Diamond Painting WIP

At some point, my obsession with diamond painting will wane.

Not today, though. 😛

I’ve started a huge project, and even though the sheer size of the canvas is a little daunting, I am excited to get it done. With diamond painting, the bigger the canvas, the better the finished painting looks, because the more detail it has.

I think of the diamond drills like pixels. The smaller canvases have less pixels, so they don’t look as good as the ones with a large number of drills. So bigger is definitely better in the diamond painting world. The downside of this is that the larger the canvas, the longer it takes to finish.

The peacock diamond painting I did took me about 34-35 hours to complete. It was 45x75cm. The painting I am working on currently is called Grandios Greece and is a kit I had forgotten I ordered before Black Friday. It is a Diamond Art Club kit and it is 98x70cm. At the rate I’m going, I figure it will take me about 120+ hours to finish.

Doing a canvas this big has already changed how I diamond paint, even though I only have about 20 hours of work done so far. For one thing, in a canvas this large, there are large sections of one color, so I have learned to make the multi-placer tool my friend. I didn’t use them on any of my previous paintings, because I couldn’t figure them out.

I have now. 😀

The multi-placer tools let me place multiple drills at once, speeding up large one color sections. I have ordered a few more tools to help with placement, including a wheel multi-placer and two straighteners. The straighteners help keep the rows of drills straight and so far are fairly easy to use. The wheeled multi-placers haven’t arrived yet, so I will see how they work when I get them.

I did also order some Blue-Tac to see if it worked better than the wax provided to place the drills. It was a bit fiddly at first, but it definitely lasts longer than the wax. I’ve got about 7 hours of working with it and I haven’t had to refill the drill pen yet.

I’ve found some like minded diamond painters on Twitch to follow and I am having fun diamond painting and chatting with others who are as obsessed as I am. 🙂

Diamond Painting Overload

I think I’ve mentioned before my current obsession with diamond painting.

For Christmas, my sister got me some diamond paintings. So I now have, at last count, 8 paintings currently waiting to be done, and 3 more on the way.

I might have a small problem. 😀

I’ve also been watching other DPers on YouTube and now I want to try all the things. There are new companies popping up all the time and it all looks like so much fun!

Many of these YouTubers have a lot of ‘unboxing’ videos and I love watching them. However, I’ve begun to notice that not many of them actually show themselves diamond painting. What’s the point of having a million kits to do if you never have time to do any of them because you’re always filming the unboxing of the latest thing?

In early December I came across a YouTuber who was doing a mystery Advent diamond painting. You can buy mystery diamond paintings – the canvas is white, with all the symbols in black. So you don’t know what the painting will be until you start working on it. She had divided her canvas into 24 sections and did a section every day. It was interesting to watch her work as well as see how the image developed as she completed the sections.

I have dreams of having my own DP YouTube channel someday – but I know that I don’t want it to simply be unboxing videos. I mean, I will probably have some of those, since I currently have 2 boxes of kits waiting to be opened. 😀 I get enjoyment out of opening the boxes, but I also enjoy the actual diamond painting.

I started on my huge ‘forgotten’ purchase a couple of days ago. It’s probably going to take me something like 120+ hours to complete, and I have no idea what I’ll do with it when I’m done, but that’s ok. My enjoyment is in the process of making the painting. If I could figure out how to get paid for doing other people’s paintings, that would be a dream job! 😛

In the meantime, I’ll work on the canvases I have and see what happens. I definitely want to complete the large seaside painting, but the two kits I got for Christmas are smaller and I could complete them faster. I’m debating working on two at once, just for variety, but I’m not sure if I have enough storage to have two paintings kitted up at once.

The smallest painting is an adorable elephant and then there is a medium sized 5 panel painting that my sister gave me. The elephant is smaller, but the grid is kind of hard to read, so it may take longer than I hope to finish. The love sign is pretty, but I’m not sure how to frame it. I don’t think it would look good to frame it as one piece, but there isn’t really enough space between each section to put each individual piece on a wooden frame. And given the weird sizes, I don’t think I could find regular frames for each pieces, I’d have to have them made, which will be cost prohibitive.

Maybe I’ll just do the paintings and then give them to other people, so I don’t have to worry about how to frame them. 😀 Or I’ll add them to the growing pile of finished paintings currently sitting in my portfolio. And once those three are done, then I can open the other kits that are still in boxes.

Gifts and Reflections

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

The year is almost over and it feels like a time for reflection.

My first reflection is – this year sucked balls. And not in the good way. :/

My youngest was cheated out of his final year of competing in track and had his graduation repeatedly postponed. My oldest and I were out of work when schools closed. The pandemic has hit hard and everything has changed.

But not every change was bad.

Yes, my youngest missed competing. I think that bothered me more than it did him. His graduation was postponed several times, but it did eventually happen. Though my oldest and I were out of work, we were lucky that my husband is an essential worker and we avoided much of the financial hardship that many others experienced (and may still be experiencing).

Personally, though the reason was terrible, the ability to slow down and spend more time with my family was a gift. We spend so much time rushing here, there, and everywhere that often what is really important gets shoved to the back burner. This year I have spent more time than ever with my children – and it has been wonderful. No games to rush off to, no practices, nothing to distract us from each other. We have always eaten dinner together, but when the whole world slowed down, it seemed like we suddenly had time (and permission) to slow down and just take a breath.

That was another gift for me this year – I have seen how different my life can be when I am not constantly rushing around, worrying about ‘living my best life’ and trying to be ‘successful.’ I was free to just enjoy whatever made me happy – doing jigsaws, painting minis, and spending time with my loved ones. I imagine it’s somewhat how retirement feels – knowing that you can live without having to kill yourself working.

After this year, my views on how I want to live my life have changed. I have wanted to downsize and minimize for years. But now I have seen how much better my life could be if we weren’t spending all of our time working to afford the house we are rarely in, driving cars we have to work to afford, etc. If having less ‘stuff’ means I can relax and focus on things that mean something to me, that’s what I want to do.

It has given me even greater incentive to become debt-free. My husband and I sat down last night and discussed our financial goals for the new year. Paying off our last few debts is top of the list, of course. We also discussed smaller goals – like saving up for things. We both want new phones – his has a broken screen and mine is his hand-me-down from 4 phones ago. I have been putting money aside for just such things and we are able to outright purchase the phone he wants. That felt really good – being able to say, yes, okay, get the thing – and to pay for it in cash, with no payment plan and all the bs that goes along with them.

So I have set some goals for myself, both long and short term. I am not someone who makes New Year’s Resolutions, but I do have specific goals that I want to achieve in the coming year.

Here’s hoping that 2021 is waaaaaaaay better than 2020. 😀

ToCare Peacock Diamond Painting Review

You may have read that I am currently obsessed with diamond painting. 😛

I hadn’t realized how much I missed cross-stitch until I started diamond painting. I gave up cross-stitch years ago, both because I didn’t have much time and because my carpal tunnel and bad eyesight made it too difficult to get any enjoyment out of it. I’m not quite sure why my diamond painting doesn’t bother my carpal tunnel like cross-stitching, but it doesn’t, so I’m calling it a win.

Because I’m me, once I discovered diamond painting, I had to try everything. All. The. Things. I’ve bought paintings from several different companies so I can compare them and find out which one I like the best. I posted about the first small canvas I bought to try here. It was a small “snack-size” painting, so I could do it quickly while waiting for other purchases to show.

I also bought a pretty peacock painting, although I didn’t realize at the time it was from the same company as the rainbow horse. This canvas was bigger and I wanted to see if the somewhat limited color palette would be something I liked or not. It had 36 different colors, which I thought would be challenging, though it wasn’t as many colors as the wolf painting I did for my eldest.

Peacock Legend
Peacock Canvas

The canvas itself was stiff, with some creases and curling from shipping that I’m still trying to get out. Just putting the drills on helped with some of that.

The drill field was clear and the labels were mostly good, though there were a few symbols that were similar enough it was hard to tell what symbol it was sometimes. Again, something I wanted to see for myself – it was a bit annoying sometimes, but nothing so bad that it kept me from finishing the piece.

The drills themselves were mostly good, with some cupping and some slag. It seemed like I had a lot of trash as I was working, but when I finished, the trash pile wasn’t huge, considering the size of the painting. I also had quite a few drills left after I finished, so I added those to my “extra drills” stash.

Drill Trash
Leftover Drills

I have quite the drill stash going right now, even after only completing 5 paintings. I have drills of all shapes and sizes, though they are mostly round and square leftovers from finished pieces. One of the YouTubers I watch said that there are some online social groups where you can donate your leftovers to people who need them – I may look into that, because it seems silly to keep so many when I likely will never use them for anything. If someone else can use them, that seems like a win-win to me. 😀

The wax from this kit seemed a little better (thicker) than the other kit. I only used about half of it doing the painting. So now I’m arguing with myself over whether or not I should keep it, or just throw the rest away. In fact, I am probably going to order some specialty wax on Etsy, so I should just throw it away. I’m gonna go do that right now.

There. Done. 😛

Halfway there
Finished!

It took me over 30 hours to complete the peacock, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do with it now that it’s done. I don’t have a good way to make sure that the painting stays flat until I figure out what to do with it.

Although I liked both of the kits from ToCare and they were enjoyable, I don’t know that I will be purchasing anymore from them. Because I can’t find any information on the company, I have no idea how they handle licensing the artwork they use, or even if they do.

I like ordering through Amazon because I know the kits will get here quickly and I can get working. There are others companies on Amazon popping up all the time, so I will likely be trying other ones. I’ve found several new-to-me companies while watching YouTube, so I want to try some of them and see. Next I will be working on the large painting I got from Diamond Art Club. I’ve had to move my workspace because the painting is so big, so we’ll see how long it takes me to complete it.

I’ve already got 5 more paintings waiting for me to open, and 2 more still on the way. (Apparently one of the companies I ordered from on Black Friday is located in Australia, something I didn’t know until the currency exchange charges showed up on my bank account!) So, while I wait for them to arrive, I have plenty to keep me busy. I am debating whether I want to continue talking about diamond painting here, or whether I want to branch off into another blog or possibly a YouTube channel for it. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my time off work, the holidays, and spend a big chunk of it diamond painting!

Planning Ahead

Since we are working remotely through the end of the year, I am trying to use my time at home productively. I bought my 2021 yearly planner a month or so ago and I decided to spend some time putting together the monthly layouts for them.

I went out to one of my favorite free image sites, Pixabay, and found some winter themed images and backgrounds that I liked. I wanted something wintery in blues and whites. I found quite a few options and put them together for my January 2021 monthly spread.

I use the Happy Planner in the big size, because I like having the big blocks of space for writing in what ever I need. I don’t use the weekly spreads that are included, because I like having the month laid out where I can see everything at once. If I use the weekly spreads, I find that I often forget things, because they are not where I can see them. It’s definitely ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for me when it comes to my planner.

It’s a shame, because there are so many cute weekly spreads out there, but it just doesn’t work for me. That’s part of the reason I tried to use a Bullet Journal, because then I could make it work for how I plan. What I found, however, was that I spent so much time agonizing over the BuJo layouts that I never got anything actually planned. 😦

So, back to the pre-printed planners I went. I tried the Happy Planner classic size, but it’s just too small to be comfortable for me. I do use the classic size for my budget planning, and that is working out well. Having the budget planner has definitely helped me keep better track of where we are spending our money, as well as tracking our debt.

Now if I could just get my dang cutting machine to cut, I could move on to February! Grrr.