Sunday, January 30, 2011

Random Sunday Blog

Today's Random Sunday Blog is not so random.  Instead of finding it by clicking the Next Blog button, I was lead to it by another blog I was visiting while researching a future project.  I won't go into details about that now, except to say I showed it to my youngest daughter and she was amazed.  Hope to sift through my ADD enough to do one next week.  I'll let you know if I succeed.

But back on topic.  Today's Not So Random Sunday Blog is The Decorative Paintbrush.  This is a wonderful site written by Mary Mollica, who along with her partner paints beautiful furniture.  Mary says they "love giving used/vintage furniture a funky facelift!"  Their work is colorful and whimsical.  I absolutely love it. You should check it out!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wednesday Night Arts and Crafts

Back in July I wrote a quick post about these bowls and frames made of recycled magazines. 
In August, my middle daughter and I made some of these frames.  We use old National Geographic magazines because of their colorful pictures.
We pulled out pages and sorted them into color schemes we wanted to use.  The pages were then cut in half:
We then made the pages into tubes using a wooden skewer and glue sticks.

The tubes were then cut and glued onto the frame.

I did not take a picture of my daughter's completed frame, and it has since moved to college.  And to be perfectly honest, my frame is still unfinished:  

I really did enjoy the project, I just had to move onto other things like making dinner and never got back to it.  Story of my life.  But it will be cute when it's finished.  Some day.  

Anyway...a day later one of my favorite teenagers called me because she was home alone and bored to death.  She came over and I showed her what we had been doing  I then handed her a frame and told her to make one.  And she did. 
This past week the two of us decided that we needed to make these frames at our youth activity on Wednesday night.  I know it's a dangerous thing to do an activity that I have never been successful at completing.  But I just decided I would prep frames and lend a hand so the girls could finish theirs instead of making one myself. 

Or at least that was the plan.  Instead I made an interesting discovery--it turns out this project isn't appealing to everyone.  Although they thought the frames were cute, 3 out of 4 teenage girls decided they were just too tedious to make.  And at the end of the night there were only two frames that were finished.  Care to guess who they belonged to?  Yep, the two of us that planned the activity.   Of course I forgot to take pictures during our activity.  But here is the frame I made:
Notice anything about this frame? 
Its actually finished!

Oh and FYI, this started out as my youngest daughter's frame.  Part way through our activity she went to wash her hands and didn't come back.  She had wandered into the room where the other group of girls were meeting and found their project much more to her liking.   I would have been annoyed at her abandoning us, except she ended up making these:
And since I know that different art appeals to different people, it's hard to get mad at my girl for realizing what she is more drawn to.  

I'm just thrilled that we went home with two completely finished projects!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lost Wax Casting

I can't believe it is Friday.  This week kind of got away from me, but I didn't want it to end without writing another entry or two. So here's a quick rewind:

We got our first assignment in Arts Metals on Monday.  We'll be casting multiple rings.

Step one is to play with the wax to learn what it can do.  We heated up and molded and shaped it.  Here is what I made.

We'll eventually use the wax to create molds that the rings will be made from.  I won't be casting any of these, but it was fun playing with the wax. 

I missed class on Wednesday, and I am really looking forward to this coming Monday so I can learn about this process. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quote of the day

Here is a quote from my favorite Apostle that is totally perfect for my life and my blog:

"What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you."                                             ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Random Sunday Blog

It's that time again.  The time when I browse using the NEXT BLOG button at the top of the page.  The site that caught my eye today is one-eared pig beads.  This site is written by Melissa Mesara who is "addicted to quotes, glass, and books".

The first thing that caught my eyes was her short, concise posts.  I love people who blog on a regular basis with posts that are quick and fun to read.  But what won her the spot on Random Sunday Blog was her post from October 26th about her studio space.  It is only two sentences long, but includes this photo of her workspace. 
Since it's Sunday, I will do my best not to covet.  But I have to admit, I want a space just like this to do my metal crafts! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I miss snow!

We are closing in on 20 years here in Houston.  And although I love that I can wear shorts year round here, I have to admit that this year I am missing winter a little more than usual.  Not the super cold temps, but the fluffy white stuff.  I don't want to drive in it, but I do want to look out my window and see scenes like this:

I know what you are thinking.  "You could never look out your window and see a scene like that".  True,  but I maybe I could see something like this: 

And if not, I could drive up a canyon and put on some of these...
or these...

and do something like this:

And that would be amazing! But for now I live in Houston and instead I have to settle for looking at beautiful pictures like this:

All of the outdoor scenery pictures in this post were taken by an amazing photographer, Wille Holdman.  You can check out more of his work on his facebook page and his website, Holman Gallery.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hoarding update

Here is an update of this morning's post--just in case you were worried about me being a hoarder. 

I just googled ADD and hoarding and found this great article on hoarding.  Here is what it says:

Is it OCD? Or ADD?

Many psychologists believe that hoarding is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), while others argue that it may be a variant of attention deficit disorder (ADD), which leaves people having difficulty with decision making, procrastination, and staying on task long enough to organize their surroundings.   "Try to give hoarders an assignment to throw something out, and they won't do it," says Stephen C. Josephson, PhD, clinical psychologist in New York City, and clinical associate professor of psychology in psychiatry at Cornell Medical School. "I see the clutter more often in people with ADD than OCD."

This is good news!  While this article does lead me to believe I really am ADD, yesterday's project has reinforced that I can definitely throw things way.  So as of today I can honestly say I am not a hoarder.  Yea!  And to make sure it stays that way I will throw things away on a regular basis!  Maybe I'll start with all those unfinished projects.  :D

The danger of piles

Yesterday I spent the afternoon attacking the piles that were on the verge of taking over my bedroom.  I have always been a piler and secretly fear that this tendency will one day turn into actual hoarding.  This fear is so real, that I did not take a picture for a before/after post of my room simply because I did not want it to end up in a google search under "images for hoarders".    Ok, that's not really true--but how scary is that thought?  Have you looked at those pictures?  I am sure none of those people thought they were hoarders when their piles were small.  The whole thing just creeps me out.  A lot!

Anyway, I spent the day sorting my piles and could not believe the number of unfinished projects I came across.  I swear, I am slightly ADD and am constantly moving onto the next project before the last one is finished.  I wonder if being ADD is typical of hoarders?  May have to google that one later.  But once again I am getting distracted from my story.  As I sorted through the craft supplies, I discovered a project I started almost a year ago as thank you gifts for some ladies at church.   I cannot believe I didn't finished them, and am now struggling with which is more embarrassing: never formally thanking these women or finishing the projects and pointing out to them that it took me a year to formally thank them.  Almost makes me wish I had left that particular pile alone!  At least then I'd be unaware of my goof up.   Instead I am left with this dilemma as I contemplate my future as a procrastinating ADD hoarder.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paper Mache and Concrete

This past week I have found myself slightly obsessed with paper mache and concrete.  So much so, that I have spent several hours researching both topics and have all kinds of project ideas floating through my head. 

The paper mache mode started while I was sketching ideas for some Tree of Life projects.  I had the idea of making a tree out of paper mache and then attaching it to canvas, but I had absolutely no idea if that would work.  So I did what I always do when I don't know something--I Googled it.  (How did we ever survive without the internet?)  My google search lead me to  This amazing blog has a recipe for paper mache clay that I knew I had to try.

So I wrote down the items I needed to get to make the clay, and headed to Lowe's.  Then I got slightly distracted.  As I walked into the front doors of Lowe's, this book caught my eye.

Because I have been also thinking about what to do next with my cement mixer, this book screamed at me to buy it.  It a great book, but I resisted the impulse because of it's $22 price tag.  I was so proud of myself for walking away without buying it before checking to see if the library had a copy or if I could get it cheaper on Amazon.  (The library didn't have it, so I did end up buying it on Amazon for $15.   Once again, how did we survive before the internet?)

In the end, my trip to Lowe's was kind of a bust.  We didn't find a cook top on clearance (mine is 30 years old and HAS to be replaced SOON!) and I did not buy any of the supplies for my paper mache clay.  But I guess it wasn't a totally bust.  Because I resisted the impulse purchase my cement book, I discovered several other books that intrigued me.  I am now patiently awaiting the following to arrive at my library:

Can't wait to see this one. 
These pots look amazing.

I think paper mache is about to take on a whole new meaning for me. 
And I only thought paper mache was for making pinatas!

So instead of trying out a new media this week, I have simply increased the number of new projects I want to try.  Hopefully I'll get organized enough to actually make something in the next couple of days. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Arts Metals 1 recap

Since my Arts Metals 2 class starts today I thought I better recap my semester of Arts Metals 1 which will include projects I've already written about as well as two new ones I did at the end of the semester.

Here are all of my projects:

Project 1--Layered metals design  construction
Constructed a design from 3 different types of 3"x3" metal sheets.  Metal was pierced, drilled, riveted, filed and sanded to create design. 

Project 2 -- Silver Soldering Exercise
Demonstrate successful butt joint, lap joint, T joint and On lay/tinning
Project 3 -- Soldered Design Composition
Design and construct by soldering a piece using varied colors of metal and controlled use of finishing and soldering.

Project 4 -- Box Ring
Design and construct a ring using a box type construction. Ring must be sized for a specific wearer and use controlled processes and techniques.

My inspiration for this piece was Edvard Munch's The Scream. 

Here is my Scream ring right after I finished soldering the bottom metal onto my box:
After cutting away the excess metal:
After a lot of filing, sanding and buffing:

Project 5 -- Open Project
Design and create a project of your choice to show what you have learned during the semester

For my final project I decided to make a pendant. 
I used materials that I had previously textured and solder and riveted them together into this:

It didn't turn out quite as I expect, but it really helped me understand the what I have learned and where I need more practice.

I loved this past semester of Arts Metals and am looking forward to class starting again today. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My new toy

I got the coolest gift for Mother's Day last year.  It is something that I asked for in 2009 and didn't get.  And to be completely honest, I didn't actually receive it for about a month after Mother's day.  This was mostly my fault, because although I really, really wanted one I wasn't sure I should actually spend the money to have one.  But I saw it go on sale and finally gave in.  

I was so excited when it was unloaded and put in the garage.  I didn't have time to assemble it that day, but promised myself I would do it on the upcoming weekend.  But wouldn't you know it, I got busy and never got around to pulling it out of it's box.  But the first weekend in November we pulled it out, put it together and used it to complete some unfinished projects.  And it was wonderful!

Curious about what this gift is?  Here are a few clues:

It came in a big box

It had lots of parts
It is one of my favorite colors
(Hook 'em!)

My hubby put it together for me, which is a good thing since I had a hard time following some of the instructions.

Can you tell what it is?

That's right, I got a cement mixer for Mother's day!
I put it right to work by adding cement...

and water.

And finished these two stones:

It was wonderful not having to mix the cement by hand, and for the first time created stones that did not contain any of my sweat.  Oh, and just in case you are wondering they do contain a little of my blood.  I have yet to find gloves that protect my fingers from the glass while allowing me to handle the glass easily.  So I always end up cutting myself at least once with every stone.  

I know most women would not consider a cement mixer a very good Mother's day present.
But I love it!

And although I haven't used my mixer since that weekend in November, I am looking forward to using it a lot in 2011!