Art, Melting Pot

Randoms

My running, which I had surprisingly really been starting to look forward to, is on hold. I managed to hurt my knee. What exactly I did, I don’t know. I just know that it’s been hurting. I tried to run yesterday despite the pain. I only survived two of the six runs of my intervals and had to walk the remainder of the time instead, and ever since my knee has been very, very unhappy with me for that attempt. 😔

My friend who is my SeneGence (LipSense) distributor sent me a card to sample the three fragrances that they make. I’m super picky about fragrances, and my current everyday fragrance is almost gone so I’m starting to think on a new one. I can not choose which of the three fragrances from SeneGence I like best, they all smell really good! Which says a lot about how great they all smell, given my picky tendencies when it comes to fragrances.

I drew a mermaid to color with the recently reviewed Chromatek Glitter pens. She isn’t perfect and I still really need to work on drawing hands. But, she’s supposed to be cartoony not realistic and with that as well as my current level of wrist pain… I can live with it as is, far from perfect though it may be.

As usual, I have some laundry to deal with and a bit of other cleaning up then it’s about time for bed. Rascal is fussing – I suspect she just wants more treats. I got them some of the new Milkbone Puffs not too long ago and the girls absolutely love them. Just in case she does want something else, I should see what she wants. So I’m off.

Until next time. xoxo

Advertisements
Art, Melting Pot, Reviews

Product Review: Chromatek Glitter Pen Set (30 piece)

Not too terribly long ago I saw a post on a social media site (I think it was Twitter) about a giveaway for a set of Chromatek Glitter pens. Y’all know how I feel about glitter. Naturally, I entered said giveaway. I’ve used a few brands of glitter pens before but have never been impressed by them so a chance to try a new brand had me interested. I didn’t win the giveaway. I did, however, receive an invitation to purchase the pens and be reimbursed for the purchase after testing them out and sending the company a short review. That’s done now, and I’ve continued to use the pens and play around with them a bit, and I’m now doing a more thorough review here, of my own volition. I enjoy creating art and various crafts and I know many of you do as well, so when I have new art/craft supplies I’ve been using I try to share my thoughts on them with you.

This set includes 30 colors of glitter gel ballpoint pens, as well as 30 refills. When they say “30 colors” they mean it. Unlike some sets of pens/markers/what have you that will say you get x number of colors but you actually get a fewer number of colors with multiples of each/some, this set includes 30 different colors. Some colors are similar, but they are indeed all different.

First let’s talk about the pens themselves. The caps snap easily and securely to the bottom of the pen to be safely out of the way while you use them, without worrying about losing them. Why anybody even makes pens where this is not possible is beyond me but it happens so when I find pens that the caps fit on the ends nicely, it’s a plus in my book.

They also have a soft grip for comfort while using them. Also a big plus in my book.

Not many pens these days, save fountain pens, are refillable. I LOVE that these are refillable! That means the pens are durable and made to last. Often in the past I’ve had a favorite pen but not being able to refill it I would have to toss the entire thing when the ink was used up. Not cool. Refillable pens seriously need to make a comeback, people.

Now let’s talk about actually using the pens.

While you can use these pens for writing, that isn’t actually what they are designed for. They are meant to be used for artwork. Drawings, scrapbooking, handmade cards etc. I have been using them to write with because hey they’re glitter pens and this is me we are talking about. 😜 They do lay down more ink than a standard ballpoint pen, so regardless of how you’re using them you want to keep that in mind to avoid any unwanted smudges. The ink does dry quickly so unwanted smudging has not been a problem for me with them, so far, but it is still something to be aware of.

The amount of ink they lay down also means the ink comes out nicely pigmented, and it also means your pens will empty faster than other pens. (Hence the set including a pack of refills!) Some of the colors remain translucent enough that you can color over black outlines/details of an image without worrying about it, but I have found a couple of them are opaque enough that you will cover up the black outlines/details so you need to be careful if there are finer details you’re coloring around.

Of course the most important part of a glitter pen… is the ink actually, noticeably, glittery? Far too many times I’ve used a glitter pen that didn’t seem to actually have any glitter, or the glitter was barely noticeable, or it was more metallic looking than glittery. The Chromatek pens, my friends, are actually glittery! The glitter does transfer a little bit if you run your hand over your (dry, of course) work but the transfer is minimal.

I have but one remaining glitter pen from a different (significantly more expensive) brand which shall remain nameless. Let’s compare, shall we?

On the top is the black glitter pen from a different brand, and the bottom is the black Chromatek Glitter pen

I have also played around a bit with blending and layering of these pens. They don’t really blend, so doing gradients with them isn’t going to happen or at least isn’t going to happen easily. Some of them layer over each other nicely, you have to use the colors in the right order when layering for a nice finished effect. You have to experiment a bit. Basically, test on scrap paper if you’ll be layering, before layering on a project so you can be sure it’s going to look the way you want it to.

I also layered them over standard ballpoint pen and Sharpie marker, just to see how that would go. Interestingly, layering them like this seemed to play up the glitter even more than using them on their own.

Top: layered over a standard blue ink ballpoint pen. Bottom: layered over black Sharpie marker.

Overall, I absolutely LOVE these pens! This set costs approximately $12 (+ shipping). For 30 pens plus 30 refills, that is an incredible price point, making them very affordable. I would definitely recommend them if you’re looking for some good glitter pens!

If you are interested you can visit the Chromatek web site chromatek.net or hop straight to the Amazon product page for this set by going here (NOT an affiliate link): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074M7PW61/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_t.A8AbB5YS8FA

I haven’t finished this Mandala (from a coloring book) yet, but I used almost every color in the set for it. Only one or two colors I didn’t use for it.

Until next time. xoxo

Art, Whatever Wednesday

Whatever Wednesday

I got plenty of sleep according to my fitness tracker. Not much deep sleep but lots of light sleep. Yet I don’t feel rested at all this morning. I was exhausted yesterday and by 1700 I could barely keep my eyes open but of course that is much too early for bed so I had to fight to stay awake for a few hours. I need to be able to survive my shift at work tonight so didn’t want to mess up my sleep schedule in that regard. 

Speaking of work I enjoy my new job probably about as much as one can enjoy a job, though it is not without its challenges and there are times I get frazzled and a little frustrated. I’m working in the bakery department of one of the area grocery stores. Everything has to be done just so, which means no room for creativity really. It requires doing a LOT in a single shift so my wrist is hurting quite a bit. I’m apparently allergic to the vinyl gloves that must be worn, so I need to talk to one of the managers to ask if I could bring my own gloves of another material, or wear some cotton liners underneath the provided vinyl gloves to offer a barrier between my skin and the material. That’s probably going to be the easiest route, since I’m not sure what other materials of gloves would be ok or of I’d have a reaction to them or not. It’s one thing to wear gloves occasionally for a few minutes to deal with something but quite another to wear them for several hours straight while working. It’s only a part time position, not enough to live off of honestly so I still need to figure things out and find something I CAN actually live off of. But for now it helps at least a little, and gives me experience for my resume. 

I’ve desperately got to figure out how to pay for a fence around my back yard. It’s not even about the need for my dogs to be able to run and play, though that is true. It’s not about my desire for a little privacy though that is true as well. It is first and foremost about the fact that I fear without a fence it is only a matter of time before something awful happens. There are loose/stray dogs around here like you wouldn’t believe. One of the neighbors has a chihuahua with a death wish. That stupid little dog charges at me and my girls when we are out and it is a struggle to get mine hauled back inside. More recently a pit bull and another similarly sized (but slightly smaller) dog came along while I had my girls out – thankfully they kept their distance while my girls went bonkers and I used all my strength to pull them back across the yard and into the house. I get tense every time I take my girls out so they can potty, I do not at all trust putting them on their tie outs because then I can’t take immediate action to get them back inside if necessary, I feel badly that when they do go out I keep the trips as brief as possible. They NEED to be able to sniff and run and enjoy the outdoors a bit. But that can’t happen till I have a fence up to keep all these loose dogs OUT. Problem is fencing is freaking expensive and I just can’t afford it at all. 🙁 I’ve got to figure something out though for the safety of my girls and myself, and for my own peace of mind… Not to mention the fact that when my girls get fired up because of these other dogs, they pull so hard it’s hard on my wrists, elbows, and shoulders, trying to keep them from getting away from me. It’s no wonder my wrists hurt so much all the time anymore even though I rest them as much as possible and try to exercise them for some strength.

Anyway I finished another painting a couple days ago. I ended up changing my mind about just how I wanted to finish it up, but I like how I chose to do it instead. Originally there was going to be some lettering as well but I decided against it once I had the actual painting portion finished. 

Spiderwebs

I drew inspiration for this one from the No Doubt song Spiderwebs. Sorry I’m not home right now, I’m walking into spiderwebs, so leave a message and I’ll call you back.  Not one of their better songs I admit, but it always stood out to me as a favorite for the meaning behind the lyrics – or the meaning I always personally see in the lyrics anyway. One of the beautiful things about all forms of art, including music, is that each individual can interpret the same thing in different ways. Put a group of people in a room and have them listen to the same song then write down what they think the song is about, I guarantee there are going to be multiple meanings presented. That’s how music and art can touch so many people – there’s room for personal experience annd feelings to interpret what you see or hear, no one interpretation being “right” or “wrong”. 

Well, my doggies are fussing wanting some snuggle time and I could use that myself so I’m off to have some down time with my girls before I have to get ready for work. 

Until next time. xoxo

Art, Melting Pot, Saturday Somethings

One Week (Saturday Somethings)

Sorry, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to throw that song in, with the given post title. 

Anyway, yesterday marked one week since I so gloriously sprained my wrist. It felt pretty good for most of the day but later in the evening started hurting more and this morning I woke up feeling like it has backtracked quite a bit in the healing process. Hopefully it is just one of those weird things that happens sometimes and today will be a bad day for the wrist but tomorrow will be significantly better. Time will tell. 

I have been doing a little drawing and painting here and there as a means of exercising my wrist without doing anything too strenuous. I don’t have the range of motion/mobility in my wrist right now to be able to really do things smoothly but it seems to be good wrist exercise. 

I started off with some little stacked pumpkins and lettering, then revisited my Halloween witch. Then I revisited those pumpkins. Because they were really fun to paint, even if I couldn’t quite move my wrist the way I needed to for any of it lol.



None of them turned out quite the way I wanted them to but that is ok, as I think they all still turned out well despite that and despite the sprained wrist. 

I did do another drawing yesterday but I am waiting to share that one. I shall explain in a future post. For now I want to keep that one to myself. You’ll understand once I explain. 

There was one more thing I wanted to add to this post but it’s slipped my mind so I suppose that is all for now. I hope y’all are having a nice weekend so far.

Until next time. xoxo

 

Art, Melting Pot, Whatever Wednesday

Whatever Wednesday

My kitchen sink is functional again! J came over yesterday. It took two rounds of a sulfuric acid drain opener he got, but it did what drano could not. Thank goodness. I never thought I’d be happy to wash dishes. But I sure am, now!

The weather is cooling down now and the leaves have started changing and falling from the trees. The squirrels are busier than ever, which makes outings with the dogs a challenge as they both want to go after the squirrels especially Princess. Rascal mostly behaves herself, she’ll pull on her leash a bit and maybe make some small noises but she tends to remain reasonably calm though she’s internally very excited. Princess on the other hand starts pulling very hard on her leash, jumping and barking like crazy. And the insane squirrels around here, for the most part, do NOT run and hide but sit and taunt which just riles her up even more.

I wanted to do a cute, cartoony Halloween picture. I thought over all the options and knew just what I wanted to do. I will need to redo it as I struggled a lot with the facial features for some reason, particularly the mouth, and all the erasing made that area look a bit wonky in the final picture. So I will be tracing over it to redo it so that area will look better. I’ll put more effort into the coloring on the new one once I get to it as well. But even with the issues I had with it I’m pretty pleased. I think it definitely fits the bill for being a cute, cartoony Halloween picture. Even if it’s not quite how I had pictured it in my head. I never can get drawings translated properly from my head to paper…

I have been playing around with my brownie recipe, as I no longer care for the original version. I think I’ve about perfected it for my brownie preferences now but I need to give it another go to be sure. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can share. It’s been a LONG time since I have done any food posts or shared one of my own recipes here vs linking to someone else’s recipe. I just don’t really bake all that much anymore and the bulk of my cooking is nothing that needs a recipe either (I mean, pasta and garlic bread… kinda simple…) and I’ve been eating cereal or sandwiches as meals more often than actually cooking anyway. I only have myself to cook for and I generally don’t like leftovers, and even the leftovers I do like I tire of after a day or two, so it’s easier to just have cereal or something than to put effort into cooking a proper meal. And all that adds up to when it comes to the blog, I just don’t have the content to do food posts these days. Maybe that’ll change at some point. But for now, food/recipe posts will be a rarity. 

With that in mind I have a non-food idea I would like to work on. Thinking of a simple knit project for the past couple days and I’m wondering if, unlike translating my drawing ideas to paper, I can translate it to yarn with success. So I’m off to poke through my stitch dictionaries and see if I can come up with something. 

Until next time. xoxo

Art, Melting Pot, Saturday Somethings

Saturday Somethings

I have a mountain of dirty dishes I need to hand wash but I really don’t want to. My kitchen sink is clogged up, so my dishwasher is out of commission, and I have to hand wash things in the bathroom. Which is cumbersome and annoying. I’ve tried my best to fix the problem on my own – aka I dumped a bottle of drano and let it do its thing, but it didn’t help. I watched a video on youtube that made me think I MIGHT stand a chance of doing a little something under the sink to possibly fix it. Then I realized what I have is different than dude in the video and what I have I am not about to touch. I was feeling desparate for a functional kitchen sink this morning so did the only other thing I could think of: I got the plunger out. All that resulted in was me somehow injuring my shoulder, but the sink is still just as clogged as it was before. This is why when something needs fixing/done around the house I ask a man to do it. If I try to do it myself I either hurt myself, make the problem worse, or both. 

Now as I sit with generic icy hot cream on my shoulder  (and not helping much, but I can’t find my heating pad so it’s the best I can do for now) and as usual listening to music that is coming from across the street, I can’t help but think how much I just want to go back to bed. But my sleep schedule is already out of whack thanks to insomnia (currently running on about 3 hours of sleep), so I best stay awake. 

Princess decided to roll in something stinky this morning, then she ate whatever it was before I had a chance to get her away from it. Dogs are awesome but they sure can be gross sometimes. I immediately gave her a bath once back inside. Then Rascal got one too. They were both overdue anyway so I figured if I had to bathe one of them, may as well tackle getting both of them bathed so it’d be done.

I finished a new drawing last night that I am fairly pleased with. I should have waited till today to finish it as when coloring it in my wrists did get tired and maybe it’s just me but I can absolutely tell which part was colored first and what waa colored with a tired wrist. But I lack patience and really wanted to see it done. 

The quote is from one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite 90’s bands, Sugar Ray. I considered this one for the next Tuesday Tunes, but I’ll throw it in this post instead as there’s another song I want to share on Tuesday. 

I hope y’all are having a better weekend than I am so far. 

Until next time. xoxo

Art, Melting Pot

Friday Post 2

I didn’t get much sleep last night. What sleep I did get was very fitful, not restful. I don’t even know what time I went to bed or what time I got up this morning. I just know when I did get up I was exhausted, cranky, and had a horrible headache. Said headache continued to plague me as I got dressed and took the dogs out to potty.

I treated the back yard with more Biefen IT, for mosquitos. They were becoming relentless. Even when I sprayed myself down with deet before going out, they’d bite me. I could see dozens of them going for each dog, too. I knew I needed to re-treat the yard but either the weather would not cooperate (needs to be dry) or I just didn’t feel like dealing with it. This morning I decided, headache or no, it needed to be done. I didn’t do the whole yard but focused on the perimeter, where they seemed most problematic. This stuff is supposed to last “up to 6 months”, and it had been maybe 2 or so since I first treated the yard. However I do need to mention that I think it would be more effective and longer-lasting if I had an actual lawn. What I do have is bare dirt, pine needles, dead leaves, and ivy. All of which leave loads od hiding places the spray won’t reach. If there were actually grass covering the yard, like most folks have, I feel like I’d see better results. Maybe some day I’ll get to live somewhere with a proper lawn and find out. But anyway it was indeed a battle for the yard – I had generously covered myself in deet before going out and as I sprayed the yard, I acquired numerous new mosquito bites. They attacked me as I attacked them. I think I won the battle but I won’t know for sure till I head out later once the product has dried.

After cleaning up from that adventure my head was still pounding away. With the added bonus of a bit of a stomach ache and some dizziness, not to mention the sunlight getting a rather vampiric reaction from me. I know all too well what that combination spells. Thankfully a couple weeks ago I had spotted some migraine formula meds at the grocery store when I was there for something else. I hadn’t had a migraine for roughly a year or so, and before that one I’d been blessed to have several years without one. So I didn’t  NEED the stuff. But I thought I should get it, just in case. So I opened that up and took a dose, which seems to be helping. I still feel a bit nauseous and my head is still throbbing, and light is still far, FAR from being acceptable… but it’s less intense than before. Thank goodness. I’ll still likely be out of commission for the day but as long as it runs its course and I feel good tomorrow, all will be well. Migraines are miserable enough when they knock you on your ass for one day, but their tendency to park themselves firmly in your life for multiple days is REALLY sucky. If you have never had a migraine, you have NO idea how lucky you are.

Moving on. If you follow me on Twitter (where I post like what, once or twice a month at most? 😂) you might have seen that I mentioned a new drawing yesterday. Well, one drawing turned into three. Why? I didn’t want to ink or color a penciled portion that looked pretty good and risk ruining it. So I tested on scrap paper then couldn’t decide if I liked colored pencil or marker better, and I still really liked the penciled original. So I did what any (in)sane person would do: made two copies and colored them, for a grand total of three finished drawings. 

I used a clear plastic Rubbermaid bin and the flashlight feature on my cell phone to create a light box to trace the original drawing to make the two copies. For the record this works perfectly. Granted you may want to use a piece of plexiglass or something for a smooth work surface if necessary but the little bit of texture to mine was not a problem. I used the container upright and put the lid on, due to size (tapered to be a bit smaller on the bottom than the top) but you could alternately just flip the container over. 

I still can’t quite decide which of the three is my favorite. 

Top to bottom: original pencil, colored pencil (which is more orange in person but my phone liked the yellow in it), and marker

What do you think?

Since I am sure most do not know, this is inspired by one of my very favorite movies: What About Bob? If you have never seen it I highly recommend it. 😁

Ok, I suppose that’s all for now. I need to lie down a while, and then will have to find some sun glasses to take the dogs out again, and find out if I won the mosquito battle or not. 

Until next time. xoxo

Art

Intuitive Journaling

In a recent post I shared a youtube video on intuitive art journals. Click here if you missed it and want to check it out before continuing with this post. I’ll wait here for you. 

As I mentioned in that post, Marta once again left me feeling very inspired. I’ve got a thing about respecting books though so I knew it would be hard for me to get started on my own intuitive journal. 

I tend to not keep books I don’t absolutely love or put to moderate use but I looked over my bookshelves and found I do in fact have a couple books I didn’t care for but had not yet gotten rid of. I selected one and set about beginning my own intuitive journaling adventure. 

Thus far I have completed just three pages (“pages” referring to technically two pages, but I wanted to do it this way). It all looks like something a three year old would do, but that’s ok. The point of intuitive journaling is to not think too much about it – don’t plan, just do. You can use whatever mediums you like, mix and match as you please. You can include lettering/writing if you want which I may do on a future page but haven’t so far. It’s all 100% up to you how to fill your pages, but always remember to just let your creativity flow uninhibited and “go with your gut”. The results may not always necessarily be pretty, and probably will not be anything super amazing… but that isn’t the goal. The goal is to just relax and enjoy yourself. 

My craft supplies are currently and for the foreseeable future very limited so I have just been making the best of what I have to work with. 

My first page was absolutely random nonsense… acrylic paint, markers, glue, glitter, rhinestones, and bullion beads went into this oh so masterfully created page. 🤣

Hey, I DID say before you saw that, it looked like something a three year old would do. I never claimed to be good at this art thing either so if you were expecting otherwise… well I don’t know where in the world you would get that idea. Lol  

(Just for the record the pieces I share here that actually might be considered good are things I spent many hours on and usually take at least a couple days if not weeks for me to complete. This is the kind of stuff that happens if I try to just go with the flow and spontaneously create something in a brief amount of time. 😂)

My second page was also quite random, but a little less chaotic. Sort of. Haha. It involved acrylic paint, clear gesso, and a LOT of glitter. And I do mean a LOT of glitter, even by my glitterholic standards.

Embrace that glittery goodness y’all! Lol

My third page involved acrylic paint, some thin painter’s tape, glue, rhinestones, and bullion beads. 

There are heart shaped rhinestones on this page

Flower shaped rhinestones with bullion beads placed in the center to add a finishing touch

So far I am quite enjoying intuitive journaling. 

It also occurred to me that this would be an awesome thing for parents with small children (or grandparents with their grandkids etc – anyone with kids in their life) – little ones are always creating artwork and once they start school they bring a lot home from school as well. Much as you want to keep it all, there is just too much and you have to choose a few pieces to save and toss the rest. An intuitive journal for your little ones wouldn’t put an end to that necessarily, but if you gathered a couple old books and supplied the kids with lots of craft supplies and allow them to paint one page a week (or however often, just be sure the pages have time for any paints and glues to be completely dried/cured before moving on to the next or your pages will get stuck together!) then you will eventually have a whole book full of their artwork you can save! Even if they fill up several books over the years, storing several books takes up a lot less space and is much easier than trying to save the mountains of loose pages and other crafts they create and bring home from school! And if they do bring home something particularly special you want to keep it could potentially (depending on size) be glued into their intuitive journal. 

Just remember when selecting a book to use as an intuitive journal to choose books with nice heavy pages so they can hold up to the various mediums you will be using to decorate the pages. Think cook books or school text books (obviously I mean ones that you have purchased and own, not ones that belong to a school and are meant to be turned in at the end of the school year!) – and if you don’t already have any such books you can easily get some very cheaply at thrift shops or yard/garage sales, or maybe even from a library if they are getting rid of some books they no longer wish to keep on their shelves.

Until next time. xoxo

Art, Melting Pot

Intuitive Journaling (Art)

Marta’s latest youtube video is yet another incredibly inspiring one. It is about “intuitive journaling”. Just watch and see for yourself what this means: 

This is such an awesome use for old books you no longer want or need! I think I have a couple books that while not necessarily old are ones I don’t care for yet I haven’t gotten rid of them. I may start an intuitive journal with one of them. I need more art supplies, my current stash is so very limited. 

This would be a challenge for me though as I have this thing about “treating books with respect”. I try so hard to keep my books pristine and new looking – I avoid breaking the spines, never EVER dog ear pages (the absolute horror! Buy some bookmarks people, they are cheap!) or write in my books etc. So the idea of “ruining” a book this way… well I have some serious mental barriers to get through, let’s leave it at that lol. 

Have you ever made an intuitive journal? I’d honestly never heard of it till watching Marta’s video. 

Until next time. xoxo

Art

Simple Sunday

I decided this morning to go grocery shopping at one of the actual grocery stores rather than WalMart as usual. That didn’t really stick. Once I got into the store and saw the limited selection of products and the prices on what they did have, I decided to check out with the handful of items I had found that were decent deals, then headed off to trusty ol’ WalMart to get everything else on my list. 

I made a pit stop in the art supply aisle, not at all expecting to find what I wanted. I was wrong – they did indeed have exactly what I wanted – a nice, simple set of acrylic paints. I debated for several minutes whether or not to get it. If you have been here a while you probably already know this post is happening because I successfully talked myself into the purchase. 

Once I got home and had taken the dogs out and had all the groceries put away, I gathered my supplies and got to work on a painting. My inspiration for this came from two sources: Marta’s previously shared YouTube (Maremi SmallArt) as well as a mug and plate set I have. 

First, here is Marta’s video that was the initial inspiration: 

The plate and mug set I have that was additional inspiration: 

And of course, the finished painting: 

As usual, it is far from perfect but I like it and I had fun creating it, which is the whole point. 

Rascal is making a fuss wanting outside, so I’m off. I hope y’all have had a nice weekend. 

Until next time. xoxo