Tag Archives: art

Tiny, Wearable Art

18 Apr

If you have young kids, it’s a pretty safe bet that you have a LOT of artwork around the house.  At our house the space on the Refrigerator Gallery as at a premium, particularly great stuff is framed and on the walls, we’ve scanned it in and made cards, and there are STILL more stacks of special work all over the place.  We are LONG on art, which is exactly how I like it.  But, it seems like a shame not to share more of it.  So, with Mother’s Day in mind, consider turning some of that art into fine jewelry that any Grandmother would be proud to wear (at least in the presence of the artist).

Tiny, Wearable Art

Turning original artwork into an art pendant is super easy.  The artwork starts out at regular size (making the production/artistic process so much easier) and then with magic less dramatic than Honey I Shrunk the Kids (i.e. your computer and/or scanner), the artwork is brought down to a tiny size – perfect for art you can wear.  In this example, each of the kids created one drawing on letter-sized paper.  I scanned them in, shrunk them to size, and stacked them so that both drawings would fit in a single pendant.  You could create one pendant per person or string several pendants from different artists on a single chain.  It’s up to you and the art crew.

Items you will need:

  • Metal Pendant: found in the jewelry section of craft stores, there are tons of styles and shapes, be sure to pick one that has a raised edge so that it can be filled
  • 3D Crystal Lacquer: often found at craft stores, but also available online
  • Scanner and printer
  • Scissors
  • Rubber cement or spray adhesive
  • Toothpicks
  • Chain, ribbon, or necklace for stringing the pendant

Get to work:

  1. Select the best artwork ever, or have your artist create some new work designed with the recipient in mind
  2. Take a photo of the artwork or scan it so that you have a digital version
  3. Shrink the image to the match the size of the pendant. Depending on your computer skills, you could do this with photo editing software or use your printer to scan and reduce the size until it will fit.
  4. Using a scissors, cut out the artwork so that it will fit in the pendant. I had the best luck by creating a template with scrap paper so that I knew it would fit in the pendant, then placed it over the tiny artwork, traced it, then cut it out.  This way, all the fine tuning is done with scrap paper and not the art copy.
  5. Using rubber cement or spray adhesive, apply a fine layer to the back of the cut out artwork.  Let it dry (no one ever wants to do this, but it will work better if you do).
  6. When the adhesive is dry, apply it to the inside of the pendant and smooth it flat.
  7. Fill the pendant with the lacquer, careful not to overfill.  If the paper buckles or ripples in the first minute or so, use a toothpick to poke it back into place.
  8. Set the pendant somewhere out of reach where you will not be tempted to touch it to see if it is dry.  Let sit for 24 hours to fully dry.

CalamityJennie: The Canvas Edition

28 Feb

When we moved into our house, my decorating plan was this:
1. Praise my luck for moving into a place that was painted in colors I liked and matched the things we already owned.
2. Hang stuff where nails were already in place.
3. Done.

So far, this approach has worked pretty well for me.  I’ve begun to fill some of the spaces that feel empty with new art and treasures, but it is a very slow process.  This Christmas, I received a special piece of art and without any unused nails on which to hang it, I was forced to branch out into new areas.  This piece of art is pretty good in size, while my house is not.  Instead of making the single piece a focal point in a room, I’ve decided to make an entire wall the focus by filling it with art.  Totally, completely, filling it.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy collecting and framing artwork that the kids and I have made to place on the wall.  I suppose that this art on this wall will change over time based on the work that everyone is doing, but right now, it is lacking in variety.  To mark our inaugural year, we’re each creating a painting to show something important that happened this year.  For my part, I’ve decided to take some elements from this site and incorporate it into a painting.  While writing and creating has always been a big part of my life, there was a period of time when I didn’t do much of either.  Retiring my old site and starting this one felt like a new beginning, a fresh space in which to cook, create, and share.  So it seemed only right to commemorate it with a little paint, paper, marker, and mod podge.

Martin likes it because he says it looks cool.  Sophie likes it because she is in the front.

Art Cards

10 Jun

Now that the school year is over, let me say this: Kindergarten students bring home massive amounts of papers every day.  I am glad to see the work, love to watch progress being made, but without some regular upkeep the pile of take-home papers can become a Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout re-enactment.

Early in the year we developed a method of sorting, keeping, and recycling the worksheets, but that still left us with a good-sized stack of art.  I love kid art and wanted a way to share the love in a way other than the Upstairs Gallery (aka The Fridge). Turning art into useable note cards is a great solution.  I love having fun stationary and cards to use for myself, and a set of 10 with envelopes makes an excellent gift. 

Project: Art Cards

Get Started: Take a photo of the artwork.  Natural light works best.  Try to zoom in as close as you can to the work while still keeping all of the elements in the frame.

Prepare for Print: If you like the way the photo looks straight out of the camera, you are all set and ready to upload for printing.  For this card, I used two photos and removed the background using a graphics program, then added some text. 

Go to Print:  There are lots of places to print folded or flat notecards.  Art cards are wonderful for personal use, but also make terrific gifts, so order loads.  I’ve used the following sites for printing, but any place that offers this service would work well.  Be sure to check each site for their printing requirements for size or format.
Overnight Prints