Art I Liked This Week – Topic: Retro

Retro Backpacks

This week I was looking for a new laptop backpack and in the process discovered some fun retro themed ones. This send me down the rabbit hole of retro designs. Especially as summer is starting now, these have such a nice happy warm vibe!

Which of them do you like the most? Do you like retro designs as well?

Colorful Retro Stripes - 70s, 80s Abstract Design by PELAXY
Colorful Retro Stripes – 70s, 80s Abstract Design by PELAXY
VHS by HOLLIS BROWN THORNTON
VHS by HOLLIS BROWN THORNTON
The ocean, the sea, the wave by Picomodi
The ocean, the sea, the wave by Picomodi
TIKI On The Beach by Little Bunny Sunshine
TIKI On The Beach by Little Bunny Sunshine
Something Nostalgic - black and white by Päivi Vikström
Something Nostalgic – black and white by Päivi Vikström
Palm Leaves by Find a Gift Now
Palm Leaves by Find a Gift Now
Retro 70s Sunrays by Alisa Galitsyna
Retro 70s Sunrays by Alisa Galitsyna
Nerrivik by AlphaOmega
Nerrivik by AlphaOmega

Art I Liked This Week – Topic: Lilacs

Lilacs Art I Liked

Fitting to the current blooming of lilacs everywhere, I wanted to share some art I found and liked this week. Isn’t lilac so pretty and smells fantastic?

A Curious Jar by Autumn Linde
A Curious Jar by Autumn Linde

 

Fantasy Irises by CatyArte
Fantasy Irises by CatyArte

 

"Must Love Dogs" by Eat, Paint, Love. Pattiann Withapea
“Must Love Dogs” by Eat, Paint, Love. Pattiann Withapea

 

Bold Color Lilacs by Constance Festo Lafond
Bold Color Lilacs by Constance Festo Lafond

 

lilacs in a vase by OLHADARCHUK ART
lilacs in a vase by OLHADARCHUK ART

 

MINT & LILAC 2 by Love Design Studio
MINT & LILAC 2 by Love Design Studio

 

Ice cream with lilac by Kodamorkovkart
Ice cream with lilac by Kodamorkovkart

 

Lilac by Sara Tepes
Lilac by Sara Tepes

 

Bold Color Lilacs by Constance Festo Lafond
Bold Color Lilacs by Constance Festo Lafond

#Mermay Recap and Summer Dreams

MerMay 2018

Yes, it is June, and yes, I did participate in Mermay – if only a little  🙂

I have a few things brewing, including some crafting for the babe, gardening and reviving habit plans. But the main focus is still my art, if we are talking creative activities. Of course spending time with my family and caring for my little one always comes first – at least for me.

It is almost summer now, and sure feels like it with many warm days and even some water fun for the babe already.

This weather puts me in the mood to paint summer and travel related things. I have couple topics I want to explore:

  1. Fernweh:
    I love travel. I have done a lot of travel and will do more in the future. But I also know that I cannot go everywhere I want to. At least not right now, and maybe never. But I always love to dream and look at pictures of other people’s travels. So I want to paint all this under the Fernweh topic. Fernweh is a German word and means the longing for a far away place.
  2. Childhood Memories:
    Today I was reminded of a wonderful summer childhood memory of mine by an Instagram post of a friend. This gave me the idea to paint my own childhood memories. Little stories. I may make them as paintings or as little comic strips. I kind of envision them like illustrations to a children’s book. This topic is not strictly summer related, although I have a lot of nice summer memories that I could start with and work my way through the season.

But I know, I know, I need to find some sort of routine to make time for the art. I have been struggling with that. One of my biggest weaknesses is that I am interested in too many things, and have not been able to say no to myself. I want to simplify my life and that means I need to let go of some things I want to do, at least for the time being. And this is a big reason I am trying to get back to habit plans.

But more about that in a future post. As a closer, here my Mermay pieces:

MerMay 1 - My cup of tea
MerMay 1 – My cup of tea
MerMay 2 - Sea Cuties
MerMay 2 – Sea Cuties
MerMay 3 - The fox and the siren
MerMay 3 – The fox and the siren
MerMay 4 - Rebel Mermaid
MerMay 4 – Rebel Mermaid
MerMay 5 - Frida de Mayo
MerMay 5 – Frida de Mayo
Mermay 6 - Gala of the Ocean
Mermay 6 – Gala of the Ocean

Easter Eggs: Water Color & Coloring With Food (Mini Tutorials)

Eggs dyeing in natural color . Clockwise from the top right we have turmeric (yellow), red wine (purple-ish), onion skin (brick red), another turmeric, blue berry (dark blue), and last and kind of least: paprika powder.

This year Easter will be on April Fool’s Day, but it’s no joke how fast it came up again. So fast that I didn’t have time to color any eggs yet this year.

I just finished my Easter decorations, even. I usually have some branches with budding leaves in a vase and hang some emptied and painted Easter eggs. Then over a few days the leaves will come out because of the warmth of the room, and these tiny bright green leaves will look adorable. I am unsure if the leaves will come out by Sunday. We will see.

My Easter Decoration
My Easter Decoration

The eggs are painted with watercolor paint. I have hollowed them, so I can use them again each year. I even have 6 more blank eggs to paint, maybe next year. To hollow them you just need to take a raw egg, make a hole in each end and then blow really hard into the top hole. The raw egg white and yolk will come out the other hole. It takes a little afford to do. You will need to blow hard. Once empty, I wash them with water and dish soap, making sure to get some soapy water into the egg, swirling it around to get the inside clean, and then blowing out the water through the hole. Then I repeat just with water a couple times to get all the soap out. After having dried completely, the eggs are ready to be painted. I chose a design with butterflies on a yellow background and a bunny in the meadow design for mine. Perfectly spring and Easter themed.

Easter eggs painted with watercolor and design with butterflies on a yellow background
Easter eggs painted with watercolor and design with butterflies on a yellow background
Easter eggs painted with watercolors and a bunny in the meadow design
Easter eggs painted with watercolors and a bunny in the meadow design

To be able to hang them I used a tooth pick, tied some magic thread on it (clear jewelry thread) and made a loop. I inserted the toothpick into the top hole. It will turn sideways and not slide out of the hole again. Voila, a cute Easter ornament.

In addition, I usually decorate some hard boiled eggs just for that year. I have done just plain colors from the store, painted like a galaxy and some natural coloring with food items and spices. I love the ones colored with food items and had great success in the past. Below a little tutorial on that.  I have used 5 different “colors”.

Recipes for the Natural Colors

  1. Onion skin (brick red): 1 cup yellow onion skins per cup of water. Boil in a sauce pan for 30 min. Remove peels.
  2. Red wine (sparkly purple): Just the wine
  3. Blueberry (dark blue): Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries with 1 cup water, bring to room temperature, and remove blueberries. Squeeze out the berries.
  4. Turmeric (yellow): Mix 2 tablespoons ground turmeric per cup of water.
  5. Paprika Powder (light red):  Mix 2 tablespoons ground paprika per cup of water.

I filled the coloring water into jars, added vinegar (1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of color), and added white hard boiled eggs.

Eggs dyeing in natural color (from left to right: Onion skin, red wine, blueberry juice, 2 x turmeric and paprika powder)
From left to right: Onion skin, red wine, blueberry juice, 2 x turmeric and paprika powder.

I let them sit in there overnight, stirring occasionally. I was really happy about the results. However, the onion skin and the paprika powder turned out surprising, I expected the opposite results.

The red wine one turned out really interesting. There were tiny sparkling crystals all over it. I wonder what caused that. Here are some pictures of the result. Aren’t they fascinating?

Eggs dyeing in natural color . Clockwise from the top right we have turmeric (yellow), red wine (purple-ish), onion skin (brick red), another turmeric, blue berry (dark blue), and last and kind of least: paprika powder.
Clockwise from the top right we have turmeric (yellow), red wine (purple-ish), onion skin (brick red), another turmeric, blue berry (dark blue), and last and kind of least: paprika powder.
Egg colored with red wine has little sparkly crystals all over.
Egg colored with red wine has little sparkly crystals all over.

What do you usually do for Easter decoration?

Easter Finger Puppets and Basket – Crochet Pattern

Easter is coming up so early this year, and reading a few posts about Easter gifts for children, it hit me: my baby is old enough for her own first Easter basket. Whaaa?

She is now 13 months, so there won’t be candy in the basket yet, but I have ordered a few cute toys to add. I found these Easter egg shaped shakers that are perfect, as she loves making noises. I also could not help myself ordering a fun bunny board book with sensory parts to feel and explore. Unfortunately, the book has not yet arrived.

Crafty me obviously had to make part of this basket myself. I made the basket with a waffle crochet stitch.

The part I enjoyed making the most, probably because I came up with the pattern myself, are little Easter themed finger puppets. There is a chicken, a lamb and a bunny. Although the lamb looks more like a dog, probably due to how I embroidered the face. Embroidery is not my strong suit 😀

Because this is for a 13 month old, I didn’t want to use Easter grass, and instead used some left over green tulle from a skirt project.

Find the pattern for the basket and finger puppets below the pictures.

Crochet Easter basket with crochet finger puppets and egg shakers
Crochet Easter basket with crochet finger puppets and egg shakers
Crochet Easter finger puppets: Bunny, Chick, and Lamb
Crochet Easter finger puppets: Bunny, Chick, and Lamb
Crochet Easter finger puppets: Lamb, Bunny, and Chick
Crochet Easter finger puppets: Lamb, Bunny, and Chick
Easter egg shaped shakers
Easter egg shaped shakers
Easter egg shaped shakers
Easter egg shaped shakers
Crochet Easter basket with tulle for grass
Crochet Easter basket with tulle for grass
Crochet Easter basket
Crochet Easter basket

Materials

  • Worsted weight yarn in brown,  yellow, and white
    You need about a skein for the basket and just a little for each puppet. For the lamb I used fluffy yarn
  • Bigger hook: crochet hook US size I – 5.5 mm for the basket
  • Smaller hook: crochet hook US size G – 4.25 mm for the puppets
  • Different colors embroidery floss for the faces of the finger puppets (I used black, brown, and orange)

Pattern

Finger Puppets

Body

In the color of whichever animal you are making this for, and with smaller hook.

Row 1: 6 sc into a magic ring. sl into the first stitch to form a circle (6 st)

Row 2: 2 sc into each st (12 st)

Row 3 – 12: sc into each st (12 st)

Fasten off and weave in end.

Ears for the bunny

In brown, and with smaller hook. Make 2.

Row 1: chain 3

Row 2: sc in 2nd ch from hook and following (2 st)

Row 3:  ch 1, turn, sc in each st (2 st)

Row 4: 2 ch 1, turn, 2 sc in first st, sc in next st (3 st)

Row 5: ch 1, turn, sc in each st (3 st)

Row 6: ch 1, turn, sc3tog (1 st)

Fasten off and weave in end.

Sew to the top of the bunny body.

Embroider a face.

Ears for the lamb

In white, and with smaller hook. Make 2.

Row 1: chain 3

Row 2: sc in 2nd ch from hook and following (2 st)

Row 3:  ch 1, turn, sc in each st (2 st)

 

Fasten off and weave in end.

Sew to the top of the lamb body.

Embroider a face.

Wings for the chick

In yellow, and with smaller hook. Make 2.

Row 1: chain 4

Row 2: sc in 2nd ch from hook and following (3 st)

Row 3 – 4:  ch 1, turn, sc in each st (3 st)

Row 5: ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc in next st (2 st)

Row 6: ch 1, turn, sctog2 (1 st)

Fasten off and weave in end.

Sew to the sides of the chick body.

Embroider a face.

Easter Basket

Special Stitch – V shape for the waffle pattern

FPtrVstitch:

  • double crochet (dc) in the next stitch but do not pull through the last two loops (2 loops on hook)
  • front post treble crochet (FPtc) around the front post of the dc two stitches back and in row below, but so not finish the tc (3 loops on hook)
  • FPtc around the front post of the dc two stitches ahead in the row below. Finish FPtc by pulling though all remaining loops (4 loops) on the hook

Basket

In brown and with bigger hook.

Row 1: 6 sc into a magic ring. sl into the first stitch to form a circle (6 st)

Row 2:  2 sc into each st (12 st)

Row 3: *sc into one st, 2 sc into next st* repeat from * 6 times (18 st)

Row 4: *sc into 2 st, 2 sc into next st* repeat from * 6 times (24 st)

Row 5: *sc into 3 st, 2 sc into next st* repeat from * 6 times (30 st)

Row 6: *sc into 4 st, 2 sc into next st* repeat from * 6 times (36 st)

Row 7: *sc into 5 st, 2 sc into next st* repeat from * 6 times (42 st)

Row 8: *sc into 6 st, 2 sc into next st* repeat from * 6 times (48 st)

Row 9: *sc into 7 st, 2 sc into next st* repeat from * 6 times (54 st)

Row 10: *sc into 8 st, 2 sc into next st* repeat from * 6 times (60 st)

Row 11: ch 2 (counts as dc from here on), with right side facing, into the back loops only, dc into the next and each following st, sl to chain (60 st)

Row 12:  ch 2, dc in next 2 st, *FPtrVstitch in next st, dc in next 3 st* repeat 9 times from *, FPtrVstitch, sl into chain (60 st)

Row 13:  FPtrVstitch (do a ch 2 instead of the dc in the FPtrVstitch) , dc in next 3 st, *FPtrVstitch in next st, dc in next 3 st* repeat 9 times from *, sl into chain (60 st)

Row 14: repeat row 12

Row 15: repeat row 13

If you want to the basket to be taller you can continue alternating row 12 and 13.

Fasten off and weave in end.

Handle

Row 1: chain 35

Row  2: sc in 2nd ch from hook and all following ch (34 st)

Row 2 sc in each st (34 st)

Fasten off and weave in end.

Sew onto the top of the basket.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. I hope you enjoyed and I would love to hear if you made this basket or these finger puppets <3

A Wolf A Day – Update

In a recent post, I mentioned my new project to create a fan art comic about a wolf from the video game The Long Dark. To practice drawing wolves, I have started drawing a wolf a day.

I have been able to do this most days and posting them to Patreon, Instagram and Twitter, but sometimes there is just not enough time. This leads me into another post I am working on, regarding habits. I have posted about this before, but it has all gotten unorganized again due to having a baby, which changed everything 🙂

Below is my update for the first week of wolf sketches. I am thinking I will add future weeks to show progress.

Jump to:

Week 1

I was able to get a sketch in the majority of the days. I believe I am getting the hang of it, finding a consistent way of drawing these. You can see this in number 5 and 6, I think. However, I also feel that one wolf per day is not really enough practice. I may end up doing them on a bigger sketchbook, and doing multiple a day. Then I can pick the one I like most each day for my “A wolf a day” hashtag.

A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 1
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 1
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 2
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 2
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 3
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 3
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 4
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 4
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 5
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 5
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 6
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 6

Week 2

I started drawing my sketches on a bigger sketch book but only managed to do 4 new sketches this week.
This week was just really crazy at work, which left me less time after.
But here they are. Next week I’m back to full body sketches, I think.

A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 7
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 7
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 8
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 8
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 9
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 9
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 10
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 10

Week 3

This week I have been slacking on the sketching, because I got into some sewing and crocheting. I made a dress and some crocheted Mary Janes for my baby. I did get a few sketches done though. The next step is to get a water color intro page for the comic, but it is yet a little intimidating. Here the 3 new sketches:

A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 11
A Wolf A Day – sketch # 11
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 12
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 12
A Wolf A Day - Sketch # 13
A Wolf A Day – Sketch # 13

Baby Tights DIY – Repurpose

This morning was such a nice morning. I heard different birds chirping, saw a little bunny in the melting snow, and had enough time for a relaxed breakfast and coffee. So I got some writing done. This is what I had planned all month, but each day there was something that sucked all the time away. Usually, I just got stuck social media browsing.  The worst!

Recently I have been tackling a few crafty sewing projects that I had been laying around. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is still more than a lifetime worth of craft project backlog, but I am starting to chip away at it.

I am doing some sewing projects for the baby. I have to do them via hand sewing though, because they have to be able to be done in the nursery, watching the little one play in a safe environment. The living room has become a hazard again, as she is now a master climber *sigh*. We cannot wait for the Pikler Triangle that my husband is building to be done. If you do not know what a Pikler Triangle is, check out this one on Amazon:

Pikler Triangle / Children’s Wooden Climbing Structure / Great for Montessori Toddler Classroom or Household (Foldable – 35″H x 26″W x 4″D made w/ Pine and Cherry)

We have decided to make one ourselves, which is turning into quite a project and will not look nearly as good LOL.

Anyways, when I have to be in the babies room for crafts, I seem to be most successful, aka drawing the least attention, with hand sewing. I tried drawing, but she wants my pencil and paper within seconds. So hand sewing it is. I am currently working on a dress as well as a onesie re-purposed from a shirt. But I have recently finished some baby tights from a gray sweat shirt of my husband that he no longer wears. Baby tights are pretty easy. I also made my own pattern from another pair of tights. I am writing below how I did it and also have some pictures for you.

Materials

  1. A pair of currently fitting baby tights
  2. A very stretchy fabric (e.g. from old leggings, thin sweaters etc.)
  3. Thread
  4. Something to draw your pattern on and with 🙂
  5. About 1 foot of elastic for the waist band (measure the width of the pattern tights)

Instructions

  1. Lay your tights flat on top of the pattern paper, or if clear then below. I used clear construction paper so I put the tights underneath
  2. Trace along the seams, flip and repeat
  3. Add seam allowance to each pattern piece. I did this on the fabric.
  4. Lay out your fabric and trace around the pattern. If you haven’t added the seam allowance to your pattern, add it now on the fabric. Be mindful of the fabrics bias, but it should be pretty stretchy in both directions.
  5. Sew side seams
  6. Fold over upper edge and sew leaving a small opening to insert the elastic
  7. Insert elastic in top seam and pull through. sew together both sides of the elastic, then close the hole in the waistband seam.

Pictures

Here are the pictures to the process, with a little mistake that I had to correct along the way 😀

Baby Tights Pattern
Pattern traced from existing baby tights
tracing tights pattern
Tracing the pattern onto the fabric
Cut Pattern Pieces
Seam allowance added and pattern pieces cut
Rounded Tights Foot
Noticed that I could not have a heel and toe on my pattern, or the seam would be right under the foot and uncomfortable. So I rounded the foot.
Baby Tights Front
Front view of finished baby tights
Baby Tights Back
Back view of finished baby tights