Whoa, it’s been awhile!

It kills me to not have posted in so long. It’s about time to get back to it.

The last place I left off was beginning to work on project #3. My timeline is off by quite a bit. I projected that by March I would have completed my 30 day project. It’s probably time to push that back. My pace is slower these days, so we’ll just work one project at a time. Maybe I’ll be done by August! Good heavens, I hope before then though!

Project #3 incorporates a snazzy vintage blazer & belt.

Sketch Vintage blazer + belt

Stay tuned for steps on placing everything together.

-Kalli

Jewelry vignette with a twist.

So, project 2 varies a little from the previous vignettes (clothing collages) I’ve made. This one incorporates materials that aren’t strictly clothing or accessories. It’s more like what you see when you think of the word collage.

One big goal I have is to always try to eventually incorporate my digital work into things I make, if they aren’t already digital. With this project, I’ve added some other elements, such as digital aspects and items & pieces that aren’t clothing or accessory related.

This time around, the photographs don’t depict step by step. This is what I did and the items & supplies I used:

Supplies:

  • large doily
  • lace trim
  • vintage, fake costume jewelry*
  • needle & thread
  • thumbtacks
  • drawer pull
  • digital image
  • Modge Podge
  • E6000 Industrial Strength Adhesive
  • frame
  • black acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • Q-tip
  • canvas backing

Steps:

  1. Fit the doily and lace trim to the frame backing, decide on a layout for every element in the collage
  2. Adhere canvas backing to the frame backing
  3. Paint the frame w/ black paint
  4. Glue down all pieces with E6000
  5. Print and slice up the digital image to fit the collage, adhere & cover w/ Modge Podge
  6. Place thumbtacks and thread, use a Q-tip to fasten thumbtacks with glue if needed
  7. Pop into the frame and wha-lah!

*I did some research about costume jewelry to try to place the necklace in this piece to an era. I gathered that it was most likely made in the 60s as part of a revival of Victorian style (most likely revived from the 1910s). The Victorian Revival jewelry is typically in the form of plastic, resin or engraved & antiqued metalwork and other hardware. Now, when I mention fake costume jewelry this is what I mean. You’ve got cream of the crop jewelry such as diamonds, gold and silver. Then you’ve got costume jewelry, very upscale-looking replicas that are highly collectible. However, many costume jewelry movements stemmed from other jewelry types such as plastics, color, cameos & figures. Lastly, there is jewelry made very cheaply and falls below the class of real costume jewelry. This jewelry is probably the most common kind, found in department stores (outside of the glass case) or mall shops.

Some information about costume jewelry courtesy of a book titled, “vintage jewelry design: classics to collect & wear,” by Caroline Cox (2010).

Doily & lace trim Stapled canvas to frame backing Digital imageJewelry vignette/ collage

-Kalli

Retro tie on the wall.

The retro tie piece is finished.

Although, I’m not as pleased with the execution of this piece compared to the others I’ve done. This is the result:

Retro tie on the wall

The issues with this piece include:

  • the fabric backing isn’t taut enough
  • the frame didn’t take well to the staple gun & staples

I tacked the fabric backing to the frame itself. I have done this before with the very first clothing collage I made, but the frame it’s in is rock solid. The frame for this snazzy retro tie is smaller, thinner and not as hefty (cheaper). The staples sort of bit through the frame. I have a feeling that had I stapled the fabric to the very outer edge of the frame instead of the inner edge (where the glass sits), it would have taken better. We’ll try it different next time, after all, I’ve got 29 more to go!

I borrowed one of my husbands vintage tie clips to complete the look.

Retro tie & vintage tie clip

After all is said and done, this piece doesn’t have many elements to it, is simple, the colors pop, but it’s not quite ready for display because of the problems encountered during the process.

Psst, this is a picture of my favorite piece yet.

Belt & tie

Take a peek at some of the research I’ve done. A goal of mine during this project is to accurately represent vintage pieces with other elements from the same time period & trend period. I know fashion, but not really anything this deep yet!

Pieces & parts Vogue

-Kalli

Retro tie.

Project 1 of the 30 day project had commenced. I’m not yet finished with it, but here is what I’ve got up to this point.

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Primary list of supplies:

  • retro, clip-on tie
  • neutral background fabric
  • frame
  • black paint
  • other supplies used, but not pictured include a staple gun and needle & thread

First steps:

  1. take the backing and glass out of the frame, paint it (there is no need to sand the wood, just be sure to use acrylic paint)
  2. cut a swatch of fabric to fit the dimensions of the frame (with a 1/2″ to spare on either side)
  3. iron fabric to eliminate wrinkles and creases
  4. adhere tie to fabric with needle & thread (you could use glue if you wanted)
  5. staple fabric to inner part of frame

We’ll complete the process when I finish. Apologizes for being slow, I promise I’m working on it though!

-Kalli

30 day project.

Set a goal. Accomplish it.

I’ve begun to realize lately that I’m struggling a bit with the blog. Not because the holidays rolled by and everything became ten times as busy as normal, but because there are so many things to cover and discuss, that I’m lost as how to narrow it down. When the subject of creativity is concerned, deciding how to channel my thoughts in the best way possible to inspire others is sometimes challenging.

So far on these boots, this is what I’ve dealt out:

  • ways to discover what you like & what defines you, in hopes that this will help formulate your creativity, your something good
  • exploring the idea of collage-perhaps one of the easier ways to exercise artistic creativity (as opposed to painting, drawing, etc…collage is forgiving and exploratory)
  • writing exercises to work both sides of the brain
  • unique places & things that inspire me, hopefully they can inspire you too
  • steps to a boot makeover; yep, a boot makeover
  • Halloween costume ideas
  • ways to look at things differently
  • deconstructed how I made certain pieces of artwork (the idea generation, the process & reason for making each piece)
  • ideas for a Thanksgiving table centerpiece
  • caulking baseboards, let me just say this-my husband and I purchased a fixer upper last year; there are many projects to be finished!
  • images of a storm on Lake Superior
  • my process for making ‘clothing collages,’ or as I like to call them, ‘vignettes’
  • how to apply your skill sets in the real world
  • great websites worth looking at
  • Dottie the Doodle & a brief description of how to start a website
  • the importance of organization

Every item in this list has the intent of helping creativity; drawing out the creative senses. Granted, most posts thus far have been geared towards artistic creativity, there are many other uses for creativity, no matter what you do or what you like. Some topics discussed are directly related to delving in and making things while others focus on the opposite, focus your thoughts and energy on something not directly related to a stereotypical ‘creative’ task. This will help open your mind to be more accepting of new, different things and to change in general. This can be integral if you’re trying to be more creative.

A logo for 'creativity'

A logo for ‘creativity’

It boils down to the fact that creativity is a broad thing. Anything and everything can be applied in a creative sense. Because blogging is new for me and I’m learning every step of the way, I’ve come up with this: instead of attempting to teach you how to find your creativity through various activities (& odd, but good ones at that), I’ll focus on things that I do daily as a creative individual. This will still foster the growth of creativity, but in a more concise, less broad, way.

To do this, I’m kicking off with a 30 day project. Here’s how it will work:

  • 3 days 1 day each week I will make one clothing collage (vignette), as seen in this post
  • I will create a post for each of the 30 pieces I make
  • This project will span over a few months, it will take me into March (trust me, I wish I had enough time to complete one a day)

Full disclosure: for the remaining 4 days of the week, I work Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. When I come home I usually make dinner, sometimes go to the gym and then relax. That leaves Tuesdays and Thursdays (plus weekends) for blogging. Now, we’ve got Dottie too. I can get things done when she naps. Otherwise, she goes outside about 20 times per day and we work on training for probably about an hour or two each day. I know some days will be tougher than others, but I’m determined! I challenge you to do something similar. If it isn’t artistically involved, that’s perfectly ok. Try something new each day for 30 days. Or, try picking up a book such as ‘The Trickster’s Hat,’ by Nick Bantock or ‘Creative Block,’ by Danielle Krysa ( & her blog) for exercises and projects to try.

Here’s to a new year with big goals!

-Kalli

Old collared shirts and neck accessories.

This is the result of the project from Tuesday.

I’ve framed an old collared button-up shirt and vintage tie in an embroidery hoop. The idea of the overall product is something you can display on the wall or place on a bookshelf, as wall art or a unique piece of decor that tells a story. The process of making it is ongoing. Tweaks will need to be made to really make it seamless. Right now, experimentation is the name of the game.

Collared button-up and vintage tie in an embroidery hoop  Collared button-up and vintage tie in an embroidery hoop

Collared button-up and vintage tie with window

Normally, I refrain from using the flash on my camera. The lighting in my good ol’ house is just terrible though. Sometimes, to get the most accurate picture, using the flash is necessary. On another note, I’m pondering the idea of completely removing the outer ring of the embroidery hoop. However, I have yet to master the execution of doing just that while making it look good. Project execution has never been my strongest suit. I do have to say though that over the years I have improved a bit. The most important part of executing an idea and actually making it is patience. Among this, doing it the right way, or the correct way, is equally as important.

Here is another piece I completed awhile back.

Collared button-up and bowtie  Collared button-up and bowtie in a picture frame

Collared button-up and bowtie with window

-Kalli

Framing clothing & accessories.

I like to call this a clothing collage or an accessory collage. To go a step further, I like to call this a vignette. My husband thinks I’m crazy to call it that, but hey, it’s fitting in my mind!

Firstly, let’s clarify. The word vignette associates with the following:

  • a brief evocative description, account or episode
  • a small ornamental design (or graphic) filling a space in a book or carving
  • portray (someone)
  • a short descriptive literary sketch
  • a brief incident or scene

The way I think can be explained like this:

Throughout the years, I have focused my artistic efforts on collage techniques and incorporating these techniques into my pieces in numerous ways. With the vignette, I have the opportunity to combine my love of fashion with collage. In this instance, the ‘collage’ aspect is three dimensional. I’m not pasting and gluing pieces together. I am pairing different articles of clothing and accessories to a canvas. The end result becomes a collage of textures, color, patterns and form.

For this project, I’m using:

  • a men’s collared button-down shirt
  • a vintage neck tie
  • a large, wooden embroidery hoop

The construction of this piece is going to take a little finesse. I’ll check back with you when I have it complete!

-Kalli

What have you learned so far?

A continuation of the previous post, All about collage.

Comparing and contrasting the elements of projects you’ve completed will help evaluate your progress and clarify what you’ve learned. Each image below links to it’s primary post with the exercise/ project directions. I’ve also listed the important aspects of each assignment to summarize.

Who's there? collage pieces

Journal collage pages

  • what defines you?
  • when looking at images in magazines (or elsewhere), what draws your eye?
  • once you start collaging, keep going until you’re satisfied
  • DO NOT get discouraged
  • was it hard to glue or fasten stuff down?
  • the assignment post connects to this post: Step #1 & collage.

 

Adulthood: black/white collage

  • eliminate color, stick to just blacks, grays and whites
  • try not to use personal, sentimental items or family photos
  • try shopping at a thrift store for your collage materials
  • use specific periods in your life: childhood, youth and adulthood as inspiration
  • find symbols, elements and images that speak to who you are/were or represent your person; your personality during each time period listed above
  • division of time (childhood, youth and adulthood) sets a confinement for each collage; sets a limit to the subject matter, creates constraint within each collage-this helps build meaning and brings substance to the work you make
  • the assignment post connects to this post: Black/white collages, round 2.

 

Charles Schultz quote collage

  • working with words and images simultaneously works both sides of your brain; an important aspect of bringing out your true creativity
  • without both sides of the brain contributing to things you do, the ‘WOW!’ effect will be underwhelming; you will not have achieved your full potential
  • this exercise places more emphasis on integrating letters, symbols and words into the collage-while you may have used these elements in the two exercises/ projects above, it wasn’t the underlying intention
  • bringing intention and purpose to works you create gives meaning and ultimately more authenticity to your work
  • the assignment post connects to this post: Words & images, round 2.

Creativity discovery 101, or as I like to call it, the something good 101:

The progression starts with defining yourself. Based on those aspects, images, hue, pattern, texture, things, items, pictures, etc… begin to resonate with you. From here, instigating challenges (as opposed to just making a pretty picture because you like the way it looks using images and things you like) by making constraints and bringing purpose to your projects starts to work its way in. Once you get momentum, you’ll see the progression in what you’ve created, but also in how you think and how you view things. This same principle can be applied to works other than artworks; writing, music, leadership, the list could go on and on. If you’re a musician for instance and your working to become more creative, you may not necessarily relate with images or hue, but you’ll relate to other aspects that deal with music specifically. For the musicians out there, would composition and instrument techniques fall under this category; I’m not an expert or even a novice when it comes to creating music. Whatever comes before novice is where I’d place myself!

Next up, another dissected work. I always think I’ll be able to fit stuff into a future post. However, I get started and the next thing I know, I’ve written two pages without covering the next item on the to-cover/discuss list. Blogging has been a very good learning experience for me. My plan is to alter the organization of future posts and stick to discussing one particular thing, instead of two or more. After all, I enjoy writing and sometimes it takes over. Oh, not that it matters, but I’m going to lessen the amount of tags in each post. Apparently assigning 50 tags to a post isn’t neessary. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

-Kalli

All about collage.

Curious to learn more about the inner workings of collage?

On the Post Extras. page, I’ve recently added some new stuff. You’ll find information about different collage techniques as well as some revolutionary collage artists that have since set the stage for current artists and the like. Today I’m going to dissect some of my previous works, particularly ones that incorporate collage. I’ll compare and contrast these with the exercises and projects we’ve completed thus far. Remember, if you’re just joining us, you can find all previous posts in the calendar on the right hand side of the page or you can scroll through the post queue.

While reading this, remember the importance of collage. Collage is experimental, forgiving and really emits a sense of freedom. It might be fair to say that making a collage is easier than drawing on a blank canvas (for those who do not draw regularly). It is perhaps one of the easier ways to exercise your creativity or even discover it!

Here is a project from 2011. I called it ‘Escape.’ I completed this as a college assignment. It’s important to note that the process of creating this piece resonated with me more than other things I’d done in the past.

'Escape' framed on the wall

‘Escape’ framed on the wall

 

'Escape,' copyright Kalli Thurgood Payment

‘Escape’

As a fresh college student, I had never made art on the computer with the exception of design layout for yearbook classes in high school using Adobe InDesign. It wasn’t until late in my sophomore year that I really grasped the concept of Adobe Photoshop and, later, Adobe Illustrator. Before going to college I had:

  • a passion for fashion and fashion design
  • a liking for art and design, specifically drawing and painting
  • a liking for scrapbooking and sewing
  • a liking for photographing things and places
  • moved, but also traveled
  • worked part time, went to school full time
  • a liking for pop culture, namely music and movies (fashion too!)
  • played softball (disclaimer: this was for a very brief time in high school and I apologize to my fellow teammates for really not knocking the ball out of the park…)
  • I could probably list more, but it’s almost hard to remember without researching via searching through photos and mementos

Working through finding my creative being, my something good, I quite literally stumbled on things and advanced on others. Ultimately, the discovery I made is that mixed media captures my interest more than any other media alone. This is a very broad statement. Here’s a more concentrated list of individual mediums I like (combine one or more to create mixed media):

  • collage and all collage techniques
  • paint
  • graphite
  • charcoal
  • pastel
  • ink
  • found objects
  • digital
  • adhesive
  • matte medium
  • metal
  • wire
  • again, I may have left out a few items

Just in case…

'My get up and go just got up and left.'Is this happening to you, right now? If so, it’s more than normal. There are many components and parts that plug into the creativity machine to make it work. I don’t want to lose you in the midst of the various topics discussed so far. Just remember to keep in mind what defines you, your personality, what you like, what you don’t like. Later, I’ll describe how I figured out that mixed media is my thing. There’s a lot more to the story than a list of things I did in high school and types of media I’m drawn to. Stick with me, you’ve got this!

Let’s look at the piece a little closer. Here’s a sample of scanned images from working on the project. Included in the piece are elements of everything shown, with the exception of the ruler.

Pieces of 'Escape'

Pieces of ‘Escape’

I would classify these pieces under found ‘household’ objects, as far as medium type is concerned. I used crayon on the scribbles. The overall piece is digital, so I’d say that’s the main medium.

After collecting the images of items I wanted to use, I combined them in Photoshop with photographs I’d taken; the balloon, the person on the ladder (that’s me) and the head (that’s my husband) to create a photomontage. The effects of collage techniques were all achieved in Photoshop. I did not create a collage prior to working in Photoshop.

This piece is available in prints on Society 6 if you’d like to purchase one. Don’t worry, that’s the only one there!

I think I’ve covered quite a bit for one ol’ post, but next time I’ll continue by comparing and contrasting the exercises and projects we’ve done thus far as well as dissect some other pieces. Let me know if you have any questions in the meantime!

-Kalli

Words & images, round 2.

Which words & images did you choose?

Exercise #1:

Words in groupsJust joining us? Check out the post explaining the exercises here. As apart of the first exercise from last week, the results of my exercise indicate that when I create work, I am more content driven (vs. aesthetically driven). Well, what does this mean? Content driven work is primarily built on the meaning behind images, symbols, hue combinations, shape relationships, size relationships, etc… Aesthetically driven work is primarily built on the look of images, symbols, hue combinations, etc… What’s the read on your word groups?

Exercise #2:

More collage-ing suppliesFor my quote collage creation, I stuck with Charles Schultz’s wise words, “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.” Here are some pictures. Nick Bantock says that working with and using words and images together will work both sides of your brain. Ideally, this will help you find and use your ultimate something good; your creativity. Both sides of the brain working simultaneously will force the best of your creative senses to surface. If one side of the brain is working solo, your creative sense won’t have as much impact.

Let's use crayons here

 

Charles Schultz quote collage

 

Charles Schultz quote collage

-Kalli