Tag Archives: DIY Planner

Peerless Watercolors in the Midori Traveler’s Notebook

Not too long ago a friend gifted me with a sampler set of six Peerless Watercolors. What are they? Forget about tube or pan watercolor paints – Peerless Watercolors are these awesome PAPER-BASED paints that when activated with water perform like any other watercolors.

Here is the 6-color sampler set my friend gave me:

wpid-img_20150911_192200.jpg

Peerless Watercolors are available online from Amazon and other retailers. I was lucky enough to find them in person this weekend when I was visiting a local store, Two Hands Paperie in Boulder Colorado. I found the Peerless Watercolor Papers Bonus Pack (Small), a set of 40 different 2×2″ square watercolor papers.

The bonus pack was arranged in order, as was described on the packaging – important because the individual color swatches aren’t labeled. Once I got it home, I was so excited to show them off and test them I got them all mixed up, and couldn’t put them in that same order again.

wpid-20151107_183344-1.jpg

They’re really fun, vivid bright watercolors. And so travel-friendly and portable! So I have this laminated “dashboard” for my fauxdori / midori traveler’s notebook planner. I bought it from ToDie4Planning on Etsy. Dashboards are used to hold sticky notes, washi tape, images, basically a more solid surface for whatever you want to use them for. I picked this one because it’s a glittery seafoam green color called “mermaid” on the outside (just plain white on the inside) – a perfect match for my planner cover.

wpid-img_20151022_124013.jpg

Problem is, I really didn’t use it. Like, at all. It was basically pretty but pointless, sitting there in my planner. So I was posting pics of my new Peerless Watercolors this weekend to Instagram, and in looking at the hashtag noticed a couple of people had cut up the sheets into little pieces and made traveling palettes for their planners. And I thought, AHA!! That’s a perfect use for this dashboard – it’s a sturdy plastic base for these paints.

wpid-20151108_173702.png

I assembled some supplies. The watercolors, the dashboard, a composite wooden board I use to clip drawing paper to, a waterbrush, glue, scissors.

wpid-20151108_173949.png

First, I cut a sheet of watercolor paper into two pieces the same size as each half of the dashboard. This was to be my surface, because not only did I want to glue the Peerless pieces to them, I also wanted to dab a swatch of paint next to each one. And the laminated surface of the dashboard as is wouldn’t work for that at all. I rounded the corners of the outside edges, and glued them to the inside of the dashboard.

wpid-20151108_174213.png

It’s a little lumpy looking now, but that won’t be noticeable by the time I’m done.

wpid-20151108_174310.png

So then I had to decide what size pieces of watercolor to arrange in my palette. I had 40 colors total in the Bonus Pack, so knew I needed 20 per side, and needed a decent spot next to each to dab the actual color with the waterbrush. I cut a 1/2″ strip off each square, and then cut that into a 1″ piece – so each piece ended up being 1/2″ x 1″.

I was going to start numbering each mini piece to the larger square, hence the white numbers in this pic, but then figured eh, screw it. They were already hopelessly mixed up anyways!

wpid-20151108_174401.png

Arranging the colors. The thought was two columns of 10 colors per side. Problem was, all the handling of these pieces gets your fingers mega messy! And then the white watercolor paper I was going to glue to started to get all messy too. I had to move all the pieces off of my base and get them in the order I wanted and erase all the marks they left on my paper.

wpid-20151108_174459.png

So then I started gluing one by one, struggling to remember to glue the pretty painted side down, so that the actual transparent watercolor side was available for me to use.

wpid-20151108_174558.png

Problem is, the glue kinda seeped out over the edges of each piece as I glued it – and I soon learned that if I wiped it off, it either got glue all over the top, which I didn’t want, or would get color over the white spaces. Take a look at these close-ups.

wpid-20151108_143958-1.jpg

wpid-20151108_174737.png

The next step was to take my waterbrush and make a sample of each color next to each Peerless Watercolor piece.

wpid-20151108_185114.png

I’m going to take some onion skin/Tomoe River Paper and cut a piece to fit over the watercolor pieces so they don’t rub against each other. Hopefully the glue sticks!! So far they haven’t popped off yet. I slid the old dashboard / new watercolor palette through an elastic in my fauxdori cover – my plan is to leave it as a standalone insert in the planner, and not piggyback it around any other refill – I want to see both sides of the paints in one glance. Here it is in my planner.

wpid-20151108_152921-1.jpg

I had extra pieces of Peerless Watercolors left over, 1/2″ x 1″ because of those strips from each square cut in half. So I thought I’d make another portable palette to use with my various sketchbooks. But I didn’t have any extra laminated “dashboards” left over to use as my base.

I did have some extra plastic cutting mats thought, the result of my plastic Circa planner cover experiments. Most of my sketchbooks are 8.5″ x 5.5″, so I cut a sheet into a 8.25″ x 5.25″ piece, rounded the edges, and cut a piece of watercolor paper to glue to it, following the same process as above. Then glued down the pieces and made swatches.

wpid-20151108_162937-1.jpg

Problem is, the watercolor paper top wouldn’t stick to the plastic cutting board base no matter how much glue I used! It’s already popped off. I have glue dots holding it on for the time being, but don’t think those will last very long – that’s what experimenting is for though! I’ll just slide this sheet into my other sketchbooks when I’m not using the planner palette.

Meanwhile, some other links on Peerless Watercolors:

Advertisements

Art Journaling or Daily Planning?

I’ve been in love with planners and organizers for a long time now. But in all my planner geek experiments, I’ve never really considered combining planner functions with bullet journals, notebooks, journals, and art journals too carefully. I started to give it some thought after being asked to write a guest post about it, and realized that over time I’ve been trying to combine lots of different elements into my planner. And maybe that’s why lately my planners never seem to quite “fit” what I want them to do? It’s hard to put my finger on what that is exactly, but something is missing. I’ve been trying to carry around quotes notebooks, planners, art journals, sketchbooks, notebooks for ink samples and fountain pen tests …. and it’s so hard to pick and choose each morning what to take with, when I might want any, all or none of the above that particular day!

So I was reading this blog post from Hali Karla about keeping an everyday art journal, and these words really resonated with me:

I can say that deciding to carry an “everyday art journal” was a game-changer for me. It’s really just an art journal or sketchbook that goes with me everywhere… I actually broke up with my standard planner after getting to know my everyday art journal (it really never worked out between me and the conventional planner no matter how hard we tried anyway).

I use it to jot down ideas, sketch or doodle when I have time to kill or need to pause and be present, to tack in photos and fodder, or capture wise or inspiring words from others that may come my way. Sometimes I write prayers in it, or recipes. I even keep my lists in it. To-do lists, not-to-do lists, shopping lists, gratitude lists, travel itinerary details – all of which can be painted or glued over later if I feel the urge… It really isn’t just an everyday journal – it’s an everything journal for me.

The real beauty of it, though, is that having it all within one cover, over a period of time, makes it really easy to begin to see patterns in my life… I keep other art journals, too – and they often have a variety of styles and flavors within the pages. Yet, while the everyday journal isn’t the prettiest journal I keep, by any means, it’s one of the most precious to my journey.

So I think this might be the next step in my art journal/planner evolution – create an informal planner that’s an “everything journal” first, and a calendar second – instead of the other way around. It seems so revolutionary! But now I really want to try it. But it’s kind of an intimidating thought. I’d love to hear from someone who has done something similar – I can’t find many other examples online.

I’ll leave with this description of an Art Journal from Jane Davenport:

It’s a mix of diary, travel memoir, autobiography, art therapist, visual diary, notebook, scrapbook and sketchbook….plus more… It’s a place, YOUR space, to record and work through your life experience in images, words, colours and collage.

There are NO RULES.

Some links on other great blog posts about art journals, planners and commonplace journals:

“You may want to keep a commonplace book which is a notebook where you can copy parts of books you think are in code, or take notes on a series of events you may have observed that are suspicious, unfortunate, or very dull. Keep your commonplace book in a safe place, such as underneath your bed, or at a nearby dairy.”

Lemony Snicket, Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography

“In my Commonplace book, I jot down snippets, quotes, stanzas. They can be words from a novel, from a poem, from a picture book, from the side of a cereal box. Anything I read that causes me to pause and read again- to stop and savor the words or ponder the message- it all belongs in my book.

This is the heart of my book and what really makes it a treasure, I think.”

– Sarah Mackenzie , amongstlovelythings.com

“Their commonplace then became a kind of personal reading/life log, where they kept notes on anything they wished to remember.

What it’s not is a journal or diary. While some people did use their commonplace for both purposes, many kept them separate, and a commonplace tends to refer to a book of information, not daily logs.”

– Devon Henderson, Chirmer Graphics

“But writing original stuff is damn hard, and as if I needed another diversionary tactic I’ve found myself adopting a delicious little habit of collecting quotes from books and films, words, ideas, snippets from overheard conversations, phrases, epigrams and poems that I see around and about the place.”

Maz, Diving For Pearls

See the Pretty Pretty Planner in action …

Some of my Instagram friends are using, or have tried out, the Pretty Pretty Planner too! Just for fun, check out some pics they’ve posted to Instagram below:

wpid-screenshot_2015-04-25-10-16-58-1.png

Photo Source: @chicksplanner on Instagram

 

wpid-screenshot_2015-04-24-22-36-06-1.png

Photo Source: @candys_nails on Instagram

 

wpid-screenshot_2015-04-25-08-13-36-1.png

Photo Source: @meliason12 on Instagram

 

wpid-screenshot_2015-04-25-08-18-34-1.png

Photo Source: @khourianya on Instagram

 

wpid-screenshot_2015-04-25-10-14-37-1.png

Photo Source: @stylishgameday on Instagram

 

My Planner as an Art Journally Thingy

So my friend Amelia Vincent asked me to write a guest blog about using my planner as an art journal for posting on her blog, My ADHD Life. It’s a series of three guest posts from other bloggers about how they user their planners or journals, read more in her post titled Journals, Scrapbooks and Planners, Oh My.

Here is a sneak preview of my post:

When Amelia asked me to contribute to this series of guest blog posts, I was willing to play along, but also wondered to myself “Why? My planner isn’t especially elaborate or scrapbooky!” But I started thinking about it, and surprisingly, somewhere along the way it did kind of develop into a planner with “art journaly” aspects.

……[In my planner] I thought that I’d buy all sorts of stickers and washi tape, and decorate my pages alongside with my appointments, to-do lists, and planned meals – and generally be all sorts of organized! But … I was all gung-ho about the format, and didn’t actually stop to think if I had enough actual “planning” data to fill them.

What actually happened, as I soon found out, is that I had lots of blank pages… the emptiness stared at me, and I stopped carrying it around with me. Which just was not acceptable! So instead, I started filling my blank spaces with doodles.

Read the rest of my guest post here.

Also take a look at the guest posts:

My ADHD Life Guest Blog: When The Cat Pukes On Your Planner, by Dawn Paoletta from Ethusiastically, Dawn.

My ADHD Life Guest Blog: Organized Chaos – Planning With A Purpose, by Jenise Spears from Neicy’s Notes.

My Work Circa Revisited

Back in December I posted about my Levenger Circa notebook I used for work. It’s been a few months, and I thought I’d post an update about what I’m still using.

First of all, for the past couple of months I’ve been in love with my Circa Smooth Sliver Cover. It’s professional looking, sleek and slim, and has pockets and a pen loop (which = awesome). But, like is inevitable for me, every once in awhile I have the urge for more color. So just today switched back to my clear plastic cover and decided I still really liked the colors in my custom coversheet I posted about previously. Look how well it matches my Lamy Al-Star fountain pens!

wpid-img_20150423_161919.jpg

I have switched out the discs to my now discontinued 3/4″ Plum Aluminum Discs, preferring the darker purple to the Caribbean purple of my last post.

wpid-img_20150423_130643.jpg

The back cover is just an old Levenger Circa beige cover I kept around.

wpid-20150423_162702-1.png

A big change I’ve made since my last update is to get rid of my tab dividers. As it turns out, I just didn’t use them very often. I still have sections, but now I get to them via page finders.

My first section consists of my monthly calendars. Last time I posted I was using a printable I’d found on Etsy, but since then I’ve released the Pretty Pretty Planner in letter size and am in love with it.

wpid-20150423_162855.png

wpid-20150423_162941.png

I’m using these adhesive Girl of All Work tabs for each month – they complement my Pretty Pretty Planner colors really well.

wpid-img_20150423_162017.jpg

After my monthly pages are the weekly “Business Week – M-F” letter-size pages, which works really well for my work needs, where I need to track project time by the hour. I use a Circa page finder to mark my current week, and then as every week passes, just move the page around to the other side of the page finder, rather than move the page finder each time.

wpid-20150423_163040.png

After the weekly pages I keep a year-on-two-pages calendar I developed (also available for download under the DIY Templates page).

wpid-20150423_163203.png

Instead of a tab divider, I move on to my blank pages I use for my daily work notes/brain dump/project log. I use a Levenger Circa Top Tab page finder with post-it sticky notes as my page finder for this section (I explain how I made it here).

wpid-20150423_163250.png

I just date each day’s new notes on both sides of the page chronologically, moving the page around my page finder each day as it fills up. By using page finders, I really don’t miss the tab dividers at all. Anything I want to punch and keep as reference I just put in the very back after my empty refill pages. The pages are the now-discontinued reticle-grid Circa Vivacious refills.

wpid-20150423_163508.png

So that’s my work planner! I really love it, it’s working for me so well now – I’m sure I will eventually go back to my Smooth Sliver Cover, but for now, this gives me the Springtime color I need. It just makes me happy to look at it.

Updates to the Pretty Pretty Planner

Because some people asked very nicely, here are Letter-size versions of the Pretty Pretty Planner that start on a Monday.

Weekly v1 (regular Pretty Pretty Planner layout):

Letter_PrettyPrettyPlanner_2015Weekly_MondayStart

Weekly v2 (blank columns):

Letter_PrettyPrettyPlanner_2015Weekly_MondayStart

And Monthly:

Letter_PrettyPrettyPlanner_2015Monthly_MondayStart

Just go to the Pretty Pretty Planner page and scroll to the very bottom.

Personal Planner Update

Just checking in on where I am with my personal planner. I’d been going back and forth about whether I wanted a weekly layout still or not, as I’d go weeks without filling in the days with anything and then feeling guilty about leaving them blank. I also tried a “big boxes” version (also available for download on the Pretty Pretty Planner‘s page), with more space and less boxes, but really missed the extra pop of color the box titles provided. So back to the default Junior-size Pretty Pretty Planner layout.

wpid-2015-02-17-12.19.15.jpg.jpeg

Pretty Pretty Planner, Junior Size

Really enjoying playing with some stickers some friends sent me.

wpid-2015-02-17-12.09.28.jpg.jpeg

Pretty Pretty Planner

LOVE these star stickers! Found at the Dollar Tree. They’re so sparkly!

wpid-2015-02-17-12.21.07.jpg.jpeg

Pretty Pretty Planner

Puffy stickers for the win!!

wpid-2015-02-18-10.07.07.jpg.jpeg

I just am really pleased with the colors of this planner, it makes me happy every time I look at it.

wpid-2015-02-17-12.20.30.jpg.jpeg

Pretty Pretty Planner