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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Updated: May 23, 2020

Today, I will be reviewing an enchanting workshop from Danielle Donaldson called "All creatures, lovely and small"

To find it, just pop on over to Jean Oliver's ning site where, not only can you find Danielle's class, but many other teacher's offerings as well.

Back to the workshop....

With over 7 hours of video, Danielle provides gentle guidance through the mysteries of watercolour. She takes us through her no fuss process of how to combine colours and gives us tips on producing textures. She then demonstrates how to draw tiny whimsical animals and how to paint them. The icing on the cake for this workshop is the 'story block' additions to the finished projects.

I just love the combination of the cute little critters with the patchwork bases......who can resist them.

Even houses made an appearance on my project pages.

I love these little artworks, I just couldn't stop....well, I did 21 finished pages, but I have lots of ideas for further pages!

I've also gone one step further and sewn my project pages onto fabric double spreads. Next up, I'll bind all the spreads into a little book

I thoroughly enjoyed this class. "All creatures, great and small"

Danielle has a lovely voice that I could listen to all day long and her teaching style is so easygoing, friendly and's no wonder that this is the third workshop that I've taken with her.

Also, I have to point out that Jean Oliver keeps the classes on her site very reasonably priced and that's a big plus for a "workshop addict" like myself

Head to to find Danielle's class.

Edit: Danielle now has a beautiful website with all her new classes grouped together.


Here is the finished product after binding all the pages together

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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Updated: May 23, 2020

I love playing around with lettering.

For experimentation, I have a lovely, inexpensive A4 grid pad. The grid helps me get used to height and width of the letter forms for any particular style. Without a guide I find that my writing tends to change size and slopes down the page as I write, so the grid helps keep me in check!

Inspiration for my lettering play comes from.....(see pic above)

*filling in shapes (C&D) ,

*writing out sayings, phrases, word lyrics or any short sentence that appeals to me (D&E)

*creating alphabet groupings (A,B&C)

*A few simple related words (F)

Mixing fonts can be fun (D&E) or keeping letter style the same give a cohesive appearance, especially for alphabet groupings

As I mentioned before, I love to PLAY in my grid pad. There is no pressure for my work to be perfect and I can experiment to my heart's content. My play pad is full of not so pretty stuff (lol!) but every now and then I discover something that I love and I'll either reproduce it (or something very like it) on a journal page, or I'll cut it out and collage it onto a spread.

(The Experimental Stuff)

There are lots of different elements you can add to your letters to make your words more interesting and varied. Lettering books are a great source of inspiration or you could look to fonts on your computer OR make up your own unique style just by altering your own handwriting a little.

For example...

*You may like to render all the cross bars or joining elements (on letters ABEFGHKMPRWY) high up or low down on the letter instead of locating them in the middle.

*Add serifs (small decorative lines/shapes on the open ends of letters)

*You may want to change the shape of letters eg..make them circular, oval or squared off.

*Thick and thin lines add interest. Thickening is usually on the downstrokes but instead of thickening every downstroke, you may elect to thicken only one element of each letter...such as only the first downstroke.

And so the list goes can see how you can tailor make your very own unique lettering style. It's just perfect to adorn your journal pages. Stick with your favourite creation forever or dream up a new style for every page, month or year!

What to use to create your lettering

Any writing tool! The humble pencil, a fancy fountain pen, an inexpensive children's felt tip pen, a dual tip watercolour marker, a biro or a gel pen. You could even use a brush and paint or even a stick dipped into ink can produce interesting results!

You don't need anything fancy, use what you have.

Some implements can do some of the work for you. A flexible tip fountain pen or a brush tip pen will give you a variance in line width, according to the pressure you apply. If you don't have either of these, you can achieve the same results by thickening the downstrokes after the letter is formed. Simply add a second line next to a downstroke, then fill it in the gap. You may even prefer to leave the space you create unfilled or fill it with a different colour or a pattern.

Further variances can be found by changing the width of your letters.

Have fun experimenting!!

(subscribes have access to the WhimsiKans page which contains exclusive and free content)

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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Updated: May 23, 2020

I forgot to blog about this tutorial. Here you find me adding a simple flap to my journal page. Easy-peasy but so interesting!

(subscribes have access to the WhimsiKans page which contains exclusive and free content)

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