Sunday, December 25, 2011

Have a Robin's Egg Blue Christmas!

 Here is the angel on top of my bird themed tree,  It is the creative outlet i told you about HERE.
 Here is our petite table top tree with silver and white birds, pearl and mercury glass garland, and jewel toned ornaments.  It looks really sparse here - it looks fuller in real life somehow!
 I've had this painting for a while, up in our guest room.  i got the idea to stencil "peace on earth" watching Emily Henderson's christmas special (Secrets of a Stylist).  She stencilled "joy to the world" on a vintage map as a fun holiday decoration.  She suggested peace on earth as an alternate expression.  I just love how the robin's egg blue balances the theme of the tree.
Here you can see my new caged Santos - i need to find a crown for her head.  (Jim finds her hideous) Also you can see i went a little nuts decorating our 75 drawer apothocary cabinet with glass picture frames, snowflakes and more garland.
 I was blessed to receive some lovely things from my friends - here is a mini tree made with sheet music and burlap squares - topped with a wee birdie, from Z.
 And K sent me this amazing 3-d christmas card in a padded envelope.
 My friend L was moving and gave me a bunch of empty boxes.  She does packaging design - so had a quite a collection.  Here are three that i wrapped up with beautiful decorative papers and embellishment.  They can be used again and again.  The book was a gift my my sister to my husband, we were not supposed to unwrap it - but the amazon box was sooo ugly.  besides, doesn't it just blend in beautifully with my theme?
And here is one of 5 origami birds i made, using a tutorial my neice posted on her blog HERE.  I used these cranes to give my husband gifts we need to go and pick out together.  I printed images of the items on 8 1/2 by 11 printer paper, then cut the paper into an 8 1/2" square.  It took me a while to get the hang of the folding - but by the 5th one i think i figured it out!

For christmas eve, we went out with friends for a lovely gourmet dinner.  Afterwards, we invited them in for egg nog with Grand Marnier and nutmeg, enjoyed some carols and the lovely ambiance of our decorated room.  I hope your christmas is memorable and shared with good friends and family....!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Creative Outlet Play Date

Six artsy girlfriends spent Sunday afternoon doing something creative.  With an outlet.  Yes - an actual electrical outlet.  Get it?  A "creative outlet"!!
Micheal deMeng's Creative Outlet
D. has taken many classes with the altered art genius, Micheal deMeng and purchased one of his Creative Outlets so we'd seen a sample of what was possible. Click HERE to see more examples of his work. Even so, there was some intimidation about how to get started, what to bring, what if you don't like his "dark" style?  But as always seems to happen at these lively gatherings, we all feed off of each others muses, share each others loot, and end up with a fantastic array of art projects.  
When gathering up my tools and materials the day before, i saw an angel evolve - with a optical lens face, and brass and capiz shell wings.  The body of course, would be the outlet itself!  I just kept layering and layering until i felt it captured  the spirit of a DeMeng piece - with the interesting juxtaposition of materials so prevalent in his work.  Albeit with a prettier and softer pallet of cream, gold and touches of blue.
Here is after i glued the wings and shell to the back of the outlet, and wired the lens.  The adorable face came from a copy of a vintage christmas card - so angelic.  And here is my finished angel! She has porcelain arms, a copper ruffled collar, a snowflake hat, a blue crystal bodice with a blue wire bow.  Her skirt is a set of carded buttons, a piece of mica and some ecru lace. I honestly had not planned on one, but a bird quite literally landed in my work area, so was added to the final piece, i glued it onto one of the buttons strung on a piece of wire to create a golden halo.
Keeping in mind these projects are at various stages of completion, i'd love to share my friends' work with the blogsphere.  Here is Z's outlet turned face, complete with blue hair barrette eyes and some bling-y earrings.  The metal face part was found in a parking lot!  Treasures are everywhere you look....!

Here is L's whimsical framed box, with an assortment of fimo clay elements adding to the fun.  She has a striped snake tail slithering into the central compartment covered with charms and a piece of measuring tape wrapped in wire. Two metal hands give this a high five, twice!
Here is S's deeply layered outlet, with an open work vine covered round tin box, a faucet crank, a protracter, wings and leaves and flourishes, topped with a locket.  She will probably paint the whole thing and make it look quite different than it does now.
Here is D's creation.  Well - it is hard to really capture it.  It started as a protractor framed outlet with wings and gears and a watch and a spoon and a baby.  Then it got added to a wire airplane sculpture.  and here it is on a tin box, waiting for the glue to dry. As you can tell - she has the most experience with the DeMeng style!
Here is K's piece, still waiting for the carousel horse to be painted and final assembly.  Love her assortment of metals - silver, brass, and her signature copper.  It is fascinating how you take such disseparate items and make a pulled together art piece.
Since i finished my angel pretty quick, i went ahead and created a second creative outlet. Would you like to create one of these for yourself, or as a gift for your wacky sister, aunt, friend? 
Ask your husband if he has any extra electrical outlets in the garage/basement.  Oddly enough, most of them do.  Or go to the hardware store.  I do NOT recommend you actually remove one from the wall!! (yuck yuck)  Then grab two forks (or spoons or a spatula or a whisk would look cool) and wire it to the outlet.  Then add whatever you have in your junk drawer with E6000 or 7800 glue until you have enough.  Whatever "enough" means, it is kinda in the eye of the beholder!  Then you can paint or stain it to make some of the elements more cohesive.  I just used alcohol ink and a Q-tip to add a golden glow to my metals.  Some bright pink craft wire, and some white buttons dyed bright pink add the whimsy.  My little baby is painted gold and dipped with pigment dust and sits on a fork tine stage, behind a western style belt buckle proscenium arch.  Hell yeah.