Wednesday, March 30, 2011

hutch Idea of the moment

~ DIY Tulip Tea light ~

I'm always thinking of different ways to use these little battery operated tea lights around the shop.  They just make the perfect little warm touch here and there.  Since the Skagit Valley will soon be blooming with vast fields of tulips I thought a little tulip light would be well suited to our studio.  Best of all it's a repurposing project that utilize all those old magazines that collect all over the house.

Step #1- Collect magazine pages that have a certain color (your choice).  I'm making pink tulips.  Also tear out a little bit of "green".

Here is all that you need to make your tulip light.   Step #2-  With scissors cut the pink petal shapes approximately 2 x 3 inches.  You can do a straight cut along the base of the petals now or after they are taped together (your choice).  I also cut 2 or three thin leaf shapes approximately 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch.

Step #3- Using a pencil or dowel curl the petal pieces starting at the top of the petal.

Step #4- Place the petal pieces in a row 5 inches in length overlapping them slightly.  Place the green leaf pieces on top.  I hold them in place with a pencil.  I first made my strip 5 1/4" long but learned that it only needed to be 5".

Step #5- Using satin finish invisible tape, secure all petal and leaf pieces together along the bottom edge.  If you didn't pre-trim the bottom edge previously do it after this step.  Step #6-  Leave a slight overhang of tape at each end and wrap around the side walls of the tea light. 

Turn on the light and happy spring!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Vintage Inspiration "Green"

~ Vintage Inspiration ~

There were some really great green items hidden in the nooks and crannies here at hutch.  How about this black and green electric range?  This was for the really serious little cook.  I would imagine it could brew a fine kettle of tea or bake a mini lasagna.  I'm not going to plug it in though.

Red always seems to be the perfect accent to green.  Here are a few cool finds with that pop of red.  The Betsy Ross electric sewing machine in the upper right corner is a "serious" toy like the Empire stove.

This last bit of green is a "Dump Trac" pull cart.  I would of loved to fill this with all sorts of things when I was knee high to a green grasshopper.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vintage Inspiration "Pink"

~ Vintage Inspiration ~

I was searching around the studio today for 50's era items that would possibly fit into our sweet children's room.  Here are some of the pinks......

It's hard not to be inspired by the color, character, and design of these much loved objects.

And how can you not like pink?  Sweet, sweet, sweet.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Another Whirl

"Another Whirl"

A little less than a year ago I constructed this whirligig using a few old metal toys. I suspended the toys below using bicycle spokes that I collect when removing hubs from rims.  After putting it outside on our fence and watching the upper course of cans struggle to rotate in a good wind I realized that there was just too much weight on the perimeter.  I brought the whirligig into the studio a little while ago and I've been slowly redesigning it.  I just finished and put it out to spin this morning.

The new design is horizontal which fits the space under our sign better and I moved the lower toys to a separate hub and rim making it a double rotating gig.  I also spruced it up with a bit of paint.  I can't wait for the next really breezy day to see it fly like the wind.  It is for sale.  Give me a ring #360-466-2303 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bunny Shed Finish

~ The Bunny Shed ~

The "Bunny Shed" is finished.  Today I wrapped up the painting on this fancy cardboard box and installed a small spot light inside.  My plan is to have a scene of some kind that you can peak a view of through the round side window.

I temporarily placed the Bunny artwork that I was using as reference inside the shed to give the general effect.  Alright! Now on to painting the cardboard dollhouse!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Project Update.

The Bunny Shed is being painted, and I'm hoping to have something fun happening inside.  An illuminated scene perhaps.  What do you think you might see if you peeked into a bunny shed?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cardboard Creations

Well the floor has been piling up with cardboard scraps over the past couple of days.  I'm working on a couple different projects right now.  One is a shed that will be in a bunnies by the bay window display and the other is a large dollhouse that will be in our own sweet room here at the studio.  Both are pictured below during the construction phase.

The shed has a bunny weathervane on top which gave me the idea to make a front fence with hutch whirligigs for the dollhouse.

The construction of both is complete.  Today I primed the paper so that I can begin the surface painting. I will continue to chronicle this project with more pictures.  I will leave you with a view of the spacious interior and a full view of the dollhouse.

Cardboard is cool.

Chris "Cardboard Man"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

DIY Paper Cut Project

"Oval Flower Window Frame"

At the studio we have a long side porch lined with windows.  I knew that these windows would be a great place for an eye catching visual element that could grab the attention of passers-by. I began making tiny birds in wire cages that I could hang in every window. To draw more attention to them I decided to frame them in a oval paper cut.  It was spring so flowers popped into my head immediately. 

Well they did attract customers in to the shop but The birds were hardly noticed.  Everyone wanted to know if the paper cut outs were for sale.  I am happy to announce that a pattern and instructions for the "Make It Yourself" paper cut project.

Now available for purchase- $8. and is listed in our "shop" section on our blog. Stop by or just give me a ring at 360-466-2303.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Studio Demos

Can ceramics make you happy?

April Demos may bring smiles.

It will be raining "process" in the month of April at hutch studio. We are planning some creative and magical demonstrations during the month that will definitely be something not to miss. I (Chris Theiss) will be giving a demo on how to throw clay forms on the potters wheel.  Exactly "what" I will make is yet undecided, but I'll give you a little hint.  Have you ever seen a rabbit pulled out of a hat?  Whatever it is it will be fun to watch and no I won't be playing the "Unchained Melody" song from "Ghost" during the demo.
Throwing on the Potters Wheel ~ Chris Theiss
Sunday, April 10th- 1-3pm
hutch studio 
La Conner, WA

"Thread Drawing"
One of the many benefits to being married to creative "genius" that is Kristin Loffer Theiss is the fact that she is willing from time to time to come by the studio and demonstrate her artistic skills on a sewing machine.  In a very intense exercise of visual concentration she moves a "blank" piece of canvas back and forth under the needle of a chugging sewing machine building an image with a continuous unbroken line of stitches.  AMAZING RIGHT?  Amazing to watch for sure.
So plan a trip to La Conner during the month of April and remember that's "TULIP TIME" in the Skagit Valley so there is plenty to see and do. The following is a video of the last demonstration that Kristin did for hutch studio. Please don't be confused by the date on the video. 

Thread Drawing ~ Kristin Loffer Theiss
Sunday, April 17th- 2-3pm
hutch studio
617 Morris St.
La Conner, WA

Friday, March 4, 2011


~ Dollhouses ~

Vintage dollhouses have appeared all around the shop lately.  They are very old and full of character (broken boards and chipped paint).  They certainly amp up the rustic quality of our studio space but they also add to the idea of "play" and childhood that we really try to capture in all the things we make and display.  This red beauty is the centerpiece in our middle room and the facade is hinged to expose the interior rooms.

In the same room, directly under the table, sits this single story house with attached garage.  I believe it used to have fencing in the yard.  I have a strong personal connection to the "dollhouse".  As a child I remember that my sister had a simple wooden dollhouse and for some reason I thought the roof was too plane. I took it upon myself to hand cut little shingles and apply them to the roof.  It's no surprise I ended up the way I am. Coincidentally in my artwork I address the idea of "house" and "home" and often work in a miniature scale.  These are things that just happen sometimes without much if any intention, but are none the less very interesting to discover. 

A couple of years ago I was visiting a blog called the The Junior Society where I would often find new and interesting things that got me jazzed. Then I saw it. A story about a young artist from Saskatchewan by the name of Heather Benning who transformed an old abandoned farmhouse on the plains of Manitoba into a life size dollhouse. She removed the exterior walls on the backside of the house and restored and staged the rooms just as she imagined they may have appeared in the 1950's and 60's when the house was being lived in. Some things just get to me and this was one of those things.  For Heather the impetus for this amazing project was a childhood memory of playing house in an old structure similar to the one she used in her artwork.  I'm always thankful for artists like Heather that manage to blow my mind with their ideas and ambition.

The last dollhouse in the studio is the first one you see when you enter.  A crusty white patina on the exterior sets off the rich red roof.  The facade completely removes exposing many small rooms.  I forgot to mention that this house and the first one are wired for low voltage lighting.  How cool is that?  I think I need to make a video called "put a light in it".
Did you have a dollhouse when you were little?  What was it like?

Picture of Heather Benning's Dollhouse via Ohdeedoh

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

DIY Whirligig Plans

"DIY Whirligig"

For those of you that haven't yet had the opportunity to visit hutch studio in La Conner, you may not know that the fence lining our front yard is constructed out of found objects (washboards, croquet balls, rakes, rocking horses, etc...).  The posts of this extraordinary fence are topped by "whirligigs", which are whimsical handmade objects that spin and move in the wind. Hutch studio whirligigs are all made by repurposing old "stuff" that collects in our garages, basements, and sheds. These objects exemplify the creative spirit of hutch studio and I'm pretty sure the #1 most photographed thing in town. They are just so fun to watch spin on breezy day and it's almost like they charge the sidewalk with a creative electricity.  Most of these gigs are for sale (there's a catalog with prices inside the shop).  We also offer monthly workshops on how to build whirligigs.  I am so crazy excited to finally be offering the plans and instructions on how to make your very own whirligig just like the ones here at hutch studio.

Included in this package is a technical drawing (blueprint) of the whirligig pictured on the front label, extensive materials list of every tool, object, and lock washer, and finally step by step list of written instructions.  *If you or someone you know loves a fun construction project and can handle a power drill this is the gig for you.  This fun and special idea sells for $14.  It is available both in the studio or at our blog shop.  To order by phone call 360-466-2303.

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