Journal Pages: Great Britain

One of the best things about living in a different country from your own is being able to learn about your new home country. In a way, you're getting the best of both worlds. You can learn all about a country and culture from directly from insiders, and experience them as a local would, but at the same time you're somewhat removed from it all and you kind of 'pick and choose' your experiences.

I can imagine if you move to countries very far away from your own that culture gap might be difficult to bridge (or if you've moved out of economic or social necessity, your perspective might be different - I realize we're quite privileged here), but the UK and The Netherlands are close enough yet plenty different from each other for it to be interesting and fun. 

 

© Anna Denise Floor

This past week has been all about exploring the UK, marked first by a weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland . The cloudy yet magical city was all it should be and I imagined. No, I did not eat haggis, but did try black pudding (for breakfast, no less) and fell completely in love with the tartan outfits, the dramatic history (knights! swords! ghosts!) and the castles. Aye! 

Speaking of outfits, the week after was very much focused on outfits (and royalty) as I wore my first (serious) hatted ensemble ever. The hat was really more of a fascinator, but I think it counts. I needed the hat, as well as a dress of modest length, as I was invited along to the first day of the Royal Ascot by my friend and colleague Hannah. Squee! 

© Anna Denise Floor

Hannah is probably the most British person I know - she lives on a dairy farm, bakes cakes for village fairs, and is an excellent clay pigeon shooter person. Her life is pretty magical, is all I'm saying. Hannah and her family were amazingly kind in taking me on for the day and they proved excellent guides into the world of royal processions, horse racing, and gambling. My father-in-law (who owned two race horses in his day) was on speed dial as well, and the whole day was just a fantastic experience. I can get into this British thing, I think. As long as it involves great outfits, some ceremony, and a Prince or two (alas, no Kate this time) - I'm game. 

Next up: traditional cream tea. Apparently the question on whether to put the cream or the jam on the scone first divides the nation

Journal Page: So Emotional

I've spoken about color before, most notably in part two of my Art Journaling tutorial (gosh it's weird to see those old drawings), and I still do love a great color scheme. This drawing of a particularly great Wednesday (I'm a bit behind on my drawings) was inspired by a 1970s stamp from Israel. I found this stamp at Present & Correct (and a few more, but I decided to send those to a stamp-loving friend) and was instantly inspired by the cheerful combinations. Scans to follow.

© Anna Denise Floor

Journal Pages: Sleep, Sing, Suffer

Question: how is it May already? How is my trip to Singapore only one week away? Time is a weird thing and it seems to slip away from me these days. The only antidote to time slippage is taking note of tiny, lost moments. A man in a pink suit on the bus. A book before getting up and ready for another day of work and email. A well cooked meal for one. A drawing, here and there. You should try it. 

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

London: Doors

I've got this thing for doors. Especially brightly colored doors can just make my day. Fortunately for me (but unfortunately for anyone in my company trying to get somewhere quickly), I can't seem to turn a corner here in London without encountering another snap-worthy specimen. 

I seriously can't wait to one day own a house with an actual front door to lovingly scrub down and paint. A nice soft green, perhaps?

But London isn't the only city with great door action. Below are some doors from Brooklyn (US), Utrecht (The Netherlands), Safed (Israel), and Brussels (Belgium).

More doors coming to my Instagram feed, I'm sure. Let the obsession flourish. 

Our Wool and the Gang Knit Party

Last week at the office, we ganged up with the lovely people of Wool and the Gang for a little knitting party! 

Wool and the Gang is a London-based but internationally renowned community of makers (or 'global knitwork of gangstas' as they like to call it) focused on promoting fashion production that's made in a sustainable way. They want to bring back knitting as a viable means of production for generations to come, every piece make unique. Music to my ears. 

I myself have made multiple attempts at taking up knitting, generally unsuccessfully due to my own lack of knowledge and an overconfidence in my own ability (this still isn't done). Knitting a blanket out of baby cotton with miniature needles? Sure, that sounds like a fun project to push aside after a week!

Our group had a few knitter drop outs like me, as well as a few expert-level knitters and a couple absolute beginners. We used the Snood Operator kit, which included an instruction manual with various options depending on your level, some crazy sexy wool in a color of your choice, knitting needles, and some regular needles for turning the scarf into a snood. Time flew by and I think most of us got quite far into the pattern under the expert eye of the lovely gangsters from Wool and the Gang HQ, aided by the clear instructional videos. 

Our group had a few drop outs like me, as well as a few expert-level knitters and a couple of absolute beginners. We used the Snood Operator kit, which included an instruction manual with various options depending on your level, some crazy sexy wool in a color of your choice and knitting needles. Time flew by and I think most of us got quite far into the pattern under the expert eye of the lovely gangsters from WATG HQ, aided by the clear instructional videos. 

I ended up finishing my snood this weekend, right in time for the hot spell that came over London this week ;-). I’ve got a feeling this soft cowl will come in handy at some point, though. Yay for British weather!

© Anna Denise Floor

Have I been converted to knitter-dom? Let's hope so, or I just threw away the £50 I spent on more wool in their online shop (although I can always just snuggle up to the balls of yarn when Mr. Floor is away, they're so soft) 

If you want to become a knitter, I can heartily recommend getting one of their knit kits. If you're an experienced knitter, the crazy sexy wool is absolutely stunning.

Use this link and get 15% off your first purchase! 

Journal Pages: In Bloom

Oh what a difference a week makes. From the freezing Brighton beach we went to summery sunny days in London. We've been having a great time exploring this new home town of ours that seems to have finally woken up from its slumber and my allergies are finally acting up. I'm not complaining. Just expressing myself is all. Hope it's sunny wherever you are, dear reader - enjoy!

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

Update: Brooches Up in da Shop

There's seven of them for sale right over here, or just click on the 'shop' link in the menu above.

I know they're expensive, that is because they took forever to make and the supplies cost me a pretty penny, so I don't want all of you to go and just buy them for cheaps and take away my life and my moneys. 

New Project: Personal Abstract Brooches

It's been on my mind for a while.
I want to make something. Something tangible. Something I can hold in my hands. Something meaningful. I wanted to handle paint again, manipulate its texture and shape. I wanted to create something meaningful you can bring with you and use as a conversation starter, perhaps. 

So these past few weeks, I've been thinking. Tweaking. Sketching. Sourcing. Prepping. Painting. Polishing. A series of brooches. Small, wearable, abstract paintings based on personal polaroids. My polaroids right now, but possibly your photos in the future for custom orders and gifts?

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

The varnish has dried and clasps are being attached. I'll wear my 'wedding brooch' to work tomorrow just to take it for a spin around the block. I am excited.

Stay tuned. More information on this series and where you can buy one / order yours (spoiler alert: Etsy?) will follow shortly.