Sunday, November 22, 2009

Backwards Bunny & Other Softies

THEY'RE CUTE, they're funky, they look fun to make - here are some softies that inspire me. My favorites are the ones that are purposely 'messed-up'. The ones that are off-kilter and actually look handmade:


1) Sally the Snail by Soto Softies
2) Gustav by Nicol-b at Pink Cheeks Studios
3) A colorful bunch by Junker Jane
4) Otto the Strongman by Junker Jane

And now here's my very first 'attempt' to create one, except.... I sewed the ears on backwards. *Sigh* I flipped them around for the picture:



Everything WAS going fine until I flipped her inside out and found out the wrong way to pin things. Yay for mistakes that you only need to make once in order to learn a lesson. ;) Needless to say, this bunny had an extra short life-span.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rain Clouds & Buttons

LABOR DAY, SCHMAYBORDAY. Instead of relaxing on this day off, I took the opportunity to create 2 new paintings for the upcoming Gathering Room Gallery Night. I'm really excited about these guys and wanted to give you a sneak peek:


I think I've made the general conclusion that paintings are just plain better with buttons and stitching. Come see them in person at the show on October 17th. Save the date!


I even managed to get 20 handmade cards finished today. Aren't they cute? Okay, so I admit it: I am a *button freak*. Yes, I'm obsessed with buttons. Yes, I buy buttons every time I go into a craft store and yes, I fully confess I'm distracted by shiny things and put buttons on EVERYTHING. But seriously... can a girl help it?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

AND SO IT BEGINS AGAIN

IT'S THAT TIME of year again. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 17th for the annual Gathering Room Gallery Night (more details to follow). And that means....



paint, illustrations, fabric, buttons, glue and ribbon galore. :) I think my studio was beginning to forget who I was. Pretty sure I'll get reacquainted really quick in the next couple of days.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A FRIEND NAMED JENNIFER

EVERYDAY we face challenges in our lives that force us to either fear or have hope. The choice is ultimately in our hands. We can take the courageous path of fighting through or giving up.

I found out a few days ago that a friend named Jennifer has a very rare type of cancer. She is having a really rough time dealing with the news. Let's be honest. Who wouldn't, right?


I wanted to not just pray for Jennifer but SHOW her that she has reason to hope. I wanted to
give her the gift of hope and so... this is what I made:


Inside this container are all kinds of encouraging thoughts and quotes. Each inspirational saying is folded up and she can pick one out for each time that she needs a spiritual lift.


Even if it is little, it may be the one thing Jennifer needs for that moment of her day. Because
after all, "Hope never abandons you; you can only abandon it." -George Weinburg

Have you given someone hope today?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

RECOVER THAT OLD LAMPSHADE

SUPPLIES:
Lampshade
Fabric
X-acto Knife
Spray Adhesive
Hot Glue Gun (optional)
Iron
Clips to hold fabric in place while it dries

STEP 1: Purchase fabric that you'd like to use to re-cover the old lampshade.


STEP 2: Carefully remove the fabric from the old lampshade with an x-ato knife. I used the tip of the knife to get the fabric loose from the shade and then gently tore the fabric away from the shade.


STEP 3: Lay the shade on your new fabric and use it as a guide for how much fabric to cut. I cut enough fabric so that it would have an extra .5'' on the top and bottom of the shade.


STEP 4, 5 & 6: After you trim your fabric, I ironed mine to make sure that there were no wrinkles. Spray the backside of the fabric with a spray adhesive and then slowly and gently wrap the fabric around the shade. Smooth out any bumps in the fabric as you go and when you're happy, use some small clamps (or in my case, small clothes pins) to hold your fabric in place as it sets.

OPTIONAL STEP: I found some matching ribbon to hot glue around the top and bottom of the shade to give it a finished, trimmed look.


STEP 7: Light your world - step back and admire your masterpiece.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

MAKE YOUR OWN CHALKBOARD and OTHER RANDOMS


WHAT DO YOU do with an old, framed, hideous painting that you find at a thrift shop? Why... you make it into a chalkboard for your studio of course. I got so into this little money-saving project that I forgot to take pictures along the way to show you the steps I took. But it's really pretty fool proof.

HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED:

1 frame
hammer & screw driver (if you need to take an old painting out of the frame)

sandpaper
1- 11oz can white primer spray paint
1- 11oz can chalkboard spray paint
craft paint - whatever color you want
paintbrushes
1/4'' hardboard (the inside size of your frame will determine how big to cut this)
Gorilla Glue or some other type of *seriously* sticky adhesive
4 clamps


AND HERE'S WHAT YOU DO:

1) First thing's first. Whether you find an old, framed painting or just a frame itself, you'll have to get it ready to be sanded down. Knock out the picture that's set in the frame with a hammer or use a screwdriver to loosen the staples around the back of the frame and push the art out.

2) Use some sandpaper and rough up the edges of the frame so you can get a primer to stick.


3) Lay out some newspaper in a well-ventilated area. (I chose the backyard.) Use the white primer spray paint and make sure you get all the edges of the frame if you have beveled or decorative edges.

4) Let the primer paint dry for the time recommended on the spray paint can. Then you're ready to paint your frame what ever color your heart desires. I used some green craft paint in two different shades to accentuate the beveled edges. When that dries, follow up with a clear acrylic coating. I used Krylon UV-Resistant in a spray can. The matte finish.


5) Measure the inside of the frame and go to a local hardware store for 1/4'' hardboard. If you take your measurements to a Home Depot...they'll cut it for you for free!

6) After you get the hardboard, repeat steps 2-3 to prepare the surface for the chalkboard spray paint.


7) This is the fun part. After the primer dries on the hardboard, use the chalkboard spray paint and spray a bunch of even, light coats to slowly build up the paint on the board.

8) When the chalkboard paint dries, flip your painted frame so it is wrong side up and trace the inner edge with Gorilla Glue (or some other strong adhesive). Place your chalkboard into the glued edges, clamp all four corners, and let it dry overnight.

You're ready to hang up your DIY chalkboard masterpiece! Get yourself some chalk and an eraser and draw away.

***************************************

On a side note, I also got to visit my best friend this weekend in her new apartment. Sarah and I have been friends since Kindergarten. We go waaaaaaay back.


I want to see your creative spaces! Send me links to see photos of your studios!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

IKEA FINDS AND NEW TUNES

SO HERE'S who I've been listening to in my studio on hot summer evenings while I hang up my goodies from IKEA.


Emily Wells - The Symphonies: Dreams Memories & Parties

Meiko - Meiko

JayMay - Autumn Fallin'

Joni Mitchell - Blue



Oh! And like my new chalkboard I made?



I know you wanna make one too. I'll tell you how I did it in my next post.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

JANOME *LOVE*

SO......UH......where have you been? Oh, just enjoying the summer, taking late night walks with the fireflies in my cozy neighborhood, tending to my little flower garden, revamping my studio and....oh yeah *GRIN* this:


My new Janome DC2010. I just came back from Milwaukee Sewing Machine Company with this tiny treasure. I plan to make lots of aprons, pillows, purses, curtains and turn some of my creature drawings three-dimensional.

And the Singer machine I had gotten before, from that store going out of business - well, it turned out to be worth only the $25. I got to do a few things on it to see that I liked sewing, but ultimately, it had electrical issues that cost too much for me to fix.

Off to Ikea for the day. :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spring Season


SO FAR this spring season has brought alot of sunshine, rain showers, and lazy weekends. I spent Memorial Day weekend at my Grandma's cabin in Friendship, WI. Whispering pines, campfires, smores and fishing took up most of our time. But I did make sure to dabble in the good ol' Crayola watercolor sets I found. A bit of crayon and a splash of salt for texture.... Taaa-Daaa:


It was nice to try creating art without the computer. :)

Today I went to my local farmers market and loaded up on plants & herbs for my balcony. Here's just a few. I think I'm most excited about the strawberries!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Studio Break

I STARTED to get in a great groove with posting on Sundays. I've created a lot of new pieces. But I also wanted to let you know that if I don't post for a while, it's because I'm taking some time for myself. It's that time of year where lovely weather is starting up again. Being able to escape from hibernating in my studio feels very freeing. For the next couple weeks, I'll be taking in some outdoor inspiration from the greatest creator of all, God. :)

Oh, and here is a plate wall I'm starting in my kitchen. I love thrift shopping. You never know what treasures you'll find:


Monday, April 6, 2009

WHERE IS SPRING?!

IT'S APRIL 6th, crazy windy, cloudy and 30 degrees with a chance of snow. I took these photos a few weeks ago when the sun was actually out:



Eye candy - food for the creative soul.

Nummy.

Thanks for the inspiring thoughts and links last week! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

DON'T OVERTHINK IT

IF YOU COULD see it now, (which I'm glad you can't) my studio has just enough room on the floor for me to tiptoe through without stepping on anything.

Here's a section of a piece I'm in the middle of:


But honestly, I'd be forcing myself to be work on anything else today. When you don't feel creative you can't make yourself make 'stuff'.

So I'm going to make some more tea, clean a path through my studio and find something else to do today.

What's everyone else working on? Show me your work! Send some inspiring links this way!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Prisoner of Hope

YOU KNOW that feeling you get when you're *so* frustrated or discouraged with something you just want to give up? Recently I've learned that I need to keep positive thoughts in my head no matter what my situation may hold. Even if I don't feel positive, I can speak positive things and my emotions will start to catch up with my thoughts. I started in on a new piece to remind me of that mindset called, Prisoner of Hope. It reminds me that I cannot be defeated and I will not quit.

AND I started back in on some card-making. Spring colors. I kind of find it therapeutic. No computer work, no rules,... just buttons, ribbon, paper and stitches.


Anyone here have art shops online? I think I will open up a temporary shop until I can get my site finished. What do you like using, Etsy or BigCartel?

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