Portland Central Library Exhibit

Drawing on Imagination: The Art of Children's Illustration

I'm pleased to announce, the work and creative process of 11 published illustrators will be exhibited at the Portland Central Library, including We Eat Food That's Fresh!, presented by The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Oregon Chapter aka SCBWI-OR.

Collins Gallery, Portland Central Library 
Sat, Dec 21, 2013 to Fri, Jan 31, 2014
Opening Reception: Sat, Dec 21, noon - 2pm

The exhibit promises to be an interesting display of original illustrations, sketches, dummies*,  and published books. If you're in the area come by and take a look... better yet, come to the opening reception!

I'm honored to exhibit my work with an exceptional group of illustrators!  Here's the line up...

* Dummies: A dummy book is a small sample book made of sketches, used to layout a plan for illustration compositions to make sure they work with the story and text, and have a visually interesting flow.


Scrappy Gift Bows from Fabric Scraps

These "Scappy" gift bows are fun to make with left over fabric and other odds & ends from your craft supplies or sewing box. They can be reused by the recipient putting them in the "twice as green" catagory. 

I'll give basic instructions for the whimsy poka dot bow accented with pipe cleaners and buttons.

You'll need:

3 different cotton fabrics
3 buttons
3 buttons in a coordinating color that are slghtly smaller
pipe cleaner
spray starch*

    1. First starch both sides your fabric scraps with your favorite fabric starch, or make your own. I used this easy recipe from Pinky Has a Brain
    • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup cold water
    • 3 3/4 cup tap water

    2. Cut your fabrics into strips approximately 6" long by 1" to 1 1/8" wide angling the edges. Don't worry about excact sizes or cutting perfectly straight. 

    You can mix & match as you like. I used 3 strips of orange, 3 strips of green on top of that, then 2 strips of yellow on top. 

    3. Prepare you button accents

    Cut two peices of pipe cleaner about 4-5" long. Push one end through button holes as shown (left). Then bend the tip (center) Push the bent tip gently in another button hole to secure (right). I wanted 3 buttons for the center of the bow so I followed this proceedure at each end of one pipe cleaner, but only one end of the other, tucking in the extra pipe cleaner into the center of the bow.

    4. Assemble strips & tie it all together

    Lay out your strips, shorter ones on top with the pipe cleaner on the bottom (left & center) you can use a piece of fabric, ribbon, or cord in place of the pipe cleaner. Lay your button/pipe cleaner accents on top (not shown) before you tie it all together. Wrap the pipe cleaner and twist to secure (right). Now pinch each strip close to the center and twist to open up your bow, much like you would to make a ribbon bow, until it looks like the one shown (below). You'll probably need to trim a few at the ends to even it up.

    Once you've done a basic bow you'll realize that you have endless possibilities with things that you have on hand. Bits of wired ribbon, raffia, gift shred, strings of beads can be used in the center. And there's no reason to limit them to gifts - Why couldn't you add an antique brooch or button to the center and adorn a hat or purse? Let your imagination run with it! Here are a couple of other examples...

    Plain white fabric, starched. For the final step, place a pinch of fine iridescent gift shred in the center and tie it all together with a strip of the white fabric instead of pipe cleaner.

    If you're lucky enough to have silk scraps, the type used for home decorating, you'll love making bows with it! The fabric needs no starch since the silk has a body of it's own. It has an elegant sheen and frays a little when handled which add interest to your finished bow. I've added a bit of iridescent gift shred and a string of plastic pearls I had on hand.

    Have fun gifting!


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