Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tool Storage

This a quick post…

This is an ice tray used for making ice that fits in small mouth water bottles.  I've gotten three of them so far at thrift stores for $1 - $2 each.  New, they sell for about $4 at hiking and athletic stores.

10 1/4" w x 3 3/4" d x 3 3/4" h -
The orange you see is actually the lid
snapped to the bottom helping to stabilize the unit
I use these trays to hold my tools while I'm working on a project.  I use two of them and change out the tools as I need them.  The third is held permanently in a plastic shoe box (at the bottom of the case I take back and forth to sculpting workshops) and holds my sculpting tools (mostly metal) with enough room on the sides for sponges, scrapers, etc.

I just threw some tools in here for an example.
Sorry for picture quality.
I'm currently playing with pens, pencils (water color) and inks so I'll use this to separate the various nib sizes, then colors and then "other" tools like scissors, tooth brush (for spattering ink), paint brush, etc.  That way I'm not rooting around my workspace for the tool I need.

Handy to have - I'm just sayin'…

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gouache Resist - Oh Please!!!

I am such a two year old!  Enough said…

There is a long blank wall in my dining room.  The art from our Atlanta house is out of place here.  In moving "things" around, in and out of boxes, I came across two brand new 12" x 36" Showbox Gallery Wrapped canvas's (there's a small, 3" x 18",  niche in the center of each one).

I'm going to stack them on top of one another (end to center - not end to end), connect them in the back, paint a Gouache Resist picture of a garden on them and then fill the niche with miniature people picnicking and gardening (as though they live underground).  Granted it may be Winter again before I'm finished - but I have a plan!

To make sure I "got it", I painted these two individual flowers the next day after the mini workshop I took at Random Arts in Saluda.  I'm hoping with time and practice I'll loosen up a bit - kinda doubt it - but I'm going to try.

Sharpie Marker, Casein Paint, Micron Pen and FW Black Ink - 5"x 5 1/2"

Sharpie Marker, Casein Paint, Micron Pen and FW Black Ink - 5"x 5 1/2"
Then, having only used water color paper with Gouache Resist I decided to experiment with a 10" x 10" wrapped canvas to make sure I could use this technique on the dining room art project.

Here it is… this my interpretation of a photograph I saw of a woman holding an umbrella.  The title, which I'll print or collage somewhere on top is "I'm wearing the smile you gave me".

Japanese Umbrella - 10" x 10" wrapped canvas
On this one I used Golden acrylic (super pigmented), casein paint, white pen, black Sharpie marker, various 01 and 05 black pens and FW ink.

There is a definite technique to getting the right coverage of white Gouache on your picture in the places you want to create more interest with the black ink.  It's probably more involved than I'll want to get at this point (this art phase may only stick with me until I get my book binding supplies and rusty stuff out of storage) but it's interesting and random looks just as good.

If you haven't - you should give this a try - it's a blast.  If you have - send me a picture.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm more than Excited!!

My art supplies are still in storage ;(

However, I've been able to take a couple of workshops close to home that didn't require all my supplies and have found an awesome network of artists and crafters.

**I discovered just how close Random Arts, Saluda, NC is to me - ONLY 20 minutes!  I've looked at their workshop schedule many times over the years and couldn't make it.   Jane packs a lot of art supplies, found objects and friendliness into one place.  If you haven't been - give yourself a treat and visit.  She brings in top notch artists for workshops.

Now that I'm so close I've joined their twice monthly ZenDoodle (free) get togethers.   It's been a long time since I did any intentional doodling.  Luckily I kept my colored pencils, markers and pens with me and didn't send them to storage.

At the last get together Jane showed us how to pull together a Gouache resist project…using water color paper, sharpie, water color paint, white gouache and black ink.  Here is a link to a short video Jane put together in January showing the Gouache resist technique

My first Gouache Resist attempt - 4 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Words and/or embellishments need to be added.
Practice doodling - ea section is 2 1/5" x 3 1/2"
I've also taken a one day workshop at Random Arts - "Texturize This" given by Jodi Ohl  We used Silks paints (they are so beautifully pigmented) - stencils, acrylics, etc., - the secret tool, a heat gun - the secret supply, Golden's self leavening gel. OMG!   There will be so many opportunities to use this technique in my mixed media work.  A fantastic workshop with an amazing and generous artist.  I missed the September issue of Craft, Paper and Scizzors magazine featuring Jodi's work and this technique - I'll have to order it online.

I don't have a photo box set up here but the sun came out briefly and I took some pictures.  At least one layer of gel is poured over the substrate - you can't see the depth in these pictures - but it's there.

6 x 6 - used stamps and stencils

6 x 6 - used stamps and metal #5
6 x 6 - stencils, stamp, rhinestones

**Art Mob Studios and Marketplace is located in downtown Hendersonville (5 minutes from my house) it contains local artists studios, galleries and offers workshops.  I've been able to take a 4 week Calligraphy workshop from Catherine Langsdorf  She's a very good teacher.  I plan to take advantage of more workshops that don't require my full arsenal of supplies.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Unfinished Wood Boxes repurposed

The second installment of repurposed bedroom furniture…

Two wood storage boxes purch online at - $30 ea with coupon TTL w/shipping $60
Four glass blocks used for bases (2 per base) - purchased at Lowes - $5 ea
Total for both night stands:  $80

Finished Product:

I couldn't find (quickly) night stands that coordinated with the headboard I made.  So having previously made, and set free, two side tables using these wood storage boxes I thought I'd try it again.

Plain box prior to staining

1.  I stained the boxes
1st Stain - A penetrating stain

Taped off design
2nd Stain - Result after 1st application of Gel Stain

Result after 2nd application of Gel Stain
Design decision:  I glued two glass blocks together with GE Silicone II clear.  I decided that the flat front of the block took away from the design on the front of the box vs the side of the blocks showing straight lines.  I glued the glass blocks to the box with GE Silicone II clear glue.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Headboard repurposed from a Privacy Screen $0

First things first - two finished products (headboard and night stand)….
I just finished making the side table from an unfinished wood box - that's the next post.
I absolutely adore the color we painted our bedroom - Palladian Blue (look the color up on - they have a truer picture of the color).  It has a slight grey undertone that changes hue as the day's light changes.

As I lived with just the painted walls and a bed in the room for months before we were able to move in, I began to dread filling the room and walls with furniture and decor items - hiding the restful wall color.

So I started looking for a "fretwork" headboard - open wood work that would let the wall color show thru.  They're not trendy right now so it wasn't easy finding them.  When I did find one online - they were only available online and not available for viewing in showrooms.  I'm not buying such a large purchase without touching it.  So, I held off (and it was killing me).

When we unloaded the attic in preparation for moving I found this privacy screen that had been up there for about 10 years (I know, I know, I REALLY hold on to stuff). (It had three panels held together with hinges but I had already taken one off before I remembered to take a picture)

It's made of a light weight wood, backed by paper.  I didn't discover until cutting out the sections that - what appeared as a solid sheet of handmade paper backing each panel - was actually a hard foam type panel covered on both sides with the paper.
Back of panels
Panel after cutting out large sections and before staining
I cut out the paper/foam panel that covered the larger sections of the panels.  The remaining paper backed sections and wood were stained.

I brushed on a penetrating stain first - then put on and wiped off a darker walnut GEL STAIN (my fav).

After the stain had dried - the two panels were connected using a flat stock metal brace.  The headboard is very light. It was attached to the wall using alligator hangers and a couple of nails.

I didn't stain the back
Side Note regarding the stain I used:  Originally, our house had reddish stained wood doors, window casings and moldings.  We've replaced the baseboards with taller boards and added a larger crown moulding (using the old baseboards as part of a larger crown moulding).  All base and crown were painted "snowbound" - an off white.  The existing window casings and doors were stained a walnut color to create a warmer tone, using Gel Stain.  When a bare piece of wood was needed to match a door we moved, Mr. Merrill of Merrill Paint & Decorating in Hendersonville, NC matched the color of the original stain on the old wood in a penetrating stain.  I put that on the bare wood first - then the Walnut Gel Stain so the woodwork would look uniform throughout the house.

Both stains dry fast.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cutting Board Storage

I've been busy trying to get the house comfortable.

The remodeled kitchen is almost complete.  We selected backsplash tile this past weekend and hope to install within the next few weeks.  I'll post before and after pictures when we're finished.

In the meantime I needed a place to store my cutting boards when not in use.  On Pinterest I saw where some clever folks used a magazine holder attached to the inside of the cabinet door to store their cutting boards.

I use three different size (on the small side) cutting boards and wanted them separated so I didn't have to thumb thru them in a hurry.

I found a metal mesh desk top file sorter at Target for $12.95 that suited my needs perfectly…

It didn't come with holes for hanging so we made some ;)

Friday, March 7, 2014

My GLASS bottle tree has bloomed!

Spring must be around the corner….

I couldn't help it - I got a bottle tree for my front yard hoping the folks passing by will get as much of a  kick out of it as I do.

My daughter saved up and collected wine bottles for me.  They prefer red wines over whites so the bottles are various shades of green.  I added a few colorful store bought bottles and then, because I've become obsessed with glass flowers made from recycled dish ware, I decided my tree needed to begin blooming to be in full bloom come Spring.

I still need a few more bottles on the tree.

The first flower is made up of dish ware from thrift stores; long green glass vase, clear cut glass bowl, peach glass light shade, green glass candle holder and a few red glass pebbles (total cost approx $6).  I only used Locktite Glue for Glass to assemble the flower.

Here are a couple of close ups of the first bloom.  Imagine the Bottle Tree in FULL BLOOM!

Front View of Flower

Side View of Flower
It's not easy finding cheap, discarded, glass ware around here.  There are more resale shops with little booths in them than there are thrift stores so the owners hit the thrift stores early to look for things to re-sell.  But I'll persevere and send out another post when the tree is in full bloom.

This is SO MUCH FUN!!!