Monthly Archives: February 2011

Art From Everyday Objects: Paper Napkins

In this installment of Art From Everyday Objects, I’m working with paper napkins. Juliette wrote me and said, “We made the switch to cloth napkins before finishing off our paper napkin supply, so I’d like to move those out to avoid temptation!”

Juliette, I have several ideas for you! And whoa, who knew paper napkins could serve a purpose more than wiping morsels from messy faces?

Paper napkins turned into flowers. Just lay out 3 or 4 napkins flat, accordion fold them and then tie a twist tie around the center. Then fluff them out by peeling apart the layers. This creates a bow shape. The flower centerpiece above was created using two bows layered on top of each other. The bows below are made the same way.

Bows! Follow the tutorial above and just wrap around a piece of napkin to cover the twist tie in the center and hot glue.

Paper napkins turned into more flowers. The “bubbles” were made using string tied around cotton balls. Similar to this concept I created a while ago.

I could see a bunch of these covering a wall for a party or covering a canvas creating a multi-dimensional art piece. Best of all, they literally only cost pennies to make and take only minutes.

And fluffy pom pom thingys. Made from different size bows and just layered on top of each other.

There you go, 4 unique and pretty ways to use up paper napkins. Do you like? Can you all think of any other ideas?

Oil Painting: My First Landscape

This is my third attempt at oil painting. You can see my first here. I’m not going to even bother showing you my second. It was a great lesson in creating art, but abandoning crap. More on that later.

This painting took me 5 hours to complete from start to finish. It was a fun trial for me, as I’ve never really painted a landscape before, and I loved working in my own interpretation in regard to colors and the original subject matter.

Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

  1. The 20 minute drive to the studio is necessary to quiet my mind and relax my senses so I can enjoy the act of painting.
  2. I’m finding that mixing the paint (I mix all my colors before I start painting) is just enjoyable as applying it.
  3. Hesitation in art makes for un-enjoyable art.  I’m learning not to question every single brush stroke and just enjoy the process.

I think next week I might try a portrait. It would be a challenge, but it’s time to try new things!

Interview on Parenting Daily Times

Hi everyone, hope you had a sweet Valentines day! Just dropping in to let you know about a little interview I participated in with Parenting Daily Times. It’s mostly about A Beautiful Idea, but there are some little glimpses into my life at home and how to balance it all! So if you have a moment, go check it out!

Also, a special thanks to Craft Magazine for highlighting my paperclip earrings today!

Art From Everyday Objects: Paperclips + String

So today I thought it would be a fun challenge to work with paperclips. You can’t get much more mundane than a paperclip! After much thought, I came up with paperclip earrings. If you have paperclips and some pretty cotton string, you can create these beauties. They’d probably look pretty cool as a necklace too.

Here is a diagram to show you where to open the paperclip to create this triangular shape.

You are basically unbending the clip at all three of the curves. Does that make sense?

Once you’ve got the triangular shape, you need to glue the ends together. Use a fast drying epoxy or hot glue. Next you can start winding your cotton thread around the wire. I started out using hot glue, then I tried Liquid Stitch and liked it way more. It’s a permanent, clear drying adhesive that didn’t cause any bumps of dried hot glue along the way.

Fig 1: Winding the string around // Fig 2:  Starting to wrap the string around the earring, secured with Liquid Stitch

Once you’ve wound all the way round and secured with glue, you can then take another length of string and wind around the width of the “earring” creating horizontal stripes or you can create a more messy look by creating a “net” design (see below).

Then just clamp on a pair of earring hooks. I just stole mine from a couple pairs of earrings I didn’t wear anymore. The results are beautiful and surprisingly modern. I love how light they are too. I like big earrings, but I don’t like it when they weigh down my earlobe. I don’t want them to hang to my knees when I’m old!

Let me know if you have any questions or I didn’t explain something well enough. I’d love to hear or see them if you try it for yourself!

Art From Everyday Objects: Snow + Matchsticks

So in case you missed it, the south got a huge blizzard this last Wednesday which dumped 14 inches of snow. Today they forecasted more snow. Oh goody. I love it for a day and then I’m ready for it to be gone.  However, I was inspired today to make a SNOW CAKE. And let me tell you how fun it was. It was F-U-N! I felt like Edward Scissorhands sculpting a masterpiece, snow flying everywhere by the knife I was wielding. I think if I lived in a colder climate, I would be an snow sculptress.

Anyway, onto the project. I am riding on the matchstick wave and created a cute little cake topper thingy. Just print out my design (PDF download) and cut into a small strip and hot glue each end onto a matchstick. You could also use your matchsticks to make cake flags.

The quote is french, by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau – “Aimer et être aimé sera la grande affaire de toute notre vie” and translates “To love and be loved will be the greatest event in our lives.”

Oh and the cake is still in my backyard if you want a piece. :) And yes, that is actual snow falling in the picture above.

Art from Everyday Objects: Matchsticks

We are snowed in here, so I had some time to whip up a neat project today for the Art from Everyday Objects Challenge. This week I’ll be creating art with…

Matchsticks! Natalie from Scrap Doctor told me,

“I’ve got about a million matchsticks that currently have no purpose. They’re left over from my advent calendar which I made with the 25 match-boxes. What to do with them all?!!”

Well Natalie, thanks for the question – I have several ideas to show you and I’ll start with this one. Mini Matchstick Arrows!

Aren’t they so cute and tiny!? If you have older kids this could be a fun project to do with them. Then you can stick them in a frame or shadow box. OR, you can assemble a tiny bow and shoot candles aflame. Haha! Here’s how to do ‘em.

Step 1: Paint the stick with acrylic paint in the color you choose. Set aside to dry.
Step 2: Fold and cut out the paper shape used for the end of the arrow

Step 3: Cut the folded paper in tiny slices, creating fringe, unfold.
Step 4: Paint the tip of the arrow white or whatever other color you choose.

Step 5: Paint two thin black lines around the “point” of the arrow.
Step 6: Hot glue a tiny dab of glue to the paper, stick on the matchstick.

Repeat until you have a whole army of tiny arrows! Stay tuned, I’ve got several other great projects with matchsticks lined up.

Readers Decision 2011

Hi wonderful readers! I’m trying to spruce up this blog a bit, and blog more frequently. BUT, I want to know, from YOU, what you’d like to see more of on evie s. More downloads? More delicious interviews? More crafts? You decide by voting your top three answers below. Thank you as always!

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