Saturday, June 30, 2012

Drawing with a Wacom Tablet

I forgot to post this! It's been hanging out as a draft since 2011. Enjoy!

Drawing digital art in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet takes practice. First you have to calibrate your pen settings, then you have to learn how to draw all over again. And then you have to learn how to use Photoshop. It is so hard to get smooth lines! But practice makes perfect, right? So I'm practicing...

I made this drawing of my husband's Night Elf Druid character in the World of Warcraft. It started out as a pencil sketch, then I scanned it into my laptop, hooked up my Wacom tablet and started inking, digitally.

Then I started coloring... yeah. I'm no Mike Krahulik, that's for sure. But I think it still looks kinda cool.

If you recall my previous post about sketching, this was the pencil sketch I started with.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Making Foam Wings Part II

Part II, for those who were here earlier this week, I showed you how to make foam wings. 

You can stop there, but I'm going to show you the little extra effort I did to make it beyond awesome.

sorry for the bad quality image

Because I used a thick base for the feather, you can see the surface when you look at the wings from the.  It's like when you see the back side of a movie prop, sometimes it destroys your image of the magic.

So we go ahead and cover it up!.  I've made tiny feathers to shove in the gap between the front and back panel, and I add them up the spine of the wing.

Now how to wear?  I used two allegator clips on the back of the wing

These allegator clips are so strong that by clipping them on some pinched fabric of my jacket they stay on.  I put a set on each wing so it allows me to move the wings closer or farther apart from each other.   Unlike all those costume wings you buy at the store, these don't have to be attached at a seam in the middle, and frankly, what bird have you ever seen who's wings on the left and right are attached from a single point?

hope you enjoyed this tutorial

Monday, June 25, 2012

Making Foam Wings Part I

I've made wings in the past, but this time I wanted to make feather wings, but I didn't want to deal with real feathers.  So this is how to make Foam Wings.

please bare with the bad quality pictures.

as you can see here I've started with the base "meat" structure of the wing.  It's going to be much smaller than the end because feathers are attached by the tip only.  I'm using thicker sheets of foam for the base.

The basic shape of the feathers (yes it's not accurate to a real feather with a stem, but who cares since that part will be covered up) will be a long pointed ovals.  Here are two styles.
1) right:  is smooth, and will give a clean cartoony look
2)left:  more realistic,  gives more of the fluffy look (additional steps to come).  This one is more time consuming but if you want more realistic than you want this one.

using the powers of your figers, start ruffling the broken ends.  You want things to be uneven to be more realistic.

You are going to need a lot of these, and of varies sizes.  But keep them organized because you will need to place them in a patter

start with the longer feathers at the bottom.  The feathers near the center should point down, and as you move to the outer edge begin rotating them to point out slightly

as you continue up, start using smaller and smaller size feathers.  also rotate your feathers a little so they aren't all parallel, but sprawled out a little.  gives it a more organic feel

once you reach the top you can create one single curved feather that follows the ridge of your frame.  use it to hide the tops of the remaining feathers.

Yay for awesome looking wing made from foam.

you can stop here, but wait there is a part two to make it slightly better.  Later this week so see you soon

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New Tutorials Page!

Now you can find our tutorials all in one place!

It's just one more way to find things on our blog. You can browse by photo in the Gallery page or look for how-to tips in the Tutorials page. Of course you can also browse by date in the Blog Archive in the right column or by keywords in the Topic Cloud too!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ethereal Layered Skirt

This skirt makes me want to dress up like a fairy princess!
front of skirt
I made the skirt in two layers, one layer of lilac/lavender prom dress satin beneath a layer of a shimmery translucent white fabric. It gives the skirt an ethereal look and adds dimension.
back of skirt
In the back of the skirt I used the eye sides of hook-and-eye tape to create a lace-up corset back. The lilac fabric underneath covers the small gap.

I bet this would be cute bustled too!

styled as a dress!
Look, you can also wear it as a dress! It's totally cute and ends just below the knees. I think it needs a different belt, maybe a darker purple? Alas, I don't own many belts...

French seam on translucent fabric, seen from the outside

I found that french seaming worked very well with the see-through material of the skirt since all of the hems would be visible even from the outside.

How to Sew French Seams
French seams work best when the seams are straight (not curved). When you cut your fabric, leave 3/4" - 1" seam allowance. 

First sew the seam with the WRONG sides of the fabric together, sewing 1/4" or less from the edge of the fabric. 

Press the seam allowance to one side of the seam, then fold the fabric so the RIGHT sides are together, press the seam so you have a nice folded edge along the seam with the seam allowance inside. 

Now sew the seam with the RIGHT sides together, greater than 1/4" from the edge (the remainder of your seam allowance), encasing the raw edges inside a thin tube.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cartoon Poop

HA HA HA, after looking at some cute web game graphics I thought I would make some anime style poop.

My friend Hannah told me I should also do faces

How to make?  Create a long snake using clay where one end is thicker and the other end gets thinner to a point.  Then curl it up on itself like whipped cream. 

Hope this provided some laughs.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Recycle your Books into Notepads

As you have seen in previous posts, I've been using vintage books for my crafts.

So what can you do with the left overs?

I discovered this one day when I couldn't find my post-its and decided to write on some paper I was going to throw away.

Use it as a note book. Using a Sharpie you can take notes and it will still be readable.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Shimmering Mage Blouse

Sometimes fabric inspires me. I found this shimmery cotton which looked like something I thought a mage should wear. Flaming gold, icy blue...

I started making this peasant blouse using a Simplicity pattern. This was back in 2003 I think... and I never finished the project! Nine years later I pulled the half-finished shirt out of my closet and attacked it with my new serger.

When I finished the blouse I decided it really needed something more, like a necklace. I had this charm I had taken off of locket necklace (from Pier 1) and it went with the dress so beautifully that I decided to figure out a way to attach it.

I added an extra ring to the top of the pendant and then sewed a button onto the shirt so the ring could hang from the button. This really worked well! But you know what would make this even better? If I could somehow rig an LED behind that magical orb in the center of the pendant...

The sleeves have a nice opening -- because mages need flowing sleeves that automatically pull back when you raise your hands to cast Ice Bolts and Fireballs.

I hand-stitched gold thread around the sleeve opening for an added touch of magic.

Here's a better shot of the fabric so you can see how shimmery it is! I love it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cosplay Progress - Power Puff Girls Z Dresses (Working with Fleece)

As promised, continuing on the Power Puff Girls Z cosplays

Because of the rushed job I went ahead and used fleece instead of fancier material.  Why this makes a wonderful shortcut
  • no hemming necessary, cut edges don't fray Just make sure it’s cut straight
  • comes in every color ever necessary  Go to the store with your mobile device so you can compare to an actual photo while picking fabric colors
  • Puffy Material, helps hid any seams if you dont use a tight stitch
  • Easy to maintain,  Throw into the wash without a care, and no ironing needed
  • less measurements needed because it stretches I didn’t need to measure any waistlines or chest areas; it’s basically a bag with rectangle cuts for the arm and neck holes.
Time to show off the cosplay.  Me and two friends decided to dress up as the PowerPuff Girls Z for SakuraCon.  YAY

Additional things I learned about fleece after wearing the outfit:

  • The Uniformity looks great
  • It's so cozy and soft we just wanted to wear it to and from the convention because if was comfortable,warm, and easy to travel in.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cosplay Progress - Power Puff Girls Z Accessories

I needed a quick cosplay I could create for a group of three girls.  What's more awesome (and easy) than Power Puff Girls!!  But after some thinking, unless the real people have giant heads and short bodies, it just wont look so cool cause it's just a tube dress.  So let's go with the japanese version that as a little more details and is at least it's more distinct.

Power Puff Girls Z BELT!

Created the coloUrful embellishments from the foam clay I use a lot.

I cut out elongated 'D' out of craft foam and created the belt band out of the waist band elastics.  It's really big because it hangs loose on the girls.

1 Position 2 hot glue dab 3 quickly place and wait till cool
YAY belts are done. 

Power Puff Girls Z GLOVES!

I used the cheap dollar store knit gloves (you know those kinds, the one size fits all) and some clear nail polish

Snip off the finger tips and dab on the nail polish.  The Nail polist will clot the fabric so it won't fray.  It's a little crunchy so a little itchy, but eh we won't be wearing this on a daily basis.


Ok I know I know, where is the white band.  Well cost savings analysis I decided not to do it.  People wno't miss this kinds of details.  But for those who want to know how I would do it anyways. 
  1. Get a pair of wooden bangles for each pair of gloves
  2. Paint it white
  3. Paint a black strip down the middle
  4. Glue the cuff of the glove (with hot glue) to the inside of the bangle.
~happy Happy~

I'll show off the outfits in the next posting, be back soon