Join me at Phinney!

This coming weekend is the Phinney Neighborhood Winter Festival - one of the premier winter festivals in the Puget Sound area.  Join me at this joyous holiday event - I'm celebrating my tenth year as an artist at this show...and will give you 10% off your purchases at my booth if you mention you read about it on my blog!   I'll have plenty of vintage inspired gifts and lots of holiday cards.  Find my booth in Room 6 on the second floor of the Blue Building. 
Phinney Winter Festival
Saturday & Sunday
December 4 & 5
10 am to 5 pm each day
115 Artist Booths
Live Entertainment
Great Food
what more could you want?!  Hope to see you at Phinney!

For more information visit their website at www.phinneycenter.org


"Time" to celebrate

Given my fascination with vintage clocks, I just had to design some clock ornaments this holiday season.  I gathered up several of my vintage clockfaces and scanned them with my printer/scanner.
I cut & pasted, rearranged & resized until I was satisfied with the layout.  I printed my layout onto a sheet of iron-on transfer paper - I've been using the Art-Wear transfer sheets from June Taylor, Inc.  I then cut out each individual clockface.
Following the directions for application, I ironed the transfer onto my fabric.  I decided to use fabric stretched across small embroidery hoop frames - some metal, others painted "graphite" with Valspar spray paint- as the foundation for my ornaments.  Before I ironed, I embellished some faces with rubber stamp images and distressed others with leftover coffee.
Once the transfer was complete, I stretched the fabric in the frame, clipped the excess fabric close to the edge on the back of the embroidery hoop and added a bead of glue all around the edge to prohibit fraying.  I added some flourish to each ornament by stitching clock hands, watch gears and beads onto the front of the ornament.  A backing of patterned wallpaper (to hide the stitching) and a combination of ribbons for hanging made my ornaments complete.
If you would like to create your own clock ornaments (or any other brilliant idea!), here is a copy of my sheet of clockfaces - best to click on picture to get a larger image for printing.  Enjoy!


Of Clocks & Crowns

With the end of Thanksgiving, the holiday season begins in earnest...starting today, Faded Elegance is a winter wonderland, filled with gifts, treasures and surprises for the weeks ahead.  "Of Clocks & Crowns" is the holiday theme I chose for my space this year...

"Of Clocks & Crowns" will be on display until the end of December with new treasures added every week.
Faded Elegance
Historic Downtown Snohomish


The finish is in sight...

upcycled trophies are now celebration angels!

I just about have everything completed for my holiday space at Faded Elegance.  To follow up on my initial holiday post,  and-so-it-begins, here are the completed ornaments that started with french text on orange can lids...

The front was completed with a "noel" stamp that I hand-tinted, with a spot of glitter around the rim.  The back has one of three different images from my multi-media collages.  A little ribbon, a couple of metal buttons and that's it - ornament, gift tag, whatever you want.

And since I'm in the holiday decorating spirit, have to give a shout-out to Lezlee of Prior.  She had a post about using a goblet to make a stunning vignette...I told her that I would just have to steal this idea...here's my take on it...

 I like that you can have two levels that relate...and I love turning something upside down to give it a new purpose (a salvage studio maxim!)

Thanks Lezlee for this great idea!  Next up...clock face ornaments...


The finishing touches

Trying to wrap up my holiday decorating projects, "Of Clocks & Crowns", for my space at Faded Elegance...now the attention to detail and all the embellishment begins...
And to provide you with additional holiday ideas, there's the Holiday with Matthew Mead Magazine that was just released.  One of the blogs that I follow (and whose style I adore), Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone, is sponsoring a giveaway - CLICK HERE to get all the details...
back to my santa's workshop, aka my dining room...


Nouvelle vie

This is the saga of the sad side table which was given to me and how I gave it a new life - a french life -but of course!

Here is the square side table after it has been scrubbed down and its hardware removed.  You can't really see it in the photo, but the top of the table has various words (not of a kind nature) etched into it.  My neighbor down the street is a landlord and was going to toss this piece after some tenants left it behind.  I looked it over and decided to take it home...it is solid wood, there are dovetail joints and it has good lines - all good points when deciding whether or not a piece of furniture is worth salvaging.

Here it is after its coat of spray primer.

An aside - no one ever wants to prime...at work, I tell people that they should prime to get a good result - over half the time, people roll their eyes and shake their head - ain't gonna do it.  Priming is the secret behind good paint jobs - and primer is usually cheaper than paint- so doesn't it make sense to prime instead of doing multiple coats of paint?

I decided to use a hammered metal silver spray paint - the hammered finish would help to hide some of the flaws/nicks/scratches in the wood.  After the painting, I needed to move the project inside because the temp outside was too cold to continue...so into the dining room it went!

For the top, I decided to decoupage (image that!).  This would thoroughly hide the damage of the wood and add extra interest.  I used pages from an old french text for the initial layer.

After the initial layer was dry, I sanded the french text to make it smooth.  Then I decoupaged a layer of silver patterned tissue paper and when it was dry, again sanded it vigorously.  The tissue has a tendency to crease as you glue it down; the sanding smoothes out these creases and gives a textured finish.

Layering the tissue over the french text allows the text to show through, giving subtle depth to the top surface.  Once the sanding was complete, I applied three coats of semi-gloss polyurethane, using fine steel wool between each coat to ensure smoothness.  I'm not usually a gloss girl, but with the shine from the hammered paint, it made perfect sense.

And here it is - fin!

The polyurethane gave a slight amber tone to the top, as if it was aged...I picked up this same tone in the drawer knobs - they were once brass but all the brass had just about flaked off, revealing silver metal underneath.

Linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special...Ultimate Repurposes...lots of fabulous creative folks out there!


All together now!

Recently I stumbled upon this blog...which is a compilation of collage blogs...all in one location...how great is that!  I find that I sometimes get stuck in a rut of design ideas...having a resource like this as a reference will wake up my senses.  I love to see what other collage artists are doing...so check it out yourself...I've posted the blog link on my right sidebar as well...happy stumbling!


and so it begins...

I have plunged into the holiday spirit...my dining room table is covered with fabric, paper, tissue, glue, varnish, wire, ribbon, etc, etc, etc.  As you may know, I am the queen of making something out of nothing...I was on the hunt for ornament ideas when I spied these metal orange juice can lids in my studio...they are silver, perfect for the color theme of "Clocks & Crowns".  I cut out circles from the leftover book pages I used to decoupage the top of the french side table I am working on...glued the circle to one side of the lid.  Tool Tip here - if you have any amount of circles to cut out, getting a Fiskars Circle Cutter is well worth the investment.  You can calibrate circle diameters from 1" to 8" - I find mine invaluable...in fact, I love all of the Fiskars tools I have!  From my sewing shears to my paper cutter, they are the definitive answer to all your cutting needs.

Still cogitating on what the rest of the ornament will entail but I'll keep you posted...


Let the festivities begin!

Before you know it, it will be Christmas (or your choice of the holiday you celebrate)...so today I started organizing my miniature santa's workshop to get ready for holiday projects at Faded Elegance.

Using one of my original collages as inspiration, my theme will be "Of Clocks & Crowns".  I'm not much of a red/green/snowmen kind of gal...I like to change it up at the holidays and have a theme that's reflective of winter/family/community/peace.

Taking a color cue from my collage, I'm going with silver/blue slate/white with bits of copper thrown in for good measure.  There'll be glass and glitter, silverplate and sparkle, copper and confetti...and of course, clocks and crowns!  I'll be posting previews of projects as I complete them...a silver decoupaged french end table, clock ornaments, and possibly a bicycle wheel rim chandelier!

Faded Elegance will be kicking off the Holidays with a great sale November 26 to 29 - 15% off the entire stock of vintage and antique treasures.  Plus there will be a contest for best decorated dealer space...stop in, start your holiday shopping, see all the great displays...and then vote for me!


Friend in deed

Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Sue - we celebrated my birthday which was three weeks ago.  I have known Sue for over 30 years...we met one summer when we were both camp counselors at Camp Evelyn in Wisconsin.  She had short dark hair and two earrings in one ear!  I had short blond hair and just plain pierced ears...I made her pierce my left earlobe with a second hole...don't wear a second earring anymore but still have the hole...and many memories of times we have spent together.

The charm above is her present to me.  The phrase, "waste not, want not" was one of my mother's favorites and by osmosis, is now one of mine.  Such small gestures speak volumes - thanks Sue!








Contrast is one of the components of good composition.  You don't want everything to be the same - contrast provides an edge, a juxtaposition...always a good idea when working with collage.  Also keep contrast in mind when decorating your space...it will provide interest to your surroundings.  Find plenty of ideas for adding that special touch of contrast to your home at Faded Elegance...see you soon...


Cooking is a multi-media art form

As I have mentioned before, I think cooking closely aligns itself with collage...you take a selection of ingredients, mix them together in an interesting combination and produce an end result that is an amalgamation of your original elements... Paper or  potatoes - the process is the same!

Tonight its Black Bean Burritos.  First the filling...a can of drained & rinsed black beans.

an aside...the strides that have been made with canned beans in the last 30 years is astounding...I used to cook my beans from scratch all the time since canned beans were horrible (and black beans impossible to find in northern Wisconsin back then!)  Every imaginable bean is now canned and ready for its culinary preparation in an instant!

To the beans, I've added chopped onion and garlic, frozen white corn kernels and spices (cumin and mexican oregano).  There were leftover roasted potatoes in the fridge - I cut them up and threw them in...also a little shredded cheddar cheese.

Next is the sauce...a can of diced tomatoes with half a jar of peach/pineapple salsa - bring it to a simmer...add in a little more cumin and a spoonful of cocoa...playing off the sweetness of the peach/pineapple, it will suggest a molé flavor.

I spread a dab of whipped cream cheese on the tortillas before I rolled up the filling - adds a nice creaminess to the burritos.

Six burritos fit nicely in the Le Creuset oblong pan - make sure to ladle a good amount of the sauce in the bottom of the pan so the burritos are soft on the bottom and not tough.

another aside...I love my Le Creuset pans (and have Monty to thank for introducing them to me) ...granted they are expensive but they are worth it - they will last a lifetime.  I use the enameled cast iron french oven and the oblong roaster the most while the petite french oven and the two skillets wait their turns.

Cover with foil, bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes...a glass of red wine, maybe a green salad...excuse me, but its dinner...

worth a look...

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