Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Magnificent Macrame

When I saw this pot at a thrift store I fell in love with it.  It was handmade and the three holes in the top told me it had been made to hang a plant.

Macrame has been making a resurgence lately, both in fashion and in decorating. I have seen many beautiful plant hangers and wanted to make my own.

Instead of using the typical polyester string, I wanted to use something more natural like jute and add wood beads. I found some great how-to videos on you-tube about macrame and went to work.

I used a two inch metal ring at the top and three long strings of jute that when folded in half become six. After tying a few knots, I threaded the beads on. The knots have to be tied at the same height on each string in order for the plant to be level in the end. After calculating the height I wanted the plant to hang, I tied the knots to attach the pot. To criss-cross the string over the pot, the strings next to each other have to be tied together. When it came time to finish off the bottom, I tied a knot and instead of leaving just strings hanging I tied more beads on staggering their lengths.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Realistic Rendering

This week I wanted to show a before and after that isn't!
For this kitchen makeover, my client was having trouble visualizing her kitchen any other way than it was.

Using the photo that I took of the kitchen, I created a digital rendering in photoshop. This way I was able to show my client the concept I had in mind and how the kitchen would look once renovated. She couldn't wait to get started and transform her drab kitchen.
Stay tuned for this makeover!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Art as atmosphere

Ambaa Yoga studio, where I have been practicing for the past 5 years, has decided to have a changing art wall featuring new artists every semester. I have the honor of displaying my art this fall semester.

Since I had the whole wall to work with, I decided to make one large collage painting that is split up into 10 canvases. I chose to use a muted color pallet of whites, blues and soft beiges that I felt would create a healing atmosphere.

I will have a vernissage this Friday night from 6:30-9:30 at Ambaa featuring this new painting and a few other paintings and prints. This will be a nice way to end their Open House week and a great chance to meet the teachers and me!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Creative Confessions

This week, I decided to make my before and after a digital transformation instead of a decorative one.

I had a friend of mine take my photo for my website, we didn't use any type of studio lighting because I wanted it to look natural. Instead, I sat by the window and used the soft natural light. Out of all the photos we took, I liked the pose in this one but I knew I had some work to do. 

Even though I now work as a decorator, I worked in the graphic design industry for over 12 years. For over 2 of those years, I was a digital photo re-toucher for a toy company. I worked mostly on product photos for catalog and packaging purposes but every now and then we did a photo shoot with children. There was always re-touching to do, especially on kids who were fair skinned like myself. We tend to look a little transparent/blueish and blotchy. Heavy foundation make-up may have helped but that wasn't an option. Here's how the digital transformation went.

When I re-touch a photo, my goal is that it doesn't look re-touched in the end, but natural.

Even tough my hair is an even color of blond, the lighting the original photo made it look like I had darker roots out to lighter ends. By lightening the top, my hair now looks even. This photo was taken in my studio and the background looked cluttered so I darkened it to make it fade out.  For my face, I began with evening my skin tone, by using what in the end looks like digital face powder. This made my face less red and blotchy and took away the circles under my eyes. Once my skin tone was more even I added a bit of digital blush. I noticed that the eyelashes on the left side weren't even like the other side so I cloned them to make them even. The eyebrow on the right side was thicker than on the left so I thinned it out. It's amazing sometimes how much work can go into making something look "natural"!

There has been so much in the media about unrealistic expectations that magazines and ads set with highly photoshopped faces and bodies that end up looking nothing like the person in the end. I hope I've shown an image that was taken from looking a little raw to something more flattering without compromising my integrity in the end.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Let there be light!

I've had these 2 metal rings and hanging light cord for a while now waiting to be transformed into a beautiful hanging lampshade.

I wanted to make a lampshade that was transparent in some areas and more opaque in others. To create the shade itself, I used a heavy clear plastic that I cut to 10" high and the length of the circumference of the 18" metal rings. Using Mod Podge, I glued on different types of paper and painted other areas. I made many holes about 1/8" from the edge of the top and bottom of the plastic and with a large needle and hemp string I attached it to the metal rings. Even though I really loved how the lampshade turned out, it was only when I put the light inside that it really came to life.