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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Digital Drawing: PALINation on: October 16, 2008 02:58:31 PM

This digital illustration was hand drawn and effected with the aid of Adbe Illustrator. It is focused on some of the hard-core risks in voting with the Rupublican party. This illustration, while it represents my personal point of view to a tee, also reflects some others' greatest fears as our reproductive rights are put on the line in this election. Please - If you have any concern for your reproductive rights and those of your children - Get out and vote.

2  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / 2 Pair of Hand-Painted Summer Shoes on: August 29, 2008 02:05:11 PM
On April 29th, FabSugar posted a very inspiring "Guess Who" that featured an absolutely gorgeous pair of painted wedges.

The sale price was still a bit too rich for my blood but - still - I felt inspired and set about to create my own, artful pair of hand-painted wedges. As luck would have it, I got very busy with work and didn't get to Payless to pick up the canvas shoes that I needed to start this project until that past Sunday. Yes!!! They were on sale and it [really] doesn't get much better than that.

Once I took a look at the shoes I was a bit concerned. The canvas uppers are great - not a problem. But the faux cork wedge is of a composite material that had a hand much like synthetic rubber. Unless you're using paint, specifically designed for plastic, this creates a very serious issue with durability of the finished design.

With this in mind I painted the canvas uppers a bright fuschia. I used textile paint but, honestly, any acrylic paint would do. Since the finish on the soles was still intact it made clean up easy and I was able to wipe away any errant brush marks with a dampened cloth.

I let the painted uppers dry over night as I considered the issue with the soles. What I needed to do was mar the somewhat shiny satin finish - just enough to create a tooth in the material - and I was sincerely hoping that the raw product would be a bit porous in order to hold the paint.

First I tried using a 3M scouring pad. This definitely degraded the finish but the printed "cork" was still a bit too dark for my tastes and I didn't feel that the material was degraded or porous enough to hold the media. 120 grit sandpaper proved to be the perfect fix. With a light hand I distressed the covering just enough to open the pores of the material and lighten the cork printing.

Once this was done to suit my personal tastes, I wiped them down with a damp cloth, dried them well, and tested my Prisma Color markers in an inconspicuous place. The art gods were with me because the marker took to the material and, once dry, was permanent despite repeated and agressive rubbing with micro fiber cloth. Yes! Ladies, I was in business and in less than an hour later I had my very own swanky sweet pair of artful wedges!

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Groove Tropicale

I started with a cheap-o pair of Groove sandals that I picked up at Ross for $9.99

To begin the project I masked the Groove tag with a bit of blue, low-tack tape. I could have cut it off, I guess. I simply chose to preserve it and not run the risk of cutting into the webbed upper or spoiling any of the seams.

Using regular acrylic paint, I painted the outside and edges of the webbed upper a deep fuschia, my fave color of choice for this spring and summer season. I left the inside natural so it would retain its softness.

Once the uppers were dry, I painted the base of the shoes white. This helped to seal the foam and aided in preventing a color-shift in the final design. I dried the white base coat with a blow dryer and dry brushed unbleached titanium for texture and to relieve some of the absolute whiteness.

Once the texture was dry I sketched the hibiscus and leaf details, painted them as shown, and now they're ready to rock.

3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Paintings: Wallflower 1 and 2 on: August 29, 2008 09:39:21 AM
Wallflower 1
Tagline: I could have danced all night

Sorry for the dappling. This 48" square painting was created for permanent outdoor display. It's one of the 7 works on display in my new outdoor gallery. Media: Acrylic on plywood.

In context

Wallflower 2
Tagline: I could have danced all night
48" square. Acrylic on canvas. Gallery edge.

In this version I wanted the dress to have more a realistic proportion - as if it had a life of its own. I also wanted the cityscape to assume more of an anonymous nature and so it goes...

In context of our master bedroom:

4  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / A 1950's Fridge gets restored to provide weather and dust proof storage outdoors on: August 29, 2008 06:08:49 AM
At the end of May my husband and I launched a major overhaul of our garden and patio area. A lot of work went into the 9 week project as we reclaimed, reused, and recycled vintage furniture to suit our needs. This 1950's fridge is one of my proudest endeavors. I think it's a fun & funky  way to provide proper storage for my tableware and linens that I use in the out of doors.

Before being revitalized

Fortunately only the cabinet showed any signs of wear or weather. The inside of the fridge was pristine and complete.

Here are pics of my husband removing the rust, priming and painting the cabinet.


And here's a view of the entire patio project - complete.

I diaried the complete Patio Reclamation Project and Garden Refreshment on TeamSugar if you're interested. Really - It was so much work but I was so thrilled with the results that I couldn't help but submit it to CasaSugar's Summer Style Contest.  Even more exciting was the fact that I won one of two $500.00 Gift Cards to Crate and Barrel. Now I can't wait to go shopping!

Honestly, this is one of my grandest redesigns ever and we are so looking forward to next year when all we have to do is a bit of cleaning and mild sprucing to get our outdoor space ready for the summer.
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Craft your own full and flirty (NO Sew) tee-shirt skirt on: August 28, 2008 12:41:13 PM
Back in April FabSugar posted a link to a photo of Drew Barrymore rocking a gorgeously graphic printed skirt by Gucci. Ah! But what inspiration!


I thought it would be fun to show you how you can take an ordinary tee shirt [men's XXL or bigger] and, in 45 minutes or less, take it from the thrift store bargain bin to the virtual catwalk. This is a no-sew project - easy for adults and suitable for children with adult supervision.

Step One: Gather your tools. You will need 1 XXL tee, an iron, measuring tape, straight edge, pencil, scissors.

Step Two: Clean and press your shirt to remove the wrinkles.

Step Three: Measure and mark 16" from the bottom of the hem of the shirt. Use tailor's chalk or a pencil.

Step Four: Draw a line with a straight edge at the 16 inch marks you just made.

Step Five: Cut along the line you just drew using scissors or a rotary tool.

Step Six: Turn the skirt that you just cut from the body or the shirt hem-side up and snip the hem. Be careful not to cut through the stitches. This will for the casing for your drawstring.

Step Seven: Create the drawstring. Measure, mark and cut a 1 inch strip from the remainder of the tee shirt.

Step Eight: Snip the 1 inch tube. Stretch it and knot it at the ends. Thread the drawstring into the casing.

Step Nine: Cinch it good. Pull on your skirt and cinch it tight on your waist.

Step Ten: Have fun painting and embellishing your skirt as you wish.

There are a lot of great tutorials for embellishing fabric and clothing.  Check out:
The Transformer Jeans Skirt
Image Transfer Techniques

My idea for the design, as shown in this tutorial, was originally inspired by CasaSugar and her MidDay Muse.

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