Friday, October 29, 2010

Technique - Printed Butterflies for ScrapBooking

I was walking down the amazing scrapbooking aisles of Ben Franklin Crafts (their scrapbooking selection is really pretty, but it comes with a price tag). And I came across these pop out butterflies with this unique print and ‘rhinestones’ that just made is so gorgeous. So like I said, pretty but comes with a price. They were selling 3 paper butterflies for $4 USD. ~jaw drops~ I’m sorry but I have to walk away because of the principle of it all.

Ok so we see the product, we steal the idea, and we make our own!

Paper - Start off with a sheet of Scrapbooking paper of ANY design you desire.  You can even make your own paper and stamp it, emboss it, cover it in sparkles, do whatever you want with it
Rhinestones – use whatever coloUr you want, you can replace it with different shapes, or items like beads, buttons, or other small trinkets
3D tape – puffy circles or squares that you can use to give dimension to your pieces. 
Punch – use any shape you like, a bow, or stars, or um oh I dunno.  I like the butterfly because you can create a crease down the middle to make it look like it’s flapping it’s wings

1.       Punch out the paper.
2.       Add any trinkets to the front
3.       Put the sticky 3d tape on the back
4.       Add it to your scrapbooks, cards, or whatever art you are working on.

Ok so maybe in the end the supplies here will cost you more than $4.  But that’s because you’ve got so much left overs to make a MILLION of these (if your hands don’t fall off by #839,524)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hogwarts at Night Watercolor

A full moon rises over Hogwarts castle, gleaming through menacing clouds in a darkened sky.

While learning to use watercolors in college I created this watercolor painting of Hogwarts Castle from Harry Potter.

One technique for painting landscapes is to take a picture or multiple pictures and then translate a combination of those images into a painting. In this case I found a picture of the castle from the movie online and used it as a reference. I did not trace the image, but I did sketch it in pencil first, then add the watercolors. I think it was a good learning experience.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Felt Flowers for your Hair

I've liked these hair clips I've seen at Fudego stores, but even thought they were only a few dollars, I knew I could make them for cheaper.

Reasons why this is better  
  1. Mine has more layers making it look even prettier
  2. Can't see the bobby pin on this version
  3. Great way to use up scrap fabrics can use the same material used as an outfit for a matching accessory

Materials:  Buttons, Felt, Bobby Pins

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chair Transformation

In my craft room I am trying to incorporate GREEN into the builder-beige palette so I figured that making a partial slipcover for sewing desk chair would be an easy way to bring green into the room without making a large, permanent commitment to the color.

Every once in a while I discover something fabulous in the remnants bin at the local JoAnn's. It's a great way to get a yard or less of expensive fabric for a big discount. The only catch is that you then have to figure out what to do with that small amount of fabric!

So I had this piece of green and white decorator fabric which was obviously too small to make a curtain out of. I could have made pillows out of it, though I would have had to pair it with another fabric to get more than one substantial pillow. However, I recalled one of those home improvement TV shows where the designer took a family's old dining set and made these little slipcases for the tops of the chairs to instantly update them and make them fresh and white. I decided I would try that project myself!

It took about 30 minutes to make my own slipcover for the chair in my crafting room. It probably would have been a lot faster if I didn't waste time figuring out how to do it, but once I figured it out it was really easy and I could have replicated it quickly if I had more chairs (and more fabric) to go through. This is definately something you could do in a batch to quickly transform your dining set, or just decorate an accent chair or desk chair like I did.

The"before" picture, from June 2010. The poor chair looks naked.
The "after" picture.
If I ever get bored with green I can make a new one in PINK or maybe ORANGE... whatever color is the new BLACK.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hello Kitty Bow

Yeah yeah, it's on the wrong side.
Yeah yeah, it's not red.

Who cares, it's PLUSHED!
Perfect for a Hello Kitty Cosplay.


Materials: Fabric, Stuffing, Hair barrette, Wig (optional)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dresser Facelift

This dresser has been in my family a very long time.

At one time it was painted a lovely turquoise color. I believe it was changed to purple for my sister's room about 25 years ago and my cousins never changed the color when they used it.

The "BEFORE" picture.

I believe it was my grandma's, then my mom's, my sister's, my cousins'... clothes have been stored in, babies have been changed on top of it... and now I have it!

But it could use a little sprucing up...

The "AFTER" picture.

I painted it a different shade of white to match the trim in my house, and also replaced the hardware. Gorgeous!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cosplay Week #5 - Lock, Shock, and Barrel

Another Halloween Costume.
I wanted to do something from one of my favorite movies, Nightmare Before Christmas.  But I dont like being the regular repeat so I like picking characters that are not the main characters yet are still reconizable.
So I decided to do Lock, Shock, and Barrel. 

  • Finding a third friend to join us
  • The characters look to easy to do, how to make it more impressive. 
  • That BathTub is awesome, too bad we can't make it, wait wait wait, maybe we can.

How to Make the Bath Tub
  1. Find the largest storage bin you can find with the box like shape of a tub
  2. Spray Paint it White
  3. Sparsly Spray Paint it Black to make it look dirty
  4. Saw out corners from the buttom for your legs
  5. Glue on a Faucet (purchased from your neighbour hood Hardware store
  6. Glue on a Crank on the back, actually We drilled a hole and put it in like a PinWheel Toy
Having a Teddy Bear as our third character was amazing for two reasons
Not having to cram a third person in AND Adding that awesome cutiness touch

Picture #2 & #3 that I found on the internet of us.

I'm usually really picky about accuracy and asthetics when it comes to cosplay, but this one was so conceptually halarious that it just made me freaking giddy.
Hope you enjoyed our Week of Cosplay! :)
Happy Halloween Everyone

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cosplay Week #4 - Empress Tomoyo from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle

So this cosplay comes from the year that Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle has already been out in Manga form for 2 years and was about to release the Anime.   Here is the shitajiki (a board that is placed under paper to create a smooth writing surface) that served as my inspiration.

I wanted to do this character because her outfit was so beautiful, but I didn't know what the coloUr schemes where, so I made a 'manga version' of this character

The headpiece looks fancy but I wasn't that hard to make.  I used a thicker stiffer craft foam to cut out the shape.  I bought a toy crown that had a comb in it to wear in my hair and glued it to the face of the crown.  Slip it onto my head and I had this perfect Empress Tomoyo headpiece.

Ok about the HeadPiece.  This costume is suppose to be of ancient China.  I've never seen a headpiece like this  . . . until I watch The Lion Roar (a Hong Kong Comedy) where the Chinese Princess (actress Fan Bing Bing) comes out with a very similar head piece.  So Wow I guess they did really wear these, ok to be picky I thinik I think Clamp did do some minor mistakes, but it's just a manga/cartoon and the artists aren't Chinese. 

I couldn't find a good full profile pic of her headgear since this character isn't a main character of the movie, but here's something

Anyways on to playing with the picture.

Let's turn it black and white

Add the background

And alter the size of the charater and add a moon.

What do you think? Looks similar to the original art.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cosplay Week #3 - Eowyn

What if Eowyn was brunette? HAWT.

I probably would have made a more convincing Arwyn, but I really love the white dress Eowyn wore in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

I made this costume back in college on a limited budget. It was my second movie costume and the first dress I ever made so I used purchased patterns to make the dress: Simplicity 9891 for the sleeves and McCalls 3861 for the dress train. I used a T-shirt as a guide to make the front/top of the dress and then trimmed the neck to a V shape.

For the fabric I went cheap and used polyester. Being a college student at the time I balked at the thought of purchasing 8-9 yards of wool! And while I had found the perfect wool at Hancock Fabrics, they only had 3-4 yards of it. I found this nice slightly off-white polyester of the similar weight and texture for only $2/yard at Walmart. I used a cheap polyester lining, too, of a cream color (you can tell the lining of the dress in the movie is darker in pictures of it billowing in the wind).

I found an awesome gold and white braid for all of the lining details around the neck and sleeves... and when I saw the movie again it looked like I used the EXACT same braid that they used! It's thin and flat, with a white squiggle over gold. The embroidered ribbon at the neck isn't the same embroidery as the original, but I came as close as I could... I don't have an embroidery machine and purchased trim is faster anyway.

For the sleeve lining I actually didn't find a good brocade or silky goldish-cream fabric, so I overlayed a gold tulle. It was hard to sew though! However, the awsome thing about this dress is that even though the bottom hem gets really dirty whenever I wear it, I can just throw it in the wash and it comes out perfectly clean and I don't even have to iron it! No trips to the drycleaners!

I love how the belt turned out. It's not perfect, mostly because I couldn't fit in all 21 of the round pieces so they're a little spread apart, but it took forever to put together and I got tons of compliments on it.

For the belt, I started with white cross-stitch canvas, which made it easy to place the beads. I sewed on a string of gold beads (from JoAnn's) with gold thread... by hand, counting the squares like cross-stitch in order to keep the design symmetrical and even over the whole belt.

For the circle pieces, I used wooden disks which I painted with silver acrylic paint. On top of each I glued a star of craft foam, painted silver, then I used silver wire in a circle around that and gold wire for the petal shapes, and gold beads attached with beading wire. The center piece is similar, except I used an orange juice can lid instead of the wooden rounds and foam stars, since the center round is bigger and more intricate. I made that one first. The center piece is attached to the top of the vertical drape piece, which loops over the around-the-waist belt piece and attaches to itself with velcro on the back. The around-the-waist belt piece is separate, fastening with a wide buckle in front, which is hidden by the hanging piece where it wraps over it.

I wore this costume to WesterCon, Comic-Con, and a local movie viewing, and it held up very well!

If I thought a long blonde wig would help I would wear one, but I look funny with blonde hair.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cosplay Week #2 - Nobel Scarlet from Ah My Goddess

I made this for my friend for Anime Evolution. This is the character we were insired after, Nobel Scarlet from Ah My Goddess. She is the angel for the Goddess Skuld.

My friend told me that she felt comfortable walking around in a bra. So I took advantage of her. WO HA HA HA

This outfit comes in 4 pieces.

  • a wig, would you believe me if i told you this was the easy part of the outfit?

  • wings, funny story is that she was responible for bringing wings, but she left them at home. So we made one quickly wich some poster paper in the shape of wings, and cut up fabric pieces as feathers. Than we drapped/glued them onto the wings so they hung and flittered in the wind.

  • clothing, so as you can see the character's clothing is rather odd shaped and lacking. I used a large piece of craft foam, cut out the shape, and used an iron to heat up and mold the curls as it cooled.

  • wind tunnel, probebly got about 20 yards of ripped strips of fabric which I sewed a loop hope into through the 20 yards and stringed a wire throughout the whole thing. Then using safety pins we pinned it all into a giant hurrican tunnel
    Here she's sitting on a ledge and tucked her toes into the tunnel so it looks like she's floating.  This sucked for the cosplay because after some movement she the safety pins would pop open and start scratching her legs.  All for the love of cosplay

  • Closer look at the wings


    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Cosplay Week #1 - Melissa Seraphy

    In the spirit of dressing up for Halloween I would like to introduce Cosplay Week.  This week we will be blogging about cosplay projects we have worked on.

    Old definition of Cosplay:  Dressing up as an anime (japanese cartoons), manga (japanese for comic book), or video character from primarily the Japanese culture
    New definition of Cosplay:  Dressing up as any characters or persona

    On to the project...

    What is Halloween without a the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown?
    I fell in love with this toy when I first saw it that I had to cosplay it. I didn't even know what it was originally from

    So the hardest thing to do is to create the pumpkin. I will admit this wasn't easy

    I got some foam (the egg shell foams for camping are cheaper to purchase than by the yard foam at the fabric store)

  • cut into it ovals (aka cat eyes)

  • spray painted with orange paint (this worked suprisingly well)

  • pinned the pieces together with binder clips (I learned in future projects that using industrial glue works well)

  • stripped in some fence wire vertically within the binder clips for structual integrity (worked well, but the ones that came lose began to scratch me)

  • turn the pumpkin into a jack-o-latern by cutting out eyes and mouth

  • you can see through the eyes and see the wiring and binder clips

    Because foam is soft, the top has a small opening for my waste to popout of, and the whole thing was able to rest on my hips.  It was a little heavy, but well worth it for the love of cosplay

    So the bottom has a small opening for my legs, because it was small and so low I couldn't walk normally and ended up shuffling around which apparently people find cute

    Little photo color editing and this is what you get.


    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Costume Progress - WoW Priest 0.3

    I spent all weekend working on the jacket.

    I do need to adjust the position of a couple of hooks on the front closure, but that's it! The jacket is done!

    Next up: the pauldrons a.k.a. shoulder-armor-thingies. And then I just need to do some detailing, then fix anything that could be done better (like the front of the belt).

    And then I need to make the [Staff of Infinite Mysteries].

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Product Review - EL Wire

    No, that's not a really long glowstick-necklace-thingy. It's a battery-operated glowing electroluminescent wire!

    EL wire = Electroluminescent wire. Like glow sticks, only better!
    This stuff is pretty awesome if you want to light up a costume or prop (TRON, anyone?). The wire can be cut, it doesn't get hot and it's flexible and movable and reusable.

    Hook it up to a little battery pack with a switch and imagine the possibilities!

    I picked up a white 10-foot set with the techno strobe switch (it has three settings: on, off, and strobe).
    The wire itself comes in lots of colors, can be cut to any length, and now there is even EL tape (like a wider tape strip instead of a wire).

    This stuff a little hard to find since it's a relatively new product on the market. Fortunately I found a guy in Seattle who sells it. He said he'll be at Norwescon next Spring too. It sounds like a lot of people are using this stuff for costumes (and Norwescon is all about the costumes).

    Check it out:

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    From Placemat to Handbag

    Placemat: Hello, I'm a pretty green-striped placemat and I am on clearance. You know you want to make something out of me!

    Vintage Ribbon: I am really bored just sitting in this box. Hey, that placemat over there has green stripes the same color as my embroidered flowers!

    Placemat: If you fold me over I look like a bag, whee!

    Bamboo Purse Handle: Can I join the party?


    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    WireFrame Wings

    Some Wings I made from a 3D modeling software called Rhino:

    I always love looking at the wireframe models, it's amazing what computers can do.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    Costume Progress - WoW Priest 0.2

    Project: World of Warcraft - Priest Tier 4 armor set from Karazhan

    Completion Goal: Halloween 2010

    The costume is coming right along nicely! To have a wearable costume ready by Halloween I just need to make the jacket (sleeves are already done!) and the pauldrons (the hard part!).

    So far the pieces I have done are:

    - helm (the big collar thing)
    - belt & hip armor
    - tunic (except for paint details)
    - skirt (except for paint details)
    - sleeves

    Hip armor and side panels on the skirt with painted detail.

    Belt with hip armor attached.

    Painted detail on the belt

    Sleeves for the jacket with painted details

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Willow on the Water

    I finished this painting on July 3, 2009. Then I gave it to my sister because she likes pink and green.

    It's a willow tree on the edge of a little green river with a forest on the opposite bank. I liked the pink accent color against the greens so I added some flowers. I liked how the forest looked even before I painted the willow on top of it; maybe I will do another painting sometime just of a forest.

    We raided Ulduar the night before, wiping for three hours while trying to kill Thorim on Hard Mode.

    I set up my little easel in front of my second monitor and painted while raiding. I was healing (look, it's Grid!) but I don't think I let anyone die. Raid leaders talk a LOT, which meant a LOT of downtime between boss fights while they discuss strategy... which meant a lot of time for painting!