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.

2017 Year in Review

Happy New Year!

I want to create a special post that sorta sums up my year for 2017. You know that although I had been blogging since 2016, I only got my own website in 2017. Boy have I been blessed with this outlet to share my creativity and inspire others to do something creative every day.  There are several things that I am going to discuss, to include my subscription to Sketchbox, My first Mandala Collection, Christmas Gifts I created and my favorite creations of the year. So grab your cup of coffee or your favorite beverage and lets get started!

SketchBox

For those of you that don’t know, Sketchbox is a monthly subscription box for artists to try out different mediums. I have really been excited by everything that I have been able to create using the products I have received through these boxes. Some of my favorite products include a watercolor sketchbook, a full sepia Copic fineliner set, and last but not least watercolor pencils, this is only to name a few. If you would like to go back and review my unboxing posts you can visit them by clicking on the links below.

May  

June

JulyJuly Grab box  

August

September

October

 November

December

Mandala Collection I

For me, this was a huge accomplishment.  I wanted to start a collection of the mandala that was similar and yet different at the same time. For this collection, I chose to draw my mandala on gradient paper with black fineliners and a white gel pen. I was so happy how each one came out so different than the ones before.  Prints of these will be available in my shop once I get it all online. Stay tuned for this special collection. Each one of these mandalas are so special to me. I wrote a different post for each one, which you can visit below:

Mandala #1

Mandala #2

Mandala #3

Mandala #4

Mandala #5

Personalized Gifts

One of my favorite things to do is create something beautiful and personal for my friends, family, and co-workers. I truly enjoy the look on their face when they realize it is not only an original, but there are no others like it in the world. I want to share these few gifts with you.

Personalized Parties

Every birthday that happens in my house is a reason to celebrate. With the birthdays spread throughout the year, we are able to party all year long! Starting in February with my two from my previous marriage celebrating, then moving to my youngest two in June, oldest two in July and 3rd oldest in November. Mix that in with all the holidays and we rarely don’t have a reason to bust out some exciting party decorations. But also, because we have so many celebrations, It’s important that we get creative with them all, most of the decorations were homemade. Check out the following posts about my under the sea themed party for my youngest two.

Under the Sea

Octopus Guard

Sea Sponges

Jellyfish Mood Lighting

Furniture Painting

The absolute highlight of my year was creating a beautiful work of art for my mother. She brought this table to me and gave me no restrictions other than she wanted a Charity Original painted on top. Painted?! I’ve never painted anything detailed like the creations I have made.  Check out how this table progressed by clicking on the links below:

Scallopped Table #1

Scallopped Table #2

There are several other projects that I completed this year for Christmas Gifts to include a 12×12 personalized mandala painting on canvas, a monogrammed lazy susan and a phoenix staff for my best guy friend. All of these projects were special in their own ways and were hard to keep a secret for as long as I could since I love to share my progress pictures with the special people that received these gifts.

My Favorites of the Year

 

Final Thoughts

I do want to send out a special thank you for all of you that have supported me this year. I couldn’t have done this without you cheering me on. Special thanks to my fiance’ who has stuck by my side while I have spent the long hours trying to make something out of nothing. I love each and every one of you and I can only hope that in 2018, we will see a lot more growth from CraftyArtistKC. Help me make this year a good one by sharing my site with your friends family and social media accounts. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Let me know in the comments below, what was your favorite project or post from this year!

Missing in Action?

No, I am not missing. But, I do want to share a beautiful adventure that we are on. We are working towards buying our first home together. Between house hunting and now narrowing in our our preferred home, I have been very busy.   It doesn’t help that most of my supplies are packed as well. Armed with only a .05 pen and an inexpensive sketchbook, I have been doodling when I have some down time. You can catch them all on my Instagram as I do them. I also have a few within this post, nothing spectacular, just doodling.

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So where does that leave us? The site? Well, hopefully in the month of October, I will have a lot to share about home decorating DIY’s and I will want to share my adventures of building my own Art Studio/Office from scratch! Are you excited? Because I know that I am.

So, do not fret, I am returning in full swing. This site is too important to me.  In the meantime, If you have any tips/tricks for moving and organizing you would love to share, I would love to read them in the comments below!

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!

Look Beyond Yourself

I saved your child on the playground

While watching mine have a blast,

I smile and nod when your child told you,

When you come around at last.

I picked up what you dropped before me,

You didn’t give it a second thought,

You just kept walking away clueless,

With your mind on what you haven’t bought.

I actively listened to you on your time,

When you’ve experienced injustice,

When your day is the worst you’ve had,

And today more than before you’re pissed.

I add-on more tasks than I can handle,

Because only I can do them right,

You pile the work on top of my stack,

Because you know I don’t put up a fight.

But who is watching my kids,

When I need adult interaction.

Who picks up after me,

If I space out in action,

Who is there to listen to my thoughts,

When I feel so close to breaking down,

Who can I delegate tasks to,

Without making a inconvenienced sound.

You see someone put together,

You think everything is just fine.

But if you took the time to look closer,

You would see me slowly dying

So when you have someone on your life,

That constantly gives all they’ve got,

Make sure you help refill their tank,

Before one day you find their not.

I wrote this poem this morning. I look around me at people who try their best to be everything to everyone. They want to make sure that everyone is taken care of. They wouldn’t allow someone to feel bad because of them. They have such a high amount of Empathy, that they are often forgotten, swept under a rug or take advantage of.

So I wrote this to ask you to just look beyond your own circle. Find these people in your life and make sure you tell them how important they are. Make it your priority to build up the people around you and actively listen when someone is in need.

Have you ever felt like this?

My Creative Gene Giver

Let me first start off by letting you know that my mother is one of the most talented painters I’ve ever had the opportunity to hang out with. She can draw pretty much anything and her hand-lettering is to die for, seriously! You will hear me talk about my mom a lot and that is because she and I are an amazing team when it comes to party planning, painting, home decorating, and teaching. She has skills that are unmatched for sure. So let me get to the project!

For this project you will need:

  • A wooden stool or bench of your choice.
  • Sandpaper
  • Washcloth
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paintbrush

I got my bench from Hollar.com . If you sign up through this link, not only do you earn a $2 bonus, but so do I! I spent $4 on each stool. They came perfectly packaged in their own boxes and seem quite sturdy. Believe me when I tell you that my 2 and 3 year old will put these through rigorous testing. I sent them home with my mom, and they came back better than I could even imagine!

First you want to sand the area you are going to paint. This insures that you have a smooth surface to work on. After you have sanded the paint area, you want to use a washcloth to clean up the wood. I would just dampen the washcloth to make sure you get all the dust before you begin. After you have created your design with pencil, it is time to start painting. Be sure to let each layer dry before adding another so that you do not gunk up the paint. After you are happy with your design, I would suggest a clear coat sprayed over the top to keep the pattern from chipping or wearing off prematurely.

As you can tell, my Madi loves animals and Miles loves trucks, so it only seemed fitting to design theirs accordingly. Once my kids saw these, they immediately wanted to sit them down as snack benches. They have done really well with only messing with their own bench because each of their names are are them.

Let me know in the comments what your favorite part of this project is. I look forward to creating with you!

 

Under The Sea Themed Birthday Party!

So, I want to start out by saying that I take a lot of pride in my family. I always go out of my way and make every birthday party big because I didn’t get that growing up. My sister’s birthday is 8 days before mine so we always shared a party and it was never anything grand in today’s terms.  I love my humble beginnings because it taught me how to appreciate more today. I am now at the point in my life where I have birthdays in pairs all over. 2 in February (currently 8 F, and 17 M), 2 in June (currently 2M and 3 F) 2 in July (currently 20M Twins) and 1 in November (currently 17). I even throw a party in there for myself in July (19th) and it’s usually a bunch of friends and family (kid-friendly party), and we bbq, play games and just have a great time hanging out with each other.

Since I started having kids, I always promised myself that I would give them the memorable themed parties I had dreamt about. The wonderful thing about these parties is that I do as much as I possibly can, by myself. I don’t hire in an event coordinator, or a cook, or whatever. I start planning out the party MONTHS in advance. I know that life happens sometimes and I don’t want there ever to be an excuse why I couldn’t give more to my children. So let’s run through this process together. I will link up some of the items that I did to those blogs posts for the details.

First off, I bought a lot of my decorations from a website called Hollar.com. You will see me mention this website throughout my blog posts. It is an amazing online store where you can find everyday items for less.  This is a staple in my party planning and I sprinkle the purchases throughout the months leading up to the party. However, I would give every order at least 2 weeks to deliver, so watch that date when you are ordering close to party time!

Ok, let’s get started! When I decided on the birthday theme, I knew that I needed to start collecting blues, greens and white! Those are universal colors so I knew I wouldn’t have a hard time finding them. So I started out with the basics to include table cloths, balloons, and swirls. I tend to purchase solid color decorations that can be used over and over again, to build up my party inventory!

After I gathered all the supplies up, I started putting on my creative hat to design theme specific items. I started with the outdoor water sponges. These sea sponges were fairly easy to make and they are still holding up long after the party. You can see the step-by-step process here.

After I got the outdoor games setup, to include water sponges (pictured above), sandbox (birthday gift) and kiddie pool, I decided to turn my attention to indoors. I started with the gift table. I wanted to create a guard of some sort for the gift table. That is always a big focal point in the party and I wanted it to be noticeable. You can see the tutorial here.

After the guard was done, I moved to the mood lighting in the kitchen to go over the food table. What a better way to create mood lighting than a blue light coming from a jellyfish. I took the light over the table and hung ribbon, swirls and streamers to act as the many tentacles. You can see that tutorial here.

Next, I wanted to work on the birthday banner. I knew that my wall was going to be underwater so the logical banner would be a school of fish.  I really like the way the banner turned out and it was personalized not only to my kids, but to the party theme. You can see that tutorial here.

After I got the focal point, banner, done on the wall, I wanted to create more of a scene behind it so it didn’t look out of place at all. So, I had my kids help put googly eyes on some paper fish, I twisted streamers for seaweed, and my mom drew some under the sea characters to sprinkle around the house. I couldn’t have been more happy with the outcome. It was better than I could have imagined. I don’t have tutorials for those things because they were just simple little touches that brought the whole room to life.

Next, I turned my attention to the living room. I knew that most people would hang out in there, so I wanted to extend the theme in there. I sprinkled some of the school of fish my kids made throughout the room in little groups. I also made bubble balloons out of white balloons and blue ribbon. I also enlisted the help of my kids to create a faux fish tank and then I created fish out of paper lanterns. I didn’t have the time to create the tutorial for the fish but it is pretty much patterned paper cut out to the shapes of the fins and large googly eyes attached as well. These lanterns actually had the ability to light up which would have been awesome if it was a little darker in the room, but I didn’t turn the lights on for this event.

A silly play on words poster was created to greet all the guests as they came in the door. My mom happens to be extremely talented and we work well together on creative projects. She surprised me with this adorable poster board after I made a mention about how adorable it would be to have a seahorse for each child represented.

Now to move on to one of my favorite things about birthday parties, the food! Anyone who knows me knows that I love to make an abundance of food. If you look at the feature picture of this post you will see the food table once the food was added to it! At the party I had so many themed foods to include the following:

  • Black Olives – Caviar
  • Potato Chips and Goldfish – Fish and Chips
  • Sugar Cookies – Sand dollars
  • Cheetos – Coral
  • Grapes – Seaweed
  • Strawberries and Watermelon – Mermaid Munch
  • Gummy Worms – Bait
  • Sandwiches – Submarine Sandwiches
  • Pretzels – Driftwood
  • Punch – Ocean Water
  • Tootsie Pops – Octopus (Tutorial here)
  • Green Pepper, Cucumber, Carrots – Octopus Guarded Veggie Tray

This brings us to the #1 themed party treat, the cupcakes. Now, for the first time since as long as I can remember, I had a bakery make the cupcakes. All I needed was 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 vanilla with whipped icing sprayed blue to look like water. I was going to take care of the actual decorations on them. I didn’t make a tutorial for the cupcakes because I was completing them last minute. This is the last time I will rely on a store to complete them. Not only did I not get the amount that I asked for, but the white cake was really dry. Its way easier just to do it myself.

So onto my decorations. I bought candy eyes, gummy worms, fruit slices and chocolate melts. My intentions were to make the chocolate cupcakes shark fins, and the vanilla cupcakes octopus. So, I melted the chocolate and cut crescent moon shapes out so that I could push them in the tops of the cupcakes. I mixed the chocolate melts with white chocolate chips to get that beautiful grey color. I then used the gummy worms as tentacles for the octopus, attached candy eyes to the fruit slices with a little tube of icing I had, and had little octopus staring at you.

Overall, my kids had a blast, which is all I can possibly hope for. I love that I am able to do all of this for them to remember for years to come. Next year’s theme?! Stay tuned to find out. I typically decide just after the February birthdays.

I would love to know what your favorite part of this diy part was. Let me know in the comments below!

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!

Spring is here!

I decided it was time to add some color and life to my very dull and lifeless front yard. I added flowers to my pots and positioned my gnomes to greet and welcome visitors. Beyond that, I finally added the bird bath to the decor. It needs a fresh coat of paint and one day I will tackle that job, but for now, I’m just glad it exists.  My mom bought me a daisy which is the motivation it took for me to go get the rest of my yard together. I planted it surrounded by petunias. I can’t wait for everything to grow more during the rest of the year.

I had plenty of help with my babies running around and my fiance’ putting up the wall for the raised flower bed. I could not be more pleased with how everything turned out. I am going to buy some ground cover for the base of the flower bed, but until then, it’s housing a second flower pot. I decided to purchase flowers that bloomed all year long and that do great in direct sun. Can you see that there isn’t much shade in my front yard? I needed flowers that were going to stand the test of time.


And I’m not sure if you can see, I moved the fairy door my mom painted bright colors to the flower bed so that she had a fresh supply of water and shares the company of my many gnomes.  I am very anxious to actually have my own home one day because I have been put on restriction, not being allowed to buy any more gnomes because they keep getting broken. Before, I didn’t really have any place to put them, Now I have a flower bed that I am putting them in along with all the painted rocks I do to brighten things up. I have one more project and that is to paint a very bright colored mandala on the top of the bird bath, I’m thinking that I will do it in blues with some embellishments of yellow and orange!

In this picture, I am showing you the flower I put in the back yard. I am very nervous about putting flowers in the backyard because with toddlers, you never know if they will leave them alone. Not to mention I have a dog that peed on the pot I had out at the end of the patio last year and it slowly killed the flowers. So, I have moved these two pots closer to the house and hopefully will have the flourish over the year.

Have you done any gardening? Let me know what your favorite part of the remodel is.

Meet Fred!

So my daughter surprised me today with the most awesome clay sculpture she has made to date. My daughter, who is 8, made this creature in art class at school.

She knows I can appreciate all types of art, but this truly did impress me. We are riding in the car and she says, “Mom, look what I made you!” I grab this mystery object from her hand and immediately confess my love for him. “His name is Super Monster!” I nod in agreement of this very fitting name. “And when he is not being super, his name is Fred!”

I immediately burst into laughter with her as we both realize the silliness of her imagination. I love him, I tell her, I truly love him. So, take a look at this beauty with his super fantastic sticky-note cape!

Have you ever received a gift from your child with a silly story attached? If so, I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

My Inspiration

I have to start this blog by giving a shout out to all my fans and followers. The inspiration from you alone is enough to keep me going. I’m so blessed to be surrounded by such encouraging people. Thank you. I wanted to take a moment and tell you a little bit about why I do what I do and where I get my ideas from.

When I am relaxed, and feeling fun and carefree, I mostly draw my doodles. Now I think I do a great floral design, so mostly they stem from that, but I am inspired by the world around me. I watch a lot of YouTube videos and I there are several that I have loved being subscribed to, one of which is KC Doodle Art which you can find here. I hope to one day be bold enough to create videos of my progress, but I have yet to even look into the process. Nonetheless, I am inspired by the videos I see from artists just like me.

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Another place I draw inspiration from are my children, who are on the notepad I keep at work, pictured above. I have several “children” that frequent my home that have been attached to me by my relationships. My fiance has 3 boys that are all above the age of 16, my ex-husband has a 16 yr old son, whom I took care of since he was 2, I have a soon to be 8-year-old daughter, and two little ones, a 2-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. Every single one of these children have blessed my life and helped me see things in a different perspective. I love spending time with them and I love who I am because of them. The child I find myself being most inspired by though is my oldest daughter. She and I draw, write, and see the world artistically. We were recently discussing a book, Complete This Drawing, that I received from Christmas and her ideas of the drawings were just so refreshing. If you don’t know much about the book, there are a lot of squiggles and some a little more detailed that you have to finish. We both laughed about what we saw in the squiggles as we flipped through the pages.

Another place I draw inspiration from is gaming. I am a veteran World of Warcraft player, as I have been playing for over 10 years. I usually shy away from tv as I feel like I need to be doing something at all times. To be honest, 90% of the time, if I stop to watch tv, I fall asleep. So looking at fan art and the vast world that has been created digitally, It inspires me to think outside the box. It inspires me to put things together, that I may not have previously thought of, such as flowers and tentacles, which happen to be my new favorite things to combine!

I say all of this to say this,

“Look at the beauty around you and always try to see something differently than the rest of the world”

Its like when you are looking up at the clouds to try to determine their shapes. It’s that type of creativity and open-mindedness that the world is lacking in today. So be different, see life differently and inspire others to do the same!

Marry Christmas!!

Oh yes! My boyfriend of three and a half years, got down on his knee and asked me if I would marry him. With both of us coming out of horrible divorces, we both had an understanding that we would probably never marry again, but we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other.

So after we have all unwrapped our gifts on Christmas morning, he walks over on his knees and here I am, bedhead, pajamas, no makeup, preoccupied with posting the events of the morning on facebook. The kids are all playing with their new toys, and he says, “So, will you marry me?” And he hands me the most beautiful ring.

Of course, I say yes after asking him if he was joking.

Telling his family and mine over Christmas was amazing because everyone was very happy and thankful that we have taken this next step.

When is the date?  I say, after we save up, maybe two years. So, this now opens up a wedding planning section of my blog, which I am very happy about. I love this new adventure and I love that I have the opportunity to share this with all my friends and followers. Stay tuned and if you have any suggestions, comments, questions… tips and tricks, I am literally at square one and even though I was married before, we eloped, so I have NEVER had a wedding!

So Marry Christmas to you and yours!

Dealing With Loss

Those of you that have been following me may have noticed I have been MIA for a few days. The reason is because we lost my brothers wife tuesday night and we’ve been dealing with all of this.

I was working on this piece during my last conversation with her and when my brother called me in tears. Our family has been struck hard by loss with the passing of my grandmother Thursday morning as well.

I feel like this piece speaks wonders about each person is so complex and unique and yet we all entwine with those around us making each family a beautiful masterpiece.

When children think they are helping.

So what can I say about this except, my 2-year-old felt like I was doing it wrong? She, in all her glory, decided to “help” me with my project I had already spent 2 hours on. At the moment, in which I noticed, she looked up at me, pen in hand, proud of her accomplishments. Me, on the other hand, wanting to scream.

This teaches us all a lesson. Our kids watch us and want to mimic us. So make sure what you are teaching your kids, is how you want them to grow up. They will learn by example.

Please Take One

Sometimes we just need to draw. It doesn’t need to make sense, it doesn’t need to serve a purpose other than getting your feelings out onto paper.  I have found my mind cluttered and sometimes foggy lately from daily stresses. In this drawing, I had to just go. I tried some things I’ve never tried before. Some of it I like, some of it I like less, however, It is mine and it is my mind right now. Hopefully, once I am able to clear my mind I can begin working again on my mandala project using sacred geometry.

Working to clear your mind is important and should never be ignored. I wear many hats throughout my week and usually, I like to take most of them off on the weekend to focus on art and my family. If you wear a lot of hats and get weighed down by the pressures, remember to give yourself a moment, unload some of those responsibilities until you are better able to address them.  Sit in silence, even if it is 10 minutes driving to the store. Remember to rejuvenate yourself before you burn out.

This is my most difficult task in life. Sometimes I forget to just Go Wild! To act crazy with my kids, to make silly jokes that make my lover shake his head. I get into this mindset that I always have to perfect (which is a requirement no one should ever put on themselves). But, I’m getting a little better. My kids help me a lot, I would do anything to put a smile on their little faces.

So please take one moment to yourself, one moment of silence, one moment of silliness. One day, your family and friends won’t know how hard to work on a project, or how hard you work otherwise, they will remember these one moments, we choose, to go wild.