Monday, January 30, 2017

Dare to Create with Mixed Media

One excellent workshop we participated in was "Dare to Create", a mixed media workshop led by Andy Skinner and Tracy Weinzappel. The objective was ostensibly to create a mixed media heart painting ... but in reality it was an exercise in using a number of mixed media art techniques, media and textures.

We liked it because it gave us the freedom to choose our palette and design, while still following a process to expose us to several techniques. The brands of the media were different than what we carry, but that's OK, since these are pretty much all the same. Paints, gel, texture, stencils, various brushes --- dry, wet, stipple, stencil --- and palette tools. We have just about everything on that list in the shop at Vintages.

The prototype heart design was a nice, decorative, highly textured painting. Susan and I each took our own route to success ... hers more floral, mine more geometric. Here are some photos of our project being "created."

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Greenery ... Color of the Year 2017

The annual selection by the Pantone Color Institute of their color of the year is always a great refresher. Regardless of how you feel about the color .... this year is is the lively, effervescent Greenery ... it gets your color juices going. 

In making this year's announcement, Lea Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, had this to say:

A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.

Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront - it is an omnipresent hue around the world.

A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.

I find it to be refreshing, like the sight new foliage in spring, a freshly cut avocado or a lively burst of excitement into an otherwise repetitive world. I looked around my world, my collection of images, and found some delightful examples of Greenery ... more than I expected.

Here is a blog post about Greenery as employed in the interior design space. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Color/Design at a Crossroads

One of the presentations I always find crucial for trends in design and fashion, is the Pantone Color of the Year selection. Does this color ... Greenery ... which was announced toward the end of last year ... drive everyone or all design fields? Probably not ... but it makes you think of color combinations in new contexts and relevant compositions. The presenter was Lea Weiseman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. She covered three areas: Trends in design elements; Greenery, the Pantone Color of the Year; and a collection of color design palettes for Spring of 2017. I'll leave the Greenery and Palettes discussions for my next post and cover the design elements here ... in large part because I think these are more universal type inspirations

Trends in design elements and techniques are an ever evolving topic. Here we are talking in broad, general terms ... home interior design, fashion, tabletop, art, paper products and such. A few trends seem to be perennial, like use of retro design elements, recycled (new buzzword = "rescued") pieces and bold use of color.

How do these trends become "trends?" Pantone's color experts look backwards to forecast the future. Two reasons: early adopters are great sources of future mainstream design concepts; and when a color or palette is used in certain applications (kitchen, baby, movies, etc) these signal longevity of the trend.

One key area for forecasting in color are concept cars. Yes ... the auto industry! They may spend several years on a concept, including color analysis to show off the designs as futuristic and desirable.

Maps used in backgrounds and as centerpieces of designs is showing up everywhere. We love this, as we are well-stocked with ephemera and find that not only maps but written pages create great effects in art.

Black and White design for the primary imagery is still an important design element. Add a splash of bold color and this can have eye catching reactions.

Power Clash, or the use of colors in unusual combinations to grab attention.

Distortion ... digital or hand drawn ... can produce dramatic effects. Pixelation, swoops and smudges, melted and liquified.

Large Florals ... these have been around for a few years now, so do not overdo it.

Textural Surfaces ... physical texture as well as visual texture. Think metals and plaster. Textures can be natural, applied or manipulated. Use of etching, abrasion, hammering, overlay and embossing are all ways to gain the effect.

And I want to add one more super-duper color palette ... Nature ... She is hard to beat!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CHA Creativation 2017

We just got back from the 2017 CHA Show in Phoenix. New venue ... new name ... not much else new. That's our take. The show appeared to be smaller both in size and number of attendees and exhibitors. There was a general lack of the usual excitement of past shows. But we always can find some nuggets, some inspiration to bring back with us. The classes available were pretty good. Susan and both attended a couple of workshops and enjoyed them. (More on a couple of them in later posts.)

Trends were a bit interesting. There were a lot less scrapbooking and journaling exhibits. Same with jewelry suppliers. Quite a few new die-cut and embossing stencils, but not as many machines. Several of our favorite vendors were not represented this year and most of the larger distributors had cut back their exhibits. Many new media options in paints, gels, pastes, etc.

Here is a gallery of some of what we saw and liked at the show.

Tinted pickling liquids

An interesting new printing technique

Bold, metallic colors of inks and paints

Brilliant paint colors

Cute new appliques

Just a nice display ... not for sale

Textured chalk paint
 There's still a lot of life in the mixed-media, arts and crafts world. Let's have fun with our many old and new resources.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

DIY Valentine Projects

Valentine's Day is just a month away ... Tuesday February 14th ... and Valentine's Day is the perfect time to send hand made cards, tags and gifts. What better way to say "I Love YOU" or "Be MY Valentine" than with something created with your own imagination and craft.

WELL ... Vintages has what you need to create your DIY Valentine masterpiece. Lots of doo-dads to work with and incorporate into cards, journals, gifts and treasures. We have vintage Valentine cards and post-cards, magnets and charms, lots of ephemera and even a few kits.

We also have hand crafted gifts, locally designed and printed Valentine cards and more ...

Blown Glass Hearts ... $4.95 each
Love Notes ... Cards ... Tags ... from $1.75
Magnets ... pick a Love U Gift or create your own ... Gift Box $19.95 ... Magnets from $3.95
Valentine Cards ... typically $3.95 each

Valentine Kits for Boxes, Envelopes and Bags ... $18.95 per kit
Valentine Tags ... Perfect finish to any gift ... $1.75 each

Vintage Valentines ... remember these? ... from $2.00 each
Vintage Valentine Postcards ... from $2.00 each
Handcrafted, Made in the USA Tin Angels ... $59.95 each
Heart Love Boxes ... $21.95 each

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