3.28.2013

my new love

aahhh...my new love...recently discovered...came to the rescue when others had fallen by the wayside...
others that were not up to the challenge...but my new love did not disappoint...






































And what might you ask is my new love...why its first aid tape...the kind of tape you use to wrap around a piece of sterile gauze to dress a wound (which unfortunately I had to do recently for the Southern Man...but he'll be fine...)

Let me fill you in on the back story...

I have been working on my 10 piece collage series...where I designed the scientific inspired images to complement the botanical prints...I wanted a way to attach the transparency images to the canvas...but wanted to convey a "this work is in progress" vibe.  So I thought it would work to use artist's tape...rip off a piece, stick it on...

I did a little research on the web...not really finding what I want...thought I would just drive down to the local Staples and pick up some Scotch brand artist tape (its so sad that the local art supply store closed here in our smaller town...now I have to go to Seattle if I want serious art supplies...)  Run into Staples...not only do they not have artist's tape...but they have one roll of masking tape (a borderline substitute...) and its $8.00 a roll!  As I'm leaving empty-handed...figure I might as well pop into the Dollar Store which is next door.  I'm going through the aisles - get to the "hardware" section - they have white masking tape (even better than the tan stuff!) so I pick up a roll...on my way to the cash register, I meander down the "first aid" aisle...and there I see it...first aid paper tape...its a dollar...I grab a package...



When I get home, I open up the package...this is not the old first aid adhesive tape from my youth...the one that came in the metal snap container...and the tape that ripped the hair off your arm when you removed the bandage...

I see that its in English and French...made me love it more...









I get to work on my collages...its perfect...secures the transparencies, gives that nice torn edge that I wanted...
and its semi-transparent...so it blends in instead of standing out like a big white blob...































I like that I can see the type underneath...its all about the layering...






































So like any new relationship...I wanted to test the limits...since it was paper-like...maybe I could print on it...I ran it through my ink jet printer...it worked...but I was afraid it might get stuck...and create a problem that I didn't want...so I got out my rubber stamps...worked great...you can design your own personal washi tape...for only $1 a roll...I think I'm in love...














I have to give a shout-out to Amy Thayer Photography...picked up a couple of easy photography tips from her FB page earlier in the week...she's great...
stop over at her page and give her a "like"...

3.26.2013

in due time...

The daffodils that I neglected last year and recently discovered blooming in my garden...are now wilted and faded...I'll throw them back into the far corner of the yard and wait until next March to see if they resurrect...
edited with kk texture 2203, multiply 40% opacity; second layer of color burn at 40% opacity






























Linking up to kim klassen's Texture Tuesday...as well as with my Beyond Beyond creative group...this was to be an photoshop exercise in manipulating type along a path...never could get my path to go in the right direction...
so I tweaked the exercise...now isn't that a metaphor for life...

3.23.2013

Variations on a theme









It was a year ago that I played around with a broomstick and some metal curtain rings...to make a card/photo holder...

Recently I thought I would make a couple more...but I ran out of supplies of the original design...so variations ensued...








I had plenty of broomsticks collected throughout the year...most for free because the broom part was missing...thus, just the stick...I cut them into smaller lengths...and then gathered up the vintage curtain rings...but I ran short...what could I use instead...mmm...metal...clip...how about metal clips?!



As you can imagine, I have quite a collection of metal clips (its that metal love addition)...the more beat up and rusted, the better...nothing like rusted metal patina!  I picked out two suitable specimens...















Instead of nailing the clip in place (which I did with the curtain rings), this time I drilled a pilot hole and used a screw to hold the clip in place...with this clip, the screw was a little smaller than the hole...so a diamond shaped washer slips right into place to secure the clip...

Everything else about the construction remained the same...cedar fence post cap for the base...large metal washer attached to the base for extra weight (and no toppling over!)  You can find the step by step tutorial here...











Here's the completed metal clip versions...
each stand can prominently display one special print or photograph...





































Since there was a cut edge on the top of the broomstick for some of the stands, I attached an old wooden knob to give each a finished look...




















The other variation I made used a lone croquet stick...I know there are two end sticks to a set...but for some reason, I only have one...
It was a challenge to find larger sized curtain rings since this croquet stick was larger in diameter...but luckily I had a few biggies in my stash...I like the painted stripes of the stick...complemented by its simple red base...








































I think the group of them look great together...
a wonderful way to display whatever assortment you may have...








































It was easy as can be...using what I already had...
the best kind of project...








































Linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special...lots of great projects there...

3.21.2013

A step beyond...

I love inspiring creativity in others...to see beyond what might be possible...
to give something your own special twist...

Case in point...Recently, I received the most lovely email from Angie of Hopemore Studio...she had been desperately looking for wire baskets of just the right shape and size...when she happened upon my blog post tutorial of making your own wire baskets...she was thrilled...made the baskets...completed her project...all is right with the world!

But then she sees my blog post tutorial of making a wire cloche...and thinks to herself..."I have all these remnants from making my wire baskets...wonder if I could do something with them..."

And she does...and it is truly wonderful...
photo credit - Hopemore Studio







































Not only do I love the mini cloches...but I love that she thought outside the box...and used something she already had...something that others might have thrown away...

Go over to Hopemore Studio...give Angie a shout-out...I'm off to find my leftover wire scraps in the basement...to make my own mini-cloches...thanks for the inspiration Angie...

3.19.2013

Simple gifts, part three

When part of the gift can be the wrapping, that is the epitome of eco-living...
A printed flour sack towel from Full Circle Studio...tied up with burlap twine...
all I do is grab the stray edge of a piece of jute burlap and pull...I love the crinkled string that unravels...


A double strand of twine secures the package...
a tag of one of my recent designs, embellished with an old leather button, adds the finishing touch...





























Ready for its special recipient...

3.15.2013

A pop of yellow...

Earlier this week, I had the most pleasant surprise...while doing garden clean-up, I came across two small pots of daffodils that I bought last year...about this same time...needing a boost of spring color...

After they were done blooming, I just threw them into the back of the garden (ok...if you haven't guessed it by now, gardening is not my forte...)  Amazingly, they not only survived...but were blooming...so I pulled the pots out of the debris, brought them inside and planted them into one of my square battery glass jars...with the sun actually shining on them this morning, it was a bit of a hallelujah moment!






































Also this week, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes and what good advice it offers...

As part of my assignment in Beyondbeyond (my year-long photography/creativity class led by kim klassen) I decided to use this quote...and add another pop of yellow...































Thoreau is one of my favorite writers...I admire his willingness to strike out on his own to test his resolve and the strength of his convictions...

I remember many years ago, visiting an artisan studio and thinking how wonderful it would be to have a place, both physically and mentally, where one could be creative each and every day...it was the life I imagined...

Well, I had another hallelujah moment this week...though it has taken some time...and its not always perfect...and not exactly how I pictured it...I do have the life I had imagined so many years ago...a place to create every day...























Are you going in the direction of your dreams? 

Are you living the life you've imagined? 

I'd love to hear your story...

3.11.2013

A scientific approach

Rarely do I work on a single collage at a time...usually I work in sets of two to five pieces at once...related images but each with a different approach...I find that there's a synergy that occurs...a snippet that doesn't fit in one place is perfect in another...until there is quite a symphony going on (though sometimes there is cacophony!)

Presently I am working on 10 collages at once...each of them a botanical print...
Scandinavian I believe...mostly of grasses...

I prepped each canvas the same...french manuscript pages wrapped around the frame...followed by two layers of paint...applied with an old sponge for additional texture...






































Now I'm in the midst of composing each collage...for me, it is an exacting science...I think it resonates with the botanical theme...measured and methodical...to have order and relation...as things would be in a scientific study...




































































As I'm building the layers and the nuances, I want to add another image to the main plant focus...and in keeping with the scientific theme, I decided to design my own "insect studies" to complement the botanical plants.

I had read about making your own image transfers...using overhead transparency sheets...I liked the idea of being able to add another layer and yet still see what was underneath...I spent the weekend exploring the options...my own sort of artistic/scientific "lab experiment"...here's what I learned...

Its much easier to design transfer images (especially if you want to use a number of layers) in Photoshop...and at the end, when you need to flip the image horizontally so that you have a reverse image to print, is also easier with Photoshop...

Since you are printing on transparency with an inkjet printer...the ink can smear...even after it is dry...so be very careful when you are rubbing the image onto your surface...I tried to transfer an image onto one of my painted canvases...it smeared...but the good thing...its inkjet...which means its water soluble...I wiped the smeared image off with a damp paper towel and it was completely erased...

Printing onto fabric worked the best...and since I set the image with a hot iron, it won't rub off the fabric...here I used a french postage mark from French Kiss transferred onto a piece of raw linen...





















Even after I had transferred the design onto either fabric or paper, there was enough of the image left on the transparency to be recognizable...so these transparency sheets will be directly attached to my collages...ink side down against the canvas so no residue ink can be worn off...

As a thank you to my faithful followers...I've included here a PDF sheet with four of my transfer designs from my weekend experiment...all you need to do is print them out on a sheet of overhead transparency film...with an inkjet printer...cut them apart (ever so carefully!), flip one of the images ink side down onto your surface...and then using a popsicle stick or a bone folder or a wooden spoon...gently rub over the entire surface until all the ink has lifted off the sheet and adhered to your surface...


I'd love to see what you create...I'll show you mine if you show me yours...!


3.07.2013

Simple gifts, part two

A custom art journal...all wrapped up for its journey...
the simplest of materials can add an extra touch...without costing a dime...
dress pattern tissue tied up with a length of "ribbon" torn from a piece of gingham fabric...
a manila tag with a single word sentiment...highlighted by a small dried leaf and snippets of scrap...






































On its way to its recipient...it will bring a moment of happy before the gift is even opened...

one of my favorite blogs, art in red wagons, also has some simple and recycled gift wrap ideas...
for that special touch...

3.05.2013

Simple gifts

A small pot of tête-à-tête daffodils...a tin can...
punch holes around the edge of the can...thread silk ribbon through holes...
attach bird sticker to metal rimmed key tag...tie up with ribbon...
Insert daffodil pot into can...give to a friend...

































warm smiles on a gray day...

3.04.2013

its all in the details...






When I started my recent bedroom makeover, I had an overall plan (see previous post for the big picture view).  But I find that its often the details that make a space your own...and that sometimes, happy coincidences turn out in your favor...











First example...a couple of weeks ago, I bought this great bag from Kimberly at Faded Elegance...I had a plan to reinforce the bottom and add leather straps so it could be my everyday bag...













but the burlap of the bag picked up the detail of the burlap bed skirt...
and the bold black type reinforced the bold black metal shelves...
so I just had to turn it into a pillow! 



I removed the stitching from the bottom so that the bag lay flat...ironed out the seams...took off the velcro closure...cut the straps in half...inserted a down pillow form...folded over the top...tied  the cut straps into square knots...









and presto!  designer pillow!

























Behind the overstuffed chair, I kept my rusted refrigerator coil (the history of the coil can be found here)...but needed artwork that worked better with the new space...a vintage pen & ink drawing of a french market (gleaned from goodwill years ago) was my first pick. 















Wanting to repeat the leaf motif in the curtains, I pulled together a simple multi-media collage...old beat up white painted frame ($1 at a flea market two summers ago), a piece of cardboard with white paint and a portion of an old dictionary page glued on and then partially torn off (free), one large maple leaf (free) attached with linen bookbinding tape (from my supply stash)











and finished off with one of my favorite Thoreau quotes, typed with the help of my vintage Royal typewriter (the best $10 I ever spent at St Vinnie's!)















On my side of the bed, I displayed one of my Audubon bird prints...again, the leaves in the print mimicked the pattern in the curtains...and the subtle blue/green tones tied in with the overstuffed chair...



a simple vignette of vintage silver along with a photo of my parents on their wedding day adds a personal memento...
it was important to me to have a lot of texture in this space so that it didn't feel weighted
down with the black and the gray...
 
the wood slat blinds...which repeats the pattern of the refrigerator coil...
the basket for Calvin's toys, which complements the tones of the baskets on the shelves...








the best coincidence was the area rug...with the old cranberry pattern rug gone, we needed something on the floor to help dampen sound and provide a little softness on bare feet...while standing up to Calvin, our golden retriever...the cream wool shag I saw at IKEA would last about a week...I really wasn't finding anything that would work...until I travelled down to the basement...and found the large size flat weave rug I bought two summers ago when it was the end of the summer season...its one of those indoor/outdoor sisal-type rugs...and though its not the perfect solution...it works for now...




I still have a few details to work out...but all in all, we're happy and comfortable with the new bedroom look...
and that's the most important detail...

worth a look...

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