Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On a Bender!

I have just been on a three day bender with my good friend Norma Riehm! No worries, we're talking a creative bender! She came up for a few days for a play date with me at my studio. Not only did we play, but we did some awesome repurposing! I'll warn you, there are a TON of pictures today!

First I will share the surface design frenzy we played with. Norma brought her massive collection of Shiva sticks! We spend...I'd say 8-10 hours playing with them. We didn't come home from the studio until between 9 and 10 last night!


This rubbing was done using a stamp that Norma carved. I love how the red pops off the hand dyed piece!

This small piece was doing doing a rubbing using stamps carved by Sally Kiser, my best friend.

I'm still not sure what I will do with this piece yet...

This one was done doing a rubbing using another one of Norma's carved stamps.

This is done using a store bought rubbing plate.

These glowing snowflakes were done using freezer paper!

I wish the colors came through more true on this piec,e it's actually a couple shades lighter than it appears here I think. (Though the enlarge click on picture is a bit better.) This was also using stamps that Norma carved.

These Beehives are from a drawing I did onto freezer paper, then used an exacto knife to cut out the small slivers where the beehive lines are. The yellow is a honeycome fabric!

The shasta daisy is from a store bought rubbing plate, the gold border image is a quick stamp that I carved yesterday before we started.

For this piece, I used a large sheet of freezer paper, and cut a cirlce in the center, to use it as a stencil to keep the circles edges neat. I thinking this is a night piece in need of something "wingy".

I think this is my favorite piece that I did. I again used freezer paper as a stencil, first layering in the darker starburst in the center in dark brown. I then removed the start stencil area, but left the circle around it, then stamped in a lighter flesh toned colors on top. I was aiming for a sand dollar, what do you think?

Norma tried the sand dollar image too, but also put in this awesome stenciled dragonfly! I love teh coloring on the dragonfly!

This was our work area yesterday. We line 3 of my 8 foot tables ende to end. That's right, we had 24 FEET of table running down the room! And thank goodness, we needed a place to lay all of the shiva pieces for drying!


First of all, let me tell you that Norma is one handy-dandy chick!

Secondly, I must say, when other artists/renters move out of the building, they often leave a LOT of it behind, that gets put near the doors with "FREE" signs on them. Normally it's junk, but Norma must have an aura of luck, because we struck gold this week!

Keep in mind, all of the pieces will soon be painted in bright colors to bright the place up.

One of the "finds" was a cutting table! Ingredients: two kitchen cabinets with the tops ripped off and one old door! It is fairly high, which is good because I'm fairly tall! I no longer have to bend over to cut! Woohoo! And the kitchen cabines (the two wooden sections on the sides) have a rolling drawer on top, then a cabinet underneath. The top is a simple door, without all the hardware. And, my rolling shelves fit nicely in and around it.

You would never guess that this was just two shelf ends when it started. With Norma's carpentry skills, she put a couple of hinges on it, giving me a folding display. But then we thought, wait....shelves! So after a trip to Home Depot, and purchasing 3 inexpensive closet shelves, I not have an AWESOME corner display shelf! It will soon be cobalt blue and red-orange! (Watch for pictures in the next couple months or less!)

There was another set of shelf ends, but they did not match up as well for hinging. So, we simply leaned them against one wall like ladders, then used two closet rods we found in the free pile, and put pieces on to display. Super easy!

This is my first display wall! Notice the upper right hand. That red grid piece was an earlier find - I fell into a dumpster retrieving it and recieved multiple bruises getting it out! (Yes, I dumpster dive!) Norma helped me use rope (50 feet/$10 and I have a ton left) to suspend it from the ceiling above my cutting table - AWESOME!

When we got to the studio this morning, there was an old dresser drawer sitting outside next to the dumpster! It's so prettily shaped! The front arcs out, and the hardware on the drawer is beautiful! I hope to strip the paint off the hardware, paint the drawer a nice bright color (it's already painted, so please don't yell at me for painting wood! lol), and then either add legs for a table, or place it upright, and make it into a shelving unit/display unit.

Norma has gone home now - and will probably be getting home in the next hour or so. I'm sad to see her go so soon! I swear we could have played for a week! (Though I think we would need to start napping! LOL)

She really helped me get a HUGE leap into displaying my artwork - something I really needed help on! I also got to learn more about Shiva sticks, as well as stamp carving. It's so nice when people can get together and just start creating and playing. It helps to have company now and then, to feed off of eachother's energies.

After I create with someone, I often receive a "creative high" that can last days to weeks. It's just inspiring!

So thank you Norma for coming, and sharing your talents, your products, your creativity, and your handywoman skills with me! I owe you big time!


Janet Hartje said...

You were whirlwinds! I can't believe how much you did in a few days. Your studio is looking great.
Janet Hartje

Bridget473 said...

Aww...I want to play with Norma too! Looks like you girls had a great time -- and very productive! Everything looks beautiful!

Norma said...

I just got home from Stephanie's at 5:30, after making the necessary stop at a quilt store in Siren, WI on the way. I too am on a creativity high after our visit. I have 11 pieces to work on from our play date that are calling me. What fun! I had a super time Steph. ***Norma

maggi said...

Some fantastic Shiva pieces and what great finds for your studio. You obviously had a fantastic time.

Mickey Depre said...

Steph...dumpster diving and repurposing are the best! I can hardly wait to see the pieces repainted!

Thanks for sharing...btw...I am still working on getting up to Minneapolis in November. I'll let you know.