It had been a while since I’ve done a painting and I had one that has been sitting unpainted for over a year (see post: Still need a Bob). Linda and the kids have been without a husband/father all this time.
It Have you tried Urban Sketching? I never did, although I’ve always been interested in it. Every time I browse art books, I often gravitate to the books showcasing urban sketches. I like that they are generally quick sketches filled in with washes of color. They are imperfect and loosely drawn. Or at least most of what I’ve seen is.
Living in Seattle, I’m close to many iconic locations. From the waterfront to the space needle, it is pretty easy to find something to sketch. Many of my friends and past co-workers work at Starbucks and I am no stranger to stopping at the Starbucks Reserve at HQ on the weekends. It’s only a few minutes down the road and it’s a few blocks from several of the art stores I patronize.
I have one million watercolor sets at home. I don’t know why since I never really ever painted with watercolor. But I keep thinking I want to try it and I keep buying sets that someone says is awesome. I finally plucked a set of Dr. Ph. Martin’s watercolors off the shelf and decided to play around with them. I figured the best way to start was to create a watercolor mixing chart to see what the colors looked like and how they mix between them.
In my last post, Trying a Punch Needle Kit, I created a little fox. I mentioned in that post that you were basically creating a mini rug. So, of course, I spent days obsessing over rug making. Most of that time I found myself on the Oxford Company YouTube channel watching video after video on the process of making a rug.
Amy Oxford’s videos are really easy to follow and full of information. Her videos break down every step in making a rug, from Creating a Carpet Tack Frame, Transferring your pattern to your material, to Hemming your work and the finishing touches. Even if I was not planning on trying to make a rug, I could see myself watching her videos because Amy comes across very kind and her videos are very slow-paced and calming.
The other day, I stopped into my local fabric store and while making my way back to the embroidery threads I saw this cute fox hanging from one of the aisle end caps. Whelp, I guess I am trying a punch needle kit now. Don’t you hate when you come across something and you know you’re powerless to pass it up?
A few weeks ago, Bramble Berry was advertising their rose gold bath bomb kit and I decided to grab one. I don’t care for rose scented things, but I generally carry most of the items needed to create bath bombs from my other crafts and I thought this might be something I’d be interested in trying. So why not get a kit to try it out.
I paid $28 including tax. Shipping was free for this promotion.
Opening up the box, I found a beautifully packed box. I’ve ordered from Bramble Berry many times in the past, they always pack the supplies well. They even tape the bottles shut in case of a leak.
My soap collection has been slowly building. One thing I’ve noticed is that the bars are rarely uniformly cut. No matter how hard I try that cheap little soap cutter is just doing a poor job.
I’m talking about one of these bamboo box jobbers with a planer:
It seems like it would work well, but there’s too much play in the gap where the knife goes. And these boxes are never tall enough for your soap, so the first inch or so of soap cutting you’re pretty much guessing where you should cut until you hit the slot for the knife.
I’ve been thinking about making cold process soap for years and I often watch videos on soap design on YouTube. When my friend asked me to pick up his favorite coconut soap while I was at the store and I found it was $5+ a bar! $20 in soap later, I decided it was finally time to give it a shot.
Most of the materials below will either link you to Bramble Berry or Amazon. These were the two main shopping sources I used to buy my materials. Bramble Berry is a popular supplier and also happens to be local, so I knew my shipping would be relatively fast.
You should keep in mind that most of the equipment you use will come in contact with lye and should be dedicated to soap making. Don’t eat from, drink from or make food with these tools or in these containers afterwards.
So you want to start making photopolymer stamps? I’ve been posting pictures to social media about making stamps and some have asked how it’s done. I’m no expert, but over the past few weeks of trial and error along with a lot of research, I’ve been able to put together a pretty decent work flow.
Let’s start with what you’ll need. I’ve tried to include everything I use and included amazon, web links and stores where you can find these items.
For the stamp I’ll be making in this post, I used my drawing of a pumpkin and you can download it __here__ if you’d like to follow along with it.
My mother, after seeing my doodles and watercolor post, suggested that I try making stamps, which sounded fun. I had most of the equipment from other projects to give it a go. All I really needed was the photopolymer. After ordering a bottle of COLOP photopolymer off amazon, it showed up a few days later (it wasn’t even amazon prime, so I was impressed).
My first idea was to shove it into my 3D printer. The whole idea behind my new printer was that it uses UV Resin, which is what a photopolymer is. Shine a UV light on it and it cures. It turns out that this stamping resin is so highly viscous that it’s barely a liquid and 3D printer resin is still quite liquid. I started pouring it into the printer and it was hard to stop it from pouring because it was pulling itself out of the bottle.
Well, I can tell you that didn’t go well. It was far too thick and the printer didn’t like it. After editing the 3D printer’s program to see if I could make it work, I found the cured photopolymer wasn’t sticking to the platform and just ended up making a mess.