Stunning Custom Notebooks That Make Journaling Fun

I am a fan of daily journaling – specifically regarding gratitude, appreciation and goal setting, so I am always on the look-out
for journals that actually inspire me to write in them. RedBubble artists design some of the most amazing spiral and
hardcover notebooks that make it easier to follow through on this positive daily routine. Check these out:

 

I have chosen RedBubble as one of the affiliates for Avalon-Media not only because they make high-quality products, but because they make it easy for independent and new artists to showcase their work and bring them in front of a diverse  audience. A purchase of one of these stunning designs, not only makes it possible for me to continue to bring you content, but it also helps those artists, who at no point lose any of their profit, by me, promoting them.

Thank you

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

Claudia

Colds, Binge Watching And Tea

Colds,Binge Watching And Tea

 

Disclaimer: The following post contains links to my own art, and affiliate links, which pay for my art supplies and design programs – opinions are my own. 
Glad you called first before coming over for coffee, because I really do not want to give you the cold. I can send you some cookies if you like, maybe some thumbprint cookies? Those are my current obsession.

I am truly not used to colder weather anymore, after spending years in Florida, and while I hate taking time off, I know that sometimes it is better to step back, instead of producing mediocre designs. Okay, some of the stuff I made today was pretty awful, so I decided to binge watch stuff instead. The designs you  see here today were made last week, so they are actually ready for public consumption.

No, I do not simply watched Netflix or Amazon, and ingest a few seasons of the newest thriller, or mystery (I cannot stomach most comedies out there), even though I was tempted, I thought I could, at least, watch something worthwhile. Hey, who says having a cold is an excuse to not learn something. As long as it does not require physical movement, and I have a hot cup of tea next to me, it is the next best thing to working.

 

Creative Live: 

If you have not checked out Creative Live and their live stream that features anything an artist’s heart can desire, then you have been missing out. You can watch the above-mentioned life stream, but also pick out some of the online lessons you have missed – may it be about photography or content marketing – by purchasing one of the episodes. I try to catch as many shows live as I can – but because of my schedule that is not always possible, so I am happy that they have that purchase option. Check out this wonderful creation by Chase Charvis

 

Inside Quest 

You might know about Questthose bars that taste yummy but are really, truly good for you – but did you know that one of the owners of Quest has this amazing show that features the most successful and creative people on the planet? He interviews everyone from whom we can learn from – starting at Tim Ferriss, and Ryan Holiday. You should really check out this motivational tips and tricks. And eat one of his bars while you are at it. They truly are yummy!

 

Vyrt 

Yup, that is one strange name for a streaming service, but they are truly unique and worth checking out, especially if you are into music. The creation of Jared Leto – yes, that Oscar-winning creative genius, Joker Madman Method Actor and Rockstar – with which he has managed to create a platform for interesting content from vegan cooking tips by Brendan Brazier (Thrive), to their shows, and behind the scene material to other artists and musicians like Linkin Park, Boy Epic and more. Totally binge-worthy.

 

What are your favorite streaming platforms, or youtube channels that you find completely binge-worthy? Which ones do you think I should check out?

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Claudia

 

The above post is a part of the following blog hops:

Weekend Coffee Share

Be Inspired # 190

 

 

Words – Typography On My Mind

 

I decided to try something new this week, venture outside of my artistic comfort zone and embrace the creation of some typographic posters. I do this every once in a while, move my focus upon a subject matter or a creative technique I have never tried before, and dive in. Sometimes, I find myself completely lost and drop it like a hot potato, but other times, like this week, I find a new creative outlet I actually enjoy. I enjoyed it enough to open a printable only Etsy store “No Plain Paper”.

These designs, like all of my other art work, are still available in my RedBubble and Zazzle stores, so you can purchase them on the many applications available there, like mugs, or as gratitude journals.

What do you do to push yourself outside of your comfort zone?

This week is the first time I am participating in the To-Know-Me Tuesday, where we are asked to post 10 things about ourselves.

So here they are:

  1. I was born in Germany
  2. My Dad was an organic gardener, in charge of our local gardening club, teaching green gardening techniques. I learned a lot from him on that subject.
  3. I speed read – not as fast as I would like, yet – but I can get through a full-size novel in about 2 hours.
  4. I am a fan of Chase Charvis, Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferris
  5. I can not dance – at all. Neither can my husband, so that works well.
  6. I wrote, directed and performed in my first play when I was 10
  7. I want to write the script to a featured film
  8. I am a published Author. One of my books is available on Amazon
  9. I can lip-read in two languages  – German and English
  10. I wish there were 36 hours in the day – then I would probably find a way to fill them all, and wish there were 48 hours, lol.

Your turn!

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Be Inspired Link Party

Amaze Me Monday

Inspire Me Wednesday

Tuesdays With A Twist

Manic Monday

Releasing Anxiety – Learning To Say No

Releasing Anxiety - Learning To Say No

Overwhelmed, and over-stressed, not just something must of us only suffer throughout the holiday season, but rather all year long. No matter if you are your own boss, an artists trying to create on your time off, or work in your dream job, stress catches up with everyone of us at least every once in a while.

I am not an exception. But I am thankful that I have come across a little trick to keep at least some of this stress at bay – saying no. Not just to what others want me to do. Yes, that is important, because the demands of others upon our time and energy can be draining, but I am also saying no to myself.

There are always so many things I want to do, accomplish and create, that it  can feel like I am drowning in want to do lists, and should do lists. But there is no way I could ever create EVERYTHING I have on those lists, so I learned to tell myself no.

Floral - by Claudia H. Blanton

Floral – by Claudia H. Blanton

I gratefully said no to the following items on my want-to-do list

1. Post every day on this blog (heck, I had the Flu, work almost full-time, and run my own business, there is simply not enough time in the day)
2. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
3. Bake multiple batches of cookies during the week – I limited myself to once a week baking.
4. Have all holiday shopping done by end of November. No one will care when I bought them their present.
5. Work on multiple book projects simultaneously. I am finishing up my Flash Fiction book, publish it and then work on the next project.
6… and many more

This was an important decision to make, one that kept me from re-living those anxiety-filled moments, where I constantly worried about not doing enough. Those moments stole my sleep, and any type of ability to relax, and stay focused upon the most important aspects of my life – my family. It is hard to enjoy someone’s company, I realized, when their attention is on what he or she should be doing instead, making those around us feel like they are not as important.

Taking charge, and saying no to myself allowed me to make that healthy shift from anxiety to true productivity.

Do you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at times? Are there any items on your list you could let go off?

Christmas Cheer Postcard

Christmas Cheer Postcard

One thing I do not let go off, are my gratitude lists. And because it is Friday, I am adding 5 things I am grateful for right now, to this post:

1. My thick red favorite sweater. That piece of clothing has become my best buddy over the last few weeks. I just wish I had multiples of the exact same one – warm, soft and cozy.
2. Coffee – of course. I am always cold – see above – so a hot cup of coffee is always by my side.
3. The loudest cat I have ever met, but who happens to have chosen us as his family. My goodness, I have had many cats, but never one as demanding and loud as this one. He talks. To me, the dogs and whoever is willing to listen.
4. Sleeping in – I was actually able to sleep in a little yesterday, which has been rare lately. That felt good
5. Silence – at this very moment, it is absolutely quiet in here – no barking, no talking cat – he is asleep – the kids are quietly busy, and the phone is not ringing. Ahh, this is nice!

I hope you have a lot of things to celebrate and be grateful for as well.
Today’s post is part of the following blog hops:

Friday Finds

Share With Me

What Are You Doing – Blog Hop

Inspire Me

Celebrate The Small Things

Colors, Shapes And Design – A Weekend Coffee Share Post

Glad you came over for a cup of coffee. Sorry, that I did not have time to bake, but I brought my favorite cookies to share. They have chocolate in the middle. I hope you like them.

How was your week? Mine was busy, filled with working on designs, emerging myself in the colors and shapes that hopefully create something people will enjoy. I enjoy them. I don’t think I could try to sell something, I would not believe in or would not want to hang in my own home.

I love being an artist. Do you love what you do? I hope you do. Despite the fact that I work 15 hour days on average, it does not feel like I am working. It does not matter, if I am writing, or if I am creating visual art pieces to sell, it does not seem like work, simply because  I love it. I hope you are lucky enough to have a job like that. I surely wish that for you.

Colors and shapes are fun. Even though I have been mostly working with roses and other flowers over the last few days, sometimes I stray from it and work with other shapes. Like the above silhouette. A classic shape, that feels so “French” to me. Speaking of “French”, do you  speak it? I have tried and failed. Besides the fact that English is my second language (German is my first), I read Dutch, speak a few words of Turkish and Arabic, and can understand basic Italian, I have never been able to get my head around French. Not because I have not tried. I have, really.

As a kid, I traveled a lot (including to France). I wish I still had some pictures of my travels with my parents in Europe, but that box (amongst a few other things), was stolen when we had our stuff in storage a few years ago. But I got my memories, and stories. And I hold the colors I saw dear to my heart, hoping to bring some of them into the designs I create. Have you traveled much? Where are your favorite places to travel to? (Mine is Bardolino, Lake Garda, Italy, and Verona – also in Italy).

I am sorry that I don’t have much time today. I still have to run to the store, get some fresh veggies for dinner. Maybe the next time you can come over, you can stay for dinner, just let me know what you like. As long as it is not meat. It will be a vegan dinner, sorry. For stuff with meat, you would have to talk to my husband.

Thanks for stopping by!

See you next week!

Claudia

Celebrate The Small Things – Rose Edition

Hi,  everyone! It is time again to celebrate all that we are thankful for. Please stop by to say hi to Lexa Cain, our wonderful host of the “Celebrate The Small Things” Blog Hop. As always, it is time to share our gratitude, and I hope you will join us!

What am I grateful for this week?

I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to express myself creatively via my art this week, working mainly with flowers, but other subjects as well. I find roses to be my favorite flower to work with. It has been a lot of fun!

I am grateful that a very unique Asian supermarket opened its door in our neighborhood. Their vegetable and fruit selections are enormous, and as vegetarians and vegans our family goes through a lot of vegetables. We are so excited about that. (well, we are foodies, all of us. We used to own a restaurant, so there is no getting us away from food).

I am also grateful that we had a couple days of cooler weather, even though it is back in the mid 90’s, at least we had some heat relief for a brief moment.

What are you grateful for this week? Why not write about it, and share your link with us here. Blessings!

Claudia

Featured Artist Of The Week – Octavi Navarro

 

Pixels Hu by Octavi Navarro features fun designs that drew me in because of the artist’s unique ability to draw from video games, and bring that inspiration to life in digital applicable art. I had a chance to connect with him over the last few days and allowed me share some insights into his work and life as an artist.

 

 

What is the main inspiration behind your art?

I don’t think I can point out just one source of inspiration. The ideas behind my works always come in a very natural way, sometimes while watching a movie, playing a video game or reading a book. It’s really important for me to tell an interesting story in my illustrations, something that feels touching to me in some way, so these kind of sources are always useful.

 

What are the techniques you use and why?

I try to get as close as possible to the classic pixel art feeling of the early 90’s video games, but mixed with my own painting techniques. I’m pretty obsessed with lighting and shadows so I use the techniques that allow me to achieve the effects I want, even if it moves away from the “purist” idea of pixel art.

This charming technique is actually one of the aspects that drew me to your art in the first place, so I think you succeeded with your mission. So, how did you get started as an Artist?

As far as I remember I’ve been drawing and painting all my life. I was a very shy kid so I always used my drawings as a way to express myself. While working as a graphic designer in a technology company, I started looking for illustration clients and that’s how I started my career as a freelance children’s books illustrator. I had lots of fun those years but at one point I wanted to make something more personal. Something that really talked about my personality and my feelings. Pixel art was the best medium I could think of to make that possible.

How can people get in contact with you?

I can be contacted from wy website: www.pixelshuh.com
Also, I try to be pretty active on the social networks too, so people can find me on Twitter (@pixelshuh), Facebook (www.facebook.com/pixelshuh), Behance (www.behance.net/onavarro), Dribbble (dribbble.com/pixelshuh), DeviantArt (octavinavarro.deviantart.com), Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/octavinavarro), and of course Redbubble (www.redbubble.com/people/pixelshuh).
Those who like my work can also support it on Patreon: www.patreon.com/pixelshuh

Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me today!

As always, please remember to support independent artists. Independent artists create a unique variety of creative art pieces, that are always worth a second look. You can find something for every taste and in every style. Thank you!

 

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