Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Liked That Blanket

This looks like a comfy soft blanket strewn on the bay window set, ready for pulling up over your legs. Grab a pillow and settle in for a nap when the garden is finished. What it is though is an animatable firm metal sculpture inside stiffened wool, sewn into a draped shape, secured to the set with hot glue.

I took a perfectly good mohair blanket and cut out four squares of it and strips of fringe to finish. I used several layers of painted foil sandwiched inside two layers of the wool. The green color on the original blanket would never do as the cottage will contain colors in the warm family only. I used Brazilwood and yellow dye to stain and change the colors. I saturated the whole assembly with a lot of matte medium to tame the fringe so it won't move too easily during filming.

I also finished the table skirt on the kitchen table. I ended up trying to add some creative life to the cheap fabric I used by hand-painting dots. It made it only slightly better so I'm not loving it. But I think it's a small enough factor to not need more energy put into it. Miniature pleats on the skirt's panels were fixed with hot glue and wired at the bottom to make them animatable too.


  1. Your just amazing Shelley! The blanket is sooooo real, I do want one to snuggle up in when it gets cold. I love the new photo of you too. I found some lilly pods, some with seeds. I know they are available, but I will let them dry and send with the rest of the myrtle pods before long. Happy Tuesday to you!

  2. That does indeed look like such a cozy nook for reading or drawing in a sketchbook. I want to relax there! Your attention to detail is amazing. All your work will pay off, I can already feel how real Halfland is.

  3. Hello busy little bee!
    You have been very buey indeed!!
    Very creative too! What is the
    skirt made of? Is it cloth? No
    right? hmmm.....
    I love the new color... so cozy
    and warm!! Love every inch of it!!

  4. Hi Marcie H.O.N., thanks for the response to the stuff here, that's what I'm after! And thank you for collecting your special things, can't wait!

    Hi Peggy! Thank you so much for saying you can feel the real. That's my fondest wish.

    Hi Rane, honey, I don't feel like I've been a busy bee (which will be in the film too by the way) I've GOT to get more aggressive with progress speed here! Yeah the table skirt is fabric. A whole .69¢ worth from the clearance bin. Bleck. The only good I can say about it is that it's done and the scale of the print is right, tiny. Thank you for coming by.

  5. Loverly snuggleblanket! And that small print fabric looks fine, the impression matters more than the details with that. I usually find good small scale prints as "fat quarters" in the quilting section of the fabric store - there are some nice ones.

    I'm in the same sort of space right now, trying to make up some carpets that can drape over couches as well as lie on the floor - using a heavy duty foil, from the foil pie-pans that you throw away after eating the pie - I've got them with hot take-away chicken too.

  6. Thanks, Nick! Yep, it was an unwanted fat quarter yesser, .69¢ on clearance. The print's the right scale alright but the fact that's printed isn't right. I got the small pleating right so the impression will be fine as you say. Thanks for making me feel better.

    Careful with those sharp edges! Do they have heavy duty aluminum foil on a roll Downunder? For the softer goods I mean.

  7. Heavy duty foil... that would be Blackwrap. I assume it's available somewhere on the island/continent so near where Lord of the Rings was filmed?

    Awesome blankie!!! Makes me want to go snuggle in front of the fireplace...

  8. Another wonderful piece of Halfland and another great post for me to bookmark! Thanks for sharing these!!!

  9. Hiya! I use kitchen heavy duty foil and laminate layers if a stronger hold is needed. Blackwrap is much more expensive. Shel gave me a sample of it and it is nice. Aww, yep that blanket had just the right snuggle texture to sell the idea.

    Fanx, Yaz. You want some squares of my chopped up blanket to use? Offer open to anyone as well actually. Since it's all chopped, might as well give it all for stop motion use.

  10. Yes! I do want a piece from your chopped up blanket! Thanks:) that would be great!

    May I ask you a stupid question... You said you laminated kitchen foil. I guess you used "white gesso" for lamination. What is this material/glue? This is one of the problems I have here.. trying to find the right things according to english naming. Can I use something like wood glue for lamination?

  11. fantastic, Yaz. How large a piece would you like? Keep in mind that you will need to double it for both sides of the metal.

    And I laminated the first time with just the white gesso, no add'l glue. The second time and all times since, I've used matte medium. Which if they don't call it that in Turkey, is a clear, acrylic paint like stuff. I buy it from Nova Color (fantastic acrylic paint manufacturers with direct wholesale prices to public, my favorite source) BY THE GALLON JUG!!! I use it for everything! It's what I used to glue the straw on the bed, it is completely invisible when dry, even on soft goods like the blanket.

    AND---It's also fantastic for doing image transfers, when you want to put an image onto something else. (ask me for techniques if interested in that).

    I use it in paintings, everything! GREAT stuff.

    Here's the link to Nova Color (they do ship globally) in case it helps you translate the name to something you can get nearby you.


    Their iridescent mixtures make me want to faint.

  12. Here's another link to info about what Acrylic mediums are and how useful they are, they can extend paint, make glazes, etc. etc. I'll be sure to include a Nova Color hand-painted swatch sheets of all their luscious colors in your packet.

  13. the link d'uh


  14. Shelley, after that Shock the other day :( I have been working hard over the weekend. I took pictures of the bird, shot a flying test and posted all to my blog 5 min. ago. This is what I always do - work hard- when there is something making me sad about my work... Anyways, I am back to the earth now and have just checked your reply in detail. Thank you soooooooooo much. There is a lot of useful info here. I think I can find Nova Color in Turkey. Not in the town I am living now but in Istanbul big chance. I will check it out. As for transfers, I have something called liquid sculpy. This came with super sculpy when I ordered from USA. I have never tried transfers. But I would like to do. Do you think this liquid sculpy works for transfers?

  15. HI Yazzy, I know exactly what you man about working when something is frustrating or unresolved in a project. Its like a striving to make the cause of the "pain" turn into a source of accomplishment. Hard Work makes everything ok again.

    FYI: Nova Color is an acrylic paint manufacturer, "matte or gloss gel medium" is what you want to look for in Istanbul.

    And Liquid Sculpy will do transfers but you have to bake it in the oven to cure it (toxic. So I use matte medium which cures in the air as it dries. Easier.

  16. I see Shelley. Thanks for the explanation. I can only use liquid sculpy over certain things able to go into the oven then. And toxic.. So, better just to use as a glue when working with sculpy if needed. I will look for matte /gloss gel medium in Istanbul then.

  17. HI, more... Liquid Sculpy isn't toxic itself really, just the fumes aren't good to use in an oven that will also be used for food in MY OPINION. I don't have a separate toaster oven for polymer clay use so I try not to use it.

    You know me, Yaz, I'm super cautious about toxic fume exposure because my workshop is in my, Paul, and the cats' living space. Mess? now that's another story!

  18. I dont have a separate oven for clay work either :( When I work with toxic stuff, I try working upstairs on the roof with my respirator. My studio is next to my daughter's room and me, Hakan and (my cat) work in the same room. So, its the same here. I was not very much aware of the harmfull fumes before you worned me. Now I am more carefull.


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