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?

One book July is something that myself, Carie Harling and Rhomany from Rhomany’s Realm have been doing for the last several years.  We initially came up with the challenge to challenge ourselves as well as others in the planner community to just put everything away and use one pen and one book. This allows you to just clear your mind of all the noise and focus on what is important to you and what your daily needs are. Every year since that first year it’s been a great success and people started flooding our social media and emails asking what it is that we will be doing this year!

In years past I have really loved and enjoyed doing this challenge because I have learned so much. I consider myself a seasoned planner but I constantly crave more and love to change things and play with so many different inserts and stickers and methods. In 2015 I decided to take a plain sketchbook that I found at Michaels and turn it into a book to catch everything!! Not only was the size something different but so was the concept. I had a lot of fun decorating the front cover. It was easy to do because the cover is made of a canvas and so drawing on there to personalize it was great fun!! I used ballpoint and colored pencil, just that simple!

A lot of the setup was inspired by Clark Danger and his youtube channel. When doing research I found his channel and I felt very inspired with how he put together his journals and kept organized. I also added sections into the journal to help break it up and keep me organized. I placed washi tape on those pages to help me tab to those sections. The sections are setup with anything and everything that you would want to have with you!! I have to say that this was one of my absolute favorite setups that I have ever done!

This is the first page of the book and I think it’s a great phrase to remind yourself of everyday. I did a video recently talking about how planners to me are little time capsules and with all your plans and appointments have captured your life at that moment in your life.

 

I will share some of the sections that I decided to place into this book.  In each section I had plenty of space to work with and with a blank page I was able to be very creative with how I wanted my pages to be setup!

 

You can add a bullet journal section and a hobonichi section, the options are endless!!

I felt so incredibly free with each of the sections and very liberated. I didn’t have any lines to follow and my brain just wrote down and did what it needed to do. I think that having preprinted planners is great because it guides you but it can also limit you on your own creativity and doesn’t all you to focus on what you need instead follows what someone else needs!

In the above pictures on the left, is an example of how I would lay out my week. With such a large amount of space to work with I have room to add lots of ephemera, notes and stickers and just have fun!! On the right hand side, the picture features some research that I was doing with water colors. I like to have a palette in each journal that I work  in and here I have them laid out just to see what they look like and how they play in this book!

Adding a section on this post (left picture) it I captured what I wanted to keep in this section. It was great to help me not just pile everything in or use the sections not in the way I intended for them to be used.  I initially was worried that writing notes would pose the problem of information getting lost but I actually think that I found a way to easily find everything I need. I drew lines around some information, added pictures and post its to help separate things I did not want to get lost and the result was something I just loved!! I still adore how all these pages turned out!!

 

If you know me then you know I love to memory keep and I did just that on these pages!! I sketched images of shows that I liked watching and used my pictures of memories that captured those special moments!!!

Last year I used a 5×7 Barron Fig book and did a lot of memory keeping in that book as well. I didn’t utilize it quite like I used my sketchbook but it’s still something I loved doing. I took that journal with me on our family vacation and captured many pieces of ephemera and many water color images. I thought I would feature the sketchbook version of my one book july because I feel as though it’s one of my most creative endeavors to date!!

I hope you join all of us this year as well. I can guarantee that even though you may hate it or feel challenged for the month in the end you will feel something and learn something new about yourself. It will definitely improve on your planning and organizing of your thoughts!

 

 

 

I love looking through all of my old journals and planners. I don’t have the planners from when I was in middle school and high school because my parents had a terrible flood in the basement and I lost them all!  As I was looking through them I stumbled upon my little pocket moleskine that I had when I worked in Clinical Informatics.

In my nursing career I worked for many years at the bedside I then worked more on the administrative side in informatics. I really loved and enjoyed this time in my career and worked very closely with physicians and nurses and ancillary at a different level.  During this time I had a desk but I had to be out on the units and on call for staff. I needed to be very portable and so my one planner was a pocket one! I did have a desk planner as well but I loved having this pocket planner for on the go.

As I hold this little planner in my hand all I can do is smile! I realized that by keeping these planners I am capturing little snippets of my life. I can look back and be reminded of all of my OB appointments when I was pregnant with my first daughter who is now almost 5. I am looking back at all of the projects, deadlines and go lives that I was a part of. I was 8 months pregnant during one of the go lives and remember waddling around and remembered how crazy my schedule was. As I flipped through the pages and saw all of the physician names which many are now retired or no longer at that hospital I was just flooded with all these memories. They all flashed before my eyes and I just could not help but smile. I loved this time of my life and to have all these wonderful memories come back made me realize how wonderful it is to have a planners. I am so grateful that I have always enjoyed having planners and having them capture my days. I was even putting a recipe at the back of this planner. I recall getting this from one of the ladies that I use to work with. I remember her sharing with me how this is a must try and I’m so glad that the post it’s are still here in the back.

I love that when I use this planner I don’t worry about my handwriting or what I am writing. Things get crossed off and I don’t really worry about the aesthetics of the planner. This is how I have been using planners all of my life. I was unaware of pretty planning until I became a member of the planner community. I do enjoy very much the beauty of decorating your planner but I still really enjoy so much how raw these pages are.

I never really realized  how a planner is able to capture so much. Something that most people don’t think twice about or think that it’s just something that you write down appointments is actually al little time capsule.

 

 

It’s capturing your life as it is happening. It’s having a little recorder  with you each and everyday capturing your schedule. When the year is over place it on your shelf and pull it out every so often and see how it jogs all of your memories!! I really have been so impressed and happy how this worked out for me!!

 

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