Thirty Day Creativity Challenge
Inspiration, Projects

July 30 Day creativity challenge

It’s officially summer now, which in my head stands for long lazy days and getting slow from the heat. I thought I would probably get a bit lazy with my sketching, so I made myself a thirty (actually thirty-one) day creativity challenge for July. And yes, you can participate. In fact, it would be pretty awesome if you did!

In the past I already did a drawing challenge and a photography challenge. This time I decided I didn’t want to make it too hard. This challenge is all about being creative and it doesn’t matter how you do this. If you want to make 31 pictures that is awesome. If you want to switch between collages and finger painting that is equally awesome. It doesn’t matter how serious you take this or how much time you spent on it, the only thing that really matters is that you push yourself to be creative every day.

I came up with 31 daily prompts, which I (and hopefully you too) will use for daily inspiration. Click on the image to see a bigger version of the image (or click here for the Dutch version).

Update: Upon request I made a printable version of the Thirty Day Creativity Challenge. You can download the English version or the Dutch version.

Thirty Day Creativity Challenge
I’ll post my creativity challenge creations daily on my Instagram account and I might put up an overview of my favourites once or twice during the month of July.

Let me know (in the comments below or on social media) if you’re going to participate.
If you want to share your creations with me, you can use #createinjuly on social media, I’d love seeing them! (or if you don’t want to share your creations publicly, just sent me an e-mail)

Last Week
Personal

Last Week

It is Sunday, which means I’m posting an overview of my most recent Instagram photos and I’m telling you all about what I’ve been up to in the past weeks.

If you’re a good observer you might have noticed some changes on this site’s design. This weekend I got fed up with the old design and decided to make the changes I wanted. Hello sticky navigation menu, hello more clean and put together lay-out. I’m working on giving all my old posts a featured image so everything looks all pretty in the grid-styled archive. I also made myself a quick logo. It isn’t the most polished looking logo ever, but I like the way it feels like a sketch. It’s definitely ‘me’. 🙂

Last Week - I enjoyed the sent of lilacsLast Week - I got myself a Hagrid Pop Funlo Vinyl doll to keep my Harry Potter Pop Funko company
Since I’ve started working full-time the amount of pictures I post on Instagram has definitely gone down. Only being able to take pictures after 18h doesn’t really help (because then it’s time for food and blog reading and staring at Facebook for too long). I do try to snap photos whenever I’m enjoying “the small things”, like my abundantly flowering lilacs, which smelled heavenly! I think I’ve posted a picture of them every year since I’m on Instagram. Another small thing I’m enjoying is the view on my desk now, with my new Hagrid Pop Funko keeping my Harry Funko company.

Last Week - I started a new sketchbook!
I’m super stoked that I finally got to start a new sketchbook! The one I finished was a very old sketchbook that I bought back into 2011 as a water-colour sketchbook. I used it until 2013 and forgot about it for a while. I wasn’t even half way through by then! I filled the remaining pages between October 2015 and May of this year, which is quick considering how look it took me to fill those first couple of pages.

Last Week - I got myself a Dripface pin broochLast Week - I finally finished cleaning my bat skull
After getting a pencil kitty pin from Pony People I couldn’t say no to this to this cutey by Dripface. I found it at Helen b‘s, a lovely shop that only been open for a few months.  I also added another new skull to my collection: a teeny tiny bat skull! My cat caught it a couple of years ago and I’ve been slowly (well, I, more like a couple million bacteria) working to the state it’s now. I had to glue the mandible back together which made me feel like I was going blind. So tiny!

Last Week - I enjoyed the view of my overgrown terraceLast Week - I started a new gallery wall

More madly flowering plants, this time on my terrace. I was a bit sad because most of them turned brown because of all the rain (and some of them even started growing mouldy), but they’re already recovering. I also started a new gallery wall in my living room. I was trying to keep the natural history theme confined to one wall in my house, but alas, I like it too much to only see it in one place. 🙂

How has your week been? Did you do anything fun? Started a new project maybe?

Let's go Outside! Sketching at the Ghent botanical garden
Design & Illustration, Urban Jungle

Sketching at the Ghent botanical garden

Did you know the fair city of Ghent has its own botanical garden? It’s owned by the university and it’s pretty awesome. It’s also not that big, but that doesn’t matter. They have the coolest tropical plants and one day I went outside and went to draw them.

Let's go Outside! Sketching at the Ghent botanical garden

At least, that was the plan. I didn’t actually do much drawing while I was there, because there were other people and I was way too embarrassed. By the time I actually dared drawing it was almost time to go home. I did take a whole bunch of pictures while I was there and I now use these as reference material for when I feel like drawing jungles.

Let's go Outside! Sketching at the Ghent botanical garden Let's go Outside! Sketching at the Ghent botanical garden

It’s pretty amazing to see how many shapes and patterns there are in such a common thing as leaves. Even if you ignored all the special shapes and colours on leaves, you could probably fill a book with all the different patterns the veins make on leaves. That’s why I love collecting plants so much.

Let's go Outside! Sketching at the Ghent botanical garden

Testing my Boc'n'Roll sandwich wrapper at the Ghent botanical garden

While I was at the botanical garden it was the first time I used my Boc’n’Roll sandwich wrap (which was sent to me for review). It did all the things you’d expect from a sandwich wrap (keep your bread fresh and crunchy) perfectly, but with the added bonus you don’t have to throw it away and it takes in less space after you used it (as opposed to a lunchbox). I’ve used it daily since I started working full-time and I can’t believe people are actually still using aluminium foil when there’s an alternative that is so much better for the planet!

Let's go Outside! Sketching at the Ghent botanical garden Let's go Outside! Sketching at the Ghent botanical garden

After taking lots of pictures and drawing on location for a teeny tiny bit I went home, to draw some more. The following days and weeks I kept on drawing leaves in my sketchbook. I’ve still got a couple of jungle ideas I want to draw, but I haven’t found the time. So even though this excursion felt like a fail at the time, it actually gave me an extra inspiration boost! And I feel like my leaf-drawing actually got a bit better.

Let's go Outside! Sketches made at the Ghent botanical garden Let's go Outside! Sketches made at the Ghent botanical garden

I want to go back to the botanical garden, but it’s proven rather difficult. I also want to go sketching (or at least try to go sketching) on other locations. I’m not sure where though.

If you have any tips, please let me know! Also if you have a Boc’n’roll wrap (or something similar) tell me what do you think of it? Has it proven it’s durability?

Let's go Outside! Sketches made at the Ghent botanical garden

Spring Favourites
Design & Illustration, Personal

Spring Favourites

I always like wrap-ups at the end of the month, especially posts where people show their favourites. I also really like making illustrations, so I decided to combine the two again and present you with my illustrated spring favourites today!

I thought when I wrote my first favourites post back in February this would rapidly develop in a new monthly topic, but we’re three months later and I’m only now posting my second Monthly Favourites posts.

Spring Favourites

  1. Baby geese. My parents put a bunch of goose eggs in an incubator and one hatched! Having a baby goose in the house was super cute! They tend to grow really fast, so at the moment he’s already bigger than a cat and looks like a small dinosaur with a pair of oversized goose-feet. He doesn’t like to be touched, but he really appreciates it when we keep him company.
  2. I already wrote a complete blog post about this book, but let me profess my love for In Progress again. I adore this book and I need to reread it. And then I need to go make some drop cap or quote-inspired illustrations.
  3. I started watching Tokyo Ghoul after hearing about it many times. I love this anime! It’s a pity it’s so short. I’m trying to savour every episode (torturing myself by postponing the second, and last, season), but the first season had an absolutely awesome ending!
  4. I discovered the taste of enchilada’s. So easy to make and they taste amazing. Which reminds me I need to make a batch of enchilada filling to put in the freezer, so I can eat some again next week!
  5. Adventure Time! Come on grab your friends, we’ll go to very distant lands! My love for Adventure Time and it’s randomness is endless.
  6. I bought air plants and now air plants are my favourite plants in the house (sorry bunch of tropical looking plants with awesome leaves I bought a couple of weeks ago, you’ll be my next favourites). They’re so easy to care for and versatile. I need moar!
  7. We finally found the time to paint our kitchen! It was one of the rooms in the house that never got a new coat of paint when we moved in. After living here for five years I got tired of the once-white walls and decided things had to change. The Boyfriend’s father came to wallpaper the room and afterwards we painted the main wall bright yellow. Now we have a sunny kitchen everyday!
  8. I might have found something new to collect in pins. I collected them when I was a kid and now that I got myself two lovely new pins I’d like to start collecting them again. Not all the pins though, only the extremely cute of cool ones. I’m picky like that.

Did you discover any new favourites this spring? Any books, series or food I really need to try?

Last Week - The new birthday to do list: 28 in 28
Personal

28 in 28 birthday list [update 2]

28 in 28 - Twenty eight in twenty eight list

It’s been two months since my last update on my 28 in 28 list, so its high time for a new update. Halfway through these two months I started working full-time and I’m still adjusting to my new daily schedule, which of course had its impact.

I’m not that surprised I haven’t made enormous leaps of progress and all in all I’m satisfied with the ways things are progressing on my list. Slow and steady wins the race, they say. If you want to see my complete list you can find it in the original 28 in 28 post. Now, let’s get on with that update!

  1. Being able to run 10 km
    If it wasn’t for Ines talking about a running buddy to me at the Floraliën, I’d probably still wouldn’t have started with this point of my 28 in 28 challenge. Luckily she did and so I’ve joined her with the Start to Run program. Ines runs three times a week and I join her every Saturday. I’ve been able to keep up, but I’m guessing I’ll need to start doing some midweek running if I want to be able to keep up.
  2. Go on five citytrips in 2016
    April was a busy travel month. At the beginning of April we went to Paris for a quick city trip. It was my third time in Paris and I seem to appreciate the city more and more every time I return. My other trip took me to Utrecht for YALfest (about which I still need to write). This brings the total amount of city trips to three. I haven’t planned the other trips yet, I think it’s time to start to. I haven’t any clue where the fourth trip will lead to, but citytrip number five will take place somewhere between October and December, in the high north of Europe!
  3. Fill a sketchbook every six months
    When I started the 28 in 28 challenge I had two sketchbooks I was using. One of them has very bad paper and I hate using it. The other one was a sketchbook I started back in 2011, but never finished. Until now! Together with half of the sketchbook with the bad pages this makes one complete sketchbook. I already started a new one of course.
  4. Read forty books in 2016
    At the time of the last update I had read 8 books, now I’m at 17 books. I’m still two books ahead of schedule, although I have the feeling I’m not reading at all. It’s been weeks since I read my last words in The Dark Days Club, I still haven’t finished All the Light we Cannot See and The Tiger and The Wolf has been awkwardly long on “3% read” on Goodreads. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that all the other things in life have priority right know.
  5. Do 120 workouts
    Currently I’m at workout n°23. After a great start in February I really slacked off. With my starting to run I’ve also found some new energy for other workouts, so I’ve started the Ripped in 30 program by Jillian Michaels. I’m only at day 3, but I think this will be more achievable than the other program I tried (6 week six pack) which was too hard for me.

I noticed the past weeks that with fewer free time to spent I’ve started making better use of my time. Less surfing the web and more doing what I really want to be consciously doing. If I’ll keep this trend up, I might make so good progress by the time the next update comes online.

Maybe you guys can give me a hint to what I definitely should be doing in the next two months?

Lovely little air plants (and where to find them)
Interior, Urban Jungle

Lovely little air plants (and where to find them)

Lovely little air plants (and where to find them in Belgium)

Ever since I saw the first air plants pop up a couple of years ago I knew I wanted to get my grubby little hands on them. I had to be patient, but I finally have my own small collection of air plants!

When I started looking for air plants, they were nowhere to be found in Belgium. It took a while, but now the air plant hype has landed. They’re a couple of stores selling them in Ghent and online, but I find their prices quite outrageous. Luckily for me there’s Luchtplantjes.nl. I’m still pretty much a cheap skate, so when I saw Luchtplantjes selling B-quality (meaning they’re not as symmetrical as they should be or don’t have perfect colouration) plants for cheap I ordered a bunch of them.

Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them) Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them)

I ordered three B-quality plants and two A-quality: a Ionantha and a small Oaxacana. Everything together I paid €15,50, shipping included. Knowing that I can find OK-looking plants in Ghent for €12 a piece I think this was pretty much a bargain.

Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them) Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them)

One of the reasons I didn’t want to spent too much on air plants is that the first air plant I bought almost immediately died. I know from experience I just can’t seem to keep some plants alive (gerberas and cacti e.g.); so I didn’t want to spent too much in case I had the same problem with air plants.

Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them)Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them)

It’s been two months since my plants arrived and I can happily tell you they’re still all alive and kicking. I’ve noticed the different species do seem to need a bit of different care taking, because one of them looks a bit unhappy. I’m sure we’ll get there though.

Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them)Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them)

I’m still looking for ways to display my air plants in the house. At the moment they’re just chilling on my desk and I love seeing them there, but I’d also like to display them in a more special way. I did buy a himmeli at the recent Etsy fair in Ghent, so maybe one of them will fit in there. 🙂

Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them)
Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them) Lovely little Air plants (and where to find them)

Have you guys jumped on the air plant train already? Do you also want to start a little collection?