Hello July!

It is hard to believe that half of 2016 has already gone and we are entering July. To tell the truth I’ve never really been a fan of this seemingly endless month of heat waves but this is the first time in my entire life that I actually work in an office during these 31 days, and strangely enough, I look at the experience with anticipation (at least I won’t boil in my own room but have an air-conditioned work space).

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According to Edith Holden “This month was originally the fifth of the year, and was called by the Romans Quinctilis, the latin name of Julius was given in honour of Julius Caesar, who was born in this month.”

In Nature notes of an Edwardian Lady she also mentions some British phrases related to July which I absolutely enjoy:

“St. Swithin’s Day (July 15th) if it do rain, for forty days it will rain”
(Funnily enough, we also have a Hungarian saint who brings 40 days of rain, but his day is 8th of June)

“St. Swithin’s Day if it be fair, for forty days ’twill rain nae’ mair”

“A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay, a swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon, a swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly.”

“In July shear your rye.”

I hope you guys will enjoy this month’s downloadable calendar of pommegranades and olives, as – to me -these represent the tropical climate we live in, here in Central-Europe.

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3 excuses that stop us creating and how to overcome them

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Creating is joy, whether we doodle while on the phone or happen to be Leonardo. We all know this, but for some reason we prefer to hide behind excuses not to take the pencil in our hand. I’ve decided to demolish the greatest ones of these excuses.

1. “I am not good enough”

The world will love to put this banner on you, that you are not talented enough, but of course this is rubbish. I mean, you don’t need to be talented to grab a brush and paint a bubble, do you? Creating – regardless of talent – is joy. So forget about talent for a mome, and just draw lines, paint bubbles, the point is making a “mark” on the paper. Or the canvas. Or whatever medium you choose. The point is to use your hands and enjoy being offline for a sec.

2. “I have no idea what to create”

You have a paper and a pencil in your hand and you are looking out of the window dumbly? Well, my sweet, go online and do research. If you have a pencil in your hand, you might want to search pencil drawing. Believe me, 10 mins on Pinterest and you’ll be bursting with ideas. I suppose some will kill me for saying this, but it is okay to copy. Through copying you can get to know your medium better without worrying about the outcome. They won’t be real artworks (and it is definitely not okay to present them as your own), but they may help you come over the nonsense people tell you, that you cannot draw a single line.

+TIP: collect your inspiration when you have time, so you can get back at them when you have just a few mins for doodling (see below)

3. “It takes too much time”

This is the one I’ve been struggling with most. Grabbing a paper, some brushes, my watercolor kit and a mug of water takes about 2 mins, yet it feels like a whole ritual (actually it is a ritual, but definitely not a time-consuming one). However, you can come over this by creating small stuff first. A postcard-size painting takes me half an hour, and painting a bunch of smudges will take like 10 mins and will look cool. It feels good to finish something so quickly (later you might see the beauty in finishing one leaf of a bouquet of flowers during one session and continue on the next, but that’s not so satisfying at first). Undoubtedly you can switch your geers off better if you have at least an hour, but believe me, 10 mins of doodling is better than 10 mins of facebook.

You, me, and a cuppa…

Is there anything more comforting then a cuppa tea? The Brits know this so well, I wonder, whether “Would you like a cuppa?” is the most repeated sentence in British history? If “you” and “me” are around as well, there can hardly be trouble, can it?

This is the newest piece of my tea-themed greeting card collection (you can see the others here, here and here). The wooden button is part of my collection coming from England, the drawing and the text are completely handmade on 300 gram watercolour paper.

The version of tea drunk by my favourite Britons (with milk or cream) sounds rather bizarre ’round here, but the indian version is getting more and more popular. Have you heard of chai latte? This miracle of a drink is made of black tea, milk and some eastern spices. When drunk hot, it lulls you into a christmas-y mood, when on ice, it is the perfect drink for a hot summer. Have you ever tasted chai latte?

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3 ways of creative meditation

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When I was little, a perfect weekend looked like this: my granny read out some story while I was drawing something. Of course at that time I didn’t call it that, but it was a form of meditation. Today I still go on doing this, as I feel the very same calmness bending over the paper as I did when I was a child. You don’t have to be particularly talented or creative to try these techniques – the hardest is probably taking the time and going offline. However, these two are essential for the more traditional ways of meditation too, so if you enjoy meditation, why not experiment with these creative ways?

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