Taking Stock – November 2016

I follow a pretty clever cookie online by the name of Pip Lincoln. Her blog, Meet Me at Mikes is one I love to read, it’s kinda like catching up with an old friend. I know a lot about Pip from reading her books and her blog and it seems like we are friends, if only the virtual kind! Although, I did get to meet her ages ago when she popped up to Brisbane to speak at a BrisStyle event, which was very cool!

Anyway, Pip has this fabulous way of stopping and checking in about where she is at in life, so I thought I’d take a cue from her and take stock at the beginning of November 2016. The last few months have been crazy busy, the kind of busy where you don’t quite get to catch your breath but I wouldn’t change a minute of them! But I don’t think I’ll plan two big, European holidays in the space of four months again.

Just in case you are interested, Pip has a fabulously awesome online blogging course and at the moment you can get two courses bundled at a super cheap discount – she is diving into writing a new book soon so these classes will be retired so this is the last chance to join in if you are so inclined. Her courses come with a wonderfully supportive Facebook group as well.

So, let’s take stock for November –

A girl from the art journal started in Italy
A girl from the art journal started in Italy

Making : finishing pages in my Italy retreat journal

Drinking : endless cups of Madura tea

Reading : A new one by my favourite author – Nora Roberts. Stars of Fortune is the first novel in her new Guardians trilogy.

Wanting : nothing at all! It’s almost Christmas & I’ve had two overseas holidays in the past few months so I think I’m sorted.

Playing : constant games of ball with Zed

Deciding : on a word for 2017.

Enjoying : lunch with my bestie for her birthday

Waiting : for Summer to be over already

Liking : my new short haircut!

Loving : my family

Robyn Wood Purple Salt www.purplesalt.net
Can’t wait to see Sydney Harbour again!

Pondering : a list of sights to see when Chris and I travel to Sydney at the end of November

Considering : my word for 2017.  Adventure has worked pretty well for me this year

Watching : catch up episodes of the TV I missed while in Italy

Hoping : that Summer isn’t too hot

Marveling : at the changes Summer is bringing to our local area

Needing : a good sleep

Smelling : the changes of Spring to Summer

Feeling : sad. My father-in-law passed away last week

Thinking : of a life well lived. Noel lived life to the full, travelled the world with his family and pursued his passions of work, family and the church. Taken too soon but I don’t think he wasted a second of life.

Admiring : the beautiful horses in the Melbourne Cup

Pelican - Minnippi Parklands
Pelican – Minnippi Parklands

Sorting : the 512 photos I took at the Canon photo session at Minnippi Parklands. It was so good to have a camera in my hand while watching the world pass by for an afternoon. This gorgeous pelican had a particular charm as he sauntered around, hoping for food.

Buying : plane tickets to Sydney

Getting : organized for the next few months of classes and card kits

Disliking : the heat

Opening : the mail. Urgh…only bills this week!

Our beautiful girl Paige
Our beautiful girl Paige

Giggling : at the crazy ways a whippet can be comfortable

Snacking : on potato chips

Coveting : new craft supplies

Wishing : I get selected for the new design team with Jane Davenport – talk about dream come true!

Hearing : the new Passenger album

Five Favourites – Black Pens for Mixed Media

As a mixed media artist I have a bunch of favourite pens, well more than a bunch really, but I thought it would be good to share my favourite five with you. Actually I had a lot of problems narrowing it down to just five….

5 fav Black pens - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt.jpg


this might give you an idea why……

If you have followed me for a while you will know that I like a challenge. I rarely follow through right to the end, but there is something about the whole idea of joining in a challenge, often with others around the world that gets inspiration pumping.

It doesn’t particularly worry me that I don’t finish – the whole idea of joining in in the first place is to be involved, try new things and hope for that spark that leads to a set of new ideas, skills, friends or opportunities.

Last year, I attended the ProBlogger conference on the Gold Coast and found it an enormous boost to my knowledge about blogging and provided a bit of a kickstarter to getting this blog moving. The boost lasted while I moved to the blog being self-hosted and redesigned the look and feel, but in the busyness of everyday life and taking an overseas holiday, somehow the groove got lost …. almost obliterated really.

In the lead up to the next ProBlogger conference, I’m joining in the challenge run by Darren Rouse of ProBlogger aimed at getting us into our blogging groove again. The challenge started last week and involves a daily podcast from Darren with the issue of a different blogging challenge and ways we can accomplish it through posting to our blog along with lots of helpful info or the technical or creative side. Darren is in touch with a large variety of bloggers from all over the world and he is able to present these challenges with real examples of how others have created posts and the problems they may face.

The challenge for day one is to create a ‘list post’ – simple, straightforward and one that I can use to share my love of black pens with you.

5 favs - black pens Robyn Wood Purple Salt


The quest to find the perfect black pen has led me on an almost magical, mystery tour of stationary stores, online shops, blogs, Instagram, online classes and diving into the rabbit hole of Pinterest. It seems that everyone has a favourite (or three) about which they wax lyrical and long, but as I’ve found, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will also like their choice.

Carbon Platinum ‘Epic’ Pen – This fountain pen is manufactured by Platinium Pen Co in Japan and comes with cartridges full of permanent black ink. Being a fountain pen you can also switch out the cartridge for a refillable insert and use whatever ink you like.

A fountain pen might seem an odd choice for mixed media but this pen gives a wonderful, fine line over pretty much any surface and the ink dries so fast. I need to credit my teacher Jane Davenport for introducing this Epic Pen to me during classes – I don’t think I’ve ever regretted buying something on her recommendation and this pen is no different. In fact I have a few – one for my desk, one for my travel sketch pouch, another as a back up and yet another just because 🙂

I recently found that you can also get them in a slightly wider nib, giving a more robust line and I think I will enjoy playing with it as well.

The Carbon Platinium pen can be a little hard to source but you will find it in the Jane Davenport store here, Jane calls it the Epic Pen as it really is EPIC! Don’t forget to check out her online classes while you are there as she has lots to inspire you.

Pentel Rollerball – I think of this one as the 4WD of my black pens. It will write on any surface, regardless of how shiny, bumpy, scratchy it is and never give up. If you now of the Scarlet Lime pen from Christy Tomlinson then this is the same one, Christy found out they were being discontinued so bought the whole stock off Pentel and got the barrels branded.

This is another one that can be hard to find so when you do – buy a box full!

Posca – my go-to pen for beginners. Filled with quick drying, acrylic paint Posca pens come in a wide range of colours and nib widths. They have an affordable price point and easy availability, you will find them everywhere from the local stationary shop to fine art store. I like that they give a solid line but hate that I have to shake them so often (before each use and during use).

Pitt Artist Pen – these high quality pens from Faber-Castell are full of India ink so they dry fast and are totally permanent & lightfast. There is a range of nib widths and also have an option with a brush tip. Being a Faber-Castell product they also come in a range of colours with the same type of ink and the colours co-ordinate with the rest of their product range. It makes it so easy to create something using pens, pastels, pencils that will all play nicely colour-wise.

Uni-ball Micro Deluxe – This is an old favourite and one that I have been using for many years for my paid work in quality assurance, I was so pleased when I discovered it was also perfect for mixed media. Manufactured by Mitsubshi Pencil Co in Japan, it carries the wonderful Japanese quality and usability.

I love how it feels in my hand and that the ink seems to last forever. I’ve never had one gum up, despite carrying them with me on interstate & international flights and on camping trips in horrid weather.

I’d love to hear about your favourites – why not leave me a comment with your top five?

Fly – an art journal page

I have long been fascinated by all things flight related – quotes, images, birds, butterflies, balloons, dragonflies, moths & anything insect with wings. I love that whoosh of excitement as a jet plane gets ready for takeoff, going so fast that you think it might run out of runway, only to lift impossibly off the ground and take to the air. It is probably no surprise that such imagery often pops up in my art and this page is no exception.

Robyn Wood, Purple Salt, www.purplesalt.net

I’ll be teaching how to create it this Sunday at Bella Paperie and I’d love you to join me. Last month we explored backgrounds and texture, this month we will focus on adding stamped images to a page using a variety of techniques.

Robyn Wood - Fly page.jpg


















We will be working in an A4 sized journal and here is a basic list of what we will be using in class so please bring what you have available – dye based markers in butterfly colours, permanent stamping ink in black & dark blue (Archival brand), Liquitex white gesso, Liquitex matt medium, texture paste, palette knife, approx. 1” wide brush, variety of smaller brushes, scissors, pencil, rubber, black permanent pen, white Sharpie paint pen, 2–3 matt acrylic paints in warm & cool colours (Distress & Dylusions paints are perfect), small sponges for paint, collage material if you have it, spray bottle, non–stick craft mat, baby wipes, paper towel, container for water.

Bella Paperie is located at Shop 33, 302 South Pine Road, Brendale. Phone 3205 5911. Why not join us on Facebook?

A Seahorse Tag for Bella Style Wednesday

Check out the sweet tag that I will Filename, Robyn Wood, Purple Saltbe teaching tomorrow at Bella Paperie!

Join me tomorrow for this weeks Bella Style Wednesday Project. It is a sweet tag inspired by the ocean using stamps by Darkroom Door and beautiful papers from Blue Fern Studios.

This class is run as a drop in arrangement – arrive any time 9am – 11.30am and you can create my project for $5. No need to book!

Please bring your basic cardmaking tool kit plus sponges and a  distress tool. I will be using Distress inks in Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean & Frayed Burlap so bring them along to save waiting.
Bella Paperie is located at Shop 33, 302 South Pine Road, Brendale. Phone 3205 5911.


Mixed media class at Bella Paperie

Have you always wanted to learn more about mixed media and art journaling?

Do you want to brush up on your skills?

Do you want to spend a lazy Sunday surrounded by paint, collage, colour and texture?


Come and join me this Sunday at Bella Paperie for a mixed media class to create a bright and colourful dreamcatcher themed art journal page! You will learn some of my signature techniques for using bright colour and incorporating stamped images and inks into a page. Beginners are welcome but the more experienced journaler will still find lots to learn.

Give the store a call to book in on 3205 5911. The class will be held this Sunday, May 15 and run 10am – 2pm with a break for lunch and cost $30.


Bella Paperie will have gesso, matt medium & texture paste to share if you do not have any until you are able to get your own. If you already art journal, bring your usual kit but the following is a guide of what we will be using – bring what you can to save time sharing!

  • A4 sized journal
  • Liquitex white gesso
  • Liquitex matt medium
  • texture paste
  • palette knife
  • approx. 1” wide brush
  • variety of smaller brushes
  • black permanent ink
  • pencil & rubber
  • black permanent pen
  • white Sharpie paint pen
  • 2-3 matt acrylic paints in warm & cool colours (Distress & Dylusions paints are perfect)
  • small sponges for paint
  • collage material if you have it
  • spray bottle
  • non-stick craft mat
  • baby wipes
  • paper towel
  • container for water
  • heat tool