Grass and clichés

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“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side; the grass is greener where you water it.”

Ugh. I hate clichés.

But you know the cliché about clichés? They’re probably only clichés because they’re true.

I have been learning for a while the truth of the aforementioned cliché. So here it is: life always sucks. Yes there are wonderful moments, but take it from an eternal optimist; there will always be underlying issues and problems that we can only escape from or forget for so long.

Because of this ugly truth, it is very comfortable to live in the future. We like to pin our hopes on the unseen because we don’t know what to expect, and anything is better than right now, right? Wrong.

I’m sure we all had dreams of growing up and getting old as kids. We would finally have power, stay up as late as we want and eat ice cream whenever we so desired. Little did we know that with great power comes great responsibility, late nights are more exhaustingly draining than they are fun as they are usually accompanied by tremendous workloads, and ice cream just makes you fat.

I have fallen prey to the myth of the grass being greener on the other side. This has resulted in disillusionment, unhappiness and disappiontment. I think I may still believe in it right now. I am  in matric and its hard. It is not always a good time and it is easy to lose sight of what is important. It is easy to dwell on the future and live vicariously through 21 year old me.

I don’t want to do that. This is a wake up call for me. I’m only where I am today because I stood up and chose to water my grass and accept my circumstances. Once I accepted what life handed me I was able to take action and make the most of where I was. I am working hard at relationships and priorities; I am watering them so that they can grow. It has made my life so much better and so much more enjoyable. I am choosing to change something when I don’t like it.

When I feel left out? I invite myself in. When I don’t like the way a relationship is headed? I confront the issues. When I have no motivation? I cry a lot and then I get my act together.

By no means am I a pro at getting this right. Not even a little bit. But I’m learning and I’m honestly trying. I’m learning that if things suck either it is my fault or I have no control over it. By changing the things that I don’t like and letting go of the things that I can’t change, I’m slowly making my grass greener. I don’t want to become dry and shrivelled because I forget that I have access to life-giving water.

There are only two things we need to water our grass:

1. Water. We need to figure out what that water is specifically, but it almost always means change.

2. We need to get up, fetch the water and use it. We know where it is. We have access to the source, so let’s get moving.

The grass is green where you water it.

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Fan-girl Friday: granadilla butter

This week I’m Fan-girling over an old favourite that has resurfaced for the season: granadilla butter. Its like lemon curd with granadillas. Its equally as life changing. I am capable of eating vast quantities of it. So here’s a quick recipe for my fellow foodies.

130g butter
2 cups granadilla pulp
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
Put all ingredients, except eggs, into a double boiler and bring to the boil.
Remove from heat and allow to cool down a little.
Beat eggs really well and then add to cooled mixture while stirring.
Return to heat, stirring all the while until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat before the egg curdles.
Store in an airtight container or sterilised jar. Trust me, it won’t be in there for long. Om nom nom.

There you have it! I know I haven’t posted much this week. Sometimes life gets in the way.

Fan-girl Friday: The Bad Beginning

Here is yesterday’s Fan-girl Friday. I didn’t have a chance to post it in between the craziness of the week end. 
Today’s post is apt considering that it is Friday the 13th. This week I am loving something that I have looked for for a long time; Book the First: The Bad Beginning from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

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This is the first book of my absolute favourite childhood series. I have been collecting the stories from second hand stores, because why buy new when you can buy loved? Also, its way cheaper. For example, this one cost me R20 and the condition is relatively good.

The books contain the wonderfully horrible tale of the Baudelaire orphans. I believe wholeheartedly that these books begun my love for really bad endings. There is no clichéd happiness in the last chapter and the books are filled to overflowing with despair and impossible situations, yet the siblings always manage to slip from the grip of their nemesis through ingenuity and a touch of luck.

Not only are they well written; they are beautifully illustrated too. The designs are shaded with a specific hatching pattern that somehow, through the course of reading the 13 books, ingrained itself into my brain. It is a pattern that I doodle all the time. I thought that I had come up with it of my own accord, but as it turns out nothing is truly original!

I recommend this series to anyone who has the ability to read. It is a definite favourite. 

Here is yesterday’s Fan-girl Friday. I didn’t have a chance to post it in between the craziness of the week end.

This week I am loving something that I have looked for for a long time; Book the First: The Bad Beginning from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

image

This is the first book of my absolute favourite childhood series. I have been collecting the stories from second hand stores, because why buy new when you can buy loved? Also, its way cheaper. For example, this one cost me R20 and the condition is relatively good.

The books contain the wonderfully horrible tale of the Baudelaire orphans. I believe wholeheartedly that these books begun my love for really bad endings. There is no clichéd happiness in the last chapter and the books are filled to overflowing with despair and impossible situations, yet the siblings always manage to slip from the grip of their nemesis through ingenuity and a touch of luck.

Not only are they well written; they are beautifully illustrated too. The designs are shaded with a specific hatching pattern that somehow, through the course of reading the 13 books, ingrained itself into my brain. It is a pattern that I doodle all the time. I thought that I had come up with it of my own accord, but as it turns out nothing is truly original!

I recommend this series to anyone who has the ability to read. It is a definite favourite. 

Live your life, not online.

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Last Friday we broke it down and had some serious conversation about the effects of social media on our lives and relationships as Christians. There were some incredible points made, so what else was there to do but put it to a beat box track and rap it out? Here’s what the group of legends that I was part of got together:

‘Don’t wait for media to validate you,
Get it from the on who did create you.

Don’t make comparison
With Kim Kardashian.

Get rid of bitterness
And replace it with forgiveness.

Don’t care about yourself
More than someone else.

Don’t listen to the noise,
Listen to his voice.

Remember to connect,
Or it will have a bad effect.

Wasting time on social media,
You don’t gotta let it feed ya’.

Don’t live your life in isolation,
Connect yourself with this nation.

When you feel like your life isn’t what you want it to be,
Remember; “I am the only me.”

Live your life, Not online.’
(Mic drop)

This was impacted me, and I’m sure many others too. It reminded me that being so connected can leave me so disconnected. It can separate me from God, others, and even myself. I don’t want to let the internet define my relationships. Social media is a fantastic tool, but a terrible master.

Here is to living life, not online.

The beginning of the “Journey” prac.

Yesterday I had a panic moment. I realized I had not yet developed a concept for my art practical that I will be working on for the next four weeks. Like a true procrastinator I sat and had tea with a jumble of people who happened to be at my house, sighing sporadically and explaining the woes of an art student to anyone who asked.

The theme of the impending artwork is “Journey”, and as it was I had no direction for it. I usually spend time developing my concepts and exploring ideas, but I knew I had 24 hours to thumbsuck something worthwhile. After all, this is matric and concept is everything.

One of the women that was at our house having tea was staying with us for the weekend. My mom had met her only a week previously, developing connection with her and her travelling companion. They were on holiday from Germany and needed someone to show them the sights. Unfortunately, there was a traumatic situation and this woman had to separate from her friend and leave South Africa early. She needed a comfortable and safe environment for the weekend, so my mom offered her our spare room.

Someone suggested that I speak to her about her journey. I had a spark of imagination and asked if she would mind being part of my art practical. She obliged and we sat down for an interview. Three and a half A3 pages and over an hour of audio recording later, I knew most of her life story and I was late for church. What an incredible woman! Hearing her speak and visualizing her life inspired me to use her story, her journey, as the focus of my prac.

She has lived through so much and come out so beautifully. She prefers that I do not share anything personal on the internet, so I will respect that. But oh my goodness. Her story leaves me speechless. I am so excited to express the experiences she told me about as I see them in my mind’s eye.

Sometimes procrastination leads to the most wonderful concepts. Most of the time it leads to half-baked ideas.

Fan-girl Friday: Copic markers

Whenever I plan to have any structure on this blog I manage to fail epically.

Not this time! I want to start doing something here called ‘Fan-girl Fridays’. The idea is to share every Friday something that I’m loving, or ‘fan-girling’ over. This will range from new things, to old things and will include writing by other people, books, movies, make-up, pens, music, people, furniture, pictures and much more. If I like it, you will know about it.

So to kick off my first Fan-girl Friday, here’s something I’ve had for a while, but fell in love with yesterday.

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Its my Copic markers! I only have two colours, Light Pink and Pale Cobalt Green, but I love them! Mine are the ‘Ciao’ markers. They create such smooth colour and are perfect for these little illustrations that I have been doing. The one pictured is not one of my best as it was super rushed, but I like it anyway because it captured a piece of my day. The colours go beautifully together and they are super fluid with a tip on each side of the marker; one is like a Highlighter’s shape and the other is a brush shape with a flexible tip. Copic has a wide range of products, so check out their website if you’re interested in what they have to offer.

If you’re arty, into illustrating, enjoy crafting or just appreciate a good marker, you need to give these a shot. I didn’t buy mine for myself, they were a gift from my person, but I think that they are available at the Deckle Edge. They’re on the expensive end of things, but they truly are worth it.