Sunday, August 6, 2023

Drawing Challenge Begins with Procreate

My husband and I have an arts background, but I have always wanted to be better at drawing. We recently started using Procreate and have started a little challenge between the two of us. 

Here is a video of our first challenge, drawing a sphere: 

It's interesting to see our different styles. I obviously take way too long on mine, which eventually we remedied by limiting ourselves to one hour, but that's further down the line as you will note if you follow along. 

draw a sphere in Procreate

You can subscribe to our youtube channel to follow our progress and see where we go after we are done with the basic drawing shapes. 

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, July 1, 2022

Making a Mini House Diorama with Cardboard, Paint, and Sculpey

In my day job, I work with a lot of specialized archival cardboard, called blueboard. We end up with lots of scraps so I brought some home, along with a scrap of foam board, and made a little house. 

I opened up the blueboard to reveal the corrugation to make the "tin" roof. 

I had no plan. I just started making. Every day I came home from work and added this, and painted that, and plastered here, and sculpted there. 

I used DAP compound to give the house a stucco texture and for the texture of the ground. 

I painted everything using Folk Art Paints.  
I made a fence out of wood skewers.

I used my Easy Cutter to slice the skewers length wise to make the horizontal slats. Above they are being held up with cardboard while the glue dries. 

Craft Easy cutter
I love this Easy Cutter. Great for making angled cuts on small pieces of wood, plastic, cardboard, etc. 

Then, I had a packaging box at home that had a curved edge, and it felt like it would be a good landscape backdrop for my house. 

I channeled Bob Ross for sure. 

I painted my fence white. 

Then sculpey got involved and I added happy little trees and shrubs, a bird bath, and finally a foundation around the entire piece. I used more wood skewers to poke into the sculpey to hold up the backdrop.

I painted the back of the backdrop to look like a wooden wall.  It kind of made me think of an old abandoned billboard in the middle of nowhere. 

This has got to be the cutest thing I have ever made.  We all know mini anything is forever a winner. Why do we love miniature things so much? I don't know. Does it make us feel like kids again? Maybe? 

All I know is I completely lost track of time every time I worked on this. It was so much fun, and I'm not even done!  Stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Screen Printing T-shirt Designs with Silhouette Cameo Cut Vinyl Stencils

I make a lot of stuff  and I never get around to documenting it. Here are some of them coming at posting dribbles.  

My husband and some friends from work and I went to the Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art* in January (2021) and one of the objects (Statue of Taweretjust called out to me..."make me into a t-shirt..." So, for our 8th wedding anniversary (bronze) I made my husband that shirt! 

I opened the photo I took of Taweret in photoshop and simplified the design so I could then send it through my cameo silhouette craft machine and cut it out in vinyl to make a screen print template. 

screen printing frame reverse @
reverse of screen printing frame with vinyl stencil applied. 

Statue of Taweret and photoshop design @
photo inspiration and final screen print of Taweret

You might notice that I made the figure of Taweret slightly plumper than in the photograph. I thought it would make her more comical (as if it weren't already) but I might revisit her original figure again in the future. We'll see. My husband liked her so much he said I could sell these. 

I used a bronze metallic acrylic paint but the metallic sheen doesn't show as well in photographs. 

This was the first time I have tried screen-printing using cut vinyl and it worked really well.

My husband graduated from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. Sadly no longer open. 

For this one I used silver metallic acrylic paint for "Brooks" and titanium white acrylic paint for "Institute". 

Brooks Institute Silhouette Screen Print TShirt

Don't mind his expression. He really does love it. And don't worry, he has more than one plaid shirt. 

Do you watch TV? Of course you do. Do you like Sci Fi? We do. Have you seen The  Expanse? It's very good. I highly recommend it. 

The Expanse screen print tshirt via

If you watch the show you  might recognize this emblem. This was my first attempt at two color screen printing with the same vinyl template technique. The red ink did not fully cover the white, but it makes it look purposefully worn out. I love it! What do we call that? A Happy Accident? Thanks Bob

The Expanse screen print tshirt via

I don't have a picture of husband wearing it, but I swear he loves it.  He likes everything I make for him....or he's a very good liar.  

And last (for now) but definitely not least....first, a long explanation....

This one was a labor of love. I had been sketching the idea for this shirt on and off for a while. A long while....

sketches of SYD shirt @

sketches for SYD t-shirt @
Finally I came up with the above layout and basic design. Final sketch in red ink. (you never know when or where inspiration hits, or what type of writing implement is around.) I took it into photoshop and removed the color so I could visualize it better.  I also wanted...oh, wait. Maybe I should tell you what is going on here? 

See, my husband loves Pink Floyd, and their original line up included a fella named Syd Barrett. Syd had great talent and creativity, but he also had mental health problems, which eventually led to him leaving the band. He has, to this day, left an indelible mark on the other members of Pink Floyd, as well as their fans. 

The band wrote a song inspired by Syd, Shine On You Crazy Diamond. My design, a diamond incorporating a very stylized song title also included the name, SYD. I don't know if it occurred to the band but I'm staking my claim that "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", broken down to it's major theme "Shine You Diamond", (because he was a diamond before he spiraled) spells SYD, which you can see I have spelled out on the face of the diamond. I wanted this shirt to celebrate not only the song, but also Syd Barrett, and of course, Pink Floyd.  

Whew. that's a lot of thinking for a t-shirt design....

Now, most of the modern world knows this album cover for Pink Floyd's album, Dark Side of the Moon: 

I wanted to incorporate this prism design into my diamond. And below is my final design seen on the computer and cut from vinyl on my Silhouette cutting machine

photoshop design of Shine on you crazy diamond screen-print shirt @

photoshop design of Shine on you crazy diamond screen-print shirt @ @

Syd Barrett screen printed t-shirt @

Syd Barrett screen printed t-shirt @

Syd Barrett screen printed t-shirt @

Syd Barrett screen printed t-shirt @

I am not pleased with colors or placement of the rays, and I also want to print it again on a black shirt, which would be more fitting, but blue was all I had at the time. I will rework this in the future...

Also, just for reference, I used all acrylic paints by Liquitex and FolkArt paints. I have since invested in some Speedball screen printing paints. 

Come back for more dribbles of art and stuff.
Thank you for visiting!

*sorry if you wanted to visit this exhibit. We saw it on the last weekend it was in town. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Christmas Gifts

Last year, my husband and I started playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch.  This was influenced by a co-worker of mine, and then our other co-worker joined the fun as well. 

The game is very simple, which is probably why it became a national obsession this year; that and the Covid lockdown with lots of time on everyone's hands. The game is so easy to play that your grandma could do it. Basically, you move onto an Island of your choosing, build your house floor by floor, and fill the island with flowers and trees and residents and homes, and a museum, general store, etc. 

So, for Christmas, it was only fitting to gift my fellow obsessives with AC (Animal Crossing) themed gifts. 

As long as I can remember, my mother has given my siblings and me little Whitman's Samplers for just about every holiday. I always save the boxes with the intent to create little dioramas of them, and this was the perfect occasion.

I had my husband print with his Elegoo Mars 3D resin printer, two beloved characters from Animal Crossing; the sibling owls, Blathers and Celeste. 

Blathers is the Director of the Island Museum and part of your daily tasks is to dig up "fossils" buried throughout the island and donate them to said museum. So, I printed Blathers and one of his fossils and placed them in the museum entrance, where he greets you. 

Celeste, Blather's lil' sis, only shows up randomly on the island, and when she does you might just see shooting stars that night and find "star fragments" on the beach the next day. 

We found the 3D print files for Blathers, Celeste, and the fossil on thingiverse and my husband designed the star fragment, which is now also on available to download on thingiverse. 

For the backgrounds I took pictures of my game screen and then printed them out on shipping label stickers to stick into the boxes. I then used gold rub 'n buff to paint the edges of the boxes for a nice finish.

Thank you for visiting!


Friday, January 1, 2021

2020 Was A Bummer But A Few Good Things Happened....

We all know what a bad year this was but I was very fortunate to be able to continue working, as was my husband. 

My boss found out in early March that I had a sewing machine and sent me home to sew masks...and there began a love affair.

sewing masks via

sewing masks via

I sewed lots and lots of masks for our employees...

sewing masks via

...and then we were asked to sew masks for the local hospitals. 

sewing masks via

...and then I just never stopped sewing.  

table runner via

pillows via

pillows via

masks via

Cafe curtain via

Curtain Valance via

cafe curtains via

pin cushions via

pin cushions via

buntings and banners via

buntings and banners via

I hope 2021 brings health and healing and a return to normal life for all. 


Thank you for visiting.