Sunday, 9 July 2017

Mrs Brimbles "Sketchy Girls" July Patreon Content

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 :) Would love to see any of you latest creations.

In a bit guys x

You can also find me here Instagram

Monday, 3 July 2017

Planner Girls Collective: Summer Holiday Bucket List

Summer Months Bucket List


I don't really have a summer holiday as such since I don't have children....I take my summer break whenever I want it, a luxury of being self employed. So my Summer Holiday Bucket List is more a list of things I'd like to do over the summer months. I would say hot or hotter months but given the weather at the minute I wouldn't necessarily consider that true...Ha! It's always warmish and raining here. 

So asides from ranting about the poor weather I should probably move on to my actual bucket list. It started out and finished with pretty much the same layout. The only bit I decided I didn't like was the placement of the wanderlust sticker, as I started my list further down the page I ended up with a big gap which was bugging me. 

I'm really enjoying using the mica powders at the minute, and finding every excuse to use them. I wanted to try and achieve a summery fresh feel, so I opted for a mix of blues, pinks and yellows. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Although I did end up with mica powder all over my desks, on my hands and face - awesome! 


Strangely for a planner, I really hate the look of lists. Don't get me wrong I swear by a good list or two but aesthetically I just really don't like them. Given this week is a list type topic I decided to try and change the presentation of the activities I want to do and included stickers and ephemera to break up the visual. 


So the actual list:

1.Venture to the beach for a walk and ice cream.
I'll be honest here, I don't particularly like summer. I don't like the heat and I don't like the sun. I'm a Autumn/Winter gal and the idea of sunning myself on the sand makes me shudder. Buuuuut I will go to the beach for ice cream....and doughnuts and possibly a paddle in the sea if it's cold!

2. Get another tattoo
This one is fairly self explanatory :)

3. Road Trip
J and I used to go on road trips a lot before we moved in together and were still living at opposite ends of the country. Every trip up would result in a further road trip somewhere else just a day or two together away from parentals haha. Was awesome to just shove some music on, grab some food to much and head out somewhere and not really know where we were going. It's been so long since we've just upped and gone somewhere. Time to relive old times!

4. Finish my rainbow crochet blanket
I have so many unfinished crochet projects it really is about time I finished one! Funny I can't knit in the summer, it has to be a winter thing for me yet I'll quite happily sit and crochet away the hours in summer.

5.Pre Dawn Walk
One of the things I miss about no longer dog walking/training as a profession is the early morning walks. Being up before everyone else and enjoying the peace and stillness of the morning save the other critters that are up and about at that time.

6. Drive in Cinema
I think this has been on my Life Bucket List for years. Finally located one and fingers crossed I'll be off for a visit one day this summer!

7. Meet friends for coffee
Ha! Any excuse for coffee and a catch up with my pals. I could drink coffee by the bucket load! The presence of friends means cake is also warranted and justified.

8. Have a picnic
Because who doesn't love eating food outside with lots of bugs to join you in your feasting?

9. Finish planting up the garden
Been a long time coming. I currently feel like I've run a million marathons and lifted weights at the olympics. I was in the garden all day yesterday pulling up plants that have been there for like a bajillion years to move to pots - as I'd rather they didn't die - whilst we relay the front drive.

10. Smile and Laugh Endlessly
Cheesey, buuuut bare with me. I want to remember the good times and document the laughter. Too often recently I've been sweating the small stuff, and I'd like to take the opportunity to kick back and laugh and smile till my face aches.



So that's me set for this summer. What are all your plans? Jampacked and adventure filled or chilled and relaxed?

In a bit x

Don't forget to check out all the other awesome bloggers in this collective:

Monday, 12 June 2017

Planner Girls Collective Q&A

This weeks sees us planner girls answering another bout of questions :). The face this is the first one I've done in a while feels like a bit of a cop out! Now that much of the shizz taking up my time and space in my head is over and done with I'm planning to get back on track ;)

Brew in hand and laptop on me knee....so off I go :)

Why did you start your blog?
I'm not sure really. I guess it's an extension of my journalling and scrapbooking. I've always enjoyed reading other blogs and fancied having a go myself - not that so far it has turned out too well! I always think "ahh that would be amazing to blog about" and then five minutes later the idea has flown away or I've lost interest and been distracted by something else. My aim is to try and turn this around and post more regularly about what I get up to.

Other than planning do you do any other crafts?
Oh jeez, I'm into everything haha. I'll try anything once, whenever I come across a new craft I'm like a moth to a flame. I need. I must! Currently I'm into crochet, knit, sew, scrapbook, journal, candle making, clay modelling, tie dye and cross stitch. Oh recently decoupage!

Favourite Facebook groups?
Hmm I'm in quite a few groups for various things. For planner or crafting it would either be the Mrs Brimbles group or the documented life group. The level of talent in these two groups is amazing! Love seeing everyones crafty creations. It really fires my imagination and inspires me to get going with my own projects...although I do leave far too many unfinished!


If money was no object, what planner would you use?
I'm not sure anything would change really. I love the planners I currently have. Although at some point I'd like to create myself a cosmic TN to house my sketch books. But that's mostly a time issue not really a monetary one.

How many planners do you currently own? And how many are presently in use?
Yikes...I honestly dread to think how many I own. The correct answer is probably too many, but my actual answer is not enough. If I had to hazard a guess...I could count but that would require me to get up and walk next door and count...but urge....heatwave. So I reckon 30? Currently in use are my EC which I have for work. MY A5 for additional work notes. My personal which is my everyday carry. My art journal and journal and lastly my affirmations journal. Oh and my pet planner. so that makes....*counts back* 7! I currently use 7 :)

Who is your planner idol? Whose planners or planning style do you aspire to?
I don't think there is anyone specific. I'm a bit of a floozy in that sense hahaha! I'm inspired by lots of ladies (and gentlemen), it tends to be anything pretty, colourful or full of stickers x)


Rings, Disc, Coil or Strings? Why?
Ahh I can't pick one! I use all of them for different reasons...oh I forgot my happy planner for my photo a day for a a year challenge! So that's 8! I use 8 planners :):)

That was short and sweet :)

Don't forget to check out all the other awesome ladies in the collective ;)

The Stationery Geekette
Ska Loving Geek
The Vintage Planner
Plan with Hannah
My Chaotically Eclectic Life
My Pink Rambles
Pennygate Crafts
Ugly Bug
zzz0eee
Planner Montannah
Kerry May Makes
Rebecca Project Life
Becster
The Scrapbook Girl
Scarlet Moon Crafts
The Chaotic Paper Geek



Monday, 9 January 2017

Planner Girls Collective: 2016 Planner Overview



2016 Planner Overview

I know it has been said an awful lot but I'm just gunna have to say it too, I cannot believe were are now in 2017. The past year has literally flown by, it has been a weird one for many different reasons, but similarly there have been some pretty awesome events happen too. I'm just amazed at how quickly time is moving. 

In terms of my planning journey 2016 started in spits and spurts, I was two months into using my Happy Planner, having always been a Personal Size girl (no matter how many times I say that it just sounds wrong lol) it took me rather a long time to get going with it. I was drawn by the opportunities to decorate and explore more layouts, to use greater visual aids to help me remember important and vital adulting tasks like cleaning the toilet or dusting the telly ;). 

With the greater space I found I started to document more of my days activities, to some extent I was both journalling and planning in the same place. It was very much a natural progression, as up until then I'd always strictly kept them separate. I've become more attached to my pages *dramatically hugs them close to the chest*, in previous years I've stored them away for reference to then recycle/burn/dispose of when I no longer needed to. But I see myself holding onto these, as they contain a little more than just appointments and tasks, they hold a little more of me.

You can see how my planning style changes throughout the 14 months of use, from the first few spreads where I made my own stickers using available images in openoffice to discovering the world of free printables online (My Planner Envy, Cute Daisy, Planner Addiction to name a few), then again the planning style evolves when I get my mits on a grab bag from The Plump Planner to finally purchasing cutfiles and kits from various other sellers. 
 



Interestingly I fell out of love with the monthly spread after about two months in, the things I was documenting slowly began to merge into the weekly spreads. At first the vertical layout felt a little clunky and it felt like it shouldn't be natural to read the day in a column, but actually it felt the complete opposite and felt 'right' immediately, now I'm a little unsure about returning to a horizontal layout again!



My biggest struggle with the Happy Planner system was the lack of note space. I had taken over the 'notes column' with my trackers which meant I'd have to remember to add in pages or have a running list at the front of my filofax. Combined with the use of stickers (fab in the sense I'd notice tasks - visuals is my thing, but not great for space issues) I found this meant I had a tendency to overlook things, particularly ordering the foodshop on time (haha...you'd think I'd notice by the gradual emptying of the fridge but nah) so I'd have to put big reminders for me to notice. So I guess you could say that for a while prioritising tasks and utilisation of space became a problem. The balance of decoration and planning became a tad skewed. 

With moving back to personal this issue of decoration vs functional planning is further compounded by the reduced space. My dividers will be back (I migrated away from dividers and sections - hell I left them with sheer abandonment and went skipping off towards the 'all in one' sea) and I'll have the ability to resection off aspects of the planning but I feel like I'm going to miss the cohesion felt with them all on one page. It'll be a work in progress lol. I love that my planning style never stops moving, I'm not sure I ever want to reach 'Planner Peace' - if there is such a thing - as I enjoy the journey too much, despite the frustration it invokes. 

My current dream team <3<3.

I'm now on week three of using this beauty and I'm still getting the hang of transisitioning from vertical to horiztonal. I've begun adding in a half height pages between my weeks which I'm trialling for my habbit/post trackers. So far I've not forgotten anything important....I don't think!





My other regular journals (working top left clockwise to bottom left)

My lovely brother knows how much I love my planners so for my seceret santa this year he bought me the blue 2017 diary. At first I wasn't sure what I was going to use it for, I did think of redating it, but given the date is on the front I thought it might end up a bit squiffy. So I've turned it into a events journal. I try to pick out, news stories of interest (not headliners but say an odd or funny one), sometimes it'll be a qoute of the day, or a post I've seen on social media that particularly resonates with me, an overhead snippet of conversation, or it'll be a rant of the day - where I can vent about something that has been irksome. I'm hoping this will develop throughout the year to include other bits and topics, I'm really enoying the process :)

My line a day, a present from my parents last year. I've already loved comparing notes from last year. I waiting until 1st January 2016 (given it in November '15) as I'm weird and the thought of blank pages filled me with dread. I've already lived my life on repeat once this year. We went to IKEA...on the exact day a year ago...nice to see I live an unexpected lifestyle!

My carry around journal - the Raspberry ZinnyDori which I holds my day to day documenting, my memory journal, my lists and other such junk :)

And finally a wonderful christmas present from my fabulous friend Kelly, the thankful journal. I don't tend to write in it everyday. If I'm honest I tend to use it on days when I'm feeling low and I need a reminder of the good things that have happened that day or little reminders to help pick me up. 

No doubt I'll pick up more along the way...one can never have too many planners right?

Having now come to the end of the year I've really enjoyed flicking back over the spreads, both the complete and the incomplete but now my hesitancy to go back to a personal ring bound is growing. My handwriting is quite chunky and messy, the pages don't look have so messy in an A5! I suppose I will have to utilise the monthly spreads again to track bits and bobs to free some precious space in the weeklys lol

Reet, I think that's pretty much it for this post :)

In abit peoples x 


Don't forget to checkout the rest of the lovely ladies who are part of this collective!!

Rebecca Projectlife 
Zoe 
The Stationery Geekette 
Planner Montannah 
An Ocean Glimmer 
Kerry May Makes 
A Beautiful Plan 
Ugly Bug Plans 
A Life Lived in Words 
The Vintage Planner
Ska Loving Geek 
My Chaotically Eclectic Life 
Pennygate Crafts 
Becster
The Royal Planner  


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

...bucking the reading slump trend

As anyone who reads regularly will know the dreaded reading slump demon will come a knocking at some point or another. Sometimes he hangs around of a couple weeks and then buggers off back to whence he came, but occasionally, for me at least he hangs around a little too long. He's been perched on my bookshelves, taunting me, for several months now. Every time I think about picking up a book, he jeers and wags his little gnarly finger at me and I suddenly loose interest. I feel guilt when I look at my vast collection of unread novels and ironically feel less inclined to read their pages. So there they sit, perfectly aligned, spines straight, waiting to spill their secrets.

The usual tactics to get me to pick a book:
- reading a chapter X
- reading in another a room X
- reading in the bath X
- having a cuppa X
- Collections of short stories - worked to a degree, but I've now finished all of my short story collections!

The OH and I took a trip to Costco - the original plan was to visit IKEA  but we took one look at the carpark and thought '...naaah', I mean I get that to jump from IKEA to Costco is quite big and all but if I'm honest I wanted to get out the house. Cabin fever strikes. So when we venture there I always insist on looking around the books table, its a staple and must always be done, even if I'm not really looking to add to my growing library (so many, many, unread books *sobs*). So there I am, mooching, OH huffing and grumbling behind me, finally giving up and getting his phone out to peruse the internet (I mean seriously, who does that?) when I stumble across these beauties.



I've been looking for a copy of....for some time. Many of the stories I know from being a child but I've never read the originals. I tend find my books in charity and indepedent bookshops if I can, although I will admit to using the likes of Amazon (link) when I can't wait for the next installment of a series. Coming across fairy tale collections can be quite difficult, those I've found so far have been modern publications or are not complete collections. I have a particular penchant for old print publications or beautifully bound editions, so I love the old time feel of these.
I'm hoping to read a couple stories of an evening to kick start my reading for 2017...I have quite the list to get through.

I'd set myself the task of reading at least two books a month - this was back in August last year. Now this TBR list seems a little abitious, I'm thinking I might change it up a little by opting for shorter novels or failing that remove the pressure altogether and go with what I feel I can manage at the time.

What do you guys do to get yourselves out of a reading slump? Do you try and tempt yourself out of it or you let yourself come around in your own time? I'd love to know :)

I shall update as to my progress!


 In a bit guys x