Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Birthday Art Museum Tour of Inspiration.

I love museums. I love museums. Always have, always will. 
The problem is, no one I know has any interest in museums whatsoever. 
I usually take myself to museums, unless it's my birthday. Then I ask for company.
December 14th is my birthday and I asked to visit the Cameron Museum about an hour and a half North of us in Wilmington, NC. 

This is the first exhibit.

                       Art From Flour: Barrel To Bag

Rusty metal stencils.#RustyLove These would look good on my wall. Used to stencil cotton flour bags in the 1800's.

Metal stamps for burnishing wooden crates of flour.  We could fire those up at the studio and recreate some history. I'm  thinking vintage signage. 

                             Advertising and marketing art.

Dresses  and quilts made from flour sack material.

Next exhibit -Art of Illumination

"The Art of Illumination 2016 Exhibition reveals the unique hand-built completed lanterns from over forty artists across the country."

I'd love to do a lighting project, upcycle challenge down at the studio. Lighting seems to be one of my favorite upcycles. Check out the chum pot lighting blog here.
Fisherman Inspired Chum Pot Lighting

Unbound Narrative

Final exhibit and my favorite

Excavated books, " Oh my! "

Mountain side carving excavated from a book .

Illuminated excavated book art.

1897 Sears Catalog excavated.  

Included in this video is a set of Encyclopedia Britannica that have been lovingly carved and looks to this Coastal Bohemian,  to resemble south west canyons, or the Grand Canyon . Either way it is stunning to view. This was certainly my favorite exhibit .

Can't wait for the new exhibits. I finally talked a group of friends into a visit. Yeah me!

I hope this inspires you in your creativity as it has me. 

Have a Happy Holiday and New Year.
 Don't forget to follow along on Facebook , Pinterest , Google +, and Instagram . We love when you share and comment and get right into a good ole conversation. Please do.

Michele Michael 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Seashell Trees

Good day all. I wanted to share with you how fun and really easy these seashell trees are if you just have a little patience.

To begin with I used  an 11 x 14 canvas from A.C.Moore. I wanted a textural background and really thought I wanted a white on white look when I first started. 

I mixed 1 craft size white acrylic paint 2 oz. with saw dust and Elmer's white glue 4 oz. and threw in about 3 heaping tablespoons of Plaster of Paris and enough water to make the texture of batter. (You are basically looking to thicken and texturize the paint for a fluffy effect) You can play with the amount of saw dust and plaster here

Apply to the canvas and edges . You may prefer to pour this onto the canvas and spread with a spatula.
After this dries overnight spray on some Tim Holtz distress inks until you achieve a look that you like. 
It's easy to achieve a flowing color wash look by spraying the inks and then gently spraying with a spray bottle of water over the top. At this point you can use  brushes and a blow dryer to spread the inks around the surface until you feel happy with the look. Let dry.
Find the middle of your canvas and hot glue a piece of driftwood to simulate the tree base.Now you'll add your starfish topper. Yes now. Everything should be in perfect order for you to fill in the blanks.
I like to go across the bottom of the canvas and create the width of my tree by hot gluing larger seashells . You'll want pointy shells and broken pointy shells to use to enhance the limbs. I like to make them jut out. 
Continue up the tree adding shells and sea glass and driftwood, always the larger on the bottom. You will have spaces at this point. 
Now you will go back and fill in the spaces with the smaller shells, smaller glass and pearls or any other tiny bling.
You will probably have lots of hot glue stringiness.Wink. No problem. Run the blow dryer over the the piece and they will pretty much disappear.  

I do like to tuck bits of moss into the tree also to simulate seaweed. 
Next Seashell Starfish. 
As always thanks for stopping in and reading what I have been up to down at the studio. 
If you have questions I'm happy to help. 
Happy Holidays 

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Greek Butter Cookie Recipe Kourabiethes

 Greek Butter Cookies
This is a very special cookie to me and my inner child. We , my inner child and I used to enjoy these when I was a child. I used to visit all my aunts in Astoria, ( They all lived within footsteps of each other . Yes I know, totally Big Fat Greek Wedding!!), and as I visited each one they would hand over these lovelies. So from house to house covered in white powder I went. Each one made their cookie a little different and I have taken the best of what I liked and tweaked the recipe.

The pictures below will help you understand the steps better. I suggest printing the recipe and then looking through the photos.There is a little extra work to use the clarified butter but it makes a simply amazing cookie.

 I'm showing the thumb prints here and the height and size of the cookie.

This photo shows the tinfoil with sifted powdered sugar with  hot out the oven cookies placed on top. What happens is the warm cookie begins to absorb the sugar and sweetness. Remember this cookie has very little sugar inside and it comes alive with the powdered sugar.

                                                                      Sift more powdered sugar on top of  the warm cookie. 
 These cookies are fragile and I like to lift them with my tiny cookie spatula.

                                                             Yes that is a colander and yes I use it to sift powdered sugar.

Happy Holidays
Cookie Bohemian

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