Today is one of those days that reminds me how incredibly lucky and grateful I am to be part of such a huge and incredible group of quillers on the web. There are so many resourceful and smart women ( & maybe one or two men) that are always happy to offer advice and creative solutions when you are in need of them. Case and point:
Late last December, I began this quilling piece as a work I planned to enter in a local juried art show that had the theme of 1963. I found this great picture online of a bunch of women that had just graduated from stewardess school in that particular year. Using it as inspiration, I drew up this diddy and got to work. About a week into the project, Marnie and I both caught bronchitis. It was the holiday season and there was so much to be done and I didn't bother to slow up and rest - I just kept going with all of the balls I had up in the air. After the New Year, the infection transitioned into pneumonia and I was down for the count. Due to the month long struggle to regain my health, I missed the deadline for the art show - so onto the shelf of abandoned art went this work. I have a whole stack of incomplete work in my studio that I have the best of intentions to get to.... someday. I try not to think of them very often. I have too many ideas in my head all of the time. Things I failed to complete are not exactly motivating. Today however, I took notice of this one because my darling, demon cat Moshe peed on it. My cats vs. the quilling studio is a sore spot in many ways, but this was a first. Being more angry at myself for not finishing the work and having it hanging on the wall in the first place rather than being mad at the cat, lead me to post a picture of the piece in the Little Circles Quill-Along Group for a quick boost of commiseration and assertion that Moshe was indeed the asshole in this situation. Not only did they wholeheartedly agree on who was to ultimately be blamed (the cat) but they had so many amazing ideas of how to fix it. This was actually more than amazing, because it had not even occurred to me that it could be salvaged. I was going to chuck it in the bin, but due to their ingenuity, not only was I able to save the piece, but I also put together the following little tutorial. Hopefully it may be of some help for someone else who may need a bit of fixing up of a quilled piece in the future. This was the first instance of a cat peeing on a quilled artwork that I am aware of, but there have been multiple instances of drinking & quilling that have surfaced in the group since it's launch. Here we go:
How To Fix A Quilled Mosaic That Was Peed On By Your Cat Tutorial
Cut out the peed on part
This part is essential. Cat pee smells totally bad and it like never goes away. And while a few of my quilling friends had excellent suggestions on how to abolish the evidence, I ultimately decided it had to go. Moshe was very considerate as to where he pissed on my work, and I thanked him for that, so the cutting out was a pretty simple task. If you have an issue somewhere in the middle of your work, I would suggest using a utility knife instead of a rotary cutter or scissors.
Measure out the replacement piece
I luckily used chipboard to draw on for this work and I have a lot of it laying around my studio. Not so luckily, I did not have any in the exact thickness of the original piece. I slid a piece under my ruined work and then marked out the space using a pen. Next, I cut out the replacement with scissors and then used it as a template to cut out two more. The three layers were then glued together which made it the exact thickness of the original.
Adhere the old to the new
After getting the replacement aligned as best I could, I first taped the piece in place on the backside using packing tape. Depending on your intentions with your ruined piece of art, you could possibly stop at this step. I usually try to sell mine, so I decided to take an extra step and make the back look more like mine usually do.
Using a medium weight spray adhesive, I sprayed the backside of my original work and placed it atop another layer of chipboard. From this point, after pressing the two layers together, I simply cut off the excess with my rotary tool. It looks like nothing ever happened.
Fill in the gaps
My replacement piece was almost a perfect fit, but there was a little space around the sides. Using the nozzle of my needle tip quilling glue bottle, I placed a small amount of glue around the sides and allowed it to dry.
Color/draw your quilling background back in
TA DA!! It's pretty much done from here. Just draw back into place what is now missing and then color it in. I made a mistake on the colors I thought I had used, but it honestly won't make a difference once it is quilled over - that is, if I ever get around to finishing this mosaic.
One last note before I finish up this post - A big apology to the three lovely ladies who wrote comments on my first blog post that went up yesterday. The service I use for this website (Shopify) has no function for replying to comments - I know, right? So I ended up having to disable them and add in a different extension which will allow me to actually answer back. In the process of doing so however, all previous comments were deleted. I'm sorry! Better to do it on day two vs. a year from now I figured. I appreciated the comments though & I promise to interact from now on.
Thanks again to my peeps in the quilling group - you saved my art and my cat from an early demise (just kidding!)