Monday, April 27, 2015

Gee, But I Just Love Artists!

Someone I would love to have known ...

... now go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spring Paper Flower Garland Tutorial

Today I'm bringing you a tutorial from the Lia Griffith blog ... she always has the most beautiful handcrafts. They tend to be a bit labor intensive and time consuming - but the final result is always worth the time and effort!

She created this garland using the most amazing range of metallic papers in fresh, bright, vivid colors which she just knew would fit this project perfectly. The simple flowers and leaves are made using gold, mandarin, azalea, botanic and fairway sheets of paper from Paper-Papers – all glorious colors for this spring project. She made 15 of each flower design, which, although she used her cutting machine, are all super simple to cut by hand – you will find the SVG cut file and the PDF here. She also took a few leaves that were leftover from her paper boxwood wreath in Monday’s post. That’s the great thing about this garland, you can add or omit any parts of it and it will still look great.
 To get a larger photo and read instructions more easily,
just click image and larger file will appear.

Perhaps try this project using shades of white for a classic backdrop at a wedding ceremony, or bold patterned papers for a great children’s party decoration. All the flowers are simply looped around the green ribbon strand and glued into place. The leaves are then dotted in between the blooms and glued into place. Pin it across your window, drape it along your mantel or hang it vertically down each side of your entrance way. Whatever you choose to do with you paper garland, happy making and enjoy!
Lia Griffith's Blog Handcraft Your Life

... now go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Magic from Electronic Trash

Our society discards a lot of electronics, as they are rendered obsolete almost every day, but artists like Julie Alice Chappell, based in the UK, are there to pick up the pieces and turn them into beautiful recycled art.

In her case, she turns old computer circuit boards and electronics into beautiful winged insects in a series called “Computer Component Bugs.”

 “With all their tiny components, complex circuitry and bright metallic colours I cannot help but compare them to the detailed patterns we see when we look at nature up close,” Chappell wrote in an article on “I view the miniature circuit boards with the same curiosity and amazement as I view the natural world.

Chappell is an environmentally minded artist as well – she says her work transforms “discarded and often environmentally dangerous materials to create something new and precious, keeping the art sympathetic to current environmental issues whilst developing an original making process.

If you like her work, check out her Etsy, where she sells her beautiful winged creations! I checked this morning, and it looks like she's sold out. But, keep the link around and check back!

... now go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 

(¸.•´♥ Tristan

Monday, April 20, 2015

"War Horse" my GoodReads Review

 My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very interesting book...and quite touching, in a clean and non-cloying way.

I am familiar with the play, so I knew the basic plot line. I wish I had read the book first ... the play is SO powerful - and so theatrically charged with the larger-than-life stage puppets who play the horses - that the book seemed somewhat small to me. But, that's okay. It's really a small story - even though it's played against the world stage during intense and climatic moments.

It was a surprise to find the book is written in the first person - by the horse! Now, if I had known that, I might not have read it (it's just too cute an idea for me), and I would have been the real loser. Because it is completely believable and the way Joey (the war horse) reacts to people and other horses gives him a well-defined and completely rounded character. I truly care about this horse.

The writing is crisp and clean. No messy, paragraph-long descriptions of the battlegrounds or the lovely British countryside where the story begins and ends - yet, it is pitch perfect worded in a way that you can see every detail. The emotions of both people and horses are handled in the same efficient and heart felt way.

I highly recommend - to EVERYBODY! This isn't a war story, a horse story, a kid's story, a soldier's story - it a story of dignified loyalty and love that is rarely told as well.

View all my reviews

...Now, go make something beautiful!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ready for a Little Fantasy Pottery on this Saturday Morning?

Something a little new, different - and exciting! - today. I just discovered the work of Mitchell Grafton, and have been admiring it and now decided you should have the chance to applaud his work, too!

I know his style is a little out of my normal comfort zone box! Usually, I'm attracted to work that has been inspired by the past - or even assemblages and collages created with actual vintage pieces.

But, no question, Mr. Grafton's work is contemporary - even futuristic. Though, on several pieces, there appears to be some steampunk inspiration involved! I particularly like that his work is so refined, exacting and detailed - yet with a whimsey and sense of humor. All too often, I feel, amusing and or fantasy style art pieces are not given the care and sense of pride that more serious work strives towards exhibiting.

Mitchell Grafton is a full time ceramic artist making unique sculptural works of art in Panama City, Florida.

At age 19 he started working for Odell Pottery while getting an Architecture degree at Louisiana Tech. Bruce Odell was a three time winner of the Pottery Olympics in Wisconsin and taught Mitchell everything he knew about pottery and life for the next 7 years.

While at Odell Pottery, Mitchell became the head designer of lamp bases that were produced for Hart and Associates, an interior design manufacturing company.


After graduation Mitchell moved to Panama City, FL where he and a business partner started Round Tree Pottery. Mitchell designed, managed and handled the finances for Round Tree for the next 9 years. At its peak, Round Tree sold wholesale pottery to over 400 art galleries and gift shops around the country and owned a retail art gallery in Seaside, FL.

In 2009 Mitchell started his own art-pottery company, Grafton Pottery, in Panama City

...and now,  let's see more of his delightful pieces!

You can contact Mr. Grafton through his blog or his Facebook page. go make something beautiful! 

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan

Friday, April 17, 2015

Giveaway Contest

I'm letting you in on a great giveaway raffle/contest for over $400 in craft and art supplies.
Wondering exactly what's in the gift basket? You're gonna love it!

Dow Styrofoam
FloraCraft "Make it: Fun" Foam
Multi-Pack Balls (2 packages)

Bernat Mega Bulky Yarn in Olympia Blue
Bernat Mega Bulky Yarn in Gold

Stencil – Flower
Stencil – Butterfly

Prima Bead
Sworovski Crystal Embellishment Kit

Tim Holtz Kraft Core Nostalgic Collection Paper Pack
Sizzix Textured Impressions Embossing Folders 2-pack – Playful & Flower Circle Set
Sizzix Vintage Kitchen Collection Framelits Die – Labels, Kitchen Clover

Retractable Tape Measure
Clover Air Erasable Marker – Purple
Clover Wonder Clips – 10-pack
Kanzashi Flower Maker – Small 

I Love to Create
Aleene’s School Tacky Glue
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
Liquid Fusion Clear Urethane Adhesive
Aleene’s Original Turbo Tacky Glue
Tulip One-Step Mini Tie Dye Kit – Fiesta

MD Hobby & Craft
Chicken Wire
Ceramic Magnets
Metal Sheet Roll
Glazier Push Points
Hole Punch
Working Gloves 

Foamology Design Foam with Stickybase
Oly*Fun Sample Sheets
Fabric Liners Sample Sheets (includes Structure, Structure 2, Stiffen, Stiffen 2, Soften, Solarize, Stick, Stabilize, and Shield)

Plaid Enterprises
Folk Art Home Décor Chalk Paints – Java, Tuscan Red
Folk Art Home Décor Antique Wax
Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Gloss Medium
Martha Stewart Crafts Erasable Liquid Chalk
Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paints – Magenta Rose, Sandcastle
Martha Stewart Crafts Adhesive Silkscreen Stencils (2 packages)
Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Chalkboard Paints – Arrowhead, Gray, Ink
Home Décor Stencils – Scroll Medallion

Little B
Adhesive Tapes
Decorative Tabs –Wedding, Faces
Black Corrugated Tape
Decorative Labels – Retro, Parcel Classic
Sticky note pads – Daisies, Owls
Punch – Honeycomb
Pull Flowers – Roses
Designer Cutting Dies – Party
Kraft/White Chipboard Pack
Stickers – Daisies, Owls, Butterflies, Duckies

Now really - that's a lot of stuff!

You can enter by clicking here

... now, go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)

(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Regal Roosts Fit for a Royal Bird

I discovered Regal Roosts, a company which manufactures finely handcrafted birdhouses, furnishings, and accessories. I've always loved birdhouses - but usually gravitate towards the ornate, fanciful styles of the Victorian period. However, these have caught my fancy - hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did - I find them an absolute delight!

Kevin Hurst is an artisan whose hobby for building birdhouses has become Regal Roosts, a collection of finely handcrafted birdhouses, furnishings and accessories. His designs bring back the architectural design elements of a bye gone era. Each piece in the collection is designed and constructed with painstaking attention to detail using the finest materials available.

They follow in the fine tradition of Old World Craftsmen by meticulously hand finishing all of their pieces. This use of time-honored techniques helps them achieve unique textures and well worn appearances of aged and weathered antiques. Their range of distinctive finishes are hand applied in multiple layers to give each piece a deeply, layered finish that will endure for ages. These elements result in an exclusive collection whereas each handcrafted piece is unique in itself as no two pieces are exactly alike.

 ... and not only does Regal Roosts provide luxury aviary homes, but
they also do a marvelous job with feeding the birds, as well ...

See the top photo of proprietor, Mr. Hurst, to see him working on this 

rooftop to get a really good idea of the scale of these pieces.


Now, you go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)

(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan