Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kitten Harnesses!

From the moment I knew I was getting kittens, I wanted to train them for harnesses.  It's worked well!  This post is a lot of gratuitous kitten pictures, surrounded by a little bit of information.  Here we go!

I made harnesses using a simple pattern of Simplicity 2393, Size A (XXS-M).  I got it at JoAnn's during one of their "patterns are only $2 each" sales.

In order to get them used to the harnesses, I followed guides on the internet.  Well, to be honest, I tried at first to just put the harnesses straight on them, and they just flopped over and refused to move.  Then I went with the longer instructions, which generally go something like this:
  • put the harnesses out near their food dishes/on the floor for a few days.  Play with the cats with the harnesses - bat them around on the floor, etc.
  • Then, while they are eating their favorite food, put the harness just on their neck, and take it off after they're done eating.  Do this for a few days.
  • Put the harness fully on them while they are eating for a few days.
  • Put the harness on their neck and play with them while it's on for a few minutes.
  • Put the harness fully on them and play with them for a few minutes.  Gradually increase the time they are wearing the harness.
  • Snap the leash on and let them explore outside!
  • Start using treats to get them to follow when you tug gently on the leash.

As they got older and grew, I made new harnesses to fit them.  My fully grown cats are on their third set of harnesses.

All of the harnesses have Star Trek swoops on them.  My cats are on a mission to explore new worlds!  And yes, I made sure none of them were red.  :)

My cats are fully trained to wear harnesses, and they know it means playing outside time.  Gnome in particular gets excited when I bring out the harness, even if it hasn't happened for a few months.  I never did get around to leash training them, as I was just about to start doing so when DeForest had to go to the hospital.  When he passed away, I couldn't look at the cats for months without crying, so leash training went out the window.  It's also much harder to do with just me - it really takes one person per cat.

Even without leash training, I'm glad they know how to wear harnesses.  It means I can stake them in the yard on a leash and let them scamper around.  :)  I'm planting a garden later this week, and I don't have to worry about them eating plants that will make them sick.  I just make sure their leash doesn't reach the garden.  (These cats will eat any plant that is around, as far as I can tell.)  

I love my furry children!  ~Kell
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Ridiculously Simple Comfy Bra

Ready to learn how to make an incredibly simple bra?  This was so easy to make, and I've worn it as often as I can get away with it since making it.

A few months ago, I saw a pack of three tank tops for $5 at Meijer.  When I opened up the package, I found that 2 of the tanks were too short for my comfort.  So I turned them into a bra!

Step 1: Pin around the neck and arm openings of two tank tops that fit well around your bust, trying to match them up, wrong sides together.  Sew a simple zigzag stitch along the neck and arm openings, sewing the two layers together.

Step 2:  Put the tank on, and mark with chalk where the fabric comes to just below your bust.  Lay the tanks out flat on a table and cut a straight line across where you marked.

Step 3:  Take some 1" fold over elastic, and wrap it around yourself, just below your bust.  Pull it so it's somewhat tight - whatever you think would be comfortable to wear.  Cut that length.  Sew the ends together, right sides together, to make the FOE into a circular band.

Step 4:  Sew the FOE to the bottom of the cut off tanks.  Be careful to catch both layers of material.  For more detailed instructions, check out my post about making underwear with FOE - it's the same technique.

And you're done!  That was so easy!

Pattern: No pattern was used, since I made this out of purchased tank tops.  Just measuring on myself to find where my below-the-bust line was.
Fabric: Two purchased tank tops.
Notions: 1" Fold-Over Elastic, leftover from making underwear
Hours: Maybe a half hour?  I don't remember.  30 minutes - 1 hour.
Will you make it again?  Yes!  This is suuuuuper comfortable, and so easy to make.
Total cost: About $3.50 for the two tank tops, and the FOE was a remnant, so I'm considering that was free.
Final thoughts: I didn't match up the neckline exactly, so you can see bits of the other side.  Not a huge deal, but it's not perfect.  That aspect would be easier with two tank tops of the same color.  On the other hand, this bra is completely reversible, and I'm able to wear it with both dark and light colored shirts.  It just looks like I've layered two tank tops below the other shirts.  I love it!  ~Kell
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Quest for the Golden Seamstress

The Quest for the Golden Seamstress is a really unique SCA event held in the Midrealm every spring.  Most SCA events nowadays have the general structure of having various marshal activities all day (rapier, armored combat, archery, thrown weapons), alongside some A&S classes (Arts & Sciences), which wrap up with court, a feast, and then dancing.  Not the Quest for the Golden Seamstress: it's SCA Project Runway!

People form teams of 1-6 people, who do varying levels of research into making garb for one person on the team.  That's not just making the clothing, either, but also the shoes (leatherworking), accessories (jewelry making, glassblowing for making Viking beads, metalsmithing for metal bracelets and handheld items like tweezers, etc), undergarments, purses, embroidery, trim... all of the many things that go into making an outfit!

Depending on the difficulty category (Novice, Advanced, or Master), you're allowed to do a certain amount of it before the event (usually things such as undergarments like corsets, and sometimes getting started on making accessories and embellishments).  The contest starts at 10 pm on Friday night, and until 6 pm on Saturday evening, you try to finish an entire set of SCA garb for one person.  Then you get judged!

There are four ways to participate in the event.  First is be a part of event staff - the lovely people who do gate and making food - and second is to a judge.  Third, you can be one of the contestants!  We sometimes even get contestants from outside our Kingdom, as this is such a unique event to be a part of.  Finally, you can show up for "dinner and a show" on Saturday evening, to see the final runway of everyone's accomplishments!

Last year, I was in the latter category, and really enjoyed seeing the results of everyone's labor.  It's fascinating to see all the layers that people make - it's a LOT of work.  This year, I decided to try doing the event as a contestant.

My group was called the Tudor Tailoresses, and we made a Tudor gown for Helva.

Here is a picture of the workbench of the person making all of Helva's jewelry!  It's amazing how much work goes into it. She spent almost the entire event making it.

I spent the entire event, and more than 10 hours before the event, making inkle woven trim and then sewing that trim onto the Tudor gown.  This first picture is actually an abandoned piece of trim - I warped this up, only to remember how much I loathed doing really wide trim.  It takes a lot of focus to make sure that the trim stays the same width, constantly measuring it to make sure it's even.  By the time I started this piece, I was so tired that I gave up and cut it off the loom and changed it to something easier to weave.

Here is a bunch of the trim I did finish!  The picture doesn't do it justice, because that white thread actually has a silver piece of tinsel wrapped around it and it sparkles wonderfully.  The diagonal pattern is all pick-up inkle weaving.  The gown has two entire 8.5' pieces of pick-up woven trim involved, and another 4' of regularly woven inkle trim.

The lovely Helva, modeling the Tudor dress!  I wish I had taken more detailed photos.  Her head wrap has stunning embroidery on it.  The sleeves are pinned to the dress with pins made on site by our jewelry maker.  So many details in this!

You can see that we didn't quite finish - there's a lot of hemming and little fixes still to do.  A lot was accomplished, though!

All in all, I'm not sure I'm cut out for being a contestant at this event.  Some people really thrive on the pressure and deadline and working through much of the night (many people do sleep for some part of the event, but it's not exactly quality sleep on an air mattress in a room next to all of the sewing people).  I really like my sleep uninterrupted and don't handle lack of sleep well, and I don't think I like this kind of pressure when making things.  Everyone at the event was super awesome, but everyone was also focused pretty strongly on working, so socializing was minimal.  On top of that, by midway through Saturday I was pretty miserably tired, and focused on keeping my crabbiness locked inside my head and being pleasant to others (which I'm pretty proud of doing successfully, but it wasn't fun).

That said, I am extremely happy that this event exists!  I'm glad I tried it once as a contestant, and I definitely plan on being back for the "dinner and a show" option in the years to come.  ~Birke
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Old Dominion Storage + A Peak at the Dominion Big Book

Like most people who adore the game Dominion, I've struggled a bit with storage solutions.  When I was making my first Dominion storage solution (~2.5 years ago now), I remembered to take a bunch of pictures, but never posted them.  Since I'm making a new storage solution now, I figured this was a good time to finally post about the old one.  It's fairly easy to make and has held up really well.  Obviously I think it has its drawbacks, or I wouldn't be designing a new case, but if you want a really cheap storage solution that doesn't need any fancy equipment to make, this is a good one.

My old storage solution uses a series of tabbed dividers, like most of the other storage solutions out there.  I made my template to be able to fit the cards underneath them, lying sideways.  The two different template pieces fit together (fitting the top tabs next to each other like jigsaw pieces) to be 3 5/8" wide and a little over 5" tall.  The bottom card has the my jotted notes about the box insert, which you'll see later in the post.

The templates are cut out of very stiff posterboard.  I found black stiff posterboard at Meijer that worked really well.  I cut out twice as many of the edge tabs as I did the center tabs, because there are two different edges.

I got the names by cutting up the inserts that come with all the games, and gluing them to the tabs with a glue stick.  Super easy to do, though it took some time.

Then I made the box inserts from the same stiff posterboard.  I measured out channels that were wide enough to fit the dividers, then 2" and 2" again (to go up and down between the cards), then the dividers distance again, 2" and 2" again, etc.  The exact dimensions of the channels were made to fit the width of the box I was using to fit them in.  My first solution used two Dominion boxes (one small, like Alchemy, and one large, like the original game).  So I divided the width of the box by 3 to make the channel width.  

Here is one of the inserts folded.

And in a box!

Here's a lot of the cards in a box.  This picture may be from before all of the expansions were out - the cards did not fit into one box once they were all out.

Now, I also made one more upgrade to this, about two years ago.  The overall system was the same, but I found an awesome rigid camera case (one of those big silver ones) at a garage sale for $5.  That camera case had enough space for four long channels of cards, which fit ALL the cards in the same box.  It also had space for a small box for all my tokens, the mats, and a pocket for the rules.  Overall, it worked pretty darn well for me over the last two years.

One helpful tip:  If you have space in your case somewhere, keep a gluestick with the game.  I would occasionally need to re-glue one of the names onto the tabs as they came off periodically.

Here's an updated peak on my new storage container!  This one involves fabric pockets for all cards, which are bound together using strong medieval bookbinding techniques.  :)  Even though I'm not done with this one yet (right now the "Dominion Big Book" storage seen below is just living in the old camera case until I build the rest of it), I can already tell it's so much easier to use!  Getting cards in and out of the game has never been so smooth.  Flipping the pages is quick, and one flip shows 32 new cards, instead of having to scan across 32 tabs.  And putting the cards back is such a breeze - just flip the pages until your eye spots a blank pocket, and pop the correct cards back in.  This is so much easier than flipping through all the tabs!

It's also easier on the cards.  The dividers in the system above would sometimes shift, especially if I had forgotten to pack in the foam on top of the cards well (the camera case had a layer of foam that fit over the cards to hold them in place).  The cards at the back of the rows would occasionally get slightly bent, as they shifted up the side of the camera case.  Every once in a while the dividers would slip out of place if I tried to move the box too hurriedly when I was playing a game and there was empty space in the box (from the cards already out on the game table), and I'd have to go hunting underneath the other cards to find the dividers again.  These problems will never happen with this new system.

I am already so in love with this new storage system, and I still have to create half of it.  The current plan is to create a custom leather rigid box to hold the big treasures and randomizers (which don't fit well into the small pockets), another little tiny box for all the tokens, and then figure out a great leather carrying case for it to protect the entire thing.  It will be exciting when I finish it, hopefully within the next few weeks!  ~Kelly

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dying Pants to Cover a Stain

Last fall, I decided I was never going to do leather dying with my cats in the room again.  I was dying a tooled leather project that I had already put more than 50 hours of work into, and one of my cats jumped onto the table, knocking over my bottle of leather dye.  Thankfully, the dye spilled onto me, and not onto the leather project (whew!).  The result, though, you can see above - a splotchy dark stain, right in the lap of one of my favorite pairs of pants.

Unlike this leather project, my pants can be re-dyed to hide the stain.  And this is just what I did!  You can see how the stain mostly disappears in the before-and after photo below.

A side note: does anyone know how to make pretty "before" and "after" blurbs on photos?  I see these on other blogs and they are beautiful, and whenever I try to make them (admittedly, in Paint), they turn out looking really plain.  I need to learn better photo editing.  Any tips?

Anyway, dying with Rit liquid dye is really easy, though extremely boring.  I hate dying clothes.  Have I mentioned this?  I've done it twice, and both times I have loved the results but hated the process.

Why do I hate the process?  Because it involves at least a half hour, if not an hour, of just sitting and stirring.  And stirring.  And stirring.  And stirring some more.  Even with having a TV show up to pass the time, it's so boring.  And then after you're done with that, it's rinsing time!  Rinse it in warm water.  Then slightly cooler water.  Then again.  And again.  And again, again, again, again, again... "Just rinse until the water runs clear."  Grr.  The water never seems to run clear.  Gah, sooooooooooo boring.

Bucket of dye in my bathtub.
That said, this process is so useful for saving stained garments that I'm sure I'll use it again.  I can wear my favorite pants again!  I made these in high school (one of the first items of clothing I ever made, as part of clothing for going to the Renaissance Festival), and they are incredibly comfortable.

Cat photo bomb!

They turned out beautifully!  I'm holding them up to the sunlight here, and you can kind of see the stain if you look closely.  It's really hard to see now, and the pants are a beautiful rich brown color - even better than before.  I love brown!  As much as I didn't like doing this, I sure do love the results.  ~Kell
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Monday, May 12, 2014

Beaded Inkle Weaving

BEADS!  This is the first thing I've ever wanted to do with beads since I was a young child.  Well, that's not quite true - the stone-inlayed leatherworking (which I need to do again!  Jeez, I've forgotten about that!) is technically made with giant stone beads - but this is the first thing I've ever wanted to with beads that read as actual beads.  Which is not to say that beading isn't awesome; it just isn't one of my crafts (which I'm fine with - finding a craft I don't want to do is so rare that it's actually kind of a relief that I don't want to add more supplies to my crafting room).

Lady Bryn showed me her beaded inkle weaving at Northwoods Community College, by threading the beads on to their own warp thread.  Here's my synopsis of her recommendations:
Don't use beads that are too large/heavy, as they can snap the warp threads.  Leave slack in the warp thread with the beads, as it will need the extra length to go up and through the beads.  This is potentially a period way of making beaded designs - it's impossible to tell from portraits whether the beads were hand-sewn to the garment, or woven into the trim.  Weaving them in like this also has the additional strength that if one beads breaks off, the others won't all fall off, too, as the weave will secure them (unlike just sewing them to the gown with a long running stitch, for example).
Now I've tried this!  It's really quite easy and fun, and the results are lovely.  I did a simple inkle weave, adding a bead every 10th pass of the shuttle.  

The seed beads that I got from Noelle were too small to fit onto my thread, so I put them onto some beading thread that Fujinami gave me instead.  The beading thread was the same color as the surrounding threads (white), and you can't tell it's there at all.  It doesn't take the place of any of the regular inkle threads, but is simple an extra non-heddle thread in the center of the other warp threads, not tied in continuous warping (but only tied to itself).  You definitely want to warp them on a non-heddle thread - getting the beads through the heddle string would've been a pain in the tuchus.  You can see the beads strung on some beading thread (see how much thinner that strand is?  It's like very thin, slightly stretchy dental floss) in the picture below.

A couple other thoughts:
  • Count the number of beads you expect to need.  You can figure that out by looking at past plain inkle weaves, and seeing how many shuttle passes it takes per [desired distance], and figure that distance into how long the entire weave will be.  I tried to just hand-wave it, not measuring or thinking very hard about it, even adding what I thought was more beads than I needed - and I ran out of beads about a foot from the end.  Oops!
  • Tension matters in both directions.  I've generally only cared about the tension along the width of the weave, to make sure that it's the same width the entire time.  When doing beaded work, I now have to make sure that my tension along the length of the weave is the same, too - that I've beating down each pass equally.  There is definitely a section in this weave where I was tired and not paying much attention, only to realize later that I hadn't been weaving as tightly and my beads are spaced farther apart for about a foot.  Another oops moment.

Overall, this is a really easy addition to inkle weaving that looks amazing.  I'm looking forward to trying to mix pick-up weaving with some beaded designs, to see what kind of pretty things I can make.  I bet I'm going to get more ooohs and aaaahs out of people at events again.  =D  I love that people like my weaving.  I've had two people I consider to be master weavers tell me my weaving is amazing, and it still makes me glow when I think about it.  ~Kell
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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Current Projects

There are so many projects happening right now!  This is almost always the case, so I'm not sure why I'm remarking on it.  Maybe because some of them are so different and/or bigger than usual.

The biggest thing I've been obsessing over making the last couple weeks has been a new storage case for Dominion cards.  The photo above is part of it - approximately the 7th or 8th prototype of this storage case.  It takes a lot of trial and error and designing to make a storage case that has pockets just the right size so the cards won't fall out if it's tipped upside down, and also one where the lines all match up beautifully.  I'm so thrilled with how this is coming along!  It's probably about half done now.  I can't wait until it's finished.  I'm contemplating offering them for sale - because of all the labor and materials in them, it will cost several hundred dollars.  I don't know of any storage systems that are as versatile as this one, so it's definitely worth the money.  I'm even building extra space into it, in case there's an extra expansion or you want to design your own Kingdom cards.  It has pockets sized for the rule books, and for all the mats, and will have a lot of flexibility in the design of how you want to lay the cards out.  Thoughts?

Speaking of offering things for sale... that means that I should get my butt in gear on the legal side of things, if I'm growing big enough to be getting commissions from more than just my friends.  I've made an account on Michigan One Stop, to figure out all I need to do to register myself as a business.  This is both incredibly exciting and terrifying at the same time.  Woo!  Finishing that research and registration is on my to-do list.

Other things that are on the to-do list to make myself into a business:

  • Go through the code on this new blog template to fully understand it, and fix the large image glitching problem!
  • Make the leatherworking commissions page fully operational (along with the other pages I want, like the tutorials page and one on resources for rapier fighting)
  • Learn how to use Photoshop Elements and/or GIMP to color correct photos and add watermarks to my photos that will lead people back to me
  • Go over my maker's mark and logo and design and everything, to make sure that it's awesome and flexible in functionality
  • Make a Facebook page, and Twitter account, and other things for Level 8 Craftling, where I can post information on new blog posts and things I'm making to sell
  • Make an Etsy shop and/or page on my blog to sell things
  • Talk to local gaming stores about whether they would be interested in selling my Dominion storage cases and/or custom leather dice bags

That's just off the top of my head.  And all of that is just about getting my leatherworking/crafting business going - none of that has to do with maybe starting to do consulting with engineering and science work, like everyone at Penguicon was telling me I should be doing... aaaaaaaaah!  So many things!  Again with the terror and excitement by turns!

Here's some photos of another couple house projects.  On the left is a dirty range hood that I picked up at the Ann Arbor ReStore for $10.  It's going to be made into a fume hood!  I want to be able to use barge cement and leather pyrography without upping my risk of cancer in a few decades, so I'm building a fume hood.

The second photo is the last uncovered litter box in my home.  The other two have been made into awesome litter box furniture that hides the box and severely cuts down on the spread of litter in my home.  As you can see from all the litter coating those rugs near this litter box, this one needs to be taken care of badly.  The yellow rug used to have a papasan chair on it, which has been moved so that I can have space to make a new litter box (and another floor to ceiling bookcase!!!!).  Also, this last one is in my bedroom.  I'm tired of brushing bits of litter off my bed every couple days so it doesn't feel like I'm lying in sand.  So this is definitely on the to-do list!

There are many other projects also happening.  I'm working on a custom leather sword belt spreader for a friend (to hold the buckles open on his sword belt - kind of a truncated sword sheath).  I'm figuring out if I can make comfy sports-bra-like bras from old tshirts and fold-over elastic.  There's always a pile of mending.  I've learned a couple new weaving techniques, like weaving with beads.  And more projects are on the project shelf that I'm not even thinking of right now.

So many projects, always!  Yay!  What's on your project shelf?  Have you ever started a craft business and have other things I should add to my to-do list?  Ideas for what you would want in a Dominion storage case?  Let me know!  ~Kell
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Monday, May 5, 2014

Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Hi, everyone!  I imagine I'm exhausted from an awesome weekend at my first Penguicon (I'm writing this before the weekend), and I'm busy packing for Penguicon now (and working on a super duper exciting new project - maybe I'll snap a couple pictures and show you soon!), so I'm going to keep this post simple.  I'm sharing my favorite cookie recipe!  Every time I make these cookies, someone asks me for this recipe - they are that good.  They're not your regular chocolate cookies - somehow, they manifest the gooey quality of a fudge brownie.  And it only takes about a half hour to make them!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • 1 c butter
  • 2/3 c cocoa
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c sugar (+ more to roll balls in)
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (or usually 2) tsp vanilla

I'm too lazy to follow the "mix dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another, and never use melted butter but cream the butter until smooth..." instructions that most cookies come with.

Here's how I make my cookie dough:  Melt the butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Add all the rest of the ingredients to the melted butter.  Mix until they are all mixed, usually with the knife I used to measure the flour.  Done.  Bam.

Then roll the dough into about 1" balls, and roll the balls in sugar.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, with about 2 inches between the balls.

Cook for 4.5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  You read that correctly - four and a half minutes.  That's it!  No longer!

Bring out of the oven, and let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about two more minutes - you want the heat from the cookie sheet to stiffen up the bottoms of the cookies a little more (or else they will drip through your cooling rack - it's happened to me).  Try not to let them sit for much longer than 2 minutes - they will overcook and lose their wonderful fudge-like quality.

Transfer them to a cooling rack (or wax paper/parchment paper covered counter).  Hold yourself back for a couple more minutes before gobbling up five cookies at once.

They will fall apart really easily at first (but are still delicious - arguably more delicious at this stage), but will become more easily handled (one cookie unit) after they cool.  Kind of like how a baby is all floppy the first couple months, and then becomes one baby unit thereafter.  Or maybe not like that.  You don't eat the babies at any point...

Enjoy!  ~Kell
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

New layout snag

Hi, everyone!

I recently changed the layout of my blog!  On the whole, it is much prettier now.  There's one snafu in the code I haven't fixed yet, in that the images in these front pages (before you get to the full posts themselves) sometimes glitch to the original image size (which is HUGE).  I'm aware of it, and ask for your patience.  If you want to see the posts, please find the "continue reading" button and read from there - the images should all be the normal size on those pages, and much easier to read.

Thanks!  I promise I'll work on fixing this in the next couple weeks.

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Serenity Pyrography

Last month I posted about my beginning adventures with leather pyrography - burning designs into leather.  The designs I had previously posted were all made with a cheap soldering iron (the kind you can buy at most big stores).  A few months ago, though, my awesome parents got me a professional pyrography tool for my birthday.  It is so freaking amazing.  Here's a couple of the projects that it's been used for so far.

Patience Bracelets

First, a good friend of mine came over to make some bracelets.  Here's a picture of her smiling for the camera as she wets the edges of the leather to polish them smooth with an edge slicker.

First, she practiced calligraphy on paper with a calligraphy pen, and then moved to practicing on leather scraps.  All the marks done on leather are burned into it with a tip that mimics the long skinny rectangle tip of a calligraphy pen.  Isn't it neat how it just looks like writing on the leather?

A better look at the leather strips that were made into bracelets by adding buckles and holes.

Serenity Pyrography

And now for the titular image of this post... Serenity!  I burned the Firefly class starship (from the Firefly TV series, for those of you not familiar - who should immediately go watch the entire thing...) into a piece of leather.  The detailed version here was done completely freehand by looking at an image of Serenity on my computer.  First, I very carefully drew the outline with the pyrography tool on a low temperature setting, so it faintly burned the outline into the leather.  For this entire drawing, I used a fine pointed tip tool.  After the outline was done, I sketched in the various lines in the interior of the ship. Once the basic shape was finished, the temperature of the tool was turned up, and lines were darkened in most places.  Then the temperature was turned up even more, and I added the shading.  All told, this took me about an hour to burn into the leather.  The picture doesn't do it justice - I am thrilled with how this turned out.  Not only does it look amazing, but it also has a fun texture, because it is burned - not inked - into the leather.

The cats were being adorable behind me on the futon, so I have to slip in a photo of them.

After I finished the first Serenity drawing, I knew I wanted to try my hand at simple outlines.  Rather than drawing freehand again, I printed off small images of Serenity in four different sizes.  Here I have one gently taped (with rolls of tape on the back of the image) to the leather.

When I had the paper on the leather, I drew the outline at a very low temperature - I didn't want to burn the paper!

I went back over my outline on a much higher temperature after the paper was removed.  I repeated this with an even smaller image of Serenity, this time filling in the entire ship by burning the leather at a higher temperature with a wider tip.

I am so excited to continue playing with my pyrography tool!  These drawings of Serenity are actually one step in another project I've been working on for a while - figuring out how to mimic the fabric galaxy print making on leather.  My hope is to burn Serenity onto a galaxy-painted leather.  :)  I'm ridiculously pleased with how this is turning out so far!  ~Kell
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