Paper Bowls, The First Round.

My husband got me a subscription to Juxtapoz and besides saving the Tom Waits issue (as well as a couple of others) I knew I couldn’t horde them. I gave some away and shredded the rest to turn into paper bowls. My favorite remains the Beastie Boys Check Your Head bowl, as seen below.

 

As for how these lovely bowls came together… Here is the gist of it:

Acrylic Glazing Liquid works incredibly well and holds up over the course of time. I made these bowls a year ago and they are still going strong. Mod Podge is the cheaper way to go, of course, and I will be testing it out for the next round. I found that a great way to do this was to saran wrap the outside of the bowl and, as you can see in the first image, take a piece of construction paper or something a bit thicker and therefor stiff, cut out a circle and tape it to the saran wrap at the bottom of the bowl. As you can see in the second picture, I didn’t saran wrap the entire inside, just enough to create a rim. Once the first 2 layers dry, the saran wrap comes off. In the third picture I have started putting the glazing liquid around the outside of the bowl, working in sections. As each layer dries, I added on another, for a total of 5 layers. I worked the glazing liquid with my fingers to help smooth out each layer once it was done being applied. I couldn’t help myself- I love to work directly with my hands as it makes me feel much more connected to whatever project I happen to be working with (it’s a huge part of what drives me to work with very specific yarn. I can’t stand scratchy yarn.) Once it was totally dry on the outside, I went to work on the inside, placing the images I wanted to show in and glazing them. Once their dry you are all set to go- you can paint them or leave them as a collage. The *Check Your Head* bowl was my favorite not only for the old school Beastie Boys imagery but because it was left as a collage. When I was a kid, if I wasn’t wandering around in the woods, riding my bike or reading, I was collaging whatever I could get my hands on. I’d love to see what you come with- share it with me here or on instagram using the #knowloveknowhope hashtag!

xo, Ev.

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Crochet Basket

june22nd2015 002This basket was my first crochet project and now I get all of the hype… Crocheting is addicting, relaxing and entertaining. I found the rhythm of it easy with this super bulky yarn (which had the added bonus of being a quick and easy project.)

Disclaimer: I will tell you how I did this but know going into it that I adopted the philosophy of “just wing it” and did not follow a pattern! Crochet patterns are a mystery to me and I figure everything out by trial and error. Not being able to read a pattern means that I also don’t know how to write one. With that said…

I first started with a chain of 100 and single crocheted until it was the length needed for the desired circumference of the basket. I then seamed it together, inside out, using a single crochet. It looks good on the right side, which is important to me, but doesn’t have that seamless look- that’s my next skill to learn!

june22nd2015 003The handles were done separately, and crocheted to the basket itself.

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For the bottom I crocheted in a flat circle until it fit the basket. Again, I crocheted it to the basket, inside out.

And that’s it! It wasn’t meant to be stiff to the point of standing straight up; I achieved the perfect balance between stiffness and floppiness by using a super bulky yarn and a hook that was a size smaller than one would normally use. I crocheted this specifically to hold yarn and my only requirements were for the handles to be durable (and they sure are… There is a lot of weight in yarn there and it’s only half full!) I’d love to see what baskets you’ve been crocheting- share them on Instagram using the hashtag #knowloveknowcolor for a chance to be featured on my Instagram site! xo, Ev.

Hand Bound Sketchbook

overdue5252015 103I had so much fun creating this sketchbook! I’ve had it in my head that all of these years of using paper and paper towels (as well as aprons, jeans and hand towels…) as a blotter for paintings would need to be reused somehow. Why not in a sketchbook? I was using these papers to test drawings on before heading to my sketchbook so this was a very natural progression. It combines my love of re-purposing as well as multi-media artwork. I love to sew but not avidly; I use it more to supplement my art or to make little crafts (such as my lavender sachets.) So I pulled out my watercolors, acrylics and some extra paper and got to work laying down a background, with the idea in mind that these colorful pages would be a background for drawings.

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overdue5252015 062I’ve written before about my love for textures and about how all of my paintings are based around that, which is where the idea for this sketchbook came from. Next up was to pull out my sewing machine where I decided to sew some designs onto a few pages as well as a photograph, before sewing it all together- my preferred means of binding it all together.

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overdue5252015 084The sewing worked out really well, better than I had anticipated. The sketchbook has 15 pages (30 front and back) in which I sewed all together after sewing them together 3 at a time for extra strength. My only worry was that I would need a denim needle, which this sewing machine does not come with (I’m sure I could buy one for it but sewing machines and their accoutrements are NOT my specialty…) The photograph was also much easier to sew than I had expected and I loved finding a new way to add my prints to my work.

All in all, I am beyond happy with this sketchbook (as well as the process of making it) and look forward to making many more in the future, both bigger and travel sized. My next venture will be to make spiral bound sketchbooks with many more pages! xo, Ev.

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DIY Canvas Corkboard

This one was an obvious choice for me. I like the concept of corkboards but instead of buying one and having yet another another item in my house, I decided to re-purpose one of the pre-stretched canvases I have laying around (I have a whole stack in my closet, thanks to a friend who is no longer allowed to paint due to chemical and olfactory sensitivities. Sad for her, great for me!) This isn’t a tutorial, just a project that I wanted to show off and hopefully inspire you to make some yourself (and share it with me, of course!)

03042015 001I used this piece of driftwood (at the bottom of the photo) to make the orange and white marks and got exactly the textured result I was looking for. The base coat I put on with a roller. As to what kind of roller it is… I’ve not been able to figure out what it’s specific purpose is. It’s not for house painting and it’s not for screen printing. Not that it matters, I have a habit of using objects to paint that weren’t designed with painting in mind, that’s my thing. It makes the process much more enjoyable for me and I rarely use paintbrushes as a result.

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03042015 007I use regular push pins but I have half a mind to make some fun ones out of old jewelry and awesome stones I have laying around. But that is a post for another day. As always, I’d love to see what you come up with. Post it on instagram using the hashtag #knowloveknowcolor and get featured on my instagram site! xo, Ev.

Easy Biodegradable Seed Starting Cups

3212015 003Seed starting is pure pleasure for me- it means that gardening is right around the corner. I absolutely love growing my own food as well as a myriad of interesting plants, which are picked for either their flower or foliage (sometimes both.) Three seasons ago I started gardening and as a result, starting plants from seed. Every season I try a new way to do so, just to experiment: the first year I used a seed starting kit that I ordered through Burpee and loved it- it was an eco-friendly self watering kit. Pretty fantastic and the set up couldn’t have been easier in any way. I will be using this set up again! Last year I used a basic set up that can be found at any hardware store- seed starting potting mix (I didn’t like the mix so this year I’m using a different one) and seed starter pots. I reused the Burpee tray minus the self watering mat. For my tomatoes I used eggshells and seed starter potting mix- I loved that set up and used the egg carton as a tray. Eggshells can go directly into the ground and fertilize the plant to boot. Can’t- and didn’t- go wrong there. The seed starter pots were not a favorite of mine and produced more waste than I wanted. I’m sure there are biodegradable ones but I didn’t come across any. This year, as you can see in the photo above, I am using newspaper as my seed starter pots as they are biodegradable and can be put right into the ground. I decided my mission this year was to use only what can be found at a grocery or hardware store- i.e., easily found and cheap items. For a tray I am using a foil roasting pan- I will reuse these for as long as they will hold up and they are ridiculously cheap. For markers I am using painted clothespins and am trying a new seed starting mix. (Note: I purposefully have chosen to not discuss which seed starting mixes I have used and am using this year because it isn’t necessary for this post. Every gardener has their own preferences and just because I do not like one does not mean it is an inferior product.)

You will need:

newspaper

scissors

water

mason jar or tin can

seeds

seed starting mix

3212015 004The first step is really simple- cut up the newspaper. I did this by opening it up and cutting along the creases. From there I cut in half (width wise, not length wise.) Then I rolled up the mason jar in the newspaper as shown above, making sure to leave the mouth of the jar exposed.

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Fold the ends into the mouth of the mason jar 3 times (as shown above.) At this point I would dip the folded bottom (with mason jar still inside) into the water to soak the paper, place the newly made newspaper cup onto a hard surface (I did this directly onto the green shelving of my greenhouse frame and it worked fine) and turn the mason jar back and forth a few times (while pushing down) to help shape the bottom of your newspaper cup.

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This is what your cup should look like at this point.

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Next up, fold the ends down. I dipped my fingers into the water to help shape the edges. From here I placed the soil into the cups and placed in the tray. I made as many newspaper cups as it took to fill the tray and then placed in the seeds. Once I marked them with my clothespins, I watered them and placed the greenhouse covering (a zipable, UV protected vinyl sheath- it works great!) and am now waiting to see the little guys grow.

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3212015 009As you can see, I’m growing cucumbers, baby pam pumpkins (for pumpkin pies) and cherry tomatoes. I’ll be starting up new trays as I get some more seeds but the rest of my plants need to be direct sowed. What are you growing in your garden this year? xo, Ev.

Eye Catching Sketchbook Covers

One of the first things I like to work on in my sketchbooks is the cover. I’ve always felt that  the hardest pages to work on are the inside cover and the first page (as well as the last) and so with that in mind, I tackle the cover to clear my mind for the next 2 pages. The cover has always seemed to me as important as the first sentence in a book. It serves two functions: to grab your attention and to set the tone. Materials used over the years have been handmade stencils, acrylic paint, spray paint, paint markers, photographs, pens, sharpies, tape and cut out shapes, stickers, paper bags, duct tape, package tape ink transfers, bubble wrap (really, that stuff is fantastic and so versatile!)

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My last two pictorial inserts are from the inside of the second to last sketchbook- all wrapped up in duct tape, inside covers and out.

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Sketchbooks are vitally important to my art and not because they inspire paintings (they rarely have anything to do with each other) or anything else creative that I do but because they serve the purpose of giving me a place to dream, a place to think and explore. I share them with very select people and enjoy swapping them with other artists and working in their books and seeing what has been created in mine. They have a language of their own and as such have always been my greatest strength. My biggest artistic dream is to put together a collection of my favorite pages from the sketchbooks I have finished over the years. A lot of my sketchbooks get ripped up and taken apart, taking favorite pages to be saved in future ones and/or to be reworked. Once I put together this ultimate sketchbook, I will put it out into the world to be sold. Do you like to decorate your sketchbooks? I’d love to see what you do with yours. Use the hashtag #knowloveknowcolor on Instagram to share yours! xo, Ev.

DIY Framed Honeymoon Shells

My husband and I had an amazing honeymoon in Costa Rica and being the avid and voracious collector of shells and rocks that I am, I brought home a bunch of both (and found a few of the much coveted lucky rocks. For those of you who don’t know what lucky rocks are, they have a stripe that runs all around it.) At this point I had to figure out a new way to display them. I have rocks + shells all around my house- outside on our railing, in glasses and mason jars, rock stacks in my windows, feathers sticking out of sea glass, decorating my fireplace mantle and adorning the base of my potted plants. I even have an interesting piece of driftwood that holds some tiny rocks and shells sitting on my studio table. At this point, I figured it’s time to step up my game. So I decided to frame them.

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The process couldn’t be more simple.

Materials Needed

Gold spraypaint (or color of choice)
Frame
Shells
Krazy glue
Double-sided tape
Shells
Rocks

I have a stack of unused frames from Ikea (I can’t tell you just how many times they have come in handy- I try to keep my studio relatively simple, clean and something resembling sparse but these are a must have) that I took apart and promptly spraypainted the backing gold.

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I didn’t use fancy spraypaint- no use wasting Montana here unless you’re looking for a specific, hard to find color (and for those of you unfamiliar with this delightful brand, they have some fantastic colors and the paint itself has amazing coverage.) Once dry I used double-sided tape to ensure the mat board doesn’t slide around (I love that Ikea provides a custom cut mat board.)

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Then comes the fun part: arranging the shells and rocks. Honestly, this is why I have them all over my house, so I can rearrange them as often as I please. Once in place, all that’s left is gluing them down! I have a hot glue gun somewhere in my house but instead of searching for it, I decided to use Krazy Glue. To be honest, I find it less messy and time consuming than hot glue gun. 

That’s all there is to it! I’d love to see what you come up with. If you are on Instagram, use the hash tag #knowloveknowcolor to be reposted on my feed! xo, Ev.

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(Lanes Cove, Gloucester, MA.)

It has been a crazy few months for me- a very good crazy! And I have sadly neglected my blog. In the meantime, I have been wrapping up my Sketchbook Project book (I will be posting photos about this in a week as well as a link to the company’s site and some information on this fantastic idea) and can’t wait to see it done. However, I’m incredibly sad that I will no longer have the hard copy in my possession as I love looking back at completed sketchbooks- of which I have very few, due to my starting so very many of them.

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(Assabet River, Maynard, MA.)

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(Sprocket the Dog.)

I have also been playing with my new Nikon D3200, so lovingly given to me by my husband (to whom this Sprocket the Dog photo credit belongs to.) I have to laugh because 14 years ago I swore up and down that I would never get a DSLR as I firmly felt the quality of the photos aren’t the same. I won’t get into that argument until I’ve tested out some top quality printers compared to good, old fashioned, satisfying darkroom work! I still love film as much as I ever did and still have my trusty SLR, a Canon A-1 (which is much heavier!) Now if I could just figure out how to properly and quickly change the manual settings… These DSLRs aren’t as easy for me to figure out as I would like them to be. It will be entertaining learning how to work this- I’ve never owned one before.

What have you been working on over the holiday season? xo, Ev.

Fun Wooden Coasters to Brighten Your Home

october24th2014 047 october24th2014 050How fun are these?! I’ve been loving all of the geometric designs out there and wanted to bring some of those simple shapes into my own home. I bought these coasters from a thrift store for a meager $2.50 and used some leftover house paint to paint some triangles- it was as easy as that. Of course, now that I have finished this quick, easy and fun project I have decided that I want to re-vamp some glass coasters I have (but never use.) What fun project have you been working on lately? Use the hashtag #knowloveknowcolor on Instagram for a chance to be featured on the @knowloveknowhope site! xo, Ev.