My debut eBook: Art Journaling 101 – yours for free!

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Sign up for my new monthly newsletter to download the book for free! Click on the image to sign up now.
I’m so excited to share my debut eBook with you – Art Journaling 101.

It’s the guide I wish I had when I started art journaling!

Art Journaling 101 is designed especially with the beginner in mind. The eBook is geared towards those who have or prefer to work with  limited supplies – or are suffering from art supply overwhelm and want to simplify their stash, if only for a while!

What the book is about:
Demystifying art journals – one alphabet at a time.

Take everything you ever learnt or thought about art and throw it out the window. In an art journal, there are no rules – it’s all about fun, exploration, and painty play.  Chock full of helpful hints, tips, and step-by-step how-tos, Art Journaling 101 is designed for the beginner who has few or no supplies, and who may have limited access to all the gorgeous, “must have” supplies that seem to be released almost every day. Within this interactive eBook, you’ll find:

  • Step-by-step techniques, including a simple stepped out demonstration on drawing a whimsical face.
  • A curated, basic supply list that gives you the perfect starting point to explore art journaling, as well as a curated reading list to explore various topics in a much more in-depth manner.
  • Some thought-provoking and meaningful themes to encourage you to explore your creativity fearlessly.
  • Lots of eye-candy from my art journals, as well as interactive elements, including links to YouTube videos from a variety of teachers to offer you some inspiration and help you to develop your skills.

Also peppered through these pages are a number of small assignments to help you to put all that you’re learning to practice.

Find out just how fulfilling it can be to embark on a creative journey armed with a few basic supplies and an enquiring mind!

Want a copy of the book?

Please sign up for Gypsy Wanderings, my brand new monthly newsletter, and I will send you a free copy of Art Journaling 101 to download and keep.

What’s in the newsletter?

I promise to keep it short and interesting! It will most likely have some musings and a list of recent blog posts. From time to time, I will also do some exclusive subscriber-only content (this could range from exclusive Facebook headers, desktop wallpapers, punchy graphics to thematically curated book lists). Sounds good?

Sign up for Gypsy Wanderings!

I look forward to welcoming you in my tribe.

#InstaTales 1: The gathering house

Welcome to Insta-tales! A new series where I will use one of my original photographs or digital composites as a starting point to weave together a story, a life lesson, or an anecdote. Hope you enjoy today’s offering – a short story! {It’s my first attempt at fiction, so please be kind!}

The gathering house

I wiped my dusty hands across my brow and took a final look around the attic. Everything had been sorted out – five huge garbage bags of thrash were piled up at the backdoor, two cartons were earmarked for charity, and five shoe boxes of treasured memories lay at the foot of my bed. As I was about to turn off the light, something glinted at the corner of my vision. On closer inspection, I noticed a small, dusty box with gilded edges that I had never seen before. I picked it up and made my way to the bedroom.

I left the box on the dresser, too weary to open it and take a look inside. It’s a small little box, I thought – I’ll look at it after I’ve rested a bit.

It was my last night at the farmhouse. Most of the rooms were bare – I had sent some pieces of furniture to storage, the rest had been given to my grandparent’s favored charity. The kitchen was almost stripped bare. I poured myself a goblet of wine – the last bottle from the cellar – picked up a plate of cheese and decided to sit in my favorite place one last time. As I made my way to the bay window in   what used to be the living room, I remembered the dusty box lying on the dressing table.

As I wiped the box clean, I marveled at its craftsmanship. The wood was a deep, richly grained cherry, the knots had been artfully worked into the design of its lid. The gilding at the edges was an intricately patterned Fleur-de-lis. The moonlight streaming in through the bay window almost seemed to make the box glow.

I opened the lid gently, almost reverentially. Inside was a well-creased, old letter, seemingly brittle with age, and a well-worn photograph that looked like it had been handled often, the edges wrinkled, the image cracked and stained. I stared at the image, puzzled. It wasn’t of a person, but a place. So why was the photograph so well-used? Whatever this place was, it appeared to have been important to someone. I was certain that the answers would be revealed in the accompanying letter. I smoothed the paper open and sat back to read.

***

I never imagined that a place could have had such a deep and profound impact on my grandfather. When I was growing up, I used to love to listen to his stories. He used to conjure up magical places populated with whimsical characters who taught me about compassion and love, about war and peace, second chances and redemption. As I recalled those stories and put them together with the person I knew and the place in the photograph, I felt tears stream down my cheeks. It was almost impossible for me to reconcile my compassionate, kind, big-hearted grandfather with this wayward teenager whose character was shaped – or rather re-shaped – in the gathering house for the staff of a correctional facility.

#MicroBlog Mondays: The first Gurgaon BYOB meet-up

  
The first Gurgaon BYOB (where the last B stands for books, not booze) meet-up took place yesterday at The Wishing Chair’s adorable Mad Teapot cafe. It was quite a turn out, and I was blown away by the variety of books and authors that people brought along to the discussion. Ranging from Murakami and Rushdie, to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, to an Indian author from Nagaland and an Iranian graphic novelist (yes, the Iranian graphic novelist), to a pilot and a sports writer – the discussion was engaging, illuminating, and passionate. The best thing was the absence of Chetan Bhagat and his ilk – although there was quite a heated debate on bad writing and there being no such thing as bad writing. It was a stimulating meet-up, and I came away with a couple of more books added to my TBR list. Here’s to more BYOB events in Gurgaon; may the tribe of readers grow!

Linking up with MicroBlog Mondays.

Book review: Five Roses by Alice Zorn

A young, naive girl with no social graces; an aging hippie whose baby daughter was kidnapped; a hospital operator whose sister committed suicide; a young, talented pastry chef who hides her talent behind the counter of a patisserie. All linked, somehow – as friends, neighbors, blood relations.

The novel unfolds slowly, and as each character’s tale unspools, you get glimpses of their connection. Not everything is spelled out in black and white, and that’s a good thing. A lot is left to the imagination, which is at should be. And as the story slowly progresses, you find yourself more and more invested in the lives of these ladies.

The novel is set in the 1980s, in the backdrop of Montreal’s historic Pointe St-Charles, a rundown neighborhood on the cusp of gentrification. Against a backdrop of abandonment and loss, Zorn deftly interweaves the rich yet fragile lives of three very different people into a story of strength and friendship.

The characters are beautifully rendered, the plotting is excellent, and the story flows along beautifully, keeping you fully gripped despite its slow pace.

I hadn’t heard of Alice Zorn before I read this book, but now I will definitely look out for her work. Highly recommended!

Think you might like the book? Buy it from Amazon

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from NetGalley, but the review and opinions are mine.
Note: This post contains affiliate links.

{Z} Let’s Zentangle!

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A Zentangle tile that was gifted to me recently
Yes, it’s a real thing! The Zentangle® method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction, and an increased sense of personal well being. And all you need to get started is paper, pencil and a black pen.

If you look up Zentangles on the internet, you’ll find some stunningly intricate tangle designs. Although they look really complicated, they are actually very simple and easy to do. The best way to start is to cut out a square from cardstock – whatever size you’d like, though the official Zentangle tile is a 3.5 inch square. Draw a string. This is basically a random line that creates an area in which you will draw tangle patterns. Start filling in tangle patterns in each area. It’s as simple as that!

A word about strings

A Zentangle tile that was gifted to me recently
A Zentangle tile that was gifted to me recently
Strings are always drawn in pencil so that they disappear into your completed Zentangle. They provide the foundation that can help you to create a completed Zentangle without over-thinking or planning the process. Think of it as the container for your tangles.

It can be difficult to come up with strings – especially when you’re just starting. Tangle Patterns is a fabulous resource to find string patterns.

A word about tangles

Tangles are slightly more structured doodles. And there are tons and tons of patterns available online for free. Again, Tangle Patterns is my go-to resource for finding amazing tangles. There are also a lot of simple tangle patterns on my doodling Pinterest board – perfect for when you are just starting out!

Do visit the official Zentangle website for more details on this meditative art form.

Put this lesson to work: Cut out a 3.5 inch square from a piece of cardstock, chart paper or even regular printer paper and create a Zentangle.

And it’s a wrap!

I hope you’ve had as much fun learning about art journaling all this month as I have had conceptualizing and structuring these posts and sharing my love for art with you!

If you’ve enjoyed this series and like my art work, do take a look at my recently set up cupic portfolio, from where you can purchase some of my art prints, cards, notebooks and posters. I’ll be adding a lot more art there soon, so keep an eye out for some exciting launches!

I will be sharing more art related posts in the future, as well as my more regular posts on book reviews, soulful living, et al., as well as a whole new series on digital artistry. I’d love for you to join me on the ride!