Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Book by Alan Anderson

A week ago, just before I got bitten by the flu bugs, this book arrived in the mail: The Christmas Sleigh. It is a very special book because the writer and illustrator is Alan Anderson, my brother in law!

I don't get often the chance to visit my sister and her family in the US, but every time I am there, Alan will be sitting with a sketchbook on his lap and drawing, drawing, drawing. I think he needs it as much as we all humans need water...
It is no wonder that he is incredible talented by hard work and practise. No wonder that he finally took a leap of faith and published his first book! Wow!

When I heard about it, I wondered how I could get my hands on a copy. And lo and behold, it was already available from the website - the website that I always use for ordering books since they do free shipping (all around the world) and has no additional costs for small orders.
Within 2 weeks the book had arrived and I felt that I needed to do something special with it. I took some photographs today and put them together into a little video to post on YouTube (and Vimeo and Flickr and uhhh Facebook....).

My apologies for the music, but I felt that I could not send out a video about christmas into cyberspace without any sound! :-)
I am just so incredible proud of this man, and of his book. The illustrations are so wonderful and I love the way he used colour in parts of the picture to attract the main attention and the background, still with all the thoughtful details, in shades of grey. And then the expression on the faces of the characters...

Though I am in the process of trying to sketch (almost) every day, I know that I will never achieve the level of art that he has achieved. But at least I can thoroughly enjoy it now with this book. Just wonder how I could get him to sign the book since he lives on the other side of the big ocean... LOL

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday, December 02, 2011

Fresh Colour To Brighten Up Grey Days

Everyday, I receive an email from in my emailbox with new colour palettes. It always feel like a kind of gift that you get to open: beautiful pictures with a palette of colours attached to it, chosen from the photograph.

Here is one I made myself. I loaded a photograph of the Little Guide Book into Photoshop and made this palette of colours myself. The colours in the photograph might not be as bright as they appear in the palette, but who said that I have to constrain myself to the exact colours? :-)
Just a little bit moving the cursor around in the Colour Picker of Photoshop and I got this beautiful bright set of colours.

Just what you need on these grey, dab days... Hope that these colours will make you smile today as well!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Raw Art Journal: the Elephant in the Room

 It has been a while that I have uploaded the new pages from my Art journal. The last few weeks I am busy with drawing and sketching, trying to develop a new habit and enjoy a bit of uncomplicated creativity every day.
And yes, I certainly need to brush up those drawing skills as well... :-) So that is a bonus as well!

This page is about "the elephant in the room". Something so obvious - there is no way you can't overlook an elephant in your room, can you - and the habit of ignoring it all together.

I have noticed the hard way that there are things that you get so used to, but are not really regarded as 'normal'. You just think it is 'normal' cause you are so used to it for many, many years. It has become a part of your life. It has become normal for me to have that elephant sitting in my room.
But it is not normal. Absolutely not. And I have to see that elephant for what it is: an elephant. Something so big that I can't overlook it. Eventhough it is sometimes hard to acknowledge it. I need to recognise that elephant, knowing that even if I don't speak about it, or are not allowed to speak about it, it is still there.
Undeniable, obvious and present. This page will help me to remember that...

So the question for you is, how many elephants are there in your room? Are there things in your life that you'd rather not speak about? Do you have the courage to acknowledge them and start a converstation about it? Or do you just ignore it?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gouache Paint and Memories of Art Class

While I am (hopefully) wrapping up most of the paperwork of the past weeks, I am going through my art materials and experimenting with the old art materials I have lying around for years now.
Most of the time I prefer to work with acrylic paint because of all the layering that I can add on top of each layer of paint. But on the other hand I would like to work quicker and not having to deal with these big jars and palets with drying paint that is then unusable.

So I took out my tubes of gouache paint. While I was adding colours to my palet (one where they can dry and then hopefully be re-used by adding water again), memories of my schooldays immediately popped up in my head.
It was in this art class that I first used this kind of paint, the one that comes from tubes or pots. We learned to sketch, learned calligraphy with different pens, made posters and even learned to do hand lettering with this paint.

And I still remember that I always had a problem to add the right amount of water so that the paint would cover the white of the paper - the teacher would not approve of transparant paint in our work - but still be fluid enough to paint nice letters. Back in these days we had no computers to make our fonts, so we learned to draw them with pencil on paper with T-rulers and  set squares and then coloured them with paint. A very labour-intensive job, but I loved to lay down the colours and turning a plain white paper into a little piece of art.

In a small container I found some very old tubes of gouache and some newer ones. One of them was completely dried up. So with a sharp knife I cut through the metal of the tube and put the paint on the palet.
This way I can still use it (like a pan) and don't have to throw it away.

In a seperate small sketchbooks I painted swatches of all the colours that I have. While I had no reasons to add new colours while I was working with watercolours earlier this year ( see: How many colours do you need ), I think I need some new ones for gouache... I definitly need some extra red, purple, green and a light blue. Maybe even some grey? :-)

I am looking forward to try drawing over the paint with coloured pencils (mixing media as usual) and I might try to do some handlettering as well, something I learned from this teacher as well. Though I might want to try updating the look of these letters though... :-)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Absorbed by Digital Design

One of the challenging bits as a mother of special needs children is the enormous amount of paperwork that has to be processed when something changes in their lives. It is unbelievable what you have to do to make things work out.

You have to bury yourselves in papers that have to be completely read and understood, find the little 'snakes underneath the grass', research internet thoroughly to make sure that you know almost as much as the help line operators of the organisations with which you have to deal with. And of course, it is just not one organisation, there are often at least three different ones!

And did I mention the amount of papers you have to read (and reread cause you simply get confused)?

So it was very refreshing for me to be distracted and getting totally absorbed by the online Illustrator 2 Class with Laura Coyle on

It has been a while that I had taken a class on anything digital for a while. Working with mixed media and getting my hands literally dirty was working just fine for me at this moment in my life.
But am I glad that I signed up! This class was so inspirational, the teaching was superb and I learned so much. Which is a great achievement for any teacher since I have been working with digital design and software for decades.

Laura really got us absorbed in Illustrator. There was a huge amount of instructional videoos, but not just techniques and how tools worked, but she got us busy from the first few videoos on, which I just loved. Ideas were running around in my head and I could not keep up with that flow!
The promise of getting my hands dirty in Illustrator helped me to get through all the heaps of papers and rules.

And I even skipped yoga classes 3 weeks in a row to enjoy the live chat we had in which Laura gave mini demonstrations and answered our questions right on the spot. Never done that before...

As usual, the online classes from Renee Pearson are of high quality. High quality video and sound, great website, prompt messages about the posting of lessons and extremely quick responses to any technical difficulty that you encounter.

The teacher, Laura Coyle is a professional illustrator and designer and is a great skilled teacher. Chek out her art work and blog here:

She offers  several classes and is preparing a new one for Illustrator Brushes in december. To keep informed, make sure to sign up for the newsletter from for info about upcoming classes, live chats and sometimes great discounts for limited time for some of the classes.

There is still a lot of paperwork to be done, which I absolutely start to hate (a word which I hardly use but is the one word appropriate for the situation). Papers seem to be scattered all around the floor in my little workroom (but believe me, there is some kind of a system in it) but I love the escape that I have rediscovered: designing digitally and letting my ideas run wild!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Marit's Big Surprise

Marit, a Dutch Mixed Media Artist, Art Journaler, Photographer and Haiku writer, surprised everyone last sunday with the news that she is starting her own magazine: Featuring.
It will be a printed magazine, in English, and the first issue will be published in Spring 2012. Can you believe it?
I am so happy for her with this new adventure.

Read more about this terrific news at:
You can also sign up on that website to be kept informed about the birth of that magazine. I am looking forward to the first issue!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Day Before Today


Yesterday,wednesday october 5th, this dear, 15 year old cat passed away. She did not go quietly, she put up quite a fight but her little body gave up.

Pico became an orphan when, at two weeks old, het mother was run over by a car. Our kids were so upset that I promised that I would try to feed the litter of kittens with a bottle. So I found myself after all these years back to night time feedings... But it worked, and all kittens survived.
She was different from the other kittens and we first thought that she was a male, so she got named after Picasso: Pico. Not very colourful while being just black and white.

Pico was pretty fierce, and ruled most of the the garden for years. Coco, her timid sister, was only allowed to sit in the  front of the house...
Pico could spin, we could feel it when we put our fingers on her throat, but she did not make a sound with it. Then, just a few years ago, she started to spin out loud. She wanted to be heard, I guess.

She did not like people very much, but she did liked to stay with me and annoyed me by trying to wrap herself around my neck instead of sitting in my lap. She loved being outside and we had to convince her pretty hard to come inside on cold winter nights. To be honest, I often had to go out and find her hiding place in the garden, the dyke being her favorite part, and try to catch her.

I named the last quilt I was working on, to her: the Pico quilt. (For a picture see: ) We shared the quilt together even long before it was finished: me underneath it, she on top of it, together with her sister Coco. We spent loads of evenings together this way.

Thank you for your companionship, your friendship and your own way of showing love, dear Pico. I will never forget you, you will be missed, sweetie.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Art Journal: Wordgames

This page came together pretty quickly. I had just cut away a rosebush that seemed to be sick for several years now, never producing beautiful flowers. It tried, but the roses got dried out or just brown before opening up. And after all these years I felt it was time to give up on that rosebush. So out came the saw to cut through the thick branches.

By trying to cut them in smaller pieces so that they would fit in the green bin, I hurt my fingers several times, despite the gardening gloves and me trying to handle the branches as careful as I could.
When all the work was done, I got my symbols, I got my words and I expressed it all together in this page.

I took a picture of the branches that were cut and glued it on the page. Outlined it with a marker and made it blend in with the background. For that purpose I like to tear the paper of images so that the blending in is easier.

It was way too graphic, and looking for a solution by rummaging through some textured stuff, I came across a sample of textured wallpaper. Just some brushing on of undiluted acrylic paint and you have a wonderful stamp!
The words that were hanging in my mind for the past days, were stamped on an old book page, a part came from the title of the book itself.
Then it only needed some borders and letter stamps to strengthen the words: the wordgames that were such a destructive part of my life and which are now - just like the rosebush - cut away and put away.
Such a relief!

The way such a page comes together is a process on its own. There are some things that you want out, want to express and then there is Life which helps you to tie together the emotion, the feelings, the symbolic imagery and the words. There is no particular order in this process. There are just elements that keeps lingering in your mind and finally it all comes together.
All expressed, on just one little page with some extra symbolic meaning added to the mix as well... I love art journaling:  this way of expressing yourself with simple things like paper, paints, stamps and a wall paper sample!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Raw Journal: Just More of the Same

Somehow this page seems to be a newer version of a similar page from my Little Red Book:
which says:

"This too was on repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat for a long time."

Though this time this new page was made based on an observation from someone else which I needed to write down because of the new meaning that was given.

I guess that despite all the things in life that changes and all the actions you undertake to make changes, some things will just never, ever change. No matter what you do, how much you try to turn it inside out and upside down, it just won't change. It kind of feels like moving a mountain with your bare hands.

The question is, will the mountain defeat you or do you accept it? Can you work with it, around it,  or is ignoring the mountain an option? In my case, ignoring it might be the best strategy for now...
And this all leads to another question: how many mountains are there in my life? Something to think about!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The meaning of circles?

Working in an art journal can be quite a coincedence of things that play in my mind, objects that surround me, things that I have heard, sentences that were spoken. I start with a simple thing like painting a background and from there a chain of choices are made.

There were foam circles on my worktable that I wanted to glue on wood to use as a stamp. But I had no small pieces of wood around, so I glued the circles unto a piece of cardboard instead. The life time of that stamp is of course short - no cleaning possible - but at least I had some dots to stamp with.

But the glue had to dry thoroughly before I could use it, so I turned to an empty paper roll to use as a stamp. It gave me great circles to colour in with pencils. From there, the idea started to flow. Though I did change my mind several times. I repainted the background white, part of it in purple red. I started to draw lines.

And before I glued the text to the page, I used the newly made stamp to stamp white circles all over the page. In the middle of that process I remembered that the circle is the symbol of Soul and that this page had a lot of circles...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sometimes you need less words

A page that turned out to be full of symbolic meaning to me. Though the text is clear, there is a lot of fog into the page as well. I had glued in some text and after several days, I teared these away. It was saying too much, I needed less words on this page.

The little Russian dolls are symbolic for the many layers we have inside of us. And the little line of text: "Through the Chaos, Objects appear Fresh"? I guess that was meant as a wish!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Art Journal: The Bridge

I found this picture lying around in a drawer which I really needed to clear out. No need to say that the drawer was left in the same state and I started to lay out the photograph on the different backgrounds of my art journal.
Nothing seemed to work at that time though, and the picture found its place on my worktable for several weeks.

That is the reason why clearing worktables is such an inspirational activity: you come across things that you wanted to use, but still hasn't. It is fun to rediscover these little treasures under a pile of papers after a few weeks!

So when I refound (a new word) the photograph, I cut away the background, sanded the water and added gesso over it, blending it with my fingers. The text was something I wanted to work into a collage for a long time, so that was easy.
Just a line of poetry to finish it off.

How many bridges do you need in your life's journey? Do you cross the wild waters by foot and get wet, maybe even go under for a while, or do you first build a bridge?
How many times have you turned around and taken another path in the hope that it will lead you to a safer place to cross these rivers?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Page from Raw Art Journal

This little format of wired book is wonderful to work in. Though I seem to be unable to paint on a small scale, for art journaling this size works wonders for me. This is my second art journal called "Raw". The first one was the Little Red Book which I already filled up completely.
ReBuild and ReInvent is the theme for this page. Accompanied with a cheerful picture.

And I love Found Poetry, the messages that underline my intention of the page. This one: "Move, to get free".
Moving, or taking action is the only way to change things. Just watch the news: Egyptians caused the biggest change in their history by taking action. Libia is undergoing their change by the movement, the action, of people who no longer accept life as it used to be.

Though we might not be in need of a revolution, we do need to move once in the while to stir up a change in life and get ahead.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Ingredients of Life

What would happen if you change the ingredients of your life? Would life still be, look, taste and feel the same - because the main ingredient is still the undeniable You?
Or would life become different? How much do you have to change to achieve the difference? And do you have to change just one or two ingredients, or do you change the recipe all together as well?

Loads of questions that emerged in my mind as I looked at this old recipe and wondered if the cake would taste as good as it did in the Fifties. And then started to compare Life with the cake in the picture.... :-)
I am still trying to find the answers to all these questions and I am glad that I made this page with the picture of the cake!

Do you stick to your default recipe of Life? Or do you make changes? How far do you go? Have you ever switched back to the old recipe?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A New Art Journal: Raw

 My Little Red Book has been completely filled. It was time to start to look around for a replacement. I loved working on the small pages ( 16 cm x 16 cm) of that little book. Luckily I had another version of that diary lying around and could not resist using that as a successor of the Little Red Book.

So there I went: tearing pages out, glueing several pages together to improve the strength of the pages and adding a layer of gesso over the page to hide the text underneath it.

I had noticed while working in the Little Red Book, that somehow I lost the idea of making the pages pretty or beautiful. Instead of artfully decorated pages, it soon became all about the thoughts, feelings and ideas that I wanted to express on the page. It was kind of raw, with everything on the page enhancing the mood of my expression with no regards toward art or rules of art.

Since I loved that feeling, I decided to work in the same way in this new book. Expressing myself in a free, raw way and leaving it up to the viewer to interpret the page and decide on  her/his own interpretation.

This way of working gives me a lot of freedom and helps me to express myself without the restriction of bearing my soul to the world of internet. You might understand what I am saying, or you may not understand it at all.
Maybe you discover a different meaning of the page, or maybe it stirs up your soul. Or maybe it does not say anything to you at all (and you get ideas on how to improve such a page).
Whatever it is that you feel while looking at it, I hope that it inspires you on some level. :-)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Beauty of Wastepaper

We were talking on the Dutch Art Journaling Forum about protective sheets on our desks to catch sprays and splatters from ink. They are not easy to find here in the Netherlands.

Personally I prefer to 'catch' all these ink and paint spills on thin rice paper, let the paper dry and re-use them again.

Even stamps are 'cleaned' on these sheets by stamping them untill all the ink or paint has been absorbed by the paper.
This means less cleaning to do in the sink. And adds fun motivs to the wastepapers too.

Just place a page under the page you are working on, and one on the opposite page as well. You can also brush leftover paints from your brush unto these papers before rinsing the brush.
After a while the papers have become pieces of art on it's own - spontanious splashes of colours in unexpected colour combinations. Use them in collage and as a background for wordstrips!

----------Dutch Translation----------

Op het Nederlandse forum Art Journaling en Mixed Media hadden we het over speciale vellen om je werktafel te beschermen tegen verf- en inkspetters. Deze kun je niet zo gemakkelijk vinden in Nederland.

Zelf prefereer ik dun rijstpapier om deze spetters op te vangen. Ik laat ze drogen en gebruik ze dan weer opnieuw.
Zelfs stempels worden 'schoner' gemaakt door ze eerst op zo'n vel te stempelen totdat de verf of inkt door het papier is opgenomen.

Je hebt dan minder schoon te maken in de wasbak of gootsteen. En bovendien heb je ook nog eens leuke motiefjes staan op je 'restpapiertjes'.

Na verloop van tijd worden de papiertjes vanzelf kleine kunstwerkjes: spontane spetters kleur in ongewone kleurcombinaties. Gebruik ze in collage of als achtergrond voor woordstrips!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Tutorial: using existing books as a journal

TJ from Studio Mailbox sent me this book a while ago for me to alter. I am planning to use it as an art journal and thought it would be fun to share the preparing of the book here with you.

This book had hard covers and a sewn binding: ideal for altering the book. The paper inside is a bit old, but not yellow or brittle at all. This means that I have the perfect base to start with.

To make room for all the painting and collage, I rip out several pages so that the binding will be able to hold all the extra weight that will be added.

Sometimes, I will tear out as much as half of the amount of pages that are in the book!
After tearing out a page, look for the opposite page that is now loose in the book. Remove this one too.

It always feels a bit wrong to tear out pages, but the spine will not hold long if you are not brutal enough at this point.
You can save the pages and illustrations though for collage. And you can always use the text for Found Poetry.

The next step is glueing several pages together to strengthen the paper. This way it will be able to carry all the paint and collage even better.
In this book I will glue 2 pages together. If the paper was thinner, I would even glue 3 pages together.

My favorite glue to use at this point is Gel Medium, you can buy these in big cheap(er) pots in art stores.

Place a waste paper behind the page that you are going to glue. Brush the glue on, press the other page to it and use a plastic old ID or credit card to smooth it over.

 Let the book dry completely. As long as the glue has not dried, it will be too fragile to work in.

My favorite way to prep a page is to start with a thin layer of gesso. Just the process of brushing this over the pages is relaxing and often opens up my ideas and inspire me.

The cover is almost always left as the last thing to do. When the journal has been filled, I know what I want to put on front. It is all about keeping open to possibilities, though you could say that it is all about not being able to make a choice as well... :-)

Have you been using existing books as an art journal? Or do you buy blank books for journaling?

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Labels to Print

While collecting materials to make an art journal from scraps, I decided that I needed longer labels than I had already made. So here is a collection of 8 different labels for you to download from and to print at home.

The pack contains 4 different coloured PNG files (black, blue, red and green). Here is a preview of the blue labels.
You can print them with your own printer on cardstock and cut them out by hand. It is not really that much work since there are lot of straight lines involved!

Vary the colour of the cardstock and your labels will get a different feel and look. I like to print them on a yellowish cardstock which give it a slight vintage feel.

As usual, the zipped file has to be downloaded from It is safe to download files from that site, as long as you click the right buttons! The buttons of ads can be very confusing, think before you click. So don't think you have to download something else first - or have you PC checked for errors!

After the first click you will have to wait several seconds before you get the real download link. So there is some patience involved, but then again, the labels and the download service are for free. :-)

Here is the download link:

You are free to use these labels in your personal and commercial projects. You are just not allowed to sell the file, or the prints of the file. You can share the blogpost here, but you can't put the link on your own website/blog/facebook page etc. and claim them as your own.

This means that you can use the labels to glue on a jar of jam to sell, but you just can't sell a set of prints of the labels.

I would love to see what you do with these labels!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My wish for this summer

One of the prompts from the class In The Sun was making a page about the songs that you love to hear in the summer.
Despite the rain and the wind, the feeling of summer comes back to me if I watch James Blunt's video with "Stay the night". Happy and upbeat: Simon Webbe, a summer should be without any worries.
I like Bruno Mars' song because it is full of energy. Oh, and what is a summer without a song in Italian? That is not really summer!

Another prompt from the class was to write down your wishes for the summer. I made this page this week, and eventhough I have not seen or experienced much of these things up untill now, I will still keep on hoping!

I like the simplicity of using lists for a journal page. And, as the previous pages, I did things that I normally don't do. Just working quickly, keeping it light and just accept the results as they are. Even using a silly picture and ruining it with using the red crayons around it.
It is summer after all... :-)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

In the Sun journal pages

One of the first prompts, I think back in June, was making a page of your purpose and intention of this art journal.
The main thing that I want to achieve is this feeling of 'anything goes' and experiment without restrictions. This became a 'cute' page! And I normally don't do cute!

Another prompt was about making a self portrait and writing down several things that make up you. I did not put a lot of thought into the list. I just wrote some things down about me. Another thing that I hardly have done: using my own handwriting in my art journals.  But this is something I like to experiment with these last weeks of summer.

Working quickly, no overthinking - or hardly thinking - and keeping it simple feels so much like fun. I am not over the moon about these pages, I just want to let the flow goes where it takes me, and enjoy the process of making a quick page in the mean time.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Time keeps on running...

The month of July has passed away so quickly. It has been the wettest month since ages and felt more like autumn than summer. I missed that summer-kind-of-feeling.

In the beginning of July I had read about the art journaling workshop: In the Sun by Natalie Malik.

The whole project sounded so much like summer to me that I wanted to give it a try, even though I was already a few days behind.
On one of the dry mornings in July I went outside and ink sprayed a bunch of pre cut pages using the simple dot stencil that I made from punching out the Round Tags  (Blogpost with instructions ) and lettering stencils.

To keep that airy feeling of summer, I kept the use of colours to a minimum, and only used light coloured inks.
My intention was to keep this journal as light and simple as possible. Giving myself lots of space to experiment, or to use the same materials and techniques. Just go along with a summer-kind-of-flow.
And then, Life happened.

So now, a month later, I cleaned my desk and found these pages again. The cover was already made, and so were two pages. When I checked the class blog I saw that I was so much behind. No way that I would be able to catch up in any way.

Instead of trying to catch up, I am giving myself permission to just pick out the prompts that I like and go ahead anyway. It is summer, after all!

Here is the cover that I made several weeks ago. I will upload the other pages the coming week as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Speeches won't be made today,
Clocks will carry on,
Flowers won't be left in parks,
Work will still be done.
People won't be dressed in black,
Babies will be born,
No flags will fly,
The sun will rise,
But we will know that you are gone...

(lyric: The Day Before The Day by Dido)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Keeping it simple today

Outside my window... the birds are singing

I am thinking... of going outside and enjoy the day

I am thankful... for the sun and the clouds today

In the kitchen... are dishes waiting to be cleaned

I am wearing... clothes that are too big for me

I am creating... a crocheted blanket

I am going... to design more digital printables

I am wondering... what the future holds for me

I am reading... again: The Memory Keepers' Daughter

I am hoping... for more space in my life

I am looking forward to... a walk down to the river

One of my favorite things... is working with colour

Monday, June 27, 2011

Free Round Alphabeth Tags to Print

I had fun cutting the printable labels (see post here: ) and thought about other items that I could design and print out to us in the scrappy journal I am planning to make.
Pretty soon the idea of 'something round' came up. And since I wanted to punch it out with my 1.5 " puncher, I knew the size to start with.

I wanted to add numbers to the circles, but thought it would be fun to have the complete alphabeth in circles. I started to work out the idea in CorelDraw but switched quickly to Photoshop.
The idea was simple: a scalloped border, a border inside and a quirky font to use as letters.
Most of the time was spent adding and adjusting the size of the individual characters within the circles and placing them neatly in rows in 2 files that could be printed on A4 size and Letter size paper.

I printed the tags on a yellowish cardstock. After printing, it was just a matter of turning the punch upside down and postioning the paper so that the tag would fit in.
If you don't have a puncher, cut them out with scissors. It might take a longer time, but it is worth the effort.

When the tags were punched out, I had these strips of paper with these huge circles - just like a stencil.
This inspired me to tape the strips back together and brushing a layer of acrylic paint on both sides: to strengthen the stencil.
I love it when one idea evolves into another new idea.
The files are free for you to use in your personal and commercial projects. However, you can't sell the tags or claim them as your own.
Please do not share the files - you may mention this post on your own blog though for your readers to download the files for themselves.

Here is the download link on

You don't need an account to download this file. Press the button to download this file, a count down will start - ignore all the ads. After the countdown another download button will appear. Press this one to start downloading.

OK, the next idea I came up with is printable journalers and ledgers.
Do you have any special requests for printables? Just leave a comment with your ideas!