#328

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Gave in to peer pressure. Tried some smocking.

It’s quite fun, if you like to tie off thread all day. For the effort put in compared to the effect it creates, it’s certainly worth it. I’d like to make a dress or top with smocking details on it. I’ll have to come up with a design. It seems you need to plan ahead with this technique. Not something I’m known for.

#327

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Figured out the copy function on my printer finally. Since it has so much trouble connecting to my computer, it was much easier to take it out of the equation. I printed one of the pictures at 70% onto regular white card, so I could use my Copics. The page was larger than A4, so I had to fill back on the bottom of the picture. There wasn’t room to fix the top of the wing. It was fun to do, and I quite like the results. I could use this on a card, but I think I might frame it instead. I’m not sure yet.

#326

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I procured myself a lovely new colouring in book today. The pictures are amazingly cute and we’ll drawn, and it not only promotes colouring, but completion of images using doodles and an item search in the pages. It’s like an adult activity book.
The only issue that I found is that the pages are double sided, meaning I have to be careful of bleed through, so no Copics or markers, unless I scan and copy the pages.
If you are searching for something cute to jump start your creativity, or just have something to fill the time, I would highly recommend this book. The artist also has another colouring book available. Search for Kerby Rosanes.

#325

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Finally got around to baking my clay. Also received a pasta machine. This makes conditioning so much easier, although I might get a really muscly right arm from cranking both this and my big shot machine.
Over the past couple of weeks I have be making a few things at a time, but was running out of room to keep them out of reach from the cats, so I had to bake them to make room.
I found out a couple of things that I didn’t know, like you cannot paint polymer clay with nail polish because it will turn mushy even after baking. Also, alcohol inks, like sharpies, will fade in colour over time. I’m lucky I found this out before I experimented on my figurine. I made a few pendants that I can paint on, and experimented with a Skinner blend (the gradient between colours using coloured clay.)
I still have a few things to try out, and also sanding these for painting.
At least most of my clay is conditioned now.

#324

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Finally got the sewing machine out today. Trying some quilting techniques. I’ve been sewing as much as I can by hand, because I had no room and it was fun, but I can only do ‘sew’ much.. Hehehe.
It was starting to hurt, and I had to use a thimble for the first time. It was awkward and sweaty and more of a burden than the pain. I was using bandaids, but they weren’t much better, so I take it in turns between the thimble and not. I’m surprised I haven’t gotten callouses.
Once I cleared a small space, got the machine out and crawled under the table to plug it in, I was able to try out a tip I had seen ages ago, but hadn’t needed until now. You may notice the strip of washi tape/ masking tape near the foot. This makes it so much easier to guide multiple seams at the same width. Sewing machines usually have a small amount of these marked as grooves for hems, but if you need it a little bit larger, or forget which line you were working on, try this out. Just be sure to remember to keep an eye on the foot. Looking that far out to check your lines takes concentration away from the pointy, fast objects.
Stay safe. Watch out for sharp things.

#323

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The other day I bought an app. This wouldn’t be usual, unless you knew me, and know I rarely pay for phone apps. In fact, this is the second app I’ve ever bought, the first being a game. I usually deal with ads and taking the long way to earn points or whatever. This app is a drawing app. The trial was fine, good in fact. The thing that sold me was they withheld the smudge tool for the full version. Smudge is my favourite tool of all. Ok, it wasn’t the only selling point. The full Copic branded colour palette and a hundred extra brushes including half tones were tempting. It’s funny though, if it was in the shop, I wouldn’t think twice about paying $6 for an art tool with one use, that I wouldn’t even pick up equal to the amount I’ve open the program already.
The app is called Autodesk sketchbook. Check it out if you’re interested in digital art and have a smart phone or tablet.

It has given me a new perspective on digital vs physical, and let me know how much practice I very clearly need at digital painting. I’ve been drawing a lot more in the past week, being able to draw when I don’t have time or space to get out a pen and paper. I can draw upside down in bed at night, or when I have two minutes free, waiting for something on my computer or the microwave. I guess it makes it more convenient for me to draw, so I can do it more often, hopefully improving my skills faster.

In other news, I signed up to ArtSnacks. It’s a monthly art supply subscription, where you get 4-5 artist quality art supplies sent to your door. I’m not sure how long it’ll take to get delivered from the US, but I’ll tell you guys all about it when I get it next month. Make sure you sign up before the 24th to get the next months box. I missed out on this month because of that, so just keep that in mind. They deliver internationally, with free shipping in the US. Look up ArtSnacks, and check out what creative people do with their packs. Every month, there is a challenge to create something with only what is in the box. I’m very excited, and can’t wait to see what will be in it, as it’s a surprise each month.

#322

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The funny thing about efficiency is that I had to stop what I was doing to make something to help production. I’m making something for someone, that needs a lot of pinning. I bought cheap pins so I could get more, but cheap ones are often less sharp. I saw a pincushion on the internet that used steel wool in the cushion to sharpen the pins as you stick them in.
I thought I found some steel wool without soap, but now I have weird smelling green powdered soap everywhere. I used it anyway, so hopefully it will be fine. The box says rust free, so that’s useful.
Luckily, I have a drawer full of painted and decorated boxes to choose from, saving time.
Now, back to pinning.

#321

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It’s getting late, but I wanted her to have at least some clothing before I showed you. Headless is fine, but naked!
I started this yesterday, but I’ve had the idea for a while now. This is (meant to be) a character from World of Warcraft, Lady Sylvanas Windrunner. A hunter, a Queen, an undead banshee, leader of the Forsaken with an awesome attitude. Even before I played WoW, I liked her, and her story. This inspired me to make a statuette in her honour. I’m having a bit of difficulty with her face, but I always struggle with little clay faces, and I haven’t been working on it long. I made a couple of hands, but I’m unsure whether they’ll be the ones I attach, or just trials. I mixed up the poses with the wrong hand, so the upper hand, which might be holding an arrow fits on the lower hand. The other hand, meaning to hold her bow would be attached to the top hand, which is a strange place to hold a bow. They aren’t finalised, so I might tweak them. Maybe I’ll bake them anyway and use them for another statue. I also made a hand using wire, but the fingers turned out so chubby, and the clay was so thin that the wire showed in places.
One thing different this time, using polymer clay, is that I found out you can use baby oil to condition the clay to be softer. This works great and makes it more pliable and easier to blend in patches. Smaller details are still easier with the thicker clay, and I like the firmness of the super sculpey, but mine was starting to get cracking and hard to work with. This would be useful for filling moulds, if your clay was too stiff.
My hands are dry from the clay already, and sore from too much kneading, but once a lump of clay is done, it stays soft  for a while. I’ll see if I can tackle the face tomorrow. I’m not doing her whole head yet, as she’ll have a hood on, and you won’t see the back of the head or joins, and it makes it easier to sculpt flat on a board than holding the head in mid air and squishing it all the time. Something I’m trailing anyway. I want to get this right, and not give up, or rush it… Too much.

#320

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This isn’t what it looks like, it’s just gluing paper to each other using containers as moulds. Ok, you got me it is paper mache, again. It’s an illness, that’s easy on the hands, mostly.
I finally cleared a small space on my crafting table (by mostly moving things to the pile on the left side of the room,) so I did a little bit of crafting. I didn’t even know what to do, so I put on the creativity Ted talks playlist (watch this one, is so good) and cleaned out a drawer. I was going to do some colouring, but all my pencils and markers were set up on the couch, so instead, I felt like gluing and gesso-ing, so I put the kettle on (I was tired and needed caffeine to at least stay awake until nap time) and got changed out of my outside clothes. (I’m such a dork, that all sounds like I’m five. Except the coffee.)
Later on (after nap and din-din) I decided to do some colouring, which I decided to do in graphite (nothing to do with being too lazy to get my pencils, at all.) I wanted to do different media to colour in the book, so I’ve started one page in marker, and want to do other pages in Biro, coloured pens, paint etc. Also in different brands of coloured pencils. Graphite drawing is my most favourite and comfortable art out of all the types. I was rarely seen in late highschool without a book and pencil, and I drew every night. Before I knew it, I was rather good at drawing. I still have a long way to go, and can’t always draw everyday, but I do what I can, when I can. So today, that was colouring a portion of a page. This would be a great exercise if you want to practice shading. Imagine depth, height, light, shadows, reflected light and shape, as it can all be shown with shading. This is easier to learn in gray scale, than in colour, but then, I have trouble putting colour into pictures, and it all looks like monochrome sections. As I said, I have a long way to go.