Life Lately | Bird Sanctuaries, Illustrating and Books ๐ŸŒฟ

I've been laying a little low on social media for the last two weeks as life has literally got the better of me, while blogging has got the not-so-better of me! It's taken a while to summon up the motivation to shoot new photos for this little corner of the internet, but I'm here now!

Since this heartfelt post on what we should be talking more about, I've been glaring at the world from behind a fort of sketchbooks, notes and clothes that I can't be bothered to hang up.

Over the last couple of weeks I've had so much uni work that it's SUCKED ALL THE FREAKIN' LIFE OUT OF ME and I feel guilty when I'm enjoying something that isn't an assignment. Currently I'm taken by a brief for the Penguin Design Competition as part of my course, coming up with book cover illustrations for 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾'. I read Adrian Mole as a kid and studied To Kill a Mockingbird in school, so most of last week was simply me, hunched at a desk drawing up what I remember of both books before a recap. It's been fun but boy is it difficult! 

Obviously if there's one thing I need throughout this work, it's my sanity so I've been dabbling in a little personal project that I hope you'll like: making one of a kind, hand painted and stitched tote bags! I really want to encourage sustainability (she says with a desk full of chopped down tree paper), what better way to do that than making badass and beautiful bags for everyone? 

Last weekend Alex and I decided it was time to get out for the day and visited the cutest local bird sanctuary called Turbary Woods. Here, volunteers and vets nurse birds of prey back to health (so it's an ethical sanctuary). Some of the owls were adorably huge and puffy but my favourite had to be the tiniest little bird with bright yellow eyes. He looked permanently shook, haha. We stopped in the cafe for tea and some lunch before getting a bus back home. We're such old people already and I kinda love it.  Easy to please!

We got lucky since North-West weather has been pretty grim lately but by chance, we visited Turbary Woods and the clouds decided to part. My memory card is full to the brim with photos so I'm probably going to throw together a photo diary in a separate post! Even the littlest trips out like this keep me going. :)

As you can tell, I got two new cacti for my collection. YES I'm crazy plant lady, I know... I know. They're all lined up across my bathroom windowsill- by my count I'm now the proud adoptive momma of around 10-12 spiky lil' plants. I got the bathroom idea from my step-mum who keeps a lot of potted plants in the bathroom so that whenever someone showers, the plants get some water and humidity (just like in the desert)!

For some reason I just haven't wanted to look at social media or blogs a lot this week, instead I've invested what spare time I can grab into reading 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying' (which I did a doodle of in this post) while attempting to finish 'Eay Pray Love',  a beautiful book I seem to have been reading foreeeever!

Between that and the occasional travel documentary, my travel bug is as fed as it can be for now! My 21st birthday is coming up next month and I haven't had a valid passport since I was about 16/17, so that's the only thing I have my heart set on at the mo. England is giving me cabin fever and fantasising about travelling the world is only giving me a stronger urge to go!

So, it's been a good two weeks. University, although stressful, has been good- my studio is nice and we've had some artists come in to talk to us about their work which has been constant fuel for inspiration. Right now I'm focussing on thinking up ideas to smash the end of my degree and balancing that with using my down-time wisely (such as making a bomb vegan chocolate cake with Bourneville all over). I've also felt a little run down the last few days, watching two of uni's artist talks via livestream, so Boohoo kindly inviting me to a spa evening tomorrow couldn't have come at a better time. Expect a post on that next week, I'm so exciteeeeed! 

What have you been up to lately and what do you think of the tote bag project? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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