Hi, I’m Natasha.
Welcome to our creative website, where I will introduce you to all the fun, creative and crazy things we get up to.
I am a wife and a mother to my 3 children and 2 dogs. I am also a freelance crochet and knitting designer and maker, so you can imagine how chaotic it can get in our house.
Check out our About Us page for more information about us and what we do.
I hope this brings you creative joy and inspiration.
Let’s get yarning and creative!
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Art Inspiration - Our Creative Journey with Shayda Campbell
Being home schoolers, we have to find a lot of resources to assist our teaching and learning. Sometimes, there are subjects that we are just not that great at conveying to the kids and we have to seek alternative teaching aids. As you may already be aware, we do a lot of arts and crafts activities for schooling. We love trying new things and improving on old things we have done before. Recently, Kayleigh and I, have been really getting into drawing and new artistic methods. It mainly started when I came across a YouTuber - Shayda Campbell from the 11th Apartment Blog. It was completely by accident but an absolute blessing to our lives. Shayda has amazing tutorials on an array of art and creative topics. I have been overjoyed with the results and improvement in my art work, just from watching her. You can learn lettering techniques, painting with watercolours, drawing fun and simple celebration cards. The list goes on.
I love that Shayda tries out new things herself, which have been suggested by her viewers. One thing in particular was the Sakura Micron Pigma pens. Usually, she had mainly worked with Staedtler, Sharpies and other Artist Markers, and it was great to see her test (and love) this other brand. It shows that she is open minded and not set in her ways. I even purchased the pens and a selection of brush pens from the same brand. I found them on eBay at a very cheap price because the packet had been opened and one of the pens had been slightly used. They have been a great purchase and I am enjoying trying them out. I use the fine tips to outline pictures and words, mostly, and I use the brush pens for colouring and shading. I would highly recommend them to ALL levels of artists. They dry instantaneously, which means they don’t bleed nor smudge. You can even do all your outlining BEFORE applying colour. They are that good!
From Shayda’s tutorials, I have tried drawing by grouping objects, some lettering techniques and painting with watercolours. I have even tried painting with Gouache. I never knew paint like this existed and I had never heard of it before! Kayleigh and I watched Shayda use it in her “Hand Lettering on Kraft Paper for Beginners” tutorial on YouTube and were completely blown away by the results. This led to Kayleigh purchasing some for me for Mother’s Day 2017 (here in the UK we have it on the last Sunday in March). The funny thing is, she wasn't even going yo buy them originally. She was going to get me a new Artist Sketch book because mine has almost run out. However, her brother, Korey, had beaten her to it, so she had to choose something else. You have no idea how happy I was that Korey stole her idea because I got a whole new art supply to work with! The minute they told me what had happened (without giving away what the gifts were), I knew that what Korey had got me was also going to be great because he had thought of it without even knowing what Kayleigh was thinking of buying. I love that my kids know me so well and pay attention to the things I am interested in. Anyway, back to the Gouache. Kayleigh found me a set of about 24 small tubes for about £10. I have already tried them out on the front cover of the Sketch book that Korey had bought me. I painted a Cherry Blossom tree and wrote “Art Illustrations” across the middle (the picture is below). I think I prefer Gouache to any other paint, even more than watercolour and acrylic. You can use it on heavy and light paper and a small amount goes a long way! It is water based so it washes out easily and paints on with ease. It is definitely worth a go, even for kids.
Below are just some of the creative things I have tried from Shayda’s YouTube channel, there is so much more I have done, which you will see, gradually, on my social media. You will also see that I still have improving to do but I am excited about the challenge and seeing where the creativity takes me. I have always loved drawing and painting but have previously been disappointed in my efforts. I now have a new found love and capabilities that I never thought I would find - THANKS TO SHAYDA!
I have watched a vast amount of Shayda’s other videos, too, and she has boosted my interest in a few other crafts, which I am yet to try. Shayda has even got me wanting to try felting, which I used to hate the idea of because I cannot stand to touch it, but after watching her create the cute little owl I wanted to give it a try. I certainly have a lot of new creative crafts on my to-do list now. I just hope I get round to trying them all.
I am definitely going to be a frequent viewer and permanent subscriber of Shayda Campbell's YouTube Channel and Blog. There are still loads of videos I haven’t even watched yet! Can’t wait! Everything I have tried, based on Shayda’s advice and teaching, has worked out really well, so I completely trust her tips, advice and teaching when it comes to learning about art. Other channels teach us how to draw specific things, but Shayda teaches us about HOW and WHAT to use to achieve great results, as well as improve your abilities. She follows this through all her videos, even the ones about homemade lip balm, stamps for printing, luggage tags, sweets and so much more. Go check it out for yourselves (I have included the links below), Shayda’s cheerful positivity will have you hooked!
Thank you Shayda for creating your 11th Apartment blog and YouTube videos and for bringing new creative joy into our lives. I can’t wait to see where this creative journey takes us and you! Also, well done on starting up your Etsy Shop, it looks amazing!
Drawing Groups of Objects
This was my first attempt at trying one of Shayda’s drawing tips. It was from her video “Building Your Illustrative Style (Practice with Object Groupings)”. I am quite a tomboy at heart and love things like big trucks and BMX’s, so that was my inspiration for a group of objects. There is also a skateboarder and a taxi in the picture but it didn’t show up.
I really did struggle with colouring in because I am so used to going up to the lines, whereas, Shayda’s technique is about being imperfect to give it some charm and style, and leaving “white spaces”. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the task and felt quite satisfied afterwards.
Hand Lettering & Illustration
My Valentine’s Day Card mock up was inspired by Shayda’s video “Hand Lettering + Illustration for Beginners”. I wanted something simple and as I was working on some Valentine’s ideas at the time, a card with balloon hearts seemed the easiest. It enabled me to try some lettering, accents and Shayda’s unique border technique. The border came out a bit wonky but I am finding that pulling the pen towards you makes it much more steady to draw the lines. It is one of my favourite tips, so THANK YOU, SHAYDA!
Hand Lettering & Illustration
My boys are obsessed with “bottle flipping” at the moment and this, along with Shayda’s video “Hand Lettering + Illustration for Beginners”, inspired this design. It again enabled me to try some lettering, accents and illustration. My shading and banner were a bit off but that just sets me the challenge of trying again so that I can improve it.
I absolutely love coastal holidays and our favourite thing is caravanning in Cornwall. We have made some lovely friends there and always find something new every time we visit. I am always inspired by Cornish life. I love the beaches, beach huts, deck chairs, green countryside areas, old fishing villages, boats, the sea, I could go on forever. It is a beautiful place.
I have been dreaming of being able to draw my own coastal illustrations and pictures that make me think Cornwall every time I see them. However, I have never been able to bring it to life before, but Shayda’s positivity gives your creative confidence a real boost. It lead me to try something simple to start practicing with. Working from Shayda’s video (mentioned above right), I tried a simple caravan, which ended up being in my favourite colour - GREEN! With lettering, a border and flag accent to finish it off. It makes me think of a front cover for a story - and Cornwall!
Letter Writing Illustrations
I created these three illustrations for a home school project to encourage the kids to write more. I tailored them specifically for each of my children - their favourite colour, style and hobbies. We use them to write letters to each other. We write anything we want to tell each other and I encourage them to write positive things as much as possible. Writing in this manner builds their pen control, letter formation and thought process. So far they have contained funny jokes (usually at my expense, which I love) and some very grown up words from Korey, who is only 8 years old!
I used this to continue practising illustrations and hand lettering. I enjoyed this and have even created some new versions. I think next I will get the kids to design their own.
More Hand Lettering & Illustration
This is another themed illustration. After watching Shayda’s video for “More Hand Lettering & Illustration”, the campfire she drew got me thinking about camping. Also, the thumbnail said “Make Cute Stuff for Boys”, which instantly caught my attention as I am more drawn to boyish things.
I started with the tent and worked from there. I also added a green border and a title just for practice. I used Staedtler colouring pencils, which shade brilliantly. Although, I only had 12 colours to work with at the time.
I haven’t used watercolours in my entire adult life. They have never really appealed to me before, but every time I see Shayda using them I am drawn in more and more by how they transfer onto paper. Shayda has specific videos about learning to use watercolours, as well as other videos where she uses them to colour the work she is creating. Therefore, you get the best of both worlds - you get to learn it and see it in action for inspiration!
My daughter, Kayleigh, uses them a lot. She even made me a Mother’s Day Card with them. We sat down together and just started painting. My first was the apple tree, which I messed up the apple and just left it. However, I really liked the shading affects I was able to achieve and the fact that you can easily apply the paint in the shape you roughly want, instead of being perfect about it and it turns out quite well.
My attempt at the flowers was second, for which I was inspired by Shayda’s video for “Creating a Greeting Card (Mixed Media Illustration)”. In the picture you can really tell I am new to watercolours because my control over the paint was non-existent. I did enjoy trying it and gave the flowers some outlines with a Micron Pigma pen. It was a good first attempt, I think, especially as I’m not normally a flower type of person.
Lastly, I attempted a beach picture with beach huts because I am still trying to bringing my Cornwall image to life and all the practice I can get is only going to help me get better. Then, eventually, I will achieve want I am looking for. Kayleigh painted one too and it turned out beautifully, especially after she added the outlines. I will post it on social media for you all to see. Kayleigh is definitely a natural with watercolours and watching Shayda is making her even better.
I haven't tried watercolours since these pictures, which I did almost 2 months ago. However, I recently bought some watercolour brush pens to try out, so hopefully I will find time to give them a go and post the results for you.
From watching all of Shayda’s videos involving flowers, and a recent purchase I made of dual tipped artist markers with brush pens, I was inspired to create a spring picture. I had an image in my head of a flower box with buds and shoots starting to grow. The rest followed later.
I used the brush pens and included my favourite greeny colours and was really pleased with how this one turned out. It is also a significant one for me because I actually managed to draw what I was imagining in my head. Every time I look at it I see my creative improvement and it makes me smile!
I think it’s safe to say that I developed Spring Fever recently. This picture was just a doodle with brush pens for practice. I love the idea of spending time outside when the spring weather sets in and having picnics, playing ball games, going bike riding. Spring and new beginnings really bring some cheer and light into your life!
Unfortunately, the paper in the book I used for this picture was too thin so the pens bled a lot. I have now moved the book to my crochet and knitting basket instead for patterns and row counting.
Watering Can Flowers
With me having Spring Fever and everything, I couldn’t resist watching Shayda’s “Spring Illustration Tutorial” when she posted it in March. I loved the watering can illustration. It is my perfect idea of a spring reminder. (You would never know that I’m not much of a flower person would you!)
I had some difficulty with the shading because my grey marker was darker than what I thought it was going to be. However, I still think it turned out well and is now one of my favourites.
Art Sketch Book
This is the sketch book that Korey bought me for Mother’s Day. I started drawing inside the book, but I got a bit stuck on the design. I took a break and decided to break out my new Gouache paints that Kayleigh got me for Mother’s Day (don’t I have wonderful children!). This was my first time using Gouache so I went back to Shayda’s video “Hand Lettering on Kraft Paper for Beginners”, in which she explains about how to use this amazing paint.
I have always thought Cherry Blossom trees are unbelievably beautiful and the funny thing about it is that I first saw them on a kids tv show called Timothy Goes to School. I am a weird one!
I hand drew the illustration and hand lettering onto the cover and then started painting. For the actual blossoms, I used cotton buds to dab the paint on to give it more of a realistic effect. The hand lettering didn’t turn out great but overall - I LOVE IT! It makes me proud of what I have achieved in a short space of time and fills me with a massive amount of positivity for what I will be capable of achieving in the future. I can’t wait!