27 September 2016

What's in my Sketchbook 2

Hello everyone! Today I'll be sharing with you the contents of  my sketchbook (or to more accurate, my sketchbooks)! I previously wrote part one of this 'What's in my Sketchbook' as a guest post with 5starartists.blogspot.co.uk. See my first skecthbook post here. I think that my art has improved a lot since then so I thought I would share a part two this week! Enjoy!

My first drawing in this post is of a leaf. I drew this one a long time ago (last year) but I wanted to share it with you because I quite like it. I drew it in my old sketchbook so the quality is not the best. I used to use a watercolour sketchbook for drawing in which is not the right sort of paper. You can see that it smudged a lot and the lines aren't of the best quality, this is because of the paper type I used. However, I enjoyed drawing this seasonal art because it made me excited for Autumn. Now that it's Autumn again I am starting to draw seasonal artwork again, such as the Halloween lineart at the end of this post! Autumn and Winter are probably my favourite seasons because of all of the fun celebrations that take place in this half of the year. I love celebrating with my family and friends because of all the wonderful traditions and decorations that fill the house. Halloween is coming up next month and I'll be writing several spooky posts soon! 

This next piece of art is of a dancer. I was experimenting with drawing things in motion so I found a reference of a dancer on pinterest and started drawing! I don't, like how I've drawn the dancer's head and neck since it looks realistic but I quite like the rest of  the drawing! My favourite part of this is the fabric that is flowing behind her. It looked strange as I was drawing it but when I added tone, it started to look really interesting. I am interested in fashion design so I enjoyed practising drawing the folds in fabric. In the future, I would probably like to re-draw this art because it has an interesting subject but there are a few features that I think I could improve now with more experience. During drawing this, I learned how to draw legs. Although they're not perfect, I now know how to sort of make the curves look right. 
The third drawing I want to show you is this banana leaf. I drew this only a few weeks ago in my new sketchbook. I don't always use colour (which is strange since I love colouring books) so for this drawing I wanted to incorporate colour into it. I started by sketching out an outline in pencil which I later went over with black fineliner. I then added texture with a dark green watercolour paint. Once it dried, I went over with lighter shades of green and yellow to finish it off. I regretted adding the texture first, but now I think that actually it looks quite nice with a subtle texture. Believe it or not, I actually have a banana plant growing in my bathroom! xD That's what I used to draw this from after taking a quick photo on my phone. It's been growing for several years since I received some banana tree seeds in my stocking one Christmas! I never thought it would grow as huge as it has! Obviously it doesn't grow bananas on it since it is not warm enough in England to grow them but there are lots of vibrant, massive leaves on it!
The next drawing was a challenge that I completed. One of my penpals and I like to challenge each other to do something creative each time we write to each other. It's very fun and helps me to be creative! This particular challenge was to draw one thing in a medium that I'm not confident with and one drawing in a medium I am confident with. This one is drawn in biro which I'm not confident with and is a made-up flower drawing...

and here's the other drawing! this one is the challenge art that was drawn in a medium I am confident with! I chose to use my Prismacolour colouring pencils for this artwork. This is my favourite drawing in this post and one of my best drawings in quite a while. I absolutely loved drawing this and it was very calming to just blend away at this drawing!  This took me a long time to draw but it was worth it!
The last drawing in this post is a line drawing of a Halloween witch. Like I said earlier, I love celebrations such as Halloween, they just feel very magical and fun! That's why I decided to draw a witch recently. I enjoyed collecting lots of references of interesting witches on pinterest to inspire me. I was very engaged whilst coming up with an interesting witch outfit, so I had the idea that perhaps I could draw several witches all with different outfits, is that something you would like to see? This is an unfinished drawing because I want to draw a few more details and add colour. I think I might write a separate post about the finished drawing when it's done (it will probably be quite similar to this post I wrote last year). I'm looking forward to uploading Halloween themed posts this year; I've got several ideas and there will be more than last year, since I am now trying to write posts weekly! If you've got any Halloween post ideas please share them in the comments because I might write them! 

I hope that you all enjoyed seeing the contents of my sketchbook! I will be drawing more often in the upcoming months because I want to improve my skills and start experimenting to find my style so you might be seeing more art posts soon! I'm also working on a drawing collab with 5StarArtists, we're drawing disney princess fanart (anyone who wants to join in click on this link). We're both looking forward to sharing the finished art with you, so you'll see that art too! 

Over to you...
What Halloween post would you like me to write? Give your suggestions in the comments. Also, feel free to give me your feedback on my art! I'd love to hear your opinions!

19 September 2016

Penpal Goodies Ideas

One of my favourite parts of writing and receiving letters are the goodies! I love to come up with fun ideas for little presents to send to penpals and I get so excited to see what awesome things my penpals have chose to sent me. They are very thoughtful people! Today I'll be showing you lots of ideas for what to send to your penpals so hopefully you'll be inspired to send a lovely letter to someone in the world!

Handmade Teacup Bookmark:
Here's a goodie I made for a penpal. It was for a teaparty themed flipbook that I was making, so I thought it would be perfect! I chose a spare piece of scrapbook paper to make this with. First of all I drew out an outline of a teacup and cut it out, then I used my stamps to create a pattern of the word 'read', after this I punched a hole in the top with a hole punch and finally I attached a piece of string to the bookmark which had a teabag shape attached to it. The string would hang out of the side of a book so you could easily pull it out to get back to reading! By the way, the bits of tape of the photo aren't part of the bookmark!xD

Pretty Gift Tags:
The next item I have to show you are these gorgeous gift tags. I found these particular ones at The Works which had a set of three designs which I think look very boho chic! You can find gift tags in most shops, perhaps you could look in craft shops or card shops? I also love the look of handmade gift tags that I see crafters make! If you want to try making your own gift tags as a goodie for your penpal, you could layer scrapbook papers, washi tape, stickers or any other craft supplies you have to spare.

Lots of people love to receive tea because it's nice to try something new! If you do send tea, then I recommend that you choose something really interesting! The teabag in the picture is a chai tea teabag (this is a great tea for Autumn/Winter and is one of my favourites). This way, your penpal will appreciate the thought behind your unique tea. My chai tea was a Twinings one. The great thing about sending tea is that it is sort of an edible item, which is a type of item you can't normally send, but it is very flat so can be sent easily! You don't have to worry about it melting like chocolate which is always a plus!
Handmade Stickers:
I love to handmake the goodies I send when possible so this is a fun idea! To make my own stickers I take a sheet of sticker paper/label paper and just start drawing! Alternatively, sometimes I print out pictures onto the sheet if I feel like having a more professional looking sticker. In this photo, you can see some teapot and cupcake designs that I drew with black and pastel coloured gel pens. I liked doodling the day away, trying to perfect my mini drawings! I tried out different patterns on each teapot-do you like them? Also, these were for that teaparty themed flipbook that I chatted about earlier!
Decopague pieces:
If you're sending a letter to someone crafty, then you could send them things to craft with. This goodie idea is to send decopague pieces that your penpal can layer to create a kind of 3D picture. There are two types of decopague the first one is the one that I was just talking about (layering pictures until they sort of pop up and look 3D) and the other type of decopague is where you tear up tissue paper (or special decopague) and glue the pieces onto an item.
Handmade Hairclips:
Sometimes I like to send handmade hairclips to penpals. These weren't actually made by me, they were made by Heartfelty (click this link to see her business). However, you can try making your own hairclips if you want! you just need plain clips and crafting supplies such as felt, thread or buttons. Once you've made your design (this one is a teacup design) then you just need to sew it to the clip securely with thread.
Sticky Notes:
Sticky notes are cheap, easy to send yet brilliant goodies that your recipient will appreciate. Most of the time, people will just send 'sticky note samples' of their favourite designs because they want to share them with friends. But you could send a whole pack of sticky notes if you're feeling particularly generous! On this picture, you can see some sticky note samples that were sent to me! I adore the ones on the left because they're so vintage! By the way, sorry that some of the photos are a little blurry, my phone wasn't co-operating! It struggles to focus sometimes!
Handmade Simply Shaped Bookmark:
If you don't feel like making a teacup shaped bookmark, you could make a simply shaped bookmark instead. This is a more traditionally shaped bookmark and is easier to make! This bookmark was sent to me in a flipbook and I really appreciate that they handmade it. I think that they used watercolour to decorate it! I love the pastel colours they chose! There are so many variations of this that you can make. Make it any way you like! This one has corners that are cut at an angle so it could also be made into a gift label if you punched a hole into it and threaded a thread into it!
Project Life Cards:
Project life cards are really great for scrapbooking or creating happy mail with! Unfortunately I haven't found any in shops in the UK, the ones in the picture were sent as a gift. Do any of you know where to buy project life cards in the UK? I would really appreciate your help! I love the colour combination of coral pink and gold on some of these, it's beautiful! You can get project life cards in several sizes so you could use it for several different projects. I'm not sure what the original use of project life cards was or what they're intended to be used for but I use them for anything and everything (or will do when I find them)!
Temporary Tattoos:
Temporary tattoos bring the fun of real tattoos but without the commitment! They're great to wear for a special occasion or party because they are a great alternative to jewellery/accessories. The reason they're perfect to send to penpals is because they are so thin! No extra postage costs! Yippee! There are so many designs to choose from ranging from animals to metallic feathers so you pick out what you think your penpal would like best! These ones in the photo that were sent to me, are metallic bracelet ones!
Washi Tape Samples:
These are my favourite types of goodies to send and receive because I have such an extensive collection of washi tape! It's just so quick and easy to use (and don't forget how super pretty it is)! All you need to do to put together some washi samples, is grab a gift tag, playing card or any sturdy piece of card, then wrap around some washi tape several times. When your letter reaches your penpal then they just unwrap the tape and use it any way they would like to! In this photo the two samples on the left were sent to me and the sample on the right is a goodie from me!
Another cute idea is to send a notebook in the post! You'll have to choose quite a thin, small notebook to fit in the envelope, it might still cost you more than usual because a notebook obviously is thicker than just one piece of paper (most of the other goodies mentioned in this post are a similar thickness to one of two pieces of paper). I bought a set of three small, thin notebooks at a poundshop. There were three cute designs: polka dots, floral pattern and a London pattern! I thought it was quite a bargain so bought it straight away! Here in the photo is one of them in a polka dot design! Penpals can use notebooks for lots of things such as: sketching, creative writing or journalling.
Origami is a creative papercraft that anyone can have a go at because there are many ways to fold paper ranging from very easy to complex. I love receiving origami because it shows that the sender has made something especially for me! This origami in the photo was especially cool because it was an origami balloon. An origami balloon can be blown up to look like a balloon or lantern! How fun? It's an awesome idea, I have actually learned how to make origami balloons since receiving this one so I can send them to people too! I think I'll try to improve my origami skills so I can make anything I can think of!

Earlier I talked about handmade hairclips but if you crafting isn't your thing, you could send hairclips that you bought instead. I absolutely love these hairclips that my penpal sent me! I wear the bow most days to school because it's so cute!Hairclips are great to send because they can be kept forever and used over and over again unlike craft supplies. Hair accessories are some of my favourite things so this was a perfect goodie for me!

Sticker Sheets:
Stickers are simply great! One of the other goodie ideas I mentioned in this post were handmade stickers but if you don't don't have sticker/label paper you can give these instead. Sticker sheets are sold in most craft and stationery shops and are affordable. As a sticker enthusiast, I can tell you that stickers are a great goodie to receive! They're also a nice size to send in the post. These stickers were sent to me and I believe that they're illustrated by Nick Sharrat who illustrates for Jacqueline Wilson so were probably form the Jacqueline Wilson magazine. Magazines often come with little gifts which are perfect as goodies for penpals so I reccommend using them!

I hope I've inspired you all to send a nice letter and goodies to someone! Penpalling is such a fun, rewarding hobby to have and I am thankful to all of my lovely penpals! By the way, sorry if I didn't mention one of your goodies that you sent me, a gorgeous letter just arrived to me in the mail with cute goodies that I love but I had already chosen 15 photos (I thought this post was already really long ha-ha)! I wonder how many times I have said the words 'penpal' and 'goodies' during this post. Has anyone been counting? xD

Over to you...
What goodie ideas do you have or what was your favourite goodie that you received? Or do you not get happy mail? Let me know in the comments!

13 September 2016

Starting a Fashion Sketchbook!

Hello! As you probably know, fashion design is something I am very passionate about. With that in mind, I decided to share a fashion related project with you all this week! At the moment I am working on creating a fashion sketchbook/portfolio to practice my design skills in! I am super excited to start sketching inside my unique portfolio! I'm going to show you how to create your own fashion sketchbook step by step and share some ideas of how to fill it up!

Step 1: Choosing your book
To start your project, you'll need a book such as a large notebook, sketchbook or scrapbook. I bought a plain scrapbook from Paperchase which has some cream pages and some thicker brown pages in the centre. I wanted a plain scrapbook so that I could decorate it later on. However, if you don't want to decorate it like I have, you could buy an already patterned scrapbook (Paperchase has lots of cute patterns such as pineapples and polka dots).

Step 2: Collecting images
If you're planning on decorating your front cover with a collage then you'll need to collect some images that you like. I chose pictures that inspire me because I'll be looking at them every time I start to create a fashion design. You could collect fashion quotes, fashion designs, photos of accessories, your fashion icons and anything else that you would like. You could either print off images you find or cut out pictures from old fashion magazines to use.

Step 3: Putting it together
Now that you've got all of your images ready, you can start decorating the cover! Start by laying out your images until you're happy with the layout. If you start gluing straight away, then you might make mistakes! You don't want that do you? Once you've glued everything down and there's still spaces you could fill them in with stickers or scraps of fabric. Whatever you want really, this is your fashion sketchbook after all!

Step 4: Start designing
Yay! You're ready to start designing! There's lots of things you can do inside your personalised book. You could try:

  • designing a fashion collection for a season or with a theme
  • displaying your fashion styling photos
  • practising drawing fashion figures
  • creating moodboards
  • working on new drawing techniques
  • analysing other designers and stylists work
I hope you enjoyed this week's post! I has lots of fun thinking up ideas of how to fill up fashion sketchbooks/portfolios! The reason I decided to start using a book like this is so I can practice creating something a bit like a portfolio. Whenever I apply to a fashion course, I'll need to show a fashion portfolio. I wouldn't show this portfolio (because the portfolio I show would be created with the course's requirements in mind) but it will be useful to practice developing design ideas right now.

Over to you...
Let me know in the comments if you tried out this project and if it went well! Also, do you have any other ideas of what to do inside this book?

PS: Do you like the new background of my blog? I drew the pineapple pattern myself! If you don't know already, I like to change up the look of my blog every now and then (normally when the season changes but I missed changing it for Summer so I might make a new Autumnal one soon)! 

07 September 2016

Exciting Changes & News

Hello everyone! Sorry that today's post isn't as creative as usual, but that's because I just have to tell you what's been going on so that you all know what changes to expect on my blog! There's some exciting projects I have been working on and some changes that I'm making to the way my blog works! Let's get started!

Pinterest Page:
I recently created a new pinterest page to go along with my blog. Click here to discover it! There are no boards on it as of yet but I am working on several secret boards with topics that you're used to seeing on my blog. The reason I have created another pinterest page (I have a personal one too) is because I wanted to make one for my readers to check out so they can see extra inspiration and tips! It will be good to take a look at inbetween the times when I post things on my blog! It may be awhile before I create public boards because I am trying my best to make them perfect for you all!
Writing For Dreamcatcher:
Last year I wrote a guest post for the author Cathy Cassidy's blog called Dreamcatcher (see the post here) all about my blog. I think that I have improved my content a lot since last year in several ways so I asked Cathy if I could write for dreamcatcher again and she said yes! Yipee! I'm going to be writing a little series of posts about blogging with advice on how to improve your content! I'm super excited for you to see it! I'm not sure when the first post will be uploaded but I'll let you know when (I'm working on the first post now)!

A Change In My Blogging Schedule:
Now that I have made more time for blogging, I have decided to finally have a blogging schedule. From now on, I will try my hardest to upload a post once a week. I'm not going to say a specific day right now because sometimes I need a bit of time to put together the photography and content. However, now that I have decided to post weekly, it means that I can be more consistent in posting. You may have noticed that I have tried to post weekly recently, if you've appreciated that then you'll enjoy the new schedule I'm adopting!

That's all for this week's post- sorry that it doesn't have photos or drawings on it as usual but I hope you enjoyed it all the same!

Over to you:
Let me know in the comments what pinterest boards you want me to make, what blogging tips you'd like to see and any other ideas you may have (perhaps blog post ideas)! I'd love to hear what you think about these changes!