Character Journal

I love when the back to school sales are on and I can stock up on stationery for my writing. When I saw these Kraft notebooks with dividers advertised in the Whitcoulls flyer I thought they would be perfect for character journals. I bought an A4, an A5 and a set of 4 small tabbed notebooks.

The best part is that they have plain brown covers, perfect for decorating. I decorated the A5 notebook with scrapbook papers and embellishments.

Each section is dedicated to a character in my novel, where I can bring them to life as I record detailed descriptions of their appearances, their homes, their families, their history, their likes and dislikes. I also include pictures of things related to their lives such as  the houses they might live in. I love to browse through real estate guides and choose each character a home according to their personality. For my main character, her garden plays an important part in her story, so in her section I am including stickers and pictures of things she might have in her garden.

When I am writing a novel, I find that taking time out to do crafty things like this helps to make the whole process of novel writing so much more fun, and it helps me really get to know my characters.

Mini Canvas Art

Lately I have been having fun creating mixed-media art on mini canvases that measure just 4 inches square. They have cute little easels to stand them on, too. For this trio, I wanted to create something light and breezy to reflect the beautiful summery weather we are having at the moment. I used watercolour paint, texture paste with a flower stencil, pressed flowers from our garden, butterflies cut from scrapbook paper, plastic mesh, some colourful fibres, and a few sparkly rhinestones for the centers of the stenciled flowers.

 

 

mini canvases1

 

mini canvases2

mini canvases3

Make A Wish

Make a Wish

When I saw this pretty scrapbook paper from Kaisercraft’s Fairydust collection, I knew I had the perfect photo to go with it. It was one that Nick took a few years ago that I have always loved. I added some honeycomb stencilling, ribbons and fibres, vintage lace, chipboard embellishments, and a few splashes of watercolour paint.
I hope this little garden fairy has added some whimsical delight to your day!

Dandelion, puffs away,
Make my wish come true someday.

 

Summer Garden

Here, in New Zealand, summer is in full swing and the garden is flourishing with flowers, herbs, vegetables, weeds and wildflowers. The beautiful larkspur made a magnificent show during late spring and early summer. The majestic blooms ranged from a deep violet colour to a lighter lavender. Sadly, they are finished now, but we have saved lots of seeds and want to try growing them against the house next year, instead of out in the open where the tall spires are ravaged by the wind.

Larkspur

Echinaceas that I grew from seed last year are flowering earlier this year. They always remind me of my time working at Weleda where they were grown to make herbal remedies.

Echinaceas

Feverfew self-seeds all over the garden.

feverfew

In the vegetable garden we have just picked our first beans of the season, and have been regularly picking lettuces, baby spinach leaves, radishes and spring onions for summer salads.

Vegetable Garden

Lavender and borage are planted amongst the vegetables to attract the bees. This pretty purple plant self-seeds everywhere. I am not sure what it is called, but the bees love it, so I am happy for it to grow wherever it wants to.

bee plant

The citrus trees are laden with fruit and we always have a jug of freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice in the fridge.

These pretty blue cornflowers self-seeded in the planter outside the studio, as well as elsewhere in the garden. There are plenty for picking and they last well in a vase.

cornflowers

Folders of Inspiration

When I am writing a novel, I like to keep a ring binder dedicated to the book. A place to store information, research, pictures from cards and magazines that provide inspiration, artwork, character profiles, and anything related to the story I am writing – all together in one place.

I love pretty ring binders. Many years ago I bought two that I knew I would find a special use for one day. One of them I used for the Wattle Lane novels. It contains artwork, recipes, research on gold mining towns, and even has a section dedicated to everything I could find about pigs. In The House in Wattle Lane, Ethan has a pet kune kune pig, and I was surprised when I started looking, just how many articles and pictures I found in magazines and newspapers about pet pigs. I got lots of pictures from visiting our local farmyard zoo, and of pet pigs spotted in paddocks around our local area. I also gained first-hand knowledge when our neighbours kept a pig in their back yard for a short time.

folder5

The second of the folders I used for my novel Where the Moths Dance. I filled it with pictures and information on herbs, mythology and folklore of trees, magic, graveyards, ghosts, moon phases, moths, and anything to do with the paranormal.

Now I am about to begin a new novel, a stand-alone novel that I am excited about, and I have a lovely new ring binder to begin filling with inspiration and information. It is actually a scrapbook ring binder album from the Kaisercraft Fairy Dust collection, so it is big enough to hold scrapbook pages and it has plastic page protectors inside. I can’t wait to start filling it as I begin my new book. And with a new moon this weekend, it seems like a perfect time to embark on a new project!

Paper Snowflakes

Originally posted on Wattle Lane
paper snowflakes

While I was writing Christmas in Wattle Lane, I decided to have a go at making paper snowflakes, like Lily, one of the characters from the book. I looked at several tutorials on YouTube, and found that this one was the easiest to follow. Click here to see the tutorial. It took me a while to get the hang of the folding and cutting, but once I did I had fun with making different shapes. Each one is unique depending on the cuts that you make.

paper snowflakes

I practiced with making them out of computer paper. You can make four snowflakes out of one sheet. Once I felt I had mastered the technique, I made a few out of a pretty vellum paper that had a delicate pattern on it. Then I added a pearl embellishment to the centre of each and looped a piece of baker’s twine through one of the holes of each snowflake to hang them from.

paper snowflake

They can be slightly addictive. Once you feel confident about making them, you keep wanting to make more to see what different patterns you can make.

Christmas In My Studio

My craft studio, at the moment, is in a state of creative Christmas chaos as I make Christmas ornaments and Christmas cards, and birthday cards for family members who have birthdays around Christmas.

Nick helped me to make this inspiration pin board. We bought a cork board and covered it in quilting batting and my favourite purple coloured fabric. At the moment it is mostly covered in Christmas related things, including pages of inspiration from my favourite papercraft magazine, Somerset Studio.

Finn has claimed the chair as his own and dares me to try and move him off it!