Speed Paint Watercolor Mermaids Pt 2 and Creative Workshops Chit Chat

A couple of weeks ago I attended the first Children's Festival of Stories in Denver.  The first day was all about different events for kids and meeting other authors/illustrators.  There was a musician playing the cutest songs on ukelele, Emily Arrow, loved her songs!  The second day was full of different workshops, some focused on drawing the art for picture books and others were more focused on writing.  Instead of just taking classes centered on art, I decided to choose some writing workshops too.  It was so informative.  I am an author/illustrator and I have a published book, Queen Quail is Quiet, but it isn't a story with a beginning middle and end. There is a different tongue twister story for each letter.  

The writing workshops were SO good because I was able to understand more of the steps of creating character and dialogue.  A way to go about it is to think of the characters, their setting and what they are doing.  Then understanding the background of the story for the characters to have a thing and issue to react to in their dialogue.  It was amazing.  In the video I talk about the lamest dialogue ever, give a little background and then share what we came up with as a group in like 30 minutes tops.  It was the coolest thing ever, I'm still hyped about it.  

Bottom line, workshops can help you grow.  They did and continue to do so for me. :)

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Affordable Newborn Baby Must Haves Chat and Cute Bear Nursery Art

My babies are no longer babies. Sniff.  They are 5 years old and 3 years old, so the swaddling days are over. 

When I was painting and sketching for a future larger art piece, it got me thinking about when my little ones were teeny tiny babies.  These are the things that got us through the hard stuff, holy grail even,  from baby 1 to baby 2.  Hopefully this helps new moms to navigate their new motherhood journey from the start.

Graco Travel System - The convenience of a jogger stroller is just the best.  This one is light, made for running with it (when you're ready) and the baby carrier part pops out as well.  I love the storage underneath, perfect for when I would go on a walk to the mailbox with a baby or two.

Gerber 5-pack onesies (long sleeve and short sleeve) - Baby mittens never worked for my girls, they would have those puppies off in no time.  So to protect them from their own razor sharp nails, we used the long sleeved onesies with gloves attached.  They were great and pretty much always stayed put.

Weighted Baby Swaddle - This type of baby swaddle is extra comforting to babies because it makes them feel held and secure.  So cute and useful.  They were so peaceful and content, that made longer nap times as well.

Swaddle Receiving Blankets - Breathable and so so comfy.  These are the unweighted kind in muslin cloth, we had several of these in the cutest patterns.

Burp Cloths - a must have, especially since this type has a different backing that protects you from the spit up soaking through and getting to you.  Love.

Newborn Nightgowns - When you are only getting 2 hours of sleep at a time, the last thing you want to do is fumble with onesie snaps for diaper changes in the dark.  I highly recommend newborn nightgowns, so easy to change diapers and sometimes you won't even wake the baby with these.  Very convenient.

Baby Hats - It's essential to keep newborn baby's heads warm so having a good supply of baby hats on hand is a must. They are so cute all bundled up and stylin'.

Breast Pump - I breastfed both my girls and I swear by the Medela Freestyle Pump in the tote style.  It had everything I needed, made transitioning back to work a breeze and the double pumping means your hands are free so you can set a timer on your phone while you check out social media at the same time. Anything to pass the time easier helps.

Baby mirror - When you're looking for a baby mirror for your car, this is a really good one.  I love the way it vertically wraps over the headrest instead of horizontally.  The mirror is substantial in size and there are little toys that move around to keep baby entertained.  No guesswork involved with wondering if your baby is asleep or not, loved our mirror.

Sunshade - Baby's skin is super sensitive so this is the sunshade we used for protection.  This kit is great because you have extra that you can pop into the rear mirror from time to time.  

If you have any baby items you absolutely loved, please share down below. 

Would love to know what worked for you during this precious time!

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Join my newsletter so you never miss a new post, video or sneak peeks.  Plus, you will get a 20% off promo coupon as well.  :)

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Speed Paint - How I Paint Watercolor Floral Crowns or Wreaths

Hey guys!  I got a request for a video showing how I paint a floral wreath.  For some reason I kept thinking floral crown and that is the video I made.  Pretty much the same premise, just not in a circle.  I put floral crowns on my animal characters and they are just too cute!  

I draw my character in pencil with a little blank area where the crown goes.  I love drawing lightly in pencil with my favorite mechanical .3 pencil.  I try to keep a color palette in mind, bridal magazines or boho brides on Pinterest are a great reference point for ideas.  Even floral arrangements would work.  Once I have this in mind, I start with big organic flower shapes first with my small round brush.  Leaving space for mid-size flowers and then smaller flowers, leaves and berries.  

I wait for the first layer to dry before I paint anything next to what I already painted.  This way, I am not painting wet into wet and getting a big watercolor mix of all of my colors.  If you do want a gradient effect, wait until the paint is like 3/4 dry and then paint next to that wash.  Then they will mix together a little bit and dry beautifully.  

Here is everything I love in my watercolor kit.  From paints to brushes to paper.  

Let me know if this was helpful and if you paint your own floral crown or wreath, I'd love to see!

Definitely tag me on Instagram, @fluximagery

Sweater Mermaid Watercolor Speed Paint Chit Chat - Goal Planning

Happy New Year!  How are you?  I am using a word of the year this go around and my word is "routine" aka "consistency".

So far so good and I feel like I'm balancing on a super thin balance beam and I get some steps figured out, then I fall right off.  So I'm watching that and being mindful of what is working and what isn't.  One of the things that has worked so well for me last year was bullet journaling and planning one week at a time/day at a time.  

This is everything I use for journaling/planning

Things I have learned:

  1. Plan ahead of time - I figure out what free time I even have available daily and then from there I plan out my ideal week.
     
  2. Broadly plan for the week or day - I am trying not to get too specific about what I do in the time allotted, just committed to doing it.  Like exercise for example, I will say my days to exercise are Mondays and Wednesdays in the evenings.  Then from there, I just go to the gym.  On that day I might look at the classes available and whatnot but I am basically focused on getting TO the gym, once I'm there, I'm committed so I can choose what I want to do but the bottom line is I am there.  Same thing with art, making videos, etc.  Just do it and plan out the details later.
     
  3. When I "shoot from the hip", nothing gets done.  Having a completely blank slate for the next day doesn't serve me well at all and I end up not being productive at all.  Having BBRs (before bed routines) where I figure out what I'm wearing, get my kid's outfits ready, their lunches too, look at my schedule for the next day, etc all adds up to getting things in line for the next day and limiting the real-time decisions I have to make that day.  I read this book last year, "The Power of Habit", and I learned that my motivation is highest in the beginning of the day so I try to make the best choices for what I want to accomplish.  Tackle main goals for the day, drink more water, eat more veggies, move my body, do the hardest thing first, etc.  

Here's a post I wrote last year about bullet journaling.

This print is available here.

Are you into planning too? Yay or nay, let me know down below. Definitely share your planning tips if you have them, I need all the help I can get.

Inktober Fail? Not quite.

Have you ever had grand plans and they didn't go as planned?  I did with Inktober and I didn't last past one week.  However, I see it as a lesson learned and it just solidified my passion for watercolor and watercolorish mediums.  I talk about this more in this video.

I just got these water-soluble pastels and I will be working with them this week, can't wait to share how that goes.  Have you used them before?  So excited!  I have all of the tools I use linked up on my Resources page too.

How to Deal with a Creative Slump

I've been feeling a little down in the dumps.  Inspiration and creativity come and go, comes with the territory a bit.  I found an artist that completely inspired me but at the same time made me doubt what I was doing.  That's all my little protective positivity dam needed to spring a little leak and then a rushing river of negative thoughts came pouring through.  

I needed to make it stop and quickly so I thought about what I would do if this happened and I was still in college.  I would walk up to my professor and I'm pretty sure he or she would say, "What do you like the most about this other artist's work? Break it down and get back to basics."  So that's exactly what I did.  I took screen captures of this artist's work, put them all into a Word doc, printed it out in black and white.  

The thing that I felt the biggest slump about was composition and adding more elements to my pieces.  So I went back to basics, The Rule of Thirds, and I drew little grids over the artwork.  This was so helpful in showing me what I wasn't able to see on my own just by looking.  Bigger element here, smaller complimentary elements here and they are placed here because of where they fall in the grid.  The basics.  Once I worked on that for a bit, I started sketching again and ideas started to flow.  Not immediately but the point is that they did.

Always remember to push yourself, there is always something new to learn.  Even if it is the basics and you have "been there, done that", do it again.  And be kind to yourself.  I think artists have the worst negative self talk, we are brutal sometimes.

What do you do when you get into a negative funk spiral?