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.

Quick and Crafty!

For those who like arts and crafts but may not have the time or energy to get out the paints and canvases every time, I would like to share my quick and crafty new hobby.

If you know me already you will be aware that I love drawing and painting but due to my fibromyalgia I can’t do it as often as I’d like to.

(photo by William Patterson, taken from Fine Art America)

I have recently started making jewellery and have sold a few pieces via facebook to some of my husband’s colleagues and some friends. Sometimes I feel a bit naughty because I have made something quick and inexpensive and someone thinks it’s worthy enough to pay for. It also feels really good though. Not because I’ve made £2.50 but because someone is wearing something that I have made.

There are lots of ways to make jewellery but I have mostly done earrings or necklaces using beads and charms. It’s really quite easy – you buy beads/charms, links and hooks/chains and using a small pair of pliers, put them together.

IMG-20130413-01036      IMG-20130406-00979

I bought these owl charms on ebay along with guitars, skulls and butterflies (Apologies for the slightly blurry pictures – photography is not an art form that I am very familiar with).

As well as being a relatively cheap and quick hobby, these pieces also make great gifts. All you need to do is use someone’s favourite coloured beads for some earrings and you have a very personal, meaningful present that will hopefully make someone really happy.

For those of you who think you may want to give jewellery making a try, there are tons of great websites out there with instructions, tips and supplies. Here are a few that you may want to check out:

Thanks so much for reading and happy creating!

Elaine x


Creativity killers

Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

Here’s an interesting article about some of the situations that kill creativity. 

It’s written by the Bêhance Network, which looks at ways to help creatives to be successful via an online portfolio, making creative connections and advertising creative jobs and opportunities.

More useful 99U articles can be found by following this link. 

Articles specifically about dealing with or avoiding creative blocks are here.

(This article about a new way of reading is also interesting.)

Illustration is from 99U article.

Nature Nourishes Creativity


So, ‘Nature Nourishes Creativity’.  You may be expecting some hippy dippy, tree hugging rant about nature, the planet and free love.  Not quite, but I am a person who believes strongly in Nature, Energy and Love.  I think that is an important part of what makes me truly open to creative inspiration.  Sorry, no free love here though – it’ll cost you reciprocation.  And chocolate 😉 Whether you are a painter, writer or a crafter, you will have at some point been inspired to create by nature.  You may have seen a cute baby animal or a pretty looking tree.  You may even have seen a weird looking insect or a dark and thundery overcast sky.  As someone who enjoys all kinds of creativity, I just wanted to remind each of you that all you need to do when you’re feeling uninspired is to look out of the window or step out into the garden.  Recently I’ve been quite into painting landscapes and a great online inspiration for me has been @Earth_Pics on Twitter.  If you’re on there I recommend you check out their pictures – they’re beautiful.  The links below should take you to them on Twitter and Instagram 🙂

@Earth_pics on Twitter.

Earth pics on Instagram

If you also wish to follow me on Twitter, I’m @chubachups 🙂

Thanks for reading and much love x


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