Wednesday, April 25, 2018

creating with makewells- water brush lettering

Hi everyone! It’s Megan from Makewells and I’m back here with a tutorial on waterbrush lettering! If you’ve followed Alisa for a bit, you’ve probably seen her often using a Pentel waterbrush when she paints. That’s how I discovered this brush - and realized how awesome it was for lettering!

Getting started using a waterbrush to draw letters is simple: all you need is this waterbrush, a set of watercolors, and some paper. I’m using a Pentel water brush, my favorite Koi watercolors, and 140lb Canson watercolor paper.

The biggest thing to keep in mind when lettering with a water brush is this: apply more pressure when you are painting downstrokes, and less pressure when you are applying upstrokes.
To get started, fill your water brush with water and open up your watercolors.  Saturate a few of the colors that you want to use, so that they form pools inside each pan.

Now, dip the brush in the color you’d like to start with, and give it a whirl!

As you paint each stroke, you can squeeze the pen gently to add more water.

Getting started lettering with a water brush, it’s helpful to practice some basic strokes that are common in lettering. Here are 5 basic strokes to get your warmed up:

First, try creating a diagonal a thin upstroke. Apply a light but even amount of pressure as you pull the brush up, keeping the pressure consistent throughout the stroke.
Once you’ve mastered that stroke, try a thick diagonal downstroke.  Apply more pressure as you pull the brush down, once again keeping the pressure consistent.
Next, try an upside down ‘U’ shape. Begin with a thin upstroke, and as you begin to curve, gradually increase the pressure as you come around the corner, and then complete the stroke with a heavy downstroke. This stroke should be done in one smooth motion.
Now try that stroke in reverse, a “U” shape. Begin with a thick downstroke, gradually add less pressure as you curve, and then apply the least pressure as you complete the upstroke.
And lastly, try an “o” shape. Begin at the middle of the top of the o, add more pressure as you pull down and reduce pressure as you pull up.

Here’s a video showing these 5 basic strokes in action:

I’ll be back next time with our second lesson and we’ll dive into the alphabet, but for now get to know these basic strokes and you’ll be on your way to creating beautiful, washy, colorful letters!

Can’t wait to see what you make!

Xo, Megan

Follow Megan on Instagram - @Makewells

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

a batch of messy pouches in the shop!

I am happy to announce that I have a fresh batch of messy pouches in the shop HERE.  Each pouch is made from my hand painted canvas and one of a kind! They always sell out fast so get em' while you can!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

exploring we will go: willapa national wildlife refuge

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is located on the shores of Willapa Bay in Washington State. The Willapa Interpretive Art Trail is a really amazing hike through art installations and through a wooded trail. This is one of our favorite family hikes on the North Coast.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

creating with jules: woven pendant necklace

I was inspired by Alisa’s Christmas decorations where she painted some faux woven Christmas ornaments. Alisa mentioned she would love to learn weaving, so, with that in mind, I came up with a weaving tutorial. This is one where even if you don’t know how to weave you can just follow these instructions and dive right in. There’s no need to learn it all first, just learn as you go!

You will need:

-A various selection of wools
-Crochet cotton or similar
-Cardboard frame for your loom (I used a mat board from inside a picture frame) with an opening of approx 10cm x 14cm 
-2 jumprings

Also: Wool tapestry needle, scissors, pliers

Print out the template at 100%. You will use the print-out as a guide to place under your weaving.

Use some thin wool that is not too stretchy to set your mini loom up. 

(These vertical threads are called the “warp” and the horizontal threads that you weave in are called the “weft”.)

Crochet cotton or similar works well for the warp. Tie one end around the bottom of the cardboard loom, and wind it around six times so that you have 12 strands in the centre of the loom. Fasten the end. Make it fairly tight but not so tight that your cardboard starts to bend. Spread the threads out evenly over the width of the weaving using your template as a guide.

Weave a few rows across the very top and bottom of the loom, adjusting the warp threads to be equally spaced apart. This will keep them nicely  in place.

Start by taking a length of wool threaded in your tapestry needle and weave 4 rows in whatever colour you like; you will not see these rows at the end. Before I started my first row I left a tail and started in a little from the edge so that the ends of my wool are not sticking out of the sides. Do this every time you start a new piece of wool. Make sure to leave tails at the back of the weaving, for sewing in later on.

Now we are going to add our fringe. Take 3-4 lengths of wool and wrap them around two warps as shown. Pull them tight and down towards the previous rows. Make sure your lengths are long enough, using your template as the guide.

Start weaving with your main colour up until you need to start weaving your triangle. Weave the triangle in a contrasting colour. I found I needed four rows of the triangle colour before I needed to go in one warp on each side to make the triangle shape. I would then weave another four rows before decreasing again.

Once the triangle is complete, use your main colour to weave up the side of the triangle and above. I then went back and wove in the space beside the triangle on the right hand side.

Turn your pendant over and sew all the tail ends in securely.

Take a length of wire and make two loops at the ends by twisting the wire around something small like the end of a paintbrush. Make sure the wire in between the loops is the width of your pendant. Twist the wire ends around the middle to secure. Take some wool and wind it around the wire, using the tapestry needle to sew the end in.
Take a length of wire and make two loops at the ends by twisting the wire around something small like the end of a paintbrush. Make sure the wire in between the loops is the width of your pendant. Twist the wire ends around the middle to secure. Take some wool and wind it around the wire, using the tapestry needle to sew the end in.

Place this wire piece in the weaving as if you were weaving another row. Cut your weaving from the loom, leaving the warp threads quite long. Tie them all up in secure knots and turn your pendant over and sew in the top warp threads to hide them. 

Trim the fringe into an arrow shape.

To make this extra secure and make sure no threads come loose whilst wearing it, glue a square of felt or non-fraying fabric to the back.

Attach the jump rings and chain.

Happy weaving and wearing!

Jules :)

You can find more of Jules here:


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