Thursday, May 18, 2017

Refab-ulous Table

Let's take a table with some miles on it and make it look this fabulous.
Dixie Belle Paints rescued this well-loved wooden table.
Love the lines.
Here is the underside, after removing all of the parts:
Yep, the top of the table had a long crack in it.
Wood glue to the rescue.
Love the softness of the Buttercream.
Looking good.
A close up:
Realized there was an uneven place after gluing, so I added some Dixie Belle Swamp Mud to fill in the gaps. Sanded it down and painted a thin layer of paint over it. 
(YES, I placed the Swamp Mud over paint. These products are amazing!)
While the table top rested I did some rust cleanup. The hardware was all rusty, some vinegar in a bottle overnight did the job.
Looking pretty good now:
The smaller wooden pieces need some TLC next. See the piece in my vise? Yeah, we had another hidden crack.
Next up is the distress phase using the sander.
Love the way these curves look. Distressed and not:
Then a thin layer of Best Dang Wax over every part.
Thin layer of Grunge Glaze completes the look. You can see the difference against the bright table top:
Lastly another light layer of wax buffed on.
As I assembled the parts:
All together now:
The effect was spectacular:
This was great fun and the next large project awaits. I hope you enjoyed the process as much as I did.
Thank you and ciao for now.
-Trish Alger

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

playing the frame match game

Do you like handmade papers? I have a pair of framed papers with tiny pressed plants in them, and they have been requesting an upgrade for quite a while.  To make a wall grouping, I decided to add a framed chalkboard piece--all with a bit of DIY help, of course.
For this project, I used some painters tape, Americana Chalk Finish Paint for the frames, some Crème Wax coating, and for the plain glass-turned-chalkboard, DecoArt Chalkboard paint.
The handmade papers are properly framed, with sealed backings, and I really didn't want to go to the worry of dissecting and then reassembling them just to paint the frames.  So, I outlined the glass with painter's tape.  You can see the overlap, which was then trimmed with a razor blade.  Below, you can see the trimmed edge.
A simple coat of paint, and a layer of protective Crème Wax finished off all three frames.  The only slight delay was the chalkboard paint--it takes four days to cure, and then a brief baking in an oven.
All in all, I'm very pleased with this trio's upgrade.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tiffany-ized Silver Dish

Tiffany is the height of glamour and class. 
This rescued, vintage, silver dish was Tiffany-ized.

Using Dixie Belle "The Gulf" Paint, paint tape, chip brush, and Dixie Belle Satin Clear Coat Sealer this dish was rescued from the bin.

It had little to recommend, besides the great handles and legs and the overall shape of the dish.

I taped off the legs and handles.

The Gulf color was the closest to Tiffany's unique blue. Coat number one:

I wanted full coverage, so I waited for the 1st coat to dry and added another:

Three thin coats did the trick. You can always sand down areas that are too thick.

I wanted a water resistant surface so the sealer was the next coat:

This is so forgiving. The sealer brushes on nicely and dries clear and fairly matte.

Here is the big reveal:

Another angle:

One with pearls, as befitting Tiffany:

Did you notice the color? Did it remind you of any other  recent projects in that color range? Yeah, that's will be part of my office set---still to be complete. Stay tuned!!

Thank you for taking a gander.
Ciao for now,
-Trish Alger

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DIY monotype printmaking using what you have

Do you want to try monotype printmaking, but not sure you want to spend the money to purchase a gelatin plate?  Here is an easy way to try your hand at monoprinting, using materials you either have on hand, or can purchase for less than $5.00.  Here is what you will need:

1.  Something to use as a printing plate.  Here, I'm using a nice flat cookie sheet, but a piece of glass (use caution) from an old frame would work, as well.  Even a piece of glossy cardstock will work, just make sure the surface underneath is level.
2.  A brayer.  Don't have a brayer?  Old gift cards, or those credit card facsimiles that come in the mail, those work well.  Don't have any of those, either?  Fold up a piece of cardstock into a rectangle, and use the edge.  I prefer using a brayer, but will use an old gift card for this round.

3.  Stuff to make marks with.  In the finished prints you will see I used the end of a toilet paper tube, some big bubble wrap, and some paper cut-outs.  You could also use a chopstick, leaves, doilies, paper flowers, string, feathers--pretty much whatever you don't mind getting painty.  (Note that on a gelatin plate, you should NOT use anything that will actually scratch into the soft surface of the gel!)

4.  Paint.  Use whatever you have on hand, or get a few bottles of the inexpensive stuff--it's perfectly functional, and you probably won't want to use up your better-brand paints on this experiment.  I've even used old puff paints, the kind we used to use to paint t-shirts with, and it worked really well.

5.  Paper.  Lots of paper.  Again, use whatever you have.  I like printing on deli wrap, envelopes, thinner papers like printer paper, and book pages.  But again, you will want quite a lot on hand--once you start printing, it's hard to stop.  Plus, you may as well have fun experimenting while you have all this out, making plenty of prints with lots of layers of painty fun.

Protect your work area with some newspaper. 

Squirt some paints directly onto the cookie sheet or glass, and spread it thinly with the gift card.  You won't have a lot of time to ponder your prints, as the paint will dry somewhat quickly, but that's okay, you have plenty of paper to experiment with.  (You DID get out lots of paper, right???)

removing paint with the end of tp tube
Don't be afraid to add layers of color, scratch into the paint, or add more paint:
adding paint with the end of a tp tube on the cookie sheet
Pull prints by placing paper directly on top of the wet paint, and smooth the top all over with your hands. Pull the paper off, and check out the results. Not satisfied? No problem--set it aside for moment to dry, and later print a new layer over the old print.  
print using tp tube to add circles
TIP:  You do NOT need to clean the plate between each use, just use a print you didn't like much, or a piece of clean paper, or a page from a phone book to pull up any paint you don't want on the next print.
using bubble wrap and multiple layers

using bubble wrap

using bubble wrap, heart cut-outs, and book pages

Your new stash of prints is ready to use!  I've used mine as backgrounds in art journals, altered books, mixed media canvases, artist trading cards, greeting cards--I've even used them on collaged stone tiles.  And they don't have to remain "as is,"  you can rubber stamp on them, draw on them,  add collage images, or stencil over them.

If you enjoyed this DIY monoprinting hack process, chances are pretty good you'll LOVE printing with an actual gelatin plate--I know I do!  You can find Gel Press plates and tools HERE at Altered Pages, and brayers HERE.

If you'd like to see a few more prints from this session, you can find them HERE today at my blog, easily amused, hard to offend.  And thanks to the girl child, I'm now trying to work the instagram.  While I'm not very good at it yet, one thing I CAN do is find the people who follow me.  So, if you're an arty friend and follow me, I'll (eventually) find you, as well--I'm just nosy like that!  (This is instagram me.)

Happy Thursday!
:) trisha