Monday, July 18, 2011

1000 piece puzzle :)

Roundabouts Christmas this last year, I was rather why wouldn't I invest in a 1000 piece puzzle to bid the time? Let me tell you though - some of those chunks were hard to do! Many of the pieces were similar in shape - some so that they were nearly indiscernible from one another! I'll bet I logged a good 25-30 hours on this thing...

The bedroom project!

When I moved into my current place, my friend who owns it said that we could paint. His guidelines were "no neon pink polkadots on yellow walls" or something along those lines. Nearly a year after moving in, I decided that no creative energies could get moving in me if I didn't liven up my sleepspace a bit... and even though I stuck with his guidelines, I expect he might want me to primer when I move out. :)

This room drastically changes how it looks based on time of day and what kind of light is happening in there. This picture was taken at night, and is backlit as well as the lamp in the pic. The greenish wall on the left is the original color - you can see why I had to change it, it's just such a drab color! I mixed the brownish color on the right out of several leftover cans I got from a friend, and the basement.

A closer look at the original color. This was taken during the afternoon so there was tons of natural light. Sooooo grey. That is the purple that bedecks the entire wall. :) A definite 2-coater. Now, for the brown wall I just used a basic 2" natural-bristled paintbrush. But I had spied a system that is allegedly "As Seen On TV" called the Point N Paint, and I simply had to have it.

Where the purple wall meets the sea blue wall - notice the "plumberry" (Valspar brand paint) window ledge! This was taken at night as well, and there are 2 more lights behind the camera.

The same corner in natural light - isn't it nuts how different it is!? In the final room, the color goes all the way to the wood ceiling. I hadn't yet gotten that far when I took these pictures. At this point, I was very pleased with the Point N Paint. It boasts that it holds something like 5x the paint of a roller; though I haven't painted with a roller in recent enough history to confirm that, the microfiber bristles of the "brush" did hold quite a lot! And the finish was smooth. I would have done well to have thinned my paint somewhat, but overall it turned out nicely.

Where the purple wall meets the green wall. Green had 2 coats on it in this picture, but parts of it needed 3. This is also taken before I painted the light fixture (you'll see it below). The trim around the doors and along the floor is staying fairly well the same shade of ivory. Of course by the time I got to the green wall, the last wall, the tallest wall of my room, the attachment within the Point N Paint handheld apparatus had weakened, and snapped off on the first swipe - just when I needed it most!! Luckily my younger brosif was over for the night, so he climbed onto the dining room chair and got the first coat along the upper wall. (As of today, it's still awaiting coat #2, and the trim along the wood ceiling still needs doing! If only I were taller...or had a taller ladder.)

The switchplate cover that is white-ish and shiny in the picture above got coated with a healthy layer of the plumberry paint used on the window ledges, and then doused it with Martha Stewart's extra fine tourmaline glitter, a coat of acrylic finish (NOT enamel, this was my learned-that-the-hard-way project!), aaaaannnd delight!!

All assembled, complete with navy blue knob.

The light fixture - yes, those are glittered screws. It's all in the details. :) :)

All of the outlet covers got covered in navy, as well as the heater grate. I'd suppose now would be a good time to explain my reasoning - the paintjob done previously (the grey-green color) hadn't been done very neatly. So when I went to repaint, some of the outlet faces had paint on them and some didn't. Likewise with the outlet covers, switchplate cover, etc. So when I began repainting, my continutous perfectionist OCD mandated that everything be uniform.

The curtain rods were the same brushed-looking gold that the light fixture had been. This was the last (of 4) of the ends that was fully intact. The other 3 had either fallen off of the curtain rod, or broken an arm or 3 while they were getting moved around. After painting, I took upon a new project...

All the bits I had to work with...

What finally happened. It looks neater in real life, but in general it's not the classiest wire work. I was going more for function than form in this. After all, I expect that I'll have to spray paint the whole thing a normal color upon moving out anyway. :)

The list of paints that I used are as follows:
...on the walls...
Olympic premium interior latex: Perfectly Purple, Acupulco Cliffs (blue), & Antique Moss (green). Bought those at Lowes. The window ledges/outlet faces/base of the switchplate is Valspar Plumberry. I bought a sample container at Home Depot, thinking it would be what turned into the Perfectly Purple wall, but as you can see, it was much too red. The brownish wall, as I said before, is a mixture - primarily of an espresso-brown, and a tawny/sandy brown. The trim is a fairly basic ivory. The navy spray paint is Rust-O-Leum glossy navy blue.

Halloween pumpkins

Every Devil's Night, my friend Matty has a huge bash at his house out in the country. Last year, I had quite a lot of free time leading up to the holiday, so I etched a couple of pumpkins to take to the party!

I used one of the pumpkin pattern books that you can get at any Meijer (or Target, Kmart, Walmart, Kroger, Publix, etc.) For this first pattern - it may have been called "witchy woman" or something - I used a #11 blade in an Exact-o knife to slice around the whole design (which was taped onto the pumpkin). Then I made shallow slices through all of the parts that would normally be cut completely through, and sliced the rind off in bits. I fully cut through the eye slits.

In normal light.

The Haunted House pattern, done the same as the other, in normal light.

The Haunted House, outside at night with a candle in it. The "sky" flesh could've been a bit thinner...

The masterpiece!!

Great Turtle Glassware!

Turtle and I met at a restaurant job, and through the course of our tenure working together, we obtained 2 red wine glasses that hold a particularly significant amount of sentimental value. After leaving the job, the glasses got put in a box and lived in my brothers basement for 8 months before I moved into my current place. (How charming, for such important objects...!) When I unpacked the glasses, I decided to etch them in a way that would make them fully show their heritage. :)

I decided to do the opposite because I thought it would look cool. Which it does, but I do wish that I had also made opposite the text on the reverse sides. Ideally, the glasses would have been clear turtle/opaque text & opaque turtle/clear text. Oh well, they still turned out nicely!

Best served with a glass oooooffff ::
Pinot Evil pinot noir

He and I bought 2 bottles of this stuff on our first little "outing" together. One sat on my dresser for over a month before we broke it open late one night when none of the 4 of us drinking should have still been thirsty! Due to our extreme hangovers the next day, the 2nd bottle didn't get touched for another 4 months...but I still love it.

Karen's project!

My friend Karen is participating in a bachelorette party wine-tasting weekend later this month, and asked me to create glasses for the event.

Blank, large, white wine glass.

Sharpied the words onto pieces of removable self-adhesive shelf liner (such as Contact-brand). I made sure to line up the words on each glass fairly closely. After attaching the template, I exact-o-knifed out all of the text, as well as the heart shape underneath "Jill & Chaz." Then I stuck that heart cutout toward the bottom of the opposite side of the glass, put a larger piece of Contact paper over it, and cut around the original heart (making a border of which to etch).

The so-far-finished design. All of them are a little different, since I cut everything by hand.

I have made 12 of them as they appear above. (She had asked for 11, but I made the extra just in case there is an unfortunate situation in the travels to wine country and back!) I am adding "bride" and "groom" to 2 of them. I may also add one more heart, but I am going to experiment with etching the inside of the glass for it. Planning on putting it slightly underneath the "2011" - this is to do a couple of things. Almost all of the "2011's" are at an upward angle. Normally I know that I critique my own things more than anyone else ever does, but this is absolutely noticeable so I want to try and make it a touch more aesthetically pleasing. I assessed a couple of different ways in which to remedy the situation. Adding the heart was my decidedly best solution because I think it will pull together the other 2 hearts while you're looking at it sitting on a shelf, and and it will look sweet when it's full. :)

When I finish the rest of them, I'll post away!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Breaking my habit of procrastinating...

I'm fairly certain that I don't have any readers yet, but if I do - firstly, I apologize that I wasn't aware of you. :) And secondly, I apologize for having said I would post....2?, 3?...weeks ago. Here I am, to cover some projects from past and present so we can both get an idea of what we're working with... :) I will be doing these as separate blogs, as the picture uploading tools provided to me by blogger confound me!

Just after Christmas, my brother's girlfriend's sister commissioned me to make her 4 wine glasses. Her instruction was for the glasses to be voluminous, and aesthetically "fun." Bro's GF provided me with info that sister likes animal prints. I Googled "animal prints," and decided on 4 designs, 1 for each glass - giraffe, zebra, tiger, and cheetah.
This is the cheetah print in progress. The whiter/lighter parts are where the etching cream is clouding the light coming through - where the finished product will be etched. The darker areas are where the removable adhesive shelf liner (such as Contact brand) is stuck to the glass - where the finished product will still be clear.

I have learned from previous accidental experiments working with etching cream that it's fairly easy to make streaky patterns in the final design. You can do this by putting the cream very thinly on the glass surface. However, there are many factors that change what kind of "streaky" it is. If you use the grainier bits of the cream and spread what is there quite thinly, you can make a very light brush, sometimes that can be more than half opaque.

For parts of the cheetah glass (the bits that would be black on a real cheetah), I also left covered when I initially etched. After rinsing the first coat, I took the bits off that would be black, and did the very thin layer, though thick enough that it would still be mostly etched. I only left that 2nd coat on long enough to finish brushing it over the whole glass. (Time is another factor in the streaky-etching, though since it works so quickly anyway, it's less important than thickness.)



Zebra - turned out very well! It was both Cassidy's and Turtle's favorite.

Tiger - meow! This one actually gave me quite an unexpected challenge. My initial pattern looked more like clouds floating in a clear glass sky, but I had already etched it on! So I checked out multiple images of tigers online and created a new pattern that worked around the existing "cloud" mess that had been on there already. Just as I had hoped, the original etchings showed under the new etching just enough that it added a hint more texture to the final glass. Definitely a win. :)

So...that was, oh I don't know, major glass project #1? Next stop, the Karen/Jill project!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's a beautiful day!

Goodness, I am sorry that I started this thing and fairly well immediately slacked! This week/end was rather random. After tomorrow, my time available for crafting and creating and selling myself increases substantially.

Bummer tonight (though probably the reason I am actually writing something right now!) - Pinterest is down for maintenance. I have several tabs open, waiting until I can hit the (who-knew-how-) much-desired "Pin it!" bookmark icon...*sigh*

Oh! Jordan snagged me up today to hit the Grand Rapids Fulton Street Artists' Market (that links to their facebook page). Very cool ideas, inspiration for resin (soooo pumped for Tuesday !! ), bought some soaps. I asked the lady who made the soaps (as well as candles, lotion, deodorantand lip balm) to think of me first if she needed an assistant. Because how cool would it be to learn how to make my own SOAP!?! And keep GOATS!!?


Sheesh, look at me, making plans...

Snapping back into reality, then today got consumed with music practicing (so I was still of course using my creative brain, plus some!), and then the illustrious, beautiful, amazing, devastating U2 concert at Spartan Stadium. HUGE shout-out to Jax Baker for making that happen for me. The visuals were phenomenal, there is really no other way to put it.


This picture is not from tonight's show, but it looks the same. A-ma-zing. So, so much love in the world. :)

Mmmkay, so, wrap-up:
**Tomorrow I am practicing some music and the evening finds me playing my friend Nik's final Open Mic Night at Z's - it's been a memorable 5 years.
**Tuesday: Experimenting with the Wonderful World of Resin!! Bottle cap magnets are the introductory project (I will actually be hole-punching images at Open Mic), so I'm going to Mod Podge first. While that's drying, I'll finish the stencils for etching Amy's sister's wine glasses. Possibly apply the etching cream. Then resin the caps and see what results we like. One of the girls at Market did a lot of things with resin that really inspired me; I'll go into it more on Tuesday night's blog.
**Also, I was hoping that I could get some decent pictures of what little is left to do on the room project, but looks like I'm stuck with my phone camera. I will try and get, at the very least, some good examples of before and after shots, it's really turning out quite cool. But I'm ready for my space to be back to order, it's really been throwing off my qi. Plus, when T finally gets to come here, it will be a proper ladies boudoir. :)

Some thoughts on what I want to look into:
- Sandblast etching
- Glass paint
- Resin molds
- How one band can be so sexy o.O

See you Tuesday!