Mini Mandala Making & a Tangled Visit

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The meaning of mandala is loosely translated as sacred circle. And there is something sweetly gratifying about creating a mandala using simple shapes. As I was creating the mandala for this post (finished image above and short video below) I was feeling super blessed and grateful to be sharing this musings adventure with each of you. Thanks for stopping by and joining in the doodle fun!

You can go very deep with the study of mandalas*, and for the purposes of the musings adventure I’m just looking at the fun and simplicity of creating a circular pattern.

The blank squares are the perfect space for a bit of meditative doodling to create a mini mandala.
There are so many ways to go about this – starting with an outer circle and working inwards, or building your mandala from the center. You can go free form or use exact measurements.

The mandala above was created totally free form (which is my preferred method:) from the tiny inner circle out. I often start by creating eight shapes around the inner circle, as I did for this mandala, and then working outward from there. You can watch my process for this mandala in the short video below:

Mandalas show up regularly in my Daily Musings Journal. Here are a few examples from so far this year:

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Mandala inspiration is everywhere – from patterns on tile to flowers and fruits and vegies.

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Where can you find mandala inspiration? What patterns will you try as you create a mini-mandala on your musings adventure? I’d love to see what you get up to!!

And before I sign-off for the day I want to be sure to send you over to Tangle Vermont where Sadelle will be sharing some Zentangle musings adventure doodling today. Thanks Sadelle for sharing your musings adventure with us!!

Thanks for coming along on the adventure and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for a bit of doodling collage inspiration!

xox,

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xox

xox

* For some great mandala inspiration check out the sites of a few of my mandala making friends:

Kathryn Costa at 100mandalas.com
Julie Gibbons at Julie Gibbons Creative
Louise Gale at LouiseGale.com

stickers-journalP.S. Giveaways Update:
Each day between now and Thursday I’m giving away the stickers that come with the Musings Adventure Journal (one sheet of each — see image to the left). To be eligible just leave a comment on the daily post. For today’s entry please share your mandala inspiration and creations :) You can also enter (or for an extra entry) by sharing your doodling squares on Instagram using the hashtag #musingsadventure – tag me, too, @lisa_deyoung. Be sure to reference musings adventure mini mandalas in your description, too. I’d love to see what you create! [You have until Friday to comment on any of the posts and winners for each day will be chosen on Saturday May 28.]
Update: On Friday there will be a giveaway of one Musings Adventure Journal, so I hope you’ll stick around and let me know how your musings adventure goes!

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P.S.S. If you haven’t ordered your Musings Adventure Journal yet, feel free to hop on over here to check out all the details and get yours today! The Musings Adventure Journal includes a few full page color-in mandalas for you to embellish.

And if you haven’t signed up for the May Mini Musings Adventure and you want to play along – check out the deets here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Journaling, Mini Musings Adventure 5-2016, Musings Adventure

Personal Icons, Shapes & Lines

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Another fun doodling option for the musings adventure squares are lines, shapes & icons. They can be used on their own or intermingled with your words & letters.

Over the years I’ve found there are several icons I return to again & again. If you’ve been hanging around this mermaid community for a little while you probably know that the bicycle is one of my favorites. I ride my bicycle just about everywhere, and I like to record my more memorable bicycle adventures in my journal.

My bicycle drawings are very simple & easy to draw.

I also love my little downward dog stick girl and the squiggly ski run lines I make. Adding the sun & snowflakes reminds me of a day’s weather. I have created a few examples on a page of the Musings Adventure Journal (image below), and I am sure there are many more that may have personal meaning for you.

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I started drawing these simple icons several years back when I began my musings practice – when I felt intimidated I might mess something up these simple icons gave visual interest to my musings that were mostly words. They helped me remember what the day might have held without reading the words.

What are some of the activities that you might want to add to your doodles? Try drawing a simple icon for this activity, and begin using it on your doodle squares.

Symbols found on the internet can be good reference to get you started, too.
You do not have to create something that is completely realistic, and I encourage to make your icons something you can doodle easily and make your own.

RiverRising_smLines & Borders & Simple Shapes

In addition to creating icons I like to use curved lines that I add writing to, borders, and simple geometric shapes – circles, triangles, squares – to embellish my musings. Some times I just make a list with fun bullets and borders!

These simple shapes and borders are great for adding interest. They’ve already appeared in the musings I’ve posted earlier this week.

LongDayList-Border_smAs you may notice from the doodle squares I’m sharing – my doodles do not have design or symmetrical perfection. I start with one thing and have to fit it what I want or add something to make if fun. Although sometimes I’ll use a pencil to create a rough sketch I don’t generally plan out my squares in advance. I just begin – play & have fun…knowing that there is always another square, another moment to be in.

I hope these ideas will inspire you to play around and make up some fun doodle shapes, icons and lines. It’s amazing to me what these simple marks can transform into.

Wow –it’s Wednesday already! So far I’m really enjoying playing in my new Musings Adventure Journal! I have to admit I’m glad I invited you on this musings adventure – it forced me to put marker to paper in my brand new journal! If you’ve already ordered yours it is on its way…or will be shortly (depending on when you ordered).

And I hope you’re having fun with the play sheets I provided for the adventure in the mean time:)

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What lines, shapes & marks can you doodle to represent something that has meaning for you?

I would love to hear about your musings adventure. Please share in the comments – you’ll be entered to win a set of Musings Adventure Journal stickers if you do!

See you back here tomorrow for some mini mandala making, and the link to visit to a guest blogger who will be sharing another fun doodle idea with you!!

xox,

lisa-mtn-mermaid-signature

xox

xox

stickers-journalP.S. More on the giveaways!
Each day between now and Thursday I’m giving away the stickers that come with the Musings Adventure Journal (one sheet of each — see image to the left). To be eligible just leave a comment on the daily post. For today’s entry please share how creating shapes, icons & borders went for you:) You can also enter (or for an extra entry) by sharing your doodling squares on Instagram using the hashtag #musingsadventure – tag me, too, @lisa_deyoung. Be sure to reference musings adventure icons & shapes in your description, too. I’d love to see what you create! [Winners for each day will be chosen on Saturday May 28.]

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P.S.S. If you haven’t ordered your Musings Adventure Journal yet, feel free to hop on over here to check out all the details and get yours today!

And if you haven’t signed up for the May Mini Musings Adventure and you want to play along – check out the deets here.

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Filed under Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Journaling, Lettering, Mini Musings Adventure 5-2016, Musings Adventure

Love Your Letters

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Yesterday I talked about using your handwriting to create a visual, and today I’m adding a twist – creating letters with some intention.

comparison-thief-joyAs a long time letterist this is something that comes fairly easily for me. I’ve studied calligraphy with many renowned calligraphers and over the years I have just enjoyed changing up the style of my writing. And…

Comparison is the thief of joy. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

I get many compliments on my handwriting and lettering, and even get paid to make my letters some times. But I don’t pretend to be a professional and have all too often compared myself with fine calligraphers and thought less of my letters for it. Playing with letters gives me great joy so I try to let go of the comparison and just have fun.

That is what I’d like for you: the opportunity to play with letters with joy and abandon.

We are on this #musingsadventure for ourselves creating tiny ephemeral pieces, so no matter how you feel each square works out – just let go and have some fun!

Block Lettering Play

Block Lettering Play

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Here are some ideas to play with:

garden Play with scale – making a word or two larger and then pen some details with smaller writing and other doodles
Add thickness to certain words by creating a double line for each letter zoom
Tales-ofLife Make block letters for a word or two
Find a logo you like and copy it LogoLettering

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Play with the same word intermittently trying out different lettering styles and ideas. I love musing about my time in my studio and below are some examples of playing with this word in a number of different ways.

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Hand lettering (along with coloring) is hot right now so lettering references abound. Find some reference resources like lettering books, font sites, online lettering examples, magazines – and then copy the letters.

Below are two books I refer to quite often. The one on the left I bought online a few years ago – it has all sorts of quirky & fun letter ideas (that is where I came up with the idea for the mermaid S in the image above)!! The one on the right I found at a garage sale years ago and it was originally published in 1946!

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Please don’t let the references intimidate you. My intention here is fun and simple lettering play. So if you start looking at references, remember – don’t let comparison steal your joy.

BasicLetteringLastly, I want to share two basic exemplars I’ve created (I know some of you may already have them from past musings adventures:)
Click here to download the printable two page PDF that you can use for reference while you’re lettering.

Enjoy your lettering play, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

xox,

lisa-mtn-mermaid-signaturexox

xox

stickers-journalP.S. Don’t forget about the giveaways! Each day between now and Thursday I’ll be giving away the stickers that come with the Musings Adventure Journal (one sheet of each — see image to the left). To be eligible just leave a comment on the daily post. For today’s entry please share how playing with your letters went for you:) You can also enter (or for an extra entry) by sharing your lettering play square on Instagram using the hashtag#musingsadventure – tag me, too, @lisa_deyoung. Be sure to reference musings adventure lettering play in your description, too. I’d love to see what you create! [Winners for each day will be chosen on Saturday May 28.]

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P.S.S. If you haven’t ordered your Musings Adventure Journal yet, feel free to hop on over here to check out all the details and get yours today!

And if you haven’t signed up for the May Mini Musings Adventure and you want to play along – check out the deets here.

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Filed under Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Journaling, Lettering, Mini Musings Adventure 5-2016, Musings Adventure

Creating a Visual with Your Writing

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Handwriting can create unexpected visual surprise.

Whether you like your handwriting or not – it really can create a nice visual if you write in a shape, use different colors, and maybe even add some other doodles.

As part of today’s adventure I’ve created a short video (about 2 1/2 minutes) for you to see how I created a visual piece with my handwriting. I’ve sped up the actual writing, but both squares I created took me about 9 minutes total.

Disclaimer: I’m super new at making videos, so I was a bit nervous as I was writing while recording. I had spent a few minutes gathering my thoughts and what I wanted to write, but I did not spend much more time considering how I would execute this – the squares were not at all planned out. That is how I generally work in my musings journal, and when I was done with these squares I felt a little disappointed with the result. This sometimes happens, too. What I do love about these squares is that I have begun to capture writings I want to remember; And they will also always remind me of starting my Musings Adventure Journal, making the video and this May Mini Musings Adventure! I’m so glad you’re here!

Here are a few more examples, from my Daily Musings Journal earlier this year. The two with the drawings have stream of consciousness journal writing in them.

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I hope this will help you get started on your adventure using your own writing – even if you don’t particularly care for it. Our handwriting is part of who we are, and if you use it a little differently than you normally do, you just might find you like the results:) I hope so!

I’ll be back tomorrow with more on writing – creating letters with a bit more intention.

stickers-journalBefore I go I want to mention the giveaways that I’ve eluded to. Each day between now and Thursday I’ll be giving away the stickers that come with the Musings Adventure Journal (one sheet of each — see image to the left). To be eligible just leave a comment on the daily post. For today’s entry please share how your creating visuals with your writing went for you:) You can also enter (or for an extra entry) by sharing your visual writing square on Instagram using the hashtag #musings adventure. Be sure to reference creating visuals with writing in your description, too. I’d love to see what you create! [Winners for each day will be chosen on Saturday May 28.]

Thank you again for participating in the May Mini Musings Adventure! Looking forward to meeting you back here tomorrow.

xox,

lisa-mtn-mermaid-signaturexox

xox

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P.S. If you haven’t ordered your Musings Adventure Journal yet, feel free to hop on over here to check out all the details and get yours today!

And if you haven’t signed up for the May Mini Musings Adventure and you want to play along – check out the deets here.

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Filed under Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Journaling, Joy, Lettering, Mini Musings Adventure 5-2016, Musings Adventure

Let’s Get This Musings Adventure Started!

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Thank you for joining me for this mini musings adventure. I hope you’ll find some fun doodle inspiration along the way.

MAJ_cover3D_500wI am excited to share with you inspiration for your creative heart. And I want to share with you I feel a bit of trepidation. While I’ve created this adventure to celebrate and share the launch of the Musings Adventure Journal (which I’m super excited about), I don’t feel as organized and ready for the adventure as I’d like to be.

I would love to blame time, but the real truth is the culprit is resistance. I shared a bit about my resistance to sharing and being seen here – I know this is playing a role in my preparedness.

OK – now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I’m just going to dive into the adventure – because really, what is an adventure without a little trepidation!

 

This week I plan to share some fun doodle inspiration, and there will be a few surprises, too. So I hope you’ll stop by each day this week and find inspiration for your own musings adventure!

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Today I offer a few tools for the adventure…

Tools for the Adventure

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The first think you need is the PDF to print out so you have a container for your adventure.
If you’re just finding this and you have not yet signed up for this free adventure (and downloaded your PDF:) – head here now and sign-up to get started.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to do this – you can certainly create you’re own container if you’d like and just follow along. I’ll leave that up to you:)

Some of my favorite doodling tools…

markersI love the fine point and array of bright colors of the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner markers. And they last a good long time!

Another important factor is they don’t bleed through the paper on the printed edition of the Musings Journals (which is a nice 80# stock).

There are other great markers out their – I know the Stabilo Point 88 markers are a favorite of my friend Lindy over at The Collage Cafe.

Sharpies, on the other hand, will bleed through…they bleed through on most text weight stock. I love Sharpies for some things, but not my musings adventure.

I also like gel pens although they don’t have the same writing smoothness as markers (for me), and some of these will bleed through.

I always recommend testing a pen you have not used before. There is a musings page at the back of the Musings Adventure Journal that will work well for this!
Pencils

Colored pencils are another favorite tool, and my favorite is the Prismacolor Premier Pencils. They are so creamy to work with, and blend really well. The downside to these pencils is their points break quite easily.

I have begun to experiment with the Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. They have a harder lead, but still seem to go on the paper nicely.

Pencils-clos-upI like being able to make a nice point on my pencils – and any pencil that will do this should work just fine.

As you can see from the image on the right I have amassed quite a collection of pencils. I love my pencil carrier (actually a jewelry case by Papaya Art), which I received as a gift, as it rolls up and ties together so I can carry all my colors safely in my bag!

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The other thing I love to do in my is to collage.mrCottonwood

For this you need some magazines with words and or images that inspire you, that you’re willing to cut-up. I also sometimes print out photos I’ve taken to collage onto my week. Then just scissors and a glue stick.

I admit that sometimes I might make a quick pencil sketch before I pick-up my marker, so two final things I keep handy are a pencil and eraser.

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I will leave you to muse over where this musings adventure may lead you. The only wrong way to do this is to not show up and play! And if life does get in the way you can always begin again – believe me you won’t be alone. I often find myself beginning again:)

See you tomorrow!

xox,

lisa-mtn-mermaid-signaturexox

xox

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P.S. If you haven’t ordered your Musings Adventure Journal yet, feel free to hop on over here to check out all the details and get yours today!

And if you haven’t signed up for the May Mini Musings Adventure and you want to play along – check out the deets here.

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Filed under Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Journaling, Mini Musings Adventure 5-2016, Musings Adventure