Sunday, June 29, 2014

A little Birdie Called...

I starting working on a special project for a long time friend and client who wanted to redo her vacation condo in Colorado. We selected many items on line and worked with some interesting craftsmen from web sites to find those special furnishings to complete the desired look for the home.
After finding great bedding sets and accessories, lighting was still an issue.
Older Condos tend to be a bit darker with very little light, so lamps and accent lights were important….but getting them to fit with the our "look" was an issue at times.
So I tried doing something a bit a different….find the right lamp and make the shade work by painting them and with colors to match the bedroom.
I know I wanted include my favorite theme of Birds….so I went to the web for a quick picture search to sketch my choices for the cloth shades.
A bit of tweaking and altering the colors…the birds came to life as I began to sketch the ideas.
      Paper first with added watercolor pencils to work the colors.

Here is the  bedding colors I need to work with for the custom painted shades….here I go, keeping my fingers crossed it works out.
I started by lightly sketching the birds onto the shade, using a watercolor pencil, I didn't want to have carbon smearing onto the new shade.
Next, painting the birds in the same palette of colors as pillow….
Did not use any water with my acrylics since I did not want the paint to run or bleed onto the shade.
So I opted for textile medium to add flow to my paint.

I really liked the way they turned out, it just took me a while to get emotionally ready to add the paint to the shade, but once I started, I just looked at them as just another canvas in an odd shape.
I think I will try it again, after I catch my breath and relax a bit.
They were shipped to Colorado and client will send me pictures for me to post later.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Quick Easter trip to Kansas

We were able to get away for a quick trip to Kansas, we needed to check on the progress of "Prairie Chic" our new store adventure to bring area Antique dealers and crafters together. Our plans to open the doors over the Easter weekend was a huge effort with such limited time but we pulled it off.

We were lucky enough to also have the Annual Antique Car show move the viewing and judging of the cars to the downtown area before the Drag Races at the Airport track.
Car enthusiast from all over the area came into town to enjoy the food vendors, music and prizes provided by local merchants before they cruised over to the Drag Races.

"Prairie Chic" was welcomed warmly by the locals but many visitors to town have found it to be a nice option for their shopping…..but were surprised to find that we had interior climate control storage built for those who travel the back roads and need to store their finds in between antiquing jaunts.

I grew up shopping Round Top from when it started as a little spot as a weekend flea market ….developing into todays 2 week shopping spree, with dealers from across the US selling their goods.
Many dealers who set up often make Kansas a stop to shop and restock their goodies, so why not make it easier for them to do so without having to stop shopping since they don't have a place to store that last awesome piece they couldn't leave behind.

Now they have an option…..Herington is right off HWY 77 if you check out your map, it sits right in the middle of the country, you can head out in any direction, to search for your goodies.
 Some of you who have traveled Kansas know what I'm writing about….the prices are amazing, you  can still find items priced under a $1…retail…. at stores! No wonder why the American Pickers make Kansas a frequent stop, now we invite you to check it out as well.
As for St. Mark's, the work continues, painting, installing and adding more details, But I can happily report that the Banquet Hall is ready for entertaining.
Brand new Tables & Chairs were delivered and set up over our newly installed carpeted floor.
We also added a wood Dance floor.
Curtains are hung for the Bridal & Groom wall and bright lighting has been added for your pictures.
The kitchen has 3 new stoves and Brand new Refrigerator for your Catered needs.
Adjacent to the Church I added more hand-painted filigree designs to the walls. Since this room opens up to the church behind seperate accordion doors and has its own small kitchenette for quaint coffee/cake receptions so I felt it needed a bit more pazaazz for the smaller venues. 

Upstairs I started with redoing the Antique claw foot tub, cleaning, scraping and prepping before I decided to give it a Faux Copper finish.

Close-up of finish and texture of hammered copper with metallic feet.
More to come….

Friday, April 11, 2014

Another Adventure!

Some of you who have followed the blog have noticed a theme of our fondness for Kansas. We purchased the Church with the aspirations of making it a Destination Wedding Location. My husband also became enthusiastic with another property which sat vacant for many years on the Downtown Main street.
It used to be a Ben Franklin, later a Hardware store until the owner decided to close its doors.
So my husband decided to take a huge leap and buy the building and bring in new business and visitors to the area with what is now called "Prairie Chic".
The store has a wonderful Train Mural reflecting the history of the city on one side welcoming visitors to town.
The store old signage was removed and the process for cleaning and redoing the interior to accommodate our new idea began….Prairie Chic will be a local store where Antique Vendors and Crafts/ Artists can display and sell their goods.
Consignment floor space for Fine Furniture will also be available.
Those who follow American Pickers, and watch Mike and Frank drive the backroads of America to find treasures, will often notice Kansas as a favorite destination. This is why we chose to create this space under one roof. We also decided to offer something different in this area…within the interior of the building we added a brand new Climate Controlled Storage facility with security.
 This will give Vendors and those who travel a place to store their finds or give locals an opportunity to secure family heirlooms.
Today, I was notified that our new sign was installed… we're getting closer to our  Opening Date of April 25th.
So I thought I would share this exciting news for those of you who might want to consider Kansas as a possible new or additional location as Vendors….or those making plans to visit during your vacation or  add us to your of new stops as you shop for Antiques and stop by Herington Kansas.

Check us out on

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pinterest clip art

Like so many others who have found Pinterest to be an addictive inspirational web site…..I have also taken to searching many pins when I'm in need for certain clip art free to the public.
I often search for many ideas, murals, interior design , calligraphy or elements I can take and adapt for my certain needs.
The previous post was no different, but with the ongoing remodeling of St. Mark's in Kansas…..I needed to do something while at home where I could prep, paint and then install quickly on site.
The alter itself is grand but I still felt it needed some color or definition with some design elements.
The front wooden panels were a perfect frame from something painted….but what.
After finding some wonderful Pins identifying Trompe L'oiel Panels, I was intrigued to try my own version using several Pins and adapting for my current project.
I found this black and white acanthus corner that I wanted to frame my design.
I then found this stencil from another Pin that I adapted for my own use so I can sketch the design onto my own wood panels.
After some initial sketches using watercolor pencils, I made up my tone on tone color palette and began the process, building up slowly with darker tones and highlights.
After adding stripes to create an entire border I adapted the black and white stencil.
Now all the panels are fitted and placed on the alter for an entire updated look.

Quick install and now an easier way to work in the future.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Painting Filigree

In between other projects we started in Kansas, I have been working on getting a 2nd unit in our duplex rental updated. The duplex is another historical home which has needed to be remodeled but never so more than with the resurgence of Downtown living in San Antonio.
The city has done alot of new revitalization with older buildings close by, the biggest being the old Pearl Brewery, which now houses Boutiques, upscale eateries, loft spaces and offices.
So we thought we should take steps to get on the board since larger spaces are few to be found in the area.
This second unit has taken a whole new personality and of course the kitchen is always a focal point for any new couple or tenant who wants to entertain.
Budgets are important and we try to stay on ours.
We found a great local supplier for the all wood cabinets.
Had Granite counter tops installed.
The floor was still an issue though....I didn't want to completely refinish the floor since the entire apartment will have them done....I wanted something fun.
Why not paint?
After cleaning, sanding and prepping, we painted the entire floor in Sherwin Williams, Vermilion Red.
After several coats for the rich deep red, it still needed something?
Scrolls, Filigree, Black details.....I thought, just do it, it's only paint, if I don't like it, paint it red again.

I found a couple of example on Google and Pinterest for the filigree, but it's actually quite easy once you start going. I use a watercolor black pencil to initially draw the swirls for size, but once you start you start filling in with the other leaf like swirls. Using the right brush makes the whole process so easy, it actually makes the paint flow for finer details.
Liner brushes and a flat brushes are ideal for this.
I've done this before on furniture with great success, but so happy I tried it on the floor, it's just what it needed.
Final clear coat in Satin Poly-acrylic, BM makes a perfect one for furniture and floors, so it doesn't yellow with time.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas inspirations in KC

Happy Holidays everyone! I do hope everyone is well and doing great during this "sometimes" hectic season. It's amazing how quickly time has flown by, and now Christmas is upon us in a few days and with all this craziness my husband and I made a trip back to Kansas to check on the church.

After dealing with the cold freezing weather during our stay, we had a few hiccups, we're not used to in Texas that we had to deal with in Kansas.
Frozen water pipes.....yikes, even flooding in our church basement. Thankfully we were still working with remodeling and the floor hadn't been done yet, so we saved ourselves a bigger headache if the floor had already been replaced.
So it was good we were there when this happened.
Yet, having this spot in a small town has it's upsides and our plumber was terrific getting it fixed ASAP.

Despite this mishap, we still kept on our schedule and headed to Kansas City to see and shop the First weekend of the Month at the Warehouse District.
I was literally gloriously amazed and in awe of all the dealers and crafters.
I was sad though that I only was able to visit two warehouse buildings.....didn't realize I needed more time.
Take a look.

I did notice the trend in tea dyed old lace, burlap is still strong, silver and gold metallic was very popular.
Natural textures, painted signs and chalkboards still abound.

So with so much to see in these old warehouses, I need to plan for a couple of days to visit the next time we plan our trip. Note to those who never visited, the warehouses are huge, 5 stories of shopping in some and I think there are 5-6 buildings to shop. Atmosphere is fantastic and you might be a able to take a ride on an old freight elevator like I! post will pictures of the painted alter I did. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Murals in Pontiac,Illinois

We just returned from a trip back to Kansas to work on the Church and check on the contractors working on some repairs.
We're trying our best to keep on schedule for Jan 2014 and it seems we're on track so far.

So my husband decided to take a quick trip to the Ford museum and Greenfield Village, to get his vintage car fix. The Fall weather was perfect and with kids back in school we enjoyed the facilities without long lines. On our way to Michigan, we took a slight detour off Route 66 and visited Pontiac, Illinois where he knew about the extensive artistic "Mural" tour the small city has undertaken and felt I would enjoy the inspiration....and I sure did.
The town was quaint and picturesque as we strolled to see the vibrant wall Murals.
Large Murals and Bright details

Even alley ways were painted in fun concepts ( vintage garage ) to keep strollers excited about the art.
Of course playing on its name sake, Pontiac took advantage to create an interesting little car museum of their own reflecting the history of the Pontaic. They have a very nice set up with vignettes creating just the right atmosphere for the era of the car displayed.
A camping set-up
I appreciated the art work even more when I knew the city decided to do something unique to get people off Route 66 and visit this little town. With historic towns slowly fading away its nice to see their efforts paying off with buses of tourists visiting the town.
 I hope we can do the same in some little way in Heringtion Kansas. The people are very nice but the aging population need some re-vitalization with young families and people with the foresight to see it's wonderful possibilites.