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orange swan (2)

Art you can really get hung up on

So, as a fashionista or due to your upbringing, you don't want to use wire coat hangers. Yet they keep accumulating in your closet. And perhaps you don't have a thrift shop or dry cleaner in your vicinity that will accept them. You can only use so many weenie roasters and dowsing rods, and your old talent for unlocking car doors is useless on modern locks. What to do? Well, some people improve/camouflage their hangers by covering them with braided strips of plastic bags, fabric, or yarn. But there are other, non-clothes hanging, uses for wire hangers. At the simplest end of the spectrum, you could make a toilet paper holder, or wool sock blockers. You could use the wire as a frame for decorative wreaths (or a wreath for your stitch and bitch party), or little Christmas trees or a Christmas card display rack. You could make a light fixture, or a chandelier. If you have a surplus of plastic hangers, they can become a light fixture too. Or you could make a chair. If you're feeling especially artistic, or just want something to fill in a blank space on the wall, you might follow the lead of artist Lawrence L'Hote, or of artist Philippa King, and make, say, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, or a sculpture based on a Picasso sketch. And if you're really enthusiastic about the possibilities of wire hangers, try your hand at making a gorilla, a spaceman, or a hooker like artist David Mach. Just please be particularly careful not to put an eye out, since that's not an improvement on mashed clothing.
posted by orange swan on Sep 24, 2008 - 34 comments

Moasics: they aren't just for Roman bath houses anymore!

Uh oh, you smashed a dish while you were washing up. But you don't get upset, because you know what to do with the pieces. Being both cultured and crafty, you not only know about the long and illustrious history of mosaic art but also that you can make mosaics from china and ceramic shards as well as pebbles, beads (new or removed from old jewelery), shells, marbles, or even lego or Scrabble tiles. So you take those pieces of your broken plate (and others that klutzy you has broken in the past) and, following some basic instructions, make numbers for your house, a fireplace surround, a birdbath, a flowerpot, a table or two or four, a tray, picture or mirror frames, a wall mural/homage to Hitchcock, or even a floor. By now you're wishing you had a spare basilica or Roman villa so you could really go nuts. And, besides planning on picking up some thrift shop china, you're eyeing that 48-piece reindeer-and-elves Christmas dinnerware set your mother-in-law gave you a few years back and thinking it's really too bad you're so clumsy and likely to break it in the very near future.
posted by orange swan on Sep 16, 2008 - 20 comments

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