Alphabet City Art Challenge: S-Z

Alphabet City Art Challenge Blog Post S thru Z_CITY S thru Z

It is time for the 3rd (but not final) recap of the Alphabet City Art Challenge!  I have decided to dedicate a post to the last group of letters and then do a full year recap.  If this is your first time hearing about this Challenge you can read the Introduction Post and the First Recap and Second Recap to catch up!

As usual I will start with a look at all 8 illustrations that make up this group:

City Illustration Boxes S thru Z by Brenda ZapotoskyI want to note that I did change one illustration since posting it on IG.  I revised the Visitors Center which used to have a “TI” on its sign.  I thought “TI” was a universal term for tourist information, but it turns out it is not… So I switched it to a generic star.  Ha ha!  If you want to see the original you can find it HERE.

I am really happy with this group of illustrations.  Some of the more difficult letters are part of this batch and not only did I find something to draw for each letter, they aren’t just filling a slot, they are nice choices!

I did have to be creative with the letter “X”.  For that one I decided just to go with something that had a “X” in it.  And expressway sounds like it starts with “X”!  Good enough!  Actually it is one of my favorites of the group!

X is for Expressway by Brenda Zapotosky

It was nice to create an illustration in plan view and I just love the energy and activity of the cars.  Plus I love how bold the colors look, especially since it fills up so much of the presentation square!

Another favorite of mine is the Yacht club:

Y is for Yacht Club by Brenda Zapotosky

As a person who loves to sail and has a partiality for the nautical it makes sense that I like this one.  But also the colors and unique building design are things I like too.  Interestingly, the idea I had in my head for this one was very different.  Originally I was going to pick WHARF for the letter W.  I actually picked it way before I even reached W.  But as I got near the end I realized there were more options for W than Y and that a Yacht Club could be very similar to a Wharf.  I envisioned LOTS of boats docked (which for wharf would have worked well) but when it actually came to draw this one I was more drawn to the idea of a nautical themed building.  I did slip in one boat!  And as a disclaimer:  I know that the sail most likely would NOT be up when docked… I did it for the visual effect.  We can pretend they got caught in the rain and wanted to dry out the sail!

The subway is another favorite.  Again, it was nice drawing a different view, this time a cross section… one of my favorite construction views from back in my architecture days.

S is for Subway by Brenda Zapotosky

A lot of time was invested for all that detail too!

Finally I want to give a mention to a special detail for the Zoo.  When thinking of how I could illustrate a sprawling place like a Zoo I decided to focus on just the front entry.  To give it a unique Zoo look I decide to add some animal silhouettes!  To create these I started with a few animals from a previous challenge:  The 2017 Alphabet Animal Art Challenge.   Unfortunately, while I love the idea of a simple monochrome outline, especially when envisioning a real wall, they do not stand out as much as I would like.

Z is for Zoo by Brenda Zapotosky

I also wish I could have come up with a better way to depict the “zoo in the background” that you glimpse through the gate.  But I do like the color embellishments along the top of the wall and the ticket booth.

Overall I think this group was a strong finish to the challenge!

Finally, as with the rest of the Challenge I also created a letter block for each of the 8 letters in this batch.  Here is a look at them all together:

City Letter Boxes S thru Z by Brenda Zapotosky

Stay tuned for final recap that will discuss the entire years worth of illustrations!  Coming Soon!

Thanks for reading!

Brenda

Sewing: Handmade Ornaments

Checkered Christmas by Brenda Zapotosky Tree Ornaments

Today I am sharing with you an easy handmade Christmas gift idea that you can make with SCRAPS!  Yay!  Scrap busting ideas are always welcome to me!  Hopefully they are for you too!  And since you can use scraps, you could sew up a few of these in time for Christmas. (You could change up the batting if you don’t have it on hand).

This is sort of a simplified tutorial (my first ever!)  I’ll describe how I made these in a few short steps but no photos of the process.

But first:  The fabric!  The main fabric I used for these ornaments was one of my own designs:  Checkered Christmas, in both the Merry (top) and Festive (bottom) colorways.

Checkered Christmas Promo By Brenda Zapotosky
Checkered Christmas is part of my Classic Christmas Collection

I originally purchased this fabric for another Christmas gift project which you can read about in this POST.  The fabric type was Spoonflower’s Lightweight Cotton Twill (but you could used any woven type of fabric you’d like).  I paired it with some Forest Green Canvas in my stash.  I cut the main fabric at an angle to add a little visual interest and fused it with a layer of batting to give it some extra thickness.  The ribbon for the loops was also in my stash.  You could also use embroidery thread, yarn, or even a tiny loop of thread for an ornament hook to attach.

Checkered Christmas by Brenda Zapotosky Tree Ornaments 3

HOW TO:

Before diving in I want to say that these instructions are for a medium weight fabric like the Canvas Twill.  If you choose something lighter, like quilting cotton, you may want to interface pieces, add fusible batting to the trunk, or even have the batting on both pieces of the triangle.  You want to make sure there is a enough stability that they can hang nicely.

Step 1:  For each ornament CUT:  (2) Tree Top Triangles, (2) Tree Trunk Rectangles, and  (1) Fusible batting triangle approx 3/8″ smaller all around than the tree triangle. (See Diagram at the end of post for dimensions).

Step 2:  Fuse 1 side only of the tree top triangle with the batting. (You could skip this step or interface with non-batting instead.)

Step 3:  Sew tree trunk rectangles right sides together on 3 sides with a 1/4″ SA, leaving the top unsewn.  Clip corners, turn right side out and press well.

Step 4:  Sew tree top triangles right sides together with a 1/4″ SA, leaving an opening in the bottom center slightly wider than the finished outside dimensions of the tree trunk rectangle.  Clip corners, turn right side out and press well.

Step 5:  Insert the trunk into the bottom of the tree, unsewn side up approx. 1/4″  Secure with a pin, washable tape etc.

Step 6:  Add top attachment piece of your choosing.  For my trees I secured the ribbon loops to the top of the trees with a few hand sewn loops of thread.  I THINK I did this before sewing the tree opening closed so I could hide the knotted ends INSIDE the tree.

Step 7:  Top-stitch around entire tree outline with a 1/8″ SA (which will attach the trunk to the tree top).

And Voila!  Your simple ornament is finished!  Repeat steps 1-7 for as many as you’d like.  As you can see below I made A LOT of these!

Checkered Christmas by Brenda Zapotosky Tree Ornaments 2

I hope this tutorial was helpful.  If a step is unclear please let me know so I can clarify!

CUTTING DIAGRAM:

Tree Ornaments Cutting Information by Brenda Zapotosky

These are the approximate dimensions for my trees.  I made these for Christmas 2018 and the trunk might have been sized slightly differently.  I had hoped to have a pdf download of the “pattern” as part of this post.  (and may add it in the future).  For now, if you would like a printable copy of the pieces let me know and I can send them too you.

Thanks for much for reading!  If you make this and share online please be sure to tag me so I can see your creation!  On Instagram: @brendazapotosky

Merry Christmas!

Brenda

 

 

Alphabet City Art Challenge: J – R

Alphabet City Art Challenge Blog Post J thru R

It is time for the second recap for the Alphabet City Art Challenge.  This time I am sharing the illustrations I created for letters J thru R.  If you are new to learning about this art challenge you can read the original blog post HERE.  And you can find the first recap HERE.

Ok! Let’s start with a look at the 9 illustrations in this group:

City Illustration Boxes J thru R by Brenda Zapotosky

 

This is an interesting group.  There were some challenging letters in the mix, not only in terms of finding an appropriate city sight to illustrate (i.e. koi pond, quilt shop) but also in creating a building that could distinctly convey a certain sight without using specific branding (i.e. jazz club, post office, restaurant).  It would be an interesting to see if I had posted all of these illustrations without the titles if people would be able to name what they depicted.  Obviously the Jazz Club has the word JAZZ on it and the post office has an envelope so that would help. These features were added specifically to help convey their function.  I think the newsstand is probably the only one that is obviously apparent. (Even the lunch truck could be mistaken for an ice cream truck etc.)

N is for Newsstand by Brenda Zapotosky

 

The newsstand is one of my favorites of this batch too.  It was fun to create something other than a building and to create something at a scale big enough to show some detail.  I really enjoyed “filling the shelves” of this kiosk.

I also really like the Quilt Shop:

Q is for Quilt Shop by Brenda Zapotosky

I LOVE the quilted components I was able to incorporate and how their colors really pop in contrast to the gray building.

As I did with my first recap I put together a couple of “street views” so you could see the buildings interacting with one another.

CITY Street View 2 by Brenda Zapotosky

I really like seeing them in relationship to one another.  The modern Art Museum and classical Opera House don’t initially seem like an obvious pairing, but I think within the contest of an “Arts District” they could work!

I have also continued to post a letter block on the Monday of each new week period.  Here is the collection of letters J-R:

City Letter Boxes J thru R by Brenda Zapotosky

I really like seeing them all together in a grid like this.  Since it is difficult to continue to come up with new silhouettes, after the letter “M” I started over and reused the same blocks, but I mirrored them to give them a little variety and then made tweaks as needed to work well for the new letter.  So the letter “N” started with a mirrored version of the “A” block and so on.

And that wraps about another batch of alphabet city sights!  I anticipate a few challenges with the last batch of letters, but I already have at least one idea that I am super excited about!  Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see each illustration when they get posted.

And feel free to comment on this post!  I love hearing from my readers.

Thanks!

Brenda

Me-Made-May 2019

MMMay Title Photo Mint Modal Chai Tee Brenda Zapotosky

Hi folks!  It is time for my Me Made May 2019 recap!  If you follow me on Instagram you have seen some of the looks already, but this is the only place I am posting ALL of the outfits.  As in past years I am grouping them by week and numbering them by DATE.  Also as in past years, I only took photos on the days I was out and about in “real” clothes.  Honestly I have TONS of lounge and pajama bottoms that I wear almost daily, so I was probably wearing something handmade most days, but I did not document those.

This May was a lot cooler than in past years!  (No complaints there, I LOVE cooler weather, anything over 80 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot for me!) So you’ll be seeing lots of layers.  Most of what I wore were older garments.  I thought I was going to weave in some of my newest makes (including a brand new pair of cropped pants) but the warm enough days did not coincide with the opportunity to wear them.  Since most of these makes are older, I will only be linking to my own fabric designs, since those are still available. I will link to all the patterns I used the FIRST time they are shown.  So if you don’t see a link, scroll back up to the first time I mentioned the pattern.  Also, I apologize in advance for the grainy selfies.  We don’t have a great place to take photos inside our house and the ipod I used to take them doesn’t have the greatest resolution.  Ok.  Let’s dive in!

WEEK 1:

No documented outfits

WEEK 2:

MMMay 2019 Week 2

May 5Oslo Cardigan by Seamwork, Lane Raglan by Hey June Handmade, Infinity scarf featuring my Spines (Siesta) design printed on Cotton Spandex Jersey.  The Lane and Oslo patterns, in my many variations, are both on heavy repeat this month.  They are wardrobe staples… as are scarves!

May 7:  Almost a repeat of May 5!!!  Ha Ha.  Oslo Cardigan, in fleece this time, Lane Raglan, Infinity Scarf featuring my SW Triangles Haze design printed on Modern Jersey, and thumbhole wrist warmers made from the same fabric as the Lane.

May 10:  Another Lane!  Another Infinity Scarf!  But a different cardigan this time!  This is the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet.

WEEK 3:

MMMay 2019 Week 3

May 12:  RTW inspired french terry pull-over that was a mash-up of the Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Handmade and the Tabor V-Neck (hem detail) by Sew House Seven with some custom detailing (like the yoke and top-stitching) to mimic the RTW look.  I posted more photos of this make and more details in THIS post.

May 14:  Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations and a Lane Raglan.  This lane is made out of Robert Kaufman Laguna Knit, it is one of my absolute favorite CL.  Lighter and drapier than most, but still a nice weight.  A lot of my me-mades in this post were made from it (Including the May 10th Lane and the May 17th Lane).  You can find it in a lot of online stores.

May 17:  ANOTHER Lane Raglan (custom sleeve length).

May 18:  Another Julia Cardigan, this time paired with a custom tee pattern I have been developing from the Renfrew Top by Sewaholic.  It is my “fancy” tee version.  Actually, since taking this photo, I have modified the neck finish one this one so it dips down more.  Bag is also me-made.

WEEK 4:

MMMay 2019 Week 4

May 19:  Chambray Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June Handmade with custom short sleeves.  This was a newly “made over” garment and I was super excited to bring back into rotation.  I shared about my modifications in THIS post.  I was most likely wearing a handmade cardigan over top but I honestly can’t remember which one and I don’t have a photo with it.

May 24: Oslo Cardigan, Knit Skirt (self-drafted starting from a RTW skirt) and Infinity scarf featuring my Petal Potpourri (Bold) and Sprigs and Leaves (Bold) designs printed on Modern Jersey.

WEEK 5:

MMMay 2019 Week 5

May 26:  Another Oslo Cardigan over a brand new make, the Chai Tee by Liesl & Co.  View of just the top is the first photo of this blog post so you can have a closer look.  I shared the details in THIS post.  Headband is also me-made.

May 28: Halifax Hoodie (An actual zip up hoodie version this time), Another version of my custom Renfrew hack fancy tee, and handmade tote.  I call this one my cool tones geometrics tote, made with all my original pattern designs.  You can see a close up look at it in THIS post and find the fabrics in this COLLECTION (a few have been modified in scale, color, etc before I listed them).

May 29:  Morris Blazer (with quite a few mods) by Grainline Studio and a Renfrew Top by Sewaholic (This time MOSTLY per the pattern, I did eliminate the short sleeve bands, which you can’t see anyways).  The blazer was made a while ago, I shared all the mods in THIS post.

May 31:  Last Day!  We actually took a road trip to IKEA that day and I was SUPER comfy in these #secretpajamas Oslo Cardigan (same one as on May 24) and my first ever Coastal Breeze Dress by Make it Perfect (also made in RK Laguna knit).  I have since made 3 more of this dress.  Another favorite pattern.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Overall I would call Me Made May 2019 a success!  Sure, I had a lot of pattern repeats, but I am ok with that.  One of the things I love about sewing is getting to create garments that really work for me and my body.  And when I like a garment, I make a lot of them!  Especially since I often do a lot of mods to get them how I want them, might as well maximize that effort. And actually, I think it is quite fun to see all the variety and variations you can achieve with just ONE pattern!  I am a bit disappointed that three brand new makes never made it into the mix.  I was especially excited to show off the pants I made.  And I expected to wear my newest Coastal Breeze dress (finished MONTHS ago) to a night out… but it only works with bare legs and it has not been bare leg weather (for me anyways). (In fact 2 of those 3 makes are still unworn!) But as I said at the beginning, I LOVE this cooler spring we have been having, and I will get to show off those makes eventually!

I hope you enjoyed this recap!  If you have any specific questions about fit/modifications that I did not share or link.  Want to know about a fabric I used.  Or would simply like to share a comment I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Alphabet City Art Challenge: A-I

Alphabet City Art Challenge Blog Post A thru I

Time for the First Recap in the 2019 Alphabet City Art Challenge!  This year, I have decided to three recaps instead of four, so this first post will look at the illustrations I created for letters A thru I.  If you missed what the challenge is all about you can read the announcement blog post HERE.

Let’s start with a look at the 9 Illustrations I did for the first round, as they were presented as square, framed art.

City Illustration Boxes A thru I by Brenda Zapotosky

Overall I think this is a fun mix.  I have been intentionally switching up the colors so that there is a variety and looking at them all grouped together like this, I am very happy with the overall feel of the collection so far.  Whenever possible I have been keeping the scale of the buildings similar as well.  So, for example, for all the buildings with doors, all the doors are the same height. This was done so that I could easily combine them together in future compositions.  Just for fun, I arranged the buildings in two “street” views so you can see how they look.  (I had to change up the Gas Station colors a tad to make it work).

CITY Street View 1 by Brenda Zapotosky

 

As with past challenges, I did not “research” ahead of time if there would be a good pick for every letter.  I am mostly choosing each subject as I reach that letter (I did/do have some pre-picked ideas for a few of the letters).  Embassy was the biggest “surprise” so far, as it took me a while to come up with that idea (and I almost chose something else before it came to me).  It was one of the trickiest to create too, especially the curved entryway.

E is for Embassy by Brenda Zapotosky

My overall favorite is the Clock Tower.  It isn’t the most elaborate or even creative of the illustrations but I really love the overall feel of the composition.  The title for this one had to moved up to fit everything and I love how the building interacts with it.  Hopefully a few more illustrations down the line can also be arranged in a creative way.  Also… it makes me think of Italy.

C is for Clock Tower by Brenda Zapotosky

Somewhat surprisingly, the most “hearted” illustration so far has been the Gas Station.  Now I know that there are a lot of factors that can influence hearts, including when the artwork is posted and what hashtags it has…. So it could be that I just picked a “hot list” of hashtags.  Still, it is a pretty fun one.  Lots of little details.

G is for Gas Station by Brenda Zapotosky

So far I have not created any other art or patterns that incorporate any of these illustrations.  I already have the CITY COLLECTION in my Spoonflower Shop that features many city inspired designs, so I don’t have any specific plans to create more surface patterns.  As part of that collection, I have my Around the Town design that already includes many City buildings, which has added an extra challenge as I am trying to not repeat any of those and it includes many ubiquitous buildings.

That wraps it up for the illustrations, but I did want to talk about the letters/titles too.

I mixed things up this year and instead of using “A is for xxx” etc. to title my illustrations (like in past years) I chose to just put the word I was illustrating.  And the lettering for those words, is all original by me.  I like this clean look, but I do wonder if people who stumble upon the illustrations without knowing about the challenge miss out on the alphabet connection. Also new this year:  I have not been posting idea prompt lists.  Instead I have been simply posting the letter for the 2 weeks on their designated Mondays.  Here are the 9 posts so far:

City Letter Boxes A thru I by Brenda Zapotosky

I had already established the style of the letters with the CITY Collection title art, and I have been creating new letters as I have needed them (for either the letter prompts or in the illustration titles). The cityscape used also began with the CITY Collection title art, I have simply been mixing up the details for each letter.

Ok.  I think that covers everything. I hope you enjoyed this first recap.  If you aren’t already, be sure to Follow Me on Instagram to see each new Letter Prompt and Illustration as I post them.  And feel free to comment below!

Thanks for reading!

Brenda

 

 

 

Artist Feature: 2018 Fruit and Veggie Art Challenge

Today we are back with the final installment in the 2018 Fruit and Veggie Art Challenge Series:  A special “Artist Feature” spotlighting the other two artists who participated in the challenge.  I am so thrilled to have had two others complete this challenge with me.  It was so interesting to see their picks for each letter (sometimes we were the same, others we were different). Their interpretations of the subjects themselves as well as the presentations were outstanding.  Two very talented gals here!

First up is Jill.  You can follow her at jillbyersdesign

Jill is a fellow designer on Spoonflower which was how we “met”.  Last year she started the Animal Art Challenge, but did not make it through to the end.  I am so delighted that this year she did!  Jill painted of all her subjects with oil on square canvases with a unique cropped view.  They make quite a stunning collection:

A-P

She painted these all from real life, which meant she was sometimes out of order due to availability.  This is the reason U hasn’t made it to the grid yet.  She posted a photo of ugli fruit which she now has. So it is coming soon!  Be sure to follow her to see it when it is finished.

I asked Jill to share a few thoughts about the challenge. Here is what she said:

I set a few rules for myself when I started this project. I wanted to have the actual fruit or vegetable in hand, I wanted all of the compositions to be square and cropped and I wanted them to be 8″x8″ oil on canvas. My self imposed rules were pretty easy to stick to. I really enjoyed creating the compositions and working with oils. Having the actual fruit/vegetable in hand proved to be a challenge though. Dragon Fruit, Kohlrabi, Quince and Ugli Fruit where not in season when it was time to paint those letters so I had to occasionally skip a letter and then go back to it.

I love so many of them but some of my favorites are the Avocados, Beets, Eggplant, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onion, Papaya, Quince, Radish, Xigua (Watermelon). I had so much fun painting the carrots that I painted two versions. I thought that I would maybe do that again with another letter but time never allowed for that.

There are only two that I would have done differently. I would like to redo the Nectarine composition and I wish that I had sliced the Watermelon Radish thinner so that the slices would have been more transparent.

It was a great year long project. When I look at them collectively, I can see how my painting style changed throughout the year. I feel like every time I pick up a paintbrush I learn something new and this project taught me a lot.

Here is a closer look at some of the favorites Jill mentioned above:

A

Jill has decided to take a break from the Alphabet Challenge this year.  While I understand (completing all 26 letters was definitely a great endeavor) she will be missed!

Next up is Anastasia.  You can follow her at:  al_donzza

Anastasia was new to the alphabet art challenge this year and I so delighted that she joined in!  She also used paints: watercolors.  Her loose, sketchy style is so stunning.  Sometimes they included text sometimes not.  Here is a look of a few of her favorite paintings.  It is a nice example of the variety of her presentations:

al 2 images

al 1 image

Anastasia was also kind enough to send me some thoughts.  English is not her first language so the following is not a direct quote (I did some editing per her request).  As a side note… I absolutely LOVE that she is from a totally different part of the world!!!  Super awesome how the online world can bring together artists from all over!  Language barriers don’t matter much in the visual world anyways!  Here is the essence of her thoughts:

It was a great pleasure to participate in this challenge.

Honestly, I’m not a REAL artist, as other participants, and it was a great lesson to me as I discovered that I have my own style. (However my works were very different: different materials and techniques).

I saw that other participants did have a distinct style, something that I did not think I had.   However, by the end I realized that I do have my own style!  That was exciting to realize.

And I saw a huge progress between my “A” and “Z”. A one year long exercise like this, is a time frame to see things like progress and style.

Such great observations, although I would have to disagree with her sentiment that she is not a REAL artist!  Perhaps she is not pursuing art professionally, but she is ABSOLUTELY a real artist, and a very good one too!

She sent me this look at a few of the paintings she framed:

al framed art

Anastasia IS participating in this year’s challenge:  The Alphabet City Art Challenge.  She has already posted for the first two letters and they are amazing!  You can follow the challenge hashtag to see everything that we (and hopefully others!) will be posting. It is not too late to join in!  You can even skip letter A if you don’t want to play catch up.

Well folks.  THAT is a wrap.  If you missed any of the Recaps for the 2018 Fruit and Veggie Art Challenge links to them all can be found at the end of this POST.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the artwork in this series both of myself and others and that you continue to follow along in 2019 as we explore the CITY theme!

And one last THANK YOU to Jill and Anastasia for joining in last year and for sharing their incredible work!

Brenda

Fruit and Veggie Art Challenge: Year End Recap

alphabet art challenge 2018 final review by brenda zapotosky

Today I am bringing you the Year End Recap for the Fruit and Veggie Art Challenge and I am very excited to be wrapping things up!  Actually… this is sort of a Part 1 as I have a follow up post planned… but more on that at the end.  And if this the first time you are hearing about this challenge, you may want to read the orginal challenge announcement HERE.

Let’s begin with a look at all the fruit and veggies I illustrated this past year:

26 fruit and vegetable illustrations by brenda zapotosky

I think it is such a fun and colorful collection!  I love seeing them all together like this.  My design parameters for this challenge were to do a geometric interpretation of the fruit/veg which included simplifying shape lines, segmentation, and using hatch, dots etc. to create texture.  You may notice that all the boards also include a background rectangle(s).  This was not originally planned, but I added it for the asparagus to fill in the white space and liked it so much I decided to make it a standard feature for all the boards!  Overall, I am extremely happy with this collection as a whole.  I already shared favorites and other thoughts in my quarterly recaps so I won’t do that again.  If you missed any of those, they are all linked at the end of this post.

As with last year, one of the goals of this challenge, besides committing myself to creating new art on a regular basis, was to create a library of illustrations that could be used in other ways.  I would definitely consider this aspect a success.  I created three new patterns which incorporated one of more of the fruit/veg and have ideas for a few more in the future.  I have also had a request for a poster version that would include most of the illustrations. This will be similar to the animal art poster I did last year but smaller and probably without the words. You can see that poster in THIS post.

Two patterns I created featured just one illustration:  Geometric Carrots and Geometric Strawberries (which has two different colorways).

carrots and strawberries patterns by brenda zapotosky

I also created a pattern that uses many of the above fruit/veg along with some other ones not part of the alphabet collection.  Geometric Taco Bar was created for a Spoonflower contest.

Geometric Taco Bar Pattern by Brenda Zapotosky

All of these designs can be found as fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap for sale in my Spoonflower shop.  Along with several other geometric food designs from the past.  Here is a link to the entire Geometric Food Collection.

The other major component of this year long challenge was the Letter Prompt lists that I posted at the beginning of each fortnight.  These prompts included an original block letter and a list of fruit/veggie ideas that began with that letter.  Here are all 26 together:

26 fruit and vegetable letter lists by brenda zapotosky

I tried to include 7 options for each letter but as you can see that wasn’t always possible.  I enjoyed learning about different fruit/veg I had not heard of before. The font is an expansion of a slightly more simplified block font I had started a few years ago. (You can see an example of the letters on my Colorful Merry Christmas Text pattern.) I had been adding to it as needed so not all the letters were there. AND I modified the look of most of them and added all the hatching.  It was nice to create a font in increments like this. It made it much less tedious.  I am super happy with the alphabet as a whole:

stripey block font by brenda zapotosky

I definitely plan on making a repeating pattern with these letters.  And I am excited to play with lots of color variations!  Plus, now I have it to use for future projects!  WIN!

Overall I think I can call this year long challenge a success!  Admittedly, I wasn’t always enthusiastic to work on some of them.  And I was definitely happy to reach the end.  But looking back on the library of illustrations and letters I now have I am happy I did it!

And… so did two others!  Yup!  Two fellow artists followed along and completed *most* of the challenge!  Since their work is so different from my own and I knew this blog post would be long to begin with I have decided to give them their own Featured Artist Post. COMING SOON!  (I will link it once it is live).  You are definitely going to want to come back and see their beautiful creations!

And as mentioned above, in case you missed any of the previous posts about this challenge here are all the links:

EDITED:  The bonus Artist Feature post is now up!

Finally there IS a new challenge for this year!  We are still in the middle of letter A so if you feel inspired to join in you still can from the very beginning!  The theme is CITY and you can read all about it HERE. Or you just follow along with me!

Do you have a favorite?  Any fruit or veggie you would like to see as a pattern?  I would LOVE to hear from you in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Brenda

Fruit and Veggie Art Challenge: T-Z

Happy New Year friends!  January is going to be a busy time on my blog so get set for a flurry (relatively speaking) of posts! We begin with the “fourth quarter” recap of the 2018 Fruit and Veggie Art Challenge, letters T thru Z.  There will also be a final year end recap but I wanted to give some thoughts on the last batch of letters and illustrations before contemplating the year as a whole.

First a look at the 7 fruit/veg I created for the final quarter of the alphabet:

T thru Z Fruit and Veggies by Brenda Zapotosky

Overall I quite like this group.  Despite the fact that there were less options for many of these letters I was able to find something interesting to illustrate for each.  It is actually quite difficult to pick a favorite.  I will call it a tie between the Turnip and the Ulluco.

T is for Turnip by Brenda Zapotosky

Interestingly, I was hesitant to choose turnip since I drew radishes for R and I thought they might be too similar.  But it was an enjoyable challenge to determine the differences and make the turnip its own unique thing.  Here is a side by side view.  (PS: The identical frame colors was not planned!)

Radish and Turnip by Brenda Zapotosky

The letter U was one of the more challenging one in terms of choices, making my love for the finished illustration all the more sweeter!

U is for Ulluco by Brenda Zapotosky

I love the look of the vegetables; the colors used for them, the background and frame; and just the overall composition.  It is too bad this would probably not be very marketable as a pattern, etc.

Choosing a favorite is difficult but choosing a LEAST favorite is not!  Yam is the “winner” of that unfortunate prize.  To be honest, I think my geometric rendition is fairly good in terms of representation… I just don’t like it!  It sort of looks like a hairy rectangle to me!!!!  In real life they are sort of “hairy” so again… rather accurate. You will NOT be seeing a Yam pattern in my Spoonflower Shop!  Ha ha ha

Y is for Yam by Brenda Zapotosky

However, you probably WILL be seeing a Watermelon one!  I see the most potential with this one either alone or incorporated in a more elaborate print.  Perhaps something picnic themed.  I have nothing in the works yet… maybe closer to summertime.

W is for Watermelon by Brenda Zapotosky

That about wraps it up!  Overall I would say it was a strong finish to the year long challenge!  Up next will be the entire year recap.  In the meantime, in case you missed it, the 2019 Alphabet Art Challenge has officially begun.  The theme is CITY and you can read all about it HERE.

I hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at the final set.  Do you have a favorite?  I would LOVE to know which!

Thanks for reading!

Brenda

Announcing the 2019 Alphabet Art Challenge!

It is that time of the year again friends.  Time to announce the theme for next year’s Alphabet Art Challenge.  I have to be honest… I seriously considered NOT doing a 2019 challenge.  They are a lot of work and sometimes the obligation to create something was more annoying than fun.  I am hoping with a little reworking of my task parameters it will be a bit easier this time around.  This will be the third year I am hosting this challenge.  You can read about the original 2017 Animal Challenge HERE and last year’s 2018 Fruit and Veggie Challenge HERE.

Ok.  Without further ado the 2019 theme is: CITY!!!

REVISED Alphabet City Art Challenge Title by Brenda Zapotosky

One of the reasons I decided to do a 2019 challenge is this theme.  I already have a CITY Collection in my Spoonflower Shop and I want to use this year of illustrations to grow that collection of patterns and expand into other coordinating works including greeting cards.  For those who may not know, my field of study was actually Architecture and I have found that designs of mine that incorporate buildings etc tend to do well.  I would like to play on this strength but also still challenge myself.  I think this challenge will do both.  For each letter of the alphabet I will create something CITY related.  This could be a building:  bank, library, skyscraper etc.  But I am not limiting it to only buildings.  ANYTHING that can be found in a city is fair game.  (And let’s face it, creativity will probably be required for some of the letters!).

One big change I will making for this year’s challenge is that I will NOT be posting a list of prompts for each letter.  My original reason for doing the lists was to give others ideas of what they could create for each letter.  And while these lists DO get a surprising amount of likes on Instagram, those likes do not translate into others actually participating in the challenge.  And since I don’t need the lists myself, eliminating them will take off one of the burdens from past challenges.  I do plan on posting a LETTER on each start day as a reminder of the start of the next 2-week period (more on that below).  For the 2018 challenge I decided to create a letter for each week.  I hope to do the same this year, although I haven’t decided exactly what I want the font collection to look like.

Stylistically I will be keeping with the already established look of the existing City Collection and only use the colors in its palette.  I actually enjoy working with a limited palette… I like having limitations!

This is my Around the Town design.  It is a good example of the style and colors you can expect to see from me this challenge!

Around the Town Promo by Brenda Zapotosky

HOW THE CHALLENGE WORKS:

Now for the official “rules” for this Challenge.  There are 52 weeks and 26 letters, so that means 1 letter for every 2 weeks.  Even though 2019 starts on a Tuesday, I have decided to keep Monday as the starting day for each new letter.  And in order to not delay a full week, Monday Dec 31 will actually kick off the letter “A”. On each Monday when a new letter begins I will post a reminder on Instagram with the letter for that 2-week period.

As it was for past years, this is JUST FOR FUN!  There are not any prizes for participating.  You can use any type of medium you like to create your art.  And if you are late to join in or miss a letter or 2, that is totally fine!  Depending on participation I will try to share other artist’s work who are regular contributors to the hashtag.  So if you want to be included don’t forget to use the official tag:  #alphabetcityartchallenge on all the pieces you create!

That’s it!  I have one more creation left to finish for the 2018 Fruit and Veggie Challenge and then there will be recaps for both the last quarter and the entire year coming to the blog in January.

In the meantime you can check out the hashtag:  #2018fruitandveggieartchallenge to see all the that has been posted this year by myself and others! (There have been 3 of us posting to it regularly). And (if you are not already) I recommend following me on Instagram so you are sure to see all the posts that are to come!

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Happy Almost New Year!

Brenda