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

If You’re Complaing, You’re Not Doing

If you’re complaining, you’re not doing. I see glimpses of my dreams, hopes and desires like a mirage far off in the desert; It’s haze shimmering between time and responsibilities. I fear and hope more than I do. Constantly wishing, praying for my deepest desire to come to fruition. Trying to find courage instead of fear. Taking one step at a time in spite of the swarm of anxiety humming beneath my breast-plate. Just keep going I say, Just stay focused I say, Just never give up I say. Whispering into the light of the moon so the sun may know my heart when tomorrow begins again. 

BEautifullyODD

Love,

Olisa Rachele

 

A Project List for your Bullet Journal

I find making this project list helpful on a monthly basis or when ever I start to feel lost, confused or am suffering from a momentarily lapse of amnesia. It can be helpful to refer to it and remind myself of the many things I am working on and what small steps I need to take to achieve my goal. It can be updated any time by simply creating a new list and be implemented into your weekly layout in your bullet journal.

Depending on how much space you’ll need and how many task you need to do for one particular project, you can choose to create a page for each individual project. Now is also the time to list on a scratch piece of paper how many projects you may actually have and want to work on. Don’t choose too many. You may have ten projects like my self that you want to work on but perhaps your focus needs to only be on 3 to 5 things. Or you only have time for one special project; Perhaps some are easier than others or take priority. I find that most of us know what are goals are but struggle to break them down in simple steps to help us achieve them.027

So for an example lets use blogging as my first project:

BLOG

A.) In your 1st column list all the task that you WANT OR NEED TO DO for your blog:

  1. Blog content exercise
  2. Finish all 4 blogs for the Month of January
  3. 4 Images
  4. Read Blog Inc.

B.) In the 2nd column list WHEN you need to achieve these things. I find it easier to break down my task by whether they need to be done daily, weekly or by providing an actual deadline date. (you can choose to leave an explanation):

  1. by 1/31
  2. weekly
  3. weekly
  4. daily

C. HOW, In the 3rd column list how you will achieve this.

  1. List 10 possible blog ideas by end of month.
  2. Finish one post a week.
  3. Create one image a week.
  4. Read 15 minutes a day

For some of my other projects maybe I just need to spend an hour a week working on it. I’ve attached pictures that show how I break down my list and then transfer it to my weekly project layout in my bullet journal.029

Remember that you can draw this or type this up; however you choose, the idea is to break down your goals and define how you can achieve them by taking simple, easy steps without stressing about the overall goal.
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I really hope this makes sense… Let me know if you find this helpful or have any questions.

BEautifullyODD

 

 

Frozen in the Face of Fear

So it has been like forever since I sewed something; I think it was around March. OMG. To my defense I had A LOT going on. Things were just spiraling out of control and by the time I resurfaced, the end of the year was on the horizon. I remember the last time quite vividly; I had made a mistake… again. And I had just about had it.

Here I am spending all this money on fabric and batting and I’m over here making silly mistakes, wasting exceptional fabric. It hadn’t mattered how successful I had been. Or that it felt so second nature that I was convinced my ancestors were seamstress or I was at least one in a previous life time.

I left everything in the middle of the floor with intentions in returning but idk… day after day passed. Then there was a death in the family which resulted in a family member crashing on the couch and the mess I had left in the middle of my living room floor needed to be picked up.

I packed it away; Knowing I needed to jump back up on the horse like Tom Cruise hopping back into his fighter jet but feeling and still feeling, frightened. Is it fear? it can only be fear. Fear of wasting money, fear that my ambitions are out of control, fear that I’ll never meet my goal, fear that I’m just a fraud.

So 10 months later, I sat here this past weekend determined to start again. Which duh, doesn’t result in just jumping on to the sewing machine. It takes about 27 steps before that, before you can even sit down, you have to put all the puzzle pieces together.

I had already had the idea of replicating a Kenneth Cole Tote bag I purchased a while ago. I started drawing and checking the measurements, choosing fabric and drawing out a pattern, all while drinking some liquid courage. But the next morning, everything just sat there. I couldn’t move. I was frozen in fear. I watched the tv as intently as possible while I ignored everything in the middle of the floor; only getting up for food and trips to the restroom.

“Before deciding to take flight or fight, most mammals freeze for a few milliseconds to assess the situation before making a next move.” (psychologytoday)

Eager to understand why I felt so paralyzed I came across the above quote and was astonished by the simplistic understanding as to why we freeze when we are afraid. Granted I sat there for more than a few milliseconds and perhaps I could have just walked over there and started anywhere, as long as I started. But perhaps freezing isn’t so bad. It’s ok to assess the situation before moving on. And it was exactly what I needed to do; I needed to develop my sketches and patterns before I rushed off to my machine.

Sewing is this extremely complex task where each step is integral and paramount to the overall finished product.

Anyway… I haven’t given up, you’re suppose to do the things you fear most. Plus, I learned that if I’m frozen in fear, it’s probably because I feel the need to assess the situation before moving on.

“The art of the game is embracing the fear tucking the doubt under your arm running and willing your way to personal freedom.” -Natasha Munson

Fuck fear, Let your ambitions run rampant,

BEautifullyODD

 

 

Developing Rituals

Hey Creatives,

Today I bring to you some tips for developing your very own morning ritual. Now look, I too struggle immensely with this whole getting up thing at the crack of dawn and being a productive member of society… ready to accomplish my every goal. But by taking baby steps, implementing one tip at a time if need be, I know I can get a handle on my mornings and you can too.

So let’s get to it…

  1. MUSIC!! There is nothing like waking up to your favorite songs. I would suggest waking up to songs that motivate you, or inflict you to start twerking or twitching in your bed as the beat gets your heart pumping and ignites your inner beastmode. I downloaded Umi which is an alarm clock that connects a playlist from your spotify account and it has truly been helpful these last couple of days.
  2. LIGHT: If you can jump right of bed, I envy you. In the summer when you see the sun coming through your window it’s a bit easier but in these winter months it can be even more daunting to get up. Who wants to wake up in the middle of the cold, dark night. If you have one of those artificial light alarm clocks, you fancy, and more power to you. But my trick is to crank up the brightness on my phone and let it burn my retinas. lol. Like I put that sucker right up to my eyes, wide open, probably isn’t even good for you. Eveuntually I’ll reach for the lamp. All jokes aside don’t underestimate the power of natural light in the morning.
  3. . MANTRA: Those silly, pesky mantras are powerful like mustard seeds. Find a simple phrase you can repeat to yourself at least until its time for the next step. This is hard for me… I blame it on short-term memory. But I do know the power of it and I think the bottom line is that you immediately start talking positively to yourself in the morning. Don’t give yourself an opportunity to resist and justify. Remember all of the reasons why you need to show up, not only for your dreams and family but for yourself.
    • Rituals arm you with confidence and self-reliance.
    • Be the best you can be for the day.
    • Start your day with purpose, intention and joy.
    • Show up: I like this one… your mantra need not be some complex, long drawn out mission statement but a single word, as long as it reminds you what you’re fighting for.
  4. Review todays goals: I keep my bullet journal by my bed so that in the morning I can open it up and remind myself why I want to jump out of bed. Looking at my goals helps me remember what I’m working towards and helps set my mood and excitement for the day.
  5. EXERCISE: There is no way around it. You have to do it. If you plan to still tie your shoes when your 80 and not climb stairs panting than guess what. I prefer a morning work out, the endorphins help set the mood for the day. But it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Just get your body moving. Perhaps you want to do cardio or you’d rather just do a 15 minute pilates video or a short yoga session. Just make an effort to move your body even if it’s just you stretching in bed.
  6. NIGHTLY INTENTION: I love this one because it helps you set your mind frame before you even get up in the morning. Make a list or update your planner so that in the morning when you look at it there is no confusion about why you need to get up and seize the day.

 

I think the whole point is that we realize we have another day, an opportunity to get closer to our dreams. So wake up to the music, dance off any stress from a dream or any negative feelings and take the time to remember what your fighting for.

BEautifullyODD,

Olisa Rachele

 

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

 

When Everything Seems Fucked Up

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since February 3rd. And it’s now a week from May.

Things were going well for a while… I had been reading books about blogging, sewing on my machine and working on some graphic design pieces. Granted, I was  intimidated by my goals for the blog, and still am.  But then random deaths, and visitors, work crap, and interviews, and doubts and fears started to take over and everything just stopped.

Regardless of my reasons for stopping… I did. I even think I remember the exact moment. I was in the middle of sewing a purse when another failed attempt struck me kind of hard. Plus I was slightly intimidated by what a psychic had told me. (I’ll get back to that.) But I remember wanting to finish it, knowing I needed to jump back on the horse and just keep pushing despite the fail.

But instead of pushing on I let it sit there on the floor and found my self having to clean it all up and put it away till a more suitable time. Of course I’ve had plenty of opportunities since then but instead, I’ve talked myself out of every opportunity… Thinking that I wasn’t ready to give it the time it needed.

And even now the time doesn’t feel right. I’ve been poking at my sketch book here and there, tucking quotes away, going through bins of paper, trying to find some sort of motivation. But truth be told, it ain’t there.

And my life still feels like a tornado whipped through it. Even now, when my heart aches I admit I don’t want to, even though I know I should, even though I know I need to. Art has always been a healing thing for me and I’ve just been hiding from it… intimidated… not wanting my artistic attempts to hurt me either.

When I started this blog, my intentions were to be honest. Even when I can’t move, when I don’t know how to push forward and believe in myself: My intentions are to be able to freely express that and push past all of it, in hopes of inspiring us all to find the strength to push pass these types of debilitating moments.

I’m always so intimidated in pursuing this whole blogging thing, setting goals and then feeling like I can’t keep them. It’s not that I want to set the bar low or anything but I’m trying to find my own unique way to make this work for me. And the only way I know how to do that is by being my self. By being completely honest and raw with you. Because honestly this is the only place I do feel comfortable being my self.

So right now, when everything in my life “seems” pretty fucked up, I’m choosing to begin again.

I sorta have to at this point. At 32 years old I don’t have kids or a husband to tend to. I don’t even have a great body of work to stand behind, I just have my hopes and dreams and everything I’ve learned throughout the years. Out of all the times I could have given up, in high school, in my early twenties chasing after worthless boys, or when i nearly dropped out of college. I pushed through it all and chose to never give up. And that’s why now, when everything seems pretty shity and my heart is beating through my chest, and my anxiety takes my breath away, I choose to begin again. No one can take that away from you no matter how hard they try.

With much love,

BEautifullyODD