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Brave Girls Club
Brave Girls Club

Roben-Marie Smith

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Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidents, but rather, it's a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite sublime plan." ~ from the movie, Serendipity




The Documented Life Project

One part planner plus one part art journal and one part weekly challenge equals an amazing year of organization, inspiration and community.
Join us for the Documented Life Project.
We start with a Moleskine Weekly Planner.
If you want to buy the "as it comes" Moleskine Planner online, Click Here
If you want to take a mini-class on how to alter your Moleskine planner including gorgeous downloads, details coming soon via my blog Here
If you have your own calendar or planner you want to use, that's great too.
Now the journey begins!

Starting January 1, 2014, we will issue a weekly challenge on  ways to use and decorate your planner to make it uniquely yours.  Interpret the challenge in any way you desire or be inspired by our artists.  Yes, this is free and open to everyone - artists, scrapbookers, calendar keepers, organization lovers, art journalers- yes, YOU! You can find the first challenge on any of the below blogs or the Facebook page listed.

If you would like your planner to look just like ours, we are offering a mini-class taught by artist Lorraine Bell with step-by-step video instructions, filmed behind the camera by Roben-Marie, featuring hand painted gorgeous downloads to make your book an inspiring place for you to look forward to spending some time each week (click here to see a sample of Lorraine's gorgeous planner). Watch for details coming for this class soon OR if you prefer, you can make the planner in your own style.

You can find us:
Instagram: #documentedlife  
*Our Blogs
Roben-Marie Smith
Lorraine Bell
Rae Missigman
Sandi Keene   
And our Life Photographer: Barbara Moore

Post your challenge response to your favorite social media and upload it to our Flickr group or Facebook group to share in the community of Life Documentors!

We would be thrilled to have you create and play along with us in The Documented Life Project.  

Who knows what can happen?!



Documenter of Life

 At any given time, if you look into my massive shoulder bag/purse, you will find:

  1. A calendar/planner
  2. An art journal/sketchbook, and
  3. A diary or notebook of some sort 

 I always have these vital things with me as I attempt to keep track of my crazy schedule and document my life at the same time.  Whenever I try to downsize and carry a cute little clutch or stylish pocketbook, I am always missing one or more of those crucial items!  Inevitably there will be something scenic I want to sketch; some important event I need to write down, or a momentous idea that must be preserved on paper.

 In my pursuit of finding the “perfect” calendar/journal I realized that it just didn’t exist, so I decided to create my own!  I combined all three books into one and have the ultimate journal that I can’t wait to open everyday and fill full of schedules and paintings and lists. I created it to suit my crazy, art-filled, hectic life!

I have my weekly view calendar . . .


I have my journaling pages . . .


And I have plenty of paper to sketch, paint, doodle or list make!

Do you NEED one too?  You can get one in my Etsy shop here!

Each journal has been created using an authentic, Moleskine soft-cover day planner and has been altered and hand-painted. Fold-out pages have been added with using 90lb watercolor paper and luscious washi tape to make a beautiful, chunky, unique journal all ready for you to begin documenting your life . . . just in time for 2014!  Don’t want a painted cover ? I also offer them in classic black.  Each journal has 52 watercolor fold-out pages, 12 laminated monthly tabs, a metal clip, and an elastic closure to keep it all together! All journals are one of a kind and can be customized with your favorite color palette.  Plain journals (with no calendar) are also available.


Life should be documented . . . not only the BIG milestones, but the also the little moments – they are all worth remembering.

Watch for more inspiration and some exciting news about these journals and documenting your creative life!



Art & Soul in Paradise

What do you get when you cross 4 artists, a few art supplies, and a tropical island?  Some amazing collaborations, sunshine and happiness!  What an insane combination! Last month I had the opportunity to invite 3 friends {Rae Missigman, Sandi Keene, and Roben-Marie Smith} to our home in the Cayman Islands. Whenever we weren’t on the beach, we were spread out on my dining room table, talking sharing, painting, creating.

Roben-Marie and Sandi shared the idea of “art journal collaboration” where we all sat around the table, quickly gathered a few supplies to use, than as we listened to a song on our playlist, we each began an art journal page.  The idea was to work instinctively, without planning out the page ahead of time.

Once the song was over, we immediately handed our art journals over to the person on the left and began to create on the journal in front of us during the next song!  Sort of like a musical chairs idea but with your art journal!  We could add to, cover up, or build on anything on the page. I loved the freedom this exercise gave me and once the initial stress of having to “create on demand” passed, I was able to loosen up and just let my pen, brush, or whatever I had in my hand flow!  After we went round a few times {there are no rules here} we each ended up with amazing masterpiece in our journals.  I love that we each have expressions from each other in our journals now.  This was a great warm-up but we continued to do it throughout the week just to see what we could come up with! And even now when we get together, we still do some type of collaboration, even if we are just doodling in each other's books!

Here are a few samples of what was left behind in my own art journal:



By day, I had a blast playing tour guide for my friends.  If you ever travel to Grand Cayman, there is one spot your shouldn’t miss – Stingray City.  We took a charter out into the North Sound and had an awesome day of swimming with the stingrays and snorkeling.  Sandi took my picture below from her perch on the boat and I just love it!

{photo cred: Sandi Keene}

The week was full of many firsts, including an evening called “Open Canvas.”  We took a big, brave step and signed up to paint in public at an event that featured about a dozen artists who set up easels under the moonlight.  It was a beautiful starry night in a lovely location.  We met other artists, ate and drank, and overcame all inhibitions.  It was very vulnerable at first, but before we knew it, we forgot about the onlookers as we got deep into our artwork.  I never thought I would be able to do it but now I wish I had more opportunities to paint in public. Here’s a few pics of our evening – forgive the poor photography but we were using camera phones in the dark!


Here's what I managed to paint that night - love my Carribbean Ladies with Attitude!

It was a magical week and we ended it on a high note with a beautiful sunset.  We decided we would all paint the sunset as it was setting and we used sea water in our water colors.  Symbolic of our time together . . . the sea, the colors, the art, the friendships.  I am so blessed to have these people in my life and to be able to share my special place with them!


Art Pops {by Roben-Marie}

I had the pleasure of being asked to create samples for a new product by my friend, Roben-Marie Smith.  Roben-Marie is a wildly talented Mixed-Media Artist who has taken some of her art work and incorporated it into little "pops" or cards.  As an artist and a scrapbooker, I always love when a product can crossover and be used for both.  When my package arrived, I instantly knew I was going to have a hard time settling on what to do with these little babies!  The possibilities are endless . . .

Art Pops come in sets (pictures at the end of this post) that are the perfect size for Project Life type journaling.  The quality is outstanding, the colors are vibrant, and they have a lovely matte finish so they are easy to write and paint on.  After much playing around, I decide to settle on a project where I could use all of the cards together and create a little book. {Of course, one of the packs are named after me - so I'm a little partial!}

My inspiration came from the cards . . . when I look at them, they just make me happy.  So that's where I started:

I added the word "happy" to this 4 X 6 card and used it for the cover.  I decided to add some soft gel medium to add texture and layers, which the card took very well.  As a mixed-media artist, I love how art work "feels" as well as how it looks.  Roben-Marie's cards are so beautiful and can easily be incorporated into your own art work.  You can see how the gel medium added a beautiful, bumpy finish to the smooth card. It's as if it came printed that way:


I created the cover using a Tim Holtz distressed book cover and the pages are made from a variety of Roben-Marie's different cards and some scraps and tags I had on hand. Here are some examples of how versatile these Art Pops are:

You can sew on them and attach a smaller (3x4) card to the bottom of a 4x6 card and make a pocket:


 I also love how some of the sets are left blank in the middle for journaling, and, as shown below, I cut out the center of one card to make a frame for my photo:



The colors are spectacular in these Art Pops and both sets work well together.  Because there are so many colors in her artwork, you can use any scraps of paper for matting or place your pictures directly on Roben-Marie's cards.  They add just the right amount of "pop" to make your pictures stand out. The quality and weight of Art Pops is perfect for art journals and scrapbooking.


 On the page below, I simply slit across the to of the journaling window and ahered the card to another card in the back to create a slot to slide a tag in.  I love the effect!


I never ran out of ideas, alternating the different cards and turning them in different directions.  They hold up well to stitching and the weight of adding ribbons and trim.

I'm really happy with my chunky, textured little book and I adore Art Pops by Roben-Marie!



Want some more?  Hop on over to Roben-Marie's blog {HERE} and find out how you can get your own set of Art Pops.  She also has links to some other amazing artists who have put their own spin on Art Pops.  Prepare to have your mind Popped!!!