Printing Tips

Check out my printing tips if you're having problems printing to the right size
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Drawing geometric whirls- with templates!

A whirl, according to Wolfram Mathworld -
Whirls are figures constructed by nesting a sequence of polygons (each having the same number of sides), each slightly smaller and rotated relative to the previous one. The vertices give the path of the n mice in the mice problem, and form nlogarithmic spirals.

Or it's just another really nifty thing to do with straight lines that is relaxing and fun to draw. All the images in this tutorial are approximately 800x800 pixels, or 100 dpi 8x8 inches, click on them for the full sized versions.
Triangle in a hexagon in a dodecagon

So, to draw these, you'll need a ruler, pencil, paper and a template with radial lines evenly marked. The more radial lines you have, the more lines and finer the design will be. The image above was done with lines that were 5 degrees apart. My instructions show lines 10 degrees apart. (Really, you can skip the math parts if you just want to get to drawing)
This template will do designs that have 3,4, 6, 8 and 12 sides because it has 36 radial lines and 36 is divisible by all those numbers.

So, showing using a triangle. 36/3= 12, so your initial triangle will be marked starting at the ball tips with 11 tips between angles.

Now you start doing the nested rotations. Start the next triangle one point removed from the initial points. Each triangles points are where the lines of the template and the preceding triangle intersect.
Repeat, repeat, repeat until you have enough iterations you are happy with the design!

The real problem with the above template for squares is that for a square, it will be a bit small unless you put it at a 45 degree angle. Here's a template specifically for squares.

A few whirls just to color or use for embroidery patterns.

Here's the template for the one at the top with 72 radial lines.

And all the templates in black and white so you can use them behind a sheet of paper that's transparent enough to use to trace.

I hope you enjoy this. It's a lot of fun and a bit addictive. More open designs would probably make very nice "strings" for Zentangles as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tulip Purse Box

Pretty spring tulips. I hope you enjoy this purse box. The instructions are on the printable, which is at 300 dpi. I used double stick tape to put mine together. Click on the image for the full sized version. I think this would work well to hold candy and a gift card in a pinch as a gift.
I think I'm going to use the same basic technique to make a coffee cup shaped box as well.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book Review- Grilled Cheese Please!

Grilled Cheese Please : 50 scrumptiously cheesy recipes by Laura Werlin is a collection of grilled cheese recipes. It's a great little cookbook that will make cheese lovers very happy and help people get beyond just plain ham and cheese or American cheese, butter and sandwich bread.
It starts with the basics, how best to make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich, explaining techniques for grilling, alternatives to sandwich presses and the sorts of cheeses and breads she recommends. There is a list of cheeses categorized by how they melt.
Then it gets into the recipes. Mouthwatering combinations that will please all sorts of picky eaters. The very first recipe got my attention because it combines some of my favorite flavors with my daughter's favorite meal. A spinach, egg and cheese sandwich. That gives you an idea what's coming. Great flavor combinations that you might not think of yourself. Some recipes from popular restaurants. Recipes that combine flavors and textures in wonderful ways. The cheeses used are mostly cheeses not usually used for grilled sandwiches so this could be a great way to try new cheeses or to encourage your family to try new cheeses.
My favorite chapter is the Global Grilled Cheese which has 6 recipes, including Welsh Rarebit, a pork Cubano with a recipe for the pork, my family favorite Monte Cristo and a South American inspired recipe that uses Arepas for the bread and includes a recipe for that.
Very recommended. You can get this book directly from the publisher, Andrews McMeelYou can get more information about my review policy here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Recycled Crafts for Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! From past entries and from my old blog, here are some recycled craft projects.

Bottle Cap Necklaces At Beadwork at BellaOnline

Beaded Record Bracelets At Beadwork at BellaOnline

No Drill Domino Pendants at Beadwork at BellaOnline

Matchbook notebooks made with lightweight cardboard packaging and paper printed on one side

More mini notebooks, with used and washed foil covering them. Both notebook projects are at my old blog.

And a couple links to vintage projects that I posted in here from old books and magazines.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Some links to a couple online graphics applications

Online browser based apps are becoming the future, and some of them are really great and completely free.
Here are some favorite online browser based graphics applications. All of these work in Chrome.
This is the photo I used to show some of the filters.

Pixlr - flash based, nice set of tools and fairly intuitive. You can save in PNG, JPG, GIF and TIFF as well as the native format which allows you to save in layers if you're working on something that way. It has undo, redo, and lots of filters to modify photos with. Allows saving to your own computer without being logged in. Draw original art or modify photos. In order, the filters applied are Art Poster, Heat Map, Hope and Kaleidescope.

SumoPaint - also flash based, takes a few minutes to load, but when it's loaded there are a lot of great tools in this one.  Also allows easy saving on your own computer in JPG, PNG and Sumo format. It's got a lot of filters and brush options. It's a pretty impressive online graphics application.The filters used here are Crystallize, Dithered Poster (which does allow color setting, I just used the colors that are the default) and Detect Edges- grey scaled which I can see being very handy to make embroidery patterns or coloring pages from photographs. Click open Sumo Paint and it opens in a new window.

My daughter's favorite online application is Aviary . Aviary offers a complete suite of graphic applications. Occasionally it does go offline, but usually comes back fairly soon. Free and saves and several formats. Vectors and painting both. 

For pure drawing fun, Harmony by Mr. Doob has some very fun brushes to play with. You can save images in png format.

Speaking of the Turnip Girl, she is using a sewing machine now. She was nervous about them. Black Friday 2009 I bought a very simple zig zag and straight stitch machine. I got it because it's light weight enough for me to set up myself and I can use it on a tv tray so I can sit where ever is most comfortable and will do most basic sewing. Because it's not as powerful or as big and scary as my other machines, Turnip Girl is very comfortable using it. So I asked her if she would be willing to write tutorials for some of her sewing projects. She agreed, so hopefully soon I'll be able to start posting those! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuna Can Baskets

These are so very easy to make. If you're doing them with small children, you'll need to drill or punch the holes in the cans and bend the wire. Lots of ornamentation possible. Get out the button box, plastic beads and stickers! These are plain. 
To make them you'll need empty tuna cans that have been washed well. Hopefully you're already using a safety can opener for all your cans. I love mine so much. The kind that breaks the seal instead of cutting the can so there are no sharp edges?
This will also work with wood brie boxes to make more shallow boxes.

To punch the holes in mine, I used a two hole metal punch, but I also tested with my hand operated craft drill and that went through just fine. A motorized rotary tool will work as well, but as much as possible, I prefer using human powered things. 

You will need:
Tuna can
punch, drill or nails to put holes in the can
paper, fabric, ornaments, braid, anything you want to decorate your can with
1/8 inch hole punch for paper
glue of some sort- heavier fabrics like the pink paisley do best with hot glue, which my daughter also used as a design detail. A bit of glitter makes it shiny, with the paper version I used PVA glue which adhered fairly well. More on the flowered version in just a bit.
12 inch piece of wire- the kind I used is aluminum 17 gauge wire. (see note at bottom)
wire cutters
cylinder form of some sort, I used a salt container.

If you're using fabric, you'll wrap it around the can and cut it to fit. 
To put the seam in the back and the wire handle in the middle between the front and the back, you'll fold your fabric to find the right spots. Fold it in half, then fold each side down to meet the fold in the middle. Those second folds are where you want the holes for handles. Mark them, and pierce holes. If you're using a two hole metal punch like I did, make sure the holes aren't too far down for the throat of the punch.

If you're using paper, just print my template. It's 300 dpi and 10.5 inches long, so you need to print it at exactly 300 dpi with 1/4 inch margins. Punch the holes and use it as a guide for your scrapbook or hand stamped papers.

Glue the fabric or paper around the can, then use the holes you punched as guides for where to pierce the can using the drill or metal punch. If you're using a nail to punch the holes, you'll want to punch them before you glue the paper or fabric into place. To do that, wrap the fabric or paper around the can and use a permanent marker to mark where the holes are. Punch the holes then very carefully line up the holes on the paper or the fabric and glue it into place.

To make the handle, curve the middle of the wire around your cylinder form, and turn up the ends of the wire at 90 degree angles about 2 inches from the ends. If you want to add beads, now is the time. Don't bead the whole wire though, you'll need about an inch of bare wire on either side.
Now put the handle into the can, and put the ends of the wire through the holes to the outside. Use the pliers to wrap the wire ends around the wire.

Add whatever decorations you'd like, and I used tulle circles leftover from another project to line the baskets when they were done.
Click the images for the full sized versions. I printed out my example on card stock because it's not as sheer as paper. The first image is the template.

Printable! I could fit 4 on one page easily, so I did. And a black and white version for Liberty, or for anyone who likes the scrolly swirly design but wants to color it themselves.

Notes: The flowered version was the easiest. I used Japanese self adhesive cloth for that one that Abigail from Abigail's Crafts How To sent me a few months ago. I've been hoarding it. The fabric punches easily with hand punches and there are some people on Etsy who sell it. Really awesome stuff. The back is marked with a grid in centimeters which makes it easy to cut very straight, then you peel up the back to apply it.

The wire comes on a 250 foot spool. If that's too much for you, you can usually find smaller spools of different kinds of wire at the hardware store, ask the clerk. However, you may find you use it as much as I do. The stuff is perfect for quick wire crowns or to make bubble wands with. It's also made quick sword holders for costumes, and gets used as armatures in dolls. Plus my husband has a habit of asking me every so often if I have wire he can use for something and aluminum costs a lot less than copper. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Forget-Me-Not Book Box

The template for this was a commission, and this is my first trial version. The art for my example isn't going to be the final art for the commissioned box.

It's a slide box, and the cover doesn't open.

The instructions are 100 dpi. Print the box pieces out at 300 dpi on card stock. It takes 3 sheets of card stock to make one box. Click on the images for the full  sized versions. Finished box is just over 3 inches wide, 4 inches tall and 1 inch deep.

I used a photo of forget-me-nots I took last summer into Paint It! (affiliate link) which is 11.50 on Amazon right now. Paint It is limited, all it does is painted effects on photos, but it does a very nice job on that.