It’s been a few months since I’ve done one of these – it’s been on my to-do list, shifted from one day to the next all year so far. Writing on this personal blog feels a bit of a luxury, but I think it’s one I should afford myself every so often.
I’m not sure the rest of the original crew is continuing to write Head & Heart posts monthly, but if you’d like to join in feel free to follow the format and let me know so I can come say hello :)
“A monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw.”
Work life balance. Long talks with friends in stressful, all-consuming jobs has made me ever more grateful about the balance and camaraderie of my workplace. There’s an element of play and work both in my job and in what I do in my spare time, and I feel that both feed into each other and somehow work out to some semblance of balance in the end. There’s stressful times of course, but perfect balance feels too much like stillness, whereas the act of balancing is challenging and doesn’t always appear completely balanced in the moment. I’m grateful to have just enough challenges to keep things interesting, but not enough to fall right over!
Being ethical (but not preachy). Over the past couple of years I’ve tried to pay more attention to where the things I consume come from and where they end up at the end of their life. I’m trying to ‘vote with my dollars’ and support businesses trying make a difference and be gentler on the planet and other people of the world. I’m FAR from perfect at this, and am certainly not in any position to judge anyone else’s lifestyle choices. I try to downplay this conscious consumerism in conversation because when most people hear ‘environment’ or ‘ethical clothing’ they assume that I’m preaching at them, or simply aren’t interested in hearing uncomfortable truths. On the other hand, it’s something that has become important to me because I’ve listened to others talk or write about it, so maybe a little preaching isn’t the worst thing. Still working on this one.
Side hustle (again). I feel like almost every time I write a H&H post I mention wanting to start a side business with my art or calligraphy, and it always seems to fizzle out. This time I’ve gotten as far as reinventing my brand message, writing copy and redesigning my portfolio website, though not quite up to coding it all up. There’s a security that comes with knowing that this side business isn’t needed for paying my bills and thus can be managed the way I want to without any urgency to earn money, but it does mean that progress is slow and occasionally I wonder why I’m doing it at all. I am really excited about this one though, and even if I never get any of the big branding clients that I’m after, this new business-focused website should hopefully dissuade people asking for wedding invitation work.
Getting a puppy! After years of campaigning for a puppy to The Boy, I finally managed to wear him down. Our puppy is still a week or so away from being old enough to come home to us, but he looks like a curly little red teddy bear and will certainly change our lives forever. I’ve never had a dog before so I’m nervous and excited, and seem to spend a lot of my spare time researching training techniques. So close now!
Side Project crowdfunding on Pozible! We’re raising money to pay our printing and production costs for the whole year, so this is really exciting! As one of the founders/editors this has been a huge endeavour for me. The rest of the core team have photography and videography skills, so it’s fallen to me to do a lot of the copywriting and social media planning to make sure we meet our target. If you think that running a crowdfunding campaign is just about slapping up a description and hoping for the best, you are wrong wrong wrong. It’s a lot of work, and a lot of money if you don’t have all those campaigning skills covered. We’re doing pretty well so far, so fingers crossed! You pre-order Issue 5 and check out our other rewards over on Pozible.
Attempting to write every morning. I haven’t been 100% successful with getting up at 6am to write each morning, but overall it’s really helping me write more. So far I’ve mostly written a brand strategy and website copy for teresawatts.com (which is still yet to be put live), plus the many bits and pieces needed for the Side Project campaign. Keeping up with editing however is a whole separate issue!
Admin Mondays. I detest and put off administration tasks, like banking or filing, so inspired by Jessica Hische’s Ultra Schedule I’m trying out putting them all off until Mondays and getting it all done in one hit. So far I’m getting through my backlog of things to sort through, and getting through a succession of small, mundane tasks makes me feel more accomplished than one at a time. I recommend it! Maybe I should try for Editing Tuesdays?
Gold foiling. I recently joined the Calligraphers Guild of WA, and at our last meeting we learned how to do gold foiling! I’ve been really into all things gold and shiny lately, so this technique has really captured my imagination. So far I’ve only managed a couple of simple experiments, but there will certainly be more gold things in my future. Here’s a video showing the general process.
Paper flowers. After making a crazy number of paper flowers for a friend’s wedding, I thought it would be easy to make a tutorial for Issue 5 of Side Project. But of course flowers for a magazine shoot will be a little different than flowers for a kitchen tea, so more colours were chosen and more flowers were made! I’m loving the less bridal, more interesting look we managed to get in the shoot by pairing them with real greenery. They’re pretty easy to make but do require a lot of attention and care to not tear the delicate petals.
Popsicles. We had a heatwave in February on top of the usual Perth summer heat, and in that situation frozen fruit is ten times better than regular fruit. I’ve also been lucky enough to be given many fresh, home-grown mangos from family, more than I can easily eat before they start to deteriorate. Instead I’ve been mashing them up and smooshing them straight into popsicle moulds – no juicing, no sugar and no other additions necessary. It works pretty well with any kind of juicy fruit – so far I’ve also tried strawberries, kiwi fruit and plums.
A Place of My Own by Michael Pollan. Okay, actually I wanted to read this book, but it’s only available in hardcopy or audiobook, so I’ve gone with the latter and have been listening on my way to and from work. I find the Tiny House movement fascinating and am a big fan of Pollan’s books on food and culture, so a book on his experience designing and building his own little hut in the woods sounded right up my alley. Don’t go expecting anything instructional – Pollan meanders through a very philosophical and introspective planning and building process, and at the point I’m up to in the book (nearly half way) he’s barely gotten out of the ground. For me it’s a good book to listen to whilst walking and half daydreaming about what my own little place would look like.
A room of one’s own: is there anybody who hasn’t at one time or another wished for such a place, hasn’t turned those soft words over until they’d assumed a habitable shape?
More from me elsewhere
Why we are crowdfunding and Why we began Side Project. I’m trying to do a bit more blogging over on Side Project, especially telling a bit more of the stories behind the magazine and encouraging people to get creative! Pretty proud of these posts actually, they are thoughts that have been mulling for some time. They may find their way onto this blog from time to time.
Side Project crowdfunding campaign. Yes, I know I’ve mentioned it multiple times here (and everywhere) already, but I am pretty proud of my contributions of voiceover and copywriting (the acting not quite so much). Please do go check out our video!