I had a mix of items for a friend’s wedding gift and put them together in a tall wedding gift tower. This took me about 90 minutes to create and had a big visual impact! It was not hard to do, so here are my tips:
- Buy a mix of wrapping papers and variety of ribbons to make it more interesting. You can make it all match or monotone if you want. I enjoyed the look of the mixed papers and ribbons.
- I put the ribbons around the boxes so it was secured on all four sides and tied them down very tight. This tower was so snug, I was able to tip it sideways to fit it in a car and it stayed together.
- Put items in sturdy boxes with the larger boxes on the bottom and the smaller boxes on top.
- Use plenty of tissue paper and bubble wrap for delicate items.
- Secure the card well so it does not get separated from your gift.
- Decorate the top of your tower with something lovely. I used artificial flowers and butterflies. Try to do something different than a bow on top at it add a lot of beauty.
- If something will not fit within the tower structure or is too fragile to add, just wrap it in matching papers and ribbons. Make sure it has its own card to make it easy for the the recipients to know whom sent the gift.
Nothing says “I love you on your special, important day with these awesome gifts and I hope you own a box cutter or at least a sturdy pair of scissors” like a giant wedding tower. Opening the whole thing will keep them busy for a half an hour or possibly more on their honeymoon. I like to think of it as free entertainment for the happy couple, but less cruel than the time I gave my cousin a gold ring inside five individually wrapped boxes of decreasing size one year for Christmas.
I made another fabric / cloth art doll using the Jan Horrox pattern book and really love how this one came out. This pattern is so much fun and these art dolls make a nices gift. This doll was for my friend’s daughter.
Reactions from people were mixed. About 80% of the people who saw this doll said “Cool!” while the remaining 20% said “You’re giving that to a child?!” This child’s parents both have tattoos a lot weirder than my little Goth ballerina.
Painting the face is my favorite part.
Decorations come in second place for the most fun part. I got frilly with the hair ornaments. The hair was a sleek, shiny synthetic yarn.
I found a fantastic how-to book on making art dolls in cloth in the library, Introduction to Making Cloth Dolls by Jan Horrox. These two dolls in this blog post are art dolls I made using this book. The photographs in the Horrox book are gorgeous and the patterns are for larger 14 – 16 inch tall dolls. If you can sew, you can make art dolls with these patterns. The author uses wonderful, rich colors and textures in her pieces that will give you ideas for your work.
This time lapse tutorial is a nifty overview of digital painting such as using Photoshop or a similar program. It is both relaxing and hypnotic. Enjoy!
I previously wrote instructions on how to paint on wax paper which is a sort of like faking reverse glass painting. I repeated the prior project on wood scraps (above) and the results were much better because I put in a detailed background and used a new media. The outlines in the original version were Sharpie marker, which I now avoid because the ink is unstable. A fine black Molotow acrylic paint pen was used in the new art above, and it worked very well!
I compared the Molotow acrylic paint pen to the Liquitex brand. The flow of the paint was better and the nib more precise on the Molotow brand. If any lines were too thin or not solid enough, I let the paint dry and redrew the section of line that I needed to repair. Wax paper gets soft when wet and can wrinkle then tear if it gets too wet, so it helps to work with very dry paint. This time I also skipped the step of crumpling the wax paper for a more aged look. Wrinkles occur naturally but I did not add to them and make the art look more distressed in either piece shown here.
The artwork below I placed the wax paper painting over a collage for added depth. A process I have yet to try would be to do multiple layers of painted wax paper, maybe even with collage elements between the layers in addition to the paint. The trapeze artist mixed media art started as a collage on particle board (recycled food packaging box like, a cereal box). I did have to press the dry artwork for a few days to flatten it nicely. Since Modge Podge or other decoupage glue is very wet, the substrate you work one has to be very solid and not warp if it gets wet.
This baby quilt is a project where I combined printmaking skills with hand quilting. Leaves make a nice pattern. Better yet, leaves are free! This is an easy process that you can do in an afternoon.
I’ve finally gotten around to editing my photos from Anime Central 2015. They are just snapshots from my crappy pocket camera. I need to get with the times, because the higher end smartphones take wayyy better pictures. Alas, I spent all my money at the convention. Enjoy!