Saturday, November 3, 2012

I've been nesting.

Crocheted nesting bowls

Crocheted nesting bowls
I've been away for awhile. I have underestimated how consuming the start of the school year would be. Since September, I have spent very little time creating on my own and it has been frustrating to say the least! But I did carve out a bit of time to make these precious little nesting bowls. I find them fun to make and I really enjoy this yarn color and texture for this time of year. 

I also made a bowl from plarn (yarn made from recycled plastic grocery bags). I think I have more fun making the plarn than I do crocheting with it. Nevertheless, the act of creating from something that would otherwise end up in a landfill is very satisfying to me. 

Bowl made from plarn.

Bowl made from plarn.

Making nesting bowls has opened up some ideas for gifts for the upcoming holiday season. I will experiment with different yarn as well as wire and beads. I think it could be a great gift idea for someone you're not sure what to give. These little bowls are perfect for a desk, side table or a little nook to hold something you treasure.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My "Egg"-speriment

I've been away for a few days picking up this project and putting it down to finally finish it this morning. My intention was to crochet a sphere but the shape turned a bit egg shaped instead. So, just like my curly hair, I just went with it instead of against it.

When photographing it, I noticed the complex linear quality reminded me a lot of the abstract charcoal drawings I made in college.

Egg Ornament with crocheted black wire

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Napkin ring with purple wire and beads

Napkin ring
This is my first attempt at a napkin ring. I think I'd prefer it to be wider. It was a fun and fast project for those moments during Spongebob episodes!

Beach stone pendant

I made this the day after my tiniest ring debacle. I found this stone during my vacation at the beach. Combing for beach glass and stones was fun and very soothing. I absolutely love making things from found objects and recycled items. It is very gratifying to spend little to no money creating a new and beautiful object. 

We had fun showing our daughter how to find beach glass and stones on the beach. She has a good eye for color, spotting purple and orange stones and shells. I am slowly introducing the idea of repurposing and recycling objects. She absolutely loved making "plarn" with me. (making yarn from plastic grocery bags) I'll have more on this in future posts.

Feel free to share your ideas about making art, jewelry etc. from found objects!

Pendant with beach stone, silver wire

Back view

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tiniest ring ever

I followed through and made something last night despite my exhaustion. The results were not fabulous but it's finished nonetheless. 

Since it turned out so tiny, I gave the ring to my 5 yr. old daughter. It's the first ring she owns that doesn't have  a butterfly on it. 

Not quite a pinky ring.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Challenge vs. to do list

Okay, last night was a disappointment. I had ambition to get some reading done and start a new project. Although I knew in my head that these things would not be accomplished until after my daughter was in bed and I got some food in my belly! Well, neither of those things happened until late into the evening and I was spent. Everyday that I don't get to do things that I want to do I excuse for the fact that I need down time. Mindless, vegetative, downtime! However when I have downtime it usually means falling asleep next my Rhodesian Ridgeback on the couch.

Perhaps what I need is to take baby steps to create something each day. No matter how small, unsuccessful or incomplete. Then I will at least wake up in the morning without the feeling of complete failure but a sense that I least tried.

So here it is, I vow to myself I will post a picture (tomorrow) of something I created today. No matter if I am satisfied with the finished product, I will show it for all to see.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Getting Back into the Game

About five years ago was the last time I worked an art/craft sale. It was the best sale I ever had. It seemed I was finally getting my work out there after struggling to balance my day job and making art after hours. I was making enamel on copper paintings. I've always enjoyed this medium because it combined painting in the form of fused glass on copper. Fused enamel has a luminescent quality, and I enjoyed making layer upon layer of transparent color and patterns.

Shortly after my most successful sale, I discovered I was pregnant! Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised and excited about the arrival of our daughter. However, I was concerned that working with the enamels would harm the baby, I quit making art and focused my energy on preparations for our daughter's birth.

As most first time moms, I was unrealistic as to what I could accomplish once the baby arrived. Priorities instantly changed and my ambitions to continue working on my art became less important. Fast forward to now, I am gaining my creativity back and getting inspired to put myself back "out there". The kiln will get fired up again. In the meantime, crocheting has provided the creative outlet I need. I can work on it just about anywhere and I can work in short spurts as they are available to me.

Scarf in autumnal tones, acrylic

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hand crocheted wire bracelet with beads

Here's one my recent creations. This is silver wire that was crocheted with small beads. The bracelet is about 8" long and  is about 1" wide.

Last winter I started crocheting again. I learned how to crochet when I was a child from my grandma and mom. It wasn't until I was an adult did I truly appreciate this craft. Not only is the act of crocheting therapeutic, but it's extremely versatile as well! After making some scarves and hats from yarn, I moved onto wire. To me this opened up so many more possibilities. Now I can make original jewelry and housewares. And soon I will be incorporating enamels, my favorite form of making art! See more of these items on our Etsy page.

Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to our blog! The Retro Revival blog was created to share things we make, advice on repurposing items and ideas on how you too can celebrate all things retro, fun, cool, creative and unique! The Retro Revival is a hodge podge of art made by myself, Mandy Spisak and my husband Mark Spisak. We also enjoy finding things from our past and bringing them back to their glory by restoring and repurposing them. As artists we are fond of things that have history and often remind us of our youth and when times were simpler. We invite you to share what interests you and as well as your feedback. Stay tuned as we post our latest creations and finds! -Mandy Spisak