Archive for DIY

Polish for Glasses

Posted in design, finds, projects with tags , , , on February 17, 2011 by darcyarts

Two things are essential to my well-being: change and color.  That’s what these bottles of fingernail polish will grant.

Keeping spending down while keeping visual stimulation up can be a challenge.

I’d grown very tired of my navy blue glasses. Frames are expensive. With die-hard DIY motivation I picked up the polish.

Fingernail polish rolls on smoothly and each of these bottles comes with tiny little brushes.

While checking out the selection at Target and noticed that the more posh polish finally comes with wider brushes, much better for fingernails. I needed narrow brushes for the slim line of my glass frames and found them in these bottom-of-the-Sally-Hansen-line colors.

The lime green was my first choice. Eventually I will tire of this color and move on to another. But this rocks for now. I am sewing a neon green curly star pillow. We’ve got a theme going.

I covered the lenses with masking tape (which later came off really cleanly). I used my trusty Exacto knife to cut the extra tape away.

Later today I am adding a coat of red glitter polish to spare pair of glasses. Ah, variety.


Weekend Head Update

Posted in Art, constructions, millinery with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by darcyarts

Friday, I applied more  layers of paper onto my DIY head form. I used pages from last year’s telephone book, thin boxes from crackers, cereal, etc, and finished it off with nice white printer paper I once knicked from the Record Searchlight recycle bins.


My impatience shows in this face I have created. I didn’t work the papier mache until I’d smoothed the surface. My head is very craggy and rough.

It may not be too noticeable from the distance required to have my hats in the photo. In these photos I was close up on the head.

HeadFormOmCapAThis head started out very German Expressionist. I was feeling a George Grosz vibe in the beginning. The eyes and the pink softened it.

Now, I think it looks like Marilyn Manson.

This is a really interesting painting by George Grosz.

His work is often focused on the seedier elements of urban life.

I dig the anchor tattoo on this guys bald head. I can’t really tell what else in on his head.

The skinny red tire is cool, too.

The man appears to have on lipstick but I think that is the artist’s touch.

Marilyn Manson wears lipstick well.

I love Marilyn Manson’s face. He has a nice big nose and great lips.

When he doesn’t have those contacts on his eyes you can clearly see a lot of kindness in his warm hazel eyes. That’s what won me over.

Tenderness. I believe I see tenderness in those eyes. I know he loves dogs. He just took on a strange personae for his rock thing.

I would love to do a book of glamour shots of Marilyn and contacts would be forbidden. So would grimaces. He would have to lay back and look enchanting and calmly sensual. Damn, I wish I could really do that project.

Marilyn Manson, dude, can you hear me?

Oh, yes, and Marilyn Manson is most definitely an artist.

Easy Silkscreen

Posted in Art, constructions with tags , , on July 29, 2009 by darcyarts

A few years back, while I was still trying to figure out what sorts of things I might create, I found a very simple and very cheap technique for making silkscreens.

It must have been on a crafter’s site online. It’s probably still out there in cyberspace. It may even be easily intuited by many but I’m going to share it here.

MayanwBowlI’ve made a few of these embroidery hoop silkscreens. Large and small.

This first picture is a Mayan image.

This second image is also Mayan. It’s a little more difficult to see. I made it from a silk scarf and I must have used gloss-lustre Mod Podge.

VisionSerpentHeadVisionSerpentThe third image is from that crappy looking silkscreen. It doesn’t look like much but it works great.

Here are the steps:

1) Find or create an image you like.

2) Get an embroidery hoop large enough to fit around the image.

3) Find some old-school sheer curtain material. Fit it snuggly into the embroidery hoop.

SilkscreenPatches 011

SilkscreenPatchBolan4) Lay the hoop over the image so the material lays flat against the image.

5) Trace your black and white areas with a dark pencil.

6) Flip the screen over so the drawn image is not touching your work table.

7) Mod Podge all white areas, all the areas you Do Not want ink to penetrate. Be generous with the Mod Podge so that you really seal up the material. It will then hold up when you rinse the ink out.

8) Let it dry a good 24 hours. Once dry, hold your screen up to the light and make sure that there are no holes in your covered areas. If there are just cover them with with more Mod Podge.

You have now created your cheapie silk screen.

You can lay it over the surface on to which you will print it, leaving it in the hoop or taking it out.

I am applying the image onto cloth so I take the screen sheet out of the hoop and pin it to the material. Make sure to place the pins out of the range of your image. so that when you take them out you don’t carry ink onto a spot where you don’t want ink.

I use Speedball Fabric ink, applied with a stiff round paint brush, stipling it or dabbing it onto the open areas of the silkscreen. I go over the open areas thoroughly to make sure the ink has been pressed through the screen.

Once I’m sure the ink is on the cloth I remove the pins and very carefully pull the silkscreen away from the material leaving behind the image.

I take my hair dryer, which gets very hot and I blow dry the wet ink for about 4 minutes to heat set it. Make sure the cloth won’t blow away if it’s a small patch peice instead of a whole T Shirt.

I pretty sure if you leave the screen in the hoop and place it face down on a good peice of paper you can pull an image in this same way, stipling the ink onto the paper. I guess you would just use regular screen printing ink instead of fabric ink.

I share the finished Marc Bolan silkscreen when it’s done.

I Fixed It

Posted in Art, dreams, esoterica, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 12, 2008 by darcyarts

Mercury has turned retrograde so I shouldn’t have been surprised that at least one machine would break down.

My “new” computer is the one that folded and so I put up my old one accepting the fact, fairly easily, that I would not be able to use the printer.

After a few days on the old herky jerky ‘puter I remembered that it’s problem was the ethernet card. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it just stops working.

It stopped working yesterday. I felt cooked but then I thought, what the hell, I’ll buy a new ethernet card and put it in myself.

Today I did just that. I bopped over the bridge and went to the closest Radio Shack. The card cost about $30. That’s way cheaper than a new computer. It works and I fixed it. Yipee.

Here is something else I did:

Rhinestones, swarovsky crystals, glued to my glasses DKNY glass frames. My glitter aesthetic will find it’s way into the everyday elements of my life. I put the faintest pink streaks on wisps of hair around my face and the crystals match. The girl at the Radio Shack dug the look.

“Who doesn’t need a little bling?” She asked.

With the printer down for a while (I can get a new card for that, too) I decided now was the time to make papier mache busts of interesting, sexy creatures.

These are sketches for the busts. I wanted them to have lots of hair and horns and donkey or fawn ears and be androgynous.

I bought chicken wire for the base of the figures and I will lay the papier mache on thick and smooth then paint and mod podge them. I plan to have the hair or dangly, streamer parts of string or cloth or whatever and will use little icons and bits tied into the hair. I will paint the features and adorn the faces with rhinestones, glitter, etc.

The initial frame for the inside of the bust was tough on the hands to wrap and secure to itself. My hands ached this morning. Yesterday I made two bodice sections to which i will attach wired heads.

I have never done papier mache before. It should be fun and messy.

I want to make them beautiful but there is always such a gap between what one imagines and what one can bring into reality.

Tommorrow, the front-room-impromtu-redecoration-triggered-by-two-free comfy-chairs adventure.

San Francisco 1978

Posted in music, socialization with tags , , , , , , , on July 16, 2008 by darcyarts

I was constantly hearing the Sex Pistols everywhere I went my first week in San Francisco.

Like thousands of other wandering, escapist children I’d dreamed about making my way to the City by the Bay. By the time I got there I was 25 and things had changed.

The communal dream of hope and hope had been replaced by cynicism and irony.

Many a fool was in the process of falling for the tough “No Feelings” pose of punk. Fuck hippies and free love! Fuck long hair! Oh, yes, and where’s the meth?

The more pure form of this snearing pose and prose had arisen from a distaste for prog-rock super wank. Quite rightly, too. Plodding, self-absorbed musical indulgences became anathema.

John Lydon, dear boy, was DIY from the day he was born, made himself an “I hate Pink Floyd” T-shirt, wore attire made of garbage bags and refused to genuflect before Britains symbol of maternal authority, Queen Elizabeth. But he loved his own sweet mum.

Lydon was from a very poor family. He suffered from meningitis as a child and had his memory wiped clean. it will make you strange. A poor boy naturally comes to understand inequality, hypocrisy and lies.

Syd Barrett was the fuel that powered Pink Floyd. When he decided he wouldn’t play the pop star game anymore and left the group Pink Floyd built the remainder of their career imagining and writing songs about Syd’s interior world. Sorry PF fans. I agree with Lydon. I hate post-Syd Pink Floyd.



Here is my interpretation   of John Lydon. I added microscopic dots of meningitis to the background.

Prints are here at etsy

In the wake of the initial punkish revolt many a young man and woman feverishly operated under the premise that one could do it oneself. No matter what “it” was all you had to do was get the tools and begin to try your hand.

Since that time the DIY waves have spread far and wide in music, craft and art. Get the tools and start. Create and distribute your own tapes and CDs. Make your own art, clothes, knit your frickin’ brains out and sell the items to your friends, neighbors, etc. There are renegade craft fairs for just that purpose.

So the punk DIY was a rebirth of wanting to take the system (you name it) back to zero and start fresh.

DIY fiends walked the streets of San Francisco high on art and other things. They in their stripey shirts and miniskirts, fishnet stockings and short shaggy hair cuts. Suicide blondes were back and splashed with blue, green, bright red dye, boots, belts, badges and bitchy attitudes. The really rad even had . . . a tattoo or two. Don’t tell mom!

Now mom has a full sleeve and beautiful girls are kick-ass tattoo artists. I

n 1978 there were lots of bands in San Francisco: The Nuns, The Avengers, The Dils, The Mutants, The Dead Kennedys, The Screamers and Flipper.  There were lots of other lesser known bands (Please feel free to name others in comments). Neo J. Marvin was there.

And cosmic culture artists of ill repute came out the woodwork every day.

But I would get to know a  more interesting subculture there in S.F.

Luckily I found myself in the warm embrace of a segment of S.F.’s gay community.