Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday Workings!

This week I have been working on old projects and starting a new one. I have tons of wool, especially scrap wool, so I plan on using the wool that is not great for hooking or appliqué and making scrap rugs. I was gifted wool, years ago and decided to start with that and making a braided rug.

The great thing about braided rugs are, they are not hard to make and you do not need any tools, if you use what you have. There are various methods so it is a great way to use up junk wool and fabric scraps, as well.

I couldn't find my braid aids, but I did find an old set that was still in the box and it even came with a measuring tool and flat needle for threading. I get old supplies from friends and relatives, so sometimes I don't even realize what I have. It is a nice set and never been used, so I can use it for future rugs. For this one, the strips are too thin to get a nice braid with them.

This is what I have gotten done so far, a bit thinner than I like, but I have enough rolled strips to make a small throw rug, so once I use up this wool, I will finish it off and if I need a little extra, I know I have plenty of similar wools.

I am using my hands to turn the wool under, as I go, so slower going. It also twists as I braid, so I have to untwist it, as I go, so that slows me down, but also gives my hands a rest.

While I was looking for the aids, I found items I had forgotten about. To finish and paint the floral rug, or sell to someone else. The cats would be a fun one for the kitty bowls. And, it is one rug the cats won't claw at. The dog piece is another oldy, I really need to clean out my supplies, lots from the 80's.

And we got to spend time at the beach on the weekend and a few days during the week. The glass photos to the right are from my favorite beach, we found some nice treasures. The smaller photo on the left is from a local port beach, not a lot of great glass, but a few fun finds, a domino and an old local beer cap. Now I need to make time for working on some art pieces I have been thinking about.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday Finish!

First I want to appologize to those who haven't gotten comments from me, on their blogs. For some reason I cannot post if I do the security questions, they just keep coming at me, so I just comment and it shows up as going through, but then I get returned mail, saying it didn't. So, I have been visiting and commenting, just need to figure out how to get mine to go through.

This week I had some tries that didn't work, projects I couldn't start and one project I got to finish. The design was offered by Homespun Whimsy on Facebook. She also has a block of the month with sheep, if you are interested in checking out Homespun Whimsy on Facebook.

I reduced the pattern by 20% and made a little pillow, that measures 9" x 6 1/2". I trace my design with a blue embroidery marker that washes off. Then I color in the design with colored pencils, then I stitch the design. This time I didn't use fabric medium but the color stayed when I wet patted around it to get the blue marks off.

And then there was the project I wanted to come out nice. I used Americana decoupage on this one and it bled more than the others. I also messed up on the sizing to fit the canvas. I really love the photo and saying, so I will have to try it in a different type of art piece.

And the project I couldn't get started. I was gifted the rolls of braiding wool and decided to make a scrappy rug for the kitchen. But, I cannot find my braid aids. I found 2 small ones and the box, but not the third one or the larger set of three. I am worried they went out with other items I gave away. I can braid without them, but I think it would be easier with them.

I will try braiding this weekend without them to see how I do. I have tons of scrap, rough wools so I am going to cut them into braid strips and make small rugs for entry ways and maybe some for the pet dishes. A good way to use up scrap stash that is not really good for hooking and it is more durable for those areas.

And then there is the total disaster. I decided it was time to shave Izzy. She will let me do it for so long, so I give her some canned food and she sits still for a few minutes. The problem was, I forgot to check the blade length so it shaved too close. Then she moved too much, so she is shaved mostly on the top and sides and looks like a lawnmower ran over her, lol. I think I need to get a pill to put her in a sleep state, then I could just get it done quickly and get her nails too.

I hope everyone has a nice weekend. We have good weather coming in, so I will definitely be outside as much as possible.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Friday Finishes!

It is nice to have a week where I can get more projects done and still keep up at home. I have been dosing for all the colds and it is helping with my lyme, as well. So, I still have my moments, but I have more energy this week and hopefully it will keep up.

The first thing I made was a pillow. I do enjoy doing stitchery while I rest and watch tv. Lori Brechlin offered a new pattern on the various Facebook groups. She also offered it on her blog, Notforgotten Farm, if you would like to make one of your own. I did half of the design, there is also a basket with strawberries, but I wanted to keep mine smaller.

I also finished painting a box for my new punch needle piece. I glued the piece to the box, which I sanded and antiqued, after I painted it. I like how it looks and might just keep this one. I put it on a table with my painting and now I need to make a topper for the table, to match.

Here is a close up of the box, I use folk art antique medium, mixed with water, to age wood.

And I had time to make the newest stitchery from Kathy Schmitz's, One Stitch Club. It is fun to get something new each month and only two dollars. I liked how the colors pop on this one. I used colored pencils but no fabric medium, so the colors stayed more intense. I had to rinse it off, quite a few times to get the blue out and it held the color.

And yesterday was my son's birthday. I find joy in the memories of him when he was younger and the joys since he has become a father and made me a grandmother. Tomorrow we will have them over for a little dinner party. With the weather and the flu's, I haven't been able to see much of them this winter, so hopefully we will all stay healthy and spring will be here soon.

May you all find your own joys in life and be blessed with good health.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Friday Finishes!

I decided to get last year's issues of Punch Needle and Primitive Stitches to get a pattern that I liked. The nice thing is, you can order back issues at a reduced rate if you get the EMagazine, which is nice, since you can just print out the patterns, that you want. I wish I did more cross stitch, they do have some wonderful stitcheries, as well.

This pattern was in the summer issue, it is perfect for summer. I made mine with a round border, instead of stopping at the rope, which is uneven. I plan on mounting it onto a round wood box, so I will paint and prep the box next.

The design is about 8" round, but worked up quickly.

Another fun thing I did this week was to make a card. The design was a free painting pattern, from the Artist's Club, by Christy Hartman. I did it on watercolor card stock and used my water color pencils.

And I also did another image transfer. This is a photo of my son and husband, when we went for a hike one day. I wanted to make him something for his Birthday, since we always give him a gift certificate. I like to give him something to hide the card in, so I will tape it to the back.

Well, as you can see, it didn't work. I really don't like working on mounted canvas, not enough stiffness to press down the photo. I will have to try wood, next time. And maybe it is time to try some photo transfer medium, to see if it works better.

So, I fixed it. I had another copy, that I forgot to reverse. The photo was redone in a  watercolor filter, so I trimmed off the excess white and decoupaged it over the first photo. I had extra edge showing, that didn't look right, so I sanded and antiqued the edges. Not perfect, but something fun to hide his card in.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We are expecting snow to come in tonight, so tomorrow will be a stay home day, perfect day to work on more projects.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday Makin!

This weekend I tried some new things, kitty beds. I wanted to make something for Moki, since he has decided to sleep on the table. I have been using old towels, but now he has his own bed and he loves it. It is big enough to cover the table and he can stretch out in it.

I just sewed a square by folding the fabric in half, leaving one side open, then turning it right side out. To stuff it, I put 4 layers of square batting in the middle, pinned it in place and sewed around the edge to hold it in place. Then I stuffed the sides with batting to give it an edge.

It is a great way to use up old fabric and I used batting from previous projects, so it is a cheap way to make your kitty a comfy bed.

Izzy also loves his bed and tried to steal it when he gets out. So, I decided to try another for her. I found a pattern online, which I cannot find now, but you can go to Instructables and find a similar pattern. I made mine a little differently. Once I turned it right sides out, I added a circle of batting, then I sewed around it, to keep it in place. Once that was done, I stuffed the sides, then sewed up the opening by hand. I like using batting for the pad, since I have extra, and it saves on my batting. If I was making more, I would use foam for the pad and a stiffer, cheaper batting for the sides.

This is the result, it is a bit cock eyed, I didn't have a template for the circle, so I got as close as I could. Of course Izzy wants nothing to do with it. I think I need to make her a larger one, like Moki's, she is so spoiled.

I also saw a pattern, where you make the sides with a flat bottom and make a separate pad to place in it, I like that idea.

I realized I needed something long to stuff the sides with, and I found a long metal tool, no idea where I got it, or what it is for. It was too thin to push the stuffing through, so I came up with an idea that did the job, I wrapped tape around the top, which was perfect for pushing it to the back sides.

This weekend we did a little shopping. I have been looking for couch pillows and there is nothing that matches my taste or colors. But, I found these ugly pink pillows, 25" and the pair cost 6.50. Now that is a deal and I can recover them with my own fabric. I am still trying to decide, but I am leaning towards making open back pillows so I can make designs for each season, and change them out.

And I couldn't resist stopping at the beach on the way home. I wanted to get out for a little while and walk on the beach and the tide was down enough to leave some wonderful pieces of driftwood. I will be using the larger pieces as bases for wood or needle felting and the smalls can be used with my art glass ideas.

I clean it in soapy water with bleach, so it is drying. It will lighten up as it dries.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday Finishes!

This week I experimented with colored pencils and tools for blending. I had an extra design drawn up, for the bee skep by Kathy Schmitz. I thought it would be good to use on the crackle fabric, as my first try. The fabric says, 100% cotton, but it has a silky, stretchy feel to it.

I use freezer paper to trace the design and a blue washable marker. The paper keeps the fabric from stretching as I draw on the design. I also keep it on, while I color it in with the pencils. I use Faber Castell Gold Faber pencils. They come in a variety of colors and you can buy them individually at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. The best time to buy is when you have a 20% coupon, then you get that off, of each one.

I usually dull the pencil a bit, by rubbing it on paper, it leaves less marks if it is dull. You also want to color with a light hand, in circles, or you will see streaks, which I do have on some of my pieces. On this piece, I used a blending stump to blend the colors into the fabric and I do like how it works. It is made of compressed paper, so it is hard enough to rub the color and blend if you want some shading. The other benefits are, you can clean it with an emory board, and they are cheaper.

I do like how this one came out, the colors blended into the fabric nicely, though I may have used a bit of solvent at the end. The downside of this fabric is, I had a hard time getting the blue marker off, I had to rewet it quite a few times, to get it to disappear, which faded some color, so I had to recolor some areas.

On the second test, I made some little bunnies for the boys. I modified the bunny pattern from Kathy Schmitz to make it work for a boy and added a little pail with their initials on it.

I did get lazy and colored in lines, in some areas, which you can see on the pants. The bunny on the left was done with a solvent blender. It is double sided with a brush and a hard point. I used the brush, which releases a solvent as you go over the colors. It breaks down the pigments in the color and makes it more like water color. The downside is, it can bleed if you use too much, but it is not hard to control, once  you get used to it. It is also harder to add more color, once you use it.

The bunny on the right was done with the stump blender. I think I had more control shading, with the stump. As you can see, I was more concerned with making them, than the quality of my work.

I decided the bunnies were too light, so darkened them up and added things I forgot, then brushed fabric medium, over the colors. I wanted to make sure they could be cleaned. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I had brushed my hand onto the bottle of black stain and it go on the pants.

I really don't like the fabric medium, it gives it a stiffer appearance. The other test, the blue marker came off with a dab from a wet rag, so working on muslin, is better with markers, than on other fabrics. But, the crackle has a nicer look with the pencils, not sure if it is because I did a nicer job on coloring or because of the fabric differences, so I will have to try some more on the muslin and take my time.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits!

First of all, I would like to request a favor from those of you who follow Buttermilk Basin's postings. She had a puzzle last week and I got the first two and forgot to grab the third one and she took it down. So if you have the third one, I would truly appreciate a copy.

I also made a pillow earlier, but couldn't show a photo, until it was gifted, so today I will show you what I made.

The saying is from Cheri Saffiote and I added a design by Kindred Spirits to personalize it. I wanted to give it a cleaner look and a ragged edge, so used heavier materials. It was fun to make and I do enjoy making personalized items for friends.

For the back I used an old ticking, that I had grunged up a bit.

This weekend was nice, the sun was out and not too cold. I bundle up and it gives me some time on the beach, before my hands freeze up. Even when I am sick, a few hours on the beach, makes me forget how miserable I am, lol.

There were no people on Saturday, so we had the beach to ourselves and lots of new glass to be found.

Sunday was a little cooler but a warm sun for a few hours. There are also more people on the beach, but no one seemed to be collecting glass, so more for me;) I love the olive greens and the bright greens will be used in projects for next Christmas.

We even found some new colors and pottery. The worn shell pieces will become angel wings.

And as an added treat, we stumbled onto a new friend. Not sure how to tell the sex of a seal, but it was quite happy to share the beach with us, as long as we kept our distance. It was nice to get out while we could and even if it wore me out a bit, it was good for my soul.

I am working on some more colored pencil pieces, so Friday I will have a review on the new products I am using.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday Finishes!

I finally finished my angel. The design is by Teresa Kogut and was an extra offering for her angel tutorial. Of course I changed the look and went with a patriotic dress and I have to admit, I lose focus when watching videos so to finish her face, I just went for it and did what felt right.

This is the finished angel, before I aged her. I really like how the background came out, I mottled it by double dipping the brush and patting it with a paper towel. In some ways I like the softer look, before aging, but If I was leaving it as is, I would do more detail.

And this is the angel, after I aged her. The process is from the tutorial, so I cannot explain it to you, but I did use crackle and antique medium for this look. I was happy that the crackle worked this time. Before I add the aging mediums, I do sand it, to get the worn look and expose some paper.

Here you can see the crackling, it is a nice effect for primitive pieces.

In this, you can see a little of where the paper got exposed, with the sanding. I use different colors and prints. I really had fun doing this and more fun when I just went out on my own, so I might start trying more of my own paintings with my photos. The class really helped me to explore a new medium for painting.

I had another project, but it was giving me fits, the blue marker would not come off, but I finally got it to come off, but I need to rework the colors that faded, so I will finish that, next week. I did work on a new punch needle project. I found the pattern in a thrift store for only 50 cents. It still had the printed weavers with it, but I wanted it larger, so I redrew it on my own backing.

The pattern is by Pine Mountain Designs. I went with a patriotic look, seem to be doing that a lot lately. The original has more muted colors, and I wanted it to pop more. I think this would be fun to do for a babies room too, making it without the stars and adding the babies name to the top or bottom. I also have wool floss, so making the sheep pop with fluffy wool, would be fun.

We were also able to get to the beach last weekend, an hour after a storm, was the perfect time to go. Lots of glass in with the rock piles, so we got a nice haul, this time.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Seems another flu is going around and the kids are sick again. I really wanted to take the boys to see the mermaids this weekend. so hopefully I feel better tomorrow and do a little beach combing, till my hands go numb;)

Friday, February 8, 2019

Friday Finishes!

This week I have been busy with new projects and trying new things. I enjoy experimenting and seeing where it takes me.

I wanted to try two photo transfers with two different mediums. I am still not pleased with the results, but they didn't come out too badly, considering I am using an ink jet and it is recommended to use a laser printer. I also used my laid paper, which has ridges on one side, so I printed on the smooth side.

The first is a sailboat photo, that I took from Jamestown, looking towards Newport. I used heavy gel medium, and I think the heavy is what made it harder to work with. I had to smooth it out a few times to get out the bubbles. I also had to be more careful when I removed the paper, or part of the design would come off too. There was also some slight bleeding, so a little antique medium was applied.

The second piece is another one of my photos, an old one from a kayak trip. I used the glaze medium and it seemed to work better, but it does bleed out some color, always seems to be a red. The design adhered to the board, so that it looked like it had melded into the canvas, so it was easier to get rid of the paper without taking any of the design. I also think my prints come out a bit dark, so maybe lightening them up would help and make it look more aged.

I do think I like them better on the framed canvas, but the smaller hard boards are easier to work on and great for practice, since they are cheaper. Next I will have to try some on wood.

Another project was the Stitch of the Month Club pattern from Kathy Schmitz. I really enjoyed doing this one and used DMC 115 to get a variation. The color tends to run longer with one shade, so I cut off a long piece, then recut and mix the dark and light in two strands to get this look.

And yesterday I was in the mood to paint, but my brain wasn't up to finishing the angel. So, I found a fun design from Artist's Club. This is a free design by Sharon Bond. The club is an online store for painting patterns, lots of free ones and PDF patterns for sale.

A Valentine for Nick. I added glitter to the word love and the heart eyes have glass gel in them, so it shines when you turn it to the light. I also used the glaze finish, which leaves a wonderful glassy shine, but hard to get a good photo with it.

He loves things that I make so it was fun to do. Last week he asked me if I could help him paint some rocks he found. I used to teach kids how to paint, so it will be a fun project to do together.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Friday Finishes!

This week I am still experimenting with photo art and one type I tried is, attaching the photo, face side up. I had Bill cut out a piece of wood, but it is thicker than I would like to use. I like the thinner slat boards for art like this, but I wanted to test it first, before I do anything on good woods.

I like it in one way, but not sure if it is the thick wood, but not thrilled with how it looks. I think trying it on a white slate board, would look nicer for this technique. It is fun to try my photos in art, though.

With this one, I used decoupage to adhere it to the wood and then a coat, over the piece, then finished with a glaze medium. I also aged it a bit before I glazed it, with antique medium.

Another test was with a butterfly photo. I used the glaze medium this time and when I pressed the photo down, the colors started oozing out, so not the best medium to use. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see their was a nice print underneath.

I also used regular printer paper, which is thinner, so that may have left a better print but it was a pain to get off, the paper adhered with the glaze, so I had to be careful not to rub the design off. Overall it worked nicer than the first one with decoupage. I do think a heavier paper is nicer, so I will see if I have one without ridges. I will also try a heavy gloss gel medium, that I have. I have plenty of mediums, so fun to use what I have, to save money as I experiment. Most people seem to use the gel in this method, so hoping my heavy will work. I will also try the glaze with a heavier paper, I do like how it came out, overall.

As Michelle mentioned, most tutorials use laser printers, I am using ink jet, so you will get more color bleeding with that, but it lends to a more artistic look. I am also using cheap mini canvas squares, so not the best surface.

Another little project was a pillow I made, using a design by Ginger of Primitives by the Light of the Moon. It is a free design that she offers on her blog, along with others. I used my colored pencils and was not pleased with the look. I was trying to blend and make it look more like watercolor. I added some extra stitches, so I think that helped cover the flaws.

I did hear about using blending stumps, they look like fun to use and not expensive, so I will try those, on my next colored piece.

This design would be fun to do in punch needle too. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tuesday Tries!

I am doing an extra posts, since I have a few things to show you and new things for Friday. I finally finished my lighthouse and not too happy with how it came out. I used a photo that I  took of the Point Judith lighthouse, so my first that I did on my own.

I used Teresa's technique for a paper background and antiquing, but the paper didn't seem to show through too well and the crackle did not work for some reason. I even got the brand she uses, so not sure what I did wrong.

Even if it is not what I was hoping for, I still enjoy practicing and learning and find it relaxing to paint.

I also got an idea, I had to try. I get distracted to easily, lol. I wanted to try a photo transfer on canvas. I used a mini canvas and reduced the photo to fit. I used Modge Podge by applying it to the canvas, then you put the photo, picture side down, onto the canvas. Once it sets over night, you use a wet sponge to get the paper off and it leaves an image.

As you can see, I didn't transfer a few pieces of the photo by the white spots and in some areas the design started to fade and mix colors in other areas. So, another experiment gone wrong, but It may have been the paper I used or the canvas, so will try again. It is fun to do and easy, so by using junk canvas or cutting out some wood to try, I keep the cost to a minimum.

I tried adding a bit of color and then antique medium to cover some of the flaws.

We had a slight warm spell on Sunday, so we got out on the beach for an hour. The tide was just going out and with the wind, the waves were coming up to high, so it was hard to find much glass. But I did get some nice pieces of driftwood. I put it in soapy water with a little bleach and now they are air drying. They lighten as they dry, but I like the darker sections too, they will be fun to use in projects.

I hope you are all enjoying your week and enjoying time to create.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Friday Finish and Freebie!

This week I was able to get a few projects done. I got some new colored pencils and wanted to try them out. I wanted to get the inktense, but they are expensive. I ended up getting Faber Castell's Goldfaber pencils. They are 1.49 a pencil, which is nice since you can choose the colors you want and not waste on colors like white or black. For black I prefer to use their ink markers.

The first piece I made was a design by Cheryl Seslar. I traced the design with a washable embroidery pen, then colored it in with the pencil. The material is a stiff white, that I got for punch needle, but it is too stiff and loosely woven. It was ok, but a bit scratchy for coloring on.

Once I finished that, I used fabric medium and a bristle brush to move the colors around. When wet, they do blend in, so nice for more detailed projects when you want to add shading and mix colors. This was a practice piece, so I kept it simple.

It was too white for my tastes, so I used antique medium afterwards and there was no bleeding of the colors.

The second piece is a free design by Lori Brechlin. I really loved this one, the fabric was darker and softer, so the pencils colored more smoothly. I will have to try different fabrics and techniques, in future projects.

Here are two pieces that I used to try their colorfastness on. The flower was done with a fabric medium, the heart was just colored, so medium used. Once dry, I washed them in dish soap and scrubbed a little, then let dry. As you can see, no color bled out, so either way will work.

This was done with the bad weavers cloth, so you don't get the nicer look that you do on cotton.

Since I love making things from freebies, I decided to make one of my own. I found this saying and it was perfect for Valentines day. I did use the cheap fabric on this too, a good way to use it up. For the stitching I used black #12 pearl cotton. It is a fun and simple project you can do over the weekend.

I hand wrote the saying, so you could do one of your own. It is not exactly like mine, I tend to change things as I go. With primitive stitchery, you want your letters to be a little wonky. I did forget when I was recopying the e's on the third line, so just remember to pull the end down more. You can stitch t he hearts, do appliqué or use buttons, as well. 

And as an added bonus, I found a template online and added the saying inside. You can change it around if you want or add something to the empty spaces, but I wanted to give you one with the shape, that you can use to print out and have fun one.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!