Friday, July 3, 2009

paint chip. paint chip.

Hello! Kara, here! And I'm ready and excited to bring you this week's challenge at Work Your Soul.

Paint chips are pretty awesome. Y'know, those free samples of paint colors that you can pick up at the supermarket or Home Depot?

They're amazing. Colorful, cheap, free. Not much better than t

The challenge is just to use 'em. I have a nice collection of them courtesy of a few friends of mine and I'm sure you do to. So.... Get to working your soul!

My quick art journal page--

Work Your Soul.

Other way fun ideas I found while doing some paint chip love research--

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

hello, old friend.

Hi all! Jen here, and I was thinking it was about time to reunite with some old friends...

Do you have a record collection? Chances are if you don't, someone in your family does. Statistics report that new and used record sales are increasing at a rapid rate – vinyl records are experiencing a renaissance. (LP sales almost doubled between 2007 and 2008.) Whether you grew up with them or not, many people find something extra special in the feel and appearance of vinyl records. Nostalgia lies in the little crackles and pops heard during playback.

And then there's the draw of the album covers themselves and art/photos inside. Many so beautiful that you'd want to plaster them all over your walls. Or make something out of them.

This week, I challenge you to take inventory and do a little tribute to your stack of vinyl. And if you don't collect these beauties, maybe you can take this opportunity to record some thoughts on your personal musical history. Trust me, this kind of information deserves a nice little spot in your scrapbook.

Maybe you grew up listening to The Beatles, or perhaps you were subjected to your parents' or grandparents' favorite records (whether you liked them or not!) Whether it was Barry Manilow or The Who, take that trip back in time and jot down all of the little memories that go along with your playlist. Write a bit about your current favorites, or how older music has shaped your musical taste today.

Records and album covers are quite easy to find at thrift stores, yard sales and of course, record shops. If you don't want to cut up your own precious collection, shop around for an alternative. Or use a scanner (or take a photo) to create a printable image of your irreplaceable album covers. Make a cover for a book, cut up pieces to illustrate your story, use a record cover as a background for photos, make a journal. Write a note documenting the history of a record, what those songs means to you and slip it inside the sleeve. Whatever you do, just be sure to preserve some of those memories.

Here are two examples of how I did it. First, I wanted to record a few thoughts about growing up on Led Zeppelin. My dad was very rock and roll and some of my first memories are dancing around the living room to his Led Zeppelin and Queen records.

And then, I definitely wanted to get my daughter's current favorite songs down on paper. (For a two year old, she has very specific favorites that range from punk to metal to indie music!) I saw this amazing children's record at a thrift store about a year ago and the cover made the perfect background for this playlist. (Aren't those illustrations seriously the best?!)

Song and memory go hand in hand. Or to jack the Dylan quote from Kim's blog ... "the present now will later be past." So get to it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

filling in...

for Jen this week, it's Kim!

My mum recently bought me this magazine;
hasn't it got a GREAT cover? the artist who was the main feature is Andy Burgess and his new collages are amazing, don't you think? he's got an exhibition coming up at this gallery in London.
I love it when contemporary artists bring it back and use the 'old school' designs. Artists like Rodchenko who made Russian Revolution posters inspire me too. There is something about collages that I have a major weak spot for. Anyway, a few of Andy's images I found online;

he has said about his work;
"I paint moody, cinematic unpeopled landscapes that are evocative of real places and somewhat dreamlike. I explore the way the past lives on in the present and how cities are a repository of our memories and dreams. I have been collecting vintage ephemera for many years which I use to make collages. These draw on a number of influences from Pop Art to Minimalism and my interest in popular graphic design and typography."
if you want to be an art geek like me, you can read the press release all about his new work here.

I love the idea of hidden messages and things in art. And deconstructing something, and putting it back together completely different. Maybe try piecing together words from logos. 

So this week, I want you do dig out your vintage ephemera and collage! maybe even use contemporary odds and ends and magazine clippings. anything really- whatever inspires you!

here is a layout i've done of some magazine clippings;
(sorry the scan is kind of rubbish.)
They make great places to store all those inspirational images you collect, (admit it, you collect them!) and you can hang them up without taking up masses of space, and can be filed away when you make the next one.

okay. make friends with your scissors and get your collage on!
(link us up!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

lets applique!

i've been on a complete upcycle binge! i've cleared out my wardrobe and two massive piles sitting on my floor of things i want to change and alter and make beautiful again. and i also have a bag of old t-shirts which don't fit right, so i'm going to use that as some spare fabric as the colours are nice!

anyway, so i've been looking for simple ways to change outfits, and i've bought a few items from thrift stores that i want to embellish...
especially 20's style summer dresses! 
Check Spelling
(just a silly picture of my favourite dress that i've thrifted recently, on my leavers day at school. haha)

I was looking through 'Golden Hands' the vintage crafting book again and i came across 'applique' and it's such a good way to alter things. 
some photos from flickr...

any kind of stitching really inspires me lately! mmmmmm!!!
there is a group on flickr for all things applique.

I don't normally have the patience to cut out my piece and fold them over and iron them and pin them etc before i go about sewing them onto fabric- so why not use felt? afterall, that is what the book suggests!

My project; I've decided to change up this really simple black dress of mine, using the colourful, design shown above, it's still a work-in-progress, and i will show you a full length shot when it's all done, but here is the process;
i just was not a big fan of this detail, so i wanted to cover it up with something new... 
here is the inside;

okay, now it's your turn! make something beautiful! double kudos for anyone who uses a vintage pattern or fabrics!

here are some photos of the finished piece;

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ohhhh! Happy Friday all! Kaaara here! :D

I have a little, easy, bright challenge to throw at ya!

Hopefully it's getting to be somewhat Springish where you live and you've been able to soak up some of the beauty. It's starting to get more consistently pleasant here and I'm loving it!

So... This challenge is mix it up with some Sunshine!

Get a little lens flare action going, throw some yellow paint around a canvas, do some some bright journalling.

I figure that if we pretend it's almost Summer, it's gotta be summer right? Mmmhhmmm. That's how my life philosophies work.

Sunshine lovin'.

(click on for photo creds. :D)

A little photo lovin' from me.

Oh, man.


lens flare, you have my heart.

Some spread some happy bright love! Happy weekend! :D :D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

fall in love all over again...

With embroidery. Hey there, it's Jen, and I've always had a thing for embroidery. Old or new. Better yet, old and new. Because there's always a way to put a new spin on an old skill. Here's some eye candy to get you thinking.

Gillian Bates' amazing freehand machine embroidery

woolly fabulous


more by Nea... with 3D elements

And this blog is one of the most clever and inspiring things I've seen in awhile. Have you seen Embloggery? Yup, every single one of the blog posts is hand-embroidered. To see more, check out the Flickr set.

So you've got some ideas... now what? To transfer your design onto fabric, you can draw free-hand with a washable marking pen or pencil, or trace a design by holding the pattern layered under the fabric up to a window or light table. I printed out some clip art and traced it onto a flour sack towel with a washable quilting pencil.

Vintage iron-on flour sack towel patterns are actually still readily available at lots of hobby/craft stores – look for the Aunt Martha brand (here in the states, at least.)

You can also do a Google search and find many free vintage patterns online.

I bought this iron-on pattern for $1.50 and am super tempted to start embroidering day-of-the-week towels for my kitchen.

Just like my grandma used to make. Ahhh, the nostalgia. I just love the feel of them, too.

Experiment with embroidering on colored fabric, felt, canvas or paper. Here, I stitched over an existing pattern on one of my Orla Keily kitchen towels. (And no, you don't have to limit yourself to towels! I just happen to be in a towel mood for some reason.) :)

The best part of embroidery is that you can use just about anything as a pattern or source of inspiration. I had fun trying free-form designs with no exact plan in mind – cool things to try might be faux bois or a series of circles or undulating lines.

and Kim has been working on some little hand sewing projects;

So let's see what you can do with a needle and thread! It's such a quick and fun thing to do (even if you've never tried it before) and such a fantastic way to add a bit of color and homemade love to just about anything. If you feel you need to brush up on your Embroidery 101, this should help you get going. Happy spring – have fun!

(and for the film challenge, i've decided to make TWO journals for Adellecutter and shady*lane. woop. go you! e-mail me your addresses and i'll send them soon soon! ( )