Nature vs Machine was also recently featured on its first blog! I like that I was recognized both for my art and the fact that a portion of my art is recycled. Unfortunately, metal work does not typically lend itself to "green art" because harsh chemicals are involved in production. I've not heard much along the lines of eco-friendly polishing compounds but if they exist, I will find them!
I hope 2008 finds you all happy and healthy! I will return with fun updates soon!
This "crafter" takes cardboard construction into a whole other realm in this tutorial. Even though I've used similar methods to construct items of my own (check out my crown!), I had no idea cardboard could be so versatile and could be used in the creation of such complex shapes! I am inspired to utilize some of his tips and tricks in future designs. After seeing his technique, I feel anything can be created with cardboard and glue if you have plenty of patience and a sharp X-Acto blade!
The unfinished helmet
The workstation grips the Dremel motor in a vice to allow the user to wield the Dremel like a drill press. Thus far, I've proven to be pretty incapable of holding my Dremel perpendicular to my work. Though it seems relatively easy to drill straight downward, somehow my holes always end up angled-which becomes a problem when I rivet. Another attractive feature of the workstation: The vice that holds the Dremel can be tilted up to a full 90° which will allow me to use the Dremel hands-free for polishing and sanding!
A few observations leave me wondering how long this tool will last. It appears to be made entirely from plastic-which is awful! I really hate the throw-away mentality of companies and consumers today. I'd much rather pay extra for a solid piece of equipment. I have read reviews and my fears are confirmed. It is not the most stable piece of equipment-but it is stable enough for my needs, and it can be permanently secured to a workbench if extra stability is needed. It sells for about $45 in most places so it's not too expensive. I hope to pick one up soon-hopefully during an after Christmas sale!
The cart was made from 1.5" foam insulation which we glued together using some industrial adhesive and dowels. The pieces of foam were all sanded down, glued together, and spray painted with a special latex paint that doesn't dissolve plastics/foam/etc.
I made the dress by making a pattern from another ball gown I happened to own already. You can't see the whole thing, but there's a 1' wide magenta stripe at the bottom and a huge magenta sash around the waist that ties in the back. The skirt poofed out about a foot from my body in all directions, which was great for "watching my step"; let's just say, I tripped more than once. It was labor intensive to make and caused me way more stress than I'd like to admit. The easiest part of the costume was the crown, which I made by gluing two pieces of poster board together with Elmer's glue and securing with a rubber band until dry and as solid as a rock. I spray painted it with gold spray paint, hot glued jewels onto it, punched a few holes at the bottom edge, and bobby pinned it to my wig.
Since Peach hasn't had much of a make over in the past few decades, I updated her look for personal reasons. Gone is the Farrah Fawcett feathered mullet hair and high-necked poufy sleeved princess dress. I'm sure only die-hard fans would even have noticed of the changes I wrought. I thought it was much needed and it suited my style a lot better.
Creating your own Halloween costume is a great way to be creative and original for one of the best holidays of the year. Depending on your costume, it's also an excellent way to recycle and to support your local thrift stores.
Lisa of U-Handbag (and U-Handblog) has been working on a fairly new blog called Craft-Boom that is devoted to helping people start and promote a small business. I was reading it today and stumbled upon a very informative tutorial on how to take professional looking photographs of your projects.
Taking great pictures is essential, and something I feel everyone can accomplish with a little practice. Of course, not everyone has the ability to artistically express themselves through photography but that isn't always necessary. What is necessary is clear photos where the background doesn't compete with the subject. White backgrounds tend to drown out silver so I prefer to use dark backgrounds when photographing my jewelry. I do use white backgrounds for photographing my handbags. I use a similar technique to Lisa's for my white background photos but i do see a few differences in her technique that might help speed up the process for me. I found an amendment to steps 2 and 3 in the comments section that explains, in greater detail, how to whiten the background of your photo.
Lisa blogs on everything from how to sew a clutch to effectively marketing your business.
Soku has been an Etsy favorite of mine for quite awhile. I think a lot of their designs are fresh and unique (and sometimes a little traditional). With this design Soku manages to embody the delicate aesthetic of wire with hardwood. Anyone who is familiar with my style knows earrings like these are right up my alley. In fact, this is the very design that made me check out Soku's shop in the first place.
I also really like the juxtaposition of materials in this acrylic and wood design. It is put together using acrylic rods as rivets. Being someone who uses rivets often, I can appreciate the precision needed for this type of construction. You can find both of these pieces and other Soku designs in Soku's Etsy shop.
When: Dec 8th 10am-7pm
Where: Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center (click for a map)
790 N Van Buren St Milwaukee, WI