“Easter Bunny” – project

It’s not long now before the bunny arrives, so I thought it would be a good time to share an Easter project with you.

 But first, I need to clarify one thing… I know that bunnies do not hatch from eggs.

Easter Bunny square signed

When I created this project I was under a little bit of pressure.

I was asked by a magazine if I could design a project for their Easter issue…

” Of course I can” I said.

But…there was only one catch; the deadline for the issue was a week away!

Now, normally this wouldn’t bother me but I needed to physically have the project, instructions, line drawing etc. delivered to them by the due date. You see, the publisher is situated in another state and it takes four working days to have anything delivered there. So that one week deadline became a three day deadline.

I had to start at the drawing board to the end process of pattern writing. While hoping there were no mishaps along the way.

And the whole time…I had two humiliated teenagers shouting at me “bunnies do not hatch from eggs!”

So, my excuse for this is;

 “Artistic Licence”… the freedom to create an artwork by distorting the facts so I can express myself creatively… and… to get to the finish line on time.

Here is my “Easter Bunny” for you to create and enjoy,

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“Easter Bunny, Please Stop Here” – project instructions

Easter Bunny grey

 

Material

MDF door hanger 90mm x 240mm

Tracing paper

Transfer paper

Stylus

Fine grade sandpaper

Basecoating brush

No. 2 filbert brush

¼ inch angle shader

½ inch angle shader

¼ inch deerfoot brush

No.10/0 liner brush

No.2 round brush

¼ inch flat brush

Paper towel

Jo Sonja’s All Purpose Sealer

Jo Sonja’s Potting Shed Collection; Seedling

Jo Sonja’s Artist Colours; Warm White, Naples Yellow Hue, Paynes Grey, Titanium White, Rose Pink, Carbon Black, Diox Purple, Turners Yellow

Jo Sonja’s Polyurethane Water Based Varnish: Satin

 

Preparation and background

Apply a coat of All Purpose Sealer with the basecoating brush, allow it to dry and give it a light sand. Re-apply the Sealer before sanding again and leaving it to dry thoroughly. Then apply three coats of Warm White/ Naples Yellow Hue 1:1

with the basecoating brush allowing each coat to dry and sanding between them.

 

Transferring the design

Transfer the design onto tracing paper and transfer the main outlines using the transfer paper and stylus.

 

Painting the design

Bunny

Block-in with two coats of Warm White/Paynes Grey 4:1 with the filbert brush.

Transfer the remaining details from the tracing paper using the transfer paper and stylus. Side load the ¼ inch angle shader with Warm White/ Paynes Grey 2:1 and float the shading. With the deer foot brush stipple over the shading with the same colour mix bringing it out a little further. Wipe the brush clean on a paper towel and stipple Warm White in the highlight areas, blending the colours together as you move towards the blue shading so a smooth transition of colour is achieved. Then stipple Titanium White on the tip of each highlight. Block-in the nose, mouth and the inner part of the ears with two coats of Warm White/Rose Pink 2:1 using the liner brush, then, dry brush a little Warm White in the centre of the nose with the same brush. Paint the teeth with three coats of Warm White using the liner brush. Side load the ¼ inch angle shader with the pink mix and float along the top of the cheeks. Mix enough water with Carbon Black to achieve an ink like consistency and paint the nose, hair, whiskers, eyebrows and the tip of each paw using the liner brush. Side load the ¼ inch angle shader with watery Paynes Grey and float behind the head where the ears sit and where the ear folds over.

Use the end of the brush and Carbon Black to place the dots for the eyes. Let them dry thoroughly, then, with the end of the stylus and Warm White place a dot on the top left hand side of each eye followed by a smaller dot on the bottom right hand side using the tip of the liner brush with the same colour.

Egg

Block-in with three coats of Seedling using the filbert brush, the jaggered edge is painted with the liner brush. Transfer the remaining details from the tracing paper using the transfer paper and stylus. Paint the pink wavy line with Warm White/Rose Pink 2:1 with the round brush and the yellow wavy line with Naples Yellow Hue, then, outline both with Diox Purple using the liner brush. The light green spots are painted with three coats of Warm White/Seedling 2:1. Side load the ¼ inch angle shader with Seedling/Diox Purple 1:tch and float around the inside edge of the egg.

Sign

Block-in with three coats of Warm White/ Naples Yellow Hue 3:1 using the flat brush then outline it with Seedling using the liner brush. Transfer the writing from the tracing paper using the transfer paper and stylus and paint it with Diox Purple. Paint the post with the same colour then highlight down the centre with Warm White/ Diox Purple 3:1. Re apply the highlight with a little Warm White.

 

Finishing

Side load the ½ inch angle shader with Turners Yellow and float around the design. Erase any visible transfer lines and give the piece several coats of varnish with the basecoating brush.

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Happy Painting,

Effie

A Weekend Project

Imagine completing a whole project in a weekend…

In this month’s issue of Handmade you will find a range of craft projects you can complete in just a weekend.

… and they have twenty for you to choose from!

handmade-vol-35-no10-front-cover

Handmade Vol 35 No 10

I have two projects in this month’s issue…

sew-journal

My “SEW Journal”

rose-and-lace

And my “Rose and Lace” Plaque

Both of my projects are painted with DecoArt Americana Acrylics

Handmade cover many different crafts in all their issues, so, if you’re looking for a new craft to try, or perhaps you want to create a special gift for a friend there’s always plenty of ideas and inspiration in all their editions.

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Happy

Crafting,

Effie

Button Disaster!

Remember the wooden flower shaped buttons I showed you last year?

 I had only just purchased them and was so excited and eager to start on a new design I had in mind. I wanted to combine them with an idea I had for a cross stitch pattern.

cross-stitch-3

Well, these brightly coloured pink and deep purple cuties were not all they seemed to be.

You see, when I purchased them their pretty colours weren’t sealed. I’m not sure if they’re stained, dyed or painted with inferior products. But, one thing’s for sure…they definitely lack a protective finish.

Yes, I know …

I should’ve known better… I should have tested them before I attached them to my pure white Aida cloth.

daisy-button-crossstitch

By rubbing my hand over the buttons while focused on perfecting my stitches, it caused the colour to bleed onto the white fabric. ..AUGHHHH!

close-up-1

And here’s a closer look…

close-up-2

And it bled onto the embroidery floss…

close-up-of-discoloured-thread

 

So, next time I’ll know…

I shall make a little test spot on the back of the button first and see how it performs on a scrap piece of light coloured fabric. Then I’ll test it wet and see how it dries.  After all, imagine if I wanted to use the buttons on a wearable project.

I’ll insert toothpicks in the holes to help hold the button in place while I seal it. The toothpicks will also prevent the holes from clogging up with sealer.

 I will allow the button to dry and repeat the process on the other side.

Then after it’s dry, I will apply a second coat of sealer… in case I missed any spots when I applied the first coat.

We live and learn. Not everyone follows the rules…

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Happy crafting,

Effie

Stash Buster

At the start of every year I give my studio a good clean up.

From emptying and refilling shelves and cupboards, washing windows and furnishings and finally giving my painting space (yep…walls included) a good scrub.

A clean space enables me to have my supplies properly organised, accessible and easy to put away once I’ve finished using them. I keep my workspace neat by laying down old sheets, towels or tablecloths. Once they become overly splattered with paint, I roll them up, throw them out and replace them with a clean one.

This also keeps my creative head space clear. There is something that excites me when I place a crisp white canvas on a clean surface.

The clean-up process also allows me to do a stock take. Lists are created for supplies I’m short on such as paints, brushes and other equipment. Then I begin to look for some great deals (usually online) and place my order.

I pin my new goals for the year on my wall. I’m ready to face the year ahead.

But… each year I do end up with the same dilemma.

I seem to accumulate more and more painting surfaces. I sometimes do go crazy over a good deal and forget that this leads to a lot of waste, both in product and in studio space. And if they end up at the bottom of the stash, well… they end up damaged, scratched and knocked about, some are even beyond repair. Then there’s the forgotten lot … which unwittingly I’ll purchase again.

And again I’ll say the same old thing “I MUST REDUCE MY STASH”, so I make a list of which surface would best suit which project and what style of painting would do justice to it.

Again, this year, the challenge is on,

So, let’s see…will I defy the odds?

If I stick to it,

as the year goes on…

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Happy crafting,

Effie

A Short Getaway

Our destination…Sorrento!

A beautiful beachside suburb located on Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia.

boats-2

We packed our bags, left our home, travelled 50 miles and checked into a hotel .We became local tourists for a few days, just to get away from our usual hectic work life.

Our accommodation was just a short walk from the beach and the main street.

The sea view from our balcony was magnificent.

balcony-view

We explored,

shore-boats

 We observed the local wildlife and fed the seagulls,

 

We ate – (way too much!),

And…WE RELAXED!

YEAH!

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Happy holidays,

Effie

Welcome 2017!

Happy New Year dear friends! Have you made your New Year resolutions yet?

So, how is it going?

 Is it all going to plan?

Seriously now, I don’t make resolutions (or maybe I’m just afraid of the word), I’d rather refer to them as plans or goals.

goals-2017

To me, making a resolution seems like I’m setting myself up against a powerful force to fail…

I would like to share with you how I approach a new year, setting my creative goals and plans is always something I begin to work on from late December to early January.

2017

  1. Make a List – I’m a list person, I need to make lists to give my life direction both on a conscious and subconscious level. My yearly list will consist of what I plan to achieve on a professional and personal level. This keeps me on track throughout the year. Usually, on a professional level I would refer to my achievements of previous years as my minimal goal, I then add a few more goals just to lift the bar a little higher.
  2. Goals should be achievable –I don’t like setting unrealistic goals, goals should be personally achievable, I believe they should align with the internal view of our own capability. A “healthy” push can work well for me. I enjoy challenges without way too much pressure. Pressure creates stress. I enjoy my work (and require good health) and that will always be my priority. I don’t want to lose the pleasure of painting and creating.
  3. Prepare for life’s surprises – Life can have its fair share of surprises which distract us from moving forward. We can never be fully prepared or predict the future when illness, family issues, work issues or any other issues get in the way. I like to allow for a few weeks over the year when nothing gets done.
  4. Allow for mistakes – As with life’s surprises, sometimes I go off track just as I’m almost reaching the finish line. But that’s okay; I give myself time to find my path again. At times I can move forward in leaps and bounds, other times I may take two steps forward and one step backward. I may even stand still for a while. And, if I don’t finish on time…there is always next year to achieve my goal. As long I’m trying and learning from my mistakes I’m heading in the right direction.
  5. Create a Journal – I keep track of my achievements throughout the year by keeping a journal. If I ever feel that I haven’t accomplished enough so far, I refer to it. This always lifts my spirits when there are too many distractions in my life.
  6. Never stop trying new things – My goals always include trying out something new, whether it’s a new skill or experimenting with new creative material. At times it opens up my eyes to a new world of creativity that I never knew existed and other times…well, it just reinforces my own technique or material is what’s right for me. Never the less I keep trying new things, if it doesn’t work for me …that’s okay. I tried.
  7. Be prepared to adapt – The world changes every day. Be prepared to alter goals that may not feel right as the months roll by. Don’t wait for the next year to make a new one. On a professional basis I sometimes need to change my goals throughout the year if I feel they are no longer related to current trends. But that’s okay with me, as long as the alternative is made sooner rather than later with what’s fashionable.
  8. You have a whole year ahead -There is no need to rush into achieving all your goals at once. You have 365 days to make it happen.
  9. Enjoy It – Make sure you’re having a good time doing it.
  10. It’s okay to change your mind – If it doesn’t sit right at any time, you can scrap it. It’s your list…no one will know. If you’re not having fun doing it, don’t do it…and that’s okay.

Happy New Year,

Effie

Wishing You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Well, it’s that time of year again, Christmas is almost here and a new year is approaching.

2016 has led me on an incredible journey…my first year of blogging.

 If I knew how much pleasure sharing my creative endeavours would bring, I would have joined in years ago. I have enjoyed your stories and special moments. I have laughed with you and genuinely wept along with you during the sad times. In so many cases your creativity has left me in amazement. I am so lucky to have found you all, your friendship and support is truly a blessing.

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I hope you all enjoy Christmas with family and loved ones,

jingle-all-the-way

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I would like to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year. I hope 2017 brings lots of amazing things your way.

Thank you so, so much for being here,

xoxo

Effie