Tuesday, July 07, 2015

new coloring page in the shop!

I cannot believe the response to the coloring bundle that I launched a few weeks ago! I've been busy drawing and I've got a couple more coloring page offerings over in the shop. Five pages of mandalas and five pages of doodles for coloring.

And if you scroll to the bottom of this post I've also got a free mandala coloring page for you to download, print and color. Enjoy!

Download mandala coloring page HERE

Monday, July 06, 2015

wood burned tabletop

I love wood burning projects and when I recently found a round piece of wood in our shed I thought it would be the perfect surface to burn and transform into a side tabletop. 

Since it was round, I thought a mandala design on top would be perfect! 
To begin, I used a compass and a ruler to map out my design. 

Using my Wood Hollow Creative Woodburner Pen I got to work burning my design.

This kind of work can be tricky. To begin, it takes a lot of time to burn into a piece of wood this big and your hands will get really sore. I like to work on something this large in stages over the course of a couple of days. 

It's also tricky because hard and cheap wood (like the piece that I used) can have a lot of grain and knots in it. The process can be challenging because the grain and the knots won't burn the evenly- there will be a lot of "interruptions" in the design. I personally don't mind. I actually love the character of wood grain and the imperfections but you could use a softer wood with less visible grain for a smooth burn.

After a lot of hours and a sore hand I finished the mandala. 
The last step was to use brackets to attach the tabletop to metal legs

I've been wood burning for a long time! Check out some of my favorite tips and tricks HERE

Check out all of my wood burning projects below.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

mandala magic and GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

My summer line up of online classes kicks off with Mandala Magic on Monday, June 6th. In this fun little class I will be sharing my own techniques, tricks and tips for creating mandalas from a variety of materials. You can read all about Mandala Magic and the rest of my summer classes over in the shop HERE

Check out a little preview below.

mandala from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

savory popcorn

I love popcorn so much that I end up eating it every night! And while I always love good ol' butter and salt, I really enjoy coming up with unique flavors to add to my popcorn. Today I thought I would share three of my favorite savory popcorn recipes- they are the perfect way to make popcorn way more interesting and delicious! 

When I make popcorn I typically pop about 1/2 cup of kernals in our air popper. Once the popcorn is finished popping, I add melted butter. Keep in mind that the mixtures of flavor can all be altered depending on your taste.

Sweet Curry Popcorn:
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
dash of salt

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn:
2 teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary
1/4 cup of shredded or graded parmesan cheese
dash of salt

Lemon Cilantro Popcorn:
2-3 teaspoons of fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
dash of salt

Monday, June 29, 2015

lettering with makewells: the art of the ampersand

Hi guys! It's Megan and I am back today to talk all about the ampersand.
I have a love/hate relationship with the ampersand. 
I love it: it's flexible. A super character. You can draw it in virtually infinite ways and people still seem to understand its meaning. I pretty much consider it the 27th letter of the alphabet. it can stand alone or join other characters together. 
I love the ampersand. Yet I avoid it. Because for some reason, this character has been tricky for me to draw. Until now, because I'm here guest posting on Alisa's blog today with the intention of mastering this tricky little fella'. 
To start off, I broke the ampersand character down into 3 basic categories:

I then approached drawing practice, the same way I did the lettering practices. 1 Letter, 100 ways. I mixed in practicing all three styles above. (since my style of lettering is more calligraphic, I am not as drawn to the contemporary style, so you won't see much of this in my examples). 

Remember to keep in mind that even the slightest variation can totally change the feel of each character.
I mentioned before using tracing paper for practice. If you struggle drawing the ampersand (or any letter/character), print out a few different fonts from the computer, and using tracing paper, let them guide you as you draw the basic shapes. 

I played around with flourishes and embellishments, line weight, and any variation I could think of. Below are some favorites from my practice session:

I had so much fun practicing drawing ampersands, that I decided to take it up a notch and create a larger illustration based on this simple, yet complex, shape. 
After very lightly penciling in a line drawing of a traditional ampersand, I created a floral illustration.

I made sure to use a black pen that didn't bleed (such as a micron, sharpie pen, or copic marker). 
Next, I used my favorite watercolors, Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Watercolors, to fill in my doodles. 

And just for fun, if you enjoy Alisa's coloring pages, I created a fun page of my own for you to download and enjoy! Download HERE

Have fun lettering and creating! 

You can check out all of my lettering posts HERE and don't forget to share your progress using #redefinecreativelettering. 

Xo, Megan
@Makewells (instagram)


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