Tuesday, July 24, 2012

... a tale of a bedroom redo

Once upon a time ...
there lived a little girl with long, wavy locks tied-up with ribbons and sweet eyes as green as a woodland forest.  She spent her days in an assortment of ways; from playing house with her dolls and caring for her baby brother to picnicking with her momma and painting & crafting to her heart's content.

This little girl was blessed with a large family who all loved her deeply.  Each summer, she would travel with her father and step-mother to an enchanted place called Kiawah Island, where the sun glitters upon the waves, sea trinkets wash ashore and nature - both green and wild - all reside in splendor.  It was while she was building sandcastles and savoring ice cream cones that her momma decided to work on a surprise for her little girl's return.

Within her bedroom, pencil lines were drawn and paint buckets were stacked ... all to reflect the scenery of how her momma's days appeared since her little girl graced her life 7 years before.

Her days seemed to hold sunshine that actually smiled down upon her, warming her spirit when she watched her daughter play.  Her happiness soared through the clouds and danced upon spring trees, budding with the new life that was brought into their family with the birth of her second child, her son - making her daughter a Big Sister.  A role by which she will mature to protect and guide her little brother, just as the trees in the forest do for its furry and feathered friends.

In evening hours, as the sun settles in for the night and casts its deepening shades of fuchsia and orchid to the sky, her momma says her prayers for her children under starry skies twinkling their star dust and the Man in the Moon winking his wishes for sweet dreams.

As the years passed, the little girl, as all little girls do, began to put aside her dolls for new found interests ... cheerleading, music, teen heartthrobs (most notably, JB!) and her passion for C-O-L-O-U-R (Thanks to the girlish boutiques of Justice and the like ... Oh, dreadful me....).  So, with great pain and heartache, her momma answered her little girl's request ...
 ... and said "goodbye" to the days of dolls and princesses, and "hello" to vibrant colour and Justin Bieber.  ("sniff, sniff")

 Alas ... to her momma's relief, she grew tired of the ever present "GLOW" of her bedroom.  Perhaps, it was the nearly 2 months that she spent in rainbow hues healing from surgery that changed her palette (there is always a silver lining, isn't there??).  So, a promise was made between the two ...

A super tidy room in exchange for a FINAL room redo.  And, they hugged on it.

Soon, the time had come upon the now teenage girl with long wavy tresses (sometimes flatted with an iron!), whose green eyes still pulled on her momma's heartstrings, to head down to Kiawah on her much anticipated vacation. 

Paint colours were agreed upon...

Second-hand furniture was purchased (Craigslist is her momma's close friend :)...

And, her dear Pappy jumped on board to make their vision a reality!

The idea?  Vintage with an old Hollywood/Traveling flare
Is that such a thing?
First thing first was to close up a shared doorway with her brother's room.  The baby brother had grown into an adorable 7-year old that did almost ANYTHING to gain his big sister's attention ... which usually resulted in her yelling down the stairs, "Mom!  Nathan's in my room again!"  ("sigh")

This was an exciting task for her momma, as she learned how to build a wall with POWER TOOLS :)  During which time, her delightful son would advise his Pappy that "I don't think that such a good idea, Pap.  Maybe you should do that."  HUMPH!  No faith!! 

Now, what their momma didn't take into account was that she now had TWO bedrooms that needed her attention ... "Oh, Heavens."  But, one at a time, she will prevail.  It was unnerving though, as this remodel had trickled its chaos throughout her house ... leaving most rooms in disarray .. 

But, day by day ... progress was slowly moving across the room ...

Her momma applied wallpaper primer to the walls marked for beadboard panels ... Panels of WALLPAPER, that is!!  A beautiful invention!!  Especially when you are working with an older home with walls that perhaps were square at one time, but were now a fighting mess with a ruled leveler! 

Her momma learned from the family's wallpaper expert, Miss Grammy, how to hang wallpaper like a pro!  To better secure the beadboard design to the swirled walls, they applied wallpaper paste to the wall while the paper was "booking"  (a term learned to mean wet wallpaper folded paste side together to activate the paste!  Easy-peasy!)

Then, Pappy - on one of the hottest and muggiest days - cut and mounted the trim work throughout the room.  Then, Daddy - after a 12-hour shift - caulked and puttied any necessary crevices to ensure a seamless finish.  This room redo was unlike any other, as it brought in such help from family, that it would never have been accomplished without their generosity.

And, finally ... on the eve of the daughter's return ... her momma put the finishing touches to the room and hoped - so greatly - that her little girl (as daughters always are in their momma eyes) would be overjoyed with all their work ...

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And, as her story unfolds, her momma hopes that she will find her very own space to be a special haven to lie her head upon her pillow and dream of all the wonderment that life has in store for her.  Sleep well ... dream big ... and never lose the wistful enchantment of "chasing the clouds from the sky" or the evening magic of walking beneath "branches lit up by the moon."

I love you, baby girl...

(next to unfold ... my little guy's room!  The ideas are still churning :)

It's hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all's said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side

So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that the old bear whispered, "Boy, welcome home"
- lyrics of "Return to Pooh's Corner", Kenny Loggins

Friday, July 13, 2012

... a portrait to celebrate a couple's love :)

In my ever continuous game of playing "catch up" from my work in the studio, I realized that I had never shared with you a wedding portrait that I had created for my customer, Miss Jen :) 

Miss Jen found my work at an art show a couple years ago and commissioned me to create a personal painting for her partner, Miss Emily. 

This was inspired from my original "Sunshine" painting ...
It was great fun getting to know Miss Jen and working with her; so, I was tickled when she contacted me to help her design a gift to give her sister, a bride-to-be!  We threw around a few ideas and settled on a wedding portrait :)  I had created one similar for my wedding, back in the day! ... and it is something that I truly cherish. 

We have it hung above our bed and every so often I will take note of the wishes and signatures of our friends and family ... and pause in prayer over those who have since gone on to their great Glory in Heaven :)  It means so much to see Pap's name along side Gram Cramer's ... and Grandma Elwood's wishes of happiness ... Uncle Jimmy - - Cousin Petey ... Dear Helen Columbus.  For who are we without the love and support from our family and friends that make up our world?

Miss Jen forwarded to me a photo of the happy couple ...
and she decided on a painting in the style of "my version" of watercolor :) ...
So, I set out to complete a sketch for approval ...

With a slight adjustment made to her sister's jaw line ... we were ready to go!

I applied masking fluid to the couple's sketch, leaving only the background uncovered.  THEN, the fun began!  Playing with the washing and layering of colors is by far my favorite part because it is mood-evoked and leaves room for whimsy brushstrokes in playful light.

Then, came time to bring the happy couple to life :) 

The fluid masking came in handy again when creating the designs of her blouse.  It worked perfectly to create the intricate designs of the floral pattern. 
Most often than not, I find it refreshing to see that when I am creatively busy, it seems to inspire my kiddos to try their hands at something similar ...


Can you tell that Mr. Bieber has some in-house fans??

For presentation purposes at the wedding, I had added plexy-glass underneath the matting and added a foam board backing to mount everything as one piece.  This enabled the guests to sign freely onto the mat itself, without the fear of marking the original painting. 

Upon meeting up with Miss Jen to deliver her painting, I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Emily ... How fun to meet a subject of one of my favorite paintings!!  Both gals are such sweethearts and truly do bring sunshine to the day :)

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
-James Matthew Barrie
Creator of Peter Pan
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Monday, July 9, 2012

... In the Studio: A Take-over of Enamels & Glass :)

It seems that more often than not that my entries begin with, "Gosh!  It's been too long since my last post!"  I do so apologize :)  Should I have any readers left ... I thought that I would play catch-up of the happenings going on in my studio over the last few months.  And, mostly ... it's been a crowd of boxed glassware and a new indulgence in enamel paints :)

I've been blessed with the opportunity of having my work displayed in our town's new art gallery, The Canvas.  This set of ice cream dishes are one of the items that I have there.  I am finding it difficult to fill a whole display with my glass work, as most of what I've been doing has been custom orders.  But, I do have plans on creating some children illustrations to be showcased by Christmas ... fingers crossed!!

The mini dessert dishes below are the perfect accessory to a summertime gathering for samplings of little torts or layered treats.  Adorable mini spoons come with the set of 6.
Flip-flops ... the quintessential accessory for summer :)

The daydream of sipping Lemon Cello along the coast of Italy inspired these glasses ... (love that movie, "Under the Tuscan Sun" :)

Garden party, anyone?? 
Truly, I believe that I heard the crashing of waves and calls of seagulls through my studio window ...

An Easter offering to our parents, both great and grand, of personalized dessert plates adorned with Lemonade Cupcakes :)

Miss Janice planned surprise presents for her dear friends during a Girls Getaway ... their favorite flowers on stemless wine goblets :)  What better way to toast years of friendship ...

Miss Loretta's hubby surprised her with a set of 8 dessert dishes, matching her decor, for her birthday :)  Fiesta Chili peppers spice up the sweetness of any day ...

My sweet neighbor and friend, Miss Helen, wished to surprise the bride with a glassware set she would "flip" over ... (couldn't help it!  just had to make the pun :)

... and she treated herself to some sweet lemonade to enjoy poolside, I presume?  :)

Between family time, studio time and gallery time, my days are gobbled up!  We've fit in a couple trips, a baseball season, and an ongoing remodeling session that is leaving my already cluttered home in total disarray.  Ugh.  I am currently redoing my daughter's room for the THIRD TIME (even took out a doorway and built a wall!) ... so I am anxious to get that completed so that her darling furniture can find it's home OUT OF MY DINING ROOM!  Hopefully, pictures of the transformation will follow VERY SOON :)  Thereafter, my kitchen and my son's bedroom (as he now has an unfinished wall too - LOL).

So, I'm off to begin the wallpaper primer ... I am so anxious to use the beadboard wallpaper!  I hope that it lives up to all of its raved reviews!  I'll keep you posted :)

The three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.
- Addison
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