Jul 22, 2011

Gift Wrap Paper Project

Sharing is caring.

At this moment in time across the Internet there is an awful lot of talk about file sharing.

If you'd like to know more about what that is then you can read about it here and one of the many possible outcomes here but in reality this article in Slate describes the future path of file sharing.

For those who don't really want to know what it is, it's mostly about downloading music and TV shows for free.

This is not a new concept.
For those of us who remember our first tape recorder coming into the house, you will remember sitting by the radio waiting for your favourite songs to come on. Index fingers poised, hovering over the record (and sometimes play button as well). The truly expert ones in this colossal piracy campaign had the foresight to already have record pressed down (and here's the trick) along with the pause button which could be lifted up in a micro second, thus getting as much of the song as possible.

Of course you never could get it perfect all of the time and therefore some of the tracks you recorded had snippets of ads or the dj's chatter. Ultimately these snippets would become a part of the very song as you remember it.  "...she used to make dartboards for a living recalled Bello the drummer in The Go Go's. She had some pretty weird jobs but that one's gotta be the weirdest". At number 4 this week, Belinda Carlisle with Heaven on Earth"

So in the spirit of 'sharing is caring' I've something to share with you.

Over on Poppytalk a Canadian based design blog founded by husband and wife team, Jan and Earl, they have decided to share some printable gift wrap paper and tags with all the people who stop by their site everyday and as I reach over 700 readers this month I share them with you.

Image: Poppytalk

Image: Poppytalk

Image: Poppytalk
image: Poppytalk

Below are the a links to the full resolution pdf files that you can download and print.
As always, these are for personal and not for commercial use.

Vintage postcard gift paper
Rodeo gift paper
Stripes gift paper
Stripes gift tags

And maybe you don't want to download these files. Maybe these files will inspired you to create your own gift paper design. All you need to do is fine some images that you like and scan them into a computer. The possibilities are limitless.

All that's left is to find a nice pressie to wrap up and give to a friend.

So happy sharing!

Jul 19, 2011

Recycling for Arts' sake Project

Last month we lost the great Peter Falk. Better known to most of us as the cigar smoking, dishevelled looking, seemingly absent-minded, consistently underestimated and overly polite  Lt. Columbo.

Because of this I'd like to share my favourite Columbo scene.

I love this scene because it does more than say art is subjective but goes on to prove that there is much truth in the idiom "one man's meat is another man's poison" or more appropriately in this case, "one man's trash is another man's modern art". Usually when the words 'recycled' and 'art' appear in the same sentence the image that immediately springs  to mind is that of children huddled around a low table, their tiny hands covered in poster paint while surrounded by a tower of toilet roll tubes and empty yogurt pots.

The more traditional artist might adopt a variety of mediums and surfaces to work with.
Oils, acrylics, watercolours, charcoal, pastels, wax and ink on either canvas, card, wood, plaster, metal, glass, stone or cloth all with the aid of a brush, palette knife, lino cuts, aerosol can, stencil or even ink-jet printer.

Some might simply use paper and pencil.

Then there is Dalton Ghetti.

Image: Dalton Ghetti

Dalton has created miniature masterpieces on the tips of pencils.

The 49 year old said: “At school I would carve a friend’s name into the wood of a pencil and then give it to them as a present. Later, when I got into sculpture, I would make these huge pieces from things like wood, but decided I wanted to challenge myself by trying to make things as small as possible. I experimented sculpting with different materials, such as chalk, but one day I had an eureka moment and decided to carve into the graphite of a pencil”

Image: Dalton Ghetti
Dalton uses three basic tools to make his incredible creations – a razor blade, sewing needle and sculpting knife. He even refuses to use a magnifying glass and has never sold any of his work, only given it away to friends.
Image: Dalton Ghetti

The longest Dalton has spent on one piece was two and half years on a pencil with interlinking chains. A standard figure will take several months. He said: “The interlinking chains took the most effort and I was really pleased with it because it’s so intricate people think it must be two pencils”

Image: Dalton Ghetti

When Dalton, from Connecticut, USA, first started he would become frustrated when a piece would break before being finished after he had spent months working on it. He said: “It would drive me mad when I would be just a bit too heavy handed and the pencil’s tip would break. I would get very nervous sometimes, particularly when the piece was almost finished, and then I would make a mistake. I decided to change the way I thought about the work – when I started a new piece my attitude would be ‘well this will break eventually but let’s see how far I get. It helped me break fewer pencils, and although I still do break them, it’s not as often”

Dalton, who is originally from Brazil, has a box full of more than 100 sculptures that have broken while working on them that he affectionately calls ‘the cemetery collection’. He said: “I have quite a few broken pieces so I decided to glue them on pins and into Styrofoam for a display case. People might think it’s weird I keep them but they’re still interesting. I worked on them for months so they might be dead now but at one point I gave them life”

Image: Dalton Ghetti

Here is a small collection of some more astonishing work from Dalton.

Image: Dalton Ghetti
Image: Dalton Ghetti

Just one more thing...........

What about all those pencil shavings?

Well, there's art for that too. Check out Kyle Bean a British based designer who saves all his pencil shavings to create stunning portraits.

Image: Kyle Bean

The 24 year old self employed artist has said "I often use everyday or waste materials in much of my work. My philosophy is that images can be made from anything and why throw away waste when it can be put to some good."

More on Kyle at a later date.........

Jul 12, 2011

Breakfast Tray Project

When life gives you lemons - you make lemonade. Right?

Image: Family Chic

This thought has been rattling around in my head every since my last post about re-purposed wood crates.

The issue I raised at the time in that post was the quality of the wood crates here in Ireland.
It's not really a case of easily picking up 'rustic wood crates salvaged from apple orchards in France' but a bit more of a 'scavenging in the bins behind Tesco' sort of deal.

Shabby Chic indeed!

But as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons - you make lemonade.
So, get yourself down to the famous Moore Street Dublin's oldest open air fruit and vegetable market.

Image: Marek ƚlusarczyk
Where I'm sure you'll be able to pick up some better class of fruit crates and try out this project for a breakfast tray that I found over on Family Chic

Image: Family Chic

On the site Camilla Fabbri has come up with the best way to reuse these type of wood crates. All you need is some blackboard paint, some sanding paper and chalk and a few hours of paint drying.

Image: Family Chic
Lightly sand the crate and then paint the outside with blackboard paint. You can add a little message to the side of the tray with a little chalk.

Camilla has also come up with no less than 5 different ideas to reuse these crates.

1. The breakfast tray (above)
2. A garden planter

Image: Family Chic
3. Place names for the dinner table

Image: Family Chic

Camilla goes on to show a 'how-to' with a series of photos and instructions.

Image: Family Chic

Use a set of pliers to remove any staples from the box.

Image: Family Chic

Sand down the edges and paint the largest edge of the triangular post with blackboard paint.
Let it dry and write the name with chalk.

Image: Family Chic

4. Gift tag

Image: Family Chic
Image: Family Chic

Cut an end panel in half, sand the edges and paint a few coats of blackboard paint.

Next, Drill 2 small holes in the top corners and thread some twine or string through it.J

And finally,
5. A fun puzzle for the kids

Image: Family Chic
Cut up the left over panels, cover with a few coats of blackboard paint and scribble a sentence over different pieces and get the kids to arrange them in order.

I love the fact that nothing has been wasted in the recycling of this crate.

If you do find yourself scourging the stalls of Moore Street asking for discarded crates - keep your eye open for The Paris Bakery the 1st French Bakery in Dublin.

Image: Paris Baker and Pastry Ltd

Image: Paris Baker and Pastry Ltd

Pop in - get some croissants or some Italian sourdough and think about giving that special someone a surprise breakfast in bed.

You see, even at the weekend, in our house, it's not very often that you get to hit the snooze button a couple of times before gradually getting up and leisurely making breakfast as you gently ease into the day.

No, that's not our house.

Unfortunately there is no snooze button on a child who wants breakfast.
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