BuJos and Tombows



Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Today, I recieved a full set of the Tombow ABT Dual Brush pens and I’ve managed to swatch them out in my BuJo.

So far, so good.  They ‘stick’ a bit more to the paper in my Leuchtturm 1917 dot grid BuJo than the Zig Art and Graphic Twin pens or my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens, but I like the colour palette.  I’m sure I will get a lot of use out of them for sure.


Talking of my BuJo, I’m going to bravely share some of the ‘spreads’ I’ve done and share some of my thoughts on BuJo and how it’s working for me so far.

Bujo02 There’s a lot of stuff out there about bullet journaling, and a good place to start is bulletjournal.com, the website of Ryder Carroll, credited with starting the bullet journal system.

What attracted me to this system is it’s total flexibility and how you’re encouraged to make it work for you.

Rather than planning my day out, other than appointments or important dates, I use mine more as a journal where I record what I have done that day.

I find lists of things to-do can be counter productive for me; if I don’t tick things off I can be very hard on myself.  However, by recording what I have done, that just feels far more positive to me.

So, I do have a couple of ‘trackers’ in my BuJo for things I would like to do on a daily basis.

Notice I wrote ‘I’d like to do’, not ‘I must’.  That takes a lot of pressure off me, as well as the guilt I can have if I don’t get done what I thought I could get done in a day.  I’m far more ‘productive’ if I just get along with things.  I’m lucky to have the luxury of doing this as I’m self-employed, as well as being an arty, creative person.

So, here are my trackers, as they appear in my BuJo:




I’ve noticed I have some colouring to do on some of them.  I decided I’d like my trackers to span a whole year, which seems to be working fine for me now. I also wanted to add some of my favourite quotes to remind me of why I want to keep track of these things and their importance to me.

I decided to add the quotes in boxes, and connect them with strings of little ‘doodles’ called dangles (the book I’m working on – A Dangle A Day – is spilling over into other areas of my creative life!) I like how they’re not all symmetrical in shape and arrangement.

I like how I can use my BuJo for daily practices of all kinds of things from drawing to hand lettering.  I can keep lists and notes on things that grab my attention.  I keep pages where I write down notes and ideas; not to-do lists, just notes to myself, or things I need to ask others about.

I have sections with botanical doodles/sketches, a list of sizes of picture frames and mats, the size of card blanks.  I have examples of hand lettering alphabets, with notes about them.  I have dangle directories too, a result of my work on A Dangle A Day.

The index is invaluable in helping me keep track of the collections, especially when they occur over multiple pages with other stuff in between.

Of course,  I also have weekly ‘diary’ pages, and I’ve been trying out different formats for them, including these:




I’ve changed my monthly view for April, and here it is:


The one for march didn’t have any room to write appointments or events in.  This one certainly does.  Not sure what I’m going to put on the right hand page yet, though I couldn’t resist drawing part of a mandala there.

I’ve found it is easy to get lost in bullet journaling; especially the creative parts. That’s fine when it doesn’t take me away from things that must be done, such as doing books. But it’s a different way of practicing drawing, hand lettering, organising thoughts/interests/memories/ideas and so on rather than in multiple books (journal, diary, sketchbook, note book) – they can all go in one book.

If you’d like to see any of these, let me know and I may share some, or little tutorials on how I draw stuff.

The flexibility and the ability to change what doesn’t work easily is the biggest draw, as well as the ‘permission’ to do what you need to do, what is right for you.  There’s no shoulds or shouldn’ts about it.

The other thing is not to get hung up on perfection.  I get things wrong in it all the time, or don’t like what I’ve done.  These can be ‘fixed’ by the use of correction tape or sticking a new piece of paper over the mistake if it’s a biggie. I just have to remind myself it’s a work in progress, it’s hand-made (well the content is if not the notebook itself), and it will help me, I hope, to accept that something is ‘good enough’ without it having to be perfect in all ways.

I already really dislike the heading for my Mood Tracker, but it’ll do for now.  I may change it with paper and sticky stuff.  Or I’ll just leave it so I can see how my hand lettering progresses over time.



A Dangle A Day

As it’s WIP Wednesday, I thought I’d share the cover of my current work in progress – A Dangle A Day.  It’s all about drawing dangles and stuff the Angela Porter way. I’m doing all the illustrations plus the writing too!  It’s not a colouring book, it’s a tutorial book. There’s going to be a little bit in it about BuJos (bullet journals) too!

It’s available for pre-order now on Amazon; release date is 6 Sept 2018.

Mixed media 25 Feb 2018

Angela Porter mixed media 25Feb2018

I’ve been hard at work on my ‘A Dangle A Day’ book and felt I needed a break from the computer screen.  As much as I love working digitally, I believe it does the soul good to work in different ways from time to time.  A change is as good as a rest, it is said, and also a change can get the creative juices flowing!

A trip to Hobbycraft in Newport, Gwent, yesterday had me buying some A4 Daler-Rowney Mixed Media boards.

These are 1.4mm thick and sturdy board forms of their mixed media paper.  The board did warp when I added tissue paper with matt medium, and it’s still a little wobbly today.

The pictures shows how far I’ve got for now.  I’m letting the little drops of copper and golden glitter dry as I take a break from it to decide if I need to do any more to it.

The image I drew and then coloured using Distress Inks.

I’ve enjoyed getting a little inky, painty and messy for a change.

Brayered backgrounds with Distress Oxide Inks

Angela Porter Brayered Backgrounds 17Feb2018

The image shows some of the backgrounds I’ve made using a Speedball Brayer, a Gelli Arts Gelli Plate, white card and Tim Holtz’s Distress Oxide Inks.

I’ve been taking a little break from the work for the A Dangle a Day book, a change freshens up the creative part of my mind.

The process is quite simple.

  1. Press the oxide ink down onto the Gelli plate.
  2. Use the brayer to spread the ink over the Gelli plate. The Gelli plate acts as a blending mat.
  3. Use the brayer to add ink to the white card.  I find it helpful to have just printer paper under the card and to move the brayer from the paper onto the card.
  4. Build up layers of inks until you’re happy with the look.  Using one colour of ink you can quite easily build up an ombre background.
  5. Spray or dot water onto the paper and let the inks ‘oxidise’ if you wish.

I clean the brayer off on the copy paper between inks.  I also use the copy paper to lift off any residual ink from the Gelli plate between different ink colours.  Sometimes, I dab the Gelli plate with a baby wipe and then use copy paper to clean the plate, especially if the residual ink and the new ink will make a nasty brown sludgy colour.  In this instance, I wipe the brayer with a baby wipe and then clean and dry it on copy paper too.

Sometimes, the copy paper becomes a beautiful background paper too, so I store those away for future use, sometimes.

I’m going to scan some of these backgrounds in to use as backgrounds to my digital art, but then I’m going to draw on them.  I’m using quite a few in my Sketchbook Project sketchbook for 2018.