A Belated Year in Review

As I mentioned last week, Beth from plasticrosaries.com recently tagged me in her ‘2013 in Review‘ post, and even though I’ve already summed up 2013 elsewhere, I thought I’d play along anyway…

A belated year in review

1. Your top 5 new favourite blogs to read in 2013  (you’re totally tagged if you’re listed here – no pressure of course but putting it out there…)

Satchels and Pearls (ok, I’m biased. This is my friend Michelle’s blog, and she gets bonus points for making me Auntie to the cutest dumpling ever!)

Girl XOXO (I love the combination of bookishness and blogging tips. She takes really great photos too!)

iHanna (Her blog is just full of creative inspiration, and her archives are filled with fab tutorials!)

Rae Missigman (A fairly recent discovery, but now she’s definitely one of my favourite mixed media artists)

The Tangerine (The brain behind the Book Chat)

And of course there are the great blogs I mentioned in my last round up post, and thelovely lady who tagged me in this post.

2. List Your 5 most read blog posts in 2013

The Art of Benin (I still can’t understand why you keep coming back to this one!)

Myth and Magic Notecards (I have the fabulous Julie Fei-Fan Balzer to thank, as she featured my tutorial on her awesome blog)

Documented Life – Staying Organised in the New Year (I’m pretty impressed… this one ranked at number 3, despite being published 5 days before New Year’s!)

De-stressing with Doodles (My oh-so-sophisticated method of stress management…)

{21 Secrets} Doodling Our Way (And the first installment of my 21 Secrets 2013 portfolio)

3. Name one blog you wish you had found sooner

Hands down Jo Gifford a.k.a the Dexterous Diva – I think I’d have mastered the art of blogging waaay sooner! (Plus, she’s lovely!) Did I mention I’m guest posting on her blog today?

4. Your favourite blog post of 2013  

I really loved creating the art for The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and the Giraffe Note Cards Tutorial and I LOVED taking part in Love Triangles 101, check out my review of Before I Met You or When Love Triangles Just Don’t Count for a taster!

5. What would you like to improve (if anything) on your blog next year?

Plenty! I have a list of goals for my blog that I’m constantly adding to. One of my aims for the year is to write 10 guest posts (if you’re interested, let me know!) I’d also love to hear any thoughts you have on how I could improve Doing it the Open Way. Is there anything you’d like to see change?

6. Name one blog you have a blog crush on.

Alisa Burke’s blog is amazing – her outlook, her design, her voice, her imagery, her features…. everything is just gorgeous! She’s currently running a course on blogging if anyone’s interested?

7. How often do you post?  

I go through phases… I vary between every other day and once in a blue moon. One of my aims for 2014 is to become a much more consistent blogger.

8. Share your first post of 2013

Bienvenido 2013 (also known as an introduction to my whimsical reading challenge!)

9. Name one thing you would be doing if you weren’t typing this post right now.

Coffee! And probably working…

10.What have you loved the most about blogging this year?

I’ve loved getting my mojo back – I actually want to blog now! I’m really enjoying learning how to do new things and make little improvements. I know it’s a slow process, but I’m feeling very inspired!

And with that I conclude the looking back, from this very second, it’s all about 2014!

D x

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{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:

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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:

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And even more lined up for later…

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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} Part 1

One of the online art course I’ve been really excited about this year is Doodle Camp 2013, taught buy the fabulous Dawn Devries Sokol of D’Blogala. A week long art camp that involved prompts, jumpstarts, technique lessons and inspiration all geared towards one of my favourite things… doodling!

The first part of the class consisted of making a journal to ‘take to camp’ with us. I was convinced this part would go wrong for me, but I actually love the result:

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What do you think? I’m still contemplating  adding colour to my cover, but I’m not 100% sure yet…

I also prepped some backgrounds using Dawn’s techniques, but with a few different materials. I didn’t have a pipette so I used an empty glitter glue tube (I had no control, but everything has been infused with a bit of sparkle, which I love!), I also didn’t have ink at the time, so I used watered down emulsion.

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Come back over the next week or so to see how I filled up these pages…

D x

Meeting the Pets

Day 7 of the Blog Every Day in May challenge and today’s prompt is to tell us about your pets, past and/or present.

I have always been a dog person. I’ve had many in my life. I like cats too. I’ve had a fair few of those aswell. I pretty much just love having a fluffy animal to curl up on my knee every night. Unfortunately, we’re living in a teensy one bed flat until we find a house, so I’m really not  allowed one. But I have managed to sneak these guys in:

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My little fishes really didn’t want to smile for the camera so I had to settle for a little illustration. Usually they’ll come right up to the glass and just stare at me, but as soon as I waved my phone at them they swam and hid behind the water filter.

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First we have Guinevere.

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Then we have Annie.

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Tigerlily.

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And little Milo.

I’ve never really understood why people would have pet fish… but I do have a little chat with mine when I get in from work… and they always seem glad to see me (I’m not insane, I just bring the food). Bizarrely, they do seem to have their own personalities but as soon as we get a bigger place I’ll be straight down the rescue centre. However, for now I’ll happily settle for my fishies; walking and cleaning doesn’t eat into study time with these guys!

Speaking of which, back to my essay!

D x