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It has been a busy month packing and moving and … not really unpacking yet. Our new house is still under partial renovation, and this has forced us to live off the “first couple of days” supplies for almost 3 weeks now. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for minimalism and living off what you have with humility and resourcefulness, but I am also ready to find the last kitchen box with the coffee in it…

This prolonged wait has had a number of challenges (beyond the coffee jar), and some not so unexpected benefits. Among them, the time to think, dream, plan before putting anything into action. Time to think and plan seems like such a luxury lately, in times of perpetual rushing and winging dinners while still exploring the best options for shopping and time management in a new environment. So, until I can line my bookshelves along the wall and start filling them with books, I sit, and wait, and think, and dream of ways to sort and make beautiful. And make lists, of course! I am very pleased with how productive and creative this waiting and dreaming has been. Hopefully soon you too will hear and see all about it!

Random photos above: Skid, daydreaming with me :: color and pattern inspiration :: pretty flowers on my way to work :: blocks lined up, or order in the midst of chaos

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As a passionate listmaker, it goes without saying that I love all kinds of notebooks and paper products, and it is even better when I get the chance to make them unique with my own drawings. Lately I have been on a kick of drawing on MUJI plain notebooks in a coloring book style, and adding color with markers while I am in the train commuting to and from work. I am so used to drawing in the slight motion and shaking of the train that whenever I sit on a solid seat to draw it feels odd! Most of what I make ends up as a gift to someone, but I also make them for myself, of course. The ones I know I will keep are usually where I experiment with new ideas, knowing that even if the result is not great I will still love and use it.

Another way to experiment is on my old-time little notebooks made of scrap paper. At work I end up with a lot of printouts that have only a brief time of use. I always feel bad throwing out paper, and the pages usually end up in a messy pile next to my desk. Every now and then I get the urge to create something, and then I cut and fold them to various sizes according to need and simply use a staple to bind a few pages for instant gratification.

I have been making and using and giving away these notebooks since I was in primary school, and over the years they have been given away on Earth Day at the Library reference desk, made into light and portable expense notebooks to keep close track of expenses, sticker books for the boys, or simply a place where I keep a specific type of information gathered in one place.

The covers change according to whim, from laminated collages to being covered with stickers, to a simple drawing with or without color. I made the one on the last photo above just now, when I simply had to make a 10-page booklet from some almost blank pages I printed out.

You know the feeling, when you plant a seed accidentally and one day you see a flower, or a tree, or a strawberry bush has grown out of it? This is how I felt last night, when the boys dragged me by the hand across the house, to show me the bufoto (beautiful) colors in the sky, and asked me to take a picture of it at various stages of the sunset, meanwhile standing there and talking about nature, clouds and wind, listening attentively to the birds…

Here is to the beauty of nature, to our ability to stop and acknowledge and appreciate it, to passing on the skill to the next generation, and to sharing it all. It is moments like this that are the best reminder of the power of example in raising our children, of speaking out our thoughts instead of admiring in silence.

(By the way, this is exactly the reason I keep doing yoga in their presence, even though it is entirely not relaxing to hold any pose with two little people jumping, wrestling, or hanging off me. Soon, I keep thinking, they ‘ll just join in and then we will have that too to share. Soon…)

 

As the weather is getting warmer, our activities shift outdoors as much as possible with everyone’s taxing schedules. Yesterday we managed to fly a kite for quite a long time – it was so exhilarating to communicate with the wind! Of course, the photos of pink blossoms are all over the internet nowdays, but I couldn’t resist taking a few for myself.

The boys and I have been building houses with sticks and stones at the tree hollows of our park, and they fill my hands with little flowers and stones and other treasures they gather from nature (thankfully no worms yet!)

And of course, we painted some eggs, and broke a few in the process but who is there to mind?!

14Mar2017

About a year and a half ago I decided to not care about the end result of my drawings (childish at best) and draw some pictures of our days as a family. Back then, I was staying at home and had a nice rhythm of making the day’s page after dinner, while the boys scribbled and made their usual mess on the table next to me. The drawing supplies were permanently set out on our large house, next to the fireplace.

12June2017

Fast forward to now, in a new house, back to full time work, and the priority after dinner has shifted to straight to bath&bed time as mommy has to get up before dawn… However, I do miss our closing of the day with a visual recapitulation, and although I try to record as much as I can when I have the time and energy, it isn’t daily and more often than not it is just the black ink, with the hope to add the color in the future. Sure enough, last Saturday I got lucky and everyone else slept in, so I went back to the last uncolored pages and added a new one.

18June2017

The boys absolutely love to sit next to me and read our family storybook. I believe it helps them remember these moments while they are still able to remember them, and it is my hope that they manage to keep in their memories those days through their own experiences and memory, rather than through stories told to them.

The special and memorable days are nice to keep and record, but when it comes to stretching my creativity and loveliness of content, it is the everyday, nothing-special days that matter the most to me, the moments and details that pass unnoticed, taken for granted, that otherwise would not be recorded.

 

 

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