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

Blogs That I Love #25

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Hi ūüôā

I’ve been noticing that I am following a lot of different artists and art blogs lately. I do have a weakness for it, because I still know a good amount of knowledge about art. I took as many classes for it as my sister did for weightlifting in high school! For this post, I only wanted to highlight the ones who draw or paint by hand. I don’t have anything against the ones who use the computer softwares, I just wanted to take it back old school, to what I used to be good at back in the day.

coolpeppermint – I’ve been following Lu for a year or so now. I don’t really comment on her posts, but I do read and browse around on her blog at her lovely drawings and photography every other day! I love the “Daily Art” series she has, most of the posts only have a few sentences but the real attraction is whatever she’s finished and releases to us. I often forget that photography is part of the “art” mediums, so it’s nice to be reminded that even I don’t draw or paint as much anymore, I still have a knack for getting the right and unique look to my subjects–which would be my cats! Trust me, when my nephew arrives, he’ll probably become my next guinea pig!

Favorite posts: Jar Of Hearts, City Dreaming, Rose All Day, Walkway, Let It Snow, and Rainy Daze.

Art We Wonderful – Marion has become one of my favorites! I found her or she found me, I still get confused! Somebody found the other first let’s just go with that! I want to say she’s the one who really inspired me to start painting. I’ve never liked painting! You needed a lot of patience to be able to do and enjoy it, and I didn’t have any of that while I was in school. Now as an adult, I’ve matured and gained a lot of patience in the last five or six years. I’m more into painting small things compared to what she does! Marion has a lot of cityscapes and buildings. I love all of the details she puts in them, they look so lifelike that I kind of get jealous of them!

Favorite posts:¬†Lunchtime In The South Of France, Going Door-Crazy For The First Time, A Complete Mini Vacation To Italy’s Cinque Terre, and Where Art Thou, Internet Guy?

Holly Hearts Art – So I didn’t want to only talk about bloggers, even though this is what the series is all about, but it’s mine and I want to add Holly onto the post! Holly is very unique as I actually found her Booktuber channel first. She has a really great quality bookshelf tour she did last year that I think everyone should check out! I think I watched three book hauls before I found she had an art channel too! And every once in a while when I need a little push to doodle or like the other day attempt a perspective drawing–I haven’t done one those in probably seven years–she has all kinds of videos, like subscription boxes, drawing prompts, and testing out other art products! I just love her to pieces!

Favorite videos:¬†Favorite Places To Draw, Quick and Easy Drawings To Do When You’re Bored,¬†and 500 Drawing Prompts #11

With all of the beauty, fashion, lifestyle and mommy bloggers out there, what is your definition¬†of a “unique” blogger? Do you follow many artists or art blogs? If not, why don’t you?

snowflake 

NYE Shenanigans!

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Hi ūüôā

Before I was hit by the flu in early January, I actually had a mini getaway. I stayed with a friend of mine. Afterwards I had lot of plans to get back into blogging right away. Well, not at the moment I arrived home because even I know I need to let my body rest for a couple of days before I actually got started on anything! I just didn’t know my body needed three whole weeks to get settled back into my normal routine.

Over the NYE celebrations, I went to hang out with my friend Brittany. You might remember her as she and my family, plus a few close friends knew of the surprise of a lifetime. She’s the one who took me to see Shinedown and Five Finger Death Pinch in 2016. She invited me over to her house for the weekend, to hang out with her and her Great Dane Lizzy Lou and cat Gravy!

We did a lot in those two days. We went out to eat twice–both places we love! And we went to Lowe’s, which was absolutely hilarious! We started out with her pushing my wheelchair while I had a hold of the cart. We realized this wasn’t really working so she went on to pull the cart from the front and I grabbed the bottom rail that connects the wheels together. The only way I can explain to you what I was feeling was like surfing, just without water! It was fun, I almost hit a couple of displays but I didn’t fall out or break anything in the store!

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She knows I’m always looking for a good time, so she found an opening at Painting With A Twist that was $25 for one person, unfortunately it was too expensive for the both of us, and she said she didn’t want to do it, but honestly we cheated a bit because she had to help me a few times so I feel she participated too! I had never done this before, but I’ve seen it on TV and seen the many, many pictures on their Facebook page. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a place where you go to paint and drink wine. So if you go to these “parties” you have to over the age of 21, but the one we went to was providing coffee instead so we had younger girls in our group. One of the nice things about it is that everything is already there for you to use, you can wear an apron to protect your clothes, and they provide you with canvas, paint and brushes.

After we left Lowe’s, she called them to make sure they can accompany to my needs, because we were both worried about the height of the tables. I was very short in my wheelchair and I didn’t want to have her get me out of my chair and onto the floor–I didn’t feel like breaking her back! To say I was worried is a bit of an understatement. When we got there, they let me try out the smaller easels that they have laid out on the tables already, and this was too low to the ground for my foot. Luckily they had another option and brought over a bigger easel and this was a good fit.¬†I felt like Goldilocks in a way, because I was trying many ways to be able to get this to work.

Our instructor was Ryan, he’s also the one who helped the two of us in the beginning. He was very nice and easy to mesh with because I used to go round and round with my old art teacher in high school, we hardly ever agreed on things. I liked him, he was one of my favorite teachers but I think even he would say I didn’t listen very well! Anyways, he explained the different hand motions we should be making to be able to cover the canvas with the paint. He said it didn’t matter if it was too dark or light, and to take a few steps back to make sure everything is to your liking.

The design that I did was a peace sign on a pink background. I was asked if I wanted to stick to the original background or if I wanted another color, I don’t know why I chose to stay with the pink but I did! There were like seven of us in the room and only two of us kept the pink, while most went with both turquoise and purple. We had only one yellow!

As we waited for the paint to dry after we put on our background color. We took a short break and played a game of guessing how many corks were in this giant wine glass! We were given a paper plate and I had said 36 because it looked less than it was, and Brittany suggested it could be like over 300 of them. Well, it ended up being around 600+ wine corks in this glass! We were all shocked and depressed at our math skills! The winner was allowed to pick out a painting from the display on the outside of the room. After she came back in with the one she liked out, we started on our actual peace sign.

I’m one of those people who have to go bigger than the normal person apparently. I can never do anything small and delicate. We put the random yellow swishes on the left side corner and apparently I had a little bit too much fun. One of the things that Ryan had mentioned before we started was this is an easier design because you’re freeforming it rather than painting in the lines of the subject as we were told were how the other paintings were created, which makes sense considering I’ve seen a LOT of good ones and its easy to forget that the people who were doing them could had a lot of wine at the same time.¬† I can’t use alcohol to my advantage for my craziness!

Once we drew the peace sign on there with our pieces of chalk, we started painting various dashes around our outline. Another example of my “go big or go home” mentality I had that day! After this, we left it to dry and then we moved on to the splattering effect and he told us to put our canvases down on the floor. He said to get the paint brush really wet with water and then put it into the black paint and constantly go back and forth until you get this runny paint on the bristles, and he said to tap on the handle of the brush on the areas where you want the splatters to go, but while I was trying to do this, my wheels kept moving at the same and I was close to running over my canvas three times! Brittany actually had to help me a bit because I was having a hard time staying straight in my wheelchair. I will be happy when I get my new chair! I will say her splatters were the bomb and everybody agreed too!

Brittany had to do the drying parts for me, because I bet I’d probably break a blow dryer! I’d either run over it or drop it on accident, either way I would have like crap. After she came in, we had another break and we played a new game too.

26234834_10215236147714826_1148270273_nThis one was interesting because we used the paper plates we were given before and we were asked to close our eyes and draw out different things that go with NYE like a party hat, wine bottle and a glass. I could reach the top of the stools that everybody sat on, so I put my plate up there so I could participate in the game. Next time when somebody suggests to help you hold things there, just do it! Don’t pull a Meghan and mess up. However, I did a decent wine glass! Ryan said once we were finished, that he tends to give out two prizes for this game: if you can tell what it is and the hot mess. We had a couple of hot messes, even the girl who won that category agreed with him, but I won the other one. Brittany and I had went around the whole place beforehand and she had already expressed which one she had liked and lucky for the both of us, I used my “winnings” to her advantage and she got to take it home! It goes great with her color scheme of her living room.

Once we were finished with the whole thing, the canvases got one last blow dry and we washed our hands of the acrylic paint. I didn’t make a big mess of myself or the floor! My nana would have been shocked about that! We were given these giant brown paper bags to pack our canvases into as we left, but first there was picture time! We had the group photo and then Brittany put me into between the two designs that had Ryan already did for the class.

Now every artist has to name their project. My Linkin Park drawings I did in 2010 are called “The 6” because it was six portraits with close to six different mediums. So I named mine a little bit later, after Brittany and I realized something different about mine, and I was going to share that part with you, but I think I’m just going to post the pictures and let you see it for yourselves.

Since we had so much fun that day and our hopes of taking a nap that afternoon never happened, we didn’t make it up to midnight. We were sort of dragging that Monday morning when she dropped me off, but we’re both in agreement though that we’re waiting until it gets a little warmer but we had a freaking blast! Hope you enjoyed this post!

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Have you ever done anything like Painting With A Twist? Even if you’re not a “painter” I still recommend that you go and check it out anyways!

snowflake

 

DIY: Painting Pumpkins!

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Howdy!

I actually have a new Halloween/pumpkin craft for you! I am so excited! So I guess I should explain why I didn’t think I’d ever do a craft again and how exactly we got these pumpkins.

My poor nana and I, we really loved doing our crafts, and we got in such a system to do them every September so the posts I’d write of them would go up sometime later that month or early October. They were basically everybody’s favorite thing to read during those two months and I always had a lot of writing them up, while trying to remember what all we did, spills and all! So when she went to the hospital and eventually went to stay at the nursing home, I kind of didn’t want to admit it but I knew my days of doing our Halloween or any crafts weren’t going to happen as much.

I have a creative soul and I’ve been hating the fact that I’ve had to basically shut down those desires and saying that makes me laugh because I hated painting in school. I’ve had these urges to purchase some paints since the end of August because it would be that time of the year where we’d be getting ready and so I’ve been really sad. My mom doesn’t carry the craft bug and you all should know about my dad by now! I also didn’t want to ask Blondie and Brandon because I didn’t know if they really wanted to do anything like that or had the time to do it. So I’m just kind of left to do nothing and it really sucks!

And then one evening my mom came into my bedroom, I had thought she had went to bed about a half hour before so it freaked me out at first. She came in to tell me that we’ll have to get me some paints because dad found some pumpkins out in the field and I was instantly happy! He literally brought home like seven of these large pumpkins and they sat on our porch for like a week or so, and then one morning my mom came in again and she said that Blondie and Brandon were coming over to paint the pumpkins. According to mom, it wasn’t even Blondie’s idea, it was Brandon’s! Poor guy had to work that day but he still wanted to paint pumpkins afterwards!

What you will need for this:

  • Pumpkins
  • Old newspapers
  • Paper plates
  • Toilet Paper Roll
  • Water Bowl
  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • aaand some ideas ahead of time!

We started out doing this outside because that would have been a smart choice or so we thought! I have to say, it wasn’t too bad sitting outside on the porch but the bugs were driving us nuts throughout the time we were out there. Poor Blondie was covered in mosquito bites, mostly on her right side – she had a total of 12 bites!

Now when I do this with my nana I am usually sitting in my wheelchair and use a chair or box to prop the pumpkin up to a certain level so I can reach it on all sides. Well, I didn’t have any of those for this so mom just had Brandon put me on the ground and I will admit it had been a while since I did that because it is so difficult to get me back up since I am so low. However, it did make things a lot easier for me but I definitely forgot about my legs and feet falling asleep every ten minutes! So I had some issues with gripping my brushes and figuring out how to sit again.

If anybody noticed the last bullet, the three of us were having a tough time figuring out ideas to paint our pumpkins. The only idea that I knew I really wanted to do was a minion. I am obsessed with these characters and yet, I have not seen them on a movie! I like to think of them of little Twinkies! So I had a rough idea on how to make one, I also had references considering I was still in my pajama bottoms with them on it. This time, I knew I had them on and didn’t do what I did with Brandon’s Christmas gift bag last year!¬†Over the years of doing these crafts, I’ve learned to relax and not be such a perfectionist while working on these different characters. Poor Blondie hasn’t mastered that and was really giving herself a tough time with her sugar skull. I think it looked awesome but of course she was growing to hate it as she was finishing it. I’m glad I’m no longer like that anymore!

It had actually become a sort of game for both Blondie and Brandon because they definitely didn’t have any ideas to do for their pumpkins so they went on Pinterest and that’s where Blondie found hers. I still don’t know if Brandon used Pinterest but we were having the most difficult time guessing what his could be. He was not telling anyone and it even started to bother dad after he got up and looked at all three of us and our big mess! He finally had to tell us or maybe Blondie actually guessed it? I don’t remember how it came about, but I did catch a glimpse of it on his phone when he went inside for something but I will admit I had no idea what the hell he was making, all he said was it was a DC character and it wasn’t The Flash. Dad kept saying it was either Ant-Man or Iron Man, but we were all stumped. It is Red Hood, all he gave us as a hint was that he was once a Robin.

After we had finished our first pumpkins, we were thinking of stopping altogether but Brandon wanted to continue. He cracks me up sometimes! So dad made the suggestion of moving our stuff into the kitchen. So we packed up everything and moved into the center of our kitchen, the cats were confused because we were at the door but not paying attention to them. They actually never came up to the front porch to investigate, which was probably good or else some would have ended up with different colored paws and we would have little paw prints up and down the porch! As cute that would have been, they wouldn’t let us clean their little toes!

Anyways, we got started on our second batch of pumpkins. What was different for me in this round was that I had two ideas but only memories of what they looked like on Pinterest. I didn’t make any real reference like I had for my minions, so I just had to wing it and this was where I like not being a perfectionist. I decided to do a Jack Skellington from¬†The Nightmare Before Christmas¬†and I have to say, I did a fairly good job on it. I was very proud! I also put the word “Boo” on the back of it in a baby blue because I kept seeing it in the corner of my eye and I thought, what the hell? This one will hopefully go to my Aunt Cindy soon, if we don’t get any more rain beforehand!

Blondie made a very cute Nemo from¬†Finding Nemo¬†and it is genuinely the cutest thing, I kind of like it more than her sugar skull and you guys know how much I like my skulls! Poor Brandon though, he tried doing the Greek lettering of his fraternity but couldn’t get it to turn out right so he ended up covering it up with an old school American flag. You have to give the boy some props for trying it out though!

After a good two or three hours in two different spots, we were finally done! Well, technically there’s still one naked pumpkin left but it’s sort of big so nobody may paint him. Blondie and Brandon took pictures with their pumpkins and when she came back inside with my minion to take mine, I realized I forgot to paint a mouth on my minion so Brandon being a good boy, he took two brushes of black and white and made him a cute little mouth for me!

What are some of your favorite ways to decorate a pumpkin? Do you carve it, paint, or use sharpies? 

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snowflake

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DIY: Painting A Mason Jar!

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Howdy folks!

So today I’m here with the second post about the mason jars that my nana and I previous used for the cake in the mugs last week! I separated them so it didn’t look too chaotic in the week!

We somehow did this backwards, I think our original plan was to decorate the jars first so they would look cute with the mixture inside, but like always we didn’t do it that way!

I don’t know what exactly to explain first because my nana and I have never painted a mason jar before so this was a new one to us! She also had quite a few different paints too! She had oil paints, glittery paints in bottles that you can squeeze and regular watercolors. I originally wanted to use the oil paints but when she explained that you couldn’t use water with it, I kind of backed out of it. I figured I would make a mistake on mine and wouldn’t have a way to fix it so I used the watercolors instead, not knowing if they’ll work any better!

Let me say this was the first time in a very long time where I enjoyed painting. I hated whenever we had to paint in art at school, absolutely dreaded it! Drawing was my forte. My nana had a lot of paints for two reasons: we like to do different crafts but she also had us do little crafts as kids too! I don’t remember if I hated painting as much as I did at school, probably, but not as much as baking a cake! I forgot to mention that in last week’s post! I only remember baking a pineapple upside down cake with my sister and hated it because of how much I couldn’t do. I think I’ve redeemed myself since then and that’s why I was okay with trying painting again.

In ways, I felt I was back in art class where it was quiet and I was very quiet, concentrating on covering every surface of the jar in blue and green.

I used a fold up chair that my nana tends to keep in the kitchen. It’s at a height that I can reach while sitting in my push wheelchair. We also decided to leave the paints and dish of water on the floor because there was not a lot of room with both the aluminium foil and the jar sitting above it. I started to use a skinny brush at first for the blue because I figured if it didn’t work she wouldn’t have to clean a bigger brush instead and not saying a BIG brush either. It’s small but the actual bristles¬†space is larger so you can have more paint on it and cover more area. Of course, it wasn’t until I was almost finished with it that I started to use it! You need more water in the paint so it will show up as you paint it on the sides of the jar. The darker colors show up better, I didn’t necessarily try out the orange, yellow and pink but I honestly don’t think you’ll be a good enough shade to appear on it. I’ll try it out and see how it does next time!

She used the glittery paints as I mentioned in the beginning as she has a better time (or usually) squeezing the paint out than I do. We used these for our pumpkins a couple of years ago, it usually turns out pretty well! She mostly went around the design of the actual jars. She used both gold and silver paints. I like these a little more than her purple one that she mainly used regular Elmer’s glue and purple glitter that you sprinkle out of a little cup. Afterwards she had glow-y legs and socks! I’d say leave them out for an hour with a napkin underneath it in case any paint dribbles down to the bottom, I left mine on her counter overnight. When we do another cake mix, I’ll take home that decorated jar that I sort of have called “the ombre jar” because the colors just intertwine with each other!

Have you ever painted a mason jar before? If so, what did you use? 

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snowflake

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