Monday, May 28, 2012

Craft Tutorial Alert!

Well, its the end of the school year.  Time to thank the two ladies that influenced my children in a great direction!  I didn't want to donate to the gift card.  Why?  Because I'm not a joiner?  Because I want to stand out rather than share the spotlight?  Because I want a personalized gift that they can keep and always remember?  Because I want to impress upon them that I can't participate as a classroom volunteer because (loud children scare me) I've been so busy working and being creative?  Because I want to do both gifts for very little money but not look cheap?  Bingo.

I saw an ornament made from a puzzle piece in a magazine and it stuck with me.  'I should do something like that' I always think.  Then the idea came to me and unfortunately would not leave me- like ringworm.  I would make a mobile.

I found the very largest puzzle I could find at my local store.  Turns out the fewer the pieces- the larger they tend to be.  This 4.00 puzzle had twenty four pieces.  That's enough to do 8 of these hanging mobiles. 
I spray painted away the cutesy commercialism of this decade to a creamy white and then touched the corners with a taupe spray paint.  Cost?  0.00  because I have oodles of spray paint waiting to be used up.

Then I took an altered photo of Brooke and placed it on a background of script.  I have a low level photo shop type program that did this task quite well.  Then I played around with other images- the bird you see in the middle piece is drawn by Brooke and I use it a lot.  I keep a lot of the girl's drawings because they have such a mix of innocence, whimsy and fun.  (Like what I am trying to recreate as a personal style but in my bitter and dried up adulthood can not quite seem to do.)   Some texts were more pleasing than others.  I mixed up the fonts a bit and while I just went along with my final result- I was not entirely happy.  Better next time, I tell myself.

The quote is "Touch the life of a child and change the world." I do not know who the author is or I would include that.  After I glued the images on the puzzle pieces with decoupage glue I let them dry for several hours and then sanded the edges with an emery board.  I glittered the back and edges.  For this one I used green and gold glitter mixed with some flowery glitter I've been wanting to use up.  This is a third grade teacher and I feel like this approach reflects Brooke's personality.

The inspiration puzzle piece ornament had a wire hanger and was wrapped in a fine wire with a few beads randomly placed here and there.  Loved it!  Had to do it!  I used those plastic letter beads to spell out thank you.  On Brooke's I tried to spray paint them a little.  The paint did not stick well and the black from the letters ran into the spray paint.  Eventually I decided I liked the grubby look of it and called it 'vintage' at least, vintage enough for this project!

I wasn't in love with the embellishments.  Next time I would stick to perhaps just one or two.  Next time.  I left it alone because I am trying to escape my perfectionist tendencies.  Perfectionism to one extent can drive you to create better work.  Take it too far and you never get anything done.

This one is for Kayla's fourth grade teacher.  Kayla is a wonder child when it comes to art.  The detail and story telling in each of her drawings blows me away. 

I went a different route with the color scheme- again reflecting the personality of the child.  Kayla's drawings are so cool when I alter the line weight in my program to something more like an ink stamp.  Its really all they need besides some cleaning up.

This girl with the big head is walking a teeny tiny cat.  On each mobile I left an open space for the child to sign- Love, Brooke.  I used the glue to draw a heart and when I added glue to the back all that was left unglittered was the heart shaped area that they wrote in.  Cute, if I do say so myself. 
Anyhow- I'm going to make more for my Etsy shop that I keep threatening to open.  You know, the one that Chinamommy is going to help me with.  If she ever stops running....I keep asking her...'Just what the hell is chasing you?  Take a car!'
Have a great week!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Departure.

This is a bit of a departure from my usual work. 

The project came about because I had a departure from work.

Last week was my official first week of being laid off from my job of seven years.  Now, this is where I have to break into song- in particular- "Don't cry for me, Argentina~~~"

This is a good thing, this lay off.  At least in terms of making a break and taking a different direction.  I will have to tighten the purse strings a bit- thank goodness I have tons of art supplies in my cupboards already!!!  The coffee shop called to see if I was ok.   Hobby Lobby and Michaels were concerned that I needed only a basket rather than my usual cart.   

A relative asked if I had found any leads yet to which I answered with a resounding "NO."  Crimeny, its been like two minutes!

Oh, the artwork.....Well, that's what I have been busy (obsessed) with!  I have some things in a consignment shop, including the painting I just shared with you.  These new babies are hopefully going to sell quickly.  They are images I created using  real vintage ephemera that I had or found locally and altered in my print shop program.  Then I glued them to some sample cabinet doors that I've been holding onto.  I antiqued them.  Or- at least attempted to antique them.  God forbid I actually research a technique before jumping right into all kinds of mistakes!

This is me- looking through the help wanted ads and finding nothing.  

Oh, OK already!  It came with a frame from an antique shop.  I am keeping that frame because I just started collecting vintage frames that look like they were made from bamboo canes.  So I cleaned it up a bit and added a layer of gesso.  She's going in the consignment shop where I know someone is going to fall in love with this cheeky damsel.  If not- then I will have to adopt her as a member of the family- my Mother's second cousin's aunt by marriage.  Don't you wonder what her backstory is?  Or her name?  Was she a Jeanette or a Wanda?  Hmmm.

Well, that's it for now.  Let me know what you think of the wall art and if you think it will sell!  Have a great week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Could I solicit you?

I don't want to have to.  Its slightly embarrassing.  But then I can handle a little embarrassment if it gets me what I want.  (See how honest I am?)  So, if you at all feel like it- could you, would you, please- if you haven't already...
follow me on Networked Blogs?  I need two more followers and then people can actually find me on Facebook with out having to do a search for me!  Whew.  I really should be better at self promoting so I don't have to beg. 
Begging seems easier today:) 
Thank you so very much!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hi Folks!
Finally I got a project finished and am so excited to share it with you!

What is this?  Not a painting exactly- more of a mixed media piece.
Those are real dried grasses that I glued on to that canvas.  Tons of glue!

Its the same picture, three times over.  I was trying to capture the dimension of the piece but its so tall that I can't get real close and get the whole thing in the frame.  Maybe you can enlarge it?

 It took a ton of paint to get that background but finally, finally I was satisfied, today at noon, that it was finished and I could put down my brush and get in the shower!  Whew!  And by the way, if you ask me "how" I painted I have decided to answer "intuitively" which really means I just kept painting and painting until something came of it!  Yep, intuitively.