Monday, November 26, 2012

Yesterday, Joy and Simplicity Showed up in my Front Yard

I was sitting in my shop, working on some new items for myEtsy store when I heard this distant scratching sound. My first thought wasthat my dog, Jack, was doing something that I would not approve of. But he camewhen I called and the sound continued with him looking at me.  My second thought was, “I wonder if my house is haunted?”This is a thought that comes to me pretty regularly. We’ve had a few “unexplained”moments in our house over the years, but I sincerely doubt that it’s anearthbound spirit.

What never occurred to me was that my neighbor was rakingthe leaves in my yard.
I opened the window and asked him what he was doing and why.He told me that it was time for the annual leaf pile event. It seems that heand some of the other fathers get together every year and make leaf piles. As Ilooked up the hill, there were six leaf piles in six yards.
For about the next hour, kids ran from one yard to another,jumping into leaves. Then one of the dads would come along and re-pile them.
Watching them, I realized how much I miss the simple pleasuresof fall. When I was a kid, I would jump in leaves and then help my father burnthem in a little stone oven in a corner of our back yard. I miss the smell. Imiss the simplicity of it. I miss being a kid.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Collage and the Two Drunk Guys Behind Me

There are times when I have to travel for business. One of my duties as a marketing manager is to oversee trade show appearances and corporate meetings. I love the challenge of making sure that all the details are covered and the joy of building the perfect spreadsheet. (I know, geeky and strange for someone who enjoys getting her hands dirty with paint and glue, but there is real joy in planning everything out in a spreadsheet).

But, I start to get antsy when I can't play with my glue and paint. So I usually travel with a few little art bits to play with. I bring my journal with me, a glue stick, a black, felt tip pen and usually a fashion magazine. Fashion magazines have a lot of interesting backgrounds and headlines.

I page through looking for stuff that grabs my attention. Then I spend time looking for words that fit my mood or the photos that I have found. Then I start gluing. This trip, there was a store for kids in the airport and I bought a package of "colors." It really didn't work the way I wanted it to, but it was a bit more like being a kid again. Glue stick, magazines, and colors. It was cool.

Using a magazine to collage isn't new. You might even say it's cliché. But there is a lot of downtime when I travel, lots of time in forgettable hotel rooms. It helps get through a plane ride when the guys two rows back have talked incessantly for the last two hours and consumed lots of garlic and alcohol.

Yes, I can hear them through my ear buds. 

And yes, I can smell them especially when they go up the aisle for nature's call. 

But I do love to journal on the road. Even when the flight attendants look at you like you have two heads.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Aluminum Tape Box Tutorial

I love to alter things and my usual style is a bit more shabby chic. And while I think a distressed look is beautiful, not everyone shares my opinion. So I decided to make something a bit more modern and simple. Below are the instructions.

What you'll need:
  • Wooden box (size of your choice)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Black acrylic paint
  • 1 inch key chain rings
  • Foam brush
  • E6000 glue
  • Aluminum tape with adhesive (found at hardware store in Plumbing)
  • Paper stump)
  • Craft store varnish (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Paper towels

Step 1
Sand the box, both inside and out, to remove any rough edges.

Step 2
One the top of the box, take the ruler and the pencil and draw a diagonal line from one top corner to a bottom corner. Repeat. Now you have the middle of the box.

Step 3
Using the E6000, glue the key ring to the center of the box lid. You can add a key ring on either side (as pictured) or you can create a pattern of your choosing. The same thing can be done with washer. Set the box aside to dry and cure, usually for a day.

Step 4
Measure the box lid and cut the three aluminum tape piece that will fit on the box lid without going to the side. Measure the perimeter of the box lid and cut a long piece of the aluminum tape.

Step 5
Take one of the short pieces of the aluminum tape and pull off the backing. Line the bottom edge of the tape to the bottom edge of the top of the box lid. Burnish. Do the same thing with the top of the box lid and another tape. Burnish. Using the last piece of tape and gentle apply it over the key rings. Gently burnish.

Step 6
Take the long piece of tape and apply it around the bottom edge of the box lid. Take the scissors and snip a “V” shape onto each corner (miter cut) and then fold the tape over to the top of the lid. Burnish.

Step 7
Apply black paint over the aluminum tape. Using a crumpled paper towel, dab it across the paint to the mottled look.

Step 8
Paint the rest of the outside of the box and the inside of the box black. Let dry and apply another coat. If you want to varnish the box, be careful not to varnish the edges of the box where it closes. The varnish can make the box lid stick together.