Smile…it’s summer!

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Well it seems that my earlier well wishes of blue skies and happy days at the start of June actually helped and whilst I’ve been away, the summer has finally arrived – yippeeeee!

Blues skies and happy days...
Blues skies and happy days…

For the past two and a half weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the beautiful country of Thailand with Henry. After visiting for the first time two years ago, we were completely hooked and always knew we would go back one day. The people, the food and the whole Thai culture is just amazing.

Since ABSPD opened my eyes to the world of pattern and colour, I can’t stop taking photos and Thailand was no exception. With inspiration absolutely everywhere, my camera was never too far away, and neither was my mini sketchbook!

Holiday doodles inspired by Thailand
Holiday doodles inspired by Thailand – I can’t wait to develop them!
Always looking around at the different plants and flowers
Always looking around at the different plants and flowers
Some "graffitti" on a public wall...
Some amazing graffiti on a public wall…

We had a fantastic time with a mix of city adventures, elephant sanctuaries and lazy island beach days…the perfect vacation.

Our city adventure came in the form of Chiang Mai; a lively and inspirational city in Northern Thailand. Whilst we were there, we experienced the Sunday street markets which were amazing. Every Sunday the streets are lined with hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of beautiful handmade products; from cushion covers & table runners, to wooden sculptures and collectibles, fabric covered handmade sketchbooks (I started to gather quite a collection!!) and not to mention the huge collection of hand painted art available by local artists.

The city also has a number of cute little galleries and shops showcasing and supporting local Thai crafts people and artists. It was great to see such unique products and talent on offer.

A collection of beautiful handmade notebooks that I purchased
A collection of beautiful handmade notebooks that seemed to keep growing!
A snapshot of the art available for sale at the street market
A snapshot of the art available for sale at the street market – it stretches as far as the eye can see!

We also had the amazing opportunity to visit a very unique project, just 60km from the main city, called The Elephant Nature Park. This is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation park for abused, tortured and injured domestic elephants. Here they are able to roam around the park, free from chains and restrictions, and are not used for rides or to perform tricks. They are left to just be elephants and do what elephants do. Feeding, bathing and walking alongside these beautiful, majestic giants was one of the best experiences I have ever had and one I will never forget. So the next time you’re on holiday and want an elephant experience, do a bit of research and help to support somewhere like this, instead of going to any old place that lets you ride on their backs and makes them perform tricks for you. If you knew what the elephants went through to do that, you’d think again.

Being able to feed, bathe and touch these beautiful giants was amazing
Being able to feed, bathe and touch these beautiful giants was amazing
A message from the sanctuary...
A message from the sanctuary…
This picture makes me smile!
This picture makes me smile!

From city life in the North, we then ventured south for some Island life on Lamai Beach on Koh Samui, before heading on to Koh Phangan. If you’re looking for a beautiful, quiet retreat, then Koh Phangan is a great place to start. We stayed in two amazing places; firstly on Haad Yao beach and then on Thong Nai Pan. With plenty of sun, clear blue water, white sandy beaches and refreshing cocktails, it was the perfect place to rest and relax. Even here, I was still snapping away….

One of the many beautiful sunsets we got to see on Koh Phangan
One of the many beautiful sunsets we got to see on Koh Phangan
Distressed painted wood table tops at the beach resort.
Distressed painted wood table tops at the beach resort.
Loved these colourful string ball lights which were suspended above the dinner tables
Loved these colourful string ball lights which were suspended above the dinner tables
The plants and flowers in Thailand are so vibrant and colourful
The plants and flowers in Thailand are so vibrant and colourful

Now home and feeling well rested, it’s time to get back to work and to what I love doing…

Fresh with new ideas and designs in development, the rest of the summer is looking very exciting so stay tuned for more updates very soon!

In the mean time, I wish you all a very…

Happy weekend everyone!!
Have a good one! 🙂