Monday, March 21, 2011

Army Blankets

I recently took a quick trip downtown to the Army and Navy Surplus store on 1st Ave in Seattle.  I was hoping to find some cheap old army blankets to use for various upcoming DIY projects.  I was amazed at how many options they had!  Thin little cot-sized blankets, super thick mostly synthetic "emergency blankets", blue blankets, good ol' army green blankets, black blankets, AND genuine Swiss Army issue blankets!  My original intention was to get something big enough to make a shower curtain out of, which I found, but I couldn't help but get a Swiss Army blanket too!  I've noticed there has been a bit of a fad revolving around the Swiss army insignia lately...I don't know WHY, but I will admit that I am equally drawn to it.

I will be posting projects soon related to how I end up using the big drab blanket, but I couldn't bare the thought of cutting the Swiss one up.  It has now found a home on the back of our futon, where it has somehow managed to transform the old piece of college furniture into something a little more quirky.  It inspired me to rearrange the livingroom.  That, in turn, reminded me that we have still neglected to put up any sort of artwork on the walls.  Must change that.

Army blanket!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

THE WOMB (Makers Space: Seattle)

During my trip to Bellingham,WA, I visited Jinx ArtSpace.  Jinx is an incredible art CoOp where crafters, painters, musicians, and other makers rent individual studios or share the vast basement space.  Jinx has become an integral part of Bellingham's thriving arts and music community, holding monthly all-ages concerts and art shows as part of the city's "First Friday Art Walk".   I spent the afternoon with my old friend Brendan, who showed me the
art/practice space he shares with his band mates.

Aptly named, The Womb is a small room hidden in a corridor in the shared basement area, lit atmospherically by string lights and a floor lamp.  Brendan's band "Falling Upstairs" rehearses in the space, which is filled with effects pedals, instruments, show posters, and a few of Brendan's sculptural pieces.

More photos after the jump!  (unfortunently I neglected to bring a decent camera with me, so a re-shoot will probably be necessary before publication.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Kiwi" sculpture

Having been flung back into freshman-hood as I work on my new degree, I usually try to make whatever BS project I'm assigned worth more than a grade.  Album art assignment? Great, I can use that for my actual album while the youngins make mix CDs.  One of our latest assignments was an in-depth look at a fruit of our choice.  We were told to create a 3D paper sculpture (without using adhesives) which would represent the "relationship of the outside of the fruit to the inside" in an insightful way. 

 I am not a fan of conceptual art, at least not when I am REQUIRED to make it, but the design I ended up with shows potential.  I'm trying to think now of how I can use this "sculpture" as something else.  Perhaps if I used patterned paper I could turn a bunch of these into a garland?  Or connect them to string lights as little lanterns?  Any ideas?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Album Art

It's midterm week at Cornish College of the Arts, and David is busy running auditions for a short play he wrote (for Ghost Light Theater in Ballard), so there hasn't been much apartment improvement this week. 

On Sunday I'll be taking a quick little trip to Bellingham to catch up with the folks at Jinx Art Space, who I intend to feature in my book "Maker's Space:Seattle".  I'll be playing at a songwriter slam at the Green Frog Acoustic Tavern (owned by my dear friend James Harnesty) and am scrambling to finish the album art for my solo CD.  Fortunately one of my mid-term assignments is to do just that!  Here's the cover.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Work Space/ "Maker's Space: Seattle"

     Alright, so the chaos of stuff at last is mostly put away.  After months of being separated from my good old desk and piano-bench combo (a Bellingham curbside find which has become my studio standby) my first priority was to set up a workstation in the studio/office room.
     The ways that various people arrange their work space has always fascinated me.  I tend to always set up my space the same way no matter how many times I move: a wall of colorful paintings, posters, and trinkets for inspiration, my funky uneven shelving unit holding an array of art supplies, a magnetic strip to hold my sketches.  
   Some new additions this time around include Pantone boxes, bike gears, and an up-cycled art "frame" (DIY tip after the jump).
     I've been thinking lately about creating a book/photo-essay on the work spaces of various artists, musicians, and crafters in the greater Seattle area.  It's going to be a big project, but the idea of visiting and photographing peoples' studios (particularly in a raw, honest condition)  is really exciting to me.  Toss me an email if you or someone you know would be
 interested in participating (  Think of it as free publicity.  I intend to call it "Maker's Space: Seattle" and would like to have it finished by next fall.

Move in: Round 2

Having all my art crap out of "storage" again is super exciting....the ridiculous amount of space my boxes of art crap took up was less exciting.  Some shots of the carnage:

        Now to organize....gah

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Junk Stores and Cool finds

With our rather small budget, we've decided to focus first on our bathroom.  The antique claw-foot bathtub has inspired us to go for a sort of steampunk look.  Our eventual plan is to paint the trim to look like old brass and add some sort of delicate Victorian wallpaper element to the lower section of the walls.  For now we're keeping an eye out for old industrial-looking objects which will later be the detail that ties the theme together.

Our first find comes from the kind of place I generally refer to as a "junk shop"(in a Orwell/1984 reference kind of way).  There are several of these delightfully un-curated stores scattered around Capitol Hill.  Sifting through the shelves and piles of interesting antique objects we found an old (working) army flashlight and some sort of small brass pail whose original use is unknown.  The two objects together cost us less than $10 and had a convincing industrial look once combined.  Toss some tea-lights on the shelves, turn on the flashlight and bam, super nice atmosphere. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grims on Capitol Hill

We've been thinking about doing something classy yet industrial with our bathroom, something somewhat "steampunk" without going too crazy.  We recently discovered a newer bar on 11th, "Grims" which is quite possibly my new favorite place ever.  If you live in the Seattle area and are into DIY, you NEED to check this place out: Hanging bare-bulb lighting, re-claimed wrought iron stools, and a bar made from old wooden letter boxes.  They also serve up some really great drinks (try the "Last Word"). It struck a cord with our bathroom plans, so I'm sure we'll be back to....uh...gain further "inspiration".


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Free Stuff is Great

In the middle of going through what we had moved from downstairs, I managed to find us 3 Ikea bookshelf units on the Craigslist free page.  I can't possibly even count how many times I've lucked out like this.  The shelving units aren't super at all (David suggested that the wife of the nice man who delivered them to us had ordered him to get rid of his crap furniture: "You've had those since college!!") but they work well enough.

We are considering how we can jazz them up...wallpaper? Paint?  We seem to be sort of edging towards a Victorian meets Modern look; elegant old wallpaper could be pretty cool.  At the moment our decor is a little more college student meets antique furniture. Huzah!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Move In: Round 1

We had been sharing a little studio on the first floor when this place opened up.  One glance inside and we were sold.  
We got pretty lucky, with an exposed brick wall that stretches through the living room through double-doors to our office/studio space, classic trim and molding, great sunlight all day through some big old windows.  

We also received an ugly, free, used-to-be-white couch from the last tenants...which we will let stay for a while.The nice thing about "round one" was that we only had to move our stuff upstairs.  "Round two" involves getting all of my art-making supplies and books out of storage.  Storage, in this case, meaning a (somewhat expensive) bedroom I rent that I haven't visited since November.