Monday, May 17, 2010

How-to: Make a Patchwork Jam Jar

These are really cool things to make for storing pencils and other stuff in.

What you need:

A jam jar (with the stickers peeled off)

Paints & paintbrushes


A sheet of fabric

A rubber band

A strip of ribbon

What you do:

1 Paint the entire outside of the jam jar white and wait for it to dry. Once it's dry paint a second coat and wait for that to dry (I have to admit that I didn't do this --I blow-dried and only did one coat-- so when I painted the colour on, the white came off and it didn't turn out as good as I'd hoped).

2 Draw lightly with a pencil an even grid pattern on the jar

3 Have ready a few paint colours that you think would look good together and paint the squares

4 Use different colours to paint a simple pattern on the squares; for instance white spots on a red square or squiggly blue lines on a yellow square

Paint a stitched pattern around the edges of the squares with black paint

Use a colour that will stand out against the other colours and paint a label like 'bit & bobs', 'pencils' or 'jelly beans'.

Cut out a fairly large circle from the sheet of fabric; around twice as big as the top of the jam jar

(or, if you're going to use the jar for things like pencils, don't make a top for it) and fix it over the top of the jar with the rubber band, and tie the ribbon around it with a bow

Vwalla! Enjoy your patchwork jam jar

Note: If you have varnish, paint a coat of it over the paint. Unfortunately I didn't have any varnish.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Photo editing on Picnik 1

Picnik is an awesome site for making your photos look really cool. If you think you probably won't be able to understand how to do anything on photoshop, but still like editing photos like me, this is the site for you. Most of the things you can do on there are free (no registration required), but you can get more out of it if you become a premium user. Unfortunately I'm not, but I still love Picnik anyway.
I decided to do a couple of demonstrations of editing photos on Picnik with some photos I took and photos off the internet. So here they are (click on them to enlarge them):
Fancy collages: Valentine's Day Pack 1. I just got two black & white photos via google images and vwalla! Fancy collages are really cool for giving a theme to your photos, if you know what I mean, and a finishing touch. They look really good, and are helpful for scrapbooking.

Embellishments: Stickers, borders & text can add a personal touch to photos. I used a photo of my beautiful and beloved cat Sammy, who I sorely miss every day. I'm going to move onto the next photo now for fear that I'll start crying.

Effects: These are to make your photos look uber cool. There are heaps of really cool effects to chose from and it took me a long time to settle on what ones to do for the demonstration. I used fairly simple effects on this photo of the girl running with the balloons, but I think they still look pretty good. To me the above photo kind of looks like daytime and dusk. Except the sky's slightly orange and her balloons have changed colour. Oh well! I used HSL Filter in Sandbox Effects for that effect. The bottom one shows an effect that I use all the time. I just made it black & white, and then used a paint brush to make the balloons their original colour. Simple but effective. Funny that.

Touch-up: Last but not least, this demonstrates the main purpose of Picnik; to make your photos look nicer. For this photo that I took at the Hamilton Gardens (which is the best place in Hamilton for great photo opportunities, in my opinion), I tweaked the colours so they looked brighter and fuller, and also sharpened it. If you enlarge the picture you might be able to see that in the right version of the picture you can see a bit of dewy-looking stuff on the flower. I think it might be rain, because it had been misting over a bit when I was there.

So there you have it, a demonstration of how great and easy to use Picnik is. What's also really cool about it is that whenever it's a special season, like Halloween or Christmas, they have themed stickers, fonts & borders. I had a lot of fun last year making myself look like a vampire when it was Halloween. Try it out; I've included the link at the top of this post. Have fun!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Andreas Preis

Another talented artist. I discovered Andreas Preis on the behance network as well, via stumbleupon. His style is really cool cross-hatching. Here is my favourite picture from his 'original drawings' bit from his portfolio on behance.
Click to enlarge


Friday, April 16, 2010

Jim Warren

Another Uber Cool artist that I just recently heard about. He does really amazing paintings, very realistic, but not realistic at the same time. It's hard to believe he painted them! It amazes me that some people can do this kind of thing. Here's the best four photos I found on a website (click on them to see them in full size:

Pretty amazing, right?? If you want to check out more of his work, go to his website. His paintings are tres bon!

Anna Rusakova

Omgg (oh my golly gosh) she is such a good artist! I found out about her thanks to stumbleupon/ behance. She's a Russian artist who does really cool cartoon drawings that are kind of odd but really good, and her creature things are so cute! I would post some pictures of her work, but I cannot be BOTHERED uploading pictures right now because I got some idea of what an Ice Age is like while I was doing the how-to bookmark post. So go check out her moleskin on Benhance, plus other awesome drawings. Her artwork is uber cool!



This is a really cool mini-series I saw on Prime a couple of weeks ago. It was only two episodes long but I reckon it was really well done. Basically it's Alice in Wonderland but much darker and mature, and focuses more on how the Red Queen's reign has affected Wonderland and the emotional challenges Alice faces, like overcoming bad childhood memories that had affected her life (as she is twenty in this). It's got Caterina Scorsone as Alice and Andrew Lee Potts as Hatter.
It's a kind of complicated storyline to explain, so visit Wiki!
I actually was just starting to try to explain the basics of the plot myself, but I deleted it. I always waffle on for ages when explaining storylines while other people can cover it all in a few sentences, because I always include every little detail. Oh well, Wiki can do it for me! But if you ever get to watch it, do, because it's pretty cool.
I'm off to watch American Idol, because my dad is in control of the remote and he has no taste in tv programmes.


Some Cool Websites to Check Out

This is just me listing some cool websites that I go on and that you should check out if you don't already know about them
Also you should check out this, because it is super trippy.
I was going to put mystery google, but I forgot that for some unknown reason it's disappeared. It's living up to it's name for being mysterious, that's for sure.
I'll post some more websites if I can think of them, but for now I'm going to have some food because I am STARVING.