Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Three Rs at Work

We recently remodeled our master bath (finally).  I didn't like that room because it was just bland in color, had only one sink and had a closet in there (steamed the clothes with each shower!)  Anyway, I digress.  The one good thing about that bath was the mirror hanging over the sink.  It looked like it had been hanging there since the house was built.

So 10 years after we moved into our home we tore the master bath apart and created a new one (which I love!) Here's the thing... like I said, I liked the mirror and wanted to move it to another room in the house, but it had years and years of gunk built up on it so a renewal was required.

Here's what I did.....

First I had to clean it.  I used a mild soap in a bowl of water and a soft toothbrush.  Little by little I scrubbed away the years of gunk.  In some areas the leaf was completely rubbed off but that's ok, I can fix that.

Once I had the gunk off, I painted the whole thing gold with Martha Stewart's Gold Leaf Paint, purchased at Michaels.

I could have left it at that, it was quite beautiful, but my home really isn't a Gold Leaf kind of home.  I wanted to age it a bit.  So I made a simple wash with black acrylic paint and water.  Using a sponge, I dabbed the wash on and gently wiped it off the raised surfaces with a soft cloth.

I had a little tube of silver leaf paste so I rubbed a bit of that on in various spots so it wouldn't look uniform but naturally aged.  I didn't seal this because I'm ok with it getting old and aged again, but you could seal it with a brush on or spray on sealant.

I love the finished project and it is now hanging by the front door over a sideboard table!  Beautiful!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pumpkin Fun!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, who has the pumpkin?  I do!  I'm feeling Autumn coming on (or what we get of Autumn in Scottsdale AZ).  To me that means temps drop under 100 and an occasional rainy day but most of all I can tell by the sky.  It grows a deeper shade of blue as the cooler season comes around.

Anyway, I've strayed from my original thought of pumpkins.  Easy to do since I've been locked up in the "studio" for days making these wonderful little treasures!

Velvet pumpkins have always been a favorite of mine.  In fact I keep some of them displayed in my home year around!   I wanted to do something a bit different with my pumpkins.

These beautiful pumpkins were harvested from the silver patch.  They are filled with magic beans, silky soft fluff, fantasies and fairytales!

They are available in my Etsy shop while they last!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

An Aqua Kind of Day

Recently we got away to Monterey for a long weekend.  It was so wonderful.  Leaving 113 degree Arizona days for 65 degree Monterey days was Heavenly!  My new batch of soldered bottles remind me of that Heavenly escape!

I mixed things up a bit with this batch of bottles.  While watching TV one evening, I turned to Hubby and said "I wonder, why I don't embellish my art more.  I mean, look around our home, I embellish everything!"  I am so happy I had that thought because I think adding the jewelry to these bottles really makes them beautiful!

These bottles, and more, are now available in my Etsy shop.

Have a beautiful, aqua kind of day!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Cover Tutorial

We recently had some beautiful cabinetry installed in our Master.  (Finally I have drawers!)  Anyway, the top portion of cabinetry is shelves.  I wanted to create displays on some of those shelves and incorporate my books but I wanted a cohesive look.  The answer was to cover some of my old books with Kraft paper.  
This is how I did it...

First, gather your tools:  Old books (you can keep existing dust jackets on them and just cover over them or remove the dust jacket), a roll of Kraft paper (or any other could even use cool shopping bags!) Large ruler, tape measure, pencil and x-acto knife or scissor.

Now, take your book measurements.  Measure top to bottom and distance around.  Mine, shown here, measured about 8 1/2 x 13.

Add a couple inches to all sides and cut the paper to match.  You can see I added about 3 inches  to the top and bottom and about 2 inches to each end.  Next, fold down the top and bottom giving the folds a nice crease.  Top to bottom should be just slightly larger than your book.  Then fold in each end the same way (before creasing you might want to wrap it around your book to be sure the length is comfortable, even when the book is closed.)

Next, slip one side of the book into the cover, then do the same with the other side (you may need to open the book wide to easily insert the second cover without tearing the paper).

No glue, no tape, NOTHING holds the cover on the book? That's right.  It's like magic! But actually you can see here that the folds themselves are what hold the book in place.

And here you have it....

But wait!  I'm not finished....... I really liked the look of all these books stacked together, and I really liked the way the pages were at various stages of "yellow", but being me, and knowing that these books were for decorative purposes, I needed a bit more embellishment.

So I added some decorative tape, found at Michaels.  (You can leave this step off if you want, or you could draw or do some beautiful lettering on the cover.  The options are limitless!)

And ta-da!  A beautiful, inexpensive way to dress up your books!

Oh, BTW, I had an adorable audience during this project.  They were so good, they deserved TWO treats! Good Girls!

Anyway, I love these book covers.  Like I said you could make them out of wrapping paper, Kraft paper, brown paper bags or even out of a cool shopping bag from your favorite mall or store! Great for back to school and a great project to involve your kids, even teens!  As a bonus, it will save the life of those expensive school books!  Who doesn't love that?

I hope you try this great idea.  If you do, share your results with me!  I'd love to see what you come up with!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Obsession

Well, you can see that I haven't been here for a little while.  Sorry.  I'll explain more on that later.

For now, though, I wanted to share with you my new obsession!  I have discovered soldering!  OMG, it is a blast and a fun change from making my dolls.  (I love making my dolls but yearned for something new this summer)

I've been hitting every antique mart that I can find in Arizona and California on the hunt for antique bottles. Even filled an empty suitcase with bottles on our holiday in Monterey.

I've found a lot of really great bottles.  Next I dug through my vast collection of shells and coral.  I have shells from California, Mexico, Florida and beyond!  (just a sample here)

Then the fun began...planning, taping, soldering and applying the patina.  I'm obsessed!

I've placed some of these beautiful creations in my Etsy shop.  Come visit!