Archive for the ‘Craft’ Category

Beans and Macaroni

February 21, 2012

I miss the days of making art from glue, paper, macaroni, beans and pudding.

Tammy Faye

Tammy Faye

The other day, I was chillin and thrillin with my pal, Princess Kennedy and she told me about a friend of hers who has gotten famous making art out of all of the above (except pudding.)

Jason Mecier is known for celebrity bean portraits. He also makes yarn art, macaroni art, candy art and art out of items found in junk drawers.

Here are a few of his portraits – and also a business tip I learned from him. As a pop artist, he loves to replicate the image of the likes of Dolly Parton and Farah Fawcett. Somehow, the artists often end up buying his portraits of them. I think I’ll do a fillet crochet portrait of Ellen Degeneris or Bobby McFerin and see what happens! Check out Jason’s website at for more info.

Charlie's Angels

Charlie's Angels

“It Would Be Impossible to Keep House with Only 36 Doilies”

January 12, 2012

I’ve been making doilies since high school. Are they old-fashioned? Yes. Out-of-fashion? Never.

Giant doilies will grace the walls of my show. Join me to see them, and so much more.

My Dead Friends
629 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Jan 15 to Feb 19
Wake and Last Rites, Jan 15, 6 to 8 p.m.

Springville Art Museum’s Quilt Show

August 30, 2011
 Pilgrim's Progress Embroidery Close Up  

Todd and I spent the last Saturday of August with our dear friend, Rachel Hayes, at the Springville Art Museum’s Annual Quilt show. I go to the show every year, and I enjoy seeing quilts from Pennsylvania and Rhode Island mixed in with the styles closest to my heart – good old fashioned Mormon handicraft.

Here are some samples of our favorites. Sadly, the show closes tomorrow, August 31, but you can always start planning now for next summer’s show.


Don’t Let Your Crap Get in the Way of Your Crafts Part II

August 16, 2011

Shelves - Before

Special to ArtDuh by Laura Bramwell, Professional Organizer

Here’s Laura’s case study of how she took on a craft studio and made it bow to the Godess of order.
Before photos:

Beccy is a friend of mine who is very artistically talented.  Her specialties include: jewelry, hair accessories, and fashion design.  She can take a muumuu she found at D.I. and turn it in to a beautiful dress.

When I walked into Beccy’s craft room, I noticed several smart storage ideas, including: Painted cork boards to hang her finished jewelry, a vintage soda crate with small compartments, several tackle boxes, and a portable clothing rack to hold all of her pending clothing projects.  Although all of these ideas could potentially work to her advantage, the problem I found, which is common for most of us, was:  unutilized space.  Beccy had full shopping bags and boxes all over the room even though she had empty space in her tackle boxes, cork boards and shelves.  I spent a day following my listed tips, and without wasting one dime on new storage products, was able to turn a somewhat chaotic craft room into an organized one.  Beccy is now able to work on her projects in a more peaceful art sanctuary.

After photos

A NOTE OF CAUTION: KEEP YOUR SHOES ON!  Even after I had picked up at least a dozen pins and needles off of the carpet, I stupidly took my shoes off and wound up stepping on a pin that went all the way through my toe.  In case you’re wondering, it hurt like hell.

If your craft mess is more than you can handle, get in touch with Laura at


Don’t Let Your Crap Get in the Way of Your Crafts Part 1

August 11, 2011
Craft Shelves - After

Craft Shelves - After

Special to ArtDuh by professional organizer Laura Bramwell

It’s no secret that ‘artistic’ and ‘organized’ do not always go hand in hand, and you shouldn’t necessarily be ashamed of that.  However, when you feel inspired to start an art project, spend a frustrating hour looking all over the house for a misplaced paintbrush and end up giving up on the idea altogether, it’s time to make some changes.  Although it may seem like an overwhelming task, organization is ultimately worth the effort and will save you time, frustration, and the money that you spend to replace misplaced items.  The following are some tips to help prove that creativity and neatness can, in fact, co-exist:

1: Make the process an art project of its own.

I highly doubt that anyone artistic would want their craft room to look ‘blah.’ Once you’re done with the sorting process, you will have a new exciting opportunity to get creative with how you store everything—and make it your own.   Keep in mind that after the tedious part is over, your artistic talent will be able shine as you make some of the finishing touches.

2.  Sort through the chaos.

Clear off your drafting table to sort through every last item.  Start grouping similar items into piles.  Consider each item before you place them in a pile and ask yourself how long it has been since you’ve used the item.  If you don’t see yourself using that item again or if you have too much of a specific item, place it in a donation box.  Although it may be difficult to accept that a project may never get finished, by purging you can drastically reduce the amount of things you need to maintain.  There are many schools in Utah that accept used art supplies, so dust them off and give them to kids who need them.

3. Everything in its right place.

Now that you’re done with the decluttering, it’s time to make a home for everything you decided to keep.  Break down the piles into several sub-sections, for example: paint supplies, paper products, sewing supplies, and current projects.  As you divide up the sub-sections, start to organize items to make them easiest for you to find.  For example:  yarn and fabric by color, needles by type, and beads by shape.

4. Get creative while staying green.

It’s also no secret that ‘artistic’ and ‘environmentally aware’ often go hand in hand, and even when you’re organizing, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t.  More than likely there are plenty of items in your recycle bin that you can easily refurbish and make excellent new storage containers.  If you can’t find all of the items you need there, look no further than a thrift store and use your creative brain to give used items new uses.

5. Try to maintain it.  It may be difficult to change old habits overnight, but unless you maintain the organization, it will slowly become chaos all over again.  The best thing to do would be to put everything away after you use it, or dedicate one day of the week to pick up the crap.  If certain items become a problem again, it’s probably time to come up with a new system.

Laura Bramwell, organizing super hero

Laura Bramwell, organizing super hero

Meet Laura

If you’re one of the many who is far too busy or stressed to bring order to everything on your own, that’s why I’m here.  I recently started my own professional organizing business, and I am very excited and eager to help people organize and bring peace to different rooms in their house, including craft rooms and art studios.   Because I’m still fairly new to the profession, I am currently offering low hourly rates to those who need me.  If you have any questions or would like a free assessment, e-mail me at   Don’t worry, I’m not that lame.

Craft Lake City to Take Over the Gallivan on Saturday, August 13

August 9, 2011
Scout Models Baby Sweater for Craft Lake City

Scout Models Baby Sweater for Craft Lake City

Craft Lake City aims to euthanize the wooden bunnies and geese of yester year, and expand SLC’s definition of craft. Think 180 artists with  monsters, dolls representing iconic figures, chain mail and clothing made from bullets for a start. Todd and I will have granola, bikinis (sported by Utah’s sexiest), baby clothes and hand- made jewellery. Musicians and performers will entertain all day on the City Weekly and Slug Mag stages. Kids can help raise money for a chronically ill child by participating in craft activities or bouncing in a bounce house for 1 and 3 dollars.

August 13 from 2 to 9 p.m.
The Gallivan Center

Kids Craft-i-peneurs

July 14, 2011

This summer I’ve been teaching a class on marketing craft products – for kids. I teach at a Youth City program in the Avenues, and my students are the best, smartest and most talented kids in all of the SLC! They have learned to write marketing strategies, develop tactical plans, build displays, draw logos, conduct branding and even e-commerce. This past week, they each wrote “copy” to advertise their products. Some took more of an ad-focused approach while others wrote like journalists. Here is what they had to say. Be sure to look for these products around town and support amazing child artists and crafters.

Savanna F with Squeeze Me Lemonade
For Squeeze Me, I sell fresh lemonade. I made the recipe myself. You could by my products for birthdays and other special events, it would be an excelent party treat. Every cup would cost at least 75 cents, or buy ½ dozen cups and get one free. My inspiration was when I was little I had lemonade stands all the time. It was super fun and so I decided to sell lemonade. The reason I am doing it I am trying to buy a house for my mom, but I’m donating at least 10 percent of earned money to charity.

Kay, this is not my class. . but it could be

Kay, this is not my class. . but it could be

Abbie B. With Cookielishisnous
Cookielishisnous selling now. Come buy these delicious cookies sold by kids. Only $10.89 4 a dozen. Choco-ship, butterscotch, pumpkin choco-chip, sugar cookies, snickerdoodles and oatmeal choco-chip.

Lexi Bo Bexi
Lexi Bo Bexi is a product that I make handmade jewelry. Then make a charm of a word out of shrinkidink. I will costomize your jewelry. My inspiration is not always being to express yourself. So one word to describe you will be on your jewelry. It would make an exlent anniversary, valentines, Christmas etc gift. For example some words that may describe you are outgoing, funny and original. So mabey you would choose one to wear so when your out-and-about people will know the one word to describe you.

Rat-It-Too Me by Onnie O.
I make sock monkeys, becouse when I was little my grandma’s friend would always send me sock monkeys in the mail. For $15 recycled. I make magnets with beer caps from Café Molise. (I have connections.) Some hair pins I make are rilly cute! Some of them are hand embroidered roses and vases of flowers. My stuff is pretty cute!!!!!

Brenden M. Anime Today. . . Tomorrow. . . Forever.
I draw anime because it’s fun. Anime is awesome because the detail on the people, the way they dress is different. The animes I draw is Soul Eater, Full metal Alchemest, D-Gray man and Shool rumble all TV Tokyo shows. I teach my self to draw them. I’ve been drawing since I was little and I am pretty good at it. I practice drawing once and awhile. I’ll try to make Plush “dolls,” to end this I say Anime Today. . . Tomorrow. . . Forever.

Crafti Indulgence by Sadiki
I make crafts such as stuffed animals, purses, wallets, jewelry, hair clips, beads, buttons and more! All of my ideas are original and made to fit your needs (or wants) J I will custom make any of the above items (or others) specially for you.

Ain’t No Hothouse Flower

July 11, 2011

“You ain’t no hothouse flower” is something my crochet teacher said her dad used to tell her. When I decided to crochet a wedding gown, I knew “Ain’t No Hothouse Flower” would be its name. One part tribute to my teacher, and the other parts blood, sweat, tears and calusses, this dress took at least 3 years to make. It’s constructed like an apron – backless – and by the time I approached “finishing” it, the yarn store stopped carrying the color. That’s how long this sucker took. The left and right sides of the bodice do not match, intentionally. The bead work across the lace just trails off, as if to say you will be adding to your wedding dress your entire life. It was intended to be creamy brown (cuz its not a nice day for a white wedding), but when the store stopped carrying my color , I ended up striping the skirt to hide the flaw. That’s it – naked backside and unfinished with lopsided boobs and mismatched colors – to me that perfectly espresses the moment of a too young girl standing before a wedding alter. Although I must add, the bride I had in mind to wear this dress is a little more seasoned than the average Utah bride. Maybe she’s just old enough to honestly express she really doesn’t know what she’s getting into. Maybe she just wanted to wear something lacey and beautiful and be queen for a day, and pretend her ass isn’t hanging out. Why did I take on wedding gown, especially considering my complicated emotions around the topic? Well, I had to because it the height of my craft. No other garment in our culture recieves the same attention and workmanship.

I’m showing this piece for the first time at the Utah Arts Alliance, 127 S Main, now until July 30.

Utah Arts Alliance Monthly Connect Program Will Result in Grant

July 7, 2011

On the second Friday every month, the Utah Arts Alliance invites local artist to bring samples of their work to an event called Connect. The event has been going on for 5 months now, but it didn’t hit my radar until our friend Cat Palmer was an invited guest speaker last month.

July’s event will feature none other but the Duchess of Duh (me) and Art Boss Hog (Todd), speaking about the hazy line between art and craft that grows hazier every day.

What do you think Dave has in his cup?

What do you think Dave has in his cup?

Rather than recite the same old stuff we have heard over and over, I plan to introduce my own personal taxonomy of art and craft, defining the terms based on the interviews I’ve conducted of artists for this blog.

The event will be July 8th at 7 p.m. Bring samples of your own work and the artists will vote on them. The person with the most votes at the end of the year will receive a UAA grant to support their work.

To sweeten the deal, I will have live models sporting my handicrafts – none other than the gorgeous, long-legged Lukas Robinhood and Bryton Bonner.

That  same night, same place and same time, the opening reception for Craft Lake City’s Art vs. Craft gallery show will be going on. Come on down it should make for a fun night.

Crafty Utah Co Kid Hold Garage sale for Orphans in Ghana

May 17, 2011
Alaina Belk

Alaina Belk

Payson’s crafty kid Alaina Belk is holding a to help orphans in Ghana. Here’s the story in Alaina’s own words.

Help Me Feed the Orphans of Ghana

My name is Alaina Belk.  I am 10 years old.  My family is adopting a little girl from Africa.  I am worried about the other children in the orphanage.  They need medicine, food and clothes.  I had the idea of gathering for Ghana.  I started going through my toys and clothes to see what I could sell to make money to help the children in my little sister’s orphanage.  Maybe you have toys, clothing and other things that you don’t need that we might be able to sell.  Please help me help the poor children in Ghana who don’t have a family to take care of them.  We are so blessed and have so much.  If we all give a little bit we can make a big difference.    

Fundraiser Yard Sale
May 28, 2011
8 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Aspen Academy
996 W. 800 S.
Payson, UT

I am accepting items in good useable condition.  For information about a drop off location for your donated items call Alaina at (801) 465-4919

Remember to mark the 28th on your Calendar and come to the yard sale.

Veteran crafter, and Alaina’s aunt, Amy Hunter says “There is a great need in Ghana for clean water. If we can raise $2,000 dollars we can purchase equipment to drill a well. We are accepting items in good condition to sell, baked goods, and donated craft items. We also need volunteers on the day of the yard sale. Contact me if you have any questions or items to donate. THANK YOU!”

For  Salt Lake and Davis County folks who want to participate, donations may be dropped off in Bountiful to Amy, reach her at  Please mark your donations with prices.


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