Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Monday, June 30, 2014

New Blog Cards

Recently, I received my new blog cards- seems like I should call them "business" cards, but I don't currently blog as a business, so I'll just call them "blog" cards, at least for now.  Who knows...maybe one day it will turn into a business...  I guess stranger things have happened.

Anyway, trying to stay with my "look" for purposes of branding myself, I used elements from my blog header.  And, I stuck with the green color.  On the back side, I put my picture and some other useful contact information.  There is enough empty space left to write notes, or measurements of a piece, if needed.  I could also use the same cards to price items at future antiques/arts/crafts shows by punching a hole in the corner and just pricing with a pen...that way, my contact info goes home with a buyer in the form of a business card.

Just wanted to share them with you, and now I'll have them in my purse to share with future friends!

Justin's New Bed in Blue Chalk Paint

It's been a crazy kind of week at the Pimperl house!  Several of us (including me) have had summer colds...lots of stuffy noses and coughing- things that keeps you up at night.  We are finally getting to the point where we feel like joining the world again, so I thought I would share some of the projects that I have been working on the last few weeks.   

Justin's bed was a project that I started about a month ago.  I finished it in just a week or so, but the pictures have just been hanging out in the camera waiting for editing.  I am really proud of the way the little bed turned out, and he just loves it!  So, that appreciation from this six-year-old makes it one of my favorite projects ever.  Makes my heart smile every time he tells me, "Tia, I LOVE my bed!"  

When I found it in the antiques mall, it was black, like this.  I really liked the look, but it just wouldn't work in our mermaid room...It would need to be painted.  I wanted to use chalk paint in a dark blue that would coordinate with the bedding that we already have on our bed.  I was hoping that I could find bedding to fit this little bed to coordinate with ours.  So, before I mixed anything, I went shopping to see what I could find. 

The colors don't look perfectly matched in the photo, but in reality, they are the same...crazy camera!!!  I carried a pillow sham with me when I went shopping, just to make sure.

I then needed to mix my paint, now that I was sure the dark blue would work.  So, using a pillow sham from our bed as my guide, I mixed my chalk paint.  

I wondered if I could use craft paint to make chalk paint...You sometimes just need to try and see if it works.  I did, and it did.  When you think about it, the water-based paints are all just latex or acrylic, which means, they dry into a sort of plastic.  I used the recipe (that calls for latex paint, which I substituted with craft paint) that can be found on Pinterest, and mixed it in a small glass jar so that I would have enough to complete the project.  It's always better to have some left over than to not have enough and have to try to remix an exact match to a custom paint. Here are the products I used...Craft Smart and Hobby Lobby's brand acrylic paint, plaster of paris, and water.  
(2 cups paint, 2 T Plaster of Paris, and 3 or 4 T cool water.)  Just mix well and it should go on smoothly.  If it is too thick, just add more water as needed.

...mixed a little of this color, a little of that color...

...until it looked right.

Then I started painting.

After two coats of paint, I painted a little white line as a detail, and then I distressed.

Here it is checking to see if the color is perfect...It is.

I then waxed the bed with CeCe Caldwell's clear wax.

We then went mattress shopping, and found just what we needed at Sam's Club.  

Now that we had everything we needed, we were ready to set it up and crawl in to the new little comfy bed!

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you will remember the "bed" that I painted on the wall of this room...It looked like this.  The bed was centered between the lanterns on the wall.

I had to paint over the bed with more of the yellow wall color to "erase" it.

I brought down a painting from the studio and hung it where the fake headboard had been. Even though it isn't a mermaid piece, it sort of goes.  It's a marsh bird, and we live near the delta and the beach, so these birds (and mermaids) are commonly seen together in our area.

Our bed is now centered under the window, facing out the patio doors to the porch.  

Justin is happy with the new arrangement and we are, too.  

*For those of you wondering why we  have a six-year-old in our room with us, let me explain. He is our nephew, here from South America, staying with us to get medical treatment for cystic fibrosis.  When he has a cf flare-up, it usually begins at night with a cough.  I just feel better having him where I can hear him if he has trouble, and our other bedrooms are upstairs.  I did give him the choice, though...he said it was "scary" up there, and he wanted to stay with us...

Also, I should tell you that I ended up not using the mixed-media art piece that I had made for Justin, to hang above his bed, the one that I shared here. It was just too small when I hung it. Sometimes things evolve as I am putting a room together; they don't always go according to my original plans.  That piece will be listed in the shop.

I will share other recent projects over the next few days.

Thanks for stopping by!  I love having you.


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Quick and Easy Banner with Glitter and Vintage Hanger

After writing my post for yesterday, I decided to do a quick little fun and easy project that had been on my mind for quite some time.  It was quiet in the house (at midnight) and so I would be able to work quickly...This is what I had in mind.

The idea was to do a banner of sorts, but it would be just three "pennants" hanging from a vintage wood clothes hanger.  

I wanted to use a children's book that I had purchased at the thrift store.  It has wonderful illustrations of cats (by Emily Arnold McCully), and since I'm a cat woman, well, I just bought it!  I knew I would eventually use it for some recycled or up-cycled project.

So, I already had the supplies on hand-  The illustrations, some twine, the hangers, adhesive, Elmer's glue, and assorted glitters.

I cut the little individual pennants very quickly, using the first one as a pattern, although not very precisely.

Then, I started playing in glitter, while working over a disposable hospital food service tray to keep everything nice and neat in the studio.  I can save the glitter than falls off and put it back into the shaker.

I simply ran a bead of Elmer's glue around the edges (also not very precisely!) and poured on the glitter, shaking off any excess glitter onto the tray.

Using clothespins, I hung each pennant to the cord of the window blinds to let them dry.  I left them there overnight.

Then, I went quietly and sneaked into bed, wearing glitter.

Next morning...Time to assemble!

Using a stylus and a ruler with metal edge, I ran a crease line 1/2" from the top edge.  It's hard to see it in the pic, but it's the line that #1 arrow points to.  Then, I ran the adhesive strip centered on the fold line.  See arrow #2.  You can also see the adhesive hanging off the bottom edge in the pic.

I cut an appropriate length of twine, and found the center point.  After finding the center point of the center pennant, I matched the centers and stuck the twine on top of the fold line.

Then, I just folded it over and pressed down along the length of the twine until it was flat.

Continue this until all pennants are strung onto the twine.

To prepare the hanger, I measured up 2 1/2" from each end and drilled a tiny pilot hole in the top center of each mark.  Then I put a tiny nail into each hole.  This will enable me to attach the twine to the hanger so that it will remain stable and not slip around.  

I tied the twine to each end and that was it.  What do you think?

A little closer look...


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Friday Unplugged from the Daily Grind

If you find a stroll through a cemetery bothersome or disturbing, you will want to skip to the bottom of this post...I find beauty in things all around us, and some old gravestones and monuments are beautiful works of art, so the first part of this post includes a tour through a cemetery in Fairhope, Alabama.

On Friday, after Justin and I left RichTex Fabrics, we headed on over to Fairhope.  I wanted to just stroll around, check out some antiques shops, and take some pictures of things in town.  It's such a pretty town with pretty things everywhere you look, just begging to have their pictures made.  As I was driving the several miles from Daphne, Justin fell asleep.  So that he could get a good little nap, I decided to drive around for a bit before stopping...

I remembered that I had always wanted to get a glimpse inside a cemetery that was close by. From the street, it looks like it's been there forever, enclosed inside a rock wall and iron gate... I've always imagined that the graves there would be marked with beautiful, artistic old gravestones....I find them beautiful and interesting.  This would be a perfect time to check it out. So, I drove through the gates...

It was so quiet and peaceful- surprising because it borders the main road through the village.

Here was the first really pretty marker that I noticed.

Details.  Just look at the artistry.

I love the look of moss and lichen growing on the stone.

Then I noticed this beautiful one with a lamb.  It was a child's final resting place.  It's almost 100 years old.

This beautiful cross marks a grave underneath a beautiful magnolia tree.

This is a view across the cemetery looking back towards the entrance.

This marker was carved in wood.

Next to it, another one.  Look at the beautiful rose that someone lovingly carved into this chunk of wood.

After about thirty minutes of driving around in the cemetery, Justin started moving around trying to get awake, so I drove on out to continue our day.

Across the street is the Eastern Shore Arts Center.  I've always loved this pottery tree.  It is one happy piece and it's hard not to smile when you see it!

Details...Isn't it great?  I think I want one in my yard!

I found a spot to park and Justin was asking for coffee, so we walked over to Latte Da Coffee Shop inside the Page & Palette bookstore.  Justin loves his coffee!

From there we wandered around strolling in and out of quaint shops...and posing for pics!

I love old patina and chipping paint- and the pretty ivy is perfect juxtaposed to the outrageous texture around it.

With a couple of gifts in hand, we headed back through Daphne and on to Malbis where we met hubby in Barnes & Noble.  I never leave that place without a bag!

After a nice dinner, we headed home.  It was a great day out- a chance to unplug from the daily grind for a few hours.  I needed it.  

Now, back to my many projects.  I stay up late at night to post to the blog, and schedule it to publish the next day.  So by the time you read this, I will be up to my elbows in paint...painting something.  As always, I will have the camera ready to capture whatever it is that I am painting, and that will be my next post.

Thanks for spending some time with me today.