Simply Neutrals 54 - taking care of yourself

Magnolia illustration for journal cover by Wen Sylvestre

Hello dear friends,

These last months have been a bit of an eye-opener for me. I think I was too hard on myself, expected too much of myself, and pushed too hard to get everything done the best I could. Of course I was feeling exhausted. What's new. So I took the time to get enough rest, clear the space around me, go on a trip with my family, meditate, read books, and so on.

For art school we had to make a journal cover with Magnolias. Since I was in the "zen"-space because of all the things I just mentioned, I came up with this journal cover. The Magnolias gave me this inspiration based on Asian art, and I read a little about the art of Kintsugi, which is the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold. I created golden cracks in my image above, to symbolize the healing of our own brokeness.

Why not repair our own cracks with gold too, by being gentle with ourselves and taking good care of ourselves?

quote on kindness by AppleApricot Wen

I hope you will take this message to heart yourself as well, my dear friend.



I was stunned by the gorgeous cards created by dear Suzy of Suziqu's Threadworks.
Oh   my   goodness   !!!

collaged cards and plant dyes by Suzy of Suziqu's Threadworks

What I absolutely love about these cards is
1) the stunning image of a rose she created herself from a photo she took,
2) the fact that she plant dyes her own papers and fabrics and gets such stunning results,
3) how beautiful everything looks together in colour, texture, prints, etc.

Dear Suzy, here is your well deserved feature blog button if you like:

On to this month's party!


I think you already noticed, but things changed with the linkup tool. The look is different, but they added ad-links too now. After every 5th link. I hope you don't mind, I can't delete those unfortunately.

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To join the party, please keep the following things in mind:

1) Please link only to the blogpost that contains the photo(s) you want to share, and not to your blog's homepage.

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Of course you're most welcome to use the blog button of Simply Neutrals Tuesday as well
(which can be found in the sidebar of my blog)

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Time for the link up!

xx Wen

Simply Neutrals Tuesday linky party at AppleApricot

Inlinkz Link Party


  1. Magnolias - so beautiful, and so fitting for healing! Your painting is so peaceful and pretty. And it's so true that we are most often hardest on ourselves and learning to let that go and be zen is one of the most difficult things to do.

  2. Hi Wen, I love your beautiful artwork!The blossoms are lovely and the filling in of 'cracks' with gold is a wonderful thought; making some things more beautiful than they would have (originally) been without the cracks <3
    I'm glad you are taking care of yourself too~ We can forget to do do that, until perhaps a crash or 'cracks' appear <3
    Suzy's art work is like no other. It is authentic to me and so beautiful. Her textures and original colors are from her heart as well as her artistic mind! Thanks for featuring her style~
    Blessings to you friend. karen o

  3. Your magnolias are just gorgeous and I do love the gold with it! They always bring me happiness to see them blooming!!

  4. Dear Wen,
    Your beautiful painting and beautiful words absolutely resonated with me. I too have been going through a similar time with many unfortunate events and losses in my life. These combined with everyday life and the extras I piled on myself, left me feeling as though I was sinking in quick sand. Your words have brought me much hope in my healing journey, thank you ")
    As for you, keep doing what you are doing. As the Zen you have found seems to fit just perfectly with you!
    much love to you! Jackie

  5. I so agree with you about Suzy's cards! These are just glorious! How i would love to watch her create! xx

  6. It is so important to look after oneself, not only a need but a must. I'm so glad you have taken note of what your mind, body and soul have been telling you. It's extremely therapeutic to be around those that we love and care for and do the things we can absorb rather than the ones that absorb us.
    Kintsugi is a marvellous age old technique, i've used this many times in mixed media.
    Susy's work is out of this world and it's always so uplifting to discover and explore.
    Thank you for this day Wen, sorry I am late to wave and say hello. Your Magnolia's are simply the sweetest.
    Creative wishes Tracey xx

  7. Dear Wen, such a beautiful post of your painting , and your words, we are all needing to focus on, now and then. I too is having a hard time , and so hope to soon see only bright things .
    I love Suzy`s stunning cards , and this one using her own photo is a jewel !!
    Dear friend, I hope you will find your energy and power, soon again. I send you loving hugs . Dorthe xoxo p.s. hope my add, is not too colorful !!

  8. Magnolias - I cannot wait to see their blossom (but just we got snow).
    Caring for ourselves is very needed...
    Have a happy quiet time

  9. Hello Dear Wen, I'm sorry to hear that life has been tough for you lately, but so glad to see you taking care of yourself too. I remember the words "Be gentle with yourself" from a week's silent retreat I did years ago. The best advice I ever heard.

    Your magnolias are a sweet and gentle inspiration, along with the gold-plated cracks. Our wounds often heal to become our strengths.

    Suzy's rose and eco dyed fabrics stun me every time I see them again; they are breath-takingly beautiful.

    I am so late here because my new computer died after only about 2 weeks, having spent a fortnight loading software and moving data across. Because my teenage son built the computer from hand selected parts, we are having trouble working out which part has died. It's so frustrating in a house of computer junkies, I have a horrible old slow laptop with a worn out space bar and vowels a and e, and I am missing my passwords and photos... Our household has also been suffering blackouts day and night due to a faulty earth leakage detector, the air conditioner leaked water all over my favourite vintage books from 1890 ( I almost cried!), our hot water system died, and my car battery left me stranded. It was getting ridiculous, and we were so frustrated. Then it was the day of the world school student strike for climate change. We wanted to go to support our local kids but my partner had an urgent medical appointment in Canberra, so we decided I would represent us both and join the march in Canberra. It made me see most of our problems as "First world" problems - our luxuries letting us down. As my partner put it, my health problem really only affects one person, but climate change affects us all. So I protested and marched with the kids in Canberra for two hours (my arms are still sore from holding up my sign!). What an uplifting experience it was to be alone in a sea of people all keen for action and democracy. It put all my problems into perspective...

    I will be joining you for Simply Neutrals as soon as I can. Sending love and hugs,
    Jesse XXOO


Thank you so much for leaving me a sweet message, I love reading your comments. Hugs and happy day to you! xx Wen