Sunday, December 30, 2007

Art in a Carton

"Art In A Carton" is an artsy little "Pay It Forward" idea I dreamed up over Christmas, while hunting around for something small and sturdy in which to package and send out an item of art. While surveying my kitchen-come-art-studio, I picked up an empty milk carton. All of a sudden, my mind went "click!", and an idea was born. Standard milk- or fruit juice cartons are a perfect way to package and sent small items of art, and they can be turned into art objects in their own right, too!

One thing I love is making small art and craft objects. Another thing I love is sharing what I make with other artists. If you're like me, you'll know the thrill of the postman handing over an art package, the anticipation of unpacking it, and the delight at holding another artist's creation in your hands.

With all that in mind, I decided to launch "Art In A Carton" as one of my 2008 art projects. I'd like to invite you to take part. Just click on the lin kto the right to visit the Art In A Carton blog.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Word Stones

I needed a quick and cheerful little gift for someone today, so I made these stones. I'll call this batch "meditation stones", but you might as easily call them "journaling stones" or an "oracle", depending on the words you choose and the recipient's special interests.

I found the clear glass stones at the euro (dollar) store last week. They are the kind of thing I pick up when I see them. because I know they will always come in handy for something. These are quite large, approx. 4 x 2 centimetres, which is a rare find. Most of the stones on sale are smaller.

I printed the words onto a sheet of Basic Grey 30x30 cm. paper, cut down to A4, to fit the printer. Then I used gel medium to glue the glass stones to the sheet. Once the gel medium had dried, I trimmed the extra paper from the stones and then glued them onto a strip of hessian ribbon, as shown in the photo. (Gel medium again.) Once that dried, I trimmed away the extra hessian. The point of the hessian was two-fold: one, to give a cleaner look and feel to the underside of the stones, and two, to make sure the stones won't damage any surface upon which they might be placed. You could also use felt, as I've done in the past.

So.. if you need a last minute gift for someone, you might give this a try, too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Box Shrine

Some of the members of the Travelling Journals group (the usual suspects...) recently did two gothic arch swaps on the topics of Samhain and the Divine Feminine. The challenge then was to figure out a way of binding or otherwise displaying the arches. Yesterday, Shakti posted pictures of a box she'd made to contain and display her arches, and after considering other options, I decided that her approach was the one that made most sense, as it avoided the need to punch holes in the arches or otherwise lose some of the images by adhering them to a binding of some description.

This is the box I made today. Luckily, I had a cardboard box of exactly the right size and depth for the arches. I painted the box inside and out, and I made this arch frame from card and some lovely textured gold art paper I purchased at a sale in a local craft store. (You'd get a similar effect by painting woodchip paper.)

I cut a circle in the peak using a nifty little circle cutter that looks like a compass. I picked it up quite cheaply in the craft store a couple of years back, and it's proved itself one of my handiest tools, over and over. I backed the cutout with a scrap of printed vellum. The other embellishments are plastic "jewels" and circled of brown card stock and scraps of the gold paper. To finish off, I used a small star punch to make star-shaped holes.

What I'd now like to do is find some little trinkets like holy medals and milagros to attach to the art, to give it even more of al altar or reliquary feel.

The cards fit nicely into the box and can be changed at will.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another Advent Wreath

My youngest daughter was so taken with my advent wreath that she asked me to make one for her, too. This is the outcome. I'd wanted to include more holly, but, out on a foray, I discovered it's not all that common hereabouts. I spied a few bushes, but they were all in people's gardens. In the end I found one wild-growing hedge with a few spindly leaves and clipped a few to use. At least there is a hint of it in the wreath.

Index Card Alphabet

I made these for an Index Card Alphabet journal for one of the members of the "Travelling Journals" group. Participants received a handful of standard index cards and were asked to make cards that used and illustrated letters of the alphabet. My cards show N for Nikolaus, H for homely, L for light, and T for "tempus fugit" or "time flies". What'S not so easy to see on the photos is that the letters and some of the other elements are raised off the page.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tree Hearts

This week I needed a lot of favors as thank-you gifts, so I decided to use up some of the bits and bobs of paper from my stash. I created a large folk heart template and used it to draw and cut two hearts for each favour.

I first embellished the front heart with scraps and with punched flowers, stars, or hearts. Then I sewed two hearts together (sewing machine), punched holes close to the top and threaded through some coiled wire as a handle. I coiled the florist's wire (which comes in many colors) around the handle of a wooded spoon. To finish off, I added some fluffy fibres.

Each heart contains two little tags, for personal wishes, and a miniature bar of chocolate.

These would look good on a Christmas tree. All you need to do is cut a template a size that suits your needs.

Advent Wreath

I have the feeling that everyone and her dog can do this, but for me binding an advent wreath this week was a first time experience. I still have to buy the candles which are in short supply now, as I left it rather late.

It was fun fiddling around with all the glittery doo-dahs and fixing them to the wreath. I dare say a florist would roll her eyes, but I got everything attached and it's holding nicely.

In the meantime, I've made a couple of wreaths and a long centrepiece for other people, and I can tell it won't be the last time I do things like this.