Monday, December 31, 2012

HAND PAINTING TROMPE L'OEIL ART TREE & FLOWER POTS IN A STAIRWELL

                    HAND PAINTING TROMPE L'OEIL ART TREE & FLOWER POTS IN A STAIRWELL

  My client asked me to paint something in her stairwell, maybe a tree or something.
Since her carpet was a dark luscious green I couldn't help myself!!
 I had to paint a crepe myrtle tree and pots of flowers.
I love to paint trees and flowers more than anything.  
And, I love to paint "old" pots.
The ivy is trailing out of the pot, around the tree trunk and other pots.  
Also, I painted the ivy winding up and down the stairwell.  
I painted the tree and flowers to wrap around the corner a little bit for a more authentic look.
This was a fun project!

Friday, December 21, 2012

HAND PAINTING STRIPES & FLOWERS ARTWORK ON A NURSERY DRESSER

HAND PAINTING STRIPES & FLOWERS ARTWORK ON A NURSERY DRESSER

Maria lives in Dallas and is expecting a baby girl at the end of December. Her mother has a beautiful dresser that is pink and white with a big bouquet of flowers on the front.  Maria wanted me to paint something like that for her baby girl's nursery..  This is the dresser that I painted for Maria.
Maria's mom found this old dresser at a flea market. 
The style is very similar to the original dresser.
It was a bit wobbly and my neighbor did an old fashioned repair on the back, to make it more stable.  He put a screw on each four corners and then attached wires and tightened them until the dresser didn't sway, anymore.
When he was working on the dresser, he pulled out a drawer, turned it over and this is what he found.  Back in the 60's, we think someone was doing homework and studying the states and capitals of the United States.  Was so neat to find this!
This is the old dresser as it sat in the flea market.
Maria's mom sent her photos of the dresser I painted for her and her mom said she was very happy and loved it!  That made me feel good, too.
Next week, it will be on it's way to Dallas, just in time for that sweet baby's arrival.

Monday, December 17, 2012

PAINTING A BASEBALL WALL FOR A NURSERY & TUTORIAL

     Jill and Kevin are expecting their second child in a few weeks and it's a boy.  They had his room painted a beautiful blue with white trim and the furniture is very dark stained wood.
     They LOVE baseball and wanted a baseball theme in their baby boy's room.  So, Kevin Googled baseball themes and several hand painted baseball walls came up.  
They asked me to paint one wall to look like an old baseball.
     When I arrived to work on the wall, they already had it painted with a basecoat and Kevin had drawn the two big curves for the stitching.  He drew them with a pencil and did a great job.
I Googled baseballs and found a picture of a dirty old baseball.  That was my "inspiration".
It looked sooo cute and they were so happy with the way it turned out.  Now, they can finish decorating and get ready for that sweet baby boy to arrive.

TUTORIAL 

As I said, they had already painted a satin finish off white base coat.  And, Kevin had already drawn the two big curved seam lines on the wall with a pencil.
First, I painted over and gently shadowed with a dark brown paint, the seams/big curved lines that Kevin had drawn. Then, with a small brush I painted the stitches a dark red.  At the end of each stitch, I painted a dark brown dot to look like the needle holes.  I used the tip of my brush handle, dipped it in the paint and touched the spot where I wanted the needle holes to be.  Then, I used a very light brown glaze that I had mixed and I faux painted the whole wall to look like an old baseball.
When I found the picture on Google, I noticed that some of the stitch arrows were pointing up and the stitches on the other side were pointing down.  I showed it to my neighbor and he told me it was a mobius strip/circle.  It's interesting, if you want to look it up.
So, when you are painting your baseball wall, remember the two-way arrows.
Have fun!  It was fun for me!
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

HOW TO BUILD & INSTALL A PLATE RACK FOR A CABINET -TUTORIAL

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LYNDA BERGMAN DIY BLOG
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This tutorial is to show you how I built a few plate racks to install inside the cabinet spaces of kitchen cabinets that I have painted.  A plate rack really adds another dimension to your kitchen and can display your decorative plates or your every day plates.
In this kitchen, my clients looked around to figure out where the open cabinet and plate rack would look the best.  Then, they removed the two cabinet doors that were on this space.  They added their cookbooks on the top shelf.
After they removed the doors there were holes where the screws had been.  You can just fill those in.  If they need to be touched up, just use a litte stain or craft paint that matches your cabinet finish.  But, I was there to paint one of my special aged finishes on the cabinets so I was able to fill in and disguise the holes with paint and stain.  Their cabinets were that pickled/white washed finish before I painted them.
If you don't want to repaint your whole kitchen, I think it would look really nice and decorative to paint the whole inside of the open area and plate rack an accent color.  A color that matches your decor.
First, I went to Lowe's and got trim that was about  l/8" x 1 1/2" wide and dowels that were about 3/8".  These trim pieces come in different lengths. They're usually in the section where you find other door and baseboard trim.  I measured the inside of the cabinet to see how long the top and bottom pieces of the plate rack should be.  I cut four pieces the same length.  The two racks need two of these cut pieces each, one for the top and one for the bottom to hold the dowels.  Then, I taped them together before I drilled the holes for the dowels.  You need all of those holes to be exactly the same so the dowels will be vertically straight and evenly spaced.  I drilled a hole every 2".  But, before drilling you need to go with the measurements of your cabinet space.  The space between your holes drilled may be a little more or a little less than my 2".
Oh, and, when I measured the width and height of the inside of the cabinet, I made sure I was 1/8" to 1/4" shorter so the plate rack would slide in, easily.
You need to measure the size of your dowel so you'll know which size drill bit you will need to drill your holes.  When I had everything cut exactly the same, I used Elmer's Wood Glue and pushed or gently hammered the dowels into the holes on the trim piece.
It's best to paint everything before you install these racks or you'll have a hard time getting your brush and hand in between all of those spindles.  It's just a neater, cleaner job painting before you install.
After painting everything, I got small finish nails and hammered/got them started in the bottom and top trim pieces so it would be easier to hammer them into place.  Before I hammered them to the cabinet, I put Elmer's Wood Glue all over the top and bottom trim pieces where they would be touching the top and the bottom of the cabinet.  Wood glue makes a much tighter bond than nails only.
Before the final step of hammering them into place, I measured where I wanted to place the two racks and the distance between them was important.  So, I measured 1 3/4" back from the front of the cabinet because I wanted the front rack to be placed there.  I penciled a line so the rack would be perfectly straight.  Then, I measured 5" from the back where the front rack would be nailed and that's where I drew my next line.  My lines were drawn where the front of each rack would be.  You have to draw these lines on the top and bottom of the cabinet opening, so everything will be perfectly straight.
THEN, I hammered them into place.

This is a free standing plate rack that I built and painted artwork on sides and top.
First, I built the box (like the inside of a cabinet).  I attached four drawer pulls for the feet.  Then, I put it together just like the instructions above.
This would be such a nice gift for someone.  You could stain the wood or you could paint and crackle.  You could stencil all over it, decoupage all over it.  Paint all one color or different coordinating colors to fit your or someone's decor.
Just a suggestion:  when you put your plates in the plate rack, if you put them straight in that's ok and you can get one more plate in it.  But, if you have decorative dishes and want them to show, just angle one spindle over in the back when you're putting the plates in and that little angle will show off your dishes.  If you angle there will be space for one less plate.  But, the angle looks really good.
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HAVE FUN BUILDING YOUR PLATE RACK!!
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

PAINTING NEW WOOD TO MATCH OLD FINISH ON KITCHEN CABINETS

PAINTING NEW WOOD TO MATCH OLD FINISH ON KITCHEN CABINETS

Nine years ago, I painted these kitchen cabinets to a special old finish.  Before I painted, they were a white washed/pickled finish and the client wanted a major change.
Recently, my client called and said she had replaced her refrigerator and dishwasher cabinet fronts and they needed to be painted to match the cabinets.
Thank goodness, I keep a large notebook of clients' finishes and formulas.
On these cabinets, I used oil based products and those products age and amber, especially after nine years.  So, I had to work with the new wood, just a little bit.  After a few weeks I plan to look at them again to see if I need to age them a little bit more.  IN THESE PICTURES, I HAD NOT SEALED THEM, YET.  THE OIL BASED SEALER WILL AMBER RIGHT AWAY.   IT WILL CHANGE AND DARKEN THE NEW PAINT.  It will make the new paint match a little better.  And, over time, the oil will darken more, hopefully,  making the new cabinet fronts match the old.
When I first painted the cabinets, my client asked me to paint this stool with artwork and to match the cabinets.  She thought grapes would be nice for the artwork.
They wanted a space for cookbooks and decorative dishes.  So, they selected carefully which two cabinet doors to remove that would show and look the best.  I told them I could build them a plate rack to go on the bottom shelf and they liked that idea. So, I did.
 It's really easy to build a plate rack.
It looks nice in the middle of allll those closed cabinet doors.  So,
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HERE IS A LINK TO MY BUILDING A PLATE RACK TUTORIAL:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I LOVE MY HOME!

I was in the front yard watering and a lady in a bright yellow mustang with a black convertible top stopped and told me she loved my house and she drives by all the time, just to look at it.  That was so nice of her and especially to stop to tell me.  I know of a couple of other people who drive by, when they're in the neighborhood, just to look at my house.  That is very special to me and makes me wish I would do a lot more trimming and deadheading.  Oh, and I LOVED her car!


In this photo, you can't see it, but in that big space between the windows, I painted a pink crepe myrtle tree and a little bird flying to it. 




This is my garage door and I painted my cat, Mr. Smith and a pot of blue plumbago.  On the left, there is a kitty door in the middle of the pot plant.





I LOVE MY HOME!



HAND PAINTING ARTWORK IVY & LIRIOPE AROUND METAL URN PLAQUES (TROMPE L'OEIL)

HAND PAINTING ARTWORK IVY & LIRIOPE AROUND METAL URN PLAQUES (TROMPE L'OEIL)

Visiting one of my very favorite stores, I found some flat metal wall plaques that were shaped like urns.  I loved them and knew I wanted to hang them on my fence and paint flowers coming out of them.  Sorry, no photos of my fence, right now.  So, when a client called me and wanted me to paint something in her entry way up high over the very wide opening to her dining room, I immediately thought of those urns.  She already had the canvas painting and I could just picture urns with greenery coming out of them on either side of the painting.  
And, because it was so high I knew it needed something large like these urn plaques.
I suggested she go to that store to see if they still had these urns.  And, I told her I could paint plants coming out of the urns.  She liked the idea.  She did find the urns and when I went back to paint, they were already placed exactly where she wanted them.
Standing on my extension ladder, I painted liriope and ivy coming out of the urns and a little bit of ivy behind the canvas painting.
She was very, very happy with the way it changed the look of the entry into her home.  
I loved it, too!! 
 Of course, it was my idea, but I just knew it would look great!