Friday, January 27, 2012

Apartment Living: Slapdash Repairs with Flair

The advantages of living in a vintage 1920s apartment that is more than a little run down are numerous, including the ability to paint the walls however I want, drive nails at will, and basically treat the whole place like an art studio. However, the lack of maintenance does lead to things like ceiling leaks and peeling plaster. Here is one fix (ala David Ireland) for peeling plaster under the windows.

The problem: peeling plaster under window

The solution: gold acrylic paint and small brush

The result: intriguing gold under-layer

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tin Can Signage

A walk in the rain and a find of three lovely beads placed atop a news stand by some mysterious stranger led to the following tiny tin signage. There are three beads held together with string. I live in apartment 33. The next steps were inevitable. To learn how to make tin can frames see Tin Can Frames Tutorial.

Three found beads, tin can lid, soda can pop-top tab, old upholstery material, embroidery, typewriter key

Installed on door

Monday, January 16, 2012

Transforming Boring Glass Light Fixtures

Apartment living comes with problems and many, many opportunities. One of them is boring standard light fixtures. In this case the fixture looks to be circa 1960. The "gold" nut at the center allows you to unscrew it from its base on the bathroom wall above the medicine cabinet.

Removed from wall, ready to be transformed

Side view

The solution: a collage using pages from a Chinese astronomy periodical, combined with little squares cut from Chinese paper used in ceremonies honoring the dead. The collage was created directly on the lamp, with portions attached using a glue stick. Once complete, the entire piece was treated to a wash consisting of a mix of metallic gold acrylic paint and water (doesn't show much in these photographs, but adds a subtle, dusty sparkle). Note that the paper bubbles horribly upon application of the wash, but shrinks back to its original tight fit when it dries.

Collaged fixture

Close-up, left side

Close-up, right side

Installed in bathroom

When lit

To restore fixture to its original boring condition, or to switch collages somewhere down the road, simply take the fixture down, let it soak for about half an hour, and then scrub away the paper.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Traveling Bottles - Shelf D

The final shelf in the Traveling Bottles Project, converting little hotel amenities bottles into nonsense sculptures. To read about the project and view all of the bottles, click here.

Bottle Ten: broken jewelry, wire, and a melded rusted piece found on the railroad tracks

Bottle Ten from above

Bottle Eleven: broken jewelry, beads, broken pieces of a Venetian glass chandelier

Close-up of top

Bottle Twelve: screws, broken jewelry, twig, brass bird's foot found at metal recycling center

Overhead view

And here is the Traveling Bottles Project on display in my bathroom gallery:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Traveling Bottles - Shelf C

Here are bottles seven through nine in the Traveling Bottles Project, which transforms one dozen hotel amenities bottles of shampoo, conditioner and the like into something else.  Follow this link and you will see this current shelf as well as Shelf B and Shelf A, which contains an explanation of the project.

Bottle Seven: broken jewelry, copper chain, copper wire

Close-up of bottle seven

Bottle Eight: twig, broken jewelry, grass seed, and two silver charms from Bali (inside bottle) bought at the yard sale of a woman who dropped dead of a heart attack walking down the sidewalk in Berkeley in her mid-thirties

Close-up of bottle eight

Bottle Nine: rusted metal wheel, copper and silver chain, silver disks found in the sand on a beach in West Africa

Close-up of bottle nine

Monday, January 2, 2012

Traveling Bottles - Shelf B

Here is the second in a series of postings on the Traveling Bottle Project, transforming tiny plastic hotel amenities (bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and the like) into something else altogether.

Bottle Four: broken jewelry, wire, nails, doll parts, silver medallions found on a beach in West Africa

Bottle Four: side view

Bottle Five: religious medallions, milagros, wire, beads, nails, broken tin candle holder, shattered auto window glass

Bottle Five: with candle lit

Bottle Six: broken jewelry, pins, doll parts, broken ceramic pig

Bottle Six: front view

Bottle Six: close-up

Click here to view Shelf A (bottles one through three).

Related Posts with Thumbnails