Sharpening my pencils

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
Zora Neale Hurston

Get your pencils sharpened (photo copyright Hanna Andersson)

I am sharpening my pencils. I am sharpening my brain. I am sharpening my everything. I feel on edge and ready. I have so many ideas filling so many notebooks that it’s just ridiculous. I did do a whole lot of photos last week, documenting a week in my life for the third time, but it’s been such lovely August weather here that I haven’t been indoors much. I will share a few photos eventually, I’m sure. Did any of you do the photo challenge?

There was a challenge in July too called One Book July that I discovered on YouTube. It was about minimizing your notebook stack rotation to just one (and one pen!) during the month, to see if maybe you’re using too many notebooks and splitting yourself thin… I did the opposite, and started about 10 new notebooks I think. And it felt awesome. I love notebooks more and more, and I think I want to do a notebook blog post series here this fall. What do you think about that?

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The First Rule of Art Journaling

It’s Art Journal Friday over here, and time for a peek into one of my painted journals again. I want to share a few pages and details from them today. But I also need to share the most important, and only, Rule of Art Journaling, with you guys…

First (and only) rule of Art Journaling by iHanna - read more at

The first rule of Art Journaling, as I see it, is: You should always do what ever you want to – in what ever way you want to. Period. Being inspired is awesome, being told what to do and how, is not. Finding new ways to create is fun, but having someone tell you which layer to start with is just plain boooring. Am I right?

I see a lot of tutorials posted over on pinterest on How to Art Journal, or How to create a Layered Page, and that makes me cringe. I hope I don’t write captions like that. There are too many rules in regular life, and lot of how-tos about how to blog, do social media and so on… In Art Journaling, and art in general, I need to be reminded of the fact that there are no rules!

The How to Make Perfect Art Journal Page-posts you see is not worth reading. I wanted to let you know how much bullshit that is. And I’m saying that just after posting the fact that I am teaching something about Art Journaling (21 secrets Workshop Fall with an Early Bird Special posted this week), where I am actually hoping that some of you will want to buy it and learn from me and the other 20 teachers there…

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21 Secrets Art Journal Workshop Early Bird Special

I’m super excited about the fact that I’m one of the teachers at the online Art Journal Workshop 21 SECRETS Fall 2015. I will show you how to find cheap materials and make a super fun Art Journal collage in my Workshop. I hope you’ll want to join me, because this is a class you don’t want to miss out on.

Sign up now for 21 Secrets Art Journal Workshop Fall 2015 Early Bird Sale - via @iHanna

I’m so sorry that I’ve been keeping this a secret from you, but today I’m allowed to reveal some facts and tell you about the Early Bird Special that you get if you buy this workshop before the 4th of September!

When you get the workshop 21 SECRETS Fall 2015 you will get an eBook containing 21 different workshops/teachers providing video, photos, tutorials, inspiration and images for their workshops.

And to make this early bird sale even sweeter, if you registers between today and Friday September 4th, you will receive a free thank-you gift of ten 90 minute workshops that were part of our 21 SECRETS LIVE! series last year:

Sign up for 21 Secrets Art Journal Workshop Fall 2015 - via @iHanna - Early Bird Promo if you sign up before Sept 4th!!

Art Journal Workshop Teachers Fall 2015

There are so many awesome artists and teachers in this workshop cluster, you’ll be amazed! I feel pretty sure you’ll recognize many of these names and will be thrilled to be inspired by them all winter long.

Among them I particularly look forward to learning from fab Orly Avineri (whos book I reviewed here) and watercolor artist Gina Lee Kim who I recently found and who makes awesome videos! A since long favorite is Magpiegirl Rachelle Mee Chapman and textile artist Lesley Riley who is also teaching alongside with me in STITCHED (still available).

The others teachers this fall are Ashley Joon, Jessica Gordon, Cassia Cogger, Catherine Anderson, Chris Zydel, Fonda Clark, Maya Stein and Amy Tingle, Jassy Watson, me (Hanna Andersson), Carrie Todd, Robin Kalinich, Amanda Fall, Crystal Moody, Faith Evans Sills, Jane Cunningham, Jennifer Joanou and Malini Parker. Yay, what a lineup!

My collage workshop consists of at least 3 videos so far. That, all these teachers and the Early Bird extra gift of 90 minutes workshops – get it all right now at Dirty Footprint Studio:

Early Bird BUY NOW

That’s my affiliate link. I get payed if you use that particular link, so of course I appreciate when you buy via me – thanks in advance!
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Artist Date at Hornsgatspuckeln

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

As the self-proclaimed blogging ambassador of Stockholm, Sweden, today I’m bringing you on one of my Artist Dates at Hornsgatspuckeln. You know Artist dates, right? It’s a visit to somewhere that inspires you, rejuvenates you, and makes you want to run home to create. I’m not doing one every week, as recommended, but some weeks I do several in a row, and this was an entire day in the art gallery district of the capital of Sweden, Stockholm…

Art at Hornsgatspuckeln photos by iHanna

We’re visiting what is fondly but unofficially called Hornsgatspuckeln, the Hump of Hornsgatan, a raised part of that big bustling street. Hornsgatan is in the southern area of Stockholm, between Slussen and Old town, and at this particular area of the street you’ll find several small (some tiny) art galleries in a row. Take a couple of hours if you’re going here – and have coffee breaks in between!

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Drawing a Card for someone special

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?
Sun Tzu

A doodle card colored photo by iHanna of

As you know I love to doodle, especially flowers. I fill pages in my notebook and I create doodled borders in a mindless and loose way. But recently I decided to doodle with a purpose on a bit thicker paper, watercolor paper in a pad. These doodles turned into little drawings, that turned out quite nice if I may say so myself. I had a lot of fun coloring them in using both markers and watercolors…

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Documenting a week of your life

Week in the Life 2012 | Photos + journaling = Printed Photo Book

I document my life all the time. I’m kind of obsessed with documenting life. I journal. I photograph. I blog. I write. I instagram. I create videos. I… well, you get the picture. I love documenting life, so this project called Week in the Life is something I’m really into.
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10 ways I am enjoying summer right now

You may delay, but time will not.
Benjamin Franklin

Cherries on the table photo by iHanna

I was just thinking that July sucked. That it brought mostly bad weather and boring, lonely and long days, but as I look back on my photos and notes, I see I am (mostly) wrong. There were some cherries on top of it…

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Art Journal Peek: Act as if…

Today let’s take another peek into my art journal, shall we? It’s just one spread but with a few photos of the details. You know I like to go in close and zoom in on the details, weather it is flowers in nature or words on a page.

Art Journal Detail: Act as IF and magic will happen by iHanna

I like that saying that proclaims that if you act as if, you will be become that way – in a positive way. That’s why I wrote it on this page, just as a little note to myself…

Act as if! Act as if you’re a wealthy [wo]man, rich already, and then you’ll surely become rich. Act as if you have unmatched confidence and then people will surely have confidence in you. Act as if you have unmatched experience and then people will follow your advice. And act as if you are already a tremendous success, and as sure as I stand here today – you will become successful.
Jordan Belfort

If you don’t believe it, here is a fact that might make you change your mind: When we are happy, we smile. However, the reverse also occurs: we smile, and so we are happy – because smiling literally increases blood-flow to the brain. I think that is something to think about.

I wish I could remember this quote every day, because then I would act as if I was super cool and had loads of money a lot more! ;-)

Here is the whole spread, where I have been using both acrylics and watercolors, and cut out a whole bunch of doodles from my other notebooks:

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Doodeling in the Ocean

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.
Peter Marshall

Patterns in the Sky or as we say Cloud Porn - photo by Hanna Andersson/iHanna

This small island is called Grinda, it has some rental cabins, a camping ground, two places to eat and one little shop/coffee place for boat tourists to stock up on frozen food and shampoo I guess. We went to a place called Backfickan, just on the water. I had a delicious hamburger, and then a coffee to go – because now it was time to explore…

Flowers in Grinda by iHanna of

Well, not explore really. Just walk around, snap photos, admire the swan family’s super cute kids , and to take a look at the beautiful fauna…

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Stockholm from the Waterfront

Asking ourselves, ‘Where am I right now?’ gives us a chance to step outside the internal dialogue for a moment of peace. Look around you, take a deep breath and notice what you see, hear and feel. Present moment awareness is the point of power and choice. It frees us from our compulsive thoughts.
Laura Harvey

Heading out to the Stockholm Archipelago

If you find yourself in the capital of Sweden on a hot summer day, I suggest you head out to the archipelago. Since Stockholm is built on water the archipelago is close and you can go with any of the ferries in the city. My goal for the past three years has been to head out there at least once each summer, more if possible. This year we hit a perfect day for it. Puffy clouds and sunshine, wind in my hair and time to document it with my camera…

Stockholm on water

After a quick walk through the city, you can enter a ferry boat and settle in with that feeling of boundless freedom that traveling always brings (even a short travel for about 2 hours gives me that feeling of letting go of all my troubles/compulsive thoughts) …

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