Life on the creative side

Archive for July, 2013

Antique headboard repurposed into a beautiful creativity-board

creativity board made from antique headboard

Antique headboard repurposed into a beautiful creativity-board.

 creativity board detail with business card

While cleaning out her barn my sister found a forgotten old headboard in the loft. She thought I might be able to find a new “repurpose” for it; she knows me well.  I have been wanting a creativity center for the studio; a place to display creative inspiration and project plans. A vague idea had been percolating in my mind; a message board, but on a grand scale. The dusty wooden headboard was the right scale and had a graceful form, perfect for my creativity board.

antique headboard repurposed into a creativity/message board

With the help of hubby the found headboard was redesigned into a useful, lovely focal point in the studio.

hubby cutting out plywood for creativity board

Here’s how we repurposed an antique headboard into a lovely creativity board.

Using the headboard as the  template we cut 1/4 inch plywood into a smaller version of the headboard by trimming four inches off the pattern all the way around.

tracing headboard for template

hubby helping with creativity board 2

I placed a layer of quilt batting over the plywood and held that in place with a layer of burlap which we held in place with staples on the back side of the plywood.

cotton layer of creativity board

burlap layer on creativity board

Next we covered it with a vintage chenille bedspread, again stapled to the back. Staples were also used to attach the cotton string, snuggly but not taut, that we crisscrossed across the front, over the chenille. Where  the strings crossed each other, I stapled the intersection down into the plywood, creating a tuft. Then the plywood was glued to the headboard, which had been painted a soft white.

vintage button on creativity board

We applied construction adhesive to the back of the plywood, carefully centered on the headboard and weighted it down for several hours. To add strength we added screws through the back of the headboard into the plywood (making sure they did not protrude out the front side of the plywood. I finished the project with buttons over the intersections of the string.

jar of vintage buttons

Now the creativity board, hangs in the studio, covered with creative possibilities.

creativity board made from antique headboard

headboard repurposed into creativity board

I & E Button

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show and tell fridays

the shabby nest

craftberry bush link party

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Fun and unexpected container planters

Container plantings offers a fun  opportunity to add unexpected creativity around our homes and gardens.  I love to use discarded items like  cans, boxes, boots, birdhouses even old gourds. The creative options are limited only by our vision and willingness to be unconventional.  I look around at things with an eye for  color, scale, texture and a cavity that can hold  soil and plants. The process is easy,  if  the container doesn’t have a way to drain water, I  punch or drill holes in the bottom,  add a drain field by filling the lower quarter of the container with gravel or broken pot shards, then  I fill the rest of the container with  the  proper soil type, plant and enjoy.

 Air plants need no soil and add whimsy to a space.

glass orb hanging airplant planters

 Colorful wooden boxes make a great place to cluster plants…

vintage crate succlent table garden

indoors and out.

found container for porch planters

 Old garbage cans and  wheel barrels make fun and unexpected container planters…

rusty wheelbarrow recycled into garden planter

 as do old buckets and tubs.

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 Worn out birdhouses or feeders work great and add a little playfulness to a space..

vintage birdhouse planter

 Baskets are  classic containers but hanging them on an outside wall can be unexpected.

unexpected container planters

 Old crates are sought after for interior styling,  but this one was missing the bottom which made it perfect for my courtyard.

geranium planted in vintage wooden crate

  I love colorful labels and the paper on a can will last longer when sealed;  but sometimes I remove the label and simply  let the can rust.

colorful recycled tomato can planter

 I confess I sometimes buy a  products based on packaging,  if it can be creatively repurposed I want it.

succulents planted in colorful re-purposed olive oil tin

But sometimes a repurposable package is just a lucky extra.

bourbon box recycled into fun and unexplexted planter


Creative gathering: how to make paper

how to make paper

Hallelujah! Finally, my studio is restored and reclaimed! After months of repair and restoration, that threw my studio into disarray, I have my creative escape back.

 

cabin studio

 

I held a gathering to celebrate and the creative activity was paper-making.

 

how to make paper gathering at blue antler studio

 

Three of my five sisters – kindred spirits all – joined me in the celebration and the creative process of making paper.

 

making paper with kindred spirits in the studio

 

Having made paper with my small children, who are now ages 23-30 (admittedly a while ago),  I knew it was a simple, fun process. But I Googled “how to make paper” just to refresh my memory; it returned intimidating results with complicated, multi-step instructions. So I decided to turn off the computer and go with what I remembered about the process. After gathering supplies and putting on our creativity rings (a tradition among my sisters) we got started.

Supplies

Recyclable paper – torn or shredded (we had newspaper, junk mail, old magazines and paper bags).

Extra newspaper (blotting paper) and old towels – for blotting out water

An electric blender

Rolling pen

Chalk powder or crushed chalk pieces – for color

Flowers, leaves etc.

Water

Large container for water bath

A frame/screen sieve: This is a simple tool similar to what gold miners would use to pan for gold (the frame can be different sizes but need to be a few inches deep with the top side open and the bottom side covered with a taut, fine screen or sheer fabric) and must fit into the water bath container.

Hubby made a frame/screen sieve for each of us out of scrap 2×2 lumber and an old, torn window screen. For each sieve he cut the 2×2 lumber into two – 9 inch long pieces and two – 12 inch pieces (the size can be whatever you want and determines the size of the finished paper, but it must fit into the container used for the water bath).

Using glue, screws and the cut lumber pieces he constructed a simple, rectangular frame.

Then using the assembled frame as a pattern, he cut two pieces of screen, one slightly larger than the frame (which he stapled tautly across the bottom of the frame to create the sieve), the second piece of screen he cut to the size of the inner dimensions of the frame; on this piece he left 4×4 inch tabs on each end of the screen. The screen with the tabs fit snugly inside the frame/sieve with the tabs sticking up above the edge of the frame so we could use them to gently lift the paper out of the frame. (By using the extra screen with tabs to remove the newly made paper from the frame/sieve to dry, it allows you to make more paper with one frame more quickly: this step can be skipped and the newly made paper can be left in the frame/sieve to dry)

optional – creativity ring :)

 

making paper in our creativity rings

 

Step 1: shred recycle paper in blender adding enough water to make a thick soupy pulp (at this time you can add chalk for color, flowers or glitter etc.)

 

paper making using a kitchen blender

Step 2: fill water bath container with water

Step 3: place screen with tab inside the frame/screen sieve (make sure tabs are sticking up and out of the frame); place the frame/sieve into the water bath barely  submerging the screen; pour blended paper pulp into the frame/screen sieve until the screen is completely covered with a thin layer of pulp; gently swirl the frame in the water to evenly spread the pulp over the screen; at this point you can place pressed objects into the pulp, make sure there is some pulp overlapping the object.

water bath stage of making paper

 

beautifully embellished hand made paper

 

Step 4: lift the frame from the water bath, let drain and place on towel or layer of blotting paper and blot gently.

 

making paper using recycled newspaper

 

Step 5: using tabs on the screen gently lift the paper from the frame and place the screen with the new paper onto hard surface covered with a layer of blotting paper and cover with more blotting paper, gently roll with rolling pen (using no pressure) to express more water, then carefully peel off the blotting paper.

Step 6: carefully transfer the new paper to a drying rack with the newly made paper down and carefully peel away the screen with tabs.

papermaking, releasing from screen (2).JPG 2

 

We used another old screen as a drying rack.

 

making paper embellished with flowers and drying in the sun

It was a wonderful, creative gathering.

 

making paper gathering in the studio

And another moment for my collection.

Check out  the following link for more great sites full of inspiration

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The 4th of July from a Brooklyn roof top

The 4th of July from a Brooklyn roof top:

the 4th from a rooftop in brooklyn

 

This 4th of July I spent a week  in Brooklyn with my daughter (a soon to be mother) and her husband.  We  spent the first few days of my stay  making their lovely  apartment ready for the arrival of their baby boy.

 

The 4th from a Brooklyn roof top

 

Phase one of our efforts was to move the bed into the living room – loft style.  The apartment would be a true loft, with open living, dining and kitchen space, twelve-foot ceilings, wall of windows, and reclaimed wood floors except for the odd partition added to boost it into the one bedroom rental bracket.  We then divided the partitioned space with part of it being designated closet/dressing area and the rest set up for the baby.

 

The 4th from a Brooklyn roof top

4th from a brookly rooftop

 

Then we moved on to  completing the  little odds and end jobs that tend to get put off until such an occasion as a nesting  mother-to-be: hanging mirrors and pictures, re-potting plants, cleaning baseboard  and organizing storage.

 

The 4th from a Brooklyn roof top

4th from a brooklyn rooftop

the 4th from a brooklyn rooftop

 

Little Rocco pup knows something’s up.

 

4th from a brooklyn rooftop

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But not to worry, we  made room on our to-do list for  dining at amazing restaurants, shopping in Manhattan and visiting the Brooklyn flea, where I purchased this fabulous bag by Ryan Greer of flux productions, www.fluxproductions.net

 

the 4th from a brooklyn rooftop

 

and of course, fireworks over Manhattan – the 4th from a Brooklyn roof-top.

 

the 4th from a brooklyn rooftop

the 4th from a brooklyn rooftop

 

 

4th from a brookly rooftop

I’ve joined the party over at

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