Saturday, May 31, 2008

Count your blessings!

When I was driving down the street, I saw this old church steeple up ahead. As I got closer and could see it better, I slowed down and just had to pull over. It was so beautiful! So very old.

The building is architecturally ornate with lovely stained glass windows.

However, time and neglect have taken it's toll on the old place. Many of the windows were broken and boarded up. The many layers of paint have cracked and peeled!

Shingles are gone and poorly repaired, and yet I stood mesmerized by it's beauty. ...

I wanted to touch it! I wanted to go inside and sit on an old wooden pew ...and whisper in my Father's ear. I wanted to tell Him how much I love Him...and thank Him for loving me first. I wanted to thank Him for sending Jesus and forgiving me of my sins... for mending my broken heart, so that I am able to forgive too. I wanted to thank Him for sending His Holy Spirit to live in me, to comfort and teach me. I wanted to tell Him how much I appreciate Him being my Shepperd and for taking care of all my needs.....when suddenly I realized ...I just had.

What are you thankful for ? Would you be willing to 'count your blessings' and share what God has done? Just click on Comment: and share your thoughts.

When we seek Him, we'll find Him, when we seek Him with all of our heart.

This old house, cont.....

On May 16Th, ...this old house...I mentioned I was plastering and painting the bathrooms in our home. One of the bathrooms ( Coach's) is finished and I thought I'd show you pictures. We bought this darling Tudor cottage over two years ago and continue to make changes and frequently dream of future projects.... like a guest house w/ a sleeping loft....... and a large screen room with vaulted ceiling ......that would open into our house through 3 pairs of french doors,..... and also open onto a large deck! I love dreaming! And that's why it fun to show pictures of this bathroom, because until recently it was just a dream! I could kick myself in the ' you know what' for not taking 'before' pictures! The transformation is drastic. I know you would enjoy the comparison! Please allow me to quickly explain the 'before'!
Pale yellow paint on ' orange peel' walls with a 'once upon a time', sweet pansy wallpaper border( and trust me, Coach is not a big fan of pansy paper). A typical 15 yr. old bathroom cabinet with a poured 'cultured marble' sink / counter. A built -in towel cabinet above the toilet. Vinyl wood floors. Patterned glass shower doors. There! It amazes me that we've waited this long to change it ...but you know how time flies when you're having fun!

So here is the new look:
(Oh my goodness! Please disregard the 'tea pot' art hanging on the wall. I love the frames and will be painting something this week to replace these.) Instead try to focus on the simple, soothing new decor!
Hand troweled textured walls, painted and glazed. Can you see that the ceiling is a pale blue grey color? I love it! It's called Winter in Paris, an American Tradition shade at Lowes. to blend with 2" Indian Autumn slate tiles on the floor. New stained cabinet with sink and marble top. Decorative iron mirror and nature themed accessories. ....

(The quail eggs in this nest were a source of inspiration in the colors I used.)

Complete with library!

We love the way everything looks. I'll post pictures of the 'girls' bath later this week. And by the way Monday I'll post the details about the contest!

Friday, May 30, 2008

This is the day that the LORD hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!

It has been another amazing week. After several days of painting I'll be heading home today. I have alot of things to share and will begin to do so this afternoon. Next week and I plan to post often....maybe every day. Woohoo! I've come along way, baby! This whole 'blogging thing is so fun'! If you haven't started your own, I'd like to encourage you to begin one soon. (Thanks Daila, for showing me what a blog is and for helping me get started. it's been good for me...your are such a wonderful friend! )

Anyway! I've got alot of things planned this up coming week including my 1st contest ever! I can hardly wait! And for the winner, there will be a lovely prize!
So exciting...because at this very moment I have absolutely no idea what this contest or it's prize will be but I promise I'm going to have one this week as soon as I figure it out. Check back frequently so you don't miss out on the fun!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Here are a few more pics of things I've recently painted in Midland .

An ornate chest encrusted with many layers and colors of paint ....then heavily drizzled with a dark stain and spritzed with mineral spirits for additional character and interest.

Before stain...

After stain....

Beautiful shades of purple grace the walls of this amazing room.
An upholstered arm is chair embellished with a painted acanthus leaf.

This is the beautiful home of Rodney and Julie Woodard. The antebellum inspried beauty is less than 20 years old and has been a standout among Midland homes. The Woodard's purchased this house 1 year ago and have been extensively renovating to date. Rod and Julie are an amazing couple! Their patience, hard work and attention to detail is inspiring!

This stunning foyer will warmly welcome all who step across the Woodard threshold! The walls are painted in several shades of water-based Ralph Lauren metallic paints. Beautifully reflective. The technique was a bit complicated, involving several steps. Plus the mammoth proportions of this space ( 20 x 20 x 20 ) made it made it more than challenging to paint. However the finished effect is gorgeous.

Three steps to paint a design on the wall:

With painters tape, tape a grid on the wall. Then sketch on design with graphite, charcoal on light colored walls or chalk on dark. Paint in the design with a large brush and loose strokes. When dry, dab wall color randomly over design which creates the illusion of distress and peeling paint. This alone has a great look! But for those settings that demand more drama, a haphazzard brushing and wipe- off of Minwax stain and seal ( my fav. color, dark walnut)

By using different designs, color combinations, and scale, this concept can be used in many ways. On canvas, walls, ceilings. On one focal wall or an entire room. With or without distress. with or without stain. Depending on the design and application, the look can range from modern to traditional, old world to shabby chic.

Another week of painting has produced a couple of 'snazzy' rooms! And who better to share them with than you. Again, Midland, Texas is the setting for the dazzling decor I'm about to display. Midland is a cultural oasis in the midst of a west Texas desert and needless to say the price of oil has given alot of folks some extra cash. Although the terrain is quite barren, the sunsets are breathtaking (the lack of trees provides an unobstructed view, horizon to horizon). But the most important thing I want to mention is the warm, friendly, generous people that live there. Midland, Texas is unique in many ways!

Now, let me introduce you. This is Sid.

This is Sid's house. Sid is staring, in disbelief I might add. Sid is speechless! Let's get a closer look at what has got this west Texas girl's tongue...

What started out on Tuesday morning, as a plain solid black wall has made a dramatic transformation! Sid, eventually able to speak one well chosen word says, "Masterpiece"! It couldn't agree more! And the truth be known no one is more surprised than me.

The design pattern is the same one I used in my dining room (see previous post). This time an overhead projector was not an option so using painters tape I formed a grid on the 5' X 8' wall. Then with ordinary white I sketched the design onto the wall while looking carefully at the fabric. This step is VERY IMPORTANT and took several hours. Next came six coats of Ralph Lauren metallic gold paint (I used a bright brassy gold). I'm sure a base coat of something would have greatly expedited this step, but unfortunately I just don't think like that. (I'm often a ' work hard, not smart' kind of girl) Oh well, then on Wednesday afternoon came the silver highlights, plus alot of visual and mechanical distress. Topped off with a liberal drizzling of dark walnut stain and seal. Yummy!

The overall effect...Wowser!!!

Thursday was devoted to one of the powder baths. I didn't have as much time to spend on this little room, so I shot from the hip and free-handed everything using the same palette as above, including the stain. Very nice!

As I left, Sid was staring once again, in a speechless gaze

but a close inspection of her face revealed the one thing I needed to see...a smile!

Friday, May 16, 2008

This old house...

This week I've been 'plastering' and painting two bathrooms in our house. I wished I had thought to photograph the process step by step but nope! never occurred to me until just now. Darnit! The 'mud' is all gone. The trowel is clean....double darn! But if you have ever wanted to have that 'old world' , 'not perfect' stucco kind of look on your walls, I'm confident I could walk you through it. It's alot like frosting a really large cake with a trowel that looks like a pie server.

Our house is a 1937 Tudor Cottage. I call it the 'Robin's Nest' (someday I'll tell you why). It sits on a tree lined boulevard in the historic part of town.It is such a cutie! We really enjoy living here. Old houses are so special and full of character and charm. Unfortunately, they frequently require upkeep and repair. It can be a little frustrating and expensive, but if you are an 'old house' kind of person a new house, just never feels quite right.

We have alot of projects going on right now but one that is completed can be found on the dining room walls. A couple of years ago when we bought this house, I was constantly looking through magazines and gathering ideas. One thing that really grabbed me and made me want to run down the street screaming was a room that had a 'large scale' damask wallpaper on the walls! I was determined to get that look. I never really considered going to the trouble or expense of wallpapering but quickly decided I would paint the 'look' I craving.

Typically, I free-hand everything I paint, never using stencils ( too tricky for me). Yet it occurred to me that this method would be extremely time intensive. So, I tried something I had never done before .... I used an over-head projector! Remember? The kind we used in school?

First, I found a design I liked. Your design can be on fabric or paper. note: If you choose a fabric, later you can increase the WOW!!! factor by using them in drapes and(or) upholstery.
I walked into Kinko's with a yard of fabric in my hands and asked them to make me several transparencies that would show the entire pattern. I bought two shades of latex paint. Borrowed an over-head projector and painted 4 long days. I couldn't be happier with the results!
It did take alot of coloring in a gigantic coloring book, but it didn't cost much and requires no artistic ability. Below are a few helpful tips I learned during the process:
*Keep the projector a consistent distance from the wall, so the design will not GROW and shrink as it moves around the room. (I made this mistake but fortunately, it was not noticeable after the room was decorated)!
*For the lower half of the wall, sit the projector on the floor. For the upper half sit it on a tall bar stool. The outer edges tend to get a little fuzzy, so you may have to turn the projector off, to blend the edges and transition the stops and starts of the design. If in doubt refer back to the original design.

*You may want to quickly chalk-in the outline, turn-off the projector, and then fill in with paint. The replacement bulbs are very expensive! ( I did not do this! I left the bulb on for long periods of time and painted directly onto the shadow cast onto the wall.. Eventually the bulb burned out, delayed the project and shocked me that a little light bulb can cost over $50).

* Experiment with the scale! The larger the design scale, the more simpler to paint.

Once you complete this kind of project, you'll realize that the possibilities are endless because you can project anything onto a wall and paint it! If you have any questions feel free to ask! Just click on Comment, ask and I'll answer ASAP.
random thought: This is me holding Carter(in front of the wall we've been discussing, perhaps that makes it less random). She is my first, favorite and only granchild. She calls me Roxie, or Roxy, or perhaps it's Roxi? Anyway, I'm absolutely crazy about her! ...and guess what?Carter thinks I'm adorable. Which makes her all the more precious to me!!! ( wouldn't it be a wonderful time for the 'blog fairy' (you know who you are) to swoop down and drop a little video into my blog with Carter saying, "Roxie, I think you're adorable!"? Yes! It would be so nice...just precious...oh, please, oh, please! drop it right in here>