Plant Something Daily – February Favourites

Plant-Something-Daily-Art-Lulu-Kitololo-February

 

My daily art challenge continues. There have been times, when I’m just about to go to bed, after working really long hours, and I remember that I haven’t created the day’s piece! It’s been so tempting to just give that one time a miss. However, thanks to all the wonderful encouragement you’ve been showing me, I’ve stayed on course and I’m really grateful for that.

Above are some of my favourites from February. It’s interesting how different themes emerge:

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Plant Something Daily – January Favourites

Plant Something Daily Art Lulu Kitololo

 

I reached a turning point mid-last year when, I decided to stop talking and start making, putting an end to years of creative frustration. It's not that I was previously lacking in ideas but rather, that I had been fooling myself that I just didn't have the time.

And then I made the time and it led to so many great things: showcasing at events like Africa Utopia and the Renegade Craft Fair; getting featured on one of my favourite blogs, Fly, not once but twice and; generally receiving such great feedback from people.

To keep the making momentum growing, I've set myself a challenge for 2015: to create a piece of plant-inspired art, every single day. Why plants? Well, besides Africa, nature is my biggest muse and I think we can agree that plants make (most) people happy.

On this last day of January, I can say that I have successfully stuck to the challenge! I'm really proud of myself for that. Especially as this month has been busy beyond belief – I've had so many excuses not to create my daily piece! In this way, this challenge has been a great exercise in self-discipline.

It's also been good for helping me to let go of expecting everything to be perfect. As I shared with one of the drawings from last week – I'm not necessarily happy with each drawing but, I'm happy I've made each drawing.

Above are some of my favourite pieces from January. I post them each day after making them, on Instagram (#plantsomethingdaily) and on my new Facebook page, dedicated to my art. View the collection so far and follow the journey – help keep me accountable!

Have you set yourself a daily/weekly/monthly challenge this year? I'd love to hear more about it and see what you're working on. 

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30 Day Health Reset Challenge: In the Interests of Getting Things Done

30-Day-Health-Reset-Challenge-Getting-Things-Done-Afri-love

 

We all know that, if we’re going to be putting in the work that’s required to make things happen this year, we cannot neglect our bodies. They are the precious vehicles that help us to turn thoughts and ideas into action.

Yet, if you’re anything like I have been in the past, the first things that get compromised when I’m busy are:

  • Exercising
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Healthy eating

Probably in that order!

And it’s January. You more than likely overindulged in some festive eating (my excuse, throughout December, was – “it’s Christmas!”). And you more than likely didn’t move half as much as you usually do (it’s cold! I need to rest! Etc. …).

It’s almost 2 weeks into the month and the resolution fever has probably started to die down for most but, I want to let you in on a challenge that might just change the course of your year. It’s a challenge that I’m embarking on, along with my partner, his sisters and a few of my friends. And I would love for you to join us.

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30 Unchained: 30 Creative Women from Across the Diaspora Inspire Live Unchained’s Interactive Anniversary Challenge

30 Days Live Unchained

 

If you've been reading the blog a while, you'll recall me mentioning Live Unchained – an initiative to celebrate women artists across the African Diaspora and represent our collective and individual creativity. As they approach their 4th anniversary, they're calling us to help celebrate with a series of creative challenges dubbed 30 Unchained (#30unchained). 

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My 21 Days without Grains and Sugar & 21 Reasons to Try it

Afri-love-Health

The man and I recently undertook a challenge to go 21 days without eating grains or sugar (except in fruit form).

The initial couple of weeks were much easier than expected, perhaps because we’ve been trying to eat this way in general for a while. It did get tougher towards the end, particularly in the form of sugar cravings.

On the 20th day, due to poor preparation, we gave in. We had gone to an Olympics football match (2 games, 5 hours) and after a heavy breakfast, we thought we’d go the distance. Alas, the mid-match munchies got the best of us and, as you can imagine, suitable snacks were extremely elusive! Stodgy sausage roll it was (which, to my satisfaction, was unusually difficult to eat – could it be that I had succeeded in changing my taste for such?).

As you do, we decided to write off the entire day. Later on we had cake which was again, very hard to finish – it was sickly sweet to our taste buds.

As a forfeit for falling short of our 21 day goal, we added an additional 4.

Since the period ended, I’ve attended a baby shower, a wedding and been away on a pseudo-holiday (i.e. still working but in a very different environment: the Welsh countryside). These occasions have not been very conducive to a no-grains no-sugar diet. It’s also the week of my 30th birthday – another excuse to indulge! I do worry that I’m undoing any fat adaptation that I may have acheived and one of my gifts to myself will be to get back on track starting Monday.

I need to consider what is sustainable in the long-term. In The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris, he advocates having a “cheat day” – an entire day to go crazy with the indulgences. The man and I have tried this and felt terrible (physically so!). Instead, my goal will be to allow myself ONE “offensive” item each week.


21 reasons to try going without grains and sugar


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You be my witness: personal reading challenge

Personal-reading-challenge-2

Greatly inspired by Kinna Reads, "a blog of books,reading and world literature," I've decided to do something about my desire to make more time for reading again. I'm setting myself a (humble) challenge and sharing it with you all for extra accountability: to read 24 books in 2011.

Below is my growing list. The books are not exclusively by African writers or about Africa, but I've highlighted, in bold, the ones that are "Africa interest." This is often largely subjective. If you have any suggestions, please do share them, preferrably with a reason why it's a good read. Please have mercy on me and not too many tomes 🙂

  1. I Write What I Like – Steve Biko
  2. Self-Reliance and Other Essays – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. Africa: The Politics of Suffering and Smiling – Patrick Chabal
  4. I Wonder – Marian Bantjes
  5. The Thing Around Your Neck – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  6. African Love Stories: An Anthology – Ama Ata Aidoo (Ed.)
  7. Bury the Chains: The British Struggle to Abolish Slavery – Adam Hochschild
  8. The Palm-Wine Drinkard – Amos Tutuola
  9. Walden: Or, Life in the Woods – Henry David Thoreau
  10. The Rebel – Albert Camus
  11. The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
  12. Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  13. A Mercy – Toni Morrison
  14. It's Our Turn to Eat – Michela Wrong
  15. The Memory of Love – Aminatta Forna (thanks to @sciculturist for the recommendation!)
  16. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives – Lola Shoneyin (thanks Zahra)
  17. Powder Necklace – Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
  18. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
  19. The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
  20. The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood
  21. Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Wisdom: The Feminine Face of Awakening – Rita Marie Robinson
  22. Dead Aid – Dambisa Moyo
  23. Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else – Geoff Colvin
  24. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment – Eckhart Tolle
  25. Zenzele: A Letter for my Daughter – Nozipo Maraire (thanks Selali)
  26. Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe – Doreen Baingana (another from Selali, expanding my list! :-S)