Monday, July 30, 2018

Music Monday (52): Evelyn King and Daryl Hall & John Oats

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: I haven’t been listening to anything new. Instead, I’m still listening to old favorites. My first pick is Love Come Down by Evelyn “Champagne” King. I love this song, and each time I hear it, I just want to sing along….

My second pick is I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) by Daryl Hall & John Oates. It’s one of my favorite songs by them.

Have you listened to any music by Evelyn King or Daryl Hall & John Oates? If so, what are your favorite songs?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Music Monday (51) The Ting Tings, Ziggy Marley, & En Vogue

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Last week, I didn’t listen to any new music. Instead, I alternated between playlists comprised of my old favorites. One song I listened to was Wrong Club by The Ting Tings. Gosh, I still love this song a lot. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been four years since it first came out, but it is what it is….

Andrea & Adri: Hey all, it's Andrea and Adri. We just wanted to drop in to share new music we've been listening to over the past several weeks. Last week we had the opportunity to attend an En Vogue performance. We've always loved their music and didn't realize they released a new album this year. Needless to say, their new music is amazing, and we've loved their song Rocket since we saw them perform it. Now we need to purchase their album, so we can add their music to the songs we listen to on repeat. You can check out their video below:

Andrea: I was always a big fan of Bob Marley's music and recently saw his son, Ziggy Marley, perform live on The Talk. As an audience member, I received a copy of his latest album, Rebellion Rises, and instantly fell in love with his music. His music is now on my workout playlist. :-) 

What are you listening to this week?

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Watercolor: Places #2

Comments:This is another watercolor painting I worked on only because I wanted to paint a potted plant. My original idea for it involved the tree with a blank space in the background and maybe a shadow. However, the more I sketched it, the more I liked the idea of the tree being in front of a wall with a single window. I didn’t record the process for it since I only spent about an hour on it from start to finish. I like the colors, and my favorite part is still the tree...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review: Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott

957447Title: Flatland
Series: n/a
Author: Edwin A. Abbott
Source/Format: Borrowed from my sister; Hardcover
More Details: Science Fiction
Publisher/Publication Date: First published in 1884

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

A satiric look at another planet which gives us a fresh look at our own...

I read Flatland by Edwin A Abbott simply because my sister enjoyed it so much and told me about it. It was just as great as she said it was going to be. Flatland is a satirical look at some outdated etiquette; perception of self and others; dimensions and class systems among other subjects. And it was told from the perspective of a square forced to question everything about, well, everything. Yes, I do mean a literal square. As odd as it sounds, the narrator worked for a story like Flatland. Abbott created a truly fascinating and intricate history and society. Parts of it were funny. Other parts were serious. And some of the descriptions made it sound like personified geometry homework. Flatland was kind of a ridiculous story but also a really good one. You'd  have to read it to fully understand what I mean....

Monday, July 16, 2018

Music Monday (50) Dainá, CHVRCHES

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: I’ve been listening to more of CHVRCHES music. Never Say Die is another one of my favorite songs from their latest album.

I'm also listening to music by Dainá. Recently, she released her EP: Chapter 28.  There are nine tracks including a remix of one of her earlier songs. There are gems like Yeah Yeah, 1st Lady, Shook, and remiX featuring Paigey Cakey, Tokyo Diiva, & Nya Lee. As a whole, I love the sound and vibe of the EP a lot. Now, let’s talk about that remix for a second. The original was called X (you can watch the music video HERE) which was already a great song with a catchy beat. RemiX ramps it up a notch, which is why it’s one of my favorite songs from Chapter 28. You can find the songs on Dainá's channel: HERE

What are you listening to?

Sunday, July 15, 2018


The more I work in my sketchbook the more I’ve thought about the ways I’m currently using it. And I realized that I haven’t blogged about my process, shared any pictures of my favorite pages, or anything like that. It’s mainly due to the fact that I’ve spent more time creating art and haven’t stopped to consider if it would make a good blog post, instagram picture, or some other kind of content. I’ve essentially been enjoying the process and learning as much as I can from it. In my sketchbook, I can be as messy or composition-conscious as I want to be. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, because it’s my sketchbook.

What I’m saying is that I use my sketchbook to experiment. I bounce around between realism and cartoonish styles, even going as far as to combine elements that I like if it seems right for whatever I'm working on. I have a lot of pages that are unfinished, some dedicated to pose/anatomy practice; concepts for watercolor, acrylic, or digital paintings; and random bits and pieces of landscape and buildings. I’ve tried out a few different things that I might otherwise have never gotten around to because I didn’t want to spend the time doing them digitally. Ironically enough, this whole discovery process involved a box of crayons.

While organizing my room I found an old box of ordinary Crayloa Crayons—the basic 24 color set—in a bin of art supplies I haven’t looked at in years. Crayons, just like ballpoint pens, are another art supply that I like to sketch with. It challenges me since I can’t go back and erase all of the lines I just made. So, even if there’s something I don’t like, I’ll have to incorporate it into the sketch anyway. Also, it’s a lot of fun to work with all the different colors. Having more options encourages me to take more risks. After a while, I wasn’t satisfied with just the basic 24 set. I wanted more. And the great thing about crayons is that they’re cheap, like, really cheap. I bought a 120 count set for about 6-7 dollars from Michaels with a coupon, because drawing with crayon is



And I can save my more expensive supplies.

So, my sketchbook is just that: my sketchbook. There doesn’t need to be any stress. There doesn’t need to be any pressure to create content for the blog or twitter or anywhere else. I may share some more pages, or I might not. I’m just going to make art.

What are your thoughts on sketchbooks? Do you have one? Are you planning to start one?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Watercolor: Places #1

Comments: Lately, I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of fuss I go through while preparing to start another a painting. That means no tape at the edges, perfect lines, or overthinking. I’ve essentially been adding color to sketches without worrying if my pencil lines show through, and it’s been a lot of fun. I’m getting more done, and I’m generally happy with the results. One of the pieces I worked on was this street. I liked the shape of the structures and the simplicity. I was also experimenting with colors, which is something I need to do more often....

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Review: Art Deco by Victoria Charles & Klaus H. Carl

8879754Title: Art Deco
Series: n/a
Author: Victoria Charles, Klaus H. Carl
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library; hardcover
More Details: Nonfiction; Art
Publisher/Publication Date: Parkstone Press; March 1, 2013

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

Art Deco style was established on the ashes of a disappeared world, the one from before the First World War, and on the foundation stone of a world yet to become, opened to the most undisclosed promises. Forgetting herself in the whirl of Jazz Age and the euphoria of the “Années Folles”, the Garçonne with her linear shape reflects the architectural style of Art Deco: to the rounded curves succeed the simple and plain androgynous straight line… Architecture, painting, furniture and sculpture, dissected by the author, proclaim the druthers for sharp lines and broken angles. Although ephemeral, this movement keeps on influencing contemporary design.

I’ve always been kind of interested in Art Deco. Not for architectural reasons, because I’m not an architect. Instead, I was interested in the look of it, for the aesthetics. I decided to pick up this book because I was going to do some art inspired by Art Deco and wanted to know more about it before I dove into a long, time consuming project. This book wasn’t very long. It was more of a technical read that delved into a lot of the history about the subject. Despite that, I liked this book a lot. It was divided into three primary sections: Architecture, Painted and Sculpted Décor; Furniture and Furniture Sets; and Jewelry. I liked all three, but my favorite one was the section on jewelry even though it was the smallest with the least amount of pages.

This book went over things I already knew about and other facts I wasn’t familiar with. It covered some of the influences and work that went into making Art Deco what it is. There was a lot of information accompanied by photo examples of work by noteworthy architects and industrial designers—such as Donald Deskey—that I hadn’t heard of before. There was one quote that seemed to best represent what most of the book is trying to explain:

“They did not in any way disavow tradition, but rather reconnected with it, reuniting art with functionality and developing a contemporary expression which is the obvious result of previous expressions” (p.120).

Even now, there’s such a contemporary feel to some of the furniture and buildings. And I found it interesting to read about how a broader range of building materials and techniques contributed to its creation. Those things attributed to the freedom to create a style that was both a work of art and practical because it was functional in daily life. There were paragraphs that talked about light weight/ reinforced concrete and how “marble panels can be fixed more firmly to it than brick” (p.24). There were pages that further delved into the finer details that explained the many painted and sculpted décor, ironwork, and panels among other things.

“Art Deco no longer sought to please through unnecessary ornamentation, but rather through moderation: balanced forms, harmony of proportions and tones, and a contrast of lights and shades—such are its essential principals” (p.113).

I have a better understanding of Art Deco, and I’ve really come to appreciate it . It was fascinating how buildings became art, and furniture became fixtures in a room in the same way someone would hang an art print. Needless to say, this book was good...

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Friday 56 (135) & Book Beginnings: Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

A satiric look at another planet which gives us a fresh look at our own.

Beginning: "I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy reader, who are privileged to live in Space."

56: "At this period, square houses were still everywhere permitted, though discouraged by a special tax."

Comments: I borrowed my sister's copy of Thrilling Tales: Science Fiction Short Stories just so I could read Edwin A. Abbott's Flatland. This story is ridiculous. But it's also a great read. My 56 comes from section 2. What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Quarterly Recap: April-June

It feels like it was just yesterday when I sat down to write the last quarterly recap post, even though I know it was three months ago. So much has gone on, but I feel like I’m reading less—specifically, I’m having a harder time finding books I want to read. I do have to say that the books I finished reading were ones I really loved. So, that counts for something. Anyway, on to the recap!
April Reviews:

May Reviews:

June Reviews:

Other April Posts:

Other May Posts:

Other June Posts:
I want to get back into the habit of reading more often; although, this one depends on what books I come across. Currently, I have some eARCs that I’m excited to dive into, including Jasmine Guillory’s The Proposal, and Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett. I also want to make some more art related posts since I really enjoy putting them together....

Monday, July 2, 2018

Music Monday (49) Icon For Hire, and Hidden Citizens

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 

Breana: Over the weekend, I started listening to Icon for Hire again, particularly their second album which is self-titled. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Scripted (first album) a lot. I also love the sound of the second album because of songs like Sugar and Spice, Nerves, Pop Culture, Hope of Morning, and Rock and Roll Thugs among others. So, my pick for today is Watch Me. It’s a good song. I like the combination of pop and rock sounds on this track due to how seamlessly it blends together. The end result is pretty awesome…

Adri: Wait, I'm back. I have something to talk about. I’ve been listening to Hidden Citizens for quite some time. There are so many songs I want to talk about such as Stay Alive, Heroes Fall, and Immortalized... However, for today, I decided on my current find and the one that introduced me to the group. My picks are Down Come the Rain featuring Adam Christopher and Moonlight Sonata.

What are you listening to this week?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

I Made A Sketchbook...

In my mid-year resolution check-in post, I mentioned that I wanted to get a smaller sketchbook so my goal of finishing one was more manageable. In the end, I chose to make a sketchbook since I wanted to try out a different technique of binding the signatures together instead of using staples. There are a number of good tutorials on youtube, but the best ones I found were Following the White Rabbit DIY journal/sketchbook tutorial series that you can find HERE. The steps were straightforward, and the visual/ real-time tutorial made it easier to pick up on what had to go where and when. . . .

Supplies I used...
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Turquoise blue/green embroidery floss
  • Pink Card stock
  • Regular old tape
  • Ribbon (black and pink)
  • Artist’s Loft 70 sheet count drawing pad; 11 in x 14 in

I had a lot of fun with this project. It was easier than I thought it was going to be. What I mean by that is that I way overestimated the difficulty of it, because it’s not difficult at all. The paper I chose was just some sketch paper I had. Because of the size, I cut the sheets in half at the center before folding them three or four at time to create my signatures. The actual binding part took a little bit of
time to get used to, but once I did, it was mostly smooth sailing from there.

After my signatures were bound together, I moved on to constructing the cover. I thought “oh hey, I’m just going to do something simple,” which was followed by “this is going to be quick.” No. that’s not how it turned out, because I added a pocket and a ribbon (to tie it shut) at the back. The cover itself was easy to put together since it’s literally three pieces cut from a single sheet of card stock, which I taped together with tape I had lying around my house. Where it got complicated was the pocket and the ribbon tie. I decided to braid the ribbon after spending at least ten minutes deciding how I wanted the pocket to look. I’m not complaining about the time I spent on it, because I like the look of it. And the skills I learned during the process will come in handy when I attempt to make another sketchbook.

Overall, I was happy with the results. If I do this again, I’ll probably use different materials such as stronger tape—preferably something with a pattern—and I would replace the card stock with cardboard and a fabric overlay as a finish. Also, my binding wasn’t as tight as I wanted it to be and it may have had to do with the type of string I used. It was quite thin. So, next time around, I might look into getting a different type that’s a little stiffer, like twine.

Have you considered making a sketchbook or journal?

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