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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spinner Display Made from Old Shutters

As you may know, I take my artwork to a few shows during the year.  Two years ago when I started to sell my Shrink Art Pendants, I just laid them on the table for people to see.  I didn't have many so I didn't see the need for a display more complicated than that.  They next year, I got a jewelry bar and hung them all up.  This worked as I could put all of my necklaces out, but it required customers/ browsers to get up close and pull the necklaces out of the "pile" as it were.  Some were interested enough to dig around, but I think that a few didn't feel like making the effort.  Keeping the idea of a better display in mind, I have spent the "off season" thinking of something better.  I looked at some online spots for a ready made display to buy but I couldn't find what I wanted.  In December, we had new windows put in at our house and I decided not to put the stutters that were in the bathrooms back up.  I got the idea that maybe I could recycle them into a display.  I searched on line again and saw a lot of people have had this idea as well.  There are some really great ideas, not only for display at craft shows but for around the house.  Again however, I really didn't see an idea that I liked.  I thought that I might put the shutters on a chain and hang them from the sides of the tent, but I didn't want them to fall and hit someone.  There are some great ideas to have the shutters stand up on a tabletop, but I have a lot of things to display and need to maximize my tables.  In moving the shutters about, I set them in a square and thought "Hey! that's a good idea" but I needed the display accessible on all all sides.  Then I thought about the lazy susan and knew that I had found an answer to my problem.  I can make a display, secure it to a lazy susan base and then I would have a turning display.

In the spirit of sharing, I thought that I would share with you how I made them.  They are (mostly) completed and work like a dream.  Hopefully they will make things better at shows.

Supplies are as follows:
--8 shutters
--Wood filler to fill in holes. One set of shutters had been cut out spaces for the hinges so I wanted to fill those.
--24  - 1 1/2" screws to secure the shutters together
--Cup hooks  I used about 80-90.  How many you need will depend on what you are hanging and how many you want per side.
--Boards for the lazy susan base. I bought a MDF shelf and had the very nice man at Lowes cut it into 12" squares for me.  I think that it was 12"x 48"x 3/4" If you're doing the math, not all the squares are equal but I just put the smaller on the bottom.  If it bothers you, get 2 shelves, they are not expensive (about 4 dollars) and then you can have exact squares.  
--2 Lazy susan spinners and 16 screws.  I had to order mine from amazon as there were only 12" round at my local store and that was too big.  I ordered a 9" size.  It didn't come with screws or directions.  You can find directions online (how to assemble) and got 16 screws .  I don't have the size but they can help you find what you need at the store.
--Paint.  I bought already mixed small jars at lowes and only used 2 (maybe a quarter of a quart) but I'm keeping them all for touch ups.
--Chalkboard paint.  I used this up at the top so I can write pricing on them as needed.  No need to make a sign.
--Sand paper
--Tools: drill, screwdriver, glue gun

So where to start?  First you need your shutter and supplies.  I had 2 sets of 4 shutters.  As you can see in the photo. They were a yard (36") tall and about 7" wide on each individual shutter.  I took the hardware off the the shutters, the knobs and the hinges.  I did consider leaving the hinges on them but I wanted a tighter square.  I gave them a good cleaning and a light sanding to help prep them for painting.  Next I made my list for the hardware store.  I needed my paint, hooks for hanging, screws and stuff to make a couple of lazy susans.

The first thing I did was put a small bead of hot glue on the shutters to keep them in position.  I didn't want them to move on me while on display.  One set was in bad shape, so glue was a necessary evil.
Those white ones were a bit of a trial.  I pulled off the bar that runs along the shutters.  I opted to leave them on the brown.  Once you get them glued,  give them a good sanding and cleaning to prep them for painting.  
Next I positioned where the cup hooks needed to go.  I opted to paint over my hooks.  I bought brass ones but you can also find them in white.  I don't guess that you have to paint them, but I wanted a solid color.  I'm sure noone will care but me.   To determine spacing, I found the center of the shutter, and laid the display card (a paper craft tag) at the top, left a little space and then marked the next one.  I laid out all the cards so I could tell where they fit.  After I got them marked in general, I took a straight edge and marked the spots so that they would be even on each side.  I staggered the center a little.  
Once that was done, I drilled small holes so that the cup hooks could be attached.

I then painted the shutters with several coats of paint.  If you are good at spray painting and you can find the color you want in a spray, it might make it easier in painting.  I am not a good spray painter though so I just used a small brush.

After the paint dried, my dear husband helped screw the shutters together. This is a 2 person job to be sure.  We used 3 of the 1 1/2" screws on each side.  One in the center and one at each end.  Screwing into the paint didn't cause any problems for the painting I had already done and I just painted the screw heads over.  The final configuration looks like this from above. 

One set didn't make a perfect square but no matter, when they stand up, no one can tell.

Next came the lazy susan bases.  I will be honest here, it is a bit of a pain.  But, there are directions and youtube videos galore to help you out.  I highly recommend watching/reading up before starting this.  I wanted a square base but I am sure that a round would be fine should you have one already made.  

For the base, I first screwed the top of the lazy susan to the bottom of the shutters.  This way the base is directly attached to the shutters.  Don't want an over zealous kid spinning them and the whole thing go flying.
Then the lazy susan hardware is attached.  We did this by drilling 4 bid holes in the bottom square, screwing the bottom of the hardware onto the bottom square, then turning it over on to the top and using the holes, screwing the top of the hardware onto the top square.  That is confusing I know. Watch the videos and don't be afraid to walk away when you want to smash it to bits.  There may be an easier way to to this.  Build or buy your lazy susan and then attach the base to the top with L brackets at the corners.  It will all depend on how you feel about the assembly of the lazy susan and if you mind the L brackets showing.

Lastly, I marked off sections at the top of each shutter and painted them with chalkboard paint.  I don't change my prices much but I am good at forgetting a sign at home, so this way the sign is attached and I just need to throw a chalk pencil in my show box.

In the end you get this!
Finished Display
Pendants hung on the display
I made 2 units.  One is for hanging pendants and the other for ornaments.  For the pendants I can get as many as 16 on each side.  I will have plenty of space now.  The other is for ornaments and will only get 4 or 5 per side.  Being porcelain, I didn't want to crowd them.

I think that I will have to add a loop at the top of my pendant cards. A small one out of ribbon will do the trick I think.  The cup hooks curl up close and the hole in the paper just a little too deep on to the card to hang without bending the paper.  Not a problem though.  I thought that might be an issue so I picked up some to have just incase.

Are these directions clear? Helpful?  I hope so.  I would love to know if you make some.  Please share a photo or two!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy 200!

Over at The Diva, Laura has posted her 200th challenge.  Quite an accomplishment I must say.  As the challenge this week, we are to make a monotangle of our go to tangle.  My go to tangle changes from time to time but currently it is Garlic Flower (or at least that is what I think that it is called.)  I have tried to locate the blog where it originated but I have having some trouble finding it.  If you know, please link to it in your comment so that I can edit this post and add credit where it is due.

My most hearty congratulations to Laura on her wonderful achievement.  You are a constant source of inspiration both in your art abilities and as a Mom.  I am looking forward to 200 more!
I made this on one of the black zentangle tiles, using a thinned Speedball white ink and a dip pen.  I want to explore negative space more so I thought I'd use this challenge as a try.  I hope you like it.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tone on Tone Monotangle Ensemble

Say that title three times fast!  Yeah, I don't want to either.

Sometimes over at the Diva, Laura throws us a challenge that is REALLY a challenge for me.  This week the challenge is to use the tangle Betweed in a monotangle.  Meaning, use only the tangle Betweed in your tile.  This tangle is a challenge for me because it feels awkward to me as I make the strokes.  Well, it does in the "traditional" way of creating it.  I am much better at it when filling in a line or section but trying to do it in a circle really changes the feel of creating it.  Why? I have  no idea.  My brain, sometimes she sees things and sometimes she don't.  Anyway, as I contemplated even participating this week, I thought to myself that there is a reason it's called a challenge so suck it up and do it!

BeTreed (see what I did there?)
At first I tried to force Betweed into a tree shape.  I had checked out a few of the wonderful entries this week and saw a lot of Halloween shapes so I wanted to try something different. I thought that if I could get a tree to work, maybe I could make it into a card for the holidays.  Yeah, that didn't work out so well.  It wasn't terrible, but not so good either.  I didn't even finish the tile.  I decided to move onto a new idea.  But what?

In the last few days I have been using some of the Sakura Gelly Roll pens that I have collected as accents in my inktober pieces.  I bought some of the glaze pens a while back.  At the time I had an idea to use the black glaze on black paper and see how that looked.  Like so many of my ideas however, I never got far.  With the idea of using Betweed in the round, I pulled out my glaze pens, a square of black paper and a circle to trace, and I gave things a go.

Black on Black
I think that part of where Betweed hangs me up is the little spot of shadow.  I always make my lines and then go back to add a shadow spot.  This time using the glaze pen I tried something different.  The ink in the pens really flows and will puddle on you quite easily.  With that in mind, I started each line with a small circle and then made the line.  If the pen is going to puddle on you, why not use it to your advantage?  I was so excited that not only did the black on black stand out - the glaze ink has a nice shine to it - but the tangle turned out pretty well too.  The scan has the paper more gray than black but it is still a good image of the tile.  Since the line of the pen is "fat", I did these on a 5" square.   I debated trying to shade this but I like it without shade so I left it alone.  Once this one was finished, I was so excited by it I pulled out the rest of the set, matching colored paper and DID ALL THE COLORS!  There is a clear glaze that I tried on a white paper but it REALLY didn't show up.  For the white then, I used a Gelly roll glitter pen.  After I got all of the colors done, I realized that I had 9 tiles so I have put them together in an ensemble.  I think that I will put them in their own 5" frames and hang them in one big square on the wall.  A few of the colors didn't scan so well.  The tone on tone was hard for my scanner to see, that or maybe the shine of the ink threw it off a bit, but I think that you can get the idea.

Sorry that I made you get through all this rambling to get to the finish.  :)  Thanks for stopping by and for all of your lovely comments.  Your support is invaluable to me.
Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pretty in Pink Flowers

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Over at the Diva's challenge, Laura is honoring her Grandmother who had breast cancer.  The challenge is to use pink to honor someone you know that has/had breast cancer.  I did zentangle inspired art to honor Laura's Grandmother, my Godmother, and my friend who all battled breast cancer and for my Aunt who had cancer but is luckily now cancer free.

While it didn't scan really well, the pink here has a little shimmer to it.  I started by watercoloring the background and using a dip pen and india ink, drew my garden over the top.  I used variations of Diva's Dance and Arc flower and the top flower is inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  I think that someone has already done a step out for a pattern like it but I am not sure.  I was going to shade with my prismacolor markers here but the paint really stopped that from happening.  I'm not sure why, maybe the paint and the alcohol? but as I started, the marker picked up the pink as I went and was not doing nice things.  So, I stopped and made a light wash with the india ink and used a small brush to shade.  The outside shading is the marker.

I like the whimsy of the piece and even the pink (a color that I don't usually embrace).  This is also doing double duty for my inktober drawing for today.  Not too bad for a morning's work.

Thanks for stopping by and for all the wonderful comments each week.  I appreciate them all, I just don't usually have time to go back and comment to everyone individually.  Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Yuma tangle

A new month brings a new tangle in the spotlight over at I Am the Diva.  This time the tangle is Yuma by Tina.  I like this tangle but my version needs more practice.  When using this tangle in the past, I have started out not liking the results but by the end, I like it a lot.

For this week's challenge, I decided to use a black zentangle tile.  As I have been using a dip pen lately, and have some white speedball ink, I used those to draw.  The results were mixed.  I have had issues using this ink before.  I haven't figured out if it is me or the ink yet (me I think) but it doesn't want to work well with the nibs that I have used.  Not to worry, I will keep at it.  My results are:
For the tile I tried the original version of the tangle.  I also tried my hand at Onion Skins, another new tangle I haven't tried.  I enjoyed it but it also needs a little work on my end.  I started to "shade" with a white charcoal pencil but changed my mind and just stopped.  To fill in, I used a small brush as the pen wasn't cooperating.  So, this tile, not my best but I learned doing it.

I have used Yuma once before a few weeks back.  I gave it a try when making a pin and experimenting with a new Shrinky Dink film.  I used a black and pink sharpie to draw and used a Sakura gold marker to fill in the seed shapes.  I felt a little lost as I was going but by the end I liked how it came out.

Happy belated Thanksgiving to those who celebrated in Canada.  I am looking forward to Thanksgiving here in the US.  My family will be here to visit and I am excited to see them.

I hope you all have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Love is Love

I believe in love.  Love drives all of us crazy.  Do we have it? Can we get it? Do I deserve it? For some finding the person who means the most to you in the world is a lifelong search while for others love seems to happen quickly.  In a world where there is more than enough hate and animosity to go around, I support love where it is found and that includes love between people of the LGBT community.  This week in the US, the Supreme Court declined to rule on cases where same sex marriage.  While this doesn't give a clear and final ruling on the issue in the United States, it to open the door for each state to decide.  I am happy that the state I live in, Delaware, allows same sex marriage.  I have several gay and lesbian friends and love them with all my heart.  Their families are no different than my own and I am proud to be included in their lives.

Why is she going on about this you may ask?  Well, I'll tell you.  This week Laura over at The Diva's challenge, accepted a challenge from a young man named Daniel, who at 12, is already an outspoken supporter of the LGBT community.  He thought that a challenge in support of National Coming Out Day would be a good idea and I do too.  Congratulations to Daniel for putting out the challenge and to Laura for hosting what can be a controversial issue.  Thank you both for this wonderful idea.  It has been a great challenge for me.

Love is Love

I started this challenge with the center design of zinger.  Zinger is a new tangle for me and I have really fallen in love with it making it in the round like this.  I have done it several times on the Shrink Art Necklaces that I make and on ornaments as well.  The black and white section is a variation of several different tangles (H2O Lilly and Mathura for example) but is kept very plain and simple.  I wanted the section  to add interest but not overwhelm the piece by adding too much pattern or color.  The outer layer is Wud.  I love the way the pattern looks in black and white but after I drew it in, I decided to color it like a rainbow.  ROY G BIV is my new BFF. Hee Hee!  I used Sharpie markers for the center and a Sharpie Pen for the drawing on this one.  I didn't have a rainbow of microns so I broke into the sharpies.  I drew this on bristol board as well.  The colors were added to Wud with Prismacolor color pencils and the shading done with Prismacolor markers.  The whole thing is on 9" square paper.

This zendala personally makes me happy and I am so proud of it.  I hope it makes you happy as well.  I have set this image up on zazzle to be available on a variety of products.  It isn't quite available at this time but it should be by this time tomorrow.  You can check them out here

Thanks again to Daniel and Laura.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blind Sting - Test Case

Fall has arrived here in Delaware not only on the calendar but in the weather as well.  This past weekend was really nice with highs in the low 80's but I think that was the last hurrah of summer.  The leaves have begun to change and there is no going back now.  If I were smart, I'd pull out warmer clothing now but I think I'll stay in denial a little longer.

The new week has brought a new challenge over at I am the Diva.  This week is to use a blind string, that is, to draw the sting without looking.  This string challenge always has me drawing in a kind of swirly lump in the middle of the tile.  My first try was really not useable.  Not only where there a lot of spaces, which isn't a problem really, but they were so small that drawing in them would be impossible.  So, I went at it a second time.  I should have been more willing to go wild and not worry about staying on the paper but I wasn't.  That's ok though.  I need to work on leaving some white space too.  I try to fill it all in every time so this string was good for me.

You see the pen I am using there?  I bought it in Italy this summer on our family vacation.  I have used it a little but I got it out to use today.  I have decided to participate in inktober and wanted to practice with the pen I am planning to use.  Inktober is a drawing challenge where you make up to 31 drawings in 31 days.  You can work a shorter number, check the link for details, but I want to give 31 a go.  Over the summer, I was cutting up some scrap paper to use as smaller tiles and/or test paper and ended up with some 3" squares.  I thought that I would draw on the smaller tiles and then group them together into a larger piece.  So far though, they have only been an idea waiting to happen.  So when the idea of inktober came to me, I thought, "Why wait? Let's do it now!"  And as October is just a few days away, I thought that I would use today's challenge as a test run to see how it would go.

The dip pen makes a nice thin line and covered over the pencil string well.  I am still getting used to having to refill my ink but it isn't as disruptive as one might think.  Sometimes I wait until I run out of ink so I have to go back over a little to keep the line even.  The design stayed pretty simple.  I wanted to work on curving lines as those can sometimes trip me up with the dip pen.

I was afraid that the slightly smaller tile size would be too small for me to work on, but it wasn't.  I haven't tried the even smaller Bijou tiles/size yet.  Maybe that is next.

But back to this tile,  I held close to the string but let the design run to the edge to let it feel a little less constrained.  I could have done more but I didn't want to over work the design and wanted to work quickly.

For the shading I used a new Prismacolor marker.  Color: warm grey 30%.  This is the first time I have had a Prismacolor marker and the first time that I have used a marker to shade a drawing.  I have used them on canvas though.  I like the pen and look forward to using it in the future.  It is nice to make a shade line and not have to go back and blend it out with a stump.  It is a different feel though and I look forward to exploring more.

I hope that you will join me in inktober.  It will be nice to have a daily challenge and the smaller size will keep me from spending all day drawing.  Not to mention increasing the likelihood that I will finish my goal.  You can follow my challenge either on my Facebook page or on instagram (@tinkertangles).

Have a great week!