Tagged: creativity

Making Something From Nothing

I was going to tell you that the reason I chose this post is that I am concerned about the environment. And I am. However, the real reason I chose to do this post today is because March is a really loooong month. You see I have more month than money. Way more month than money. This months money ran out sometime during the first week of March. Sad but true. I do not let situations like that stop me from making cool stuff though. So today I will show you how to make something from nothing. Please feel free to substitute any materials I have used for the “nothings” you have on hand. I just grabbed stuff I already had.

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First I took some plain cardboard without writing on either side and cut it into tag shapes. Although now that I think about it, it would be cool to have some shipping instructions or pictures showing on the cardboard. Note to self, try that next time.

nothing1I took some corrugated cardboard off this huge roll to use as an accent in the center of the tags. This roll, by the way, was left over from all the home improvement projects we had done last fall. This was used to protect our hardwood floors. You should have seen the HUGE pristine roll they brought in at the beginning. It was awesome! Since I’m guessing that most of you don’t have a huge roll of corrugated cardboard just laying around, use regular corrugated cardboard and peel the paper off one side to show the ridges.

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Here you can see the tag with the corrugated cardboard embellishment. I stamped some silk leaves with the words “hello”, “smile” and “dream”. Silk flowers would work too. Or just interesting pieces of fabric.

nothing3I rolled up some old book paper and glued the ends to make tubes. Then I cut both ends of the tubes into points. They kind of look like quills. I bunched three tubes together and wrapped them into a bundle with a thin piece of torn magazine paper.

nothing4I cut out the larger flowers off a scrap piece of lace. Don’t worry about fraying, perfection is not what we’re after here.

nothing5Then I just glued the embellishments onto the tags and added rough twine in the holes at the top.

I am so happy when I can make something out of so very little. Most of us crafty people have way too many supplies on hand anyway. Let’s give the environment (and our wallets) a break in the month of April and work on busting our stashes. Your supplies may dwindle but I guarantee that your creativity will GROW!

Studio/Office Redo Revealed!

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.

redoYou can actually see the surface of my desk!

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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!

redo2The cupboard is nice and neat, and check out the storage underneath!

redo3The bookshelf underwent a thoughtful rearrangement with sewing supplies on two shelves and cardboard and books on two shelves instead of everything mixed up higgly piggly.

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The desk got a nice coat of white paint, as did the little shelf unit on top. The desk is also covered in frosted contact paper (see the tacks?) and can be wiped down with a wet cloth.redo5

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!

redo6This little table was added as a drying space for collages and as a photo taking space for my Etsy shop.

Now we’ll take a closer look…

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All kinds of goodies ready to be “altered”!

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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.

redo9I 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!

redo10Ahhh, my cardboard collection…and other stuff.

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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.

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redo13All kinds of neat storage and not a plastic bin in sight! Why do I have salt and pepper shakers on the shelf with the rosy hatbox? They are filled with white and silver glitter of course!

redo15What’s this? Look at all that work space. I cannot wait to get a-making.

redo16Under the desk storage of Christmas items, laces, substrates (other than cardboard) and all kinds of artsy papers.

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A reminder of why I do it.

redo18A 1950’s vanity tray with bits and bobs.

redo19Glass jars of buttons and beads made cute by disguising that they are actually olive jars. Hey, we love olives, what can I say?

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Scissors, toothpicks, spray bottle, gel pens and a jar of pink polka dotted ribbon. Who could ask for anything more????

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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!!!!