Traveling with my family! Our fifth new country visited in 2015.

Last week I visited Berlin with my family. After wasting my twenties not traveling and not being able to travel during much of my thirties due to babies we are using this move to the UK as an opportunity to travel all over Europe whenever we have a chance. So far that has meant trips to Paris, Rome, Barcelona and just recently Berlin. It's been great to see so much and share it with the people that matter the most. I am also so glad that I got into obsessive sketching and travel journaling before starting these trips because now I have the ability and desire to document these trips in the way that I enjoy. Years ago I tried a family blog but that just wasn't for me. And taking photos is somewhat fun but for me the fun ends when it comes to printing out the photos. Sketchbook keeping is perfect for me since everything is automatically in a book! 


Packing for France!

We are heading to Paris next week for the first week of our spring break and I am planning my sketchkit for the trip. I want to stay fairly minimal and not put too many choices on myself on what to use each day. Most days I will be with my family and sketching light therefor traveling light, but I have one lucky day in Paris by myself and can bring a more robust sketching kit on that day. What would you bring? My basics these days is a sketchbook that is big enough to comfortably use yet small enough to comfortably carry, a watercolor kit with a minimum of 14 mixing colors, a fountain pen with waterproof ink, a mechanical pencil, water brushes and a brush pen. We got a new camera for this trip and upcoming trips and I will be taking photos and using them as reference when I get back to my studio. 

My maxed out sketching kit ready for Paris! 

My maxed out sketching kit ready for Paris! 

Tiny DIY Altoid Watercolor Travel Tin

Make one of these and you can carry a little bit of color wherever you go.  It's super tiny and if you fill it with high pigment paints those tiny dots of paint can go a long way in a sketchbook (or two). Below the illustration is detailed instructions on how to make your own. My gift to you. 

Altoid Watercolor Travel Kit:

  • Altoid SMALLS tin (sugarfree) is the right size and shape with NO EMBOSSING on the lid!
  • Press Sculpty of other polymer clay in the base of clean tin about 1/4-1/3 of an inch high.
  • Mints pressed into Scultpy form reservoirs. I can comfortably get 12 with the tiny square mints. 
  • Bake according to clay instructions or around 270F for 15 minutes.
  • Wash out mints under warm running water. Dry.
  • Spray glaze on hardened Sculpty paint pans. Let Dry.
  • Tape to cover the sides of the lid and any other area that you do not want paint on. If you skip this step the lid will not close properly and scrap the spray paint and possibly get stuck. 
  • White spray paint the lid. You want a few even coats followed by a glaze to make this surface smooth and durable.
  • Dry completely.
  • Fill reservoirs with the paints of your choice. I highly recommend artist grade paints if you can afford them.
  • Leave to dry a minimum of overnight longer is better.
  • Voila! When you use up the paint just refill it.

Take off running! Scheduling that works.

We came home from our vacation a day early so we would all have more time to recover before school, work, travel and chores take over our lives again. That is one of the advantages of driving. It paid off and I have a plan to take off running in the studio on Monday with no pressure on myself to do anything other than draw in my sketchbook before my core hours start. Then come Monday after getting the girls to school I will be on the clock working. It will be a week of streamlined schedules and hopefully learning how to be more efficient as a family and as an artist. Making time work for me instead of against me.

Family Schedule:

  1. Wakeup 6am to beat Charlotte
  2. Morning Pages + Blog
  3. Light Breakfast
  4. School Drop Off*
  5. Exercise
  6. Shower**
  7. Tidy
  8. Core Hours 10 - 12
  9. Lunch + Social Media
  10. Preschool Pickup
Afternoon Plan:
  1. Play or nap
  2. Alex Pickup
  3. Playground
  4. Homework
  5. Dinner
  6. Bath
  7. Read
  8. Girls' Bedtime 8:30
  9. Read, draw and relax
  10. Bed by 10pm


Portable Art: Vacation Day Bag

My vacation day bag includes:

  1. my sketchbook
  2. camera
  3. iPad Mini
  4. stylus
  5. books (Die Empty and Daily Habits)
  6. travel sized watercolors and water brush
  7. pens
  8. colored pencils
  9. iPhone
  10. my brain

Will see how many of these items I actually use during this trip and report back. What art supplies do others bring when they travel? 

Thinking about my home of Boston today while on vacation at Disney with my family. Good luck to all those running in the Boston Marathon today.