Saturday, August 10, 2013

DIY Artwork

We headed up to Puckett's Peak for the annual family gathering! As always, we had a blast and it was so great to see everyone! Typically, the time is spent tubing in the creek, fishing, swimming, drinking, cooking, marshmallow roasting, four-wheeler riding, and story-telling around the campfire. And this trip was no exception! Well... there was less swimming and tubing than usual because the water was FREEZING and the current was very strong! Other than that, all was well! 

We are very fortunate to have this trip each year and to have a place that we can all gather and spend such quality time together. Thanks Dad! ;) 

Here is a small taste of the scenery:

Up on top of one of the hills on my Dad's land, there is a spot that used to be a mica mine. I'm not 100% sure what mica is used for, but upon googling it, I learned that scientists use it for something to do with microscopes. And something else about mica allowing electrons to flow... blah blah. You'll have to google it yourself if you really want to know because I'm pretty sure you did not learn anything from me just then. If you don't know what mica is, it is a rock/mineral that is silver and sparkly. The soil up in the mountains is full of it, so pretty! The reason I like it is simply that- it is pretty! 

Isn't that beautiful??? Ha ha... you have to look past the dirt. 

I took a trip up with my grandmother and friend to collect some mica. I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted to do with it. So I was searching for specific pieces. Preferably large, shiny, clean (yeah right) flakes. And I found a lot of them! 

So I tried to clean them up some when I got home. That was challenging. I tried soaking them in hot water. Then I put them in a pot and boiled them. That helped! The tricky part is that the pieces are so fragile! I couldn't just scrub them like you would scrub a rock. I know you guys probably scrub rocks all the time... so you know exactly what I mean when I say that! 

Anyway, I wanted a square frame with a mat. So I found an ugly picture at our local Ollie's and bought that. I figured I could use it. I really didn't want to go to Michaels and buy one. In retrospect, it would have been much easier to buy one that I didn't have to perform surgery on...

Here it is before:

And here is a closer look at the mat:

I wanted one with a thick mat that was raised up. Does that make sense? That way I could put the mica on there and it not be squished by the glass when I put it together. 

Here is the surgery:

Then I took everything out. I cut a piece of black poster board to the size of the opening. I bought white and black to try but the mica looked so much better on the black. 

Then it was time to hot glue the mica onto the black poster board. The most annoying part of this step was keeping those hot glue cobwebs (the tiny strings that end up everywhere) off of the poster board. Oh and also the part when I accidentally stuck my finger in a fresh blob of hot hot glue. Ouch!!! Hot glue burns are the worst! For instance, when you touch a hot pan, you just quickly pull your hand away. Nope, not with hot glue. Your first reaction is still to pull your hand away but guess what? The glue comes with your hand... and continues to scald you until logic kicks in and you realize you have to actually pull the glue off... was that dramatic? Well, whatever. It was painful. And I do it every single time I use a hot glue gun. 

Next, I just arranged the mica randomly until I was satisfied. I was proud of myself for placing it sort of abstractly because I typically like things nice and neat and symmetrical. 

Here is the finished product:

What do you think?? 

I want to make more of them! I think they would be so pretty in a collection of 3 or 4 grouped together! 

It is only a matter of time! 

While you're here, feel free to check out my other posts here:
DIY Front Porch Sign Holder
DIY Porch Welcome Sign
Our Staircase Makeover Project (in process) plus how we updated our Oak Banister
DIY Chevron Burlap Yard Flag


Emily Maldonado said...

Oh wow! I love that! What a great idea. I'm kind of jealous of it :)

Em Dimov-Gottshall said...

so clever and beautiful job!