Dot Mandalas in Procreate

I’ve been busy this week working at my job. Everything has to be pulled out, cleaned, and sanitized so that if/when school resumes this fall, all the toys are ready for the children. It’s a huge job, but the satisfaction of making progress on it has done wonders for my mood this week.

Even though I’ve spent nearly every day working, I’ve still managed to find time to explore more mandala art. I’m still drawing new ones for the Monday Mandala series, and I’m working on additional ones for my Etsy store (shameless plug). My diamond painting mandalas finally arrived and I’ve now finished all of those. I’ve been avidly watching YouTube videos on making dot mandalas. Using simple tools like a pencil, a Qtip, and a toothpick, I’ve seen people create some amazing art.

A few days ago, one of the planning YouTubers I follow demonstrated her newfound obsession with dot mandalas and she created one in Procreate. And I thought, Duh! Why haven’t I tried that? So I did. 😀

My first attempt was so awful I didn’t even save it. However, the next attempt was good enough to encourage me to keep going. I’ve mentioned before that I am not good at picking color palettes, so I used some palettes I had stored from previous projects.

I like the color palette and I’m happy with how it all came out. It did take some fussing with settings in Procreate to get the effect I wanted with the dots, but it worked.

The next attempt I got a little carried away. I didn’t realize until I was about halfway through the mandala that I had zoomed in WAY too much at the beginning, so the final mandala is too busy in the middle. But I’m learning from my mistakes.

The last attempt is my absolute favorite of the three, and a lot of that is because I love the color scheme of the design. It has a retro/vintage feel to it that I love. I’m going to keep experimenting with these and perhaps even put some of them up for sale in my Etsy shop as printable art downloads.

I’m debating whether to keep the backgrounds or offer just the mandalas themselves, so people can print them on whatever background they wish. In any case, I’m having a ton of fun drawing them and I can’t wait to make more.

Hitting Publish

Credit: Pixabay

I did it! I finally listed some of my coloring mandalas on Etsy. After attempting to add things here and becoming frustrated, I finally decided to just go ahead and list the mandalas on Etsy.

They are similar to my Monday Mandalas, but they are more detailed, since I drew them specifically for people to color. It was (unsurprisingly) easy to list the items on Etsy, and adding the files for download was simple. I spent more time creating the images for the listings than I did the actual listings themselves.

I’ve listed 5 mandalas to start, and I plan to add to them this week. If you’d like to check them out, you can find them in my Etsy store here. It’s all kind of an experiment at this point, since I haven’t really done any social media or marketing – mostly because I decided on the spur of the moment to just do it. 😛

It should be an interesting week for me – I’ve opened my Etsy shop finally, I bought more contrast paints to experiment with painting minis, and I bought the iOrnament app for more drawing options. iOrnament reminds me of iColorama – lots and lots of options, but it’s a bit overwhelming at first. I’ve been watching some tutorials to make some sense of it. Lots of good information, but I have a feeling I may still stick with Procreate for the majority of my drawing. I haven’t found anything that has that same line smoothing ability as Procreate.

Lots of changes heading my way – new stuff to learn, a new shop to run, and now WordPress is moving everyone over to the new block editor. I’m using it to create this post – so far, so good, except I miss seeing my word count at the bottom of the post. After some Google-fu, you have to click the information button at the top of your post in the block editor to see how many words you’ve written. Not the end of the world, but an annoying additional click.

Le sigh.

Ah well, if that’s the worst of the changes, I’m doing okay, right? I do appreciate that the new editor has lots of options the old one didn’t, change is just hard. Either that, or I’m just old. 😀

Planner Overload

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Credit: Pixabay

When I started this blog, it was with the intent to open a planner sticker business on Etsy.  I’m still not there yet, but that’s a post for another day.

I am working on it, creating stickers that I could sell.  I’ve concentrated on things I would use first, because if I never sell anything, at least I’ve created something I will use myself.

I’ve been a planner girl since forever.  When I was in school, it was a way to keep track of my homework.  As I got older, it became a way to keep track of my life.  And I’m still using them.

Them.

As in, plural.  Something I never have done before.  I’ve always just had one planner, and it was one with a monthly spread, because I never use the weekly ones.  I want to be able to glance at my month and see what’s going on that month.  Drilling down into weekdays and hours is just too much for me.  I get information overload.

However, since I dove into the world of planner stickers, I realized I had no idea how many people seem to use planners these days – and multiple ones, at that.

In the planner community, there are two big planner companies.  Each of those companies sells multiple types of planners – different layouts, different themes, different sizes, etc.  But they also sell planners for multiple purposes.  You can buy a fitness/workout planner, a budget planner, a faith planner, a life planner, a household planner, a kids’ planner, and more.

I’ve watched plenty of YouTube videos of planner people who use these multiple planners and thought, sheesh, why would you need that many planners?

I’m now one of them.  :/

I have my original, cheap $5 2 year monthly planner.  I have my bill planner (it’s really just a small spiral notebook where I track my bills).  Now I also have a yearly planner from one of the two big companies – because I needed to know what it was like to use one before I could make/sell stickers for it, right?  And I bought a budget pack from that same company – again, because I need to know how people use it before I can make stuff for it, right?  And I’m currently trying to talk myself out of buying a planner from the other company for the same reasons.

Oh, I forgot, I have a Bullet Journal that I’ve been trying to use again.  The BuJo was appealing because it was functional and not focused on ‘pretty,’ but if you spend any time on YouTube, you’ll find tons of artists who show off their illustrated-to-the-nines BuJos.

So, that’s now 5 (5!) planners I’m using.  Which is ridiculous, I know.  Especially since some of these planners are $40 and up.  But I’m having a hard time paring them down.  I’m actually enjoying using the new yearly planner.  2 issues with it – one, it has lots of pages for weekdays that I will never use, so that’s a waste of trees and money, and 2, the monthly spread, while good, isn’t big enough.  Since I only use the monthly spread, that’s a whole month’s worth of stuff that has to get written down – bills, appointments, schedules, holidays – for 4 people, since I track everyone in my household.  I suppose I could size up to the bigger planner, but then that’s even more money (and pages I won’t use, because it also has pages for weekdays).

And even though I understand the whole ‘sunk cost fallacy,’ I find it hard to get rid of my original cheap $5 planner, because it’s good for another whole year!  And it’s bigger than my new planner, so I have more room to write stuff down.

I am planning to get rid of my little spiral bill planner, because I do like the new budget planner I’ve been using.  Recording things in both places is getting obnoxious, and the new one has much more space to write.  I guess it’s just resistance to change that’s keeping me using both.

I also could incorporate my new budget planner into my new yearly planner – the rings are designed so that you can add/remove/rework pages as necessary.  I just haven’t done it yet.  Doing those two things would at least get me down to 3 planners instead of 5, which is something.

I have also explored the idea of using digital planners for all these things, but honestly, I like using an analog planner.  I like writing with my pens, the feel of the paper, and the stickers.  Digital planning just wouldn’t be the same, plus I’d be worried about it all somehow getting hacked.  So for now, analog planning is the plan.

I’m still trying to figure out if the Bullet Journal is something I want to stick with.  I like that it’s functional, but I’m discovering I would also like it to be pretty.  Something that seems a lot easier with my yearly planner than the BuJo.  We shall see.

Family Business?

I’ve been working for the past several months on designs for my mandalas.  I have decided that I also want to make stickers to sell on Etsy.  That was my original plan, but then I got sidetracked by how much fun I was having with the mandalas.

I spent some time recently using my Silhouette cutting machine to make some craft kits for a preschool classroom.  It was so much fun, I may have to find other kits to make and sell!

Here’s the craft kit I made – they were doing a monster design for ‘M’ week, so I used my machine to cut out all the circles and horns for the monsters.  Enough for 40+ kids done in about 15 minutes.  It would have taken me all weekend to cut these by hand, not to mention they wouldn’t have been true circles.

Monster Craft Kit 2

My husband is getting in on the action, too.  He is working with vinyl rather than paper, and he’s been making vinyl decals for cars.  He made some for his car and his colleagues saw the decals and asked if he could make some designs for them.

He’s spent the last two weekends working on the computer, designing decals, and having a blast.  He told me yesterday that he really wants to invest some time into seeing if he can turn it into a viable small business.

Crossing my fingers that he can and we can turn this into a family business. 🙂  Now to get busy working on my own designs!