I’ve been so neglectful of my little blog lately! There has been so much going on. The day after my last post, I got ENGAGED! Woot! So I have been super busy trying to plan and arrange and keep everyone happy. I have lots of DIY ideas floating around in my addled brain, so you should be seeing some of those in the next 6 months!
I’ve also been busy preparing for the Cooper Young Festival, which is tomorrow. It’s always one of my favorite days of the year, because I get to actually see people’s reactions to my work. That’s always fun! If you’re in Memphis and plan on attending the festival (which you should, all the cool kids will be there), come and see me!
I was doing so well there for a bit, and then my posting came to a screeching halt. Sorry about that! A combination of real life stress and an upcoming craft festival I’m trying to get ready for suddenly took over my life. The festival is in less than 3 weeks (EEEEK!!!), so I’ll probably be posting sporadically at best, but I’m going to do my best to post a few things a week!
I came across the first print below while browsing on Pinterest today, and am now completely obsessed with this print shop in the UK (aardvarkonsea). I want them all.
I’m HOPING to have a post tomorrow about something I’ve been working on. Fingers crossed!!
Now that our piece has been poured, removed from the mold and carved, we have to clean it. It has to be completely dry before beginning this step, which can take up to a few days, depending on the humidity in the air. I waited about 3 days before cleaning these pieces.
As I mentioned in my last ceramics post, cleaning is easily my least favorite step. It is done with metal tools and scrubbers (kind of like the scrubby side of a sponge) and creates SO much dust, which gets everywhere. If you did a good job cleaning up the piece immediately after removing it from the mold, this step should be fairly easy, but it’s still really messy.
The goal of this step is to make your piece really smooth, and remove any sponge/tool/finger marks that were left by the prior steps.
Once the piece is perfectly smooth, I clean off the remaining dust with a brush and a damp sponge.
Two reasons I hate cleaning:
1. This can happen. Our pieces are very brittle at this point, and you have to be VERY careful not to break them. I was not careful. Twice. Boo.
2. THE DUST. So much dust. And this is just the dust that didn’t end up on the floor, or in my hair, or up my nasal passages.
But now that step is done! Yay! Up next: Painting! Much more fun.
All of the steps:
Clicking around on Pinterest last week, I found this image. I clicked on the link to the original source, expecting to find a tutorial on how to create the canvases. Instead I found a shop in the UK selling them for, frankly, an outrageous amount of money (and only available in the UK to boot).
Undeterred, I decided to figure it out on my own. The original was made with wooden letters on canvas, and my first instinct was to try to recreate it exactly. But after a trip to Michaels to find that small wooden letters cost $.99 for a bag of three of the same letter, I thought I would try to figure out a different method that would give me a similar result.
First, I tried creating the raised lettering with a hot glue gun, but it dried too quickly and I didn’t have good enough control over it to make the letters smooth. My second attempt was using plain old Elmer’s glue. I was able to get it nice and smooth, but when it dried, the letters weren’t raised enough. Third, I tried using 3-D fabric paint (or as we called it back in the day, puffy paint). I guess third time was the charm, because it worked perfectly! Here’s how I did it:
For this project, you will need:
Stretched canvas (I bought two small ones, but you can use whatever size you’d like)
Ruler and pencil
Something pointy to fix any mistakes (I used a wooden skewer, but a toothpick would work just as well)
Acrylic paint (whatever color you’d like) and a paint brush
3-D fabric paint in white
Step 1: Using your pencil and ruler, draw a line or lines on which to write your quote.
Step 2: Write your quote. I chose one of my favorites by Joseph Conrad. I found it was easiest to do it in script, but if you’d prefer some other font, go for it!
Step 3: Go over your quote with the paint. Squeeze the bottle firmly and evenly, and if it sputters, just keep going. Once you’re done, take your skewer or tooth pick and go back to even out your mistakes.
This is what it will look like at this point.
Let the paint dry for the amount of time specified on the bottle. Mine said 4 hours.
Step 4: Paint over the entire canvas with your acrylic paint. I went with white, but you can do whatever color you’d like. Keep in mind that another color WILL take at least 2 coats to get solid, and most likely more.
Step 5: The paint will want to pool around your letters. To get rid of this, go over them several times in a cross-hatch pattern (brush vertically up, then vertically down, then back and forth horizontally. Once you’re happy with how it looks, brush over the entire thing from left to right one more time, just to get all of the brush marks going the same way.
Wait for it to dry, and display! I’m planning on doing at least one more of these and hanging them over the built-in bookshelves in my living room, along with the Hatch Show Print pieces I just bought (but haven’t gotten framed yet).
And as I look at the last few pics, I realize I didn’t dot most of the I’s! Oops! Going to have to fix that!
Remember a few weeks ago when I told you guys about the sideboard that I bought for $10 at a garage sale? I finally finished it! And I LOVE it. Amazing what a little paint and molding can do!
Total cost for this project was under $60, including the original $10 investment, plus paint, molding and new handles. Not a bad deal for such a major, statement piece of furniture!
There were a few little snafu’s. Most caused by the fact that I forgot to number the doors when I took them off so I’d know how to put them back. It took HOURS, one meltdown, and the eventual help of one patient boyfriend to get it right. And measuring the molding was a challenge, since I was working with a handsaw and a mitre box. It took a lot of sanding to get them right. But all is well now! It fits perfectly in my dining room, and gives me a little extra storage.
And PS, don’t forget to vote for me in the I Love Memphis mural contest! Voting goes until noon on Friday. Thanks!
A few weeks ago, one of my favorite blogs, I Love Memphis, announced a mural contest. Over the course of the summer, there would be 10 new murals going up on walls all over the city. The first seven would be designed by local artists in the Urban Arts Commission murals program. The remaining three would be chosen from designs submitted by the public. I decided to enter, figuring it would be a good creative challenge to come up with a design within the parameters of the contest (it had to include the phrase “I Love Memphis”) that was unique and would translate well onto a wall.
I honestly assumed this would be a “well, it was worth a shot” type of post, but I was actually selected as a finalist! My design was inspired by Subversive Cross Stitch and the indie craft movement. I like the idea of pairing traditional craft methods with modern themes and visuals. Basically, it would look like the wall is cross-stitched, using a grid pattern and X’s to create the whole design.
Go help a girl out and vote for me! It would be a kick to see this up on a wall in my city!!! And if you could spread the word, I’d really appreciate it!
ArtMind is the Etsy shop of Mitsy from Hasselt, Belgium. She makes lovely, simple, bold ceramic pieces that would serve as great conversation starters in any home!
I just love the “99 Feelings” project, where she took simple babushka shapes and altered them to evoke different emotions. Here are a few of my favorites:
Happy Cinco de Mayo! In honor of the day, I thought I’d share one of my favorite Etsy shops, which has a decidedly Mexican flavor. Artist Jose Pulido creates and sells prints and t-shirts using mostly Calavera imagery in his shop, Mis Nopales Art. Calavera is Spanish for “skull,” and is associated with Day of the Dead celebrations. Yes, I’m aware that Day of the Dead is in October/November, and has nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo, but just go with me on this one, okay?
Here are a few of my favorite items in his shop. I actually have the “Campfire” print in my living room (which you’ll see if I ever get around to photographing and posting that room in my House Tour!)
And one more for good measure, just because it’s AMAZING:
The Working Proof was founded by Anna Corpron and Sean Auyeung as a way to “promote art and social responsibility.” Each print that they sell is paired with a charity of the artist’s choosing, which receives 15% of the sales price. The prints range from $25-$100, and a new print is released every Tuesday. Here are a few of my favorites:
I’ve been following the Fifty and Fifty project online since it started back in January, but I wanted to wait until all of my states were up before posting about it. Anyone who digs typography and design is going to love this project, where fifty graphic designers were commissioned to illustrate their state motto. These are the states that I’ve called home at one time or another.
New Jersey: Where I was born, and lived for my first 14 years. I’m proof that not everyone from the Jersey Shore is orange and obnoxious. Wearing our motto on our booty, because we’re classy like that.
Tennessee: Moved here after leaving NJ. Have left a few times, but keep on ending up back here! Our motto is pretty lame, but this design is fantastic.
Colorado: Moved here for a few years after college. Loved it, but the cold finally drove me back to TN.
New York: My time in NYC was brief, but I miss it every day. Love both the motto and design.