MOVING TO NEW SITE


I just wanted to let everyone know that I am not missing, instead I have ventured into the wonderful world of my own website!

http://www.craftyartistkc.com is now live. Although it is not completed, I am slowly transitioning my posts over to the new site. Please please please go check it out and subscribe via email. I will be adding a lot more ways to follow me, but for now, please subscribe via email.

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Showcase Sunday #7 – Emily Guyton-Lange


For this week’s Showcase Sunday, I would like to introduce you to Emily Guyton-Lange from Never Idly Dreaming She has some of the most beautiful writings available for your enjoyment on her blog. Her creative writing is something that could keep you captured for hours as you read through her blog, especially since it is also sprinkled with beautiful arts and crafts. The simple fact that her blog is so well-rounded is a recipe for success. Before you run to check out her blog, learn a little more about her below in this week’s interview!


What made you get into blogging?

I’m an aspiring author who wanted to form connections with other writers and showcase some examples of my writing. The drive to create drives me in many areas outside of writing as well, such as crafting and academic work. The idea of sharing my thoughts with others on a regular basis seemed daunting at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to start. It has become a great place to share progress on my writing, as well as somewhere to celebrate my adventures in other crafts.

Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?

Unless you count one or two online classes about creative writing or grammar, I would say no. I have learned most of what I know about writing through other blogs, books, and of course, lots of actual writing. That being said, I intend to major in English with a focus in creative writing when I attend college this Fall, so I’m certain more formal training is on the horizon. For my crafting, which is admittedly a smaller part of my blog, I am indebted to my grandmother for my original instruction and the rest of my family for their continued creativity. My grandmother gave me many foundational tools which I used to learn about other areas of crafting myself, while my family of artists always encouraged me to be creative in any way I chose.

What is your family’s creative history? You mention that they have helped you with your crafting, but how?

My mom is a painter who also loves to work with mixed media, colored pencil, and graphic design. She was an art teacher for almost fifteen years before going back to school for natural medicine. My dad is primarily a photographer, but he also does quite a bit of mixed media journal work and graphic design, along with jewelry making and turning our backyard into a Japanese garden. He’s also a photography professor. My younger brother is a talented musician, stop-motion animator, and currently wants to pursue a career as a director.

Aside from giving me a general appreciation for the arts, providing the supplies for an artistic childhood, and nurturing a lot of my creative growth through homeschooling, my family has always been incredibly supportive of my creative pursuits. You often hear stories of families who try to force their child to pursue the career which will bring in more money, not necessarily what they were passionate about. My parents always make sure I understand both the highlights and the pitfalls of whatever I choose, but they’ll always be with me no matter what I decide to do.

What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?

I have a hard time answering this question because I feel like so many of my “failures” are merely setbacks which lead me to greater and better things. However, I am fairly young. I’m sure more setbacks and true failures are coming my way.

Who has influenced you the most with your blog?

Outside of my extremely supportive family, I would have to say, Ariel Hudnall. I took part in a Facebook-based class she led for writers who want to start blogs to promote their work or simply serve as an author platform. Ariel helped me learn my way around WordPress and gave many suggestions for how to run a successful blog as a writer. I adapted many of these suggestions for my own use, even in areas outside of writing such as my craft posts.

(Ariel’s blog: https://arielhudnall.com/)

How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?

I try to post consistently each Friday, as well as my Quote of the Day posts at the beginning of each month. During the academic year I probably spent two to four hours a week on blogging and related networking. During the summer I hope to prepare more Quote of the Day graphics and really focus in on networking, so that number may increase a little over time.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

I would say blogging is related to my chosen profession. I don’t realize profits from my blog and I don’t work on it full-time. Perhaps it will become a larger aspect of my profession at a later date, but for now I suppose it’s more of a hobby and a way to get my creative voice into the world.

What is your passion?

Specifically, writing is my passion. It’s difficult, sometimes heartbreakingly so, but I cannot escape how I feel when all of my hard work falls into place and I just know what I’m doing is worthwhile. Writing also fits under a larger umbrella, as I am passionate about all sorts of creation. The act of making something which did not exist before and would not have existed without my work gives me immense satisfaction. This could apply to writing, crafting, and even cooking. All are things I enjoy because it is the act of creating which fuels my passion.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

Above all, I hope to be happy and healthy. I may not know exactly what that happiness will look like yet, but it is always a part of my list of goals. Ultimately, I would like to be a published author. As I mentioned before, writing is my passion, and the ability to focus on that passion while sharing it with others is one of my main goals.

What is the longest thing you’ve written? and what is your favorite genre to write?

Currently my longest piece is actually the first novel I completed for National Novel Writing Month, at just over 75,000 words. That particular project is on the shelf for now, though I may come back to it in the future. My current work in progress is looking like it will be about the same length or longer, I’m about halfway through at this point and it’s just under 45,000 words.

Most of my writing is young adult and falls under the fantasy or science fiction heading. I love the genre’s ability to examine current social issues in a new context and bring diversity into the media. Plus, dragons are awesome.

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

I would like to leave behind a life well-lived, a life filled with passion and the fruits of my hard work. The legacy of a life lived in such a way so that my passions help others and their own passions to flourish. If one person is changed or comforted by something I write, that is enough for me.

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?

I’ve hinted at this with previous answers, but I don’t like being pigeonholed into a single subject! Never Idly Dreaming is primarily about my writing and writing goals, but if I only wrote about that I would have run out of ideas and interest long ago. My life has many facets, and I have many different creative outlets I’d love to share.


Don’t just take my word for it, please visit her blog and let her know that you saw her here on “Sunday Showcase.”

As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at craftyartistkc@gmail.com and I would love to feature you next sunday.

Third Degree Thursday #3


Do you know any sites that provide daily/weekly prompts/inspirations/themes?

This is a great question. First of all, looking for prompts can be as easy as searching on google. But if you want prompts that inspire and are unique, you have to look at little further. I will give you three sites for a few different subjects that I have used on my blog and in my personal journals.

Art Prompts –

  1. I am the Diva – On this blog, you will see that she does weekly challenges that teach you Zentangle techniques as well as provides interesting ways to use them. I have been looking at her challenges for a while and I always love what she comes up with.
  2. MadebyJoey – On this blog, you will also see weekly challenges. Her challenges are very interesting and typically run in series or themes. Right now she is going through the alphabet choosing a Zentangle pattern to go with each letter.

Bullet Journal Prompts –

  1. Pageflutter – This link will take you to ideas on how to build and section off your bullet journal for the year. She shows plenty of pictures so that you won’t have questions on how to do what she is trying to share.
  2. Bullet Journal – To be honest, I couldn’t possibly chose a place for Bullet Journal ideas without including this site. This is a very detailed site on ideas, themes, how-to and reviews. It was the first site that I visited when I was learning about the idea of Bullet Journals.

Journal Prompts –

  1. Daring to live fully – I have to say that I actually happened to stumble on this site, but it looks to be a very very detailed list of prompts that is sure to keep you busy for a long time!
  2. Creative Writing Now – If you need a little push in the right direction, or if you need an idea that sparks your creative writing, this is the place to go. She has a lot of information that is crucial to anyone who wants to write better.

Blog Prompts –

  1. Digital Marketer – Go to this site and save the page so that you can read it even when you are offline. This page is pretty thorough. Don’t read unless you are very serious about kicking your blog off to a very unique start. This list is extensive and will keep you blogging.
  2. Lostgenygirl – This is a lifestyle blog that helps you write about yours. It is very intense and personal, but in a really great way. Give it a try to see what you come up with.

I want to challenge you to take one prompt from one of these sites and put it to use in your own blog. After you have completed this challenge, link it in the comments below so that everyone can learn more about you and your blog.

So just like this week, I am asking for questions that you have. They can be about me, about my art, about art supplies or methods. Practically, any question you have I will do my best to get an answer for you by next Thursday.

I look forward to hearing and researching for you!

Showcase Sunday #2 – Personalogues


For this week’s Showcase Sunday, I would like to introduce Shridevi from www.Personalogues.com I had the pleasure of being introduced to her when she followed my blog and sent me an email. After getting to know her a little more through email, I began following her blog. I love that she has so many interesting topics, including Zentangle, which is a recent find in my life as well.
I love how you can look at each blog and see the growth and learning from the previous experiences in her life. She has even taken steps, I was too afraid to take. One of them specifically being her “Tangle Thursday” which inspired me to also make a weekday themed post. Because we follow some of the same blogs, I am always interested to see her take and understanding of the challenges presented. You won’t be disappointed with her serene blog that takes relaxation to the max.

Below is the interview conducted with her, Enjoy!


What made you get into blogging?

>> A few years ago, I used to write product reviews for a leading Indian beauty blog. It was then that I realized how much I love the whole process of writing and connecting with people through posts. Gradually, the rules for posting on that blog got more and more stringent. I felt the need for freedom in writing. So I started my own blog. But I couldn’t stick to it for long. This happened with a couple of blogs before I finally stuck to Personalogues. You can read the whole story here

Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?

>> No I don’t have any formal training in blogging or the subjects that I blog about. Personalogues was started as a personal blog covering several topics including personal experiences,random thoughts and perspectives, book reviews, travel and mainly my journey of learning Zentangle Art. I did learn the basics of Zentangle art from a certified teacher a couple of years ago, but that was just one session and I took it further from there by myself.

What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?

>> I think my greatest failure has been been my inability to do certain things just out of fear of making mistakes. I had that fear even when I started this blog. After I purchased the domain, I was too scared to make the first post. No post seemed perfect enough. Good enough to be seen on my blog. It took me almost a year to get over this fear. I joined a 30 day blogging challenge and through that I gradually learnt that my best is good enough and obsessing over perfection will take me nowhere.  

Who has influenced you the most with your blog?

>> I would like to give credit to Sarah Arrow of Sark eMedia for this. It was through her 30 day blogging challenge that I learnt so much about technicalities of blogging, gained confidence and grew my blog bit by bit.  

Tell us more about the 30-day blogging challenge you mentioned.

>> Here is a link to the Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/30DayBloggingChallenge/

and here is the link to the registration link – https://www.sarkemedia.com/blogging-challenges-traffic/ You get daily emails when you register on this email. Each email has something new to learn about blogging and at the end of each email there is a ‘To-Do’ activity for your blog. I also did a post on why one should take up this blogging challenge here http://personalogues.com/30-day-blogging-challenge-sarah-arrow/

How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?

>> On an average I spend about 5 hours a week on blogging. However, there are times when I have spent up to 5 hours a day as well on my blog.

How much time do you spend on the content of your blog, such as art pieces, reading or experiences shared?

>> I try to draw every single day, and spend about 30 minutes to an hour on my art pieces. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one continuous sitting. Sometimes I do it in bits and pieces. Like if I have about 10 minutes to spare, I complete whatever I can in those 10 minutes. Sometimes I just practice the patterns before actually implementing them on the main piece of art.

Similarly for reading, most of the time, I don’t read at a stretch. I read as and when I get time during the day. However, if the book is really good and I can’t put it down, I stay awake through the night to read.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

>> As of now, blogging is just a hobby or rather a platform to showcase my hobbies – drawing (Zentangle Art), reading and travelling mainly.

What is your passion?

>> I am passionate about

Parenting – Most of my energies and thoughts go towards bringing up my daughter

Reading – I have always been called a bookworm

Zentangle Art – Since about a year or so. It is so very relaxing and calming

( If I make a pie chart of all the three above, parenting would take up about 85%)

Do you include a lot of personal experiences on your blog, such as pictures with your family or daughter? Why or why not?

>> I don’t include too many personal experiences on the blog, just the ones worth sharing. Like if I enjoyed an outing or a vacation or seen a movie that I really liked or hated I post about it. I refrain from posting a lot of details or pictures about my family. This holds true not only for my blog, but also social media. I barely post any personal pictures on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, because I am not comfortable doing so.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

>> I want to live my life to the fullest without any regrets.

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?

>>Not really. However, I would just like to mention that this is my first ever ‘interview’ by a blogger and I feel like a sort of celebrity. To the readers of this post – Do stop by my blog and say Hi, would love to hear from you!


Don’t just take my word for it, please visit her blog and let her know that you saw her here on “Sunday Showcase.”

As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at craftyartistkc@gmail.com and I would love to feature you next sunday.

Third Degree Thursday #2


Here are the questions from last week.

How do you organize and store your art supplies?

This question can only truly be answered with pictures. YAY! Everyone likes pictures right? So, the first thing I want to say is that I have a TON of pens and pencils. Seriously, I have accumulated way more than my share for sure. But I wanted them to be at my fingertips. So, I decided I would get crafty and make some canisters for them to sit in.

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All I did was take some 12×12 scrapbook paper I had lying around from my years of scrapbooking and cut them to size in order to go around old formula cans I used to get for the babies. These canisters work perfectly, in the beginning. I now have so many that I can’t keep them all in canisters anymore. I have purchased a case from amazon that allows me to hold all 120 of my gel pens that I recently purchased there as well.

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All of my paper I keep in plastic drawers that are 12×12 and 8.5×11. I like to keep my paper flat as opposed to keeping it in hanging folders or file folders on my desk. I feel like it keeps them flat and crisp.

How do you store your completed projects/artwork?

Because my artwork varies in sizes I have two ways of keeping these taken care of. First off, let me say that keeping your artwork out of the light, does help them keep longer. So, I have started using this box to keep my artwork in. It measures 14”L x 16”W x 8”H. This box allows me to keep my artwork inside. Currently, the largest paper I have is 11”x14” so it all fits.

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Another solution that I have for my artwork is for my smaller pieces. The Zentangle or Artists Tiles that I have been known to work on I keep in a photo book. This works out great for me and I got this photo book from Hollar for $1.

I just thought my zentangle art fit so well in this book and it keeps all my lessons in one place. It is definitely a fun way to keep your art at your fingertips without framing it all. I highly recommend it.

So just like this week, I am asking for questions that you have. They can be about me, about my art, about art supplies or methods. Practically, any question you have I will do my best to get an answer for you by next Thursday.

I look forward to hearing and researching for you!

Showcase Sunday #1 – Jenn Coulbeck


Showcase Sunday #1 – www.JennCoulbeck.com

For this first Showcase Sunday, I want to introduce Jenn Coulbeck. You can find her blog at www.Jenncoulbeck.com. The first thing I noticed about her blog is how unique her art is. I love how she organizes her blog into easy to search previews. Her art is something I admire. I feel like she has the touch to bring her drawings to life by adding color and faces to what may seem completely abstract.

I had an opportunity to ask her some questions about her blog in an email interview, shown below. Please enjoy and learn something from this amazing blogger and artist.

What made you get into blogging?

I’ve had an on again, off again affair with blogging since around 2002. My first blog was called ‘The Tragedy of a Beautiful Night’ and was hosted on blogger. I’ve used several platforms including Livejournal, Deadjournal, My Trending Stories, Blogger and DeviantArt before finally settling down to WordPress, which is my favourite of the lot.

I was originally inspired to blog by online friends after seeing their amazing blogs.

Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?

I do have a degree in Illustration from The University of Lincoln, but my work back then was nothing like what I am doing now, so… yes and no. I try to apply what I was taught during my degree to my work now, but they don’t relate all that much other than being art.

What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?

I once presented some work to a lecturer at university and was basically told, I can’t draw realism – their words – so I took my work in the direction it’s going now, working more of that abstract elements and different ways of mark making.

Who has influenced you the most with your blog?

It’s hard to say, actually. It’s a new blog in the grand scheme of things and it’s really just starting to take its own steps. Bloggers that inspire me are Leonie Dawson, while we’re not as ‘hippy-woo-woo’ as one another and nor am I selling anything, I admire her candid way of writing that reflects her personality.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

I’ve never really been given any advice personally about blogs, but there are a plethora of people who will give it out freely if you go looking. There is one piece that has stuck in my mind recently, only because for a long time I was rather stubborn about implementing it! That’s stick to a single topic for your blog. For a long time I posted about anything and everything that popped into my head and was left scratching my noggin over why I wasn’t getting any followers. Since creating my dedicated art blog, I’ve not ran into this problem!

How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?

It really does vary depending on how much time my son sleeps a day! I tend to try to keep a decent schedule going on behind the scenes in case he decides to only sleep for 10 minutes.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

Despite my background, it’s just a hobby. If I sell a print through my Society6 store or get someone subscribed to my Patreon account I’ll be over the moon, but it’s not what is driving me to create artwork and blog about it.

What is your passion?

I love easy walks with the dog (nothing too stressful like mountains) and I am an avid reader of books, but my real passion is art and creativity. I love seeing and reading about people’s art projects – especially if they bleed enthusiasm, which is why I love WordPress over other platforms, there’s this whole community of bloggers behind it to connect with.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

Happiness.

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

The biggest collection of marker pens and coloured pencils anyone has ever seen

Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?

I am always looking for feedback on both my blog and the content of my posts. As well as new faces to network with. So don’t be shy, say hi!

Don’t just take my word for it, please visit her blog and let her know that you saw her here on “Sunday Showcase.”

As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at craftyartistkc@gmail.com and I would love to feature you next sunday.

Depression and Anxiety are real.


Depression and anxiety are two things that a lot of people don’t understand can go hand in hand. I may seem outgoing and happy, but dying on the inside. I love having people over to my house, but it is nearly impossible to get me to go party anywhere else. I’ve made my environment comfortable and to step out always causes such anxiety.

I wrote this poem the other day. Its something that has been gradually coming to me. It almost dictates how someone with depression and anxiety may feel overwhelmed by circumstance. I have days where I wanna be left alone, but I don’t ever want to feel lonely. There is a difference.

 

Just Leave Me Alone
Do you ever feel like you need to get away

from the hustle and bustle and day-to-day?

Do you ever want to push everyone further,

and inside yourself, crawl and whither?

Do you ever love your family so deep,

That you try to save them from this heap?

A heavy burden your carry within your heart,

so heavy from inside it rips you apart?

Leave me be, don’t come any closer,

The anxiety runs over me like a dozer.

The intensity of co-existing with another,

Is too much to take, I feel smothered.

Inside the quiet space, I’ve made for my mind,

Is the only sanity, I fear I can find.

I’m screaming inside, do you hear that?

The pressure is holding me down flat.

I can’t breathe, I can’t make a complete thought,

The darkness is overwhelming making me rot,

Let me fight this insanity in my solitude,

Or inside me will grow this feud,

And overwhelm me until I expire,

Maybe only that will put out this fire.

I encourage you to listen to those around you. I’ve heard that it is often most the happiest people around you that have the worst battle with depression. Sometimes a little compassion can go a long way.

Just as a disclaimer: I am not suicidal, nor do I wish to perish. Its my belief that everyone has a battle with darkness inside them and how you decide to fight that battle is as individualized with the battle itself. We all need a moment to be ourselves in the still, in the quiet.

Do you suffer with depression and anxiety? Do you know someone who does? Do you have any tips or pointers on how to deal with stress playing a role in the severity of that suffering? Comment below and lets help the world become a better place together.