Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Inspiring Places: The Blanton Museum of Art

Re-posted from Crafty Mishmash, 8/22/10.

I recently visited the Matisse as Printmaker exhibit at The Blanton and fell in love. I hadn't set foot in this lovely little gem of a museum on The University of Texas campus since I was an art student at UT, and I'm really glad I've rediscovered it.

This collection of etchings, lino-cuts, lithographs & other prints by Henri Matisse was phenomenal! I've been a big admirer of his work since I first saw his Woman in a Purple Coat at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston on a high school field trip. Getting a long look at that wondrous painting up close & personal had a powerful effect on me and influenced my decision to pursue an art degree.

What has always astounded me about Matisse's work is his extremely adept handling of line. He had an uncanny ability to capture the essence of his subject matter with a few perfectly placed, wonderfully expressive lines. Matisse's magical way with line holds true for all of his artwork, be it a seemingly simple painting of lemons in a bowl or one of his colorful paper collages, but I find it especially lovely in the portraits he drew.

His Young Woman Contemplating a Goldfish Bowl (below), one of a series of etchings of women gazing at goldfish in a bowl, really knocked me out. I love the little details: the curls of hair, the overlapped hands and the way the ladies' chins rest on them, and of course the shapes of the goldfish themselves, all suggested by a few carefully observed lines. These lines by Matisse never seem over-worked. He placed them confidently & gracefully, without regard to perfection, which imparts so much energy and expressive character to his work.

Unfortunately, the Matisse as Printmaker exhibit at The Blanton is now closed & will soon be heading up to Canada for a showing at the Art Gallery of Alberta. But The Blanton has tons more to offer! They have very impressive & renowned permanent collections as well as an ongoing variety of temporary exhibitions.

And get this, admission is free every Thursday! How great is that? Get on over to The Blanton & treat your eyes to some fabulous art! Find all the details on their Visit page.

Young Woman Contemplating a Goldfish Bowl

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Upcycled inspirations: My stash of trash

This is my small box of recyclables that I'm intent on keeping because I've just got too many crafty ideas for whats inside, I hope someday I will follow through and turn this "trash", as my husband calls it, into treasures.

For the past few weeks I've been in a major reorganization mode. I'm reading Totally Organized by Bonnie McCullough and trying to get control of my house! (especially the craft room) I've purchased big shelving and drawers from Ikea and I'm almost there. I'll be posting before and after pics at a later date. Through the process I've downsized and assembled my collection of recycleable materials suitable for crafting. Here are some pics of what is in the box:
Of course I have various paper scraps, so hard to throw away! And these candle holders, what should I do with them?

Keyboard innards from our Robot Challenge. Glass bottles that had cool shapes.

The remains of ribbon spools and of course toilet paper tubes!

What am I planning to do with all this junk? I can't get rid of it because I have so many ideas to upcycle it!

My favorite is this:I saw this a while back and started keeping all my Dublin Dr. Pepper bottles, but then there were way to many so I am now limited to the bottles I have until I actually do something with them. Find the instructions here.Bottles also look great with a few coats of brightly colored spray paint, find more ideas at Someday Crafts.
I've been wanting to make tiny flag buntings with my little paper scraps, maybe color them with water color or paint, write a message on them, cute! This one I found on Etsy.This is the coolest thing to do with the keyboard insides, instructions here. Or I was thinking of making a journal cover.... I made these coasters a long time ago with the ribbon spools and foam sheets that already have adhesive on the back, simple and fun! So, of course, now I have to keep all my ribbon spools.
Some of you may remember my post from last October, showing what to do with toilet paper tubes, now I can make a huge one!

But what should I do with those candle holders?

Do you have a bin of "trash" that you can't part with for crafty hoarding reasons? My advice is keep it limited to one box, and only add to it after you've taken something out, that way it won't overtake your whole closet. And someday make something with all that stuff! Let us know if you have.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't Miss These Austin Fashion Week Parties!

Lots of great events going on during Austin Fashion Week, so I thought I'd share a few of our EtsyAustin teammates' events. There will be goody bags, special sales, raffles, delicious local drinks & eats and fashion galore! All of these parties sound like a lot of fun & a cool way to meet some of our talented local designers. Don't miss the fun!

Camille Jackson, the designer behind Diamonds & Guns by Action Jackson, will be throwing a retro-glam Pin-Ups & Pastries party at JR Salon on Sunday, 8/15. Cupcakes, cocktails, fabulous pin-up inspired fashion, plus an amazing gift basket to be raffled off! And I can't tell you how excited I am that my new lingerie boutique, Kuhmillion.com, is sponsoring Camille's event - it's gonna be marvelous!

Also on 8/15, join Merritt Gade for Shear Decadence at Salon Intuitions. There will be tons of delicious treats there, too, plus another awesome raffle and of course, Merritt Gade Fine Handmades. Come see Merritt's beautiful jewelry and bridal accessories in the mini runway show - it's sure to be stunning! Snag some Merritt Gade earrings at 20% off, a gift bag from local businesses, and don't forget to capture the fun of the evening in the Booth 66 photo booth!

As if all of this fun on Sunday weren't enough, you can keep the party going on Monday, too! On Monday evening, 8/16, Jetset to Style with fabulous handbag designer Anne Marie Beard. This one takes place at a shoe salon - be still my beating heart! Stella Says Go is the destination for an evening of fun with cocktails & nibbles from great local sponsors, gift bags for the first 25 & a fashion show. Plus, part of the proceeds will be donated to 1 House at a Time.

Know any more great Fashion Week parties we should all check out? Leave the deets or a link in the comments!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DIY day: Makin' Fascinators

Today Beth H and I got ready for an upcoming crafty party we're hosting for some girls. They chose a fun craft of making flower and feather fascinators. We spent a few hours getting girly and crafty with feathers, flowers, ribbons and our trusty glue guns.

We promised hair clips, head bands, necklaces & bracelets. Beth and I started off by making a few hair clips with fake flowers and feathers, trying a couple different clip types and attachment techniques. Not to mention some important trial and error.
Above is my first attempt at a bracelet, it was too big so I turned it into a headband, which worked much better. This purple bracelet is H's successful go, a very cute corsage!
Our necklace design was simple and it inspired me to make a cute "flower child" style headband, see below.
Do y'all think we should make these into kits? Let us know how you are keeping crafty this summer!