Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thoughtful Thursdays: Making It Count!

Now that I find myself doing more art and craft shows, I realize that a fun and funky, cohesive looking display is of the utmost importance. A consistent theme really seems to draw people in and keep them engaged. Along those lines... I wanted to make everything look like "yesterday's trash"... even the price tags! So I found a set of retro-looking number stamps and symbols ...and used manila tags. They look more professional than hand-written tags and also have a vintage feel. Here's to making it count... cheers!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Twisted... Amusement!

Well, here it is all my twisted little friends! The very last addition to my most recent mixed media assemblage... a heavenly pink, flying angel baby holding the magic arcade coin. Ta-daa!

It's funny because it took me a few days to add this finishing touch. Not so much because I wasn't sure if I was going to add it or not... more like... I just didn't want this one to end!

I had so much fun working on this particular piece, because I had no idea where it was going. In a world full of regimented tasks and things beyond your control, sometimes it's nice to just let go of outcomes and let things play out on their own. The operative word being play!

Giselle was definitely my inspiration for this assemblage. Poor thing. I just didn't like the look of her all pretty and pristine. Maybe I was a little jealous? But she looked so sad, like she was hiding behind her blushing dress and those curly locks. I knew she really felt twisted inside... and wanted to show that part of her. Now she's where she belongs.

So... the stars are aligned...

My sides are split from all this amusement...

And my mind is thoroughly Twisted!

Thanks to all of you for coming along on this delightfully unusual journey with me. It's been a barrel of.... well... Twisted Amusement!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New In The Shop... Kitschy Holiday Ornaments!

For all your dysfunctional family and friends, these fun and funky collaged ornaments have the perfect sayings! Doesn't everyone have that one... well... slightly older relative that still insists on dressing up like an elf?

And for all your fans of A Christmas Story... can't you just hear them whining now, "But you said that I could have a bb gun!"

And for those who understand that, "sometimes the holidays hurt a little"! This "ouch!" ornament says it all!

Choose from 7 different versions (some a little nicer than others — ha!), and you can find them here in my Etsy shop. They're a great gift for friends, family, co-workers, secret santas, holiday party hostesses (hang one from your bottle of "whine"!) and anyone else who loves backhanded humor!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thoughtful Thursdays: What a Difference A Year Makes!

I was looking for blog fodder and I checked to see what I was doing this time last year. I made my own self jealous when I realized that I was in Portland, Oregon attending Art & Soul! One thing that stood out was a class I took with Tory Brokenshire called... Yes I Want That Drill Press & More!

It was there that I got the chance to man-up and learn how to use all kinds of power tools including a drill press, belt sander, jig saw, chop saw and nail gun. Can I just tell you that I want all of them! In the workshop we got to build our very own shadowbox from raw lumber. Our manly helper, Gil, was very encouraging!

Tory liked my finished assemblage so much, she encouraged me to want to make more! At the time I thought to myself, "I think I see one in every color scheme, hmmmmm.... maybe starting with pink?" And that's just what I've been doing!

To date, I think I've made 33 carnival-inspired assemblages along the same lines as the original, and using the same basic structure I learned how to make in class. Each time I create a set, I build on what I have learned from the previous versions, and try new things!

I really do like exhausting the possibilities using the same structure. It's really fun to think inside the box! What types of projects do you like to create that have a little something in common?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Amusing Myself...

As promised... I said I would show you what I'm doing to AMUSE myself with my latest carnival-inspired assemblage! I found that I needed something to go on the sides of the piece, but did not want to add bulk or take away from the elements inside by adding a bunch of dimensional objects.

So I found some funky circus type and made a gigantic stencil... using half of the word AMUSEMENT on each side...

Painted it up in a bluish-magenta pink and cool ivory (and over-thought those choices about 17 times)! But in the end, was satisfied with my choices. It really didn't matter because I just love the look of painted wood.

Then it was time to make some curtains. I didn't have any pink fabric that I liked (isn't that always the way), so I got out my trusty unbleached muslin, and tore it into the shapes I needed. I colored it with a light wash of pink acrylic paint. Then I distressed the heck out of it with sandpaper and an additional wash of browns.

Distressed a narrow piece of white ribbon to string them on (again, not having what I envisioned on hand), and ta-daa! It's curtains for Giselle! And of course, had to make matching distressed curtain ties. Love getting lost in the details!

Speaking of details, the sliver of wooden drawer above the curtain was looking a little bare, so I added some stars, with a touch of vintage bling... of course!

And now, I just have this giant hole to fill (okay, well it's not really "giant" — only in my mind). And for days I've been trying and rejecting a plethora of objects to compliment this piece. It's been tough because I don't have a specific "story" in mind... I'm going full out organic in my process here.

But I've picked out, picked up, put down, worked up and settled on a few key pieces and should have it all "Twisted" up by next week. Until then kiddies...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New In The Shop...

Typically, before a show... I have a marathon jewelry-making session. However, I don't usually photograph all the new pieces professionally because many of them find their new owners at the event. Now that the show has passed, I get to share some of the new pieces with you! All of them (and more) are available in the Jewelry section of my Etsy shop...

The Carousel was inspired not only by my love of the boardwalk as a child, but also by this absolutely gorgeous vintage pin! I added a few more repurposed elements and gave this piece an interesting architectural twist!

I thought I'd Tie It Up In A Bow when I came across this adorable ribbon brooch. Add a matching chain with pretty flowers and this necklace is perfect for jeans and a blouse or your favorite cocktail dress!

The focal point of this piece is a carved bone mermaid (she's double sided!). Very hard to come by these pieces have inspired a plethora of one-of-a-kind necklaces. This one I call Chained To The Sea, as even though she loves being a mermaid, she feels like there's more going on above the surface and wants to explore!

To see all my mixed media, upcycled and repurposed jewelry creations... visit my Etsy shop!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thoughtful Thursdays: Fit For A Man Cave!

Recently, I did a commission for someone who grew up in Coney Island, NY. Having spent lots of time at the boardwalk and playing games as a kid, he was drawn to my Tillie-style Knock Down Dolls. Turns out, he actually has a boardwalk-themed game room and wanted to get 3 dolls for his collection of arcade memorabilia.

I was happy to oblige and even threw in a vintage-looking sign I made for Tillie photo shoots! But what i really enjoy is the fact that — even though my style tends to be a little on the whimsical side — I actually have some creations that appeal to the menfolk!

Long live the man cave!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Getting My Wires Crossed...

Worked a little more on my favorite new assemblage this past week. Now that Giselle is nice and aged with acrylic paints... I drilled some holes at appropriate points through her arms, legs and torso...

Then I wired the doll up so I could hook her into the vintage drawer-turned-box...

Added some eye hooks in key places inside the box...

And then the fun began! It was a little daunting at first. I don't always look forward to the technical aspects of art... like getting all these wires in all the right places... so that all the body parts are going in all the right directions... which for this piece are actually the wrong directions! Truth be told, I messed up a little, but was able to course correct. Whew! Nothing like getting your wires crossed... and it being a good thing!

Now that Giselle was all fastened to her marionette stage, I glanced back toward the bottom of the assemblage and noticed that Jesus was standing out a little too much. He needed to blend a little. I thought to add some Spanish Moss and... voilà... problem solved! I like the addition because it really grounds the letters to the base of the piece.

Tune in next week to find out what I do with my AMUSE MENT and some other tricks I have up my sleeve!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Two For The Show...

Fall brings lots of outdoor celebrations, including... Harvest Festivals! I'll be vending at one such event this weekend... The Ocean Grove Fall Harvest Festival & Craft Show. Come visit an historic shore town and shop for original art, handmade crafts, and enjoy fun activities for the kiddies....

Ocean Grove Fall Harvest Festival & Craft Show
Saturday, October 8th
10 am — 4 pm
Main Avenue, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

I'll be there selling my upcycled vintage jewelry, boardwalk and carnival-themed pieces, art and more! Admission is free and while you're here, stop by the Youth Temple for a Postcard & Collectibles Show ($3 for that one). For more info or directions, visit the Ocean Grove Chamber website.

P.S. I heard Mother Nature is totally going to cooperate, so make a day of it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gettin' Twisted...

Well... work on my Twisted assemblage is moving right along... and a little better than I had anticipated. That's always a pleasant phenomenon! I decided to go with Jesus as my "I" and I think I'm going to paint the letters ivory to match him.

I built a shelf out of a cardboard box, because I wanted the letters to be far forward, and not toward the back... in the shadows. Glued it in using my favorite multi-media glue.... DAP Tub & Tile Caulking! Wanna know why I love it so? Because caulking is made to fluctuate with temperature and humidity changes... just like the tiles in your bathroom. And so it doesn't get too hard and crack off. That's my little tip for today. Back to the assemblage...

I papered the entire inside of the drawer — and over the new shelf — with vintage book pages. For this piece I used pages from The Diary Of Anne Frank. But I don't really pick titles that are pertinent to the assemblage... I actually pick based on how aged the pages look, and how supple they are. These were perfect!

I also tried something different with this piece. Usually, I age the pages with some hue of brown acrylic paint... but these pages were rather delicate and the drawer had some ridges in it. I didn't want to be treating them so harshly as to rub on paint and wipe it back off. So I thought I would try using wood stain... and OMG!! Can I just tell you... that I may never go back to acrylics for aging vintage book pages again!

I got to work on Giselle over the weekend... added some volume to her skirt, distressed her like she'd been around for decades, and hooked her up to her new station all twisted and such. But I'll save that for the next update. Until then my twisted little mixed-media followers... Bwwahhahaahaa!