Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Miscellany: From Green Pens to Scheduling Your Life

I began "monthly miscellany" posts about a year ago at my other blog, and I've found them rather fun to compile, so I'm going to start writing them for this blog as well.  Basically, my monthly miscellany is a collection of interesting links, thoughts that don't get developed into full posts, and other miscellaneous items.  Enjoy!
  • At the beginning of this month, I shared my collection of green pens, pencils, and other stationery items.  Well, as it turns out, I actually wrote a similar post on my green pens in the first months of this blog.  Amazingly, that collection only included eight pens and a highlighter!  I can't believe how much my collection has grown in the three years since I began this blog.  And my list of pen reviews has grown to include reviews of over 59 different pens, highlighters, markers, and mechanical pencils.  Not too bad, I say.
  • The Pen Addict, whose own list of reviews would doubtlessly make mine look exceedingly wimpy, has posted an updated version of his list of top five pens.  There are two fountain pens on the list, which is a switch from past lists, and also one pen that I find especially intriguing: the Moleskine Roller Pen.  I've never been a particular fan of Moleskine generally, but I've heard some good things about this pen on other blogs.  Have you tried the Moleskine Roller?  What did you think of it?
  • I haven't made any lists of my own top five pens in nearly two years.  I posted two versions of my top five pens in April and July of 2010, but after that I replaced the top five list with my top ten of the year.  I'm thinking now that maybe it would be fun to bring back my top five pens.  Looking at those old lists, I can definitely see some changes I would make now
  • I love this guide to How to Build a Schedule (And Keep Yourself on Track).  I've been looking for ways to become more productive and focused in my work lately, and making a schedule like this may be just what I need.
  • If you've been following my blog lately, you'll know that I recently received my new Lamy Safari in the limited edition green colour.  I'll get around to writing a review of it eventually (after I've used it for a while), but for now you can check out this great review of the same pen at Rants of the Archer.  I also love the gorgeous J. Herbin Vert PrĂ© ink that she used in her writing sample.  Alas, my green Safari still has only its boring blue cartridge that it came with.  I'm going to have to get some nice green ink for it at some point.
  • Planet Millie has a review of a notebook that's also on my wish list: the Leuchtturm1917 notebook.  I love dot grids, but the best part of this notebook is that the pages are numbered!  I'm such a geek that I frequently number all of the pages in my notebook by hand so that I can compile an index for it, so pre-numbered pages would definitely make things easier for me.
  • No Pen Intended has a review of another notebook that I like, the Daycraft Cookie Bookie, although I really have no idea what I would really use such a notebook for.  I just like to look at it.  It looks tasty.
  • Finally, be sure to check out the June Carnival of Pen, Pencil, and Paper (if you haven't done so already).  Two of my visual journal posts showed up in the editor's pick category - and I didn't even submit them to the carnival.  Who knew?
That's all for this month!  Stay tuned for next month's miscellany, and for more great posts and reviews coming up soon, including a post on the shades of orange and my very first review of ERASERS!  I know you can hardly wait for that!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ICAD Week 4: Persistence + Colour

Index cards 22-28 from week 4 of Daisy Yellow's Index-Card-a-Day Challenge 2012.
This was, I think, the hardest week of ICAD for me so far.  I actually, to my horror, forgot to do the cards on two of the days, but I was able to catch up again on the following days, so I still ended up with seven cards at the end.  And none of the cards that I created this week were among my all-time favourites.  I made a couple of colour grids with my watercolour pencils, seeing how many colours I could mix by adding different shades to both the green (card 3) and the orange (card 6).  Those were kind of fun, but the spiral mandala thing on the fourth card above and the circles and stripes on the first two cards - I just don't particularly care for those cards.

Overall, however, week 4 has taught me the value of persistence.  Just keep showing up, day after day, even if you don't feel like it, and persist.  Create art, even if it looks awful.  If you miss a day, don't worry about it, and just carry on.  You'll get there eventually, wherever "there" is for you.  The mandala I drew on the last day was probably my favourite of the bunch.  And I also found myself beginning to play around on some of the cards with a few different colours other than my favourite greens and browns.  So that is also a good thing.  But I'm looking forward to week 5!

[See all ICAD posts.]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Recent Addition

Late last week I pulled a parcel out of my mailbox, and inside was a new and much-awaited addition to my pen collection.  What was it?  Maybe this shall be a clue...


And of course we all know that I have a fondness for the colour green...  So, yes, your suspicions are entirely correct - it really is my very first Lamy Safari fountain pen, in the luscious limited edition colour of apple green!  Isn't it lovely?


I will get around to writing a proper review of it eventually, but for now I am simply going to set it on my desk and admire it from all angles.  And take an absurd number of photos of it.  Just because.


I always planned to get a Lamy Safari one of these days, but it was one of those things that just kept getting put off for later... and of course, "later" never comes.  But when Lamy came out with this lovely limited edition green colour I knew that this was the year.  I knew that I would never be able to settle for a Safari in any other colour if I missed this one.  Because this shade of green is just about my most favourite colour ever.  So this year had to be it.


As I said, I'll write a review eventually, but right now the green-ness and general awesome-ness of this pen are preventing me from thinking straight.  So excuse me, I have to go to admire my new pen some more...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Intro to Visual Journals, Part 4: Resources

[Not sure what visual journals are all about? Start here: Part 1.]
[Need some tips on supplies for visual journals? Try Part 2.]
[Need some tips on getting started with your visual journal?  Check out Part 3.]

As you begin to gain confidence in your visual journal practice and develop a habit of working in your journal regularly, you can also begin to look elsewhere for ideas, information on supplies and techniques, and to gain an appreciation for the many diverse styles of visual journals that exist.  Many books, blogs, and websites exist on all kinds of visual journals, from sketchbooks to art journals to altered books and more.  It would be impossible for me to list all of these potential resources here, but I will list a few that I have found helpful.  Of course, you are welcome to share your own recommendations in the comments.

Books
The Decorated Journal: Creating Beautifully Expressive Journal Pages by Gwen Diehn

If you only read one book on visual journals, make it this one.  This was the first book on visual journals I ever read and the first one that I would recommend to a beginner.  Diehn does not teach a particular style, but provides clear explanations of the basic supplies (she also has a "less is more" approach) and showcases samples of visual journals in a variety of styles.  She gives simple instructions for a number of basic techniques and even includes a section on bookbinding (for the "reluctant bookbinder").  Overall, it's a great, concise, non-intimidating introduction, no matter what kind of visual journal you want to keep.  Diehn's earlier book, The Decorated Page: Journals, Scrapbooks, & Albums Made Simply Beautiful, is also good, although it covers much of the same material (with, I thought, a bit less detail on some topics and a slightly different perspective on some other topics).

How to Make a Journal of Your Life by Dan Price

This small book, hand-lettered and illustrated throughout by the author, is a great basic and fun introduction to visual journals that require no fancy techniques or supplies.  If you want to get more involved with different artistic techniques, this is probably not the book for you, but if you have a laid-back approach to visual journals and don't want things to get more complicated than what you can do with a basic pen and a piece of paper, then you'll probably love this book.  It is an approachable introduction to chronicling your life in your journal with words and simple sketches.

 A Life in Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal by Hannah Hinchman

Hinchman's focus in this book is primarily on what I would call the sketchbook journal and the nature journal - but if that's what you're interested in, then A Life in Hand is a great introduction.  This is an older book so it may be harder to find, but it provides clear information on topics such as getting started, developing your drawing and writing skills, selecting material, and composition of pages.  It is illustrated throughout with examples from Hinchman's own journals, and those alone are worth checking out.  (Her later book, A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place is also excellent, with a bit more of a focus in nature journals, nature observation, and the spiritual aspects of keeping a journal.)

(And if you're interested specifically in nature journals, I would also recommend Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth as well as The Art of Field Sketching by Clare Walker Leslie, both of which offer solid and approachable advice on sketching techniques and nature observation.)

1000 Artist Journal Pages: Personal Pages and Inspirations edited by Dawn DeVries Sokol

This book might prove a bit too intimidating for complete beginners, but for those who have an established visual journal practice, it will provide endless inspiration.  The book showcases 1000 pages from visual journals created by artists and ordinary people, both male and female, from around the world.  The pages come in many, many styles - and many of them look nothing like what you may have come to expect a visual journal or art journal should look like.

Blogs and Websites
It is hard to recommend any specific blogs or websites, because the ones that will likely be most helpful to you will be the ones that are focused on journals that are in the styles that have the most appeal to you.  I will list a few that I have found helpful, but I invite you to share links to your favourites in the comments.  None of these blogs and sites are entirely about visual journals, but they are ones that have aided and inspired me in my journal practice.
  • iHanna's Blog - One of the first visual journal / art journal blogs I found, back when I started to keep my first art journal in 2008.  Hanna is based in Sweden, and her blog is about the creative life, art journals, crafts, and more.
  • Daisy Yellow - One of the best and most approachable visual journal blogs out there.  Tammy posts about art journals, mixed media, drawing mandalas, crafts with kids, and much more.  She also includes occasional tutorials on specific journal techniques.
  • Dispatch from LA - Another great blog for inspiration, if not for specific techniques.  Mary Ann Moss posts about art journals, travel journals, and the creative life in a casual, friendly style.
  • Journal Girl - Samantha Kira's blog about art journals and creativity.  She also runs classes and online courses, and posts frequent videos on journal techniques.
  • QuinnCreative - Quinn McDonald's blog includes reflections on the creative life as well as tips on journal techniques.
  • Roz Wound Up - Roz Stendahl's blog on visual journals, sketchbooks, bookbinding, and more.
  • Soul Journaling Prompts - A useful series of prompts from Sarah Whitmire if you want to get started in keeping an art journal.

This is only a very small sampling of the visual journal blogs that are out there.  Most of the ones that I listed here are more focused on art journals rather than on other types of visual journals, because that has typically been the kind of visual journal that I have been most interested in.  Again, I welcome your recommendations for other blogs and sites on all styles of visual journals!

~~~~~

This will likely be the last in my series of visual journal posts.  I have received relatively little interest in this series after the first post, and I currently have no plans to write further posts in the series.  If you would like to see more posts in this series, or other visual journal related posts in general, please let me know what topics you would like to see me cover and I'll see what I can do.  I'll still be posting pages from my journals on occasion.  I hope that you have enjoyed this series, and that you got something out of it that can help you in your journal practice.  Stay tuned for more great posts and reviews coming in the future!

Friday, June 22, 2012

ICAD Week 3: Sketches + Doodles

Index cards 15-21 from week 3 of Daisy Yellow's Index-Card-a-Day Challenge 2012.
The third week of ICAD has come around and brought with it seven more completed index cards.  This week was also my first chance to practice creating index cards "out."  On Wednesday and Thursday nights we were camping at a nearby lake.  I brought my watercolour pencils and water brush with me and was able to create the last two cards above while sitting on my lawn chair.  This also ended up being a great opportunity to practice my sketching skills, with the result that I created my first two cards that are not abstract.  When I sketch, I focus more on capturing the basic shapes and colours rather than the details, and I am actually quite pleased with these ones.  Although they were fairly fast sketches, they are still not bad representations of the hills, trees, snags, reflections, and water of the lake.  These were created mainly with my watercolour pencils and super-fine Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen, although I also used my white Uni-ball Signo Broad gel pen to add some of the white details at the end.

The doodle in card 5 is based on a design that I used to draw obsessively when I was younger.  It was fun to revisit an old design in that way, and the curving lines were very relaxing to draw and colour.  The quote in card 4 is from Albert Einstein, and is one that, since I was a science student at university, I have first-hand knowledge of and always makes me smile.  Finally, the poem in card 1 is a "found poem" created with words snipped from magazines.

And again, if you need more information about ICAD, check out Daisy Yellow's ICAD FAQ.  Thanks for all your great comments, and stay tuned for next week's cards!

[See all ICAD posts.]

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Zebra Zeb-Roller 0.5mm Black

I haven't acquired any new pens in a shamefully long time, so I recently did what any self-respecting pen fanatic reviewer would do: I started looking around the house for any older pens that I hadn't reviewed before.  I found this pen, the Zebra Zeb-Roller, in my mom's pencil cup.  It's not the kind of pen she typically uses, so I think she likely found it at work and brought it home.  I also suspect that it's been around a while, and I'm not sure whether Zebra still makes this particular model or if it's still available anywhere.  I haven't been able to find one quite like this on the Internet, which disappoints me, because if Zebra does not still make this pen, they should.  The Zebra Zeb-Roller is an excellent pen with an understated, basic design.



The Zebra Zeb-Roller is a needlepoint, 0.5mm rollerball pen, rather similar to the Pilot V5 Hi-tecpoint (or the Pilot Precise V5, as it's also known).  Writing with the Zeb-Roller is, however, a more tactile and, ultimately, a more enjoyable experience.  It's hard to describe.  The pen writes very smoothly, but it makes a slight scratchy sound on the paper.  But scratchy in a good way, not in a bad way.  You know that scritchy sound that Sharpie markers make on paper when you write with them?  Well, this is kind of like that.  But different.  Like I said, I can't describe it.  (And I probably have you all utterly confused by now.)  But I like it.  It's just some magical quality about this pen that automatically makes me like it.

The black ink is, well, black.  It feathers and bleeds through a bit on "ordinary" paper, but performs nicely on higher quality papers, writing with a nice crisp dark line:


As far as appearance goes, the Zebra Zeb-Roller is as basic as they get.  Cylindrical barrel, basic lid with a functional metal clip, no grip.  Absolutely no markings on the barrel other than the name of the pen.  But again, I kind of like it.  For no particular reason.  Maybe it's the minimalism of it.  Or maybe it's just refreshing to see a pen that's just a pen.  It's not trying to be eye-catching, cute, flashy, feminine, masculine, ergonomic, stylish, sophisticated, or anything else.  It's just a pen.  And it gets the job done.

Frankly, it's even hard to write a review of this pen.  There's nothing about it that screams out at you, either good or bad.  Writing with it, the pen itself just fades into the background.  It's just your hand, on the page, writing.  I like it.


If you know anything more about the Zeb-Roller (such as whether or not you can still buy it anywhere, or when it was made), I'd appreciate you letting me know.  And on the off-chance that anyone from Zebra is reading this, it would be great to see this pen back in circulation.  Would it be able to compete with all of the other pens that are available today?  I really don't know.  Regardless, watch for any of these pens that you may stumble across in your travels.  The Zebra Zeb-Roller is solid basic rollerball pen and I do recommend it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

ICAD Week 2: Acrylic Paints + Making a Mess

Index cards 8-14 from week 2 of Daisy Yellow's Index-Card-a-Day Challenge 2012.
So, yet another week of ICAD has passed, and another seven cards have been added to the stack on my desk!  Again, I would like to urge all of my regular readers (even if you think the idea sounds silly and boring and you're staring at your screen right now thinking, "Seriously?  She's actually going to be posting these silly cards every week?"), to consider giving ICAD a try.  It really is way more fun than I thought it would be, and you don't have to consider yourself an artist or put as much effort into each card as I have been doing.  And you can start at any time, without having to worry about catching up for the days you missed.  Check out the FAQ if you need more information.

Making these cards this week got me thinking about an idea that is connected to my "just show up and create" motto of last week.  It is this: don't worry about making a mess.  A few of my cards from this week I began filled with doubt.  The mandala on the second card is a good example.  I started out drawing with a fat brown marker and then starting adding watercolours - even though I knew the marker was not waterproof.  I thought, "This is either going to turn out awful or amazing."  I kept working on it and adding more details and the result was one of my favourite mandalas ever.  The last card above is still one that I am not certain about.  I had pulled out my acrylic paints for both that card and the first one of this week, but it had been so long since I had really worked in acrylics I wasn't sure what to do with them anymore.  In the end I just starting putting some green paint down and seeing where it went.  I still have a few doubts about that card: it's bold and messy and not really my style.  But I think I am liking it more than I'm not liking it.  (And it's green.  I can never go wrong with green.)

Don't worry about making a mess or screwing up, because if you do you're not going to be able to relax and create.  Remember, it's just an index card.  If turns out that horribly, you can always throw it out and start over.  But I didn't have to throw out any of my cards, and if you can just relax and have fun with it, chances are you won't have to either.

If you've found your way here from Daisy Yellow, welcome!  Feel free to explore the rest of my site.  If you're a regular reader,are you participating in ICAD?  (And if you're a regular reader and you're not that into ICAD, don't worry, because I have a new pen review coming up next week!)

[See all ICAD posts.]

Monday, June 11, 2012

Intro to Visual Journals, Part 3: Getting Started

[Not sure what visual journals are all about?  Start here: Part 1.]
[Need some tips on supplies for visual journals?  Try Part 2.]

It's easy to want to keep a visual journal.  There are hundreds of websites, blogs, and books that show off beautiful journal pages.  We can spend hours poring over those pages, building up the desire to start our own visual journals.  But then when we do decide to start, we're intimidated.  Nothing we make looks as good as any of those other pages.  The pages in our shiny new journal look so clean and white that we don't want to mess them up.  We're not sure how to use our fancy new art supplies to get the neat effects that we have seen online.  So we don't do it.  Our journals sit unused on shelves.

But it doesn't need to be that way.  The secret to keeping a regular visual journal is to identify your main purpose in keeping it, start small, and gradually build up a habit of working in it.  If you do that, you'll soon develop confidence in your techniques and before too long you'll be creating beautiful and exciting pages too.

Identify Your Focus
Knowing why you want to keep a visual journal can help you select the supplies you'll need and can lend you focus as you working on building a habit.  Here are some possible reasons why you might want to keep a visual journal (or any journal):
  • To use images to supplement your written notes and journal entries.
  • To chronicle your everyday life.
  • To provide a record for future generations.
  • To develop, practice, and hone your artistic skills.
  • To relax and relieve stress.
  • To connect with nature through sketches and written observations.
  • To contain memories of your travels.
  • To practice your writing skills.
  • To track a certain activity, such as bird watching, amateur astronomy, gardening, running, cooking, etc.
If all you want to do is supplement your written notes, you probably have no need for acrylic paints.  If you want to provide a record for your children to read, you'll want to look for archival-quality supplies.  If you want your journal to contain your observations of nature, some sketching pencils and pens may be all you need.  If you want to keep a travel journal, you'll need to keep your supply kit portable.

Identify your focus: This journal that I started several years ago was intended to be a focus for my nature observations. It included some awkward sketches of what I observed in my environment, as well as written notes.  The only supplies needed were a blank sketchbook and a pen.

Start Small
Don't jump right in and try to create fancy, multi-layered pages like the ones you see online right away.  Chances are you'll be disappointed with the results and it will then be just that much harder to keep going.  If you already have a written journal, start with that instead of buying a new one.  If you don't have a journal already, start practicing with loose sheets of paper, a recycled book such as an old planner, or any notebook that you will have no qualms about "messing up."  Start with the supplies you have on hand already.  Open up your journal or pull out a piece of paper and try one of these prompts:
  • Look around the space where you are sitting and pick one item.  It should be relatively small and simple in form.  Using the pen or pencil you usually write with, sketch it.  Don't worry if it looks like a child drew it.  If you feel like it, sketch it a few times, from different angles.
  • Write out your to-do list or your wish list.  Use different colours of pens.  Doodle in the margins as you write.  Use arrows and circles and highlighting.
  • Find a box of markers, crayons, or coloured pencils (maybe you can borrow some from your kids).  The more colours the box has the better.  Draw, doodle, colour, and do whatever else you feel like doing to fill an entire page, making sure that you use every single colour in the box.
  • Cut some images that appeal to you out of an old magazine and glue them on the page.  Write about why you chose those images.
  • Draw a cartoon of "a day in your life."  Again, don't worry if it looks like it was drawn by a child.
  • Draw a mandala.  Use the pen or pencil you usually use, and start out with drawing a small circle in the centre of the page.  Keep adding to it until you've filled most of the page.  Try not to consciously control what direction the mandala is going in; just relax and let your hand move over the page.
These prompts are examples of how simple and non-intimidating it can be to start keeping a visual journal.  The main idea is start with something that is easy and fun.  That way, you'll want to keep working in your journal.  Pick any of these prompts that appeal to you and fit with your purpose, or pick none of them.  Just start.

Start small: In my gluebook journal, I cut and glued down images from magazines and other sources and wrote a bit about why those images appealed to me.  I didn't have to worry about drawing or painting anything, but I could still have fun with colour and composition.  The only supplies needed were a spiral-bound sketchbook from the dollar store, a pair of scissors, a glue stick, and a pen.

Build a Habit
Get into the habit of working in your visual journal every day.  You don't need to create an entire page every day.  You can even be working on multiple pages at once.  Just try to do a little something every day.  If you already have a habit of writing in your journal or notebook every day, use that time to have a bit of fun in your visual journal as well.  If you don't have a habit already, just pick a time that works for you.  Maybe when you're drinking your morning coffee.  Or during your lunch break.  Or just before you go to bed.  Pick a time, and then commit to working in your visual journal for five minutes every day at that time.  If you miss a day, don't worry about it.  Don't worry about whether what you're creating is good or bad.  Just do it.  If it starts to feel like a chore instead of a time to have fun, you're probably over-thinking it.

Build a habit: This art journal page from a few years ago looks pretty complicated, but it didn't get done in one sitting.  It took me several sessions to finish it, and each of the steps I took towards the finished page spread were, on their own, very simple and non-intimidating - even though the end result appears quite complex.  (Check out the five-part series I wrote back in 2009 if you want the full story on just how simple these pages were: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.)

~~~~~

One thing that I suggest you don't do when you're getting started is spend a lot of time looking at the pages that other people have made.  If you feel like you need some inspiration, you can flip through your favourite websites or books and get some ideas.  And if you want to learn how to do a certain technique, you can find  out about that.  But don't spend a lot of time looking at other pages and comparing your pages to them.  The important thing is to focus on gaining confidence and building a habit.  Once you have done that, then you can expand and start looking for resources to broaden your knowledge and skills.  And that will be the subject of the next post in this series, which will be coming up in two weeks from now!

~~~~~

This series of posts is focused on the basics of keeping a visual journal, especially for people who don't think of themselves as artists, who aren't interested in spending a fortune on fancy art supplies, and who might be a bit intimidated by many popular sites on art journals or sketchbooks. If you have any questions about visual journals or suggestions for future topics in this series, please let me know!

Friday, June 8, 2012

ICAD Week 1: Showing Up + Waterbrush Love

Index cards 1-7 from week 1 of Daisy Yellow's Index-Card-a-Day Challenge 2012.
The first week of ICAD has passed, and I have successfully created an index card for every day.  My greatest surprise with this challenge so far is how easy it has been to create an index card's worth of art every day.  I was worried that I might have a hard time simply remembering the index cards, but I have had no problems with that at all.  I keep the stack of blank index cards sitting on my desk where I can easily see them, and before beginning, I went through the stack and wrote the dates on all of the cards.  Now, all I need to do is glance at the stack and if the top card has today's date on it and it's still blank, then I know that I need to work on it!

So far my motto has been the words I printed on the card for Day 3: "Just show up and create."  Just show up.  Don't over-think it.  Don't make it more complicated than it really is.  Just show up and create something.  Anything.  It doesn't matter what it is.  It doesn't have to be great art.  Just anything.  Just don't leave that index card blank!

I have also been surprised by how often I have been reaching for my watercolour pencils in making these cards: I used them on six out of seven cards for this week.  Ever since I bought my Pentel Aquash Waterbrush, using my watercolour pencils has been so much easier and enjoyable that I can't use them enough.  I would definitely recommend the combination of watercolour pencils + waterbrush for anyone who wants to get started in watercolours.

(For the curious, the words in Index Card 6 are from this poem by John Donne, a poem that Neil Gaiman also used as an epigraph to his novel Stardust.)

That's it for week 1!  Stay tuned for next week's update to week 2, and check out Daisy Yellow's site if you need more information about ICAD.  Remember, you can get started with it at any time!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shades of Green

Green is undoubtedly the colour that I have the most of when it comes to pens and related items:

From left to right: Pilot Petit1 Mini Fountain Pen in Dark GreenStaedtler Triplus Fineliners in French Green, Olive Green, Green, and Light Green; Pentel Slicci 0.3mm Green; Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38mm Lime Green and Green Black; Uni-ball Signo DX 0.28mm Emerald Green; Uni-ball Vision in Green; Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.4mm Olive Green; Sharpie Accent Highlighter; Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust in Lime Star; Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight in Fluorescent Green; Stabilo Pen 68 in Green; Staples Gel Mini in Green.

From left to right: 6 inch / 15 cm ruler; Prang ColorArt crayons (which I have owned the same case of ever since I was a child) in assorted shades of green; Lyra Rembrandt Aquarell watercolour pencils in Apple Green and Sap Green; Laurentien pencil crayons in assorted shades of green.

From left to right: assorted pens; PooPooPaper spiral-bound notebook; unidentified fabric-covered green notebook; Prang ColorArt crayons.

(And many thanks to Azizah of Gourmet Pens whose Shades of Tuesday posts inspired me to start obsessively taking out all my pens of particular colours and photographing them!)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Index-Card-a-Day Challenge 2012

This year I am excited to announce that I will be participating in Daisy Yellow's Index-Card-a-Day (ICAD) challenge.  ICAD runs for June and July of this year and its basic premise couldn't be simpler: every day for that period, take an ordinary 3 by 5 inch index card and create some kind of art on it, from drawing to doodling to painting to collaging to writing to anything else that your mind can come up with.  I will be posting weekly updates of my progress every Friday throughout the two months of ICAD, and I invite you to join in as well!  You don't need to be a great artist or have a blog or any special supplies to join in.  The main purpose of this challenge is (in my opinion) simply to have fun while getting into the habit of creating art everyday.  If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, get over to Daisy Yellow's ICAD page, read the FAQ, check out the ICAD directory (which includes weekly prompts if you need them), grab a badge for your blog, and get started with your index cards!  Today is the first official day of ICAD, but you can join in at any time.

I'm looking forward to having some fun with my index cards, but my main objective is to get back into the habit of creating art daily.  I fell away from that in my last hectic semester of university last fall and winter, and I'm looking forward to getting back into it now.  One thing I have learned about habits is that if you want to get one established, the best way to start is by making it so easy that you can't not do it.  So that's what I'll be doing - just 3 by 5 inches of art a day for the next two months!

Now I'm off to get started!

[See all ICAD posts.]
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