A Lioness!

Today I finished the lion mask! I originally wanted it to be a male lion, but during painting, I decided to turn it into a lioness. It has a strap on it and a thin, black cloth behind the eyes. That way, you can wear it and see your environment without your eyes showing. The coat of varnish finished it off, and I am really happy about how it turned out.

Back from the Dead!

(I know I’m late on this, but happy New Year 2017!)

I had a lot going on, but due to severe technical issues, I was not able to actively post anything. It was frustrating, but if you have a dark sense of humor (which I do) it was also funny:

First, I broke my laptop screen by getting headphones stuck in the lid. The result then looked like I had been in an earthquake, so I had to send it in to get that fixed.

laptop-cracked-lcd

Then I lost my cell phone for a day when I went to the Frankfurt airport to pick up a friend. Thinking the phone was at the airport, I had the card blocked and requested a new card. Turns out the phone was in the car. I was glad to have my phone back, but now there were issues with activating the new card…

…Long story short, I figured the phone out after a week and got my laptop back today!  :)

So now, “back from the dead”, I bring you the news:

  • The elf costume is done! I dyed it with turmeric to make it orange-yellow, and since that looked so good, I just kept it that way (instead of adding a green shade)
  • I made a christmas present for a class mate. He’s a football-fan and he and his wife are about to have a baby, So I made them a football pillow with 2 faces on it. Depending on how you catch it, it’s sad or happy :)
  • I reorganized my desk by building a little shelf. The whole area was completely out of control, but now I have a place for my folders and school/craft supplies. It actually turned out better than expected!
  • My painting is about 70% done! The last 30% will be tricky, since I don’t want to add too much or make it too detailed.

That’s it for now. Enjoy your day and greetings from winter-wonderland Ewersbach!

img_0030-800x600
the view out my window on sunday

 

 

Work in Progress: the Elf-Costume

picture-34-566x800picture-36-800x450

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! :)

picture-28-497x800picture-29-800x450

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Some (not so)”normal” Stuff

This weekend I took the time to catch up with some “normal” stuff. I cleaned my (very dirty) room and put together a special hanger for my elf costume.

IMG_20160409_184148

Then there was the not so normal stuff: My mom and I had some families over with their little kids and we started some seeds together. The kids were very excited to participate in the whole process, from washing the pots to putting the seeds in the soil. The plants will be given away at our church in exchange for donations. All the money will go toward sponsoring our church’s summer camp, so that kids from a refugee/lower-inco background can go to camp, too. Two of those kids were among the helpers today. I didn’t get pictures of the process, but the results speak for themselves :)

 

Updates: Paintings and Costumes!

A few days ago I had posted that the painting “Shadow under a Bridge” was finished. But when I went to show it to my professor, he suggested to change the sky and the hills. I did what he suggested and like the result. It was good before, but now it’s even better!

IMG_20160201_174620 (741x1024)
Shadow under a Bridge (new background)

As for “Works in Progress”: my remake of “Water Power Plant” got its first coat of background paint. It’s a bright pink (contrasting color) so that the layers on top (mostly greys and greens) will have more depth.
I am also going to remake “Devil’s Canyon” in oil. The frame is assemled and glued together, I still need to add the canvas and the primer before I can start painting it.

Now for something completely different: It’s Carneval-season here in Germany, the time when everyone dresses up for “Fasching”. I just recently watched all the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit-movies and because I liked the elves so much, I decided to make an elf costume. It’s based roughly on the character of Tauriel, though I won’t make an exact copy of her look.
I have inherited stacks of leather and leather sewing tools from my grandfather (my dad’s father). Working with leather is really fun, but only if you have these special tools; without them it’s impossible. So thanks to the tools, I managed to finish the vest and one of the arm guards. The patterns are done with paint markers. I’m no seamstress, but I think the stuff is turning out pretty good :)

IMG_20160202_144854_1 (1024x747)IMG_20160202_145209 (737x1024)