Tag Archives: gifts

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of Warhol

Standard
Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of Warhol

So yes, a perfect gift for my future sister-in-law. It finally clicked a day or two after I found this great tutorial on painting faux-Warhol portraits, hand painted instead of silk screened:

http://cathiefilian.blogspot.com/2009/02/make-it-artwork-la-warhol.html

Future SIL has a dog that she is just mad about, and the rest of the family finds Zoe adorable too. (And Zoe and my brother are nuts about each other, aww.) So I got my brother to email me some pictures of her, and he informed me that Zoe’s mama particularly loves pictures of her with her ears cocked forward.

This project definitely strayed into I-cut-out-my-own-leaf territory (see my post on second grade art, “The Darkest Depths of Mordor”), both intentionally and unintentionally. My main departure from Cathie’s project is that I chose smaller canvases — a 2-ft. by 2-ft. commitment seems to be a lot to ask of another person’s decor. Plus I had four 5-in. by 4-in. canvases, which adds up to a much more reasonable 8 x 10. Most other departures were accidental. They made a difference, too, but I ended up liking this project a LOT anyway.

For one thing, I had trouble printing out the photo onto actual photo paper (I was too impatient to go through all the figuring out of settings and that, or to waste any more photo paper.), so instead of photocopying a print, I just printed out four originals onto regular paper. I don’t know if that affected my results or not.

It will surprise none of you who read my tale of second grade impetuousness that I JUST NOW discovered I used the wrong kind of brush in painting over the pictures once they were Mod Podged onto the canvas. The materials list says foam brushes, which I totally missed. ::forehead smack:: So there are brushstrokes I could not make go away. (I think they look a little worse in the photos than in person, but some colors were definitely streakier than others. And I wonder if the dark background made those parts tend toward streakiness anyway because of the ink coverage.) They don’t look exactly Warhol like, but I do think they look cool.

Zoe in progress

I decided to dab on a little iridescent gold paint onto the buckle of Zoe’s collar in each print, which gave me the brainstorm of using the same paint (Shiva Sticks oil paint crayons) around the canvas edges. This is a case in which I intentionally made it imperfect, drawing it across the edges and then smudging it into the canvas with my fingers. The two or three times I got a little streak of gold on the edge of the image itself, I left it there. It goes with the streaky look of the painting, and adds an energy to the piece, I think. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. After that, a few coats of varnish for acrylic and oil, and done!

Zoe x 4.

Like I said, it didn’t come out just like the tutorial (which looks pretty awesome), but I still like the result. Just for the hell of it I’ll have to try doing a canvas with the foam brush and see the difference that makes. And maybe next time read a little more closely when I’m diving into a tutorial project….

Advertisements

WARNING: HANDMADE GIFT!!

Standard
WARNING: HANDMADE GIFT!!

Okay, the entirety of the projects on this blog so far are (is?) handmade gifts. And just now I’m beginning to ruminate on the inherent dangers involved? Um. Well.

If the handmade gift is perilous, the late gift is even more so. Because expectations of its awesomeness rise with the length of time you’re working on it (or claim to be working on it). Holy crap, it’s 3 months late, IT MUST BE A ROCKETSHIP THAT WILL TAKE ME TO THE MOOOOOON!! Then if it’s a personal massager made of bottlecaps, it’s kind of hard to come back from those expectations.

On top of that issue, there’s the thing when you are making something for someone awesome who is going to be in the family soon (and pretty much already is, as far as we’re concerned), and you don’t want said someone to think you dug up something you made in Vacation Bible School (back mumbly-mumble years ago) with popsicle sticks. Which was the case for me with Awesome Future Sister-in-Law, who has been an absolute treasure, doing an enormous amount to help the whole family get through some really hard times this year. She’s also funny and pragmatic and fierce and protective. So we all adore her to pieces.

Which means there were several gift ideas thought of and rejected before I remembered a tutorial I found through Pinterest. But I’m going to give that project its own post — mostly because I like the title and it would be a crime to let it go to waste.

Caution: Contents May Be Hot

Gallery

Watch out! Project #1

Standard

I got into a big felt frenzy shortly before Thanksgiving and went out and bought a ridiculous amount of sweaters to felt in the washing machine. That’s an activity which is very satisfying all on its own. You throw a big honkin’ woolly mess of a sweater into the machine and out comes a thick, felty sweater perfect for a toddler whose knuckles drag the ground. Everyone needs dozens of those, right?

So my first few projects will include some small feltiness, and sometime during the year I will I will work up to some large feltiness.

The project I’m going to start with is a birthday present for a friend. It’s one I did before I started documenting makies on a massive scale, so what I have is just a couple of pictures. I didn’t follow any specific pattern on this. I was inspired by a French press cozy I saw in Felt Frenzy (Heather Brack and Shannon Okey, Interweave Press), the first book I got on felting, and a picture I saw of a knitted cup cozy in an ad. I didn’t even know cup cozies were a Thing then, but I instantly thought they should be. I was about 90% finished and close to the date of the party when it occurred to me that a top-to-bottom design worked for a French press because, y’know, people weren’t going to be putting their lips on it. I cut it down a little, but it also dropped a bit when the cup (which was part of the gift) was picked up. Sort of a plus, I guess, but sort of not. When I gave it I felt the urge to preface it with a big disclaimer.

Here it is: Cup cozy with matching coaster. Alpaca beige felt and merino wool aqua. Needle felted flowers

A day or two after the party I got a lovely email from one of the women who’d been at the party but wasn’t the recipient of the present, saying how beautiful the colors were and how she loved the hand of the fabrics and how each hand stitch had such love in it. What a wonderful thing to have someone see in your work, and to be reminded of. We see our uneven stitches or other little faults because we want to produce good work and we want our gifts to be perfect. It’s a gift to have someone see and remind us of the beauty that doesn’t show on the surface. And looking at the picture right now, it is a sweet little thing.

 

And the person I gave it to wrote me a note and said she has been using it and enjoying it.