Documented Life – Staying Organised in the New Year

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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

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Guest Posts: Creativity and Inspiration

What do you do to add creativity to your life? What are your favourite techniques and supplies? Do you have any tips and tricks to bring creativity into otherwise boring things? Where do you find your inspiration? How do you come up with ideas for your blog posts or stories? Do you get crafty with your kids? Do you have a tutorial you’d like to share? Would you like to share a review of your favourite art products?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES I’d love for you to write a guest post for Doing it the Open Way! For more information, or to submit something for me to read, drop me an email to Daire.Openway@yahoo.co.uk or a tweet @DaireCharlotte.
Hope to hear from you soon!
D x

{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 2013} Part 3

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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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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Heart Sight Heart Light

Hellooo! I’ve been a bit lax with posting my art journaling endeavours recently, and I’ve been even more lax about keeping up with the Life Book lessons… I’ll get more efficient I PROMISE but sometimes work and sleep and study just get in the way of everything! The good news is I’ve been given the spare room to turn into an art studio (yay!), and my Saturday tutorial has been cancelled this week, so very, very soon I’ll have a designated creative space with places to store my stash. I’m pretty damn excited, I’m not gonna lie! It’s so much easier to stay inspired if you don’t have to pack everything away once you’re finished using it. Plus, it will be really convenient having somewhere to leave things to dry!

Today I wanted to share the last Life Book page I completed – this one came from Effy Wild’s Heart Sight Heart Light lesson:

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I have to say, I’m slightly in love with this background! As a lot of my art stuff is still currently packed up in boxes, I didn’t have any tissue paper to hand, so I had to improvise. I ended up using some paper napkins with a floral design to create the texture, and I really like that in some areas the printed lines shine through. The supplies I used here were so, so simple – my napkin, some glue, two felt tips, some charcoal and a bit of white acrylic (partially because the lesson didn’t ask for too much more, partially because even if it had, I wouldn’t have been able to find anything!) It’s not my favourite page ever, but I wasn’t in a particularly arty mood when I was working on it, so I wouldn’t expect it to be! I’m expecting to be back in my arty swing this time next week, so hopefully have some more pages to share with you then!

D x

 

{Lucky Dip} Book Tin

As you’ll most definitely know by now, I have big love for books. I also have big love for bargains, so whenever I find bargain books I kind of have to snap them up. Unfortunately my buying is much quicker than my reading and I’ve ended up with a pair of bursting bookshelves… but now I’m faced with the ‘oh my God where do I start?’ problem. So I decided to make a lucky dip tin, just something I can pull out whenever I’m stuck in a reading rut (and might help me with my resolution of reading every book I own!)

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Here’s what you’ll need:

A lidded tin or jar (I used a Twinings tin).

Gesso and acrylic paint in a colour of your choice

A selection of different papers (I used some scraps I’d doodled on, a page from a Mandarin poetry book, a digital stamp from Robyn’s Fetish and a couple of pages torn from a colouring book)

Some sparkly embellishments (I used a selection of rhinestones, some glitter glue and some sparkly nail varnish)

A pair of scissors, some wet glue (my fave is Collage Pauge) and an old paintbrush

My free printable and a pen or two you love

Step 1

JpegCoat your tin with a thin layer of gesso. Once it’s dry, paint it with acrylic paint – this is going to get covered up, so don’t bother with anything too fancy.

Step 2

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Chop up your selection of papers and start pasting onto the tin. I’d recommend putting a thing layer of glue both under and over each piece to make sure it doesn’t start peeling off. Overlap the different designs (or maybe colours in your case) to create some interesting patterns.

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Step 3

Now you need to let all that glue dry. While your waiting, make the ‘lucky dip’ pieces.

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Print out the free printable (by clicking on the link at the top) and fill each box with the name of a book you’d like to read. If you have as many is me, the cutting out might take a while, but at least your tin will be completely dry when you’re done!

Step 4

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Paint around the edges of the lid with glittery nail varnish. Once this has dried, start sticking on your rhinestones.

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Step 5 

I felt in need for a bit more sparkle, so I also added a bit of glitter glue. While this is drying you can fold up all of your book titles.

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Step 6 

Stick in your hand and pull out a book name… then get reading!

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P.S. I made this book tin as part of my final Quirky Crafts challenge. The theme is ‘favourite things‘ and I used lots of my favourites here: I decorated a tea tin (my favourite drink), with reading in mind (my favourite hobby), using collage (my favourite technique), sparkles (every girl’s favourite thing) and Collage Pauge (my favourite adhesive). Check out the original challenge post for more design examples, and info on how to link up.

A Quirky Binder

Ever since I started secondary school, I’ve had a little tradition in the days before the Autumn term starts up again… I decorate my folder. I’ve always been a fan of having ‘one of a kind’ things, and it seems that one of the only ways to do this nowadays is to make or customise things yourself…

So for all those quirky stationery lovers out there, I thought I’d share a tutorial on how I made this:

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These are the supplies you’ll need…

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A ringbinder * A pair of scissors * Scraps of paper – I used a selection of book pages, leftover wrapping paper, painted card and a few other miscellaneous scraps I’d scrounged from under my desk * Some kind of wet glue (I use inexpensive PVA) * An old gift card or similar for spreading * A selection of stickers and decorative tapes.

First of all, start rifling through the papers you’ve collected, and pull out some pieces you like then cut them down to size. You have a couple of options here, you cut a lot of identical shapes or do what I did and cut random-sized, random-shaped pieces. Open out your folder and start playing with the composition of your collage pieces:

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Once you like what you see, start gluing down the bits. To avoid bubbles in your paper, squirt a drop of glue straight onto the binder and scrape across with your gift card. Stick down the piece of paper, then run the card over it again to squeeze out any air. Keep going until everything is in place – if you stick anything over the joints of the folder, wiggle the covers a few times while the glue is still wet, and press out any bubbles. If you don’t do this then the paper will tear whenever you try to open your binder.

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Start adding your second layer – I used a selection of decorative tapes, some previously doodled on tissue paper and a few stickers. I also added a digital stamp – Pumpkin Bird from Bugaboo, coloured with Prismacolor pencils.

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At this point you could add a few doodles if you wanted to, just make sure you use pens that won’t smear (stick to biros, gel-pens and permanent markers). I decided to leave mine as it is for now (I might change my mind as the year goes on!). Once you’re happy with how it all looks, go over the whole thing with a generous layer of PVA, and give it a few hours to dry completely.

I had so much fun making this, I might have to give out a few as Christmas presents!

D x

P.S. The latest Quirky Crafts challenge is now live! This time the theme is ‘Pumpkin Time’ (hence the Pumpkin Bird), to link up, or see the rest of the fab Design Team examples, check out the original challenge post.