Easy DIY Project Round-up: January

New Year. New Month. New DIY projects!

The beginning of the month is always the best time for DIY projects because then you’re set for whatever fun occurs during the rest of the month!

January is a good month for DIY because there aren’t any holidays hogging the decor so the possibilities are endless!

January DIY Project Round-up

I searched the internet far and wide to find some of the best winter DIY projects and round them all up for you. Check out the goodies!


This DIY Marshmallow Plushie by Ann Le is just the cutest!

These would you believe these Oversized Snowflakes by Making Home Base are made out of popsicle sticks?

How about an adorable Winter Snowglobe? The team at Sew Woodsy has one you can make in four easy steps!

Ok, I know the time for tree ornaments is passed, but these Circus Animal Ornaments from Studio DIY are too good to pass up. They look good enough to eat!

And as much as I hate Valentine’s day, I couldn’t pass up this Valentine’s Day Rainbow Banner from Momtastic. It’s so cute it’s can totally be considered year-round decor!


I hope you enjoyed checking out those fun Winter DIY projects.

Let me know which ones you do!

xoxo
Ilona

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2017 Resolutions and Goals

Well, it’s that time again. Time for New Year Resolutions.

I have just about always hated making resolutions because they’ve always been the typical “I want to lose weight!” or “I want to eat healthier!” which work for some people but they never work out for me.

Last year, I made one resolution. It was to make an effort to be more positive and to let go of the negative. And looking back on the absolute roller coaster that was 2016, I would have to say I kept my resolution.

Sure, I had some of the lowest and hardest emotional moments of my life but I can proudly say that I survived. I made it through because I didn’t let that negativity take ahold of me. I let it go and kept looking forward to all the positive things I have in my life and all of the positive things I still want to do.

Which brings us to 2017.

2017 Resolutions and Goals | Ilona Toth Creative

2017 Goals & Resolutions.

I have so much I want to achieve this year and it’s going to take a lot of work. So this year, I making a list of not so much resolutions, but just a list of goals I want to work toward. Some of them are boring business-related goals so I’ll spare you the details on those but some of them might be more fun the more people that join in!

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Complete (at least) 100 works of art.

I’m a part of a Facebook group called {Creative Life} with Kellee Wynne Studios and she challenges artists to create 100 works of art which I will be attempting.

Last year, I was so focused on building my business that my actual art fell by the wayside.

This year, I am making it a priority to work on my art every single day and my goal is to complete at least 100 works of art. That comes out to about two pieces each week.

I’m looking forward to working on this goal because it will be a nice way to see my progression as an artist from piece #1 to piece #100.

Blog three times a week.

So this goal isn’t really a new goal since I had been blogging three times a week for a while but for the past couple months in 2016 I hadn’t been blogging at all. In fact, I think the last blog post published was my November DIY Round-up.

I will be sort of reconfiguring the way my blog is formatted a little bit because I think part of the reason I stopped blogging was that I was getting burnt out and discouraged. Hopefully, with what I have planned I will be able to avoid that burn out and I’ll be able to stick to my goal. Plus, blogging three times a week should help with some of my boring business goals!

Participate in my first ever Arts Festival.

Last year I participated in my first ever art show (which I still need to write about #oops) so this year my goal is to participate in my first ever art festival.

This will be a lot more difficult than the art show because I have to buy a tent, I have to have tables, and all kinds of other expenses but this festival is something I have been attending as an art fan for basically my whole life, and I would just absolutely love to participate on the other side as an artist.

Read two books a month.

I used to read all the time. Last year, I can’t even think of a single book that I read completely. I haven’t even read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! (I know, I’m the worst.)

This year, my goal is to read two books a month and to assist with my other goal of blogging three times a week, at the end of each month will be a blog post about each book I read. I’ll also announce the books I will be reading so that way you can read along and we can have our own virtual book club!

For January, I will be starting with Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. The second book is undecided but you can follow along on twitter using the hashtag #itcBookClub and I’ll conduct a poll to decide!


Well, there they are. Those are a few of my 2017 resolutions and goals. It won’t be easy because I have challenged myself to keep up with quite a bit but I’m really looking forward to where this year takes me.

What are some of your 2017 resolutions and goals? I’d love to hear about them!

xoxo
Ilona

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Easy DIY Project Round-up: November

It’s that time again!

Another month has flown by (seriously, where did October go?) so that means it time for another DIY Round-up!

Get your home fall ready with these fun and easy DIY projects! | Ilona Toth Creative

November is probably the second best month of the year (the first best being October, of course) so what better way to get ready for all the Fall and Holiday goodness with some fun DIY projects!

I scoured the internet for some of the best projects and round them all up in one convenient post just for you!

So let’s check them out!


How CUTE are these Flannel Coasters by Juggling Act Mama?

These gorgeous Pumpkin Flower Arrangements from Garden Therapy make a fun Autumnal way to have fresh flowers in the house!

I can not wait to try out some of these Apple Pie Bites from The Blond Cook. Seriously, they look so good!

Get the kids involved in some Fall decorating with this Foil Printed Fall Tree Art project from Munchkins and Moms!

Throwing a fancy Thanksgiving dinner party? Check out these adorable Turkey Feather Place Card Holders from Almost Makes Perfect!


Every time I do one of these DIY round-ups I am blown away by how creative everyone on the internet is!

I’d love to hear about the Fall DIYs you have planned or if you decide to do one listed here! Leave a comment telling me all about it!

 

Have fun DIYing!

xoxo
Ilona

Friday Art Crawl: Hamilton Inspired Paintings

Happy #FriYay!!!

Every Friday, I like to feature a different artist and their work. Sometimes you’ll even see my own artwork featured. It’s a nice way to get to know different artists, their creative process, and the story behind some of their works of art.

It’s Friday Art Crawl!

Get a load of these original paintings inspired by the Broadway musical Hamilton! | Ilona Toth Creative

Have you ever experienced something that just completely rocked your world and turned everything upside-down?

That is what happened to me the first time I listened to Hamilton in October 2015.

I’ve always been a musical fan and a hip-hop fan so when I heard there was a hip-hop musical about to start its Broadway run I just had to hear it. Luckily, the Original Broadway Cast Recording had just been released and it was even available to stream free for a limited time.

And boy, did I take advantage of that free streaming.

From the moment I hit play on that album my life changed. It was strange but the more I listened to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s genius songwriting, the more I felt at home.

I couldn’t get this musical out of my head and less than a week after my first listen I had bought a ticket to see the show. I had never been to New York City before yet after listening to Hamilton for only a few days I was compelled to make a trip.

Fast forward a couple months to December when I decided to take up painting again. I still couldn’t get that musical out of my head and it showed in my painting.

Over the past year I have painted a handful of Hamilton inspired paintings and they have definitely been some of my favorites.

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It’s Quiet Uptown is an emotional song that gets me every time. When I listen to it I picture a quiet starry night which is what inspired this canvas set.

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Of course, no Hamilton collection would be complete without one of the most quoted and most iconic lines from the show. I can’t help but feel pumped up and motivated after listening to this song so this piece is a great visual reminder to go after what you want.

The Chicago company of Hamilton recently had their opening night so to celebrate I decided to offer these two paintings in a Limited Edition run. There are only going to be five of each so get them while you can!

And if you haven’t heard the album yet you can grab the two-disc set here! (This is an affiliate link.) Prepare to have your world rocked.


Thanks for stopping by for Friday Art Crawl! Make sure you check out the last feature: Custom Pet Portraits.

Have a great weekend!

xoxo
Ilona

20 Things You Don't Know About Me

Well hey there!

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a while now and it just hit me: I don’t think I ever actually introduced myself!

My name is Ilona Toth and I’m an artist!

Get to know the blogger behind Ilona Toth Creative.

I wanted to do a quick little post to help us get to know each other so after you read these 20 things you don’t know about me drop a comment below with two truths and a lie! I’ll try to guess which one is the lie!


Here are 20 things you don’t know about me!

  1. I played the cello for one year before switching to the violin that I played for four years. I also have several years of the piano under my belt even though I haven’t played any instruments at all in about 10 years.

  2. I was on the swim team in high school and it was such a great time. I miss it a lot!

  3. My dad came to the United States from Hungary when he was 17. I have been there once when I was 14.

  4. I have attempted just about every art form you can think of. Painting, drawing, writing, pottery, knitting, needlepoint & embroidery, batiking, tie-dyeing, weaving, jewelry-making. The list goes on and on. One day I’ll have a craft room as big as Michael’s itself!

  5. I am a cat person. I have two right now and every time I go to Petsmart I want to adopt all the kitties!

  6. I went to the University of Oklahoma for about two and a half years but stopped going for some very personal reasons. I loved the college experience but it just didn’t work for me.

  7. Apart from the basics I learned when I was younger, I am an entirely self-taught artist. Trial & error and experimentation are the way I work.

  8. This comes as a surprise to a lot of people: I love sports. I currently work at a sports bar as my day job and while I’m not the most knowledgeable about many sports it’s still fun! I went to a lot of football and basketball games when I was in college.

  9. I have wanted to live in NYC for quite some time now. I visited for the first time in April 2016 and fell in love. I can’t wait to go back and hopefully I’ll be living there before I turn 30!

  10. Speaking of turning a certain age/birthdays. My birthday is on Halloween and I definitely have a love/hate relationship with that date. I love Halloween but I always felt overshadowed by the holiday and growing up people often forgot it was my birthday.

  11. Ever since I was little I have loved going to art shows and festivals. There’s a couple local ones here in Tulsa that is one of my favorites: Mayfest and the Blue Dome Arts Festival. I’ve never participated as an artist but hope to next year.

  12. I’m actually participating in my very first art show called the Pancakes and Booze Art Shot next week on November 4th. I’m really excited and kind of nervous because I’ve never had my art in front of real live people in that capacity.

  13. I have two tattoos. One is a sand dollar on my foot in honor of my dad. The other is an umbrella on my wrist because Singin’ in the Rain and Mary Poppins are two of my favorite movies.

  14. I have 2 siblings and 3 half-siblings. I am the second youngest of the entire family.

  15. I started doing yoga a few months ago and I fell in love with it. It’s made exercising fun!

  16. I’m left-handed and every time someone comments on it I like to say that “left-handers are the only ones in their right mind.” That joke never gets old!

  17. Pizza, breakfast foods, and desserts are my weakness. I can seriously eat them all day, every day.

  18. I have an obsessive personality. When I discover something I like, I really like it. (See anything I post related to Hamilton or Beyonce.)

  19. I have never broken any bones (knock on wood) but I have ridden to the hospital in an ambulance which was one of the scariest nights of my life! Weirdly, it was also one of the best nights of my life because it was right after I got out of a Beyonce concert.

  20. I love what I do. Being creative and helping other be creative has given me so much joy and purpose. Up until the last couple years I’ve just been drifting through life wanting certain things to happen but not actually doing anything to make it happen. I started this blog and found my purpose.


So there you have it! 20 things you now know about me!

Don’t forget to drop your two truths and a lie in the comments! I want to get to know you!

xoxo
Ilona

Friday Art Crawl: Custom Pet Portraits

Happy #FriYay!!!

Every Friday, I like to feature a different artist and their work. Sometimes you’ll even see my own artwork featured. It’s a nice way to get to know different artists, their creative process, and the story behind some of their works of art.

It’s Friday Art Crawl!

custom pet portraits.jpg

You know what is one of my absolute favorite things to do?

Custom work.

I’ve heard artists say they hate it because they would rather paint what they feel or paint in their own style but there is something about working with a client and creating something together that is just so meaningful.

One thing I’ve come to love about doing custom work is custom pet portraits. I don’t do anything fancy, just some fun little minis on 4in x 4in canvases but it’s so much fun! I enjoy the challenge of capturing a pet’s personality in such a small space.

If you’re at a loss for what to get the pet lover in your family for the upcoming holidays, a custom pet portrait makes a great solution.

Photos are easy but it takes some great thought and consideration to commission a one of a kind portrait.

Each custom pet portrait is painted on a solid background on a 4in x 4in canvas. No fancy hanging hardware needed! Just put a nail in the wall and hang it up!

Head over to the gallery to purchase yours now! Don’t wait until the last minute for holiday gifts!

If you want something in a different size or a different custom painting all together head over to the commissions page for more details.


This week's Friday Art Crawl was short and sweet. Make sure you check out last week's featured artist: Vicki Wallis of 29andSeptember.

Have a great weekend!

xoxo
Ilona

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A Letter to my Younger Self: Things I Wish I Learned

The other day, I was having dinner with my best friend who I’ve known for almost 25 years. (Yea, I’m that old.)

We started talking about how we’ve changed and how we used to be when we were younger and it got me thinking about all the things I know now that I wish I would have known when I was younger to save me from so many years of struggles and insecurities.

While I can’t go back in time and actually tell these things to myself, I decided to write them out as a letter to my younger self.

Things I wish I knew when I was younger. | Ilona Toth Creative

Dear Younger Self,

I wish there was a way for me to go back in time and protect you from all the pain you are going to experience in the coming years. It’s going to be really hard for a long time but I promise you’ll make it through.

Here are a few things I wish I could tell you in person:

Don’t compare your journey to other people’s journey.

Your beginning is going to look way different from someone else’s middle or end. Even your middle will look different from their middle.

Everyone is on a different path going at different times and different speeds so there is no point in comparing your progress with someone else. You will make your own progress in your own time.

Plus, there’s that old saying “Comparison is the killer of joy” and it’s totally true.

Learn to let things go.

Holding on to anger and other negative emotions does more harm than good. That negativity will just eat you up inside.

Let go of negativity. Let go of grudges. It’s not productive and will only make you feel terrible.

Talk to people.

This is more than just having a conversation with someone. This is communicating how you feel instead of letting feelings stew.

Don’t be petty and talk one way to someone and then talk another way behind their back. Don’t say anything about someone that you wouldn’t say to their face.

Stand up for yourself.

If someone says something to you that you don’t like, tell them. You deserve respect and if someone disrespects you, you have to let them know. Just today, a co-worker talked down to me and I immediately told him not to talk to me like an idiot instead of getting angry and not doing anything about it.

Stop caring so much about other people’s opinions.

Seriously. Just stop. You don’t have to hide parts of yourself or make excuses for things just because you’re afraid of how people will react. Their opinion doesn’t matter in the long run and conforming to their expectations will only make you unhappy.

And you know whose opinions really doesn’t matter? Boys. Oh my god. Who cares what boys think?! Don’t do anything for boys, do it for yourself. Wear makeup for yourself. Don’t wear makeup for yourself. Shave your legs for yourself or don’t shave your legs. Your opinion is the only one that matters.

You are a feminist.

Don’t resist calling yourself that because you’re afraid of what people will think. (See last piece of advice.) Anyone who thinks less of you because you’re a feminist isn’t worth your time (and they probably don’t even understand what feminism really is.)

Don’t laugh at sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/islamophobic/etc jokes because they aren’t funny. Don’t tiptoe around people because they might call you a “feminazi.” (That’s not a thing!)

Call people out when they act like assholes. It’s hard, especially when it’s people you consider your friends, but it’s better than staying silent and allowing problematic behavior to continue.

Female friendships are the shit.

Don’t be one of those people who “aren’t like other girls” because that’s insulting to other girls and you know what, girls are amazing! Nothing is better than having a few close female friendships that help you get through all of life’s ups and downs.

Make travelling a priority.

Sure, saving money for travelling is hard, especially when it’s so easy to spend money on little things, but travelling is worth it. And travelling is fun. (And New York City is not as scary as people like to make it out to be.)

Experiences are better than things so skip buying all those DVDs and save that money for concerts, road trips, and vacations.

Be unapologetically you.

You are constantly growing and changing and finding out who you are so don’t ever shy away from that. Who you are now is different from who you will be in two months and that person is different from who you will be in two years.

Don’t be afraid to show the world who you are every step of the way.

Now, if only I could actually tell you these things instead of writing a hypothetical letter to you.

Go do great things.

xoxo
Ilona

Friday Art Crawl: Vicki Wallis

Happy #FriYay!!!

Every Friday, I like to feature a different artist and their work. Sometimes you’ll even see my own artwork featured. It’s a nice way to get to know different artists, their creative process, and the story behind some of their works of art.

It’s Friday Art Crawl!

Meet Vicki Wallis of 29andSeptember. This week's featured artist on Friday Art Crawl. | Ilona Toth Creative

This week’s artist is Vicki Wallis of 29andSeptember based in Derbyshire, England. Vicki offers event planning and design services, online styling, fashion design, production consulting, and more!

“I live by the phrase 'every day is a gift, that's why we call it the present'. This is why my business focuses on products for events, as I like to help others enjoy time with friends and family. I also find it much more rewarding designing something for someone with something to celebrate, it's nice to think that my design might be part of someone’s big day.”

Art and creativity are a huge part of Vicki’s life. She has been a crafter for as long as she can remember, painting and drawing ever since she was young. She worked in the fashion industry for a while before starting her own business six years ago.

“I consider myself really lucky that I get to do something I enjoy every day. Sure there are difficult times, but there's also a lot of days where I'm sitting with a paintbrush making a mess and loving every minute of it. Even when I'm not working, if I'm just out in nature or doing some shopping, I can't help but be inspired by something!”
Photo courtesy of Vicki Wallis.

Photo courtesy of Vicki Wallis.

29andSeptember provides everything you need for a beautiful event, from planning & design services to stationary & signage, a stylish clutch bag for the day, as well as unique gift ideas. All of Vicki’s designs are completely customizable like this gorgeous tribal inspired design.

“I lived in Australia for several years and it was recently the first day of Spring for the southern hemisphere. My friends in Melbourne had been chatting to me about looking forward to days in the sun, so I wanted to make a colourful and fun invitation design that can be customised to an individual's event. I started by doing some rough paintings to choose a colour scheme and then found inspiration in tribal art. I developed a pattern from basic shapes and added my bold colour scheme in Photoshop.”
Photo courtesy of Vicki Wallis.

Photo courtesy of Vicki Wallis.

Vicki has more than lived up to her last name, Wallis, which means nomadic. She has lived in several different cities over the last 10 years and has many more on her list! She loves to visit new places and finds travel relaxing and inspiring.

You can reach Vicki by email or by visiting her website.


I hope you enjoyed learning about this week’s Friday Art Crawl featured artist! Make sure you check out last week’s feature: Sun and Moon Painting Set.

Have a great weekend!

xoxo
Ilona

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Reasons Writing a Blog Boosts Your Creativity

Blogging has kind of exploded over the last several years and for good reason. It’s fun, it’s challenging, it’s a way for people to take ownership of their voice. Plus, it’s so much more than just writing which makes it a great creative outlet.

So if you’re considering starting a blog but are kind of on the fence about it here are some reasons writing a blog is good for your creativity.

Ever wondered about the benefits of blogging? Well writing a blog can boost your creativity and so much more! | Ilona Toth Creative

I’m a blogger.

And if you’re reading this then you already knew that because you are on my blog.

What you don’t know is that I’ve been a blogger for a long time just in various forms. It was Xanga in high school. I think at one point I had a Blogger account. And I probably had a couple sites on Wordpress.com.

Then earlier this year, it was SchpamonaArts.com and now here we are with Ilona Toth Creative which is my most recent blogging adventure and even though it is difficult at times, I am absolutely loving it.

Why is that?

Writing a blog has been magical for boosting my creativity and here are some reasons in case you’re wondering how blogging and creativity connect.


Blogging is challenging.

Anyone who tells you blogging is easy is probably trying to sell you something.

It’s not easy.

Sure, it can be if all you want to do is write whatever comes to mind a couple times a week but I’d consider that more of an online journal than a blog.

Most blogs have a purpose. They have specific topics they talk about and specific content they share which is where part of the challenge comes in. Coming up with fresh topics for each blog post can be difficult and the more frequently you post, the more topics you’ll need.

So how is this challenge good for your creativity?

It forces you to think.

When I need to come up with ideas for blog posts, I head over to my editorial calendar and do what is called a “brain dump.” I brainstorm and write down every idea that comes into my head. Some of them are good, some of them are not so good, and some of them I will probably never ever write but it helps me think and clear my mind so I can find great topics to write about.

Speaking of writing:

Blogging helps improve your writing and communication skills.

The more you do something, the better you get at it. Who knew!?

But seriously, I went from blogging almost every week to blogging once a week to blogging three times a week because the more I did it, the better I got, and the more I wanted to do it. My writing and the entire blogging process gets better with every post that I publish.

I’m finding my voice in my writing. I’m connecting to people more. And I’ve found it’s even helped me communicate and connect to people more in person as well!

But blogging is so much more than just writing.

If you’ve never blogged before or are just starting to blog, then you might think that blogging is just writing a post and hitting publish.

Well, sorry to break it to you, but blogging is pretty much a full-time job. That is if you want your blog to go anywhere. If you don’t care if your blog goes anywhere or not then go ahead and write a post and hit publish. It’s totally your call!

But, if you want to grow your audience, grow your blog, and maybe be one of those people who turn their blog into a full time paid job then you have a lot more to do than writing a post and hitting publish.

Some of the things that go into running a blog include, but are not limited to: graphic design, marketing, networking, promoting, editing, research, and all the other little things that I’m probably forgetting.

That’s a lot of stuff to do even if you only plan on publishing one post a week. And unless you went to school for any of those things then you’ll have to learn how to do it all yourself (which is what I do).

It can be incredibly challenging to learn how all the moving pieces go together but once you figure it out, it’s so rewarding.


So as you can see, blogging has a lot going for it. If you’re up for a challenge I definitely suggest giving it a go!

I’d love to answer any questions you have about writing or blogging so drop a comment down below! Let’s chat!

xoxo
Ilona

P.s. If you want more ways to boost your creativity you can sign-up for my free email course.

Easy DIY Project Round-Up: October

It’s the beginning of a new month so that means it’s time for another DIY Project Round-up!

October is here so that means it's time to get ready for Halloween with all things DIY! | Ilona Toth Creative

This month is the best month out of the year. No contest. It’s October!!! Not only is it the best month but it’s also my favorite and not just because it’s my birthday month.

It’s Halloween! (which also happens to be my birthday.)

For this month’s DIY Project Round-up I’ve gathered several awesome Do It Yourself projects just for Halloween and all things ~~Spooooooky~~

Have fun, you ghouls!


To ease you into the Halloween fanasticness how about this adorable DIY Halloween Fabric Scrap Garland from Vicky Barone.

These Simple DIY Stand-Alone Ghosts from Modern Parents Messy Kids are so cute it’s scary.

This Head in a Jar Prank is great for Halloween but I’m definitely keeping it in mind for April Fool’s Day!

What’s a holiday without some irresistible cupcakes? Best of Cooking Recipes has 30 Cutest Halloween Cupcakes.

Can’t have Halloween without creepy body parts! Check out this DIY Masking Tape Hand from Wholesale Halloween Costumes.


Those projects should get you started with your Halloween party planning. If you need more inspiration I’ve got a Pinterest board full of it!

 

Have fun!

xoxo
Ilona

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