Come create with us – March

Aaaaand we are BACK! 🙂

Time to start creating again. This month theme is “OWL” and we hope you’ll be thrilled about it as the owls seem to be all the rage for quite some time now.

Don’t forget to show us what you created and pin it to our Pinterest board.


Peerless watercolours

I spend quite a bit of time on Pinterest, partly because it’s a visual medium and thats how my brain works, but also because i suffer from insomnia (like all fibro folks) and I find it relaxing. (Depending on who you follow and what boards, you often come across things that are new to you.)

Because an artist friend had recommended Jane Davenport’s video tutorials I surfed pinterest looking for related links and came across more than one mention of Peerless watercolours. Jane D sells her own mix of colours and there’s the site that originally created them, but apart from the odd eBay seller the only way we Brits can get our hands on them is to order from the US. Import duties can be punishing so after much thought I ordered the small bonus pak of 40 colours from Peerless themselves.

After what felt like a long wait, the parcel arrived.

Peerless watercolors parcel

They came wrapped in old music paper.

Peerless bonus pak

After seeing how various people had used them to create a travel palette, it occurred to me that they would be ideal for my needs. On the rare occasions that I manage to paint I often have to do it whilst sitting in a recliner, so space is limited. I also favour water reservoir brushes because they have a wider barrel/handle and so are easier for me to hold and they also cut down on the number of resources needed.

Peerless watercolours are pieces of card impregnated with concentrated pigment. 

Peerless watercolor information

Click to see high res version if you can’t read the text.

The cards in the bonus pak are 2 inches square.

Peerless 2 inch cards

Some of the effects of the chemical process are little works of art themselves.

Peerless color card

Now to the prep of the travel palette. I had a small tin box that had contained masking stickers. I cut some watercolour paper to fit the tin. Then cut some acetate the same size as the paper.

Small tin

Obviously I decorated the front of the tin.

Paper, acetate and washi tape

Paper, acetate and washi tape.

I lined up a piece of watercolour paper with a piece of acetate and used washi tape to fix them together along one side. Then attached another piece of acetate to the back of the paper along the same edge. The idea being to sandwhich the paper between acetate to eliminate pigment transferance/contamination. Then another piece of paper, and another piece of acetate, until I had a little book of alternating ‘pages’ of paper and acetate. 

Then I cut off a small strip from each of the peerless colour cards, and glued them onto the paper pages of the mini ‘book’.

Travel water color palette

You’ll notice that the final thing I did was to paint next to each strip, from each strip because the colour of the card often gives little idea what the actual colour of the pigment is.

Sketchbook and travel palette 

So far I’ve only used what was left of the pigment on the brush from painting the palette, so I can’t yet report on how they are to use, (one brief page of doodling isn’t enough to form an opinion.) So far so good though…

I wonder how long the strips will last before they run out of pigment, but its not like I’m able to do a massive amount of painting anymore. I am excited to have such a quick and easy way to paint available to me, and I’ll write more when I’ve used them  for a little while.

If you’ve used them and have any tips, I’d love to hear them. Also, if you’ve found this useful please consider sharing and pinning. Thank you.




Cloth Paper Scissors…

Nope not a new art game, but a website and magazine for mixed media artists. I’d sort of assumed that everybody knows about it, but chatting with some art chums the other day I realised I was mistaken. So here’s a quick overview for anybody else unfamiliar with the site or magazine.

cps header

They have a shop, (and fairly regular sales and offers) that sells art stash as well as art tutorials, books, magazines, videos…the store is run by the company Interweave.

They have MASSES of freebies.

An active forum.

Regular creative challenges.

Community videos.

Loads of inspiring image galleries, from challenge entries to artist studios.

They have lots of useful newsletters, one of which rounds up some of the recent blog articles, which are usually tutorials. If you feel like being a guest blogger get in touch with them. One of the articles in today’s newsletter was a post from 2012 about altering old book covers to make your own books/journals.


Sign up for the newsletter here. 

This is this weekend’s offer in the shop, IW_LoveofCrafting-950x300

Valentine inspiration to download

Heart boxHere are a few things to download and print and make something for Valentine’s day.

There’s a love heart design that will make a lovely card or postcard, (I just sent a couple of Touchnote postcards) 

a pink splatter pattern to use as the background of a design,

and a couple of box templates to print and cut out that match the background design.

Click the images below to go to the high resolution versions, then right click, (or tap and hold if you’re using an iPad) and choose save.

Here’s the background image;

Pink splatter background

Click for high res version

…and the love heart design,

Love heart card design


…and if you want to download the box templates, click here, or the picture of the box, for the PDF.

 More box template designs can be found here.

creativity: some things to read

I know I’m slightly late (should have posted this yesterday) It’s that lovely time of year again, Imbolc….full of expectation and hope, (although I’m still wishing I could hibernate until April…) I hope that you are blessed with inspiration and enthusiasm as we head toward the Spring solstice. 

If you’re in the same hibernating mood as me this is an excellent time to catch up on some reading. Today’s weekly email from Brain Pickings resulted in me doing a search on the site for articles on creativity and this post is a way of both bookmarking the  search for myself and sharing it.


Screen shot of brain pickings website search for creativity

Click the screenshot to go there…


A prompt…using a tea bag.

One of my very favouritest (is that a word? Should be…) online sources of top art stash is Cult Pens, they do a newsletter called Penorama.

(Artists can submit a header design for the newsletter and get a blog feature too if their design is chosen, just email them for further details.)

“Before there was Cult Pens, there was a little stationery shop. It was in Dartmouth, so tourists wandered in quite often. Many were amazed to find the G-Tec-C4 – a favourite pen they couldn’t often find. So the owners of the little stationery shop decided to make some of these favourite pens available online, so everyone could find them. And so Cult Pens was born.”

They stock “over 11,750 products from around 70 different brands.” and in 2013 they have “given away a huge value of prizes, including two fountain pens worth over £500 each. Our customers have worked with us to donate over 21,000 pens to Pens for Kids, and donated a limited edition Pilot Capless fountain pen to raise money for the Philippine Red Cross following Typhoon Haiyan.”

Plus their customer service is fab and every time you order you get a little free gift AND they dispatch your order almost before you’ve finished making it. (This isn’t a sponsored post by the way, I’m just a bit addicted to pens and they feed my habit.)

Anyway this month’s newsletter had a cute little creative prompt that I thought I’d share.

“Do you drink tea?  Next time you make a cup, you can prepare for a tea sketch.  Drop your used tea bag on a handy bit of card, like an index card, or a bit of packaging.  Let the tea stain the card for a while, then dispose of the bag.  When the resulting random tea stain is dry, doodle over the top of it, turning it into whatever the tea suggests.”

Penorama from Cult Pens

Penorama tea sketch from Cult Pens

This reminds me of Carla Sonheim‘s approach and her crack of the month club.

…and yes, they ship world wide.

Fox: be inspired

Nini has set this month’s creative prompt, which is ‘fox’. I have a vague idea about creating a celtic/pagan influenced bold design to perhaps make a printing plate from and so I’ve started collecting fox images. 

I find Pinterest the easiest way to collect images and links these days, (easier to keep a track of sources that way too, most of the time.) here’s the board so far,

Foxes pinboard

Pinboard about foxes

There’s a mix of photographs of real foxes and illustrations, but I’ve also included links to more information about the symbolism of foxes in various cultures.

Pins about foxes

Symbolism links are at the bottom of the board.

 Like Sandy said in the previous comments, I’m really looking forward to seeing what people come up with. Plus, because of the ATC swap, I know I’ll get two awesome little pieces of foxy art from Nini and Sandy. Yay!

Click either of the images or here to go to the pinboard.

Come create with us – January

January create with usHello all. We hope you are itching to try out all those great artist supplies you got for Christmas so we are giving you a great excuse to do so 😉

This month’s prompt is “Fox”. Remember, you can do anything creative you want. Only sky is the limit.

Don’t forget to share on our Pinterest board or in the FB group.

%d bloggers like this: