1.28.2016

Discoveries

I've been on a massive purge of my studio...and it's amazing what I have unearthed...
For those of you familiar with me and my home, you know I have a massive stack of suitcases...
I discovered that I have a fetish for metal boxes since I've gathered together quite a collection while cleaning up...
They certainly take up less room than suitcases...

1.11.2016

Spool Valentines Art Party

take a vintage wooden thread spool...

        



















add a strip of patterned paper...a button or two...or maybe a bit of ribbon or twine...
              write your own secret message, rolled around the spool...

                     and you have a spool valentine.








































Join me at this February Art Party where I'll show you how to make these tiny treasures...I'll supply everything from the old spools to a plethora of paper, buttons and ribbons...along with a dose of creative camaraderie and light refreshments...You don't have to bring anything but enthusiasm...




















Registration is limited; the workshop will take place at my home in Everett.  Once you have paid your registration, I'll send out a confirmation email with all the details.





Spool Valentines
Saturday, February 6, 2016
1 - 4 pm
Everett, WA

$45 registration fee












Any questions? - feel free to email me at amy_duncan@yahoo.com
Don't delay...registration is limited...hope to see you in February!

1.04.2016

my word for the year

Throughout the holiday season, I was constantly at work on projects...on my dining room table.  Whenever we wanted to eat at the table (thanksgiving dinner for example) I needed to clear everything off...only to resume my work a day or so later...thank god the Southern Man is understanding...

For those of you who have no other area for creativity, this is likely a common scenario...but for me...I have three other areas designated as work areas...my office with a small table, my workshop studio where I hold classes and my basement studio space.  Other than the fact that my workshop studio has no heat (and thus a little chilly during the winter) I really have no excuse to be commandeering the dining room table for my projects.

I seem to be in a perpetual state of cleaning up my spaces...but never seem to make much progress...this time I decided to dig in deep and vowed that I will get my basement studio space into a manageable condition...

I've started with the west wall of the studio, lined with shelves...I pulled out everything and cast a critical eye...

I'm assuming that I had some project in mind...but really...this many vintage graters...







































You know I have a soft spot for well loved metal...but its time to let it go...the flat graters have been slated for a future art party project (and put into a bin designated appropriately), the others into the box for giveaway.

More scrounging abounds...I find a horde of drawing circle compasses...yes, one is insignificant, more than one makes a statement...but this many is overkill...and this doesn't include the three I found after I took this photo...



























True, one of these would be a lovely addition to a future mixed media collage...a couple of them are rather unique...but its exactly that kind of rationalization that has led to this overpopulation.

Which leads me to my word for the year...rather than a list of resolutions, I have found it helpful to have a word on which to focus...to guide my actions throughout the year...some years, its been difficult for me to pinpoint the exact word to describe what I want to achieve...this year, it hit me square in the face about a month ago...







































I am overwhelmed...not just with a physical amount of extraneous stuff...but also with overly involved art techniques...and for that matter, complicated procedures in many areas of my life...

I want to take this tangled mess of materials, methods and madness and pare it down...

Now, believe me, this doesn't mean that I'll be living in a naked house with white walls decorated with one single feather...but I'm hoping...no, I am confident...that by the end of the year (if not sooner) I'll be able to work peacefully on my art...and eat at my dining room table any time I want...

Do you have a word for the year? I'd love to hear what it is...
and if you have a compelling story behind your word, maybe I'll send you one of my compasses...

12.29.2015

Rustic Luxe - New Year's Eve

With Christmas over and the New Year sliding in soon, this is the last post of the Rustic Luxe series...

I wanted to end this creative series combining the most rustic item I could think of with the most luxurious...
I wasn't quite sure what it would be...until inspiration hit me at work one day in the lumber department...

What is more rustic than rough concrete?  And what is luxe than gold leaf?  What if I combined them together...

My inspiration came from these...



These are dobie blocks, used to hold rebar in place when pouring a concrete slab...I've played with these before - see my tutorial for my bud vase holders here - but for the holidays I was thinking of making candle holders with them...how festive for New Year's Eve...I gathered together my supplies...








Normally these blocks come in a section of 9 or 16 blocks, with divisions between them for separation.  I used a wide rigid putty knife and a sledge hammer to break the sections apart.  Once apart, I formed a holder for each candlestick by first straightening out the wire supports and then, using a metal pipe for a support, wrapped the wire around the pipe.  Once the pipe was removed, it was easy to slip in a candlestick.

I revised my idea of using gold leaf and instead went with heavy body acrylic artist paint in a deep gold color. After taping off sections on the concrete block, I used a stiff brush to apply the paint...surprising only two coats were needed to give a good solid color.

With the candlesticks completed, it was on to the rest of the tableau...







































Gold splatters on a length of kraft paper for a table runner was another Rustic Luxe combo...I used a can of gold spray paint which was leaking badly...but I ended up liking the drips and drabs on the paper...the chestnut garland (first seen in the Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece and then hanging from my Christmas tree branch) makes its final appearance with its nutty texture and the glint of gold beads. A few poppy pods sprayed with a bit of silver paint fill the bud vases...











A swath of wide silk ribbon tied around a small galvanized bucket is the perfect Rustic Luxe champagne holder...

























Vintage ironstone plates and silver cocktail forks are waiting for the appetizers...
all is set for this small intimate gathering to begin...





















As we close out 2015, I want to thank you for visiting my blog, leaving your comments, giving me your support...
I hope that the new year ahead holds all the promise and opportunity you desire...cheers!


12.24.2015

'tis the season!








































Wishing all a wonderful holiday season...
wherever you are and whatever you celebrate - cheers!

worth a look...

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