Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fixing Mozart

This is a project I have been working for a long time. About two years ago, my bust of Mozart was accidentally swept off the piano by a power cord that was still plugged in due to my carelessness. He got a couple really small dings, but one corner was completely destroyed. I glued what could back together and then tried to fill the rest in with Cellu-clay (an instanpaper-mâché). The Cellu-clay shrunk in the drying process and Mozart sat bewildered on my piano in his broken, eye-sore way for the next two years.

Fast-forward to the present. While thinking of what to do for the Desire 2 Create blog I decided to focus on projects that I have started and just not completed, with a few new things added for variety. Mozart floated to the top of the list.

Here he is in his two-year crumbled state.

Here is the corner after I added the air-hardening clay that I bought the same time I bought the Cellu-clay. I added a bit of water to it so the clay would go on more like a putty. Then let the poor man rest over night.

Once Mozart had dried out, I lightly sanded the clay area with fine sandpaper. I mixed two colors of metallic acrylic paint to come up with the closest possible color. Here is the first coat of paint on the corner.

I painted the whole bust because there were little dings everywhere that didn't need repaired other than a coat of paint. I used a foam brush and then a stiff brush from my daughter's water color set to make sure there were no globs of paint and that everything went on even. Here is the man half painted. Can you tell what side is painted and what side is not?

The shinier side is the new coat of paint. It had not yet dried. Pretty close in color, eh?

After the first coat of paint, I re-sanded the corner and painted again. Then to bring out some of the depth and detail I used my darker metallic paint as a glaze. I simply watered it down a bit. Painted over the highly detailed areas and then immediately lightly wiped the area with a rag so the darker paint would only stay in the crevices.

Here is the finished Mozart. He is not perfect, but at least I can put Beethoven in from of him and he won't be such an eye-sore in on my piano. My husband says he looks like Mozart is smiling more now. I know I am.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Birthday Pillowcase

Now that the major holidays are over, our family swings into birthday mode which lasts until Halloween when the major holidays swing back into action. So with birthdays on the mind, mainly that of our almost 3 year-old, I have come up with this simple project.

Growing up we always had this little bear that sat on our dinner plate on our birthdays. It was just a little something to note it was your special day. Here is a twist on that tradition.

We will need:

  • 3/4 yard fabric #1
  • 1/4 yard fabric #2
  • Spool of washable ribbon

Iron your fabric & then cut off selvage edge if you need to resize your fabrics. We want the width of the fabric to be about 42".

Cut ribbon to measure non-selvage length of fabric + 1", about 43".

Pin & sew lengths of fabric together (non-selvage edges). This will now be known as seam A.

Iron seams open. *I was told in my last sewing class the easiest difference to spot in a professional sewing job and a novice one is the professional one will iron all seams and cut all strings.*

Pin & sew new length of fabric creating a border at one end. This is seam B. Once we have sewn this edge, we should have a tube of fabric with a border of fabric #2 at one end.

Iron 3/8" hem into fabric #2. Then pull this down to cover seam & pin & sew.

Now turn tube right-side-out. We need to cover the seam A and the last section of sewing. Pin ribbon on starting a smidgen past seam B. We want the ribbon to just barely cover seam A. Gently sew side of ribbon that covers seam A. If there seems to be extra ribbon, that is okay. Extra is good. When you get to the end fold the extra ribbon under creating a nice edge which matches up with seam B.

Time to sew the other side of the ribbon. There is no need to pin this one as the ribbon is already in place. The concern to watch for is to make sure you are covering the stitching from sewing the border down on the inside. Once this is done, repeat the fold at the end of the ribbon.

Turn the tube back inside-out. Pin the bottom and sew, making seam C.

Cut the corners on a diagonal making sure not to cut the seams. This helps the corners lay better and be bulky when turned right-side-out.

Because I don't have a serger, and have never had much luck using the zigzag method with my machine, I solve my fraying problems with this:

Fray Check is my friend.

Lightly cover all the raw edges with a little Fray Check, making sure not to touch the material that creates the outside of the pillowcase. Fray Check dries hard and if it saturates the main part of the pillowcase, you will have a little rough spot.

Let dry and turn right-side-out.

When it is birthday time at our house, the birthday girl/boy gets to sleep with this special pillowcase the night before and night of their birthday.

Isn't this fun? The red pillow is another one I made 10 years ago. I made one for each of my roommates and myself for Valentines day. The possibilities are endless.


Mission Organize Apartment