rabbit and sheep, at last….

Rabbit and Sheep Greetings has taken a really long time to find its way to the finish.  Last time we got together we were about to attach the punched and stuffed piece to the rocker….

drill, dowels, drywall screws

drill, dowels, drywall screws

I like to use drywall screws because they’re really sharp and have flat heads.

predrill

pre-drill

The dowels are much more forgiving if a hole is drilled before using the screw.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I also pre-drill a hole into the rocker.  Then, it’s simply a matter of putting the dowels inside the legs and adding the screw from the back of the rocker.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s something new for me.  I’ve made many of these types of rocking pieces and the exposed screw head has never bothered me before.  Now, for some reason, I feel the need to cover it up, somehow.

giant tacks

giant tacks

I couldn’t find any vintage upholstery tacks with heads like these, but I did find new ones.  The head is rounded and hollow, and measures about .75″ across, so it will cover my screw perfectly.  I snipped off the shaft of the tack and adhered the head to the rocker.

ta da

ta da

This feels much more finished to me and doesn’t impede the rocking motion of the rocker.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now, I just need to finish the “greetings” banner and we’ll be all set.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I forgot to take pictures of how the banner went together, but basically I just stitched the backing fabric to the right side of the punched bit, turned it, and left a little opening in the seam for the stick (which I covered in backing fabric).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I didn’t stuff the banner, and simply tucked the stick between the rabbits arm and body.  It stays tightly in place, but can be removed if desired.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An identification tag on the back finishes it off and…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…we’re done!

whew!

thank you for spending some time with me today ~ be safe, warm and happy!

 

rebecca

rabbit and sheep rocker, and cathy’s finishes….

I’ve been debating between making Rabbit and Sheep Greetings into a pull toy and a rocker.  I finally decided on a rocker and thought I’d share the process with you.

choices

choices

I can either use a slice of bowl, which you can see in the upper left quadrant of this photo or I can use my very last antique trunk strap, shown in the middle of the picture.  The bowl will need to be cut down, and were I to use it, I would cover the bowl with the ticking fabric shown using Mod Podge.  However, I think I’d like to use the trunk strap and Mod Podge the top of it with vintage ephemera.  So, I go to my favorite online source for vintage images and find some fabulous spring art….

looks like spring!

looks like spring!

I love these vintage postcards from The Graphics Fairy (click here to visit her site ~ she has so many wonderful images, most of which are free and in the public domain, so no copyright confusion!).  I wonder what Otis thinks of my spring picks…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He checks things over thoroughly and decides that….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…what he really likes is my paint brush.  I, however, am reconsidering the Spring look and decide that Rabbit and Sheep Greetings should have correspondent-inspired clip art, instead.  The Graphics Fairy comes to the rescue once again and provides me with these awesome options….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I cut out bits and strips of the above and start Mod Podging the inner curve of the trunk strap….

first layer

first layer

I let the first layer dry completely before adding more ephemera.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then, I add a few more layers and a lot of Mod Podge.  While I’m waiting for everything to dry I’ll show you two incredibly awesome finishes from Cathy….unnamed-1

I just love the carrot-mobile!unnamed

And, of course I can’t resist anything mounted on a porcelain doorknob!  Isn’t Cathy’s work beautiful?  Perfect!  Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your wonderful work!

Until the glue dries and we can continue on with this project, be warm and safe!

 

rebecca

rabbit and sheep colors and coffee….

rabbit and sheep greetings...

rabbit and sheep greetings…

I’ve had some requests for the colors I used for Rabbit and Sheep Greetings.  Here they are….

valdani

valdani

These are all Valdani size 12 perle cotton.  I used two strands of each in my Cameo medium sized needle on the lowest (#1) setting.

jp11 ~ rabbit suit

p3 ~ sheep body

o196 ~ rabbit foot, hand, and head

h212 ~ sheep face and ear

pt2 ~ letters on “greetings” banner

5 ~ rabbit shirt, cuff, banner background

I purchase my Valdani from Snowflake Memories.  You can find their website by clicking here.

I’ve also had some requests for how I use coffee as an aging agent.  It’s really simple!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Take a bowl and add coffee.  It’s nice if the coffee is room temp rather than piping hot as you’ll be putting your hands in it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Get your punched piece wet.  (“Humble” is a fabulous design from Lori Brechlin! You can visit her site and find her awesome patterns by clicking here.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Squeeze out the excess water.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Place the piece in the coffee and push it down so that the coffee covers most of it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let it sit until you remember to do something about it. The longer you leave it in the coffee the darker it will be and the color will tend toward a greyish/brown. I prefer to have a brown-er and more water damaged look, so I try to remember to take my piece out after just a minute or two.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Put the bowl in the sink and squeeze/wring the piece firmly, removing most of the coffee.  I use two hands for the squeezing, but needed one hand here to take the photo.  :~>OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you want that water stained look ~ that is, patches of brown and patches of not so brown ~ keep the piece wadded up, like in the picture above and let it dry most or all of the way.  If the piece looks too variegated for your taste, rinse it, wring it and let it dry again.  If you want to start over, use a little gentle dish soap or laundry detergent to, almost, free the piece of coffee and then begin the staining process again.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

See how the above has stripes and blotches of stain?  That’s from the wadding/drying part of the process.

ewe and ewe two...

ewe and ewe two…

The above ewes show that strong mottling achieved by wadding/drying.

If you don’t like that heavily aged look and want a more uniform “glaze” of coffee stain, try swishing the piece around in the coffee.  Then, after squeezing out the coffee, un-wad and hang the piece up to dry, rather than leaving it in it’s wadded condition.

I hope this helps!  If you have your own favorite aging process, I’d love to hear about it!

Next time I’ll try to show you how I put the bowl slice together with the rabbit/sheep to make a rocker.

Until then, think warm and happy thoughts!

rebecca