Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween: How I made my gypsy costume for cheap

I finally have my gypsy Halloween costume pretty much finished. I've been assembling it piece by piece for about seven years now.

I still want to find a billowy white long-sleeved shirt and some petticoats to give more flare to the skirt, and I have to tailor the vest a little since it's too big (it's the most recent piece, and I ran out of time with it), but overall, it's pretty complete.

Quick run down of how I did it:
Head scarf - scrap of purple jersey fabric from a shirt that was too big. $0
Forehead jewel - a bolo tie from a rummage sale. I slid the jewel all the way to the center and tied the ends behind my head. The head scarf covers the knot. ~50¢
Hair - washed the night before, braided in 8-10 tight braids, and left to dry at least 12 hours to make tight waves; scrap lengths of colored ribbon tied in near the scalp. $0
Earrings - clearance at Claire's. ~$4
Undershirt - from my closet. $0
Vest (see DIY below) - made from a thrifted vest. $6 vest, ~$3 embellishments and notions
Sky blue scarf around waist - wedding gift. $0
Teal & black scarf around waist - Goodwill. ~$1
Skirt (see DIY below) - made from Goodwill skirt and fabric. ~$2 skirt, ~$2.50 fabric
Shoes - (usually) black suede fringed moccasins from my closet. $0
Total cost: around $19

Making the skirt
This was the first piece of the costume I made. I started with a narrow almost-pencil skirt. It had six separate panels, and along each of these seams, I cut a slit to about six inches from the waistband.
I bought a couple yards of fabric from the Walmart clearance rack and cut from it six tall, narrow triangles the height of the slits in the skirt by about eight inches across the bottom. I sewed one triangle into each slit in the skirt.
I cut the remaining fabric into lengths about six inches wide and sewed them together into one long length. I loosely basted one edge and gathered it to the same length as the circumference of the hem of the skirt and then sewed it on.

Making the vest:
(Please forgive the red-toned photos. I had one evening to do this, and I discovered that photographing red clothing in my lighting doesn't work the best.)

 I started with this:
The best I could find at the thrift store was a zip-up collared vest a size too large, but I decided to see what I could do with it.
First, I put on the vest inside out and with a quilting pen (the kind that disappears on its own), I drew a line under the bust where I wanted the vest to end. I then cut along this line to a point about 1.5 inches from the arm hole. I then continued cutting along the arm hole to the shoulder seam.

Here's what I had at that point:
Next, lined up the sides of the zipper, so I had the cut side laying atop the uncut side as pictured above. I traced the cut I'd made onto the uncut side, and cut along those lines.

 That left me with this:

This is the point where I started panicking that I wouldn't finish in time, and combined with the poor quality of the lighting, I just stopped taking photos.

The next step was to decide the point at which I wanted the back neckline to be. I folded the vest in half and cut all the way across. Since the vest was too large, I cut through to the armholes, followed the 1.5 inch wide straps all the way to the cut and sewed the straps on at a point where they fit me better, but if your vest already fits, you would cut to the 1.5 inch point from the armhole, follow that up to the shoulder seam, and your straps would be complete.

At this point, I tried on the vest to make sure it fit the way I wanted. Then I used doubled-fold bias tape to finish all the raw edges I'd cut, sewed some gold ric rac on the front and tacked on the ribbon "corset". At some point, I intend to finish the vest by making the front an actual lace-up corset, but I didn't have the time this year.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday favorites Oct. 28

Found on Etsy this week:

Fantastic barnwood crosses from TexasTrashDecor. I collect western crosses, and this would be a perfect addition to my collection (hint hint to any family members who may be reading this!)

Very pretty wrap top from Marsilia21.

I'm a big fan of moccasins like these from MoccasinWoman.

This African print dress is so fun!

I love this western saddle painting from BrucknerCowboyArt.

Found on Pinterest this week:
Bread for beginning bakers - I've sworn off buying bread and am making it in the bread maker, but I don't like the shape it comes out, so I'm thinking about trying to make it the "real" way.
Magnetic menu planner - Such a great idea! I'm going to have to look for this "magnet paper" they talk about.
Angel food cake chunks on skewers with strawberries and drizzled with chocolate.
Homemade pizza dough - I've stopped buying pizza and have been making my own instead, but I'm still buying ready-made dough. Going to have to take the next step.
Start each day new - great quote.

My weekend plans include the wedding of two friends and a mini getaway with my husband. We finished up harvest this week, and I'm desperately in need of some time with him. He's been coming home after I'm asleep and leaving before I'm up in the morning (he can run on 6 hours of sleep, but I need 8).

Halloween will be Monday, but I already dressed up in my costume two weeks ago for my friend's bachelorette party, and I have no reason to wear it again this weekend. That's one thing that really stinks about growing up - you have to have a reason to dress in costume. I remember having a "dress-up closet" and doing it just for fun when I was a kid!

Any big plans for the weekend or Halloween? What's your favorite costume?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Favorites Oct. 21

Love the colors and Asian patterns in this quilt from DesignerDahliasEtc.

Adorable little Halloween unicorn from DragonsAndBeasties.

Beautiful dress from 8fantasie8!

One of the most beautiful ornaments I've seen! It's actually a beadweaving kit to make this ornament cover from BeadSphereJewelry.

From Pinterest:
Making a light box - I will be doing this in the near future!
Whole wheat pita recipe - I love pitas! But they are always so stiff and tear when I try to stuff them. Making my own fresh one's sounds like a much better solution.
Decorated Pringles can cookie tins - I'm thinking I found my solution to wanting to make all kinds of Christmas cookies but not daring to because I'd eat them all. Give them away! This is such a cute way to package them.
Great daily planner page - This is probably the best planner page I've found! (And believe me, I've looked at a LOT!)
And a little bit of sass! - Maybe only humorous for a woman who's tired of being asked when the babies are coming, but I think it's great!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LEM photo challenge - anything

One of my favorite photos from my trip to Chicago this spring.

You wouldn't think a pencil artist would be so obsessed with color, would you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shoe Drawing Redo

Can't remember if I mentioned it before, but the Art Instruction Schools lost my last assignment - yes, the shoe drawing that I spent so many hours on! The first piece of actual art I send them, and they lose it!

Now, I understand that things like this happen. I'm not faulting them on making a mistake as all humans do. What gets me is that they're making me redo the whole assignment! Instead of just letting me move on, they're making me pay for their mistake.

This all happened late this spring, and I'm just now getting to the point where I can work on this assignment without getting so fighting mad that I can't get anywhere.

I couldn't bear to do the exact same thing again, so I chose a different shoe. I am cheating a little on this and worked from a photo for the outline with a grid on photo and paper to get the proportions correct. I did it right the first time (worked from sight), and I'm not going to feel bad about making it easier on myself and faster the second time around!

Progress photos:
(The first two are really bad - my camera does not like to photograph line only)
15 min.
 30 min.
 45 min.

I'll be posting 15 min. step-by-step photos on Facebook as they're done, so if you'd like to keep up with this drawing, head over to my Facebook page and "Like" me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday favorites Oct. 14

Didn't have a lot of time to surf around Etsy this week, so I only have a few favorites to share.

I think this photo cube from laughinggnomes is a great way to display photos.

I'm going to have to get some candle tarts for my warmer. I love that this listing from KimberlysCandles lets you choose six different scents instead of buying a whole bunch of one scent.

This snowflake suncatcher from dragon144 is breathtakingly gorgeous!

From Pinterest:
Apple Rose Tarts - These are simply gorgeous! I might actually have to go through the work of translating the measurements and terms to American ones.
Lighted window - Magical! While I don't think I can afford that much fabric, I do have lace curtains in my bedroom and might try this out come Christmas time.
Sesame soy broccoli - I'm a huge broccoli fan, even just steamed with a little cheese or butter, but this recipe sounds divine!
Homemade vanilla extract - Good to know I'm not the only one who thinks the store-bought extracts are ridiculously expensive!
Manual camera setting cheat sheet - Going to have to print this out and tuck it in my camera bag.

My weekend is going to involve a lot of sewing to alter a top for my gypsy costume since I'm going to a friend's bachelorette party on Saturday, and we're supposed to go in costume. I'll try to remember to take photos of the process in case it turns out well enough to be worthy of sharing.

Anything exciting going on in your world this weekend?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sawyer prints now available

"Sawyer" prints are now available to purchase in my Etsy shop.

I think my favorite part of the Meander art crawl was one woman trying to "pet" this drawing - she said it looked so real she wanted to feel his soft nose. That's one instance where I don't mind wiping fingerprints off glass!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meander report

I'm having very mixed feelings about the Meander this year. On one hand, I saw more than 1500 people, met a couple great artists, had a lot of good conversations, and just had fun.

On the other hand, it was not very profitable.

Friday sales: $29
Saturday sales: $136.50
Sunday sales: $136.50
Total sales: $302

Entry fee: $175
Gas: $48.83
Tax: $19.30 (I figure my prices including sales tax, so it has to come out of the sales total)
Total expenses: $243.13

Profit: $58.87 - Pretty depressing, right?

I also spent over $220 on printing. That doesn't bother me so much, as I've got the inventory to show for it, but it did take a huge chunk out of my art business fund, so without some other sales, I will not have the funds to enter any larger shows next year.

I loved being able to hang work on the wall!

I don't usually put too much stake in the people who say they want me to do a commission or say they'll buy something from me online, I did have one of each this year that seemed very serious, and I would be thrilled if even one of them came through.

The ironic thing is that I was in a more central location this year and saw around three times as many people as previous years. There were two other 2-D artists (a watercolor painter and a photographer) in the same building, and I'm wondering if there was just too much competition.

I'm undecided right now, but I'm leaning towards not doing Meander next year. I've had many people tell me I should do Art in the Park in Brookings, SD, but I can't afford to enter both, and I've always gone with Meander as it's a sure in, whereas for Brookings, I'd have to be accepted by the jury. By the time the Brookings jury makes its decision, the Meander committee is already finalizing the brochures, so it really is taking a chance.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Introducing Sketchbook Sunday!

I'm going to start each weekend sharing an update on what's going on in my sketchbook. This could be just sketching, a drawing I'm working on, or the coursework for my art classes. It might be something I'm happy with, or it might be something I scrap the next day. Whatever it is, I'll share it, so you can see the ups and downs of an artist at work.

I always welcome critiques, good or bad, on any of my works in progress. If there's something that doesn't look right, I love to know while it's still at a point where I can fix it, so you're really doing me a favor if you speak up.

This week, I'm working on a drawing from the photos I took at the Horse Power event last month. I'm sketching from the first photo in that post.

This is kind of a rough sketch at 9x12 inches. I'm debating doing this at a larger size. I haven't worked larger in years, but with the detail on the bridle, I'm thinking this would be ideal at a larger size.

Here's a close-up shot of the face portion:

I'd love to have you join me for Sketchbook Sundays! Leave a link in the comments to your post.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday favorites for Oct. 7 - adding in Pinterest!

Going to start adding some favorites from Pinterest each week along with my Etsy favorites.

From Etsy:

I adore this peasant blouse from LOTUSFAMILYINBALI. Look at those fantastic sleeves split from shoulder to elbow!

Look at the wonderful light in this Gypsy Vanner painting from CrystalCookArt!

Can't you just imagine this end table from NineRed in my peacock-themed studio?

These snowflake soaps from mandalarain make me wish I had guests coming to my house for Christmas! So pretty and detailed, and they're even one of my favorite scents - warm vanilla sugar!

From Pinterest:
This is going to be a very wide variety of things. I have boards for artistic inspiration, blog/business ideas, recipes, crafty things, quotes, etc. I'm not quite sure how I should format these, so I think I'm just going to provide a link. Let me know if you'd like me to include photos also.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup - With the weather turning cooler, soup is sounding better and better. This stuff is freezable too. Prepare ahead of time and then just thaw and reheat the day you want to eat it!
Great relationship advice - No one is perfect, but you can love them anyway.
Be yourself - It's not always easy, but it's worth it.
Quilt made from clothing - I've already started cutting up all the clothes I don't wear anymore. I was saving them for a garage sale, but some of the fabrics are so fun that I hate to give them up. This way, I'll be able to keep them in some form.
Romantic dressed-up  ponytail - Wish there were instructions for doing it, but I can probably figure it out if I put my mind to it.

This weekend, I'm going to meet up with an artist friend who's moving away. She's giving me her treadmill, and I have to go pick it up! Super excited to be able to keep up running through the winter!

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saying Goodbye

I haven't decided for sure yet, but this might possibly be my last month on ArtFire. I said when I signed up that I'd give it a year, and that's come and gone with only two sales and less than $30 to show for the $72 I've spent on monthly fees.

I love ArtFire. The whole site and all the people are great. There are many things I prefer to Etsy, but Etsy is paying for itself and ArtFire is not. It's getting less than half the hits my Etsy shop is, and the people who do find it are spending less time browsing it.

The problem I find myself in now is that there's 20,000 Meander brochures circulating with my ArtFire shop on them plus the Meander website links to my ArtFire shop. I'd promoted that shop with all my heart, telling myself that if it didn't work out, I could always downgrade to a free account, and all the links would still be good. Now that I don't have that free account option to fall back on, I'm not sure what to do.

So I'll be watching my ArtFire traffic this month to see if the hits stop coming from the Meander site. If I'm still getting lots of hits at the end of the month, I'll maybe keep it open through November. We'll see.

Thank you, ArtFire. I've truly enjoyed my time with you. I sincerely wish it had worked out.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In need of honest opinions

I ran across a competition for Art Horse Magazine, and I'm considering entering. The winners in each category are published in a book and/or magazine. It's a huge opportunity!

The catch is that it costs $30 to enter, and since I can't see my own work objectively, I'm looking for honest opinions from others.

If you're willing, go to that site I linked to above. At the right side of the dark gray bar at the top of the page are winners for past years. Click on the drawing category, take a look at the winners that were chosen, and please tell me if you think my drawing "Sawyer" would have a chance in competition with those other works. You don't have to say why if you don't want to, but just "yes" or "no" would be great!

It is one of my greatest desires as an artist to be able to see my work as others see it, but I know which flaws are there, and try as I might, I often can't see past them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Taking risks for a great shot

I'm following along with "31 Days to Releasing Your Inner Artist" over at Katie Lloyd Photography.

The first assignment is to either take or share a shot where I had to get out of my comfort zone.

I actually couldn't find the photo that immediately came to mind (it would help if I could remember what year it was), but this one is a pretty good example too.

This shot was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. We parked on the non-existent shoulder of a busy and winding mountain road, and I climbed down the steep bank you can see on the right side to stand on a rock with the water swirling around me. I'm sure all the people driving by thought I was a lunatic, and it's WAY out of my comfort zone to have my precious camera anywhere near the water, especially when there's a significant risk of me falling in the water.
It was all worth it for this shot though since I love it so much!

Now go on over to Katie's blog and check out the 31 days to releasing your inner artist series and other bloggers' responses to this question.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A-Z - get to know me!

I don't post a whole lot about my personal life. I've always been kind of a private person, especially about putting things out there online, but I'm trying to conquer that fear a little, so here's some random, fun information about me!

A. Age: 28
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: Washing dishes, even though I have a dishwasher
D. Dogs: Pieper - 4 year old female Border Collie - she's my baby!
E. Essential start to your day: Put in my contacts! I can't read the top E on the eye charts without corrective lenses!
F. Favorite color: Deep cobalt blue
G. Gold or Silver: Depends entirely what's with it - silver with blue or purple, gold with red or green. As evidence of how undecided I am, my wedding ring is both gold and silver!
H. Height: I'm 5'5" on a good day.
I. Instruments you play: I love playing piano and consider myself somewhat good at it. I also own a bowed psaltry (a stringed instrument from biblical times that's played with a bow) though it's got a broken string, and I haven't played it in a few years.
J. Job title: Proofreader, but I am also the primary typist, the subscriptions manager, compiler of the "Days Gone By" column and the receptionist.
K. Kids: See D above.
L. Live: In southwestern Minnesota
M. Middle name: Lynn
N. Nicknames: Missy until first grade when I learned how to spell my full name and Rooney until I got old enough to be embarrassed at being called that in public. No nicknames now.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Just once after a car accident when my sister was kept overnight, and my dad and I slept on couches in the waiting room.
P. Pet peeves: I probably have a lot of them, but related to the art world - people who let their children run wild at a show. While I may not have anything breakable on my table, I don't exactly want sticky fingerprints all over my products. I'm sure the artists with breakables are just cringing.
Q. Quote: "Don't tell me the sky's the limit - there's footprints on the moon." Paul Brandt
R. Right or left handed: Right-handed for everything except dealing cards. For whatever reason, I do that with my left.
S. Siblings: Two younger sisters, Jackie and Becca - the twins eight years apart.
T. Time you wake up: 6:30 - the crazy thing is I used to be a night owl. When I started my current job and had to be at work 30 miles away at 8:00, I became a morning person, and I like it. I am very connected with light, however, and waking up in the dark all winter long is difficult at times.
U. Underwear: What's the question? What type I wear? All I'll tell you is that, even with my underwear, I like colors. The only plain white I own are the ones that came in the multi-packs with others that were colors I liked.
V. Vegetable you hate: Celery. Thus far, it's the only vegetable I've tried that I don't like, though I will eat it in stews/soups. My favorite vegetables include peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and I even liked brussels sprouts when I tried them for the first time recently.
W. What makes you run late: I despise being late! I grew up in a family that was late for EVERYTHING! I didn't know what happened at the beginning of the church service until I was 10 or so. Now, if I'm late for something that's optional, I seriously debate whether to even go.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: My arm when I was about 6 and fell off a couch cushion tower and full body after the afore-mentioned car accident.
Y. Yummy food that you make: I consider myself a pretty good cook, and there's lost of things I make that I really like. This isn't necessarily my all-time favorite, but it's one of my favorites right now:

Thai Noodles:
1 box whole wheat spaghetti
1 Tbs. oil
3 Tbs. peanut butter
1 tsp. ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne
3 Tbs. hot water
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. sesame seeds
1/2 bag frozen broccoli

Boil spaghetti and steam broccoli.
Combine all other ingredients except seeds and mix until peanut butter is dissolved.
Drain pasta and mix with broccoli and sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Z. Zoo animal: Zebras and okapis (Google them if you don't know what they are - they're worth having a look at!). I haven't been to a zoo in ages but would love to go and get photos of the animals.

If you copy and fill out this survey for yourself, be sure to come back here and give me the link. I'd love to get to know you all better!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Craft it Forward

I heard brief mentions of Craft it Forward this spring, but I ran across it again a few days ago, and I decided to participate despite my fears of coming up with five handmade items to send off before the end of the year.

Here are the rules:

"I promise to send something handmade to the first five people who leave a comment here. They, in turn, must post this statement and send something they make to the first five people who comment on their post."

"The only other rule is that it must be handmade by you, and it must be sent to your five people sometime within 2011."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A peek at my Meander display

Tomorrow is the final day of the Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl a.k.a. Meander.

It's exhausting but fun to see so many people, and the weather is perfect for it this year. I'll have more of a report after it's all over, but here's a peek at my display.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...