Monthly Archives: July 2012

Now was that so hard?

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Now was that so hard?

Well…sort of.

I got up first thing and took 2 pictures of my project and as I was cropping them on the computer I noticed something that’s barely noticeable on the actual thing, so I had to fix it. Did that, photographed it, and now I’m ready.

So, the project itself. This is one that started out in one of our women’s art gatherings. I’d brought another project to work on, but I saw what everyone else was doing, and I was all, “Ooooh, shiny!”

Literally, because we were using shiny silver metal tape [tm] to make fake pewter medallions. This was a project I’d seen done before (when I was also hell-bent on some other project) and thought was cool, so I jumped on the second chance. There’s a lot you can do with this method — adding them to altered Altoid tins (and I really would love to have a supply of these tins, but I am not a person who regularly sucks on mints), or make art cards of them, or do what I did here, adding it as a decorative element to a box.

The shiny silver metal tape [tm] can be found at hardware stores or places like WalMart. I hear there’s now a lookalike of plastic so you have to be careful you really have the metal type. It’s on a roll about the size of duct tape.

The big thing you can do with this tape (other than whatever its actual purpose might be) is play with texture. I’ve seen some very pretty cards made where it’s been taped onto card stock and then rolled through an embossing machine. But for this project we used pre-cut chipwood shapes and used little shaped paper punches on card stock. One of our group uses old plastic cards as her design base — used gift cards, stowaway hotel key cards and the like. Some of the group combined different shapes and came up with some really cool abstract designs. I found a paper punch with a tree design (probably for Christmas card projects) and decided to make a wee forest, and I chose a round chipwood precut as my base, since I decided to put it on a round paper mache box.

The box, by the way, was one of those items that sometimes appears in the stash of art materials in the famous back room at these art gatherings. Sometimes people start working on something and then lose interest, or they’re only there for one time (we get the occasional tourist passing through who comes to art night, which is pretty cool). So this box was one of those pieces, with a patchy coating of white paint. I kind of liked the effect, which made me think of birch bark, so I left it as it was. It could probably look more like birch bark, but I decided I’d rather have it be suggestive of such than be taken too far so it looks nothing like it.

On to the fake pewter! One of the regulars taught us this project, which she’d gotten from a show on HGTV before they switched their programming all around to appeal to a different demographic. Take your backing chipwood piece and glue on shapes of card stock or more chipwood, then carefully tape over the whole thing with your shiny silver metal tape [tm]. Your edges will overlap a little bit, but you want to rub them down so they’re hardly visible. We used orangewood sticks like you’d get in a manicure set. The same stick gets rubbed over the shapes around the edges so there’s some definition there. It takes a while to get the tape pushed down over a complex grouping of layers, but you want to be careful not to punch holes in the tape.

Once that’s done to your satisfaction, the next step is to etch some designs into the surface of your medallion. I went with some simpler Zen Tangle filler patterns, varying the patterns in different areas, as I would in a paper-and-ink Tangle. This part of the project I did a while back, so I can’t remember what I used to make the etched parts — something more pointed than the orange stick, but not so sharp it would tear the tape.

That’s as far as I got the night of the art gathering, and the box and the medallion have been sitting among my stash for a while. So finally I pulled it out and finished it, which was pretty simple. The last bit for the fake pewter is to brush on black paint so that it goes into the etched lines, then rub it off with a tissue so that the paint stays in the lines but mostly comes off the rest. It might take a few times to get it right so all the paint doesn’t come off, and if you rub too hard over the seam where the tape overlaps, it can curl up or wrinkle.

Painting in progress

So after the paint dried I glued the medallion piece onto the round box, and then it was done.

Done. At least I thought so.

So there was a spot that looking at it in person I thought might pass for a part of the fake wood, but that is one photo that screams “tiny coffee stain!” So this morning I grabbed some craft whitewash and a tissue and dabbed some one, and I think I’ve nailed it.

Aside

Well, I’m still not feeling the burning desire for documentation. That’s just wrong!

It’s horribly, horribly hot (though not as hot as elsewhere), and I came home to melt onto the sofa, have dinner, and work on writing a story that needs to be finished and looked over by a beta reader by Sunday. I took a long break from fiction writing, and the first attempts were a little dead, but I’m sliding back into the groove a bit. Now it is ten and I don’t feel like wielding the camera.

This heat just does not agree with me, and it’s going to be sticking around for at least the next few days.

Anyway, I’m gonna get on that tomorrow.

I need to get my motivation working: Did Julie Powell shirk her aspic? Did Jonathan Coulton find himself Thingless during Thing of the Week?

Well, actually, I have a thing. I just am lacking motivation to prove it.

Promises, promises

Aspic is not a thing to do in public

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I have been very social this weekend, and now I am tired.

But I thought I’d comment on a couple of nice things that have happened lately. My friend/coworker and I went out to dinner Friday after work at one of our local favorite restaurants. One of the owners, whom I’d told about this blog, came over to say how much she’s enjoying it and how funny it is, and that she’d gotten some of her employees reading it too. It totally made my day. And it made me think about the Julie/Julia Project, one of the inspirations for this blog. I would never have known about it if my friend/boss from another job, Susan, hadn’t told me about it as Julie Powell’s year was unfolding. We dug into it every day and chatted about Julie’s latest disaster or triumph or the general insanity of making aspic five days in a row for dinner, especially when you hate aspic. So it’s a tribute to Susan, who passed away a couple of weeks ago, that I’m doing a similar unhinged project. And it’s exciting to think there’s a little of that chatting over what’s going on in this space, just as Julie got us talking about cooking and kitchen disasters and whatever.

(Miss you, Susan. Feeling very nostalgic over those chats and others in your cube, which had the great view of Idaho and mountains behind our campus. And one time, a moose, which I think was the first I’d ever seen.)

Another nice thing: I was wearing my mod-podged shoes last night at the outdoor theater in a nearby county, and was drive-by fangirled. I actually was digging in my purse and missed what the ladies said, but my companion signal-boosted that for me. They are showing some charming wear, but I still get compliments on them. (They could use a little more glue in spots, though.)

Also: My brother, future sis-in-law and her niece met me and my regular theater companion for brunch this morning, and then we went to the thrift shop in town, and after that to the indoor flea market. Future sis-in-law admired and decided to buy a craft item I had for sale (most of my booth is household stuff I’m letting go of, but I put up a few items from the art show I participated in a few weeks ago) before she realized it was something I made. Cool! I also found out I’d had a good month again this time out (after a couple of weeks where I had nothing but crafts up and made next to nothing), so after my initial up-front rent payment, I’ve managed to pay next month’s rent out of proceeds and make a little profit besides. And hey, I got my check from the art show, and it’s the best year I’ve had there, too.

So I’m feeling the love, and am very grateful and happy about that.