Monday, February 10, 2014

Painted Leathers

Well... Haven't blogged in a while. Been real busy with making patches for my friends on the forum... been making special requests and everything... will post those too.  So this post... My machine only stitches onto a 6x8 max area for embroidery, so while that's a nice size, it is limiting at times.  I made a couple patches that i made in three hoops, but i had to line everything up and it was so nerve wracking that I'm not going to do that anymore.  and you can only do that for things that have separate pieces, like the skull/wings

where I could do the skull then each wing, but lining that up.. Goodness! i did two, messing one up in between, and called it. So those two guys have the only large ones.

So anyway, had been thinking for a few months about leather painting, and had looked into again, and found out that Cova Color Paints are highly recommended for leather painting. So i ordered an 8 pack and a pink and turquoise. Also recommended were Taklon brushes. I ordered from Hawke's Leather on EBay. They shipped fast, and the paints and brushes are excellent.  I also ordered an assortment of leather jackets and vests on EBay, for my "canvases"  I really couldn't wait to get started.  I already had a leather jacket from DH to start on, so when the paints got here i started the next day.  Did a version of "Life Needs More Green Lights" and put my Chopper in the image.  So this is the result of my first painted leather:

I really was happy with how this came out - most of all the bike rendering, so I was certainly inspired to move forward.  I had already picked out another image of a Native American girl and a wolf that I wanted on a jacket. By then a perfect jacket had come in to do it on.   Nice buttery soft kidskin leather.

This was great leather to work with, and i thought this one came out kewl, too. better than my first one... or maybe just different...

So, next wanted to make a vest.  Thought I could make one for our trip out west when we go. So wrangled my bike into it and came up with this:

So that's where I am for now.  I am currently making one for DH like the Monument Valley one above, with his bike in it.  I got it started today.  So far so good. :)  I have another one I want to do for myself with wolves howling at the moon.  Did you know some painted coats are going for hundreds of dollars on EBay?  Gee that would be nice to offer some art on EBay.  Or custom Patches. :)



Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Chopper - Embroidered Tee!

Well - This is some project I have undertaken.  I want to make a custom embroidered "who knows what yet" of my actual bike.  So I have to draw it into my digitizing program - Yikes! Sounds daunting just thinking about it... I know it will take much effort, not to mention plenty of hours!  Now, I've been practicing, mind you, so my skills are getting better bit by bit, and my confidence is building as well.  There was a time that it would have been inconceivable to me that I could do such a thing... So, I had the right image to have as my "template"

So... How in the world do I start this?  Well, let's get it into Photoshop, and get some outlines going, so we can have our base to do our digitizing drawing.  I guess that's the first thing... 

OK, so now import that into DRAWings digitizing software...

And... Let the games begin!  :)

We need to plan out our drawing to some extent, what will be drawn first, etc.  You need to group like items together, but not all items are "like items" because you will need to have different stitching techniques for them, to make the design appropriate, so i ran into this a few times, where I grouped too many items together, and had to delete and go back and group smaller sets, so as to get the proper stitching for them.  Plus color changes, jumps, and such. 

I wouldn't have as much experience if not for the forum folk challenging/inspiring me to draw things, and stitch things, special requests and such. :)  I called upon one design i used which started with tires, so that's where i decided to begin.

Now the way you freehand draw is that you make drawing points, and then you bend the lines at a later time, so the designs will have sharp points until I round them all out, which i will probably just do all at once at the end. So here's step 1& 2: Got the front tire and the front wheel.

Then the back tire, done in two parts.

Then on to the engine and take a preview of what I have so far...

Lookin' good....  Well, That was at least 4-5 hours all told up to now, I needed a break, more later and tomorrow.  I'm determined to see how I can make out on this.


Well gave it a go since early this morning, but was so focused and the camera was in the sewing studio, that i forgot to take progress, pictures, so this was the next break I took. another several hours in.  I gave it an early start, being perplexed at first with where to begin, since there was so much left to do.  Once i got started, though, i got on a roll, and just kept going.  So we're not bad here, I think we've got all the drawing done at this point.

So now begins the rounding of all the lines...  First the tire

Now match the rim to the tire

Okay we pretty much have the bike done at this point.

Let's straighten her out

And add her name...

Now the next step will be to tweak the design for any last minute finishing touches and then stitch it out.  I can hardly wait, but it will have to be tomorrow, i'll need a fresh look at it.


Well, Tweaked it a bit, and went and stitched it...

I LOVE IT!!!!!! 

Here's the Comparison:

I am so proud of myself!
My very BlueJ captured in an embroidered Tee!
I will wear this shirt with extreme pride! Yippee for me :)

I think all told the designing to final stitching completion was around 15-16 hours.



Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Ginz Sissy Bar!

Well, the adventure of the Ginz Sissy Bar started in October.  Well, actually in August because that is when I saw them on the forum, and got interested in them.  however they were $$$... I knew i wanted a tall one.  a big reason for the bar was to be able to get the back pack off my back. two reasons for the backpack off my back was (1) for comfort, and (2) because I wear vests and jackets with artwork on them, and with the back pack, the artwork was not visible.  So.. the sissy bar hunt began, it had to have class.  Blue J is a classy lady.  We all have ideas of the looks we like.  I like the look of a tall sissy bar on my chopper.  the one I wanted wasn't cheap and i wanted their extra emblem of the Maltese cross, coz i like that theme on Blue J. Cha-Ching Cha-Ching on that! Then the luggage rack.  Decided to go for the matching, welded on one.  Got it ordered in October and waited - okay not so patiently - to receive it mid November. It got here Tuesday.  I was wrapped up in business til Friday, but started looking at it Friday night.

outta the box:

This photo no guy will recognize... it's INSTRUCTIONS!  LOL, i know the guys throw those out right off the bat. hahaha.

Instead of opening the bar up yet, i opened a bracket, boy is that baby a solid piece of metal. and the chroming is nice! The bracket feels like it weighs over a lb.

So, time to READ the instructions, coz that's how I roll... they shorted me 4 washers, but I've got those laying around the garage,  Reading through I see they call for a 21/64" drill bit.  Yes, for their 5/16" bolts.  I didn't have that bit, was wondering if i could use a 3/8", but unsure if it would be too big.  posted the question on the forum, got a suggestion to use the one they recommend (thanks LesterDiamond!) so ran out to Lowe's and grabbed one up.  Now I needed to see just what was I up against with this drilling??? so out to the garage to pop off the seat and fender...

To take off the seat/fender

These clips come off first - they are out now they are the holes by the foot pegs.  Those are clips where you push in the center and they release.

If you ride solo, don't' forget to pull out this screw... I did, and was wondering for 10 minutes why the fender wasn't popping off. LOL...  Doh!

So here we are with the fender off. Looks like I've got some room in there for a FATTER tire!  LOL... yes yes Mod-itis...  all things in their time...

So i took a peek and OMG I am practically stopped in my tracks!  Goodness gracious.  they call that thing the Strut, and goodness it is thick, two layers/hollow and looks so slippery!  plus it's a tiny little area. only 1 " from top to bottom.  Talk about nervous! I became terrified of trying to do this.  How in the world am I going to (1) drill through that metal, (2) drill the holes straight, (3) drill without slipping, (4) not pop a tire.  I'm petrified.  I'm glad I looked at this tonight.  I posted another topic on the forum to seek shared experiences.  I hope peeps respond tonight and the UK/Canada Folks in the wee hours of the US Morning.

Shoot.  Hmmmm... Gotta get me some courage.!

Here's what I'm talking about "thin"

This is the template for the drilling.  OMG.

Well, We'll sleep on this and get back to it in the morning...




Well, we wrote the forum and sought suggestions and support for taking on the adventure of the day I was getting psyched up to get going on the project.  SO we posted and waited, and got so many helpful suggestions/tips.  i decided to get a move on and bring the party out to the garage and set up.

So we need:
Laptop (Check tips)
MacX's Install notes on Forum
Duct tape
Masking Tape
Diet Dew
Devil Dogs....

So here are a few tips.  Place a piece of duct tape on the strut so the drill bit doesn't wander/slip when you start it (Thanks Allan!).  Use a center punch to have a starting point for drilling (Thanks TheNewAftermath).  Drill pilot holes - Thanks (SinisterTurtle)...1/8"...  Use a corded drill (Thanks ExRed/KIOWA).  I only have a cordless, so it was suggested if the cordless didn't have enough to get the drill bit going, I could step it up to the right size by going up drill bit sizes in increments (Thanks RebelD!)....Slow drill speeds! & use cutting oil/lube. (Thanks SinisterTurtle)  I found a recipe for that which is for 2 parts water, 1 part olive oil and a dash of washing liquid.

So let's begin...

Let get the center punch involved

Drilling I used 3 sizes.  The Ginz bar is SAE. I had to go out and purchase the 21/64" bit for the 5/16" bolts.  I had the other SAE bits already, but didn't realize until i had started that they were less than adequate, being somewhat dull.  I spent about 1 1/2 hours working on drilling the pilot holes on both sides, but i was only able to break through the front of the strut.  It is hollow inside and then I had to drill the back out. that was T-O-U-G-H!  So while I was almost through the back side on this one side, it wasn't going, and I had to take a break...My hand hurt, and I figured I best recharge not only the drill batteries, but JDol's batteries :)

Ate lunch, checked into the forum, and resumed. Then I was cooking with gas - re-energized.  Finished up the Right side rather quickly, moved over to the left, and then the bits i was using went D-U-L-L.... back to Lowe's  :)  I must say i learned a lot about the settings on my drill, those dials at the top labeled 1 through 19, and the high low settings...  Now that I am reflecting, I suppose a corded drill would have made a difference.  I think I will put that on the list of tools to get.

SO... we got all the holes drilled, and hoo-rah they all line up with the brackets.  How's about that? :)  So before we put them on, let's silicone the holes to prevent rusting. (Thanks Ken/MacX/Ginz)

We will also Lock-tite the threads for bolting. (Thanks Ken/Ginz)

So I got both brackets on each side, torqued to 175 in/lb.
Now time to get the baby on - As of yet I haven't even unwrapped it...

the fasteners for the bar, use a large hex, (SAE) so we dug this out of the 1960's bin... lol...

Anyway, we finished up the job and snapped a photo just to commemorate the achievement :)

Hopefully get more pics tomorrow or next week.

I'm exhausted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Embroidered Sweatshirts

Well, had to get a sweatshirt going as well.  Did you expect anything less from me??? :)  So, I had gone to JA's to get some hat blanks, they only had the one, but the sweatshirts and long sleeve t's were on sale, so picked up a few of those for embroidery. First of all I had to have a bike one, but what design? so i combed through all the design files I already had and came across two. so i put them together to make the one design Love to Ride.  I had to modify the biker chick.  It's amazing how you learn as you grow, because i bought that design maybe a year or longer ago, and never used it because the lips on the chick looked like duck lips! they were huge! Not realizing all it took was a second to fix that in my design program! LOL. coz the design is really cute other than that flaw.  So I did that of course :) and went onward.  So I put the two designs together and decided to put it on my gray sweatshirt.  I had a business trip to attend and those things the conference rooms can get chilly, so it's nice to have a sweatshirt and be toasty.  Plus show off my embroidery to a few folks who know I embroider, and then show off my bike enthusiasm to others. And photo enthusiasm as you see in the second one.  Here is the gray Sweatshirt.

and the 2nd one in red:

So that's it for Now...

I'm working on a comrade's vest from the UK, some patches for them also.