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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Coney Island Mermaid, acrylic on canvas on: February 04, 2018 08:44:18 AM

I've been taking a class to try to create more finished works and this was the first piece I did. She is based on a photo my sister took at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade from a few years ago.

This was the sketch on hand stretched canvas. I used an overhead projector to transfer my drawing to canvas. It's an extra step from gridding or carbon paper but it's easiest for me because it uses materials I already have.

I started with her parasol because I knew that was going to be a PITA, and it was. It took two hours by itself!

(Why are these sideways?)

Couple more in progress shots. Not shown: an intermediate version where I was going to give her more realistic shading before deciding to stick with flat colors a la Alex Katz. That version shall never again see the light of day, it was awful!
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Rainbow unicorn pillowcase on: January 17, 2014 11:58:33 AM

 Cotton,metallic, and satin floss; satin stitching, chain stitch, back stitch, brick stitch, and some stitch I forget for the hooves
3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / My fiance and his puppy, Rosie on: January 17, 2014 11:52:14 AM

Prismacolor markers and Crayola crayons, 2014
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Hyperbole and a Half embroidery on: January 08, 2014 04:00:38 PM
Just finished this for my sister and framed it. No amount of ironing could get those wrinkles out, probably because the fabric is cheap.

Embroidery on cotton, four and six strands used throughout, all done with Sublime Stitching's new flosses.
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / My First Bag, The Beautiful Soldiers! on: March 25, 2013 12:45:37 AM
The title here is a little misleading; this is actually my first finished sewing project ever. I could not resist this adorable Sailor Moon fabric, but at the price, I could only get half a yard. I thought about what could be made with only half a yard, and decided a purse would be a good idea since my old purse had just fallen apart. I found a simple looking tutorial online and went for it.

Here are the pieces. This is after I had already pinned the pleats on the bag bottoms. This bag was a great intro to pleats for me, as I hope to make my own Halloween costume and there will be much pleating involved with that.

Here is one side of the bag. I'm a little bummed that Sailor Jupiter got caught up in a pleat, but since the bag stretches a bit when it's filled, it's not a big deal.

This is the other side. I've dubbed this side the "front" since more of the Sailor Senshi are visible on this side.

The lining (with a pocket!) is a bright green. My boyfriend had just happened to buy this color fabric for an embroidery project he's working on, and I thought it would be a fun and unexpected complement to the pink Sailor Moon fabric.

Finally, an action shot with the filled purse. Do forgive the bathroom shot, it's the only mirror I have in my apartment right now.

Overall, I'm happy with it for a first project. Topstitching gave me a hard time, as well as attaching the top of the bag to the bottom, as their curves didn't match up because of the pleating, but I feel like it was all great for expanding my fledgling sewing skills.
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / I Love Lucy (but not THAT Lucy!) on: October 31, 2012 10:36:45 AM
Ok, a little backstory here: I went to Minneapolis last week for the Vikings game, and made a detour on the way home to a craft shop called Digs because I found out that they carry Jenny Hart's (Sublime Stitching) new line of embroidery floss. I just had to get some! (Seriously guys, have you seen this stuff? The colors are gorgeous.) While I was at the shop, I saw these teeny little prints of Minneapolis landmarks, and my boyfriend thought it would be a cute idea to do embroidery versions of places here in Fargo, ND, where we both live.

Now, originally, I'm from NJ, and before I moved to ND nearly five years ago, I lived in Margate, NJ. If you're not already familiar with it, Margate houses a very special landmark--Lucy the Elephant, the world's largest!

So, considering I grew up with and love Lucy more than any other landmark I've seen, I figured she'd be a great warm-up to those Fargo icons Matt wants me to do.

Plus, with Hurricane Sandy having just ravaged my old hometown and sticking my poor family without any power, she seems more appropriate now than ever.

Enough chat, here's pics!

This is Lucy! She's made of wood and houses a museum. The funniest thing about Miss Lucy is that she faces the beach, so when you drive past her on Atlantic Avenue, you're faced with her big butt (which has a window right under her tail). Cracks me up!

I sketched her out in my sketchbook and then transferred her to the fabric. She's mostly split and back stitches. The only floss that wasn't from the Sublime Floss line was white, as the store didn't carry the palette with the white floss. Oh yeah, and this hoop is only 3" across!

I am in love with her little French knot toenails! The city of Margate has painted Lucy's nails from time to time for celebrations and such.

I know some of you love the back views, so here you go. I started out neat enough, but got lazier as I got towards the end (the howdah was the last thing I worked, specifically, so it's sloppiest).
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Having trouble with long and short stitch on: July 20, 2012 11:44:27 AM
Maybe you knowledgeable Craftsters can help me out here, because I am going crazy wondering what I'm doing wrong. I'm trying to fill in a couple of cartoon characters with long and short stitch. The area I'm working on is too big for satin stitch or I'd do that. Now, I am only using ONE color (I'm not using long and short stitch for shading, which seems to be where it shines). The problem is, after reading all manner of tutorials and watching several videos (all of which show shading though), I'm unhappy with how my long and short stitch looks on the fabric. It's just so... obvious, I guess. Like, it just looks like little staggered rows of stitches instead of one seamless fill the way I see it in all the pictures of other people's attempts.

Any tips on how to make it look smooth and full? Or, do you have an even better suggestion for a fill stitch to use when only filling in one color? Thanks!
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidering a shipping box, because why not? on: July 11, 2012 08:33:53 PM
I wanted to do some embroidery lately but didn't have any specific desire to do a hoop or decorate any of my clothes. Since I have to mail out my sister's birthday present, I thought, "Why not decorate the box?" I had just watched Jenny Hart's tutorial on embroidering on paper and figured it would apply to a cardboard box just the same. Working at the post office, more often than not the only stuff I ever really see personalized in the mailstream is stuff coming from jail inmates. Why should they be the only ones with the time to make a unique, pretty letter?

I chose a simple subject--Lumpy Space Princess from "Adventure Time"--and sketched it out on the box. Then, I used a tool to punch holes around my drawing evenly. I used six strands of floss and just a boring old backstitch, then shaded it with colored pencils. Now my box will be sure to get where it's going and my sister will see how much I cared! Cheesy

9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / No, no, no! We Dare Not Marry!-- A Painting (Pic Fat!) on: June 27, 2012 12:36:33 PM
Hello again! I previously posted a painting I did of my boyfriend, a Roy Lichtenstein-inspired pop art painting. Well, still on a Roy Lichtenstein kick, I decided I wanted to do something so very traditionally Lichtenstein and paint a girl from a romance comic. (If you don't know who Roy Lichtenstein is, check out this website that shows his paintings compared with his source material: http://davidbarsalou.homestead.com/LICHTENSTEINPROJECT.html/ )

So first, I googled "romance comics" and found this image I really liked, drawn by John Romita Sr:

After I found that, I did some brainstorming and sketched out the composition I wanted in my sketchbook, making it a big, close cropped portrait:

Then, I traced my sketch onto acetate, turning the black areas into negative spaces to be colored in just like Lichtenstein did:

I used the transparency on an overhead projector to transfer my image to my hand-stretched and primed canvas:

I applied my benday dots using a large, perforated metal sheet, a stencil brush, and oil paint. I used masking fluid to mask off the boundaries of where I wanted the dots to go. This is what it looked like after the dots were applied:

Then, I started on the first coats of black!

I added in color next, keeping it limited to basically the three primary colors as I wanted this painting to hang in my dining area:

The primary cyan paint in her hair was the worst to do; it literally took five coats before it was solid and no longer streaky. Ugh.

And finally, here's the finished painting!

Hanging over my table:

I do still need to build the frame for it, which will be a simple wood frame spray painted red, but I couldn't wait for that to post this. Let me know what you think!
10  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Bob--My First Vector Art on: May 07, 2012 12:08:15 PM

If any of you guys are over on Ravelry (it's a knit and crochet site), you may be aware they're having a design contest for a new bag they hope to sell in their shop. I thought to myself, "Well, you want to do more with your art, don't you? What do you have to lose? Go for it!"

Problem was, I'm pretty much strictly a traditional media artist, and the design needed to be in vector art format for screenprinting. However, after researching that it's actually quite simple to turn hand-drawn art into vector art, I started brainstorming!

I started with sketches in my sketchbook, trying to nail down a simple picture that fit the theme of a Ravelry celebration, and that could also be reproduced in only three colors. With that limitation, I wasn't able to go with the big one with the sheep and alpaca. When I asked my friends, they liked the little one in the middle, and one friend suggested he hold a dog-shaped balloon animal. I took that idea and ran with it.

I did a quick thumbnail sketch of that concept; having the balloon tethered by a ball of yarn keeps with the fiber arts theme of Ravelry itself. Bob, by the way, is their Boston Terrier mascot.

I then scanned the thumbnail into the computer and printed out several small copies so I could play with colors. Upon popular vote by my friends, it was decided that black, white, and pink would be the color scheme to go with.

I then drew the image on 11"x14" bristol and inked it with Sakura Micron pens. This is the image after it's been inked. There's some whiteout in places where the lines were too thick to my liking. After I inked it, my boyfriend scanned it into the computer in black and white.

And here's the finished vector art! After we scanned the hand-drawn image, I simply opened it with Adobe Illustrator and used their Live Trace feature to turn it into vector art. I dropped in the colors and that was all there was to it!

I'm really proud of it, designwise. I think it's simple and cute, and even if it doesn't win, I'm glad I drew him up anyway. I was really disappointed because voting was supposed to start today (I submitted it to them last week, so it's been nine long days of waiting to see my competition); unfortunately, they got so many submissions that they're still going through them all and I don't know when the voting will start. I'd love any feedback you have to improve my design skills in the future, and hey, if you happen to be a Ravelry member, I sure wouldn't complain if you send a vote my way! Wink But do let me hear your comments and criticisms, as I'm aspiring to get better with my art every day.
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