Monday, March 27, 2017

a little bit odd thing to do ....

 Of course, painting sticks isn't a new decorating idea at all-but I've liked it whenever I see it in magazines. I like sticks!
Gather some dried ones with no bark. You don't want critters of the 6 or 8 legged kind in your house. They live under the bark sometimes.
 I didn't bother to prime the wood-it didn't matter to me if it took a few coats-but I found one coat using craft paint worked great. You have to wait for one color to dry before painting another. The paint will dry fast on very dry wood.
 I tried more than 3 colors and found I really didn't like it. Seemed to detract from the effect I wanted-which was kind of understated. But by all means-get crazy if that's how you feel!!!
I chose black, gray and white.
Then I sanded them after a day of letting the paint dry. I used fine grit sand paper so a lot of wood wouldn't be taken off.
I have no idea what I'll do with them yet-but I like them!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

three more coloring pages

These are for your own non-commercial use-not to be reproduced in any form.
They are copyrighted works-do not use for any other purpose.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Simon Says-A new feature on this blog...stay tuned!

Coming soon:
A new feature here at Monnie bean-
once a month I'll show an artist's work and interview them.
It will be fun!

Monday, March 20, 2017

You won't want to read this unless you want to make a canned Owl.....

 Find a nice glass jar with a lid. Clean it and remove all gunk from the label. Make your own label. Select wool (preferably) or fabrics of your choice. Set aside. Select eyes (I've used doll eyes).
 I wanted 'grass' for the owl to sit on, so I put the jar on top of some green wool and used a Sharpie pen to lightly trace around the jar bottom. Cut out wool circle. I used 'Tacky Glue' to glue the wool to the inside bottom of jar. Draw a ring of glue on the wool about 3/4 inch from the outer edge of the circle. Carefully insert the glued piece-glue side down of course-into the jar and press it carefully to the jar bottom-carefully so the glue won't seep up around the edges. Don't use a lot of glue. Set the jar aside for an hour or so-then you'll do your next step-make your own pattern for the owl.
 With the fabric you've chosen for the owl body laying on the table, lay the jar on its side on one edge of the fabric.
 Roll the fabric over the jar until there's about 1&1/2 inches between fabric edges.
 Cut off so the fabric goes to the top of the jar and to the bottom. This piece will be the owl's body.
 Place raw edges of the fabric together and hand sew seam (if using wool), or machine stitch if using lighter fabric. I used a backstitch because the wool was very heavy. You don't want this seam to bulge or bust-so make sure it's securely sewn.
 Hand press the seam so it doesn't puff. Turn to right side.
 To make the pattern for the owl top and bottom, use the lid of the jar. Trace around the lid with the Sharpie pen and cut fabric.
 Then use that piece for the pattern of the other end of the owl and cut.
 Turn wrong side out again. Start at the owl body seam and put the edge of the owl top against it and start pinning all around the edges. You may have a little extra fabric on the top piece-ease it to fit by adjusting the pins all around. If using lightweight fabric, hand sew around the top about 1/2 inch from the outer edge in very loose stitches. Pull the seam at the end of your stitches so it will pucker until it fits the top. Then you can pin it-right sides together-to the body-then sew a firm backstitch all around the top edges.

 You will sew the bottom later. Lay the piece like shown below. The seam is in the middle of the back. Now you will make wings and place the eyes.
 Owls have round pupils. I wanted to use yellow eyes but I didn't have any that had round pupils-so I chose some blue eyes. There are owls with blue-gray eyes in the Philippines.
 To insert eyes-turn piece over to front (seam in middle back). I want to have some circles under the eyes, so I cut them at this point.
 Cut a slit a little bigger than the eye stem into the circles and the owl body. I used sharp scissors-one blade of them-and cut both pieces at the same time.
 Push the eye holder down firmly so the eye won't come out.
 For eye lids, cut two circles a little larger than the eyes-then cut these in half.
 Place one on top of eye-sew.
 Do the same with the bottom lid.
 If you like-sew around the edge of the eye-circle.
 I prefer stitching to be on the prim side instead of extremely neat-but you must follow your own taste here.
 He's starting to have a personality! But he needs a beak. Cut beak shape and sew on under eyes. Use embroidery thread if you like.
 I tried shaping the beak as I was sewing so it would look 3-D. Somehow I managed to cut my finger with the scissors at this point. Don't do that! It hurts!
 Wings :cut a circle about the width of the owl's face. Cut the circle in half. You have 2 wings now.
 Pin the wings and sew to the body. If you like, embroider simple feather lines before sewing the wings to the body.
 My owl looks sleepy, so I placed his wings on an angle like he's using them to be comfy. Sew around wing edges to owl body. Note-I sewed the curved edge first, then filled the wing 'pocket' with wool scraps to make it 3-D, then sewed the straight edge of the wing to the body. He's starting to look really cute!
 Cut feet. Cut 2 squares, judging from the owl's size. Cut 2 triangles into one end of the squares for the toes. Set aside.
 If there's any embellishments you want to put on the owl-do it at this point. The next step is turning the owl inside out and sewing his bottom on, just like you did for his top-ONLY-leave a good sized opening-about 2 or 3 inches-so you can turn it right side out again and stuff with fiberfill or fabric scraps. Leave the opening in the back. See- my edges are not perfect, but I'm careful to get both edges as I sew.
 Turn right side out. The wool is heavy, so he stands on his own, but I'll stuff him. Right now, I need to cut a tail.
 Cut a fat square and cut slits into one side. Set aside.

 Stuff the owl with fiberfill. Sew up opening. I will sew his tail over the sewn up back opening.
 Done sewing tail...
 Sew on feet.
 He's done! Stuff owl in jar (only after glued on disc in bottom of jar is dry). Put lid on top. You could make a label for the jar lid with a list of ingredients!

This pattern can be used for your own non-commercial use only.
It is copyrighted 2017 Debra Smith
and may not be reproduced.
Please respect my work!
Thank you-and do enjoy!
PS I HATE being so stern-but it's necessary.
If you make this owl, put your email in a comment (won't be published), and you could send me pictures that I will post here, with a link to you if you like.
***I love owls!!!***

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Four coloring pages

 If you print the birds out on lighter weight watercolor paper, you can cut them out and hang them. These are prototypes I did for a Stampington Magazine Coloring Studio submission. Artist Colette Copeland turned my birds into a complete project. A Bird in the Hand
 I drew quite a few that I never submitted, but some of these I did submit and they were rejected. I just can't remember now which ones I submitted! I like this one with the flowers and bees, except I'm not sure the bumble bees can be identified as bees! They seem more like BLIMPS! It makes me laugh to see my art when it doesn't quite work out-and at the time, I didn't see it! It's good to set your work aside sometimes, and then go back-you can see differently.
 I don't think I submitted this one, above. My mom loves it. Of course, the folds in her pantaloons are not done right. That's an area I need to practice. I am very rusty at figure drawing, even though I have some hours logged in trying it with live models. There is very much to be gained in this practice, even if you aren't serious about having figures in your art. It's discipline-it's work-but it will help the rest of your art. I'm preaching to myself here!
I wanted to share these drawing because they are gathering dust in my studio. It makes me happy to think someone may actually want to color them....
I know they are awkward-but done with love....
Enjoy fully for your own use.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

birds & birds & birds

 Watercolor is so different and almost random, with a mind of its own-it has rules that acrylics don't follow. Learning the language of watercolor is exciting though. I've been playing with it and having fun.
'Bird With Big Wings' is actually scared of everything and puffs up at the slightest thing different. He puffs his chest and puffs his wings. He was scared of me the whole time I was painting him. hawhaw
 Making watercolor disks to hang on a string. I plan to send them to a friend. They will be on one long string.
 It finally stopped snowing, but more is forecast for the weekend-but not like the 10 or 11 inches we just got! I did a lot of shoveling. Finally got the geese outside today, as it was way too cold and too much snow for them earlier. I shoveled paths for them in their outside pen, but mostly they are laying with their beaks tucked.
We have lots of birds to watch.
 I think that woodie was watching me!
Stay warm...I am off to the studio with a bit of chocolate. Hope to find some of those Alaska/man vs nature shows to watch while I fiddle with more watercoloring....
Spring is just around the corner!