Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stealing Like An Artist

Wow. Work has really taken over my life. While I love working around books and learning how to order materials for my system, I find that I am struggling with my work-life-art balance.

On Monday, I needed to get away from my desk (I usually take my lunch there, too) so I brought a book with me to the lunchroom, just to escape the insanity for a while. Over a couple of days I finished reading "Steal Like an Artist". I wrote about seeing this book three years ago (omygosh) but only now have really taken time for it.

One of the suggestions in the book was to create a "swipe" file where you store all the ideas you like of other people's so you can try your own hand at that same idea or process. The point here is that 1) no idea is original and 2) the human hand is incapable of making a perfect copy of something. Therefore, anything you make will actually be different than the original. And it's not plagiarism if you don't claim it's your original idea. (I think it is also better if you don't try to sell it either.)

I set up a board on Pinterest which I call my Art to Steal From board. Yes, it am grammatically incorrect. I have a difficult time with that particular thing (dangling participles?). ANYWAY, I buzzed through Pinterest later that afternoon (stealing a minute here and there from insanity-land) and collected a fair number of ideas I wanted to try re-creating in my style.

Yesterday was a particularly hard day. (Constructive criticism still hurts.) I came home and had a ton of work to do here. The stress was really overwhelming me and a thought came to mind - do art.

My house is a wreck right now because of my preoccupation with work. No table space to speak of anywhere. Art supplies are disorganized due to my trying to organize them (familiar problem?). But I knew I had to do something - anything - just so I could feel better.

I took a quick look at my Pinterest board and chose this project*. I found a small vintage book and some embroidery floss. I sat at my computer desk, scooted over the keyboard and, in the five inches left over, cut out hearts of varying sizes from the pages of the book. And I stitched one set. Aaaaaahhhh.... relief.

I took a bag with the book and embroidery supplies to work today. During lunch (in the lunchroom, not at my desk) I pulled out my project and did another heart. Aaaaahhhhh.... blessed peace again.

So, the act of art-ing is soul-saving. And even a little bit is enough.

When the going gets tough, the tough get a needle and thread and do art.

*I don't have permission to share the photo of the original piece so the link will have to suffice.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Rocks

Some families make Easter eggs. I make rocks. Aren't they CUTE?

And then some snuck up the tree. And I forgot to take them down so they are still out there. In the dark. Just waiting...

This is my rock band shot. It's all artsy with the poses. (Get it? ROCK band?)

All rocks were crocheted while watching multiple episodes of the first and second Dr. Who's. Does that make them special?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

All Things Paper Book Review

As someone who loves paper craft so much, I’m always on the lookout for new books on the art. On a whim, I entered a contest on Goodreads and was lucky enough to win a copy of “All Things Paper” by Ann Martin. Ann runs the website which is full Full FULL of papercraft designs and ideas. In her book she gathered twenty different paper artists together to share their ideas. I hoped to find something new and interesting to try.

The Table of Contents divides up the projects by type: Home D├ęcor, Fashion Accessories, Jewelry, and Correspondence. The projects themselves turned out to be fairly standard: candle luminaries, paper flowers, greeting cards and paper jewelry. Each of these fairly common projects is given a twist to make them something unique to each of the artists. 

Being that I am a book folder, I found the Phone Book Letter Holder the most interesting idea in the bunch. I saw it the first time I opened the book and was intrigued. One of my Read books has been pressed into service on my piano to hold correspondence and paper bills waiting to be paid (hello DMV renewal!). The time had come to replace it with something a little more lovely.


I finished the project in under an hour, changing out some of the materials to suit those I had at hand. I preferred the look of  a regular (although cut in half) book and book paper to ribbon and a phone book. Mounting the finished project onto a small, vintage book completed the fabulousness!

Other projects which look interesting include the Jungle Beads Necklace (although hand-coloring individual paper beads might be something I have the patience to do only when I’m in the hospital with a broken leg!), the fine paper yarn necklace (oh WOW!) and the Frameable Tree Card. It has intricate leaf cut-outs that also might require the broken leg, but I can’t stop thinking about it!

This book is good for all levels of paper crafters and has projects to appeal to a general audience. The pictures and directions are detailed and easy to see. It’s a valuable addition to the library of most paper 

Find more reviews for All Things Paper at Amazon. Thanks again to Tuttle Publishing for this fun gift!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Oh Happy Vacation!

I am on vacation from the library this week and what a joy it is!

The list of things to do is long and art is on there in between the trips to the post office and deep cleaning projects...

My Mormon Lent is still a-going on in my life and things have happened because of it. Some good. Some not what I expected (and good in spite of that).

More people are writing to tell me how they are using the Fancy Folds tutorial. Here's a photo from Stephanie Phillips from Tattered Trinkets who said, "Just wanted to show you my first completed "fancy font" project that I made using the techniques from your instructional book.  Hope it makes you proud!  Lol. I know it does me....your techniques are sooooo much easier to follow than other instructions I found out there....well worth [it]!

Check out Stephanie's Facebook page for more of her book folding crafts and antiques. While you are at it, check out the Rhymes With Magic Art page, too!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Itsy-Bitsy Teeny Tiny Stars

This past weekend was General Conference. On Saturday I just sat and listened. On Sunday I decided to use my hands while I listened. Remember back when I made these stars (at Conference, too!)? Well, now I've made them with 1/8" quilling paper. (Thank you, dear Allyson, for my Christmas present!)

And I will make earrings with them. Yes I will.