Things I Have (and have not) Done

Cringe-city in bitter-cold land, but Happy 2009 nonetheless! Occupying the coldest corner of the house, my modest home office hasn't seen much action lately; as I've been waylaid into a new roster of activities over the past six weeks or so.
During this time, due to said "new roster of activities", a.k.a:

  • Moving my studio to Providence (during a conveniently timed, three-day blizzard)
  • Planning a press conference for FirstWorks (conveniently timed for the week after New Years)
  • Celebrating the holidays with my pals the Dotys in Baltimore (all good, all BUTTER)

I have not managed to do the usual things expected of me, a.k.a:

  • Work in said studio (it won't be set up until February)
  • Write anything new with which to amuse you on Studio Debris
  • Work out. Ugh.

I'm taking advantage of today's ungodly low temperatures to hone in on the Studio Debris bit. For those of you who attended my final open studios in Hyde Park, it was great to share that with you! Please wish extra green thoughts for Henry the stick plant. Henry did not appreciate being moved from his 8-year windowlit perch during a blizzard, being a pencil cactus and all...I'm afraid he may be on his way to the big garden in the sky! :(

Visit Me at Open Studios This Weekend

Every time December comes around I feel like a piece of pulled taffy. There are so many things on my "to-do" list, and so many events and invitations piling up! I'm feeling the full plate pain a little extra this year, but that's not stopping me from piling it a little higher with a new job, projects and events.

Hyde Park Open Studios - December 6-7, 2008

Fill your plate and cross some holiday shopping items off of your to-do list THIS WEEKEND at Hyde Park Open Studios. Visit me at 65 Sprague Street, 2nd Floor, Studio #4 (rear window) and get an exclusive look at my magical workspace. After 8 long years of managing this multi-use studio, I'm moving it all down to Providence.

Meredith Cutler Studio Shots

To save myself some packing drama, I'm offering special pricing on all of my archived artwork, '07-'08 jewelry from Crostini, and a nice selection of unique studio supplies. Come meet me and Henry the ginormous stick plant (then tell me how I'm supposed to move him, he's 10 feet tall...)

With over 80 local artists participating, it's sure to be an exciting and enjoyable weekend. Please stop by and introduce yourself!

CONTEST: Rolling In Goodies: Befriend A Designer Today!

Often, the best creative materials can be found off-the-beaten-path, rather than at your local art supply store or out of that glossy wholesale catalog. As a supply junkie, some of my most triumphant finds have been courtesy of tag sales, personal or business move giveaways, and downright dumpster diving!

Over the years, I have utilized my collection of unique materials to create many pieces of original artwork and, more recently, collectible designs and accessories.

Assorted Designer Footwear Sample Fabrics

Today, however, I hit the supply jackpot. My lovely studiomate, who enjoys a very interesting career as a trend forecaster, let me have at a gigantic pile of sample books that have outlived their rather short life at the top of the trend pile. Because she forecasts color and material trends four years ahead, the sample selection (albiet yesterday's news for her) is super space-age in my book!

Assorted Designer Footwear Sample Fabric

I'm already drawing up a list of project ideas so that I can breathe new life into these squares of fabric, leather and beyond!

Assorted Designer Footwear Sample Fabrics

Readers: if you have creative ideas for reuse of sample fabric and material swatches, post them to comments below. I will be putting together a "Wicked Cool" crostini*VS grab-bag prize from these designer footwear sample materials that will go to a winner, chosen at random from your project idea comments. The winner will be chosen next Friday, May 30th! Good luck!

DIY: Upcycled Book Jacket Flower Bows

I have always had a love for paper that goes beyond the expected excitement of a blank, white sheet ready for the artist’s first mark. As a small child, I spent hours poring over the decorator’s hefty wallpaper sample books, left over from our 1977 home renovations: the mirrored backgrounds…the bold florals or geometric patterns rendered in one exciting colorway after another. In my early days, these enormous, psychedelic volumes rivaled even Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle for my affections.

Many years later, I helped fund my way through art school by working in the cataloging department of my college library. My love for found papers, combined with my passion for words inspired me to stash away hundreds of colorful book jackets, typically discarded during the cataloging process. Fast-forward another decade or so, and here I am in my studio, surrounded by several Tupperware storage bins full of vintage paper ephemera that desperately needs purging!

Unlike my vintage giftwrap and wallpaper collections, these heavyweight, coated book jackets don’t offer enough regular patterning or figuration to make them appropriate for the mixed-media art collages that I often create. They are text heavy, and extremely varied in coloration. With some creative experimentation, and using some tools I had available, I created this unique DIY project for my sturdy and colorful paper source. Click here for my full, illustrated tutorial:

DIY: Upcycled Book Jacket Flower Bows - handmade by Meredith Cutler for crostini*VS


Spring Cleaning In Space

The sun is shining today, which must be nice for everyone who needs some airing out. For my part, this weekend I have been airing out my studio; digging through 10-gallon plastic bins of vintage stash and assembling all kinds of nifty supply packs for my Etsy vintage & supply outlet, crostini*VS.

crostini*vs Vintage and Supply

Because once I get started on something I tend to explode with motivation, and grow a million extra arms like Avalokitesvara, I also banged out four new collectible, mixed-media collage pieces for Crostini designs and a materials study for a new alternative embroidery series that I've been working on.

"Spring in Space" Collectible Art Series by Meredith Cutler

"Lost and Found" (Materials study) Original, mixed-media art by Meredith Cutler

Not bad for a Saturday. I hope that this steady flow of focused creative production continues, because April showers bring loads of deadlines for yours truly, and I like to make hay while the sun shines.

Tomorrow: stay tuned for a special Monday morning design pick and an announcement about Crostini at retail! 

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