Postcard Project Day 1

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I have a looming art deadline – a show with my dad in August (more on that later). However, before I can make any art, I need to clear a physical and mental space for it.  Just coming out of two years of work on my master’s degree has left me with scarcely any free time for artmaking.  My space and mind are both cluttered with too many unfinished projects, false starts, and painfully atrocious (to me) ideas.

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So, today, I tried to clear some of the physical clutter.  That was going well until I found a 3-inch thick stack of purchased and not yet sent postcards from all around the world.

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I sat down and wrote five of them to friends and family.  As I was doing this, I realized I might be on to something as a means to make something, work on some false starts, and hold myself accountable.

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Day 1 Postcard Project. Collage on paper, watercolor, pen and ink, washi tape.  2018.

My goal is to make these small artworks and send them off to friends and family, near and far, this summer.  They can be my warm-ups, thoughts of the day, use-it-up-scraps artwork and a way to keep myself moving onward, always.  I won’t tell you how I choose who to send one to next, or even who they are for.  However, if you want in on this, you might want to make sure I have your current address!

Dining Room Table

One of the things I had on my summer to-do list was to decide on what to do with my dining room chairs.  They are in the image below – boring light wooden chairs from Target that I bought when I first moved to Greensboro more than a decade ago.  The chair story also involves my lovely dining room table, a post that I started almost two years ago and didn’t finish.  So, here it is, finally 2 years later.  

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My family before my youngest was born, shortly after we moved in.

One of the things I love about our current house, is the open spaces we have.  Our previous house, in Greensboro, had quaint 1939 charm, but lacked openness.  This is our dining room the spring after we moved to Iowa – open, airy, and with fun built-ins.

 

With that vast openness of a house space, though, comes ideas.  Many, many, many ideas.  My brain is on a pretty constant DIY cycle – it truly is a disease, I promise.  Eric can vouch for that, as he will fairly often get messages from me with content like this.  Btw, this project was a false start and ended up becoming a curbside freebie.

 

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While I love to DIY, I am not much of a woodworker.  I get grand ideas, but my follow-through is awful.  Eric on the other hand, is fantastically talented in this field – see his live edge computer table he made.  He inherited a large stash of wood from his grandfather’s shop, when we moved back.  This is what the stash currently looks like, I promise I have a dream list of what to do with it, if time were endless.

 

Not too long after we were settled, Eric began working on plans to create my dream dining room table from some of his grandfather’s wood.  He settled on a large plank of oak.  It was thick enough that it could be butterflied into 2 pieces to fashion the table.  He found a sawmill in Boone, Iowa and took the plank there.

 

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Side note- it was around this time that Eric also made a series of beautiful cutting boards for family members.  Somehow I didn’t end up with one of these bad boys, maybe in the near future?

 

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Because this table was a project that was worked on during the 9 months before I had our second child, there are not much in the form of documentation images of the project.  This is the table shortly after it was completed.  The legs were ordered from The Legge Shop, an Etsy shop from New York.  They were custom-made and came with a plate to be bolted in the middle of the two planks, to prevent too much flexing between the two pieces of wood.

 

I kept dreaming of bright, modern chairs to go along with my table.  I finally just bit the bullet, and spent a few bucks on bright yellow, Krylon Sun Yellow, spray paint to update my existing chairs from Target.  I did end up sanding the chairs in a few spots, and using a white base-coat spray first.  This was to ensure that the yellow coat adhered stronger and with less coats.

The kids have been thrilled with the bright color and my youngest keeps requesting to sit in the “lellow” chair.  I can already tell that the chairs yellow coat will need to be updated within the calendar year, but the upside is they are easier to clean with a new coat of paint.

 

The final outcome – table and bright chairs just make me smile.  The yellow is so cheerful and fun with the live edge and industrial legs of the table.  Now if I can just get Eric to craft a bench from that excess wood…

 

Valentines 2016

  I still loathe buying greeting cards.  It’s a DIY disease – “I can make that.”

 This year’s Valentines have a bike theme going on.  I made this fun little stamp a couple weekends ago while Greta was working on her bicycle and heart print.  Or was that last weekend?  I don’t know…this time of year just escapes me.

 
 I started off my Valentines with some fun abstract watercolor paintings.  Once dry, I spliced them into sections.

 
 I attached the paintings to card stock with glue and by sewing machine.  Then, added small stamped bicycles to them.  On some of the cards, I stamped the bike directly on the painting.  Those ones turned out fine, but the bicycle ended up being a little hidden.

 
Greta had fun adding embellishments and her signature to her cards.  I love her ideas on what needed to be glued down!

 
 These are my two little Valentines, working hard at the kitchen table the other night.  The oldest was busy signing away – she opted for Ninja Turtle and Little Mermaid cards for her school buddies.  Meanwhile, little brother is sliding and throwing her Valentines on the floor.

 

 This is me this morning at work – I survived yet another year of teaching during the Valentine season – today were the element kids’ Valentine parties.  In the spirit, I decked myself out in my heart sweater (old one from Target!) and my heart earrings that my mom gave me way back in 8th grade.  They were sort of a big deal, because they were dangly and not just studs.  I cannot believe I still have them. My hubby and I are not much into gifts, cards, or any of the likes for Valentine’s Day, but whether you celebrate or not, Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!