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In association with Zazzle.com I had a lot of fun recently designing some T shirts to sell on Zazzle.com . I originally signed up with them in order to sell greeting cards featuring my artwork, but have decided to offer other items for sale as well. Here is a shirt for babies that I completed a few nights ago. The great thing about Zazzle is that the customer can decide which shirt they would like my design on. Many designs are also customizable, giving the opportunity to create a truly one of a kind gift.

This was inspired by a baby I happen to know who really really likes making raspberries ( and does NOT like peas!).

On the back it says:

I have discovered

the secrets of

Alchemy

turn me around

and follow my instructions…

and I’ll show you!

On the front it says:

Give me some PEAS

and I’ll show you

how to make

Raspberries!

The design on the front is bordered by peas in the upper left corner and raspberries in the lower right. I drew the border at baseball practice with colored pencil and pens from one of my kids’ art kits ( hey I was in a hurry on the way out the door). I find it important to maximize my time as an artist, making good use of both the time and supplies I have available.

To see the front of my shirt, Alchemy and the Raspberries!,visit my Zazzle Gallery, or click on the image above.

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

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matting1Once I had the frame assembled, I took it with me to my local art supply store to pick out matboard. Bringing the picture with me, in a protective sleeve, was also very helpful. After spending quite some time laying down different colored mats around the picture and laying the frame on top to see how it would look, I ended up choosing a kind of burgundy color which complemented both my artwork and the frame very nicely. The store had two options for buying matboard: I could either have them cut the mat and the opening for it for about $13 which would certainly have been convenient, or I could buy a very large sheet of matboard for about the same amount and cut it myself. I decided to buy the larger board and cut it myself so I would have some extra for other framingmatting2 projects. I also wanted to try cutting an oval freehand. The picture I am framing had a oval shape already drawn on it, but I drew it by hand– without a pattern– making it more of an egg shape. So It really would not have worked to have the store cut the matboard for me. I think the reason it was a little off from being an exact oval is that I trimmed the folded areas of my original pattern when it was not folded. See my post on making ovals for instructions. I think for this drawing the egg shape worked well though.

An artist friend of mine had offered to let me borrow her mat cutter, but could not find it. I have on previous occasions had a lot of experience with using Xacto knives for some pretty intricate cutting–so I thought maybe that would work if I was very careful. I laid the matboard on my clean kitchen table and lined the frame upmatting3 carefully with the corner of the board. then I traced the inner side of the frame with a pencil on the white side of the board, but tracing the glass would also have worked and probably been simpler now that I think of it LOL 😉 (good thing I can laugh at myself sometimes). I chose to cut starting on the reverse side of the mat because it is easier to hide mistakes that way. It was not the easiest thing in the world to cut through the mat with an Xacto knife, but it was possible after many passes over it. It did not look bad, and even if it had the edge of the frame will cover it by 1/4 inch.

matting7The tricky part was getting the oval. I got out some tracing paper I had on hand and traced my oval from the picture. If you are using a hand drawn oval rather than a pattern MAKE SURE TO MARK WHICH SIDE IS UP AND LEFT AND RIGHT, also make sure to make a note to yourself to FLIP IT OVER SIDEWAYS when you copy it to the back side of the matboard. I neglected to do this and it caused me a lot of grief and extra work. I had forgotten that the original oval I made on my drawing hadn’t turned out quite right at first and so I had trimmed it with the scissors while the pattern was not folded–which resulted in more of an ellipse). Copying the oval can be done several ways. either use a sheet of carbon paper matting34and trace it on, or cut out the oval and tape on the paper you cut it from, making sure to center it, and then trace. Cutting out the oval with the Xacto blade was much more difficult than doing a straight line. It might have been ok I I had remembered to mark and flip the pattern, but even then the cut was not as smooth as I would have liked. it’s extremely difficult cutting something that thick with an xacto and trying to keep the angle of the blade consistent.

matting 8I thought about remedying the situation by just cutting the board with a rectangular opening, but after getting a glimpse of how nice it would look with an oval I just couldn’t make myself do it. So, I started hunting for an inexpensive mat cutter. they can get pretty expensive up into the hundreds of dollars depending on what you want. A really basic model for cutting at either a 45 or 90 degree angle straight line runs anywhere from $50 or more. Freehand ones cost closer to 25, but the salesperson said that was not really any good for doing oval shapes with. Matcutters specifically designed for cutting ovals were matting5about $70. Ebay did have some mattcutters for much cheaper–anywhere from $10 and up mostly, but I was not sure how much shipping would be. Finally I went to another art store and found a mattcutter much like and Xacto knife, only much sharper. It also has a nice flat edge to rest it on while cutting. I had a coupon for 40% off and was able to get it for under $6. I still had to go over my cuts with it several times to get all the way through the board, but it was much easier. It was also much easier to hold the knife steady.

In order to fix the problem with having the oval flipped the wrong way , I enlarged the oval just about 1/8″(flipping it this time of course 🙂 ) then recut it. I taped my picture on the back with acid free tape, making sure to keep it level and centered.

***update*** 6/4/2012

I was just talking to a lady at a framing shop today, and she said to be sure to only attach the tape at the top, using a t hinge and attach it to the foam-board rather than the mat-board. You can make a t hinge by taking 2 strips of tape, and putting them, sticky sides together, in the shape of a T. I’ll take a photo of this to post later…

how to make ovals

matting6stay tuned for part 5…
Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

The next morning , after letting the glue dry overnight, I got to work removing the clamps. The thinner molding was of relatively soft wood and I was dismayed to find that the clamps had left a slight indent on it. Thinking back on watching Norm Abram’s show, New Yankee workshop, he would probably solve that problem by having a piece of concave wood to place between the clamp and the softer wood–which would equalize the pressure and prevent indentation. I don’t have the tools to make one of those though, and luckily it’s not very noticeable except for close up. I’ll need to come up with a easy low budget solution before my next framing project though.

The next step was to measure and cut at a 45 degree angle with the miter box. First cut off a small wedge at the end of your strip of glued molding. the inner edge with the small overlapping ledge will always be the short side. I used the edge of the Plexiglas to measure where to cut the wood, and marked it off in pencil on the inner edge of the narrow molding. If you’ve never heard the old adage “measure twice, cut once,” it’s still good advice. As I mentioned in part 2, I don’t have a workbench out in the shed to attach my miter box to, so I did this on the living room floor. If you choose to do it this way, make sure to hold on really tight to the molding and box with your non sawing hand so they don’t wiggle around. If you are not used to handling a saw, take it slow at first. Make sure to keep fingers etc away from the sharp end and if you might ruin your carpet or pergo flooring then put some cardboard or scrap wood under your work area. Keep the saw fairly level so you don’t end up sawing through the miter box. When making the second cut put the saw in the other slot so you end up with a trapezoid shape rather than a parallelogram. Check with each cut to make sure the sides all fit together nicely. Once all four pieces are cut then it’s time to glue again. If you have 2 corner clamps then you can do 2 corners one day and then put the 2 halves together the next day. making sure to allow them to dry overnight. ( make sure to glue the correct pieces together.)

Because I only had one corner clamp things got a bit interesting when I got to gluing the last piece on. I improvised by clamping one corner and wrapping multiple layers of yarn tightly in both directions for the remaining corner. I can’t say as I would recommend that though.

Even with all my measuring and remeasuring be fore cutting, somehow I ended up just a fraction of a millimeter off when it came to putting the last piece into the frame. I spent a lot of time sanding it down just right. The same thing happened with the glass. It was just a little too big to fit in the frame, so I spent a lot of time sanding both it and the frame, checking frequently until it would slide in comfortably. make sure to leave the plastic covering on both sides of the glass until you are done to prevent scratching the surface.

On to matting in part 4…

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

custom framing 1As mentioned in part 1 of this article,part of my strategy to keep the costs down while building my frame was using as little tools as possible so I would not have to go out and buy a bunch of power tools. Another budget stretcher is to use what you already have, or borrow items from friends, relatives, or neighbors who may be into woodworking. You may even be able to get them to show you how to use it or to help you with your project. If you can, find wood scraps or recycled wood to use for your frame (check at home improvement stores or lumber yards. I have heard that construction sites are also good resources–just remember to ask. Craigslist sometimes has interesting items in the free section– scrap lumber is occasionally one of them.)

p1100227.jpgI took my a drawing to the hardware store with me, in a protective sleeve, to help me select a good width for the frame. Having the picture with me also helped to select a section of Plexiglas approximately 11 x 14 for a little under $3. I chose that size, which was slightly larger than my picture, rather than buying a larger sheet because glass cutters were about $12. Instead of buying glass cutters I left the Plexiglas as is and decided to mat the picture as well as framing it. They also had various sizes of regular glass, but if you have small children (or teenagers LOL) who constantly knock things off the walls Plexiglas is a must.

After choosing the Plexiglas, I bought 2 strips of molding. The wider piece needed to have a flat side (for gluing the other piece to) and to have a contour on the opposite edge. [see photo at top] The other, narrower, piece of molding was rounded and decoratively carved. I could not find any exactly like the ones Bob Villa used to make his frame, but that’s I really liked the ones I chose instead. Mine were approximately 7 feet long which was enough to make a frame with inner measurements of about 11×14″. I had about a foot or a foot and a half left over. When buying molding for your frame remember that each time you make a 45 degree cut for the corner there is going to be a triangle that you wont be able to use for the frame and you’ll need to buy extra to compensate for that. If you want to buy exactly how much you need you will have to dust off your high school geometry and use the Pythagorean theory to figure out how much extra to get (this will depend on how wide your molding is).

framing 2I have to admit I spent some time drooling over the power miter saws, unfortunately even on sale they were $60. What I ended up getting instead was a little plastic miter box that came with the saw all for about $8. I also bought 4 small c clamps about $2 each (make sure they work first I had to take one of mine back because it didn’t). I wished I had bought about 2 more. Make sure you have enough to place one every couple feet and that they open wide enough for the thickness of your molding. Corner clamps were about $10 each. I only bought one, but 2 are really necessary. I’ll explain why later.

I did not buy a nail setter or the 3/4 inch finishing nails, that Mr. Villa recommends, because the hardware store I was at did not have any that size. I think for the size frame I am making, especially with using a lightweight Plexiglas instead of glass, it should be ok without them. I’m sure I’ll find out the first time somebody knocks it off the wall.

framing 3I got the wood and tools home and started marking the wider piece of molding on the backside. I measured and marked every few inches with a clear ruler so that when I glued them together the skinnier piece would hang over creating a 1/4 inch ledge, and glued them together with some wood glue I already had on hand and clamped them together with 4 small C clamps and used the corner clamp also because 4 was not quite enough. For those of you with no garage or workshed to do this in, you can do this in the living room–however I would recommend waiting until anyone with curious little fingers are in bed for the night, and make sure to put down some newspaper or something to catch any drips or spills. Also, keep a damp cloth handy (ahead of time LOL) to wipe off any excess glue. Even though it is recommended to let the glue dry overnight, work quickly once you begin applying the glue. It does get tacky and difficult to adjust are in a relatively short amount of time.

part 3...

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

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Dawna’s RedBubble Gallery

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