Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Edison

It had been way too long since I had done any work on canvas.  So I pulled out the largest canvas I had on hand and began the piece of work I am calling Thank you, Mr. Edison.

First I randomly rolled on three colors of paint.  

I already knew I wanted a second chance working with a stencil I purchased from The Stencil Library.

I missed the curve (learning curve that is) on the first try and that was months ago.  It was definitely time to have another go at it.   

Once the background was dry I stenciled the first sheet of a three part stencil that looks like this.
The first time I tried this I had the stencil flipped to the other side.

 That resulted in some problems with the next two sheets of the stencil.  They didn't line up and although it is probably able to be salvaged, it's just not right as you can see in the next photo.

When I did this one, I painted it on fabric.  I was totally oblivious that parts of the background need to show through this pattern and that they would have to be painted back in after the first stencil sheet had been completed.  However, I think I recovered from that part and matched the fabric colors quite well.  Unfortunately there were a couple other little technical slip ups.

I contacted the wonderful staff at The Stencil Library and received a speedy reply with links to helpful tips for this stencil.  So if you are thinking about trying this yourself, you might want to check out the following link.   
 Check the sidebar for archives and go to one or all of the following for samples of this stencil.
November 11, 2008
March 12, 2007
August 21, 2007 

So back to the project at hand.  The second sheet is where the background color is reapplied.  As I mentioned earlier, my background was actually three colors overlapping and that would not have been a problem.  The real problem was that I wanted my chandelier to be black and the overall stencil background is first painted black with sheet one.  As we all know painting any color over black produces a different effect than painting over white.  (Sometimes that learning curve shows up again and again)  In the end it all worked out fine but it was a little tedious getting the reds on black to look like those on white background.

This shows the third sheet of the stencil which is where the highlight color is applied.  I used gold size to get a sticky coating and then applied silver mica powder.

It created a nice effect with the black of the chandelier.

Because I had other plans for the open areas left on the canvas, I placed the stencil off to one side of the canvas.

I took a set of architectural drawings I had, singed the edges, and then stained them a bit with tea.

 Then I arranged them around the chandelier and glued them to the canvas with the edges overlapping.

I made sure to include the lighting schedule and the electrical drawings from the plans.

When every piece was glued into place and dry, I applied a gray wash over the drawings only.

 I followed that up with a very small stenciled chandelier.

Actually, I liked that idea and scattered a few more here and there.

The final step was to apply a coat of wax tinted with black ink to the entire canvas.                                   
Add caption

I love beautiful lighting and the sparkle it brings to a room.  It truly is to a room what jewelry is to an outfit.  If you have ever dismantled a lighting fixture, you know there are lots and lots of parts, some decorative and some functional, but all very important to the design.  Go back a step further and think about the planning and installation that goes into the wiring of a home so that fixture can actually work.  It really does develop an appreciation for what happens when you flip that switch.  And although I love candle light, I'm very happy Mr. Edison gave us a choice.

We had a very late heavy snowfall today and I could not resist a little fun in the snow.  I thought it fitting to add it to this post.

I thought it looked quite beautiful in the snow.

Of course the gorgeous fabric makes it extra special.

I am linking to:  Very Merry Vintage Style

My entry into Creative Me is sponsored by Appliances Online and Bosch Washing Machines.
                             No Minimalist Here The Southern Institute

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Last In First Out

Was I looking for a lamp when I bought this one?  NO.  Was I even shopping when I found it?  NO.  I was driving along with my sister in the car when suddenly I made a quick right turn.  My car tends to swerve when it spots a yard sale sign.

It was late afternoon when most yard sales have closed up shop but there were a few items left and this was one of them.

Yesterday I was helping my sister shop for a light fixture and I found this shade.
The perfect size for my little floor lamp and not a bad price as lamp shades go.

So today I pondered the color I wanted for the base.  I thought about black, and chocolate brown and antique bronze and red and... the shade you say?  Oh, no matter.   That shade could get recovered or even painted too.

I finally settled on Chrome....for now.  The fact that I already had the paint was the determining factor.

The cross braces on the shade were bright gold so I gave them a squirt of chrome paint too.

A relatively quick and easy makeover. 

It did not even need to be rewired.  If only all redos were that simple.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


About a year ago I became very enamored with the houndstooth pattern.  I had two big beautiful wing chairs that I thought would look stunning in an oversized houndstooth pattern but not in the traditional white and black.

I wanted fuchsia and soft white.

Getting the right fabric content in the right size pattern and the right color just was not happening, but I kept looking. 

You know how it goes when you have your mind on something in particular.

You are so aware of it that you start seeing it in places you might never have noticed before.  Purses...

hats, scarfs, gloves and ...


Accessorizing with houndstooth was getting popular, or so it seemed.

 There was the rain gear.

And of course the jackets, coats, skirts, etc. for women. 

Although not recommended to be worn all at the same time.


I saw many tastefully executed garments and accessories ...

Then I started seeing it other places too.

Bedding and pillows jumped on the bandwagon.

Nail polish wanted a chance in the spotlight.

Adn then the Marthas of the world grabbed their share with cupcake liners, napkins, aprons, napkin rings,  and even...


Home interiors was where this all started for me so...

A piece of furniture didn't startle me too much.  Lampshades and rugs were  part of that package too.  But this took the cake.

I'm just goofy enough  to put this in my driveway.

But slowly that huge desire I had for houndstooth began to fade.  Maybe that's a good thing.  It might just open my eyes to something new and wonderful.  And if the urge strikes me again, I'll just remember this post and this  picture.

That should give me pause.