Monday, April 27, 2015

Glass & Wooden Curio Box Makeover: Verdigris and Rust

I've been working on a little paint makeover for months now.
Every time I started working on it again,
something would come up and I'd set it aside.
Now that I've finally finished it, the Before pics are 
nowhere to be found!
I hate it when that happens.
In any event, just try to picture one of those 
glass and wood display boxes
with a lid, and dusty dried flowers glued inside of them, 
and you'll have the right image in your head.

So without further ado, here is the After.....

Since I gravitate so often to verdigris and rust 
for my paint treatments,
it seemed like a good idea for this curio box. 
I felt it could just as easily have been
made out of bronze/copper/brass instead of wood,
and I chose to make the lid and interior base 
look more like rusty iron.
All the paint colors were dry-brushed on in a stippling motion, 
using bristle brushes, as in chip brush.
Not a stencil brush, because the bristles are too close together, 
and would cause a pattern;
something you don't want with faux finish.

One of the things that kept making me put this project aside, 
was that I wasn't happy with the lid's knob.
It was a low profile, and flat on top, and I really wanted
to make it look more eye-catching and grand.
There are lots of wooden finials for purchase,
but I kept stalling to find something I already had.

When out and about thrifting one day,
I found a bag of porcelain knobs, 
and knew it would be more to my liking. 
Not to mention the fact that I grew weary of stalling.....
After sanding the shiny porcelain surface 
and the metal mount, I applied layer upon layer of chalk paint,
in black, chocolate brown, brick, and rusty orange, 
continuing those colors all over the lid.
I stippled the paint on, so there is some texture
reminiscent of rust on iron.

The more challenging part of the project was painting the 
inside. At first I considered masking, 
but I soon realized it would take less time
to scrape the excess paint off the glass 
than the time it would take to mask.
Especially since I wanted to mimic the same faux finish inside, 
and to do it well, you need to be random and a little messy.
All I can say is, it's a good thing I have small hands!

For the verdigris finish, 
I again started with a warm black layer, then chocolate brown. 
The next layers were stippled on randomly,
using rusty orange, brick, dark turquoise, and aqua.
I did one color at a time, allowing each color to dry first.
I found out quickly that if you don't let them dry first,
to risk blending the colors and it will just look muddy.
That's not what verdigris looks like. Some of the rusty color
may blend in with metal it's growing on, 
but the verdigris aqua colors have some contrast and 
drama to them, which is the part I love.

The wood had chips in it, and I chose to leave them,
to add to the weathered and corroding metal appearance.
When everything was finally done, I sealed inside and out
with matte varnish, rubbing it while it was drying to keep
it from looking too new and smooth. I didn't want anything to
mess with my weathered look I was going for.

Now that that's finally finished,
I'm itchin' to paint something in an old Jadeite-ish green.
Let's see what I'm patient enough to finish next!

Now, back to my Adventures in Kitty-Sitting!

Follow me on Instagram:

TTFN, Maria


Monday, April 13, 2015

Rustic Elegant Nest Baskets with Peat Pots & Chicken Wire

As promised, I finally finished my rustic peat pot creation. 

I kept vacillating about the final touches, but I think I'm satisfied now...:) 

I really do enjoy working with these peat pots, and appreciate the fact that these are sooo much cheaper than paper mache. I do believe I need to stock up on these, to have them at my disposal for Halloween treat baskets and Christmas décor/ornaments!

I think I'll take a break from creating with these, since I've got so many painting projects waiting to be completed, but I can't promised I won't have another design epiphany......

Soooo, Before:


You didn't think I'd get through Spring without incorporating my little chicken wire, did you?

I reinforced the bottom with a chipboard disc, then dry-brushed these in a muted ivory tone & light crème.

I wrapped each one in aged chicken wire, crimping the edges over the top and bottom, so there'd be no sharp points sticking out.

I took some nice malleable 20ga annealed wire, twisted 2 layers together for the handle, then attached the handle through side holes in the pot.

I tied a little frayed piece of linen to the handle side, to give it a soft feathery touch. (I didn't have any feathers handy, so made do with the linen.)

To anchor all the inside elements, I inserted a half sphere of styrofoam till it was snug.

The first thing I inserted were the silver German glass glitter eggs. Aren't they gorgeous? This took a little more effort than just glue and glitter I'm afraid. I found some wonderfully small foam eggs at the Dollar store, but they had bright pastel glitter on them already. Since I'm not satisfied with glitter if it's not glass glitter, I soaked these in soapy water, then rubbed off their glitter. I wrapped a piece of stiff wire with floral wrap, then hot-glued it into the egg. I painted the eggs with metallic silver/champagne craft paint, and once dry, I glued on the German glass glitter. I sealed them with clear varnish to prevent further tarnish. 

Once the eggs were dry, I hot-glued their wire into the styrofoam base, then the twigs, and finally, tucked in the Spanish moss to the desired fullness. 

Although I could've stopped there, I felt the peat pot side looked a little empty. After finally deciding on the obvious word, I wanted to do something unique with it. I cut tiny pieces of aged wood, cutting the ends to mimic old rustic signs, then sanded all the tiny crevices to prevent slivers. I then used my wood-burning tool to write the letters. 

Finally, I attached jewelry wire and chain to each nest sign, and secured the chain into the peat pot styrofoam with a piece of wire. All done! 

I've had the wood-burning tool for years, and just now finally used it. I love how the signs turned out. I may have to incorporate this idea with my Putz house designs....:)

These chicken wire peat pots make great little rustic gifts.....What to do next? Decisions, decisions.......

Come join me on Instagram, 

TTFN, Maria

Linking To:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015

Treasure-Hunting & Kitty-Sitting = Purrrfect

It seems like it's been forever since my last post! I've had a good excuse though.....

Other than blaming it on Instagram, where I spend way more time these days, I spent a week at a client/friend's house, painting and kitty-sitting for them during their Spring break.

Their new fur baby's name is Oliver, and he is just a darling!
He is a VERY rescued kitty and now has the purrrfect forever home!

I had way too much fun taking pics of him, in between painting breaks.
He had a blast playing in my dropcloths! 

This flower one is definitely my favorite. This shot was just waiting for me....:)

I painted a very high-walled stairwell,

and this multi ladder was indispensable.

Especially to little 5'2” me. That, and a very good extension painting pole.
 I have one very artistic thing left to paint on their wall. Details coming later.

I also painted their upstairs hallway, in a tint 50% of Tiffany blue. Now all the white molding really stands out, and the calm blue with white feels like you're walking into a spa.

After returning from that week of fun, I've been catching up
on treasure-hunting and Etsy listing.

Hear are some of my recent finds......

Fabulous old green Universal scale by Landers, Frary & Clark.

A fantastic cigar chest with 4 little drawers.

A set of 4 – 10oz Pyrex individual clear casseroles with lids!

And perhaps the most notable find, is this Ormolu brass Crucifix.

The gothic details are gorgeous. This will be listed on Ebay this weekend.

Today I made an impromtu stop at GW, and look what I found!

A beautiful white Onyx Sheaffer pen holder base with perpetual calendar, and Sheaffer 14kt gold tip White Dot Snorkel fountain pen. Very cool!

Hopefully my next post will be the long overdue peat pot design
loaded with rustic charm.....

Join Me on Instagram
For even more pictures!

TTFN, Maria

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