Howdy y'all! I fiiiiinnnnnalllly finished the desert set that I started months ago. I was just waiting for inspiration to hit, and it finally did with some fun horses. Introducing Desert Bloom, a fun, whimsical floral set with lots of cute papers and clip art! I tried to limit myself to just pastel desert colors, but in the end I just couldn't do it. So fun bright colors it is, plus I spiced it up by using brown instead of my usual navy ;). Find it HERE or HERE.
Suddenly I'm seeing swans everywhere and I LOVE it! So many cute fabrics and decor. If you are looking to add to your swan collection, or update your product line to include this trend, I have a clip art set and matching papers for you! Find it HERE or HERE.
I decided very last minute yesterday to painstakingly transfer all of the art 101 blog posts to a separate page on this website. I think it will be better to keep the "blog" section for updates and news and the "art 101" section just for the class. That way people won't have to search through all the posts to find it. You can find the class by clicking on "art 101" in the left hand sidebar. I'm excited to spend some time with y'all doing art this June!!!
(I will post a new mini-lesson and assignment each weekday in June at 8 AM EST under the art 101 section. All you need is a pencil, paper, and internet to get started!)
Before we start, let's talk about what you are going to need. Please note that you can use any type of medium to complete the assignments. There are no limits to your creativity! Use what you love best. However I encourage you to try out different mediums because who knows, maybe you have a knack for watercolor and you never knew it. It's also just fun to try different things and get messy.
I'm cheap, but not too cheap, because really cheap art supplies are CRAP. I go for the highest quality of the low quality art supplies until I know I'm good enough to justify the more expensive stuff. Case in point, a few months ago I splurged and bought $100 Swiss colored pencils even though I've never drawn with colored pencils and it turns out I'm not very good at it. Should have started with the 12 pencil Crayola box and gone up from there. Lesson learned. In related news...anyone want to buy some Swiss colored pencils? ;)
I would buy most things on Amazon prime because they are sometimes significantly cheaper than your local craft store even with a coupon and you get free two day shipping, and you don't have to leave your house with all your kids in tow. Dick Blick and Cheap Joes Art Stuff also has good prices, but you will pay for shipping (the horror). If you have to, make sure you have a coupon before you head to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and know that their selection is very limited.
These are the supplies that I use and have on hand at my house. I will use these in this class:
Specifically for kids:
Paint recommendations for adults (this is optional, just my recommendations if you were going to try it out):
Do any of you have recommendations for art supplies? What are your go to brands?
It's that time of year again. I don't know if it's the extra pollen in the air or the creative burnout from completing so many Christmas projects, but every year around February I start to feel creatively frustrated. I have plenty of ideas but zero motivation. I feel stuck, discouraged, and depressed for no specific reason. It leads me to assess what I am doing and why and if it is still of value to me. What am I missing?
I narrowed it down to three things: I miss teaching, I want to involve my children more in my work (so it doesn't feel like when I'm working that I'm ignoring them--that dang mom guilt), and I want to improve my own art.
All of this thinking culminated in one grand idea--I'm starting an online art school on the blog called the Citrus and Mint Academy! Classes will start out with the basics of art, specifically the elements and principles of art and design, and if that goes well, I'll see what other classes I can do.
I'm hoping that by studying the fundamental elements of art, I will be challenged to think differently and try new things, and I hope that you will as well. This class is for anyone and everyone, babies to grandparents, professional artists to those who "can't draw to save their lives." I will be doing it with my daughter so I encourage you to do it with your kids as well. It's never too early to start learning about art---AND I timed it to start once school is out so you are guaranteed to have at least a 30 minute activity to do each day to stop hearing "I'm so bored" and keep their brains active over the summer. You're welcome.
Here's how it will work. Art 101: Line and Shape will be from June 1-June 30, excluding the weekends. Each week day I will post mini-lesson with a project here on the blog and on instagram. You can work on it at your leisure and then post your completed work or progress with the tag #cmart101 on instagram or on the Facebook Citrus and Mint Academy group page.
(Find the facebook group HERE. It is a closed group so you will have to request to be added. I did this because it will be the easiest way to share your work and see others' work and comment in a semi-private way for those who are reluctant to show off their AMAZING drawing skills to all their Instagram friends.)
This won't be a traditional class. I am not really acting as the teacher, but as a fellow student...maybe the leader of the study group. :) I am in no way an expert on these subjects. It is my first time learning the actual elements of design too. Therefore in order for it to work, it needs to be interactive. I need your involvement to make it really successful for all of us. Don't be afraid if you "aren't an artist" or "not as good as so and so." My work will not be perfect. It will not even be good at times, which I admit is really scary. But we will all grow together.
I won't be teaching any type of medium in Art 101, but the principles that can be used with anything--paint, crayons, pencil, collage, watercolor, charcoal, tissue paper, sharpie marker, tape, clay, photography, etc. I encourage you to experiment with several different types. I will post a supply lists in a couple of days...hint, stock up on lots of paper. The exercises and challenges won't have to take a lot of time. Some days you'll delve into it and create a masterpiece, other days you'll get by with just a sketch. I understand that summer is busy and I don't expect you to participate each day.
Oh, I forgot to mention the most important thing...IT'S FREE!
So who is excited to do this with me? Who will accept this challenge and enroll in Citrus and Mint Art 101? Comment below! Spread the word to your friends who may be interested and ask any questions you have (clarity in writing is not really my strength after having kids).
My heart is exploding with gratitude for all of you! Even though it's not the end of the month yet, I had to let you know that because of your support, a little over $1,000 is going to UNICEF!!! Thank you!
If you are looking for more ways to support refugees, check out a group that I read about in the paper today-- Lifting Hands International. They talk with refugees in the camps and create Amazon wish lists of items they actually need for you to donate.
As cheesy as it sounds, together we can make a difference!
This election season is one that as a historian, I would love to study 100 years from now, but right now, all I want to do is hide. Yikes. However, if you happen to love campaigning and want to throw a huge party for the next debate, I have the perfect clip art and papers for you! Or wait and use it for all your Fourth of July patriotic decor or your child's next class project that you wish they would do all on their own. Or their campaign posters for class president. I'd vote for her. :)
Find the sets HERE or HERE.
Yesterday was a frustrating day. One of those days when you are still recovering from a week-long migraine and have an appointment at the tile store to find kitchen backsplash tile for which you drive 30 minutes to the store only to have your daughter inform you that she has no shoes even though you reminded her several times to put them on and you sure as heck aren't making an hour drive on top of the 30 minute drive you just did to go back and get shoes. So she walks barefoot into the fancier-than-you-expected tile design store and they treat you like a peasant (probably because you walked in with your barefoot daughter) and scoff when you think that $30 per sq ft for tile is not doable. So you buy yourself a chick fil a diet coke AND chocolate milkshake just to stay sane.
That afternoon for nap time I finally got some quiet time to cross off some of the things on my to do list. One of those items was researching refugees, aid, and volunteering after being inspired by my church's call to action last Saturday night (view it here). I was seriously humbled. And depressed, and sad, and moved to tears. And frustrated. Frustrated with myself and my preoccupation with such trivial first world problems like "the perfect backsplash" and "children putting their shoes on when you ask them to" when there are people without a place to live, food to eat, personal safety, parents, siblings, medical care...the list could go on. Frustrated with people who put them in this situation. Frustrated with people who refuse to help out of fear. Frustrated that I am not capable to do more.
I spent a while researching local refugee non-profits in my city and there are lots of opportunities to volunteer. In fact there is a 6 month waiting list to volunteer at one of the organizations here in Jacksonville. I work with our church youth ministry and we will certainly be taking advantage of group volunteer opportunities, but volunteering significant time up in Jacksonville with two little ones at home isn't very feasible for me right now. What could I do? How could I make a difference?
The answer came to my thoughts: "What about your store? You could donate your income from there."
It's a thought I can't push away. So here is my pledge--I will donate 100% of my profits for the month of April to the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) (profit is total price minus fees and expenses). I will come up with an established percentage to donate after that. It's not much, but it's something I can do. I want everyone to clearly understand that I am not doing this to get more sales or a tax break. I'm not doing this to get praise or recognition. I am doing this because people need help, and this is a way that I can help right now. Because if not me, then who?
I encourage you to look up your local refugee relief organizations to see how you can help. Or you can donate directly to one of these excellent non-profit organizations:
United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund
The Red Cross
Catholic Relief Services
Do any of you have experience helping refugees? Have you come up with creative ways to help?
Today I was introduced to Tara Mohr through a Design Sponge article she wrote on praise and criticism. It was exactly what I needed to read at a time that I am struggling and lacking confidence on the verge of trying out a new idea. Please read the article here, or look at her website here, but here is my short synopsis: Women especially have the tendency to notice and take personally the feedback they receive. Mohr suggests separating praise and criticism from yourself by realizing that feedback is a reflection of the person giving it, and not of you. She also asked us to look for the match up. "Typically when there's a type of criticism we are really afraid of, the real issue is that deep down we believe that negative thing about ourselves."
I am lucky enough to not have received the criticism that I most fear, but I certainly always have the fear that one day I will receive it. For the most part I am a fairly confident person, perhaps bordering on the arrogant side about most everything, except for one. Which also happens to be the area of my work. I constantly have to fight the fear that I am not good enough as an artist. I am not an expert. I have no formal art training. I have no formal business training. I am making it up as I go along, therefore I am not a good as so-and-so and never will be, and I don't deserve attention. It doesn't matter how much positive feedback I get from others since this fear is deeply rooted in myself.
I think the fear stems from the fact that I am a perfectionist. I want to be the best, or not do it at all. I don't do anything until I know that I can do it perfectly because if I mess up even a little, I failed. I need to become comfortable in not being the best, but being my best, or sometimes taking the leap and finding out where it takes me. I'm where I am because of leaps that I have taken in the past, but the inadequacy still creeps up. Today is the day that this fear is going to stop.
Reading that article, and some others from her site reemphasized the need for me to follow through with this idea I will launch soon. I'm going to do it for me, and not anyone else. I'm not going to determine it's success on others but on progress within myself! If you need me, I'll be muttering "confidence" to myself in the mirror. :)
What criticisms are you most afraid of receiving? Any tips on overcoming perfectionism and self-doubt?
Honestly I don't know the first thing about sports, but when someone asked for a set, I thought I would give it a try. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. I did have my husband check things over for accuracy :). These are the first of many sports kits to come! Buy them HERE or HERE.
Hi! I'm Rachel and welcome to Citrus and Mint! Here you will find unique hand drawn illustrations for yourself or someone you love.