There may not be much individual art coming from me in the next few months, or there may be a ton, it depends on how bored I am. I’m moving to Iowa for an internship tomorrow, and I decided I needed some art for my wall. I made this. Inspired by this, which I’ve seen in several places floating around the internet. Mine’s a selection of some of the lyrics from OK Go’s Crash the Party. Which I love. I love that song. I stretched it over a frame with the aid of quite a bit of masking tape and some staples. Here’s the back, finished. I’m super happy with it!
When I was a kid, I did every craft you could think of. I was an art fair kid and my closet reflected that. Today, I finally got my possessions at my parent’s place down to a single bookshelf (with a small storage cabinet on top).
I got rid of a lot of stuff. And then I found these little clay animals I’d made. I should clarify, they weren’t made of clay exactly, but this plastic/clay/stuff I’d gotten in Europe which never dries out. (seriously, these were in my closet for years and were still malleable)
I knew I wasn’t going to keep these little guys, because they’re just too darn fragile and I can’t use them for anything, but I figured I’d document them before letting them go.
I’d kept them in this tin to keep them from getting too skooshed. Pencil for scale.
There’s snakes one and two, which were cool color-scale projects for me whenever it was that I made them.
My friend penguin here stands up on his own and everything.
An apple with a worm coming out of it.
A broken heart for… whatever… reason…
A bouquet of lilies because I’d been working on a bead project that got abandoned and the form was on my mind.
And last but not least, my tiniest mouse friend and his cheese.
Farewell my long forgotten about friends, who must have entertained me for a day or so sometime when I was in middle school.
Or What I Did With My Evening.
I turned this…
(Process photo for scale, and to give you an idea what chaos looks like)
I used my actual desk chair, and a soft tape measure/ruler to get an accurate sense of scale and proportion
and did a bunch of fancy calculations.
I ended up with this lovely thing. It’ll end up in a show as a… prop? set dressing? I’m not exactly sure, actually. They just sorta asked me to make it.
Me being me, it was a really enjoyable evening.
I just took some time off to create some jewelry for myself, but we both know it won’t be just for me for long. I’m still working on figuring out my “brand” and where I want my Etsy store to go, so it’s entirely possible you’ll be seeing these again in the future.
You can find the tutorial for the beads in the garnet and brass necklace in this post. I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to share the process for the larger blue beaded beads in the first pair of earrings; I learned how to make them in a class and I’d rather not step over some kind of ownership line, but they sure are pretty. I did design the beaded beads in the third piece I made this weekend, and I’m totally happy to share that tutorial after the pictures of my work.
I’ve had these pieces of garnet hanging around forever; garnet is my birthstone but I just hadn’t found anything to use them for. I turned them into beaded beads with size 15/0 Czech seed beads also used in this pair of earrings, and some left over 15/0 Toho seed beads and 11/0 Aikos (also from Toho) from the dragon earrings. I love the way this necklace feels and I cannot wait to have a reason to wear it.
These are mostly some 8mm Czech firepolish, 4mm and 3mm Swarovski bicones, 11/0 seed beads from Miyuki, and 15/0 Tohos. I really like this kind of beaded bead because they end up looking really pretty and intricate.
I’ve had these pieces of sodalite forever, and really wanted to do something with them. Turns out the key was some pretty little beaded beads at the bottoms for a fun pair of earrings. Here’s the tutorial for those beads.
You’ll want four 3-4mm rounds. I ended up using some 4mm firepolish beads for the ones in the earrings, but silver spacers here. You’ll also need two different sizes of seed bead. In the case of this tutorial I used a size 11/o (the orange ones) and a size 9/0 (the green ones), both Czech glass. In the earrings I used a 11/0 from Miyuki and a 15/0 from Toho.
String all four 4mm beads, interspersed with the larger seed beads as shown.
Tie ends together to form a circle
Exit the circle through a seed bead as shown.
String 2 smaller seed beads, 1 larger one, and two smaller ones, and connect to the next large seed bead in the circle.
Repeat four times until you’ve completed the circle. String through the first part of the first loop and exit the top larger seed bead as shown.
Connect the four top larger seed beads as shown.
Pull tight and knot off. Do not cut thread, instead work thread through seed beads until you are exiting a large seed bead from the original circle. Repeat the process for the other side.
Close bead and tie off. Your bead should look like this.
I hope that made sense to you! As always, questions and comments are welcome in the comments section!
Hi Everyone! I’ve got a friend’s birthday this weekend, and I needed to come up with a kick-ass gift for him, so I grabbed a book I’d bought at Goodwill a while ago for a different project and created a place for him to hide valuables. Here’s how I did it.
Guess which of these books is hollow!
So the first step, and this is important, is to get a good book. The book should be at least two inches thick, and hardbound, so that it won’t show when you hollow it out. You’ll also want a good set of razor blades (I used an exacto set I’ve had for a while but I’ve also seen this done with a box cutter), some glue (I used some extra Modpodge I’ve had for a while, but you could water down Elmer’s or another water based white glue- just make sure it’s thin enough to soak into the pages a little bit), a paintbrush and some cling wrap. The cling wrap will protect your cover and title pages.
Separate your cover and the cover pages you want to save and wrap them in cling wrap. Make sure you’re covering all the edges, because the next step is to paint the edges of the rest of the book with glue. I did one coat, let it dry for about an hour weighted, and then coated it again.
It’s important to weight it down because the pages are naturally going to want to separate and fluff up in order to accommodate the glue.
I used my complete works of Shakespeare and a couple other heavy books I had lying around to weight it through the whole process.
Next you’re going to want to sketch out the borders of your hole. Depending on what you’re hiding, you may want to make it a specific shape- I’ve seen props which are meant to hold a gun, for instance.
Cut your pages out! This took me a lot longer than I thought it would, and a one-evening project turned into a multiple day project as I tried to make three compartments. It all works out though, just take your time.
This is probably the right moment to talk about corners. I had a lot of problems getting the corners clean and sharp. The first compartment I made had a lot of sloping on the walls and the corners weren’t clean at all.
I was able to go back with the chisel blade and fix it up some, but not as much as I would have liked. My best advice is to just pay special attention to the corners and the sides as you cut. If you think the sides are uneven or sloping inward, the best time to fix them is immediately. Eventually, going back to fix it won’t work as well as you’d like it to.
I basically cut the corners first every time I made a cut or took out a few pages. I found that this really helped.
Coat your cut outs in glue! At this point you’ll want to make sure that you at least have the cling wrap between your cover pages and the rest of the book, and you’ll *really* want to weight it. I actually glued each compartment as I went in order to keep them sturdy while I cut the next hole.
After your glue is all dry, go back and coat every glued surface again. Weighting probably isn’t so important at this point, but I did it anyway. Let it all dry for a while. This is the last call for glue.
After that point, I cut off the top layer of the page where it showed in order to have a nice clean page at the top instead of something covered in icky glue. I ended up taking off three pages ultimately, but it all worked out.
As you can see, it’s not perfect but it’s a totally cool gift for a friend regardless! Especially because I had the book already, I had the glue and the cling wrap and all the other supplies, it was super cheap, but if you needed any of these things, or even all of them, the total cost would still be under 10$.
Or how a project for class was actually really fun and fascinating.
I’m taking this Mathematics of Art class for my Math 1 credit because I am a liberal arts student through and through, and I wanted to share a project I did for the class because I think it’s really neat.
We had two projects due, actually. For the first one we’d been talking a lot about the mathematics in patterns so I took a previous project and analysed it.
I will never stop loving these bracelets.
Anyway, for my second project I wanted to build on the ideas we’d explored with patterns, but I also really wanted to do a project in 3-D. So I started thinking about applicable ways to use beadwork to create something in 3 dimensions.
It was the one in the lower right that really caught my eye. Where have I seen shapes like that before? (Once again, Diane Fitzgerald is still totally my hero) It’s worth noting that it’s mathematically impossible to manifest Borromean Rings as perfect circles in the real world, so using ellipses or ovals is kinda unavoidable.
This is the set of rings I came up with. The idea behind Borromean Rings is that any two of the rings are not linked together in any way, but all three together are impossible to separate. In order to accomplish this, I created two separate rings first, and then had to work the third around the first two to link them together.
The piece was still a little loose for my taste as a pendant after I’d finished with it, so I stabilized it by adding a single silver decorative bead to the center. It also, isn’t actually attached to any of the rings.
I mentioned earlier that I wanted to keep working with a pattern. This time, I had to find a pattern that would tessellate not only laterally, but also around a 5 (or in this case, a 7) count tube. I managed to find a really fascinating article which contained a bunch of different patterns for bead crochet bracelets.
That’s not a problem, I’m good at adapting patterns, and the way the beads lay when finished is so similar to peyote, it wasn’t hard to adapt. That bracelet up there is theirs, they show that the pattern does in fact tessellate.
Of course, my adaption is on a much smaller scale, but here you can see how I expressed this pattern.
It does tessellate circularly, though the ends of the oval disrupt the pattern.
Each of the rings has a base color and a contrast color which changes based on the ring.
It’s not exactly something I tend to wear, but I really like it, and as a conceptual project it works well. Let me know what you think in the comments!
So I went to Goodwill again. Love that place.
I found this encyclopedia from 1959 for 50 cents, and it had this really pretty old school map in the front and back covers. Apparently it was once a library book, which I know because it has “WITHDRAWN” stamped over the Soviet Union on the front cover. I think that’s hilarious, but that’s just me.
A lovely map like that needs some seriously good fabric/paper to back it, and some nice frames. I ended up buying three black picture frames (and glass) for $2.99 each, (total cost on this project < $1o) which is exactly why I love Goodwill so much.
Here they are all framed up. Each page needed a little trimming, but together they make a map of the world.
I thought this illustration of a flower was lovely, so I cut out the encyclopedia entry and framed that too, just to complete the set.
Now my wall looks like this! I feel like I have real art.
Project cost: $8.50