Artist Interviews: Meet Rob Ebben

One of my biggest goals this year is to start interviewing artists here on the blog! I love to pick the brain of other artists; often times I find that they have the same thoughts and views as I do about things, and that’s always awesome to find in people you admire. Today, for my first artist interview, I’d like to introduce you to the work of Rob Ebben. I came across him on DeviantArt, and fell in love with his artwork. The softness of his portraits, how full of life and emotion they are. Just beautiful. Not to mention his technical expertise – looking at the details in his work is one of my favorite parts; there is just so much to take in!  I hope you enjoy his art (I’ve picked just a few of my favorites from his gallery), and getting to know him a bit as an artist.

1. How old were you when you knew that art would be a permanent part of your life?

Rob Ebben: I would say when I was about seven years old I really took notice to art. I used to draw comic strips of my own after seeing them in the newspaper. I would also write little stories complete with illustrations. I never really showed them to anyone, just kept them to myself, but I was definitely hooked. It wasn’t until I was in High School that I was brave enough to show my art to anyone. The unexpected praise from schoolmates and teachers kind of added fuel to my artistic fire.

2. Do you consider art your career, or more of a hobby?

Rob: Most definitely a hobby. I like the freedom to draw what I want, when I want. I worked for a small company designing t-shirts and I had to draw things two or three times to please a client. I also had to work with deadlines which was very stressful which led to rushed work, so needless to say it was a very short-lived career for me. I HAVE shown my work at a few art shows which to me is a thrilling experience. Instant feedback from people, critiques from art lovers, I usually sit back and listen what people have to say.

3. Did you attend college or university for art? Do you think that has a big weight in how successful an artist can be?

Rob: My only training was High School Art class. I had a very unique teacher who grew up and studied art in Italy. He was full of great ideas and projects for the class to digest and always kept things fresh. After High School was over I started drawing at a furious rate and realized there is no substitute for practice in improving your talents. The four years of art classes taught me much, but with art you never really stop improving. Do I regret not pursuing art at a college level? It’s hard to say. I’m sure there is much theory to be learned but I’m happy with what I know and what I learn after completing each drawing.

4. What is your favorite medium to work with, and what supplies do you prefer?

Rob: My favorite mediums are graphite pencil and colored pencil. I am 48 years old and up until three years ago I used nothing but graphite. Everything was in grey scale. I started to see reference photos I wanted to draw and thought, “This would look so much better in color” so I started playing with color and was instantly hooked. I now have the luxury to see a photo I would like to try to draw and choose black and white OR color. Graphite is still my first choice. I love the look and the way I can work and control its application. I have dabbled in pastel chalk and I love the vibrant colors you can achieve. My goal is to slowly move into oil paint but i am treating colored pencil as a stepping stone to understanding color. When I am comfortable with color i will give oil paint a go. On the side I have also embraced Digital Art. While it may be fun, I much prefer art I can touch. My supplies? I love pencils made by a company called Kimberly but brand isn’t real important with graphite. I use a wide range from the hardest leads (2H-8H) to the softest darkest pencils (2B-6B). I also love mechanical pencil because you always have a sharp point. In my opinion there is only ONE colored pencil. They are called “polychromos” and they are made by Faber Castell. They are expensive, but if you are serious about colored pencils, spend the money and get the 120pc. set. If I wouldn’t have tried these I would have never pursued color. Cheaper brands can be waxy and frustrating to work with. The polychromos are oil based and go on smooth and blend incredibly well. They even can be erased to a certain degree, I just love them.

5. Do you listen to music while you create? If so, what?

Rob: I absolutely won’t draw without music. My art teacher started this. He would play old Italian classics during class and I grew to realize it really does help focus. The music all depends on my mood haha. Ive played drums for many many years so I am a music lover (and hoarder.) I have an obscene music collection.

6. What is your favorite subject for your art (for example, human, animal, abstract, etc)?

Rob: First and foremost I love portraits. I love drawing hair, eyes, and hands. I love studying faces, expressions, and emotion and trying to portray them to paper. My gallery started looking rather repetitive with female portraits, so i started experimenting with still life and landscape. I also love dogs, particularly Chihuahuas, so I had some fun doing a few of my friends dogs.

7. What is your favorite fuel for an art session?

Rob: Fuel meaning what gets me motivated? Seeing my friends art on Deviantart is a huge motivator for me. I will send a WIP (work in progress) photo to a friend to get feedback or some critique. Sometimes I will struggle with a technique or texture and run it by them and go from there. To me the best comment I can get from someone is for them to say “I could tell that was one of your drawings by the style”. I love that I achieved a style people can recognize apart from others.

8. What is something you wish you knew when starting out with art?

Rob: I wish I knew patience early on. I used to start drawings one after the other and get aggravated fairly quick. I found with my art, especially colored pencil, you have to really stick to a drawing. My color drawings tend to look awful at the beginning but at one point it will really start taking shape. So yes…patience. Its also nice that I can afford the quality materials…art can actually be a very affordable hobby in the long run.

9. What is your biggest piece of advice for another artist?

Rob: Draw what you like and it will stay fun. Practice practice practice. Don’t get frustrated; art is a life long learning experience. Try new mediums and mix them, see what you can come up with.

10. Will you share a few artists you admire?

Rob: Awww so many. If you Google these names I’m sure you will fall for their work. Frank Frazetta for his use of oil paint, color, and subject matter. Steve Hanks for his mastery of water color. Jon David Kassan for his stunning realistic portrait work. Those are my top three.

Rob was kind enough to send along a photo of his workspace to share too. It might me just me, but I always love to see another persons creative space!

Rob Ebben Workspace

Thank you, Rob, for answering my questions and for being my first interview!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing his (gorgeous) work! Check our Rob’s work on DeviantArt, and feel free to give his Facebook page a like too!

DIY T-Shirt Mod: Mens Shirt to Fitted Tee

I love geeky t-shirts. Since my standard form of dress is usually jeans and a t-shirt, about 90% of my wardrobe is tees that relate to my fandoms. However, I often run into the problem that the shirts I want only come in mens sizes. I like a good mens tee sometimes – they are super comfy and go great with sweatpants for a day around the house. But for a day wear I have to actually interact with other human beings, I like my shirts to be at least somewhat fitted! I’m not hugely into fashion, but I certainly appreciate a flattering cut. So I came up with a mod!

Full disclosure: I am NOT a seamstress, and probably the worst DIYer ever. More often than not my philosophy for DIYing is ‘wing it’, and that is no different in this case. However, I have used this method many times and it has always worked out for me! Even after multiple, multiple washings. 😉

What you’ll need:

A t-shirt to mod. If it’s your first time, I recommend getting a practice shirt. When I first did this, I used $.99 shirts from the thrift shop to practice on.
A tee shirt that fits you. Everyone has that one tee that fits just perfectly, right? Grab that one.
A basic sewing machine. I use only a straight stitch for the mod, and then a basic zig-zag stitch for ‘finishing’.
Thread that matches your tee
Fabric scissors. Or very sharp scissors if you don’t have a pair dedicated to fabric.

Step 1: Pinning

My hubs surprised me with this fantastic Lying Cat tee (from Saga, which if you haven’t read, GO DO THAT) and I knew I needed it modded immediately so I could wear it all the time. Because Lying Cat is the best. Enough fangirling though, tutorial time!

Turn the shirt you are modifying inside out and lay it on a flat surface.

inside out

Then, take the shirt you picked that has your favorite fit, and turn it inside out. Place it on top of the shirt you’re modding so that the neck holes line up. Don’t worry if the shoulders are different – they probably will be. And just in case you wanted to know, the fitted shirt I picked is actually one I snagged at an Ingrid Michaelson concert in 2012. It is still the best fitting, comfiest tee I own.

layer shirt

Once your fitted tee is placed on top of your modding tee, start pinning the edges of the modding tee. See where we’re going with this? You are basically mimicking the fit of your already perfectly fitting tee. Don’t feel you have to pin directly up against the tee like I did. Wiggle room is always a good thing as you can always make things tighter if need be.


Pin from arm holes all the way to the bottom, flaring out a bit if you wish – I did, as the Lying Cat tee is quite long, and I wanted to make sure it didn’t end up too tight over my hips.

all pinned

Step 2: Sewing

Once pinned, it’s time to bust out the sewing machine. I own an extremely basic Singer Tradition machine. As you can see, it has your basic stitches, and that’s it. I think I got it for about $98 at Joannes. Also, I couldn’t stand it being just plain white so I tattooed it with a Sharpie, and added fun stickers! 😀 The settings you see here are what I use for my straight stitch, nearly all of the time.

sewing machine

Once your proper thread is loaded in, it’s time to start sewing! Using a basic straight stitch, sew until you reach the armpit seam, and stop.

begin sewing

straight stitch

Take the shirt off the machine, and turn it so you are now sewing in from the armhole. Still using the same straight stitch, sew in along the arm pins until you meet your previous stitch at the armpit seam. I think this is actually the trickiest part, and it’s what I practiced most. If your stitches don’t line up in the armpit seam area, you can end up with little gaps once it’s turned right side out – don’t worry if that happens; it’s entirely fixable with a quick hand stitch.

sewing arm

connected arm stitch

Repeat all of this for the other side.

Step 3: Try It On!

Now that you have both sides sewn, before doing anything else to the shirt, turn it right side out and try it on. You want to make sure you have the right fit before you start cutting.

Step 4: Cutting and Finishing

Assuming it fits the way you like it, turn the shirt inside out again, and grab your fabric scissors.


Begin cutting the excess fabric from the bottom, leaving about 1/2″ of fabric on the sides.



Once cut, it will start to curl, but that fine. The next step is finishing those curled edges! Now, if you have a serger, bust it out and give the edges a proper finish. I, however, do not have one (or have any idea how to use one). I just use a basic zig-zag stitch to finish my edges.

zigzag stitch

This will keep the edges from fraying, and in general have the whole thing last longer. Once all your edges are finished, that’s it, your done! After you do it a few times, the whole project can be done in about 30 minutes – not too shabby! But I do definitely recommend practicing on a shirt (or three) that you don’t care about first. Especially the zig-zag stitch, which actually took me quite a bit of finagling to finally work properly.

And now, the fun before and after pics!



As you can see in the befores it’s pretty boxy, with lots of baggy sleeve in the arm areas; nice and fitted in the afters! I’m thinking I may actually hem the bottom of this up now, because I feel like it is really long compared to my other shirts, and it looks funny with my jeans!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! It’s definitely not as exact as using legit measurements and such, but I find it SO much easier, and it hasn’t failed me yet! Let me know if you try it out!




Want To Make A Plushie?

Skipping 5 Fandom Friday this week to bring you a tutorial! This year I have learned how to make felt plushes, and I’ve become a bit obsessed. They are super cute, and in my opinion, pretty darn easy. Especially with some of the mods I’ll tell you about further down in this post – seriously, even if you can’t sew, keep reading! I put in a no-sew mod. 🙂 So, for those who are interested, here’s how I make a plush from scratch!
*Full disclosure: I am NOT a seamstress by any stretch. This is just how I personally do things.*

Step 1: Find a reference pic, and make a sketch. If this is your first plush, I highly recommend buying a pattern, and making it, just to get the hang of things. I purchased 10th Doctor and 11th Doctor plush patterns from Deadly Sweet, and they were immensely helpful to me in learning how to put together a pattern on my own. For this tutorial, I’m using the kitty plush I made. I used the below image as a ref to go off, and sketched it out to the size I wanted the plush to be.

Step 2: Make your pattern, and cut it out. To do this, I use a lightbox. I lay a new piece of paper on top of my sketch, and trace out each individual piece I will need. In the case of the kitty, I traced a body piece, each stripe for both body and tail, and then the heart pieces. The little girl I made this for loves rainbows, so I made six pieces for the heart, one for each color of the rainbow.


If you don’t have a lightbox (my dad was getting rid of his and I snagged it!) you can just use a window and some sunlight. Tape your sketch to the window, and then trace with a piece over it. Once all your pieces are traced, I find it super helpful to go over the edges with a thick marker, to give yourself a really bold outline when cutting. Also, make sure to write info for the piece inside each section. For example, on the body piece I wrote x2 (front and back), lt. purple (color of felt I’m using), and for the little piece I also write ‘kitty’ so I know which plush it belongs to in case they get mixed up with another pattern.

3bold, label, cut

I cut around the outside edge, to give myself a little wiggle room.

Step 3: Cut out your felt. Pin your paper pattern pieces directly the felt, and start cutting! I use a LOT of pins so there is no chance for wiggling, and the paper holds up fine. So go nuts.

4pin to fabric

Step 4: Being assembling! Now that all your pieces are cut out, you can start putting things together. You’ll need to assemble each side separately before you put your two body halves together. I started with attaching the tail.

5pin pieces together

6pin back view

When pinning pieces like this that stick out, make sure it’s not right on the edge – leave a little overlap on the back side, like above. Then just stitch it on!

7 stitch

Time for the no-sew mod. I have never made a plush that can’t also be assembled with hot glue. I personally like the stitched look, but if you’re pressed for time or just can’t sew, hot glue is a perfectly acceptable option. In terms of durability, the only thing I would question is how well they would wash as I haven’t attempted a hot glued one in the machine before. Also, when pinning things, you’ll need to put your pins farther away from the edges so you have room to glue right on the edge of the felt.

Now it’s time to sew (glue) on the back tail piece. When doing so, make sure you lay on the front so they two tails are lined up exactly. Otherwise, it will be all sorts of disasters when you get to sewing the final front and back together.

8 line up back pieces

Once lined up, pin the back tail piece in place, and sew (glue) on to the back body piece.

9 pin details

10 pin detail back view

Continue adding and sewing (gluing) on all detail pieces (in this case that meant all tail and body stripes for front and back, and the heart pieces on front). A quick note – when sewing piece on outer edges, leave a bit going past the edge instead of lining it up exactly (see above image) – it makes it easier when putting the whole thing together.

11 front and back complete

Once all the detail pieces are attached, I put on the eyes. For these, I used Safety Eyes (which when I started I had no clue what that meant. But luckily, the people at Joanns do, and clued me in!). If you’re using Safety Eyes, simply pop them in, and if you’re not you have two choices. You can cut out black felt circles and sew (glue) them on, or wait until the end and paint them on. I have done both, and they both work fine.

Step 5: Sew together front and back pieces. Getting to the end now! Line up your pieces and pin them together – again, feel free to go nuts on pins as you don’t want any wiggling.

12 pin front

13 pin back

Then start sewing (gluing) things together. I always start with small areas that will need stuffing; in this case, the tail.

14 sew inside front

When sewing the two pieces together, put your needle through only the top layer, not both, to start (see above). This will allow you to hide your knot at the end inside the plush (see below – no knot sticking out the back!). If you’re gluing, quite obviously this is irrelevant.

15 hidden knot

Step 6: Stuffing. After sewing (gluing) all around the tail, and a bit down on each side, stop and put stuffing in the tail. I use purchased polyester batting, but if I continue making them I’d like to come up with something more eco-friendly (like mixing scraps and using stuffing from discarded stuffies.)

16 leave space to stuff tail

Once the tail is stuffed, keep sewing (gluing) all around the body, leaving a gap to put the rest of the stuffing in.

17 small space for stuffing

The size hole you leave is entirely up to you. I’m used to stuffing now, so I only leave a 1.5″ – 2″ gap to stuff. Now fill it with stuffing!

18 stuffing

I pack the stuffing in pretty tight. If left loose it can settle oddly, and end up lumpy. Just make sure you leave enough space to close that final edge. Once stuffed enough, sew (glue) the whole thing shut!

19 sewing done

Step 7: Final Details. This step may or may not be relevant for yout. In some plushes, I add on the little details like mouth (or eyes if I’m not using Safety Eyes) with hot glue or paint, once the whole thing is put together. I like this since sometimes when you put things on ahead of time, pre-stuffed, the stuffing can warp the positions and things look off. This prevents that. In this case, I painted on the mouth, and darkened the purple part of the rainbow as I didn’t have any dark purple felt, and didn’t want it and the body to be the same color.

20 details painted

Ta-da! The finished product! Pardon the messy art desk…it is always in some form of disarray.

So there you have it! My method of making a felt plush, from scratch. Now I have a question for you, lovely readers! Would you like me to share some of my already made patterns here on the blog? If people are interested, I’d be happy to share some! Obviously, not the Doctor Who ones, as those are purchased and that’s just a rude thing to do. But the ones I made from scratch I’d be happy to share with you guys if anyone has a desire to get crafty!

And lastly, I’d love feedback on the tutorial. Is it easy to follow? I know it’s long, but I am one who loves every detail spelled out for me, so that’s was my diving off point. If it’s too much – let me know! Constructive criticism completely welcome. Thanks! 😀

A Very Small WIP Wednesday

I am in massive super crunch time mode for art lately. There are EIGHT DAYS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS. I have no idea how that happened. I started making presents in September. How is it that I’m still behind?!?!? In spite of that, I am actually feeling relatively okay about being able to complete the last two gifts I have left. Anywho, let’s dive in to the WIPs.

cat plush

Finished the kitty plush! I used a Pusheen pic as a ref for the pattern I made, and finally got her all finished up yesterday. Keep an eye out – I’ll be posting a tutorial on how I make plushies this Friday, and this little kitty is my example!

zelda closeup2 WIP

The next time I decide to do an oil painting on a deadline, please kick me in the face. I am the slooooowest painter, and this is taking me so much more time than I planned for. But I am ALMOST. DONE. At this point, all I have left is adding in the bowstring, and then detailing out her midsection and bow. Then it’s just a couple detail revisions and a bit of reworking on the background and DONE. I’m hoping two more sessions will complete it. Which sounds great, except oils take a long time to to dry. I have serious doubts that this will be dry by Christmas so I think I’ll just be placing it ever so carefully in a box, giving to my brother and saying, “Hope you love it, but don’t touch it!” 😀

Below is a quick comparison of what it looked like last WIP Wednesday.

comparison zelda

I fixed the proportions (aka no more giraffe neck and looking like she just got her wisdom teeth out) and also added more detail to things – gloves, dress, and so on. Definitely SO much happier with it now.

And that’s all I’ve got for this week! My next WIP Wednesday won’t be until 2015!! But hopefully by then I’ll have some new stuff to show you. I’ve got lots of art plans for the coming year!

I Can Make That

This is a topic that may ruffle some feathers, so I just wanted to say upfront this post is not meant to bash anyone. I’m simply curious on what other peoples thoughts are on the subject and I wanted to share my own!

I am a big lover of handmade goods. Whether it’s knitted items, jewelry, bath products – supporting indie shops and small businesses is something I find really important. That being said, I am also a gal on a budget. We are a one income household, and we have bills. Therefore, often in my browsing on Etsy and Storenvy I will come across an item and think, Hey, I can make that!. Which apparently to some crafters is the worst possible thing that can be said about their creation.

I don’t understand this line of thinking. Why is it so bad if someone wants to embrace some creativity and attempt something they’ve seen for themselves? Personally, I’d be thrilled if something I made inspired someone to make one like it! Yes, you didn’t get a sale. But, I feel if you are only creating things for the sole purpose of making money than you may want to rethink why you create in the first place. I have also heard a lot of negativity about peoples items being pinned to Pinterest, and how people shouldn’t do that. Another thing I don’t understand. Isn’t more exposure a good thing?! Yes, it may inspire others to attempt to make it on their own, but again, why is that a bad thing?

Keep in mind, I am talking about this strictly for personal use. There is a world of difference between seeing something you like and making it for yourself or a gift, or seeing something you like, making it and then attempting to SELL it. That is wrong, especially if you’ve completely copied another persons design. And, when using an item as inspiration for something you make, if you post about it I definitely think it’s courteous to provide a link to the original you used as a source of inspiration.

Here’s a personal example: Before I started making the woodland felt plushies, I scoured Etsy and Storenvy looking at different plush designs to give myself a jumping off point as I have very little sewing experience. I finally found a fox plush which I used as a basis for making my own pattern. The final plush did look quite similar to the one I’d used for inspiration. But it was intended as a gift, not as something I was making to sell. Even though I made my own pattern and mine was made of felt while the original was made of fleece, I’d still feel it’s quite wrong if I had tried to sell it since I used another plush as the basis for my own.

I guess my point with all this is what do you think? I’ve been very lucky to be a part of some great art/craft/handmade communities online, and I’ve seen mixed feelings about this subject. Some people embrace it and are all for people trying it on their own, and some people seem to think it’s the world’s biggest insult to hear that someone is attempting to make a product that they offer. I think it’s perfectly okay to try and make things for yourself or for a gift using something you saw online as inspiration (isn’t that basically the entire point of Pinterest?). I think it’s great to encourage the creativity and also to challenge yourself in making something that you think might be tough!

As this is a subject that has a lot of grey area, I’d love to hear your thoughts! But please keep in mind I am not looking for a fight. I have no problem with a differing opinion (in fact, I’d love to hear all sides!) but please don’t be a jerk about it! Disagreeing is completely okay, as long as it is done civilly. 😉

Where I Make Art

Until recently, I’d never really had much love for my art area in our master bedroom. I had a desk, with all my supplies set up, but it never felt right. I was never comfortable working there. So when I wanted to do some art, I ended up just hauling all the supplies I needed to the living room coffee table which was so inconvenient.

And then, in one of my let’s-just-rearrange-furniture-until-I-like-it moods, I had an epiphany, moved three pieces of furniture and now I totally love it! It’s amazing what a little change can do. I love looking at people’s work spaces, art spaces, craft spaces. Seeing where people create things just makes me happy! And often provides inspiration for my own area. So I figured I’d share my new workspace with you!

art area

Here’s the overview. It’s right next to the door, which I like as I still feel like I’m facing outward toward the house. I have a weird thing where I don’t like sitting facing away from doorways (which my old setup did). I always have to sleep facing them too. Moving on. The only thing that is really unfortunate about this room is the lighting. It’s lit by two fluorescent lights (with a drop ceiling, yuck – it’s like a hospital ceiling) that provides very uneven light. So I do have a lamp that I bring over when I work. This desk was originally a computer desk that had a second level to it, which we ripped off so I could have a big flat surface area to work on. The computer tower area (bottom left door) now houses my sewing machine, and the others are used for storage, mainly supplies I don’t use often.

Figured I’d share my supplies to, since I like to see that stuff! 😀

button roll

1. My pin display. I used to have my pins on my bulletin board, but that now has a different use. I knew I wanted to display my pins, so one day at Wal Mart I saw this fun burlap roll on sale ($.99!) and snagged it immediately. I love it.

2. My fantastic custom pencil and pen from Mystic Eye Creations. The pencil is what I use for ALL my sketching and drawing, and the pen I use for my planner/idea notebook. I have another pen from them as well, but it hangs out on my nightstand with my journal. Seriously, check out their stuff. It’s beautiful!!

3. My watercolors and their supplies. The brushes I use most hang out in the tray with the tubes. That wooden box underneath is actually an antique English Leather box (though I have no idea what that means in terms of what was originally in there – cleaning kit maybe?). I use it to hold all my paint cloths. The little silver box is also watercolors, the palette kind.

And now, the left side.

left side

1. Although it’s cut off, I realized this is the only picture I took of this, oops. My WIP staging area. Just some twine strung up with tacks that I can clothespin all my WIPs onto. Since I tend to have multiple projects going on, this is really handy for me.

2. My Batman lunchbox holds my acrylic paints. I don’t use them often, but I just love that lunchbox. Next are extra graphite pencils. They are stored in old bandaid boxes, because I thought the tins were hilarious. Yes, bacon and pickle band-aids (courtesy of my BFF for Christmas one year). The little wooden box hold my blending stumps, and the spray cans aren’t paint, but fixative to put over my finished drawings.

3. Brushes. My big foam ones, and then all the rest. Oh, and Mod Podge. Because everyone needs a jar of Mod Podge.


This shelf was originally a mint green color that REALLY didn’t go well in the room. White isn’t perfect, but so much better. It hold all my pens, extra regular pencils, Sharpies, both my paper and fabric scissors, and my Post-Its for my blog planner. The raven box is actually empty; my mum gave it to me and I just love it. Underneath are my Faber-Castell graphite pencil sets (my absolute favorite brand). The pegs hold my (dwindling) washi tape collection. I must order more tape.

And lastly, my favorite part!

inspiration wall

My inspiration wall! I’ve always wanted a wall I could fill with art in the same spot I make art. And now I have it. I love being able to take a break, stretch, and look up at a wall of beautiful work to inspire me! Plus, it’s a really nice push on the discouraging days to look up and think, just keep going.
The piece on the left I commissioned from Sylwia Telari earlier this year. I am so in love with her illustrations, and I am thrilled to have a one-of-a-kind original!!
The prints on the right are two of my faves from Scrawny Girl Shop! Her artwork is just so adorable – I have such a weakness for her stickers too.
The framed print in the middle of the bulletin board was a free printable from Crafteroni & Cheese. Definitely something I need to remember sometimes!
And the bulletin board features art from Lois van Baarle, Lauren Holgate, Alice X. Zhang, Christine Altese, Katarzyna A. Kozłowska, Maja Wronska, and a couple others I can’t remember (but they are all in my DeviantArt favorites). I love layering my bulletin board with images I find inspiring.

Unfortunately, this is where the crappy lighting from the room really shows up in photos. I tried adding more light with my lamp, but the results looked worse. Blargh.

So there you have it! My new space. I love having my own little spot to do art! However, my desk is never that clean. I took these pics right after I finished moving it all and reorganizing, but normally you’ll find my desk like this:

normal desk

Stuff everywhere.

Have you shared your space before? Post a link in the comments, I’d love to check it out.


WIP Wednesday

Welcome to my first ever WIP Wednesday! This is another step for me in breaking out of my super shy shell (yay alliteration!) that I am stuck in when it comes to my artwork. I have no problem sharing my finished portraits, but sketches, doodles, personal artwork – the idea of showing that to the masses freak me out. But, it’s time to do it! I’ve been sharing WIPs and things on Instagram to break me in, but now every other Wednesday I’ll be sharing my current art projects here!

DSC_0004 (4)

First up isn’t actually a WIP (boy, I’m off to a great start). It is, however, the piece I drew for the winner of my blog giveaway at the end of June! So much fun to draw – made me happy just looking at those happy faces!


This piece I’ve had started for at least a month, but haven’t finished it yet…for no apparent reason! I tend to hop from project to project when I don’t have a commission, and sometimes things just end up sitting around for awhile. This is one of the first pieces I doodled without a reference for it, and I’m liking it a lot! Still figuring out watercolors, but I’m having fun with it.


Next up is a bookmark for my hubs (who rarely reads my blog, so I’m hoping he won’t otherwise I’ve ruined the surprise). The character, Kiora, is from Magic the Gathering and I just love her color scheme. Having lots of fun layering in her colors.


This is a sketch I whipped up on Sunday after seeing Guardians of the Galaxy. Wheee fanart! Hoping to turn this into a watercolor. As you can see, I definitely struggle with sketching in too many details when I’m planning on doing a painting. This sketch took about 15 minutes and I had to constantly stop myself from sketching in a whole lot more. But, it’s all a process.

sailor moon

And lastly, another non-WIP! I made these Sailor Moon bookmarks a couple weeks ago, and want to have a giveaway for them! Right now I’m stuck on two things: how to laminate them, and then whether or not to have the giveaway on my blog or on Instagram. Normally when I laminate I just use packing tape, but these are wider than the tape, and I’m not wild about having a tape seam on them. However, I really don’t want to spend any money on another method. Thoughts?

The only other big project right now is that I’m completely revamping my art area in our master bedroom. I’ve taken everything off my desk (and disassembled part of the desk!), I’m moving shelves around – it’s quite the task. Most of my art supplies are currently in piles around the room, but it’s coming along!

Do you draw/sketch/doodle/make any form of art? What’s your favorite medium?

Preschool Craft: Nature Rubbings

I guess this is technically more of an ‘art’ than a ‘craft’, but either way, it’s full of so much fun and learning opportunity!

My three year old loves nature walks. Or as she has dubbed them, ‘treasure walks’. She grabs her little plastic pail, and we head off towards the rural woodsy roads that surround us. Along the way she collects all manner of leaves, rocks, sticks; anything that strikes her fancy. For the bigger stuff we have started making Treasure Sculptures to adorn our garden bed. But for the leaves and feathers she gathers, we’ve never really had a plan for them. And then it dawned on me that we’d never done rubbings before! Since my little tends to sway towards all things art/craft related (ahem, can’t imagine why) I knew she’d love it.


She selected a few leaves, and her prized feather we found that day.



And then the fun began! I just never get sick of that look – the complete wonder and amazement of seeing something happen for the first time. It’s absolutely one of my favorite parts of being a parent, and reminds me just how incredible it is that I get to hold her hand and show her the firsts in life.





She was so proud of her finished product! Definitely an activity we’ll do again and again. I love that this combines not only an art, but a learning experience as well. We talked about each leaf she collected, what plant it was from, etc. She has a blast, and learns. Double win.




On Saturday, April 5th, I was lucky enough to be able to meet some people I really admire – Pentatonix. If you don’t know who they are, I recommend heading over to Youtube immediately and watching every video they’ve ever posted. They are an a capella group unlike anything I’ve ever heard. I could rave about them ’til the cows come home, but I’ll just let the videos speak (sing?) for themselves. Here are a few of my faves:

I am constantly in awe of what they can produce with just voice. Each voice in so unique, yet they blend seamlessly together. And yes, they sound JUST like this live – it is not editing that makes them sound so amazing, just pure talent. But enough fangirling – on to the point of this post!

Teamed up with my BFF, we headed down to House of Blues in Boston for their show. I had seen PTX twice before this particular concert (once at UNH before their massive success, and then last year at House of Blues as well) but this year was special. We’d purchased VIP tickets to actually MEET them, and most importantly (to me at least!) get my drawings of them signed!


Pentatonix: Daft Punk

Couldn’t wait to get them signed!

When I first got my tickets I was massively excited (duh). As the day drew closer, excitement started to be replaced with a massive amount of nerves, and my anxiety brain running in overtime, to the tune of “WHY DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?! HOW AM I GOING TO SHOW THEM MY ART AND NOT FREAK OUT?!?!” But, I did it. And it was so worth it.

We arrived, went to soundcheck (they sang to us live without all the show bells and whistles of lights and choreography – it was amazing), then got our photo taken with them.


Can you tell I’m crazy excited?! 

Then it was time to queue up for the signing. At which point I was freaking out a bit in my head. And probably sweating more than I do all year. I seriously put on deodorant about three times before we left, just for this reason. Yup.

When we got up there, I stammered out that I had drawn some things for them to sign (one for me and one for my BFF), handed them over, and then I am lost in a world of fangirl!! They loved them, said I shouldn’t be nervous as they were awesome, and I about died from excitement. I thanked them about a thousand times, and pretty much floated for the rest of the evening.


I decided to keep this one, as it was the first one I drew, and I’m really proud of it.


This one is for my BFF, and it was the one she chose anyway!

The show itself was amazing (not surprising in the least) and even made my cry during ‘Run To You’. I can’t handle the harmonies in that song – total goosebumps and overwhelming emotion; music does that to me sometimes. I was also blown away at what they sang – their setlist was full of the most complicated songs they do. And they rocked the shit out of it. Hopefully they’ll be back again next year, since we’ve decided it’s now a yearly thing to go see them. We’re three for three so far!

It was an amazing night. It was so worth the splurge to be able to show them my work and get them signed. Knocked one of my big goals off of my B.I.G. List (which I really need to update more!) that’s for sure!

And just one more vid. Enjoy!



Never Stop Making Art

That’s pretty much been my mentality this week, and thusly the housecleaning and blog posting have suffered a bit. I had no posts ready this week, except for a subscription box reveal, but I’ve had a great week nonetheless! So I figured I’d share what I’ve been up to.

The main thing I’ve been working on this week is this:


My new Pentatonix piece! I am so excited about this one! I took screen grabs from their Daft Punk video (which was a process in itself to get good ones) and then drew it like a normal graphite piece, and added some watercolor overlay for those pops of color. The eyes were such a focus in the vid, I definitely wanted them to be in color. This is a sister piece to the one below, which I drew last year.

Why two? One for me, one for my BFF – we have VIP tickets for their show in Boston in April and in theory we can get the drawings signed! I may freak out a little as I am slightly MAJORLY terrified to show them my drawings. I’m pretty shy in general, so this is a massive step. I figure if I can show my drawings to famous people I admire, bringing random works around town to hopefully get them displayed will be cake!

Also, although I’m quite late to this party, we finally saw Frozen. And it’s fabulous. I still like Tangled better, but this is definitely taking spot #2. And I like the music in Frozen better. My three year old is so in love with it, so when she gets her TV time, this is ALL we’ve watched for the past three days. Which I am entirely okay with. Last time it was on, I sketched this image from the movie box of Elsa for my daughter’s wall.


Later on we did watercolors together and I did an overlay (which is kind of my new favorite thing to do). Also, hard to tell, but I added glitter in some spots so it shimmers in the sunlight on her wall. Her response once it was finished: “Draw Anna, Mommy, draw Anna!”. So I obliged.


Haven’t painted it yet; perhaps later today if we do watercolors again! Once I’d finished painting Elsa while doing watercolors, my daughter asked me to paint something else. So I started doodling some swirls, and she said, “Make it an animal!” So meet shy octopus. She adores it, and it has joined Elsa on her wall.

Apologies for the poor image quality – my miss was distraught when I tried to take it down for a photo, so I took it right on the wall. 🙂

It was really nice to just doodle aimlessly with the paint. Just a further reminder that I need to sketch more, but I always end up working on projects and full pieces instead! Le sigh. One day, I will attempt daily sketching.

In other projects, I am SO far behind in #30Lists. My brother came up last weekend for his birthday, and I haven’t caught up since! I have each list written down on paper, just not all scrapbooked and prettied yet. Again, in time. One of the things I like about that project is it entirely up to the maker on how/when to do your lists!


I’ve also started this sign for my kitchen. Should be done by the end of the weekend. The fork, knife, and spoon were in my scrapbook stash and I’ve had this black canvas kicking around for ages with no intended project so I decided to combine them for a fun new sign!

So despite back-burnering (sure, that’s a word) my blog this week, I have loved completely submerging myself in art. I’ve got new blogger portraits on the way, and I’m cooking up a new idea to expand the series. Stay tuned!