Happy February everyone! My birthday month is here and i’m kinda terrified stepping into the big 28. Just writing it down feels so foreign to me and i suddenly feel older than ever. Still got some time left till i’m thirty, so i’ll cherish the final two years of the beautiful twenties.

I’ve been working on lot’s of “red” projects lately – this colour just makes me really happy! I’ve got two secret projects to share with you very soon, but until then i designed two valentine’s day wishing cards for you. Hope you write some love notes on them to your significant other, or your gals!

Download here

Dimensions: 5×6 in

Love Card | Let’s Play a Game Card

* Personal Use Only

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I have a confession to make. The past months i’ve come to realise that i’ve grown into a summer type of person. Don’t know if it’s the pregnancy changing me, or simply making being pregnant during winter unbearable, but oh how i miss the sun on my skin and sand in my toes! White lace dresses, walking at the beach and siping a cold drink under the palm shades.

Can’t hide that i find myself being a little anxious about how things will change this summer with the baby. I keep telling myself that the baby will fit just fine in our routines and will love the way we live here. Megan from The Fresh Exchange wrote two incredible posts that have brought a new perspective and insight on motherhood and all the things i’m eager to learn. How We Run our business from home as parents & Motherhood 12 Lessons from the First Year are two must reads this week!

I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling of being bombarded by your own brain. I think it’s something rather common in our era. All the things you want to do, everything you want to achieve and it all piles up to one unreachable mountain? I bet everyone’s brains these days are working in full speed. From our own personal anxieties, to the stressful changes in world, good and bad.

I find myself quite often drowning in my thoughts, to do lists and sometimes yes, my own negativity and self doubt. But this morning while Theo and i were laughing about something stupid in the car, i realised one great but simple thing, that made everything seem lighter. We don’t have to go through it all on our own. Shit happens every day and i dare you to name one person who doesn’t have his own burden to carry.

But we all have love in our lives and i can’t think anything greater than that. There’s nothing you can’t go through with if you’re being loved. It will give you the strength and optimism to go through with anything that burdens you.

I’m not a Valentine’s Day type, but i have the need to dedicate my focus on love and spreading lots of it throughout the whole month. Then i can allow myself to crawl back to my little hole of misery every now and then 🙂 

 

Today’s scans are my favourite of them all. These roses had a satin feel and i couldn’t be happier that that’s exactly how they turned out here. You can right click save as iPhone and desktop wallpapers (the last pattern is on my screen right now and it feels so romantic!). Kindly remember, they’re meant for personal use as always.

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Well, i hope i made your screens look a little more pink today! It’s never too late to start preparing for Valentine’s Day and this week i’m updating my Hand Drawn Sticker Pack App with some more hearts and love notes. And while in the mood, i was eager to start working on the next illustration project. Flamingos always fascinated me with their bright colours, and i thought they’d be easy enough to draw. This ended up giving me a hard time to complete, as the feathers were so complicated.

I had to gather loads of reference photos for these beauties, but in real life they didn’t quite look as i imagined them. So i mixed up a few different types of flamingos into one, and i’m hoping nobody will notice.. With this one, i cannot wait to get my hands on Jason’s nursery prints! I feel like illustrating all kinds of animals and woodsy landscapes in order to match the mood we’re going for.

My main flamingo guy turned into several patterns, and without wanting to overwhelm you, here are 5 of my favourites to download as wallpapers. Enjoy!

Flamingo-3-by-Cocorrina

Flamingo-4-by-Cocorrina

Download Here

(from top left, to right bottom)

Flamingo #1 | Flamingo #2 | Flamingo #3

Flamingo #4 | Flamingo #5

*Personal use only

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Flamingo-1-by-Cocorrina

Can’t believe how quickly time flies, and here i am almost 26 weeks / almost 6 months pregnant. Feeling little baby kicking more and more, it makes this whole thing even more real. We get to understand when he sleeps and when he’s awake, when he likes music or when there’s too much noise for him to handle. I was never too mushy or had the baby fever, but oh boy this whole thing definitely makes my heart melt.

We have already ordered a crib and a dresser (and a few cute outfits) but we’ve yet to start decorating the nursery. In fact, we took a spontaneous trip today to the city to do some baby shopping. Long story short, we realised we’re not the spontaneous type of people and this whole trip has been a small disaster. BUT, setting everything aside and focusing on little Jason.

This isn’t much of a mood board, but rather a small illustration i did yesterday, with out little boy in mind. The theme of the nursery will be a mix of folk stories and woodland adventures. I love all things white, beige and neutral, with a mix of black and spots of colour. The illustration probably doesn’t have as much colour as i’m planning to add, but i think it sets up the mood nicely.

Now i’m off to buy some cute little wooden toys!

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

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.

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.