Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nanowrimo - the notebook

While everyone else seems to be getting ready for Halloween I'm starting to worry about what will start the day after: Nanowrimo.

For those who don't know: Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. That's 30 days of writing 1667 words a day!

This will be my 6th time and I've never been less prepared than I am this year. Usually around this time of year I know who my characters will be right down to the colour of their eyes, I know where the story will take place, I know what needs to happen to drive the story I have in mind. This year... I have zombies. And all I know about zombies is that since 28 Days Later they can run. And I want to somehow incorporate a journal of some sort. And that's it. To say I'm slightly worried is a huge understatement...

To distract myself I'd like to tell you about what I think is the most important tool during Nanowrimo, aside from my laptop that is; the notebook.

On the first few pages I write down the daily goal. 1667, 3334, 5001, 6668 etc. etc. etc. Next to that I have a column of word count, where I can keep track of what I've actually written that day. I break that down in 'today' and 'total', so I can keep track of how many words I actually write a day, and how I'm doing as far as the goal is concerned. Then I have another column in which I keep track of how much I'm ahead or behind. Hopefully this year there will only be plus signs in that column with at least a few hundred words I'm ahead of schedule.

When you turn the notebook around, you'll see my brainstorm notes. This year there aren't that many, because I still haven't decided on so many things yet. But this is where I'll write down names and ages and eye colours and where scenes are to take place.

And on the pages after the word count columns I write down a daily synopsis. Nanowrimo is about writing, not editing. So you need to write, write, write and not look back. Sometimes it's difficult to do that because you're not 100% sure on what you wrote two or three days ago. For the most part, I'll just keep on writing. I've had where I called a character Joe for the first few days and then suddenly changed his name to Jim. I jotted down that I changed the name after a while, just in case I wanted to edit the story after Nanowrimo (turns out I never did, but that's beside the point), and just carried on going with the new name. But if you haven't been able to write for a day or two because of a pesky cold it's a good idea to have a couple of notes on your storyline so far.

See, I'm not so ill-prepared after all!

For more Nanowrimo survival tips, go here, and be sure to check the 'labels' on the right side of this blog for more posts on Nanowrimo.

Have fun Monday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Try It Out Thursday

The other day I went to Hobbycraft, which has just opened in town. Ohmygoodness, what a shop! It has products for anything creative you can think of. Needlecraft, knitting and crocheting, jewellery making, card making, it has all the paints and paper you could possibly want, tons of stamps, pens, model making supplies, all kinds of quilting materials, kits to keep your kids busy during the half term break... I dragged Tye through all the aisles and had to stop myself from drooling. I could easily have spend a fortune in there!

An unexpected find was kraft tape. The nice brown coloured paper tape that is used to back paintings. I got the permanent kind.

Sooooo.. let's try it out, shall we?

I stuck it to a page in my journal and burnished it quite well. I tried peeling it off but it wasn't easy like with masking tape. I like! Let's add some paint.

I just started drawing and out came this face. I don't particularly like it, but I wasn't going for a pretty picture anyway but am just testing things out. So I added some verrry runny white paint, which made the tape bubble up to begin with. After leaving it to dry for a bit, those bubbles disappeared. And the tape was still stuck right to the paper. So far so good!

On the next page, I put at a fair amount of paint. I scraped it with an old gift card, but there were eight or ten layers. And then I spotted a face! I got my charcoal pencil and outlined the face, adding more charcoal on the paint and smoothing it out so the face would pop out more.

I did the same to the next page, adding more and more paint because I couldn't spot a face straight away.

Then I remembered I was actually testing out the tape. Duhh! So I stuck a strip of tape on it, and was happy to see it stuck to the paint quite nicely.
And because of the charcoal I put tons of hairspray on the pages so it would not smudge anymore.

I left it to dry and was glad to see the kraft tape is still where it should be, and even covered in hairspray you can still write on it.

Yayyy for kraft tape! What will you try out today?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy birthday Oma.

My Oma (nan) passed away a shocking 9 years ago, and today would have been her 86th birthday. Happy birthday Oma!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let me introduce you

Reader, meet Art Journal 9. Art Journal 9, meet Reader.

I got this journal at the car boot sale and fell in love with the kraft-paper-coloured pages. They are lined and squared, not really thick but thick enough to take paint and collaged materials.

After every ten pages there is a double sided pocket page, which I love!

And here are my first few pages.

Some journaling and a little character that came out of nowhere.

Doodling while watching art shows on Ustream.

Trying out my circle cutter and new paints.

Circles seem to be a theme lately...

I already feel so much better using this journal. I like the size, I like the paper, I can't wait to get to the first pocket page even though I don't have anything I can stick in there yet but I'm sure I'll find something.
I'm not a massive fan of ringbound journals, but I think I can overcome that with this one.

It will take me a while to fill this journal, so a flip-through will have to wait, but until then I'll be sure to post more pictures.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Should you always finish what you start?

I was raised with the idea that if you start something, you should finish it. OK, so that didn't quite work out for my much hated piano lessons, but it does go for a lot of other things in my life. Project 365, even though there were days I screamed that I had nothing to take a picture of and I wanted to quit, had to be seen through 'because I had started it'. Same goes for Nanowrimo, but I'll talk about that later this month.

When I first started journaling, in one of those little diaries with a lock on it, I knew I had to write on all those pages before I could start a new one. And that's what I did for years and years. I have a whole stack of them, I think my last written journal was number 33 or something.

And then I started Art Journaling. And I kept to the same principle: you start an art journal, you fill it up to the last page and then you start a new one. And I've been doing that for the last 7 Art Journals until I came to this one....

Art Journal number 8 is big, made from file folders, and it is not pretty. There have been some personal issues I've been working through while splashing paint around, and it really helped to do so.

And then we went on holiday and I kept a Travel Journal, and life got better and I felt better and I didn't want to open that angry Art Journal anymore. And I found a perfect journal that could be Art Journal number nine..

But, but, but.. If I do start a new Art Journal without finishing the previous one, my journals will not be in chronological order anymore. And I will not be able to do another flip-through until I finish another book.. and.. and...

I know it's nothing incredibly important, but it does feel a bit like I'm letting the side down. Maybe I should keep the previous Art Journal for those moments that I need to get some anger out, but does that mean that I can't work through any emotions in my new one?

I guess I'll figure it out as I go along.

(Whoooooo, I'm starting a new Art Journal without finishing my current one. I'm a rebel me!!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Busy busy busy

Life is pretty hectic here at the moment.

I've started a new job a few weeks ago. I work in a pub, I do a bit of cleaning and I do a bit of serving food. No, not at the same time, but I enjoy both sides to the 'working in a pub' experience so far, and I'm actually getting to know people in the neighbourhood. I've only been living here for four years, so it's about time...

Then there's the Old Skool Drawing 101 course I'm taking. Leslie is doing such a great job teaching us the very basics of how to draw and I'm loving every minute of it. I should draw a lot more than I currently am, but I'm adjusting to the working life... which is strange after so many years of sitting at home doing my own thing. Drawing is a great way to relax though and I should start thinking of it as such a bit more.

Nanowrimo is coming up next month and I'm trying to decide what I'm going to write about. This will be my 6th time, so you'd think I have this all planned out months in advance. Um.. Nope. I do try and come up with a sort-of-kind-of idea before the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, because that's when I start typing like a looney to try and get the 1667 words a day, but as I've learned from past experience, things can change drasticly without you even knowing. Two years ago my main character decided to adopt a cat without asking me first! How dare she! But it was great for word count so I wasn't too upset.
If you're a fellow Nano-er and want to add a writing buddy, my user name on there is Eveline_UK. Feel free to add me.

Then there's the fact that my sister-in-law (well, not really because Tye and I aren't married yet) is expecting twin boys. I have decided to make them each a crocheted blanket. This one here. I have never done anything larger than a beanie hat and a skinny scarf, so I am a bit nervous, but I got my yarn today and I'm going to start making my first rows tonight. (See, by writing it here I have to! No backing out!) I'll keep you posted, because SIL doesn't read my blog anyway..

Of course we're also working our butts off to get the second issue of 'ZINE, 'Art Journaling - it's all good' ready for Nov. 1st. It is going to be even bigger and better than the first issue, so be sure to get your copy! We're thinking of changing the payment system, so please check or my blog for details nearer to Nov. 1st for details on where to get your copy. If you haven't seen the first issue yet, it's still for sale, so run on over to to get your copy!

And if that wasn't enough, I've gone PRO. Oh yes! And before you start going to a dark place, I meant that I've gone PRO on It doesn't change anything for you, but for me it's made things a lot easier and I'm really happy to have taken the plunge.
I've just listed a set of knotted necklaces to celebrate.

Please head on over to to see more pictures, more product and of course to purchase.