Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mermaid and her Octopus

I'm working in the new space! The art studio works beautifully. 
I am loving the room, (as in having room/space to spread everything out) 
I love not having to clean up when I'm done for the day. I have everything I
need within arms reach. I even love the quiet, or the TV, depending on my mood. 
There are still a few more 'tweaks' to be done, but it's working really nice

and I'm not feeling too guilty...

 I've painted this mermaid with her 'animal spirit guide', the Octopus. 
This is the latest in the Schizophrenic Journaling class, which is coming up again
February 23rd. We are still working on the series of art faces with their animal spirit guides.

This class will be taught on February 23rd at the Paper Niche.
This is a Sunday, at 9:00 AM until 2:00PM. 
Supply list is small.
Check with Paper Niche to see all details.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Studio (more of…)

Old shutters, REALLY old spindles, rusty ceiling tiles...

What fun this project was. A HUGE thank you to Charlene for my spindles and the balustrade. They feel right at home in the art studio! Kimberly Ramey, my wings are one of my favorite things! The art mannequin fits on them perfectly! 

I attached 3 shutters to each other and screwed them into the wall.
The ceiling tile was cut with tin snips, as a backdrop to the angel.
The old spindles hold the tea lights and my sweet husband attached the shelf they all sit on.
I'm calling him "sweet" because the upstairs project is almost complete and I'm not mad at him anymore…

The below shot is a close up of the dress form I antiqued a few years back. For "How To" instructions for antiqueing (new) mannequins, look at my blog history for June 27th 2010.  I have full instructions for how I did the one below.  I bought it new and made it look old by painting it and stenciling the words.

Just a few more projects and the art studio will be complete!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Studio. New beginning.

All pictures shown in this post are just a partial showing of the studio. 
The following posts go into greater details with more photos of each area of the space.

Like many of us,  I've done the 'creative side' for as long as I can remember.
I have journals dating back to 1975. I embellished t shirts, hand painted kid's clothes, made pillows, polymer art, jewelry, angels, soldered, faux finished, did art shows, did craft shows, taught classes, worked with clay and kilns, painted murals… oh gosh! I could continue!
Through everything, I never stopped to realized how much of a life time commitment this is.
 My whole life I've spent working in art!
So, when our son decided it was time to move out, it left a giant space in my heart and in our home.
The room he HAD occupied for many years was our upstairs loft. Originally this was our master bedroom. Later it became a guest room, and eventually it was Alex's bedroom. It isn't private. It has an 'open railing' that overlooks the living room. It's a large space, shaped like an L. 
It was not easy to take over this space after Alex moved out. 
Guilt. Why was there guilt? 
I didn't feel deserving of  a real space. I never had my own art place. Isn't that odd? Something I've devoted my entire life to (to some degree or another) was making stuff. Now, a wonderful space comes available and I feel too guilty (?) to take advantage of it. 
I had a small table in the guest bedroom once. I tried to work in this space but I always ended up in the family room on the couch, in front of the TV with my stuff EVERYWHERE. Chuck was great with it but eventually he would make a comment about my mess. Who could blame him?
I also found out I wouldn't take advantage of my supplies. My stuff is hidden all over the house and when I work, I don't want to start hunting for materials.
It was a long battle, weighing in whether or not I could justify this hair brain decision. My husband didn't want to spend any money on the project. After all, we are getting close to retirement and count our pennies closely.  However, the one thing that was necessary (whether or not we made the art studio) was new flooring. The carpet was almost 35 years old. It had gone through a house renovation where all the downstairs tile was ripped up. This filled the house with dust and dirt, all which settled into the carpeting upstairs because of our inability to close off the space. Plus all the years of kids, kids parties, girls… huh? It was awful.  We finally agreed to go with white pine laminate flooring from Sam's Club. We used Angie's List for our installer. Both were amazing.
The floor is light, bright and reflective. It immediately transformed the area from dirty to sparkly.
Now was my time to roll up my sleeves and go gorilla. I repainted all available walls, 7 pieces of furniture, 4 or 5 lamps, multiple accessories and a rabbit. Anything got repainted. I used Home Depot's Gliddon white paint called "White Linen". It's a beautiful soft white and I recommend it. I used eggshell on the walls and satin on the furniture. I also made a slip cover for the couch in white denim and recovered the pillows in a washed beige linen. 

Below is a photo of our old carpet. This section is not bad looking, not too badly stained.  Most of it had turned a  gray-cream color. Originally it was a creamy white. What was I thinking??

The room (like the rest of the house) was very masculine. With a house full of men, I wanted our home to be comfortable. All our sofas are leather or dark patterns. Our floors are tile. Everything was purchased for easy cleaning. The decor is also masculine. We have a lot of Native American influence. Indian rugs, suede pillows and antlers decorate most of the house. 
When I finally came to the decision I was going to take over this space, 
I knew I wanted to do a white room.  
A feminine white room. 

I needed to make the dingy/dirty feeling I had there, go away. Also, I figured that white would
be easy. Everything is shades of white, gray, linen, palest of green, and cream. 

To save money, I bought almost nothing. I purchased two hanging chandelier type lamps. Total for the two 'crystal type' chandeliers was $69.00 and $49.00. (both on sale at Lowes) Ikea has great prices on white duvets and white linen curtains. I bought a large bookshelf from Walmart ($29.97)  fabrics for the couch coverup, stuff for an inspiration board, and lots of paint.
And the cost of the flooring.
Everything else was a lot of sweat.

Below you can see the wood wall I'm working with and the black dresser (free dumpster dive piece) 
that was missing drawers.  I use the baskets to hold my fabrics. 
Now it is white.

This is the "BEFORE" photo...

 Below:   This is the "AFTER" photo

 This is the bedroom stripped down. See what I mean by dingy?

Below is the "After" photo.
The "sewing area" in on the left.

This is the area that is to become the painting and mixed media area.

The NEW painting and mixed media area is shown below.

Now the space is about 75% done. I'm really liking it and more importantly, I love to go up there and just look around, sit on the sofa and drink a cup of coffee, wander over to the painting table and sketch.  
I'm still struggling with "allowing" myself to do this. The guilt is easing and it's being replaced with a focus to make stuff. I'm not going to question if it's something I deserve. 
It's here, it's available and I'm taking over, even if it's just for a while. 

Check out the following posts for more photos and more ideas.

Studio painting and mixed media

This is the area to the left of the stairs...

 My space is divided into areas. Sewing section, painting, mixed media and jewelry sections, a bed for guests and a reading/drinking coffee/drinking wine (depending on the time of day…) area. This area is for painting and mixed media and jewelry. 

For my Christmas present this year I wanted a TV for this space. The flooring was what I really considered as my gift, but Chuck said it was really a gift for the family because the carpet was 34 years old and pretty gross.  I figure I'm up there for hours and I like the company that a TV provides. I found my 19 inch TV at Best Buy for $90.00 and because I agreed to get their credit card I received another $20.00 off. The TV cost $70.00 when it was all said and done.

I like the coverings under the tables. They are two painter's drop cloths that I had in storage for years. Sherwin William's Paint store was closing them out, and I bought them for pennies. 
They hide much of my supplies. The table in the back is an old door (garbage) that I painted pale green. It's sitting on two Walmart bookshelves $17.97 each. They are wonderful because they hold a huge amount and help keep me organized.

This is some work in progress. This table is large and because the window sill has an extension shelf on it, it holds things that make me happy.

 This chandler is the same one as shown below. I bought it at the flea market for $35.00. It was in great shape, just dirty and missing a few crystals. I painted it white and loaded it up with crystals and pearls. Hey, a hint for you… BUY YOUR PEARLS at Christmas time in the garland department. Or BUY YOUR PEARLS at Party City, or Party Supermarket. 
Super cheap!

Above photo was taken before the chandelier was painted white.

This sign in my window is for my friend Kim Ramey, at Front Door Studios.  She has inspired me to continue painting through all my insecurities. "Kill your demons" she says. Don't let them stop you from painting and creating. They are there to stop you. Don't let them.
Kill them.
kill them…
kill them now.

Now go paint something.

Studio reading area.

The reading nook,  stamp and fabric storage.
The above picture is the "after".
The below picture is the "before".
This is another one of the closed off french doors. Again, dark and more wood.  As you can see by the above photo, the walls can not be painted because they continue into the downstairs room. I took the old dresser (dumpster dive piece with missing drawers) painted it white. The baskets I use instead of the drawers worked great as they were. They hold lots of my fabric. I did buy the large white bookshelf (seen above) at Walmart for $29.98. I use it for some of my stamp storage.
"before" photo below

This sign (below) was from my friend Kim J.  I repainted it to fit in the studio. It's a "Gorman", a well known sculpture artist. I don't think he would mind that I painted over what someone else had already painted over on his original piece. Does that make sense?  I love it. Oh yea… the crow butt… It's from a crown I made for Halloween a few years back. 
I couldn't bear to throw away the back half of the crow, now it looks like he flew into the bill board.  


This sofa below was in good shape, just dirty and had strange orange stains on the bottom half. I decided to try my hand at making slip covers and pillow covers. However, because I was covering it with white denim and linen, I was worried the orange would bleed through onto the white fabric. I scrubbed it with Oxi Clean but it just made it a bigger mess of stains. 
My husband suggested I paint the fabric BEFORE I put the slip cover on. WHAT?!?! Why not? I used a paint with a strong stain blocker. It doesn't matter what it looked like because it was being covered anyway! It worked great. No stains have come through and the couch works great.
Below is the "Before" couch.

This is the couch after. (see below) 

The below photo is the "before" of the table. I bought this at a flea market for $20.00. It's a great little table, although had a lot of water spots and damage to the surface. I sanded, primed and painted it. I used a little blue in places as an undercoat so when I sanded it, a light periwinkle blue shows through.

Below: Photo of table, sofa and wood ceiling.

This little angel was in the yard but I brought her inside to the new space. I wanted a crown for her, but she has a large head and nothing fit. The other day in Ikea, I found a metal pencil holder for $1.50. I cut off the bottom of it, cut one side open and laced it like a corset in the back with ribbon. It fits her big head and I like it!

Last photo. The view over the rail. One of the support columns on the stairs. This long skinny space works great for some of my polymer pieces and a "Lisa Kaus" piece I bought at "Art and Soul".

Still more to come!

Studio sewing table/ inspiration board

To brighten up this corner I made this area as white as possible ~ 
considering the walls are dark cedar. 

 I really wanted a big sewing table. When our son moved out, he no longer wanted or needed the very large desk. I was going to have it hauled away, but once again out came the white paint! I also replaced the knobs at a sale cost of 90 cents each. They were an ugly brass color so I spray painted them "pewter".  This room (like the rest of our home) was decidedly masculine. Wood ceilings, wood walls… I craved something feminine and girly. MY space!!! The boys really don't feel comfortable with the all white anyway. :)
 As you can see in the below photo, I had to work with some difficult areas.  The recessed openings were because at one time, these were french doors that opened up onto a patio. We added onto the house and had to close off these doors. That is why there is the strange recessed box around the desk.  I couldn't paint these walls, because the upstairs is an "open" loft to the down stairs, the wood walls are visible from both areas, upstairs and down. Dilemma, what to do with these spaces???  

Egads it was dark in here.

My solution was to make an inspiration board to fill the space. 
Make it white and bright!
The banner hanging says "Aetlier D' Art". 
Or 'art studio' in french.

I'm not french.

The lamp on the right was straight out of a garbage/dumpster dive, but once again, painted white. I made the lamp shade out of old pieces of lace, burlap, ribbons, etc… covering a shade I already had.
My Genie sewing machine sits proudly in the middle of the table. I bought it when I was 17, or my mom did… (can't remember) I just remember taking some sewing classes with my mom. That makes this old machine over 40 years old. Wow! Almost an antique!!!

This picture below is one side of the banner. The paper birds are part of the
Christmas decorations I was putting away after Christmas.
"Hey!" I said to myself! "These would look cute holding the banner!"  
 I white washed it and brushed clear glitter on the body and wings.

This the the paper bird on the right side. Because the inspiration board is made with
'instillation foam board' from Home Depot, I just attached the birds with pins.

Speaking of the inspiration board, I made this one to fit into this space. I bought some pretty white fabric $8.00 (50% off Joannes), instillation board $10.99 Home Depot, and door and floor molding.
Again out came the white paint for the molding, which my husband miter cut into a picture frame shape. I cut the instillation board into the right shape to fit into the frame. I spray glued the instillation board and attached thin batting to it, repeated the spraying and next attached the white fabric. Next I worked the board into the frame. 
I won't kid you, this was probably the toughest project I took on.
Not as easy as I thought, but well worth the effort.
It's big, cheap, light and bright and works GREAT!

This (below) is the left side of the sewing table. It has another dumpster dive piece. This was a lamp that had 3 cherubs on it. I took it apart, attached the 3 angels to a clay terra-cotta dish that is made to go under a planter pot. I attached them with a "2 in 1" very heavy duty glue. Next I attached a PLASTIC terra-cotta dish to the top.  I primed it all and painted it rust color. Next came (you guessed it) WHITE (!) paint. After it dried I sanded it down in places to see the rust coming through.
I use it to hold my sewing notions.


Studio, spare bed room, sewing station...

This is the view as you come up the stairs.
I love the white pine (laminate) floors. This space was so dark before and it felt dirty.
Well yes, no wonder… the carpet was 34 years old. The new white reflects the light and 
brightens up the area, where the carpet just soaked up the dirt and the light.

Below, the old windows were hung on a faux finish I painted 15 years ago. Time for it to go! 
Bring in the white!

The upstairs is divided into areas. This view is of the "painting" area in the upstairs.

Below is the wall that had the windows on it. I'm not sure I'm keeping this display but I love my little sheep and my dress form. The cowboy boots have been knocking around in my closet for as long as I've been married! My husband makes bird houses, these are a couple of them but they are scattered around the space.

A close up of my dress form. One of my earlier posts shows how to take a new form and antique it.
 I have "Paris" stenciled on the neck.  
She holds some of my jewelry I've made in art classes I've taken in the past.

The view of the bed.

This is a "before" photo of the room. 

Below is the "after" photo.

The "sewing section" is on the left. You can see my 40 year old "Singer Genie" sewing machine, waiting for the next project. To help with the darkness of this space I have 3 hanging chandeliers . 
The two on the right were store bought and the one on the left is a flea market redo. 
As you can see, the ceiling is very dark as is the wall on the left. There is only one window in this part of the space.  I really wanted to brighten up this space and eliminate the dingy feeling.White walls, white linens, white furniture, white accessories, white curtains. The curtains are from Ikea. They were $19.98, a great buy. They look just like linen. White linen. 

Not all furniture was painted white. This sewing table below (belonging to the "Singer Genie")  is painted a very pale, gray green. 

This is a "remake" chandelier. I will be posting what I did in another post, soon to follow.
I will say that I like to "tacky" up my chandeliers with crystal Christmas garland and cheap Party City or Party Supermarket pearls. 

Have I mentioned that everything in my house is pretty masculine? Right down to hanging indian war spears and buffalo skulls… I like the idea of finally getting some feminine space.

I now have a room for things I've collected over the years, like this little antique child's painting easel. 


More studio stuff...

 The first thing you see in the studio is a large white hutch. It was originally dark brown but (almost EVERYTHING upstairs) is now painted white or very pale green and this piece was no exception. Nothing was safe from me. I painted almost everything. A total of 7 pieces of furniture. That doesn't include the lamps, rabbits, frames, chairs, shelfs… Nothing was safe!

My friend from Paper Niche (Tammy) was so kind. She gave me an amazing rolling, metal peg board display. This piece was also painted white (from the original black) and because it rolls (AND spins)  it's perfect.

On top of the peg board was a "sign holder". However, I didn't want to put a sign in there.
I stuck one of my angels on top and painted her a pony to ride on!

The rack holds most my "everyday" stencils.  I clip them together with  a spring clip
and hang them on a hook. I can use heavy duty magnets for things and
there is even an accent clip board holding current projects.  Everything is kept close at hand,
so I no longer have to go digging under the bed or through the back of my car for what I need. 

Everything is within an arm's reach.

 Below is the "before" picture of the hutch. Thank you to my dear friend Charlene for thinking of me when she needed to find a home for it! It's easy to know what to do with painting furniture when everything is white! I sanded, primed and painted it "Linen White" by Gliddon Paint, at Home Depot. By the way… this is a lovely soft white for walls and furniture.

The photo below is the "before" room. The boxes on the floor are the new white pine laminate.

 Photo below: this is now the view at the top of the stairs, to the right. I love the white! As you can see, the hutch is now white, as is the floor, walls and spinning peg board. I have plans to put some shelves to the left of the painting table, but I'm waiting to see what I can find with my dumpster diving.

 The top of the hutch has a collection of goodies. Again, spending almost no money. The white lamp (thank you Donna!) was an old flea market lamp, kinda a brassy color, with an angel. I needed to make a stand to support the lamp shade. I used an old paint roller! I took off the bars that hold the roller and made a tepee shape, I attached it to the top of the lamp and then wired the lamp shade to it! I painted the angel white and added the shade with crystals and chains and pendants.
It's a little fussy and feminine but I love it!

The bird house is one of many from my husband.

Love the rabbit. It was originally a mustard yellow color. My mom gave it to me, but I never knew where to put it. I decopoged it with white tissue paper, then repainted it "white rabbit" style. I love the pink eyes! Finished it off with a feather boa…
(below is the "before" rabbit)

This is the "after" ~ now white, rabbit.
I think she looks fancy…