Friday, December 23, 2011

Everyone can use a bit of sparkly...

I really must know: If you happened to be trying on THESE SHOES just for fun while this song started to play:



would you not bust even the tiniest move?

Apparently it is somewhat frowned upon in certain company.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Picture taking...

Eventually I plan on opening another Etsy shop that has one of a kind items as well as clothing. I don't know when I'll be able to do it but in the meantime I've been drawing things up and otherwise dreaming.

I have a steampunk style mask that I made that I haven't listed to my Etsy yet because I kind of want it to be one of the first items in my potential shop. I photographed it today in the type of style I'm thinking that shop would be in. I would make one of these sepia colored photos the main photo and then have multiple full color photos to show the details and "real" look of the piece. I would photograph my other items in a similar way but not everything would be steampunk.




Here are the same photos in color. I was originally going to do my makeup but I could not find my makeup kit (it's been a long time since I last used it). I went ahead and did them anyway since I intended for the photos to be sepia-fied and my lack of makeup would be less noticeable. I wouldn't have done foundation either way because I don't want any makeup getting on the mask.



Can I just say that styling, photographing, and modeling all at the same time is quite a pain? I need to find someone willing to be my model and a person who actually knows how to use a camera. I did figure out how to work a tripod and timer though. I should have set up a mirror so I could keep from making the grumpy faces I tend to naturally do (I can't help it, my face just does that) and have some sort of pose going. I started feeling like all arms and legs while waiting for the camera to shoot. It's a weird sort of momentary panic-inducing anxiety to be in front of a camera about to shoot and not know if you're even in the shot.

I know very little about photography but I've found that I prefer to take pictures without flash whenever I can as it keeps makeup from looking really shiny and doesn't cast hard shadows. However, no flash means you need more light around or all you've got are shadows. Here I used a three light lamp with regular florecent bulbs (haha, I'm betting real photographers are shuddering right now) to add more light... it didn't work very well because all of the light I had was coming from one direction and resulted in a hard shadow anyway. I'm really just making stuff up as I go photo-wise. Maybe one day I'll get to take a photography class. By the way, the first picture accidentally had flash (I didn't turn it off), I don't know that you can tell the difference in this instance (especially since I didn't wear makeup) but it did result in my needing to correct the photo for red eye.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Of puppets and potty mouths....

This has been out for a while and I shared the link on Twitter but... here it is here too! I made that potty-mouthed puppet~ hahahaaa!



My father joked that it picked up some of its colorful language while I was making it. I assure you I did not swear during its creation - it was a lot of fun to make. However....I will admit that swearing is one of my favorite sins. I don't tend to do it around other people unless I know they partake in swearing as well. There is a reason why "I believe a well placed swear word is a thing of art. I also believe I probably shouldn't." is a line in my manifesto. Yeah... I once wrote a manifesto. It was technically a school assignment. I should revisit and revise some of it for more general life things (I included a few pop and LDS culture references in it since my audience at the time mostly consisted of BYU college kids).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another self indulgent things I love post.

The picture has nothing to do with this post. I just thought I should add something pretty.
The idea for this post was brought to you by this treasury I made.

You wouldn't think while looking at me how much I really like clothes. I'm typically a jeans and print screened t-shirt wearing forgot-to-brush-my-hair kind of girl. And glasses, I wear black rimmed glasses that I very much need in order to see decently. I've never had contacts. Occasionally I wear a hat. Hats are fantastic. I am not a hipster. I promise.

These are clothing items and characteristics that get me every time:

Plaid (in mid-tones especially)
Grey Tailored Wool Coats (If you've seen the new British Sherlock series, Sherlock has an amazing grey wool coat. I would marry that coat. It's also a really good show -the acting and writing is especially brilliant.)
Cowl/shawl necklines
Hooded anything
pleats
pin-tucks
stripes
mandarin collars
unique pockets
Natural fibers, especially wool and silk
Texture (either visual or tactile)

Color-wise:
Jewel tones mostly, I have issues with pastels and the color yellow.
Red (the deep purple undertone kind especially or candy apple red)
Black
Grey (If you notice how I spell gray as grey and it bothers you, just pretend I'm British and move on.)
Green
Teal

Motifs (mostly in regards to jewelry):
maple leaves (the standard kind not the kind that look like drugs if you know what I mean)
wings
turtles
cats
animals (I have a goofy pair of raccoon earrings I'm rather fond of)

Metals:
I like them all. Gold, silver, brass, copper, pewter etc. I'm partial to brass and copper looks-wise. Separate is best, I think silver goes best with more things so it's a little more all purpose. Gold is classic. Yup.

Gemstones:
-Other than being really sparkly and amazingly hard and durable I don't get the mass appeal of diamonds.
-I like the idea of rubies but I've never seen one in the wild so it's hard to say. I think it's because I like red so much. I used to like amethysts but my favorite color was purple at the time.
-I really like turquoise (it's also my birthstone along with blue topaz) but it doesn't look that great on me.
-In truth I like semi-precious stones that really look like polished rocks -turquoise, jade, jasper, and obsidian. I generally don't wear or own jewelry that has stones now that I think about it.

Hats:
I like them all. I only wear the kind I think I look good in and that mostly depends on their size in regards to the rest of me and if they cover my ears. I've considered getting contacts solely because of my love of hats.

Shoes:
The most important thing is to make sure they fit properly.
-I have an undying love for a pair of Gore-tex black leather Danner work boots I wore until they fell apart. They weren't the prettiest shoes but they're still a fantastic pair of boots. I plan on getting another pair eventually. Super comfortable and they're great for rain and snow since they'll keep your feet warm and dry. I think they beat a pair of Uggs any day.
-I don't like peep toes. Not for me.
-I like color but mostly stick to brown and black since they're  the most useful. White makes me sad. I like quality instead of quantity. If they fit well, are classic, look good, and don't hurt my feet I know I'll happily wear them until they wear out so it makes paying more for quality completely worth it.
-I really like boots in general.

That turned out to be a longer tangent than I was planning. I think it's interesting to look at what comprises your tastes and what you actually wear, a bit of self reflection in regards to style -I recommend it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Final Sock Puppet Post

This'll be my last sock puppet post. It took me long enough, yeah?

I made Ms. Michaelsock's hat by knitting a square and using a running stitch with the same yarn on the outer edge of the square and gathering it. It's similar to what you would do if you were making a fabric yo-yo. I don't know that that makes complete sense. A different way of doing it would be to hot glue the square to itelf while making it rounded and kind of poofy. I actually used a combination of both techniques. 

I made the hair by guestimating the correct length. I made an X with two lengths of yarn and then secured the yarn hairs together by alternating and tying threads through the two middles of the X.


I then braided a piece of yarn and hot glued it to the top of the puppet to make her hair more interesting that just a long bunch of hanging yarn.
After that I glued the main piece on like so:
And then the finished hat got glued on as well.
I had thought of leaving it like that and calling it good but I felt there was a way to make it better. So, I used some gold and black Premo Sculpey I already had to make her a ukulele. Character is in the accessories after all.

I started with a rolled out oval shape like this:
Then I basically squeezed it with my fingers, pulled the neck out and poked it a bit. Probably slapped it around too. After all that abuse I ended up with this:
Then I added black accents and some wire I had laying around. The knobby bits on there were made with four little pieces of wire with some tear dropped little pieces of clay stuck into them which were in turn stuck into the neck of the uke. After about 40 minutes of baking the uke was finished, I hot glued a circle of elastic on the back of it so I could wear it bracelet style with the puppet.
And, voila! Le Ingrid Michaelsock. (Please excuse my lack of accent marks, I don't know how to do them in this program thingy and I'm too lazy to figure it out. Otherwise I'd just use a different word/phrase and skip the pseudo French usage altogether. I don't know French anyway.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sock Puppet Tutorial Part 3

After finishing the mouth the next thing I did was giver her some eyes. Though you can't really see them very well I marked where the eyes should go with two dots from a green colored pencil. I had the puppet on my hand when I marked them since I figured it would be more accurate than marking them with the puppet flat.


After marking where the eyes should go I sewed on buttons the traditional way. I used brown buttons and black thread, I figured the black would be the closest equivalent to an eyes iris. This is what it looked like on the inside: 
 And this is what it looked like on the outside:
 I decided I wanted her to have some eyelashes so I used multiple black threads sewn through the sock fabric and tied on the top with long tails. I think I did three or four knots for each eye. I skipped bottom lashes since I thought it would be too heavy visually.  It ended up looking like this (it kind of looks I'm strangling it at this point):
This is how it looks so far with an actual human hand (my desk is typically a mess, I make no apologies. It's my desk.):

 I did the glasses next with some premo sculpey clay I had lying around (I had bought it ages ago when it was on sale and hadn't done anything with it). I figured I'd start with making a pattern to cut the shape out of a slab of clay. I'd done that sort of thing with ceramic clay and had it work. I did not have the same result with this, it's a much harder clay and not a very good consistancy for smoothing after some of the rough lines created by cutting. So while I started with this:
This:
And this:
I switched tatics after it all went to...well, after it didn't work. It just didn't. I then did this:
And trimmed it down, stretched it and smoothed it out so it looked like this:
It didn't turn out nearly as polished as I wanted but I'd already spent a good amount of time on it and really wanted to move on. If it were a gift for someone or something I was going to sell I would have stubbornly reworked and reworked it until I deemed it acceptable (or, darn near perfect), as it was I was doing this for fun and didn't think I'd win the contest, by any means. This part was quickly approaching un-fun territory for me so I opted to get on with it before I simply threw it on a shelf and forgot about it for a while (as is what tends to happen with projects that don't have deadlines when they get to a stage that's frustrating to the perfectionist in me). I followed the directions on baking the clay but I think I added some time on since it still seemed fairly soft when I had taken it out on their suggested cooking time. Be careful on temperature and everything, I once accidentally burnt some sculpey and the resulting fumes were noxious. It took fans and all of the windows open to get the smell out. My family was not pleased. That was probably about 10 years ago, actually, and I still remember it.

After baking and cooling the glasses I attached it to the puppet using my hot glue gun. I put something in the sock to hold the face out instead of leaving it flat so it wouldn't look weird when worn and so my hand wouldn't get burnt from hot glue. All that's left to do for her is hair, a hat and her ukulele; I'll show you how to do those things next time.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sock Puppet Tutorial Part 2

I think we've established that I am bad at keeping a blog. Whelp.... Here's some more of the sock puppet tutorial.

Now, that copy of the mouth pattern in card stock is for the inner mouth. It'll be too big to comfortably fit inside the mouth of the puppet so it'll need some trimming. I just set it inside the puppet and marked the over hang.

When you trim it down there should be a little bit of sock past all sides like this:

 

Then, you hot glue fabric onto the card stock like so: 

 I didn't get a pictures of it but the next step is to hot glue this part onto the mouth of the puppet, there will be some glue seeping out between the two layers. To hide the seep-age and to create a lip ridge I carefully rolled the sock fabric into the glue over the edges of the cardstock/fabric mouth. Pictured bellow are the lips I then painted onto the sock. I just eye-balled it:
 Here's what it looks like open at this point, you can see that the corners of the mouth and along the inner lip are the rolled inward sides of the sock.
 I then painted teeth, they're really more like a row of white ovals that are then outlined in black. I was going to pain a tongue and that dangly thing that's in the back of your throat but it looked kinda dumb so I painted over it with a color a little darker than the one I used for the lips.
 And that's how I made the main part of the puppet. My sock puppet philosophy is that the mouth makes the expression but the accessories make the character/individual. So, accessories and details are coming up next post.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sock Puppet Tutorial Part 1, after some shop talk.

I've been neglectful. There is no real good excuse. I guess that happens when there are things I'd rather be doing than blogging.

Since last I left quite a bit has happened. I've started offering silk fiber rings with semi-precious stones instead of exclusively offering cotton, I've sent rings to both France and Australia, and some of my work has been included in Etsy treasuries (like this one today). I haven't had very many sales but it's still keeping me occupied while I continue searching for a job.

I also finished a prototype for a shirt today, I'm thinking of starting another shop to sell clothing I've designed myself. The shirt I've made is a peasant blouse with a drawstring neckline and sleeves, 6 copper colored grommets and cotton drawstrings. Since it's a prototype I used some fabric I've had forever but which I bought very cheaply, it's a crinkly dark sage green that I think is a cotton-poly blend (I haven't done a burn test to see). I like the crinkly texture the fabric has, I'll have to post and picture of it soon, I hope I can find a good source of a similar type fabric. It would work well for an undershirt for a medieval, steampunk or a regular shirt for everyday wear. It has potential. The next thing I want to work on will either be a vest, a skirt or a pair of knickerbockers. I'm drawn to the steampunk aesthetic.

So, way back when I was talking about posting a tutorial for making sock puppets like the one I made for the Ingrid Michaelsock contest. I'm going to go ahead and post it in parts and start right now.

My brother fixed our internet so I should be able to post pictures now without crashing the network and making my roommates grumpy.

I'm going to show you how to make sock puppets like these (the video was last minute improv so please excuse the lack of quality storyline):
video

Yay, the video upload worked without the internet dying!


Before you start chopping up socks you'll need some materials: a sock no one is going to miss, a hot glue gun, some light cardboard (cereal boxes work great for this), some acrylic paint, yarn for hair, buttons for eyes and some scrap fabric. Accessories can be made out of polymer clay (Ingrid's ukulele was fashioned out of it), paper, fabric, pipe cleaners or whatever you want. Feel free to change anything up, that's part of the fun.

The first thing I did was start with the mouth since my sock puppet philosophy is geared towards range of expression. Usually the only moving part of a sock puppet is the mouth with some bobbing or turning of the head so I wanted to make sure the mouth was really able to open as wide or narrow as I wanted. I figured I couldn't do much with the eyes or eyebrows so getting the mouth right was very important to me.

I put a folded in half piece of cereal box cardboard between my thumb and all my fingers (in the sock puppet hand stance, if you get what I mean) and guess-timated how wide I wanted the cardboard to be for my hand to be able to fit comfortably. I then marked the cardboard haphazardly while it was still in my clutches so I would know about how wide I wanted it and everything. After that I drew lines from the crease to the haphazard marks and decided on accurate and standard measurements to go on (so I could make a pattern in case I wanted to make more later) and making a grid.



I basically eyeballed the curves. All of that was a complicated way of saying I drew an asymetrical pill shaped thing that's folded in half for the puppet mouth.


This is how it looks in its pill shape.

It looked like this when I was done:

I traced around the mouth insert on some lightweight cardstock, I'll show you what that is for later. After that, I put the sock on and marked the little bit of overhang between my finger and socks with a pencil. I think it was about 1/4 of an inch. I then cut off that little bit (don't do that while still wearing the sock, it's not worth losing any fingers). The sock then looks like this:


Using the handy dandy glue gun, glue the sock onto the cardboard, don't worry too much about glue squishing past the sock fabric, it'll get coverd. When you're done it should look like this:


In my next post I'll show you what that cardstock copy I mentioned is for as well as how to do the mouths the way I did.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Socks and Sand...

My sister has been visiting so my attention has been a bit scattered but things have been happening. Oh, yes, THINGS. You know that sock puppet I was talking about making a tutorial for? Well...it actually won and they asked if I'd like to make one of her producer too. I figured I might as well, I had a lonely sock all ready to go. So! That made my day and I'll be sharing any new news on it later too.

Have a look, if you haven't already: Ingrid Michaelsock Winners
(That's my name on the grand prize winning sock! That's both weird and awesome.)

How cool are all the puppets? You can tell there was a lot of work into the second place puppet (it looks like a muppet and there's embroidery on her shirt! That's some serious detail going on.) and the third place puppet definitely showed creative use of household materials. False eyelashes probably aren't in every household but they make the puppet look really friendly and pretty as a puppet can be. Also, hair elastics for her glasses? Brilliant. Got to love all the details on the rest of them too, you can tell everyone had a lot of fun making these. I got a kick out of the idea to begin with, it's the main reason I entered. 

As much as I like my puppet I don't know how I won. Maybe it's the mouth...it's rather unique.

I made an awkward video with the use of my brother's digital camera of both of the puppets but I think I'll refrain from sharing it until they've done what they're going to do with the puppets. I don't want to ruin the effect. Plus, I didn't know what I was doing so it's very awkward.

One of the other THINGS was that my dad, sister and I went to the coast. We may or may not have gone specifically to go to this little out of the way restaurant (it's set up like an old school diner on the inside) for fish and chips. My dad had gone there before with a cousin of mine after they'd gone fishing out in the ocean and was really taken with their fish and chips. It was really delicious and they had 3/4 size pirate mannequins on the outside of their restaurant which amuses me greatly. They kind of freaked me out at the same time, though. I got my sister to pose with them, she thought they were creepy too but you wouldn't think it by her exuberant pose:


Afterwards we went for a walk on the beach and Chloe had a blast, I think she had my dad carrying about 10 lbs of seashells and rocks by the end of it and her pants were soaked up to the knees from the surf.



My enjoyment of the whole thing had a lot to do with how much fun she was having, that kid really does love doing stuff. I got my dad to take a picture of us:
After the walk we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory were Chloe got to see how they make their cheese, I don't think she'd ever been there before. We also got ice cream and it was delicious. It might be gross to some but I think their white licorice ice cream is mighty tasty (it tastes like black licorice but I think I know why they don't make it black. That would be rather nasty.). They also have peppermint ice cream which was my favorite and always seemed hard to find anywhere else. It was a great little trip.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Inanimate object appreciation.

Indispensable tools. If I did not have these I would be emotionally distressed.

Pliers.

Seam ripper.

Needles of various sizes and uses.

Thread.

Mechanical Pencil. (I'm addicted, thanks Dr. B)

Clear 2x18'' ruler in 1/8 increments. If it wouldn't be so crowded I'd almost love a 1/16 one. I feel disloyal saying that though. (Also addicted to these because of Dr. B)

Chalk wheel (the Clover brand one specifically. I have one in white and one in blue.)

Embroidery scissors. I've only had them for about a year but I seriously don't know how I functioned without them. Great for itty bitty thread cutting and maximum close up snipping control.

Sharp sewing scissors. My first pair of sewing scissors were actually my great grandma's (actually, so was my first sewing machine) but they were really old and I think I didn't know enough then to not use them on paper or whatever I needed to cut. They were dull as all blazes. Hellishly so. I got new scissors my sophomore year in college and...it was like the heavens opened up. Angels sang, even.

Rotary cutter. Just don't be tired or absentminded with them, seriously. Fingers can be lost and I really love my crooked skinny fingers and all the things they're capable of. You should love your fingers equally well. Yeah, I just told you your business. Still, appendages are best while still attached to your body -more often than not.

Music. Seriously. The kinds of Cd's that I can listen to completely through from start to finish ranging from chill to headbanging depending on my energy needs. Chill for de-stress, headbanging for getting things done with some oomph. I like oomph.

Even while I was at school and didn't take crafting or artsy stuff with me, I still took everything I listed. With the exception of the rotary cutter, the mat took up too much room and there wasn't a really good reason to have it if I had my sewing scissors.

For some reason I just felt like honoring my tools of the trade. I'd be crazier without them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This is really the only reason you should call first...

Steps to answering the door to unknown persons, Sara style.

1. Assess and/or rectify the decency of your clothing as it pertains to proper fit and cleanliness. Possibly put on a hat.
2. Climb over furniture and things to get to the one window where you can see who's knocking and then climb back out.
3. If the identity of the knocker cannot be determined, locate something to defend yourself should it be needed.
4. Debate what would make a concealable (so you don't inadvertently creep out friends, family or harmless bystanders) defensive weapon that would still be effective. Bonus points if it's a crafting tool of some sort.
5. Determine if the knocker is still there (usually involves jumping to see through the top of the door).
6. Open door with neutral expression and hello ensuring makeshift defense is within easy reach.

I am aware I'm neurotic and paranoid. Also, kind of a hermit. However, this process does weed out people who don't actually need to talk to me or who I don't want to talk to anyway. You know, proselytizers, door to door sales people, people looking for directions or, like today, some random dude I don't know. Family and friends are always welcome...just know you might have to wait. But, *Simultaneous hair flip* I'm worth it.  Or you could just call and I'll skip everything except #2 or substitute #5 for everything.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Flowers...

I haven't forgotten about blogging. I've been preoccupied with revamping my Etsy (it's going slow...) and making new things. I've also been working on the sock puppet but it's not top priority so I've been working on it intermittently. I really like it though. The more I work on it the more I want to keep it, the more I want to keep it the more I'm hesitant to submit it. Not because I think I'll win but because I might not really want to. Kind of defeats the purpose of making it in the first place, though. Then again, I do have a sock without a match now so I could just as easily make another one. I've been taking photos at each step so I think I'll post a tutorial on how I made it when I'm done and the contest is over.
Right now, I want to give props to the woman who owned our house before us. She had some mad flower planting and planning skills. We have a really pretty flower garden we had absolutely nothing to do with and it has most of my favorite kinds of flowers. I'm not really even into flowers so that's saying something. She even planted them so there's always something blooming except for in the part of the year were everything is grey tinted and looks all dead. I think my sister gets the most out of them though, every time she comes to visit she picks some and brings them in the house. Here's some pictures of only a few, right now the peonies and irises are particularly glorious.
There are pink, white and red peonies. I didn't take a picture of the red ones, for some reason.
Irises, so pretty.
I pretend I'm an artist by doctoring photos. Still, I'm tempted to put this one on my wall. It'd go, uh, interestingly with the bright blue.


Monday, May 30, 2011

I've never made a sock puppet...until now.

After a lackadaisical last couple of days (and a weird eyelid ailment that's still happening) I started a new project of sorts. A sock puppet. I've never made a sock puppet before but Ingrid Michaelson is having a contest, the person who wins said contest gets their sock puppet featured in a video and a signed poster. I've got nothing but time on my hands while I look for what is termed "a real job," and making more fiber rings, embroidered pendants and papier mache masks, so I figured I might as well give it a go. I first googled for instructions on how to make a sock puppet and then improvised past their suggestions/instructions. I can't even follow the rules when it comes to sock puppetry, everyone will just have to deal. Then again, I doubt anyone will lose any sleep over my sock puppet rebellion. So far all I've gotten done are the mouth and lips but I'm likely making this more of an endeavor than I need to.
Scratch that, I just started doing more work on the inside of the mouth but I'm not sure if what I'm doing is an actual improvement or not. I'll be posting in process shots after I have it mostly finished and figure out how I want to do the eyes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mmm, Saturday and new materials...

I got feathers and necklace chain and findings in the mail today. I had forgotten or hadn't ever admitted to myself before opening the package today how much I really like feathers. They make my heart happy. My favorite from the batch are these guinea feathers...sooo pretty. The chain components are a definite upgrade quality-wise, they're sparkly and pretty and make everything better (I already said that on my facebook page but it's true). I'm liking that all of these things came from Etsy sellers, too. It's symmetrical. New materials are like new toys to me. Time to get down to having some fun. Lots more embroidered pendant necklaces are coming. If something weird weren't going on with my right eye I'd still be embroidering daisies. The last few I sewed turned out wonky so I stopped, there's no use in embroidering more until I can focus and make daisies I'll actually use.

Yay for new materials! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Weirdness...

Today is being weird. Or maybe I'm being weird and today is being normal. Actually, that second one is probably the right view. My mind is all over the place, I'm a space cadet. I ate oatmeal for breakfast, isn't that supposed to be like starting the day right so then everything following falls into place? At least brain-wise? No? Oh... well, never mind. I just started craving tacos...mmm, tacos.

Anyway, I got some more materials in the mail today. Every time I do it feels like Christmas. More pendant blanks since I want to make more pendants and then some grass green necklace/choker pre-made wire things. I think they'll be fun for my daisy pendants (I haven't assembled them yet but I have embroidered them already). I'm already planning on making one for myself, they're going to be cute. I have some other stuff coming in the mail that I'm looking forward to also.

I've been working on making a different style of fiber ring today and I posted another pendant.

Take a look, if you want. I listed another one yesterday but didn't want to go overboard on "Look, look at my stuff...." It makes me feel like when I was a little kid and tried to get people to pay attention to me, subtlety was not the rule.

I was playing around with adding watermarks to my photos on Etsy but decided against it. Here's one of the new kinds of rings I've been working on with a watermark.

The watermark doesn't look bad, rather, I didn't see the point to spend the extra time in marking the photo.

Hmm... I was hoping to be more entertaining today, my brain is just not into it.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I can draw stick figures...

A lot of crafters like to say that they've been creating since before they can remember. A few might have wielded paint brushes or safety scissors immediately after vacating their mother's womb. That's not the way it was for me. In fact, my mom told me once that when I drew when I was little my drawings were so bad that she didn't think I'd ever draw decently. Truth be told, I still can't. Well, I've improved but most of that improvement has been just in the last couple of years out of necessity. I was taking costume design 101, basically, and in order to design you have to render and in order to render you have to draw human figures with clothes on them. The amount of clothes are subjective but proper proportions are best shown by realistically proportionate human figures. Real people wear costumes and bodies come in all shapes and sizes. I had to learn how to draw fast. My first rendering took me, oh, six hours and ended up looking...erh, scary. I still have it though, it reminds me how far I've come...in two years of rendering. The proportions aren't the worst of it but the figure is a blocky 2D (if that) thing. Poor Viola, she doesn't look too well. Shakespeare might have made her dress as a man but I made clothing the least of her problems.

I just took some pictures for your viewing enjoyment and possible ridicule.

Here's poor Viola in her man-garb:
Okay, so I'd forgotten how disproportionate her hands were. Either way, we can agree it's not that great.

But, there is hope. Here's a rendering I did in advanced last year that has another Shakespeare character in a similar ensemble.
Still not that great but much better, no? It probably helped that I went for a straight on view instead of 3/4 though I can do that too now and have the same result. Sort of. I haven't been practicing as much as I should be.

Luckily, crafting and creating isn't totally dependent on drawing ability, if it were I'd be doomed. Being able to draw definitely helps though...I'm still working on it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Of embroidery and shellfish...

Like I said in my last post I've been making embroidered pendant necklaces lately. I listed one on Etsy today, it has a dragonfly on one side and a butterfly on the other. 




I made a pendant for my aunt since she responded to a meme I did on Facebook that said the first 5 people who responded to my post would get a handmade present from me. It has easily been a year since I promised that, I posted it with the stipulation that it would likely be a while before anyone would recieve their present since I was going to leave for a six week study abroad in London in about a week and still had a lot of things to prepare and some finals to take. I didn't forget but it did take me a lot longer to come through than I'd originally intended. Only two people responded and I figure since there were only two and they've had to wait so long I'd make them something particularly special. My aunt got an embroidered pendant with a crab on one side and a sand dollar on the other since some of my funnest memories with her are going out to the Oregon coast to crab and fish as well as look for seashells. That and she likes nautical things.  I really like how it turned out, I took a few pictures before I sent it (usually I forget to take pictures of things I make and gift, it's made me kick myself on more than one occasion):


The side by side pictures are brought to you by several hours of hair pulling and computer illiteracy in photoshop. I think I have the process down now, it was making me regret doing double sided pendants instead of just a regular pendant for a while there, though. 

I still have one more item to make for that meme, this one will be going to a facebook friend of mine that I met in an acting class. I told her since she has had to wait so long I'd make her a mask since they're kind of my specialty. I didn't know at the time that she collects them, which, makes it kind of perfect. I haven't had any flashes of brilliance as to what to make her yet. For some reason I have this vague thought that it's going to be fiery in color and have some shinies. I have some feathers coming in the mail that I intend to use for it, eventually I'll be ordering some swarovski rhinestones too. It will be a somewhat traditional masquerade mask. I hope she likes it, I don't know her that well so it makes it trickier to make her something I think she'll like and still have it be a surprise. Part of the reason it's taking me so long is because I need buy some materials from a place only open on weekdays when my family is needing to use my car. Well, that and I'm broke. Still, it will eventually get done. If she forgets about it before then it'll really be a surprise!