Monday, August 11, 2014

The Many Faces of Mr. Williams

My heart is crying today, and I’m still in shock. 

Our planet lost my favorite and most beloved comedian of my generation.

He made his mark with me the moment I saw him as Mork.

Robin Williams had the great gift of being able to make me laugh till I cried. It was always a treat to watch him on a talk show, because you were guaranteed a hilarious impromptu performance.

They say laughter is the best medicine.

I am so very devastated that this medicine could not buffer what ailed him, as it did for the rest of us.

No one will ever match his genius,
rapid-fire wit.

You are irreplaceable & one-of-a-kind, Robin 

and will be sorely missed. 

"What Dreams May Come" will always be a favorite Robin Williams movie of mine. So poignant, and moreso now. Last night I couldn't stop thinking about how his character's wife died, and the darkness she endured. I wish for Robin to now be frolicking around in those colorful paintings, with his old pal
Christopher Reeve......

Comedic Angel

Monday, July 14, 2014

Peacocks, Plasmetl, Marbled Tin, Renoir, & Wedgwood Treasures

Okay. So maybe it looks like I’m guilty of avoidance, since I haven’t worked on my painting projects all week, but…….

It’s Summertime, and when the pickins are aplenty, you got to get pickin’!

So here are a few treasures I acquired this week for the Etsy shop.

A fabulous metal Retro letter & bill holder, with Peacock lithos! Awesome.

A gorgeous Blue Bird Harry Vincent tin, with stunning graphics mimicking red & pink marble with Turquoise cabochons. I do love me some red & aqua!

A charmimg, heavy cast metal trinket box with a silky lid insert of Renoir’s “At the Concert”.

Super cheery yellow, rigid plastic serving baskets, made by Plasmetl. The only info I could find on this company was an advertisement from 1949. As I said, these are hard plastic, and not the soft, flexible kind you’ve seen in the diners, so maybe these were the height of sophistication for the Mid-century party. :) Definitely a retro statement maker, and there’s 8 of them!

 And finally……A classic Wedgwood Blue Jasperware compote. Please indulge my appreciation of how photogenic this piece is. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of it with seashells in it. They were made for eachother…..

Off I go for more treasure-hunting….Indoors! Where the A/C is. It’s too damn hot outside for this native Oregonian, who is way more Fern than Cactus!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sam Fink, Industrial, Asian, & Retro Treasures + a Chalk Paint Candidate

I’ve been feverishly working on two painted treasures simultaneously,
therefore, neither is done.

So in the meantime, I thought I’d show a few vintage finds
that made their way to my Etsy shop this week.

A fabulous Sam Fink filigree perfume stand,
complete with glass atomizers.
I even love the great little box it was stored in.

An old industrial wooden cigar press mold. Very cool.

A wonderful old Japanese lacquered tray, with very artistic placement of Mother of Pearl inlay in the tray, as well as rings of it woven into the rim. Gorgeous!

There are heat ring marks on the tray, but for my taste, it’s just historical character, so of course I love the tray anyway.

And a charming little chalkware salt or pepper shaker, reminiscent of the Royal Doulton or Toby mugs. She is the perfect picture of an English woman, ready for tea.

And the final treasure…..

Oh, the fun I’m gonna have painting this! It’s a retro plastic Lerner storage or sewing box, with two drawers. You’ve seen my plastic transformations, and this may just end up
being the best yet! Can't wait
to decide on the colors.

Three-dimensional detail on every side and top! This is screaming for the chalk paint treatment. Not only do I love the raised patterns, but I love love love that
I don’t have to design any graphics for this piece! 

So much time and effort goes into creating a design, and sometimes it’s more time than actually painting it. So needless to say, my right brain is thrilled to have a
brief respite from graphic design.

I’ll strip the inside, and line it with some eye-catching paper.

So maybe the next post will be this completed project?

No, Maria, you have to finish one of
your other projects first……

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chicken Wire Mercantile Spice Rack....Chalk Paint Transformation

There’s a project I’ve had in my head for years, but up until recently, I wasn’t able to produce it. I never had the right chicken wire, as in the small ½” hex. Now that I do, the right wooden rack came along, so finally my idea has come to fruition.







I have transformed this Plain Jane spice rack into an old-fashioned, mercantile-inspired treasure. I designed and hand-painted every letter on this piece, in a beige crème, and outlined each in black. The Sundry letters are accented with metallic gold. I added 5 sunrise shapes as a tie-in to the word Sundry, each with metallic gold accents as well.

I layered chalk paint colors, first with Marigold Yellow over the entire piece. I then haphazardly applied Annie Sloan’s Emperor’s Silk Red, then Grass Green the same way.

Once I designed the graphics placement, I applied more red and green, this time in a solid fashion, in the areas that needed filling.

Metallic gold lines accent the body shapes. And, as usual, I heavily distressed the whole piece, and sealed in clear and dark wax.

Although the graphics and colors are more than enough to satisfy my General Store fix, it’s the final detail of the chicken wire that really puts this piece over the top into nostalgic perfection. As I mentioned, this is small, ½” hex, which is a far better scale for this piece, than the typical 1” hex from the big box stores. I oxidized the chicken wire till it was a matte charcoal in color for a more authentic aged appearance. 

Since I chose not to use staples because they would look too modern, I secured the hexes on the outer edges and center using fine wire wrapped around small nails, and hammered them all into place. 

The top edge has been secured with evenly-spaced tiny brass screws, so this chicken wire is not moving!

I left the original hanging loops, but the lucky owner can always pull them out to install their own hardware. Yes, I said lucky owner, which means I’m selling it in my Etsy shop. I am always grateful that I have the artistic ability to re-create something for myself if I choose to, and I never take that for granted. It’s pretty much the only thing that allows me to let go of a creation I love so much, and one that required sooo much detail and time. No first dibs this time, Folks….:)

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