Annual Mandala Collections

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

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

Mandala Collection I – 2017

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

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 4

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 5

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

Mandala Collection II – 2018

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

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 4

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 5

Mandala Collection III, 2019 – Coming Soon!

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

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 5

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

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 4

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

Mandala 1, Collection II

Mandala 2, Collection II

Mandala 3, Collection II

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

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

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

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

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

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 2

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mandala Collection II – Mandala 1

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

So without further ado.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas Presents!

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bullet Journaling – Refresher

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

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

Excuse #1: Not having the right tools.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excuse #5 – I’m too busy

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

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

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

Zentangle Sampler

So, I did it, I decided that I was going to take the patterns that I use the most and create a sampler page using just those. I started this by just drawing a bunch of circles. After I drew all the circles, I just decided how I was going to split it up based on the designs I wanted to incorporate.  The problem is that I don’t know these Zentangle names. So let me know in the comments below!

So far I have these added:

Paradox

Fescue

Flower Circles

So, this piece started out very weird. I had no clue what was going to form from it. As with all my pieces, I let my mood take flight, adapting the piece in many ways. What I drew in pencil isn’t even close to what the final product came to be.

I am pleased with this piece and very excited to share. It’s in my journal so it’s fairly small, about 5×7, and the details were done with a .01 micron pen.

Diva Challenge #277

I had so much fun with this challenge. I just knew that I needed to do mandalas as soon as she said circles. These mandalas were so much fun to create. I didn’t even know how many mandalas or how many layers each mandala had, I just went with my gut. This one took me 2 days to do, roughly 3 hours each day. I simply used my 11×17 sketchbook and my Staedtler triplus fineliner pen