Review On My New Supplies

In case you didn’t see my posts from the other site.  Here’s the post of the review of some supplies I ordered from dickblick.com.
art supplies
Ok.  So I finally had some time to play with my new art supplies in between taking care of my cute little one.  The first thing is my FAVOURITE!  I love these little glass jars.  I can pour hot water into them to mix up my paint, and then put a lid on them so nothing spills when I’m not using them.  I had to write on the lids to tell the difference between the coffee though.  Otherwise, they get mixed up when you move them.  Oops.
I already knew I liked the Canson XL watercolor paper because, I was already using it.  The Stanislaus brush set that I got didn’t work out.  Even though it’s advertised for watercolor and acrylic, it’s too stiff for watercolor.  I would consider it more of a craft acrylic brush.  I’ll probably keep them for that, but I’ll need to get different brushes.  These were cheap.  So at least I didn’t spend a lot of money on something that didn’t work out.  This is why I don’t have a painting for you guys.  Even though I had time to mess around a little, the brushes ruined my painting.  Sadness.
The Golden Archival Spray Varnish seems to work out alright.  My only suggestion is to make sure it stays outside for a while, or in a very well ventilated room.  The fumes are not pleasant.  I also tested the Sakura Micron pen on the painting that didn’t work out.  The pen works nicely.  I’ll have to redo the painting thouh.  I think it’ll be easier signing with the pen than how I have been doing it.  Hopefully they’ll be a new painting for you soon!

Pros and Cons of Wix

So I experimented with using Wix to create a website.  There are things I like and things I don’t like about it.  They have free and paid versions.  Their paid versions get really expensive.  The free version gives you an unappealing web address, as well as bars on the top and bottom of the page saying that it’s a free website created by Wix.  I didn’t really mind the bars.  After all, it’s a free website.  However my web address ended up being very long and annoying.  At least the free version of wordpress.com isn’t that annoying.  For the sake of this post, when I mention WordPress, I mean wordpress.com not wordpress.org.  Wordpress.com is what I am currently using for this blog.

Now for those of you who have no technical or computer skills what so ever, Wix has made it super easy for you create a fabulous looking website in no time at all.  Drag and drop things where you want them.  Just click the area to change the size, color, and font.  I personally don’t find WordPress complicated at all, but Wix is still easier to customize.  Even with all that, there’s no changing of themes allowed.  You got it.  The theme you choose when start your site, you are stuck with forever.  So when I chose my them, I chose it for the layout and figured I could just change the colors and adjust other things to how I wanted, but it just wasn’t working.  I just couldn’t find the right color in the colors they provided that worked for my material.  I probably could’ve figured out my own color and uploaded it, but I didn’t have the time sit there uploading different colors and backgrounds to tryout.  I was very disappointed to find out that I couldn’t switch themes.

While I liked having more of a full site, I noticed I had less interaction on this new site.  It also had no analytics.  You can pay for app that would provide it, but I wasn’t even sure I wanted to keep this site yet.  So it didn’t make since to purchase an app.  At least WordPress has some analytics.  Obviously there are better analytics systems and apps out there, but at least the free version has something, and I know if people are seeing my posts.

So to sum it all up, I liked having more of a full site, which I may be able to do here if I buy a theme.  It was easy to set up and customize.  However not being able to change the theme was not helpful in the customization process.  I had less interaction with people and no analytics system.  The free version gives you a long annoying web address, and the paid versions get expensive.  Overall, it’s not the place for me.  I’m glad that I only did the free version first.  Maybe someone who isn’t as tech savy and doesn’t have the time to learn, or thousands of dollars to pay someone would like it.  You definitely get more if you pay more.  You can get a normal looking web address and add nicer things to your site.  I just didn’t see the value since I’m knowledgable enough to use WordPress, and can do most that through WordPress at a fraction of the cost.

So it looks like I’ll be staying here.

Other Topics You Might Enjoy:

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The Pumpkin Spice Latte

So, while I enjoy painting with coffee and tea, I also enjoy drinking it.  Pumpkin spice lattes are one of my favorite coffee drinks.  I found this Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup recipe and I thought I’d share it with you guys.  I found it online somewhere.  Since there’s not many places to get kosher lattes where I live, this recipe is very helpful.

MAKES: 4 cups syrup (32 to 64 lattes)

FOR THE SYRUP:

• 2 cups granulated sugar

• 2 cinnamon sticks

• 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (1/2 tsp cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg)

• 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin  *I added an extra spoonful.

FOR THE LATTE:

• 8 ounces whole milk

• 4 ounces strong brewed coffee or espresso

• Whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, for garnish (optional)

1. Prepare the syrup: Bring the sugar and 2 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin. Simmer, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside 5 minutes, then strain twice through a fine-mesh strainer into an airtight container. Refrigerate until cool. Store in the refrigerator for about 1 month. You’ll end up with about 4 cups total.

2. For each latte: Microwave the milk on High about 1 minute or until very hot. (Transfer to a blender and blend 20 seconds for extra frothy milk, if desired.) Put 1 to 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice syrup in the bottom of a mug. Top with the coffee and warm milk. Garnish with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, if desired.

Mom's Card 2 (c)

Since I don’t have a way to make an espresso shot, I just use instant coffee.  Put the amount you would normally use to make a cup of coffee, and then use just enough water to dissolve the crystals.  It’s obviously not as wonderful as an actually espresso shot, but it works.  Then I can have a pumpkin spice latte while painting with coffee.  It makes for a wonderful time!

New Paintings

I’m sorry I haven’t posted recently.  I’ve been dealing with some medical issues, but I have two new paintings to share with you.

Row of Tea (c)

Here’s another raspberry tea painting.  This one’s an 8×10.  I love the little tea cups you get when you go to an Asian restaurant, and having them all in a line kind of went along with the Asian theme of having everything perfectly presented.  I just got a box of various fruit teas, so I’ll be experimenting with those in the near future.  Make sure sure to check back to see how that goes.

Cappuccino Star (c)

I had first attempted to redo the coffee painting I did for my mother’s card since it came out so wonderfully, but I know better than that.  Redoing paintings never works out for me.  Hopefully I get a better camera eventually so I can do prints.  Instead, I did this little guy.  He’s a little 5×7 cappuccino with a star on top.  My husband commented about how “fun” it was when he walked by as I was painting.  Anything he calls “fun” means he likes and enjoys it.

Both these paintings are available on my storenvy page.  shalevbasya.storenvy.com

Sip of Coffee

PART WAY THROUGH

Sip of Coffee 1

Perhaps this was a bad time to do this particular piece.  I have been busy with other things.  The little one is making me all uncomfortable, and I’ve started the nesting phase.  I want everything done now.  I want the baby’s room done and everything washed and cleaned.  There’s only one problem.  …  I’m not superwoman.  So on top of my pregnant emotions and all the stuff I want done, let’s just throw on a complicated painting.  That sounds smart.

I wanted to do something a little different from the still life I have been doing lately, but I still wanted a cup in the painting.  This one was definitely more frustrating than my other ones and I wanted to burn it a few times.  I put some detail in and then took it out, and then put some back in and then some back out.  The mittens were what I was having the most problems with.  I just could figure out the right amount of detail.  I needed to show that they were mittens, and show the form, but too much detail just took away from the piece.

I think it was because I wasn’t able to get the detail I wanted in the face.  I couldn’t get the contrast I wanted because the darkest layers were maxed out in the layers of coffee they would take.  I’m hoping that once I get some money, I can test out some watercolor canvas boards and see if those take more coffee layers than the paper.

Sip of Coffee (c)

Here’s the finished piece.  I gave the nose a little more definition and took out some of the detail I had on the mitten.  Hopefully next time I do a piece this complicated, I have found a better surface that can take more layers.

Now for sale at shalevbasya.storenvy.com

Coffee Dessert

Coffee Dessert (c)

Well, I did another one.  I had a 5×7 piece of paper, and I still had the coffee.  I know it’s only one color, but I’m having too much fun.  I did some research and apparently coffee painting is an actual thing.  People make art careers out of doing coffee paintings.  I don’t know if this is something that I’m going to switch to or not.  I may just need to get it out of my system and then go back to color.  I guess we’ll find out.

This little guy took me a few hours and I’m more satisfied with how he turned out than the last one.  Maybe it’s because I know coffee techniques a little better now from the last one.  I think I’m going to try a bigger piece now that I’ve done these two.  This guy definitely makes me want to go find a dessert.

As always, my paintings can be found on my storenvy page:  shalevbasya.storenvy.com  Photo reference from Britta at paintmyphoto.com.

The Mocha

Today I experimented with COFFEE!

Coffee Painting Setup

The first step was to get coffee in three different strengths.  I decided to use instant, because I didn’t want to end up with grounds in my water.  I had to let the coffee cool first.  Painting with hot water is not a good idea.  It damages the paper and the bristles of the paintbrush.  I then tested them on a strip of paper to see what they’d look like.  Everything smells so wonderful.  Now it was time to get a light drawing on my paper and start painting!

Coffee Cup 1

This was part way through, probably more towards the beginning.  Coffee is similar to watercolor, but a little different.  It seems to dry a little slower, and working wet on dry seems to work better than wet into wet.  If I do more, and I’m guessing I will because it’s just so fun, I’ll have to adjust some of my techniques.  I can still get to the darkness I need by layering.

The Mocha (c)

Here’s the finished piece.  It was definitely fun to do a painting of coffee with coffee.  The smell put me in a wonderful mood as well!  This 5×7 is now for sale on my storenvy page:  shalevbasya.storenvy.com  Photo reference from Alina at paintmyphoto.com.