Thursday, November 15, 2012

Drawing Room- Art Studio Makeover

The new Design Studio is finished.....until things change! I call it the Drawing Room because I mostly Draw in here.

Enter My Design Studio
After installing the yellow school lockers, I put the red bookcases on either side. I had to think of curtains. I wanted a strong color to balance the red and completes the primary colors already in place. Now, this is cool...I had major yardage of this blue velvet (yes, Blue Velvet!) which my daughter had given me from an in law of hers. How perfect!

Red Book Cases

Here is the stack of red book cases to the left of the lockers. I love the paper bag color on the wall. My special "art pieces" look like they are in a gallery.

My "Blue Boy" is a prize possession.

This art collection consists of an unpainted plaster "Blue Boy" ($2 from a thrift store); My drawing after a sketch by Leonardo Da Vinci; Shadow box of thinking monkeys ($1.50 from thrift store); Little clay pots which I untangled from a macrame net ($1 yard sale).

Red Book Case

Here are the stacked red book cases to the right of the lockers. It is so great to have all my books in one place.

Shoe Form Assemblage

The great shoe forms finally have a place. The boxes are each $1 finds from junking days. The little chalkboard (So sweet) has the original mmm's that were there when I bought the chalkboard for $2 somewhere.  I sprayed the chalkboard with a fixative so that the mmm's will stay put.

Even though space for storage is always at a premium, I decided to give myself a treat by having these small spaces dedicated to somewhat orderly assemblages.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Small Art Studio Make Over (second installment)

Over the years, I've had so much fun going foraging and bringing home parts and pieces for my constantly moving and changing studio spaces. Here are some of the pieces that I like and need for the space....

I have red book cases, one of which I purchased at a yard sale about 25 years ago. The other ones are made of the drawers which I took out of a dresser.
6 Drawers Make 3 Book Cases
 The dresser is now storage for papers and current design work. I added a "folded up" folding table to the top for a real good work surface.
Open Shelving For Design Work and Papers
I needed the book cases just for books. My book collection is the biggest investment I've made next to my house. Research, inspiration and education are critical to me for my development as an artist. I live in a place where there are very few museums or cultural centers. So, I depend on the internet, travel and my books to continue my art education.

Storage Containers "Before"
Here are a couple of storage containers I bought from my favorite flea market guy, Jeff. They cost $5 and are perfect for roll storage. These containers afforded me an afternoon of makeover fun!
Flea Market Embellishments
I painted the containers white. Then added things found at flea markets. The numbers are big black plastic and used for outside signage. String and tags added make me think of import storage containers.
Stickers Add a Red Stripe Trim
These red and white stickers have been a lot of fun to play with. I have about ten rolls of them and they fit in my vintage tape dispenser.
Storage Containers "After"
I like to decorate my containers because playing like this relaxes me and sometimes sparks new ideas for artwork.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Small Art Studio Make Over (first installment)

Recent Drawing Room
 The "Drawing Room" is the room I draw in. I have paper and coloring materials, a light table, drafting table, layout table, layout boards, my art books, book projects, idea folders, space for drawings in use and anything else that I want for the purposes of design work.

Drawing Room 2 years ago
This room has traveled back and forth between two spaces way too many times.

Small Drawing Room Before
 So, once and for all, I had to make the decision that it needed to be bolted to the ground in one room for good!
Too Much Clutter!

 I took a good look and made my list:
#1. The first thing I needed was closed storage because everything was out in the open and it was too distracting to work in there.
#2. I decided that I was going to finally use my gallon of mis-tinted paint ($32 paint I got for $3!..yay!) in paper lunch bag color.
#3. I wanted all of my art books on the bookcases with nothing else on them.
#4.I decided all peripheral projects and materials needed to go to the "Out Room". The "Out Room" is a room in the house that has an outside door. I use it for painting furniture, refinishing, cleaning flea finds, hammering and sawing things, storage and keeping garden stuff.
#5. I needed my worktables to have nothing on them so that I could use them for current work. So, this meant more pairing down of excess stuff. This process took several rounds of serious selection.
#6. I wanted this room to be my own space, so the things that might end up hanging on the walls for decoration would be chosen only on the criteria that I loved to look at them. That is my only explanation for the final look of the room.

For #1:
I went on a foraging trip with my good friend Stefanie and found this at Don's Consignment in Owensboro Kentucky! This is a bank of three yellow school lockers! I have red bookcases! This is beyond perfect!
Yellow School Lockers for closed storage
For #2:
I had to move stuff out of the room and paint before the lockers came home.
Here are some of my art books
Scot helped me to move my books...he said...too many books....then, he helped me to paint.
Paper bag color on walls
I love the color of this paint. It is a warm neutral and a great background for primary colors. Which, as you will see, is important! be continued............

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Elegant T.P. Holder

We have been working on our bathroom for quite some time, now. So, while I'm patiently waiting for everybody to do their thing, I am doing my thing....and my thing is to make lovely bathroom accessories.

This is how I made my simple but elegant T.P. holder. I have seen some things on the Internet similar to this.
DIY T.P. Holder

Here are two candle sticks which cost a total of $1.34 at my Salvation Army Thrift Store in Owensboro, Ky.
Centering Glass Candlestick

I am measuring all around the small candlestick on the top of the large candlestick for accurate placement.
Mark Placement With Pencil

I am using a glue which is supposed to hold glass and metal together even when wet or outside (time will tell). The glue is to be applied on both surfaces and let to cure for 5 minutes.
I Read Directions

I like to use my vintage timer for this.
I like the Rocket Design

I place the small candlestick on the large candlestick, weight it and wait for two hours.
Anything That Works is a Weight

Here is the finished T.P. holder with T.P. in its place.
Elegant TP Holder
 My family likes it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Corbels and Shoe forms as Sculpture

My Scot took me to my favorite flea market, Trader Bakers in Owensboro, Ky. yesterday to get me out of the house. It was a good day, man, did I score big!

Lately, I've been perusing (drooling over) my Restoration Hardware Catalog for inspiration for my living/dining room. Architectural salvage pieces are so interesting.....and can be so pricey in the hands of dealers and shops that know what they have.....
A Great Sign for the Thrifter

I had seen these corbels and facade pieces on the floor in the corner of a booth for about 4 months. The problem was...there was no price. So, I kept waiting for a price. Yesterday, I moved the things around in the box and found the price underneath written on the box...$6.99 for "4 pieces off old house"! Yay!
Architectural Salvage as Sculpture 

This is a photo of the corbels as sculpture on my dining room table. The two candlesticks were purchased 13 years ago for my outside (poolside) wedding. I found the little wooden bird when I was visiting my mom and sister in Naples, Fla. this summer.(uh, oh! this could be a warning! Tangent Alert!) Naples, Fla. has the best thrift stores!  (no,no, false alarm!)
Iron Shoe Forms

I also decided it was time to buy this group of shoe forms which I had been wanting for a long time.....they were also at floor level...pricier, but, really? $18.00 for the group! Yay! The shoe forms are also very sculptural. I have no place for them at the moment....but I have an idea....
Shoe Forms are so Sculptural

Then, there is this very well made server's apron with pockets on both sides (reversible) priced at $1.25! Yay!
Chic Server's Apron

Then, there is this Pyrex loaf pan for $2.00! Now, I have five loaf pans for my bread baking days! Yay!
Pyrex  Bread Pan

Oh, yes, here are the two facade pieces...maybe they will work with the shoe forms.....I'll think about it and play with the pieces....and think about it.
Architectural Salvage

I say,"Yay!" a lot at this flea market. The rented booths are mostly unmanned. You can usually meet the vendors on a Saturday when they are stocking up.We have some favorites.....good people, good times, good scores.....Yay!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shabby Chic Notion Chest

Years ago, my little sewing box could hold all my notions. Until recently, my notions were located in a shelf in my Stitch plastic boxes. That was all fine and good until I spotted this remarkable little chest at My Salvation Army Thrift Store. That was when I realized that what  I needed was a Notion Chest! This little overpainted beauty was $5! Score! Do I think about the work involved to make it lovely? Of course not! was $5!
Pine Chest Before
The size is perfect and I could envision my collection of cigar boxes fitting in the little shelves with handmade labels for each type of notion. It is well built and fits in the spot in my Studio......
Pine Underneath Paint...lots of paint!
I took some mineral spirits to see what I was up against...How many layers of paint is that? So, after lots of stripper, elbow grease, heat gun and determination...I was happy with the chest when it was mostly stripped. (I have a problem with my hands and my patience.) So, shabby chic is good enough for me. This is not a rare antique, just a darling piece for my studio.

Shabby Chic Notion Chest
 I left some of the paint on the shelves, so I painted the inside shelves a soft white. Where I couldn't (or wouldn't) get the remaining paint off nooks and crannies, I added some soft coral paint. I finished the surface with Formby's Tung Oil.
The Bark Cloth was a thrift find
I lined the shelves with this great old bark cloth. It is a print of food with the calory count next to each item. I believe that this bark cloth was kitchen curtains at some point...who would do that to themselves????

Labels were added with double stick mounting tape that comes off with no damage to the box
I love cigar boxes, and I never pay more than $3 for one. The cigar boxes fit perfectly in the shelves.I made a label for each box.
Vintage cigar boxes hold sewing notions

These spools came with the threads on them
I used vintage American Thread Co. thread spools for the door handles.

The important thing in my studio is that there is a cute place for everything and everything is in its cute place. I work with so much stuff that the more organized I can be, the smoother my work goes. Fixing up old things is also good for me....I can take a break from work and still be productive.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Update Dated Crochet Spread

Beautiful Crochet Piece
I acquired this piece of crochet so many years ago that I can't even remember where I got it. It is an unfinished bedspread which was beautifully crocheted with white crochet thread and a very small hook. I have used it over the years in my (formerly)all white lacy bedroom, the babies' rocking chair in their pink room, in the shabby guest room and then it was put away for awhile. I took it out a few months back and draped it over my sewing chair. Then I decided it should be orange.

White Crochet With Pillows   
TANGENT ALERT! The pillows on my chair help my back. The flower one is a needlepoint pillow I picked up at Salvation Army for $1. I made the black plaid pillow from one of my sister's sweaters.

This Makes Gorgeous Orange  
Did you know that the Pantone Color of the year 2012 is Tangerine?

Dyed Crochet Outside on Plastic
 I follow the directions on the RIT dye box. I use the salt and I simmer it on the stove. After the dying process, I rinse the piece with vinegar. I laid the spread to dry outside in the warm sunshine (this was done last summer). After it dried, I painted some areas with red and white dye paints, it's simple, use a paint brush to randomly add bits of color. After things all dried out, I heat set the dyes with a pressing cloth and an iron.

I painted the "bubbles"with red and white

The new spread is a gorgeous tangerine with deeper bits of red and lighter bits of pink (because of the white).

Dye Paint is Easy to Use

The dye paint keeps the spread from looking too flat with just one color. Also, where there were stains on the spread, the dye colors will "take" differently, so that is an added bonus.

I Love the Spread on My Trunk

So, here is where this spread is living,now, on top of my old steamer trunk. It adds a great color note in the living room.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Flea Market Finds: Oven Roaster

You know, sometimes you go out to the picking grounds and you just have a feeling that something will be there for you........then you find the extraordinary find! A Westinghouse Oven Roaster in pristine condition!

My second Oven!
I don't know who was more excited, Scot or me! For the low low price of $15 I now have a second oven.
The wire rack is removed, you heat up the oven, then put the food in the rack and lower the rack inside. We found this a few weeks before Thanksgiving and I cooked a whole chicken and then a roast in it to be sure it cooked at the right temperatures. Eureka! I was able to cook my turkey in this and make my bread in my regular oven at the same time, yay!

The lid lip
The lid hangs on to a special lip for it so I can baste things, it is so cool.

it was made in 1940!
Scot looked online and found the instruction manual. This model was made in 1940, so that makes it 72 years old. We figured someone bought it, used it twice and packed it away forever. Well, baby it is getting used, now, and my daughter Robby can't wait for me to pass it on.