Guilty pleasures, book clubs and distant friends

How are you going?  I took big breath after writing that….but we are still breathing aren’t we. 

Well the weather this weekend was perfect weather for staying in and hibernating, wasn’t it.  Not even the dogs were that keen to go out. There are signs that Spring is almost here…new life on the trees and in the flowerbeds and the smell of jasmine in the evening…I love that.  Keep breathing 🙂

Thank you so much for the wonderful responses we received to last week’s email…it really does make our week.  As the book recommendations seem to be so popular, we have had an idea to start our own Ocean Blue Book Club, for anyone who would like to join.  We have set this up on the Goodreads website and we will all add the books we have read and loved.  We thought it would be great for holiday reads when we are able to be out and about again.  If you don’t have a Goodreads profile as yet, it is quite easy to set up and you can add your own friends and start sharing. Join here!

Ocean Blue Book Club and guilty pleasures

Introducing myself

After last weeks email a few of you also kindly asked if I would share my art with you.  I thought it might also be nice to put a face to these newsletters.  My name is Amanda and my main role at Ocean Blue is to write these emails, arrange the marketing, do stuff with the website and handle the social media posts.  It certainly keeps me busy for my 3 days a week.  The other 4 days of the week you will find me in my studio at the back of my house, painting.  I count myself very lucky to have this space at home. It really has been my sanctuary and the painting has been a great distraction. 

I met Sian through painting and most of us in the office have art connections through the Derinya Primary School annual art show, DACE.  If you fancy taking a look at my paintings here is a link to my website Amanda Ketterer Art x

Loving this week x

  1. Selling a few paintings!  After all these years it still blows me away that people will not only spend their hard earned money on my creations. More importantly that they want them in their homes…forever grateful and it really is the thing I love the most.
  2. Paying it forward…a thing we have started doing lately is buying the work of other artists, when I sell one.  Just small ones, as we are creating a gallery wall look in our living room.  I am sure it is having a positive flow effect, as I have been making quite a few sales lately!  It is great to share the art sales love with other artists and our house is starting to look great. 
  3. Listening to the songs from Theatre playlist on Spotify…loudly haha.  I am not sure this is something I should be owning up to!  One thing I love and miss so much is theatre and live music.  This will be the first year in many that I will not have been to a music concert or theatre production, but we will be back soon.
  4. Robyn was telling us this morning, in our Monday zoom call, that she had had a lovely weekend virtually meeting up with friends.  One friend arranged that they have a ‘lunch’ together over Facetime. Another couple of friends, that they hadn’t seen for so long, arranged a ‘drinks’ night.  They usually meet around the camp fire, but this was a close second for now.
  5. Sian was telling us that her and her family had a weekend of setting goals.  They had been having a good few weeks practising healthy eating and decided this week to up the stakes and set fitness goals. Michelle Bridges will be in action at training, which starts tonight at 4pm!
  6. Getting back to art journalling…art journalling and sketch booking is the way I started art making and it is still influences my art process.  I found a wonderful online course this week, by an artist who I have followed on Pinterest for years and who lives in the US.  Because of Covid and the cancellation of her in-person classes she has created some workshops online!  Here is a link if you are interested. Orly Avineri workshops
  7. The feeling of connection with family. Though most of my family are not with me at the moment, this time has encouraged me to make more of an effort to be in touch.  You may remember me mentioning in a recent newsletter how I keep a letter in my bedside drawer that my grandmother wrote to me 25 years ago.

    Writing that post prompted me to remember it would have been my grandmothers 101st birthday the other day, so I pulled out the letter.  I messaged my Dad to mention it to him, I photographed the letter and sent it to him.  He was so pleased to read it!  My grandmother was a very funny letter writer.  He then in turn decided to send it on to all of his brothers and sisters, who live all over the world (he has 10 of them!).  Some of his sisters haven’t been in touch with each other for many years, because of silly fallings out that happen in families.  Because of this letter they are all now communicating again!  I find that pretty wonderful and wonder if my grandmother had something to do with it 🙂

I hope you don’t mind me rambling on this week haha. 
We hope you have a good week ahead x

The team at Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats