WIP – Novel Characters

5 02 2016

More playing with the tablet and experimenting/learning with lights…maybe it’s too blue for a flashlight, but I like it.  The other side of the image is orangey-red.

Four_detail1

Four_detail2





Protective Mom

27 01 2016

protective mom





Wedding Dress

19 01 2016

My BFF is getting married in a few months and asked me to paint her wedding dress in the style of an artist she likes who does simple watercolor front-few dress paintings like the dress is on a mannequin with blues/grays dappled around the dress. Completely not my style or choice of subject matter, but it is my BFF, so…

wedding dress

Ugh. My terrible scanner doing a blurry bad job of it. Love the little shadow wrinkle it added in the middle thanks to the scanner bed being too small for the paper (9×12).

Here’s a wrinkle-less phone shot:
wedding dress2





Shell Candles

12 01 2016

shell candle3

I’d love to call this a DIY, but I was so amateur that this may be more helpful as a “what not to do.” Anyway, last Christmas I made soap; this Christmas my DIY was shell candles!

shell candle2

These beauts were collected on my last trip to Cumberland Island, and I’d wanted to do something with them ever since. Making soap was so easy, I decided making candles would be too. It starts out easy enough:

shell candle1

Supplies, above, left to right: candle thermometer (which I ended up not using), soy wax shavings, blue dye, candle scent, and wicks.

Online “how to” guides weren’t as comprehensive as soap guides… but it seemed the “real” way to make candles was by melting wax in a double boiler over a stove and using the thermometer to ensure it reaches the exact right temp. That’s too exacting for me! Turns out that soy wax does pretty well in a microwave, and you can even bypass the thermometer.

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I used my giant Pyrex measuring cup (make sure it’s not also used for food), and dumped in a bunch of soy shavings. I attempted to crack one of the blue dye chips in half, not wanting too much blue.

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I melted in intervals; search online for ideas of how long to go at first. Maybe a few minutes, then stir and break it down into much shorter periods until mixed. It starts to turn a gross flaky yellow as it melts. And just when I was worried the dye wouldn’t melt…

shell candle7

Well, the dye certainly did its job! So much for a “light blue” tint. So lesson #1, use a hell of a lot less of the dye than you think.

I added in some scent, stirred, and let it sit. It’s not good (especially for certain container types) to pour freshly melted wax – too hot. Better to let it sit for several minutes. Here’s where you could still use your candle thermometer. I had a hardware heat gun that mostly gave me an idea just by pointing it at the wax. Think it took about 12 minutes.

While waiting for the wax to cool, assemble your candles. I arranged my shells over a bed of gravel to prop up their ends, because if left to their natural standing state, the liquid wax would drain out of the ends of them.

shell candle4

Some guides say to glue the wicks in with hot glue; others say the wax will melt that, so use wax itself. I dunno. I went with Epoxy and it worked fine. My wicks had those metal ends to them that you can make lie flat, which was helpful.

Then, pour!

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Well, it works….

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But it was definitely TOO blue. I mean, it kind of looks like that dark blue toilet cleaner stuff:

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So I had the brilliant idea of adding a thin non-dyed layer of wax on top to dilute the blue. Perfect, right?

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Just a bit, no dye this time. It poured in well…

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But as it started drying, it dried so opaque that it became basically white with little bits of dark blue peeking out.

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Still, not the worst effect, just not what I was going for. Once they dried (over a few hours), I used a metal scraper to clean some of the edges where the dark blue rose above the white. Next, I trimmed the wicks so just a small amount rose above the wax.

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Not perfect, but not too bad!

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I noticed the wax sinks a bit right around the wick on some of them. On a couple  I noticed it before drying and tried to add more melty wax to fill it in, but it still collapses. Still don’t know why it does that.

Anyway, the final test remained: would they burn properly, or combust?

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I am pleased to report, they DO burn properly! So it’s a success, though a messily done one.

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Yay! So, lessons learned:
1) Try to find shells that won’t spill wax everywhere when lit.
2) Use much, much less dye than you think you’ll need.
3) Soy wax DOES melt well in a microwave, but that candle thermometer may still come in handy.
4) Even the thinnest layers of wax dry really opaque.

Cheers. :)

 





Merry Christmas!

24 12 2015

And Happy Holidays!
jane and greg christmas





Peppermint Girl

17 12 2015

Feeding mints to a little bird in Peppermint Land…

Peppermint Girl





Wine Bird

15 12 2015

Always wanted to play with drawing over a photo… Egh, not sure how it became this way.

Wine Bird.jpg





Little Snail

8 12 2015

snail2

This little guy was on my window the other day. What a cutie!

snail1

More art stuff to come soon, just a crazy time now with work/life.





Vulture Plushie

3 12 2015

This is a year late in posting! But for ages I’ve wanted to make vulture stuffed animals. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about sewing, and less about designing a pattern for something like this. So – my future line of vulture plushies are still in “trial and error” phase.

So this is not a DIY or tutorial. More like a “how not to.” (Also, sorry for the crappy iPhone pic quality.)

vulture pillow1

Above, my first attempt at a pattern and trying to decide which buttons to use for the eyes. And okay, I realize that vultures don’t really have yellow feet and beaks, but I just thought it would translate better.

Cutting out my first attempt:

vulture pillow2

The hard part (for me) is that the head/beak/feet are made from different color cloth and have to be added in there somehow on the front side, but then the whole thing has to be sewed in reverse (so you can’t really see how much you’re encroaching on the pattern).

vulture pillow3

Cuties! Front and back of attempt #1, above. Sadly, attempt #1, while the cutest, had some trouble. So I tried 2 more attempts (e.g. instead of shaped colors on top of the black print, using each color without backing):

vulture pillow4

The feet kept getting continuously bigger as I would sew them and then not have enough room to pull all of the feet rightside out.

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Lol. My 3 attempts pre-stuffing. The left one is the first, and IMO still the cutest. However, you can see its stupid, unturned feet and too much black around the beak. The second one did not turn out right at ALL. The third, on the right, just doesn’t say “vulture” to me, but that’s the one I finished cause I could turn its full beak and feet out:

vulture pillow6

Okay, it’s a little cute, right?

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Even though its beak looks wonky.

Finished product, perched on my dresser!:

vulture pillow8





Terrarium Phone Case

24 11 2015

terrarium5

I’d been using one phone case for like 2 years (really cute, blue and white with birds), and it was looking kinda gross. The white in it had greyed out, and nothing I tried (alcohol, soap, Tide pen) would clean it. I decided I needed a new, clean case. So, I designed my own!

It started as just a sketch late one night. About a couple hours, concept to completed line work, just chilling out and listening to music. Decided to draw some cartoony terrariums networked together (but no rulers!)

terrarium1

Yes, it’s been drawn using my pillow for a table. Bed = most comfy place to draw.

terrarium2

I didn’t start out thinking “phone case” or I might have tried to get more even lines, but by the end I liked it:

terrarium3

So I scanned and colored it in Photoshop:

Terrariums in Pink

Cute! I happened to have coupons for Shutterfly, plus they were having a 40% off phone cases deal. It’s NOT worth it if you don’t have any coupons/discounts (e.g. the case I got – iPhone 5 with silicone casing for extra protection – would be $60 without them!), but with them it cost me about $20 including shipping.

The only challenge was that my drawing’s dimensions didn’t match a phone case’s dimensions. Lots of the drawing was cut off, but even to get what I did, I had to go back into Photoshop and add a large white border all around the image.

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I’m pretty happy with it though! Plus, the pink color matches exactly with my purse. :)

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