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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / Getting Started with Oils on: October 08, 2013 06:25:00 PM
Okay, so I did a small oil painting a long time ago, and I've recently started a much larger one. About two days in I realized I have no idea what I'm doing. There is a lot more to working with oils than I first thought, so I decided to ask some of you more experienced painters for help.

1. What is 'fat over lean'? Should I be using paint thinner or oil to dilute my paint?
     The first painting I did I used my dad's shop paint thinner and it seemed to work well, but my art teacher (who admits he doesn't
     like or know oils well) says I don't need it and only need oil for diluting and cleaning.

2. What type/quality of paint thinner and/or oils should I use? What are mineral spirits and turpentine?
     Like I said before, I'm currently using commercial paint thinner and my teacher has me using vegetable oil.

3. Cleanup
     Cleaning my brushes and myself has been a nightmare. First I used paint thinner on the brushes, but I'm not sure if that should be going down the drain. Most recently I've tried getting the pigment off with oil and then washing the brushes in soap and water. I want my brushes to last as long as possible, so I need to know how to keep them conditioned properly. Also, how do I get paint off my hands? Right now I just wipe the majority off with a rag and let the rest wash off gradually.

4. Disposal
     Can oil paints, solvents, and oils be washed down the drain? Or should I be disposing of them some other way?

Overall, I just need help putting together a proper oil kit, I guess. Any help you guys can offer me would be greatly appreciated Smiley
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Coffee Sack Messenger Bag on: March 08, 2013 09:15:51 PM
I made this bag for mandymo13, my partner for the Coffee Me Up Swap Rd. II:

It's made from reclaimed coffee sacks I purchased from a local coffee shop, Burgie's. They donate the profits to a good cause, though I can't recall what offhand.

I've heard bad things about sewing burlap, but my experience was relatively painless, since I used fusible web (Wonderunder or something similar) before I cut it, which held the fibers together and prevented fraying and shedding. I thought the final product was simple and perfect for the theme. Mandymo is a nursing student and said it would be perfect for her laptop. I forgot to double-check dimensions before I sent, but it is roughly 13-15" tall x 12-13" wide, and the gusset is around 2". The strap has a couple of snaps on each side for adjusting. It closes with two magnetic snaps and has padding in the strap in the shoulder area (you can see it in the second pic, left). The strap connects on each side to a D-ring.

More pics:

Closed front and open front

Back and lining

With stuff for size reference (book is the same one it is lying on in the first pic) and strap snaps

D-ring (I SWEAR I cut those threads before I sent Tongue)

Oh, and my mom actually made her first crafting venture, since the swap was partially for her and she wanted to contribute:

Mocha face scrub:

And scrapbooks/notebooks made out of coffee sleeves. She was very proud of these. She even put the eyelets in one herself. The pages of the Burgie's one are neutral beige, black, and brown, and the tan one is full of bright, rainbow pages Tongue

C&C is welcome and appreciated Grin
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / My very first hand-bound book! (very detailed post, lots of pics ;D) on: February 22, 2013 01:53:32 PM
**UPDATE: IT'S DONE!!! I have the endpapers in, and that means it's finished (with the exception of corners still)! There was one unfortunate issue involving water, but it worked out for the best, I think.**

YAY!! I'm so excited! I finally, mostly finished the giant hand-bound sketchbook I've been putting off!
I say mostly because I still need endpapers, and I have nickel corner protectors coming too.

This book is meant to be a sketchbook. I love art and I love to sketch, but I often find myself forgoing my designated 'sketchbook' to draw on loose paper or the sides of my homework. I feel that there are two reasons for this:

1. I easily get bored with the same blank white paper all the time. I find it hard to get inspired unless I already have an idea.
2. I tend to get cheaper sketchbooks because I know I'll carry them with me everywhere and they're going to get beat up. It's a bit backwards because a better quality book would hold up longer, but I'm so afraid of 'ruining' a nice one

For a sketchbook, it's pretty darn big. The text block is 81/2" x 11" (the size of regular printer paper) and is about an inch thick. Here is some math for you:

12 signatures
4 papers per signature
When folded, that is 8 pages per signature
If I used both sides (which I will), I get 16 pages per signature
Multiply to get 192
Subtract two, because I glued the outside face of the last page of the first and last signatures to the cover
That's 190 pages!!!!

6 of the signatures are a mix:
  Two different weights of watercolor paper (some of the lighter weight has rainbow edges)
  Cream drawing paper
  White drawing paper
  Black paper (not construction, something else)
  Some strange smooth white poster paper my teacher had

The other half is 98 lb mixed media paper. I staggered one in between each signature of mixed paper. I thought that way I could solve the boredom problem, but I would also have a majority of 'regular' paper in case I wanted to do my normal art.

I stitched them together with some random stitch I don't know the name of. Here is a diagram I made, if someone can tell me what it is it would be much appreciated! I used waxed brown thread made for leather.

This is the pattern it made:

I then glued the spine. True bookbinders might kill me, but I used hot glue, because it was the only kind I had that dried flexible. It's working out pretty good so far. Then I added a piece of canvas to the spine.

I made headbands from silver and blue embroidery thread for visual interest.

I used deerhide dyed with acorn brown Ecoflo leather dye and illustration board for the cover. I sewed on a nickle buckle to hold it all shut, then used Ecoflo leather glue to glue it all together. When I added the textblock, I used the leather glue to attach the canvas flaps, then the first and last page of the outside signatures, just to make it stronger. I still need to marble some endpapers, and I have ordered some nickel corner protectors to cover the bad joins at the corners.

Now that I've bored you all to death, here are the pics!

(before headband)

My favorite weird page is a layer of vellum over a rainbow watercolor page. I think I'll have lots of fun with this one!

More in-progress pictures if you're interested:

Here are the endpapers. I bought this wonderful paper at Ben Franklin in Oconomowoc while we were there for my aunt's surprise 50th b-day party. It was too delicate to stand alone, though, so I glued them to the first page for some support. The gold is very iridescent, I love it  Cheesy

Front cover:

Back cover:

Views when closed:

I also had to do another coat of dye. My mom's water bottle leaked all over the cover on the way home and the dye ran, making this splotchy yellow spot and a dark watermark. Everyone seems to think it gives it character, though I miss the old look, personally Sad Oh well. What can you do?

C&C is welcome and appreciated! I'm very happy with how this bookbinding attempt went, but I'd love some tips from more experienced binders. I definitely don't know everything Grin

4  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Watercolor Portrait on: January 27, 2013 10:12:34 PM
I'm in two Independent Study art classes at school, and my teacher requires 8 projects from me. We're on a trimester schedule, midterms were last week, and I currently have 1/8 graded projects Sad So I whipped this up one day.

It's on 18"x24" Strathmore 400-series paper, 140 lb. cold press

In progress:

In the school art display:

My teacher wants me to enter it in an upcoming art show, but I'm really just not that sold on it. I feel like I could do better, especially on the hair. There are also a ton of paintings and drawings every year, so I think I might go mixed media with a pasta portrait. Taking macaroni art to the next level, you know? Tongue. . . What do you guys think?

C&C welcomed and encouraged!
5  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / November & December ATCs on: January 04, 2013 07:30:27 PM
Here are the ATCs I made for the November ATC Swap:

For WideEyedLife's "Oi, my head is too big for my body!" theme:

And an extra for her "Your favorite swear word" theme:
to change your image viewing settings please click here

For StickerChic87's "Robin Hood" theme:

For Riechan's "Number 9" theme:

And an extra for her "Panda" theme:

For dreadlady's "Birch Trees" theme:

And an extra for her "Animals Smoking Pipes" theme:

For gala_apples's "Scottish" theme:

For jillybean's "Turkeys in Disguise" theme:

I don't have pics of the cars I sent to audio for her "Queen of Spades" theme, but hopefully I will soon

For pilarfarmer's "Plus-sized Beauties" theme:
to change your image viewing settings please click here

For psyche's"British Regency" theme:

And for Skrabadoo's "Woodland Creatures" theme:

For December's swap I made these two cards for Oath Keeper.

For her "X-Men" theme:

And for her "Wist-inspired" theme:

C&C welcomed, encouraged, and appreciated Tongue!
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Not your grandma's walker bag. . . Actually, it is :P on: December 31, 2012 03:31:14 PM
Most of my christmas sewing consisted of these knapsacks, but I also made one other item for my Grandma Helen's walker. She has an Invacare Rollator (blue) and always has trouble getting her stuff out of the basket on the bottom.

Here it is:

She wanted room for four specific things: her glasses, her hearing aids, her blood glucose reader, and Kleenexes.

The top pocket is the glasses pocket. It has a "homemade with love" tag on it so she knows I made it Smiley

The next pocket down, slightly smaller, is the hearing aid one. I didn't have any sizes to work with so I just guessed  Roll Eyes

Then comes the gigantor blood glucose reader pocket. I really didn't know how big that was, so I really guessed. It came out so big that I had to add some snaps to keep it closed  Tongue. I hope it works!

And lastly is the Kleenex dispenser. There is Velcro tape on the back to hold a flat box and the Kleenexes are dispensed through a slit on the front. It was a lot easier to make than it looks.

The bag has three loops that Velcro over the backrest of the walker and two straps on the bottom to attach to the seat bar, to hold it steady. My grandma loves paisley, but the pockets were kind of hard to see against the main piece, so I used blue binding tape to outline the edges of everything and make it look finished. It measures 10" tall (w/o straps) x 13" wide x 4" deep if you count the Kleenex box.

One last picture:

C&C is welcomed and encouraged! I'll be putting a picture up of it on the walker once I get it to her.  What do you think?
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / More small knapsacks and the debut of my large-sized knapsack! on: December 31, 2012 03:07:39 PM
HALLELUJAH! My holiday crafting is finally done, as of 2 A.M. this morning Tongue. Some of you may have seen my superhero knapsack awhile back. Well, since I made it I've been getting tons of requests for them. I made four for my cousins as Christmas presents--- three small and one large (for an example of a large one, check this out)


This one is for my cousin Wesley. His is just like mine but with black duck cloth:

This one is for my new step-cousin Kyle. His is a little more conservative:

I really wish I would've done a simple square pattern in white on the outside, sort of like the next one, but alas, I forgot Sad

Here is the one for Brianna:

That's probably the worst hand-embroidered B ever, but she won't mind Tongue
the plaid is brown and teal, it's kind of hard to see

And the most complicated one goes to my cousin Hannah. She needed a larger bag she could use at college because her old, store-bought knapsack was falling apart. Prepare yourselves for picture overload:


W/O Flap:



With stuff:

The small ones each have one large compartment, a 5"x5" zipper pocket, a magnetic closure, and a round bottom. They measure 8" wide x 11" high x 6" deep.

The large one has a large compartment, three inner lining pockets, a 10"x7" zipper pocket, two (differently sized) elastic bottle pockets, two snap-closure flap pockets, two buckle closures, and a semi-structured rectangular bottom. It measures 10" wide x 16" high x 8" deep.

C&C is welcomed and encouraged Cheesy. Because of the amount of requests I've had for these bags, I've been thinking about starting an Etsy store. What do you think? Would you buy one?

Here is my other Christmas sewing project: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=418500.0
8  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / October ATCs - Including the first I've ever made for myself! LOTSA Pictures on: November 13, 2012 02:46:32 PM
Here are the ATCs I sent for the October Ongoing ATC Swap. All have been received except for a nonpaper one to DangPrecious, there seems to be a mailing issue there, I might have to resend Sad, so I won't post that one quite yet.

To virnsky for her "Airplanes" theme:

Handdrawn plane (Ink) Samped Post-it

To KittyHerman for her "Tank Girl" theme:

It's Booga, Tank Girl's mutant kangaroo boyfriend Tongue He is Prismacolor pencils

To spikefan for her "Once Upon A Time" (TV Show) theme:

Ink, Prismacolor pencils, and two hand-carved dragon stamps. For those of those who know the show, it's Jefferson's magic portal hat

To pilarfarmer for her "Day of the Dead" theme:

She's ink and Prismacolors, and one of my personal favorites so far

To SunnyDawn for her "Knock Knock Joke" theme:

Prismacolors and ink on scrapbook paper. I had to post the back too because I really liked it Smiley

And an extra I sent for her "Poems" theme:

The only good poem I've ever written, from the sixth grade  Grin

To La Chapa for her "Medusa" theme (I sent two):

Ink, Prismacolor, and liquid gold paint on the second one

And lastly, to SunnyDawn again for her "Bucket List" theme. I did Alaska:

My scanner bleaches everything out, but you get the idea Sad

And as if this post wasn't long enough, here are the first three cards I've ever made and kept. They are for a cross country series I'm working on

(Say 'XC' like 'sexy' ;P)

this is the hand-carved stamp featured on the back of each, to tie them all together:

Thanks for looking Cheesy C&C always welcome!

I'm just going to post the card I sent to DangPrecious, even though I never found out if it was received. It was for her Nonpaper theme, and I really hope she got it, regardless!



I'll be honest, I always forget how to fix the tension on my machine, and I didn't feel like digging out the manual (again) to be reminded or picking out stitches, so forgive the bits of white on the back  Tongue

It got a little punkier than I intended, I like that sort of stuff but I know not everyone is into it, but my mom liked it and she's the most non-punky person ever, so I suppose it's okay Grin
9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / September ATCs - My first ever! - and the box I made to keep them in! on: October 23, 2012 04:40:30 PM
Now that all my September ATCs have been received, I can share them! They're my first ever, and now I'm hooked. Worse than crack, they are Tongue

This one was the first one I made, to jiasaykea for her Zodiac theme:

I make them all with a piece of cereal box sandwiched between two pieces of sketchbook paper. It seemed to hold up really well to the watercolor, and they are very strong and sturdy.

then there is this one to gala_apples for her Hunger Game Districts:

If you don't get the reference, it is the footage of District 13, which the runaways Katniss meets in the woods notice has the same reporter as well as the same mockingjay in the corner every time. The reporter is made of 3-D scrapbook papers, and if you look carefully under her left arm, there is a rebel coming out of a hole in the ground

and lastly, to jillybeans for her People with Crowns theme:

Prince Jakob is bored of waiting for his father to keel over and make him king, so he entertains fantasies of hastening the process Wink

I'd also like to include the box I revamped to store my received ATCs in. It started life as a box my G-ma gave to me with socks in it last Christmas. It is just the right size. I gave it a kind of run down church feel, I think



More views:

It has a silver corrugated cardboard "tin" roof with bronze sharpie "rust" (it's super reflective as a whole) and scrapbook paper walls, with vellum with script on it for windows and inking for an aged look . I'm absolutely in love with it right now Smiley

Thanks for looking Smiley C&C always welcome!!
10  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Dressup Chest for a Boy - Costume Ideas? on: October 22, 2012 08:14:48 PM
I have a nephew who is just barely two and seriously already the smartest kid I know. He can already count to 20 and say the alphabet (he tends to forget f, though), he can remember anyone he meets (he lives in WI, we're in IA, he still calls to talk to us even though we've only seen him once), and he self-potty trained by telling himself "Go, Packers, go! Touchdown!" lol. I may be biased, but still Smiley.

Anyways, I had this idea to make him a dressup chest with a few costumes for his third birthday, and then give him a new costume every year to add to it. That way, he can learn all about different professions, for lack of a better term. I had this idea to make each character a set (astronaut & alien, for example) so that my brother (his dad) or his friends could play with him. My second idea was to have each character have three basic pieces of gear that could be used for more than one outfit, so he could spend more time playing and less time getting dressed for the part. Most of the ideas I already have are things he could attach to/pull on over whatever clothing he's wearing that day. Here's what I have so far:

     helmet/jetpack/?   Antenna/Eyemask/?

     cape/mask/outside underwear (sounds weird, I know. Think Superman)   mask/cape/some kind of doom device?

     cowboy hat/gun/stick horse     feather headband/tomahawk/loincloth?

     armor(including shield)/stick horse/sword     wings/tail/fire or horns?


     bow&arrows/quiver/throwing knives or target?     sword/?/?


     binoculars/?/?     ?/?/?

     pirate hat/sword/gun     ?/?/?

Anything with a ? is what I'm having trouble with. If you can think of any "opposites" or essential pieces of gear, it would be really helpful! (I think I'm going to include some miscellaneous items too, like a compass, bandanna, stick-on mustaches, etc.) Any additional characters would be appreciated as well! (At the moment, I'm going for more fictional type stuff, no firefighters or anything yet, but maybe I'll change my mind)

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