Thursday, March 24, 2011

Accidental Artists

Last weekend Pam and I had plans to take it easy at my house and make some candles.  In the middle of our candle making process we received a text from The Willow's Nest stating they has just sold another large piece of furniture and needed more merchandise.  We really didn't have any large pieces finished.  With only moderate hesitation, I grabbed up my French grain sack slip covered bench and put it in Pam's car.  We also grabbed up the candles as soon as they hardened, and ran up to Chapel Hill to restock and fluff our booth.  Pam's driving was a bit wonky that day.  She kept saying "Wooo. I don't remember the road being this curvy."  On the way home, she even missed the turn to my house.  As we went down the road to turn around, I pointed out a new Art Gallery that had just opened.  The owner happened to be inside and so kindly let us in to look around.  The place is beautiful and amazing inside.  Just like walking into a magazine spread.  Of course we quickly realized how much we would love to have some of our things featured there.  Well, 4 exciting days later.... we are artists at the Rockvale Art Gallery.  The Gallery  will be the exclusive retailer for our things in Rutherford County. (Our booth at the Willow's Nest is actually located in the next county over). Who knows what would have happend if Pam hadn't missed that turn last weekend. 

We will be posting more information about the Rockvale Art Gallery in the near future, including details about art classes that will be offered.    I think there's going to be a lot of fun and exciting things going on.  Here is just a sneak peak inside:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Easy Hand Stamped Note Cards

My mother-in-law has been so supportive of our hobby-turned-business venture.  Since last summer she has been bringing us any and every diamond-in-the-rough she finds in her attic or from friends.  She also calls, emails or sends pictures and articles she thinks may be of interest to  us.  We would certainly have less projects to work on if it weren't for her help.

She also sends me hand made cards that she receives from friends.  She loves these and thinks we should give them a try.  While I haven't had the opportunity to attempt some as elaborate as the cards she has received, I did make time to sit down and make these simple French note and thank you cards.  I love the brown kraft card stock.  This is the same look we have used on our price tags for our merchandise.  We've even recycled brown paper sacks to make price tags. 

When it comes to making things for our booth at The Willow's Nest or the Nashville Flea Market, we try to stay true to what we love rather than just making something to sell.   So, these French note cards are definitely speaking to me. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Robert Wilder and My Powder Room

Okay, so the two aren't necessarily connected.  I picked up some French hand soap and a small planter type container at Marshall's this week that inspired me to freshen up my powder room.  Funny how something so small can have such an impact on how you see things.  While I was at it, I thought it would be a good time to put together one of those book bundles everyone is using these days.  I grabbed the 2 vintage hard cover books Pam and I picked up at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago.  I stripped the cover off one, and with my twine ball and scissors ready, was about to strip the cover off the second one when I noticed this.

This is a 1940 printing of a Robert Wilder book.  I don't think this is the kind of book I should be ripping apart.  Pottery Barn even states their books are glued together and for decorative purposes only.  I certainly won't be trying that.  Maybe that's why my book bundle didn't cost me $39 like the PB bundle of 4 books.  I'm going to hang on to this one in its original form.

I used a page from a vintage French novel to display on top of the stack.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Easy Dictionary Art

Something I've been seeing quite a bit of lately is what I like to call Dictionary Art.  People are taking vintage pages from dictionaries, books and sheet music and then printing an image on the vintage paper.  I've even gone as far as buying some vintage French novel pages off Etsy.  I haven't actually printed anything on these yet because I knew it would take some practice to make sure the page would fit through the printer without damage to the paper and get the image aligned properly.

One day I was visiting the Graphics Fairy and found that Karen, being the generous and thoughtful blogger she is, had posted a link to an old dictionary page.  You can find it HERE.  Just scroll down towards the bottom and you will find the dictionary page and picture of the cow.

Dictionary art can't get any easier than this.  I just printed the dictionary page.

Before I put the printed page back in the printer, I made sure I had my image centered and sized appropriately.  If you just click on the link at the Graphics Fairy, often you will get something like the image in the upper right corner of this group.  I just copy the image and paste into word.  In this case, I got the very large Fleur-De-Lis on the left side of this group.  I then shrunk the image by playing with the outline box and centered it.  It was easier for me to print the image and hold it up against the dictionary print to make sure it would print where I wanted it.

Once I had my image ready, I put the dictionary page back in the printer, and printed my image.

I was very happy with the way it turned out.  It looks like a dictionary page and not a sheet of white paper printed to look like a dictionary page.  You could also try printing this on parchment paper, or some other paper that looks unique and old.  I may eventually get around to trying that, or at least using the French novel pages I have.

This  would also be great to do for a theme or holiday.  There is no real expense if you do it like I did.  I used the white copy paper I had, and some frames I've used for  years with various things on display.