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!


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.



JulyJuly Grab box  






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!

August Zen Art Challenge – Days 6 – 10

The second mandala for the month of August covers days 6-10.  This mandala was pretty difficult when I got into it. I had to really think about how each pattern would fit into the mandala so that it flowed and looked decent enough.  Here are the links for the next five patterns of this challenge created by Mindful Creativity.

Day 6 – Clamz – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206539/

Day 7 – Stap voor Stap – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206545/

Day 8 – HollyHock – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206546/

Day 9 – Banana Braid – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206547/

Day 10 -“Unknown” (Feather) – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206548/

And here is what I came up with. Just like with the first five days, I started from the inside and moved outward. Day one was easy as it just filled the center beautifully. I would have to say that the most difficult pattern of this mandala was definitely HollyHock being right next to Banana Braid, but using stippling for the white space made it flow just fine.

I would love to know your favorite part of this mandala and if you participate in the challenge as well in the comments below. I also always welcome comments, suggestions and constructive criticism.

August Zen Art Challenge – Days 1 – 5

As you may be aware, this is my second month doing the Zen Art Challenge created by Mindful Creativity.  I wanted to push myself to think outside the box and do something a little different with this month. I have decided to make a mandala out of each five day span. Below is a link to the first five days of this challenge. It takes you to her Pinterest board, where she keeps track of these.

Day 1 – WELL – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206499/

Day 2 – Ausheklis – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206511/

Day 3 – Patience – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206538/

Day 4 – Dragontail – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206536/

Day 5 – CurlyCrown – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45247171239206544/

Starting with day one I began in the center. I don’t like four petal flowers as I have stated before, but I know that part of the challenge, at least for me, is to use every pattern in a different way. So here is what I came up with. Can you see the progression of each day?

Please let me know if you like to see this type of challenge and which pattern you like most on this mandala in the comments below!

2017 Sketchbook – Page 15

I am using this page as a sampler of sorts. These are a few zentangle patterns that I have not used very much if at all. The outermost pattern is called Doozaly. The curtain pattern I have seen drawn so many times but this is the only time I have ever attempted it myself. I can’t find where I saw it before, but once I do find it I will update this post. Finally the one in the center is called Spoon Flowers. These are all my own ways of creating and modifying the patterns that I see. I wanted to create something that was just interesting.

Have you ever used these patterns before? If so, link your modifications below.

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!

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.

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!

2017 Sketchbook – Page 9

Ok, this page was very unexpected. I had once heard someone say when you don’t know what to draw, just start drawing circles and lines. Well, this is the end result. I used Staedtler fineliners to complete this and it turned out pretty good. I really felt like I messed it up terribly by adding the embellishments, but after several viewers on instagram gave me great reviews, I realized that sometimes, I’m wrong in my view.

Oftentimes I feel as though I am my worst critic. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there for the world to see. I just wish that I will continue to surprise myself and stay courageous. I want to inspire others to just put pen to paper.

Let me know what you think about this page in the comments below!

2017 Sketchbook – Page 8

This page was very interesting to say the least. I began the whole thing by rubbing watercolor pencils all over the back ground. I used some light green, dark green and yellow. I thought it would make a natural background for my drawing. I knew I wanted to add flowers and leaves and make everything just seem organic. After the page was finished, I thought that the yellow made it seem like there was a lot of light shone, so I wanted to make that known by sending rays out from each of the end of the leaves.

Although this is not my favorite piece, It did turn out way better than I had originally expected. Tell me what you think in the comments below!

2017 Sketchbook – Page 7

This is the seventh page in my Sketchbook. I wanted to do something very different than the other pages. This didn’t turn out like I had envisioned,  but at the same time it seems very fun.

I learned by trial and error how to draw a new flower for future drawings. The flower at the bottom is the one I am referring to. I may color this in the future one day but right now I am gonna keep it black and white.

What is your favorite part of this piece? Tell me in the comments below.

2017 Sketchbook – Page 5

So could I just leave this here without any words? No I don’t think so. I wanted to make a bunch of flowers, however, It didn’t really turn out like I wanted it to. So, I built some circles around it. I can’t scratch this and move on because it is in my journal, so I kept adding details until it somewhat resembled something I could post.

What are your thoughts on this piece? Tell me in the comments below.

2017 Sketchbook – Page 4

Oh, Mandala decorated with washi tape. I haven’t used washi tape too much in the past but I really like the way this turned out. This Mandala is really detailed. Even the tiniest flick of the pen created depth.

I did try something a little different in the center. I usually create a larger center. With this mandala, I wanted to take the detail all the way through.

I would love to know your thoughts on this piece, including the addition of the washi tape. Would you like to see more of this or do you have other ideas?

2017 Sketchbook – Page 1

I just want to tell you guys that i have had a lot of sketchbooks in my life, but none that can compare to this one.  I found this on amazon for around $25. Now, you might think that is expensive for a sketchbook, but this one is huge.  I added a picture below to show you just how big it is compared to a regular sheet of copy paper.

There are 300 pages or 600 artistic opportunities using front and back. I happen to not like using front and back, so 300 sheets for me. If you can see, when opening up the book in different places, it doesn’t lay completely flat, but will push flat if you chose one side or the other.

Ultimately, the pages are pretty thick and I think this adventure will be awesome! My goal is to finish this sketchbook this year. I hope to maybe even do a new sketchbook yearly. I did two last year but they were a lot smaller. I started this sketchbook with my, “This journal belongs to” page, as shown below.  While completing this page, I had no problems with the book at all. I used some fine tip colored pens and color pencils to complete this page. I am finding that I am getting a little more comfortable with using color, I just need to experiment more.

Tell me what you think about this first page or suggestions you might have to include.

Stay awesome my friends!