The Hummingbird Moth

This gallery contains 3 photos.

The Hummingbird Moth, (Hemaris Diffinis) is one of the most unusual insects that I have ever seen.  Although it is not a bird, it flies like one, by flapping its wings in a characteristic bird-like motion. The first time I … Continue reading

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Transferring The Cat Drawing

Tonight I started transferring the rough draft sketch of Irina the cat. Thus far I have traced over Irina cat sketch with transparent tracing paper.

Using tracing paper to copy the rough draft sketch of Irina the cat.

Using tracing paper to copy the rough draft sketch of Irina the cat.

Rough Draft Sketch of Irina

First I started out with a rough draft sketch of Irina the cat.

Using a violet colored pencil to trace over cat drawing.

Using a violet colored pencil to trace over cat drawing.

The image has been traced on the front of the tracing paper. Next, I will trace the back of the paper so I can transfer this image to finalized projects.

The image has been traced on the front of the tracing paper. Next, I will trace the back of the paper so I can transfer this image to finalized projects.

The video illustrates how I traced the rough draft outline of Irina.

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Draw A San Bernardino Mountains Inspired Desert Landscape

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The backside of the San Bernardino Mountains is a high desert terrain, which was the perfect inspiration of this drawing. Desert landscapes are wonderful draw because the artist can either go out in nature and sketch, or use a photograph from a hike. Drawing pictures is a economical way to create art, which allows a person impart their personal tastes when it comes to home decor. That is not something that will happen when purchasing a mass produced art print at a big box store, so there are perks to creating art. The materials used for art project consist of:

  • a digital photograph of the desert side of the San Bernardino Mountains
  • recycled computer paper
  • a sketch pencil
  • colored pencils

Using recycled computer paper for a drawing projects is a great way to reuse unwanted items, and no one will be able to tell the backside of the page was printed on once the artwork is framed.

Drawing A Desert Landscape

This landscape was inspired by a picture taken of the large boulders out at The Pinnacles, which are located in the San Bernardino Mountains. Drawing pictures by hand is a wonderful budget craft because this is something you can do with a simple pencil and a sheet of paper.

Drawing A Desert Landscape

The desert landscape sketch at this phase is still a work in progress with all of the chaparal brush, large boulders, and manzanita bushes now added to the drawing. This illustration is based on a real picture taken out at The Pinnacles, so time and detail have been invested in adding as many of the natural surroundings as possible.

Some artists prefer quick sketches that capture the essence of a location, but the beauty of budget crafting is that you can also spend time drawing in as many details as you desire. Think of how spending time on a sketch may be engrossing, but the time you spend doing this does not cost a dime.  Also, the more you draw the more you refine your technique, so spend a little bit of time drawing whenever and wherever you please.

The blue colored pencils are being rubbed into the sky to capture the effect of puffy white clouds. The next step will be to color in the landscape itself.

The large boulders out at The Pinnacles are in the foreground of this photograph. Some people do not realize the chaparral forests of the San Bernardino Mountains give way to the rocky and mountainous desert landscape that is exhilarating to hike and draw. Taking a picture of a desert landscape and then going home to sketch or paint it is a great way to recreate what you have seen in nature.

An easy way to create a desert landscape illustration is to first draw out what you see and then to add the colored pencil hues by layering. To achieve the rich layers on the large boulders out by The Pinnacles there were multiple layers of colored pencils applied on top of each other.  Do not worry about making your illustration look exactly like what you see in nature, and keep in mind art is about emulating what you feel about nature.

With budget crafting it is okay to mix high end colored pencils with cheaper colored pencils, or to even use economy colored pencils like Carola brand. The entire focus of budget crafting is to make do with supplies that are within your means, and keep in mind an artist can render a beautiful drawing with the simplest of tools. So grab a sketch pencil and a package of colored pencils, and start creating some beautiful art work for the walls of your home.

Draw The Desert

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Weaving On A Cardboard Loom

Create an interesting throw by weaving yarn on cardboard. First, find a piece of cardboard, and cut out a square or rectangular shape for your loom.  Cut the cardboard loom according to the shape you want your woven articles to be.

Weaving Terminology:

  • Warp Threads-Vertical Threads
  • Waft Threads-Horizontal Threads
Weaving Yarn On Cardboard

Next, take a ruler and measure out the distance between each warp threads on the loom.  Younger kids might want to make the warp threads up to an inch apart and use thick crafting yarn, but older kids and adults will prefer to make each warp thread about a centimeter apart. Cut a small slit on the top and on the bottom where each warp thread was marked off on the cardboard.

Now take the yarn and wind it around the entire loom, and these will be the waft threads. When weaving the waft threads, make sure the thread is secure in each warp thread slit.

The cardboard loom pictured above is the beginning of the weaving project, which will be woven up the entire horizontal length of the cardboard. This is a great budget craft because many people already have yarn and cardboard lying somewhere around the house, and these supplies are cheap to purchase. Go the the dollar store and buy a calendar, which has a cardboard insert that is perfect for weaving on.  Yarn at the dollar store is also only a dollar, so who can beat a craft project that you can make for less than two dollars?

The decorative bookshelf throw being woven in this picture contains eyelash fur, which makes for a fun and whimsical piece.  It will add interest to the bookshelf and give nick knacks in front of the books something to sit on.

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Draw A Picture of Your Dog

There is no reason to spend hundreds of dollars commissioning an artist to draw your dog when you can attempt to draw one yourself.  Most people have reams of unwanted paper just lying around their homes.  The blank side of a sheet of used paper is ideal for creating a work of art for the wall, such as was done with this Siberian husky drawing.  First, the Siberian husky dog was drawn with a regular number two pencil and then colored pencils were used to add pigment to this illustration.  The materials needed for this project consist of:

* a picture frame
* a regular number two pencil
* colored pencils
* an eraser
* a blending stump
* your imagination

First, decide what you want to draw, as this will be an illustration for a wall in your home.  If you are on a budget then drawing a picture for a friend is a great way to give them a gift without breaking the piggy bank.  Just remember to draw a picture of something they would enjoy displaying on their own walls.  Think of how this paper would have been discarded in the landfill, but now it is being used to create a work of art.  For this project the Siberian husky Natasha was first sketched out on the paper, which was a little creased since this was a sheet of discarded computer paper.  Since this picture is framed no one will ever see the creases, which were also worked out of the paper by continuously smoothing it back down while drawing.

Colored pencils were used to bring this dog to life.  The background mountains were inspired by the San Bernardino Mountains, which is where Natasha spent her entire life as a dog.  This picture is now displayed in a frame that had been lying away in storage, but artists on a budget can always find affordable frames at stores such as the 99 Cent Store and The Dollar Tree.  Use your imagination when it comes to drawing works of art for your own home.

Picture of the Siberian Husky Natasha was drawn on the blank side of an unwanted sheet of paper.

Picture of the Siberian Husky Natasha was drawn on the blank side of an unwanted sheet of paper.

Do you find drawing to be difficult?  Consider using a grid to help you sketch a picture.  Grid guides for drawing can be purchased at crafting stores, or you can make your own with a ruler.  Make a grid on the reference photograph and on the paper where you are creating your drawing.  The lines of the grid will be completely covered once you color over the illustration with colored pencils or oil pastels.

Print out a picture of your favorite pet if you do not want to draw.  Use photo-editing software to create an oil painting like effect to your portrait.  For a more exciting project print out the picture of your pet and use oil pastels to cover it, which will make it look like you created the illustration by hand.  Once you picture is behind a frame no one will be able to tell you did not paint or draw the lovely picture of your pet.

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Crafting Videos

The World Wide Web is a rich resource for videos on budget crafting. Simply type your favorite topic into the YouTube search engine and find short videos demonstrating how to make a myriad of easy to make crafts.  Below are some crafting videos on how to make cute items on a budget.

My favorite videos in this compilation are on how to make Christmas tree ornaments out of canning jar lids.

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Make A Cat Birthday Card

Designing a cat card is a great birthday card for any ailurophile. Buying cards at the store can get expensive, especially if you have to buy a card for each person you know.  Why not paint a picture of a cat on card stock, and turn it into a card.

Cat birthday cards are the ideal way to wish feline lovers a happy birthday!

The Maxx the cat painting on a birthday card.

Tempera paint is vibrant for painting cat illustrations on cards made of heavy duty card stock. The supplies used to create this card consist of:

  • heavy duty card stock
  • a number two pencil
  • a photograph of a favorite cat for reference
  • tempera paint
  • a paper plate for mixing colors
  • old newspapers
  • a ruler

Crafting Tip: Print out a picture of a cat on heavy duty card stock if you do not want to paint a picture of your favorite furry friend.

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Making A Glittery Necklace

Make a sparkly necklace with beads already on hand.

Make a sparkly necklace with beads already on hand.

Do you enjoy accessorizing your wardrobe with glittery necklaces? Sparkly jewelry sold at the department stores can be expensive, but designing a handmade piece can cost next to nothing.  For this project a glittery button and glittery beads were used to create a necklace that cost less than five dollars to make.

The key to saving cash is to use beads and accessories on hand rather than buying new ones for every single project.  This means the crafter may use crystal acrylic beads as opposed to real crystal beads, but the finished product will look just as dazzling.  Of course it is up to the jewelry maker to decide whether they will buy expensive beads for their projects, or to adopt a more frugal approach.

For more info: Learn how to make a sparkly button necklace.
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Make A Vermillion And White Cross Stitched Bookmark For Valentine’s Day

Today might not be Valentine’s Day, but here is a project idea that might come in handy next year. Heartfelt bookmarks are also great for readers all year round, and this is an easy project for those who love cross stitching. Here are the supplies needed to create this project:

  • plastic canvas mesh
  • scissors
  • vermilion colored yarn
  • white colored yarn
  • a tapestry needle with a large eye
  • a permanent marker
  • a heart template

Take a look at the photos the video below to see how this project was created.

A video on how to create the vermillion and white heart bookmark.

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Making A Valentine’s Day Bookmark With A Heart Template

Valentine's Day bookmarks are the perfect substitute for cards.

Valentine’s Day bookmarks are the perfect substitute for cards.

Valentine’s is one of the most enjoyable holidays when it comes to crafting ideas.  Rather than buying all your family and friends Valentines, why not try making bookmarks?  These can be constructed out of scrap pieces of card stock, which is ideal for the budget crafter that also wishes to recycle unused supplies from previous projects.  The materials needed for this project are:

  • a heart template
  • a light purple colored pencil
  • a dark salmon colored pencil
  • a scrap piece of card stock.
  • a paper cuter
  • scissors

The colors used for this bookmark were randomly selected from festive Valentine’s Day shades, but feel free to pick your favorite hues. Watch the video below to see how this useful little bookmark was created.

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