Best Wishes for 2016 (and anti-procrastination review)

Here is the end of the year and it’s time for a review of my 2015 resolution. My theme of the year was action which implied eliminating procrastination.

Of course, I haven’t totally stopped procrastinating but I have managed to limit the damage.

So I share with you what helps me fighting procrastination:

* Publish my resolution on this blog

When I announced my resolution on my blog, I knew that I would write a review one year after and I didn’t want to fail publicly.

* Useful procrastination

* Anti-procrastination slogans

I have inspiring quotes and anti-procrastination slogans written on my to-do list and on my desktop.


drawing : just do it as an anti-procrastination motto

* Looking at the bigger picture

It’s asking questions : Why am I procrastinating now? What am I avoiding?

It’s also thinking of what could make me proud of myself this evening.

* Reading Zen Habits blog

As the name suggests, this blog gives advice on how to get into good habits while being zen.

* Realising that procrastination is an everyday struggle

That also means that if you fail one day, you can still succeed the following day.

* My guilt-free motto: ‘It’s never too late to do good’


Having learned a lot, I would like to continue my investigations so I have chosen effectiveness as theme of the year.

I wish you a Happy New Year and Effectiveness in realising your dreams 🙂


Best Wishes card illustrated with a Christmas tree and a little girl watching stars

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November 2015 favorites

Here are my November 2015 favorites:

* Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, the portrait-painter of Queen Marie-Antoinette

I’d love to see VigĂ©e Le Brun exhibition in Paris. French painter Elisabeth VigĂ©e Le Brun painted celebrities of her time such as Queen Marie-Antoinette or Lady Hamilton and also touching family portraits.

Madame Vigée Le Brun and her daughter, Julie, circa 1789 (self-portrait)

Madame Vigée Le Brun and her daughter, Julie, circa 1789 (self-portrait)

* Changing Fashion for the Sake of the Climate

Fashion Revolution France team is organising a colloquium on Fashion’s environmental impact. The colloquium takes place on December 7 in Paris and will be translated into English. Entrance is free but registration is required.

* A picture of Diana Rigg wearing a pantsuit in the Sixties

Diana Rigg wearing a pantsuit in the Sixties

* An Art Nouveau walk in Vienna

* Does Divestment Work?

The New Yorker is wondering whether divestment such as fossil-fuel companies divestment is efficient. According to the article, divestment doesn’t decrease share prices so it doesn’t hurt financially the targeted companies. It mainly harms the companies’ image.

* The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents

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Art Nouveau walk in Vienna

When I think of Vienna, I think of Gustav Klimt and Art Nouveau artists. This summer, I visited Vienna, admired its palaces and magnificent 19th Century buildings and of course I went to see some famous Art Nouveau spots.

Are you ready for a Art Nouveau walk in Vienna with me?


Itinerary of Art Nouveau walk in Vienna


Itinerary of my Art Nouveau walk in Vienna (click the map to enlarge)

(1) KettenbrĂĽckengasse

The walk starts at KettenbrĂĽckengasse subway station (on the U4 line). And the first Art Nouveau site is the subway station itself. It was built in 1899 by architect Otto Wagner, who designed other stations on the U4 line. Otto Wagner can be compared to Hector Guimard who built Paris subway stations. However KettenbrĂĽckengasse subway station is more sober than Guimard’s luxuriant subway stations in Paris.


KettenbrĂĽckengasse subway station in Vienna


KettenbrĂĽckengasse subway station

We can find foliage patterns that are typical of Art Nouveau style: indeed Art Nouveau artists wanted to reintroduce Nature into Art.


Detail of KettenbrĂĽckengasse subway station


Detail of KettenbrĂĽckengasse subway station

(2) Majolica House and Medallion House

The second stop is not far: located Linke Wienzeile 38 and 40, next to the subway station, Majolica House and Medallion House buildings were built by Otto Wagner in 1899.


Majolica House in Vienna


Majolica House

Majolica House or Majolikahaus is covered with pink flower ceramic tiles. That makes a change from facades that are all the same color!


detail of Majolica House in Vienna


Majolica House

Medallion House is decorated with golden palm leaves, garlands and medallions of women’s heads by Kolo Moser.


Medallion House in Vienna


Medallion House


Medallion House. Detail of the medallions


Medallion House. Detail of the medallions

Art Nouveau artists thought that Architecture or Wrought-iron Work were Art in the same way as Painting or Sculpture. For them, there were no major arts or minor arts. All the forms of Art were valuable and collaborated for a total art.


Medallion House in Vienna. Detail of the balconies.


Medallion House. Detail of the balconies.

(3) Secession building

Then we take Linke Wienzeile and go along Naschmarkt market. After 600 meters, we arrive at a building topped with a golden openwork dome. In Austria, instead of Art Nouveau, people use the expressions Jugendstil or Vienna Secession. Originally, a group of artists decided to secede from Vienna conservatist artists. They needed a place to exhibit. So in 1898, architect Joseph Olbrich designed this building which is called… Secession of course!


Secession building in Vienna


Secession building

The building includes many symbols, as if there were a coded message in the architecture. For example, gorgon heads (a gorgon is a woman with snakes instead of hair) and owls are attributes of Athena, goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology. And laurel is associated with Apollo, god of the arts.


Secession building in Vienna. Entrance door topped with three gorgon heads


Secession building. Entrance door topped with three gorgon heads


Secession building in Vienna. Owls statues and crown of laurels on the facade


Secession building. Owls statues and crown of laurels on the facade


Secession building in Vienna. Laurel patterns on the facade


Secession building. Laurel patterns on the facade

However I don’t know what those small turtles strolling under a big mosaic pot symbolise.


Gigantic vase and turtles statues at the Secession entrance in Vienna


Gigantic vase and turtles statues at the Secession entrance

(4) Karlsplatz

We walk on the same street until Karlsplatz where there are two former subway stations by Otto Wagner facing each other.


Karlsplatz subway station in Vienna


Karlsplatz subway station in Vienna

The facade is in white marble and ornamented with stylized sunflowers.


Detail of Karlsplatz subway station in Vienna


Detail of Karlsplatz subway station

The walk stops at Karlsplatz where you can enjoy Resselpark and have a break under the trees.

For more information on Vienna Secession:
A history of Vienna Secession

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October 2015 favorites

Here are my October 2015 favorites:

* Clémence Poésy wearing trousers and embroidered pull-over

I like the contrast between the sobriety of the shoes and the trousers and the teal sweater with embroidered bird and snake.

Clémence Poésy wearing flat shoes, black pants and a teal sweater with embroidered flowers, bird and snake

* Denim patchwork at Saint Laurent 2016 Spring-Summer Fashion Show

This denim patchwork jacket gives me recycling ideas for old jeans.

Drawing of a denim patchwork jacket at Saint Laurent 2016 Spring-Summer Fashion Show

* A bamboo print skirt at Armani Privé 2015 Summer Couture Fashion Show

* A Japan inspired belt knot tutorial

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Bamboo print skirt at Armani Privé 2015 Summer Couture Fashion Show

Armani Privé fashion show was the one I prefered at 2015 Spring-Summer Couture Fashion Week.

The outfit I have drawn is made up of a black bustier, a beige skirt and a black tulle skirt with a bamboo pattern. A wide belt is tied on the skirt.

drawing of a woman wearing a black bustier and a beige skirt with a bamboo pattern from Armani Privé Couture 2015 Spring-Summer collection

I like the Japanese inspiration of the bamboo print and the belt that reminds a kimono belt. This inspiration can be found in all the collection that is both zen and smart.

I have also drawn a tutorial to do the same belt knot.

You can see all the pictures of this Fashion Show on Vogue website.

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September 2015 favorites

Here are my September 2015 favorites:

* Charity Fashion Live

Charity Fashion Live team recreates London Fashion Week looks using charity shop clothes. Those creative stylists show that you can be stylish on a budget with a little imagination. You can also check Charity Fashion Live video.

* Emma Watson wearing an Edun black dress

Emma Watson wearing an Edun black dress. photo : Sarah Slutsky

Emma Watson in Edun. Photo : Sarah Slutsky

* Useful procrastination

* A belt

I found it in a charity shop for a small price. It will prevent my jeans from sliding down!

drawing of a woman wearing jeans, a belt and a bird print People Tree top

The girl on the drawing is wearing my jeans, my belt and a bird print People Tree top

* A tip for a lighter wallet

You can use a photocopy of your loyalty cards that work thanks to a bar code. It will lighten your wallet, you will avoid losing your cards or having your card eaten by a checkout belt (as it happened to me this summer).
Another idea: photographing the bar code of the card with your smartphone and showing the picture to the cashier.

* Every Thing You Own is a Relationship You’re In

Some reflexions by David who tried Marie Kondo decluttering method

* Life’s Priorities

Often we feel like we lack time but isn’t it a convenient excuse? Next time you feel like saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority” instead. It’s an interesting experiment.

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Useful procrastination

My theme for this year being action, I am currently testing methods against procrastination. For the moment, the techniques I have tried are not efficient in the long run. No magic bullet then but there is a technique that is working well for me. I call it useful procrastination.

I give you an example. I don’t like cleaning indows. I do it the less often possible. However in one particular case, I enjoy cleaning the windows: it is when I have to research a particularly boring topic on the Internet. So instead of researching my topic, I do the windows. Suddenly window cleaning seems almost pleasant compared to boring topic researching.

The idea is to take advantage of procrastinating to do something useful. It can be cleaning, tidying, sorting papers, making phone calls etc. The important thing is to do something useful even if you don’t do what you planned at first.

And as for me, I know there will soon be a new urgent and dull task (some bookkeeping for example) that will make my research on the Internet look so much more attractive.

Drawing of a character asking: Are you sure that updating your facebook status is not useful procrastination?

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August 2015 favorites

In August, everything slows down so I have more time to go shopping, start reading again and discover new favorites:

* Some Muji notebooks

I have found the ideal notebook! It’s without lines and with a rigid cover (it’s important if you want to draw in it). It’s made in Japon and it costs 2.5€ at Muji. I bought three notebooks but I will buy more of them next time (in case Muji stops selling them).

Muji notebooks

Muji notebooks

* Wild cats print by Stella McCartney

Liv Tyler wearing Stella McCartney wild cats print shirt and pants. photo: Kevin Mazur for Getty images


Liv Tyler wearing Stella McCartney wild cats print shirt and pants. photo: Kevin Mazur for Getty images

I like this colorful print, only I would wear separately the shirt and the pants in town because together they look like a pyjama (a very nice pyjama though).

* A Maltese house entrance

* Maus by Art Spiegelman

Maus is a comic that tells the war and deportation memories of cartoonist Art Spiegleman’s father. It’s a difficult subject but the book is full of humanity. I couldn’t stop reading until the end.

Back cover of Maus by Art Spiegelman


Back cover of Maus

* Plants are intelligent

And their intelligence works like a complex network, comparable to the Internet

* Sewing can change your body image

Blogger Jenny Rushmore tells how sewing clothes that fit her well helped her to stop hating her body.

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