26 April 2013

Renew and Move Forward

This post is written by contributing author Anabel Bouza.

It is April, and the season is picking up its pace around here. The birds have calmed down some, but a few weeks back they were still tweeting – almost hysterically – in every tree, making me feel energized and inadequate at once:

You see, while the world was frantically renewing itself, I just sat there, still in my end-of-winter stupor. 

If you live in an area where spring is even noticeable, you probably know that it can be very brief; before you know it, summer has set in. My feeling of inadequacy came from knowing that this vernal spur goes as fast as it comes, and that I was wasting time by not tapping in to this resource to help me move forward.
Renew and Move Forward
Illustration by Anabel Bouza
Every year I take a page from nature's book, and see spring as the Go sign to reinvent myself. 

Nothing gets me moving like the realization that the sun is still up in the sky at 7pm, that it's time to plant seeds again, that people have sprouted on the streets once more, wearing no jackets... 

You want to spend every weekend and afternoon breathing in the perfect spring air.
You want to run outside and seize the brief season, but before you do that, you should dedicate some time to renewing yourself and your surroundings:

• Tackle new projects and ideas as they take shape in your mind. It is when you first come up with an idea that you have the most momentum and spark to dedicate to it. Seize that momentum! Maybe you'll feel so empowered afterward that you'll even dedicate the leftover inspiration to those older, unfinished projects you've been skirting.

• Try a new hair style! 

• I like to make a little ritual out of rehabilitating my warm weather clothes after the winter. Getting them from the far reaches of the closet and washing them all at once is really gratifying. Take the occasion to rethink outfit combinations (we emerge from the winter a little changed, I think) and to let go of the things you don't use.

• A reminder to change up your soaps and lotions to match your skin needs — they change with the season, you know.

• Embrace a new fragrance, or let a new color "tinge" your outlook!

• Revive a room. Remodeling is not required, it is as simple as just switching your furniture around. Incorporate new plants, hang lighter curtains to let the light spill in, get creative with the layout. I like to blur the outdoors/indoors boundary by picking some of the colors from the vegetation outside for my indoor plants. I think this invites the eye to jump from the windowsill (or flower box) to the trees beyond.

Fresh spaces will be waiting for you at home, and since you've made room in your mind for grand new things... go fill up on life lessons and adventures!

Anabel Bouza insists there's powerful magic in the action of creating something out of a vague vision, a chill of inspiration. She is an illustrator with a passion for nature, paper manipulation, and pointing her camera at things.

Her appreciation for simplicity dates back to a former life in Cuba - her strange homeland - where she refined the ability to see the alternative uses of common objects, and the enchanting side of things. She's often found blogging as
Weird Amiga, hard at work in her sunny studio, or staring at things as if looking at them for the first time. Her tiny family is comprised of husband & a turtle. Connect to Anabel via facebook and twitter.


  1. Can't wait to get my summer clothes, every year I find things I've forgotten about and get excited by :-) It's like shopping without having to spend money.

    1. Oh, I feel very much the same! I love to feel the breeze for the first time after a long and dark winter...

  2. This weekend is going to be sunny & warm, and there's a local Asparagus Festival we're planning to attend! =0)
    I like the idea of moving furniture around...I might just do that this weekend too.

    1. That is so curious! I never heard of asparagus festivals before.
      Enjoy the weekend!

  3. Ana, I always look forward to your inspiring posts and whimsical illustrations! Your reminder to "seize that momentum" has been my mantra this week, coming off of a recent disappointment with my creative business. Instead of allowing myself to remain deflated for too long, I focused my energy on taking action and moving forward. One way I inflated myself back up was to sit down & bring the "floating around in my head" ideas into fruition. Spring definitely influenced some of this week's new designs...bulb flowers, actually. I'm always amazed at how a "lowly" bulb, tucked out of sight, emerges from the soil and evolves into such a strikingly beautiful blossom.

    Some of my summery clothes are definitely in need of creative rehabilitation! For instance, our cat Franki poked a hole with his claw along the neckline of a favorite tunic. Rather than consider it a loss, I've been contemplating how I can embellish the neckline, & your post has reminded me to see that project through. As I am needing to be cautious about spending, I've been viewing my existing wardrobe & thinking about how I can rework several pieces & give them a new personality. (I invested in a punch card at our local sewing studio, so I can continue to build & improve upon my seamstress skills.)

    I, too, choose my soaps & lotions with a seasonal mindset, not only in varying degrees of their moisturizing power, but in their naturally derived scents. I lean toward warmer, spicier notes in the fall & winter, floral in the spring (lavender, plumeria), fruity in the summer & citrus any time of the year (absolutely love orange!)

    As for reviving a room, EVERY room in our home needs a spring lift!

    1. I love that instead of discarding your broken tunic or being intimidated by the project, you have decided to adorn it, to make more "yours". I just finished mending and refitting some of my own summery clothes... I'm ready for the sunny days!

      Citrusy smells are perfect for warm months! I even like citronella, I guess because of its association to friends and evening gatherings in the backyard. :)

  4. Fantastic post! You are right, this is the perfect time of your to reinvent yourself and open yourself up to new ideas. Thank you for your great tips.
    Everyday Inspired