Monthly Archives

November 2013

Second Helpings: Etched Glass Votives

By | Second Helpings

Secondhand and Dollar stores are the place to find clear glass vases and votives in all sizes. Sometimes you can find the blue ones which are extra special, but my project today was better with clear so the etched part would give it the wintery feel I wanted.

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I use a glass etching cream called Armour Etch. Don’t let the word “cream” fool you. It is acid in a sort of cream-like delivery system the consistency of gritty pancake batter.

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I also use an X-Acto blade, and contact paper (the adhesive plastic “paper” the tenant with bad taste before you used to line her kitchen drawers which you will waste many hours and four letter words over removing in skinny, sticky strips).

Because it involves acid, knives, incredibly clingy plastic, and bad language (potentially), you had better be mature and in full control of your physical and mental faculties before you take on this baby! It’ll be worth it though. See how pretty…!

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So, this is what I did. I took a clean, dry glass votive and wrapped it with the contact paper (I use the clear contact paper so I’m not distracted by images. You could use a solid colored one too if you can’t find clear, but it needs to be PLASTIC adhesive “paper”.) Then I cut away the plastic exposing the glass below using the X-Acto like I would a pen and “drawing” the outline of the image I plan to etch.

Wherever you expose the glass is where the acid will etch it and make it opaque. Once you’ve cut away all the plastic you plan to, and before you apply the acid etch, you basically have the “negative” of your ultimate piece.

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When you are happy with your “negative” then you brush on the acid etch. Don’t use your good brushes for this. Grab one of the crappy ones that is always losing its bristles, and “paint” the acid on the exposed glass. I usually put on a couple of coats. You want it pretty thick so it etches evenly. If you don’t put on enough you get a sort of vague, cloudy day look which you can’t redo because the plastic will come off when you wash off the acid.

Don’t waste the acid on the plastic parts, just generously cover the exposed glass parts, and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes. The instructions say 5 minutes, but they are worrywarts and you will get the “cloudy day” result and invent new four letter words if you follow their advice. So don’t.

When you can’t stand waiting any more, rinse it off in warm running water in the kitchen sink. Use one of those drain catcher things in the drain to catch the little pieces of contact paper that will wash off along with the acid so you don’t clog up the plumbing. Once all the acid and plastic is rinsed off then give it another gentle washing with dishwashing detergent so it’s sparkling clean. Then rinse and dry. For a final touch I use those iridescent half marbles in the bottom of each votive to support the tiny tea lights that bring these votives to life.

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As with other Second Helpings projects, one is nice, but more is better. Go crazy! Imagine a winter forest, a snowy night, the warmth of candlelight. It’s a scene you too can create with a little imagination, a few potentially life endangering tools, and a reminder that cozy is also a four letter word.

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Phase 2, Part 2: Recombobulated

By | My Artist Home

What’s the opposite of discombobulated? Combobulated? Dupbobulated? Spellcheck is beside itself right now — need a little help recombobulating, Spellcheck?

In any case, I promised pretty pictures of Mike’s finished studio today and here they are…

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and now it’s time Action Girl took a break. I could use a little R&R (Rest and Recombobulation) myself!

Discumbobulation: Phase 2, Part 1

By | My Artist Home

Remember this?

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Well now it looks like this:

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I realize to the uninitiated that may not look like an improvement but in fact what you are looking at is Part 1 of Phase 2, or the set up of Mike’s studio in what used to be Logan’s apartment.

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This basically triples Mike’s studio space and gives him a working kitchen too which is great for washing brushes, inking block prints, and taking peanut butter breaks.

Tomorrow we’ll bring down the big dining room table and set up the side of the studio where I can join him and spread out big projects, or where we’ll have dinners with more than 4 people. Tres bohemian, no?

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Pretty pictures tomorrow for Phase 2, Part 2, I promise.

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Field Trip! Star Moxley’s Costumes at Enso

By | Field Trips

I took a little break from painting hot air balloons today to go see the exhibition of Star Moxley’s costumes at Enso gallery.
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I’d missed the opening, and her subsequent walk and talk-through, and the whole Idaho Shakespeare Festival reception. Frankly it was just getting ridiculous, and then mom said she was going to go and photograph the costume that Lina wore as the Woman in Black.
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So I decided “Foray III submission deadline be damned,” I was going too. Good thing. The show closes tomorrow.

Star is a mix-master, a mashup queen, a genius at spinning hay into gold thread, whispering pigs ears into silk purses, and making chennile bedspreads into boleros.
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I appreciate her playful intermingling of materials and high/low mix of quality and I know she loves the second hand hunt as much as I do.

One of the things you figure out about Boise after you’ve lived here a little while is that nobody in this town is more than one degree of separation from you. One degree. If you live here, you know I’m not lying. Ask anybody. Star has designed costumes for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival since they began, and my daughter Lina’s acting career began with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. One degree, I’m telling you.

Anyway, Lina has worn costumes designed by Star for a couple of Shakespeare Festival productions including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but the reason I didn’t want to miss going today was the dress she wore as the Woman in Black was in this exhibition. Gorgeous.
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The dress isn’t bad either.

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Lina lives in Chicago now and I miss seeing her every day, but it felt good to be in the same room with a ghost of her presence. Pretty cool too since everyone knows the Woman in Black wasn’t really there at all. Was she?

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Tomorrow it’s back to painting. Tonight I’ll enjoy the visions of Star’s patterns dancing across my blog.

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Take a seat and join me!

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An Ordinary Tuesday, Wednesday and Probably Thursday Too

By | Ordinary Days

Yesterday was the first day of the rest of our lives — now that Mike and I are empty-nester artists — and though there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing getting Logan settled in it has been mostly just what I expected. Lots of concentrated time painting, still in separate studios as we have yet to do the big studio switcheroo (Action Girl is pushing for this weekend), without any squealing car chases or ear shattering explosions from Logan’s video games to provide the soundtrack.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t even notice it was quieter. Of course the Nikita marathon I watched while I painted probably made up for it.

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So when I say concentrated painting time, and Nikita marathon, I am not exaggerating one bit. Yesterday became today and is fast becoming tomorrow and I am still working on the same painting. It needs to be finished by day after tomorrow and I suppose I should eat and sleep and maybe even do a blog post or two between now and then. I’m starting to regret my choice of a #5 (very small) brush.

Here’s my life, yesterday, today, and the way things are going, tomorrow too:
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And finally, a “parting shot” for all of you who Instagram:

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Action Girl, Up, up and away!