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How To Remove Crayon Wax

My easel. Oi.

After several months of neglecting any attempt at cleaning my studio, it was a complete disaster. Once I was able to take time to breathe after prepping for the craft show at Uncle John’s Cider Mill, I stared at my studio in amazement. The crayon wrappers scattered all over the floor, empty lacquer cans, and dozens of glass panels left over from the frames were all things that were easy enough to clean up. But the wax…the melted wax… it was everywhere. The desk, the table, the floors, the walls, my clothes… EVERYWHERE! Who knew so much wax could be in SO many places? It wasn’t even limited to the area where I melt the crayons. So once I picked up the stray flowers, glue sticks, and newspaper, it was time to tackle the wax drips.

Now, I’ve never been a clean or cautious crafter. Prepping an area is not my forte. Neither is cleaning. Nor keeping things clean. I am a mess and my friends will readily attest to this. So for those of you who are like me and have not taken appropriate measures to prevent an intensive cleanup before doing a melted wax project, this tutorial is for you! OR, if your child is extremely artistic and decides to express this talent on your walls or floors, this is also for you.

The Disaster: Zone 1

While the main mess of the melted crayon was not limited to my melting table, that was where the bulk of the mess was, and that’s where you’ll see my transformation from “is that a candle in the shape of an easel?” to “Oh my! What a lovely, clean workspace.”

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

  • Dull knife (optional)
  • Hand broom (optional)
  • Hair Dryer
  • Paper towels
  • Patience

The Disaster: Zone 2
 Step 2: Remove excess globs of wax.
This step is for those who have created massive globs of wax. If you’re simply dealing with a few splatters or wax markings, feel free to skip this step. Use your dull knife to gently lift away the excess wax. Be careful not to scratch your surface! Sweep away your wax shavings with your hand broom.
Scraping off excess wax. There was a lot.

Step 3: Melt the wax.
Working in small sections, focus the heat from your hair dryer onto the wax until it melts (it will have a shiny, wet look). Use a paper towel to wipe away the melted wax. Be sure to use the un-used (un-waxed) sections of the paper towel each time you clean off a patch of wax. Repeat as necessary until all the wax is gone.

Melting the wax.

Yay! All the wax is gone from the desk! (Nevermind the wall in the background…)

Now, the only thing I haven’t figured out yet is how to get the wax splatters off of walls. DO NOT use the method above on anything but a high-gloss paint. Mine is eggshell and all I did was make “lovely” streaks of colors that clash with the purple elegance of the walls. I read somewhere that magic eraser will work, so I may try that. Or I’ll just have to live with it until I decide to repaint. Meh.

Good luck to all of you who must face this battle. And remember, the best offense is a good defense, so if you want to avoid this time-consuming process, just lay down some newspaper. Cheers!

Decorating with Ornaments

I love Christmas. I love the lights, the garland, the trees, the snow (though we’re lacking that at the moment), the baking, and the movies. But what I’m discovering is that the degree of busyness around the holiday season seems to grow exponentially with my age! I really hope that I can get a bit more organized and prepared before next year rolls around! With custom artwork requests, graphic design gigs, and making the majority of gifts, there’s not much time to truly enjoy all that I love about the season. But, I did have the chance to make this with my mom as a lovely centerpiece and decoration for the table.

Photo from The Home Depot’s Website

Big, beautiful, festive centerpieces always bring a smile to people’s faces, and we all would love to make fabulous HGTV-worthy table-toppers, but who has room on the table for one? Once all the plates, cups, wine glasses, wine, oh, and food – all get on the table, there’s not much room left to spare! And if you go for a piece that’s too tall, you can’t see all those smiling faces around the table. Solution? Hang it! I saw this  (see Left) on a Home Depot commercial and instantly loved it. Theirs is much more intricate with different colored/shaped ornaments and someone who is probably at the same skill level as Martha Stewart, but I think ours turned out pretty nice.

So here’s how you do it!

Materials:

  • Fishing line
  • Bulbs (We bought a batch of 50 from Hobby Lobby and had a few to spare for decorating garland.)
  • Chandelier (If you lack a dangling light fixture, I’m sure you could fashion a brace of sorts out of cross stitch hoops or sticks.)
  • PATIENCE
  • Christmas music (trust me, you’ll need it to motivate you once your shoulders start getting weary. For me, that was at the 4th bulb.)
Step 1: “Measure”
Determine where you want the lowest bulb to hang. We had my dad sit in his seat to direct us on what the proper height was. Last thing you want is to do allllll this work just to have the bottom bulbs still blocking the view! It would be wise to actually measure where this point is, but we went the guess-and-check route.
Step 2: Start it up.
Start with the top bulb. Tie your fishing line to the hanging apparatus of the bulb and position it just below the chandelier in the center.

Step 3: Create the levels!
Now, the number of bulbs per level will be determined by your hanging structure. Our chandelier has 8 arms, so we worked in groups of 4 and altered the arms used per level (so if the top level is on arms 1,3,5,7 then the next level with be on 2,4,6,8. So on and so forth). Cut a generous amount of fishing line and tie it to your bulbs. Loop it over the inner-most area on the arm of the chandelier and adjust the height as necessary. Secure once you’re happy with where it sits.

Step 4:
Repeat Step 3, but hang the bulbs further out on the arms (by about an inch or so depending) and with longer lines so the level will be about 3 or so inches lower than the level above. Repeat this step until you’ve made the tree as big as you like.

Step 5: Fill ‘er in!
This part is kind of tricky. It helps to have a second set of eyes on the ground checking for where the bulbs should go. Basically, hang bulbs in the center area of the “tree”to fill in the empty gaps. We only had to add about 5 or 6 bulbs.

Step 6: Trim your centerpiece
Trim off the excess ends of the fishing line, step back and enjoy your lovely new creation!

Not the best of photos, but it’ll do!

If you check out the link on The Home Depot’s page, there’s another tutorial using s-hooks and it looks much cleaner than our make-shift version. And there’s a video!

I would LOVE to do this ornament frame project as well! But that may have to be saved for next year…

Photo from The Home Depot’s website

24

Nov
2011

No Comments

In Art
black friday
Etsy
sale

By jkerbawy

Happy Thanksgiving!

On 24, Nov 2011 | No Comments | In Art, black friday, Etsy, sale | By jkerbawy

I’m am SO excited for today, and hope you all are as well! Thanksgiving is on of my favorite holidays because of all the delicious food, and also it’s the official kick-off to Christmas!! I’m not one to go out shopping on Black Friday, but now that I’m an online shop owner, I have to do a LOT of prepping to make sure I’m ready for the online shoppers. So here are my holiday WEEK deals!

From now through December 1st at 11:59 p.m.:

  • Receive a FREE 8″ x 10″ piece with every custom item order!
  • 20% off any orders over $60! Enter promo code TURK3Y(Must total to $60 before Shipping and Handling!
I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving spending time with all that you’re thankful for! Now go stuff yourselves full of deliciousness, enter a food coma, and get to shopping! =)

Book feature!!

Photo via SONJALANDIS.COM

I am SO excited. Correction: I am BEYOND excited!!!! Awhile back, I was approached by a lovely lady from California who wanted to feature my art in her new book. My answer was OF COURSE! And we jumped right into piecing together the segment. And now the book has been released! I just ordered my copy and will give a full dish on the feature once I’ve read through it. I can’t wait! 


Sonja Landis, the author and also artist behind The Painted Laugh (see previous blog post here), has such a witty sense of humor and the writing style reflects that perfectly! I mean, just look at the cover (to the left). Awesomeness. This is the description listed on the Amazon.com page: “A book about Real Life, Real Business, and Real Money. A book about Entrepreneurship in the New Economy. A book to inspire you to greatness, and make you laugh. A LOT! A book about Personal Development with a side of Creativity, Awesome-sauce… (“I put that sh*t on everything!”), delivered Stand-Up-Comedy-Style…. Caution: I cuss. In my book. Often. I also encourage drinking and provide several amazing Sangria recipes. How’s THAT for a Business Book YOU want to read!?!?” Yup, I love it. 


The book is also available as an e-book for the tech-savvy and/or environmentally conscious types, and you can get all the dish on what the book is about and how to purchase it by checking out the book site here! Woohoo!!

09

Nov
2011

No Comments

In Road Rally
TAXI music
vacation

By jkerbawy

LA, Hugo Boss, & Beaches

On 09, Nov 2011 | No Comments | In Road Rally, TAXI music, vacation | By jkerbawy

Oh what a week! The past eight days have been spent in the lovely state of California. Along with the states of exhaustion, excitement, anxiety, and enlightenment… among others.

My boyfriend and I went out to Los Angeles to attend the TAXI Music Road Rally, and I cannot even begin to express how fantastic it was! The people we met were wonderful, the teachers were incredibly personable and informative, and the experience was unforgettable! If you are a singer/songwriter/producer or anyone else interested in the music industry, look into TAXI and the Road Rally, I can’t rave about them enough.

While out in LA, Justin and I were fortunate enough to spend time relaxing with my brother and his girlfriend, and they let us crash at their place which was only 15 minutes from the rally. A BIG money saver. They live near the ocean, and our first full day in Cali was met with sunshine and 80° weather – my definition of a perfect November day. We walked along the pier, watched dolphins, surfers, and seals. Then ate at a local diner, and watched the sun sink into the ocean.

We had such an incredible time out there, and can’t wait to apply the things we’ve learned! I’m so excited to see how much changes before next year’s rally, it’s going to be great!

And onto some more exciting news! HUGO Create, the creative platform for HUGO Boss has published their interview of me! They had contacted me several weeks ago and I was beside myself with excitement. I mean, HUGO Boss. That’s pretty awesome. You can check out the full interview here! Be sure to check out ALL the amazing artists they feature! I’m still kind of shocked to have been grouped among so much talent, but more so just excited!

HUGO Create is a global, creative challenge that allows people from multiple creative backgrounds to “compete.” Actually, I would describe it as more of an outlet. It was originally started as a way to promote the HUGO man fragrance, but from what I’ve seen, it’s become so much more! There are several competitions that are free to enter, and take place around the world. Check out their site for more information and for their current challenge!

Hope you all are enjoying November thus far! And if you haven’t checked it out yet, take a look at my new website for JK Create!

Pimp My Ride

On 14, Oct 2011 | One Comment | In Art, Artists, Creative Idea, El Vochol, inspiration | By jkerbawy

Photo by Piel de Metal

Have you ever looked at something and been blown away by how much time it must have taken? I’m a person who thinks of a project and knocks it out as quickly as possible. Too much time spent equals a bored Jessie and an unfinished project. Therefore, I admire anyone who devotes weeks, let alone months, of time on one project. Now, in this case, I’m not talking about a painting, or a dress, or a sculpture. Let’s talk about something so complex that just thinking about doing this project makes my back hurt! Applying tiny beads to the surface of a VW Bug. Yup. What?! I know, I was baffled as well. 

The Wixaritari of Mexico are known for this kid of artwork (well, maybe not so much including the car). Traditionally, they create intricate patterns by placing individual beads into beeswax to cover the surface of bowls, plates, etc. This lovely little number, El Vochol, uses a more resilient resin and a whopping  2,277,000 beads. That’s A LOT of beads! Two Wixaritari families spent seven months creating the peyote-trip inspired artwork, and it was worth every single bead.

El Vochol was commissioned by the Association of Friends of Museo of Arte Popular in Mexico City (whew! That’s a mouthful!) as part of an effort to show off Mexico’s traditional arts and artisans to the global community. “The project took on a greater message to the world: indigenous work is not to be forgotten, and in fact, celebrated.” (Maria Gracia-Vasquez) Well, I’m going to jump out and say that this is definitely a success! 

The decked out VW Bug is starting on it’s global tour this Fall, and will be swinging around to the Smithsonian next year! I’m inspired to grab some beeswax and seed beads to try out this art! But just so my impatient crafter doesn’t get too restless, I think I’ll start with a coaster. 

To read more about this fantastic artwork, check out the full article here, or check out the embedded YouTube video.


Photocopy

On 07, Oct 2011 | 2 Comments | In Artists, Crayon Art, Etsy, Photography | By jkerbawy

Ladies and gents, I love looking at all the great pieces that others are making with their crayon art, but I am ashamed of artists who steal photography. If you ever come across someone who’s stolen another artists photos, please report them – especially on Etsy! It’s not fair to falsify your product to the buyers, nor is it fair to the original artist. 

I want to thank the fellow Etsian, thekyladesign, who noticed another “seller” who had stolen my photography for one of my pieces, Rainbow Falls. Etsy has been notified and hopefully the “seller” straightens up her act! Here’s the link to her shop. I’m nervous that the tie-dye she’s selling is also a photo she stole, so if you find it somewhere else on Etsy, please report the seller directly to Etsy with a link to the original artist’s work. 

As I wrote to the owner of Change of Heart (who stole my photography), “Etsy is a site for honest, hardworking artists who respect one another.” Anyone who isn’t begin honest, or isn’t respecting other artists’ work should not be a part of that network. I understand that there are always going to be people who are only after their own gain, which is sad. Artists are especially subject to being copied, having their styles copied, and overrun by others with ambition for money. This is why artists need to stick together and look out for one another! 

I’ve reported the seller to Etsy and am not sure what the result will be since they will not keep my updated on the results of my reporting of the seller. I also sent the seller a message asking her to use her own photography. We’ll see what happens… so if the following links don’t work, that’s a good sign! Here’s the link to her shop, ChangeOfHeart, and here’s the item using my photography, listed on September 25th. Now, here’s the link to my item which had sold on July 18th of this year. Yup, they’re the same. Not just one of the photos for this item, but BOTH! Grrr… just makes me upset. 

Well, thanks for listening to my vent. On a brighter note, this is looking to be one of the most beautiful Fall weekends in Michigan ever! I can’t wait to be spending time with my boyfriend’s family up north and to see all the lovely Fall foliage. I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Much Delayed Recap

I can’t believe how much time has passed! We’re already five days into October and it seems like I completely missed August & September. Yup, it’s been that busy! The most exciting thing that has happened last month was the craft show at Uncle John’s 
Cider Mill. 

It was a complete success! I set my weekend sales goal at $250 to cover my expenses, and halfway through the first day, mission accomplished! My favorite part of the show was watching everyone who walked by smile when they saw my artwork. That alone was pretty much worth doing the whole show. 


This piece was a BIG hit with the crowd – I can’t wait to make more pieces like it. At the show I even met a metalworker who said he and his wife would be able to custom-cut any shape I’d like. I’m going to send over designs for butterflies, stars, ladybugs, and whatever else I think would be neat to incorporate. Then I’ll hand paint the cut outs. So exciting! =)

Right now I’m battling the Fall weather that’s seriously hurting my lacquering of 4 custom pieces that I’m hoping to ship out this week. Drastic temperature changes are not a big help! Hope you all are having better luck with your ventures!

25

Aug
2011

No Comments

In Uncategorized

By jkerbawy

Busy Bee

On 25, Aug 2011 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By jkerbawy

Just plain honored!

On 22, Aug 2011 | No Comments | In A Bit of Bees Knees, Art, Artists, Crayon Art, Etsy, inspiration | By jkerbawy

This morning I discovered a message in my Etsy inbox informing me that I had been featured in a new blog post on A Bit of Bees Knees. When I checked out the post, I was blown away that I had been included in this collection of Amazing Artists: Julian Beever, Margaux Lange, Shu Uemura, Dalton Ghetti, and Janine Golbert. Some of whom I had heard of before, some who are new to me, and all of which are fantastic artists! Thank you, Brittany, for loving my art and including me in this post! Check out her blog – it’s full of great posts ranging from art, to home tips, all kinds of fun things! =)