From BROKEN to FABULOUS!

Today, I wanted to show you some pictures of a broken dresser that I had.

I was ready to throw it out, but I figured that since I needed this dresser in my bedroom, I would see if I could save us money by RESCUING it instead of throwing it out.

I wanted it to look good with the Arches National Park theme in my master bedroom, so I sketched out a design that would match my room.

Please let me know what you think of the transformation in the comments below.

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SO…Here is what the dresser looked like when I started.

As you can see it has one drawer that has completely broken out of it and cannot be repaired.

(Which is the reason why I was going to throw it away.)

But wait till you see how I saved this dresser.

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#1:

The first thing I did was sand the entire surface so that the new paint would stick.

Then I painted the body of the dresser with a turquoise blue color.

 

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#2:

The next thing I did was take some old brown paper ( the kind from grocery bags) and used MOD PODGE to glue it to the top of the dresser to give the top the look of old leather.

Then I added a second layer of MOD PODGE to the top of the paper and while it was still wet, I painted the top with  a mahogany colored wood stain.

 

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#3:

Now that I had the top and body all repainted, it was time to choose a design.

I cut out a diamond from a piece of cardboard to use as a template then found the exact center of each drawer and traced the diamond on each drawer.

I then got out my level and made the straight lines, and then used the diamond template again on the edged of each drawer.

 

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#4:

Now that I have the pattern on the drawer, I just need to decide what colors to paint each section.

 

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#5:

Now that I have it all base coated, I thought that it might look  better if I made the center diamond match the top of the dresser with the old leather look.

So I cut out three pieces of brown paper using the cardboard template, then glued it to the drawer using Modge Podge, then painted it with the wood stain.

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I like it better with the “leather look” diamonds.

It has a older, more western look to it now.

 

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#6:

The next thing I did to the dresser was add some graphics to the stripes next to the diamond. I did not paint these on, I used a graphic that I had printed on my ink jet printer and just Modge Podged it to the drawer like I had the brown paper.

 

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#7: 

The last thing I did to the drawers was to add nail head tacks to the outline the diamonds, and make it look like the leather diamonds had been nailed onto the drawers.

 

But what about that broken drawer?

Well… I cut a piece of 1/4″ MDF board the eaxt size of the opening, then covered it with the paper and made it look exactly like the top of the dresser then inserted it as a shelf using 4 L brackets to hold it up.

 

And here is the finished dresser.

 

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Here are the side by side pictures of the BEFORE and AFTER.

 

 

 

 

My latest Mural… “Everyone Needs A Friend”

This weekend I painted a mural for a very special little girl. 

My very own daughter.

The BEST part about this mural was that she actually helped me paint it. She has displayed exceptional talent in the arts since she was two years old. So as you look at the pictures for this mural, keep in mind that she painted every bit from beginning to end on the mane and tail of the brown horse. She is only ten years old, so her talent is pretty incredible.

  IMG_0614                  

Here is what her room looked like when we started.

Plain, boring white walls…

But for me, white walls are just a blank canvas that I can create a whole new world on. 

So bring on the white walls!

  IMG_0616                   The first thing I always do when I am painting a mural is get the background blocked in. Once you have established the position of the background, putting the main image into the painting becomes a whole lot easier.

I used a gray sky  ACE hardware brand paint in semi gloss latex for the sky. For the ground I used the same brand in a Terra cotta color.

  IMG_0619                  

Once you have the background in place you are now ready to draw the main image on the wall.

I like to use a overhead projector to blow the picture up. I will draw out the mural on a plastic paper and then use the machine to project it and make it life size.  This saves me hours of painstaking drawing time. By doing it this way I am able to see exactly where I want the picture to sit on the wall, and know how the entire picture will look BEFORE I ever start drawing.

SO that is my time saving tip for the day

 

Once you have the image sketched on the wall you can begin to color in the picture.

The first layer of paint will be a lot like coloring a page in a coloring book. There won”t really be any detail yet and the image will look very flat and lifeless at first, but don’t get discouraged. As each new layer of paint goes on, the more dimension your picture will acquire.

IMG_0620                       See how flat the horses look right now. That is NORMAL, and shouldn’t discourage you at all. Just keep on painting. It really does get a lot better. IMG_0621                 Here is another angle of the picture. From this angle you can see how that shadow I blocked in under the horses chin is already starting to create some dimension.   IMG_0624                 In this picture you can see how I am starting to add the different shades of color to the horses skin and mane and tail. This simple act of using lighter and darker shades of the same base color will create the look of muscles on the horse, and give movement to the hair on the mane and tails.   IMG_0626                   In this picture, you can see all the little details that I painted in the eye to make it look round and realistic. I also added some white to her face to give her a little bit more personality.   IMG_0627                   We did the same thing with the black mare. We gave her eyes some detail and then extended her mane so it partially covered her eye. We wanted to give the illusion of a thick, bushy mane on the black horse. IMG_0630                   Here is the finished mural. To complete the background I painted the cactus using four different shades of green paint. By doing this I am able to give the illusion of a round object on a flat wall. Then we just added a few ground details and other desert plants to the wall and that completed the painting. This mural took us 10 hrs to complete.

  Here are a few more pictures of the finished mural.            

The Backdrop for “Off Their Rockers” a school play that my kids are performing in.

My daughters teacher approached me and asked me if I would be willing to paint the backdrop for their upcoming school play. They are doing the musical, “Off their Rockers” in March, so the teacher needed a backdrop that would look like the inside of a rest home. So I purchased two canvas drop cloths that were each 6′ x 9′ and started to paint. Here are the pictures of the process and the finished project. I will post a follow up when they actually do the program and have all the kids in place with the backdrop. But for now. Here is the REST HOME COMMON ROOM.   IMG_0068             You have to look close, but you can see how I have used a charcoal pencil to trace the picture onto the canvas.   IMG_0070           The next step when I am painting a mural of this size is to paint the biggest areas first. For me, it’s just a “mind” trick. I feel like I have made a ton of progress when I get the big areas in, because you can start to see the picture emerge around the painted areas. IMG_0054             Once you start to fill in the images, the project starts to get fun. IMG_0057               If you look close you can see that I have painted the glass in the fireplace surround, and the light in the corner now has some color on it too. IMG_0058               Now we have the rocks on the fireplace, the hearth is blocked in, and the rug has the boarder completed. The vases on the mantle are also starting to take shape. IMG_0067               This is the first of the two canvases to be finished. If you look close in the bottom left corner, you can see the shape of part of the coffee table. That is just there to make sure that I line up the two canvases correctly when we sew them together to make one big 6′ x 18′ mural of the Rest Home.   So… Now lets watch the second canvas take shape…   IMG_0072             Here is the couch that will be facing the fireplace when the two pieces are sewn together. You can also see that the French Doors in the background are blocked in and just awaiting the detail to be added. IMG_0075             I just finished the coffee table and the sofa table behind the couch. The beauty in the picture is my daughter helping me paint the squares on the boarder of the rug. IMG_0077               We are almost finished. I need to decide what kind of art work I will put in the frames on the walls, and then I need to add the details to the room around the corner that will add even more dimension to this mural. IMG_0081               Here is the second canvas all finished. Now lets see them side by side. They are not sewn together yet, and still need a few touch ups now that they are side by side, but for the most part this project is finished… and it only took me 18 hrs. IMG_0084               Don’t mind the clutter, I tend to get a little spread out when I do these murals. But, that’s all just part of the creative process! I would love to hear your thoughts about this project in the comment section below.          

How the Grinch Collects Food For Christmas

This year at my school, the lunch ladies wanted to organize a food drive to collect food for our local Food Bank.

They want to help feed the needy people in our area.

So they asked me for help to create a focal point that would encourage the kids to participate and really donate BIG!

Our  lunch ladies thought that if they used the Grinch, it would make a big statement and really help in collecting lots of food for the Food Bank.

They have told the kids that they get to help the Grinch grow his heart even bigger this year.

 

So enjoy the pictures and watch as I turn plain old cardboard into some of the season’s most beloved characters.

 

cindy and max on cardboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Cindy Lou and Max. As you can see they began as a cardboard box, but now they are starting to take shape.

 

cindy and amx painted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here they are all painted. Cindy Lou stands 2′ 4″. and Max with his antlers is as tall as her.

 

grinch on cardboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the Grinch.

Now all he needs is some color.

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Here he is in all his glory. He stands 5′ tall.

 

grinch and crew all painted

 

 

 

 

 

Here they all are standing next to my 12 yr old. This gives you a really good idea of their size.

 

grinch sled painted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the Grinch’s Sled. We will put this on either side of a large pallet to collect the food on.

 

grinch set up at school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here they are all set up and as you can see, his sled is already filling up fast.

 

 

 

 

My Bathroom Transformation for only $25.00

This weekend I wanted to add some character to our main bathroom.

As those of you who have been following me know, (and have seen the work I have been doing to our new home)

I am decorating our home to give it that old world charm.

One of my favorite things about old Spanish style homes that I absolutely LOVE is the old cracked plaster walls.

I love the old boards that they put behind the plaster for support.

I love all the textures and color of these old plaster walls.

So I wanted to make our bathroom look like an old home where the plaster had cracked and fallen off in places over the years.

I had so much fun with this room this weekend.

So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the pictures.

 

Here are the BEFORE pictures with the walls just plain white. They don’t look bad, they just lack that character that you would find in an older home.

 

The next step in this process was to trace out the design of the crack. Then I got a level and created the “Boards”, I left 1/4″ between each board for the grout line.

If you are new to this, you might want to tear pieces of painter tape and cover your grout lines when you are applying the joint compound to the wall to create your boards.

Here are the pictures of the “cracks” with the boards mudded into the wall.

 

 

The next step was to base coat the wood slats. I used a combination of three shades of brown for this. I wanted the wood to be different colors like they would be if they were actually old pieces of wood that had been there for a hundred years.

While the paint is still wet, I rubbed the slates with a slightly damp cotton rag to remove some of the paint and add age and character to the boards.

 

The next step in the process was to paint the walls a sandstone color. I will add extra details around the cracks to make them “POP” but first the walls needed to be painted.

Once the paint on the walls had dried, I was now ready for the fine details to be added.

This is always my favorite step in the process because this is when my murals COME ALIVE.

I used dark brown, black, white, and light beige paint colors to accent the cracks and boards.

 

And now the moment you have been waiting for….

The Finished bathroom pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my Bathroom Transformation.

 

 

 

 

How I took a second hand desk and made it SPARKLE…

I found this desk at a second-hand store for $60.00. It was solid wood, and had really good “bones”.

We needed a desk in our room so I purchased it knowing that I could make it into something that would be a really great focal point in our bedroom.

Here are the before and after pictures of the desk project.

 

desk before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what it looked like when I found it.

 

desk base coated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After I sanded it down, I added the same color to the desk as I would be base coating the Arch with so that they would compliment each other when I was finished with the room.

desk drawer detail'

 

 

 

 

 

I painted the inside arch of the drawer blue to mimic the sky detail in my Arches National park Mural.

side view of finished desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I used a combination of golden Oak, and Mahogany wood stain to add texture to the desk. I wanted the sides and inside to look like sandstone walls. I will make the wooden slats on the top and the writing surface look like pine.

 

 

desk writing surface finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a close up of the writing surface.

 

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Here is the finished desk. It is now ready to go into our Arches National Park themed master bedroom.

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Watch me transform my bedroom into Arches National Park…

When Jeff and I were first dating we had our first “ALL DAY” date at Arches National Park. We spent the day hiking and taking amazing pictures, but mostly we spent the day falling in love with each other.

As we have looked back on our history together, we have both agreed several times that it was on that day that we both knew that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.

Then last year on November 15, 2014. Jeff un-officially purposed to me in Moab as we were hiking around the Arches in the area.

So I wanted to do something really special for him to commemorate the mile-stones we shared together under the arches in Moab.

So this weekend I set to work creating a mural that would be the focal point of our bedroom at home.

Now each night as we fall asleep together we can be reminded of the day that we fell in love and also of the day that we committed to spending the rest of our lives together.

 

Enjoy the pictures as you watch me transform our room into a scene from Arches National Park.

bedroom inspiration picture

 

 

 

 

 

This is the inspiration picture that I will use as a guide for this mural.

 

bedroom before

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the wall in the room that I will be painting the mural on… In all of it’s boring white nothingness…

bedroom with the sky blocked in

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this picture, I have blocked in the area will the sky will be.

bedroom wall with arch on but walls white

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next step was to use some drywall mud to create the texture that will make this arch look like actual rocks when I am finished.

bedroom with entire arch

 

 

 

bedroom with the arch detail mudded on

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a look at the entire Arch and a close up view of the details I added with the drywall mud.

bedroom with window wall painted

bedroom with walls painted but arch wet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two pictures show the light sandstone color that I painted the other 3 walls in the bedroom with.

bedroom with the arch base coated

 

 

 

 

 

After I had let the Arch dry overnight, I was now ready to start the exciting process of turning my room into a scene from Arches National Park.

In this picture, I am base coating the arch with a warm nutmeg color.

 

 

bedroom with arch wall base coated

 

 

 

 

 

Here you can see the entire Arch wall is base coated, now I will start to add the details that will make this wall look real.

 

 

 

bedroom with a side view of arch detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see how I am using a dark shade of burgundy to accentuate the rocks that I formed yesterday with the drywall mud.

 

 

bedroom with arch up close

 

 

 

 

 

In this picture you can see how I am adding the shelf at the top of the arch that you could see in the inspiration picture. I am doing this by using both the dark burgundy, and black paint.

 

 

 

bedroom with details starting on arch

 

 

 

 

 

I just continue to add layers of paint and gradually the rocks will begin to mimic real rocks.

 

 

 

bedroom with arch detail almost finished

 

 

 

 

 

So as you can see, the Arch now has a three dimensional look on the wall. I am happy with it and am ready to bring back in the furniture and decorate the room and surprise Jeff.

 

 

 

bedroom with desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a desk that I found at a second hand store and refinished to compliment the room.

(I will post the “before” and “after” pictures of the desk next.)

 

 

bedroom finished 1

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the finished wall with my bed in front of it. Now we can sleep under our special Arch.

 

 

bedroom finished 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the view from a different angle.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Please post comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Custom Painted Halloween T-Shirt

I had a request from the PTO president at my school to paint her a T-Shirt for the Halloween carnival at our school.

She had a very specific design in mind so we got together and

I drew a picture, she approved the picture, and then I got busy painting.

 

Here are the pictures of the finished T-Shirt.

t shirt

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the design drawn onto the T-Shirt.

(I hope you can see it.)

If not the next picture will bring the design out for you.

 

 

t shirt 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as you can now see… she wanted a Bat Girl design. 🙂

 

t shirt 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I have the painting all done and the glitter applied. Now all that is left is to glue on the rhinestones to really make it SPARKLE…

 

t shirt 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the finished T-Shirt.

 

 

Haunted House Decoration made out of cardboard

I was asked to make another haunted house out of cardboard. But this time the client requested a more traditional, whimsical house. SO here are the step by step photos of the second 5′ tall cardboard haunted house this year.

 

haunted house

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the house all cut out and ready to start painting and adding the details.

 

haunted house 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started by spray painting it a navy blue color.

 

 

haunted house 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next step was to start cutting small pieces of cardboard and creating window frames and shutters. I will also cut hundreds of small pieces for the tiles on the roof tops.

 

 

 

haunted house 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the house with all the windows framed in and the tiles on the roof tops.

 

 

 

haunted house 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took some twine string and made a spider web and hung a spider from the web.

 

 

haunted house 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a close up look of the tiles. I deliberately cut them in very random sizes and attached them in a haphazard fashion to create the illusion of age.

I also added some old creepy purple fabric to all the windows for tattered curtains. I also added “Googlie eyes” to each window in the house.

 

 

 

haunted house 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is the finished house.

 

 

I hope is the focal point that were hoping it would be.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

 

Weekend Project Barn Wood Door and Painted Owls

I got this gorgeous barn door off the Barn Jeff and I are tearing down at his farm.

The minute I saw it two years ago, I fell in love.

So of course We salvaged it when we tore the barn down.

It is now painted and sealed and sitting proudly in my front yard.

I put a barbed wire wreath on a nail in the door, and placed a bale of hay in front of it to hold my two wooden owls and farm sign I painted last week in my painting class.

Here are the pictures.