Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year!

Everyone wants to do something festive on New Year's Eve -- what's more festive than watching two people get married and then toasting them all night?

Just before Christmas I met a bride-to-be who was putting the final touches on her New Year's Eve wedding.  She was planning a party with her bridesmaids and wanted me to paint the wine glasses with each girl's initial and some whimsical icy-blue polka dots that matched their gowns.

You don't have to be planning a wedding to enjoy painting some wine glasses.  They are a great gift for the wine-lover in your family, or a teriffic hostess gift.  But you may be tempted to keep them for yourself.  I'm planning to paint some for our home.

These are basic white wine glasses, purchased at K-mart (by Jacklyn Smith $8 for a set of four). 

My local sign shop made a stencil of each initial.  Cut from vinyl, the paper easily stuck to the glass and fit nicely onto the curved surface of the glass.  Don't you love the quirky "Gigi" font? 

Krylon makes a variety of spray products for any DIY project.  Have you seen them?  There 's fabulous metallic paint (love the gold for the holidays), as well as textured stone, hammered metal, paint for plastic and sooo much more.   I used Frosted Glass in Pearl Grey to give the initials an etched look.  PermEnamel makes teriffic glass paint.  And what luck - the Cape Cod Grey color matched the bridesmaid dresses perfectly!

But how to spray paint the initials without getting anything on the rest of the glass?    A little tape and a peek-a-boo window cut into an office folder solved that problem.

I secured the edges of the vinyl stencil

then made a mask out of an office folder

With a spritz or two of paint, the glasses were set aside to dry

Peel off the stencil and admire

A small round brush made the whimical polka dots.  Tied with a pretty bow, these glasses were dressed up and ready for the party!

a sheer ribbon tied on the stem is sooo girly!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Lorenzo Lotto - ca 1527
One Solitary Life

Here is a man
who was born of Jewish parents,
The child of a peasant woman.
He never wrote a book.
He never held office.
He never went to college.
He never put foot inside a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles
 from the place he was born.
He never did one of the things that
usually accompany greatness.
He had no credentials
But himself.............

While still a young man,
the tide of popular opinion
turned against him.
His friends ran away.
One of them denied him.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
His executioners gambled for
the only piece of property
he had on earth...his coat.
When he was dead,
he was taken down
and laid in a borrowed grave
through the pity of a friend.

Twenty wide centuries
have come and gone,
and he is the centerpiece
of the human race and the
leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark
when I say that all the armies
that ever marched,
and all the navies
that were ever built....
have not effected the life of man
upon earth
as powerfully at that
One Solitary Life.

(Adapted from Dr. James Allan Francis "The Real Jesus and Other Sermons" @1926)

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Detour Around Town: Wrap it Up, I'll take it!

Days spent with girlfriends are such a rare treat, which is why I was thrilled to spend an afternoon with two of my Book Club friends recently, as we prowled the local Potters Market.  The three day event was huge -- over 130 potters filling 12,000 sqft with all sorts of hand crafted pottery. 

It was a feast for the eyes.  We roamed the aisles enjoying it all - sculpture, cachepots and teapots, lamps, tiles, bowls and serving dishes, ornaments and jewelry.  Everywhere I looked there was something to admire and tempt me.  (Oh, how that green serving platter called my name!)  But I resisted, focusing instead on finding a hostess gift for an upcoming holiday party.

When I saw these cat bowls, I knew I'd found the gift.  Our hostess has two cats and just adopted a black and white kitten who now rules her home.   Her kitties will be dining fashionably with these cute bowls, but she easily could use them for breakfast cereal instead!

Uh-oh.  I didn't have a box to wrap them in, nor a sturdy gift bag. There was no tissue paper, nor any packing peanuts.  Time to improvise.

A cardboard cake disc wrapped with gift paper made a strong base 

and candy cushioned the bowls for stacking
a bit of cellophane and ribbon held things together

..and a hand painted tag finished the job

Off to the party......


Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Friezing!

The month of December always is busy
as people scramble
 to get their homes ready for the holidays. 
Large  projects will wait until the New Year,
but right smaller ones are plentiful.


One of  this week's projects.
I was in a bathroom re-working an impressive wallpaper frieze
so that it went with the new decor. 
This is Lincrusta,
a deeply embossed wallpaper made from linoleum.  

Before - isn't this wonderful?

The plan was to lighten the colors using grey and silver,
and add some sparkle, too. 
But first it had to be painted to match the wood trim.

Let's begin with a blank canvas

Then add some silver highlights

Rather than use silver leaf,
which would have been messy and time consuming,
I opted for a jar of Silver Leaf paint found at the craft store. 
The silver paint highlighted the edges of the design. 
Next, a grey glaze went over everything
giving it an aged effect. 

Overall it looked like a wonderfully aged tin ceiling. 
But we weren't finished quite yet. 

The client wanted the bathroom to sparkle like snowflakes!
 A sprinkling of Swarovski crystals was added to the design. 
With the large mirror and crystal accessories,
 the frieze positively shimmered,
and the entire bathroom looked wonderful.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Looking Up

Ceilings often get neglected. We spend a lot of time and energy selecting the perfect paint color for our walls, but we often forget to consider the ceilings…and they comprise a large portion of our room’s real estate!  While WHITE always has been the safest and therefore the preferred color for a ceiling, it may be time to re-think that idea.

Ceilings offer a unique opportunity for self-expression. Adding a color, even a whisper of color, will change the entire mood of the room. 

But this ceiling isn't whispering, is it? 

With vibrant green, turquoise and bronze swirling like a wild sky, this ceiling was definitely fun to paint. Because the walls are so colorful, the ceiling needed drama for balance. But what gives this space its sophistication are the designer's carefully planned window treatments. The tailored design of the cornice boards is a perfect marriage with the bold color in the room.


Here's another ceiling.  It's a bit more understated, but still quite artistic.

First, the BEFORE:

The ceiling was the predominant feature in this room, but its color was lackluster.  Builders often choose greyed-white for their ceilings, a color that is much too cold and lifeless for this sunny room.

See how a little paint elevates the room?  Bringing the yellow color onto the ceiling makes the room feel warm and cozy.  The decorative painting is simply icing on the cake!

Want to test the water with a little ceiling color, but hesitate to try it in a public area of your home like a kitchen or dining room?   Then, why not begin your color adventure in a small bathroom, like this.   It's a great place to start.    

 Who says you can't paint a small room black!

I often recommend that my clients paint their ceilings - if only to change a grey-white white into a creamy, soft white. 

But remember these things:

  •  Keep the primary ceiling areas of the home simple.
  •  Pay attention to the room’s lighting, both natural and   artificial.
  • Paint color on the ceiling will look darker than if it were on the wall.
  • Repeat the ceiling color elsewhere in the room for balance


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