Archive for December, 2014

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Drawing – Log Cabins

cabins Drawing   Log Cabins

Drawing Log Cabins and wood houses

So, most of the time my drawings are pretty clean and they aren’t textured.  However I found a few photos on the web of wooden houses that looked like they were from Norway or one of the Scandinavian countries. I fell in love with the look so I had a shot at sketching them. I left the windows unshaded but everywhere that there are planks of wood, I drew lines.

The plus here is that old wooden houses tend to be a bit warped and uneven so that’s the effect I’ve achieved here – an old rickety style wooden house. Basically the shapes are simple – particularly those below – but the texture really sets them apart from my standard drawing style.

It’s good to mix things up a bit. Until you try a style you won’t know if you like it and if it’s something you want to include in your skill set.

I’m thinking that these might be cute rendered as sketches in Photoshop too – there’s a skill involved in creating pattern fills that are organic like this so they look hand drawn. But, for now, here are some wooden houses for you to enjoy and, perhaps draw yourself too.

 

cabins2 Drawing   Log Cabins

 

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Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

cloud reverse applique embroidery 15 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

 

Learn to make a cute reverse applique embroidery

Reverse applique is simple to do and lots of fun. Instead of stitching your shape on top of the fabric you will place it below and cut out a hole to view it through. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1

Draw your design – I used a simple hand drawn cloud and rain drops design. Make sure it will fit comfortably inside the embroidery frame.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 01 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 2

Cut out your pattern and tack it to the front of your main piece of fabric. Place your second (applique) piece of fabric behind the first – if there is a right and wrong side of your fabric, make sure both right sides are facing the same way! I used felt so this wasn’t an issue. Stitch around the shape leaving about 1/4 inch between the pattern edge and your stitch lines. These stitches will show on the final piece so do them neatly. Stitch through your main and applique fabric. I used couching stitches to run a thicker thread around the shape but you could use back stitch or even stem stitch.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 02 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 3
cloud reverse applique embroidery 03 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 4

Embroider any other elements – I added some rain drops using detached chain stitch.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 04 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 5

Admire your work so far.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 05 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 6

Using the paper template as a guide, very carefully cut the template shape out of the top fabric without cutting through the applique fabric. Take your time to cut neatly and carefully.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 06 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 7

Make sure your piece will still fit comfortably inside your frame.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 07 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 8

Using a suitable thread – I used Clover Silk, stitch around the cut edge sewing the edge to the applique below. Use any appropriate stitch such as a hem stitch or even blanket stitch.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 08 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 9

I used Blanket Stitch.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 09 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 10

Flip the piece over and trim the applique fabric close to the edge of the design.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 10 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 11

Place the finished piece inside your frame.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 11 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 12

Trim the front fabric to around 3/4 inch all round.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 12 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 13

Run a loose running stitch around the edge and pull firmly on both ends to gather the excess fabric. Knot the thread to hold the gathers in place. Make a template for the back of the frame and cut a piece of felt to size using the template.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 13 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 14

Tack the felt to the fabric all around to finish the back of the embroidery neatly.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 14 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 15

All done!
cloud reverse applique embroidery 15 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

Step 16

Close up.
cloud reverse applique embroidery 16 Mini Reverse Applique and Embroidered Cloud

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Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Drawing – Balloon House

balloon house Drawing   Balloon House

Thoughts on how to draw a flying house

I’ve been working on this drawing for a while by drawing houses flying in the air. One problem I had was actually making this feel real. Well, real is a bit of a misnomer here because you don’t see houses flying around too much. But I wanted to give the drawing the feel of being a house actually flying around. The secret is to put the house on an angle so it looks like it is flying – after all, if a house were attached to a ballon that is moving it would be dragging a bit behind and so it would be hanging off its rope.

As soon as my house was at an angle, the entire drawing came together. Adding the washing line and washing was a stroke of genius – I have a total love of laundry in real life and in drawing too. The birds and clouds also reinforce the suggestion the house is on the move!

I finished off with some Tombow markers to add some color. The sky was done with lots of water to get a washed out look. I like the Tombow markers because I can use them full strength and also mix them with water so I can get a second ‘color’ into the drawing and only use one pen.

 

 

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Friday, December 12th, 2014

Mini Christmas Felt Embroidery

felt christmas holly embroidery applique felted Mini Christmas Felt Embroidery

Make this seasonal embroidery in just minutes

There is something to be said for personal gifts and I love to make things to give at Christmas. But when time is short it’s tempting to go out and buy something just because it is quick and easy. That’s why I love this project – it is simple and quick to make. In fact, once the holly is done, I can do the rest in a few minutes while watching a good movie after dinner!

To make this you will need a small embroidery frame – I get mine online – generally from Etsy and these are a tiny 3.5-4 inches tall and they are flexible so no screws. Inside them I use white or off white burlap – it’s inexpensive and much nicer that traditional embroidery fabric as it has a neat texture. Cut out the holly leaves  from green felt – if you use good wool felt the edges will stay nice and the whole thing is easier to sew. Make the holly berries using  a small amount of crimson felting wool and felt the wool into 3 balls. Mine look really plump in the photo but in reality they are flatter as that uses less wool and they sit better on the final piece. Using matching thread, sew the leaves to the burlap then attach the red berries. I finish off the back of my pieces with red felt cut to just smaller than the back of the embroidery. Trim the burlap to 3/4 inch all round, tuck it in and tack the felt over the top. It takes just minutes and it really makes the piece look much more professional.

So, there you have it – a simple holiday felt embroidery project.

felt christmas holly embroidery applique felted finishing technique Mini Christmas Felt Embroidery

 

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Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

How to Draw a Deck Chair in 6 Steps

deck chair 6 steps How to Draw a Deck Chair in 6 Steps

Learn to draw a deck chair in 6 easy steps

In this latest installment of my step by step how to draw series you will learn how to draw a deck chair – in 6 easy steps. This was one of the hardest step by steps I have designed as there is just so much going on behind the seat of the chair!

Like all my step by steps, I design them so they don’t have any lines in them which get erased – so you can draw them with ink on paper direct and you don’t have to sketch them first.

When you are drawing this, I suggest you do the first few in pencil and ink them after – it’s a bit tricky to get the lines right so they look correct and that chair seat isn’t easy to make nice and loopy and still leave room for the chair hardware to appear behind it. I hope you enjoy this drawing design!

 

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Friday, December 5th, 2014

Drawing – Hill Houses

hillhouses Drawing   Hill Houses

Doodling hill houses

Just one tiny, fanciful step beyond drawing row houses is stacking the houses up a hill. Drawing hill houses gives your doodles more dimension and opens up wonderful opportunities to add ladders and steps and antennae and lights. Stick to your basic house shape and add a few similar designs – keeping the overall style homogenous.

I love to add lights and ladders – it doesn’t matter that there are no doors to join them to – this is doodling at its most fun.

 

 

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