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21  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Flying Zebras for Christmas on: December 26, 2008 09:57:49 AM
Hello all,

My sister made us a wonderful quilt for Christmas this year (for our baby who will be born in a few months).  She is not a craftster user, so I want to share it here with everyone. Smiley

The whole quilt.  It measures about 5 feet by 5 feet so it's quite big!


One of the four panels with brightly colored piecework.


Detail of the border fabric with flying multi-colored zebras and the reverse which is black and white zebra pattern (Babies love contrast so this side will be more interesting to him in the first month or two)


She machine sewed all the piecework, but I believe she handquilted it and handstitched the binding. 

This such an awesome quilt, I think my kid will be loving it for years and years! Cheesy
22  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / A woman knitting in BLUE on: July 10, 2008 04:20:18 PM
So for a swap I needed to combine Art and Wool in a painting.  I was inspired by "The Old Guitarist" by Picasso.  However instead of an old man playing a guitar I thought it would be a laugh to make it a woman knitting.  I used acrylics on an 11"x14" canvas.

So here it is including some in progress pics!

Finished!  This is from a good scan of the painting and shows the colors more accurately.  Overall it was fun because I tried a lot of new things and I think it turned out rather cute.


Background setup...just shapes and colors here nothing detailed


Sorry about it being sideways, I uploaded it then realized it was on end...have no energy to fix it yet.
Background is filled out and the main figure is sketched in.


The main figure is nearly done, except for hair, hands and feet.  I love painting/drawing hair, but hands and feet are my weak spot


She's looking more finished, but now she needs something to knit


Thank you for looking!
Comments/Criticism(constructive) gladly welcomed. Smiley
23  COOKING / Dessert / Patriotic Cupcakes: a variation on a well-loved theme! on: July 05, 2008 06:42:59 AM
Inspired by this post, I made cupcakes for my family get-together on the 4th yesterday.  Only I tweaked it to make it patriotic! Smiley

I used Pillsbury white cake mix (I like to keep things simple) and whipped up a simple buttercream icing.  To get the red, white and blue icing effect, I simply smeared a stripe of food coloring gel on each side of my icing bag using a butter knife (one side red and one side blue in this case), then I loaded it with plain icing.

Cupcakes!


Closeup - layered:)
24  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Cute Lil Mermaid! - With In-Progress photos on: June 14, 2008 09:31:10 AM
Hi all,

This is my first time to post in the More Art Less Craft forum so be gentle Smiley

I made this lovely little mermaid for a swap and now that the lucky dear has her, I can post pics.

Photo of the completed painting, gleaming with varnish about to be pack up to travel abroad!

The canvas measures 11"x14" and is the second biggest painting I've ever done (self-taught, hobby-artist and all that), painted with acrylics.  I took lots of in progress photos so I could go back and watch it develop over and over.  I've only posted a few here though Wink

Here we go:

I made  a sketch while hanging out with feelix one evening and really liked it Smiley


Starting with Water, then adding sunbeams after drying.


Adding Sand and Seaweed


Adding Coral, a Sunken Chest, Mermaid (roughly) and other details


Adding a rough outline of the driftwood framing, lots more detail all around, but what's up with her hair, it's so flat!


Finished except for varnish.  Her hair looks good now, and so does the driftwood frame.

Thanks for looking!

Comments/Criticism gladly welcomed! Cheesy
25  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Sugar skull zipper pouch...with sequins on: May 22, 2008 08:25:22 AM
For the Zipper Pouch swap, my partner really liked Sugar Skulls and bright colors. 

So after a small disaster with a freezer paper stencil and fabric paint (yep still working on *that* learning curve), I resorted to felt, because it has not let me down yet.  I used some sequins in different shapes and colors because they just made me think of Dia de los Muertos.  I also learned how to make a French Knot (thanks Katxena!).

Here's a closeup of the sugar skull


The pieces before assembly


The Whole Pouch


Lining


I tied some beads onto the zipper pull for extra decoration but didn't get photos before mailing.

Also this is the first time I played with piping...I *love* it now and want to use it a lot in the future Smiley

Thanks for looking!  Comments, suggestions always welcomed!  Please tell me what you think of it! Cheesy
26  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Handwritten and illustrated Story Book-14 pics (dial-up users beware!) on: April 02, 2008 07:27:08 PM
Now I know how all those poor monks in the middle ages felt as they copied texts all day.  Talk about a cricked neck!  I worked on this project for a swap and put quite a bit of time into it.  However, it is something I've always wanted to try.  I'm fascinated by the idea of a handmade, handwritten, handillustrated one of a kind book.  So I made one.

The story is Little Red Riding Hood, obviously.


I used some scrap matboard for my covers and followed the tutorial here for binding the book:
http://curiouslycrafty.wordpress.com/tutorials/
The cover piece is a watercolor painting matted with the same paper as the inside cover, framed with ribbon.  The whole thing is lacquered to within an inch of its life and glued to the cover.  The lettering is simply gold acrylic paint.

I used fancy linen-textured paper for the inside covers.  This was the only thing I bought new for this project.


Title Page. The ink is just ordinary calligraphy ink (the kind in a cartridge and pen).  The illustrations are done in watercolor and outlined with black artists' marker (ZIG Millenium...I *love* these markers!).


Dedication page.  Names are blurred out to protect the innocent and guilty. Wink


The Story.



I was inspired by some kawaii Japanese fabric in my partner's wist, so yes, there must be big eyes and a pointy hood on little Red.



I had to learn how to draw a wolf for this project.  I'd never done so.  (other animals, yes, but not a wolf). 





I love how my backgrounds turned out in these illustrations...I'm still working at painting/drawing whole scenes as opposed to isolated people or things.



Little Red's posture here is awesome, I think.  She's looking at "grandma" but her body is turned away.  She knows there's something off, but she's not sure what it is.



Rather than make a gruesome scene, I think a spilled basket and flowers is more tasteful (and easier to draw!)



The End!

I ruled the pages in pencil (I can't *draw* in a straight line, let alone write in one!) and sketched in the layout (where the words go and where the pics go).  I'm a chronic doodler and I'm sure it shows in the flowers and such.  After calligraphy and inking the pics, I erased the pencil.  Watercolors came in last.  I used standard watercolor paper cut in half and folded.  For the first time I broke into the watercolor pastes that someone gave me ages ago (i've used watercolor pencils but never pastes out of tube).  I normally prefer acrylics, but I'm pretty happy with what the watercolors gave me.

Once I made the pages, the rest was fairly easy.  However, binding takes *patience*!  Do a little bit, and let it all dry before you can do more.  Move too soon and you have a big mess.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the result as long as I don't look too closely (I start seeing all my errors up close, and there are many many errors).  It was fun but is was also very very time-consuming.

All hail Gutenberg...in the future, any books I make will definitely involve a printer! (Naturally, my sister is already asking for her own one of a kind book, so that might be happening soon)

Cheers to all!  I hope you enjoyed looking at my project Smiley

Thanks!
27  COOKING / Dessert / Emergency Easter Cake on: March 23, 2008 01:37:04 PM
Hi all,

I found out at about 10am that DH and I are going to visit the in-laws and oh, by the way, could we bring dinner rolls and dessert?  They are so lucky I keep a reasonably well stocked pantry.  Wink

I whipped together an Easter cake using a yellow cake mix.  I tried to make a lemony custard filling (I'll let you know if it turned out when I've tried it), then went crazy decorating it.  The frosting for the basket has nutmeg and a little bit of cocoa mixed in to help with the color and give it a little kick, the rest is vanilla buttercream (well, I had no milk or cream, so I emptied the last little bit of a can of whipped cream into it). 

I needed a refresher on how to do a basketweave, so I found one here:
http://www.wilton.com/decorating/basic/basketweave.cfm

Those two caramel eggs on top are the only Easter candy we have in the house and it hurt me to give them up.



It's nowhere near the prettiest cake I've ever decorated, but it'll do, plus the frosting turned out yummy. 

Oh yeah, and I knocked out some rolls too...if they taste good, I'll post the recipe later.  But the dough was great to work with and a nice eggwash sure made them look pretty! Smiley
28  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / watercolor question on: March 21, 2008 12:53:04 PM
Hi all,

Ok, so I'm fairly new to working with watercolors and now that I've actually produced something that I like with them, I want to know if there's anything I can add to preserve and protect the image without destroying it.  Would Kamar varnish be right?  How about Workable fixative(Hairspray) like I use with charcoals?  Ideally, I'd like to make it at least a little bit waterproof (in case a liquid gets splashed on it).

I hope that someone here can help me. 

Thanks! Smiley
29  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / My neighbor rocks! on: March 06, 2008 02:42:50 PM
Hi all,

My wonderful neighbor and fellow craftster has been helping me to learn how to sew properly.  With her help and her pattern, I was able to make this nifty bag.  For once I've made something where the lining fits and where all the parts fit together.  Some of the seams are even almost sort of straight Wink

Neighbor, you're the best! Grin

It's blue twill with brightly colored lining and an outside pocket




I love the crazy inside colors.  I also made a cell phone pocket and a pen pocket out of scraps (these are the 2 things I always have trouble finding in any bag!)


Comments/Criticism gladly received. Smiley
30  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 25 ENTRIES / Rocket Science and Cotton Farming - lots o' pics on: March 03, 2008 08:23:38 PM
Hi all,

Here's my addition to the challenge.  I call Huntsville, AL my hometown these days and I really wanted to make something for the good old Rocket City.  My main hobby is to paint eggs (which is appropriate considering how big the egg and poultry industry is in rural Alabama).  I've traveled around a fair bit and in no other place have I seen pure rural imagery crashing into high technology like it does here.  In Research Park, there are world class research centers with cotton fields for neighbors.  Imagine denim-clad, Chevy truck-driving folks with thick Southern drawls talking about rocket systems and microchips over "pig sandwiches" at a bbq joint within "spitting distance" of NASA.  I love this town!

Here's the finished piece:
Rockets - Huntsville is the original home of the US Space Program.  The Saturn Rockets were developed here and several old rockets stand guard over the city from the US Space and Rocket Center.


Cotton - Even though Cummings Research Park is reportedly the second largest research park in the United States, and the fourth largest in the world, it is still interspersed with large fields where cotton is grown every year.  Before the rockets, Huntsville made lots of cotton.


Here are some additional views of the Saturn Rockets and cotton fields:



Here are some "in progress" pics... You can see what a mess my desk is:



And finally, here are some pics that show some of what inspired me to make this ornament:
Rockets -


Cotton and Research -



Thank you for looking!  I hope you enjoyed the lovely dichotomy of my hometown as much as I do! Cheesy
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