Category: The Pain & The Process of Making Art

Assemblage Supplies – Vintage Wooden Game Pieces

I’m a sucker for supplies. I have more supplies in my studio than I will ever use. And yet I continue to collect more. Because I need them. Really. I do.

Last spring I scored this batch of really cool vintage wooden game pieces.

Assemblage Supplies - Vintage Wooden Game Pieces

Assemblage Supplies – Vintage Wooden Game Pieces

They only cost $5! Yay me!

One year later, they are still sitting in my drawer, waiting to be used. And I will be using them, I can assure you. No, I don’t have a plan. I would make one, but I’m too busy looking for more goodies to add to my stash.

Assemblage Supplies - Vintage Wooden Game Pieces

Assemblage Supplies – Vintage Wooden Game Pieces

The picture above is of my wooden pieces drawer. All my junk is carefully organized so I can find it. All the drawers are labeled, of course! I may be an art supply hoarder, but I’m an orderly one. Just look at all those wonderful pieces, just waiting to be assembled into something awesome!

Where to Find Vintage Wooden Game Pieces to Use in Assemblage Art

  1. Scrounge Around in Antique Shops and Secondhand Shops ⇒ I’ve found some good things in antique shops and even more great stuff in junk shops.
  2. Browse eBay ⇒ There used to be tons of good junk on eBay–and I suppose there still is–but it seems to be getting more expensive as sellers wise up to the fact that we junkers want their stuff.
  3. Visit Farmer’s Markets / Garage Sales / Goodwill Stores ⇒ A step down from antique stores and secondhand shops, farmer’s markets, garage sales, and Goodwill stores have yielded some treasures to me over the years. It’s worth a look!
  4. Steal From Your Kids ⇒ Seriously! Most of the wooden pieces in the drawer above were “liberated” from my children. And they never knew they were missing!

How To Use Wooden Game Pieces in Your Art

You can do lots of things with these little wooden bobs and bits. Below are a few pictures of my work.

Here is some inspiration from my Pinterest board.

Follow Trilby Works’s board Upcycle, Recycle: Wooden Game Pieces on Pinterest.

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Making Christmas Ornaments in January – Who Does That?

Well, I do, of course. I never seem to be able to do anything at the appropriate time or location. But, really, there is no wrong time to make these ornaments. Why? Because these are ROBOT ornaments, woohoo.

I gathered up all my supplies, which consisted of wood blocks, game pieces, tids and bits of hardware, scrapbooking embellishments, etc. After a few days of intensive gluing, drilling, and assembling, I had a small troupe of the cutest holiday ornaments I’ve ever seen.

These will be available for purchase at the Bellefonte Art Gallery soon.

Doodle Monsters

Doodling is fun. Doodling monsters is awesome fun! A few years back, I committed to doodling a monster a day for an entire month. Well, I didn’t exactly make it through the whole month but I did get a bunch of fun monsters done. Here they are:

These are fun to make. You really can’t go wrong and you can make these while watching TV. Just plan out where the white parts will be so you don’t color them in.

These doodle monsters aren’t fine art, but they are a great way to keep your drawing hand nimble. I find that just moving the pen around the page every day keeps my creative juices flowing and opens me up to other arty ideas. Yay, doodling!

DoodleMonstersFeaturedImage

Doodle Monsters

Mushroom Fairy Houses, On My Work Table Right Now

My father grew up during the 1930’s Great Depression and the subsequent World War II years when it was common practice to collect trash metal for conversion to weaponry, ships, tanks, and planes. His family also saved newspapers, bottles and caps, jars, cans, cooking fats, fabric, rubber, aluminum foil, pots and pans, and even old toys. Some of this recycling spirit and thriftiness rubbed off on me! Today I save metal and plastic lids from bottles and jars, plastic containers, old wooden toy parts, interesting labels and papers, old tools, ribbon and string scraps, vintage books and many other items.

Lately I’ve been putting those plastic containers to good use by using the pieces to assemble my mushroom fairy houses, as in the photo below.

Mushroom Fairy Houses

Mushroom Fairy Houses in progress

I glue the tops and bottoms together and then cover the surfaces with either decoupaged colored tissue papers or textured stucco paint. Doors and windows are made from molded paper clay and decorations are from random bits and bobs in my craft stash.

I love the idea of converting trash into art! Here are some projects made from household trash.

If you want to do this, here’s some inspiration from my Pinterest board.

Follow Trilby Works’s board Upcycle, Recycle: Plastic Jars and Containers on Pinterest.

On My Work Table Right Now

As usual, I have many works in progress in my studio. My latest obsession, fairy houses, are well represented in the cluttered mass, as are some older projects that are still lurking around. Here are a bunch of fairy house doors that I’m painting:

Fairy Doors Being Painted

Fairy Doors Being Painted

My tutorial, “How to Make Fairy House Doors,” is completed and if you would like to learn how to do this you can click here to view the tutorial.

I’ve also branched out into mushrooms. Why? I don’t like to eat them – they disgust me. But I love the shapes and I love that they are associated with fairies, sprites, and pixies in the woods. Below is a mushroom in progress:

Stone Mushroom 1 In Progress 1

Mushroom 1 In Progress

I had some left over epoxy clay from another project and it only stays workable for a short time – what to make? A fairy house, of course! In this case, a miniature one. I simply rolled the clay into a ball, then a log, then narrowed out the top, twisted it a bit for character, and incised a door and two windows. Let it cure and done! Now, should I paint it or not?

Mini Fairy House

Mini Fairy House

I’ve also been having loads of fun on Pinterest (who doesn’t?) with my board, Fairy Houses in the Garden. Here’s a peek:



Please follow me on Pinterest if you like what you see here!

Pine Cone Stone Fairy Cottage

My latest fairy cottage is finished. This one’s got a bark roof, stone walls, and two doors. I wonder who will live in there?

Pine Cone Stone Fairy Cottage

Pine Cone Stone Fairy Cottage

Pine Cone Stone Fairy Cottage

Pine Cone Stone Fairy Cottage

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House

I’ve completed my beach pebble fairy house, yay! As with seemingly every project I start, it took much longer to complete than I thought it would but I am happy with the results.

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House: Roof and Deck

Since my last post, I’ve made some good progress on my fairy house. I was able to make the roof from an armature of plastic lids, taped and glued, with small pieces of wood for shingles, and some wood sticks and twigs for additional support.

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 05

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 05

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 06

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 06

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 07

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 07

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 08

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 08

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 09

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 09

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 10

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 10

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 11

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 11

Beach Pebble Stacked Stone Fairy House in Progress

Here’s what’s on my worktable: I’m creating fairy houses from stone. This one is created from rounded beach pebbles that I picked up on the Jersey shore. For a base I used a small flat slab of stone that I found in the back yard. I used glue to hold the stacked stones in place as I built the walls then I backed the walls with premixed grout for added stability. I wanted a dry stacked look which you see on old stone walls in my area sometimes.

Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 1

Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 1

I used about three different types of glue: Liquid Nails, E-6000, and some Craft Goop. So far the E-6000 is my favorite.

Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 2

Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 2

The above two shots are of the front of the house. I managed to make an arched doorway. The first one I made fell apart so I ended up making it flat on the table on a piece of waxed paper and then attaching it to the walls. I have no idea how I’ll make the door yet.

Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 3

Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 3

The side of the house is kind of narrow (above). You might be able to see some glue oozing through that has dried. I’m not sure how I’ll cover this up yet.

Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 4

Stacked Stone Fairy House in progress 4

The back of the house has a window. I don’t know yet if I’ll frame it out or not.

Now for the roof…

A Batch of Oddballs in the Making

For many artists, thinking up ideas can be hard. This is not one of my problems. My head is brimming full of ideas and I only wish that I had the time and energy to bring them to life. Which brings me to another point.

Executing those ideas and creating the artwork can be a challenge. Even though this is usually the fun part. My time in the studio is constricted by family constraints and life commitments, as I’m sure is the case for most people.

Completing the entire cycle of an art piece, from idea through execution, to photographing the art and posting it online for sale, can be EXCRUCIATING! Usually this cycle takes me months, if not years. Pathetic, I know.

Case in point: the Oddballs below. I started these a few years ago. Here’s what they look like in progress. I make the armatures from household trash, including wine bottle corks, red plastic lids from my husband’s creamer bottles, and white candy stirring sticks for legs.

Oddballs in the Making, A Behind the Scenes Studio Shot from TrilbyWorks.com

Oddballs in the Making, A Behind the Scenes Studio Shot from TrilbyWorks.com

These freaky little guys have now gotten some layers of clay for their bodies, paint to cover them up, and felty capes to dress them. Done! But then they sat. And sat. And sat.

So now it’s 2014 and I am on a mission to get my inventory photographed and posted online for sale. I’ve pulled these guys out of storage, dusted them off, and am trying to get some good images of them.

Wish me luck!

My question to you: how do you stay focused and motivated enough to bring your art projects to completion? What parts of the process do you get hung up on. For me it’s the photography. I’m still trying to get it right!

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