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

Guest Post | Character Development with Dylan Callens, Author of “Interpretation”

August was an interesting month for me, because I have started on reviewing books via request like a real bookblogger! 

A friend of mine Amanda, who runs Chocolate Pages, is also a bookblogger. She put up a blog post offering other bookbloggers to help her with the requests. I literally jumped at this and within three weeks I got a request, but unfortunately I was unable to read another book. My mom and I have came to the conclusion that I should only read one book a month to see how I do, but I didn’t want to say no, so thanks to Dylan’s email he gave me an idea!


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Dylan Callens has recently written a dystopian fiction book called Interpretation. The word “dystopian” or “dystopia” is an imaginary place where people often lead fearful lives. I’m not as familiar with the word or genre, so I had to go look it up in the dictionary.

Here is the blurb of the novel:

Carl Winston awakens to find his son, Liam, screaming with fear. Trying to understand why, Carl tries to soothe him. Neighbors gather in front of Carl’s apartment to help – until they see him. The crowd cowers back, afraid of this monster.

Carl runs. His life of luxury is ripped away. Forced beyond the city limits, Carl sees a land bereft of life. Traveling in search of answers, his quest comes to a sudden halt when he collapses. As darkness shrouds him, a figure hovers from above.

Traveling along the same route, Eva Thompson finds Carl and nurtures him back to life. Together, they continue the journey, finding out that their lives have too much in common to be a coincidence. As their affection for each other deepens, an unknown nemesis attempts to remove their only source of happiness – their love for each other.


I’ve allowed Dylan to write a guest post and he chose something that I might be looking more into for my own story – that I haven’t worked on for a while! Anyways, here is what Dylan says about character development. 

18581722_1057525084392104_2680261785040618447_nMy Character, My Friend

As I began researching different psychological experiments for my novel, Interpretation, the first (and craziest) person I came across was a neurobologist named Dr. Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado. His name is important: Jose Delgado. This man had a vision for the future, where people wore electronic stimulation devices so that the government could correct unwanted behavior by stimulating the brain. His research worked towards the end, creating a device that could be attached to brains. In one famous experiment, he had his device implanted into the head of a bull. As the bull charged at Delgado, he administered a shock to the animal’s brain, which stopped it in its tracks.

After reading of his work, I knew that this would be the social condition in my novel: a society where every individual had some kind of device implanted in their heads. As a result, I wanted to give my main character a first name that represented this reality. So, of course, I named him Carl.

Carl. That’s right. Being inspired by the work of Dr. Jose Degado, I named him Carl. Why you might ask?

Because somewhere along the way, Jose Delgado’s name transformed itself into former baseball slugger, Carlos Delgado. I have no idea how this happened – I don’t even like baseball. I must have written Jose’s name dozens of times while taking notes. But when I sat down to write, I put Carl on the page. My character’s name is a mistake.

After reading over the first draft of the first chapter, I knew that something was wrong with his name and I eventually figured it out. By then, it was too late. His name was Carl to me and I just couldn’t change it. He had his own life and it appeared to be a very nice one. He loved his son, had a nice apartment, and a good job. He encountered a brief, blinding pain in his head and a short hallucination in that first chapter but that didn’t mean he should be renamed Joe, to honor Jose.

At least his name is right. Winston. Or at least I hope there is a Winston in Nineteen-Eighty-Four. There is, right? I wanted to pay tribute to my favorite dystopian novel somehow and I saw Carl’s situation similar to Winston’s, in some ways. So that’s how my main character was born.

Identifying with this character was pretty easy for me. I think there is a lot of me in him. He and I took the Myers-Briggs personality test and came up with very similar results. He is an INFP and I am an INTP. Which means we both prefer introversion, intuition and perceiving, as opposed to extroversion, sensing and judgement. Our difference is that he’s a little more touchy-feely than I am (the F stands for feeling while the T stands for thinking). I’d like to think that if his circumstances were a little better, he might be more of an intellectual. His life hasn’t really allowed that pursuit though, so I blame his circumstance for that one.

But Carl and I – we could go for a beer, one day. I think we would shoot a game of pool and philosophize about the implications of Jose’s work. I also know for sure that we wouldn’t talk about baseball legend, Carlos.

If you would like to read Dylan’s new book “Interpretation” and learn more about Joe, I mean Carl Winston’s now crazy life, he has given me several ways you can purchase the book! 

Amazon: http://amazon.com/dp/B073V7LSRV
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/interpretation-dylan-callens/1126732112?ean=2940154727843
Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/interpretation-7
iBooks:
https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/interpretation/id1258997726?mt=11

Always Left Behind…

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Howdy!

This post was created on accident, scratch that, this entire situation was created on accident. It’s not exactly a “situation” either. It’s just something that tends to come up every now and then and finally I am ready to talk about it on here.

My sister is getting married next summer. We are getting really excited and nervous (mostly about bridesmaid dresses, the tuxes, weather, etc) about all those small details that you think wouldn’t pop into your head this early but they have and now you get to deal with them in advance!

One of the things that has been eluding my brain is about the bachelorette party. Back in July, Blondie didn’t want to do anything that would be considering a “party” well now she does, but she still has the same feelings about having an actual party part. So she began to text our mother for ideas plus ask how I would feel about it, I already get nervous enough whenever my mom wants to have a sit down talk with me because usually it’s something bad and this was no exception; because she was wanting to have all of the girls go further up the state and celebrate there since it’s the half way point for most of the ladies. However, the fact is that it’s such a long distance, my mom wasn’t really comfortable with that.  Blondie doesn’t want to do anything that excludes me, but I don’t like the fact that her bachelorette party would be basically centered around me because she was trying to get ideas on what to do.

I’ve been basically left out of a lot of different things. I say to people all the time that I don’t have any friends–I have online friends, but majority of them live across an ocean! I mean to say that I don’t have anybody that live close to me to where we could hang out every other weekend like normal friends do. The last time I hung out with a “friend” was in 2012. So yes, I am very much used to being the one that gets left behind.

I don’t know if my disability is to be blamed for this because now I have a lightweight wheelchair that everybody in my family (including myself) loves to hate. We’ve lost a wheel and I’ve fallen out of it a couple of times, but other than that it’s not bad. I wouldn’t consider it a wheelchair but that’s my problem. Anyways, I know what my problem is for this, it’s my weight. I get told frequently that I am getting heavy to lift. I always fear for the back and knees on other people because I know I’m causing more tension in those areas. I can’t change how much weight I put on though, nor can I allow the thought of it control what I put into my body either and I shouldn’t have to for the sake of hanging out with friends, you know?

This year has really been a year where I’ve gone with the flow to the best of my ability. It’s mostly because there were things that happened beyond my control and I felt like I didn’t need to have a say in whether or not I did it. I’ve felt more at peace knowing that I didn’t care about what an old friend was doing, if they haven’t talked to me or even spend a day hanging out with me than they’re not worth my time! Now you know why I deleted you…

Am I sick of always coming second? Absolutely, but am I okay with being the reason why my sister can’t do what she wants for her party, no. So where do I stand?

snowflake

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The Legacy Family.

This is my drawing from 2010. It was my last drawing I did for my senior year and it was also my last for two years. Her name is Legacy. The reason why I named her that was because she was my last drawing, but it was also my last year in high school and I had this picture the iris was baby blue. So I asked my teacher if I could change it to purple, and he doesn’t like unnatural colors in our drawings, so really he never said yes, but he never told me no either. I just did it anyways. I changed it to purple and everybody, including myself thought I did a good job on it.

I was just laying down and started coming up with more ideas for future artwork, in other words “work I’d never get to do.” I started thinking of creating a male face as a mate to Legacy. This idea has actually been in my head for a while. I started creating ideas for a future tattoo, it would look like Legacy but she would disguised in a masquerade mask. That was my original idea. Then I got to thinking about creating others. That look like Legacy, but had their own identity.

So I went with my future tattoo idea, the idea has Legacy’s purple eyes, but the masquerade mask was black and red. So I thought the male face should look meaner and more captivating. I don’t know why, but since it would have black and red as the primary colors, I thought of the name “Luther”, would be an interesting name for him. I started thinking of a name for the tattoo idea, I came up with “Legion”. The love child of these two drawings. That thought lead to three more faces by the names of “Wolfgang,” “Scarlet,” and “Lucie.” Both “Legion” and “Scarlet” are from In This Moment songs. The name “Wolfgang” is from a name I had recently looked up earlier this morning. And last but not least, “Lucie” is just a cute girly name I picked out. She will probably be in light colors.

No Sleep Equals No New Ideas

It’s been awhile since I’ve actually good sleep. Probably around Monday was the last day where I had a good night’s sleep after that it’s been messed up like always. However last night I got four hours of sleep all at once, which was surprising. Then I got up around 5:30am and didn’t go back to sleep until 8am. I should have stayed up. Especially since my mom got up an hour later. That’s my luck for you.

So since my sleep has been like this all of my good ideas haven’t been coming to me at all. I’ll have little ideas but they’ll fade off an minute later and then I’m back to square one again. I’ve been like this for three days where I’ll have these little ideas and might post them and then be empty afterwards. The other day, which was Tuesday, I blogged five times from midnight to 8pm. They were scattered, but I posted alot of them. I was proud of myself. Now I can’t blog about anything at the moment. It sucks! Hopefully I’ll get some good ideas soon than later!