Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Little Leopard

In working on my little sketchbook, There have been some pages that I don't really like. There have also been times when art from one page bleeds through the back side to the next page. As a solution, I've been pasting in some drawings I've been making outside of the book itself. This helps avoid bleed-through when I use markers.

One of the pages I've made (this will be cut into three strips) was a few little meditations on leopard print. I always have a hard time drawing leopard print digitally, but it turned out much better when I was drawing by hand.

I have a little over half of the book left, but it's been fun working on this when I get a little free time here and there. Stay tuned! More to come.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Red Carpet Illustration

I have to confess that I didn't watch the Oscars all the way to the end last night. I didn't see the mess at the end where they made the mistake of announcing the wrong "best picture." I did, though, see the pre-show, and my very favorite look was Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti. That blue velvet was just so perfect. Everything about this look was on point. She looked amazing. So, I thought I'd make her my image for today. I wish I'd decided to make her leg come all the way out of the slit instead of hiding a little inside of it. Her calf muscle turned out to look weird because of that but...well, it was a quick sketch.

Close second favorites were Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive, Brie Larson in Oscar de la Renta, and Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph and Russo. If you want to see some of the highlights of the red carpet, I liked this slideshow from The Standard. For a longer slideshow, here's one from Vogue.

Happy clicking!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Colors From The Sketchbook

Yesterday I decided to add a little color to the sketchbook project. I had a box of watercolor pencils I hadn't fully explored yet, and I think this little doodle/experiment was a lot of fun.

I just sat here for ten minutes trying to think of something else to say, and I just...I'm drawing a blank.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sketchbook and Doodles

 Last night I dreamed I was a Kate Middleton impersonator in Japan. That has nothing to do with the rest of this post, but it was so random I thought I'd share. 

My latest obsession is making Facebook Live videos. I do make videos on Instagram sometimes, but you can't keep them afterward, so I think they're slightly less fun. 

Last night I made a little sketch/doodle video in the little pocket sketchbook I bought at Tuesday Morning. You'll hear me talking in this video in response to someone you can't hear. That's because people can comment while I'm working, and I can respond to them vocally instead of stopping to type. 

Recently I discovered that some artists sell their sketchbooks that are full of sketches. I have so many full sketchbooks, I thought I'd try my hand at this as well. When I finish this little sketchbook I've been working in, I think I'll put it on my Etsy and see how it goes. It won't be nearly as expensive as the examples I'm going to list below, but it also will be a lot more random than those are. 

Ok, here are some links to sketchbooks. 

3. This Sketchbook from Sketchbuch on Flickr

4. This really beautiful Moleskine I assume has already been purchased.

5. This one from Mohdi

These things are surprisingly hard to find. So, that's interesting.

What do you think? Would you purchase something like this? Do you think it would make a cool little gift?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Weird Dreams Have Returned

So, I think the fruitful sleep has started allowing me to remember more of my bizarre dreams. So, today I thought I'd share some of the ridiculous things I've dreamt lately. We'll do it in a bulleted list. Let's go!

1. I dreamed I was going to be given a performance review by a place where I didn't work. I hate performance reviews, so this was really annoying.

2. I joined the show choir at my high school, and even thought it was the end of the year, I was ordering a bunch of costumes through a Jetsons-esque automat/computer.

3. I was asked to give a speech to a bunch of college students about what they should be doing on Spring and Summer Breaks if they wanted to be in the fashion industry. I kept being interrupted by people who were from he show choir and wanted all the attention. Whenever I made a snarky remark about how they were making my speech difficult, the woman who was heading the event would look at me accusingly like I was the one causing the problem.

4. I was in Taiwan with my parents, my grandfather, and my sister. We were going from stall to stall on a street. We had split up, but I ran into my grandfather in a place where they were giving $500 hand massages. I told him I didn't want a hand massage that was that expensive, so he bought the massage for a Japanese woman who was standing nearby. He had some sort of fetish and liked to watch hand massages.
          I walked further, and I ended up in a really amazing shopping mall that had a really luxurious department store where everyone was priced like it was on AliExpress because they didn't have to import any of it. The lingerie section was amazing - everything was very sculptural, like if you wore it you'd look like a robot. I tried to go into the bridal section, but a french man was photographing the dresses, and he could tell I was american and kicked me out.
          We all met up on the first floor of the mall (I was worried the whole time because I was using international texting rates that I hadn't signed up for, so my bill was going to be huge), and we were trying to decide where to eat. Dad and my grandfather would have nothing else but Taco Bell in the food court. I got really mad because we were in Taiwan, and I wanted to eat something a bit more local.

5. I met a man at the YMCA and decided we should get married. He had a much better-looking brother, but the one I met had the better personality.

6. It was my wedding day, and I walked down the aisle to be seated in a pew to the right. I wondered what was happening and asked my sister. She was excited and said "just wait, you'll see." Then, my friend Katie and her boyfriend walked down the aisle. It was their surprise wedding, and I had been the decoy bride.

7. I was under an overpass where a bunch delinquent teens hung out. I was in a group of other teenagers (apparently I was a teenager) who were just hanging out - not delinquents. We were approached by some shady characters and decided that if we moved as a group, we could get away. So, we moved as one mass toward the glass door (not sure how we are suddenly inside), and we noticed people were disappearing as they exited. Then we found out there were human traffickers waiting just outside the door to capture each of us with a chain and swing us around until we were disoriented.

Ok, if you made it this far into this post, congratulations!

Here's hoping that I sleep through the night soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I Need More Sleep

So, I've been having trouble sleeping lately. My schedule is all off, and I feel like I need to make a list so I'm sure I get everything done. As evidence of my flustered yet foggy state, see above the photo of what I did this morning. I was trying to feed Miranda while also thinking about emptying the dishwasher, and I ended up pouring some dish detergent in her bowl instead of dog food. Don't worry. I washed the bowl thoroughly and wiped the floor down. Now that I think of it, that's probably the cleanest the floor's been in a while.

One of the projects I've been working on is producing the audiobook version of Maikro, a book of Haikus and Microfiction. I'm hoping to finish editing today, and I will certainly let you know when this book is available on Audible.

For now, I need to take a shower and get to work!

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Random Friday Post

If you follow my Instagram, you know I was out at a freelance gig yesterday. Unfortunately, I always have to keep all that happens in those meetings top secret.

Since this is a super random post, I want to share something with you that I think you might want to know. Have you ever been at the dentist, and when they put that lead thing on you to take your x-ray, you think "hmmm this is so nice." Well, you can get that feeling without going to the dentist. Weighted blankets are a thing.  Here is some stuff I found about them on the Internet:

1. This article on Forbes says they can help with high-energy kids.

2. This article on How Stuff Works says they're great for insomniacs

3. If you need something you can carry with you all the time instead of a blanket, fear not! Salt of the Earth makes weighted vests.

4. If you're a cat lady with anxiety, I've found  a prime-eligible option for you on Amazon.

5. You can also get a more normal-looking one at the especial needs store.

Ok. I hope this somehow helps you. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Happy Discount Candy Day

I just want to congratulate you for making it through Valentine's Day. Today, you will be rewarded with all the discount candy your little heart desires. I say make a morning of going to all the drugstores, Targets, Walmarts, and grocery stores and gather all the discount candy you can. What will you do with it? freeze what you don't think you'll be eating or gifting immediately. 

This has been a Spinster P.S.A. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, spinsters, the day has come. Let's try very hard to stay upbeat about this. Sure, everyone will be getting engaged today, but we can avoid knowing that by avoiding our Facebook feeds. Just remember, today is a day to be glad that you don't have to pretend to like a giant teddy bear from a guy who didn't have the presence of mind to check your Pinterest or Amazon wish list instead. For the record, that's never happened to me, but I can imagine it'd be terrible.

Right now I'm watching the Today Show, and someone's getting engaged, so I guess the above paragraph may have been wishful thinking. I'll probably happen upon someone getting engaged today IRL.

Anyway, go get yourself some chocolate, a coffee, AND a heart-shaped donut. Don't forget that today is also the day to order a heart-shaped pizza. You should potentially also purchase some new pajamas today so that you can eat all your treats from the safety and comfort of your bed.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy GALentine's Day!

In case you didn't know, today is Galentine's Day. That means breakfast all day and hanging out with your best lady friends. This is when spinsters can hang out with their best girls - even if those girls are partnered. Valentine's Day...well, that's for the single ladies and the heart shaped pizzas.

So, this morning, I did my very first Instagram live stream. I made this card live! that's why the letters in "GALentine's" are all smushed up at the end. It was lots of fun.

I also posted this video, but my phone always is low on storage, so it cut out before I was finished. Here you go:

Well, go forth and eat waffles. Happy Galentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Friday Coloring Page: Lace Hearts

I'm ashamed to say that creating this coloring page took longer than it should have. I'm a little out of practice with the ol' lace brushes. This may look like a page of weird grey hearts, but if you zoom in, they're actually lace! So there are lots of tiny little spaces for your to fill in if you so choose.

No Free Art Friday drops for today. Apparently some of my Shrinky Dinks broke in half. Very sad. Very, very sad.

Remember, spinster, Valentine's Day is one of the best seasonal candy holidays. So, if you're responsible for your own treats this year, make a voyage to the nearest drugstore. My suggestions for drugstore candy are the fun sized reese's hearts and the individually sold Snickers  hearts.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Hearts and Flowers Coloring Page

Today I've made you an extra girly coloring page. Here it is in all its glory. We have hearts, flowers, lace, ribbons, and all sorts of scrolling details. You could print this out, color it, and use it to line the envelopes of the valentines you should have mailed two days ago. Don't worry, I still have some to send, too.

All right. Back to work!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Valentine For You

So, I have a confession to make. I, from time to time, enjoy watching Dr. Phil. I don't agree with his advice most of the time, and he generally is just trying to promote his son, wife, and his app, but the people on the show? Gold.

You've probably seen it, but just in case, I'm going to embed a video. It's better if I don't try to explain this. It's just...amazing.

So, I figured you might want to use this valentine for everyone you know.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Spinster Shopping: Better Than A Bouquet

Of course the classic gifts for Valentine's Day are Chocolate and flowers. However, unless you've been given the actual plant, flowers don't last that long. So! I have come up with an idea. Instead of actually flowers, you can get flower-themed treats instead! they'll last much longer!

Let's talk about them

1. The Body Shop British Rose Body Butter: $6.65, Amazon
          I have really dry skin, so body butter is always appealing. One that smells like roses? Yes.

2. Revlon Parfumerie Nail Polish in African Tea Rose: $6.94, Amazon
          So, this is scented nail polish. I love that idea. Plus the color is a good one, too. Nice and bright and perfect for Valentine's Day.

3. Rose Jam by NAR Gourmet: $7.90, Walmart
          So, years ago, I went to Hong Kong for work with a woman named Dinah. I love her. She took me to tea at the Mandarin, and they had rose petal jam served with scones and clotted cream. It was delightful. I never thought, though, that you'd be able to find rose petal jam at Walmart. For an extra-special Valentine's Day tea time, make some (non-dry (why are they always so dry?)) scones, and clotted cream and dine upon them with some rose Jam.

4. Herbivore Botanicals X UO Hair Perfume: $12, Urban Outfitters
          I never thought about hair perfume, but I like this idea a lot. I love when I catch a whiff of my own hair, so I imagine it would be even better if it literally smelled like roses.

5. Rose Clutch: $78.64, AliExpress
          I originally saw this clutch on Charming Charlie, but it was so popular that it's out of stock! It's reminiscent of a Judith Leiber minaudière but with a much more affordable price tag. Since I had to link it to AliExpress, though, don't expect to receive this in the mail before Valentine's Day.

6. diptyque Roses Scented Candle: $32, Nordstrom
          I can tell I'm getting older because in the past few years I have really started to understand why people are so into candles. To be clear, I don't like the ones that smell like anything thick or heave - cookies, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.. - but a light rose-scented candle? I think I'd quite like that.

7. Fig + Yarrow Organic Clay Mask: $23, Amazon
          A couple weeks ago, a friend who works at Sephora did masks on me and some friends while we caught up on TV shows. It was delightful. So, I think this clay mask could be a great way to celebrate galentine's day with friends along with a heart-shaped pizza and some sparkling grape juice.

8. Rose Sequin Heels: $64.99, ModCloth
          Who doesn't want a pair of chunky-heeled sequin pumps? There's only size 8.5 left in these shoes, so I guess a lot of people agree. They're necessary.

9. Cameron Street Roses Clarise: $198, Kate Spade
          I love this trend of floral-printed handbags. Search the word "Rose" on the kate spade website. You will not be disappointed.

10. Chanel Gommage Microperle Eclat Facial Exfoliant: $45, Nordstrom
          Back when I was not a starving artist, I used to quite enjoy the Chanel counter of Lord and Taylor near my office on fifth avenue. This was one of the products I purchased during that time, and I must say, it is delightful. I've since run out of this exfoliant, but the rose-scent was absolutely delightful. In fact, I seem to remember I also had a face cream from Chanel that smelled like roses in the best way possible. The scent is not too strong, but rose-enough to make your skincare routine a little more pleasant.

All right. That's it for me! Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Spinster Shopping: Valentine's Day Candy

Yesterday's post was about chocolate, but I will acknowledge that not every spinster is a huge chocoholic. So, today I present you with some non-chocolate options, and my! They are pretty!

A lot of the items today on the can be bought in multiples, making them great for giving to friends instead of lovers. In other words, they're perfect for Spinsters.

1."Kiss Me" Sugar Lips: $7.50, Sugarfina
         My sister sent me some of these for my birthday, and they were so cute. They come in a neat little box, and they're delicious, too!

2. Valentine's Day Candyfetti Sprinkles: $35 for 12 packets: SweetsIndeed on Etsy
          I think you can use these on cupcakes or just straight up eat them like nerds. Either way, they're super cute, and this listing comes in cute little packets which are perfect for mailing or leaving on coworkers' desks.

3. Mini Valentine Sweet Skewers: $48 for 12, SweetsIndeed on Etsy
          I love this idea. So cute. If you've waited too late to get these in time, I think you could make really cute versions with gummy bears, fruit by the foot, and other gummy sweets!

4. Valentine's Day 2017 Tackle Box: $28, Dylan's Candy Bar
          Dylan's Candy Bar has holiday candy down to a science. It's an assortment, and it comes in a good reusable package. It's all neatly labelled and shippable for your convenience.

5. Red Rose 3D Fancy Pops: $9.99 for 25, Candy Crate
          So, I think this is better than a bouquet for many a spinster. I also found a ring pop version on Oriental Trading.

6. Sugarpova "Flirty" lips: $4.99, Sugarpova
          Anther cute option. This packaging makes this an easy option to ship in a college care package. You know it's not going to leak, and I think it may be resealable.

7. Sparkle Heart Lollipops: $16 for 8, Sweetniks on Etsy
          I think these are so pretty. In fact, I think you should go to this Etsy shop and check out all the options they have. All very cute and/or cool.

8. Harrods Jelly Hearts: $6.39, Harrods
          Another cute option, especially for the anglophile.

9. Rose and Honey marshmallows:$14 for 16 pieces, Sweetniks on Etsy
          My parents recently received some home made marshmallows from some friends. They loved them. I think these are a super fun option for the spinster who loves her chocolate fountain or fondue pot.

10. Pink Rock Candy Lollipops: $12.99/dozen, Oriental Trading
          I really don't think rock candy tastes that good, but sometimes when you're at work, any sugar is good sugar. Plus, I think rock candy is basically the jewelry of candy. AND you can get it in any color you like.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Spinster Shopping: Valentine's Day Chocolate

Just because you're a spinster doesn't mean you can't give Valentine's Day chocolate...to yourself or a friend. Today, I present to you some of your options. From chocolate you can find at your local drugstore to luxuries you can find across the pond, I think there's something for every spinster on this list.

Let's get started!

1. Christophe 9-Piece Assortment: $20.95, Christophe Chocolatier
          This was the first item I knew I wanted to add to this list. Christophe Artisan Chocolatier and Patisserie is a beautiful little shop off of King Street in Charleston. I love it, and I think their chocolates are beautiful. This is a special little gift for someone who will really appreciate it.

2. Valentine's Day Slices of Love 9 Piece Round Box: $28, Godiva
          If you or your Galentine loves Godiva, I think this is a really cute collection. I don't love the box, but what's inside is delightful.

3. Gourmet Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Caramel Shortbread Cookies: $16 for 8 cookies, LHE Bakes on Etsy
          I like the idea of getting something super home made for a Valentine's Day treat. While these aren't strictly chocolates, they are chocolate-covered shortbread cookies, so i think we can make an exception.

4. Harrods Alcohol Free Passionfruit Caramel Truffles: $18.01, Harrods
          I think these are really pretty - from the packaging to the metallic dusting on the truffles themselves. In addition, there's a little fruity flavor to the caramel, which I think could be a real bonus.

5. Varsano's Sea Salt Caramels: $39/lb.: Varsano's New York
          The photo of these isn't great, but I love these. Every time I'm in New York, I have to stop by Varsano's and get the milk chocolate covered sea salt caramels. They are amazing. So good. Just perfection.

6. Classic Pralines Romance Heart: $15, Lindt
          Who doesn't love lindt? I've never had their pralines, but I'm fairly confident they can get that right. This is your basic heart-shaped box full of chocolates, but I feel you can be pretty sure it will taste good.

7. Eat Your Heart Out Collection: $40, Phillip Ashley Chocolate
          What I like about this is that you can choose whether or not you want the label, among other things. Plus it's very cute.

8. Valentine Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Hearts: about $15, Taylor and Bennett
          A really nice presentation. However, it'd have to come from the UK, so...keep that in mind.

9. Ghirardelli Sweetheart Truffles: $11.95: Ghirardelli
          Ghirardelli is pretty ubiquitous, so I feel like this one will be easy to find. Plus, I know plenty of people whose favorite chocolate is already Ghirardelli. If you're one of those, this is a win-win. It's cute and festive, but it's also your favorite.

10. Chocolove *Seasonal* Truffles: $16 Chocolove
          Chocolove chocolate is one of my personal favorites. They also have a traditional heart-shaped box full of cherry cordials, but I thought this one was more interesting and offered more choices. AND, $16 is not a bad price!

11. Darling! Pop Art Chocolate Box: $38, Maggie Louise Confections
          I have no idea how this tastes, but as far as looks go, this is my favorite item on the list. How cute is this? It's perfect for spinsters, single ladies, daughters, nieces, or even your favorite makeup artist. So cute.

12. Cacao Atlanta Chocolates: $22.46, Williams Sonoma
          Chocolove is a delightful chocolate shop in Atlanta, and lucky for you, you can purchase their goods from Williams Sonoma. That means they'll come beautifully wrapped, and they can deliver to you anywhere!

Ok, I also have a bonus item I somehow forgot to add to the image, but I think it's so beautiful and such a great presentation I have to add: 21 Piece Mon Coeur Box from Francois Payard New York. It's $40, but it's beautiful.

Ok, now make sure you're set for chocolate this Valentine's Day. Since you're buying it for yourself, you know you'll get what you like best. If you're buying for me...I'll take one of each (especially 1,5,10, and 11). Happy shopping!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

More Shrinky Dink Madness

So, yesterday I purchased some inkjet shrinky dink paper, but it didn't really work the way I had hoped. It's not as thick as the "rough and ready" kind, and it doesn't shrink uniformly either. However, I will continue with my experiments.

Because the inkjet paper didn't work so well, I used the "rough and ready" shrinky links and a sharpie. I still think it could be better. I think my next experiment will be with my Prismacolor pencils. I'm sure you'll see that on your Instagram.

Ok, happy Thursday! I need to do work.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

#WIPWednesday: A Cat Painting

Yesterday on NPR I heard a remembrance of Ed Lowe, the man who invented Cat Litter. As such, I thought it was only fitting to share this tiny piece of a cat painting I've been working on. I'm hoping to add the finishing touches today.

Also, keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram for a mid-week free art drop. With all those Shrinky Dinks I had to do something!

Happy Wednesday!