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!

Handwriting Practice

I know that I have a fairly decent handwriting for people nowadays, but I always want to be better. Now, anyone that knows me personally, or knows my mom, knows that my mom was always very strict on my handwriting. She knew that I could do better and she pushed me to do just that. Even though at the time, I felt like she was being harsh, I know now that she only wanted me to want to be better and prove to myself that I am better. In kindergarten, she was my teacher. If that wasn’t hard enough, she ripped up every assignment that had less than my best penmanship. Today, I still have a hard time thinking that my handwriting shouldn’t be rewritten over and over.

So, I started with the sentence that covers every letter of the alphabet. I wrote it in print, cursive, and all caps. These are my typical, everyday handwriting. Then, I tried to do something, different. I must say, that I didn’t like either of these sentences that I practiced. They seemed sloppy and not uniform. Being the perfectionist that I am, I decided that maybe I should try to practice my handwriting a little, especially cursive.

While looking up ways to improve my handwriting, I came across these six basic practice strokes. What I found, going through these strokes is that, some of the basic strokes were actually quite difficult for me. As you can see in the picture below, the 3rd and 6th strokes are where I had the most difficulty. Now why is this, I wonder? If you look at the first stroke, it is straight lines down. I am used to this stroke when I write in all caps, so it was fairly easy. The second stroke required that I draw towards me. As a right-handed writer, I find this stroke to be not only familiar but when I write in cursive, this is typically the angle at which I draw my letters. Now moving onto stroke three, I found this was completely opposite from the angle at which I draw my letters. So I couldn’t keep it consistent, as you can see. The fourth stroke seemed simple because I typically draw straight lines all the time so it flowed still with how I usually write. The fifth stroke was the same as the fourth. It flowed in the direction and angle that I draw on a daily basis. Finally, we move to the sixth shape which was so weird that I couldn’t find a comfortable position to hold the pen that it made it flow.

Moving on from those practice strokes, I decided to look at some basic cursive letter. I am going to start with the lower case then move to upper case letters later.  Looking at the side by side comparison, I can clearly see that just by writing these three pages how well my writing improved. If I continue to practice this technique, I hope to see a larger improvement by the end of the month. After the strokes become more familiar, I will start to write out quotes and sentences that allow me to practice even more.

Have you ever tried to improve your handwriting? Did you use any special techniques that helped you achieve your desired skill level? I would love to know your experiences in the comments below!