Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Final Coloring Book

I have been spending a lot time finalizing the details of my handmade coloring book as I prepare to start selling them on Etsy. I have made several adjustments after sending them to people to use. The biggest dilemma I was facing was how to close the book. I finally decided to use an elastic band similar to a moleskin. I also thought about using a ribbon to tie it closed but decided against the ribbon due to the fraying over time. These are books that I want to last a long time.

The title page can be left blank (in case someone wants to send it as a gift and/or write something). The colophon will be a paper label that is glued in place. I also tested some different papers in hopes that I would find something that would withstand dry and wet media. I also wanted a paper that would be wide enough so I could use one continuous sheet rather than having to glue several sheets together to get the book length that I wanted. I decided upon a Fabriano 200g paper.

Other than the title page, there will be some options so people can personalize the coloring book design. Namely, if there will be coloring lines or not. In order to illustrate, I decided to color and test my own book.

Coloring Lines or Not

Also illustrated here are the results of an unlined coloring book and using markers.

Crayon Illustrated Pages (using Crayola 96 count crayons)

 (left side--without coloring lines; right side-- with coloring lines)

Watercolor Illustrated Pages (using Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels--15 count)

(left side--with coloring lines; right side--without coloring lines)

Colored Pencil Illustrated Pages (using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils--24 count)

(left side--with coloring lines; right side--without coloring lines)

I don't know if the paper has enough tooth to use pastels (of which I am not a fan) but with fixative I am sure that it would probably be OK. Also, I did not test it using acrylic or oils. Maybe that will be a later test.

Now the only decision I have to make is how much to charge for each book.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #5--Tie Dye Magic

The theme of this challenge was GREEN--either the color or green crafting--in order to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the US. I chose the green crafting route--in other words: recycle, repurpose or reuse.

I wear T-shirts and I have a lot of them. I have a collection of graphic tees. I also wear colored tees. I practically live in basic white tees: crew necks, V necks and tanks. Since I am so hot natured, I love wearing tees because I can layer them in the winter or cooler months. In summer, I simply wear them as an outer shirt. The problem is that I sweat in them and they get stained; this coupled with the fact that I hate throwing out perfectly good tees that are simply discolored means that I have A LOT of tees.

So for this project, I decided to tie dye some of my tees that were a little less pristine.

I used some tie dye pigments that were left over from a previous project that I will share later--tie dye Easter Eggs. I used the Tulip One Step Tie Dye kit which makes the process a lot easier.

Shirt #1
Shirt #2
Shirt #3

I have always been a fan of tie dye and I am really happy with the way these turned out. What I am not happy with is the quality of the pictures and how bloated I look but I will work on those problems in the future.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #4--Flower Power Adult Coloring Book

Flower Power (pages 1 & 2)
For Iron Craft Challenge #4 we were asked to dream about Spring and remove ourselves from the Winter Doldrums. I have been working on large scale doodles each month and this month, I decided to combine my doodles with the Iron Craft Challenge.

I am calling these the Adult Coloring Book series because grownups are finding their coloring mojo again and the market is inundated with this style of coloring book. The premise is that the pictures should be more challenging (in design) to color. Many of these books are pattern/design books that replicate classic motifs (e.g., William Morris or Tiffany Stained Glass).

I am calling this book--Flower Power. It is a throwback to the Flower Power movement of the 60s and 70s.
Flower Power (pages 3 & 4)
Flower Power (pages 5 & 6)
Flower Power (pages 7 & 8)
Flower Power (pages 9 & 10)
These will be recreated by hand for those who purchase them and will be hand bound in solid covers. The pages can either come with coloring guidelines (like those shown above) or blank (as shown below). The structure is a bound accordion book. The overall dimensions are 50" (width) by 7" (height). That's right--that is over 4 feet of coloring. If you want to view the video, click here (open a YouTube video).

For the adventurous
(without coloring guidelines)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Almost Back

By the time that you read this I will have completed a one week stay in Los Angeles and will be returning back from Tokyo. It will have been a whirlwind of travel and while blogging has been on the wane, crafting hasn't been. I am still trying to catch up on some of the monthly projects and prepare for the Iron Craft Challenge that is due after my return.

Best Wishes and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #3--Encaustic Collage

The Key to My Broken Heart
For our third challenge, we were asked to do "Something New." I was vacillating between several ideas until I read this post from Susi where she decides to revisit unfinished projects in her studio. Rather than come up with a new project, I decided to check my myriad of materials in my studio to see what new projects that I had already purchases materials but had never attempted.

I realized that I had all of the materials to complete a project that I had always wanted--an encaustic collage. The only appliance that I didn't have was a wax warming plate so I decided to use my electric skillet in order to melt and keep my wax at a constant temperature.

The board is a two inch thick 10 inch by 10 inch Encaustic Board. The background paper is a vintage Valentine paper. The hearts are cutouts there were left over from a previous project. The key is from my key stash. The wax was colored with oil paint sticks there were buffed out after being fused to the piece.

Bottom Detail
Top Detail
For my first attempt, I am very pleased with the way that it turned out.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

This Week

This week is going to be a little bit slower than usual. I am still working on projects for the week and nope to have a new box structure to share. I am also struggling with ideas for my next Iron Craft Challenge.

More importantly, I have launched my new blog called Bento Love 2015. This new blog will illustrate my obsession with the Japanese boxed lunch called Bento. On that blog, I will be sharing my attempts to make bento every work day.

Please follow along when you get the chance.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Project 5--Final Insert Box

Last Insert Box
This is the final insert box that I will be sharing with you from the Bullets Over Broadway series. This is a special box because the brief that I received was that the person loved the color green. As I was going though my stash of papers, I realized that I don't have a lot of green materials. I personally don't have a lot of green in my wardrobe because it makes my olive skin look a little jaundiced.

When I was taking color theory classes, one of our first assignments was to go to our closet and find the most common color(s) and to then ask ourselves--Why do I have so much ______ (predominate color)?

Top View
Bottom View
The rest of the month will be dedicated to Valentine's Day boxes.