As many of you know, I love to up-cycle, recycle and alter things. I have altered bottles, jars, boxes, books and all the usual things. I just finished altering something I never gave much thought to before.
You see, a lovely client of mine from New York asked me to make four May Baskets for her and some of her friends. I looked on Pinterest (any excuse Helen!) to get some ideas since I had never made a May Basket before. A lot of them were made from cones and some were more like paper boxes. I told my client, after she had mentioned cones, that I would prefer to make something a little sturdier that would last a long time. She said she trusted whatever I wanted to do, so off to Dollar Tree I went. After considering every container the store had, and some things that weren’t even containers but could be modified, I came across these….
I know what you are thinking, “Yeah, those four elegant ladies from New York are going to love those!” (insert eyeball roll here) But not to worry. There will be no circus themed May Baskets this year. After more than a week of decoupaging, inking, lacing (as in adding lace), flowering, making charms and, of course, glittering, this is the end result…..
Is that a transformation or what? I must say, I really love the way they turned out and I can’t wait to see what my clients think. And being that I used a plastic they can actually fill them candies, baked goodies or flowers if they want. Here are some close-ups so you can see the details.
So the next time you want to challenge yourself to try something new, look out for unusual items to alter. I guarantee you will get unusually good results!
I think everyone should make some form of art every day. There are many forms including drawing, collage, painting, coloring, stamping and even doodling. Making a little piece of art is very satisfactory as it provides a visual finished product. But who has time to finish a 9 x 12 canvas everyday? Not me, that’s for sure. So I needed to come up with a way to make daily art that doesn’t take a big time commitment. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do?
Pinterest to the rescue (again). Check out what I found on this website.
It’s an altered rolodex! What a brilliant idea. I wanted to get one for myself and start making my own miniature masterpieces (or just doodles). On my first thrift shop outing after seeing this great idea, I was lucky enough to find this.
A couple of cards done and it looks like this.
As you can see I have a loooong way to go to even begin filling this baby up. And I also have the backs of the cards to do. I’m thinking this one rolodex will keep me busy for the rest of my life. I have no idea how many cards are in it, all I know is there are a lot. Here are some close-ups of the cards I have actually done.
So maybe the next time you are at that yard-sale, thrift shop or flea market and you see an old rolodex, you will look at it as a new form of art instead of an out dated office supply. Now if you will excuse me, I have to start working on 1538 more pieces of miniature art!
Well I did it. In two weeks I converted the train wreck of a room into a functioning, cute studio/office!!! Check out my post from February 9th to see the hideous before pictures.
Now before I inundate you with a lot of after pictures I have a couple things to say.
First of all, I spent hours on Pinterest (I know, I know) looking at pictures of other peoples studios. I even created my own studio board and pinned some of these pictures. You know the ones I mean. The studios overflowing with lace and flowers and ribbons and all kinds of girly goodness. The kind that make you drool. The problem is, for a mixed media artist they are impractical. Why? Well, all I have to say is paint and glue do not go well with lace, unless it’s intentional. Most of the time I am working my fingers are covered with glue, paint, glitter or all three. Things spill, things fly, things get dripped and dropped. It’s messy is what I’m getting at (at least if you’re doing it right)!
Next are the studios with thousands of matching plastic bins lined up like soldiers, corralling art supplies neatly. This is wrong to me in so many ways I don’t even know where to start. First of all, plastic bins. Really? If you are any type of artist you can do better than that. Second of all, uniformity that stiff would definitely stifle any ounce of creativity I may have. And again, I’m not going to open 1000 plastic boxes with gluey, painty, glittery hands looking for 1 white button!!!!
So all that being said (with nary a picture to be seen) I will tell you that my studio makeover will probably not make you swoon, nor will it calm your OCD tendencies. It is however, nice to look at (at least I think so), organized in a thoughtful and useful way, and inspires my creativity. So here we go…
First I will give you a 360 degree look at the studio.
This is a really bad photo. But I just had to tell you that with everything else I have had to do in the last two weeks, I decided this past Thursday to make valances. It could have been easy, however, I decided to make alternating fabric valances that required 28 panels to be cut out and then sewn together. You can see them a little better in the first picture. As a side note, if you are planning a studio/office redo…buy valances!
No real transformation here, except Valentines Day is history and shop sign that I use at shows is stored on the wall. It reminds me that when I am having fun creating, I am also at work!
Now we’ll take a closer look…
All kinds of goodies ready to be “altered”!
A huge jar of scrabble tiles next to one of my favorite pictures of Adam. He was quite young and is petting a chicken at the Bowling Green Harvest Festival.
I spent 8 years of my adult life doing Isshin-ryu karate. When I look at this display it brings back many happy memories. It also reminds me, that if I could survive my black belt test (4 hours of physical and mental torture) I can survive anything, even redoing my studio!
This 1930’s mohair monkey has a cute painted face. He is my boss. He is also holding a picture of my dear departed Wally. The music on the mirror is the hymn “It is well with my soul”. And it is.
A reminder of why I do it.
Scissors, toothpicks, spray bottle, gel pens and a jar of pink polka dotted ribbon. Who could ask for anything more????
And last but not least. I bought this little guy for resale, but gee, he’s a little pink donkey. Need I say more?
So that’s it. Well, not really. You will see another post in a couple of weeks with a few details I forgot or didn’t get to. Hint, an inspiration board would be nice Helen, you know?
In the past two weeks I have learned a lot about redoing a studio. First, it’s TONS of work. Second, you MUST get rid of stuff you are really never going to use. Third, it has to work for you and your type of art. It must be inspiring to you, as you are the one working there. And lastly, it is worth every ounce of energy you use! I cannot tell you how excited I am to get down and dirty with some art this evening!
I hope I have inspired you to look around your work space and do some tweeking so you can let your creativity soar!!!!