happy and creative halloween

We really don't do much for Halloween but it has become a tradition around here to play what I like to call "creative make believe" on the blog! This year we had some fun with a woodland fairy theme. When you combine a few photos in the backyard, some photoshop tricks and creativity- you are able to make a little magic! Wishing you all a safe and creative Halloween!    

You can see last year HERE and the years before here, here and here.


To see more posts on what I like to call "creative make believe" head on over HERE



cardamom pumpkin crepes

While I love to cook, Andy does most of the cooking around here and he comes up with the yummiest recipes for our family! One our favorites are his pumpkin crepes with cardamom. Cardamom is an aromatic spice from India and it adds a sweet spicy flavor to food (a little like cinnamon) and pairs really well with pumpkin. These crepes are so delicious and are perfect for a warm and cozy fall morning.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups milk
2 T butter
2 eggs
1/2 can of pumpkin
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
2 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
1 t cardamom ( keep in mind that a little cardamom goes a long way)

Begin by warming the milk and butter on medium heat until the butter is melted.
Pour mixture into a bowl.
Mix in the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla.
In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients and spices.
Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
Heat a crepe pan or non stick skillet.
Melt a teaspoon of coconut oil.
Pour batter in the pan and twirl or move the pan around until the batter thins out.
Flip and cook the other side.
Serve crepes with your favorite filling or sprinkle with your favorite topping!


365 sketchbook project from makewells





Hello everyone! It's Megan from Makewells here again and today I'm excited to share a glimpse into my personal sketchbook! 

I'm currently working through a very daunting 365 project - meaning, every day for 365 days I complete and post (to instagram) a page in my sketchbook.  This project has been so rewarding so far, and as I write this, I'm currently on day 150! 

Today I'm going to share some of the approaches I take to filling up a new page with art each day. These aren't process and supply tips, as much as they are just little clues into how my brain works each day when I work through a page. 

One thing I love to do, is layer materials. 



I often get asked what materials I use, and to be honest, I tend to use everything. Really, I use a lot of different supplies. 

Some of my favorite supplies are: Uniball Signo Gel Pens, Dr. Ph Martin's Watercolors, Holbein Acryla Gouache paints, Golden Fluid acrylics and high flow acrylics, Prismacolor colored pencils, micron pens, sharpies, and lot's of awesome, cheap  acrylic craft paints. 


There is no better way to figure out how a material will work on top of (or beneath) another than by just experimenting. For me, it's always trial and error. A lot of times, when a page has a lot of layers, it's actually because there were a lot of "errors" that came before! Happy accidents are my way of saying "Eww, I don't like that" and painting over it. 


By experimenting with the materials, I'm able to discover things first hand and treat each page in my sketchbook as a chance to learn something new. 

Another approach I often take is to really experiment with color:



Some days pick random colors (as well as black and white) and challenge myself to make them work together. Or, I'll put unexpected colors in a subject matter (below: the green in the pug's face and violet in the cat's fur). Other days I think of colors that contrast each other and use those. 





Just like my first approach, it's all about trying things when it comes to my sketchbook. It's a place to explore and discover!

I also love exploring similar themes in my book:



If I stumble on a design or floral pattern that I love, I may repeat that for a few days, trying different colors and materials. 



Often times, when I'm "stuck" getting started on that day's page, I'll flip through my own book for inspiration.  The similar themes building in my daily pages are : abstract floral designs, animals, fun phrases, and... more flowers :)

Some days I try something and it just doesn't work. But I use that for future reference.  It's good to push yourself to try new things, but if a subject matter or material isn't enjoyable to you, then don't force it! 

Another approach I take is to incorporate patterns:



Polka dots, dashes, plus signs, and any other little bit of repeated mark. Sometimes I add patterns in the background only,



while other times I let them appear in my subject matter.

And lastly, I try to take risks.


























































































A self portrait? Why not. That crazy flamingo (above) was a huge step away from what I had been doing previously in my book. But it led to a few more pages of experimenting with that style, using the bold black lines and messy brush strokes. 

I hope this helps give a little insight into how I approach my sketchbook and inspires you to see your own sketchbook as a place to experiment and play!  If I had to sum it up in one way, it'd be this: 




Thanks for having me on Alisa's blog! You can follow my progress on instagram under #makewells365. 

Xo, Megan
@Makewells (instagram)

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aztec pattern painted pumpkins

I've been painting pumpkins during the fall for a very long time- so long that I kinda consider myself a pioneer of pumpkin painting! Back in 2010 my pretty painted pumpkins tutorial went viral and since then it has become a yearly tradition of mine to come up with a variety of unique pumpkin tutorials with the hope to inspire others to push the boundaries with paint and a pumpkin! 

Every year I like to try and come up with some kind of pattern to paint on my pumpkins. I think pattern pumpkins have become my favorite to create and display on our porch! This year I thought it would be fun to make some aztec pattern pumpkins. 

Typically when I create most of my painted pumpkins I don't make much of a plan- I simply jump right in but these designs (even though they are pretty simple) I sketched out and planned.
When it comes to painting pumpkins, I always start with a base coat. I used black for the large pumpkin and once it was dry, I sketched out my design with a white paint pen. The rest was basically filling in that design with color and small embellishments.

Even though these pumpkins are a little more simple than most of my others, I LOVE the way they turned out! They are colorful, bold and a really fun fall accent.
Looking for more pumpkin decorating inspiration? 

You can read all about what I call "the art of decorating a pumpkin" HERE

OR 

check out all of the different pumpkin decorating tutorials below!