29 May 2017

The Art of Hand Lettering

Howdy guys! I'm not sure what percentage of the world still writes using pen and paper. It's so easy to go electronic and paperless these days. 

I love handwriting. My lists are still written in a notebook and workshop notes jotted down in cahiers.  I'm in the habit of writing letters and cards. And I'm back into filling daily journals. 

That's why fancy penmanship appeals to me. I even took a calligraphy class! I know...very old school.

I picked up this book by the talented Abbey Sy, a creative entrepreneur specializing in hand lettering and travel illustrations. Here she details the basics of the art and features other artists to help the reader find their style.

Before attempting to hand letter, I assembled a kit. I chose this packing cube meant for travel because it has many compartments.

To be candid, I've seen a lot of kits like this in my Instagram feed and I got so jealous. Imagine, pens in all colors and tip sizes inside cases bursting at the seams!

I didn't spend on anything, though. These are supplies that I already have that I just organized in one container. As you can see, it has different kinds of pens, pencils, a paintbrush, compass, ruler and sharpener. I can add more supplies later (I'm still on the hunt for recommendations).

To start my hand lettering journey, I practiced my letters in different styles.

Then I combined styles and colors just to get the hang of it.

I worked on a few quotes and favorite slogans.

Right now, I'm just practicing until I find my hand lettering style. Next time, I'll show you where I apply my artsy letters.

Have a productive week ya'all!

24 May 2017

Pink Balloons

An act of terrorism taking young, innocent lives in Manchester. What has happened to this world?

In a vigil last night, pink balloons were released in memory of the victims. 
I am saddened by all this tragedy caused by hatred. Nobody wins.

22 May 2017

Blackout Poetry

I first learned about blackout poetry through Austin Kleon. It's taking a page with text (from a newspaper, magazine or an old book), finding words that stand out and blocking out all the remaining text with a black marker. The words that remain create a new story.

Here is my very first attempt:

"Rough Waters"
The blue waves of the ocean
A treacherous and unknown sea
I clung fast to this corner
I nearly drowned
All the water washing over me
The sun has helped to dry
And I feel better since

It's quite addicting, almost like those word hunt games. I'll share my process if you'd like to try your hand at it. 

Start with an old book. I found this at a thrift shop and I bought it for the purpose of crafting. 

The other supplies I use are binder clips to hold the book open, a pencil, an eraser, and a black marker.

I randomly choose a page and scan for words that, when linked together, make sense.

I underline these words with a pencil.

Then "blackout" all the other sentences with the marker.

Then I erase all the pencil marks.

You are as brave as you are pretty, my dear
Glowing brightly
Of silver and gold

I always add a title and sometimes accent with watercolor. 

There are other ways to do the "blackout" where the poet becomes an artist, too. Look here:

"Keeping up Appearances"
Pleasing, lovely, magnificent
Precious, rare, curious, costly
Everything seemed without a spark of life

Never fear

It will be a dangerous undertaking
We ought to do it
We shall do it
It requires a lot of courage for me
But I am going

That's turning an old book from blah to TADA!

15 May 2017

A Purse with Pompoms

Today's craft is part of my #100DayProject. It's simple to do and shows you a few souvenirs from my travels.

This is a coin purse that I got from a solo trip in 2004 to the mountains of Banaue and Sagada in the Philippines. The handicrafts in this region include knits, woodwork, and woven products like bags and blankets. 

I liked this minimalist black and white pattern. But over time, it felt it needed a make-over.

I found some embellishements in the form of a tassel, pompoms, and beads. The beads are from a beach trip to the Dominican Republic. I had my hair braided and the lady secured the braids with these colorful beads. And of course I kept them thinking, "Maybe I can use them again someday". 

I strung everything together with a needle and thread.

It can be as long or as short as you would like.

Knot the end securely and attach the tail of the thread through a jumpring.

Attach the jump ring through the hole of the zipper with a pair of pliers.

And here it is -- my coin purse now has more color. TADA!

08 May 2017

Flowers for Mother's Day

Hi there guys! Thanks for stopping by.

Inspired by these cards I found at Anthropologie, I'm making a Mother's Day greeting.

 I did a little sketch and filled it in with watercolor.

I added some definition with colored pencils.

Then I trimmed off the white border.

Freshly-picked flowers in a mason jar!

I added a twine bow for textural detail.

After writing a message...

Tuck it into an envelope, ready for mom. TADA!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there!

01 May 2017

Leave a Book, Take a Book

Have you been spring cleaning? Maybe you have some extra books that you've already outgrown and are ready to part with.

Here's a great idea: a community library where anyone can take a book as long as a book is donated in exchange.

It's inpired by The Free Little Library. Have you heard of them? I think it's so cool what they do.

Imagine everyone, especially children who don't have easy access to books, who can benefit from this. As the sign says, "Today a Reader, tomorrow a leader." TADA!