Thursday, April 28, 2011

room service atlanta project 1.

yesterday, i worked on lori may's room with her at the nicholas house (for the non-profit organization that we have all joined called "room service atlanta"). i volunteered my painting services to the designers that are working there, and lori has the most beautiful room planned. i saw some of what she has done already, and can't wait to see the room in it's final stage!

here is her inspiration photo:

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and, here is a snippet of some of the items donated/compiled for her room:

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(i love that rug!)

lori thought that it would be nice to have this "artwork" painted over the bunkbed that is in her room, rather than actually hang something that might get knocked off! i came in, and painted a tree limb, with a bird on it, and a bird cage opened - to symbolize the "leaving" the house, and being independent. i loved her idea, and i painted the piece in colors that were specific to lori's plan for the room.

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obviously, the bed will later be pushed back against the wall. i stood on the top of the bunk bed ladder to paint this all morning!

this photo is blurry, but at least you can see how the bed will be pushed against the bottom of the tree:
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anyway, it was so nice meeting and working with lori and her friend/assistant for the week, heidi:

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cuties!

...

i'm out for the weekend - going on a quick trip to visit a friend in florida! i will be back monday with some fantastic photos of a room i painted that has been fully decorated. i can't WAIT to show you guys.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

mi casa

just thought i'd show you guys a little progress update of my living room, and the changes i've made. as you remember, it used to be pretty light and airy, but i got a need for something different, so i did it! i painted the walls dark black/blue (benjamin moore's black horizon), and the bookshelves a hand-mixed (therefore, i don't have the "color") gray.

i also painted the inside of the front door (which used to be turquoise) back to white:

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(but left the black bevels)

i did all of that painting in a work-week. let's just say, i probably washed my purdy paint brush about 100 times that week. :)

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here is the view when you come down the stairs.
as you can see, i left the curtains off for now. i was liking the simple, clean look of a curtain-less window, with just the bamboo blinds. i'm sure that will change, but for now, i'm diggin' it.

i hung artwork on either side of the large painting i made. the piece on the left is a drawing i did in college, and the piece on the right is a circular framed painted-canvas remnant i bought from providence antiques.

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i also bought that felted navy blue (jonathan adler) pillow from providence antiques. there is a starburst mirror that is sitting to the right of the sofa that i recently bought at a thrift store - it was originally from kohl's.

we are still without a coffee table. i was holding off a little bit from all my purchases before i buy the waterfall table from cb2. it will be mine soon!

you can also see the feet of the sofa (which i recently had reupholstered, and it's fitting in with our little family just fine) better in this photo, since i stained them the dark espresso.

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and speaking of cb2, i bought this ikat pillow from there the other day. i brought it home with intentions of setting it on the couch, but when i did, i noticed it almost exactly matches my painting above. i think that subconsciously that is why i bought it. funny how the mind works that way! i'd wanted some neon in the room, and this pillow has a thin, neon pink silk line of fabric around the perimeter of the pillow, so it filled that "want" perfectly. not to mention, the yellow looks great with the yellow on the chair that i painted!

all in all, i'm really happy with how my little living room re-do has gone!

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i'm headed to the nicholas house today to volunteer my painting services for the great "room service atlanta" project that i am so honored to be involved in. i will fill you guys in tomorrow on the progress i made!

Monday, April 25, 2011

another frame makeover

last week, i did this frame makeover for a client...

she bought this big chalkboard from ballard designs, and wasn't happy with the golden look of the frame:

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i just did a couple of coats of simple black paint, then did a dry brush coat of silver metallic.

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incase you aren't familiar, dry brush just means to lightly coat your brush in paint, without the brush being wet, or applying much paint to the brush at all, while you are painting. it creates a very thin coat, which is pretty easy to manipulate, and doesn't coat the entire piece you are painting.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

dyeing a rug...

i dyed a rug. kind of a weird thing to do, but i found this oriental rug remnant at goodwill for only $5, so i didn't really have anything to lose. the original colors were not cute at all, so i thought i'd experiment a bit, and see what i came up with. i had a picture in my mind of what it'd look like, and these over-dyed rugs at nomadic trading were sort of what i pictured (coincidentally, camilla posted about these a couple of weeks after i finished my project!).

anyway, first, i took my rug remnant and bleached it out for a couple of hours in the tub...i stirred it a bit with the end of the broom to make sure it was fairly even.

here is the rug on the floor before i started anything -- at least you can see what the original colors were. dusty rose and purple - my favorites. ;)

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this is what it looked like after i bleached it out:
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i didn't want to remove all of the color, because i wanted to still be able to see the pattern when i dyed it...

i was going to dye it outside in an old bin, but i decided to go the old-fashioned (washing machine) route instead. in college, i dyed things with "rit" fabric dye all the time, in the washing machine. i have no idea why, i guess i was just experimenting. i used to sew clothes sometimes, back in those days :) (actually, my brother and i had a short-lived t-shirt company, too). anyway, i threw it in the wash, with one box of fuschia dye, and one box of scarlett:

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i wanted to make sure the 2 were mixed well, before i threw them into the wash (though, i guess a tie-dyed look could've been cool), so i put them in a tupperware container and shook the powder:
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before you put the fabric into the washing machine, you are supposed to wet it completely, so i did that in the sink:

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this is the dye bath in the washing machine. scary. sort of looks like a scene from true blood. eeks.

anyway, i ended up doing another layer of dye after this one - it wasn't bright enough for me. i still think that i probably would've bleached it a little less (so more of the pattern shows) than i did, and maybe i will do a little more dyeing, but all in all, i think it looks similar to some of the popular over-dyed rugs that are for sale these days!

mika models:

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

painted boys bed.

the other day, i painted a bed blue. i wasn't going to show it, since it was a simple color transformation, but i decided to show it and offer a few tips on how to get a smooth finish when you are hand-painting furniture.

i've done a lot of work for little graham's mom, and she always has a new project for me! i painted this for his room a while back:
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he's getting ready to transfer to a big boy bed, so the bed needed to match his other furniture, which was navy blue.


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after!

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to get a smooth, factory-like finish, you can use a furniture roller, rather than a brush or standard roller. they are small, foam rollers. it's important not to over-roll -- just roll enough to cover your piece, and stop there. over-rolling creates ugly roller marks in your finish. i have no idea why, but it does!

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i also use a purdy cub brush, which i was talking about the other day. this brush is a high-quality cut-in brush. the reason to use a high-quality brush is that a)the bristles are THIN, which creates fewer brush marks (which will make it look like you painted your piece, vs having a pro do it :) ) and b) the bristles are dense and pointed in a direction that promotes easy access to hard to reach places in your furniture.

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apply THIN coats of paint. if your paint starts getting too thick, and you start seeing roller lines or brush marks too easily, water it down a little.


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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

some paintings.

first off, thank you all for the great feed back on my sofa - i knew you all could appreciate it like i do!

. . .

over the weekend, i did some paintings on canvas for myself. i just was in the mood to paint on canvas, so i did, and here they are.

i did this "underwater" series first. i had some coral-themed wrapping paper, so i clipped out some of the images, and made collages on black-painted canvases first (they are 6x6). then, i painted on them with watercolors and oil pastels (then sealed them with polyurethane). i did not mean to make the paintings look like the parts around the coral were water, but i think that it turned out that way.

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they are hanging in my bedroom.

it's funny how when you are working abstractly like this, the strokes and swirls and movements you are nonchalantly making turn into images on their own. suddenly, you start seeing things in the work that you did not mean to create.

if you are laying on the bed, this is what you see:
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i like how the turquoise in the paintings corresponds with the turquoise in our nightstands. and, the color combination of red and turquoise is my absolute favorite combo.

i also began work on this cat silhouette. i painted the canvas hot pink first, then for some reason decided to make a cat silhouette out of this vintage blue flower wallpaper...later, i added a bowtie! it's not done...i'm just waiting on the inspiration to strike for the next step. i'm thinking text of some sort, but i am not sure!

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i'm really digging neons right now, hence all the brights in my paintings.

lastly, is this tiny doggie painting. it's only about 4x3 in size. i've had the canvas forever, and decided to paint over it. i painted it bright orange, then silver-leafed the front. next, i added the dog clip out and the heart.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

sofa !!!

it is only in the weird internet world that you can post photos of your newly reupholstered sofa, and have people that appreciate it as much as you.

that being said, i had the sofa reupholstered (finally), and i love it! as you may remember, i scored this guy for $25 at my favorite thrift store a couple of years ago. mika, our cat, had his way with it, and clawed the sides of the sofa to death. i toyed with the idea of buying a new sofa, but i just love the cute lines of this vintage one so much, and the size is just right for our small place.

here is what it looked like before:
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i got the off-whitish white fabric at hancock fabrics.

and,now!
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i love the cute little lines of the arms, which my upholsterer lined in welting. much better than it was before!

i also had him leave off a skirt this time. the sofa has wooden legs, so i thought i'd expose them for a little cleaner, more modern look. i knew when i got the sofa back, i could stain them in a dark java stain.

i tackled this last night.

here is one leg, which gives you an idea of what they looked like before. solid wood, but scuffed, and the stain was in a less-than-desireable shape:
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my tools:
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i used stain and seal (faux painting product that i had) instead of stain, because it's waterbased and therefore easier to use. this is my favorite paint brush of all time - the purdy cub brush. i use it for EVERYTHING. it's become an extension of my arm. :)

this is what mika did while i was working:
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first, i used a little block sander to give them a light sanding:
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fyi, scuffs will come out with a sander, easy peasy. see?

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and, here is what they looked like when i was done:
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dark n lovely. :)


FYI: i use fast and great upholstery here in atlanta, and they are wonderful. if you use them, please tell them kristen davis sent you!
have a great weekend, guys!