Based in Los Angeles, December Tea is a blog by Lauren Bailey. Her posts explore the world around her, through words, pictures, and constant cups of tea.

Things I've Been Enjoying Lately

Part of Lizzy Stewart's places collection. Click through to discover more of her brilliant artwork.

Part of Lizzy Stewart's places collection. Click through to discover more of her brilliant artwork.

It's been a rough couple mental weeks around these parts. My birthday was almost two weeks ago, which was lovely and made me feel very loved, but the week after left me in the strangest of headspaces. Maybe that's part of getting older but I was left feeling very introspective, and not in a good way. Here are a few things that I've been enjoying lately. Some were found a month ago when I first started coming up with this series, but they still apply. 

  • Oh Comely Magazine
    I first discovered Oh Comely back in June. Somewhere on twitter I stumbled upon their feed and was drawn into their #onegoodthing posts. The message being that there's something good in every day, no matter how bad; and that we should stop to recognized and appreciate these moments. Then their issue all about letter writing came out. I searched for the physical magazine in Heffers Bookshop in Cambridge but walked away empty handed. Thanks to international shipping, I was able to finally get my hands on the magazine and I must say, it doesn't disappoint. The content is interesting and engaging. There are articles about the history of stamps, four women's journeys with swimming in open water, profiles on illustrators, and so much more. Their content not only inspires me but it's also a publication that I would hope to someday contribute to.
  • Heywood Hill books for a lifetime
    Heywood Hill is one of my favorite bookstores I have yet to visit. I did try once a couple years back when I was in London, but found the shop closed. There's a great story from Nancy Mitford's day when she forgot to lock the door one night and found customers in the shop the next morning trying to buy books from each other. All this aside, their book packages and recommendation lists have caused me to fall head over heals for this bookshop. For the month of October, they're having a competition where one person could win a new book each month for the rest of his/her life. All you, dear reader, have to do is name which book is your favorite that's been published during their 80 year history. Seriously, enter. You have five more days. Do it.
  • Lizzy Stewart
    Take a minute to admire the top image of this post. Does it draw you in and make you want to know more about the artist? Then look no further because I am here to talk about the wonderful Lizzy Stewart, artist of above work and so many more illustrations. I don't remember how I first discovered Lizzy's work. It may have been through twitter, which is where I've been discovering many things lately. Her style is gorgeous and quirky; it makes me want to crawl inside her illustrations and exist within her lines. I especially love her drawing for the short story 'Fugue' by Thomas Morris. Please take a moment to check out her work.

    Check out her series illustrations for short stories and her twitter.
  • Thread Folk
    Libby is a cross stitch artist based in Australia. Her work is intricate and beautiful. I'm particularly found of her "be kind" embroidery which is available as a pattern until the end of October, should anyone feel up to it. I find myself being drawn to handmade items lately, whether that be pottery, embroidery, or knitting. There's something to the art of making something out of nothing except some threads.
  • World Post Day
    World Post Day is an event that took place between October 3rd - 9th. (Which has sadly now passed, though was still in the future when I began writing this post almost a month ago.) The idea is that during this period, any person in London could write a postcard and mail it for free to anyone in the world. The purpose being that everyone should have the experience of receiving actual post. They have other events throughout the year.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert Interview
    So much of this interview talks about fear in our lives and creative processes. This exchange in particular jumped out at me:

"Q: You say that, in order to create, you and inspiration must go on a road trip together. Your inner critic—which is really fear in one of its many disguises—can come along, but it can’t choose the snacks or the radio station and you definitely cannot let fear drive. But you acknowledge that it does need to come along for the ride.

A: No, it can’t drive. When fear makes you go to war against it, that’s fear taking the wheel. But when you just let it be there, sharing a space with you, it becomes less of a battle. Fear is a really good sign that you’ve got skin in the game, that what you’re doing matters to you and it has an impact on your psyche.  That’s often a very good indication that you’re on the right track, that you’re doing something that’s really scary.  That’s good."

I love that image. Taking fear along for your ride, buckling it in so it doesn't fly out the window. All while acknowledging that it's there, you don't let it control where you go or if it gets to read the map. It's just there to stare out the window and ask you questions, but you have the power to turn to fear and say, "we're not doing this."

The Clock Strikes Midnight

The Path We Trot