2013 crammed into one post

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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I featured some great artists in my inspire me posts, my favorite being Gris Grimly. I also kept up with my ten things posts, and my sketchy outfit series. I also started a new thing called WIP where I show the process that goes into my artwork.

In January I reviewed Halo 4, got really excited about underpants, celebrated the holidays in a magical way, and bought a new house.

In February I talked about cheap ways to do design work, made some library-lover valentines, and showed the evolution of my art style.

In March I destroyed my new house and lusted over cat lady things.

In April I made some awesome cupcakes, showed some library love, and launched a webcomic. Don't get too excited, the poor baby didn't last past week two. :[ Maybe one day...

In May I went to C2E2!

In June and July I disappeared to work on art. No regrets! (You should totally go check out my portfolio to see what I did!)

In August I thought a lot about lights, and saw one of my favorite bands live for the first time.

In September I obsessed over sunglasses, made some steampunk waterguns, and visited Minnesota.

In October my life went a little haywire, and I didn't get anything posted. But  the week of Halloween I moved and got engaged! It was nuts.

In November I bleached an awesome tshirt, cosplayed as Rose Tyler to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and made a pretty neat garland.

In December I trained to be a superhero, wrote beautiful words in gold, had a sweet holiday breakfast, and created a guide for what to give the fanboy/girl in your life (part one and part two).

So as you can see, this year was chalk full of memorable moments. I'm so grateful that I'm able to look back and appreciate the opportunities I've been given. And next year is looking to be even better.
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inspire me... Chiara Bautista

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I love when an artist's work makes you want to be in their head. When so many things are going on that are so ridiculously creative, and all you can think is "how does someone come up with all this?" That is how I feel about the work of Chiara Bautista.

Stunning lines and whimsical subjects transport you to a world where imagination reigns supreme. And man do I love this imagination. Creepy bunnies, birds skulls and arrows running amok take everything to a slightly depressing level, but in a way I totally appreciate. I can't get over the way she sketching things, angles and curves mixing together to create a figure that is just a little bit unrealistic.

Chiara Bautista:
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Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 26, 2013

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To add some joy to your holiday, I suggest reading Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. It always puts a smile on my face.

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Holiday print outs for you!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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So apparently, in Victorian England, if a girl refused a kiss under the mistletoe they believed that she wouldn't be proposed to within the next year. Which was a huge deal back then. Also, there are RULES to mistletoe kisses. It must always be on the cheek, and if you do get a kiss you have to take off a berry. Once all the berries are gone, that's it for the night. (More info found in this article here.)

So, armed with your newfound knowledge, I think it's time for you to take advantage of my gift for you to print out... Mistletoe! I've been into this stuff ever since I made my own and hung it up above my table, which you can see in my post here. So I decided to extend the joy to you guys!

I've got two cards that you can print out and use to your heart's desire. Maybe to get kisses from your significant other. Or you crush. Or your cat. Whatever floats your boat.

And a bonus sprig of paper mistletoe to print and cut out and hang wherever you think would be most handy!

The files for this project can be downloaded here.

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Holiday Breakfast

Monday, December 23, 2013

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I surprised  my fiance with a little breakfast for dinner the other night to celebrate the holidays, so I thought I would share some pictures. We had a lot of fun eating that massive pancake cake.

My paper mistletoe might be my favorite part.
You can print out your own here.

This cake was SO simple to make. Just a lot of pancakes, strawberries in between every layer, and melted icing poured on top. It's pretty sweet, though, so have lots of milk on hand.

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WIP [Susan]

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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I was greatly inspired by murderandrose's work. Her attention to detail and beautiful lines are awesome.  Lots of ink later, I'm happy with the outcome.

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inspire me... Jeremy Lipking

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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The painting below caught my eye and held it there for long enough that I knew I'd be using this for my next inspire me. 
This is the work of Jeremy Lipking. I love the texture people create in paintings in oil, and this work is an example to learn from, a  practice in layers. Building up and up until he's added a soul to what would usually be a simple realistic capture of a beautiful subject.

Jeremy Lipking Links:



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Friday, December 13, 2013

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Human by Christina Perri on Grooveshark

I put up my tiny pink Christmas tree.
My scarf curtains. Held together by safety pins. Cause I'm a pro like that.
Stormy sitting in our new throne like a boss.
Already thinking about wedding flowers. Baby's breath will defiantly be in there. Got these from the lady that is going to do my flowers!

Tee Hee. Odin loves having a toy on his head. I promise.
It snowed, I had to go outside. Decided to brave it without socks on. I felt very awake after that, thats for sure!
I got a little bored, and made tiny paper cranes.
Playing with a fisheye app. Love those flowers.

A sketch of a brave little red head.
Our gingerbread house! I can't help but love creepy things. Even in the middle of December.

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gift guide [fangirl style] part two


And as promised, here is part two! I've been seeing gift guides all over the internet. So here is my contribution... with my own little spin. A gift guide for a few of the biggest fandoms. I won't hit them all (you'll see that I'm missing a wormhole traveling team, and a futuristic dystopian society where they pit kids against kids, for example), but I tried to get some ideas for what I thought were the big six.

If your gift getter flinches around lifelike angel sculptures, or often calls the strange things they are wearing cool (like bow ties, or fezzes), or apologizes by saying that they are "so, so sorry," then this is the section of the guide for you.

If they want to BE the Doctor, they should start out with this build your own Sonic Screwdriver kit. They also should have this TARDIS tent, or this K9 model.

There's this great Police Box dress from Black Milk, this 7th Doctor jumper, this adorable and subtle TARDIS shirt, or this words shirt. Then there's always this beautiful "Van Gogh" TARDIS painting.

As for gifts you can DIY, there's always the possibility of building a TARDIS replica, or making a Tom Baker scarf, or this cute River Song journal, or this awesome remake of the classic Guess Who game into a Doctor Who edition.

If your  gift getter knows the dangers of wearing a read shirt, or can tell you who the captains of all of the Enterprise's voyages were, then this is the section for you.

This shirt makes me giggle.

If they are into the more classic Star Trek, this inflatable chair is awesome, or there's this door chime (which makes the coveted woosh sound). Or these Spock ears.

I love this shot glass, and this set of glasses, or maybe this more sophisticated set. There's also this Stellar Cartogtraphy book, maps pulled from the archives of Starfleet Academy. And these socks, and this uniform shirt. Or this epic poster.

For DIY, there's this set of insignias, or you could make this "live long and prosper" hoodie, or this Star Trek chess set.

If you gift getter has hurt themselves in a lightsaber battle, or ever went to see a midnight showing of a movie that starts with a wall of text drifting off into the abyss, or will argue with you about who shot first, then this is the section of the guide for you.

You could get them this great X-Wing skirt, or one of these adult onesies, or these Han Solo leggings, or you could get them something from (you guessed it) Black Milk. My favorite is the Phett dress. Or you could just get them a Stormtrooper costume.

The prints from this shop are pretty cool, and there is this reaaally epic build your own lightsaber kit. There's also this popsicle Lightsaber kit, or this Han Solo in carbonite ice tray.

And for DIY there is this simple fleece Yoda hat, this Stormtrooper cutout shirt, or this Death Star ornament.

I hope this was helpful in some way! Be sure to check out Part One as well, where I talked about gifts for fans of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. I hope whatever you get, you have a very FANtastic Christmas!
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Gift Guide [Fangirl Style] part one

Thursday, December 12, 2013

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Okay, I've been seeing gift guides all over the internet. I really couldn't help getting in on the action, but with my own little spin. So here is my gift guide for a few of the biggest fandoms. I won't hit them all (you'll see that I'm missing two demon fighting brothers, and a brilliant British man with a purple shirt, for example), but I tried to get some ideas for what I thought were the big six.

If your gift-getter looks up every time they see an owl, hoping it will drop a letter, or has dreamed of hanging out in the Room of Requirement, then this is the section of this guide for you.

First up, Hogwarts pride. Looking beyond the typical uniform, here's a few pieces of clothing that will brighten their day. Try this Triwizard Tournament hoodie, or this Hufflepuff jersey (or anything from Black Milk's Hogwarts line), or maybe this Sweatshirt with the Hogwarts Crest. Or perhaps a more subtle nod to their Hogwarts love would do, making this House Scarf the perfect choice.

Maybe clothing isn't just your style. The Marauders Map would be a great gift, because not only is it one of the handiest tools for getting around the castle, it also just plain looks cool. Or you could give them this beautiful Time Turner Necklace. Or maybe they'd like a cool iPhone case. Here's one with a ticket to the Hogwarts Express or this one with a Hogwarts letter on it.

Of course, you could always make all their dreams come true by giving them a Hogwarts Acceptance Letter, no matter what age they are. Or maybe get them tickets to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so they could visit Hogsmede for themselves.

If you're looking for a more DIY gift, try this tutorial for making a tea cup with a grim in the bottom of it.  Or maybe you could just make them a customized wand.

If your gift-getter has sat through all the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings movies at one time, or can name all of the dwarves from the Hobbit, then this section of the guide is for you.

Well, lets start with the basics. You could get them the ring, modeled after the prop from the movie, or a gorgeous set of beautifully bound books, or this lovely edition with all of the books in one.

Maybe they're into showing of their love of the rings with their stylin threads. This Fellowship decliration shirt might be just what they need, or if they're more into The Hobbit, they could try out this shirt that lists all of the Dwarfs. Black Milk has a seriously awesome collection based on the Lord of the Rings series, too. (Map of Middle Earth leggings, anyone?)

If they aren't prone to leaving the shire, perhaps they would enjoy this sign to put on their gate, or these socks to make make their feet more hairy, or maybe these slippers that get the job done in a much more epic way. Or perhaps this print to help you remember when to eat (not that a Hobbit would ever forget...)

And if you're more into the DIY scene, have no fear! You could try knitting them this "one ring" scarf, or perhaps this lovely shirt. Or you could just make them this super simple cloak for their own epic journey! (Yeah, do that one. I'm a firm believe that cloaks should totally come back in style. They're just so cool.)

If your gift-getter flinches whenever the words "red" and "wedding" are used in a sentence together, or often tell you morosely that winter is on it's way, then this is the section for you.

Taking this title way too literally, here's a game. Of thrones. Or boards... or you could see if this guy would make another jaw-dropping RISK Game of Thrones edition. Or maybe you'd just like to get them a set of  GoT Lego mini-figs. There's also this super-cute terrarium, but I digress.

For some reason this series goes hand in hand with drinking in my mind. To celebrate that, here is a House Stark tankard. Or perhaps they would rather have a mug made out of horn. There's also these gorgeous coasters that mimic the house seals.

And I didn't forget clothes. Here's a sweatshirt that represents all of the houses, or a shirt that really might be the worst ever created. Or Hodor.

As for DIYs, I found what is probably the most epic lawn chair you could ever create, and a tutorial for making their dreams come true with their very own dragon egg.

So I hope this helps you. Check out Part Two, where I talk about gifts for fans of Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Star Wars.
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WIP [Beauty]

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

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This piece was inspired by my favorite In This Moment song, Beast Within. I love the concept of the beauty also being the beast, and I liked the challenge of creating something that could be both beautiful and fierce at the same time. I also had a lot of fun doing the really ornate background in the Jane piece, so I tried that again.

First time through I sketched this over the course of a day with charcoals while I was on vacation. While I loved the image, I didn't feel like I had done the idea justice, so I started again with materials I was more familiar with.

I still haven't gotten this piece scanned in, so I'm just going to show you the best picture I've got. One day I'll get my scanner working again, and then I'll put up a whoooole bunch of new prints in my shop.

I really like how the background came out, but I have to be honest, I kind of want to try it again. I guess this will be the piece that I'll never be satisfied with. :]
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snail mail collective [November]

Monday, December 9, 2013

So I was going to do two posts to day (I know, blows your mind, right?), but then I saw that Kehlah Bee from Little Chief Honeybee had posted an awesome post on the artist that I had selected for this week. So I'm just going to leave that link for you here, and move onto the second post idea for today. :]

A couple of months ago I stumbled upon a blog post talking about the Snail Mail Collective. I was instantly smitten with the idea of having another blogger to exchange gifts with, so I wasted no time in signing up. Two weeks later I was introduced to my exchange victim... I mean... partner, Sophia from Sophierocious.

Um... cutest blog name ever, right? And after actually looking through her blog, I realized we had a lot in common. She's into video games and all sorts of nerdy stuff. And she's a Hufflepuff! Too cool. We e-mailed back and forth, and I really enjoyed getting to know her.

When my present finally came I was delighted to get an adorable TMNT postcard and a Starbucks giftcard. But... I have a confession to make... I've never had Starbucks. Crazy, I know. I mean, I went through 5 years of college without stepping into one. Its pretty much unheard of. So I'm super excited to give this gift card a try. Thanks again to Sophia! It was a joy to meet you.

And next time I get by a Starbucks, I'm going to have to pick up a drink. What should I get? Any suggestions?
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a golden quote to guide your days

Friday, December 6, 2013

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One of my favorite art purchases so far this year has been this jar of Liquid Leaf that I bought from Wal-Mart. I've been painting it on absolutely everything, haha. Many of my newest warrior girl pieces have gold war paint or a crown or anything that gives me an excuse to make the paper shiny. I was going through my project board for my new house, and I found a pin that I'd pinned a long time ago: this print by oh my deer. I loved it, but I decided I wanted a quote that was more personal, and I knew my new found love would make it simple.

The quote I picked was from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. "I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.'' This is one of my favorite books. The love story between Elizabeth and Darcy is the best, and this quote sums it up quite well.

I made sure to line out my paper, using a straight edge to trace out a rectangle that was an inch away from the edge. Then I drew a line every inch down, giving myself guides for writing. Then I sloppily wrote the quote out. I figured if I decided to go for "messy chic" from the beginning, the mistakes wouldn't show up as well.

After I got the words spaced in a way I was satisfied with, I traced over them with the gold paint. I had to go over a few parts, make some parts thicker to hide what wasn't working well. When I was happy with everything, I erased the leftover pencil marks.

It might take a little practice, but I think that this project could be replicated. If you give it a try, I'd love to see your results!
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ten things

Thursday, December 5, 2013

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Posh legos diy? Yes, please.

I don't think I'd be able to eat these beautiful typography cookies.

 Found this hair on pinterest. It is absolutely perfect. I love that shade of dark brown.

I really want to be a part of this class.

I want to make this gold leaf crown for the holiday season.

Skater girls are so inspiring to me, and this one has great style.

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Pretty up your screen

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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I felt like designing stuff today, so once again you guys are getting some free pretty stuff! Two wallpapers, actually. 

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Library League: Superhero Training

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

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Every other Wednesday we do an after-school program that's a little more hands on than your basic story hour. We always try to think of an over-arching theme that will tie into our summer reading theme, but this year we were drawing a blank. Until someone said we should do something called the "Library League." We instantly decided that it was too cool not to use.

And for our first Library League program, we thought it would be appropriate to do superhero training. So we rounded up a group of recruits, and put them through the test. First they had to select a costume from our prop box, and put it on inside of a phone booth (which, funnily enough, kinda looks like it could be a time machine as well...)

Then they had to run through the obstacle course, leap over buildings, and destroy a tower. The last step was to practice using their web-slinging skills to take down some of the notorious "Book Bandits."

After they completed their training, they each got to customize their own masks. 

Our heroes passed with flying colors, and were very excited to go through the test again and again.

This program was really easy to put together. You can make an obstacle course out of anything if you put your mind to it. The "web" was silly string, and the masks were just made with patterns found on the web. They did take a bit of time to cut out though, because eye holes are hard to get at with scissors. So be prepared for that.

As for books, we just pulled anything that had to do with comics or superheros. We were really using this as a chance to promote our graphic novel section, because it's relatively new and growing very quickly.

Lots of fun for all involved and relatively stress-free, this program is defiantly one we'll be repeating.

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