My art journey so far…

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Hi everyone! Story time!

I just filmed a video on my second channel looking back a little bit on my art journey and so I figured I’d make it longer over here!

It all started back in January 2016…

That’s the month I decided to start getting serious about life and start doing the things that I’ve always wanted to do. University was making me miserable and eventually, four months in, it finally pushed me towards where my heart was this whole time.

It’s kind of crazy that I had to wear myself out doing things that I didn’t care about in order to open a door which wasn’t even locked in the first place. In fact, there wasn’t even a door. It was just literally right next to me. I just preferred touching the things that were further away and not even real. All the while being fully aware that it was next to me and that I should have been giving my heart to it and nothing else. It is pretty silly, but I guess sometimes it takes what it takes…

So, I started a blog, I bought a sketchbook and all sorts of art supplies that looked appealing. And it’s also the month I bought my first left-handed guitar and started a healthier music journey.

Here is my very first sketchbook which I bought from a very French shop in Lille:

 

 

And I customized it as best as I could, dressing it up in my favorite people’s favorite quotes. (By the way, these Lynz quotes are like, so important!) And, I swear, everytime I would open it, it felt like I was opening a window on such a bright horizon!

And then, the magic happened…

I still remember the first time I attempted drawing anything, which was in fact, in a different sketchbook, and how it blew me away.

See, the thing is, I had always kept in mind this idea that I was simply really bad at drawing and kind of accepted it as my universal truth. When I decided to get serious at it, I was ready for all the hard work it would take me to get to a fairly decent level because I knew that I was starting really low..

So, when I put my pencil on the page and these happened:

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I couldn’t believe it. At first.

Then, I could totally believe it. And maybe it filled me with a little too much confidence which led to some disappointment when I tried out drawing again the following days and I was not creating masterpieces.

It was only a test to see how well I could follow a simple tutorial, and even my preliminary lines were a perfect match to the tutorial! Which I had certainly not expected since I had never been good at copying things. And I nailed it. So, I expected to nail everything from then on, which of course, was purely a fantasy…

However, from that moment on, I progressed on and on and faster than I ever thought was possible! Things just clicked so easily and I unlocked brand new patience slots every single day, I forgot the meaning of “impossible”!

The amazing thing is that, all the things in the first part of that sketchbook, even the most mediocre sketches are still so many levels higher than what I thought I was capable of at the time! The last time I had actually drawn anything before that was for my highschool drama group and it was far from that quality!

As I said in the video, it’s like my decision to dedicate myself to art pushed open a door from which skills just came pouring out, as if they had been held back this whole time, but never locked away.

I like to joke that it all just fell from the sky and hit me in the face. But I don’t believe this sort of things can happen that way. It had to be here all along, laying silently, patiently, waiting for me to call…

An incomplete tour of that 2016-2018 sketchbook:

 

 

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At the end of it, I wrote a little looking back note, which I read in my video. That was back in last December, which is when I finally finished this sketchbook! Phew!!!!

And that was a big relief, finishing it! Because I started it so long ago and it held with it not only the memories of all the places I went to and carried it with me, but also all of the storms that I had to keep running through. Which is both a good thing and a hard one. But I think that’s what makes it so precious… As you flip the pages, you can see the evolution of both, my mind and art skills. It’s the perfect document of my journey from & through Lille to Ireland.

I’ll hang on to this sketchbook for as long as I can, not because I need a reminder of where I started from so I can fully celebrate my growth, I’m not gonna lie. I think it is mostly because, as much as it hurts, these are parts of the past that I can’t let go of.

At least not yet.

Oh, how I’ve grown!

It started with a spark. Which didn’t come out of nowhere but from the depths of me. And I’ve been burning ever since. Different intensities, different colors. But, burning on!

Here’s a little side by side of “firsts” from that period and latests:

 

Both as an artist and a person, I’m in a much better place now. I am capable of more and willing to try harder. I’m happier and healthier! I’m stronger, more determined, more dedicated and focused. And, man, have you seen my last painting???

The road was long and dark and bumpy to get here. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned a lot about myself and the world. It sure hurt me, but it also forced the best out of me. Gotta learn the hard way when you’re born to be wild! hehehe

Now, I’m looking forward to all that’s to come. All the lessons and the learning. The new skills and the acquisition of all the knowledge. The creations and discoveries. The people and the things. The places and the moments. The smiles and the tears.

I’m grateful for all that’s past and all that is present. And I’m looking forward to more life.

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Literally best selfie of the day. He he. Looking forward!

And, I think that’s it! Proud of my progress and looking forward to more! Because there’s nothing like getting more and more comfortable in your own little universe. Being able to fly freely-ish in my music and art is a big goal! 😉

Until next post, keep working and keep believing! ❤

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Untitled acrylic painting, 05.21.18

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Needed some practice before I start working on my mom’s and brother’s birthday presents. I haven’t painted anything since E’s b-day present!! So, I’m a little rusty and I want my family’s paintings to be as good as it gets!

So, I painted this, on a piece of cardboard:

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I originally intended it to be orientated “upside down” so that it would look like the blue flowers shed their leaves into the fire. But after thought, I realized it would be perfect the other way around! Anyways, here’s some details:

I am so proud of it, honestly! It came out a little messy since I didn’t plan anything, and so my layering was a little “nonsense”, as Emily&Adam like to put it. But the colors are so vibrant and the story it tells is subtle enough that it doesn’t refrain you from enjoying the vibrant colors!!

Yay 😀

Dry Mouth (Original Song)

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Here’s a song I wrote a couple of weeks ago about not being able to write songs:

My voice had some trouble coming out (you should have heard me warming up… a disaster! hehe) and my fingers had forgotten how to dance, but in my opinion, this is still pretty decent. Especially with the huge lack of practice + unhealthy amount of caffeine in my body!

I will be recording a better video next week, but for now that’ll be it! I’ve just been dying to share it, and after those long four days of break, I was bursting to share it.

The ending still needs some work. Which, of course, you can’t really tell since I mess it up in this video, haha! But overall, I think this is a really good song. I love the melody and how the chorus picks up.

I think it accurately describes my frustration and this longing… I just want to create but, sometimes it just won’t happen, and it kills me because this is how I breathe. And like I have mentioned, I do have loads of song ideas, drafts and things to say; but it won’t come out.

And I think it is funny how this song literally dropped out of my mouth while I was crying about not being able to finish the others. It’s almost the exact same story as when I wrote Dead Pen a couple of years back!

Round in circles…

Anyways, I don’t have time to chat right now! I must work on my Italian now and then finish working on special presents for E!

Here are the words that did come out:

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say
It’s just that my words have left me
It’s not that my heart isn’t broken
It’s just that my mouth is dry

I’ve been waiting for so long
For the words to fall right out
But my guts refuse to bleed
So I’ll just have to wait here

I hear my voice but I don’t know who she is
I write down words but they mean nothing to me
I stab my own heart but the blood it won’t come out
It’s just like my soul is dry

I’ve been waiting for so long
For my hands to dance freely
My fingers refuse to bleed
So I’ll just have to wait…

I’ll wait forever if I have to
It’s nothing without me, I’m nothing without this
I’ll wait…
I just don’t wanna fade..

I’ve been waiting for so long
For my voice to burst right out
But my heart it just won’t show
So I’ll just have to wait.

Hard working rhymes with self-loving!

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Last week I took a break. Tried. And it was really hard.

But during the last few hours of it, I eventually had a breakthrough. And now I’m back on the road, at a slow walking pace, trying to catch up with the image of who I’m trying to be.

These four days were intended to be a “mental health break”, where I would let go of all the necessary and unnecessary pressure, and focus on feeling good. Relax, as Esther likes to say it. It was supposed to calm me down and help me find my way again. Kind of like a “spring cleaning” of my mind, sorta???

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It was hard to step away from work! Simply because “work” literally consists of all I’m passionate about. And also, it wasn’t easy to ignore the loud voice that always goes: “you gotta work harder or you’ll never get there on time”; ‘on time’ referring to my time, as in whenever I’m scheduled to die.

I had to resist the cravings to open up my books or pick up pens or bring out my guitar. And, at first, it was the hardest I had ever had to try not to do work!

But eventually, my body settled into a more relaxed, as in lazy, mode of life — which I actually used to be very used to, years ago.. And so I had four days that were very different from whatever lifestyle I had settled into ever since I got here.

Although they didn’t bring me the peace I expected, they really helped my sanity and body. I did loads of walking and watched loads of my favorite shows, and, most importantly, I let go of some of the pressure.

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If you know me, you know I’m not one to take breaks, and certainly not long ones.. But I’ve just been so stressed out these past few weeks that I had to do something about it. What motivated me to take action was that the small breakdowns just kept happening and it was both draining and frustrating.

Anything would be enough to make me feel defeated and get me on the floor. And it made it so hard for me to go through each day, accumulating disappointment and frustration. All I wanted was to make some progress, get things done and get better at everything. But I only got the opposite and it was down right irritating.

It created this crippling fear in me with the daily anticipation for the small struggles, disappointment and I-want-to-bang-my-head-on-the-wall’s. Every little thing felt a thousand times bigger and it weighed on my back, which was bending too much I was scared it’d break.

The last straw was fucking up my guitar restringing… I felt so heavy when I realized I fucked up. It was the most defeated I had been in a long while. I wanted to give up on everything!

And the thing is that I instantly knew why it made me feel that way. Which doesn’t happen all the time! You know, sometimes you need time to cool down and think back on a breakdown to realize which cat pushed the vase off the table and how that is why your foot is bleeding. what the hell did I just write

One, because I was so stressed out that anything that would come in the way of my work and “jeopardize” my progression towards my goals would freak me out. And two, because I was utterly disappointed in myself for failing at doing something I thought I was good at.

I mean, this was changing the strings on my guitar. Musician 101. And I thought that, even though I still don’t have that much experience, I could actually handle it and do a decent job on my own. It was kind of a slap in the face. Very small. But it was enough to throw me off my foot stool (which, with the edge of my bed, constitute my desk, aka working space, ha ha)… A small mistake, which can easily be fixed, and my whole career was annihilated!

And that was it, the moment I knew that I had to step away from it all before I would completely lose my marbles.

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I was overwhelmed that even breathing was too stressful

Now, I think that the reason that this happened is because I do not ever take real breaks. Small ones. And so I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing… And eventually, the tiredness and pressure accumulates and I only realize that I should stop and take care of myself when I’m so close to breaking. (Which is not that bad a thing! At least I know when to stop!)

I gotta work on that. I am working on it, as a matter of fact! I think I am finally starting to learn how to learn from my mistakes! Hip, hip, hooray!

I am thinking in a healthier way now, including breaks in my routines and allowing fun activities to relax in between the grind.

When I read what I just typed, I realized how silly it sounds. But my head is literally so focused on what is to come out of it, that sometimes I forget myself completely in my hardworking ways. And so I have to remind myself that I am a person behind all of those dreams and goals, that I have to take care of myself because without me, there is no me.

There you go, I made it even sillier! 😉

But what I mean is that I am at the bottom of it all, the foundation of the dreams. Healthy body, healthy mind. All of that. I sometimes get so absorbed by the idea of hard work that I neglect myself which is a big issue that I must work on fixing for the sake of all. If I can’t stand, nobody will drag me to the other side of the mountains and then nothing will be possible anymore.

There’s only one door to all possibilities and that’s me.

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I gotta take better care of myself for I am the only one that can turn my dreams into reality.

This is a hard concept for me to comply with because, like I said, the over-achieving-hard-working-gotta-make-it-happen part of me always gets the upper hand. And that hand is a hard ruling one; an imperious one, dare I say! And that little dictator has that unhealthy way of correlating “fun” with “slacking off”… So, I guess that is why it is hard for me to learn that working hard doesn’t mean “always beating yourself up and neglecting the poor little human that you are”.

You know, people always say “Don’t let them kill your spark!”. But I think that what we should say is “Don’t beat the dreams out of yourself!”. Have I said that before? (yes) Because sometimes, by dreaming too hard, we kill our own fire. And that’s one of the things I kept telling myself during these four days, this is not what music is all about.

I have been too overwhelmed lately. Not just by work. Although, it is part of the problem. There’s been too much tension and frustration. And I was feeling miserable. Which is definitely NOT what art is all about.

Art is my safe place. It feels good and it makes me feel alive. And it should always feel that way. But I let my demons eat away at me again and I let them go too close to the fire and they got a bite out of my dreams..

But I’m bouncing back up now!

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My break didn’t really relax me. If anything, it stressed me out some more. I was just trying so hard not be stressed out at first, that I got overwhelmed. Took me a while to find back the “easy going” way.

But it made me remember something…

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I don’t exactly remember it, but I know I mentioned it in several posts last year, because that’s when this new point of view came and changed my life. And this, my friends, is a very crucial key for me to keep moving through life. Don’t let the fear paralyze you; instead, let it fuel you. Work through it. Work through the storm! Not because you’re scared means you shouldn’t even try.

And I realized that, lately, I had let the fear eat me up and this is not okay.

It’s time to kick those demons in the ass again, remind them where they belong. I know they can’t leave, and I’m kind of fine with them staying; that’s not what I’m asking. What  I demand is that they stay put in their place. I am in charge. They are tied to the tree while am roaming free!

So, I am ready to get my shit back together now. We’re two days after the end of my short break and I’ve been doing okay. I’ve been really nice to myself and letting it happen. I’ve not been pushing too much and my head is up. I’m doing my best!

I am happy because I know that I can count on me and knowing what I know about me, I’m glad to know that I’ve got my back. I know this is weirdly-phrased but what I mean is that it feels good to be able to trust yourself like this and know that you are enough, you’ve got all it takes to provide for yourself on this crazy adventure!

Now, this is a long post like we hadn’t seen in a while, ain’t it? I’m glad I got all of this out! I am so ready for a more self-loving hard-working life and I can’t wait for you guys to hear the new songs! Also, there will be paintings soon with my mom and brother’s birthdays coming in June!

Plus a special little BIG news…. hehe

Until next post, remember to be kind to you and to everyone else and do not let fear stop you! Coexist with your own storm(s?)! ❤

There’s nothing that I can’t do.

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I had a lovely weekend with Esther. Of course. Once more. I wish there could be many many more but, soon these won’t be a thing anymore and I’m gonna miss them! We had our usual hanging around on Saturday and on Sunday we studied (different things) together. It just feels so nice to have someone to share the little things with, someone that never fails to bring a smile to your face. Much love!

Anyway! Yesterday I posted video on my second channel, saying how proud and reassured I was. Indeed, on both Saturday and Sunday, before I met with E, I did a couple of things on my own, many of them who I’ve known to be anxiety triggers. But I did them, without a sweat, or almost, and it felt really good!

Like I stated in the video, lately, I had grown scared that I had lost all ability to things on my own again, as the storm has been messing with me again. I had had a couple tiny anxiety fits lately, even in the presence of E and in friendly environments. And this, along with the fact that I could feel my dependence to my friend, had led me to think that I couldn’t do anything anymore and that I was, in fact, doomed.

And so, on these two days, I set up tests for myself, and, I passed them all! With flying colors! Not only did I go and buy some guitar strings or go at a café alone, I interacted non-awkwardly with the cashiers and baristas, and I was pretty cool. From my point of view at least. And you see, that is the thing…

What the storm does, aside from eating up from within, is make me forget who I am and the things that I can do. Because, at the core, I am a pretty smooth talker that knows how to get her way, but because of all those years spent under the control of my own demons, I’ve forgotten my own ways.

This is not who I am. I’m not a scared, shy little girl. I am strong, funny, clever and unafraid. And that’s what this weekend was a reminder of:

I am the fire!

And there’s nothing that I can’t do once I set my mind to it! And, what the storm thought it had destroyed, I am getting it back, and there’s no stopping me!

I know I sound dramatic, as per usual, but I truly thought that some things I had lost forever in that familiar darkness. But I was wrong. The power is in my hands, and I get to decide what stays and what doesn’t. I choose. I build. I destroy. I am not the storm’s puppet, nor is it truly my enemy either.

This weekend, I proved to myself that I still got it, the strength, the will; everything. And today, it only got better!

Today, I walked to the city, then went to buy some acrylic yarn for my sister, and then I went to my favorite coffee shop to study some music theory. And, eventually, I took one more coffee which I drank on my way back home, walking once more. AND I was alone the whole time!

Sure, at first I was on the phone with my sister, which did help a lot. And then, my first thirty minutes in the café, I was shaking a little. But I was on the field, nonetheless, and I did not once chickened out!

I went, I stayed and I worked through the very minuscule anxiety waves pulsing through me. And I did it! I even managed to go to the bathroom, which is a really HARD thing for me to do, unless it’s like a public bathroom in a shopping center (….don’t ask, I don’t even know! ). And I did it all. I was shaking a little, and all of that. But I did those huge things on my own, and it makes me so happy.

Now, I’m exhausted, but happy!

I did loads of walking and not enough of eating. And also, the little bit of anxiety still took a lot of energy from me. But I am happy! Happy that I did things and happy with the little rewards that the Universe scattered on my way.

I got so many surprises today and I just don’t know what to say. It was little things, like, you know, a dog smiling at me or my mp3 playing exactly a song I wanted to hear. And, it was silly little things, that I desired to happen which happened and left me shocked and thrilled. It was sweet little rewards that felt like a warm hug, saying “I’m proud of you for trying and succeeding; you’ll get there”. And it was comforting.

Still, on my way back home, I stopped in a shop, feeling the need to reward myself with a new dress or something. But the need faded quickly and walked out of it, empty-handed. However, the Universe, in Its infinite generosity wasn’t done sending love my way! When I got home, I checked Instagram, only to find out that the fifth season of Arrested Development is coming this 29th on Netflix. And I am ALIVE again!

I feel so good…

IMG_20180507_185303_710.jpg These were such empowering days! I had let fear feed of me instead of using at a fuel, as I usually would, and that led me to forget how bright I can actually burn! But, I guess that the fighter in me had had enough and finally gave me that little jolt, for me to go out there and find out for myself, that, yes, indeed, I’m still good.

Also, today, I got to taste some sweet little surprises which filled me with both, hope and inspiration!

I’m really tired now so I am simply going to lie in bed and watch something! I did finish my music theory chapter today, so I don’t have to worry about doing more work. I can just sit back and relax, and pat myself on the back over how I’m a big girl!

I will publish an original song over the course of this week. So, look forward to that! Also, probably another video on channel #2 at some point; I want to be more active on there also because it feels good to speak out some things! And, hopefully, some art too!

Until next post, remember…

When there’s no one else, look inside yourself

Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within

Then you’ll find the strength that will guide your way

You’ve got this! You can do anything; you’ll get there! ❤

Calendoodles || Your year at a glance

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Hi, everyone! Welcome to a post I’m really excited to share!

(I’ve made a video about it already, if you haven’t seen it, click here! And, if you come from the video, why, hello there and welcome to my blog!)

Today, I’m going to introduce you to a thing that I like to call Calendoodles which is an art project that I started at the beginning of this year.

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Calendoodles!

Calendoodles is the fusion of a calendar & doodles. The idea came from my need for a year-at-a-glance type of thing that could both document my journey and also look pretty cool on a wall.

I actually wrongly stated in the video that it was before I started a bullet journal, which is in fact, not true, since I started my bujo in November. Just a little side note.

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My intention was to use a much bigger format.

In my head, I pictured it as a huge poster on a wall of my room, that I would fill in every single day, and it would be that cool thing to look at every night before sleeping and thinking, “Wow, I’m so alive!” It would literally be an overview of the year, small enough to fit on a wall, yet big enough to mimic a year’s gone.

However, as I still live with my host parents, I resorted to something much smaller than I had in mind. So, I settled for an A5 format, and stuck three pages from my sketchbook together.

I found that using this format was a little constricting sometimes as the boxes can feel too small and therefore kind of limit my creativity. But it still works for me, and since I can fold it and put it in my sketchbook, it is portable, which is pretty cool in the end!

A doodle a day!

The concept is pretty simple: for each day that goes by, you doodle a thing that either represents events of that day or your emotions on that particular day.

Now, as you go, you might find, like I did, that sometimes it feels better to fit two or more days into a single box. Not because of lack of space, but because life isn’t as constant and organized as a calendar, and sometimes days melt together, no matter the amount of dusk and dawns.

And that is literally all there is to it. A doodle a day, to keep a creative representation of your year.

I can show you a close up on some of my days, if you’re curious.

I can go from drawing every single thing that happened to just key things. I can also draw metaphors or jokes to sum up a day. Or, sometimes, I might draw a simple icon to show the theme of the day: for example, an empty battery on a day I was exhausted(although that surely wasn’t the only thing that I was/did on that day.)

Sometimes I don’t draw anything, I just put a color to represent how I was feeling that day/how that day felt, or simply the main color that the memory of that day is painted with.

Rarely do I use words, because that’s the opposite of what this is about. But, sometimes, I did get lazy with the creativity and other times, it just had to be words.

And, of course, let’s not forget to put the date!! Ha ha

What’s the point, though?

It is an aesthetic and creative way to have glance at your year as you go. Also, I think there’s also something very satisfying about filling boxes; or maybe that’s just me.

As silly as it can seem, I think it is a very helpful tool.

I was talking about it earlier on the phone with my sister and she told me “but you can’t remember everything that happened”, to which I answered, ” yeah….”. I realize that! And sometimes when I look back at some doodles I’m puzzled because, one, they’re so cryptic I can’t decode the message (haha), and two, I just don’t remember the day at all because it wasn’t anything too big so it’s stored in the very depths of my memory which I cannot reach on demand if ever.

But calendoodling isn’t about remembering the days strictly speaking, rather not forgetting where you’ve been. You might not remember what every day has been made of, but when you take two steps back and you look at your year overview on those sheets of paper, (and it’s the middle of may and you’re having an existential life crisis wondering where has your time gone, what is your life), and you see all those little boxes, each for a day that you’ve lived through and accomplished, if not basic tasks or bigger ones, to walk forward into another one and another one and another..

Calendoodles help me remember life, the bigger picture. They show baby steps and bigger ones. They show simple days and empty ones. And they simply show that I kept going and I keep going. They serve as a reminder that I have lived and they help document my journey as I go.

It’s all about the little things that create the bigger picture.

Will you join me?

So, that’s Calendoodles !

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By sharing this, I hope I can get some of you jump on the Calendoodle train so we can all be calendoodling together all over the world!

So, if you too wish to capture your days in small boxes and be able to look back at your year and see the many waves of your life as it moves forward, then you are more than welcome to start your own Calendoodle!

Now, keep in mind though that, this is a personal project, so you do as you please. Whatever you wanna do works. The only rule is a doodle a day, and even that rule can be broken!!

So, I hope you get even more creative with your calendar and your doodles and find more ways to make this thing more awesome and more fitted to your personality, creativity and needs!

If you do decide to start calendoodling your life, then please, let me know, either by using the hashtag #calendoodle or tagging me in pictures/posts/videos/etc. I’d love to see what your versions of it look like and hear your stories!

That’s it for me! What an exciting post to write!

I can’t lie, I’m really proud to have come up with a thing, and I hope we can share it together and be calen-buddies!

Happy doodles! ❤