Saturday, May 30, 2009

Behind Closed Doors

I suppose it doesn't make much sense to choose paint colors based on dishes that are kept behind closed doors, but I know they're in there. ;)


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Decorative Birdhouse #1


Kitchen Hall: Before & After

Our apartment has a long narrow hall connecting the living room to the kitchen end of the apartment. The hall is actually two sections separated by a doorway with no actual door in it. The front end of the hall is the longer section, with a door on the right to the bedroom. After the bedroom, you pass through the doorless doorway, pass the basement door on the right, and hang a right into the kitchen.
With no windows and no light fixtures, no matter what time of day or night, both sections of the hall are always gloomy. So when I started my kitchen make-over, I wanted to make the kitchen end of the hall as bright as possible. The yellow and green did the trick, you think? :)

I haven't decided yet how I want to do the basement door so its still a "before" door.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Purple & Green Bathroom


I knew I wanted to do purple & green in the bathroom. When I went to pick out paint I found a lovely purple, just the color I had pictured in my mind. Except it could only be mixed using a designer-label base at around $27 a gallon. Being just a rental place and all, I said no way to that and picked out another purple from the any-base'll-do display.
The purple looked right in the store but turned out to be a chameleon color on the wall. By itself with the green, it looks suitably purple just not purple enough. If you put something blue next to it it looks purple, but if you put something truly purple next to it, it looks blue. This makes it absolutely impossible to find the right color accessories as NOTHING matches this blue-purple shade. So I have to be content with only apple-green towels.

The window looks out onto a deck we share with the tenants in the other side of this double, and then the backyard. Being a small room, I didn't want to lose the little bit of natural light the window provides, but needed privacy. After a little searching I found a roll of translucent stained-glass effect window cling stuff. It was a real PITA to apply, but provides the needed privacy without losing any light, plus adds a nice touch of color. :)

Home Decor Horror

When we moved into our current apartment the uh, "decor", was "OMG! I want to vomit!" BAD. It may have been the work of one previous tenant with extremely poor taste. Or it could have been the result of many tenants over many years adding their own little touches here and there to the existing mess, resulting in the overall "done by color blind monkeys on acid" effect. I don't know, but it was BAD.

The bedroom and main hall was gray-green. I've encountered this color in several of the places we've rented over the years and my upstairs neighbor reports the same gray-green in her unit, too. I think all landlords must buy this color in bulk at a Cheap Stuff For Rental Properties supply shop. Trim in both butter-yellow and white complimented the gray-green walls.

The kitchen and end hall was peach color paint on the upper walls with a green & white checkered wallpaper on the lower walls. The tiny checks had the unsettling effect of making the walls seem to move in and out if you looked to long. Topping this off was a birdhouse patterned wall paper border. As if the checks weren't busy enough.

The bathroom with standard tan fixtures (bought I'm sure at same Landlord Supply Store as the green-gray paint) had two types of pinkish-white wall paper, one patterned and one textured, and pink-mauve trim.

The living room. Oh my. Pepto-bismal pink walls with splatter paint and sponging in white, yellow, and two shades of blue. Topped of with a busy teacups & flowers wall paper border and the same awful butter-yellow trim found in the bedroom and hall. Did I mention color-blind monkeys on acid?

kitchen - upper
kitchen -lower
living room
bathroom - upper
bathroom - lower

Not too long after we moved in, I painted the bathroom. Being the smallest room in the apartment and there being nothing in it to move, it was the logical and easiest place to start. Unfortunately, that was as far as I got. The rest of the place remained un-made-over for, well, too long. I think the "decor" just sucked the life out of me

But this Spring I decided that to save my own sanity I would have to take action and decided to start with the kitchen as it has the least amount of stuff that needs to be moved to paint. The kitchen is now near-complete and I have finished painting over the splatter painted mess in the living room. The LR is now all white. Boring and sterile, but the paint was cheap (and it took LOTS of it) and I see it now as a blank canvas as I wait for inspiration to strike.

So, as I make progress, I'll be posting before & after pictures. (Well, maybe just "afters" as the befores are just too awful to show in any more detail than seen in this post. ;) )

Friday, May 22, 2009

Firefox Personas

Anyone using the Firefox browser, check out Firefox Personas.
It's a fun & easy way to give the browser a super quick make over. Change your look with the click of a button, hundreds of designs to choose from or make your own. I'm currently sporting one named "dots_stripes_and_colors".
I made this one. It's currently being used by 16 people, so the site says. :)

TYeDye 01

Adrianne's Accent Table

I did this after THE box and my table. Apparently I was going through a checkerboard phase at the time.

I was really proud of the legs on this table. To do the harlequin pattern on them, I made a cylinder of the same size as the legs out of paper, then laid it out flat and measured out the size the diamonds needed to be. Then I cut out one "string" of diamonds, reinforced it with masking tape, and used that to trace the pattern around the legs.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Fishing Anklet

My other-half is an avid fisherman so I've spent countless hours in tackle shops. It occurred to me one day, standing amidst aisle after aisle of shiny, sparkly lures in every color you could imagine, that they might make interesting jewelry. I made this anklet out of dis-assembled spinner baits and used a line swivel for the clasp.
I think it's a fun, unique piece, the sort of thing I might be able to sell. Except the lures alone cost $25, so I'd have to sell them for at least that plus labor and I doubt there's a market for $35 fishing anklets/bracelets.
Fishing Anklet

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Landscaping Blocks

What else would you call these concrete things? I don't know, but we used them in front of our trailer in Florida. I didn't have tape, and I wasn't on psychedelic drugs, when I painted them.
Click Here to see all 16 blocks.
Front Blocks
CandyLand WalkwayYep. Really.

Thankfully, my other-half has always been very tolerant of my adventures (er, misadventures) with paint.

Rebel Yell

During our Florida years, we owned a trailer in a mobile home community on a small lake. We were lucky enough to have one of the lots directly on the lake.
I had a ball painting a rebel flag on our shed door. You couldn't see it from the road, but you could see it from all around the lake. :)
Rebel Flag Door

Cohiba Door

Some 10 years back I managed a cigar store. One of those boring jobs where the day drags on and on and on ...
One day, for lack of anything better to do, I decided to paint the door to the bathroom. Being a cigar store I of course thought "cigar band". Since Cohiba has a design that I could actually do, Cohiba it was. This was before I had any kind of internet access, and Cohibas being illegal to import, I didn't have any to look at, I was going off of a small picture in a magazine.
All those circles on a vertical surface - I couldn't manage it with a brush. And of course my trusty tape isn't any good for making circles. So I did all those circles with a white-out pen. Really.
And as it turns out, if you look closely at a Cohiba band, all those white spots on them, they're not even circles, they're squares! :(
Cohiba Door

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Ice Fishing Theme Song

Huh? What is a fishing video doing on what appears to be a crafting show & tell blog? Well, it's here 'cause I made it; a rainy-day project that didn't include paint or tape.
Part of the "And Other Things" bit.
My first venture into making a video. Took a bit of head-banging, but was generally fun to do, and I'm happy to report over 2,000 views on YouTube so far. :)
If you click the big arrow button, it'll play inside the purple box. So be sure to click the little square-in-a-square icon on the bottom right instead, that'll make it play full screen.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Skinny Dresser

Skinny DresserDrawers
This was a typical rainy-day project for me. I had paint. I had tape. I was bored. This was the result.
It started out as a night stand. Then it became an odds & ends holder. (Everyone, no matter how organized, needs at least one "junk drawer". I had 5.) Then it became a storage place for fishing tackle. I recently reclaimed it to use for craft storage. A little worse for the wear, but still lively.
* The inside of the drawers, I lined with wrapping paper. It's not paint.

Gabelli Map

Gabelli MapDetail 1

Detail 2Ric and I did this in 1996 while living in Florida. I was managing a map store at the time. (Really. It really was a store that just sold maps. And globes.) Hated the job, but I did get this nice colorful Gabelli map out of it.
Ric made the frame out of molding and then we painted it together. We kept brushing on different colors and brushing them off 'til we got this muddy mix and uhm, "antiqued" look. This particular look may have been inspired by Canadian Whiskey. But I love it, and 13 years later, it still hangs on our living room wall.

River Rocks

Just some flat rocks I gathered from the river and painted. My intention was to place them in a flower bed, but I don't have a flower bed so they live in a box.
River Rocks

Painted Lady Chair

I painted this in 2000, maybe 2001, and thanks to countless coats of spray-on clear protective enamel, it's held up pretty well, just some wear on the seat.
The thingy-bobs I added as a decorative touch on top are another story. They were constantly getting knocked off and having to be glued back on. I tried SuperGlue and Krazyglue and wood glue, and even bought a hot-glue gun to try but no dice, they just didn't want to stay on. Eventually, Ric used tiny little metal pins as dowels, and more glue, to attach the white blocks to the chair for me. That has kept them firmly in place, but the purple balls still get knocked off, and the dragonflys, I gave up altogether on trying to keep them attached.,

My Accent Table

This is the first thing I painted after THE Box. The checkerboard went on first, the rest of the design just happened as I went along. I really don't like the colors I used, but it is what it is.


I picked up this beat up old box at a flea market for $0.50. It had cubby-holes, I had to have it! As it was just junky scrap wood, sanding & staining it was out of the question. So I decided to paint it. I went to the craft store, stocked up on various colors of paint, and set to it. I had absolutely no plan what so ever for a design. I just started painting. I did the two rows of checkers on the top first. Then, hmmm, it needs some red, so I added the red border. And so it went, just randomly adding color sections until it was done. So, if you're wondering why it looks like a cross between a checker board and a dart board and a baseball field, that's why. It sort of painted itself with no advance planning from me.
Open BoxI'm not sure what possessed me to try a stain-glassed look on the inside lid, but it was fun to do. And took lots of tape. The cubby-holes, I alternated black and color.

This was my first painting project of this sort and it's how I discovered how much I enjoy "puttering with paint". $0.50 and some new paint went a long way ...

Mom's Trinket Box

Another geometric design with no particular rhyme or reason for it.
Diamond patterns are a challenge because you have to measure and math-ify first to make it work out right. But for some odd reason, I enjoy it. My highschool geometry teacher would be proud. ;)
I lined the inside with sprinkle-on felt - fun but a little messy. The big button lying inside plays "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things".

Ginny's Dresser

I don't remember how this dresser started out, but I do recall wishing I had used a primer first because the white paint wanted to peel away with the tape I used to mark off the squares.
This was my first (and so far only) attempt at painting plaid. I have no idea at this point how I did it, but I'm sure it involved lots of tape. :) Also was my first use of stencils. I don't trust stencils to keep paint from going where it's not supposed to, so I just used them as a tracing tool to draw the flowers on in pencil.

Message Board

Dry-erase board with typical fake wood frame.
Boring! So I gave it a quick make-over.
Too quick as my measurements didn't work out right.
You can see that in the upper right corner. :(
Message Board
I used a paint pen for the white lines. Detail

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kokopelli Tray

A friend of mine moved to Albuquerque and I thought it would be fun to make her a house warming present of some sort. I decided on painting a wooden serving tray. I found a Kokopelli character on the internet, printed it and carefully cut it out. Then I spent hours with the cutout and pencil & paper, trying to come up with some sort of design. I wanted something Southwesterny, but it had to be something I could actually paint, lol. This is what I came up with.
Kokopelli TrayFor a hundred and one reasons I won't go into, the tray never got finished and never got sent to Albuquerque. I think I'm going to leave it as is, with the unfinished white outsides, and hang it in my kitchen.

Decoupage Switch Plates

I'd never tried decoupage before, but thought, it's got to be an extremely easy way to deal with ugly $0.29 cent plastic covers. The first one I tried doing, I used regular copier paper. Cut it into strips and glued away. Not the best paper choice. I tried again with wrapping paper. Better, but still not-so-great.
wrapping and copy paperThen I decided on tissue paper. AHA! A little tough to work with as it's so delicate, but you can see through it! Meaning a striped tissue paper, applied in two layers going opposite directions, gets you plaid. Cool! Stripes over squares as in the middle plate shown here, not so cool. tissue paper

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Birdfeeder Birds

or, "Why Mechanics Should Stick To Cars"
A friend of ours is a mechanic. He got the bright idea one night, with the help of some homemade raspberry wine, to build a bird feeder out of scrap wood he was burning. He thought it was such a fine idea, he made two, exactly alike, and gave me one. Both are monstrosities standing a good three feet tall and weighing in at least 30 pounds.
Much too big to actually use it as a bird feeder, but I thought, if I paint it, perhaps I can use it for something else. So it being a bird feeder, I of course thought "birds, it needs birds on it." But I don't paint things. I paint ON things. I couldn't draw a cat, for example, to save my life which is why I shy away from that kind of decorative painting and stick to shapes and patterns. But I wanted birds.
So I found some bird graphics on the internet, printed them, carefully cut them out, and then used the cut-outs to trace the bird shapes onto the bird feeder. Then I painted the shapes white.
blank cardinalblank Oriole
Then, using the original graphics as a guide, I winged it (pun intended) filling in the shapes free hand. Being my first attempt at this sort of thing, I was pretty proud of my results even though I did forget to give some of them feet. (But I didn't paint perches for them either, so I guess they really didn't need feet.)

This mechanic-made monstrosity now lives in the basement. I think it may come in handy if we ever move next door to Big Bird.