Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chalk Paint Before & After.... The Key To Your Castle

Oregon is officially into Summer temperatures. So when it’s 90+ degrees outside, and I'm more of a Boston Fern than a cactus, it’s the opportune time to play with chalk paint, while enjoying the A/C!

I’ve been digging through my hoard, and have found all sorts of things to work my paint magic on.

I’ve had this metal key plaque for years, but I decided it needed a better life than sitting in a storage box.

It had great Medieval bones, and since it’s a sturdy 17” of cast metal, versus the retro resin ones,

I felt it deserved the royal treatment.

Since I am such a fan of rust and verdigris, it should come as no surprise what colors I chose. Tada!

One of the many great things about chalk paint, is that it’s matte finish lends itself well to the rust effect, since rust and verdigris are powdery and crusty. Perfect!

Over the black, I added a chocolate brown, followed by brick red, rust, and finally aqua.

Rather than the usual distressing and waxing, to keep an authentic rusty appearance, I sprayed it with matte clear coat, and nothing else. The clear coat will also protect it from the elements, in the event its new purpose is to be garden art.

If you are ever attempting to paint something to look old, just place it up against something that IS old, and see if they look at home together.

Mission Accomplished!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Retro Family Drive-In Treasure

I haven’t had many treasures screamin’ at me at the thrift store lately, but one thing did stand out this weekend.

Ain’t it great? An homage to a bygone era.

You know how I feel about aqua and red, and when yellow is added, it’s no shock that this grabbed ahold of my attention, and didn’t let go.

Seriously cool 3-dimensional details.

….and I love the tinted windows showing the diner inside, with signs showing “Fountain Creations” and “Coca Cola” on the wall.

This is a resin Burwood clock from 1988. The clock is battery-operated, and still works. The plastic clock cover is toast, big time, and is easily removable, as shown. In the era of online shopping, I have to believe that replacing it isn’t impossible.

Coming soon to my Etsy shop…..

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Art Nouveau Industrial Garden Vessel

Now that Summer weather has finally arrived, I naturally migrate to the shed, digging through my chippy treasures for flower and plant vessels.

I’ve had this gem for a few years now, that I found at the Goodwill outlet. With its beautiful lines, I couldn’t believe no one had snatched it up before me.

It is a very old space heater, and I found it with the coiled ceramic heating element. They originally had a wire safety cage over the element, but since I had other ideas for it, it was no loss to me.

I’ve used it many times as a photo prop for my ornament creations, but it’s loaded with possibilities.

I love many things about this. From the great petal shape…..

The fact that it swivels…..

And especially the cast iron base. Delicious Art Nouveau petals and perfect chippy paint.

I had several instant visions of its future uses, but today I will show one of them.

Is this a show-stopping centerpiece or what?

I just slipped a low bowl inside with a flower frog, and pink roses, straight from the garden.

When the flowers expire, I will be using it as a summer planter, and I can’t wait to show you how it will look with my favorite creative plant!

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Custom Chalk Painting and Etsy Synchronicity

Thought I’d share what project I’ve been working on.

Recently, an Etsy jewelry artist requested my painting skills. Pam, of Torchbabe (great name), is currently preparing for a large, juried artisan show in Wisconsin, and needed custom displays for her jewelry pieces. This has been an enjoyable occurrence of synchronicity, because she purchased displays from 2 other Etsians, then had them sent to me, to work my chalk paint magic on them. Once I was finished with them, I would then ship them to Pam.

Pam is truly an artist. Torchbabe is apropos, because she creates her jewelry pieces from scratch, cutting and working the metal herself. Pretty cool, eh? Visit her shop Here.

Here are two of her creations:

One display style she chose was a tiered set of bamboo stands. These will be used for her bracelets. She purchased them from the Etsy shop LastSummerTreasures. These are normally sold with a bamboo stem, but Pam had them assembled with copper pipe she sent them, for a custom look to tie in with her jewelry’s patina.

Here is what they looked like before I painted them:

And now, the after:

Given my typical chalk paint style, no arm-twisting was required to come up with a color combination that would showcase and coordinate Pam’s jewelry pieces.

This is the first time I’ve used chalk paint on bamboo, and I love how it turned out.

The distressing went well. I could have even gone further, but there were already so many colors, that I only revealed the natural bamboo in tiny doses.

The first paint layer was black, with some brown added to warm it up. Next layer is Rust, then Red, then Moss, and finally the deep Turquoise/Teal color.

Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without clear and dark wax. So far, I’ve only used Briwax with the chalkpaint, and I’ve been happy with the results. I still want to try out some of the more expensive brands, but since I can purchase the Briwax locally, and not have to pay a shipping charge, I'm quite satisfied.

I love how these displays turned out so much, that I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of them.

These look great with a dark or bright background. Awesome!

I didn’t have any of Pam’s jewelry for the shots, so I took a couple with some brass jewelry I had on hand.

What a perfect marriage. The jewelry enhances the stands, and the stands enhance the jewelry.

I will post pictures with Pam’s creations on the displays, after her show in July. Can’t wait to see how they look together. I also painted a ring case she purchased, but Pam still needs to put her touches on it, so I’ll show pictures of that, after her show, as well.

I’ve really enjoyed doing custom paint work for a fellow Etsian, especially with someone as sweet and talented as Pam of Torchbabe. You can love what you do, but if you’re not doing it with the right people, you don’t love it anymore. I am grateful that she sought me out, because we were right for each other.

Thank you Pam!

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