My brother takes his kids to Starbucks as a treat - kind of special time with Dad. He gets a latte and they get hot chocolate. I thought making a coffee cozy for everyone in the family would be a great gift. A New Year's gift since I missed all the December holidays! The pattern and instructions for these is in the current (Winter) issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. I lucked out and found one piece of fabric already free motion embroidered so that one went together fast! It's the one on the cup. The two front ones are made with Laurel Birch animal fabric and the orange one is a superhero fabric - although cut up into a little patchwork. The dark one in the back is made from scraps from my Makerira doll's outfit and is fabric confetti with thread bits, covered by tulle, that is then free motion embroidered. These are fun and quick to make. I need to make one for Fran now! Maybe one for myself too!
I had bought some clear plastic totes the other day so I could get my yarn out of hat boxes and into something where I could see what I have. Imagine my surprise when I found these two in the last hat box under a skirt I was altering (a year or two ago) for a friend of mine. They are at least three years old! I wonder why one doll had 3 legs sewn up!!!
I made this little accordian book for my daughter as a stocking stuffer. I think she'll get a kick out of it as she is getting married next year and is already talking about having a baby (yes! I'll be a grandma!!! ) The photos are of my daughter from when my husband was a single dad and that's why these are Dad's tips. Enjoy the photos and I'll give the technical details afterwards. Click photos to enlarge.
Now the technical details ... these are made with book board covered with fabric. The interior is one large piece of watercolor paper that has been painted with acrylics. Notice I've used bubble wrap again as a paintbrush. I learned how to make these this summer at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. I made my other daughter one too but it doesn't have a theme - just baby photos with captions. There are lots of books you can buy (or get out of the library) that teach how to make these - the accordian book is the basic beginner's project in most of them. I buy my book board and PVA bookbinding glue online from Paper Source. They are great to deal with.
As today is Christmas I'd like to wish everyone who celebrates a very Merry Christmas!
My friend Sherry has been making coasters for presents - she is making them from scratch with polymer clay. They are wonderful but clay and I just don't get along. The other day I was in the dollar store and saw a pack of cork-backed coasters. Hhmmmm ... bet I can do *something* with these! My parents use coasters so I decided to make Memory Coasters - using family photos. But first I had to get rid of those horrible pictures on the coasters.
I gave each coaster a single coat of gesso. The gesso prepares surfaces for paint - might not be necessary on these but can't hurt! You can still see the pictures through the paint. Not my style at all!
When that was dry I gave the coasters a base coat of a light rose color. I just used an acrylic craft paint. My folks are pretty conservative so I used conservative colors but you could go crazy bright with this too. When that was just about dry I took a piece of bubble wrap that I cut in a square and painted it a contrasting color. Then I placed the painted bubble wrap face down on the coaster and just patted the color on. I love using bubble wrap to paint with!
Yeah, I know, it doesn't look so hot, but we're not done! Now we'll tone down the dots. Take a third color and squeeze it onto your palette. Then take a piece of tissue paper and wad it up. Tap the tissue paper into the paint and then tap it onto a piece of paper towel to take a bit of the paint off. Now tap it onto your coaster. Tap until you feel the dots are blended in a bit.
Getting better. One more step for this background. Grab a texture stamp - I have one that is a cube with a different squiggly texture on each side. Now paint a contrasting color onto the stamp and stamp the coaster. Since my stamp was smaller than the coaster I basically divided the coaster into 4 and stamped each section. Clean your stamp immediately - don't let the paint dry on it.
Okay - now just let it dry. See how the dots add depth? Print out your photos (I print onto card stock) and cut them to shape. I used a PVA bookbinding glue to attach my photos to the coasters. Remember that any embellishments need to be flat if you are going to use these as coasters. Meet my folks ....
This one cracks me up .. it's my niece in her car seat wearing her Dad's shoes ...
I guess this is like miniature scrapbooking! To finish these I sprayed them with workable fixatif because I plan to coat them with marine varnish (as soon as I go to the store and buy some). I will probably give them a coat of spray urethane before I paint on the varnish too. I want my Mom to be able to wipe these down - gotta get rid of those coffee cup rings!
I have started a new website called Ask the Crafter. It is a place where you can go to ask questions regarding any type of craft. It's something I have thought about doing for at least a year now and I finally have it up and running. Please pass the word to all of your groups and all of your friends. This will only be a success if people use the service! The URL is: http://www.askthecrafter.blogspot.com. You should go there now - there are a few interesting questions and answers posted already!
One of the things that I like about this time of year are the sales - in the craft shops. I love buying things for dolls that aren't meant for them! Like this tassel ornament. It's really a light pink although I couldn't quite capture the color.
I also wanted to show this photo .. it is a round robin doll I'm working on. I added the skirt - which is a gourd - a Crown of Thorns gourd. Sherry Goshon turned me onto them and taught me how to work with them. As soon as I finish the journal I can send her on.
I PROMISE not to tell anyone what you got them for Xmas!!! Please .. let me go .... AARRGH ... my head, my head .......
I LOVE clearance racks! I found this silver-plated holder there and bought two of them. I have a friend who uses these for flying faeries so I figured I'd buy myself a couple. I don't know what I will use them for but I'm sure they will come in handy someday ... along with all the other goodies I'm hoarding, LOL.
Goldilocks bought a light tent to photograph her art. The first tent was waaaaay toooo big. Then she bought a little light tent and it was waaaaay toooo small. So she THOUGHT about buying a light tent that would be just right. But she didn't .. she figured she'd spent too much money already on the silly things and she'll just make them work!!!
Do you listen to audiobooks or your MP3 player while you create? Our library is going to start allowing you to download audiobooks to your computer next year and I'm wondering if I would actually listen to them. They are going to give us 14 days to listen to the audiobook and then it will stop working (I wonder what technology that is!). Sometimes I get so involved in what I'm doing that I don't even hear what is going on around me. I usually do have the radio on but half the time it doesn't register. What are your thoughts on this ... what do you do? I'm curious.
Earlier this year my club issued a challenge to make a piece incorporating a wooden candlestick. I posted photos of mine earlier this year. We had our holiday get together last night and we were supposed to bring our candlesticks. Unfortunately only 7 of us showed up and only 3 of us brought the candlesticks. I forgot my camera too. So I talked my friend Karen into trading dolls for a month, LOL. I just love this little girl - her face is a commercial mold and it came out really pretty!
My daughter came over today and wanted to make some presents for her friends. I had told her she could use my 'stuff' since she's flat broke. While she tried to figure out what to make I made this little gallery wrapped canvas collage which is available at my Etsy shop for the small price of $20 ... (SOLD - THANK YOU DE-DE!)
Love the little girl and her baby ...
Oh, and my daughter never did figure out something to make.
I spent most of the day taking photographs of my domino necklaces and the ornaments that didn't sell at the bazaar last weekend. They are now up at my Etsy shop if you are interested. Here's a close up of the blue baby ... she's marked down to $35.00 now. (SOLD)
Thought I'd share why I think the light tent is too big. I want to use it in the guest room, on top of the dresser, but it's so big it hangs over the edge! The 11 inch ornament is inside it - looks tiny, doesn't it! By the way - that ornament is now available at my Etsy store - click the box over on the right that says' Visit Judi's Art Doll Store' if you're interested.
I bought a light tent because I thought I could take better quality photos with it. Get rid of some of the shadow problems I've been having. I bought a 30"x30"x30" inch tent (off of eBay) - ha - the thing is HUGE. I don't know what I was thinking. Actually I do - the biggest doll I've made is 24" so I figured bigger is better. Nope. I am going to have to buy another smaller one. I don't know if I will keep this one or not. But anyhow - here are two photos I took today for practice. I think this will work once I figure out how to place the lights.
This photo is taken in the light tent with no flash:
I haven't been very creative this week. I had to fly down to Seattle and help my daughter drive back to Alaska. It was a horrendous trip due to the winter storms that hit Seattle and British Columbia. It has been 22 years since I drove the Alaska Highway and I did it in winter that time too. One day I'll drive it in the summer!!!
I've got some catching up to do this coming week - I missed a week of school so there's homework, I have two round robin dolls sitting here and who knows what else!
This little cafe was in the middle of nowhere ... I found the sign funny ... click on the image to really read it ...
You can see the rest of the photos at my PIcturetrail album .. although we didn't stop to take many photos. We drove, and drove, and drove ....