Arts & Crafts
Art… the most controversial topic on the planet 🙂 Is the black square on a white background an art? True art takes skill and is just trade without talent, everything else is just “something else”. So I am not sure that art is a proper title for this section. But for lack of a better term, let’s just pretend.
Which Arts & Crafts do I love to do?
- Scrapbooking and Paper Crafting
- Pottery Making
- Jewelry Making
- Calligraphy and Handwriting
- Latest “Art” Blog Posts
Scrapbooking and Paper Crafting
One of my newer addictions is scrapbooking, which is a type of paper and photo collaging. Just a little clarification for my nonamerican friends as Scrapbooking was quite unknown until recently in Czechia. I prefer working with designer papers and embellishments. But sometimes, I just take apart a magazine and whatever I have at hand and glue it back together in an old used desk flip calendar. I like it is already bound with a spiral binding, and you can add a bit more volume to the existing pages or tear some out if you need to.
Scrapbooking is closely connected to custom Minialbum making, which I truly love. My biggest inspiration is ScrapQueen, and I have followed many of her tutorials.
Also, Project life is a fun way of putting together pictures and small embellishments.
How I Started Scrapbooking?
When I was all about wire and bead jewelry, I had been always passing by the scrapbooking isles at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Joane’s with adoration. Thinking how wonderful it would be to try it one day.
And one day I did, and I got totally absorbed in it. I got addicted to collecting all the pretty papers I could find, cute accessories and decorations, and new gadgets and tools. I have subscribed to several great channels on YouTube and started creating. I think my biggest inspiration was Scrapqueen and a few weddings I attended, including my own. I wanted to make really memorable photo albums as gifts, and after watching a few Minialbum videos, I decided to make them from scratch. Since then, I have created countless albums, folios, and other paper gifts for my friends and family
Shortly after I learned to make mini albums and work with chipboard, I designed and created several organizers and boxes. It is neat when you can create a custom organizer for whatever you need that will fit exactly where you need it.
I also joined the local scrapbooking club (after waiting for a year in line for a spot opening :), where I met a lot of great girls. We meet about once a month, to create scrap pages, little photo folios, cards, and project life pages. It’s fun and inspiring to create in a group. (Unfortunately, it was on hold through the flu, but hopefully, it is back now.)
And not far from this is Mixed media… something I really am dying to try one day…. soon
Crafting, for me, is just creating something from ‘nothing’. Sometimes I come up with an idea, and then I start researching how to do it and from what material. I like to create unusual decorations for my little house. And sometimes, I just need to create necessities that are not available.
I have tried drawing and painting in many mediums and styles since my childhood. But my favorite at the moment is oil painting. I started attending fun and relaxing paint camps in Mikulov during the Covid lockups, and I am very glad I did. I am learning the “School of Seeing” Impressionist style founded by the painter Radoslav Kutra.
Watercolor is my other medium to go to, especially when painting flowers.
As you might know from my gardening, I love to play with clay :). Occasionally I make pottery gifts, but it is a lot of hustle as I don’t have my own equipment. When I have an idea, I have to go and make it in the local pottery studio, so it can be properly glazed and fired. Unfortunately, it is never short time project.
Making bead and wire jewelry is one of my oldest passions. I like to draw my designs and use them as a template to bend my base wire. I use the thicker wire (one with a lower gauge number) to outline the basic shapes. After I’m happy with it, I hammer it slightly flat on a small anvil. That hardens the wire and makes the shape more sturdy. Then I use the thinner wire to wrap around the thick wire in different ways and patterns, sometimes adding beads along the way to bring out the idea. The higher the number, the thinner the wire is.
But I also experimented with other techniques to create unusual jewelry pieces. I have tried crocheting a very thin blue wire into a flowery necklace. I’ve tried rope macrame with beads… connecting beads and chains…wire wrapping stones… I still need to explore the delicate wire twisting of headpieces.
I still have an extensive bead collection with countless old treasures left over from the times and projects long gone. I got my startup kit in Hobby Lobby that expanded since then…
My Basic Jewellery Kit
- Set of little pliers (needle nose, round nose, flat nose, bent nose, and nylon jaw) and wire cutters, hammer, and anvil
- Silver wires of different gauges I found 22 and 16 are most useful for me.
- Beads of all kinds and materials like glass, natural stones, semi-precious stones, pearls, metal, wood, and plastic, that I collected all over the place.
- Jewelry findings of all kinds: jump rings, eye and head pins, bead caps, spacers, clasps…
- Metal chains of different sizes, shapes, and colors
- Set of plastic organizers to keep everything in order
A few years ago, I got enchanted by beautiful handwriting. And because they stopped teaching calligraphy at elementary school ages ago, I had to learn it later on my own. I took some university classes and learned the basics of writing with an old-fashioned pen nib and ink in a bottle. I started with Itallic, Gothic, Copperplate and then it was only steps to brush lettering and hand lettering, which are based on classical calligraphy.
Starting Brush Lettering
As with everything else, it needs lots and lots and lots of practice. If you want to learn brush lettering, I suggest you start with classical pen, ink, and Copperplate. Because if you master the elementary technique and proper shapes of the letters first, then you can introduce your unique personal handwriting to it. It works just like at elementary school. Then you can develop your own style much easier. You are an individual, so you don’t want to really copy someone else, but you want to be yourself. Everyone’s handwriting tells the story of the writer… so tell yours.
Latest “Art” Posts
- Rustic Corrugated Cardboard Easter DecorationsEasy way to make rustic Easter decorations on budget from corrugated cardboard boxes.
- 2020 Art Deco Bullet JournalThe year was just destined to be in the name of the rich 20s… of the last century. Art Deco Bullet Journal.
- Rustic Corrugated Cardboard Christmas OrnamentsEasy way to make rustic Christmas decorations on budget from corrugated cardboard boxes.
- Refinishing a Yard FlamingoRefinishing a Yard Flamingo was high on my list this year. It was faded and weathered and desperately in need of new paint…
- Paper Mache Pumpkin ScarecrowI woke up with this brilliant idea a week before the Halloween… My own hanged paper mache pumpkin scarecrow.