Posts Tagged ‘art’
Surprise visit from my sis-in-law, birthday project, works-in-progress… no wonder I missed posting on Monday! Well, not totally. I did post my mugshot on Instagram. But here’s an “outtake”.
Here I have a mug of Café Maté from our favorite tea shop … a delicious alternative to coffee, lovely with milk. Almost enough to wake me up from the Daylight Savings stupor. What it as bad for everyone else? Awful.
Speaking of TeaLula, we did the Harlem Shake! Crazy tea shop friends.
So, what’s been churning in the craft room these days?
Here’s the finished nursery art project for my niece. I went with a monkey theme after the burp cloths I made for her, and she just loves her monkey “binky”. My daughter made the quilled bananas, and I found the little bugs on sale at Michael’s. I added some bling (what girl doesn’t like bling?) and buttons to add some interest. Want a closer look? I posted a picture at the Facebook page.
A Chicago Bulls fan, quilt in progress, read on!
Who knew that it’s been over a month since the last post? No one but my family and a few close friends read this blog anyway… so, it’s okay, right? No, no. I know friends out there are reading. I’m sorry I’ve been away. I always seem to let too much time pass between posts in the summer months. With the kids and husband home, every day is an adventure – except when outside feels like a sauna and we hunker down in our basement and play video games and ping pong. (Not very into the pool scene. I don’t buy pool passes. No chance to break even.)
Since I last posted…
I hope everyone’s doing okay out there… Oh my goodness, so fun and busy around here! Baby shower party for my sister-in-law, trying to ride my bike every day, school and church events. I’ve completely neglected housekeeping, so once again, I have lots of catching up to do on so many levels. Teacher’s Appreciation Week is also coming up! Before you know it – Summer Vacation! EEK!
The other day I ran out of mailing envelopes, so what did I do? Made some of course. Yes, you can buy plain white ones, security envelopes, manila business envelopes – all sorts for so little cash. But, like the crazy girl I am, I had this paper bag in the stash and thought, what a pity to just recycle it. Let’s upcycle it!
Cut your bag open down one side and across the bottom.
Find an envelope shape you like… from your day’s mail, from your recycling bin, from your stationery set. Whatever you have, it’ll work. Also, this way, you’ll know that the shape and size conforms to US Mail regulation. Just carefully open up your envelope which will serve as your template. I like to use a pencil to roll down the seams, opening up the envelope with little tearing. Then if you’re not to particular about the design, just start tracing onto your paper bag.
For this one side, I really wanted the logo to be in the middle of the envelope. After you’re done tracing and cutting, start folding per your envelope template.
Here’s what they look like… use a glue stick to adhere all the sides in place and to later seal your envelope!
Who wouldn’t like getting mail in these envelopes?
Seems fitting to post this on the last day of the month and during a Leap Year, too. My bonus day…
Day 30: Make a Creative Tool Kit! Compile your favorite words and phases of inspiration, swatches or fabric and color, drawings and doodles, and images into a little book you can pull out anytime you need to be inspired!
So there’s my virtual “creative tool kit” at Pinterest. Now, if you’ve been on for a while, have you noticed a lot more activity these days? Lots of people jumping on the Pinterest wagon, right? Would it overtake Twitter as a social network – I don’t know.
If you’re new to the Pinterest scene, I view it as a virtual bulletin board, or visual bookmark tool. Way easier for me than bookmarking within my web browser. It captures a picture from the website you’re bookmarking. (But shh…. let’s not get into the Pinterest copyrights and legal issues right now.)
As for a tangible creative tool kit, my essentials are: good pens, pencils, glue stick, scrap paper, colored pencils, camera. Place a few things in your purse if you have some room, or maybe dedicate a tote bag. I switch a lot between a canvas tote and scrapbook paper-sized tote. If you run into me while I’m waiting for my kids in the school pick up line, you’ll probably see some of these items in the passenger seat.
You can never have enough journals. In the journal that’s shown in the upper left corner (happens to be my SMASH book), I actually have some swatches or fabric and color. In another journal, I have drawings and doodles, and layout ideas for greeting cards, drawings, and home improvement and sewing projects. And, my gardening journal! I have one of those too, great spot for pasting pictures from magazines, and dreaming of a spectacular yard and garden space. Sadly, it’s been neglected this winter.
In the corner of the picture of my little pile of artsy-ness, you’ll see a stack of small cards. Here’s a close-up.
I would write out some favorite words if I came across something I liked. It’s still kept together by a small length of embroidery yarn, and it would hang in my high school locker. (Have you figured out that I’m a packrat?). It’s fun looking back at the quotes I was drawn to in my teenage and young adult life. And, gah, my handwriting was so nice then. With all this typing, my penmanship isn’t quite what it used to be – at least to me, it isn’t.
Funny, some things never change – I still love collecting quotes, words of hope, of inspiration and self-discovery. And, I think this whole challenge has helped me discover some passions that have been lying dormant.
Thanks for following me through this (very drawn out) 30 Days of Creativity exercise. I’d love to hear your stories, too. Feel free to leave a link in the comments, or just write if you’ve done any of the challenges – one of them or all of them!
Text as art – I love the simplicity. About six months ago, I noticed it was popping up all over the place. Maybe you’ve seen this type of art in home décor stores, or posted on Pinterest. You can find even find pillows. (What kills me is that I used to do all sorts of text/graphic art in college, mid-90s – like using it for wrapping paper and stationary. I must have been ahead of my time. Hehe.)
I like subway art for its historic and vintage feel. What I’d give for some vintage signs… but, I thought, heck, how hard could this be to make my own sign?! I was so looking forward to making this for my husband. and cannot tell you how excited I was when it was finished.
Here’s how I made our own subway art using cities that my husband and I have called home.
Before you start, please note:
- I stenciled and spray painted. This isn’t the decoupage-type poster.
- This project also took more time than I thought.
- This project was AWESOME and I’d do it again. Okay? Still with me? Thanks.
What you need: measuring tape, plywood, pencil, sand paper (optional), spray paint: white primer, white (semi-gloss) and black (semi-gloss), computer, printer, Contact paper or Xyron Creatopia with repositionable adhesive (optional), scissors and/or X-acto knife.
You will need to go to a copy/print center like FedEx Kinko’s, or an office supply store to enlarge your printout.
I was fortunate to have plywood lying around. It had been sitting outside for so long that it’s weathered. I like that organic, rustic look – so, I did not sand the boards, not one bit.
1) Measure your plywood. I used a 16” wide x 40” high board. It’s a reasonable size, I think.
2) Spray it with white primer using the manufacturer’s directions. Let dry. When dry, spray with white paint. I did not coat the board until it was completely opaque, just enough to coat. I still like the weathered look. Let it dry overnight, or if you’re in a hurry, follow the manufacturer’s directions. It should be dry to touch in an hour.
Time to prep your text
1) Using your desktop publishing program, you’ll make your text box the same proportions as your board. You’ll want your text box to print out on an 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper. This entails a little math – think lowest common denominator. Since my board is 16” x 40”, I made a text box 4” x 10”. This will allow you to print a good copy from home. (2” x 5” is too small.)
2) In your text box, play with the font (I like Helvetica) and placement of your text. I centered each city. Maybe you want yours centered, justified… wide fonts, tall fonts, etc. My one recommendation is to make most of your text as wide as the text box.
3) When you are pleased with your layout, print a copy. (See my original printout below.)
4) Since your copy is proportional to your board, it will be easy to enlarge to size. SO, with that, take your printout to the copy center, and ask to have it blown up 400%. If you’re tech-savvy, you can try this on your own. I spent $4.00, and about 45 minutes doing it myself.
5) Go home and cut apart your text, and play around with the placement. Mark in pencil the approximate locations of each city by marking the top and bottom of each line.
Making your stencils
1) I’m fortunate to have a machine to apply adhesive onto anything. So, after cutting apart my text, I ran the pieces through my Xyron Creatopia with repositionable adhesive. Now my letters are like big post-it notes. If you do not own a Xyron, you can use Contact paper in the next step.
2) The tedious part: cut out each letter. I thought I’d only need an X-acto. Scissors will work just fine, and if you have non-stick scissors, even better.
- If you’re using Contact paper, I’d just layer and cut through your copy and the Contact paper at the same time. You could trace every letter onto the Contact paper first if you’re more comfortable with that.
- Use your X-acto knife and cut out any opening in the letters (i.e. O, A, B, D, P, etc.)
- Save the “negatives” of your text. They will help when you’re laying out your words.
Placement on the boards
1) Remove the protective backing from the letters (one at a time) so you have stickers. Using your “negatives”, place the stickers in their respective spots.
2) Once you’ve completed a word, carefully remove the “negative”.
3) You’re done with one word! Now do it for all your words… take a break and have some coffee. Stretch your back.
4) When you’re finished placing all your words, prop it up and take a look. Do you like the placement? Is it straight? Straight enough? Need to make spacing adjustments? Do it before you rub all the letters down.
5) Take a blunt end of a dowel rod, or your pencil eraser, or your fingernail if you desire, and rub the letters down as much as you can. This will ensure that the black paint won’t seep under the stencils. And even if it does, it will be minimal.
1) When you’re happy with the text… get your board and black spray paint. Go outside, spray one coat evenly, let dry according to paint manufacturer’s directions. When dry, spray another coat. Let dry overnight, if you can. I had minimal time, so it was about 4 hours.
2) The fun part: using your X-acto, peel off the letter stickers carefully. (At this point, I was so excited about how it was turning out!)
3) You might want to touch up certain areas with paint, or you may want to sand some spots but essentially, YOU’RE DONE! Nice work!