Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY: Fashion Collage



Hello, friends!

I wanted to create a simple, functional project that would combine my love of couture with my love of upcycling. Collage, using decoupage, is the perfect method to achieve this. 


  • Decoupage is the art of surface decoration, using glue to apply paper to an object followed by several coats of finish.


 You can use most anything with a flat, smooth surface, such as a serving tray, an end table, a piece of masonite, a wooden box, or a plaque. I'll be using this strange, ugly vase I picked up for a couple dollars at a second hand store. It appears to be hand cast in aluminum, so I felt it had potential. 
Before

Materials:
***Note: This is NOT a project to do if you have a nice, new manicure. It will get ruined!***


  • A base object on which to apply the collage. 
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife and spare blades
  • A pad to place under the paper you cut with the X-acto knife. (a piece of non-coroguated cardboard or magazine also works)
  • Fine grit sandpaper 
  • Magazines &/or catalogues
  • Acrylic spray 
  • Ruler (in case you need to make straight cuts with the X-acto)


Directions:
  1. Protect your work surface. I like to cover my work table with wax paper taped down with blue painter's tape. 
  2. Prep the surface of the object. Make sure it's clean. If it's a slick/shiny surface, scuff it up a little with the sandpaper. This will help the glue form a sturdy bond between the base and the paper.
  3. Cut out pictures from the magazines. Use the X-acto knife for the small, detailed cuts. (When the knife starts to tear the paper or bunch it up, it's time to change the blade.) This is an intuitive process. Cut out everything that appeals to you and soon you'll start to see a theme emerge. 
  4. Lay out the pictures to create a pleasing arrangement. As a rule of thumb, odd numbers are most visually appealing.
  5. Working quickly, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge either to the picture, or directly to the base surface. Don't apply too much glue, or the paper will tear during the next step.
  6. Attach the picture to the base. Then, working from the center out toward the edges, gently smooth out the air bubbles with your fingers. Don't worry if you can't get all the bubbles out. Most will flatten out on their own as the glue dries. It's also okay if you end up with some little creases. This a handmade project...the flaws only add to it's charm! 
  7. For best results, give each layer 15 min to dry. Make sure to keep the glue and your brush covered when you aren't using it. It dries out quickly! 
  8. Sometimes the edges of the images will bubble & separate from the base. I've found that dipping a dull X-acto blade or toothpick in glue & carefully sliding it in the gap, works well for reattaching the separated areas.
  9. Once your collage is complete, apply 2-3 very thin layers of Mod Podge over the entire surface. 
  10. Finally, spray it with 2 coats of the acrylic sealer. This will prevent tackiness and also create a waterproof barrier. 


Front
Back

It sounds like a lot of steps, but it's really an easy process. I hope you enjoy creating a collage of your own! 

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My First Award Nomination!


It's awards season, and even I have been nominated! It's the Liebster Award! If you aren't familiar with the Liebster award, it's basically an award, in a kind of chain letter form, given to the authors of small blogs, by other bloggers. 


I was actually nominated by two wonderful bloggers! A big "Thank you!" to Ray Turner, author of The Complete Works of TGR Worzel and to the lovely Louise Dirks, author of lovefromlou.

The Rules
(The rules that were posted by Ray differed a little from Louise's, so I just sort of combined them.)
  • You must answer all 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
  • You must link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Display the award on your blog, either in your post, or as a "widget" or "gadget". The easiest way to do this is to save the image to your computer and then upload it to your blog post.
  • After completing the 11 questions, you must nominate 5-11 bloggers (with under 200 followers) and give them 11 questions of your choice.
  • You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
  • Ray's rules also said to provide 11 random facts about yourself, so I will start with those...

11 Random Facts About Me
  1. Stella McCartney is the fashion designer I admire most.
  2. Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette is my favorite movie.
  3. I am of Spanish, Italian, and English descent.
  4. Quality over quantity is my philosophy on everything from clothing to friends. 
  5. I collect designer art toys.
  6. I love reading about historical figures, particularly female writers, artists, and monarchs.
  7. Macarons are my favorite food.
  8. The simplest things bring me the greatest joy...a starry night, the warmth of the sun on bare skin, my children's laughter, finding a heart shaped rock, harvesting produce from my garden.
  9. I am obsessed with upcycling and re-purposing.
  10. I adore Mopar Muscle Cars from the years 1968-1974. I even own one!
  11. My 8 year old son's sense of wonder about the world is my greatest inspiration. 

To be fair to both Ray & Louise, I will answer 5 of Louise's questions and 6 of Ray's...

Louise's Questions:

1. Who is your favorite blogger and why?
  • Ray Turner is my favorite blogger. He has been very supportive of my blog with his kind comments and helpful feedback. Also, his blogs (he writes 7) are part of my daily blog reading. 98% of the blogs I follow are fashion, beauty or art related, so his content is always a breath of fresh air. He writes on a wide range of subjects, so if you visit his blogs, I'm certain you'll find something that speaks to you. 
2. Who is your biggest fashion inspiration?
3. Cookies or brownies? Why?
  • One word...Macarons. They are delicious and beautiful!
4. What is your favorite place in the world?
  • Wherever I am with my family.
5. Who is your role model?
  • My maternal grandmother is my role model. In everything she did, she was grace and elegance personified. She was also extremely kind and thoughtful. She never had a negative word to say about anyone. 

Ray's Questions: 

6. Why did you start blogging?
  • I started blogging as a creative outlet for all my interests and as a way to connect with people of similar interests. Since I'm currently not working, I thought it would be a good way to keep my writing sharp. It's also a wonderful creative challenge!
7. Why did you choose the blogging platform that you currently use?
  • I chose Blogger because:
    • a. It's free. 
    • b. I saw it recommended on other people's "How to Start a Blog" posts. 
    • c. It seemed easy to use. 
  • However, I'm discovering Blogger does have a few drawbacks...
8. Has the world become better overall during your lifetime or worse? 
  • I don't think it's gotten better of worse. There have been many advances, but there have also been many atrocities. As long as there is human life, I think there will always be conflict and therefore, a constant ebb and tide of advances and setbacks.
9. What do you think of the Liebster Award and all other awards of this nature?
  • I think these awards are positive. It's really nice to be publicly recognized by your peers. Especially as a new blogger, the support of other bloggers has meant everything to me. Also, it allows readers to get to know the author a little bit better.
10. Do you think that any of the thousands of UFO's that are reported every year are of extra-terrestrial origins? 
  • Personally, I do think it's possible that there could be other life-sustaining planets in the universe. I look up at the night sky and contemplate the unfathomable size of the universe, and it's more frightening to think that we could be alone, than it is to think that extra-terrestrials might be visiting Earth. However, I'm not sure we're so interesting as to be visited thousands of times a year, but maybe once or twice a year. ;)
11. What was on the other side of the road that attracted the Chicken to cross?
  • Respite from an amorous rooster!



Now to nominate my favorite emerging blogs (in no particular order)...
  1. Stephanie of Shouda-Woulda-Coulda
  2. Mathilde of Influence Inspiration
  3. Sofia of Paisley Farm 
  4. Kala of Kala Kelly
  5. Sarah of Sarah Draws Things

11 Questions for My Nominees:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What or who most sparks your creativity?

3. If you experience writer's block or a creative slump, how do you push past it?

4. What is your favorite book, TV show, or movie?

5. What blog do you most enjoy reading?

6. What is your happiest memory?

7. Who do you admire most in your field?

8. What 3 things can you not live without?

9. What part of the natural world do you love the most? 

10. What is your favorite song, musician, or band?

11. What is the cause or nonprofit that is dearest to your heart and why?


If you participate, please leave a comment with a link to your post. I'd love to read your answers! Have a lovely day!







Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DIY: Lovely, Lacy Jars



Hello, my friends! 

I have another simple craft project for you. Today I decorated glass jars to re-purpose as vases or votive candle holders. I plan to use these on my outdoor dining table, so I wanted them to look a little rustic, but still elegant. I used burlap and paper doilies as stencils to create a lacy paint treatment. 



Materials: 




  • 3 Mason jars of various sizes
  • Glass paint
  • Stencil brush
  • Fine work brush
  • Burlap
  • Doilies
  • Painter's tape
  • Scissors
  • Raffia  
  • Decorative sand
  • Votive candles 




Directions:

Large jar:
  1. Cut a piece of burlap long enough to wrap around the jar. Secure with painter's tape.
  2. Dip the brush in the paint, then dab most of it off. You want the brush to be almost dry when you touch it to the jar, otherwise it will bleed underneath the burlap. Even if this happens, that's okay. This is a handmade, rustic project. It's not meant to be perfect!
  3. Using a stippling or tapping motion, apply the paint to the burlap.
  4. Once the burlap is covered in paint, carefully remove it from the jar. 
  5. Allow to dry for one hour.
  6. Cut the doilies into thirds, removing the middle circle, and tape them above the burlap-stenciled area.
  7. Use the same stippling method to apply paint over the doilies. 

Medium jar:

  1. This jar has an interesting multi-sided shape that I wanted to highlight. I cut small pieces of doilies to mirror the curved areas.
  2. Tape the doilies on every other panel.
  3. Apply the paint with same stippling technique.
  4. Remove doilies.
  5. Using the stippling technique, apply paint to the blank panels.
  6. To further highlight the jar's characteristics, I used the small brush to trace the lines of the jar's design.
Small jar:
  1. Using a white crayon, lightly draw 4 hearts around the jar.
  2. Stipple in the heart with paint.
  3. Using the detail brush, highlight any interesting aspects of the jar. This one had some dimples in the glass that I filled in as dots & also some numbering along the bottom edge.

All Jars:
  1. Before adding the candle, fill each jar with about 1" of sand. This will allow the candle to sit level and stable.
  2. Wrap 3 strands of raffia around the mouth of the jar, and tie in a bow.
  3. Light the candles and enjoy! 
*Note--When lighting the candles, be careful not to set the raffia on fire! Yes, I did this, LOL!

I hope you have a wonderful day!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Memorable Landscape: Serigraphy Print


This is another one of my serigraphy prints. 

It was inspired by the Owl Creek Mountains in Wyoming, United States. 


The land around this area has a stark beauty, made up of intricate textures and interesting color patterns. You can see for miles, all the way to the Wind River Range. I have been there countless times, but each time I gaze across the landscape, I experience such a soaring feeling of freedom, joy, and wonder. 

This piece was created from a day that my dad and I spent, at the base of the Owl Creeks and in the Wind River Canyon, making sketches and enjoying quality father-daughter time. This print is very special to me because the memories of that day are so dear to my heart. 

Visit Geology by Lightpane to see

great photos of the area. Many of these photos show the textures and formations I was trying to capture in my print.


Have a wonderful day! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fun Ways to Store and Display Shoes and Handbags

An ode to Alexander McQueen




Good day, my friends! 

Like many women, I have a shoe and handbag problem. Namely, I own many, yet still fight a compulsion to buy more! So, I've made a Mid Year Resolution to refrain from purchasing another bag or shoe for an entire year. To help curb the urge to splurge, I've been experimenting with new, more visually interesting, storage solutions.



A bookshelf near my closet is perfect for organizing and displaying unworn or seldom worn pieces. 



    • Keeping beautiful pieces within eye shot satisfies my sweet tooth for eye candy. It also functions as a constant reminder that it would be silly to buy another piece when there are lovely new items still waiting to be worn and enjoyed!

If you don't have space for a shelving unit, consider small, wall mounted shelves.





    • Hang a few shelves for subtle effect or a make a big statement with an entire wall of shelves.    
    • Display bags and shoes like you would an art object. Many accessories are like wearable pieces of art! It can be a constantly changing art installation!  
    • Mix them with books and other interesting objects to create a designer themed, mini exhibit.  

No wall space? Get creative! 
    • Strategically place small items like box clutches or jeweled  minaudieres in a glass cabinet with your fine china and heirlooms. 
      The wine color of this clutch is mirrored in the iridescent hues of the opalescent decanter set.

    • Display them on a coffee table with some books, a tray, and a candle.
    • Choose one piece to incorporate with the existing decor on your fireplace mantel. 

Jeweled pumps, like this Jimmy Choo pair, would look gorgeous displayed with crystal or antique cut glass pieces.

The Coveteur is a great page to visit for inspiration on creatively displaying your treasures.

Don't keep all those beautiful pieces hidden away in your closet where you'll forget about them. Have fun creating your own unique displays!  

I hope you have a lovely day!