Minimalistic hand embroidery

 

You know when you come across a record that you love so much you just have to turn its cover design into a hand embroidery? I’m sure everybody’s felt that way. The record that gave me this impulse is Suede’s eponymous debut album from 1993. Go listen to it now! It’s brilliant and it has a really beautiful cover, adapted from a photograph by Tee Corinne.

img_0298

I did my own minimalistic adaptation of the picture and ended up with this! I’m SO happy with it.

Here’s how I did:

  1. I opened a picture of the album cover on my laptop and zoomed to an appropriate size.
  2. Then I taped a thin sheet of paper to my screen and drew the outlines onto it.
  3. After that, I pinned the paper to the back of a thin, white fabric (I used an old pillowcase) and redrew the same line onto that, putting it up against a window in daylight.
  4. Then I folded the fabric once to make it double, put it in a frame and started to embroider along the lines with black thread.
  5. When I was done, I cut off the edges of the fabric, leaving only a thin margin (~1 cm) that I glued to the insides of the frame.

(I think it’s a good idea to use a thin, folded fabric – if it’s too thick, it will be hard to get enough light through it to draw the pattern onto it, and if you don’t fold your thin fabric there’s a risk that the threads on the backside will be visible at the front. If you use a darker fabric you probably have to use a different technique for drawing the pattern.)

Happy embroidering to everybody!

Gardening 2016 pt 3: Harvest

In the first part of my little ‘Gardening 2016’ series, I wrote about how good I am at starting projects but also how bad I am at finishing them. Little did I know that was exactly what would happen to this blog… How ironic. However, my gardening – the context in which I mentioned my inability to stick to anything – seems not to have suffered the same fate, at least not this year. Hooray! As 1) I’m (apparently) back blogging, and 2) it’s September, the few of you who actually read this will now have the great honor of seeing what my efforts in the early spring have generated. Voilà:

IMG_0199_x.jpg

Tomatoes, chili, rosemary, mint, figs & grapes. The two last are actually grown by my neighbours and not myself, but they give me an opportunity to brag about the very non-Scandinavian microclimate in our courtyard :))))))

Spring inspired painting

IMG_9103_Fotor

So April’s Monthly Makers theme is spring. Very challenging! I’ve spent the whole month trying to come up with something good – I had a thousand ideas that I wasn’t super exited about, so finally I just decided to sit down in front of a blank paper and start painting aimlessly. I don’t know about the result, but what a great feeling! Hands-on, stress relieving, etc. It struck me as I went that this is not the first time I paint without a plan – it’s how kids paint, isn’t it? Or how kids do just about anything. We should act like kids more often.

IMG_9099_Fotor

So, how does this relate to spring? one may ask. Well, idk really. It’s just abstractly inspired by it. The colours are kinda springy, and I think the strokes look a little like flower petals fallen to the ground. As I said: probably not gonna hang this on my wall, but I definitely hope I’ll continue using aimless painting as a creative practice in its own right. I guess the end result shouldn’t always be in focus!

DIY cloudy sky print

IMG_9085_Fotor

Lots of clouds on this blog lately! I guess it kinda reflects the current weather here in Malmö. Or, more accurately, the general weather here in Malmö. Anyway, I did this print last summer but only recently took the time to put it in a proper frame. I used a really simple technique inspired by a picture which I pinned from here (the original source seems to be lost). Here’s what you need:

  • some good quality white paper
  • some thin but stable cardboard (for the stencil)
  • scissors
  • watercolours (I used these)
  • some kind of painting sponge (I used this)

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Cut one of the edges of your cardboard so that it becomes uneven and kind of cloudlike.
  2. Blend your watercolours until you find the shade you want. I used black, white and dark blue and aimed for a dark, greyish blue.
  3. Start at the top of the paper. On the first round, place the stencil a little bit outside (above) the edge of the paper (as if the pattern would continue upwards) and start stamping along the upper edge of the stencil. The stencil will create a sharp lower edge underneath which the paper will stay white. Try to stamp lightly to make the upper edge as smooth and soft as possible. Make sure to cover the whole width of the paper along the stencil with paint, but don’t even it out too much – it looks better if the thickness of the paint varies a bit sideways.
  4. Work your way down successively, moving the stencil down but also a bit side to side, to that the same bumps won’t occur in the same place vertically.
  5. When you reach the bottom, finish off by putting the stencil a bit outside the lower edge of the paper (just as you did at the top) to make it look like the pattern continues.
  6. Let dry. Done!

Haha sorry for the messy description. The technique is probably clearer from the picture above.

IMG_9075_Fotor

The print now lives in a black frame on our art wall. 🙂

Gardening 2016 pt 2: Replanting

IMG_9070_Fotor

I’ve been procrastinating for weeks, but today I finally got around to the next step in this year’s gardening process: the first replanting. My tiny chilis and tomatoes finally got to move from their plastic tray into individual pots.

IMG_9069_Fotor

They look happy so far!

As we’re running out of window space in the apartment, they now live in the stairs. Hope they’ll survive!

DIY cloud magnets

This month’s Monthly Makers theme was miniatures. I made clay magnets in the shape of tiny clouds!

IMG_9051_Fotor

It was really easy – all you need is clay (I used this) and some small magnets (I used these), as well as some strong glue. I shaped small clouds out of the clay, dried them in the oven (read the instructions on the package) and glued the magnets onto the backs. Done!

IMG_9062_Fotor

Now they live on the fridge next to our Copenhagen streetmap jigsaw puzzle. I probably haven’t used clay since I used to play with salt dough and play-doh as a child, but I’m definitely doing this again!