Saturday, January 29, 2011

24/365

Day 24: It's not easy being green. Work only with green-colored materials today. Try working on a green surface for an added challenge.

When given a choice in color, I will always choose green. So I have an endless supply of choices in that hue.

But, the first line of this challenge made me think of that Kermit the Frog song; It's not easy being green. So with that little ditty running through my mind, I dived into my buttons, as that is this week's love.

Since Spring is far, far, far, far away...or so it seems in the midst of this winter wonderland...I was thinking ooooh, Spring green.

...green's the color of spring
And green can be cool, and friendly-like
And green can be big, like a mountain
Or important, like a river
Or tall, like a tree...


Ahhh, Kermit. Always my favorite muppet. And green can be so many things. So then my distracted mind started thinking of an entirely different kind of green. (Especially once I realized all my green buttons were buried in the unsorted 13 pounds of buttons I have stockpiled.) Green crafting is always fun, taking something and making it useful again.

Then I started thinking about how I never get anything done...often I start things and don't finish them. That if I had just sorted the darn buttons, I could have used what I planned on using. Guh.

So like a mad woman I sorted through 12 pounds of buttons. For two days (no, not straight, this is the stolen time when I wasn't cleaning, sleeping, playing with or feeding somebody.) Yes, I DO have 13 pounds, but after the initial 12 I was down to blacks and navy blues....and going cross-eyed.

And STILL have yet to do either Saturday's or Sunday's challenge.

But I do have sorted buttons. Mostly.

Friday, January 28, 2011

23/365

Day 23: Waste not. Dig in the recycling bin for all of today's materials.

After yesterday's fail, I have realized that there are going to be more of those. Maybe a lot more. And I am okay with that. I expected a few misadventures, as almost all of my dailies have been a new technique or a new media.

Today's challenge is another new one from my list of things to do. A coil ring. Made from a magazine page.

I thought it turned out pretty cool.




And I am working on a matching necklace.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

22/365

Day 22: Create a bridge. Connect two things in a creative way. It could be small enough for an amoeba or big enough for an elephant to cross it.

FAIL.

The littlest has been really into Legos. And since it was a snow day AGAIN, I was building with her. Oooh, I think...Here's my bridge. Very easy, right?

No.

I don't know if it was the design or the architect, but over and over my bridges collapsed.

And as I was with the kiddo, there was singing involved. Today's litte ditty?

London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down. London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady.

Which elicited a fair amount of giggling since my bridge WAS falling down. (And falling down, and falling down.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

21/365

Day 21: Write a ten word love story. As a bonus, illustrate it.

In the 1920s, (it is said) Ernest Hemingway made a bet that he could write a story in just six words.

For sale: baby shoes, never used.

That is probably the most famous example of flash fiction. Or Micro Fiction. There seem to be many terms used for this style of writing. Some describe it as 1000 words or less, some say 500, then there are the ones that focus on extreme brevity, using 10 words, 6, or even 3.

As I am rather verbose, the 10 word range could easily be a sentence for me.

After reading Hemingway's story, I too, chose a child as the focus of my little story.

Mine.

You filled a void I never even knew I had.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

20/365

Day 20: Buy or make some clay and then use it like you never have before.

Sculpey/Premo...definitely fits into THAT category.

I bought a few kits to try, um, well over a year ago. So, yeah, I would say it is finally time to give those a whirl.

Sadly,when I opened the Premo for today's challenge, I discovered that the clay was no longer in it's prime. It had kinda dried out a little. I dampened my hands and was able to knead it per the directions.


The clay I picked to use is a light bronze color and when it is flattened, it had swirls of a deeper, copper shade. The kit came with several stamps. I chose one that had some writing.

Before baking;




After;



So with the rough shape, paired with the color, I thought they looked a bit like paper that had been torn from some ancient book.

Monday, January 24, 2011

19/365

Day 19: Create something that floats on water. (It doesn't have to be a boat.)

So, as it is -1,864,548 degrees outside, water...at least the FLUID kind...is a smidge hard to come by.

So I filled up my bathtub and opted for the let's-take-a-photo-of-something-floating-in-the-water route.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

17 AND 18/365

Having a horrid sinus infection paired with a 13 degree day, it's no wonder I barely left my flannel cocoon all day yesterday. With about 36 hours of medication and a fair amount of sleep, I feel less like a floating head. So back to creating I go!

Day 17: Make something inspired by and/or that goes over an eye (your's or someone else's).

Naturally, the first thing that popped into my head was an eye patch. But since my eyesight is mostly good- and only pirates and daytime tv actors wear eye patches- I decided to try for something else. Something I could actually USE. (And barring disaster, I don't have any plans for any type of eye surgery or injury in the near future.)

Sleep mask. Have never actually used one. And having SAVED (not hoarded, that's the Mister's thinking by the way) many useful items for arts and crafting, I have all the materials I need.

See, I KNEW this ribbon with a velcro closure would come in handy one day.





Day 18: Work with the things you find in your car. Or a friend's car.

Oooh, how I would love to be near my friend Destiny's car at the moment. She has a rather eclectic collection in her vehicle. However, as she is 1000 miles away, mine will just have to do.

And speaking of cocoons...geesh, my car was a veritable ice ball this morning.




Yes, this WAS in my car...a leftover from my last treasure hunt. See, I told you it was cold. Brrr.

Friday, January 21, 2011

16/365

Day 16: Make a unique print by cutting up a potato or sponge, and use it to stamp on a material of your choice.

Well, I don't use sponges and I didn't have any potatoes. Soooooo......I decided to make today's challenge using found objects.



I tried several items. The ones that ended up making the best print were; a key, a brass stencil, bubble wrap, a spring, a packing peanut and some hardware.





The packing peanut was easy to do, although I did grab a rather boring one. I do have some others that are more squiggly.

The key worked well, with the exception that I had to very carefully remove it from the paper so as not to smudge it.




I liked the texture of the spring and the brass stencil. (Obviously I used a "u".)




The bubble wrap made the most distinct print. It will be one I can use again as is.



As for the others, I think they would have worked better, or at least printed out more clearly, if I had used a base.

I read somewhere that you can use a foam block (that is heat activated), to make a mold of little objects. This would be perfect for the key and the hardware. I'll have to see if I can find one of those. Especially as I read you can use it over and over...simply reheat and it goes back to its natural, blank state.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

15/365

Day 15: What can you do with just a dollar? Use a dollar bill as your medium or inspiration today.

I attempted to do some dollar origami for this challenge, but as my origami skills are equal to a small child's, I didn't have a lot of luck. The penguin is the ONLY one I know how to do actually, but 1) I used it as a daily challenge already and 2) I only know how to make it from a square piece of paper.

So I checked out Google, naturally. All the ones I found required folds I didn't know how to make. I attempted SEVERAL. I sure hope whoever gets these dollars after me do not need anything out of a vending machine.

The best one I came up with, on my own, mind you....consisted of 5 dollar bills. I had attempted to make a $4 flower and mine turned out looking like peacock feathers. So I added a bird-like shape to this tail and TA-DAAAAA




We're gonna just overlook the fact that he can't stand on his own.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

14/365

Day 14:Make something microscopic. How small can you work? Can you make something that requires a magnifying glass or microscope to see?

Geesh. My eyesight is sadly getting worse as I get, er, less young.

The smallest I dare to venture today is the inchie. Not only is this the smallest feasible option I could come up with, it is also one that I have never really done. Just another one of those things that I heard about WAY after everyone had done it. I did the easiest version back in the summer when I first read about the inchies, only using interesting pictures from a magazine. But I never actually attempted more than that. (see my first dalliance with this here.) And hey, it's small, therefore it's easy, right? Psssht.

You would think it would be easy to fill a 1" x 1" square.

I think it was more the IDEA of such a small space that was more daunting than actually filling it. Because once I got started, I saw why people deemed this an addicting little craft. I know I'm hooked.



However, if you would like to see some folks with way better eyesight (and patience to be honest), take a gander here.

13/365



Day 13: Use teabags or tea leaves (used or unused) or even just liquid tea (in a cup or not) to create something today.

I am really starting to enjoy these daily challenges. I am using all sorts of new techniques and mediums, some I have never heard of and some I always "meant to try."

Today's challenge is one of those that I always wanted to try but never did. Tea staining paper. As I have never tried it, I consulted my best go-to-pal...Google. Well, there were plenty of pages featuring tea staining.

For the tea, I used store brand Orange Pekoe and Pekoe cut black tea and an organic green chai. The chai turned out very light, subtle. The pekoe turned the darker color, giving the paper the desired, aged appearance.

For the paper, I used one of books (the one I use to experiment new techniques in) and plain, white office/copy paper. The chai and the cold tea needed longer to provide results, so it made the book page rough, as I went over it several times. The office/copy paper took the color right away.

As for the tea staining itself, I tried couple of the methods that I found.

Using the teabag directly on the paper (like you would use a paintbrush) seems to be the preferred method. And in my experimentation, that got the best results. I tried it both hot and cold. Cold works, but takes longer and is definitely lighter. Hot was better at getting the coloring I was looking for.

I also tried soaking the paper in tea, in a shallow dish. That just made the paper wet. Even after letting it soak quite a while. Eventually it just fell apart. So, nope.

Most everywhere I read said to let the paper air dry for up to several days. Again, as this is a daily challenge, time is of the essence. I don't have days....so I used the hairdryer. This sped up the drying time considerably!

Monday, January 17, 2011

12/365

Day 12: Camouflage. Create or alter something so that it disappears into its background.

For today's challenge, I opted for photo manipulation. But, not having PhotoShop....I went in search of an online service. I ended up with FotoFlex. Pretty cool, and I think I did well considering I have never done this sort of thing.



well, they DO call us redheads fiery...lol.


As I have said a time or three, I think I shall revisit this one. There were all sort of tools and special effects options there. I think I could easily spend all day playing around with it.

However, if you want to see something REALLY cool, check out Liu Bolin , the real life invisible man. He has certainly mastered the art of blending in. Unlike me, who used photo manipulation, he uses paint to blend into his surroundings, sometimes spending as much as 10 hours preparing for one.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

11/365

Day 11: Work on the other hand. Pick a medium you are comfortable with, then work with your non-dominant hand.

From what I was reading, on the "Practically Creative Quarter: Other Handed";

Writing with our non-dominant hand can have interesting results because it confuses our brain. Part of that protest you just put up about not wanting to write with the wrong hand was your brain’s way of keeping things predictable. That’s okay. That’s its job. Let’s face it: we function because our brains are in charge. Our brains do a phenomenal job of keeping the world understandable and keeping our bodies and behaviours in sync with that world. But the parts of our brain that are so effective at everyday life, may not be the parts that give us the best results when it comes to pure creativity.

Since creativity may be useless, nonsensical, playful, wordless, metaphorical, musical, messy, and so on, the practical brain that serves us so well, needs a little nudge to get out of the way while we create. Try writing with your ‘wrong’ hand to make this happen.


Interesting. And very true. For this challenge I attempted to take photographs and draw, two of my favorite creative things.

With the camera and the pencil, they both felt foreign in my hand. I had to consciously fight the urge to switch hands.

For the camera I had to use it either sideways or upside down to be able to use all the functions.

The pencil was easier, I attribute THAT to having to learn to write left-handed when I broke my wrist 20-something years ago. I never tried drawing, however. I started with a practice exercise for kids, as I am truly a beginner with that hand. (I love to draw but somehow I went from drawing every day to practically never.)





I am thinking this too, shall be something to revisit. And hey, maybe I grew some new brain cells. If you want to read more about THAT, go here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

10/365

Day 10: Use only water as your inspiration today.

Easy to do, as I believe we still have about 85 feet of snow in the yard. And hanging from my roof? THE largest icicle I have ever seen.

Friday, January 14, 2011

9/365

Day 9: Make something with your breakfast before you eat it.

The next time you are eating eggs for breakfast, think about how these poor eggs feel about their very short lifespan.





Teehee.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

8/365

Day 8: Transform an old book into something new.

Altered Books? What a novel idea :P

Good thing I have 145,648,845 books on hand to choose from.

However, altering books usually takes me longer than one day. So, as this IS an activity meant to be done in a day, I chose something simple.

A Tree. (What is it with me and trees?)



As you can see, the book I chose was not only discarded, but repaired. In keeping with my daily deadline, I opted to cover the background (the inside of the front covers)with a stamper. (And I used the same leaf one from yesterday.)




I think I shall revisit this one come Christmas, maybe add a star...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

7/365

Day 7: Create a stencil and use it in your work.

Stencilling is something I have never really attempted. I think the most stencilling I ever did was a poster for some long ago school project.

I have a few stencils on hand, just plain old letters. Yes, I know it read CREATE a stencil, but I thought maybe I could incorporate them with this new one. I guess I never really looked at them very closely anyway, as it turns out I only have about 2/3 of the alphabet. (Perfect, if I was going for something completely nonsensical.)

For my stencil, I chose one of my favorite subjects. The tree.




Trees are fairly simple and rather versatile. I can leave it as it is, a winter tree. Or I could add leaves for fall or tiny flowers for spring.


I opted for stamping, and as I didn't have a sponge I used a stamp. A leaf stamp. I like the effect the stamp made.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

6/365

Day 6: Work with the first fruit or vegetable you spot. It could even be in the form of juice, jam, or canned.




Sadly, aside from the plastic fruit in the munchkin's kitchen, the only fruit in the house at the moment is bananas.

But I kinda liked the idea of a plastic still life.

Monday, January 10, 2011

5/365

Day 5: What do you collect? Work with a collection of objects you have (or borrow a friend's.)

The Mister would say I collect junk. As we all know, he is not the biggest fan of my TREASURES.

I could have gone any number of ways, but I chose one of my favorites.

My keys.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

4/365

Day 4: Take a 5 minute walk, then make something using whatever materials are available where you've ended up.

Well, with twenty inches of snow on the ground, I didn't make it out of my yard after 5 minutes.

What did I end up making?

Footprints.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

3/365

Day 3: Make something out of paper, but don't use scissors, glue OR draw on it...what now? (and no, you don't have to know origami to do this.)

Well, good thing I DO know origami...well, a little.




However, not having proper origami paper, I made my little penguin out of a piece of junk mail.

2/365

Geesh, second day and already I have been thrown off schedule.

The problem was not the MAKING this time around, but the writing and posting part. With school calling a snow day, I should have expected that...I just consider myself lucky that I was able to take a shower.

Without further ado, Day 2....

Make something inspired by your favorite animal.

Well. I don't actually have a favorite animal. So I chose my favorite animal byproduct. :P

Thursday, January 6, 2011

1/365

The Spawnling gave me a cool book for Christmas; 365: A Daily Creative Journal (Make Something New Everyday and Change Your Life.) Written by Noah Scalin, the Skull-A-Day creator.

I think I'm going to give it a whirl...

Day One; Start small. Make something that fits in the palm of your hand.




In keeping with the let's do something new everyday, I am also going to be experimenting with new mediums.