Trying String Pulling

The other day my friend Del wrote a guest post for me about string pulling.  Now, I’ve had this image…

2018-01-10 12.39.42

…from Pinterest sitting in my “things to try” folder for absolutely ages.  Then one day on Facebook I see that Del has tried that very thing!  And made such a beautiful job of it too.

So I finally decided to have a go.  My first attempt wasn’t so great – the red one.

2018-06-08 21.08.07

A little bit too much paint. It was about this time that I decided I would message Del and ask her to write a tutorial.  But when I’d grabbed the equipment and taken it to my temporary art studio (in bed because I have the flu)…

2018-06-08 21.08.10

2018-06-08 21.08.14

…I grabbed two types of string.  The red one was done with proper string, like twine.  The purple one was done with a thinner knotting cord, and I scraped the excess paint off too.  That seemed to work a lot better.

2018-06-08 21.16.14

2018-06-08 21.16.18

Which is when I decided to get fancy.  I went with several bits of string, and a rainbow!

2018-06-08 21.23.592018-06-08 21.26.19

It came out really pretty, but I wasn’t quite quick enough and the red paint started to dry before I did the pulling.

If you’d like to learn how to do it, definitely go and read that guest post from Del.  It’s very good, and includes sensible instructions like using a long piece of string instead of the piddly little pieces I used in the rainbow piece.  And there’s a mesmerizing video of some string actually being pulled.

She also advocates trying different mediums and different strings, and even not putting paper on the top before you pull.  I definitely intend to experiment more.  Once I’ve gotten over the flu.

 

#MerMay

One of the current Twitter trends I’ve noticed is #MerMay.  It popped up on some feeds I follow, and was shared by some others. From what I saw, it was a challenge where artists draw a mermaid a day.

I’ve done some quick research and apparently MerMay was created by artist Tom Bancroft, who has worked on some of my very favourite movies, including The Lion King.  And it also turns out that there’s more to MerMay than just drawing one a day.  There are also prompts.

Maybe next year I’ll partake in the challenge properly, but this year I’ve just drawn a few mermaids.

The first one I did was this one…

2018-05-04 13.33.41

A lot of my learning to draw so far has been copying images I like, and I usually find them on Pinterest, which makes it very hard to trace the original artist.  I did a reverse image search but all I find is links to the image on Pinterest.  If you know who drew this, please let me know.

2018-05-05 17.26.58

My next attempt was baby Ariel…

2018-05-05 15.25.50.jpg

Again, I couldn’t find the original artist.  I promise I will start paying more attention to this.

2018-05-05 17.29.44

I need to work on positioning my pieces on the page, as evidenced by this lovely mermaid’s midriff being over the perforations on my sketchbook.

2018-05-05 15.35.03

Original image from Pinterest again – maybe I should find a new source.  Any suggestions?

2018-05-05 17.29.50

At this point I moved on to original characters.  I’m trying to do more of that.

I like kind of everything about this one apart from her face.  Face was much fail.  Also, positioning fail again.

2018-05-15 22.57.01

Next up wasn’t original, but inspired by a pin that was gifted on r/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon.

2018-05-16 00.14.11

I decided I hadn’t drawn enough rainbows so…

2018-05-16 00.31.09

My final (so far) MerMay is an original piece, taking an original character…

2018-05-15 23.23.50.jpg

…and giving him a tail.

2018-05-16 00.53.26

That’s it so far, but there’s still a whole bunch of May left so there may be more mermaids coming.

Follow me on Twitter @By_Colette to see more MerMays and other crafty madness.

 

 

Christmas Haul

I know, I’m a little late in posting.  I’ve been a wee bit distracted since December.  But I got a lot of lovely crafty supplies for Christmas.

My colouring book collection got a big boost…

…and I got a whole load of gel pens to use in them.

2016-12-25 18.08.43

My yarn stash is a wee bit larger too.

I got plenty of little random crafty bits…

…a few cross stitch kits…

…and a few other craft kits.

I received this utterly adorable Christmas in a Tin, which had 2 different activities inside it.

The little wooden tree was adorable, although the jump rings supplied were a little bit.

The snowman was even more adorable.

2017-01-04 16.48.17

Happy New Year

2016 was the second year of existence for Crafted By Colette, and the first year of this blog.  I made a lot of mistakes, but I did a lot of good things too.  It’s been a fun experience, and I have lots of plans for the new year.

The biggest plan is to be more regular with the blog posts and the newsletters.  The second plan is to get the rest of my stock up on the site.  There are so many beautiful things sitting on my shelves waiting to be sold, that I haven’t uploaded yet.

Mostly, my plan is to keep crafting.  Thanks for all your support this year 🙂

happy-new-year-2017

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 17

I may have gotten a little bit behind, forgive me.  Lots of fun crafts coming up though.

For Day 17 I used mini Hama beads.  These are, as it sounds like, mini versions of Hama beads.  Here’s the size difference.

2016-12-01-21-34-58

And for reference, on the right is one board for the regular Hama and on the left is TWO boards for the mini Hama.

2016-12-01-21-34-37

The beads are so small it’s impossible – for me and my fat fingers at least – to place them without using tweezers.  But there are benefits to using the mini version – you can get more detailed pieces without going really big, for example.  And it’s easier to make pieces for pendants and earrings without going to ridiculous sizes.

picmonkey-collage

Here they are, pre-ironing, with a tealight candle for scale.

2016-12-01-22-02-38

And here they are post-ironing.

2016-12-01-22-21-33

After that it was a case of connecting to ear wires using jump rings.  Unfortunately, they’re very thin and I’m still getting the hang of handling them.  As you can see, there was a minor casualty.

2016-12-03-13-23-13

But I’ve worn the completed pair for a couple of days, and there’s been no more breakages.

2016-12-03-13-23-43

More practice with Mini Hama is definitely needed.

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 15

Day 15 is a little bit of embroidery.  I have limited experience with embroidery – well, unless it’s cross-stitch or blackwork.  I thought I’d written a blog post about this already, but when I looked for it to link to I found that I’d written it but hadn’t actually got around to posting it.  I’ll post it in the New Year at some point, along with all the other drafts I’ve written.

In the meantime, here is Day 15.

2016-12-16-19-11-48

It’s not perfect,  but I’m quite pleased.

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 10

Day 10 is an old traditional favourite… paper snowflakes!

Now, I used to do them like this.  I’d take a square of paper, and fold it in half diagonally over and over again until it looked like this, drawing a curve to make a rounded snowflake.

2016-12-09-15-15-41

I’d draw on a pattern at random…

2016-12-09-15-16-40

…and then cut it out.

111

At which point I’d be vaguely cheery until I saw some of the fancier ones online.  This year I did some research!  First of all, I’ve been folding the paper all wrong.  This video shows you how you’re meant to do it:

So I made one, to keep as a template for next year, and a whole bunch to play with today.

2016-12-09-15-31-32

Now, I’ve collected a LOT of snowflake designs in the past, and I plan on getting round to all of them eventually.  But I started with the three designs posted in the middle of the tutorial video.

2016-12-09-15-35-29

My folding isn’t particularly precise, and I was using the worst pair of scissors I own, but don’t they look fab?

777

After that I took a picture I’d found on Twitter…

capture

..zoomed in and figured out the patterns.

555

They don’t look like the originals, cos I didn’t have all the angles and things right, but they do look good.

The last two I improvised, and they’re definitely better than my old style.

666

The one on the left especially points out the failings of my foldings.  The centre is all squiffy.  I need to work on my precision.

There are seven hundred bajillion thousand snowflake designs online if you know what to search for and where to look.  I have a good percentage of those sitting in my ideas folder, so I’m fairly sure there’ll be more paper snowflakes this year 🙂

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 7

Day 7 was, apart from being 2 days ago, a failure.  But it was an interesting experiment in a craft I don’t have a lot of experience with.  Once upon a time I was intrigued by chainmail and I made this very badly photographed bracelet.

bling-chainmail-bracelet-2

That was back in 2010.  Since then an interest in chainmail has continued, but I’ve never really gotten around to working on it.  Then, when searching through my ideas folder for this 25 Crafts of Christmas thing, I found this picture and an attached scan from “Step By Step Wire Jewelry, Winter 2010” (The pattern was designed by Shelley Hubbs who has a website at Metaldesignz.com).

16516

I thought, well they look fairly simple.  I could make those.  So I looked at the pattern, made a note of what rings I needed, and had a look on eBay.  The actual sizes required were 2.4mm and 4mm rings, which seemed VERY small to me.  So I tried to maintain the ratio and scale up.

Which brings us up to December.  I gathered my supplies…

2016-12-08-21-34-41

…and started off reasonably well.

2016-12-08-21-37-05

At this point I realised that all the smaller rings needed to be closed, and in coloured pairs.  So I spent a good hour doing that, and getting a small sore on the end of one finger as a result.  But I had lots of pairs.

2016-12-08-22-31-30

And then I continued.  I still had two rows to go when I realised that it wasn’t quite working..  Here’s where I stopped.

2016-12-08-22-42-48

With context, you can see that it’s meant to be a Christmas tree, but there are a few problems.

The ring size ratio is off – I really should have gone with the original sizes.  The green rings that I bought are way too soft – I didn’t even need pliers to manipulate them.  The multi-coloured rings I bought, from a different eBay seller – are all slightly different sizes, and different finishes.

Being unhappy with your materials is a surefire way to be unhappy with your finished product, so I stopped there and called it an experiment.  In the New Year, when my finances have recovered a little from the holidays, I’ll get some rings from an online beading shop that my friend Cayden uses, and I’ll get the proper sizes, and I’ll have another go.