Johanna Basford

About two years ago (my how time flies!), I had a strange urge to color stuff in (you can check the results out here). Then, a few months ago, while traveling back home from a family trip to Malta, we passed by the Marseille airport, and there I found some adult coloring magazines (no, nothing pervy, just coloring books for grown ups -.-).  I bought three.

I was soon addicted, and there was so much in Pinterest to find! I actually introduced my mother to this new concept (for us at least), and shortly after she too was addicted to coloring in… and to Pinterest :p.

It was during many of her frenetic pinning sessions that I started to single out some drawings that I really loved, and it turns out they were all by Johanna Basford. And only a few weeks later, one of her books, the Secret Garden, appeared in front of me in a book store, just in time for mother’s day.

I bought one for me and one for my mother. Later on, she bought us another book by the same artist: Enchanted Forest.

My mother agrees with me when I say that coloring in is therapeutic. It’s like your brain shuts down all of the irrelevant things, all of those little things you wish you could just turn off and usually can’t (much like Taekwondo for me).  So now we’ve been having loads of fun coloring in, and I even made us a neat painting spot in the new apartment!

Here’s a glimpse of my first page!

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My first watercolor painting

One of my best friends gave me a Wreck this Journal for my birthday. I became addicted. I already knew about it and saw Youtube videos such as Bunny’s Wreck it Wednesdays, but decided to look up more videos, to see what other people were doing, and I was amazed!

I also looked up what people were doing in Pinterest and was even more amazed!

Anywhoo, you can wreck it, or just let your creativity explode in it,and I chose the latter.

But this led me to look up painting techniques and I thought to myself “Hey, I’ve had these really expensive Caran D’Ache watercolor pencils since I was a kid, why not give those another go?” . But this time, it meant a proper go, not just painting with them and making it look a bit nicer with a bit of water.

So off I went, and I saw videos by The Frugal Crafter and not only did I REALLY dig her as a person, but I loved her tutorials. They are really well explained, fun and I dunno, it’s like having a buddy there, yapping merrily as you go lol 🙂 .

Here’s the video: Tutorial

And here’s how mine turned out:

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As always, the photo doesn’t do the colors justice, it looks more colorful than this.

I think my main two issues were: didn’t use a normal pencil to outline the drawing, but the watercolor ones themselves, and it kinda lost the edges (but I guess it’s ok), and I didn’t wet the paper down enough to blend the background colors. I was afraid it would murder the paper lol (but still, it looks ok).

Pretty happy with my first attempt ever, and amazed at how pencils that date from 1992(ish) still work so well ahaha 🙂

I might end up sharing some of my favourite Wreck this Journal pages in time, some of them look pretty cool.

While we are on the subject of buttons:

Back to my box o’buttons: Some are really old, and it shows. I made a Pinterest profile yesterday, put up my stuff, and some pictures I had in my tablets that I had found inspirational. Then I started pinning other things, among which hand painted buttons. That’s when I got the idea that I could easily give my old buttons a new face! So I grabbed my acrylic paints, and got to trying it out. Had plenty of fun painting in the tiny details and such (while watching a movie), but then my boyfriend asked me what would I do with my new buttons. Thought about it for a bit and decided that they would look pretty neat on my upcycled sardine cans! I did use flowers on my first one, so why not use these ones too? Here’s the makeover button, a before and after shot: image And the upcycled can idea where I could put it (and others I’ll eventually paint): image

Well I sure as hell took my sweet time!

Just scrolled down to see when exactly I decided to make my button tree and it was scary: November 2012!

I made it yesterday lol.

Here’s the link to the original idea : Original button tree idea

I ended up grabbing a small canvas I had laying around and started making a trial painting with watercolors. I had never painted anything on a canvas, nor had I used watercolors since I was a kid, so I gave it a go. When I thought it looked acceptable (don’t really like the tree trunk, might try to fix it a bit later, but I love the background), I realized less is more, and even though my b/f had got me a big canvas for my tree, this little one, with less buttons, looked like the best option.

Just a quick recap for those that don’t feel like reading what’s on the original link: I’d play with these buttons as a kid. I’d sit on the floor looking at them and just making drawings with them on the floor. My granma kept them in a box. I loved that box, and after her death I was lucky to have found it.

Here it is, the final product:

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P.s- yes, granma bought me bunny buttons 🙂
P.p.s- really need to fix that tree trunk

My pigeon spooker

I found out there is a naughty pigeon trying to nest right outside of my bedroom window, in the middle of my flowerbed. I don’t know about the pigeons where you live but the ones here are pretty noisy, messy and can carry diseases, so I’ll pass. My boyfriend said “we should get an owl and make them crap their pants”, and i got my creative juices flowing. Cardboard, my 20 year old Caran d’Ache pencils, some looking up on the net for what colors and patterns to use and presto! The owl itself was drawn from memory, and the eyes are huge for that extra spook effect hehe :p . Not quite done yet, but this is more or less how it will look in the end 🙂

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I hope it works!