Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ThE poWeR of A saMpLE BoaRD

Even a 'jump in with both feet and go' kind of gal knows the importance of sample boards.  It sounds like a no-brainer and a given, but it's amazing how many of us (myself included) forget this one simple step that can end up sparing us a lot of time, money, frustration or disappointment.  It does make for one extra thing to do, but they're so worth the time and effort especially when you're embarking on a process that you maybe haven't tackled before.  It's an excellent way to test products and insure what you're using is going to give you the results you are wanting.  There are so many variables when it comes to doing things yourself and creative projects; the materials, the conditions, the brands, the application, the skills, etc.  The sample board gives you an opportunity to test things out before you tackle the 'original'.   It also gives you a small scale amount of 'practice' and an opportunity to get familiar with the products you're using and how you're applying them.  It's an excellent way to get your questions answered..what product to use for what, will this work, wonder what this would look like....

The sample boards themselves can then be used elsewhere...as their own work of art or as a jumping off point for another art project, so absolutely nothing, including your time, goes to waste!

Cheers to the sample board.....experiment away, my friends!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

anTiQuE HarDWarE

Salvage Style is here to stay, and if you’re into that look, you’ll appreciate this technique that will enable you to add that beautiful aged look in an instant to any of your shiny, newer looking metal hardware or accessories. Our brother-in-law who builds homes in Colorado shared this trick with us several years ago when someone there was trying to get just the right look for some rod iron accents for one of the homes he was building. We have since played around with it on several occasions and find that it works beautifully to give that darkened, distressed, aged look to metals.
It starts with these gun maintenance products from a sporting goods store. The three I find myself using the most are the Super Blue, the Aluminum Black and the Plum Brown Finish.

They're of course, not the ‘friendliest’ products in the world in the eco/non-toxic sense, but they are a useful product when used carefully and mindfully to repurpose what you have and keep you from consuming even more, while at the same time giving you the look you desire. (There are some more 'natural' means of patinas we're exploring and we will certainly share anything that appears comparable as another alternative)
The different products give slightly different patinas and you’ll want to use each one as directed on the package. The processes are quick and simple, and the results, instantaneous. (The plum brown finish does require some heating of the metal in the process)
Scuff up your metal hardware piece with some steel wool or fine grit sandpaper.
Clean off with denatured alcohol.
Apply your super blue or aluminum black using a flux brush or sponge dauber.
Let sit for a minute.
Rinse with cool water and dry.
Finish it off with a sealer.
I like using a clear wax....and shellac works great as well.
The different metals you’re working with will also yield different results.

Experiment and you too can easily make the new look old in minutes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

BaRE & UNCoveRed - Is hOw I liKe iT

Is it just me, or are there others out there who enjoy a 'sleeveless' book better.  I am a regular consumer of books and for some reason I'm likely to remove the paper cover. (Do I dare admit that I've been known to use the sleeves as wrapping paper on occasion?!)  I feel a tad bit bad doing it, because I know if those books go elsewhere, they lose the instant recognition of what the book is all about, but alas, I continue to remove them from time to time.  They get all wrinkled up, they are slip-sliding around all the time; and they make a slightly 'messy' book experience out of it all.  I really like the textured linen feel of the hardbook covers WITHOUT the paper sleeves.  That doesn't mean I've removed ALL the covers from ALL the hardback books on my shelves, but there are quite a few that are sitting there bare and beautiful.  I wonder why they don't just print directly on the covers, and save that extra step altogether...does this give them the option to change things up more easily? Does it give them a more efficient way to do all the additional write-ups? If there's a mistake, is it easier to fix?  Is it because they stand out on the shelves better? Seems like kind of a waste.  What do you think?  Do you like 'em bare...or covered up? :)

How's that for random chatter?
Cheers to books and all the joy they bring.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


OK....with the oscars just around the corner and several e-mail requests re: how did she do it?!  
Thought it the perfectly appropriate time to share.  (I smile at the random things people get excited about...)  
I recently blogged about a holiday party that I had missed out on back home....along with a quick snap of the prize of the night "the golden barbie".... and have had several inquiries, so courtesy of my good 'ole Aunt DeDe...who was equally as excited to share.....here's 'how she did it....
You'll need:          

  •                         barbie doll
  •                         barbie doll stand
  •                         acrylic paint - I used Delta "Gleams" in 14K gold
  •                         small plastic baggie
  •                         painters tape
  •                         clothes pin
  •                         knitted baby bootie
  •                         fake fur scrap
  •                         hot glue

Wrap baggie around hair and tape edges of bag tight. Paint with acrylic paint and hang by hair with the clothes pin on edge of shelf or on a clothes hanger.

Paint stand.

To make dress, I used the bootie but you could use sweater material.  The bootie requires no sewing.  Cut the toe off of bootie to the desired length for dress.  Slip over Barbies head with cut edge on top.  

Hot glue fake fur (ribbon or other trim would also work)around top of dress to doll.  This keeps the knitting from unravelling.  

Decorate with yarn, pom-poms or scraps from sewing basket or pieces of broken jewelry.

Use your imagination

I used small christmas wired garland in her hair and just wrapped it around and weaved in and out.

Put her on the stand and present it proudly.

Required time to finish --- 10-15 minutes

Super Easy, everyone!!

aunt dede....

For the oscar themed parties...heck, just spray ken gold and leave him naked.  Cheers to the golden barbie!:):) ha...
...all of you who do embark on this creative adventure, please share pics! 

Monday, January 4, 2010

thE stArT Of anoTheR YeAR & symBOLiC MoMeNtS

Do any of you have a number? You know, a favorite or one you perceive to be lucky, or symbolic in some way. Mine is the number 5. It's the number that I'm drawn to for one reason or another and I'm not even really sure how or when it came to be, or when I started recognizing it as such. I was born on the 5th, my daughter was born in the fifth month on the 25th day, there are of course the dates of monumental importance to me that occurred on dates that add up to 5 or are multiples, SO many different examples....and I know it's all in how you spin it, and that it's ridiculous and silly, but it sure is fun to think about. 2010 is of course another '5'....and I have to say that I am more than a little excited about it. Nothing to base that excitement on other than the sheer anticipation of the unexpected and everything I'm able to create myself.
There are other symbolic things (or that I perceive to be symbolic) like when we were building the studio behind the shop several years, a double rainbow appeared right over the top and ended at the roofline...I of course reveled in the 'goodness' of what that had to mean.

There have been several others and the most recent one was this past Friday, January 1, 2010...and it was with what's traditionally viewed as a symbol of freedom, courage, independence, strength, and a long life -- the Bald Eagle.
Chad here at the office had a sighting the other day of a bald eagle as he was driving towards our place, and since I was only a few minutes behind him, I grabbed the camera and watched for it as I drove by, but by the time I got in the area, it had moved on. The next day though (which happened to be new year's day) I finally was able to grab a shot of one that was ironically much closer to my house. Again, I know it's all in how you spin it but I chose to absorb this as a sign of what this year's going to be all about.  

I also learned that the Bald Eagle doesn't get it's regal look with the white head feathers and that until around its' 5th year.....so the bird that was perched next to it which I thought was just another kind of bird may actually be a younger eagle. It's so camouflaged by the branches that I haven't been able to get a detailed enough look to confirm.

Another bit of trivia which I strangely found very interesting is that Benjamin Franklin was totally against the eagle becoming our national bird..this is a quote by him:
"I wish that the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country, he is a bird of bad moral character, he does not get his living honestly, you may have seen him perched on some dead tree, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing-hawk, and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to its nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes it from him.... Besides he is a rank coward; the little kingbird, not bigger than a sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest. . . of America.. . . For a truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on."
Likewise, the artist John James Audubon agreed with this opinion of the bald, or white-headed, eagle.

Since I like to absorb all sides of things...this comment gave me something to ponder.  Maybe I should be more excited about any turkeys that come my way?! :) :)  Either way, the Bald Eagle is still a magnificent bird and strength, freedom, independence, courage, and a long life are what it's all about. Hey...I just noticed...that's a group of 5.....hmmmmmm?!

Cheers to creating your own symbolic moments!