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100 days of freeform mandalas 1-10

Yay! I am loving the 100 day project so far. Yes, I know, easy to say when we are only at day 17 out of the 100 required days, but I am not feeling the pressure and I am enjoying my mandala making.

I think one of the main reasons I am liking it so much this year is that I haven’t restricted myself to a sketchbook or one paper type to make them on.  In fact I am sure at some point I will make a mandala which doesn’t even involve paper.

Some are in art journals, a Moleskine sketchbook, a handmade sketchbook, a vintage library card, on an old black and white photo and on a sheet of ledger paper.

I do need to find a box or envelope to keep the loose ones all together though or I can see that by the end of the 100 days I won’t remember where half of my mandalas are!

Are you doing the 100 day project?  How is it going?

Happy Thursday x




The Sketchbook Project 2018










The Sketchbook Project is hosted and housed by the Brooklyn Art Library and I got my little sketchbook many months ago!

This is an amazing and unique project in that it is not curated, you buy a sketchbook, fill it up following the Art Library guidelines, send it back to Brooklyn and you are in.  Your book filled with your art is on a shelf along with the other sketchbooks waiting for someone to pick it out and browse it’s pages.

I removed the original pages and made an accordion fold out which I painted both sides of and glued it back in.

The theme I chose is ‘People I wish I knew’ and my book title is ‘Vintage names and modern faces’.  I snipped out some names from a vintage encyclopedia and glued one per page/face and painted a face onto each page. On the reverse side I painted a loose pattern.

I still think this is a wonderful project and I will be signing up for 2019!

Happy Monday x


Daily Moleskine. March Pages 2018

Blimey, March was not planned to be full of faces and mandalas but that is clearly how I filled my pages in my Moleskine planner!

Isn’t it funny how certain things appear time and time again when you are keeping a regular sketchbook or creative book.

I wonder what April will be filled with?

Happy Wednesday x


I made a giant book!

I had a case of FOMO this week or keeping up with the Joneses or whatever you want to call it.

I saw two different Instagram friends post two books they had made, one was super chunky and amazing, the other was a small pamphlet stitched book made with kraft paper and what looked like old book pages.

Well, you know me, old books and bookbinding, I loved them both and wanted to make something similar to combine the chunky and the vintage paper.

As this is the beginning of the season of play in the Get Messy art journaling community, I decided to go for it and make a basic structure so I didn’t loose my mind but make it nice and full so I didn’t run out of pages (ha! no shortage of pages here).

I used a fancy paper bag as the cover which I reinforced with a cereal box and I cut and folded 17 signatures each with five sheets. The pages are from an old cookbook, an encyclopedia, an old National Geographic,  an atlas, a photography book, some music and pages from a 1952 ledger.

Thanks to Divyam and Alicia for their inspiration!

Happy Thursday x


How many projects can I spin at once?

April is here and where I live spring missed the memo and winter is snickering in the corner as the weather is still freezing cold with a sprinkle of snow every so often.  I am sure someone will poke spring shortly and we will warm up a little. Not too much though, I don’t need ninety degrees and high humidity just yet.

Anyway, along with a new month and season I have decided to take on possibly too many projects!  Three of these are ongoing and the other three are shorter than the first in duration, but they still add to my daily quota.

My ongoings are the 365 day of random art in my Moleskine planner, make a colour swatch each day for 365 days and Get Messy Art Journal projects and community.  These are all going swimmingly and I am enjoying all of them.

The new kids on the block are as follows

The 100 day project – started on Tuesday April 3rd and consists of me drawing freeform mandalas every day for (you guessed it) 100 days until July.  I have done the project for the past three years now and it is a good amount of time to gather a body of work related to whatever you choose to do for 100 days. I am a grand two days in and doing well!

Creative Bug‘s daily sketch project for April is hosted by Pam Garrison who is teaching us  30 different ways to sketch flowers.  I am using my new Dina Wakely Media Journal which I am still learning to love but we are getting there.  So far I have used a mix of media and flowers and I am pleased with where it is all going.

The Brooklyn Art Museum‘s sketchbook project is a library filled with sketchbooks filled in by anyone and everyone. I have a sketchbook which I am going to refill with an accordion of faces which I have nearly finished painting.  I just need to get it finished and in the mail back to Brooklyn by the end of the month.


I do enjoy making some art every day and challenges like these certainly keep me on track.  Hopefully by the end of April I will be triumphant and have completed the Creative Bug and Sketchbook project and I will be a month into the 100 day Project.

Are you doing The 100 day project or a 365 project or just a sketch when you feel like it?!

Happy Wednesday x


Weekend Finds

My favourite antique shop here in St Louis opens each month from the 1st to the 7th only.  This month we made a trip this weekend and they didn’t disappoint.

I found a ledger which is smaller than the ones I usually see, the size is what drew me to it initially and when I saw that it was almost all filled in with ledger type stuff from the 1920’s I was sold. It contains information about mail deliveries, egg accounts and Jessie’s music expenses from 1928!




I bought this fabulous chunk of vintage paper to paint on and put into art journals, but I am not sure I can.  The more I look through it, the more interesting it is!  For now, this is safe in my collection of old books.

I also found a People’s Cyclopedia from 1890 without its cover but so interesting.  It is the D-L volume and full of 1890’s information and illustrations.  It still has the wonderful marbled cover pages and the inside of the bindings is revealed as the cover is gone.  Each signature is there alongside the cording of the spine and the label and tape with would have been hidden under the cover.







How fascinating is this graphic of ‘The World’ from 1890, from the population figures to the pie chart of races.

I also found the scissors which are pictured, they work well and just need the layer of rust removing!

I hope you had a lovely weekend and found time to be creative.

Happy Monday x

My Many Watercolour Paint Sets.





How many watercolour sets does one person need?  Maybe not this many if I am honest, but this was an interesting little task I set myself.

It all started when I began to think about getting or making a new travel set of watercolours for myself.  I wondered whether to buy a ready made set or make a new set with a small tin and some gum trays.  Any excuse to buy some new tubes of paint, right?  When I started to look at the price of the paints I was coveting – wrong!  I have so many watercolour sets as well as a good selection of tubes, I decided to get them out and see what I had and what colours were among the many many sets past and present.

My small collection consists of a vintage M. Grumbacher set from an estate sale which has great colours and pigments even now it has been around for a few decades.

Then there is my homemade travel set in an Altoids tin and the paints are Windsor and Newton tubes squeezed into empty gum trays.  See how I made it here and gasp at how clean and shiny it was when I made it!!  I love this tiny box because I filled it with colours I wanted and used a lot at the time.


I have a stacking set which is a fine travel set as it is super compact with many colours, even if they are not top quality.

My other basic set by Artist’s Loft has a great colour selection and has lasted me well.

The Windsor and Newton travel set I have had since I was a teenager and the colours are a great selection and very nice quality.


The colours in the Kuretake set are super vibrant and a great selection except for me it is missing a good pink.  This is one of the reasons making your own set is so good, so you can get the colours you want!

The little Koi travel watercolour set has a good variety of colours but they are so small and so close together is is awkward to use with anything except a teeny brush. I do like that it also has a removable mixing palette though.


Now I have done swatch sheets of all my watercolour sets, I am going to look and see which colours I can do without in my new travel set and which I absolutely have to have – Paynes Grey and Opera Pink have to be in there, a million shades of brown I can live without.

The conclusion I never thought about until today and doing this funny exercise is that I will buy a couple of new colours and carefully co-ordiante a new travel set maybe using an Altoid tin or maybe I will get all fancy and buy an empty box with little pans for my colours.  Having said that I don’t see any bought boxes holding 24 colours in such a small space with room to maneuver.

I am off to buy some Altoids and a couple of packs of gum sold in trays!

Happy Monday x