Illustrated Summer Favorites @ CIssy's Art Café

It’s been too long since I wrote my last favorites post! While I’m a creature of habit, I’ve definitely found some new things that I really enjoy. So, without further ado, here are my illustrated summer favorites of 2018.

Yellow Inks & Themed Printable Stickers

My beloved bullet journal is still going strong! I am fully switched into and comfortable with my D.I.Y. traveler’s notebook, and the leather is holding up really well. I’m really excited to see the leather begin to scuff up and age.

Illustrated Summer Favorites: Noodler's Apache Sunset @ CIssy's Art Café

While my spreads have continued to stay pretty minimal, I like to play around with different fountain pen inks. One of my favorite discoveries is Noodler’s Apache Sunset, a well-known love of the fountain pen community. I never thought I would like this ink because I am generally not a huge fan of the color yellow, but it’s a beautiful yellow ink with orange-y undertones, and the shading that occurs is absolutely breathtaking.

I especially loved lettering little snippets of my week in my sidebar with this ink. The shading really helps bring the letters to life, and looking back on those weeks brings a smile on my face.

Illustrated Summer Favorites: Stickers @ CIssy's Art Café

I’ve also been enjoying playing around with stickers – specifically, ones that I make myself! Ever since I started creating monthly themes in my bullet journal, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to incorporate them into my weeklies while keeping everything easy to set up and minimal. Stickers ended up being a pretty simple solution. I tried this first during this month of August, and it was really fun to come up with sticker ideas that matched my theme!

Plus, cutting them out was surprisingly therapeutic.

It also ended up being a great way for me to expand my printables range. Now, every month I can put out 2 monthly calendar printables along with stickers and trackers that fit the theme. My monthly calendars are fully customizable: I switch out the month and start day (Sunday/Monday) for you, free of charge!

Fancy New Paper & Favorite Paintings

I have been completely obsessed with creating galaxy paintings recently. For a long time, I thought galaxies were kind of cheesy, to be honest. But ever since I started painting them I couldn’t stop! They’re really fun and therapeutic to make, and I like seeing what color combinations I want to try – even though I tend to stick to my favorite blue color, with a little bit of pink and purple mixed in.

It’s logical, then, that my favorite paintings that I’ve made this summer are ones that showcase galaxies!

Project Focus: Starry Night Elephant - Full Piece // Cissy's Art Café

My favorite watercolor painting that I’ve made is my Starry Night Elephant painting, which I devoted an entire blog post to. I love the whimsy of the artwork and the story I made up to go with it, and I’m really excited to work on more paintings for that story. My goal is to be able to turn it into a children’s book someday.

You can get prints of this painting here, if you’d like one for your very own.

Which brings me to another favorite – new print paper! I ran out of the paper I was using to make prints a while ago, and when I replaced it I decided to test out a different type. The one I’m now using is 100% cotton. It’s super luxurious and thick, and I love it very much! It was a little bit more expensive, but I decided against raising the cost of the prints.

I did also repurchase the paper I was using before, because I still love it very much. I’m now using that paper for any greeting card orders. I’m working on slowly updating the shop so that all of my art prints can come as customizable greeting cards as well.

Illustrated Summer Favorites: Animal Planets Painting @ CIssy's Art Café

My other favorite painting I’ve done is this large canvas I painted for my new apartment. It’s an oil paint version of my animal planets, and they’re very silly and adorable to look at! It took me about a week to paint the entire thing, and now it hangs on the wall directly across from my front door. Every day when my S.O. and I get home, this silly painting greets us.

New Recipes, New Movies, & New Apartments

In my opinion, an illustrated summer favorites list isn’t complete without any life favorites. So, here are some of mine.

First, I moved in June! I mentioned it briefly in a past blog post, but now that I’ve been in this new place for over two months, the verdict is in: I absolutely love it. I loved decorating it, I love having my favorite pieces of art framed and up on the walls, and I love having my own desk!

Plus, I really enjoy living with my S.O. He cleans the bathroom (we split the chores fairly evenly), which makes me a pretty happy camper.

Homemade Pasta @ Cissy's Art Café

I also tried making a new recipe: pasta from scratch! I like trying new recipes fairly often but fresh pasta had always been something that seemed too scary to make. One day, I watched a Buzzfeed Tasty video where someone made pasta from scratch without a pasta machine, and I knew I had to try it.

While it took quite a long time to roll out by hand, the end result was really tasty! It definitely beats boxed pasta, which means we’re probably going to end up buying a pasta machine anyway. I need more fresh pasta in my life.

Illustrated Summer Favorites: Crazy Rich Asians @ CIssy's Art Café

Last but definitely not least, my favorite movie of the summer is Crazy Rich Asians. I’ve never been much of a romantic comedy kind of girl, but this and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before might actually be changing my mind!

I watched Crazy Rich Asians last Friday with my S.O. in a fully packed theater. So much of the movie felt so familiar: the dumplings, the weird family and cultural politics, the overbearing but secretly loving mother. The beginning scene where the family is discriminated against for being Chinese is something that my mother has dealt with time and time again. Plus, the distinction between being Asian American versus Asian is something I’ve felt for my entire life.

I thought the movie was brilliantly funny and enjoyable, although with one extremely unfortunate stumbling block: the scene at the gate was just colorist, awful, and distasteful. It was completely unnecessary and uncomfortable. It goes to show that Hollywood still has a very long way to go.

Illustrated Summer Favorites @ CIssy's Art Café

I hope you enjoyed my illustrated summer favorites! Do any of my favorites coincide with yours?

Have you tried making homemade pasta, or using stickers in your bullet journal? Also, Let me know what your favorite memories from this summer has been!

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