2.28.2014

Early morning

I am an early morning person...always have been...
The quiet and the solitude that is present just as the sun rises is the best part of the day.

Here in the Pacific NW, when the sun does show itself, it can make a spectacular morning appearance...the view out my living room window shows the brilliance as it sweeps along the hilltop...

The widespread use of the new iPhone Watercolour app is popping up everywhere...but since I have an Android phone, I'm not able to play along...at least not on my phone...but Photoshop has a Watercolor filter that provided just as much fun...


We've had a couple of sunny days this week...which is helping to coax a few buds willing to brave the cold...this yellow crocus (with its watercolor filter) echoes the caption...hurry spring...






























It is the small delights such as early morning sunlight and discovered blooms that are special finds...joining others in their simple celebrations over at Kim Klassen's Friday Finds...


2.25.2014

On the lookout

My sister and I have a saying...whenever we are going junking..."everybody's lookin' for something different"

This scenario was absolutely at play when I visited the local Goodwill outlet last week...

The outlet was more fun when it was newly opened and relatively undiscovered...the large rolling bins of discarded stuff and plenty of room to spread out...I'm one of those who loves to dig through the piles...the thrill of the hunt...you just never know what you might find...

Now...the perimeter of the cavernous room is lined with pickers with their shopping carts...waiting for the next rolling bin to arrive...most of them with their code scanners which let them know if a certain book is worthy of resale...

I have a keen eye...I can discern an aging cover and yellowed pages among the heaps of harlequin romance paperbacks and biographies of forgotten celebrities...

The books I'm looking for no one else wants...outdated information or lack of ability to reference a textbook without the aid of Google has rendered these volumes useless to some...priceless to others...

My haul...costing me all of $2.18...old maps and dictionaries are the backbone of my collage compositions...the textbook a source of interesting diagrams and explanations (and no first electrical book for girls...what's with that!?) The blue book's deco cover design will be perfect for upcycling into a book journal...

yes...everybody's lookin' for something different...what have you found lately?

2.19.2014

eventually...

it is usually about this time each winter...that its hardest to remember that spring will eventually arrive...







































joining the group (albeit a day late...) at Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday...where the theme is "light"...

2.14.2014

2.12.2014

those "aha" moments

painting between the studs in the workshop studio...one of the openings filled with nail ends...

I spy a splattered paint board...the width of the board fills the space perfectly...

trim the length of the board down to size...nail on 8 paint can lids (been saving can lids from work for another art project idea...) the texture of the dried paint is astounding...





















Instant message board...
and over to the right, you can see where I'm painting the chalkboard...







































Paint can lids are steel...add a magnet...violá!







































I love those eureka moments...








































linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Junk Party...where you just might get an "aha" moment of your own...

2.11.2014

The power of white

White...it can cover everything...and for many parts of the country this year, it is snow white...
and it can be overwhelming...




A view from my backyard...I know several of you are thinking, "really...you think that's overwhelming? ha!"  Let me tell you...for the Pacific NW, it is...three inches of snow...I walked to work Sunday morning rather than deal with my steep driveway and the layer of ice underneath...given the fact that no plows had been seen and there are crazy drivers out there, it was by far the safer option...

















White...it can cover everything...it can be unifying...a color (or rather the lack of color) that makes disparate items seem one in the same...the reason behind painting all of the walls white in my soon-to-be-completed workshop studio...to unify and blend together the different surfaces...

























White...it can accent...when all other distractions are eliminated, the textures and contours are highlighted...giving a nuance that previously was drowned out by competing colors and tones...

















White...it can soothe...and simplify...and I hope will be the perfect palette to inspire workshop participants...

I'm planning to offer workshops by the beginning of April...the idea here is not necessarily to produce great art...
but to encourage creativity...a chance to connect with like-minded souls...to be able to show up, complete a project (with mostly recycled materials!) and to leave feeling satisfied and rejuvenated...without any thought of organizing the details or worrying about the clean-up...sound good?

I'd love to get feedback on scheduling...Fridays?  Saturdays? Sunday afternoons?  other ideas?  Just leave a comment with your suggestions and ideas...I'd love to hear what you have to say...

2.07.2014

A study in threes

start with a recycled glass jar, a rusty bed spring and a couple of tulip bulbs...

























add a handful of gravel, a little water and a dose of sunshine...

























cultivating hope for the future, 
measuring the passage of winter, 
anticipating the promise of spring...


linking up with Kim Klassen's Friday Finds...
and Funky Junk Interiors Weekend Junk Party...

2.04.2014

If I had a hammer...

I'd hammer in the morning...and the afternoon...all week long...
(apologies to Pete Seeger...may his soul rest in peace...)

I've been hammering...and sawing...and soon to be painting, plumbing and wiring...

What's going on you ask?  Let me back up...

For the past year, I've been hosting regular art parties...a chance to get together with like-minded individuals to create...and inspire, support, kvetch, eat and drink, laugh, and glue.  This has been so much fun, why not expand...and offer workshops to others...the gears started turning...ideas started churning...

On the hunt for workshop space to rent was an eye-opening experience...I didn't want a conference room at the local Holiday Inn...I wanted something a little funky, a little artsy, a lot of welcoming...such spaces come at a price...a higher price than I wanted to pay...

Standing in my kitchen one day, it hits me...the eureka moment...I have 300 sq ft of space sitting in my backyard...I have a small bungalow in my backyard...its a rental...with a daylight basement that opens to my garden...used for storing the lawnmower and garden tools and a few other odds and ends.  Though the basement is not completely finished, I thought it was possible to turn this space into the workshop destination I envisioned...

Here's a glimpse of the "before"...



















Half of the basement had been dug out and framed...there's already electrical in place...and a dry concrete floor...
and a great window with a view to the garden...

























So I started gathering ideas...searching online for both the look & feel of the spot I was envisioning as well as the components and materials.  I used Pinterest as a resource to collect all of my ideas...this was the first time that I used Pinterest as a "digital bulletin board" and it has been helpful to have everything in one place without keeping track of numerous online sites...here's my board...

Follow four corners design (Amy Duncan)'s board studio workshop ideas on Pinterest.


Since I have plenty of old wood leftover from projects, I thought that I would build a wall to enclose the space, using the stud framing as the foundation...my plan is to whitewash the completed wall to unify the space, painting the concrete blocks as well...a section of plywood will fill another space, providing a large scale blackboard...heavy cotton canvas drop cloths will be made into curtains to cordon off two storage areas (we still have to store that lawnmower!)

The past week I've worked on building the wooden wall...its been a project indeed!  
I can not thank Shelley of From the Alley to the Gallery enough for all her help and assistance...a true friend!





































Getting everything to line up...and be square...to say nothing of sawing a straight line...has taken more time, effort and energy than I had planned...but I'm on my way...with hammer in hand...

worth a look...

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