Christmas Advent Colouring Book – Year 2

It took me nine months to write this post last year, so I’m doing really well. It’s astonishing this post even made it in January.

If you didn’t read that post – why not? But the short story is that I got an advent colouring book and instead of committing to a full colouring page every day in December I accepted that I’d do a little bit of each page each year until I had it filled out.

This was the second year, and unlike last year I actually got through the whole book. Some of them were done after the day they were supposed to be done, but they all got some colouring added to them, and they were all done in December too. I’m on a roll.

Days 1-3 have a before and after, showing the progress I made last year and then what I added to it this year.

Day 4 should have a before image, but for some reason I didn’t take one.

Then we’re back to before and after for days 5-17

Then days 18 to 24 don’t have a before picture, because I never got to them last year.

Some of the simpler pages will probably get finished next year (this year?). Tune in to find out.

Scented Markers

Despite finishing my Novelty Pen series, I still love collecting art supplies.  So here’s another set.

This set was from my mum at Christmas – they’re from B&M in the UK.

And they weren’t in rainbow order, so I fixed that pretty sharpish.

I did my swatch page – testing the blending and how they worked over various liners. 

I liked my little swatch test doodle so much I decided I’d make a bigger version as my art piece. 

Except that when I started colouring, it all bleached everywhere.  That’s the paper more than the pens though.

So I tested a little bit of doodling and lettering.  That kinda looked better.

And in the end I did the latest Saturday Scribble prompt and made a Zentangle rainbow egg.

I did finish the monster, although it doesn’t look great.  Maybe he’s a candidate for Follow Up Monsters

The nib on one of them started to fray, but they aren’t expensive markers.

“But Colette!”  I hear you cry.  “What about the scent?”

And yes, they are scented markers.  And they were really pleasantly surprising.  Banana smelled exactly like those banana sweets – that fake banana scent.  Mint smelled like toothpaste.  The chocolate one was pretty good too.  The rest of them were nice smells, I’m just not really sure if they smelled like what they were supposed to smell like.

I’ve just noticed that “watermelon” is spelled wrong.  I’m glad I didn’t notice that when I started this. 

Note: this blog is definitely not nearly a year late, honest. That set of pens was absolutely positively NOT a present from Christmas 2020. Honestly.

Temporary Art

As you know by now, I have a habit of buying things that I think I could do art on or make a blog out of. So when I saw this at The Works, I got it.

It only came with one marker though, so I bought a cheap set of coloured ones – from eBay or AliExpress I think.

Swatching went well. The colours were all nice and vibrant.

And they all erased cleanly enough too.

So onto the art. Doing coloured pieces presented a bit of a challenge because you can’t go over marks that you’ve already drawn. So you end up with a bit of a streaky effect. But I think I did pretty well nonetheless.

And it was fun. There was no pressure to do something perfect and everlasting. Not that it made it any easier to rub it all out. That was a little weird.

Next up I stuck just to line work, and it looks so good.

I considered leaving that art on there until next time I used it, but decided against it. Temporary art and all that. So now the board is hanging on my wall with “Colette loves Tom” scrawled across it 🙂

The Future of Crafted By Colette?

I don’t want to be mega famous. I don’t want to get thousands of orders a month. But it would be nice to look at sales trackers online and not have to ignore them because I barely get one or two sales a month.

I know there are solutions to my slow business. I know there are lots of things I could be doing to help. I could blog more frequently and consistently. I could promote myself more on social media. I could diversify my social media more. There’s a whole list of things that would help.

Unfortunately, I have quite bad depression, anxiety, fatigue and associated issues. I often barely have the physical and/or mental energy to get out of bed. I struggle to keep up with things.

The idea of throwing myself into social media more is terrifying. If I had the money I’d hire a social media manager. Even if only for an hour or two a month to set up a load of scheduled posts for me.

As for blogging…. I have no shortage of ideas. For blogs or for products actually. And I gradually get through the projects. I take the photos, I sort them neatly into folders, I add the project to the list of blogs ready to write… and then I don’t write them.

I have a folder of several dozen blog projects ready to be written. And I just have a block. Sometimes I can’t write for months at a time. That’s not really conducive to a consistent blog and building up an audience.

So what’s the upshot of my rambling? I’m not sure to be honest. I’m currently going through a bit of a depressive blip and the over-riding thought in my head is to close Crafted By Colette.

I know enough to not make any rash major decisions while my depression is in control. I probably shouldn’t even be writing this. But I want to get my thoughts out there. I don’t want a highly polished professional business persona. I’m a depressive, and I express that. I don’t have a separate personal Twitter and business Twitter, and while I’m not going to flood this blog with diary entries, I’m also not going to hide when I need to vent.

But yeah. At the moment I’m struggling. I’m considering closing up the store and shutting the blog. I’m not begging you to go make an order, although that would be nice. But if you read my blog, please let me know. Sometimes I feel like I’m screaming into the void.

End of rant. Have a cute metallic watercolour robot as a reward.

And if robots aren’t your thing, have a derpy Jasper face instead.

Drawing an Enderman

I love Minecraft. And I love drawing. I love tutorials. And I love my friend SamBeAwesome. So when I found out that she did a tutorial years ago on how to draw an Enderman (from Minecraft) – I couldn’t resist.

I started with some sketches while watching the tutorial.

And then I sketched out the plan for my piece of art.

Then I drew it out on the paper that I use for marker pieces, and I inked the line art. I got out my alcohol markers and started colouring.

And found that the markers I wanted to use were drying out. I wasn’t overly happy with the darkness of the Enderman (I hadn’t wanted to draw him black). So I made a monumental error and went over it with coloured pencil.

This is a very valid technique for art. A lot of people I follow utilise the method. But I borked it up. Maybe it was the wrong paper, maybe it was my technique. But it was horrible.

I tossed the paper to the side, and sulked. I did some other art for a bit. Then decided to go digital.

And I am SO VERY GLAD that I did, because I LOVE this piece.

Endermen don’t have texture to them, but I loved the look of the texture I did so much that I had to give him some little square spots too.

I may have to do more Minecraft pieces in this style. What should I draw next?

Rainbow Art

Earlier this year, my friend Sam posted a series of tweets appreciating her art in rainbow form.

Being a rainbow obsessive, I had to mimic this. But instead of tweets, I’m doing a blog post.

Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Purple

And the reason I’ve only done one picture for each colour instead of four, like Sam? Because it was surprisingly hard to find art for a (mostly) single colour in my collection.

Yes, I AM rainbow obsessed. So obsessed that most of my art is ALL the colours.

Asda Colouring Pencils

I buy pens and pencils all the time – especially cheap ones from weird sources. So when I spotted a set of 24 colouring pencils at my grocery store for £1.50, I couldn’t resist. Especially when I spotted the pastel pack next to them. I’m a sucker for pastels.

The swatching was unsurprising. The normal pencils were fairly average for cheap pencils. And the pastel ones were kinda rubbish. Maybe just super pastel?

I tested the pastel pencils on different toned papers.

They still weren’t great. But there is definite improvement on the darker papers.

Okay, so lets do a piece of art on black paper.

It didn’t go well. I tried on white paper, but that was rubbish too.

I was very unsatisfied, so I redid the ice cream piece with my Polychromos. It was for a Scrawlr Sketch challenge.

The normal pencils were great. Just your average cheap colouring pencils. I used them to colour a page in the colouring book that I’ve been trying to finish for years.

Bic Cristal Pens

It’s not news to anyone that I love pens. And I’m always buying new pens. Recently (by which I mean months ago) I picked up this pack of colourful biro pens.

The colours are awesome. And once I’d gotten over the panic of them not working – they have a little blob on the nib to protect them…

…I swatched them and was even more certain the colours were awesome.

The back of the pack describes them as “Fashion and fun Colours” – which is a little weird. But they are fun.

For my art piece I did a Scrawlr Sketch prompt – butterfly.

And when the ink in my Bic Four Colour Pen ran out, I butchered these Cristal ones to fit them in.

It’s much more “Fashion and fun” to write with pink, light blue, purple, and light green than it is to write with black, red, and blue.

Christmas in July… in November

It’s nearly Christmas! So it’s probably time to write about the Christmas in July challenge I did five months ago.

Christmas in July is what it sounds like. People celebrate Christmas in July. And I did it by doing art. Throughout the month I did 15 different art pieces – for seven different projects. I was going to write a single blog post for each project, but since I left it so late I figured one blog post would do.

This means I can either show you the pieces chronologically, with the projects mixed up, or I can show you the projects, with the pieces mixed up chronologically. This was a really tough decision, but I decided to go for the chronological order.

The first piece I did was just plain old doodles. Mostly copied from images on Pinterest.

Fatty helped me with that one.

The second piece I did was inspired by a tweet from Cult Pens. Apparently Mechanical Pencil Day is a thing.

So I used my Staedtler pencil to do this lovely little snowglobe scene.

The next piece is snowflakes – the start of one of the multi-piece projects.

I enjoyed drawing these so much, that I did another page. This is piece 3b.

The fourth piece is the start of another project. I knew I wanted to do some gnomes, so I started off with my usual method for new things. A page of sketches from images on Pinterest.

Number 5 is the final snowflakes piece. I went digital, and I really love the result. I might make it into Christmas cards maybe.

Next up is more gnomes research….

…and then a sketch for my final design.

Eight is a bauble with a whole lot of metallic sheen.

Nine, which you’ll noticed is also number 8 because I messed up, is some bright presents.

10 is my final gnomes piece. Also very cute, and also perhaps a future Christmas card.

Number eleven, which is numbered 10 because I hadn’t noticed my mistake yet, is the first is a run/addiction.

I loved doing this “ugly” sweater so much that I used the outline to make a few more. Here are pieces 12-15.

Bi Pride Month Monster

September was Bi Pride Month, which I found out from my friend on Twitter.

I am bisexual, and I LOVE the colour palette of the flag, so I decided I’d do a drawing for it at some point.

A week later I saw this adorable monster in a Facebook group.

It reminded me so much of the type of monster I draw (but with texture and detail) that I knew I had to do something in honour of.

Bi Pride Month + monster = Bi Pride Month Monster

It wasn’t quite done in September, but it still counts. Bi Pride can be all year round. And monsters are eternal.

I shared it in the Facebook group the other day and the original artist was delighted.