Monday, January 30, 2012

birds on a wire

Today, we took a break from Valentine's Day to do this craft from lilla a's blog. I just love the way these look. Actually, I love stained glass projects, or fake stained glass projects. I did this Waldorf star last year, and still have it up in my window, though this time, I was determined not to repeat the errors of last year, which was simply that we only cut one star, so it looks cool from the inside, but not from the outside.

Anyway, the process was very easy. All of my glue sticks are out of stick, because little people steal them and leave them open. Harumph. But that was actually fine, because I used two-sided tape, and it was easy to work with.

First, I took an 8" x 8" piece of black card stock, and folded it in half, then I drew two birds in white.

Then Beezus and I cut them out like so.

Then I opened them up and lined it in double-sided tape.

That is just one bird, whereas the previous picture is two birds. (Did that make sense?)

Then I pulled out my kite paper. I love having this kite paper. It was more expensive than other kid craft supplies, but I have also had an entire book for three years. Kite paper stands up BEAUTIFULLY to all kind of crafts that tissue paper doesn't. I have some other crafts in the pipeline that Beezus and I wanted to do with kite paper. The cool thing about Lilla's birds was the beautiful way the tissue paper laid on top of each other, creating new colors. Beezus and I used red as the connector color.

After we were done, and taking down our snowflakes, Beezus said that they should be birds on a wire, and I loved that idea, so we used double sided tape and sock yarn to create a wire, and the lovely birds watching the world go by.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

button and yarn hearts

I love buttons, but I do not sew. One of my favorite things in the world is a jar of buttons. I don't know why. I keep a jar full of buttons I have purchased for various crafts, or ones I have found. I really should buy a jar or two of vintage buttons, but for now, these are just a shitload of very colorful buttons.

So, combining my love of buttons with Valentine's Day, Beatrice and I decided to do a wee craft today. I guess it wasn't so wee after all. First we sorted out all the red, pink and orange buttons.

Then we grabbed a piece of canvas from our canvas pad. Very useful material. We cut out a heart and drew a faint outline on our canvas, then began hot gluing the buttons to the canvas.

And then...

We achieved button love! We framed it and it is very attractive. I am going to keep searching for a cool frame for this, like a gold, swirly, lovely frame. And I might stain the canvas with tea, since it is very white. I just want it to look antiqued.

In other Valentine craftiness, I created this weird thing to hang on the door. I saw these cool Valentine window hangers. There were very small, though, and I had this crazy wire heart from an old conversation heart door thing that was gifted to me. It fell and broke one of the hearts, so I pulled the rest off and was left with this wire heart. So, I took sock yarn, and created this cool 70s effect with it. Or Spirograph effect. I loved Spirograph as a kid. One of my favorite things ever.

I took it down, incidentally. It looks better on a wall, or window, rather than a door. It needs light behind it. Our front door is all window, but I can't figure out how to hang it since a wreath hanger isn't working. I will report back when I have sorted out the details of the button heart and the yarn heart.

Happy Valentine's Day, soon!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

striped shirts

I know they say people with a few extra pounds should never wear horizontal stripes. And yet, I have an obsession with stripes. I cannot stop buying them. All kinds of stripes. Most recently, Le Gap put out some gorgeous striped boat neck long sleeved shirts. I bought the white with black stripe shirt. It fits beautifully, even on a gigantic fat person like myself. Scoff at the horizontal stripe rule. SCOFF! It was so lovely that I wore it out to dinner that night for Indian food. And Thor flung navartan korma at my beautiful white with black striped shirt.


There is a turmeric stain on the front.

I bleached with a little itty bitty q-tip. It was ruined. After one wear. And then I started thinking about how cool it would look if I could silk screen something to cover the stain. I don't have silk screening equipment, but in 1997-1998, I worked as an artist's assistant. At that job, I mostly cut amberlith/rubylith, which is a frustrating, precise job, but is the first step of silk screening. Amberlith is masking film. You literally cut the image out of the film on top of plastic to make a negative image for silk screening. It is very easy to try to pull up the amberlith quickly and then rip your entire image. And then you cuss and kick something. I really don't know why I am explaining it, but I guess the point is, sometimes I think in amberlith. Like I look at images as negative/positive space and think of it on top of other images. Maybe this year I should buy some damn silk screening equipment.

ANYWAY, I have been thinking about this since I ruined the shirt. What image would look good over my white with black striped shirt? I first thought of my Obey Frida image, then my husband reminded me that I would have a Frida over each boob, or relatively close to each boob.

In the end, I found a vintage anatomical heart, and decided to change the color to blood red. I bought some printer, iron-on transfer paper, and created this:

And since I have a trigger finger, and already printed the Obey Frida image, I cut it in half and put it on this weird stripe shirt I have with brown and pink stripes. (i heart STRIPES, PEOPLE!)

I had so much fun with this iron-on transfer paper. It just makes me want to silk screen shit, though.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

crayon hearts

I found this craft on Pinterest. It is originally a Martha S. craft. I am just warning you that our craft looks nothing like theirs. I followed the directions and did not improvise. We just suck at ironing things, cutting out things, and hanging things. So, there's that.

I should preface this by saying that I forgot it was Valentine's Day in a few weeks, and we should be doing heart crafts. Beezus loves hearts, so this is like her favorite holiday EVER. If she got to go door-to-door and get candy, and then Santa came overnight, she would want it to be Valentine's Day every day. Everything is PINK! And RED! And PURPLE! And PINK!

Anyway, I thought this was beautiful, and looked like stained glass. The way they hung over each other in that delicate, becoming way. So first you get some crayons. We did this craft with six dirty crayons.

Peel the paper off and start shredding them. Using a pencil sharpener to shave the crayons into fine crayon-y pieces.

You then get a large piece of wax paper and put the shaving in them. Fold the wax paper over. Try desperately hard not to get it lumpy, but crayon shavings are a little like glitter, except not so contagious.

Lavender and deep purple. After you fold it once, MAKE DAMN SURE you fold the edges in. I did not do this for the purple and now have a purple towel. Which is fine, it looks cool, and I needed a new art studio towel.

You can see the results of my first iron. YAY. You put a piece of paper, or kraft paper, or paper bag paper, over the whole thing and lightly iron. Put the iron on low or medium, but it takes almost no time. You can smell the wax melt.

Here we are with our cool new colored wax paper. It is very pliable and lovely when it cools. Then you cut out hearts. We did decide not to use a cookie cutter for our hearts. Which is why they look nothing like Martha's hearts. We strung them with sock yarn, unlike Martha and her silk thread. And hung them on a dowel.

You can make this look much cooler than me. I just know it. Share your Valentine Day Crafts with me, please. Looking for cool heart crafts. xo

Thursday, January 12, 2012

green juice

I juice.

Perhaps that sounds odd, but a few years ago I spent more than I did on a month of rent for my first ten years of apartment living on a juicer.  It is the Omega juicer and it is the best thing I ever bought. It juices everything. Beautifully. It cleans easily. It is perhaps my favorite kitchen appliance besides the coffeemaker. I bought it a few years ago when my crappy 20 buck juicer started to emit a smell that can only be described as burning. Plus, that thing was a bastard to clean. I also was living a raw food lifestyle, which was fine and lovely, but demanded vegetable juice. I have made ice cream, apple sauce, babyfood, all kinds of cool things.

I wanted to contribute to the vast recipe list on the internet of good morning juices.

This one I drink most mornings. I either drink this or a smoothie. Just depends on the mood.

Green Juice

two apples
one lemon (rind removed)
five stalks of celery
1/4 inch of ginger
6 leaves of romain lettuce

But beware, if you leave the juice setting on the counter for a moment, you might come back to find little fingers poking in your green juice.

Monday, January 9, 2012

art studio

This year, I am going to combine this blog with my old still life with circles blog to make one focused on mindful parenting and art and crafting. Whew. Reintegrate, that is. But I am still in a two blog mindset, and dammit, I am just making it easy on myself.

We have had a lovely few weeks. Some projects and exciting things came to pass, and so I thought I would share them here.

First, it was my 38th birthday on the 4th of January. Yes, I am a solid, right smack dab in the middle Capricorn. Most of the adjectives attached to Capricorns are fairly boring--practical, sturdy, organized, disciplined, loyal, patient, careful, reserved, traditional...yeah. Well, some things in that list are very true, which is that I am happiest when I am organizing things, putting my ducks in a line, planning my next move. This year, I had no expectations for my birthday. It was a Wednesday. Everyone was back at school/work on Tuesday, and random Wednesdays don't make me excited. But I was cool with just hanging out having a normal day around the ranch. I decided to get coffee with my sister, and when I got home, Sam and the kids were so excited, standing in the dining room beaming. First, they ordered flowers with peonies and spray roses, and I realized that the card was signed by just the kids. Joy. They were so gorgeous. That was enough. Being with my family is enough.

Then Beezus and Sam urged me over and over to go into the art studio. Now, I knew my woodworking husband was up to something, and I kept saying stuff like, "Are you working on some earrings in there?" Just to tease him. When I walked in, it was better than a thousand earrings. He built a cubby/shelving system for above my art desk.

That metallic box on the lower right corner of the shelf is a cool box I found at the ReStore, and which stores all my acrylic paint. Sam built the shelf to specifically hold that box, and the other cups with pencils and brushes, he measured for each cubby, so this piece was designed just for me and just for this space. This was just the best kind of gift--one I didn't know I needed, but now seems impossible to have lived without.

I love it. And then the bonus gift was that he gave me the afternoon to clean and organize my art/studio and office (as you can see, it gets chaotic.) Here are some pictures:

Organized and practical! I hung a cork in the middle for those inspiration pieces sent to me, or gathered by me. I also bought some beautiful red boxes to house different art gear. What an amazing space he has given me. He gifted me inspiration and creativity. He doesn't always understand my compulsion to create art and write, but he is so supportive.

I took the opportunity to clean and reorganize the entire room.

Next to the desk is my shelf with paper, bins of art supplies for the kids and I, envelopes, laminate, books, sketch books, and all kinds of gear.

 Moving left of my art desk and turning around, this is the kids' art table, and my writing desk/computer space.

My computer desk.

Then the door, additional storage, my wall of jizos and day of the dead altar. The shelves are filled with kid games and puzzles. (still can't figure out where to hang/put my easel. It is so in the way all the time. For now, in the corner I am not using.)