Oscar´s Portrait

This is going to be a pretty quick post because I´m not happy with the outcome of my Oscar Portrait, but I have to post about it anyway, because this blog  is essentially my journal, and also I´m tired of thinking about this horrible Covid-19 pandemic! I started it before the Jack portrait but I put it aside to make Jack Here which I thought would be much harder, but it actually wasn’t.

I really battled with Oscar, I chose a horrible photo, which really doesn’t do him any justice at all, and it all just went downhill from there. So now Oscar´s face kind of looks like a koala and the fur is so….boring.

Oscar has 2 coats, one for summer and one for winter, here he´s wearing his summer coat.

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And here he´s wearing his winter coat 😊

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Well, the most important lesson I took from making this portrait was   – Make sure you love the photo that you will be working from and that it truly inspires you. I am currently choosing a photo for my next subject, and this time I’m really thinking about it and taking my time.

Even though I´m not overly pleased with the result I still hang them up on our home office wall, nobody really goes there, except me 🙂

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Thanks for the on-line visit, Stay Home, Stay Safe!

 

Handbag

One of my recent finishes is this handbag, I bought the pattern from SOTAK Handmade, its called the Finley Tote. The fabric I bought from Ikea

Must say I was quite daunted by installing the 3 zippers, especially as zippers here in Portugal are in centimeters in increments of 5cm, so I had to adapt them to fit. Amazingly enough, it all came together quite well and looks very professionally done, actually quite a few people found it hard to believe that it was handmade, so Yea me 🙂

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It´s a really nice size too, not too big or too small, it´s about 32 x 34 cm.

So this is my go-to handbag at the moment 🙂

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Jacks’ Portrait

I finally found the courage to venture into the world of art quilts. After a lot of procrastination, such as tiding the workspace a few times, dusting the sewing machine a bunch of times…I just sort of dived in without the due attention that it merited. I wanted to start with a portrait quilt of one of my dogs,  however, I didn’t choose the best photo for either, I just picked a photo randomly without the notion of which pose etc. might be the best for a textile rendering….. Lesson number 1 has been learnt. Jack´s pose in this photo is not the best, it has a lot of depth, which makes it harder to portray.

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I actually began the Portrait of my other dog Oscar first, because he´s a shaggy brown dog and so I thought it would be easier, but then I put him aside and started Jack because I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was going to portray a totally white short-haired dog, and I always like to get the difficult stuff over with first.

This is a quick summary of how I did it. I took the photo, enlarged it to an A4 (page size) and then using a lightbox traced the major outlines and shadow lines to another paper, then took that to our local copy store and had them enlarge it. Using a sharpie I traced the enlarged image to a thin muslin type fabric. ….Lesson number 2, ……use a waterproof sharpie because when I changed my mind about a piece of fabric and had to squirt water to loosen the glue, the ink smudged all over the muslin and the fabric pieces, and on light coloured fabric that is definitely a no no.

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The interesting part comes next, which is choosing bits of fabric, cutting it, gluing it, and thereby creating the image. I spent quite a bit of time reading Susan Carlson´s blog Here she´s such a fantastic teacher.

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The background was particularly difficult for me, I just didn’t know what to do., I messed around a bit, changed my mind a bunch of times, and eventually just settled for what you see here, red squares portraying the floor, and a different upper fabric. The red part is covered with red tulle and the upper part with black tulle, I stipple quilted with matching thread.

I also made the background to big… lesson number 3, …..know which size the finished work should be, so I don´t waste time and fabric. I bought a canvas from the local store and attached the quilt to it by folding over the sides and stapling it to the back, so it´s nicely stretched.

And there you have it, all done!

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I showed it to Jacke and his friend Ollie, They think it´s kind of ok 🙂

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Christmas Tree Runner

So, I´ve been wanting to sew with tulle, or netting if you prefer for quite a while, and since  Christmas is here, I thought it might be a good time to join the 2, Christmas and tulle.

I saw this cute table runner from Addy Lou Creates here, so I made a version of that pattern,  3 different fabrics for each tree.

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Then I added the tulle on top, this is a very fine tulle with fine gold glitter.20191026_151604

Free motioned crazy patterns on top of each section of the trees and stippled the background.

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I don´t know quite what I was thinking when I decided to add the stripes in the middle if I had a redo, I wouldn’t do that at all, but oh well, now it´s done. I  found that the tulle does mute the colours of the fabric quite a bit, but is actually far easier to work with than I expected.

So now it´s Christmas time, and I have a new table runner to display 🙂

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Wishing all a blessed happy Christmas!

Lazy Susan

Just finished painting and decoupaging a Lazy Susan / Dumbwaiter, both rather unflattering names, especially if your name is Susan 🙂 Anyway it was plain pinewood and sits on my kitchen island, so I decided to jazz it up a bit.

Painted it with white chalk paint and decoupaged the fishies and quotes. I bought the tissue paper from the local craft shop. On top, I applied a liquid glass epoxy coating, which can take a certain amount of heat and is impermeable to stains, etc. on the side I sanded down the small amounts of liquid glass that had spilled over and coated it with a high gloss varnish

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And there you have it, a very pretty lazy Susan 😉

Mini Quilt

Just finished the cutest little mini quilt ever! I found the pattern at Flamingo Toes by Beverly Mccullough, here and I just fell in love with it, I loved the black and white theme with the dots of colour. So I was very, very uncreative and made mine the same.

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Also because I have never embroidered in my life, It was an excellent opportunity for me to learn how to make french knots and embroider the birdy, I actually can’t believe I managed to make the bird, when I tried the first time it kind of looked like a huge alien vulture, so I ditched the embroidery floss and used normal sewing thread.

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I really love this project and can see myself making another with different coloured houses.

Thanks for stopping by this neighbourhood 🙂

Storage Stool

A few years ago I bought a Storage stool, because it was inexpensive, not because I liked it, which of course is not very clever, because the minute I placed it in my craft room, it´s been an eyesore. I wanted to cover it with fabric but wasn’t quite sure about how to do it, I also didn’t want to make a sewn cover, since I knew it would be a nightmare to fit well. So the only option left to me was using the staple gun, which I might add I have never used before, so this was the ideal project to try it on.

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The fabric I chose was an African wax batik of which I have quite a few meters. I measured the lid from one inside part to the other, cut the fabric and stapled it to the inside of the lid, the corners I folded and tucked in much like binding a quilt. I actually couldn´t believe how good it looked.

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For the box, I measured all around added 6cm and cut, then I wrapped the box in the fabric, folded over on the top and stapled to the inside. The edge of the fabric was folded over and made sure it was nicely stretched.

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And there you have it, I was blown away by how quick and simple it was.

Needless to say, I now have a new best friend…the staple gun 😉

Almost Black on White

As promised in my last post, I  finally hung up my latest quilt. The proof is, of course, the usual bad photos presented here 🙂

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The pattern is Five Smalls Crib Quilt by Kacia Hosmer, I bought it from Modern patchwork. It was just what I was looking for, simple yet striking! I just made mine wider and shortened the length.

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Every quilt I´ve made so far has taught me something, this one taught me that when using just 2 tones, every little mistake is glaringly obvious, there are no patterns or shades of colour to distract the eye, ….nope… every square that is not exactly pieced, jumps up and hits you in the eyeball! But it´s all a learning curve, next time I´ll know to be more precise in my seams and cutting.

I absolutely love it, it´s one of my favorites so far.

Music Rack

So…..Still on the subject of the office/music/ironing room  I have a wooden magazine rack, that I´ve had forever but never painted or used. Now I usually keep my music sheets on top of the piano in a messy pile, but since I´m on a mission to prettify this room, I thought this magazine rack thingy would work great for my music sheets.

I decided to go mustard, so I painted the whole thing in a chalk mustard color from Rust-oleum, however, it came out looking cream-colored, very little mustard there! so I bought another container of mustard from Fleur, and this was the color I was looking for, I distressed the edges so that the bottom lighter color shows through. I bought wooden music notes, and a wooden dowel, painted and distressed them in white and granite, and glued them to the rack, a little light waxing all over and Voila, there it was all done.

No more messy pile of music sheets on top of the piano.

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Well, it´s still a little messy, but now it´s contained to it´s special designated music sheet rack!

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Next, I´ll show you the quilted wall hanging I made for this room, but I still need to hang it up on the wall and then take some of my usual dreadful photos  😀 so watch this space!

Refurbished desk

I´ve been quite busy lately, finishing up a few projects, one of them was refinishing an old desk we have. It´s really a very plain ugly little thing, but because we don´t use it that much, I didn´t want to spend money on buying a new desk. Most of the time we take the PC to the sofa or dining room table and use it there, I don´t know why, maybe we just want to be near everyone else and not alone in what we call the office/music/ironing room, or maybe every-one is scared they´ll be asked to do the ironing  😉

Well, the so-called office/music/ironing room also has the piano in it, which is blackish, so I chose a granite chalk paint from Rust-Oleum for the desk. It took 3 coats on top, a light sanding, waxed the whole thing for durability, bought a new knob for the drawer, and there it was, all done!

Here is a photo of the desk upside down, I forgot to take a foto of it before I began 🙂

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Here it is finished, the bin basket I spray painted with some leftover grey spray paint I had, it was blue before.

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Ok, I admit, I didn´t sand the desk before I began, so now the grain is visible in some places, and it kind of looks like it was painted white before the granite color, and then distressed, But I sure don´t mind the effect, I got the distressed look without having to put in the extra work 😉

Here is a view of the room, it´s still a work in progress, it has the bookcase in wood veneer, but I´ve decided I won´t paint that, I´ll gift it and get a bookcase I saw at IKEA, which I really like.

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I´m, also finishing up a quilted wall hanging, which will hang above the piano, and a small wooden magazine rack to store my music sheets, so stay tuned……