17 June 2014

Lady Gnome Tutorial

 A few weeks ago, I made a tutorial on how to draw a garden gnome. I am finally getting around to the lady gnome tutorial I promised. Better late than never, right?

For this tutorial, you will need: 

  • pencil
  • black pen
  • eraser
  • colored markers to make pretty!

Here she is! Remember, USE PENCIL for the fist 14 steps. You will be very sad when you get 14 steps in and realize you wanted to erase everything but you can't.

Good luck!

16 June 2014

Ballet Shoe Tutorials

Hey, so shoemaking must be catching on as an obscure side hobby, because I was fortunate enough to stumble across two pretty legit shoemaking tutorials as of late! Both would be featuring a ballet flat style shoe, similar to the tutorial I did a few weeks back. However, I thought I would share these other resources with any budding shoemakers that may be reading this for further techniques and tricks for making beautiful, basic, and still classy shoes.

Shoe 1: Kris Degraeve's DIY Shoes

Pros: Look very professional, seems easy to make, Kris seems to know her stuff on materials and such
Cons: Potentially short lifespan due to heavy reliance on adhesives and use of card stock in construction, need to destroy an existing pair of shoes to get pattern

A really good looking shoe in the end. Looks like anything you could buy at a store which is a huge plus. I think if you plan to have a typical lifespan for this type of shoe, i.e. its made of cloth and so probably wont last years unless you only wear them on special occasions, then this is a really good tutorial to follow, and I will probably attempt it some time in the future. Anyhow, here is a picture from around the middle of the tutorial series. Link is to the beginning of series.

Shoe 2: Tree Peeps Sewn Slippers

Pros: provides a good fit even if you don't want to spend hours perfecting a pattern, promotes recycling (she uses old corduroy pants),
Cons: doesn't provide any info on soling options, potentially irritating on ankles, no real pattern provided

I think this lady is awesome. Something about her. She seems like someone I could get along with. I could be wrong. Anyhow, not the most professional shoemaker in the world, but helpful to see someone else who is not a super design student of fashion guru, or a mastercraftsperson who is still making a pretty neat shoe that I would totally wear.

Bonus round: Bespoke Shoe Unlaced

So if you are serious about shoemaking in the long run, and interested in advancing your abilities, I would highly recommend this blog. I didn't know half of what they were talking about at first, as it is pretty technical, but I have to say it has challenged my shoe making and pattern making process.

Also provided below are some youtube channels that I occasionally waste far too much of my time watching, but sometimes it is helpful to see it as a video instead of photographs and words. WARNING: you may become addicted!

Sveta Kletina awesome pattern making tutorials
Marcell Mrsán I was sold on this 7 minute speed shoemaking video
Andrew Wrigley Really detailed bajillion part series on shoemaking

15 June 2014

Pancheros the Bamboo Shrimp Sheds His Skin!

So now that we have had our aquarium stocked with fish for, oh, about a week, Pancheros has decided that he is ready to shed his skin!! I wish I had gotten some pictures as it was happening but I was so surprised by what I saw I just watched, dumbfounded.

After looking into it, apparently they get a new skin every month or so, so it is really not as rare as I thought it was, but I am still excited that I got to watch on his very first skin shedding. I think the interesting part probably lasted only about a minute or two, so I was definitely looking at the exact right time. Here are some pictures of my shrimp just doing what comes natural to him. Bear with me I am still learning how to photograph an aquarium!

pancheros poses with his old wardrobe
ahh, that feels better
here pancheros is disconnecting the exoskeleton/skin thing

I like to think that he was so relieved that he actually had a cool aquarium to live in, he was ready and felt safe enough to take on life in a new skin, but I feel like this is wishful thinking on my part. He seems happy though :)

He spent the next several hours stretching in his new skin. It almost seemed like he had to fold out all his new parts and get them all stretched and ready for use. He is also able to crawl all over the log much easier now. Probably hard to move around in a crusty old, worn out shell of a skin.

10 June 2014

Turn Animal Tutorials into Art

So I have been spending the last few months making follow along animal drawing tutorials for you guys, and I just wanted to share with you some of the art I have created using these very same tutorials. I followed all the same steps, except this time I used a paintbrush and acrylic paint instead of the markers I typically suggest. I put these pictures here to inspire any and all who see them, not because of my awesome abilities, but that everyone can make awesome things if they put their mind to it and have some simple tools/steps to follow.

1. Red Deer with Sunglasses

The sunglasses were a mistake. I have no idea how my paintbrush managed that. Sometimes mistakes ruin things, sometimes they make the art alive and more interesting. I like to think that sunglasses deer is way more awesome than the one I was intending!

2. Garden Gnome

This one turned out a little different than I expected, though I still like it. I added rosy cheeks to the gnome, and some basic shading. Maybe I should make a tutorial about that next.

3. Tree Dryad with Cat

Ok so the cat is actually the part I used in this painting that is also in a tutorial. Also the tree. But I think the cat and tree turned out way better in the painting than the tree nymph goddess lady.

So there you go! Some simple examples of how I have used my drawing tutorials to make pretty cool, legit art!

05 June 2014


So... my husband and I have gotten completely consumed with our new project, setting up an aquarium! We are being all legit and have a piece of found driftwood, java moss live plants, and we impatiently allowed the tank 3 weeks to cycle and establish the plants, and now we bought our fish!

We got guppies because they are livebearers, meaning that they will make babies while living in our tank! How cool is that? We also got a bamboo shrimp who sits at the bottom of the tank where the water flows toward him (from the filter) and constantly eats things out of the water floating past him. He can also jump up on our log and clean away the white fuzz on our driftwood piece.

We also had a small jar (about 1 1/2 gallon) that we placed some extra java moss in and got a beautiful blue veil tail betta to go in there. We made him a little bloated when he first got here, possibly from overfeeding, possibly just general stress of new home/water composition, but now he is back to his chipper self and always swims up to the side of the tank to say hello when we sit next to him on the couch.

Pictures below! 

Shrimp is in front of wood piece. The three guppies are somewhat visible in front as well.

Mr. Shrimp. His unnofficial name is Pancheros.

This is a pretty crappy photo, he is a really pretty midnight blue color with a silvery blue tail.
 Anyways, I will post some good stuff soon! I have a flip flop tutorial I am pretty excited about!

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