Saturday, August 14, 2010

Subway Art the Super Hard Way

 This is a stale post.  Don't you smell the stank?
For fresh ideas and the newest new new stuff 
why don't you head on over to the blog we actually update.

Love to see you there.
Carry on as you were.


So in this post, I revealed how little I value my time
versus how much I value not having to whip out my credit card.

In an effort to create my take on subway art,
we built and stretched our own canvas.

Framed and stretched canvas
Photo (c) b3home designs

The frame was built in probably about an hour by Mr. Handy Guy
Took me about 3 hours to stretch the canvas on both frames
with the staple gun, brad nailer and canvas stretcher pliers.
and a hammer

Took me about another hour
including "drying time"
to prime the canvas.

In some ways, I think now I would have been okay with natural canvas
but the primer was good for making sure all the texture mediums
stuck to the canvas.

After primed, they were placed in the office.
Where they sat.
For 4 months.

Finally, giving into the fear that I would be imperfect
and not be able to do a faux encaustic
I just went to town with texturizing and playing.
And yellow (smile)
Because yellow makes me happy
Almost as happy as yellow and gray together.

After about a week of off and on playing on various nights
This is what the canvas looked like

Textured and washed canvas
Photo (c) b3home designs

To get all that yummy texture,
I threw every trick in the book at it

I used some acrylic gel mediums
some pumice stone
some drywall tape (my fave texture of all)
some GAC40
some retarding agent
some spackle
some caulk

Like I said, I threw it all on there
over the course of a week
to allow for drying times

Generally, I used an artist knife to throw stuff on
and a sponge or dry brush to splash on water tinted with acrylics
or ragged on some thicker blotches of thickened paint

Once that was all done,
I took out my Making Memories Simply Fab foam stamps
and I went to town stamping out funny quotes | sayings | heard abouts.
I especially loved many of the quotes from
YeeHaw's shop on Etsy.
I mean really.
"What homewrecker are you mixed up with now".
Classic Storetry.

These prints are totally on my Christmas wish list.
My faves are No. 140 Lumpy Gravy, No. 017 Blue Plate Special, No. 103 Booty Call, and No. 203 Amateur Hour
But I digress. 
For a little longer.
At Cornell,
In the Big Red Band
We had t-shirts made up
off of quotes I collected one season.
They were hillarious
I wish I still had my t shirt
or the quotes
man I miss being in the Big Red Band.
I miss college
Oh yes...the project.
So when I stamped all those sayings
from the t shirt
and from my general life
and from the web
all individually by hand
(yes, each little letter)
I realized that my perfectionist tendencies
were going to be the death of me.
I couldn't just use some white paint and call it a day.
I had to use a dab of white paint
a dab of gesso
and a dab of off white paint
And sometimes,
those dabs,
had texturizers mixed in
Because, clearly, I didn't want to make this easy.

Once I threw this bad girl up on the dining room table
after a massive fail on her twin
I had to work quick.

Because I'm the last scrapbooker in the world that doesn't own a Cricuit 
and I can't seem to win one for the life on me on any of the 128 blogs I stalk
and I can't afford to buy one because well, puppy needs to eat...

I proceeded to do this (by hand)
And I thought my husband was going to have me committed.
two days later

subway art handcuttings
photo (c) b3 home designs

I "finished" cutting them out.
I use "finished" loosely
because I had to reprint about half of them
I used three font sizes (huge, huger and bolded huge)
and three colors (black, gray and grayer)
My original "huge" was too small
and I was going to poke my eye out with scissors
before giving myself permission to kill another tree
and just print them bigger already.

Because I did it in word and wasted lots of space,
I ended up printing about 150 pages of letters.

Once they were sliced out, it was easy going from there.
I started by gathering all of my supplies

subway art project supplies
photo (c) b3 home designs

My subway art didn't use street names. 
Instead, I used names of cities we had both visited before
Super bold names were cities we had been to together
Medium font cities are cities we've both been to,
but not with each other.
Smallest font cities are cities that either he or I have been to

The colors of the cities have nothing to do with anything
because I didn't have the patience to come up with a theme.

I laid out my letters on my canvas
travel themed subway art in progress
photo (c) b3 home designs

And then I went to town with my fave deluxe retractable exacto knife
best scrapbooking and now home deco tool I EVER bought

I removed the centers of letters
and kept words stable as I slapped Mod Podge
(holly heck!  of course Mod Podge has a blog and Facebook page)
to the back of my letters.

After three days
two of which involved trips out of the house
and moments of panic realizing the puppy mutt
would be home alone and probably scatter
my carefully laid out cities to the wind

I finished up with this
travel themed subway art
photo (c) b3 home designs

I LOVE how these turned out.
Didn't so much love what came next.
You'll definitely have to tune in to see the drama
with this mama
trying to hang these bad girls.

*** You just read an award winning, featured post ***


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Subway Art Gone Wild

 This is a stale post.  Don't you smell the stank?
For fresh ideas and the newest new new stuff 
why don't you head on over to the blog we actually update.

Love to see you there.
Carry on as you were.


So when I say subway art, I don't mean graffiti.
I mean that I've been on the Internets and seen lots of awesome font/subway sign inspired pieces.

When we moved into this place
I instantly fell in love with the art cut outs in our entryway

Photo (C) B3 Home Designs

That was, of course, before I realized just how expensive
not one, but TWO gigantor pieces of art would be.

Never fear
Being the cheap-o that I am
From the start, I knew I was going to "create something" for those spaces

I love Planet Janet Art and actually have done open studio with her
I knew I could never afford one of her pieces for the space
(though I have a scheme to get some of her smaller pieces for the space in between
But I love her open spirit of open studio inspiration

So I started thinking I would use the encaustic/collage technique to liven this space up
Thought half a second about how intoxicating/annoying beeswax would start to smell
in large quantities, on my wall, like that, for a long time to come
researched how much encaustics cost
(WOW!! Holy for the love of sanity!)
Realized we needed to go to plan B

In the meantime, Mr. Handy looked up stretching canvas online.
Because, really, even with my super Mike's coupons,
they just didn't have a big enough canvas.

Never fear.  That coupon went to good use on a pair of stretcher pliers.

Why yes.  Yes we did.  We built our own canvases.
One of the best tutorials is here by Ray Schloss.
Building the canvas frame was his realm.

We went to Land of Crappy Non-Straight Wood
(aka, Home Depot, Issaquah)
and bought a yitload of 2x2s and a couple 2x4s
the latter of which was a PLEASURE to split with a circular saw
free hand
because we don't have a table saw

Mr. Handy was super concerned about positve reinforcement
So these suckers are heavy
But not "I can't pick those up heavy"
and really braced through the corners like you would not believe

That was the easy part.
Then I craweled around on all fours to actually, you know,
stretch the canvas.

I bought two 6x9 drop cloths
at the Land of Everything but Wood is Great to Buy Here
(aka, Home Depot, Issaquah)
And it took me, the non-math girl, about 17 minutes to convert 9 x 12 feet
to 108 x 144 inches
as I tried to figure out if I should buy one 9x12 or two 6x9 cloths
and I gave up trying to figure out
hence why I bought two 6x9 drop cloths
at $10 each.
vs 19.97 for the one and the extra work of having to try to cut a straight line.
The Expert DIY label is generally for the whole project
Any project that needs to be blogged in a billion parts is expert to me

but also, if you suck at math,
don't play with power tools
and have no patience for power staplers and scratching up your hardwoods

Then the patience level alone will bump this to expert. 
You'll see.