I is for: Interior

I is for: Interior.

Collect your ideas to use when you have the time to decorate as you truly desire.
Collect your ideas to use when you have the time to decorate as you truly desire.

Interior design and designers interest me because creativity is constantly around.

I can appreciate those that can and do decorate confidently and have fun. I love that creative people can embrace a design idea and create a space based on that.

I move quite often as part of a military family and so I have to reinvent and redecorate my surroundings often.  I decided that for the letter “I” blog challenge, I will share a few interior decorating tips that I use on a regular basis as I move and relocate every few years.

Club Creative Studio Solutions

Useful Decorating Tips

Start: take time to collect your thoughts and ideas. Use a journal or an online source like Pinterest, or collect pictures from magazines for inspiration.  Take your sketches or file bag to stores with you. Include measurements, floor plans or carpet/fabric/tile samples when you are shopping for the perfect color combinations.

Select and Respect:  colors that you can live with and are not just trends. Although you can always repaint or buy new accessories, it is easiest to stay inside your comfort zone when you are on a tight budget.  When selecting colors on the walls, take a step back with a squint. Chances are, if everything blends well in a squint then your colors will work well together. And by all means, consider those that you live with and their opinions. It pays to have everyone comfortable and in agreement with color and décor choices. You can always ease someone into your more unconventional or preferred style taste slowly.

Variety:  Alternate soft and hard items in your rooms. Hard items are things like furniture, chests and tables, you know surface items.  Soft items are items like plants, pillows, and cushion or upholstered chairs.

Recycle: To save money and time, recycle or reinvent the things you have. Paint, reupholster, or just discover a new use for an item you once used at a different location.  Also, give your household goods a second glance in a new setting. Sometimes the change of space, lighting and a different wall color make your old things look new again.

Accents:  Place items in groups of odd numbers. When hanging framed artwork- lower is better than higher.  Eye level is good. Include lighting in different places for ambience.

Unique Style:  Adding home décor items that are unique to your taste and style create a space with personality.  Make your mark in the room by including unique, personal, or even odd items for comfort and conversation starters.

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My 2014 Bead Soup- Boxed Up for Mail

My 2014 Bead Soup box: Go Big Red.
My 2014 Bead Soup box: Go Big Red.

 

My 2014 Bead Soup is ready to be mailed out.  I have boxed up my collection of beads for my beading/blog challenge along with a few other goodies for my assigned partner.

The distorted photographs in this blog post are intentional.  Because the contents of the box have not reached the eyes of Tami Norris my bead challenge partner to date, I have distorted the photographs so that she remains surprised until she opens up her box.

As a hint of content I will share that the box has an array of findings and beads.  Some are hand-made clay beads from Club Creative Studio and there is a hand-painted crystal focal in there, as well as elements to use on a pair of earrings.

 

 

Handmade beads- swirl distorted photo.
Handmade beads- swirl distorted photo.

My soup (collection of beads) has a theme of red, white, and black.  I have entitled the collection: GO BIG RED.

Since discovering that my new Wisconsin friend, Tami also has a family tie to the state of Nebraska, I decided to go with the ever popular Nebraska football team color theme of red and white.  One saying everyone knows there is: “Go Big Red”.

My swirl distorted photo of my hand painted crystal pendant for  2014 bead soup challenge.
My swirl distorted photo of my hand painted crystal pendant for 2014 bead soup challenge.

My assigned partner likes to work in mixed media, so I included a few other jewelry making/craft elements for her enjoyment and consideration to use in this Bead Soup challenge.

Stay tuned to the next few blog posts about this Bead Soup Challenge. I am sure it will be interesting to see what she comes up with in design and use of these beads as well as what she decides to send me to work with as well.

 

A distortion of my bead soup.
A distortion of my bead soup.
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Philadelphia Art Project Part lll

Cut shards will make a great mosaic creation.
Cut shards will make a great mosaic creation.

Today I worked a bit on my Philadelphia Art Project.  This is the third post on the topic. I hope you are enjoying this creative journey along side of me.

Here I am...ready to start making the transformation of this newspaper box into an ART BOX.

In preparation of this Philadelphia Art Project Challenge, I had to get a few new tools to help me transform this newspaper box.  Today, I blog about two of the tools that made my tile cutting much easier.

Two types of tile knippers are useful.
Two types of tile knippers are useful.

Two useful tools that came in handy for the initial start of my project challenge are the tile nipper and a dual blade glass tile nipper.  I found the wheel nipper to be the best tool so far.

Notice the two wheels that are sharp to cut (break) the tile or plate.
Notice the two wheels that are sharp to cut (break) the tile or plate.

The wheel nipper is great for removing small pieces of glass or tile and mosaic.  This dual blade design is for increased precision in shaping tiles up to 1/4 inch thick.

A Learning Curve is always a factor to consider when working with a tool for the first time. I learned two things. First, pace yourself when working. I was so excited to cut my elements that I spent a few hours in non-stop mode. My hands were shaking by the time I finally stopped. I needed some recovery time from the clamp pressures my hands needed to use with the tool as well.

Secondly, if a wheel comes loose or off from the tool because of the use motion, it can be replaced and tightened easily with an  Allen wrench. These directions/suggestions are not written on the packaging. So much for trial and error and the courage to self-teach.

It's easy to repair and tighten a wheel if it works loose.
It’s easy to repair and tighten a wheel if it works loose.

My vision in part for my ArtBox will include areas of mosaic.  I needed the nipper tools to cut portions of plates that I wish to use to utilize their designs and incorporate those into my over-all design.  Simply done, the nippers are placed on the edge of a section and the handle is grasped for a crisp cut.

Snap! A plate is "cut".
Snap! A plate is “cut”.

Cutting adds up quickly once you get a feel for the tool and the amount of tool and hand pressure needed for a cut.  I picked out this pattern for the color variety and the dark background.  If you hunt a local thrift shop like I did, you may run across great deals on plates, or platters with patterns that are in a range of styles and colors.

Be on the look-out for a pattern or colors that grab your attention.
Be on the look-out for a pattern or colors that grab your attention.
The pile grows.
The pile grows.

Stay tuned and visit this blog again as the project continues to Part lV.  I am excited for the direction my vision and efforts are heading.

 

 

 

 

 

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Low-Cost Art: Consider Nature Part l

If you have been following Club Creative Studio’s Facebook posts recently, you know that I attended the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show. Considering nature, my series of several posts will suggest low- cost art project ideas that stem from creations I saw on display at the Flower Show.

What would or could you do with these natural, organic grouped elements?

I’d like for you to stop by the blog several times this week to see what is highlighted from these prompt suggestions.  You will be pleasantly surprised at the creations that stem from supplies found in nature from the following groupings.

Nature Grouping One:

Natural Elements Group One.
Natural Elements Group One.

Natural Grouping Two:

Nature Elements Group Two
Nature Elements Group Two

Natural Grouping Three:

Nature Elements Group Three.
Nature Elements Group Three.
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Philadelphia Public Art Project Part l

Art Box Challenge, 2014
Art Box Challenge, 2014

Club Creative Studio recently submitted a creative vision proposal for taking part in a unique Public Art Challenge in Pennsylvania, Montgomery County. Happily, they accepted my submission! The delivery of the ArtBox will come soon!

Art Box Challenge- What can I transform this into?
Art Box Challenge- What can I transform this into?

Here are the details and I look forward to taking photos along the way in this creative journey. The ideas and principals behind Creative MontCo , and 311 Arts are supportive of creative people and sharing art in our community environment.  I am so happy to be a participant!

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Slow Your Creative Roll

In life, there is a time and a place to slow our roll; even our creative roll.
Club Creative Studio has a focus on always being creative. Why would you think that today I would focus on ways to slow creativity down?
It is important to find a way to insert simplicity in life, even creative simplicity.
If your creative spirit is in constant soaring mode, you may wish that at times, your creativity had a slow down button.
Journey Quote
Here are five suggestions for creating a balance when it comes to slowing your pace along your creative path 
 
1. Cut dwelling time. 
 
Strive to spend only 20% of your time dwelling on a problem and 80% of your time focusing on a solution. Instead of the other way around. 
 
Keep this thought in mind to avoid stress and free your time up productively.
 
2. Create slower. 
 
Make your creative time a time of relaxation rather than a time to just add to the
stress of your day or for a deadline. One thing that works well to slow down when creating is to put down the brush, tool, pencil. etc., between use. Play calming music in the background, or simply forget about the clock and focus on the process and love of the project.  Dedicate a bock of time in advance to your project freeing you from other responsibilities. 
3. Enjoy simple pleasures. 
 
Take time to appreciate the joy that you get from your creative time and savor it.  It may be the fact that you are alone, in a great workspace, collaborating with others, not in a rush, knowing that you are producing something of value, or escaping reality for a time. you have the power to promote your own happiness and gain joy from your creative time relishing in the simple pleasures it allows you to have.
 
4. Pencil It In.
 
Pretty much everyone’s memory  has a few leaks. So help yourself. Write down what you
need to do or want to do for a specific day in advance. Write down your ideas or voice record them before they fly away. It will save you time and give you a break from busy or idol hands. Brainstorming for yourself can be in the form of typed lists or artful journals too. 
 
Write down the one habit or area you are focusing on in your creative life and put
that note where you can see it every day. For example in a frame or on your workspace table. This gives you a direction and focus which will slow down your distractions.
 
5. Breathe Deeply.
 
When you are stressed, confused, short on time, lost in a problem or the past or future ; remember to simply breathe. Focus on the air going in and out, and physically slow down.
 
This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment
again. And it is actually sometimes enough to just do this for a 20-30 seconds to
create a remarkable effect inside of yourself.
Slow your "Creative Roll" from time to time.
Slow your “Creative Roll” from time to time.
Take steps today to slow your creative pace and see what happens. Maybe you will be more focused, less stressed, more open to ideas or simply more productive. The main thought here is to be aware that your creative pace is part of a journey that demands time.  Working against the clock or with it is a choice.
 
 
 
 
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A Call For Custom Art

Club Creative Studio creates Custom Art.  I recently attended a meeting consisting of business persons. At one point, I spoke about the fact that I create custom art. A conversation ensued. A “Call for Custom” to me is a conversation that is welcomed. I used the chance to elaborate on the meaning of custom art.

I welcome the challenges that come to call when I am asked to create a custom art order.  Any person who shops for custom jewelry or other items are searching for that “perfect piece” not for what is going to serve them as “good enough” and is readily available on store shelves in front of them at the time.

Hand-made initial tie tack from Club Creative Studio
Hand-made initial tie tack from Club Creative Studio

I have two ways to describe custom jewelry:

1. Custom jewelry is a wonderful choice for people with unique and distinct tastes in styles.

2. Custom jewelry is a wonderful choice for people who wish to stand out in a crowd among many.

Club Creative Studio creation: Sea glass shard custom wrapped for pendant.
Club Creative Studio creation: Sea glass shard custom wrapped for pendant.

The Up-Side to Custom- When I create custom art, I design to fit the recipient’s particular needs. In these instances, the buyer has more control over the piece aesthetics. This allows for a heightened degree of attention to detail to hit those marks of service on my part. I listen carefully and take great notes. I strive to convey and incorporate special meaning into the art which makes it truly and extraordinarily unique to the individuals involved. A custom piece of art has to “speak” and have personal meaning upon the completion.

Club Creative Studio necklace features Kanji character.
Club Creative Studio necklace features Kanji character.

Custom work allows me to work closely with the purchaser to control color, materials, size and design elements of the art piece.  Sometimes there is a price point to consider, sometimes there are other limitations on the specifics.  Most times, I am happily trusted to “work my magic” with general ideas and added I am granted free rein for a finished product.

Most persons commonly think of “custom” in jewelry making when they have an opportunity to place loose stones or diamonds into a jewelry setting.  While this is popular thinking, there can be much more to this.

Use of significant colors and charms can make your jewelry personalized and more of a custom made piece.
Use of significant colors and charms can make your jewelry personalized and more of a custom made piece.

There are a few ways to place a custom description into your jewelry art.  Using a monogram, a personal image, specific theme charms or personalized engraved pendant, an initial charm, birthstones or birth crystal colors, and having a say in the over-all design to name a few.

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Some jewelry shoppers may be on the hunt for a personalized piece that has special meaning.  Others may want a wearable piece of art that no one else can own. BOTH are ways by which I support creating CUSTOM art. This is where Club Creative Studio comes in to save the day.

Our art is always custom, and created to be ONE-OF-A-KIND.

The Down-side to Custom While it is true that the buying process is longer than purchasing regular jewelry of the shelf of a large department store chain, the results are worth the wait.

Club Creative Studio welcomes your custom requests and looks forward to meeting your specific style needs. Together we can design another master piece!

Please view custom, one-of-a-kind art on the home page. When I design jewelry or home décor items, one of the main goals I have is to CREATE ART THAT SETS YOU APART. Allow me to create for you or that special someone. I love creating every day!

 

 

 

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Successful Earring Wearing- Part Two

Welcome to Part Two of the blog post offering you a few helpful hints for safely and successfully wearing earrings.

Club Creative Studio  Hand-made Earrings
Club Creative Studio Hand-made Earrings

There are many times when wearing earrings can enhance your wardrobe and express your style. Accessories like earrings are a simple and inexpensive way to invest in your individualistic tastes.

Today, Club Creative Studio offers a few guidelines to wearing earrings so that they can give you the best comfort and style options.  There is a time and a place for earrings and other piercings and knowing this is key information.

Pierced Earring Safety

The answers to these popular earring questions can be personal.

1. To wear or not to wear earrings while sleeping.

To be extra safe, take earrings out for naps or sleeping and place them in a safe place for replacement later. Sleeping with long or dangle earrings run the risk of getting broken, caught in long hair or snagged on clothing or blankets in some manner. It is NO FUN to tear a hole in an ear and potentially bleed.

Club Creative Studio Environmentally consciously made earrings.
Club Creative Studio
Environmentally consciously made earrings.

Depending on where your piercing is- comfort should come first in display or removal.

If you are sensitive to metals or are allergic to your earrings in any way, sleeping in them can be an irritant, as well an uncomfortable if you lay on it the wrong way.

2.  Wearing earrings while actively participating and engaging in sporting events are sometimes band for wear in certain sports by rules or referee requests. For good reason, earrings are not the safest to wear during a sport because of possibility of the earring getting broken, lost, or damage to self or others if a fall or contact occurs.  Wearing a piece of athletic tape over the earring is sometimes accepted if the earrings are not to come out for any reason. Otherwise, remove for sports.

3.  Loops, dangle and shiny earrings are practically magnetic to children. I mean that they are quickly drawn in attention and young children want to grab and pull them. To avoid that unwanted pain, wear small or post earrings if you are going to be working with or enjoying time near children.

4. Finally, clean your earrings with a quick rubbing alcohol and cotton ball bath for hygienic sense.

Safe Storage

1. If you have ever stepped on an earring, you know that is important to properly store your earrings in a safe place. Use a special box, a designated table top earring holder.  Your earrings will be found easily in pairs and you will not likely step on them or loose them.

2.  Store your most valuable earrings in a hidden box or extra safe place. Try to be inventive and not an obvious place where an unwanted guest may want to take them.

Mini screen used as an earring display holder.
Mini screen used as an earring display holder.

 

3.  Think creatively in your storage options. I use mesh window screen frame to hold and display wire earrings. My daughter painted the sides of one like this, we added ribbon for hanging it, and she gave it as a gift.  The best part of this is that it expands!  You can also place screen material on the back of an empty wood photo frame for a smaller group display.

4. If you are often in a rush and forget putting earrings on, keep a “spare pair” of neutral color or style earrings in your purse or car. I can’t tell you how many times I have used the spare pair I have kept in glove compartment storage for use in the emergency times I needed to wear earrings but left the house without them.

If you have your own tip you would like to share, feel free to add it to the comment section below.

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Unexpected Art- The Power of Art

Broach pin with ink applied from Club Creative Studio

Happy accidents in the art studio or on the design table are a welcomed sight.

Sometimes having a plan go in a different direction and unexpected way is exciting. It can be a learning experience and a chance to be spontaneous.

Club Creative studio- Ink earrings

Some mediums naturally lend themselves to unexpected results. I feel I have almost no control when I use certain art supplies.  This can be a good thing as long as your expectations are not definite.

One art supply that comes to mind as notorious for unpredictability are alcohol inks. Inks can be applied to certain areas but the amount of ink flows and sticks in various spots and the results can not really be planned.  I love the idea of being surprised when I use inks.

 

I enjoy blending ink on a variety of surfaces. I enjoy transforming metals, experimenting with absorbency of papers and blotting bamboo for my best results.

Bamboo rectangles are transformed with ink.
Bamboo rectangles are transformed with ink.

 

Saturations with ink give a new look to a plain surface. It is for that reason that I enjoy blending, dabbing, and using ink with many different types of materials.

Ink has a way to deepen in color in some spots and add depth and texture from stained lines of ink.

The only way to go back from ink on a project is maybe a quick wash of ink with water but, even then that is no guarantee that the ink will lesson in intensity.  The chances are in favor of change when ink is used.  Alcohol ink does have a solution called a “thinner” that adds a level of opaqueness to strong levels of ink. It is always a good idea to practice on something you intend to alter permanently.

Here is an example of a vintage broach that was transformed with pink inks. I love how it turned out. It goes without saying that my personal touch was added to this creation. I took out a few elements and added wire and one of my hand-torched glass beads. The plan now is to maybe add it as a pendant. I am still deciding. Share a suggestion below if you wish, I’d love to brainstorm. 🙂

Club Creative Studio transformation pin
Club Creative Studio transformation pin

 

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Pretty Please, Pick Me- Celebrate the Letter P

Image source from Facebook
Image source from Facebook

Let’s celebrate the letter “P” in this post today as we muddle through the tongue twister title: Pretty Please Pick Me.

Let’s face it, there are many times during the day that we raise our hand in service to others. Pretty please, pick me…I’ll do that task, project, volunteer job, etc. It’s all good…sometimes…

Quote

In all my days of creating custom jewelry, I have rarely declined a challenge to create an item. I can probably count the times that I have willingly passed on a custom request on one hand. One request that came across my path and comes to mind to share from a few years ago was a request for a glass project.

A person wanted to know if I would create a glass visor for them. You know, the kind that you wear on your head to protect you from the sun.  It also had the need to be shipped across the country.

Item: Agusta Sportswear visor
Item: Agusta Sportswear visor

Using my best judgment, I declined the job and passed on that challenge. I did not even have a suggestion to this person as to where they might inquire next for their service needs. For several reasons, the project was a huge risk in my mind and simply put, it sounded really stressful to attempt, let alone accomplish, no matter who the professional artist was.

My Red Light Warnings: 

1. I was not even sure it could be a functional item since it was going to be very fragile and heavy.

2. The technique to even consider creating a visor would be something that I am not equipped to do. Using a large ceramic kiln or even a glass blower’s fire kiln came to mind as a source for consideration to even heat, smelt or configure such an item. I had no idea how much time this project would have demanded.

3. It was going to be such a risk to mail an object like that. The insurance alone would be horrific in cost. I would be on edge from the minute it was created to the second it was to be delivered.

When sharing your creativity professionally, it is so important not to get over your head in tasks.  It is so helpful to know your own work ethic, so that you can manage time.  When fulfilling your delivery promises, it is important to be consistent and make sure you are satisfying the needs you are obligated to. And lastly, it only makes sense that you tackle the projects that will be worthy of your talents.

As Club Creative Studio strives to always place their best work forward, I humbly bow down when a project is not appealing for me to create a wonderful end product. Are you an artist that may have taken on such a challenge as my glass visor request? If so, I wish I would have saved the name of the person commissioning the visor art. 🙂 AND, I would have loved to see your final results.

Do you have a story to share about a custom request that an artist denied or are you a creative person that had to say “no” to a task too difficult, strange, or too costly in time or materials to make? Please feel free to share your experience.

 

 

 

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