I’ve just finished this week’s illustrated Dear Diary mini-journal and I can’t help loving this super simple process of recording my days. I really like working within limitations because it makes me boil things down to the essence and that helps simplify life somehow. When I scanned this spread I realised I also had the second week to show you guys yet. So, here goes…

Mini-journal spread of week 2

So here’s my week 2 spread. The pages are only 8,0×11,5cm in size, so you can imagine the space I have to record daily affairs is rather minimalistic…especially the Saturdays and Sundays. But still…that limitation really helps being creative. It is impossible to go all artsy fartsy here. It’s even hard to ‘design’ anything when you work on one little rectangle a day. But I still love trying to capture some of the essence of it. These spreads may not mean much in the eye of the reader, but to me they hit home straight away, remembering all of that day in an instant.

Spread of Week 2 of my illustrated mini-journal by Mandy van Goeije

Spread of Week 2 of my illustrated mini-journal by Mandy van Goeije

On the top right corner you can see the outline of a flying parakeet. My budgies flew for the fist time that day. What you can’t see on the scan, is that it’s filled out with a holographic transfer foil that I tried for the first time…bought at Xenos. It wasn’t a big success, but that may well have had a lot to do with the deplorable quality of the paper in this journal. And that poo on the right bottom corner (how convenient a spot for a turd at the bottom, right?)? Well, that was when our Giant Schnauzer was a little over-enthusiastic and tried to run right through me instead of around me and with his velocity and weight, he bumped me off my feet and I keeled over with my right knee straight into a deer turd! How’s that for a soft landing! 🙂 Fortunately, it hardly smelled at all…thank god they are vegetarians (besided the occaisional bug that didn’t get away from an eaten leaf quick enough…).

Week 3

Spread of Week 3 of my illustrated mini-journal by Mandy van Goeije

Spread of Week 3 of my illustrated mini-journal by Mandy van Goeije

This was the week of great insights. I’m not getting into the details because I’m pretty sure it’ll bore you out of your socks. What’s ultra Eureka for one may be a dead bore to another, right? But I kinda liked how I managed to get a watercolor face I painted this week in extreme miniature in this journal. Didn’t expect that! Then there’s that little scribble of our dog that I did on the fly that I’m not too chuffed about, although it captures his ultra-happy enthusiasm spot on. And it’s only 1.2 cm in height, so it’s not too bad, I guess…

Me, the soup tureen

And that pot of soup? Well, I am a HUGE soup fanatic! When I was a little child, my grandmother used to lovingly call me her soup tureen…and I even inherited hers. It’s ugly, but the story attached to it means so much to me that it still conquered a place in my living room. But anyway, soup…I cook pots of soup very regularly and I tend to toss everything into it. I like to make them really well-filled with loads of veggies and meat or fish. I have roots in Flanders where they have a ‘soup’ called “Waterzooi”, which would literally be translated into “Water Mess”. It is a good broth usually made of chicken with good chunks of vegetables in it…a whole pile of them in a soup plate and on top of that pile you will find half a chicken breast or a leg…whatever’s been cooked in that broth. Some restaurants add potatoes and nearly all add cream, although by now there’s a huge variety in recipes. But that is the way I make soup. A good broth from meat and bones or fish and bones with lots and lots of fresh-cut vegetables and meat. I don’t always add cream. I’ve discovered I like it better when I first take out the cooked meat, then add one or two kohlrabi or one whole celeriac AND a whole bunch of pak choi and fist cook that and blend that to a silky smooth soup and THEN add finely cut vegetables like carrot, celery, parsley, spring onion, leaks, cauliflauwer, etc. And once that’s cooked, I add back in the plucked meat/fish. And that is just SOOO good. One good pot makes really awesome lunch meals for myself for 5 days. My recipes are never the same and they depend very much on whatever’s left over or in my fridge, but in my experience, it’s always good. Soup is simply always good… 🙂

Weird discoveries

Soup’s a process anc so is my mini-journal. In the process of working in this mini-journal – within the limitations of the miniature size and the bad quality paper – I’m making some really odd discoveries, one of which you can see in this little video I made to show you…images speak louder than words, right?