Views from Our Windows: Watercolor Sketches


As you may know, the past months included my family staging, selling, and moving out of our old home that we had spent the last 23 years in (well, 22 in my case.) During that time, I wanted to capture the memories in a way the beautiful photos taken of our home for the sale could not. As the inside of our home was filled with objects that were not our own, I looked outwards for inspiration and chose to paint the views seen from various windows in our home. This travel-style sketchbook was given to my mother.

The sketched were done with Faber pens, a limited color palette, and a waterbrush. Here are some highlights:

I started with my own views.

20160523_191146000_iOS lemon window view

One featured our friends across the street’s home.

brothers view

I paid extra attention to my mother’s spot in the kitchen.

kitchen view

I included one sketch of our house’s outside to wrap things up.



March Wrap Up

march journal experiments

Long time no chat! With my house being staged to sell, midterms, and work, I haven’t had as many opportunities to make a mess or art. I had to abandon my NYE resolution to make a wall calendar page a month as I can’t hang anything on my walls currently. Instead, I just experimented with a water brush I bought during Black Friday; because who doesn’t visit art supply stores on Black Friday?

march desk set up

Here’s my palette and new brush alongside old sketches. I thought I would test out the line and wash look with the water brush before using the brush solo. All the colors are, once again, from my Windsor Newton set my grandmother gifted me at Christmas.

march flowermarch notebooks

Goodbye March! Hello Spring Break! I recently had a chance to start some projects that I hope to share with you all soon. I’m also working on a new blog name and look that I’ll be phasing in, so keep an eye out.

Hand Lettering Practice: Round 1

Hand lettering journal Steinbeck Winter of Discontent

As I mentioned in my New Year’s post, I want to explore lettering more this year. The intro page below was done a while back, the first time I resolved to practice lettering more…woops. This time, however, I have made it much farther on my mission.

Update: I believe that Steinbeck quote was misfiled in my phone notes and is actually from East of Eden, I have a vague memory of Samuel saying something like that after speaking with Lee…Embarassing

Hand Lettering Journal Intro Page

The background for these photos is actually my new “mood board” that I painted and texturized for a faux distressed wall look, I’ll be posting more on this later.

Hand lettering journal A study

Hand lettering journal B study

So far, I’m mostly doing alphabet letter “studies.” Over Christmas, I borrowed some art books from my Grandmother, an actual artist, including this very old lettering book picture below with my practice journal.

Hand lettering practice books

Most of the fonts after A and B are from this lettering book. I even labeled which font I used for each line of my resolutions page below.

Hand lettering journal New Years Resolutions

Along with alphabet studies, I’ve been starting to work on quotes. I have a habit of quickly adding quotes that strike me while reading to my iPhone notes. The goal now is to begin moving these quotes out of my phone and on to paper. The quote pictured at the beginning and end of this post is by John Steinbeck in his book, The Winter of Our Discontent.

Hand lettering journal Steinbeck quote

December 2015 Wrap Up: December Daily Album

December Daily 2015 Round Up

I’ll be using this weekend to post wrap ups from December and posts delayed by the holidays. As you may remember, one of my December Daily goals was to have a more cohesive piece with the pages blending into each other, resulting in a singular art work. I think I got pretty close there now that I observe the pages all at once and in order.

Here are the final pages I need to discuss:

I finally bothered to do Day 10 and went for a silver stencil look, tracing the lines of an Anthropologie punch tree that I used for Day 25’s page.

December Daily 10 11

Throwing back to Day 2, Day 18 uses more Anthropologie winter catalog cut outs. I drew Day 19 based on a photo I took in Paris’ Galleria’s Starbucks display 2014.

December Daily 18 19


Day 19 flips up to reveal Day 20, using the same blue newspaper look from Day 1 and a chalkboard element, same collection as Day 7.

December Daily 20

On the wood backing of Day 19/20, I kept it simple and used up my wooden snowflakes. The day stamp smeared on the smooth surface. Day 22 is made of a fancy Korean paper that my brother got for me while visiting South Korea.

December Daily 21 22

The back of the Korean paper is a more mint-toned green. I then included a paper pocket as Day 24 to hold any little things I might wish it to. So far, it holds my Star Wars movie ticket. December Daily 23 24

Day 25 shows both sides of the Anthropologie punch thing, cute huh? The inside cover is just some layered doilies to throw back to Days 1 and 15.

December Daily 25

December Daily 25 end

I only did Days 1-25, not through 31 but you can see that my album has filled nicely. Here is the book cover full of its complete pages.

December Daily full

Thanks for following along!

December Daily final endDecember Daily final cover

December Daily Update 2

December Daily Days 13 and 15

As much as I love the grayer weather and moments of rain, it does make natural light photography a bit trickier. So consider these just some basic progress photos for my December Album.

December Daily Days 11 and 12

I used some glitter scrap squares that were punched out of windows for the paper village I mentioned in my last update to make a Christmas tree and the photo background.

December Daily Days 13 and 14

December 12th opens up into a  trio folded entry starting with thirteen and a snowy day 14. Day 15 is the inside, featured in the first photo of this post.

December Daily Days 16 and 17

Day 16 and 15 take advantage of some free printables recently posted by Free People’s blog.

December Daily Update: Days 4-9

December Daily Day 9 Winter Collage WithCraftsandLace

I am still very behind in my December Daily posts, and in actual pages oops haha. However, now that finals are over, I am excited to dive more into Christmas and crafts, especially Christmas crafts.

This is silly but somehow during my last December Daily post, I left out my very first page! When the December hand lettering is opened, this is inside, sewn down the middle to the paper behind it.

December Daily Day 1 2015

I try to link my entries to the days when I can. This time, I went cheesier with 5 golden rings for the 5th day of Christmas on vellum with golden beads.

December Daily Days 4 and 5 WithCraftsandLace

December Daily Day 6 WithCraftsandLace

Some gesso from the next entry (you’ll see) splash onto my faux chalkboard Day 8 entry and I might try to clean it off more later but maybe not, pretend it’s whimsical.

December Daily Days 7 and 8 WithCraftsandLace

I’ve been making paper houses with my mother from a silly DIY kit we grabbed on sale. As a reference to that, I used the scraps, and gesso, from the kit to make the collaged winter background – snow-scape hills and sky. I also wanted to draw little houses to attach as an additional reference, this time for when I went with friends and my friend’s baby to our city’s little Christmas display. I still need to stamp the date in the upper corner.

December Daily Day 9 Winter Collaging WithCraftsandLace

More updates coming soon!

December Daily: Days Intro-3

December Daily Day 2 2015

I don’t yet have as many pages as days it has been but here are my first entries. I started with introduction pages to the month of December and then went into individual days. The pages are not just on the rings but sewed and glued onto each other for dimension.

December Daily Cover Days 1-3 2015

I will be reposting my album cover each round up to show how it is beginning to bulk with daily entries.

December Daily Intro Pages 2015

December Daily Day 2

December Daily Day 3 2015

Hope you enjoyed! I am looking forward to making more pages and hopefully, a well rounded composition in the end. Happy December!

I will also be entering this post in Simon Says Stamp’s Wedensday Challenge, Let It Snow:

December “Daily” Preparation

For the first time ever, I thought I’d try out the “December Daily” mini album idea. Or at least some version of it. I doubt mine will be every day, more like weekly with highlights. My style will probably be more just a homage to winter and the holiday season, i.e. no personal photographs or written journaling, instead just art and layouts. Before December actually arrives and day one of this “daily” book starts, I thought I should probably prepare.

december daily cover

For the cover:

I had a piece of cardboard or stock or something left over from once upon a time and I really liked the clean white coloring of it and the subtly ribbed texture it had. I cut it in half and then trimmed it to more journal-common proportions (around 4.5 x 6.5 range). First I added the blue wash using a watered down crazy mix of: acrylic paints in Cobalt blue, Phylo blue, Lemon Yellow, and Titanium white; Retarder, and Matte Medium. I applied this mix with a sponge and blended it with some brushes and a paper towel.

december daily empty cover

Second, I blended over the blue with a random iridescent clear/white paint that was originally for puffy paint style but has gotten old over the years. Over that, I had snow texture paint we had in the garage and sponged that around until eventually sweeping it into a centered circle. I used the wet paint with some extra matte medium on top to attach a wooden snowflake over a mini tag, leftover from my mother’s wrapping materials some other holiday season. (Obviously, from the empty rings, I have no preset pages and will be adding them fresh as I go.)

december daily back cover

Then, the back cover was done with basically the same materials. I sponged the blue mix over a stencil and once dry, sponged the snow with gesso over the blue. Some final hole punches completed the cover. (I did mess up, even with focus and planning, by punching the holes offset for the back cover and will worry about hiding those wrong spots later).


I threw everything I was likely to consider using in a thrifted sewing box not only for access and “organization” but to help keep the style of my album a bit more cohesive. I thought it would be fun to do this journal like one big piece rather than like my 2015 journal where each page was a separate work. You can see some of what is thrown in there, its quite a bit.

december daily supplies

Since I don’t have a ton of Christmas specific things, I choose a small handful of free printables that I liked. I rarely use these since it involves printing and ink blah blah but I thought it could be fun this round.

december daily tools

You can see a couple of the printables, but only a few. I picked and printed from collections I found around, sources here:

Are you doing a December Daily this year?

Monthly Journal: October

october journal page 2015

October came and went so fast, I didn’t really have a particular event to focus on in my entry. I did, however, finish a really interesting novel for a women literature class that month, White Oleander by Janet Fitch. I chose this novel as my “theme” for October’s entry.

If you have read the book, you’ll know the narrator is an artist. Because of that, I embraced her destructive creativity in my approach to the page. I also incorporated, with ink and watercolors, the suitcase imagery towards the end of the novel. The stamps are vintage snags from my dad’s childhood stamp collection. These were duplicates and extras he had.

october art journal page

I tried out my new tag shape punch on a chunk of thin cardboard to reference luggage tags. The watercolor leaves were done during a practice session at one time. All the white details were done with a random colored pencil-like thing for photos. The letters on the tags were done with my little lower case alphabet stamps.

october 2015 journal entry

The quote sloppily written as an open border on the pages is from Fitch’s novel and relevant to a certain story arch that I was fond of. The quote also inspired the white paper garland strand across the pages.

“The pearls weren’t really white, they were a warm oyster beige, with little knots in between so if they broke, you only lost one. I wished my life could be like that, knotted up so that even if something broke, the whole thing wouldn’t come apart.”  – Janet Fitch, White Oleander

october journal entry

I may still add some more brown packing paper on the page behind the tags and/or ties to the “luggage tags.”

2 Journal Entries for the Price of 1: August and September

september journal entry

I know I am running late not only on my September journal update but also missed my August pages and I apologize. However, now you get two entries in one and who doesn’t like a two for one deal? August was sweet and quick while September was packed fuller. I celebrated my birthday (mentioned here – illustration), got deeper into my semester, and attended a Harry Potter themed wedding (referenced here – wedding card.) Now here’s the build up of two monthly entries.

botanical outlines

I mimicked the patterns on my birthday-present bedding and then loosely traced over my lines with pen. I used regular sketchbook paper for easier drawing and erasing. Also, using thinner paper lines my planner pages better.

botanical paintedseptember journal

I let the ink set a while and then painted it in with watercolors. On top, I attached a “mini planner” made from patterned papers reminiscent of my actual planner’s coloring and some mini planner pages. I did a mini journal entry on this to give a bit of an “inception” feel for fun. I referenced the key from my table number card at the wedding for the letter “p” and used a book for the “m” to represent my semester activities and the books I enjoyed reading for my literature course.

september journal art

And now, August:

august journal entry

For my August pages I attempted a simple and minimalistic look, playing with textures rather than colors. My mother and I cleaned out a lot of old boxes in the garage and multiple closets. During this time, we found a few treasures. One of these such treasures was a box of photo slides my mother took during one of her springs attending college. I think she gave them to me expecting I would use the frames for projects but the nostalgic photos with eighties tank tops and the pretty landscapes of her agricultural-focused school were worth preserving too.

august journal slide

I punched a hole in the left hand slide and placed it on a brad so it could swivel to be looked at in front of a light, the image seen clearly.

august journal polaroid

I created a “page” with vellum paper and layered various textured packing paper types to create a focal point for the frames and slide. This way, the vellum page could be tipped to allow light to shine through the slide. August showed up quick and said bye just as fast.

Bye friends (for now)