Art & Craft

Chic Sparrow Over Foxy Fix for the Win – the Rest of the 2019 Line Up

Not too big a stack right?  Very focused!

On top is my everyday carry.  It’s not even a journal really, it’s a date book, I guess a planner.  I shouldn’t treat planner like a dirty word, but I’ve been down that road of decorating rather than planning, and I’ve really decided that decorating is for memory keeping, and my carry around thing has to look at least semi-professional.  Oh, so what is it?  It’s a Hobonichi Weeks, housed in a Chic Sparrow Weeks cover in Golden Maverick leather.

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Journal No. 2 for 2019, My Not A Bullet Journal Journal

Back in 2016 through 2017, I kept a bullet journal. A real bullet journal. Bullet journaling is a an analogue planning system created by Ryder Carrol. I haven’t been to his blog lately, or read his new book, but back when he started this analogue system of not quite list making/not quite traditional planning, there were no monthly calendars, no doodling, no elaborate spreads of goals, or habit tracking, or anything like that. Rather, it was a system of rapid logging, of daily tasks/items/appointments that were checked off when completed, or migrated to a date in the future. The first page was a vertical list of dates, and you logged your appointments. The next page was a future log, and I used it for items I was waiting for, an appointments for the month. Then, you just started in on logging items daily. For instance, you wrote down Monday, and you made a list of your to dos, your appointments, your tasks, things to remember. You checked them off when there were down, or you drew an arrow to indicate you were migrating it to later in the week or month or whatever. If you wanted to create a list, of say books to read, or goals, or something like that, where ever you were in your journal, you titled your collection, and started listing, and you noted the page of the collection in the index. And, that was it.

That’s a traditional bullet journal.

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A Weekender for Every Day of the Week

I’ll admit it – I’m a bandwagon girl. Or, more accurately, if there’s a sweater parade going by, I’m definitely in the crowd watching, and, it doesn’t take much for me to hop on the float, and cast on the sweater du jour. When everyone started knitting this sweater, the Weekender by Andrea Mowry, I certainly put it in my Ravelry queue, and I kept my eye on photos of completed projects. I didn’t cast on immediately though, because I was concerned about the drop shoulder. A drop shoulder on an oversized sweater with no shaping definitely runs the risk of looking like a trash bag with a hole for your head.

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More Vintage Photo Fabric Creations

After posting about my last failed attempt at altering a fabric vintage photo, of course, I stewed about how to fix it, how to start again, what to do differently – that’s what I do sometimes when I’m staring at my computer at work.  Some people day dream about exotic vacations, or what they’re reading, or what to make for dinner, or what to wear tomorrow, I fixate on how to fix my projects, or starting a new project, or what kind of a mess am I going to make this weekend.  I may have resting bitch face, but underneath, I’m all about paints, and stitches, and pretty things.

So, here’s how I tried to pretty my failure up:

Again, here’s the big fail:

Time to start over!

Back to the original.  What first attracted me to this photo is the window, and the cuffs on her clothes.  I envisioned hanging flower baskets and french knots on the cuffs.  Why I strayed from my original idea I don’t know, but above is what you get when you don’t trust your instincts.

So, the french knots on the cuffs:

And, kind of weird sort of turkey work on the belt –

And, finally, the daydreamed about plants in the window:

And here she is, in a broken Ikea frame (have to do something about that!) –

 

I’m so much happier with how she turned out.  If I were to do it over again, I probably wouldn’t curve the stitching on the bottom of her dress – I was going for a look that suggested movement, but instead she just looks bloated, and strangely shaped.  Instead of using a bright paint in the windows, I used a subtle, chalk pastel.  The pink chalk pastel on her dress completely rubbed off, but that’s ok.  I thought out doing some bullion stitches on the back of the chair, to add some texture, but I decided that would be too much.  So, I’m basically good with it.  I love how the plants turned out, and I was right about the french knots.  Inspired, I whipped up another one:

Some embroidered silk roses, and a few fabric embellishments, and voila!

On Instagram, someone asked me why the hat?  And I think the better question is really why the wings?  Whenever you download collage sheets, or look at others’ vintage photo alterations, typical embellishments are wings, hats, stripes on socks, lollipops, balloons, etc.  I added the wings, because well, everyone adds wings.  Not such a good reason.  I added the hat, however, because after I embroidered the silk flowers, she really looked like she was wearing one of those oldtime plastic flowered bathing caps.  It wasn’t a good look for her.  The hat changed that look, and also, kind of goes with the rebel theme – that the rebel would wear a crooked hat.  Anyway, in the future, I’m going to try to tell my own story with my altered photos, instead of copying trends, like wings and such.  Of course the hat is from a collage sheet download, and a staple of vintage photo alts, but to me, it works with this photo more than the wings, which really don’t say much at all to me, other than to give it some whimsy.  So, that’s my thought process.

And the polka dots, by the way – to cover up some sloppy slops on the white border – oopsy!

A Summer of Unity Stamp Co. Stamps

As promised, and in a timely fashion I might add!, here’s a rundown of Unity Stamp’s Summer Kits of the Month.

First up, June – ah, so long ago it seems.

Love June’s kit..  If I had any quibble, the only thing it would be is that I don’t feel like that particular bird is a spring bird.  That crow says Halloween or fall or something like that to me, as do the wildflowers, but what do I know?  I do know that I love the ice cream sundaes, the fruit and the girl.  And, I’m happy to have a birthday sentiment to add to my tool box.

Here are the cards I made:

Here, I did some paper piecing, and some coloring with my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers.  Here’s the thing about markers – I am not paying $6/marker.  I don’t care how fantastic Copic markers are, I’m not a professional crafter, artist, whatever, and that’s so not going to happen.  I wouldn’t even buy a gold plated marker at $6 a pop, because who needs a gold plated marker.  Now, I guess, professional or non professional aside, if coloring were something I really really cared about, I guess I would pay that much – but I don’t.  Spectrum Noir markers come 6 in a pack, and A.C. Moore always has them on sale for $7.45.  Good enough for me.  The matting and little flag embelishments are from an Anna Griffin set I bought on HSN.  I don’t remember what the kit was called, but I bought it because it was 60% off, and I wanted the die that came with the kit.  I’m not really an Anna Griffin fan – I don’t get the thrill of simply gluing down embelishments to make a card.  Now, she has a huge following, and if her kits are your bag, there’s no judgment here.  Do whatever makes you happy.  That just wouldn’t make me happy.

And, here’s one with the fruit stamp;

This card is straight up watercolor. And, as always when my watercolor goes awry, I added some splashes to make my mistakes look intentional.

Next up, July:

I didn’t get around to using July until nearly August, and when I did, I realized that I had already lost that big flower stamp in the middle.  I have no idea where it went.  I’m certain it will show up . . . or it won’t.  I find it hard to believe that it fell in the trash, but you never know.  As you can see, I used the back of the sheet to do a color swatch of my Spectrum Noir markers – oops – I just grabbed what was closest to me, and this was it.

Here’s what I made with August:

First, I colored these images, and then I contemplated, hmmm, what to do now . . .

I used my Crafters Companion edge dies that came with the last Crafters Companion inspiration magazine, another HSN autoship.  Because I cut my paper around my stamped girl too small, I had a hard time figuring out where to put a sentiment.  Oh well.  I originally markered the birds in blue, and I really didn’t like that.  So, I went back to the watercolors for the birdies. The girl is Spectrum Noir markers.

I feel like I’ve used this kit more, but I think I feel that way because I stamped alot of sentiments trying to fit them on the girl card, and they just didn’t work out right.  I did use the big sunflower that says believe on the stem as a envelope decoration.  Unity has this new line of stamps for envelope decorating, but in truth, any stamp can be used to decorate an envelope, right?  So, no need for extra purchases there.

And finally, August.  August is the first kit that came in the mail, and I said, meh.  I think because there’s no girl, no critter, and a repeat of the butterlies.

I did play with it this weekend, and made these two cards:

 

 

The first card was an attempt to use my Crafters Companion first auto ship Kinetic Card, the side stepper die.  The problem with this die, which some would argue is not a problem at all, is that it sized for an A2 envelope, but that makes that side panel really small, and none of these kit stamps really fit on it, except for maybe the butterflies.  So, I tried to make a stepped garden, and I’m ok with the results.  I used a few of my watercolor Art Impressions Stamps as well, with distress inks and Tombow markers.

The second card, the poppies, has gotten a bit of Instagram love, and it was so easy peasy to make – here it goes.  Take your stamp, and ink it up with distress ink.  I used red on top, olive on the bottom.  Spritz the stamp with water, get it good and wet.  Stamp.  Put that one aside.  Stamp again – use this lighter, wetter version.  Tap in watercolor – dark near the center, lighter as you go up, dark in the folds of the flower.  That’s it.  The water will do most of the work for you.  And that’s it – you too can be a watercolor mad genius!

So, for my next card trick, I’m thinking of making a few of these boxes for holiday gifts and filling them with watercolor cards – maybe.

 

A Fabric Experiment

As you know, I’m a sucker for a sale.  So, when Ivy Newport ran a super duper birthday sale (40% off!) on most of the classes on her website, I took advantage and purchased a class, Fabric in Time with mixed media artist Stephanie Rubiano.

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This was a class I camethisclose to purchasing at full price, but with Skillshare and Creativebug enough to keep me busy, I just couldn’t justify it.  But, can’t beat almost half off, right?  Anyway, the class is chocked full of good advice and helpful tips about how to print on fabric, paint on fabric, and add embelishments to your final piece.  There’s also a bonus lesson on encaustic wax, but setting up a wax station is really not in my budget right now.

This class combines so many of the things I love – vintage photography, painting and embroidery, that I was immediately inspired, and went to work with the products I had on hand.  I can’t remember why, but I bought a set of cabinet cards from an etsy seller a long time ago that were perfect for this project, and I scanned them into my computer.  I then printed out my photos on quilting cotton.  My first attempt went wonky, but the second attempt was pretty good.  There’s a 50% coupon for AC Moore today, so I’m thinking about trying the InkJet printable fabric sheets, but we’ll see.  Then, I went into a creative frenzy, and whipped up my girl before I took any photos.  Because I immediately went to work, I didn’t exactly have all of the supplies I needed.  For instance, I didn’t have any finishing spray – so I had a little problem with the water on my brush mixing with the ink on the photo, but I just moved the paint around, and embroidered on top of any water blotches.

You can see the original photo in the top corner.  And you can see more improvising.  To give the cards structure, Stephanie uses a double sided fusible, and creates a fabric sandwich.  The only double sided stablizer I have is the Bosal Foam fusible, which is really great for tote bags, and quilted wallets and such, but not so great for this project.  While it lends stability, it doesn’t really have that stiffness that painting on a stiff fabric interfacing would have.  But, I made do.

You can see she’s a little puffy from the foam, but eh, it’s all good.  As you can see, I had a bit of a water issue on the edge there, but again, no big deal.  I mean, if I were going to sell it or something, it would be problematic, but for the walls of my craft room, I’m good with it.  The little background embelishments are sequins with seed beads, and the stitching is a combination of lazy daisies, french knots, and cross stitch.  I had to watch a few refresher videos on the stitching, but it came back.

To finish her off, I trimmed the card down, punched some holes with my crop-a-dile, and inserted eyelets.  Then, I used this funky beaded wire that I’ve had in my stash forever and never knew quite what to do with to add a hanger –

All done! I thought about binding the edge to hide the water splotch, but again, eh. She’s just hanging with the rest of the girls on the craft wall, no crafting police here.

I was really excited to start my next girl, but unfortunately, it was back to work on Monday, and then I didn’t get back into the craftroom until last night. By then, I had thought of so many ideas of what to do, and I had a vision of what I wanted her to look like.

Here’s the before:

I had this idea that I was going to embroider hanging flower baskets in the window, and lots of little white french knots on her collar and her cuffs. And then, I went south -I don’t know why – and the further south it went from my vision, the more I messed it up:

I hate how bright the blue is in the window. So, I abandoned my hanging basket idea, and thought maybe I’d cover the whole window with a vine. Then, instead of using my perle cotton thread that I love, I went with a cheap craft embroidery thread because the color was better, and my stitches look so sloppy. It didn’t help that I cut the fabric too small to get good tension in the hoop. Then, the only white paint I had on hand was a fluid acrylic, and that interacted horribly with the ink from the printer, and I got a really ugly stain on her dress. I tried to cover it up and it just kept getting worse. So, then I painted it red. I hate how the red looks with the pink ribbon roses. Sigh. She’s going in the garbage and I’m going to start over. This time, I’m going to print her the same size, but on a full sheet of paper, so I can get the fabric tight enough in the hoop. I’m going to go back to my original vision of the baskets in the window, and the knots on her dress. As for the blue windows – I’m going to stick with the blue, but I’m going to use a really light colored pencil instead of paint, so it’s just a faded outdoor look.  I’m ok with starting over.  Sometimes projects just don’t work out.

And, while I still have a few more cabinet cards to play with, I ordered these tintypes from ebay:

I really love this one:

Since she’s already got the crazy faux outdoor backdrop going, I can see myself embroidering wildflowers or trees or something behind her.  We’ll see.  Of course, when I ordered then, I didn’t really think about putting the tin on my scanner – I’m really afraid of scratching the bed.  I may try to photograph them rather than scan them, but I don’t have a light box.  Another problem to be solved!  But, it’s craft, it’s all good.

Stay tuned!

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