Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

* watercolor scarf

Posted on January 16th, 2012 by maitreya. Filed under Art.

Poppytalk posted this amazing letterpress handkerchief calendar by Mink Letterpress, and I was super sad to see they’re sold out (though the artist says she might do another run!  Fingers crossed.)  So I decided to rummage through my own collection of handkerchiefs and scarves to get inspired.

This Vera one looked pretty east to copy, so I got out my watercolors.  I’ve been wanting to paint something since I came across this post on easy watercolor techniques at Gardening Gone Wild.  She suggests tracing something to get a quick start.  The white bits on the scarf from the slight registration differences between layers follows another of her suggestions to use the white paper to advantage.

Anyway, it turned out pretty sloppy, but a fun way to spend an afternoon.



    Comments Off on watercolor scarf

* 2012 calendar post

Posted on January 8th, 2012 by maitreya. Filed under Art, Wants.

The annual calendar post.  Not as many as last year, possibly due to delaying until January to bother to get them.  I still haven’t found a new desktop calendar (I’m anxiously awaiting Geninne’s, though), so I’d appreciate any suggestions.

Lab: Rifle Paper Co. 2012 Botanical Calendar.  A splurge, but so pretty.

Craft room: Letterpress cross stitch calendar by Pistachio Press and Aesthetic Artwork.  Two great tastes that taste great together.

[Photos from the relative designers’ websites.]


    Comments Off on 2012 calendar post

* balsa wood embroidery

Posted on October 10th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art, Cross Stitch/Embroidery.

I was lucky enough to win a piece of art from a is for anika.


I wanted to make her something as a thank you. It seems like it must be hard to part with so many original artworks, so I tried to recreate the picture I won in thread. I wasn’t able to capture the awesome color blocking and depth of the original, but I still kind of like how it turned out.

I got the idea paging through the new Doodle Stitching book (photo here). I just printed out the image, masking taped it to the wood, and used a pin to poke holes following the drawing. You can’t poke the holes too close together or else they can merge when you pull the thread through. I had that happen a couple of times, but it wasn’t too hard to cover up.

What I like about it is that the wood is a nice stiff backing that makes long, straight stitches possible. I’m already working on another one :)


    Comments Off on balsa wood embroidery

* watercolor wreath

Posted on October 6th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art, Crafty Review.

I just noticed this post languishing in my drafts folder from a few months ago.

Another project from Aesthetic Outburst: a watercolor flower wreath.  I was initially not very happy with it because it looked so childish. Doodling on top of it with a black pen improved it enormously, though.  I used it for a Mother’s Day card.


I also got Water Paper Paint from the library for more watercolor fun.  It’s a very well done book, with projects that seem do-able, but are also interesting and not too simple-looking.  I had a hard time giving it back to the library, so I’ll probably buy it at some point.


* Quilt Show

Posted on August 27th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art, Crafty Review.

My art quilter friend from work invited me to the Pacific West Quilt Show this weekend.  It was pretty neat.

I thought my photos would be good enough to read the names on the placards so I could give credit, but, alas, they are too out of focus.  The quilters would probably prefer their works of art not be associated with my mediocre cell phone photos anyway.

There was a lot of insanely good workmanship.  Some of my favorites were relatively simple geometrics with great colors.



This one is a crayon rubbing of a grating, with quilting over it.


There were several interesting uses of printing/transferring photos onto fabric and then embellishing.



This one is made of modern feedsacks.  I thought it was funny.



* today in ridiculous crafting purchases

Posted on June 26th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art, Wants.

I saw this at the airport Dunkin Donuts and had to have it.


Normally it would hold three colors of slushie.  The cashier was quite confused when I agreed to pay full price for just the empty cup.


But it will be worth it!  It’s perfect for painting.  I always get annoyed that I have to use two cups of water to get my brushes really clean between colors.  Now I can just use this one cup.


* wall cabinet sticker

Posted on May 15th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art.

I finally got around to putting up the vinyl sticker I got to decorate the plain Ikea cabinet we have in our living room.  I got it from urbanwalls on etsy (the “large flower” design).  Pretty painless to put up, and the petal design made it really easy to work around the corner like I wanted.


I cut the pieces that spanned the hinge or the gap between the door and the top.  The rest I folded around the corners.  It remains to be seen if the folded pieces will stay stuck, but so far so good.



* decorated bowls

Posted on April 29th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art.

I spent a few quality hours at the San Francisco Airport last month, and they had a quite good art exhibit in the International terminal of Japanese ceramics.  I particularly liked these little bowls.



So the next time I went to the Goodwill, I found a couple of plain bowls for 50 cents and went to work.  I even already had a Porcelaine 150 pen (which it appears is not totally dishwasher safe, fyi.  The pen says “dishwasher resistant.”)


The dotty one is inspired by a couple of old Martha Stewart issues.

Aesthetic Outburst has also posted a few cool porcelain/glass paint projects lately.


    Comments Off on decorated bowls

* simple encaustics

Posted on February 4th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art.

My second encaustic class was this week.  I brought a bag of random things to try out, including paper, fabric, string, beads, and a bunch of other stuff.  It was pretty interesting how the different materials took to the wax.  I also learned that scribing into the surface is hard to get the hang of.  Messing up repeatedly in a class doesn’t seem quite as disheartening as usual, though, since I convinced myself I was learning.  Also, it helps that you can scrape everything off and start all over again very easily.

The ones that looked the best were very very simple.  I was running out of time at the end, and the forced simplicity was actually a good thing, I think.  This is just a silk scarf. (I used part of it to make a bead necklace a while back, so I’d already cut into it.)  It looks dreamy under the wax.  I think I’m going to do another one with more of the green and blue flowers and hang them together.


This one is just cut out tissue paper circles.  It’s got a little more depth to it than I was able to photograph.


The whole thing was very fun and I definitely want to do more with the technique.  So far, I’ve gotten all of the supplies except for the torch.  That’s a job for this weekend, maybe.


* encaustic artists

Posted on January 30th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art.

I’m going a little crazy over the encaustics.  There are of course my old favorites Amy Ruppel and Lauren Dyer.  It’s interesting revisiting artists’ work once I know a little bit about technique.  For example, I’d always thought the stripy ovals in Amy Rupple’s paintings were some sort of wax.  Turns out they are manipulated photographs embedded in the piece. ~The more you know~

Anyway, here are a few new favorites:

Lisa Kairos (more here)


She also has a really great series of encaustic techniques posts on her blog.

Cake Encaustics


These appear to be made with layered tissue paper.  The artist also has a blog.

Michele Bosak (mimidoodles on etsy)


These are image transfers to the wax, followed by an ink rub.  Blog.

The Constant Gatherer


I like how these are amorphous, chunky, golden wax, with embedded thread to suggest the frame.  The photos are buried underneath, and I’m wondering if the whole thing was coated, and the interior scraped away.  Blog.

dont orbit me


Great use of background patterns, with little bits of color highlighting on top.  Flickr.


    Comments Off on encaustic artists


  • maitreya[@]craftlog[.]org

books I’m in


  • Easiest broccoli soup recipe. Bonus: it's vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, one pot, and endlessly riffable.

  • Dinner: A Love Story Hot Soup for a Working Lunch

  • Follow Me on Pinterest




creative commons

craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!