Monday, 11 December 2017

Artline Monday - Christmas decorations

Have you put your tree up yet?  I must admit mine has been up since the start of the month.  I love sorting through our decorations before I hang them on the tree and remember who brought them and where they came from, it's like a little festive walk down memory lane.  I thought this year it would be nice make some baubles with my children and create some new memories together.

Making Christmas decorations with Arline pens

The first decoration we made was for my son Hayden.  It is really hard to find anything with his name on it so our tree has lots of decorations with "Special Son" and "Special Grandson" on them instead.  I painted a plain ceramic bauble with an Artline poster marker which was quick and easy to use.  It also dried almost immediately so I didn't have to wait to paint both sides.

Painting the ceramic bauble 

Once the whole bauble was covered we used a silver Artline 900XF metallic maker to write his name and add some decoration.

Baubles, metallic markers & Artline 853 OHP pens

Because of how quickly the poster marker dried this bauble only took five minutes to make so if you wanted to make a few different ones for your tree or as gifts you could breeze through them all in no time!

On the tree

The second decoration we made was for my youngest daughter.  She loves anything sparkly so we filled a plastic bauble with fake snow, glitter and sequins before sealing it up tightly.

Filled bauble with fake snow, glitter and sequins

We then used gem stickers and an Artline 853 OHP marker to decorate the outside.  The overhead projection markers are great for writing on plastic and the ink is permanent so it wont fade or rub off over time. 

On the tree

Our next decoration was the fastest one to make, we used the 853 OHP makers again to draw coloured spots inside the bauble and some Artline Supreme whiteboard markers too.  Because the whiteboard markers were used on the inside the ink wont get erased if anyone touches the bauble.  

Drawing inside the bauble

The finishing touch for this decoration was a little gold bell added onto the ribbon. 

On the tree

The last tree decoration we made is my favourite.  We squeezed some gold glitter glue into the plastic bauble, sealed it up and then shook it vigorously to disperse the glitter around the inside. 

Fill the bauble with glitter glue

I used a gold Artline 900XF metallic marker to write Happy Christmas on the front of the bauble and then wrote my eldest daughter's name on the other side.

Happy Christmas

My daughter's name on the back

Before it was hung on the tree we added some gold gem stickers to the outside for some extra sparkle.

On the tree

Baubles aren't the only decorations you can make with Artline pens, we have been creating some festive rocks using the 853 OHP markers again!

Merry Christmas - rock painting

If you missed my rock painting post last month you can find it here for all the details.  The rock above was painted with a blue watercolour paint and then I added the snow using a white Artline paint marker, the rest was done using the 853 OHP markers and the finishing touches were done with the 900XF metallic pens.  Once it was all dry I varnished it so it will hold up against the weather if it was placed outside but at the moment it is sitting on the shelf in my hallway.

Decorate your windows with Artline pens

I mentioned the other week about the elf who comes to stay with us every December and he gets up to all kinds of mischief, well this week he used my Artline glassboard markers to decorate the windows on my front door!  Our glass is frosted so he had to write on the outside of the window so I'm not sure how long it will last but if you wanted to use these pens to decorate your windows you could draw on the inside of the glass and it would probably last the whole Christmas period.  The pens can be removed quickly with a damp cloth and I find it much easier to clear up than the fake snow spray I usually use to decorate our windows!

Would you like to win some Artline goodies for yourself or a friend?  Pop over to my Facebook page now for details on how to enter my giveaway!



Monday, 4 December 2017

Artline Monday - Christmas card calligraphy

It's December!  It's time to get your Christmas cards written and in the post!  Since I have been practising my lettering and calligraphy this year I thought I would try and use my new skills on my cards and share some hints and tips with you today.

Christmas calligraphy 

It's okay if you are a complete beginner, you don't need to have had months of practice to make your cards look fancy.  All you need is a good calligraphy pen and some paper to practice the words you want to write.

I suggest you sit at a table or desk and angle your paper, notebook or card slightly to the left if you are right handed and to the right if you are left handed.  This will give you room to rest your arm on the table while you write and gives you better control over your pen.

On the down strokes you need to apply a little pressure to the pen to make your lines look nice and thick and then a light touch on the up strokes for much thinner lines.  Try doing these strokes a few times until you get used to writing this way with a calligraphy pen.

Practising in my notebook

The next stage is to practice the words you need to write on your cards and envelopes.  If you don't have an idea of what kind of font you want to use take a look on Google or Pinterest for some inspiration, just search for Christmas calligraphy and see what takes your fancy.  

Once you have found a style you like try and copy it on your paper or notebook and repeat until you are happy with how it looks.  When you are confident move on to writing it on your Christmas card or envelope.  Go slowly and take your time with each letter, rushing through the word makes you more likely to make a mistake.  

Depending on how many cards you need to send you might want to write them in batches instead of doing them all at once.  My hand seems to cramp up if I spend too long writing so I like to do five or six cards at a time and then take a break.  This also keeps my handwriting nice and neat as it gets messier the longer I write!

When I was practising I used a 3mm calligraphy nib but this was a bit big for inside my cards so I changed down to a 1mm nib instead.  The smaller nib was the perfect size for the cards and envelopes, leaving me plenty of room to write what I wanted to on both.

Slow and steady

I am only writing the recipients names in calligraphy on my envelopes, I will be adding their address in a clear, print font so it will be easy for the postmen and women to read when they are delivering my cards.  I used an Artline calligraphy marker for the names as it is permanent ink and water resistant and I will be writing the addresses with an Artline Supreme permanent marker for the same reasons.  These inks should withstand any rain or snow the cards might encounter along the way and not run or become illegible.

So, are you feeling inspired?  Will you being giving this a go with your Christmas cards?  I think I am going to go and finish mine off now so I can pop them in the post before the rush later in the month!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Artline Mondy - Christmas memory keeping

Can you believe that by the end of the week it will be December?  I don't know about you but I always feel like everything speeds up at this time of year and then suddenly it's January!  This year I've decided to keep a record of December, my youngest won't be little forever and I want to remember these times with her while she still believes in the magic of Christmas.  

Bullet journal style memory keeping

I've have a couple of ways to document the month I want to show you.  The first is my bullet journal layout.  You might remember my previous bullet journal post where I showed you how to get started and set up your journal, well I have a new journal which I am going to use solely for Christmas.  It is bright red and I thought it would be perfect for keeping track of our festive period over the years and it would become a nice keepsake for us to look back on.


The first spread covers the first week of December.  I used some stickers and washi tape for decoration and then gave myself sections to record things that happen that week using my Artline brush markers, fineliners and permanent markers.  The headings are Made me smile, Noteworthy, Favourite memory, Traditions, Holiday deliciousness and Elf mischief.  I feel the need to explain the elf one, we have an elf who visits us every December and he gets up to all sorts of things while he is here like covering our tree in toilet paper or filling the children's shoes with sweets.  Anyway I would like to record what he gets up to while he is with us, mainly so he doesn't repeat the same tricks each year.

I have also created a space for me to glue in a photograph for this week.  I usually take a lot of pics during December so I want to get a few of the best ones printed and keep them here inside my journal instead of left on my phone or camera.

More bullet journal ideas

For the second week I used more washi tape and stickers but I also used a couple of my Artline stamps as they matched my gold theme.  The gold star xclamations stamp is really easy to use because it is self inking so you just need to put it on the paper and press the top down.  The Merry Christmas stamp is the same design as well so I don't have to mess around with ink pads and stamp blocks to use these images.  For this week's headings I changed things up so I won't be writing about the same things over and over, the only sections I have kept the same are for the photograph and the elf's activities.  I used my yellow Artline brush marker and fineliner for the headings and then my gold Supreme metallic marker for some extra decoration.

I will be setting up the final three weeks of December over the next couple of days, if you have any suggestions for me please let me know!
  
December spread in my art journal

If bullet journalling isn't your thing you might prefer my art journal spread.  I have used two pages to record some of my favourite things about December and what I am looking forward to.  I love watching Christmas films, to be honest my girls and I have been watching them since the start of November but we have saved the best ones for December and I have a list of them on the first page.  On the second page I have a few different sections, the list on the journal tag is the things I need to do but they are also things I love to do too!  Then there are a few of my favourite festive food and drinks and a reminder to leave out some cookies and milk for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph.  Lastly there is a space for a photo of my children that I am going to take on Christmas Eve when they are in their new pjs and excited about the big day!

Will you be keeping a record of your December?


Friday, 24 November 2017

Planner Friday - Novemeber

I'm getting over excited about Christmas today on the Trendy Twine blog, pop over now to see my latest Planner Friday post....

Yes!  We are so close to December I can almost taste it!  I can't wait for the festive period to start so I thought for this month's Planner Friday I would show you my Christmas themed spread in my Travellers Notebook.


My Christmas spread


I wanted to record some of my favourite things about Christmas and list the things I am looking forward to doing next month so I got to work with my Annie's Paper Boutique stamps!  I absolutely LOVE my Christmas stamp sets, they are full of fun and quirky quotes that are perfect for journalling, card making, gift tags and lots more!  

On the first page I have used the Christmas Movies stamp from the This is December set for the list of films I want to watch over the holidays and I added a couple of stamps from the Foodies set as there will definitely be snacks involved while I watch them!  Frozen is a family favourite in this house so the Do you want to build a snowman? stamp from the Let It Snow set just had to make an appearance too!

On the second page I have a list of things I need to do but they are also things I enjoy.  I can't wait to put up the tree, cover the house in decorations, hit the shops to buy gifts and treats and then wrap it all up.  I also recorded some of my favourite things to drink and eat using the This Is December #2 and Drinks & More stamp sets and I have left myself a space to add a photo of my children I am going to take on Christmas Eve while they are waiting for Santa to arrive.

The last thing I did was to give myself a reminder that I need to put out some cookies and milk for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph and I used the image stamps from my Perfect Pairs set for this.  I think they look super cute!



Stamp Block


You can read the rest of my post here.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, 20 November 2017

Artline Monday - Ways to relax

So it's the middle of November and my Christmas plans are in full swing now but I still find myself stressing over getting everything ready in time, I guess I'm just a worrier!  I thought I would share with you some ways I relax when I feel a little frazzled in case you find yourself feeling more frustrated than festive over the next few weeks!

Ways to relax

Colouring books

I love how colouring in has become a big thing for adults now, there are so many different types of books to choose from so finding one to suit your style is easy.  Taking ten or twenty minutes out of my day to work on one of my pages relaxes me quickly, colouring in such small pieces with my fineliners takes my mind off everything but staying within the lines! 

Mindful colouring book & Artline fineliners

Baths 

A long hot soak in the bath or a refreshing shower washes away worries!  Take as long as you need until you feel ready to face the day again with a smile.

Journalling

Putting things down on paper is a great way to clear your mind.  Keeping a journal or diary can feel quite therapeutic as you have to spend some time reflecting on your day.  This gives you a chance to record your highs and lows and helps you address anything that is niggling away at you.


My journal

Walking

Go outside and get some fresh air, stretch your legs, wrap up warm and enjoy the chilly weather.  I love going for a walk in the evening when it is just getting dark and people have turned their Christmas lights on, it makes me feel excited about the holidays and takes my mind off my to do lists.

Art journalling

I'm not a great artist but I do enjoy drawing, doodling and painting and the best thing about keeping an art journal is there are no rules about how to do it.  I fill my journal with all kinds of things, memories about holidays and celebrations, things I want to remember and I usually do a spread dedicated to what I am looking forward to each month.  If you decide you want to start an art journal all you need is a notebook and a selection of pens and pencils while you work out your style of journalling.  Once you have found your groove you can try adding other materials into the mix like paints, collage and different kinds of paper and markers, the possibilities are endless.  Have fun!


My ode to Autumn in my art journal

What do you do to help you relax when you are feeling stressed?  I'd love to know!


Monday, 13 November 2017

Artline Monday - World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day, how lovely is that?  It is a special day dedicated to celebrating and committing acts of kindness so I thought it would be nice to join in and spread a little love around too. 

I have a friend who is a real sweetheart, she is the nicest, kindest person and I haven't spoken to her in a little while as we have both been busy.  I thought today would be the perfect time to reconnect with her so I have made her a card to say thank you for being such a good friend.


Kraft cards, watercolour papers & Artline pens

I started by covering the kraft card with some pretty paper and taping down the edges with washi tape to give it a nice finish.

Clean edges

Then I used one of my Artline Stix brush markers for the quote, I love how these pens write!

Artline Stix brush marker

I glued my quote onto the card but then decided I wasn't happy with how the word "is" had turned out so I covered it up using some paper hearts and changed what I was going to write on the card.  I used Artline 200 fineliners for the text and now it reads "Friends make life beautiful, thank you". 

The finished card

I have already popped this card into the post so I am hoping it will arrive today *fingers crossed* and be a nice surprise!

Will you be doing something to celebrate World Kindness Day?  


Monday, 6 November 2017

Artline Monday - Rock painting

For as long as I can remember my children have collected rocks and pebbles when we have been on holiday or days out.  They bring them home and then they get left dotted around their room or on their windowsills, gathering dust and being forgotten about until I try to move them outside!  To be honest my eldest two aren't too fussed about their collection anymore but my six year old still guards it dearly from me in case I try to cast them out into the cold, wet garden so when I came across the idea of rock painting I thought it would be fun to try and would put their collection to good use.

I was only allowed to take eight stones to paint, that was the deal with my youngest and she got to pick which ones I could have.  


Supplies

If you want to give it a go yourself you will need some rocks or pebbles, paints (I used watercolours mixed thickly and some Artline poster markers) and for writing on the rocks or adding details these Artline 853 Overhead Projection Markers.  

The 853 markers have been declared the best for rock painting by a group in New Zealand according to this blog post as the ink doesn't blur when writing on paint and it doesn't fade over time.

Painted pebble and Artline 853 OHP markers

We started by painting the rocks different colours.  You need to use the lightest colours first and then the darker shades afterwards.  For the stone above I used orange, red and brown paint as I was trying to make it look like the colour of an autumn leaf.



Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile!

Once the paint is 100% dry you can write or draw on top of it using the 853 markers.  As I went with autumn colours on my rock I doodled some leaves and added an autumn quote to go with it.  It says "Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile!" which I think is really nice.


Hello sunshine and Just keep swimming

The yellow pebble was painted with an Artline low corrosion paint marker which has given it a lovely shiny finish.  The yellow was so sunny and bright I just had to write "Hello sunshine" on it!



Finished rock

My six year old is a fan of Finding Nemo and Dory so she painted her rock with sea green shades, I drew her a fish and wrote "Just keep swimming" on it.  We added some air bubbles using a silver Artline 900XF pen and coloured in the fish using blue and green 853 markers.  We wanted it to stand out a bit more though so I used my Artline 444XF paint marker in white to brighten it up.

Be kind

My eldest daughter used a blue poster marker to paint this stone and when it was dry I wrote "Be kind" on it for her and she added some polka dots and hearts to it using a 0.8mm tipped gold metallic pen. 

Love

This was our simplest design, my eldest daughter thought the pebble was shaped like a heart so she drew one on it and coloured it in using the red 853 marker.  I wrote "Love" for her underneath the heart and then it was finished!


Sweet strawberry rock

This was our first time rock painting and there was some trial and error involved in it.  I painted this little stone pink using a poster marker but I didn't wait for it to dry properly so when I tried to write on it with the 853 marker it didn't work.  I set the stone aside for an extra hour and when it was 100% dry the paint was much easier to write on!

The largest rock my six year old gave me had a kind of wave pattern running through it so I used this to paint a sea scene.  I left some of the rock showing to create a cliff and painted the sea and sky around it. Once the blues were dry I added white clouds and waves and when they dried I used my blue and brown 853 markers to add some details to the cliff face and the sea.  It's not the best seascape I've ever painted but I am new to working on rocks and might need some more practise!

Our rocks and the Artline 853 markers

The very last step you need to do when your rocks are dry is to coat them with clear varnish or nail polish.  This will seal your works of art and protect them from the elements if you want to put them outside.

I have heard of a few groups around the world who paint rocks and then leave them for people to find like a little surprise gift.  I think that is such a sweet idea!  How nice would it be to find a pebble with a picture or message on it when you are walking through a park or shopping in town?  I would love to leave these rocks somewhere for people to find but they are going back into the bedroom now to take pride of place on the windowsill.  Maybe I need to find my own stones and make some more to hide in my home town!

My girls have asked me if we can paint some more of their collect next weekend so I guess this craft was a big hit!  Will you be giving it a go?


Monday, 30 October 2017

Artline Monday - Halloween creepy candle jars

So tomorrow is Halloween and we have carved our pumpkins and got our costumes ready but there is still time to do one more quick craft!  


Creepy candle jars

These creepy candle jars are really easy to make and they are a fun way to pass some time on All Hallows' Eve Eve!  You will need some glass jars, candles or tealights and pens that will write on glass.  I used these Artline 900XF metallic pens and Supreme markers.  The decorative washi tapes are an optional extra.

Artline pens, glass jars & washi tape

I removed the labels from my jars and some of them came off easier than others.  You need a nice, dry, clean surface to work on and the smallest jar I had was covered in a sticky residue which would not wash off.  I decided the best thing to do was to wrap the whole jar in washi tape and then use a permanent marker to draw a spooky face on it.  If you find yourself in a similar situation but you don't have any washi tape then you could cover the jar with masking tape instead.  I think that could make a great mummy style jar with the masking tape looking like bandages!

Washi tape covered up the hard to remove glue

For the jars that were glue free we went a little crazy decorating the glass with Halloween themed drawings.  I drew a cute little witch's cat with stars, my eldest daughter drew a pumpkin and storm clouds with bolts of lighting and my youngest really went to town covering her jar in moons and stars and a lot of tape.  

As well as the pens I mentioned above we also found that our paint, chalk and poster markers worked well on the glass!  The only thing you need to remember is to let each colour or section dry before you do more so the inks don't smudge.

My witch's cat

I have a couple of glassboard markers that I haven't used before and luckily they happen to be orange and green which is perfect for Halloween.  These pens can write on glass but they are easy to remove with a damp cloth so I tried them out on my glass candle holder.  The colours are really vibrate and they look fab when the candle is lit behind them.

You could also use these pens to decorate your windows or mirrors for Halloween if you are feeling artistic!

Happy Halloween!

Here are our creations with the candles burning inside them, my girls loved making them!

Waiting for it to get dark

Spooky!

Happy Halloween, I hope you have a spooktacular day!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Planner Friday - October

It's Planner Friday again over on the Trendy Twine blog and this month I am talking about when the universe plots against you.  Please pop over and say hi!

Hello!  I'm Amanda from She's Eclectic and I am a self confessed planner gal.  I live for lists, I get over excited by organisers and I am persistently punctual!  I use my planner to organise my life and I fill it with to do lists, reminders, plans and ideas and this usually keeps everything ticking along nicely.... but sometimes things just go wrong!



Photo of my week

Last week is a perfect example.  I had everything in my planner, I knew what I needed to do, where I needed to be and when I needed to be there but the universe had other ideas!  First of all the dental appointment I had been worrying about was rescheduled at the last minute (I was just setting off when I got the call!) and then my internet connection disappeared for 48 hours leaving me constantly checking my mobile for updates on the repair work and crossing my fingers that my data allowance would see me through until my broadband was back.  It's not that I'm addicted to being online, no scratch that, I totally am but it also messed up my blogging schedule! So overall it wasn't a fun week but at least I could release some of my angst with a few of my APB stamp sets.





Used but not pictured: Trendy Page Dots
Title It planner stamp set
Coffee & Plan gold paper clips


I hate leaving things on my to do lists unchecked but using stamps from the Screaming InternallyNo Adulting and Not Happening sets meant I could leave myself little snarky notes about my days or why I hadn't completed things.  When I look back as these pages now I won't be annoyed that things got away from me I will probably have a giggle instead.  

You can read the rest of my post here.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, 23 October 2017

Artline Monday - Halloween

Halloween is one of my favourite holidays!  I love all the spooky fun and games and dressing up!  It usually falls right around the half term school break too so I get to spend some extra time at home with my children.  

One tradition we do every year is carving pumpkins together.  I have so many photos of us all elbow deep in pumpkin guts and laughing or being grossed out while we make jack o'lanterns and as well as creating some brilliant looking pumpkins we've also made some really fun memories.

Last year's efforts
L-R eldest daughter's, son's, youngest daughter's

We all have our own way of making our pumpkins, my eldest daughter likes to carve a face freestyle and keeps working until she is happy with it.  My son draws his design on the pumpkin first with a marker pen and then cuts it out.  Last year he did a dinosaur and I think it turned out great!  My youngest daughter lets me draw her a design first and then I help her cut it out, we made the cat pumpkin together last year.

This year she wanted to make a scary lantern so I drew her a face and coloured in the areas she needed to cut out.  I used a yellow paint marker as it was easy for her to see but wasn't so bright that it would stand out if she missed cutting out any bits of it.  We had cut off the top and scooped out the inside before I drew the face so I just gave it a quick wipe with a cloth to dry off the skin and then the pen worked well on such an odd surface.



Pumpkin prep

Jack o'lantern in progress

Scary face

As the paint marker worked so well I thought I would try decorating some pumpkins with a few more Artline markers. 

Pumpkins and Artline pens

I tested some out on the back of one of the pumpkins and these are the pens that showed up best against the orange skin:

  • Artline 70 high performance permanent marker
  • Artline 900XF silver and gold metallic markers
  • Artline erasable chalk marker
  • Artline 444XF paint marker
  • Artline poster markers

All of these pens gave me good coverage and dried easily without smudging.  Once the inks were dry I tried rubbing my finger over them but they all stayed in place.  They also stood up against pumpkin juice so overall I think they are ideal to decorate your pumpkins with.  


We decided we wanted to make a cute pumpkin with the markers so we looked on Pinterest for inspiration and found some sweet doughnut designs.  I used a bright pink Artline poster marker to paint some icing on the top and when it was dry we added some sprinkles using chalk, paint and poster markers. 


Pumpkin spiced doughnut 

For our last pumpkin we wanted it to be another jack o'lantern but with some decoration too.   I drew a haunted house using my Artline 70 marker and added stripes to any sections that needed to be carved out.  Then I painted the house using my blue poster marker and waited for it to dry.

Haunted house

The next step was to cut out the marked sections (I had already taken the top off and scooped out the inside) and then I added some stars to the sky using my Artline 900XF metallic markers.


Finished pumpkins

All ready for Halloween!

I'm really happy with how they turned out!  We've never drawn or painted on our pumpkins before but I love how colourful they are and they look great during the day too instead of just at night when they are lit.

How do you make your lanterns?  Traditional carving or do you add a splash of colour too?