Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wearable Art Rocks!
I think everyone loves some sort of art. I love all kinds, but even I tend toward aesthetically pleasing every day objects. I'm practical, so sue me! Take bangle bracelets for instance. I love their look. The ornate metals ones, the carved wooden ones...even the trendy plastic ones work with some outfits. I'm more inclined to the wooden carved ones. It's just my inner Bohemian. But you know what? Sometimes all a girl can find are the plastic ones. And sometimes, that's what an idea needs.

I love unique jewelry. I love shopping for it, but I also love making it myself when I just can't find that special piece. So, when I was paint shopping at our local Michael's and came across an entire bin of $1 plastic bangle bracelets, my mind when into overdrive! The 80s are back in force, so most of the bracelets were crazy neon colors, but that didn't matter. I wasn't about to leave them alone and naked. They needed a little personality!

If you know me even a little bit, you know I have a paper fetish. Tissue paper, scrapbook paper, newspaper, vintage book pages...I love them all! This love goes beyond a mild appreciation. I almost always feel completed to cover things with them. Mod Podge is this girl's best friend! So I immediately thought back to a gift I made my sister a few years ago for Christmas.
Thanks to my lovely sister for her modeling talents!
I knew how much my sister loved a bangle, so I decided it'd be a good idea to make one. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought two or three student dictionaries and I was set! I covered her bracelet with words and definitions that described her; a Self Portrait Bracelet of sorts. It's been a few years, so I can't remember most of the really unique words, but I know beautiful, smart, athletic, and outgoing made the list.

I always wished I had made one for myself after giving that to her. So, when I saw that bin of bangles, I dove right in! Three bracelets came home with me, and two have been reborn.
My self portrait bangle! And my new, yummy periwinkle fingernail polish, too!
The first one was my very own Self Portrait bracelet. It's harder for me to pick out self descriptive words than it is to pick out descriptive words for my loved ones, let me tell you. Yeah, I tend to be a little hard on myself sometimes, but this was an exercise is self affirmation. I picked words I thought people should see so they could learn a little bit about me when they read it. You can see artisan, yoga, beach, and fragile. I also included mermaid, artist, woman, peculiar, tender, loving, kind, grateful, wild, shy, divine, awesome, free, and effervescent to name a few more. I wanted to have something that reminded me that sometimes, even if I'm hard on myself, my loved ones see these words in me and that's what counts. It's a pick-my-up every time I wear it!

Right in line with including peculiar on my Self Portrait Bracelet, another strange thing I like to do is collect fortunes from fortune cookies. This is a nice thing to collect since you have to eat Chinese food to get them. Some perk, huh? Being gluten free hasn't stopped my collecting either. I just take the fortune and leave the cookie! 

Well, the down side is seeing how often in your life you eat Chinese food. I have a bucket (it's small!) full of fortune slips. My husband's jaw actually dropped when I brought it out of hiding. I had another bracelet plan. I rummaged through my many many fortunes and took my absolute favorites out for this project. 
I love fortune cookie slips!
Most of them are inspirational or thought provoking. Then there's the comic relief favorite: "Beware of cookies bearing fortunes." I love that one! This bracelet has 20 fortunes on the outside and 12 on the inside. It's my little reminder to always be mindful and live in the moment!

I'm still thinking about what I should do with the other blank bangle. I'm feeling colorful about it though. We'll see what happens!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DeLand 4th Friday Art Walk: Three Days to Go!

Love my supplies!
Wow! I can't believe the time has flown by so fast! It seems like yesterday when I was asked to participate as an exhibiting artist in the DeLand 4th Friday Art Walk...but it's been five weeks! The good news? I've gotten a lot of work done in those few short weeks and there will be five never-before-seen pieces to display! There's nothing like a looming deadline to get the juices flowing, is there?

excerpt of Wander, mixed media on canvas
Deadlines aren't my only inspiration, of course. I like finding inspiration in anything and everything. Some of my favorite muses are quotes. I follow a bevy of inspirational quote pages on Facebook, so I always have something passing through to read and get me thinking. I even keep a notebook close by to jot down my favorites!

One of my all time favorite quotes comes to us courtesy of J.R.R. Tolkien: Not all who wander are lost. I love to wander, so it's always encouraging to be reminded that sometimes, the detours I take might be a better path than the one I was following in the first place. In honor of this wonderful quote, I had to put it on canvas! Here's a sneak peek before Friday's exhibit. You'll have to come out to DeLand Friday evening to see the rest for now. Don't worry, if you aren't able to make it, I'll be posting pictures from the show as soon as I can. I promise!

I also get inspiration from contests. I was so excited about one local art contest, then I didn't get things finished in time to enter...but that doesn't mean I can't share the piece with you! A local art gallery in New Smyrna Beach held the contest. The theme was Bicycles and I had a blast coming up with this piece. OK, I'll give you a sneak peek...

excerpt of I Want to Ride My Bicycle, mixed media on canvas

Another wonderfully addictive source for inspiration is Pinterest. LORD, the hours I have spent pinning! It's shameful and there should really be a 12 step program... Yeah, it's that addictive.

Anyway, Happier is a piece inspired by a quote floating around on Pinterest: "Today, I will be happier than a bird with a french fry." Every time I hear or read that line, my heart smiles! Who hasn't been lucky enough to see a little bird discover a french fry he gets to have all to himself? It's the definition on happy!
excerpts of Happier, mixed media on canvas
My yoga practice also greatly inspires me, so there will me a few pieces on display any yogis in the crowd might appreciate. Sacred Centers is one of them...
excerpt of Sacred Centers, mixed media on vintage book page
These are just some of the pieces I'll have on display this weekend at the 4th Friday Art Walk in DeLand! I hope this has whet your appetite a little. By the way, I'm not the only artist, either! Make sure you plan to visit DeLand if you are in the Daytona Beach or Orlando areas this weekend because DeLand truly loves their Artist Community! My work will be on exhibit from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Got Knots on New York Avenue. (Get more info about the event here!) Come by and visit, sign up to win a free massage from the amazing Got Knots, then hit the Artist Alley for loads more awesome art and culture. You'll be glad you did!