Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Weathered Wood And Tiffany Blue Chalk Paint

Y’all know how I love my chalk paint, but you never hear me talk about spray paint. Whilespray paint has ts place, there are times it can be very unwelcome.

I wish you could’ve seen this before I gave it a chalk paint makeover. It was a shiny red and, along with its charming shape, was the other atribute that caught my attention. I thought the red would be a good base for some chalk paint layers. I was starting a paint-removing project on a different piece and, well, I had the paint-stripper container open, so……
Since it was spur of the moment, I didn’t bother to take a picture of it when it was red. Please think carefully before spray-painting raw wood. It’s fine for ugly plastic and metal, but raw wood has a thirsty, porous grain. There was not 1, not 2, but 3 coats of spray paint on this little treasure. Under the red was lavender, and under that was white. I realized I’d opened a can of worms, and decided to persevere to the bare wood. Although I used a good orange stripper, I finally had to use acetone, steel wool and a wire brush to get into the crevices of the wood grain, primarily on the side pieces (inside and out). I have a feeling that water-based paint would’ve been easier to remove. It's important to mention that I would've never used a wire brush on precious antique wood. 
 Once the paint was finally gone, the wood was ready for some chalk paint. But before that, I had another brainstorm. I recently tried my hand at wood-ebonizing. I’ve seen so many blog posts about the magical process of steel wool, vinegar and tea, to grey raw wood to look weathered. My vinegar solution was a few weeks old already, which made the magic happen even faster and darker. 
 Before Ebonizing:

After Ebonizing:

This is how the caddy looked after the ebonizing process. It is my understanding that if you don’t want it to be this dark, you can dilute your solution with more vinegar before you apply it. I could’ve stopped there, but I just really wanted some color, yet still keep it looking worn and weathered.Chalk 
Paint over Ebonizing:

Although I am quite smitten with red, the divine Tiffany blue was calling to me. I really like the contrast of the warm aqua next to the cool dark grey. I also thought it would be a fun juxtaposition to have the elegance associated with Tiffany blue paired with a rustic grey.

I only painted the outer shell of the tote, leaving the dividers and dowel handle grey to make them more of a focal point. I was able to sand off some of the aqua paint without exposing the un-aged wood color. As usual, I sealed the whole piece with clear wax.

I don’t have any big, future plans to strip any more wood, but I did really enjoy
the ebonizing magic,
so I’m sure I’ll try that again.
Mia Magia does mean “My Magic”,
after all…….
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Friday, August 16, 2013

It's Glue Gun & Plastic Time Again ... Halloween Edition (Photo Heavy)

The adventures of the glue gun and plastic strike again!

After the fun I had this Spring with the glue gun and plastic eggs , 
I was eager to try the concept again for a new holiday. 

So in honor of Halloween, witches, and potions, I give you my latest creations…… 

 Potion Bottles fit for the Witch’s apothecary!

This project was a labor of love, 
and easily the mostpopular of my Original ideas.
It warms my heart when I inspire people 
to create their own bottles,
so feel free to share your versions of these,  
as long as you mention where the idea 
came from or link back to my original post, 
while not presenting the Original idea as your own.
(Yes, a contributing editor of a popular tutorial site 
did that very thing, 
and was compensated for it, but I believe in Karma.)

Made from plastic medicine and vitamin bottles, and a spice tin.










Yep. That’s right. Boring and unremarkable containers are now something worth looking at and maybe even using again. I really wanted these to look like old clay bottles and I think my mission was accomplished!If you read my post about the silver-leafed egg , you will remember that I hot-glued the design onto the egg, then added the silver leaf. With these potion bottles, I hot-glued the words and pictures, then added a few chalk paint colors.

I’ve designed the bottles with and without the threaded necks. I used a serrated knife to saw off the threads, leaving only a lipped rim. This gives the bottle a more classic, apothecary shape. If you don’t wish to cut the threads off, you can just wrap the neck later with cording, twine, fabric, or even coat it with wax.
The really awesome part about new spice tins, is that the plastic lids can be popped off fairly easily so the tin can be re-purposed! First clean out the containers thoroughly, if you wish to use it to hold spices, etc., and remove paper labels. Rough up the outside with sandpaper to take the paint better, and to give it texture.

Draw your design and words either directly onto the bottle, or on tracing paper first, then with transfer paper underneath. I did the latter, so that I could replicate the design if I choose to.
Next, follow your drawing with the glue gun. This is one time when you needn't worry about removing the hot glue strings that always happen with a glue gun. The strings at texture.

Now for the paint. When I created the silver-leafed egg, I painted the black ink into the design crevices after the silver leaf, and wiped the excess ink off the raised design. For these bottles, you paint the dark first, and you won’t be wiping off any color. 

Coat the entire bottle with black chalk paint at full strength. (If you are planning to use the inside of the bottle, make sure not to get any paint inside the neck. You don’t want it flaking off into the bottle contents).

Once the black paint is dry, dab on dark brown, then rust, then a pale orange-yellow. These layered colors should be watered down a bit, so that when applied with a small sponge or little mop brush (like an eye shadow brush), there won’t be any obvious brush or sponge marks. The trick here is to make sure you dry-brush the lighter colors softly on the raised design, making sure to NOT get any light paint in the crevices. The lighter the paint, the more it will highlight the words, and give even more contrast to the dark crevices. After all the lighter coats have been added, you can fine-tune the black crevices if you didn’t leave enough black showing. 

If you want the paintwork to last, you’ll want to seal it with matte clear coat.
Once that’s all done, you can have fun playing with various stopper options. Cork works just fine, but I didn’t want everything to match. I felt that a witch living in the woods would use natural materials that the forest provided her.

I’ve had these speckled oak galls for a while now, and have always wanted to play with them. I thought they would look awesome as bottle stoppers, but since they are hollow and fragile, I had to find a solution. The answer came with plaster. I mixed up a tiny batch, then treated it like frosting. I put it in a clear sandwich bag, cut off a tiny corner, then squirted it into each burr till they were full. When they were beginning to harden, I inserted an eye screw into each one, leaving the threaded end out. Once completely hardened, I screwed each one into a cork, then added a little bit of Spanish moss to keep it woodsy and rustic. Cool, eh?

For the last bottle and spice tin, I hot-glued bark to cork, for the ultimate in woodsy. The best part of all is that I didn’t need to go poking around a tree to find some bark. Last year’s landscape bark chips worked perfectly, because they were grayed to perfection, and I only needed to cut them down a little for the bottle. I felt layers of bark on the spice tin cork had a similar look to fungus on a tree, which was a nice tie-in to toadstools.

For the cork on the spice tin, I didn’t have any big chunks of cork available, but I did have some ¼” cork tiles. I cut 3 pieces a hint larger than the tin opening, glued them together, then sanded the edges till it fit easily into the tin. When using cork for this project, always darken them with art markers or alcohol ink in greys and browns, so they look old and weathered.

Last but not least, because these containers are lightweight, they become top-heavy once the stopper is added, and can easily fall over. So at this point, you need to fill them with your desired contents, or add weight with sand, uncooked beans, marbles, etc., to keep them stable.

Whew, that was a long post. I hope you’ve gotten some inspiration from these. They were so much fun to create!On to the next project waiting in the queue…..TTFN

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

The New Phonebook's Here! I'm Somebody Now! Or, My First Magazine Feature!

Yep, I finally made it into a magazine! 

To all my New Visitors:
Please let me know how you found this post
so I can thank them for sharing!

Better Homes and Gardens "Holiday Crafts" Magazine 2013. On Newsstands now!

Ten points to anyone for guessing what movie the blog post title came from.....:)

I created these ornaments, and sold them in my Etsy shop, 3 Christmases ago,
and BHG contacted me just this last October.

I think, in this case, it worked in my favor
that I generally create non-trendy designs.
The classics never go out of style, ya know.....:)

 Thank You to Etsy and/or Pinterest,
cuz this wouldn't have happened without them!
And, of course, to BHG for selecting me!
Oh I do love the Internets.......

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