Thursday, October 23, 2014

Inktober 2014 - Days 13 to 19

Here are my Inktober illustrations for Days 13 through 19.  I can't believe it's more than halfway over!
I also posted a color version (on Instagram) of the Schmoocle which I'll add to the blog soon.  In the meantime, Happy Illustrating!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Inktober 2014 - Days 8 to 12

Here are my Inktober illustrations for Days 8 through 12.  Enjoy!
I have to say that one of my favorites of this bunch is the first Monster - the Grumpyre.  Though to be honest, I loved drawing them all (though some were more of a pain in the hiney than others, lol).  I have plans on coloring some of these guys in Photoshop and he's one of the few at the top of the list.  Are you still participating in Inktober and if not, have you checked out anyone else's illustrations?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Inktober 2014

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am participating in Inktober this year - yay!  After watching the incredibly talented Jake Parker create and participate in Inktober each year, I decided to finally join in on the fun.  I thought it would be easiest if I picked a theme and kept with it for the month rather than trying to come up with a new idea each day (which I know I would eventually make me abandon it - boo).
Since my kid has been obsessed with the Singing Monsters game and has been requesting that I draw them like crazy anyway, I thought they would be the perfect way to make my way through Inktober this year (and make her happy).
I started off drawing them on plain yellow writing pad paper and changed to my sketch book on the second day.  It's only been 7 days so far and I can say that I've honestly been looking forward to drawing them each day!
So I wouldn't drive myself crazy or draw any doubles (though I'm thinking about re-drawing the Hoola girl in my sketchbook), I made a list to help me get through the month and kind of plan out which Monsters I want to draw each day.
If you want me to draw a particular Monster from the game that you haven't seen, leave me a comment and I'll add it to my list.  And don't forget to check out any other fellow Inktober participants drawings, especially the uber talented Jake Parker whom we have to thank for this awesome idea!

And by the way, my friend code for My Singing Monsters is 15033469BF.  You know, if ya wanna be monster buddies ;)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Free Download - Rainbow Dash's 20% Cooler Card

I posted the above photo a few weeks ago to my Instagram feed of a card I made for my niece's graduation party.  We're both My Little Pony fans and I wanted to incorporate both something handmade as well as something she would enjoy.  Since Rainbow Dash is one of her favorite MLP's, I decided to make a quick card with her on the cover (with a snippet of one of her quotes from Season 1).  Thankfully she loved it!

I received messages asking if I would share the card and here it is.  I made two options for you, one with the text saying "graduate, you're officially 20% cooler" and another with the same minus the "graduate" part if you'd like to give this card away for a birthday, book publishing day, etc.  I think it would be great to give as a first day of school card too!

To download, click on the images below to open, then right click and save the document where you wish.

The cards print two on a page and I've also included the inside text (you could always leave this blank if you want to hand write your own message).  Also, just a quick reminder that this card should not be used for commercial purposes which I'm sure ya'll know already.  Enjoy and tag me on Instagram if you print and use the card!

Monday, June 30, 2014

What's Shakin' Bacon

Soooooo, how've you been?  I've been a wee bit busy doing things like shave and wash my overly hairy dog, weed the 1,858,371 weeds that have cropped up on our property and finally pack up our 2013-2014 Homeschool supplies and begin our Summer Enrichment courses (Lord, help me).  I thought it was a good time after a little silence to share a quick update about what's been shakin' at La Casa Citino.

Making: Mini clay house "pots" for succulents and *trying* to finish up a quilt that I began in 2011 ...
Cooking: Shortbread Cookies with nonpareils and Pasta with Pumpkin (not at the same time, mind you)
Drinking: Venti Mocha Frapps by the fistful and Green Smoothies
Reading: Heaven is for Real (love, love, love this book!)
Wanting: More time to do things I want vs things I have to do (don't we all?)
Listening: Chicken Thistle Coop Cast
Watching: catch up on Supernatural, Bones, Game of Thrones and now True Blood (please don't disappoint on your last season!)

There are more updates but I'm enjoying the unnatural quiet of the day and will post them later this week.  In the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far whether your vacationing, stay-cationing or continuing to work your tail feathers off!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Podcast Playlist

Are you a podcast listener?  I am and love my current show selection, but for the longest time I thought I couldn't tune in since I didn't have an iPhone.  Stupid, I know.  A few months ago I wised up and downloaded two podcast apps for my Android and I have to tell you, working for business and pleasure has never been better.  Here's my current go-to list:

Joy the Baker Podcast - I love listening to Joy and Tracy, and I'll warn you now, Tracy's laughter is infectious.  They're too fun together and I'm excited to hear about Joy's new journey and life in New Orleans!

The Talking Dead - As a fan of the show, The Walking Dead, I would 100% recommend this podcast.  I love the way both Chris and Jason not only recap the show but talk about show theories, "holy cr@p did you see that?!" moments and basically just shoot the you know what.  They're Canadians too which brings me back to my old traveling days with my peeps during Flyers season ...

Concept Art & Illustration: Chris Oatley's ArtCast - I originally heard about this podcast through Will Terry, one of my SVS teachers and I love his open and engaging style.  He interviews other artists as well as gives advice and tips on illustration, portfolio's etc.

Paper Wings - This is another of Chris' podcasts, along with hosts Lora and Justin.  I was just recently introduced to this podcast and I loved their interview with Edgar Delgado.

Let's Get Busy Podcast - I came upon this podcast when I found out Dan Santat (love his illustration style!) was going to be interviewed and I'm glad that I did.  Matthew does a fantastic job interviewing his guests and is a pleasure to listen to.

Chicken Thistle Farm Coopcast - This podcast made me want to have my own farm and fill it with fruit, veggies, pigs and chickens.  Then after the freezing winter we had I realized it's best to leave these things in the hands of the professionals, such as Farmers Andy and Kelly.  They're an engaging and entertaining couple and I love listening to what's going on at their farm as well as their views and thoughts about farming.  I also learned a few tips about swine artificial insemination should I need that knowledge in the future ...

Meet the Author - I love a good interview podcast and this one doesn't disappoint.  They range of authors is incredible and the interviewers continually change which is pretty neat.  My favorites so far have been the interviews of Patricia Cornwell, Giada De Laurentiis, Kate DiCamillo and Dave Sedaris.

Savvy Homeschool Moms Podcast - Homeschooling can be a pretty isolating experience and it's nice to hear the thoughts of other Homeschool Moms, even if it's via podcast.  While they're a relatively new-to-me podcast, I like their tips and tricks so far.

They're all different genres and it works out perfectly since I can play the show that fits my mood at the time.  And if you're interested and a fellow Android owner, the two programs that I use are Stitcher and Podcast HD (if you have a better program, please share!) OR most have an option where you can listen online.

Are there any shows that I missed that you listen to and would recommend?  If so, please add your pick in the comments!  In the meantime, enjoy these picks!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Art Inspiration Friday

I love looking through Pinterest for some art inspiration and I thought I'd share my latest gems with you on this fantastic Friday.

Each of the picks for this Friday are incredible and if I could, I would fill our entire house with prints of these beauties (though my husband would want to know why our savings account was dwindling ...).  I noted each of the Artists names beneath their illustration and if you feel so inclined (which you should), click on their illustration and you'll be linked to their site.

Artist: Simona Bursi
Artist: Jetoy
Artist: Renata Liwska
Artist: Brandon James Scott

Artist: Jenn Hall
Artist: Jenn Hall

Artist: Varya Kolesnikova
Artist: Alexander Maskaev
To see more of my pins, visit my Pinterest board and if you fancy, follow my boards as well.  If you're a fellow Pinner, feel free to share your board URL in the comments section!  Happy weekend!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Community Service - What I Learned

Last May I had the ingenious horrible naive fantastic idea of volunteering for our local government (we're a small town) and I wanted to share what I learned from my experience with anyone who is looking to volunteer and share their talents.

* It's not just about you.  Okay, this is pretty much obvious and I knew this from the get-go, but you'd be amazed how many people who either serve on council or on committees who think that whatever project their working on is all about them.  Keep your eyes open and pay attention to the facts and issues at hand, and don't let anyone else's opinions (however intoxicating they may be) influence you.

* It's not your "baby".  I admit, after pouring my heart and soul out into completely updating and revamping their website, it felt like my baby ... my personal little project.  I'd find myself double and triple checking every link, code, etc to make sure everything was working in tip top shape.  But at the end of the day, that "baby" doesn't belong to you so you may have to let it go ...

* You'll meet and make new friends!  You have to reach out and contact practically everyone in your town, so get ready to make new friends and at the least, a ton of new acquaintances!

* It will feel like a part time / full time job.  And quite honestly, it is.  You will be working on projects (depending on what you volunteer for) anywhere between 10-40 hours a week ... and all for FREE!  That's right, no pay, baby.  If you can't hack it, walk - no, run away now!  You are not going to get paid, and you have to be okay with that.  And trust me, people will try to work you like a dog whether you're getting a paycheck or not.

* It feels great reaching out to your neighbors and community.  When you hear from so many people in your community that have visited your website, tuned in to your channel or seen a flyer you made and have been able to take advantage of a great program it makes you feel proud of your work an your committee.  It's one of the best feelings to know you've helped people and that they truly appreciate it!

* Know when it's time to say goodbye ... I had to make a hard choice earlier this year and decide whether I was going to continue offering my time and services for 40 hours a week for free, or pursue a different path which would allow me to follow my heart and dream as an illustrator, plus focus on my home-based business full time.  I ultimately chose to leave my volunteer job into the capable hands of my fellow committee members, knowing I just didn't have the time or effort involved anymore to dedicate to it.

In the end, it was a great experience and I learned a ton not only about my community as well as made new and friends.  There are something things I would have changed about what I did (had I known some of these tidbits) but in the end, I was happy with how things turned out and glad I was able to volunteer.

Be aware, I'm not discouraging anyone from volunteer work!  It's great and essential to have people who are there helping in our communities!  It's good, though, to know some important facts before committing to any projects.  I know that for me at this point in my life, spending 40 hours a week to work on various projects and not getting paid ain't gonna pay the bills, which means it's a no no for me right now.  Have you ever done volunteer work on a semi permanent basis for your community?  Share your experience in the comments section!

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Beginnings Of A Portfolio

One of my goals for 2014 is to continue creating pieces for my online illustration portfolio.  Late last year, I started working on this piece which was an assignment from an online class and I've been working on it off and on since then.  The assignment was to illustrate the story of a character named Mrs Pepper who having a party in the woods with her friends, as well as another character named Simon who, unfortunately, was not invited (I know, poor guy!).

My original version of this story is the bottom illustration, where Simon is a skunk.  When I decided to paint the piece in watercolor (the first colorings were digital), I decided to change things up and make Simon a gnome 'cause why not?  Here are both finished illustrations ...

So what do you think?  Do you prefer the Gnome or Skunk?  I feel like the gnome version of Simon makes the scene more colorful, plus a little more interesting considering he's the only non-animal in the scene.  I do have to share that the original skunk version was the more preferred with my peeps over here but I'd love to hear your opinions.

So what do you think ... skunk or gnome?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Doctor Who Love

"I will not forget one line of this. Not one day, I swear.
I will always remember when the Doctor was me."

Oh the feels!  I posted on my other blog about my Doctor Who inspired Tardis hoop in my Etsy shop and thought I'd share the Who love here as well.  You can't get enough Doctor Who after all!  But first, here are my favorite quotes from the last episode of the man with the delicate eyebrows, our #11, Mr Matt Smith ...

Clara's Gran: “I wanted everything to stop. I wanted nothing to change ever again. If he could just keep standing there, so beautiful ... That’s when I knew of course.”

The Doctor: :Trouble with Daleks is they take so long to say anything. I'll probably die of boredom before they say anything."

The Doctor: “Times change and so must I. We all change. When you think about, it we’re all different people all through our lives and that’s OK. That’s good. Gotta keep it moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”

Amy: “Raggedy man. Goodnight.”

And without further ado, here is the Tardis hoop in my Etsy shop (options include with or without the St. John's seal!).
Tardis_2 Tardis 4
The Tardis hoop (as well as other Whovian paraphenalia) is in my Etsy shop if you're interested in having a bit of 'Who' in your house.  In the meantime, let the countdown to Season 8 begin!

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Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 FREE Printable Calendars

Happy New Year!!  Most of are in the process of printing or downloading 2014 Calendars and I thought I'd share a few gems that I've found for free online.  Check them out, they're all fantastic!
(my favorite - I love that it has an editable box version!)

I'm crossing my fingers that this will be a productive year, thanks in part to one of these babies helping keeping me organized, focused and all together sane.

There are tons of other calendars out there if you search on google or even pinterest (where I found most of these).  Happy 2014, everyone!

Note: I don't own any of these awesome calendars, I just think they're stinkin' fantastic and wanted to share them!!