Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back: Top 5 Posts of 2011 and 12 Goals for 2012

Hi everyone,

Here I am, appearing back on the blogging scene after a week-long hiatus. I got sick with some kind of bug last Friday, then as soon as I started recovering from that, I caught a cold, and am just now beginning to feel better. This week was thus horribly unproductive, but I am glad that it was this week instead of next week, when I start school. And it does feel really nice just to lay back and relax and do nothing but read and watch movies.(:

Anyway! We're coming to the end of yet another year, and I thought I might share with you some of my top craft posts of this year.

1. T-shirt Scarf (tutorial coming soon!)

2. Ruche-Inspired Felt Flowers

3. T-Shirt Necklace

4.Beaded Button Rings

5."Key to the Stars" Necklace

I've also decided that I need to have some goals for the coming year; I'm the kind of girl who needs a set goal to follow, at least partially. And so, here are my twelve goals, though not quite resolutions, of what I'd like to accomplish in the coming year.

1. Post more tutorials

2. Learn how to take better outfit photos

3. Sew a historical costume (I already have this one planned out!)

4. Read more books

5. Learn how to sight-read music for choir

6. Learn how to use my sewing machine

7. Become a better artist

8. Become a better writer

9. Finish editing my novel, "In the Serpent's Garden"

10. Make some of the projects I have bookmarked on

11. Improve my calligraphy skills

12. Most importantly, grow closer to God.

What are your goals for the coming year?(:

Happy a very happy and blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What I Love Wednesday #3

Hi everyone!

I am SO excited to say that I am bringing back "What I Love Wednesday"! I stopped doing it during November with the drawing challenge (and I know, I still haven't posted all the pictures...) and NaNoWriMo, but today, I'm bringing it back!

# 1 - Christmas Music

I love music year-round, but I especially love Christmas music. There are so many well-loved pieces connected with the season, and so many favorites to practice in choir; "Psallite", by Praetorius, "For Unto Us a Child is Born" and the "Halleluja Chorus" from the Messiah, and especially, my favorite arrangement of "Joy to the World," by Richard Proulx. It's such joyful music, and that's why I love it! And of course, I have some favorite albums to share with you:

Bing Crosby

From here.

Nat King Cole

From here.

Mitch Miller

From here.

# 2 - Lights

I don't know about you, but I love going out for a drive (or walk) and seeing all the gorgeous displays of lights! The photos are from a recent trip my family and I took to a garden near our home, where there are some pretty amazing sights to see! It was so much fun, but extremely crowded (I had my foot run over by a stroller) and cold!

# 3 - Snow

From here.

Have you had any snow yet? There has been so much talk of a harsh La Nina season here, yet the weather has been quite mild so far! No snow yet, though sometimes the morning frost is thick enough that if you squint a little, it could almost be snow! I'm still dreaming of a white Christmas, though...(:

# 4 - Christmas Movies

Oh my...this is one of my other favorite parts of Christmas. It's so hard, when someone asks me what my favorite Christmas movie is, because there are so many!

A Muppet Christmas Carol (my favorite version of the Dickens' tale...though the new Jim Carrey version was also excellent and very true to the book!)

White Christmas (such a beautiful movie!)

It's a Wonderful Life (I cry every time!)

The Miracle on 34th Street (This movie is so sweet!)

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Well, that wraps up another edition of "What I Love Wednesday"! I hope you enjoyed it! What are some of the things you are loving right now?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shabby Chic Chair Restyle

Hi everyone!

How has your week been going? For awhile, I was feeling terribly worn out and uninspired, but I think I'm starting to get back into the swing of things...I've been crafting and sewing like crazy, and it feels so nice! And there's that wonderful air of Christmas to inspire me as well...I'm busy as a bee trying to get presents finished off and then I still have cards to make! But it's fun, and it keeps me busy. ^^

This chair is a project that I just finished, but it's been under construction for several years now. I did part of it two years ago, then decided it needed something more. So I got back to work, only to run out of the supplies I needed! Fast forward two months...I got my supplies and voila! It was finished!

It started as a plain, wooden Ikea desk chair that had gotten rather battered after years of use. And so, I decided it needed a bit of a makeover, and this is what I came up with!

I decoupaged the entire chair with phone book pages (not an easy task, I quickly discovered), then added some detail to the seat with sheet music. I painted the seat first with uneven amounts of blue paint, which I pretty much just slopped on and spread out randomly, and then I spattered on some gold nail polish on a whim to add a nice sparkle.

Later, I painted the rest of the chair white. For this part, I invited my two sisters to help, and they were happy to spread white paint over the chair. I wanted a look of imperfection, so that the writing on the paper beneath would still show through. And was finished! I'm very pleased with it! What do you think? Have any of you ever attempted to restyle a piece of furniture?

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Key to the Stars" Necklace

Hi everyone,

I know, three posts in a week? What IS the world coming to? I've just been feeling particularly inspired these days, and I have a lot to share!
Anyway, I thought I'd take a break from displaying the rest of my 30 drawings and share a craft instead. There's no tutorial, but if you're able to use a pliers and have a few charms and some lengths of chain lying around, it's fairly self-explanatory.

Have you seen those key necklaces that are so popular right now?
I've been wanting one for awhile now, but all the ones that I've really liked have been on the more expensive side. So I decided to make my own!

It all started when I found a rusty skeleton key in a bag of buttons I found at Goodwill. I cleaned it up, then attached it to a long, thick chain. But something was missing...It needed something more, some extra pizazz! And then, I found these earrings! I bought them at Claire's a few years ago, and I loved them, but they were just too I took them apart, and ended up with this:

Pretty cute, huh? And so quick and easy too!

I hope you all have a lovely day!

I hope you all have a good weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Still catching up! (30 Day Drawing Challenge: Days 17-20)

Hi everyone,

How's your week going? I'm spending mine getting back into shape, haha. I didn't exercise at all during November, so I definitely need it!

Now, here are some of my favorite drawings of the month, for days 17-20. So many fun challenges! I hope you all enjoy looking through them!

Day 17

For day 17, I had to draw my favorite plant. Call me crazy, but when I was little, I did not like plants. The only flower I liked was the dandelion, and everything else was just ugly. Now, however, I have discovered the beauty of plants, especially flowers; roses, lilies, and my personal favorite, the clematis. It has such a cool flower, and it can come in many different colors and varieties!

Day 18

Day 18 was just a doodle.(: I love doodling! Remember my flapper doodle? That started with an eye and branched out into a full drawing, just like this one. I really love the renaissance feel it has, even if it isn't my best drawing.

Day 19

Here's something new, the subject for today's challenge! It's not a drawing, but it is art, and it's definitely different! This little deer was inspired by this one here; I copied the overall shape, only I changed the color and a few other small things to make it the way I wanted it.

Day 20

Day 20's drawing, for the challenge of something orange, may be one of my favorites of the entire challenge. I spent hours on it (at least four or five), mainly coloring her hair. But it was definitely worth it. When I was little I either wanted to have black hair (this was after reading about Diana in Anne of Green Gables) or red hair (also because of Anne of Green Gables, and because I just loved orange), and those are colors that I love using when I am coloring in hair. I'm starting to get frustrated with my skin-tone pencil, looks really patchy in the wrong lighting, even though I'm sure I've covered everything! Time to look for a new one...

That's all for today! I hope you all have a lovely day!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy December!

Hi everyone,

I don't know about you, but I am SO incredibly excited for this December...I have presents to make, baking to do (and consume), songs to learn, and so much more! The holiday season is one of my favorites, and Christmas is one of my two favorite holidays (Easter is next!).

I also was able to register for my classes for winter quarter today! Economics, history, and creative writing (so in love with the idea of writing fiction all quarter, something i usually wouldn't get to do!).

And.....I'm a NaNoWriMo winner! I finished my 50,000 words early on the 30th, and then finished my drawings later that night. It's a nice feeling to have it done with, but now there's kind of a huge gap in my schedule....what to do, what to do?

Anyway, here are my drawings for days 13-16!

Day 13

Day 13's challenge was to create a comic. This is not quite a comic, rather one of my favorite scenes from Alice in Wonderland, but with the words of the caterpillar, it's ALMOST a comic.

Day 14

For day 14, I had to draw my favorite fairytale. I love fairytales, but one of my all-time favorites is East O' the Sun and West O' the Moon. It's been a huge inspiration to me in my own fairytale writing.(: This one probably took me the longest to draw. I got the whole background done quickly, but drawing the girl was so hard for me! I wasn't sure how to position her, how to draw her hair or was a mess. I very nearly wore a hole in the paper with my eraser. Then, I finished it! I still wasn't quite satisfied, but it would have to do. Somehow, the drawing made its way to my floor, and a few days later, was crumpled and bent. So I had to start over. I traced the background, but did the girl from scratch, and this time, I was happy with how it turned out. Yay!

Day 15

For day 15, the challenge was to do a family drawing. I drew a portrait of myself and my sisters, and I think it turned out rather nice! We all look very sisterly....I am the one on the far left, and then my middle sister, and then the youngest on the right, who I think looks the most like herself, though she claims it looks nothing like her. Oh well.

Day 16

Day sixteen's challenge was to draw my inspiration. Oh boy. That was a tough one. Alphonse Mucha, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Charles Dickens, nature? Then I settled on my best influence, God and His Word. This drawing was inspired by a scene in my manga Bible, illustrated by Siku (which has such amazing art!). It's very close to the original, but I added my own details, like the skull and the background. And in some of my later drawings, you'll see this inspiration at work. Intrigued? I hope so!

Well, that's all for today! I hope you all are having a lovely day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

30-Day Drawing Challenge Days 9-12

Hi everyone,

As you can see, this post is slightly (very) belated, haha. I've been pretty busy lately with Thanksgiving and then a few other things, among my writing and drawing: I've got almost all of my Christmas decorations up, been practicing Christmas music for choir, and right now I'm watching the Maureen O'Hara version of "Miracle On 34th Street" with my little sisters.(: And now -- my drawings from days 9-12.

Day 9

Day nine's challenge was to draw your favorite TV show. I have so many! But I was feeling rather uninspired about drawing anything other than an animated show. So I chose one of my favorites -- Growing Up Creepie.(: It's cute, silly, and it's about bugs. What could be better? :P

Day 10

For day ten, I was supposed to draw my favorite candy. I am a huge chocolate lover, and it was really hard to chose my favorite, but I finally settled on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...they're amaaaaaaazing.(;
Day 11

For day eleven, the challenge was to draw a turning point in my life. This one was too easy! The most recent turning point for me was the transition from homeschooling to college. Going from doing school at home to in the classroom was quite a big difference! The books on the left represent the three classes I took my first quarter; English, psychology, and American history, and then the quote is one of my favorites from Alexander Pope. It reads:

"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
But drinking largely sobers us again."

Day 12

Day twelve's challenge was to draw a recent achievement. My most recent achievement (at the time) was hitting 25K on my NaNo novel. Now I'm very, very close to hitting the goal of 50K.(:

Well, that's it for today! The rest should be coming soon...especially since there's only two more days left in the challenge!

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wishing You All a Blessed Thanksgiving

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven't been posting at all this week! I fell behind in a few things, and it was important to focus on that.(: But I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

Image from here.

Psalm 100

 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing.

 Know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.

 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.

Image from here.

I have so much to be thankful for this year, and always. It's important for me to remember, especially when I feel like complaining, how richly God has blessed me and continues to bless me as I go through life. I've learned the importance of keeping family and friends close, and how even the little things in life can be so wonderful. I'm thankful to be an American citizen, and able to enjoy the rights included in our Constitution, especially the first amendment rights, the opportunity for an education, and so much more....

I'm also thankful for all the wonderful foods of thanksgiving....I am so stuffed right now!(; The candied yams were one of my favorite parts of dinner.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Day Drawing Challenge -- Days 6-8

Hi everyone,

How has your day been? I find that I've been utterly hopeless with trying to get things done, hahaha. But I'm working on it! I'm all caught up on my drawings now (thank goodness), and I've hit 28,000 words on my NaNo novel (I'm aiming to have written at least 75K by the end of the month). And, on a very positive note, my cold has cleared up just in time for choir practice tonight (I can almost sing).

I meant to post about these yesterday, but by the time I got around to try and take photos, the lighting was absolutely horrid. So I took them today instead!

Day Six

Day six's challenge was to draw a favorite book character, one that they haven't made a movie of. This was an incredibly difficult choice for me, since I love reading, and thus have many favorite characters, and also because many of the books I love most have been made into movies. I settled on Elsie Dinsmore, the heroine of Martha Finley's classic series (the originals, not the adaptations) grandmother got me started reading these when I was little, and I devoured them. Elsie, though she can be a bit of a naive, too-perfect character sometimes, stands for the way every Christian girl and woman should act. And, since Elsie's story takes place in the Victorian era, I decided to make a silhouette (read: I was lazy and wanted something quick). I rather like how it turned out, though!

Day Seven

For day seven, the challenge was to draw a favorite word. That one was hard, since I have so many (like defenestrate or perspicacious), but I finally chose this one:

-noun, pl.-ses
1 the elevation or exaltation of a person to the rank of a god.

2 the ideal example; epitome; quintessence: This poem is the apotheosis of lyric expression.

(definition care of

Day Eight

Finally, day eight's challenge was to draw a favorite animated character. I adore animated movies, especially from Disney and Studio Ghibli, but it didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to draw Belle from Beauty and the Beast.(: The style of this is based on the Art Nouveau style of Alphonse Mucha, one of my absolute favorite artists...who often inspires me in my drawing. I am planning on coloring it, too, it's just that I spent a really long time on this drawing, and so I haven't had time to get to it yet! I added the sepia tint to make it look a bit more interesting(;

Have a lovely day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Day Drawing Challenge -- Days 3-5

Hi everyone,

How was your weekend? I spent mine trying to catch up on my goal of writing 2,000 words a day, getting addicted to the word game WELDER on my iPad, and catching a lovely cold (which really isn't too bad so far, so I should be grateful). Anyway, I feel really bad about not uploading all my drawings! Probably most people think I've given up by now, but I'm still going strong! ^^ My problem is that I try to do a really complex drawing every day, and it ends up taking me FOREVER to finish. So for some of the challenges I try to do simpler ones.

Day Three

Day three's challenge was my favorite food. One of my favorites ever since I was a kid is pancakes, smothered in butter and syrup, and, if I'm lucky, chocolate chips. Mmmm....This is one of my simpler drawings, done in an Artist Trading Card size, which is only a couple inches long. The only thing I don't like is how dark the smoke looks, haha.

Day Four

Day four's challenge was my favorite place. Now, I could have drawn my room, or Disneyland, or all of my other favorite places to visit, buuuuuuut, my absolute favorite place of all is Narnia, and all the other worlds that my favorite authors have created. Book worlds are the best, because they can transport you to these worlds, away from the cares and worries of everyday life (I wrote an essay on this for my GED, actually!). I do need to go back and fix that girl's hair, though -- something's off about it!

And here's a tiny Mr. Tumnus:

Day Five

For day five, I had to draw my best friend. I never liked choosing one friend to call my "best" friend, because of all of my friends are equally I just chose one of my friends that I hadn't drawn yet.(; I really love how it turned out, because for once, I've been able to draw a portrait that actually resembles the person I was attempting to draw -- my family knew immediately who it was. It's also a less stylized portrait than I usually draw, so that may also be why.

Well, that's all for today! I should be back soon with more photos of my other endeavors in drawing!

Have a lovely day!