Tuesday, July 6, 2010

lauren makes the *WEIRDEST* things sometimes!

the proof being that even lauren thinks so!!! :)

this is one of the very strangest things i have ever made, so of course it has a very special place in my heart! but first, the inspiration: a couple of years ago my friend barbara and i were in this fabulous art gallery/gift shop called coast highway traders in encinitas, california, where they happened to have a huge selection of frida kahlo-inspired items, including these really amazing little portable shrines that came in tiny wooden boxes. we both fell in love with them, and even while i was there my crafty mind was thinking, "i wonder if i could MAKE something like that??!" of course at the time i didn't think to TAKE a picture, and i cannot find a photo online anywhere; but that's just as well because my version is NOTHING like it anyway, and probably would not benefit from being placed NEXT TO the ones we saw!!!

this year, as part of barb's birthday present, i have finally made an attempt at a tiny, portable, frida "shrine", and here it is now:

the container is a mint tin, obviously; i felt like this theme had enough challenges without my having to CONSTRUCT a box! :) inside is a giftcard holder (the real birthday present) little booklet i made.

i was planning just to make a little iconic triptych to go inside, but i had so much fun making my art-o-mat booklet for the swap with gina, and also....there are SO MANY great frida self-portraits it was hard to narrow down! finally i settled on six, which i paired with a quote from frida on why she painted so many:

text (which i printed on a clear inkjet label) reads, "i paint self-portraits because i am so often alone and because i am the person i know best." -frida kahlo

knowing full well that the natural inclination of double-sided inky booklets is to try really hard to FALL APART IMMEDIATELY, i used a piece of patterned paper for the side with the portraits, and got inky and creative on a separate piece of paper which i later xyroned onto the back for maximum strength and durability. (who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, eh?!)
as you know, with a bit of tutelage from marisol (and tim holtz!) lately i have been ♥LOVING♥ to make multi-layered (but FLAT!) backgrounds using masks, spray ink & ink pads, stamps and distressing. i think this is the best one i have made so far, and i am quite obnoxiously proud of it!!! :)


and now, here are some links to cool frida stuff i either used as inspiration, or stumbled on whilst making the project (i printed this list inside the g/c holder, in case the birthday girl wants to spend it on a frida-themed item):

The Diary of Frida Kahlo by Frida Kahlo (part art journal, part sketchbook, totally fascinating!)
Frida Kahlo: Pain & Passion by Andrea Ketterman
Frida Kahlo, the Artist in the Blue House by Magdalena Holzhey (from a series of books for kids called "Adventures in Art" which they have at our library)
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (Frida & Diego are supporting characters in this rather wonderful novel)
Frida directed by Julie Taymor (a must-see for anyone who likes art-themed films!)
Frida Kahlo Magnetic Personality Finger Puppet by the Philosopher's Guild (there are loads of other famous people, too!)
Frida Kahlo Art Tattoos by Dover Publishing
Frida Portrait Greeting Card with stickers from Museumize (this is an AWESOME site that the amazin' stef sent me!)


(~materials~ patterned paper: basic grey; rubber stamps: tim holtz, cherry arte, stampin' up, purple onion, love to stamp, autumn leaves; masks: heidi swapp; spray inks: glimmer mist, radiant rain, + custom colors made from ranger distress re-inkers & perfect pearls (thanks, mari!!!); markers: tombow; stamping inks: colorbox, ranger, stewart superior; flowers: prima, making memories; rub-ons: making memories; heart sticker: ek success; heart bling & ribbon: michaels; font: mom's typewriter; other: mint tin; frida paintings resized & copied onto kodak photo paper; avery clear full-sheet inkjet labels; dymo labels; sewing machine)
eta tuesday morning: believe it or not i had no idea that today (july 6) was frida kahlo's birthday; it's a complete coincidence that i posted this project today; the first i knew was when i opened google this morning and there was a picture of frida on the main page! ♥♥♥


  1. My cousin has a Frida-fabric-covered coffetable/cube and when I commented on it my mother thought I was referring to the brand of material. Oy!

  2. perfect timing on your most fabbie project my dear...wowza...it's a piece of art!

  3. lmao...yes you do make the wirdest things BUT own it sistah..its great!!

  4. This is such an amazing work of art. I love it! What a wonderful gift!

  5. Seriously speechless here at your incredible talent...ummmm....wow!
    So inadequate, but it is all this fuzzy brain can come up with as it stares slack jawed at this BRILLIANT MASTERPIECE of a gift!! WOW!

  6. It's gorgeous Lauren! If you want to see more artsy,you think you have a weird side, check out my daughter's blog(An Li Na designs)in Sylvia's Favorites. Amy is working on a round robin cloth book exchange now! It is to die for!

  7. Love this and I think it is so cool that you happened to post it on Frida's birthday!

  8. wow! this is amazing, girl! gorgeous shrine and booklet! Barb is one lucky lady!! LOVE IT!

  9. So cool and talk about timing!!! Thats awesome. I really love the mini shrine so cool. I've seen the shrines you talk of. Many people made them to sell on Ebay or Etsy. You'd be surprised. I'm sure if you search for one on Etsy you'll find a tons!

    Yep just searched. There are TONS!

    Not as cool as yours in my opinion. There are a few neat ones though. I do love the wood ones like this.


    There's one on there that is like yours! In a mint tin.

    Oh and I have another swap in mind for us!!! I was thinking mini zine. What do you think??

  10. The great thing about weird is that someone's weird is someone else's "coolest thing ever" ... and I have no doubt this will be perceived as the latter. Also, agreed ... coolest background so far ... fan-tab-u-lous for sure.

  11. Look at you gettin' all inky with it! :D
    I think it looks fabulous, very Lauren! And... it's possible that I've found a way to keep the edges together. But you'll have to wait and see... Bwahahah! :D

  12. Faaaabiiiouuuluuuus ART. And really good timing for your project.
    Lucky girl getting this beautiful present. No wonder you're proud of it..

  13. A favorite saying at my house is "normal is boring". My dear, YOU are not boring! This is not boring either, but most certainly is FABULOUS!

    (-: Heidi

  14. Very cool project. And your timing was meant to be. Some days are just perfect.

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