February 2018 ArtSnacks Artist Subscription Box

A few days ago I received the February 2018 ArtSnacks subscription box! I love getting these every month because it gives me a chance to try new art supplies I might not give a chance otherwise, and also challenges me to use the new supplies to create new, original artworks.

Here is what we got this month:

DSC08393

  • 2 Sennelier French Artists’ Watercolor Tubes
  • Raphael Mini Precision Paint Brush
  • Faber-Castell Goldfaber Sketching Pencil, 2H
  • Sakura Pigma Micron PN Pen
  • Sweethearts Candy Hearts
  • A bonus sheet of Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper (shown below)

Of all the items included, my favorites are definitely the french watercolor tubes. Together, these two small tubes of paint retail for $23.50…so they had better be good! I am not a huge fan of the sketching pencil because it is very light and I prefer a darker lead when sketching. The paintbrush is very nice, but it is so short, it kind of annoys me when painting with it. The Micron pen is fine, but nothing thrilling to me.

Every month, ArtSnacks encourages recipients to try to create new artworks using only the materials in that month’s box, which I did, so here are a couple I came up with. The first uses the bonus sheet of watercolor paper that came in the box, which was bookmark shaped:

DSC08391

I also made an expressionistic ACEO art trading card using the supplies:

DSC08392

As always, these artworks will be listed for sale on my Ebay store, along with my other art currently for sale!

Advertisements

I Got My First ArtSnacks Subscription Box!

So recently I decided that I really wanted to do an artist subscription box, both to inspire me to try new art mediums and tools and just for the sheer fun of getting a surprise in the mail each month! I received my first ArtSnacks box yesterday and here is what I got and a couple little ACEO artworks I made with the materials!

DSC08352

What was included this month:

A Uni-Posca Brush Tip Paint Marker
2 Marabu Graphix Aqua Watercolor Pens
A Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip Brush Pen
A Sakura SumoGrip Mechanical Pencil
A Cherry Lifesaver (I do love the candy!)

My favorites are the watercolor pens, the soft tip brush pen, and the SumoGrip pencil! The Uni-Posca marker is the most expensive item in the box, but I don’t find it works as well as I had hoped.

Here are a couple little ACEO art trading cards I made with the materials from the box:

DSC08353.jpg

DSC08354

Halloween Watercolor and Sticker Collage Art

I may be almost 35-years-old (my birthday is October 27th), but I still love stickers! Glittery stickers, cute stickers, puffy stickers, shiny stickers, character stickers…I like them all! Sometimes I take that love of them and try to integrate it into my artworks, mostly in ACEO art trading card collages that can also be used as bookmarks, which I sell on my Ebay store. I figure it is a simple, fun way to share my favorite stickers with the world.

I don’t just stick stickers on paper and be done with it though, I try to create eye-catching designs and often spruce them up with painting or other color-boosting techniques. Here are a few recent Halloween ones I’ve made with a combination of watercolor paints and stickers:

s-l1600 (1).jpg

s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600 (2).jpg

Writing Prompt: $1,000 to Spend

32140-425x282-BookCopyright

Today’s writing prompt: If you were given $1,000 to spend right now and you had to spend it, what would you buy?

My response: If someone gave me $1,000 to spend right now and I couldn’t save any of it, I would go on a fun shopping spree! The top things that come to mind to buy are books and toys of course! There are a bunch of books on Amazon I have been wanting to get for a while, so I’m sure I would grab up a bunch of those. Lately I have especially been interested in getting some of the poetry collections written by people who have bipolar disorder. I would also do quite a bit of shopping on Ebay, getting certain toys and collectibles that I have been wanting for my collections. The Funko mini Heroes series comes to mind since I have been collecting those recently.

I would also likely grab some new agey or pagan stuff. There are some t-shirts put out by The Mountain company that I would love to have that feature all kinds of cool designs. I would probably buy my husband that 3-D Star Trek chess set he has always wanted too. Pretty much, I would buy the stuff I always buy, just in greater quantities! Oh! And I would pick up the new Halloween candle at Bath & Body Works! And do some shopping at the PINK store at the mall! And Hot Topic! Man, now I really wish I had that $1,000!

5 things I love about being an artist

"Molten Ascension", watercolor 5.5" x 8.5"

“Molten Ascension”, watercolor 5.5″ x 8.5″

Since I recently wrote a blog post about “5 things that can suck about being an artist”, I thought it would be good to balance it out with 5 things I absolutely LOVE about being an artist!

1) Getting to work mostly at home, whenever and wherever I desire and in whatever clothing I desire (usually pajamas). It also rocks to be able to listen to whatever music or tv show I want to while working.

2) Making something out of nothing. There is just something so magical about taking a blank sheet of paper or canvas and creating something brand new that is one-of-a-kind. It is especially exciting when I have a great idea in my head and see it taking shape before me. To me it seems to be a tangible way to “make dreams come true”.

3) When people really connect with something I have created and tell me how much they like it. There is nothing that makes me happier than hearing someone say they have “fallen in love” with an artwork of mine or that something I made inspired them or made them happy. I even get all happy inside when people on Facebook like, share or comment on my artwork. (So if you are a FB friend of mine, keep that encouragement coming! It means more than you know!)

4) This might be weird, but I really love shopping for art supplies. It is one of my favorite things to do. Second only to shopping for books. When I get into an art supply store and see the aisles of paint, brushes, canvases, pencils, pens, etc., I just feel so happy, almost like I used to feel as a kid when I got to do “back to school” shopping and pick out all my cool supplies for the coming year. I guess that is the nerd in me coming out.

5) Lastly, when I am in the “zone”, painting or drawing, I feel it is almost like a meditative state, where all my worries, cares and physical problems recede and the “true” me gets to express itself for a while. Even though I have many chronic pain issues, when I create, even the aches and pains seem to take a back seat to my soul and its desire to connect to something on a deeper level. I’m not sure if that is the case for everyone (perhaps it is due to my Aspie ability to focus on special interests), but regardless, I am grateful for it.

Review of “Walk Softly, You’re Steppin’ On My Heart!” Poetry Collection

Walk Softly Book Cover As a poet myself, I am always happy to find great poetry collections by other authors. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced society, it seems that poetry has somewhat fallen by the wayside, but I feel that there is truly no more artistic, beautiful way to express true feelings than by putting them into verse. The poetry collection I am reviewing today, “Walk Softly, You’re Steppin’ On My Heart!”, written by Christian and children’s author Pat Brannon, is truly a heartfelt, touching collection of inspiring and thoughtful reflections.

The poems in this collection are undeniably Christian, full of faith and trust in a higher power, but at the same time, the poet does not ignore the rough side of life or the doubts that tend to creep in as we navigate the human life. The poems are by turns sad, philosophical, joyful, thought-provoking and always full of grace and forgiveness for a world that desperately needs a helping hand from above.

As I neared the end of this collection, I realized that it truly takes a special gift to be able to reach the human heart on as many levels as Ms. Brannon manages to do with this book. It also takes a special person to share their faith in such an open manner, without becoming overbearing or judgemental. This is a book I will definitely hold on to for those days when I need a little pick-me-up (which happens quite often in this crazy, mixed-up world).

This collection would make a great gift for someone in need of a little encouragement and inspiration. Of course, it would make a fine gift to give yourself as well! For more information about this book and how to order a copy for yourself, please visit the author’s website, www.patbrannon.com (for ordering information, just click on the “books” link on the left side of the screen).

Two Children’s Books Perfect for the Holiday Season

Since the holiday season is rapidly approaching, I am going to feature two holiday books geared for children today. Both books are written by Pat and Jason Brannon, a mother and son team who obviously have a great passion for telling children’s stories. So without further ado…on to the books!

 Our first featured book today is a storybook that is perfect for beginning readers. With large print and easy-to-read vocabulary, “Snowman War” (co-written by Jason and Pat Brannon) is a funny, enjoyable story for kids who are still learning to master the art of reading.

The theme of “Snowman War” is based around a long-standing feud going on between the Frost Family and the Winter Clan, both of which are families composed entirely of snowmen and snowwomen. When the fight gets serious, things get funny fast! I loved all the snowman banter and namecalling and am sure children will be giggling out loud as they read this tale.

However, this is not just a story full of fluff and humor. The ending makes a great point about the importance of seeing past our differences and learning to work together for the ultimate good of all. From beginning to end, this is a fun, rollicking tale full of action and humor, that still manages to impart some good old-fashioned values. A great pick for any family to share this holiday season!

 Our second featured book actually contains two stories, “The Year Santa Refused to Wear Red” (written by Pat Brannon) and “The Sound of Hope” (written by Jason Brannon).

The first story is summed up fairly well by the title. Santa gets tired of wearing red, so he decides to change his style and instead wear a fancy suit, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. I must admit the idea of Santa dressing in such an outlandish fashion had me laughing as I pictured this new cowboy/business man image that Santa had created for himself. Of course, such a huge change to Santa’s image creates a great deal of controversy. Soon, Santa has to make a choice to either go back to his traditional look that everyone loves or to stick with his new style. Luckily, he makes a good choice that brings joy to everyone. This is a story that independent readers could enjoy over and over again whenever the holiday mood strikes.

The second story, “The Sound of Hope” is a creative, uplifting retelling of the Nativity story, told from the viewpoint of one of the donkeys in the stable where Jesus was born. Although I have read the traditional story of Christ’s birth many, many times, I found that the unique angle of this story brought a fresh perspective to the beautiful story that we may start to take for granted after hearing it for so many years. This is the kind of story I would highly recommend that a family sit down and read together around the Christmas tree or in front of the fireplace. It will surely spark some interesting conversation as it tells the old, old story in a way that will bring it alive for everyone, regardless of their age.

As you could probably tell, I really enjoyed both of these holiday books and hope you will check them out for yourself, especially if you have elementary-aged children. If you would like to find out more about these books or purchase a copy for yourself, please visit the “Books” page on Pat Brannon’s website (these two books are toward the bottom of the “books” page, so you will need to scroll down a bit).