The studio is filling up with projects, so I must be better about selling off a few things. So, heres some gems from previous displays. They are one-of-a-kinds.
This one-of-a-kind anchor was built by the studio for use in a seasonal display. It's in pristine but vintage looking shape. How great would this be used as a photography prop, a signature decor piece or as a theme element in a restaurant. Due to its size, I'd be hesitant to ship it. I'd recommend it find a home in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington metro areas. For more detailed information:
These mixed whites fabric sales are a perfect photo booth backdrop, prop for a kids room or as an accent in a nautical themed space. Due to the weight I wouldn't recommend shipping. But then again anythings is possible.
The following three lights are available. They are made from reclaimed glass containers and glass ware. They're fun, vintage and bohemian.
The imaginary world of superheroes has grown into a sub-culture phenomena. The caped wonders have influenced everything from candy to luxury cars. Gathering places like Pinterest are flooded with super easy, primitive hero DIY's. As an experienced maker of things, I love the challenge of something more difficult. As I'm sure many of you do.
Here I've gathered a collection of 12 superhero DIY's varying in difficulty. They range from easy Kryptonite Jello to multi-step latex hero eye masks. I hope you enjoy the selection as much as I do. If you tackle any of them let me know how they turn out.
The Geeksmiths over at The Geek Forge are sharing instructions on how to make your own professional grade superhero gloves. You could scale them up or down, making them perfect for adults and kids alike. If you want to take their DIY one step further try using multiple colored fabrics to recreate your favorite hero costumes.
With this easy to follow DIY video, Sarza the South from Nsomniaks Dream will help you create a custom eye mask. These latex wonders are akin to what live actors wear in the superhero movies. Be sure to check out her YouTube channel for all kinds of hero and otherworldly make-up effects.
Want a great gift for a superhero fan? Why not make them a one-of-a-kind comic book wallet. The talented team at ForUsToBe have laid out detailed instructions on how to create a wallet using a standard comic book. It's a great idea! Who better to protect your Benjamins than a superhero?
Suddenly, there's a demand for those idle satellite dishes that you see on roofs. I know I'm guilty of having one parked on my roof. Seamster from Instructables.com has the ultimate repurposing guide to transform one of those dishes. Follow the straight forward instructions and you'll have a movie prop quality Captain America shield.
Before you comment that building a cloud is a bit of a superhero stretch, I must remind you that there's quite a few heroes that control the weather. Plus, I can totally see this in a kids room with an action figure flying by. Talk about playtime fun! Serena over at The Farm Chicks takes you step by step, with quality photos. I suppose at step three you could paint your clouds silver. That way when things get tough you'll aways have a cloud with a silver lining! I know, I know.... I had to go there.
Hell bent and intent on finishing my Saturday to-do list I let the day slip by. Around 8:00pm I finally allowed myself to relax . I thought I'd treat myself to an adult beverage and sit on the deck. Having that in mind, I actually opened my eyes to the world around me. I was awestruck, I put my ale down and had to grab my phone for some spontaneous photos. The evening golden light had appeared for its brief visit. My garden lit up like a paradise. I'm a bit of a plant geek so seeing my man-made tropical oasis light up made me proud so I wanted to share it with you. Know that its too cold for most sub-tropical plants here in the wet and cold wintered Northwest. So I worked hard to recreate that look using plants that would survive here. Some marginally, so I baby them through the winter frosts
Shhhh, just between you and me... I live in a neighborhood that has quite a feral gardeners who grow nothing but native plants and I think the term native is a rebrand of the term weeds and crab grass. In this high heat summer- a freakishly long stretch of temperatures in the 90's, their yards are burned to a crisp and mine is a lush paradise ,except my lawn. Good thing I planned ahead and planted my yard prepped for global warming. Now if only I could grow pineapples and coconuts...
These are not the best photos as I really do not know how to use my SLR mimicking cell phone camera. And the light was dwindling so some are grainy and I apologize. Thanks for indulging me in my moment of pride as my garden comes into full "tropical" splendor. As a plant geek, who likes to share, I'd be happy to answer questions.
CLICK READ MORE TO SEE HOW YOU CAN WIN THE $100.00 SHOPPING SPREE
Hey there Today's Creative Life friends, welcome! As a thank you for TCL's love and support in the blogosphere I'm offering Kim's pals a chance to win a $100.00 art shopping spree from my art collection. Kim at TCL has been kind enough to introduce me to you all over the years. She and I teamed up awhile back to makeover her son Lucas's bedroom. You may remember .
Kim challenged me to redo his room with a 300.00 budget. Boy do I love a good challenge. Let's just say I squeaked in at about 297.00. I had just enough left over for a cup of coffee.
That makeover has since become a Pinterest darling and even won best of Houzz 2014, along with one of my nursery designs. What do ya know...
So here's the skinny on the shopping spree-
I've been working on some new mood boards for boy's rooms and keep coming across terrific DIY's and uses for old baseballs. Then it dawned on my... I should share them! So, here are 11 great ways to use baseballs for home decor and 1 accessory I thought was clever for you moms to check out.
I've worked hard to find the original sources for these DIY's. Please, if you share or Pin them always link back so the original source can be found. If you want creatives to share their ideas in the future, then please honor and reward them with the original source link. I've also watermarked the images with the sources so they don't get stripped by the pinning sites.
#1- BASEBALL BOOKENDS
Amanda over at Kaleidoscope of Colors grew up with great baseball memories. Here she busts out the power tools to create these terrific bookends. They're simple and perfect.
#2- RECLAIMED PALETTE BASEBALL FLAG
Heralded as a Fourth of July project, Courtney from Sweet C designs has a DIY that's perfect, at least I think so, for a boy's room, nursery or man cave. It will have you rubber necking while you drive, looking for palettes to transform.
#3- SHADOW BOX BASEBALL FLAG
The age old tool brand Craftsman is offering a how to video that will walk you through the steps to create this timeless treasure. For a kids room friendly variation I'd suggest painting the bats. Imagine them in a grey toned color scheme or the classics red and white.
The workshop is hot today. Not only are we hitting weather highs in the nineties , I have found myself under a welding mask creating fireworks welding. I have to be careful I might just slip on my own puddles of sweat.
I'm welding together framework for a faux bois table. You often see faux bois in historic gardens as benches and archways and in theme parks as railing and fake trees.
While I've sculpted many things in my life, this is my first attempt at cement furniture. Hey, I just dive in with both feet. I've worked with cement before. I sculpt trees from other materials all the time. Why not combine the two?
This table is destined for a retail boutique. It will be merchandised on as a fixture. I'm personally handling the store design for the owners. I want a variety of textures, finishes and hand wrought signature pieces throughout. I'll journal about the store soon, as we are just beginning construction.
Here's my finished armature. I will be wrapping it in metal mesh to provide stability and a surface for the cement to adhere to.
As a feature in the garden, faux bois was very popular in the 1940's. If you own a vintage piece you are very lucky. Given most pieces were exposed to the elements, many have degraded and sadly disappeared.
I'll pop back in and update this journal entry with progress pictures. I'd love to hear from you if you own a piece. I'd be curious how you came to own it.
Update- July 3rd
I neglected to take a picture of the piece wrapped in metal lathe. I was just so excited to get into it. The first coat of cement was to cover the rebar and the lathe. I also shaped the first coat to start creating some of the twists, turns and scars one would see on an old branch. In the photo above you can see the rough first coat in the back (the darker horizontal branch) The two foreground branches are after the second coat which is a finer mortar mix. Once that mortar sets up a little I started carving, brushing and stamping details. I'm excited how much they look like old driftwood with the natural cement color. Once the finished piece is stained they will look more like a wood in tone. More updates soon...
update - July 7th
The legs have dried thoroughly so it was safe to finally flip it right side up. Now I will start applying mortar to the top and sculpting it.
You know him, the beer drinking, pool playing country boy. Here I've created him the man cave that will make him the envy of his band of bad desperadoes. My Outlaw from Tombstone art was inspired by those campy old 40's - 50's pulp western movie posters. And look, the curled up mustache is making a comeback.
I've been know to crank up the Cash while I'm painting. His rugged voice and story telling lyrics are the epitome of a bad boy. While prison cells, gun fights and thievery inspired his music, it's nice to know that his love, June Carter changed him for the better. Yes, bad boys can be changed. Good luck with that! The whole dark black rockabilly honky tonk vibe is evident in my Diamond brand Silver Tipped Boots art. I could so see it as a mural on the side of some ghost town mercantile or on the back of a leather jacket. Am I right?
There's that guy, that one that could smooth talk his way into your life, heart and maybe your sheets (Bad Girls need love too). Well this guy is the perpetual bachelor, his 50 shades of desert gray inspired him to go industrial with a bit of slick, potion peddling art. My Snake Oil piece was inspired by a combination of modern day tattooed carnies and the twisted mustache barkers of days gone by. I like that it has an edge to it. There's something bad about wanting to believe in snake oil. This slick guy has fantastic grooming habits and loves a bit of luxurious living. What else is he going to spend your four easy payments of 99.95 on? Act now!
This guy doesn't have your Mom worried because she dated his clone back in high school. This guy has your Dad all freaked out. That tattoo wearing, motorcycle driving would-be rockstar is up to no good. He swept you off your feet and wants to show you his ultra cool urban loft. Did he mention it's actually in the basement of a brewery? My Vixen Strings and Straps painting speaks to that character. It's part tattoo, music poster with a bit of Betty Page. I hope you can get a cell phone signal in his under dwelling man cave. You'll need your best friend to talk you out of being the Bad Girl.
I'm an equal opportunity rebel finder. I thought I'd toss in the Bad Girl. I know her, you went to high school with her and every man from 16-60 watches her walk by. Of course they're looking at her tattoos...maybe. She's a bit more colorful than the brooding Joan Jett rocker. She knows what she likes when she sees him... I mean it, ya, it! I'd love to see her tattooed #&@#?^!}+% that bears the likeness of my Rebel Records piece.
Whew, now go wash your hands, it's been dirty on the blog today! If these inspire you to do some Bad Boy redecorating don't blame it on me. You knew when you met me that I'm a bad influence! Ha!
I'm excited to have been contacted by a TV show producer who's interested in me as a host for a collaborative design show. While nothing is ever a sure thing, I'm always stoked to have the opportunity to pitch the idea.
The OSAA Dance and Drill Championships have come to a finish for 2015. In a previous blog post I shared the Architects of Light from Parkrose High School. Now I'd like to share with you Blue Ocean as performed by the Clackamas Cavalettes.
A quick bit of background information. I've been friends with the show designer Kurt Jull since the early 90's. We've worked on some fun projects together. Some have been very experimental allowing us both to explore new boundaries. I'll include a little retro Jull/Christensen project at the end of this post.
This year, Kurt brought his vision for Blue Ocean to the table and I was happy to help execute his ideas. To bring it to life, we needed two shoreline floor/mat paintings for the dancers to dance on and a plan to create budget friendly, portable giant coral and other props.
The two floors were designed to be part of a secret effect that would be revealed at the state championship competition. It was quite a risk to wait until the final moment to implement the effect but it payed off and was quite the crowd pleaser.
Here's the entire routine care of Cavalette parent Jodi. Thank you.
Here is a close up of the effect. For you non-dance team folks know that the floors are hand painted on a heavy weight vinyl, much like an awning or banner fabric. Each floor once you add in the weight of dried paint is in the ball park of three to four hundred pounds each as dead weight. The effect created is only achieved by capturing air underneath the tarp as it is pulled back. It's quite spectacular.
After painting the floor I decided to take a stroll along the beach. I know...nice socks. Black hides all the paint splatters they endure.
Close to twenty years ago, Kurt thought I might enjoy a simple challenge. He wanted me to recreate the scene from Michelangelo's sistine chapel "Creation". Did I say simple challenge? Not only was I to recreate one of the worlds finest example of religious art I had to do so while painting it in a Longview Washington Bingo Hall during closed hours. It wasn't quite the Sistine chapel environment with the whirling cash machine tucked in the corner and the lingering smell of corn dogs and cigarette butts. Had there been social media back then, we would have had a fun time posting videos.
I had visions of Michelangelo face palming himself and screaming NO, blasphemy! Sorry Mick, relax your 16th century self....this is for the kids!
For those of you that have no idea what I'm talking about when I refer to dance team props, here's a video of yesterdays performance by Parkrose Elite Dance Team. I'm their prop master and theme development guy. They compete with other teams and are accessed on the performance's level of difficulty, execution, overall concept and other categories. I work with the team and their volunteers directing the painting of their floors and creation of their props and sets. I have a tendency to take the ideas towards fantastic worlds, deconstructed environments and always try to push the envelope in one way or another. Here are my moths denied light living in a decrepit house until they discover light and the power to make it themselves. I proudly present....the Elite and the Architects of Light.
This is a high school team with members that are freshman up to senior in year. The dancers are expected to maintain good grades, be good citizens are practice together from late summer until now. This sport requires huge dedication on behalf of the students and their coaches, whom I adore.
The video is the first of two performances. Here are some close up photos by Patrick Smith Photography (used with permission), copyright 2015.
This week has been a lot of fun. It's been filled with late night projects, installations and fun stuff on social media.
Congratulations to Angela Matthey, she's the winner of one of my 8 x 8 reclaimed wood mounted art pieces. She's a big football fan and chose my vintage football piece. I've been hosting random happenings to celebrate my new site's launch.
Right now on the site we're having a flash sale on those 8 x 8's. They are not available through my site regularly and usually exclusive to some of my brick and mortar boutique customers.
It's been a crazy week for my dance team clients. Not only did they perform in a regional qualifier for their state competition, they've been running at full steam finalizing their routines, sets and props. I've been on hand to help with the madness.
Meanwhile, the Clackamas Cavalettes are prepping to reveal their final version of their routine which includes a little magic behind the scenes with their floor I painted. As this is my private beach, I couldn't help but usher everyone off of it...ha!
Over the next week I'll post some additional dance group videos, a little walk down memory lane if you will....
Last night at midnight, standing outside their store I realized I've designed three stores for Willows over a span of 18 years. Holy Toledo...18 years! Over on my Instagram, my friend Stacey said it eloquently "Aaron Christensen and Willows, a match made in retail heaven". I like to think so Stacey...
I've had the pleasure of working with the owners Sandy and Janna through the many styles of Willows as well. There was the furniture vending Shabby Chic period, the overstuffed bedding and bath phase, the modern steel and glass era and now our rustic deconstructed glam clothing and accessories boutique.
This latest trim is constructed of recycled glass objects, plastic utensil handles and a bit of Embellishments distressification. What was once a black wrought iron, atypical 90's chandelier was stripped of it's functioning parts and turned into a living sculpture. Its vintage blue mason jars contain plant cuttings that will grow with the season.
I'll have to stop in and check on the cuttings, as sadly despite all their style and grace neither Sandy or Janna have a green thumb. They've quickly killed every poinsettia over our 17 holidays together...ha!
For my style loving female friends out there, know that Willows will soon be opening up a web-shop. I'll share the link when it's ready to go.
If you're a customer of Willows you can look forward to a pre-summer give-a-way featuring the spring decor pieces...ooooh!
Nothing like a stroll along the beach... until you bump into a wall that's behind you while you're filming. Today, my pseudo beach scene floor painting will debut in its first performance. Good luck Clack! FYI, yes this is a gymnasium sized painting. Can you believe it is painted with paint rollers? Just another day at the office! :)
If you are going to have 5 ft tall beautiful moth dancers then you'll need a 9ft tall light fixture to draw them close. Announcing THE GIANT WALL SCONCE, it's big, it's bright and it a prop for one of my dance group clients. Their dancers represent moths and for some theatrical fun, I went into the studio and came out with a giant sconce for them. It's complete with a burlap shade....ooooh...trendy. They are firing it up using halogen lights and a 12 volt battery inverter. I mention my neighbor a lot in my posts. He bears witness to all the crazy stuff that leaves the studio. Nothing shocks him anymore. He just looks over and shakes his head and says, "Do I dare ask?"
Welcome to my Embellishments Journal, it's a new feature. I will be posting about some of our projects, sharing pictures and interesting things. Chime in, ask questions and keep your arms and hands inside the ride until it comes to a complete stop. -Aaron