Happy Friday and hello spring? The end of February was glorious where we are, warm, sunny and dry. I think we got a little carried away with ourselves and started to imagine outdoor activities and ice-cream! I know, I’m guilty of pushing the woolly pullies to the back of the wardrobe.
However, March came in and whoops!! Stormy, wet and cold weather was back. My wardrobe is a mess, as the woollies have been dragged over the spring garments and scarves pulled out from under thin tops. Ah well, it was a bit bonkers to be honest not to mention worrying.
My morning walks with Cooper are a good opportunity to watch the season change however and gather some inspiration along the way. The pine branch above will find its way into my sketch book and may even be used next Christmas. The fern will be used in a print I think and already I’ve added a small piece in my Simple Stories planner layout. I touched it with a brayer and a little white ink to tone it down and help it blend into the page better.
I also used a little on my WOW! Embossing Powder Facebook challenge piece. This month the challenge is all about foils and I was desparate to use mine in an abstract way. I love abstract backgrounds and using them this way over a smooshed ink layer was so much fun.
I’m declaring March Nature Inspiration month just because I can! Why not try including a little nature in your work?
I love Autumn especially living here in a country blanketed by forest. When the leaves turn it’s magical.
We do tend to get nice weather in Autumn and as I sit here it’s the first of September already the sky is blue and the garden is calling.
This Autumn I start a new chapter in my life which I’ll go into in a bit more detail about next week but for now I need a new planner set up to help me get ahead so I thought I’d work in my Carpe Diem from Simple Stories along with the new Forever Fall collection.
It’s an absolute gorgeous collection and the colours are right up my street.
I decided to make myself a wrap around for one of my inserts from a file folder which is so easy to do. I can’t take all of the credit for this one, I saw it once on the internet but for the life of me I can’t remember where I originally saw it so sadly can’t give the credit where it’s due.
To make a wrap around pocket cover you’ll need to get hold of a card file folder. With school starting there are plenty around and you can pick up a pack of colourful ones for very little money. I just happened to have a few old ones which I found in the recycling centre which is what I’m using here.
The first thing you need to do is take out the metal and plastic holders if that’s possible. If you can’t do that with yours I suggest you work it into the finished design and take advantage of it.
Next mark off where you need to cut and fold. Measure the wrap around using your insert and fold the two side pockets in. When it comes to cutting off the excess at the bottom leave a flap of about two cm’s at the bottom of each pocket. Cut a diagonal piece off each pocket.
Put double sided tape or glue along the bottom flaps and fold them in and that’s all there is to it. Now you get to do the fun bit which is the decorating.
It wraps around an insert perfectly and also makes a nice cover if as I’ve done you slip the covers into the pockets.
Oh bother, I’ve missed a few posts, I’ve not been well so I’m afraid my best of intentions went right out of the window.
I’m having a good day today so I can catch you up on the good stuff which did happen last week.
Well for starters the sun came out and made us all feel really Springy. As much as could be done outside was done outside and a spot of sketching was right up there. By the end of the week it started pouring with rain and I ended up with a jumper on again which goes to show we shouldn’t take these moments for granted. As I said I wasn’t feeling well so I ended up watching my neighbours digging over their plots ready for the new season and all I can do is imagine their thoughts as they look over at mine, destroyed by the dog and full of weeds. Hubby and I have got a plan up our sleeves though which will knock their socks off!! Maybe. This week the sun came back and we were treated to some truly warm days.
I did receive a very welcome package from Paperpenandplan just over a week ago containing some Simple Stories goodies. Planner stickers, stamp, washi and paper pack. I couldn’t wait to open and use it.
As the title suggests, small is indeed beautiful to coin a cliché and my passport sized Travelers Notebook is fast becoming my absolute favourite planner of all time.
I decided to make a mini insert for it using some of the Simple Stories Domestic Bliss papers which arrived from Paperpenandplan.
As before the binding is hand sewn as that’s my favourite method of binding.
Wow February is here and I for one am truly happy about that. January is such a dismal month with most of it spent trying to either catch up on stuff not finished from last year, feeling down because already the promises made on January 1st have fallen by the wayside plus the weather is usually dull and dreary like the mood. So…..February is here folks so fear not, all will be well.
February is the month of finding the first signs of an eventual spring. Only this morning I swear I heard the croaks of a bull frog coming from the pond next door. There’s alot to look forward to this month and yesterday was Candlemass or Liichtmess as it’s known here where light is brought in to the home to see us through those last weeks of winter and to hurry on the Spring. Here it’s a big thing with the children who walk from house to house with lamps chanting the song and asking for sweets. Like trick or treat without the trick! It’s a colourful and light filled occasion and of course the kiddies love it. Then at the end of the month it’s pancake day (shrove Tuesday). I love pancakes, who doesn’t? In the middle of the month I’ll be off to Birmingham for the Stitches show at the NEC. This time last year I was all nervous and excited to be part of it on a stand of my own as part of the CHA designers section. I’ve learned alot in a year and realise how naive I really was back then. I’m happy to be going this year as a visitor, it’ll be more relaxing for sure.
Right now on the Canvas Corp web site, I’ve a little project using scraps of paper and fabrics to make prayer banners. They include motivational words to help carry me through the year and the banner hangs in my studio.
I’m pleased to say my planning is right on track and I’m really enjoying the process. I think I’ve found something which suits me and my style and is really working. It’s only taken a year of experimenting to discover what I actually like but I’m now using my A5 Carpe Diem properly but putting my own stamp on it, my Travelers Notebook from Websters Pages which holds my sketchbook and my personal which I’ve totally renewed making all my own dashboards and inserts for.
I’ve very pleased to say I’m involved with a wonderful community of people called Paper Pen and Plan who bring monthly planner goodies to you in the form of a subscription box. They have a web site here Paperpenandplan and a great Facebook group too.
My February planner pages have been created using stickers and downloads from their February Sweet Treat box the theme of which is Rainbows and Unicorns. What could be more adorable? They are also running a challenge within the Facebook group with the opportunity to win prizes. You can join the group here.
Have a good weekend everyone and I hope it’s a colourful one.
I really should call this Catching Up In The Studio as it’s now Sunday and I’m only now finding the time to do my catch up. It’s been a busy week as usual and the weather hasn’t helped. We’ve had some snow and having a dog who constantly wants to come in and out the floors are always wet and dirty so I spend my time cleaning up after him.
Anyway, that aside, I’ve prepared my planners and journals for this new year and I thought I’d share that with you seeing as I’ll be using them from time to time in blog posts. The four above are the ones I’ll be using on a regular basis and from the top they are, a Websters Pages Travelers Notebook which holds a sketchbook and journal in at the moment but I have the ability to be able to add other books as I go along. Next is my desk diary which is my daily agenda, always on my desk with my to do lists, money matters and notes etc, then comes my Simple Stories Carpe Diem planner which I started last year and abandoned after January! I’m hoping this year to really use it properly and after making new inserts and dashboards for it I feel it’s really my own style. Finally I’ve a gardening diary which was a gift a couple of years ago and although I’ve started it I don’t feel as if I’ve really got into it yet. I’ve lots of ideas for how I’ll use this one so you may see it from time to time here.
As I said in my travelers notebook I’ve included a sketchbook. I do have a much bigger sketchbook which I’ll continue to use from time to time but for a quick sketch on the go I’ll be using this one. It’s a Moleskine as I absolutely love the paper even though it’s thin and buckles and warps when I use watercolour paint on it, this is why I like it so much.
A couple of sketches created after walks with the dog.
My planner is a Simple Stories ring binder style and now I’ve made my own dashboards it feels more like me so I’m hoping that will encourage me to keep up with it.
I’d love to know if any of you are using planners or journals this year and what system you’re using?
Hopefully I can inspire you a little bit to get out a pencil and maybe start something new.
I’m itching to start my new planner but before I do I thought I’d open it up and give you a little look at what’s exactly in it. There’s a ton of space to write, stamp, stick or what ever you fancy in there and I’ll be making good use of every centimetre.
Don’t you just love these colours? They’re the new A5 planners by Simple Stories and they’re adorable. The binders come in Black, Robin’s Egg Blue, Coral, Aqua, Platinum and Pink. I think my favourite is the Aqua but the Platinum is just as delicious.
Inside the A5 Split Leather Planner you get: (1) metal charm, (12) monthly calendar pages, (12) monthly tabbed dividers, (72) weekly inserts (1) A5 Tablet and (6) assorted inserts.
Tonnes of space to keep stuff and plenty of room on the pages to add your own personal touch too.
If you want to see more here’s the video by Simple Stories made for the CHA conference in the Summer.
If you’re interested in having one of these planners I’ll be taking pre-orders for the shop. They’ll be €42.00 excluding postage and I’ll be ordering them very soon so I can have them in the New Year. Just think of it as a Christmas present to you! Surely we deserve it!
If you’d like one just send me a mail: email@example.com letting me know which colour you prefer. Once they come in I’ll let you know and you can pay for them through the shop. You can also order directly through the shop here.
I can’t wait for mine to arrive, I’ll be itching to personalize it.