DIY: The Dotted Sea Turtle

Hello!

Since we are only (as far as I know!) going once to visit with family, I managed to kill two birds with one stone. and I created some DIY birthday projects. You’ve already seen my nana’s present, so it is officially time to unleash the dotted sea turtle I did for my aunt and uncle!

This is how the sea turtle came in the packaging; I mentioned in my last post that I was thoroughly surprised that both canvases came together as I don’t believe they were made by the same brand or company. On the left of the photo, there is a peek of this wooden square that they were laying on while in the thin box. We thought it was a strange addition, but we believe it was brought in to make sure the cutouts weren’t damaged in the mail. I will probably use it as a safeguard for my future projects.


What you will need:

  • Canvas – You can search for various types of turtles, but my aunt specifically adores sea turtles, and this was the only one I enjoyed on my hunt.
  • Acrylic paint – I used DecoArt bottles of gold, navy blue, green, and purple.
  • Dotting tools – You can use various household appliances that have a flat surface, but if you’d like to get your own “professional” tools, they are available at Wal-Mart, Amazon and Etsy.
  • Pencil with a good eraser
  • Ruler
  • Damp towels or baby wipes

LINKS:

Sea Turtle Wooden Cutout Style 3 | Dotting tools | Paints: Spun Gold, Navy Blue, Leaf Green, and Regal Purple


Originally, I wanted the sea turtle to be somewhat similar to the pig canvas, so that it wouldn’t be such a difficult process to paint, but I couldn’t find any cutouts of medium sized turtles to fit my vision, so I had my mom help me find another and we agreed on this one. Honestly, the perk of this design was the ridges on the sides, they allowed me to have a better understanding of how big the shell itself would be to the turtle’s face and fins.

I wanted for the turtle to be lifelike but with a mystic flair to him. I actually had two ways I saw this guy in my mind; the first was the turtle mentioned on the film Finding Nemo. I wanted to create him with bits of yellow and brown to make him look the part, but I also wanted to add some shimmer like in “The Rainbow Fish” books without taking it too far. My mother won’t allow me to have any glitter inside the house–much less my room–because of the weird impulse to create a mess! It’s a fair trade as long as I can continue to do more projects in my room! Anyways, I decided to add both green and purple to draw out a bit of color to him to make him unique to other turtles out there.

To start, I needed to map out the shell, and I used both a regular pencil and a standard sized ruler to make sure everything was even on all sides, and I made the lines across the edges of where the shell would cover on each fin and made an even longer line so I could have enough space on his head. Once I was sure of each section, I moved on to figure out how I wanted to design the shell. I was really torn with how I wanted this dude to look, so I needed to see if I wanted to include separate areas like normal turtles have on their shells. They tend to have individual spots all around the outer edges and have a larger section in the middle and this can be on the top and bottom of their shell. So, I made three tiny circles with the ruler going horizontally and by the end, I even had my dad impressed with my little hack!

After I got everything planned out, I began to add the first stage of the dots.

I decided to go with the “bottom” layer first with my medium sized tool in the color blue and instead of using my light-yellow shade like I was going to use; I went with my new gold paint. Something you should consider while purchasing some acrylic paints, they tend to dry lighter than their original hue, so, even though the gold looks nice and shiny when it’s wet, the sheen kind of faded as it dried on the surface, so you might want to consider looking into a metallic gold just in case you end up hating the final result. Personally, I loved the color and I thought it worked really well with the surface of the wood. I only went around the outer part once – I debated whether or not I wanted to continue to the circle I created in the middle of the shell, and I ended up using a smaller dotting tool to cover the middle of the shell in gold.

After I finished the gold part of the shell, I decided to move on with the navy blue. A part of me wanted to add a small group of dots along the face and fins but I didn’t know how it would turn out with the dullness of the gold, I did put some gold in certain areas but for the most part kept it only for the shell itself. Anyways, when I started adding more colors, my initial thought process went right out of the window, and I began to experiment with the larger tools, they are thicker in width, I have some difficulty gripping them, so I tend to back away from them, but for this I wanted to have some fun and gave the turtle fairly obnoxious spots all over his back and even went so far as added them to the rest of him….

When you’re doing these types of projects, accept your impulses because they’re going to win at some point.

If I had any space left over, I just covered it with the green so that it looked like he had algae on him as real sea turtles can have a mixture of algae and barnacles all over their bodies! I didn’t intend for the purple to reflect the barnacles; it was actually a personally choice. My aunt and uncle love the color purple and it stands as an important hue for them so that’s actually my reason for using it but hey, if they want to include that little bit of knowledge to their guests, they can!

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When I was finally done with it, I began to think of names for him. It was to come up with nana’s pig because I couldn’t get it out of my mind–my mom was pretty sold on “Hattie” it was the middle name that we couldn’t agree on! However, I decided to play a little game on my aunt and uncle, since they sort of knew about nana’s gift, I sent a message to them on Facebook, basically explaining I was working on another story, and I needed a name for my main character. This actually worked out better for me because they did not realize what they were doing until we brought it out for them.

I was inspired by a lot of pop culture like Pokémon and The Big Bang Theory with Squirtle and Sheldon, but I also remembered about the Galapagos tortoises, which made me think of Alex Trebeck and his love of the Galapagos Islands, so I made sure to pick out some names that were given to some different types of turtles that are (and were) located on the vast islands, like Rothschild, Duncan, and Fernand. They ultimately went with Nitro, as it is the name of one of their cars!

Well, that’s it!

I know this post wasn’t a proper “How-To” but it wasn’t that kind of project. If it had came in the same design like the pig, it would have been, because there were a lot of lines involved with it. For this, I was able to do whatever I wanted to do with it, and I think that’s the reason why I wasn’t so hard on myself for creating those huge dots on the shell, I was able to free-foot it, get it? If you ever get a canvas like this, I think you should look at it as your sign to be even more creative with everything.

What did you think of my DIY project of “Nitro”? What other designs and/or shapes do you think I should consider doing next?

snowflake

DIY: The Dotted Piggy!

Hello!

Since discovering dot art back in 2019, I’ve felt like my journey with art in general is on another level. I absolutely love the feeling of creating something new and being at peace with the imperfections that come with it. After I finished with my Christmas projects, I wondered how long I would last until I had the itch again, and if you are wondering, it was only three months.

We have three chances a year to go up north to visit with my family, the first is around my nana’s birthday and I tried looking for little figurines or plush stuffed pigs on Amazon and Wal-Mart, and I just couldn’t find anything that stood out the most and I searched for a fairly long time and became frustrated that there were more things for guinea pig lovers than the pink ones… I don’t remember what pushed me into creating something for her, but once I had the thought, I just went crazy with the number of ideas to do with them.

I found this unfinished wooden cut out of a pig face on Wal-Mart’s website and I just thought the whole thing had enough sass to it that I knew everyone would love too. While I was went looking for the pig, I ended up finding a sea turtle design and thought it could be a great idea to do for my Aunt Laurie and Uncle Mike because they love beach themes, but my aunt really loves turtles too. I worked on the projects at the same time, but I will not be sharing my thoughts on it until the end of June, which is my aunt and uncle’s birthday month.


What you will need:

  • Canvas – you can use whatever you can find, whether it’s wood or ceramic.
  • Acrylic paint – I use DecoArt paints and the colors I used were pink, red, black, and white.
  • Dotting tools – you can purchase a set of tools online, but you could use anything in various sizes like a pencil, Q-Tip, toothpick, etc.
  • Paintbrushes – this is totally an option, as I only used it for the base coat and the tongue, but you can definitely dot these spaces or leave it out entirely.
  • Damp towel or baby wipes to was wash your hands/feet and anything else that has accidently paint on it…

Links:

Unfinished wooden pig (similar) | Dotting tools of various sizes | DecoArt Acrylic Paints: Black, Royal Fuchsia, and White


One of the main reasons I adored this pig was because of the outline around the ears, eyes, mouth and nose. I was worried that once I started doing the first layer of paint, they would disappear but for the most part, they stayed visible for me to do the black dots, but we are getting a heard of ourselves, so let’s rewind a bit.

The canvas itself was the perfect size, as it wasn’t too big or too small, one that even the big bad wolf would probably enjoy. I started off painting on the floor of my room and I went with a very light shade of pink; since I didn’t have the right color in my collection, I had to make it with my neon pink and white acrylic bottles. I put the pink in two slots in my palette and added the white as I heard (and tested it!) this worked better to blend and create the right hue of the paint and it covered the entire thing, but my thought process for the overall design was to add dimension between the cutout and dots. I actually went back and forth on the base coat because I thought it was too much but I’m very glad I decided to do it because it added an extra oomph to the whole thing!

The next day, I finally got started on how I gave her some personality, and again I was so sure how this part was going to turn out at first. I am still learning how to follow a line while making my dots. I made simple small designs for when I did the Christmas tree and Rudolph ornaments but since I only had to follow the slits of its features, I figured it would be easy enough for me, and thankfully it was and to make things even better for me, I used one of my smaller tools, they are really great with details, especially tiny ones and I have realized through doing this project, I am definitely confident creating each section. At first, I was going somewhat outside the lines so that I could still see everything but then as I went on, I managed to cover up most of them with the black paint.

I hadn’t even completed the mouth before I was falling in love with the overall result. The black really set a tone to the plain pink base coat and you could see we were both loving the magic coming to her. I tried to not get so confident that I would be taking risks and messing up the whole project, but I also couldn’t hide my excitement either!

Once I finished the outlines, I left it to dry for about a day. I gave myself time in between each layer so I wasn’t choosing over the comfort of my body and what I wanted else I could do to the pig. I was also in a brand-new position as I wasn’t on the floor anymore, I decided to use my new little table I got for Christmas, and I was really unsure how my body would react and definitely didn’t want to overdo anything either so once I started experiencing some pain in my lower back and eventually my knees, I knew I would need to stop at some point. Whenever this happens, of course I become upset with having to stop in the middle of a project but knowing my body’s limits is a very important. If I continued to push myself, I could possibly make mistakes and would be frustrated with myself about that as well.

When I went back to it, I was conflicted about how much I really wanted to use the dots. I really love the contrast between a regular painted section and a very populated dot area, and I knew it even before I did the ears of how cool that effect would be to the overall design. So, I decided to paint the tongue red. It would be another smaller part so as long as I didn’t go off my original idea. After I completed it, I went forward with doing a dotty inside of the mouth, and I am still not 100% happy with how it turned out, but I think adding the hot pink larger dots on the rest of the pig helped because the color contrast between the lighter pink of the background and a milder shade of the same paint really made it pop. Once I went around the chin with those big dots, I literally couldn’t contain my excitement for how cute she was becoming and I had to show her off quite a bit to my folks but also had to shield her away from my family–especially my nana, because she knows that anything pig worthy goes to her automatically! A part of me wanted to show her but I knew how important it was to reveal it face-to-face, so I kept a very big secret for at least a week and a half, which is impressive to my standards!

When I finally finished with everything, our plan was to glue or tape down a cute pink bow around its hairs, it had three little semi-sharp “hairs” poking out on the top of its head and decided to include some dots on them, in case we didn’t have time to put it on her, but in the end, it turned out we didn’t have a way of making sure it stuck there forever so I’m very glad I put dots around that section anyways!

As of right now, they haven’t found a way to put it up in my nana’s room. She has a big room, but she has a lot of decor, photos, and posters all over her walls, so finding the right placement for it is going to be a little bit tricky. While we were up there, I was even trying to find a spot for it and I had a difficult time with it, so good luck Mike!

I hope you enjoyed this “little” how to do post. The second post will be going out in June, so we have some time to find more projects in the meantime!

snowflake

Will I Do NaNoWriMo Again This Year?

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Howdy!

It is almost that time for National Novel Writing Month or  “NaNoWriMo” as some people like to call it. For some writers, they live for this time of the year but for the rest, it’s something that they absolutely dread. I can understand both sides, if you enjoy it, I feel like you are good at being pressured and able to write everyday on your story, but I also know why others fear it too. If you have a very active social or work life at the moment, writing is literally the last thing on your mind.

As for me, I’ve had it in my brain since April, after I wrote my post about not being able to participate in CampNaNoWriMo that I should probably do it, but honestly I don’t see the point in it. I don’t want to force anything that doesn’t want to appear to me in dreams right now, you know what I’m saying?

There is hope though as I am using Pinterest to help me generate the characters and overall setting of my story. I’ve been looking into different people’s photos and have developed a clear picture of my female characters: Angela and Star. I am still having issues with my main character Heath, most because I have a general person in mind but he looks relativity younger than I want him to for my story so I’m trying to keep an open mind to other messy blondes. And Brace is my “complicated” character and he’s always been that way, so finding him has been quite a challenge for me! The others will come eventually at least that what I’m hoping will happen!

Another thing that I’m busy looking into is how to do outlines. I feel like finding the right way to figure out how I want things to go, is the key to my success on completing my first draft. I have a board on my profile for my favorite blog posts, and since November has been coming up, other writers have been writing posts of tips and how-to’s for aspiring NaNo rookies. I have three blog posts that talk creating an outline for their stories and I will have them listed below!

Now if you are thinking about joining NaNo, I have some posts I did last year, if you’d like to look into them. I wrote three updates and I had shared some of the websites I was using to attempt keep my pace together, maybe they will help you out too! I’d like to make a point to say, that I didn’t make it to the end of the month and I explain why that happened in the final post, but I was still fairly impressed with myself on what I did get done.

Am I Still Working On My Novel | 2 Week Mark | Am I Finished Or Not

Before I go, I just want to say good luck to everyone that is doing NaNoWriMo this year! You may not hit your word count everyday, nor will you like everything you’ve been working on, but I can definitely say that’s all part of the process! After it’s all over, you can revisit it, and you’ll see that you produced something awesome. 🙂

Have you ever thought about joining the NaNoWriMo party? What is keeping you back from writing your story?

snowflake

The “How-To” To Writing A Letter To Yourself

I originally wanted to do my Free Write Friday post right now, but I don’t have any ideas for the prompt at the moment. I’ll have to do that later on today! I wanted to do this yesterday after I had completed both of my letters to myself. I’ve got to say, I remember watching the episode of The Golden Girls where Dorothy writes a letter to her late father. She said she did it because she never really got to say goodbye to him and that it was really helping with getting things out in the open even though he’d never read it. I’m always dreading reading anything I’ve written in the last ten years, because I was so immature with my words and you can sense how my attitude was back then the more you go on reading them. I’m glad I waited to do the letters now instead of doing them earlier, although we did have to write letters to ourselves when I was a freshman in high school. It was our first day of school and nobody had homework in our resource class and so our teacher had us make these letters to ourselves and at the end of the year we’d get them back. Well, we never got them back and I’m thankful for that!

There’s two reasons of why I wanted to create a past and future list. I wanted one to be like an advice or a guide to my younger self. The future list was mainly an over-bearing question and answer list. I also have two reasons why I picked these two ages, I mainly wanted an age that was the start of everything going downhill. At age 14, I was basically at a standstill between being a middle schooler and going into high school. I was also going through things in my personal life that would kind of “get me ready” in a sense for the next several years of my life. For my future age, I wanted to pick an age where I think I’d feel at peace with, in a way, that’s also a bit of a standstill too. Everybody nowadays says, 40’s is the new 20’s, and I didn’t want to focus on a mid-life crisis or on that phrase, so I choose an age where it would be in the middle of an adult and elderly. Who knows, the world might get more complexed down the line and we may never die. Here are my guidelines into making a past and future letter to yourself:

The past letter:

  • Pick an age that has three or more specific things that either at the time made you see the light or had gone downhill.
  • When choosing that age, make sure you can remember everything well. While you know about a certain subject that happened at a certain age, as overtime you start to lose of what really did happen before it happened, as it was happening, and after it happened.
  • Unless you have a very good memory, don’t select an age from 10 and under.
  • Be as honest as you can, share and show us or yourself what you really can remember and how you really felt on that day/night.
  • You can share as much as you want, but if you share it on a blog, I think you should censor yourself a little bit. Don’t go into full details in case there are people out there, who don’t like you very much and want to use it against you.
  • When you go to give yourself advice for your younger self, I don’t know why I did it or the fact I’m telling you this, but try not to reveal much of what’s to come later on in your life. I might have Back To The Future stuck in my head or something and that’s why I’m saying it.

The future letter:

  • I wouldn’t pick an age that’s five or ten years down the line, that’s too soon!
  • Unleash any questions you might have bottled up inside.
  • In case and god forbid this ever happens, share some memories of small things that you like that might put yourself at ease or make yourself happy that you were able to make it so enjoyable.
  • Share what your fears are now but be a little bit humorous too!
  • Be as vulnerable as you can as you write about asking about family questions, it might hurt coming out with it now and then too, but you might feel a connection between your two selves when you go to read it,
  • Ask yourself one last question from now about how content you are and see if what you’re older says in whatever age you decide to give it to.