Thursday, August 22, 2013

Practicing Faces

I am really enjoying the online workshops I am taking from Jane Davenport (  As a result I have been practicing faces like crazy.  Here is one in progression.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Doodle time.

Here's what I did with that test page for the marker bottles filled with watercolor paint.  I used a black gellyroll pen.  I think I might go over it with watercolor pencil, too.

Using Empty Marker Bottles for Art Journaling

Art journaling may well be addictive.  Luckily, except for the cost of my ever growing art supply collection, it is a positive addiction that has long-term mental health benefits.  At long last, I think I may have found a way to keep up with my need to create things, even when I’m swamped with kids and housework and my job.  There is something about this kind of journaling that takes some of the pressure off to be perfect.  It’s also something that can be done in spurts, which, when things are crazy-busy, is ├╝ber-important.  

Like anything else, though, it helps to be organized.  It’s possible to spend hours on journal pages, but it doesn’t have to, as long as you have supplies arranged in a way to be easily accessible when you have a few spare minutes. 

I bought these empty marker bottles from Dick Blick because it came up as a useful tool in the Mermaid Circus class I am taking (which is awesome, by the way).  I first used it to put a mix of cheapie acrylic craft paint and water.  It works like a charm.  Then I had this brilliant idea (not so brilliant, as it turned out, since it’s mentioned as a use in the product description) to put some of my watercolors in it.  The result—completely awesome!  I can now keep these little bottles at hand and add watercolor any time I want to without having to dig out my paints, palette, brushes and water.  They lend towards portability, too, so I can take them out with me without having to haul all those supplies.

So here’s what I did:
1.      I put a tiny bit of water in the bottles so that when I added the paint, it wouldn’t stick to the bottom.
2.      I added about a pea size bit of paint and then filled up the bottle just under the first divot mark.  It’s easier to add water than add paint. 
3.      I put the top on (the part with the porous surface) and then the cap.
4.      I shook the bottles until the paint dissolved into the water.  Even my oldest, most solid watercolor paint dissolved just fine. 
Here’s what I tested the bottles on.

Now I have watercolors to go, whether I’m trying to prep a page in between steps in getting dinner ready or heading to the local coffee shop (or pub) to get some me time.

The following are some useful links for you:

The Mermaid Circus is starting another round in September.  It is well worth the money and an excellent way to recharge artistically.  I have done more artwork in the last three months than the previous year all together.  Jane Davenport and Teesha Moore are fabulous teachers and stupendous artists.

Dick Blick is my go-to place for art supplies.  I usually wait for sales and buy online.  This link goes straight to the empty marker bottles.

My watercolor paints are from Daniel Smith, an art store here in the Seattle area.  The Daniel Smith brand of watercolors are my favorite. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunny Days Are Awesome

If you are at all familiar with the Pacific Northwest, you know that our winters and springs are not known for their sunny days.  So when that elusive orb finally comes out, it makes the whole day a little bit brighter.  I took advantage of the beautiful (if still chilly) conditions to photograph my latest peg doll creations.  I'm having fun learning new embroidery stitches and these little guys are the perfect size to try something new.  I like how the middle (pointy hat) gnome turned out; I think I might have to try my hand at applying dye to wool felt more often this spring.
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Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Easter Peg Doll

I came up with a new design for my peg dolls, just in time for Easter.  Meet the Easter gnome, who loves Easter so much she dresses up like the Easter bunny.
I needle felted the nest and eggs from roving and I have been trying out new embroidery stitches.  Recently, I went to the library and checked out about 10 books on embroidery and crewel.  Generally, what I found is there is a short basic set of stitches with a lot of variations to make them look different. 

Lastly, here is a photo of one of my lovebug peg dolls.  The heart felt is from an experiment with alcohol inks. 
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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wool Felt Doll

I have finals to grade (homestretch), but I wanted to do a quick post on a felt doll I made as a gift before I completely forgot.  I bought the pattern from Gingermelon's etsy shop.  The doll is made from the pocket pixie pattern.  This is the 2nd pattern I have bought, and it is just as adorable as the first.

Except for the embroidered face, she is 100% wool felt.  The pretty glittery multicolored wool yarn I bought at Artfest 2012--sorry I don't remember the vender's name.  The hair is needle felted on, and I really liked how easy it was and how well it turned out.  I'm waiting to see how it holds up with gentle toddler play.
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Little Boos from GingerMelon's Pattern

I made these two cute little Boo's from a pattern I purchased from Gingermelon's etsy shop.  The kids love them and are asking for more.  I know I could have probably created something similar, but with a to-do list taller than me, I decided to take a break from creating my own patterns.  I have admired Shelly's dolls and creatures since first seeing them in in Stuffed magazine, so I thought it was fitting to support her creativity and give mine a break by purchasing her pattern.  Her instructions were clear and the end results speak for themselves.

I used 100% wool felt.  The only change I made was to create the eyes with felt and embroidery floss instead of using safety eyes.  I love how the arms move a bit--I will have to use the same technique on some of my other projects.
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