I don’t usually paint on 3D objects…but when I do it’s usually for a gift. This is a Zelda-themed repaint for my friend Jeremy who has a whole black/white/red setup for his motorcycle & gear. The helmet was pure white with black accents, so I took a few photos and went through a couple of rounds of mockups to figure out the look.
Visualizing on a curved surface is tricky! I considered taking some reference photos and mapping them onto a 3D object so I could spin it around, but (as I often do) opted for the quicker visualization figuring that I’d work out the fine details as I went. These Photoshop mockups just overlay vector masks onto the photo, and I eyeballed the curvature to fit the viewing angle.
Photoshop Test #1 was about establishing the overall placement for the classic Hyrulian crest with a little decoration on the sides. Jeremy wanted to incorporate “It’s dangerous to go alone” on it so he found the phrase in a glyph system designed for the latest game, Breath of the Wild. He also wanted more black along the sides and front, so for Photoshop Test #2 I figured out how to extend it without interfering with the letters (or vents).
Once I was ready to start painting, I knew I wouldn’t be able to mask the fine detail for the glyphs. Instead, I measured the front and printed them out to fit that length. Since it’s a curved surface, I also needed to work out how they would wrap evenly. To get this look, I cut vertical lines between each glyph so I could carefully bend the paper. I taped it over the area to paint them to use as a visual guide, and that worked out pretty well.
The rest I’d masked carefully though I ended up doing a lot of cleanup on the edges. Since I painted it (rather than spraying it) the paint didn’t leave a clean edge on the first pass. I wasn’t ready to invest in the kind of system (and masking, and ventilation) I’d need to do a proper spray, so it’s a good thing this worked! I used Testor’s Paint which seemed to grip pretty well. A final gloss coat by a professional painter helped seal it in. Ready to go!
I’ve been looking for a cross-stitch project to do, since deciding I have no patience for knitting. I do, however, have lots of spare embroidery thread as well as the means to neatly stitch it onto anything I can work a ball-tip needle through. The end result of 14-count cross-stitch looks somewhat pixelly, so bitmaps are good source material.
Now that I’m a few months into my latest gig at LinkedIn, I’ve gathered a healthy amount of logo gear. There is pretty much every “in” pun you can imagine (the “in”tranet; have just met a few “in”terns…) but not much in terms of “linked” puns. So, I give you Link.
I’m not a knitter. I gave it the old college try, and two hats, a wallet, and a scarf later I’ve realized I’m just not into it. I had two rectangular-ish pieces from a half-done knitting project that’s been languishing for the last year that was supposed to become a little backpack. But alas, the backpack was not meant to be.
So, their second life began: I decided I would make little bags out of them and felt them. I’d felted once before using a kit to make zippered wallet-type bag with sushi on it. It involves agitating the heck out of the piece in the washer with hot water until it shrinks. I ran it through once…and again…and again. And nothing was happening. Apparently I forgot to check what kind of yarn it was. Wool will shrink, and therefore felt. Acrylic will not. And the 20% wool/80% acrylic blend I’d been using merely scoffed at my attempt to felt it. The bags, too, were not meant to be.
A few days later, while looking at the decidedly-not-felted larger piece, I picked it up to puzzle over its shape and, inexplicably, put it on my head. And…it fit. And the two corners stuck out like ears, almost intentional. So I grabbed some of the remaining pink yarn from the sushi wallet, filled in the ears, and sewed the ears closed so they’d keep their shape. And that is how this hat came to be.
Years ago, I got this necklace from my grandparents and it’s been one of my favorites. The animals are Zuni fetishes, protective spirit carvings. These little guys are carved out of different kinds of stone, and are somewhat fragile. I’ve glued four or five back together after accidentally dropping it, or getting swatted at by one of the cats. Mostly fish and birds, too…figures. The last time I wore it I realized I was missing the front half of my alligator. Whatever kind of stone it was, there was a darker vein running right down the middle that kept its rear half attached. But no front!
I decided it would be easier to recreate the front half, rather than find a new fetish and figure out how to remove the welded clasp and successfully re-string it. I’d done a little sculpting with oven-curing plasticky clays like Sculpey or Fimo, though not nearly as much as my sister Tiffany did with her fairies and beaded necklaces. I picked this Polyclay set for the mix of colors.
Three tips if you’re going to work with this stuff. One, wear gloves or you are guaranteed to leave fingerprints. Two, it looks a little darker once it’s baked. And three, don’t leave your nice smooth clay-sculpting tools out at cat-height unless you’re looking for feline dental impressions.
Sculpt time: a leisurely two hours, while watching the Mythbusters demolition special. A light wash of white acrylic paint, and some gloss varnish helped correct the appearance. It wouldn’t be enough to fool someone studying it closely, but is pretty passable as the total alligator. It certainly helps make the necklace whole again.
At the end of July, This American Life held a t-shirt design contest for creating a design to use for their next fundraiser. There’s some nerdy glee I felt at the idea of both owning a TAL shirt, and designing it, so I kicked into gear and created a few designs.
On the Sampler one, I was originally just going to have cross-stitched letters, until I realized that it could have said “Prarie Home Companion” just as easily. That made me shudder a little. I was thinking of something a little more punk/DIY for the American part at first, but once I threw a little color in I gravitated towards this denim blue for the shirt color; hence the jeans-tag look.
No one seems to like the Roadmap one, which is fine. It turned out pretty simple but I was glad to get to a point where it looked finished. I prefer the look and layout in the sketch, but when it came time to put it on the shirt I realized there was just a 10″ x 13″ area to work with, well away from the neck and shoulder line. Guess I’ll just have to get a Neighborhoodie instead.