Tag Archives: Botanical

DIY Illustrations: My Botanical Garden | Recycling Old Book Pages

19 Oct

The most soothing after-noon activity is to engage in something new… and botanical. One day, not far ago, I decided it was time for me to experiment with making botanical shapes. This is what happened…

I’m not the watercolor kind of person. All my previous attempts ended up in the trash bin.

But, after spending hours and days… and weeks… collecting botanical illustrations, inspirations, and images over at Pinterest, I started to understand the flow of the botanical shape. What I gathered is that in making watercolor images you didn’t have to be specific – like in doodling shapes with a Sharpie.
On the contrary, watercolor was a very interesting medium where “water” had a big role in the way you applied the color. A brush pregnant with a big dollop of water, and color, and applied with quick watery strokes to create stems and leaves, can actually leave you with an amused smile.

I continued to make botanical shapes – over old book pages and fabric – after I finished these {below} a few months ago.

There is beauty in the  way watercolor bleeds into the paper and settles at the borders it feels comfortable with. Each kind of paper, heavy or light, grained or smooth, has a different communication with watercolor.

The best kind of paper I found I, and my watercolors, were comfortable with, is old book pages. They’re not so old. These are books collected during the nineties whilst I was in the midst of searching for answers. Many are full of gibberish and useless techniques to tame anger, heal hearts, and lose weight. I am an adamant believer that if you find a book useless it is insincere to give it away. Some went to the trash bin, but others stayed with me until the time was ripe for them to become watercolor canvases.

Watercolor has a good understanding with ink. They actually like each other. In some cases, I used bottled ink and applied it after I created the primary watercolor shape. They blend and dance perfectly together. There’s also a bit of acrylic paint in some places, and a dilute-able wooden pencil for sketching quick lines.

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Buy my indie pillows at UK-based Ohh Deer’s online shop

9 Oct

I have great news to share with you today…

My pillows are being sold at Ohh Deer up until October 29. So grab your Paypals and come shop for some botanical pillow love!

Check these two links to take you directly to the pillows:

The image on the pillows is originally hand-painted. I used water-colour, acrylic, and ink over old book pages to create the look.

The pillows are Vegan and made with a super soft faux suede and come complete with the fibre insert. They’re completely machine washable at 30°c and hand made In UK. The cushion has a stone coloured back cover – and zip fastening. They measure 43 x 43cm a smashing size! They cost £25 each.

This is my first online sale ever. I have been active in craft shows, but kept on postponing taking the online plunge. So, I’m really excited about this! The pillows are a limited edition and are being sold for a limited time: 3 weeks starting yesterday. So, don’t miss out on this special sale!

Happy shopping, all :)

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In Love with the Colour Green

8 Oct

Green, and the different shades of this beautiful colour, are my newest love.

Green is the symbol of rejuvenation, vitality, and freshness. It’s the colour of nature, happiness, healing, new beginnings, goodness, generosity, and good tidings. I think it is the original colour of love, romance, beauty. Most beautiful scenery is beautiful because it enjoys an abundance of greenery.

Green is the colour of plenty, prosperity, wealth (in the physical sense and the spiritual one). And of course, it is the colour of herbs that we so love, and many vegetables, and leaves. And it is said to repel envious energy emanating from jealous people, although blue seems to be the official colour.

Green invites cheerfulness, lifts one’s morale, defeats depression, and changes one’s mood. That’s why people with depression or anxiety are advised to keep in close proximity to nature, so that eventually the colour green with all it’s hidden attributes will heal their souls, minds, and beings.

Green is the colour of inspiration, creativity, and artistic ability. Throughout history, artists, writers, painters, and millions of creative people found their muses while being in the arms of nature.

Here are some of my favorite photos from Pinterest, celebrating the colour Green.

Green & Gold…
Artichoke Green…

Source: etsy.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Botanical plate…

Source: williams-sonoma.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Garden accessories…
Grass-like carpet…
Vintage Green…
Source: etsy.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest
Botanical-print pillow…
Green bottles…

Take care :)

My 2 cushions at Ohh Deer’s ‘Pillow Fight’ competition

15 Sep

I have two cushions taking part in a cool competition called Pillow Fight. The authors of this idea are none other than Ohh Deer, an absolutely inspiring & intelligent British online/offline shop that sells quirky illustrated gifts, from pillows to T-shirts, and, in between, gift cards and stationary.

First, I’ll talk about my cushions, then a little bit about Ohh Deer.

A personal cushion story

  • This cushion is called: Nature v.s. Psycho-analysis. You can click here to see the pillow and to read the brief I wrote about it.

Technique-wise, this pillow “carries a photographed image of one of my hand illustrations using watercolor and acrylic,” and I forgot to mention, ink. So… a bit of recycling went into this pillow’s original illustration.

I’m not going to copy-paste the full brief, but I will quote myself  with: “This year, I started making botanical illustrations over yellowed book pages from my large library of New Age books. This is to celebrate the triumph of simplicity, and the return to nature, over complexity…  In other words, this pillow carries an intentional twist, where the botanicals signify the triumph of nature over 21st century melancholy.”

  • This cushion, below, is called: Triumph of Nature over Psycho-analysis. You can click here to see the pillow on Ohh Deer, and to read the brief.

This pillow is basically about: “Return to nature and you’ll find happiness.” Love the way the paper grain is showing around the psychoanalysis type and the watercolor/acrylic/ink illustration.

About Ohh Deer

Ohh Deer is about “Quirky Illustrated Gifts,” illustration and photography that can be so cute at times and outright vulgar, at others. This is basically what stuck in my head from the brief I read on their About Us page.

Here’s a quirky example from their online store, a card dubbed Emotional Baggage by Gemma Correll, followed by 2 Pillow Fight competition entries; the first one is called: Audio Cassette – By Simon Pilkington… and… The pillow called: Huntress – by Sandra Dieckmann:

To view some of my favorite designs and pillows from Pillow Fight & Ohh Deer’s collection, visit my Pinterest boards:
  1. Artisan’s Scrapb◎◎k
  2. Pillows.Cushions

Ohh Deer Blog…  & Pillow Fight

If you visit Ohh Deer’s blog, you will find delightful surprises. My most favorite post, so far, is called “Something a Little Different.” It comes with images from a recent Ohh Deer booklet design that carries their concept, a concept of growing together and being a role model for others once we have matured ourselves. So beautiful!

This is exactly how Ohh Deer runs their endeavor, it takes care of you as an artist, and you take care of them, in the spirit of love. They offer you 25% of purchases from your artwork –  once you have won the competition and became part of their contributing team. But before that they do promote you on their website just by entering their competition.

As for Pillow Fight, the deadline is September 25, so if you are interested, please click here to read the specifications and to enter! Good luck!

I learnt about this competition through fellow WordPress blogger, “London Drawings.” Please visit this lovely illustrator’s post where you can find 4 pillow designs by merchesico. Here’s a lovely example:

DIY | Mini Canvas & Chalkboard Stand {From Popsicle Sticks}

12 Sep

Popsicle sticks are made from trees; it’s such a huge waste to throw them away! What to do with them? They’re fragile and you can’t do something serious with them… unless it’s a miniature, like a mini stand for your cute little drawings, or handmade chalkboard signs to be used at craft shows.

Materials needed:

  • 4 Popsicle sticks
  • 2 Tooth picks
  • White glue – I used Bic White Glue
  • Craft knife or X-acto knife
  • Cutting mat or cardboard to protect your work surface
  • Some book pages to cover the cracks on the Popsicle sticks

How-to:

  • I initially wanted to create little holes in 3 popsicle sticks to insert a toothpick – to bind the three “feet” and to keep them free to fold and move. The Popsicle sticks cracked but did not break, so I inserted the top toothpick where the wood cracked… and quickly added a generous amount of wood glue to fix it in place and to prevent the three feet from breaking. It took some patience to engineer the tripod and balance the “feet.” The rear “foot” can swing back and forth if you want it to, and it’s safe to do so since the model is well glued and the paper strips kind of toughen up the miniature stand.
  • I glued the “shelf” on by adding a huge amount of wood glue. I decoupaged some strips of paper that came from an old book using a lot of white glue. This worked perfectly as extra support and as a decorative touch to hide the cracked wood.
  • I then added an extra tooth pick at the base of the mini “shelf” for extra support, again by applying a lot of glue.
  • One thing to remember though, you need to let the glue dry a bit before you move into the next step or the whole thing will fall apart. Patience is a virtue :  – )

This mini stand actually has a function other than being utterly cute and adorable:

You can use it in craft shows to place your brand name on it… or, if you make a few more stands, you can place cute little chalkboard signs on them to identify your craft work, homemade cookies, or handmade jewelry (bracelets, rings, earrings, etc). You can also display your miniature canvas (or cardboard) drawings and paintings with this stand. In your kitchen or dining room, if you have a corner for homemade olives and oils, sandwiches, cookies… you can place this stand with a sign that tells your dear ones “yummy things are served here.”

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DIY Table-setting Placemat | Pompom | Handpainted Floral & Botanical Design

6 Sep

I have a special thing for placemats. They can be made by hand, that’s one of their major attractions. And you can customize them to look exactly the way you want them to. You only need some basic sewing skills, some fabric colors, and a bit of imagination.

I have been dreaming about making my own placemats for quite some time, really. Recently I felt I was ready to make them since my sewing skills became a tad-bit better than they used to be.

The ingredients for making these cute placemats are:

  • Cotton fabric
  • Pom-pom trim, and individual pompom balls
  • Fabric paint and markers (I actually used more than one brand, but they all have pretty much the same ironing, and laundering instructions)
  • Sewing machine with the ability to sew a straight line
  • Flatware to trace around

I started by sewing the hems with the pompoms at one go.

Then I freehanded the word “eat” on a paper with pencil, while keeping in mind I wanted it to look like the vintage American Pop font.

I then traced the word on both placemats after taking measurements and centering it, also with pencil I used a basic image transfer technique using charcoal, for more ideas go here). I used the round lid of some cookie canister to trace the plate shapes. I then got me a real spoon and fork and traced around them (with pencil), that’s how I got the fltawre shapes. Once I was done with the basic outlines, I used a black fabric marker to outline them again, then I painted and sketched flowers and herbs to fill the plates.

The inspiration for making this specific design came from different places, which all have one thing in common: A vintage feel.

Inspiration: Table-setting placemats

I found a few table-setting placemats that I really liked. Here are a few ideas. The one above is so lovely, it has a vintage French feel, while the one below is a bit whimsical, especially that lace was used to create the place-setting utensils and plate shapes. So, if you don’t want to invest in fabric paint, you can simply applique the shapes.

Or you can use your basic embroidery skills to create this beautiful and simple placemat by Yellow Spool.

Source: u-createcrafts.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

And of course, you can always upcycle a jean pocket to create a one-of-a-kind placemat.

Source: todaysnest.typepad.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

You can actually use the pocket on its own, like this one below. All you need is cut the jean, then place the flatware inside for a cool table arrangement.

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Here is another pocket placemat idea…

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

And, finally, a cute picnic placemat with multi utinsil pockets.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. If you have any interesting placemat ideas, or, better still, if you have made your own placemats, please do share your link in the comments section below. Take care for now… K

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