fashion illustration class

fashion sketch

I am taking a drawing class. A fashion illustration class, if you want to be specific. I’m really enjoying it!

I feel like drawing is a great way to communicate, especially when I’m thinking of clothes people could wear or rooms they could live in. I’m really excited to get some classes in and practice, practice, practice. We are focusing on figure drawing and we’ll get to use all different kinds of mediums. Right now I’m mostly practicing just the body, and we’ll have lessons on drawing different materials for clothes and learning how to do hands, faces, and accessories.

My goal is just to get better at drawing and communicating what I see in my head onto a page. Hopefully I’ll get to share some cool drawings over the next few weeks!

fashion illustration

moma and what i wore

I had SUCH a fun weekend. It was full of date nights and museums and a marathon brunch (more on that later).
My favorite museum is the Museum of Modern Art. It has a lot of paintings that I like–and how fun is the design exhibit? On Saturday we checked it out, and this is what I wore. (Necklace is Dannijo, and purse is from the Brooklyn Flea. I can’t remember where I got the rest, probably department stores.)

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The museum was full of inspiration. I like the cartoonishness of a sculpture we saw because it reminded me of the graphic novels I’m reading. I want to incorporate the mixed patterns and colors I saw into outfits for sure. And obvs I couldn’t resist having fun with reflections in a mirrored artwork.

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embroidery display update

embroidery display rae's days

I have finally added my latest embroideries to my embroidery display!

embroidery display

I am slowly but steadily filling the space above my bed. I love having them in my home–I love any handmade item in my home. I think it adds originality and personality, and I’m of course also proud that I made them myself.

display embroidery hoops

I’m getting quite a collection, and I’d love to keep going. I think they look lovely as a group. The whole is just as good as the parts.

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I am working on a project to sew some of my favorite quotes and images from books. You can see the other quotes in my embroidery project here:

breaking bad (embroidery no. 13)

mini heisenberg embriodery

Today’s the day. The beginning of the end. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a TV show. It actually reminds me of when Harry Potter was coming out. The midnight parties, the internet message boards (remember those?), the guessing and wondering and talking in circles about how it would end. I love this kind of thing.

So in the spirit of my embroidery project, I made a tiny tribute to Walter White as Heisenberg. I thought about embroidering “I am the one who knocks,” and I still might. But his features are so perfect and distinct for an abstract image like this that I couldn’t pass it up. And I certainly would never say Heisenberg is cute but…

Continue reading “breaking bad (embroidery no. 13)”

embroidery display

all on the wall

No new embroidery this week–instead I got everything I have already done ready to put on the wall above my bed. A few weeks ago I was struggling with what to do above my bed, and I think this might be my new solution.

To get the hoops ready, I first had to paint them.

painted hoops

Then I placed the embroidery back into the hoops and loosely sewed up the back. And then it was time to hang them up!

above the bed

#fatcat helped.

fatcat

It’s been really great to take a step back and see all the work I’ve done so far. I’m really proud of my progress as a new embroiderer and excited to see what I’ve made displayed in one place. I think I can easily add more as I keep going, which was important to me, too.

whole bed

Back to a new quote next week. After my vacation I’m really inspired and am excited to get going on some new quotes!

This is part of an embroidery project I am working on to sew some of my favorite quotes from books and post the images here each Sunday. Let me know if you have any quote suggestions! You can see the other quotes in my embroidery project here:

screen printed cards

screen printed cards

You know when you’re really frustrated or super excited and you just hit your keyboard in a rush of emotion? That’s what inspired this screen printed notecard. Also my love of punctuation and the way people swear in comics, of course.

Since I took a low-tech screen printing class at the Brooklyn Brainery I’ve been interested in experimenting with screen printing and learning more about it. After I got my very own screen for Christmas, it became a lot easier. My first project was a print of Elvis that is now hanging on my wall. This project is on a smaller scale but I was able to make more prints because I had almost 20 notecards to work with.

I started by sketching a pattern on freezer paper and then cutting out my stencil.

screen printing stencil

Then I set up my screen printing area so I would be ready to make all the prints at once. I love freezer paper, you guys. I put it down on my table and clean up was so easy–I just threw away the paper! I am also using it to make stencils and it is working great for me so far. Freezer paper stencils, however, are probably not going to last after one use, so if you want to keep your stencil I’d recommend something a little sturdier (like this overhead transparency).

screen printing work space

I made a few test prints.

screen printing test

And then I printed away! Here they are drying on my table.

screen prints drying

I love these. They are a quick but personal way to send a note to friend (just in time for Valentine’s Day). Plus I think the design is simple and cute. I can’t wait to make more prints!

On a related crafty note, over the weekend I set a goal to accomplish one embroidery quote each week. This weekend I’ll be out of town, so I’ll post more not this Sunday but next. At least that’s the plan, anyway.

odd thomas talks to elvis; i screen print him

I’m reading Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz and loving it. Odd is a pretty normal guy–he works as a line cook, hangs out with his girlfriend, and can speak to the dead. Not that they talk back. But they do show him things, and he helps them when he can. Odd tries to use this gift to help the dead and the living, and in the first novel of the series he attempt to stop a huge tragedy from occurring in his town. I don’t know if he succeeds–I haven’t finished the book yet. But I’m having a great time getting there.

Odd is ghost friends with Elvis, who seems to make his own rules in death, as he did in life. Normally Odd’s interactions with spirits are people who died in his town. He doesn’t know of any ghost travelers–except Elvis, who has taken a liking to Pico Mundo even though there’s no evidence he visited when he was alive. He hangs out often, sometimes dancing, sometimes watching, and sometimes crying, but never singing (ghosts don’t talk, or sing, I suppose).

I’d like to think that Elvis and Odd are sort of friends, at least the kind of friends that spirits who don’t speak and living people who eat and breathe and yell can be. So I made a tribute to Elvis, and to Odd.

I recently took a class on screen printing and really enjoyed it. It’s fun, and once you start making prints it’s pretty addicting. (But be careful, otherwise you’ll have 30 copies of Elvis and nothing to do with them.) I still have an empty space on my wall, and I’ve been longing to fill it with another handmade artwork. And my family gave me a screen printing kit for Christmas, with ink and a screen and everything! The stars aligned.

I started with the idea of an image of Elvis singing and dancing. I found some images I liked, but I wasn’t sure how to get those images onto my larger canvas that would fill up the empty space on my wall. I’m ok at drawing, but drawing his entire body, hips swiveling, was a little advanced for my first at-home project and the first time I was using my new tools. So I simplified my idea and started sketching.

elvis sketches for screen printing

Once I had some elements I liked, I drew them on a larger scale on freezer paper, which is what I made my stencil from. I cut out the shapes, and then attached my stencil to my screen.

screen printing red ink

And then started! The first attempt was the worst.

first attempt at elvis screen printing

But that’s probably normal, right? The next few came out great! I like the imperfections and I love the color. These will go great on my wall.

elvis prints in red

family art project

I went home for the holidays, along with my siblings, their significant others, and their kids. My dad told us this week that we had a few projects to do before we could leave town. It would be like summer camp, he said. But for Christmas.

Christmas Camp started with family breakfasts where we learned to make southern biscuits and a book club meeting (more on that later). But one of the coolest things we did all week was a water color blob inspired art project.

art project wall

We started with a wall filled with paintings of blobs of color. My dad made them for us, he said, so that we could use ink to draw on the painting whatever image we saw in the blobs–kind of like spotting images in clouds. He had some examples.

art project sample

We each had to complete one drawing and put it back on the wall before the week ended. Well, we got a little carried away. One was just not enough. Soon we ran out of blobs and starting making more.

making more blobs

We used water colors, added some salt for texture, or used a straw to blow the paint for streaks of color–anything was fair game to get colors twisted and turned in juuuust the right way.

We had so much fun. It was so interesting to see what our family came up with, and everyone from grandkids to grandparents all participated. Here are some of my favorites. Don’t forget to sign your masterpiece!

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art project water color 6

 

art project water color 7

 

art project water color 9

Here’s our wall when we were finished!

art project wall

art

I am trying to do a lot of things for my home this weekend, since I found out my office will be closed for a while and I’ll be working from home A LOT. (Sandy flooded my office, you guys. womp womp.)

I will share more apartment pictures soon so I can show you what it looks like now and the things I’d still like to do. But I have some wall space above a bookshelf where I put my TV, and I know I’d like to fill it up with a large piece of art. And I’d like to make that art, have it printed really large somewhere, and hang it up. Easy enough, right? (In theory.)

These two are my favorite designs so far, both simple, colorful, and based on books that have taken up a lot of my love and imagination. The first is based on the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. This refrain is repeated throughout the books, and the ka-tet group of friends travel through many of the worlds. The hat on the “r” is for the Gunslinger, one of the coolest men I’ve had the pleasure of reading about.

And this guy, I think you know.

I like these designs even if I don’t end up putting them on my wall, and I think I’ll play around with some more to see what else I can do.

What do you think?

hurricane what? (also, screen printing)

It’s impossible to write/think/breathe without first talking about Hurricane Sandy. I can’t stop looking at pictures of flooded streets and damaged houses, and I really hope people are getting the shelter and help they need. I am one of the few who is doing well at home, with the power on. I am very grateful, and very lucky.

Last week, before I even started thinking about hurricanes, I took this really fun class on low-tech screen printing at Brooklyn Brainery.

 

 

Obvs, I printed an ampersand. It’s a bold simple design and you know I love type (and I already made a stencil of it for another project.)

Low-tech screen printing was VERY low tech. Which is great! I can def do it at home with just a few more cheap tools. We used:

  • Mesh fabric
  • An embroidery hoop
  • Clear plastic overhead paper to make a stencil
  • Something to cut out your stencil
  • Ink

And that was it! To get started we made a design onto our sheet of plastic (there is an official name for it, but I forget what it is).

After we cut it out, we stretched our mess fabric over our embroidery hoop to make a screen. Then, we taped our stencil to the screen. Using cardboard for a squeegee, we smoothed ink over our stencil and printed our design! That’s all it takes. Super fun, and now that I have a stencil I can make all the ampersand prints I want.

I did some tests on printer paper, and then printed on a tote bag. I can’t wait to try more designs! And if I’m stuck in my house for the next few days, which it looks like I will be, I can think of a TON of designs to try. Got any suggestions?

Also, if you, too, are stuck in Brooklyn, let me know. Let’s hang out. And if you need a shower and some internet, please let me know and come on over.