Tiny Drawings

During her Twitch stream a couple of weeks ago the wonderful SamBeAwesome was doing some teeny tiny paintings.  She was preparing to enter a Mini Masterpiece competition on the art supplies website Dick Blick.

I was ineligble to enter that competition, because I don’t live in the US, but I am extremely susceptible to suggestion and so I started doing some tiny drawings of my own.

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To begin with I had no problem at all.  None of my pieces are massive anyway, and I tend to draw small.

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Not to mention that none of my work is very complicated.  Especially the monsters.

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I could have done something more complex, but I was supposed to be working on another project and didn’t want to spend all night on this. (Spoiler: I did spend all night on it.)

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I tried to get as much detail in them as I could.  Like the shading.

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At this point I was beginning to wonder if this was perhaps small enough.  Maybe I could stop here.  1.25 x 1.25cm is pretty damn small.  But it’s not a round number.  I had to do at least one more.

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I really should have stopped using the white gel pen before this point.  The nib is way too big.

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My eyes were starting to hurt, but I had to see how small I could go.

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This is where I lost all definition.  You can only barely tell what it is.  I’d like to think I could do a better job if I wasn’t doing it late at night when I was already tired.  I may have another go at it.  And I may see if I could go even smaller.  Maybe.

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Go check out Sam’s twitter to see what she did.  My favourite is this rainbow planet.

Hama, Interrupted

It’s been a while since I’ve done any Hama pieces.  Hama, for those who don’t know, are also known as Perler beads.  You build the pattern you like, then iron them to fuse them together.

I have several hundred pictures of ideas from various sources online, and I’d like to say I’ll get around to them all one day, but I probably won’t.  I found a really cute cherry blossom tree recently though, and that inspired me to get my beads out.

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It has that slit down the middle so that you can make two, and slide them together to make a 3D tree.  Like the Christmas tree ones I make and sell.

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The picture only showed one side, but I knew it would be easy enough to work out a second side.  And so I picked out my colours.

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I didn’t quite have the right shades.  It didn’t bother me too much for the trunk, but I did wish I had a lighter pink.

And then I started placing my beads.  Hama is a strange craft.  It’s theraputic and relaxing placing each bead one at a time, but also there’s a constant thrill that comes with the risk of a pet knocking the board over.  This has been done before.  And will probably be done again.

I did the trunk and started on the cherry blossoms.  Lots of blossoms.  And then I began to suspect that while I might have enough of the second pink shade to complete the first side of the tree, I didn’t think I’d have enough for the second side.

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And so I gave up.  For now.  I took it all apart and returned the beads to their boxes.  I haven’t given up for good though.  I’m going to see if I can find a paler pink, and then have another go.

Scrawlr Box

Last week the April Scrawlr Box came through my letter box.  So I decided I should probably write a blog post about the March box.

For those who don’t know, Scrawlr Box is a monthly art subscription box.  And it’s a load of fun.  The boxes are sized to fit right through your letter box, so no fussing with post offices.

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Each month you get practically all the supplies you need for an art project.  As well as a postcard with a print from a featured artist, who used the same sort of supplies as in the box.

This month came with a line art of the print too, for us to colour in.

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From here the lighting gets a little better in my pictures because I actually opened my living room curtains.

In the March box there was some Staedtler Super Soft coloured pencils…

…a jumbo graphite pencil, a Koh-I-Noor woodless white pencil, a Derwent Burnisher, a Derwent Blender, a V Ball pen…

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…an A5 sketchbook with a pretty shiny purple cover…

…and a double hole sharpener.  Scrawlr Box also sends a different sweet every month, and a sticker with their logo on.  Recently the stickers have been designed to reflect the mediums in the box.

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You also get a card with all the details of the items in the box.

A lot of people, me included, like to leave this til last.  That way taking the supplies out of the box is more of a surprise.

The bottom of that second page is the monthly challenge.  The art print, combined with the rainbow of pencils, inspired me and I had an idea right away.  But first we have to swatch.

The Blender and Burnisher confused me a little.  I have a nice full set of Faber-Castell Polychromos, but I don’t really know how to make the best of them.  I want to learn though, and this Scrawlr Box has definitely reignited that desire.

And so on to the Enchantress.  You don’t HAVE to do the challenge of course, but as I said, I was inspired for this one.

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I didn’t intend for her to be snarling like that, but I haven’t done too many mouths yet so I’m not too good at them.  I did use the Burnisher though, and there is definitely a difference.

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I’m not sure the effect is worth the aching wrist though.  On to the hair.  The hair was what I was looking forward to most.  I used the blender a bit too, and it looks good but I’m not sure if I did it right.

When I’d done all the hair I went over it with the Burnisher, and outlined a little more in the black pen.  I really like how it turned out, but I wish I’d managed to not have her snarling.  I’ll have to do some mouths practice.

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And because the coloured pencils were supposed to be as good on black paper as they are on white, I did a little robot too.

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Okay, time to open April’s box.  I’ll try and blog about it before May’s arrives.

 

 

 

 

 

Patreon Launch

So that big thing that I’ve been alluding to?  Patreon!

I discussed recently about the plans that I have for Crafted By Colette.  One of those plans has always been to set up a Patreon one day.  I wanted to wait until I had a little bit of a bigger following.  But with the upcoming changes in their fees, Patreon have pushed my hand a little.

So in recent weeks I’ve been revamping my branding a little, and prepping my Patreon page.

I designed a series of monsters who will represent my tiers:

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Each monster has a different tier, with costs from $1 to $25.  And each one comes with juicy perks.

Amongst the perks on offer are free mini alien plushies…

 

…the chance to help me decide what to make/draw with polls like this…

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…monsters designed especially for you, free badges and art prints.

I’ll also be doing a monthly raffle for a Patron to win a free 6×4″ art print of any of my work they like.

Plus, I’ll be writing a Patron blog post every month.  In the post I’ll list and thank each and everyone of my Patrons, and pick 1 or 2 to highlight.  If they have projects they want me to feature, plug or review I’ll do that too.

There’ll be lots of freebies and fun stuff going on.  I have lots and lots of ideas.  If there’s anything you want to see, please comment and let me know.

Go over and become a Patron.  The first 10 new Patrons – at whatever tier – will get a handwritten personal letter and doodle from me.

 

Something Big is Coming

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you might have spotted a range of monsters recently.

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They’ve been hinting at something big coming.

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If you’re clever you might have worked out what it is.

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But if you haven’t, don’t worry.  You won’t have to wait much longer.

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Because it’s tomorrow.  The big thing that I’ve been working on for weeks and weeks, it happens tomorrow!  Tune it at 5pm to find out all about it.

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Happy Easter

I hope you’ve all eaten lots of chocolate.  I had plenty 🙂

For Easter this year, after some time (ahem, hours) browsing on Pinterest I settled for this craft.

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The Pinterest link didn’t lead anywhere, but a reverse image search found me the original website.  Home and Gardening Ideas posted this little craft, and I followed their instructions.

The written instructions were a little unclear, but at the bottom of the page is a YouTube video.

It was a really easy tutorial to follow.  I had a little trouble cutting the ears.  It was just fiddly.

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And somehow the face ended up looking really angry.

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But it didn’t look too bad.

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I did have a second go.  This time I used safety eyes and embroidered a face before filling the sock.  And I cut the basic shape for the ears first too.  I kinda loved how plump he looked before I tied the twine to make his head.

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I trimmed his ears a little more, and he looked adorable.  Even if I did stitch his mouth a bit too low.

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But it was a fun little Easter craft and now I have two cute little sock bunnies.

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New Logo

My old logo was designed back in 2012.  I was obsessed with Zentangles at the time and the star is a Zentangle pattern called an Auraknot.

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It’s a very relaxing and fun pattern to make.  And I love the star that I produced.

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But it’s a little complex for a logo.  I did create a simpler version.

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In recent years though I’ve become a lot more colourful in both my personal style, and in my work.  I find myself becoming a little obsessed with rainbows.

I’ve been considering redoing my logo for a year or so now, and recent/current events have made that final decision for me.  But I had absolutely no idea where to start.

Until I saw this…

Megan Weller on YouTube posts a lot of ways to fill your sketchbook, and I love them.  I have a big collection of a list of things to do in sketchbooks, and I’m always looking for more.

Hopefully that video starts at the right point, where Megan demonstrates some fun lettering techniques.  If not, it’s at 5:40.  When I saw them I grabbed a sketchbook and had a go.

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I really liked that middle one, and it was that which sparked my imagination.  So out came my Ohuhu markers.

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I couldn’t decide whether to add the frame to the banner or not, or whether to join up my horrendous cursive, so I did a bit of everything and then asked my Facebook and Twitter followers for advice.

Version two was a bit more rough.

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And then for version three I settled a bit more on what I wanted.

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The next step was to make it digital.  This was a bit stressful.  My digital skills are not that good yet, although I’m working on it.  It took me a while to do it, but I finally managed.

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It’s by no means perfect.  The foreground lettering is ever so slightly fuzzy, but it’s good enough for me for now.  Maybe my digital skills will improve, or I’ll hire someone to do a better job.  But that’ll have to wait.

Haul Time

I’ve done a bit of supply shopping in the past few weeks.  With two specific art methods in mind.

I’ve bought myself some decent watercolours, because the set I got myself at Christmas is very chalky.

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And because I’m me, I got all sorts of other watercolour bits and pieces too.

 

I also got the last remaining pieces I needed for an art/craft I’ve been desperate to try.  Can you guess what it is?

 

What It Is, and Why

In 2012, a friend of the family asked if she could buy a pair of the earrings I was making.

I’d been crafting for years, doing various crafts and forever picking up new crafts.  I craft a lot.  I have depression and some other related issues, and crafting keeps my hands and my mind busy.  It gives me a sense of purpose, and the thrill of finishing a project never fades – whether it’s an origami crane or a crocheted dragon egg.

 

However, when you do a lot of crafting you end up with a lot of crafted products.  There’s only so many jewellery pieces you can wear, and there’s only so much shelf space you have to display things.  I was ending up with boxes of pieces just hiding away.

And so I decided to sell them.  I started with friends and family, and set up a Facebook page.  I gradually started going to school fairs during the summer and at Christmas.  When I decided I wanted a website, I decided that I really wanted a craft blog too.  In the last month I’ve set up an Etsy store.  And so Crafted By Colette grew.

I’m still a small little company.  I don’t make very much money.  If I factored in what I spend on supplies I don’t make any money at all.  But it’s something I enjoy, and it keeps me going.  Everytime I get a new follower on Twitter or on Facebook I get a little jolt of happiness.  When I get a sale from someone who isn’t a friend or family member I get a bigger jolt of happiness.  Strangers are actually buying my things?!

And doing the school fairs is fun too.  I don’t particularly like big crowds of people, but when I’m safe behind a table it’s not too bad.  Especially when a little kid comes running up telling a friend that I’m the lady who makes the cute mini aliens.

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I do have plans for a bigger business.  I’d like to have a wider reach.  I’d like to attend more fairs – like proper craft fairs.  I’d like to have a bigger store on Etsy.  I’d love to sell at conventions maybe one day.  I’d love to be a popular blogger.  And my ultimate goal would be to make enough money to actually make a living from Crafted By Colette.

I have lots of little brainstorms and ideas, some of which don’t come to fruition, some do.  Some might do one day.  And some are going to happen a little earlier than planned.

I hope you enjoy my rambles, and my attempts to learn new crafts.  I hope that you’ll keep coming back, that you’ll share with your friends, and that you continue to join me as I attempt to turn my crafting-coping-mechanism into something that I can share with the world.

Watercolour Progress

I’ve always said that I couldn’t paint.  I have no brush control.  But as I’m developing my art skills, watercolours is something that appeals to me greatly.

I’ve had watercolour pencils for a while now, which I have to admit have been mostly ignored since I discovered alcohol markers.  And last year I did some experimenting with a cheap waterbrush and the paints I’d had for years.

I decided after that to get myself some better paints.  And so for Christmas I got myself a nice set, some brushes and a palette.

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The brush in the paint set was very not-useful.  Not for painting anyway, but I put it with the brushes I use for glue.  Swatching was fun.  I know that some people dislike swatching, but I really enjoy it.  And the colours are very pretty.

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The paints seemed a little chalky.  I’ve watched enough art videos on YouTube to know that chalky is not good for watercolours.  But I carried on regardless, because they were pretty and new.  And I needed to practice.

I painted a little galaxy.  I’d been working on galaxies with alcohol markers – which I will blog about at some point.  As usual, the galaxy looked kinda crap until I added the stars.

I painted a little monster.  Because that’s what I do.

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Which is when I discovered I had used the wrong inking pen.  I didn’t notice it with the galaxy because I used black paint.

So the next step was pen testing.  I do enjoy the testing aspect of new supplies.

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And once I’d narrowed down which pens were safe to use, I started on an actual piece of art.

I remembered to paint sections that were not adjoining so that the paint didn’t run into itself and go muddy.

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And I remembered that I could use a heat gun to dry the paint quicker – which is good because I’m impatient.

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I learned that I need to be more careful about dripping paint.

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And I got gradually more annoyed with the chalkiness of the paint.

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I practically ruined an inking pen going over the lines after it had all dried.  But I enjoyed making the background, and I’m happy with the piece overall.  Who doesn’t love K-9?

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The chalkiness irritated me so much though that I haven’t really touched them since then.  Which, as you can see from the date on K-9, was back in early January.

I have just bought myself some proper paints though – as well as some other supplies – so look for some more watercolour learning posts soon.