Friday, March 29, 2013

I am so incredibly sick of my clothes.

I was warned this would happen.
After several months of only one suitcase full of clothing options, I have come to loathe what I see.
Or, perhaps, it's that time of the month again and I'm just being difficult.
Point is, I look at my little bundle of clothes, and I hate it all. All of it, I say!
I was going through pictures of our travels and it was like deja vu every other photo I saw.
The. Same. Things. Over. And. Over.

I've spared you a billion other photographs, but you get the gist.
I can't wait to have a closet again so I can have room for more than 2 sweaters and 5 shirts!
I can't wait to have drawers so I can fill it with more than 2 pants and 14 undies!

I know I just got done writing a heart-felt post about how this traveling has taught me to simplify, 
but lord help me, if I have to look at these clothes for much longer, I just might lose it.

If it weren't for our upcoming Amsterdam trip, which I hear is still in the 40's weather-wise, those sweaters would have been long gone by now, forever lost in the deep, dark pit of a European dumpster!
Instead, they've been sitting in the deep, dark pit of my pink suitcase.


My complaining isn't going to do me any good, I know this.
I still have another month of travel and even when we do get back to The States,
that doesn't mean I can just go on this wild shopping spree.

I have to find a job first, remember?

Maybe I'll get acquainted with Good Will or The Salvation Army.
I'm sure I can find a good work suit from the 80's for all of my job interviews I'm bound to go on?

Maybe I can score myself a sweet leather jacket while I'm at it.
I hear San Francisco can get quite chilly.

Has anyone seen this movie, BTW? I know we used to own it,
but I think I was like 5 years old, so I don't really remember it.

Anyway...Time for me to sign off.
Thanks again for listening to my rants and raves about silly nonsense.
You're a gem, really, you know that?

Oh, also, I know a lot of you out there are having babies, wanting babies, raising babies, etc.,
so I think you're going to like this guest post & giveaway!
And if you don't have babies on the brain, then I'm sure you can think of a friend, relative, co-worker, or Facebook stalker that does!

Meet Jane. She is a very talented children's illustrator and is giving away one of her pieces that she's currently selling on her Etsy shop (enter below)!
I think it could be such a cute addition to a child's room, play room, or nursery!
Enjoy and let's show her some love! :)


Hi all you lovely Mish Lovin' Life readers! My name is Jane, and I blog over at Jane Heinrichs: inspiring art for children. (I know, I know, not the most creative blog title considering I write and draw for a living, but hey.)

{That's me....}

I'm writing to you from hot, sunny Cape Town which happens to be the place I call home at the moment.

Wow!  You're probably thinking, that must be amazing, all that sea air, the beautiful mountain, and the wine (yes the wine!).  And then you think, if Cape Town is only her home at the moment, where was her home before?

Just like Michelle, I'm a nomad.  I love to travel. If I stay in one place too long I get itchy feet, and I have to start moving. In the past two years I've been to Canada (where I'm from), Britain (another home), South Africa (home #2), Swaziland (where I was born), the Netherlands, Italy, Namibia, Zimbabwe, the States, and Ireland.

And no matter where I am, I have to draw.  I love drawing; it's like breathing to me.  I'm inspired to draw what I see.  Like this....
{Yes, elephants really can fly...}

Have I seen elephants flying? Maybe not in "real" life, but it isn't impossible, is it?  Nothing is impossible, especially in the realm of the imagination.

I'm sure a lot of you love to travel, love to take photographs, love to scrapbook and save all those fantastic memories from exotic places. Some of you might even wish you could keep an illustrated travel sketchbook or journal, filling the pages with your thoughts and observations about all those wonderful places.

But how does one start?

I'm here to answer all those questions.

When I started travel journalling, I would practically fill my suitcase with paints, papers, pencils, pens, sketchbooks, and all manner of fancy art supplies.  The suitcase was overweight, even before I started packing my shampoos. (Truth).

And then, when I finally got to my destination, I would be so overwhelmed by the choices (Should I sketch with pencil or pen? Should I paint this page, or not?), that I wouldn't even start.  

Sound familiar?

I had a breakthrough when I went to visit a friend in Dublin last year.  I had already been on countless trips, and had barely drawn a line because I was so overwhelmed.  This had to change.  So I packed only the barest of art supply necessities: one small black sketchbook (very thin), several pencils, and one eraser.  That's it.

Suddenly I felt free.  There were no choices!  All I had to do was pick up a pencil and start drawing.

{Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin}

{Dublin Castle}

And I had so much fun.

Several months later, I travelled to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls with my Mom.  She really loves painting in watercolour, so for that trip we only packed a few pages of watercolour paper, a set of paints, and a few brushes (which we shared).

This is what I saw.

{Victoria Falls}

{Did you know that a group of hippos is called a "bloat"?}

Now that I've simplified travel sketching, and taken away some of the intimidation factor, I really love it!

So here are my tips for creating great travel journals or sketchbooks:

1.  Pick a sketchbook that is smaller than you think you need, and as thin as possible.  You don't want to feel intimidated by hundreds of blank pages.  If possible, find a sketchbook that has only 50 pages or less. And, it's a lot easier if it can fit in your handbag.

2.  If you're planning to paint with watercolour, those small post-card sized pads that you can find at many art supply stores are perfect.

3. Choose ONE method of making art.  Either sketching in pencil, or pen (not both), painting, pencil crayon, pastel, marker, etc.  Then pack only what you need.  Actually pack less than you think you need.

4.  Pack a roll of double-sided tape, or a glue stick, for collaging found items into your pages.  And a small pair of scissors; manicure scissors are great.

5. Make sure you bring your digital camera.  Sometimes there isn't time (or a comfortable spot) to sit down and sketch a scene.  Or maybe you've scribbled the basics, but want to add detail later.  That's when I snap a picture. I use as it as a reference later when I'm finishing up at a cafe or in my hotel room.  Photographs are your friends, use them.

6. And... there is no such thing as perfection. So don't worry if something doesn't turn out the way you imagined it, just flip the page over and start a new one.  It's that simple.  Do you want to know why I haven't shown you whole pages of my sketchbooks, just small images?  Because they're a mess; a complete mess.  Yes, my sketchbooks are filled with drawings, but they're also full of scribbles, random thoughts, and to-do lists... But that's ok.  A sketchbook is like a compost heap of ideas.

Sometimes you don't even need art supplies when a lined notebook and a ball-point pen will do the trick!

{Bored out of my tree in Johannesburg Airport}

Travelling is all about getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things.  That's what travel sketching is about, too. There's no right or wrong way to do it.

But what if I'm not travelling much? You may ask.

That's no problem. Isn't there a neighbourhood in your city, or a nearby city, that you've always wanted to explore?  Travelling doesn't have to mean flying across the globe; you can travel in your own back yard.  It might be just as fun to record the sights and experiences of things you take for granted every day!

There's a lot more to inspire you at my blog and in my shop.  Why not pop over and say hi?  I'll make you a cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer), and we can chat about creativity, and travel, and all sorts of exciting things.

I hope to see you soon!

And, I'm also doing a giveaway to all Mish Lovin' Life readers!
Enter below to win one of these beautiful Giraffe prints from my shop!

Reach for the stars; nothing is impossible.
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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  1. Made my way over via Twitter. Love that you quit your job to travel the world. That takes guts!

  2. I can only imagine how sick of your clothes you would's like groundhog day. Hugs!

  3. ahhh know what you mean about getting sick of the same clothes when you're traveling. make a trip to cheapie forever 21 when you get home for some new stuff!

  4. Ok....I have a walk in closet full of clothes...(also where those awesome prints I won from you are displayed), yet if you were to photograph me everyday you would see the same shiz every week. I'm not even trying to mix it up and I have no excuse, like hey I'm traveling the world and needed to conserve space. I need to work on this......

  5. i wear pretty much the same clothes every day but i like having the option of being able to wear something different if i want to.

  6. I'm still so envious of you. I'd love to do what you and V have done but there are some major things stopping me so in the meantime I will live vicariously through you. Also, I'm having Thai for lunch. It's almost like we're having a lunch date! ;)

  7. Hello :) I just read a comment someone posted about you and I thought how strange that sounds like me! I quit my longtime job and left my house March 2nd to come to Paris with my bf. I feel like I have nothing to wear and I am so disappointed I didn't bring any warm coats, silly me thought it was going to be warm in spring. I am planning on going back May 2nd, I feel like I am wearing the same outfit everyday. It is hard when you are a blogger and have nothing to wear haha!! Hope you enjoy the rest of your time. Now following you.

    Hope you have a great day!



  8. i feel your pain! we were allowed to bring two fifty pound bags with us when we moved to korea. it sounds like a lot but when you have to fit in toiletries, shoes, pillows, towels, house goods AND clothes, there's barely any room left. thank goodness for a F21 and H&M even if they are four hours away.

  9. OOOh I totally feel you!
    Most of my clothes are in storage and I only have a select number of things I get to wear. It's super annoying! I've made very few purchases, but the more I stay at my sister's the more I keep findings small places to pile up crap...or old clothes. whatever!


  10. ohhhhh i feel ya! i dumped most of my shit when i came back! i even know the few dresses i kept i hate bc i feel like i wore them tooooo much!!!! become bff's with target and forever 21 again!

  11. I got you that free pair of panties from VS today. Should I describe them or surprise you??? I'll bring some things for you when I go to Amsterdam. Sweaters or shirts or ???

  12. Hi! found your blog(s) via Making Sense of Cents, and I really love your writing!
    Northern Europe is quite cold now, so good thing you kept that warm sweater!

  13. Seriously, I applaud you two. I don't know how you've survived with the same clothes for as long as you have. After two weeks (and some shopping in Barcelona), I was sooooo over what I had available. You two are ROCKSTARS!



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