More Paintings

I don’t know what’s come over me the last few months! I’ve never considered myself remotely creative or artistic but have suddenly been flooded with ideas for paintings (I’m also dreaming of carving, working with mosaic tiles, sewing, and more but those are a bit too ambitious now). No complaints here since it’s fun, and I can now produce decorations for my house exactly as I want them to be. All our walls were so bare before!


I made this for Joseph last week. I painted it one night and then hated it the next morning and completely redid it–that’s one nice thing about acrylics! He was surprised to come home and find this on the shelf by his computer.

I love texture!

I made this set for Joseph’s computer area as well:

Just kidding, these are now hung above my computer.


Tulips!


I feel like I need to round this off with this terrifying photo of my cat yawning

Decorating Frames

I had a bad morning and needed to make myself busy with something, so I went to the BX and bought a cinnamon roll, some cheap little frames, and a world map. The cinnamon roll was unrelated to this project but significantly improved my mood.


I just tore strips of the map and arranged them on the frame with rubber cement. I’d still like to find something to help seal them but will have to look to see what’s available around here. Edit: I soon got my hands on Mod Podge, and it fit my needs perfectly as both a glue and a sealant!  I’ve been making these for a while now, using a variety of papers and switching between glossy and matte glue.


I tried a few different designs–the one in the front has a lot of water, the middle is mainly land, and the back is a good blend of both.  It was lots of fun!  I don’t know what I’m going to do with four of the same frames but I’m still itching to make more.


Name the book (I make sure the photo had a few recognizable names)! I had to sacrifice one of my (four) copies for this, but it’s worth it. I wanted to use a novel that will make me happy when I read snippets of it on the frame.


I have the perfect photo to put in this frame!

Edit:
Since I first posted this, I’ve made even more frames. I used the same book, but “antiqued” the torn pages using coffee and a flame. The frames smelled strange for a few days but are fine now!


I also finally got my hands on Mod Podge–a absolutely fantastic glue and sealant. I’m obsessed with it now!

Colorblock Painting

Let me preface this by telling you an am not an artist! Nothing revolutionary–I just picked up some paints and had fun.


The idea for this had been floating around in my head for over six months. When my [extremely talented] sister Victoria visited me over the Christmas holidays, I bombarded her with questions. The last time I’d tried to paint anything was likely with my fingers in a classroom.


I bought a set of about 20 paints and went to work! Besides the bright blue, all of the colors are mixed (is that the correct way to phrase this? I told you I know nothing about painting).


Proof that it was actually painted by myself ;) Now I’ve got a few more things to get started on!

How to: Mount an Embroidery


When I first took up embroidery a few months ago, my good friend Genevieve commented that she would love a stitching of a Boston Terrier. Since I can’t draw, I one-upped her and made a portrait of her beautiful Bostons Clementine and Hogwarts.


The embroidery is based on this photo. I’ve never met Genevieve, her boyfriend Michael, or their dogs, but I love them all! I hope I was able to capture them correctly. Af for the areas around their mouths and the gray in the crowns, I colored the areas with crayons, put a piece of white paper over them, and then ironed until the wax melted a bit.


More original drawing. I loved the way Clementine looked but couldn’t figure out what was off with Hogwarts (he looks a bit like a pig int he picture, right?) Somehow, the thread changed Hogwart’s face so that it actually looks like him!

Frames can get a bit old in a house, so I decided to mount this one and thoughts others might benefit from a mounting tutorial as little help came up when I Googled.


Prepare the fabric by ironing out the wrinkles. This is also when I cut the threads short in the back and sometimes tape them so the tied-off ends don’t show through the fabric. Then cut the fabric, making sure to leave at least half an inch around the board on each side.


Center the fabric around the canvas (you can use a variety of things here–cardboard, particle board, foam board–anything sturdy) and fold the edges under. I actually ironed the folds to keep them in place.


Using a thick thread, make a knot and begin stitching! I used a tapestry needle.

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How To: Hem Jeans by Hand

Joseph has had some too-long jeans sitting around for about a year. As I don’t own a sewing machine and don’t know of any tailors in the area, we’ve just had to leave them in the closet. Then suddenly it came to me–of course I can hem them by hand!

Note: I can not sew anything besides buttons. So if you can’t sew, don’t worry. I just used a simple backstitch. This is one of the easiest stitches, and you can watch a quick video on YouTube to pick it up. The stitch isn’t visible at all, so you don’t have to be perfect. Of course, if you have a sewing machine you can always use that! You’ll still keep the professionally finished hem and wont’ have to make any cuts.

This method is extremely simple to pick up, easy on the hands, and looks seamless. You won’t have to spend money on a tailor! Keeping the original hem makes for a nice, clean look. All we do is make an invisible stitch just above the bottom seam and tuck the excess fabric out of sight.


First, try the pants on and measure how much shorter they need to be. Make a cuff half of that length and pin it. For these jeans I wanted to remove 3.5 inches so pinned them at 1.75 inches.


After measuring around each leg, pin the cuff.


Stitch in a line just below the bottom seam. Make sure you are stitching through only two layers of fabric–not through the other side of the pant leg.


Continue sewing in a line all the way around the cuff. Try to keep an equal distance from the seam, but the line does not have to be perfectly straight. Keeping close to the original seam means your new hem will be less noticeable. You can see the small navy line of my stitches in the photo above.


Next, fold the cuff back down. You can either cut some of the excess material (leave half an inch or so for fraying) or just tuck it up. Edit:  Joseph was having problems with the fabric falling back down around his feet when not wearing shoes, so I just tacked the excess and now he never notices these were hemmed.


Iron your new seam!


Voila!


It took me about an hour to fix these jeans. After the initial measuring they require very little thought–work on some of your too-long legs while watching television. One great thing about this hem is that it’s completely reversible as well–just cut out our stitches and you have your original pants back!

Update: My husband has been wearing this same pair of jeans for over a year now, and the hem has held up perfectly! Neither of us have even noticed the hem since–it really is invisible unless you’re looking for it.

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