#CIJParty 2015 – Tutorial: Shabby Mermaid Bust

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Tutorial For A Shabby Mermaid Bust” – Patricia And Rebecca from northandsouthshabby

Introduction

Recently I was reviewing my Pinterest repins. A comment made on our vintage jewelry anchor caught my eye; “Beach decor-can’t decide if it’s tacky or cool! Shabby Beach/Coastal Cottage style may not be for everyone, but I love it. If you don’t love it, stop reading right here, because you’ll definitely won’t like this project!

DIY Shabby Mermaid Bust

mermaid-bust

My mom found this bust at a salvage shop. Pretty, but it sat there for a while before I decided what I wanted to do with it.

bust-10

Then I thought, how cute would she be if I made her a mermaid?

bust3

Materials Used

A bust. This one was found at a salvage shop.

E6000 adhesive (Don’t even try this with another glue. You’ll have wasted a lot of time.)

A small paintbrush.

Judykin’s Diamond Glaze

Various shells, sea glass, coral

Glue gun/glue sticks

Aluminum foil

Tutorial Directions

Start by squeezing a bit of E6000 onto a piece of foil. Just dab a shell into the E6000, really just a little is all it takes. Squeeze a couple of dots of hot glue on top of the E6000. Press to your figurine for a few seconds. The E6000 forms the permanent bond, the hot glue forms the “fast bond”. Alone, the silicone based E6000 will slide around, but not when topped with the hot glue. Really, try it!

I started my figurine with one of my leftover Vintage Jewelry Starfish from my Christmas sale, and worked my way around her head. I realize not everyone has previously made Vintage Jewelry Starfish lying around, but get creative. An old brooch would look great, or a starfish covered in glass glitter.. or just leave it out. I like that it creates a unique focal point.

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Add, layer, fill in the spots…

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I added Limpet Shells at the bottom to create a “Mermaid Scale” look..

bust5

bust2

Next. You’ll have spider web strands of glue everywhere..anyone that’s ever used a glue gun knows what a pain they are! But did you know if you hit it with a blow dryer, pouf! They’re gone!

close-up

Lastly, add Judykin’s Diamond Glaze. I love this product so much! It’s a very thin, very clear(non-yellowing) adhesive/top coat. It just kind of insures it’ll all stay together. Drip some out of the bottle, and spread out with the paintbrush. Work in small areas, letting dry in between.

bustbetter

Conclusion

And she’s done! Just love how she came out! Now – to sell, or keep?

bust2

Thanks for looking and happy crafting! -Rebecca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthandSouthShabby

Twitter: twitter.com/noandsoshabby

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/nandsshabby

Website: www.northandsouthshabby.com

Blog: vintagekeywest.wordpress.com

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Marsala – Pantone Color Of The Year

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

The 2015 PANTONE Color of the year is Marsala. Pantone defines Marsala: “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

Here are a few Marsala items from the CIJ team on Pinterest!

Marsala

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Are you a member of the CIJ team? Do you have Marsala items that you like to have pinned on Pinterest? See the CIJ forums to participate!

Soon we’ll change the Pinterest boards to the 2016 PANTONE color of the year! Leave your guess here what the color will be!

Be sure to check back on the main party post to make sure you haven’t missed any of the #CIJParty today.

#CIJParty 2015 – Christ kindle Markt: Christmas Markets The German Way

Guest blog post by Mary of StockLaneStudio

Christ kindle Markt:  Christmas Markets the German Way

Glänzend:  Glittery shiny German Christmas markets!

Germany has some of the best Christmas markets in the world.  Often crowded (überfüllt),  with well over millions of visitors, Christmas markets usually spring up all over Germany (and other parts of Europe) on the Friday before Advent and close up before Christmas Eve.  Known as a Christkindle Markt  or Weihnachtsmarkt or some variation of the two, each village market has something special to make it unique, but all are teaming with warm food and beverage, handmade holiday gifts, arts and crafts, twinkling lights and holiday cheer that last well into the evening.  Beverage booths offer ceramic mugs to fill with steaming hot chocolate or glühwein (grog or mulled wine) to warm our bellies while we walk around and mix and mingle with the smells and sounds and colors of visitors and vendors that have set up to celebrate the holiday season.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Schrullig:  whimsical and quirky

Bavaria is the southeastern region of Germany and boasts charming villages and cities.  Restaurants still maintain outdoor seating in the winter, often between walls of snow banks, just making sure heaters and warm blankets are part of the service.   The village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber can’t be missed, if only for the sake of their Schneeballen (my kids called them brain cakes).  Sort of like a funnel cake fried into the shape of a ball, these yummy treats are usually sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Schneeballen found at the Rothenburg market:

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

The Christmas market in the Bavarian town of Nuremberg market has its fair share of typical German Christmas booths, selling intricate and delightful ornaments or handmade scarves, traditional candies and chocolates that melt in you hands if you don’t eat them soon enough.  And the delightful collectable Rauchermen, or incense burning wooden ‘smoker’ figures that are carefully carved and decorated to depict all the members of society that you can think of:  the doctor, optician, toy seller, woodsman, mushroom picker, beer brewer, the list goes on and on.  But the booths of delightfully quirky prune people are what make you take a second look.  Yes, Zwetschgenmännle are little dolls made of prunes, nuts and figs: it’s a fruitcake and a doll all in one!  What better use of a prune can there be?  Placed in a windowsill facing out, these figures are said to ward off evil.  The comical figures are not unique to Germany, and can be found in many parts of Europe, but when I think of Christmas in Nuremburg, I think of Prune People.

Lebhaft:  animated

The market in Aschaffenburg, Germany takes place in the Johannisburg Castle Square and boasts a mini train carrying gleeful children to a giant two-story tall wooden Christmas pyramid.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Handcrafted Mini versions of this pyramid are sold in wooden stalls in most village markets  and for me, these charming pyramids have become another symbol of Christmas in Germany, ranging from simple and small to tall and elaborate.  All rotate magically by the heat of one or more strategically placed candles.

Blendend unt Schön:  sparkling and beautiful

Frankfurt’s Chriskindlemark  takes place on and around the Römerberg, the square that is the heart of the city.  Beautifully rebuilt and restored half-timbered houses are bathed in lights and trees and simple wooden craft stalls for the holiday.  A fun way to tour the market is through a horse-drawn carriage, clopping along with bells and warm blankets.  The Frankfurt market has its own version of ‘prunepeople’.  They call them Quetschemännchen.  Yes, still made with prunes and nuts, these are far more romantic.  Tradition has it that love-sick men used to send these off to girls they fancied.  I can’t think of a more romantic gesture!!

Köln Cathedral Spire:

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Currywurst, liebekuchen, kartoffelpuffer and apfel-pfannkuchen

In Cologne (Köln), climb the 509 stone steps of the spire of the Gothic Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom, and look down on the twinkling lights, red canopied booths and throng of shoppers snacking on warm apfel-pfannkuchen (apple fritters) or  potato pancakes.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Once you descend the spire, treat yourself to currywurst (a curry-sausage sandwich) and heart-shaped lebkuchen.  These giant gingerbread cookies are a Christmas Market staple, decorated with frosty wishes like:  Frohe Weihnacht (Merry Christmas) and Ich Liebe Dich (I love you).  The frosting can be quite sugary and hard sometimes, making these giant heart cookies best suited for hanging up as Christmas decorations than eating in my opinion.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

There is another more traditional lebkuchen that is delicate and just slightly sweet and flavored with honey, spices and nuts that suits my palate.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

There are just too many famous and continuously traditional markets to list here– I feel like I’ve done a disservice not having mentioned Trier or Munich (Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz), or Berlin or Dresden or. . . .What is certain, is the tradition and cheer and warmth of bright lights and good conversation found in all of Germany’s Christmas markets, keeping tourists and locals coming back year after year.

Snow frosted bikes in Munich:

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Stock Lane Studio is all over!

Find us on
Instagram @stocklanestudio:  https://instagram.com/stocklanestudio/
Pinterest @Stock Lane Studio:  https://www.pinterest.com/stocklanestudio/
Facebook @Stock Lane Studio:  https://www.facebook.com/SLSnyEtsy?ref=hl

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Tutorial: Motif Blanket

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

“Tutorial For Join As You Go Motif Blanket” – Becky Simmons from fantisticmio

Introduction

Crocheters love making motifs. Joining them together, however, is a whole other story! In this tutorial you will learn a way to take a join-as-you-go method and apply it continuously. Not only is this a quick and easy way to join motifs together, it cuts down on the number of ends you’ll have to weave in!

fantasticmio

In this picture you can see the difference between regular join-as-you-go and the continuous method we will be covering today:

16644172231_c576af8c86

Please note: this tutorial assumes you already know how to join-as-you-go granny squares.

Materials Used

This tutorial is geared specifically to traditional granny squares, but the technique can be used with any join-as-you-go technique.

Tutorial Directions

The first thing you need to do is decide on a layout for your squares. Here is a layout of 6 squares with a schematic for a general overview of what we’ll be doing:

9366207078_f1e5571a5f

Take the square from the top right corner and crochet around three sides:

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Take the square that goes *below* that corner square and put it next to the square you were just working with. Work 3dc into the corner of the second square:

8867794223_436407f244

Now rotate that second square up and join it along that side to the first square:

8867794223_436407f244

8867793647_3a56c6a56f

Crochet around two more sides of this second square:

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Continue adding squares down the column by repeating how you added the second square.

The last square of the column is slightly different! Only crochet along one more edge after the joining edge:

8867793221_6bd0bb9a41 (1)

Take the first square at the bottom of the second column and put it next to the last square of the first column. 3dc into the corner:

8867793003_7aafe27b37

Rotate the new square so that you can join that edge to the previous square. When you get to the corner of the square you’re working on, work 3dc in the corner, ch1, slip stitch to the adjacent space, or in this case since they line up, around the join of the adjacent two squares:

8867792695_b1965448fb

ch1, then take the next square up in the second column and start joining it to the previous column:

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Do this with all of the squares in the second column so that you end up with something like this:

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It’s time to finish the edging on the second column now, which will work almost exactly the same way as the first column.

8868404624_909197ae12

Go all the way around the first square. When you reach the spot where four squares meet, ch1, join to the square directly across from the one you’re edging with a slst in the corner space, ch1, then start edging/joining the next square.

8868404358_4c498c5ec3

Continue in this manner until all of your squares are joined.

All that will be left is to work across the bottom and up the right side of the blanket.

There are a few ways to do this to get it to look “normal”. I tried a few of them before settling on “3dc in the corner of the first square, ch1, sc between the edging on the two squares, ch1, 3dc in the corner of the next square”:

8867790803_0ae63f229d

Conclusion

I like to work a second round of edging (as each of the internal squares looks like it has two rounds of edging), and when I get to the bottom and right edge, I work a group of 3dc into the sc.

Here is the blanket before the extra outside border:

8868402966_db25ed3724

Here it is with an extra round:

8867789513_861a6f590e

The difference is subtle, but I like it!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fantasticmio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/fantasticmiocom/80783964579

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fantasticmio/

Instagram: fantastic.mio on Instagram

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – 4 Amazing Free Publicity Opportunities for Your Small Business

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

I’m excited to introduce to you today Gail from AttentionGetting. Many of you may already know her because of her fascinating website Attention Getting Marketing. Gail has written 7 marketing ebooks. She has 20+ years of marketing experience and I appreciate that she has taken the time today to share with us 6 tips for getting holiday sales from Attention Getting Marketing on Etsy.

Gail Oliver

Gail Oliver

You may not have heard, but  May 1st – 7th, 2016 is National Small Business Week (be sure to use the hash tag #DreamSmallBiz) and it is a good time to pitch a story about your business to your local press. Anything can be a possible story pitch, including if you have:

  • An innovative product or service idea
  • An eco-friendly business
  • Rapid growth in the last 6 months or year
  • New facilities or location opening
  • Engaged in a charitable endeavoNSBW

Now, I also came across four awesome opportunities to get free publicity for your small business.

1. Get Included in an American Family Insurance Ad

At the dentist office I was looking through a copy of People Magazine (which has a readership of 46 million), and the opening 3-page color ad was from a company calledAmerican Family Insurance, with their “Dream Fearlessly” campaign promoting the work of a photographer, a writer, and an artist who are all trying to turn their dream into a business. So, if you have pursued or fulfilled a business dream, submit it to American Family Insurance (scroll down to the form at the bottom of the page) and maybe you will be profiled in an upcoming ad.

2. Share Your Pinterest Success

I don’t know about you, but Pinterest brings a huge amount of traffic to my blog. Therefore, if you have a Pinterest success story of how it has helped your business, submit it to Pinterest and they just might profile your story in emails, on their blog and more, so other businesses can learn from your success.

3. AT&T Wants to Know Your Business Story

Telecom giant AT&T has a “Real Stories” feature that profiles business owners who have a great story to tell and insights to help other entrepreneurs. Submit your business story to AT&T and you could be featured on their blog (called The Business Circle) and their social media pages (250,000 followers) – a great way to drive more traffic to your site and gain more customers.

4. Be Part of the Globe and Mail’s TakeOff Series

If you are a Canadian small business or entrepreneur, you have from now until July to submit your story to Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, to be profiled in their “TakeOff series. Essentially, they want to know what helped or hurt your business from “taking off”. You can get more details about what and where to submit here.

Things to Note

Thank you for joining us today Gail. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share the tips with us today. It gives us the opportunity now to start planning for 2016!

Please be sure to check out the on the main party post for the schedule of events.

#CIJParty 2015 – Scuba Blue – Pantone Fashion Color For Spring 2015

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Earlier today I shared my thoughts about trends with you.

Color trends are a wonderful way to celebrate the seasons!

According to Pantone one of the top colors for Spring 2015 is Scuba Blue.

An invigorating turquoise, PANTONE 16-4725 Scuba Blue conveys a sense of carefree playfulness. Even though a cool shade, the vibrancy of Scuba Blue adds a splash of excitement to the palette. Scuba Blue offers a feeling of escape as it is reminiscent of a tropical ocean. This stirring and energizing shade takes us off to an exotic paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.

Pantone Spring 2015 Scuba Blue

Pantone Spring 2015 Scuba Blue

 

Members of the EtsyChristmasinJuly Team have many Scuba Blue items in their shops! Here are a few!

At the end of this post is a big reveal!

Growing up on the far south coast of Victoria in Australia has been a great influence on the colours and textures I use in my creative life, including the glazes i formulate for my ceramic works and jewellery.

As a child, surfing and scuba diving were a normal part of life.

I have many tones of blues and greens in my Etsy shop, but love this pendant because of the random nature of the glaze which reminds me of the wild colours of the sea and of course scuba blue!

DeeDeeDeesigns

DeeDeeDeesigns

msmadmax from madmaxshop says:

Cotton wrap around sash…wonderful accent to any vintage wardrobe. This item wrapped its way through a decade or more of exciting and fun events adding a burst of color everywhere it went…hmmmm STUDIO 54!!!!

madmaxshop

madmaxshop

Rasa Nenart from Toyfifi says:

Cloud hopper – this is the other name of my Easter bunny. When you look at white clouds in the blue sky you can imagine this bunny hoping on them. So blue ears and hands really suits him although you won’t find so much blue color in my shop, because my favorite colors are green, brown, pastel colors.

Toyfifi

Toyfifi

Jeanne from TheSandlapperShop:

For years I’ve made this Christmas stocking for my immediate family members. The most recently made one was for a new granddaughter. Hers incorporates pink, gray, and white. However, this one was made in colors relating to the beach – fitting because my shop is TheSandlapperShop! I love turquoise (Scuba Blue) and was happy to give a new look to the traditional crocheted Granny Square pattern.

TheSandlapperShop

TheSandlapperShop

Wendy Joy from wjoydesigns says:

This magical dreamcatcher has special powers! It not only looks fabulous by day, but at night it takes on an almost bio-luminescent glow! Hand woven in natural hemp, it has a glow flower encased in a clear glass cabochon in the center.It is accented with a turquoise and yellow feather that has a black and pink spotted guinea feather that glows hot pink under black or UV light!The second and subsequent pictures show how your necklace will look at a club under black light or a UV light. By absorbing ultraviolet light and other visible light, it can release the energy in the form of visible light for about an hour in the dark! This piece is reversible and can be worn with the glow flower showing or the intricate, enamel painted back showing. Closes with a nickel free lobster claw clasp. Necklace length is 24 inches .Total length from feather to top is 20 inches.Dreamcatcher is 3 x 3 inches round.

All the parts of this dream catcher have meaning.

To begin, the web represent the spider,our brother of life for ever repairing the eternal web of life.Thus weaving your life dreams and energy in the universe when you dream.

The ring represents the earth mother and the humble walk we do upon her.

The color blue represents Father Sky and all that lives in the sky; grandfather sun, grandmother moon, Star nation and Creation.The color yellow represents the direction of the East where the Yellow Nation is and we call upon their ancestors and the wisdom they carry to come in and teach us.It is also the direction of where the sun rises every day, therefore a new beginning. We put the Sacred Eagle in that direction and call upon the abilities to see far beyond what is in front of us and to focus on the task at hand.In the center is a yellow Sun which represents a new beginning each day!
Natives believe the night air is filled with good and bad dreams.The legend of the Dream Catcher is that it captures the bad Spirits and filters them.Protecting us from evil and letting through only the good dreams. It is believed that each carefully woven web will catch bad spirit dreams in the web and disappear by perishing with the first light of the morning sun.Wear it during the day and hang in above your bed before sleeping!

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

Kristina Lauciuviene from FeltingLT says:

Blue…
Blue like sea…
Blue like blue eyes of sea…
Blue like sea and flowers…
Like flowers from him.
Sea… blue sea… and He with flowers.

FeltingLT

FeltingLT

Wendy CN from CardNotions says:

You gotta love Belugas! They’re cute, smart and great singers, and thus the nickname, sea canary! I added a background picture that I took, looking accross the bay, of the Olympic mouintains. I think it makes him look right at home in the scuba blue suroundings!

CardNotions

CardNotions

Jolanta Pietrzak from AlabamaStudio says:

Unique, original necklace with turquoise enamel closed in geometric form topped with a cascade of silver swirls and chains. They look like wild, silver waterfall and complement with enamelled element.
A fantastic addition to the summer festival styling, ideal for your holidays by the sea!

The necklace was designed and made by me from scratch, using two very labor-intensive and precise techniques: wire-wrapping and enamelling. The materials are silver 925, 930 and 999 and two-components enamel based on epoxy resin in turquoise color. Silver heavily oxidized and polished, the frame around a rectangular piece rubbed. Under the enamel a sheet of hammered silver underlined by oxidation.

AlabamaStudio

AlabamaStudio

The Pantone fashion colors for fall 2015 have been revealed!

Please watch the CIJ forums for opportunities to share your fall 2015 fashion colors!

Thank you for joining me to enjoy Scuba Blue items this today.

Please be sure to check out the on the main party post for the schedule of events.

#CIJParty 2015 – Jewelry Artist Betty

Guest blog post by Betty of LadySnooks

Creating jewelry is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.  To see an idea in my mind and then draw it, perhaps, and then see if I can make it happen in metal and stone the way I envisioned is wonderful to me.  It did not start that way.

When I first thought about making jewelry, it did not appeal to me at all.  Eight years ago, my brother asked me to run the new section to his jewelry supply business, a bead section. I never touched a jewelry tool or knew what findings even were.  He said I would learn. I did.  But what caught me off guard was the beauty of the gem stones and glass beads.  There was Labradorite with its blue flash, Lapis Lazuli with the sparkles of silver as was the lighter blue, Kyanite, and all the rest along with the  lampwork glass beads.

LadySnooks

LadySnooks

And so it began….  I tried a simple necklace and I was hooked.  Then I took a class in wire wrapping which uses wire, usually silver or gold filled, to create a bezel and loop in a way that it holds a stone and can be hung from a necklace.  I learned a lot in the class, but didn’t really get motivated or did anything with it.  It was months later, when I read a book on wire wrapping that it all came together for me.  I found the stone cabochons (a flat stone without holes) like Larimar and Turquoise, but also discovered dichroic fused glass and fossils!  How wonderful they all were!!  I could now use them in jewelry!!

LadySnooks

LadySnooks

Wire wrapping is still my favorite, though I also enjoy making ice resin pendants, charm bracelets and sometimes just beading.  I am beginning to do wire weaving and piercing (sawing a design in the middle of a piece of metal) and want to devote time to these things too.

LadySnooks

LadySnooks

There are so many different ways to make jewelry, you can always find something new and different. After all the variety of arts and crafts in my life, making jewelry has and is the most gratifying for me.  Eight years have passed, and it has not been relegated into a closed box in the back of my craft closet like a lot of my other abandoned hobbies.  It is always new.

LadySnooks

LadySnooks

My social media sites:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ladysnooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BTravell

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lady-Snooks-Jewelry-on-Etsy/190660790953907

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Tutorial: Shaun The Sheep

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

“Tutorial for Shaun The Sheep” by Megha Silvano from byTheArtBug

Introduction

 

shaun bw1

Materials Used

Scissors

Toothpicks

Air Drying Black Clay (Or you can add color to white clay)

Air Drying White Clay

Black Permanent Marker

Hot Glue/ Super Glue/ Fabric Glue

Cotton

*The one I made is about 3″ in Size, you can adjust the material according to the size you can want to make.*

Tutorial Directions

Step by Step tutorial Shaun The Sheep

From Black Clay Roll out a Small Oval Shape for head, like this,

2

Roll one more similar shape but bigger in size (abt 1.5 times) for the body

3- Copy

Make a small elongated drop like shape for ears,

4

Use toothpick to shape the inside of the ear,

5

Make both ears in the same way,

6

Attach the ears to the head,

7

Lower them,

8

Use the toothpick to make nostrils,

9a

10

Use the toothpick again to make a hollow sockets on the head like this to glue the eyes,

11

Roll the white clay into small round balls to make the eyes,

12

Take the Cotton and pinch small parts and roll them up,

16

Prepare your cotton like this to make the wool,

16a

Tutorial Directions/Photo Glue on the tiny cotton balls to head, You can use fabric/super glue for this, I prefer fabric glue as it is non-toxic,

13

13a

Using the marker make the Eyeballs, Glue the eyes in place,

14

For the legs Cut the toothpick in size of the legs and shape the leg around it,

15

Shape to make the hoofs,

15a

Using the toothpick, shape the hoofs,

15b

15c

Make all fore legs,

15d

Attach the legs and then glue the cotton balls to the body, make the tail by gluing together a bunch of cotton balls,

17

Conclusion

Lastly Glue the head, for this you may want to use hot glue,

IMG_1144

Social Media Sites:

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/theartbug/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theartbug

Google +: https://plus.google.com/+TheArtBug/posts

Polyvore: http://theartbug-home.polyvore.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/bytheartbug/

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Collage Artist Lin

Guest blog post by Lin of rhodyart

As a collage artist who specializes in vintage themes, I’m often asked, first, why I started doing collage, and second, why vintage?

Collage art came to my life in college, when I took an art history bloc for a term (a combination of courses that included history, art, art history, and social history). My supervisor for the term required all his students to do art. Since I can’t draw (I really can’t draw anything recognizable) and my painting isn’t something I boast about, I chose collage because I thought it was easy.

Nope. It became a challenge to do original, interesting collage that my supervisor thought was worth a grade and I realized that real collage art is difficult to do.

Fast forward 25 years, during which I forgot about making art and focused on writing. During a particularly stressful part of my life, I returned to art — and collage. Because my focus in college and grad school had been social history I was particularly interested in old papers and ephemera (items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity) because of its pop culture element.

Gradually I developed a style in which I paired vintage elements with a snarky sense of humor and became the Rhodyart I am today.

rhodyart

rhodyart

This is inspired by my intense dislike of eggplant and uses an image of a Victorian woman as its focal point. I’ve also used some netting in the background as well as handmade paper.

One of the things I’m fascinated by is pop culture of all kinds. I’m particularly fond of geeky stuff but also what many would consider trash (like reality TV for example).

rhodyart

rhodyart

Much to my amazement, one of my Kardashian themed items was featured in E! Online’s “Kardashian Fan Gift Guide.” I’m still not sure how that happened.

My work comments quite often on pop culture, but I also do more serious stuff – my wedding and engagement cards aren’t always silly or quirky.

This card, for example, is based on two characters from the PBS series “Downton Abbey,” Anna and Mr. Bates, and it’s how I imagine the two before taking a walk together.

rhodyart

rhodyart

And one thing I’m always on the lookout for is more stuff to use for my work. I have to admit that I have way too much stuff already that I probably am never going to use. The thing about my work, though, is that an interest in one style or type of ephemera can wane with another kind stepping up to the plate. For a while I used a lot of 3D elements – now I seem to be backing away from that.

I always try to source my materials from Etsy sellers, and it’s great when I can find some new shops with materials I haven’t seen before.

One shop that I love (and have already purchased a photo from) is The Old Barn Door, which sells photos and postcards and is run by Patricia in Picton, Ontario, Canada. One of the items I’m really interested in is this one.

TheOldBarnDoor

TheOldBarnDoor

This item actually has a personal connection to me. It’s the State Normal School in Providence, Rhode Island, which was actually a college for teachers. In later years, it became the Providence campus of the University of Rhode Island – AND I attended classes there from 1983-1986! Hence my interest.

I also love vintage 3-D pieces, and the Etsy shop Collectique  has a great selection of old game pieces that I’m trying to figure out how to work into my collage/assemblage art, including several types of Monopoly game pieces, as well as actual game sets that look really interesting. I was particularly drawn to the vintage Barbie dolls, which I recognize from my childhood, such as this one.

Collectique

Collectique

I know this would be sacrilege to Barbie collectors, but I’ve been thinking about using dolls in possible assemblage projects and these pique my interest.

Finally, Firepan Jewelry has a selection of items in its Destash section that look intriguing. I particularly like this collection of vintage paper pieces.

FirepanJewellery

FirepanJewellery

There’s also some vintage coins. My larger collages often feature coins and tokens as part of the piece, and as such I’m usually keeping a look out for such items.

These are only a few of the things that I look for when working on my collages. Doing vintage inspired work means that I can use items from across eras – and not be shy about combining them. My only limitation is how much I have in my wallet.

I love what I do and I hope to continue doing it for a very long time. Because I deal with a severe chronic illness (like many others), art has become therapy. I’m very glad to be able to share the work I love to do with people on Etsy.

My social media sites:

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rhodyart

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rhodyart

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rhodyart

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