Philadelphia Public Art Project Part V

Welcome to yet another post about the progress made on the Philadelphia Public Art project.  This is part five of the creative journey.

Mixed sand-based grout.
Mixed sand-based grout.

For this grout and mosaic piece, I chose the sand-based and color Raven grout.  I hope it was not too bold of an idea but, I love the contrast of dark and light and I wanted to use pops of color from adding beads so that was the reason behind this tint of colored grout.

The start of grouting and working out some areas of mosaic.
The start of grouting and working out some areas of mosaic.

I started using gloves and then discovered for most parts, the best tool to use were bare hands. Art can be messy…why not?

Sometimes, the best tool to use is what you have on hand!
Sometimes, the best tool to use is what you have on hand!

I still have some cleaning up to do.  Mosaics is an art with many steps. I hope that you are also pleased with the progress at this point.  I can’t wait to start side two of my ArtBox.

Here is a select portion of my mosaic progress so far.
Here is a select portion of my mosaic progress so far.
Full length view of side one of my ArtBox.
Full length view of side one of my ArtBox.
Side one of the ArtBox Project.
Side one of the ArtBox Project.

Stay tuned. Please visit this blog again to see how the other sides of this Artbox develop.  I am happy that you are interested in this progress and I appreciate your comments shared below.

 

 

 

 

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Beads Arrived- My Bead Soup Partner Can Cook

 

The Bead Soup Box contained separate containers.
The Bead Soup Box contained separate containers.

The beads have arrived! My assigned bead partner for the 2014 Bead Soup Challenge is Tami Norris of Wisconsin. The beads I sent her have arrived so now she can begin to simmer her ideas and cook.

8bsbp-badge

Tami is a fan of mixed media so I found it easy to send her an array of supplies to inspire her to create in any direction she wishes, not just a jewelry item.  Below are the items I sent her for her Bead Soup project.  I am happy the package arrived safely and that she is happy with the red and white content theme. I called the collection: Go Big Red.

Take a peek of the items her package contained.

Red hand-made clay beads
Red hand-made clay beads.

I included hand-made polymer clay beads, and a hand-painted teardrop crystal.

Club creative Studio hand-painted crystal.
Club creative Studio hand-painted crystal.

red seed beads

small red seed beads

white seed beads

Red and white rattail.
Red and white rattail.
White pearls.
White pearls.
Coral red beads.
Coral red beads.
Black and white beads.
Black and white beads.
Findings for earrings and clasp.
Findings for earrings and clasp.
Hair barrette forms.
Hair barrette forms.
Ribbon, Instructional CD for ribbon-making techniques.
Ribbon, Instructional CD for ribbon-making techniques.

ENJOY TAMI!

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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 Public Art Project Part lV

My pile of blue glass shards is started.
My pile of blue glass shards is started.

Another smashing day…literally.  Today’s progress on my Philadelphia Public Art Project resulted from the rough draft sketches I did as well as filling a large box lid of smashed and cut blue glass.

Once again, I used my gloves and goggles, nippers and a hammer to start my pile of glass shards from my blue kitchen plates. I had these in use for about three years and for a year and a half they sat in a box. My intention was to give them away at some point, they were still good except for scratched surfaces.  However, with this project, I wanted to use blue for a sky area in my mosaic so they came in handy for me to recycle and reuse this way.

Recycle material so you don't have to buy new.
Recycle material so you don’t have to buy new.

Today was also productive because I put a few visions down on paper.  The following rough draft drawings may change as the process evolves however, the plan is to have a few of these ideas stick to these original plans.  It might be interesting for you to understand my creative thought process.  Ideas that are fresh can sometimes be developed if the vision is right in front of you.  Enjoy the sketches.  It will be interesting to see if any of these thoughts come to fruition.

This is one version of how I'd like to mosaic a section on my Artbox.
This is one version of how I’d like to mosaic a section on my Artbox.
My mirror mosaic disk. I'd like this as the center of a large focal flower.
My mirror mosaic disk. I’d like this as the center of a large focal flower.

 

I'd like to place a variety of beads in the center of a large flower made with cut tile segments.
I’d like to place a variety of beads in the center of a large flower made with cut tile segments.
For the swirl vine areas I plan to use green coated wire.
For the swirl vine areas I plan to use green coated wire.

 

Rough draft ideas for Artbox.
Rough draft ideas for Artbox.

 

 

I had a few thoughts for one of the sides of the ArtBox.
I had a few thoughts for one of the sides of the ArtBox.

Thank you again for stopping by the blog and following the creativity. I welcome you back to view the progress in this Artbox challenge.

 

 

 

 

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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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Philadelphia Public Art Project Part ll

Celebrating the arrival of the Art Box Challenge Project.
Celebrating the arrival of the Art Box Challenge Project.

As a creative catalyst: I am always thinking of ways to create, promote, support and express art endeavors of self and others.  What a great public art display project idea Creative MontCo in Philadelphia has chosen along with the help of many others to sponsor and help our community appreciate and celebrate what creative minds and talents need to share.

To view the Club Creative Studio blog about how this all came about for me, please read:

http://clubcreativestudio.com/blog/?p=5103

Delivered from New Jersey, the newspaper box arrives.
Delivered from New Jersey, the newspaper box arrives.

Special Delivery Today the special delivery came!  Two men from The Daily News – The Inquirer came to deliver the newspaper box that I will have my artistic focus on for the next several weeks or so.

Delivery of the newspaper box to bee recycled and transformed into an ArtBox.
Delivery of the newspaper box to bee recycled and transformed into an ArtBox.

The First Challenge There will be many challenges I will face by taking part in this ArtBox Challenge. The first is to remove all of the pre-existing “art work” that is already attached to the box. Here are photos of a few of the areas that I need to address.

Newspaper box sticker

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Newspaper box stickers  3

Step One I admire the “handiwork” with the sharpie markers others attached to this newspaper box however, it just doesn’t fit into MY VISION so…they must go. I have a special solution that removes stickers and the residue from them, this is step one.

Newspaper box stickers 4

Stay Tuned I would love for you to follow this project in its various stages on this blog, and share your comments here as well.  Stay tuned for more updates as the project continues, and I share more information. And please don’t hesitate to send others to this blog post as well.

Here I am...ready to start making the transformation of this newspaper box into an ART BOX.
Here I am…ready to start making the transformation of this newspaper box into an ART BOX.
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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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My 2014 Bead Soup Partner

I have been assigned my 2014 Bead Soup partner. I am looking forward to putting together my collection of beads (bead soup) for this exchange challenge.

8bsbp-badge

Founder and organizer, Lori Anderson has made a few changes this year. One of the category considerations she has added this year was to pair up those working specifically with seed beads.  When I discovered this option in the sign-up, I decided to place myself in this group as a change of pace. The request was granted and the group is smaller. Perhaps I can visit each of those in this category as a start to my “blog hop”, visiting many different types of seed bead artists.

Happily, because I have completed the bead soup challenge before, I am now a mentor of sorts to my partner whom I have prompted to blog about her bead soup experience.  I discovered she has started along that road from encouragement and I am happy to see her on her way to expressing in words what she is accomplishing.

 

Photo of Lori Anderson, Bead Soup
Photo of Lori Anderson, Bead Soup

Growing in seed bead interest, I have been evolving in my seed bead use. I find it challenging and relaxing as well as expressive.  Working with seed beads are not so forgiving, I have found that I need extreme focus and time. I have learned that patience is a MUST when working with these small beads and tiny-eyed needles.

Specific seed bead challenges:  Bead artists at any level have many obstacles to overcome in working with these type of beads.  I consider most of the hardships to be minor however.  Among some of the struggles are: lining up these small glass beads to embroider, planning or counting beads, physically handling the mustard seed-sized beads or most times even smaller sizes, threading super small needles, storage quirks like small containers and lids, and then the added challenge of keeping them from bouncing or rolling off of the design table, just to name a few.  ALL of these “pains” are just part of the creation game. The reward of course is the completed art- knowing that I can create one-of-a-kind art items in yet another medium.  My boundaries are limitless. And it is a love/hate relationship at this point, one that is leaning more toward the “LOVE” for these tiny beads.

My latest creation with seed beads:

Club Creative Studio: Seed Beaded Embroidery Necklace
Club Creative Studio: Seed Beaded Embroidery Necklace

The Bead Soup Challenge was created for those who are creating with beads and also blog about them.  My Bead Soup assigned partner is now blogging about this challenge at: http://madebytami.blogspot.com/2014/03/bead-soup-bllog-hop-party-partner.html

Tami is a crafter in an array of projects so it is difficult to place her into one specific focus category. She seems to like to try may different mediums and keeps busy with crafts and occasional craft shows as well, so I am safe to say that she is working in mixed-media.

Crafter: Tami Norris
Crafter: Tami Norris

My Bead Soup assigned partner is: Tami (Tamera) Norris is from Portage Wisconsin.  She seems to have a fondness for working creatively with her hands, and seemingly enjoys knitting or working with yarn based on her most recent posts.  Here is one of her hand-made scarf creations. She made it with a slit to make an easy wrap-around closure.

Scarf knitted by Tami Norris.
Scarf knitted by Tami Norris.

My introduction to Tami has been made and we have connected for correspondence.  I am not aware of the type of soup she is planning on sending me however, I know it will be a welcomed challenge.  I am free to pick and chose from her provided soup and I can’t wait to get started.  I can only hope that part of my soup that she makes contains a few of her creations as pictured below.  Maybe, if I am lucky I will have a few of her felt flowers to work with. I’d love to be inspired by these. Hint, hint…wink, wink…if you are reading this Tami.

Tami's felt flowers.
Tami’s felt flowers.

Please visit again as I prepare to blog about the soup that I will send Tami. I have a few ideas on what I think will spark interest and creativity for her challenge.

 

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Featured Friend- Meet Scrap Booker Nikki

I have been kicking the idea around to feature creative friends in various posts for a long while. I hope that by reading about creative efforts of others, a spark may be lit for you to appreciate what various artists and crafters are expressing. I have decided to begin this monthly themed featured post with my friend Nikki’s talents.  Her chosen art form: Scrapbooking.

Nikki Carmouche, 2012. Rest in Peace: March 05, 2014.
Nikki Carmouche, 2012.

Meet my Featured Friend

With many friends and a young family, there is no question why Nikki would not value photographs. I  first met Nikki (Tanikka) Gambirazio Carmouche when we both lived in Jacksonville, North Carolina.  We had a bit in common as she was from Havelock, North Carolina and I also lived there at one point in time.   We were in the same local business referral group and so we would see each other once a week and at other networking functions from time to time as well.

Nikki had a few jobs at once but, I knew her best as an enthusiastic Independent Scentsy Consultant.  She would often be heard saying witty taglines in her conversations about the fragrant wickless candles she sold like: “My business makes scents”, and “Keep your nose in my business.”  That type of creativity was also found in an artistic way through scrap booking and paper crafting.

A Creative Space

Her workspace was a generous sized spare room located upstairs within her home. I remember visiting and sharing in her excitement of her then newly acquired “prized possession” in her creative space: The Cricket.  This machine is a great tool for the avid scrap booker. It serves as a creative tool for cutting shapes quickly from multiple papers.  Letters, stickers, and specific theme motifs are made quickly and easily with this inventive table top machine.

Nikki and me-2011
2012

Why Scrap book?

Making scrapbook pages are popular because a crafter can satisfy the need to be creative while at the same time create a book to view for generations to come.  I know from experience that scrap booking can be addictive but it is also very expressive and investing time to visually create a tangible keepsake is important.

Warrior Quote

Comfort in Distraction

While Nikki was battling with breast cancer, she probably used her scrapbooking as an activity to escape mentally from her daily pains. I hope so.  I do know it gave her pleasure to create them.

Nikki and her husband.
Nikki and her husband, Terrell.

I have fond memories of Nikki and her creative journey.  My daughter and I visited Nikki in the hospital bearing a large basket of scrapbook supplies. It was fun picking out items that we thought would work well from her bedside. Items like stickers, fill-in-the-blank journaling prompts, ink pads, empty paper frame cut-outs, markers, tape, small travel scissors and the like all served as creative supplies.  Scrapbooking was used to pass time while waiting for chemotherapy, and  became busy-work to keep thoughts on a purposeful task.

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2011.

We don’t have to look far to notice the friends who have a creative flair.  They are the people that are expressive, and love to “get lost” in their creations.  Creative types like to keep what they create AND share what they create.  Scrap booking allows room for both.

This world lost a creative person on March 05, 2014. After a long and hard battle with cancer, Nikki passed away leaving many valuables behind: her husband, her 4 children and extended family, friend’s memories…and her hand-made scrap book pages. All priceless, like she was.  God bless her always.

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Business As Usual- Productive Work From Home

My Studio encourages  my imagination.
My Studio encourages my imagination.

It’s business as usual whenever I am working at home. I’ve got a comfortable, functional and stylish work space at Club Creative Studio. I know what it takes to be productive in my home studio.

Club Creative Studio Workspace.
Club Creative Studio Workspace.

Although there are a few aspects I would certainly change, wherever I work, I work it out. Office space, storage units, lighting, or work surfaces may change but it still remains a place of refuge.

Your creative space should be a personal space where you escape to work peacefully in freedom. Know what keeps you there.

What aspects work for you to actually make you stay in your creative space, and help promote a creative vibe? Ideas don’t have to cost much, here are some suggestions.

Habitual Tasks– you should be aware of what actually makes you remain in a productive state of mind. Perhaps its the habitual routines you have in your work environment that aid in being productive in your work?  For example: Do you listen to certain music to get you in the mood to work?  I personally find that K-Love (Christian Radio) is the best background music for me.

Splurge a bit on whatever helps you maintain your energy to create.
Splurge a bit on whatever helps you maintain your energy to create.

Work Motivators- Do you work best when you have had your daily dose of caffeine, a routine breakfast or a strict schedule mapped out to follow for the day? Whatever is provided to stay focused in your space will certainly keep you there longer. For me, it’s my “to do” list, a glass of hot tea, access to a hidden chocolate bar or other sweet treat and the reassurance that the air freshener is fragrant enough to notice.  Have what you like and need in plain sight to keep you in the work environment as long as you need to be. Keep what distracts you at bay, for me its the phone and computer.

Productive Office Set-Up– Make sure the space works for you so that you can maintain your vision of productivity and remain in the “business as usual” mode.  There are perks to working at home.  Besides no commute troubles, flexible hours, and a casual dress code,  working at home requires you to be organized and focused.

An effective studio should have everything that a traditional work environment has, except for the dull, small cubicle feeling.  For me, the ideal workspace it is a combination of an office and an art space.

Helpful Qualities of the Home Office

A clutter-free desk– spread out modular desk versus a freestanding writing area. You want a clear work space when beginning each project to match your clear creative thoughts and actions.

Plentiful storage-functional and organized out of sight yet accessible. You want to reduce frustrations and know where everything is to also save time in your creativity.

Comfortable flowing space and stylish with a personal touch. You want your space to be welcoming with personal comfort to you and others so that you want to stay there for many hours at a time. Maintain a ideal seating, air temperature, correct ventilation and lighting for example. Have secure shelving and stable tables and chairs for safety and comfort.

Space conscious– customized your area. Make sure you are not cramped and have adequate room to move about safely. Move items that block views or walkways.

If you work-from-home, I hope I have provided a few low-cost suggestions to make a few tweaks in your day to be more productive.

 

 

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