Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Friday #16 : Hobonichi Catch-Up

Hello everyone! I know I missed last week's post, but alas as you know that juice cleanse all but wiped me out. The kicker is... my lovely iMac I just purchased... the usb ports are faulty so I haven't been able to access my pictures. Fantastic yeah?

However, no worries, in a round about way... emailing myself, I am at least able to play a little Hobo catch-up with you all. They are a little out of order, but as you can see, I've been experimenting a bit more. The gouache with silver gel pen is my favorite so far though. I really love this effect.

Some of my entries center around the little class I am taking from Sketchbook Skool. So far it has proved to be very fun to do. This segment is with the ever talent Koosje, she is very talented artist that is also well know for her food illustrations.

I learned a lot from her in this segment. Here I am using color pencils for the apple and the background I splashed with liquid water colors. Love... I have to say I was very surprised this ended up working out, because I hated how graphite looked on this paper. It just did not work for me. So when I found how buttery soft my Prisma Premier Pencils were blending... I was extremely happy indeed.

Hope you enjoyed my little catch-up post. Happy creating!

Music of the Day:
AWolnation : Sail

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Juice Cleans Ahhh... A little review on Urban Remedy

Hi everyone! Sorry, its been a while, but alas I attempted my first juice cleanse and when I did it I decided to go it Hard... Core... haha. So today I am going to share with you my experiences from the cleanse.

I looked into many different options that included juicing at home, but decided to go for Urban Remedy after I found a little coupon on

(image from Urban Remedy)

There were 3 different levels and although this was the first time I've done it, I decided to choose the Super Green one for 6 days. I know I know 6 days... what? But yes I did 6 days and I'll go into how I felt.

Day 1: I noticed it was actually hard to move on to the next juice right away as I felt full from the previous juice. There are 6 in total for the day and you consume them pretty much every 2 hrs. so you are never hungry. Did I crave anything? No not really. Didn't notice much of a difference in energy levels for most of the day until about 7 o'clock hit and then I started getting sleepy.

Day 2: I was super tired. I normally dislike napping, but I dozed off at least 3 times during the day and still managed to sleep early. This from an uber insomniac. Couldn't do much of anything and was a bit of a mess. Still didn't crave anything, but I did miss chewing food. 

Day 3: Still tired, but not as I was on day 2. I would have spurts on energy from the juices, however when I did simple actives such as cleaning the floors, I would begin to sweat and feel drained quickly. I no longer missed the act of chewing food though.

Day 4 - 6: A little more energy returned to me each day and I was able resume a normal day by mid day 5.

* Through days 2 - 10 so far, I feel as if there is a fine layer of film all over my mouth and teeth when I wake up in the morning. I am assuming this has to do with the detoxifying process.

It has only been a few days after the cleanse and I will have to say it is definitely worth it. After the juicing some of my digestive troubles cleared up and the pains I had been feeling in my joints and my carpal tunnel eased up quite a bit. I noticed my ankles and knees did not hurt when I walked down the stairs in the morning. Also, after long walks, I wasn't nursing super sore feet as I usually do even with thick gym shoes. 

When I awake in the mornings, I do not have that cloudy feeling which is fantastic. The added benefit... weight loss of course. I know they say ease into eating solid foods, but ended up going out with the family and then some friends so I did eat some usual treats. However, even though I did. They weren't as satisfying as they used to be. Nor did I have the desire to have more. They were just... ok.

I was quite the diet coke junky and I can safely say, I just don't want it anymore. I really like this feeling. I'm not sure how long it will last, but here it is in a nutshell. Now with this in mind I thought I'd share this little gem with you. Enjoy!

Music of the Day:
All About That Bass : Meghan Trainor

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy Friday #15 : The Midori Diary is Back!

Happy Friday everyone! So... as you can see I have decided to go back to my beloved Midori Traveler's Diary for planning again. The Hobonichi is working fabulously for my daily art journaling, but something about the positioning of the monthly calendar and the appointment pages which are located in the front, did not work for me. 

The other factor may also be the size. I had purchased the larger A5 thinking I would only use it at home, but I forgot how convenient it was for me to pop the diary/ planner bit out of my Midori cover and just throw it in my purse when I had to do shopping and such. Now I am wondering if I should try the smaller A6 for next year. Hmm...  

Any who... this is the second half of the 2014 Diary set I got for the Midori. I thought I would continue with the Kokeshi theme, but tried out a silver pen this time. I'm very happy with the results.

Here is the first spread for the July - December 2014 Diary. I still love how this works for me. So moving forward for this year, the Midori will be for daily life planning with the kids, and the Hobo will be for personal goals and used as a daily art/written journal.

Here is one of my favorite compilations for some good background music whilst doing creative endeavors. Happy creating!

Music of the Day: 
Buddha Bar 2013 : Buddha Bar

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Friday #14 : First Hobonichi Flip Through

Happy 4th and Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are having a most fantastic holiday. I thought I would do my first Hobo flip through since my mini iPhone tripod came in. I was hesitant at first, but hey it worked. Not only that... despite my old software, I finally cleaned out enough of my hard drive to do a bit'o video editing. Nothing fancy, but it serves it's purpose I think ^_*.

Any who, enough of the silly technical talk. The last image in my planner is a quick sketch I did of Danny Gregory for the next class that I will be taking from Sketchbook Skool. This is the first time I really sat down and played with sumi ink. Despite the few mistakes I made dripping ink and smearing it accidentally, I just went with the flow and enjoyed it.

I guess you can say Lynda Barry influenced me to try it again. I believe she briefly mentioned it was one of her favorite products to play with in one of her interviews. So although I had a terribly messy experience with it before, I'm glad I gave it another chance.

Happy creating!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Journals, Notebooks, Planners, Confusion

My obsession for journals, notebooks, and now planners, has been kicked up for little over a year now. As I peruse and drink in all the lovely options and how other's are using them, I realized a few things... Not only do we share this common ground, which only a fellow paper enthusiast would understand, but... as we purchase these items, many times we are at a loss as to how to use them.

We become enamored with the next new thing and then we simply become... lost. We do not know what purpose each purchase will be used for. There are so many options out there trying to make sense of our daily lives. Although I felt justified collecting journals after stumbling on notebookstories, there was a year I dropped back and "forced" myself to use only one journal and wouldn't allow myself another until that was finished. Oddly enough it was painful, yet at the same time, it stopped me from treating it like it was a precious commodity.

Haha... as I sit here writing this, I do realize how silly it all sounds to the average person. In defense I'll have to say it again... you just don't know unless you are a paper/ pen addict ^_*.

Now back to my oh so serious thoughts on the subject. I realized the struggles I had with my recent purchases were not mine alone. Countless times in not only the groups I admin, but in others, people ask..."How do you use _______?"substitute in any planner or journal. There are so many things or styles you can choose to document or plan life:

  • Future Plans
  • Health/Diet
  • Book Lists
  • Past Reflections
  • Travel
  • Bullet Journaling
  • DIY Fish
  • Documentation
  • etc.
After weeks of trying different things here is what is working for me thus far :

Midori Traveler's Notebook: Currently used as weekly planner, art journal, and written journal.

Barnes and Noble Journal : Common Place Book

Seven Seas Notebook : Will be used for writing journal once current Midori writing insert is finished.

Hobonichi Techo: Daily Visual Journaling

Strathmore Gray Tone Journal : Going back to basics sketchbook

Midori Traveler's Notebook Passport : Quick notes, sketches, and nightly gratitude journal.

Ok wait hold up! A gratitude journal?  I know, I'm not going all Oprah on you, but... I guess Ms. Oprah had it right. Watch this little clip its hilarious I promise, but it might just get you to do one as well after you read the Time article that went along with it ^_*.

So in a nut shell, yes I do have a crap load of journals going on, but this is how I use them....for now and hey why not experiment? Just start using what ever said journal or hot ticket of the month floats your boat and if it doesn't work try something else? No one will judge I promise ^_*.

Have a great time journaling!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy Friday #13 : The Common Place Book

I know, I know what you are thinking. Wha... another journal? Yes, but this one I've been parading about so you are probably used to seeing it by now ^_*. Any who, a lovely lady caught me mentioning my Common Place Book a few times and asked me to expand upon it. I actually put this one on the back burner for a while because there is so much to share.

Most of you have probably kept one in the past or are keeping one now without knowing it is called a Common Place Book. I know I have... here is a condensed Vlog about my thoughts on it.

As a companion to the vlog here are some of the sources I used to discuss the topic. These sources will give you more of the history and an in-depth look at keeping one.

How and Why to Keep a Common Place Book

Project Start a Common Place Book

How interesting, this blog did not come up for me in my initial search on the subject, but as I dug around for the links to share I found this : My flexible Common Place Notebook. This is pretty much how I like to use mine, with a few caveats...

I like to add my thoughts on certain subjects in mine. Mostly quick notes version or marginalia. When I really want to ponder on a subject. I use my regular writing journals/dairies. Which right now is inside my Midori Travelers Notebook.

Although I did not cover it in my Vlog, I also like to keep visual nuggets inside as well. Doodles, test products, and visual mood boards for topics I am going to write about. For instance, for a Paris Story writing class, I took images of France and put down fun papers, washi, etc. for visual inspiration.

For those of you who Home school or are interested here is the book and her website.

Music of the Day:
Raconte-Moi Une Histoire : M83

Hmm... this song sounded silly and fun just listening to it, but after watching the visual. It truly is the stuff of nightmares haha... Happy Creating!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Inspiration, Motivation, The Muse : Lynda Barry and Deep Thoughts

lynda barry
Image from necessaryshenanigans
Inspiration / Motivation come is so many different forms. The muse as some like to call it, can perch upon your shoulder, hang for a bit, then take flight at any moment. And when it does... it can stay away for eons. This happens to me all the time. I'm guessing its because the creation of art both visual and written is not a muscle memory I fully developed.

I understand the realities of art in any form call for dedication, conviction, a way of life, but... for those of us who need a little extra umph to push us along the way. I say why not? And so I share with you my new muse... Lynda Barry (a well known cartoonist, artist, writer, and professor).

Last year I came across a great little piece on NPR with Lynda Barry called, Cartoonist Lynda Barry Helps College Students Tap Innate Creativity. I loved her wit, humor, and all around passion she had for the arts both written and drawn.  I then went on to look at her books and open up in my art. 

Unfortunately during the messy process that comes along with a move, my muse fluttered away. I started tightening up in my art again and my writing... after a few failed attempts at Nanowrimo, stalled to a halt.

Well... I was taking a little journaling course for a homeschooling group that I am involved in, (I do not home school, but like to apply the concepts) and on the first post there was a quote:

I do think memory’s something you can absolutely make stronger and it’s just this thing of noticing what you notice, just by doing the easiest diary in the world. — Lynda Barry

Which in turned perched my muse, Ms. Barry right back on my shoulder again. My take away from her the first time was that it doesn't have to be this final finished piece. Fun fresh doodles, silly little characters, and letting go. 

This time around her influence on me went a little deeper. Her interest in the scientific reasons for art, the effects it has on the brain, and the questions she poses about how our societal progression may actually hurt us, is connecting the dots for me. My thoughts on the subject has come full circle and that validation elates me ^_^.

It was always nagging me, this thing about instant gratification. The psychology around games, the studies on the effects of memory enhancement when one draws or doodles while listening. Theories around project based learning and little studies on things like ADHD. How they realized children with ADHD concentrate better when they move around, hum, stand up, etc. Although it seems disruptive in a "typical" class, it is an innate coping mechanism that comes to the surface for these children.

I can go on and on about this subject, but this time around Ms. Barry hit a deeper cord in me that I hope to impart on my children. Take a gander at one of her speeches from 2013, but if you don't have time, here is my take on her talks in general:
To sum it up, we are wired to use our hands to draw, to write (a form of drawing), it is natural for us  move, to dance, and sing to communicate. Since the dawn of man and cave paintings and ritual dances, its something we've brought along with us through our evolutionary selves. So it must be important for our well being no?

A valid key point Lynda Barry makes is: why do we think it is acceptable and expected for a child to take up a piece of paper and draw, to sing, and dance and why do we as adults engage in those activities with our children? Why cause they are universal, it is the natural mode of communication.

So why aren't the arts considered necessary for adults?  Why do we long for it so? And why do we fear it? Some perplexing thoughts to chew on.

Meanwhile, on a lighter note, she got me to write again in a most interesting way. If you don't do anything else, do this little video she did for a class she taught. You will be surprise at how visceral your experience becomes on paper.

It is my hope that the little muse sprinkled some inspiration your way. Happy creating!