26 July, 2006

An Elementary (but Brilliant!) Idea

Once again, I am brilliant. I am a creative genius. A master at Martha-esque projects, if I do say so myself. In fact, I should change my name to Martha. I think I just might! Although I don’t really look like a Martha, I could probably make it work. And I don’t even care the slightest bit that Mr. Monogram has called my creative masterpiece a fourth grade art project! You can’t tell but I’m sticking my tongue out at him behind his back, so there! This is one of my projects that didn’t even end up costing a small fortune for me to complete and I didn’t completely mess up the first go-round either, which that in itself is certainly no small feat, let me tell you. Now, let’s talk silhouettes!

I have always loved silhouettes. So classic and clean and so utterly monogram momma. I don’t care if I’m in a museum or open up an old book with a silhouette of some old lady that I don’t even know, I’m gonna like it. And I love the ones done of children, and have always wanted to do this project myself. Yes, you probably DID do this in fourth grade as Mr. Monogram so rudely alluded to, but I have an inkling you’ve been wanting to dig back to those elementary school roots and try it again so here I am to the rescue you and walk you through the silhouette trenches! It’s so easy, honestly, that I can’t believe that I even have to tell you. But you know I will anyway.

Supplies You will Need:
-camera
-tracing paper or vellum
-graphite paper
-black card stock
-Fine tip, small scissors

There are several different methods of making silhouette art. One method is to have your subject stand against a wall and use a projector and to project the shadow onto a piece of paper on the wall which I did not do. Seriously, there is no way I could get any of my three subjects to sit still long enough for this. Then there is the very tedious and highly trained art of literally having the subject sit there while you have nothing more that a piece of black paper and some tiny scissors, and you do it all by hand. Well, that is TRUE genius, and I also opted against that method because, well, I just don’t have the training for it. So what I finally came up with, was to take a profile picture with my digital camera of each of my subjects which, in this case were mini monogram #1, mini monogram #2, and of course, preppy puppy. What? You didn’t actually think I would leave her out did you? So I took these profile pictures then uploaded them and had them printed in about 30 minutes at my Walgreen’s down the street. Then I enlarged them to the size I wanted on a photo copier (I chose 125% for my framed ones and 200% for possible future project ideas). After that I traced the profile of each subject on tracing paper, which I placed over the copied picture. And once I’d done that, I took out my handy dandy graphite transfer paper, and with that in between my tracing paper with my traced image and my black card stock, I traced my silhouette. I will say, for this next part, you need some very teeny tiny sharp point scissors. I used my needlepoint/embroidery scissors and they are extra sharp. Then all I did was cut my edge and flip over my image in case there were any graphite lines showing and it’s done! To finish it off I glued each black silhouette onto a large piece of white card stock, and then tomorrow I am going to go buy 3 black, oval mattes, and then frame each one and hang with a ribbon on the wall. I am actually planning on hanging these in the guest bathroom, and I’m SO EXCITED I can’t even stand it! I mean, HOW CUTE IS THIS PROJECT?! And SO EASY! I know, I know, you’re welcome. Please, stop your oohing and ahhing. You’re embarrassing me. Honestly.
But let’s take this one step further now, shall we? Let’s talk about running into your local fabric store and picking up some brown burlap and some wooden purse handles you can find anywhere. Throw together a simple bag, and then you can even put a black silhouette on that bag with fabric paint. Check out the one I found here that I am IN LOVE with. For me, I could do one mini monogram on one side of the bag, and one mini monogram on the other side of the bag. Or for my mom, I could do a silhouette of her princess puppy on her bag. They have cross-stitched the silhouette on this bag, which you could certainly do if you wanted to as well. And it would look so adorable if I could find light blue burlap and do the black or even dark brown silhouette of princess puppy on the bag. Can’t you just picture how adorable with a pair of jeans in the fall! I mean, what a great gift that would make! And there are so many inexpensive sources for simple canvas bags that you can buy a simple canvas bag, put on some cute grosgrain ribbon shoulder straps, and personalize that too, with the silhouette. Gosh, I am loving this the more I think about these ideas! Yet another way to use these silhouettes is to do one for each person in your family and put them in a mud room or over a message center type area to designate each person’s stuff. How about over a key ring? And again, make sure you've got one for your own preppy puppy's leash! Or again, let’s re-visit my bathroom idea and you can do one of yourself, and one of your own Mr. and place them in oval frames above large hooks for each of your towels. Now, when I mentioned my project to Kristi, she said she had wanted to do some for gifts. YES! Gifts! These would make great holiday or birthday gifts for family members and believe me people, the holidays are a lot closer than you realize so start getting prepared now. And while we’re on the subjects of gifts and using silhouettes as gifts, I’ve decided to share my MOST favorite site that I have been holding out on you with, that I could just sit all day in it’s presence it is so yummy and preppy and so totally monogram momma. And the name says it all… Petite Prints. Upon entering their delicious site, you will know exactly what I mean. So if you love the silhouette idea but again, don’t want to do it yourself, they will not only do it for you, but also print it on stationary, note cards, notepads, or luggage tags, Oh my! So get up, get your supplies, and start working on your fourth grade assignment from monogram momma!

16 Comments:

Casey said...

Well, I followed to path of blogs to yours and it's now a daily read. I love this idea! The children are scheduled to have theirs done professionally in the spring (when I imagined my youngest might just sit still for it), but I love the idea of transferring it to a tote bag for myself. Definitely a project for my "to do" list.

Alyson said...

Wow!!!! They look great! I will be trying this myself!

cape cod mermaid said...

MM, you've done it again! I will so be doing this one! I saw these in a catlogue somewhere and they were very expensive. I never thought to do it myself. Anyway, I just posted my second craft post, which totally pales in comparison to yours but I figure it's nice to share ideas. I bought the suppiles to make the drink tub and my friend just had a baby so I will need to make her some burp cloths. Thanks for keeping me busy! Keep up the great work!!

Maureen said...

They are wonderful. So creative you are.

Ashley said...

I LOVE this one and have another idea! Since I don't have mini's... I only think of things to do for my preppy puppy. And with the new house, she is in real need of a new mat for her bowls (she is not the neatest eater or drinker). So... I think you could either do a canvas rug like MM mentioned the other day or use a door mat and transfer it with fabric paints or an iron-on.
Great job Monogram Momma!!

ADP said...

This is adorable! You are so inspiring!

Monogram Momma said...

I just thought how pretty it would also be if you happen to have a profiled wedding portrait of you and your Mr. that you could make into a silhouette and frame. Glad you all are enjoying this project as much as me!

Pink Cupcakes said...

Love it..very cute and the tote bag idea !

cape cod mermaid said...

Is there a special grade of black cardstock you can use so that it doesn't fade? I've been thinking about this one a lot!

Monogram Momma said...

i don't think so. I just used regular black cardstock, but I'm sure you can get an archival quality in the scrapbooking section if you're concerned about fading. Send me a pict. when you're done! Can't wait to see what everyone does with their silhouettes!

preppypineapple said...

I love this idea & am going to try it myself. You have to check out
www.petiteprints.com
You can order all kinds of stationary w/your silhouette. I made note pads for myself & use them all the time. They also have a CUTE idea to do silhouttes of your children & they have pre-printed messages for school notes. ADORABLE!!
Have a great weekend. MBM

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Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed looking at your site, I found it very helpful indeed, keep up the good work.
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Lady Tramaine said...

I have been a MM reader for a while and so enjoy your blog. I went back to find this project of yours. I think I am going to try this with each of my students in my kindergarten class for their mother's day presents. Wish me luck!!