Sunday, 22 February 2015

Painted Mirror

You know those projects that you put off for a very long time, and then once you finally do it wonder why it took you so long? This was one of those projects. 

I've wanted a mirror over the top of the closet / ledge in our living room / entrance for several years but couldn't find the right one. Then a few months ago I found one that was the perfect shape. As an added bonus, it was cheap and not heavy. The only problem was the colour but that's easy to change. And yet, it sat unpainted for months. Honestly, it probably would have stayed that way until summer (aka spray paint season) but the other night I decided it needed to be painted and hung up right away.

One thing I was dreading was taping the round edges but I saw an awesome trick that was responsible for my need to paint it immediately. I wish I knew the blog where I first saw it but I didn't pin it and can't find it again. If you happen to see it, please let me know. So what's the big trick? Instead of taping the mirror, rip pieces of cardboard and tuck them underneath the frame. Quicker and easier than taping, and it worked pretty well.

Now's the point where you should not do what I did. Instead of priming or finding paint meant for plastic, I used cheap white acrylic paint and a foam brush because that's what I had on hand. After several coats I achieved good coverage but the paint did not adhere well. It's fine for my purposes because the mirror is up high and won't be touched but if it was going in a high traffic area, the paint would be chipped and damaged very quickly. Be sure to use the proper kind of paint for your project.

Back to the cardboard trick, once I'd done my final coat I carefully removed the cardboard. The line wasn't as clean as if I'd taped it but, like I said above, this mirror is up high so nobody will be looking at it that closely. If I wanted perfection I could have cut around the edge with a sharp blade before removing the cardboard but I didn't bother.

Thankfully, J was willing to hang it the next morning, as I don't think I could have reached, even on a ladder. It's not placed exactly where I wanted it (slightly more to the right) but I'm not about to complain or ask him to move it. Even though it's not perfect, I'm really pleased. I love the clean look of the clean white frame and it helps break up the large, odd wall in our living room.

Shared at: Sew Much Crafting, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, A Creative Princess

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Funky Trees: Art Class Number Three

Are you sick of my paintings yet? I hope not because I'm hooked! I've actually done four already but am a little slow in posting them. Just in case you're wondering if I've abandoned all other crafting / DIYing, I haven't. I did a real project last night so I'll share that some time this week. Anyway, a couple weeks ago we painted crazy trees.

First we made our textured background. We used white glue and plaster crack-filler, and spread it around with a pallet knife. Then we had to dry it using a hairdryer because we didn't have enough time to just leave it.

Once the texture was dry, we painted the entire canvas, leaving some gaps sort of where the trees would be. We then added the different texture to the bottom. I feel like it's meant to be water or a reflection of some sort. I chose to use orange, turning to yellow and red, which were very close to the colours in our sample picture.

Next came the trees. We started with the top, which used several similar shades of blues with some greens and purples -  colours opposite on the colour wheel from my background. I love the texture under the paint. Then came the trunks and branches. I was really nervous I would wreck the painting when I added the branches but I think they turned out ok. 

After standing back and looking at my painting (something I need to do more often), I could see some gaps and details that needed to be fixed or tweaked. A few minutes adding more details and it was all finished.

This was definitely the easiest on yet and I think it's the best one of done. With that said (or I guess typed would be more accurate) my painted flowers will always hold a special place in my heart because that was my first and my three ladies is still my favourite. What do you think - do you like this one better?

Shared at: Sew Much Crafting, The Kolb Corner, Life on Lakeshore Drive, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, A Creative Princess

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Valentine's Bulletin Board

Are you big on Valentine's Day? I'm pretty neutral about it but thought it would still be fun to spread some love on my bulletin board.

The inspiration for this board came from two separate posts: this church bulletin board from Homemaking With Monica, and this picture that doesn't link to a blog.    
I bought almost all the hearts at The Dollar Tree last week. The only exception is the package of felt hearts I bought on clearance at Michael's last year and hadn't used.

I left the blue paper up (mostly because I was lazy) and turned my printed border backwards to use the white side. I then drew a wave with chalk and randomly placed my hearts along the line, starting with the largest and working my way down to the smallest. Once it was done I used my finger to wipe away any visible chalk.

For someone who doesn't really care about Valentine's Day, I am in love with my bulletin board!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Three Women: Art Class Number Two

I was going to call this post "1930s Asian Pilgrims in New York" but thought I might scare you off. That, however, is how I lovingly refer to my painting from my second art class. All those words are ones used by other people to describe my picture. This painting didn't go nearly as smoothly as the first one, but I feel like I learned more from fixing my mistakes than I did from the parts that went well.

I know last time I said I'd take pictures during the process but I didn't. I just get so into my painting that I forget. Sorry.

We started by doing the background. I chose paint that was various shades of green, thinking it would look nice and earthy. The reality was more of a 1980s neon paint explosion. It was bad. Really bad. So bad I totally painted over it, or at least that was my intention. I switched colours and re-sponged my canvas with colours were much more the feeling I was going for. However if you look closely, especially between the women, you can still see little bits of green which I actually really like.

After the background we moved on to the girls. We had mini lessons in proportions and shading, and then got right to it. I started with the face and neck, moving on to the black hats/hair and lacy, ahem, area below the neck. (As I type that sentence, I'm fearful what searches I may end up appearing on if I word it more accurately. Anyway...) Once that was done it was time for painting the skirts, which was my favourite part. I've discovered I love painting big, sweeping lines.

Then it was on to the details, which I find nerve wracking. I worry that by that point I get to the details I will totally ruin the painting (and all my hard work). I was terrified about making the faces actually look like faces and making the accessories look realistic. Guess what? I messed up. Several time. Fortunately the instructor was able to show me how to cover up my mistakes and I think the details turned out quite well. My favourite is the silver heard necklace.

To finish the painting, I added the black beside the ladies. Then I used a circle stencil and added some blue/green dots around my page. They may look random but were strategically placed to hide some of my errors.

Even though it's unlike anything else I own and uses colours I'm not normally drawn to (or perhaps because of those things) I love my 1930s Asian Pilgrims in New York. So which painting do you prefer: flowers from lesson one or women from lesson two?

Shared at: A Creative Princess, 4 You With Love, Glitter Glue & Paint, Creatively Living, The Kolb Corner, Sew Much Crafting, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, Kathe With An E, Made in a Day, Life on Lakeshore Drive