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.

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!

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.

Bookmarks!

Well, I decided to make some bookmarks. For my first attempt, I think I did a good job. It was really difficult to decide exactly what I wanted to do so I just gathered up some supplies and experimented.

Supplies:

  • Cardstock
  • Stickers
  • Sequins
  • Glue
  • Glitter Glue
  • Washi Tape

This was my first one. I used washi tape for the border, 3 skull stickers, and sequins. For added texture, I used a silver metallic marker to make dots in the background. I did this bookmark with someone in mind, but until I modgepodge a beautiful backing, I couldn’t possibly give this away.

The second bookmark I made was more artistically challenging.  I decided not to use any stickers, but instead draw some flowers. The border was especially fun to do. I used metallic markers and then I added a little glitter glue to add some sparkle.

All in all I think they turned out pretty cool and I can see myself making more of these in the future. The only thing I would change is that I would like to cut them in half long ways because they seem to wide for a normal bookmark. I would also like to add words to them or quotes that promote healthy reading. I am also hoping that these bookmarks could be used in artistic journals as well.

Have you ever made Bookmarks? What supplies did you use? Do you have a favorite word or quote that you would like me to try on a bookmark. 

Beautiful Garden

Filling a full page of colorful flowers, testing out each petal was so much fun. I used the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners for this piece. Finishing the piece with the green swirls in the back brought everything to life. Everything about this tested my ability to create something out of nothing.

My challenge to you is to think outside your box. As you can tell, I worked across two pages on this and didn’t finish it off with a straight line. So, try something new. Think outside the box and create something without straight lines boxing it in. Link your art in the link below so I can take a look at what you can create!

Garden Lattice

I started this piece off with just a variety of flowers that I knew how to do off the top of my head. I like having something to look at when I am thinking of new ways to do the same thing differently. The problem with this is that I typically have several little doodles lying around and I really wanted one piece that I could really enjoy looking at and learning to adapt it in many different ways.

By looking at the beginning of my drawing you can tell that I just had to do something to bring all the flowers together and I really didn’t’ want to do a open garden scene. So I figured if I could just add in one element across that page that makes everything come together it would look better.

Now, after seeing where it started to where it ended up at, what is your favorite part of it and how would you have joined them all together differently than I did? Let me know in the comments below.

Floral Doodle

I watch this youtube channel called kcdoodleart, and it gives me so much inspiration.  Check it out if you would like to see the amazing work she does. She is the inspiration behind this piece. She always starts with a circle on the page and builds out from it. The simple fact that she can create something so amazing from just a circle just blows me away every time.


9 Days

As I look at my last post, 9 days ago, I think about everything that has gone on in my life since then. I quit drawing, I quit writing, I quit blogging and I even quit working. My family was in crisis mode. When my family is in crisis mode, we band together and block all other things out. I am so blessed to be a part of the family that surrounds a member if they are going through something traumatic.

In my last post, “Dealing with Loss”, I wrote about losing my sister-n-law. But it was so much more than losing her physically. My brother lost his wife, my 2-year-old nephew lost his mother, and we lost a family member. During a time of loss, often times we lash out where there isn’t a problem. We get bruised easier by things that would normally roll off our back. We break down wherever we can find a place of solitude, for me, it was in the shower.

I also lost my grandmother, who I had been unable to visit for several years due to going through my own life crisis of divorce and becoming a single parent. Readjusting my entire life and trying to find out who I am, who I want to be and who I need to be. Just because I wasn’t able to see her though, didn’t mean that she wasn’t in my thoughts. I have very fond memories of her making me and my sister matching dresses, even if they did have frills. I remember every single Christmas, we would receive a wrapped shoebox full of all the goodies that she baked. And even though we all knew it was goodies, every year we were excited to see what came.

Just like with my sister-n-law, my grandmother always thought of others. They both were the types to go out of their way to make sure that every need they saw was met in one way or another. This world should be sad at the loss of not one, but two giving souls. They will both truly be missed.

So, how do I move on from here? I could stay saddened and burdened by the loss, or I can carry on the works of those two very special ladies. I’ve always had an empathetic point of view. I have always fought for the underdog and supplied where I saw a need. So those things, won’t change for me. But what I did find out was, I don’t have a lot of pictures of myself. Of course, I’m the type that would shy away from them, cursing the flash photography and family gatherings. But what I haven’t been thinking of, is the day I am gone from this earth. What memories will I leave behind?

So, it is my goal to touch more lives. To draw and not be so scared of what others might think about it. To sing, and not be ashamed of my happiness. To play with my kids and bring happiness into their lives. To compliment more, whether it is friends, family, co-workers or strangers. To help when I see someone struggling without having to be asked. To be understanding that we never know what is going on in other’s lives.

So, I know that if 9 days can change my life this drastically, it can change my view of how quickly life events can change others. My advice to you is laugh more, sing more, play more and be more positive. Be the change you wish to see in the world. If we all tried to be a little more positive, we could easily change the world into a more beautiful existence.

Adding Color

As my readers know by now, adding color to my art is always stressful to me. I love leaving them black and white because I love seeing what other people see in the picture without me guiding them to one thing or another. This was no different.

I had created this drawing about a week ago. I was just sitting down and doodling and this is what happened. It just came to life on the page. I belong to a few groups on Facebook specifically geared towards art and Zentangle in nature, and they suggested that I color this one. The few friends I showed also suggested I color it.  Here is the before.

I have to admit, the outflow of compliments on my colored piece made me feel a little more confident. I wanted to drag the colors across the page instead of having one color on one side and one color on the other. So I made sure that I tried to balance the colors as I used them.

I am very interested in your constructive criticism or ideas on how I can improve. So, maybe I might try coloring more since this one was so well received. I would love to know what you think about this doodle in the comments below.

 

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.

ZenFlowers

There is such beauty in the world around us. I loved this sorta ying and yang type drawing. I tried my best to create something that filled the page but could be looked at from any angle.

After I completed the drawing and was happy with how it turned out, I decided it needed just a little color. Once the color was added, I was in shock with how everything seemed to just pop. I used Staedtler fine liners and color pencils. What do you think about this drawing and what does it bring to mind once the color was added?