Origami Stars & Snowflakes

After my 13 Days of Halloween series in October, I’d planned to do a 12 Days of Christmas series around now.  I was going to take 12 of my Christmas traditions and translate them into craft or art projects.  But things have been a little hectic here at Casa Colette, and I haven’t had the time to do it. I have still been doing Christmas themed arts and crafts though, naturally.

One of the things I was going to do for 12 Days of Christmas uses the gorgeous origami kit that my best friend got me – as mentioned in my craft haul blog post the other day.

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The tradition it relates to would be making new ornaments, and there’s a wee bit of paper snowflakes in this post too 🙂

So the kit comes with four different types of paper: including a spotty one, a blue one with snowflakes (some of which are metallic), a see-through vellum one, and a very sparkly glittery white one.  Look at that pink sheen on it!

My poor photography and the lighting in my room does not let the beauty of these papers fully shine through, but hopefully you can get the general idea.

The kit also came with instructions for a Bascetta Star, an unnamed star, and some paper snowflakes.

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I started with the simplest of the three projects.  The snowflakes.  I’ve always enjoyed making paper snowflakes – and I’ve made them every Christmas for as long as I can remember.  I even did a blog post about it during my 25 Crafts of Christmas series back in 2016.  Two posts actually, because they’re a little addictive.

I used the spotty paper for the first one, and drew one the design for snowflake A from the instructions.  My cutting skills aren’t fantastic, but it looks good.

I did a second snowflake, using design B from the instructions.  I decided to use the glittery paper for this one, and while it looks awesome it’s thicker paper and therefore harder to cut.  With my awful cutting skills it looks kinda raggedy.

I moved on to the second simplest of the projects – the unnamed star.  I made the six modules easily enough.

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But then I struggled a bit putting them together.

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I reached a point where it seemed like I needed another module.  Maybe step 10 meant six MORE modules.

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So I made another one and managed to get it into a position that looked about right.

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I tried looking on YouTube for a video of the pattern, but because it wasn’t named it was hard to find.  The closest I could find was this one.

It uses different modules though, so I made some of those.

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But again, I had trouble putting it together.  I had a formation with 7 modules that seemed like it was okay, but because I’d done four of each colour the pattern didn’t work.

I eventually managed to slide the modules into a position I was happy with, and I used little bits of double-sided tape to secure them in place.

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I did the same thing with the first star – wriggling and fiddling with it until it seemed okay.  This one I secured with some pva glue and little gem stickers in the centre.

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Finally I moved on to the complicated Bascetta star.  The modules were simple and putting the first three together was relatively simple.

It took me ages, and quite a bit of swearing, but I managed to keep adding modules and putting it together.  I even managed to do it without resorting to looking for a video.

The last step was extremely fiddly, but I did complete it.  And it looks very very cool!

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I did do one more project with this kit.  The vellum paper reminded me of a project I’d done before, but with snowflakes.  So I made six sonobe modules and put them into a cube.

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Then I opened up the top flap and put an LED candle in there.  When closed, the little box glows.

The candle actually changes colour, but the only way to really show that is a video, so here ya go.



Craft Haul

My birthday was in October, and I did a wee bit of online shopping after that.  As a result, I have quite a bit of new craft supplies, so I figured that before Christmas arrived and I ended up with even more new craft supplies, I’d do a haul post.

First up, my best friend got me this adorable little die cutting machine, which came with an embossing folder and a couple of cutting dies.

He also gave me a bunch more cutting dies to use with it.

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And then I bought myself a few more.  I have quite a few more on the way too.

My boyfriend got me a very awesome 3D printing pen – which I’ve already blogged about in my 13 Days of Halloween series.

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Within 10 days of receiving it, I had used up all the filament that came with it.  So I bought some more of that, as well as a big reel of the cheapest colour I could find to use as filler for building shapes and things.  And I also purchased a bit of ABS filament, just to see what it was like – my pen can use both PLA and ABS but PLA is more common.

I also got myself this very clever silicone template mat.

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My boyfriend also got me these two colour in canvasses from Hobbycraft.  Technically Hobbycraft got me one of them – they sent me a £5 voucher for my birthday, which I believe they do for everyone who signs up to their Craft Club.  But I couldn’t decide which one to get, so Tom got me the other one 🙂

A few days after that I got a bag with lots of little presents from my sister, which included two mini colour in canvasses.  One is unwrapped because I started working on one before I took a photo.  I’ve got a blog post in the works about these.

Speaking of The Works, I also ordered myself a bunch of presents from one of my favourite stores.  Including this massive set of acrylic paints – something I intend to learn how to use sometime soon.

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They also sell a range of little bottles of acrylic paint, so I got one of those to test them out.

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Also from The Works I got this Christmas scratch art set…

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… this book of absolutely gorgeous card stock…

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… these rose gold card photo frames (the other frames were from a bag of crafty bits from another friend) …

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… and some silver and white washi tapes (the other tapes were from the same bag of crafty bits from a friend).

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Also in the bag of crafty bits were some animal print card stock, some glitter and some stickers.

Another one of my friends – I have very awesome friends – got me this Dungeons and Dragons colouring book.

From Poundland I got a paint palette…

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… and some Christmas wood shapes.

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I also got these large wooden Christmas shapes from Hobbycraft.  There will be a blog post about the wood shapes at some point.

A few weeks ago my best friend stopped by for a visit – and to collect the glasses he left here – and he bought me a random present.  He’d seen it in Lidl and decided I’d love it.  He’s right – there’s a blog post coming up about these soon.

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Lidl is a supermarket, but they have a whole section that has different random stuff every week.  Occasionally you can get some pretty good art and craft stuff.  For instance, in the same week that I got the origami kit, I also went to Lidl and picked up this pack of coloured card.

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Finally, one of the things I’ve been desperate for all year is a Cricut or Silhouette digital die cutting machine.  They aren’t cheap, so I decided to buy some of the paraphernalia a bit at a time in advance.  The first batch includes this set of picks and tools, and two packs of inket printable vinyl sticker sheets.

I’ve promised a few upcoming blog posts with this haul, but to be honest there’s probably at least half a dozen more posts in here.  Not to mention the hundreds of hours of messy crafty fun.






Line Art Swap – The Other Half

In October, my friend NinaHah and I did my first ever line art swap.  I blogged what I drew for Nina…

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I showed you what Nina drew for me…

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And I showed you what I did with what Nina drew.complete

What I didn’t show you was the amazing job that Nina did with what I sent her.  She traced it out onto watercolour paper and painted it!  I got to watch some of the painting on her Twitch channel.  She streams a coupla times a week, you should go watch.


She did such an amazing job.  Look at the lining in that skirt!  You can see the picture, as well as lots of other brilliant pieces, on her Deviant Art page.

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We may or may not be doing another line art swap for Christmas, so keep your eyes peeled for that.  Maybe.


October 2019 Scrawlr Box

Remember when the September box had a really awesome surprise with one of my favourite YouTube artists being the featured artist?  Well the October box did the same thing.  I opened it up to this gorgeous print by DrawWiffWaffles

This box also had a special treat from Scrawlr to celebrate their 50th box, which is just freaking amazing.

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The supplies this month were brilliant too.

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At first I thought the paler Copic Ciao was one that I already have, but not quite.

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First job – swatching.

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The challenge was to draw an outfit, so I drew out a sketch of a nice cosy looking set of clothes.

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Usually with Scrawlr boxes people try to keep to what’s in the box for their supplies.  I usually do as well.  And I started off okay.  I used the paper provided, I sketched with the pencil provided, I outlined with the multiliner, erased with the eraser, and used the BV00 for the jumper and the BV04 for the pants.

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But at this point I became a little stuck.  So I allowed myself two markers for the skin.  I did make sure they were Copic Ciaos though, so they were kinda on theme.


Then I decided that since I’d already gone outside the box, I’d use Copic Ciaos for the shoes, eyes, hair, and floor as well.


Then once I’d finished adding all the little details with the glitter pen and the white paint pen, I thought I’d go for broke and use all my pastelly Copic Ciaos for the background.

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I’m really pleased with the final piece.  Yes, I didn’t stick to what was in the box, but I was inspired by it and that’s what really counts.  Right?

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Also, if anyone knows where I can get a jumper like that, let me know.

Another Desert Bus Success

Desert Bus 2019 ran for a record 162 hours – from 8am PST on Friday November 8th, to 2am PST on Friday November 15th.  And it was freaking awesome!

It was a week of chaos, music, dancing, hilarity, tiredness, emotions, crafted gorgeousness, comedy, nerdiness, and just general madness.  I tried to watch as much of it as possible, but I missed so much.  Thankfully a lot of it goes up on the YouTube channel, and I believe the VODs are still available on the Twitch channel.  The awesome Video Strike Team also have an extremely detailed spreadsheet listing each and every thing that happened, as well as a multitude of graphs and charts for all your nerdy queries.

This year I was one of the craft-along participants again.  My third year donating.  And after the hefty hefty blanket I made last year, I had decided to make something much smaller.  I made a set of four dragonscale dice bags, in the colours of the different shift banners.

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Here’s the description I wrote to go with them.

This set of 4 stunning dragonscale* dice bags are fashioned in colours that represent the Desert Bus shift banners. They can hold around 150 dice (not included), or whatever knick knacks you need a little pouch for. Coins, gems, teeth, the eyeballs of your enemies. They are multi-purpose bags.

They were crocheted by hand with acrylic yarn and have toggle closures to keep your eyeballs/dice safe. Each bag stands about 5 and a half inches tall and has a diameter of approximately 4 or 5 inches.

*no Chromatic dragons were harmed in the making of these pouches.

They were offered as a giveaway – in which people can donate multiples of a certain amount of money to enter a sort of raffle – for donations of $7.20 or multiples thereof.  They raised a nice round $1664.

As ever, I was delighted and ecstatic and slightly overwhelmed.  It feels so good to be able to use these skills I have to help children all over the world.  I’m already thinking of ideas for next year.

For those who are curious, my good friend Sam at Sam’s Skunkworks made another spectacularly epic movie prop for the craft-along.  This year he made the ZF1 gun from The Fifth Element.

So far, props that he has donated have been offered as giveaways, and also as silent auctions – eBay style, where you can outbid someone over a period of 8 hours.  This year his donation was a live auction.  These are by the far the most exciting.  They last just a few minutes, and people in the Twitch chat can bid – auction house style.  It gets a little crazy.

This year Sam raised $6007.  That’s just crazy.  And I believe it brings his grand total up to a gajillion dollars.  He is a very talented man.  Go check him out.

Desert Bus is an amazing thing to be part of.  I highly recommend you go look it up, and join in the chaos next year.

This year they raised $864,415.01 – their highest yearly total yet.  Bringing their lifetime total raised for Child’s Play to more than SIX.  MILLION.  DOLLARS!  How freaking incredible is that?

If you need another reason to join the Desert Bus hype, here’s the poster for this year with some truly bizarre images that only make sense if you watch!  Or if you go to the interactive poster map on the VST site and click the links that appear when you hover over each image.

The poster this year – and every year – is drawn by the awesome M. Lee Lunsford who draws it as the stream progresses.  Watching the evolution is pretty fascinating – and the VST have you covered here as well.

Have I sold you on Desert Bus yet?


My First Colouring Page

So far I’ve completed two of the twenty things on my 20 Before 20 list.

  • I did a line art swap with the awesome NinaHah – her side of the swap will be revealed soon.  On here at least.  You can find it over on her Deviant Art page already.
  • I got SamBeAwesome to write an awesome guest blog post for me about her awesome creation Washiween.

Today I can proudly announce the completion of two more things.  I finally dragged my butt to the dentist last week – and even let him go ahead with the treatment he said I needed.  That was so very much not fun.

The second thing, which is much much more fun is this.  The release of my very first colouring page!

This is a piece I did of Wall-e and Eve for my self-imposed challenge to draw 100 robots in the year 2019.

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Before I coloured it, I scanned the line art and cleaned it up.  And here it is.

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I’m not sure how to go about sharing colouring page files, but the file data for that image says it’s a nice high resolution.  I hope that comes through.

If anyone colours in Wall-e and Eve, I’d love to see it.  Share it with me here, or on one of my social medias.  I’m CraftedByColette on Facebook, Deviant Art and Instagram, and I’m @By_Colette on Twitter (because CraftedByColette wouldn’t fit).



September Scrawlr Box

I had a most excellent surprise when I opened the September Scrawlr Box.  The featured artist was one of my favourite artists.  Kasey Golden!

And then when I opened the little tissue parcel and saw the supplies, I got even more excited.  Viviva watercolour sheets!  I’d seen these on a lot of YouTube videos earlier in the year and I had considered getting some, but as ever, I just never got around to it.

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The mechanical pencil is awesome.  Very smooth, and it erases perfectly.  I’ve been using it as my go to pencil ever since.

The fineliner is.. well it’s a fineliner.  I have discovered that it does NOT like alcohol markers though, so I’ve put it with my watercolour stuff so I don’t ink a marker piece by mistake.

And the paints!

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They are so bright and so creamy and so vibrant.  Not chalky in the slightest.  The gimmick for the Viviva colour sheets is that the paint is a thin layer, on a page in a little notebook.  And it works really well.

The colours are different from how they look on the sheet.  Some of them are VERY different.  But the book comes with little spaces for swatching each colour.

The little book also comes with an extra sheet for you stick in the back, and use as a mixing palette.

The texture of the palette is a little weird, and I prefer using my ceramic plate, but it’s a cute little addition.

The theme was bugs, and after a cute little glow worm I drew a few days before for something else…

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… I was more than happy to stick to the theme.  I drew out a selection of cute not-very-realistic bugs and inked it.  I inked in the black parts too, because it’s hard to get a saturated black with these paint sheets.

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By this point it was late in the day and I was beginning to get a bit tired.  I didn’t wanna start painting it because I knew I’d stay up til it was finished and it would take forever and I’d make mistakes.

So instead I did some more swatches, and some practice pieces.

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I discovered a few things here.  It’s hard to do a wash.  It’s difficult to keep the paint moist, or to see how moist it is.  And no matter how dry the paint is, it picks up really easily.  Too easily.  Adjoining sections will bleed.

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I did some of the DearAnnArt tutorials that I mentioned in this post last month.

Then when I was nice and refreshed, I took on the bugs.

The paints are awesome.  They’re extremely beautiful.  Every time I put colour to paper I was stunned at how gorgeous it was.  It’s hard to tell how much paint you’re picking up though.  It’s hard to tell if you’re getting saturated or paler colour, although that could just be my skill level.

The pad itself is very clever.  The partition sheets work well.  It ends up a little messy, but my Sakura Koi are just as messy.

I only got a little way through, when I got distracted and went to visit a friend for a few days.  When I came back I discovered that even 4 days of letting the paint dry doesn’t stop it being easy to pick up – as demonstrated by the bleeding red on the ladybird here.

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I tried to be extra careful when finishing the piece, but I managed to make a mess in some places – especially the poor dragonfly.

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I did considering shading the bugs, but given the issues with picking up paint, I was a little bit terrified to try.  Which made me wonder how well layering and glazing would work with these paints?

I am happy with the piece though.  They’re adorable, and so bright.  I was a little annoyed by the mess I made of the dragonfly, so I scanned it and tried to edit it a little, and I’m not sure how I did.  I got a little bogged down in detail again.

For instance, can you discern any difference in these?

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There are differences.  I spent so much time fixing every detail.  Fixing the orange on the dragonfly, tidying up every little bit of paint that went outside the line, cleaning up any bits where the paint bled, and patching up any white gaps.  Each picture is a different step in that process.

But I’m fully aware that you can’t really see those details unless you zoom right in.  I need to stop being so perfectionist when it comes to digital art.

Anyway, here’s the finished piece 🙂

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