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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Back to work! Shabby painted finishes

 Hi guys! Wow..the last 2 weeks were a blur. I hope you all had a peaceful, joyous Christmas Holiday. Christmas Eve was not white but it was foggy! I snapped a couple pics out the car window on the way to church. I guess I should say through the car window since the passenger side window in my van is dodge-y.( IS a Dodge Caravan..coincidence?) It has gotten sluggish about going back up so I quit lowering it!
 I fiddled w/ these a bit in come the ones I snap out of a moving car through a window turn out fine and the ones of my family unwrapping presents or posing for me are all a blur? I really stink at regular photos!

                     I love taking pics on foggy days..they are so magical!

 This is my latest project. I got this stool (unpainted) a week or 2 ago at an estate auction for $2 (!) I am going to share how I do my shabby painted finishes. This method would work with any color. If you are new to my blog let me also share that I am cheap as Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for me. I use whatever I have on hand. I prefer flat or satin finish instead of gloss though. I have a problem painting everything white or aqua so I decided to go with a brighter blue on this one. I went to Les Mis with my daughters and the scene of Jean Valjean in the bishop's chapel inspired me. It had gorgeous chalky blues with terracotta and cream with faded gold accents..lovely. This stool wasn't big enough for all those colors so I picked the chalky bright blue. I mixed acrylic craft paints until I got the color I wanted and painted away..some areas thicker..some thinner. Sometimes I paint a base color, add a crackling coat of watered down Elmer's wood glue (let dry) and then paint a top color over that. I was lazy here and just went with one color. Then I sanded the edges where wear would naturally occur. This piece had a lot of holes, dents and dings.If your piece is pristine you can beat it up before you start catches the glaze and adds character.
 This bench beat ME up before painting. I was carrying it up to my dining room table from downstairs (because isn't that where everyone refinishes furniture?) and I slipped on the carpet on the stairs and fell on it hard and totally almost gave myself a boob-ectomy. I laid on the steps moaning with a bag of frozen blueberries on my left hooter while my loving children just rolled their eyes and stepped over me (Geez Mom..again?) I maaay be a klutz. I maaay have a bruise. Anyhoo.. here you can see where I sanded off some paint. Sometimes I take off a little..sometimes a lot depending on the piece. I (according to my husband) horribly misused a belt sander sandpaper belt to do this..because that was the first thing I found. A brown paper bag can even do a light sanding job as in taking the raised paint fuzz off.
 Here is my magic grunge glaze. White acrylic paint, a dab of black and a dab of brown.If you want it redder add burnt or raw sienna..yellower, ocher. I wanted a concrete greige here. I thin it a bit with water.
 My secret weapon and what I cannot glaze wipes.
 Wipe it on and with a clean baby wipe..wipe it off following the grain of the wood. I do a smallish area at a time. Once satisfied, don't touch it until it dries as your fingers will remove glaze.
 Blurry..oops. I dab glaze into deep areas and wipe off with the baby wipe. Once the "clean" wipe gets full of paint, you can pretty much just use that to glaze with.

No Annie Sloan wax either..I have been using this for years. It is cheap and readily available in the grocery store, hardware store or probably even Walmart or the like.
 I use an old washcloth and scoop a dab of wax and as Mr. Miagi said..wax on..wax off. (I do let it dry a bit before buffing it off with another dry cloth)
If you want to tint your wax..easy peasy..again cheap me uses the above Kiwi wax shoe polish. I usually use the brown but feel free to experiment. I have even tinted small blobs of the paste wax with artist's oil paint (the tube stuff) just add a smidge and mix. Make sure you are mixing up enough for your whole project though so it matches. With the shoe polish, I just rub my waxing cloth across the shoe polish once or twice and then scoop up the wax and go. It mixes right on your piece as you rub it in.
 Here I just used the plain wax because I didn't want to go find my shoe polish (lazy).It does have a "petroleum" scent, but it dissipates as it dries. Again..let dry and go back and buff with a dry cloth until smooth and un-sticky.
 Ta-dah! (It is raining here and my house is dark so my pics are not good!)
Here you can see where I missed a dimple which I later went back and touched up with glaze. Before you wax you can also add "flyspecks" with thinned dark brown paint..just dip a toothbrush or stiff stencil brush in the thinned paint and drag your thumb over the bristles to create a spray of flecks. If you get some that are too big or you don't like it, just wipe them off with a baby wipe and try again! Let dry thoroughly before you wax or they will create streaks across your piece..gee..wonder how I figured that out!? If you want to add lettering or other painted artwork to your piece , do it BEFORE you wax. Wax is the last step and replaces varnish. Paint will not stick over a waxed surface. Good luck and have fun! Til next time! Julia

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Working on my Christmas Card

Hi guys! I wanted to share what I have been up to lately. Mostly trying to get orders out in my Etsy shop, but last night I did (finally) make my Christmas card "front". I have been trying mixed media pieces. This didn't turn out as a WOW piece for me, but it isn't too heinous for my Christmas card..they are all family and friends anyways..right? I started with watercolor paper and added washes of watercolor and thinned acrylic paints in blues and yellows. I stamped it with thinned acrylic paints and toned it down a bit with chalks. I wanted sort of a updated folk art look with bright colors. I added a white tree and a pink heart  and a partridge and a pear made from vintage papers and scrapbook paper. I added details in felt tip and acrylic. I stamped it with my antique store sign stamps in various fonts..and thar she blows! I have vowed this year to dive deeper into painting and art and to be brave and just dive right in. I tend to over worry that my stuff will be bad or that I'm not sure what my style is yet but I guess if I do it enough, I will find my stride. I guess nobody has ever drowned from diving in the art deep end and if I like it, that is all that matters! I still have tons of candy making to do and at least 2 more buying jaunts for gifts (I have to do it in small doses!) I hope to get a couple things made for my girls too and if I do, I'll share them after Christmas!Wishing you a stress free week and Christmas cheer! Til next time! Julia

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Weekend estate sale finds and Glitter palooza

Hi guys! This is what I was working on this weekend..a forest of glittered bottle brush trees! I had glitter in my hair, on my clothes, in my coffee cup and on my skin..I looked like I was an exotic dancer..well maybe one for a club with reeeally dim lights! LOL..

 I like making these and they are so glittery and pretty!
My husband and I went estate sale-ing Saturday morning. I found the coolest vintage metal kitchen scale in fab shabby green. It is so photogenic!
 I found a vintage black bird pie bird. You baked these in the middle of your pie to release steam from under the crust and keep them from boiling over...too cute! It reminds me of "Sing a song of Sixpence, a pocket full of rye..4 and 20 black birds baked in a pie"! I got some shabby old tart tins to upcycle posed with an apple here.
 This was schwweeet! A 1971 Mattel Crissy and Velvet fashion tote. I had (and still have!) a red headed Crissy doll that I got when I was 8 in hmmmm..1970? I thought she was so pretty..she had hair that grew when you pushed her belly button and pulled it and then you could wind a knob in her back and reel it back in!
 I am a sucker for cute vintage sewing items..this pin cushion globe is marked Japan and has rhinestones.
 I got a couple cool canning racks..these are so fun to repurpose!
 A vintage horse bit..
 A fabulous 1955 spinning dart this!How cool would this be made into a clock or used to top a side table or even just on the wall!
 I haven't got this listed yet..I need better pics and I have another large vintage metal geranium chandelier that needs all the pics is being a pictorial pill!. This is a vintage metal toleware sconce..probably Italian.
 I listed 3 of these..vintage seed corn planter plates. They have a cool industrial look!
 I listed a couple vintage wooden  letterpress print block "signs" here is Nest..
 and Home..
 I got quite a few vintage buttons..
 some vintage quilt squares..

 and more buttons. (can you tell I have a thing for hearts?) I've been listing like crazy! I also took quite a few things up to my vintage booth uptown..enamelware, restaurant ware china cups and saucers and grill plates, another scale..and more..I should have taken pix! If I can remember I'll take my camera up there next time as I have more things to take up there.

 Here is my usual helper my grandson Hunter..I posterized him and comic book dotted him in Picasa. He calls me Nina and is quite the little taskmaster..NINA Get me coffee! (chocolate milk) NINA take my picture too! Love him to bits. And also congrats today to my sister Andrea on the birth today of her and her husband James' 10th baby Xzander Gentry..with 7 older brothers and 2 sisters he will be much loved..and born on his brother Bryce's birthday! Till next time..hope you have a fruitful week!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Vintage Japanese Chinese Lanterns

 Hi guys! I spent some time today taking pix of vintage Chinese or Japanese lanterns for my Etsy shop.

 They always remind me of one of my favorite paintings by John Singer Sargent "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" so glowing and beautiful!

 Mine were hung on the clothesline. It was actually quite warm and gorgeous for November today!

 After I listed them with their "real" pics, I played around with them in Picasa for a bit..I like this "Polaroid" one.

 My grandson was "helping" me take was the wind! I like the movement of the tassels in this one.

Focal black and white...

Totally jazzed up..I have a hard time stopping editing! Just oooone more effect! LOL

I don't consider myself a photographer..I know zilch about camera settings and I have numerous photos of my children with somebody's head cut off (sorry Evan!) but I do love to play! I hope you enjoyed! Stop back soon! Julia

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Handmade Victorian style Christmas cones

Hi guys! These are the latest addition to my handmade Etsy shop..Victorian style Christmas cones.

 I made these with all vintage and antique material..the cones are vintage cardboard thread cones..I covered this one in French dictionary pages ..the book these came from is 70+ years old. I got it at an estate sale last weekend and I foresee many projects!

 This one had antique paper from an 1890's Harper Weekly..the advertising sections..such graphic coolness! The edging is new black cardstock (the only new bit) that I stamped with my new Martha Stewart punch. I actually remembered to download a coupon before I went to Hobby Lobby!

 The centers are vintage calligraphy monograms that I snipped from a sampler sheet that I got at an estate sale last weekend. It was the estate of a calligrapher..this is just where he was practicing..I thought they were too cool to let go to the trash!

 This is some of my favorite vintage wallpaper from my stash..palest pink with darker pink this! The pink tinsel garland is also vintage..from the same estate as that bowl full of yummy vintage ornaments from my last post!

 More vintage wallpaper and a sheet music punch and glitter of course..these are also lined in vintage sheet music..a Mozart opera!

 This one has a punch of vintage pink foil wrapping paper..I love metallic and reminds me of the papers from the raspberry Brachs caramel candies that we used to get in our bag of Christmas candy from Santa at fav flavor..and I hoarded those wrappers even back then!

This one has a cool pic of circus acrobats!

I filled them with vintage silvery tinsel..all ready to add candy, an ornament or a special small gift! Til next time! Happy crafting! Julia