Mystery Blogger Award

First of all, I want to say how grateful I am for receiving this nomination from Emily.  I  was also blessed to do a Showcase Sunday with her, which you can find here!

The rules for the award are as follows:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. Answer the questions you were asked.
  7. You have to nominate 10 people.
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question.

Created by: Okoto Enigma

Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.” 

– Okoto Enigma

Let’s get started!

Three Things About Me

  1. I absolutely LOVE to throw birthday parties, pretty much for anyone that will let me, even though I stress myself out sometimes.
  2. Sharing my southern accent with anyone outside my inner circle scares me. It’s something I have been made fun of more times that I would like to admit.
  3. I have recently fallen in love with audio books. I listen to them at work and while I draw.

Questions I Received

If you could learn a new language instantly, what would you choose and why?

I would definitely learn Spanish. First of all, I believe it is an amazingly beautiful language and I have always been fascinated by it. Secondly, I would greatly benefit in my career if I were bilingual, with Spanish being my second language.

What book(s) do you reread over and over?

I haven’t. Once I read a book, I’m done with it. However, if there is a movie to be made, I like to reread it before the movie is released.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

This one is easy. Anything southern is a comfort to me. I love any foods that stick to your bones like rice and gravy, pinto beans and rice and country fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

Do you plan your blog posts in advance, or write them as the ideas come?

Although I should plan my blog posts, most of them are on the fly, how I feel that day and what feelings I want to share in relation to the art that I created.

If you could have any mythical creature as a companion, which would you choose?

I would choose a dragon. Hands down, without hesitation.

 

The Questions For My Nominees

How did you know you wanted to start blogging?

What would you say is the main idea behind your blog?

What movie or book do you most relate to and why?

Do you like your picture taken?

If you were a star wars character, who would you be?

And Last But Not Least…My Nominees!

I do not have 10 bloggers to nominate, but I will at least nominate these three.

Mom Journeys

Watching the Daisies

The Contented Crafter

 

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!

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!

All About Paper!

There are so many different types of paper out there. How are we to know what is the best type of paper to buy for the project we want to do. Well, I am here to give a little insight into the different types of paper. Although there is not enough time in the day to go through every type of paper, I will go through some features of paper that you should be looking for, according to which project you want to complete.

FIBERS

What you may not realize is that paper is not just made from trees. A sheet of paper is basically mingled fibers from various resources to include, but not limited to cotton, linen, jute, hemp, rice straw, cellulose, and bamboo. Of all the things paper can be made from, cotton and cellulose are the main types that are available. Cotton paper is considered high quality and can withstand multiple erasings.  If the paper is made of 100% cotton, it can last 100 years or more. There are papers of less cotton percentage that will not last as long and can become fuzzy if manipulated heavily. Cellulose paper is paper made from wood pulp. This type of paper has an acidic compound that destroys or breaks down the paper over time. This type of paper does not usually last long and is biodegradable. There are additives that can extend the life, but these types of paper are usually the least quality.

WEIGHT

One thing to remember is that usually thicker paper can handle the wetter medium. Traditional papers are measured by weight using pounds or grams per square meter (GSM). Inconsistencies of the measurements using pounds have led to using the GSM more often.  When the paper is measured using gsm, the weight of the paper will not change when the size of the paper.  changes.

SIZE

Sizing makes the paper more water-resistant and keeps inks and watercolors bright. Sizing also affects the paper’s archival quality.  There are two ways to size paper, Internal and External. Internal sizing is done while the paper is still in liquid pulp form, while external sizing is applied to the surface after the sheet has dried. These sizing methods can be combined or done independently depending on the needs of the paper being made.

FINISHES

Rough paper is designed by not pressing the paper as it is drying. This paper is good for transparent watercolors or pastels.

Cold Press paper, which is the most popular, is a handmade paper created by repressing a wet sheet.  Machines can also make cold press paper by passing it between rollers. Cold press papers soak up the water quickly and have some texture to it which means it dries pretty quickly.

Hot Press paper is created by running a freshly formed sheet through heated rollers. This creates a very smooth surface that gives you more time to play and manipulate the color on the paper.

Drawing paper has different characteristics that depend solely on the type of media being used. This can include ink, pencils, crayon, charcoal, and markers.

FORMAT

Single sheets may require tape or weights to keep the edges down depending on which media is being used.

Sketchbooks are a great way to take your art on the go. Although this format is typically used for dry medias, there has been a rise in mixed medias being used as well. It all depends on what you want to keep in your travel case.

Blocks are stacks of paper that are glued together on two or more sides are adhered to a backing board. While only one sheet can be used at a time, this format keeps the paper stretched out.

Rolls are usually in economical sizes and can take a more rectangle shape depending on the needs of the piece.

COMMON TYPES

Copy Paper is best used for handwriting and printing. It has a medium weight and has a very smooth texture. I use copy paper for my sketching. It is thin enough that when I’m ready for a final draft or inking, the light from my light box will shine through perfectly.

Cardstock is a mixture between paper and cardboard. It is best used for card-making, paper crafts or other free standing projects. I have noticed that with cardstock, wet medium tends to bleed or feather out further from the original line drawn.

Construction paper is best used for kids crafts. It is lightweight and has a rough texture. It is perfect for a quick project like a paper chain or bulletin board, where the individual creations are not saved long term.

Tissue Paper is very thin, almost translucent and can be used to make a stained glass effect. Tissue paper is used is so many crafts as well as gift bags. The possibilities are pretty ingenious if you take the time to research projects it involves.

Art Papers are usually very high quality with special attention to archival techniques.  These papers are usually more expensive than any other type of paper and are for final drafts, photographs, and cover a wide variety of mediums.


Final Note: As I said in the beginning, creating a post that went over every type of paper would be too exhaustive. There are literally hundreds of paper types I didn’t mention but I hope to add different types of paper to my art review supplies in the future.  If you have a specific request for a type of paper, let me know in the comments below. I look forward to creating with you!

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.

Zentangle Journal

I just wanted to share my cover and the first page of my Zentangle Journal. I will share all my pages as we go and it just feels right to create something I love out of the word LOVE. I feel like it turned out great. Honestly, the book held up nicely and was very durable to twist and turn how I needed it to draw.

Having 2 kids under 2 in my house, I have found that escaping to my desk is not always feasible. With this book, I am able to take it into the living room with my kids running around and can draw. The things that I found that I LOVE about this book is the fact that I can use a sharpie and it doesn’t bleed through to the back. Which means, there are double the pages to draw on now. I am excited to see what else comes from this, but for now, I’m still loving this book. Well worth the money. If you would like to get your own, head over to http://www.zentangle.com and pick one up.

Have you purchased this Journal before? If you have, I would love to know how you decorated the cover of yours. Link your photo in the comments below!

My Zentangle Journal

Well, I got this journal in the mail and I am excited about the creativity that will be stored in here. There are two different types of journals you can get. One of them has strings on the pages and the other one, which is the one I got, is blank.

I also got the micron pen kit which included pens of different sizes. I’ve already implemented these in my other art. I have yet to use the graphite pencil and the blending stick, but I’m hoping to incorporate that soon.

I am always looking for new products on the market, so if you know of any you would like for me to look into, I would be happy to do that for you. The price for these things was a little more than I like to spend but the quality seems to match it at first glance. Now to see how long the pens last and how durable the journal is. But only time will tell.