23 February 2018

Bullet journal book trackers

One of the things that I'm finding my bullet journal really useful for is tracking my reading and book collections. I've shown you some of my reading trackers already, but since then I've been creating some more to keep track of some of the books I enjoy reading.
I've recently got into the work of a couple of local authors, Val McDermid and Jenny Colgan, so I wanted to create lists of their work and track those books I own or have read. For Val McDermid I did a very simple crime-themed spread.
I based the Jenny Colgan spread on the book I was reading at the time, The Endless Beach. I loved the colours of the cover, the style of illustration, and the brush lettering, so I used all of these. For each of these authors I divided the books up into the various series and standalone novels.
I always seem to turn to Italian crime novels in the summer months, and I have been working my way through the books of Andrea Camilleri and Donna Leon. I combined these on one spread with a simple map of Italy in the middle, with dots representing the settings of the books (I just did a rough guess of where in Sicily to locate the Montalbano books!).
Finally I created a list of the Abbey Girls books by Elsie Oxenham. Now that I have completed my Chalet School collection I can think about building up my collection of these.

20 February 2018


When I went on holiday to Italy in 2015, I had a final morning wandering around the town of Sestri Levante, where I was staying, and ended up at a little beach where I began to spot pieces of sea glass, pottery, and interesting stones. These were great souvenirs to bring back with me.
Now I've started to explore some of my local beaches in Fife and discovered that I can find sea glass and pottery here too, and I'm starting a collection. This year I've been really keen to get out and look for some, after starting to follow m0n0patin on Instagram who always has some amazing finds!
I'm starting to find some interesting pieces of blue and white patterned pottery, and glass with textures and lettering. And I always have my eyes open for shells and pebbles too!
“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” — Isaac Newton

18 February 2018

Sunday self-portraits: Selfie spots

A few weeks ago I wanted to get out for some exercise, and came up with the idea of seeking out some fun selfie spots in my local area. I founds lots of great murals all of which are within 5 minutes walk of my house!

16 February 2018

Birdie card

Here's the birthday card I made for my younger nephew this year, to match the book I gave him, Fly by Xavier Deneux. This book is one of the many great book ideas I've got from following Bookbairn on Instagram!

The design of the card was really easy, because it's made up of circles and other simple shapes.

11 February 2018

Colouring postcards

I've been colouring in some more postcards from Secret Japan by Zoe de las Cases. I really love colouring postcards because they are lovely and compact to carry around, and you don't have to worry about colouring into the crease of the page. I love trying to add a bit of depth and shadow when I colour them in, and I'm really pleased with how these have turned out, in particular the sandals.

08 February 2018

Modernist jewellery exhibition

I really love modernist designs, and jewellery, so this exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland was perfect for me. I'd previously been to another exhibition there of Nordic modernist design, which contained a lot of jewellery, but I was pleased that there wasn't any overlap I could see between the items in the two exhibitions. 
This exhibition did have some Nordic designers featured, but had designers from other countries too.
Like at the previous exhibition, I did a drawing in my Moleskine of some of the items that particularly appealed to me, and added colour when I got home.

05 February 2018

Edinburgh Zoo - Chinese lanterns

Edinburgh Zoo has been on my list of places to visit for a while (and especially so since the pandas arrived). I haven't been there since I was a child, and I knew I would enjoy photographing the animals when I finally got round to going, so it's been on my summer "could-do" list for a few years. But when I found out there was an exhibition of Chinese lanterns going on, I just had to go and have a look at that, even though it was the middle of winter!
A couple of my friends had recently been there with their families, so I checked with them whether I needed to book to see the lanterns during the daytime, but it was just in the evening that you need to book. And there was also no need to book the pandas at this time of year, you could come and go as often as you like - this seems to be because they are hiding inside at this time of year, and there was no hope of seeing them!
Like the pandas, a lot of other animals were either hibernating or keeping themselves cosy indoors, so there wasn't a huge lot to see. This is what makes the lantern festival such a good idea - it gives some visual interest at a time when there aren't a lot of animals to see.
However, I did see some animals and of particular note were the meerkats, flamingos, and the penguins. And I did get a few glimpses of the koalas.

The Chinese lanterns were really spectacular, even in the daytime. They were large and brightly coloured, and in the shapes of many animals and plants.

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