Bring it On, Designer Face Off
Back Story of the Designer Face Off. I belong to a private group for industry professionals in Canada. It’s part of the Crafting Hobby Association, known to us as CHA. Canada has it’s own group as there are workshops and retreats for designers.
The group is a great place to bounce off ideas, receive affirmation and get resource help when needed.
I found a paper mache deer head at Michaels Stores. I won’t get into the specifics as it’s a long story. I was wanting more but was up against a road block. It turns out, Carmi Cimicata, a very resourceful designer, was doing a project using these heads in a workshop. Remarkably, she happened to be doing this workshop at the same time.
Original ideas for these heads were pretty boring, in my opinion. Paint it white and mount it to a plaque. Come on… we are artists and can do much better.
Knowing Carmi has serious skills in art, jewellery, sewing and resin crafts, I know she is going to be instructing heads that are out of this world.
Unofficially, I thought to myself. Okay Carmi… you are doing the decoupage… let’s see what this same product looks like done in yarn bombing. Unofficially, I was on a mission.
I felt like I completely humiliated myself at the last retreat with not understanding paper arts. Nearly almost in tears until another designer stepped in to help me out. Now is my chance to redeem myself and show what I can do with this project using yarn.
Here we have two of the exact same products at Michaels Stores but I’m a fibre artist and she is a mastery of multi talented crafts… Let’s see where this will take me.
Carmi has written up an extensive blog on how to decoupache the deer heads. It’s pretty awesome.
For the record, Carmi and I are friends behind the scenes. We have an easy going relationship. Though I may portray us as battling, truth is… we encourage each other.
Paper Verses Yarn Battle – Commentary
Both have their deer heads. Mikey is armed with yarn and Carmi has her products all set up. Carmi admits, her version is much quicker. Rome wasn’t built in a day honey. Keep it clean and READY… SET… CRAFT!
The looks will be be completely different. Carmi’s camp is off to a great start trying to decide what they want to do with the over all presentation. Meanwhile, in Camp Mikey, he’s pulled out Red Heart Yarn’s Magical Yarn (it’s now discontinued) to give the antlers a multi textured look.
What? Is Mikey going for a more traditional look when his house walls are painted Berry Pink? Quick take his temperature as something is seriously wrong! Mikey is going for a more burlap look and feel this Christmas and wants his head to look similar to that design.
Yarn Bombing The Head
Mikey needs to divide up the head into bite size areas in which to yarn bomb the head. He needs to look for shapes to customize the changing thickness of the antlers. He needs to work at it in sections and then sew the panels around sections and then sew the sections together.
To customize the panels, he must either increase the rows or decrease the rows for the sections he determines to work. He must check the panel every few rows to ensure he is on track. He doesn’t want extra.
His first antler took 3 hours. Meanwhile, Camp Carmi has already covered the antlers and head in a matter of minutes! So far, Camp Carmi is the crazy rabbit running miles ahead! She’s giddy and checking her pocket watch!
At this rate, Camp Carmi is going to be finished days before Mikey but Mikey is determined. With hook in hand, that means no showers or sleep for him! He’s definitely going to be smelly at the end, but more importantly, will his wreath kick Camp Carmi to the curb?
Mikey learned on the first antler the tricks to being able to cover it. The 2nd antler was put together in under 2 hours. The lessons that we all learn in crafting play ahead in future crafts. Carmi better watch out now… cause Mikey has his mojo back and is on the yellow brick road and has his ruby slippers on! But wait… Camp Carmi is pulling out their bling stash and starting to accessorize already!
Mikey is still deciding on skin tone for his deer but with Camp Carmi picking out their bling… he better get his act in gear. The Red Heart Midnight colouring gives a transitional tone with a hint of sparkle! This will make Camp Carmi cry with jealousy for sure! As the lightening outside strikes with every evil laugh from Mikey, he’s definitely on the right path!
Well talk about rub it in… Camp Carmi is not only done covering their entire head… Talk about rub Mikey’s nose it in with a deer with a golden bell! Mikey still have the main head to do! Mikey needs to have the referee blow the whistle for a foul or something. Illegal use of scissors or being too efficient! Come on Mikey, you need to figure out a way to call a penalty to stall Camp Carmi!
Meanwhile, back at Camp Mikey… He’s got his Christmas music with his tongue hanging out in eagerness as he hooks fast and furiously. But then the whistle blows. That Carmi reported Mikey to the referee for the “Boring” penalty and sidelined Mikey to rethink his plan or hide in a corner and suck his thumb! Man alive… she’s just rude! Not only is she so far ahead, she’s got her eyes on Mikey ensuring he goes down hard!
Mikey goes back to the drawing board to figured out what to do with the ears. Mikey decides to create a secondary layer of yarn to make the ears lift off to give it depth. Mikey is back in on the game and now it’s getting personal.
Meanwhile, back at Camp Carmi, a few deer heads emerge with extraordinary designs. Layers of decoupache fill their heads to create gorgeous abstract designs. Mikey is definitely in trouble now but he is on the easy part of getting his face in order… but his face keeps slipping off! He better know some nip and tuck techniques with a sewing needle.
Mikey gets the shaping right the first time using rib stitching techniques and gradual growing of the face. He’s added some different colours to give the head it’s sleek design. He’s created some under stitches so he can sew the panels together without it being obvious. He’s got the face stabilized so he can measure and do test trial cheek panels.
Mikey now has his entire head covered and now it’s time for the fun touches. He adds fun fur to the antlers area. He also adds a couple of huge teddy bear safety eyes which are secured with hot glue.
Mikey adds eye lids from both top and bottom so it doesn’t look like a deer in headlights, pardon the pun! Mikey decides it’s going to be mounted in a wreath… but he has to make the wreath himself.
Mikey gets a foul for an Ugly Penalty… The wreath has too much in it and what is with that patch on the forehead. Wreath comes down to remove the ribbon and change the patch to a more suitable colour.
Meanwhile, Camp Carmi has long finished her deer head. A well done job over all. It’s artistic to the fullest.
So the Real Time
- Camp Carmi’s project took an afternoon of fun to create.
- Camp Mikey took 12 hours in total. 10 hours for the yarn bombing of the deer head plus a couple more hours for the wreath and final touches.
It’s the proof that what you see on a store shelf doesn’t necessarily have to be for one type of crafter. Everyone has their own abilities to create fun stuff, it’s just a matter of attacking it with what you know and skills that you love.
For myself, I am completely unfamiliar with paper arts and things that Carmi can do. So for myself, I use my love for yarn arts to express my own creativity in my own way. Both deer head styles are perfect in their own way. While creativity is subjective to what we love, the truth is, we have to do what we love with what we know.
If you would like to do something different with your creativity, you can Google ideas, attend workshops and do research to learn more. The sky is the limit, but your creativity is unlimited!