Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Bunnies, bunnies everywhere!

Hello! I'm here now, don't be lonely! :D As John Shuttleworth would say... sorry for yet another long gap, I really don't know where the time goes! I have been busy though, I was happy to receive an order for lots of painted bunny brooches, from Ruby Lang of a sort of shared shop called SoLo, situated in the Cedros Design District in the city of Solana Beach, a seaside resort in California. I wouldn't mind a holiday there actually! Maybe one day... ;-)

Anyway, I really loved making these brooches. As with all my work, I started off with a load of drawings. Its good to draw your ideas out, even if you don't think you're any good at drawing. Its also a good idea to use a big piece of paper and do lots of small drawings, so you can compare your ideas, so you can see what you like best, and take forward as a finished creation.

The next step was to paint the design onto calico. Now this is the best bit, I used a light box to see the design so all I had to do is 'trace' it onto the calico. Even better, my little lightbox only cost me £3.79! The cheapest one i've seen in the shops is a very insubstantial one in WHSmith's for £9.99. I saw an instructable for a DIY lightbox, which is basically to put a small fluorescent strip light in an upturned plastic lunchbox, and hey presto! My strip light is a battery-powered one so isn't quite as bright as the one in the instructable, but it's plenty bright for me.
I placed the drawing on the light-lunchbox (secured with masking tape) and the calico on top, then with a size 000 brush, traced the drawing with Dylon fabric paint. This is a lot of fun, and if you vary the design, you can achieve a good balance of repetition and creativity which is quite relaxing! Hence the slightly different designs of bunnies. I made 20 of these, and picked what I thought were the best 10 to make into brooches.

For each brooch, I placed the painted calico piece sandwiched between 2 layers of calico, stitched together on my machine with a darning foot to make doing the curves of the oval a bit easier (machine stitching isn't my forte!), cut a slit in one piece of calico, clipped the curves with pinking shears and turned the whole thing right side out.
I sewed lace around the edge of each oval first. I really like using guipure lace, which is sort of embroidered and has a substantial, bold look about it. I also like using crochet lace, because it has a rustic, homemade feel to it. I've just bought a whole load from Sheffield Moor market in different colours that I can't wait to use! :D

I cut felt ovals in pink and blue, backed each with heavyweight iron-on vilene for strength and sewed on a safety brooch pin. Then I sewed the felt backing to the lace-edged calico oval with running stitch, which gives a decorative edge to the picture on the front. And that's it!

This is one of the brooches. See my flickr set for more pictures of the finished brooches: flickr

So if you're in Solana Beach, pay a visit to Ruby Lang's shop and you will see the brooches for real!
Ok, i'm going to do another post very soon so please check back!
Joey xxx

1 comment:

  1. oh wow so cute!! you got some really steady hands to paint those rabbits with a brush!


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