Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Houston Red Carpet coat/jacket

 The above picture is of a linen swing coat/jacket that I got at the thrift store probably 5 years or so ago. I liked the off white and black graphic print. It was great on it's own, but I wanted to add some of my own personality.  I knew what I wanted to do (paint red poppies) but since I don't feel total confidence painting, it took me awhile to get all my info and courage together.
 First I asked some help from a on-line art group I belong too (Quiltart) about possible paint to use. I knew I wanted the off white and black graphic from the coat/jacket to show through the poppies. The choices suggested were Dye-an-flow and setacolor paints which are transparent.  I purchased both and did a test sample. Another important factor was that I wanted to make sure the coat/jacket remained soft and supple. The above strips show my test samples. I used Sharpie Paint Pens to do the black lettering. This strip had already been washed and dried. I did heat set the paints. I decided to go with the Dye-na-flow paints. I thought that red color was richer.
Next I had to cut a stencil, which I had never done before. I actually haven't used stencils much in my creative life. So this required a lot thinking on my part. I am surprised my brain didn't explode !
After I had decided on the poppy pattern and size of the poppy I wanted to use, and with the stencil cut, I printed out the poppy pattern and fussy cut them.  I pinned them on the coat to check the placement. I actually left them the paper poppies on the coat and pinned the stencil on top of the paper poppy and the removed the paper pattern before I started painting each poppy. After painting each poppy, I used a heat gun (carefully) to dry the paint on both the top of the coat and the lining.
 This is my finished swing coat/jacket and I am very happy with how this turned out. After this picture was taken, I did go back and add three half poppies to fill in some larger space that I thought needed some color.
Now my swing coat/jacket has my stamp on it. For me it has pizzaz. I can't wait to wear it. And if anyone is wondering, I will probably wear it with those polka dot leggings.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lampshade adventure

 Well after all this time, I still don't have this blog stuff down, so I will start below this picture and say that my Mr. Partner In Crime and I have been married almost 45 years and in all that time we have only bought a few lamps.  Most of them when we got married. With this new lamp I painted, I needed a lamp shade. Actually we needed three lamp shades, one an antique type shade.  I checked at my favorite store (thrift) and couldn't find one and also I wasn't sure the style my special lamp needed, so we went to the Phoenix  Lamp store.  WOW, who knew there was so much you needed to know about lamp shades !!! As I was walking into the store with my shade-less lamp, a man told me how beautiful my lamp was. Needless to say I was very pleased.  We ended up getting lamp shades for all three of our lamps.  This above shade was what the lady suggested for my lamp after I told her I was going to paint it.  A total blank canvas so to speak.
 I painted and decorated the shade like the lamp base with the same paints as I used on the lamp. Then the dilemma, leave the shade just painted or add flowers.
 This shows the flowers held on by painters tape on about a third of the lamp.  Now my Mr. Partner In Crime likes it plain.  I am torn. I actually like both ways. I asked friends and family about what they thought and frankly the answers fall just about 50-50 about lampshade with no flowers vs lampshade with flowers.  If you would like to leave a comment and vote letting me know what you think, I would love to hear your vote and your reasoning.  Right now the lamp and shade is living in our family room just as it is till I make a decision.

One other fun decorating thing I have done is take a picture frame from the Dollar Store. I should say that this idea came from Pinterest. Only they spray painted them white.
 The frames are plastic and I have used two sizes 3.5"x5" and 5"x7". I painted black and white checks on them with craft paint .
 I used removable hanger strips (just in case I ever need to remove them) on the corners and adhered them to the light switches in my house. I am very happy with how they look. Above is the 5"x7" frame.
Above is all the plastic picture frames, light switch plate covers I just finished. I need to get more hangers and I will get them up where they belong. I like them very much and Mr. Partner in Crime likes them too. How much fun is this??? It definitely goes with my funky d├ęcor. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

New Painted Furniture

 If it is April and May it is time for me to be painting furniture.  Last spring was the first serious furniture painting that I did and I sent out SOS to friends for info on painting furniture tips.  I got lots of help and I especially want to thank Pamela Allen and Janice Paine Dawes.  This top vase is mine curtsey of my middle daughter, Victoria.  She purchased it at a Salvation Army thrift store in Sheridan, Wyoming and decided she didn't need it after all and gifted it to me.  In all these pieces I used both painting and fabric decoupage.  
 I thought it was finished at this stage but decided that perhaps it needed something else.  The flowers are fabric
 As you can see I added green polka dots.  I really am pleased with the finished lamp.  I just need to get a lampshade and decorate it to go with the lamp.
 The second piece I did was this table that belonged to my grandmother and Mama.  It was not in good shape.  My Partner In Crime took off the top veneer which was cracked. It originally had a glass top.  Of course it is long gone.
 Here is the start of the design process.  Most of the paint used on these furniture pieces were sample jars of paint I purchased from Home Depot. I find it is a inexpensive way to audition a lot of varieties paint colors.   I also used some craft paint for smaller details.  You can see fabric strips. I drew in the grid lines with chalk.
 This was the finished piece, I thought.  I decided I wasn't totally happy with it. 
                       I played around with some other flower placements. 
 I ended up deciding that I liked this.  You can see the beginning of the black and white tendrils that I added. This was the scary part.  I thought the design needed black and white to tie everything together, but I knew that once I started the process, there was no going back.
 Side view of table.  Painting all the black and white checks free hand on these furniture pieces took most of the time.  My Mama would be very happy with the finished piece and would be thrilled that I made this worn out piece fun and funky and that I am going to be using it instead of storing it.
 This is the final piece.  A wardrobe that came from my husband's family. 
 The top of the wardrobe.  This came easy.  The rest of the design was more difficult.
                              Side view of the wardrobe in process.
 I decided to add stripes to fill the negative space and add interest.
 Here I am playing with the design.  My Partner in Crime helped pick out the vase colors.  I used blue painters tape to tape up my design. I used Liquitex Mat Medium to adhere the fabric pieces.  I used water based Varathane for the varnish and have been very happy with how it has worked.
                                             One finished side
                                          Second finished side
Finished front.  I absolutely love this piece.  My Partner In Crime would walk around this and say how much he loved it.  Good thing since this piece is in our bedroom and he will be seeing it all the time.  I already have my pieces selected to paint next spring. I really enjoy this process.  It is so much fun and the results are wonderful.  My opinion of course !!!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter ensemble 2015

 First let me say that I started this year's Easter outfit not as an Easter outfit just something for me to wear that was funky.  I found this black blazer/suit coat at one of my visits to the thrift store some months ago.  It was way to big, but ya know, when something is right you just know you can make it work. It is hard to see but it has rhinestones on the jacket lapels and on the sleeve cuffs. It is an awesome piece of clothing.
 Before I fitted the jacket, I tried to decide if I wanted to shorten the jacket or leave it the length it was.  I sought advice from my Partner In Crime, my children and my sisters and friends. I got various advice from them.  Of course that is what you get for asking other peoples opinions. 
 I happen to find this skirt at another visit to the thrift store.  Both the skirt and the jacket were hanging on my display rack together but not together and a light bulb went off in my head that these two pieces would make a great marriage.  Several of my opinion people mentioned that the skirt needed to be shortened, which I had not noticed. This top picture was suppose to show how the jacket was going to fit.
The skirt fit and shortening it was easy. The shortened skirt is in the above picture.  Fitting the jacket was another kettle of fish altogether.  I had to take the sleeves off along with the shoulder pads.  I took about 1 1/2" off the jacket shoulders.  Put the sleeves back in along with the shoulder pads.  I also had to take all the jacket bodice seams in and of course that meant doing the same (or mostly the same) to the lining. I ended up deciding to leave the jacket long, which is what most of my opinion people told me to do. 
 My Easter hat was my last year's Easter hat for those not reading my blog, it looked like this at the thrift store. I took all the decorations off and then added my own.
 I had planned to wear it as shown in the picture above as the real back of the hat became the front and actually did wear it like this to Easter Mass 2014, but found it was too heavy and needed to be worn as below with the original front as the front of my hat, which I originally designed to be the back. I know that is confusing.
So this was my final Easter outfit.  We were in Denver for Easter and this was perfect for our weather. The jacket doesn't fit quite as well as I would of liked. There were about ten hats at our Mass, but I can say with certainty that my hat was the most elaborate. You can see that this is quite a hat.  This hat is New York City Easter Parade ready, it is Kentucky Derby ready and English Royal Wedding ready. I certainly got a lot of second looks at Mass, but I also got compliments.