Annual Mandala Collections

I did want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of you that have stayed loyal throughout the years. Although this site is only a year old, I have been working on bringing content to you for several years. I really do enjoy being creative every day, and I love even more to share it with all of you.

Each year, I have decided that I am going to create a Mandala Collection that can be sold as individual prints, or as a set of 3 or 5 mandala prints. I have done this for two years in a row and I am gearing up for my third year. But before I dive into that, I thought we would go take a look at the two previous years so that you can see what I am talking about first hand.

Mandala Collection I – 2017

Take a look at the posts for each one below, it will give you an insight into what was going through my head while creating them. This was my first year and I was not sure of how well I would do, or if this challenge would be too much for me. The theme of the first year was using black and white on gradient paper. These pictures do not show true justice for the design, but I promise you they look better in person.

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 4

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 5

Not too shabby for my first collection, if I do say so myself. I learned a lot of things throughout the year and was able to adapt the second collection into something a little different, and yet similar.

Mandala Collection II – 2018

The theme for the 2018 year was using mixed media and triangles. Each mandala has an organic feel to them and yet each one is adorned with sharp edges. This collection also looks better in person, and as soon as I can get a studio area set up with great light, I will take better pictures to share with you.

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 4

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 5

Mandala Collection III, 2019 – Coming Soon!

I would love to know what theme you would like to see in the new collection. Don’t be shy, I never throw an idea away. Comment in the section below! I look forward to hearing from you!

Instagram

Ok, so most of you may be thinking that I am MIA. Truth is, I have failed miserably at this blog thing. I love sharing all my creations and such and so much has happened since May that I want to share. However, It seems like I have too much to catch up on. So, if you would like to keep up with everything that I do, I usually post on Instagram when something new comes up and I am going to be diving back into the website here too.

You can follow me here —–> https://www.instagram.com/craftyartistkc/

To see the Instagram feed you need to add your own API Token to the Instagram Options page of our plugin.

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April 2018 Bullet Journal Setup

Disclaimer: I had thought this post actually posted and was curious as to why I wasn’t getting any responses. After some research, I realized that it was just in my drafts folder. I apologize for this being late.

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YAY! Another month, and already the 4th month of the year, can you believe it? Its crazy to keep all this together since in my blog and bullet journal I work in the present and future but in my accounting job, I work in the present and past. So let’s just say, month end is very interesting for me. However, I did decide to go ahead and work on my April 2018 set up. The weird thing about this month is that because Easter and April Fools fall on the same day this year, I have been swarmed by April fools day jokes to play on your family with an Easter theme! Don’t worry, there is none of that here. So let’s move on to it!

What is this months theme? – Pastels and Eggs (of course!)

The first thing that I think of when I think about April is “April showers bring May flowers.” But I didn’t want my entire bullet journal month to be dreary or sad. That is when I decided to move forward with the pastels. Easter is full of pastel colors in all of its decorating, so I thought it just made sense. The first thing I did, was created the monthly title page.

 

As you can tell, I used so many mediums. From fine liners to colored pencils, to metallic stickers. It was a lot of fun to create this and afterward, I even added some washi tape to tie it all together. (More on that later.) The next thing I wanted to do was my trackers. Although I really enjoyed the spread I did last month for these trackers, I thought that I would mix it up in order to find out what works the best. So below you can see my weather and mood trackers. Each square allows me the opportunity to draw in the weather using the weather index I created at the beginning of my bullet journal. You can find that here! Instead of not giving myself to write down my mood, I thought, I would give myself a line, it happened to fit perfectly with this being a month of even number days.

Sharing the two-page spread with the trackers above is my “A Line a day’ spread. I enjoyed this so much, I love looking back at the wonderful things that happened over the month of March and I like that it is keeping me sane. One line also forces me to look beyond the good, the bad, and the ugly to find the most memorable thing of the day. My personal thoughts can be shared in another place, typically I do that on my phone using my Google Drive. I decided to keep it the same as last months, but decorated new!

The next tracker is my Social Media Schedule as well as my Brain Dump. I chose to put these two together so that I could organize the brain dump thoughts within my schedule as I saw fit! I can’t wait to see how this two-page spread works out in comparison with them being separated from each other like they were in March.

Here is my big oops! I started my dream journal and skipped two pages. So I decided the best thing to do was to do a washi tape collection. The reason I wanted to put this collection in this bullet journal is that when I start my next bullet journal, I want to see how far I have come in my collection. As of right now, I have 67 different rolls! How crazy is that! Now, you may ask where I got all of this washi tape, but let me tell you, I can’t tell you. I get them from all over. In the clearance bin at craft stores, in a full set from Micheals, and then I also got some from Wish.com. Wherever I got them, I hope that the spread brings you as much cheer as it brings me.

Next, I moved onto my dream journal. Last month I gave myself two lines for every day. The problem with this is that I didn’t remember my dreams every day and I felt like there was a lot of wasted space. So, I have decided that now, I will create a number for the date and a box around each dream and leave the journal open-ended so that I have as much space as I might need.

What was your favorite part of this setup? Did you see anything you want to try? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 5

WE MADE IT! The final mandala in the collection is complete and I can’t wait to share it with you. First off, If you would like to see the previous mandala in the collection, visit the link below.

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 4

You may also look in my YouTube Video which does a complete recap of the full collection and the progress from beginning to end!

Ok, so now let’s continue with the fifth and final mandala in this collection! First of all let me say that this mandala was inspired by my 100mandala community, who have been giving us great challenges to help us think outside the box.  This mandala was inspired by the triangle and circle progression. It was a lot of fun to make and very easy once you got the hang of it.

I have always loved the way that flowers with many petals look and feel when drawing mandalas. The two rows of petals gave this mandala a look that drew your eyes to either the triangles or the circles, even both. Take a glance at the picture below, which pattern do you see most. I fell in love with using the metallic paint markers, it was more of a matter of choosing the color I wanted. Of course, I chose silver.

Many of you know that a lot of my mandala are inspired by Zentangle and other patterns I see in the world around me., and this one was no different. I knew that I wanted to fill the empty spaces with an organic Zentangle pattern I have used before.

As soon as I finished the inner circle, I had to outline the outer circle as well. It was perfect! I saw the flowers, leaves, and vines beneath, all neatly tucked within this triangle and circle progression. Once it was all completed, I was very happy with it. This mandala is far out of my element, and yet I am very pleased with the relaxation techniques it taught me in the process.

What is your favorite part of this mandala? Be sure to check out the video and give your feedback as well.

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

 

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 4

Since the first flower of life sorta took a new turn, speaking about Mandala 2, I decided to try again. If you would like to see the first three mandala, You can see them by checking on the links below:

Mandala 1, Collection II

Mandala 2, Collection II

Mandala 3, Collection II

After you have taken a look at the previous three mandala, lets move forward to take a quick look at the fourth in this collection.

Now, that looks much better doesn’t it! I had to revisit some sacred geometry videos on YouTube to remind myself the correct way to actually draw the flower of life. After I completed the flower of life, I wanted to ad points all the way around to keep in with the theme of the collection, introducing the softer sides of triangles.

This is the point when I decided pink was most definitely the color of choice here. I do need to mention that I am using the Sepia Copic Collection for the lines. As you can tell, they are softer than my usual black. I was really trying NOT to use blick liners for this entire collection. The pink is a Tombow Dual Tip marker that filled the area perfectly!

I had two different shades of pink and they paired nicely. Since I had two shades of pink, I decided to do the same deal with the brown. The brown shading was done with a color pencil. I thought that it gave just a tiny little element that gave the whole thing dimension.  This is also where I decided to use some metallic paint pens I had. I wanted specific areas to pop out more than others, so I either outlined them or filled them in completely with the metallic pens. I used gold and rose gold throughout.

After seeing the finished project, I absolutely fell in love. it was my favorite. Maybe I chose these colors because I completed it in the month of February when love is in the air. Either way, I could not be happier with the results. What is your favorite part of this mandala? Do you have a favorite mandala in this collection so far? Let me know in the comments below!

March 2018 Bullet Journal Set up

When you think about the month of march, what comes to mind? You got it! St. Patricks Day! So it only seemed fitting that I design my month around this special holiday. I know it is already the middle of the month and I am a little bit behind, but in my defense, I didn’t get my notebook until around the 2nd of March. Anyways, I hopw you enjoy what I have to offer this month. The first thing is always the title page, Look above! The next obvious choice is the monthly calendar. I decided to just do this one as simple as possible. I might get more bold later, but for now, lets just be happy its done.

I had this idea that I would like to see what things had the most affect on my moods. That is when I came up with this two page tracker spread that tracks my period, sleep, weather, exercise, and mood. This way I can see, every day that the weather was this, my mood was that, or whatever it was that was affecting me the most.  The line a day, also helps me put in one major event for that day and that will also help me out. This month we have a parade and an after-parade BBQ we were hosting. This causes stress but seeing how the other things work in with that is what I think is interesting. This may be the only month I do this, but I thought I would attempt it anyways.

The next step in my monthly journal is to keep a collection of my favorite quotes for that month. So as I go through life and see something that makes me say, “hmmm” I write it down. No fancy faux-lligraphy here, just my normal handwriting. I decided that besides alternating colors, I would also alternate font. There are three ways that I write consistently, all caps, normal print, and cursive.

The next item I wanted to track were my dreams. I am known for my vivid dreams. Even though this layout only gives me two lines for each dream, I write them in more detail on my phone memos when I first wake up, so I just want a place where I can put a snippet in. The most interesting thing about the dream. Then, I can flip back to the weather and events of the day to see if anything is having an affect on the types of dreams that I have. This may be way more in depth than some of you want to go, but this is all an experiment. I think that you should experiment with the different trackers you do until you find what works best for your schedule.

 

Remember that a bullet journal is not a chore, its a life-line. Use your bullet journal any way you want to and in the style you want to. There are a lot of overwhelmingly amazing spreads on pinterest, but if you constantly compare your skill level to theirs you won’t follow through with the journal. I would like to make a comment about the fact that you don’t see any weekly spreads from me. Weekly spreads are something that I will hopefully add in the future, but for now, I find it overwhelming.  If you have any comments or suggestions about things you would like to see me track in the future, don’t hesitate to comment below and let me know what you want to see.

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!

 

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 3

Hi there! Coming at ya again with the third mandala in my Collection II. If you want to see the previous two mandala, you can visit the links below!

Mandala 1, Collection II

Mandala 2, Collection II

Now onto the third. This mandala was where I introduced some metallic paint and gel pens into my art. I hadn’t used these before and wasn’t sure of how they were all turn out. I never could get a picture that truly captured the beauty of this but you’ll see what I came up with at the end.

In this picture, YOu can really see both of the new mediums well. I used blue, gold and white to create this look. I ended up stopping here for almost 2 days. I had no feelings on how to finish it, and I work completely on feelings. Sometimes I know that I need to take a break, step back, and rethink what I want to achieve.

This is the same progress shot, just at a different angle so you can appreciate the metallics a little better! I truly did love this mandala and where it was headed. I looked at the progress photos over the following days to truly capture the essence of the mandala’s finale’.

I’m putting this shot in there to show you that the lighting downstairs in my basement made this look completely green. I was amazed at how discolored it was, but this was a first look at my finished project. Now onto the picture that I took in daylight, which shows the true colors and even gives you glimpses of the different mediums use.  I bring this up to show you that lighting can make a huge difference when you present your final photography of your art. I have found that natural daylight is, hands down, the best lighting. Make sure you experiment with different types to achieve the look you are going for.

There it is! The final picture. It still doesn’t do the original justice, but overall, I really like the way it photographed in the daylight. What kind of lighting do you use with your art and have you found anything that makes your photographic art most true to the original? Let me know in the comments below!

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 2

Here is the original pencil grid for this piece. As you can see I had no clue what I was doing. HA! What I was trying to do and what I achieved were two different things all together. I wanted to do a large flower of life, but this is what came out. I decided to just move on with this design, at least the best way I could.

After I inked the first layer, I immediately liked it. I felt like it brought to life the sort of design I was looking for. Continuing on, I started to add more details and at least get this first smaller flower designed completely.

It was a big difference for me to NOT use black as an outline because that is sorta the color I lean on most. I used three colors here: orange, green and purple. Each of these colors nicely built on the last and the full design became clear. I saw movement and I knew that I wanted the outer flower to reflect this movement in contrast.

Once the outline was complete of the outer petals, I started to add more details within them to bring the colors all the way out to the end.  It was at this time that I also wanted to add my white gel pen details. As soon as I stepped back from this, I was shocked that it had made it this far, unplanned.

I finished it all off with fine details and erasing all the grid lines. I would love to know what you think about the finished project and what was your favorite part of its creation!

 

Mandala Collection II – Mandala 1

Okay, So I know that we are on our second collection of mandalas and I wanted to share them with you here first hand so that you can see the progress as it happened. I have been so busy with life lately that I have failed to update my blog as often as I should. Hopefully, with the arrival of my new bullet journal, I will get back on track.

So without further ado.

Are you excited yet? When I first started this mandala, it was very late and I was just trying to get something down on paper after having such an off year already. My original plan was way different from what it turned out to be. So like with every mandala, I drew my gridlines and basic line work for my idea. As I was doing this, however, I found that what was in my head was not coming out on my paper.

Looking at this shot, you can see the beginning of this creation. This is the point where I thought that using the circles as if they were a plant or organism was the key to getting this mandala off the ground. I quickly got stuck on what would go between the circles without it looking too busy. What goes better with weird orb-like flowers than tentacles?

After I played around with this look in pencil, I inked it in and added just a pop of color. Adding this color just blew my mind and gave me the inspiration I needed to continue on. What do you think so far?

The gradient was really cool and making the orbs a darker green was the best thing I could do to really make them noticeable. After I got all the orbs colors, and boy were there a lot of orbs, I moved on to the petals. I knew that I could not make this whole thing green because then certain features would wash out. So that’s what I opted for my second color to come into play! Orange!

That was it, I knew I was well on my way to completing one of my favorites to date! It was so unlike every other mandala I had seen and it was my own creation. Am I getting you excited yet?

After adding white gel pen and yellow color pencil, that was it, I knew that it was complete. The one thing I always do is sign my artwork on the lower right-hand side, but only if it is complete. I would love to know what you think about this first mandala. Once the collection is complete, I will get scans of them so you can see the true color in each one.

March 2018 Premium Sketchbox

Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received more than $40 worth of product. This month is all about Metallic Acrylic Ink. Well, let’s take a look below!

Liquitex Professional Metallic Acrylic Ink – $7.49

Kuretake Zig Hoso-Taku Fude Pen No. 7 – $6.94

Princeton Velvetouch Round Size 8 – $14.25

Copic Opaque White with Brush – $8.99

Faber-Castell Plychromos – Orange Glaze – $2.85

Fredrix 4″x6″ Canvas Board – BONUS ITEM

Total Retail Price: +$40.52

Liquitex Professional Metallic Acrylic Ink – Iridescent Rich Bronze (colors may vary) – $7.49

Extremely fluid, this acrylic ink uses super-fine pigments in a state-of-the-art acrylic emulsion. The ink dries quickly and is permanent, water-resistant and non-clogging. Use it to cover large areas or add metallic embellishments to your art this month.

Kuretake Zig Hoso-Taku Fude Pen No. 7 – $6.94

This pen has a hard brush tip and is great for outlines and can make fine or broad lines. It contains water-based dye black ink and is refillable.

Princeton Velvetouch Round Size 8 – $14.25

Velvetouch is the ultimate mixed media brush. It is comprised of a multiple-filament, luxury synthetic blend for excellent color-holding capacity, precision tapering and resilient spring. The signature Velvetouch handle allows for a smooth, comfortable grip.

Copic Opaque White With Brush – $8.99

This water-based pigment is used for highlight effects. Opaque white won’t bleed into the base color, giving sharp line definition.

Faber-Castell Polychromos – Orange Glaze – $2.85

These colored pencils contain the highest quality pigments for unsurpassed lightfastness. They feature a buttery smooth color laydown and are easily blended and layered without waxy build up. Use them to add dimension and depth of color once your acrylic ink has dried.

Fredrix 4″x6″ Canvas Board – BONUS ITEM

A canvas board to provide the proper surface to test out your new supplies.

All in all, this box introduces me to some products I haven’t used before but they are definitely products that I am eager to use. If you would like to get your hands on this Sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box. I love being able to bring these unboxings to you from me.

 

Mermaid Birthday Party!

I had the most amazing time working with my best friend and future daughter-in-law to create an underwater adventure for my daughter, who turned 9 this year!  I am always very teary-eyed when I see just how much my babies have grown each year, but this year especially has been tough as she is starting on her journey out of the babyface. With each picture I take of her, I notice that she is getting older and older.  So, for as long as she will let me, I will make her birthday parties memorable! This year, the theme is Mermaids. She chose this theme because we will be building her a room of her own and she wants it to be all mermaids. So she asked her friends and family for mermaid decor and art supplies, and boy did they deliver! So, let’s dive into this adventure together.

THE INVITATIONS

We searched everywhere for invitations that would live up to the standards she was searching for with this party. After searching high and low, we came across these blank cards with a shimmery cover that we both felt looked like mermaid scales. We then let our imagination move forward when she found this sparkling teal washi tape. But we weren’t done yet, we looked in the duct tape section and found the colors she had been looking for and in the design, she was looking for.  I had no clue how all of this was going to come together, but as soon as we got home, we started brainstorming.

The first thing we did was add a strip of the mermaid scale duct tape to the inside of the card. The thing we noticed when we did this was the natural feel of duct tape with the pattern we chose, made the entire scales come to life and feel realistic as you slid your fingers across it. We then decided to write “You are invited!” on the sparkled teal washi tape. The one thing I will say is that none of my fineliners would work on this tape, I’m not sure if it was because of the texture on it or what the deal was, but the only thing I could get to write on it was a bullet tip sharpie.

I then let her choose from a large number of colors for the actual information text on the invitation. She chose this beautiful shade of purple that really just made the invitation perfect. We ended up making 30 of these and giving them out to all her classmates and her other friends.

THE DECORATIONS

Typically I go all out on the decorations, but I didn’t get that far this time. I hung up a Happy Birthday banner that I had already saved from a previous birthday celebration. I also had many balloons. I hung outside on our lamp posts for people to know where the party was and then bouquets over the gift table, the food table, the adult table and the craft table. Other than that, there were some loose balloons around for the kids to play with.

We searched everywhere for mermaid stuff and we couldn’t find it anywhere. The few decorations I did find, I ordered off Amazon, I had a tablecloth, plates, napkins, and a centerpiece. There wasn’t much but we accomplished a lot with the little we had mixed with what I had left over from previous parties.

THE FOOD

Let’s start out with the basic essentials that I didn’t put much effort into at all. There was, as always, a fruit tray, a veggie tray, two types of chips, sugar cookies, and hotdogs. Those were straight out of the packaging food I offered. Typically, I overdo it with food, but I had no leftovers at the end of this party, so I am glad that I did offer so much. Now onto the things I did work hard on.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

These were so super yummy and a huge hit. I grabbed two bags of pretzel rods from the store and I also purchased CadiQuik chocolate. After heating the chocolate I started to dip the pretzels into the chocolate, white and milk chocolate, and then laid them out on wax paper to harden before I decorated them with colorful candy melts. I highly recommend getting the candy melt squeeze bottles, it made these projects so much more smooth.

Cream Cheese Clam Cookies

These cookies were so yummy and quite easy to make. First off I made the home-made cream cheese icing which consists of two sticks of butter, three 8oz packages of cream cheese and 6 cups of powdered sugar. Let me just tell you, this icing was a hit and I’m really happy that I learned an easy way to make it because we ran out of icing for the last few cupcakes and improvised with this icing.

The assembly is quite easy. Lay down a vanilla wafer, squeeze on a layer of icing, close it with another vanilla wafer and push in a Sixlet pearl on one side. They turned out amazing and were a big hit as well.

THE (CUP)CAKE

The cake, or in this case, the cupcakes are always a huge deal for me. You can read about why I prefer cupcakes over cake here. I wrote about it on my mom blog if you’re interested. Moving on. Yellow cake and chocolate (some cream cheese) icing. The most interesting thing about these cupcakes is the candy melt mermaid tales that were sitting on top of them.

As you can tell, they came out amazing. I was actually surprised at how easy they were to make. I had purchased some silicone molds from Amazon that came in a 4 pack to include two smaller and two larger molds. In total, I had 41 cupcakes to decorate. We decided early on that with only four molds, it would take us all night to get all the tales made, so we would only do 20 tales and leave the other half of the cupcakes decorated with sprinkles and candy pearls.

Using the squeeze bottles I mentioned above, we squeezed the candy melts into the molds and let them sit in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to harden. We then popped them out of the mold by folding the mold backward which allowed the tale to slide out without a breaking.

After all the tails were done, we decided that dusting them with edible glitter would just make them look so much more realistic, and it didn’t take barely any to make them shine. We wanted to make sure that each tail was different from another so we started to have fun mixing colors and designs as well.

THE ENTERTAINMENT AND CRAFTS

As far as entertainment is concerned, we allowed the kids to go outside and play until their little hearts were content. After presents and cake though, we started on a painting project. The kids were all excited because they could have something to take home. I purchased a six-pack of plaster underwater sea creatures for each kid to choose and decorate. I had paints and glitter glue as well so that they could personalize them completely.

These pictures are of my toddlers’ painting, they had a blast and I really enjoyed that this project was fine for kids of all ages. Once they were done, I placed each piece in a plastic cup for them to take home so that they would have the chance to dry and not get messed up along the way.

Overall, the party lasted about two hours and everyone had a great time. This is a theme that I can see myself doing again in the future for sure, but we will have to see what comes my way. I love the challenge that my kids present to me when they decide the theme of the party because I love the look on their face when I achieve their dreams with creativity.

I would love to know what your favorite part of this party was in the comments below. If you would like more details on anything you see in this post, please don’t hesitate to ask me and I will create more of a tutorial for you.

February Premium Sketchbox 2018

February is here!  Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received more than $40 worth of product. This month is all about blending. Well, let’s take a look below!

Derwent Inktense 12 Set – $33.99

Ecoline Liquid Watercolour Brush Pen – $3.95

Sakura Pigma Brush Pen – Black – $2.89

Prismacolor Premier Brush Pen – $3.75

Strathmore Tone MIxed Media Pad – BONUS ITEM

Total Retail: +$44.58

Derwent Inktense 12 Set – $33.99

Combining the brilliant intensity of pen and ink with the versatility of line and wash, these pencils can be used for dry, rich, intense color or washed out with a little water to create a vivid translucent effect. The rich pigment extends further than traditional watercolor pencils and is more opaque for a true ink effect. Once dry, the color is permanent, allowing for artwork to be washed over with other media without bleeding.

Ecoline Liquid Watercolour Brush Pen – $3.95

This pen features highly intense, saturated dye-based liquid watercolor that dries within minutes, can be rewetted and is blendable.

Sakura Pigma Brush Pen – Black – $2.89

Sakura’s Pigma Brush was specifically developed to meet the needs of free-hand artists who require a fine point, flexible, brush-style nib. The ink is quick-drying, waterproof, fade-resistant, and of archival quality. It will not smear once dry. Use it to outline your art this month.

Prismacolor Premier Brush Pen – Red (colors will vary) – $3.75

We’ve added another fantastic brush pen to add a pop of color and allow you to compare the nibs between Sakura and Prismacolor.

Strathmore Toned Mixed Media Pad – BONUS ITEM

Make the most of your supplies this month with a special bonus item from our friends at Strathmore. The paper in their Toned MIxed Media Pad combines the characteristics of a watercolor paper and the finish of a drawing sheet, for use with both wet and dry media.

All in all, this box introduces me to only the first two products that I haven’t tried before but they are definitely products that I am eager to use. If you would like to get your hands on this Sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box. I love being able to bring these unboxings to you from me.

 

Scalloped Table Update!

In my previous post here, you will find that I left you off on a completed design but it was all on paper.  I was very excited to start on the table but was still waiting on my Posca pens to arrive from Japan. They have the extra fine tip I was looking for. So, while I waited for the 25 day shipping projection, I started to start my grid on the table in pencil.

Session Three – Photo by Charity Woods

This was like the easiest part but it took me over 3 hours to complete. I decided that since this table would set me back quite a few hours, I would need to break up my time into blocks, 3 hour blocks. Since I had drawn out with details, the rough draft on paper in 6 hours, (2 sessions) I really thought that this part would take me longer, but instead of adding all the details, I just simply lined out a grid and left a lot to the imagination. What I found was that I had started changing the design slightly within the pencil outline.

One my next session, I didn’t make it near as far as I thought I would. By the time the three hours were done, I was amazed that I hadn’t made significant progress. Knowing this was paint, I was really trying to make sure there were no mess-ups. I didn’t want to have to redo the whole table.

This was no where near the detail that I wanted to do in the center, but in order not to get discouraged, I decided quickly that I would take my time and appreciate every step along the way. One of the amazing things that I discovered was that I was changing my pattern from the original one I drew on paper. Not drastically, but enough because I felt the table moving in a different direction. Its very difficult for me to draw the same thing twice in a row, they are always a little different.

Moving on to the fifth session. I made a lot more progress on this session, but I think maybe it was mostly because the elements were a lot smaller, and there wasn’t a lot of major design issues, but I will tell you that I can’t decide if my hand hurt more from this session or the sixth, which is where I added a lot of swirls.

A couple things I wanted to point out on this design point. The leaves, I think, photograph very well and I typically don’t do such a small design element at this point in any mandala. It seemed extremely too simple when I finished (Photo 1, Session 5). After adding the next level of that design, the entire ring came to life and looked way more detailed than I thought it would. After such a detailed design, I decided to outline the next ring bringing in just a few elements to break this level up from the next. Finally, I did my basic overlap triangle that is the base for so many designs. I felt like this was a great place to stop until I could figure out exactly what I was going to do.

Session six was killer! All of the swirls and the tiny details had my hand cramping at the end. If you’re keeping track, this is now 18 hours into this project. But the payoff of seeing my momma’s face when I am all done, will totally be worth it. If I am going to give her something that is “me” I am going to make it all the elements of me. Structured, yet flexible. Fun, yet functional. This table has been such a blessing to me to design so far.

Session six was the end of my first Posca pen. But I had one more, so I could continue on the next day. The final picture in Session six, sorta gives you an idea of how far I have come and just how far I still have to go to complete this table. Overall, I think its turning out far better than I could have imagined when I started.

Session Seven was very interesting. I painted this while watching White Christmas and trying to get well from a bout of sickness that had me couch ridden the day before. What better way to make myself feel better than to pull up my rocking chair and get to work.

After adding the final touches to the outside, I finished the whole table off with some flowers that mimic the scalloped edges of the table. (Pictured Below) Before I gave this finished table to my mom, I coated it with two layers of clear coat that I purchased in a spray can from an art supply store. It seems to seal in all the colors and there was no feathering as a result of the spray coat being used.

Overall, this project was such a joy to do and it was ready before Christmas. Not only did my parents love this table, it is now proudly displayed in their bedroom. I would love to know your favorite part of this project and what you would like to see in the future.

Christmas Presents!

I know I know! Christmas is already over, but now that all the gifts that I made have been well-received I thought I would share them with you. Each year I love to give gifts that I have created. I love to create something that makes them think of me and the memories we have together when  they see them. They are also personalized so that they meet the needs of the person and their tastes.

Ok, I want to start off with one of my favorite type pieces. A very dear friend of mine went through a tough time and didn’t believe that they would get through it. However, after they rose from the ashes of that destruction, we started to talk about how they were like the Phoenix. Every year, I give this friend something that goes along with the theme of rising above your circumstance and setbacks. Each year is a new beginning. You can check out last years here. And the one for this year was a beautiful staff, since we are both nerds, that is designed after the Phoenix.

 

This was drawn with my black .03 Staedtler Pigment Liners, and colored with red, orange, yellow, grey and brown Steadtler Color Pencils. I then decided that taking the grey color pencil and rubbing it lightly over the outer edge of the paper gave the whole thing a new look. Overall, I’m happy with how this turned out and have already started researching phoenix ideas for next Christmas. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

Onto the second gift, I was gifted a smaller lazy susan. It was made from bamboo, but had some apples painted on the top of it.  I wanted to do something very personal for my sister-n-law and her new husband. I knew that they would appreciate a handmade gift. So, I had my fiance’ sand down the top and it left a beautiful finish. Then, I started working from the inside out. Starting with the first letter of her new last name, “S.”

After surrounding the monogram with a very detailed mandala, I then erased my guidelines (still in the picture above) and put two clear protective coats on it. On the night we gave this gift, It was immediately put to use under the salad bowl in the center of the table.

The last, but certainly NOT least, gift that I made personally, was for my fiance’s parents. They have been such a wonderful blessing in my life and I wanted to give them something that represented family and unity. So, like the last gift, I chose to do a monogram again, but with my fiance’s parents last name letter “L”. But unlike the last gift, I chose to paint this on a black square canvas that I had.

I decided that using my gold paint pen from my table project gave this piece the life it was searching for. I absolutely love how it turned out and they seemed to as well. I am truly blessed to be able to share my talents with those around me.

Although these were not the only gifts I gave for Christmas, they were the most personalized gifts and I wanted to share them with you. Please let me know in the comments below, which was your favorite and why. I would also love to know any ideas you may like to see in the future.

Playing around with watercolors!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have a new video on YouTube, where I have chosen to play around with watercolor pencils that I got from a Sketchbox. I was super excited to get my camera for Christmas so that I could make these videos for you. Note that this actually took me about an hour to draw, but I sped up the video x8 so that you guys didn’t get bored. It also made me realize just how slow I draw! Slow and steady win the race I guess.

If you would like to see the video, check out out below. If the video doesn’t show up, you can also click here.

I would love to know what your thoughts are on this video and what you would like to see more of in the future!

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!

November 2017 Premium Sketchbox

So I am going to be doing some catch up on these Sketchbox Unboxings. The main reason that I have fallen behind is that we recently bought a house and we had a month of searching, a month of packing and a month of moving in and unpacking. Now I am trying my best to catch up on all these boxes. So here we are on November’s Box.

So here we are in October.  Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received more than $40 worth of product. This month is all about watercolor. Well, let’s take a look below!

Dr. Ph Martins Hydrus Liquid Watercolor – $8.90

Handbook Watercolor Journal – $14.49

Princeton Velvetouch Mini Filbert – $8.95

SketchBox Signature Waterbrush – Fine – $5.50

Daniel Smith Custom Dot Card – $3.00

Faber-Castell Ecoo Pigment .6mm – $2.99

Total Retail: $43.83

Dr. Ph Martins Hydrus Liquid Watercolor – $8.90

Brilliant, lisghtfast, non-toxic, archival and AP approved liquid watercolor in a 1oz dropper bottle. The dropper bottle allows for repeatedly mixing exact color shades by mixing the same number of drops.

Handbook Watercolor Journal – $14.49

We LOVE the unique size and portability of this item. Bound in a beautiful linen book cloth cover, these journals offer a practical option for travel painting. Each book includes 30 sheets (60 pages) of a soft white, 200 gsm acid-free paper with a cold press finish that is the same on each side of the sheet.

Princeton Velvetouch Mini Filbert – $8.95

Velvetouch is comprised of a multiple-filament, luxury synthetic blend for excellent color-holding capacity, precision tapering and resilient spring. The blend of synthetic is unique to each individual shape to ensure maximum performance.

SketchBox Signature Waterbrush – Fine – $5.50

Another addition to our growing line of water brushes, this version has a fine tip for detail work and precise lines. Use it to pick up color from our custom dot card.

Daniel Smith Custom Dot Card – $3.00

We partnered with Daniel Smith to bring you our own selection of their superior quality watercolors. This custom palette allows you to test a curated range of their colors for your new watercolor piece.

Faber-Castell Ecoo Pigment .6mm – $2.99

This fineliner is from one of our favorite brands. Since the ink is waterproof, its perfect for adding detail or line work to your new watercolor work.

All in all, this box introduces me to a lot of products I haven’t used before but they are definitely products that I am eager to use. If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box. I love being able to bring these unboxings to you from me.

October 2017 Premium Sketchbox

So I am going to be doing some catch up on these Sketchbox Unboxings. The main reason that I have fallen behind is that we recently bought a house and we had a month of searching, a month of packing and a month of moving in and unpacking. Now I am trying my best to catch up on all these boxes. So August through October will be late and November’s will be this month.

So here we are in October.  Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received more than $40 worth of product. This month is InkTober. Well, let’s take a look below!

Winsor & Newton Drawing Ink – $5.39

Princeton Mini Detailer – Liner Size I – $10.35

COPIC Multiliner Sepia Set – $15.96

Zebra – Double Ended Brush Pen – $4.95

Tombow – Fudenosuke Brush Pen Set – $6.98

Total Retail: $43.63

Winsor & Newton Drawing Ink – $5.39

Simply put, we love this ink. This super high quality India ink is an illustrator’s best friend. It’s easily mixable with water to create shades from the lightest grey to the darkest black.

Princeton Mini Detailer – Liner Size I – $10.35

A precise brush perfect for ink illustrations. Its wooden handle is finished in a comfortable silicone, allowing a firm grip and ultimate control. It contains Princeton’s finest synthetic sable, the same used in their flagship 4050 series. This assures a perfect point and crisp edges.

COPIC Multiliner Sepia Set – $15.96

Copic is known the world over for having some of the highest quality illustration products. This set is no exception. Use these sepia tones to add depth to your new ink illustrations. This set contains 4 sepia Multiliner pens: 0.05mm, 0.1mm, 0.3mm and 0.5mm.

Zebra – Double Ended Brush Pen – $4.95

This brush pen is perfect for elaborate illustrations that demand the versatility of fine detail and bold strokes. It has both a medium as well as a fine tip. We partnered with Zebra to give you the first look at this item.

Tombow – Fudenosuke Brush Pen Set – $6.98

This set contains one soft and one hard tip Fudenosuke Brush Pen. Featuring flexible brush tip for different lettering and drawing techniques. Create extra-fine, fine or medium strokes by a change in brush pressure. We included this set so you could compare them to the Zebra item in this month’s box.

All in all, this box introduces me to a lot of products I haven’t used before but they are definitely products that I am eager to use. If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box.

Scalloped Table

So I have this table that my mom gave me to put my touch on it. After asking her several times what exactly she wants, she told me that she wants an original me. This touched my heart in ways you may not comprehend. Someone is taking pride in my work. To have a piece of my work out there is amazing to me.

So I decided I would go through the process with you. I have so many pictures of this process but lets start with the table itself. (pictured above). This table was pre-painted with the colors that will be in my moms bedroom, which is where she hopes to keep this table. How am I supposed to actually get the measurements of the scallops since they are different sizes? Well I’m glad you asked! I decided on taping 9 sheets of regular paper together to cover the complete top of the table. After I taped them together I placed the center piece in the center of the table and pressed outward on the paper to give me the size and shape of the top of the table.

 

After I got the correct shape, I started with a pencil and created the grid lines using a pushpin and paperclips since I didn’t have anything that was big enough to give me the circles I needed. I will say that even I was impressed with the way that the paperclips created a perfect circle no matter how far out I went.  I highly suggest using this method if you have a large area to work on.  It took about three hours to get to this point, from making the paper to creating the grid lines. From there I started to create the patterns that I liked. This took another 2 hours to draw out the pattern.

Starting the next evening, I began to ink up the pencil drawings. I spent roughly 3 hours on this part as well, changing so much as I went along. Because my art supplies are packed away, the only thing I had to use was a Prismacolor brush pen that was blue. The above image is the end of the second day. I decided to keep the mandala in reference by taking the picture with the 18-inch ruler I have.

Finally, I decided to bring the inking all the way to the edge which was another 4 hours spent on detailing and changing the end product. The point of creating this piece on paper first is because I needed to measure out the full size of the mandala, as well as ensure that the mandala stopped where the scalloped edges started. Once I free-hand the pattern on the table, I will then create the patterns within the scalloped edges at that time.

Although this is not the final project, it does show the progression to the point where I am at currently. I have really enjoyed this process and can’t wait until I am able to transfer it onto the table. Look for a vlog on my YouTube channel about different mediums being tested to see how they interact with a protective coat on top. If there is a medium you would like for me to try, please comment below.

I will post again when I actually start putting the design on the table.  Let me know what you think so far!

September 2017 Premium Sketchbox

So I am going to be doing some catch up on these Sketchbox Unboxings. The main reason that I have fallen behind is that we recently bought a house and we had a month of searching, a month of packing and a month of moving in and unpacking. Now I am trying my best to catch up on all these boxes. So August through October will be late and November’s will be this month.

Moving on to September.  Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received less than $40 worth of product. This month is all about water-soluble graphite. Well, let’s take a look below!

Derwent Graphitone Set – $15.90

Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil – $7.36

Sakura Koi Large Round Water Brush – 9ml. – $4.25

Aqua Monolith Graphite Pencil – 4B – $2.40

Tombow Mono Rectangle Eraser – $4.49

Castell 9000 Double Hole Sharpener – $5.25

Total Retail – $39.65

Derwent Graphitone Set – $15.90

These solid graphite woodless pencils are water-soluble allowing for blending and unique watercolor style effects! Each can be used upright as a classic pencil or on its side for extended coverage. The set contains one each of four degrees: 8B, 4B, 2B, and HB.

Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil – $7.36

As you use a regular mechanical pencil, the lead wears down on one side, forming a slanted wedge-shaped tip. Each time you put the lead on the page you end up using a different lead surface (pointy, flat, wide, thin) depending on how you hold the pencil. This can cause dramatic and unsightly variations in line thickness as you draw and sketch. This unique pencil has a special mechanism that rotates the lead with each click to make sure that you always have a pointed tip.

Sakura Koi Large Round Water Brush – 9ml – $4.25

We also included a water brush from Sakura. This water brush has a large 9ml tank and a large round nylon brush head. Filli t with water and use it to blend your new graphite piece. Its great for plein air work and fits in any pencil case with ease, Its large brush head allows for broad strokes or precise blending with a simple change in pressure.

Aqua Monolith Graphite Pencil – 4B – $2.40

This graphite pencil has the same thick 4B grade lead with thin lacquer coating as a Cretacolor Monolith Graphite pencil but in a water-soluble form. It can be used wet or dry, on the point for details, or on the edge for shading large areas.

Tombow Mono Rectangle Eraser – $4.49

This Pen Style eraser features a retractable holder and a rectangular shape. Ideal for precise and broad erasing due to the shape of its tip. Use the corners for highlights and the full tip for broader areas.

Castell 9000 Double Hole Sharpener – $5.25

This double-hole sharpener fits easily in any pencil case. It can be used to sharpen standard graphite pencils with an angle of 21 degrees and larger pencils with an angle of 24 degrees for extra fine strokes. This sharpener has a removable waste container for quick, clean sharpening.

All in all, this box will get me more into my pencil sketches which I have strayed from recently.  If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box.

August 2017 Premium Sketchbox

So I am going to be doing some catch up on these Sketchbox Unboxings. The main reason that I have fallen behind is that we recently bought a house and we had a month of searching, a month of packing and a month of moving in and unpacking. Now I am trying my best to catch up on all these boxes. So August through October will be late and November’s will be this month.

So let’s begin with August.  Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received less than $40 worth of product. This month is all about unique paint pens so I’m not mad. Well, let’s take a look below!

2x Montana Acrylic Ink 25ml bottles – $9.50/ea

2x  .7mm Montana Acrylic Empty Markers – $4.25/ea

2mm Montana Acrylic Empty Marker – $4.25

Derwent Graphik Line Painter – $2.89/ea

Strathmore Artist Tiles – Black – $2.79/ea

Total Retail: $37.43

Montana Acrylic Ink 25ml bottles – $9.50

What’s more unique than mixing your own custom colors? This month we included two 25ml bottles of super high-quality fluid acrylic from Montana. Mix these two colors together to create your own unique acrylic markers. These acrylics can be used with brushes (like the one in the March box) and work well on many surfaces like paper, canvas, metal or wood.

.7mm Montana Acrylic Empty marker – $4.25

Use your new fluid acrylic bottles to fill up these empty markers in whatever color ratio you’d like! Use one for solid blue, one for solid yellow or opt for a unique color mix. These .7mm tips allow for unique precision and are great for detail work, line work, mandalas, or zentangles.

2mm Montana Acrylic Empty Marker

To add some variety in your line width, we added a thicker tipped empty pen. Use this to color larger areas or to add depth to your line work.

Derwent Graphik Line Painter – $2.89

These paint markers feature a Japanese nib and are filled with an acrylic/watercolor like opaque paint that becomes permanent when dry. The pigmented paint is water-based and solvent-free and dilutes with water. It can be used with a brush to create unique effects.

Strathmore Artist Tiles – Black – $2.79

Finally, we included some black artist tiles to really provide some contrast for your new pieces!

All in all, everything in this box is something that I will use in the future.  If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box.

 

 

Searching for Snail Mail Pals!

I would love to take the opportunity to have a snail mail pal that would be up for exchanging gifts, ideas and letters. What prompted this? I was signing my name at a check out when the cashier, watching very attentively said, “awe man, I wish I could read and write in cursive!” I immediately told her she could with some practice. She then laughed it off like I was telling her to climb Mt. Everest!

So this got me thinking. Even I have been slacking in my penmanship, something that I once took so much pride in.  As a fix on this, I decided it was time to get a pen pal. Someone to provide something other than a bill in my mailbox, as I will do the same for theirs. I’ve tried several sites that promise it but I never get a response back. I don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy on something that won’t be appreciated.

How can you help? Do you know someone who is searching for the same thing? Would you like to have a Snail Mail Pal? I want to gather volunteers for this endeavor. I want to find a creative outlet for those of us who are starving for creative inspirations. If you are interested in this, shoot me an email and lets come up with a good solutions for this need in our world.

Lets beautify the world, one letter at a time.

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!