Thursday, March 29, 2012

plastic shore

A couple of weeks ago, I did a segment with Martha, demoing the Sailor's Valentine boxes using all nature materials that I found on the beach. We also showed a piece of art I created from all the plastic remnants I collected that littered the ocean shore
Besides being automatically drawn to the specs of bright colors heading down the beach seeking shells, the remorse I would feel to "pirate" the natural and pass by the manufactured. How could I do that? Once that ida was in my head, it was impossible to stop picking it up.
After cleaning, drying, organizing by color and packing in my suitcase, all the plastic from the beaches of a small island in the Bahamaswe journeyed home to New York City. One night, I sat indian-style on the floor, scrutinized over layout and puzzled together a color gradient composition.
It changed a few times, many times, before I decided to glue the pieces down.
Now that I've composed the blue, green, grey, purple—I have the red, orange, yellow left to map out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

piers antique show

This past weekend I explored the Antique Show at the Piers here in NYC and posted a gallery of photos on thecraftsdept blog of many of the interesting things I saw. Here are my favorites:
Bakelite prison rings—originally made out of toothbrushes by inmates!
Confirmed once again that I am not alone in my dead animal collecting. 
This cardigan was totally awesome—knitted with a variety of different dog breeds.
Antique dolls can be highly collectible and utterly eerie when they all get together. Some alone can be completely awkward and strange, like this crawling porcelain doll. I guess their bizarreness is part of their appeal.
I was thrilled to see antique pom-pom animals. We've made very similar ones at Martha but seeing the originals made by Steiff was really neat. Here are a few links to different handmade pom-pom how-tos:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I am not a paper cup

We did this very simple project on Martha's show of stenciling on reusable "paper" cups. The cups look like an ordinary white paper cup but are actually ceramic—I'm sure you've seen them before. Anyway, they are a perfect blank slate ready for embellishment and can help in our efforts to save trees! Martha made some decorative on the show, but also artlessly stenciled the names of all her home staff on cups so that they can have their own to re-use everyday.
Martha Stewart Crafts makes an adhesive film for customized stencils. She also has a slue of ready to go stencils including a typewriter style alphabet . I customized one of the cups for Ashley in one of my favorite fonts.

 I printed the name out, taped it to the stencil film and cut each letter out with a craft knife, keeping the negative space of any letter that had it (the a & the e). I prepared the cup by cleaning it with alcohol, then peeled off the paper backing of the stencil film and adhered it to the surface. With a little stenciling pouncer, I painted over the stencil. 
Before the paint was dry, I removed the stencil. Martha Stewart craft paint made by Plaid is a multi-surface paint the will cure permanently to practically any material. For ceramic, the paint takes about 20 days to cure so that it can be washed without the paint removing. 
I put the cup aside for three weeks and now Ashley has a special coffee cup to use everyday at the office.

Monday, March 12, 2012

quartz caps

I made these quartz crystal capped jars a while back using this awesome adhesive clay called Mighty Putty. It a two part epoxy that hardens and sticks to just about everything. Its one of those materials that is so neat, has endless uses, yet you really don't know what to do with it?! 
I had a bunch of crystals that I collected for my wedding so I used them to create these  capped vessels. All you have to do is slice a piece of Mighty Putty from the log it comes in, mix the green and white together really well, blob it onto the top of a jar's lid and stick and embed crystals in it. I finished the clay edge by pressing glitter into it before it hardened and wrapped the rim of the lid with a pretty silver ribbon. 
I made a set of graduated jars to fill with assorted bathroom essentials, cotton balls, Q-tips, tylenol and aspirin (the pills were more a styling thing—I couldn't find anything else white to put in them!).
There's a more refined epoxy clay called Crystal Clay that is available in many colors and used primarily to pave Swarovski crystal rhinestones (the ones with pointed backs). Martha used the clay around Valentine's Day to make glittery red heart pins

Monday, March 5, 2012

drip drip drip

Another lost-wax-casting of a skull in sterling.