Facebook Live series Drawing on furniture
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Drawing on Furniture Free DIY Video Series

Grab coffee or wine & watch me do all the work, or…

 

…join in and PLAY!

 

Hey friends!  If you are curious about drawing for any reason or love art on furniture, you’ll want to check out the live video series I’m offering.

It begins this THURSDAY! 7.30PM EST

And I’m offering it at mates rates – FREE!!!

I’ll first introduce basic drawing. You can then either scribble away while we chat or if you would like to work on a similar project alongside, you can do that too.

Or you can take a deep sigh-break and do absolutely nothing except watch.

Just like TV.

Except there’s rarely anything worth watching on TV anyway – right?

I’m not sure how many weeks it will take to complete the elaborate design I’ve planned for this coffee table top. The weekly live will go for about 45 minutes to an hour.

I’ll also demonstrate how I use my own reference to create the design.

The design will be a beautiful seahorse and floral design.

It will be stunning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I were ever a sea creature, I’d love to be a seahorse. Wouldn’t you? They are so elegant and beautiful!

And so….

If you’re on Facebook, please let your friends know (share this post or on Facebook – or both!).

I’d love you to join me for a chat while I share this exciting new project with you in real time.

If you haven’t participated in a live video before – try mine!

I love the connection with people like you. It’s more personal than silly emails hey?

 

I hope to see you, pencil in hand and ready to learn or just watch.

Kayleen 🙂

Fun ways to organize with a creative bullet journal.
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Fun ways to organize the New Year with a creative bullet journal.

Fun ways to organize with free monthy trackers

Bullet Journals. One of the fun ways to organize time and goals

I’m always looking for fun ways to organize my time, projects and goals. In my opinion, creative bullet journals are the best tool for this. Starting with a blank bulleted page you create fun productive pages as you go.

Since December 2016 I have kept a creative bullet journal and found it to be a saving grace!  I would be lost without one.

What is a creative bullet journal I hear you say?

My creative bullet journal is a sketch journal crossed with a diary and notepad, used to create fun ways to organize my thoughts, commitments, goals, and projects. It is a hybrid version of a bullet journal.  A bullet journal’ is an organizational tool full of dotted pages, used as a diary or for whatever you wish but not necessarily the prettiest or creatively decorated!

When creating a creative bullet journal, it is an organic process of building pages to plan out and track things like tasks, dates, business and personal important you want kept handy, goals, brainstorming and reflecting etc.

Fun ways to organize with a creative bullet journal.

I use my creative bullet journal for the following:

  • Year in review – Looking back on success and what I would change going into the new year.
  • A Calendex of Birthdays, school dates and events.
  • Gratitude pages – illustrated and written
  • Weekly and daily tasks – a weekly planner
  • Critical tasks
  • Top 3 weekly goals
  • Goal setting and tracking: Project counting, drinking more water, days of habit-forming or breaking etc
  • Blocks of tasks. Eg. Social media schedules to track while away, planning events & annual reminders etc.
  • Financial tracking including grocery budget, business spending & earnings, and the kids clothing budget spending.
  • An excuse to draw when my drawing time is low!
  • Quick note taking

Uses for a bullet journal are endless.  You start with a blank bullet page and create the pages you want as you go.  A bullet journal will help make life easier if you reflect on what you need organized or tracked.

It is important to remember, that to enjoy fun ways to organize with a bullet journal, not one size fits all.

Fun ways to organize with a creative bullet journal.

Helpful tips to fun ways to organize with a Creative bullet journal:

  • Be authentic to your needs and time goals. Make your own journal. Don’t copy what you think yours should be.
  • Decorate if you want or keep to text.
  • If you like uniformity, keep it simple so you can be consistent.
  • If you are okay with mistakes, you’ll enjoy this form of journaling more. You will likely change format several times during your first year.

 

Download these free monthly trackers to start your journal with? Just add the months and your goals for the new year!

 

Fun ways to organize with a creative bullet journal.

 

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Cute Illustrations after a business crash

Cute illustrations for a series of cute picture books!

There was an abrupt halt to my illustration career last year. It’s time to explain. The cute illustrations here came after a series of unhelpful events but I eventually got back up.

I have been posting painted furniture related stories instead of illustrations as a result. This is not to say I haven’t been illustrating this year. I have – HEAPS! But last year was a very different story and for a good reason. Read on…

Cute illustrations for I'm Shining with Light Series

The crash in my illustration business.

I want to be transparent with my followers so here is the backstory.

I had 12 months off illustrating children’s books in 2016. I decided to stop illustrating until the perfectly inspired project came along.  Unless published by a large publisher, it is terribly difficult to make ends meet as a children’s illustrator. Take a few hits and it can cancel you out altogether. Or it did me anyway.  I wanted to bless kids with my books but it became impossible to sustain after a series of unhelpful events and misplaced trust.

I was discouraged after a few things happened, but this was the final straw…

I had a surprising experience with an author who commissioned me for a project and never paid.  Everything was okay and he seems very excited and then suddenly cancelled!  I haven’t determined why and he wouldn’t say.  I imagined it was about money and perhaps his previous illustrator (who he didn’t want to use), charged less and he changed his mind. At this stage, it was easy enough to show her all my concepts to derive new illustrations from. I’m not sure if that happened but I have seen illustrations that suggest it could have. They are very close!

There was also a possibility it could have been a conversation we had over copyright.  Just before he cancelled I had tried to explain why I couldn’t copy his photo reference after discovering he didn’t own the photos.  They had been taken off the Internet and I couldn’t copy from them that closely.   It went against my integrity no matter how much he wanted me to and he wasn’t happy about that.  Instead, I offered to film character actions, using my son as a reference and sent him video stills similar to one of the poses.   In any case, well into the project, he cancelled out of the blue and informed me he didn’t owe me a cent for all my hours on this project.  A solicitor advised me to sue as the correspondence between us was sufficient proof, but later I felt God tell me to give the debt to him.   I agreed and then prayed for him.

I was shocked.  I had assumed his integrity because we were of the same faith and he certainly talked like he could be trusted assuring me the payments were coming and could I give him more time. In my mind, someone who talked like a Christian would NEVER do that to anyone- EVER! I wonder if he was accumulating the concepts with the intention to farm them out to someone else. Who knows but it made me feel sick!

So burned out from working around the clock for his super-tight deadline and all the pages of correspondence back and forth, I decided I was done working so hard and getting no time with family.  I was left with little funds in my business account to continue anyway and kicking myself I’d turned away other paying work for him.  But I knew that what the enemy steals must be paid back sevenfold. Not always the way you imagine, but somehow it would happen. I would not be left in this position if I gave it all to God.

I had to let it go but wisdom told me I needed 12 months off to shift focus for a while.  There were no funds to keep the associated children’s literacy membership going anymore anyway. There was no point and I didn’t feel God telling me to do anything other than the stop for a year. I didn’t say anything when my husband confirmed I should take a year off. He was furious with the dishonest and entitled attitude of my client.  He had no time with me in weeks due to the nominated deadline and then his wife wasn’t even reimbursed. So in 2016, there were more books or major illustration projects for this reason and others unfortunate challenges I didn’t expect either. In any case, I am back on the horse.

Paint after books then?

Not being one to sit completely still and watch Doctor Phil all day, I began refurbishing furniture to beautify our home instead.  I needed a positive creative focus.  The kids were old enough to have lighter coloured furniture, so I began with a dresser, turning it into a TV cabinet. After I created a hobby Facebook Page called Upcycled Beauty (now PLAYfessionalEDU) it snowballed from there!

Little did I know it would take off and turn into a little business and help us financially!  We had a tough financial year in 2015 to early 2016, but selling furniture makeovers helped us tremendously.  It even paid for a few date days too – whoot!

Artistically, I continued with my illustrated church notes, completed a few graphics jobs like logo design and scribbled in my sketchbooks. I barely touched my website and why the big gap in my blogging. I was too discouraged to do much more.

I did participate in the Memory Project.

“The Memory Project is a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as violence, disasters, extreme poverty, neglect, and loss of parents.” ~ www.memoryproject.org

I’ll post on that later.

 

But then…

Cute Illustrations: When I'm Shining with JOY, PEACE, KINDNESS & LOVE picture books

These cute illustrations had to happen.

2017 things shifted – Yay!

I was feeling inspired to paint again, imagining elaborate paintings on furniture, when one day two lovely debut authors I knew, approached me about a series of picture books. Wendy Mason (a school teacher) and Lisa Maravelis (a Councillor) were working on a rhyming series called When I’m Shining with Light.  In one conversation I knew I was meant to be part of the journey. Admittedly, I was still nervous from my last experience though. Several months later and I can say it has been the BEST book project ever!  I have LOVED every illustration and these ladies have been a pure delight to work with. We have all been on the same page all the way through.

The cute illustrations reflect the freedom and confidence the authors have had in my part all throughout every book.  Not a stroke is laboured and every page has been fun!  They understood how I work creatively and enjoyed the process alongside me.  I was able to help with the text as it seemed to drop into our laps when we were together. We have become a solid team and good friends in the process.

These books are going to be incredibly special, speaking to children in so many constructive and delightful ways.  There are 10 in the series. We finished the first 4 (LOVE, PEACE, KINDNESS & JOY) this week ready for the printer. This is some of the images taken along the way.  I have enjoyed these characters more than I can tell you and haven’t tired of drawing them – thankfully –I still have 6 more to do!  Look out for publications, When I’m Shining with LOVE, PEACE, KINDNESS & JOY in the first quarter of 2018!

Out of the ashes!

Although I did a tremendous amount of work on the unpaid project, not all was lost.  I had a concept in that book I used for one of these.  I was particularly fond of a jumping castle scene I created so recycled it replacing the new characters in the setting.

An amazing thing that happened the night I gave the debt to God. An incredible story literally downloaded into my head within minutes of choosing forgiveness. The story came so quickly so I jotted it down onto a word document as fast as I could. I know it will be a book one day.  One that will speak to any child with a disability and thinks it is a weakness. It will help them see strength in their weakness instead. Not a bad trade hey? In fact, I felt God whisper to me…Now THAT is my book. Take that one instead. I have my hand on it.

AWESOME! I’ll be doing that one day!

As for the furniture, I’m building a teaching platform to share more and will do those elaborately painted pieces I have still in my overly inspired mind. I’ve got my creative mojo back people! Are you up for the ride with me?

Colouring Book Fans…

I haven’t forgotten you either. There is exciting news coming up for those who follow me for the colouring book information and goodies. Watch out for some new things for you!

 

Nativity Gingerbread House
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Nativity Gingerbread House – Chocolate Baby Jesus!

I present to you the more appropriate Christmas table decoration…

A Nativity Gingerbread House!

I wasn’t keen on a yet another gingerbread house. I like original, creative ideas so I asked Joy (my pastry chef sister) if she would make me a nativity gingerbread house. For me and my house, Christmas is about Jesus not Hansel and Gretel. I wanted baby Jesus to be that in the center of my table 

How cool is this?

Nativity Gingerbread House Created by Joy Bradbury

Nativity Gingerbread House Created by Joy Bradbury

I told her she should make them for others. I don’t think I would be the only that would prefer baby Jesus. So she agreed to make a limited amount from her shop in Mooroolbark, Victoria. If you need one, this is where you’ll find her: https://www.facebook.com/langfordspatisserie

In any case I thought it was nice to share and celebrate my creative sister and her interpretation on my idea.

 

We Worship God
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We Worship God by Kayleen West and Nancy Streza

We Worship God – Limited AU copies…

In Australia NOW!

Exploring the character of God through alphabetical devotion

I thoroughly enjoyed and fondly illustrated We Worship God. Each illustration is painted in watercolour. A very limited number of books have arrived in Australia. I have the only copies! Order your copies by here!

We Worship God, ABC Christian Picture Book. Nancy Streza and Kayleen West

‘C’ page (comforter)

We WWe Worship God, ABC Christian Picture Book. Nancy Streza and Kayleen Westorship God – Poetic ACB

We Worship God is written by a very talented US author, Nancy Streza. This beautiful picture book is not only an alphabetical story but a poetic dedication of praise – so clever! I can imagine this book will be recited by children. I fell hard for this one-it felt like an extension of Adoptive Father and my heart was immediately invested. Rainbows of love poured from my brush as I personally devoted each illustration to our amazing God.

I took several studio and work in progress photos so I’ll share more later on the making of the book. Perhaps even a video.

It is so good to finally get to share with you this gorgeous new picture book!

>>Read the reviews<<

PRE-ORDER NOW!

best markers to use for colouring coloring
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Best markers to use to avoid bleed through

What are the best markers to use to avoid bleed?

Decisions, decisions…what an array to chose from! I will share with you what are the best markers to use with most colouring books and what NOT to use. This view is based only on what I have purchased. I am sure there are more options and limitation out there but this will start you off.

Let’s start with what markers NOT to use

I hate to say it, but you know those gorgeously juicy Copic Markers you paid a fortune for? Unfortunately, those bad boys will bleed through most books. Most (if not all) book papers will drink those puppies up like a kid sluuuuurping their first milkshake! Sad I know. You’ll need to save them for your artwork or scrapping on card stock instead. If you are fortunate enough to own a set that is.

Alcohol markers can be a beautifully vibrant medium to colour art but they easily bleed through most papers. If you are using this type of marker, there is special thick bonded papers you can buy. Blending stock papers for markers are fantastic but not found in colouring books. The reason being manufacturing cost, weight – which can affect shipping costs on books – and application. Card stock is not the best choice for pencil work. They are often extremely smooth and do not hold  pencil well.

However, if you want to work in markers that bleed easily, like Copics, Bic and Sharpies, then I would recommend 250gsm blending stock.

What markers to use to AVOID BLEED

What markers to use to AVOID BLEED

BUFFER CARD

If like me, you want to keep your book bound, use a thick piece of cardboard in between pages to catch bleed. It is for this reason I had Positively Quote Colouring Book manufactured with a pretty 300gsm gatefold. This can be folded or cut to place in between the pages for safer marker work. If you are determined to use bleeders this will prevent the bleed leaking through more than one page. My pages are almost twice as thick as many colouring books but some persistent markers may still bleed through. But I also made sure you had 2 copies of each page design if you want to use any markers. Handy if you have some and don’t want to race out and buy more right? Cha-ching!

What markers are safe to use in colouring books?

There are many best markers to use in my mind. I have a gluttonous hoard of markers and fine liners but rarely use them in colouring books. I do use them for art and my bullet journal. I prefer pencils for colouring books.

The best advice I will give here is this. I would recommend you test ALL markers on your back page or on a redundant page to see if they will bleed. There is nothing more disappointing than bleeding through to an already finished masterpiece in your colouring book – yikes!

The friendly variety of markers usually don’t have a strong smell. Some I like to use are pictured here but I strongly encourage you to test, test, TEST!

The markers I have tested on my book that didn’t bleed were as follows:

  • Nikko Overhead projection markers
  • Scholar fineliner
  • Stay anywhere permanent pen
  • Staedtler triplus fineliners
  • Fabre Castle PITT artist pen

The next best is that if you want to work in marker why not cut out the pages of your book? Remember – in Positively Quote Colouring Book you have 2 copies of each design. You won’t miss out on one page!

 

Buy Positively Quote Colouring Book now

That’s enough from me. Get cracking on that colouring page! But before you do…

Subscribe to all my updates here: E-NEWS & TIPS

AND

Email me your biggest challeng or best celebration in this area if you want to see any video tutorials.
I am cranking up my YouTube channel. About time hey?

Inktober Day9: Woof Doof
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Inktober Gallery and inky news!

Sketchbook collaboration drawings: Bugs Bunny and Kids
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Fan Photos to Sketchbook

Sketchbook ink drawing from readers photo.
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Sketchbook ink drawings – fun on Facebook

best colouring pencils
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What are the best colouring pencils to buy for colouring books?

Adult Colouring Tutorial - Stage 7 Details: How not to make a colourful mess: patchwork rabbit
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Adult Colouring Tutorial #1:- How not to make a colourful mess!