Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Like Clockwork

Jen here. Recycling and upcycling are two of my favorite ways to get material for my projects. At the last bead show I attended I bought a bag of watch parts and proceeded to play with them the second I got back to a work space. I had a few used gift cards around and figured I'd throw those into the mix, too.

Here is the random mix of parts before I started playing.

I started cutting shapes out of the gift cards and drilled holes in them. Hmmm, wonder where I got them... hee hee.

Here are some earrings I made with just findings and watch parts.

And the ones I paired with the gift card shapes and watch parts.

Watch parts and beads...

The most fun for me is spreading out all the random materials I collect and just start mixing and matching. Put stuff next to each other to see how materials interact visually. Basically, just play and see what happens. Playing without expectations is the surest way to break any creative block.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hearts Afire

Jen here. Thought I'd share my latest project. I was sitting at my table during the Staple! show listening to my neighbor talk about how his friend modified one of those blank Munny's by cutting out it's chest and dangling a heart from the inside. Somehow that translated into this necklace idea.

I started with a sketch. The idea for the ring around the heart was modeled after a hose clamp, like the ones you find under the hood of your car. I wanted to add texture so I thought it would be nice to make the heart out of felt.

I had intended to use brass for the ring but couldn't find it due to my recent move so I finally cut into the silver sheets I've had laying around for years. It felt good being brave enough to use it.

So I cut into the silver, drilled holes at each end, shaped it around one of my mandrels and bent the ends. I took some wire, looped it and hung some chain from the center.

I cut out the felt heart...

... sewed the edges and stuffed it with cotton.

Add some chain and there is my necklace idea pretty much how I was imagining it. Which is a rare thing, but a pleasant surprise.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Creative Music Videos

In honor of SXSW, we thought we would share with you some artistic music videos that may inspire your next project!

PacoVolume Cookie Machine
What you'll find in this video: Stop Motion Animation (hereto refered to as "SMA") paper, typography, rotoscoping, perler beads, embroidery thread, nails
, clay... I'm definitely leaving something out.

Wax Tailor featuring Charlie Winston I own you
What you'll find in this video: SMA paper cut outs that create an entire city, a fold out house, lots of typography.

Architecture in Helsinki
Like it or Not
What you'll find in this video: ZOMG the whole thing is embroidered!

They Might Be Giants Why does the sun shine?
What you'll find in this video: SMA felt cats explain why the sun is so darn hot. Mmmm, crafts AND science!

Lisa Hannigan I don't know
What you'll find in this video: An empty room becomes filled with paper cut outs.

White Stripes Fell in Love with a Girl
What you'll find in this video: SMA Lego goodness. Michael Gondry goodness. And perhaps a weird memory of high school...

Ok Go This too Shall Pass
What you'll find in this video: An elaborate Rube Goldberg Machine. Legos make a cameo.

Smashing Pumpkins Tonight Tonight
What you'll find in this video: A creepy paper mache moon. More weird high school memories.

We can't have a post about music videos on Get Crafty with out Leslie and the Lys!
Leslie and the Lys Craft Talk
What you'll find in this video: A giant gem sweater. :D

*Warning!* Shameless Plug Ahead! If you have a love for Rock n Roll, my brother's band Night Horse is in from Los Angeles to play SXSW this year. Check them out if you dare!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's Curtains...For My Bed

I've moved into a loft which is basically one open space, so I thought it would be nice to divide the space up a little. I wanted to create a separate space for my sleeping area as the rest of the space is a working/crafting area. I decided to make and install curtain and it gave me the chance to get a little creative...

Since there were no walls on which to install a run of the mill curtain rod, I had to find an alternative that would allow me to hang the rod by attaching it to one wall and suspending the other end some how. So here's what I came up with. The rod is actually a 10 foot galvanized plumbing pipe!

On the suspension side, I used a chain with a ring at the end of it suspended from the rafters. That little blue bit is painter's tape. Here's the part where I admit that I didn't do this perfectly. Since I didn't have a high enough ladder. I taped a hook to the end of my broom handle then hooked it to the rafter. I then tugged hard (maybe too hard) to pull the tape off...and not all of it came off. So I'm gonna need to borrow a ladder and do it right...lol.

The pipe also happens to be threaded on both ends so I used a plumbing floor flange, but installed it on the wall and simply screwed in the end.

I made the curtains from liner because it was cheap and I didn't need any real thickness because these were just to divide space and I didn't want to lose much light anyway. I made very simple curtains by folding the top edge over twice and then I sewed about half an inch in from the top and a half an inch from the bottom of the folded edge...

and here's the part where the real sewers might want to close their eyes/shut their ears, I cut a slit every five and seven inches alternating and fed the pipe through (as you can see below). This is what gave the curtains a gathered look without having to do a proper gather. So if you look closely you can see the unfinished/frayed edges, but sigh, I am admittedly a quick and dirty crafter. Would be curious to hear ideas of how people might get around the fray. I thought about iron on ribbon...Any ideas?

I use ribbons to tie the curtains when I don't want them blocking the space. I will eventually install a hook on the side of the wall so I can sweep them to one side, if necessary.

I liked the look so well, that I decided to install it at the head of the bed as well. Ok, ok, it's also because I have commitment issues with putting artwork on walls and this was an easy way out. ;)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Get Crafty during SXSW!

Every year our town goes on overload during South by Southwest (SXSW) and there is something new and different to do every night of the week. I'm going to let ya'll know about some artsy & crafty events that are totally open to the public and should not be missed!

Kicking things off on Friday, March 11th, Up Collective is having their first ever gallery opening from 7-10pm at Starving Art Studios. The new collective consists of the artists we share quarters with at Starving Art, and they're planning some great programming all year, so stay tuned!

Artist in residence, Emily Mitchell is heading up the group and does amazing drawings of faces, as evidenced in her self portrait, above.On Saturday, March 12th, you'll have a couple options. First off, the folks from Etsy.com, headquartered in Brooklyn, are heading down and hosting two days of parties on Saturday and Sunday, 12pm-2am at 222 on 6th Street (Aces Lounge). The programming will include on site make and take crafts, DIY installations, an awesome showcase of local crafters put up by EtsyAustin (full disclosure, I'm the president of EtsyAustin), a fashion show from Burda Style, panel discussions from big names in the crafting industry, and of course face time with the peeps who make Etsy amazing! Visit the event page on Facebook for more details and to RSVP.

Also on Saturday the 12th, Friday the 18th and Sat. the 19th, Equinox Mish Mash goes down at Starving Art's backlot (Blue Starlite), featuring art, film and music. See their Facebook event pages for more details. Stella's will be open for business during these parties, so come on by and say hello!

Don't forget to visit South Congress both weekends to shop tons of local artists!

For those of you into music, I have to plug my hubs. His podcast, Active Listener, is set to release a series of SXSW favorites. He's listened to about half of the 2000 bands set to come, and will let you know his favorites and what not to miss in the music arena. Last year he had 13 mixes of different genres!

Hope your SXSW experience this year is awesome! Let us know what you're up to!