Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Storage Flea Market Style

I'm a collector.  And I'm always trying to be better organized.  Which is why these ideas have such great appeal.  Why not combine the two loves into one and create some great projects?

An old tin can can easily be transformed into a lamp.  And I can see something like this on display in my studio, can't you?

This is an old metal heating grate that's been mounted on the wall with screws, transforming it into a really cool magazine rack. 

Wouldn't you love to find several of these?

This is my favorite idea of all time.  If you visit antique stores and flea markets as much as I do, you've stumbled across a lot of old drawer pulls.  Isn't this a simply fabulous idea? 

I should tell you all these ideas & photos came to me in an email from Better Homes & Gardens. 

I see old shutters at the Habitat Reuse Center all the time and I can never envision a use for them.  But once I saw this one painted yellow, I knew it would be a great display piece in my studio for displaying cards, ATC's, postcards and more.

Most bird cages I've seen didn't look quite this nice, but clearly they have potential.  Dowels have been run from side to side with a piece of glass (or plexiglass) resting atop them to create shelves. 

I probably wouldn't use this for mail, but instead as another display space for my dimensional art.  And since wall space is well gone in my studio, I could certainly suspend this from the ceiling in an unusual place.  Oh how I love these great ideas!

Now if you have a corner or wall space a tall shutter would work.  I'm not sure I have such a corner, but I still love the idea.

Add a bulletin board or chalk board at the top, and tuck in art work in the bottom. 

I'm inspired.  How about you?  This will be the last weekend of the flea market in Raleigh until November because they're shutting down on Sunday in preparation of the State Fair.  Maybe you should venture out and see what treasures you can find.  And there's always the local thrift stores & consignment shops. 

Let me know if you find anything.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DIY Bangle Technique #1

Today's technique is a favorite of mine for journal pages so it was an obvious choice 3 years ago for my bangles.  First collect your supplies:
unfinished wooden bangle bracelets
Spectra brand art tissue which bleeds when wet
Mist It spritzer filled with water
styrofoam tray or plate

Begin by turning off the ceiling fans.  I have 2 going in my studio 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, but with tiny bits of tissue blowing everywhere, it had to be done.

They sell this tissue in rainbow packages as well as warm and cool color combinations, so choose your favorites.

Regular tissue paper will not work because the color doesn't transfer when it gets wet.

I separate my bits of tissue by color as you see here, though this is far more than I needed for one bangle.  This is a 1" wide domed bangle.

Spritz the bangle with a mist of water so the first piece of tissue paper will adhere when placed on the bracelet.

I began with red for no particular reason and I make sure it's wet by spritzing it again once it's in place.  The transfer of color begins immediately but still needs to be left overnight, or for several hours minimum til the water has evaporated.  When the tissue paper is dry it will turn a dreadful gray color and fall off the bangle.  If you've torn long strips and wrapped them around inside and out, you'll need to pull them off when dry.
If you don't want dye on your fingers, wear latex gloves.  But it will wash off so I never wear them.

I continue around the bangle alternating colors to give it a rainbow effect.  But remember your color wheel and kindergarten experiments.  When yellow & blue overlap, you'll get green.  Just as red next to yellow will give you orange.

One other note: when you place the tissue on the bangle and don't press it down flat, your end result will be spaces with no color, as you'll see in a photo below.

Once I have it covered inside and out, I store all my tissue paper in a ziploc bag.  Then I mist the bangle one last time, patting down as needed to make sure I have contact with the wood, and set it aside to dry.

If you pull the paper off too soon you'll have very pale colors.  By waiting overnight they're far more intense.

Can you see the areas on this bangle with no color? That's because I didn't press down everywhere with the wet tissue. Sometimes I leave it like this, but usually I'll spritz those areas with water and add more tissue paper, as I've done with this one.

Here I've gone back and added more tissue paper to get complete saturation of color on the entire surface. 

Once this is dry I seal the bangle.  Choices of sealant include Diamond Glaze by JudiKins, Glossy Accents or Matte Accents by Ranger, or even Mod Podge or Delta Ceramcoat Satin Sealant.  Just depends on the look you want.  Most of my bangles have been sealed with a gloss.

In the first photo of my last post the bangles haven't been sealed at all.  Hope you've found this helpful and that you'll give it a try. 

And if you're searching for the bleeding tissue paper, I've found it at Michael's on the far wall near the front check out counters where they have wrapping paper, ribbons and tissue.  Good luck!