Friday, April 26, 2019

Etch A Sketch Western

I've had all my nick knacks pulled from the cupboards and drawers of my book case after cleaning them off and wiping down the shelves. All of it has been sitting in a large box that I now have to organize and put away, but I decided to play with the etch a sketch first. 

I've done some etch a sketch pictures in the past, but I've never been perfect at them. They're pretty silly, but somehow interesting. I wasn't sure why, but I wanted to draw some mountains and cacti, next came a random texture of the earth, and I drew out a cowboy on his horse.

This gave me a few ideas for a possible real illustration, maybe a quick digital painting or collage.
(From the future-May 29, 2019)

I did go with the idea to make it colored, working over the actual photo and just adding in some gradients, colors, texture, and extra elements like cacti and tumble weeds.

First version is the scene as it up close and focused on the cowboy. Since vignette seems to be catching my attention lately though, I tried that out below.

First versions had hard edges at the top. It was suggested to me that it needed something more. I added some extra color like tissue paper glued beneath a base picture in a collage.This was satisfying.

Almost home.
Night travel.

I like night scenes, so of course a little experimenting to show travel by horseback through the desert under a sky full of stars came next.

All of these scenes remind me of one song in particular. "Sleeping on the Blacktop" · Colter Wall. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Flower Fairies- Apr. 21, 2019

It's been a long time since I've taken pictures of my childhood flower fairies. They've popped from the fairy back pack since I've been cleaning out and cleaning up the lower half of my book case. The azaleas have been blooming beautifully this year. I decided to pose my pink dressed fairies among these flowers.

I started with mother Azalea, her colors have always made me happy, and her hairstyle is cute. I wanted to capture some of the details of her outfit, the pastel embroidery and little seed bead buttons which look kind of like mother of pearl.
Azalea's legs have become a bit wobbly looking over the years of being kept in a bag, but I still wanted to show her little green boots with ballerina ties.

Next came mother Azalea with her baby girl. The baby has always made me happy, small with a little acorn cap and tiny flower skirt. Her top was made from a fuzzy piece of green fabric, a square sample of fabric only 2x2 inches.

The last image makes me laugh because it was a blooper shot. As I was trying to take my first picture of the fairy princess, she fell forward like she couldn't wait to fly away.
My second tries were better. The princess looks much more elegant. Her shirt pattern is the same as Azalea's, but the embroidery is different. a combination of light pinks and metallic gold on mint colored felt, with the same kind of pearl like seed bead buttons.
Something else I wanted to keep in memory if I should want to pull it from the LEGO box again. While I cleaned some miniature items from the fairy bag, I liked what I had found. I had put some lego blocks together to make it look like a small toy house with white paint and a blue roof. It made a pretty good make shift miniature dollhouse for fairies.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Pacha Soap Fairy and Mermaid- Digital collage

Pacha soap fairy. A digital collage set made from selected elements of my own photos. I had made the fairy with the thought of a soap ad in mind, liking the scent of the jasmine soap I had gotten from Whole Foods. Unfortunately I ended up not being able to use the soap, but the scent of jasmine tied in with the inspiration to make a fairy or ballerina. 

I went through some different stages with the outfit, from full leotard to just a half top with tutu. I also went through different stages of hair style, starting off with poofy.
These three photos are what made the picture. The center one is what inspired the pictures in the first place. I saw a shape in it that made me think of someone skating, seeing sort of a torso and the beginning of thighs. I ended up using the center image to make the suit and draw a form around it, then I used the actual soap bar to create texture for my drawn silhouette.

The Pacha bag is obvious, I used it to make flowers and clothes for my fairy.
I had tried out a different hair style that seemed more Nouveau, made a fairy with that hair and then tried making a picture that could stand on its own with that hair style. 

The Bath Bubble Beauty (right) is what came out of that experiment. I used the same structure, just aimed to make it more like a soap ad with bubbles.
I created the bubbles using a crop shape in PSE over some photos of my new sketch book's cover. To add more interest and a title, I also used the word sketch.
A soap mermaid formed from my play with the photos of Apr. 1-2, 2019. I stretched out the soap bar texture and made it blue to create water, then added some of the pink bubbles from the sketch picture. A few adjustments of the silhouette gave me a better form to work on, and I created a tail using selections of the mermaid's bra. The fin and crown were both the same element just changed in size. I was surprised by how well it worked.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Quiet Book Pages

For over a month Mom has worked on some quiet book pages for the grand baby.

The Mr. and Mrs. Potato head pages started off as just print out sheets from online, but turned into something bigger when we started making the pattern better and adding more stuff as options. 
Mrs. Potato head looked really good in the end. There's also two extra pages for holding all of the felt pieces. She made a pocket page that was basic, and I got the idea to make a potato head butt pocket, because the back side of Potato head comes off.

Mom loved the idea, my brother elaborated on the design to make it look like Mr. Potato head was bending over, and the flap comes down. All of Mr. Potato head's pieces were crammed into this pocket. Later Mom added a pair of shoes at the bottom.
 
Mom made glasses for Mrs. Potato head, used some plastic to stabilize the felt and give them lenses.
 
I designed multiple kinds of shoes, this pair is the one Mom went with.
Mrs. Potato Head's purses open and you can stick small things inside. Mom added embroidery to the flower center of the hat. I also made the suggestion that Mom sew the shiny buttons to a pair of ears for Mrs. Potato head to have earring.
The lips, eyelashes, glasses, and shoes were all designed or adjusted by me.
Mr. Potato Head.
I designed the different mustaches, teeth, and shoe detail for Mr. Potato head.
The noses are somewhat 3D.
Mom tried using the machine to sew the details and eventually switched to hand stitching.
The grand kid is a fan of Blue's Clues, so Mom made a page of the Blue's Clue's mailbox.

She found a standard mailbox quiet book pattern online, and then added extra details. The pull at the top was made by gluing a strip of gray felt and rolling it it up. The mail box flag was added using a buttonhole and button.

I was surprised at how well the satin stitch came out on the mailbox front.
The mailbox actually opens and you can stick letters inside.
Mom started off using paper letters, but really wanted to switch to making felt ones. After some Pinterest browsing she made these. Hard felt envelopes and letters, with rick rack, stamps, and homemade address labels.
She colored the stamps and address labels with watercolor pencil, I used permanent stamp ink (stayson) to make postal stamps. The ink works on hard felt as long as the fabric is flat and not fuzzy.

Mom's first address label was done using a piece of stiff ribbon with a company logo on it, something she saved from when she got her wool pillow (right).
The stamps come off and the envelopes open up.
I stamped postcards and a greeting card made of flat, hard felt. Mom then added a marker pen message.