Friday, March 26, 2010

A bit of this and that

I spent most of my day yesterday with Dana. Our first stop was to a cool restaurant for breakfast. Although I am not a breakfast fan, choosing to eat around 2 in the afternoon, I wanted to have breakfast with Dana, who eats a morning meal and one in the evening with her husband.

So off we went to this cool restaurant in our neighborhood, where the juke boxes are still on the tables

and the menu was written on a chalk wall.

Dana and I both wanted breakfast

and chose the breakfast menu over the others.

I actually forgot to take a photo of our breakfasts until we had dug into our meals. Cheese omelets, hash browns, wheat toast, and coffee were our choices.

The rest of the day was spent working at Dana's new house. Most everything that is going in the sale, is now boxed and labeled "sale." A few boxes were labeled "Save for Dana."

It felt weird to get home before dark, so I decided to read a couple of books I got from the library.

Left: Button! Button! by Terry Taylor (Lark Books, 2008). Right: A Very Beaded Christmas by Terry Taylor (Lark Books, 2009).

For those of you who are into mixed media and assemblage, the name Terry Taylor will be quite familiar to you. His name is what drew me to these books. However, that is where the similarity ends. Both books were a real disappointment, although the Christmas book was better than the button book.

Again, both of these were collaboration books. The button book had 50 projects, each designed by one of 20 or so artists. Sadly, I couldn't find a single acknowledgment of an author until I was uploading the photos. You can see the designer's name if you look closely in the lower left under the photo. What a strange place, I thought. The instructions were not accompanied by any step out photos, so some of the instructions were hard to follow. Others were OK, since most were easy. This one began with purchased bangles,

and this one began with a purchased pillow form and cover.

Here you begin with a dish towel and simply sew on a few buttons. So the book wasn't a total waste of time, Kimmie at Art in Red Wagons recently (and cleverly) recovered some buttons. See her post for details. There was a project called "Decoupage Buttons" in the book. I have to admit, I think Kimmie's were prettier than the book project, but here are some tips that might help you (after you visit Kimmie's blog and check out her post.

From page 41 of the book, a project designed by Terry Taylor, here are some tips:

Use thin, flexible papers for best results. Handmade Asian papers and tissue papers are a delight to work with. Use either patterned or plain papers as desired.
Taylor's instructions were to paint the buttons, allow to dry, then cover with torn papers using decoupage medium. Per Taylor:

If the buttons are going to receive a lot of wear and tear, give them a protective coat of acrylic varnish after they have dried thoroughly.

The designers were given a bit of a writeup in the back (click to enlarge and you might be able to see a few names), but the photographers were give "credit" status.

The Christmas book had more complicated designs in it, but once again, the instructions were not easy to follow. This one page (on the left) listed both materials and instructions.

Although the photos were wonderful, it certainly didn't make up for the lack of visual instructions.

Of all the projects in the book, this one was my favorite. I will be making a few of these soon. You begin with an old cookie cutter that you spray paint, add a big sheet of double sided tape, throw in a few tiny beads, then larger beads, then cover with jeweler's glue. As always, I'll be substituting the double sided tape and jeweler's glue with something I have here. I did like the clever way the author recycled old cookie cutters, though. Two thumbs up for that project. However, of the 46 projects, I would only try two or three of them. My advice? Save your money and see if your library carries this book, then go out and get one of Terry Taylor's assemblage books.

Speaking of books, last night I got an e-mail from Anna Miller telling me about an article that Online Degree had just posted. The article gives 100 tips for creating your own personal library. I thought the tips and tools could apply across disciplines, so that is why I'm adding it to my daily links. If you have stacks and stacks of books, or just one, but want to start your own library, be it craft or differential equations books, you might just enjoy reading this article.

5 thoughtful remarks:

Terri Kahrs said...

I love having breakfast with my friend, Chip. We solve all of the problems in the world over cheese omelets and hash browns! Can't wait to see your interpretation of the cookie cutter project. It's always interesting to see how you use what you've got at hand. Have a super weekend, Elizabeth! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Healing Woman said...

Once again, another informative post. I have a library in my home that needs attention. I checked out the article that Online Degree wrote and found some good tips. I hope I will follow through and get my books in order. The button idea is a good one as well. I'll put that on the back burner for future projects. I like the fact that you are honest in your book reviews. AND, you are accurate.



Kimmie said...

your breakfast place looks like fun! no need for lunch after that :) .... and hey - thanks for the link back to my button project!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Interesting and informative as always E!
Mr Magpie enjoys breakfast any time of day! He is the breakfast king too as far as preparing delicious breakfasts! Your spot looks like a fun and yummy place!

Seth said...

Thanks for having breakfast with us! That blackboard reminds me that I have often thought I should do that on a wall in my home!