Friday, May 30, 2014

Mid-Month Tutorial #5: Zakka Life's Miniature Colored Pencils

Sorry for the lack of posting this month, guys!
Life got super crazy, so I had to pause!

I figure I'll start back up next month with the Friday Favorites...
but I really love the Mid-Month Tutorials... and even though it's half a month late,
I still wanted to get it in before the month ended!!

Tutorial #5 is Zakka Life's Miniature Colored Pencil tutorial!
It's easy, cheap, not a huge investment of time and yields great results!

These pencils don't actually write, they're just for show.

Please see the original tutorial here:


1. Round Toothpicks
2. Scissors
3. Markers
4. Sandpaper
5. (Optional) Mod Podge

Let's begin!
Step 1:
Take a single toothpick from the box and decide how long you'll want your colored pencil to be.
Zakka Life's instructions say to cut the toothpick in half... but for me, that would have been too long, proportionally, so my toothpicks are about 1.125 inches long.
A little less than half a toothpick.


Step 2:
Sand the end of your pencil so that it's nice and rounded.
I used 220 Very Fine 3M sandpaper.
 I didn't even have to take it out of the package to use it XD

Step 3:
Now it's time for coloring!
Do NOT handle your dolls while you're coloring these... you *will* get marker on your fingers,
unless you wear gloves... and it could be unintentionally transferred to your dolls, or their clothes.
I color the pencil tip first... and to color it, I just dab the marker against the toothpick tip... because toothpicks are made from a soft wood, they absorb the ink, and it spreads a little... so don't get overzealous right away with the ink application.

Then again... if you do... it's just a toothpick... there are plenty more to try again on!

Next I color the body of the pencil:
Step 4:
Let the markers dry for 24 hours.
(This is not a step in Zakka Life's instructions... but I'd rather be safe than sorry!)
Step 5:
Let's take a minute to discuss dolls and markers.

Bottom line?
They don't mix.

I've seen many a doll ruined with Sharpie markers... some intentionally, some, not so much so.

After I made these colored pencils, I let them dry for 24 hours,
then I took the darkest one and rubbed it against my doll's skin.

Light rubbing was fine, no color transfer,
but harder rubbing (like if you were going to shove it into the doll's hand between fingers)
yielded color transfer.

I wiped it off right away, and it all came off... but it still worries me that if you left a pencil in a doll's hand, color transfer would happen over time.

My solution?
Coat the pencils in Mod Podge to seal the color in.
Glossy or Matte, your choice.

I LOVE this tutorial... there is something so satisfying about coloring these pencils and seeing them come to life.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Adventurers Club: May

It's a new month, therefore, time for a new ADVENTURE!!!!

Welcome, Adventurers!

First let me say, the Adventurer's Club is alive and well...
I have just been reorganizing, working on a logo, and trying to figure out a way to make it easier for me to keep track of your submissions!

With that in mind...
 Are you ready for another month of adventure?
We've been having a lot of fun so far, I'm excited to see what adventures await!!!

There is a new ways to share your Adventures!
Join the Flickr group: The Adventurer's Club
(Monthly Theme icons will be posted there as well)
April Theme:
Someplace Scary

Is there somewhere that gives you chills?
That makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end?
Is there somewhere filled with monsters and shadows?
This month, take us someplace that scares you!

Perhaps you're new to the Adventurer's Club...
Would you like to join the Adventurer's Club?
"What is it?" you ask?
The Adventurer's Club is a monthly photo challenge.
The "theme" for the month is vague enough that you can complete the task indoors if you're not a "drag your dolly out in public" kinda person.

On the FIRST DAY of every month, I will reveal that month's theme.

There will be participation prizes...
these will be given out on a "number of months participated" basis.
There will be a 6 month and 12 month participation prize.

The months will be cumulative, because I know life happens and sometimes we might miss a month.
Although I'm thinking I might have to make an extra special prize for anyone who participates for 12 months straight!

January is a "wild card"... since I put this one up so late, you can complete this one at any time throughout the year.
If you would like to participate in the January Adventure, please do!

You can find the theme on the Adventurer's Club tab, here:
Don't feel like you have to have a masterpiece photograph either,
snap the shot with your cell phone, a point and shoot or a pro camera,
it doesn't matter, just as long as the resulting image is theme related!

How do you participate?
1. Take your photo that relates to the theme
2. Share that photo with me (via email, posting a comment with a link, etc), on our Flickr Group:
  or by tagging me, @littlebearries on Instagram!
(In the righthand side bar at the top of the page, you will see a link button back to this post)
My email is:

Please feel free to include a little caption for your image that describes what is going on, as well as any link to your own blog or website, and your doll's name, if these are things you'd like to share!

 I am currently in the middle of reworking how I share the images... to hopefully make it a little cleaner and easy to view (I'm not a fan of adding them all to the page, as it makes the one page very long)... so I'm reworking it a bit. :)