Monday, April 15, 2013

Making an Old Stroller New for $5 in 5 Easy Steps!

Being a new mom living in a city who takes the bus frequently, I realized that having a lightweight stroller for public transit is essential. (And I thought pre-baby I would be a one stroller household- hah! How things change...)  We only have a heavy, large stroller for our car-seat that I can barely maneuver down the stairs, let alone lift by myself up bus stairs while carrying an infant. Although it works great for walks around the neighborhood it will not work well for travel. So being a natural thriftster and craftster at heart, on a trip to a thrift store I spotted an older model reclining umbrella stroller for $5 and saw an opportunity. After I had looked up reviews on my smart phone and pushed it around the store and folded it down a few times and was satisfied with its safety, I purchased it and brought it home. I have tons of fabric from previous projects that I have saved, so I pulled out some scraps of the right size and got to work. I made sleeves for the handles, and for the main body, top-stitched the new fabric down folding under the edges. The only problem I had was going through extra thick parts I had to slow down and hand crank my sewing machine. Up above you can see the steps I went through to get to the finished product. Click to enlarge image. I left the directions somewhat vague as I found it was more a trial-and-error project, and that way if you attempt at home you can customize to your specific stroller model. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Exploring the Depths


Painted in gouache on paper and outlined with pen this illustration was created for Illustration Friday: Swim. I had fun using bright vibrant colors for this whimsical seascape. This little girl explores the depths of the ocean with no fear, reminding us to take delight in life's unexpected discoveries!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Sheep with Attitude

This illustration was painted for Illustration Friday's topic of the week, "wool". It has a sheep that wants to wear his wool as a wonderfully colorful sweater to stand apart from the flock! It was painted in gouache on paper with pen & ink on top.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Happy Cupid: "Storm of Love"

"Storm of Love"





This Illustration was painted with a dual purpose in mind, to use as a Valentines Card to send out to family and friends as well as for Illustration Friday's word of the week "Storm".  I painted in gouache paint, using some dry brush techniques to highlight the curves of the body and wings and then finished with a fine point pen doing some outlining and shading. In creating this image of a happy cupid sitting on a cloud, I was inspired by happy Buddha statues from around the world. Taking the word storm and turning it on its head to have a positive meaning, happiness - like a fresh spring rain.









See right for a smiling Buddha that is at a temple on Koh Samui Island in Thailand; a beautiful place that I am always inspired by and would love to travel to one day! I wanted to create a cupid that looked posed in a happy gesture, like this Buddha; spreading love throughout the world with his hearts, instead of the iconic cupid aiming an arrow that is commonly seen. It was a very fun project! 

Happy Valentine's everyone ~ Be Happy!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

 

Illustration Friday: Wings 


Created for Illustration Friday for "wings" topic. A little boy takes flight from the comfort of his own living room using his imagination and some hand made wings! Illustrated  in gouache and pen and ink. View a larger version or purchase a print or original painting on my website.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hot Air Balloon vs. Flying Piglet

(Card of Shadow Dancer Balloon)
I recently went on a road trip in October from Minneapolis to San Francisco to visit friends, family and the western part of the country. We stopped in Albuquerque, NM to visit some folks and we able to be part of the amazing International Balloon Fiesta there as crew members. We helped unroll the surprisingly delicate giant balloon called, "Shadow Dancer"; pilot William Manus directing us and several others the whole time. William is a local firefighter and as such, our ride to the fiesta as a vintage 1960's fire truck! Inspired by this unique experience I created this illustration in gouache paint on paper, putting my own spin on one of my photos of "Shadow Dancer". I am selling the original painting as well as using the image on some greeting cards that I sell at Simply Jane in the store and local craft shows. It was a great event overall that I will never forget; watching the sun crest over the dark mountains at 5:00 am, and waiting for the wind to be just right for him to take off. Then the amazing sight of hundreds of hot air balloons slowly filling in a huge green field and then lifting off into a stark blue sky!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recycling Vintage Plates to make Art

Tarantula




Instead of buying expensive, yet cheaply made canvas imported from china; the recycler in me has come out to play and used these old plates I got at a thrift store to create some fun new pieces of art. I am thinking of doing a whole series of these based on animals, plants and maybe some of my favorite fairy tales/stories.





Luna Moth 





I first applied golden absorbent ground, (my new favorite medium that allows you to paint water-based paint, like gouache on almost any surface.) I then painted my luna moth and tarantula on the center of the plates and after it had dried I applied a spray gloss to seal everything and make it water proof. These plates will not be food safe but they will make a fun and unique piece of wall art, (easily hung with a $2 plate hanger form a hardware store).