Monday, July 2, 2012

Hands on Projects: Upcycling and more!

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur
Another week has gone by and I’d say it was a pretty good one. I ended last week with two sales from my Etsy store and one inquiry about a potentially big sale! Like I’ve said before, it’s always nice to stay motivated, not only internally, but also from the world. Slowly, it feels like this photo business idea of mine is actually moving forward.

One of the orders was for greeting cards, and the other was for 2 photographs of California’s Big Sur area. It’s an area that I personally love, so I was thrilled to see that someone else wanted to have a piece of Big Sur close to them as well!

Kirk Creek, Big Sur
Also, last week I also received an email from a woman who was coordinating an event called Born to Drum ( This event, run by Women Drummers International, is a 3-day drumming camp for women. The person who contacted me wanted to know if I would be willing and able to participate in the event as a vendor. She said my photos and cards would do really well in it!

Unfortunately, I was not ready for such a short-notice invitation and had to decline. Having never participated in a fair, I did not have any of the materials, inventory, or equipment needed for it. But, it did get me thinking about the possibility of participating in other events like that.

Greeting Cards
Just the fact that someone said that my work would be a great hit made me incredibly happy!

Squares of Fabric

Last week went by so quickly that I hardly had time to go outside to play with my camera. To be fair, I have started a series of long-term projects that take a lot of time to work on.

My first hand sewn block

One of the projects is a quilt! I had been noticing that a lot of my friends are working on blankets, and quilts and I thought all their projects looked like a lot of fun. So, I went online and looked around and, suddenly, I found the perfect project for me: a quilt made out of old shirts!

I’m the kind of person who will not throw away anything that has emotional meaning.  I have kept shirts my siblings gave to me back in the early 90s, and shirts my dad gave me back in the late 80s! I also have a tendency for buying t-shirts every time I travel somewhere. Unfortunately, most of those shirts end up looking hideous on me, or at least that’s what I think.

My Tools
So, with all these shirts, I’m going to create a quilt made out of about 400 small squares. I love the idea of having pieces of my life come together to create a practical work of art. Oh, and since I don’t have a sewing machine, I’ll be doing all of it by hand!

My Dragon so far
A second project I am working on is a drawing of a Chinese dragon. I’m working off of a photo I took while traveling in Kuching, Borneo. Over the past few years I have been doing pencil drawings from photos I took while traveling. This time, I’m taking the drawing to the next level and I’m planning on coloring it as well. We’ll see how long it takes me to finish!

The Real Dragon
The last project I’m working on originated on a spontaneous trip to the Goodwill store. I love stopping at Goodwill stores because you never know what fun items you are going to find. I usually look for frames that I can upcycle, but I often just walk around the trinket section to see what’s there. One woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure, right?

Hiking the Headlands

So, I found a 22x24 wooden frame that is divided into twelve 4x6 openings. It was probably meant to hold 12 different small photographs but, instead, I’m going to turn it into a window frame by painting it white and then I’m going to put a 16x20 photo in it, instead of several little ones. I’m hoping to create the effect of a window with a gorgeous view.

Climbing up the Pyrenees
We are not sure yet as to which photo we will use, but we have options. The first one is a photo from the Togean Islands in Indonesia. This photo is one of my favorites because of the colors in it, and because of the memories of white sands and warm ocean water it brings to me.

Our second option is one of the Pyrenees. I took this photo while walking across these giants on the first day of a pilgrimage that was supposed to take my husband and I from France (right on the border with Spain), 800 kilometers (500 miles) across Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostela. I don’t think I need to explain why this photo is close to my heart.

The Big Red Bridge


Every time I think about having walked across the Pyrenees, I think anything and everything is possible! Push yourself as hard as you can, that’s the best way to work towards your dreams!

Yes, it was a busy week, but also a very creative and productive one! And, in addition to all the creative excitement and our regular city walks, we managed to get out to and go on a hike in the hills surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge. Although we didn’t get a single glimpse of the bridge because it was so foggy, last time we were there I did get a good shot of it.  What I did get photos of were the many kinds of gorgeously pink flowers that lined most of the path!

Enjoy! For more photos, please visit my Etsy store at:


No comments:

Post a Comment