Sunday, December 30, 2012

Designing a Curved Wall

This little table was as cute as can be,
but the color needed to be changed to fit the client's home.
So the green disappeared and in its place
a creamy white color was applied
curtesy of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. 
This was my first time to play with the chalk paint,
and it worked beautifully for this quick little project.
I know...I know...
I'm slow to hop on the chalk paint band-wagon!

The paint seems easy to work with
 and I can see that it would be good to use
for some of my very chippy, distressed projects.

It dries quickly, is easily be sanded,
and requires a protective wax to stabilize it.
Great fun!
The table was part of a hallway
 leading to client's Theater Room and Family Room.

Until now it was dead space.

But the designer had an idea to make the spot tie into
the large family room that lay ahead.

The plain curved wall was first loosely painted
 to give the impression of stone,
then finished with an impressive metal light fixture
and two Bergere chairs.

Foliage, twigs and berries were arranged in a rustic planter.
It softened the hard surfaces and brought a bit of color into the area.
Presto!.. a non-descript corner turned into a very cozy spot.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Greetings

"...Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and comes down from the Father of lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows....." (James 1:17)


If you're like me,
 you've dashed around trying to find the perfect gift
as we try our utmost to create the perfect holiday.
In fact with one shopping day left until Christmas,
you might still be searching!
Norman Rockwell
Work.  Gifts.  Food.  Baking  Decorations.  Friends.  Traveling.
It's a stressful time......
and it's so easy for us to lose the real meaning of Christmas.
Most of what we buy is only for a moment in time.
It has no lasting value.
Toys break,
or are forgotten when the next "new thing" comes along.
Clothing is outgrown by the next season,
and sometimes left behind on the school bus.
We add another trinket to our collection,
and then bemoan the clutter.
But every good and perfect gift comes from God the Father,
and His Gift is eternal.
It doesn't break.
It doesn't tarnish.
It doesn't go out of style.
It doesn't need dusting, painting, fixing or pruning.
God's perfect Christmas gift to us is His Son, Jesus,
and God never gives anything but the best!
With deep gratitude for this gift,
a gift we can't buy,
we say,
"Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift." (2 Cor 9:15)
Wishing you a Joyous Christmas !


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kitchen Table and Chairs - an update

Often, I don't see the finished projects I work on.
After I leave, the draperies are hung
and the furniture comes into the room.
All the pretty accessories are arranged
and I never see any of this!   
So it's a treat when a thoughtful client
like Miss Nancy,
 sends me a photo, such as this one. 

I refreshed her dining set in October.
The table and chairs are from Ethan Allan,
still wonderful,  as classic, well-made furniture remains.
 While the wooden top was being refinished,
 I repainted the chairs and table,
changing the color from 
pale yellow to creamy white.
Here they are ready for their make-over

 the Pineapple, a symbol of hosptality


 cooler, fresher color with cleaner lines.

And here is the reveal!
A welcoming kitchen 
where family and friends will happily linger.



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Decor - or what Goes UP must come DOWN


I enjoy reading the blogs and seeing all the lovely holiday decorations
 so carefully arranged, photographed, and presented.  
I live vicariously through all of you
who have time, talent and energy to do these wonderful things.    
I don't do a lot of decorating, mostly because we travel at the holiday time,
and leaving the cats alone with anything new (to them) invites disaster. 
Ask me about the time we returned to find the Christmas tree dismantled. 

But this year I must be feeling particularly nostalgic or brave,
because I decided to decorate a little bit.

With my Dearly Beloved wrestling a nasty case of stomach flu,
I distanced myself from him,
 dug into the storage boxes and pulled out a few things to put us in a holiday mood,
 thinking that at least I would decorate the mantle.

First out of the box was a collection of Christmas books
 we read to our daughter when she was young
followed by a ceramic angel made by ten-year-old hands,
a gingerbread man from Grandma, a tin sodier and toys from long ago.
I'm sure you have a box like this too.
A box of memories.
It didn't take long to made a small tableau --
The ice skate was a gift from Sherry who makes all things lovely.


But something else was needed....
something hanging on the wall that would bring it all together.
A sign would be nice. 
With a happy message...
  JOY to the WORLD!

 So off to the workshop where I found a scrap of wood
for a quick holiday sign.
It didn't have to be fancy or perfect, just fun.

I've shared my sign making process with you before -
but this time I added some crackle to the slip-slap of paint.

One quick coat of Olive Green paint.
"What?" you say, "No primer!"
Nope, I told you this was a quick project.

Randomly brush on the Crackle Medium,
and let it dry according to the instructions on the can.
The heavier areas will create bigger cracks.

Then brush on Antique White and wait for the magic!
You'll see crackling begin in moments.

While the white paint dries, 
I printed my phrase using Curlz font,
and traced it onto the paper.

Paint your words, but don't fuss about being precise.
After all, this is a rustic, whimiscal sign.
Yes, I'm a LEFTY,  so I paint backwards 
to keep from smearing the paint as I work.

A shadow on the left side of the letters gives the words dimension.
And lightly brushing across the letters with the white paint,
settles the letters into the background and makes them look faded and old.

I decided to add a green border and some squiggles just for fun.
If you'd like, sand and scuff the board to give it more age.
At this point, I apply a clear coat of poly-acrylic.
When it dries, I rub brown glaze onto the sign.
Why put on a coat of clear before the stain?
It allows me to wipe off any areas I don't like
without any damage to the design.
Finish with a final coat of clear.  
And hang!

I love how it looks at night!
A sign might even make a nice little gift for someone......

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Past and the Present: A Wine Cellar Mural

People often ask me,
 "Have you always been artistic?"
Just for fun, let me share on of my early drawings with you
and then my most recent one.
When we were little,
 Mom would stretch a piece of white cotton fabric
across her breadboard and tack it in place
so we would have a nice, solid surface to color on.
Just like real artist's canvas!
The drawing is of our long-ago church.
I colored the picture when I was four
and Mom saved it for me all these years.

It brought back memories of Sunday School songs
 and my friend Lynnie's yellow patent leather shoes.
(even then I loved pretty shoes!)
Curious about the church, I went on-line
and found this photo taken a few years ago.
The city neighborhood has changed,
and today the church serves a new denomination,
but the building is still least to me!
© 2007 by Karl R. Josker
Fast forward.
Yes, I'm still drawing and painting,
 more like dabbling, I guess,
 and  I consider myself blessed
when friends and clients ask me to paint for them. 
This week's project was a mural for a wine-tasting room.
Each panel measures 4 x 5 feet and is painted on canvas.   
Eighteen hours later,
after several pots of tea and a little wine,
the panels are ready to leave the workroom.....

 ........and go the client's home.
The wine room is still under construction,
so we'll have to wait for the complete reveal,
but perhaps these photos will give you a sense of the space.
One panel was cut in half and hung in two small niches 
 flanked by the wine racks.
The other two panels are part of a plush seating area
snugged against a bay window hung with stained glass.
Very cosy and intimate.
I met the homeowner for the first time
on the day I was hanging her murals,
and was delighted to hear her squeal of delight
and see her smile when she walked into the room.
I'm just a small part of this huge project, 
but with everything covered in plastic and so much yet to be done,
seeing the completed paintings let her imagine
what the room will soon become.
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