1. Always, always, always draw your basic shape or swirl FIRST with a pencil. Use a light hand to avoid getting an indent in the paper. Do NOT use the eraser on the pencil to erase the pencil line... use a white eraser or one specifically marketed for art/drafting. Erase with a light hand as well.

2. Whatever marker you choose, draw in the thicker lines first over your pencil marks. Erase the pencil and then add the finer more detailed lines.

3. Inspiration for doodles is everywhere. Do an internet search for "doodles" or check out digital scrapbooking sites for examples of doodles. Picture frames, mirrors, designs on fabric and clothing, book covers, knick-knacks, wallpaper, jewelry, all provide fabulous inspiration !!

4. Don't go overboard. Sometimes a little goes a long way. A flower here, a vine there. Of course, there is the occasional need to doodle on every inch of a layout.

5. Experiment with your handwriting. Get a notebook. If you see a letter that catches your eye, write it down in that style. Practice until you like what you write. You do not have to be a calligrapher to make your handwriting look awesome. Practice keeping your letters the same size with the same spacing.

6. Use those old stencil/shape templates !! A lot of us have them. Those old templates sitting around in a binder or a drawer. They are perfect for the starting point of a doodle. Find a basic shape you like... a star, a heart, a flower. Trace it lightly. If your template has the shape in a few sizes, great, trace the smaller sizes near, on, inside, whatever... next to the first shape. Now you have your basic place to start. Using your marker or pen, write over your pencil lines using dots, lines and dashes, squiggles or whatever makes you happy !!

7. Have fun !!