Tis' the season already, can you believe it?!? I dare everyone to take the time to be a "gypsy giver" this season, someone who gives selflessly in secret with no thought of praise or reward. Give the gift of a good book this season :) Message me here or on Facebook to reserve a copy for the holidays! Hardcovers are $30 and softcovers are $20. All books ordered directly through me are autographed and come with a free sheet of tattoos that I designed :)
It's that time of year, and every year it gets harder and harder to come up with gift ideas. I'm shamelessly going to plug my incredibly talented cousins' shops (as well as my own:).
Swanky Lady Vintage and Play Date Vintage by Carrie Budzinski: If it's the kitschy, quirky, unique items you are looking for, then Carrie's got you covered. Her wares are affordable and her eye for the diamond in the rough is a thing to be envied. Also if you purchase her Tree of Life necklace, the proceeds go toward she and her husband's adoption fund!
Hello Sweetie Treats by Brooke Estrada (also follow her shop on Facebook for exclusive deals): Nerdy with a sweet tooth? Brooke's got your back! She makes Geeky sweets and jewelry which you can order through her Etsy shop or buy in person at various geek cons/craft shows/farmers markets in the Shreveport, LA and TX areas. She also has a lifesize replica of a TARDIS that you can get photo ops with. It's pretty sweet...literally :)
The Furnace Room by Kathy and Nicole Blackburn: My mom and I have been jewelry collectors (hoarders*ahem) for years so in 2008 we decided to part with some wares to fund our habit. We sell vintage jewelry spanning the century, from Victorian sash pins to glitzy rhinestone brooches to garishly 80s earrings to diamond gemstone rings. My loving mom aka Eagle Eye aka The Golddigger aka Goldfinger, can find a grain of treasure in a sea of sand. And if there is something you're looking for, she'll find it...if she doesn't already have three of them in her house already :)
Yes I'm one of those people who will staunchly not put up anything Christmas in my house until AFTER Thanksgiving and all of my Halloween decorations are still up, but I had to share these holiday beauties. Two of my covers were picked for the holiday flyer books this year!! It's really odd when you work on a marketing schedule I've been in Christmas mode all summer and now we're working on spring design concepts just in time to celebrate the real thing. It messes with the mind :) My Blick "paint blob" concept was based on an image I saw of cookies and the hand drawn red letter cover was based on an idea from a wine ad. What did I learn? Hand lettering is worth learning, I have the natural handwriting style of ransom note so any tips to improve are welcome. I highly recommend Copic markers, but Blick Brush Markers are an affordable substitute. What new skill did you learn this year?
Ever since I was a kid I was obsessed with dress up and make believe. Coming up with my Halloween costume was a major highlight of the year. So I thought I'd share a few costume items that I've crafted and a few tips I've learned along the way. Last year I dressed as an X-Wing pilot for our big Star Wars charity fundraiser. I enjoy putting my costumes together myself rather than buying the expensive-to-buy-cheaply-made-off-the-rack costumes, which don't get me wrong are great time savers but I like the craft of making things and the end product usually looks and holds up better. I think for under $30 I was able to cobble this costume together. The helmet was the most involved and here's how I did it.
1. My dad found this 1970s motorcycle helmet in our barn. It was beat up and scuffed but the bones were good :) So I drew center guide lines for the mohawk piece.
2. I cut a strip of foam rubber from a yoga mat and affixed it tightly to the helmet with clear packing tape.
3. Since the helmet was red, I cut the Rebellion symbols out of painters tape and affixed them to the sides of the helmet. Then spray painted the whole thing white. It took a few coats.
4. I then pealed off the painters tape to reveal the Rebellion symbols.
5. Then after paying close attention to photos of the set costumes I began painting all of the designs with Testor's enamel paints and some acrylic. I knew it didn't have to be perfect but I tried to match it with whatever I had lying around the studio.
6. Once the painting was done, I printed out the rest of the symbols from a site that showed the breakdown of each pilot's helmet, cut them out and glued them on (this is Luke's helmet by the way). Then I broke out the gray paint and smudged on some fake carbon scoring.
For the costume, I wasn't concerned with it being "Legion Approved" here, I just wanted it to be good enough to look kinda legit. So I found a pair of khaki cargos and a khaki work shirt and used a $3 pack of orange dye to color them. The flack vest is just a t-shirt I cut up, drew lines on and attached elastic to. The support pack was a plastic box that I painted gray and glued fake buttons and a hose to. The belt was seat belt strapping. The gun was from goodwill, the gloves were my uncles, the yellow safety glasses were from my dad, and the rubber boots were mine that I spray painted black.
Voila! X-Wing pilot! Tell me about your favorite cosplay, I'd love to hear your stories :)
As I've said before, one of my favorite aspects of my job is developing "Pinterest" projects for our art projects page. This is my latest and it is super easy, the main trick is evenly spacing the tape strips around the jar but they are easily to re-position because it's painter's tape. Then paint away. These would make great centerpieces for Thanksgiving or any fall dinner. For all the instructions visit Dickblick.com/ProjectIdeas/ And as always, if you have any artsy craftsy questions, I'm here to help :)
I'm so proud to finally reveal the colorized version of my concept art, this is for a comic book series that I'm planning for the future, whenever I get the time ha ha! So many ideas and so few hours in the day. I can sleep when I'm dead, right? The main drawing was inked with micron and copic pens, then scanned into photoshop as a layer. Set the layer to "Multiply" and it basically becomes a transparency that you can then "paint by number. Each color block is it's own layer. Once colored I created a watercolor texture and scanned it in for the background. Hit me up if you have any questions! I'd love to hear what you're working on!!
Here's another piece in a series of concept art for a comic book I'm developing, still a long way to go :) as it is with most pet projects. As exciting and nail biting as the inking stage is, the coloring stage is just as difficult. I will keep posting as I keep at it. In the mean time what are you working on? Tell me about your art/books/creative ventures, I love to shout out what people are doing to make the world a better, brighter, more colorful place! Stay hungry!
This Ackbar is one of my favorite bargain finds. I was shopping with my cousin at an antique store and this guy's booth was piled with junk of all kinds but mostly toys and books. I dug around and found a $5 bag of 3 original Star Wars figures! I had to take him home! The Jawa and Stormtroopers were mine from childhood and Boba was a garage sale find :) Thrifting is a trap!