Projects · Seen

5 inspiring, creative Instagram accounts 

For the longest time I thought people just posted general photos of people, places and things on Instagram, with “things” being food pictures or interesting products, buildings, and so on. Then several months ago, I began stumbling across accounts with really great artwork–one after another! I thought I would share five creative Instagram accounts that I’ve been following and loving in case you’d like to share in the fun.

1. hellohappystudio – I love this artist’s sweet illustrations. Everything she posts feels so uplifting! She also has a lovely website and a “Happy Mail” newsletter with a free printable each month!

  2. think.make.share.– This account features artists who work for Hallmark. Some creative projects are featured, as well as a lot of hand lettering.


3. oilikki– Like hellohappystudio, oilikki’s instagram has lots of really fun illustrations. She has some simple illustrations, but does more detailed work with really nice color as well. I think I first came across her art through theydrawandtravel.4. miyyahatkertas– I absolutely love this instagram account! Not only does she have amazing paper quilling, but she posts some of her art journaling/planner art and watercolor hand lettering as well.

5. martinalenhardt– This account shows gorgeous nature art–mostly watercolor. I just love how peaceful and pretty each picture is.

Which Instagram accounts have you been inspired by lately? I’d love to discover more to follow!

xx Caitlyn

Around Town · Seen · Tried

Tokyo Design Festa

IMG_1722Yesterday we went to Asia’s largest Art Festival, Design Festa! There was a lot of interesting art filling every corner of the venue from paintings, to crafts, to live art and more.
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IMG_1732 IMG_1746Both artists and people attending the event are encouraged to dress up, so there was a lot of cosplay and costuming to be seen.IMG_1745There were also several interactive exhibits. The one above we found especially strange: you could pay 3000 yen to have someone tie you up for about a half an hour. There were a couple booths like this… (To each his own? I guess?)
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The booth above was a coloring booth where you colored pictures that would then be transferred to ceramic plates, cups, etc.
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This was a sort of body painting booth.
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Here is a super creepy caricature drawing we got done for 600 yen. We hung it in our bathroom.
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These are watermelon carvings.
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There was quite a bit of steampunk-themed art.
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IMG_1739I really liked this artist. He draws creatures with beards and mustaches called “Ohige no Pon.”IMG_1744  I bought a couple postcards from him, pictured above with my ticket (which. bought in advance, was just 800 yen). Check out the Ohige no Pon website to see more of these fun illustrations!
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I thought this illustrator’s work was pretty cute too, though on some level I actually found her art slightly disturbing.IMG_1740There were thousands of attendees, and so many artists that we didn’t even end up seeing everything. The event was actually a bit overwhelming, but fortunately we had a beer with our lunch to calm us down *winks*IMG_1727
I left the event feeling sleepy but inspired, and I’m really glad we decided to check it out!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
xxCaitlyn

Uncategorized

How I Spend My Me-Time (Tag, You’re IT!)

Me TimeToday I read a blog post–about a blog post–about me-time. Both posts invite readers to play along with a me-time questionnaire, so I’ve decided to give it a go myself!

What do you watch or read during me-time?
I tend to read a lot of articles online. I mean, a LOT. I also really enjoying reading blogs, crafty books and magazines, cookbooks and cooking magazines, and of course, BOOKS! As I mentioned before, right now I’m reading Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage.

What do you wear during me-time?
I could probably live in leggings. Or shorts over leggings. In the wintertime, fleece leggings.
IMG_1560Otherwise I love wearing running shorts and tank tops, hoodies, etc., and I’ve almost always got my red snuggie on when I’m lounging around the house. Oh yes! And I am rarely without slippers!
What are your me-time beauty products?
I actually don’t tend to go wild with beauty products during me-time. Once in a while I will use a face mask, like Garnier’s Skin Care Renew, or paint my toenails. I used to love the face masks in Japan–you could find tons of really inexpensive ones that worked really well and were really fun. I’ll keep you posted on some of my favorites when we get settled in next month!
Current favorite nail polish?
Unfortunately I’m not allowed to wear fingernail polish at work, but I loved this Sally Hansen Hot Tamale color in the summer, and I like this snowflake-like Blue Marks the Spot in the winter for my toesies.
What do you eat/drink during me-time?
It’s hard to really nail down a specific food for my me-time, but one of my favorite pastimes is exploring the worlds of chocolates, pastries and sweet breads.
If you know me at all, you must be able to guess that my beverage consumption tends to be almost on a daily routine: coffee in the morning, water throughout the day, and beer and/or tea at night. Favorite coffee at the moment? Probably Starbucks Christmas Blend. My favorite, favorite (favorite!) beer is Ranger from New Belgium Brewing Company. And my favorite tea? Tazo Refresh Mint or Henry & Sons Sencha.

Usually any moment I get to drink or eat anything counts as me-time, because eating and drinking are two of my favorite things.

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This is my favorite tea cup

Current favorite candle?
I love Bath & Body Works “Party Dress” scent (currently unavailable through their site, but you can find it on amazon!). Not only does it smell really nice, but it reminds me of when one of my best friends visited me from Japan last year (I bought it when we were shopping together!).
Do you ever have outdoor me-time?
Definitely! In the summer I love riding bike around town–especially to the library, little shops and the beach. I also enjoy running and going for walks in the summer. In the winter I go for a lot of walks (I have to, as a matter of fact, because my car was totaled about a month and a half ago. Luckily I live close to work!). I really enjoy listening to podcasts when I’m running or walking. My favorites are Dinner Party Download and Radiolab.
Would you ever go see a movie alone?
I’ve considered it, but if I were to see a movie by myself I think I’d rather just watch it at home (with my kitty cats and my snuggie).
Favorite online shop?
I don’t really do too much online shopping, but if I do I suppose it’s from amazon, and I usually order books.
What else do you do during me-time?
I do a lot of baking, cooking, writing and crafting (drawing, wood burning, painting, art journaling etc.) during my me-time.
IMG_1568I made these easy Mexican Wedding cookies yesterday and they were dangerously addicting!
I almost always am listening to music, too. I really like classical guitar music for me-time, especially when the weather is rainy. I also enjoy yoga when I’m not distracted by the million other things I want to do (I like Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown). Oh yeah, and going to cafes and bookstores. And art stores. Annnnnnnnd, I think I have way too many hobbies!
Okay, TAG! It’s your turn to tell me about your me-time 🙂
xxCaitlyn
Autumn Bucket List · Learning · Projects

Zentangle Time!

So I’m about a third of the way through my “30 Days of Zentangle” goal for my Autumn Bucket List, and I thought I would share a few of my favorite tangles so far.
IMG_1475                                                                                     Day 4

In case you’ve never heard of Zentangle, it is a “fun, relaxing art form that employs structured and coordinated patterns as a means of creating beautiful and interesting pieces of art.” I got that definition from the workbook I’ve been using on my Zentangle journey: The Art of Zentangle: 50 inspiring drawings, designs and ideas for the meditative artist. I think this workbook is awesome because it starts you off with the basics and allows you to build confidence to progress into more complex tangles. Additionally, more complex does not mean more difficult; contrarily, Zentangling is all about the process of creating without worrying about the outcome or about making mistakes. The Art of Zentangle really provides great ideas and inspiration to make your own unique tangles.

IMG_1477Days 8 & 9

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      Day 9

I started off my “lessons” by telling myself I needed to sit down for at least 25 minutes to try to get part of the book done each day. I soon realized that tangling makes you lose track of time rather quickly–on days where I had somewhere to go after my Zentangle time was up, I would be startled out of tangling by an alarm, and on days where I had more time, over an hour would pass sometimes before I knew it.IMG_1479 IMG_1480

             Day 11

I can’t wait to get farther into the book and try out more of the activities. I’m really looking forward to the sections that introduce using shading and colors. As I continue working through the book, I will be sure to update you again with some of my new favorites!

Take care and stay warm on this blustery day!
xx Caitlyn

Bookspiration · Projects

Bookspiration: Owl Postcards

“For to witness majesty, to find yourself literally touched by it, isn’t that what we’ve all been waiting for?”

-David Sedaris

After reading Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, I decided to make postcards with owls on them. I made four postcards in total, trying to keep them simple with easy watercolor owls saying the above quote.

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Click to view larger image

I tried my best not to worry too much about detail, and after free-handing the calligraphy, I also quickly free-handed the cute little owls.

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It’s a little bit hard to see the light green-colored wings in the picture, but I liked the way it turned out. I’m thinking I might send the postcards to people via postcrossing. I accidentally changed the quote slightly in the postcard featured above, but I still thought the art was nice. Sedaris writes the phrase I quoted when talking about coming across something beautiful and unexpected in nature, and making a private connection with nature in that moment.

Have you experienced any moments of majesty lately?

xx

Learning · Projects

Calligraphy and Surprising Snails

Well, it’s been a rough week around here, but things are getting better day by day. I’ll spare you the details about that, and instead give you some fun details–about snails!

My most recent whimseybox kit was a calligraphy how-to, and I spent hours working on my stroke. When it came to my final project, I didn’t care for the suggested phrases (one of which was “Ain’t nobody got time for that”). I decided to use part of a Langston Hughes poem instead, and then I added a pretty watercolor snail in the corner.

IMG_0546I hung up my new artwork in place of the Easter Egg I had made before 🙂

Here’s the full poem:

Little Snail

                                               Langston Hughes

Little snail,

                Dreaming as you go.

            Weather and rose

         Is all you know.

             Weather and rose

     Is all you see,

Drinking

        The dewdrop’s

Mystery.

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Isn’t that a lovely poem? It reminded me of the name of my blog, for one! 😉 Here are some other cool snail-related things:

1. There is a type of snail in Japan that can survive being eaten by birds!

2. Click here to look at some neat snail pictures on National Geographic’s website.

3. Watch the link below to see an odd “Green Porno” that explains the interesting mating habits of snails (if you dare!)

Well, that’s all for now! See you soon with some coffee-related fun 🙂
xx

Bookspiration · Projects

Bookspiration: The Neverending Story

“So you think it’s a hat I’ve got on my head? Not at all, dear boy. It all grows out of me. Just as your hair grows out of you. That should show you how glad I am you’ve finally come. That’s why I’m flowering and bearing fruit. If I were sad, I’d whither. But come now, don’t forget to eat.” –Dame Eyola

A couple of months ago we had a bad snowstorm in Michigan in which the wind was so strong the snow was blowing sideways. Looking outside, I was reminded of a scene from the movie The Neverending Story, and proceeded to do a little research on the movie. Come to find out, like many movies, The Neverending Story was first a book, and–as often happens–the movie strayed from the book in several ways. I decided to give the book a read, and enjoyed a light-hearted, imaginative tale.

When it came to thinking of a project to go along with the book, I thought I should try an oil pastel. It’s been ages since I’ve used oil pastels as a medium, and I thought they would be a good way to illustrate the colorful, dreamy world created in “The Neverending Story.” Initially, I wanted to do an oil pastel of the lion Grograman, also known as The Many Colored Death. Grograman changes colors depending on the color of the sand upon which he stands, and he is an important part of the main character, Bastian’s, journey in Fantastica. After seeing several cool renditions of Grograman online, however, I decided to change characters and instead illustrate the Dame Eyola.

20140418-195322.jpgThis was my first time trying oil pastel with a person as the subject, and I am pretty out of practice! But it was fun trying to bring the mother-like woman who looked like she was “wearing a broad hat covered in fruits and flowers” to life. In the book, Dame Eyola tells Bastian some kind words we could all use now and again. For example, she sings to him:

“Regardless whether good or bad,/you’ve suffered much and traveled far.

Take comfort for the trials you’ve had./We’ll take you just the way you are” (357).

Later, Dame Eyola talks to Bastian about choices he’s made on his journey, saying, “You went the way of wishes, and that is never straight. You went the long way around, but that was your way. And do you know why? Because you are one of those who can’t go back until they’ve found the fountain from which springs the Water of Life…” (365). I liked this conversation because I think it can be applied to anyone. No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. But we’ll get through it on the crazy path we make for ourselves, and there are people (perhaps not sprouting fruit from their heads and bodies like Dame Eyola!) who will help us on our way.

xx