October 26, 2012

When Plans Go Astray

Hey y'all.

Yeah. Haven't updated in a week. Shocking. BUT WAIT DON'T GO I HAVE A REASON!

So if you've been paying attention to the Facebook page, you may have noticed I've been a little.... busy with creating things lately.

For those keeping score, Youmacon approaches in about one week, and my regular plans have, of course, gone astray from what they originally were.

We have a couple of friends coming in from Indy who have wanted to see the convention, so even when I decided not to Vend, I'd still be attending the convention. No big, I'll use the time to get some great pictures of my costumes, right? Right.

So both the Indy friends and my new Cosplay Cohort LunaLadyofLight talk to me and they're all "Oh we're gonna try to be in the masq, you should totally join us and we can hang out in the green room!" Well, that seems feasible. I was going to make Dave a really nice costume and use that as my entry (and I would have a coordinated costume - which I made already a while back to be as an 'accessory').

Well, we went fabric shopping and could NOT find any of the colors we needed (apparently bright blues are really hard to find right now *grumblesaboutseasons*). So Dave switched up what he'd want to wear (and it was something that was still relatively "easy"). However, this meant that I did not have anything to enter the masq with that I felt ... comfortable with.

Why you ask? Well, it's because I am pretty much now required to enter the "master" category - I have at least 6 major awards under my belt (first places in various categories and one best in show), and I did win 1st Journeyman at ACEN. I'd feel like I was cheating the system if I jumped back down to Journeyman, and I am not that kind of person. I believe in a fair fight.

Now I'm not expecting to win anything in Master, but I at least wanted to give them a run for their money. Make something that seemed worthy of being in that category.

I blame Karen for this.

And here's where my friend Rya (Karen) comes in. She lead me to an anime and manga titled "Magi: Labyrinth of Magic" and I fell head over heels for the whole thing. I read all of the manga available in one weekend, and I have seen the eps so far. (I will so be buying this when it comes out in book form here!)

How does this all fit in? Well I'm making one of the character's costumes for the masq. Namely, the guy with the blonde hair - Alibaba.

I've learned a lot so far in making it. I've learned how to properly make spikes in a wig, how to do a 4-strand corded braid, and I've unlocked more propmaking skills than I've ever had before! So yay!

Also, before anybody says anything, yes, his costume is simple-ish. However, I am choosing particular types of fabrics (woven looking linens and the like) to give an authentic feel AND I'm making a kickin' knife to go with it.

So here's where I'm up to so far:

Shirt, neck thing, and sash.

The Knife so far.

The wig! Oh the wig!
I'll try to post a pic once it's done. As you can obviously guess, my picture of the week has been postponed, so yeah! Once Youma's over, we'll rekindle that idea.

October 19, 2012

Book Review: "Shojo Wonder Manga"

Today's book!

Title: Shojo Wonder Manga Art School
Author: Supittha “Annie” Bunyapen
Publisher: Impact Books
Year: 2011

This week we’re reviewing the How to Draw book Shojo Wonder Manga Art School. This is a book that seems to be part a whole new publisher of how to draw books: Impact Books. I've only recently started seeing their books on the shelves in the stores (namely because I saw names OTHER than like Chris Hart, Marvel, and a few other standards I've seen forever.

I can usually quickly gauge if a book will be useful to me upon a quick flip through, and reading a few pages, and this one really stood out to me. I’ll admit, it’s colorful and pretty and just lovely to look at. It felt a lot different looking than a lot of typical “Draw Manga” books.


This book is what I’d consider an “advanced” book. By this I mean a lot of the advice provided in this book assumes you already have a relatively decent knowledge on how to draw pictures as well as how to shade with your media of choice. The introductory paragraph will say it’s for all levels, but the amount of time spent on “how to draw” things is very minimal at least.

It gives a few ideas on how to sketch things like heads, or bodies, and some recommended poses, but doesn't go into further details other than “try out a bunch of styles”. Great for the advanced artist, not so much for your very beginners.


What? Easy to find supplies?! NEVER.

The author takes the time and in the beginning of the book provides images and descriptions on the types of supplies that she uses. It’s really clear that this is not a “buy everything that is [insert brand name here]” like other how to draw books I've looked at do. She lays out the common items that she uses, with a corresponding photograph so if all else fails you can go into your local art store and go “I NEED THESE” and point to the picture. They are commonly found items, so no special ordering is really needed.

I wish more books would do this step by step process...

I love how in each image that she colors, she will show you step by step how each layer goes onto the picture. It’ll always start with the outline, and she’ll describe what colors she used on what layer and recommendations she has. Reading through each one enough, and even trying out the colors on your own, you’ll start to get a feel for good color combos.

But most importantly, the best feature of the entire book is at the start of each example picture she colors in, there is a big tan box that lists off ALL the supplies she used to make the image. It lists markers by color code and name, type of paper, pens, etc.


Where there is a lot that I did like, there are a couple of things I didn't like. The first being the assumption of color theory. I am terrible at matching up colors, let alone figuring out what markers react well with each other. The author only briefly mentions using warm tones, or cool tones, and assuming that the reader knows the 6 areas to shading and what reflective lighting is.

We spent weeks learning how to shade in black and white. Color was a whole other class.

Another thing I did not like is how the book appears to be aimed at beginners. The introductory page talks about all levels learning and the cover and back advertise things like “Complete Shojo Manga Course!” and “Basics-and-beyond instruction on drawing heads, figures, clothing, accessories, poses, hairstyles, costumes and backgrounds!”  It actually only gives you a brief overview which are more like examples rather than showing how things are built. You’ll get a few steps on a basic technique, then a page full of “here’s all the options you can do!”

A common how to draw book error: 3 steps to draw an advanced image.
Good luck with other variations!

After having read through the book a few times, I feel like it was given an improper title. This is in no way a “complete course on drawing shojo characters”. I don’t think that the book even goes into “what is a shojo character” or relating it at all to actual manga/comics.

I’m probably gonna place the blame on this on the publishing company rather than the artist, as beginner books would probably sell a lot better than “for advanced students only”. Frustrating, but most likely true.

Last but not least, and really this is just a superficial thing – the whole book is coated in pink. For being a fabulous resource for coloring in pictures… no guy will want to pick this up (well, except those who are really confident in themselves and probably don’t care anyway). I had wished it had some more neutral tones, because the knowledge is so amazing for any artist, regardless of gender.


How to color with Copic markers effectively. That’s pretty much the best information you can garner from this book. If you are interested in coloring with good art markers (or learning how to do it better), this book is for you.

These were a couple of test images I did using the techniques in this book


Artistic Knowledge/Skill. This book will give you a short step by step, and then a bunch of examples. It will say “add the shade around x area”, but it will not spend more than one page on one particular skill or item. It will not go into skeletal structure, muscles, various types of eyes, or similar topics.  This book is about coloring. (and does it well!)


Personally, I really enjoy this book. Having spent a long time refining my own drawing styles, being introduced to this new way of coloring and outlining has really made my own techniques grow. The artist is a fabulous marker colorist, and it shows in the love and care she puts into each picture.

Highly recommended for anyone who wants to push their coloring to the next level.

October 17, 2012

Introduction to How to Draw Book Reviews - About Me

My whole collection at this point.

Okay, I'm planning on doing some reviews on How To Draw books, as there's a slight interest, and frankly there are some really GOOD and some really BAD How to Draw books, and nothing makes my soul hurt worse than people learning from bad resources.

First, some background on my own artwork:

I am completely self-taught in the Manga style. Well, if you'd call it Manga Style. It's now some sort of strange weird hybrid of "American" and "Japanese" and I just don't like the term "Amerimanga" cause that just sounds silly (it reminds me of the old days of "Japanimation" *shudders*). Let's just agree to call em comics. Or maybe graphic novels... or sequential art if we want to get all artsy on it.

So anyway, I started drawing in this particular style around mid 90's when I was in Middle School and just finding out about Manga and the like (I actually didn't read things like Marvel or whatever, but i loved animation as well as the daily comics in the news paper.) I had read things like Ah! My Goddess and Maison Ikkoku and I loved them. I was also intrigued by the artwork that was in all the video game manuals that we had (we were a Nintendo household. I was drawing fanart before I knew it was fan art).

It was also around this time I finally started taking art classes at a local art studio near my house - they had all sorts of younger kid classes all the way up to adult classes. It wasn't until into High School and early College that the owner/artist let me run their cartooning classes. So I've spent about a good 4ish years also teaching people how to draw cartoons as well.

Speaking of High School, I went through our entire Art curriculum, starting with Intro to Art. We had a really big high school, and we practically had an entire art wing - we had 3 full sized classrooms with huge tables and supplies, along with a full working pottery workshop + kiln and a jewelry workshop. Anybody who says that big High Schools are awful needs to come talk to me. I can't tell you how many awesome opportunities I had because we were so big (the book to select your courses was at least half an inch thick by the time I graduated. And this was HIGH SCHOOL).

I spent my four years there taking all sorts of art classes, and I was super lucky to be able to skip drawing 2 and painting 2 and I got to take AP art for two years cause I could. (and the teachers wanted me to).

This was from around 1999.

In the meanwhile, while I was doing all of this traditional learning, I spent a ton of time outside of the classes reading manga and refining my style, which really was rudimentary at best. But I was trying. I had started collecting how to draw books around this time. I had also become completely enamored with the concept of visual storytelling in the comic medium, and my research continued as best it could.

I was still taking art classes at the Art Studio too, so needless to say, I was completely immersed in making artwork.

Then came college. College turned into a boom time for artwork for me. I had started off by taking some art classes in my freshman year, and then realized that the art department I would be working through absolutely HATED anything remotely cartoonish, and the people I saw it churn out... well. I didn't want to be that. Not saying that all art degree people are snooty, but I've been looked down at by enough graduates to get an opinion on it.

But that's a rant for another day.

Anyway, drawing in College. I spent a large chunk of my drawing time actually drawing stories and things from tabletop RPGs I was in.  I also discovered the larger 9x12 Strathmore books and they fit perfectly in my bags I took everywhere. I want to say that I filled in at least a good 12-14 of these in 6 years. I drew a LOT (which really, is the secret to good artwork. NEVER STOP DRAWING).

And I studied Computer Science and Math. Huh.

It was also in college that I discovered that I'm a notorious doodler, and all through College and jobs Post College, I would always find myself doodling. So what did I do? I saved every relatively decent doodle I did, cut em out and put em in a photo binder. This meant that after the semester was over, I took out all my notebooks and an x-acto blade and went to down cutting each of those little doodles out.

I have 3 of these full (like 2.5" thick full, double sided), and I'm working on a fourth. (thinking about the math on how many pictures I've drawn in just these books alone is mind boggling - I should do some stats on it one of these days...)

Throughout this time, I started finding other reference books, and expanding my style. I got addicted to art books - especially since I could find really good ones at conventions. They've been immensely helpful as I can look at them now and pick apart the media used and how they did it (and sometimes they'll have step by steps in the back!)

They're all so prettyyyyyyyy.....

I also started working in Artist Alleys doing on the spot ID badge commissions and that got me a lot of good practice drawing various peoples. Toss in a few outside of college art classes (life drawing, yo), and here I am.

Still drawing. And now I'm working on my own webcomics and characters. Perhaps someday you'll see my stuff in the bookstore (man that'd be awesome). Slowly but surely I'm getting there.

To make a long story short, I've spent a lot of time researching comics and cartooning, as well as learning how to teach people. I'd like to think I have a good background to at least give you guys a good idea on what you should be looking for in a book.

UNFORTUNATELY, most of the books I own are no longer being printed or are on the shelves at your local Barnes & Noble. I will be reviewing some of those over time, but I'd like to focus on more recently published stuff. 

So if anybody's got a particular book they'd like me to look at, I'll see what I can do (and if I can rent it at the local library or something before buying it).

Here's the list of books I currently have:

How to Draw Manga Series:
Colored Original Drawing
Costume Encyclopedia Vol 3: Sexy Sportswear
Costume Encyclopedia Vol1: Everyday Fashion
Dressing Your Characters In Casual Wear
Guns & Military
Illustrating Battles
Maids & Miko
Male Characters
Martial Arts & Combat Sports
Penning Characters

How to Draw Anime & Game Characters Series:
Vol2: Expressing Emotions
Vol3: Bringing Daily Actions to Life
Vol5: Bishoujo Game characters

Everything Else:
How to Draw Animals
How to Draw Animation
How to Draw Comic Book Heroes and Villains
How to Draw Fast Cars, Monster Trucks & Fighter Jets
How to make Webcomics
Manga Mania: How to Draw Japanese Comics
Reinventing Comics
Shojo Wonder Manga Art School (This is the first one I’ll be reviewing)
Shoujo Manga Techniques
Understanding Comics

October 15, 2012

Theme of the Week Recap, New, and How I Forgot To Update

Oh my goodness. It's been busy over here. Which is why I did not update on Friday. Sorry guys. Here I am, trying to get a better posting habit. I really need to write these ahead of time.

Anyway, thanks to those who read my "Depression Post", as it's something that affects a ton of people (even if we don't show it), so a little empathy goes a LONG way.


So the last couple week's theme was "Pumpkins"! And I actually drew a picture that related. I know. Gasp in shock now.

My entry for this theme was "Nutmeg, the Pumpkin Fairy", who is the fairy I made for the Renaissance Festival long ago. She's super fun to dress up as, and dang, is she cute.

I don't color on the computer. WTF did this come from??

This pic is special cause I have a very difficult time coloring on the computer. I just can't seem to wrap my mind around it, and sometimes the computer lags (I also don't like Paint Tool Sai, I've tried it, and we didn't get along so well, so please don't recommend it).

I also drew the entire thing on the computer too. So yay for two milestones!

...did you know it's almost impossible to draw a fairy that's NOT in a pinup style pose? UGH. It too me forever to just get this one.

But I digress!

Here's my other entry I received:

Doctor of Phabric - Pumpkin Muffins - It's made of pumpkins, it STILL COUNTS! Woohoo!

NEXT WEEKS THEME (Oct 15 - 26)


That's right! Be it ghosts, witches, zombies, candy, or dressing up in costume, anything that makes you think of Halloween is what I'm looking for!

In other other news, I got myself a new how to draw book, and it's be amazing for coloring in stuff. It inspired me to draw and color in this:

That's right, this is all done in Copic Markers. Needless to say, I was really happy with how it turned out. If I did a review of the book, would anybody be interested? I'd love to start reviewing How-To-Draw books, and make recommendations on what to use and what to stay away from.

I'll be back soon!

October 10, 2012

An Important Day to Think About

Time for a somber moment folks. If that's not your cup of tea and you're looking for something cute/funny/whatever, please come back in a day! I'll have something interesting posted (I have a new how-to-draw book to review).

According to news sites, today, October 10th is considered to be "World Mental Health Day".

This year's theme is: "Depression: A Global Crisis".

They describe depression as: 

"Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration. Depression can be long-lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing an individual’s ability to function at work or school or cope with daily life."

You can visit the World Health Organization's site for more details.

Why am I breaking my usual mold of posts with this? Well, like many bloggers, I have a confession to make. I suffer from depression. Quite possibly chronic depression. I also suffer from mild anxiety attacks. Okay sort of medium-mild sometimes (I have been known to hide under my artist's table at conventions before).

I'm not going to go into full detail the how and the why, I just know that it's really built up over the years. It probably started unknowingly near end of high school, built up over college, and burst after I graduated.

I've finally been on the "recovery" (as best as one can be) because Dave is awesome and listens to me, and understands that I get frustrated when I can't control my own thoughts about myself. This is why he's never allowed to leave. :)

So this post is to all of you out there who suffer from some sort of depression or anxiety! We're in this together, and we can OVERCOME.

I may write about what it's like to be depressed but until I get strong enough for that, here's some stuff I've found on the internet in regards to Depression (often time they're a lot better at describing that I can do).

WARNING: These could all trigger some sort of depression in those who suffer from it. For those who happen to be super sensitive (moreso than I am).


Adventures in Depression: Hyperbole & A Half - quite possibly one of the greatest visual depictions of Depression I've seen.

The Fight Goes On: The Bloggess - she's got a whole menu of problems, but is one of the most wonderful funny writers I have had the joy of reading and buying her book. She's got a lot of inspirational stuff like the Traveling Red Dress, Furiously Happy, and "Depression Lies".

The Enduring Hope of "Someday": EPBOT - Anxiety causes all sorts of issues, and unfortunately often appears out of nowhere. The EPBOT's writer talks about her dealing with this type of situation and how she's slowly succeeding over it.

Quotes from Tumblr:

My personal favorite:
Depression is like trying to peel a potato with another potato its not fun it doesnt work and you just wanna cry. 
#and then people are like#God! Why don’t you just get a peeler!?#and then they HAND YOU ANOTHER FUCKING POTATO
and eventually you lay on the floor consumed by a pile of potatoes constantly reminded that they all still have their skin and god you suck at life.
and you go to stand up, but you trip on potatoes.

“The worst part about anxiety attacks, is that you’re aware it’s irrational and sometimes unexplainable, but knowing that gives no aid what so ever. In most cases it deepens the anxiety as you realise “if I know it’s irrational, why can’t I stop it… Oh god I can’t stop it” you begin to believe you are no longer in control of your mind. That. That is fear.” - Amy Desu

For the more visual:

My personal favorite as of most recently:

This comic is for anyone who thinks depression is something that you just need to ‘deal with’ or ‘get over’
Via Tumblr

Via Tumblr

And last but not least - Tips on Handling people with Anxiety:

things we are trying to do all the time:
  1. be safe
things we can’t help but do all the time:
  1. second-guess ourselves
  2. behave impulsively and reactively
  3. take everything personally
  4. worry
  5. worry
  6. worry
  7. have difficulty accepting compliments
  8. have difficulty reciprocating friendly gestures
  9. have difficulty finding the courage to respond
  10. have difficulty not being suspicious of others’ intentions
  11. make a huge deal out of the smallest thing
things you should keep in mind:
  1. we’re scared of everything
  2. pretty much all of the time
  3. it’s an actual disorder
  4. it manifests as impulsive behavior
  5. you can’t fix us with words
  6. telling us “worrying is silly” won’t make us stop worrying
  7. it’ll only make us feel silly
  8. and then we’ll worry even more
  9. “oh god, am i worrying too much? what if they call me silly again?”
  10. like that
  11. also, we wear a lot of armor
  12. cold, heavy, affection-proof armor with spikes
  13. we constructed this armor as children
  14. we’re fairly certain you will never be able to pry it apart
  15. but there is a nice person under there, we promise
things you can do for a friend with an anxiety disorder:
  1. stick around
  2. ask them if they’re comfortable in a place or situation
  3. be willing to change the place or situation if not
  4. activities that help them take their mind off of things are good!
  5. talk to them even when they might not talk back
  6. (they’re probably too afraid to say the wrong thing)
  7. try not to take their reactions (or lack thereof) personally
  8. (the way they expresses themself is distorted and bent because of their constant fear)
  9. (and they knows this)
  10. give them time to respond to you
  11. they will obsess over how they are being interpreted
  12. they will anticipate being judged
  13. it took me four hours just to type this much
  14. even though i sound casual
  15. that’s because i have an anxiety disorder
things you shouldn’t do:
  1. tell us not to worry
  2. tell us we’ll be fine
  3. mistake praise for comfort
  4. ask us if we are “getting help”
  5. force us to be social
  6. force us to do things that trigger us
  7. “face your fears” doesn’t always work
  8. because—remember—scared of everything
  9. in fact, it would be more accurate to say we are scared of the fear itself
emergency action procedure for panic attacks:
  1. be calm
  2. be patient
  3. don’t be condescending
  4. remind us that we’re not “crazy”
  5. sit with us
  6. ask us to tighten and relax our muscles one by one
  7. remind us that we are breathing
  8. engage us in a discussion (if we can talk, then we can breathe)
  9. if we are having trouble breathing, try getting us to exhale slowly
  10. or breathe through our nose
  11. or have us put our hands on our stomach to feel each breath
  12. ask us what needs to change in our environment in order for us to feel safe
  13. help us change it
  14. usually, just knowing that we have someone on our side willing to fight our scary monsters with us is enough to calm us down
if you have an anxiety disorder:
  1. it’s okay.
  2. even if you worry that it’s not okay.
  3. it’s still okay. it’s okay to be scared. it’s okay to be scared of being scared.
  4. you are not crazy. you are not a freak.
  5. i know there’s a person under all that armor.
  6. and i know you feel isolated because of it.
  7. i won’t make you take it off.
  8. but know that you are not alone.

I'll be back tomorrow with some new writing. I got a new how to draw book, and I REALLY want to share it with you guys. I just have to do a couple more tests with the style they have in the book. :)

October 5, 2012

In Need of a Name Change

Hey guys, just a heads up for you all. I've been doing a lot of thinking (and internet searching), and I've come to discover that my name "Crash Bang Labs" is not unique - and there's a group that calls themselves "CrashBang Labs" and they do all sorts of fun DIY projects.

I think they're in Canada, which honestly, is not a problem at all legally.

My big issue is we're competing for internet footprints.

While I have half the names/domains, they've got the other half. I can't make a Twitter Account. I can't make a username for my page on Facebook, and I'm having difficulties making names for other accounts on various websites.

I've also accidentally come across them just searching for my own things, soooooo I'm very strongly considering doing a "studio name change".

It'll be a slow process, as I find out how to transfer things like my domain page, this blog, and rename things like my etsy shop.

Neither of us have taken any sort of "legal" action, and I'd prefer to keep it that way. While attached to my name, I'm willing to change it for the sake of having proper branding. I don't have legal documentation with Crash Bang Labs on it, so it's not like I'll have to muck up a bunch of legal papers too. :) Just means I'll have to reprint other packaging (what? make more packaging? gee darn.).

Just means now I get to flex my graphic design muscles and come up with a new logo and name!

Suggestions or Ideas are also very much encouraged!

I'm looking to have it be something that relates more to my artwork than say, my Pokemon Badges. Wherein they're great, I'd rather finally settle on a Studio Name that really says "It's An Artist" and isn't a mouthful. I used to call myself "Mechanical Rose" and egh, was that hard to say a lot.

For examples of my art, visit my DeviantArt page: karmada.deviantart.com

And no, I can't use 'karmada'. Tis also taken by numerous other people. I just use it as a handle name anyway. :)

October 4, 2012

Custom Packaging Adventure

I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS!

For those of you keeping score, yesterday I tried an adventure in how to make my own custom jewelry packaging. Namely because I had a bunch of beads I'd like to have go to good homes and decorate the ears of lovely people, and in making things, I simply DEMAND they have packaging.

Because secretly, I'm a packaging engineer. I get this weird satisfaction from making boxes, cards, folding things that serve a purpose to make products really pretty. It also came from my irritation at wandering through alleys, and seeing just.... awful packaging. Or none at all. It may seem frivolous, but I know when I put up all my products with my Crash Bang logo plastered all over them, I feel a little bit more... professional, you know?

Well my first try was a little special, but had promise...

Tilt your head to the right a little and squint, you'll be fine.

I liked the curved edges, but it folded funny, and I didn't have it lined up at all, and I thought the holes for the earrings were a little bit too close together. Specially for the larger earrings.

So I started all over again. I booted up Illustrator, and started to go to town on a new design. I realized I should probably have my name on it, as well as realizing that people might not associate Crash Bang Labs with Pretty Jewelry. Taking this in mind, I decided to label all the Crash Bang jewelry as "Crash Bang Laboratory: Boutique". I added a striped background to make it more like a delightful candy shop (and I love stripes).

I have used these plastic sheets for far longer than I probably should...

Printed off a few copies onto nice bristol board, and then broke out my Cricut machine. I happen to have a program called "Sure Cuts A Lot 2" (SCAL2), which is made by Craft Edge. It's a computer program that you can use your own fonts, and if you are adept enough load your own vectors into it and cut out those shapes. (This is how I make my Pokemon badge inserts without destroying my hand anymore)

You can see how something like this would be useful to someone such as myself, who now ADORES Illustrator.

**It is wise to note they no longer have a version of this program that is compatible with Cricut machines, but they work with all sorts of other machines. Everybody be sad now.

After a little bit of tweaking, and one test sheet, I was ready to start cutting out all my shapes. For those curious, Cricut machines use these sticky plastic sheets as a cutting mat. Which is great, until you make 100 Pokemon badge inserts, and the stickiness kinda starts to wear down. I refresh it now and again with some light spray glue, but I find I still need to hold down things like smooth bristol board with blue tape.

In SCAL2, you can tell it how many times you want it to cut and how fast, etc, but I have to set the pressure manually. I have mine set to the maximum so I get all the holes in correctly. I'm also using just a regular blade instead of say, a deep-cut blade.

Action shot! It's also the most nerve-wracking part.
Once an entire sheet is cut out, I unload the paper. Carefully bending the sheet, a piece comes out!

I made that bracelet too!

A gentle folding job, and it creates the jewelry card (this one stands up on it's own, or can be placed into plastic packaging too).

It can stand on it's own! It's also double sided.

In a short period of time, I had a good healthy stack of these:

And that's pretty much it! My packaging attempt was a huge success, and I'm super happy I was finally able to figure out the offset between the SCAL2 program and my Cricut board. It's been bothering me for a little while. 

So here's one last view of the final product:

So now it's off to making more badges, and getting these lovely pieces of jewelry photographed and put up on the Etsy store.

Oh, I did have ONE other thing to try, and the first test was VERY successful...


Well, okay. Right now these are just pieces of paper cut out, the sticker test is next where I see if my deepcut blade will go through the sticker paper or not.

October 3, 2012

I just keep going, and going, and going...

So I finally broke out of my drawing slump and created a beeeeautiful masterpiece that I want to make as part of a set. It's of a character from my "on hiatus" comic which I'm finally getting back into working on.

Really. I'm working on the comic!!

However, my weeks and weeks before of depression and surfing the intarwebz  combined with the prolonged outlining and coloring last night has cause my hand to be unable to grasp a pencil.

But I wasn't going to let that get me down!

I happen to have a lot of really nice jewelry beads and supplies, and frankly I'm not going to be wearing ALL of it, so I thought it'd be awesome to make some easy pieces and sell them in a "I'm clearing out my jewelry stash sale!" on Etsy!

So I put together a couple sets of earrings before realizing I needed a couple more findings and to find my proper pliers, so I'll be poking at that later tonight too.

But anyway, I digress. What I really want to talk about is how I'm secretly a Packaging Engineer. Truthfully, had I known this was a viable major/job, I would probably have done it. I love creating packaging, boxes, display cards, and the like. Then I got the "Cuts A Lot 2" program that let's me use illustrator designs to cut with a Cricut machine (this is how I make my pokemon badge inserts).

So just spending about 20 minutes with illustrator and my Cricut, I came up with these:

A little tweaking and all the printing would be centered.

For a quick 20 minute job, they turned out pretty good. With a little extra time, I could come up with a useable template for all sorts of sizes of things. And then I got to thinking...

Would anybody want me to make these for them? (With payment, of course). I'd get them printed at like FedEx so they won't bleed, but I could make all sorts of sizes. I have way too much fun making these things and I'd LOVE to help out others.

Let me know your thoughts!

October 1, 2012

Theme of the Week 10/2 - 10/12

Hey all! Welcome any newcomers to the blog. I met a lot of lovely people at the American Sewing Expo over the weekend. Hi guys! *waves*

In other news,  I'm finally getting comic stuff under way, let's hope my ability sticks around for longer than a day, no?

But the rest of you know what time it is (no, not Adventure Time), it's THEME OF THE WEEK... week... week... week...

This Week's Theme is...


Well, gee. What did you think I was going to pick?? It's finally October, and I. LOVE. PUMPKINS! (yet surprisingly don't like pumpkin pie. Huh.)

So go make some cute pumpkin based things! YAY FALL!!

Alright I'm of to do some cleaning, then working, and hopefully getting some pics done for you guys. Egh! I feel so behind.