Tuesday, 27 February 2018

week 9, almost back to normal for a while

Hey there,
This week my weekly planning post is written on a Tuesday since I was too busy yesterday. I'm back home doing my normal stuff after a ten day long visit from my mother. Except for three days last week when we spent time here so she could see our home we have been traveling, visiting Singapore and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.

It's always nice to have a visitor and I'm glad to be exploring the neighboring countries but I'm still glad to get back to normal routines as I am pretty busy and well... we will be traveling again next week, this time to meet up with my in-laws. This spring will be quite busy with trips, but that's how it is when you live abroad and family want to come visit! A huge luxury problem that I wont dwell on any more.

Anyway, I don't have any meetings this week - as far as I know - so I'll have time to get some work done. Which is good, since my second course just began last week and I have plenty of things I need to get up to speed on.

This is what's going on for me this week:

Today I'm doing course work. I have two assignments - one quick, one a bit more complicated - in my new course in illustration to finish before Sunday. I need to plan, research and sketch them both today, and then I'll finish the detailing on Sunday. I also have to do my Malay homework and go grocery shopping! I should also spend at least an hour or so working on a few illustrations I'm making for one of my freelance projects, a visual profile for a dance club. Tonight, after Malay class, I'll go to the pool and do some laps.

I did most of the work on this months issue of the newsletter I'm responsible for yesterday, and got it sent out for proof reading, but I've set aside some time tomorrow to do the final changes and add some last minute material I know will show up. I'll also continue working on the visual profile for the dance club and spend at least an hour on Revit tutorials. If it hasn't been raining I'll have a riding lesson in the morning and in the afternoon I'll meet up with some friends and go to a Piloxing class. In the evening I have a video conference with one of my teachers in my new course!

I'll split the day between doing Revit tutorials and working on my other freelance project - a logo for a business dashboard. In the evening me and Andreas plan on going to CrossFit class and then I'll probably be dead for the rest of the evening.

Deadline to hand in the logo. Continue working on the illustration assignments and the assignment for my graphic design course, this time illustrating statistics. I hope to get some time over to just draw for my own pleasure as well. Plan on going to the gym in the evening and then have a beer on the balcony while Andreas makes us burgers...

Sleep late. Work on my graphic design assignment. Go to the pool. Clean out my make-up cabinet.

Work on the illustration assignments. Maybe write a blog post or two. Start packing for our trip.

I'm doing ok with following the plans I made up earlier this year when it comes to structuring my weeks according to priority. When time becomes tight though, the structure slips a bit and I guess it has to.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

That time I hosted a workshop

Good morning!

Last week I hinted that I’d hosted my first ever workshop in drawing, and I know you’re all super curious on how that went so... here goes:

First a little background. I decided I wanted to give this a try already back in November. I’d been coming to the conclusion that I wanted to “do something” with my newfound love of drawing and maybe turn it into part of a future profession. I also felt it was time to step outside my cl fort zone a bit and not just sit at home and draw. I’ve never taught drawing before, but I have quite a lot of theory based on years of drawing plus various courses. I’ve studies art history, done a summer course in Poland when all we did was draw for a week, drawn live models and so on. So I feel pretty comfortable with this. I would never try to teach anyone who’s not a beginner, but still. 

So I suggested to my team in the expat organization (the one where I’m newsletter editor) that this might be something I could offer, if the though it would be something the community would be interested in. They did! So I promoted it in the latest newsletter and was glad to learn the workshop filled up quickly! Due to a miss understanding I ended up with 10 participants instead of the 8 I had set as limit, but that turned out to be a good number anyway. 

I prepared quite carefully with a small leaflet where I had assembled some information, tips and the exercises we would be go through. The theme of the workshop was “still life” as I believe drawing basic objects is a nice way to begin, and a good way of learning about composition and shading without going in to too much detail. I bought everyone a HB and a B4 pencil plus an eraser. Basic tool that goes a long way. On the day of the workshop I set up the room with two small groups of objects of various shapes. 

In a way I thinks it’s hard to say if the workshop was a success or not. People seemed happy and expressed gratitude afterwards, but it’s hard knowing what they really thought. I think most of them enjoyed it and several have given me feedback that they’d come again if I hosted another workshop. The hardest part was to adapt a workshop like this when you have no idea what level people are at. I had promoted it as “drawing and sketching for beginners” but some of them had done some painting before. In a way, the most important thing - for me personally - is that I just did it. I wasn’t nervous, I’ve been hosting workshop at work before so I’m fine in that situation, but I’m still glad I had enough confidence to teach something that isn’t my “real” job. Yet. Maybe that’s overconfident of me, but I think we - as in us women - often could benefit from being more overconfident every now and then.

I still haven’t decided if I’m going to host another one, as I’m too busy to focus on that now. If I do, it will be in April or may when my course work and traveling has eased up a bit. 

Friday, 16 February 2018

a while ago in Bali

Our anniversary trip to Bali last weekend summarized in 5 photos.

we ate amazing food
did some shopping
had cocktails by the pool
I bought a round hand bag
and we ate donus

Plus I got to spend some quality time with my favorite human being in the world. 

I actually posted a few restaurant recommendations on my Instagram (@holly_hawkeyes) if you are planning to go to Bali at some point and want to know where to eat. There are plenty of hipster places around Seminyak where we stayed. 

Today I'm going to Singapore to meet up with my mom who will be visiting for about ten days. As Brunei isn't a very fun place to be a tourist in - but great to live in! - we are first doing Singapore for a weekend before she comes here for a few days. Before she goes back home we'll spend next weekend in Kota Kinabalu - Malaysia - so she'll get to experience a bit more of what Borneo has to offer.  It will be fun, but I probably wont do much blogging for the next week or so...

See you soon-ish!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Netflix favorites right now

I'm not going to recommend Alias Grace, the Crown or the End of the f*ing world since everyone has already seen these but instead bring the spotlight to two other, less hyped series. And yes, they are less hyped partly because they are not exactly as good, but still... I really enjoyed them


This series cam best be described as Stranger things in German. I'd guess the target group is pretty much the same as this series is also all about mystery, family drama, supernatural things, 80's nostalgia. But with a moodier undertone. And in German. I actually found it quite instructive and a great refresher for the German in learnt while living in Dresden ten years ago. 


I was a big Batman fan until Ben Afflek got the part, so this series, where we get to know some (most) of the characters in Gotham before Batman becomes Batman and is still only a barely teenaged billionaire. We get to know Jim Gordon before he's commissioner, we get to meet the Penguin when he's only Oswald Cobblepot and the Riddler before he becomes (too) creepy. It's exactly like a good comic should be: dark, exaggerated and violent. And sometimes ridiculous, like when a horrible assassin shows up and it turns out his name is Eduardo Flamingo... Oh lol! 

Dirk Gently's holistic detective agency

This series is as weird and confusing as they come - which isn't surprising as this series is based on a novel by Douglas Adams. But it's also, sweet, funny and sometimes surprisingly violent. Anything can happen when holistic detective Dirk suddenly shows up. And Frodo is there, as a neurotic ex musician.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

a quick OOTD

In the middle of workshops, deadlines and meetings I snapped a few photos of a cute outfit the other day. Just to mix things up here a little bit on the old bloggerino - and show my face for once!

light beige linen top - Uniqlo
skirt - Zara
earrings - COS
I used to wear skirts and tops more often before, when I lived in Noway, so this feels more like "me" than when I wear trousers, but - darn it - I should have bought a larger size! This one is just a bit too tight in the waist for it to be completely comfy. And comfy is key. But I opted for the smaller size since it was already a bit on the long side for my height. I should wear skirts more often. Skirts are great.

Monday, 12 February 2018

monday, week 7 - that escalated quickly

Good afternoon, dear friends! Or - as I just learned last week in Malay class - selamat petang!

I'm having a pretty exciting day, professionally speaking. Remember how I mentioned last week that I had some new opportunities coming up, that I felt I should accept even though I don't really have time for them? Well, today I had initial meetings for both of these projects and now I just have to jump pretty much right in to them... I'm in a pretty good mood, but at the same time I feel quite stressed. Both time-wise, but there is also a certain level of performance anxiety involved, as both projects are graphic design jobs... But I have explained to both of my clients that I'm still a student within this field, so I hope they have realistic expectations. It should be fine.

Anyway. These two new projects just adds to the pile of things I have going on now. Tomorrow is a pretty big day as I'm hosting my first ever workshop in drawing for beginners! This is an idea I have come up with myself, something that I wanted to try in the effort of making illustration and drawing into something a bit more professional. I'll hopefully have time to tell you more about it later in a few days. Other things on my schedule this week are two course-deadlines, a planning-meeting for the next newsletter and most likely a meeting with the re-modelling project. Oh, and I need to do my Malay homework too... And that's just in a four day workweek as I'm traveling to Singapore on Friday morning to meet up with my mother.

Again, all of these things are fun (more or less), interesting and really good for my future CV, but I still can't help being a bit frustrated everything happens at once... why is it always the case? I just need to, once again this week, sit down with my bullet journal and plan what tasks to do each day. It should all work out. But be warned there might be a lot of focus on work/study for a while now here on the blog, and not a lot of other fun things. Maybe not the most interesting for you to read about. Sorry, not sorry!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

according to plan or not

January is the month of planning, right? You spend a lot of time figuring out what you want your year to look like and what you want to achieve. Well, now it's February so it's time to put all of those nice plans to the test! It's easy to make plans and it's easy to set goals, but then real life comes along and laughs at your plans.

for some reason, the rainy weather today makes me stress too, although I have no reason for that what so ever!
Maybe the weather is just a symbol for how unpredictable things can be...
Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is not a dramatic in any way, I'm just looking back at the weekly schedule I did for myself only yesterday and now I have a quite different feeling about the week than I had when making it. All of a sudden new things have turned up in the shape of more meetings and a possible new (and completely positive) graphic design opportunity, and I feel veeery tempted to change my plans for the week and dive straight into the tasks that feel most urgent. I feel torn in several directions and a bit stressed about how to manage all of these different tasks that have come along. You know what is helpful then? I'll tell you! Looking back on my list of priorities for this year and evaluating which ones of these new - and old - tasks I should work on, and if the new things that have come up are actually things that support my main goals for the year. Turns out that even though my gut feeling was to turn this new opportunity down because I don't feel like I have time it actually might work very well in my overall scheme, so I've decided to explore it further...

In the end I wont have to change my plans for this week all that much, I'll just make sure to keep the new items in the back of my mind for next weeks plan. Taking one week at the time and planning quite thoroughly in my bullet journal really helps with the priorities, as I can see in black and white that all things are taken into consideration and scheduled, maybe not just for today.

The extra stress I'm feeling today might also have been caused by the fact that the meeting I went to today went on for more than an hour longer than I expected... Right now I mostly feel tempted to go and hang out in the couch in front of Netflix for a while, but that would only be hiding from all of the things I feel I should be tackling today. Instead I'm going to follow my original plan from yesterday and spend the afternoon reading course literature and doing some drawing. Just like I planned. 

Monday, 5 February 2018

monday, week 6

Hi there, Monday monsters.

Today I woke up at 3:40 in a hotel room in Bali, and now, at 15:10 I'm back here in my home office. I've been back for a few hours, the flight from Bali is only 2 hours long. I had a wonderful weekend that consisted mostly of us reading books by the pool, eating fabulous food and drinking cocktails. I don't really have that much to say about it - again, I'm not a fan of other peoples travel posts so I try to avoid making long tedious ones myself - but I might share a few snippets some time this week. I only brought my iPhone and no camera though, so the image quality will not be top notch.

Fun fact: they insisted on playing covers of the same boy band songs over and over again by the pool at our hotel, so now I felt inspired to listen to a 90's pop playlist on Spotify! I didn't listen to a lot of boyband music way back when, but it's quite enjoyable and nostalgic, to be honest!

Anyway. Today is Monday and you'd expect at least half of it could be used for something useful. I've already had the enjoyable experience of cleaning out the cat litter-boxes - one of my fur babies have had a bit of diarrhea while we were gone, so that was a quick trip back from glamour to real life. A few minutes after that mess was cleaned up (Cricket is very well behaved when I have to put her on her back in my lap to clean her up and cut the poopy fur off, little angel baby) I noticed that one of them - probably Hugo - had thrown up on the living room carpet while we were away. I noticed this by stepping in it, I might add. Luckily it was dried... Life with two long haired beasts! All nastiness managed I've now had time to sit down and plan the week. So this is what it'll look like:

What's left of  Monday will be spent unpacking, preparing for the week and organize what work needs to be done. Me and Andreas will go to a CrossFit class and then make a quick dinner. If I'm up for it after that I'll try to sit down and draw for a bit, it's been too long.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I have an exiting meeting where the architects we've chosen to do the design for the re-modelling project I'm consulting on hopefully will present their conceptual ideas for the building. I had planned to go to yoga before that meeting but now I realize I wont have time... The rest of the day I'm going to work on a few illustrations and do some reading for my graphic design course. In the evening me and Andreas have our first Malay lesson! And then I'll go for a swim.

It's been raining like crazy for a while now so I don't really expect my riding lesson on Wednesday morning to happen - it's been 3 weeks since I was last in the saddle, the arena is always to wet which is a risk for the horses. So maybe I'll just have a super productive day in the home office instead! I'm searching for a good online course in the architectural software I'm using, I'll spend some more time on Wednesday researching that. And then doing some work on my two ongoing conceptual projects. In the evening I'll first go to Piloxing with my friends Rachel and Morgane, and then I'm off to Salsa Rueda class! I usually feel like skipping this class as it's quite late in the evening, but I'm always happy when I go...

Thursday means another meeting in the re-modelling project and then I have to do some serious work on the assignment in my graphic design course. Another CrossFit class in the evening.

Interlude: "I swear" by All-4-One just started playing on Spotify! And I'm suddenly back in my hometown library, on a Friday night at like ten in the evening attending a school disco! I'm ten years old and have asked the boy I currently have a crush on to slow dance with me. Damn I was a brave child. I'm probably wearing my brand new black stretch-jeans and a black and white striped top, showing off some of my slightly chubby midriff. I'm also most likely wearing black sneakers with rainbow-colored laces. It's dark except for the colored lights flashing along with the music and the rooms is warm and crowded. Oh sigh. Good times. 

Maybe I can sneak in a replacement yoga-class on Friday mornings since I'll miss the one tomorrow? Otherwise I'll most likely sleep in until eight or so. Course assignment and preparation for an exciting new thing (I'll tell you about it next week) will take up most of the day. No plans for the evening except for going to the gym and then have a beer on the balcony. Maybe we should invite some friends over for that beer?

The weekend is so far completely open. I might need to study - like do my Malay homework if I get any? and write a blog post or two. I like weekends at home with the cats...

I hope you guys have a nice week ahead of you! Anything special happening?

Thursday, 1 February 2018

can't sit still today

Hello there!

Just wanted to pop in real quick and say hi before we leave on our mini vacation. I'm having one of those days when everything feels a little bit out of sync - most likely because we are traveling in only a few hours - and I can't really sit down and focus today.

I had a chill start of the day, enjoying a smoothie breakfast on the balcony with Cricket, but after that I haven't gotten anything done except packing. And even packing seems difficult even though we are only away for a few days. We travel a lot but I'm still the kind of person who is most comfortable at home and I really don't like leaving the cats behind. They have a perfectly good sitter so all will be good, but still... Oh well. What a spoiled brat I am coming here and whining about what is a complete luxury, by the way. I'm finished complaining now. 

But I also really want some candy and I don't have any at home :(

Do you guys also get antsy before traveling?

On another note: I've been trying to get some work done on an upcoming course assignment - making a new layout for a course brochure - and today I was just struck by the feeling that it's really great that I don't have to hand it in for a while. I've started in good time and have come pretty far and could probably just finish this in a day or so. But then when I looked at my progress so far what I saw was something so bland and mainstream I got real annoyed with myself. I mean, it's perfectly alright, well organized and nice but I have to push myself more. The whole plan of me taking these courses was to challenge my creativity and then I can't keep settling for "nice", right? So that's going to be my project for next week, lifting this concept from nice to outstanding. Heeeheeee, we'll see how that goes. At least I feel like I've learned something since this post (is it weird that I instinctively went back in my November and December archive to look for this post, but it was only written like two week ago, what the hell?).

OK, so this post turned in to something completely different from what I had in mind. But that's alright. Now I'm off to finish my packing and kiss the cats a billion times. 

Hope ya'll have a lovely day!