He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his mind is a craftsman He who works with his hands and his mind and his heart is an artist

~ St Francis of Assisi

Monday, January 16, 2012

Faux paint and murals

    Painting sort of fell in my lap, so to speak, prior to retiring from teaching. now we're talking walls painting not canvases. A friend of the family wanted some painting done & she had a leather look in mind for her dining room. For some reason, I was intrigued with faux painting ..actually painting my bathroom vanity top to look like marble, so I had quite a few books to get ideas . She had more faith in me than I did at the time. Doing that kind of painting can be great.....or a disaster!!!
 After some research, the "smooshing" technique seemed to be the one I wanted to use for this faux look. now the problem with this ..or most faux painting techniques is that it has to be done pretty fast, even though a glaze gives you an extended time ..........however, when you are trying to get a whole wall done at one time you really have to be FAST!!!
  Smooshing requires placing plastic over the tinted glaze, pressing it to the wall and then removing it. The wrinkles and folds of the plastic create that leather look. Luckily the dining room was fairly small , so I could roll the glaze, then get the plastic on pretty quickly. 
  A butter yellow eggshell paint was used as the base with the glaze tinted with hitching Post ( Shermin Wms )
   My next foray was a bathroom (for 3 brothers) who wanted some kind of underwater theme. As if figuring out what to do wasn't enough of a problem, I had to take wallpaper off first ( I could strangle the inventor of wallpaper!!!) Which then required an oil based primer....this was a tiny bathroom, with no vent , nor would the window open. When I got dizzy getting up on the stepstool, I knew I needed fresh air!!
 For murals that have to do with kids, I check out the kids book section in BAM. I'm the kind of painter that has to have an image to go by, even though I'll put my spin on it. Graeme Base's book Sign of the Seahorse was the perfect springboard for images. All three boys played musical instruments, so the Seahorse Cafe was reinvented for the "Clark Trio" with fish playing the instruments that the boys played. The lobsters suddenly became members of a band, marching across the shower ( with colors of the high school ). Snails riding skateboards formed the border of the mirror. Here are a few photos of the finished product:

   The 2 younger boys liked this so much that I had to create " new" planets to form the border of of his bedroom. The youngest wanted music notes as his border & for his headboard, I created a stick jazz band with modernized instruments.
 There are times I feel like Eldon on Murphy Brown....who came to paint one small room and stayed for the rest of the seasons continually working on other "artwork"  LOL
  A friend's daughter was expecting a little boy & she wanted a little bit of painting done for the nursery. There wasn't a lot of wall space between baby furniture, closet, windows & door. The older daughter loved monkeys, so there had to be a monkey in it. Soooo, it had a slight jungle look.

These were painted on either side of the closet

Crafty Christmas & Phototransfers Galore!!!

     It's taken me this long to recoup from my " Crafty Christmas".....I now remember why I don't usually give gifts I make for Christmas presents!!! It doesn't help being a procrastinator by heart :-)
    Every Christmas I go to Lexington for " Friend's Christmas". There are 4 of us that are extremely close...... we exchange presents & have a wonderful meal. I got the well, at the time I thought brilliant idea to make them all ornaments of their pets. I should mention now that this involved a number of pets...including 2 that were dead. I had the living room floor covered with pics of them ...as I'm a Photoshop newbie, getting them the dimensions I needed for the ornaments was sort of trial and  error..EXTREMELY trial and error..LOL These were done on vellum so the image showed thru on both sides...which was sooo handy for a glass ornament where all sides show. in a weak moment I also decided to do a few phototransfers of a few of the pets & frame them from my huge stash of antique frames. I finally got into a rythm until I ran out of ink..GRRRRRRRRR....Sooooo, off to Staples I went. Just remember NO ONE ever said craft projects were cheap!!!
   Since I was now on a roll with the phototransfering, I did 2 each for friends that have become " adopted g'mothers of friend's small daughters. This took more expertise than the previous transfers, since I was using antique postcard images & had to replace the faces & get skin tones to match . While I was just cruising with the copying, working with Photoshop was a definite challenge!!!! There were a lot of unmentionable words said during the editing process.
   I have a bad habit of not getting pics of any of my projects....but one of the recipients took pics for me. Their  room gets quite a bit of light, they look more faded than they really are.
 The first image has Zoe holding onto a star & flaoting in the clouds.
This image has Scout being suspended in a bundle and held by a swallow.

This was made just this week for a couple at church & their first great grandchild. I used a variety of silk ribbon and ribbon yarn to decorate the edges of the frames. Luckily I had the perfect colors to match the muted pink, purple & green in the image. 

      I used the freezer paper method of transfering a photo to muslin, which worked fairly well. I only got the paper with fabric hung up in the printer a "few" times. I was just glad my printer ( inkjet)still worked after I had gotten them all done   This seemed to be a much easier method...not as much mess, although I wonder if the colors would have come out a little brighter. I don't mind the muted colors, since it's "supposed" to have a vintage look.

Scottish Shrine.....Soul's Journey

     As the name of my blog tells all...I am obsessed with Scotland, which manifested itself after a 12 day trip to all parts of the country. My ancesters came from Scotland and I truly felt like I had "come home" . I had bits and pieces( plus small stones I had snuck in my luggage..LOL) from my trip there plus loads of pics but I really wanted to do something special to commemorate the trip.
    I ran across an antique lamp in one of my junking travels, instead of glass it had mica but one panel was missing....I didn't really care since I saw it as a platform for some kind of shrine. It sat around for awhile before I could determine what I really wanted to do with it. During this time, I decided I needed Photoshop since I had been bookmarking all sorts of antique & vintage images ......not that I  knew what I was going to do with them, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time..LOL Just another example of my hoarding . One never knows when something will be needed!!
   Along with the lamp, I also came across a Scottish dancer & bagpipe player pins that I thought could be used in either a necklace or shrine. While collecting a myriad of odd pieces, I also became interested in putting patinas on objects...to take the "shine" off of them. I ran across Modern Masters patinas on the web & found that the Porter Paints in my town had theirs ON SALE!! Whooooohoooooo. I had died and gone to heaven!! Anything that wasn't tied down got a patina for awhile...LOL///along with my dancer & bagpiper.

  Since I multitask ( not well at times, but I try) I also was trying to figure out Photoshop ( it's still an ongoing process) I worked on a collage of images that reflected Scotland. Finally getting one that I was satisfied with, I got to work on a shrine. Antique door parts got used, a compass, my stones I had collected while I was there...This is the final product

I was very pleased with the overall look of the shrine. I found the Celtic words for Soul's Journey & that's put into the door lock. Inside is my version of a Celtic cross....with door parts & a clock part. The image attached is for the trip to the isle of Iona ( where Christianity was brought to Scotland)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hmm..."Antique Road Show Producers do Casting search"

     Antique Week is a weekly publication that is a must for any antique dealer.You have  the Central , Eastern or National editions available for subscriptions. It lists shows and  auctions( for those that want them listed there) and has quite a few  informative articles related to various antique subjects. http://www.antiqueweek.com/
     All this info leads up to the email I received from Antique Week this week ...with the title '
Casting Alert From The Producers Of Antiques Roadshow". Of course this peeked my fertile imagination...WHOOOHOOOO..where do I sign up?? Them reality hit & I thought, I've got to get more info than just the title. Further reading showed me THIS info " Think You Know Everything About Antiques....PROVE IT". Must have extensive knowledge of antiques &/ collectibles.You are then to submit your info : knowledge of antiques, bio, and of course a PHOTO ( OH NO!!!!) All of this is to be submitted to the city listed that's closest to you . Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Austin, Dallas, & New Orleans..Wonder why Texas got two?????
  I'm very curious about the format of this new show...is it going to be a "Reality -based" show ?...where they compete & someone gets thrown off the show if they don't know the difference between Tang Dynasty vase and a Chinese reproduction. Will this be a " junking extravaganza that we'll all drool over - free trips to Roundtop/ Marburger Antiques, Brimfield, Pasadena?? Super Bowl of Antiquing??
  NOW....this is not meant to throw aspersions on anyone that applies to the show....but who knows EVERYTHING about antiques!!!! Even the experts on History Detectives have to do research on those items, the Keno's also have experts to assess items on Buried Treasures . I am constantly learning and finding out how little I actually know .
  Guess we'll all have to stay tuned to the first episode to see how this whole casting call turned out  and how many of us will be arm chair quarterbacks !!! Only time will tell what we'll get to see.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Antiquing Road Trips.....Indiana to Tennessee

"On the Road AGAIN".............Too many antiques, Too little time!!!

   A fellow dealer in the Antique Mall was setting up( at the Vanderburgh 4H Center for the Collectors Antique and Flea Market  outside Evansville ,Indiana ) and I in a weak moment asked if he needed any help with his booth. NOW....I will admit to having an ulterior motive ( imagine that!!!)  Originally I had planned on attending the show on Sat, but....... I got this little postcard that changed my plans!! It was from a dealer that was returning to the
Tailgate Antique Show in Nashville ...naturally I couldn't resist that!!! Soooooo...an early visit to the 4H Center was now on the calendar.
   This was not going to be a quick set-up. He has walls, lights and 2 HUGE pieces of furniture to haul out of the van and into the building. Luckily, he thought a quick look-see was required before breaking a sweat on his booth. This was still early in afternoon, so not many had gotten much set up...but I did find a wonderful chipped painted red  stool that had a step for you to rest your feet....at a GOOD price.
  Needless to say, once we got started , it was a while before another break. I managed to find two old framed tin insurance advertising  signs...one even from London. YIPPPEEEE.
Then back to grunge work ....displaying smalls, which he hates and at that point, so did I!!
  After a couple more hours, it was done and I was on my way home to get to bed to rise early for Nashville the next morning. MORE ANTIQUES!!!!!!
 If you've never been to the Tailgate -Music Valley Antiques Show, it's a treat, especially if you love primitive furniture and smalls. Dealers from all over the country set up  for these two  shows and have wonderful quality primitives ..TO DIE FOR antiques!!( At one time Heart of the Country was with the fall show but now is only with the spring show in Nashville. )
  These shows are at the Fairgrounds in Oct - although this spring, they will move to the Hendersonville Civic Center & be there for the fall also starting 2012.
  Enough of the brief history....I intended to hit the dealer's booth  ( Maine Antiques) first, but decided to just take a look as I headed that direction. Naturally she had the last booth in the first building we entered & I was a little disappointed. It just didn't seem to have the same amount as last year....I even mentioned that to her and she said "Let me show you the before pic"..WOW...she'd been picked to death...However, on second glance, I saw several goodies I couldn't live without. A WONDERFUL red & black grain painted chest 1830's from Maine, an early 1800's black drop leak table, with original red paint showing through, a great 3 shelf plate rack, and MORE.....I'll post pics of these after I get them unloaded from the van.
       Here are some pics of different booths that called to me as we made our way through the shows.
Wonderful booth with English Road Signs,,,and fabulous graphic chairs

The arched piece is a frame from an industrial window...wouldn't that make a great headboard

Love the wheel

Aren't these fabulous....
Wanted the brushes, but just couldn't justify the price for myself, sadly!!!

Look at that original paint..it was EVERYWHERE!!!!!
Isn't this the sweetest display...it's full of tiny boxing gloves

Drooled over the antique Scottie hooked rug!! There were a couple at the show & in great condition, but again the price prevented me from adding this to my Scottie Collection. I did find a Scottie bank that didn't "break the bank"....it came home with me. Whoooohoooo!!!!
    After loading up...and I didn't drive the van...(we went in a friend's Subaru SUV)and it took some finagling, we headed to a miniature shop nearby, Miniature Cottage One of my friends does miniatures(...in 1/4 scale...I don't know how she does it!!! It's like working in nanometers.)If you've never been to a miniature shop, it's a whole other world of art and NOT cheap...

      On the way to the shop , we passed a locally owned restaurant that looked interesting AND was crowded ( always a good sigh) called The Pfunky Griddle. The griddle name comes from the griddle in the middle of the table where make certain items on  the menu , such as grilled cheese sandwiches,pancakes, French toast, and eggs. A bit smoky when they turn the griddle on,. but their soups and sandwiches are fabulous. http://www.thepfunkygriddle.com/
  After filling our bellies, we made one more stop before heading home. Gas Lamp Antiques was in the neighborhood, so it was obvious we had to check it out. I had heard of this antique mall, but had never stopped there before. It's in an odd location - upstairs next to a staples building, but you'd never know once you entered. It has little aisles all over the place, enough that I was continually getting lost. Thank goodness there were clerks to take your goodies to the front desk!! My best purchase there was a small red tool box...although it actually looked like a document box. Another " Price is right" purchase!!
 All in all we had a fabulous day of junking.....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Junking Road Trips and Signs

   After a summer hiatus( well, just from the blog...nothing fun..LOL), it's time to get back to the blogging. Most of the summer was spent working on paint jobs until August when I got to start back junking. Being in the 127's backyard,so to speak,  it's impossible not to hit part of it during that junking frenzy!! I typically keep to the Lawrenceburg to Harrodsburg route...by the time I finish with that small section, I'm yard sale brain dead!!I found a few neat things this year, specifically looking for really unique items. This yard art windmill whirligig was impossible to resist.
                      I also fell in love with this "barber pole whirligig" that the same dealer had for sale, however,  
                                         one whirligig was enough for that day
Further down the road, I found this great art deco-ish pastry/pie display that will make a wonderful display  cabinet for my jewelry along with a 50's hairdresser's supply case( which will be great for beads.
These are seating on the world's longest bench!! An antique Amish bench with folding legs to make it easier to transport to homes for worship/ gatherings.
Since I didn't buy any large furniture, I took a side trip to Shelbyville....and Low and Behold, there was a jelly cupboard calling my name AND the price was extremely right. No pics of it yet..Sorry!
Road Trip 2 Almost every year a couple of friends and I make a road trip in the fall for a junking weekend . Last yr we had to forgo one with gas prices suddenly going sky-high ( little did we know it was here to stay!!)
This  year there were 4 of us, so that helped on gas consumption ( I have a 15 passenger van to haul furniture & it IS a gas hog!!!) We planned on making a road trip replay . Country Living Fair, Springfield Antique Extravaganza then Burlington Antique Show..and all in TWO days. We were taking no  prisoners on this trip!! LOL
We first went to Lexington on Friday to spend the night with a friend and get an early start to Columbus Ohio. Scott was the gracious host..having supper all cooked when we got there ( I have NEVER seen him cook anything in the oven, other than cookies..LOL..I was IMPRESSED!!) Natalie made her famous mashed potatoes & Jeff brought us choices in dessert...YUM!!!
Ironically, the dishes we used where ones I had bought from one of the other girls to give to Scott for Xmas..he's all into Retro..but I love him anyway..LOL. Linda was SOOO pleased her mom's dishes were being appreciated.
     We took off early Sat morning for Columbus ..an uneventful trip until we got to the exit for the CL Fair....bumper to bumper cars turning off. Luckily it moved fairly quickly & we sprinted out of the van..........for the bathrooms ( oops port-a pots). Many of the same dealers we'd seen 2 yrs ago were there , with some exceptions. There was a lot more mixed media jewelry and elements to use in them , several ribbon , button dealers. I found the jewelry to be rather pricey, but they are also paying booth rent that is NOT cheap. Hmmm....maybe I need to up my prices!!! The necklaces with just a couple of elements / objects were over $100...mine are chuck full and aren't that price.
  It was pretty crowded by the time we got there, so we split and sought out our own interests...all in 1 1/2 hrs. No grass was growing under our feet!! LOL Actually we knew that the next two stops would have more reasonably priced items. I will say they have an excellent  layout for the Fair ....each type of exhibit has it's own area. Artisan, Antiques, Food. I was a little disappointed that I missed seeing the Beekman Boys. Jon Carloftis was also there, but "been there done that" LOL. He had given a talk a couple of years ago at the Ky State Fair that I'd attended. He does such outstanding landscaping!!
  Springfield was our next stop & we wanted to cover as much ground as possible before that closed. I was still on the hunt for unusual items. i am naturally drawn to tables,small stools,  boxes, frames, so I have to make an effort not to get sidetracked - which can happen too easily!!! (Hmmmm ADD???? although that's Antique Deficit Disorder to me  LOL)  One the way back to the van, I did find a great large woven lidded basket. I had never seen one this large and in such great shape. It was larger than a cotton basket, but a squarish shape..Here's a pic of it
There was still a partial label stamped on the lid with DeKlyn Chocolate Company, Cleveland Ohio and a handwritten address. A little research seems to indicate that this is what they used to ship their candy. It would make a great toy chest, or storage for quilts & blankets.

Here was are loading up for the nexr leg of our journey. Linda, Joanie & Cindy...I'm hiding behind the camera!!! HeHeHe

We had made our hotel reservation in Florence, which is just right down the road from the Burlington show.
We'd had great weather up to this point, so naturally it was misting on us Sunday morning...and of course, most of Burlington is outside..ARRRRGGGHHHHHH. Burlington's a much smaller version of Springfield so it wasn't going to make us as long to make the rounds of the show.

 I did find a great primitive chair, that is possibly Shaker , a fantastic quilt that's got great fall colors and a couple of items for altars.
     We had a great time...even though I'm afraid I kept them awake Sat night with my coughing...seems I had some kind of respiratory thingy...at least I wasn't contagious by that time.
While I was recuperating from my coughing and hacking, I finally got a chance to finish a sign I was painting for a friend's birthday ...we won't talk about how late it was going to get to her!!! At some auction, I bought pieces of a wardrobe & a couple of doors. The bottom of the wardrobe made a perfect background for the sign. I love the way it curves along the bottom instead of being straight across. I used the font called CoffeeTin..and I do love the graphics on it..BUT, it was SUCH a pain to get all the parts done and in the correct colors.
Of course, did I take pics of it as I went along...NOOOOOO. I started with the yellow & covered the entire board . After I got the lettering on, I painted the background black and highlights a deep red. Once dry, I did some distressing with sandpaper & a dip spreader ( it was handy  LOL). A matte topcoat was sprayed on & then waxed with Dark Brown Briwax. She loved it and the colors will go perfectly with the primitives in her house.
OK..this was a WAY too long post, so I promise to not take 4 months before the next one!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Old Dogs can learn new tricks

     I meant to write about my jewelry classes in Shelbyville, Ky when I got back from my road trip....unfortunately a paint job kept me busy for the past week. More to follow on that subject!!!
    If you haven't been to Shelbyville, it's located outside Louisville on the way to Lexington. It's home to the American Saddlebred Horse Farm and birthplace of Colonel Sanders ( KFC) . Along with those sites, the downtown provides great antique shopping; The Ruby RoosterShelbyville Antique  Market, Gardner house
Antiques and Wakefield-Scearce Galleries.
  The  classes were offered through the fabric store, Making Ends Meet, which also has a mixed media studio across the street. Our instructor was a mixed media, metalsmith, jewelry artist from North Carolina, Deb Guess. Her studio is Soul Whispers Art and displays her fantastic creations.
  Playing with Fire was the first class I attended and it was WONDERFUL!!! All of my work had been created using cold connections, so learning to use a butane torch to solder gives me more options . Along with the info she imparted, we also got to create our own jewelry using the new techniques  .
   I will admit, I'm a newbie in  mixed media jewelry...I now feel like worlds have opened up to
hopefully take my jewelry on to  another level.
 The second class was learning different wire designs . This is something you could pick up on your own from magazines / books...BUT having a hands-on class & instructor takes all the guesswork & trial and error attempts out of the picture.
  The one setback to the classes is the realization that there are a whole new set of tools necessary . Luckily, we were offered most of the tools we would possibly need, with a discount for enrolling in the classes. Now all I need is time to work on the new ideas I've developed ( before I forget them...LOL )
  Deb is returning in October with more classes  and I can't wait to see what she's going to offer.
  Not only did I get to enjoy the classes, I got to enjoy several days of  visiting with my wonderful friends in Lexington. While they slaved away at work, I took to the road to visit some of my favorite junking haunts. At least now that I'm searching for items to  use in assemblage art and jewelry, everything usually fits in small bags!!!
   Feather Your Nest is a small antique & collectible mall on Leestown Road. I found some great items for jewelry , assemblage shrines, and a great felting project. A couple of the booths had great sales, so that was a definite plus!!
  My next stop was Sage , where I found  more treasures . Below are what I thought were framed prints.....imagine my surprise when I found them to be reverse painted glass. I also thought they were new until I took them apart and found 1920's newspaper ads from NYC. The French look is so "in" right now...they are free for use in whatever project you might envision.

   Scout is another favorite to hit in Lexington. There are individual dealers in the shop besides the owners and you will find the most eclectic selection of antiques and collectibles. The small skull Thomas's been eyeing for his shrine came from there. I always manage to find way too much there...so I even returned before leaving town.
 As soon as I can get the goodies unloaded, I'll show you some of the finds!!