Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Surf's Up

While I gather photos to share with you my latest thin thread let me share some fun sites and projects I've found during a quick surf of the net...

Plastic Milk and Bacon Roses?

This interesting web site shows you how to turn milk into a substance similar to plastic called CASEIN ( gives you the recipe - gives you step by step pictures).  This is on my list of things to try (after I paint all my sculpture).  Way cool.  I just started using Casein paint on my sculptures.  It has a beautiful quality.  Further down on the Casein page are instructions for making BACON ROSES.  I know, I know - why would anyone want to make bacon roses.   Trust me on this.  You'll be tempted.  When you've been married for over 30 years - you search for something new.  My husband would howl if he woke up to a breakfast of eggs, english muffic and a vase of BACON ROSES.  I love making him laugh.

Hand Carved Stamp Tutorial

Blue WingsI'm ready to try my hand at stamp carving.  Admittedly, I am a challenged stamper.  I just picked up my Speedball Stamp Press from Bonnie's Best Art Tools and I can't wait to use it.  I have some other ideas for the Stamp Press that I'll share in another post - but in the meantime I think it was serendipitous that the Stamp Press and I met when we did.    Peruse the rest of Genine's blog.  Not only does her blog show her exciting, colorful artwork, you'll love the paintings and drawings of a large variety of birds.

Trophies Repurposed

For cripes sake!  How smart is this?  I don't cook - so making a cake plate doesn't interest me a lot
(some - but not a lot).  I do however have to hang stuff up.  Did I tell you about the box of trophies I got for a $1.00 that had a hunter and baying hound on top?  Too cool.  Had no idea what I was going to do with them but had to have them (I've used parts since).  Last weekend I was looking for parts to make a rack for hanging plastic templates (for easy reach from my work bench).  Nothing was "interesting" enough.  I relocated an antique oak dresser leg I had put aside from a dresser that was "decommissioned" so I knew that was the platform.  But I was still waiting for the hangers to grab my attention.  Guess what?  I'm going to use my baying hounds!  What a hoot!

Brian Dettmer - Book Artist

I've seen Brian's book art in person - truly AMAZING.  This web site provides the best pictures of his work I've seen to date.  Enjoy!  (There are few art/craft areas I won't try...this is one of them)

Just One More...

When A Doll ISN'T Just a Doll

There are dolls that are just dolls.  Dolls that are cute and may bring forth an "Ahhhh" - but they're play things.  Then there are ART DOLLS.  Miniture sculptures made out of any variety of medium that make you want to stay awhile and feel.  Just take a quick look...

If you've made it this far you may be wondering why I haven't included a web site referencing beading.  Because I'm stuck on Kumihimo beaded braiding!!  This is my newest project...

Friday, February 17, 2012

2012 Declaration

My "Inner-Me" said to me while driving the other day (she always interrupts when I'm driving)...

"You're not an Impulse Buyer (my favorite excuse for having so much STUFF) -

Whew!  I was getting concerned.  "Impulse Buyer" has somewhat of a negative implication where as "opportunity shopper" puts a positive spin on the hoarding of ephemera. 

You too could be an "Opportunity Shopper"...

Top half (4x8) of a wall in my Studio
That it.  That's my 2012 Declaration.  I'm an OPPORTUNITY SHOPPER.  Not earth shattering by any stretch of the imagination.  But it's easy to remember.  I'll be 60 this year so it's important to keep things easy ;)

If you haven't already - take a look at the Daily Art Muse curated collection of contemporary fine craft on the web).  It's awesome!  All art mediums have an opportunity to connect to one another.  A clay piece might inspire a piece of jewelry.  Or jewelry might inspire a scrapbook page, etc.   PS:  The moving advertisements are annoying but, in most cases, worth trying to ignore)

Metals - I'm just playin

These are projects I made for the Bonnie Art Tools at the recent Stamp Festival (the black display cards are made from pre-cut chip board (same boards used for the Flower Press).  Black paper was glued to one side and then edged with various paper tape, holes were drilled, grommets set and ribbon inserted to use as a hanger):

Frame pendant and earrings:  This one is EASY
1 - 1 5/8" metal frame 
Metal jump rings
Dangles (key, glass heart)
Pendant:  Lightly sand the frame, paint with black acrylic ink and wipe off, leaving only a hint of black in the crevices. Cut frame in half diagonally - Take one half and file/sand the cut ends, drill holes in the ends for the hemp and at the point (see picture) to insert a jump ring and key (or other dangle) of your choice.  Attach hemp by tying knots.  Attach the key and heart with a metal jump ring.
Earrings:  Cut the remaining half of the frame in half again.  File/sand the ends, drill holes at the top for ear wires and at the bottom to attach drops for more decoration

Joy Necklace:
1 repurposed chain
Various charms on spring rings (repurposed from a bracelet in my "things to go with other things" drawer)
Metal stencil set by Tim Holtz - used the J, O, Y  (whew - I had to hold myself back on this one - the possibilities were endless)
Fishing lure spinners and jump rings to connect letters to chain

Paper Clip Necklace (previous post) and Queen of Hearts (previous post)

PS: The metals for all the jewelry (with the exception of JOY) were remnants of the Metals Medley kit I got from Bonnie Art Tools (some posted about previously).

Monday, February 13, 2012

1 GOOD Excuse, 5+ Reasons and a Flower Press

It's been over a month since my last post! 

First and foremost...Is this the cutest picture you've ever seen?

Gabi opened her dress-up trunk Christmas morning (when this picture was taken).  Stripped down to only the tutu, fairy necklace, magic wand and crown, and holding her new Dora Doll - she twirled on one foot until we were dizzy.  This is her watching her music box ballerina dance.

A couple of weeks after Christmas my son sent us a picture...  Gabi, in her PJ's, had been sent up to bed to sleep.  15 minutes later my Son went to check on her.  The picture was Gabi standing in the middle of her room with only her Tutu on and a stethoscope up to her ears - checking out her new stuffed dog's heartbeat.

The time to pull all the pieces of her dress-up trunk together (see previous posts) was worth twice that.  What a hoot!

OK fine - I'll get to the "excuse".  I spent the week after Christmas in Melbourne, Fl. with my sister Jean helping her de-clutter her garage (we had a TON of fun) and visiting my Dad who was in the hospital (moving soon to rehab).  I drove home to Atlanta and was home almost a week when I got the call that my Dad was transferred from rehab back to the hospital.  I flew back to Melbourne, Fl - he passed away a week later, he was 84.  My sisters and I spent the week following his death planning his memorial and helping our Stepmother get my Dad's affairs and her affairs in order (he was a disabled Vet).

The 5+ good reasons?  In between the above...sculpting class started, I discovered "beaded beads" (and taught them to my nieces and nephews while I was in Melbourne), put all the fallout of my Christmas projects away (I was up to my elbows in tulle) AND I made projects for Bonnie Art Tools' display at the recent Stamp Festival in Gwinnett.  What a blast!  I don't want to inundate you with a mile long post so I'm only including the Flower Press project here.

4 pieces of precut chipboard (they're generally used to make a book)
4 pieces of 7 Gypsies 12x12 paper
Butterfly motif paper tape
4 Long eyelets
1 Identity Plate
2 Regular eyelets
2 Screws with wing nuts

1.  Using the Japanese Screw Punch, I drilled two holes for the screws in one of the pieces of chipboard and used it as a template for drilling the remaining three pieces.
2.  After aligning the holes in two pieces of chipboard they were glued together using PVA glue.
3.  The sheets of decorative paper were glued down on to the chipboard also using PVA glue - one side at a time.  The paper was cut around the chipboard with an xacto knife before continuing on to the opposite side.  
4.  The long eyelets were inserted in the holes but weren't long enough to wrap around the inside of the doubled chipboard so they were glued in.
5.  I wrapped paper tape around the edges of the decorated boards, clipping both sides of the tape and pressing it down as I went along.
6.  The identity plate was positioned where I wanted it - two holes were drilled to insert eyelets to hold the plate in place.
7.  To finish the flower press I cut and alternated 2 sheets of water color paper between sheets of cardboard for pressing the flower and put them inside the covers.

Ta Da!  Glad to be back!