{21 Secrets} Watercolour Playground

21 Secrets
As promised, I’m back with some more of my creations from last year’s 21 Secrets workshop… today I want to share the pages I made following Tammy Garcia’s Watercolour Playground lessons.
Historically, I’m not the biggest fan of watercolour. It annoys me that you need to use certain paper to get a result. It annoys me that it reactivates if you spill something on it (and I do that a lot). Having said that, I actually really enjoyed this class. It’s quite a slow medium to work with, and as I was testing out a few new techniques, I was going extra, extra, slow… which is very therapeutic, especially if you’re a ‘mile a minute’ kind of person like me.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love rainbows? Blending all of the stripes was sooo calming but do you now what wasn’t calming? Watching the cat knock my pain water all over it, and seeing a big white splodge materialize in the middle. Grrrr. I think you can see a few of the water spots in the top corner…)
One of my usual bug bears with watercolours is that they’re just a bit wishy washy… and I have an expensive little set that I never even touch for that reason…. BUT my Crayola set (which was about £5) are so vibrant and lush that I can’t leave them alone now!
Here I went a teensy bit rogue and put my own mark on the lesson by adding lots of doodles and dots… You can’t really tell from this photo, but the white dimensional paint sucked up some of the watercolour and tinted itself – a very cool effect!
This page was a collection of all the different tips and techniques Tammy shared throughout the workshop and I’m not kidding when I say it took me FOREVER. I think I managed to watch the entire second season of Stella while I was working on it!
So what do you think? Am I a watercolour whiz now? You should definitely hop over to Daisy Yellow, Tammy’s blog. It’s filled with fabulous creative prompts, in fact, my first ever art journal page was created as a response to one of them!
Have a great weekend guys, I’ll be back soon 🙂
D x

Documented Life – Staying Organised in the New Year

Untitled #9

Well Christmas is finally over (and I really enjoyed my non-Slimming World friendly dinner J) – I hope you had a fabulous day filled with family, fairy lights and festive foods! I’m currently sat on the sofa in my onesie (thank you boyfriend, best present ever!) thinking about all of the projects I have to look forward to next year. I’ll write more in-depth about all of them at a later date, but today I just wanted to tell you about Documented Life.

Check out this post by Rae Missigman, where it is explained much better, but essentially it is all about spending the next year building an art journal/planner with weekly prompts, and a great community of artists to chatter with on Facebook.

While getting excited about getting started, I’ve also come across a few other posts about becoming more organised in the New Year – I always say it’s very important to think about what works for you… if you copy somebody else’s way of organising their life, it could just mean creating more stress and less time for you in the long run (which totally defeats the object!). I usually make a binder like this, but for 2014 I fancied something a bit different.

Here are a few ideas of other creative ways to get your year in order:

Alisa Burke shows us a snapshot of her gorgeous yearly planners, with sections for monthly calendars, blog post ideas and to do lists.

Traci Bautista shares a tutorial for her favourite way to plan and schedule blog posts (and I’ve tested this method – it really works!)

iHanna has a collection of DIY planner resources here, as well as a tutorial for a cool and quirky diary made from an old binder.

Or if you fancy something less homemade, check out Gala Darling’s ode to the filofax .

Lisa Jacobs has a 2014 Workbook and Creative Business Planner for sale here (it’s available in both printed and digital format).

How about you? Do you have any grand ambitions of being extra organised next year? I’d love to see the different ways you keep on top of everything 🙂

D x

Festive Inspiration

10 festive tutorialsOne of my favourite things about Christmas is having the time to get crafty and creative… usually I do this by making lots of cards (tons more than I’d ever actually send out) but this year, seeing as it’s my first Christmas in the new house, I’m quite taken with the idea of filling the place with handmade decorations…. here are a few amazing ideas of things I’d love to give a try:
These adorable tree hangings are made out of an old jumper, by one of my favourite 21 Secrets artist,  Rae Missigman.
Speaking of eco-friendly tree ornaments, have a look at these ones made from all of those cards you’ve saved from last year.
And then for the inner geek (aka those cool enough to appreciate them!) see these Game of Thrones snowflake patterns.
Alisa Burke has a ton of whimsical holiday tutorials over on her blog, have a look at  this edgy DIY wrapping paper technique and her fabulously festive Christmas lanterns.
How about you try making some of these gorgeous glass decorations for your tree, or some super sparkly stars to fling around your house?
If you have a decent amount of time to spend on your craftiness, check out this garland made of pom-poms from A Beautiful Mess.
For a few not-so-girly decorations, here are some adorable little tree hangings.
And finally (because I still need cards in my life) have a look at my favourite ever card how-to,  from Traci Bautista.
I hope that having a look through these links inspires you to try something a bit creative this Christmas… and I’d love to see what you make (leave me a link below!)
D x
P.S. If you come across any other creative tutorials, drop me a tweet @DaireCharlotte

{21 Secrets} Doodling Our Way

As you know, this year I’ve been taking part in a number of online art workshops. I haven’t really blogged about them as much as I would have liked to, but there’s no time limit, so I will keep sharing my work even after the classes have finished.
Today I wanted to talk to you about…
21 Secrets

… the course hosted by Dirty Footprints Studio, that runs from March to December.

If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll know that I did this course last year too – each cycle is a different 21 artist offering 21 art journaling lessons, and it’s a HUGE bargain. The one negative I have is that you don’t get to keep the lessons. It would be great if you could download the videos or something, in case you want to have another go later on.

The lesson I started out with was Doodling Our Way, by Cathy Bluteau. Essentially it combined a bit of collage and a lot of doodling (two things that I love). This was my first attempt:


It was such a nice, relaxing process. I love being able to sit down with a a pen, a blanket and a cuppa, and just let my hand do all the work while my brain has a good old rest. I currently have another one on the go:


And even more lined up for later…

DSCN1991 DSCN1992 DSCN1993

So tell me, have you been up to anything creative recently? If you’ve been taking part in 21 Secrets, I’d love to see some of your work!

D x

P.S. I’ve just set up a Facebook page for my blog – I’d love it if you would hop over and like it, or share it with your friends!

{Doodle Camp 2013} Part 3

Today I wanted to share the rest of the pages from my Doodle Camp journal:


This page is the equivalent of doodling word vomit – I did completely without thinking or planning, or even really caring about what I was doing next. It’s not necessarily my favourite page to look at, but it was very relaxing to do!


I started this page with a smoosh of ink across the page, and a doodle jump-start provided by Dawn Devries Sokol. After that I just let myself loose with a black pen and voila!


This is my absolute favourite page in the whole book… I just love! All the colours and complete randomness just make me happy 🙂 I also really like the swirly cut out down the side of the page… plus it was just really fun. I could happily fill a whole book with this technique!


This page of journalling blocks was designed to house a bunch of art journal prompts to use in the future (if you have any ideas then leave me a comment below!)

I’ve now shared all the pages from my Doodle Camp 2013 journal (click here or here to see the first two posts) – I have a few more blank ones at the bank for whenever the doodling mood strikes… so have you been up to anything arty this week?

D x

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{Doodle Camp 2013} Part 2

So already I have failed in my BEDN ambitions. I had the best of intentions – I had my post sketched out and ready to be typed up but external forces took over… I fell asleep. A combination of work and studying and art workshops and intense Slimming World obsessions conspired to send me off to Hushabye Mountain. I shouldn’t complain really. These self-imposed stressors can have way worse side effects; I get crabby; I start panicking; I lose all motivation; I eat; I glaze over and drown in TV. None are particularly good for me.

There is one technique that I use to de-stress that has never failed me. I unleash the creativity. I’ll choose something that won’t take a lot of time, or space, or materials or effort or brain power, something like doodling, and I’ll just let go for a while. A couple of months ago I took part in a fun mini workshop with Dawn Devries Sokol called ‘Doodle Camp’, so in honour of National Stress Awareness Day I thought I’d share some of the doodles and drawings that left me feeling oh-so-serene:


[A list of things I’d take to Doodle Camp with me]


[Inspired by Nature]


[Dream Destination]


[Playing with Patterns]


[Finding the Doodle]


[Designing an Alphabet]


[Ice Cream Treats]



So are you a fan of the almighty doodle? How do you choose to beat the stress out of your life?

D x

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{Inspiration Photos} Light

I’ve posted a few times before about the photos I take to inspire paintings, doodles and art journal pages. Usually these tend to be pictures I take myself, of the quirky things I see when I’m out and about, but I also love collecting images on Pinterest. It can be hideously addictive, I’ll admit, but it’s a great resource for whenever you’re feeling a bit uninspired.

The one thing I will say is that you should never, ever, under any circumstances take images of Pinterest without crediting the source – a lot of time and effort goes into creating beautiful images and we all need to respect that!

Image Source: CanBerriWren on Flickr

Image Source: Lou Archell

Image Source: Garry Gay at Fine Art America

Image Source: Hitched.co.uk

Image Source: Rang Decor

Image Source: Chariklia Tripolitaki

Image Source: Double Crossed Photography

Image Source: iTunes

Image Source: Min Gei

Image Source: Chantelle Rowe

Image Source: Play With My Pulse

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday guys, I’m looking forward to a day of tea, TV and a few kitty cuddles 🙂

D x

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