Slow Start

Off to a slow start, considering that this was to be my Thanksgiving project. Back in November, I only got as far as dismantling a large, odd sized frame (a thrift shop find) and painting the foam core backing with black gouache to up-cycle it as the ground for a mixed media piece. The two large sheets of watercolor paper were untouched until last night, when an alternative plan came together. I cut them to meet ye halfway, then used watercolor pencils to lay down the first layer of color.

First Layer

As for the original plan, it can wait. I have two of these frames… couldn’t pass them up at 8.50 USD each, as I know this type of metal frame would cost at least a hundred new. Just the glass would rack a pretty penny. If I had spare cash at the time, I would have bought the dozen or so of these frames. All had identical mass produced prints, so it is not like destroying art to reuse the frames.

The next few layers will be done in colored pencils… I will take it downstairs tomorrow, work on it in the community room, as it is a “Draw on Sunday” day for the new Arts & Crafts Society.

Feb21

I need to hop a bus, go buy a couple pads of art paper for the ACS, so I best get going.

Thanks for reading!

Boots on the Range

Remodeling rain boots… I was so ticked finding little girl rain boots in grown up sizes on a clearance sale rack last year that I called my sister to say, “Guess what I got?”  She reminded me why we hated wearing rubber boots as children.  It does not feel good to have rubber rubbing the skin raw on bare wet legs.  Of course, we always wore dresses to school in the 1960’s and our knee socks back then didn’t always stay up.  I could have worn these with skinny leg jeans tucked inside, but shorter with a softer edge lets me wear them with anything.

So, here is what I am doing… yes, I snapped the photo with the boots on the range (they are clean, never worn yet, and my kitchen has the best light snapping flash-less photos at night).

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Yes, I took sturdy scissors to a boot… it’s rubber, seams molded in or sealed, so it is okay.  The knitted cuff for the top was made with two strands of yarn on a cheap 30 peg round loom.  It just folds over the top of the boot shaft, with ye as much tucked  inside as there is on the outside.  Hope it stay on okay… If not, I will punch holes in rubber and sew the cuff on.  Photo below is the next cuff started.

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I don’t know what I am doing as I am not a knitter.  I bought the cheap set of looms for like twelve bucks at Wal-Mart.  They are cheap because they are made cheap.  I don’t know if you can see in this photo, but one of the blue pegs is shorter than the others because it broke off on round four and I had to fix it with a brass hammer.   I followed the basic how-to instructions that came with the loom and watched some online how-to videos about how to bind off as a straight edge.  The instructions omitted how to do that… they only tell how to take it out of the loom to close that end up to make a hat.

It is easy, but doing it kinks my spine so I’m trying various ways of holding the loom and repurposed an eraser thing into a tool to help hold the yarn while wrapping pegs.

These boots will keep my feet dry during the Great Meltdown of 2014.  We did not get nearly as much snow as friends did on the east side of PA, but we will have plently of unavoidable slush puddles here in Youngstown, Ohio.

Mosaic Guitar #1: prep stage

Well, the earth did not shatter… and this guitar (photo below) needs some help. The wood on the front of the body is damaged beyond repair. It was layered like plywood and the top layer, the veneer, was peeled off. This left the front of the guitar too thin, too weak, and too flexible for even my use as a mosaic base.

I started strengthening that surface awhile back, brushing on thin layers of a clear polymer gesso hoping it would soak in and bond with the wood fibers, and then covered it with woven 100% cotton fabric saturated with the same gesso, and then applied more gesso on top.

Yes, the fabric was a pale yellow ochre quilting fabric with a faint white paisley print. I went over the edges and it sealed very well. The polymer in gesso gives it plastic properties, so it now has the strength it needs, but it is still a little too flexible. I will have to do some work on the inside, make that surface as rigid as possible before I can begin the mosaic process.

Call it art therapy, call it play… there is something about laying mosaics that is very peaceful and calming. It is soothing to the soul. If you don’t mind, I’d like to blog the process. It won’t be everyday… mosaics take time so it will just be an update now and then. Look for “mosaic guitar” in the titles if you want to follow along.

Thanks for reading my blog! ~ N.