DIY Octopus Art Reproduction

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I finally decided to decorate our empty bedroom wall with some kind of artwork. I wanted the theme to be a “Nautical” to match our bed cover.

After some googling, I found this Octopus art. It is perfectly nautical and one of the pictures was showcasing Giuliana Rancic’s nursery decor with this painting. This artwork was originally created by scientist Lord Bodner in 1826 as part of the deep sea creature study. Now its reproductions are sold as high-end decor and for as much as $5,000!

Since I have been getting into DIY art reproduction lately, I decided to create one myself. It turned out to be pretty cool! So I wanted to share the process with you.

Here is how I created the Octopus triptych artwork reproduction if you are interested to know.

How to Create 3-Piece Octopus Art Decor in 5 Steps

What you will need

  • Long canvas X3
  • Cobalt blue acrylic paint 100ml X 3
  • White acrylic paint 100ml x 1
  • Paint brushes (Wide flat brush for the base, and artist paint brushes of your choice- I used round pointed and flat)
  • White tracing paper X 1 (Available at art supply stores)

Step 1  Enlarge the image to fit the canvas using Posterazer and print it out using your own printer. Put printed papers together with scotch tape.

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Posterazor tutorial video

Step 2  Paint the background of 3 canvases in dark cobalt blue and let them dry.

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Tip: It requires several layers to have an even look. Don’t forget to paint sides too.

Step 3  Put three canvases together, place a white tracing paper on them, and the enlarged image on top of that.

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Step 4  Trace the image. 

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Step 5  Paint the image.

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It perfectly matches my nautical bed cover & pillows. What is your favourite sea creature painting?

My past art reproduction post 

Starry Night

 

How to Make A Classy Cold Shoulder Top

cold shoulder top

There is a Fine Line Between Sexy and Sleazy

Creating Sexy Clothing that is also Classy, is a bit tricky. Sexy and Classy could be opposite words in many cases.  I wanted make a top with cut off shoulder A.K.A cold shoulder top mature woman can wear with style and class.

While most cold shoulder tops are geared towards young ladies, I found a picture of a mature woman wearing a cold shoulder top, with a class on one blog.

cold shoulder top
Photo by youlookfab.com

Not only is it a split sleeve design, but also it is made with animal pattern fabric!…risky combination to be a little “too sexy”. However,  as you can see, this woman looks very elegant at her age (I don’t know how old she is, but I am assuming she is over 50).

 Being inspired by this picture, I decided to create a cold shoulder top for myself too. The light blue “snake skin” pattern fabric was my impulse purchase and it was finally given an opportunity to come to the light of day!

cold shoulder top

How to Make A Classy Cold Shoulder Top

cold shoulder top

This is the sketch of the pattern I made.

cold shoulder top

  1. Lay sleeve pieces wrong side together. Stitch center seam 2cm down from top, leave 25cm for a slit and stitch 18cm down to the bottom.
  2. Press seam allowances open.
  3. Stitch both edges of seam allowances.Scan 3
  4. Stitch sleeve hem(Green) and attach a bias right below the lower edge of the slit. Stitch center, edges, and top of bias to create a loop hole for the string(Red). Scan 2
  5. Fold both edges of the string 1cm inward and stitch them together. 
  6. Bring the string through the loop hole. Scan 1
  7. Lay front and back pieces right side together and stitch shoulder seam, side seam and a hem. Attach sleeves, stitch neckline edge by folding it  inside and whala!

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Mission accomplished! I think it looks sexy, but Not sleazy and it also is functional too.  Breeze coming into a slit on shoulders keep an extremely sweaty person like me, cool and comfortable. What do you think?

 

How to Create Art Reproductions like a Pro: 6 Steps (With Pictures)

Art reproductions

The idea of DIY Artwork reproduction came to me when I was struggling to find paintings I like to decorate our new home. Framed “prints” of famous artwork are nice, but they are not as impressive as a real painting on canvas. Of course, unless you are a gazillionaire, it is impossible to obtain an original.

However, high-quality reproductions are quite impressive and look more expensive than a framed poster. You can find famous art reproductions online for several hundred dollars, depending on the size, but I am too frugal to pay several hundreds for a copy of art work.  There is no way to know the real quality of work until it is delivered and see it in person.

So I decided to have an Artwork reproduction challenge. Now, I know some of you don’t think you are artistically inclined, or don’t even like to draw or paint. But, if you are at least interested in trying, I can show you how to create art reproductions like a pro in 6 steps.

How to create art reproductions like a pro in 6 steps

Art reproductions

Step 1. Find an image of the original painting you want to reproduce. Save the image on your computer.

Step 2. Enlarge the image without distorting it.  It should fit the choice of your canvas size using Rasterbator.  Despite its questionable name, it is a great free tool to enlarge any image. It is also easy to use. Click the video above to learn how to use it.

Art reproductions

 Step 3Print out using your home printer. The copies are printed out on 4 – 12 sheets with a thin frame depending on the size. Wait until all sheets are printed out.

Art reproductionsStep 4. Tape the sheets together. Arrange the sheets so that they fit together. Begin with either the left lower, or upper sheet and then tape the frame lines together precisely.

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Step 5. Trace lines on canvas using a tracing paper and tracing wheel. Place tracing paper ink side down on the canvas, then place the printed paper over it (Secure it on the canvas with tapes to prevent from moving while tracing). Both tracing paper and a tracing wheel can be found at sewing supply stores, but I recommend using carbon paper (found at stationery stores) instead of a tracing paper as the ink seem to stick better on canvas.

Art reproductions Art ReproductionsStep 6. Start painting! I used acrylic paint  for its ease of use, but I would love to try oil painting in the future, so I signed up for a beginner’s oil painting class at the local community center starts next month!

I was not sure how it is going to turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised I was able to doa somewhat decent job following above steps. Preparation by tracing the same exact ratio and the position of the object as the original work on canvas, is the key to create the successful reproduction.

I have developed my interest in drawing when I stayed home for two years after I dropped out of Preschool (I am a preschool dropout!) I haven’t drawn or painted ever since I graduated high school, but I think painting is like riding a bicycle or skiing… your body remembers how to do.

I believe we can improve our artistic skills by practice just like anything else as long as you enjoy doing them. My goal is to eventually create my original painting by reproducing someone else’s work as a practice.

So if you have something you enjoyed and did well when you were a child, re-explorer it. You might re-discover your passion! And who knows, you might be able to do something with it to make money. Brian Tracy says all successful millionaires do what they love to do to make living and “what”  is usually something you used to love doing between ages seven and fourteen.

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Enjoy painting! 

How to Shop at Thrift Stores

One Man(Woman)’s Junk is My Treasure

Many people brag about how much they paid on things. I brag about how little I paid on things. I love finding a treasure in thrift store. Some people can’t bare the thought of buying something second-hand especially clothing and I respect that, but I love second-hand items as they have so much character than brand-new stuffs..

My husband and I have been searching for paintings to decorate our new home and here are our recent findings from consignment & thrift stores;

Large painting (Original) for the walls of stairs – $250

How to shop at thrift store

Incredibly complex, detailed work of harmony between nature and animals by American artist Susan Hartenhoff.

Oil painting for one or the bathrooms -$30

How to shop at thrift stores

 

 Abstract painting for our family room -$200

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I choose this painting because the color matches our existing pillows!!

Van Gogh print (Iris)in matching frame -$15

How to Shop at Thrift Stores

I love Van Gogh!

Fake Cast iron 3 piece patio set -$68 (Yep.  You heard me right. They are “Plastic”)

How to Shop at Thrift Stores

You can never tell these are made of plastic. Even in the close look….

How to Shop at Thrift StoresI wanted get cast-iron set for this space, but my husband was worried about rusting nature of “real” thing.  So this set is perfect. It will never rust!

How to Shop at Thrift Stores

1. Go check out on Mondays (preferably in the morning)

We will never know when good stuffs come in, but many people drop off their donation on weekends. I know it is not easy to go in the Monday morning unless you have a flexible schedule like me ;-), but if something is meant to be yours, you will still find it in the afternoon, or evening. That is how I got my 3-piece patio furniture. Many people were eye-balling it, so I could not believe it was still there when I returned.

2. Go check out often

Don’t give up finding what you want after only a couple of visit. You tend to find a great stuff when you are least expecting.

3. Go to the store near the affluent neighborhood

You have increased chance of finding high-quality items.

4. Know what to buy, and what Not to buy

Great to buy second hand:

  • Glass wears (if you can find even number of matching set)
  • Flower vases
  • Books
  • Baskets
  • Paintings

Not recommended to buy secondhand:

  • Under wear and bathing suits
  • Non-stick flying pan (They are usually shot)
  • Cosmetic items

My Newly found hobby

I was so excited about finding Van Gogh art so cheaply because I always loved his artworks. I placed Van Gogh’s Iris on the wall of dining area and noticed I have three more empty walls to fill in the same room. So I decided to make that room a “Van Gogh gallery”. I have been searching prints and reproductions on line and came up with a crazy idea…” What if I paint by myself? I have always aced art in school. How hard could that be?” Then I bought painting supplies (Acrylic), borrowed Van Gogh catalogs in Library, and painted two of his popular works.

How to Shop at Thrift Stores

“Self-portrait with a Grey Felt Hat”

How to Shop at Thrift Stores

Sunflowers. Believe it or not, this was more difficult than Van Gogh’s self-portlait.

My next project is “ Starry night”  and I will post the process and the result of it pretty soon, so stay tuned!