Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cut Street City Beat

I have a lot of respect for artists with the patience, and attention spans, for paper-cutting. If my mind had the literal capacity to be blown by intangible thought, (that would be unfortunate, but also,) it would be splatter-bound for the spectacular work of individuals such as Peter Callesen, or Elsa Mora.

As I take on new projects, I particularly enjoy challenging myself to new mediums, or styles that I'm unfamiliar with. This keeps my creative mind active and really feeds my love of learning, while leaving me (and my client) with the grand satisfaction of having created "my best work, yet!"

So when I came across Studio Kmo's hand-drawn, hand-cut city cuttings--I was flabbergasted by the incredible detail and astonishing beauty of each piece, first off; but then--I felt strongly compelled to give it a try.

Illustration has never been my strongest skill, and I wanted to keep the cost of the piece much lower, so it would be affordable for people, well, like me! And you! (Not that it's hard-knocks or anything, but it's nice to mix up the ramen noodle diet now and then.) So to accommodate that requirement, I turned to street maps: Google for small-scale, and fold-out road maps for large-scale.

The cutting itself when surprisingly quickly, and felt (even more surprisingly) satisfyingly therapeutic. But then, I do kind of nerd-out when it comes to paper. And stamps. And ink. And design...yeah.

Those of you holding beans in your heart will quickly recognize the distinctly-shaped common in the bottom left as the one belonging to beautiful Boston. The wharf is also quite pretty, with just the ground-level roads showing.

This print  was cut on a fine quality superfine soft white paper, 8" x 8" including the boarder (6 1/2" x 6 1/2" without), and went to a lovely ex-Bostonian, expat living out in Los Angeles.

I hope people enjoy seeing these prints as much as I enjoy making them, because I'd love to see some of those cities to the right come to life.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Move Over, Mark Zuckerberg

 An artist's rendition of emotions felt in the final stretch

After several laughable (in an entirely not-funny kind of way) hours of wrestling with the concept of HTML code--let alone the friggin thing itself--I have emerged triumphant! Result.

So how does this affect you, and why am I taking time and space away from any manner of impending craft-splosions?

Because, dearest and most encouraging reader, now, when you chatter my website across your various forms of popular social media (making troubling animal noises as you go--tweet), or beguile your friends and randomly accumulated email contacts for me with the latest and greatest Warren Tales shenanigans, the link description won't only list a selection of seemingly random (albeit supportive, as mentioned in the Credit Where Credit is Due sidebar) California cities.

Now, the link description will in fact tell this new-found lifelong fan that you are blowing the mind of something useful and indeed descriptive about the business:

Warren Tales has a growing catalog of original handmade card and note sets, journals, sketch books, photo albums, scrap books, and more. My aesthetic is clean. I find inspiration in book arts and hand-made craft, often utilizing found objects to produce a recycled and vintage feel. I am interested in consultations and working with the customer to realize new and creative products.

I give Big Kahuna thanks (get it, Kahuna . . . surfing master) to Greenlava, at Blogger Sentral, for seriously spelling it out for technologically slow-witted people, like me (note the cave drawing).

And I give additional thanks to Mignon Fogarty, at Grammar Girl, for reeducating me on the correct use of "affect" versus "effect" through the effective use of cartoons (as well as for her stellar name). We're all just kids despite our age, after all.

Note: Given the caliber of candid talent showcased in the above doodle, perhaps it's time for said artist to purchase a stylus.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole...

Warren Tales is dipping its paw gradually further into the vast business waters, by announcing its arrival in the social media forum!

Let's just take a little look-see over at the spiffy new sidebar:

-Follow Warren Tales on Facebook for blog updates, project progress, craft(y) commentary, and real-time offers and announcements.

-Sneak project peeks and find your own inspiration, with a day in the mind of LYW on Pinterest (organized chaos ensues).

Warren Tales' Facebook will announce blog updates for convenience and to help you organize your WT experience, as well as feature ongoing editorial and photographic craft commentary, show project progress, and make shop-related offers and announcements (as well as make you chuckle with witty--and most certainly punny--banter). I have, admittedly, been reluctant become yet another drop in the social media ocean, but I've been thinking about it for some time, and I have a really great, interactive online experience lined up--it'll be a stitch! Ah ha ha . . . for real though, it'll be a good time for everyone involved, and will give me more of a chance to hear directly from you.

Over at Pinterest, you get the chance to see Warren Tales behind-the-scenes, so to speak. This site has become my main brainstorming and inspiration suite, and is chock-full of the cool, beautiful, useful, and generally wonderful images and information that I find while researching. (For anyone cocking their head in confusion at this point, Pinterest is an online visual bulletin board--utilizing images and captions to organize bookmarks and ideas--for a visual learner, like myself, it's pretty much a must). While there is a Warren Tales product board that is updated as projects conclude, the appeal of this opportunity is the immersion into a pool of creative thinkers. This is a great place to see where my hair-brained schemes find their footing, and try out some of your own. The board titles are full of puns, of course, so when you see "Mac & Cheese," think "Kraft" rather than dairy.

So my lovely, loyal readers, step right up! Either, both, or neither are all viable options, as long as I get to keep bantering sweet something-or-others to you and your wonderful, enthusiastic, and equally supportive friends.

Thanks, as always, for your readership, and I look forward to the exciting new opportunities that will develop down the rabbit hole . . .

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Free Range Eggtravaganza!

I'm always enthusiastic to participate in the fun crafting that circulates these times of year. It's pretty clear to me that friends will always make the best company; good food is always good eating; and we will all, always have loved ones to bury in presents, simply because they're wonderful. Because, if creativity isn't worth celebrating, then what is!

That being said, and it being the season of egg-birthing bunnies (riddle me that), I joined some friends from the Boston poetry circuit for an egg-ceptional round of egg-dying.

Working on a "stick-bug egg" while enjoying a delectable Pimm's cup

The finished fancies! From left to right: 

The Stink-Bug: You simply crack the shell of a hard boiled egg, submerge it in your dye-mix until it's dark, and then remove the shell to reveal your "stinky" snack (circa Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes, the single best book of my happy childhood).

The Hungarian Folk: A traditional Hungarian practice of wax-resist dyeing, which uses a wax pen called an “íróka” (or kistka) to achieve negative space patterns and layering.

The Hollow: I got to try my hand at new-age egg-blowing, which utilized a small drill stick and an accordion pump, rather than my usual cursing jab and huffing-and-puffing light-headedness.

The Onion: An experiment in natural dying techniques, where we wrapped eggs in onion skins and cheesecloth, and then boiled them for 10 minutes. When you unwrap them after, they're printed with the fantastic patterns of the onions, and the colour--use lighter skins for a brighter shade of yellow.

The Dork: I saw the idea for this on Pinterest (of course), and thought it was adorable--although I still don't understand how/why Pantone colour specs have become such a cultural trend! But then, maybe it's just because I'm around so many design folk . . . Either way, I felt compelled to give it a try.

I haven't really dyed eggs since I was a kid, so it was a true treat to join in the fun; with shockingly delicious Peep S'mores, to boot! 

And so a snooty character was created: Sir Eldridge Peepsmore

Happy Sunday

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Back in the Fall, while taking a beginner's ceramics class, I made the acquaintance of a truly kind and whimsical older gentleman, Michael, and it wasn't long before our enjoyment of each others' company grew to a friendship outside of the classroom, also. Now, it's been five months since the class concluded, and we still make a point to get together every few weeks--when our schedules allow it--to catch up on good conversation, and eat good food.

An artist in a business man's shoes, and a mind like a Rolodex, bursting with people and experiences, I could listen to his stories for hours. And so I do! (He's been known to sit through a fair amount of my steady ramblings, too, so you know he's got to be awesome haha) In getting to know this amazing individual--40 odd years my senior, and yet to whom I am fascinatingly alike--I have learned so much about myself, and how I want to approach the world.

Michael was a fast fan, and continues to be an avid supporter of Warren Tales. And, the more I heard about his work as a metal-smith and natural material mender (not sure if that makes grammatical sense, but it has a great sound so I'm invoking the jurisdiction of my poetic license!), the more interested I became to see him in action. I had asked him a few months previous if it would be possible for me to commission a new "WT" wax seal for purchase (he was a school-boy of excitement at the idea of wielding a signet ring--more poetating), and although he struggled with logistics, he (secretly) enlisted one of his many stunningly talented friends to help him pull something together. So concludes that at our latest meet-up, he presented me with this gift . . .

The level of detail cast in brass profoundly astounds me--from Warren's bowler hat band, to his tufted tail, and down to the grooved wood grain of his cane.

The brazen beauty in homemade-sealing-waxed action.

And this, here, is the fabulous result of my joy overload.

Sealing tip: place your seal in the freezer for 10 or so minutes before you start, and use a tissue to rub some olive oil over the stamp face to further prevent any sticking. Works like a whole genteel-sized load of charm.

I cannot possibly (thank you) say thank you enough but (thank you) by the time I (thank you) finish this (thank you) thank you, it's possible that I (thank you) would (thank you) have given it a (thank you) decent (thank you) attempt.

And through all of this dumbfounded joy and overflowing gratitude, I can't help but also thank Izak Lazarowski, once again, for giving Warren Tales the undoubtedly dapper face we know and love.

Thank you. Thank you, and goodnight.