Tag Archives: Creating

Creating: The Tote Project Part 1

It all started because of two things. One a little article I had read about using felt markers and alcohol to paint on tee shirts and two, I needed a new knitting bag. Well in reality,  I didn’t think I needed a new one. The pink, blue, yellow, white and lime green striped one I found at the dollar store, the one with the blue handles was working fine. It was hubs who didn’t like it. Not because it was getting dirty but he just didn’t like it.

So I decided to make a new knitting bag. This one would even have a pocket on the front with a zipper for all the little stuff knitters like and a top that also zipped just so there would be fewer accidental spilling of contents on the car floor or wherever I might be knitting.

But first I decided to take a little detour to decorate a tee-shirt. Had trouble with the tiny ribs of the fabric creating hazards for my pen work so decided that I’d give it a try on some plain cotton. I ventured forth into the most creative fun I had in years. Decided that it would be the perfect thing for the zipper pocket on the front of my knitting bag. And experimenting away I ended up with eight pockets and a Christmas gift project to make for my three daughters, my daughter-in-law, two granddaughters, my sister and best friend.

  • I began with loose sketches.
Chicadees

chickadees

Fox

Fox

20150215_144028

Giant Red Mushroom

Giant Red Mushroom

Poppies

Poppies

Elm Leaves

Elm Leaves

Geraniam

Geranium

Number eight was from a photograph of mine of a Hydrangea my daughter gave me. As I mentioned, my sketches are very informal, they are little more than little guide to what I hope to create.

Then I fearlessly jumped into paint with markers directly onto my fabrics. The actual work is of course done, but showing your the progress and results begins in my next post.

Until then keep creating, or reading, or listening to music, or painting. Just enjoy what you do,

Cheers,

Shez

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Crafts, Creating, Learning, Painting, Random

Painting Inspired by Nature

On the way home from work yesterday I had a two-minute window of time where the setting winter sun dazzled my senses with breath-taking beauty. I grabbed three cell phone photos through the car windshield while Hubs drove. I am so fascinated by the ever-changing light of the sky, I have thousands of photos of sky.Image

I had to try to paint this scene, minus the streets, the signal lights, the power pole and lines and the buildings. I needed to recreate it as though it happened while the land was still wild and free. There is nothing better than tackling a huge challenge to gain skills.

I have continued to paint a couple of nights a week and now have about a dozen paintings completed. All are inspired by what I see that nature has provided. Or what I have imagined. The following is an in-progress painting. I didn’t take a finished photo of this painting. It is shown with the brushes and colors I used throughout the painting. Nothing fancy, the three colors from which all colors are created plus white and Payne’s Grey. My water-color brushes and an old sash brush to “pad” the painting or help to blend colors.

Image

I tackled the glorious winter sunset with the same primary colors shown above.  The only draw back to these colors is both the red and yellow a quite translucent. I have acquired an opaque yellow, which does not create clean colors but is helpful when the color needs to be vibrant and an opaque red which also does not create clean colors but works as a base layer if I want a brighter and cleaner shade. I also added a couple of acrylic brushes, but often like my water-color brushes better. It depends on the style I am working in.

The sky was done on Tuesday, re-worked a bit yesterday and the silhouettes added. The silhouettes took more work this evening and this is the finished product.

Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset

I must say that God’s work is better, but I am not too disappointed with my finished product. Painting is a great way  to spend an evening.

Have you been working on anything new or creative? Please share your project with us.

Cheers to art work,

Shez

1 Comment

Filed under Acrylics, Art, Creating, Learning, Nature, Painting, Reblog, The Great Outdoors

Painting

Those of you who have been following this blog know I am a DIY enthusiast. My list of “can do” is long. It’s a passion, but not my fault. It’s genetic. Genes handed down from an inventor, a teacher of upholstery and cake decorating at college level, knitter, a quilter and a foundry pattern maker.

This time I am not talking about painting walls, or making wallpaper which involves paint, nor doing faux walls. I am talking about creating artwork.

Son, Paul*, is a partner in our business. His cubical at work is next to mine. He has been doing a lot of painting recently and is honing his craft. He told me he finds it very relaxing to go home and paint. He loves acrylic because it can be stopped and started at any time. He encouraged me to give it a try.

A trip to the local art store and five tubes of paint; red, blue, yellow, white and Payne’s Grey, plus the practice canvas boards Paul provided and I was set to begin. There was a scene I had passed several times at the end of summer when the fields are golden and some trees were beginning to show their soft colors before they fully color up. A dark sky with the sun peeking through added long shadows. I wanted to paint that but I did not want to get so tied down with details. It needed to be a free and relaxing creation.

Self imposed rules were to use only one 1″ brush borrowed from my watercolors. Do not wash the brush and be finished in 20 minutes. I did it in 30.

1" Brush 30 Minutes First Acrylic Painting

1″ Brush 30 Minutes
First Acrylic Painting

There are now 8 paintings in my stack. I learn something new with each one. This weekend I see the obsessive detail beginning to creep in again. Detail is not relaxing. It is not necessary. Omitting some detail leaves the viewer room to imagine. I have discovered a love  for landscape. That does seem to be when I relax and enjoy it the most.

*A word about Paul. At two years old his favorite TV show was not Sesame Street it was Bob Ross. His wife is an artist also. Paul teaches at his wife’s studio, Vine Gogh Artist Bar. You can view some of his work at the link.

Cheers to creating,

Shez

PS It is very scary to share the first painting. There are skills not yet developed. Hopefully you will see positive progress.

4 Comments

Filed under Art, Crafts, Creating, Decorating, Random, The Great Outdoors

Bird Song and Frog Chorus

In the Dusk of Evening

In the Dusk of Evening

In the dusk of evening the music begins

With the twilight song of the birds

Most likely a robin with a beautiful song

Singing praises to the world for day well spent.

As the sun descends further the frogs join in

Each calling for a mate to come and join him.

Those are the sounds that lull us to sleep,

My sweetheart and I.

First Morning Light

First Morning Light

The peace of the world settles in at last

And waits for the sunrise to bring forth a new day.

The morning awakens us  with the song of a dove, a sparrow,

the chickadee too, and finches and towhees adding their tune

The robin once more praises a new day with her song on high,

Get up, wake up, there is much to do, come greet the morning

Be glad, for this grand new day is waiting for us,

My amazing guy, my best friend, my love and I.

SL Schildan

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Nature, Words to Ponder

Doll Project

Doll pattern and fabric.

Doll pattern and fabric.

 

One thing I love to do is make doll patterns and dolls. It suddenly dawned on me that fox girl had not received her doll. I know she is more an animal person than a doll person and she has dozens of dolls, whole collections of Bratz, Barbies, Monster High, Disney Princes, all in multiple sizes plus lots of Polly Pockets, and miniature dolls that go with bugs and animals of all sizes. The one thing she didn’t need was yet another doll. But on the other hand she couldn’t be the only one of my girls not to have a soft, handmade doll. After the panic to get the fox dress done, nothing would do but I would burn the midnight oil to made a doll for her.

Since she had spent hours sitting in my lap “helping” and watching while I did all the drawings for my book, I thought it was time Lexi came to life. It was a huge gamble that she wouldn’t care, but for me I love to make dolls and this was a great excuse to make another one.

So I dug out my pattern, the fabric and I was off and running. Sweet Hubs was just shaking his head in disbelief that I would take on such a project with so little time available and I only had ten days to do it. That is ten days that were all fill to overflowing with work, housework, decorating, cookie making parties, dinners, guests, etc. Oh and let’s not forget a daily photo blog commitment plus and occasional post here and wanting to keep up with all of your blogs.

Parts growing.

Parts growing.

Unfortunately, I didn’t even think about taking many progress photos. So you will see in the next photo that I did get the parts cut, sewn, stuffed and mostly together.

A doll in progress.

The headless doll is nearly ready for her head.

And she needed a bit more stuffing before the head was attached.

Doll has her head attached.

Head attached.

The next three steps are to add her face and give her a haircut and make underwear before the next photo.

The doll has a face and underwear.

Meet Lexi. I hope you recognize her from my blog icon.

Here is Lexi waiting for her new clothes.

The doll is named Lexi and she is finished.

Lexi is finished.

Now to make a dress and shoes for her. If only I had been able to take Monday off work, but I couldn’t and I realized that Lexi would likely not have shoes.

The doll has a dress that matches the young girl's dress.

Lexi in her Fox dress.

No shoes but a dress just like the girl’s dress. And in case you are wondering, while managing to applique a fox on a child’s dress was time-consuming and tedious, the smaller the applique the harder they are to do. To say this doll dress took hours would be accurate.

Wish I could tell you that my granddaughter loved it all, but that would be stretching the truth. Oh, she was sweet and gracious and would never hurt my feelings intentionally. She did not like the denim because it was shiny with silver threads, she doesn’t like dolls nearly as much a foxes. She knows it’s special, but I could tell it’s not really her thing, now. I had a ton of fun making it. Maybe she’ll let me borrow it.

Little girl with doll.

My sweet granddaughter with Lexi on New Year’s eve.

Little Granddaughter’s pajamas just happened to coordinate with Lexi’s new dress. The new black boots were too small.

My Christmas present was a NEW SEWING & EMBROIDERY machine!!! So some new clothes for Lexi was a great way to try it out. It’s my first computerized sewing machine and it takes a bit of a learning curve, but I LOVE it!! No excuses now not to get some projects finished up.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Thank you dear friends for sharing yourselves with me through this past year. It is wonderful to have friends all over the world.

Cheers to new friendships,

Shez

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Children, Crafts, Do It Yourself, Holiday, Random, Sewing

The Fox Girl’s Dress

My youngest granddaughter is in love with foxes. All kinds of foxes, fox books, fox photos, fox YouTube videos and fox toys. She lives and breathes foxes. In October my lovely daughter-in-law  sent me a message, “wouldn’t Greta love this dress? Could you make it for her for Christmas?” There was a photo attached of a little girl’s dress with a fox applique. My reply, “Absolutely! I’m on it.”

Finding the time was a challenge plus there were no patterns. So right after Thanksgiving I dashed to the store and bought fabric. Since my granddaughter loves blue, I decided on a blue sparkle denim for the dress, orange fleece with black velveteen for legs and white fur for the face, tummy and tip of the tail.

I sketched a rough drawing of a fox on my computer and printed it, jiggly lines and all. Shaped it up with felt pen, created pattern pieces and plunged in. Here are some of the photos of the process.

A sketch of a fox.

Jiggly rough sketch.

I told you it was rough, you probably didn’t think this rough, but this is where I started.

Pattern pieces were created from the sketch.

Fox smoothed out and pattern pieces for the three fabrics were created.

It’s quite amazing how smoothing the lines with felt pen and then making a pattern piece for each color shows there is promise in this fox.

Fabric pieces for the dress and the fox applique.

Here are the fabrics I chose to make this little dress.

You can see this fox will be fuzzy and soft and close to the right colors of a red fox.

wFoxDress-AppliquedThe fox appliqued onto the dress piece.

Blue denim dress with a red fox applique.

The blue denim dress with one fox appliqued onto it.

Since I couldn’t find a black or orange or white tee-shirt with 3/4 length or long sleeves in a size six and the only simple tee was in hot pink, I added bright pink facings, and appliqued pink flowers with orange centers by the foxes feet. On the bodice I added a bright pink butterfly with a fuzzy orange body. I also found a three pack of leggings any one of them would be adorable with the dress. I was set for Christmas.

I was sure she would love it. But then I knew she also needed a hand-made doll wearing the matching dress, something I had done for each of my daughters and my oldest granddaughter. It was one week before Christmas. It is year-end at work. The pressure was on. My priorities shifted, no Facebook, no blogging, just make the doll and dress, in the evenings, after dinner.

Once I knew I had to do it, I wouldn’t sleep if I didn’t get started. As it turned out, I didn’t sleep, much.

Cheers,

Shez

6 Comments

Filed under Children, Crafts, Decorating, Do It Yourself, Family, Sewing

The Quilt…Meets Disaster

Last Friday I got home from work a bit early and was happy that the work on the quilt was going well. All the pieces sewn together and ready to put the borders on it. Even from the back it was pretty, well sort of pretty if you happen to like to look a lots of seams with raw edges. I was just folding it up when

The Back of the Quilt

Sweet Hubs came in to see if I was about ready for bed. I was, but I was just about to take the quilt to see how it would look on the bed. We carried it into the guest room and we laid it out on the bed.

Oh, NOOOoooo-o-o-o.

The quilt is not long enough. It’s not quite long enough to be a blanket and I don’t want to hide it under a bedspread. I was discouraged. It was late. I was tired. Sweet Hubs looked at the room.

“That’s all the fabric, right?”

“Yes.”

“Can you fix it?” he wanted to know.

“I don’t know how, but I’ll think on it. Maybe I can take  it apart and add occasional white squares through out. That way I could come up with enough blocks to do another row. Then with the borders in place, it should work. It will be okay if the sheet folds over the top edge and the pillow in a matching pillow case shows. I can add a couple of pretty throw pillows and it look nice.”

As he helped me fold it back up he said, “Take it all apart? After all that work?” I nodded. “Only fabric is in the curtains, right?” We both stopped and looked at the curtains. “But they look so nice,” Sweet Hubs murmured.

I nodded and began to wonder if I could cut enough off the bottom of them to make eight additional squares. Then buy more white fabric to add a wide white piece at the bottom of each curtain. We headed off to bed with me “thinking on it.” And him saying, “You’ll come up with something. I know you.”

I had worked long and hard that evening. I was determined to finish it by Sunday. Goldilocks and Hans were coming Saturday afternoon to spend the night with us. It was going to be a short weekend with lots of housework to do.

Got my pajamas on and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and I was greeted by

Overflowing Dirty Clothes Hamper

Laundry ala Mode. Add to my Saturday list five or six loads of laundry, that piled up because dirty clothes multiply when you aren’t looking. Why is it dirty clothes accumulate faster than rabbits? Or it was because we looked after grandkids the previous weekend also and that was actually two weeks worth of laundry.  At this point I was too tired and also discouraged, dejected and in despair. And still no quilt in sight.

The weekends of January are quickly coming to a close. I will leave you here. If there is a rest of the story, you will see it here on another odd day. If there is not I will buy a white coverlet and have a really pretty (and very time-consuming) throw. Either way you will get a post of before and after of the guest room.

Cheers!

Shez

PS The did floors get mopped, the bathrooms cleaned, the laundry was washed, dried, folded and put away and we had fun with Hans and Goldilocks. Plus lots of time watching and hoping for snow.

8 Comments

Filed under Crafts, Decorating, Family, Humor, Life's Contradictions, Sewing