Saturday, June 21, 2014

Curtains: A Fun, No-Sew Fix.


I have been working on a bunch of different projects but haven't completed most of them, 
so I went looking through the photos I have in my files and found this easy project I did to transform the curtains in my daughters' room.

The girls had picked out some very long sheer turquoise panels with embroidery and sequins on them.
We could only find four of them, and there are three windows in the room.
Knowing that they were only going to be for decorative purposes and not to be closed up at all,
I bought them and decided to cut them in half, with one extra curtain left to make a valance across the center of each 
(which did require sewing, but if valances had been available, this step could have been skipped).

I could tell that these were completely synthetic and the fabric would melt if heat was applied.

 The curtains were about 3 feet too long for the windows, so I cut the length to the windows.

Then I took what was left and cut strips in different widths from about 3 inches to 5 inches or so.

I took the strips and began to pinch them up to gather them, accordion style.

When the entire strip had been gathered up, I pinched it together.

 With some turquoise thread cut to about 10 inches long that I had thickened by folding it over on it itself about six times it's normal self, I tied the folded material in the middle.
(I wanted the long extra string so that I could tie them onto the curtains later.)

When this was knotted well, I pulled the folds out to create a poof.

 I continued creating poofs until I had used up all the left-over material, making about 60 poofs
(this is great to do while watching a movie with your husband, especially a war one.
I may be speaking from experience).

 To seal the edges of the poofs, I lit a candle and lightly held the edges over the flame until I could see they had begun to melt.

 The poof on the left has not had the edges melted.
The one on the right has been finished.

 Next, I cut 4 inch wide strips lengthwise into the sheers that were going to be used as the actual curtain panels 
 and then lightly sealed the edges of each strip over the candle flame.

(This made the curtains each have three hanging strips to each one.)

 (The hem of the panel could have been melted as well, but I chose to actually hem these up.)

I then tied the poofs at intervals on the different strips of the panel.

Toward the middle of the curtains, I tied two strips of the curtain together in one poof, and then below that toward the base, I tied the other with one of them into a poof, so that the curtain had more of a unified look instead of looking like strips.

This created a fun, fuller look for the girls room and added a bit of character to the panels.

Because everything was sealed with the candle flame or fastened tightly with knots for the poofs, these curtains will be washable on the gentle setting.

Adding artistic touches to the home is rewarding because it makes your home unique and special to you and your family and it is almost as fun as creating art it on paper...
almost. :)

(You can see more of the my daughters' room in my home tour  >HERE<).

Have you added any personal touches to your home lately?
I'd love to hear about them!

(If you have any questions, let me know.  Explaining this process was a challenge, but I hope it made sense).

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Art Lesson: Shading Water with Watercolors.


Today I am going to post a video I made a while ago and just never got it on the blog.
I was working with watercolors, a picture of a cat drinking from a pond
(it was actually something I was working on for a book I had written hoping to get published,
but have put that on the back burner for now while I am working on something more pressing).

The original picture of the cat had much more detail in the water of the sky and the trees overhead,
but I chose to just shade some of the ripples around the cat drinking and leave the rest whites and grays.

Here I will show you how I worked on shading the ripples.

 That is all I am going to share today.  I do hope to be back again really soon!

I hope this was helpful for somebody.
It is fun to work with watercolors and it seems that the more one works with them
the more confident and fun one can have with them.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Art Lesson: Drippy Watercolors

Hi there!

I decided it was time to get these pictures of the bee picture on here.

I wanted to do a bit of experimenting with letting the watercolors be bold, loose, drip down the canvas.

Here is one I loved of a butterfly from a shop on Etsy by Dean Crouser.

Also, the beautiful, colorful artwork of Slaveyka Aladjova which can viewed at her esty shop here:

(I think the lion, horse heads, cow, and rooster are my favorites.  FANTASTIC!)

I wanted so much to create a beautiful piece like these, so I used the bee sketch that I partially outlined with ink, took a picture of it,
and then printed up 4 or 5 copies of it onto cardstock paper to experiment before I completed the large canvas.

I started by using masking fluid on the areas I wanted to keep lighter or white.

On my first try, I was very careful and conservative and basically just painted without letting any of the paint get too drippy.

For the next image, I decided to brush water all over the areas I was about to paint,...

and add the paint right away, letting it drip and wash where it wanted.

(I am a bit embarrassed to show this image as I obviously got impatient and the masking fluid was not completely dry and it ran down the wet paint.
I knew this was just a rough run-through of experiments that I would be throwing away,
so I was not as patient as I would be with a real canvas

One cannot rush the masking fluid.
I wiped it up with a bit of paper towel.)

I followed the same wetting down of the paper procedure before I painted on some yellow.

For my next sample, I wet the page down, but used less water, so it would not be quite so loose.

I did the same with the light blue.

I painted the pink on the petals with a fine brush.

I finished with a bit more detail and some loose green for the stems and leaves,...

and then added more wet colors for the dripping effect.


For the other pages, I basically continued experimenting with putting down washes,
letting colors drip, putting on heavier colors where I wanted more detail.

(heavier paint on flowers)

(cleaner, more bold colors)

(more warm colors, blended colors)

It was a fun experiment and I am glad I did them on the cardstock instead of going right to the canvas.

When it came down to it, I did not like the results I had achieved with the dripping watercolors enough to go through with them on my canvas,
at least, maybe for this scene.
I loved the images the other artists have done with this, but I am not ready to frame my own attempts, so I chose to go with what I was comfortable with for my canvas:
copic markers.

Here is what I chose to do, partially finished...

and this is where I decided to stop.

I enjoyed the dripping watercolor method and hope to try it again.

Have you ever given the drippy watercolor method a try?

Here is a video I found very useful for explaining the technique.

Thanks for stopping by and have an excellent day!