Thursday, June 13, 2013

June Pink :: Stamped Flamingo Pillow



For more than a year now I have been dreaming of a flamingo project.  I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to make it happen, but in anticipation I have been taking photos of flamingos at every zoo we go to.  I have an obscene number of flamingo photographs.  What ended up happening was that I learned a lot about flamingo wings, how they carry themselves, why they stand on one leg so often, why they are pink, that they often smell really bad.

{answers :: they are grey and black underneath ::  they have incredible posture ::  their legs are so skinny they get cold easily ::  they eat pink shrimp :: again, the shrimp}

What I realized after so many months of admiring and thinking about flamingos was that I could reproduce a flamingo from memory.  I knew what they should look like, I knew how their wings should look, I knew where their wings belonged.  

I spent a lot of time thinking about creating the perfect flamingo wing.  Originally, I intended to use brushes and a template.  It was wrong.  Really wrong.  A few minutes into pruning the rhododendron shrubs with Mr. Hedin over the weekend it dawned on me that the new growth of the rhody looks exactly like the flamingo feathers.  

Lightbulb!

Pearl helped me to "stamp" the flamingo with the leaves to create the perfect "feathers."  If you don't have a rhody in your backyard (or your neighbors) you can use anything long and thin - bamboo leaves seems like an awesome choice too.  





You'll need
1 white throw pillow cover (or white canvas to make your own)
Disappearing fabric ink pen
White & pink fabric paint
Assorted leaves
Thin branches
Paint brush
Brayer
Paper towels

Step 1 :: Sketch (or trace) a flamingo on your pillow cover or canvas with the disappearing ink pen.  
Step 2 :: Mix three colors of pink paint in  1) barely pink   2) medium pink and  3) dark pink
Step 3 :: Starting with 'barely pink,' paint the top side of the leaf and gently set on the tail end of the sketch.
Step 4 ::  Continue until the body of the bird is filled.
Step 5 :: Using a paint brush, quickly create the neck 
Step 6 :: Stamp the back two thirds of the flamingo body with the 'medium pink' color and leaves.
Step 7 :: Add accent feathers using the 'dark pink' color
Step 8 :: Paint one length of the stick and stamp it on the paper to create both legs.  Don't forget they bend!
Step 9 :: Set paint according to manufacture instructions.




Your pink tutu wearing child will love this pillow.  Now if only she would have held this long enough to have me focus the camera before she rolled over and shouted "I want to HOLD the flamingo!"  She's super charming.



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