Sunday, June 23, 2013

Detour into the Cemetery



 
My favorite project this week didn't involve paint brushes,
--instead, it involved scrub brushes.
 
Yes, I admit to having a quirky passion for cemeteries.
I'm a cemetery walker,
and it's a shame to see time take it's toll on the old gravestones.
 
So when the opportunity came to learn about restoring these stones,
I jumped at the chance.

In sweltering 90 degree heat a group of enthusiasts gathered at a local cemetery
to learn about tombstone cleaning and restoration.
Expert, Mark Moran of Gravestone Guardians, led the day-long seminar.

It was dirty.
It was sweaty.
It was fun.


 Each of us was assigned a tombstone and we dug in -- pardon the pun. 

 Our stone was broken, but before it could be put back together,
it had to be cleaned, and the base needed unearthed and re-set on level ground. 

We dug.


We cleaned.
 
 
We reset the base.


We repaired.
 
 
We filled.
 
Every site was unique, requiring care and thought. 
 
The ladies working next to me determined their stone
 was buried beneath 125 years of sediment and grass.

They began removing sod and soon the stone appeared.
As anticipated, it belonged to wife of the man whose stone we worked on.  

She is Hulda Greene, wife of Nathan.
Nathan was a veteran of the WAR OF 1812,
and his family donated the land for this cemetery.  
 


 
Another stone proved to be a tablet nearly 6' tall.  
It took hours to excavate and four men to pull it from the ground.

WHEW!




Work continued all afternoon.


 
 
At the end of the day, nearly two dozen gravestones
 were repaired, cleaned, leveled and reset.




Everyone was exhausted, but content
 knowing that we had done something significant -
we helped preserve a precious part of local history.

Enjoy!
 
 
 
 











Monday, June 17, 2013

When WHITE isn't WHITE

 

Our guest bath recently got a make-over.
 
The bath, with its olive-green tile and dark Jacobean wallpaper,
is now an oasis of white and beige.  

 

What was the most difficult part of the project?
 
Choosing the wall paint! 

 Despite all I know about color, 
despite all the recommendations for clients,
 despite painting mountains of furniture,
I couldn't find the right WHITE paint for my own bathroom!
 
Why?

UNDERTONES

Let's chat ......



If you've ever looked at a room and thought
"something is off"
it may be that the undertones fighting each other.

Neutral colors are funny creatures.
They are the chameleons of the paint world.
These are complex mixtures where no one color predominates,
and depending on lighting and surrounding colors,
they can take on a life of their own.

You may not see the underlying color at first,
but it's lurking.
 
 
Here's my recent experience:

We began with ANTIQUE WHITE subway tile for the bath.

To my eye, the tile was soft white...
white with maybe a whisper of YELLOW
and it looked great with the stone floor.
 


Then, the vanity arrived.
I was expecting this:


But got this.

OH NO !  OH NO!



Although described as "ANTIQUE WHITE" with a beige granite top,
it certainly wasn't.

The granite was PINKY-RED.
And the cabinet looked GREEN by comparison.
 
In one small bathroom there were three colors 
each claiming to be antique white or beige,
 
.....but they were fighting the other.
 

 

First to go, was the offending counter top.

.......and things improved dramatically.



Instantly the vanity looked better.
The GREEN calmed down.

WHY?

Because red and green are opposite one another on the color wheel.


Opposing colors create maximum contrast.
They make each other more vivid.

  
As a result, the red tones in the original counter top
magnified the green undertones in the cabinet.

Remove the red and the green undertone faded.....
it was still there, but less obvious.


WHEW!

One problem solved and on to the next:
choosing a wall color.

Again, undertones came into play.
I wanted WHITE walls....but which one?

 I painted some sample boards using a variety of white paint
from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams,
taping each one against the tile and wall.




It was as if Goldilocks were choosing paint.
One sample was too yellow, the next too grey.
This one was a bit pink.
That one looked dirty.

Until finally one was finally just right.



Which did I choose?

Sherwin Williams #1137.
ANTIQUE WHITE.
(It has a slight green undertone)

not to be confused with
Sherwin Williams #6119
also called ANTIQUE WHITE

...but that's another story!

Two beautiful fabrics finished off the room.



Once again my friend Sherry shared her
immeasurable talent with me.
She made a wonderful valance and shower curtain
that brings a heap of style to this modest room.

Thank you, Sherry -- you're amazing!
 

 
Enjoy!

 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Church Mural



It's always fun to paint for kids -- their enthusiasm is contagious!
So when one of the pastors at our church asked if I could help kick off a mural project,
I was glad to help.
 
The plan is to paint the hallways, foyer and classrooms in the Children's Wing.  
Whew! That's a lot of space.
 
 I chose a hallway and began painting. 
 
Here it is - beginning to end in three days
thanks to a system by CREATIVE FOR KIDS.
 
It was easy.  It was fun.
Can't beat that!
 
 
 
We purchased the Forest Background Mural Kit.
 
There were five pages of designs for trees, clouds and rocks
and instructions on how to build your scene, beginning with the sky and grass.
 


 
Each element is color coded with paints from Sherwin Williams. 
So it's a foolproof, paint by the number mural!  



 
The creative part is how you build your scene.
You decide where the trees and shrubs should go -
and how many to use.
 
I placed the elements based on the size of our space
and began filling it in.
 
 

 
The finishing touch is outlining the elements with a paint marker.
That really makes things POP!
 
 
 
Then there's the fun part....
the animals!
 
They are decals that you peel and stick into the scene.
The website offers many to choose from.
 
Look how perfectly matched the animals and the background painting are!
 
It's rather "Disney-esque" don't you think? 
 
 
This approach to creating children's murals is very easy for the DIY-er.
 
I'm looking forward to working with a team of volunteers
to complete the rest of the Children's Wing,
knowing that novice and experienced painters will have fun with this project.
 
 CREATIVE FOR KIDS offers a variety of themes  -
Jungle Safari, Ocean, Clubhouse, Factory as well as  Biblical,
so there's something wonderful for every child to enjoy!
 
......and no, Creative for Kids didn't ask me to recommend them.
I'm just very happy with their product and wanted to share!
 
Enjoy!
 
 





 
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