How can I summarize a month of such extremes? July spanned two continents, two homes, two different experiences of summer, and one long journey of flights and connections across a very wide, very cold ocean.
Through the changes and opposites, one thing has remained a constant: family. This month started with a family reunion which gathered all 40 of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their spouses and children, on Hecla Island in the middle of Lake Winnipeg. We sang songs, breaking into spontaneous four part harmony whilst playing games or hiking. We hugged. We laughed. We cried. And we hated saying goodbye when the weekend ended.
The day after, we flew home to London. We returned back to our small home, on our little street, right near the vastness of Richmond Park. We recentered. We made our beds. We settled into the routines of our small nucleus.
Family, big or small, was what July was about.
Top 5 Highlights for July:1. The family weekend on Hecla Island with all 40 aunts, uncles and cousins.
2. Seeing the walls of our walls stripped of peeling wallpaper and freshly plastered and painted.
3. Returning to my studio and my ongoing projects. I have fresh inspiration from three weeks away.
4. Splashing in the pool with Little One, and helping her down the toddler slide. She loves the water.
5. The London heat wave. While not exactly my favourite experience, it was certainly memorable!
Books read:1. A desperate fortune by Susanna Kearsley
2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (this one was too dark for me to finish.)
By the numbers:2.5 + 7: Hours in an airplane with an sleepy and slightly grumpy toddler.
2: Hours in Toronto airport trying to stretch our legs and letting Little One run around shouting "Ah-blane!" (airplane)
5: Rooms that are like new in our house with fresh, smoothly painted walls
7: Amazing, multi-petalled clematis blossoms in our garden
17: sketches in my moleskine sketchbook (check my Instagram to follow along as I fill the pages.)
Instagram: 489 (+3)
Bloglovin: 903 (+4)
Facebook: 946 (+1)
Twitter: 507 (same)
Mailing List: 402 (sign-up in sidebar for bi-monthly updates and freebies!)
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Posts from Past Julys:Window Boxes in London
Today is Monochromatic
Taking care of small things
Adventures in Johannesburg
Goals for August:Returning to my studio has been refreshing. After three weeks away I have new eyes for the big project that needs finishing. The deadline is looming, so I'm working every minute I can.
My goals for the month:
+ Finish as much of my current illustration project as possible. It's contractually due Sept 1, but I'm sure I would have a little wiggle room if I needed it.
+ Write. Edit. Write. Repeat. I've completed writing the first draft of a short story, which now needs careful rewriting and editing. I'm looking forward to weighing every word.
+ Daily drawings. Because they're like yoga for my fingers and my creative mind.
+ Dedication to blogging. I love this little space. I love you, my dear reader. You make my little studio above the kitchen feel like it's connected to a world of friendly people. I want to connect more with you. What do you want to read about? Tell me. I will write it.
Are you writing a monthly review post? Feel free to share a link below in the comments. Let’s celebrate our accomplishments!