Sunday, December 31, 2017

Canvas Lettered Art

  Here's a gift I made for my sister-in-law's June birthday!

  I knew I wanted to do some kind of painting for her, and eventually settled on lettering Joshua 24:15. I wanted it to last so I used acrylic paints and a canvas board. This is the largest lettering piece I've done so far- I believe the board was 11" by 14"

  I sketched out my design on plain paper first, painted the canvas tan, then transferred my design with tracing paper. The stuff I used is Singer brand, and is meant for sewing- I looked in the stores for carbon paper but couldn't find any. And the sewing stuff didn't leave a very clear mark, so I had to go back over it in pencil.

  I chose the colors and style based on things I've seen this sister-in-law wearing, and a couple of glimpses I saw of her house on social media (I haven't seen it in person) so I'm really not sure if it fit her decorating style or not, but she seemed to like it! 

  I had totally finished the painting in solid colors, but when I stepped back they looked incredibly dull together. So, I took some gold acrylic paint I had on hand (Ceramcoat glitter gold- and the rest of the paints were DecoArt) and went back over all of the brown with a thin, rustic layer, and it really helped to brighten everything up. 

  It does shine from an angle, but it's not noticeably metallic from straight ahead, which is what I wanted for this piece.

I happened across the frame at Joann's and just left the glass out so the canvas would fit- I'm glad I found it!

  I find it really difficult to letter prettily with acrylic on canvas, but I think this turned out okay anyway!

  I'm hoping I get some more practice working with acrylic paints in the coming year- speaking of which, Happy New Year!

Thanks for stopping by,

PS. I totally forgot to share the photo of how I wrapped this one... I love the wax seal trend that I've been seeing!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Art Gallery Dress

My sweet, shy, and sassy Beckers turned 4 in August! I made eyelet dresses for both of her big sisters' 4th birthdays, but they just weren't worn as often as I would have preferred, so I decided to go a different route for Becker's dress. Twirly dresses are always a favorite, and so is knit, so that's what I went with!

  I'd bought a single yard of an Art Gallery knit to test out from Imagine Gnats on Black Friday last year- the Sprinkled Peony Serene from the Garden Dreams collection, and 1.5 yards of the solid knit in 'Tender Green' to go with it, and when I searched my shelves for just the right fabric for Becker's dress, these two were perfect! Like everyone says, Art Gallery knits are really nice- not quite as thick as I prefer, but really soft and stretchy, and they've worn really well. (Although my solid had a small flaw in it that I didn't notice until I'd cut my pieces, and I didn't have enough to re-cut.)

  I was originally planning to make the entire skirt out of the print, but 1 yard just isn't enough for a full circle skirt on this lanky little girl, so I had to add length with the solid. And the solid wasn't a perfect match for the background of the print, but I had a few yards of dark magenta knit from Nick of Time Textiles that made gorgeous flat piping. I really love the effect- I'm so glad I didn't have enough of the print!

 I also used strips of the magenta between the skirt and bodice, and around the collar, as well as making the neckband and sleeves from it. I decided to do a neckband as well as a collar because my attempts at collars on knits haven't gone well in the past... I don't love the look, but it is an improvement over previous attempts. I really wish I'd interfaced that collar though!

  I gathered the sleeves to bands- also a change for me, since I usually lettuce-edge them and gather them in with elastic thread. But I wanted a bit more of the magenta in there. =)

  The pattern is a very modified Jalie 2805... it's often much quicker to just modify a basic pattern like that to match the idea in my head than to search for a new one!

Beckers loved this dress! And still wears it every time it's clean, even after staining the bodice with dry-erase markers. (I really dislike dry-erase markers- we've lost quite a few garments to them, and all of my attempts at stain removal have been for naught.)

  Beckers is such a fascinating little girl- she's a perfect mixture of sweetness and sass, and has some pretty strange ideas sometimes. She's so enthusiastic that sometimes I forget how shy she can be, and how much she loves her alone time, and just how many hugs she really requires.

  She's been listening while I've been teaching her sisters, and it's amazing sometimes just how quickly she picks things up- like memorizing a poem that her sister was working on, when it looked like she was totally engrossed in drawing! But she can also forget the name of something 20 times in as many minutes.

  Beckers and Foof are best frenemies, sometimes traipsing all around the house hand-in-hand while playing pretend, sometimes fighting like cats! But always giving each other the sweetest hugs and saying, "I'm sorry," when reprimanded.

  And oh, Beckers has such an imagination! She's always telling stories and playing pretend, and just generally dreaming up new things.

  She's a very active little girl, and loves to come up with new 'exercises' to show me. She taught herself how to do a headstand (against a wall, or very briefly in the middle of the room) this year, and it seems like she's upside-down every time I turn around!

  We just love this mischievous, adorable, wonderful, little girl!

  Beckers begged for a party this year, so we planned to meet some family at the park a few days after her birthday, and I was supposed to bring cupcakes, but I also wanted cake for her actual birthday. So I tried something new and made ice cream cake! It has three layers of homemade ice cream- chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla- on top of a chocolate cookie base (that I definitely overcooked and that was quite the job to saw through once frozen!) all covered with semisweet ganache, then decorated with swirls of whipped cream and chocolate-covered almonds.

  Beautiful and delicious!

  Although again, seriously difficult to cut! This was the prettiest slice I managed:

  I'll do something else for the crust next time, but will definitely make ice cream cake again. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by,