Introverted Hermit on YouTube

Getting a YouTube channel up and running has been a goal for a while now. However, I just never seemed to get it done. So instead of dreaming about this fictional channel and all the fancy (translation: expensive) equipment I’d need to do it, I decided to just get it done.

I sat down and filmed myself drawing with what I had – my phone, my iPad, and some ok lighting. Am I making mistakes?

Oh, yeah.

But I’m learning from them. And that’s the point, right? For instance, I’ve already learned that you can’t upload a video longer than 15 minutes unless you have ‘verified’ your YouTube account. I’m not sure why I have to do that, since really all they want is a phone number, which Google already has.

In any event, I haven’t taken that step. It doesn’t generally take me longer than 15 minutes to draw a mandala, so I don’t need to – yet. I have taken the step of ordering a soft box light to help with my lighting issues. I can’t seem to find a good/comfortable place to draw that doesn’t result in some kind of glare or reflection from the light.

I’ve also learned that dealing with music on YouTube is a pain. I don’t want my videos to be silent, but music ain’t cheap. I’ve looked at a couple of options for *gasp* subscription services for this, but I decided I want to wait for a bit. YouTube has free music options, although they are admittedly not great. But they are free. 😀

So right now I film, use iMovie to edit/remove the audio and then upload to YouTube. Then, I find free music to use and add it. Then I wait a million years for YouTube to process the videos with the added music. THEN I can schedule/post the video.

Finding songs longer than 2-3 minutes also took some searching. And, while I’m not thrilled with the music I found, it’s free and I don’t have to worry about downloading the same song EVERY TIME I want to use it with a video. (Some of the subscription services make you do this – which, to me, misses the whole point. I didn’t want to download a file every time I made a video, so for now, I’m making do with what I have – access to YouTube’s free (albeit not great) music library.)

Filming with my phone has also been an experience. I have an older phone, so there isn’t a lot of space on it for filming videos. I can film one video at a time – then I have to delete it before I can film another one. And then I had to learn how to really delete the videos, because Apple. :/

Luckily, my husband gifted me his old phone. The screen is cracked, but since I’m just using it to film, it doesn’t matter. And since no one is using it as a phone, there’s nothing on it, so there’s lots of storage space. 😀

Now I can film several videos at once when the creative mood strikes, rather than being forced to do everything one step at a time.

I’ve gotten several done and uploaded to YouTube, so if you want to head over and check them out, click here. These are different mandalas than the ones I do for Mandala Monday, so they won’t be repeats of what you see here.

I am debating whether I want to add the mandalas from the videos to my Etsy shop. They are not necessarily drawn with coloring in mind, but I think many of them would work nicely. Something to think about while I revamp my Etsy listings. 🙂

If you like what you see in the videos, don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Making a Plan

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

My thoughts are all over the place today, rushing full-spreed through my brain. I also have a migraine, so that makes it so much more fun. :/

Yesterday I was determined to be productive, and I was. I ‘adulted,’ as the kids call it, paying bills, organizing my office, and marking off things on my to-do list. I got so much done I gave myself a reward and diamond painted for a couple of hours.

Today, my motivation is nowhere to be found. I have a whole list of things I ‘should’ do and I don’t ‘feel like doin’ anything,’ as the song says. I do just wanna lay in my bed. Alas, the real world beckons. I have to go into work today. I am already prepping for classes in January, though I still don’t know whether they will be in person or remote. In any event, I need to get the prep done, so into work I will go.

I’ve also been trying to make myself some concrete goals for my online business ideas. I have so many ideas running around in my brain that I end up doing nothing because I can’t figure out where to start. So, I’m going to take some of the advice I give my students and break things up into smaller chunks. That way the task doesn’t seem so overwhelming. I try to set three goals a day for myself when my motivation takes a hike. If I get those three things done, then I can call the day a win. 😛

I’ve had some of my coloring mandalas listed on my Etsy shop. The other day I discovered that I should probably be calling them zendalas instead of mandalas, since I use a lot of zentangles as elements of my designs. I’ve also decided to add a .png and .jpg file to the listings, so that people can add them into Procreate or other apps for coloring. I may at some point sell them as SVG files as well.

I also want to finally add some of my planner stickers to the shop as well. I’m going to be sitting down and designing them for my own planner, so I might as well get double duty out of them and put them for sale as well. So there’s my to-do list for today – work, add files to the mandala listings, and design my monthly planner stickers. I probably won’t get it all done, but at least I have a plan. Even if I don’t get everything done, I will have at least gotten something done. 😀

And since today is Friday, I can look forward to some relaxing time this weekend working on my latest diamond painting project. I’ve only completed one small section so far, but I can already tell it’s going to be a challenge, as the painting is mostly shades of blue and white. If you’re interested, you can find the painting here.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Things have been kind of quiet around here because real life has been A LOT lately. I took on a new position at work, which has required more hours than I anticipated. I am enjoying it, so that’s good, but it’s been a bit overwhelming. And, since the one constant of 2020 has been that nothing remains the same for long, there are more changes coming my way.

Staff changes at work mean that I will likely be working even more hours. That means more money (yay!) but less time for other projects (boo!). So I am having to get organized to make sure that I have time to get everything I want to done.

Currently, I have work planned out through the holidays, so hopefully over the holidays I can get a jump on planning for next year. I still have to show up and work my hours, but the back end planning stuff is done. Whew!

I am working on a diamond painting (one of my newest obsessions) and am making a large canvas for my oldest as a Christmas gift. And I have actually started Christmas shopping – something I usually don’t start until December. My budget and my stress levels will thank me as Christmas creeps ever closer. 😛

Sadly, I have done almost no mini painting in the last month or so. I’m going to try and finish up some pieces at least over Thanksgiving, since I have about 5 ‘almost done’ pieces sitting on my painting table mocking me every time I walk by.

This week also marks the last enrollment for my oldest. She has one more semester to complete and she will graduate with her teaching degree AND have no student loan debt! She is making plans to move out when she graduates and I have no doubt that it will be a huge life change for both of us.

That won’t be the only big change – after my oldest graduates and leaves the nest, the rest of the family is planning to move east. Perhaps Maine, perhaps Canada, we’re not quite sure yet. (You can probably guess from the photo which one I’m rooting for!) I’m sure it will be a huge adjustment, as we have lived in the same place most of our lives. We’re also still debating whether we want to rent an apartment, buy a house, or buy an RV. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I want to continue working on having an online source of income so that I can work from anywhere with internet. To that end, I will be working on my Etsy shop, adding items and tweaking how I’m doing things there. I have ideas for additional products that I think will complement what I’ve already got for sale.

I’ve also decided to branch out and set up a TeachersPayTeachers store. After creating so many things for work, I’ve decided to try and make some money creating them for other people to use as well. So many ideas, so little time! I am also hoping to make some changes here on the blog. I received a notice from WordPress about fonts changing, and while it hasn’t made a huge difference in how my blog looks, it seems like a good time to do a refresh of it and make some updates.

So keep an eye out for changes and some milestones. In the next few weeks, I will hit 70 Monday Mandalas, which seems absolutely crazy to me – to think that I’ve been drawing them for over a year now. Wow!

Colored Mandalas

I must confess that this new job of mine is taking more time than I thought it would. I’m enjoying it, mostly, so I can’t complain too much. It has, however, eaten into the time I normally have for blogging, drawing, etc.

I have lots of projects I need to get working on, so I just need to buckle down and force myself to be productive. We are planning to move to Canada next year, so I want to try and earn income from internet side hustles so that I can be working even while we are moving and traveling.

I’ve purchased some equipment that I hope will help me launch a YouTube channel, as well as working on more products for my Etsy shop. The Etsy shop has kind of languished once I went back to work, so I definitely need to get my rear in gear there.

I did spend some time doing some more experimenting with iColorama and coloring in some of the Monday mandalas.

I really liked the black and white original design of this mandala, but I’m not sure it worked well for me when I colored it in. Maybe I’m just not feeling the color scheme. Even though I wasn’t happy with it, I threw it into iColorama and played around a bit.

It turned out a bit odd, but kinda groovy looking, so I kept it. The blur around the edges is a little trippy. I do like how it draws your eye to the center, though perhaps the middle is a bit busy.

I was on a roll, so I continued coloring. This design is one of my favorites so far and I was curious to see how it worked for digital coloring.

I am happy with the way this one turned out just coloring it in Procreate. However, I couldn’t resist also playing around with it in iColorama. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I did in iColorama, but I think the final product turned out pretty well.

I still need to get more designs drawn and other things. I’m also debating whether to post some of the stuff I’m creating for work on TeachersPayTeachers. I’m already doing some of the work for my job, it would be nice to make a few extra bucks off my hard work. 😀

Playing with Color

I had some spare time a few days ago and I sat down with my iPad and did some digital coloring. It’s been a while since I’ve done that, and it felt good to just play around.

I took some of my mandalas and colored them in. I like doing that better than just coloring the lines themselves, like I’ve done with some previous designs. I picked out a few of the ones I thought would be fun and just went at it.

I really like how this one turned out. The colors are bright and vibrant and it makes the various layers stand out more than they do in the original black and white drawing. Of course, then I had to throw it into iColorama and see how I could play around with it in that.

I added a texture and a new color overlay. There’s also an embossing effect to make it look raised. I love how it has more dimension and texture. This could be an old tile design or part of a vintage textile pattern. Pretty cool.

I also had time to color in another mandala. I was curious to see how this one went, because I really liked how the original black and white turned out.

This one doesn’t have a lot of contrast, but I’m still happy with how it turned out. I may try coloring it again with a different color palette and see if I like it better. Or maybe throw it into iColorama too and see how I can transform it. I still don’t know all the ins and out of iColorama, but I’m having a ton of fun playing around with it. 🙂

I’m Going Dotty

I forced myself to sit down this weekend and spend some time drawing and coloring. I needed to relax after all the craziness of last week. As I was scrolling through my Procreate gallery, I realized I hadn’t created any dot mandalas in a while, so I opened a new canvas and started working.

I’m still struggling with color palettes, but I decided to just push all those worries aside and start creating.

I’m still also struggling with the new editor forced upon us here at WordPress. I finally have a handle on copying serial posts (like the Monday Mandala series), but it appears as I write this post, that the issues with images in the block editor are still there.

Argh.

Anyhoo, I like the colors in this one, although I think I should have made the outer layers more detailed. Also, the gray layer kind of disappears, which makes the overall effect a bit odd – it looks like there is something missing, until you look really closely. After struggling with background colors for a bit, I decided just to move on.

So I started this diamond shaped mandala. Although I didn’t know it would be diamond shaped until I was done. 😀

I like the blues of this one and I think the balance of detail is nice. Now if I could just start to feel more confident in my color choices . . . :/

Busy, Busy, Busy

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Credit: Pixabay

Life has suddenly gotten crazy busy.

I’m hip deep in lesson planning for school.  I’ve started a new diamond painting, this time with square drills instead of round ones.  I’m busily painting minis and trying to improve both my painting and photography skills.

I’m desperately hoping that my black thumb hasn’t killed all my garden plants, though I’ve yet to actually see any produce.  And my children are starting college, so I’m scrambling to pay tuition, buy books, and arrange schedules.

All while trying to get my Etsy business off the group, as well as launch a YouTube channel for my mandalas.  Speaking of, (insert shameless self-promotion here) if you haven’t checked out the mandalas on my Etsy store, you should!  They are larger and more intricate than my Monday mandalas.

Right now it’s just got coloring mandalas, but I’m debating putting some of my stickers up as well, maybe even some of my dot mandalas.  I’ve been hesitant to just jump in before now, but it’s amazing how having to pony up for college tuition can railroad right through your reservations about something!

I did manage to snap some photos of my most recent finished minis – I’ll try to post them later this week.  I think I’m learning how to use the contrast paints more effectively.  Now if I could just find the time to watch some tutorials on painting eyes.

Looking through my files, I found an old mandala I’d drawn using Amaziograph.  I can really see how shaky my hands are when looking at the lines here.

Amaziograph 3

I do like the flow of the design and that it’s fairly simple, but the shakiness of the lines bothers me.  Or does that make it seem more ‘authentic’?  Because it’s not perfect, so it’s clear it’s hand-drawn?  Do you consider it ‘hand-drawn’ if it’s drawn digitally rather than on a physical medium?

So many questions, so little time.  I’ve got to get back to work, so I hope you and yours are all doing well right now in this crazy world of ours.

Diamond Painting Mandalas

I mentioned in a previous post that I had discovered some new art forms for mandalas.  I’ve already posted about my experience with dot mandalas and making them in Procreate.  I loved creating the dot mandalas that way, and I will be making more of them in the future.

Diamond Painting

During one of my YouTube forays, I came across people who were ‘diamond painting.’  I had no idea what it was and I fell down a YouTube hole learning all about it.  Essentially, it is like cross-stitch, but instead of a needle and embroidery floss, you use small gems (diamonds) called drills and create a canvas using them.

I loved cross-stitching, but my eyes and my carpal tunnel keep me from it these days.  After looking at a LOT of videos about diamond painting, I decided I would try it and see if I liked it.  I hopped online and started looking.  I found some simple ones that were mandalas and ordered them, thinking that they would be a good way to find out if I wanted to stick with diamond painting and order more.

I ordered them in April, and thanks to the pandemic, it took until the middle of June for them to arrive.  There were 4 mandalas in the package and each canvas was 30 cm X 30 cm.  Not huge, but big enough for me to see if I liked it.

Diamond Painting Mandalas

I opened the first one and got started.  At first glance, there were a few surprises.  The size was fine, but I had expected the design to be ‘full drill’ – ie, every piece of the design would be filled in with a drill.  Not so.  And all of the mandalas had differently shaped gems, rather than all being round or square.

DP Mandala 1

This particular mandala was annoying, because as you can see, I was short two gems to finish the design.  Not the end of the world, but aggravating.  It did give me an introduction to diamond painting, though – and the was the point.  If I really cared, I could source some extra gems to finish, but I’m fine calling this an experiment.

After finishing the first one, I moved quickly on to the second one.  It went a bit quicker, now that I had an idea of what I was doing.  This one was a bit more fun, as there were more drills and the pattern matched up with the printed design, something that was lacking on the first mandala.

DP Mandala 2

Each canvas has a key on it that tells you which color/shape drills to use on the corresponding grid on the design.  The painting is covered with an adhesive which the drills stick to as you place them.

I was on a roll, so I moved on to the third mandala.  Thankfully, none of them were missing drills or had the designs offset like the first one.  This design looked more intimidating than the first two.

DP Mandala 3

After working on it, I realized it wasn’t really that much more complicated than the two I had already completed, which was a bit disappointing.  I wanted a challenge.  Some of the drills were very small and placing them often resulted in me dropping them on the floor, followed by lots of cursing. 😛

By the time I got to the fourth one, I knew I was hooked.  Diamond painting is a nice, relaxing craft that I can do while my husband and I watch TV of an evening.  The final mandala had a lot more drills, so it took a while longer to complete than the first three.

DP Mandala 4

Ready for More

After finishing up the fourth one, I decided I wanted to try a ‘full drill’ painting, and I also wanted to try using the square drills instead of the round.  I ordered one to make for my nephew, but when it arrived, it had round rather than square drills.  I must have not paid enough attention when I was ordering it.

So I ordered another painting, making sure that it was square drills.  I also ordered a storage kit for all the extra gems from the mandalas, thinking that I could store those and the extras from the next painting in it.

It was smaller than I realized, and after sorting and storing all the extras from the 4 mandala kits, it is now full. :/

I ordered another (larger) storage kit this time.  I’ve already started on the diamond painting for my nephew, so we’ll see how quickly I can get it done.  I’m trying really hard not to just go out and ‘buy ALL the things’ for diamond painting.  I still need to see what options are out there, and what I really NEED.  I am excited to have discovered a new (to me) crafting hobby!

Busy Bee

The last week has been very hectic. We’ve had a lot of appointments and obligations and I feel like I’ve been running around all week, which means lots of things I normally take care of haven’t gotten done. That leaves me feeling anxious and uneasy, because I don’t like leaving things undone. This weekend is looking like it will be just as busy, so – ugh.

There are always positives to celebrate, though. My husband is getting a promotion at work, which means a pay raise – awesome! 😀 My youngest may finally get to have a graduation ceremony – also awesome. I’ve been diving into my new job as well, which right now just means I’m spending a lot of time sorting, cleaning, and disinfecting so that everything is ready if/when we open up in the fall for students.

We’re still working on paying down our debt – something I hope we’ll be able to do a bit faster now with that pay raise. I’m still plugging away trying to create other income streams for us. My dream is to make a living virtually, so that we can live anywhere we want and still have a stable income. We’re a long way from that, but – baby steps.

I did also have someone ask me about buying one of my Monday Mandalas. In case I haven’t made it clear, the Monday Mandalas are FREE. You can grab them off the blog anytime. They aren’t very hi-res because of storage limitations on WordPress, but they are free. If you want to use them for something, an attribution would be nice, but if you just want to print one out to color or load into your favorite digital coloring app, feel free. 😀

If you’d like something a little more challenging/intricate to color than my Monday Mandalas, you can take a gander at my Etsy shop and see if there’s anything you like. I don’t have many items there at the moment, but I’m hoping to get some added this weekend.

That’s if I can peel myself away from my newest obsession – diamond painting. 😛 I discovered diamond painting one day when I fell down the YouTube hole. I used to needlepoint and embroider, but my carpal tunnel (and my bad eyesight) has made that impossible. Diamond painting is sort of like cross-stitch, but with little sparkly bits called drills. I found some cheap ones on Amazon (they are mandalas, of course!) and bought them to experiment with and see if I liked it before I spent a lot of money on some bigger, fancier pieces. So far – I love it. I’m a little annoyed with the first one (I got a package of 4) because they shorted me two gems for the design, so I can’t finish it. However, I do like doing it, so I’m planning on adding it into my craft rotation.

And, of course, I’m still trying to finish up those darn minis I discovered hiding in the basement. I have quite a few of them done – I just need to find the time to take some pics and get them posted. Maybe after graduation, when I have a few spare moments!

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.