Head & Heart – May 2014

on Life  

For a personal blogger, delving too far into my personal thoughts hasn’t really come easily to me. Without meaning to, it’s easy to curate and craft a projection of yourself on social media, a sort of constructed version of reality. I’ve wanted to bring more of myself to this blog, and this series started by Helen of Helarious  is a nice easy dot-pointed way to do it!

If you’d like to join us, please read the intro post here and come on board – let’s break down some of those ‘perfect’ constructions shall we?

“A monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw.”

What I’ve been grateful for

The incredibly diverse and talented people I’ve gotten to know through blogging, social media, work and mutual friends – as corny as it sounds, I feel very privileged to be able to talk to and work with such people, and it’s a constant source of inspiration. They say to be great you need to surround yourself with great people, and I’m going to go ahead and pat myself on the back for that one. I get those “I can’t believe s/he is actually talking to me!” moments, although I try to play it cool so I don’t look like such a fangirl.

The fact that my intrepid backpacking buddies, who have been out of touch long enough to get me worried, turned out to be just fine volunteering on a coffee farm in Colombia with no internet access. What a relief! I was ready to go out searching for them, like Liam Neeson in Taken.

Our families, who keep us with a constant supply of food, both freshly homemade and random ingredients. These days I only plan meals for half the week, since the rest end up being made up of dining at their houses or getting food from them delivered. This weekend we were given beef brisket noodle soup and cassava cake!

What I’ve been thinking about

Where I want to go with my calligraphy and hand lettering hobby (you can see my work at @teresa_watts on Instagram). My aim at this point is to work towards making prints and stationery, as well as have fun experimenting with different media and styles. Unlike when I freelanced as a web designer, this is a side thing and I don’t actually have to worry about taking on as much work as possible to earn a crust – I’m planning to take my time to build up my skills and eventually (if I feel like it) take on client work that I’m actually interested in. In the meantime I’m having a lot of fun just messing around!

This blog and “sponsorships” (or more accurately, freebies). It was largely a non-issue until fairly recently, but now I seem to get quite a few emails about free samples and requests for reviews. It all felt very flattering at first, until I realised the amount of effort required to artfully work in a sponsored post in a way that is actually genuine and interesting and useful to my readers. I’m still feeling my way through it, but at the moment I’m just allowing the odd request that doesn’t make demands on how I choose to (or to not) present their product. You’ll see the occasional sponsored post here, but they will be infrequent, clearly labelled and hopefully actually of value to you.

What I’m excited for

I dropped by a new local print making shop, Beau Est Mien, and now want to do pretty much all of their print making workshops. After chatting with owner Magali and Johanna in the store it became clear that etching is a good starting point for printing the work that I do, so I’m trying to gather some other interested participants so they can run a workshop for us. If that sounds interesting to you, let me know and I’ll pass on your details.

Finally having a bathroom vanity again – we’ve (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘The Boy) spent the past month slowly re-tiling the area on weekends, using the laundry sink (also in the bathroom) to brush our teeth. I’m over the Bunnings supply runs and tripping over tile-cutters in the bathroom – I want my new shiny sink and vanity put in!

What I’ve been doing

Becoming more and more obsessed with calligraphy and hand lettering. I feel like the word ‘obsessed’ gets thrown around a little too easily in the blogging world, “I’m literally obsessed with floral print pants”, but considering I spent almost all my spare time practicing or researching I feel that in this case it’s justified. I am good at having short infatuations with various hobbies only to leave them for something more interesting a couple of months down the track, but we’ve passed that three month milestone and still going strong.

Getting my home work space into order – in the interest of realness I’ve put up a photo of its usual chaotic state above, but it’s actually better than it used to be! Next in the plan is to sort out all those dangling cables and make some kind of angled writing surface.

What I’ve been reading

Magazines – I’ve fallen in love with print again, especially the really beautifully designed magazines with lovely photos and illustrations. As much as I enjoy blogs and the digital world, it really can’t compare to the tactile nature of print. I’ve just subscribed to Monocle and Offscreen, and have been picking up the odd Frankie and Smith Journal.

Julia Child’s My Life in France, which can only be described as charming and delicious and a fascinating snapshot of post-war France from a foodie’s perspective.

What I’ve been spending money on

STATIONERY. Seriously, somebody hold me back. I think after my last couple of JetPens deliveries have arrived I’ll be able to stop, but we shall see. Thankfully it’s still much cheaper than buying clothes, which I’ve mostly stopped doing, and is at least as satisfying.

This origami iPad cover is one of the best purchases I’ve made in a while – I read a lot of books and articles on my iPad, and had gotten sick of having to prop it up against random objects to hold it up in portrait mode. Also it feels soft, like suede.


It’s oddly therapeutic and enormously useful to actually take a step back and reflect on the month that has passed – come join in!

Pictured above: my messy workspace, a work in progress.

4 notes

  1. Woo, more money for calligraphy items! I just bought some stuff from Jetpens, excited! I had the same thoughts about sponsorships about a few months ago. I’m terribly selective although it’s not like I get very many. I recently got asked about whether I wanted to get a new dishwasher installed as a sponsorship deal and really, that makes NO sense for what my blog is about so I passed!

    x

    PS Thanks so much for taking part hun, I loved the way you laid it out. I may experiment with using less dot points next time in mine ;)

    1. Aw thanks again for organising Helen! It really is a lovely idea, and it’s helped me find a few new bloggers to follow ^_^ Jetpens is so dangerous – I was just going to get a fountain pen as a ‘congratulations to myself’ present, but then I discovered all the calligraphy stuff, and the brush pens and the inks…

      I saw that dishwasher one too! I considered it for a second then realised that there is literally nowhere to put it in my place, and I’d almost certainly never use it because my mum raised me to mistrust dishwashers. I get more than I used to (which was zero haha), but still not too many that really fit. I’ve flirted with advertising in the past as well but ended up deciding that it’s not something I personally want to do.

      I actually went without dot points because I haven’t set up lists very well in my stylesheet and I was too lazy to go in and make it space more nicely haha. Glad you liked it!

  2. omg you’re a stationery nerd, too! Never heard of JetPens, so I just googled it and yeah, now I’m gonna go broke!! Do you buy from jetpens.com? Imma have to stock up on some awesome :)

    sidenote: your blog is lovely! Off to keep sticky beaking around now… ;)

    1. Thank you Rah! I’ve just made my first couple of orders with them (the first for a fountain pen, the second after I found all the calligraphy supplies tucked away in the comics section) and am very excitedly awaiting their arrival. I’m purposely avoiding looking at the site for a while, I want to buy ALL the things!

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