practice makes perfect

Late last week I ordered a new calligraphy pen. I’ve been wanting to start working on my lettering and thought a shiny, new pen would keep me excited and motivated to keep going. Well, it came in the mail today! It’s an oblique calligraphy pen, so it’s a little more comfortable to hold and write with. I also bought some new ink. I was able to get a set of 10 colors for under $15. (Blick was having an awesome sale : ) )

I’ll only say that I’m just starting out so I’m a little shaky and hoping to get better with practice. I wanted to document where I am now to be able to look back and see my progress. Tonight, mostly I was just having fun writing phrases. Enjoy! : )

it's about time

try me

mean girls anyone? ...it is Wednesday, after all. ; )

mean girls anyone? …it is Wednesday, after all. ; )

Happy Wednesday everyone, have a great rest of the week!
Caroline : )

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a christmas card

So I’ve been on winter break for a week now and after about 6 days of being really lazy, I started putting together most of my christmas presents. I decided I wanted to attempt to create a watercolor christmas card to go along with a few of my presents. So after getting the feel for writing with a painting brush and watercolors I gave it a shot. I’m fairly happy with my first result and hope to make one for each of my lucky gift recipients. : )

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and spend lots of time eating with your families. : )
Caroline

the wonders of watercolor

As you may have been able to figure out by now, when I paint I usually head straight to the canvas with some acrylic paints. Lately though, I’ve been really interested in trying to work with watercolors. The last time I used watercolors must have been when I was…7 years old? I thought it was time to break them out again. I am just in love with the lightness watercolor brings to a painting. I headed over to Blick earlier today and picked up some paper and watercolors. When I got home I couldn’t wait to break them open, they were so beautiful. Here’s what I stocked up on:

I bought these at Blick as they were relatively inexpensive in comparison to some of the others.

I bought these at Blick. They were pretty inexpensive in comparison to some of the others.

While I was shopping elsewhere I stumbled across this entire watercolor kit. Complete with tubed watercolor, brushes, and even a small pad of paper. I'm not sure about the quality, but I figured it was a sign and bought these as well.

While I was shopping elsewhere I stumbled across this entire watercolor kit. Complete with tubed watercolor, brushes, and even a small pad of paper. I’m not sure about the quality, but I figured it was a sign and bought these as well.

Since it’s been such a long time, I just started playing around. I’m hoping once I get the hang of them again I’ll be able to create some beautiful pieces. I was mostly experimenting with colors and shading this time around, but I wanted to show you what I was able to come up with tonight!

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Now I only wish I’d painted this larger (it’s only about 2 inches wide) because I’d love to hang it up in my room. Maybe I’ll recreate it some time. I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on my watercolor adventures!

Caroline : )

skyline themed card

A few weeks ago was my roommate, Neha’s,  birthday. I made a cute sign to hang on her door, so I thought I’d share that. As well as a Chicago skyline themed birthday card I made. (Her boyfriend actually commissioned me to make it for him to give to her, haha) Either way, I think it’s a pretty cool card and wanted to share!

Neha's birthday door decoration!

Neha’s birthday door decoration!

: )

: )

Here's Neha's skyline inspired birthday card.

Here’s Neha’s skyline inspired birthday card.

: )

: )

For both the door decor and the birthday card, I only used a sharpie. It really shows how little you need to be creative. All you truly need is passion and inspiration. 

Caroline : )

she believed she could, so she did

My sister’s birthday was just a couple weeks ago, so I wanted to share the gift I gave her with you. I knew I wanted to paint her something, but I didn’t know what. We were in Hobby Lobby about a month ago browsing the aisles and she came across this canvas with the quote “She believed she could, so she did.” She commented on how much she loved it. I knew I wanted to do something with that quote but was a little stuck on how to make it more personal. I decided I would paint some floral themed things around the edges of the canvas to frame the quote in the center. I don’t know if you remember, but my sis and I painted one wall in her room mint chevron this past summer. I have a blog post all about that here. Since then, she’s started adding some magenta accents. She bought some really cool magenta chevron pillows, so I knew I wanted to have some pink to make those accents pop. I hardly ever get things right on the first try, and this is no exception. I started to work on a 16×24 canvas. I painted the quote first and then got completely stuck. After a few days with no inspiration, I decided I didn’t like what I had come up with and wanted to started over. I went back to the store and bought a fresh canvas, this time an 18×18. After the first mess up I wanted to make sure I had it all planned out before I started painting. I also bought some white paint pens, which worked much better for the lettering than trying to paint the thin lines of the letters with a paintbrush. Anyways, here’s the finished canvas:photo 2

Here's a close up of some of the details. : )

Here’s a close up of some of the details. : )

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It looks great on her wall and brings out the other pink accents around her room perfectly!

Have a great week,
Caroline : )

a floral fascination

Tonight, I needed a break. Time to myself. I had a fairly stressful couple of days. Long story short, my hard drive crashed. Luckily, I was able to recover almost everything and had it replaced, which is more than most people can say when their hard drives have crashed. Either way, still a pretty stressful situation to be in. I came home from class today with an urge to paint. I just bought some fresh canvases this past weekend and they were really in need of some paint. I wanted to paint something different, more challenging than what I usually paint. I don’t know if you’ve figured it out by now, but I have a huge fascination with floral, so I decided I would try to paint a flower of some kind. I’m not going to go into as much depth as I usually do with my process, and this is because once I got into the grove of painting, I completely forgot about documentation. Anyways, here’s a very condensed version of my process. : )

My canvas is 18" by 18" but I like to plan and sketch before I jump right into the paints, so I cut a square of paper to start.

My canvas is 18″ by 18″ but I like to plan and sketch before I jump right into the paints, so I cut a square of paper to start.

Then I sketched out the flower I wanted with inspiration from a few different photographs.

Then I sketched out the flower I wanted with inspiration from different photographs.

Once I had it all sketched out, I started transferring it onto the canvas.

Once I had it all sketched out, I started transferring it onto the canvas.

Very lightly, I sketched out the final design onto the canvas.

Very lightly, I sketched out the final design onto the canvas.

And then I just sort of went for it. After a few of the petals I got the hang of it and trusted myself.

And then I just sort of went for it. After a few of the petals I got the hang of it and trusted myself to paint.

Here's how it turned out!

Here’s how it turned out!

I have to say, one of my favorite parts of painting is looking at the final mixing palette.  So beautiful how the colors melt together.

I have to say, one of my favorite parts of painting is looking at the final mixing palette. So beautiful how the colors melt together.

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Have a wonderful night,
Caroline : )

p.s. you can follow me on facebook if you’d like!

minecraft themed birthday card

Just wanted to write a short post today to let everyone know what I’ve been up to lately! I’m in the process of moving back to my apartment in Chicago for my last year of college(!), which starts Monday! Once I get back to school, I have few ideas that I can’t wait to share with you. On another note, my little cousin’s birthday is coming up in a week and I wanted to make him an awesome card. So I did some ‘research’ and found out that he has been loving Minecraft lately. I thought “perfect!” I can make him a Minecraft themed card. I kept it pretty simple and just added some ‘minecrafty’ essence to a normal birthday card. : )

photo (4) copy

Have a wonderful day! (And if you’re also starting school soon, good luck & have a great first of the year!)
Caroline : )

sweet as a cupcake

I had the urge yesterday to paint a cupcake. I had a leftover canvas from a previous cupcake painting project and figured why not?! I already have three hanging in my room right now, but you can never have too many cupcakes in my opinion…

Since I decided to paint another, I figured I could show everyone my process. : )

Since I decided to paint another, I wanted to show everyone my process. : )

First thing you need is a canvas. I love using the skinny canvas boards versus the regular canvas for these particular projects. I got a package of 5 at Blick for maybe $10.

First thing you need is a canvas. I love using the skinny canvas boards versus the regular canvas for these particular projects. I got a package of 5 at Blick for maybe $10.

Now pick a color for your background. In my previous paintings I used a light pink. I decided I wanted a more 'masculine' cupcake today and went for a light blue.

Now pick a color for your background. In my previous cupcakes I used a light pink but I decided I wanted a more ‘boy-friendly’ cupcake today and went for a light blue.

mix mix mix!

mix mix mix!

And begin painting away!

IMG_2216

And begin painting away!

I like to prep before I go straight in with the paints. So I sketch out my cupcakes in pencil first.

I like to prep before I go straight in with the paints. So I sketch out my cupcakes in pencil first.

You just want to lightly sketch because you can't erase pencil on freshly painted canvas.

You just want to lightly sketch because you can’t erase pencil on freshly painted canvas.

I chose a darker blue for the bottom...

I chose a darker blue for the bottom…

...and green for the icing.

…and green for the icing.

I like keeping a little consistency in my cupcakes, so I always make my cupcake insides a cream color.

I always make my cupcake insides a cream color for consistency.

After the first layer of paint.

After the first layer of paint.

Then I like to outline to cupcake, but not with black. I use the background color mixed with a little black as I think it helps tie the whole thing together. : )

Then outline the cupcake, but not with black. I think it helps tie the whole painting together if I use the background color mixed with a little black.

Here we are with a thin outline of the entire cupcake.

Here we are with a thin outline of the entire cupcake. Looks pretty flat…

After the initial outline, I go back to thicken some parts to add dimension.

Now go back to thicken some parts and add small accent lines to create dimension.

Finished! : )

Finished! : )

Painting is something that anyone can do. When I’m stressed, I’ll take a break and paint for an hour. It soothes my nerves and helps me relax. I don’t consider myself a “painter” per say, but I like what I create and I enjoy creating it. I think that’s the most important part of creativity; doing it for yourself. If you enjoy it, who cares what other people think. Just go for it!

Caroline