Friday, January 22, 2010

Project ELEVEN: CheeZy Origami

As a quick interim project, I have attempted the art of paper folding- Origami! I call it cheesy only because of what came out of my attempts look a bit cheesy. I have to admit that I haven't really done much origami in my life- except for the occasional paper plane, or classroom "football" (which some of you may remember as a good way to get a detention...).

Here, I have made an origami giraffe, a crane, a goldfish, a frog, and a grasshopper. Check out this site:
This is where I found some ideas, and their instructions are great. If you get confused by a step or two (as I did when the folding became more complicated), they have an excellent "animation" option which basically animates the steps (and you can pause, forward, or back). I also used paper I had laying around (as usual), which is great for the pocketbook, but not so great for tough folding techniques. I would imagine a lighter weight paper would be ideal for these techniques, since the heavier paper gets almost impossible to fold or crease the more folds it is holding.

Who knows? Maybe I'll make an origami grasshopper mobile!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Project TEN: Continuation of Drawing Skills

"Everyone's a critic." -who said that?? It's true. Last night, my husband told me that he thought my drawing made him and our niece look very chunky (I won't say what he actually said). My response was that that was the photo! That the two of them were smooshed up against the couch and each other. Oh well, can't win them all, can we?

So, perhaps that's when I decided I better practice, practice, practice
just a little more to refresh my skills (and also vow not to use my husband as my 'muse' anymore). :)

This one is a from a photo (to your left) taken by my brother-in-law of his daughter (my niece). Hopefully this will prove to be a better representational drawing... if not at LEAST more flattering.

I'm pretty happy with how she turned out, and am interested in pursuing a few more drawings
before I decide on something for the drypoint. I'll try not to bore you with all the different drawings I end up with (maybe I'll post them all together as one post in the future).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Project NINE: Pencil Drawing Practice

It's been a long time since I've sat down and drawn in pencil. Yesterday, I spent a few hours reading up on Drypoint Printmaking, and am interested in pursuing that as a project. So I thought it might be best to make sure my drawing skills are up to snuff before jumping into a print all about drawing.

Here, I used my No. 2 pencils I have laying around, and an old sketch book that I keep handy. I had this photo of my husband and his niece, and so I used them as my 'muse' for today. All in all, it took me about an hour (back and forth in between appointments). While I feel that this is by no means PERFECT, I often amaze myself at how fast these skills come back. I'm used to drawing on a large scale (4' or larger) with charcoal. Often when I paint, I use my paintbrush to sketch in major lines and layer on the paint from there. Here, I used only my pencil and the page is only 11" x 14". It feels good to practice!!
Brian and Ella, lounging

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Project EIGHT: Blender Paper

Finished product: 8 pieces of orange and white chunky paper.

Finally!! The day has come! Today, I have made paper! Well, so far only three pieces. This was a fun and easy project, I would encourage ANYONE to try. Because I can never settle for the easy steps first, I went full force and created colored paper with flower petals imbedded into it. Here, you can see a little bit of the process. I will post the final outcomes once they have fully dried (probably tomorrow).

To make this paper:
I first stretched two pieces of window screen (overlapping so that the screen creates a moire pattern; I was afraid the screen openings would
be too large) over a wooden frame.
Then, I filled a dish bucket just about 2" with warm water.
I used my blender and filled it about 1/2 full with warm water.
I tore paper (I used magazine pages, white paper towels, and some fluorescent orange paper
I had laying around) into bite size pieces and placed into the blender- blending well.
Then I poured the pulp into my dish bucket/bin, floated my screen
under the pulp (made sure that the pulp was evenly distributed) and lifted the frame. I held it over the bucket and used a sponge to lightly press the water out of the paper from the top. I then turned the paper upside down on a towel (instructions tell you to use white felt, but I thought I'd just try the towel), and patted dry with a white flour sack towel. Now I will l
et them dry!

To add the flowers (instructions say to press flowers overnight, but I just used my fresh flowers that were handy- this may be a problem later, we shall see!):
I placed flower petals onto the paper while it is still floating in the frame in the bucket/bin. Then I gently tried placing some more pulp on

top of the flowers (to make sure they stay in place) or I also tried floating the paper more in the water,
and gently GENTLY pressing the petals in towards the pulp. Then you sponge the paper as above.

NOTE: When cleaning up, make sure that any extra pulp goes into the GARBAGE- not down your sink. Can you imagine the mess in your pipes?? EEK!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Project SEVEN: Long-Stitch Refresher

In anticipation for tomorrow (making paper!!), I've decided to refresh myself in binding a book using Long-Stitch method. It took a bit of examination of my prior books to remember how to accomplish this task, but I think it turned out well. I also wish I had a large paper cutter so that I could make sure that the edges of my paper were all equal- that was definitely a time-sucker!
Luckily, I have all of my old Book Binding supplies readily available to me right now, so I didn't spend a cent on this project. (Well, the cost was already spent a few years back...)