Monday, 30 April 2018

buh-bye april!

OK, so seasons and months don't matter as much when you live in the tropics, but that aside - I'm so happy May starts tomorrow! Not only because it's my birthday month,  I just love the feeling of May. I don't have anything huge planned, no trips or anything, but I also don't have a ton of work. Just my illustration course and one major project that needs to be finished over the past couple of weeks. I hope to fill this month with simple things, like working in the garden, drawing and illustration a lot for my portfolio, hanging out with friends and Andreas. May needs to be a month of routines, because come June, the craziness with travels begin again. More on that another time.

This weekend I went on a masquerade with jungle theme, watched a lot of Supernatural episodes and cleared out my closet. It was a good weekend, a little bit of everything. This week I have a couple of meetings and video-conferences, and I will try to get as much as possible of the design work done for the dance event I'm working on. This is what my week will look like, if all goes to plan:

The morning began with a meeting with the expat organization I'm in, after that I have sent some emails, planned my week and worked on a few pattern designs I drew yesterday and now wanted to digitize, and the afternoon will be spend doing some cleaning and washing before going to CrossFit with Andreas.

I'll divide the day between the final work on the dance clubs yearbook, the program for the dance event and start working on this months newsletter for the expat organization. I'll eat lunch with a group of friends and take it pretty easy in the afternoon, since I'll have to wake up for a while at 2 am to join a video conference with my online class in Sweden. In the evening I'll either go swimming or go to CrossFit. Or rest.

I'm still waiting for some info for a small remodeling project I'm doing. Hopefully I'll have enough by Wednesday to get some meaningful work done... Other that that, I'll do a few chapters in my online Revit course and start with this week assignment for the illustration course.

The morning starts with a meeting to go through all of the material for the dance event, so the rest of the day will probably be spent making editing and updating that. Plus, I have a mid-semester video-chat with my illustration teacher!

I've moved my riding lessons to Fridays starting this week, which makes more sense for me, as I don't mind my Fridays being a bit more relaxed. I'll have to spend a few hours preparing a drawing workshop I'll hold next week, after that I'll be working on this weeks illustration assignment.

Me and Andreas have decided to clean out and organize our storage room on Saturday... Not exactly fun, but highly needed. No plans outside that... Maybe we'll go to the pool for a while to relax from all the hard work.

I'll have to do the finishing touches of the newsletter and hand in the illustrations assignment, but hopefully I'll get most of the actual work on both of these tasks done during the week. The highlight - or the saddest part, depending how you see it - of the day will be the farewell lunch for our friend Fina. She has been a big positive for us here in Brunei so we'll miss her a lot.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

work in progress

Sometimes you just have to start somewhere to get something done. Most things can be revised and updated if needed, very few things are set in stone. That's how I have started to think about my plans for starting a business! I still have many questions, like for example if I should register my firm in both Norway and Sweden, the two places where I'm most likely to have clients, or if I should stick to just one. Anyway. This might all come as a bit of a surprise - me talking of starting my own business - but it's not at serious as it sounds. It's just that I want to make as much preparations as possible for when the time comes for me to start working again, for real, and as my time here so far has made me realize that working as a freelance designer is kind of my dream I want to do whatever I can to make that reality. My super-duper soft launch of this "business" was when I created my second Instagram account - @naikas_sketchbook with the user name Studio Naika, and now I decided to just go for it and buy the domain and create a custom work email. I still wont take commissions or try to get any clients, I want to be way more prepared, have a business plan and so on, but I was afraid I would miss out on the domain name, and as I struggled really bad to come up with a name I felt I had to go for it.

The name is nothing fancy, just me switching place of the first two letters of my name and removing an N. But there you go. Hopefully I can get back to you with more updates on this in the next few months or so. 

Sunday, 22 April 2018

sunday randomness

Good evening blog.

I'm back in Brunei after my trip to Vietnam, where I got to hang out with my dad and spent a lot of time just reading books at various cafés and restaurant. We've had time to walk around Ho Chi Minh City and Hué for hours and I discussed my plans for the future with him. Now I'm done traveling for a while, and that feels pretty good!

Yesterday we went on a very cloudy "sunset cruise" together with a big bunch of fun people. One of my good friends here in Brunei will go to Huston for a year and this was her official farewell party. Being an expat means a lot of things - one of them saying goodbye to your friends quite often, as people move on to other countries. It's sad, but it also mean having friends all over the world.

Today has been a lazy day with a loooong morning in bed and then not much else except reading books, watching Netflix and doing a little bit of course work. I handed in the 6th assignment in my illustration course at Berghs School of Communication and also my mid-term evaluation. I'm actually sad we are already halfway done with this course - it's been a pure pleasure and I feel I know a lot better now what I'm good at and what I need to work more on when it comes to illustration.

Pretty soon I'll pick up Andreas from work and we'll go do our weekly grocery shopping and then there's not much else I plan to do today except have dinner and watch a movie. I hope all of you have had a nice and slow Sunday too!

Friday, 20 April 2018

more things I want to wear right now

I had so much fun creating digital outfits last week I decided to put together a few more... Focus on big bold prints and comfort! This time there  might be a few more party outfits, but also just things I'd like to lounge around in on the balcony. And no, I'm not sponsored and these are not affiliated links, just me spending a bit of time browsing various web-shops. 

Dress - Asos
Bag - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Trousers - Lindex
Top - Zara
Shoes - Asos

Dress - Asos
Belt - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Shirt - h&m
Trousers - Warehouse
Shoes - h&m

Shirt - Monki
Shorts - h&m
Sandals - Asos

Top - h&m
Trousers - Monki
Shoes - Asos

Shirt - Asos
Shorts - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Dress - Asos
Earrings - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Monday, 16 April 2018

Live blogging from Vietnam


As I’m writing this post I’m sitting on the balcony of a cafe and bar in the town Huê, right in the middle of Vietnam. 
This is my view:

I’m here with my dad. He gave me this book as an early birthday gift, perfect as I already finished the other book I brought! 

We have already spent two days in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and will be here in Huê until tomorrow night when we return to HCMC for a couple of days before going our separate wats home. The reason for going to Huê, a town I’ve never heard of, was that dad wanted to see the old imperial city. Huê used to be the capitol when the country united back in the 1800s. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

what I want to be wearing right now

Hello there!
This week I've spent plenty of time browsing online-shops to come up with ideas for my whishlist. My birthday isn't until mid May, but it's smart to be well prepared, right... I also find that putting together these little collages of outfits that I like helps getting rid of some of my shopping urges, which I believe to be a good thing. Anyway. Right now I feel like wearing plenty of colors in combinations I usually don't go for, and become a bit more brave when it comes to mix patterns. I'm inspired by Christin over at the blog Midi, a girl who know exactly how to do this! What I'm looking for now is outfits for everyday life here, to wear while working from home, when going to meetings or when hanging out with friends in the weekends. 

Dress - Monki
Sandals - Monki

Dress - Y.A.S.
Bag - Suncoo
Shoes - Suncoo

Dress - Monki
Earrings - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Dress - Lindex
Earrings - COS
Shoes - h&m

Jumpsui - Warehouse
Shoes - h&m

T-shirt - Lindex
Earrings - Lindex
Trousers - Monki

Dress - Asos
Bag - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Trousers - Asos
T-shirt - Monki
Soes - h&m

I'm still really much in to big bold patterns, either florals or abstract, geometric shapes and funny details. When it comes to shoes I'm looking for comfy but fun flats, and a pair of statement earrings is never the wrong choice. Other features I'm looking for is pockets, for both trousers and dresses - I want to be able to keep my phone with me at all times so I can listen to podcast - and light and flowy materials. I don't want tight. I have troubles finding nice trousers, as I want them wide, ankle length or shorter an not high-waisted. All trousers these days are high-waisted, and worst of all - they often have that paper-bag style with a big belt. Looks good on others but I feel totally uncomfortable in that style and since I have a short torso it just makes me look disproportionate. Plus it looks weird if you don't tuck your top. 

Let's see if I end up buying any of these items at some point! For now it was just fun to play dress-up in my mind. And to be honest, I'm currently waiting for a package from Asos to arrive, that I ordered a while ago, with among other things a dress for a jungle themed fancy dress party in a couple of weeks. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

One positive and two negatives

The past few days I've been questioning my decision of trying to become a freelance designer. I will probably come back to this issue in another post, I need to reason a bit with myself and writing about it helps. But in general, it would be so much more logical to just try to get back to being an employed architect. But... I don't think I want that.

I feel a bit sad, bored and easily distracted today (hence here I am, writing this post instead of working) and I don't feel enthusiastic about my projects. I have one of those days - most likely PMS related - where any kind of feedback or criticism just gets under my skin and I feel useless and stupid. But I'm not. And handling feedback is part of what I do. But still.

the view from my home-office window
Over to something nice: I have booked my trip to Sweden and Norway this summer! I'm staying a bit longer than usual, and even though I always feel guilty for not spending enough time with everyone and not having time to hang out with all of my friends I do feel like I will have time to do plenty. I will spend 5 days in and around Gothenburg, a few days in my brother's summer house outside of Stockholm, then travel to Stavanger for 5 days, where I will hang out with my dear friend Emma. After that I will go back to Sweden together with another of my besties - Alison - and spend a weekend in central Stockholm. Then there will be a few days spent either back at my brother's summer house or at Herräng Dance Camp before I go back to Brunei. Yay!

Monday, 9 April 2018

week 15

I was a lazy blogger last week, shame on me. But I had a good week, very "normal" as these things go here, where I spent most of my time exactly where I am right now, in front of the computer, working on my different projects. This week will continue pretty much along the same lines, except with a bit more pressure since I'm leaving for another trip on Friday. This time I'm meeting up with my dad in Ho Chi Minh City, to explore a little bit of Vietnam for almost a week.

I don't really feel the need to go through this weeks "to dos" day by day, but I will say that I am really happy with the amount of work I have right now: I have enough projects and commitments for it to feel varied, but not too many to feel scattered. I have enough deadlines to keep up momentum, but not more than I can handle without losing motivation. It's a good feeling.

Anyway, I hope I can set aside some time/inspiration for a few more posts this week. Writing here is such a good way to collect my thoughts and organize my brain. It might not be the most exciting or inspiring blog for you to read, but that's just how it has to be.

Monday, 2 April 2018

week 14

Good morning, lovlies,

I have a good feeling about this week! Not because I have much planned, but because I look forward to a pretty normal and productive few days, with focus on both illustration and design work, a lot of variation but not too heavy on deliveries and deadlines.

Today - my admin and follow up day - I'm going through the week and sorting out all of the minor tasks on my to do list. Bank errands, sending out emails and making sure I have the material and information I need to be able to work efficiently on my projects. That includes downloading files for the yearbook/event profile  and designing, plus prepping the cad-files for the two architectural projects I'm working on this week. Tonight Andreas and I are going to CrossFit and I should really, really do some ironing...

I begin the day with yoga and then the focus for the day will be my illustration course! I also plan on spending and hour or so on the yearbook and then I have to do my Malay-homework because in the evening we have our final class for this semester. After that I'm off to the pool to do a few laps.

Hopefully my riding lesson goes well this morning... I'm still really on the fence if I should continue or not. I don't really enjoy it, but on the other hand I don't want to just give up even though I'm not making any progress right now. The rest of the day I'm alternating between my two architect projects - my friends bathroom renovation and my brothers summer house renovation - plus working on my online Revit course. In the evening the most exciting thing this week will happen - I've decide to do a quick refresher class in scuba diving, in order to get a kick in the but and actually start diving again! It's been about 8 years since my last dive and I am just a little bit nervous.

I begin the day with a meeting with the others in the team working on the re-modelling project where I'm consulting. It's been quiet for a while with this, I hope we can get started again soon. The rest of the day will be spend with the same projects as on Wednesday, and in the evening me and Andreas will go to CrossFit again.

I'll spend this day working on the yearbook/event profile and my illustration course. Not much else is planned just yet, most likely there will be time for a beer on the balcony in the evening.

I'll probably have to do some finishing touches on this weeks assignment in the illustration course, and the on Sunday I'm compiling content and editing the newsletter for the expat organization I'm a part of here. Other than that I hope for another calm weekend with maybe an evening swim in the ocean!