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Nail / String Art – Attempt #2

For my second nail art project I decided to make Pac-man and a ghost. Once again I used a piece of leftover wood from an old CD rack but for this attempt I changed methods slightly. After printing out the shapes that I wanted to use as my outline, I used a thumb tack to go around the edge and make evenly spaced tiny holes. Using the thumb tack was more difficult than I thought it would be. The first few were easy to push in but it got progressively harder the more times I had to do it (I guess I have weak thumbs). After all the holes were made I removed the paper and nailed the nails in the tiny holes from the tacks. By doing it this way I didn’t have to deal with the paper leaving remnants around the nails. It was also nice that the nail was able to balance a little in the divot created by the tack. I liked this method better than nailing through the paper but still think that it can be improved upon.
To make the string look nicer I went around the outer edges weaving the string in and out of the nails. By going around the  border twice I was able to create clear borders that look more finished than the borders on my original attempt. I also tried to be conscience of keeping the strings symmetrical and even. While it is by no means perfectly symmetrical the zigzagging of the string was much more balanced.
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Nail/String Art – Attempt #1

Recently a co-worker of mine went to a nail-art event night and told me about it. Apparently they nailed the outline of the shape of Maine onto old barn boards and then used string to create a web between the nails. As she described the class to me I couldn’t help but wonder what other shapes could be made. In theory I could make superhero symbols, words, characters, all sorts of things. I was pumped to give it a try myself. I remembered a board that has been sitting in my closet (it was part of a CD rack at one point in time) that I had stashed in there thinking it could eventually come in handy. When I pulled the board from the closet I was disappointed to find that it had all kinds of screw holes in it from where the metal that held the CDs use to be attached. Fortunately, I had a tub of wood filler and was able to fill all the holes. Once the holes were filled I sanded the wood and painted it black (my go to color of choice whenever I am making something).
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For my first attempt at nail art I decided to make a Batman symbol. I found one that I liked the shape of online and printed it out. I then cut it out with a boarder around the edge. Using a ruler I centered the image on the board and then nailed in 4 nails (one in each corner) to hold the cutout in place. Once I was sure the image wasn’t going anywhere I eyeballed the distances around the edges between the 4 nails I had places and drew dots where I wanted place the nails. It took a few attempts to get the dots positioned correctly. It was harder than I anticipated to hammer the nails straight and all around the same height. I think with practice that the nailing portion of this type of project will get easier and look better. What I hadn’t thought through is that once the nails were in place that the paper outline would backfire on me. When I pulled the paper off it left behind tiny pieces or paper scrap around each nail where the paper had to tear free from under the nail in the holes. I attempted to use tweezers to pull off the paper scraps but they were stuck and hard to grasp. Next time I will come up with a better idea for knowing where the nails need to go.
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Wrapping the yarn around the nails was incredibly fun. I didn’t have a plan for the yarn so I just went with it and mixed up the directions. This didn’t make for a very clear edge so I also wrapped the yard around the outside boarder occasionally wrapping it around some of the nails as needed to get it to keep the right shape. I’m not sure if better planning would make it come out better or if there is a technique that I should be using. I need to look up some info on how other people do this but for a first attempt I am happy-ish with how it turned out. One thing for sure is that I am definitely interested in giving this another try.

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Thrift shop find

So I just found this frame at a local thrift shop and am excited to figure out what to do with it. Its pretty beat up around the corners but should look good as new once I get a chance to work on it 🙂

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Getting closer (part 3)

Yesterday was rainy/gross outside so we ended up staying home and working on projects (my husband working on a computer project, me working on GeekChic stuff).

As I was searching through my box of old/ripped/water-damaged/creased comics (I know, so sad) I stumbled across a scene that showed Bruce Wayne’s parents being murdered in a Batman Origins graphic novel that I had gotten at a yard sale last summer. I’m not going to lie, its more than a little depressing but it is a big part of why Bruce Wayne turned out like he did so I decided to use it. I’d actually been wanting to do something with this scene for a while now but the images were too wide to be cut down to go on a frame and there weren’t enough of the images to make a full size tray. Luckily the cabinet door trays are slightly smaller in the middle where the images go since they have the wide borders on the edge so they were perfect for this.
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For the second tray I decided to go with a Joker theme which only seemed fair since I am already making a Batman tray. The images for this tray are from Joker #1 (#23.1) from November 2013. I got this comic at the same yard sale that the Batman graphic novel came from and had been waiting for a good way to use it. There is a fairly large picture of The Joker looking straight ahead that I thought would look cool on a tray.
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For the last tray I was leaning towards Ghost Rider since my husband gave me his collection of Ghost Riders from when he was a kid that had gotten damaged while in storage and I have a lot of them to work with. However, when I was flipping through Ghost Rider # 77 from September 1996 which featured Doctor Strange I found a pic of Doctor Strange that I just had to use. It was of him standing like a bad ass looking off to the left. Although this issue featured Doctor Strange there wasn’t a ton of images of him so I wasn’t sure if there would be enough material to actually make the tray. After some careful planning (measuring the images in the comic book and considering how to cut them) I realized that it was going to be close but that I could probably make it work and started in. It was closer than I thought it was going to be but worked out in the end.

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After selecting all of the materials and getting them cut/laid out how I wanted them I used Modgepodge to carefully stick the images down. For anyone who hasn’t used Modgepodge before I highly recommend that you keep an empty gift card or old hotel room key around to use when Modgepodging. Its very helpful to run over the tops of the images and squeeze out any air bubbles/ excessively glued areas. Since I am going to be epoxying over the comics its vital that the images are stuck down tightly and there are no air bubbles as the epoxy will eat through the paper and turn it black in any areas that have air bubbles. Its also handy to keep a damp rag around that you can use to wipe off your fingers as the Modgepodge will get on your hands and depending on the type of comic book you’re using can cause you to pull the ink off the pages and onto your glue-y fingers. This is especially a concern when using the old newsprint paper style of comics as the ink on those ones seems to smudge and lift easily.

Now that the images are all glued down the next step is going to be painting over them with approximately a dozen layers of varnish going in every direction and then eventually (when the weather improves) epoxying them to create a glass-like finish. More to come on this project as I am able to start epoxying again.

Doors into trays (part2)

Its been a busy week but I finally had a chance to work on this project some more. I drilled the holes for the handles so that they could be attached. This took a while as the handles were left overs that my dad had given me and I didn’t know what size hole I needed to drill to make them fit. I didn’t want to make the holes too big, so I started drilling with one of the smallest bits that I could find and slowly worked my way up until I finally found the correct bit to be using (around the fourth one I tried). I’m glad to say that I remembered to drill the holes before I started painting since they would have messed up the paint job had I done it the other way.

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After the holes were drilled, I sanded the doors down the rest of the way and painted them black. It took a few coats of black paint and then a few more coats of a clear varnish but I am happy with the outcome. I had attempted to tape off the back/bottom of the trays so that the in sets would still show some of the original wood but the paint bled through the edge of the tape lines and I had to give up on that idea.

Now I pretty much have the trays prepped to start adding the comics to as soon as I decide which characters to go with. So far I am thinking that I want to do something with Batman but I’m not sure what exactly…

Turning cabinet doors into trays

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my art projects and Etsy store, my passion is taking old/worn out/unwanted items from thrift shops, lawn sales, and wherever else I find them and making them new again with nerdy flair. This brings me to my latest project:
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I recently rescued 3 old kitchen cabinet doors from the burn pile at my parents house. They were remnants from a kitchen remodel that my dad had decided he no longer needed. When I found out he was going to burn them to get rid of them, I couldn’t stop myself from grabbing them to bring home. I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to use them but suspected that I could turn them into trays since the inside of the doors are recessed from the edges of the doors.

The first step in up-cycling them was to remove the hinges/hardware and sand off the 90’s wood colored polyurethane.Once they hinges were removed I was left with 2 big holes in the back (soon to be bottoms) of the doors. Using wood filer I was able to fill the holes in. This sounds much simpler than it actually was since the holes were so large that the wood filler had to be slowly added in thin layers until the holes were finally filled in. This is what it looked like when I finally got it filled in/sanded:

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More info on this project will come soon as I get the chance to work on them more.

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