My Attempt at Linocut Printing… & a Life Lesson

THIS WAS FUN!

So a few years ago I purchased a mounted linocut and the speedball cutters but quickly realized that my original idea wasn’t going to work. But when I drew the above design, it reminded me of the kind of designs I want to eventually print to fabric for purse designs and such.

I finally had a day off last Sunday and decided to drag my self out to Michael’s, JoAnn’s, the Art Store (Blick) and Barnes and Noble for a little sun (I worked all weekend and needed to get out even though I had no intentions in purchasing anything,) and inspiration.

While walking around the art store I remembered I wanted to try to transfer my drawing to a lino. So I chose an unmounted piece of lino simply because it was #CheapCheapGangGang and quickly realized that it is extremely difficult to cut. I would love to try the soft stuff but until the price comes down, I’m good.

TIP: While watching tons of youtube videos someone said you can take a blow dryer to unmounted lino and it will soften (I will have to try that next time).

And I probably shouldn’t have chosen a super complicated image as my first lino cut but like usual I tend to just jump into the deep end. WHICH REMINDS ME: While on my Sunday adventure I came across a book called, Make it Mighty Ugly, which I will be doing a review on once it arrives. But I love the idea, as my teacher use to say it takes a 100 bad drawings before you get one good one. So I kept faith that even if it turned out like garbage that the experience would be worth it.

WHICH… MIND BLOWN…

As this concepts correlates with my purse making. Which I invested in a book about that too… (One more thing, am I the only one that goes to the book store to just look them up on your phone and order them used online. I may be aiding to the end of bookstores but in my world, they would be open regardless of profit, like libraries.) But back to my mind being blown… I was supposed to update you guys on starting again with my sewing, and I had begun again, but another mistake was made and it threw everything off and there I was again, staring my disappointment and doubt in the mirror again. Like a punch in the chest; I felt defeated.

I need to extend this concept to my sewing. I’m wanting so bad for it to all be perfect and pretty and be evident that I’m getting closer to eventually opening a store. But if I don’t allow my self to make mistakes I’ll never grow. It will just sit in the middle of the floor. I JUST NEED TO MAKE THAT SHIT UGLY! Get over it. I also think it would be wise to invest in some muslin so that I can freely work out my designs without wasting more expensive fabric. I need to just practice, practice, practice with out pressuring my self that everything needs to be perfect. EXHALE…

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So yea… I chipped away, sliced and diced for three days (after work), and had a lot of fun. It reminds me of working with clay, just very hard clay. My only advice is to be patient and move the tool away from your body as I initiated my self with a slice to the finger. I will say this… Even though it is extremely time-consuming, it is so intimate, like when molding clay, and though I haven’t had the opportunity to try screen printing, I think there is nothing like lino cutting and just might be my choice of method as I move forward.

So yea, I’m feeling good again… excited, happy. I’ll never learn if I’m not willing to make mistakes and be open to the learning experience.

So WOOSAAA, Don’t take yourelf to seriously, have some fun, who gives a f, and just be yourself.

Go Confidiently & BEautifulyODD

xoxoxoxo

Olisa Rachele

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5 Steps to Creating a Simple Bullet Journal for the New Year

Hey Fellow Creative’s,

Today I bring to you some notes and suggestions for creating your very own bullet journal. I too am new to this, but rest assured, with a little planning and patience you too, can design a very simple and manageable planner for your daily life and projects.

Let’s get right to it…

  1. Choosing a Notebook:

This is probably the most daunting part if you have an issue (or pet peeve like I do) with ink bleeding or ghosting. Upon my research the Letchum is probably the most efficient if you’re ok with spending 20 bucks. To my surprise, Moleskin had the worst reviews due to bleeding and ghosting. But in my opinion… if you’re spending 20 bucks on a journal it needs to have high quality paper. But since I’m pretty “thrifty” I picked up an Artist Loft dotted journal from Michales for 5 bucks. Now it too bleeds and ghosts depending on the types of pens you use BUT I read in a review that this chick used a glue stick to glue her pages together. Now I don’t know about you, but I’d rather glue $5 pages together, than 20 dollar ones. Plus, there are more pages in the Artist loft journal and I love the dimensions.

But of course whatever journal you choose, as long as it has some sort of grid will do just fine.

(Update: the bleeding in the artist loft journal hasn’t been so bad that I felt the need to glue my pages together. I’ll touch more on this under which pens to use.)

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  1. Graph Paper:

After jumping right into my artist loft journal of course I was disappointed to see how the pens I was using left major ghost lines. So my OCD led me to purchase another one and keep the one I messed up in as a draft journal. But instead of buying two journals, especially if you chose an expensive one, find some graph paper to practice layouts, test inking, and organize your ideas.

  1. Layout:

005Now is the time to brainstorm any of the elements that you will need in your bullet journal. Take a scratch piece of paper and jot down any elements that you’ll need from a yearly, monthly, weekly and or daily spread that will help you achieve the task and goals that are significant to you. Would you prefer a weekly habit tracker or a monthly habit tracker? Do you feel the need to have a monthly view with space to take notes or something simple with just the numbers and days of the week? This is your personal planner and you can design it anyway you wish. No one has to see it, it doesn’t need to be perfect, just let it be you.

This is also a great time to use the suggested graph paper to determine how much space you will need to draw out your layouts. Of course you can do this with pencil, very lightly in your book, but it helps to also test which size ink pens you may want to use for specific design elements.004

 

Don’t let this part of the process intimidate you; there are tons of examples on pintrest to choose from. Just choose which elements appeal to you the most and try drafting them out on your graph paper. The goal isn’t to have some elaborate, fancy planner but to create a simple layout for you thoughts, goals and plans. So do not stress about the artistic elements. Considering this is my first bullet journal, I focused more on simplicity.

  1. Test inks:

As I noted above, I jumped right in when I got the bright idea to try bullet journaling. Little did I know, I was going to mess up my book. So I suggest testing inks in the very back of your book.003

So far Micron’s have not been bleeding or (very minimal) ghosting, and are water proof. (I tend to get sweaty palms which means smudges so water proof pens are a msut.) I suggest a 08 for borders and finer pens like 01 and 02 for writing within dots or grids. I also use regular ball point pens and gel G-2 07 Pilot pens to avoid further bleeding or ghosting.002

  1. And most importantly have fun and a bit of patience.

The more impatient I become or try to rush through the process the more mistakes I make. I draw everything out in pencil and check it twice before I start to ink. Of course mistakes are unavoidable but that’s why it is so important to spend the time developing your layout so that when it’s complete it becomes an effective tool for organizing your goals, projects and daily life.001

So far my bullet journal includes a yearly overview with a notes section and a page for my personal goals and “art” goals. I’ve also included a 6 month future log followed by a monthly layout that has enough space for notes. Next there is a weekly two page layout that breaks down my goals for the week, projects that I need to work on and a tracker for habits I need to work on.

Here are a few more links to some video’s I found extremely helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-f62ncQBWM&t=27s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urs2Xs6QdpQ&t=475s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtQBs8PB19I

 

A Glimpse Inside My Art Journal

I have been MIA like a dude who makes ghosting a science. Better yet, like when I ghost fake friends, f boys and the like (DELETE).

BUT… I can happily report that I return with a major accomplishment in my career and that because of this and a few other things, I have been on a quasi-spiritual, transformative and humbling journey.

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My last post was about “still being unstoppable” and how I went on an interview and tanked it but in spite of my “failure” I had felt extremely confident. From there, long story short, I started UBERing to earn additional income to supplement the major rental increase affecting Sacramento. So instead of coming up with blog ideas, drawing, or doing anything related to art, even coloring a coloring book; I was grinding in these streets trying to make a few bucks while working full time.

Luckily, at the time, my full time job had endowed me with a great opportunity to put my creative skills to use by creating a massive power point presentation. I know, Lame. BUT IT WASN’T. Who remembers making power point presentations in Jr. High? I do! I created a 125 slide presentation encompassing the Veterinary Hospital Inspection Program and it was a rewarding experience. I never had the opportunity to do anything remotely creative for work but to make lame holiday and potluck flyers with the use of paint and word. So with my design skills and enthusiasm in tow, I tailored a simple, clean, well designed presentation for them that can be used for years to come. (still nerding out about this)

While doing that I got another call for an interview and this time I didn’t have to change in the car but more importantly, my portfolio saved my life! So within a span of four months, I took a transfer, started UBERing and promoted while my parents came to visit for two weeks.

002-blog-sizeSo yea… A lot has happened and I couldn’t be more grateful for where I’m at. The fact that I have finally broken into my career field is the greatest thing I could have accomplished this year. And with that said… can you believe that we only have three more months before the end of the year. My goodness! That means three months to accomplish a few more goals. During my time away I’ve been researching how to implement a schedule, how to stick to one, and how to accomplish your goals. So in the next blog post I will be sharing some tools I’ve learned and programs I’ve tried to help become a bit more self-disciplined.

BEautifullyODD is still and will always be my baby and during this time away I have had to honestly re-evaluate, not only what it means to me, but how to find the courage, strength, and discipline to make my art a priority. The one thing I’ve been doing is art journaling; I’ve been trying to draw or doodle for 15 minutes a day. Granted I’ve been writing more than sketching or drawing. But you can’t be afraid of a blank piece of paper. You just have to jump in and f it up. Scribble all over it, pour ink all over it, burn it and spill coffee in it, hide flowers in its pages and keep scribbling motivational quotes in its seams… inspiring you to keep going.

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But I want to leave off saying that no matter how crazy, difficult and challenging life gets, take comfort in the fact that no one has the power to kill your dreams. So just keep going.

BEautifullyODD

 

Creating an Interactive Vision Board

Hey Guys!

So for the past couple of months I’ve been sorta going through a “transition”. I guess that’s what you call a job change, tending to family matters, feeling stuck artistically, and watching television and hiding peacefully under the covers.

But it’s my 32nd birthday this weekend and I am so glad that I took the time to create, what I’m calling, an Interactive Vision Board.

Creating vision boards have been all the craze this past year but I already had two big ones hanging in my bedroom, above my work space; So I hadn’t really felt the need to create another one. But because I decided to have a low-key birthday weekend, I figured wth let’s give it a go.

All I knew, was that I wanted to change-up the vibe. I’ve created plenty of vision boards with images of what I want my future to look like but I wanted to make this one theme specific. I decided to center it around my “Art Business“.

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Now mind you, I was feeling pretty silly walking around michales trying to find stuff that inspired me. It had been a long time since I went out and searched for papers and cute scrapbook accessories (love them). I already had cork board in possession and was trying to refurbish, but if your “cheap / frugal” like me, spending hella money on a project that may not come out, that I didn’t even have a concept for, was sorta starting to bum me out.

Especially when I of course picked out the most expensive two dollar decorative paper they had. I had over 4 feet of surface to cover and it was starting to add up. But once I committed to the paper and started walking around, I found stickers with awesomly designed motivational quotes and figured if I got a few sheets of black paper, a white pen and an old school shake it up gold paint pen; I could make do with what I already had.

So I came home, started going through piles of stuff I had already collected over the years and before I knew it, it was starting to come together. It’s funny how certain craft items, stickers or scrapbook pieces will linger around for years. You pick them up, considering them for your projects and cherish them but put them back; knowing it isn’t quite right. So many things I had been saving, seemed ready to jump on to the board, waiting for this exact moment.

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I have Gemini brain which means I have like 10 projects going on at once. (It is utter chaos but I adore it.) So I made a list of projects and created four action columns. One for ideas, goals, to do (action steps), and achieved. I didn’t just want this vision board to motivate me but help me organize my thoughts, plans and keep me accountable.

I created a little box for my posted notes to hang in, added fabric swatches for my purses, a space to add sketches and tons of motivational stickers. I adore it. It really was a lot of fun and I am so glad I spent part of my birthday weekend creating it. I enjoyed taking the time to assess my goals and breathe new life into them.

Onward,

BEautifullyODD

 

This Week… Interfacing and A Failed Hobo Bag

Boy O boy … So for the past week I eagerly worked on creating a hobo bag. And to no avail I had to switch it up. I kept running into dimension issues for some reason.

My first attempt was salvageable and it turned out to be a cute foldable clutch. The problem was that I didn’t create a wide enough opening and the interfacing I used made it a bit too stiff or thick. I did however like the Pellon 931TD Fusible Midweight but wasn’t sure if it was as floppy as I think a hobo bag should be. The weight seems more suitable for a messenger bag.

20170122_205354Then my second attempt, though wide enough wasn’t deep enough and from there I was like
you know what… time to give that a break.

For some reason, patterns always look bigger than the end result and  that’s with taking into account the seam allowance. But since I have been creating my own patterns, I have to remember that it’s ok if it looks too big.

So I decided to go back to the drawing board using a previous pattern I made for clutches. And finally I had some success! Which was a relief as I immediately started to doubt my self, my sanity and whether or not I knew what I was doing when the hobo bag didn’t work out. What I did like is the Pellon Deco Fuse 520. That stuff is hard and provides a very durable structure to my designs. Someone had suggested using canvas mesh for the structure of bags but I did not like it. When I created the grey clutch a couple of months ago it had no structure and was floppy. But now that I’ve found the perfect interfacing for my clutches, I feel more confident and excited to proceed with other designs, and yes, make another attempt at creating an awesome hobo bag.

So the hours of researching interfacing and watching videos paid off, I suggest watching: Interfacing! AND Joanns has swatches available so that you can touch and test the feel and weight of all the different types of interfacing. Trust, I was so overwhelmed trying to find the interfacing while at the store but to my surprise I found a key ring of swatches next to the interfacing and was able to pick accordingly. So that made things easy.

Any who… Though the hobo bad didn’t turn out, this week wasn’t a complete fail. I kept moving forward and didn’t give up.

Next week, We’ll be back to the graphic design series, How to Rebuild your Portfolio, by  creating an identity for a Health and Wellness Spa. See you soon.

 

 

Finally!

The “non-stick” pressor foot I had to order finally came in the mail and it surprisingly did exactly what it is suppose to do. I for sure thought, I could redo the bag (in the previous post) with the vinyl; But why did I go and try to add canvas mesh inside of it. Ugh… so annoyed. The mesh did give it the sturdiness I’m looking for but since I cut it to big it just made the purse sorta bend. lol. To be blunt it was not cute.

So tonight when I got home from work I was on a mission. I had this idea brewing for some time but hadn’t exactly took the time to fully realize it. But to see it come to life is more than awesome considering how long I pondered over the construction of it.

Though I have ran into a few issues along the way, even this one has its flaws, I love how it seems to be feeding my creativity. It’s fueling other areas of my life and for that I am truly grateful. I admit it almost feels second nature, as if it was passed down by my ancestors or something.

Till Next Time

BEautifullyODD

I have one more clutch to design, maybe two, tryna be cute for NY but once I’m finished I’ll be expanding the blog in another direction in which I’ll be discussing some ideas, goals and hopefully start working on some awesome projects.

 

 

 

3 Attempts Later

BAG 1 – So… as usual I am always jumping into the deep end. Why do I do that. To be honest, the problems I ran into were for the most part, minor. Granted, the first pattern I used didn’t make that much since but I still thought it was doable. I ended up wasting a lot of space in my seam allowance which resulted in a puckered vinyl mess. I think the choice of pattern was my first mistake, the lack of directions left me questioning a few things and it seemed over complicated.

BAG 2 – So I went back to an even simpler design in which I did everything for the most part right besides over heating the vinyl. But then… OMG… As I was trying to sew with both sides of the vinyl facing out, the feed dog pretty much ate it up. And mind you I’m trying to sew through 8 layers of thick fabric. So that is when I realized I needed a special presser foot. Exhale. My second bag was supposed to be my redemption and boy it was lookin fab, minus the overheated spots on the vinyl where I over ironed, lol. But when I started sewing it with the vinyl sides facing out, the feed dog basically destroyed it and my determination left it with rips and snags. AND O… Don’t put a pin through vinyl unless it’s in the seam allowance; use clips. Long story short. Another one bit the dust. Lol. Exhale.

BAG 3 – I loved the pattern of bag 2 and  how it was looking but I can’t restart it until I get the presser foot that will feed the fabric. And after feeling defeated, not once but twice, I said let’s take this back to elementary school and use basic canvas fabric. And finally it came out. My only issue is that I should have added the plastic canvas in the lining in order to stiffen its structure but other than that it came out quite perfect. It’s a basic canvas clutch. It would be cute if I added a silver chain to it but for now I love it for what it is. It was and idea fully realized. I love the tucked edge around the opening, and that I got the metal snap on correctly, how I lined up the pattern, how my tag looks with it, that pointed tip, and that it’s a representation of what’s to come.

Special Presser Foot