2016 felt like it was the year of mezcal. It took the spotlight and held on tight. And I sure am thrilled. But, just because it appeared to be the shining star of 2016 doesn’t mean I’m letting it sneak away that easily. In fact, mezcal’s become my go-to all-weather spirit. It’s refreshing in the summer in some strange way (like tequila! So, mostly when paired with fresh fruit…), and warming in the winter thanks to its intense smoky flavor. Now add in a touch of sweetness and you’ve got me hooked

Sweet and spicy is a favorite duo that I’ll simple never tire of, and this Honey & Smoke cocktail is like a new, richer, take on that. Chipotle chocolate? Uhm, yes please. Grapefruit Jalapeño popsicles? I’m in. I think you get the picture.

– A post in collaboration with by Gabriella

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Honey & Smoke Recipe

 

Mezcal can be quite harsh, so pairing it with the honey simple syrup and lime juice help tame it the right amount. It doesn’t lose its flavor, but rather it’s enhanced with the slight sweetness of the honey. In fact, if you can get your hands on some floral or fruity honey, give it a go! I bet it’d be downright delicious.

What are some of your other favorite sweet & spicy, or dare I say smoky, snacks and cocktails?

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HoneySmoke-Illustration-by-Cocorrina

Ingredients

For the cocktail:

1 part honey simple syrup

2 parts mezcal

2 parts ginger beer

Juice from 1/2 lime

For the honey simple syrup:

1 part honey

1 part water

 

Instructions

 

Make the honey simple syrup:

Boil water and pour over honey. Whisk to combine.

Make the cocktail:

Combine simple syrup, mezcal, and lime juice in tumbler.

 Shake for 10 seconds.

Pour over ice and top with ginger beer.

Garnish with lime slice.

*Optional glass garnish: Salt rim of glass with Jalapeño salt or sea salt.

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Lately, i’ve come to realise that every season i am in need of change. Mostly when it comes to my routine and the things that work for me in my daily life. If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll remember my previous posts and updates on the different ways i’ve kept myself happy and sane ever since i started freelancing. I’m not going to say that what we do is the most difficult job in the world – in fact, it’s a lot of people’s dream! But, i’m sure you will agree with me when i say that it’s most definitely tricky to keep yourself in balance.

Which is why every now and then, i like to spice up my daily 9-5, in order to keep the creative juices flowing and avoid burning myself. At the beginning of the year, i focused on changes that would a. make me feeling fresher and b. make me more creative. Here are a few of the major things i changed.

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MY personal Creative day

Boy do i love this one! It wasn’t easy to incorporate an addition to the weekend day off from client project, but i just went with it. There were so many personal project that i just didn’t have to the time to work on. The Courses, my sticker apps, the shop, all were postponed from day to day, until i had to be completely honest with myself. There wouldn’t be any free time handed to me, unless i made room for it.

 

At first, i thought this would create a complete chaos, but surprisingly things haven’t changed at all. I still got plenty of time for client projects and something to look for in the week. A whole day, to work on anything i want and most importantly, investing on my business and creativity.

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Redefining personal style

Not quite sure if that’s because i’m such an ocd freak, and maybe not a lot of creatives are doing this. But whenever i find myself in a dark place or feel like like the wind is blowing and i need to change, i go back to my drawing board and start defining what i love. What has been difficult for me over the years is to create one thing, or perhaps, have just one distinctive style. Because i simply freakin love all kinds of design and styles. So what i usually ask myself is: “What kind of design / visuals / make my heart skip?” For that, i will use Pinterest. Scrolling down my pins, i will set aside the pins that literally blow my mind and i feel connected with.

Once i’ve had enough, i’ll start writing key words and what makes each visual so special to me. Is it the colours, the style, the meaning? After spending on this a whole day last week, i’ve come to realise that i connect quite a lot with the concept “witch”. The key words i’ve written down (yes on my notebook) where: mystical, natural, dark, geometry, etherial, crystals, natural, folk, cats, 1920’s. And honestly, i don’t know why i hadn’t realised this before, but these are all the things that fuel my inspiration. So, i naturally created a new board and named it “The Season of the Witch” in order to store somewhere all the things i find inspiring, from photography, to colours, mood and illustrations.

A journal or two

I gave up writing on a calendar or keeping a notebook about two years now. It was time for me to embrace the age of technology and i’ve been using all things digital ever since. Quite frankly, i don’t miss it at all. I have everything i need in my phone at all times whether i’m carrying my bag or not.

What iPhone notes do can’t help me with however, is storing all the creative ideas in my mind somewhere. For about a year i kept notes and descriptions of concepts in my Notes, but never found it inspiring to look back at them and actually bring these concepts to life.

First of January, i grabbed my moroccan notebook (lucky me!) and turned it into a sketching journal. What i happily discovered, was that i ended up having even more ideas, and roughly sketching them makes me even more motivated to bring them to life. So yup kids, no matter how many digital notebooks you can download, nothing is like the real thing. Sketching on a journal makes you more inspired and more creative.

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It’s never too late to learn

You might have noticed my new obsession with illustration, right? Well, i intend to build a little more on that! My first projects include a few artwork illustrations for Jason’s nursery and hopefully will evolve them into something interesting for my shop. The thing about creating new skills is that you find more mediums to express your imagination, and that my friends is wonderful! I haven’t picked up a specific course, just going with what my gut says and lots of practise and patience. There are a few tricks however on how work with illustration even if you have no idea how to draw. I’m thinking of turning this into a mini tutorial / course once i take my maternity break.

There will be loads of time then for me to focus on all the wonderful things i have to share with you!

Aside from illustrating, i’m planning to subscribe to a few podcasts, and take a few online courses myself. One that i’ve been very interested in was Melyssa’s Pinterest course. It’s so refreshing to see things from a different perspective and hear a different option. Makes you eager for a change, as well as learn a thing or two about what you thought you thought you already new.

This piece has been sitting on my desktop since last week and waiting to be finished. It’s my second attempt to illustrating with reference (birds of paradise in particular for this one) and i can say it’s my newest obsession!

Pink Martini music on, brush strokes on brush strokes and a little bit of sunshine, made this morning magical. Ever since the year changed, i decided to make a few more changes in my life and daily routine, that i’ll be sharing on tomorrows post with you. One of the things i focused on, was to concentrate a little bit more on the things i love designing, and what makes my heart skip a bit. It’s so easy to get distracted as a creative with all the trends, and with what’s “in”. So i went back to the beginning and discovered that i need a little bit more magic in my creative life.

So here it is, my first, close to my heart personal piece for this year. I kinda have this thing with birds now, and as always golds, stars and moons. You can see a little of the making of, of this piece on my Instagram stories today too! Lots and lots of brush strokes to create these feathers. I know you’ve been asking for more process, so i’ll do my best to update there my daily works.

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Download here

Night Version

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Pattern: 1920×1080 | 2880X1800

 

Day Version

Solo Bird: 1920×1080 | 2880X1800

 

*for personal use only

We’ve been patiently waiting all winter for the first snowfall and this weekend, our wish was granted! But, things got even better, when we woke up to a snowy island Saturday morning. As far as i know, there hasn’t been so much snow everywhere (besides the mountain) since 2006. It was pure magic! You might have caught a glimpse on my Instagram stories, our yard and pretty much every inch on the island was covered in white fluffy powder.

It was close to impossible to limit myself to just a few pictures for this post, but rest assured i’m posting the most precious ones. Bella, was the lucky one who got a good 80% of the shots in my camera – she’ll be forever my muse. No one was happier to walk on the mountain on Sunday morning than her. She run around with her crazy eyes, stuffing her nose into the snow and peeing every other step.

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And! My little bump is finally making a short appearance over here. I started taking weekly bump pictures just last Tuesday, as it you couldn’t quite tell i was pregnant before that. Finally the baby is starting to show a little, still teeny tiny! Wish i could wear a more elegant / chic outfit on our fancy trip, but as my husband says “safety first” lol which is why i’m dressed like a 7 year old.

 

We’ll be going back up next week and hopefully will get to see more of that. A log cabin in the woods, with a massive fireplace is all i’m dreaming right now.

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Last month i got the chance to work with a very lovely lady and writer. I got pretty lucky and already ready her incredible book of poetry and was entirely inspired by her emotions for this book design.

We wanted to show they beauty from the inside, the emotions, and the connection to water. I had so much fun creating all kinds of different hairstyles with the water pieces (you can see 3 in this post). What i loved most about this one, is how effortlessly it was easy for me to create and how much we connected with Cate straight from the start. I’ve never worked in collage style portrait before, which is why this was even more exciting!

The final design we’re going with, is the image where you can see both sides of the book, with the black hair waves.

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Hope you all enjoyed an extraordinary new year’s weekend and ready for a seriously awesome new year! We’ve got so much to wait for in this one. As days go by, we cannot wait to meet our little one in May, i already find myself thinking how summer and life here will be with a little baby. You know, seven was always my favourite number -it’s a lucky one after all right?- So i do have a good feeling for this year!

I’ve prepared two super minimal January wallpapers for you. Was aiming for a calendar feel, with some texture and decayed gold. You can download the two versions right below. The first one, i’ve already had for a few days, it kinda feels nice to have this calendar as a reminder for the very first month of the year.

January Wallpaper with lines

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January Wallpaper with circles

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Happy 2017 dear friends!! Stepping by quickly to wish you all the best for a wonderful brand new start! First day and i dare to say it feels amazing! We spent our morning spreading glitter while making this little gif and still cannot take it off. Now that’s a glittery start right?

 

New Year’s Eve, was probably one of the best yet! Happiness, love and our friends surrounded us. A delicious meal, a little bit of wine, conversations and game. And the best of all, a little baby kicking in my belly reminding us that we weren’t alone! My heart is full, and i truly hope you’re feeling the positivity in the air for 2017!

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