The Handmade Process of an Owl

 

 

 

 

owls

I’ve been thinking of making a post about what goes into handmade goods for awhile now. So I got organised and managed to remember to take photos of the whole owl making process so you can see exactly how much work and love and attention to detail goes into making handmade goods – whether it be mine or another artists.

I know that many, many of you really do appreciate the work involved in handmade goods and that you love the fact that these great products are NOT made in China, but are made in someones front room, or at the dining table or in a special work space if they are lucky enough. And that every single time you buy handmade you are helping put food on the table, or pay a mortgage, or buy shoes for the children. You make a very big difference to an artists life and personally I appreciate every single sale I have ever had.

*NOTE this is not a tutorial, please don’t copy my design as I have put a huge amount of time and love into creating these owls and they are a very important source of income for me, thanks!

IN THE BEGINNING…

I must admit, the most enjoyable part of the process is the fabric shopping … be still my beating heart …. I needed to stock up on a few fabrics and a few more accidently slipped in!!

You might at this point be wondering why I make so many owls at once? One of the reasons is the fabric, how can I not make at least one of every gorgeous piece of fabric? I try to cull, but always seem to end up with about 3 times the amount that I wanted to make!

“I’ll just make 10 owls” soon becomes “oh dear, looks like I will be making 37 owls … sigh”
1So I added my new fabrics to my existing fabrics and this is the pile (some fabrics were only used for ears and wings) mmmm pretty fabrics ….. droool droool

2 And so the making begins, pattern pieces are transferred onto fabric and cut out leaving a very happy pile of scraps that I do like to have little play with.3 Then I get everything organised into sewing thread piles to try to save on time, I do my best to save time where I can to keep the total time spent making reasonable, otherwise I would be charging £100 per owl just for the time!4 Next, out comes old trusty, the Janome. I have the most basic machine I could get and it has been the best sewing machine in the world!5I think it took me two days to sew the bodies and wings and ears up!6 Everything gets trimmed neatly and bodies get paired up with ears and wings. The ears all get turned in the right way with my handy hemostats, I can’t tell you how brilliant these are!7 Ironing all of the ears8Carefully pining the bodies and ears together to sew up.9 OCD stacking of bodies ready for stuffing, don’t they look lovely? (I only put them like that because I love they way they look all squished in together!10 And onto stuffing – this is seriously how much stuffing goes into a large owl!11 I kid you not!! I end up with serious stuffers thumb and finger at this point as I stuff them very VERY firm! (think rugby ball with ears)12 Taaa daaa a family of stuffed rugby balls :) Aren’t they happy!13 Right … onto wings, more turning in the right way.14 More ironing. OOooh look the sun did shine once!15 Eyes! Lots of eye bits to cut out. 16 The pupil is sewn onto the white bit.17 The white bit is edged with blanket stitch before I stitch it to the body. I find this gives the best finish and I have better control over the final placement of the eyes on the body – nothing worse than an owl with a wonky eye!18 hehehe sew up the bum!19 Beaky gets cut out and sewn straight on.20 One eye sewn on with invisible thread. If you have never used invisible thread it is like trying to sew with an invisible slippery eel on your needle, it comes unthreaded all the time, but you can’t tell as you can’t see it as it is INVISIBLE!!! But it works!21 The other eye gets attached – hallelujah he can see!22 One wing goes on.23 Then the other. I have to keep an eye on them now otherwise they start flying around the room. (At this point my fingers are ready to fall off – if you want to see what it is like, get a rugby ball and sew some wings onto it!)24 Feet – two pieces of felt are cut out,25 And blanket stitched together. (ooh magic colour change)26 They are then sewn onto the bottom (snigger) using the invisible eel again. (another magic colour change)

27a little roll over with a lint brush and then Taaaaaaa Daaaaaaa – a finished owl. 28But that is not the end of the process at all, oh no not at all!

Next comes taking 4 photos of each owl, editing each photos, creating a listing, and promoting them!

Then once someone is lovely enough to buy one, there are fees to pay (listing, etsy transaction and paypal transaction), packing to do (which has also been purchased) and then a trip to the post office. Then the wait to see if it makes it to it’s new home safely!

So not much to it huh!

 

 

 

I just love to draw

I do, I really love to sit and draw. But It has been quite awhile since I had the chance to sit long enough to take one from sketch all the way through to completed drawing.

Recently I made the time, and it has reminded me of just how much I enjoy it. I have also realised that what I love to draw the most are narrative illustrations, a little story on a page, where I can sit and wonder while I draw, “who lives here? what do they like to do?” and then my imagination likes to create little stories about the picture.

I thought I would share some of my process, it is very simple.

I have lots of scribble drawings done on a variety of paper – mostly envelopes and printer paper, which are really scrappy, but the point of these scribbles is to just get the image from my head onto paper. It is often these drawings that capture the essence of the idea the best. Although sometimes they are so bad they do make me laugh!

Here is the first scribble sketch for my houses on the hill drawing.

houses 1

 

Nice and scrappy, on rough paper, scribbles on top of scribbles, a bit of paint (I ADORE that colour of aqua).

I then made a few more drawings, better … but not quite right.

houses 10

 

Finished image size is something I always fret about – do I make it metric or imperial?11″ x 14″ or A3? I decided that I prefer the proportions of A3 so that is what I went with with.

Next up, prepare the final good copy paper.

houses 2

 

Then I get my pencils (that is my digital palette hiding behind my spotty bowl, lots of lovely colour).

houses 3

 

I really need some new pencils, these are getting a but stumpy!

Now the pencilling in of the final design.

houses 4

 

Then I start inking it in, carefully, without breathing much

houses 5

I like that my lines aren’t perfect, they are a bit wonky and wobbly. I think this keeps it looking hand drawn and real. I chose not to use a ruler for this reason. I am naturally a neat(ish) drawer, so this works for me.

and finally, after lots of breaks to breathe and make tea and keep fresh….

TaaaaaaaaDaaaaaaaaa …

houses 6

 

I had originally called it ‘And The Moon Shone Silver’ when I was going to collage it, but I will wait and see what I do with it next. I will be playing with colouring it digitally as this is something I want to do more of. And I can always make it into a collage if I don’t like the result!

Here are some close ups.

houses 7

 

Lots of houses and a small castle at the top, a bit of bunting, some plants, some flags.

houses 9

 

The odd small resident (you can really see the wonky here!)

houses 8

 

And a little boat race, of course!

I hope you enjoyed the journey, I have lots more drawings to come, when I find the time to sit for long enough! I will be sharing the finished illustration when I do get it finished!

 

7 … And the winner is

Gaaaah – I can’t believe it, my camera isn’t working (due to a smallish child playing with it yesterday I think) So you will just have to take my word for it that I have added all of the names into my big box (can’t quite believe the response to this little giveaway)!

You need to now imagine a photo of a box held up high with my hand going into it (I really did this – and that is when I found the camera didn’t work)

Now I have pulled a piece of paper out and the name on it is …………………….

**** TERRIANN HOWARTH****

Well done Terriann, I will be contacting you to get your details.

here is Terriann’s comment (I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing, but when I just looked at it it did make me very happy that she had won but also a little teary, I’m sure you will agree that this owl is going to be very special to a little girl.

“Hi, I have always been too slow to get one of your owls as I think they are amazing. I would give the baby owl to my daughter so it can fly to heaven at night n steal a kiss from her big sister. So in the morning when lana wakes n squeezes her it will be like angel Jaime was giving her the hug n kiss. :0) xxx”

Just breaking my heart a little.

 

Thank you so much to everyone who did enter, I wish I could send you all an owl, there were so many wonderful names!

I will be making more in May, I usually have an email list of anyone who would like to be informed as to when I am making and listing them, so feel free to email me if you would like your name added. ( carolineroseart@gmail.com)

 

6. The Great 5000 giveaway

Almost 2 years ago I was coerced into creating a facebook page, and I can genuinely say it has been the best thing I ever did – I have met so many lovely people, made some great friends, discovered so many amazing artists and crafters – and I have had 5000 lovely lovely people discover and like my page – which is totally overwhelming.

So before I get any more mushy onto the GREAT 5000 GIVEAWAY

Actually, it is just a little giveaway of a little baby owl.

The only thing you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this sweet owlie is ……….

giveaway owlleave me a comment saying what name you would give to her / him (boys can be pink too you know)

I will draw a random winner on Friday (1st March – MARCH???? already??)

SO good luck and I look forward to seeing what great names you come up with!

P.S. Please make sure you leave me a name or email so i can contact you if you win!

5. goodbye 2012 – hello 2013

I know it has been forever since I was here, but basically 2012 was just such a crap year that I struggled just with the day to day, let alone any extra things. Losing my wonderful Mum in January 2012 was such a big shock and just so devastating, that I pretty much wrote off the rest of the year just to deal with it.

12 months on and I am traveling much better, which is a relief. I plan for 2013 to be full of awesome, it is taking me a little time to find my feet again, but I am starting to feel good again.

So far this year I have managed

a flock of baby owls who flew the nest very quickly!

baby owlsA teeny tiny parrot

parrot

A pirate captainpirate

both to go on a pirate ship

pirate ship

next up was a penny farthing bicycle

bike

she needed a scarf to keep her warm in the early spring sunshine

girl on bike

and lastly – this past week has been half term, which means it is usually impossible to get any proper work done, so I made up a pile of bright birds on pegs!

birds on pegsso far so good I think!

this weekend I am going to work on a pile of drawings that I want to collage over the next 5 weeks (countdown until the easter holidays!)

also – my next giveaway will be happening on Monday – a baby owl looking for a new home !

4. And the winner is …………….

I’m a so thrilled by the response to my little giveaway! I have loved reading all of the comments, they are all so full of sunshine and fun – and quite a lot of pimms!

So, I took all of the 9287326353 names – it did take awhile to write them all out! I put them in my fish box … amid the mess …

then I stuck in my hand …..

and pulled out a …..

WINNER!!!!! well done Charlotte!

Charlotte said “Hello!
My fave thing to do in summer is chill with my little family, I’ve been doing my garden and teaching my 1 year old how to water plants. It’s lovely watching her learn!”

Gorgeous!!! Thanks so much Charlotte I will be emailing you.

And thanks so much to everyone who entered, if you don’t already – why not come follow me on my facebook page to see what I am up to and for any other giveaways! It would be lovely to see you there!

I have prints of this gorgeous balloon available in my Etsy and Folksy shops right now and will have more original ones available soon too.

I hope the sun continues to shine for everyone – we will be off to Cornwall for a week on Saturday yaaaaaaaaaaay -very VERY excited! I hope the sun shines for us too!

take care x

Giveaway collage

Image

As a huge thank you to all of the wonderful people who have come to support my facebook page I have made a very special original collage just for you! Well for 1 lucky winner anyway and here it is ….’Ballooning Around’

 

Giveaway collage

 

with some friends going for a ride …

Would you like to have it? would you would you? surely this is a lovely sunny art work suitable for just about anyone?

All you need to do in order to have a chance, is to tell me you favourite summer activity, or what makes you the happiest in the summertime – for me it is the sun pure and simple, walking with a warm breeze, just lovely!

So leave me a comment and you will be in the running … The collage will come framed if you are in the UK, but it will be posted without the frame if you are outside the UK.

The giveaway will be open until I draw a winner on Tuesday morning (29th)

Best of luck ….