Friday, November 27, 2015

Painting Pottery

I have not blogged in several weeks but that does not mean I haven't been doing anything fun. One of my latest obsessions is painting pottery at an area "paint your own pottery" shop called Pot Spot.

The last time I was there I tried a technique called "sgraffito" for the first time. Sgraffito is a technique where you apply different color underglazes and then use tools to scratch away areas to create your design.

This square plate is my first attempt. I used several different tools to get a feel for some of the different marks you can come up with.

For my next piece I painted this oval platter and added a few more colors to the mix. The image on the left is before glazing and firing and the image on the right is the finished piece.

What a fun way to spend a few hours time. I can hardly wait to go back!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

according to plan... not so much!

My last couple projects have taken so much longer than planned and this week's flower project was no different.

I bought a pottery flower a few weeks ago and, of course, after getting it home I wished I'd bought a couple more so I thought I would make some with polymer clay. How hard could it be, I thought.

I started out forming all the little pieces. No problem, going great so far.

Next I baked them and that was all fine - still going great.

When they were cool I painted them with enamel paint - still going great.

I was excited, they were looking so fun. After letting the paint dry I popped them in the oven to set the paint. But when I pulled them out of the oven, half of them had lost all their color! Hmmm... 
(note to self - next time read instructions on the paint bottle)! 
I had to repaint them all and this time did not try to set the paint in the oven.

OK, now on the the finishing work. Of course that took way longer than expected also. I spent an entire day assembling them and floral taping the stems. 

My quick little project turned out to be a 3 day ordeal but they look kind of cool in my latest "paint your own pottery" vase.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

must have toys

Just over a year ago we became grandparents for the first time. Like all good grandparents, we bought a few toys to keep at our house.

And then we bought a few more toys, and a few more and pretty soon they were spilling over the basket. Of course I could have just bought a larger basket but where's the fun in that? Instead I found this great antique cabinet.

The only problem was I didn't like the paint color so I decided to give it a face lift. I was thinking mustard would be a nice color.

Normally a coat of paint would not be a big deal but this little project went on a little longer than planned.

I've been hearing so much about the wonders of chalk paint so I figured I would give it a try. We needed to stop at Menards for a few things so I got my paint there. I picked out a color as close to mustard as they carried in chalk paint.

I started painting about 9:00 last evening and after the first coat of yellow over the barn red it looked a mess. By the time I did a second coat I realized this was not a mustard color, it was more of a sunshine and lemon drop yellow and  there is no way I could have looked at it every day and liked it. 

Being too impatient t wait til morning, I called our local Walmart to make sure someone was working the midnight shift that could mix paint. They assured me there was so off I went in search of mustard latex. 

There was someone working that knew how to mix paint but something went wrong with the recipe apparently. When she finished shaking the can and opened it to check the color it was a pale butter shade. She said she would try again but first had to go help another customer with something. Again, being impatient I didn't want to wait for her to go help someone else so I went to the craft aisle and found a softer yellow premixed chalk paint and headed home.

Still not the mustard color I'd hoped for but workable. After 2 kinds of chalk paint, distress ink, Stazon ink, acrylic paint and wax I finally finished and I love it (and now have a great place for toys)!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Imagine Flowers

Today I took an online class by Sandrine Pelissier called Painting Flowers from Imagination

I wanted to share my first painting with you.

I can hardly wait for tomorrow to go back and try it again.

My thanks to Sandrine Pelissier for this class as well as all of her other videos and art tips that she so freely shares - you are appreciated.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Every New Beginning...

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end  -  Seneca

I've been playing along with a Facebook challenge group by Tracy Scott to create 100 faces. I started my faces in November of last year and finished my 100th face for the challenge this morning.

She looked a little melancholy to me, kind of sad that the challenge was over (yes, I know I sometimes read way too much into things). Anyway, I'm pretty sure the expression meant I was not done with faces yet. So... I am going to do Sharon Tomlinson's 100 face challenge as well.

And I am off and running - meet #1.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

just face it

I spent a day at the pottery painting shop last week and I received the anxiously awaited email over the weekend that my project was ready. I could hardly wait to go pick it up this morning.


It's one vase, I'm just showing all sides. 

Having so much fun with this new obsession; we are going back this weekend!

What are you doing today?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Everything Happens for a Reason

If I ever thought much about my motto for life it would probably be that everything happens for a reason; we may not always understand the reason right away (or ever) but there is a reason.

I just got home from having lunch with my brother and sister in law, Arvid and Shirley. While we were waiting for our meals, Shirley handed me a pretty gift bag. She said she saw this and thought of me. As I opened the bag she told me the story behind the gift.

Shirley and I have thrift shopped together quite a bit and she knows I am always drawn to hands. She is also and avid garage sale shopper, so when she went to a garage sale of a woman (Kathy) and saw these hands she bought them for me.

Have you ever met one of those people who, for one reason or another, almost feel like they have a more direct line to God? Well, for me, Kathy is one of those people. She has touched my life in many ways over the years and each time I've always felt a spiritual closeness with her.

A few years ago Kathy worked at the assisted living facility where our mother spent the last months of her life. When Mom passed away it was during a shift that Kathy was working and it has always been a comfort to us knowing that Kathy was taking good care of Mom as she passed.

So when Shirley went to Kathy's garage sale and saw these hands she bought them for me as a reminder that Mom was being lovingly cared for by Kathy's hands as she left this earth. 

When Kathy put those hands on her garage sale she probably didn't put a whole lot of thought into it. But when Shirley bought them and now gave them to me it all came full circle. 

Everything happens for a reason.