Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Artful Blogging Feature


A few months ago, the editor from Artful Blogging reached out to me about writing an article.  I am sure you can imagine my excitement!  What an honor!  
The task was thrilling and scary at the same time!  

My article was just published in the latest issue, released the beginning of May!  
I was elated to see that they chose to use three of my photos on the cover!


I have always compared my photos to the work of other blogger's and felt like mine just weren't up to par.  It was very affirming when the editor of a publication that featured artists and bloggers whom I have followed and admired for years reached out to me for a feature!

On the other hand, being asked to write an article to go along with the photos was quite intimidating!
I was given free reign on the subject matter, which as freeing as it may sound actually made the task more difficult.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed the process!
   

Overall, it was a fun and exciting experience!  The best part was walking into Barnes and Nobles with my little girl and seeing the look on her face when we took the magazine off of the shelf and opened it up to a photo of our handsome kitty, Boots!

Thank you so much to all of you who have followed me along on this blogging journey and continually showed your support and encouragement!

I appreciate you, more than you know!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Winged Cabinet Video


The latest addition to my You Tube Channel is a video showing the progression of this "Winged Cabinet."  Don't you love this gorgeous new stencil from Artisan Enhancements?  As soon as I received it I knew it was going to be the focal point of an upcoming project!


This vintage radio cabinet was the perfect candidate.  The "drawers" on top were faux, so I removed the hardware, filled in the holes with wood putty and proceeded to paint right over them.


The rest of the process is all here in this short time lapse video!  I will admit that it goes fast but I have included title pages to explain which step is coming up next and the products I am using.  As usual, my furry four legged friends make several debuts and I think they add something special to the video!  

Enjoy!


Thank you for your sweet visit today!  
As always, I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have!

Best Wishes and Blessings,

Amanda


Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Subtle Details...A Vintage Buffet Makeover


Last week this lovely little vintage buffet made her way into my booth at Camas Antiques!  I was putting the finishing touches on her just moments before this photo was taken!  It was kind of a mad dash to get her to the shop, so I didn't quite get as many photos as I would have liked to!


When I picked her up, she was sturdy, clean and had great hardware but she was dark oak and I envisioned a much lighter, brighter look for her.


I mixed Old White and Pure White to create the color Annie Sloan calls "Original."

On the doors I applied a raised stencil relief using Artisan Enhancements VP Antico and their Fleur with Laurel and Crown stencil!  If you're interested in learning more about the raised stencil relief, please visit this blog post where I have described the technique in detail and shared a time lapse video of the process.  Normally I jazz up the relief with foils or glazes but I decided to keep it simple and subtle this time...just a hint of French elegance.

I did go over the entire piece with a light French Linen Wash and a little Old Ochre in select areas.  Unfortunately it was hard to capture in photos the subtle depth that these washes created.


On the inside I painted a pretty grey-blue.  It was a color I had mixed some time ago and had just enough left over to complete the interior.  I'm afraid I didn't make note of the color ratios...I am just not that organized!  If I had to guess, I would say it was a mix of Louis Blue and Paris Grey.


Rhododendrons, our state flower but not my favorite.  I enjoyed this one from our front yard during the short time it was a pretty pink this year


There she is...perfectly snug in my little booth, awaiting a new home!  Tomorrow the booth gets an overhaul...ready or not!  Follow me on Facebook for the reveal!

Thank you so much for your sweet visit!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda



Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home



Thursday, February 18, 2016

Image Transfer Time Lapse Video, Mon Chéri




As promised, I have a quick time lapse video to share with you today!  This one features Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel, Pearl Plaster and Scumble Glaze!

Have a look and then scroll down to the bottom of this post if you are interested in the step by step details involved in creating this finish!



I found this beautiful authentic vintage tinted photo on Etsy and had it printed to fit my cabinet door at my local UPS Store on their laser color printer.  Your image must be laser printed to work with the Transfer Gel.  If the image had any text on it, I would have needed it printed in reverse in order for it to transfer correctly.

I painted my cabinet door first, but I have also transferred images directly onto wood, so I know that works too!  I like to transfer onto a smooth finish, so I lightly sand my painted board before painting an even coat of Transfer Gel onto it.  I apply it with a brush but you can also roll it on, just make sure you put enough on that the image is really going to adhere, but not so thick that it's drippy and oozing out the sides.  Lay down your printed image immediately, before the gel starts to dry.  Smooth the paper out carefully with your fingers, avoiding creases and bubbles if possible.  

Allow the gel to dry completely.  I usually let mine dry overnight but I have left them for several days and still had good luck with the image transferring.

Once dry, you are ready to carefully remove the paper fibers from your project to reveal the transferred image.  Roll up your sleeves, grab a damp sponge and don't rush it!

It’s important to know and remember that the image is supposed to sit on top of the Transfer Gel, so if you rub too hard and rub away the gel, you will also rub away the image.  I strongly recommend practicing this process once or twice on a sample board before attempting to transfer an image onto a surface that you have gone to a lot of work to prepare.  As tempting as it may be, don’t use the scrubby side of a sponge to remove the paper!  Just roll the paper pulp gently with your fingers, and do your best to be patient with this process.  It will be well worth your effort!

You should know that as many times as I have done this, I always end up with areas where I've rubbed a little too hard and removed some of the image.  I like to think it adds to the antique look of the image and I play it up by further distressing the rest of the paint finish.  Even the image transfer masters admit that their transfers aren't perfect, at first.  Many will come back and "touch up" their image with their paint palette and a small brush when all is said and done.

When I was satisfied with my image transfer, I had some fun creating a raised stencil relief with Artisan Enhancements Pearl Plaster.  I used the Leafy Scroll stencil from Artisan Enhancements for this one after I made a few adjustments to it with my scissors so that it would lay flat inside of the cupboard door's "frame."  If you want to read more about raised stencil reliefs, have a look at my Crown Jewels project.  I go into more detail about the process there and although I used Artisan Enhancements Fine Stone for that one, the technique is the same.

Artisan Enhancements Scumble is a tintable glaze-like medium.  I created my own custom glaze for this project by adding about a teaspoon of Pearl Plaster and a teaspoon of Provence Chalk Paint® to 5 teaspoons of Scumble.  I brushed this mixture all over my piece (after the raised relief was completely dry) and let it sit for about two minutes before wiping it back with a damp sponge.  I played with the glaze for a bit, adding more and wiping it back again until I was happy with the effect.

I chose Clear Finish by Artisan Enhancements to seal this project when it was finished and completely dry.  Clear Finish is a protective sealer that provides some sheen which was what I needed to highlight the shimmer of the Pearl Plaster glaze and relief.


To see if there is an Artisan Enhancements retailer near you, visit www.artisanenhancements.com and enter your zip code on the "find a retailer" page.  The full line of Artisan Enhancements products and stencils are also available to order online here:  https://shop.artisanenhancements.com/

Thank you so much for your visit today!  More projects are in the works and will be shared soon, so please be sure to connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and if you're a fan of the videos, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well!  

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda



Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Elegant Lady Art Board



Just a quick post to share an art board I finished up and delivered to my booth this week!  I found the beautiful image on The Graphic's Fairy page and transferred it directly onto the board using Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel!

I am finishing up a still frame video of the transfer process that I hope to have ready to share with you later this week!  So many of you have asked about the Transfer Gel and although the tutorials are helpful, I think you will get a better idea of the process when you actually see it happen before your own eyes!


Once I had completed the image transfer, I painted around the image with Old Ochre Chalk Paint® and then applied Artisan Enhancements VP Antico for an aged plaster look.  I then used the Rosy Vine stencil to create a raised relief in areas, also with VP Antico.  

Annie Sloan's dark wax added a bit more depth and patina to the finish and I accented the vine motif with gold gilding wax.

I hope this post leaves you inspired to experiment with some new painting techniques and finishes!  There is just no end to the possibilities of what you can create!

Visit again later this week to see the image transfer process in my next jazzy art video!  See it first when you subscribe to my YouTube Channel and please follow me on Facebook for more project updates!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda





Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants

Friday, February 12, 2016

Revisiting an Old Favorite and a Few New Projects


A couple of years ago I shared the details of this little keepsake I created for my daughter's room, here.



The project started with this thrift store find.  The frame I loved, but the print was not so nice.  Would you believe that I recently found the exact same framed print once again, this time at a garage sale?  It must have been one of those mass produced decor pieces.  I wanted to do something a little different with it this time around.


I painted the frame and print all in Antoinette Chalk Paint®, sealed with clear and dark wax then highlighted the frame's details with gold gilding wax.  I then added a vintage beaded earring that acts as a clip to hold a photo or other memento.

I first tried adhering the earring with epoxy which usually works for just about anything.  After allowing the glue to dry overnight, I pulled lightly on the earring and it came right off!  Darn!  I believe it was the wax that it had a hard time sticking to.  Determined to make it work, I used my staple gun to carefully secure the earring in place, then glued a piece of decorative trim over the staples to hide them.  That earring isn't going anywhere now!


While I had my Antoinette Chalk Paint® still out on the counter, I decided to paint a little vintage train case that had been sitting in the garage.  I used the Floral Scroll stencil from Artisan Enhancements to add some fun detailing in Old White and also painted the inside of the case in Provence.  I sealed it inside and out with Artisan Enhancements Clear Finish which is super easy to apply and gives a nice wipe-able, waterproof sheen which I thought would be ideal should someone want to use this case for makeup or even to pack food in!


These little Avon lotion jars are another thrift store item I come across frequently and always pick up when I find them for a good price.  The jars are glass but the lids are plastic and usually have a silver finish that is flaking off.  I painted these in Old White, added a little Clear Wax and a whole lot of gold gilding wax.   



In addition to all of these little makeover projects, I also added several beautiful vintage slips to my booth.  They can be found hanging in the vintage pink wardrobe and I have more to bring in over the next few days!  So pretty and so fun!

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Thank you so much for your visit!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda


Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Crown Jewels, Artistic Paint Finish Video and Tutorial



Artisan Enhancements Fine Stone is a plaster product with a stone like texture.  I came across a photo once where an artist had used this medium to incorporate sea shells into an artistic paint finish and the thought crossed my mind, why not jewels?


Ever since the idea came to mind, I have been dying to create a bejeweled crown using Artisan Enhancements Crown stencil and Fine Stone!  Here's the short video I made of the project unfolding.  Make sure your speakers are turned on.  I found the perfect song to go along with this piece!  




If you enjoy this video, I hope you will consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel!  I am in the process of filming more projects that I hope will spark interest and inspire others to try their hand at some new paint finishes and techniques!

Now, if you were intrigued by this video and really would like to create your own bejeweled crown or put some of the techniques I showed to use, I am going to walk you through the steps with a little more detail here.



1.  Paint a wood cabinet door on off white color, creating texture in the paint finish by moving your paint brush in various directions as you cover the door.

2.  Once the paint has dried, lay down the Script stencil from Artisan Enhancements and stencil a few areas of the door to create a backdrop for your crown.  I used a lavender paint color with the Script stencil.

3.  When your stenciled areas are dry, you can position your crown stencil.  It's a good idea to also lay out your jewelry on the stencil at the this point to get an idea of the design you want to create.  I used three strands of pearls, parts of a head band, a vintage brooch and an old shoe clip.  If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen where I played around with the arrangement of these pieces before I set them into the Fine Stone.  

4.  Artisan Enhancements Fine Stone is naturally white in color.  You may want to tint it with a little paint for your crown.  I added a small amount of dark grey paint to my Fine Stone before smoothing it over the Crown stencil with the Color Shaper tool.  As soon as you have covered the stencil design completely with Fine Stone, remove the stencil.

4.  While the Fine Stone is still very wet, position your jewels into place, setting them directly into the Fine Stone.  If you can, go ahead and allow the bejeweled Fine Stone to dry overnight.  By this time all but one of the jewelry pieces were completely secured to my crown.  I simply added a little epoxy to the back of the one piece that didn't adhere well and then gave it several more hours to dry.  I had time to put this aside and wait, but if you were in more of a hurry, a hairdryer would help speed things along.

5.  Artisan Enhancements Scumble is a tintable glaze.  To add dimension and play on the texture of the painted background, create a grey glaze by mixing 5 parts Scumble to 1 part grey paint.  Brush this mixture over the entire door, wiping it back immediately with a damp sponge.  Have a clean, damp cloth handy for the remainder of the project in case the glaze or any other product clouds your jewels.

9.  Allow the Scumble glaze to dry before applying Artisan Enhancements Leaf & Foil Size to select areas of the crown design and the border of the cabinet door with a small paint brush.  Choose areas that you will want to highlight with metallic foil.  Allow the product to tack-up.  This takes about 20 minutes.

10.  Lay down pieces of metallic foil, shiny side up over the areas where the Leaf & Foil Size was applied.  Gently burnish the back of the foil with a stiff brush and remove the foil.  I used the Silver and Pewter foils for this piece.

11.  Finally, seal your entire piece with a thin application of Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoat Sealer, using the designated Top Coat Brush.



I love this photo of Marilyn from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!  My best friend and I watched this classic movie many times during our high school years!  It made us feel especially glamorous as we did our hair and make up for school dances!  The song brought back such fun memories!

Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda





Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours