Monday, June 30, 2008

Creative Concealment

I know that many of you have already seen photos of my faux rug before, but I thought I'd share it again because Melissa at The Inspired Room is asking everyone to share their ideas for creative concealment. Hop on over there and check out the neat ideas!
When we moved into this old house 7 years ago the floors in the room were in pretty bad shape. I didn't want carpet and didn't like the idea of making a mess with sanding, so I decided to paint a faux rug and also added some faux slippers. I admit that it has gotten scratched and chipped over time, but I don't mind because I think it adds to the old cottage feel to this room. If you think you don't have the talent to do this, check out some of the stencils that are available online. You'll be surprized by what's available now. My favorite is Royal Design Studio . You'll be looking for hours at their beautiful stencils.
Below is another concealment project that's coming soon. This old cedar chest (my hope chest) really needs a makeover. The black Naugahyde is about to be permanently changed with this fabric that matches the headboard and I'm going to paint the outside with a cream color. Paint can conceal many problem areas and is a lot cheaper than carpet!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lavender Hill Studio Mosaics Painting

I was so honored when sweet Penny from Lavender Hill Studio asked me to paint her "future" studio. She sent me a photo of a barn on their property that will some day be her studio. You can check it out on her blog by clicking here.

Penny wanted me to add window boxes and landscaping. But, the one thing she really wanted was a lavender truck. It was so much fun to paint and I even added a mosaic sign to her building.

Here is the little story that Penny received along with her painting:

Penny is the artful owner of Lavender Hill Studio Mosaics. She repurposes old furniture, teapots, trays, birdhouses, old windows and much more into functional works of art. Her loving husband, Kent, is her right hand man repairing, gluing, and electrifying her flea market and antique finds. He also loves to create mirrors and birdhouses for her to apply her work to. They love each other dearly and work together like a well oiled machine.

You should should stop by Penny's website and check out her beautiful mosaics!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chalk One Up

"Garden Gate"
This is a verse I wrote for a cabinet that I painted a few years ago. I always wanted to paint a sign with this verse to hang on my garden gate, but haven't gotten around to it. This old frame was painted with Modern Masters Metallic Champagne Paint that I got at Sherwin Williams. It covered in one coat! Most metallics don't cover that well and need several coats. I then antiqued it with a black glaze. This Champagne paint changes color depending on whether you are looking at the frame head on or from the side. It can take on a gold tone or silver.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chocolate Cake Folk Art Painting

I seem to be on a dessert binge lately and chocolate is my favorite! These are so much fun to paint so watch out. I listed this little painting on eBay this evening.

This is my chocolate dream come true! A deep dark chocolate cake iced with mocha chocolate frosting is decorated with piped blue dots. This delectable dessert sits atop a white decorative cake stand and the letters "CHOCOLATE" are painted in blue and drizzled with chocolate frosting.

Check out my new eBay header for my delicious dessert paintings!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Chocolate, Banana, Coconut Cream Pie

I made this pie for my husband on Father's Day. It's one of his favorites. As I sit here eating the last piece, I've noticed that the bananas haven't even darkened. How lucky am I? I know I should have saved the last piece for my husband, but he's so bad about leaving the last piece of pie, cake, or the last cookie until it's no good any longer; and I not ever wanting anything to go to waste generally end up eating it. Now I know why none of my summer clothes fit this year!
Even though this recipe calls for a deep dish Pet-Ritz pie crust, I prefer the refrigerated pie crusts that you can put in your own pie plate. They really do taste like homemade when you're in a pinch.
Hope everyone can read my handwriting!
Sorry about the mistake when I tried to write the word "chocolate". This is my favorite thing to eat and just the mere mention of the word causes my hand to shake.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Decorating Your Mantel

While reading all my favorite blogs this evening, Kari & Kijsa's blog, Designing for Life , made me run for my camera and photograph my faux fireplace. Jump on over to their blog for great information about decorating your mantel.

I shared this room with my blog readers back in Christmas of 2007. When we moved into this house 7 years ago, I couldn't figure out how to arrange my furniture in the living room. I didn't want a t.v. in this room and there was no fireplace to arrange the furniture around. So, I grabbed my brushes and a fireplace was born. I decided to go all the way and paint a marble one. My husband made the mantel and hearth and attached them to the wall. The glass fireplace screen hides the logs I painted inside. I had a friend of mine make the pediment that hangs above the fireplace and I painted it and then attached the concrete greenman in the center. It used to be decoration for my booth at tradeshows, but works nicely above this mantel.

A twig swag with white berries fit perfectly along with some candlesticks that I painted to match and then some glass ones on the opposite end. You can click on any of the photos for a closer view.

My Front Porch

This year I decided to fluff up our front entrance. Most of our friends and family come to the back door. Even the UPS man comes through the back gate. Anyway, I guess I did this for the mailman to enjoy! Our mail box is the little slot to the right of the door. It's great because the mail falls to the inside. I'll have to photograph the inside sometime to show you how that looks.
I added two large ferns to the front corners of the porch, planted Coleus in front of the old day lilies, added two small dwarf evergreens in the little corner on each side of the steps, and transplanted hostas below the dogwood tree that you can't see to the right of the porch. The liriope along the sidewalk finally took hold this year and looks good now.

In the picture below, we added an old twig chair that I used to have in the corner of my living room. I placed a pot of begonias on the seat and little garden angel. There is also a tiny little rake in the front of the pot. Click on this photo to enlarge so you can read the saying on the brass plaque. We get a lot of comments and laughter from people who come to the front door and read it.
My husband works as a salesman for a brick company and got us the neat house numbers that I placed in front of the fern.
The door is painted black. This upset my dear friend across the street when I painted it black because she couldn't tell if the door was closed or open. When my door is open, that means the coffee is ready. It's our little signal. I hung a Longaberger basket with some ivy on the door and then added a door knocker that I got at Nell Hill's in Atchison, KS.
I still felt like it needed something, so I cut a square of chipboard and used a tape runner to attach black and white striped paper to it. I then printed the letter "H" (for Holman) on parchment paper. To get the letter large enough, (since most programs the font only goes up to 100), highlight the number that is in the font box and type in 200 or 300, or whatever size you need. Using the tape runner, apply this to the center of the striped paper. Punch a tiny hole in the center of the "H" and place a large brad in the center. You can then punch two holes at the top, run black grosgrain through the holes and tie it to the basket.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chalk One Up * A Patient Gardener

A Patient Gardener

Just in case you can't read my handwriting (click on photo to enlarge) on this chalkboard, the verse says:

"A Man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, 'See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?' He replied, "Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down."

Luke 13:6-9 NRSV

I can't believe this verse actually fit on this door! Believe me, I'm not a patient gardener. I do want to learn from this verse, though and apply it to my life.

I am impatient for this little redbud tree to grown and provide more shade and a place for the birds to sit.

I'm impatient for these two hostas that I transplanted this year to take off.

I'm impatient for these lilies in the foreground, that I transplanted, to get as big as the ones in the back.

I'm impatient for this variegated liriope to get large enough to divide. These little violas just pop up everywhere in my garden releaving me of my impatience. I promise to work on my very bad trait!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Coffee Shop Painting

I just wanted to share these pictures of a custom order that I recently finished. A wonderful mother wanted me to paint this for her daughter who dreams of owning her own coffee shop for teens in need.
Happy Father's Day to all of you wonderful Dad's out there!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chalk One Up

I will be adding words of wisdom once on a week on my kitchen door chalkboard, titled "Chalk One Up". This one comes from Philippians 4:4 in the New Testament.

I just finished a new painting and will share it with you soon. This custom painting is a gift so I'll have to wait until it's safe to show it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Two New Cupcake Paintings

I've just added these two cupcake paintings to my eBay auctions this evening. I'm going to start gaining weight just from painting these, but they are just so much fun. It's nice not have to paint straight lines for a change.
This is painted on a 6 inch x 6 inch box canvas.
Cupcake Cafe is where all your culinary confections come true. This scrumptious chocolate cupcake with "Mocha Frosting" is sprinkled with colorful peach and aqua confetti.

This little painting is done on a 4 inch x 4 inch box canvas.

What could be more "light 'n creamy" than a cupcake with swirled vanilla creme frosting and confetti sprinkled on top? Loads of charm for your shabby chic kitchen.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Clara's Confections Folk Art Painting

It's finished! This is the house from the photo in the previous post. You can see some of the changes I made. This painting was listed on eBay this evening.

Clara has recently started making her scrumptious confections for a local cafe, The Hungry Mule. She also makes these delightful deserts for customers in the village. She and her dog, Harley, are delivering cupcakes to her new best customer, Cliff, who moved into the old Henderson farm. He sure does love cupcakes!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Another Drive By

I believe this house was photographed in Flint, MI a few years back. I will unveil the painting tomorrow as soon as I finish it. I did make a few changes as you will see.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Houses Painted From Photos

I thought my readers might enjoy seeing where I get my ideas for my paintings. Over the years I have taken many photos of houses from all over the US and Canada. Jumping out of the car to take a photo while my poor husband patiently waits can be a challenge. Doing a painting from a photo requires closeups and as you can see from the photo below that this was such a large house that I taped two photos together. This elaborately detailed victorian house is located nearby in Lexington, MO. Lexington has been a great source for old civil war homes. The courthouse in this beautiful town has a canonball stuck in one of the huge columns. I must get back to photograph it sometime. I hope to paint this great house as a winter scene, but for my book, Charming Village Scenes You Can Paint, I needed a summer scene. I painted this house on a curved front cabinet in the picture below.

I believe this photo (below) was taken in Saratoga Springs where I was teaching a seminar. This house was painted on a lap desk which was also featured in my post about crackling.
Over the years I have received photos from people all over the country of houses they thought I would enjoy. Someone also sent me books of victorian houses. It's been such a joy to paint different styles of homes from across the US and Canada and a pleasure to teach seminars to all the wonderful students I've had over the past 25 years.