Crafters In Disguise

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hug this [Tree]!

I painted this tree today based off of another Eyvind Earle piece. I love his whimsical style. This painting is on an 8x10 canvas, done in acryllic paints. I used water to help blend the colors in the background.

Cards for all Occasions

A friend of mine hosted a crafting party today and showed us how to make these adorable cards using Stampin' Up! paper products and scrapbooking tools.

Crafting parties are a great way to spend time with friends and by having a project pre-designed and ready to go, everyone was able to participate equally regardless of artistic ability and we all went home with two practical creations.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Playing with Colors

I painted a couple smaller 8x10 pictures to try out some different techniques and ideas. The smaller canvases are inexpensive and great for a beginner like myself. I could even paint over them and reuse the canvas later.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

[Green Striped Handbag]

This handbag is green in more ways than one. I made it out of one upcycled green striped placemat (4 for $2.50 on clearance at Target), a bamboo purse handle I had sitting around, and some vintage(?) matching lace trim that my grandma gave me years ago when cleaning out her closet. The lining is a special order fabric sample from JoAnn's that I scored when the store in Redmond was closing down.

This is actually my first purse, and I had to hand-sew it due to my current lack of a working sewing machine. A couple things I would have done differently in hindsight would be to add a little pocket inside on the lining, and perhaps try to extend the lining up and add a zipper so it can be completely closed.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A [Tree on Canvas]

Michaels had some canvases on sale today so I decided to bust out the acryllics and try my first painting on canvas. Normally I just use my acryllics to paint little wood boxes, plastic blasters and Jedi comlinks, stuff like that. So for my first painting on canvas I decided to draw inspiration from one of my favorite artists, Eyvind Earle.

I started painting the background and just layered on the green then mixed in some black and came in from the edges with strokes to look like grass or vines.

After getting the background the way I wanted it and letting it dry, I found a picture of an Eyvind Earle painting online and basically tried to copy it without getting as detailed. His lines are too painstakingly perfect for my patience so I took a more impressionistic approach and focused more on getting the idea of the shadows and highlights conveyed. I like how it starts with a silhouette but adds the contrasting white highlights to give the tree some depth. A lot of amateur artists are doing the black tree silhouette-on-a-colored background thing right now. It's easy and can look great in a modern room. I will probably hang this painting in my bedroom.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tastes like Chicken

I don't cook every night, but when I do I like to keep it quick and simple. Steamed asparagus compliments this Indian dish that is easily created with a jar of sauce, a pound of chicken breast, and steamed white rice.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Green is the new purple

I made a few little things this weekend while reorganizing my craft area. In the interest of "going Green", I tried to use up some things I already had.

This was a white kitchen towel I had found at Target for $1. It's very simple and basic, but looks much better with some appliqué and embroidery. It is completely hand-sewn because my sewing machines are both misbehaving.

I started by drawing the design on some scratch paper, then I traced over the leaves on velum and created a template for five or six different leaf shapes that I then used to trace onto some green linen that I already had. Prior to cutting the linen I ironed on lightweight interfacing to the back of the fabric. Lastly I penciled the design onto the towel, stitched the main vine then contined one leaf at a time until finished.

Our kitchen bar tends to collect an assortment of pens and pencils. I tried to make a place for them in the craft drawers, but a handful still ended up on the bar counter space in an ugly flourescent yellow plastic cup. I decided I needed to make something that matched the rest of the kitchen better.
I found this wooden cup at Michael's and brushed on a thin layer of "eucalyptus" acryllic paint. I like seeing the wood grain beneath the paint. Adding the leaf design from the kitchen towel in white was an easy choice.

Looking back I think I would prefer green-on-white rather than white-on-green, and I may just paint over this some day. For now, it looks cute and serves its purpose well. I think something like this could make a nice gift for a coworker or a male family member that is difficult to shop for - perhaps in a different design though.

Lastly, I used some of the same green linen as well as some old felt scraps and fiber fill that I had sitting around, and a button leftover from a quilting project to create this little emery. I actually did need a place to stick all of my "in use" needles. I have a drawer for assorted needles from sewing machine needles to embroidery needles but I usually have two or three that are currently in use for hand-sewing projects and they typically end up getting mixed in with my pins or stuck in the fabric of my ironing board.

I love how this turned out and I think I might make more, I certainly have a lot of these materials left over. Next time I want to try using a large hole punch to cut out the flower(s) though, I think that would look even better. For this one I hand-sketched a design on paper, then traced it on velum to create a template.