Back in January, I told you about my idea to actually try some art projects that I read about in the many mixed media books that I buy. I've finished my first one, which came from Shona Cole's book, The Artistic Mother. Her book has really inspired a lot of people, and I know some artists out there have created art from her inspiring ideas. If you have made anything from her book and posted it on your blog, drop me a line and I'll post a link here.
I chose to do her Butterfly Reminder project. Of course, I can't just copy it exactly -- I need to take her main idea and tweak it a bit. The project is a little hanging piece for your wall that reminds you to do something for the day. In her example, she uses the words "Write Today." Well, that's a good goal, but I was thinking -- I have different goals every day. Sometimes I need to tell myself to write, sometimes to make art, and sometimes to exercise more. Although "exercise more" isn't specific enough for me. If it's vague, I'll never do it. Anyway, I decided I wanted to come up with a way that I could change the words.
After choosing my reminders, typing them on cardstock, and printing them out, I made little mica slots that the words could be slid into. My idea was to have an extra mica slot on the back to store the extra words. I attached the mica pieces using eyelets punched through the balsa wood base. I soon found out the eyelets wouldn't go through one piece of balsa and a piece of mica on the front and another on the back. Instead I just glued a little envelope to the back to hold the words.
I rubber stamped my butterfly design rather than cutting out a downloaded picture, as Shona suggests. I didn't feel like cutting around the edge of the butterfly because I thought the balsa wood was tricky to work with. It splinters easily and pokes your fingers when you cut it. I found that my metal cutting snips were stronger and worked better than regular scissors, so I just used them and kept the balsa wood in a rectangular shape. I did round the edges a bit. Balsa wood must come in different thicknesses, so either mine was thicker than Shona's, or she's just better at cutting than me.
I have two dangles hanging for the words because I wanted to have a verb and a noun for my goals. I used coated copper wire to hang the beads, which means it will always stay shiny. Now I won't have to worry about polishing it over time. If you're curious, some of my other words are: "Fly Toward Your Business", "Fly Toward Exhibiting Your Art," and "Get Moving -- Rollerblade", and "Get Moving -- Play Racquetball."
My next project comes from the book Book + Art -- Handcrafting Artists' Books by Dorothy Simpson Krause. This book doesn't have step-by step instructions for every example, but I will use one of the books as inspiration to make my own. I'm going to make an accordion book, like the one on page 70 called Hearts. It will be a challenge to come up with a subject for the book as well as the process. Would you like to join me in creating your own interpretation of an accordion book?