Saturday, May 12, 2018

Sherpa Bear

This is a project I've been wanting to do and avoided doing for a long time. Now I couldn't be more pleased! The below bear is my mom's childhood bear. He is made of lambskin with curly hair. I wanted to make a bear like him but had a hard time finding the curly lambskin. I finally did find it on Ebay. What I found seems much softer than the lambskin that was used on my mom's bear.

For anyone wanting to try their hand at sewing suede, there are ways to sew it on a machine. That's not what I did, I hand sewed the pieces with a whip stitch. Normally you would use a back stitch but leather doesn't fray!

I used a simple pattern from this shop:

Friday, March 17, 2017

Paint Without Boundaries

Pebeo... I'm not sure where to give credit here but Pebeo is a French company.  When going to their website you will want to investigate their Creative Leisure tab and look at glass painting and multi surface reactive paint. I have been able to buy this paint at my local Michaels. So this is where I begin.

There are no limits with this paint so get out the acrylics, squirt top fabric paints, gesso, Dimensional Magic Mod Podge, Clear Tacky Glue, alcohol, Goo Gone, old paint brushes, plastic palette knives, painters tape and don't forget the canvases. You'll want several on hand because once you start you won't want to stop!!!

My first piece of Pebeo art was in the original controlled style. You would use Pebeo's Cerne Relief to make outlines in which to pour your glass paint into. The paint runs and needs an edge. I traced my design onto my canvas and traced that line with Cerne Relief. I have discovered since then that you can simply use squirt top fabric paints for this in a matching or complimentary color and save a lot of money!

I used many other techniques with this painting but this was my first experience using Vitrail & Fantasy by Pebeo. The wonderful thing about this paint is how it reacts when combined. Honestly the website will tell you exactly what the individual paints do but I'd like to focus on the end results. Two types of reds are filling the letters and two blues, one Vitrail and one Fantasy. I will say that the Fantasy, Prisme & Moon have minerals inside that move the paint around in unique ways. The Vitrail does not but reacts uniquely also.

My next painting was similar, a combination of Pebeo's used over dry acrylics.

Next I used a technique I like, to get canvas texture. I run tape around the outside of my canvas to form a high edge. This keeps paint from running off the edge. I use this technique a lot with the Pebeo paints. For this one though I used it to prepare my canvas ahead of time. I poured a thick layer of gesso on the canvas and allowed it to dry. (This takes several days and it helps if it's in front of a heater.) The thick gesso cracks when it drys which is what I want.

Once the gesso was dry I went to work painting, splashing and blobbing Pebeo paint all over my canvas.

Here are two more examples of the gesso and painting techniques...

If that seems too complicated for you but you still would like to try the Pebeo paints, this may be for you. Start with a small canvas, tape the edges (run your finger around to make sure it's sealed) and pour on your Pebeo. I always work over coated craft paper or a plastic table cloth. White, blue, red and yellow will swirl into every color. It's best to put a layer of white on first and then your other colors because using dark colors gives very dark results. Now pick up your canvas and tilt, swirl and go side to side. When you get the look that you want, set it down on a level surface and it should be mostly dry by the next day. Carefully take the tape off and allow to dry for a couple more days.

These pieces come out smooth as glass and always amazing.

Pebeo is an oil based paint that I have discovered cleans up great with Goo Gone. (Make sure you clean up with soap and water after because Goo Gone will ruin your Pebeo.)

Ok, this next technique is even easier than the last. You shouldn't need to tape your edges for this. Get your white acrylic paint out, we are painting impasto! Pebeo reacts great with acrylic paint when it is applied together with a palette knife. Use a piece of coated craft paper or tin foil as your paint palette.

I love using this technique to paint waves.

This last one is using the thick gesso technique of making canvas texture, then wiping on Vitrail by Pebeo and once that's dry, pouring on a thick layer of Clear Tacky Glue. Smaller canvases make very unique patterns of shrunken gesso!

 I mix Pebeo paints with Dimensional Magic Mod Podge and Clear Tacky Glue to get different reactions. I pull out the spray bottle with water or alcohol to open tiny holes in my paintings. So hopefully you see that you should feel free to experiment in any and all ways with this extraordinary paint!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Small Dolls Need Clothes Too!

In honor of my grandmom and for my sister's grand kids I have been making small doll clothes. These are 6 1/2 inch American Girl dolls. I was happy to also find a pattern book when I purchased them! 
The needle felted slippers were something that I had to figure out but as you can see below I started with a pattern shape which felted together as the slipper!

Three lovely dolls for three lovely girls.

Each doll has a night gown, slippers, shirt and pants and a kitten companion!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Succulents on the Mantle

My husband and I go to an arboretum called Chanticleer. The entire property is beautifully kept with interesting outdoor art sculptures and garden artistry. Below is a fireplace in "the ruin garden" with a live succulent piece on its mantle. My daughter and I fell in love with it and she proclaimed that we would be making it for her home... Yikes!!!

 My sister who lives in the south let us know that Hobby Lobby carried plenty of plastic artificial succulents. She proceeded to send us what you see here.
 We bought floral foam, cut it in long pieces and doweled it together for our inside form. Some shaping was also done on the foam.
 Then chicken wire was cut to provide the outside planting structure, same as the one at Chanticleer.

 Many bags of the moss we liked went on the foam form and was wrapped and wire tightened together. The succulents were poked through the holes.
It came out better than we could have hoped. It's fun doing projects with my daughter!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Oh Christmas Tree

What do you do when the tree you want is too expensive...

make it yourself!!!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Don't Judge Gingerbread Makers

Our church makes gingerbread houses every year for a local Victorian Christmas celebration. We make the houses up and kids decorate them. In past years I've only made dough for others to bake. I used to have opinions about some of the baking skills my friends had. Broken edges, too dark, too light, no details... HOW DARE I!!! Baking these here houses is no easy feat I'll tell you. 
Dear friends please accept my sincere apologies...
I had no idea how hard this was...
But they always look good in the end!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

What Do You Do When Your Biggest Fan Passes

 You honor her life...
and her love...
her princess...
 her courage...
 her fun...
her passion...
 her loss...
her abilities...
 her neighbors...
and friends!

You will be missed my dear Florida mom.

-Elaine Siegel Estrine Smith-
(December 17, 1943 - August 28, 2016)