Saturday, October 31, 2009

painting polymer tiles

Lately, my art friends and I have been working with Polymer clay. It's such a versatile medium and once it's baked, it's a great surface to paint on.
The following is a small tile that is now ready to be glued onto one of my projects.
The stamp is made by "Crafty Individuals/ Magenta".

First roll the polymer flat and cut out a square the size of the stamp image.
Bake according to directions, paint your background color (regular craft paint) and stamp the image using "Stazon" ink.
Lastly, paint your image using a small liner brush (best for detail work), and if desired, spray coat a matte sealer.

xoxo

hand painted tile

Polymer hand painted tile.


Polymer hand painted tile.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall comes to South Florida

Who doesn't love to get a package in the mail? Today my sister Roo sent me a package full of fall leaves! What a treat! Here in Fort Lauderdale we have palm trees and tons of GREEN. I'm envious of those of you who get actual season changes. A little orange and red would be so pretty... Our seasons are "hot and hotter"! Imagine my delight when I opened the box and out tumbled Fall!

Thank you Rudi!
xoxo
k

Fall surprise!



Friday, October 23, 2009

Working in wax

I love Lisa Kaus's work. I especially love the wax finish she puts on her pieces. Recently I took an encaustic wax class at my favorite stamp store "Stamp Shack", here in Fort Lauderdale. I HAD to learn how Lisa gets those beautiful wax effects. I am thrilled to say, it's easy! In the following pictures you can see my first attempts at this really cool technique.

You need wax, I use Beeswax for candles.
You need a wax iron.

That's it!

Melt the wax onto the iron. Smooth and slide the hot wax around the surface of your piece by "ironing" it.

I experimented a little by using a little gold wax along with the regular clear wax. The stamp is by Daniel Torrente. (I love their freaky little people, stamps) The collage pieces are an assortment of papers.
I hope you can see the wax finish on the 2nd and 3rd following photos.

xoxo
karen

My new addiction





Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A new day!

Oh happy days!

I am so happy. December 19th, my company cut my hours from full time to part time. At first I was devastated. After all, I was the one who covered our family's health insurance. There was the temporary panic, which soon gave way to glee. Don't misunderstand. I love the company I work for. However, as soon as my husband cleared us to his insurance, I realized for the first time in my life I had real free time. I'm past the diapers, car pool and the tough teenage years. I'm not trying to climb the corporate ladder. My husband is content and doesn't enjoy spending a lot of time away from home. I've REALLY let go of obsessive house work. Suddenly I'm free to play!

It's not easy to play. Old habits die hard. Finding structured time to do my art can be frustrating. I often find my new days off filled with different demands. There are doctor appointments, Grizzly dog to the vet and new endless lists that need attention. But, I'm getting really good at finding time for me.

Tonight I sit on my couch after a 10 hour day at my "real" job. I'm enjoying teaching "customer service" classes to our employees. It was a good day.
I have a big smile on my face.
I know that I have the next 4 days off to work on my art, to do what I really want to do. :)

xoxo
karen

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Grizzly dog


This is our pup Grizzly. He keeps me company during the day. What a sweet, sweet dog. He has a slight weight problem, weighing in at 125 lbs. Not a bad weight if he were 5 inches taller. Taking photos of dogs-not easy. He is much cuter in person.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Love my witch!

Happy Halloween!

I got out my old Halloween stuff. I haven't put that stuff out for years. I'm feeling festive.
I bought the Witch at an art show. I love her! I love her so much that I leave her out year round in my bedroom.
I have to get in the decorating mood because...
December 3rd I'm having an "Open House" kinda thing. My favorite store "Past and Presents" has a "tour of homes" every year. The homes are magnificent. Ours does NOT fit this criteria however, my friends and I are going to teach an art project! So there will be food, plenty of wine AND ART! I can't wait! The difficult part will not be teaching, it will be trying to make this house presentable! I made a list today of what has to be done in the next 40 days. I think it will take about 6 months to check everything off.
xoxo

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thank you Carla and Bryan!

Today I had Bryan (the Astro Physics guy) and his friend Carla come by to help me with this blog. I'm not happy with the picture on my header, but at least I now have one. We are still trying to figure out how to "size" photos, put up side bars, change fonts for the header, the list goes on and on. Patience!
There are so many projects I'm suppose to be working on. I don't have time to try to figure out how to blog. Today for the first time, I got really discouraged. Hours go by where I'm getting nowhere. It is so frustrating. Because I want it so badly, I will continue. I suppose that progress is being made. Curses to that darn Somerset Magazine for making "Artful Blogging" such an attractive form of expression!

The following 2 posts are 8 pictures of "before and afters" on an old piece of junk furniture.
Who would believe that cleaning and sanding old furniture would be so much more relaxing than sitting at the computer?
later!
xoxo

Dumpster dive furniture: before and after





My (hero) husband finds me great dumpster dive stuff. This piece was being thrown away but is now resurrected. It will find it's way into my art room to hold my never ending stamp collection. Repainting junk is a passion of mine. Here are the steps for giving an old piece a new look.

Clean, sand and prime. I like XIM primer spray paint.

Paint base color. I used Sherwin Williams "Zeus". It's a beautiful gray/green that has an old world look. The backs and base of shelves are painted a creamy white. Use a satin sheen.

Next I applied a glaze. This gives the piece an aged look. I don't like crisp and clean. There's nothing crisp and clean about my house, so why start now? Glaze is clear. You need to add color to it. Since I like old, I add brown or dark golden colors, usually whatever is around the house. The breakdown is 4 to 1. Remember, alotta glaze to a little paint, or 4 parts glaze to 1 part paint, To apply glaze, use a damp sea sponge (with very little glaze) and smush/slide it over the surface.

Now you stencil or paint your art.

Add a clear sealer if you want further protection.

Happy painting!
xoxoxo

Final 4 photos are following this post.

more...





The final 4 pictures. I love this "turn of the century" looking stencil.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just when I thought I was catching on...

I spent an hour and a half last night trying to post 10 pictures of a furniture "before and after". All kinds of problems! They were taking too long to upload, the photos were in the wrong order, then the sudden disappearance of all photos... You name it, it went wrong. Not to mention the ever frustrating challenge of trying to get a banner and the sidebar doo hickies.

I called a few "Apple Consultants". Their prices start at $150.00 for the first hour and $125.00 for each hour thereafter. Huh? I'm not saying they're not worth it. I'm just saying there is NO WAY I can go down that road. Tomorrow I have someone coming to try and help. He's not a blog guy, but he does have his degree in Astro Physics. He HAS to be able to get further than me! I'm not even sure I spelled "Astro Physics" correctly :)

If all goes well, tomorrow I will post the failed attempts from yesterday.
More later!
xoxo
karen

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A nest collection
















































I put blown quail eggs and other types of real eggs in my nests, also melted marbles, dried rose buds, tiny gray pussy willows... anything that resembles an egg at first glance.
I LOVE my nests.

A collector of nests



I'm a collector of bird nests and bird houses. My favorite nest is one we picked up in Key West. It is full of fishing line!
I think that all nests are beautiful. They are organized chaos.
This is an area by my front kitchen door. The pictures of the bird's nests are mounted on an old rusty ceiling tin, to make them appear larger.
More photos coming.
xoxo