I spent the day yesterday sorting through bunnies and taking photographs for the MUD bunny pattern packet. In all, I had made 6 sets of 10 bunnies. I made a couple of extra sets because I wanted to add them to my “All Season Tree” for the spring months. As much as I loved the look of the polar bears and penguins and the soft ice blue beads, I knew it was time to change over and have some spring and summer items on it.
I suppose that is part of the fun of having a tree up all year. As the seasons change, so does the tree. It is nice to update it and have something completely new to look at and brighten up the area – even on those dreary days when winter just doesn’t want to let go.
We still have a light blanket of snow on the ground, but hopefully that will be just about the last of it. I remember two years ago when we made our trip to the States at the end of March, there was some snow along the way. Not a lot, but some. Enough to think about anyway. But soon after that, the warmer weather followed and we left the cold weather behind for the season. So I need to be patient.
In taking the photos for the MUD Bunny pattern, it meant recreating the designs in a way where people would clearly understand how they are done. I like using the MUD because while it looks like it would be difficult to use, it is truly very simple. Most of the designs are done “free hand” with just a dot or a small circle for reference. The best thing about the flowers is that you don’t have to be exact. In fact, they look much better if you are not uniform and a bit irregular in their design. After all, real flowers seldom have perfectly equal petals, do they? So why would you want to make cookie cutter petals that look unnatural and stiff?
The most difficult part of doing pictures such as these is keeping everything consistent. I try to stay in the same position while I am doing a single flower, but it is impossible to do because you have to turn the piece and even slight lighting and distance changes make things look different. That is where Photoshop comes in handy. I love working in Photoshop and appreciate the huge scope of tools available to make a bland and mundane picture something that is workable and really gets the point across. Below is an example of a progression of photos for one of the flowers:
You can see that by showing the process in small steps, it becomes quite easy to understand (and accomplish!) I think that by offering these types of pictures in my pattern packets, they really help people learn how to create these, even if they have never tried before.
I look at each packet that I do as a teaching lesson. I try not to assume too much and I gear all my patterns to someone who may be newer to the crafts (both scroll sawing and painting) and I provide the basic information that they need to be successful in making the project. While this may seem like overkill to some, I do think that most people appreciate it. I always figure that if the information is there in front of them, people will be more apt to try new things and experiment with new techniques. And that is good for the industry as a whole.
For the MUD Bunnies, I used five different designs of flowers plus a basic leaf design. These elements were not difficult to accomplish, and could be mixed and matched to make a huge variety of designs. I figured that when people are able to complete them, they will be thirsty for more techniques and designs of this type. Margot Clark has several detailed tutorials available on her website, along with a wonderful video of her constructing the basic elements. I had purchased the video right off the bat and it was so clear and easy that I quickly had a good understanding of not only how to use the product, but how to make many of the basic designs. I am a firm believer that just about anyone can do these impressive designs without much trouble – even if you never picked up a paintbrush in your life. They are not only fun (and very addicting!) but also very beautiful.
So for today, I will be working on finishing up the pattern for these. My little tree is all happy, adorned with bunnies and eggs and bright, cheery colors. If that doesn’t drive winter away, I don’t know what will!
I took some pictures of my tree, but it is still a bit dark out. It will at least give you an idea of how it looks, and I will add more later on.
Happy Friday to you all! I hope you have a wonderful day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"