Friday, July 30, 2021

Diamond Painting Overview by Spazzy Crafter

The best way for me to explain diamond painting is it reminds me a lot of paint by numbers. The differences are that the project is sticky, and (instead of using paint) you use drills also known as dotz. The drills come in either square or round. 

Image: A portrait of a Yorkie comprised of little colored squares. You can see a reference key along the bottom.

Below is a list of what comes in a diamond painting kit:

Canvas (or other material) that has a pre-printed picture on it with adhesive. On the canvas kits, there is a number and letter key. Card kits come with separate instructions.

Diamond painting pen

Small tray

Small bags with corresponding numbers to the key or instructions

Wax square

Tweezers (in most larger kits)

Image: A red square of wax sits on paper that reads "Sunnor Group". On the right side, a pink pen is pressed into the wax.  A person's finger is also visible.  

The adhesive canvas has either paper or clear plastic on it. So, to start, peel the little piece of plastic off the wax. Take the diamond painting pen and dip the tip of it into the wax until the tip is full. Peel the corner of the canvas back until you see a number or a letter, then use the key on the side of the canvas to match the number on the bags. Open the bag with the corresponding number you want to start with, and put the drills in the tray. Use the diamond pen to pick up the drills by the shiny side; the flat side goes on the adhesive canvas. You do that until the project is complete. 

For me, the round drills are easier to use because you don't have to be as exact when sticking them on the canvas. The square drills, in my opinion, make a nicer-looking project.

Here are some accessories that might help:

Portable headlamp with magnification glasses for if you have trouble seeing the little diamond drills. 

I have never used it, but there is something called a diamond painting ruler. It is supposed to help you keep your diamond drills lined up. 

Does anyone else know of anything that will help make diamond painting easier? 


Additional Notes: 
If you have spasms, it helps to only put a few drills into the tray at one time in case you spill.
There are little storage containers for the drills that are similar to those for beads.
Gently shake the ridged tray to turn the drills face up, so you don't have to do it with your fingers.
Most drill colors have universal numbers so you can order more if you need.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Possible Changes (Please Read and Give Feedback)

This blog officially launched on May 25th, 2016. Since that time, I've seen amazing art, essays, poetry, and more from some of the most talented people in our community. It's been an absolute pleasure to work with a lot of you. But, I'm stretched thin... a feat for someone as fat as me.

So, why talk about this now?

The creation of The Handy, Uncapped Pen and all the work that goes into it was my choice, and I don't regret it. The launch of the mentor program was one of the most amazing moments I had doing this. But, I noticed my own creative output has suffered in favor of making this space better or more useful for our community. I was in the hospital last month due to infection (something that tends to happen more easily when I overstress/overwork). Something needs to change.

Possible changes:

1.  Requesting volunteers. It means asking someone to take responsibility for at least one aspect of H.U.P. like:  Soliciting interview subjects, curating the Twitter account, assistance with the promotion/running of the mentor program, updating market lists, and more.

2.  Soliciting guest editors. I'm not sure it would go very well after the first few months, but it's an option.

3.  The mentor program, blog, and everything else (sans Twitter) could shut down in two/three-month increments. People would still be able to submit during the months things are closed, it would just take longer for a response/publication. The three-month schedule would have us open: February, March, April, August, September, and October.

4.  Open everything to allies. It would give us more content for the blog and keep other programs running easier. I resist this idea, not because I dislike our allies (I value them so much!) but because I wanted this organization to stay as something specifically for us.

5.  The blog could become a place for more general writing and art from disabled and neurodivergent creatives, no longer restricting most creative writing categories to having a disability/neurodivergent component. It may solve the problem of submissions... but not everything else.

Feedback time: 

Please comment below or contact me and tell me which options you think are best. If you think of something else, feel free to let me know.


Twitter:  @HandUnPen

Monday, July 5, 2021

Mentors Starting July Fifth

F.I. Goldhaber - Poetry (can help in a variety of ways, but would love to assist a starting poet in getting published)

Restrictions:  "No misogynists, racists, white supremacists, homomisiats, transmisiats, Islammisiats, xenomisiats (I refuse to use 'phobic'; they're not afraid, they're just hateful), anti-Semites, or Zionists (and no, those last two do not, as some believe, contradict each other)." 

Note:  "I expect to be hands on. I'm not interested in mentoring someone who isn't going (or doesn't have time) to put in the (considerable amount of required) work." They are extremely liberal politically, so keep that in mind.

F.I. Goldhaber's words capture people, places, and politics with a photographer's eye and a poet's soul. As a reporter, editor, business writer, and marketing communications consultant, they produced news stories, feature articles, editorial columns, and reviews for newspapers, corporations, governments, and non-profits in five states. Now paper, electronic, plastic, and audio magazines, books, newspapers, calendars, broadsides, and street signs display their poetry, fiction, and essays. More than 170 of their poems appear in almost 75 publications, including VoiceCatcher, Outcast, Black Lives Have Always Mattered, Cirque Journal, Raven Chronicles' Take a Stand: Art Against Hate, 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy, Portland Metrozine, Windfall: A Journal of Poetry of Place, Room's Turtle Island Responds, Kosmos Journal's We the World Days of Unity campaign, Connoisseurs of Suffering: Poetry for the Journey to Meaning, New Verse News, Every Day Poets, Soul-Lit,, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and four volumes of poetry. In addition, F.I. shares their words throughout the Pacific Northwest and on the radio. They appeared at venues such as Wordstock, Oregon Literary Review, galleries, coffee houses, bars, bookstores, record shops, art events, libraries, and community colleges. They give presentations on subjects as diverse as marketing and building volunteer organizations, and taught Introduction to Indie Publishing at Portland Community College and as a weekend intensive.

Methods of Correspondence:  Email (with 24- to 48-hour turnaround time)


Jennifer Ruth Jackson - Literary and speculative flash fiction (editing, chapbook organization, market research/resource help)

Note:  Jennifer has more experience with speculative flash. 

Jennifer Ruth Jackson is an award-winning poet and fiction writer whose flash fiction has appeared in Lonesome October Lit, Dream of Shadows, The Binnacle, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, and more. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and is a wheelchair-user.

Methods of correspondence: Email, Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger

Friday, July 2, 2021

Oil and Clay Art by Su Zi

Artist's statement: 

The first is a pottery piece—a gift for a friend, a mask of The Green Man.

The other two are oil portraits—I have neither painting anymore.

The man standing is 22x48, if I remember; the seated person is 24x36.
I once had a one person gallery exhibit of oil portraits in New Orleans.
While those pieces are gone, I do have two oil portraits available on my Etsy site.

I prefer to draw from life—to have the subject in front of me while I sketch directly onto the canvas, or whatever. Both oil portraits were done this way: the ghost of the subject while they are in front of me, then the painting process, which is layers and layers.
The pottery piece is the opposite—completely invented from thought into the clay, fired, glazed, fired.

Image: A green, clay mask on a stained workspace. The face is a lighter green with the edges being darker and textured. The face comes down to a soft point. The eyes are a touch feline. The lips are full and slightly parted with the bottom being a darker green, which rest below a small nose. 

Image: A shirtless man in green pants and black shoes has his arms at his sides. His right hand is resting on an axe handle, and the axe head is pointed towards the left of the image. He has short, clipped hair and facial hair. He wears a serious expression.

Image: A woman with short, brown hair sits with her legs stretched out sideways on a green couch. Her upper body is tilted to the right, and she has her legs crossed at the ankles. She is wearing a t-shirt with shorts and ankle socks.
Update on the art:

The Green Man mask lives in the classroom of a high school history teacher in Florida.

The portrait of the man standing is in possession of a filmmaker and writer who recently relocated to Toronto.

The portrait of the seated woman is whereabouts unknown, potentially destroyed.
Biography:  Su Zi is a poet/writer and artist/printmaker and edits, designs and constructs the eco-feminist poetry chapbook series Red Mare
Publications include poetry, essays, stories and reviews that date back to pre-cyber publishing, including when Exquisite Corpse was a vertical print publication, and a few editions of New American Writing. More recent publications include Red FezAlien Buddha and Thrice. A resident of the Ocala National Forest, with a dedicated commitment to providing a safe feeding respite for wild birds, and for a haphazard gardening practice that serves as a life model for all aspects of her work.