#466

Tiny bottles in the mail! Yaaay!

I bought these online to make some things out of. They are small and light, so will make great necklaces. They came with little eye screws, so attaching them to things will be easier, as long as the corks are glued in well.

Another package arrived with a 2mm mechanical pencil that I’ve wanted for ages. I hadn’t gotten around to buying it in the art shop, so I decided to get one online. It worked out cheaper, so that’s good. It’s smooth, dark and solid so will be great for drawing. It also came with twelve refill leads so I might never need more. No matter how much I draw, I hardly ever use up pencils, as I have so many, they each share the load, evening it out.

While watching drawing videos, this week, I saw someone lining their drawings with coloured ink and a brush, which urged me to try the same. The only coloured ink I could find was some old calligraphy ink in red and turquoise, which had come in a magazine set. As it turns out, these inks were water soluble, meaning they reactivate and bleed when water comes into contact with it. This was a small issue, as I wanted to use watercolours on the pictures, but I used this to my advantage, incorporating the blue into my design of the mermaid above. I wanted to draw a mermaid at some point this month, as in the drawing community online, May is known as Mermaid, and is the time to draw them. I’m not crazy enough to draw one every day in the month, like many others do, so one is enough for now.  Perhaps I’ll put some waterproof coloured ink on my list of things to buy one day. My mermaid isn’t quite finished yet, and the photos are more green than the piece is, but I like it so far.

Keep swimming, my fishies.

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#464

I got mail! Yay!

I know I’ve been a bit absent from here and Twitch streams for the last couple of weeks. This is partly because I’ve been sore (nothing new or unusual about that) and I’ve also been working on my website and coding some more random prompt generators over at RaspberrySheep.com. It’s still under construction, but it has some working parts and links, so feel free to have a look. If it’s broken, I’ve likely been trying something new.

As for the mail I received, I bought some things from eBay last fortnight, so they’re arriving slowly. First thing that arrived was my Touchfive markers.

The Touchfive markers are an alcohol based marker, like the Copic markers, but a fraction of the cost. I only bought the set of 40 markers to see how I liked them, but there’s 168 markers in the full set, which I will be buying soon. I was very pleased with the quality of these markers, considering the cheapness of them. At approximately 50 cents per marker (compared to 7 dollars for Copics,) they not only have great colours, but I’m not as worried about using up the ink. The pens are dual ended, with a chisel tip and a bullet nib, and have been said to run out of ink quicker, as the flow of ink is faster than other alcohol based markers. This is not a flaw in my opinion, as there is better coverage in the first application of colour, and with the price, you could replace the marker fourteen times to match one Copic marker.

To try out these markers, I have been drawing on label paper to make my own stickers. The bullet nib makes small pictures fairly tricky, but I have been trying out colouring before inking the image. This was mainly to avoid issues with the ink smudging, but this allows some room for correction, as you can modify the line based on how the colouring goes.

The other item I received this week was a spirograph. Most of you will recognise these, and they are returning in popularity lately in force. Unfortunately the official brand name kit is about twenty dollars, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that much on it, so I bought a cheap one for three dollars online. As fun as it is, I am way out of practice and my spirals are inconsistent. It’s very hard to hold the large piece in place, as my hands cramp before i finish the pattern. I tried some bluetack, but it lifted and the circle snuck underneath the stencil. I found ballpoint pens to work the best, and luckily, I had a few colours to try out. These would make cool designs to put on cards and making patterned paper. I keep forgetting which holes on which circles make which designs, so hopefully I can come up with a diagram to remind me, as the kit didn’t have any helpful information. All trial and error I guess. 

Now, go forth and try new things.

#446

Today was very fruitful in the cardmaking department for me. I actually had a reasonable sleep without waking up drowsy from medication. I also had to go to the shop early to get cat food, so I ended up staying up for a while, being productive for once.

I set YouTube to crafting Christmas card videos, and let the inspiration flow. I didn’t have the same momentum watching other videos, even drawing videos. Crafting videos have a nice vibe, like you aren’t crafting alone, and I even begin to talk to the video.

I had some great die cutting ideas and put together some embellishments together, like the reindeer pictured above. I tried a bunch of different ideas, including watercolouring areas of  to diecut, mixing papers and making my own marbled paper using shaving cream.

I had seen this come up on Pinterest and various places, and kept meaning to try it out, which I did finally today. It was a bit tricky to stand up at the sink for long, but I managed to make four A6 pieces before I needed to rest. The colours are food colouring, which is so vibrant, and works just like watercolour. I was concerned about it fading, but I had trial pieces from last year that haven’t changed colour. The only time there was an issue was it burning and turning brown under the heat gun tool. I ended up giving each piece a thin layer of matte sealant, as the colours were able to be reactivated with water and I wanted to protect them. As long as I didn’t stay in the same place, the colour didn’t lift too much.

I cut some of the paper into strips, and others into tags, but I have a lot left to play with. This technique is so easy, you could do it with kids, just look up ‘shaving cream marble paper.’ I urge you to try it, it’s very magical.

Here’s a shaker card that I made with a snow globe stamp that I received with my latest magazine purchase. I coloured the inside on one piece of paper, and the base on another. Using black fun foam, I could disguise any wonky cutting by colouring around my image in black, so the seam is invisible and just looks like a shadow. I like how it works just like a dry snow globe would. Perhaps if I was braver. I’d use liquid soap and glitter in a bag and attach it to the card, but I’m too nervous it would break, and ruin everything before I’ve given it away.

Hopefully I can keep up this momentum, and get the rest of the cards done soon. Christmas always creeps up on me.

Stay cool, my peeps.

#445

Busy busy busy. Almost like I forgot to keep blogging…

Anyway, I’ve been balancing between multiple projects, trying to keep the mess at bay and sleep. Not all going to plan, but slowly progressing while keeping myself busy.

A couple of things I have discovered to improve my cardmaking that I can share, making the blog more than pretty pictures.

The first, pictured above, is making patterned papers look fancier. There are heaps of ways of getting cheap paper, or paper that is a bit plain, and turn it into the expensive looking ones really easily. High grade papers often have dimension, glitter and glossy areas on the patterns. You can personally decorate patterns using a variety of materials, including glossy accents, glitter glue, shimmer pens, gel pens, fine liners, markers and so on. It’s very lenient, as it will depend on your tastes and what paper you have in your own stash. The paper shown in the picture was from a card kit that came with a magazine. I liked the pattern, but I experimented by adding a shadow to one side and I like it much more. Try different designs and use whatever you have to accentuate patterns and come up with your own creations.

The other discovery came about when I was thinking about how bad I am at stamping, and I don’t like the mixed results when trying to get a good impression. This lead to the idea of scanning in the plastic stamp sheet that comes with the prestamped images. This worked well for me. Ensure you have a white sheet of paper behind when scanning, and this allows you to have the images on your computer to resize and print at any time. I was able to enlarge some stamps I have and print them in light grey, a colour I don’t own in ink pads. I had been stamping out all my stamps to keep on the computer anyway, but this way it’s already been stamped nicely.

I hope these tips help. I have a huge amount of ideas for blogs. Getting to them is another story.

Go forth and create.

#439

Gojira!

I was cleaning today (a bit,) and I found a scrap of paper on the floor. I actually found quite a few, but this one gave me some inspiration. It had been punched with a maple leaf punch, and torn in just the right way that made me think of Godzilla rising out of the ocean. I used the piece of paper as a template, and filled in details, before colouring in the scene with pencils.

This wasn’t the first time in this cleaning season I’d found inspiration. I also made a box thing using catalogue paper and plastic shopping bags…

Cat for size reference. Though the cat is large.

#395

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This is what the box die turns out like. Very pretty, and would make a great gift box for small jewellery or a couple of chocolates or something. I think I’ve figured out how to make the larger one work, it just needs some surgery first. I have to finish this box off, yet with an embellishment and ribbon for a handle. I think I’ll be making a few of these to have on hand for future gift giving.

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I also had a go at making myself an embossing folder for my big shot. It worked surprisingly well, considering last time I tried one, it failed completely. To make this, you die cut a pattern out of card from a food box, keeping all the pieces. Then, lining them up over another piece of card, you glue in the pieces in the slots, so they match up completely, taping the two rectangular pieces together so it hinges and lines up. Then you can use it as a regular embossing folder. You might have to play around with the shim plates and bulking with card to get the right amount of pressure through the machine, as this isn’t as thick as a regular embossing folder.
I’ll also have to try making my own embossing diffuser plates.

#388

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This is my first attempt at wet felting. It went alright, but might need a bit more work. For some reason it made my skin peel from my hands, so either I’m sensitive to something, or it’s the best exfoliation treatment around. I could only make a small piece, as it’s a bit expensive for me to buy wool at the moment, but I wanted to trial it. I don’t think doing this is large quantities would be fun, as it takes a lot of physical work, which I’m not able to do in excess.

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I coloured in my picture today, and was pretty happy with it, so was my partner, so he wanted it as a profile picture. I scanned it in, and the colours were off as well as the shading went all blobby. I probably set the DPI too high on the scan, but it is annoying. I’m contemplating redrawing it on the tablet, for his avatar.
I didn’t do too much else, apart from a bit more loom knitting, although my list of things to do is starting to grow again.

#380

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Derpface.
Hey guys, I have been cleaning again. Craft is fun until you have to clean up.
In my breaks, I have been drawing and watching speedpaint videos on YouTube. I haven’t been able to show you any, as I’ve just been practising techniques and copying pictures, so this was one of the only things that I could show as my own. It’s not great by any means. There was no planning or forethought, as I was just messing around while I recovered enough to get back to cleaning.
I’ve realised recently, that I don’t need to sit down and come up with a brilliant drawing on the spot, and that it often takes preparation and planning to get the right poses and composition and everything. This never occurred to me, despite it being a necessity when I did my art courses for year 12 Life Drawing and Calligraphy. I always thought this was a useless step and never really helped in the final project, as I wanted to keep to the original idea and not evolve it in any way. I think, now might be the time for me to utilise this planning thing. I have my life planner, and now I need my art planner. I’ve written out a list of just a few of the ideas that I want to draw, so I can sketch and plan when I don’t feel like making anything big, or I’m just doodling.
Well, that’s the plan, anyway.

#377

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While setting my diary up for the year, the first prompt in the book is goals for the year. I did the typical lose weight and save money, but my number one goal is to draw more. I could have put get better at drawing, but I won’t get there without practice. I hope to create at least one proper picture per week. Depending on the week will be whether the picture is big, small, digital, traditional, simplistic or complex. Practice is one step closer to getting better, no matter how small.
This picture, of Rin from Blue Exorcist, was inspired by a technique that I saw on YouTube, where the artist used watercolour as a base, then coloured pencil to define shadows and bring more colours into the picture. By using a light orange, purple and white, there is much more life in the skin than plain peaches and browns give. I ended up making the black areas really colourful to try another technique I saw, but it didn’t match, despite looking quite good.
I’d like to do some more portraits this year. I know that if you look back a year in my posts, I’ll have said the same thing last year. I have gotten a lot better this year, and will continue to get better. My art is like a journey, with no end, I’m here to learn, and sightsee. Even if I’m the greatest artist of all time, there’ll still be things to learn about.
It just takes a long time, because I’m trying to learn so many things at once, with all my crafting and living.
I hope some creativity makes it into all of your New Year’s resolutions this year.