Make a Rabbit From a Towel

Children love to snuggle a soft squishy stuffed animal friend. We have just completed the pattern for our One Towel Cuddler Rabbit made from one soft 100% cotton bath towel. It is available for immediate download in our Etsy shop.

One-Towel-Cuddler-Rabbit-Pattern-Cover

The inspiration for these pattern designs came about because we have children in our family who are allergic to polyester. Most of the soft, cuddly, stuffed animals in the stores are made with polyester fabrics and polyester stuffing. Even on the rare occasion of finding a stuffed animal made with cotton or other natural fiber fabric, they are usually filled with polyester stuffing. These fibers can work their way through the cloth and onto the child’s skin. We designed these One Towel Cuddlers so they could be 100% safe for our little ones with allergies by making the outside and inside of the toy with all natural fibers by using one cotton bath towel.

However, if allergies are not a concern for your loved one, you can make our pattern using any soft fabrics and stuff with the fiber stuffing of your choice.

This pattern is available for instant download and has detailed instructions, materials needed list, and pattern pieces. Rabbit size is approximately 14″ from the top of head to the tail end. The ears and legs are floppy. Because there are no small parts to come loose, this rabbit is a perfect cuddly companion for infants and toddlers.

Sew a rabbit this week as a special gift for a sweet little someone you love!

 

 

Start With a Background

Usually I want to have an image in my mind or a picture or object in front of me before starting a painting or drawing. Sometimes it can be fun to make a background and see where that background leads me.

I tried the technique of splattering some watercolor paint on the paper and then spraying a fine mist of water onto the paint and letting the paint spread. The demonstration I saw used this method for an ocean scene.

Watercolor-background

When the background dried, I wasn’t seeing ocean. The longer I looked at it this background brought to my mind hanging bunches of wisteria blossoms. We have a large wisteria plant in front of our porch and it is not yet in bloom but is loaded with buds. It won’t be long! Here is a shot of last year’s early blossoms.

Wisteria

So my background became the setting for wisteria blossoms for my painting.

Wisteria-Watercolor

Next time you are not sure what to paint, make a background and see where it leads you!

Learning More About Watercolor

If you’ve been reading our posts for a long time, you will know that I have greatly desired to learn to watercolor. The medium of watercolor is fascinating to me. One reason it intrigues me is because when it is done well, it feels like light is coming through the piece. You have to think backwards with watercolor because you have to start with the lightest colors and work your way to the darkest at the end. You can’t cover up darker paint with lighter paint the way you can with oils or acrylics.

A couple months ago I came across a site offering online watercolor classes that looked interesting. Three technique videos were offered for free and I gave it a try. After that I kept receiving emails offering really great deals (for a limited time) on their classes, but with all the family visiting and a trip out of town, I could not take them up on any of their offers. Then I did have a free week and they made an offer I couldn’t refuse. I spent that week watching many of their videos explaining various techniques and also watching artists do complete paintings from start to finish. I really enjoyed listening to each artist explain each step of the process and why they did things a certain way. After watching several different artists, it became obvious there is no right way or wrong way to do things —each had their personal preferences and reasons for what they did.

Before the week came to an end, I needed to stop just watching and start doing. (See previous post.) One of the paintings I did was of lilies. In the image below, the painting done by the artist is shown on my ipad on the left and my finished painting on the right.

Flower-Watercolor

After watching an artist explain how to paint roses, I decided not to try imitating her painting, but instead found a photo of a rose online (shown on the left) and used it for reference for my painting (on the right below).

Rose Watercolor

If you are interested in learning more about watercolor painting, check out WatercolorPainting.com. (I am not receiving any compensation from this company. I just am sharing about a site from which I learned a few things I didn’t know before.)

No More Procrastination

Are you guilty of watching all kinds of videos and reading tutorials about how to do a particular type of creative activity? And then watching more? And more? And never giving it a try yourself?

Are you procrastinating? We usually think of procrastination as something we do to avoid something we don’t want to do. But this is something you want to do! Watching videos and reading tutorials are great ways to learn about a new skill or technique, but if you never give it a try, the skill will never become yours.

While working on a page for the class I am taking to learn more about whimsical lettering techniques, I found a quote that fit well with the concept of spending too much time thinking through something in your head, but never accomplishing the task.

March-Quote

You’ll never plow a field turning it over in your mind. ~Irish Proverb

Your first attempts may not look anything like what you saw or read about, but with continued practice, you’ll get there. Then you’ll be able to develop your own unique style.

What are you wanting to learn? Are you spending all your energy watching someone else do what you want to create?

Quit thinking about it in your head and START!

 

Variations on a Theme {Polymer Clay}

Using polymer clay is the last variation I plan to do with inspiration from my original photo. Choosing a photo and then seeing how many ways it inspires you to express your creativity using various mediums is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

You can see first the other variations and the original photo on these posts:
Variations on a Theme {Watercolor}
Variations on a Theme {Gelatin Plate Prints}
Variations on a Theme {Textiles}
Variations on a Theme {Stamps}

Here are the clay pendants I made:

Clay Oval-Daisy-Pendant

Clay Heart-Daisy-Pendant

Clay Daisy-Pendants

Variations on a Theme {Stamps}

I thought I was probably done with this series of Variations on a Theme when I finished the textile version. However, quite some time ago I purchased a piece of linoleum for carving a stamp for printing and also a set of carving tools. They were sitting on the shelf begging to join the party. So I jumped into carving a stamp based on my photo for this theme.

You can see first the other variations and the original photo on these posts:
Variations on a Theme {Watercolor}
Variations on a Theme {Gelatin Plate Prints}
Variations on a Theme {Textiles}

My only other experience with using the carving tools was on a small eraser which was very simple. This time I was tackling something much more complicated. I probably should have watched a few videos about how to carve a linoleum block first, but I didn’t. Now that I carved it without knowing what I was doing, I probably will watch some to learn how to do it better next time. (I’ll confess I had to turn the linoleum over and start again after I carved away parts that I wanted to keep!)

Linoleum Stamp-Carving

My completed stamp:

Daisy-Carved-Stamp

I made the stamp a size that could fit on cards and stamped several types of paper using india ink, stamp pads, and embossing powders. I painted some of the stamped designs with watercolor and found out that my ink was not waterproof, but it still made an interesting design.

After all was dry, I assembled my stamped designs along with other papers into a collection of notecards.

Stamped-Daisy-cards

Daisy-Stamped-Cards

Carving a stamp was fun and I look forward to creating more. Am I finished with my variations on a theme? Hmmmm…..

Variations on a Theme {Textiles}

With my love of fabrics, appliqué, and embroidery, using textiles in my variations on a theme was the obvious next step in seeing how many ways I could use one photograph to inspire creative works. In case you missed the previous variations (and to see the original photo), read these posts:
Variations on a Theme {Watercolor}
Variations on a Theme {Gelatin Plate Prints}

I designed a quilt block for the base of my design and then hand appliquéd the white flowers to the quilt block using embroidery thread and the blanket stitch. I also embroidered stems, additional flowers, and lines on the building. The colored buttons made wonderful centers for my flowers.

Since I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the finished block, I only did the hand stitching on the one layer of fabric (without batting). Once I decided to make a wall hanging, I added the yellow and green fabrics to the sides, top, and bottom of the quilt block, layered the whole piece on batting and a backing fabric, and then hand quilted designs onto the yellow and green fabrics. If I were to do it again, I would have done the appliqué and embroidery through the batting and back fabric layer as well to give it a little more texture and stability. I finished off the edges with binding matching the back fabric layer and one of the window panes.

Daisy-Wall-Hanging

Daisy-Quilt-Block

Now to figure out how to hang it… or maybe it’s just the right size for a sweet baby doll blanket for a granddaughter!

Variations on a Theme {Gelatin Plate Prints}

I am having fun seeing how many different creative expressions one photo can inspire in me by using different mediums and techniques. In the previous post I showed you some watercolor pictures inspired by this photo I took:

Daisies-with-Window

I moved on to making monoprints with my homemade gelatin plate based on the theme of that photo. I drew and cut a stencil and masks out of cardstock to use for my daisies and window frame.

Handmade-stencil-daisies

After pulling many prints, these are ones I liked the best.

_Gelatin-Print-Daisies-window

Gelatin-Print-Blue-Daisies

Black-White-Gelatin-Print-Daisies

Gelatin-Print-Daisies

Gelatin-Print-Daisies

Since I never throw away any gelatin printed papers (even ones I don’t like) I decided to make a collage from old prints. I first sorted through my pile of prints setting aside pieces that had colors and textures I thought would work in a collage. From those I chose parts and pieces that fit my desired outcome and started cutting and pasting. I finished it off with some shading with a colored pencil. Part of the window frame in this collage was a ghost print taken while working on the prints above.

Gelatin-Print-Collage-Daisies

I’m not finished yet with seeing how many variations I can come up with from my original photo. I challenge you, too, to find a photo you like and see how many ways you can create based on that photo.

Variations on a Theme {Watercolor}

Daisies are my favorite flowers. My wedding bouquet was filled with daisies and every spring when the wild daisies bloom on our roadsides my heart smiles. Flowers with a similar look to daisies fall into that favored category as well. A couple years ago I took a photo of flowers that looked like daisies next to a cafe in upstate New York. I loved the way the clouds were reflected so perfectly in the window above the flowers.

Cosmos Purity flowers-with-Window

In researching, I see these flowers are probably called “Cosmos Purity” and not daisies. This photo has been calling to me to try painting it. I lightly sketched out the image on watercolor paper with a pencil, pulled out my watercolor paints and gave it a try. I used the negative space painting technique to paint around the white flowers and then added some shadows on the pedals.

Watercolor-daisys

I wasn’t sure I like the way it turned out, so I decided to make it a mixed media picture and added watercolor pencil and regular colored pencil to the painting to see how it would change. After all, creative experimenting is part of the process of learning! Here’s what I came up with.

Mixed-Media-Daisys

I wanted to try the watercolor paints again and do it in a different way. This time I did not draw out anything on the paper with pencil. I painted liquid mask freehand on the paper for the flowers, let that dry, and painted the building and green vegetation over it. Some of the petals were not completely covered with the liquid mask and the paint left interesting streaks on the petals.

Watercolor-Daisys

By this point, I wanted to see how many different variations I could make on this theme using different techniques and medium. Inspired by Päivi Eerola, from Peony and Parakeet, I quickly drew a messy doodle of the picture to use as my starting point and then colored in the spaces with watercolor pencils.

Doodles-and-watercolor-pencil

And adding water makes it come to life!

Doodled-Daisys

I woke up this morning with my brain working on more ways to use the original photo as inspiration for other media. Stayed tuned and I’ll show you what else I come up with!