"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My White Shabby-Chic Art Room

Come see my new white, shabby-chic art room!
This is how it looked back in 2011, after Mary's fairy party.
It wasn't much, but it gave me a place to work without costing us anything.

Over the past 2 years we've added more to the room as I accumulated supplies.  The dark walls, tons of supplies, and all the colors and patterns squeezed into one room had gotten to be too much.

I knew I needed a change.  Something calming, something serene, something...something...

WHITE!  (although this picture looks pink!)

That's what I needed - a blank canvas to look at this room with fresh new eyes.
White walls, white cabinets, white flowers and lace.
Newly painted picture frames and lots of open space!

Instead of being visually overwhelmed, it's all very pleasing to the eye.
Ted calls this my "shrine".  A 1911 picture of the "Stations of the Cross" is the perfect backdrop for my religious statues. 
Supplies are orderly and neat.

I was having too much fun with the spray paint - I even painted the brass clock white!

The tin locker on the right is very practical, but was so old and unattractive.  I gave it new life by spray painting it Green Apple.

I've also come to the conclusion that I've been working on too many projects.  It's back to basics with the things I love most.  Carving is on top of that list.

This part of the room is a reminder of that which is much greater than myself.

This old printer's cabinet makes for excellent storage and the antique typewriter works like a charm..

 See all the miniatures and supplies it holds?

We can still use this as a Dining Room when needed, like for Nic's 7th birthday party coming soon.

 This was probably the biggest change of all - a horrific old brass chandelier to a shabby chic white one!

Working on a budget, I had to transform this ugly light fixture, but how?  A trip to my basement did the trick

Vintage silver and white beads, garland, flowers, and balls.  Never underestimate what you already have in your house!  Anything can be repurposed!
Here's an old statue of St. Patrick.  After priming him white to repaint him, I discovered I like him this way!  And he blends so well with the room.  I'll keep him this way, at least for now.

And here's Saint Dymphna, the saint of mental illness!  How appropriate I should have her!  
And an Infant or Prague that has what appears to be a partially melted face.  Another restoration project.  But now, I can see what I need to do and can focus on it. 
Remember those HGTV shows where they'd redo a room for under $500?  They've got nothing on me.  The cost of this make-over?  $130!
My only problem now?   How to get Oreo off my art table!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mary's Homemade Calvin and Hobbes Tiger

What do you do when your daughter is dying for a stuffed Hobbes tiger, but they were never any created so you can't buy them anywhere.  Why, you do what any self-respecting grown woman would do.......Call Mom!

It took a few weeks and wasn't easy, and it apparently isn't something my Mom would like to make again, but wasn't it worth the wait?   This Hobbes is the actual stuffed one in the comic strip, not the one in Calvin's wild imagination.   Mary's ecstatic!

And Nic's never slept better! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Halloween Memories

Goblins and witches,
And Brownies
And such.
Folks can't see.
And folks can't touch!

Have you seen the ghost of John?
Long white bones with the skin all gone?
Wouldn't it be chilly with no skin on?!

Sitting on a tombstone
A ghost came up and said,
"Sorry to disturb you,
But you're sitting on my head!"

Just some old Halloween poems I remember back in grade school.   You never know what memories, buried deep down inside you, will come to life when you're creating.    Things you haven't thought about in 20-30 years, suddenly pop into your head. 

Maybe it was the simple act of making old-fashioned blocks that freed my mind enough to let it wander back to 1983.  My 8th grade class carried on a Halloween tradition of putting on a haunted house for the lower grades.  We dressed in costumes, learned "Pumpkin Carols" and did the "Monster-Mash."  

Do any of you remember "cloak rooms"?  These were long rooms connected to our class, where we'd hang our coats and lunchbags.  We used this room as the final stretch to our haunted house.   Older boys hid inside to scare the unsuspecting smaller kids who dared enter.  And it fun....until......another boy punched John Brown in the nose.  I don't know if the haunted house tradition continued after our class, but at least I've got my memories!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ya Never Know What You'll Find...

On somebody's tombstone!

I bet old Jack was a lot of fun back in his day.

And look who Mary found sleeping behind the chair, curled up with an old knee-hugger elf?

I have a feeling our Christmas tree is going to get alot of abuse this year!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Advent Calendar with a Twist

Here's a new way to count down to Christmas - an Advent cubby calendar decorated with antique Holy Prayer Card images.

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about working on this calendar.  It's taken much longer than expected, but the results made it worth the wait.

Whenever I looked at these old prayer card pictures, the word, "grotto" kept popping into my head.  How could I incorporate that into this piece?  By decorating the sides with hand-sculpted rocks.  Yes, one...by....one.  Remind me never to do that again!

I knew I wanted to do something different with the Advent Calendar, but nothing inspired me....until after making some wooden blocks with these old images.  The rustic artwork just called to me. 

Most of the images I chose are of Mary, Jesus, and angels. 

By scraping off parts of the pictures and adding Burnt Umber paint, I created a more rustic feeling to the overall piece. 

The original box had a door that closed.  I riiiiiipped it right off.  Couldn't stand it.  It got in the way.

The most challenging part of this project was working with a high-gloss finish. It was very difficult to adhere paint to it.  I did wind up using their numbers though, which I thought fit very well.

Finally, I considered actually attaching a vintage stable scene to the top.  After eyeing it a few times, I concluded #1 it looked best left alone and #2 it would make storing it difficult.  Sometimes less is more.
Another project that's been sitting on my shelf for two years completed.  Mission Accomplished!