Tag Archives: making

Art Challenge Days #1-5

Art Challenge: Day #1-5

Welcome to the 30 Day Art Challenge update for days one through five.

Sorry these art pieces are a little belated in terms of getting them out on their specified day. I have been working on these consistently day to day, but I am discovering that the scale of each of my projects are too large for the timeline I have set for myself. Clearly I need to scale everything back just a bit and concentrate on quality over quantity.

For now, here is the first batch of art pieces I have made this month! Enjoy.

Day #1 – Self Portrait

I wanted to start off with something I haven’t done in several weeks, and that was a photoshop piece. No banners do not count. For my self-portrait I chose to do something that is half way between my own style and something a little Tim Burton. The yarn is so that you definitely know it is me.

This piece is one of the main reasons that I fell behind right off the bat. Between the line art and scouring for textures, this piece is not something I could crank out in a short drawing session. Love how it turned out though.

Day #2 – Scenery

When I think of scenery right now I think of the game with some of the most stunning visuals and environments I have played in a long time. Unravel is so very detailed, saturated and immersive that I feel like I could reach out and touch the thistle patch.

Learning from my previous mistakes, I scaled this piece down significantly from my self portrait piece. This was done in water color and gouache, and measures at about 3×5 inches. I’m a little annoyed with the yarn along the bottom, but all in all I really like how this one turned out.

Day #3 – Love

I had a bunch of spare sculpy lying around, so I thought why not? This tiny sculpture is only about as big around as a toonie (for all of my Canadian friends). It is based on a sketch I did back in the summer titled “Until Death Do Us Part”. It was basically a darker take on couples merging into one person as part of the relationship.

This one is technically incomplete as I have no idea what I want the color scheme to be. I plan on finishing this before the end of the challenge. Any thoughts on colors guys??

Day #4 – Tattoo

Day four featured the tattoo challenge, and for some reason everything afterward ended up looking a lot like a tattoo design. This piece is done in black gouache and is 5×7 inches.

I tried to push myself outside of my comfort zone with this piece. Obviously this is not referring to the skull in the middle. We all know how comfortable I am with drawing bones. I actually dislike drawing and painting roses. I am fine with almost any other flower, but my roses always came out looking chunky and awkward. I think these might me some of the favourite roses that I have ever illustrated.

Day #5 – Skeleton

Day five’s skeleton is almost interchangeable with day four. I wanted to steer clear of a purely technical drawing, so I took a lot of artistic licences with the overall design and shape.

The ribcage ended up looking a little more cluttered than I would have liked. It is a little hard to see but the rib bones are meant to be branches full of bleeding hearts. Bleeding hearts are a type of flower that flourishes in heavily shaded areas, which is why I paired it with the moth motif. I may come back to this one a little later and add some splashes of color, but for now I am over all happy with how this turned out.

Next Time:

Tune in later this week for 30 Day Art Challenge Days #6-10. This challenge is making me sweat already, so let’s see how this goes!

Cheers,

Starchip13

Stabbing Things with Needles – Twisted Stitches

Raiding the Stash

I have been putting a lot of emphasis on my Youtube channel and Let’s Play series this week, but fear not I have been working on some crafty things in the background. My artistic projects take a little more time to complete well, so these posts will probably be once a week or so.

Continuing with this month’s theme of stabbing things with needles, I came across my old embroidery hoops while cleaning my room. I have been on a mission to use up some of the crafting supplies I already own, so I decided to pull out my embroidery thread and see exactly how rusty I have become.

I love embroidery for the fact that with a few basic tricks and stitches you can make some pretty stunning compositions. Whether it is a pattern or more illustrative the entire picture is made up of a series of chain or cross stitches.

Wretched Resources

Gone are the days of your Gran’s “Home Sweet Home” framed cross stitches and heirloom embroidered table cloths. This should go without saying, but if you can draw or download a simple image from the internet you can turn pretty much anything into needlework.

Cross stitch makes this particularly easy because as long as you can line up an image to grid paper you can translate it into a sewing pattern. Same goes for embroidery, for which I play fast and loose and do much of my work free hand. I guess I am just a rebel like that…

For everything else there are literally endless resources for patterns on the internet or in books. Take for example my favourite: Twisted Stitches: 30 Corrupt Cross Stitch and Embroidery Designs.twisted-stitches As the title might suggest, this book does not contain any traditional cross stitch designs. Unless you think traditional cross stitch would have been better served with bunny roadkill imagery, in which case I would wholeheartedly agree.

This book is a nice combination of cross stitch pattern, sewing pattern and how-to book. It’s pretty much a one stop shop for completing 30 projects from start to finish. That way you don’t end up like me as a kid with a million useless patches of fabric that aren’t actually sewed into anything, but damn don’t they just look pretty. I still sometimes refer to this book when I need a refresher on certain types of finishes or stitches.

I got my copy on Amazon.ca but my friends in the states can also find it on Amazon.com. If graphic is not your thing Subversive Cross Stitch is another go-to of mine when I’m feeling particularly sassy.

What are your favourite unconventional stitching resources?

What I’ve Been Messing With

Over this past holiday Monday my friends and I had ourselves a good ol’ fashioned stitch-and-bitch party. Each of of brought our respective projects and sat around drinking ungodly amounts of caffeine and sugar.

As mentioned in the beginning, I decided to give embroidery another go. Lacking any patterns (I had not been able to dig out my copy of Twisted Stitches before I left the house) I did everything entirely freehand, which explains the horrid lettering in my first attempt. Oh well, at least the ventricles in my anatomical heart look pretty.

 

My second attempt yielded much more attractive results. They aren’t creepy exactly, but they are darn cute, and it also falls under the category of geeky. If it is not obvious I have Unravel on the brain. Unravel is a new platforming game out just this past week for xbox one and ps4. The main character being made of yarn lends itself well to being embroidered.

IMG_0380

It’s nowhere near finished yet, I am currently working on adding a background to match the style of the game. I aim to have it finished before the end of my Let’s Play. There may even be a speed-embroidery video in the coming weeks…

Starchip13

Stabbing Things with Needles

 

Sometimes all a girl needs is a barbed needle and a video camera.

Welcome to Twisted Tales Studio’s first project video of the year! As promised I have been working on a needle felting project. It is a little belated due to some technical issues, but it is finally DONE.

Not gonna lie, at one point in this video I stab myself full force with the needle, and it was about as pleasant as one would expect. It’s not a successful craft project until you screw up and draw blood, now is it?

Up next I was thinking of maybe doing one of the skeleton and muscle diagrams as a project. Thoughts?

Starchip13

Stabbing Things with Barbed Needles

…Otherwise known as needle felting.

IMG_0367

For those not familiar with the craft, it is the art of stabbing various coloured wool with a barbed needle for hours on end. It is actually quite therapeutic after a bad day. Right up until the point when you stab yourself in the hand hard enough to draw blood. That may or may not have happened once in the making of this project already, but a teacher of mine once told me a project is not real until you bleed on it. That’s the rule.

I got into needle felting while in college when one of my textiles classmates literally blew my mind with a super adorable needle felt dragon in a tiny bird’s nest. I ended up making a ton of fun things a few years ago, including an shenani-goat for my D&D group (yes I do that too). Since then though I have seriously let it fall by the wayside and all of my rather expensive needle felting wool has been living in a tote under my bed.  IMG_0368

For my first video of the year has been seriously belated thus far and I was hoping to finish filming today, but a combination of my camera battery dying and losing the good natural light in my house has put it on hold for the night. I shall continue tomorrow with daylight and fresh batteries.

I hope to have this video up sometime early this week. Until then, here are some selfies with a white felted worm-looking-thing.

Starchip13

Fan Expo Monster Suit

Twisted Tales Studio Presents:

Monster Suit Fan Expo 2014

This is a bit of a throwback from when I was still in school but I am now finally properly set up for video editing. So, better late than never, here is an actual video of our monster suit actually walking around at Fan Expo 2014.

This video was just an opportunity to actually practice cutting footage together on my computer. The video and sound quality are poor because it was shot on my iphone in the middle of the convention center. Even at the best of times, this was not an ideal space to record anything. At one point I was actually sitting on the table of the booth directly across from us, so thank you to the boys selling Doctor Who merch. You were super sweet for helping me!

The actor in our suit is the husband of my teacher, Fred, who did an amazing job! There are very few people who would put up wearing all the fur, while walking on stilts, in the middle of an insanely crowded convention center. Also, at one point the fan for the cooling unit shorted out, so the poor guy was sweating buckets under all there.

Also featured in this video are two of my teachers helping our actor get into the costume and on his feet. A few of my classmates can also be seen in the background acting as human pylons so nobody accidentally bumped into the stilts.

Overall, it was an amazing experience. Our group had the opportunity to get into the con in exchange for working at the booth and promoting the school. I was able to make my rounds of all the vendors, as well as get a photo op with one of my favourite horror franchise actors!

Fan Expo 2014 will forever be my favourite year!

Starchip13

January 2015 Featured Artist: Curious Cephalopods (Kirstie Williams)

Featured Artist: Curious Cephalopods

Deviantart Account: Deeed
Etsy Shop: CuriousCephalopods

I am glad to be back with this month’s round of featured artists for January 2015! This year we are starting with Curious Cephalopods, a curious nautical artist from Deviantart. Let’s get this year started on a good note.

Whilst clicking around on the internet for new and interesting things these cute little hair accessories caught my eye and I just had to share them. I see these pieces being ideal for fans of steampunk or anyone who wants to feel a little Lovecraftian. Need a hairpiece to spice up a wig or something to wear to a masquerade at a con? Or perhaps something interesting to wear any old day as an interesting conversation piece? Look no further.

I have always been a huge fan of process and new mediums, and these hairpieces make me feel inspired. Each piece is made with a ridged foam base with hair layered over top and styled with hairspray and paint. I give two thumbs up for this level of creativity. I have not come across anything like this before!

I highly recommend anyone looking to add some flare to a steampunk or fantasy cosplay to come to this shop. Just imagine one of these hair pieces putting the figurative bow on the top of a steampunk mermaid. Go ahead, I will wait.

These pieces can be purchased at the Curiouscephalopods etsy. The shop is looking a little empty at the moment, but the artist assures me that she is in the process of posting more pieces. If anyone is interested in purchasing a hairpiece in a particular colour, she does take requests. Simply send your request through the etsy shop or deviantart account.

If anyone has any suggestions for future featured artists please leave their name/shop in the comments. In the meantime I will continue to search the internet for curious, cute and creepy things!

Cheers,

Starchip13

November 2014 Featured Artist: Mythic Articulations

Featured Artist: Mythic Articulations

Jackalope by Mythic Creations
Jackalope by Mythic Creations
Website: Link
Etsy: Link
Facebook: Link
Twitter: Link
Tumblr: Link

My second featured artist for November I found while clicking around on etsy. Naturally, I spend my time looking up skeletons and mythical creatures, which took me to the Mythic Articulations shop.

Opened in 2013, the goal of mythic articulations is to create what nature won’t. Mythic articulations offers a variety of skeletons and skulls of all of the mythic creatures you could ever think of … and maybe some you have not.

With technology growing and becoming accessible there are new opportunities for makers to create things that would be impossible or impractical to make with traditional methods. The skeletons of Mythic Articulations are created with a 3D modeling program, which is then made into the final product with a 3D printer. Like traditional methods, this process is meticulous and time consuming in its own way, but the results are stunning. Check out the product for yourself.

Obviously one of the biggest advantages of 3D printing technology is that Mythic Articulations artists can create one digital “master” with incredibly small and fine pieces. Some of the items in this shop contain some crazy intricate detail. I am a huge fan of the 3D tribal skull!

For those interested in one of these pieces please visit the Mythic Articulations Etsy store. Please ensure that you order before the end of November if this is to be a Christmas gift … if you have someone in your life like me who would love a skeleton for Christmas. That is normal right? Skeletons are cool.

If anyone has a suggestion for the next featured artist please feel free to comment.

Cheers,

Starchip13

Featured Artist: J Shook

November 2014 Featured Artist: J Shook (B00ts)

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/TheDenTree
Tumblr: http://maskshop.tumblr.com/
Deviantart: http://b00ts.deviantart.com/
Asmodee by b00ts
Asmodee by b00ts

Welcome everyone to my very first featured artist section! As most of my readers can guess I love monsters and I love all things hand made. November’s first featured artist just so happens to fall into both of these categories.

Anybody who appreciates soft sculpture and craft will be drawn to these little monsters. I first stumbled across these cute little dolls on Deviantart.com under the screen name B00ts and I was instantly in love! Also, bonus points for the use of sculpy to make horns and embroidery detailing that gives them their personality.

J Shook (or B00ts) is also active on Tumblr and has an etsy shop where her patterns are available for purchase. Of course, I encourage anyone who enjoys sewing and doll making to check out her shop and make something of their own to add to the great online art community. Please give credit where credit is due! If you use these patterns please credit the artist! I know she would also love to see what everyone is making with her patterns, so pass along a quick picture to her tumblr or DA.

These types of dolls are accessible to all skill levels. Felt is an easy type of fabric to sew and work. Dolls can range from exceedingly simple to elaborate and complicated (see B00ts for examples of the latter). Add add as much or as little detail as you want, and make it your own.

Private commissions are also available, but do keep in mind that one-off dolls take a lot of time and energy, which means they are not cheap! An artist also has to be paid for their efforts, so keep this in mind when considering a commission. Please see her FAQ page for more information.

Fan Expo Monster

The Monster

After long hours of work our monster is finally done! This guy was a big hit at Fan Expo 2014. There were many photo ops and high fives to be had that weekend.

This monster (unofficially called the furby) was about 6 weeks of fabrication work done by a team of six students and three members of Sheridan faculty. Every piece of this monster was specially made for the fan expo event from the hand sculpted face to the body suit and the cooling unit built in for our actor.

The structural parts of the body were built out of sheets of 3/4 inch reticulated foam and hooping wire (similar to the kind used in corsets). The fur for this suit was patterned from scratch, hand sewn, and punched with about a million feather plugs … or at least it felt like a million at the time.

This monster has two pairs of legs, one normal sized for easy wear, and one set built to accommodate a pair of drywall stilts. The stilts ended up being one of the beast features of this costume. In a crowded convention center it can be very difficult to see a person standing more than a few feet away. At an incredible eight and a half feet tall, nobody at Fan Expo was missing this big friendly monster!

I will also post videos of this guy once I can figure out how to convert file types. This guy was surprisingly difficult to film and photograph due to the crowds and the narrow space between booths in which to move. I actually ended up sitting on the table across from our booth to take some of these pictures. Thankfully the vendors selling the Doctor Who merch were good sports about it!

I would like to thank Fred Stinson for wearing this insanely hot fur suit while wearing stilts. It made me happy to see my monster walking around and interacting at the con. I would also like to thank all my teachers who helped us make the suit. They contributed so much of their free time to this project!

The Booth

For being part of the team I was offered a pass into Fan Expo for a couple of the days so long as I helped attend the booth. My major responsibility was plugging the school to potential new students, I spent a mass majority of the time painting faces and applying airbrush tattoos. The airbrush tattoos actually ended up being a huge hit because my teacher brought a laser printer so we could make custom stencils on the spot.

We all assisted our monster getting ready, and just generally moving around the booth. Inside the suit the visibility was limited, and there was a danger of people bumping into the stilts and knocking him over. I got to act as a human pylon to make sure there were no accidents.

The Con

I did have some time to myself to wonder around the con. We had plenty of volunteers to run the booth, so it wasn’t hard to sneak around and see what there was in the vendor’s hall. A few good friends of mine were also selling their wares in artist’s ally, so I couldn’t be at Fan Expo and not stop by to say hello. Artist’s Alley is always one of my favourite parts of any con, and I almost never leave without buying at least one thing.

I also purchased a photo opportunity with Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) which made my weekend. I have been a fan of the series since I was most definitely too young to be watching them. As a horror fan I could not miss the chance to meet the man who is Freddy Krueger.

Oh, and I do have one funny con story to help wrap up this post! As I was sitting at the booth eating my pizza between tattoos I some very large men in suits came hustling past. They were pushing the crowd aside for one of the celebrity guests. I looked up from my foot and who else do I see but Stan Lee walk by not more than three feet from me. I can’t say that I met the man, but I can now say that I was close enough for his body guard to justify breaking my arm if I got any funny ideas…

The End

The end of this project also marks the end of my college career. This is the first September since 1996 that I will not be going back to school. Next comes the question of what the heck I’m going to do with myself now. I guess I will just continue to make stuff. Maybe something on a little smaller scale.

Cheers,

Starchip13

Monster Booty and Feather Factory

Fan expo is fast approaching and I still feel as though there is so much to do! We have been making feather plugs and hand sewing fur for days.

The body of the monster is finally coming along well. It is best appreciate from a side view because I just can’t get enough of that booty! This bodacious body is made entirely of 3/4 inch foam and hooping wire. The actor will be strapped into the legs first and then side into the body from the bottom.

dat ass though
dat ass though

To give our big hairy beast a bit more bounce when he moves, we have opted to give him millions of feather hair plugs on his head and body. This is a common trick used by puppet makers to help their puppets look more animated. If you look at many of the muppets or the fraggles you’ll see many of them have dyed ostrich feathers incorporated in the design. This is a long tedious process that involves dying feather boas and then cutting them up so that the feathers can be glued together in little tufts.

I have literally spent the last two days straight sitting with a hot glue gun and gluing together feathers about 5 at a time. I credit my skills in knitting for my infinite patience that has helped me through this week.As a result of this project I am also shedding ruined ostrich feathers everywhere I go. The way these feathers stick to my clothes, it is almost as  bad as working with carving Styrofoam.

Just one day of work is shown in the buckets above, and we need to fill those buckets to have enough for this monster! Oh dear. Something tells me we will be at this for a while. Just a hunch.

When the buckets are filled with feathers the process does not get less time consuming. Each little tuft of five feathers must be manually plugged into the fur by cutting a tiny hole into the fabric. Each plug is then placed in the hole and secured with fabric glue. Repeat a few hundred times until your monster is sufficiently feathery and fabulous.

FanExpo is so close now I have jitters just thinking about it! If any of my readers are in the area you should totally come by and say hello!

Cheers,

Starchip13