Monday, March 28, 2011

Treasure Facelift

I rescued this charming Japanese treasure recently, and knew I could give it a new life.  When I found this box, it had been partially stripped inside. It was once a music box, but the musical piece had been removed, leaving open holes where the mechanism fit. 

I filled and glued the holes with cork, then painted them. The previous owner must have had visions of grandeur for the interior, but ran out of steam, since they started to remove the faded orange corduroy lining, but didn't finish. I certainly found out why. I want the glue recipe that was used in this box, as removing the rest of the lining was incredibly difficult. 

I sanded the interior, but left much of the wood flaws alone, to maintain the vintage appearance, and then painted the inside a glossy black. I decided that rather than the obvious choice of lining it with Japanese paper, I would give it more of a Paris apartment vibe with my own Fleur de lis art paper. I inked up the paper to make it look aged and worn like the rest of the box, and triple-sealed it. Now she's ready for duty as a jewelry box or storage for crafty bits.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Color Me Gezelligheid

The list is long of vintage treasures that gives me a warm fuzzy, or as my Dutch pal Nita calls it -"gezelligheid". Considered one of those untranslatable words, it has many connotations, but for this post, it's about those treasures that make my heart smile. Speaking of the Dutch, they truly embrace color, and when you live with the gray skies of The Netherlands, as well as here in Oregon, color is your friend. Whenever I assist my painting clients with their color choices, I usually suggest a shade with some warmth to it, to offset the gray sky light that will inevitably be cast on their walls. But back to my I have one? Yeah, that's right - colorful warm fuzzies. One of the many on my list is vintage kitchen items, and the richer the color, the better. So whether you paint your kitchen white or black or both, how could the room be unhappy with treasures like these adorning it..........

Quon Quon Cocktail Tray
Well Bucket Planter? with decal
Aqua and Red Scoop Master Ice Cream scoops
Wooden Paddle for Butter? Cheese? 
Don't they look happy together?
I'll be listing the wooden items in my Etsy shop, just as soon as I discover their original purpose, or when I grow weary of researching.......:)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Good Bones

I've had a love affair with old picture frames for decades. Wood, metal, gesso, Syroco, it's all good. They just need to be intricate or an odd size. Large and tiny, I've collected them all. As long as they have "good bones", the finish is irrelevant, 'cuz that's what paint's for. 

Very old Syroco Frame

Gesso and Wood Frame

Some of them have great enough architecture, that no embellishment is necessary. It would just be gilding the lily, or ruining the resale value. 

Gold frame painted 2 shades of Aqua, and rubbed in Gold

Gold frame painted in 3 shades of gray, and rubbed in black and silver
Frames I appreciate for their good bones, but choose to sell, get new paint finishes, and I almost always insert a vintage image in them, whether from an old magazine, book, or old wallpaper. Even better if I have an antique photograph. I think they sell faster, because some people aren't good at visualizing the potential, plus it just makes for a better image when marketing online. Empty is not a problem in an antiques booth though, since you can be more creative with them on the walls.

Gold frame painted in warmer gold, and rubbed with aqua

Old easel back covered in wallpaper, and easel sanded and painted
I got really ambitious one time, when the easelback of a frame was in really bad shape, I decided to apply vintage wallpaper to coordinate with the new paint treatment. It turned out great, but it was a lot of work......doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist.

Wood frame painted blue and moss, and lightly sanded
Worn backing re-finished with vintage wallpaper, and added turn pins
Much easier to add wallpaper without the easel, and it adds a lovely finishing touch for selling or gift-giving, even if the back won't be viewed much.  

If they house an undesired picture, I just use the pic for something else, or give it to Goodwill. I've been decorating with them for ages, even when my friends thought empty frames on a wall were strange. I especially love a grouping of diminutive ones on a tiny wall, like in a powder room, or one of those too small/useless walls. I've even hung them on my Christmas tree and wreathes. I've amassed this little grouping over the last year, and most of these are small-ish, being 8" or less. I think I've finally come up with some creative projects of how I will sell these in my Etsy shop. More to come on that.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I Love Paint

I mentioned in my profile that I paint interiors for a living. While I find decorative painting (faux finishes and murals) more entertaining for me, I usually end up painting more solid colors with roller and brush. The average homeowner isn't adventurous enough for that much drama and zing, which is not to say that there aren't plenty of dramatic solid wall colors. I've painted some really bold walls in red, purple, hot pink, turquoise, and even black, with some really exciting results. I have found that while I wouldn't live in many of these colors, I come to appreciate the value of every color I paint with. Like people, each one has their place in this world. :) My favorite thing about paint is the instant gratification of transforming a room in a minimal amount of time, and the cost is so unbelievably inexpensive. If I were a $3000 sofa, I would really resent that $30 gallon of paint for making a bigger statement than I could. :)

After painting entire homes, top to bottom, it is exceedingly rewarding to see the finished product. I just stand back and savor the transformation. Whenever I revisit these spaces, I always think to myself "Wow, did I really do all that by my little 'ol 5'2" self?"  

When I do tackle the less physical, but more detailed projects, it's always a good time (and sometimes frustrating) when I can break out my brushes. I am truly in a happy zone with a brush in my hand.

While I'm not always keen on the color combinations, I truly enjoy the challenge of making it work for the client, because all that matters is that they're happy with it. I relish in the fact that they believe in my artistic abilities to produce the results they're looking for, and I don't take that opportunity for granted. 

This mural was seriously fun to work on, though it took way way longer to finish than I would have liked. Sometimes I get carried away, with new ideas swirling in my brain, causing me to improvise mid-project. For the life of me, I can't find any before pictures of this, but just imagine a white strip of wall over a shower surround. 

Needless to say, these large projects make painting my furniture pieces and objects a lot less daunting, since I have a short attention span and get bored easily. I'll post more before and afters in the days to come, to show more of my passion for paint!

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