Monday, October 21, 2013

animals as family

Hi all, Lynn here. The theme for this month really warmed my heart. Mostly because I got to look back through photos of this little dude:

That's Dooley love, my westhighland terrier soul mate. He's in the big dog park in the sky now but when I think of him, I can't help but laugh. To say he was a character is a massive understatement.

I got to thinking about the three animal family members I've had the good fortune to live with in my lifetime and quite frankly, I'm convinced that each one was an absolute gift wrapped up in a little fur body.

Okay, can't resist - one more of the Dooley:

(He was a nosy little bugger.)

It was a no brainer that I would print some paw prints on my fabric sketchbook. I decided to go the freezer paper stencil route this time to get the pattern down, it's a super simple trick for printing shapes easily.

Here's the end product:

And here are the steps that got me there:

1. Freezer paper stencils are made from, well, freezer paper. Pick it up at the grocery store. It's the plastic coating that makes it stick to fabric.

2. Supplies needed: freezer paper, sharpie, an exacto knife and a cutting mat.

3. I cut the freezer paper to the "path" that I wanted the paw prints to march across the fabric.

4. I drew the pattern on the paper side of the freezer paper.

 5. If you've cut stencils before, you'll have noticed my fundamental flaw in having the heart in the middle of the paw. That's okay, we'll add it in another way. Cut the big part of the paw out with the xacto knife - carefully!

6. I used a hole punch to "cut out" the toes of the paw. Much easier. Trick is to make sure the width of the stencil is narrow enough that the punch can reach all the way to where you need it to go (learned that one the hard way).

7. Set your iron to no steam and give it a good press. Yes, you can iron freezer paper stencils over painted areas, just make sure the previously painted areas have been heat set first.

8. Once it's stuck, take a paint brush and paint in the open areas of the stencil.

9. Peel the stencil off before the paint dries. Easier to get it off.

10. Reveal the gigantic King Kong sized paw prints tromping across Michigan.

11. Using Lumiere 3D paint by Jacquard, I drew the little heart in the middle of the printed paw prints (after the green paint dried of course). I also outlined the paws in black marker to give them some more presence.

12. I wrote each of my animal family member's name along with some more hearts. Love my little doggie friends.

 13. I misted some red over top of the hearts to get some more Love color in there.

14. Lastly drew around the hearts next to my lovelies names with marker and called it done! :)

I really loved being able to make a little tribute to my fur friends! Do you have animal family members? Have you ever made art to honor them?


  1. Adorable! Actually, I have too many quits with my dogs in them! :). remember your 'home' exhibit...mine was my dog...I cheated & used photo transfer for paw prints..

  2. He was adorable! Great job on the journaling too.

  3. Loved your pics of Dooley and the lovely quilt you made to honor your pets. I also a Westie soul mate - Abby - she's 14 years old now, but still going strong. Thanks for sharing !

  4. I adore Dooley and so glad you honor him with your work :) Great project.