Work in Progress and New Work…

I am still working on the oil painting and am probably half done. I’m starting to get a hang of the rough canvas material I am painting on. (I had a smooth material before, but I’ve used Burlap for the last couple paintings, just to try the texture.)

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And I started a new mask! :) It’ll be a remake of my rhino, which unfortunately got eaten by moths a few years ago. So, different glue and some experience later, this is what it looks like, so far. The picture on the right shows the old mask.

A Mask, an improvised Dish, and a Canvas!

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I had some white summer squash from last season that had to be used. That combined with a bunch of left-over vegetables were a good basis for an improvised dish:
Baked Summer Squash stuffed with Spinach, Garlic, and Mushrooms, in a Tomato-Eggplant-Sauce.

Meanwhile, I am working on 2 projects in the art studio: A lion mask and a new canvas for an oil painting. I molded the shape for the mask with regular kids’ clay and covered it with special papermaché-paper (it’s really cheap and it absorbs the glue really well) and wall paper paste. It’s fun to get back to papermaché :)
The canvas frame is recycled from some cheap foto-print-canvases I found. I started stringing the burlap on the frame, but I had some problems with the stapler. I think I’ll need to get a hammer and nails to finish the frame off. Sometimes the good old-fashioned tools are more reliable!

Work in Progress: the Elf-Costume

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I am making a “Tauriel”-inspired costume out of burlap. Considering that I’m not a good sewer, I think it’s looking really good. Now that the basic shape is set, I will be trimming and hemming all those messy edges. :)
I’m happy with the way it’s turning out, but there are two things I’d try to do better next time:

When shaping the pattern for the dress, I didn’t calculate quite enough extra fabric for the pieces. This means that the dress fits ok, but when I try to move around, it gets a little tight. Next time, I’d calculate an extra 2-4 inches to the initial “plastic wrap” (skin tight) pattern  (possibly even more, depending on how loose the final fit should be)

I also would try to leave even more of an edge for hemming the cloth, and I’d hem the pieces as soon as possible.  I did leave a edge for the hems, but in some places it wasn’t enough, and some edges started fraying already, so it’s a little messy. So if you ever try to sew something, leave a 2-3 inch-edge and don’t wait with the hem for longer than necessary :)

When all this hemming is finished, I will dye the piece green. And then I’d be done! :)

Have you ever attempted a bigger project without much pre-knowledge? What was your experience with that? Leave a comment if you like and have a great day :)

Burlap Stories: Plastic Wrap and a new Painting!

I have a lot to do these days, so I haven’t been posting updates like I wanted to. But better late than never, I guess:

I bought a bundle of tightly-woven, raw burlap last week. I am using it for two projects: a costume and an oil painting.

I started making a “Lord of the Rings”-inspired elf-costume. I am modeling it after the character “Tauriel”, so it’s technically a “Hobbit”-inspired costume. The leather vest and arm pieces are already done, now I want to make the green elvan dress. I am no seamstress, but I still needed a sewing pattern. So I got a primitive pattern by wrapping my arms and torso in plastic and clear packing tape, marking the cut lines and cutting the pieces out. I probably looked a little wierd when I was wrapped in plastic, but the strategy worked out! :)

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I finally could start a new oil painting today! I used the burlap as the canvas material, and put 3 coats of primer on it. Now the canvas is ready to go!

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