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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paint finishes

I'm excited because I found Martha Stewart paints and specialty finishes at Home Depot. I've grabbed some Antique Gold metallic paint, since I'm running low, and some Paintable White crackle paint. I plan to incorporate the latter into my wooden decorations, and into the super duper holiday cards I will be sending this year. They will incorporate an ornament.

I also grabbed some of the MS specialty paint chips, which will be perfect to punch some pretty shapes from for my cards and ornaments.

In preparation for starting on the cards, I have stamped, embossed and cut out a whole bunch of small images that will be part of the decorations. All I am in need of now is the right yarn for my homemade tassels.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Family Tree for Christmas


Since Halloween I've been busy with thank you cards and my ongoing tidying. Images of my latest batch of cards may be found at the ScraPerfect blog.

However I've also started on another project. Here are some prototypes, works-in-progress, of some wooden tree ornaments made with photocopies of vintage family pictures of Jayn's ancestors. I have decided my first How-To video will demonstrate these, or something similar.

I'm still working out the best order of steps - for example, drilling the tiny hole at the start, and considering how many layers of mat medium to use to preserve the image. I'm so lucky to have a really nice stash of family portraits color photocopied already, although I am also planning a variation that will use more contemporary cut out photos, as well.

These are the kind of ornaments that could delightfully personalize any holiday tree, and be made in whatever color scheme you are planning. This particular batch are vintage/distressed/prim style, in keeping with the style of the images - using shoe polish as the aging medium!

Stay tuned for the completed projects and the video on You Tube - and of course our tree very soon.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rose Lalonde God Tier Halloween

Jayn decided to be Rose Lalonde in God Tier Costume for Halloween trick or treating. The character is from the web comic, Homestuck. There seem to be some cosplayers online, who like the character and the costume, although Jayn told me that she had to explain her costume a lot to people on Halloween.

The sewing was not difficult. We had a few moments of difficulty finding the exact colors at the fabric store, and I ended up custom dyeing white cotton interlock for the hood - after working out the exact dye proportions on scraps. The leggings we bought at JC Penney - and I like them a lot. I'll be going back for more in other colors for fall/winter for me, since they go so well into boots.

Initially I tried doing an applique treatment for the sunburst, but it was too big and insufficiently detailed. The stretchy base tunic would not react well to stitching, so I tried Steam a Seam and dimensional fabric paint on the edges. This was a mistake as the fabric from the bad applique peeled off easily, but I was left with paint residue that was clearly visible, stuck fast and impervious to water.

I was almost despairing until I thought to try Best Cleaner Ever to remove the paint traces. Saved! I sprayed it on, let it sit for a little while it softened, then I could pick it away easily. I washed the tunic with detergent, rinsed and it was all gone beautifully. Love my BCE!

Then I did a more traditional freezer paper iron-on stencil and ordinary acrylic paint for the medallion and belt shapes, and everyone was happy.

We found affordable cerulean shoes, and tied ribbon around Jayn's feet. She has bleached her hair for the costume - and we are bemused at how tenacious the red is in her hair. This hair is three processes later, including a hair dye removal product. But Jayn likes it, and that is all that matters to me.

One of the great things about this costume, as compared to all the others I have made over the years, is that this is quite an adult costume, and will fit her for a long time being loose and stretchy. We have talked about the idea that she could wear it to a Comic Con - and there plenty of people would most likely recognize the character at once, cognoscenti as compared with the muggles.