Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Peek in my Art Journal: Link-up #12

This week I decided that it was time to try drawing faces, so I did a quick Google image search of some characters from tv shows I like and saved them as reference images to start my practice.  This week, I have been trying to draw Dean from Supernatural, played by Jensen Ackles.  The first attempt, on the left, looks kind of like Dean but has no nose.  The second, on the right, has a nose but looks nothing like Dean. And I don't think that the proportions are right in either one.  Oh well, I will keep trying until I get it right.
Diva Challenge #252:  Tangle within a tangle
The Diva challenged us to use a tangle as a string this week.  I used Showgirl as my string and filled it with Riverstones and Fleavy.  Then I pulled out my new colored pencils and added some color.  I really like it.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up (January 24, 2016)

A new feature on the blog:  Every week I am going to share a quick update on my week.

Blog Posts
A Peek in my Art Journal:  This is the 11th time that I have posted this link-up opportunity
FO: Alicia Legwarmers:  My second FO of the year is my favorite so far.

Interesting Stuff I Found on the Internet
Starting a handmade gift closet - this post could not have come at a better time for me.  I have decided that everyone gets a handmade gift this year and I made a goal to have all birthday gifts delivered on time.  Unfortunately, I am already failing at this.  Today is my BIL's birthday, and his gift is still sitting in my house.  Ooops!  Oh well, I will send it tomorrow; it's not too late.  I hope that having a gift closet will help me get more gifts sent on time.

Most Popular Instagram Post
A picture of my cat got the most likes this week.  She is 17 years old and diabetic, and such a cutie.
A photo posted by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on
Link-ups I Participated in
I added my Week 2 & 3 photos to the Journal 52 Facebook Group

How did your week go?

Friday, January 22, 2016

FO: Alicia Legwarmers

Pattern:  Alicia Legwarmers
Hook:  H
Yarn:  Pinguin Eclat

Modifications:  Added single crochet edging to top and bottom in coordinating color, completed shell edging in coordinating color, did not add buttons.

This pattern was very easy, and I like the final product a lot.

In progress

And now for the badly-lit action shots....
 I like to wear them all slouchy around my ankles.
 They are a little too loose to wear pulled up.
Have you ever tried this pattern?  What did you think?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Peek in My Art Journal Link-up #11

This week I have three new pages to share.

The first page is my first attempt at drawing realistic eyes.  I used a Youtube video by Art ala Carte as a guide.  I think some of them turned out really well.  The second one from the top is not great, in my opinion.  
This second page is a collage of things I am welcoming into my life this year, things I am saying yes to.  I did not look for specific words.  I just tore out the words that I found in magazines that called to me.  Looking forward to some red carpet treatment :)
 Project 52: Week 3
David Bowie died.  I was looking for a way to remember him when this prompt came along.  The lyric that kept singing in my head was, "...under the moonlight, the serious moonlight..."  I decided to use the opportunity to practice my new eye-drawing skills, but forgot to pay attention to any other anatomy.  I still really like it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Peek in my Art Journal Link-up #10

This week I have two pages to share.  The first is a page where I tested out my new colored pencils.  I got them as a Christmas gift from my sister.  They are Marco Raffine colored pencils and so far I really like them.  I want to do a better sample page where I color from light to dark with each pencil, but for now this works. 
 The second page is my first attempt at drawing a realistic cat.  I used some videos from the Art a la Carte Youtube page.  My sleeping cat looks more like a dormouse, but overall I am really proud of all three pictures.  I left the guidelines in on the cat face, so I could remember how to do it on my sitting cat.  I had so much fun and can't wait to try more of her videos.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tuesday Tips and Tricks: Art Journal Websites

I started an art journal in 2015 and I love it!  I have finally reached the point in my life where I do not need perfection from my art; the process is more important.  I find it very relaxing to create Zentangle-inspired art, collages, and to play with new techniques.  If you are interested in starting an art journal, there are many great websites that can help and inspire you.  Here are some of my favorites:

Tangle Patterns:  This website has a huge collection of step-outs for Zentangle tangles.  When I first heard about Zentangle, I had a really difficult time finding instructions for any of the tangles.  Now I go to this website and browse for random tangles to draw.

Sometimes you just need a prompt or a theme to get you started.  Journal 52 and Art Journal Journey are two websites that post weekly and monthly prompts respectively.  Journal 52's current prompt involves things you plan to say "yes" or "no" to in 2016, and Art Journal Journey has the prompt Winter Wonderland.  These prompts give you a starting point and looking at what others create in response to the prompt can be very inspiring.

This weekend I subscribed to a great Youtube channel: Art ala Carte, and I am obsessed.  So many playlists, so much to learn.  Yesterday I spent some time learning how to better use my new colored pencils and today I spent some time learning how to draw cats.  Her videos are easy to follow.  I actually drew a cat!  Check it out:

Do you have any favorite art journal websites? 

Monday, January 11, 2016

FO: Twisted Toque

Pattern:  Twisted Toque from 60 Quick Knits
Needle:  Size 7, circular and DPNs
Yarn:  Vanna's Choice in a beautiful green

My first FO of 2016
I messed up the pattern a little bit, but I still like it.  I started knitting this because I could not find a hat this winter, then I found three of my missing hats and received more hats as Christmas gifts.  Now I am hat rich!!   :)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Peek in my Art Journal: Link-up #9

 I have four pages to share this week.  The first is my 2015 gratitude spread.  I decided to make a collage of things I am thankful for from 2015.  I included images and letters from magazines, a shopping list, a note from a friend, a receipt.  I added words with my Chartpak markers and used bubble wrap with paint to stamp on top of the images.  I like it.
Inspired by Art Journal Journey's Winter Wonderland prompt: For this next page, I created a stamp by carving a wine cork. 

 I wanted it to look like a snowflake, but some of the detail was lost.  I stamped the page with two shades of blue and white paint, then pasted a bejeweled snowflake from a gift tag.  I may end up adding more later, but for now it is done.
Week one of Journal 52:  My word of the year.  My word of the year for 2016 is "achieve."  I started this page by drawing the background with my Chartpak ad markers.  Then I used the blender pen to soften the colors and the edges.  Finally I wrote my word and the definition on top.  I continue to work on my lettering, but think this one turned out nicely.
Diva Challenge 249: Duotangle with Auraknot and Diva Dance.  Diva Dance still puzzles me.  I cannot get it to work well, but I will keep practicing.  Auraknot was new to me, and I really like it.  I will definitely play with this tangle again.  I am still debating whether to add color to the Auraknot part. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday Tips and Tricks: Crafty Websites

This week I thought I would share a few of my favorite crafty websites.

If you are looking for a supportive community, Ravelry and Craftster are two great options.

Ravlery is a community for knitters and crocheters.  I love the My Notebook tab where I can keep track of my projects and stash and keep a queue of patterns I want to try.
The forums are a fun place to show off your work, join challenges, and have conversations about yarn.  Also, Ravelry has a lot of patterns to search through, many of them free.

Craftster is a community for all crafters with forums for many different topics.
I love going to Craftster for inspiration and to remind myself that you can make things no matter what materials you have on hand.  People on Craftster share tutorials and unique ideas.  There are also interesting challenges, like the Harry Potter Craftalong

I love looking for new patterns, and two of my favorite sites for patterns are Knitting Pattern Central and Crochet Pattern Central.  So many different options!

Where do you go for crafty inspiration and community?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Focus Projects for January 2016

It is the first day of the new year and, therefore, it is the first day of my new goals.  One of my big goals for 2016 is to choose three focus projects each month: one personal, one gift, and one to sell. 

Here are my focus projects for January 2016.

Personal Project:  Alicia Legwarmers
I got these super cute shoes for my birthday this year and I love wearing them. 
The only problem is that I like to wear leggings and socks under my skirts in winter and they rarely match.  These shoes, while absolutely adorable, are not tall enough to hide the transition between my mismatched socks and leggings.  At first I thought boot cuffs might be the answer, but again I think the shoes are not quite tall enough to hold a cuff in place, so I am going to try legwarmers.  This pattern looks easy; I might even be able to make multiple pairs in different colors.

Gift Project: Necklace
Ok, I am sorry, but I cannot post a picture of the necklace I am planning to make because the person I am making it for sometimes reads this blog.  The necklace will be my own design, based on one I saw in a store a little over a year ago.  Pictures will be posted once it has been delivered to the recipient :)

To Sell Project:  Wips
I have a number of wips that I started making in order to sell.  The plan for this month is to complete a few of these wips and add them to my stock.  One of these projects is the Loopy Infinity Scarf that I started in February 2014.

I will post my progress on these focus projects at the end of the month and will post FOs as they are completed.  I am really looking forward to choosing focus projects each month and hope it will make me more productive and force me to actually complete some projects once in a while.