My Favorite Watercolor Supplies

This post contains affiliate links. That simply means that if you purchase something from this page, I will get a small commission from that purchase. This helps me continue to make great content for you! For more information, you can read about it here.

One of the hardest parts of getting started with any creative medium is knowing what materials to buy. While a lot of things are trial and error based on what works for you, I wanted to share some of my current go-to art supplies as a watercolor artist! 

I have been using watercolor paints almost exclusively for the last 3 years and during that time I have learned so much about what works well for me. I have also had the opportunity to try new supplies! I am always looking for more new paints to try but these are my favorites as of right now!

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Tools for Beginning Modern Calligraphy & Hand Lettering

Before I get started I want it to be really clear that you don’t need any special materials to start using hand lettering. You can use all the best materials or you can use a simple pencil or pen. It can be so easy to get caught up in the thinking that you can’t start without all the right materials, I lived in that world for a long time.

When I started learning calligraphy I was so overwhelmed by all the supplies and not knowing what to get for different projects. I purchased a lot of supplies that I never use because I didn’t fully understand what each of them does.

Hence, the creation of this list. It is my hope that I can break down some of my favorite materials so that you can make a more informed decision.

Brush Lettering

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens

These are my absolute favorite pens for everyday lettering. I use them for most projects as well as in my bullet journal. They really are perfect for almost any project!

The set includes a hard nib (Blue pen) and a softer nib (black pen).
Get your Fudenosuke 2-pack here.

Tombow Fudenosuke Colored Brush Pens

Just like the pens above, except they are colored! I just picked these up and they are seriously fun to play with! All the pens are great for things like bullet journaling.

Get your colored Fudenosuke 10-pack here.

Tombow Dual Brush Pens

What can I say? Tombow makes amazing pens for lettering! These are better for bigger projects, but you can do so much with these amazing pens! These water-based markers blend easily to create some really unique projects!

Get your Tombow Dual Brush pens here.

Pigma Micron Fine Liners

Not all lettering has to be done with brush letters. Sometimes a fine line is a perfect balance with brushed calligraphy. I use these pens in my journals and to create fine lines or even doodled additions.

Get your Micron fine liners here.

Luechtturm1917 Journal

There are so many different journals that you can use to get started. This is my absolute favorite journal. The pages are gorgeous and numbered. I tend to be really hard on my journals and these wear really well! This isn’t limited to using for bullet journalling either. I use my journals for notes, journaling, ideas, etc…

Grab your Leuchtturm1917 here.

If you’re interested, I did a comparison post between Leuchtturm1971 and Moleskine where I break down all the details of each journal. You can read that here.

What We’ve Learned from Full-time Travel & Why It’s Not For Us

At the end of August 2018, we embarked on a journey that I had craved my entire life. This journey was beautiful and messy and everything we need at that moment. Full-time travel had always been my dream. I remember when I was in high school, my plan after graduation was to drive out of town and when I found my home, I would just know. Then, I got married, had a baby, and that plan continually was pushed back.

My desire to live on the road never went away, though. This was something I wanted not only for myself but also for my daughter. And, to be honest, it still hasn’t gone away, even though we have made the decision to not continue traveling full-time (more on this in a bit). 

Selling everything and leaving home was one of the best decisions we made. In a short time, I learned so much about myself, my passion for travel, and my mental capacity. We gained more clarity in a month and a half than I had during any other part of my life. There are many people who will not (and do not) understand our decision, but I am at peace with that. We have to live our best lives and sometimes that means shifting and changing as we grow.

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15 Inspiring Female Artists to Follow on Instagram

Instagram is such an amazing platform for artists because it is so visual. Over the last year, I have been looking for more and more amazing woman artists on Instagram to follow! I am always inspired by the amazing things they are accomplishing and it helps push me forward in my business as well!

I have been really intentional recently to create a feed that only gives me good vibes and doesn’t trigger my anxiety or depression. This is a process that I am constantly refining, but essentially I only follow people I actually want to see on a daily basis (that even includes unfollowing some friends and family!). My mental and emotional health is something that I am learning to be more intentional with and that reaches to my social media feeds. 

So, I’ve chosen to fill my feed with people who feed my soul and these amazing 15 female artists on Instagram definitely do just that!


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12 Tips for Self-employed, Homeschooling Mamas | Working from home & Managing all the Things

When I made the decision that I was going to homeschool my daughter while also working from home for myself as a blogger and artist, a lot of people thought I was a little bit crazy. While there were some amazing people in my life who were super supportive, the majority of people thought that I was trying to do too much. I began scouring the internet looking for resources on balancing everything and I was thoroughly disappointed by the results. Most posts gave the most basic tips ever and I was consistently left wanting more. That was about a year and a half ago. 

Now, I am feeling a bit better about this journey. I definitely don’t have it all figured out, but I have learned so much over the last year. So, if you’re thinking of working for yourself and homeschooling, know that you’ve got this mama!! I have compiled 12 tips that have made a huge difference for me as I have taken my business serious and found a flow in homeschooling.

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Answering Your Full-Time Family Travel Questions

It was about 2 months ago to the day that we made the decision to head out to travel full-time. This wasn’t a new idea to Kendall and I, but it was something that we had been working towards happening several months down the line. However, life brought some huge change and we made the decision that there was no time like now to go. 

There are so many questions we have gotten from friends, family, and people who are beginning travel themselves. I made the decision to answer some of our most asked questions. 

Why Travel Full-Time?

Traveling full-time is something that we have been working towards for a really long time, though we weren’t always sure what it would look like or if it was realistic for our lives. We love the idea of experiencing places that are vastly different from what we know and expanding Marie’s worldview. We want to travel slowly, truly spending time in a location and experiencing the local scenes. We want to connect with people all over the world.

As we begin our travel journey, we don’t have it all figured out. We have our Fall planned, but that is about it. We are looking forward to the experiences that will come that we don’t see coming right now. 

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Introducing The Sleepy Pine Studio | Why the name change, what to expect, and more!

Welcome to The Sleepy Pine, formerly known as Erica Gilliam Studio. I am so excited to share with you all the amazing things that have been happening in my life! I have always been someone who embraces the process that is required for personal growth and change. For years, people have seen my shifts and changes as “flakey” or “indecisive” and while there is a bit of truth in that, it doesn’t look at the whole picture.  Every choice in my life has brought me closer and closer to the place that I am at today, to living my most authentic life. 

8 months ago, I made the decision to make art full-time. This was a huge leap of faith, but I knew that it was the right decision for me. During this time, I have been really intentional to learn more about who I am, how I work, and what is important to me. Everything brought me closer to accepting the person that I truly am, indecision and all.

However, making art isn’t all that I am passionate about. Yes, it is a huge part of it, but there are so many more things that I need to share and I needed an outlet to share them.  I looked at all the options… Have a separate blog/youtube for the lifestyle stuff, just share it in my Instagram stories, have a blog with my husband, etc… But the reality is, I am not a person that likes to compartmentalize. I actually want a very blurred line between my “work” and my “life”.  I believe that it is all cohesive and connected. 

So, I made the riskiest decision I have made thus far, combine it all. This is where The Sleepy Pine comes in. The Sleepy Pine is about life, family, and passion. It is about exploration and adventure. It is about embracing who you are and creating the life that you dream of. The Sleepy Pine is me, through and through. Not the version of me that I thought people may be interested in or the version of me that I thought I should be, but the real me.  Continue Reading

Homemade Flatbread | Easy, Budget & Kid Friendly

I don’t know about you, but bread gives me life.  I feel like it completes a meal, yet can also become a meal all on its own.  And for someone who struggles a wee bit with her relationship with food, sometimes I just need something that I know I will enjoy as a part of my meals. 

Recently, my husband and I watched the documentary Cooked on Netflix. If you haven’t watched it yet, stop everything and go watch it! Seriously, it’s that good.  My husband absolutely loves cooking and so we watch a lot of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, cooking documentaries, and more! 

                                                                 Back to Cooked….  Continue Reading

Leuchtturm1917 vs Moleskine | Bullet Journal Comparison

This post contains affiliate links. That simply means that if you purchase something from this page, I will get a small commission from that purchase. This helps me continue to make great content for you! For more information, you can read more here.

I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say that I have a journal addiction. I love getting a new journal.  I use them to plan my life, take notes, and track personal and business growth. My favorite journals to use for everything are journals with a dot grid (Bullet Journal).  I love that I can write in a straight line, but the dots don’t limit you to stay within and specific area.  The possibilities are endless!

I consider my journals an investment because they get so much use.  A year ago, I decided to invest in a Moleskine and a Leuchtturm1917 journal. Here is a detailed comparison of each journal as well as how it lasted throughout the year.
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10 ways to love yourself everyday

We aren’t really taught how to love ourselves. If I’m honest, that is a pretty hard thing to teach because it is so emotionally driven. Instead, we focus on others. We spend our time and energy making sure people’s needs are met.

However, more often than not, we neglect ourselves in the process. We really don’t mean to, it’s just a lot easier to be intentional for others rather than ourselves.

But the truth is…
           if you don’t take time for yourself, you will get burnt out.

By taking the time to care for ourselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally, we create more space to live big, bold, abundant lives! It’s not always an easy transition to make towards loving yourself, but like many things in life, the more you act, the easier the actions become.
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