Monday, February 28, 2011

Tin Can Frames Tutorial

Here's a little tutorial on how to use tin can lids to frame images and then go from there to making who-knows-what. This how-to project relates to a previous post (Tin Can Door Charm) and involves making simple door charms. In this case, they are Darwinian door charms designed to ward off Creationists.

1. Select an image. For these Darwinian door charms, I'm using a photo I took in Campeche in the Yucatan of a dinosaur exhibit held inside of a desanctified cathedral. Feel free to use this image to make your own Darwinian door charm.

2. Save and wash tin can lids. Keep a bunch handy for future projects. Glue image in the middle of the lid. You may want to glue the image onto another sheet of paper first (see lower left lid) to assure that when the frame is complete you don't have unsightly gaps of tin showing.

3. Image centered and glued to tin can lid.

4. Use needlenose pliers (a toolkit must-have) to bend one edge of the can towards the image.

5. Once you've got the bend started, use the pliers to mash down on the bend, flattening it against the lid.  Press firmly with pliers all along the bend.

6. Bend opposite edge of can lid in the same manner, and proceed to flatten the bend firmly in the same manner.

7. Bend lower edge over and press firmly into place with pliers. Pay particular attention to mashing down the corners so that you don't have sharp edges sticking out.

8. Bend and flatten final edge of can with pliers. At this point you've completed your tin can lid frame.


9. Now you'll employ a soda can flip-top tab as a hanger. First, flatten the tab with your pliers to mash down any sharp edges.

10. Glue the pop-top tab to the back of your frame, with the nicer, smooth side of the tab facing front. I use silocone glue for everything, but use any glue that will work with metal-to-metal bonding.

11. Here I've taken some broken bits of jewelry and glued them to the bottom back of the frame. I then suspended a charm and a little crystal (from my junk jewelry boxes) from them.

11a. Another assemblage of broken jewelry parts glued onto the back of a frame. Note how messy the glue looks on the back. Happily, it doesn't matter.

Here are the finished Darwinian door charms:

Here, the jewelry has been glued onto the front of the piece.

This one fits nicely into my ongoing "What about the cow?" theme. See the postings under the topic area "god" to see more cow pieces.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tin Can Door Charm: Warding Off Self-Pity

Inspired by the tradition (found in cultures around the world) of posting charms or amulets above or near a doorway to ward off evil, I've crafted my own and encourage you to do the same. This talisman is fashioned from tin can lids, a section of an old ruler, pop-top tabs, broken auto glass, and a graphic image or two.

Tears of broken auto glass

Sunday, February 20, 2011

An Utter Waste

Inspired by the Isabelle de Borchgrave show of paper dresses at the Palace at the Legion of  Honor in San Francisco, I went to the ladies' room and was still mulling over her work and the medium of paper when I saw the paper toilet protector dispenser in my stall. I grabbed a few sheets, tucked them in my purse, and pursued the project you see below. So I guess you could say this work was previously on display at the Legion of Honor—sort of.

All elements are made from toilet protector paper, including the "beads"

For the purple overlay, I first drew the decorative pattern in gold. I then painted the sheet of paper protector on the reverse side with acrylic paint. The whole thing stuck to the table and tore, so I used scraps from that protector as collage elements in this final piece.

What to do with an object like this when complete? The answer seems obvious.

My favorite stage - gorgeously crumpled.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Skype Puppy

As noted in an earlier post, Skype Dogs enable cross-continent puppet dialogues using Skype technology and the computer window as a stage. The Skype Dogs in the previous post were made for fun-loving adults. When you make a Skype canine to fit the hand of an almost-two-year-old, it's called a Skype puppy, and here it is.

Ready to Skype

Excited and surprised

Taking the stage to sing one of many dog-related songs: "How Much is That Doggie in the Window," or "You Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog," or Dylan's basement session rendition of "You Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dog Around."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Skype Dogs

"Skype Dog" is both a noun and a verb. The computer window you see or broadcast from while Skyping is also a perfect sock puppet stage. So far I've made two Skype Dogs—one for me and one for my sister in Colorado—so we can Skype Dog back and forth to each other. Unleash the hounds!

My sister's Skype Dog, as yet unnamed.

Ready to Skype

My Skype Dog, named Beso ("kiss" in Spanish).

Beso goes a little berzerko
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