
Watercolour pencils are very easy to use and the results can be quite rewarding. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for non-professional watercolours! The ones that I used in these pages are Winsor & Newton Cotman, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can tell the difference between those and the artist’s range. Apparently, in the Cotman series, the more costly pigments are replaced with cheaper alternatives giving the paint a more uniform consistency, thus losing the wide spectrum of hues. However, I have seen well established artists using the Cotman range, with awesome results…so it must be just me then!
I haven’t picked any new subject for the month of May, yet. And although we are close to the end of the month, I’m still hoping I’ll be able to do some new illustrations.

May 19, 2014


It's week 20 and we are finally starting to enjoying some good weather! Gianluca's parents were here for the week, and my little lady loved all the attention and playtime. She would wake up in the morning and quietly leave our room to go and wake her grandparents up...hooray for a bit more sleep in for us!
Olivia: trying a lollypop for the first time. Don't get fooled by her smile; she said she liked it at first, but threw it away after a few licks! 

Linking up with the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity.

May 15, 2014

When in Rome...

...we do like the Romans! We had an amazing time last week in Rome. It wasn't a proper holiday as we have been running up and down looking for a flat to rent. But the weather was more than great, our little miss was the best travel companion and the hospitality was outstanding (grazie cugina!). We walked a lot, ate lots of pizza and ice cream, visited too many playgrounds and went to bed too late. Fingers crossed we will get things sorted this week with the flat so we can start planning our move before the baby comes.
Rome hidden treasures
Waking up to this every morning
Italian tradition
Just having fun
This is where you look for a place to rent!
Playgrounds (and yes she insisted on wearing pyjamas bottom!) 

May 12, 2014

18/52 + 19/52

Playgrounds! It doesn't matter in which country you are, if you have a toddler, the first thing you look for is a place for him/her to burn some energy and for you to take a short break.
Athelstan Recreation Ground , Kingston upon Thames, UK
Parco degli Scipioni, Rome, Italy

Linking up with Jody from Practising Simplicity.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...