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 29, 2015

Playing in the Studio...

I had a chance to play around in the studio for a few hours last week...

These are the elements I had out on the table.




Yes, these are Mardi Gras beads.  I picked out just the orange ones to use in this project.


Orange, bronze, brown and gold glitter glue...


Can you tell yet what I'm working on?  Well, if you guessed "Halloween" you are right.  I've been itching to play in the black and orange for a while now...

I found this silver metal covered wooden box in the thrift store.  It had a faded paper picture of something in the top and was covered in plastic.  YUCK!  But I could see possibilities...
Of course, I ripped out the awfulness before I took a picture...I don't know why I can't remember to take the before picture first!  Here's what it looked like after the ugly picture had been removed....but, I guess it's still a before picture.


I thought it needed to be a Halloween Boo Box.  You know, a box where you store your "boos"...or scary things, magic potions, or whatever...and you put it out to decorate for Halloween.

I began playing with the elements that I had out on the table...

First, it needs a background to cover the wood.  My sister, Becky, gave me this fabulous block of card stock and the pages feature black as the common color element, so any page would work, but I did spend quite a few minutes trying to decide which one would be the perfect one...


I settled on this black and beige geometric print and cut it to fit with my handy paper cutter.

I added a piece of solid orange paper on top of the black, just for interest and contrast. Then I put the piece of vintage lace.  I LOVE the little stain at the top of it...I like to think something was spilled on it while mixing a magic potion...



From here, it's all about adding more elements....and moving them around, subtracting some, then adding some back.  You get the idea, right?


That "Y" on the side of the taller game piece with the "B" is bothering me...I decided to add black glitter around the sides to cover those letters.  It'll add sparkle too, and that's always a good thing.


Much better!

I added some vintage black dressmaker's fabric trim...


...and glitter glue around the edges...


and rhinestones...


I envisioned it with magic spells inside, so I figured I should label it "magic" so that nobody gets an unexpected surprise when they open it...You just never know with this magic stuff...I mean, it could contain a good variety of magic, but then again, it is for Halloween, so.....

Then I mixed a two-part resin and poured it onto the top.  The raised edges kept it from running out, and it's self-leveling, so it sort of just goes into all the nooks and crannies. Once it was poured, I went over it a few times with a heat gun to eliminate any bubbles that were left behind.  I then covered it (to keep dust off) and let it cure for a few days.

When it was dry, I added more coordinating paper to the inside lid and bottom.  




And it's finished!  

I'll take it to the shop in a few days...

Thanks for visiting me today!  I hope I've inspired you to start thinking about Halloween.  It'll be here before we know it!












Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fab Fashion Friday--It's HOT in South Alabama





It's HOT here in the southern part of Alabama.  I have been living in my jeans shorts, even when I go out, which is probably damaging to the eyes of those who see me, but I can't help it...it's HOT. Oh, did I already mention that?  I'm also loving my gauzy, breezy tops.  They help to dress up those shorts just enough...and it gives me decent coverage.  The longer top covers the "problem area" (aka belly fat) that some of us have hanging around, too.  I just checked out this top at our local Belk's, and the summertime looks are now on sale!!!  It's a good time to go shopping...
Hot Weather Summer Style

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A little Stool Gets a Makeover and a Special Surprise Arrives

Today, I'm sharing a simple makeover project that I just finished...

This little stool was in a pretty sad state and was begging for a face-lift.  And, as I frequently do, I forgot to take a good "before" shot.  Here is a shot of the upholstered top as it was...not very attractive, old, faded and tired.


Back side...


And, there were layers.


I started painting first and while I waited for the first coat of white chalk paint to dry, I pulled the old upholstery off.


Then, I painted the second coat of paint.  It gave me pretty good coverage, so I put up the paint and called that step finished.


I then distressed it a little...


...and added a coat of wax.


Once that part was finished, I moved back to the upholstery part of the project.  I decided to use a really pretty vintage hand towel from Hotel Bristol in Vienna, Austria, for the new covering.  It has text on it in several different languages that reads "good night" and "good morning"...


Here's the top. 


Here's the back of the top.  I decided to use burlap to cover the back because I thought it provided a nice contrast to the towel...



Then, to cover what I call the "mechanics", or in this case, staples, I used gimp.  I didn't totally cover the edges of the burlap, because I liked the "fringe" showing around the edges...


Here's a shot of the top after it was reattached to the stool.  (Oh no...I see a wrinkle in the burlap in this shot...looks like I need to hit it with some steam.)



Even though my funky house is not the right home for this very European shabby looking little stool, I still had to place it at the foot of my favorite chair just to see how it looked.  I think it's cute...much better than the before, anyway.




...and now, it will go into the shop (Juju Queen's Junk at Antiques at the Loop in Mobile, AL) so that it can find its way to a permanent, proper home.

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Now, the special surprise arrives.

Several weeks ago, Debra, over at Common Ground, shared a sponsored post on CanvasPop, and together, they did a give-away.  I was the lucky winner!!!!  I was so shocked and surprised--I NEVER win anything.  It took me several days to decide what I wanted my piece to look like.  I finally settled on a photograph that I had taken a couple of years ago.  The rep contacted me and told me that I would get a 16 x 20 print, matted and framed with glass.  I was a little worried about the prospect of shipping a piece that large with glass, but it finally arrived on Friday and it was fine! It was very well packaged.


I was also a bit worried about the clarity of my photograph and what it would look like enlarged to something that size, but it is nice and crisp--very clear.  They did a beautiful job. I absolutely LOVE it! 

Thank you, Debra and CanvasPop!


I was not asked by CanvasPop to write a review on the piece, but I thought it would be a nice gesture since I was so pleased.  Go check them out here.

I'll see you again in a couple of days...Have a great week!


Shared with:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Some Interesting and Unusual Finds

You just never know what kinds of surprises you will find when out pickin'....

Here are some of my most interesting finds from last week:


Dark blue and white clogs (better known as wooden shoes) from Holland.  

How would you use these in home decor?

Wouldn't they look neat mounted on the wall and used as a pocket to hold pens and pencils?  Well, I "Googled" that, and look what I found!

Via Pinterest--Funky Junk

...or holding a small plant or some flowers?

Image by sergey-galyonkin 

...or as a funky Santa mobile?  I LOVE this!

Image Via Pinterest-Original pinner not identified.

They are now in the shop, hanging out in that white basket just waiting to go to a home that loves blue and white.

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Next interesting find:


A Russian hand-painted lacquered box.  And it opens in two different places!


The paintings tell of Russian traditions, legends, stories and fairy tales.  This box has artwork on the top and all four sides to include the back.  It is signed on the front.  I believe this box to have been painted in the "Palekh" style.  Read more about the style of painting from this village below.




Favored themes for lacquer boxes and miniatures from Palekh are the Russian fairy tales. Especially popular is the image of Ivan attempting to capture the mythical Firebird. Also popular are scenes of the famous Russian troika (three horse sleigh), and scenes of traditional peasant life in the countryside.

Some distinguishing characteristics of Palekh art include: elongated, graceful figures; pure, vibrant colors applied in layers; elaborate gold and/or silver ornamentation applied in fine lines throughout the painting; intricate decorative borders; and a black background known as plein aire which provides contrast to the pure colors. Palekh lacquer boxes are usually signed with gold in the margin between painting and border. The artist's name, village name, and year of production are standard marks on the box.

It is in pristine condition, which is also unusual--to find anything in lacquer that is not scratched in the thrift store.  I must have found it just as it was put out on the shelf.

Here's a link to a similar one (the painting) that I found online, except this one is tiny--2" x 2" x 1 1/4".  It's listed at $110.  Mine is about 6" wide x 5" tall x 4" deep.  

I have a Russian painted egg that we purchased in Chicago from a Russian guy, and I have a set of nesting dolls from a relative who lived in Russia for a couple of years.  I also have another egg that is sort of the same style...What I'm trying to say is that it looks like I've started a collection.  So I'll keep this one for now.

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And, interesting find number three...

It's not unusual to find ironstone, but this piece is soooo old and the discoloration and crazing...Oh my goodness.  Just look...
  

 

It's going into the shop, probably on Friday.  Someone is going to recognize the beauty in this perfectly imperfect piece...I know I'm not alone in seeing it.  I wonder how many Sunday dinners have been served on this very plate...