Oodles of Doodles

I am creative; I can stretch that to say I am artistic. What I am not is a person who is able to draw. That would be a great gift, and it is a gift my older son has. He didn't get it from me.

However, I was scrolling through Instagram the other day, and Stephanie Klauk posted an image of her bullet journal - the page where she was working through the Oodles of Doodles challenge for April. It's a list of prompts - 30 of them - and for each of them, you use the prompt to lead you in a doodle.  A few example prompts for April are tulip, bunny, ants, picnic - you get the idea.

It looked interesting  and as I said, I can't draw. But I CAN play. So I grabbed the list from The Petite Planner's Instagram feed, and created a spread in my bullet journal.

The drawings are doodles. They aren't great - as I said, I can't draw. But it is fun. And it reminded me about something important regarding creativity. You don't have to be good at something to do it. Do it anyway. Play. Create. Have fun expressing yourself.

My Raskog Cart

Top Shelf
 I have a cart that sits near my studio desk - it's a Raskog cart from IKEA.  When I was setting it up, I looked around the internet for ideas - and didn't find many. So, this is how I set it up.

Top Shelf:
  • Box with stamps I want to use soon. In particular seasons, this turns into seasonal stamps (like Christmas).
  • Box with precut papers I can use for the inside of the cards, bags I use to put finished cards and envelopes together and other small papers.
  • Basket with towels for cleaning (paper and cloth).
  • Scoreboard and Misti

Second Shelf
 Second Shelf:
  • Two baskets of embossing powders: metallic and colors
  • Coffee filters for embossing
  • Box of acrylic box which also contains basket for ink blending tools and ink swatch stamp.
  • Small basket of long strips of paper for sentiments
Third Shelf - one side
 Third shelf:
  • Basket of large cling rubber stamps (especially backgrounds and Penny Black)
  • Jar of finger blending tools
  • Jars of water for watercoloring
  • Pencil cases - Prismacolor (the large one), Derwent Inktense and Derwent watercolor

Third shelf - other side

I love my cart. It has made staying organized, and having everything handy for when I need it so much easier. One of my favorite purchases! I also enjoy using baskets to help keep everything organized on the cart. I enjoy how they look. The exception to this is the acrylic blocks, which are in an acrylic storage box.

Easter Cards

 I'm working on Easter cards this week, and I feel in love with Cottontail Cuties from Neal and Tangled.  I belong to an accountability group (called an Emmaus Reunion Group) - I've made cards for each of these women - 7 of them.

As I worked on the cards, I thought a post about these cards - step by step - might be fun to do.

I stamped the images in Hero Arts Black dye ink on Neenah Solar White 80 pound card stock - I like both of these for colored pencils.  I masked the little girl's hand and stamped the carrot, so that it looked like she was holding it. I wanted a soft look, so I used Prismacolor pencils (instead of copics). This design is very much inspired - if not stolen - from Laura Fadora - at this link.  Watching her video inspired me to purchase the stamp set.

I masked the images with post-it notes, and then used Inc. makeup brushes from Target to brush on Distress Ink (Twisted Citron and Broken China) for the grass and sky. I added a few pencil strokes in green to provide ground and blades of grass. I wish I could remember where I saw the idea of using the makeup brushes - they are a substitute for the more expensive Clarity Brushes. This is the first time I've tried them - I loved the light touch of ink they provide. I never could have gotten this soft of a background with the ink applicators I usually use with distress ink.

The panel is mounted on a frame and card base from My Favorite Things.  Seven of them ready for Easter!

Incowrimo - Encouragement Cards

Have you ever heard of incowrimo? It is an abbreviation for International Correspondence Writing month.

Since I started bullet journaling, I've been watching videos by Boho Berry. She participated in incowrimo - at the time I thought it required you to write a 28 letters in February. Cool idea - handwritten letters.

I didn't want to write letters, but decided to accept that challenge and send out 28 handmade encouragement cards in February. You can tell, if you know anything about incowrimo, that I didn't actually go check out their website - until today, as I write this post.  According to the website, "InCoWriMo challenges you to hand-write and mail/deliver one letter, card, note or postcard every day during the month of February." So, my card commitment was write in line with challenge - it doesn't have to be letters.

At first, I thought 28 encouragement cards was a stretch goal Keep in mind that I didn't count the ones I made for Valentine's Day. As the month went on ... Wow. Not just a stretch goal - it was a big commitment.

And yet, the whole process reminded me of why I send out handmade cards. The recipients were surprised - cards for no reason. A "happy" as my mother-in-law would have called it. People need that kind of encouragement, don't you think.

Will I do it next year? Maybe. It was worth it.

(By the way, the image was taken in a grocery store florist department with my iPhone - some day soon I'll write a post about my image a day for a month commitments.)

Bike Doodles

 In December, I started learning about bullet journaling. I decided to give it a try. That month, I pulled a blank book I had on my shelf and a couple of pens, and started giving it a try.

I liked it, so in January of this year, I started bullet journaling daily. I'll write a post about the process I use later - you can see my supplies at this link.

This morning, I was planning for the day. Steve had a bike ride on his schedule, and I wanted to include that in my day. I decided to work on a doodle of a bike that I could draw on my page. I started with a page in the back of my book, a google of bike doodles, and finally with the picture of Steve's bike that is to the right.

It's still a work in progress - I like the one on the bottom row, far right side the best, but fun to play with.

Doodle on.

Fountain Pens and Ink

I've become interested in foundation pens. Years ago, as a kid, I used a foundation pen, and I played around with calligraphy using a foundation pen with a calligraphy nib.  So this is a renewed interest.

My current pens are:

  1. Pilot Metropolitan, violet leopard with a fine nib.  This is a great pen. It was inexpensive, and yet it writes very smoothly - flows across the paper. It comes with a converter and a cartridge so that you can choose which method of adding ink you prefer. I started with a cartridge and then switched to a converter to use bottled ink.
  2. Platinum Plaisir, green with a fine nib. I like this pen, too. It doesn't write as smoothly as the Metropolitan, but it still does a good job.  When I purchased it, I also purchased a converter (which doesn't come with this pen.
  3. Parker Vector 88. This isn't my pen. It belonged to my husband's grandmother. He bought it for her as a gift, and when she died, it was returned to him. When he saw my interest in these pens, he dug it out for me to use. It still had the cartridge in it that she had used, although it was empty of ink (or dried up). I worried that the dried ink would have ruined the feed or the nib, but cleaning it was rather easy, and it was restored. No one has used it for about 20 years, and now it's working just great. I purchased a Parker converter for it.
Inks I've tried:
  1. Blue-Black Pilot cartridge - this worked as expected, but I wanted to try something a little bit brighter.
  2. Diamine emerald - It's a nice green ink, but it leans more toward yellow green than bluer green.
  3. Noodler's Green Marine - I like this one better than the Diamine Emerald because it is a bluer green. Personal preference.
  4. Diamine Blue Velvet - Great blue ink. I like it
  5. Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku - a deep teal blue-green ink - peacock. This is the ink I put in the Parker 88.
You'll see that for most of the inks above I've linked to samples from The Goulet Pen Company. They have a nice option that offers small samples of bottled ink to try. Great idea - and it has allowed me to try several before I buy a whole bottle.  The Iroshizuku link listed above was a "surprise" ink. It's another option they offer - you can purchase a randomly selected sample of ink.  Fun idea!

For those interested in finding more out above fountain pens, I recommend The Goulet Pen company Youtube page. It's what drew me into to exploring this world again.

FYI - the notebook above is a Leuchtturm 1917 journal that I use for Bullet Journaling.

Lobster scarf and Maine

In October of last year, Steve and I traveled to Portland, Maine, for a NAUMF meeting. It was a great trip!

While we were there, we visited a yarn shop called KnitWit. I like to purchase "souvenir" yarn when we travel - yarn that I can knit into a finished object (usually a scarf) and when I look at it, I remember the trip. I bought three skeins of Lark yarn from Quince & Co. in the colorway Peaks Ferry (which is red). Since then, I have knit it into a scarf.

I love blue yarn, but I steered myself away from it on this trip, just to have something different.  As I was checking out, the very nice clerk said that this would remind me of lobsters - very true!  See, souvenir yarn.

And we did go to a Lobster Bake while we were there.

Yarn - Quince & Co. Lark yarn, 100% wool, 3 skiens
Needles - Size 7, I think - I bought them on site at the store
Pattern - Yarn Harlot's one row scarf pattern - one of my very favorites.

Portland and the surrounding area is beautiful. On the Saturday we were there, we rented a car and went Lighthouse hunting.  We were able to find several:

  • Bug Light
  • Spring Point Ledge lighthouse
  • Portland Head lighthouse (pictured)
  • Rams Head Light 
  • Two lighthouses from Twin Light State Park
The image of Portland Head Lighthouse was taken with my Nikon CoolPix P330.  I left the "big" camera at home, so all of my Maine pictures were taken with my CoolPix or my iPhone camera.