Friday, 14 September 2012

Blog Break

Things are going to be pretty quiet around here for the next two weeks as I'm going on holiday!

First stop; Nashville!

The Wreckers are promising that things are sweeter in Tennessee. Are they talking about the pancakes...?
I'm planning to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame, see Kellie Pickler and Dierks Bentley at the Opry (!!!) and hope that Taylor's in town and I happen to bump into her.

Then on to New York!

I hear that the streets will make me feel brand new and I'll be inspired by the lights! I guess we'll see!
I'm gonna go to some galleries, go on some tours, and my sister's going to stalk Jake Gyllenhaall as he's in a play over there at the moment.

You can follow me on twitter @lisaharrold to find out what I'm up to!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Photo transfer

You may have seen tutorials for transferring photos onto canvas. The first one I can think of is from A Beautiful Mess.
I'd bought some small canvas boards from The Works on sale and decided to use one to display one of my favourite photos from the end of uni.
The tutorials say to use a gel medium, and I happen to have some from a pack I got given in my first year of uni. It's meant to be mixed with acrylic paint to create texture I think, but I've never used it.

I printed off my photo using a laser printer. That bit's important. You also have to remember that the image has to be in reverse. I say this because I forgot and had to print it out again.
Then I generously covered the canvas board with the gel medium and put the photo on top.
Once it had dried over night I dampened the paper and started rubbing it off.
Elsie says to expect an imperfect image but I was surprised by how well the image had transferred.

I decided to add paint to the image. It is on a canvas after all.
Using acrylic paint I filled in the white edge of the canvas board and then went over some of the photo.
You can see the difference between Natalie's face, which is mostly still the photo, and my face which I've painted over.

I added paint to large areas, like my dress and skin, instead of trying to recreate some of the details like my eyes. I think combining paint with a photograph creates an interesting look.

Monday, 10 September 2012

There was an old lady who...lived on a coaster?

Remember that miniature knitting I did?
Well I wanted to do something with it so I made an old lady who could use it.

The knitting needed to be a bit longer so I first had to re-teach myself how to knit (thank you youtube).

The old lady started off looking pretty creepy.
I used Sculpey but still haven't got the baking times right as she came out of the oven with varying skin tones.

I'd never tried sculpting a face before and I'm actually surprised with how it turned out. I used my fingernails and a needle to get all the detail. And by detail, I mostly mean wrinkles.

While I was sculpting the old lady's face I happened to be listening to the episode of This American Life which was a tribute to David Rakoff who had died the week before. It made me sad towards the old lady and made her seem more frail.

For her wispy hair I used some polyester stuffing, I made her some tiny wire spectacles, and I gave her a pearl necklace, cos old ladys like pearls, right?
Her jumper is made from a cardigan that I bought to use as the carpet in my model bedroom.

Making the rocking chair was a fun challenge, like when I made a wheelie bin for my degree show piece.
I think this is the first cardboard miniature thing I've made since graduating.

I also made her a little knitting bag to keep the rest of her wool in.
And so you like her fluffy pink slippers?
They're made from a flannel that I bought to use as the carpet in the bedroom of my degree show house.
Nothing gets wasted over here!

What should I name this old lady?
I think she could easily be a Gladys, or an Enid, or a Judith.
Any thoughts? Hit me with your best old lady names.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

I have a secret

There's something most of you don't know about me.
I think it's time to share.

I like to rap.

Well, I'm glad that's out there.
It all started with learning all the words to Eminem's Love The Way You Lie, just to see if I could.
Would I have been as into the song if the video wasn't so awesome? Who knows.
Busting out that rap became my party piece.
Then I learnt all the words to Superbass, because, who doesn't know them, right?

And then I couldn't decide which rap to learn next, so I just wrote my own. For the lols.
I've performed this rap for my friends on a beach, in a car on the way to Disneyland, and halfway up a ladder.
And now I've recorded it for you, my blog friends, to enjoy/have a giggle.

So have a watch whilst I go and crawl into a cave of embarrassment.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Homemade microwave vegetable crisps

A long time ago I saw how to make potato crisps in the microwave on some tv show.
I don't remember what show it was, but I do remember how to make the crisps.

You cut thin slices of potato using a peeler.

Then fold up a piece of greaseproof paper concertina style.
Lay the potato slices on top and sprinkle with salt.

Put them in the microwave for around 5 minutes.
Sometimes they need a bit longer.

Then try getting a bit fancy and adding different flavours.
I sprinkled some chicken seasoning on, but I probably didn't need as much as these had a bit of a kick.

My Mum suggested I also tried making crisps in the oven, with a bit of oil on the baking sheet.
It's easier to forget about them when they're in the oven, so I'm going to stick to the microwave.
Also, in the microwave you don't need oil = healthier!

I then got really crazy and tried making courgette crisps.

These took longer to crisp up but that might have been because I put less salt on.

I also tried using carrots which produced these shrivelled things. To be fair it was a small carrot.

Healthy snacks and a great way to use up the courgettes that just keep growing in the garden!