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369 posts categorized "Tutorials • Projects • Products • Techniques"

February 11, 2014


Hello Bunny


Not sure where the bunny came from but all of a sudden, they seem to be everywhere.
Hello bunny.

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IMG_6647And still exploring altered art within the pages of an anthro catalog. Bunnies didn't come out here though. Yet.

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IMG_6646I've been using these Dermatograph pencils lately ... especially when working in catalog or magazine pages for altered art. They won't reactivate with water like the Stabilo and it just gives you this ability to make great marks on glossy pages. Thank you to Dina Wakley for turning me onto these.

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February 03, 2014


Tutorial :: Valentine's Jars with Fold Over Elastic Ponytail Holders


I have a Valentine's play date with some girlfriends coming up soon and decided to make each of them a gift. Here's what I came up with. Super fun and easy to make for your Valentine's!

Jenny DohPaint the front of a small jar with a bit of Titan Buff acrylic paint. Two coats. Let dry. I happen to have a lot of little jars but you could use any sized jar. Jam jars, olive jars, mason jars, etc.IMG_6028Cut a heart with a piece of red felt and secure it onto the jar by wrapping it with white thread. Tie. You could also use thin craft wire for a slightly different look but I really love the delicate look that thread gives.

IMG_6032Use fold-over elastic (FOE) to make ponytail holders. I found my FOE on Amazon.

Cut the FOE into 9.5 inch strips, fold them in half and tie the ends together. Trim the ends as needed. (I used 5/8-inch wide FOE.)

IMG_6035Place the pony tail holders into the jars.

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Use a pencil to add doodles and words to the painted area.

Note: If you were to go and scratch the paint with your fingernails, the paint would come off. But why would anyone do that? Don't do that. If you were to rub vigorously the pencil doodles with a wet finger, you would smudge the doodles. If you feel like someone might do any of this to your jar, you could do the pencil doodles before you put the felt and thread on and spray some sort of a sealer on the jar, let dry, and then wrap the felt heart on with the string.

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January 27, 2014


Paper Boat Necklace in a Bottle


I like that obsession takes you in all directions ... sometimes big and sometimes super tiny. Like these teeny tiny boats that I've been making. I like them quite a bit. And I wanted to make a commemorative something for my show this Saturday and decided that this would be it. Suspended on red string and in a bottle the boat can stay. Or it can be taken out and worn as a necklace. I'll be putting some up on my little Etsy shop as well for those who can't make it to the show. :)

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December 19, 2013


Waves of Obsession and Some Free Motion Stitched Explorations


I've been doing lots of explorations in the studio. During these last few days, for some unknown reason, I've been doing a whole lot of free motion stitching. Not sure how long this obsession will last. For me, obsessions come in little waves. And I've learned it's a good thing to just ride them out and see where they take me.

So this free motion stitched face is my latest exploration. Before it looked like this ...

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it looked like this. And before I started this, I used ...

Jenny Doh 3this earlier sketch as a point of reference. And this sketch was being made while listening to Cat Steven's beautiful version of Morning has Broken.

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird ...

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Here are a few additional pieces I've free motion stitched.

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This last one actually sold recently and so it's no longer with me. Sort of sad but happy that it's going to someone who adores it.

So I've been asked are all my works for sale? Well, some are and some aren't. One of these days, it's my goal to try and upload some of my originals onto my etsy shop (which has been vacant for a long long time ... just not enough time in the day) ... but in the meantime, what usually happens is that when a person likes what they see on my IG or FB feed, they let me know. And then we go from there. So if there's something that speaks to you, by all means, feel free to write me at [email protected] I'll let you know if it's available or not. And one of these days, like I said, I'll load a bunch up in more of an official manner on etsy or something like that.

November 24, 2013


Tutorial :: Nibs, Nib Holders, Dip Pens, Etcetera


Do you ever wonder what to call these things?

IMG_2024They are some of my favorite writing instruments and are actually composed of these pointy metal things which are called nibs. Nibs come in lots of different sizes. They also vary in the level of flexibility. When you find a nib you love, you might buy a bunch of them like I do. The best way to get to know about nibs is to try them out. They don't cost very much so I say get to know as many as you want.

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I suppose you could hold a nib with your fingers to write with but that would be inconvenient and so you usually put them in these longer objects called nib holders. Nib holders also come in lots of sizes and thicknesses and colors. They're a bit more pricey than nibs so you probably won't buy as many nib holders than you would buy nibs. But the best way to learn about nib holders is to try them out. (Note: The two that look really weird like the second from the left and the one on the right are called oblique holders. "Oblique" means slanting. Makes sense, right? No need to be afraid of oblique holders. They are one of my favorites to work with.)

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So then you push the nib into whiever holder you want to use. There's really no wrong way to do this. Just shove it in there so that it's nice and tight. The holder's job is to keep the nib nice and steady so you can write with it. If you decide you want to put a different nib in the holder, just pull it out and put a different one in. Usually, most nibs will fit in most holders so don't worry too much about potential mistakes. If a nib for some reason doesn't fit into a holder, then don't put that nib in that holder. Simple as that.

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After you have the nib in a holder, you dip it in some ink. Some folks recommend that you put a new nib to a flame for a few seconds or to dip a new nib first into gum arabic to help break it in. I've done that before and sometimes I've not done that. Whatever. And becasue you dip the nib into ink, that's why you call these nibs with holders "dip pens." People also just call them calligraphy pens ... which is a bit more of a general term which could mean other things.

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Once you dip it, you'll see that a bit of ink gets captured in the nib. Not a lot. Just a little bit. This shot below shows the nib's concave side, where you can see the captured ink.

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Enough to write a letter or a word or even a couple of words. Depending on how much a nib captures, you'll have to redip to get more ink on the nib to finish what you are writing. (Note: Isn't that thick nib at the top cool? I think it's rad. It was given to me by Lisa Engelbrecht. Thanks, Lisa!)

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Here are some pens with calligraphy-type nibs that you don't dip into ink. The nibs also don't get removed. Usually. Rather, they come with ink cartridges that you replace now and again. I personally call these "calligraphy ink cartridge pens." They're convenient when you don't have the wherewithall to take ink to wherever you are going.

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The one thing I've learned about nibs and nib holders and such is that owning every variety available is not what will make your lettering awesome. Practicing and experimenting is what will make it awesome.

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September 10, 2013


Knit Cross Apron


I'm diggin' my new apron I made with a cross motif that I knitted with Crochet Hemp and appliqued. Here's how I did it.

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KNIT THE CROSS
  • With worsted weight natural Crochet Hemp, cast on 4 stitches on size 8 (5 mm) knitting needles.
  • Rows 1–7: Knit
  • Row 8: Knit 4, cast on 4 (8 sts)
  • Row 9: Knit 8, cast on 4 (12 sts)
  • Rows 10–15: Knit
  • Row 16: Bind off 4, knit 8 (8 sts)
  • Row 17: Bind off 4, knit 4 (4 sts)
  • Rows 18–23: Knit
  • Bind off all stitches and bury all ends with a tapestry needle

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APPLIQUE AND EMBROIDER:

  • Spray the back of the knit cross with fabric spray adhesive and place onto apron. Use hand-sewing needle and thread to stitch the cross along all edges to the apron.
  • Use black perle cotton to add a running stitch to the top and one side edge. Add small cross stithces near the knit cross.

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September 03, 2013


Embroidered Converse Tutorial


Love wearing Converse, don't you?
Recently, I decided to add a little bit of embroidery to my black pair. Here's how ...

jenny dohFor the right shoe, I took one of the stitched white lines of the shoe as my guide to add simple straight stitches, first with red perle cotton and then white perle cotton to make an arrow. No pattern, no transfer lines ... I just went fo rit. And then I added some scallop-shapes with back stitches, and then some random straight stitches and French knots.

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For the left shoe, I made a heart, using one of the stitched lines of the shoe as my guide. Again, no pattern, no transfer lines. More like doodling with needle and thread. I finished with some small cross stitches and straight stitches.

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With some white socks and skinny jeans, I'm ready to go. Easy peasy.

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Happy embroidery! :)

September 02, 2013


Fisherman's Rib Cowl Tutorial


Hooray! I'm happy to report that on this blazing hot day, I have completed my cowl. I'm so happy with it. And yup, it was all done on Second Stage.

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What makes a cowl a cowl and not a scarf is that it is a connected loop so that there aren't swinging ends like a scarf. And the connected loop is made by joining the short ends with a simple twist added to it. I'll show you how.

First, I knit up a piece using the Fisherman's rib (here's a great tutorial showing you how to knit the Fisherman's rib) so that it was approximately 20 inches long. But you don't have to use this rib. You can use any pattern you like!

Before joining the short ends, I folded it like this.
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Then I picked up the two inner corners like this.
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... and then lined up the short edges like this and weaved them together.
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This twist results in what is frequently referred to as mobius or infinity. The twist makes the cowl rest beautifully on your neck, no matter how you put it on.

You can add this twist to knitted, crocheted, or sewn items. You can make it short like mine so that you just slip it over your head so it rests on your neck or make it long so that you slip it over your head and let it hang really low or twist it around your neck a few times to make it super chunky.

Here's how it looks when the ends are weaved together.

jenny dohThe reason I like this cowl is that the rib and the wool make it super chunky and thick so that I don't have to knit very much. Just 20 inches. And you can wear it to cover just your neck or you can wear it so that it also covers your mouth ... for days when it's super duper cold.
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Happy knitting. :)

August 04, 2013


Woodburning Tutorial: If You Want To


After seeing the fantastic woodburning work that Gennine and Alisa have been up to, I got inspired to get a woodburning tool myself. Using it brought memories of the woodburning tool I had as a kid ... did you have one too? It came as a kit, actually, with sheets of wood with images/scenes printed on them that you could burn with tool. So much fun.

Anyway, the tool is super simple to use. And I burned some words on popsicle sticks that I had in my stash. Yeah ... you should see my crafting stash. I mean, really.

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Here's a photo of the package that the tool came in by Walnut Hollow. I haven't tried the other nibs yet but I will.

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And of course I burned my favorite four words of all-time: If You Want To on a larger wooden stick.

Command Statement + If You Want To = Free Will

So yeah, I recommend that you get a woodburning tool and try it out for yourself. If you want to. :)

Jenny Doh

July 16, 2013


The Art of Value


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M.C. Richards writes eloquently in The Crossing Point:

It is dangerous for poets and painters and sculptors and musicians to think that their image, their composition, is the source of value—instead of the reflection of value, the making conscious of an experience of value otherwhere derived. The paint peels and cracks, the pot breaks, but the realm out of which it comes continues to reveal itself in more works of art and craft.


Jenny DohNothing bores me more than convos where people waste inordinate amounts of time trying to protect what they think they own and believe as being the source of true value ...

"Hey, the thick down stroke and thin upstroke in lettering ... that's my idea. You can't steal that."
"The crooked lips and curly hair was my invention, you can't do that."
"The use of black, red, and white ... that's my color palette ... I can't believe you're copying me."
"Are you using images of birds and leaves? Don't you know that I did that first?"

And on and on it goes ... without regard of knowing that all of it ... the thick and thin strokes, the crooked lips with curly hair, the black-red-white palette, the birds and leaves ... were all born and interpreted a million times before us and will continue to be interpreted a million times after we are all gone. Forever.
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