Friday, October 31, 2014

Hocus Pocus Halloween Vibes

Fall is my favorite season. Halloween can be fun, but celebrating Halloween isn't what I love about the season. I love the colors, the crisp air, and the mood. I love walking through the fallen leaves. Bundling up in layers. The smell of apple cider and a cozy fire.


I've written about autumn before: remembering the leaf pile we played in as kids, collecting leaves, and that back to school vibe.


The past couple of weekends, Rob and I walked to different neighborhoods around DC. Here's me by a colorful red tree near the Tidal Basin. The Washington Monument just happened to be there, too :)


We passed this old junior high building. I have no idea if kids still go here. A building this old plus those looming dark clouds made this place look like a scene out of a movie.


It reminded me of the school from Hocus Pocus!


Or maybe this junior high is a cross between the Hocus Pocus high school and Max Dennison's house. Either way, creepy old skool vibes. I love it. (PS: Check out real-life photos of these Hocus Pocus filming locations!)


During one of our strolls around DC, we stopped near the Tidal Basin and I collected some leaves to decorate our apartment. I made a stack and carefully tucked them into my bag.


Today is Halloween. I had pressed my leaves in a cookbook and was twirling one today, thinking of how to use them as decoration. I held one up to the light and it looked amazing!


The intricate detail, the texture, the colors... Leaves are so cool.


I took some photos with my macro iPhone lens.



When you get close enough, it looks veiny and alive.


This oak tree glowing in the light reminded me of the spellbook from Hocus Pocus: "it is bound in human skin."


These leaves are prettier, though, and significantly less gross!


The other book from Hocus Pocus: the storybook one seen in the very beginning:


The spell book has some nice old-fashioned calligraphy in it, which you can see glimpses of a few times during the movie.

I bought a pen & nib set several months ago - the type of pen you use with ink to do calligraphy. I'm not very good at it, but I think it makes nice-looking strokes that feel really old and important. I was practicing making some semi-calligraphic letters the other day:


So that's it for my Halloween vibes for you today! Hope the day is sweet, chilly, and a little bit spooky. And you better be wearing black and orange! I am :)


Related reading:
2012: Halloween Hippie
2012: Childhood Halloween Costumes
2012: Hocus Pocus Style - Allison

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Colorful Catch-Up

Since my last blog post, I went to Las Vegas for work:

Helped set up the Soul Flower booth there at the POOL tradeshow:


Watched the entire Breaking Bad series:

Saw a couple of really gorgeous sunsets in DC:

Ate at least a half dozen ZPizza Berkeley Vegan pizzas (our new favorite restaurant in DC):

Went to DC VegFest to support some vegan food trucks:

Visited the mysterious colorful repurposed church art gallery, Blind Whino, here in DC for a Creative Mornings talk:

Discovered my new favorite kind of flower, Lantana (I LOVE the colors!):

Visited a full DC row house for the first time in my life (I had only ever seen a basement). We dropped in on a random open house, where the rowhouse was on the market for $865,000. It looked similar to this:

Created a logo for the fictitious clothing line Dumbure Couture (see the videos here):

And that was my August/September/half of October!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Sketchbook-a-Week Update: Book 1 Finished!

It's hard for me to believe, but I actually filled my entire first sketchbook - all in the past 7 days!


Today I'm starting Book #2, which is a much larger notebook (about twice as big), and it has grid lines on the pages.


This doodle sums up the week:


I fell behind on the weekend, and didn't really catch up again until Wednesday night. But I managed to fill my sketchbook with all sorts of random stuff. Here's an assortment!


Lunch (I watched a part of a Project Runway episode during lunch, which explains the quote):

List of nutrient dense foods while watching this video of Dr. Joel Fuhrman:

A reminder from Dr. Fuhrman that salad is the main dish! GOMBS is his acronym for good foods to make your meals out of:

I used a lot of Crayola colored pencils in this sketchbook. One day I picked up a blue pencil, looked at the name, and it was cerulean. It reminded me of this scene from the movie Devil Wears Prada. So I put the movie on --of course I own it :) and watched that scene again, pausing at two different moments to capture Andy and Miranda.

A crazy sketch of Tim Gunn while watching Project Runway:

I did a couple of these 21 Day Drawing Challenges that are being posted daily right now. Day 1 was Draw a Cat. We were instructed to draw a couple of studies first before doing the final drawing. All of these cats are from Pinterest.

In the end, I did two cat drawings: one close up so I could draw those cute tiny kitty teeth(!) and another kawaii-inspired cat:

I wrote a lot in this sketchbook. There are pages and pages of journaling and random thoughts, none of which I'm sharing here. But here's an illustrated journal entry:

I filled a bunch of pages with collages. I'm kind of obsessed. Collage is one of my long-time loves that I just can't get away from. Over and over again, I gravitate toward collage, and end up decoupaging all my stuff.

Themes above: Princess, Sparkly, Blue Techno, Colorful, Desert Natural Earthy, Moonlight Sonata.
Themes below: Français, Gold, Pink Colorful, Autumn, Witchy Woman, Rocker Chic.


I only did 3 OotD (outfit of the day) drawings, but they're cute:

Last night, I had over a dozen pages to fill in order to finish the sketchbook. Time was running out. I felt SO close, I knew I had to just do whatever to finish. So I just doodled some shapes, patterns, and lines. This is my definition of "doodling":

And that's it!

On to week 2...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

50 Sketchbook Prompts for Inspiration

Sketchbooking, journaling, writing, drawing, doodling, listing... My Sketchbook-a-Week Challenge starts tomorrow (August 1st) and I'm surprisingly really excited to do all those creative activities. It feels like a good thing to actually be looking forward to starting this thing.

Yesterday I cleared out the clutter and filled my left-side desk drawer with a bunch of art supplies that I have on hand. I think it'll help to have all of this stuff within arm's reach.

my desk drawer full of art supplies

Before the challenge begins, I wanted to make a list for myself of some prompts and inspiration that I can revisit if I feel the need.

Sketchbook inspiration:

  1. outfit of the day sketches, like these from Skulleigh
  2. make a moodboard for a fashion line with cutouts from magazines
  3. hand letter a quote
  4. draw what you eat
  5. write 3 stream-of-consciousness pages of Morning Pages first thing in the morning
  6. find inspiration from Creative Rehab's 30 Days of Writing Challenge (also starting Friday!)
  7. draw something from this Draw Me board
  8. draw a portrait of yourself in a mirror making the ugliest face possible
  9. draw some made-up ugly faces
  10. blueprint the plans for an altar sculpture of some sort
  11. draw fairies
  12. learn how to draw chibis
  13. write/draw some content for a zine
  14. fill a page full of faces
  15. go a little Wreck This Journal on your sketchbook and start messing it up
  16. copy something cute/kawaii
  17. sketch portraits of girl characters i like: Matilda, Wednesday, Belle, Alice, Dorothy, Amélie, Daria, Hermione...
  18. color a page as full of color as possible
  19. pick an object that reminds you of childhood, draw it and write your memories of it
  20. share your story behind an old photo
  21. pick a common first name and list all the people you can think of with that name
  22. see: everyday life journaling prompts
  23. draw a map of your hometown from memory (street names, landmarks, your schools, friends' houses, etc)
  24. draw everything in your purse/bag
  25. create a page of rich texture
  26. for calm & clarity, just make dots... or lines
  27. draw girls in outfits & decorate the heck out of their clothes
  28. make a list of all the people who have step foot in your home - how many can you remember?
  29. outline your hand, then doodle in it
  30. illustrate a recipe
  31. make a grid, then fill the boxes with drawings of things in your space
  32. cut out a photo from a magazine & doodle on top of it - aka "doodle bomb"
  33. Rorschach with watercolor and draw what you see
  34. learn about something new and take notes on what you learn
  35. two words: visual note-taking
  36. list all the places you've fallen asleep besides your own home
  37. draw your own mandala and color it in
  38. keep a tea journal
  39. make a color swatch collage
  40. watch a movie. pause it randomly. quickly sketch the scene.
  41. make a list of things you're good at
  42. 50 things to be happy about
  43. gratitude journal
  44. go someplace and draw your surroundings
  45. make a pseudo pinboard in your sketchbook with pictures from magazines
  46. make lists based on past 30 Days of Lists prompts
  47. more: themes from Sketchbook Challenge
  48. more: topics from Illustration Friday
  49. more: 40 journaling prompts
  50. jumping off point: random sentence
some of my favorite drawing & writing tools

Alrighty then, I think 50 is enough for now. Happy creating to everyone doing challenges in August!
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