Hola April

april wallpaper

I started offering desktop wallpaper downloads on my Tumblr site in January. I missed March. I wasn’t worried about it, to be honest. Since I don’t monitor my statistics, I don’t know how many people are reading my posts, if any at all. Well, someone cared that I missed March, and she sent me a note on Tumblr. She said that she enjoyed the desktop version and would like to continue using them. That note made me smile. It reminded me of the early days of blogging, back to the days before Instagram, back to the time of steadfast blog friends and blog rolls and all that good stuff. That’s not to say that I’m hoping for anything remotely close to that now or later. I know in my heart of hearts that the future may never surpass my memories. Still. My chest surged with appreciation. Someone cared and found something I made to be useful.

Here’s the April wallpaper, a tiny little doodle of my neighbor’s fastly flowering camellia bush. I dedicate it to community and fellowship. I hope you like it, and if not, please stay tuned and maybe, just maybe, next month’s wallpaper might just be right up your alley! Anyhoo, I hope you’re enjoying Spring and happy happy April!

desktop wide
desktop standard

I made a digital version of this wallpaper, and you can find it on Tumblr. :)

New Gouache Palette

new gouache palette of bright happy colors

I spent some time last Thursday experimenting with a new gouache palette. The standard palette I use for my Food Holidays project is okay, but I really do want to work with a limited color palette (and hence minimal color mixing) for my other projects. I combed through my collection of gouache tubes and arrived at 9 colors plus two whites (zinc white for creating tints and titanium white for highlights). I’m thinking about adding black or a neutral tint for some dark darks, but I haven’t made up my mind. I made a couple of doodles (in addition to an upcoming wallpaper download) and so far so good! The colors make me, well, happy.

Of the 16 colors I sampled, I settled on the following colors. All by Holbein except Hansa Yellow, by M. Graham:

1. emerald green + zinc white
2. permanent green deep
3. hansa yellow
4. permanent green light
6. brilliant pink + zinc white
7. aqua blue + zinc white
11. flame red + brilliant orange
12. permanent yellow orange + zinc white
16. katsura blue

A Half-Drop Repeat of Sweet Potatoes and Avocados

My plate is full of ideas with little time to execute them. This kinda bums me out, to be honest. If only I could clone myself...

After weeks of feeling overwhelmed, I’ve come to my senses, finally, and I’ve decided to focus by limiting my projects and to devote my time to learning all I can about creating collections of patterns. A couple of weeks ago, I was in the process of learning how to do half-drop repeats in Photoshop. Then, distracted, I started to work on developing new ideas, but today, I picked up where I left off. I re-watched Bari J’s e-course and by using the avocados and sweet potatoes from this post as motifs, I came up with this pattern. I like it! I also started playing around with color indexing to make more color ways, and so far, it’s pretty damn tedious. But still, it would be a good thing to know. Tomorrow, I’m going to experiment with the indexed version by exporting it to Illustrator to see how it handles being converted to vector. We shall see!

PS. I’ve been binge-listening to a new-to-me podcast called Girl Tries Life with absolute vigor. Victoria Smith’s interviews and stress reduction tips are immensely helpful. BIG LOOOOOOOVE.

Food Holidays Week 5

This post was supposed to be for Sunday, February 3. I’m way late, but oh well. That just happens sometimes. In fact, I’ve yet to paint week 6 which was scheduled to post on the 10th! I’ll get caught up in time, I’m sure (or rather — I hope!). Anyhoo, this post celebrates the following food holidays. As usual, I’m going by the Wikipedia for reference, official or not!

January 27 - chocolate cake
February 2 - tater tots
1st Saturday in February - ice cream for breakfast

Cover of a Cover

Apartamento Magazine, cover by Nazario Luque

Don’t worry. I have been true to my word and haven’t purchased any new magazines. Apartmento No.22 was my husband’s purchase, along with the latest issue of Believer during our last visit to Barnes & Noble (yep, he’s a prolific reader. He makes me look bad by reading real books real fast). Between the two magazines, I have not been able to get my eyes off this one. I’m obsessed. Have you seen it in the flesh? If you haven’t please do check it out now. The cover was illustrated by comic artist Nazario Luque with what appears to be pen and watercolor. Isn’t it a beauty?

As usual, I haven’t read any of the articles, but I flipped through it, and have mentally bookmarked several pages I may revisit in the future. In the meantime, here are a few pages from Nazario’s feature:

Following are a few pages from the home tour of Françoise Mouly. Her flat is everything I imagine how a true New Yorker might live.

Food Holidays Week 4

I know, I know, this post is waaaaaay late. Okay, here’s more junk food, admittedly some of my die-hard favorites in what seems to be a previous life.

January 23 - pies (homemade berry pie slices, banana cream pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, whoopi pies, Mc D’s famous apple pie, meat pie, and a Korean chocolate pie with cream filling in fast food packaging)

January 24 - peanut butter (pb and jelly sandwiches, cookies, and peanut butter cups)

Sick Girl Chronicles

sick girl chronicles logo in the making

I started a new blog called Sick Girl Chronicles. Towards the end of 2017, I got sick. My doctors didn’t know how to label my condition but to call it idiopathic. The good news is that I’m on the mend! I was going to share about all this stuff right here on Me Make Marks, but it didn’t feel quite right. I guess it’s because I’ve had blogs where I mixed random topics from front-end web development and programming to graphic design to personal topics like my fashion wishlists and cute puppy pictures. How about pictures of my food and snacks interspersed between tips on HTML? In retrospect, the wide breadth of topics left my readers confused... along with myself. I don’t want to do that this time. So, if you’re at all interested in holistic healing or if you’re going through something similar, please check out Sick Girl Chronicles. Let’s connect!

Anywayz, just so you know, I’m gonna continue blogging here, too. Me Make Marks will always be home.