Alison Wong, the master mind behind Butter Projects in Royal Oaks Michigan, leads us through the process of building a canvas stretcher.
- On a table saw, rip lumber at a 15 degree angle down the length of board.
- On a miter saw, make 45 degree cuts on the ends of your framing pieces.
- Glue, clamp, and screw together all four sides of your stretcher bars.
- If necessary cut, glue, clamp, and screw cross braces on the interior of your frame.
- Measure and cut enough raw canvas to wrap around your stretchers.
- Stretch and staple canvas to the frame – beginning in the center and working your way around, alternating from opposite sides.
- Fold corners and staple.
- Canvas is now ready to be painted with gesso primer.
Take a closer look at Alison’s stunning artwork here.
Alison is wearing styles from the Carhartt Women’s Spring 2016 Collection.
Alison was on a mission to expand her studio space in the Detroit area, and soon realized how many empty store fronts were available. This opened her mind to the possibility of finding a location to accommodate her needs and then some.
That’s when Butter Projects began. It’s a place for Alison to do her own work, host exhibitions, events, discussions, etc. This open door to the community has done a great deal of exposing the area to the arts. The Butter Projects has sparked dialogue and brought folks together.
It’s also interesting to note that Alison’s gorgeous, tremendously detailed driven paintings and drawings revolve around love. She appropriates “imagery of animals, environments, and objects from popular culture that are suggestive of and stand-ins for two lovers.” Love drives Alison’s artwork and the artists outreach she does in her community.
Find out more about Butter Projects here. If you’re in the area, look for the yellow flag–that means come on in!
Alison is wearing styles from the Carhartt Women’s Spring 2016 Collection.
The large blue wall hanging is by artist, Nick Mayer.
Montana is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I was lucky enough to spend a few days backpacking around the area. It’s filled with geysers, natural hot springs, wildlife, and so much nature to explore. Here are a few tips I researched before I set off on an adventure:
1.) Avoid poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak. (pictured above)
2.) When packing a backpack for the trip, pack the heaviest items closest to the middle of your back, lighter items on the front and bottom of the bag, and medium-weight, frequently used items on top.
3.) To gauge how much daylight is left in the day, outstretch your arm and hold your hand just under the sun. Count how many times you line up your hands in the distance between the sun and the horizon. Each finger is equivalent to 15 minutes of sun, therefore each hand is equivalent to about an hour of daylight remaining.
4.) You guys know I’m a picture-a-holic, but don’t get so camera happy that you forget to step back and appreciate the glory around you. Make sure to put down the electronics for a bit to really soak up as much wilderness as possible.
Now get out there and experience the natural beauties the world has to offer!
my adventuring gear: Carhartt Women’s Calumet Long-Sleeve V-Neck, Carhartt El Paso Shorts, Women’s Wellington Boots, Carhartt D89 Backpack, & Carhartt Water Bottle
It’s can be hard to think of the right gift for Dad. If you’re looking for a thoughtful and useful present, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few DIYs to help organize around the garage and the perfect work shirt any guys would love. Let’s walk through these ideas step by step.
1. You can use shower curtain hooks as organizers for nuts and washers on a peg board you hang in your garage. Get creative. You can use the shower curtain hooks to arrange a lot of other things too; like wrenches or paintbrushes with a hole drilled into the handle.
2. Another great idea is a shelf for screwdrivers so that it’s easier to find the right one when you need it. Find a long, skinny piece of scrap lumber you can drill holes into as slots for each tool.
3. Try thinking green. Recycle an old palette and use it as a way to store gardening equipment. Hang it on the outside of the garage. It looks cool and it’s functional.
4. The Carhartt Men’s Workwear Pocket T-Shirt is a great gift for Dad. Right now they are 2 for $25 and big/tall are 2 for $28. That’s a great deal! It’s made of sturdy material and it comes in lots of colors and big/tall sizes.
It’s springtime, although it might not quite look like it yet. This strange mixture of rain, snow, and salt can take a toll on your bike. Here are a few tips for care and maintenance.
Keep it clean! After riding through the elements, clear all debris off your cycle– the sooner, the better. It will help prevent rust and ware. A bucket of soapy water and a sponge will do just fine.
Keep all moving elements lubed. This is important. Don’t be cheap with this step. In the long run, lube will cost less than having to replace expensive bike parts. Be mindful not to over-lube. Keep track of the areas you’ve already tended to so you don’t do it twice.
When roads are wet, let a bit of air out of your tires. Lower tire pressure increases contact area between the street and your bike. This will give you a bit more grip on slick roads.
Mudguards are a great purchase this time of year. Not only does it keep the rider clean, it prevents too much gunk from getting on other parts of your bike. It will also mean less clean up time for you after a muddy ride.
Regularly maintain your cycle. Harsh weather conditions lead to expedited disrepair of your bike. Keep an eye on brake pads, gear and brake cables, and bolt tightness.
Store your bicycle inside as often as you can. If you know it will be outside for an extended period. Be even more careful with the upkeep.
Carhartt Women’s Chore Coat is perfect for bike maintenance. The durable fabric, endless pockets, and adjustable cuffs are one your side when you have a dirty job in front of you. If you want to learn more about bike care check out what Tori Bortman, owner of Gracie’s Wrench in Portland, has to say.
It’s that simple. Do what you love. If you’re crafty and love finding ways to bring nature into your living space, this DIY project is calling your name. You can pick up these supplies at your local craft store. It’s quick, simple, and to the point.
What you need: adhesive moss paper, a tree ring, an inspirational quote, pencil, sharpie, and scissors
1. Pick out a quote that inspires you.
2. Type it up on a computer, mirror it horizontally so that it reads backwards.
3. Cover the back of the paper in graphite so you can transfer the letters to the back of the moss paper.
4. Flip the paper right side up (so that it reads backwards again), place it on the back of the moss paper, and trace the letters.
5. Your quote should appear backwards on the adhesive side of the moss sheet.
6. Trace over the graphite with a sharpie so you don’t smudge the tracing off while cutting.
7. Cut the letters out.
8. Peel and stick to the wooden palette.
And you’re done!
check out my crafting outfit here: Traverse City Hoodie & Straight Fit Slim Jean
Here’s a fun and easy craft– decorated paper lanterns. If you love to draw, whip out your pen and get to doodling! But don’t worry, if you aren’t as artistically gifted, you can trace a design. That’s the wonder of vellum paper, it’s transparent! Then roll it up, stick it over a candle, and you have a personalized light. How cool is that?! It’s perfect for party decorations or creative crafting. Give it a try and see what you can come up with.
shop this look: Grand Forks T-shirt
Carhartt has always been proud of their Michigan roots. So it’s a good fit for seventh-generation Detroiter Emily, co-owner of City Bird. City Bird is a shop that sells all things Detroit. It’s a beautiful ode to the historic city. Emily also recently collaborated on an Insider’s Guide to Detroit. It’s filled with over 1,000 of The Motor City’s attractions, sites, institutions, events, restaurants, bars, shops, and oddities. Not only is the guide jammed full of priceless info, it’s also filled with Emily’s gorgeous illustrations. You’ve gotta check it out!
Nancy and her husband, Andy, run Circa Ceramics in Chicago. I had so much fun visiting their studio. It’s such a loving family environment. Oliver, their son affectionately called Peanut by his mom, hangs out with his parents there quite a bit and keeps everyone entertained.
I got to watch the unique method Nancy uses to get screen prints onto their custom made pottery. Nancy and Andy’s work captures their fun and spunky personalities so well— be it a bowl with a whale on the side or a spoon rest imprinted with a happy sandwich. Laughter fills the studio— and there’s no doubt that translates into each piece. I have one of their Chicago flag mugs, and it’s one of my favorite things in my kitchen. I highly recommend it! It’s one of those mugs that makes you happy every time you use it.
An excerpt from the cheeky poster in Nancy’s studio, The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist:
“Working without the pressure of success.
Not having to be in shows with men.
Having an escape from the art world in your 4 free-lance jobs.
Knowing your career might pick up after you’re eighty.
Being reassured that whatever kind of art you make it will be labeled feminine.
Not being stuck in a tenured teaching position.
Seeing your ideas live on in the work of others.
Having the opportunity to choose between career and motherhood.
Not having to choke on those big cigars or paint in Italian suits.
Having more time to work after your mate dumps you for someone younger.
Being included in revised versions of art history.
Not having to undergo the embarrassment of being called a genius.”
Shop Circa Ceramics here.