In February I was in Toronto (a 3,400 km trip to see Finnish Battle Metal giants Turisas along with Firewind and Stolen Babies) and on my last day in Toronto I had the chance to walk along Queen Street in the Fashion District and look at fabric and bead shops. I could have spent hours in the fabric stores if I had more time (and an empty suitcase..) but since I was also with a non-sewing friend, it was harder to spend the time I would have liked. However, the bead stores were fair game for both of us, and we popped into a number of different places.
I do love a good fabric sale, and Fabricland had a good one where I picked up a few things for works-in-progress, as well as *ahem* a few things that just jumped out at me…
Here’s hoping that by posting them on here, I’m motivated to find the time to make things with them!
First up a trio of gorgeous satins – these are so nice to the touch! I have two bedroom ‘sets’ of linens – one is blue and white, while the other is red and gold. The silver satin will be paired with some blue satin I already have for blue and silver pillowcases, while the red and gold will make up another set of pillowcases. I’ve used satin pillowcases for years because they are supposed to be more gentle on your hair and cause less overall hair loss (which happens naturally anyways…)
Back in October I posted about needing ideas for some holiday gift crafting. I thought I would make up a quick post (now that the holiday gifts have been given…) about what we did!
Originally one individual (I won’t name names, since I don’t know if they would want to be mentioned in the blog or not…) came up with the idea of making cute little decorated candles. I thought that might not really take much time, so I also suggested we make gift tags or holiday cards as well…. Plus I have loads of stamps and punches and other things that are otherwise pretty unused these days…
Well – no one decided to make the candles, (finding the right candles to start out with was probably the biggest hang up to that idea.. but also the person I had thought of giving them to – had decided not to exchange gifts this year…) but we had a great time sharing resources, stickers, papers, stamps, punches and other things to create lots of pretty gift tags.
This wasn’t nearly as ambitious as our cute little meal-in-a-jar gifts we made last year or the bath products we made the year before, but it was fun to get together and be crafty all the same! One of my friends also started brainstorming ideas for NEXT year too.
As a re-cap, the ideal project(s) would be:
- A final projects to give away as nice gifts – or the kind of thing that would be awesome to bring to a holiday party (decoration or consumable, with a preference for consumable)
- More economical to do as a group than solo – with everyone sharing the cost
- Not exceptionally messy (that criteria is for me, who will have to clean up our workspace!)
- Not require any additional tools or skills beyond what we might already have. (That’s the tricky part, since we don’t really know what everyone already has…)
Ideas for next year to consider/brainstorm around
- Decorated gift bags (maybe along with matching tags?)
- Decorated note books
- Microwaveable heat packs (like the magic bags) and hand-warmers
I made a few duplicates of different tags that I liked – but as a bit of a description of the ones that I made (Clockwise from top left):
- A snowflake printed paper with multiple foam (layered) snowflakes in blue and glittery white
- A small tag with red, gold, and green striped paper and a red with gold poinsetta on it
- A larger tag/card with the same green, red, and gold striped paper, a line of holly-berry printed paper, and three flowers – two poinsettas and one gold flower. The reverse (inside) of the striped paper is the holly-berry print
- Another snowflake paper card/tag with a white and blue glittery foam snowflakes.
- Two round cards with a large foam snowflake on one side and glittery blue paper on the other side with a cut out snowflake
- An oval card with a tree “cameo” on it, with blue glitter. I really like the cameos, but I don’t really like the way these ones turned out – I just couldn’t come up with a great way to use the cameos…
If you got something really cute for the holidays that would make a great group-crafting project or if you can think of anything else we could do next year, leave a comment below! (And then we’ll just have to try to remember to look back here next year when we’re planning again!)
I’m calling the hanging ankh a ‘purse’ even if it isn’t actually a purse… basically it’s just an ankh that I’ll end up carrying, so I’m calling it a purse.
1) The staff started off as a bamboo pole that I had (I had actually planned to give it away, but never ran into the person I was going to give it to – so I re-purposed it for the Anubis staff).
2) For the ankh itself, I started off by drawing an ankh on my computer (so I could make sure it was even, and then easily size it up and down for a pattern), and then measured the diameter of my pole (approx 1.5″) and printed off the ankh pattern so the base of the ankh would accommodate the pole.
3) This I cut out of styrofoam. I cut two copies out of a thin foam (leftover packing material, not purchased) and then cut the top half out of a thicker foam, then cut side pieces of the thinner foam as well. Basically the bottom of the ankh is an empty box, while the top is solid, so that the ankh will fit over my bamboo pole.
4) I taped the bottom half of the two full ankhs with masking tape, and then taped the full ones on either side of the half, thicker foam piece. Then I taped in the side pieces.
From there I covered the whole thing with masking tape, to make the ankh a bit more stable, as well as to prepare the foam for paper mache.
5) I really loved the extra dimension that SamUK made on her cosplay staff (visit this link – it’s gorgeous!) using craft foam, so I also cut out some additional shapes from craft foam and glued them onto the ankhs before covering them in paper mache. I just used hot glue for this step.
6) From there I covered the whole thing with paper mache (just using white glue and warm water plus a ripped up newspaper. I only used one layer of paper mache, since I didn’t really need to add any extra bulk.
7) Next -wood filler. I picked up one tube, and about half way through the ankh for the “purse” and the staff I realized that I was going to need more…. either way – I smeared the stuff on, then smoothed it with my hands, and when it was still cool to the touch but drying I sort of “buffed” it with my hands. (I actually did this on one, and less so on the other – and the buffing really helped make the sanding a lot easier…) A few hours later (I went for sushi in between!) I sanded the ankh. The sanding didn’t really get it quite as smooth as I wanted, so I went onto the next step…
8) I have NO idea if this is the right thing to do – but I used a tiny drop of warm water on my fingertips to smooth the filler even further, let it dry again (but this time overnight) and then lightly sanded it again.
9) From here I wiped off the remaining dust and spray painted the ankh black as a base coat. I was sad to see a lot of the details of the additions seem to fade away with the matte black colour.
10) Then I spray painted it copper, and finally I painted with gold spray-paint. I really didn’t like the gold, and really liked the copper, so went back in and added a few ‘highlights’ of copper as well. The gold just didn’t look ‘metallic’ enough for me. Once that dried, I went in with black acrylic paint to bring back out the details and ‘age’ the gold a little bit, before spraying the ankh with clear varnish. It’s funny.. I spent so much time sanding to ensure that the smooth parts were smooth… and then went back in with the black paint to bring out all of the defects. Hahaha
11) Of course, from there I had to attach the ankh to the pole itself!
1) For the ankh that I would carry, I took the same pattern as the ankh for the staff and enlarged it so that the top loop would accommodate my hand (since the ankh is shown often carried in the hand rather than by a cord in most of the carvings – rather than my inspiration statue).
2) This I cut out of foam core (again, leftover from another project, rather than something I purchased for the purpose) twice, like the previous project. I then cut the same ankh out of styrofoam that is thicker than the foam core, but thinner than the thick styrofoam I used for the staff ankh.
I found the styrofoam fairly easy to cut with a box cutter (with my self-healing mat under to protect my table) but the edges are ragged. On the other hand, the foam core has nice clean lines, but is much more challenging to cut. The foam core is also quite a bit heavier than the styrofoam – not seriously heavy by any means, but noticeably heavier. The result is also much firmer, and not as ‘spongy’.
3) Next, in an effort to accommodate a small flashlight (so that my ankh might ‘glow’) I cut out a channel from the inner foam. I hope that this works, but it’s not vital for the prop, so if it doesn’t I won’t be devastated…
4) Then like the previous ankh, I layered the foam core, styrofoam and second foam core ankh and taped them together, then fully taping the ankhs for firmness and to give the paper mache something to stick to.
5) Just like the ankh for the staff, I added on some details with craft foam using hot glue, then covered the whole thing in paper mache. From there I added the wood filler, sanded, water-smoothed, and sanded again.
6) From here I wiped off the remaining dust and spray painted the ankh black. Then I spray painted it copper, and finally I painted with gold spray-paint. Like the staff ankh, I really prefered the copper to the gold, so went back in and added more copper to highlight the peice a bit.
7) From there I went in with black acrylic paint to bring out the details and ‘age’ the gold a little bit, before spraying the ankh with clear varnish. From here it’s good to go; I just need to drop in that miniature flashlight!
In a previous post I broke down the elements of the Anubis costume I wanted to make for an upcoming Masquerade party. In this post I’ll start looking at the ears, mask, and headdress specifically.
When I was doing the breakdown, I was trying to decide how to mount the ears, mask (nose), and headdress. My options were:
- Mount the ears on the mask and wear the headdress over top
- Mount the ears, headdress and mask on a hat form
- Mount the ears and headdress on a hat form and wear the mask separately
My concerns were balance (keeping it all ON) as well as what else I might have to do while in costume… and if I wanted to be able to take off one part of the costume (namely the mask) while still keeping on other parts of the costume. For instance to eat/drink, etc…
Ideally I decided I would like to do the nose/mask as one item, and then the ears and headdress as a second item – likely mounted on a hat form. However, then as I was working, I ended up making them up as one unit instead. Initial plans don’t always work… (Plus I didn’t have a hat form that I wanted to give up for the costume…)
Like the sketch from my inspiration, I wanted the shoulders of the headdress to be cut out so that it would lay flat in the front. I basically just took a rectangle of fabric (the same gold as the back of the front flag panel for the skirt), folded it in half (right side together) and sewed the three remaining sides. Then I cut out the shoulders, and curved the back corners. I sewed up the curves (minus a small portion to turn it), turned it, slip-stitched the opening closed, and pressed it, pressing a section at the front back. I’m not 100% happy with this – I think perhaps I might want to do this as more of a hood instead, but for now this will have to work. (If I end up with more time I might re-make this..)
Ears & Mask
Well, I had too much to say about the ears and mask, so I split the posts – so stay tuned!
So from here I made up a sketch of what I wanted to do – taking the elements from each of the inspiration elements that I really liked to make something that suited me (in both what I want, and what I can reasonably imagine making…)
Now to do the breakdown…
I’m not entirely sure how I’ll make this. Part of me thinks that I could mount the ears on a mask and then just have the headdress separate. Then I think in terms of balance, that having the ears, headdress, and mask all mounted on a hat-form. Maybe mount the headdress and ears on the hat-form and wear the mask separately? There are a few things to think of – balance is just one of them – also eating and dancing at the ball – if at some point I need to take something off – it would be nice to not loose everything… still retain some of the costume even if I have to remove the mask for instance (to eat or drink..)
On one hand I could entirely bead the collar which would likely be more realistic and accurate – I don’t love those “cut out a cardboard circle!” collars that I’ve seen on ‘Egyptian costume’ craft sites, but on the other hand that would mean a LOT of beads.. and a lot of time. I might leave this element until last, and then figure out how much time I have. And in the meantime I can search for huge amounts of large and yet also pretty, and yet also affordable beads…
This might be the easiest part – but I am sure I’ll figure out a way to make it complicated – like wanting to have it light up…
Also super -easy.. probably will just use one I am wearing right now… (though with my design, a gold version would work far better than the silver one I already have – perhaps I’ll make a mold of the one I have and then cast it in resin?)
Probably also easy, unless I decide to also make this be a purse… I AM going to need something to carry my keys, ID, and cab fare in, and an ankh purse would be awesome… again this might be something I save until the end, and figure out how much time I actually have to spend.
Complicated – but no more so than the mask, so this shouldn’t be hard. I picked up the gold fabrics and the teal from Marshall’s in Edmonton, and will just have to ensure that my existing basic skirt pattern still fits.
I’m not entirely sure how I want these to come together. I really want these to look like metal versus fabric – yet in order for them to stay up they’ll either have to be elastic or be sewn to the shirt. Either way – not really metal-friendly. Plus – how even to make them in metal/make them look like metal?
Not too long ago I posted a request for inspiration I posted about an upcoming Masquerade Ball that I need a new costume for. (Well, I don’t NEED a new costume – rather I WANT a new costume.. since this group of people have already seen most of my existing costumes…) I wasn’t really sure which direction I wanted to go in, so I headed to the fabric store and hoped for some inspiration!
I was up in Edmonton and headed to Marshall’s fabrics. I’ve been there once before and wasn’t too impressed with the organization of the shop – but the prices were ok. This time around I felt the same – I found great fabric – but only in one colour… (or at least I couldn’t find it in other colours…) or fabrics were in the entirely wrong sections – and some sections seemed to be entirely random.
Still though, I found some fabric which got me started…
So, starting off with some inspiration images…
Please click on the images for the original source – no copyright infringement intended, using only for reference and research purposes.
|From the Statue Forum
“He was usually portrayed as a half human, half jackal, or in full jackal form wearing a ribbon and holding a flail in the crook of its arm. The jackal was strongly associated with cemeteries in ancient Egypt, since it was a scavenger which threatened to uncover human bodies and eat their flesh. The distinctive black color of Anubis did not have to do with the jackal but with the color of rotting flesh and with the black soil of the Nile valley, symbolizing rebirth.” – From SpinSerpent
From the Closed Heart
An amazing costume in photos…
Check out this series of photos illustrating the build of an amazing costume from the wire-frame headpiece to the illuminated ankh that the player will carry. I LOVE this illuminated ankh – and this part (unlike the mask) might actually be attainable! – Check out Wolftronix
From Gratz Industries
|An actual costume this time!Clearly not something I’ll be making for myself for this time around, but a great jumping off point!
See below for a different view of the same costume! Or click here for yet another!
From Demmi Goddess
|This photo gives a LOT more detail of the top of the costume, which is fantastic!The mask looks fantastic – the ears are slightly striped in texture (as though golden ribbon has been laid into a curved ear, the eyes are outlined in gold, and the nose is shaped just like a canine nose. Really excellent work!The headpiece goes over the head and comes down on either side – The shape of this is really distinct – and something important to replicate I think to get the right look. In this case it’s black fabric with golden (lame?) fabric stripes cut and sewed onto the black fabric.There is a collar – a golden (lame) curve trimmed on either side of the curve with golden ribbon-braid, and then a different gimp-like braid down the collar for decoration. There are also golden coins with blue beads hanging from the collar.The triangle top is just as described above – with the same ribbon-braid and gimp-braid to decorate and trim it.The cape is sheer and dotted.The staff has a large ankh on the top..Cleopatra’s foam headdress is also fantastic!
It looks like Anubis may have originally had a white costume! (The mask definitely looks the same.) Another shot here. And yet another! So photogenic!
Just a few links
These are nice photos and all, but don’t really add a lot to my overall inspiration board. Still – they might come in handy!
- A glossy black and gold statue on the Lost tv forum.
- A photo of a huge statue in Seattle (to celebrate the King Tut exhibit). Another photo of the same statue in Vienna. And London.
- A bunch of really cool Anubis tattoos – unfortunately you can’t see the larger images without a membership…
- Really beautiful illustration – though I don’t think it’s useful inspiration – though I do love the idea of the half-mask.
- Another amazing illustration – I like the use of green and purple with this one – though I think that black, gold, and blue will probably read better…
- Anubis vs. Batman. Awesome.
- A little statue, but it doesn’t add anything to my list – it’s just pretty. (It does use red along with white and blue for the costume, which is nice too…)
|Speaking of the shape of that headpiece, BakuraGirl has a great sketch with a fantastic idea – cut outs. (For the shoulders)She also illustrates a snake on the top of the head, and golden paint around the eyes.More photos on her page show a work-in-progress of the mask – using wire and tape for the initial shape of the head, followed by paper mache, and foam for the ears.|
While searching around, I found this really awesome mask/helmet from a Sci-Fi series that used an Anubis-like character, and I really love the decorative elements contained within the texture of the helmet. (Fans/fronds, scarabs, etc) I thought that having some decorative elements included in my research would be important and useful too.
From Blingdom of god
|This doesn’t really seem to fall into the same category for inspiration – a ring…BUT… I am thinking this might be a neat way to make the ‘mask’ – base it off a tiara/crown versus basing it off the mask.. This might make more sense in my head than on ‘paper’.|
From the Atomic Think Tank
|Ok, moving back to illustration…I am adding this one in because of the colours and decorations more than anything else…
|An amazing illustration
From Dark Natasha
|Another fabulous illustrationI really love the details on this one.
So I’ve got my inspiration…
… more posts to come! Follow the Masquerade Ball Category for where I go from here!
Really useful post! I’m adding it here from the ‘addthis’ – wish it would include a graphic or two though ;D
As I mentioned in a previous post, I attended this year’s Creative Stitches & Crafting Alive! trade show – and I’ve already discussed some other elements of the show, but there were a few other photos I didn’t have a chance to share, that I thought I’d toss up for inspirations sake.
Three-dimensional poppy wall-hanging from Veronica’s Sewing Supplies which I really liked – though I didn’t end up getting the pattern or the kit. I had already picked up a few other things, and I was trying to show some restraint with ‘new projects’. (Since I already have so many on the go…)
I think that this pretty Elk pattern was from The Sugar Pine Company (located in Canmore) although I could be wrong…
This one is called Monarch of the Valley, and it is of an elk – they also had a bear, a buffalo, and another elk as well. (Click here for a shop selling this pattern – no recommendation intended – just one I found online since the Sugar Pine Co. didn’t seem to have it on theirs.) I liked this mostly because of the black outlines around the element – I am guessing that several of the pattern pieces is cut out of black and then the fabric – with then the fabric cut slightly narrower – so that when layered on top of the black, an outline of black shows around each of those selected elements.
In Carola’s class on texture, she also brought out starfish, and the example below. Time was running short when we were in the workshop, so I didn’t get the chance to see it up close, but instead saw it in her booth later on.
The starfish were each sewn, slashed and stuffed, the quilting was done on “ugly” (her words) hand-dyed fabric resembling mucky water along the shoreline, and turned-and-stuffed pebbles as well.
The seaweed in this piece was made the same way she made the moss in the texture example art quilt that we spent the most time on in the workshop itself. (By stitching with quilt-weight thread on several layers of wash-away stabilizer in a repeated pattern to build up the thread before washing out the stabilizer and then attaching the ‘seaweed’.
In the scrapbook area, there was a shop booth that had this awesome steampunk mannequin – made almost entirely from paper-crafting supplies! The outfit included a corset and bustle skirt, but what I really liked was the hat!
Decorated with gears, flowers, and goggle,s what I really loved about the hat was the huge scrapbook chipboard ‘clock’.
I found cogs similar to the chipboard clock…
… and then also found the clock too. Such a cool idea I’d love to try to replicate it – but… eh. I didn’t bother picking this up, again trying to show some restraint in the new-project-file. I have so many projects on the go – including hats… that I didn’t want to add this – especially since the chipwood would restrict the wearing of the hat – being paper and all. Plus, I think I know where I can get the chipboard clock faces (or the cogs if I wanted to go that way instead…) if I decide to attempt to do something similar in the future.
So.. that’s pretty much it in terms of the inspiration from the Creative Stitches show – and the last post I’ll have for the show (at least for this year!)
So… feeling inspired means I should have some completed projects to post at some time.. right?
So earlier I wrote about the Creative Stitches & Crafting Alive! trade show in mid/late October and some general thoughts. I then showed off some of the examples from one of the workshops I attended.
I didn’t mention that there were also two displays at the show of completed quilts in a sort of competition/exhibition. One was all full-sized quilts (with a theme of patriotism or military or Canadiana I’m not sure exactly…) and I’ll admit that I wasn’t especially inspired by them, so I didn’t take any photos. The other was more of an art-inspired, textile exhibition. I found some of them really nice, and took a few photos.
Like the Sunflower quilt that Carola showed us – this one was most likely made by discharge (bleach). I think that the artist/quilter started off by custom-dying the background fabric in the gradation from green to yellow to orange to rust, and then used a stamp or something to bleach out a few leaves “falling” down to the ground.
Notable is that the leaves do vary in size, but the largest leaves are near the bottom while the smaller ones are towards the top. This gives the impression of distance. The boldest quilting seems to be a wind blowing down, while the background filler quilting is geometric.
This quilt is called “Blown into my yard III” and is by Margie Davidson from Edmonton, Alberta.
She writes ” Having grown up in Ontario the memory of vivid red and orange maple leaves is a part of me. Maple leaves are my favorite leaves to sunprint with when I am painting fabric. But a maple tree is rare here in Alberta where I have lived for half my life. I seek them out. My neighbor has one. The next closest, a silver maple is 20 blocks away. I am always delighted when the maple leaves from that neighbor’s tree are blown into my yard.”
(I suppose that means that rather than discharge, this is a sunprint?)
The next quilt is called Crows and Crabapples and is by Emilie Belak from Grand Forks, BC.
She writes “A crabapple tree in front of the dining room provides beauty and entertainment year round. the crows occupy a linden tree by the compost bin watching for the daily scraps. Combining these two seemed like fun. Crows are definitely not unique to British Columbia and you might have multitudes of your own. Let my crows span the distance gap from west to east and bring you smiles and cheer.”
I like the imagery of the crows, and the bright pops of red along with the dark brown branches and dark birds is very bold against the varied blues of the background. I really like the background itself too – it looks so subtle from a distance, but up close you can see that it is loads of little rectangles all lined up and appliqued (fused) and stitched down to the background to create one layer of quilting on top of which the applique is added.
The next quilt I really like, but can’t even imagine reproducing in any way – it is called “Kanaka Creek Sunset” and it is by Vivian Kapusta from Maple Ridge in BC.
She writes “Kanaka Creek is named for the Hawaiians who worked across the Fraser River at Fort Langley. The pilings were used at the turn of the century to tie up log booms by the Abernathy and Lougheed Railway & Logging Co. The Kanaka Park is one of my favorite walks along the banks of the Fraser.”
With the lighting in the room I wasn’t able to get as good of a shot of this as I would have liked to really represent what it looked like. Basically it seemed as though the quilt was as much a quilt as it was painting with thread. The sunset in particular was really well done (and really blown out in the photo so you can’t really see it at all… ) with all of the yellow threads coming from the ‘sun’ in the centre.
Looking at the details- it also looked like the fabric was more dyed and painted than pieced, which was kind of cool, and an interesting way to reproduce the image.
The final quilt that I really liked and took a photo of (there were many more quilts than just this, but only a few that I really liked) is called Too Far Away by Pat Findlay from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The exhibition was put on by the Fiber Art Network of Western Canada, and represented artists/quilters from Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
About Too Far Away, Pat writes “…In this piece I have focused on the most obvious image in the night sky – the Milky Way – and one image that is seen in the same way throughout the world. I have futhur tried to include many generations of man, by including the oldest religious symbol know – the triple spiral, which has been adopted and used by many belief systems in our history.”
The triple spiral is used in the background quilting of the piece, and in addition to beading the piece extensively (I would suggest that the beading is creating the “art” of the piece much more so than the quilting…) the artist also used silver paint to expand the “milky way’ around from just the beads.
The eye is really drawn to the one very large glass piece which is not a bead I suppose – as it is sort of couched onto the quilt with silver threads, and framed in small white beads (possibly hiding the base of the silver threads?) Some of the larger white circles might also be buttons instead of beads, since they seem to be flat. This is actually something that I think would be a lot of fun to try to reproduce. It sure would be fun to collect all of the beads!