Think you need a dSLR or just tired of dragging one around all the time? Learn to shoot like a pro with the camera in your pocket—your iPhone!Read More
Zé has a thing for googly eyes, so a few weeks ago I picked up a set of large, 4" eyes for him. When I got home, Emir mentioned that they'd be fun to have on a shirt—so here we are, a boy-friendly Valentine's design!
My idea was to incorporate the eye in a way that's removable for washability and for when Zé decides he's had enough and just wants the eye off. So when you take the googly eye out, there's another appliqué eye underneath. It's one shirt, two ways!
Supplies To make your own, you'll need:
- Applique Pattern (free download)
- 4” Googly Eye
- Fabric for applique (I used old t-shirts)
- Wonder Under (or other fusible web)
- Sewing machine
- Pen, marker, or other marking device (to sketch the mouth)
- Fuse the Wonder Under to your fabric and cut out the pattern pieces.
- Starting with the horns, peel off the paper backing and fuse each one into place.
- Fuse the monster body in place being careful to make sure it slightly overlaps the bottoms of the horns.
- Fuse the appliqué eye-white in place on top of the monster body.
- Decide on the desired placement and fuse the pupil onto the eye.
- Using a pen or marker, trace the mouth in place (it may help to place the pattern piece behind the shirt and hold the whole thing against a window) then position the teeth and fuse in place.
- Sew a line of straight stitches around each of the different pieces, changing thread colors as needed.
- Using a satin stitch (a tight zig-zag), stitch along the mouth you traced in step 6, making sure your stitching covers the base of the teeth where they overlay the mouth.
At this point, you have a cute shirt! You could stop here, but if you want to add the googly eye, read on.
Adding the Google Eye The secret (ok, not really) is using ribbing to form somewhat of a pocket to hold the googly eye in place. The eye I used measures 4" in diameter, making a circumference of roughly 12.5", so I cut a 2 x 9" strip of ribbing. You want the ribbing to be shorter than the actual space it will occupy so it has to stretch.
- Cut the ribbing to desired size and with a zig-zag stitch, sew the long edge together (right sides facing).
- Turn the tube right side out, press, fold in half and sew the short ends together, forming a circle.
- Divide the circle of ribbing into fourths by placing a pin at the top, bottom, and center of each side of the circle. Do the same on the white eye on the shirt, dividing the eye into forth with pins.
- Place the ribbing in place around the eye of the shirt (with the raw edges facing inwards), matching up the pins to evenly distribute the ribbing. Pin in place using additional pins as needed (I like to add another pin between each of the existing pins, dividing the eye into 8ths to make sewing easier). Check out this pic to see an in-progress example from another google eye shirt I made.
- Using a zig-zag stitch, sew around the inner (raw) edge of the ribbing, making sure the stitching stays outside of the white appliqué underneath (to prevent it from being seen outside of the ribbing).
- All done! Flip the ribbing inwards, press, and pop in the google eye.
Don't forget to tag me on Instagram (@kplicanic) so I can see your handiwork. Have a Happy Valentine's Day!
Check out this darling print design made with assets from this week's Creative Market freebie downloads! Pick up the Happy Bees and Scandinavian Christmas Pack files for free now through Sunday. And if you're loving the hand letters script font shown here (the text says, "may your days"), it's called Loveluck, and it includes a collection of gorgeous swashes (shown here as the swirl leading in to the letter "m"). It's part of the incredible Hand Lettered Fontbox Collection that has quickly become many of my go-to favorite fonts. And it's currently 90% off!
There's still plenty of time to make beautiful things for the holidays, but don't wait too long! Grab some hot chocolate, light up the fireplace, and settle down with your favorite tunes and a pile of pixels. xoxoxo
Great news for shutter bugs everywhere, my good friends at Rockynook publishing have put together a series of books specifically for beginning photographers called The Enthusiast's Guide. It includes books on creating multi-shot techniques by Alan Hess, a guide to portraiture by Jarod Fosters, and a book on composition from yours truly. The series will be released this October. Good things to come!
If you'll be in the Seattle area July 11th, you could join me in the Creative Live studio for the Beginner Photographer's Crash Course! We'll be covering everything you need to know to feel more comfortable poking around your camera settings to achieve consistently better results. Together, we'll show your camera who's boss. Let's do this!
In celebration of Zé's first Halloween and the lumberjack hat/beard I crocheted for him, I put together the above graphic and thought it'd be fun to share how I made it.
To accomplish the clean white background, normally I would shoot on white seamless (lit to delicious pure white perfection), but my studio gear is currently packed in moving boxes (yes, still), and I didn't want to mess with setting up hot shoe flashes, so I put together this low-tech and super easy solution using only available light (and set-up took all of 30 seconds!).
I photographed him on 30x40 white foam board (sold in a 10-pack which is GREAT because they are handy for so many things!), sitting about where you see the dragon in the photo below. I used one piece for him to sit on, another behind him (propped up by a basket), and a third piece opposite the window to bounce the light and fill in some of the shadows. You can see the set-up in the photo below.
The photo below is the result straight out of camera (SOOC). Because I was using only available window light coming from the front/left, I wasn't able to blow out the background by over exposing it the way you easily could in the studio. Thus, we can see the seam where the floor board meets the background board, requiring a small adjustment. (And, that's our wood floor peeking out from below the foam board at the bottom of the photo.)
I used the Dodge Tool (O) to clean up the background, paying special attention to the seam where the two boards come together. To fix the floor, I used the Eye Dropper (I) to sample the white near the bottom of the foam board and the Paint Brush (B) to simply paint over the wood floor.
Working with white backgrounds can be tricky when you're not shooting them in the studio. Dodging can make things appear to be in order, but if you view the image on various screens from certain angles, you might see your brush strokes. To prevent this, I like to add a temporary Levels Adjustment Layer which I purposely destroy with a severely exaggerated midtone adjustment, which shows me any spots I may have missed with the Dodge Tool, as seen below. To fix any errant background information, I simply dodge the background layer while the Levels Adjustment Layer is still active, effectively checking my work as I go. When I'm finished, I drag the adjustment layer to the trash.
Once the background was cleaned up, I used the Eye Dropper Tool and Option/Alt clicked to load the white background color as my active background swatch. Then, I switched to the crop tool to resize the whole image. (You can leave the settings blank and just drag from the corner to visually adjust the canvas area, or enter specific dimensions if you know what size you want the final piece to be.) Photoshop will fill in the canvas area with whatever color you sampled for your background swatch when you Option/Alt clicked with the Eye Dropper. This makes it possible to use the crop tool to essentially reformat the image and extend the background, creating room for our design. If you did a good job of cleaning up the background area, it should appear seamless.
To create a more organic feel, I opted to add some paper texture to the design. You can use any kind of texture file you want. I used paper48.jpg from this Give Me Some Papers Quick texture collection by Nicky Laatz. After making sure the texture file was sized appropriately for my image, I dragged it into the composition and changed the layer's Blend Mode to Multiply.
Next, I added two text layers using Monster and Rockwell typefaces and used the Eye Dropper Tool (I) to select the text colors from within the image itself. Finally, I added the spider web graphic (again, changing the layer Blend Mode to Multiply) to finish the design.
And that's it—frightfully simple!