Tuesday, March 12, 2013

S3PP: House Sigils for Guest Houses

S3PP - Season 3 Premiere Party
House Sigils

This idea has taken several stages of evolution to get right and I think the final product (When I finally get off my bouncy butt and finish it...) will be pretty dang cool.

Supplies needed to complete this task:

Rough canvas or other cloth
an Iron
wooden plank - sanded and stained to fit the size of the sigil
textured nails
chain to hang them
more screw hooks! (Yay, I love me some blister!  :(  )
Iron on transfer paper:  I found that Lesley Riley's TAP Transfer Artist Paper from Amazon works the best.  I tried some other transfer sheets and it just didn't have the look I was going for - Let me explain:

The picture on the left is the one using transfer paper from Michaels.  It's your typical transfer paper for dark colored fabrics and it has a very... plasticy feel.  Don't get me wrong, those sigils turned out ok but it felt very fake to me.  The one on the right has more texture - sure the transfers aren't perfect but I don’t want them to be for this project.  The TAP sheets allow for the color of the fabric to show through your design as well, which I found that the other ones didn't really allow for that.  Not only that, but these transfer sheets will work for all kinds of mediums.  Later on, I will tell you how it went when I tried to apply it to a piece of wood for the sky-cell keys.

Ok, back to this project... 

I made 6 sigils all together for this project, each sigil made specifically for the people who will own it.  It took me a while to nail down a design for each house but we went with the theme of "Mythical Creatures" for all of them.  One of them is kinda a stretch but we'll get to that in a minute.

I started with our house - we have a blended family so even coming up with the house name for this one was an adventure.  We decided to go with the Chupacrabra as our sigil because they're beasty eaters - totally fits us.  "We Shall Not Starve" being our words and if any of my buddies are reading this, you know me, and know that it's impossible for me to cook something simple much less avoid cooking for an entire starving country.  We always have leftovers and most of the time, our buddies benefit from my over-exuberance in the kitchen. 

Being that the boyfriend runs a Gamestop, we're all avid gamers, and this stretches to all of our friends as well.  For our buddies Lee, we chose the mythical Jackalope as their sigil - as the Jackalope is clever, and cunning, and easily lured by whiskey.  Their words "With Our Thumbs, We Thrive" because they wield the x-box controller as I wield my spatula. 

For our buddies Brown, we chose the beautiful Loch Ness Monster on a blue backdrop with the words "For Pen, For Glory."   These guys are animators and are ridiculously good at their craft.  Plus one of them is from Scotland so... there ya go.  I wouldn't imagine that the Loch Ness would have such a dirty mind but they do!  And we love them for it.

Next, we have the Jewell Sisters - we actually may only have 1 Jewell sister but I digress.  This particular Jewell sister though is hilarious and LOVES Portal.  Now, only in our messed up minds do the worlds of Game of Thrones and Portal come together - and just in case you were wondering what in the world that would look like, well, it would look a little something like this:

 That one was fun to make... and yeah, quite a bit of a stretch from a mythical creature...

House Corson will also be joining us and yes, you guessed it, someone is a HUGE Giants fan so, of course, we chose the giant as their sigil with the words "Together We Are Giant."  Not really stretching my creativity much here but they're really going to love it.  Especially since Baseball season is upon us, we may just be seeing their sigil as a sign of good luck.  Like a rabbits foot or something, right?   Go A's!  :D

Finally, the house we are all sworn too and my boyfriends family sigil - House Forrest.  For them, we chose the Ent and the darker green with the words "Deep Are Our Roots."  Yes, they are.  This particular sigil held a lot of significance to me because their family just oozes in all kinds of awesome.  Their sigil though was a bit tough to find - there are all kinds of Ents out there but not many of them have clean lines - not so much shadowing and a LOT of details which is not what you're looking for when you're creating these.  You want long bold clean lines, black and white, not a lot of detail otherwise it will be tough to see the image after you've transferred it.  For their sigil, I am doing something a little different - instead of making a sigil on a chain, I am ironing this on to a special piece of fabric so that mom can sew it into a quilt if she wants to.  She's an avid quilter and a square to honor the family might be just the thing for her.  That, or I can iron it onto a pair of shoes for her but that might be a lot easier said then done... 

This took a lot of digging around on the internet for images and quite a bit of Photoshop wizarding to get just right.  I used a combination of programs to create the sigils including Photoshop, I also used Microsoft Word to do my formatting.  Sure, I coulda done it all in Photoshop but I like things to be extra complicated, as you can probably already tell.

Once I had every sigil formatted in Word, I saved it as a PDF and opened it again in Photoshop to add the color.  I chose a very large textured brush and put whatever color I was using on almost completely transparent - allowing me to paint over the top of the sigil without losing the sigil.  To create this particular effect you see here, I did not paint as I normally would, rather "dabbed" the paint - that is to say I did more pointing and clicking rather than dragging the color across the screen.  After a plethora of curse words and hours of tinkering, I managed to get them how I wanted them.

At first I was going to embroider them with some snazzy accents... but then reality hit me and I decided that would take WAY too long.  Then I thought I could sew them to a small dowel rod and hang them with some rope... but again, that would take way too long since I don't have a sewing machine and would be doing it all by hand.  In the end, I decided that nailing them to a piece of stained wood would be the best way to go.  I can texture the wood so it looks weathered and stain the fabric for an aged look.   There’s a lot of fun things you can do with the graphic once you have it laid out how you want - it will also make the perfect accent for a fantabulous kitchen wench costume!

With any luck I will have a finished product for you to see a little later on. 

Just a little over 2 weeks to go!!!

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