Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sandblasting Glass

I recently took a class at Pratt that taught a particular technique for transferring images onto glass.  It allowed me to finally get this particular idea out of my head and DONE.

This is a window from the nose of a B-17.  It's about 1 foot wide at the widest part by about 2 feet tall.  It was going to meet with an uncertain fate, so it was given to me when I said I'd do something with it.

Back side

 I had this idea to put the image of a B-17 onto it, maybe an image that looks as it would have if you were flying in one B-17 and looking out of this window at another B-17.

I started with an archival photo of a B-17 that I edited the heck out of to have a very high-contrast image that I liked.

I had to decide whether I wanted the black or the white parts of the image to be the sandblasted areas, so I did a couple of test pieces -

I decided that the shadows/dark areas would be the masked parts and the white would be sandblasted.  I made this masking stencil by processing my image on UV sensitive masking film, then placed the sticky masking film image where I wanted it on the window and masked off the frame and back of the window to protect those areas from being blasted.

And into the sandblaster -

This is the sandblasted image, with the masking film still on.

And a couple of detail shots with the mask washed off -

I was super excited to give this to my dad for his birthday.  It's now HIS job to figure out how to mount it for display.

In the future I will share pictures of a couple other experiments that took my sandblasting on glass in totally different directions...

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Little Yarn Bombing

A couple of weeks ago I did a little private yarn bombing project.  I was inspired by someone near and dear to me who had been doing a lot of work with rocks in her yard. Once the idea struck me, I couldn't wait to do this.

OK, so I covered 4 rocks and one brick, for a little extra humor.  

I began with this rock and it remains my favorite.  This one is crocheted. I made up the design as I went along, "engineering" it to fit.  

It was a fun challenge to figure out how to crochet something to fit around an ovoid.  

The rest were just rectangles that I knit on relatively large needles and sewed closed around the rocks.  I decided to make plastic tags for each rock that said 1/5, 2/5, etc., so that my victim could figure out that there were five to find.  When I placed them in her yard, some were more obvious than others .

When I am surrounded by rocks like these - really doesn't seem THAT bizarre to cover rocks with fuzzy yarn.

To see some really amazing yarn bombing projects, check out  One recent project that is particularly stunning is shown in the post  I'd love to know how they got the fire department to help with the installation!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wooly Peeps

Rock star peep

Not too long ago Craft Magazine posted a link on Facebook to a very clever Easter-y project by radmegan  - needle-felted Peeps!  What a great idea!  Luckily my thoughtful cousin re-posted the post and tagged me.  I bought the instructions from radmegan on Etsy and had quite some fun.  I'd forgotten how great needle felting is.  Except for the pain from occasionally poking my finger...

I was lucky enough to take a needle-felting class by the amazing Moxie several years ago, so I had amassed the necessary tools -

foam block and sharp-as-heck felting needles
wool roving

By the way, Moxie has foam blocks that are biodegradable, which is very cool. This one is from a kit that Weaving Works sold that included needles.  I came upon this multi-colored roving in the knitter's guild booth at the craft fair held out in Ocean Shores over Thanksgiving weekend.  You can buy single colors from sources like Weaving Works.

So, it was obvious that whereas radmegan's peeps were true to the real Peep colors, mine were going to be funky.

This handful of roving -

equaled this peep - 

Tropical sherbet peep?

A few more -

Tie-dye peep for my cousin  :)

Peep gang

Then one last design that I HAD to try - 

skully peep

Rock star photo of skully peep

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Watercolor on Gessoed Paper

I was lucky enough to get to take a watercolor workshop at Pratt this past weekend with my younger son.  I wasn't sure which way he would go when I suggested that I sign him up with me, but he didn't hesitate to say yes, which I thought was awesome.  He was the only male and the only youth/young adult, and the instructor said she thought he was brave (?!) to do it.  Regardless, he liked the class a lot and I thought I was the luckiest mom on earth.

The class was all about painting with watercolors on gessoed paper.  You can get some pretty intense colors out of your watercolors this way, AND you have more of a chance for do-overs since you can wipe your paint back off.  To varying degrees.

This is my first painting, which makes me nauseous. But it was a learning experience -

The smaller I make the image, the better, as far as I'm concerned (it's really ~7x11").  The photo makes more contrast in the background than there really is.  And the pink?  Not my marks - the instructor added them.  I've not had that happen before!  Ever.  Anyway, this wretched painting gave an idea for how to tackle the beautiful moonflower in a different way next time, so all is well.  I think it would have been a better one to do on regular watercolor paper.

Version #1 - The instructor pointed out that I was certainly painting like an oil painter.  But I was enjoying the brush strokes.  I tried to work "juicier" in the middle and bottom but this amazing Quinacridone Gold bunched up and looked like strong brush strokes on its own anyway.  I'm learning.  I hate the lighter colors added onto the black at the base.  That was a suggestion, and I should cover it over...  It looks like reflections/ripples in  this photo.

Version #2 - Tried to stay looser and juicier.  I also tried to make the silhouettes look less like buildings and more like the rocks that they are.

I was working from a copy of the photo below. Our instructor encouraged us to feel free to "adjust" (my word) our subject and not worry about it being exactly true to life, which is a very freeing idea for me to always keep in mind.  When I looked back at the original photo again, it just makes me want to experiment more with the colors and the glowing light in this photo - 

Maybe I shouldn't have put the photo on here, because it is so superiorly gorgeous!!  If anyone wonders why we keep going back and going back to Utah's redrock country, this is a great example of why.  This photo was taken at the Golden Stairs camping area in the Maze District of Canyonlands.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Still working towards selling on Etsy....

This has been my ongoing project for, oh, 2+ years - to actually list some things to sell in my Etsy online shop.  Looks like I may be a little late to take advantage of Valentine's Day gift shopping (oops! second year in a row!), but hearts aren't only for V-day?!

Today I worked on mastering the art of the adjustable knotted cord necklace.  That's what I've decided upon for for turning my pendants into necklaces to sell.  I think I worked out a length that adjusts from choker length (16"-ish) to approximately 32".  I'm using a faux-leather cord - 

I found the most helpful tutorial with excellent photographs of the steps here -

I read somewhere that the best lighting for taking photos of your items is daylight on a bright, cloudy day.  Here are a few photos taken in the sun the other day - 

I like the shadows myself.  I'll experiment with more photos on the next "bright, cloudy day"....