Saturday, 18 August 2018

"It was beautiful magic, wondrous to behold..."

For those who know me well, it's not a secret that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. Although I much prefer reading the books, I also love watching the movies regularly because the visual world of Harry Potter is amazing and I always found that it's represented really well in them (with a few exceptions of course).

Actually, my only request to Jason last Christmas was to get the box set of all the Harry Potter movies so that I could watch them properly and whenever I wanted (my family has all the DVDs but they stayed at my parents). He went on and offered me the set of blu-rays with all the bonuses you could dream of (heart eyes). So from time to time, I watch them again but in random orders as my two favourites are the third and sixth (Prisoner of Askaban and the Half-Blood Prince). I know it's not the right way to do it but honestly, I'm 29 now and I do what I want, never mind if it doesn't make much sense!

The other day I was watching (for the hundredth time I guess) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and during the scene when Slughorn talks to Harry about his pet fish which was a gift from Lily, I felt inspired to recreate the transformation of the lily petal into a fish. I'm by no means an animator and my experience with gifs is not amazing, but I thought I should try and give it a go. It was also mostly to see if I could translate the idea I had in my head and I was curious to see how it would turn out.

Last Friday afternoon, I went on and started the first illustration with the lily petal just sitting on the water. Then, and with a bit of help from Jason, I slowly created the 26 illustrations that actually make the gif. I know it's not much and not ground-breaking at all, but I'm very proud of it as I very rarely work on personal projects and I was super pleased to have managed to do something just for me that I'm proud of.

The day after, I was told that my grandmother on my dad's side had passed away. She'd been ill for a very long time and turned 91 in July this year, but it was still a shock and a very hard time for me and my family. On the day of her funeral, I thought about this animation that I created just before her passing and I felt that strangely, it was quite fitting with this sad time and decided to use it on social media to mention the heart-breaking news to everyone.

It made me think about how sometimes art, and overall just creating something, has different meanings and can be seen and felt differently depending on the mindset you're in and what is happening in your life at that moment.

On Friday, I saw it as a cool animation that represent the magic of a beautiful moment, and a couple days after, I saw it as this sad but poetic tribute to a wonderful piece of magic that vanished when Lily was killed by Voldemort.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Memories from Riantec

Last Saturday we thought we would explore one of the local coastal towns just to walk around, get some fresh air, and enjoy the sun. Riantec was really nice, but there was literally almost no one around due to the heat! I have to admit, I love some hot sunny weather, but it was such a humid heat that I thought I was going to melt at one point!

We parked in the town centre and headed towards île de Kenner, which was really beautiful. What you can see in the background is the Gâvres peninsula, another nice place to visit (see previous post here)!

We enjoyed every brief gust of wind that we got and carried on walking on the coast until it was time to have a break and get something to drink because you know, wouldn't want to go all dehydrated, and also because my tongue was like sand paper haha.

It was just nice and relaxing, exactly what we needed. Time outside the house to reflect on our everyday life, our plans and things happening very soon. We still can't believe we're getting married next month! It's all coming very fast and it's super exciting. We're trying to figure out what we're going to do and see for our week off after the wedding and I think we're really going to enjoy it! We'll be staying in Bretagne but will visit places that Jason hasn't seen yet.

Make sure to follow along on my Instagram!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Wallpaper Giveaway - You got this

Ok, we're well into August now and I've just realised that I haven't done a wallpaper giveaway since May (insert shocked emoji face)! I wanted to carry on with inspirational words that can give you the motivation you need with whatever is going on in your life and I thought about this quote that comes up quite regularly online: You got this.

In times when I feel overwhelmed and focus too much on negative thoughts, I always try to take a step back and look at it all in another way. I've mentioned it before in this blog, but it's been quite a few years now that I'm really working on focusing on the positive in my life. Sometimes I tell myself that everything will be alright in the end (see previous wallpaper giveaway here) but sometimes I feel that I just need my confidence back. No more doubts, no more "Am I ever going to manage?", just that determined feeling of being in control of what you're doing and undertaking.

So there you go, my way of seeing it all is to concentrate on the cool things around you and things that you love. A cat, some nice weather and cake are three of my favourite things so I had to include them in the artwork! Not to mention pastelly colours and cutesy little stars :)

I hope this one will inspire you too!

These wallpapers are free as usual but I would just like to remind people that they're only for personal use, thank you :)


Saturday, 28 July 2018

Birthday weekend in Belle-île-en-Mer

I visited Belle-ile-en-Mer quite a few times when I was a teenager as I was really lucky to have a best friend, Marion, who's family had a small boat which her dad built himself (I say small but really, it was big enough to have quite a few people sleeping in it and it had a proper lounge area which felt very luxurious to me!). We used to go there in the Summer as she had some family still living on the island and I have very fond memories of these trips. I can safely say that these were the good times and I loved every minute of it (although I was always a bit seasick the first day haha).

The island is as beautiful as I remember and Jason and I were lucky enough to visit when the weather was A-MA-ZING. More photos below!

We stayed in Quiberon the night of my birthday and had a loooovely meal at Ty Retro, a great Crêperie in the town centre. I honestly don't remember the last time I ate such a tasty savoury galette!

In the morning, we made sure to wake up early enough to get a quick coffee before getting on the boat. I took a couple of photos of the coast of Quiberon (above), it felt nice and peaceful early in the day with almost nobody around.

It takes 45mins to get to Belle-île by boat and the time went actually quite fast. I'm not great with boats so I felt a little bit rough at the end but the moment I was on the ground I was fine. Can't tell if it's just psychologic?!

My sister's boyfriend got us a Wonderbox voucher for Christmas and we chose to use it for a small meal at the Citadelle Vauban. We were also given the permission to roam around after our meal and it was just perfect. I mean, first, delicious pâtisseries on a terrasse with a view of the sea for breakfast is a great birthday treat, and secondly, being able to then explore this beautiful place for free was the cherry on the cake!

I felt very lucky to be there and enjoy a day off for my birthday with my man. We don't have much and we haven't really been able to travel as much (and as far!) as we've wanted to, but sometimes, you don't need to go very far to have the best of times :)

I forgot how colourful the buildings at the Palais (the port area) were and it was nice to try and remember certain places. Things have changed quite a bit since I was last there but I did remember the green area just after the port with the old fortress walls, and I also remembered instantly that beach when we arrived!

In the afternoon we just wanted to relax so we walked to the nearest beach and stayed there until we had to take the boat back. The water was so clear and it was so stunning that we almost forgot we were in Bretagne ;). We found a spot in the shade and enjoyed hearing some old ladies gathering and gossiping whilst sunbathing. It must be nice to be retired there! Such a nice peaceful place to live in.

We promised ourselves to go back another time to explore more of the rest of the island. Jason couldn't believe that one of the small towns is called "Bangor"! If any of you reading this are considering visiting Bretagne, don't hesitate to spend a day or two in Belle-île-en-Mer :)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Back to Medieval Times! (kind of...)

We heard about the Medieval Festival whilst exploring the historic town of Josselin for the first time, and although we had a good look at their website to know roughly what would be happening at the event, we weren't too sure what to expect (I think I'm too used to events promising to be amazing and in the end being a bit disappointed)! But, this one was great!

The weather was lovely, there was so much to see and do from 10am to 7pm and we loved the way that the whole town had been transformed to feel more medieval. We were surprised at the amount of people that dressed up for the occasion too! We told ourselves that if we're going back next year, we should go dressed up too. I can see myself as some kind of Joan of Arc. I mean, my name is Chevalier (Knight in English) so it would fit me well, right?!

How can you not like this town?! The atmosphere was so good and the people were lovely. There were loads of artisanal stalls and all the cafés and restaurants were open, offering local food and beer. What more could you ask for? We could see how hard the people organising this event worked and it felt good to be a part of it.

We went back to the castle as the garden was opened to visitors for the occasion and it felt almost like we were discovering it all over again because this time it was super sunny! I mean, the view wasn't the same at all a couple of weeks back (see the previous post here). I miss North Wales but I have to say, we're definitely lucky to live in this beautiful part of France :)

We packed a picnic for lunch (trying to save some money), and we found this little peaceful island in the middle of a river, not far from where we parked to enjoy it. A few other families had the same idea as us and it was great to enjoy our food somewhere else than in the busy town centre with all the festivities.

We quickly realised that they were a bit loose with the term 'medieval' as they had many different performances and shows that were more on the fantasy side. There were orcs, weird viking people and we even saw a vampire circa Brad Pitt in "Interview with a Vampire" haha. However, it was great fun and in the end it didn't even shock us.

The highlights were definitely the groups dancing around town and the bird of prey show. Everybody sat down so that the birds could swoop just above our heads and it felt very special. I tried taking photos but it's never easy with birds! Also, there was always some music around which put us in a good mood.

Being the 14th of July (French national day, or Bastille Day as a lot of people call it), they planned some fireworks at 11pm so we stayed up until the end so that we didn't miss it! It was a really good display to be honest and they had some music in the background to go along with the different themes so even though I was a bit cold, it was really nice!

I'm now getting ready for my long weekend to celebrate my birthday and I'm super excited to spend it with Jason for a couple of days first, and then my parents for the rest of the weekend :)