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!

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Kitchen Storage Unit

A friend recently came to me and said, “Help, we need more counter space and storage in our kitchen” (I’m paraphrasing, as he is far more eloquent). As you probably know, I love any chance to build and use my miter saw.

Table1

The first step is drawing out plans and elevations. To get a sense of materials, assembly and all of our options. Since I’m a cheap-o and cost is an important factor in the design, I like to generate my materials list as I go and also divided into sections. This way I can easily say “If I want and extra shelf, it’ll cost me an extra $30” or “designing the table top this way is $10, but this other cooler way is only $5 more”. I take this list when I go to the hardware store and helps me effectively get all the lumber. This list also helps me generate a cut list. I cut list is as it sounds, a list of all the pieces of wood I need to make the table. If you follow your (accurate) cut list, you can cut the pieces and then assemble.

WoodPile

How much wood do you think it takes to make a table? Answer: a lot of wood. See above. It’s good to get an extra piece of each size of wood because you never know what issues might come up. These were each only a dollar or two, and having the extra pieces is really helpful and gives you more options while you’re building.

Table2

Once materials were purchased, I began by assembling the butcher-block style table top using nails and glue and then clamping it together. Since I knew this would be a slow process with drying time, I started with this first and then took time between gluing to work on measuring and cutting the other pieces.

2.1

Eventually, after lots of measuring, cutting, and screwing down wood, I got to take stock of all the pieces above. Since I knew I’d be transporting this in my car, I had to take that into account while planing my dimensions and assembly. I figured I could lay these elements flat in my car and then assemble them on-site at my friends house, but I wanted to make it so I had to do the least amount of work at his house.

2.2

The next step is sanding and staining all the elements. Above is the base of the table top. You can see how dark the stain is against the raw wood. While staining I find it best to lay it on thick, wait a few minutes and then wipe away to desired results. It’s also best to do this not in direct sunlight. You don’t want the stain to dry while you’re waiting for it to seep into the wood, since it’s staining and not painting the wood. Once it’s full stained and wiped down, then it’s good to put it in the sun to speed up drying time.

Table3

Look at what a difference the dark stain makes. It became so elegant looking. After more sanding, it was time for the clear coat to protect against moisture (which will keep the table from rotting if it gets wet). I used a luster finish of a clear coat polyurethane. I had used this on other projects and it makes the wood look so finished and smooth.

Table4

Doesn’t it look so nice? I did two coats of the polyurethane to really protect it. It also helps soften the rough spots and fill in gaps. I did this with the two shelves, 4 legs and base frame of the table top.

4.1

Now back to the table top itself. I let the butcher block style top stay clamped for the week while I waited for the next weekend to finish the project. Once the top felt solid, it was time for heavy duty sanding. The more sanding the better, as it will smooth and even out the wood. Mine wasn’t perfectly level, but I think that’s part of it’s charm. It’s also going in the kitchen of an apartment for three guys so the rougher and more manlier, the better.

Table5

The next step is to stain! Like a typical butcher block, they wanted to go with a lighter stain than the rest of the table to make it stand out. Once it was stained and sanded again I did the same two coats of the luster polyurethane and let it dry. Install time!! I drove the elements to my friends house for assembly. It was tricky doing it in their house, but with their help we made it work. I find a good trick is to only screw it in loosely until you feel everything’s at a 90 degree angle and at the right height. Then go back and add more screws and tighten the original screws. It’s very hard making things level and perfect, so take your time with this.

5.1

Isn’t it pretty? I’m really happy with how it came out.

5.2

Table6

Here it is “dressed” as we say in show business.

If you are interested in a table like this, or you want to commission me for a custom original piece, contact me! I love this type of project and look forward to more. I’m actually working on my blog shop, where you can place orders and even purchase art you’ve seen made here on the blog 🙂 I can’t wait to share it with you!

Thinkin’ DIY

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This past weekend I worked on a crafty assignment with some friends (which will be blogged about soon) and it involved a stop at one of my favorite stores: Paper Source. While we were there I took a photo of this fun colorful crane mobile. I could totally see making this out of left over scraps of fun printed papers. Cranes are also one of the easiest animals to make as origami. Did you know I was in origami club in college? (Nerd alert!) #RISD #ArtDork

Do This Today: Etsy Craft Night: Printed Cards

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The Craft and Folk Art Museum is holding a $7 craft night (or free for members) tonight from 7pm- 9pm. There will be materials, drinks, snacks and good crafting company. They will have carving tools and even a letterpress so you can make all sorts of custom cards. How cool is that?

Event: Etsy Craft Night: Printed Cards at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (link)
Location: CAFAM, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Time: Thursday Feb 7, 2013, 7pm – 9pm
Cost: $7

Do This Today: The Craft and Folk Art Museum Free Event

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The Craft and Folk Art Museum is holding a free Wearable Art Trunk Show Cocktail Reception tonight. Join artists and other guests for cocktails and get a first look at the items at this event. Remember when I went and explored the galleries? The place is really fun and who doesn’t like free events?

Event: Wearable Art Trunk Show at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (link)
Location: CAFAM, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Time: Thursday Jan 31, 2013, 5pm – 8pm
Cost: FREE!

Cheap Art Project for a Rainy Saturday

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I have MANY do-it-yourself projects in the works, and although they are cheap projects they all involve a little seed money. For this upcoming rainy weekend, I gave myself the challenge of doing an almost-free art project. I found the image on the left from pinterest and thought pixel art could be fun. Then I found an image to blow up and become the image on the right. I also made a square viewfinder out of some scrap paper. My plan is to either use magazines or paint chips to generate the artwork above. The white viewfinder is to isolate the color square making it easier to find a color match. I also numbered each tile, so when I find the color to match I can label it on the backside, so I dont end up with a giant pile of random multicolored squares. I already own the glue and paper to mount it on, and paint chips are free! I also love that instead of a frame it’s hanging via old-school metal clip (something I don’t already own, but cheaper than a frame!). I’ll have to share the final product with you next week.