tuesday transfers 04.23.13

As a graphic designer, I tend to design in fads. Like, I’ll discover a new font and use it in everything for about a month until I find another new font I absolutely love to the point where I start using it in everything and look back on my old designs with a why did I use that first font OHMIGOD it’s so NOT as awesome as I thought blah blah I’m so dumb. Sort of how people look back on old photographs and think to themselves, “Holy sh*t, what was I wearing? Why did I think that haircut was okay?” Except for me, it happens about once a month instead of once a decade.

Chalkboard typography happens to be the latest fad train I’ve jumped aboard. Ever since I stumbled upon the work of graphic designer, Dana Tanamachi, I’ve become obsessed with the trend. If you’ve never seen the time lapse videos of her creating some of her work, please go here now. Warning: the talent she exudes will suck you in until you’ve watched all of them.

Welcome back. So. Chalkboard typography. I’m not really all that talented with actual chalk, so I’ve tried my best to recreate the chalkboard look for today’s installment of Tuesday TransfersA few weeks back, I created a few quote art prints with my take on chalkboard typography, which you can see in the typography prints section of my Etsy Shop here. Then, I went a bit further and transferred those art prints onto wood pieces.

First up today is an Albert Einstein quote I’ve never used before:

Creativity is contagious; pass it on.

This wood piece is available in my Etsy Shop here. To keep the focus on the actual wood pieces in the Etsy listing photography, I used only white props in the background for this first piece.

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Next up is one of my go-to quotes by Frank Zappa:

So many books; so little time.

For these photos, I propped the wood piece up on a few books (minus their decorative dust jackets), but kept the all-white vase in the background. I was afraid this set of photos would look too busy, but I actually like how they turned out. This wood block/bookend is available in my Etsy Shop here.

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Another quote I love to design around is this great gem by Ernest Hemingway:

Write drunk; edit sober.

I mean, how else are you supposed to write/edit? Very sage advice, I must say. I accented this design with my typewriter vector. This wood piece is available in my Etsy Shop here.

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It seems as though I haven’t created anything Elvis themed in a while, so I decided to play around with this popular Elvis Presley quote:

When things go wrong, don’t go with them.

For added design, I included a vector of an Elvis Presley silhouette I created (available in a marble tile coaster set here) about a year ago. Can you tell I re-use vectors a lot? This wood block is available in my Etsy Shop here.

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Again, to see all of these wood pieces as simple prints, visit the typography prints section of my Etsy Shop here. To see more of my Tuesday Transfers posts, you can follow this thread here and scroll down.

Thanks to a few friends, my sister and I were able to replenish our dwindling pile of salvaged and reclaimed wood this weekend.

Say it with me. Jack. Pot.

salvaged reclaimed recycle wood into art lindsey archer

With our brother’s help, we were able to turn all of those large pieces into ready-for-art sized pieces, as shown here. That means we’re ready to start stockpiling artwork for our 2013 Cooper Young Art Festival Booth, all of which I’ll be documenting here on Tuesday Transfers.

Come back soon.

– lindsey archer

tuesday transfers 03.26.13

One of my favorite things to do since I joined the world of blogging is browse the search term statistics readers have used to find my blog. Seriously. You underestimate how entertaining it is to read thru all the different phrases that have brought people here to my little corner of the blogosphere.

The phrase “purple vomit causes” has linked someone to my blog three different times. That is not a typo. Not once. Three times. And yes, the fact that three different people out in the world have experienced purple vomit to the extent they are googling the causes is definitely a reason for concern. In fact, if that is how you happened upon me today, please continue on to WebMD to determine how many months you have left to live.

When I see my full name show up in the search referral, I always secretly hope it’s not just my mom typing my name into Google because she forgot the actual web address of my blog. Though, let’s be honest. It probably is most definitely my mom.

Surprisingly, the phrase that clocks in with the most referrals is:

Dreams don’t work unless you do.

Considering there’s so many people out there finding my blog after Googling this term while I’ve only written about it once before…I figured it was time to revisit this popular inspirational quote. So, that’s the topic for today’s Tuesday Transfers.

As I mentioned on Friday, this post was originally scheduled for last week, but I was a little under the weather extremely, violently ill at the time and lacked both the strength and the motivation to type anything whatsoever on my computer. Thankfully, there was no purple vomit involved, so I’m all better now. Which brings us to my latest round of art transferred to wood.

Beginning with the inspirational quote “Dreams don’t work unless you do,” I played around in Illustrator with a few different typography choices until settling on my most recent font obsession—So Thin. I then added a vector image of clouds with an arrow pointing down to the inspiration quote, sort of like the quote fell out of the cloud. Keeping to pastel hues for spring, I created both a green (PMS 374 C) and a teal blue (PMS 345 C) version.

For the blue wood block’s Etsy picture, I added in a few similar-hued vases as props in the background.

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This blue version is slightly more distressed than the green and is available in my Etsy shop here.

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I also added in a few props for the green salvaged wood art piece—a green vase of my sister’s and one of my favorite green book ends.

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The green dreams quote art piece is available in my Etsy shop here.

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I’m hoping to also make this available as a simple, 8″ x 10″ art print (not on wood), but haven’t had the time as of this posting. If searching the quote “Dreams don’t work unless you do” is what brought you here today, feel free to browse around all of my Tuesday Transfers by following this thread here.

For closing today, I thought I’d share with you the most peculiar search engine term I’ve seen on my blog’s stats so far this year.

creepy old guy in cosco

And, again, no. That was not a typo. So, watch out creepy old guy in cosco. There is someone out there searching for you.

UPDATE: I’ve created the print version of this “Dreams don’t work unless you do” wood piece as a watercolor-esque art print, as shown below. It’s available in my Etsy shop here.

dreams don't work unless you do watercolor art print memphis artist lindsey archer etsy

– lindsey archer

tuesday transfers 03.12.13

My sister and I recently converted our back room from a library/sitting room to a library/office. We bought a wide table from a thrift store, then refinished and repurposed it as a two sided desk to fit both of our computers (instagram image here). The back wall of the now-office features two large windows and a pair of glass doors that open out to our back deck, which gives us a nice view to look out onto when our eyes aren’t glued to our computer screens. You know what other purpose those glass doors serve? They let our dog outside.

I’m sitting here at my desk, writing this post in our library/office as Maddie is staring out of those two glass doors, longing to be outside. And now she’s barking. As part hound, Maddie has one of the loudest barks for a 50 lb. dog I have ever heard. She likes to bark and whine and howl to get your attention because she doesn’t understand that a simple paw swipe on the door is efficient enough for me to let her outside. Then, less than two minutes later, she is flinging herself against the glass door to be let back inside. Over and over again. Hard. Because apparently a zombie apocalypse has broken out in our backyard and why am I just sitting here typing on my keyboard when I should be leaping up from my chair right now to open the door for her before she is attacked by the flesh eating zombies? After a few more body slams into the door, I oblige and let her inside. She leaps around the house, goes to fart in the living room (or whatever it is she does when we’re not in there with her) and is back in front of that damn glass door within two minutes. Barking and howling and jumping to be let back out as if she has completely forgotten about the zombies outside waiting to attack her.

Rinse and repeat.

Do you know how hard it is to concentrate on writing a blog post when you have a bi-polar dog in the room with you? Obviously you do now, considering I’ve written about my new office, Maddie and the zombie apocalypse without one mention of what this blog post is supposed to be about.

So, moving on to Tuesday Thursday Transfers*. To catch up on all my Tuesday Transfers posts, go here, scroll down and start at the bottom.

This week’s photo transfer artwork is another round of tumbled marble tile coaster sets (I blogged about my first sets here). In keeping with my most recent Etsy listings, I’ve tried to include more props in the photography here (as always, click on images to enlarge).

First up is my favorite Ernest Hemingway writing quote:

Write drunk; edit sober

Just like my first coaster sets, these coasters are made by transferring custom graphic images to tiles of tumbled marble. I did these coasters in three shades of green, since we’re coming up on St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday. And because green is my favorite color. I also added in my great-grandfather’s vintage Underwood typewriter as an accent for the Etsy listing photography. This set is available in my Etsy shop here.

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I previously made a set of colored Elvis Presley coasters, but I wanted to keep this one simple. So, I kept to a black and white theme. Since I don’t own a guitar, blue suede shoes or any other Elvis memorabilia, these photos didn’t include any accents. Just Elvis coasters. These are available in my Etsy shop here.

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For this next coaster set, I took a vector graphic of a vintage typewriter and added it to three colorful backgrounds. I figured the pastel blue, mint and yellow-green hues were perfect for the spring/Easter season. These are listed in my Etsy shop here.

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Next up, who doesn’t love wine? For this marble coaster set, I drew up three vectors of different shaped wine glasses in Adobe Illustrator and paired them with coral/orange and shades of mint green. Then, of course, I grabbed three wine glasses from my cupboard to use as photography props for the Etsy listing. You can view them in my Etsy shop here.

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That’s all I have for today (sorry Tuesday Transfers is on Thursday this week). Next week’s transfer series will be all about this quote:

Dreams don’t work unless you do.

Also, check back tomorrow for my latest Etsy Treasury. It’s either going to be about traveling or St. Patrick’s Day. I haven’t decided. Now, excuse me. Maddie wants to go play outside with the zombies.

– lindsey archer

*I apologize for the erratic nature of this blog post’s opening. My dog is crazy.

salvaging quotes

I’ve written briefly about how my sister and I use only salvaged wood to make our art pieces. It all started because we were being cheap and the quality unfinished wood at Lowe’s and Home Depot is a lot more expensive than one might think. Add that to the fact everyone and their mother were pinning projects made from reclaimed palettes all over Pinterest, we thought…we’re artistic. Why aren’t we doing this?

Plus—bonus—now we get to say we use recycled wood because we’re trying to save the environment, yadda, yadda, Go Green! It’s a win-win, really.

At first, leading up to Cooper Young Festival, we would simply drive around our neighborhood, tires screeching against the pavement for every random pile of scrap wood or discarded palette that caught our eye. Similar to how we happened upon our vintage doors, most of it had to do with luck. As is the custom with luck…it eventually runs out. That’s when we realized we needed to develop a smarter approach to our wood collecting venture.

Solution? We started stalking contractors.

Okay, stalking is a strong word. We’ll go with lightly following.

We have a friend whose boyfriend does some construction/contracting on the side that we have taken to calling weekly to see if one of his side jobs happens to be throwing out any wood anytime soon. The first time we called, he was building a deck for someone out of beautiful cedar wood and didn’t need any scrap pieces that ended up being cut down to under 6 ft. Uh…can you say, jackpot?

The art I’m about to show is salvaged from his latest project (a front porch, maybe?). I still can’t believe people throw this quality of wood out on the street to be picked up with the weekly garbage.

If you’d like an insight into how exactly I make this art, keep reading. Otherwise, just skip the next four paragraphs and enjoy the pictures (as always, click on images to enlarge).

After having my dad cut the wood down to manageable art pieces, I start off by sanding the unfinished wood as smooth as I can get it. I then stain the back and sides/edges in a red oak finish, while painting the front either white or a color, depending on the graphic I plan on transferring to it. I print the graphics and/or images in reverse from a laser printer (FedEx Office uses laser printers and is relatively cheap if you’re like us and don’t own one—inkjet printers won’t work because the ink is water soluble) on standard copy paper (thinner, the better). Once all the paint and stain has dried, I apply a generous coat of gel medium to the front and flatten the image (facedown) onto the wood.

After letting the image sit overnight, I take a wet rag to the wood to gently rub off the paper fibers. The gel medium works to absorb the ink from the image, which is what you’re left with on the wood after all the paper fibers are rubbed off.

Once all the paper is rubbed off, I distress the wood by hand with sanding blocks to give it that vintage, shabby chic look. Finally, I top off each piece with a final protective coating of polyurethane and I’m done!

The whole process is tedious and can sometimes be rather time-consuming. On numerous occasions, my sister and I have come extremely close to hiring someone to pre-sand our salvaged wood, because depending on how large of a collection we gather from our friend, it can take hours upon hours to get all the pieces smooth. Also, sometimes the paper acts like a clingy boyfriend and refuses to let go easily. I’ve scraped my fingers raw multiple times in my attempts to get the paper fibers completely off the wood. Though, overall, I still believe the finished products make the process worth it. Every time.

First up today, my Memphis City Typography on wood. The dark stain really brings out the detail in the wood, as you can see in the image of the back.

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Here’s a full front view and a close-up. This piece has already sold, but I plan on making some more over the next week or two.

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Next up are two larger but thinner pieces on which I applied Dr. Seuss and Oscar Wilde quotes.

Why fit in when you were born to stand out? -Dr. Suess

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. -Oscar Wilde

These two pieces are available in my Etsy Shop here (orange) and here (green).

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And because I’m obsessed with books, I had to add in one using my favorite quote about reading, by Frank Zappa.

So many books, so little time. -Frank Zappa

I think the Harry Potter books as props add a nice touch to these images (who hasn’t read and fallen in love with Harry Potter?). This piece is available in my Etsy Shop here (books not included).

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I love the back of this piece. Some may see it as damaged, but I think it adds character and makes the piece more interesting.

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I saved my favorite for last. A typewriter vector graphic paired with everyone’s favorite Hemingway quote about writing.

Write drunk; edit sober. -Ernest Hemingway

Such great advice, Hemingway. This piece is available in my Etsy Shop here.

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That’s it for today. Check back soon for some of my paintings transferred to wood. Then, next week I’m planning on catching up on my Project365 posts. Stay tuned.

– lindsey archer

project 365 | days 175 thru 194

It’s been awhile since my last Project 365 post, so I thought I’d knock one out today to try and catch up a little. Instead of the usual 16 images, I’m posting 20 photos today. Bear with me. To catch up on all my Project 365 posts—starting at day 1—you can go here, scroll down to the bottom and select older posts (twice). Today we’re starting with Day 175. As always, click on images to enlarge.

Day 175, my sister and I decided to hold a preview party to show off some of our art before the Cooper Young Festival. How did we get people to come? We bought out Cosco’s wine supply. It’s crazy how excited people get over the prospect of free booze. Day 176, here was the set up in our library for our preview party. The wine flowed, as did some of our art. Win, win.

 

Day 177, my youngest nephew turned one. Whether he liked it or not, his older brother was more than happy to help him eat some of his birthday cake. Such a caring big brother, reminds me so much of mine. Day 178, Kristen and I have become obsessed with salvaging wood. We’ll be driving down the road and the second one of us spots a pile discarded on the curb, we yell out at the other to pull over. Immediately. It’s like a game of who can spot it first. Riding around with us is like being stuck with two people suffering from Tourettes. Except, with a limited vocabulary, because all we scream out is “Wood!” or “Palettes!” or in some cases, “DOORS!” It’s become sort of a problem. It does make great art, though.

 

Day 179, it’s a rare moment when our two animals can sit within inches of each other without fighting…like cats and dogs. I had to capture it before any eyes were scratched out. Day 180, first NFL football game of the fall had Eli Manning leading the defending Super Bowl champions to its first loss of the season. Very sad day for the Giants. I yelled at the TV. Multiple times.

 

Day 181, it’s not often my to read pile stands at only two books tall (both of which have been read by now). So, of course I had to go spend more money at Barnes & Noble right away. Talk about a problem. If there’s a twelve step program for people who spend their entire paycheck at Barnes & Noble, I need to join. The first step is admitting your problem, right? One down, eleven to go. Day 182, this is what Mulligan does when I ask him to pose for the camera. He can go from being an adorable cat to being a stubborn little shit faster than my crappy iPhone 3GS can snap a picture.

 

Day 183, opening football weekend for my beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs. We beat Auburn 28-10. War Eagle, what? And no, I don’t want to talk about the last two games where the Bulldogs apparently forgot how to play football. It’s too depressing and I prefer to block them out. Day 184, Kristen and I performed a practice run of setting up our Cooper Young Festival Booth on our back deck. Perfection takes practice.

 

Days 185 and 186, samples of some of my wood art for Cooper Young Fest. I was creating new pieces down to the final days before the Festival. I work well under pressure. It also makes me work very quickly. My fingers were raw for about a week from rubbing off all the excess paper from the ink transfers on the wood. Art is all about sacrifice.

 

Day 187, this is what I often see when I wake up in the mornings. In case you didn’t know, pets don’t care whether or not you’re a morning person. They also don’t care what time of day they wake you up. Crack of dawn? Sure. Three o’clock in the morning? Why not? Mulligan loves climbing on top of my chest at 6:00 am, his face inches from mine. He then emits the loudest purr known to his kind, so as to let me know he’s bored and in need of entertainment. Apparently, I live to serve him. Day 188, this was my response to Kristen when she texted me asking if I was ready for our Cooper Young Festival Booth in just two days. Obviously, I’m a natural rapper.

 

Day 189, remember Day 174’s photo of the day? The big ass blank canvas? This is a close-up of the finished product. Naturally, I completed it the night before the Festival. I’m a more talented procrastinator than I am painter. Day 190, our official Cooper Young Festival Booth, put together at the crack ass of dawn. Despite the fact it was an extremely long day, Kristen and I had so much fun with the booth, the festival…all of it. We can’t wait to have another booth next year. Thank you, again, to everyone who stopped by. And an even bigger thank you to all those who made a purchase. We hope to make the booth even bigger and better next year. Can’t wait.

 

Day 191, Maddie joined us in having a lazy Sunday after CY Fest. I haven’t been that tired in I don’t know how long. Still…definitely—definitely—worth it. Day 192, Monday Night Football with my boyfriend, Peyton Manning, and his new team, the Denver Broncos. 27-21, they lost to the still undefeated Atlanta Falcons. I may have cried. A little. It’s okay. My good friend, Justin, happened to be in town from Denver to watch it with me and brought me some bourbon to ease the pain after we finished off my six-pack. It helped. A little.

 

Day 193, Kristen and I packed up some wine to head over to our friends’ house to watch my other boyfriend, Matt Bomer, in his fantastic show, White Collar. If you have yet to discover the awesomeness that is White Collar…I feel sorry for you. You are depriving yourself of perfection. Day 194, I was one of the first to take advantage of the new Twitter profiles. I know. I’m so tech-savvy.

 

And that’s 20 and done. I still have 50 photos to get thru before I’m even close to being caught up, so check back soon for another few Project 365 posts. Until then, pray with me that my Bulldogs remember how to play football tonight against LSU. Go Dawgs.

– lindsey archer

loose ends in my etsy shop

Cooper Young Festival may be over, but I’m still creating art.

It’s no secret I’m book obsessed. And since I recently started collecting bookends, I figured…why not make some of my own?

In the months leading up to Cooper Young Festival, my sister and I stockpiled quite the salvaged wood collection. You’d be surprised by how much wood people throw out on the street. Cedar wood. Wood Palettes. Huge two by fours. The only problem? If I wanted to make bookends or art pieces, the wood would need to be cut down. And, well…I’m not so good with powertools. Seriously. I hear the sound of a power saw and my eyes squeeze shut automatically. Which is obviously the safe reaction. Right? Every time, too. You may hear a simple power drill, but I hear Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Except, in Tennessee. So, I guess, Tennessee Chainsaw Massacre. It’s unhealthy. I know. But what can you do?

Well, you can do what my sister and I did. Beg your Dad to spend a few hours every other weekend sawing two by fours and planks of cedar down into various small pieces so you could create art. Of course he said yes (we love you, Daddy).

Once I had wood blocks in the correct size, I painted them, transferred the ink from various graphic design & painting prints via a gel medium, distressed the edges with a sanding block and topped them off with a protective coating of polyurethane.

Without further adieu, I’d like to introduce you to the latest additions to my Etsy Shop: wood block bookends (as with the Project 365 posts, click on images to enlarge).

First up, the black and teal typewriter. Teal paint + a simple black vector graphic of a vintage typewriter. Available in my Etsy Shop here.

  

Next up, green guitars. Green paint + black vector graphics of a few different guitar ends. Available in my Etsy Shop here.

  

Next up, perfect for any tech geek, I give you the Three Finger Salute. AKA…Ctrl Alt Del (every computer user’s favorite three keyboard keys). Teal paint + some simple typography. Available in my Etsy Shop here.

  

For my next bookend, I used a print of one of my original acrylic paintings of the Memphis Bridge (you can see it hanging in my house here). Black and white paint + bridge painting print image transfer. Available in my Etsy Shop here.

  

Then, I can’t do a Memphis bookend without creating one with Memphis’s best zip code. Green paint + black 38104 (midtown Memphis) typography. Available in my Etsy Shop here.

  

And because I had some longer wood block pieces to work with, I made two simple home decor pieces (they were slightly too large for bookends). White and teal guitar accent and a Warhol-esque version of my original acrylic Memphis trolley painting (see the original in my house here). These two pieces are also available in my Etsy Shop here and here.

  

  

Coming up soon, I’m going to show you a few of my original acrylic paintings, followed by a Project 365 post or two. Also, there’s this little thing called National Novel Writing Month coming up in 9 days.

Stay tuned.

– lindsey archer

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