2017 Year in Review

Happy New Year!

I want to create a special post that sorta sums up my year for 2017. You know that although I had been blogging since 2016, I only got my own website in 2017. Boy have I been blessed with this outlet to share my creativity and inspire others to do something creative every day.  There are several things that I am going to discuss, to include my subscription to Sketchbox, My first Mandala Collection, Christmas Gifts I created and my favorite creations of the year. So grab your cup of coffee or your favorite beverage and lets get started!

SketchBox

For those of you that don’t know, Sketchbox is a monthly subscription box for artists to try out different mediums. I have really been excited by everything that I have been able to create using the products I have received through these boxes. Some of my favorite products include a watercolor sketchbook, a full sepia Copic fineliner set, and last but not least watercolor pencils, this is only to name a few. If you would like to go back and review my unboxing posts you can visit them by clicking on the links below.

May  

June

JulyJuly Grab box  

August

September

October

 November

December

Mandala Collection I

For me, this was a huge accomplishment.  I wanted to start a collection of the mandala that was similar and yet different at the same time. For this collection, I chose to draw my mandala on gradient paper with black fineliners and a white gel pen. I was so happy how each one came out so different than the ones before.  Prints of these will be available in my shop once I get it all online. Stay tuned for this special collection. Each one of these mandalas are so special to me. I wrote a different post for each one, which you can visit below:

Mandala #1

Mandala #2

Mandala #3

Mandala #4

Mandala #5

Personalized Gifts

One of my favorite things to do is create something beautiful and personal for my friends, family, and co-workers. I truly enjoy the look on their face when they realize it is not only an original, but there are no others like it in the world. I want to share these few gifts with you.

Personalized Parties

Every birthday that happens in my house is a reason to celebrate. With the birthdays spread throughout the year, we are able to party all year long! Starting in February with my two from my previous marriage celebrating, then moving to my youngest two in June, oldest two in July and 3rd oldest in November. Mix that in with all the holidays and we rarely don’t have a reason to bust out some exciting party decorations. But also, because we have so many celebrations, It’s important that we get creative with them all, most of the decorations were homemade. Check out the following posts about my under the sea themed party for my youngest two.

Under the Sea

Octopus Guard

Sea Sponges

Jellyfish Mood Lighting

Furniture Painting

The absolute highlight of my year was creating a beautiful work of art for my mother. She brought this table to me and gave me no restrictions other than she wanted a Charity Original painted on top. Painted?! I’ve never painted anything detailed like the creations I have made.  Check out how this table progressed by clicking on the links below:

Scallopped Table #1

Scallopped Table #2

There are several other projects that I completed this year for Christmas Gifts to include a 12×12 personalized mandala painting on canvas, a monogrammed lazy susan and a phoenix staff for my best guy friend. All of these projects were special in their own ways and were hard to keep a secret for as long as I could since I love to share my progress pictures with the special people that received these gifts.

My Favorites of the Year

 

Final Thoughts

I do want to send out a special thank you for all of you that have supported me this year. I couldn’t have done this without you cheering me on. Special thanks to my fiance’ who has stuck by my side while I have spent the long hours trying to make something out of nothing. I love each and every one of you and I can only hope that in 2018, we will see a lot more growth from CraftyArtistKC. Help me make this year a good one by sharing my site with your friends family and social media accounts. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Let me know in the comments below, what was your favorite project or post from this year!

Missing in Action?

No, I am not missing. But, I do want to share a beautiful adventure that we are on. We are working towards buying our first home together. Between house hunting and now narrowing in our our preferred home, I have been very busy.   It doesn’t help that most of my supplies are packed as well. Armed with only a .05 pen and an inexpensive sketchbook, I have been doodling when I have some down time. You can catch them all on my Instagram as I do them. I also have a few within this post, nothing spectacular, just doodling.

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So where does that leave us? The site? Well, hopefully in the month of October, I will have a lot to share about home decorating DIY’s and I will want to share my adventures of building my own Art Studio/Office from scratch! Are you excited? Because I know that I am.

So, do not fret, I am returning in full swing. This site is too important to me.  In the meantime, If you have any tips/tricks for moving and organizing you would love to share, I would love to read them in the comments below!

Third-Degree #6

For this weeks third degree Thursday, I have decided to ask my audience questions. I would love to hear from each and everyone of you, but I realize that may be asking too much. So, here is a list of questions for you to answer in the comments.

1. What is a short summary of your blog?

2. What would you like to see more of on my blog?

3. Would you like to participate in my Showcase Sunday series?

4. What is your favorite blog post of mine (check back as I have been doing this less than a year)?

5. If you could ask me one question, professional or personal, what would it be?

Thank you for your responses in advance. I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments below!

Third-Degree #5

How do you come up with your drawings?

I know it sounds crazy to think that I just wing it, but I rarely map out any piece I do. I just put pen to paper and sometimes something really cool comes out, and sometimes I am just not feeling it. When that happens I find myself putting the drawing away until a day when I am looking to finish something I started previously.

Most of the time when I do finish a project that I previously hated, it ends up being on of my favorite pieces. My advice to you is if you ever come across a point in your art where you just aren’t “feeling it” Don’t be afraid to put it to the side until a later day. Sometimes I returned a few hours later and I have some pieces that have been sitting aside for several months that I haven’t returned to yet. But do not throw away anything away, you never know when you will see exactly what you wanted at the start.


I look forward to answering any questions you may have in the next Third-Degree Thursday post! Please remember that you can ask me anything, if I don’t know the answer right off, I love researching.

 

Third Degree #4

This week I thought I would tell you a little bit about myself and answer a fun questionnaire I found online here.


1.What is your greatest strength as an artist?

I believe that my greatest strength is my perfectionism. I take a lot of time and pride in every piece that I do. Some of them take upwards of a week to complete because of the details, and some of them, like in my Lunch-time Doodles, only take 45 minutes.

2. What is your greatest weakness as an artist?

I think that my greatest weakness as an artist is also my perfectionism. Sometimes, I am just not happy with the lines and I end up restarting, which is horrible. When I was in elementary school, my mother was my teacher. When I would turn in my school work that she thought wasn’t my best handwriting, she would rip it up and I would start all over again. This practice has followed me my entire life. In high school, the teachers would ask if someone who was absent could copy off my notes because they were always the most neat, and colorful!

3. What is holding you back from supporting yourself on your art income alone?

Well, to be honest, I have no art income, therefore, I can’t support myself. Although it is something I am striving towards, I do have many kids that also need supporting right now too. I know sometimes it is hard enough to support yourself on an artists income, much less kids as well.

4. What is the hardest thing about being a working artist?

The hardest thing for me is finding time. With four full-time kids at the house, and working a full-time job, It is very hard to find time to just sit and create. Often times, I don’t get to sit down until after the youngest have gone to bed, which is usually after 8 or 9pm.

5. Have do you use social networking the most to promote your art?

Well, I have several social media networking sites found here. I use these sites to bring my art to people who don’t use every social media. I feel like it puts it in front of many more eyes to post on them all. My mother only uses Facebook. In my mind, one day it will get in front of the right eyes and someone will want to take on this adventure with me!

6. What is one unique thing you do to promote your art?

Well, I have begun to take tattoo suggestions and I will begin promoting my art through permanent ink of the beautiful bodies who request them. I have 4 in the works right now and I can’t wait to post about them on my blog.

7. How do you feel is the best way to get people to buy your art?

I think for me, the best way to get started is with a coloring book. Eventually, I have some full color books that I am working on, but for now, the first step is publishing a coloring book.

8. Why would you buy your own art?

I would buy my own art because it speaks to me. My most favorite theme is the mandala I do. They are relaxing to draw and very pleasing to the eye. Once I get more comfortable with color, I want to start experimenting with different mediums.

9. Do you sell reproductions of your art?

Currently I do not, but It is something that I am looking into. Typically, I have been giving them away as gifts to friends and family that have either requested them specifically or have a certain appreciation for it.

10. What are your thoughts on going to art school? Worth it? Too expensive? Quality of Teachers? What don’t they teach you in art school that they should?

This is a really great question. I, personally, have never been to art school so I can’t comment on whether or not I believe it is worth the cost. I believe that there are a  lot of great sites out there that offer free courses that help with color theory and other studies. I do, however, believe that going to art school does not make you a better artist if you don’t already have the basic skill in your life. BUT, I do believe that art school does help you refine the skill you already have.


I hope that you have learned a lot about me and I look forward to answering any questions you may have in next Thursdays Third-Degree Thursday post! Please remember that you can ask me anything, if I don’t know the answer right off, I love researching.

See you NEXT THURSDAY!!

Third-Degree #3

Do you know any sites that provide daily/weekly prompts/inspirations/themes?

This is a great question. First of all, looking for prompts can be as easy as searching on google. But if you want prompts that inspire and are unique, you have to look at little further. I will give you three sites for a few different subjects that I have used on my blog and in my personal journals.

Art Prompts –

  1. I am the Diva – On this blog, you will see that she does weekly challenges that teach you Zentangle techniques as well as provides interesting ways to use them. I have been looking at her challenges for a while and I always love what she comes up with.
  2. MadebyJoey – On this blog, you will also see weekly challenges. Her challenges are very interesting and typically run in series or themes. Right now she is going through the alphabet choosing a Zentangle pattern to go with each letter.

Bullet Journal Prompts –

  1. Pageflutter – This link will take you to ideas on how to build and section off your bullet journal for the year. She shows plenty of pictures so that you won’t have questions on how to do what she is trying to share.
  2. Bullet Journal – To be honest, I couldn’t possibly chose a place for Bullet Journal ideas without including this site. This is a very detailed site on ideas, themes, how-to and reviews. It was the first site that I visited when I was learning about the idea of Bullet Journals.

Journal Prompts –

  1. Daring to live fully – I have to say that I actually happened to stumble on this site, but it looks to be a very very detailed list of prompts that is sure to keep you busy for a long time!
  2. Creative Writing Now – If you need a little push in the right direction, or if you need an idea that sparks your creative writing, this is the place to go. She has a lot of information that is crucial to anyone who wants to write better.

Blog Prompts –

  1. Digital Marketer – Go to this site and save the page so that you can read it even when you are offline. This page is pretty thorough. Don’t read unless you are very serious about kicking your blog off to a very unique start. This list is extensive and will keep you blogging.
  2. Lostgenygirl – This is a lifestyle blog that helps you write about yours. It is very intense and personal, but in a really great way. Give it a try to see what you come up with.

Blog Help –

  1. Postach.io Blog – This site is dedicated to helping your blog become more successful. The blog has several article that will guide you to a better blog.
  2. Heather Buchman – This wonderful lady has all the steps to lead a successful life. How do you fit in everything you need to do? She gives so much insight on this topic.

I want to challenge you to take one prompt from one of these sites and put it to use in your own blog. After you have completed this challenge, link it in the comments below so that everyone can learn more about you and your blog.

So just like this week, I am asking for questions that you have. They can be about me, about my art, about art supplies or methods. Practically, any question you have I will do my best to get an answer for you by next Thursday.

I look forward to hearing and researching for you!

Third Degree #2

Here are the questions from last week.

How do you organize and store your art supplies?

This question can only truly be answered with pictures. YAY! Everyone likes pictures right? So, the first thing I want to say is that I have a TON of pens and pencils. Seriously, I have accumulated way more than my share for sure. But I wanted them to be at my fingertips. So, I decided I would get crafty and make some canisters for them to sit in.

All I did was take some 12×12 scrapbook paper I had lying around from my years of scrapbooking and cut them to size in order to go around old formula cans I used to get for the babies. These canisters work perfectly, in the beginning. I now have so many that I can’t keep them all in canisters anymore. I have purchased a case from amazon that allows me to hold all 120 of my gel pens that I recently purchased there as well.

All of my paper I keep in plastic drawers that are 12×12 and 8.5×11. I like to keep my paper flat as opposed to keeping it in hanging folders or file folders on my desk. I feel like it keeps them flat and crisp.

How do you store your completed projects/artwork?

Because my artwork varies in sizes I have two ways of keeping these taken care of. First off, let me say that keeping your artwork out of the light, does help them keep longer. So, I have started using this box to keep my artwork in. It measures 14”L x 16”W x 8”H. This box allows me to keep my artwork inside. Currently, the largest paper I have is 11”x14” so it all fits.

Another solution that I have for my artwork is for my smaller pieces. The Zentangle or Artists Tiles that I have been known to work on I keep in a photo book. This works out great for me and I got this photo book from Hollar for $1.

I just thought my zentangle art fit so well in this book and it keeps all my lessons in one place. It is definitely a fun way to keep your art at your fingertips without framing it all. I highly recommend it.

So just like this week, I am asking for questions that you have. They can be about me, about my art, about art supplies or methods. Practically, any question you have I will do my best to get an answer for you by next Thursday.

I look forward to hearing and researching for you!

Third Degree #1

Here are the answers to your questions from last week.

1. What is your absolutely favorite go to art/craft material?

I would have to say that my favorite art/craft material is paper. The reason behind this is because I have been scrapbooking for years and years. I have done everything from scrapbooking, card making, wedding invitations, bookmarks, birthday banners and now my drawings. There are so many uses and types that I will never be able to explore them all, but it wont stop me from trying.

So just like this week, I am asking for questions that you have. They can be about me, about my art, about art supplies or methods. Practically, any question you have I will do my best to get an answer for you by next Thursday.

I look forward to hearing and researching for you!

My Inspiration

I have to start this blog by giving a shout out to all my fans and followers. The inspiration from you alone is enough to keep me going. I’m so blessed to be surrounded by such encouraging people. Thank you. I wanted to take a moment and tell you a little bit about why I do what I do and where I get my ideas from.

When I am relaxed, and feeling fun and carefree, I mostly draw my doodles. Now I think I do a great floral design, so mostly they stem from that, but I am inspired by the world around me. I watch a lot of YouTube videos and I there are several that I have loved being subscribed to, one of which is KC Doodle Art which you can find here. I hope to one day be bold enough to create videos of my progress, but I have yet to even look into the process. Nonetheless, I am inspired by the videos I see from artists just like me.

IMG_20170402_0001

Another place I draw inspiration from are my children, who are on the notepad I keep at work, pictured above. I have several “children” that frequent my home that have been attached to me by my relationships. My fiance has 3 boys that are all above the age of 16, my ex-husband has a 16 yr old son, whom I took care of since he was 2, I have a soon to be 8-year-old daughter, and two little ones, a 2-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. Every single one of these children have blessed my life and helped me see things in a different perspective. I love spending time with them and I love who I am because of them. The child I find myself being most inspired by though is my oldest daughter. She and I draw, write, and see the world artistically. We were recently discussing a book, Complete This Drawing, that I received from Christmas and her ideas of the drawings were just so refreshing. If you don’t know much about the book, there are a lot of squiggles and some a little more detailed that you have to finish. We both laughed about what we saw in the squiggles as we flipped through the pages.

Another place I draw inspiration from is gaming. I am a veteran World of Warcraft player, as I have been playing for over 10 years. I usually shy away from tv as I feel like I need to be doing something at all times. To be honest, 90% of the time, if I stop to watch tv, I fall asleep. So looking at fan art and the vast world that has been created digitally, It inspires me to think outside the box. It inspires me to put things together, that I may not have previously thought of, such as flowers and tentacles, which happen to be my new favorite things to combine!

I say all of this to say this,

“Look at the beauty around you and always try to see something differently than the rest of the world”

Its like when you are looking up at the clouds to try to determine their shapes. It’s that type of creativity and open-mindedness that the world is lacking in today. So be different, see life differently and inspire others to do the same!

Marry Christmas!!

Oh yes! My boyfriend of three and a half years, got down on his knee and asked me if I would marry him. With both of us coming out of horrible divorces, we both had an understanding that we would probably never marry again, but we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other.

So after we have all unwrapped our gifts on Christmas morning, he walks over on his knees and here I am, bedhead, pajamas, no makeup, preoccupied with posting the events of the morning on facebook. The kids are all playing with their new toys, and he says, “So, will you marry me?” And he hands me the most beautiful ring.

Of course, I say yes after asking him if he was joking.

Telling his family and mine over Christmas was amazing because everyone was very happy and thankful that we have taken this next step.

When is the date?  I say, after we save up, maybe two years. So, this now opens up a wedding planning section of my blog, which I am very happy about. I love this new adventure and I love that I have the opportunity to share this with all my friends and followers. Stay tuned and if you have any suggestions, comments, questions… tips and tricks, I am literally at square one and even though I was married before, we eloped, so I have NEVER had a wedding!

So Marry Christmas to you and yours!

9 Days

As I look at my last post, 9 days ago, I think about everything that has gone on in my life since then. I quit drawing, I quit writing, I quit blogging and I even quit working. My family was in crisis mode. When my family is in crisis mode, we band together and block all other things out. I am so blessed to be a part of the family that surrounds a member if they are going through something traumatic.

In my last post, “Dealing with Loss”, I wrote about losing my sister-n-law. But it was so much more than losing her physically. My brother lost his wife, my 2-year-old nephew lost his mother, and we lost a family member. During a time of loss, often times we lash out where there isn’t a problem. We get bruised easier by things that would normally roll off our back. We break down wherever we can find a place of solitude, for me, it was in the shower.

I also lost my grandmother, who I had been unable to visit for several years due to going through my own life crisis of divorce and becoming a single parent. Readjusting my entire life and trying to find out who I am, who I want to be and who I need to be. Just because I wasn’t able to see her though, didn’t mean that she wasn’t in my thoughts. I have very fond memories of her making me and my sister matching dresses, even if they did have frills. I remember every single Christmas, we would receive a wrapped shoebox full of all the goodies that she baked. And even though we all knew it was goodies, every year we were excited to see what came.

Just like with my sister-n-law, my grandmother always thought of others. They both were the types to go out of their way to make sure that every need they saw was met in one way or another. This world should be sad at the loss of not one, but two giving souls. They will both truly be missed.

So, how do I move on from here? I could stay saddened and burdened by the loss, or I can carry on the works of those two very special ladies. I’ve always had an empathetic point of view. I have always fought for the underdog and supplied where I saw a need. So those things, won’t change for me. But what I did find out was, I don’t have a lot of pictures of myself. Of course, I’m the type that would shy away from them, cursing the flash photography and family gatherings. But what I haven’t been thinking of, is the day I am gone from this earth. What memories will I leave behind?

So, it is my goal to touch more lives. To draw and not be so scared of what others might think about it. To sing, and not be ashamed of my happiness. To play with my kids and bring happiness into their lives. To compliment more, whether it is friends, family, co-workers or strangers. To help when I see someone struggling without having to be asked. To be understanding that we never know what is going on in other’s lives.

So, I know that if 9 days can change my life this drastically, it can change my view of how quickly life events can change others. My advice to you is laugh more, sing more, play more and be more positive. Be the change you wish to see in the world. If we all tried to be a little more positive, we could easily change the world into a more beautiful existence.

My Workspace

I have finally had a moment to go downstairs into my office to work on some things. As you can tell, I have a rather large desk and many things that help me be more successful at everything that I do. This desk is amazing because I got it for $50.00 from a swap shop.

Below you will see some pretty cool containers. They are formula containers that I wrapped with Scrapbook paper. The center one on the bottom I actually drew on with some permanent markers.

Having a space to call my own and to be able to actually hang out down here is so important to me. I’ve been working on the arm of my couch for too long and I need to focus on my space. The only thing that is missing from my space is a nice comfy chair. Right now, I am using a metal folding chair, which leaves little to be desired on my back when I’m done with some projects.