Archive for November, 2013

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament9 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Learn to cut and sew a 3D 5 pointed star

This is a fun and easy project to make and with the Holiday season just around the corner is it a great time to make some of these stars. The stars are great made in wool felt as they have some substance and they will show as being nicely dimensional. You could also make them with fabric but I would starch and iron it or perhaps use something like Beacon’s Stiffen Stuff to make it nice and crisp.

You will need: paper, pencil, ruler, protractor or set square to make 60 degree angle, compass or large circular object, scissors, felt, needle and thread.

You can buy a protractor or set square at a stationary store or raid your kid’s math kit and borrow theirs. I bought an inexpensive kit on Amazon that has everything in it including a compass for drawing circles, a protractor for measuring angles and two set squares. It all packs into a small case and I use it a lot.

To begin draw a large circle. The outside of this is just a bit bigger than the finished star so, if you want a star about 3 inches across make your circle a little bit bigger – say 3.25 inches.

Draw a line across the circle exactly through the middle of the circle – this is the diameter. Now use the protractor or the set square to measure a 60 degree angle from the diameter on either side and draw two more lines across the circle so you divide it into six pieces.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament1 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Join up each of the points to the point that is 2 to its left and 2 to its right using a ruler. Then join up the lines inside the middle of the shape to end up with a drawn shape that looks like this:

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament2 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Cut out the six pointed star shape out of one piece of felt – yep! I know, we’re making a 5 pointed star but you need to cut 6 points to make it dimensional – trust me!

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament3 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

 

Before you remove the paper, crease the paper along the lines shown below and make one additional cut from between two points through to the middle of the star:

 

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament4 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Remove the paper and let’s work with it for now:

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament5 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Fold it so that the two pieces either side of the cut are positioned on top of each other. As you do this, push the middle of the star outwards so it looks dimensional. You will see it now looks like a 5 pointed star – tape or glue the paper into this shape. You can do the same with the felt piece only you will just pin the felt.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament6 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Place the paper star on top of a second sheet of plain paper and draw around it to make a pattern for the 5 pointed star.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament7 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Cut out the 5 pointed star shape from a second piece of felt. This will be the backing for the star and it will hold the shape firmly in place.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament8 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star

Pin the two star shapes together – the dimensional one and the flat one. I attached them together with blanket stitch but you can use whatever stitch you like. From here you can continue and decorate your star as you like.

make a 5 pointed dimensional felt star ornament9 Make a dimensional felt 5 pointed star
This overall concept of turning a 6 pointed flat star into a 5 pointed dimensional star can be used for other star shapes – you can turn a 5 pointed star into a dimensional 4 pointed star, or a 7 pointed star into a 6 pointed dimensional star. Enjoy!
Helen Bradley

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Monday, November 25th, 2013

Step by step how to draw a rabbit

step by step how to draw a rabbit Step by step how to draw a rabbit

See how to draw a rabbit step by step – no erasing!

One demand I have of my step by step drawing series is that you never have to erase anything. You might want to draw these shapes in pencil and go over them in pen but I want you to be able to just pick up a pen too and draw one with that. I don’t want you to have to erase any lines so I design the step by steps so that isn’t the case.

I also want to make the rabbits cute – of course – and repeatable. Once you’ve drawn a few rabbits you should be able to do it anytime – quickly and easily. And give them personality – big ears or not? Cute whiskers and a fluffy tail? Your choice!ears

For this rabbit, start with the head – it’s basically just an egg on the side not quite drawn to completion. Add an eye and nose and then add the ears – the front most ear fills the gap you left in the head. Then the front legs and the back and finally the finishing touches – whiskers and tail.

Once you’re happy with your rabbit, you’ll be ready to draw him in other positions – I’ll have a post showing my rabbits coming up soon.
Helen Bradley

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Thursday, November 21st, 2013

OMG Canva (for making simple graphics) is Awesome!

Designing with canva OMG Canva (for making simple graphics) is Awesome!

Get started with the new app Canva for designing cool images online for print and web

I signed up to be told when Canva launched about an age ago. Of course, by the time the invite came out I’d forgotten all about it. However, when reminded I clicked the big purple button and signed up and signed in.

The program is totally awesome. You choose the type of design you want to make – such as blog graphic, facebook cover, card, collage or you can create a custom size design. Then you get to choose a layout and the elements to use in it. Many of the things you will use are free and others are $1 which you only pay when you’re happy with the design and ready to publish it. You can also upload your own images as I did with the background here – but the text objects are all built in and they are really good looking and very easy to customize.

canva2 OMG Canva (for making simple graphics) is Awesome!

Canva’s designers have made a handy getting started guide and some mini challenges you can take which get you familiar with the program. It’s all run in a browser and its very fast, the designs are great and it is fun and easy.

What’s not to like about it? Well only one thing – the web images are downloaded as png and really, on the web, I still prefer to use jpg so they are 100% compatible with all browsers. So I’ve been opening the designs in a photo editor and resaving them as jpegs. It’s no biggie but it would be nice if the download was in this format.

Right now Canva is by invitation only. BUT – I have 4 invites left for friends. If you want to be my friend – email me at helen@helenbradley.com and I’ll send you one of my 4 remaining invites. However, when they are gone – they are gone!

 

 

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Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Recycled Clothing Tag Project continues

recycled clothing tags with images Recycled Clothing Tag Project continues

Take a look at the tags you pull off your new clothes – they’re full of creative goodness

For a while now a friend has been saving all their clothing tags for me and I, of course, save all those from our house. I also save tags from jars of stuff and other things we buy. I have a wonderful collection needless to say.

I’ve been using these tags in my crafts and, in particular, in my blog post series on recycling clothing price tags. In that series I’ve been doing everything from re-purposing them into woven earrings to painting them with chalkboard paint and a whole lot more.

Some tags, however, haven’t yet found their ideal home, so I wanted to share them with you today so you can see them in all their glory.

recycled clothing tags with images 2 Recycled Clothing Tag Project continues

Why not take a look at the tags you pull off your clothes and the other things you buy. Each of them is  potentially a tag for a scrapbook page, a card embellishment, an earring or whatever you dream up to use it for. And, by giving it a new life, you’ll be buying less ‘stuff’, keeping old tags out of landfill and making the world a better place. All that by saving one little tag!

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Friday, November 15th, 2013

Recycled clothing tag earrings with acetate images

recycled clothing tags earrings with acetate black 12 Recycled clothing tag earrings with acetate images

Create earrings with hand drawn images printed on acetate and recycled clothing tags

I’ve been on a bit of a kick using recycled clothing tags for all sorts of things. Today they are being used for earrings. I started out by painting the tags in black and then I printed some of my hand drawn house images onto acetate to use to decorate them. I use a laser printer and overhead transparencies to make my images but you can use an inkjet printer and inkjet transparencies if that’s what you have.

I flipped the acetate over and painted the houses on the back. This ensures that the outlines are on the front over the top of the paint.

Once the acetate was dry I placed it over the tags (paint side towards the tag), and punched the same hole in the acetate as I did in the tag. Then I added an eyelet to each tag. I used red to match the roofs of the houses. Once that was done I cut the acetate to match the size of the tag so it is neat all around.
recycled clothing tags earrings with acetate black 11 Recycled clothing tag earrings with acetate images

To finish off the project add a jump ring to each and an earring wire. I happened to have some left from another project that had been partially painted red – again they worked great for this project.

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Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Flying house

how to draw a flying house Flying house

Give a house wings and make it fly

I’ve been captivated by drawing houses lately and one of my favorite designs shows a tall house with one set of small windows and a door. I’ve done quite a few things with this design including making it into fabric at Spoonflower and making a pillow from it. I also used the design for a set of recycled earrings.

Today I gave it wings and made it fly! I uses some Zentangle style artwork on the mountains below the house, some of the trees I have drawn before and which I give away as brushes for Photoshop and added some fun clouds and a streamer of bunting fluttering below.

Right now I am ok with the basic look but I think the house will look better tilted slightly to suggest movement.  The wings I spent a bit of time researching to make sure I got the feel of how they should look. Everything was done in pencil to begin then inked and the pencil erased.

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, November 4th, 2013

How to draw a house on stilts

how to draw a house on stilts How to draw a house on stilts

See, step by step, how to draw a house on stilts

 

To draw a house on stilts it is best to start with a reference image and a grid. Using a grid ensures that the elements of the house will be upright so it doesn’t look like it is falling over – very important for tall buildings!

Pencil in the rough outline of the building from your reference drawing and using the grid as a guide. Don’t hesitate to use a ruler (or the edge of a business card!) to make the lines perfectly straight. If you’re penciling in the details perfection is great at this stage.

Then, when you are done, go over the design in ink and this time don’t use the ruler. The lines will get a nice handdrawn look but the basic structure will be sound and not crooked. Once the ink is dry go ahead and erase the lines.

 

 

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