Saturday, December 31, 2016

What I've Learned This Year About Blogging

This blog  is about to have it's first anniversary, WOW! I've learned so much about blogging since the beginning! 'The Occupied Optimist' has come so far in just one year! To God be the Glory! ^_^ I'm feeling optimistic about this blog's future and am excited for it to be soaring to new heights this coming 2017 year! Blogging has become such a therapeutic hobby for me. Thanks to all of you that read my blog entries and support me in it. It is because of supporters and faithful readers like you that taking steps forward is worth it, and even possible. Thanks for sticking with me. The best of crafting, cooking, ballet, travel stories, and tips are yet to come!! Today I would love to share with all of you what I've learned this past year about blogging. Maybe you are a fellow blogger like myself, or perhaps you are not, but you might just find it interesting to hear about all what goes into blogging. The biggest thing I discovered is that blogging shapes one's WHOLE lifestyle! 

Image Source

#1 Overcoming paralyzation. One of the most important lessons that I have learned for becoming a better blogger is how to conquer that feeling of paralyzation that can sometimes overtake me when my mind gets flooded with an overabundance of ideas of things to write about. It may surprise you for me to say that this could be an issue with the dreaded infamous 'writer's block' being the issue that most people struggle with, but when I have a mind overflowing with inspiration and creative ideas, it can be debilitating for me if I don't know how to organized my thoughts. Preparing a good blog entry can be time-consuming and can sometimes require research in order to make your blog substantial, helpful and interesting for readers. Researching facts, as well as collecting/making media and photo material all take time, which can be overwhelming if you have a thousand blog topics you want to write about that are floating around in your head. I first have to write all my ideas down, prioritize them, and then make a realistic plan of action on how to accomplish all the writing that I want, in a well written, informative manner, without rushing. This process of organization really helps to dispel any paralyzing anxiety that may arise.  

#2 A blogger doesn't write about living life, but lives life to write about it! Don't just sit around forcing yourself to come up with blog content expecting something to come out of nothing. This will undoubtedly lead to a writer's block! Live your life, then write about it; what you do, what you see, what you eat, what you read, what you learn. And what I have learned about this is that a balance is to be maintained. Be careful not to 'live up life' so much that you end up neglecting your blog, but then also be careful not to find yourself sitting around all week trying to muster up something to write about. Sometimes writer's blocks are unavoidable. What kinds of ways do you break your writer's blocks?

#3 Balance the time you invest in your blog with making time to do the things you love! Blogging might just cross over into the area of 'things you love doing', but regardless it can be hard work sometimes. As much as I love blogging I had to teach myself not to become a slave to it. Getting burned out is the last thing a blogger wants to do and only leads to writer's block and/or depressing content. Take a break sometimes and make time to do other things you love. Still, in my current situation, the most difficult challenge for me is balancing blogging, doing the things I love, AND working full time! If anyone has any advice about that, hit me up! But even so, I KNOW making time for doing things I love, like I wrote about here, is worth it! You will be refreshed, and like I mentioned in #2, you will surely have things to write about!

#4  A few life adjustments may have to be made in order for 'doing the things you love, and blogging about it' to be made more accessible, more achievable, and easier! The serious blogger is NOT going to want to be jumping through hoops to connect to the internet to submit a blog entry; having to use their neighbor's oven to make a recipe for their food blog; digging through piles of mail, bills, and receipts trying to find that rough draft of a blog entry that was written on the back of your sermon notes from that service from two weeks ago; having to go up to the creepy, unfinished, abandoned, attic every time craft supplies is needed... catch my drift? Take my advice while you are ahead! Save time and hassle by streamlining the blogging process ASAP. Make sure everything you need is at arm's length and accessible. This includes your technology, editing tools, and blog topic resources. Discard of any unnecessary obstacles in your way. Your workspace should be clean, clear, and organized which leads me into time management. I have already touched on the fact that blogging takes time so make sure you have time or make time! Your time should be just as well thought-through and organized as your environment and if not, evaluate what adjustments can be made to simplify and promote a blogging-friendly lifestyle. 

#5  Timing is everything. I used to not think timing mattered but after a year of blogging experience, I am convinced otherwise. Posting blog entries during the most popular online hours of the day will guarantee you more views. Being consistent with how often and when you post your entries will help your readers know what to expect, and builds up trust and the reliability of your blog. Whether you are posting once a week or daily, try to be consistent, and post during peak hours so that your article has a fighting chance. Also, it is worth mentioning that if you are going to be posting an entry about a current event or trending topic, make sure you post it in a timely manner while the topic is still trending!

#6  Sleep is important and not to be sacrificed! While it may be tempting to stay up into the late hours of the night fine-tuning your blog, don't do it! Especially if you are a lifestyle blogger, lack of sleep diminishes your quality of life, which diminishes your quality of content. In the long run, I've learned sacrificing sleep is not worth it.

#7  Make templates. Over the course of this past year blogging, I have grown accustomed to formatting my blog entries a certain way depending on what the topic is that I'm writing about. I think finding a consistent way you like of formatting your entries is good and important, but my advice to you is that once you discover what those preferred formats are, make templates that will preserve your layout and HTML styling. This will save you tons of time and energy!

#8  Count your wins. Everyone needs a little motivation to keep them going. "Base your life off of wins. It doesn't matter how much you accomplish in your life. Every week, every day you need 'wins'. It doesn't matter what you accomplish today. Tomorrow you'll need new wins and that will be what drives you," in the words of Lilly Singh in one of her vlogs. Whether it is how many views your blog gets, or how many comments people leave, count your wins. And be grateful.

#9  Mindset. A lot about blogging is about making a name for yourself and being an entrepreneur if your blog crosses over into that realm. It is all about the mindset you hold about your blog. How you see your blog is how others will see your blog. If you have no expectations, no confidence or convincing hope, your readers will not have those things either. Cherish your space on the world wide web and make it into something you want to be proud of.

#10  Different kinds of page visitors will have different motives and required needs to be met in order to keep them sticking around!  Those faithful readers that have been with you since the beginning will need incentive for sticking around, whether by special treatment or by continuing that consistent, reliable supply of helpful, informative, fresh information for them. Your blog will have to withstand the critique of new visitors by making good first impressions with a clean, alluring, and easy-to-navigate homepage. P.S. An overabundance of ads polluting your blog can turn off readers! So be careful and advertise tastefully! To attract old-comers and new-comers alike, clearly present all that your blog has to offer in an upfront sort of way without being too forceful or pushy. Even now, am I continuing to learn about how to meet the needs of my readers! That is why I always finish my blog posts asking for feedback, which is a good idea! So please leave me with any opinions or feedback you may have about how I might better be able to improve your reading experience! ^_^

#11  Don't hide yourself! There is no allowance for 'modesty' concerning the existence of your blog on the world wide web. People need to know you are there!

#12  You're selling your lifestyle! Make it sound interesting ( like it is 😉 )

I hope you found this helpful or at least interesting,
Thanks for reading!
Do you have a topic idea or suggestion of something I should write about?
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?

Leave a comment below!

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More or Less

The 2016 stats are in:
  •  I've written 80 blogposts this year 
  •  Traveled to 11 different states... and then Brazil 
  •  Read only 3 books 😨 
  •  Cleaned houses over 30 times with my part time job 
  •  And I lost track of how many times I've performed with the company this year, but I will keep better track next year! ^_^ 

-----  Wow, thank the Lord for all that has been accomplished this year! -----

And my goals for 2017:


  • Sleep
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Crafting and Calligraphy
  • Traveling- pray for bookings!
  • Aventures/Challenges
  • Risk taking/Boldness/Bravery
  • Consistent blog updating on tour
  • Discipline- eatting healthy, stretching, studying spanish etc.
  • Better time management
  • Taking my vitamins
  • Organized
  • Reading my tour schedule
  • Bullet Journaling
  • Saving money
  • Deeper Relationships w/people and God
  • Praying
  • Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit
  • Seeking Him
  • Humility


  • Bills (one can dream ^_^ )
  • Ant bites
  • Being late
  • Mindless facebook surfing
  • Living for whats next instead of enjoying the now
  • Micro-managing
  • Allowing myself to get out of shape on tour
  • Wearing dead point shoes
  • Sacrificing sleep for blogging
  • Pushing snooze
  • Forgetting to text people back
  • Pinning pinterest DIY's without doing them
  • Saying yes when I should say no
  • Being a sheep on tour, having no clue where I am or what I am doing
  • Wifi
  • Insecurity
  • Bitterness
  • Fear
  • Singleness... ^_^

Here's to new accomplishments in 2017!
Have a Happy New Year!
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Music Artists I Discovered AND Fell In Love With in 2016 - That You Need To Know About!

Okay, so maybe this entry is not for everybody, but if you have an appreciation for R&B, hip-hop kind of music and are open to learning about some new Christian artists that I discovered this past year while listening to the gospel radio station here in Jackson, Mississippi then check out these guys below! Clicking on their underlined names will link you to their official pages. Enjoy watching the music videos and reading their lyrics!


(My new obsession)

  Lyrics to
UNTIL I PASS OUT  -by Uncle Reese

I truly understand what people may say
They believe to think how we think is far from okay
But I believe it's never okay to abandon your dreams
And it just so happens that our dream is to lift up a holy king
See this is my life, my choice, and I choose to lift up my hands
And please don't be alarmed if when the music comes on I begin to dance
And run across the room until I can barely catch my breath And fall on the
Floor because I gave it all and have nothing left

See I'm gon to worship until I pass out (there is no other option)
See I came to worship until I pass out (there is no other option)
Cause we go
Hard in the paint, Hard in the paint We go Hard in the paint when we worship

If you came to laugh at somebody you can go ahead and laugh at me
Because why your steady laughing I'm dancing off shackles and being set free
See I may look like money but you don't know what I've been through
And I'm still going through some of it so dancing is something that I got to do
See Jesus was the only one that saved my soul
He took a chance on this broken hearted man grab my hand and he made me whole, Yeah

See Jesus was the only one who saved my soul, Yeah
And Jesus was the only one that made me whole

So I'm gon to worship until I pass out (there is no other option)
See I'm gon to worship until I pass out (there is no other option)
Cause we go
Hard in the paint, Hard in the paint We go Hard in the paint when we worship

I came here to worship a holy God (Holy God)
And I don't care about what you've been through cause our soul my life is going hard (going hard)
And I've been through some pain that nearly left me dead (nearly left me dead)
But God changed my way and he said this is something you should do instead
(Something you should do instead)
See I was singing for the world, singing for these girls, and singing for
This fame (singing for this fame)
But just like Saul changed into Paul Jesus Christ came and changed my name

So I came to worship until I pass out (there is no other option)
Did you come here to worship until you pass out (there is no other option)
Brothers and Sisters gon worship until you pass out (there is no other
Brothers and Sisters worship until you pass out (there is no other option)

Cause we go
Hard in the paint, Hard in the paint, Hard Hard in the paint when we worship
Hard in the paint, Hard in the paint, We go Hard in the paint when we worship
Hard in the paint, Hard in the paint, We go Hard in the paint when we worship
(There is no other option)
Hard in the paint, Hard in the paint, We go hard in the paint when we worship


  Lyrics to
Pressure  -by Jonathan McReynolds

I, I can't even turn on my phone
Without being reminded of the lie
That I am alone and broken, unsuccessful
I, I can't always talk to my friends
'Cause they've got expectations
That I may or may not be living up to
I really need to rid myself

Of the pressure, pressure, pressure
To be someone else that the world has made
Jesus take from me
All the pressure, pressure, pressure
To be someone that you did not create

Help me be me
And only see you
Let me decrease
And glorify you

I, I thought my intentions were good
Just act like a Christian should
And hope someone watching would approve
And be inspired
But you're not feeling my show
Then how far could I go
Before all of my accomplishment
Go down in fire

Just cause of
Of the pressure, pressure, pressure
To be someone else that the church has made
Jesus take from me
All the pressure, pressure, pressure
To be someone that you did not create

I just wanna live
I just wanna live for you
Nobody else, but you


  Lyrics to
Faith  -by J Moss

I don’t need fame and fortune
I don’t need honorable mentions
I don’t need a fancy mansion
All I need is faith in You Faith in You I Believe in what you said You’d do Faith in You
FAITH in you
I don’t need it I don’t need fancy cars
I don’t need to be called a star
I don’t need to be where they are I don’t need it
All I need is faith in You Faith in You I Believe in what you said You’d do Faith in You Oh oh oh oh oh
I don’t need no pants saggin’
I don’t need no band-wagon
I don’t need to know what’s happenin
’I don’t need it
All I need is faith in You Faith in You I Believe in what you said You’d do Faith in You
FAITH that doesnt waver, that gives me favor, I Believe in what you said You’d do Faith in You
FAITH in the midst of it all, whenever I call, I Believe in what you said You’d do Faith in You
walk by faith, live by faith, believe I Believe in what you said You’d do Faith in You Oh oh oh oh oh


  Lyrics to
I'll Keep On  -by NF, featuring Jeremiah Carlson

Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I'll keep on
I'll keep on [x2]
I'll keep on [x3]

Faith is something I am not accustomed to
Trusting other people 's something I don't really love to do
I've never been a fan of it, I act tougher
Really my shoulders they ain't built for this and I don't have nothing
It's like I'm standing in the rain and you offer me a raincoat
But I would rather stand there being wet than take the handout
What's wrong with me? You said, you've always got your hands out
And I can't continue on my own so take my hands now
I give you everything, God, not just a little bit
Take it from me, I am nothing but a hypocrite
I hate sin but I built a house and asked to live in it
Afraid to open up the door to you 'n let you into it
My soul is lost and what it needs is your direction
I know, I've told you I do not need your protection
But I lied to you, this thing is tiring
A man was not created for a God
Please retire me now

Trust is something I am not accustomed to
And I know the Bible says I should always trust in you
But, I will never read that book enough

And when I have a question I don't take the time to look it up
Or pick it up
It collects dust on my nightstand
I'm just being honest
Please take this outta my hands
I have no control - I am just a person
But thank the Lord that I serve a God that's perfect
I do not deserve the opportunity you've given me
I never knew what freedom was until I learned what prison means
I am not ashamed, I don't care if they remember me
My life will always have a hold of you and a sense of peace
Take me out of bondage, take all of my pride
If I don't have a Savior, I don't have nothing inside
Take all of my lust, take all of my lies
There's no better feeling then when I look in the sky, in your eyes
It's amazing

Woah woah woah
Woah woah woah
Woah woah woah
I'll keep on
I'll keep on
I'll keep on [x3]

I'll keep on [x3]


  Lyrics to
A Heart That Forgives  - by Kevin LeVar

I want a heart that forgives
A heart full of love
One with compassion just like yours above
One that overcomes evil with goodness and love
Like it never happened, never holding a grudge
I want a heart that forgives that lives and lets lives
One that keeps loving over and over again
One that men can't offend
because your word is deep within
One that loves without price like you Lord Jesus Christ
I want a heart that loves everybody
Even my Enemies
I want to love like you , be like you, just like you did
I want a heart that forgives, want a heart that forgives
Want a heart that forgives!
When the ones that are closest and that I've known the longest hurt me the most;
I still wanna love them just like you loved me
Even though I'm hurting,
Ohhh, want a heart that forgives
When the pain is so deep and it's so hard for me to speak about it To any one
just like your son , I give up my rights to hold it against them with hatred inside
I want a heart that loves everybody, even my Enemies
I wanna love like you, be like you, just like you did
Wanna walk like you, talk like you, just like you did, Wanna be like you Jesus
wanna be like you, live like you, just like you did
Because the heart that forgives that is the heart that will live
Totally free
from the pain of the past and the heart that lets go
is the heart that will know so much freedom,
Lord I want to let it go
Lord I need to let it go
Its been holding me back
I don't want it x3
I don't want it no more
I don't know exactly what to do to get rid of it but
Here I am Lord Jesus X3 Oh
Lord I need you X2
I know this is me that you're talking to right now
this is me x4
Lord I let it go
Every person x2
thats ever hurt me
God I let it go, every single hurt
God I let it go, every single pain
God I let it go x3
Lord you can have it x4
You can have it now x2
I don't want it no more now

*Lastly, A Kevin LeVar Bonus:

  Lyrics to
Destiny  - by Kevin LeVar

This is not a time to get distracted
This is not a time to go off course
This is not a time to lose your focus

Got a work to do for the Lord, and you can't afford to lose your way

You've come too far from where you started
So please don't let the time you've sown be wasted
On things that you'll later regret
Wishing you never had
Once you realize it wasn't worth it.
Your destiny
It's too important to give up for anything


Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Your destiny
Said it's too important to give up for anything ... anything ahh ... anything Yeahhh

Said it ain't worth that skirt,
Said it ain't worth that tie ... no it ain't ... no it
Said it ain't worth that girl
And it ain't worth that guy ... naw

Your destiny, your destiny, your destiny is too important to give up
For anything, anything yeah ... mmmmm

Waiting on the other side of temptation
Waiting on the other side of this test
Is everything you ever dreamed, everything you prayed for
Everything He promised you that you'd get

So hold on, and don't let go ... Hold on, you're just that close
Hold on and never give up, Hold on ...
Hold on ... Hold on ... Yeah ... Hold on ... and don't let go
Cause you just that close ... Hold on, and never give up
Hold on, say Hold on ... you say:
It's only a matter of time
Cause I can see the finish line
My victory is days away
So imma get ready

It's been a long time coming but I know it's coming for sure
I got a promise from the Lord ...

Waiting on the other side of temptation
Waiting on the other side of this test
Is everything you've ever dreamed of
Everything you prayed for
Everything HE promised you ...

Happy Jaming!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy!

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2016 's Tour Discoveries

Praise be to God for another successful year of touring! Over the past year, I have been collecting a list of random things I have learned from random people all across the country, just for fun! Today I am going to share that list with you! Note, I don't believe the geographical location in which I learned these random facts has any significance to the random facts themselves. I wonder if any of my dear random tour friends and sponsors from all over, will recall discussing these topics/ introducing these random facts to me?! ^_^  

Did you know...
1. It takes 15 years for a cactus to grow one foot tall. (Phoenix, AZ)
2. The winding million dollar highway full of hair pin turns and tight curves, running through mid-america is supposedly name after the fact that it cost millions of dollars to construct! (Ouray, CO)
3. Apparently we all need more K2 in our lives. (Lubbock, TX) 
4. I've learned from experience that Kerrygold butter is THE BEST!(Jacksonville, FL).  
5. Ottmar Liebert is an awesome guitar instrumentalist who's flemenco, easy listening type music is often featured playing in the background at restaurants; great music for chilling! (Kansas City, MO)
6. Bags of ice are sold at sonic! Who knew!? (Amarillo, TX)
7. I fell in love with Boursin cheese the first time I had it! (Bakersfield, CA)
8. This flavorful seasoning I discovered known as "Kickn Chicken" is where it's at! It makes nearly anything you put it on, taste AMAZING!(Montrose, CO)


You never stop learning.
Here's to another year of discovery and adventure!
Thanks for stopping by! 
Leave a comment below to let me know you did!

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Creativity Redefined

What a dream it has been these past couple of weeks during my holiday vacation, to be able to have a substantial amount of time to devote to my crafting! Lately, I've been concentrating on getting reacquainted with watercolor! I used to love watercolor painting when I was a kid, but somewhere along the way, adulthood extinguished all my childhood passions. Perhaps I've let my childhood passions become forced into a slot of lesser priority in my life, in the face of all the adult responsibilities and obligations that have come my way over the years.
There is just not enough time, not enough money, not enough energy...something has got to give, you'd think?!

This past year I was determined to rekindle some of my old childhood passions. I made it a priority and was very intentional in attempting to do at least ONE childhood leisure activity (painting, puzzle-ing, bike riding etc.) each week. In my life, in this season, after a year of intentionally making time to do these things, I've discovered it to be EXTREMELY BENEFICIAL. It has resulted in a deeper enrichment of love, joy, peace, and creativity in my life. It has caused me to become firm in the belief that one's mundane routine of adulting, and doing life can actually be enhanced by throwing some childhood passions into the mix.

Another silly thing that has kept me away from my painting, and doing some of the things in life I love, is fear! Fear has quenched my creativity, and my right to express myself freely in my own different, and unique way. I suppose somewhere along the way growing up, I became overly concerned about the opinions of other people and what they think about me. I've realized that people tend to not always approve of 'different', 'out of the box', and being unique. But those are the very things that it takes to be creative. Therefore, creativity takes boldness. We are not all meant to be the same. We were not created that way. Not having the approval of everyone can hurt sometimes. But I've learned that sacrificing my uniqueness, whether it be in what I create, or in who I am, is not worth losing the joy, satisfaction, and accomplishment that can be attained when one freely operates as one was created to. God is the ultimate creator who created us, and he doesn't make mistakes!

Creativity and self-expression can be a touchy topic these days...I'm talking about creativity in the realm of all things biblical. Creativity has been redefined for me, and it is changing the course of my life, my dancing, my crafting, and in every area
It's not about replicating the creative person next to you.
Get out there, be young, and be 'you!'
Glory to Elohim!
Thanks for reading my musings!
comment, subscribe, and don't be shy!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Floral Wreaths

Have you noticed these artsy floral wreaths popping up everywhere; on Pinterest and Facebook, on stationary and greeting cards!? With only a little bit of creativity and this tutorial, you can learn how to design and create floral wreaths of your own! They are not hard to make but are simply comprised of leaves and flowers. The sky's the limit as to anything else you might want to add to them! They can be as simple or elaborate as you choose! It is popular for a favorite quote or bible verse to be centered in the middle of these wreaths, or maybe you might want to personalize it with a name or an initial, and give it away as a gift! Whether Winter or Spring, these creative wreaths can be sported on greeting cards for any occasion. Just follow a few of these easy steps and guidelines to get you started! I had so much fun preparing this blog entry! Check it out!

What  You'll  need :

Either Colored Pens or Pencils

  • A Pencil, for sketching

  • Either colored pens or pencils 

  • OR paint and paint brushes

  • I like to have a black pen or fine marker on hand in case of outlining

  • Paper, the drawing or watercolor kind

  • extra scrap paper for testing

  • Something round such as a cup or bowl or CD to trace

  • I use paints from Reeves Watercolor Paint Set. It has lasted me forever!

    My personal favorite set of paint brushes.
    I actually don't know very much about all of the different types
    paint brushes that there are, but you can educate yourself
    HERE if you want to learn about it.

    Le Pens are my favorite kinds of pens
    for illustrating with their fine nibs
    and light weight barrels! I love them!

    My mom is never really a fan of when I turn her guest room into my art studio! 😆
    Check out this article about what my 8 most essential things are for when I sit down to paint!

    The  Steps :

    Here's what you'll do as shown in the tutorial photos above:

    1. With your pencils,  lightly trace your circular object, making a perfect circle on your paper. You will be erasing this later.

    2. Next, I like to preplan and make a rough layout of where the predominate flowers (if any) will be placed, still in pencil and very lightly, keeping symmetry and balance in mind.

    3. Next, whether working with pens or paint, I like to practice my flowers, leaves, and berries on another paper before jumping into the main project.

    4. Lastly, have at it! Let your creativity run wild! Start designing your wreath on top of your layout and erase the pencil lines as you go, OR if you are using watercolor you can completely erase the pencil after you are done painting and it's all dry, without disturbing the beauty of your masterpiece. Remember to embrace your own style and signature of creativity! No one can create quite like you can and that is the best part!

    Below is a time-lapse video of me working on my Christmas floral wreath!

    And this was the finished product:

    A photo posted by Lillian Marie Ortiz (@oqpiedoptimist) on

    Tips,  Examples, and Variations :

    Examples done with pen, markers, and colored pencils.

    Examples done with watercolor.

    • Check out my article on watercoloring tips for beginners!
    • When water coloring a floral wreath I like to paint all the objects of the same color first, before switching to another color, to give my piece time to dry. You then also benefit from not having to wash your brush as frequently.
    Flowertopia at Creative Market is a helpful resource for cultivating inspiration and great ideas for wreath making!

    • The incomplete circle of this simple pen-designed wreath is a great looking variation to the more common typical wreath. 

    This playful wreath extends to the very edges of the paper!

    This simple wreath is done with watercolor and then if you will notice, I went back and outlined
    some things with pen giving this piece a more illustrated look.

    A variation; trace a square to make your design into more of a frame!

    Have  Fun  Designing, And  Be  Creative!

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    Monday, December 26, 2016

    My 8 Must-Have Essentials When Painting

    #1 Paint. 

    The Good Stuff.

    I use paints from Reeves Watercolor Paint Set. It has lasted me forever!

    #2 Paper.

    The Right Stuff!

    #3 A Pallete.

    One that I can get messy with!

    #4 Pencil and Pens. Always.

    #5 Plastic containers. 

    For water.

    #6 Pinterest.

    My source of inspiration!
    #7 Pandora.

    My favorite music listening to get the creative juices flowing.

    #8 Erasers.

    ...had to ruin the alliteration. 😕

    My zone.

    Thanks for reading friends,
    What is needed to get your creative juices flowing?
    comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy!

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    Watercoloring For Beginners

    Hello out there my aspiring artists and paint enthusiasts!  This weekend I've taken another try at painting with watercolor...if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. I think I am FINALLY getting the hang of it and I want to share with you a few lessons, tips, and discoveries I have made concerning using watercolor!

    #1 The hardest thing for me is balancing the amount of water vs. paint on my brush and on my paper. So #1 is: The more pure paint you have on your brush, the more vivid your color will be.

    #2 Adding water to the paint on your brush will lessen the strength of the color.

    #3 Unlike using acrylic paint where when you want to lighten up the shade of a color you just add white, with watercolor you can just add water! 

    #4 The colors always dry darker than I think they will.

    #5 If you have mixed the perfect color on your palette by using a combination of multiple different colors of paint and water, but then find the color to be going onto your paper in too watery of a manner, try picking the color up from the palette with your brush, but then scraping/squeezing out any excess moisture from your brush (by pressing it to the edge of either your cup of water, or edge of your palette without getting it wet) before applying it to your paper. 

    #6  Take your wet brush covered in paint to an already wet area of your paper to blend colors (wet on wet).

    #7 I used to think it was impossible NOT to blend when working with multiple colors because my colors would bleed all over the place and into each other. That was problematic, but then I discovered you have to let your work COMPLETELY DRY, before going in to add more details if you want to create strong lines that don't bleed into the other colors. Just make sure that your brush isn't too watery.

    #8 Perhaps the idea that all detailing and outlines has to be done in black, comes from my sketching/drawing mentality. What I've learned is that with watercoloring, that is not necessarily so. It can look very nice once your painting is dry, to then go back and paint your details in using colors that are only a couple shades darker than the area you are detailing.

    #9 The best thing about watercolor is that if you make a mistake and the paint/mistake on your paper is still wet, you can just dab it away with a dry paper towel! You can also use dabbing to create texture and for highlighting purposes as well.

    #10 There is an important note to be taken about your brush strokes. No matter what you do, with every stroke you make there will always usually formulate a little pool of watery paint. Usually, it gathers at the end of each stroke. Fear Not! I can be used to your advantage for a number of different things. Guide the pool of water to where you want it within the stroke or shape you have made and then let dry for an added effect of depth and/or texture, or drag the pool of water out to extend your stroke further. You can also use the pool of watery paint for blending techniques as well! 

    *BONUS Lastly, be sure to change your cups of water when necessary! Your water can become tainted, and become a water color of it's own! Dirty water can alter the colors of paint put on your brush or pollute your brush when you mean to clean!

    To exersize your newfound knowledge and skills, why don't you try out my DIY floral wreath making tutorial HERE! ^_^

    I hope you found this blog entry interesting and helpful!
    Thanks for reading!
    Happy Painting! Have fun and be creative!
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