On Star Wars and the Power of Costume

So there has been an exhibit at the Denver Art Museum for a few months now titled, “Star Wars and the Power of Costume.” The exhibit is a traveling one that shows the whole journey of dressing the Star Wars universe. The exhibit has everything from storyboards to final costumes, and has different in-depth stories about the various pieces.

Like how the Jedi are purposefully made to look biblical because they are “good.”

Like how Han Solo’s outfit is more reminiscent of an old west gunslinger as opposed to how we’d think some space dude is supposed to look.

Like how ridiculous of a process it was to put on the Darth Vader costume.

And so on. The exhibition closes here in Denver April 9 and I really wanted to make it to the DAM before it closed, so we picked a day last week and went. The following are a smattering of pictures from the event.

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Explanation.

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Luke Skywalker’s outfit on the left and I believe Anakin on the right. While most Jedi are in white and brown, Luke’s outfit is black at this point (I believe this one was from “Return of the Jedi”) due to the nature of the dark side creeping in.

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I totally remember using these iMacs in high school …

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Princess Leia’s dress.

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The iconic bikini as well as the disguise Leia uses to free Han Solo from Jabba.

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Chewy and Solo.

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Rebel fighters. Joked to B that if he were in Star Wars, this is what he would wear.

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… B’s response was that TIE fighters were cooler so he’d be in these flight outfits instead.

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Droids.

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Darth Vader, I believe from the Hayden Christiansen days.

Cool exhibit. I think there’s a more permanent version of the exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., but after it leaves Denver, it’s also heading to the Cincinnati Museum Center in Cincinnati, Oh., and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Creativity Corner: Shinedown Word Art

So. I’m hoping to create more this year (don’t I say that every year??), but so far, so good for the month!

I did doodle a bit in my sketchbook for the first time in ages, but I wanted to do something a bit more substantial, so I decided to do some word art for B. We’ve been talking about painting random song lyrics for the longest time, so I finally said, “screw it!” and asked him for some Shinedown lyrics and then a color theme.

This is the result:

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I only apparently had large canvases around (that I could find at the time, at least). He wanted warm colors, so I did a loose play on a sunset/sunrise. I added a metallic Shinedown logo (sort of visible in the dead center) and then washed over it to make it super subtle. Finally, the lyrics from “How Did You Love” that B texted me.

I still need to get a lot better with painting words/doing word art, but he’s super happy with the end result, so I’ll take it!

On Washed Ashore

The Denver Zoo recently had a traveling exhibit called “Washed Ashore – Art to Save the Sea.” I had seen the banners for it while driving and we finally got the chance to go about three days before it ended its residency.

From their website: “Washed Ashore builds and exhibits aesthetically powerful art to educate a global audience about plastic pollution in oceans and waterways and spark positive changes in consumer habits.”

The pieces? Are stunning. I took photos of almost every piece at the zoo (missed one behind glass) and I’ve included my favorites here.

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I adore this marlin.

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The jellyfish in the background is almost all entirely water bottles. Insane.

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Gorgeous parrotfish.

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Close-up. The artistry that went into these is amazing.

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Shark.

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Shark close-up.

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Turtle out of cans.

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Salmon.

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American sea star. In USA colors to bring attention to firework debris.

As I said, the exhibit is no longer in Denver, but they currently also have pieces in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (which might be permanent?). They are also coming soon to the Science Museum of Virginia (Richmond, Va.), Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (Tacoma, Wash.), and Reiman Gardens (Ames, Ia.).

Creativity Corner: Stuffed Dinosaur

I have not created NEARLY as much as I’ve wanted to this year. But, I managed to toss something together in November.

Thanks to a few random reasons, B and I are acquainted with former pro triathlete and all-around awesome person, Hillary Biscay. She and her husband, Maik, recently adopted a little girl, Madison Frankie. Since I knew we’d have a good shot at seeing her on our Arizona trip (blog coming soon), I wanted to make a little something for Madison. Since we’re Team Baby Dinosaur … clearly, I wanted to do a dinosaur.

I searched around online for some patterns and came across this one. It seemed quick and easy (and doable), so I pulled out some fabric and took a few hours to make a dino. Lo and behold, it turned out!

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Other side.

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Holding it up (also for a sense of scale).

It’s pretty tiny, but it turned out pretty cute and I hope Madison likes it!

Creativity Corner: Stuffed Fishy

Like me when I was once young, my niece Amelia loves fish and fishy things. I was obsessed once upon a time, owning somewhere around 11 plush killer whales, seven dolphins, eels, various other whales, lobsters, crabs, sharks, penguins, other fish, walruses … you name it, I probably had it in stuffed form.

Since I’m trying to force myself to tap into my creative side a bit more, I decided to make Amelia a plush fish for Christmas. I knew she had some of her own from other places, but I thought a handmade gift from her aunt might be pretty cool.

So, I went through my fabric, picked out two (one for the body and one for the fins), drew a very basic outline of how I wanted it to look … and went from there.

This fish …

– is NOT from a pattern
– is entirely hand-sewn (no sewing machines over here)
– took me way longer to make than I thought

That last point brings me to why I’m actually posting about this now – I finished the damn thing about two weeks ago. Oops.

Still, I’m pretty proud with how it turned out. I may do things differently in the future regarding the attachment of the tail and top fin, and maybe buy buttons for the eyes as the sequins are probably not the most permanent choice. In any case, Nicole (my sister-in-law) has told me she loves it, so that’s the most important thing.

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Side one.

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Side two. As you can see, the side fins aren’t quite uniform …

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Tail detail.

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Head detail.

Creativity Corner: Dino Pillow

A good friend of mine had a baby back in December and I had wanted to give her something dinosaur-related for the kid, since that’s what we do. I was out of the typical dino stuffed animals we keep on hand and I didn’t have time to try and make one (she had to move back to Canada), so I made a cute applique dinosaur pillow.

I would have done a T-Rex, but they’re not so easy to do in silhouette. Dinosaur outline found online and hand-sketched on to fabric; cut out and sewn on before making pillow. All hand-sewn.

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I forgot how quick and easy it is to make pillows … and how much I enjoy doing it.

Creativity Corner: Word Art Painting

(Yeah, titles for these posts are a work in progress …)

In my last post, I mentioned that I painted for the first time in a long time in late December. As what I painted goes along very well with my goal for 2015, I figured I’d share it here.

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“embrace FEAR and dream BIG” (acrylics on canvas)

The saying is based off a quote I kept posted on the sticky note function on my laptop – “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”

I had the canvas already started in that weird purply color (no idea what I was doing; probably using up mixed paint colors). I took some glitter paint, brushed it over and then did the words. I’m not quite there when it comes to hand-painted typography (maybe some day?), but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. It’s on the wall across from my side of the bed, so it is the first thing I see every morning.