Visual Journal Page 63: Hand Built Furniture

Visual Journal Page 63 Handbuilt Furniture Visual Journal Page 63: Hand Built Furniture

Nick and I were very blessed to received many amazing gifts on our wedding day. We were overwhelmed with the amount we received, and it helped us fill our house and start our wedded life together. However, while unwrapping gift after gift, we couldn’t help but notice a common theme, cutting boards.

While registering for gifts we found a cutting board we both liked. It was a nice medium size, had an interesting wood texture, and seemed like it would fulfill all of our cutting needs. Apparently many of our guests felt one cutting board just wasn’t enough. We were beyond grateful for all of the wonderful gifts we received, but by the time we opened the seventh cutting board, we couldn’t help but wonder what we were going to do with all of them.

I began hitting kitchen store after kitchen store trying to find possible returns, exchanges, any options to reduce our number of cutting boards. After many attempts, and failures, I finally returned the only one I could, the one we registered for.

Four of the remaining six found homes in our kitchen cabinets, one over sized one lives on top of our microwave, and the last of the 6, a beautiful, yet massive cutting board had nowhere to go.

It was obviously an expensive gift, and the pattern of the wood was beautiful. I loved it, but it was so large it wouldn’t even fit on our counter top. After throwing around ideas, Nick came up with a brilliant plan, turn it into a piece of furniture.

We both loved butcher block tables, but in our tiny kitchen adding one wasn’t an option. However, this particular cutting board was almost exactly as long as our counters, and perfectly filled the wall space between the end of the counter and a window in our kitchen.

We took off to our local Lowes, and began planning out the project. I wanted decorative legs, and after comparing prices and heights, we realized deck balusters were the perfect size, shape, and design. They also fit into our very meager budget. We gathered our supplies, and headed home to get to work.

Nick build out a frame, attached legs, built a lower shelf, added wheels for maneuverability, and a towel bar. Meanwhile, I went through paint color after paint color, trying to find the perfect shade of turquoise blue. After the seventh or eight layer of paint, I found the perfect shade. Our table was almost complete, the last piece was the cutting board.

After many discussions a variations on the original design, Nick decided he wanted to make the cutting board detachable. It was a great idea, but involved cutting holes in the bottom of the board, in order to use wood dowels to attach it to the table bottom, which allowed us to remove it.

I was terrified as we lined up the bottom of the cutting board with the drill press. I held my breath at the whirring drill bit made it’s way to the surface of the wood. What if it cracked? After all this work, what if we break the one piece we can’t replace. As the drill connected, it easily ate through the wood, and created the perfect hole. Three holes, and four dowels later, our table was complete.

We have received compliment after compliment on our homemade table. I love that it has a story behind it, as well as some blood, sweat, and tears. If we had only received the one cutting board we asked for, this table would have never come to being. I didn’t realize how seven cutting boards could spark inspiration.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Hot glue
  • White paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils
  • Paint samples
  • Sharpie
  • Scissors
  • Xacto knife

HOW TO

To create this visual journal page I started with a base layer of paint samples. Since it took many layers before I was satisfied with the color, I thought it was a good place to start. I used hot glue to glue them down, which is a little more sturdy than rubber cement.

Next, I started drawing out our homemade table. I sat in my kitchen, did a quick sketch, then began adding the color. I lightly layered various shades of colors, until the layers blended together to create a solid look. Once I finished I carefully cut it out using scissors and an Xacto knife.

I glued my finished table drawing on top of the paint samples and added a few measurement lines with sharpie in the background.

CHALLENGE

Create a color base in your visual journal using paint samples from your local hardware store. Nothing beats the range of colors you can get and they are free!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and ready today’s post! Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others. I couldn’t do it without you!


 

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Crafted Westside

Crafted Westside 1 Crafted WestsideI am so excited to share about my new home for the next year, Crafted Westside.

A few weeks ago I was approached by owner, Shanna, about adding my artwork to her soon-to-be-open store. She discovered my pottery through my new Etsy shop, Sweet Celadon, and thought my products would fit with the look and feel of her shop. I was very flattered at her offer, and we set up our first meeting. She contacted me the same day I opened my shop, and I couldn’t help but feel it was meant to be.

Located on the up and coming westside of Atlanta, around the corner from Georgia Tech, and just 2 miles north of downtown, the shop is one of three turquoise store fronts in a short strip. For my fellow Atlantans, who also hate scouring the city for parking, a free parking deck and lot are located right around the corner. The surrounding areas are under construction, with new mixed use developments popping up at a fast pace. Some amazing restaurants and shops are already in place, with more being added. I expect this to be a happening place in the coming months and years.

Crafted Westside 2 Crafted Westside

Shanna has a very specific vision for her store, a mix of worn wood and metal furniture, and an emphasis on local and handmade. Looking at the bare bones of the store, it already felt reminiscent of my favorite store, Anthropologie. After our meeting she mentioned my work reminded her of Anthropologie products. At that point I couldn’t say no, she had hooked me with our similar tastes. I was in, ready to start producing more work, and continue on my path to finding ways to support my need for artistic expression.

After committing to spending a year filling shelves at Crafted Westside, I was off on a mad rush to create. Leading up to opening day I spent my afternoons and evenings pumping out mugs, bowls, cups, and a pitcher or two. When I returned to the shop, two weeks later, with a box filled to the brim, I was surprised to walk in the door of a very put together store.

Crafted Westisde Back 2 Crafted Westside

Crafted Westside Check Out Counter 2 Crafted Westside

Quirky, eclectic, and beautiful handmade items filled shelves and table tops. Everything came together beautifully, and I was excited to be a part of it.

Sweet Celadon Shelf 2 Crafted Westside

At Crafted Westside I have a shelf in a large, metal cabinet. However, in addition to my shelf Shanna has also scattered my work around the store. I love the way the products are interspersed. When you walk into the shop it doesn’t look like multiple artists are feeding into one store, with work divided into booths or sections. Instead, everything has it’s place, as well as a communal center, creating a unified look and feel.

Crafted Westside Shop 2 Crafted Westside

I love seeing my work mixed in with my very talented fellow crafters. Our different styles and backgrounds contrast, while at the same time enhancing each others work. I have already pointed out a number of items to Nick I hope to open on my birthday.

DSC 4876 246x300 Crafted Westside

I was very impressed with how far the shop had come in two short weeks. Bags were hung, tables were in place, products were out, and customers were milling about. I loved spying as I saw people pick up my items, turn them in their hands, and share their thoughts with their fellow shoppers.

I’m looking forward to a long, and hopefully profitable, partnership with Crafted Westside. My only fear is my income will go straight back into the shop, as my Crafted wish list continues to grow.

Check out more picture of my artwork and the shop below. Check out Crafted Westside’s website here and Facebook page here.

Thanks for taking the time to checkout my blog and read about my new artistic endeavors. Help spread the word about this amazing new store and my blog by sharing on your social networking site of choice! Sharing is caring. Thanks for stopping by!


 

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Etsy Shop of the Month: Fawn and Rose Necklace Giveaway (closed)

Silver Triangle Necklace Giveaway copy Etsy Shop of the Month: Fawn and Rose Necklace Giveaway (closed)

This month’s Etsy shop review and giveaway hails from across the Atlantic, all the way from Brighton, England. Although in the past I have put my focus on handmade in the USA, I couldn’t help but notice the very modern, clean, and trendy jewelry designs in Jess’ shop, Fawn and Rose.

I discovered her jewelry during one of my endless, black holes of Etsy browsing. I immediately fell in love with the triangle shape, brass, and sea foam green necklace. As is typical of my Etsy loves, I bought it shortly after spotting it, and eagerly awaited it’s arrival.

DSC 4759 1024x754 Etsy Shop of the Month: Fawn and Rose Necklace Giveaway (closed)

An order arriving from another country is a long wait, but it was well worth it. The necklace was exactly as it was pictured, and I loved it even more in person. The clean design makes the necklace incredibly versatile. It can be dressed up or worn with jeans, and the neutral brass against the sea foam green creates a nice neutral palette with a subtle color pop, that goes with everything.

DSC 4765 Etsy Shop of the Month: Fawn and Rose Necklace Giveaway (closed)

In addition to her beautiful jewelry, her products are also nicely wrapped. To my surprise, as I opened the package, I discovered an adorable business card, thank you and 10% coupon card, a small jewelry box that contained my necklace, and a tag that all matched. Her logo is clean and memorable, much like her jewelry. she has a keen eye for creating and marketing, I’m not surprised by her current 662 Etsy sale count.

I have already worn my necklace a handful of times since its arrival a week ago, and have already gotten many compliments. This necklace has already made its way into my regular jewelry rotation, it’s guaranteed to get a lot of wear in the coming years.

Jess has been incredibly generous and agreed to giveaway a silver triangle necklace to one of my lucky readers. Like the necklace I just bought, this necklace is very versatile and can be worn with a range of styles. This piece is a classic style with a modern twist.

Triangle Necklace Giveaway Etsy Shop of the Month: Fawn and Rose Necklace Giveaway (closed)

All you have to do to enter is visit Jess’ shop Fawn and Rose here, “like” your favorite item, and share a link to the item in a comment below.

To receive a second entry visit my encaustic shop here or fused glass shop here, “like” your favorite item, and share in a separate comment below.

To receive a third entry share this giveaway on your preferred social networking site and include a link to your share in a separate comment below.

This giveaway will be closed next Thursday 4/3/14 at midnight. Thanks for taking the time check out my blog and enter this months giveaway! The winner will be selected and notified via e-mail next Friday, 4/4/14. If they do not respond in 24 hours a new winner will be selected. Good luck and don’t forget to check back for future giveaways


 

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The Sketch Series: Encaustic Mixed Media Art

DSC 4770 1024x469 The Sketch Series: Encaustic Mixed Media Art

I’m really excited to share my newest work of art, and hopefully a new direction for my encaustic work.

Last year I began playing around with encaustic wax as a new material. I love the entire process, melting the wax, smoothing it, layering, and carving back into it. I instantly fell in love, and since then I have been working to refine my technique.

DSC 4737 1024x680 The Sketch Series: Encaustic Mixed Media Art

When I first started I played around with image transfers and began my silhouette series. I have always loved decorating my home with objects, new, old, antique, and unique. Old sewing machines, eclectic furniture, and interesting artwork fill every nook and cranny of my home. With my silhouette series I sought to bring attention to individual items in the hopes that it would spark a memory and create a connection to future owners or viewers.

While I am not abandoning my silhouette art I am moving in a new direction to a place more abstract, larger scale, simple yet complex. I add paper, encaustic wax, and paint to create layer after layer of delicate, somewhat neutral, and textured depth. As you look at the background the layers slowly reveal themselves.

DSC 4692 743x1024 The Sketch Series: Encaustic Mixed Media Art

On top of the layered background I painted naples yellow encaustic wax, then carved a simple line on top. The line outlines the beginnings of a tree, a simple sketch of a recognizable shape. I filled the line with paynes gray oil paint to emphasize it. Around the edge of the painting I repeated lines in a crosshatch pattern using white and naples yellow oil paint. I wanted to reference the straight line, stick like shape of the tree throughout the painting.

DSC 4695 1024x680 The Sketch Series: Encaustic Mixed Media Art

I hope by using a very basic line to form these shapes I am toning down the feel of my artwork and allowing the viewer more space to create the rest of the form. I have always admired abstract art, and I hope I can move in that direction with my own work.

I have already begun my next piece, a boat inspired encaustic painting, and can’t wait to see where this bit of inspiration will take me next. I will continue to share as I continue to create!

Thanks for checking out my new artwork and my blog. Help me spread the word by subscribing, sharing on your preferred social networking sites, and sharing with friends, I couldn’t do it without you. Check back this week for my upcoming Etsy giveaway with Jess, shopowner of Fawn and Rose. While you are at it check out my encaustic here, and my newest ceramic and glass shop here.


 

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Visual Journal Page 62: A Harvest Moon

Visual Journal Page 62 A Harvest Moon 1024x726 Visual Journal Page 62: A Harvest MoonThis visual journal page is probably my favorite page I have made so far. I am very pleased with how it turned out visually, and although it doesn’t represent the most meaningful moment in my life, it still represents an important memory, a feeling I had and can relive when I look at it.

This page represents a road trip to Kiawah Island with my Nick, a long six hour drive, and a sudden harvest moon surprise.

We were on our way to a much needed vacation. We were meeting a handful of our friends at one of their parent’s beach house, we were looking forward to the relatively low cost beach vacation and a weekend away from home. After work we ran home, threw our bags in the car, and headed on our way.

Friday after work is already a challenging time. I start crashing as soon as I get home from another long week, around 9:00 I’m ready for bed and lam already thinking about sleeping in the next morning. But here we were, ready to hit the 5:00 rush hour traffic, prepping for a 6 hour drive, willing to stick it out for an extra day of vacation.

Sometime after the sun went down, a few hours into the drive, the sleep began to hit me. My eyelids felt heavy, my attempts to be a good, entertaining passenger began to dwindle as we feel into sleepy silence.

Driving down the windy, two lane country roads there was little civilization, and little light. It was a dark night as we wove through the woods towards the coast. Just as I began nodding off we made our way around a curve, and a massive orange, harvest moon greeted us on the other side.

It was a moment that took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting this beautiful sight, I couldn’t believe how huge the moon looked, and I almost missed it as sleep tugged at my body. We sat in silence admiring the view until another curve took as away and the moon settled behind trees. As we continued our journey the moon continued to follow use, peaking through the forest, from behind buildings, and every now and then showing itself in open spaces.

Although the moment came and went, and may seem insignificant, it made an impression on me. It woke me up for the remainder of the drive, and kept me watching the scenery as we continued on. As much fun as we had that weekend the moon is what I most remember. I love that I still have moments of awe, amazement at how beautiful this place is that we live.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • India ink
  • Book pages
  • Gesso
  • Watercolor
  • Paintbrush
  • Xacto Knife

HOW TO

Before I even began making this visual journal page, I already had a plan for it. I knew I wanted a completely black and white page, with only the massive moon in color. I knew I wanted to recreate the scene, the winding road, forest lining on either side, and the moon at the center. I opted to use India ink to create the black foreground and background, since it has such a rich, dark color. India ink is such a liquidy, wet material, it absorbs through everything. Because of this I decided to layer extra book pages together outside of my journal, paint the pages, then glue it into my journal.

After I layered the base pages I painted a solid layer of ink for the sky. Although India ink is very dark, it can also be very streaky. As I laid down the ink with my paint brush I made sure I evenly space the lines, and kept it as consistent as possible. After the background dried I took gesso and splattered it over the background to create stars.

After the sky was complete I began painting the trees on a different set of book pages, followed by the road. Once they were dry I cut out the trees, glued them down onto the left and right sides of the page, with the cut out road in the middle. I knew I wanted the moon positioned at the end of the road, so I left areas where the trees and road would overlap the moon unglued.

I wanted to make sure this moon had almost as much impact as the actual moon I saw. I decided to cut out a circle and layer gesso on top to create a three dimensional look. After a day or two of drying the gessoed moon was finally read to be painted. I began with a light layer of gray watercolor, which settled into the groves and low areas of the gesso. I then layered orange on top. After just two coats of paint, I took a step back and to my surprise I realized the moon was complete. I carefully glued the moon to the background, and glued the remaining edges of the trees and road. My beautiful moon inspired visual journal page was complete.

CHALLENGE

Use thick layers of gesso to create a more three dimensional look on your next page!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and harvest moon post! Help me spread the word by sharing with others, I couldn’t do it without you!


 

Categories: Journals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment