Halloween 2016: easy, last minute ideas!

Halloween offers a great opportunity to express your inner creativity in a non-traditional way.

I realize this post comes at an inopportune time; one day before Halloween. However, you can save it for next year or start your costume plans last minute, like I did yesterday! Dressing up as someone, or something else, offers you a chance of freedom from your everyday self, the hair, the makeup (if applicable), the clothes, the shoes, the whole look. This is an excellent way to exercise your creative and imaginative ideas and let loose! Jump on this one-time-a-year event and dress up, down, sideways or backwards. The sky is the limit!

Halloween 2016: easy, last minute ideas!Other benefits of Halloween costume creation and/ or wearing include:

  • practice with makeup application & hair styling for yourself or someone else
  • practice with color matching, again for yourself or someone else
  • practice with clothing type & fit, if that’s important for your particular costume pick (although many premade costumes are made with man-made material that feels fake and maybe even itchy, depending on the costume, you’ll find which cuts, shapes and forms of draping work for your body)
  • great chance to test out colors & styles you may haven’t before
  • if you’re really getting into it, practice with tailoring & sewing
  • idea generation for next year’s costume(s)!
  • the opportunity to put something old or worn to good use, or even use it for a different purpose (reduce, reuse, recycle)

No time or energy to put together a costume? Go shopping! Granted, you’ll most likely spend a pretty penny on a premade costume, it’s still a way to alter your look & person for a day, or more depending on how many Halloween parties you attend! If your budget allows, do it! Pick a costume that really stands out to you. Once you put it on and go out in it, you’ll feel transformed and adventurous. In this aspect, spending some money is totally worth the experience.

For those who want to venture out a bit, look at these lists for inspiration to create the costume of your dreams!

Ideas for traditional Halloween character costumes:

  • witch
  • ghost
  • scarecrow
  • black cat
  • vampire
  • zombie
  • mummy
  • clown
  • Frankenstein
  • werewolf
  • pirate

Take any costume idea and put your own personal spin on it; make it as scary, as traditional or as funny & light-hearted as you want.

Ideas for couple costumes:

  • Peter Pan & his shadow, Peter Pan & Tinker Bell, Peter Pan & Wendy
  • Superman & Wonder Woman or other superheroes
  • Shaggy & Velma from Scooby Doo
  • Mario & Princess Peach or any other video game characters

For couples costume ideas, use movie, TV shows, music, books and really anything pop culture related as inspiration. This year, my husband and I dressed up as Jess & Nick from the hit TV show New Girl. The details didn’t exactly mimic those from the show, but the idea still came through.

 

New Girl: Jess & Nick

 

New Girl: Jess

 

New Girl: NickIdeas for duo & trio costumes:

  • The Three Stooges
  • the Rice Krispie characters: Snap!, Krackle! & Pop!
  • the whole Scooby Doo gang
  • M&Ms
  • peanut butter & jelly
  • rock, paper, scissors

For these ideas, do the same as above, but think about groups of people or characters from movies, TV shows, etc… as well as popular products, like Rice Krispies & peanut butter.

-Kalli

Words & images.

We’ve got 2 exercises lined up, 1 with words & 1 with both words & images. Read on!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hats off to Nick Bantock, the exercises from his book, ‘The Trickster’s Hat,’ offer a mix of words & imagery. This is important for creative exploration, utilizing both sides of the brain to achieve an overall outside of the box mentality.

Exercise #1:

The first exercise involves just words. This exercise originated with images, but has since been refined using just words.

  • think of 12 words you like or like the sound of
  • split the group of words into 2 columns
  • the 1st column should be made up of words that have pleasing connotations
  • the 2nd column should be comprised of the words that sound or look good, literally (the way they’re spelt)

Ultimately, this exercise will depict whether the choices you make when you’re painting are more content driven or more aesthetically driven.

Exercise #2:

You’ll need:

  • pen
  • paper
  • magazines
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • source to find quotes

Research, go on Pinterest, look at quote books for quotes that stand out to you, whether it (or they if you want to explore multiple ones) is funny, bold, brash, black & white, super expressive, etc… Now, use the magazine(s) to find imagery, letters and/ or symbols that are representative of the quote(s) you chose. Play around with this, cut and glue to your hearts content or keep it simple if you’d like. Here are some example quotes from Nick’s book. My favorite is, ” ‘I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand,’ Charles Schultz.”

Check back in and share you’re finds and creations!

-Kalli

Boot redo, round 2.

Simplification offers a completely new look for this good ol’ pair of boots.

Bear with me; it’s reaching to say that I’m a photographer, but let me clarify and state that I’m definitely not a videographer! It’s probably a good idea to test publishing videos depicting the processes of things I do. Video is where it’s at these days, right? So, with that said, take a look. Offer up some suggestions if you have them!

Boot redo, 101 from Kalli Payment on Vimeo.

As you can see, I didn’t need many tools to redo the boots. Needle nose pliers removed the tacks from the back of each boot. The hardware and buckles are all attached with the tacks. Afterwards, I buffed them with Kiwi brand Color Shine Premiere Instant Polish. Wa-lah!

Buckle with hardware, attached with tacks

Buckle with hardware, attached with tacks

 

Needle nose pliers

Needle nose pliers

 

Shoe polish

Shoe polish

 

Wa-lah!

Wa-lah!

 

New look

New look

I’ll be publishing another post today with a new project assignment. See you in a bit!

-Kalli

Boot redo, 101.

Fashion is a passion, gotta love boots!

I’m going to switch gears a tad. So, I went to the dentist earlier. My shoe choice for the day was an ultra-comfy pair of ankle boots with cowgirl flair (and sporting plenty of hardware I might add). I think this pair of boots is probably about…hmm, say, 7 years old. 7 years equates to 7 years worth of wear. While waiting for the dentist, I stared at my feet. Then, I thought, maybe it’s time to breath some new life into these boots.

Makeover for my ankle bootsThe joy of my something good (creativity) is that I have a constant flow of ideas streaming in and out of my head. Sometimes, you have to take detours to see what all the fuss is about! As Austin Kleon puts it, “I think it’s good to have a lot of projects going at once so you can bounce between them. When you get sick of one project, move over to another, and when you’re sick of that one, move back to the project you left. Practice productive procrastination.”

Makeover for my ankle boots

 

Makeover for my ankle boots

 

Makeover for my ankle boots

 

Makeover for my ankle boots

 

Makeover for my ankle bootsAs you can see, this pair of fantastic boots is missing a few pieces and then some. Some polish, deconstruction and overall simplification should do the trick! I’ll have a practically new pair of shoes after this.

Time to go revamp my boots. Stay tuned for the reveal and as well as another assignment.

-Kalli

Let’s write some things, round 2.

Who was adventurous & tried the exercise from a few posts back?

If you are just joining us, I assigned a writing exercise intended to help the mind be more imaginative. While I was writing, I couldn’t help but purposely relate the three sets of sentences below with the same subject matter. I almost wish I wouldn’t have, but I couldn’t control it. I wrote the first things I thought of; they just popped right onto the paper. Gee wiz! I wrote for 16 minutes.

1.     “The horse felt obliged to express itself by…” kicking the rose bush.

2.     (sentence before #1.) The race was finished, but the racehorse was not. She kept running, race-mode kind of running. Good for her, but she ran off of the racetrack and out of the stadium! Derby hats all rotated in similar fashion, the stands were fully synchronized like never before as all of the fans watched the horse in awe. (I embellished this a bit after I stopped timing myself.)

3.     (sentence after #1.) Is it just me, or is this horse dumb as a box of rocks?

 

4.     “She could not help herself, the date was waiting…” for the race that was only a day away! Her life’s work would be displayed for all to see in a quick 2-minute race. The horse’s performance would define her reputation in the small town community she’d grown up in and never ventured from.

5.     (sentence before #4.) Once upon a time, there was a jockey named Petunia.

6.     (sentence after #4.) The horse was revved up and ready. She ran as hard as she could, only to place third in the race.

 

7.     “Elvira looked at her brother’s fast-growing…”  feet. His feet were so big; they were growing out of proportion to his body. How could this be?

8.     (sentence before #8.) Well, as it turns out, growth spurts are real. Especially for Doug and his feet.

9.     (sentence after #7.) To alleviate stress from his feet, Doug hopped on his horse and rode off into the sunset. Then there she was, a well-groomed horse. Poor thing though, she was covered in rose thorns. Doug set his mind to work, also helping him from focusing on his engorged feet. He wanted to help the horse. Where did she come from anyway?

Notepad w/ writing exercise

Notepad w/ writing exercise

The order I put the sentences in, from start to finish, is: #5., #4., #6., #2., #1., #3., #8., #7. & #9.

Here’s the story (with a few words added to string the sentences together):

Once upon a time, there was a jockey named Petunia. She could not help herself; the date was waiting for the race that was only a day away! Her life’s work would be displayed for all to see in a quick 2-minute race. The horse’s performance would define her reputation in the small town community she’d grown up in and never ventured from.  The horse was revved up and ready. She ran as hard as she could, only to place third in the race.

The race was finished, but the racehorse was not. She kept running, race-mode kind of running. Good for her, but she ran off of the racetrack and out of the stadium! Derby hats all rotated in similar fashion, the stands were fully synchronized like never before as all of the fans watched the horse in awe. The horse felt obliged to express itself by kicking the rose bush. Is it just me, or is this horse dumb as a box of rocks?

All the while, in the same small town community there is a boy named Doug. He likes horse riding as well. However, he has a bigger problem that a lot of neighbors are baffled by. Well, as it turns out, growth spurts are real. Especially for Doug and his feet. One day, Elvira looked at her brother’s fast-growing feet. His feet were so big; they were growing out of proportion to his body. How could this be? To alleviate stress from his feet, Doug hopped on his horse and rode off into the sunset. Then there she was, a well-groomed horse. Poor thing though, she was covered in rose thorns. Doug set his mind to work, also helping him from focusing on his engorged feet. He wanted to help the horse. Who would do this to a horse? Why was she left all alone to fend for herself? Where did she come from? Why is she so well-groomed?

-Kalli

Whimsical Things: Lakenenland

Artful sculpture right next door, Lakenenland!

Anywhere you go, you’ll stumble on the unusual, something unique to the area or something you’ve never seen before. Well, here it is; ladies & gents…Lakenenland! Although I’d known about Lakenenland for years, I never ventured in until now. Goes to show what you may not know is right next door.

I’d like to thank Tom Lakenen, founder and artist of all finds at the curious Lakenenland. Thank you for creating a place for others to enjoy. Thank you for creating thought-provoking artwork with a light-hearted personality. Thank you for creatively breathing life into things that once were, but now no longer serve their intended purposes.

Go out and explore. See what you can find in your neighborhood. Pay attention to the detail in things. Then see what happens. Not the exploring type? Go to a restaurant you’ve never been to before. Shop where you have never shopped. Really, do it to be adventurous.

Tom Lakenen, Lakenenland sign

Tom Lakenen, Lakenenland sign

 

Tom Lakenen, bowling ball sculpture

Tom Lakenen, bowling ball sculpture

 

Look at the size of these mushrooms!

Look at the size of these mushrooms!

 

Tom Lakenen, donation vault

Tom Lakenen, donation vault

 

'Rusty Chain Band,' Tom Lakenen

‘Rusty Chain Band,’ Tom Lakenen

 

Tom Lakenen, arrow sculpture

Tom Lakenen, arrow sculpture

 

Bog Walk, Tom Lakenen

Bog Walk, Tom Lakenen

 

Bog Walk, Tom Lakenen

Bog Walk, Tom Lakenen

 

Mushrooms; 'Fern Gully' anyone?

Mushrooms; ‘Fern Gully’ anyone?

 

Tom Lakenen

Tom Lakenen

 

Tom Lakenen

Tom Lakenen

 

Tom Lakenen sculptures

Tom Lakenen sculptures

 

Stage at Lakenenland, Tom Lakenen

Stage at Lakenenland, Tom Lakenen

 

Tom Lakenen

Tom Lakenen

 

 

Map at Lakenenland

Map at Lakenenland

 

Tom Lakenen, Lakenenland

Tom Lakenen, Lakenenland

 

Lakenenland website

-Kalli

Black/white collages, round 2.

How did your trio of collages turn out?

Howdy! I promise I didn’t disappear; sorry for the long pause in posts. On Saturday I was making awesome use of my time and photographing some must-see places and pieces. That, I’ll get to next! I also figured it’d be nice to have a few extra days to complete the collage project, if you decided to try it. If you need a refresher, see the post describing the black/white collage project.

Below are three I created and constrained myself to 6″ x 6″ squares (mostly). I spent about an hour picking the pieces from the pile of books, paper and misc. items I collected last week. Please don’t hesitate to share yours; e-mail me and I’ll share them here!

Black/white collages

Black/white collages

 

Childhood: black/white collage

Childhood: black/white collage

 

Youth: black/white collage

Youth: black/white collage

 

Adulthood: black/white collage

Adulthood: black/white collage

To add, I’ve got a tiny confession. I started a project about…4 years ago, titled ‘Catalog,’ that I never finished. Completing the black/white collages helped re-surface this old project and the parts I left uncompleted. I didn’t forget about it, but sometimes projects get put to the wayside to make way for bigger and better ideas. Although, life does have a habit of getting in the way too, you know? Now more than ever is a great time to finish! I am now held accountable to do what I say I’m going to do, with you guys & gals as my witnesses.

Now that we’ve immersed ourselves in a few projects and a non-collage exercise, what are your thoughts? What would you like to explore next?

-Kalli

Let’s write some things.

Write what you want, then you’ll like it.

Sometimes, you may not want to get crafty. Maybe you never really do. In that case, we can use words to drum up the imagination. Here’s another exercise from Nick Bantock’s book,’The Trickster’s Hat.’ Purposely be unrealistic with this one; be whimsical!

Pen and paper

Pen and paper

 

Step 1:

Add to this sentence, then put a sentence before and after it. Don’t stop writing, pencil down whatever pops in your head.

“The horse felt obliged to express itself by…”

Try it again with this one, “She could not help herself, the date was waiting…”

Lastly, this one too, “Elvira looked at her brother’s fast-growing…”

Step 2:

Now, try to link together the sets of sentences you’ve written by creating a story. If it helps, allow yourself half an hour to do this. See what you come up with!

-Kalli

Step #2 & black/white collages.

Hello Tuesday! First things first. My sister has shared some of her collaged pieces. This black bound journal may seem ordinary on the outside, but the inside pages contain various collages, paintings, drawings and some text too. Check ’em out! Thanks Kaitlin!

Journal collage pages

Journal collage pages

For today’s project, you may recall the supply list from the last post. You’ll need old black and white prints, other black and white images and/or small items like tags, fabric swatches, tickets, etc… (in black and white). This proved to be a bit of a difficult undertaking. Searching for strictly back and white is tricky in 2016! Below are some books from the local Goodwill that I’ll use for this project. There are some other black and white things I found too.

Black/white collage contents

Black/white collage contents

Maybe now is a good time to explain what we’re doing. I got lucky and happened on another amazing book titled, ‘The Trickster’s Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity,’ by Nick Bantock. The neat thing about this book is that it’s comprised of various exercises to finesse the creative senses to surface. I’ve perused them and have selected a few to try.

The Trickster's Hat by Nick Bantock

The Trickster’s Hat – Nick Bantock

It’s important to mention, in the book, Nick notes why he chooses to utilize the medium of collage in most of his exercises. “Not in the small sense of the word but collage in its broadest form, which includes everything from art and writing to humorous ranting and steampunking Barbie dolls. Unlike many art forms, collage is both highly flexible and forgiving. It’s also fast changing and nonlinear, which tends to promote a euphoric freedom from the predictable.” With that said, I tweaked the project a little from the exercise in the book, but it still holds the same principle. I mentioned that you should make an effort to NOT use family photos or mementos. You’ll also need:

  • scissors
  • poster board, cardboard, or some type of backing (heavier paper if your items are heavy)
  • matte medium (as opposed to other glue) – What’s this? Paint matte mediums are used by mixing into the paint to extend color, add transparency and help the paint flow better. You can use this kind or something like Modge Podge, an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish. You should be able to find either at a local craft store. Most importantly, use what you have; it isn’t a necessity that you go and buy matte medium.
  • brush to apply the matte medium

We’re going to create three separate collages. Nick specifies to size them at 6” x 6” but ultimately size them how you’d like. Focus your thoughts on your childhood. Pick the contents for the first collage, from your finds, that remind you of your childhood in anyway. Nick says to, “find elements or symbols that represent the general tone of who you were and the events that surrounded you.” It is going to be super difficult to include an image for every event that transpired while you grew up. Here’s where the second collage comes in, just as you may have guessed, use this one to focus on your teenage and youth years. The last should represent your adult life. Three collages helps to divide lifetime events. Even still, you won’t want to try to represent EVERY memory or event; that’d be a ton. Also, remember that using personal family imagery will complicate this process.

This project is a good way to delve into self-exploration and show your story to others. It’s a good foundation project that will help you build on what you discover doing it. Images you are drawn to, but don’t necessarily directly correlate to any event in your lifetime will, as Nick puts it, “be quite obscure, yet they often have a way of being more poignant than any literal illustration…” These collages will also emulate the true you. Once you find the true you, it will radiate and everything you do will be real, authentic, true, good and convincing; all of these make something good.

“The more open you are about sharing your passions, the closer people will feel to your work,” Austin Kleon, ‘STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST.’ Now, go and create!

Questions?
Frustrations?
Comments?
Confusions?

Happiness?

Remember, I’ve been there. Finding my inner artist was not an easy task, but highly rewarding. Share your thoughts and your STUFF, e-mail me.

-Kalli

Step #1 & collage.

Who's there?

Who’s there?

Here is the collage I came up with. For a list of items in my collage, visit the Post Extras. page. Did you find this easy or kind of difficult? Enjoyable or agonizing? Please share your thoughts & your creationFill out the contact form. I’ll e-mail you back so you can send me images of your stuff and I’ll post them here!

Just joining us? Jump on the fast track and create a collage out of anything you’d like in any way, shape or form. Need more instruction? Visit the previous post for more information.

This is just the first step, of many. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the first step, it could be the 17th step. Also, you may have already known or recently discovered that you aren’t the crafting type, which is more than ok. If this describes you, try collaging with strictly words, numbers and symbols as opposed to images, bits and pieces and other materials. Another idea to attempt is using your personal photographs (that already exist) or pictures you’ll take to collage with. Arrange them in a way that makes sense to you. See what you notice with either of these alternate exercises. Creativity doesn’t equate to only art or art-like things. Once you find your something good, it will radiate and become something good for others around you too.

I stumbled on this book by Austin Kleon, a writer and fellow artist. “STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST” is a fantastic guide about being creative. There’s loads of great quotes and perspectives on living creatively. The key to all of this is this: take the information and formulate your own opinion and tweak it to fit you. Nothing is factual, black or white.

STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST - Austin Kleon

STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST – Austin Kleon

Here are some thoughts:

“Art is theft,” said Pablo Picasso. Well, ok…wait, what?! A, perhaps very explanatory, response to this exclamation is, “All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original,” Kleon writes. Inspiration has to come from somewhere. I have lists of people, different works, places and things that inspire me. There are even containers with loads of pictures and images in my basement to prove it.

Jim Jarmusch says (quoted in the book), “Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or feels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.”

For the next post, ready yourself by searching for old black and white prints, other black and white images and/or small items like tags, fabric swatches, tickets, etc… (in black and white) Try to source things that aren’t your personal family photos-it’ll make it easier to complete the project if you don’t use things that directly relate to a family gathering, event or general memories. Start at a thrift store and browse through old magazines and reading material to build your supplies.

-Kalli