Monday, December 12, 2011

Hockey Game Crowd Sign

My husband and son found themselves on the Jumbotron at a recent hockey game. After that, the plan was to see if they could have a "camera-catching" sign when the Edmonton Oilers came to town. So this was the happy result! Go Flames! The presence of the letters "CBC" is to promote the broadcaster. They get a crowd shot AND some promotion. So fans put those letters in to make the signs more attractive.  Edmonton has the sign "City of Champions" at the edge of town, so that's why the "City of Chump-ions" reference.

I'm actually from Edmonton, and I enjoyed many seasons of cheering for the Oilers.  But family trumps hockey loyalty!  So here it is. It would have worked better if the flames were in adhesive vinyl instead of glued-on foam from the dollar store. The large amount of Vynabond glue I used caused the tarp to warp.

Cut out using a Cricut Expressions, with Sure Cuts A Lot software, which is now vintage due to the lawsuit. (If I ever get another vinyl cutter I'm going to make sure I get one where I can design and print my own designs.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stencil Terminology

Stencil technique in visual art is referred to as pochoir, e.g. Banksy.  When a paper-cut, stencil-like image is the artwork itself, it's known as scherenschnitte (scizzor-cut).  It's kirigami (paper-cut) when the cutwork is symmetrical, as in a paper snowflake. (Although I've seen asymmetrical kirigami.) Cutwork is usually used for the effect on fabrics, I've seen the term applied to jewelry also.  Openwork is a term I've seen used for jewelry and crochet. I have been using cutwork mesh up to this point for my work.  But the 3D animation folks are also using mesh. To be honest, right now I don't know what I should call my work.

When I design a cutwork mesh the challenge is to make the bridges the right size.  If the mesh is to do a job like hold a bar of soap, it has to have robust enough bridges, while still letting in lots of air so that the soap can dry out well.  If I design at one scale and then try to shrink the design, the bridges shrink, too, so I have to keep aware of what's happening. I make a test cut and see which bridges are problematic, then adjust the elements accordingly in Illustrator to make bigger bridges, or smaller holes. 2 mm or about 1/16" is about as small as I want a bridge to be.

I don't just design on Adobe Illustrator, sometimes I use TouchDraw on the iPad to design meshes. With TouchDraw, I mail the drawing file as a pdf which I can email to my main computer put it on a thumb drive and take it via sneakernet to my other PC which has Illustrator on it.  From Illustrator I export an SVG file which is the file format for Sure Cuts A Lot.  Sometimes I sing the Madelina Catelina song and juggle a few oranges while I'm at it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Product photography and pricing.

Now that we are inside for the winter, here's my product photography setup. Don't laugh, my photography teacher uses desktop IKEA lamps and something to soften the light.  I don't have any tulle so you can see the reflections on the underlying tile.

I had a number of travel soap bags for a recent craft show that didn't sell, so now I am getting around to photographing them and listing them.

Recently, I read that one should value one's product as to what the market should bear rather than the hourly wage one wishes to make. That's because we arts-and-crafters get to work when we want, make what we want which has value as well.  The price can be found out by doing a lot of shows, by raising and lowering the prices until you find that sweet spot. However, I haven't had the opportunity to do a lot of shows so I don't really know what the market will bear for my travel soap bags. After all as far as I know, I'm the only one making these. Well, there were a group of buyers from Taiwan who bought some from me so they might be making them by now.  As soon as I see these in the dollar store then it's off to make something else.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Notebook experiments

Here's a "cane chair mesh" notebook and a "What The Heck" notebook. The word "What" is on the spine of the book on the right. The Cane Chair mesh has a rather unsuccessful stencil font which says "Inspiration always arrives unannounced." The insert is also not the right size.  the What The Heck notebook is made out of a fibrous tarp which is rather too fibrous in my opinion.  I had hoped that these would have turned out, but it seems they require more iterations.

(As I write this I think I'm going to use the cane chair mesh on a decorative box to store my music books. That way I can put the shelf back on the floor. I had been keeping it on top of the piano while our puppy matures into a non-chewer.)

At the end of it all, when I have completed all the background work, will hopefully be some nice products. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to produce something worthwhile.  Only the best items will make it onto my online shops.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Retired Vinyl Tarp Wallet

 I wish I could say exactly how long I used this wallet. But was a long time. This particular tarp scuffs according to the wear spots and along the raised parts of the internal mesh.  I retired it and I'm using another.

I designed this wallet to hold up to 40 cards, because that's life these days. Lots of cards.

After I emptied it out my 5-month old golden doodle got ahold of it for a brief period of time. She can make short work of a lot of things very quickly. I wouldn't make dog toys out of this because I reckon the polyester mesh isn't good for puppy's teeth. And the inks aren't food safe.

Cane Chair Mesh Journal Cover

This is a test cut of a mesh design based on the classic "hole-cane" design on chairs with woven reed seats.  To arrive at the geometry,  I experimented in Adobe Illustrator with a number of long rectangles until I found something that looked similar to the pattern.  Then merged the shapes, Compound path...release to arrive at the hole pattern. Export to SVG, import into Sure Cuts A Lot, size to fit, and so on.

In the lower right of the photo I was experimenting with a stencil font. It features the quote "Inspiration always arrives unannounced," by Vanna Bonta. The font is too small in this experiment so I'll have to enlarge the quote.  The reason I'd like to put quotes on the notebooks is that I'd like to have notebooks feel good in the hand and inspire the creativity of the owner. Lately I had been using my iPad for journalling; but I'm going to go back to coil notebooks because I like, for example, to see my old ideas and different insights and the pains that I've worked through.

I like how the cane chair mesh looks. I might try it on a wallet. I think I'll keep on the lookout for an old cane chair and replace the seat and back with my mesh. It would be a cane chair with a pattern!

This project would benefit from cutting it out twice, and using a relatively low-internal-fiber mesh for the tarp. Too many chads to punch out and very time-consuming if one has to punch out all the holes. I don't yet know how strong the mesh would be in use on an actual chair.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Vinylschnitte Notebook

Finally got one of these notebooks listed.  A year or so ago I had a lot of ideas for notebooks.  The hanging chads issue is largely solved by using the multi-cut feature on the Cricut Expressions. Rounding the corners makes for an attractive edge without binding.  Cutwork is trending right now. Therefore, I hope these get some interest.

With this notebook the red insert is reversible to a teal color for a more subtle color combination. Or the insert could be left out entirely for a white background. Three colorways in one notebook!

I had been journalling on my iPad, but there's something about having a physical notebook to thumb through. I enjoyed looking at past sketches for cartoons, things I haven't done yet, as well as all that journalling. I think I'll start using a physical notebook again. After all, one never knows when the cloud will go "poof," and there goes all your entries.

Did you know that the German word for paper cutting is Scherenschnitte? I guess what I'm doing is Vinylschnitte.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cutwork Notebooks

These cutwork notebook covers work like jackets for the coil notebook inside. When the notebook is filled up, it can be swapped out for another notebook.

The other feature of these notebooks is that you can change the color of the insert by flipping it around to the white side. Two looks for one!

I was able to use some of the same mesh files that I have designed for the soap bags. It is nice when files can be reused, all that hard work can go towards another purpose.

They are sewn on an industrial walking foot machine, and I make sure that the top thread is on the outside for the nicest effect. I'm looking forward to the reaction these will get when I show them at this weekend's craft show.

The flyer didn't have the address, it is 1919 79 Ave SE Calgary, in Ogden. At this show I will have a ton of soap bags, wallets and notebooks that aren't currently listed on either of my online shops.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Brothers Bloom Notebook Cover

First I covered the page of the underlying coil notebook with white adhesive vinyl decal. I put the same cutwork design on the inside and outside. But I think that it will work better with no cutwork on the inside.

Rounded corners make it nice so that I don't have to add seam binding.

I saw a window with a coil design in the Brothers Bloom movie, that's where the design takes its inspiration.

I like these, they go up pretty fast and they look very nice. Does anyone use paper notebooks anymore?

Sewing Machine Bloopers

I mentioned that I bought a Yakumo industrial walking foot sewing machine. I wonder how many previous owners this machine has had? I think I'll engrave my name on it somewhere when it's time to pass this one on.

It's a great machine, but learning to drive it I've encountered many speed bumps. It didn't come with a manual. I had it threaded wrong at one point. If I start up too fast the thread breaks.  Sometimes it goes too fast; I'm still learning to fine-tune my foot pedalling.

The particular vexing thread situation shown in the picture was, I think, a bobbin tension problem.  There were a lot of losses this week with my sewing machine, and my vinyl cutter skipping, ruining several cut jobs.

The good thing is, once you solve those four-dozen or more things that can go wrong, the machine starts cooperating. Or more appropriately, the operator starts cooperating.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Google Image Search on Travel Soap Bag

I was pleasantly surprised to see how many of the soap totes showed up in a Google image search for "travel soap bag" Even my avatar from the Scraplab design contest.

I was just saying to my husband, "If I can keep just one bar of hotel soap out of the landfill, it will all have been worthwhile." :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Goldfish Decal

The PC I use to print decals is not attached to anything, so it's a bit of a production to transfer files from one place to another. I didn't want to be bothered with transferring my recently-created TouchDraw app goldfish outline to the PC.

Instead I just drew a few shapes in Illustrator, ovals and triangles, combined them and converted a few anchor points here and there and voila! A simplified fish.

Maybe if I'm a little less apathetic I'll add a few scales. Nah.

Decalwork is War

I have a new appreciation for those sign companies who do adhesive decal work. Worth what you pay for it, most likely! This particular decal is almost too fine to work. It is a gradual process to lift up the masking tape and make sure that the parts you don't want are removed. And then to get the decal to stick back down without rips or wrinkles.

I've worked hard at the soap bag design to get it to be as efficient as possible. But this decal stuff is still a challenge. I'm using recycled margins from actual sign companies. Sometimes the decal material off-cuts don't work -- not adhesive enough, or the wrong kind of material --and I have to recut.

However, now I can boast that the soap bags are 100% glue free! Also, I'm sewing the velcro closures instead of gluing them.

(Previously I had a trial batch of soap bags rejected because I used to glue the decals on with Vynabond. The potential reseller didn't like that and asked if the glue seepage could be removed. That would have been impossible, it would have lifted up the underlying ink. What a disheartening request, I didn't feel like continuing the joint venture after that. I paid to have them shipped back to me. That glue seepage was barely detectable, only visible at certain angles, and all of the bags I eventually sold with no complaints whatsoever by the customers. So I guess it was one of those agree to disagree situations.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Card slot wallet

Here's another 12-slot folding wallet. Here you can see the pieces as they are now. I make notches so that the slots will align perfectly.  Also so that I can get the upper thread, which is more attractive, onto the outside of the wallet. You can see on this wallet there's one seam that's a bobbin seam, not so attractive.

The other thing that occurred to me is that I can put card slots into other jobs that have extra space. So I can accumulate a bunch of slots in different colors as I am doing other jobs.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Trifold, 12-slot wallet

 This is a prototype for a 12-slot wallet for my iPad art buddy Susan Murtaugh. I have devised a construction method to make the slots line up in perfect parallel configuration. I'm not satisfied with the appearance of the thread in the bobbin. Perhaps the tension or the thread itself needs adjustment. I tried covering up the threads with some adhesive-backed vinyl, but I don't think that's going to work.

What I like about the cut file for this particular design is that it fits nicely on my 12X24" cutting surface.

I'm going to tweak the cut file design so that I can put the good looking threads onto the outside. The industrial machine I have sews nicely, but I need to drive it some more to get used to it, as it, being an industrial machine, is designed to sew very fast.

Update: I change the title of this post to trifold wallet, because that's how they are known in the industry. Even though there are only two folds! 

Front Page of Etsy

My soap tote made it onto a treasury that was featured on the front page of Etsy today.  This is the second time I've made it to the front page, last time was July 1, 2010.  Treasuries are collections curated by members, and they usually follow a color theme. This one was browns and blues, looks like. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

On Steve Jobs' Quote

I loved this quote from Steve Jobs' Sanford Commencement address from 2005:

"I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle."

I love how in another part of his speech he talked about how the calligraphy class he took purely for interests' sake inspired him to put beautiful typography into the Mac. It's neat how the education can come back in unexpected and creative ways. I'm so delighted that my first class of my certificate was Adobe Illustrator, I used it to make presentations, and to design my billboard vinyl cut files. 

I am only now finding out what I love. I knew I didn't love what I did for my previous career.  I guess for me that first career was a 12-year brick in the head. Except for the last couple of years thanks to the great folks at Petro-Canada. And while I make the effort with the house and family, to suggest that I be fulfilled as a 50's-Style housewife? Please! I'd need a lobotomy first. I have to have something creative or challenging to work on. So I decided to get more education on the side while raising my children. The vinyl stuff was so I had something to show for my new certificate.  And the blog is something like a how-to book for working with the material. 

Being unsuccessful in sales had a certain advantage, also. I learned to make videos, to tweet, to blog, make a website, and a boatload of other ways that didn't work, but imparted useful skills. I also learned that there's a lot of folks out there who don't keep their word. Who drop communication as if that was perfectly OK, there's not another human being at the other end. And that there's some customers who will choose to stay mad at you even after you have more than addressed your mistake.

But! Aside from the benefit of a thicker hide, I've also made great new friends in the arts community, and had lots of compliments and encouragement on my soap bag.  My wallet ended up in a book! What great fun it was pointing it out to people in the library checkout line. More than once people have suggested I go on Dragon's Den. (I think I'll just stick to design contests and calls for contributions, I'm not up for any abusive-style scrutiny. Fair criticism, OK.)

So yes, I think I will keep on keeping on.  "Stay hungry; stay foolish" as Steve Jobs concluded.  Thanks Steve for the great speech, and for my iPad.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New dog blues

We have a new puppy in our house, and she isn't allowed downstairs where I have my shop. This is a problem because barking drives me batty. I will ask the dog trainer tonight what my solutions might be. I really need to get downstairs and back to work.  Not only the vinyl stuff, but my color theory work, too.  I have been very busy cleaning up dog urine and other fun stuff. You are welcome, kids.

On the other hand, it is good for a dog not to have the complete run of the house, so I have read.  Also she is getting me out walking.  Maybe there's a chance to become "all that" once again!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My New Colour Theory Blog

Years ago when I first started my Certificate in Visual Design program, the Colour Theory program ignited a passion for the topic of ideal clothing colours for the individual. I had noticed how wonderful Cameron Diaz looked in the movie There's Something About Mary. Also how stunning Julie Andrews looked in her golden yellow suit near the end of The Sound of Music.  How I got compliments on how great I looked when wearing a certain shade of blue, even when I was sick as a dog. Conversely how my manager at Dairy Queen kept on about how sick I looked when I was wearing the orange uniform of that era.

When I was deciding on my colour theory topic I initially thought about the fashion side of colour. My initial lizard-brain said that it was a dumb and frivolous idea. Thankfully I ignored the inner critic and went ahead with it. I decided to ask the question: what makes certain colours ideal for the individual?  That was the focus of my research, and I earned an A+ for my paper, and an endorsement from the prof that she expected to see me on the Fortune 500 list someday!

Life circumstances got me to get my research to a certain point and then shelve it. I intended to revisit the topic someday. I think now might be the time.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Designing a simple foldover wallet.

I had advertised different wallet features on the custom section of my website, but hadn't gotten any inquiries. Now that I've got an inquiry, I need to price out some different types of wallets. So I started with a simple foldover wallet design. I am designing the cut file in Adobe Illustrator.

I wanted to have it with a foldover edge all around, so I thought a foldover window might work. It didn't. that type of window might work in a different context, but not this one. Another challenge I had was too many card slots, the middle line where the wallet folds, when loaded with cards, wasn't in the centre. So I reduced the number of card slots. The thread I was using was fraying so I need to change my thread. And so it goes. All sorts of adjustments here and there. I came up with some hidden alignment features on the cut file to make the slots exactly parallel and the same depth. Now the cut file is just about where I want it.

Another example of Patrick Moody's principle: "Often you won't be able to sell what you make -- it's the same with all crafting professions, you have to make a lot of crap before you get to the good stuff. " There are all kinds of folks who would look at the intermediate versions above and leverage it to imply that you should give up your quest, that you are a bad designer, hell, you aren't even worth the air you are breathing! I exaggerate. But I once had a boss just like that.

Finally got an Industrial Sewing Machine

I got an industrial machine to replace my 1948 Singer. The Singer was a good place to start as it could go through several layers of vinyl without getting stuck in needle down as modern domestic sewing machines are prone to do. However, the Singer couldn't backstitch, and turning my work was a pain.

I bought this Yakumo/Chandler TDU N62 walking foot machine from Ferro Concepts, who specialize in lightweight tactical nylon gear. This machine does lockstitch and a longer stitch than I was able to obtain with the Singer. I wonder how many previous owners this machine has had?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cutting Template for Tarps

Sometimes when I am cutting something out I want to get the prettiest/snazziest piece of vinyl tarp for the job.

The cutter I use for cutting vinyl has a support sheet that is either 12X12" or 12X24". I built a template for laying on top of the vinyl to get the exact dimensions for the cutting sheet. The cutaway portals are so I can see the look of the underlying vinyl that I am cutting. It is from a recycled coroplast campaign sign. Coroplast is like corrugated cardboard but it is made out of plastic, #5 if I recall correctly.

I added a couple of sandbag-style weights to keep the template in place while I am cutting. Genius!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Designing a wallet

I put my nerd glasses on and I'm figuring out the cut files for some simple foldover wallets. Tomorrow I'll make the cut file and try out some samples. The wallet will have a clear vinyl window and four card slots.

I had already advertised these wallet features on my website but there hadn't been any request for quotes so I hadn't figured out the exact measurements for the card slots. On this design I want to have finished foldover edges. My previous designs I had raw edges or twill binding for the edge.

Update: this is taking longer than I thought as a bout of sickness has beset me. So when my energy shows up again I'm going to make sure I build efficiency into the design.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vexing the dog with PVC conduit

Sometimes I get lengths of PVC or aluminum conduit or dowels with my banners. One fun thing to do with them is annoy the dog. She can't figure out what to make of the noise coming out of the end of it. This strategy is handy when our puppy has the urge to bite everything in sight. At Home Depot they have rubber feet that fit on the end so if I make a stool or something I can likely find some feet to finish it at Home Depot.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Scraplab Design contest

I entered a soap tote into Scraplab's design contest because what the heck, might get some exposure that way.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Local Recognition!

I've been toiling away in relative obscurity for quite some time now. In the last few days, however there have been some encouragements. For one, the mayor's office has offered me their old banners to recycle. The other cool thing was that a prominent local artist sent me a friend request.

This is just the boost I need to get into my workshop and execute some experiments.

I guess that is what intermittent positive feedback does, it keeps us trying for more of the same.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Folding Footstool

I continue to get wooden dowels of various sizes when I go pick up used vinyl banners. I think I'll start making something like this to use up the dowels, or else my family is going to want to report me to that hoarders show!

The only thing I do collect these days is banners and dowels. I got rid of all my fabric, knitting machine and wool. I used to do reconstructed clothing, but only one shirt ever sold on Etsy, so I let the listings expire and wore the shirts myself!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Expandable Tote

Offset cuts are the secret to making this type of mesh. Here I used two inch vertical cuts, spaced 1/2 an inch apart. Each cut is offset in elevation from its neighbor by one inch. If I had carried the cuts all the way to the top, the top part of the bag would be able to expand also.

This kind of bag would be good as a beach bag or farmer's market tote.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Those tripod chair bloopers

I was making a second tripod camp stool, got the legs stained and coated with polyurethane, all was well. Then, upon doing a test sit, "CRACK" goes the dowel. These dowels were the same diameter as my previous successful tripod camp stool, so I shall glue the crack and try again. UPDATE: A bit of wood glue and it was all repaired. Now I have two practice chairs.

I used two layers of a fine-mesh vinyl tarp, and made "collar tips" like on western shirts to add reinforcement to the corners. I used Inkscape to design them. I am used to using an old version of Adobe Illustrator.

It had been a while since I used my workshop PC and vinyl cutter. I found that my son had absconded with the keyboard and mouse for some experiments of his own.

I went to a second big box hardware store and still could not find the exact lengths for the bolts. Those I had to Dremel down to size before adding the acorn nut. At least I got the hardware all the same color this time.

SECOND UPDATE: We went to the local corn maze and I stayed with the dog while the rest enjoyed the maze. I had been using this tripod chair a few times previous. This time two of the wooden dowels disintegrated! I was glad no one saw my pratfall. One was a clean break, the other along the grain. I guess my dowels weren't thick enough. Note to self: use thicker dowels next time. The tarp and the hardware were all fine, it was the dowels that were the weak link. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tripod Camp Stool

Sometimes I get wooden dowels along with the recycled vinyl banners. I had been wondering what to do with them. Here's a great idea from Matt at I have been wanting a chair like this for day-to-day standing and waiting in line situations. I had considered the ones at the local health care stores, but I was not keen on any of the designs.

I had some mesh-type vinyl in my stash and I thought that would be a good thing to use. Matt used leather for his. Since my vinyl wasn't as thick, I reinforced my vinyl with an extra layer sewn at the triangle corners. I also hemmed my edges under.

My challenge was finding the hardware. I couldn't find matching color hardware, and the bolts available were the wrong size. Seems strange that a huge hardware store would not have a full range of bolt sizes. Anyway, I solved that situation by sizing up and cutting down the bolts with my Dremel. My costs ended up even lower than Matt's as I already had the dowels and the vinyl. It cost me about $6 Cdn for the metal hardware.

I really like the result and I'm looking forward to not having to stand while waiting in line. Now I'm starting to think about all the artistic variations.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Soap Tote listings

I made a bunch of new listings in my Etsy shop. Next up, I'm going to make some more things that I have been putting off.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sideboard Decoration

I had been reluctant to hang pictures due to my chronic illness, but enough of that already. The best way to get a husband onside is to let him pick the first painting. My husband loves to hike and Lake Louise, so this was the one.

Flowers from the parking pad which used to be part of the backyard. Might as well cut them and enjoy them. The vase I made from an old jam jar covered with adhesive vinyl decal in a scribble design. Lake Louise painting by Edward Henry Potthast, from which was sent to "Meatball Grove Place" but got here just fine. Mid Century sideboard obtained from the Sally Ann, which has seen a bit of history. We keep the printers and school supplies in there.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apples of Gold

Well we did a lot of spring cleaning lately, trying to get real with my craft supplies. So I got rid of a bunch of wool, fabric, and recycled leather. Feels great. This was all stuff I'd like to do but won't get around to any time soon. This process is continuing, so vinyl crafting is on hold at the moment. It was also good for strengthening my "No" muscle, because many folks ask me for concessions when I sell things online. I've taken to adding "no holds, no deliveries, no partial orders, etc.," to my garage sale listings.

What I love about the iPad is that I'm able to work at it while lying down, no paints to mix, no craft area to move when it's time to make dinner. I wish I'd had the iPad when my kids were little -- whenever I had a sewing project or something I'd have to pack everything away so we could use the table and so that the toddlers wouldn't get injured on sewing supplies.

Recently I bought an app called iDough. It has a tricky learning curve, but I'm starting to get the hang of it. It is great for generating 3D objects that one can use in paintings. For a long time I've wanted to illustrate Proverbs 25:11. What brought it to mind was something my husband related to me from his work. How a difficult statement is able to be framed "just so," so that a harsh truth is communicated in a softened way. Now that I had something which makes 3D easier to render, it was time to tackle this subject.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ammonites and Feathers

Artrage on iPad.

On Artrage, feathers are done with the oil brush. The ammonite was drawn with the ink brush, The undulating septa also with the ink brush but with a large percent of taper. I used the paint bucket fills with varying colours on the different chambers. I used a whitish airbrush to lighten the high parts and a darker airbrush for the lower parts of the shell to make it look 3D. and Lots of layers and experimenting with opacities and blending modes.

It basically started out as an experiment in spirals and then I wondered if I could make a composition out of it. I liked it enough to post it but I'm not sure if it's completely successful. But who cares, I feel like sharing it now. Thanks for viewing, comments appreciated!

I think making art on the iPad allows for a faster learning curve, because of the ability to work in layers, apply blending modes, transforming elements for different compositions, and the ability to back up when something isn't working. I wouldn't have physically painted 10 different studies but I can get the same kind of research done on the iPad. Cool.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

iPad Greeting Cards

I'm going to give a set of these to one of my banner suppliers. My iPad paintings are here.

I also thought that I can use the painting tools on the iPad to visualize how a painting might look on a recycled vinyl banner background.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Custom Painted Vinyl Wallet

A client wanted an emerald green wallet with accordian card slots, a coin purse and a couple of card windows. We went back and forth a bit on the specific shade, referencing paint chip colors via EasyRGB so we were on the same page as to the color. The picture shows it with the coin compartment open.

I would like to try a marbling paint technique for my next wallet. It will have the ink-printed advertising on one side, and coordinating marbling on the outside. It would be so stunning that the money would never want to leave the wallet!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Inspiration for cut-work patterns

I went to the library today and sketched some patterns which might work for the cut work patterns I use on my soap totes. (Soap totes are like a hanging soap dish). These were from a book called "1000 Patterns," by Drusilla Cole. I drew them using Sketchbook Pro on the iPad.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I had the pieces of this wallet sitting around for a long time. It has been a rough winter. I had thought my fatigue flares were a thing of the past, but my recovery is not proceeding according to my agenda. Feels great to be back in the workshop! This wallet is a warm-up for a custom wallet. I had to make one to remind myself of the order of operations in making this accordian-style organizer wallet.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Viking Shoes

Skymring posted a how-to video on instructables about making Viking shoes. I'm going to make a cut file based on this pattern and try it out with recycled vinyl tarps. She recommends thick leather but I want to see for myself how the tarp will behave. I know that the vinyl as a sole material will be super slippery (Viking curling sliders!). Perhaps I could used PlastiDip for the sole or glue on some recycled rubber inner tube.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Valentine's Soap Totes

Here are a couple of Valentine-themed soap totes. I'm not sure if the heart-shaped one is as successful as the traditional shape.