Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Here's looking at you

At a family birthday party months ago, we were discussing a story in the news about an outdoor sculpture of a giraffe and the reactions toward this item. One adult niece has always loved giraffes and suggested her husband provide their yard with a sculpture. There were lots of digits in that price tags. Lots of them, plus commas, so that wasn't going to happen.

Looking for something totally unrelated to giraffes online, I came across this pattern that sits on a privacy fence and promptly lost sight of whatever I was originally seeking. Could my husband cut this out? Yes. Could I paint it? Yes.

The main part of the pattern that sits on the fence is the neck and hooves with spaces between them. The head is another cut which was later nailed in place.
Here is the finished giraffe on the tall part of a privacy fence in the backyard of one of my sons. The line you see across the giraffe's head is the shadow of a power line.
Here is the giraffe sitting on a lower section of the fence.  My husband has already traced a second giraffe for our grandson and will be cutting out the lion's head too.
Our niece will be gone part of this weekend for her birthday that ends in a zero. Hopefully she feels as I do, that numbers don't matter and will always be a joyful kid at heart. Maybe seeing this on her fence when she comes home will tickle her inner child. 
Please add makeup artist to the wild kingdom (wooden wild kingdom) to my resume.



Saturday, July 27, 2013

Copic coloring: matte metal finishes

I am still a novice when it comes to Copic markers, but I am happily learning more with each class. I've recently been taking monthly classes at Mary Maxim's retail store in Port Huron, Michigan. I come home from there feeling like I've learned all that was expected and then some.

Last week we spent the morning class working on skin colors and the afternoon was focused on matte metal finishes.  I'll show you the morning's result first:
The color in this photo is off a bit, probably because of the lack of natural light in the room when I photographed this. The stamped image is from Art Impressions and is called "Staying' Afloat". I love the girlfriends line of Art Impressions stamps. Besides learning what colors to use for various skin tones, this was the first time I used a Gelly Roll pen to make the white stars, stripes on the yellow bathing suit and designs on the purple one. Not showing well in this photo are white pencil lines (Prismacolor pencil) to make the water look like the ladies are floating in a swimming pool. Fun stuff!

The afternoon class used Penny Black & Mom Manning's stamps "Little Elf Finn" and "Little Elf Mim" We didn't use traditional Christmas colors because some in the class had done elves last fall in those colors. Our focus wasn't their clothing anyway, it was making a sphere look like a sphere and creating matte metal colors.

While these elf images are very cute, I don't know when I will get around to using them so they may hang around my craft room as examples. I took it upon myself to color the background black on the boy elf. I don't see myself fussy cutting the image, but I may do a rough cut now that the background is black. If I were to leave it the size that it is, I would need to blend the block more so that you don't see strokes. Since I'm not sure what I may do with it, I'm conserving ink.

And being lazy.

I wouldn't have known what colors to use to achieve the gold finish (Y21, YR24 and YR27) or which grays to use for the silver (N0, N2 and N4). We used the Gelly Roll pen again to decorate the ornaments and add fuzziness to the fur trim on their clothing. Tiny hash marks, made with a Copic Multiliner, on their hats indicate a knit texture.

What a cowinkydink...I'm listening to Oldies Radio and "Color My World" just came on! I love Chicago and am really loving Copics!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Cue the Super Heroes theme music!

With thanks to This Blog Post and the links within that post, I made Batman apparel for my grandson, the Prince of Sweetness who is also known as daddy's Buddy, mommy's Peanut, and Uncle Billy's Bug. Think George Alexander Louis, Prince of Cambridge has a lot of names? Any first born child/grandchild/niece or nephew does.

Our grandson was happy to see the Batman logo but not interested in wearing the tabard, mask or gauntlets. He is only three so there is still time for my genes to make an appearance and the love of costuming appear.

I now wish I had taken more time getting these photos, but between these and the photos on the above link, you can see things well enough.  Here is the tabard, mask and gauntlets.
I used premium weight craft felt for all that is black, and regular weight in yellow. The felt was left over from the playhouse project (shown here on my other blog). The tabard began as a 14" x 36" rectangle with an oval cut out for the head, and a slit cut down 4" in the back. No button or tie is necessary to close the neckline, this is just for play or possibly Halloween. Ribbons (12" pieces) were stitched at the sides to hold the tabard around a crime fighting body. 
The mask is a double layer of felt with elastic stitched in place. Other than stitching the ribbons and elastic because of the pull on these areas, the rest of these pieces could be glued, but I can stitch this stuff faster than glue would dry. Felt is forgiving and doesn't need hemming so this was a quick project. 
The gauntlets were designed to fit a child of 4-9. I don't know how this age range was determined. My grandson is very big for his age. I cut the gauntlet a little smaller and these were none too big on him, especially on bare arms on a warm summer day. It wasn't so much the width of the arm as it was getting his hands through the opening. I may cut these a little shorter at the narrow end to make the opening larger.
 I didn't time myself making these pieces, but I think the whole project took me less than 90 minutes, and that included getting supplies out and cutting templates for the logo and an oval for the neck opening.

Hmmm, I wonder if there is design online for a Wonder Woman version? A mature Wonder Woman. Very mature. Grandmotherly.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Painting on glass

This is my first attempt at painting on glass using Martha Stewart gloss paint for glass and also her adhesive stencils.

No staging for this photo, the bottle was hot from the oven. The blue towel behind it
 is to make the stencil visible and hide the knife block on the counter.
The bottle is from a Starbuck's cold drink. I purposely chose to place the doily stencil on the bottle so that the top of it was where the bottle began narrowing for the neck. It didn't go badly but a first attempt would have been better on a flat surface. Scratch that...it doesn't have to be flat, just not a change in size. The stencils are silk screen style and thin so they easily bend around a bottle.

Directions that I saw online suggested using a foam stencil dauber. I didn't have one but I did have a foam brush. I may have pushed the brush a bit instead of a daubing and therefore smeared a bit of paint under the stencil or pushed the stencil itself.

Here is a smaller image on the back of the bottle. Not bad, but still not perfect.
The paint would have cured on its own in 21 days or could be baked in the oven. I chose that method as I don't know where this bottle is going to rest for the next three weeks and I wanted it cured as soon as possible. I will hand wash it in a few days and see if holds up well.

The stencil is Martha Stewart Crafts #33244 Doily Lace Adhesive Silkscreen. There are five designs to the package. The paint is Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Paint Gloss #33120 Wedding Cake.

I will try a transparent paint next. My goal is to decorate the underside of plain glass plates and use them to serve cookies, cakes, etc. when I give baked goods away. The plates can be part of the gift without breaking up a set of dishes that I use here at home and hopefully will bring a smile of remembrance to the recipient long after the cookies are gone. The same will be done for flowers in bottles like the one above or the collection of plain vases from florists over the years.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Except for the raccoon card, one might think today's theme is alcohol.

The raccoon image is Moonlight Raccoon by Inky Antics. Copic markers used were Y02, Y23, YG03, YG05, YG17, E13, E15, E17, E18, B91, B93, B95, C1, C3, T4 and C8 (background).
This image is Tipsy, by Kathleen Francour, part of the Frou Frou line. Copics used were RV00, RV04, RV14, RV66, E00, E000, E11, R20, and BG0000 around the entire image. It doesn't show in the exterior photo but can be seen on the interior page.
 Both of these cards were part of a workshop at a local scrapbook store. The raccoon card really isn't "me" but I'm sure it will be used eventually.
The next group of cards is from a kit offered by Archiver's. For details on what is included in the kit, click here. I've made two of each of these cards and plan to make wine bottle gift tags. I like the pack of papers and will use the remainder in many other projects.
I haven't stamped on paper with such obvious prints before with stamps that had detail such as the wine bottle label or the stacked glasses. It didn't occur to me to do so, probably because I color images so often. I like the look though, and will do this again.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Architectural Vest

I made a vest for my dear daughter-in-law. The name of the pattern is Architectural Vest, designed by Lisa Hoffman and available at the Tahki Stacy Charles website on in the pattern book Intermix by Thaki Yarns.

This is the vest as shown in the pattern
The yarn is Cotton Classic Lite, a 100% cotton yarn by Tahki.

These two photos were rushed and not taken in good light conditions, but they show the front and back of the finished vest.

 This photo was taken in natural daylight and shows the color more accurately.
The pattern was not difficult and my only complaint was the size of the printed chart in the pattern book. Knitters younger than I am in my knitting group also thought the chart was minuscule and difficult to read. Normally I would have scanned it, enlarged and printed it here at home, but my printer/scanner and computer had a spat and weren't communicating. Ok, that isn't exactly true...I had a new router from Uverse and didn't know how to readdress the printer until a few hours after making my own charts using Excel spreadsheets. A blog buddy asked why I didn't go to an office supply store and have the charts copied there. I don't know if reason number one was that I was tackling this at odd hours while still in my nightgown or if reason number two was more accurate, that being that I just plain didn't think of going there.  photo doh_zpse71add90.gif I knew from past experience that FedEx/Kinko's sometimes gives you grief over copying printed material even if it is only for personal use.

Friday, July 12, 2013

I am taking a break and contemplating retiring this blog. If you need to reach me, email me or leave a comment here.

I have "I Made This!" running with posts about things I've made and pin those entries to Facebook.

Enjoy your summer!