Friday, February 11, 2011

Emulating the Queen of Funky Junk?

So, as many of you know, Funky Junk Donna and Miss Mustard Seed have issued a challenge to copy their styles. While I have many Miss Mustard Seed-esque projects on my to-do list, most of them are scheduled for MUCH nicer weather. Therefore, I decided to focus on copying Donna’s very unique style. It is very laid back…use-what-you-have…in a different-sort-of-way style. A kind of--try it and if it doesn’t work, move on—style.
On to my story of trying to meet the challenge….
Back in the summer, Man came home with an old record(?) cabinet. Someone had tried to repair it and had made a terrible mess of it. After thoroughly checking it out and TRYING to come up with a way to save it, I finally realized that it was beyond repair. I was sad…it had wonderful lines….as soon as I had seen it, I KNEW what I wanted it to be. But alas…it was not to be. Instead I took it apart. I then  put the pieces in my studio waiting for them to speak to me. The back of the cabinet immediately told me it wanted to some sort of sign…something rustic….and it wanted to live in the kitchen.
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So I moved it to the kitchen….where it hid some pantry overflow. Then yesterday, while I was cleaning, it yelled at me. Quite rude…I was in a serious cleaning mood. You know…a clean the baseboards kind of cleaning mood. But seriously, that piece of wood would not shut-up! It wanted to be a part of Donna’s challenge. I had to hurry!!!
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Out came some paints…
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A little squirt of navy here and there.
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Some strokes with a dry brush and the base was done. Off to clean while it dried (although my serious cleaning mood had flown away).
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A combo of some stenciling and some freehand for the letters. Good, but not quite there yet. Walk away…let it dry…think about it.
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Later…I mix some water and burnt umber paint. Then a wet brush lightly coats the sign…give it a couple of minutes……okay, good. Take a dry paper towel and pat. Walk away…..
Once I returned to it, I grabbed some sand paper to give it a little more distressing. Well…that didn’t quite work out as planned. I’m glad I just worked on a really small area. Instead of exposing the wood, it just made the paint nice and smooth and PRETTY. Hey, I wasn’t looking for pretty! I was looking for OLD and NEGLECTED! Unfortunately, that dry wood had really sucked in the paint. But that’s okay…it is still pretty banged up. So I can live with it…just wish I had skipped the burnt umber wash on parts of the exposed wood….Live and learn!
While my sign is wanting to return to the kitchen, I decided to use it in a little “Funky Junk” staging….
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That table…under the burlap…that is one of my Miss Mustard Seed projects for this summer!!! I am SO OVER blonde wood!!! But until then, it has become the base for some change-with-the-seasons (or my mood) vignettes.
Some close-ups:
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The sign next to an old, tarnished silver-plate bowl filled with dried peppers from last summer’s garden. (The bowl is for sale in my shop.)
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My old paper dispenser that I’ve had for YEARS…that I found in an antique store, fell in love with, and paid a RIDICULOUS price for. However, I can’t say that I regret it…because I really do love it. The photos were a recent thrift store find…they have writing on the back, but I am not sure what language it is written in!!! The only thing I can make out is the year: 1944. Man doesn’t understand WHY I would want to buy photos of people I don’t even know. Men! And under the old canning jar filled with small pinecones…
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a wonderful old feed sack. She hasn’t told me what she wants to be yet…I tried to force her to be a temporary curtain. She didn’t like it. So I opened up the bottom seam and closed up the top opening…to make her into a slipcover for a dining chair. She HATED it. She liked the idea of it, but the look just didn’t work for her. For now she is happy hanging out with some funky junk. She is good friends with that rusty little star.  Although she does NOT consider herself junk!
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A few more treasures from the local thrift store.
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Now…if I can keep Man from adding his ice fishing stuff or his gloves or his phone or WHATEVER happens to be in his hands as he walks by the table….not sure WHY he thinks that is okay.
Some bonus funky junk….the type that I wish would disappear mysteriously in the night, but Man loves….and it IS interesting, just not MY thing:
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This “artwork” (I call it: advanced macaroni art….yes, I’m mean.) is made from old arrowheads, pottery shards, antique buttons, and RATTLESNAKE tails. Like I said, INTERESTING.
Thus ends my attempts of emulating the Queen.
Now head on over and check out the other entries!

Copy Me Challenge

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No, I’m Not on a Tahitian Holiday

Nor have I been lost in the back of a wardrobe or even snowed in…though we do have plenty of snow. I’ve just been a bad blogger. I’ve been busy in the studio. Yet feel like I have nothing to show for it….other than a VERY messy studio, AGAIN! My creative flow has been a little blocked. I have IDEAS, but ….well different problems with different projects.
Such as the book page wreath…..
I was so excited when I found a VERY old, falling apart library copy of Homer’s Odyssey at a local thrift store. I could use it for a book page wreath semi guilt-free. (I’m never completely guilt-free when I start ripping pages from a book…regardless of the shape it is in!) Excited until….as I started making cones, the pages were SO DRY that they cracked. As you can see, I carried on. And I do love the wreath….but I HAD hoped to make some as gifts….perhaps one for a future give-away (if I ever get enough followers to make it a fair fight), AND to sell. There is NO WAY that wreaths made from this book could survive shipping (or at least I REALLY doubt that it would, therefore…..). It is sad, because look at that beautiful patina of the aged pages….no faux aging methods needed. So if any of you have any suggestions for ways to make those pages more supple, I would really love to hear them!!! REALLY!
Let’s move on, shall we? To this pillow cover:
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the look of old French-style grain sacks. However, I am CHEAP extremely frugal. So I am forever trying to find that perfect faux look. Which isn’t really the problem with this example. I’m rather pleased with the osnaburg/machine decorative stitch look. No…the problems here are the piping and the zipper. Yes, this was my first attempt at adding a piped border. And I USUALLY do an envelope back on my pillow covers….Therefore, I shouldn’t be quite so hard on myself. Could someone please tell that to the perfectionist living within me???
The zipper?
Not properly installed. I’ve sewn in zippers before (I used to make my living by making golf accessory bags…many of which had zippers); but for some reason, my brain REFUSED to work that day. Not only that, but I used the only zipper that I had….a 7-inch one. Let me tell you how fun it is to stuff a 16-inch square pillow form through the opening of a 7-inch zipper!!!! Actually….you can use your imagination. No need for any extra upper-body workout THAT day!
While in Wal-Mart grabbing a few items that I can’t find anywhere else around here, I went to the fabric department and grabbed a vast assortment of zippers and some more piping. I will try again….many lessons learned.
NEXT? We have this little beauty…
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What is it? A hand warmer. Prototype #3. Camo…as requested by Man. He couldn’t find one that he liked in the store. And after designing THREE of them, I know WHY he couldn’t find one he liked! He is PICKY, PICKY, PICKY!!! With that said….even if I have been unable to please HIM, I am very excited about continuing to work on this design. I have ideas galore for this one. Stay tuned!
Okay….I needed a SIMPLE project to do. I NEEDED to feel like I had accomplished something….ANYthing! I had been blog surfing one day and saw a post for a knock-off of an Anthropologie bracelet that I loved. The original knock-off is here. Now for the knock-off of the knock-off:
Anthro inspired bracelet
Easy peasy. Right? Yes, EXCEPT every time I would go to tie a knot in the stretch cord my hand would slip and the beads would go flying. It is slightly amusing NOW, but at the time…not so much!
I also made some earrings. Which were MUCH less trouble…shockingly!
I thought about putting the set on etsy, but they kept screaming my daughter’s name. So instead I posted them on my personal Facebook page and sent my daughter a message to look at them and tell me if she wanted them. YES! Yes, she did. Now the trouble that the bracelet caused doesn’t seem quite so bad. A labor of love. Smile
Quite a while back, I had seen a tutorial (or maybe several) for printing on fabric using your regular ol’ ink jet printer. Unfortunately, it had called for using a full-page label on which to adhere the fabric to enable it to go through the printer without jamming. That seemed VERY expensive to a cheap frugal person like myself. Then on the same blog surfing trip upon which I found the knock-off bracelet idea, I found a tutorial that used spray adhesive to temporarily mount your fabric onto cardstock for safe passage through the printer. (SORRY…cannot remember what site I was on at the time…I do remember that she used it for wall art, if that helps???) Anyway…I had spray adhesive and cardstock. So I gave it a try….using graphics from The Graphics Fairy, of course! Oh…and you CAN reuse the cardstock. I’ve only used it twice…so far. So I’m not sure HOW MANY times you can reuse it…but it HAS to be cheaper than those labels!
Here are my two sample panels:
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This is after I hand washed them and hung them to dry….so sorry about the wrinkles. I set the ink with a hot iron BEFORE washing them. A little of the ink did wash off…but I only know that because the water turned slightly gray. The ink did NOT bleed however. Once they become their final selves, I will re-wash the entire project in the machine on the gentle cycle and see how they hold up!
They keep talking to me…telling me what they want to become. Unfortunately, they can’t seem to make up their minds!
One last gonna-drive-me-crazy project! Baby shoes. I love Jami’s (at Freckled Laundry) baby shoes. But suddenly I have 4 (if I haven’t forgotten anyone) baby gifts to buy/make. So at the moment I can’t afford to buy shoes from Jami. Four pairs would be a nice hunk of change. ALTHOUGH, IF I MADE baby shoes and SOLD them, they would be pricier than pure gold…..unless some miracle of great patience came upon me!!!!! So God bless Jami for her prices (although…really….my budget!)
Back to my story….I had made a pair of felt baby shoes before.
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There is a pair hanging on my idea board….the very first pair I made…in a wild color. I chose that color because I KNEW I wouldn’t feel bad if I messed up and ruined that felt. They were relatively easy….but I decided that I wanted to make some out of osnaburg and line them with a pretty printed cotton with HIDDEN seams…..HIDDEN SEAMS???? WHAT was I thinking???? It is hard enough for someone WITHOUT patience to work with something THAT small….and now I wanted hidden seams!
Here is the sample that I worked on last night…
sample 1
It definitely needs WORK….some major redesigning…AND I think the hidden seams may have to go. Although, I am NOT giving up on them yet….because it isn’t just a “looks” thing for me. I think that they will be more comfortable without an exposed seam. Kind of hard to ask the target group to find out for sure though!
One last SUCCESS for the week….so much so that Boy Wonder (my son) at 9 out of 12!
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Cranberry Orange Muffins!!!!
I was adapting several recipes into one…so I didn’t double it. And I obviously should have….
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Yes, a warm one with melting butter would be really good with this coffee. Lesson learned!
Well…I’m off to find SOMETHING to eat….then back to the studio in hopes that my creative flow can break through!!!

UPDATE: You can now find the Cranberry-Orange Muffin here.
Have a wonderful Saturday!!!