Friday, October 23, 2015

My Friday Faves (Week 8)

Hey everyone, welcome to week eight of My Friday Faves which is currently going to be the last installment of My Friday Faves because these posts aren't as popular as I would like them to be. But, don't worry, I'll likely pick these posts up again when my blog gets a little bit of a better following and I have more exciting things to post about. Because this is the last installment, I'm going to make this post a little longer than usual (and also because I have a ridiculous amount of free time this week).

Festive Puppy Video
It's Fall and that means two important things: pumpkins and videos of corgis completely confused by pumpkins. This one is titled: "Corgi Puppy Can't Deal With Mini Pumpkin".

Have an affinity for the founding fathers and rap music? Then then 'Hamilton' may be the musical for you. My roommate was listening to the Broadway soundtrack and I couldn't tell if this was an actual thing or a joke for the longest time. Apparently, this musical is completely serious and people are paying a whole bunch just to score general admission tickets. After listening to the soundtrack in full probably about three times, I can sum this musical up as: "If the founding fathers were bros". The music is actually quite catchy and I can definitely tell why my roommate loves it so much. The official website for this musical can be found at

When this show comes to Chicago when it starts to tour, I'm definitely going to have to see it! I was just thinking the other night that by the time that I start teaching, this musical will likely be used in history classrooms. I honestly wouldn't mind it though, because it's pretty historically accurate besides all the rapping. I'm pretty sure that the founding fathers didn't rap all that much.

As per usual, I've been avoiding responsibilities and playing games on my phone. I'm going to share with you two apps this week: AdVenture Capitalist and Monopoly Bingo. Both of these are free apps that are available for iOS devices (I'm not quite sure about other platforms). I feel like a huge dork telling you guys that this is literally how I spend my free time, but oh well, here it goes:

AdVenture Capitalist is just a super addicting game where you 'buy' businesses to earn profit which can then be funneled into more businesses. There really isn't much of a goal, but it's very relaxing for me. I've full completed one of the three worlds that are currently available in the game. It's all the fun of capitalism at the click of a button!

This app is produced by Kongregate and works pretty well besides one glitch that I'm currently facing where it exits the app when I try to buy the maximum number of businesses in the Earth mode. However, they are constantly coming up with new patches for the app and if you keep updated, it generally runs smoothly.

The other app I'm going to talk about is Monopoly Bingo. I have a bingo addiction and I'm not afraid to admit it. Seriously though, I live for the days when I end up in a nursing home and can play however much bingo I want. This app is a spin on classic bingo and has all these super awesome power-ups that make the game more fast paced. I can't tell for sure if you're playing against other players or just game generated ones, but it's exciting either way. They also have a version of the game out based on the board game 'Clue' and surprisingly enough, it's called Clue Bingo. So, I have both of these apps on my phone and when I run out of lives on one, I switch to the other. I live on the edge.

This app is produced by Storm8 and in my limited time playing it, I haven't run into any major glitches. Although, if I could change one thing about this app, I would make it easier to earn money to spend on power-ups and keys to unlock the prize chests because I'm always out of money and I don't know where it's going.

Art Supplies
Lately I've really enjoyed working with the Caran d'Ache Neocolor Wax Pastel I Set in portrait colors. These are basically the fine art version of crayons and they're really nice to work with. They provide a great layout of color and the tones included in the package are very rich in pigment. I did a piece with these crayons for one of my AP drawing and painting concentration pieces this last school year and I was able to do a watercolor resist with the background. I'm going to share my art piece, but I was working with varying degrees of distortion, so the texture of the skin and face shape are a little bit off. I had a lot of fun working with these crayons and look forward to creating more pieces with them in the future and possibly incorporating them into some art journal pages.

I bought my set of these crayons from Blick and they came in a pack of 10 for $17.99. They're amazing quality and don't wear down as much as normal crayons do, so they're definitely worth the price. I have the set of 40 on my wishlist right now and may end up spending some of the gift cards to Blick I got from graduation on this set. The crayons can also be bought open stock which is great for colors that you use a bunch but don't want to buy an entire new set. The portrait set that I've been working with doesn't have a black crayon, so I have to substitute dark purple normally, but I'm going to buy a black crayon open stock just for convenience. These crayons can be found at this link.

I recently figured out how to save gifs to my computer (I'm not that great at computer stuff, okay?), so I wanted to share some of my favorite animal gifs. Watching these just make me so happy, so I figured that I should share some with you guys to brighten your days! I've found that the best place to find gifs of adorable animals is on Reddit under /r/awwgifs which is basically a collection of everything cute and moving.

Picture of My Dog
And in honor of the last edition of My Friday Faves (for the time being) I'm going to bring back the pics of my dog. This week she got her Halloween costume; she's going to be a lion. The first costume that my sister found for her was slightly too small and she wasn't all that happy about that.

Then my sister went out and found her another lion costume because they couldn't find one that was the same as the first one. I think this photo is hilarious because it was taken while she was yawning so it looks like she's roaring. I set this photo as my phone wallpaper and I laugh every single time I turn it on to check the time.

So that basically sums it up for this week! I hope you all had a great week and an amazing weekend! And if you're ever feeling nostalgic, check out my previous weeks' worth of Friday Faves to tide you over until they resume. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Let's Art Journal (Week 4: Grocery Shopping)

This week's art journal post is a combination of a journal entry and a rant (about raspberry preserves). I don't think anyone else truly understands how annoyed I am about my raspberry preserves situation, but this is my blog, so I can complain about whatever kind of fruit spreads I please. If you don't want to hear me complain about unimportant things, feel free to skip down to the supplies section of this post where I actually start talking about art journaling.

Raspberry Rant 

This whole situation started when I went to Target to get a jar of raspberry preserves to but on bread for the long weekend when our school cafeteria is closed. I didn't find out that I wouldn't have access to food until sometime this week when my roommate mentioned it. This wouldn't be that big of a deal because everyone is heading home for the four day weekend, but I can't fly home for every long weekend, so I'm kind of stuck here.

So anyway, I go to Target with some girls from my sorority and we're a little cramped on time, so I picked the first jar that said raspberry preserves on it and got to the checkout. It looked like the same kind I normally buy, except when I got home I realized that it was sugar free raspberry preserves. I texted my mom and she told me to return it, but that wasn't an option because Target is super far away and I don't have a car to get there. Plus, whenever you return food to a grocery store, they have to throw it away because it might have been tampered with and I feel super terrible wasting food like that.

I decide that I'm just going to use the sugar free preserves because I already have them and I spent four dollars on a tiny jar of them. I was hesitant at first because there's Splenda in them and my mom has had several small allergic reactions to artificial sweeteners like Splenda. Food allergies run in my family and they're not fun.

First of all, sugar free preserves have a totally different texture than normal ones. They're more gelatin like and they basically look like raspberry seeds floating in a red jello. They're super hard to spread on bread because it likes to clump together. I didn't quite realize that until I tried to scoop some out of the jar with a butter knife and ended up flinging a blob of preserves at the wall.

Second of all, sugar free raspberry preserves taste terrible; they're like a combination of artificial, chemical taste and tasteless at the same time. (I'm absolutely terrible at describing what food tastes like, so I don't plan on going into food blogging in the near future.)

You can pretty much get rid of whatever food you don't want by walking up and down the dorm floor and knocking on doors asking if people want it, but sugar free raspberry preserves turn out not to be a hot item. I've asked pretty much everyone in the entire building and I still have a jar of sugar free raspberry preserves in my fridge with only a knife-full taken out (and the glob that ended up on the wall).

So I decided to walk a mile to the local grocery store to get raspberry preserves with actual sugar. I paid a lot of attention this time to the labels because all the containers look essentially the same but the contents vary wildly. The only thing I got out of this situation was completing my step goal for the day by walking all the way to the store and back, which rarely happens and another four dollar jar of raspberry preserves, except they were the right kind this time.

So this rant was the inspiration for this week's journal page because I really wanted to do some drawing from observation and I also really wanted to complain about my stupid problems. If I'm going to be really clich├ęd, I should add a hashtag of #FirstWorldProblems to this post but tagging doesn't work on Blogger.

Supplies (The Part Where We Actually Start Journaling)

  • Derwent Watercolor Pencils
    • Geranium Lake #15
    • Crimson Lake #20
    • Madder Crimson #19
    • Ivory Black #67
    • Sap Green #49
  • Fabric Tape
  • Prismacolor Marker Pen in .03 Black
  • Watercolor Brushes and Water
  • Receipt 
  • Archival Gluestick

So I begin by setting up my journaling area so I don't have to get up to keep getting things. I make sure that I have a fresh cup of water for my watercolor pencils (I've been using an adorable teacup that I found at a thrift shop.) and I put the jar of raspberry preserves that I'm using as a reference in front of me.

I start my page by drawing in the lid of the jar and where the red part of the label is. While working on this journal page, I realized how hard it was to differentiate my tones of red and I really wish I had a darker red tone.

I add in my second tone of red, but it really looks the same as the first. At this point, I start layering the tones of red trying to get a darker tone.

I begin to define the shape of the jar using yet another tone of red, but it comes out oddly at the top. The bottom of the jar also looks a little too wide, but I don't care about this because I'm just going to end up defining the shape of the jar later with my black marker.

I used my black watercolor pencil to add in the black square in the label and also give the jar a more structured shape. I tried to get the darker tone of the actual preserves by adding black to the areas where they would be, but I probably should have used brown to get a more natural color. I would suggest a mahogany or umber color for this.

I use my sap green watercolor pencil to add in leaves to my raspberries so that they look a little less like blobs. I think this little raspberry design in the middle of the label is one of my favorite parts of this page! I also use my sap green to add a slight green tone into the black areas on the jar so that they don't look so ominous.

I then use my madder crimson watercolor pencil to draw back into the red areas, still trying to achieve that darker tone. This time, I didn't use water on the pencil, I just used it like a colored pencil and it gave a nice effect. The areas where I had put the green were still a little bit wet which made the pencil super dark and pigmented on top which worked out well.

Now, I use my Prismacolor marker pen in .03 black to add the details into the jar. This was especially important for this part of the drawing because of all of the wording that's on the jar. I messed up on top of the lid because I thought I could write backwards and upside down, but it turns out that my numbers are backwards half of the time, whoops...

Adding in the lines that defined the raspberries and their leaves really made the drawing transition from a rough watercolor sketch to looking like a final product. I also used my black marker pen to further define the shape of the jar which I had messed up earlier. I didn't care if the watercolor extended beyond the lines that I set as the side of the jar because it just adds to the gestural feeling of the watercolor sketch.

I use some natural colored fabric tape that I had bought at Target to attach the receipt from this purchase to the page as another texture. Before I used the fabric tape, I covered the back of the receipt in archival glue stick just to assure that it wouldn't peel off of the page or have a weird gap where I didn't tape it. I just really liked the look that the receipt paper gave in opposition to the mixed media paper that the journal is because of the glossy texture, although it really isn't that visible in the images. There was also the perfect amount of space left on the page for the receipt to go!

Then comes the journaling part where I write all over the page about the elements I chose to include. I wrote a bit larger this week than I normally do just to add some difference between my pages. Basically my paragraph journal entry is a paraphrase of the rant that you all just read.

 I've been trying to work on my hand lettering for these journal pages, but it's still not great. I'm really going to practice some lettering for my next journal page because as you can see from my little calligraphy fail last week, there's some room to improve.

Then I decided that the page was looking a little bare and that adding more raspberries would be cool because I had so much fun drawing them on the label. I used the same watercolor pencils from earlier to loosely draw them into the blank spaces, including on top of some of the journaling I had just completed. Thank god for swatches because I wouldn't be able to remember which colors I used otherwise! The gestural drawings really pull the whole page together and I just really liked the way they turned out.

I the areas where there wasn't any text, I detailed the raspberries and their leaves with my Prismacolor marker pen to give them some more definition. You can also see in the previous image that I darkened the arrow pointing to my receipt because it just started getting lost in all the chaos going on around it. Making slight adjustments like this as I work on the page really helps me with my design skills because I'm able to view the composition and make changes accordingly.

And then we have a final product! I'm super happy with the way that this page turned out (as mentioned several times throughout the post). It was also really nice to take one of my frustrations from this week and turn it into something expressive and beautiful like a journal page. Normally, when you think of groceries, you don't think of art, but I really like to draw food because I'm normally surrounded by it so it's easily accessible for reference.

If you decide that you're inspired by drawings of my groceries and create your own journal page, I'd love to see it. You can send images of your art journal pages to my email which is listed in the contact me tab or by tagging it with the hashtag, #CKLetsArtJournal on Instagram. Also, if you've ever been in the same raspberry preserve predicament that I was in, I'd like to hear about that too and the comments are always open for that kind of thing.

It's going to be a week full of new posts, so get excited! I have a DIY monogram picture with floral accents that I'll be finishing up this weekend and then hopefully posting, a review of some products and the last installment of My Friday Faves which I've been working on and am super excited to post tomorrow. Here's a hint, if you enjoy the founding fathers, rap music, photos of puppies and other fun stuff, you'll love tomorrow's post!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Modcloth Unboxing!

On Monday this week, my long awaited package from Modcloth arrived! It's always super fun to unwrap all the items, and this time, I was especially excited because I was also receiving a Fall Grab Bag because I spent over $150 on this purchase!

Like always, my order comes in a beautiful periwinkle, white and brown box decorated with polka dots. Even the box makes a statement! When I was walking home from the campus post office, two or three girls asked me what I got from Modcloth after seeing this signature box.

All of the items came wrapped separately, and I was super excited to open up my Fall Grab Bag (Upper left).

The bag itself is adorable. It's a faux denim with plaid accent and navy blue lining. I'm totally going to be using this to carry around art supplies!

Inside was a plaid Modcloth themos (see close up below) and a navy blue beanie. I've never been one for this style of hat, but I've seen some Pinterest DIYs that I can use to spruce it up a bit. I'm sorry for the poor quality of image but my phone doesn't seem to like to photograph dark colors.

I bought this dress mainly for the flamingo print because of my sorority.The neckline is beautiful and I love the little bow detail. The skirt is a little long on my legs, so I'm going to hem it when I get home for break. Sometimes these dresses also don't have much volume in the skirt, but I intend to wear one of my tulle skirts underneath it.

If you're interested in other flamingo themed fashion, check out my post: Fashion Faves: Flamingo Fest!

This dress is awesome! I was expecting a stiffer material judging on the website photo, but it turned out to be kind of like a neoprene. The one thing that bugs me about this dress is that the ruffle on the skirt is attached in pieces but the backs of the pieces are white,  so when you move, you can see the unfinished sides of the fabric. There is also no hem on the bottom of the ruffles, so I may have to add one myself to convince myself that I won't get a frayed edge.

This dress is super awesome. The website said that it ran small and to size up, so I moved up to a medium. Man, were they right, the medium fits like a charm! The two different patterns are also different types of fabric which leads for an interesting composition. Even though the zipper isn't meant to be an accent, I really like the industrial vibe that it adds.

I'm sorry that I had to keep this post kind of vague, I have a lot of stuff going on this weekend. I'll probably come back and update this post in the week to come, so make sure you check it out!
*I am a Modcloth affiliate, but was in no way compensated for this post. All products shown were purchased with my own money and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.*

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Friday Faves (Week 7)

These super cute bracelets are this Friday's Style Steal from Cents of Style and can be purchased for $9.99 and includes free shipping today (10/16/15) only with the code '15TRIBE'! This is an affiliate deal, so I've attached my personal affiliate link here. (I may be compensated for any purchases made by you after clicking my link.) There's so many different sayings to choose from, and they're all really cute! These bracelets were originally $24.95 so this deal is totally worth it. Now, I just have to decide which saying I want! Right now, I'm leaning towards the one that says 'Make Good Choices' because, oddly enough, that's how I signed everyone's yearbooks before they left for college.

This week I want to give recognition to the artist Nancy Zhang who is a fashion illustrator. She works from her own images and just creates these amazing little fantasy worlds. Her page specifically for fashion illustration can be found here and her homepage can be found here. (I'd just like to remind you that these images are property of the artist and if you would like to pin them, please do so from her site directly. I, in no way, have ownership of these images and are posted here purely out of admiration.)

I really like her use of color and composition. The way that she incorporates her signature into her work is also extremely unique. The fashion is beautiful and the artwork is beautiful, what more can you ask for?

So I've finished the two seasons of The Carrie Diaries and I was really sad to see it end. I thought the next move was to start Sex and the City because The Carrie Diaries is the prequel. I've noticed some indescrepencies between the two shows specifically regarding Carrie's past, but that was expected. It's extremely easy for me to believe that Anna Sophia Robb and Sarah Jessica Parker are the same person only about 15 years apart; the hair and the narration style just pull it all together. This show isn't available on Netflix, so I was initially nervous that I wouldn't be able to find all the episodes without checking it out from the library, but to my luck, all of the seasons are available in full from Amazon Prime. I'm only on the first season right now, so I'm still waiting for the outfits to get good. Right now, the clothing is just really terrible 90s stuff that doesn't quite give me the Carrie Bradshaw vibe. And also, as the title suggests, there is a lot of sex, so this show isn't for the conservative!

I also found this interesting article from Refinery 29 written by Jessica Chou titled: "The Actual Costs Of Sex & The City's Most Iconic Outfits Will Shock You". It takes a look at three different Carrie Bradshaw iconic outfits and details how much each item is priced and the total cost of the outfit. I highly recommend looking it over here!

Pinterest Find
This week I bring to you a Buzzfeed article by Alanna Okun titled: "32 Reasons Succulents Are The Best Plants Ever". This article has some really beautiful images and some totally feasible DIY projects if you have the space to keep plants. I had a succulent once, but somehow I managed to kill it, which no one ever thought was possible. I'm not all that great at keeping plants, but for those of you out there who can keep green things green, this article would be a fun read. This article can be found here.

If you have any suggestions on things for me to include in my next (and final for the time being!) edition of my Friday Faves, feel free to contact me with those suggestions! My contact information can be found in the Contact Me & Policies tab underneath the blog's header.
*This post contains an affiliate link from Cents of Style that I may be compensated for purchases made after subsequently clicking on the affiliate link. All opinions expressed on this product are entirely my own.*