Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Animals in Wood.

My father was the greatest craftsman I ever knew. The bad thing is I never took the advantage to learn the art, or watch him work on his workshop.
But my husband has been taken this new hobby, and he can make a lot of things in wood. So now I won't let this chance go, and he has been teaching me the basics of woodwork.
After working on the big saw, sanding and gluing some basic pieces, he got me a nice Scroll Saw as a Chistmas present.
I was so excited that I made a little project on Christmas morning, and spread sawdust in the house while he cooked. I made a little cat.
Then researching on Scroll Saw projects, I found a technique called Intarsia, which uses inlays in wood with different colors. I tought it was so amazing, I needed to try.
First I had to make a design, and a racoon caught my eye. I made him inside a tree trunk, that I saw on another design with an owl.
The machine was kind of using a sewing machine, with a tougher material. Another crucial step is carefully sanding each piece.
The tricky part was not to loose the pieces, which I did trying to vacuum the dust (my husband was able to open the vacuum and find my piece).
I individually painted each part, then again mixing up the pieces and having a hard time putting the puzzle together.
After dried, the pieces were glued to another piece of wood, then varnished a couple of times.
I really liked working with wood, and have lots of projects in mind.

Gravity Falls Mistery Shack.

I made a cake in the past in the shape of the Mystery Shack, from our favorite show Gravity Falls.
This time I have been working on a paper version, so the kids could play.
But I got stuck with this project, and didn't know how I was going to continue. I had only the roof ready, with the sign on top. I made the shape in cardboard, and the roof tiles were made from paper clay and handpainted. The Mystery Shack sign was made in cardboard. from old boxes.

But when we got the Gravity Falls figure pack for Christmas from our friend Christa, I got my inspiration back, and knew how to finish!
So I continued using my old stile, with boxes ...
...and covering with paper from magazines and used cards.
After finished, I spread papers with school artwork the kids have from school, and placed our favorite characters.

Thank you Christa, that is the gift that keeps giving.
Because we love Gravity Falls!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Rice Panda.

It is so nice I was able to find a friend who I haven't seen in over 20 years, and we found out we have more in common than we thought.
Last time I saw my friend Suemy was in 1994 in our graduation for our Veterinary Medicine degree, in Brazil. Now over 20 years later, I find her through Facebook, and she turns out to be an art teacher, and an incredible painter.
Now once in while she tags me on her posts, and gives me this cute ideas to make. A while ago she sent me these pictures with kawaii food.
So today I happened to have a little time, and all the ingredients to make one of her ideas. I made some pandas with rice.
And a sheet of seaweed to cut the dark shapes, using scissors.
I used sticky rice (Jasmine rice) to make the shapes by hand. One tip for the rice not to stick to your hands is wet your hands and fingers with water.

The rice was almost cold, but still tasty.
Thanks for the tip, Suemy!
And today it happens to be her birthday. Happy Birthday, Su!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Felt Ornaments.

It is a couple of days before Christmas, and I had just decided what to make for teachers, school nurse, and friends.
A cute, simple gift that I thought they would like are tree ornaments, or little winter decorations, in case they don't celebrate the same holiday.
For my kids teachers I made little schools made in felt. I even found these cute miniature cookie cutters, and mice buttons at AC Moore.
My kids also love the school nurse, so I made this gingerbread nurse.
There is also the music teacher.
And the art teacher.
My friend Diane has a dog named Sandy, so I made a little Sandy to hang in the tree.
And for Diane, who is the greatest baker in the world, I made herself. It won't hang in the tree, but maybe it can be a holiday decoration.
The figure I made in FIMO clay, and the little embellishments are buttons from AC Moore.
I hope they all like their gifts, it was so much fun to create each one of them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Flower Pins.

I have made a few flowers in the past, to use as a hair accessory. But when my husband's Japanese techer saw the flowers, she told me they are very popular in Japan to use as a pin, to wear in parties.
So I grabbed all my material, and bought some more, to make these pins.
I started buying more fabric, and the best for this type is organza, that I got at Joann fabrics.
I first cut a lot of pieces in the shape of petals, in different sizes. Then I used spray fabric paint to color and let dry overnight.
The next day, I took each petal and placed the edges close to the heat of a flame. The edges curl up and give a more natural look.

To start to make the rose, I use the smallest piece, roll up and sew around to keep it curled.
Then I place the next petal, and also sew with needle and thread.
And gradually add more petals around.
When I have a good number of roses, I use my hot glue and attach them to a button, a clip or a pin, and give a little finish in the back.
It is such a fun project, and the finished work is very nice.
I hope Nakazawa sensei likes them.