Showing posts with label Mary Blair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Blair. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

In the Art Room: It's a Small World Mural

I'm so excited to share the newest addition to the art room: my Mary Blair-inspired It's a Small World Mural! As y'all know, I'm doing a big ole art room flip. I've been changing so many things up in my art room that each time the kiddos come, they spot something new. I got hooked on painting murals when I tackled this beast a month ago: 
I had a bit of paint leftover after cranking out this mural that I started setting designs on another area of my art room. I've had my Art History Wall up for so long...and while I love it, it just never got used. Once my art room was rearranged because of my document cam, that area of my room was never used for instruction. So the Art History Wall just ended up being an abandoned and faded spot that just didn't make me happy anymore. 
Here's the before: 
Full details on this wall here. Here I am tearing it down and prepping the new space:
It was bitter sweet taking this wall down. I loved the idea of it as a resource but feel like this new area (which will be used for extra art supplies and a fibers space) will be much happier with my new mural. I know it makes me super happy each morning to see it!

 I'm not COMPLETELY done yet...the clock is currently the only 3-D element to the wall but I do plan to add more. My dream is to have little doors that open and moving parts...but for now, I'm calling it kinda-sorta done. Done-ish. Done-lite.
 Because the Art History Wall took up so much space, I had a large area of the room that was unusable for storage. I happened to find this bookcase in another room in my school and it fits PERFECTLY! I've had lots of questions on my IG about those containers with the painted faces...those are for my extra marker storage. They are cat litter containers that I painted faces on and store extra markers in by color. In fact, this entire bookcase is my "overflow" of supplies: markers, color pencils, oil pastels. It needs  A LOT of work (more shelves added would be great) but I'm excited about the idea.
I also cannot wait to use this mural to teach shapes! All the geometric shapes with just a few organic. We can talk about Klee, Blair and so much more...I'm so loving this area. Can you tell? Am I goin' on and on about it enough for ya? 
 That clock was a thrift store score...in it's past life, it was a country-fied clock with a rooster painted on it. I'm thinkin' I did alright.
My love of Mary Blair has been goin' strong for a long time. I created this Mary Blair painted bag several years ago. 
For that I stuck pretty closely to the original. For my art room, I was pretty loose. Painting on those cinder blocks is not easy...especially when you want to paint a straight line, ugh! Don't get me started! I didn't use tape, I just drew everything on the wall in a light color of chalk and just went to down. Everything had to get at least two coats (sometimes more) which was super fun (insert eye roll.)
 Several years ago, I had the AMAZING experience of meeting Richard Sherman of the Sherman brothers. He and his brother wrote the theme to It's a Small World as well as the music for Mary Poppins and so many other Disney classics. It was such a joy to meet him, his sweet wife and hear all about his work at Disney.
I was so star struck!
 I'll be sure to keep you posted on what else I add to my mural...as well as this new area of my art room. 
I've already got my Friendly Loom up (needs a little warping) and plan to place all of our fibers supplies in the Mona Lisa cabinet on the left. The rack is one I found at the thrift store and I think it will be great for holding our yarn!
 I've gotten a lot of questions on what kind of paint I used: Behr wall paint. 
 I've also been asked what my admin has to say about me painting my walls and how I went about getting permission. Permission?! What's that?! I just went at it...I live in the South, we ask for forgiveness, not permission. All kidding aside, they love it! Thank goodness. Thank you so much for letting me share!
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DIY: Needle-Felted Decor, Part 1

Might we please have a lil confession time up in here? Cuz I need to unpack some stuff and I don't mean those boxes that have been in my garage since we moved seven years ago (real talk: those boxes ain't never gonna see the light of day, y'all, let's just be honest). 

Confession Numero Uno: Not only am I crummy housekeeper, I'm also pretty sucktastic at that whole decorating thingie too. You can't be good at everything, y'all (hair flip). And I most def have a big fat hairy list of items at which I am no bueno: cooking, cleaning, yard maintenance and, you guessed it, decorating. I mean, I can decorate  an art room like nobody's biznatch but working on our house has me all...
I just can't even. I don't even know where to start. In fact, we've got this one room that normal folk be calling a bonus room which I've dubbed the BOGUS room. It's just one more space for me to not clean and not decorate. I did attempt bedazzling it when we first moved in and painted up these round paintings which have that lovely early-2000's color palette...
AND that's pretty much all I ever did to that room. In fact, every time I wandered into the bonus room with a lil decorating on my mind, I'd take one look around and be all...
Now I know I sound totes ungrateful as many folk don't have a surplus of space. And lately, I've been working on a Super Top Secret Project (details to come!) in which the bonus room has become a great place to stretch out and work. For that reason, I'm really putting my heart into making this space one that I love to come to and work in. And I decided my first order of business was updating those horrible round painting thingies. 
 Now if you've been hanging around this here blog for a hawt minute then you know I love all things Mary Blair. I've created paintings inspired by her, made necklaces, you name it. So I decided I wanted to Mary Blair-ize the bonus room! But I wasn't feeling very certain I wanted to invest a ton o' time into it if I wasn't gonna love it. So I uprooted these white and gold plate/frame thingies I found for cheap at TJMaxx several months ago and decided to create some wee needle felted sketches! The above is what my sewing table looked like before...
And then after. Now imagine that as MY ENTIRE HOUSE and you've pretty much got the picture. Say a lil prayer and light a candle for my hubs, would ya?
After a little bit of playing around, I came up with this! I was super pleased. Y'all know I'm a big fan of needle felting as it's just about the most easiest thing in the world. In fact, I always find myself needle felting to excess in the winter months. Check out last week's DIY
 Just a lil closer look. 
I wasn't as in love with this one but I figured, eh, it's just a sketch. I'm sure to change it up quite a bit when I design the larger format circle. 
 I like needle felting on patchworked pieces of fabric. One of my first wall pieces from needle felting was done that way. I like how it adds just another layer to the design. 
Even though I still had one more little needle felted sketch to complete, I decided to dive right in to the making of my first large wall hanging. Mostly cuz I knew I'd have the help of this bad boy...
What you see here is not a sewing machine but something far more magical: a needle felting machine! That's right, y'all, like a rare rainbow farting unicorn, they do exist! The hubs got it for me for Christmas for not too much dinero on el Amazons. 
I love the thing. All I had to do was just tack some of the roving into place and slide it under the half dozen needles on that machine, hit the pedal and let the machine do the stabbing. It isn't great for detail work so I do resort to my trusty Clover needle felting pen for that. 
 But it's fab at blocking in large areas for me and look!
 One down! Only two more to go!
 C'mon, man! How about a lil power of positive thinkerin'?!
Okay, confession numero dos: this is pretty much how I feel. However, I'm determined-ish to follow this through and have at least one room in our house that looks decorated and finished. I'll keep all y'all posted. 
Until then, y'all!
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Thursday, May 7, 2015

DIY: Kitty Litter Containers to Pattern-y Planters!

Well, hey there, dirt diggers! Allow me and my black thumb of certain plant death to present to you my latest planter creation: Kitty Litter Containers to Patterny Planters! Please don't ask me to refer to these planters as "up-cycled" because just the mere mention of the word "up-cycled" makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and my right eye twitch. Maybe it's my severe gag reflex to all things hipster but I just can't sta-hand that word. Tell me I'm not alone, y'all. Surely there's a word that is totes hawt right meow that drives you up the up-cycled wall? I gots to know what it 'tis. While you think on that, I suppose I should return to the blog-tasticness at hand. 
So despite the fact that I'm known in the plant world as a killer of all things lovely and green, I have a habit of giving it a go every single year. Mostly cuz I love painting me some planters. You might recall these flower-y numbers from a coupla years back. 
Or these Day o' the Dead planters I created a couple Halloweenies ago. 
Last weekend, I thought I could use these ole kitty litter containers for some new planters. We have, like, one million of these bad boys cuz my hubs is borderline doomsday preppers and keeps assuring me that we'll need these for water containers when all the hipster zombies start to attack and up-cycle the universe. I stole these from his stash of one million and tossed 'em out into the yard. Cuz I'm classy like that.
Then I went at 'em with my razor blade and removed the tops. I'm tooootally going with a Tiki theme in my art room next year and these are toooootally gonna be up-cycled, er, reused as Tiki mask decor. Although, now that I think about it, they toooootally would make great Tiki bird houses with the openings as the mouth. RIGHT?! I'm like a genius, I know. After those were removed, I drilled holes in the bottom of each planter so the water could drain.
And then I set to painting! I spray painted some of the planters a pencil-y yellow and others a teal-y blue. Once those dried, I busted out some pattern books by my fave retro artists: Alexander Girard, Florence Broadhurst and, of course, Mary Blair. Some of these guys served as inspo while others were copies of patterns created by them. I like to copy the retro-y pattern-y masters, y'all. 
While I don't expect these planters to last beyond the summer (although those floral numbers are several summers old), I did slap a coat of ModPodge on 'em just to preserve them a lil. 
They make me so stinkin' happy everytime I catch a glimpse of them outside my front door. I am completely addicted to patterns, y'all. They rule my universe. 
As for the plants, Ima ask that you "pray for 'em" as they say here in the South. Dear lil baby Jesus, please don't let the Cassie's Black Thumb of Death cast a shadow on this sweet lil flower thang. Amen.
Least you think that I'm gonna keep them on my front steps so no one can visit, I have found a home for each planter in these lil planter thingies near my front door (don't you worry, that one at the bottom is just for show, it has a nice sunny spot elsewheres). Thanks for visiting all y'all up-cyclin' hipsters! 

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

DIY: It's a Small World Painted Bag

Outfit details: necklace: DIY from last week; sweater: Anthro label, thrifted; dress: vintage, thrifted; belt: dunno; tights: Target; shoes: super duper Anthro sale ($9, people!)
Ya'll, Ima gonna be honest. For once in my life, I'm not in much of a talk-ie mood. So this here might be one of the most short-winded blog posts to date. Think of it as an early Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Winter Holiday gift from me to you.

You. Are. Welcome.
Anthropologie debuted these lovely painted bags last year. They had the look of being from actual vintage paintings and I really really wanted one...but I also really really couldn't drop that much coinage (I believe they were well over 100 bucks). And, just like all the rest of my Anthro-knock-offs, a DIY was born.
When I first spied these, I thought, well, I'll just start scouring the thrift stores for paintings and use those to create a bag. But that proved to be problematic. Firstly, I couldn't seem to find any decent paintings that weren't on black velvet. Which I actually thought might make an awesome bag and then what tiny amount of tact I have left spoke up and made herself heard with an: Um, NO. Secondly, when I did find a painting, I realized I'd probably bust needles trying to get threw the thickness of the canvas. So I shelved the idea.
Geesh, could I look more excited about this bag? I look like they just called me down to play on The Price is Right. Which I totally wouldn't be happy about because that's gotta be the suckiest game show ever.
When I stumbled upon this nondescript number at my local thrift spot, I scooped it up for a dollar and decided to paint my design onto a bag. P.S. doesn't this kinda look like a face? Tell me I'm not the only one that sees a winking man with a big beard and a wee nose.
After slathering both sides of the bag with a couple coats of gesso, I struggled to come up with a design for the thing. At the same time I was working on this necklace which, with it's colors and patterns, had Mary Blair's illustrations of It's a Small World on my mind. Which, if we're gonna be honest, is always on my mind.
I happened to pick up a batch of postcards of her work on a recent trip to Disneyland. I decided I needed this sketch of Small World by Blair on my bag.
I drew the whole thing out with light lines in pencil and proceeded to fill it in, paint-by-numbers style. I used the exact color palette as my necklace, because as I've stated before, these are The Best Colors in the World.
Painting this took longer than I'd hoped mostly because I had to give some of the painted sections multiple coats. They were cold.
I had several balls to spare, ahem, from my necklace, so I used my very limited knowledge of jewelry making and added them to that little metal piece on the bag. Because it's a boy bag, it needed balls.
And here's what the other side of my bag looks like. I'm not sure which side I like better. This side is definitely more bold. But less ballsy.
Once both sides were complete and my pencil lines were erased, I covered the bag with matte Modge Podge. I might go back and give it another coat just to insure that it doesn't get too stained or dirty. I'm not known for my cleanliness, as you can imagine. I'm a little sad that the bag appears wrinkly which I'm guessing has to do with the inflexibility of the gesso. Do you happen to have any thoughts on that? 

Okay, looking back, I guess I totes lied to you. This post was just as wordy as the others. My bad. Maybe next Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza you'll do a better job behaving and you'll fair better. Just a thought.
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