Platonic Doodle Dates

One of my favourite YouTube channels is Doodle Date, with adorable couple Adam and Steph who do many arty challenges and activities together.  More than a few of the challenges have appealed to me and been added to my list of things to do.  When my friend Cayden was scheduled to come stay with me for my birthday weekend I decided that we should take on a Doodle Date challenge, but since we’re not a couple it would be a Platonic Doodle Date.

When we sat down to decide what to do, another favourite YouTube channel Draw With Jazza had just posted a video that we loved the idea of, so we ended up having a Platonic Doodle Date that wasn’t actually on Doodle Date.

In the video Jazza uses his Arty Games app to pick a bunch of challenges at once.  I happen to have the Arty Games app, and it’s really useful when you don’t know what to draw.  Not to mention a bundle of fun.  Jazza chooses a time challenge, a colour challenge, an environment prompt, a character prompt and a scribble.  Cayden and I are both relative new to drawing so we decided to skip the environment and character prompts for our first attempt.

So, for the timed portion.  We decided that since we both have quite simplistic styles at the moment, ten minutes would be plenty.

Next up, the colour selection.  We wanted as many colours as possible so we set the app to pick five.

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And finally, the scribble…

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However….  isn’t there always a “however” with me?  I got out my box of markers and went to pick out the right colours.  I don’t have a full set of very expensive Copic markers.  I have a small amount of Copics, a small amount of Promarkers, some Ohuhu, some DoCrafts and some TouchFive markers.  So I tried swatching a lot to get the same colours and it just wasn’t happening.

Which lead to the Platonic Doodle Date being delayed for a few hours.

Jazza’s app lets you add the type of pen set you have, except that it doesn’t have any of my other markers.  So I decided it would be a good idea to swatch all my markers and attempt to colour match them to Copic numbers. I did look for a conversion chart online first, but couldn’t find anything.

It took several hours, and lots of scrolling through websites selling Copic markers.  It was fun, but difficult.  There may be 358 Copic colours, but that isn’t enough!  So many of my markers didn’t fit any Copics, and there were more than a couple of times where two differently coloured markers ended up with the same Copic number.  But I finally had a set of “Copic” colours.

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And so we re-generated the colours…

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Then we decided that black shouldn’t really count, since we’d be inking in black anyway.  So we picked an additional colour…

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The eagle-eyed among you might notice that B16 appeared already.  Luckily B16 was one of those Copic colours that had a couple of my markers attached to it.  So we ended up with the following colour palette…

So we swatched, we drew out our scribble into our sketchbooks…

…we set out our pencils, erasers, inking pens and markers, we set up the timer and off we went!

Ten minutes is not enough.

We sketched okay, and we inked okay…

…and then lost all sense of sanity during the colouring.

Cayden (the green haired character) did a better job at the colouring than me (the bird) because he was sensible and used an A5 sketchbook instead of a huge A4 one like I did.

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It was hectic, and adrenaline-filled, and a LOT of fun. We both agreed that we should have done 20 minutes. And we both plan to redo our pieces without the time limit, just to show how good we really are.

 

 

 

A Cute Skirt For a Cute Niece

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty.  I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there.  This one was from January 2016.


 

With the success of the Great British Bake Off, the BBC decided to add to the “Great British” series with the Great British Sewing Bee.   I liked this show as much as the Bake Off, because I am a fledgling seamstress.

One of the challenges they do every episode is to give the contestants a plain item of clothing which they must completely and utterly alter. For instance, in one episode they were all given a plain blue shapeless t-shirt to transform.

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My favourite was this beautiful technique.

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In another episode they all got to pick an 80’s power suit to transform.

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I decided that it was something I wanted to try. If nothing else, it’s a good exercise for practicing my skills. However, I am quite large. So I knew it would be difficult to find something big enough to make something for me, so I settled on making something for my little niece.

With that in mind, I picked up this stripy shirt…

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And I knew what I wanted to do with it. The first step however was unpicking this rouching (not the technical term) on the back so I could use as much of the fabric as possible.

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Luckily that was just a case of cutting the elastic on the inside in a few places.

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Next step, trim the shirt to reveal the fabric I had to work with. I needed two pieces. Fold each piece into quarters and cut out a circle waist. The internet told me the average waist size of an 18 month old, and I found something that was approximately the right size.

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Cut out the circles from both pieces of fabric…

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…and overlay the two pieces, with the points at angles with each other.

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You could tack around the circle here, just to keep them in place.

The next step is the waistband. I cut a piece of elastic to just a bit smaller than my niece’s waist, pinned it together and marked the ends with pins.  I marked the halfway points as well, and then the quarter marks of the circle on the fabric. I aligned the elastic with the skirt, pinning in place.

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Next up, sew the elastic to the skirt. I knew that when sewing elastic you’re meant to use a zig zag stitch, but I couldn’t remember if you were supposed to stretch the fabric as you sew or not. I erred on the side of not, and still managed to get some give in there.

My cutting skills need a bit of work. My sewing skills still leave a lot to be desired too, but it works.

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I somehow managed to mess up joining the ends of the elastic, and had an ugly little bump.

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But I am a creative genius! And I figured out how to solve the problem.

Isn’t it cute?

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Draw This In My Style

Months and months ago there was an art challenge making the rounds on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  Artists would post a piece of art, and challenge people to #drawthisinyourstyle.

Since I’ve been doing pretty much nothing but drawing for almost a year now, I decided to have a go.  I picked one of my favourite YouTube artists, Kasey Golden, and her gorgeous cactus lady image.

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I did my sketch in July, actually.  I just got distracted with my many many projects.  Apparently I suffer from startitis (a crafter’s affliction in which one starts projects before finishing others) with art as much as I do with everything else.

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And then last week I finally got around to finishing her off.  I’m quite pleased.

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I enjoyed doing this.  I’m going to be on the hunt for more pieces to try, but since it’s a months old challenge, it might be a bit hard.  Let me know if you know of a piece I could have a go at.

Making Washiween a Thing

October means Inktober to a lot of people.  It also means many other challenges, as do all the months of the year.  You’d be surprised how many different monthly challenges there are out there: FairieFeb, March of Robots, MerMay, Junicorn.  It goes on and on.  I have a list in my bullet journal and I intend to attempt as many of them as possible.

There’s at least one on my list that I’m not entirely sure is “officially” a thing.  Arty Advent.  One of my favourite YouTubers, Baylee Jae, did Arty Advent last year in which she posted a new video every day of December until Christmas.  I don’t think it’s an official thing, but it’s something I’d like to do.  I did do a 25 Crafts of Christmas in 2016.

Another monthly challenge put out by a Youtuber is Washiween by SamBeAwesome

I have lots of washi tape, and “colouring” a piece in with tape is something I’ve wanted to try for a while.  So after seeing Sam’s video last week I got out my tape, and I had a go.

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I had lots of fun.  And I learned that I don’t actually have enough washi tape.  For instance, I only have thin flesh coloured tape and it doesn’t look quite right.  After I did that piece, I had another go…

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Even though I enjoyed this piece too – especially figuring out that if you hole punch tape you can get neat little tiny circles – there is a lot about it that I’m not too happy with.  My cutting skills are horrible, for example.  And drawing with the sharpie over the top is difficult with all the edges.  But, as with anything, I know that I’ll improve with practice.

And so today, while testing some supplies from Wish for an upcoming blog, I decided to make another #Washiween piece.

Wanting to use all 10 colours of the washi tape I bought from Wish, I added a background to it too.  This is where I discovered that cutting the edge can leave a bit of a mess, whereas wrapping the excess to the back is a lot neater.

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I’ve also learned that cutting eyes sucks… I need to get more sizes of hole punch.

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I’ve learned that I press too hard with the knife to do this on sketchbook paper.  The first piece was on mixed media paper, and the second was on 250gsm card.

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It’s difficult – nearly impossible – to see the lines you want to cut round.  I do think it might be easier using my lightbox, but I don’t want to use that until I trust my knife skills better.

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Here’s where I realised that putting the inner ears and nose in first was probably silly.

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And here’s where I realised that this tape in particular really does not like being stuck to itself, which is why he ended up with no spots.

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Lots to learn still, and lots of improvement to make.  But here’s my finished piece.

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I might not do 31 days of Washiween this year, but it’s going on my list of monthly challenges to attempt.

Budding Artist

In October last year my best friend gave me a set of watercolour pencils for my birthday, and since then I’ve been drawing.  Drawing and drawing and drawing.  I’ve spoken about it before briefly, here and here.  It’s become my favourite hobby.  I do more drawing than anything else at the moment, and I’m really pleased with my improvement. 9 out of 10 pieces that I produce make me really, really happy.  And the best bit of all is that I’ve moved on from copying things I find on Pinterest to creating my own original content.

I am doing Inktober, and I’ll be sharing my pieces later in the month, or maybe in November.  If you want to see them as I do them, please pop along to my Twitter feed.  For now I just wanted to share some of my recent pieces that I’m proud of.

I’ve developed a penchant for adorable monsters.  They’re what I draw most of right now.

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But I’m also trying to draw “proper” people too.

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You might not be able to tell, but he’s actually a piece of fan art.  I humanised a Pokemon.  Spinarak…

I’ve even jumped on the Bowsette bandwagon.

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I have a lot of art I’m really proud of, and I hope I continue to improve 🙂

Many Mini Aliens

Every year since 2009 I’ve assigned myself a yearly challenge, or six.  This year I forgot all about it until about a month ago, when I decided to do a Half-Yearly challenge starting in June instead. Since the challenge I ended up choosing is crafty, I’m writing about it here as well as on my personal blog.

I came up with a few options, then couldn’t narrow it down further.  So I posted on Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry and Reddit asking my friends to pick a number between 1 and 4.  They didn’t know what they were choosing for (something I do quite often), but the options I had written down were:

1) Write a blog post every day.
2) Turn a cloud into a drawing every day.
3) Knit a mini alien a day.
4) Make an origami something a day.

As the votes came in, I realised that making 1 mini alien a day for half a year would result in more than 180 mini aliens.  That’s a LOT.  They sell really well when I do school fairs, but that is still practically an invasion of mini aliens.  So I decided that if that option should win, then I’d make 2 a week instead.

When the voting ended, option 4 had 3 votes, options 1 and 2 both had 5 votes, and option 3 won with a massive 11 votes. So, with the plan to make 2 mini aliens a week, I drew up a page in my bullet journal to keep track of them.  Which is when I realised that the start of June is not the start of the 2nd half of the year.  Bit of a brain blip there.  So I’m doing a Slightly-More-Than-Half-Yearly Challenge instead, and will be making 62 of these adorable little guys…

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Making Things, Then Making Them Tiny

As discussed before, when I do origami pieces I have a tendency to repeat the same piece over and over again.  Like these sonobe cubes.

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And when I’ve made seven hundred zillion of something, I like to see if I can make as small a version as possible.

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The cube on the bottom of this pile is made from 12×12″ craft paper (which was kinda difficult because I only have card stock which is hard to origami with.)

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The next cube is using standard 6×6″ origami paper.  The cube on top of that uses a quarter of that paper, so 3×3″.  The next one is a quarter of that, and so on.

Except… that the final teeny tiny square presented an issue.

These are the paper sizes for the first 4 cubes…

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As you can see, each time I’m using a quarter of the previous size.  Which means that the 5th cube should be made with 0.75×0.75″ paper.

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That is very, very small.  Folding the sonobe units themselves wasn’t too bad. But putting the cube together proved impossible for my big chunky fingers.

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So I gave up on that size, but I didn’t want to give up altogether.  I was convinced I could get a smaller cube than the one using 1.5×1.5″ paper.

Up til now I’d been folding the paper in half both ways, and cutting the paper into quarters…

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To get a size between 1.5″ and 0.75″ I had to fold the paper in half, then fold that half in half to create a 3/4 line.  Then fold up into a triangle to make a square, before cutting the shape out.

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Which left me with a 1.125×1.125″ square.  Which was nicely tiny, but a lot easier to work with.

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So this is the range of sizes I ended up using…

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And this is how small the smallest cube is.

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(I have been very confusing and given paper sizes in inches, and then measured the cubes with a cm ruler.  Sorry about that.)

Here are all the smaller cubes…

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…and the large cube all on it’s own because it wouldn’t fit with the others.

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And finally, here they are all with the size paper they were made from.

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So yeah.  Making something, then making it as small as possible.  I’m almost certain that someone out there has made one smaller. Someone with tinier fingers than I, or the ability to use tools to do their origami.  My best friend does origami too, and I’m sure he’s probably done one smaller.  I’ll do some research about that and get back to you.

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