Monday, December 28, 2015

BUILDING A JEWELRY DISPLAY SCREEN & SEWING A CANVAS CARRYING BAG FOR ELIZABETH'S CRAFT SHOWS & TUTORIAL

BUILDING A JEWELRY DISPLAY SCREEN & SEWING A CANVAS CARRYING BAG FOR ELIZABETH'S CRAFT SHOWS & TUTORIAL

Elizabeth loves to make jewelry.  She goes to different craft shows, like Southtown,
where artists display their art and crafts for sale.
She mentioned she was working on her jewelry displays and needed a bigger table, etc.  So, for Christmas, I surprised her with a larger display and canvas bag just the right size to carry it.
For strength and to be able to add more nail hangers on the frame, I made it out of 1"x2" trim pieces.  I made two frames and nailed the chicken wire between the two frames. 
 Lightly sanded all of the edges and corners for a softer, more rounded look.
I added a handle on top for easier carrying.  Then, I spray painted it black.  I suggested she use Christmas ornament hooks to hang her jewelry.  She'll figure that out.
After the frame was finished, I knew the measurements for her canvas carrying bag. 
 I always have lots of canvas cloth on hand.  Before I measured and cut the fabric, I washed and dried to "size" it. That way, she can wash it in the future without it shrinking.  
Then, I sewed the bag.  Made french seams to prevent fraying. 
I wanted her name to be in my handwriting.  So, I wrote her name on a piece of paper.  Used graphite paper to trace it onto her canvas bag.  Then, I used black craft paint to paint it.  Used textile medium to thin the paint a little and to make sure it soaked into the fabric.
Put the bag in the dryer, wrong side out, for about 10 minutes to "set" the paint.
I want to be a carpenter!
I have tools and saws and everything I really need.  But, when I build something it never turns out perfectly like a real carpenter's work.  Once I paint, it covers up a lot of my imperfections.  Even when things are not perfect, I think of  Ralph Waldo Emerson's
"The only gift is a portion of thyself"
So, that makes me feel better.
Elizabeth was surprised, happy and thrilled with her gift.
Me, too!
After Christmas sales, she's a little low on merchandise, but here is link to her ETSY SHOP:

Friday, December 25, 2015

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA ~ CHRISTMAS CANON

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA ~ CHRISTMAS CANON

"This night we pray
Our lives will show
This dream He had
Each child still knows"

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

HAND PAINTING STRIPES & A PLAYHOUSE, PICKET FENCE & FLOWERS IN A LITTLE GIRL'S ROOM

HAND PAINTING STRIPES & A PLAYHOUSE, PICKET FENCE & FLOWERS IN A LITTLE GIRL'S ROOM

One time a family was moving into a new home.
The little girl's room was blue and the mom asked me to paint stripes for her.
I drew and hand painted the yellow stripes and green ivy as a border.
Then, I asked if I could paint her a playhouse.  
So, I drew and painted the outline of a playhouse.  Then, I painted the picket fence and flowers.
They placed a little table and chairs in the corner with the playhouse.
The little girl just loved it and her mom said she played near it all the time.
That was a fun project!
~
I found this picture in a stack of pictures of my work and thought it would be great to share it with you just before Christmas, in case it might give you some ideas for a little girl or boy's room.  The playhouse can be any color.  Maybe it could be brown and they could play like it's a fort or a cabin.
Or, draw the outline of a spaceship. 
 I bet they would really love that!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

PAINTING & GLAZING DEBBIE'S NEW ENTERTAINMENT CENTER CABINET

PAINTING & GLAZING DEBBIE'S NEW ENTERTAINMENT CENTER CABINET

Debbie's entertainment center is in her great room.  She had been wanting to change it and make it nicer because you can see it from nearly everywhere on her, very open, first floor.
 So, she designed and told the contractor what she wanted.  
She wanted it more open and she wanted a great big arch above it.
She designed this cabinet for her collection of beautiful pieces of art and asked me to paint it for her.
I used an oil based semi-gloss off white paint for the base coat.  Then, I used a dark stain and brushed on and wiped off, leaving stain in the crevices and streaked it on the flat surfaces.
This small cabinet and shelves were next to the new cabinet and I painted it to match.  The mantel is soft off white stone and my colors tied in really well.
This is Debbie's wonderful Nickie.  He's so friendly.  A while back when I was painting her bedroom, Nickie kept getting on my ladder and I had to call his mommy to get him down so I could paint.  It was funny.
And, little Issy and Bella.  Issy is the little sister.  So cute!!  Sweet Bella is older and blind.  I always think Debbie is so sweet to her.  She knows her way around the house.
This is a view of the cabinets and fireplace.  Before, Debbie thought it didn't look right, maybe cluttered.  Now, with her new design and paint she's very happy.
I love how Debbie decorates her home.  It's so comfortable, yet elegant.
Thank you Debbie!  I always love working with you.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

PAINTING HUGE, BEAUTIFUL ART & MIRROR FRAMES FOR SAUNDRA'S NEW HOME

PAINTING HUGE, BEAUTIFUL ART & MIRROR FRAMES FOR SAUNDRA'S NEW HOME

Saundra is building a new home.  
These picture frames and mirror frame were truly beautiful.  The problem was, they were all bright metallic gold.  They looked wonderful in her home that she just sold, but she felt the bright gold would not go as well in her new home.
 She asked me to age them and make them darker.
The mirror is over 6' tall.
This painting is almost that tall and a few inches taller and I am.
This one is very wide and tall.
I used my dining room table as a work surface.
See where I had already started aging on the left side.  The right side is the original bright gold.
Darkening the frame made this painting even more beautiful.
She asked me to paint the off white 1" fabric mats on both paintings.  That really made the colors in the paintings look better, too.  This one, I painted dark brown and dry brushed metallic gold on it.
See the bright gold and the darker where I aged it?
And, see that little flat strip in the middle of the frame?  As I painted it, I dabbed my brush on it to make it look more textured.  You can see it better, two pictures above this one.
This one was bright gold, too. 
 Saundra chose a gray distressed finish.
I rubbed the paint to make only a few gold highlights come through the gray.
Then, she and her husband decided they wanted more warmth and depth, so I worked on it to bring more brown and gold through the gray.  
They are putting this painting on the stones over their fireplace and it will have a spotlight on 
it.  They want to make sure it shows up well on the color of stones they chose.
This is the original metallic gold I started with.  
To get this finish, I started with a dark brown under coat.
After I worked on it a while, this is how it looks now.
After I painted this little 1" mat a soft gray white, Saundra asked me to dry brush some metallic silver on it.  Oh my!!  it is really beautiful!
We are all amazed at how different and beautiful the paintings and mirror look, now.
Painting your frames and mats really can make a difference in your decor.
I might be painting some powder room cabinets in her new home and 
I can hardly wait to see what she has created this time.
Thank you, Saundra.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

PREPARING FOR THANKSGIVING ~ I'LL BE BACK SOON

 PREPARING FOR THANKSGIVING ~ I'LL BE BACK SOON

I'm really behind posting and sharing my work with you.  I'll be back very soon.
My clients are preparing for the holidays and needed me to help with a few paint projects.  
The kitchen I'm painting right now will, finally, be finished Saturday or Sunday.  
Then, I will be at the grocery store shopping for our Thanksgiving meal.
Hoping you are looking forward to a warm and Happy Thanksgiving, too.
One of the migrating birds visiting my yard in September.
Not sure what it is, but it was really beautiful and it's tummy was a vibrant yellow-orange.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

PAINTING & DISTRESSING PATTI'S BEDROOM FURNITURE CREAMY WHITE & GRAYS

PAINTING & DISTRESSING PATTI'S BEDROOM FURNITURE CREAMY WHITE & GRAYS

Patti is doing some major redecorating.
Several years ago, when she was designing and building this home, I spent lots of time doing special paint projects for her.  That wall behind her headboard was one of the projects.  Back then, she wanted her new home and decor to be a darker Tuscan style.
It was (still is) sooo beautiful!
 I didn't paint this black distressed finish on this bed.  I do love the finish!!
The insets on the headboard and footboard are brown leather.
I almost forgot to take a picture of "before".
Look at that black and beige carpet!!
This is her cabinet "before" I painted it.
It was really nice, too.
Now, years later, she is wanting everything to be lighter.  For her bedroom furniture she chose a creamy white, light gray white and a medium gray.
She showed me a sample of the finish she wanted and here it is.  
The leather, I primed with an oil based primer and painted the soft gray color.
Then, I sanded the seams and distressed a little in the middle.
There are upholstery tacks holding the leather.
Patti asked me to paint those metallic silver.
In this picture, the silver doesn't shine.  But, in person it does reflect the light and is shiny.  
The metallic silver looks really nice with the colors she chose.
(The picture above is more true to the colors I painted.  In the other pictures, 
  my camera made the creamy white look more creamy than it really is.)
Aren't those bedside chandeliers amazing!!
Patti sent this picture to me.  That is sweet Stella.  She looks so pretty snoozing on the new bed.
It's a king size bed.  Her camera angle makes it look like a twin.
Here is the cabinet painted with the new colors to match the bed.
(Creamy white NOT this yellow)
I used a gel stain to paint the inside of the top and bottom and the shelves.
Also, I used the gel stain to paint the cabinet top.
It was a very large cabinet and LOTS of distressing.
This was Patti's husband's grandmother's dresser.  It goes in the bedroom, too. 
Patti wanted me to paint it the same way I painted the darker areas of the cabinet.
~
I have worked with Patti for many years and I always enjoy working with her.  
She has such great taste!
As she is redecorating, I'll keep sharing pictures with you.
Thank you, Patti!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

MY NEW "HOW TO" EBOOK~PAINTING FAUX "ANTIQUE COPPER"

MY NEW "HOW TO" EBOOK~PAINTING FAUX "ANTIQUE COPPER"

Finally, I have finished my second eBook.  In this one, I have shared my technique for painting faux "antique copper" on kitchen vent-a-hoods.  Actually, you can use this technique to paint just about anything that you want to look like "antique copper"
Here is a link to my newest instructional eBook:
~
While you're visiting my blog, here is a link to my first eBook about using gel stains:
~
~THANK YOU FOR YOUR VISITS~

Monday, October 12, 2015

PAINTING ARTWORK ON CANVAS DROP CLOTHS

PAINTING ARTWORK ON CANVAS DROP CLOTHS

The holidays are right around the corner and I bet you're planning your decorations.
A very inexpensive and fun way to decorate is with canvas drop cloths.
These are the halloween drop cloths that I painted for a client.
You can paint these, too.
They were fun to paint!
I used craft paints.
  For all of the large metallic swipes that you see, I used a very wide brush.
Your kids would have so much fun painting these.
Witches, black cats, spiders, ghosts, etc. are all very easy to paint.
Just spread out the drop cloths on your driveway and let'em go at it!!
Have fun!
(this is a repost from last year with good information about painting fun stuff on canvas drop cloths)
~
Here is a link to my tutorial about painting on canvas cloths:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

ANITA WANTED A BLUE FRONT DOOR ~ PAINTING ANITA'S FRONT DOOR

ANITA WANTED A BLUE FRONT DOOR ~ PAINTING ANITA'S FRONT DOOR

This is Anita's beautiful home.
The white trim and stained door look very nice.  But, she really wanted a new look and asked me to help her make her front door look more inviting.
She really, really wanted her front door to be blue. 
 Not light blue or dark blue, just a medium happy blue.  So, she and I picked out a blue paint color and I suggested she paint her flower pots blue and plant blue plumbago to enhance the blue on her new door.
This is her new front porch.  She sent this picture to me after she planted the blue plumbago in her blue pots.  It looks so pretty and inviting and she's very happy with her new entry.
I suggested that we paint the frame around her door alllllll the way up, including the arch.
I'm used to climbing on my two story extension ladder and that's just routine to me.  What is a bit harrowing is moving that ladder around all of that glass.
I picked a color that was in the same tones as all of the other light trim on her home, but a couple of shades darker so it would be noticeably different.  
Her front porch looks so pretty, now.
A few years ago, I painted these stripes, this red ribbon and bouquets of flowers all around her guest bedroom.  It was nice to see it, again.  Not painted over, yet.
While I was there, she added a lot of fall decor.  Her decorated chandeliers look so beautiful!!
One day Anita came home and that big rooster was in her yard.  A friend had surprised her and put it there as a tease, but she liked it and it's still there.  It's really cute and colorful.
And, it looks good with her new front door.
Thank you, Anita!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

HAND PAINTING A BOUQUET OF FLOWERS ON BECKY'S OLD DRESSER & PICTURES OF BECKY'S BEAUTIFUL HOME

HAND PAINTING A BOUQUET OF FLOWERS ON BECKY'S OLD DRESSER & PICTURES OF HER BEAUTIFUL HOME

In my work I am so fortunate to get to visit and work in some of the most beautiful, 
well decorated  and unique styled homes.  
Becky has one of those homes and  she has the most wonderful!! taste in decorating.
 She had this old dresser and asked if I would paint a bouquet of flowers on the door.  
If possible, I always want to see a picture or something to show me what my client is wanting me to paint.  She told me the colors she wanted.  This is the bouquet I painted for her.
She was very happy with the bouquet, but I asked if she wanted me to distress and age/stain it. 
 She was a bit reluctant, 
then she loved it aged because it looked so much better with the finish of the old piece.
Becky found these crystal knobs at Anthropologie.
Isn't this beautiful!!  
Another picture of the same bedroom.
The "old" bouquet looks like it's been on that dresser since the beginning of it's time.
This is her living room.
Living room and entry to her home.
Another bedroom.
Her wonderful, wonderful kitchen.  
This is little Mabel.  What a sweetie!!
Don't you just want to sit down and have tea here!!