Friday, December 8, 2017

Lisa's Odd Menagerie on Etsy...

FIRST: Let me say that I am doing this as a surprise
for this wonderful shop that I am in love with. 
The seller and creator of this amazing collection, Lisa, has obvious talent, passion, and love for every single creature she makes. I love her art, her attention to detail, and the friendly conversation that I've gotten to be a part of over the last year! 

 So, after ordering an adorable satyr named Cosmos, I expected a huggable, handmade plush, yes, but this is what I got:

In case you can't wait to look, here's a link to her shop:

An amazing work of fiber art!!! 
Look at the embroidered details on the felt! And the fact that she added felt to her amigurumi to highlight and define his details is something I've personally never seen before!
His arms and horns are posable and stiff enough that they can stand up on their own.
But look at his face! 
The personality is so crazy! I love it! And yes. He may be pink, but he's definitely a 'him.' 
And his name is 
and I love him;)

Thank you, Lisa;) IhugsmyCosmosandyou!!!


And no. He wasn't free. And no. I'm about to message her and let her know that I even wrote this. I hope it's ok;) 

How to LOVE a 'How to Draw' Book...

Ok... first of all, let me say that I have no faith in 'how to draw' books. I only learned to draw pretty well about 5 years ago... I'm 36 atm. Before that, it was stick people with no faces. Seriously. I was purely into sculpture and juxtaposition because it didn't involve drawing. Ok... full disclosure... I did paint in watercolor pretty competently and I would draw to set up those paintings, but it's completely different and without the painting added, my drawing was crap. I mean it. My 8 year old has had a better grasp on visual representation through drawing and paint since he was 3 than I had at age 30. I don't know what switch got flipped, but it was like overnight that I started massively improving.

HOWEVER... I admit that I was curious and wanted to try/test this book. I didn't trust it's "show artists of all levels how to draw with ease by following the simple, step-by-step examples" (they are never simple examples) promise on the back of the book. So, I dubiously set a 10 minute timer and drew from the directions for the image of the narwhal on the cover... this is what I ended up with:

and I must say that I'm pretty confident that if I had another 5 minutes, I could have made it look just like the one on the cover. Even 36 year old me is very pleased!!!

So I must say, "I apologize, book. This is quite an amazing result as it's a raw first sketch of a narwhal that I have EVER attempted. You win. 5 stars." 
There weren't any 'do overs' or practice sketches... this is just me going off what they were showing me, and despite how popular narwhals apparently and strangely are these days, I've seen one like once... on Elf. Yep. That's the extent of my visual knowledge of these guys... So, yeah. Book, 5 stars and a win! And I'm keeping it with my technique books just in case;) (Trust me. It's an honor to be on that shelf.)

Disclosure: I did receive this book for free in order to give an honest review from my experience with this book. And I am pleased.

Thank you for visiting!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Coming back...

 I've been revisiting art pieces that I'm particularly proud of. I've headed off in this other direction... art journals, glue books and the like, but I do miss working on large paintings. This was completed in one night. I love watercolor in all of its forms. I'm often surprised by how many people don't know about water soluble crayons, pencils, pans, inks, and the like. I love it all!
 I also love lists, so there will be illustrated list entries coming soon! Thank you so much for stopping by!!!


Monday, September 11, 2017

Life Centered Around Dreams?

 I am so very skeptical and tired of hearing 'Do what you love and all the other pieces will just fall into place.' I do have a Christ centered faith and I also dislike the idea of being able to skip all over the place doing whatever comes into your head that might be what 'you're supposed to do.' I've tried both of those, done that, been there, and walked away more enlightened and overall, happier with my life, but neither one of those are what I would ever call a solution or philosophy for how to live my life.

 So, imagine my SHOCK when I start to skim this book and encounter phrases like, 'this is so painful...,' and chapter headings like 'When Dreams Die.' I actually went back to page 1 and started over with a renewed sense of curiosity.

 Unlike other motivational self-help books in BOTH secular and Christian industries, he lays out the struggles, practical advice like 'You Don't Need to Push Your Dreams on People,' and doesn't leave it all in an 'airy fairy wish on a Christian unicorn,' but rather brings along Scripture and Christ centered living principles like 'Serve the Poor.'

 I love that the sometimes necessary, often difficult, but extremely necessary parts are present and accounted for in this book because discovering our dreams requires us to be able to hear that 'still small Voice.' While many books tell us that our Heavenly Father who loves us with immeasurable amounts of love wants our very best and biggest dreams to come true, they neglect to tell us that we may not know what those actually are in our small-minded, often misguided, distracted hearts... let alone in our minds. We must clear the line of sight through being in line with Him to see where He would have us soar instead of drudge. That is where I think the picture becomes complete and I find true hope not in my dreams but in the satisfaction found in Him and His dreams for me... and not the little, twisted misadventures I would stumble through if left to my own devices.

 I recommend this for any college grad, missionary kid... why list them all. I think everyone who can read would find it worthy of the time;)

 I received this book for free in order to give a fair, knowledgeable review and I love it. I often give my books away once I've experienced them, but this one will be staying with me for a while. -XO

Monday, July 3, 2017

Make It Yours?

 As a lifetime maker of things, I think I'm underestimating the impact of this book for people who truly might not understand pattern, dyes, and such, but I honestly didn't like this book. It seems like a LOT of repetition of how to make marks on different surfaces with different things.

 Christine Schmidt does have a highly instructional style which will be good for the new 'mark maker,' but this book will probably frustrate anyone with much experience in design, color, painting and etc. I was hoping that it would be kind of a 'refresher,' but I found it really redundant and really didn't enjoy it.

 However, my niece, who is 8, wanted it and was staring with rapt attention at every picture as soon as she got it off the shelf. Her mum decided that she'd like to borrow it as she doesn't consider herself 'creative.' So, there's a kind of verification of my suspicions;) Great for people who need a little push to paint, stamp, dye, or just attack whatever it is that they want to personalize.

 Patterns are provided in the back of the book and it does cover shibori and a couple of other techniques. Lots of pictures will be appreciated by anyone who feels that this book is helpful;)


*I did receive this book for free so I could give an honest, experienced review on this book;) Thank you!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Misfits Fit Just Fine...

Jason Stellman might be my new super hero. Don't expect the clean cut, dry Christianity of the churches filled with staunch, suffocating religion. His raw style of writing endeared me to him right away as I felt like he was confirming that the Jesus I had encountered was indeed real. And also REAL when it came to being fully human. 
I was raised Baptist and could never really grasp more than the factual head knowledge that was being outlined from the pulpit. It never felt like it truly touched my heart in a way other than to grip it in fire and brimstone fear, but Stellman shows a Jesus and a faith that is so much bigger than the Son of God become man waiting with a big stick to beat us when we mess up, and this, for most, should be a revelation and an opening of being to Him. 
Honesty becomes more possible and Stellman points out the different aspects of the incredible understanding that God and His Son has in regards to man and just how much He loves us, and that, in itself is truly freeing and humbling.
An amazing read for a new Christian, one that feels their faith has become stale or lifeless, or someone who just can't grasp the how/why of Jesus and His Father.
Love this book!!!

Ps. I did receive this book for free in order to be able to give an honest review about the content.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Uh... no... no... Wait... Yes? Weird... Doodletopia's Fairies Book Review

Ok... So I'm going to be perfectly honest. I'm 36 and I just learned to draw about 4 years ago, and BELIEVE ME, I've tried here and there and only ended up throwing things. So I got this book and thought it would be fun to exercise my newish skills! 
I got it and I didn't feel the magic. It was kind of flat, not really instructive and though I had a good grasp on drawing the images they were encouraging me to draw, and I love fairies and fantasy, I was not in love with the methods presented. 
I thought maybe that the book was meant more for children, and honestly, I thought that from the beginning, but I'm a kid at heart, so don't judge;) I took it to my niece who's about 13 and creative and also loves fairies and she can draw a bit, but she wasn't pleased either. Something about 'I can't figure it out if they don't show me how...' was muttered as she stormed off to her room.
This book is magical for someone. I know it is, but it just wasn't for me, my niece, or my nephew. My son seemed to like the castle drawing bit because he understands the approach, I think. He's seven and has always been able to translate shapes and ideas to paper, which is something my niece and I have had to have switches 'flipped on' for in our brains. Disengaging the left brain is key for both of us. Ez (son) sat down and right away went to work and was quiet for HOURS... unusual. 
I will say that this is a thick book, and if you can flip through it and decide if it will suit you or whomever you're buying it for, then go for it! Like I said... it worked out for my 7 year old and while he won't draw the fairies, he loves the dragons and castles;) 

I did receive this book for free in order to give an honest and experienced review. Thank you so much!