3.31.2012

Cultivating the spark
































You see a picture...a spark goes off...inspiration has hit...you journey to the basement for supplies...


This is pretty much the process I followed when I spied this photo on anything goes here...which, by the way, always has the most interesting items displayed in the most unique ways...be sure to check it out...

I never thought of using these vintage metal curtain rings to display photos/cards/ephemera... what if I could figure out a photo display stand using these rings...I knew I had plenty of these rings leftover from my mom's stash of stuff (as if I didn't have enough of my own...I now have plenty of stuff from my mom too...) 
I rummaged through a few piles in the basement...


Here's what I came up with...starting with a base, I drilled a hole in a cedar fence post cap with a paddle bit...

I found an old broom handle that was the perfect diameter for the rings to fit around...I had to cut down the handle to size...its been raining and cold here forever (unlike the rest of the country that had a blast of summer!) so I had to work inside, on my kitchen island...


good thing my reclaimed wood island already has that vintage patina...because now it has a smattering of blue paint on the edges...










Once I had the hole in the base, I painted it a lovely vintage gray...I adhered a large rusted washer over the hole...this would give added weight to the base (and conceal the rough edges of the drilled hole...)
After the paint and adhesive were dry, I inserted the broom handle into the hole...I pounded a large head nail through the underside of the base into the bottom of the broom handle to give it extra support.



To attach the curtain rings to the broom handle, I planned to nail each ring in place...I drilled a tiny hole into each ring...making a pilot hole with a sharp screw/nail keeps the bit in place while drilling...






and then I secured each ring with a small 5/8 x 18 nail...

















I built my display from the bottom up...
until it was complete...
I offset the ring clips so I could display cards close together without blocking the view of the nearby cards...                            
This display will work great at home...as well as at art shows this summer  (those are my vintage art cards I have clipped on the display...for sale over at my etsy shop...) 
Maybe I'd better find another broom stick and make a couple more...

Linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special...plenty there to cultivate your creative spark...

3.28.2012

Layers & Textures







































Collage is a process of layers...adding and subtracting until the image is just right...this is what I love about the process...it can be subtle or complex...and when its complete, there's such a textural depth that gives a richness to the image.

Part of what drew me to Beyond Layers, the online class I am taking with Kim Klassen, is that I wanted to learn how to incorporate these same layers into my photographic work.  Though it is only three months into the year-long course, I've learned a lot...and have loved experimenting with different techniques and textures.  Kim provides the textures for participants to use in our exercises...but it got me thinking...I could probably experiment with my own...

So I started by scanning whatever interesting surface I found in my studio...a piece of burlap, my mom's old leather wallet, the top of a rusted metal box, lots of sheet music...

Earlier this week, I spent an afternoon with Kate Hartley of Full Circle Studio.  Kate does beautiful collage work that is reproduced on switchplate covers, kitchen towels, magnets...and more projects in the works.  Kate wanted the quick overview of how to incorporate layers via the digital version into her work...now, granted I have just a minuscule amount of knowledge of what is available within Photoshop...but it was enough to spark great enthusiasm in Kate of what the possibilities could be!

Here's one of my recent photos, each version edited with one of my created layers...
edited with burlap layer


























edited with leather layer



























edited with rusted metal layer



























edited with sheet music layer



























I'm happy to share my textures...leave me a comment and I'll email you the four textures shown here - burlap, leather, rusted metal and sheet music...if your blogger profile doesn't have your email, make sure to include it in your comment - otherwise, I won't know where to send them...and then I would love to see what you do with them...post your photos on the Four Corners Design facebook page...so we can all "ooh" and "aah" over your lovely images...

3.24.2012

Spur of the moment

Sometimes you have a lazy Saturday...sometimes you get a million things done...today lies someplace in between...

While trolling my usual blog list this morning, I spied inspiration from Funky Junk Interiors unique lighting post...
a lamp made from a wire trellis/tomato cage type item...it reminded me that I had three wire crab pots sitting outside in the rusting area of my backyard...




























I cleaned up one of the wire cages...



threaded a HEMMA light cord from IKEA through the top, screwed in an Edison light bulb...plugged it in and I was done!































It was the motivation I needed to change out my dining room vignette...



































I opted for a bird nest/spring feel...but always love having a good measure of rusted metal...
my new lamp provides plenty of that...



















































Linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special...lots of inspiration - for one of kind lighting...and more...

But wait...if you think my project was easy...visit this fantastic link-up over at it all started with paint...
many more creative projects that will take no time at all and give you a sense of satisfaction...

3.22.2012

Art is personal

Seth Apter's newly released book, The Pulse of Mixed Media, takes the "pulse" of many artists, asking them personal questions about their work and having them interpret their answers via their art.  I haven't yet seen a copy of the book, but am anxious to get my own copy...Seth is making several promotional stops around the country...word has it he may be stopping in the Seattle area...

He invited his blog readers to participate in the promotion by submitting their answers to a couple of the questions posed in the book...and being artists, it would only make sense if your answer was in the form of artwork, any format but limited to 5" square... so I obliged...

The first question was "If your artwork could talk, what would it say?"
My response...

























































































































The second question was "Who has had the most impact on your creative life?"
My response...



































































































































The third and final question was "What is the one thing you have never shared with the creative community?"
I passed on this one...I'd rather keep my secrets to myself...

But its no secret that this is the book the creative community is talking about right now...check it out for yourself...
click here...

3.20.2012

Spring fever!


Even though the rest of the country is experiencing Spring...here in the Pacific NW, we seem to be stuck...not really winter...but not really spring either. 

But that doesn't deter me from having spring fever...and to celebrate this first day of Spring, I'm having a Spring Fever Sale at my etsy shop!

8 spring-themed vintage art cards are on sale at 20% off (since its march 20!) through the end of the week...no special codes to enter...the price of $6 for a set of 4 flat note cards already reflects the 20% discount from the regular price of $7.50 per set.


















So if you aren't too busy smelling the daffodils...head over to my etsy shop and get your fill of Spring and start sending springtime notes to all your friends...you gotta feed that fever!

3.18.2012

ordinary objects

I've spent most of the weekend working on several art projects...bouncing back and forth between them...while I wait for the glue to dry on one project, I pound a few nails in the base of another...when I want a break from waxing a completed collage, I take a quick look at the Thursday lesson from my online course, Beyond Layers...

and when I was through with my lesson, hopped over to Pinterest and discovered that my photo of metal junk flowers from my garden project last year has struck someone's fancy and I have 175 pins of that one photo...the wonders of technology!
Wrapping up the day...I took a photo for my Beyond Layers assignment (which was a study in black & white) of the vintage typewriter that I was using to type out the expression I was incorporating into my multi-media collage...I edited the photo in Photoshop Elements...and now I'm posting it here...

edited with kk texture - aurora, soft light & multiply at 25% opacity






























and over at Your Sunday Best, hosted by A Rural Journal...
hoping you had a productive weekend as well...whatever that entailed!

and linking up with Kim Klassen and Texture Tuesday...so many great images...

3.14.2012

Paper possibilities

I just finished my taxes...a little daunting...but once I get going, it all seems to fall into place...throughout the year, I essentially organize by piles...receipts for supplies go in one folder, paid bills go in another folder, other important stuff (that I know I will need later) gets stashed in a bin...I realize this is not the most efficient method of keeping track of revenue/expenses for a business, but it works for me... As I was opening the envelopes of the other important stuff, I was struck by the variety/color/pattern of the inside printing of the envelopes...






































The cellophane windows offered creative options as well...I made another pile...

Now that I was finished with my taxes and all the forms filed and paperwork put away, I rewarded myself with an afternoon of creating...keeping in mind my word for the year, BEGIN...I started a collage using just what I had at hand.  My goal this year is to not over think a project...and be paralyzed by inaction because I don't have the right papers/supplies/theme...the idea is to BEGIN...

I just finished a large commissioned art collage so I had several scraps on my work table...using leftover corrugated cardboard as the base, I developed my design based on an old library catalog card, incorporating stitching into the piece (which is another goal for the year - to use more stitching/sewing in my artwork)

The end result...






































I had a second collage that I started...using another envelope with its black & white design and cellophane windows...but I got bogged down in looking for a set of clock faces I picked up at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta...and then distracted looking at a bunch of old farm receipts to see if anything there jumped out at me...and then the whole spontaneity of it was lost...and the energy dissipated...

Its interesting to me that I've been infusing orange into my work lately...I really not much of a color gal...and scruffing up the edges with a sanding block is becoming my mandatory finishing technique...but I like where this is going...and I have plenty more envelopes to play with another day...

3.12.2012

A milestone






























Today is the 100th Anniversary of Girls Scouts of USA...it was on March 12, 1912 that Juliette Lowe called up a friend in Savannah, Georgia and told her that she had something for the girls in Savannah, the US and around the world...

You might wonder how I know this bit of trivia...I was a Girl Scout for over 25 years...joining as a Brownie Girl Scout in 1964, going through the program all the way to Senior Scouting and earning my First Class Award... to working each summer in college at Girl Scout Camps around the world... and after collage, working professionally for the Girl Scouts for 10 years.

I have quite a soft spot for Girl Scouting...evidenced by the boxes of cookies I bought this past weekend as part of the annual cookie sale (though I don't need to be eating cookies...I can not pass up those Thin Mints!)

me in my Brownie GS uniform with my two older sisters

But beyond the sugar high, I have fond memories and a strong character, due in large part to Girl Scouting.  I learned to be independent yet work as a team; I tackled projects I thought were impossible and succeeded...and sometimes formulated a second approach when the first failed.  I gained a profound appreciation of nature and the outdoors...as well as the need for community service and helping others. 

I learned how to tie a square knot, make a one-match fire, fashion a sling for a broken arm...and how to convince a local school to sponsor a troop, raise funds for community projects and teach other adults to lead. 




The look of the organization may have changed over the years...I have a vintage wool leader uniform from the 1930's that I wore to the 75th Anniversary party in Seattle...that looks very different from the uniforms of today.  And the badge program focuses on more modern skills than "Storyteller" or "Hospitality" of yesteryear.  But I know that they are still teaching young women today to be independent, strong and community-minded...and for that I applaud them on a 100 year achievement!

3.07.2012

A junker's inspiration






























Being a creative junker, I'm always on the lookout for inspiration...and how I can tweak what I see...to fit both my style and my budget.

Last week I received the latest Ballard Designs catalog in the mail...when I was done flipping through it, I did a double-take on the back cover...































Those framed vintage hotel labels looked vaguely familiar...I think I have some of those labels...and then I looked at the price...$79!  And these weren't originals...they were reproductions...I was on the hunt...

Now, I like Ballard Designs...I've bought my share of goods from them over the years...but these framed labels just seemed ripe for a makeover...at a junker's price...

I found my labels...bought many years ago...but still found them online at Laughing Elephant...package of 20 for $8.95
























I hunted through my stash of frames...all gleaned from either Goodwill or yard sales...never paid more than $2...the catalog description for the framed Hotel Palais D'Orsay label was an 11" square...I thought this 9" square came pretty close...and I liked the gold peeking out from the black...

























I found two more black frames that I would use to make a trio...trimmed three pieces of mat board, mounted the labels, cleaned up the glass...and hung them on the wall...






































Here's the comparison -
Ballard Designs framed hotel label, $79 each
























Junker's makeover, $3 each 






































I think this turned out well...
























And while I would never advocate to copy original art, this is merely wall decor...and a more resourceful use of reproduction materials.  I'm sure the frames from Ballard Designs are higher quality...but on my junker's budget, my trio suits me just fine... 

Linking up to Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors...the  theme is vintage - perfect for inspiration!

Want some more budget decorating ideas?  I'm happy to report that my brass stencil lampshade is one of 10 DIY bedroom ideas highlighted on HGTV.com...click here for all the details...thanks HGTV.com!

3.04.2012

Let me dream again

edited with Kim Klassen happy heart texture
soft light/multiply at 80%

more wishing for spring...


linking up to Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday
and
My Sunday Best over at A Rural Journal...a recent blog find...many fab photos...you need to check it out...both of them...

worth a look...

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