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|| PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / Uber-noobie-to-Watercolor ATCs---picture INTENSE!
on: March 30, 2013 07:33:09 PM
|AMATEUR UBER-NOOBIE WATERCOLOR ATCs by WideEyedLife
So, thanks to the MANY inspiring watercolor artists on the ATC swaps---because I finally had to try it out myself! These are my first watercolors ever, and I'm so excited by the possibilities!
Here goes nothing!
"Thumbelina" to change your image viewing settings please click here
"Haute Couture: Froggy Style"
"Spring is Coming: Everyone is going out on the town"
"Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes"
"The Princess on the Glass Hill"
Thanks again, all you amazing watercolor-ers, for being my inspiration!
I hope, one day, to improve my technique to the level I want it to be at! I am SO addicted to these now!
So, I'm wondering, all you watercolor peoples, what do you use as outliners? I'm using a waterfast pen---but do any of you use a special pen, or pen and ink? Or brush and ink? How do you get the variable lines in some of your outlining?
|| OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Jolly Old Saint Nicholas Painting
on: December 20, 2012 08:26:40 AM
So, I decided to make Grandpa a Christmas gift this year, and after scanning my brain, came up with the idea of painting Santa. Memories of Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's, lying under the Christmas tree, staring at the presents, and sleeping by the tree in the soft glow of the Christmas lights bring a rush of nostalgia that is atypical of someone like me---I'm so absorbed in my current happy that memories are something I don't usually delve into.
I wanted to capture that Christmas spirit in this painting.
This is my first ever larger-than-ATC-sized oil painting.
I love how oil is so pliable, long after the paint has been laid down! I can make things just the way I want them, after hours and even days of staring at the painting to figure out how to fix problem spots just right.
Just for fun, here's the sketch I drew as an underlayment before painting. The drawing is all original.
I mailed it yesterday, framed and everything, and it should arrive to Grandpa in plenty of time for Christmas!
As always, comments and criticism are very welcome.
|| PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / First-ever Purse: Upcycled and Handsewn, with a (quasi) TUTORIAL
on: October 05, 2012 03:31:31 PM
|Upcycled Tote,With (Quasi) Tutorial
This is my first time ever making a purse, and so now I can finally post in this category! (Thanks to my Mini 13 Days of Halloween swap partner, Quaggy, who is the recipient of this gift, and was my muse as well.
This handsewn purse took 20 hours, 2 floppy office binders, a pair of black jeans, a skirt, a shirt, two spools of heavy duty thread (white, and black), a set of four purse rings (79 cents) and fighting off three kitties with a passion for string.BEFORE:
From this (that T-shirt is next in line for upcycling! oog.):
The outside of the tote, pre-upcycle (skirt):
The inside of the tote, pre-upcycle (shirt):Not pictured: an innocent pair of black jeans, now deceased.QUASI-TUTORIAL:
1. I stuck the blouse inside out inside the skirt (the top opening for the blouse exactly matched the waist opening for the skirt), and sewed them together using a white stitch, making sure not to stitch the skirt's functioning zipper closed. (Left arrow.) (Stitching shown on completed purse.)
2. I reenforced that stitching by adding a line of black back-stitch around the whole purse about 1/2 inch below the white, making sure to not sew the skirts functioning zipper closed (right arrow).
3. I cut apart 2 of those floppy office binders, creating four "covers" and four "folds of binder" pieces.
4. I put two covers on top of each other, wrapped them with a piece of black jeans, and stitched the base pieces together.
5. I sewed the base in place, but to the "blouse" only.
View of "base", sewn to "blouse" (picture taken after purse completed):
6. I sewed the "folds of binder" into the corners of the purse using an invisible backstitch.
7. I inserted one binder cover into the front of the purse, and one into the back---in between the "blouse" and "skirt".
8. I created a fabric "pocket" and stitched it in place behind the skirt's functioning zipper, creating a pocket for the purse.
9. I sewed the outer "skirt" to the base/blouse at the bottom of the purse, in the order shown (Picture shown after purse completed).
- First, the flat long side.
- Second, the other flat long side.
- Third, evened the gathers (though not very well), and sewed.
- Fourth, evened the gathers (though not very well), and sewed.
10. I made handles and handle holders using black jeans and a set of 4 (79 cent) silver purse rings.
The tote, final.
I handstitched the whole thing, since I don't own a sewing machine. The end result has all sorts of personality flaws, and next time around I'd know how to do it much better. Fortunately, Quaggy, its new owner, seems very happy with it.
For a first try, I figure it's not bad.
As always, comments and criticisms are welcome!
|| COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / TUTORIAL: Easy (upcycled) fruit/veggie sun-drying/dehydrating frame
on: August 21, 2012 12:56:18 PM
|TUTORIAL: Easy (Upcycled) Sun-drying Frame
Do you have a freaky-monster explosion of tomatoes or other fresh food you can't possibly eat? Are you fond of upcycling and dried food? Do you love being green? Are you in the middle of devastating drought-ridden heat? If you can answer yes to any one of those questions, this project just may be for you!
This is pretty dang self-explanatory, but here goes! Step 1:
- Any old window screen (the roll pictured here is the leftovers from after my dog scratched a huge hole in my door and I had to replace that screening with new)
- Any old frame (okay, let's clarify; it would be good to not use a frame you suspect might be painted with LEAD)(And, yes, I apologize in advance, knowing there are some people who will wince to see this use of old frames, having OH so many better ways to use them...lol)
- Staple gun
Flip the frame so its back is facing up. Cut a piece of screen the (approximate) same size as the exterior dimensions of the frame.Step 2:
Cut a slice in the screen. Extending from the corner to about where the frame becomes recessed. Repeat for each corner.Step 3:
Roll one side of the screening into a tidy little roll about the width of the frame's recessed area.Step 4:
Press the screen into the corner and staple it, as shown. Staple the length of that roll.Step 5:
Now go to the side opposite the side you just stapled, make another roll, pull tight (though not so tight it tears) and staple in place. (CRITICAL: MAKE SURE THE SCREEN IS TIGHT
---so that the heavy produce doesn't cause it to sag later on.)Step 6:
On either of the two remaining un-stapled sides, fold over the two quasi-triangle pieces toward the center of what will become your next roll.Step 7:
Make the roll.Step 8:
Staple that roll, then move on to the other side and do the same thing. On the second side, gently pull screen tight while stapling to ensure your screen maintains its tightness
Turn screen over. VOILA! DONE! Now it's time to take all those lovely fruities, slice and dice, and place them in the sun!The frames in action:
Notice the 2x4s (oh so beautiful
) that I have set under the frames, to allow air to flow fully around the fruit.
These images bring to mind my going as a girl to the local apricot orchard where they had thousands of apricots out drying on screens in the sun. Best damn dried apricots I have EVER had!
It takes me four to six days to dry halved cherry tomatoes, depending on how hot it is, how soon I get them out on the table, and how big the fruit is to begin with. (I keep forgetting the "after" pictures! lol)
- Remember to raise the frames with something to promote airflow.
- Put same thickness fruit on the same tray.
- Be aware of the weather forecast.
- Bring fruit in at night if it is very dewy.
- Some people recommend cheesecloth to protect from bugs. (I don't care; I've had no problems.)
- I put my dehydrating fruit on a glass table to get the reflective heat from below involved in the drying process.
Any comments, criticism, warnings, "hey, that was freaking unclear," or don't-dos would be greatly appreciated. Or recipes. Does anyone have any SUPER recipes involving masses of dried tomatoes?
|| PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / Hand-Drawn ATCs by Me--New Post, New ATCs (UBER picture Heavy!)
on: August 07, 2012 06:18:59 PM
|WideEyedLife's Random Gallery of UnPosted (by Herself) ATCs!
Here's a new gallery of my latest hand-drawn ATCs for everyone's perusal! Just for jollies, of course. Though I'd love to get feedback about favorites (or lack there-of! lol)
Most of these are in the hands of the amazing ATC swappers on this site (thanks, everyone, for getting me addicted to these little hand-made treasures!). But some have never been seen before. (Woo-hoo!)(So, to those ATC swap followers who have already seen most of these pieces, look for "Breathless," "Slightly Off-Balance," "Between the Sheets," "Cinderella," "Squee!," "Yee-HAW, Christmas," and "Eyes" for something new.
)Here goes nothing!:
"Slightly Off-Balance"Prismacolor Pencil
"Peeping Wizard"Prismacolor Pencil
"King of the String"Prismacolor Pencil
"Far, Far Away"Prismacolor Pencil
"Howie the Owlie: Born this way"Prismacolor Pencil
"Elven Queen"Sharpie Marker
"Yee-HAW, Christmas!"Colored pencil
"The Princess (and the Pea)"Sharpie and Prismacolor Pencil
"Happy Happy Joy Joy"Prismacolor Pencil
"Fatima"Prismacolor pencil and Corel Painter
"Fishies"Xacto cut-out and magazine strips
"Circle Man"Prismacolor Pencil
"Between the Sheets"Prismacolor Pencil
"Before the Storm"Prismacolor Pencil
"A Broken Nobody Can Fix"Prismacolor Pencil, collage
So, I've been out of the ATC swaps for a while. ATC-ed myself out with all these little pieces of art. But I'm thinking, now that it's been months
, that I'm about ready to swing into the 2.5 by 3 mood again.
As always, comments or criticism is welcome. And I'd love to know if you have any favorites.
|| PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / TUTORIAL: Mini-Book Bookmark (image heavy!)
on: July 07, 2012 08:58:34 PM
|MINI-BOOK BOOKMARK TUTORIAL
Okay, so a while back I made a set of these bookmarks for the Bookmark Swap
. They hit my love-of-miniatures spot, so I mass-produced another set and decided to take photos of the process, for tutorial fodder, of course.
The process looks super hard, but really is simple, once you get the hang of it. (Okay, so maybe I'm crazy.)
So, here goes!MATERIALS NEEDED
(A better idea can be gotten of these materials with a scan through the tutorial):
STEPS:1. Cut a sufficiently thin (unwanted) children's book into mini-books.
- Unwanted hardcover children's book, thin.
- Thin paper, for the book's cover.
- Paper, for the end-papers.
- Paper, for the book's signatures.
- Aleene's craft glue (or equivalent)
- Optional, but desirable: a papercutter
- Binder clip
- Push pin
- Sturdy sharp Needle
- Sturdy thread
- Ribbon, same width as the spine of the children's book.
- Ribbon, thinner, for the mini-book's bookmark.
Now, being the lazy person I am, I just couldn't help doing this with my gigantic miter saw. (Please notice that in this photo, I used a big chunk of wood to hold the book in place during the cutting process, so as to not lose a finger to the craft gods.) But of course this step can be done by hand with a tool like an X-acto.
(You won't need the cut-off leftovers.)2. Separate the interior pages/end papers from the hardcover bookboard.
(You won't need these interior pages/end papers for anything more; they can be trashed or stashed.)3. Trim the rough corners
of the bookboard, if any.4. Glue the bookboard to a new cover
(thin sheet of any color paper you like).5. Trim the new cover
(as shown in photo).6. Complete gluing/folding new cover in place.7. Fold new cover.8. Press the front and back covers together
creating a crease.9. Measure the depth of the mini-book cover, double that number and subtract just a touch
(to make up for wanting the interior pages slightly smaller than the cover). 10. Cut a test signature
(By cutting a page or several as wide as the measurement you just made, and a little shorter than the cover is tall.) and fold it in half.11. Test your signature inside your cover
and make adjustments as necessary before mass-producing signatures in the size you want.12. Cut the front and back end papers.
(These will be the same size as a single folded sheet of your signature pages.)13. Poke holes in the end paper/signatures' folded edge. (In a stack that goes: front end paper, signatures, back end paper.)
(I've anchored them together with a clip so they don't move.)14. Sew them together.
(In a stack that goes: front end paper, signatures, back end paper.) The stitching doesn't really matter, as it won't show; the only requirement is that each hole is used and that the stitching only wrap around the folded part of the signatures (as shown in the photo).15. Open the end papers only, creating a crease.16. Make sure you have the following on hand for the final steps of this process:
17. Glue the long bookmark ribbon into the spine of the book.18. Fold the two shorter lengths of ribbon in half, glue them, and paste them into the book.19. Glue the mini bookmark into the book,
- completed cover
- completed book signature
- ribbon the width of the spine of the book, and the length you want your bookmark ribbon to be
- two short ribbon lengths
- thinner ribbon for the mini-book's bookmark
on the side, as shown.20. Verify that the mini-bookmark will be long enough to pass through the books pages.21. Glue the signatures into the book
by pasting the end papers only.22. Carefully close the book and make any necessary adjustments
in the signature's location to allow it to close. (I find that often just holding the book closed will cause the end papers to stretch or contort enough to make up for the slight imperfections of the construction process.)23. Trim mini-book's bookmark to length.24. Admire your amazing work! Thanks for looking!
Any comments and criticism are welcome!
|| IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / MINI-TUTORIAL: Home-made Stamp-Carving Tool
on: July 05, 2012 06:20:22 AM
I can't believe you carve with an exacto, WideEyedLife - that is amazing - I suck at using the exacto to carve!
Over in the hand-carved stamp swap gallery
, there was some confusion about the tool I use to carve my stamps (example stamp carved using this tool can be found here
). So, here's the scoop:
I don't actually use an X-acto. (That would be SO hard!)
I believe what's causing the confusion is the strange texture that is seen in the stamps I make, which doesn't look like the result of any carving tool most people have ever seen:
That's probably because, being the crazy person I am, I decided that though I have "proper" or "official" gouging carve tools, I don't like using them. (Probably just because I don't have the patience to get to the skill level where I don't with an accidental slight twitch cut some vital part of my stamp off.)
So, I invented the following tool:
Which is nothing more than a Bic pen with the pen part pulled out and replaced with a large (sharp) embroidery needle (hot glued in place).
My most favorite tool ever!
I hold it at an angle and apply a steady pressure while pulling across the carving medium. The fine sharp point acts as a very fine razor, and I repeat the process until the required depth is achieved.
Perhaps a little slow, but it gets those teeny fine lines so nicely because I can see the absolute point of the needle and therefore determine exactly where my cut will be.
Don't forget, if you decide to go all crazy and make this tool yourself, to cap the tool when not in use, and warn people it isn't a pen! It would suck to accidentally have a stabbing incident!
One awesome sidenote about about this Bicneedle technique is that, combined with a nice white poly eraser, it makes this craft affordable to almost anyone (No $15.00 tool/$17.00 carving medium start-up cost)!
The number of available carving tools for these smaller stamps is probably endless once we stretch our minds outside the box...