Octopus Lollipops

The materials you will need for this project are:

  • Tootsie Roll Lollipops
  • Tissue Paper
  • Assorted Colored Pipe Cleaners
  • Googly eyes, or eye stickers
  • Stickers

(Optional) Items you need for the display stand:

  • Styrofoam Cone
  • Craft Spray Paint – Be sure to get the type that states that it is safe for crafty foams.


The first step for this is to cut out the tissue paper into little squares. You want the square to be big enough to cover the lollipop and be able to twist beneath it on the stick. The second thing I would suggest is to cut each of the pipe cleaners in half. You should be able to do this with regular scissors.

Put the lollipop in the middle of the square and fold the ends down around  and down to the stick. Then take the pipe cleaners and wrap 4 pipe cleaners around the stick so that the two ends are roughly the same size. Then twist each pipe cleaner end to imitate tentacles.  The final step is to attach the eyes to the top of the lollipop.

Now I had a dilemma where I need to display them somehow. I saw a pinterest photo but it wasn’t linked to any tutorial or blog, so I decided to try it. I purchased a styrofoam cone and spray painted it blue. After it dried I stuck each of the sticks into the foam in no particular order or arrangement. I just placed it high enough on the cone that the stick wouldn’t break through the bottom.

I would love to know your thoughts on this project in the comments below. I would also love to know if you have ever tried this project yourself and I would invite you to link the results as well.

Fish School Birthday Banner

The birthday banner, in my opinion, is one of the most fun things to create for my kids birthday parties. I love to make it themed and personalized. Every year I create a new banner, but this year’s was too adorable.

What you need for this craft:

  • Pre-cut paper fish shapes.
  • Alphabet Stickers

For the alphabet stickers, I went to hobby lobby and found white glitter letters. They were all lowercase which I felt added a sort of whimsical and childish effect that I was wanting.  Please be sure to plan out what you want the letters to spell out when you choose the stickers. Maybe you need four a’s and only three come in the package, which means you would need two packages of stickers.

I enlisted the help of my daughter, who was all too excited about this project. I love that she is to the age where she is appreciative of the time and energy it takes to complete creative projects. She is such a huge help. I asked her to hand each letter to me in the order that I needed it and I stuck it to the fish shape. I needed almost all the fish and there was no room for trial and error.


I loved how happy each fish seemed to be to carry out this task. I had thought of several ways to keep this banner together. One of my ideas was to get a thin rope and string it through the eyes of the fish to make it seem like they were caught. But the more I thought of that idea, the more I thought how morbid that would be for a toddler’s party. So my second thought was to make it a school of fish. So I draped rolled plastic table cloths across my walls and then attached to fish to the table cloth with tape.  I did not tape the fish to each other, each one was independent of the others.  The way I decided to place them so it would be centered was to start with the center fish on the two phrases and work out from those centered letters. Once I added the other underwater creatures, I was amazed with how the banner turned out!

I would love to know your thoughts on this project. Let me know in the comments below. If you try out any of these projects, I would love to see, so shoot me an email or link them in the comments below!

Jellyfish Mood Lighting

First off, let me say, this project turned out way cooler than I had imagined in my head. Sometimes we complete a project and we impress ourselves with the results, this is one of those projects. When I presented this project to my daughter, initially she was unsure about just how it would turn out, but she knew she wanted to be a part of it. As I was looking around my house for the things in my home I could use to turn into something magical, I glanced up and saw the shape of the lamp was the perfect shape for a jellyfish. The fact that this jellyfish would hang over the food table is just that much more incentive to do it.

As you can see, I moved the lamp over so that it would hang directly over the table  for the party. We attached swirls, ribbon (curled with scissors) and streamers. I wanted it to look full so we used all different lengths and colors to create the look we were going for.

IAs you can tell, it truly did look like a jellyfish. I stood there turning the light on, and turning it off, but I felt like something was missing from it. I went to the store and purchased a blue lightbulb. I knew that this would give off the ambiance that I was trying to portray. I could not have been happier with the results. Below you will see a picture of the jellyfish alone with the blue light and then how it looked once all the decorations were up. The movement created by the fan on the other side of the room just made it pop that much more.

I would love to know what you think about this project in the comments below. If you decide to try this project, please link your picture below. I love looking at what others can create when a seed is planted!

Octopus Guard

In June, I had an Under the Sea themed birthday party for our two youngest. It was a blast. One of the fun stations at a birthday part is the gift table. We happen to have a great table set up in the corner of the room, so it was the perfect place to design this station.

What you need for this project is:

  • Streamers
  • Scissors
  • Permanent Marker
  • 1 Tissue Paper Honeycomb Ball (whatever size you want)

The first step to this project is the cut out 16 streamers of whatever color you wish. I used 8 blue and 8 white strips so that once I twisted them, it gave off a cool effect.  I took one streamer of each color and taped the ends together so that every tentacle had a double sided streamer.  I opened the honeycomb ball and taped one end of each of the streamers to the inside cardboard. I taped four on each side so that when I started to spread them out, they didn’t all look like they were coming from the same place. Then I hung the honeycomb ball from the ceiling.

I then took each of the double sided streamers and started to spread them out. Twisting the streamers, gave that effect I was looking for.  I wanted the end result to look like he was hanging out in the corner watching over the treasure below. After I completed each tentacle out where I wanted it, I drew eyes on the packaging for the honeycomb ball and cut them out. I attached it with tape and it stayed pretty good, but I would also suggest hot glue to attach them if you want to be sure that they stay put.

Overall, this guy turned out fantastically and my kids were just amazed at the size when it was all done. He was the life of the party and a big hit with the guests as well.  Have you ever attempted to make a creature out of nothing? I would love to hear your thoughts on this project in the comments below!

Sea Sponges

Usually when you have a summer party, it inevitably involves water of some sort. Well,  I decided we were having an Under the Sea Birthday Party for my two youngest, whose birthdays are both in June. I wanted to have something that they could play with. We had a sand box and a small kiddie pool, but each of those couldn’t support the masses of the birthday party guests as well. So, after tirelessly searching on Pinterest, I came across these magnificent sponges to replace water balloons. I do not like water balloons for several reasons:

  1. I hate filling up each one and tying them off, especially when they either break in my lap or once I try to lay it gently in the tub with the others.
  2. The broken balloon pieces all over the ground. I have small children and a dog that literally eats everything. I don’t want either part to ingest these small pieces.
  3. The balloons themselves never pop when you want them to. Instead they fall as casualties to the ground after bouncing off its target, in the hand of the thrower mid aim,  or random objects caught in the line of fire.
  4. You use so much water in the process of filling the balloons.

This is why I felt these were fantastic alternatives. So, let’s get down to how they were made. For this project you will need the following:

  • Sponges (dollar store sponges are the best for this project)
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors

The first step is the take out all the sponges from the packages and  cut them into strips. Looking over all the tutorials, there is no right or wrong way to do this, however, in my experience, cutting them longways into four strips worked out the best. After I cut them all out, I separated them out into color piles.

I then chose to pick out 12 strips. You can use less strips, but I wanted full sponges for the most splash:toss ratio. I tried different amounts and honestly 12 is the best. So I lined them up in non-pattern form of 12 strips.

I then squeezed the center and tied a rubber band tightly around the center. After I tied the sponges, I spread out each of the ends to make a perfect circle.

After one was complete, It was quite easy to finish the rest. The total project took less than 20 minutes. Be aware that I had made four full sea sponges out of 12 sponges of various colors. Depending on the amount of sponges you need, plan on using 3 sponges for each sponge ball.

The benefits of using these are as follows:

  1. They fill up with as much or more water than a water balloon.
  2. Hands of all sizes can handle them.
  3. They do not break easily.
  4. When they do hit the ground, They don’t gather a lot of dirt because of the shape. Only the tips touch the ground.
  5. One bucket of water lasts the entire party.

When I reviewed them with the kids after the party, it was a unanimous YES! for making more of these in the future. The good thing about them is that once they dry, you can place them in a bucket in the garage for use the next time you want to have fun with water!

Have you ever tried alternatives for water balloons without wasting water? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!



Showcase Sunday #12 – Alyssa Kindred

In this week’s Showcase Sunday, I would love to introduce you to Alyssa Kindred and her blog, CrimsnMacchiato. I had the opportunity to visit her blog and I love the way that the blog is comforting and inviting. Her coffee cup collection is something to definitely be amazed by, check out her About page to see what I’m talking about. Her witty sense of humor and informative reviews will have you returning again and again. But before you jump over there to her blog, see what she has to say from our interview below.

What made you get into blogging?

I have always been passionate about writing. Growing up, I would write poetry and short stories. As I got older, I developed a love for health and fitness.  I always shared my thoughts, ideas, and secrets of success with my friends and coworkers. Every time I would try a new product, it was the same – I loved discussing it with everyone! I started writing on Hub-pages six years ago, and I would share some of my favorite papers, essays, and thoughts. It was a lot of fun and I dabbled with it on and off. I love inspiring people and putting positive energy out into the universe and so, in August of 2016, I made the decision to start an actual blog and write regularly.  

What is the story behind your blog name?

When I started in August, I named my blog SassyCatK. It was okay at the time, but I grew tired of it. The name just didn’t fit me, or the blog. I wanted a name that better reflected who I am and one that would set the tone for my writing. I’m known for my bright red hair, it’s my signature, and I love coffee.  I am always posting something on social media concerning my deep affection for the caffeinated beverage and I wanted a name to reflect all of that. Several weeks passed of me writing ideas down, trying to come up with something perfect. I had an idea that I loved, but that name was taken by a coffee shop, so I was essentially stuck.  One afternoon I was chatting with my husband about it. We had just visited Starbucks the day before, (this was in January) and when it’s cold, I always order a caramel macchiato. I had the holiday cups sitting on the counter next to my little notebook of ideas. Caramel Macchiato would be a great name, but I’m not a brunette and I had my heart set on using the word crimson in place of red. In that moment, my husband came up with crimson macchiato. I fell in love with the name – it was perfect! After a little research, I went to change my Twitter handle, but I had to drop the ‘o’ because there were too many characters. CrimsnMacchiato was born.

Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?

Ah yes, The School of Hard Knocks. Ha! In all seriousness, I studied psychology, philosophy, the arts, and accounting in college. I also took courses related to health and fitness. But I draw a good portion of my content from personal experience.

What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?

Hmm.. I’ve definitely made mistakes in life. Haven’t we all? I wouldn’t say any of them are worthy of the title, “Greatest Failure,” though. I am a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. From every mistake came a lesson learned, and a sense of clarity. For example, a few years ago, we were in the process of moving. I was at the old house, cleaning stuff up and organizing everything. I was cleaning up a chair that had been in the garage one evening. I must have moved wrong, somehow, because in an instant, I felt a twinge and a lot of pain in my lower back.  I managed to make it into the house and lay down on the hardwood floor, where I stayed for a few hours until I could get myself back up. I learned a few lessons from this occurrence. 1. Age doesn’t matter. (I was 26) 2. You are only as young as your spine. (I’ve had back pain off and on ever since.) 3. Be mindful of your movements. 4. Don’t take anything for granted.  5. Find humor in every situation. 6. Have gratitude for the things you can do. 7.Icy Hot is amazing.  

Who has influenced you the most with your blog?

My family, for sure. My husband and my son are a constant source of support, inspiration, and love.

How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?

Honestly, I feel like I’m always working on my blog, in one aspect or another. But, 20 hours- ish a week would be a good estimate. Ideas pop into my head at the most random times of the day and I have to jot them down or I’ll forget them completely.  And, I always have my camera at the ready because you never know when a photo-op will present itself. A beautiful or unique set of clouds?  A gorgeous sunset?  An interesting tree? Yes, I just have to snap a few photos!  

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

It’s has been a hobby that I have treated like a career for the past (almost) year. I would absolutely love to turn blogging into my actual, full-time profession. How cool would that be?

What is your passion?

Family. Writing, of course.  Coffee.  😉

Fitness. Tracy Anderson and Yoga are essentials for me. Dancing, and Music. I love all types of music, from Johnny Cash and Fleetwood Mac, to Ryan Adams and Britney Spears. And everything in between! I am always dancing and singing my heart out around the house and in the car, whether I know the lyrics or not. Ha! I love reading – I’m a huge Steven Berry, Ken Follett, and Natasha Mostert fan. And I love learning new things! I try to learn something new every day.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

There’s a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson I have loved for many years that sums it up beautifully:

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

What piece of advice have you found helpful that you would like to share with other bloggers?

When I first started, I left a comment on the First Friday post on WordPress. Many people left encouraging feedback, but one lady gave me some advice on aesthetics that stuck with me. She left a comment about the layout of my blog. I love color, and at the time, I had a gray background with blue and white text. I thought it was fun, different, and would stand out. I didn’t realize that it might be hard on the eyes and distract from my writing. She essentially said that simple is best. A white background with black text is elegant and classic, and also easy on the eyes. After reading her comment, I changed my layout right away. I have fun with the text, changing up the font, but I am always mindful of keeping everything simple and readable. It’s easy to get caught up in design, it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the blog, but can be overwhelming and time consuming. Keep it simple. I also think it’s important to read as much as you can about blogging, keep learning, keep improving. Read other blogs, leave thoughtful, genuine comments, and just have fun.

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

This is a tough one. But for me, as a parent, there is no greater legacy than having my son grow up to be happy, successful, and a productive member of society.

Do you own a unique coffee mug collection?

I am actively working on building up a collection of fun, quirky coffee mugs. The Groot mug is my favorite; it was an early Valentine’s Day gift. I would love to have a Yoda mug! At the moment, I have the large purple one, four dark blue ones that I inherited, and two large white mugs from a parade.

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?

CrimsnMacchiato is a lifestyle blog. I post weekly inspiration, designed to help everyone live his or her best life (Suggestions are always welcome!) I share my fitness and lifestyle secrets, tips, and tricks; my favorite recipes; product reviews; highlights from my travels and so much more! –all with a dash of humor.  

Don’t just take my word for it, please visit her blog and let her know that you saw her here on “Sunday Showcase.”

As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at craftyartistkc@gmail.com and I would love to feature you next Sunday.

Lovely Blog Award

I am so new to the blog award concept but I absolutely adore the idea.  So many times, followers become one sided, so when you are noticed for your hard work, It gives you the boost you need to keep going! I was nominated by the amazing Shri from http://personalogues.com/ for the Lovely Blog Award. If you haven’t heard about this one, here are the rules:

  1. Mention and leave a link to the blog of the person who nominated you.
  2. Share seven interesting facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate others for the award.
  4. Share the good news with your nominees.

I recently shared three facts about me in my last award, so here are 7 more facts about me that might interest you:

  1. I pride myself on being very educated. I want to learn something new every day.
  2. I don’t watch much TV at all, and when I do, I either fall asleep, or keep myself awake with art.
  3. I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes that gets in the way of my art, but I really have to make an effort to accept what comes out.
  4. I just recently started learning beauty secrets and how to put on makeup. Who knew I was doing it wrong the whole time?
  5. I have to change the furniture around as often as I can. It always makes me feel like it gives new life to an old space!
  6. I have only been drawing for less than 2 years. I hadn’t even wanted to doodle before that, only scrapbooked occasionally.
  7. I am an avid PC gamer. Although I haven’t been able to play as much as I used to, I love MMORPG’s like World of Warcraft, (That’s right, vanilla player here!) and Diablo III.

I hope you enjoyed those little nuggets about me, now for my nominees. I want to nominate 7 blogs that have supported me in my new website as well as have some pretty amazing blogs.

  1. Learn Polymer Clay
  2. 1000 Places and Memories
  3.  Saint P Blogging
  4. Yassy
  5. The Shower of Blessings
  6. Suze
  7. Needull

Congratulations to all of you! Now I’m off to be creative!

June 2017 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. This is my second month getting it. If you don’t want to read this post, you can watch the video below of the un-boxing here. 

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:


Ok, lets get started on everything you get in the box and I will have pictures to give you a good look at each product. First off, lets take a look at everything you get.

JUNE 2017 Premium Sketchbox

First Look Chameleon Color Top Set – $12.99

Chameleon Marker – Sky Blue – $5.99

3x PrismaColor Premier Brush Tip Markers – $3.75ea

Crescent RendR 3.5″x5.5″ Sketchbook – $10.34

Total Retail: $40.57

First Look Chameleon Color Top Set – $12.99

“Chameleon Color Tops are a whole new way to blend color. Simply pop a Chameleon Color Top on top of a Chameleon Pen. One color just flows into the other! Even opposite colors like orange and green can be blended together without a seam”  – Product description card.

As you can see, they sent me a small mixture of pinks, violet and blue. Now I will say, that I have never used these pens so I have no clue how to accurately use them. It will be a trial and error thing. I will update this post with my product review for these pens after I have completed it. However, I have been waiting for the opportunity to use these to blend out my mandalas a little more, so I am extremely excited for the opportunity to try them out.

Chameleon Marker – Sky Blue – $5.99

What good is a color top without a way to use it? We included a Chameleon Color Ton Marker so you can test out your new set of color tops. These let you change the intensity of the ink right on the nib, so you can achieve a variety of tons for highlighting, shading, blending, or for adding depth, dimension, and texture.” – Product description card

This is another product that I have no experience with. I have just recently gotten to know about the Chameleon brand itself. I’m more anxious to see how they all work together. When I do the product review for the tops, it will include this marker as well, as I believe they all go hand in hand. I have heard from other bloggers that sometimes you have to hold the nibs together for upwards of a minute, but I do need to do my own experiments with my own and I will let you know.

PrismaColor Premier Brush Tip Markers – $3.75

“We also included a black, blue and green brush marker from one of our favorite brands. These colors work well with the floral color set from Chameleon and allow you to get precise line work or thick broad strokes” – Product description card.

Now this is a product I stand behind. I have done a product review on the full set of PrismaColor Markers and you can find it here. I love that they have included the different colors, since all I had previously was black. The brush tip takes a little bit to get used to. You really have to concentrate on things like pressure, however, the ink is steady and does not skip. This does make it the perfect marker for outlining artwork or faux-calligraphy. (which is a different post for a different day) Either way, I would highly suggest that every artist have a few of these with different nibs for almost anything they might need fine lines for!

Crescent RendR 3.5″x5.5″ Sketchbook – $10.34

“With all the blendable ink this month. It was key to provide the proper surface to handle it. RENDR is a versatile, revolutionary paper that won’t bleed through no matter what media you use. RENDR lets you use every page in your sketchbook. Create on both sides of the page – even solvent-based markers and acrylic washes won’t bleed through to the other side. No more tearing out the next page, no more limitations on the types of media you can use to express yourself. This book will lend itself well to many months coming up!” – Product description card.

I am also very excited about this sketchbook and let me tell you why. I follow several artists on YouTube and furthermore their blogs. The one consistency between them is that they all have nothing but positive reviews about RENDR sketchbooks. Each artist has their own media that they gravitate towards and even though they are all different, they all still love the fact that the media doesn’t bleed through. They have suggested it to their readers/viewers and I have been dying to get my hands on here so that I can test it out myself. I have so many supplies that I would love to test on this paper from ink to watercolor and everywhere in between. I am sad that the book is smaller, but it gives me ample space to actually review it properly. Once I do get the chance to review this product, I will update this post to link it.

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


Knot an ordinary blanket.

So I got this gift for my daughter for Christmas. She was all about this gift, using pieces for her dolls beds and pillows. Time and time I told her that if she kept using the pieces, she wouldn’t have enough for a blanket. “I won’t lose any momma!” She says with confidence. 

Fast forward to last week when she pulls it out asking me to help her make this blanket. So I sit down and request the color of her choice. Now each side of these felt squares have 12 knots to be tied. I decided that the best way to make this good from both sides would be to tie a knot then flip the blanket over and tie the next one. This would ensure six knots shown on each side of the blanket for each edge of the square. This is working out beautifully I think. 

I am starting to get into the groove of the knot tying when I shortly realize this is going to be a fairly small blanket. I ask her if she can find any more pieces and she shrugs her shoulders assuring me that I have all the pieces.  

 This is my 3 year old daughter, at least she will be in 2 days, and as you can see, we do not have all the pieces. This blanket was supposed to be for my eight year old. So, the solution I think is to either buy more felt or figure out a good border. 

This is where I need your help. What solutions do you have to finish this blanket off? Let me know in the comments below!

Showcase Sunday #11 – Pauline King

In this week’s Showcase Sunday, I would love to introduce you to Pauline King from her blog The Contented Crafter. She has such a wonderful disposition and an amazing outlook on life. As I was reading through our interview, I realized just how much we had in common. From using mixed medias to just wanting to be the change we wish to see in the world.  She has so much to offer and I am proud that I have gotten the opportunity to introduce her to my readers. Before you rush off to visit her website, read what she has to say below:

What made you get into blogging?

I started blogging February 2013 simply to keep track of all my craft and art items that were being made and given away or sold with no trace left of my progress.  I thought if I started recording and photographing it would be a good incentive for me to keep creating.  I’m also notoriously sanguine in my creative pursuits and get bored easily – it’s good for me to be accountable to something.  

Around the same time I also changed up my lifestyle and took full responsibility for my health and wellbeing through changing my diet and applying myself in a more dedicated manner to pursuing a more contented lifestyle by choosing positive thoughts and actions as much as possible.  (Hence the name of my blog)  I didn’t intend to write about that, but a couple of posts in and there it was….

I didn’t really think anyone would read my posts so was quite surprised when I got ‘likes’.  I didn’t even know what that meant really  🙂   It didn’t take long and a growing community of like minded people began to find their way to me and the rest, as they say, is history.

You mentioned that you love to work with mixed media, which is your favorite currently?

I guess it’s having free range to use whatever takes my fancy in the moment…..  I’m a little in love with watercolour crayons and pencils and try to find an excuse to use them everywhere at the moment.  I recently copied the idea of having blind prompts for working in my art journal – I don’t know who first invented the idea, it’s been around for a few years I think and I just decided to give it a go as I am currently practising ‘freeing myself up’ in my artistic endeavours.   (I think I’m a little stiff)  So I got 100 tongue depressors and wrote a different instruction on each.  I did the first journal page just two days ago and it is vastly different to anything else I’ve ever done and was a real challenge – and really fun!  So I may try that technique on canvas at some point.

Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?

No, I am a self taught mixed media artist and all round crafter and dabbler in anything that takes my fancy – a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades and dilettante.

What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?

I don’t see life in  term of failures – everything that happens is a learning experience and a chance for us to grow and improve as human beings.  If life was always comfortable and easy we would never wake up, we would never learn who and what we are capable of being and we would never learn empathy or how to reach out and help our fellow human beings.  This philosophy can be applied in the art studio too.  

I find that making art offers many opportunities for ‘happy accidents’ to occur and opportunities to become more creative.   I think every work goes through an ‘ugly stage’ and recognising this has taught me to persevere and keep going, to never give up, because inevitably something better, different, or more exciting will appear.  I guess just like in life, you have to let go of control and be prepared to be surprised.   I’m constantly surprised  🙂

Who has influenced you the most with your blog?

I think we are all constantly picking up thoughts and ideas from each other – nothing is unique or original when you trace it back.  So I would say that every blogger I read regularly would have had some influence on me.  

How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?

I have no idea.  I usually begin my day with a cup of coffee and a read of some of my favourite blogs that have come in overnight.  At this time I also respond to any comments left on my blog.  I guess I spend an hour to an hour and a half every morning at this activity.

If I get time to take a break in the  afternoon I might read some more posts then, or work on something I have in draft form.  Though mostly I write in the evenings, when I also catch up on the last of the blog posts in my reader.  I post on a random schedule, when I feel like I have something to say or show – or too much time has gone past and people have started to ask me if I’m alright  🙂  

So, maybe two plus hours every day.  Reading, writing, commenting and interacting.  That’s 14 hours a week, which seems like quite a lot!  

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

Blogging is my hobby.  I interact with other hobbyists – photographers, artists, crafters, writers and just plain folks who are really interesting and fun and good to spend a few moments with on a regular basis.  Many have become personal friends, it’s a great venue to meet up with like minded people.  Two years ago, I was invited by a group of bloggers who had become friends through additional meetings via Skype, facebook and emails to visit them in the US and we had a wonderful time together.  Four of those friends will come to my part of the world, New Zealand, early next year.  We are going to have a ball!!

What is your passion?

Now this is a good question!  Only one?  I have several….  As an ex-teacher I am passionate about promoting a return to the classical education that moves at the same rate as the students mental and emotional development and which covers language, mathematics, sciences, geography, history, art, movement and physical and life skills in a unified and holistic manner.   

As a person who believes I must be the change I hope to see in the world, I am still passionate about learning and practising the skills that make us conscious of our ability to be responsible for our lives and our experiences; for our relationships, our health and our desires.  I am aware there is a need for people to take hold of habitual thought patterns and to question the societal mores that we are surrounded with from birth to death.  I am passionate about our need to create a world where all people are equal members of the human race and where respect, empathy and openness are freely given to all members.  I am passionate about trying to live up to my ideals even though there is a daily shortfall  🙂  

Have you ever been trolled or had a bad review of something you were proud of? If not, how do you react normally to criticism, whether it is constructive or destructive.

No, I’ve never been trolled, though my Twitter account once got hacked and I wrote a post about that which gave us all a lot of laughs   https://thecontentedcrafter.com/2016/08/30/bottoms-up/

I’ve learned that the way criticism is delivered says more about the deliveree than me or whatever I’ve done that is being criticised.  That applies to both positive and negative criticism.    As an artist I value constructive criticism – it has never told me something I don’t already know on some level and the confirmation so often gives me a hint or direction to move forward in.   It can be extraordinarily helpful!  

What is your ultimate goal in life?

To leave it knowing I have travelled far, learnt well and always done my best.

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

That people would smile when they thought of me.

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?

My blog is a mixture of random thoughts, activities and daily life mixed in with whatever artistic or crafty pursuit I am currently interested in.  I don’t philosophise much, that is more inclined to come out in the comments I leave on my own and my friends blogs.  I’m quietly fey and spiritual and ever so slightly ditzy, but don’t spread that about unnecessarily  🙂    

Don’t just take my word for it, please visit her blog and let her know that you saw her here on “Sunday Showcase.”

As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at craftyartistkc@gmail.com and I would love to feature you next sunday.

Diva Challenge #320 

For those of you that have been following, you know that occasionally I do a few challenges. I have my lunchtime challenge, and diva challenges and also madebyjoey challenges. Today for my lunchtime challenge, I decided to integrate a diva challenge in as well. You can see the challenge here. It requires using a tangle called “dansk”. 

So, with this challenge, I decided to use an artist’s tile to ensure that I had a small area to fill. I also decided that I wanted to add a few patterns I typically use in my drawings. I like the way it turned out even though it was my first time using this tangle. 

Have you ever used this pattern? If so, link yours in the comments below. Also try to push yourself to complete it in 45 minutes or less since this is also combined with my lunchtime challenge. 

2017 Sketchbook – Page 14

I started this page wanting to get back to the fine little details I have been longing for so long. I have gotten away from the projects that took more than ten hours to complete and moved to simple doodles that I could complete over a 45 minute lunch break. I love that I am able to merge back into the more detailed. of course I’m not going to jump into a 10 hour doodle at once, so I decided to ease myself into it. This piece took just over 3 hours to complete from start to finish. It is not the best feather I have ever drawn, but I’ve only drawn two total, so it had a 50% chance.

I wanted to just zoom in a little so you can see what i’m talking about. I used Staedtler Pigment liners .08 and .02 to complete this feather. There were some patterns I have done before on here and some that I just made up as I went along. What are some of your favorite elements of this feather. Share with me in the comments. Also, if you have ever drawn a feather, I would love to see what you came up with. Link it with your comment so I can take a look!

Mandala Scratch Fun!

Have you seen these scratch pads? How fun it was to create some awesome art with my daughter. She especially loved the stencils she could use for her pieces. It was nice just sitting there, talking and creating something truly special between us. The art pieces were just a bonus! *wink*

Of course, the first thing I always attempt are mandala. It is where I am most comfortable and where I can always create something different. This one is completely hand drawn, I was afraid to use any grid lines like I usually do because I didn’t want to make any scratches I didn’t need. Because the paper was longer and it was wide, I decided to add some elements to each corner so that it was more complete.

I would love to know your comments and suggestions for scratch art in the future. This is something I had a lot of fun with and was allowed to let my perfectionism go for a bit.


2017 Sketchbook – Page 13

First off, let me say that I absolutely love the rain. I love listening to the rain and I love how everything looks so green afterwards! We have had a lot of rain lately and its supposed to rain some more, and I’m totally okay with that! Because I love the rain so much, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to draw something to that notion. So, I began to put my pen to the paper and came up with this!

Now look closely, do you see that it is made up of several….hundred? thousand? (I don’t know because I didn’t count) dots?

There is a little bit of a close up so you can see better. I just love using this technique, called stippling. It adds just a different dimension to the piece as a whole. When the dots are closer together it makes a darker line and the more space you give them the lighter the shading gets. Now I am in no way an expert at this, in fact I have only used the technique a handful of times. But I love it and the pigment liners I use for this make it so much easier. I will give one piece of advice, the smaller the tip, the easier it is. For me, I like to use the .01 or even the .005 depending on the size of the piece.

I hope you enjoyed the look at this page and I would love your suggestions and comments about your experiences with this technique. Let me know in the comments below!

2017 Sketchbook – Page 12

For those of you that have been following, you know that one of my hobbies is playing World of Warcraft. No other game has captured my attention this long. I dabble with Hearthstone as well as Diablo III, but World of Warcraft has been my game, since vanilla. Yes! I’m one of THOSE vanilla players. One thing that has stayed pretty consistent is the use of hearthstones. I have always loved hearthstones and the designs artists have come up with. While playing World of Warcraft one day, I decided it was about time I did my own rendition of the hearthstone. So I decided to draw it out really fast on a piece of paper.

After drawing this, pretty roughly, I decided that this was something that I wanted to keep in my sketch book. So I started from scratch, and drew it again. Keeping the fact that I wanted to portray the hearthstone as a charm. Since the hearthstone is unisex, I also wanted a rope that kept true with the World of Warcraft craftsmanship. So, this is my penciled in work in my actual sketchbook!

I decided that  since I really liked where this  was going, I would ink it in. Now I have seriously debated on whether or not I would like to color it, and for now, I needs to just stay inked, at least until I get better at shading and such. So here is the final inked page in my sketchbook.

What do you think? Did I capture the idea of the hearthstone being a charm on a necklace? Have you ever attempted to artistically use the hearthstone? Tell me in the comments below and link your own work so I can check it out.

Showcase Sunday #10 – PMu Ink

In this week’s Showcase Sunday, I want to introduce PMu Ink from Daily Doodle.  She has a wonderful doodle blog that is fun and is promoting and encouraging positive drawing habits. She also has a wonderful blog exchange where she introduces other blogs. Her blog is a wonderful way to share her gift with the world and cultivate the wonders of doodling. Before you hop over to view some of what she has to offer, get to know her in the interview below.

What made you get into blogging?

It was actually my friend Paul who convinced me.  I was doing a lot of drawing last year as part of processing a particularly nasty bout of depression, and during that time I felt like I found my voice as a doodler.  As I came through the other side of it I shared a few doodles with him and he gave me the encouragement to start the blog.  It’s also where the tag line came from, I always felt that art had to be incredibly deep oil painting, I had to tell myself that something didn’t have to be that ‘worthy’ in order to pluck up the courage to share something.

Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?

Not really.  I have a GCSE in art, but anyone who has done that knows that half the course is copying other people’s work.  I actually really hated it, and after graduating it took me a few years to pick up the pencil again.  Studying really sucked the fun out of it for me.  I see drawing as more of a skill than a talent, literally anyone can do it they just need plenty of practice and some realistic expectations.  I will never be a sculptor, but I can nail a doodle a day and really enjoy it.  I have also found by cultivating some really positive drawing practices I have really improved over the last year.  I also now have a record of that learning which is really great.

What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?

Every time I draw something I make a mistake or something doesn’t turn out how I picture it in my head.  For a long time I thought this meant I wasn’t very good, and I would start again or break out the rubber.  Now though I just try to go with it, or incorporate it into the design of what I’m doing.  Learning how to make the most out of my mistakes has been really freeing and if I could share any lesson with the secret doodlers out there, who have a ton of sketchbooks and pieces of paper stored somewhere in the bedrooms, it would be that.

Who has influenced you the most with your blog?

There is a book called Mindfulness and the Art of Drawing by Wendy Ann Greenhalgh which is really worth a read.  It’s an easy read, the illustrations are really stylish and it helps draw that line between an internal process and external expression.  Other than that it’s pretty varied.  I read a lot of sci-fi and folk tales, I watch a lot of documentaries about animals.  The hatch style that I have settled into was particularly inspired by old wood carvings and etchings.    

How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?

It really does vary depending on what I’m doing.  Some drawings like My Lovers Heart And Mind Are One 04 take no time at all and will only take an hour or so, others like Middles take days.  One of my favorite posts was the time-lapse video I did.  I was determined to record one of the larger A3 doodles, and in the video you can actually see the shadows move as time passes throughout the day.  I think I started at 10 in the morning and finished just before sunset, with two very short breaks in between.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

It started off as a hobby, and has actually become a bit of a profession,  although it’s not enough for me to give up my day job, it’s great to make money from something I enjoy so much.

What is your passion?

I love drawing, but I have a serious passion for watching cartoons and animations.  I don’t have the patience to actually make them, but I will often have something animated playing in the background as I work.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

I would like to find a way to make a living out of my doodles, but apart from that I try to keep my goals small.  At the moment I am working on a book project with my friend Paul, after that I’m not sure.  Continue with the commissions I have at the moment, and then maybe start gathering things together to get an art book printed.

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

To lead a life that helps people in some way, to be kind and to be remembered when I die as someone who laughed a lot, felt things deeply and hopefully inspired others to do what they loved too.

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?

The only other thing I would like to share is to say again that anyone can draw.  No really, anyone.  It just takes practice and like any skill, practice is done little and often.  You will learn more from doodling in the margins of a notebook every day then spending a week in an artist retreat once a year, although if you can do both, great!  Also even if you don’t think something is very good, share it anyway.  You will be surprised what others like, some of the stuff that I have come seriously close to throwing into the fire is the stuff that gains the highest number of views.  Let other people judge your work and just enjoy the process.

Don’t just take my word for it, please visit her blog and let her know that you saw her here on “Sunday Showcase.”
As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at craftyartistkc@gmail.com and I would love to feature you next Sunday.

Lunchtime Challenge

I started out with something very simple, a paisley. Slowly, I added more and more until it had morphed into a beautiful border. I have seen similar borders but haven’t really made any of my own. Well, today over lunch I decided to dive in and create something unique to me.

As you can tell from this picture, I just felt like one single border was just too plain for the full tile. So I not only added one on each side, but then I felt like a simple checkered pattern in the background worked nicely. I used .05 pigment liner for the main pattern, then I used a .005 pigment liner for the background. Using a smaller pen gave it the dimension I was looking for.

Have you ever seen this pattern and would you ever use it as a border? Let me know in the comments below!

Showcase Sunday #9 – Kent Wayne

In this week’s Showcase Sunday, I want to introduce you to Kent Wayne from Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha. He is a brilliant writer with the ability to captivate his audience in a fantastical science fiction world. I had the opportunity to interview him and much to my surprise, He was very amusing with his answers. Before you run to check out his latest chapter in Echo, read more about him below.

What made you get into blogging?

I got into blogging as a way to promote my actual books.  I noticed that indie author and runaway success Hugh Howey had used a blog to promote his works, and I also saw it as a way to learn how to produce content in a consistent manner, as well as sharpen my writing skills.

Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?

All training I’ve had in writing and philosophy has been a result of my independent pursuits—my own reading and experimentation.  I’ve known I was an overthinker since I was very young; writing has allowed me a constructive avenue with which to utilize my [curse/gift].

What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?

I won’t get into the specifics of my greatest failure, but it basically convinced me to switch my internal operating system from that of mindless persistence to one that’s focused on precision.  I used to glorify the aesthetic of just grinding away, always loyal to the same routines and habits.  I still use the discipline I’ve gained from that approach to tackle my projects, but now I’ve learned that I should always be looking for a more efficient way to put out better product.  Success is a relative concept—what was awesome 20 years ago is cliché today, so I always try to increase my “rev.”  The way I do this is I try and look deeper into the subjects that interest me at a faster pace than I did before.  When I do this right, I gain insights which can be funneled back into my writing and blogging, and I also gain an increase in capability; now I’m able to put stuff out at a speedier rate

When did you first start writing and when did you first publish?

I started writing around late 2014/early 2015.  I first published in March of 2015.

Who has influenced you the most with your blog?

I would say Bill Watterson—author of Calvin and Hobbes.  I like to use my blog as an informal way to express random observations and funny stories.

What is your favorite genre of writing? Is it different from your favorite genre to read?

My favorite genre of writing is hard to define—I guess I just like the fantastical, whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, or modern-day life with an added edge of impossible.  My favorite genre to read…I don’t have a favorite genre, but my favorite book series firmly fits in the aforementioned category:  The Dark Tower, by Stephen King.  (I grew up loving the saying:  “There are other worlds than these.”)

Do you watch movies that are based on books you’ve read?

Yeah but not as a rule or anything.  If there’s a movie people praise then I’ll see it.  (Loved La La Land and I hate romances and I hate musicals even more lol)

How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?

I’d say blogging is like another job for me.  Even though I rarely sit down to blog for more than half an hour or an hour at a time, if you add it all up it probably comes out to around 20 hours a week.  I try to utilize observations I see in traffic patterns and specific kinds of content to maximize the “flow” and reader experience of my blog.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

Blogging is my hobby.  I’m just a freewheeling vet/college student that’s trying to avoid the Office Life.  If I have to work in an office then so be it, but at least I’ve learned a lot while I’m attending school and set up good systems which I can perpetuate if I have to transition into a real job.

What piece of advice would you give aspiring writers out there wanting to get into blogging?

I would say to aspiring writers that creativity is like a muscle.  Even if you’re short on time, write every day.  250 words takes five to fifteen minutes, and will give you a publishable length manuscript (80-100k) in one year’s time.  

Also, from what I’ve seen, there are two approaches to creativity—obsession or awareness.  Obsession is unhealthy—you focus on your work to the point that you achieve a meditative state, ignore everything else, and tap into some kind of universal truth. (think Steve Jobs).  The downsides to this approach are obvious—it’s very hard to balance the rest of your life and not spiral out of control.  

Awareness allows you to maintain a good work/life balance but it is EXTREMELY unpleasant—basically you need to question the viewpoints that make you “you” and not someone else.  My method is to use “what if”s to push up against personal boundaries.  So for example:  “What if the person you loved/respected most in your life is a villain?  What facts/anecdotes would you use to make that case?”  Or:  “What if the person you hated most in your life was a hero?  How would you make the case for that?”  

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you can see how trying to understand multiple perspectives exposes where one might draw a mental line in the sand and refuse to explore any further.  Nevertheless, I feel it’s an essential tool for being able to illustrate theme and philosophy through a mosaic of different characters

Do you keep a daily journal? Are you more technological or physical?

No daily journal. I’m definitely more technological.  I write 3500 words a day 5x a week and that’s hard as balls on my wrists.  Writing would completely destroy my forearms, haha!

What is your passion?

My passion is physical activities.  My joints are too busted for me to do more than some rudimentary weight-lifting and biking, but one day, if I make enough money, I’d like to get some stem cell therapy and get back into martial arts.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

My ultimate goal in life is to entertain people and have my days completely to myself.  I’d like to live in a different place every 3-6 months without worrying about money and have a few dogs around to make me smile.  (My ex took mine in the divorce, but it’s okay ‘cos the studio I’m living in right now is too small for ’em).

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

I don’t know if I want to leave any legacy behind.  People tell me they enjoy my blog and my writing, and honestly that’s enough for me.  I feel privileged that anyone’s bought my books or liked any of my posts—and I feel FLATTERED that they leave good reviews or comments!  Just knowing that I contributed something that I made by myself—rather than just perpetuating a bureaucracy for the government or shareholders—feels amazing.  I think if my time on Earth was up at this moment, I would have no complaints.  I feel I’ve been given blessings beyond what I ever could have expected.

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?

I guess that if you took the core things in spirituality (we are pieces of an infinitely powerful being that chose to forget it was infinitely powerful so it could experience the joy of rediscovering itself) and science (we are short-lived specks hurling through space) and followed them to their logical ends, you would come to the same conclusion:  Enjoy the time you are here, because it will soon be over.  This doesn’t mean give in to hedonism—from what I understand, any form of addict is driven by compulsion more than enjoyment—but to foster whatever qualities you need to (discipline, creativity, knowledge, toughness) in order to drink as deeply as you can out of the well of life.  That’s the way I try to live.  I hope that everyone gets their full drought of their amazing experience as human beings.  That’s it.

Don’t just take my word for it, please visit his blog and let him know that you saw him here on “Sunday Showcase.”

As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at craftyartistkc@gmail.com and I would love to feature you next Sunday.

Lunchtime Challenge

Its time for my Lunchtime Challenge for today. I have been slacking a little because I have been really busy working on my site instead of doodling, however, I am here today with a new doodle.  When you look into the art of zentangle, you will find that most of the zentangle patterns are drawn on an artist tile. These artist tiles are amazing for my lunchtime challenge because there isn’t a lot of surface to cover. To begin this doodle, I drew a border around the tile with a pencil. I didn’t want the doodle to extend beyond that border but I didn’t want a set border either.

After I drew this border as a reference, I decided to draw what is considered a “string” in the zentangle world. This string started from the center and spiraled out.

Now I needed to think about what I wanted the final product to look like. I had seen many different possibilities with a spiral string, but I knew I wanted to draw a continuous pattern as opposed to using multiple patterns on one tile. So I separated out the string, building out from the center.

Already, this produced the look I was going for, but I wanted this tile to be more complex. Although the possibilities are endless with this layout, I decided to start making petals. I started from each grid line as the tallest point of that grid. Working in steps, I gradually made each petal shorter than the previous one. Working in a circle was difficult because even if I hadn’t been trying to make them shorter, each one would have looked shorter anyways.

To fill in the tallest petals to make them not stick out like a sore thumb, I drew some fescu to fill in the blank areas. Now that I was at this point, I needed to start with the details. Each grid line beginning had to be a little different to make it stand out from the rest. So I added circles on each of the tallest petals. To add depth, I drew lines coming out from the center of each petal. This created the layered effect, which I have to say turned out just beautifully.

I would love to know what you think about this challenge doodle. I would also love to see what you can do in your lunch break time limit, mine just happens to be 45 minutes. Let me know in the comments below!

Showcase Sunday #8


In this weeks’ Showcase Sunday, I would like to introduce you to Reed Buck from Journey into Writing.  I really enjoyed interviewing him because his answers actually made me laugh out loud. Not only did his interview make me laugh, but the way he writes his blog is also witty and unique. I love his writing style because it is different than most the others out there. He learns by doing and he is doing great in my book. Before you run to check him out though, get a taste of his personality in the interview below.

What made you get into blogging?

Well, I’ve been creative writing since I was a kid, and I never really thought much about any other type of writing until after college, when I decided I wanted to give it a shot as a career. That was when my brother suggested to me to try blogging as a way to practice writing skills while I was looking for jobs in communications. Once I’d started, I just kind of fell in love with it.

You mentioned that you fell in love with blogging, what is it that you love most?

I love the honesty of it. I love that, because of anonymity, I can be a little more forward than I would normally be in exposing myself and the way I think to strangers. It’s been really gratifying to see that other people – not just my friends and family – are interested in hearing what I have to say.

Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?

Er… no. And that’s especially awkward because my blog subject is writing. When I first started my blog, I was working for the UCLA Library doing odd jobs, and as I continued the blog, I was given the opportunity to try some communications writing, some copywriting, and some article writing, but before that the only experience I’d had in writing was my little dinky creative writing projects.

What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?

Wow, getting philosophical, huh? I guess in regards to writing, I wrote a book series a while ago that I thought was really good, but I queried something like 80 different publishers and literary agencies and none of them so much as asked for the full manuscript. I also had to actually pay my alpha readers to read it for me. Interestingly enough, paying them was a great idea, because it gave me the courage to ask for the kind of in-depth, honest criticisms of certain aspects of my work that allowed me to hone in on what I was the worst at (which turned out to be pacing and character strength). That gave me a great place to start improving with my current writing project, which has turned out much better.

You also mentioned that you had written a book series before, have you revisited that series to resubmit or have you put it to the side for now? Also, have you written any book since?

I’ve put the series aside for now, although my girlfriend keeps bugging me to finish it. I’m working on a new project now – a single book which I’ve condensed down from what was originally going to be a trilogy – that I’ve written a lot about on my blog. I’ve completed the first third of it – I’m releasing it in parts to my alpha readers – and I expect the second and third parts to follow in the coming 2-3 months.

Who has influenced you the most with your blog?

Oh, wow. I honestly don’t know. I mean, my brother was the one who suggested I get into blogging, so I would probably say him, but since I take my blog to be an extension of my own eccentricity and honesty, I’d have to say anyone who influenced me as a person influenced my blog. Is that a cop-out? It sounds like a cop-out. Oh well.

How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?

Well, I just recently decided to cut back – I was writing a post every day, which was about an hour every day, but I noticed I wasn’t getting as much readership when I did that, so I’ll be posting every weekday from now on and giving myself the weekends to work more on creative writing… and naps. So it’s usually about five hours a week – one hour a day, five days a week. Not too bad.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

Looooool. Yeah, no, nobody would pay me to put this on. I mean, if you ever want to Venmo me a few bucks, I’m not above that. But no, blogging is a hobby for me. Maybe someday I’ll get lucky and my creative writing will make me some money, but for now, all the writing I do is just a hobby for me.

What is your passion?

I have four passions (can you tell I’ve been asked this before?). I love music – especially thematic and game soundtracks that really move me and make great cadence to write to. I love writing (obviously) and reading science fiction and fantasy of all kinds, from children’s and middle-grade all the way up to adult epic fantasy. I love neuroscience – my undergrad major – and learning various little cool things about the ways our brains work. And I love Christopher Nolan movies.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

No pressure or anything. If I were to guess right now, without the benefits of age and wisdom, I would say my  goal in life is to love as many people as possible as often as possible, and to try to express that love and positivity out into the world. And I guess getting one of my books published would be nice, too.

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

Honestly, I always kind of thought that legacy concept was kind of self-centered. I’d be okay just subsisting and being lost to history, if it just meant I left a few children behind who had good heads on their shoulders (or better than mine, at least). I guess that’s a sort of a legacy.

If you had one piece of advice that you could give other writers wanting to get into blogging, what would that be?

Oh, man, I’m not sure I’m the right one to ask about this. My success has consisted of (I think) 25 followers in like 4 months. But I guess I would say have a gameplan, and be open. Your gameplan is important because blogs are a huge chunk of the internet – if you don’t have something specific to write about that is unique to you, you’re not gonna get much viewership (like me). Being open is even more important, in my opinion, because people gravitate to someone who’s saying what they feel internally but are too afraid to express. But those are just my two cents, and they don’t go very far in this economy.

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?

It’s weird, and irreverent. I bounce back and forth between philosophy and writing tips and stream-of-consciousness writing like a pinball. But if you like my tone here, that’s more of what you’ll get at my blog. Thanks for checking it out!

Don’t just take my word for it, please visit his blog and let him know that you saw him here on “Sunday Showcase.”

As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at craftyartistkc@gmail.com and I would love to feature you next sunday.

Lunchtime Challenge

What do you see with this challenge?

Let me just tell you that this is the day that my domain was purchased. As a freelancer, I wanted to signify my independence. Although this is just the beginning, I am so proud to share my new site with all my followers. There are big things coming and not enough time in the day to explain them all in one post. Therefore, I hope that you subscribe to my site so that you can keep up with the latest and greatest coming from CraftyArtistKC!

So what do I see? Two lances, crossed, surrounded by life! Thank you for coming on this journey with me.

What would you like to see more of on my new site? Tell me in the comments below!

Lunchtime Challenge

Let me introduce you to a fancy little Zentangle called “Starfish Double Barrel”. That’s right, double barrel. This is a beautiful Zentangle that I just had to tackle and make my own. It was so easy to start. From the center circle, you draw out eight long petals. As you work around the circle, you add only one layer on each side of that petal until they finally touch. Now the possibilities are endless. You can switch up the tips, you can create a wonderful center design for the rest of the starfish to pop out from, or you can simply color it in like I did.

Anyway you do it, I just hope that you get out there and experiment with this tangle. I would love to see what you come up with. You can link your experiments in the comments below.

2017 Sketchbook – Page 11

All we need is LOVE!. I decided to make this mandala surround a basic principle everyone should appreciate, love. Love has no barriers, age, race, religion, or sex. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. From love breed life and beauty. Look at the beauty around you, appreciate and love the differences.

This piece inspired me in so many ways and I can only pray I can pass that inspiration onto you!

What inspires you most? Answer in the comments below!

2017 Sketchbook – Page 10

Page 10. I swear I feel like I should be way further than this, especially if I want to fill it up before the end of the year. 300 pages is no joke. I have been doing a lot of other art, it just isn’t in this sketchbook, so I can give myself a little break, however, my goal is to finish this by the end of the year. I can do it!

So this page started out as something completely different, as most of my art pieces do. I have a short video snippet on my Instagram, you can watch it here.  There are a lot of elements to this piece, but it was very easy to do, in relation to my other mandalas of late.

I completed this one so quick that I had time to post to Instagram right away. Normally, I am working so far into the night that I’m too tired to all my social postings until the next day.  I love the way this turned out, and I hope you do too.

What is your favorite thing about this page? Let me know in the comments below!

Showcase Sunday #7

For this week’s Showcase Sunday, I would like to introduce you to Emily Guyton-Lange from Never Idly Dreaming She has some of the most beautiful writings available for your enjoyment on her blog. Her creative writing is something that could keep you captured for hours as you read through her blog, especially since it is also sprinkled with beautiful arts and crafts. The simple fact that her blog is so well rounded is a recipe for success. Before you run to check out her blog, learn a little more about her below in this week’s interview!

What made you get into blogging?

I’m an aspiring author who wanted to form connections with other writers and showcase some examples of my writing. The drive to create drives me in many areas outside of writing as well, such as crafting and academic work. The idea of sharing my thoughts with others on a regular basis seemed daunting at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to start. It has become a great place to share progress on my writing, as well as somewhere to celebrate my adventures in other crafts.

Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?

Unless you count one or two online classes about creative writing or grammar, I would say no. I have learned most of what I know about writing through other blogs, books, and of course, lots of actual writing. That being said, I intend to major in English with a focus in creative writing when I attend college this Fall, so I’m certain more formal training is on the horizon. For my crafting, which is admittedly a smaller part of my blog, I am indebted to my grandmother for my original instruction and the rest of my family for their continued creativity. My grandmother gave me many foundational tools which I used to learn about other areas of crafting myself, while my family of artists always encouraged me to be creative in any way I chose.

What is your family’s creative history? You mention that they have helped you with your crafting, but how?

My mom is a painter who also loves to work with mixed media, colored pencil, and graphic design. She was an art teacher for almost fifteen years before going back to school for natural medicine. My dad is primarily a photographer, but he also does quite a bit of mixed media journal work and graphic design, along with jewelry making and turning our backyard into a Japanese garden. He’s also a photography professor. My younger brother is a talented musician, stop-motion animator, and currently wants to pursue a career as a director.

Aside from giving me a general appreciation for the arts, providing the supplies for an artistic childhood, and nurturing a lot of my creative growth through homeschooling, my family has always been incredibly supportive of my creative pursuits. You often hear stories of families who try to force their child to pursue the career which will bring in more money, not necessarily what they were passionate about. My parents always make sure I understand both the highlights and the pitfalls of whatever I choose, but they’ll always be with me no matter what I decide to do.

What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?

I have a hard time answering this question because I feel like so many of my “failures” are merely setbacks which lead me to greater and better things. However, I am fairly young. I’m sure more setbacks and true failures are coming my way.

Who has influenced you the most with your blog?

Outside of my extremely supportive family, I would have to say, Ariel Hudnall. I took part in a Facebook-based class she led for writers who want to start blogs to promote their work or simply serve as an author platform. Ariel helped me learn my way around WordPress and gave many suggestions for how to run a successful blog as a writer. I adapted many of these suggestions for my own use, even in areas outside of writing such as my craft posts.

(Ariel’s blog: https://arielhudnall.com/)

How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?

I try to post consistently each Friday, as well as my Quote of the Day posts at the beginning of each month. During the academic year I probably spent two to four hours a week on blogging and related networking. During the summer I hope to prepare more Quote of the Day graphics and really focus in on networking, so that number may increase a little over time.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

I would say blogging is related to my chosen profession. I don’t realize profits from my blog and I don’t work on it full time. Perhaps it will become a larger aspect of my profession at a later date, but for now I suppose it’s more of a hobby and a way to get my creative voice into the world.

What is your passion?

Specifically, writing is my passion. It’s difficult, sometimes heartbreakingly so, but I cannot escape how I feel when all of my hard work falls into place and I just know what I’m doing is worthwhile. Writing also fits under a larger umbrella, as I am passionate about all sorts of creation. The act of making something which did not exist before and would not have existed without my work gives me immense satisfaction. This could apply to writing, crafting, and even cooking. All are things I enjoy because it is the act of creating which fuels my passion.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

Above all, I hope to be happy and healthy. I may not know exactly what that happiness will look like yet, but it is always a part of my list of goals. Ultimately, I would like to be a published author. As I mentioned before, writing is my passion, and the ability to focus on that passion while sharing it with others is one of my main goals.

What is the longest thing you’ve written? and what is your favorite genre to write?

Currently my longest piece is actually the first novel I completed for National Novel Writing Month, at just over 75,000 words. That particular project is on the shelf for now, though I may come back to it in the future. My current work in progress is looking like it will be about the same length or longer, I’m about halfway through at this point and it’s just under 45,000 words.

Most of my writing is young adult and falls under the fantasy or science fiction heading. I love the genre’s ability to examine current social issues in a new context and bring diversity into the media. Plus, dragons are awesome.

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

I would like to leave behind a life well-lived, a life filled with passion and the fruits of my hard work. The legacy of a life lived in such a way so that my passions help others and their own passions to flourish. If one person is changed or comforted by something I write, that is enough for me.

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?

I’ve hinted at this with previous answers, but I don’t like being pigeonholed into a single subject! Never Idly Dreaming is primarily about my writing and writing goals, but if I only wrote about that I would have run out of ideas and interest long ago. My life has many facets, and I have many different creative outlets I’d love to share.

Don’t just take my word for it, please visit her blog and let her know that you saw her here on “Sunday Showcase.”

As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at craftyartistkc@gmail.com and I would love to feature you next sunday.