Playing with craft paint and paper

Boy, today is a good day to sit indoors and play. I’ve really taken a liking to art journals over the past couple years. I’ve been teaching art journal classes as well. I think what I enjoy most about the craft is the freedom to play. There is no right or wrong, no special tools required, and there are no steps to follow to get it right.

I tend to play with the myriad of products already in my stash. Those can include scrapbook paper, old book pages, acrylic paints, Distress Inks, Alcohol Inks, etc. Lately it’s been the Americana acrylic paints from DecoArt. They’re relatively inexpensive and they’re readily available at any craft store and even some big-box stores.

It’s fun to pull out a pile of stuff and just mix it up and see what happens to the paper. One idea leads to another, and another, and another.

Here’s how it usually happens. I squirt some paint on my non-stick craft sheet and spritz it with plain water. This makes the paint a bit runny and easier to blend.

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I place my pages face down into the liquid pool and gently turn it and swish it a bit to get this.

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These pages can either be spritzed with more water to make the paint run or heat set as-is to add a bit of texture. Aren’t those swirls so luscious? Next I’ll add in some stamping – not too much, just a little, using a waterproof ink (I like Ranger’s Archival Ink in Jet Black). Using a peeled back piece of corrugated cardboard dabbed in some red paint, I’ll add some bold lines randomly on the page; trying to maintain some balance.

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I can create even more texture by using gesso through a stencil like I did here with the small circles. I prefer gesso over modeling paste sometimes because it still gives me texture without so much thickness. These books can get pretty thick quickly!

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So, I’ve toned down the colors quite a bit by washing a soft blue over some of the page. I’ve added a bit more stamping along with some gold paint – I love a pop of metallic! This is my background for a journal page. I like to add photos to my art journals, after all, I started out as a scrapbooker. I love these backgrounds mixed with photos to tell a story.

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My next art journal session begins Monday, Oct. 22 and runs for four consecutive Mondays from 6-8 p.m. Fly Away is the theme for our next round of art journal pages in Brighton. Join us! Register or find more information in my online store. Classes are taught at the CoBACH Center in Brighton and we’re trying to get them going in Holly at The Vintage Farm House. If you’d like to see more of what the students are doing in class, visit my Facebook page and give it a like – facebook.com/lindateaches.

Creating is good for the soul

I never claimed to be an artist. I couldn’t tell you which colors will play off each other nicely, how to draw a face, the fundamental concepts of composition and design (heck, I don’t even know what that means!). What I do know is how to sit and create (play with my stuff).

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Such a whimsical beauty from Funky Flora Art Journal class.

I also know that when I take the time to sit, create, and play, I can lose myself for hours and totally forget about the world around me and just totally relax and let go. It’s something I feel a lot of us feel guilty about the taking the time for. We need play time, whether that be creating art, gardening, cooking, reading. We just need it. It’s good for the soul.

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I love the vibrant yellow used on the background of this Funky Flora Art Journal page.

Getting back into teaching forces me to sit and play with all my pretty (and ugly) papers, paints, inks, tools and all those products I bought and can’t remember why. Those who attend my classes are also forced, if only for two hours, to sit, create, play, and socialize. I actually call it creative playtime for adults. They make new friends, they get messy, and they relax and have fun. Some even continue with playtime once they leave class because there is homework – if they choose to do it.

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These hexagons were all cut by hand from photos – The creativity is amazing!

I’ve been teaching Art Journaling and Scrap your Stash at the CoBACH Center in Brighton; hoping to develop even more classes soon. I am a member of the Brighton Art Guild. Yep, thrown in there with all those talented, crazy-good creatives. It’s been wonderful.

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Using what’s in your stash. Mix and match papers and embellies with some technique.

Join us for an upcoming class; we’re always looking to make new friends. Check out my offerings in my online store. To see an even greater sampling of student works, stop by my Facebook page. Give it a Like!

 

It’s creative playtime for adults in these classes!

mug for blogIt’s been nearly two years since I’ve taught classes in our studio/shop. I enjoyed the break but recently felt that urge to jump back in. I’m happy to say a terrific opportunity just opened up and I’m taking it.

I’ve joined the Brighton Art Guild, a group full of so many talented artists, and a perk of membership is the availability to use their classroom alongside other teachers from the Guild.

I’ve been able to prepare for a couple of classes quickly and you’ll find them listed here: Linda’s Shop.

It’s quick and easy to purchase a class and you’ll also see the dates, times, and supply list. All of these classes are currently taught upstairs (there is no elevator) in the CoBACH Center. You’ll also find a link to the Brighton Art Guild; be sure to check out the great classes from other instructors.

My first offerings are Art Journal Adventure, which is a four-week series. We’ll play with paints, inks, stencils, gesso – all sorts of fun stuff. It begins Tuesday, July 24. It can be messy so be sure to bring an apron or wear an old shirt.art journal 4

Scrap your Stash is a very popular offering because it uses stuff you already have in your stash! We make one 12X12 layout using your papers and embellishments. 20150314_225852It sometimes is an original layout, at other times Pinterest-inspired. The point is I show you how to make your stash work for you. We alter paper and learn to create many of our own embellies for these designer-style pages that usually use only one or two photos. The first Scrap your Stash class runs 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 30. There is a Scrap your Stash Marathon scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12 as well.

Join me in some creative playtime and help spread some happy scraps! Look up class offerings with dates and times at Linda’s Shop and Follow me on Facebook by liking my page for the latest updates.

 

 

Mid-century Modern up-do

My sister called me recently because they’d been out looking for a new dresser with her adult son. They weren’t finding what he really wanted – never mind the fact that most of it was made of pressed board – so she decided to call me to see what I had. The only dressers we had in our stash at the time was a set of MCM chest and dresser – solid wood. We went back and forth about sizes, colors and what we could do. I sent over several Pinterest pictures of what my dressers could look like with an up-do.

He settled on the 9-drawer dresser. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t sure if a young adult could understand my vision but we got it all worked out and I began the project.

I started with my usual prep of a thorough cleaning inside and out, removed all the hardware and legs then lightly sanded it all down. Now I could really see what I had to work with. The top needed some wood filler due to the fact it had been scooted around upside down on a garage floor. Once the filler was dry the dresser got another sanding and cleaning. I have no pictures of all of that because it was pretty darn cold outdoors and I just wanted to get it done and indoors.

It’s the first time I’ve worked on MCM and managed to save the look of most of the wood. It was also my first time for working with Benjamin Moore’s Advance in a satin finish as well as Minwax Gel Stain. I’m pleased to say I would use both products again without hesitation. The gel stain was so easy to apply and it covers a host of imperfections.

The dresser is all done now and ready for pick up next weekend and I must say I am very pleased with the final product. It’s solid and pretty darn heavy and it’s been updated with a modern twist for a very nice young man.

If you’re local to Livingston County or the Lake Orion area we would be happy to give you a quote to freshen up a piece of furniture for you. We also have our pieces for sale in The Vintage Farm House in Holly.

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Farmhouses and wildflowers

What’s with this weather this year? I’m waiting for it to warm up just a tad so I can get out in the garage and get going on some new projects. Rachel is having the same dilemma. We’ve both been painting what we can indoors but then I have to sacrifice the living room and even though the old guy doesn’t complain about it I know he’d rather not have furniture sitting around on drop cloths. What’s a furniture flipper to do?

29510879_2157446414484571_3985685348218575703_nI’ve been working on small paper-crafting items and signs for the new booth space Rachel and I moved into in January. We have a great space in The Vintage Farm House in Holly that we just love. Lots of wall space for those hand-crafted items and plenty of floor space for our furniture. Rachel has found the cutest metal signs and décor that we’ve added as well. Be sure to visit Holly and check out our new shop in The Vintage Farm House soon. We’re usually out there on Wednesdays or Thursdays restocking so stop and say ‘Hi’ if you see us there.

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Rachel and I were kicking around some thoughts the other day and decided to change the name of our business to more reflect how we operate nowadays. How do you like ‘Salvaged Wildflowers?’ We use so much color in our salvaged furniture pieces that sometimes our booth looks like a field of wildflowers – of course, we could sometimes refer to ourselves as salvaged wildflowers too! When we wrote it down we knew it just fit!

We’ve made the changes on our Instagram and Facebook page, but Facebook wouldn’t approve the new name so we have started a brand new page! Please visit our new page – Salvaged Wildflowers – and give us a like and leave a comment. Hope to hear from you soon – and if you know where Spring is please tell me!

 

 

Booking custom painting orders for 2018

You know that piece of furniture that serves its function, but every time you walk by it you just wish it would go away or that you could somehow hide it? Maybe its the sturdy little side table that is just the right size to sit next to the sofa but the color is so off? Or the china cabinet that just looks so very dark? I can fix that!

I’m getting back into custom painting and scheduling orders for 2018. Can you believe 2018 is right around the corner! After the holidays is the perfect time to freshen your home furnishings. I can help you fall in love with your pieces again!

Let me break down what goes into custom painting your piece. We usually begin with you contacting and sending me photos and dimensions of the piece or pieces you want refurbished. We’ll go back and forth with a few questions so I can get an idea of what you’re looking to have done – Pinterest photos are great helpers for this step. I’ll then send a preliminary quote (this may change once I see the piece in person). Quotes can sometimes change due to repairs, finishes, etc.

When everything is agreed on, the furniture can be delivered to me and contracts gone over and signed.

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This custom job begins with two dark side tables and one TV console.

This is where my fun begins! Before I begin any painting I thoroughly inspect the piece and fix any repairs that were agreed on. Each piece is then thoroughly cleaned and lightly sanded and left to dry overnight. Primer goes on it the next and its left to dry overnight, then lightly sanded and cleaned.

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These pieces have been cleaned, sanded and primed.

The day after that the piece gets its first coat of paint. That coat also sits overnight to dry and is lightly sanded and cleaned the next day. Then the second coat gets applied and left to dry. I’ll add a third coat if need be the day after that.

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This piece has its first coat of paint.

Once the paint is dry, any specialty finishes, such as white-wash, glazing, distressing, etc., go on next and its once again left to dry overnight. The final step in this process is to protect the piece with a wax or liquid sealer. I really prefer to keep the pieces for another few days before they’re picked up because I know as soon as you get the piece home you want to use and decorate it. Paint and sealers usually take about 28-30 days to fully cure to the point of them being able to be used, so its best to put the piece in its place and just sit and admire it for a few weeks before putting it to full use.

It should be noted that painted furniture is no different than unpainted. It can be prone to nicks and scratches, just like any other piece, from toys, pets, wet glasses, hot coffee cups and everyday life. I always recommend the use of coasters and placemats. But, mind you, a painted piece of furniture properly finished will hold up just fine and look pretty while doing it.

Contact me through a private message on our Facebook business page for a custom quote or to have your questions answered.

 

 

 

 

 

Making new paint look old

I love the look of old, aged and worn. It shows in my scrapbooking and mixed-media projects and I’ve managed to carry it over to my furniture pieces that I redesign.

I’ve tried to do clean and neat – honest I have. It just doesn’t work for me. It never feels finished. So even though this vintage cabinet looked so dang cute once the paint was done I knew I was going to distress it and add some age to that new paint and stain.

This little guy was pretty darn sturdy but the back flap was loose and when I removed the door from the cubby the framing on that was loose as well so I realigned everything and glued, screwed and clamped all the pieces back together.

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The next day everything was tight and good to go. After a good sanding and cleaning the piece was ready for paint. I used a mix of Behr and my Pixie Dust Paint Company additive to mix my own chalk-type paint.

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I painted the entire cabinet in the green paint and used white stain on the drawers and door.

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To get that aged, worn look on the new paint I apply Dark Umber furniture wax, which is a dark wax from Vintage Market & Design. I do not use clear wax first. I apply the dark wax directly to the new paint and you can see how in my video.

This vintage cabinet is solid and sturdy and has years of life to give to somebody. It’s available and you can find the info in our Etsy shop and on our Facebook page: facebook.com/gdoorstudio.

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