Sunday, September 2, 2012

Star-bellied cornhole.

I didn't know about cornhole until I moved to the midwest. It's not really a sport catered to yuppie Pacific northwesterners. But I've taken a liking to it. Recently, the dad-in-law asked me and my husband to make him a custom set. He would do the woodwork and general planning, and I would do the final painting and sewing.

To start with, we did a "test run" on a set for ourselves. I attempted a '50s pin-up beach girl thing with mixed results. We made a lot of mistakes. We learned what to do and what not to do. Well, mostly me. The boards are pretty "meh" artistically, but hey. You can still toss a bag of corn at 'em just fine. So, whatever!

Now that we've got our game faces on, we've done up the official set. Dad-in-law is a huge fan of children's books, and that means, of course, Dr. Seuss. So we decided to go with two teams: Sneetches and star-bellied Sneetches.

I used the lessons from the last set (yellow acrylic does not hide pencil lines! for the love of God, primed wood is not a sketchpad!) to dutifully reproduce some Seussimals. Something I have to keep drilling into my brain is that reference materials are there for a reason; you draw what's there, not what you think is there. It is, single-handedly, the toughest lesson for me to accept in all the art I do - but whenever I do accept it, my work instantly becomes 200% more awesome. I actually sketched a number of Sneetches yesterday, trying to grasp Seuss' linework and flow. So I felt pretty confident duplicating it.

Hard at work. One stroke at a time.

Because acrylic is... acrylic, I went ahead and did two coats of the outlines. Time-consuming, but totally worth it. Of course, I re-discovered a brush that does a mean chisel, but it was when I only had about 10 more strokes to do. Next time. Always next time: a fresh opportunity to do better. For now, I'm still super happy with the results, and pleased that I approached the work in a very thoughtful and successful way.

We had the idea of making star-bellied bean bags, too. Applique is super meditative.

My husband and I are an awesome team. Like Rocky Balboa says, "we got gaps". It's so great to have someone to work next to, on the same project, doing different tasks. And I think dad-in-law will enjoy the set.