Found Object Art: Plastic Classics

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Design Sponge today posted a link to this awesome article about famous pieces of art made out of found objects. How cool are these?! The artist is Jane Perkins and this series is called “Plastic Classics”. Click HERE to see more of her work and an article about her on Demilked.

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Do This Today: Jason Priestley Book Signing

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Who didn’t have a crush on 90’s fav Brandon Walsh?! If you didn’t watch the original 90210, then you are missing out. Jason Priestley just released his memoir and is doing a book signing in Pasadena at Vroman’s tonight at 7pm. Buy the book there and he’ll sign it!

Event: Jason Priestley Book Signing (link)
Location: Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena CA 91101
Time: Monday May 19, 2014, 7pm
Cost: FREE!

On The Chopping Block

In lue of a Font Friday post or a Weekend Guide, I’m sharing a piece I’ve been working on every morning for the past week. I don’t recommend using power tools earlier than 7am due to sleepiness levels, but sometimes it’s the best way to start the day!

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To start this project, I began with lots of different types of scrap wood. Always save your scarp wood, as cutting boards don’t require much wood and it’s a great way to save the scrap from ending up in a landfill. After planning the wood, cutting down and cleaning it up a bit I was able to play with the color/grain variations and create the design I wanted. For this project I wanted it to look like controlled-randomness. With the dark and light pieces mixed among each other.

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After a lot of very speedy gluing (it dries so fast!) I clamped the wood (in a level way) and then wiped the access glue. Because this will be used for food preparation, I used a special waterproof glue meant to withstand the food and washing of it after. You don’t want gaps where bacteria can get trapped and make you sick over time.

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After the glue dries (allow several hours) it’s ready to be planned and sanded down to perfection. It’s starting to look like a board now!

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This was my first time routering the edge of wood. I’ll admit, I was so sure I was going to ruin it, so I practiced a lot on some scrap wood. Thankfully burn marks and errors can be pretty easily sanded away afterword.

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Here it is above, with a smooth edge and sanded to perfection. No more burn marks, just gorgeous wood. Once the dust is wiped/blown away, it’s time for oil!

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Look at the difference the oil makes! The goal with the oil is to get the wood fully saturated, because if it’s full of oil it won’t absorb any food bacteria. It really brings out the colors of the piece too and it’s super fun to apply. You can see from the reflection above, I put a lot of oil on which is good. Keep reapplying the oil every 2 hours until it’s no longer absorbing the oil (because it’s reached its saturation point), wipe away the excess oil and you’re done!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

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Happy Weekend Everybody! This image is from a short building session yesterday very early morning. It’s going to be 1 (or even 2) great cutting boards when I’m done with this. Today Im focusing on a few other projects and hopefully this weekend will cross a couple items off the list. Get out there and do what you’re passionate about!

UPDATE:

Here’s one project that’s been in the works for a few weekends and is finished today. It feels good to cross something off the list, so I can make room for more projects!

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Here’s a detail shot:

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I love the shadows 🙂 It’ll be making it’s way over to the shop soon!

Do This Today: Bright Bazaar Launch Celebration at West Elm

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Did you guys know it’s almost Friday? Are you also still overwhelmed with sweetness from my Wet Doggies post? I’m not going to lie- I made that image my computer desktop background and it makes me giggle every time I look at it. It’s a nice way to take the stress out of work: UGh, the printers broken again!! 😦  WET ADORABLE PUPPIES!! 🙂

Well, tonight West Elm is having the Bright Bazaar Launch Celebration. Jonathan Lo of Happy Mundane and Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar will be discussing Will Taylor’s new book “Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color For Make-You-Smile Style”. Expect drinks, treats and good times 🙂

Event: Bright Bazaar Launch Celebration at West Elm (event link)
Location: West Elm, 8366 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Time: Thursday May 8, 2014, 6:30-8:30p
Cost: Free!

Nail Art

My sister stopped by my house last night and as I gave her an update on some of my art and building projects she pointed out a piece she enjoyed and said I should share it. It wasn’t personally my favorite which is why I haven’t shared it with you yet, but she liked it so I figure it was worth posting about.

Several months ago I collected some scrap MDF (although I think the project would have worked better with real wood) and painted them. For the first piece I painted it a creamy pink color I already had (yay for saving on supplies!).

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Next I printed a heart image that fit the mdf and taped it down. I bought some small gold nails from Lowes, and used a T-square (above) to nail in the outside shape of the heart in an organized manor. I nailed it in right through the paper.

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Once nailing was complete, I ripped the paper away to reveal the nail heart outline.

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I bought pink and red thread from Michaels (look up their online coupons on your phone while in the store and you’ll find instant coupons that they scan right from your phone. SAVINGS!) and wrapped the thread around the nails in a random way. This image makes it hard to tell, but there’s an ombre effect in person of light pink to dark red.

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The piece that my sister really liked is this LA metro map made in nail art (she’s a travel buff as you know). Each nail represents every station stop, so not only does it look cool but it functions as a real metro map. I think the mdf backing is why I don’t like it and I’d love to remake it on real wood boards where the grain shows through. Ahhh, future projects.

This was made with the same technique as the heart piece. I painted the mdf and then printed an LA metro map to trace with nails. It didn’t take too long and the tread colors match the real metro line colors. It was a cheap fun project that I did while watching a netflix movie. Give it a try!

Sanding and Staining

Recently I’ve had several friends say that their favorite part of Life Absorbed is seeing my projects and crafts. This is good news, as over the next year I’m hoping to transition it to be more focused on my design projects. This past weekend I got back into my workspace (*cough* garage) and worked on this future coffee table. I love the look and can see this being made into a headboard (maybe with built in side tables?). Ahh, the possibilities! Right now it’s my “testing table”, as I’m going to try a new Howard wax finish on it. I’ll let you know how it ends up.

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Like all wood projects, it’s a lot of sanding before I can get to the staining fun.

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This is the current state of the table top as I wait for the stain to set. There’s a gel stain that is more expensive, but makes the stain apply evenly. I’ll have to try that on future designs similar to this, as you can see some parts of the wood are resistant to the stain. But I like that warn aged look 🙂

Can’t wait to see the outcome and share it with you. Who knows, you might see it up on my shop some time soon!

BONUS Do This Today: LACMA Conversation with Michael Wilkinson: Superman- Costume Icon

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This is a tad pricy for the blog, but sounds cool. Check out the LACMA tonight to see Michael Wilkinson (who was nominated for an Oscar in Costume Design for American Hustle) in conversation with Bobi Garland. Warner Bros even loaned some of Wilkinson’s costume designs for the event. If you’re into wardrobe and costume design, this event is for you. It’s $35 for LACMA members, $25 for students, and $40 for the public.

Event: LACMA Conversation with Michael Wilkinson: Superman- Costuming an Icon (event link)
Location: LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Time: Tuesday March 4, 2014, 7pm
Cost: $40 for the public, $25 for students, $35 for LACMA members

Do This Today: LA Art Book Fair at MOCA Geffen

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The Geffen MOCA is holding an opening for their LA Art Book Fair exhibit tonight, with the exhibit going through February 2. These art openings are always fun, so why not check it out. Check THIS page out for all the deets.

Event: LA Art Book Fair 2014 (link)
Location: MOCA Geffen, 152 N. Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Time: Thursday Jan 30, 2014, 6pm – 9pm
Cost: FREE!

Israel IV: Caesarea and Haifa

To catch you up to speed, check out these earlier posts about my trip:
Israel I: Modern Tel Aviv
Israel II: Jaffa (the Old City)
Israel III: Modern Art and Bauhaus Architecture
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After spending two days in Tel Aviv, it was time to start our loop around the northern part of the country. We rented a car using a rental company that is based in the lobby of the Tel Aviv Hilton (that makes it easy!) and loaded up the car to head north. After spending our first 2 days in Tel Aviv using taxis, I think we were all a little nervous about how driving would work here. They have similar signs and there’s usually an English translation so I wasn’t worried about that… but the drivers were very aggressive and often jumping from lane to lane (or just driving down the center). But once we were outside of the city, it became a lot more like driving in America.

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Before we knew it, we were in Caesarea. HERE‘s a map of out journey. We parked at the Caesarea Maritima and made our way into this fortress. You have to pay to get in, although I can’t remember the price it couldn’t have been much.

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This fort has such a history and it’s a large piece of land which currently has shops, restaurants, and of course the ruins to explore. I highly recommend the free video telling the history of the land, which we saw in the building on the left above. It has been conquered and changed so many times throughout history and the video helps you see how it looked during each period of time.

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Above you can see the ruins extend out into the harbor. On the other side of the harbor (not pictured) you can see archeologists actively digging and unearthing more ruins.

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After watching the video of it’s history, we explored the ruins. It’s such a maze of passageways along the coast.

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You can see the modern buildings built over the ruins to make this a true destination for tourists.

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Ruins, ruins, ruins…

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We made our way over to the theatre, exploring the ruins.

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After we had our fill of ruins we made our way over to one of the cafes. I had a traditional Israeli egg dish, shakshuka, which I had seen on many menus since arriving in Tel Aviv. HERE‘s a great recipe for it on Smitten Kitchen. Humus, coffee and shakshuka, yuuuum.

Once we had our fill we got back in the car and made THIS trek more up north to Haifa. Since it gets dark so early (like 3:30/4ish) we were trying to move quickly, as we still have a few more places to see before we were at our hotel in Tiberias.

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We went directly to the Bahai World Centre in Haifa. It’s gardens are on Mount Carmel which gives great views of the city. The gardens were closed when we arrived, but you can see how beautiful and well manicured they are.

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In a way, I think it was good we couldn’t go into the gardens because it meant the photos I have are all tourist free. While we were taking photos from the top of the garden many buses of tourists arrived and were also taking photos. It’s a Haifa must-see spot.

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Okay, so one tourist got in my photo-me! I didn’t take many photos of myself on the trip, but I love the view from the top so I had to take one.

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Beautiful gardens overlooking Haifa… be sure to stop here if you’re in Haifa.

Next up, we rush up to Acre (Akko) to see the city before the sun fully sets. Then in the dark we make our way to our hotel in Tiberias.