I get told all the time in comments and emails that people feel as though their days are boring. They don’t do anything everyday. Their days are the same and mundane, nothing changes day to day. “I don’t know how to draw”, is something I hear almost daily. So I want to ask the question, should I be documenting my days? What’s the point? In this post I will share with you what I believe comes from documenting your days.

(Earlier work in my Fauxbonichi pictured below)

I have been documenting my days since I was 8 years old. When I look back at these journals I just love and cherish them. Not only is documenting your days great when you look back on them but it’s also important to realize that the things that you do ARE important. YOUR life is important. The things that you do every single day are great. Once you start writing it down and sketching little bits of your day you will start to realize just how important your days are. When you sit down with your journal each and every night you will be forced to sit down and reflect back on your day. Does a conversation with a coworker come to mind? A funny story? Did your kids do or say something that made you happy or made you angry or sad. Did you have a great coffee? Did you have a cheat day or did you work out and stayed healthy for the day? When you stop to think about it, it makes you aware of your present moment. You begin to realize that life is now, it’s happening all around you and it’s great. The good, the bad the ugly it’s all apart of you and it tells your journey. It tells the story of you and your life and the people that are in it. It’s the most important story that you have to tell. What better way to tell it than to sit down everyday and write about it. Draw small doodles to help jog your memories about something that you want to remember.

(My journal drawings in the beginning, pictured below)

I started a new way of journaling in 2014 and I called it a fauxbonichi. I came up with the idea exploring pinterest and tumbler. I found alot of images of something foreign to me called a hobonichi techo. Everything that I could find on this was in Japanese. I scoured pictures for hours even days. I was obsessed with the pictures. Little tiny images and stickers and drawings of food and cups of coffee. Little people and cute little embellishments, I just could not get enough. Loved every picture that I saw. So I made a version of my own and called it a fauxbonichi and shared it on youtube. Now, today, 2017 you can purchase a hobonichi techo on amazon!! The craze for the little book is just awesome and I love it. The only problem that I found with using it was that because it was daily it would limit me to one page. Some days I like to fill many pages and other times I like to skip a day. I can see the benefit of having a daily so that it pushes you to at least jot down something for each day but I have found over the years that this was unnecessary for me.

(My more recent drawings in current Fauxbonichis pictured below)

As for drawing, well I finally believe it when people say “it just takes practice”. It’s true! The only way that I can say this is because when I look at old journal entries I could really see the improvement in my drawing. Now I don’t think twice about drawing something. I just draw because I care more about the memory then I do about what the drawing looks like or how perfect it is. This mindset has really helped me to not be so focused on the perfection of a drawing and more on the memories. With that mindset I believe that my drawings have improved because I keep doing it. I do it every single day because I want to remember my days and my life. To see the true benefits of this way of memory keeping. You need to do it for at least two weeks. After the two weeks just grab the journal and flip through the pages. Look back at the days, did you notice things on the pages that you already forgot about? Yup, you did, now imagine what it will feel like when you pick up a journal that you have been doing this for 6 months and a year or years later. It’s pretty amazing! If you would like more on how to do this check out my eclass and I hope to inspire you to capture your memories and your days!!

Do I have to learn to be creative? Yes!! I learn each and every day! I try and look for inspiration from books, I watch as many videos and inspirational people as I can. There is always something to learn. It’s always a journey with creativity and there is no destination. I personally find that when I look at other

I feel as though I have been waiting forever for this palette! I really really wanted this palette for a few reasons. Firstly the unique shape and size of the palette itself. I love all things that are a square. I love square sketch books and journals and it’s probably why I love the b6 size so much!! Secondly the palette contains all new colors that were released by Schmincke this year, so there would be no duplicates with any previous palettes. Earlier this year Wetpaint released a palette that was limited edition and I missed that one. I believe a botanical palette so this time I was not going to miss a majestic beauty! I also bought this palette because I love Schmincke. It’s my favorite water color by far. I love how intense and sharp the color is with my first stroke. I don’t seem to have this effect with any other watercolor that I own.

In this palette the colors are a double primary that have warm primaries and cool primaries! This really makes some wonderful color combinations and there isn’t really much else that I would need to carry with me. As far how much of an artist I am. Well I don’t consider myself a trained artist by any means but I do use watercolors every day. I just adore them. I started using them about 5 or 6 years ago and I just have not looked back. I love the way they dance on

the paper and I feel as though they always look great and it’s difficult to even try to make them look bad.

Now, back to this set, I am thrilled with the color choices. Having the primaries available to me allows so many options. I am able to create skin tones with the potters pink. Hair color can be accomplished as well as clothes. I can do basic back drops like the sky and trees. Really I can’t think of something that I would not be able to create! I am thrilled to have this in my hands.

The first thing I love to do when I receive a new palette is to just hold it in my hand and admire it. This palette really fits well, the ring on the back allows you to hold it while doing outdoor painting and have little worry of it falling out of your hand. I LOVE the size! Not sure if I mentioned that or not…LOL!! It’s not too long it’s not too short it’s just right. The palette comes with 12 but there are 6 open slots to fill with more colors. If I were to remove the insert I feel as though I could fit many many more. It’s something I may or may not do eventually.

After removing the cellophane I love to just look at the watercolor pans wrapped like little candies. They just look so wonderful and delicious! Not to eat of course but to add to that art palette. When I finally can’t take it anymore and I need to rip into them I start! I always write the name on the pan. The reason is that I can never remember the order and I can’t really tell what the color is just by looking at it with a new palette. I eventually get comfortable enough with my palette to know the exact color just by looking at it but it takes some time to get to that relationship! 

Now the pans are all named and placed back into the palette it’s time to begin. I love swatching! It’s so relaxing and a great way for me to get to know a palette. I love to see that first stroke of watercolor and watch how it reacts. I swatch first in my journal because I use that the most with watercolor. I also do a fair bit in several different sketch books. I like to draw large sometimes, small other and so I always go to the back and just swatch the palette. I learn how the watercolor interacts with the paper and also how it looks dry. 

The first swipes with the Schmincke color is just so sharp and intense. I feel like the color that I receive just from the first swipe is so beautiful. I only need a quick swipe and so much color comes with it. I haven’t seen that with most of the other watercolors in my collection. With other colors they are very transparent and I need to build the color. Schmincke is intense to begin with and I need to wash the color away. It’s a learning curve for some but for me this is my favorite way to work with water color. I like to work with the intensity, I almost grow frustrated when I need to add more water and color.

The colors in this palette are so beautiful and work so well together that I have not been reaching for any other palette but this one. It’s so pleasing to the eye and I have not found that I am missing anything. I am able to create pictures in my fauxbonichi as well as create beautiful washes of color for journaling.  The warm primary and cool primary is something I don’t have in very many palettes and so have felt as though many are incomplete for me. This feels just perfect. I have more room in the palette if I ever do find that I need a color or something to go with the seasons but the core of this palette is just beautiful. The paper that I mostly use water color with is the Tomoe River paper. I love how the watercolor sits on top of the paper and allows me time to move it before it settles. The colors work beautifully in this way but also look tremendous on watercolor paper. They have a gorgeous gradient to them when I swatched them out in my watercolor journals and I am overall thrilled with this palette. I hope for it to bring me many wonderful years of pure painting joy. Do you have this palette? What are your thoughts on Schmincke? Thanks for reading!

I know your confused by the title, how could an old pirate get me to do my laundry? Well…I’m referring to a recent podcast that I listened to on this American Life.  I could not stop listening to the story and didn’t realize that I had folded and put away nearly three baskets of laundry.  What did this prove to me? Well chores can get done more quickly when listening to podcasts or audio books.

Let me share with all of you first that I love stories. I love when stories are told to me, especially on weird and quirky topics. I loved hearing about Blackbeard one of the scariest pirates that ever lived. Did you know that he would tie twine into his beard and light it on fire and put it out causing dark clouds of smoke? He would do this upon meeting people creating a very intense and scary appearance, giving him the name Blackbeard. I just loved and enjoyed hearing this episode as well as listening to an episode about summer camp and what kinds of traditions are shared as well as how much fun the kids had. I had always wanted to go to a summer camp.

I have most recently been looking forward to folding and putting away laundry just so that I could plug in my headphones and listen to these podcasts. Some other great podcasts that I have enjoyed in the past are Serial. Great podcast to listen to if you love murder mysteries. This story follows a young man whose ex girlfriend was murder back when they were seniors in high school and he is in prison for it but did he really do it? The podcast does a beautiful job of reopening the case and looking at the story again forcing you to continually change your mind about who did it.

Another AMAZING podcast is S*** Town, I can promise you that once you start this you will not be able to stop or in my case you will be looking for chores to do around the house just so you can listen to it. The podcast does use some profanity and is pretty raw but I can promise the story has twists and turns that can only leave you feeling mixed emotions.  In the Dark  ,this has been my most recent listen. I am only 4 episodes in but already I can’t wait to fold more laundry so that I can continue to listen.

So what’s the moral of the story? I only listen when I am doing chores. I can not listen unless I am doing chores. With this little rule in place I find myself wanting to do them just so I can finish listening to the story. It has truly made folding laundry a pleasure, not only am I feeling accomplished but I am also listening to some great stories. It has taken away the mundane feeling that I use to have about chores and now I have this ‘it’s not so bad’ feeling about doing them. This goes for pulling weeds in the garden to dusting to any other task around the house that just was something I would dread doing.

If you don’t like the podcasts I recommend look at all the others, I am sure that one of them will peak your interest! If you are more of an audio book person the library is a great place to down load them as well!! I also highly recommend the wireless ear bud that I use. It’s very inexpensive and there are no wires so I can fold laundry, cook dinner and be able to move  hands freely without any worry of wires getting in the way or my device getting knocked onto the floor! Let me know if you give this a try and how it works for you!

I ask myself this almost every time I walk into my office. Every time I get a flyer, an email, or even a text from a store that there is a sale I go to my wish list section in my planner and look and see if it’s something I can buy. Is this a problem? My husband would say so!

I initially did think this was a problem but then I said to my husband this is what makes me happy. I use nearly everything. Some things do collect dust but I either send it away or sell it on eBay and use the funds to purchase something new. It’s almost like all the fun for me is in the research and saving up for something that really brings me joy!!

Here is an example, I have been eyeing this little typewriter from we r memory keepers. I think almost everyone  in the craft and planner community has. I research it, try and find out as much as I can about it. I then sit down and put a list together of what I might use it for. Will I use it to type out journal entries or will I use it in my filofax (this was the idea I loved most). I went on to research typewriters that were given a second chance on eBay and found that some of them were at astronomical prices. I tried using sales and coupons at Michaels but each time I was denied. I just kept it on my stationary wish list when one day low and behold there was one on the floor at Michaels in the clearance section for $50. You know she came home with me!!

The whole experience for me is what is exciting. I put so much research and thought into the things that I want to purchase that when I finally receive the item I really and truly cherish it. I rarely ever have buyers remorse. I don’t fall into the hype of having to buy something immediately because it will be gone. I usually wait until everyone else buys it and has the remorse and ends up selling in one of the resell shops on Facebook or eBay. I love a bargain and if I can get one I will do everything I can until I feel like I’m getting it for the best price.

In conclusion, do I NEED everything that I shop for? The answer, No! Do I love the entire process of researching and coming up with ideas and working on getting the best price for it …Yes!! It’s the whole point of having a hobby and a passion. It’s something that brings me joy each and every day. It’s something that I love to sit down in front of and feel all the creative energy around me. I love the space that I have created and it helps me to really want to continue to express myself! Do you enjoy the process as well?

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