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Three Years Old (August’s Yearly Photo)

August is trying, with his hand, to show us that he’s three! (Three is the trickiest number to show with your fingers, you know.)

I took monthly photos of Eleanor until she turned two, and then switched to yearly pictures. Now I’m doing the same for August. New house, new setting, new messy-hair haircut (I tried to comb it), same awesome kid, same chair. August finished up his monthly photos on his birthday last year, so now we’re on to yearly shots!

Three Years Old (August's Yearly Photo)
Three Years Old (August's Yearly Photo)

August's Yearly Photos, 2014

I love having these to look back on.

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Giveaway! A Watercolor Palette and Sketchbook

I’ve been enjoying my new watercolor hobby, since posting to that time-lapse video I found so inspiring. It’s only been about a month since I started, during which I’ve probably painted four times, but I’m proud of how I’m progressing. I’ve missed making art, even if I’m just painting what amount to cute spot illustrations.

Watercolors, Making it Lovely

I’ve been experimenting with different paints (tubes vs. pans, student grade versus professional quality), and I’m still finding what I like. You know what turned out to be great though? The inexpensive 36-color watercolor palette I had initially picked up on a whim at Michael’s. I’ve heard from more seasoned watercolor artists that they love it too!

Want to give it a go for yourself? I went back and bought five more palettes, along with some better quality paintbrushes (don’t bother with the one it comes with) to give away to five readers. I also bought five Moleskine Watercolor Notebooks to include as part of the prize for each winner.

Watercolor Palette and Sketchbook, Making it Lovely
(I painted this illustration of the prize using only watercolors from that 36-color palette.)

This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide. Just leave a comment below by midnight CST, Monday, January 27 to enter. After the giveaway ends, I’ll randomly draw five winners and ship off a palette, brush, and sketchbook to each. It’s a small way to share a little bit of what’s making me happy these days!

Watercolor Painting Inspiration

I went to Michael’s a few days ago to pick up some Christmas picks to spruce up a so-so garland on the stairs. (I was going for simple and tasteful, but pro tip: what’s left of the 70% off Christmas decorations, a week or so before the holiday, is probably not going to be simple and tasteful.) While I was there, I picked up a pad of watercolor paper and a $5 palette of paint.

I used to paint and draw throughout high school, and I liked doing architectural renderings in college. And of course I had my whole stationery business, which was a combination of my illustrations and graphic design. I haven’t done much drawing or painting lately though, aside from the tote bag illustrations and layout that I did for West Elm a couple of months ago. I miss making art for its own sake! I figured that having some paint and paper on hand was a good start, at least.

Then Patricia Zapata posted this inspiring video yesterday, on Facebook.


• Fawn and Flora ~ work in progress from Oana Befort on Vimeo.

I watched it, and then I started sketching. I’m not concerning myself with original compositions at this point; I’m drawing flowers and floral arrangements that I’ve pinned. I’m not making anything to sell, or creating free desktop wallpaper downloads. I’m doing this because I miss it, and drawing, coloring, and painting (whether with crayons, pencils, markers, or paint) is fun.

Even when I fancied myself an artist as a teenager, I didn’t work with watercolors much. Thankfully, Oana Befort, the artist from the video above, wrote last year about her favorite art supplies.

Oana Befort's Favorite Art Supplies
• Oana Befort’s Art Supplies

I’m going to play around with my cheapie watercolor set as a beginner/hobbyist, but that Schmincke set looks intriguing, doesn’t it? I found myself rewatching and pausing the beginning of that video to see what brand she was using, and it looks like that’s the one.

Little tubes of watercolor always catch my eye too. The colors are so beautiful.

Eva Juliet's Watercolor Palette
• Eva Juliet’s Watercolor Palette

* Update * Here’s my first attempt. Not a bad way to spend a little time this morning! The one on the left was first, and it got a bit muddied up. The one on the right, I like better. And once I got started, I kept on going.

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