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Queens Linocut

24 Feb

Although I loved my dremel “Deal With It” sign, it was pretty messy and loud — two things non-conducive to apartment living. So I tried my hand at something neater and quieter – a linocut print.

Linocut Print

First I drew my design, which was reminiscent of this Amsterdam print I pinned.

Linocut Design

After making my design, I transferred it to my linoleum “block.” Ensure your writing is backwards in order for it to appear on your final print correctly.

Transferring Design to Lino Block

Next, comes the time-consuming part — carving out your design. Use a linoleum cutter and take your time. I also used an Xacto knife to help guide my carving. Carve it pretty deep if you don’t want paint to be on the “blank” areas.

Linocut Template

After you finish carving your block, comes the fun part. Grab your block printing ink, and put a dab (about a tablespoon worth) on your clean scrap cardboard. Using your ink roller, spread the ink out on the cardboard until it is an even coat.

Setting up the paint

Apply the paint to your template.

Applying the Paint

Roll your roller back through the paint to grab more paint for your template until it is evenly applied on the template. Cover the entire template.

Applying the Paint

Place your paper on top of your template, and firmly push it down, careful to keep it in place.

Making the Print

Keep pressing the paper down on the template over every single spot of the template.

Making the Print

Keep pressing. I used the back of a flat-ish spoon to make sure I got every spot.

Making the Print

Carefully unveil your print.

Unveiling the Print

I made two prints. The second one had more paint for a more consistent look.

Linocut Print

But I preferred my first print more, which used less paint. I think this one looks much more authentic and imperfect, which makes it less printer shop-like and more one-of-a-kind.

Linocut Print

Etsy Art and My Etsy

6 Feb

For Christmas, I asked for this bear poster from Henry James Paper Goods on Etsy.

I love it. It’s a nice, fun piece of art for our apartment. And it fits in with the other big bears we have hanging around this place.

Bear Print

We hung the picture up in our dining space on the wall opposite the mirrors.

I also recently made bunting out of some scrap felt and hung it across the mirrors.

Bunting

The felt for the bunting is from the scraps of felt crowns that I’ve been making. See them at my Etsy shop: Crowning Around.

Crowning Around

The Etsy shop is for fun and it’s nice to make a little extra scratch. And, it works out well since I enjoy sewing but am running out of room to put my creations.

Crowning Around - crowns

The crowns are made out of felt, are adjustable in size (velcro on the back), can be made in different color combinations, and are perfect to celebrate birthdays, play make believe, or just for kids to hang out around the house.

Crowning Around - crown

And although, I called the shop Crowning Around, there are hair bows too!

Crowning Around - hair bows

So, if you know a kid who needs a crown (or hair bows), visit my shop.

Sharpie Art

3 Oct

I always wanted to buy art. But sadly, I think I’m not ready to make such a commitment yet. Art is expensive and has to go with your decor. Our decor is kind of a mess right now and my wallet is always thinner than I think it should be. So instead, I gotta settle for what I got. And luckily, I just happen to have a Sharpie.

So, using the stencil I made up of my husband’s mug, I decided to do some Sharpie art on an 8×10 canvas.

Sharpie Art

The first step is getting your stencil/image on to the canvas without having to free-hand it.

To do this, I printed out the stencil in the size I wanted. Then, I flipped the print out over and “colored” over the edges of the image with a pencil.

Transferring Image

Now, with the print out right side up, line it up on your canvas to where you’d like the image positioned and then use a generously sized piece of tape to attach the top edge of the print out to the canvas. This allows you to flip the print out up to check how the transfer is coming along without messing up the alignment.

Transferring Image

Then, with your pencil point, carefully yet firmly trace along all the edges on your print out.

Transferring Image

Flip the print out up every once in a while to see how the transfer is looking.

Transferring Image

Before untaping the print out, do a careful check to ensure you have all your lines.

Transferring Image

Sharpie time!

Using your guidelines, start coloring with your Sharpie. I kept the print out close by to glance at every once in a while and double check which areas were shaded in more confusing spots.

Also, use a clean scrap paper to lean your hand on when coloring. This prevents the possibility of leaning your hand on wet Sharpie ink and smudging.

Coloring with the Sharpie

Finished? I think so.

Sharpie Art

Remember that picture ledge we hung up more than a year ago? I just recently bought another black frame for it, but it still needed one more thing. Since this artwork coordinates with the black frames, and I already have a solo picture of my toddler self, I thought the Sharpie Art would be a perfect fit.

Picture Shelf

Picture Shelf

Deal With It

8 Aug

A few months ago, I started following my 10-year old cousin on Instagram. She had commented on one of her pictures, something like, “Squishy, heart-shaped balloon. Deal with it.” And, I thought it was the funniest thing.

Deal With It

Two weekends ago, we went to Ikea and went crazy with just $20. Apparently, just before the new Ikea catalog is released, the stores have huge sales on cabinet and drawer doors which are being phased out. Each piece is just $1.

Ikea Wood Shopping

With a drawer front panel in my arms and my cousin’s Instagram comment in my mind, I set out to do a new dremel project.

First, I sketched out my lettering.

Drawing out the lettering

Then, I set up my work area and taped my stencil to the wood piece.

Taped stencil to wood

Safety first. I put safety glasses on top of my regular glasses for added protection, and grabbed my dremel (and drill).

Getting ready to dremel

I started out by drilling a pilot hole at the top of the “d.”

Starting with a drilled hole

Then, I began dremel-ing along my lettering. I had to stop often to clear out the engraved area (I used the end of a paper clip to push out the saw dust from the letters) and brush away the saw dust.

Dremel process

Since I had the paper on top of the wood, it was hard to see how it was looking, so I just had to trust that it was looking good.

Dremel process

But in the end, it kinda looked a mess before I did a final clean up.

Carving with the dremel

Once I pulled off the paper, smoothed out certain areas, and did a more thorough cleaning, I was able to step back and admire my work.

Deal With It

I sat it above the window ledge in our desk area and stepped back to take a picture for my blog. I paused to tidy up my desk, and said to my husband, “The picture isn’t going to look that good because of your messy desk area,” to which he simply pointed at the sign.

Deal With It

Chalkboard Dremel Project

18 Jul

One of my coworkers told me about how she painted a wall in her kitchen and a wall in her bedroom with chalkboard paint. It made me want to do the same, but she lives in a house, and I live in a small apartment.

So, I improvised.

Awhile ago, we bought a dremel, and this was a good reason to play with it.

Here’s my practice-go. (It says “Hello my [name is],” if you can’t tell.)

Dremel Practice

Then, I moved on to the real wood, which was really just a big piece of scrap wood from an old piece of furniture.

Scrap Wood

I carved in a simple image.

Carved scrap wood

Next, I mixed up my chalkboard paint, which was comprised of acrylic paint and unsanded grout (see tutorial here).

Chalkboard paint ingredients

I painted the wood in varying shades of blue, starting with the darkest blue at the bottom, then gradually adding a little bit of white to make it lighter at each division. I did a few layers of paint to make sure it was fully covered.

Painting

After the paint was completely dry, I conditioned it by rubbing the side of chalk everywhere, then using a barely-wet sponge to wipe it away. The color of the blues all got dulled down from this, giving it a real chalkboard look.

Dremeled scrap wood with chalkboard paint

And finally, I had the perfect place to write myself reminders and draw dinosaurs.

Dremeled scrap wood with chalkboard paint

Stick Horses

8 Jan

Horses go “neigh.” Do kids learn that as one of the animal noises?

“Neigh” doesn’t seem like a very kid-friendly noise. It’s not fun like other animal noises.

But horses do have a one up on all the other animals. It’s extremely kid-friendly when you put its head on a stick!

I made these stick horses as Christmas presents. I loosely followed this tutorial from That Village House.

horses1

Here’s how they were made:

1. Cut out your two pieces of the horse head from your fabric using the pattern I created for this project (three pages): Horse_pageA, Horse_pageB, and Horse_pageC. Pattern pages were created assuming a 1/2 inch margin around each page (to account for printers). And should fit together according to the following image. (You only need to cut along the outline of the horse head, the circles are there just to help guide how the pages fit together.)

horse6

2. Do the mane:

  • Place the two fabric horse head pieces down, right sides together.
  • Wrap yarn around a sports bottle (or something with an approx 3″ diameter). When you run out of space on your sports bottle, cut the yarn, and gather it to place it in between the fabric where you want the mane to start. Be sure to spread it out to the desired thickness of the mane and that some of the mane is overlapping the edge of the horse head. Sew in place. Repeat process until entire mane is completed. (I did my manes in batches that were approx 2-3 inches of mane per batch.)

horses2

3. Sew the remainder of the top edge of the horse head, stopping where the mouth slopes down.

4. Set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length and baste the remainder of the horse head (minus the bottom edge). Basting will allow you to easily unstitch later.

5. Make your ears: Based on the images, cut larger and smaller pieces out of felt for the ears and stitch together. For each ear, I stitched two larger pieces together first, then the smaller piece to the large pieces to make it a bit more stiff so it’ll stand easier.

horses3

6. Stuff the horse head with your polyfil so you can get a sense of where you want the eyes and ears. With a pencil, lightly mark the spot for your eyes and ears.

7. Unstuff the horse head and sew on the button eyes where you just marked.

8. Attach the ears:

  • According to your markings, cut a small straight line where you want each ear. This line should not exceed the width of the bottom of the ears.
  • Put the ear in the hole and fold in the rough edges, pin as needed, and sew into place.

9. Attach the bridle:

  • Re-stuff the horse head
  • Take your webbing to measure out the part that circles around the mouth of the horse. Wrap the webbing around the horse’s mouth in the spot you want it to sit. Mark the webbing to measure the length you need in order to wrap around the mouth (overlapping the ends of the webbing a bit) and lightly mark the horse head of where you want the bridle to sit.
  • Unstuff the head.
  • Cut the webbing where you marked. Line up the center of your webbing with the top of the horse head. At this point, I unstitched the short side of the neck (opposite side of the mane), up to where it starts to curve. With the webbing lined up properly, sew a few line of stitches on the top of the head through the webbing and head to keep it in place. Then wrap the webbing according to your markings and sew in place to the underside of the horse head at each end of the webbing, which should overlap a bit.
  • Restuff the horse head as much as possible (won’t be completely stuffed since you unstitched some of the neck).
  • Take your other webbing piece and put it in place for the bridle part that wraps along the back of the horse head. Do the same thing as you did previously – mark the webbing for length, and mark the horse head where you want it to sit.
  • Cut the webbing where you marked. Line up the center of the webbing with the mane. Sew a few lines to keep in place, pushing as much of the mane out of the way as possible. Sew the ends of this webbing to the other bridle piece. Additionally, sew a one-inch line in the middle of each side to help keep it in place.

horses4

10. Now, turn the horse inside out and properly sew where you had previously basted.

11. Stuff your horse one last time. Get your stick and apply hot glue to the part that will be stuffed in the head. Stuff the stick in the head, trying to keep it in the center of the polyfil.

12. Then, fold in the rough edges of the bottom edge of the horse head. Hand sew this edge, so it is tight around the stick. Apply additional hot glue to the stick for the area that touches the fabric to help keep it in place.

13. Done.

horses5

Finally Decorated

17 Dec

I say “finally” decorated, because there is only a week left until Christmas, and because this is only the second time in my “adult” life that I’ve decorated for the holidays.

Growing up, my family always decorated — we had a fake tree that we strung with lights and ornaments, hung up garland and a wreath, and put up lots of bows. It felt like Christmas.

In college one year (2004), my roommates and I decorated out of construction paper. Here’s our tree, Santa looking over us, and a few reindeer. We also had stockings and were lucky enough to enjoy snow flakes.

xmas1

xmas2

This year, although we don’t have much space, I found a small spot to fit in a little decoration.

xmas3

The mini tree was made using origami paper, cardboard (to make the cone) and this tutorial.

xmas4

The Santa was made out of scrap fabric I was going to throw away, an old (clean) sock, construction paper and cardboard (to make the pyramid).

To make Santa, I first made the pyramid out of cardboard and covered the bottom half of the cardboard with red construction paper. Then, I cut Santa’s belt and buckle out of construction paper and glued it on. Then, I wrapped the scrap fabric starting from the top and working my way down to create Santa’s hat, hot gluing along the way. When I came to the bottom of the hat, I evened it out a bit, cut off the excess red fabric, and then cut a strip from the white sock to create the brim of the hat and hot glued it into place. Then, I cut out and hot glued on Santa’s beard, and, lastly, gave him some cool, construction paper-shades.

xmas5

And, as a final touch to our Christmas decorations, I added lights across our photo ledge.

xmas6

xmas7