Happy Holidays Coloring Page

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday with family and/or friends.

I took a crafting break today so there won’t be a Make Something Mondays project. Spending time with family took precedent.

But I did want to post something today. I’m sure you’re still in the holiday spirit, so here’s a Christmas tree coloring page! Holidays can be really stressful, especially for the people who host parties, so I wanted to give you a creative way to relax.

Studies have shown that coloring helps adults to destress and keeps their blood pressure low. I had given the coloring page to some friends to test out and the responses were positive. Thank you to all of my test subjects!

Click the image below to open it in a new window. Then you can download or print directly from your browser.

I hope you all enjoy it!

Free Christmas tree coloring page

#Inktober Drawings: Weeks 4-5

This is the last week of inktober drawings. I’m sad. I know I can keep going, but it just isn’t the same. The community that’s grown out of the inktober challenge is so wonderful and I’m going to miss it.

If you’ve been viewing, liking, commenting or sharing my work, thank you very much. 

If you’ve been participating, thank you for sharing your work and inspiring me!

Happy Halloween, all!

 halloween bat inktober drawing 

abstract leaf drawing inktober

abstract swirl drawing inktober

american beer day drawing inktober

crow in tree inktober sketch

high heels drawing inktober

hoverboard bttf inktober drawing

street lamp post inktober drawing

zentangle doodle inktober

zentangle drawing inktober

angry jack-o-lantern drawing

#inktober Drawings: Weeks 1-2

It’s that time of year again… #inktober!!!!!

You can’t tell I’m excited, can you?

If you’ve never heard of inktober, you should read about it, but I’ll give you a quick overview. Every year, for the month of October, artist, and non-artists, practice their ink skills by creating one ink drawing a day for each day in October. You can share it with the rest of us, or not, but we would love to see it! Watching skills progress throughout the month is one of the best parts of the challenge.

This is my second year participating and I’d love it if you joined me and the rest of the inktober community. The best place to follow along is Instagram, but I look at TwitterFlickr and Pinterest sometimes too.

Here are my drawings since the first of the month. I will post a new set of drawings every Sunday.

If you have any ideas for drawings, please share them in the comments! If I use your idea, I’ll tag you (if you leave contact info or a link to your blog) so you can see it.

ink bottle drawing inktober

I always start the first day of inktober with the word in my drawing. This year, I decided on a literal representation with an ink bottle and pen.

zentangle spider web inktober

Zentangle spider web.

zentangle flower drawing inktober

Zentangle flowers.

dandelion  drawing inktober

Dandelions in a field.

pumpkin drawing inktober

Small pumpkins.

tree moon drawing inktober

Trees and moon.

zentangle star drawing inktober

Zentangle star.

zombie drawing inktober

A little bit of zombie action.

sad scarecrow drawing inktober

A scarecrow. I really wasn’t feeling it that day and it reflects in the work. But it’s still inktober!

haunted tree drawing inktober

Haunted tree,forrest.

More drawings to come next week! If you’re participating in inktober, I’d love to follow you. Tell me where you’re posting!

DIY Accent Color Wall Art

DIY accent color wall art

I’ve never been in a house that didn’t have at least one decorative element on the wall. I bet you can’t think of one either. So, it’s probably safe to say that people like wall art. However, they might not want to pay for some of the more expensive options.

I like to make art and I enjoy teaching other people to do the same, so it makes sense to start with decorative, simple art.

This example is great for the modern home that needs a small pop of color.

Want to try it? It’s easy…

wall art materials

Things You Will Need

Ruler
Canvas
Newspaper
Stencil tape
Acrylic paint
X-acto knife
Paint brushes

Oil-based Sharpie markers a highly recommended but optional.

stencil tape art

Step 1

Lay out your stencil tape in the design you want.

Tip: To get the sharp points, stretch your tape out longer than it needs to be. Then lay the ruler across where it needs to be cut and use your X-acto knife to cut it.

painted canvas

Step 2

Paint everything black except one strip in the center. Paint the lone strip pink.

black pink wall art

Step 3

Peel off the tape when your paint is dry.

You might have a few paint lines that aren’t as even as you would’ve like them to be.

That’s where the oil-based Sharpie markers come in. You’ll want a black and a while one.

sharpie essentials

Use them to even out the lines. Obviously, use the black on the black lines and the white to cover up any paint that spills over.

DIY accent color wall art

When you’re finished you’ll have something like the above.

I like the abstraction. The black. And, of course, the accent color.

The bigger the canvas, the bigger the impact.

Let me know what you think!

Happy painting 🙂

DIY Watercolor Flower Painting

watercolor flower painting

My mom LOVES flowers and that is probably and understatement. The house I grew up in is like a jungle because of all of the plants.  Anyway, it was her birthday on Thursday so I went home for the weekend to spend some time with her.

I know it’s traditional to buy birthday cards, but I’m really not a fan of picking up some templated card with text that some random person wrote. I wanted to give her a birthday card that was more personal so I decided on a watercolor painting with a happy birthday at the bottom.

The process can take a while, depending on your experience level, but it’s a great starter project for getting into watercolor painting.

There are a few things you should know before you start using watercolor

Watercolor paints are transparent, so if you’re used to using oil or acrylic, this might be a little bit harder to get used to. You have to plan out where you’re white space is going to be. Painting an area white after you’ve painted it a different color is not going to work.

Limit your color palette to 2 or 3 colors. If you get too many colors on the paper, they will start to blend together and get a little muddy.

Use a variety of brushes. Don’t try to use one small brush. Vary the sizes and you’ll get better results.

watercolor flower painting materials

Things You Will Need:
Water
Paint brushes
Paper towels
Watercolor paints
Thick paper (watercolor paper, Bristol)
Flowers to look at (optional)

watercolor prep drawing

Step 1
Draw a very light outline of flowers on your paper with a pencil. These will be your guides. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look fantastic. The best thing about watercolor is that it doesn’t have to be perfect to look nice.
light blue flowers

Step 2
Paint your lightest colors first. Make sure your brush is wet (but not soaked).

To get a lighter shade of the color you’re using, get your paint brush wet, swirl it on the paint, dip it back into the water, then lightly dab it onto the towel. When you start painting you’ll get a very light color.

To get a darker shade, just use less water. Go from the paint directly onto the paper.
watercolor painting of flowers

watercolor painting with no outlines

Step 3
Paint on the darker colors.
watercolor flower painting

Step 4
Wait for everything to dry, then draw a thin black outline around all of the flowers and leaves. The outline helps to pull the whole image together and make it look a little more defined.

When you’re finished, you can add your message at the bottom and you have the perfect, from-the-heart birthday card. Your recipient will appreciate it much more that the card you thought about buying at the store.
If you’ve never used watercolor before, don’t worry! This is a good medium to start with. The colors bleed easily when there’s a good bit of water and can be easily touched up with ink when you’re finished. I would definitely recommend playing around with it. It’s a very nice stress reliever.

Hope you enjoyed my DIY for this week! I’d love to hear your feedback.

DIY Sketchbook Pen and Pencil Holder

DIY sketchbook pencil holder

Every artist that carries a sketchbook should have an easy-to-access pencil. Some carry multiple pencils in a fold-up case, but I typically don’t used more than one or two at a time. But every time I get an idea, I have to look for a pencil. So, I thought about buying a pencil holder for my sketchbook but, of course, decided to make my own instead. I know you’re surprised.

It’s really easy, cheap, and didn’t take long at all. I did mine my hand, but if you have a sewing machine, this will move a lot faster.

I love that it fits around my sketchbook so that I always have pencils with me. I was also excited about the elastic band because it fits a variety of sizes of sketchbooks. I’m trying out a Mod Notebook right now, but when I’m done with that one, I can use the pencil holder for my Moleskine as well.

sketchbook pencil holder materials

Things You Will Need:
Fabric
Elastic
Scissors
Sewing kit
Sketchbook

You can find everything you need for the DIY sketchbook pencil holder at Michael’s or any other craft/hobby shop.

pencil holder sizing

Step 1
Measure out your main piece of fabric to be situated something like this around the front cover of your sketchbook. That extra space is where we’re going to sew in the elastic later on.

pencil holder fabric pieces

Step 2
Cut out two more pieces of fabric: one for the actual pocket and one to accent the top of the pocket.

The pocket piece should be about half the size of the wrap-around piece.

The accept piece is optional, but looks nice. It’s your call how much space you want that one to take up.

pencil pocket

Step 3
Fold the accept piece under on both sides and sew it to the pocket.

pencil pocket inside wrap

Step 4
Fold over the piece that wraps around the sketchbook, inside out. Place the pocket inside of that. I put mine about 2 inches from the bottom of the wrapped piece, but this will depend on the size of your sketchbook. You’ll have to measure it to see what you like.

pencil holder with sewn edges

Step 5
Sew up both sides of the wrapped piece, making sure to include the pocket with your stitch.

Don’t sew across the top or the bottom of the wrapped piece or the pocket.

pencil holder in progress

Step 6
When you’re done sewing up the sides, flip the fabric right-side out so that you can see the pocket.

Sew across the bottom of the pocket so that your pencils don’t fall out.

elastic pencil holder

Step 7
Measure out your elastic pieces so that your wrap will fit around your sketchbook cover.

Now you can sew the elastic pieces into the top and bottom of the wrapped piece. Make sure to fold the ends of fabric pieces down inside first so the edges look clean.

DIY sketchbook pencil holder

Wrap the pencil holder around the front cover of your sketchbook and you’re done! Well, you’ll need some pencils, of course.

open sketchbook with pencil holder

The inside should look something like this.

sketchbook with pencil/pen holder

When planning out the pencil holder, I wanted something that wouldn’t ruin the cover of my sketchbook. In order to do that, I chose a thin fabric and made sure to end the pocket section right at the bottom of the sketchbook cover. With the fabric and elastic that takes up space on the inside of the sketchbook, it only lifts the cover a little bit. I’m happy with that.

If I wanted to carry anything else, like a smaller sketchbook or my wallet, it would fit nicely underneath the pencil holder, which is very convenient.

I’d love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments.

Happy crafting 🙂

DIY Mini Sketchbook

DIY mini sketchbook

I have an obsession with notebooks and sketchbooks.

Every time I go to a craft store and see a pretty sketchbook, I buy it. Do you know how often I’m in a craft store? I’m not even going to tell you… It’s better for both of us.

Needless to say, I have a lot of sketchbooks. I know I’ll use them, so I don’t mind my collection. But I will only carry them around if they’re small. So, once in a while I’ll make a mini version out of them so that I can keep them in my purse.

This works best if you have a spiral ring sketchbook. I prefer the Strathmore books, but you can use whatever you like. I like to wait until the pages are almost used up and tear out the last chunk to make a new, smaller version. The quality of the pages are great.

mini sketchbook materials

Mini sketchbook supplies

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sketchbook preparation

sketchbook pages

Step 1: cut the paper to size

Cut your paper out of the larger sketchbook and size it appropriately for your mini version. Make it whatever size you want.

I usually just cut the edges off.

folding sketchbook pages

folded sketchbook pages

Step 2: section the pages and fold in half

Separate the pages into even sections and fold them in half like in the images above.

DIY sketchbook cover

Step 3: create the sketchbook cover

Measure the size of your soon-to-be-sketchbook and cut a piece of thick scrapbook paper to fit those measurements.

Fold it down the center and place one of your folded sketchbook paper sections inside of it.

sew pages

Step 4: Bound the sketchbook pages and cover

Using thread and a needle or a stapler, connect the cover to the pages.

I used thread and sewed the whole way up the spine of the book.

Tip: if you use large stitches, you can cover more ground faster.

DIY mini sketchbook

When you’re finished, you’ll have some cute mini sketchbooks to carry around with you for when ideas strike (or when you’re bored).

You can use the scrapbook paper cover or even use some cardboard from old cereal boxes and draw on them. Personalizing your sketchbook is always fun!

I’d love to get your thoughts. Leave them in the comments below!

Hope you guys enjoyed this one!! Happy crafting!