Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Working on Sketches

I have been really wanting to make a nativity scene for Christmas. But I missed my opportunity, since I started this after Christmas. So I'm hoping I'll get this done before next Christmas. 























































I'm getting it done, very slowly. The above is the inked study on white paper. I'm eliminating a bunch of the ornamentation and the column, and will be adding new things. I hope to transfer this design onto some very nice cotton 300 lb paper. And then, perhaps, I'll try to paint it.

That's terrifying, because whenever I add color or paint, somehow a great drawing becomes an awful painting.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Shadow-Box Memories.


Some of the thread's I was organizing
This is a small project I did for my mother.  I was going through all her threads (three drawers full) and trying to organize. Well, the last drawer had these antique spools of thread, with wooden spools. My mother told me that they had been her Mothers. So I grabbed as many as I could and brainstormed an idea.

I was thinking a shadowbox of some kind.  So I went through my fabric to find something of Nanny's (My grandmother) I had so many sets of hand embroidered napkins and placemats. I haven't used them because they are antique silk organdy, and they are beautifully made. I couldn't bear to cut them up for something. So for years they've stayed in my cabinet. But I figured, this is what I have them for.

I cut out a small piece that had her monogram. B.S.G. 

I used some of the antique threads, and hand stitched around the monogram to make it stand out. In my Mother's favorite color-green.  I wasn't sure how to keep the spools of thread from falling over. I wanted to make sure they were still usable. So, I thought I would use wooden skewers. But alas, I had none. So then, LIGHTBULB, I found some straws. Yes, striped soda straws for drinks. They were too short to fit in to the shadow box, so I put one inside another until it was long enough. Then I just threaded each wooden spool on the straw until it fit in to the shadow box. The straws were sturdy enough to stand up in it. I spent some time organizing the spools until they were a nice assortment. Then I just took some straight pins and pinned on the monogram.
Voila!!

Shadow Box Memories

Here it is on her gallery shelves. 
, Ruth




Monday, January 2, 2017

Needle Point Design

My sister had asked me to use some Polish Folk Art and come 
up with a needle point design for my Mom, for her Christmas gift.

Below is the finished art.
 This was the black and white drawing, before I colored it.


The inspirations
 So gloriously colorful!! These make me so happy.


 Love love.
 Chickens!!!!!
 I was sketching out on regular printer paper. I was planning on drawing half, and then flipping the mirror image in photoshop.
There you have it.

 It was hard to find the right colors to use. I didn't want to use the exact coloring that was on the original art. But I wanted it to look similar.
I like it. It's not QUITE what I was hoping for, but then again,
it never is.

In progress.

Inked the half sketch.

The finished paper with colors, and then the
inked needle point scrim underneath. I bought needle point scrim
from Joann's, then just sewed some binding on the the unfinished edges, and printed out the sketch at 14"x14".  She likes to turn her needle-point's into pillows, so I made it just a bit smaller than the pillow form. 
I didn't color in the scrim, I just colored the paper poster, and will let her pick her own colors. 

Now, my sister had mentioned that I hadn't made her a watercolor painting. I was doing some paintings last year but stopped because I wasn't happy with the way they turned out. 

So, I picked out my favorite piece of art that she gave me. And did a small watercolor painting of it. 




There you go.

Ruth




Shelves

Hey there, I made some shelves. 


These were inspired by this bookshelf from Target. 


I had really wanted to have my books in my room. Rather than hidden in my office. But, alas, no bookshelves. So, on to Pinterest I go and I find an easy DIY Method.


It's a great step by step process. 

I didn't use her measurements, I wanted a larger size. But the rest of the instructions are very clear. I bought (8) 1"x12"x6' top choice pine board. At Lowes.
My final dimensions for this project was 4' tall, x 12" deep x 20" wide. I only had enough room for 20" so I wouldn't crowd the space, or knock my shoulders on them. 
I had gotten a better quality top board pine for this project. It has less knots and holes, and is less warped. I mean, it's still warped some. So you have to check out each board carefully to see how straight they are. I was sanding a lot to get a smoother surface. I had cut all the pieces and was starting to assemble them, but while a circular saw is great for rip cuts. It wasn't that great for precision. So everything would come out a/ 1/8" off. Even with a straight edge clamp!!! I had already screwed them all together and then pulled them apart after I realized so wobbly they were.  So, I begged my brother for the use of his mitre saw.

Ah yes. It's glorious. Reminds me of making canvas frames in College. Ah, that weird day where our Professor Wally Connelly taught us how to buy wood, (check for straightness) how to use a miter saw, and how to staple your canvas and then use Gesso. 

I also used a kreg jig to get pocket holes. That way the screws aren't visible.

I used some old bead-board for the backing. The picture above shows
how off balance my shelves were. 

So, I re-sawed all the wood to measure as exact as I could. I had to re-drill
a few pocket holes. But in the end, it worked out.

Yay!!!!

I had wanted a pop of color. So I chose an washed aqua stain.

Now, it came out much more intense than I expected. You can 
barely see the wood grain. So, I should have done only one coat. Or mixed it with paint thinner. But when I had done a test coat, the one coat wasn't enough. 
So, after doing two coats on the shelves, I noticed, wow, that is not at all like my test strips. Even after wiping the stain between coats. Go figure.  I followed up
with a coat of clear poly in satin finish.

Before my shelves. 

Yay, Book Shelves.

With actual books!!!!

It came out to $120 for materials. (not included the borrowed miter saw, and my kreg jig) The original was $118 a shelf. I made mine for $60 a shelf. Granted, I'm not including my labor. But that's the fun of DIY right? 
Till next time, Ruth