Mystery Blogger Award

First of all, I want to say how grateful I am for receiving this nomination from Emily.  I  was also blessed to do a Showcase Sunday with her, which you can find here!

The rules for the award are as follows:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. Answer the questions you were asked.
  7. You have to nominate 10 people.
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question.

Created by: Okoto Enigma

Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.” 

– Okoto Enigma

Let’s get started!

Three Things About Me

  1. I absolutely LOVE to throw birthday parties, pretty much for anyone that will let me, even though I stress myself out sometimes.
  2. Sharing my southern accent with anyone outside my inner circle scares me. It’s something I have been made fun of more times that I would like to admit.
  3. I have recently fallen in love with audio books. I listen to them at work and while I draw.

Questions I Received

If you could learn a new language instantly, what would you choose and why?

I would definitely learn Spanish. First of all, I believe it is an amazingly beautiful language and I have always been fascinated by it. Secondly, I would greatly benefit in my career if I were bilingual, with Spanish being my second language.

What book(s) do you reread over and over?

I haven’t. Once I read a book, I’m done with it. However, if there is a movie to be made, I like to reread it before the movie is released.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

This one is easy. Anything southern is a comfort to me. I love any foods that stick to your bones like rice and gravy, pinto beans and rice and country fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

Do you plan your blog posts in advance, or write them as the ideas come?

Although I should plan my blog posts, most of them are on the fly, how I feel that day and what feelings I want to share in relation to the art that I created.

If you could have any mythical creature as a companion, which would you choose?

I would choose a dragon. Hands down, without hesitation.

 

The Questions For My Nominees

How did you know you wanted to start blogging?

What would you say is the main idea behind your blog?

What movie or book do you most relate to and why?

Do you like your picture taken?

If you were a star wars character, who would you be?

And Last But Not Least…My Nominees!

I do not have 10 bloggers to nominate, but I will at least nominate these three.

Mom Journeys

Watching the Daisies

The Contented Crafter

 

2018 Bullet Journal Set up!

Bullet Journal Bandwagon time!!

Yes, you’ve seen some bullet journal posts from me in the past, but this one is going to be a little different. I bought this amazing notebook from MintPrincess, you can find her Etsy shop here.

I must say that I absolutely love it. The review for this book is short and sweet. “Buy it!” The spiral bound notebook is amazing for every page laying flat and being able to actually use the full page for a spread. It comes with a ruler that fits nicely in the spirals as well so you can always take it with you without the fear of losing it. The pages are thick enough that I have used almost every pen I own on it and I haven’t seen any bleed through except with my copic marker, which you will see below. Other than that, its great dotted paper and I have really fallen in love with it.

Ok, so lets get started with the cover page. I believe that everyone should use the first page of every journal or notebook to claim it. Put your info on this page to ensure that if lost, it is returned. I wanted to make the information stand out and make sure that it was very noticeable.

After this page was out of the way, I thought that the year at a glance was the next spread. I wanted these two spreads to sorta match since they shared a view, so it wasn’t hard to use the same colors when I did the yearly calendar. Now, you will see some fancy schmancy fauxligraphy here, but I assure you, it is just me faking it until I make it! Honestly, there was even a point where I had a tween moment and put a heart as the dot above the I, but…I recovered quickly.

The next spread I decided on was the birthday calendar. I didn’t want to squish them all on one page so I just split the pages up in six areas each and did one month for each area. Two-page spread with plenty of room for all the birthdays I had to put on there. Let me tell you, June is full! For your viewing pleasure, I took photos of the spread before I put any birthdays on it.

Ok, moving on to the next spread, cleaning schedule. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the amount of cleaning that has to be done in my house. I end up spending my entire weekend off, almost spring cleaning my house. So, I did a little research and came up with a game plan, so to speak, so that I did not feel so overwhelmed every weekend. Of course, I use this as just a suggestion and it may change and adapt over time, but for now, I think its just fine.

Since I had my cleaning schedule in place, I believed that the next thing I needed to do was to try to work on a daily schedule. There are clear objectives in my day, and planning them out is a great way for me to see what I need to accomplish and when. Although there are some things that are adaptable, I can at least have an outline laid out for me to refer to and hold myself accountable to.

Ok, now lets move onto some trackers that will help me out in the new year. One of the main trackers that I have been wanting to do is tracking my reading. I fell off the wagon last year and couldn’t even get through one book. This year, I have a goal of 10 books, with plenty of space for improvement on that number. This gives me about a month to get through a book, whether it is a physical book, ebook or audio book! When I complete one, I will write the title on the book and move on to the next one.

Since I am working on goals for the new year, why not make a full spread of some of the goals I have been setting for myself. These include creating 100 mandalas as part of the www.100mandalas.com challenge, Sing like no one is listening, Sell one of my artwork projects, practice my handwriting and learning a full song with both hands on the piano. I play the piano, but I am completely self taught and have relied heavily on cord progression with my left hand, but I would like to work on getting away from that a bit more. I also have some emotional goals such as stressing less, loving myself a little more, being more kind and less judgemental and speaking out when something is upsetting me, or when I have an idea that I want to share.

And in keeping with my goals of “stressing less” you will see the bleed through on my next spread. I created a lot of borders, corner decors and hanging decors that I can add through my bullet journal. Putting them all in one place for reference was for the satisfaction it gives me to create art and be able to share that with others.

Since I was in the mood to create reference points, I also decided to do it with the weather and moods. The reason I put this in the front of the journal is so that whichever way I decide to track these things, which i’m sure will change monthly, I want to have a specific theme all the way through. I made the weather and moods simple, to the point, and generalized so that I didn’t have to account for each type of weather, like sunny yet snowing, which changes just like moods.

The next tracker is a Social Media tracker. I figured the last day of the month, I will just write down where I am at with each social media. Where will I be at in a year? I hope that the numbers will rise much further than they are currently. Still a baby at this blog thing, I am almost embarrassed at my stats in comparison with some of my blogging idols. I  even took a little bit of time to create each logo with my own twist.

The last two trackers are Savings and Expenses. I have a small goal for myself to save at least $100/mo. This might seem like a drop in the bucket for some, but for me with our large family, it’s a small step we can take that will help us out with those emergencies that like to creep up when you least expect it. Each square represents $10 and hopefully by the end of the year, I will have $1200 put away in savings. I wanted to track it by a smaller amount because I like to see the progress no matter how large or small within a month. The bill tracker is something that I saw on Pinterest somewhere I’m sure. I like the big picture. I like to know how a bill has changed throughout the year. I like to know where my money is going. So if I know that over the course of a year my mortgage takes up x% of my income, I will know to better plan the other expenses so that  we know where to eliminate waste. This is an easy way for me to also see what bill has been paid and how much was paid last.

This brings us full circle for the yearly tracking that I have already created at the beginning of my bullet journal. I would love to know what you think about each spread and which is your favorite, let me know in the comments below. Also, do you have a suggestion of a tracker that you would like me to tackle? Let me know that too!

 

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!

Bullet Journaling – Refresher

If you haven’t heard of bullet journaling, it is a minimalists way to schedule your life. This is a system that combines several of your journals, schedulers, and calendars into one easy to keep track of book. Or so they say. Now before you get offended, hear me out. I tried this system back in November of last year, you can read that post here, and I failed.  My failure had nothing to do with the system and more to do with my perfectionism. I wanted beautiful spreads and amazing visuals on each page. Eventually, it became too much with the holidays and I never made it to December. To be honest, I don’t even know where that notebook is currently.

Now, lets discuss why this system failed for me. There are several reasons, some of them mental and some of them physical. These range from not having the right notebook, to not making the time, and not putting forth the effort. “Oh, I don’t need to write that down, surely I will remember it!” Famous last words. I never did remember it and I never did write it down.

Excuse #1: Not having the right tools.

Now, don’t think that you have to have the most famous bullet journal or the most expensive pens and products to do a bullet journal. You just have to be happy with what you do have. You can just use a composition notebook and a bic ballpoint. You don’t need the fancy supplies to get started, and honestly, I wouldn’t go out and buy them until you have created the habit.

However, in my mind, I didn’t have the right supplies. I didn’t want to use the inexpensive supplies I had on hand because I have to get excited about a new habit, or it won’t form. If I don’t have crisp, clean notebook and a pen just for it, I won’t be happy long enough to continue.  So, I bought the Leuchitturm 1917, which is like the official bullet journal. I did not buy pens for this, because I already have my Staedtler Triplus Fineliners that I love and work perfectly.

Excuse #2: I can’t make my spreads look like those on Pinterest

This is a very very common misconception. The spreads are beautiful, and one day, I will get there. But it is better for me to form the habit with the minimalist attitude. So, here is a picture of my year at a glance spread below. You will see that I just made it simple. I also added a thin piece of washi tape across the top, not even perfectly lined up *gasp*, so that i had a quick reference to jump back to. *personal information is blacked out*

I decided to only do 6 months because that would carry me to the end of the year. When the next 6 months arrive, if I am still doing bullet journaling, I will add it to it then another 6 month spread. Besides, who wants to get bogged down on trying to keep up with a full year at once. Guess what else? I only used black and white on this page. I want to get into the habit before I learn new ways to create the same spread. I highly recommend this way of thinking.

Excuse #3 – I don’t even know what I should track or that I want to track.

If you look online, especially Pinterest, you will find a huge list of trackers. But I say NAY! Don’t get bogged down with all the trackers available. Add trackers as you want to, and how you want to. Throughout the process you will find that you will come across things that are important to you specifically that you want to track. For me, I want to track my 100 mandala challenge! This challenge is important to me and something that I want to complete before the end of the year. Here is a look at how I am tracking this, in my 2-page tracker spread.

As you can tell, I drew  a simple mandala and also included the website where I got the challenge from. I then write a date on the number and color it in. This is my favorite spread so far. It appeals to my artistic side, as well as my need to track this challenge.

Excuse #4 – I’m too depressed/anxious about keeping up with something else.

Yes, depression and anxiety is something that we all have to deal with at one time or another. Some of us even struggle enough to be medicated. But that is what is so great about the bullet journal process, if you miss a day or a week, you can jump back in and there are no predetermined pages that you use up. You determine how and how much you use your bullet journal. I decided to try to list all the things that make me happy and put it at the beginning of my journal. This ensures that even on the days that are considered my lows, I have something to keep me from going under. Take a look at this below.

Excuse #5 – I’m too busy

Honestly, we are all too busy if we believe it, but the truth of the matter is, we can make time for anything! After planning out my first two weeks, I saw just how busy I wasn’t. I was too busy to add work, but not too busy to add fun. So I knew by looking at these two almost blank weeks, that I would see just how much time I really had to play with. Of course, I didn’t mark down all the ER visits and power outages and mom life with many many kids, but outside the home, I didn’t have much obligations. My next step is to track my hours, find out where everything goes. Check out these two weeks below. As you can tell, they are all really really simple.

So as you can tell, I didn’t want to do anything too crazy and I wanted to keep my trackers simple. At the beginning of each week, I also track my social medias. This shows me if I am doing a good job or if I need to work harder. Because I am just starting out, I feel like my numbers are embarrassing, BUT everyone has to start from the bottom.

I hope you enjoyed this walk through my bullet journal. Remember, you don’t have to wait until January 1st, to start. You can start in the middle of the month like I did. The objective is to start somewhere. Do you bullet journal? How successful are you with keeping it up. I would love to know your bullet journal experiences in the comments below!

Please Take One

Sometimes we just need to draw. It doesn’t need to make sense, it doesn’t need to serve a purpose other than getting your feelings out onto paper.  I have found my mind cluttered and sometimes foggy lately from daily stresses. In this drawing, I had to just go. I tried some things I’ve never tried before. Some of it I like, some of it I like less, however, It is mine and it is my mind right now. Hopefully, once I am able to clear my mind I can begin working again on my mandala project using sacred geometry.

Working to clear your mind is important and should never be ignored. I wear many hats throughout my week and usually, I like to take most of them off on the weekend to focus on art and my family. If you wear a lot of hats and get weighed down by the pressures, remember to give yourself a moment, unload some of those responsibilities until you are better able to address them.  Sit in silence, even if it is 10 minutes driving to the store. Remember to rejuvenate yourself before you burn out.

This is my most difficult task in life. Sometimes I forget to just Go Wild! To act crazy with my kids, to make silly jokes that make my lover shake his head. I get into this mindset that I always have to perfect (which is a requirement no one should ever put on themselves). But, I’m getting a little better. My kids help me a lot, I would do anything to put a smile on their little faces.

So please take one moment to yourself, one moment of silence, one moment of silliness. One day, your family and friends won’t know how hard to work on a project, or how hard you work otherwise, they will remember these one moments, we choose, to go wild.

ZenFlowers

There is such beauty in the world around us. I loved this sorta ying and yang type drawing. I tried my best to create something that filled the page but could be looked at from any angle.

After I completed the drawing and was happy with how it turned out, I decided it needed just a little color. Once the color was added, I was in shock with how everything seemed to just pop. I used Staedtler fine liners and color pencils. What do you think about this drawing and what does it bring to mind once the color was added?

It’s Okay Not To Be Perfect, Isn’t It?

I found one of the most difficult subjects to talk about with my daughter is perfection. In this world, everyone puts standards on you and you don’t even ask for it. Society as a whole expects perfection, but we are not perfect.

My daughter cried when I told her to try to draw, whatever she wanted. She told me she wanted to draw a circle, but none of her circles were perfect enough. I was so confused. She could have drawn anything, I mean, ANYTHING. I didn’t understand why she felt like she needed to draw a circle.

So I began to draw, without using a compass or protractor. I just drew. And when I messed up in my mind, I just kept going. Modified my drawing. I had to explain to her that it was okay to just draw. It didn’t have to be perfect, it didn’t have to make sense, and it didn’t even have to be anything particular, I just wanted her to learn to draw, unhinged.

This moment brought up so much for us and I began to understand that we all add to the pressures of our children. Sit up straight, play sports, get involved in school. Although we, as parents, just want the best for our children, it adds to the perfect model child. And as we continue to add achievements to that perfect model, that child begins to stress about whether or not they are good enough.

This just blew my mind. We love our children unconditionally,  but sometimes we forget to show them just that. We forget to listen. We forget to show them by example. Even I had got caught up in making the perfect circle.  I had stressed that my art would never be good enough to make any money at. And even though I have yet to make a single dollar, I know that I have found this ability for a reason. I just need to find it.

So, draw…sing…paint…dance, whatever makes you happy. And remember, perfection is not a necessity. Neither is it a guarantee for something better. Life is too short to stress over the things that are supposed to make us happy.

Stripes

This one was so much fun to do. One of the challenges on one of the pages I belong to was to do some stripes. LOVE this idea. I wanted to bring a little Dr. Seuss, if you will, to my art. This turned out better than I had hoped and I even came up with some designs you will likely see in the upcoming art.

I even got around to coloring this one. I used markers so there wasn’t much blending and shading and such, but it still came out very vibrant and colorful. I would love your input as to your feelings on this and as always CC is welcome!