Showing posts with label art dresses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art dresses. Show all posts

Thursday, June 7, 2018

DIY: Sewing Room Studio Update!

 Hi, y'all! I'm so excited to share that I recently decluttered and organized my sewing room! It's been a LONG process and I'm so thrilled with the result. I can walk in, move around, LOOK around and see all of my supplies. It's amazing how much clearer the mind and work when there aren't piles of stuff to sift through. 
 When we first moved in to our house some 10 years ago, I already knew I wanted one room dedicated to sewing. I'd just started teaching myself to sew and was excited by all the possibilities of what I could create. Having a room dedicated to this was so exciting to me. Because I'm a collector (read: hoarder), I'd accumulated a ton of fabric and fun vintage finds like sewing notions. I thought it would be fun to dedicate one wall of my sewing room to display my inspirational finds. 
 Over time, I realized that this was a waste of precious space. I recently removed all of the frames and vintage notions within.
 And decided to make this wall a workspace. So all of the above came down. 
I LOVE my studio space and decided to create a similar space in my sewing room. I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up their biggest frames in the clearance section. Then I headed over to Home Depot and had them cut pegboard to fit my new frames. I also picked up a pegboard kit which includes the tools for hanging the frames. 
 And now I'm so excited! I have all of my embroidery floss, currently used patterns, knitting needles, embroidery hoops and more stored on this pegboard. 
 I'm super visual, I love to have all of my supplies on hand and on display. This kind of set up works so well for me. The same goes for my thread. These are actually table top thread displays that I found at Joann's. I simply drilled holes in them and hung them on the wall.
 Keeping this off my sewing table allows me to have so much more space to work. 
 Here's a look at my other pegboard. This one is a lot bigger than the picture shows and it holds so much stuff! I purchased the wire bins as a set from Home Depot along with all of the pegboard hooks. The yellow and metal cans are from Hobby Lobby. Currently, all of their metal containers that are colorful are on super duper sale, check their spring isle. 
The little round containers along the bottom are magnetic spice holders. My mom gave them to me but I feel like you could find those at IKEA or Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Pegboard Porn, y'all. 
 BEFORE! I had fabric everywhere! So much so that the room was very crowded feeling...and not fun to work in. 
 AFTER! I ditched the wire rack and a lot of the fabric that was on it. I kept what I liked and have decided to part with the rest. The giant mirror is from my bedroom which we never used. It allows me to see dresses as I sew them and really opens the room up.
 BEFORE! This is from a "clean out" a couple years is the AFTER result of that. 
 That time, I didn't really "declutter" as much as I just rearranged. I'm a constant sh**-shoveler, as I like to call myself. All I seem to do is just shovel sh** from one place to another. NO MAS!
 AFTER! This time, I really did declutter! My mom helped me out a lot. What I learned is that having a person help you is key...and it has to be a person who has no ties to the items you are looking to declutter. My mom does not sew or craft so she was all for trashing everything. Don't worry, nothing was trashed...just going in the donation/sale pile.
Love using shoe and sweater holders for scrap fabric, yarn and roving!
 Y'all recall that fabric stash of mine from the photo above? Well, the closet was also filled! My goal was to condense all of my fabric supply to fit in this closet. And I did it!
 I love having my fabric hung as it allows me not to have to root through piles of fabric. It also keeps it less wrinkled. 
There are still some things I'd like to do: make sure curtains, take down the old art you see above me and paint a happy picture...and organize the wire racks and make them more useful. But the bulk of the work is done and I'm so excited! 
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In the Art Room: What to Wear

Sure you can buy a fur realz pair of Jeffrey Campbell pencil shoes (because, ya know, we teachers got money to burn) or you could have way more fun and make your own! I simply painted a thrifted pair of kicks with acrylic paint and covered that in ModPodge. I've seen other fine-footed art teacherin' types take a more sensible route and paint canvas shoes in the same style. With lots of wear, mine have started to cracked at the crease. If I were gonna do it all again, I'd prolly invest in some leather paint as it's got a bit of a give. 

On this here blog that I call home, I thought I'd run a lil series called Back to Art Teacherin'. If you are an art teacherin' type like myself, the end of summer vacay is nigh and what better time to prep for the Return of the Children (of the corn) then meow? So in this here series of Back to Art Teacherin', I'll be chatting at y'all about the following:

* What to Wear (which, hello, is this here post!)

* How to Decorate Your Art Room to it's utmost fabulousness (always a blast)

* An updated version of that dreaded Art Supply Order 

* And, best of all, what to teach those chillins on those most important first daze of schoolin'!

So, without further ado-ness, let's talk about sumpin near and dear to my baked, battered and blackened heart: Clothes!
 Just admit it, one of your fave things about getting back to art teacherin' is the smell of sharped pencils and freshly cracked boxes of crayons. So why not have an outfit or two to match? Pencil appliqué skirt here, needle felted crayon sweater there

What's a crayon sweater without crayon shoes? I mean, really? 

I didn't always have an obsessions with What I Wore. Nor have I always created my own clothes. Naw, y'all, this here is a new-ish thing for me. So if you don't know how to sew, felt, embroider or appliqué (yet), don't you fret! I taught myself simply cuz 1. We don't have cable and I get bored easily and 2. Because I've always wanted to create my own clothing! It's been that nagging creative outlet that I'd ignored for years thinking, eh, it's not real "art; I should be painting, drawing, sculpting, whateves-ing!" How lame was I to put off something I was truly interested in? If you find yourself doing the same with whatever it is you are intrigued by, tell that Sally-Self-Doubt, Negative-Nelly, Trash-Talking-Tina to hush it and go make you a Rock Star Apron if you wanna!
Why you mad, bro? Jelly of my kick arse art teacherin' apron? This is one of the first things I stitched up several years ago. It was so much fun to make and the kids loved it! That inspired me to create even more craziness. 
 What to wear on those painting days in the art room (which is pretty much everyday, right)? Why a palette dress, of course! I love the vintage charm of this Michael Miller fabric, y'all! 
 Tho if your wee artists are anything like mine, there's likely to be paint In which case a dress that you've painted or one stitched from Jackson Pollock-esque fabric is prolly the way to go. 
All of which calls for paint splattery shoes

Now I know that if y'all have been by this blog before, you've prolly seen just about everything I've got here for ya's today. Like, for instance, this here montage of artist-inspired numbers. 
 So it turns out I double downed on my Monet ensembles this year but I just couldn't help it. What's not to love about that painterly dude? That stitched and needle felted number took exactly two sessions of Project Runway reruns to get thru while that summery dress was a snap. 

It's funny, the other day I saw an article about people who take a buttload of selfies (FYI, not the actual title of said article. Tho "People Who Take a Buttload of Selfies" is a killer title, if I do say so. And I just did.) and, according the the author who apparently has NEVER taken a selfie in her LIFE (hair flip), those that do are manipulative (CHECK!), selfish (CHECKITY-CHECK) and, basically, just arsehole-ish. Well! There you have it! Me, in a nutshell. It's like she could see my manipulative, selfish sssooooouuuuuulll. 
 Last year's Kandinsky show at The Frist was the inspo behind these two numbers. Maybe it's cuz I'm totes clueless but not until seeing them now, side by side, am I realizing how opposite they are. Lil black dress here and wild -n- crazy in white here. 
It never fails, every winter, I take up needle felting all over again. That Scream Dress is one hot lil number to wear what with the completely wool lined inside (I think the screaming is actually due to the smell comin' off me). The Starry Night took all of eternity what with the embroidery (which you can't really see so why'd I do it, y'all? WHY?) and the lights.  
 Oh, applique. I always forget what a super fun pain in the rear you are. Fur serious tho, I do love changing the look of my clothing with appliqué. It gives a great flat look (perfect for pop art!) that you just can't quite get with needle-felting. Applique was one of the first methods of sewing I learned. I think I liked it because it reminded me of collage. In fact, to get over my fear of sewing, I told myself that the stitches were just like glue holding everything together. For some reason, likening sewing to collage (something I'm comfortable with) made it a whole lot less frightening. Lichtenstein-y here, Warhol-ishness there. 
 I was chatting with our weather-predicting custodian today and he claims that we are gonna get MASSIVE snow this year (which, for we Tennesseans means, like TWO WHOLE INCHES). We had quite the winter this past year which for me meant Snow Days/Sew Days. I got so much stitched! This here tribute to Mondrian was one o' em. 
 Now even if you can't sew, felt or appliqué, you can draw, right? That there Keith Haring number was just doodled on some pleather with a white Sharpie paint pen. And that Great Wave dress was the thing that started this whole Artist-Inspired series! The most easy artist dress made: that Magritte number. All I did was make the hat and add the birds! 
 For the last couple of years, I've made a Back to School dress. You know, one complete with school supplies and artsy whut-nots. Like that crayon and chevron thing and that crazy art supply number (with sleeves big enough to fly away with!). 
 My fave thing on the planet? Shopping for fabric, y'all. And when I find me some artsy fabric like that pencil fabric on the left and that marker fabric on the right, my palms get all sweaty, my heart skips a beat and I might cry a lil bit. 
 I love me a great big skirt, y'all. The kind that when I walk past a table, my big swooshiness knocks over cups, glasses, small children, you name it. That giant shower curtain skirt on the left does the trick quite nicely but that puffy pencil number isn't too snabby neither. 


Yes, sir and madams, I most certainly did. I've got a small grab bag cache of art teacherin' books that I'd love to send your way (not pictured. Obvi.) But here's the catch (there's always a catch): you gotta tell me your most fave back-to-school shopping memory! Mine involved my dad taking me jeans shopping at the dollar store before my eighth grade year. THE DOLLAR STORE, Y'ALL. All this girl ever wanted was some Guess jeans! Pretty sure this is why I don't wear pants to this day, the flashbacks are killer. Lemme hear your tale and don't forget to leave your lovely lil email addy so I can be sure to send these awesome art books your way. Until then!
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Saturday, November 1, 2014

DIY: Feature in Nashville Arts Magazine!

Do you guys even know how hard it is for me to keep a secret? It's so difficult, in fact, that upon befriending someone, I usually have to have what I deem a super serious (meanwhile, they foolishly think I'm joking) convo about how they should never, never ever, tell me anything they don't wish for at least football stadium of folks to know. So when I was asked by Nashville Arts Magazine to keep my lil photo shoot/article under wraps, I nearly had to bust out the masking tape and seal my lips shut. 

Okay, I take that back. They didn't actually say I had to keep it quiet but I kinda decided that I should. I mean, what if the photo shoot went all horribly wrong and I ended up looking like the big ole goof that I am? OR, worse, what if my interview went so badly that I had to search and destroy all copies of the November issue of Nashville Arts? 

By the way, I know the copy is tough to read but if you go here, you can view it much better. 

Thankfully, none of that happened...which is all due to the wonderful folks at Nashville Arts Magazine. I had so much fun chatting and sipping tea with MiChelle Jones, the author of the article. And Juan Pont Lezica was just the best photographer ever. He had a vision for the layout of the photographs and did such a great job leading and directing my (completely inadequate) modeling. 
So just how did all this come about? Well, it seems that way back when I created my first Kandinsky dress, The Frist Center for Visual Arts shared it on Twitter (so, does that mean they "tweeted" it? Y'all, hep me. I'm reopening my Twitter account [deets to come] and I feel so lost. You guyzzz, I'm too old for this!). That's when Paul Polycarpou, the editor of Nashville Arts Magazine emailed me and said they'd like to chat with me about a feature. And I was all, whuuuuuuht?! I mean, y'all. I create these dresses to wear in my art room, to share with my students and the 5 people that read this blog (thank you, 5 people!). When I've picked up issues of Nashville Arts Magazine in the past (it's a beautiful magazine, friends. From the layout to the articles and the photographs, it's all visually stunning), I often thought, "maybe one day when I get back to creating art, I'll see my work in here." Little did I know that I've been creating art all along, just the wearable kind. It was so truly flattering for Paul to notice this and want to share it in Nashville Arts.

The interview with MiChelle was so much fun. Just like chatting with an old friend. The interview took place in my packed-with-fabric sewing room and it was so comfortable and easy. The following week, I had my photo shoot which had me just a pinch freaked out. Especially when I was asked, "will you be bringing your own hair and make up-people?" to which I replied, "Um. My what?"
So after a day of art teacherin', I drove my car full of clothes, lipsticks and hairspray to downtown Nashville for the shoot. Juan Pont Lezica was super nice and patient and, thankfully, had a vision for the photo shoot. Which was great cuz I had nuthin. Now, I don't know if y'all know this, but I take my own photos for my blog. Hubs got me a remote control clicker and I just set up my tripod and snap away. I have my three set poses (that if you scroll through my previous posts, you'll begin to see over and over and ohhh-verrr): 1. Hand on hip(s), 3/4 angle pose (lawd knows one never ever faces a camera head-on); 2. Weight on one leg, bend the other. Look off to the side, always with head down, never up (don't nobody wanna see that much chin/neck); 3. Smile. Because when I don't smile, them my BRF flares up. 

Well, apparently those are just my own made up rules. Juan helped me to loosen up and try new poses that I wouldn't normally attempt...and I was pretty happy with the result.

Although you can't see it, this here is the Keith Haring number. You can read all about it here
So glad I thought to perform my biweekly shave-up-to-my-kneecaps the eve before the shoot. 
Kandinsky Concentric Circles Dress here, my first Kandinsky dress here and details on my felted Starry Night light-up number here
We managed to get through the photo shoot in just under three hours. Because I didn't want to take forever between photos, I simply altered my makeup slightly (adding more eye make up and changing out my lip color as the shoot wore on). I was surprised how well my normally non-cooperative hair worked for me. 
Campbell's Soup Dress after Warhol here, Munch's The Scream felted mayhem here and Hokusai's appliquéd Great Wave dress here
And there you have it. My attempt at being Fierce/Excited/Sullen/Angst-y just like I learned from Tyra watching all those ANTM episodes years ago. Thanks, T!
Added bonus about NashvilleArts: It's free! You can find copies throughout Nashville and the surrounding communities. 
I was able to get a sneak peak at the magazine on Wednesday when Rebecca Pierce, a writer for the magazine, dropped by my house. She and I are working on an upcoming column I'll be writing for Nashville Arts! I'm so excited about this, I cannot wait to share more details with you. I'm going to be needing your help with this, so stay tuned, friends!
Just what the real spread looks like. It's super trip-y to see, y'all!
Don't you worry, T-Banks, don't you worry!

Until next time, y'all!

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