Sunday, January 31, 2016

Junk Mosaic Frame Class & Tutorial

I was asked to teach a class on making mosaic art frames.  I had given a few as gifts years ago, and these friends of mine must have a long memory.  I had glued and grouted different "junk" items on to a frame:  letters of a name, keys, broken bits of mirror, rusty hardware (these were gifts for guys).

Fast forward ten years: I don't like to work that hard anymore.  No grouting for me.  I wanted a substance I could just smear on a bare wood frame and stick objects in it.  I went to every major craft store and told them what I needed.  No, no and no.

So I experimented with wood filler.  The first brand I tried was "four times tougher than wood" so it stuck great (I had already known that it sticks great to fingers from previous projects.)  But it had a horrible odor, and I need to keep as many brain cells as I can.  Not to mention that it was chunky, and did not apply smoothly.

 
The second brand (Elmer's Wood Filler) did not knock you into next Tuesday when you smelled it.  It was a little smoother, but I decided I didn't like the color.  So I mixed a bit of flat black enamel into it.   The  I applied it about as thick as you would apply cream cheese to a bagel.   WAA LA. 

It colored great, and made it a great consistency.  It also stuck like granite to the bare wood when dried (24-48 hours).

Next I gathered up jars of "junk" to take to the class. 

Smooth rocks.  Typewriter keys.  Rusty keys...
 
 Game pieces....

Bits of broken mirror.  Beads.  Hardware.  Dice...
 
Shells.  Jewelry with smooth backs.
 
A few people did mosaics on canvas and those turned out cool.
 
I think everyone had fun,
and as a special bonus my daughter-in-law attended!
 
Linking Up With:
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Antique Linen Collar & Lace Garlands

I am trying to get through all of the items that I had hoped to put on ebay this winter.  I had these vintage collars and lace pieces for well over a year before they finally made it on ebay a few weeks ago.  Alas, not much of a market for antique collars apparently.
But too cool to just throw away...

So I attached the to some ribbon to form two
separate garlands.
 
Maybe not a perfect solution...

but it respects the beauty of age and artisanship of the linens...

while giving them a fresh purpose.
 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Vintage Shell Mosaics From Ft Lauderdale

I was looking for inspiration (and shells) for my mixed media frame class that I am teaching soon.  We took a mid-winter trip to Ft Lauderdale (good timing - missed two snows and ice in just 5 short days).  We toured the Bonnet House which was interesting on many levels -- horticulturally, historically, artistically.  It had been built by artist Frederic Bartlett in 1920 and who continued to "embellish" the home until his death in 1953.  In 1983 it was deeded to the Florida Trust For Historic Preservation for all to enjoy. 

Frederic gathered seashells (he owned a good section of the beach,
lucky him) and pressed them in wet concrete to "frame" the doors, ceiling and niches
in the courtyard.  He also did the faux painting on the walls, and artwork on the ceiling.
 
But it is the eagle that I gleaned most of my inspiration from.
 
Just an "aside":
each of these bouquets is crafted from shells.
I think they hale from the Victorian era.

His wife had such a large shell collection that he
built her a special building in which to enjoy it.
That is an actual piece of coral in the center of the room!

Here is a similar mixed media arch gracing a section
of the office window at our hotel.
  I like the broken sections of mirror
that were incorporated (they may appear white here).

So, we did a little beach combing ourselves.
Looking for flattish shells, sand tumbled sea pieces
with soft corners and flattish coral pieces that could
be incorporated into mixed media frames.
(Love that aqua sink in our mid-century motel room).