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Saturday, March 27, 2010

A little elbow grease



Just a sneak peak at what I've been busy doing lately--besides Spring Break! My husband and I celebrate our 15 year anniversary in May. These chairs, along with a dining table, were our first purchases together as a married couple. We bought the table and 6 chairs at an antique auction for our little apartment dining area. All I've ever done to it is recover the chairs....almost 15 years ago. Our family has out grown the table (we can't push the end chairs up under the pedestals on the ends, so it really only seats four comfortably), but I'm still in love with the chairs. I just can't part with the whole set (remember I'm a pretty sentimental gal), so I've decided to keep the chairs and refinish them.


I'm tired of the dark wood and shiny varnish-it just looks "cheap" to me. I stumbled across almost 2 yards of this great fabric for only $25 and it inspired me to go ahead and get started. The original chair is on the left. The chair on the right has been sanded down and recovered. I love the new upholstery!



Now I have to decide if I want to leave it with this weathered, distressed look; paint it; or add a little stain and a matte varnish..... I love the way the details show up with all that dark stain sanded off. Would love to hear what you think???? Any other ideas or suggestions??? I've never refinished a piece of furniture before to this degree. Now five more chairs to go : )



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Friday, March 12, 2010

A weekend of painting


I had a wonderful opportunity last weekend to do an oil painting workshop with Arkansas artist Barry Thomas. If you haven't heard of Barry, you're missing out-check out his art at at www.barrythomasart.com. I love to paint, but I've never had any "formal" training with oils, so I learned so much. I got to paint from 9-5 on Saturday, and 12-5 on Sunday. It was truly like a retreat, and I'm so thankful my husband took on the single parent role for the whole weekend so I could do this class. Thought you might like to see the paintings I did.


This was the first painting he had us do. It was a value study using only black, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and white. We were supposed to focus on painting the
values and shapes, not so much the details.


Here's the final result of my second painting.
He wanted us to focus on value still, but add in other colors.


Here's the set up for our third painting. When he set this up and said to start painting, I felt like I was going to throw up. I had that hot wave of panic sweep over my whole being. I said a little prayer and tried not to "think" too much and started painting. Here's the finished piece.
Note that Barry walked around the whole time and helped us with our composition,
brush strokes, color, etc. I love the way it turned out.


We did these three paintings the first day. I can't tell you how much I learned.
On Sunday the weather was beautiful, so we went outside by his pond. I wish I had taken a picture of the beautiful "real life landscape", but here's my final painting. Barry helped me a lot on this, so I'm not real comfortable saying it's mine. It's going to take TON of
practice for me to duplicate a painting like this all by myself.
Learning and participating in the process though was priceless!


Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pizza Box Art


I know, I know, it sounds crazy.....Art from a Pizza Box??? But it's the perfect size, and it's free--well, minus the cost of the Pizza. Soon as I saw this nice sturdy box, I knew I could create something out of it.


I love square canvases, but if you've ever priced one, you know they can be pretty expensive. I been trying to not put so much pressure on myself and to just "try" different things, so I've started to use less expensive materials. If I don't have quite as much invested in it I feel like I have less expectations which usually produces a great piece of art.



I reinforced the pizza box with some tape and slapped on a coat of gesso. Then I got out my Mod Podge, paint, pencils and scrapbook papers and started to create.


I've been really meditating on this verse lately, so it was the inspiration for my artwork.



And I was so excited I finally got a image transfer to work using Mod Podge! Amy had a great post on this not too long ago (click here).


Here it is....my final piece! I was really excited about how it turned out.


Okay, I know all you crafty people out there can think of all the other ways you could use a Pizza Box without getting this elaborate-wouldn't it look cute just painted with a monogram letter or a contemporary graphic. If you're interested in seeing more of my collage art, click here. Hope to see you at these parties this week!

www.sillylittlesparrow.com/2010/03/toot-your-horn-tuesday-spring-had.html
http://www.bluecricketdesign.net/2010/03/show-and-tell-with-jen-jewelry.html





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