06 June 2017

The One Lovely Blog Award Entry




Hello everyone! This week I thought I'd do something a bit different to my usual post since I've been nominated by Anael (click to see her blog) for the One Lovely Blog Award. I'm sorry that I'm not doing a tutorial or sharing my recent creative projects, but I've been busy recently with revision and my school art project so it's great that I can show you my entry for the award this week. In two weeks time, I'll be back to normal with an arty post!

The rules are:
1. Compose a post based on the award. 
2. Nominate up to fifteen bloggers. 
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Inform your nominees about their nomination.

So here are the 7 facts about me:
  1. I love to watch comedies (TV series and seasons) in my spare time, in fact I love to put them on whilst I do some art or write a letter to someone! My favourite is 'Friends' but I also love 'Miranda' and 'Roseanne'
  2. When it comes to films my preferences are split in two! On the one hand I love to watch typically 'girly' films such as rom-coms and musicals like 'Grease' and 'Mamma Mia'. But on the other hand, from time to time I like to watch horror movies and action movies. I guess that's a little strange liking films that are so opposite but perhaps I just love films in general! Ooh and I love a good ol' Disney film!
  3. My favourite book series is Ruby Redfort by Lauren Child; I've read her (Lauren Child's) books ever since I was little starting with Charlie and Lola, then Clarice Bean and now Ruby Redfort. I've finished the last book in the series now! I think I'll re-read them at some point.
  4. I don't go to any clubs outside of school, but inside the school day, I go to an art club and a reading club. At the moment I'm taking part in the Carnegie award (in the book club) which this year is supported by Amnesty international so all the books have the theme of human rights. I think my favourites so far are 'Salt to the Sea' and 'Bone Sparrow'.
  5. I'm obsessed with stationery, particularly washi tape at the moment is the which I keep buying more of! But anything like pens, pencils, scissors, sticky notes, rulers, rubbers, washi tape, stickers etc I'm all over!
  6. My favourite places to shop are: Paperchase, LUSH, Accesorize, The Body Shop and The Range (the Arts &Crafts section).
  7. I'm also a little bit (OK very) obsessed with pineapples and watermelons (and the odd strawberry or two hehe). I don't really mean eating the fruits (although that's nice too) but I mean decorating with pictures of the fruit. I have notebooks, sticky notes, bunting, clothing, you name it-all covered in fruity patterns. 
I'd like to nominate:
  • 5StarArtists (AKA Kenza365)
  • RosieMaeAroha
  • PinkSmartiesBlog (AKA Marti)
I would nominate Beth May as well but she's already been nominated.

Don't worry if you don't have time to make this post or don't want to or aren't active anymore, I don't mind if you don't enter. But I hope that you have fun if you do enter! Once again thanks for the nomination Anael!

Over to you...
Have you ever been nominated for a blogging award? What was your experience? Let me know below in the comments. If you weren't nominated for the award, why not tell me a few facts about yourself in the comments instead?

PS: Aargh technical issues: why won't the picture show up central and why is the text highlighted white?!


PPS: Do you like my Summer background-I think it's a bit too busy but oh well. I drew the pineapple and banana leaf myself but the flower is from Pic Monkey. Thoughts?


22 May 2017

Tea Party Themed Happy Mail Swap

Hello Everyone! Today I'll be showing you a tea party themed happy mail swap I did recently. If you're not familiar with the term 'happy mail swap' it means that you and someone else both send a parcel along with a letter to each other, often with a theme. Normally both parcels are sent at the same time but in this case, I sent a teaparty themed happy mail and then got one back in return soon after. I hope you enjoy taking a look at what I have created and what I received as a reply!

For my tea party themed happy mail (the one I made and sent out), I created a flip book. I used A5 pieces of card that were sellotsped together so they could fold into a small shape or open out into a large, interesting piece of happy mail. I used lots of different papers and embellishments. You can see in the collage above, just one page of the flip book that I've photographed in 3 different ways. I created 2 mini envelopes and filled them with goodies. In one envelope I put handmade stickers and some pretty gift tags that I bought in there. In the other I put elements of a decopague picture in there. They could fold back to reveal a quote and a colouring page.
In this collage you can see the front cover, the back cover and the letter. I wanted everything to tie in with the tea party theme or at least tie in with the pastel colours I used throughout. That's why I thought carefully about the design on the writing paper. I was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest  of some beautiful writing paper to create my own teacup writing paper with watercolour paint. The back cover was decorated with pretty sticky notes that I stuck down to create a pattern. Also, the front cover was created with all sorts of embellishments along with a pretty piece of paper.
I wanted this flip book to be full of handmade delights so I made this teacup bookmark (on the top page) out of paper, alphabet stamps and string to fill the flip book. The bottom page has a currently section which if you didn't already know, is a place where you write everything that you've been up to recently e.g what you've been reading.
Here's what you see when you first open the flip book. On the left hand side of the page, there's an envelope where the letter goes in (that you saw earlier). I chose a beautiful envelope that came with a writing set which acted both as an envelope and as a decoration. On the right hand side, I used a mandala stencil and acrylic paint to decorate the card and I put some handmade teacup hairclips on it as a goodie.
Now here's the incoming teaparty themed happy mail. It's made with gorgeous tea party patterned paper. This is called an exploding box because when you take the lid off it unfolds! It was really exciting to open the box and even the letter opened up really beautifully since it was sealed with a sticker.
Here's what I saw when I opened the box, it's gorgeously handcrafted with scalloped pockets on each square and beaded and threaded borders on each square. The colours scheme is super cute and I was giddy when I saw the pretty goodies which you'll see better in the next photo.
Here's the goodies that were sent to me. Along the top are handmade gift tags with cute tassles in pastel threads and sweet notes on each tag. I think I'll keep these in the box instead of using them on gifts since they're too pretty to use! On the left is a handmade 3D brooch which is a turquoisecrafting The person I received this from is my Auntie Beverly who does bead and wire crafting so this is made very professionally and I can imagine it took her hours! In the middle is two lady grey teabags in an origami box she made with a sticker on that I sent her. Then there's a rolled up recipe for strawberry short bread that is so cute. I look forward to making it soon!

So that's the tea party happy mail swap! It was so fun to make the flipbook and I love love love the exploding box I got in return! I recommend  doing a happy mail swap if you're bored or you want to try out a craft project! It's fun to pick a theme to do with your penpal whether they're a friend or family member!

Over to you...
Have you ever done a happy mail swap? Did it have a theme? If so, what was it? I'd love to know! Or have you ever have a tea party? What did you eat and drink? Let me know in the comments! 

08 May 2017

How to Create a Gradient with Coloured Pencils

Hello everyone! Today I want to show you a technique I use all the time when I'm colouring, creating a gradient. The colouring book featured in this post is actually a calendar: Colour Yourself happy 2017-month to view calendar. This was illustrated by Heartfelt Illustrations (whose Facebook page you can see here). I have been enjoying creating gradients on the names of the month that are nestled amongst illustrations of nature. Anyway, I hope that you find this simple tutorial helful either for colouring or creating your own art!

Step 1: Apply your first Colour from the top:

In my case, I used a yellow coloured pencil for this stage. Take into consideration the size of your shape/letter that you're colouring and think where half way down the shape/letter is. This is where you will stop using this colour. Above this mid-point, split the section into 3. The top section is where you'll apply the most pressure with your pencil. The second section down is where you'll apply a middle pressure, not full pressure, but not the lightest pressure. The last section is where you'll apply the least pressure. You can clearly see the difference in tone in each section at this stage, but they'll blend together in later stages.

Step 2: Apply your second colour from the bottom:

Now that you've finished applying your first colour, you should be left with the bottom half of your shape/letter. You should split this into 3 sections as before. However, this time you apply the most pressure at the bottom and the least pressure at the top. It's basically the opposite of what you did before and in a different colour. So the section at the bottom is where you apply the most pressure, the section that is second to the bottom is where you'll apply the middle pressure and the section at the top is where you'll apply the least pressure. Make it so the areas where you've applied the least pressure with both colours are just touching slightly.

Step 3: Apply an 'in-between colour':

An 'in-between colour' is a colour that is a mix of the two colours you've just used. I used peach because it seemed like it would blend pink and yellow together well. This stage is a bit more difficult to explain so stick with me here. Apply the most pressure half way up where you've applied the least pressure with the first colour and half way down where you applied the least pressure with the second colour. Then apply a middle pressure from where you are right now to half way up where you applied the middle pressure with your first colour and half way down where you applied the middle pressure with your second colour. Finally, apply the least pressure from where you are right now half way up where you applied the most pressure with your first colour and half way down where you applied the most pressure with your second colour.

Step 4: Blend :

You might not be able to see much difference between the last photo and this one (apart from the labels) but that's because I've not added any new colours. I've just blended the shape/letter. You can use several things to do this stage: a blending pencil, a blending stump or a white pencil. There's probably a few more methods but those are just the ones I've tried. In this case, I used a white pencil since I can't find my blending pencil and I don't like blending stumps very much hehe. Just evenly use the blending tool/white pencil over the shape/letter, you may want to use circular motions  for this. Also, you may want to add a little more pressure in the middle of the shape/letter but it's up to you.

So that's how I create two colour gradients! I know I technically used 3 colours but it's a gradient from yellow to pink and you're not meant to see the peach as a third colour, it's only there to help you to create a smooth gradient. I hope that you could understand my tutorial and you found it helpful!

PS: If you want to see the blog series I wrote a while ago called 'Colouring Quest' here is the first part, here is the second part and here is the third part. Or you could just click the Colouring label that is listed on the right side of my blog to see all of my colouring themed posts.

Over to you...
Do you have any colouring tips? Share them in the comments. Also, what is your favourite medium ton colour with? Mine is Prismacolor pencils (by the way in this tutorial I used Prismacolor premier: canary yellow PC916, blush pink PC928, light peach PC939 and the white pencil PC938).

24 April 2017

Trying Out New Creative Hobbies

A while back, in my '2017 Blogging Resolutions' post (click here to read) I said that I wanted to introduce a few new topics such as bullet journalling and calligraphy. As of yet, I haven't posted about these topics yet. That's why today I wanted to show you three new creative hobbies that I have tried out recently: calligraphy, scrapbooking and bullet journalling.

#1:Calligraphy: Recently I've been trying out my Winsor and Newton calligraphy set that I got for Christmas. I've only had a few little goes at it so far but I've enjoyed trying out the little tutorial for a simple font. Here you can see my attempt at writing a phrase. The first time round didn't go so well because as you can see, the capital letters and lower case letters aren't in proportion to one another. I was practising for a title in my school art sketchbook. That's one of the main reasons why I asked for a calligraphy set for Christmas, so I could create interesting titles for my sketchbook. I'll have to practise a lot more to become skilled at calligraphy, but I'm already enjoying experimenting with all the inks.

 #2:Scrapbooking: I have a lot of cute crafting supplies so I thought I'd try out scrapbooking so I can use some of my supplies. Here's the first page in my scrapbook, it's an Easter page so I used lots of pastels and Spring animals to decorate the pages. I'm really looking forward to decorating more pages because it will mean that I'll have to take more photos of everything I've been up to. I think that will be great for me since normally I only take photos for this blog, but with a scrapbook I'll try to keep memories with my photos. 

#3:Bullet Journalling: I've been seeing lots of bullet journalling on pinterest and YouTube over the past year so I thought I'd give it a go myself. I asked for a dotted moleskine notebook for Christmas so I've been using this lovely notebook to start my own bullet journal. I've not been doing daily or weekly spreads, only a monthly tracker and a few other random pages (e.g. books to read). I've only done simple designs so far to see what it's like to be a bullet journaller. It may look like I've not done well at the goals I've set myself, since there's lots of blank spaces but I'm actually happy with what I've achieved. These aren't necessarily goals that I have to do every day, I just want to see how often I do things like colour or practise calligraphy so I can decide whether I should do it more often or not. I keep a bullet journal to motivate me to do creative things regularly and it seems to be working for me. I think it's something I'll improve on over time as well. By the way I haven't fully filled in everything yet and some rows don't even have a goal on since I ran out of ideas hehe.

I hope you've enjoyed today's quick post. I'll be writing about these topics again once I've practised a few more times and have some more creative things to show you.

Over to you...
Have you ever tried out these hobbies? Let me know about your experience in the comments! Also, have you been trying any other new things recently? 

09 April 2017

Creative Guide to Gift Giving

Hello everyone! Sorry that it's been more than two weeks since I last posted but I'm back with something a little different. Today I wanted to share with you something that I enjoy doing every now and then, being creative with gift giving. There have been several friends that have had birthdays in the last two months so I have lots of ideas for you.
This first set of gifts has a bit of a theme. I tried to use lots of pastel colours and a few metallics so the gifts would tie in well together. I handmade some bookmarks that looked like some of my friend's favourite cartoon characters. One of my tips for gift giving is to make some gifts yourself. This means that you can really personalise the gifts and it's fun to see what you can create.

This next set of gifts doesn't really have a theme but there's a few fun gifts here. My next tip for gift giving is to ask a few questions to the person you're giving gifts to. A few weeks before their birthdays, I asked my friends a few things about what their favourite things are. Things like their: favourite sweets, favourite TV shows/programs, favourite accessories and things that they can't get enough of/collect. This helped to inspire me with possible themes or just the sort of gifts they might like. In the jewellery box in the photo, are some handmade earrings. This friend told me they liked Harry Potter and Stranger Things and their favourite accessories were earrings. So I made waffle stud earrings (apparently waffles are a Stranger Things reference) and golden snitch inspired dangly earrings (a Harry Potter reference).

Again, this next set of gifts doesn't have a theme but I used the questions about their favourite things to come up with these gifts. My next tip for gift giving is to try to give different types of presents. What I mean by this is you should try not to give just food or just jewellery or just stationery, etc but instead to give a mix of all of these things. The reason I say this is because everything lasts for different amount of times. Food lasts for a very short amount of time, depending on how tasty it is tee-hee. Stationery lasts for much longer but can eventually be used up. Then jewellery could last for a very long time. BY the way the handmade items here are: the notebook, the bookmarks and the earrings inside the jewellery box. 


 This final set of gifts does have a theme, jaffa cakes. It's a bit of an unusual theme but fun. That's why my last tip is to think outside of the box. Just think, who else is going to give these gifts? I don't think anyone else would (that could either be a good or bad thing, you decide hehe). I used two of the things that they said were their favourite things: jaffa cakes and bath bombs, to inspire me. This was actually quite difficult to put together because there weren't many jaffa cake items in the shops. So I actually bought chocolate orange items from the shops:chocolate orange bath bomb and chocolate orange lollipops. I made the notebook myself and the keyring was handmade too, but not by me. It was made by Heartfelty (see their facebook page here).

I hope that I've inspired you to get creative with your gift giving, it's such a fun thing to do for your friends and family! Just to recap, here's my four tips for creative giftgiving:

  1. Hand make some gifts-this can really personalise the gifts
  2. Ask the recipient a few questions about their favourite things-again this helps you to personalise their gifts
  3. Try to give a few different types of gifts-this means the recipient can enjoy their gifts in different ways for different amounts of time
  4. Think outside the box-this makes the gifts fun and unique
So that's all for today's post, remember you don't have to spend a lot of money to give gifts that your friends will enjoy, I just thought I'd share a few creative ideas to inspire you.

Over to you..
Have you given any gifts recently? Or have you been doing anything else creative? Let me know in the comments. Also, what has been your best gift you've ever received?

19 March 2017

Starting a New Art Project-Part 3

Hello everyone! Today, I'm here with the final part of 'Starting A New Art Project'! This time, I'll be talking about the backgrounds that I create to start of the pages in my project. I enjoy creating backgrounds because it's fun to just let loose on a blank piece of paper and get creative with materials! Some people don't create backgrounds for their school art projects, so don't feel like you have to. I just enjoy doing it and think that it pulls together the project nicely. To get better marks in your GCSE Art project, it's probably best to focus on the quality of your own drawings and photos, rather than the backgrounds but I still like to make them. Anyway, I'll get on with showing you examples of my backgrounds!

 This background is the first one that I created for my 'Personal Collection' project. It's the background for my title page so I wanted it to be really special. I created it using a decoupage technique (ripping small squares out of paper and layering them with PVA glue) with newspaper. I chose this technique because I thought the words in the newspaper reflected the theme of stationery. Once the newspaper had dried, I used a sponge to put on the three primary colours:red,blue and yellow. I also added some whiet over the top of some areas to brighten it up. I like the textured look I have created.

This second background was created for the moodboard. You can see part of the title there that I created with glitter, it didn't exactly go to plan. However, I'm quite happy with the background. I used a water blotting technique with primary colours: red, blue and yellow. I have tried to do several backgrounds in the primary colours, to tie the project together. If you don't know 'water blotting' is where you first put water on your page, then you put paint over the top and it spreads out.

This background is for the own photos page. I created it with a sponge, acrylic paint in primary colours, white acrylic paint, alphabet stamps and black ink. I like the distressed look I have created with the black ink edging that I have created and the white paint that dulled down the colour. The letters tie in with the stationery theme again like the newspaper writing did.


This one was for an artist page about Andrea Joseph. This didn't tie in with the primary colour thing that I have mainly been using because the artist pages seem quite separate from the rest of the project, because the rest of the project is my own idea whereas these pages are someone else's ideas. I hope that made sense hehe! Anyway, the main background was lined paper but this is the border. I created it with map paper, bubble wrap and acrylic paint. The acrylic paint was put on the bubblewrap which acted like a stamp. I like using bubblewrap because it creates an interesting texture.

 This next background was for the artist response page, which is where you draw from your own photos but in the style of the artist you are studying (Andrea Joseph in this case). I went back to the primary colours since this is my own work this time. I used the lined paper to represent a notebook. which the artist seems to use a lot for her artwork. The border was created with bubble wrap and acrylic paint in the primary colours and white.

 This final background was for the artist response evaluation. I used scrapbook paper, a colouring book page and white acrylic paint. I ripped up the two papers and layered them on the paper with PVA glue. I then used a sponge with white acrylic paint to dull down the colours in the papers. I didn't want the black lines and pink pattern to stand out too much since this is just a background.

So that's it! The next time I post it will be a different topic since this was the final 'Starting a New Art Project' post. Once I've finished the project completely (24th April) I'll probably show you all of the pages in full. But for now, I'll be writing new content! I hope you're looking forward to the next time that I post, I've been keeping a list of blog post ideas that are either new topics or bringing back old ones!

PS: Do you like the new Spring background? I drew all of the elements this time: the tulips and the blossom. I put it together on PicMonkey.

Over to you...
Do you enjoy creating backgrounds for creative projects such as your sketchbook or creative journal? Or do you enjoy making collages? Also, what topics do you want to see on my blog in the upcoming months?

07 March 2017

Starting a New Art Project-Part 2

Hello everyone! Sorry for not posting for such a long time! I've missed blogging so I thought i'd try to quickly write a a post. I'l try my best to keep regularly posting now but I tend to get quite busy at the moment! Anyway, I'm back with a second part to 'Starting a New Art Project'-it's not really new anymore but I'll stick with the title he-he! 

So, in this post I'll be showing you a few of my drawings that I've done in my 'Personal Collection-stationery and craft supplies' project so far. At this point in my project, I've now done a double page spread of observational drawings based on the photos I showed you last week. It took me a long time but I love looking back at my project at this stage to see the progress I've made!

 This first drawing is of some mini pencils that I createdwith my Prismacolor pencils. I wish that I'd just left a gap on the paper for the white stripe since it took a long time to create a white light strip after I'd coloured it in already! Oh well- I'm quite happy with this drawing since I like that the light as added a realistic look to the drawing rather than just cartoon-y.


 These next drawings are quite small so I found it quite difficult to add details. I used acrylic paint which I find quite hard to control sometimes (since I haven' had much experience with it). However, I don'y think these turned out as badly as I had expected them to. They're quite cute ad I like the texture on these.

This is one of my favourite drawings on the double page spread so that's why I decided to give it its own photo (I haven't zoomed in all of the drawings). I created this with black fineliner and it was a lot of fun to give ink another go! I haven't used ink since Inktober really (last October) so I was glad to see that I remembered how to control the pen! In real life, these eiffel tower scissors are a rose gold colour but I made it simpler for myself by keeping it black and white for this drawing. The lineart itself was very detailed so it took a long time but I love the overall effect!


These next photos are both the same drawing of a purse that I keep my mini pencils in, the purse was a gift from Japan. This is my favourite drawing (with the eiffel tower scissors being in a close second) and it's a good job that I love it since it took me hours! Actually, I wasn't really counting in hours, I was counting in TV programmes and films that I watched in the background whilst drawing it! But when I calculated the length of the programmes together, it seems that I took about 3 and a half hours on this! Oops! You can see that I created the texture of fabric on the purse in the photo on the right.


Here's the completed double page spread, the lighting in the photo is a little iffy but hopefully you can see all the drawings clearly! I wanted to create an interesting layout and add collage-like features such as sequins, stamps, buttons and pencil sharpenings. There are a few drawings that I'm not keen on such as the stamps and the panda sharpener but overall I'm proud of the results of this page.

That's all for this post! I hope you've enjoyed nosey-ing at my sketchbook, like I said in my last post I like to do that too! I think I'll only do one more of these 'Starting a New Art Project' since I don't want to be stuck in one blog series-I want to try new topics like bullet journalling and calligraphy and just experiment really this year.

Over to you...
What do you think of my observational drawings? Have you been doing an art project recently either at school or at home? Let me know in the comments!