Thursday, April 18, 2013

Illustration Friday - Wild

About the only thing remaining from my original concept for this topic are the tigers. I intended for it to have a stylized, naive look, à la Henri Rousseau, but instead I've ended up with this extremely layered and busy composition. Last night I was on the verge of jettisoning it, but after viewing it afresh this morning, I decided that a bit more work and some additional layers would make it acceptable to add to my Illustration Friday oeuvre.

Except for three layers of Fly Paper textures, all of the elements are from stock.xchng. The tigers and crane were removed from three separate photos. The background consists of a photo with the pond on the left and another with the rocks on the right, plus one with trees at the top. Then there are a variety of ferns from three more photos. All put together with assorted blend modes and filters and masks, in Photoshop, of course. Is it believable? Does it work? Hmmm...   I always seem to end up in the "more is more" camp.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring in the city

Lee Park was April-perfect – all glorious greens, frothy white dogwoods and brilliant azaleas – on our stroll Friday afternoon. Dallas at its springtime best.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mini crossbody bags

Where do you put those essentials – cellphone, credit card, a bit of cash, keys, comb, maybe a lip balm – when you don't want to carry a handbag?  Even if you have a pocket or two, it can be a bit bulky and not too secure.  And, sure, there are wristlets and waist purses and probably some other solutions as well. But I wanted something hands-free and that I didn't have to strap around my waist.  Something that could even be decorative while being minimal.  What I came up with are these mini crossbody bags.  If you'd like to make one, keep reading for step-by-step photos and directions.

The prototype was made in a leftover lightweight home dec fabric.  The second used denim recycled from an old pair of jeans and stenciled with a combination of Setacolor and Lumiere fabric paints.  The third, in a green linen-cotton blend, was also stenciled with the same fabric paints.  All are lined with assorted silky lining scraps and have a top zipper.

The first thing is to determine the size you want. I decided on a finished size of 4½" x 5½". Rather than having the two sides merely stitched together, I also wanted a 3/4" gusset connecting the two; the length is 14½ (the two sides plus the bottom), plus at least a couple of extra inches. And because the strap connects directly to the gusset, it needed to be the same width, ¾"; the length of the straps on all three bags varied from 40" to 50". There is also an exterior pocket.