Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you’ve had a great Christmas break and are now ready for this new term.

Reflecting on a few highlights from 2017: Wonderful Scottish breaks and further afield in Rome and Paris, teaching my first local workshops, making my first video tutorial for @watercolorbootcamp, discovering how much I like working with gouache and pencils, the birth of two nieces and moving into our new house just before Christmas. It’s a total privilege to share these moments through my journals with folk over on Instagram. I hope to share a bit more here in my blog this year.

I have so many exciting things in the works for 2018, with new workshop dates and gift vouchers now available in my shop, you can treat a creative friend and let them choose the workshop. I also hope to develop a collection of prints for my shop and continue posting pictures of my Thankful Notes.

I’m so  thankful for all your warm feedback on social media and in my workshops. Wishing you a great 2018! Xx

Duddingston Sketching Meet

For those of you who live in Edinburgh or close by, this is an opportunity to observe, be creative and relax in the most magical of gardens. We will be meeting up in Duddingston this coming Tuesday to draw/sketch/paint with our own materials and would love if you could join. We hope to briefly walk round the village and take a few snaps (probably in our wellies and with umbrellas – let’s be honest), then head to Doctor Neil’s garden where we will have access to the gardeners’ shed.

I’ve been in love with Duddingston for a good long while so sharing this love with like-minded creative folk is a dream come true. If you can’t manage this Tuesday but would be interested in taking part next time, let me know by email. Also, Edinburgh has so many little villages so I hope this will be the first of many similar local meets.

Cost: This is a free mini-event but the gardeners would appreciate a small donation for the use of their shed.

Meeting Point: At the gates of Duddingston Kirk, 5:30pm.

RSVP: Email me if you’d like to come along. The shed is quite small so numbers are limited. It would be good to know if you would prefer tea or coffee (and how you take it) and most importantly, if chocolate is a good cake option.

NB: This is not a class, everyone will be doing their own artwork independantly.

Any more questions? Drop me an email.

The 100 Day Project

Hi all! Since I last posted, I’ve taken time off commissions and big projects to focus on family life. We’re hoping to sell our flat and move sometime soon (EEEKK!!). Having said that, me being me, I couldn’t just stop art altogether!! So along with a bunch of folk on Instagram, I am taking 100 days to create something new each day. All of us are creating different things in different ways.

My project: Paint tiny watercolours every day. This will see us through the summer months and I’ll hopefully learn a lot along the way. I look forward to the simple joy of creating and that sense of accomplishment that comes with self-discipline and working through ‘blaaa’ moments.

My subject: Little details I’ve seen while exploring cities and villages around the world. So far, this has included street lights, windows, vehicles, and other little treasures in places such as Rome, Cambridge and Paris. I’m hoping to soon move on to more exotic places such as Port Louis, in Mauritius or Lagos, Portugal as well as bigger capital cities such as New York or London.

Materials used so far:

  • Daler Rowney ‘The Langton’ watercolour paper
  • Micron black ink fine-line pen (0.05mm)
  • Daler Rowney Round aqua-fine  brush
  • Pentel water brush
  • Windsor and Newton watercolour paints
  • Generals Layout 555 Graphite pencil

NB: I have not been paid or sponsored to mention or recommend these product, these are my personal preferences just now and they may change!

This is one of my pieces on Paris.

Check out more of my project so far here.

Talk soon!

A Cozy Day of Crafts at The Purple Thread Shed – Roslin, near Edinburgh

Just before Christmas, while most people were running wild from one shop to the next, I spent a wonderfully cozy day with my sister-in-law making treasures in a little shed, in Roslin. Our project was to make a bespoke home decoration, cleverly called ‘Patchwood Samplers’.

All of Ali’s workshops have something in common: thread. For this particular project, the idea was to sew decorated blocks of wood together.

I was hoping to give my little creation as a Christmas gift to my mum and was keen to make it really personal. My aim was to bring different seasons of her life together into one piece that she could hang up in their sitting room. This included a black&white photo of her early years in Northern Ireland, a symbol of her career in physiotherapy, the letters B&C representing a happy marriage with my dad, a fineline drawing of our beloved childhood house in France and one of the Victorian manse she currently lives in. Ali demonstrated the skills required and she provided the wood, materials and tools.

 

 

My Highlights:

  • Ali is a great teacher, she takes time to show you techniques and is super patient.
  • The shed is full of original gems from all around the world and this creates a very inspiring atmosphere.
  • It was great having a whole day (10am-4pm) to work on my project. We didn’t feel rushed at any point.
  • Ali was willing to share her lovingly collected treasures with us to make our projects even more beautiful (personally, I’d struggle giving them away but she was very generous).
  • Ali runs several types of workshops including ‘Environmentals: Frames & Hearts’, ‘Personal Patchwork Lampshades’, ‘Rusted Samplers’, etc . Part of the fun was to think of what I’d want to do at my next visit… I’m leaning towards ‘Handmade Journals’.

I can’t wait to be back.

Find Ali’s workshop schedule (booking available until June 2017) here. Get Ali’s news via her website, or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

www.aliferguson.co.uk

Thankful Thursday Notes

thankfulness

Thankfulness

Thankfulness is good for the soul. And this is especially true when we live in a world where we’re bombarded by ‘you need THIS and you need THAT’ to be truly happy, forever and ever. Everyone will have different coping mechanisms to fight that ‘mmmm…. the grass is DEF greener on THAT side…’ type of feeling. I find journaling helps me count my blessings a bit more. It helps me stop and be still for a while. As a result, it helps me trust God a bit more too. In actual fact, I have quite a lot to be truly thankful for. Sometimes I write and draw about outstanding, extra-ordinary moments like a very sweet gathering, or a birth, or an incredibly fun event. But most often, it’s the simple blessings which feature most – a cup of coffee, seeing a rainbow or hearing one of my sons sing.

Why Thursdays?

Journaling on a Thursday encourages me to reflect on the week before it’s over. It also prepares my mind to rest well at the weekend and efficiently plan for the following week. Back when I was a teacher, I used to plan the following week on a Thursday because, come Friday, I’d be too excited about my weekend activities! Being a full-time mum is slightly different now but the same theory applies.

Want to join?

Over the past year, I’ve taken part in several challenges on Instagram. I can’t begin to explain how much I’ve learnt by doing this. It’s a little like going back to university. You have experts and you have students. You also have community and fun. But best of all, you get to improve in your field. In this case, the field is both our character (encouraging a spirit of thankfulness) and our creative skills (writing, painting, drawing, whatever you want to improve on). Join in and share your Thankful Thursday Notes on Instagram (use the hashtag #ThankfulThursdayNotes). I’ll also be posting my Thursday post and will feature some of yours the following day. Can’t wait to see your blessings!

Welcome to my website!

welcome to my website

Hi everyone, welcome to my website AT LAST!! I’m so excited to have this platform, which in essence is a little virtual scrapbook. I’m hoping to develop this blog in coming months so please stay tuned.

What to expect from the blog…

Among the things I’m most excited about are my video tutorials on basic journaling and sketch-noting techniques, a larger photo gallery and diary drawings/notes of my explorations and of course new collections in my shop (won’t be long ’til I’ll share my Christmas collection). So talk soon!