Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Am I still doing Project Life?

I have been asked a couple of questions lately about whether I am still keeping and maintaing a Project Life album. I thought I would answer that...

Monday, 17 July 2017

Inspired by Mrs Brimbles' July Patreon

Hiya folks!

I am completely elated to have become a proud member of Anna’s Creative Team and to be posting on the Mrs Brimbles blog for the very first time. The team has been put together to support and promote Anna's Patreon. We will be creating and sharing as a result of immersing ourselves in Mrs Brimbles' world of inspiring arty prompts and resources. I am excited and honoured to have access to this content month after month.

Become a Patron!

I could watch Anna create her sketchy girls all day - which is basically what I did! As soon as it was made available to me, I viewed Anna’s sketchy girls Patreon video over and over again, at every opportunity. But when it came to having a go myself, I more than hesitated. Mostly because I am not naturally drawn to that type of art – making people I mean. I make things out of paper, I doodle objects and folky type landscapes, I colour geometric patterns in with coloured pencils, I stick things down and I splodge paint everywhere in an intuitive abstract way. But I haven’t relaxed by drawing faces since I was a child. I remember in infant school I went through a phase of sketching the same princess with long curly blonde hair and a pyramid of purple grapes on top of her head! But as an adult I have discovered so many amazing portraiture artists that I guess I thought I could not compete – plus I genuinely prefer landscapes these days.

 So I pushed through my comfort zone and determined to try something different. Turning to a clean white page in one of my sketchpads I watched Anna’s video for the umpteenth time and began to put pen to paper. Here are my first few sketchy girls:

I tried to make them all really individual with different hairstyles and I even sketched a couple with bobble hats that remind me of The Flumps – does anyone remember that kids show? It’s funny though because I seem to prefer to sketch my girls with sleepy eyes and pursed lips haha. I had such a giggle doing this and I think they look hilarious but cute. At this stage I refrained from adding colour as I really was embracing the sketching part of the process. So I practiced some more:


I really love using the ballpoint for sketching because of the smooth and often subtle way that it glides over the paper, allowing me to play and scribble my pen with ease in different directions as the whim takes me. I began to improve after seeking out reference photos online and I decided to add some colour with some watercolour brush pens I had collected but neglected to use as yet. Here are the results:


Overall I am really happy with these two young ladies. I don’t always make art directly in a journal, as I am a fan of paper pads. I love the feeling of working on a single sheet that I might stick into one of my art journals later, pin on my inspiration wall or make into a gift for someone. If I could change one thing it would be the mouth of my bobble-hatted girl. I made a bit of a hash of that but it could be a lot worse and I have learned for next time. I reckon I will carry on creating sketchy girls particularly following Anna’s instructions for mixing skin colours, as I definitely became side tracked by the brush pens – which I love by the way. There is a motivational quote upon which I have been intending to focus and for this project I seized the opportunity. I am naturally wired to helping others and I can fret over this far too much, therefore, this quote - 'Successful people never worry about what others are doing’ – has been aiding my personal progress lately.



 I also thought I would have a go at brush lettering for the first time. Gosh, I really am loving all these firsts this month!


I have enjoyed having a little play with the collage sheets provided by Anna in her July Patreon too. You can download them as files to your computer and print them off as many times as you like. How awesome is that? Here are some of my favourite pieces:

There are a whole bunch of projects that I have thought about doing with this amazing resource but so far I have done a couple things. One of them is to paste my favourite sketchy girl into my memory keeping creative journal. Here she is:


The other thing was to feed my obsession with fun and colourful magnetic page markers. I use them all the time to help me find often used pages in my planners and journals. Recently, I found a roll of sticky magnetic tape in a local shop so I thought I would have a go at making my own. I get really frustrated when the folded part isn’t wide enough to keep the structure strong so I kept the shape simple and functional. I have made two of these so far, one depicts Anna’s cat painting from the collage sheets and the other is of one of my original sketchy girls from my first practice sheet. They are both on a background of Anna’s beautiful artwork cut out from the collage sheets and they make me beam from ear to ear. I love them and I will be making more I am sure.




 I hope you have enjoyed reading about my Brimbles adventures for this month. I’m now off over to the Happy Place to see what you guys are sharing. Until next time... Steph x x x 

 Here are links to my Instagram and Blog

Friday, 14 July 2017

Teal Travelers Notebook Planner / Journal Set Up Tour / Flip

I thought I would do a set up tour for you of my Travelers Notebook Journal / Planner combo! I hope you enjoy!

Travelers notebook and bow from: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/plannercandeebydixie
Everything else shown is from my shop: https:www.mrsbrimbles.co.uk/shop

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Weekly Planner Pages by Chloe

Hi all!

It's ChloƩ here today, and I'm sharing the gorgeous Juicy Frootz stickers from this month's #BrimblesStickerClub. I'm super excited that Anna has branched into actually making her own stickers, and this first kit certainly didn't disappoint.

With such a summery theme, I couldn't wait to use the stickers in a spread for August! I knew that the first week of the month would be super busy, as we're heading to Ireland for a wedding, so I decided that the functional stickers in the kit would get lots of use here.

When I'm decorating a week in advance, I keep my calendar next to me and make sure that I don't miss out any important details or events. This week for example, I know that our flight is at the end of the week, so there will be certain things I need to get done beforehand. I used the half boxes to give myself reminders, and the icon stickers to mark things like pay day, bin day and household chores. 

I used lots of functional stickers, but of course the decorative ones are the most fun! The adorable little fruit faces make cute embellishments for your pages, along with the tiny word strips. 

The kit also comes with some "washi strips", which are great for adding a little something extra to the top and bottom of your pages. You could even use them to block out periods of time, for example a university lecture or shift at work. 

I hope you've enjoyed having a look at my planner pages!


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Squeeze the day Planner Pages

Hello, friends! 

Today I'm here to share my latest planner layout with you - featuring the wonderfully cheerful and adorable Juicy Frootz stickers from the July Brimbles Sticker Club. If you're not already subscribed, you should definitely check out Anna's sticker club by clicking this link.

I had a lot of fun putting this layout together - it's bright and colourful and everything I need in a planner layout to ensure I'm looking forward to the week ahead.

This month I've been challenging myself to create a layout from a very minimal beginning - my planner pages are simply pages I've printed out with space for 8 boxes (Mon-Sun plus a 'title' box that goes wherever I feel is suitable on any given layout). There's no printed days or dates and I'm loving just going with the flow with my layouts.

Because there are no days or dates I have to get creative with how I label each day. This week I simply took a Sharpie Fine pen in black and scrawled the day and date - nothing super fancy. No hand lettering. Just my regular every day writing!

I used the 'washi' sticker strips to divide up my boxes, and turned one into a page banner and added the beautiful fruit characters all over my page.

Don't be afraid to layer up your stickers - make them over lap! It adds character. Sticker them across the middle of your spreads and don't be afraid to cut them up, the overall look still turns out fantastic even if you do these things.

As always I've included a planner process video for you to see how this page went from nothing to the final layout. I'd love for you to check it out and leave your comments on it.

Also, as a bit of an extra added bonus I also created a very quick Happy Planner layout. I don't normally share my Happy Planner layouts because it's usually purely functional and I don't often use stickers in it, but I figured why not for a week? You'll have to watch the video to see how it turned out!

That's all from me today. If you're looking for more tips or tricks, be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel or Instagram account as that's where I post the majority of my crafty endeavours. 
I hope that wherever you are in the word that you're having a wonderful day and I will see you all with a blog post very soon!
Happy Planning!
Stef xx

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

How I made the TN inserts for my December Daily

Since posting my videos and blog posts about my December Daily album in a travelers notebook I have had a few questions and requests to show how I made it and about archival quality and all that. I answer and show all of that in this video.

I also refer to a couple of other videos that you will need to watch to fully make your insert!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Vintage Sketchy Girls

Hi everyone!

My first blog post of Anna's blog....eek! This month Anna has us working with her Sketchy Girls Artwork.

At first it took my a little while to get going with this months content. After watching the Patreon videos and looking through the collage sheets I felt really inspired, and several ideas were bubbling away, I was itching to get going! However, when it came to actually sitting down to do some arting, I kept hesitating. I don't know whether it is because Anna's style is so different to mine or the fact, that although life drawing is my area of interest, I never actually draw or paint faces. Always bodies, never faces. It didn't feel natural at first, and I felt my pictures were coming out very stilted but I preserved and boy am I glad I did!

I took Anna's advice about creating in pen and ran with it. I'm not a big pre sketcher, at most I put a few points of reference and then just dive straight in splodging paint around. When I do this I almost always use pencil, never pen, so sketching this way felt quite alien. You'll see from my pieces the progression and journey (it honestly did feel like one) I make from hesitancy to confidence.

The 1920s and 1930s Art Deco paintings and portrayals of women are a massive influence in my art at the moment. I just cannot get enough of heavy lines and victory rolls. As such I've tried to place a vintagey spin on my sketchy girls.

This is one of my early attempts and one I didn't run with and subsequently finish. You might be asking why I'm sharing this it if isn't complete. But I find an important lesson in it, and one Anna is always reiterating. Well I guess it is two lessons really; 1. Practice, Practice, Practice and 2. Always keep the things you create. The temptation with pencil sketches is to erase them when you're not happy with them, but in doing so you remove your ability to see the development and improvements you make. I'll hold my hand up and say that I'm the first to break this last lesson!

I tried to re create a classic 1920s bob and used one of Anna's collage pieces as a base for her face, however, I feel there's more of an Egyptian vibe to her. Not quite what I had intended but hey.

I decided that whilst I was pushing myself outside of my comfort zone I'd take it one step further and work with watercolours too. Acrylics are my safe place, watercolours I've always loved but never quite mastered. So mixing colours for skin tone and blending was a bit of a challenge. I used the back of the page to swatch test. I kept this one as I sketched it entirely in pen. I didn't feel tempted to pick up a pencil at all, but I did have a bit of a hiccup with her nose and lips but it works.

I then used some of the bits from the collage sheets to re create big puffed coat lapels in keeping with the 1920s/30s look, she felt quite glamorous so I gave her quite a pale complexion with softly rouged cheeks, contrasted with bright red lipstick. I wasn't feeling conventional hair so added a twist by opting for rainbow hair coloured pin curls. The curvy waves really helped to create a sense of volume, and the colours inspired by Annas artwork really pop against her pale skin tones.

My 'Women's Land Army' inspired lady. I've used a mix of acrylics, pencils and watercolour here and felt a little more at home. I love the contrast of the pink head wrap against the greens and khaki of her uniform. My love for victory rolls is evident here, big bold curls, initially she didn't have a fringe, but  I felt her face seemed too harsh so I added the fringe to bring back some softness. I've added a mixture of colours to create natural highlights in her hair and used a stiff bristled brush to recreate the fine texture.

My final piece is my beautiful Flapper Girl, I am absolutely over the moon with this piece (am I allowed to say that?).

I began in the same way as my previous sessions and sketched my initial outline, and then went straight in with her jet black bob. At first I thought it might be a little harsh but I think it gives a real sharpness and boldness to her, a real contrast to the soft watercolour background. Her headband, using Anna's abstract piece in the collage sheets, and then accented with gold really pops against the dark hair.

Every Flapper Girl needs *the* perfect dress, I really wanted to create a sense of movement and texture and felt that painting it just wouldn't provide this. So I used Anna's paint strokes and then made a series of cuts and gently ruffled them then tipped them with gold pen. The end result is really quite effective. I carried this touch of gold to her feather headpiece and the straps of her dress to really pull the ensemble together.

So that's all from me :) can't wait to see what you all create and to hear what pieces of Anna's work have inspired you! See you next time guys x

You can also find me here Instagram

Friday, 7 July 2017

Planner Stickers Haul

I was very kindly sent a pack of stickers from Managing Mischief to share with you all! Please do go and check them out:


PLEASE NOTE: I was given this / these product(s) in exchange for my honest review and opinion, the fact that I was given these does not alter my opinion in anyway. This review is my own personal opionion on the product / company, given in good faith and has not be sponsored or endorsed. None of the links are affiliate links. Unless otherwise stated, all photography is my own.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Amazon Fire Tablet Review

If you are here for a high tech in depth review then this is not it lol! This is not the sort of review that I would normally do but I was approached by the people who do the PR for Filofax and they asked if I would review one of their tablet cases. I declined as I don't have a tablet and as they handle the PR for Amazon also they kindly sent me an Amazon Fire Tablet to review. This is my review!

PLEASE NOTE: I was given this / these product(s) in exchange for my honest review and opinion, the fact that I was given these does not alter my opinion in anyway. This review is my own personal opionion on the product / company, given in good faith and has not be sponsored or endorsed. None of the links are affiliate links. Unless otherwise stated, all photography is my own.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Mixed Media Pussy Cat Process / How To

Today I am sharing with you a 'how to'. I created a mixed media piece on Daler Rowley Artist Board and have the video tutorial to share with you below:

I am also sharing with you a photo step by step. This is more or less the same piece just in a different colour palette. They are not 100% identical but they are very similar. The spread created in my art journal was the concept art or test run if you will to the finished piece.

Materials used

  • Acrylic Paint - Deco Art and Dylusions
  • Liquitex Gel Mat Medium
  • Windsor & Newton Modelling Paste
  • Origami Paper (I think from Flying Tiger 2016)
  • Various Brushes and Palette Knife
  • Posca Paint Pen in white
  • Uniball black pen
  • Stencil (unknown)
  • Crayola Portfolio Oil Pastels
  • Dylusions Journal
  • Tim Holtz Distress Stain

The Process

Firstly I ripped up my sheet of origami paper and adhered it to the top of the page with matt medium

I then adhered a second piece to the bottom left to give the spread a bit of balance.

I used my lightest paint first and just randomly painted on to the page.

This particular paint is fairly translucent which was intentional. I wanted to add some colour to the page but I also still wanted to see the pattern on the paper poking through.

I then repeated this process of adding paint randomly with a couple of different colours.

I enjoyed the process, it is very therapeutic randomly adding paint to a page and letting yourself go. I was a bit too enthusiastic though and covered up the paper more than I wanted to. To rectify this I used a baby wipe and gently removed some of the paint.

With the wet paint still on my baby wipe I went over the page randomly removing paint from one section and then gently dabbing and scraping it onto another which gives some interesting textural results.

Then it was time to mix up my modelling paste. I used the palest colour that I first used on my page.

I applied it to the page using a palette knife over my stencil.

I always leave my stencil sitting in place for a small time, about a minute just to let it set a little before removing it. I just like to make sure it's all there.

Modelling paste, depending on it's thickness can take a little while to dry so you have to be patient. It's worth it though!

Once everything was dry I then used a black pen to go in add some little doodles. I like doing this as I think it gives the background more visual interest.

I then used a white Posca paint pen to add even more details.

I actually thought I was done for the background when I glance at my desk and saw my distress stains and the violet screamed out to be used. I dabbed it on (squeezed the bottle really hard) making it all juicy, then tipped my page up to allow the ink to run down all nicely.

Here is how my background looks before I paint my cat on! Lots of yummy goodness. I made sure to keep a photograph of it so that I can print it out and use later for collage!

Next it was time to actually start painting my cat. So on goes the white paint.

I actually used a couple of coats to make sure it was as opaque as I wanted.

I gave my cat two light coats. I didn't want him to be stark white, I wanted some of that beautiful purple to show through. Once it was dry I pencilled on my face.

I coloured the elements in with my Posca paint pens - super quick and easy and fast drying too.

Here he is ready for his last 'application' of artyness.

The very last stage is to add some shading with oil pastels. I love to get in there with my fingers and smudge the colour around. I add shadows and grunge this way.

And there we have him, all finished! I am really happy with him. I really hope you enjoyed my little 'how to'. At some stage I may add a quote or some journalling to the right page but for now I am happy and calling him done. If you decide to give it a go yourself please do tag me in your photos on social media (I am everywhere as @mrsbrimbles) as I would genuinely love to see yours.

This blog post was created as my application for the Colour Arte design team (wish me luck 'eh!). Unfortunately I do not currently own any of the Colour Arte products although I have heard impeccable things about them so I created this with the products that I do have. 

Please check out the Colour Arte website to see their range of art supplies and for more art tutorials and inspiration.