Thursday, March 31, 2011

birds on a wire

Please excuse the fact I am so inept at turning photos around, so you get to see my artwork sideways.  I bought a ton of maps at RAFT a couple of years ago for I .50 or something, and ideas have been perculating in my brain as to what to do with them.  This is what I came up with.  I'm thinking of making it a magnet for the fridge.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scrabble Pendants for Teacher Appreciation Day

I've been playing around with scrabble tiles for a while now, but have never found real success in a way of presenting them.  Either the glaze on top bubbles, or the silver foil doesn't stick, or I keep running out of bails to hang them from.  The other day a teacher was wearing the most adoreable of scrabble earrings and they simply had holes in the top to hang them with.  So simple!  Why do I always take the complicated way out?  I tried it out with these samples, and I think it looks not too bad...good enough for "teacher appreciation day" gifts, I bet.

I did buy a new soldering iron today, hoping to recreate the glass slides of a few weeks ago, but it's just not working out for me.  Either the solder, flux or the iron isn't working and I'll have to figure out the answer.  That's enough crafting for today. Happy I had success with a little drill hole!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A burst of sewing creativity with an Infinity Scarf

My daughter's friend, Elena, came over for dinner last night and she was wearing this striking infinity scarf that she received for her birthday.  It was wrapped 3 times around her neck, made of a cotton knit, and I'm thinking to myself....hell, I can make that!  Today, I went to the fabric store to buy some fabric to make some for myself.  Got a little shock when I arrived, though, as I found that the knits at Joanne Fabrics were more expensive than what you can buy a ready-made one at many stores!  I went for a patterned knit, hoping I'd feel better if I bought fabric that isn't available in scarf-form.  Didn't take me long to whip this baby up, and I'm quite pleased with it!  Looking forward to wearing it to work tomorrow!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Encaustic Play: a fun, hot mess

A friend of mine travels all over the United States teaching classes on metal clay, fused glass etc. and had mentioned she had purchased at cost some encaustic supplies.  I leapt at the chance to share them with her, as I had been wanting to try this art form for a long time.  She arrived with a bunch of colored disks of wax, a heatable stylus, a mini iron and some brushes.  We watched Youtube videos on how to do it as we explored, and really enjoyed ourselves figuring out how to make an encaustic painting.  It wasn't as easy as I thought making the wax move where you want it to, but it'll be a work in progress.  Here is my result of playing around.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bird & its environment study

I found this art idea at an art show a while ago and it's one of those things I filed away until the time is right.  I've been itching to work at watercolor for a while now, so I sat down this morning and tried this idea out.  It's a ruby-throated hummingbird study, with it's environment surrounding it in black ink.  I'm quite pleased with the beginning work; so much so, that I went to Michael's and purchased a better quality water color paper and some masking fluid.  I'd like to try this again when I'm not so rushed to get something out for inspiration for a kid's class....and do something just for me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fimo Clay Pen opens Pandora's Box of Art vs. Time to Create

I am often artistically frustrated because I've got all these great ideas, but seem to never have the time to make them happen.  I keep telling myself to schedule art into my days, but things and children usually take precedence and I end up doing art in 10 minute increments.  This type of art usually looks childish, as does this pen.  I like it's whimsical nature, however, it looks like my kid did it, and so I'm a little embarrassed by it.  Playing Devil's Advocate, I DID enjoy making it....something about warming up the Fimo in your hand, and twisting and flattening it is very satisfying, and even more so, making a product you can use over and over again.  I did this project with one of my art classes, and I hope to make one I'm more proud of in the future.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Faux Leopard on my Mind.

This woman has been on my mind. Dresses the way she perceives wealthy people dress.  Yet, has difficulty making ends meet.

Magnifier Aligator Clip Contraption Gets Heart Racing.

File this under:  Another THING I felt I had to have, but probably won't use a lot.  I found this magnifier clip at Harbour Freight the other day.  I saw it and HAD to buy it.  it's perfect for soldering rings on my pendants and God only knows what else! 

Bottle Bug Adds a Splash of Whimsy to my Table

I found these little bottles and thought they'd make interesting bug bodies.  Had a lot of fun making it, using odds and ends from Jan's tool box, and filling an old vase with flowers from the garden. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

An "Observers Notebook" art show showcases kids' and teacher's work

I think it gives kids a real boost when their artistic endeavors are showcased, as they were in Mountain View City Hall's Observer's Notebook Show.  My artwork, "Layers of Mexico" was on display, along with my student's from The Academy, who did Georgia O'Keefe-inspired oil pastel art.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Are My Eyes Really That Intense or Am I Just a Bad Sketcher?

Aaaarg! I gotta say it takes a lot of guts to post this puppy.  I look like a drug addict in this self portrait.  It's bad enough having to look at my ugly mug every morning, much less force myself to look at myself in a mirror and do a self portrait.  Whose stupid idea was it to do a creative thing every day anyways?  I was about to teach self-portraits to some of my students this afternoon and I thought, hey, maybe I should do an example.  That's when I whipped this off in a couple of minutes, and seriously wondered whether I should show it to the kids at all, but then I realized how bad can it look next to a bunch of 3rd graders?    The one good thing I did today was get them all to do proper eyelashes -- threatened them all if they made those big sticks sticking out of their saucer eyes that made them look more like Tammy Faye than a 9 year old.  Just a little pet peeve.  So there it is for you.  Kath in all her scary glory in black and white.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Giving Microscope Slides New Life

I've heard the old saying that all new art is just old art recycled.  I think this applies to my newest fun craft, making glass pendants.  Going back to my stained glass days when I would work furiously while my baby napped, I would love to wrap my cut glass pieces in copper foil, then run a beautiful molten lead over it to make the nicest pieces.  Making glass pendants uses the same technique, except you are using microscope glass pieces, putting an image in between them, then foiling and silvering around the edges.  I've only done one of these at my crafty friend Sherie's place, however, I fully intend to do more.  A few more times is definitely in order to get a more consistent texture or smoothness on the edges and that darn loop at the top -- maybe it will cooperate next time!  Oh well.  More jewelry for moi.  Happy Crafting!