Monday, October 27, 2014

because i'm spray paint happy

i love spray painting. i love upcycling everyday regular household items. including an old polaroid camera that i bought for my daughter 6 years ago. because it was a Barbie® polaroid camera, she clearly grew out of it. so what to do? i tried selling it on eBay, only to have it go unsold for over a month. so i tried something else, i spray painted it yellow. well, after that, i became hooked! once i saw how cool it looked, sitting on my stack of IKEA shelves, i knew this was my "calling."

after that, i scoured the local goodwill stores and eco thrifts, looking for anything i could get my hands on and spray paint. i have even spray painted bronze candlesticks, bust statues and old retro sports trophies. then, an idea came over me. why not try to sell these upcycled products in my Etsy shop. what did i have to lose? the "overhead" cost was hardly anything since i was purchasing the original, unpainted products from secondhand stores, so it was a win-win situation.

although i haven't struck it rich (yet), i enjoy doing it. the downside is keeping these items stocked away somewhere in my home. i don't have a garage, but only a 4th bedroom that my husband uses for his computer—and our foosball table recently purchased at our local eco thrift. so for now, they're tucked underneath the unplayed foosball table in dusty old milk crates.

i have personally displayed a lot of these objects throughout my home, but have decided to sell most of them (to not junk it all up), but now i have a new hobby to collect and spray paint which keeps me busy (and keeps me away from my addiction of my favorite video game). my favorite? i love old bust statues. i take an old traditional bust statue (such as mozart, beethoven, et al) and paint them bright lime green, red, yellow or any color that suits me at that moment, and display them proudly. it really does create such an eclectic display comingled with any sort of decor. additionally, you're able to feel like you've become a part of the recycling/upcycling movement. 

so why not? you should try it. go out and scour the thrift shops and see what you can find and spray paint yourself. almost anything can work if you put your imagination to use. maybe try to sell it. either way, it's kind of fun. 

for me, the hard part is deciding what color to use.

purple and black swimming and bowling trophies

pink and blue softball and swimming trophies

black, silver, pink, green sports trophies

teal, yellow and brown sports trophies

chartreuse candlestick

red, blue, teal and silver candlesticks

orange fruit bowl

orange and chartreuse candlesticks

pink candlestick

purple bowl

green bust with red lips

red bust

Monday, July 8, 2013

she's a pinball wizard...

it's official—i bought my first pinball machine. i've been looking for over 2 years for that perfect machine to grace my home. i was picky, i admit, but i knew what i was looking for and i was determined to find it—even if it took me a few years, i was relentless.

what made my search even that much more difficult was the era and the price range i was wanting. i knew i wanted a pinball machine from the 1960's-70's era and of course, i needed it to be in the $300-500 price range. that was a challenge. as i perused craigslist, i knew given in the small town where i live that my options would be limited.

but i kept searching.

obviously, given the size and weight, i couldn't go much farther than an hour away from our home, knowing it'd be a risky drive back. at the time, i had no idea that transporting a pinball machine was a lot easier than i had envisioned. this made my quest that much easier. however, living in a loft with close quarters always presented a new challenge with my desire to own a pinball machine.

ya, i know, i'm crazy.

just like my endless search for those perfect gym lockers, i finally found the size/price that would be perfect—after a year and a half, craigslist had come through—as always. i found lockers that were in a shed of a farm sitting outdoors collecting dust and weathered all kinds of outdoor changes, only adding to the patina of the lockers. all for a low price of $60. needless to say, i was elated.

i had hoped to find a similar deal for my daunting quest of a pinball machine. 

until i found it! it was perfect. it was exactly what i was looking for. the seller advertised $500 but brought it down to $450. hey, $50 is $50—i'll take what i can get.

it was originally made in 1973 by the well known pinball machine designer/maker, gottlieb. although i had hoped and wanted to find that perfect design in addition to my price range and desired era, it was absolutely perfect. i knew once i would look at it, i would immediately fall in love and want it!

oh boy did i want it.

my husband had hoped deep down that i wouldn't want it for whatever reason, but boy was he wrong. i gave the seller $100 to hold it and i picked it up with a borrowed truck the following week. 

i admit, carrying it upstairs presented a whole new challenge, but it was worth it. 

1973 gottlieb Hot Shot pinball machine

thankfully, my search came back with this perfect vintage pinball machine. it's what i've been looking for and wanting for so long. i'm glad i didn't give up my search and i remained patient, because i knew, in the long run, my patience would pay off.

and this time, it did.

good things come to those who wait.

One Girl Creative on Twitter

Sunday, December 16, 2012

the xmas ladder

if you may remember, i mentioned a while back about an idea that i wanted to create a xmas ladder in lieu of a traditional xmas tree. this is what i have come up with as a result of that idea.

since i've been desiring something different and unique during the past xmas holidays, i found this idea while perusing the internet and immediately fell in love. imagine my surprise when i came across it. i knew this would be my next xmas project. it was something cool, colorful, and of course, something different than the traditional xmas tree that fills most homes during this festive time of year. once i added lights, it brightened the look and feel of this "tree" even more.

i mentioned the idea to my family about 6 months ago and thought they'd look at me like i was completely crazy—maybe i am to a certain extent, but wanted to test it out and see their reaction. they loved the idea and insisted i go further with it once the holidays approached. 

before i decorated the ladder with ornaments and lights, i wanted to be certain that this is what my family still wanted to ensure they were still on board. they protested that this was something i needed to do, if only for my psyche, but their enjoyment as well. they couldn't wait to see the final outcome. 

even i was excited myself.

although the pictures don't give this creation justice, i'm happy with the end result nonetheless. 

athough there currently aren't any presents under the "tree" as of yet, we're excited to add another dimension to what appears to be a new upcoming festive holiday tradition for hopefully years to come.

if you're tired of the same common traditional xmas, and want to add some excitement and flair, why not try many new approaches in lieu of a xmas "tree" instead. your own artistic and imaginative conception will satisfy you, if not in a traditional sort of way.

here are some more xmas "tree" ideas from other creative persons.

the big city

even though i haven't had the luxury of traveling the world, creating these pop art cityskapes definitely gives me that opportunity to "think" i am. i realize it's not the real thing, but it pleases me to give a visual account of what i'd like to see with each city that i desire to visit. although london and new york city are the only cities i've been lucky enough to see, i still include them since they're a few of my favorite regardless.

creating pop art has been a personal past time of mine for a few years now. i've even been lucky enough to sell them online, as well as create personal custom pop art designs for prospective clients. with the cityskapes that i have recently created, i only hope it will add a new dimension with a unique perspective to my work and my designs.

i'm very pleased with the final outcome of these designs and hope that i'll be able to sell them in hopes of producing more. different cities throughout the world that have become well known for their culture, size and of course, large population.

by incorporating a variation of color combintations, it gives me an aesthetic view of what i would interpret of these cities—the vibrance and culture that permeates throughout their alive energy. historical accounts of what transpired centuries prior. an architectural account of impressive magnitude.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

vintage or bust

if you've been following my blog, you will know that i love vintage/pre-own objects—because i love what they encompass and their history; knowing there's a story there. although i may not know the history involved in these objects, it pleases me nonetheless. it's a part of the cycle of life as we continue with the future ahead of us. a desire that ensures our peace of mind. in lieu of buying new (for most objects, of course), we decide to continue with our search of that one single vintage piece in hopes of changing it to what pleases you the most.

as i fill my home mixing new with old, i always add a bright color which only transforms my surroundings. although color won't solve how i may feel at that moment, it makes me happy regardless. something about color encompassing my home gives me a sense of peace. whether it's short-lived or a part of who i am, i know that bright colors filling my life and my home will brighten my day. even if it's only temporary.

my latest obsession has become the busts of small statues. whether or not they're of famous people such as Beethoven, et al, i find the retro creation of a design aesthetic spray painted with my chosen color(s), describes my personality in a way that cannot be explained verbally, but visually instead. maybe in a therapeutic sort of way, it explains for that moment in time, how i feel and how i may look. a funky outlook of something unique that permeates my soul.

as i walked through my local Goodwill, i found these busts sitting lonely on the shelves for a low cost waiting to be loved. since the colors were of a dull patina, i couldn't wait to take them home and give them new life. with spray cans of bright colors sitting on the shelf inside my locker, i couldn't wait to get started on a new project i have been craving for some time now. i knew once i added color, it would bring them a look that may have been unacceptable during its time.

although i still rummage through local eco and second hand shops, i was pleased with the final outcome overall. as i continue my search for vintage busts—or anything of interest, for that matter—i realize that these searches can be beneficial for me, especially allowing me to recycle and create new life to such an old piece, or pieces. a feeling of satisfaction as i salvage another composition of an aesthetic work of 'art.'

Sunday, September 9, 2012

letters as love

i love letters, so naturally as a graphic designer, i love typography as well. since the past several years i have chosen to make painting my hobby and my love (no pun intended here), so i decided to collide both 'loves' as a personal project. in my mind, a successful one as well.

as i contemplated this impending undertaking, it finally hit me—why not small canvases with each individual letter displayed as a way to display both of them together. but how to execute it. at first, i tried something different than the final outcome, and wasn't satisfied with what i came up with at all. as i headed back to the store to buy new canvases—which weren't cheap—i knew i needed to continue my personal project or i would be dissatisfied until i completed it. 

i was on a mission.

i've never really sketched before i painted or started a design project, as i just went with it, but this time, it was different. i had an idea, but didn't know how to engineer it, so sketching was the next best thing for me.

success abound, i continued to work continuously and came up with an idea which you will now see here. an idea that i ultimately loved.

even though paintings like these are not for everyone, they worked for me and worked for the space where i eventually hung them. it was a perfect solution.

the sides of each "cube" were left to the original color that are underneath the thick applied black paint, to make each painting 'pop.' since i was satisfied with the final result and know that i can continue to create more—which i did with the first letters of each of our names in my family as well (haven't taken a picture of those yet). 

as i combined my passion for typography along with painting, it was a personal success. if you've ever thought about something intimate and small, maybe figure out a solution to incorporate the spelling of your favorite word, your last name, or even your first name as a way to display something simple and cherished. whether you choose to use a small canvas such as mine, or a mixture of letters you find through recycled materials, you can also create these symbols of endearment.

Monday, August 27, 2012

old to new

as i've mentioned before in prior posts, i love mixing old objects with new. i've always felt it adds such an eclectic mix throughout my loft and adds a unique flair that isn't seen anywhere else. it's my creative imagination, and my "design" overall.

this past weekend, i found a table for our dining room that was a perfect fit for our small space. i've always loved the look and feel of a quintessential 50's diner style chairs, tables and barstools, but unfortunately where i live, there aren't exactly a plethora of that style where i can mix and mingle this look. however, as i was browsing the for sale section of craigslist, i found this vintage 50's dining table that looked—as my husband labeled—as though we were eating cheeseburgers while being served by a beehived waitress named Flo. for a mere $40, i knew i had to at least go look at it in person.

when i arrived at the gentleman's house who was selling the table, it was covered in—what i call—a bunch of crap. including his TV set and computer. among the dark lighting throughout his small apartment, i knew right then and there that i had to have that table for our dining spot. it was exactly what i had hoped for.

the dimensions were perfect at a small 56" x 32" rectangle which included a rare leaf for such a diner-styled table, which would have fit perfectly for such a small space in our loft. perhaps it did come from an old diner that was appreciated many decades ago by patrons of a retro hangout, which only appealed to me even more.

even though he asked me to pick it up a few days later so he could prepare it for departure, i couldn't wait to arrive with my car ready to load for the trip to its new home. i wanted to leave with it right then and there, but instead, my patience won out and i was forced to wait two whole days.

as we were carrying the table outside to my car, i saw the many stains that permeated the tabletop as though paint had been spilled over several years of wear—but it still didn't discourage my purchase. i couldn't wait to get it home and enjoy our new table for our dining experience.

once my husband and i carried it upstairs, both he and my daughter showed nothing but distaste for the look and feel of the table—a table where we would spend many nights enjoying our dinner. 

or so i thought.

to say the least, i was disappointed with their unhappiness with something i had been so eager to share with my family. it still didn't prevent me from trying to convince them otherwise.

the next day, as i noticed from the sunlight shining throughout the upstairs area, the dark stains that showed its wear over time made me finally give in and reluctantly agree with them. not with the style, of course, but the stains on the tabletop which what i felt, took away from the vintage appeal but only showed dissatisfaction instead. 

while glancing at the table and the surroundings of my loft, the color red immediately sprung to mind. i felt by painting the top red with a gloss coat, would only complement the vintage and retro-diner style instead, thus covering the horrible dark stains.

i was on a mission!

after two coats of paint, i stood there and admired the completion of what looked like a brand new table. i knew this is what was needed to give love and gratefulness as if i purchased it brand new.

i was happy and now, as we continue to eat on our patio as we wind down from the summer months, i'm eager to christen our 'new' table with plentiful amounts of dinner enjoyment and conversation.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

courage. display. success.

today is a new day for me—i'm very excited because last night i posted the last of my paintings at a local hamburger joint in the city where i live. i know it may not seem much since it's just a local hamburger & hotdog restaurant, but for me, it's a matter of pride and self-worth. this is the first time that i have ever exhibited my paintings—or artwork for that matter—anywhere in a local setting. so yeah, it means a lot.

straight view of "pablo," abstract "crazy  mind," 
 & "francis francis espresso machine"

side view of restaurant and paintings

full view of restaurant as you walk in

"pablo," "crazy mind," "francis francis espresso machine,"
"harry potter," "pablo's bowl" & "pablo's bone"

"harry potter," "pablo's bowl," "pablo's bone" & "sting"


it's new for me and i have to admit, i'm a bit nervous. although these particular paintings are not for sale, i'm hoping with the advertising of my business cards beside my work, that someone will call me for that one ideal commission for that one perfect custom painting. but only time will tell.

when i was a senior in college, the art department gives their graduating seniors the opportunity (for extra credits prior to graduation) to host a senior exhibit. i, however, chose not to participate. i was too nervous and too insecure to get involved which ultimately could have turned into something so skittish and apprehensive, that i chose not to participate in fear of getting criticized and rejected. i had no idea how it would have turned out, so i didn't try. it's something i always regretted and wish i could have followed through with instead of running away from it.

do i regret it? absolutely. what did i have to lose? nothing but criticism from local professors and students. although i was a graphic design major, i always enjoyed painting as my "hobby." since i had never studied painting for a foundation course prior to my concentration, i was afraid my amateur status would come to fruition thus causing a public embarrassment for me and my work. 

i was scared.

i've learned over the years, that unless you try something different, you won't be recognized for this divergent step in your career and/or your work. unfortunately, it took me 7 years since i graduated to realize this. although i am filled with regret for this decision, i now know in order to succeed, i have to give it the ole' "college try" or it won't take me any further in my career to feel confident and proud to be an artist. regardless of what the public may think of my work, it's a reflection of me and who i am when i paint and i love it. 

it gives me satisfaction.

when this local restaurant advertised for local artists to showcase their work, i immediately dove in and went for it. i decided to go for my 'oyster' as i had nothing to lose, or gain if i didn't at least try. now i know, as i gaze at my paintings from afar upon walking into the restaurant that i'm excited and i'm proud of myself for going for it. because again, what did i have to lose? nothing, nothing at all.

perhaps this is the start of my career as i know it. whether it be graphic design or as a freelance painter, i know it needed to be done. at least for me and my psyche. although there's the chance that my work may never go farther than these four walls at a local hamburger joint, i can still feel proud that my work was displayed publicly and proudly. 

i showed courage. i displayed my work, and i now have inner success. that says a lot.

One Girl Creative on Twitter