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!