Sunday, March 22, 2015

Shalimar the Muse

The past two weeks you would have found me very busy in the studio.  Diligently working away to get it just the way I want it, it is still only a partially defined idea in my head.  It evolves from day to day just as any creative project does, determined by the process and what I have on hand, and what my feelings are telling me. I try to think something out ahead, then revise and re-think as I go along.  It works for me, but at times it is frustrating because of snags along the way.

Something I decided months ago, was that I needed NEEDED to have a bust to display
jewelry on.   I bought a plastic form at the local flea market for $5!  Can't beat that, but they can be found online for $7 new +shipping.  Originally, the plan was to decoupage old sheet music, floral papers ...??? and use it as a necklace display for photos.  That idea changed drastically when I saw a Pin (sorry, it came and went) that stuck in my head, of an artist's rendition of a goddess.  She had a few strands of curly hair that looked as if they were snatched from a Saint Bernard, and a vintage vamp face with a lace tiara.  I loved that crazy lady and had to try to re-create her for myself.  For a very long time, I have had a Boho/gypsy muse who whispered to me that her name is "Shalimar," a mysterious name that might mean "abode of love" or ...something else.  It is a contrived and decimated Hindi word that apparently would be described as slang in English.   Shalimar dances around a fire of creativity.  In the Chinese Five Elements, Fire represents passion ...having your heart in all you do.  That is exactly what I want for my studio, and I am listening to my muse.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Let There Be Beautiful Light

This week in the studio, I was working away at one project and in typical ADD/ADHD fashion, another idea sideswiped me to set what I was doing aside and do this...

I did this with 3 feet by 12 inches of organza, about 5 feet of brassy beads, and a sheet of floral paper.  The chandelier chain was about 2 feet long.
  1. Tuck the fabric in at the top of the chandelier, perhaps anchoring it with thread or a tiny wire.
  2. Spiral it around evenly and tuck the bottom edge in.
  3. Wrap the beads from the center, going around snugly twice a the top and then crisscrossing them to the bottom where I used a thin piece of wire to clasp together.
  4. I cut the paper into strips and made tubes that fit around the plastic tubes under the lights
Time:  maybe 30 minutes

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

It has been since the end of last year that I have been working on creating a studio.  Even though it has been painfully slow, I have been sharing the experience with you.  Now, it suddenly seems to be pulling together.  I have a theme and a direction that was missing before this week.  So far, it has been driven by a desire and thinking process, and once I got more focus, I had direction.  Hooray!  What I wanted was:
  • a fun, playful place to create that made me feel happy and creative just to enter the space.
  • an organized and dedicated space
  • a place that symbolized my most positive feelings and nurtured my spirit
  • a place that I would be happy to spend time every day
  • a work area that took care of my creative and physical needs
  • a small, attractive and exciting space for display, to house jewelry that I make for sale so that customers can look easily and soak up atmosphere and feel the goodness
In order to accomplish all this, what I needed to do was some soul searching and a lot of research.  It is not something that can easily be thrown together, and unless an artisan has been at their craft for years, it is not easy to know all that is required.  I have been moving slowly because I wanted to make sure I purchased wisely and set up the space right the first time.  This is especially important for the walls, which newly faux-painted, will have to hold shelves, display pieces, and other invasive equipment.  If I wasn't careful, they would look like Swiss cheese.

One thing I knew I wanted was a mirror. I had an old one that I don't even know from whence it came.  It was a dark and plain wood frame, so I added decoupage.  I wish I had thought to share that process with you, but I get so ahead of myself at times and there is no slowing me down.  The first thing I did was to paint the beveled edge of the frame nearest the mirror with copper metallic paint (cheap from the craft store) and allowed that to dry thoroughly.  Then, I applied leafing adhesive and added gold leaf.  The next step was the decoupage.  I used a wheel cutter to cut straightedge strips from wrapping paper, wide enough to wrap to the back of the frame.  The top of the frame was painted in manageable sections with wood glue. I got that at  Lowes at $4 for a rather large bottle.  The glue was thinned just a little with water with just enough to flow easily but still be tacky and not runny.  I placed the strips at the beveled edge and smoothed them down on the top.  The next day, the process was repeated for the sides and around the edge of the frame to the back.  This two step process allowed the top to dry and have a strong hold to keep the paper from sliding out of position.
Giving the decoupaged surface yet another day to dry, I then covered the entire surface with a coat of Mod Podge.  Just one coat, because I am not a fan of high gloss surfaces.  I want the room to have a cozy up-cycled artsy vintage feel.  Please pardon the reflected junk on the other side of the room, it will be gone soon, as everything shapes up.