Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Inexpensive diorama

Saw some really cool work in Small Crafts by high school students today. Lots of possibilities, make up your own. Go to DOLLERAMA and purchase an unpainted shadow box...the kind with a window. Inside (re)create favourite scenes, use your old photos, cut out pics of friends and family and glue the figures on cardboard to be placed in the foreground - add real objects to heighten the depth illusion, like brances for trees etc, overlapping items to make it interesting. A neat way to display pics, or give as gifts to remind folks of special times you have shared.
I'm going to create VanGogh's bedroom at Arles to hang on a large screen I am making - I bought six 6' hollow wood doors at an auction and hinged them together to pull across my sliding doors. On one side will be an enlagement of same painting...I think it will be kinda interesting to have two 'perspectives' on it. On the other side I'm going to create a collage of collected patterns and textures from magazines - mixed with sheet music that was being thrown out. I'll start to post the process as I go thru it beginning in a week or so.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Recycled Shoes as an art canvas

I couldn't resist these canvas shoes when I saw them at the Sally Ann...$2.00! I sold them individually with dried flowers in them as funky 'vases'!

Reuse old school desks to make funky art furniture

I have done quite a number of these old desks since I lucked upon a whole van load. (I'd love to find more if anyone knows of some.)
The desks took a while to clean - forty or fifty years of grime and gum takes a bit of of elbow grease to scape off. Once they were sanded down the entire surface area (including the inside) had to be given a base coat (or gessoed which is my preference). Then it's a simple matter of drawing on your design and painting it. I ALWAYS use Stevenson's acrylics for my projects (over thirty years now), they're very good quality and the price is competitive. A final coat of matt Diamond Finish is always necessary.

Recycle/reuse those old wood cupboard doors to make wall art

These paintings were done on old cupboard doors purchased at the Restore in Guelph. Not only are you supporting Habitat for Humanity with your purchases of 'art supplies' there, but your materials are very inexpensive. One more advantage in using old doors...they have a built in frame!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Funky art clocks are made of recycled materials

The clocks are all made from cardboard taken from the bins at grocery stores. The papier mache uses old newspapers, the bases are made from wood cutoffs, and most of the embellishments are 'found' or recycled from other worst, I purchased dollar store objects when necessary.

Reusing wood to make a whimsical art screen

These panels are cut from old IKEA shelving. I used photos of Amsterdam homes, drew them directly onto the gessoed wood, then painted each one. Hinges from a hardware store were used to attach them together. It made a unique gift at a cost of time only and a few hinges. My friends love it.
Screens of this type can be used across the front of unused fireplaces, placed in a window or set on the floor as decorative art.

MY ONLINE PORTFOLIO with lots of recycle/reuse art

Recycle plastic pop bottles to make fabulous whimsical flowers

These unique flowers are made from clear pop and water bottles! It's not all that difficult, but it does require a number of steps. If you're interested send me a reply - I'm thinking of making up complete instruction sheets with photos to sell at a nominal fee. We'll see how much interest there is. I sold these flowers in bunches at The Cabbagetown Festival Craft Show in Toronto a few years ago - huge success. I'd also like to secure a craft book contract for this project with Lark books for example...but I need to prove there's interest.
PS - They are weather proof...I've had a bunch outside in a pot all year round for 5 years now...colours are still good, but some of the metal wire is rusty looking...not bad for a recycle-no/low cost project!

YOU MUST SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS AND $3 TO COVER POSTAGE AND PHOTOCOPYING - THE INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT ONLINE - SORRY (it's 7 pages long and has drawn instructions I am not able to put on this site)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Utilize leftover cardboard construction tube to make beautiful and unique containers

Just the thing for left over cardboard tubing - the stuff they use to pour concrete into to make pillars and supports for decks etc.(or buy it from a hardware store). It is easily cut to size using a jig saw. Cut wood circles for ends and a base 'cradle'. Cut out an opening the size and shape you desire. Papier mache over entire container. Attach a small hinge to the door. Paint or cover in leftover scraps of wallpaper or fabric, or decoupage favourite images. Varnish.
The best source ever for these is Sonoco in Brantford.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Reuse/recycle mannequin art

See post #1

Reuse plastic mannequin forms to cast plaster 'canvas'

This one was cast in plaster stripping inside the back of an upper manneqin half. Once the form was removed, the surface of the casting was coated with several layers of gesso. The patterns were created first with acrylic washes, then pencil crayon and water colour pencils, gold and silver pen, and oil pastels. When finished it was sprayed with a matt varnish.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


WOW! Check this out - amazing!

Recycle art - found mannequin leg

It's all about seeing art in everything around you. Like this mannequin leg for instance, poor thing had no home and was thrown out as garbage. Garbage! It has a new home and name now, The Emperor's Slipper.

It was sanded, primed and painted with acrylics. Added embellishments included faux gems, crystals, and a strip of beaded tape. The base was made from scrap wood which was glued together, cut, sanded, primed, and a hole was drilled to fit the pre-existing metal dowel inserted in the leg.