Showing posts with label rainbow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rainbow. Show all posts

Sunday, February 18, 2018

How to Knit a Rainbow Scarf

LEEEEET me just start this blog post by stating the obvious: I am not a knitter. I mean, I know HOW to knit but just as much as I know HOW to sing in a wannabe opera voice or I know HOW to tap dance when I have annoying tap dance sounding shoes on. But that don't make me no Maria Callas or Fred Astaire. Knowing such, I should have known better than to even think I could knit a Rainbow Scarf...that didn't look like a giant boa constrictor about to devour me (my buddy Michelle called it the Rainbow Anaconda and I think that's hilariously 100% accurate). Think I'm exaggerating about the size of this thing? Check this out:
I mean...oops.
The whole thing started with a week of snow days and time on my hands. I spotted these colors at the craft store and they all happily hopped into my shopping cart. I had no way of stopping them, I swear (this is the story I tell the hubs. He's not convinced). 
I've knitted scarves before and I DISLIKE knitting. It takes to dang long! Which is why I only knit a scarf every two years...it takes me that long to forget what an epic pain in the butt it is in order to begin a new one. And, yes, I'm self taught with the help of a children's book. And, yes, I do have to give myself a refresher course each and every time I pick up knitting again. 
Okay, so, lemme tell you how this whole thing happened. I decided I wanted the rainbow to run the length of the scarf. And I also decided to knit on needles in the round. So when I was casting on, I just decided to go by look and not count how much I was casting on...that, obvi, was mistake numero uno. Then the round needles made the knitting appear a lot smaller because they kept everything so compact. Therefore, in actuality, it's the needles fault. Cuz I just kept knitting and knitting and knitting...

Let's talk about the pros and cons of having a 12 foot long (plus!) scarf, shall we?
It gets a lot of attention! I have been stopped by more people when I am wearing this monster. Mostly it's just like, "wow...that scarf...it's really long, isn't it?!" How do you even respond to that? My husband gave the typical "that's what she said" response but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't sound quite right if I said it. 
Another pro is that it's very warm...almost too warm. The weight of it tho, seriously, gives me a big of a neck ache after too much wear. 
 Let's talk cons now, shall we? It seriously takes some thought and time to put this thing on. Because you just keep wrapping and wrapping. 

 And even when you think you are done wrapping, the scarf is all "but wait, there's more!"
 One day, I didn't manage to wrap the whole thing around me and I found that I'd drove all the way home with half of it hanging out the car door. Thankfully the scarf was fine...but I can only imagine what others must have thought when they saw a little blue Honda with a giant rainbow billowing behind it.
 Don't mind me, I'm just over here putting my scarf on. For 20 minutes. 
 My students absolutely LOVE this scarf. I shared it with my first graders and we literally all wrapped up in the thing. 
 Me trying to gage just how many more wraps Ima gonna hafta do.
 About 7 more. 
And there you have it, the Rainbow Scarf! Remind me the next time I get the itch to knit about this crazy thing, would ya, please!? 
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Sunday, February 11, 2018

DIY: Needle Felted Rainbow Dress

I'm pretty certain that at some point, with all the rainbows of color, I'm going to just blend right in with my art room and the kids will no longer be able to find me. Rainbow is the new camouflage, says me.

Now, if y'all have followed the progression of this needle felted rainbow dress (that's right, this whole thing is needle felted, y'all), then you know we MUST talk about Paintbrushgate...
See, originally, I had wanted the dress to appear as though there was a paintbrush painting a rainbow. I really REALLY loved the idea and really REALLY wanted it to work but it just wasn't. And I couldn't figure out what was wrong. So I posted to my friends on my Instagram. Everyone was super sweet and, thankfully, honest when they saw what I failed to.



HOLY CATS! WHAT?! I was like one of those cartoons where the character rubs their eyes and then finally sees the giant train heading right at 'em. I immediately removed the paintbrush and the bristles (let's face it, they were the true culprit in Paintbrushgate) and decided to ditch the brush idea entirely. At least for this dress. I do still LOVE the idea and have created a more details sketch with better placement options (ahem) for next time. 
 Here's what the dress looked like with the brush removed and the new roving just tacked down. This is before I'd run the dress through my needle felting machine which further tacks down the roving. That's why the dress looks a little misshapen and lumpy. Once tacked down and ironed, the dress no longer has that stretched out look. In the end, it really reminded me of the work of Jen Stark whose image you see on the right. 
 Now the other thing that was a bit tricky with this dress was the placement of the curves. This gray dress was actually one I found at Old Navy and is a big large for me. I like it because it's different from the usually fitted and flaired dresses I wear. However, the shift shape of this dress doesn't really do much for a gal's figure. So I had to make sure that the roving kinda accented my curves. Well, let's be honest, I don't have much by way of curves...so I needed a dress to create the illusion that I do. 
 Especially when I stand like this, BAM! Don't ask, I have no idea what I'm doing. Ever. 
 I will say this, without the advice of my online buddies, I just might be wearing an accidental inappropriate dress. 
 If you've been hanging around this blog for a while, then you know needle felting clothing is my jam. If you are interested in learning more, I've got tons of info on this hear blog, including how-to videos. Just use that search bar thingie over to your right and you'll find all sorts of needle felting information.
 Of course, now that my art room is an explosion of rainbows, it makes a pretty sweet backdrop for photos. I was getting a lil tired of standing in front of that giant painting in our house anyway. 
 There are still little parts that I could go back and tweak. Places where the lines aren't as smooth as I would like. When I run it through my needle felting machine, that thing is kind of a monster as it just kind of chews the fabric. It's not for delicate work and sometimes things get moved around a pinch. 
 But I'm not one of those artists who goes back and reworks something. When I say done, it's done...and I'm all WHAT'S NEXT?! Not sure yet...but I know it won't have a paintbrush in an unfortunate place! 

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

DIY: A Needle Felted Color Wheel Coat!

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Check this out, y'all: on Thursday, it was a balmy 68 degrees in the Nashville area and they were calling for snow and ice the next day. Our weather-predicting/school DJ/head custodian announced that we'd be out. Now, despite those warm weather conditions, I KNEW we'd be out because our weather-predicting/school DJ/head custodian is NEVER wrong. So y'all better believe I was excited to spend my day off working on this needle felted color wheel coat ida that I'd been kicking around in my head.
Not too long ago, I found myself in Old Navy where I discovered this jacket on the sale rack. I'd already had the idea in my head and this style of jacket was exactly what I was looking for...one with a large flat backside that would serve as a big blank canvas for my color wheel. 
 If you've been hanging around this blog for even a minute, you know that needle felting is one of my favorite things. In fact, early this week I shared my Top Ten Needle Felted Sweaters. I've needle felted every type of fabric: jersey, knit, wool, wool blend, canvas, big ole winter coats, you name it. I've managed to acquire a beautiful assortment of wool over time which is great to have on hand when an idea like this strikes. I created a video of myself working to help explain the process:
The tools I used in the video, the pen tool and the cushion, are both by Clover and they are my favorite. However, I will say that because this jacket is a fleece or something, I totally busted all three needles in my pen tool immediately. The pen tool comes with very fine needles...but I have a stash of the thicker needle felting needles. I replaced them inside my tool and, once I got the hang of the surface, I was fine.
 I simply tacked the roving down with the plan to further felt with my machine. However, if I didn't have a needle felting machine (see video) I would have just had to do it by hand. It probably would have taken twice as long. I rarely bust out that needle felting machine but when I do, I'm always happy I have it!
 Of course I had to take pictures of it in front of all the new colorful areas in my art room. Seriously, my art room is my happy place. There are SO MANY projects I want to do...but I'm glad some are finally coming together. I have a self-appointed deadline for my art room but the date is pretty much pushed back to the end of the year. One of these days, I'll get my life together. Meh, prolly not. You can check out more details of my Mary Blair Mural here
 My pattern painted globe found a home in front of the mural! 
 I decided to pair my coat with my needle felted palette beret...more deets here
When I needed a break from all the stabby-stab, I decided to embroidery-bomb this broken Anthro necklace I'd had sitting in my stash. You can check out this blog post to see just how much I'm loving all things yarn-bomby right now. 
 I needed a little bling to go with the jacket, right? I'm thinking of painting the wooden beads that hang from the necklace...or maybe not. I kinda dig it right now. 
 My jacket tho is pretty much giving me life. I went to grab pizza after working in my art room this morning and dude at the pizza placed thanked me for my jacket. "Thank you for bringing a rainbow in here." I thought that was so sweet! 
 And now for a bunch of picks of my backside. Ahem.
 If you look closely, you'll see that I had to do a little color blending to achieve a complete gradation. You can kinda see it here: check out the purple and pink sections. To blend, I just had to pull and tuft the rooving repeatedly to get it completely blended. 
By the way, this is what the inside of my jacket looks like. Notice how the fibers have been pushed through. 
 I liked the necklace before but I am loving the rainbow makeover! 
And of course I had to take pics of my jacket in front of the rainbow wall and the rainbow treeIf you've not tried your hand at needle felting, I encourage you to do so...then we can be color wheel coat friends! 
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Monday, February 13, 2017

In the Art Room: Chalk Prints and Shaving Cream Marbling

In second grade we are working like crazy with our short 30 minute art classes to try our hands at two different paper treatments: floating chalk prints and shaving cream marbling. My goal has been for all of my students to attempt both processes twice before the end of class. It's a go-go-go kind of class but it's a lot of fun. When I shared a couple short videos of my students working on these papers, I got a lot of questions about the process. So I created a video that will walk you through each. I'll also go through the supplies needed in this here post. Here's the how-to video:
Supplies for floating chalk prints:

* Paper. I used 6" X 9" papers. These will be used for the covers of their Rainbow Book. I only order between 80- 90 lbs paper for the art room. 
* Chalk. We used Freart Chalk by Prang. I like this chalk because it's high in pigment and thick like sidewalk chalk.
* Tongue depressors. We used the big ones which you can get cheap at the Dollar Tree.
* Tub of water. I made it so each my students had their own tub to save on time. I see my second graders at the end of the day so this meant I didn't have to hustle to move the tubs for my next class. 
If you watch the video, you'll see just how easy this process is...and how beautiful the results are. 
I have a feeling the kids are going to have a hard time deciding which beautiful papers to use for the covers of their Rainbow Book!
When doing these chalk prints, you can even use stencils to create a really cool look. Check out this blog post where we used star stencils
The best part is, you don't have to "set" these creations as you would normal chalk pieces!
 For shaving cream marbling, you'll need the following:

* Shaving cream. We used cheap dollar store stuff.
* Liquid watercolor.
* Paint brushes.
* Tongue depressors.
* Paper. 
This process required more steps so some of my students would get excited and forget those steps. I made sure to appoint my Art Teachers in Training who did a wonderful job reminding kids of the steps. Yay! 
I did not change out the bins of shaving cream or water. For the floating chalk prints, it was not necessary. For the shaving cream, it just meant that the following prints had more color. 
 Again, so pretty! I can't wait to see these on the covers of their books. Here are the books they are creating:
I have done shaving cream prints before...but never in a closed container. I am never going back, y'all! The mess is contained...like, literally.
Have y'all done these kind of prints before? I'd love to hear about it! I'm also curious to know what you did with your beautiful papers. 
I'll be sure and update you with our completed Rainbow Books!
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