Often when I design props for store displays or fixtures for merchandising they are purely from my imagination. The challenge lies in bringing those ideas to life. I recently proposed a farmhouse chic style trim for one of my apparel boutiques. In my mind I saw old water/wind mills, old barn doors and abandoned relics.
To create vintage look props its easiest to find old wood and supplies to build them out of. One of my local haunts, The Rebuilding Center serves me well. There I can find treasures to build my ideas from. For this particular trim I came across old packing crate supports, degraded galvanized flashing and oddities, old cast wheels and a ton of reclaimed bits of wood.
Staring at the items in my checkout cart I decided to build a windmill out of the flashing, an old hoe and the packing crate supports which were rich with rusty character.
The wheels, some old mahogany wheelbarrow handles, old galvanized channel and 2 x 12's would become a vintage look florists or fruit vendors merchandising cart.
Random chair parts, old wood, part of a tv roof antennae and miscellaneous bits of hardware would become an abandoned swift bird house.
A local pediatric office commissioned us to create a treehouse for their lobby. The office was going through a remodel and a new waiting area was being carved out of obsolete storage areas and halls.
The office has a jungle theme. There are creatures in terrariums like a chameleon, turtles and tanks of fish. The doctor wanted something unusual to tie into the theme. We discussed lots of options and came up with a tree house. Now, the word tree house is a bit broad in concept considering 1) there is no tree in the office and 2) the ceiling is low at 8 foot.
I worked out a way to elevate the play space of the tree house, giving the illusion of a height and created access through a hollowed out pretend tree trunk. The exterior is designed to look as if it was built using various parts from other structures. A palm and banana tree were created to look as if they hold up part of the structure.
If you cruise the blog and our social media sites you will see we specialize in creating unusual things. If your professional office, home or business need something unique to entertain your customers give us a call. We'll dream something up for you.
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.
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.
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?"
Take a long hard look in your recycling bin. It's crawling with creatures great and small. Hopefully, not real ones, but fun future faux ones. With a little imagination, and some easy DIY instructions, you can create a zoo of animals out of common recyclables.
Welcome to my latest craft DIY brought to you by my friends at Rosenberry Rooms Very Rosenberry Blog.
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