Worn | Always Red

Hi there! Apologies for the unexpected radio silence around these parts. Life got busy and complicated but now I'm ready to resume my normal regimen of semi-sporadic, aimless posts. Hooray! 

My friend Jaine gave me this sweet vintage dress out of the blue one day and it is now on high rotation in my wardrobe (and by wardrobe I mean floordrobe). Over the last few months I have started to foster much closer, meaningful relationships with female friends and I can't overstate how refreshing and important that has been for me. It is ridiculously sweet to go out for coffee dates with ladies I like and then receive texts from them later saying how much they enjoyed our hang outs. During and after high school most of my close friends were male and I was often hesitant to form close female friendships (having been spurned in a close friendship long ago). Having fun, clever, supportive lady friends is the best.

I probably don't need to tell you that red is my favourite colour or that I refuse to wear it sparingly. Wearing it is a pick-me-up on days when I'm feeling lacklustre. Last week I was walking in the city (not wearing red however) and an old man stopped me to thank me for looking like a "Summer's day". It definitely caught me off guard and was one of the nicest compliments I've ever received. 

My mum is staying with me for the next week and then Theo and I are spending a little over a week in NSW with family. In the meantime, I am up to my ears in really fun freelance work. I really need to work on scheduling out my life better because I flounder when it comes to time management. I know it's a skill developed over time and I'll get there eventually. I need to befriend early mornings and make better use of my Filofax.

Life is good at the moment. I hope you're feeling the same way.

Yearly List | 25 before 26

Here is my yearly list to-do list. 

  1. Make another zine
    This has been on my to-list for some time but I really want to make it happen this year. I love zines and I love making them. I'm flying to Sydney in May to go to the MCA Zine Fair (let me know if you're going too) and I'll take a few copies of Paint It Black for swaps.
  2. Keep bettering my graphic design & illustration skills
    I've made a lot of progress on this in the past year but I want to keep learning. I've really enjoyed my new course content so far (even if I've fallen way behind) and I'm learning so much. I'm also pretty addicted to Skillshare.
  3. Practice mindfulness daily
    I use an app called Smiling Mind and try to do daily activities mindfully and I'm finding that I have a lot less anxiety, so I'd like to continue with it and get better at it.
  4. Get my bike fixed and ride it lots
    My bike has a bit of issue with gear changes (it will only stay in second or fourth gear) and while it's still totally rideable, it's only a year old and I'd really like to be able to get full use out of it, even if it might cost me a bit to get it fixed.
  5. Get the ball rolling for having my own little art show
    There's a little gallery near my uni called the Powerhouse, which I'd love to have a little show in. This year it is one of my main goals to apply for a show.
  6. Do my final university unit and graduate
    I have one first year elective left until I graduate and I just enrolled in a little ceramics class for next semester which I'm really looking forward to. Once that subject is finished up, I get to walk through Albert Hall in a funny hat and get my degree!
  7. Keep a sketchbook
    I really love keeping sketchbooks for ideas and play and I'd like to keep one regularly. Now to find the perfect sketchbook to get started in. 
  8. Pay off my credit card
    Moving house wasn't kind on my finances, so my credit card bore the brunt. I make regular payments, but I'd very much like to get it completely paid off and not have to think about it any more.
  9. Make more time for being active
    I use a Fitbit daily and I really like being able to quantify and monitor my activity, and that in itself has made me more active. I'd like to set higher goals and start doing more regular, fun exercise.
  10. Write three songs
    I wrote a couple of songs last year (and even played one in front of a crowd) and I'd really like to write more, even if it's just for my own ears.
  11. Get my passport
    Another recurring item on my yearly lists. 25 is going to be the year I get one! Then I can snap up cheap flights to New Zealand and Japan when they pop up in my inbox from time to time.
  12. Eat well
    In January I did the Whole 30 and I got a lot out of it. I've carried through a lot of the eating habits from that month (except for, um, eating chocolate daily) and I've been feeling a lot healthier (less stomach aches, 10kg down, better sleep).
  13. Get photos printed and make an album for each year of Theo's life
    I started a Project Life album when Theo was 6 months old but I haven't touched it in over a year. I'd love to just get some photos printed and make simple albums of Theo. I look through photos on Instagram and my iPhone regularly, but it is so nice to have something tangible.
  14. Have friends over more often
    I've had lots of friends over at my new place so far already and I'd love to keep catching up with friends more often.
  15. Start a favourite recipe journal
    I've been meaning to do this for a long time. I find cooking for myself pretty uninspiring at the moment and I really need to compile a go-to collection of my favourite recipes for myself.
  16. Do fun, creative activities with Theo. Play. Relish my time with him. Don't be distracted.
    At the moment Theo stays with C for 5 days of the week and is with me for 2 (as I work and study and C is the stay-at-home-parent), but I see lots of them on other days as I visit often or meet up with them in town. I really enjoy my two full days with Theo each week - I can abandon anything that has been stressing me out and just dedicate all of my time enjoying him; playing, going for walks, watching shows together, going into town, eating meals together. It's a really mindful, special time in my week.
  17. Make more fun free stuff for my blog
    I'd love to make more downloadable stationery and wallpapers and all kinds of goodies. 
  18. Use my phone in bed less. Read instead.
    I am really bad at this and even if I get into bed at a reasonable time, I end up going to sleep much later, getting lost in an iPhone trance. I keep a bunch of great books next to my bed and I've been getting better at picking up one of them, instead of my phone when I'm in bed.
  19. Make an ezine
    I thought I'd just throw this one in as a bit of a challenge - it's something I've always wanted to do.
  20. Organise and de-stash my art supplies
    There are boxes and boxes of miscellaneous paper and supplies hiding underneath my bed that I swore I wasn't going to bring over until I'd gone through, but I thought it was better just to have everything in the one space. I really need to spend a day or two going through them and throwing a lot of it out or passing it on - I can't wait until it's done!
  21. Continue making my apartment a cheerful, creative and organised space for myself
    My apartment is my happy place and I want to spend lots of positive, productive time there over the next year.
  22. Illustrate a set of mindfulness cards
    I'm really looking forward to doing this. It will be my little side project I'll work on for a few months.
  23. Get up before 8am more often than not
    Because I work late nights, I tend to sleep in the following day and then my days off feel wasted. I hate having to set alarms, but 
  24. Go to three places I've never been before
    There are still so many places in Tasmania I've never been. I'd love to go to Cradle Mountain, Stanley and Mariah Island for starters!
  25. ...
    I've left this one blank because a year is a long time and I think I'll fill this one in at half way.

If you like, you can read my 21 < 22, 22 < 23, 23 < 24 & 24 < 25 lists too.
Tell me a goal you're working on at the moment.

List | Ten Things I Love About Theo

  1. That beautiful, indescribable scent on the top of his head. It is delicious, it is calming, it is pure happiness. It is like an instant antidepressant for me. I know it will go away one day and be replaced with other, possibly less pleasant scents, but I so wish I could hold onto it forever in a little vial! 
  2. The way he tilts his head, raises his eyebrows, looks to the side and smiles really sincerely when he really wants something.
  3. Watching him play and run; so upright, so precarious, so fast, so joyous.
  4. His little head on the pillow next to mine. He has his own single bed now which I put him to sleep in when he stays with me, but sure enough, at some point in the night he’ll wander out and make a beeline straight for my bed, where he’ll immediately curl up and fall back to sleep. I know that him sleeping in my bed will be a temporary, fleeting thing, that one day he’ll stop wanting to do, so I relish it. I love his little sleeping sighs and snores. Sometimes I'm even lucky enough to get woken up by a wet little kiss on the face.
  5. His gorgeous little baby body, quickly turning into a little boy’s body. Living in a reasonably cold climate, we don’t get the opportunity to let him run around nude very often, but he loves it when we do and I love that round little belly and bottom! I love looking at his little hands and feet and noticing what his features really look like. I love kissing his big, soft cheeks and looking at his little teeth (with the cute little gap in the middle at the front) and tickling his neck and trying to push his hair to the side so he looks like a little boy from the 50s. 
  6. That I see so much of myself in his face and expressions.
  7. His communication. I love the way that when he really wants something he'll say "Moooooooooore", getting higher in pitch as the word ends. I love that anything round is a "Ball" and most animals are "Cats". I love it when he loses something (usually his dummy) and turns his hands out and says "Wheredigo?". I love the way he says thank you (or “chan chu!”) so often, without us ever stressing that he say it - today he said it to the bus driver when we exited the bus. I love that despite not being overly talkative, he has extremely good comprehension and can be given directions. 
  8. His interminable cheekiness. Oh that cheek. SO MUCH CHEEK.
  9. His dancing. So many moves, no self consciousness. He can’t help himself but dance when there’s music on. I hope he keeps doing that for a long while!
  10. Watching him observe. It is just such a joy to watch him experiencing and taking in the world. It would have to be one of the best things ever. Is it a highlight of my life.

List | Reasons I Love Launceston

  1. The irresistible aroma that emanates from the pizza shop on the corner of George & Paterson Streets in the early evening (though I’ve never eaten there)
  2. The Winter fog
  3. The people who maintain the beautiful parks (often very early in the morning, so you never see) and always look like they enjoy their jobs
  4. The bustle of the outdoor mall on any given day
  5. The facades, oh, the facades
  6. The monkeys in City Park, especially the baby ones (and the fact that there are always people there watching them)
  7. Looking up at the houses in Trevallyn on the hill from the Seaport walk
  8. The clocktower’s reliable, comforting chimes
  9. The characters (stressed walking man, Robert the Westbury Road walker, the girl with the plaits, hoodie girl, etc.)
  10. Saturday mornings at the Harvest Market
  11. All of the food vans (but especially Wanderlust, Burger Junkie, Eats with Beats)
  12. The abundance of fruit hanging over fences for passersby to grab
  13. The change of seasons, which are impossible not to notice (esp. autumns glowing trees)
  14. The cherry blossoms in City Park in Spring
  15. The arcades and alleyways filled with happy little shops
  16. Seeing black swans and people rowing in the river while walking along the levee
  17. The attention seeking seal at Tailrace
  18. The passengers on the ferry that wave to people walking to the Cataract Gorge
  19. Cheeky peacocks and tame wallabies at the Gorge (also, the scones with jam and cream)
  20. Teenagers jumping off the rocks into the First Basin
  21. The view from the top of Upper York Street (though the walk up is a killer)
  22. The map paintings in the Town Hall building
  23. The old Kodak sign above the Shaver Shop
  24. The cobblestones along the curbs
  25. The water lilies in Princes Square fountain
  26. The bike maintenance station at the Architecture School
  27. The tram conductors that give slightly too long, friendly waves
  28. People watching at Morty’s Food Hall
  29. The Launceston Cycling Classic
  30. The buskers in the mall, always of an exceptional quality

Just A Minute | March

Reading | Daily Dishonesty - Lauren Hom (birthday present to myself) & Not That Kind Of Girl - Lena Dunham (Finished! Loved it!).
Listening | So Frenchy So Chic 2014 & Courtney Barnett.
Watching | Downton Abbey, Girls, Gogglebox (guilty pleasure, but rather good) & Mad As Hell.
Consuming | Chai and banana bread from Sweetbrew (comfort food).
Making | Fun commissioned illustrations (lots of pet portraits).
Looking forward to | Perfecting my own chai recipe, having the open fire going at my apartment in Winter (I just need to remember how to make a fire), my mum coming to visit at the end of the month and hopefully having more time for personal creative projects.

This month I turned twenty five! I also attended a friend's baby shower, a little dinner party at Holly's, Isis and Damien's going away party, had friends over for afternoon tea, was visited by two British backpackers, had a toddler play date, a handful of meet ups at Sweetbrew for coffee and lunches at Fresh with friends and made a trip to Hobart to see Darren Hanlon and hang out with my friend Mem. So social! I am really enjoying meeting up with friends more and putting more effort into friendships. I have met so many good people in Tasmania. 

I'm hoping to write up a 25 before 26 list in the new few days and share it. It is always fun to have some little goals to aim for each year (even if I don't get around to half of them).

I hope you had a great month.