My waking hours have me up by 6 am most days, and I can usually take my time to rise slowly and appreciate the beautiful landscapes as they are kissed by sunlight cascading from the rising sun.
Sunsets are great too, don’t get me wrong, but they are busier and the worries of the day often cloud any appreciation of their beauty.
During this holiday season, take time to appreciate things that you may have been overlooking.
It may not be a sunrise or sunset, but I think that those are perfect analogies for phenomenon that are always present in life, yet are not always noticed. Be present in your holiday moments.
Thanks for reading and have yourself a merry little Christmas.
As an artist, one always needs to conserve money and resources.
It totally goes without saying that artist canvas is one of the most expensive items you buy. Each piece requires at least one canvas: there is no way around that!
Once you start getting into you 40th and 50th piece, you can really start feeling the pinch!
Here is my quick guide to making your own stretched art canvas frames for a fraction of the cost of buying it at an art supply store.
12 mm stainless steel staples
8 foot lengths of 2″ x 2″ wood (quantity depends on size of frames you wish to make)
Miter saw (or miter box and hand saw)
Decide on the side of canvas frame you want to have. Keep in mind that the larger your frame, the more supports you will need; so try a small frame (no larger than 2 feet x 2 feet) for your first time.
Measure the lengths of your required pieces from your 8 foot lengths of wood.
Before you cut your wood, check for significant “bows” or crooked parts.Any inconsistently straight parts will make your frame crooked.
Also avoid cutting where the wood has “knots”. Your saw will have a tougher time cutting through knots in wood.
Cut your wood smoothly and carefully. Always wear goggles, and something to cover your nose and mouth from wood dust.
Clear away any mess and start laying out your structure on the floor or your work area.
Lay out your entire structure to ensure that you have measured and cut all proper lengths, and have no missing pieces.
Using wood glue, slather your corners and join them to fit at 90 degrees. The size and thickness of the 2″ x 2″ wood make it easy to have well formed corners, but I recommend confirming the 90 degree angle with a carpenters square.
For this frame, I cut small triangle supports to reinforce the structure and prevent bending. I also used glue to secure these supports at each corner.
Using 12mm stainless steel staples, secure each corner.
There is no set rule of how many staples to use, but since the 12 mm staples are very long and get driven deeply into the wood, I would say that it is safe to use 3- 4 staples for each corner.
Let your new frame dry from 3-6 hours, however I would recommend letting the glue dry overnight.
Once you have let the frame dry, you can stand it up to save space.
Here are some variations I have made in the past.
Note that these have cotton canvas stretched over and stapled in place. I will post a tutorial on this DIY project soon.
Other Finished frames with stretched canvas
Other Finished frames with stretched canvas
If you have any staples that didn’t get driven in all the way, simply use a hammer or mallet to drive them all the way in.
For really large frames, remember to put in cross bars, as well as long wood screws to secure pieces longer than 5 feet.
The creative process is one where sometimes you have to walk away from your work, do something else, and return later with fresh eyes. A friend recently told me this, and I agree with it- it’s just basic science. If you stare at the picture for too long your eyes will go crossed. Just like those 3D photos Scholastic used to sell at book fairs in elementary school. I never had one myself, but our teacher would usually buy one for our class.
I have been taking an opportunity to do that these last two days. I completed 3 aprons in one day during the weekend, and since then I have worked on painting my mural, taken photos of my products, and just found other things to do apart from sitting at my sewing machine. I know that I have a lot of things to work on, but I am trying not to immerse myself so deeply in my tasks that I resent them ad quit altogether- or take a long long break from it where time is wasted-which is sometimes just as bad. I can’t say enough how important it is to stay focused on what you want (if you are fortunate enough to know what that is). Knowing what you want takes a tonne of soul searching. But it feels like the same things that make us wake up the morning, like free-will and individuality, are the things that keep us constricted in fear and inevitable indecision.
I read a story once- in a comic book- about a beautiful woman who lived on a planet that was on the verge of technology that would take its people to an entirely new plateau of existence. They would soon evolve to become advanced beings, and so, the lord of the dream world fell in love with this beautiful woman who lived on this planet. In this story, he took this woman as his lover- and in the beginnings of their courtship, took her to a gathering in another realm.
This gathering was attended by other magnificent beings-including the manifestation of her planet’s Sun. She did not know who he was at first, but felt as though she had known him her entire life. The story concludes with the Sun declaring that he had loved her, her entire life, and that he watched over her and kept her warm from afar. And, that if she would have him, he would love her forever more. Sadly for the king of dreams, she accepted, and the two left the gathering together to be as one.
I find this type of romance to be the most alluring. Longing, devotion, declarations. Not to mention the idea of someone loving you from afar. If these things happen in real life, they are hardly ever admitted to- and if they are, a restraining order usually follows. It seems as though few people open their heart. I know that there is so much hurt in the world- and that if you open your heart some of the bad things may enter just by chance. So we close ourselves off. We harden. We brick each other off with each breath so that we may protect our inner selves from the cold grasp of sadness and hurt.
I wonder if there is a way to keep an open heart, but still remain protected?