Watercolours & Some Thoughts on Creativity

So we’ve mostly recovered from the Vintage Pen Market this past weekend, especially since we also had Monday off. We left all the tables and chairs in the shop to put back together on Monday, along with a bunch of other chores, like grocery shopping and running some errands, but today the shop was back to business again.

Clairefontaine Graf it sketch pad Wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Blog Toronto Canada

I’ve been using the Clairefontaine Graf It Sketchpad to try out some new things, and I took a few pictures to share! I actually took these a week or two ago, but managed to let myself get too distracted to remember to post them. Normally it seems like I just use regular notebooks for writing, notepads from Rhodia or correspondence stationery, but I’ve been trying to stretch my creative chops lately.

When I was a teacher, I think I had the opportunity to be creative everyday – you have to think on your feet as a teacher. It’s finding new ways to challenge and engage students who have different interests and different experiences, it’s teaching history and math and music and health and English all in the same day and also how to work in a group and how to study and how to remember to bring your books to class and how not to do dumb things when your teacher is watching you but also just because you don’t want to be a dummy. Being a teacher is one of those jobs where you really engage all parts of your brain: you zone out for just a minute and suddenly the classroom will be very different from what it looked like before you blinked…

Running this business has certainly forced us to be creative in many ways I never imagined – bookkeeping and accounting, social media, this blog, setting up a shop, finding furniture on the streets, but I also think it’s important to be creative without necessarily having “a problem to solve,” to try something new without any pressure. It’s not about being “a creative person” or an artist, so much as it is about being creative in your life, you know, creating something.

I think if you do something on a regular basis, like being creative and trying new things, you just get better and better at it, and it feeds your soul a bit, if that isn’t too hokey to say. It could be anything, from cooking in the kitchen to woodworking to dancing, but whatever it is, to just try something new with what you’re doing and to get better at it. The more I tap away at this blog, the more I learn about writing and how to share about new products and the business and thoughts about family with you all, and I love that I get a chance to write.

And I also think it’s important to try new things, to take risks, to make an effort to create something, make something. It’s part of life and the adventure of it all. I’ve been trying to convince Jon to start a blog so he can share some of his thoughts on life and Caleb and running the shop, and he’s “thinking” about it, but he says he’s not a writer, whatever that means. To see where your interests are and where they might be and to just give it a go.

These days, in between baby food and re-stocking the shelves,  I’ve been trying out watercolours and brushes. One of the best things about Instagram is that you can find lots of inspiration there, and seeing all the brush lettering and calligraphy on Instagram has planted a seed.

It’s been fun and therapeutic and meditative, but I think it’s also very human to create something. Every once in a while to just sit at the kitchen table and see what comes out, to try something new and not know if it’s going to turn out beautiful or kind of weird looking. I’m mostly just messing around, but creating something using watercolours has also been a bit of a break from my day to day life. To sit and make something just because. And my favourite part is that if you mix all the leftover watercolours together you get brown, which is my favourite.

Brush Lettering Clairefontaine Graf it Sketchpad Wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Blog Toronto Canada

Clairefontaine Graf it SketchPad WonderPens.ca Wonder Pens Blog Toronto CanadaClairefontaine Graf it sketchpad Wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada wonder pens blog

Clairefontaine Graf it Sketchpad Toronto Canada wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Blog

The Graf it Sketch pads aren’t designated for watercolour, but they’re great for handling all sorts of wet media (including fountain pen ink!). The paper is 90 gsm or 41 lb and white.

I’ve also been using this paper for some correspondence, because it’s a bit thicker and the perforated top means I can tear off a sheet nicely. Of course it also handles fountain pen ink well. Here’s a shot with some fountain pen ink on the paper:

Clairefontaine Graf It sketch pad Wonderpens.ca wonder Pens Blog Toronto Canada

Emeraude de Chivor, Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham and I think Diamine Ochre?? Or potentially Kiowa Pecan.

I hope you’re all having a great start to your week!


Behind the Scenes:
I decided to crack open some Fudgee-o’s while working on the blog, and to my surprise, they’ve changed the packaging on these cookies! I was almost going to open it like a bag of chips. It’s been a few years since we had cookies in the house, but they used to open at the top, and when you’re closing them up to “seal in the freshness” you used the wire tabs to keep the top of the package folded down. Now, these new packages open from the front, and you dive right in! No pulling out a paper tray of cookie bits and crumbs to get to the cookies on the bottom row. There’s a sticky edge all the way around the flap that seals it perfectly to close! It’s genius. And kind of space age-y.

I am full of confidence that these Fudgee-o’s will be nice and fresh for me tomorrow!

10 thoughts on “Watercolours & Some Thoughts on Creativity

  1. Jessica W (@jwrekso)

    Funny you mentioned that you’ve been playing around with watercolours! I did too! I got inspired by Lindsey from The Postman’s Knock. She has great tutorials on using watercolours for calligraphy (with dip pens) . After poring over her entries the whole afternoon, I decided to dig out the watercolour sets I got from the 90s. Did you know that Pelikan also makes watercolour palettes?

    1. Liz Post author

      I didn’t know that about Pelikan! But I guess it makes sense. I’ll have to check out the Postman’s Knock, that sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Liz Post author

      Yes, there’s nothing like moving into a fresh new space to give you some new inspiration! 🙂 Congratulations (and good luck with the boxes)!

  2. parobertson

    Creativity and trying new things…it truly does feed my soul! You are absolutely right. No ‘hokeyness’ to apologize for. Your words were encouraging to me – thank you.

    1. Liz Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment! And of course for reading the blog. I’m so glad to hear you and I share some feelings on creativity, we’re like kindred spirits 🙂


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