Monday, October 31, 2016

DIY Wall art - When bad things happen to good people

When I created this month's project calendar I wasn't planning in having today's DIY, but after an awful experience that got me annoyed for a couple of days I realized that I needed to do something to get those feelings out of my system.

It's interesting because I have never think of crafts as a remedy but instead as a very pleasant activity that helps me materialize thoughts and ideas that go running in my mind, sometimes even in my dreams, but a few weeks ago I definitely felt that I needed something to recover my usual zen state.

Bad things happen all the time, I'm conscious of that (and willing to deal with that) but I recently had a very uncomfortable situation with one of my suppliers when we were discussing some orders' details and she simply started acting very rude.

The worst thing wasn't that she was not even willing to discuss the issue, instead was her absolute lack of professionalism, because I couldn't imagine being that bitchy with no one, not a friend, not a family member and absolutely not with a customer, in fact, such behavior is simply not acceptable.

We are talking about a (moody) supplier that has consistently messed our orders, charging us incorrect amounts, delivering incomplete orders unable to effectively communicate the delivery dates for the pending items, and somehow even with those BIG issues we were willing to make business with them just because we really loved their products.

In some way I feel guilty for letting things go this far, we should had start looking for a replacement months ago instead of carrying that troubled relationship, specially since all the negotiations were performed directly with the head of their company and since day one it was clear that they had a lot of problems in their organization, but as she told me that day: I should mind my own business (yes, she did say that)

I still don't know how, but I was able to end that conversation in the most polite way, notified my team of the issue, have someone else assigned to deal with their pending order, we internally cancelled the planned orders and start looking for new providers.

Now we are thinking we might start producing that line ourselves, maybe not everything was bad after all, in the end it turned to be a painful lesson learned, but hey, we're still mastering this thing of running a business.

It was the largest intro for any of the projects, but the point was that I wanted to find a way to get something positive from such negative situation and when I found a nice quote in pinterest I knew that I have a task to be completed.

Today's project is a wall art that invites people to be nice with a pun intended.

DIY wall art to keep rude people away

Difficulty: Easy 
Time required: It took me a couple of sessions of 2 hours each, total 4 hours
Supplies needed:

  1. Fabric
  2. Scissors
  3. Glue
  4. Permanent marker
  5. 2 paint brushes
  6. A palette
  7. Acrylic paint: black, and two tones of green
  8. Tree Leaves
  9. A couple of sticks 
  10. Printed letters to use as stencil

Let's do this:

1) Create our canvas

Start by cutting your fabric in the desired shape, for my wall art I decided that I wanted to cut a large rectangle.

Once cut bend it to mark a "seam"

Use the glue to paste the seam, this will secure the ends of the fabric.

2) Add your message

Using your printed letters as stencil mark them on your fabric using the permanent marker.

I bended the fabric to have a reference of where the middle was to help me positioning the letters

It doesn't have to be perfect as we are going to paint inside the letters

Now start filling the letters using the black acrylic paint

Keep going until your message is done, then let it dry.

3) Add the leave stamps

Mix your green acrylic paint in your palette to get different shades: 

Paint on the back of a leave until it is completely covered by a thick coat. For this type of "stamps" it's prefered to use the back of the leave as this side is the one that is full with details that will  create the better "print"

Now press against your fabric

As noticed in the picture below my leaves were not fully defined, I've seen other tutorials where the leaves resulted perfect, not sure if this was because of the leaves  or the type of paint I chose but it's OK, this can be fixed:

Using the same brush with the remaining paint draw inside the leaves to shape them with very subtle strokes:

With a green marker trace the silhouette of the leaves.

Repeat the paint strokes and marker touches until your satisfied with the result.

4) "Frame" it

Place the branches in the top and bottom then glue as we did with the seams, let it dry and you'll be done.

I hanged my wall art in our balcony (although it might be more useful in our front door), 

I was a little upset when my leaves where not fully stamped but now that I see the final result with the subtle leaves I think that I like it even more, it's a little more "artsy" , this must be what Bob Ross used to call "Happy accidents" (or at least that is how it was translated in the Spanish transmission)

I will probably be adding more leaves to this wall art, but by now it has accomplished its mission of turning a bad experience to something nice, and I must say that this looks better in person than in picture.

They say that this world is full of nice people, and that if you can't find one, then you must become one, so please remember this the next time that you feel surrounded by toxic people, it takes only one to make a difference.

Hope you liked today's project (it was cathartic for me), next week we'll resume with the holiday's crafts as we are getting closer to the best season of the year.

Until then take care, OK?


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