This year I was looking for a 365 day project to challenge myself. I almost chose 365 days of horror movies but though I might be a wreck after just a month, not to mention that some days I just couldn’t fit in a horror movie or find one to watch. Horror movies isn’t much of a project either. My partner always has good ideas and suggested I make a skeleton from felt. He didn’t think horror was a good idea as he doesn’t enjoy the genre.
I began the Skeleton around the start of the year with some sketches. It’s already been a struggle getting the sizes right and finding references for parts. Felt is a huge challenge with really tiny details as it is hard to cut small and make matching parts so small. I started with the hands and had to get creative with the scissors when my patterns were just too small to cut around. The bulk of the hands were done across about 4 hours but about another 2 or 3 hours needs to be added on top of that just sewing bits here and there and re-doing bits that went awry.
The Good Hand. The second one worked out way better than the first.
Both hands. One is very floppy (right) the other very stiff (left).
As I was making the phalanges I realised that making individual carpals was going to be bloody challenging as I would never get the sizes right so I decided to go with a solid piece under with details on top. Artistic licence has come into play here as some parts were so tiny and the felt was not cooperating and I’ve heard that sometimes done is better that perfect.
All up I’m pretty happy with how they turned out but I think the stiff hand might need a re-sew. I plan to do the arms next. Radius and Ulna.
Maybe I should try the horror thing out. Watch a month worth of Horror movies? Maybe I could do a month of horror movies and TV shows (American Horror Story is in my Netflix list) and see how I go.
Teddy. I picked up this bear from a second hand shop and added some anatomy (stomach, brain and Kidneys in the back). He had a tag on this leg that had his name in pen. I think he was a much loved teddy.
Six Legs. Spider friend on the back veranda. I didn’t see her boyfriend until I uploaded the photograph. She’s been protecting our veranda for a few months.
Hookworms! Love these little guys. They’re looking for their forever home, will it be your intestine?
Collection of Gall Bladders, Jar and two options for the brooch. These guys are so popular at the moment. Love making them!
This Pituitary Gland in a jar has been in and out of my Etsy store for quite some time. Years ago it was in there with the original photos and just hung around, and then it was out of my store for a while waiting to have new photos taken and lazy me never did. I’ve only ever sold one.
I remember making the Pituitary because I got a “convo” (the Etsy speak for a message within Etsy) asking me to make one. In the early days I would make anything and everything people suggest without taking an order or getting them to pay as it was a great way to get ideas for new pieces. (This is also why a thymus is sitting my shop.)
What I love about the way I have made the pituitary is the red and blue threads. I’ve almost always used the same shades of blue and red, I’d sometimes pick up a different shade but also return to my same favourite DMC colours.
Anyhooters, after finding this guy again I’ve also decided to make a brooch. I find myself getting back into making and experimenting with anatomy again after going on a bit of a journey off my path. Not that taking a detour here and there isn’t useful!
I’ve been playing around with Shrinky Dinks for about 4 years now after learning about them in a Hands On Brisbane class. Hands On Brisbane is my “day job” and one of the perks is learning all sorts of crafts (I have to be able to assist the facilitators).
I started making Your Organ Grinder pieces from Shrinkies soon after. I use an old refurbished Canon printer at the moment. Oh and FYI, you can’t use the ink that is made for archival printing, or the high quality art printing. Just the regular printing ink.
If you want to learn how to make your own Shrinkies you can check out the process I use for shrinking and adding doming resin in my instructable here. If you are in Brisbane I sometimes teach Shrinkie Dinks workshops and Resin workshops at Hands On Brisbane so join our mailing list, here.
Images above are Uterus Earrings, Dodo Earrings, Tapeworm Brooches and Dodo Brooches all made using the shrinky dink with doming resin technique.
Sometimes you just have to make something new. Making new products is always a gamble but there is an absolute joy in making something new. That feeling when you are working on something new and it is going well. That is what I live for.
I picked up some of these hoops a while ago (and recently grabbed more). I’m slowly choosing anatomy to fill them using calico and the stem stitch, one of my favourite embroidery stitches. I think the next one will be a kidney.
I’d be moaning to Andrew, my partner, about wanting a proper upstairs computer for a while. I had a laptop but when I used it for work it always crashed (every 5 minutes, no kidding) and it was a laptop. Andrew found me a Brix on Gumtree and we got that going. Cue setting up a monitor, keyboard, and mouse at the dining table.
I knew I wanted a desk that could slide under the couch so I could go full-on couch potato when working in Inkscape and Fusion360. I find working in these programs a little stressful so I wanted to be able to lean back and relax whilst working.
I showed Andrew a few examples of what I was thinking. We decided on the shape below. To the left is the unpainted desk, to the right the painted finished version.
The top of the desk is varnished Plywood. The legs that slide under the couch have “castor cups” underneath to slide around the floor on. The body of the desk is 50mm by 25mm RHS (Rectangular Hollow Section Steel) painted with some shitty no undercoat paint, not the best choice as it isn’t great quality but it’s good enough for now.
I’ve already got heaps of couch time use out of the desk as well as been watching iView and weaving tutorials.
Ugh! Taking product photos. It’s one of the biggest challenges of selling online. Each improvement in photos means I want even more improvement next time and then when it’s not working out, well that stinks!
I’d been taking really terrible photos for a while. The colours were off and the products were not clear. See, I’d been sitting somewhere slightly different and didn’t even realise this was the problem until one night just before I went to sleep (and was lamenting my terrible shots and how I might fix them) it came to me, I’d been in the wrong spot! Phew, I’ve changed back to the old spot. The pics still aren’t perfect but I’m working on it!