Sunday, March 25, 2012

Klaatu Barada Nikto!

Danger Will Robinson!  The robots are coming!

My friend, Laura, is having a baby.  Her first boy following two girls.  Since three of my children are boys, I'm pretty excited that she'll finally get a taste of boyhood.  She announced that she is decorating her nursery in grey, orange and a "pop" of turquoise.  And robots.  Ok, having noticed a few of her favorites on Pinterest and knowing that she keeps her walls bare until she's absolutely positive what to hang...  I decided to applique a robot for the nursery.

You all know I have just a few (sarcasm intended) vintage scraps (along with a million pieces of yardage) to choose orange, grey and a pop of turquoise from. That scrap stash has been growing exponentially.  These are some that fit the color profile.

I found some pictures of robots and combined elements that I liked.  Also, this had to be a sweet, friendly, gentle robot since he was going in a nursery - namely, he had to be smiling and I wanted him to find wonder in that butterfly I found.  After laying out fabrics, our little friend started taking shape on the ironing board.  Buttons would work for joints, huge snaps for eyes, rick rack for radio waves, and more buttons for knobs - all vintage.

Our robot was going to need a frame.  This is what I do for frames:  find one at thrift that works for size and paint it.  I do this because then I don't have to cut glass, cut a new mat sometimes, buy or assemble a frame, etc.  I used to be a custom framer and I often lament not having the tools, choppers, cutters, joiners, point guns, etc. that I had access to in the art gallery.  But I make do.  I found this frame at Salvation Army for around $5.  I decided to first slap some orange paint on it, and I mean slap.  Nothing fancy - just craft paint.

 Next, I took a votive candle and rubbed it on the beadwork and other edges.

 I chose matte aluminum for the frame - seemed mechanical, roboty and grey.

After the paint dried, I took a clean cloth and rubbed the places
where I wanted to see a little orange come through.
This took some elbow grease.

 But look at the payoff.
Some nice dimension to the frame, rather than just flat spray.

Next, the mat.  The robot needed a mat.  I took the existing mat from the thrift frame and made it narrower using a box cutter and metal ruler.  I didn't want a very wide mat - just narrow to add a border of color.  And it didn't have to be perfect because I was planning to cover it with fabric.

Time to prepare Mr. Roboto's word bubbles.
What would a happy little gentle nursery robot say?
Using a set of antique wooden letters, I stamped, "Beep! Blip! Bloop!"

 Ok, time to refine the pieces, check the layout, size, and border color...
our Gort is shaping up. Should I have his hand on his hip?
I really wanted him to be holding the butterfly!

 Covering the mat was easy with the old glue gun...
just like Carly's frames.

Now it was time to actually sew down the scraps onto the cotton ground.  I chose to do all the stitching in black.  Oh, by the way, before stitching, I tucked a little Stitch Witchery under each piece and stuck it down with a hot iron so it wouldn't shift during stitching.  I also could have done all the pieces with Heat 'n Bond, but I wanted to see raw edges and some fraying.  Heat 'n Bond, which I love,  makes things rather perfect.  I wasn't going for perfect.

Wanting to keep it three-dimensional, I opted for no glass.
Sure hope Laura's little guy likes his robby. 

1 comment:

  1. O MY GOSH! Kathy, this is one of the cutest things I have ever seen!!! My mom and I want to plan a Wisconsin trip this summer-you need to teach me some of your amazing skills! So adorable and I am SO pinning this!


Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet-
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

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