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41  Mosaic house number in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Redforkhippie on: July 15, 2007 08:36:30 PM
We needed a house number, so I smashed up some old plates from Goodwill and made a mosaic, which I finally got around to grouting tonight:

My husband says it's hard to read, but it's mostly just decorative anyway; if someone really needs to find us, I'll just tell them to look for the little mosaic hanging next to the door. I'm basically just trying to get the hang of smashing up china and using the fragments to make pictures so I can do bigger and more elaborate projects in my garden this fall.
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42  Grateful Monkey in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Redforkhippie on: June 20, 2007 04:27:05 PM
I have no idea why I decided I needed a sock monkey with the head of a Grateful Dead Dancing Bear on it, but reason is seldom, if ever, a consideration in my creative outbursts. They just happen, and I have no choice but to come along for the ride.  Roll Eyes

In any case, meet Owley:

Here's a lightened-up closeup of his face so you can see the ears:

Getting that felt part to come out right was hard, but Owley turned out better than any of the monkeys I've made up to this point.

And here's a closeup of the tiny monkey in his arms, which I made on my lunch hour yesterday, using a couple of fuzzy baby socks:

I was thinking it would be cool to attach monofilament to Owley's arms and legs and turn him into a marionette so he could be a real Dancin' Bear.  Cool
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43  Sock monkeys in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Redforkhippie on: June 19, 2007 02:59:42 PM

After getting on here a few months ago and seeing the Sock Monkey Challenge entries, I was inspired to learn to make my own sock monkeys.

I ordered some Rockford Red Heel monkey socks online and made a traditional sock monkey before moving on to more colorful choices. I bought some funny argyle knee-highs yesterday and made the gangly little guy you see attempting to befriend my rat terrier in the picture above.

Here is a picture of the new monkey snorgling with my first sock monkey, which I made a couple of weeks ago:

I went home on my lunch hour today and made a little pink and white monkey out of some extremely fuzzy baby socks, but I haven't had a chance to take a picture of it yet. I'll try to shoot it and upload an image later.

My monkeys aren't as beautiful as the ones from the Sock Monkey Challenge, but I think they're cute, anyway. I've been kind of dinking around with the design as I go. Once I get all the bugs worked out, I'll make a good sturdy one for my 6-month-old nephew to cuddle.
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44  Re: Wild Things mural (a bit photo heavy) in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by Redforkhippie on: June 19, 2007 10:43:59 AM
I freehanded it, but I went slowly and erased a lot. Smiley

Putting on the outline in pencil and then coming back with paint to outline the different areas of color helped the kids paint neatly, but it also helped me catch flaws early in the process, before it was too late to do anything about them.

I've done other murals in the past, including this one for my friend Randy, who owns a body shop on Route 66 and wanted something 66-themed in his lobby:

More photos of the Route 66 mural are online here:

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45  Wild Things mural (a bit photo heavy) in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by Redforkhippie on: June 19, 2007 10:26:22 AM
I've been lurking for a long time and kept promising myself I'd post this when I actually completed it, but since it's been sitting here in an almost-but-not-quite-finished state for three months, quietly waiting for me to come back with a paintmarker and put in the last few details, I think it's probably about as completed as it's going to get for the foreseeable future ... and since the current challenge has a "Wild Things" theme (albeit in a medium I've never gotten the hang of), I guess this is as good a time as any to post my most recent mural project:

The image is from the cover of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," except the colors are much brighter (I was using acrylics, which just aren't as subtle as watercolor, and my young assistants aren't quite advanced enough to mimic Sendak's nuances of color and shading). The original image shows Max's boat to the left of the Wild Thing, but I left that off to keep things simple and to allow room for my desk, which -- as you can see in the picture -- doubled as an incubator for a small flock of chicks this spring. The wall is in my home office, which also serves as a sewing room, art studio, and de facto potting shed.

Here are some pictures of the mural as we were working on it:

I sketched the design on the wall and then painted outlines around the different areas of color before the kids came over, which made it sort of like a paint-by-number set. I used this method once before with a group of children who were painting "stained glass" on boarded-up windows, and it worked very well.

It still needs some crosshatching and a coat of sealer to protect it, but it's basically done. Eventually, I want to staple some chicken wire to the ceiling and run ivy garlands through it to make vines cover the ceiling like they do in Max's room.  Smiley

UPDATE: Just to clarify: The kids are cute, but I can't take credit for them -- I just borrowed them from my friend Terriann for the afternoon, 'cos painting is more fun if you have some rugrats to help you. Smiley
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