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1  Go Fly a Kite Tote in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by RobertBlue on: July 28, 2005 02:13:58 PM
This is a tote bag I made for my mom from some extra quilting squares that I didn't know what else to do with.

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2  Re: Disney Swap in The Swap Gallery by RobertBlue on: July 28, 2005 02:09:07 PM
Since aeillill received my package, and is busy running the swap, I figured I'd post pictures of what I sent  her.

Here is a fabric CD holder themed after Maleficent and her crows from Sleeping Beauty.

And here's a Mickey Mouse head pillow made out of a really cool purple fabric.

And here's a Mickey Mouse ceramic I painted.

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3  Amour, or La Passe Murraille in CHALLENGE 3 ENTRIES by RobertBlue on: June 30, 2005 09:13:44 PM
I love dioramas, but haven't made one in years.  When I found out about this craft challenge, I knew I had to participate.  After the colossal failure of my first challenge attempt (did not post it because it just didn't work), I knew I wanted to make something spectacular.

After much thought and consideration, I wound up being inspired by one of my first loves: musical theater.  At the 2005 Tony Awards, a little show called The Light in the Piazza was considered by many a complete underdog in the Tony race for everything but Best Leading Actress.  However, it went on to win for best score among many other awards, and just came short of winning Best Musical.

The size of the show, the subject matter, and overall style reminded me of one of my favorite little-shows-that-couldn't of all time.

In 2002, a little pocket music finally made the transition from France to America, bringing with it one of the most original, beautiful, enchanting, melancholy yet hopeful musicals to hit Broadway in years: Amour.  Amour told the classic story of a mild mannered civil servant, Dusoleil, who discovers one night during a storm that he has developed the ability to walk through walls.  He suddenly realizes he has the power to change his life and get the attention of the woman he loves, Isabelle.  Dusoleil becomes a public avenger, who is dubbed by the local paper Passparteu.  However, he soon realizes that Isabelle has fallen in love with his alter ego and not himself, and exposes who he really is to the woman he loves.  If you know the musical (or the story), youll know what this scene depicts.  But even those who do not know the true ending of the show will be able to see how romantic the scene is of Dusoleil passing through the wall to his beloved Isabelle to try and be together. 

Full Shot

Dusoleil Goes Through The Wall

Dusoleil Finds His Isabelle

An Artist Finds His Inspiration

The Heart Fountain Jumps For Joy

What A Beautiful Day For Young Lovers

Truthfully, I have never heard a score for any show that has effected me quite as much as this one.  The cast was magnificent and the show opened me up to the wonderful world of composer Michel Legrand (if the name sounds familiar, perhaps you know of the amazing film musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg).

Unfortunately, on Broadway, the show was plagued with many technical problems throughout previews.  The logistics behind the set design and achieving realistic representations of a very surrealistic idea with Dusoleils ability resulted in the show being a critical and commercial failure, lasting only 17 performances on Broadway. 

Likewise, my diorama project has been hit with many problems and setbacks.  Clay figures smashed apart, walls collapsed, paint spilled, boxes warped, trees refused to retain color, painters refused to sit upright, and many others.

However, the piece finally came together today and I couldnt be more proud.

The cardboard was painted with a mixture of acrylic paints and a half water/half glue compound, much in the style of watercolors.  The backgrounds colors are intentionally heightened and, at some points, unrealistic, to try and capture some of the whimsy and pure joy of the scenario depicted.

Dusoleil, Isabelle, the Painter (a featured character in the show who finally finds inspiration through Dusoleil), the easel, stool, and canvas are all Sculpey clay painted with a blend of acrylics and my paste paint.

The trees are Styrofoam cones filed down with a hairbrush to create a leaf like texture, dipped in a mixture of green and red paste paint and patted dry.

The wall is simple craft wood, painted with ceramic style water-based acrylic paints, marbleized by simply putting on a gray base coat and blending in red with a light tapping motion on the brush.

The fountain is two thick cardboard containers, one circular, and one heart shaped, painted with paste paint (turquoise base; green, tan, and blue marble).  The water is iridescent origami paper glued to the cardboard.

Even though the show was not long for Broadway, it was nominated for 5 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Leading Actor, Best Leading Actress, Best Book, and Best Score.  The cast album for Amour is a worthy investment and is still widely available today.  A new professional mounting outside of New York City is currently scheduled for a run in late summer, and is a total restaging of the show.  Hopefully, when sufficient time has passed, a Broadway revival will be stagedwith me as the lead, of course.  Smiley
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4  Re: Make your own scratch art!! in Completed Projects by RobertBlue on: June 15, 2005 11:25:56 AM
I saw this thread and just had to try it.

My first one I did exactly like handprints' instructions.  Instead of doing my own sketch, I printed out an image from the film The Machinist about the size of the paper and scratched through the top sheet to get my image.

(on the bottom it says one of the tag lines "A Little Guilt Goes A Long Way . . .")

Then I tried some variations.  Here's what I learned: you can't use colored pencils at all, try to stay with the same brand of crayon for consistency, and it will not work no matter what on watercolor paper. 

Next I'm off to try the acrylic method.
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5  Swamp Thing Desk in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by RobertBlue on: June 13, 2005 09:50:56 AM
I started completely redoing my room about a week ago.  I've already bought a new bookshelf and a new TV stand from IKEA, but I didn't have enough money left over to replace my really crappy, ugly desk.  It had a black plastic/metal (can't tell) base with a stained, bubbled up, chipped, cut-up white 1/4" particle board top (black edging).

I dug around in the garage and found some extra bright green fluorescent spray paint I had meant to use for a different project last year, as well as a couple bottles of black (I always have black).

After thinking for a short while, I decided that my desk would be bright green and black.

But there was a problem: the green spray paint was defective.  The paint didn't come out evenly and didn't just shoot out of the hole in the front. 

So with a little creativity, a cloth rag, and a lot of luck, I came out with this.

And a top view, just so ya'll can see how awesome the top looks.

In the end, I thought it looked less like radioactive waste and more like Swamp Thing.  This will go perfectly in my room's theme when I finish redoing it.
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6  Re: Rasterbater! (its not dirty!) make small pictures into HUGE murals so easy&fun ! in Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions by RobertBlue on: June 09, 2005 11:19:24 AM
I decided to have a little fun with my rasterbations.  I took one image from a film and made it with pretty large dots, so there really aren't any fine details, and you only get the general shape of the scene.  Then, I hung it off center from itself, in a rhombus shape as opposed to a rectangle.  I followed that with a larger rasterbation with smaller dots in a different color (creating more detail both in contrast and in dot size), hanging it around and in the gaps created by the initial rasterbation.  I added the initial images in their respective color schemes on opposite corners, as well as printouts of my favorite movie posters for both.

And here is the result.

The films in question are Haute (High) Tension/Switchblade Romance, and my favorite film of all time, Rosemary's Baby.  I chose scenes in which both female leads appear to make the decision of violence over non-violence, with wildly different results.  In the Haute Tension rasterbation, grey, the lead character has just wound the wire around the large blunt stick and is lifting it up with the intention to fight the murderer.  In the Rosemary's Baby rasterbation, blue, Rosemary is about to look at her child for the first time.  I see a lot of similarities in the characters within the context of their respective films in their motivations, but the actions that follow are drastically different, creating a nice dichotomy between the images presented.

Yes, that's packing tape holding it up right now.  And yes, it is done over a corner in my room (where a closed up chimney on the first floor is), making it look even stranger.

I love horror films... Wink
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