February 22, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day - Walk it In

Ever wonder why glazed walls sometimes have very obvious places where the sections meet up?  That's because the artist didn't walk in their glaze!

First and most important is to start in a corner and always work from the top down.  That way any drips or missteps can be adjusted as you go.  Pull your glaze out from the corner in a diagonal -- never work in square or rectangular sections with glaze!

Now let's say for example you're doing a simple mottled glaze on a wall.  Tools you need would be:
  • Tape to protect the areas you don't want glazed
  • A bucket to mix your glaze
  • A large foam brush to apply the glaze
  • A pouncer brush to soften out edges of each section and get into corners
  • A wrap of cheesecloth to push glaze around as well as remove some from the wall
That's it!

I apply the tinted glaze with a foam brush in random, flailing, swirly patterns.  This leaves more glaze in some spots than others and will help to distribute correctly when softening.  It may sound strange but some areas of the wall should be left without glaze on them.  Why?  Because the cheesecloth and pouncer brush will help you walk glaze into those areas.  Now I'm not talking big sections of wall, I mean within the spot where you're applying with the foam brush, random spots can be blank within your swirly.

So you swirl and splat and flail glaze about the wall and now you've softened and mottled to your liking with cheesecloth and a pouncer.  How do you make it meet up without it looking like a big overlap line from glaze hell?

This is where the term walk it in comes into play.

Do not overlap the wet edge of the previous section with your new flailing glaze, just come close to it.  Then with the cheesecloth or pouncer pretend the glaze is taking a "walk" into the other glaze through your hand motion.  It helps to feather off the thickness and leave you with less visible join lines.

Work all the way across the wall from top to bottom in diagonal sections and voila, a mottled wall with soft join lines that are all but imperceptible!

And just a little side tip regarding cheesecloth -- the first few passes with new cloths will take off a lot of glaze so I usually reserve the newest for the center of each section.  But don't over saturate it either or it won't be doing its job!  When it looks more the color of your glaze than the white it started out as, its time for new pieces.

Friday's featured #faux finish is going to be so much fun, I'll be showcasing the #mural I completed on top of the blended glaze from last week's Friday feature!  Hope to see you back here for that!

February 18, 2011

Friday Feature Faux - Blended Glaze

Good morning lovers of all things pretty!  I hope this finish inspires you to think up all kinds of fun and cool ideas today -- its a Blended Glaze!

I used three different tones of blue to blend into this softly gradating finish that goes from light blue to dark.  This board is going to become a super cute mural of underwater sea life and sand plus probably some bubbles too!

Which of course brings me to the very most important part of all...the attitude adjustment this finish has provided me!  Not that I'm typically a grumpy pants or anything but ever since I decided to do this underwater mural theme I can not get The Little Mermaid soundtrack out of my head!

And really, how can anyone ever be unhappy with those fantastically fun lyrics and island beats coursing through their brain?  I think as I apply the sand, seaweed, creatures and bubbles to this board later today that I should put on the movie, or at least the soundtrack, as my inspirational backdrop!

But I digress back to that finish...

This board is intended to be water but as soon as I finished it I started thinking how cool it would look as an effect to create a cloudy sky on a bathroom or bedroom ceiling, or if I mixed a little pearl into the glaze and went with tones of white and super light gray I could create a falling snow effect...oh so many options!

This would be perfect in playrooms, pediatricians offices, rec centers, nurseries, preschools, day care centers...and I can't wait to get started installing it!

February 15, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day - Creating Crisp Lines on Stripes

Stripes are everywhere these days from linens to upholstery and home decor accessories.  In faux the way stripes are used can vary wildly depending on the application.

If you want to bring some drama and sophistication to a formal living room for example create a focal wall of tone on tone 6" wide stripes in alternating matte and metallic finishes.  When done correctly it will look like wallpaper.

I created these stripes for a nursery:

They are 9" wide and alternate in milk chocolate and baby blue strie.  Essentially I rolled the glaze on the wall within the tape lines and then pulled through it with a specific type of brush that leaves some of the glaze while pulling off other areas.  It gives a soft pin-stripe effect and it is a finish the homeowner loved because their twin boys could grow into it for years before having to redo the walls.

And that brings me to the tip of the day -- how to make sure that gorgeous paint doesn't bleed under your tape causing the perfectly crisp line to get all wonky.

Because really there is nothing worse than taking the entire day to measure out, mask off and paint or glaze your stripe only to pull the tape and find that the beautiful blue seeped over that rich brown.  A wonky line is a finisher's worst nightmare!

So you get your tape up and your stripes are ready to go.  Here's what to do.  Take your base coat and paint a line right down the inside edge of your stripe, the area where you are going to be putting the finish.  Make sure to cover a little bit of the tape itself.  Let it dry for about an hour and then complete the finish.

Voila!  Any bleed under the tape will be the same color as the wall and you've left with an almost imperceptible ridge that will "catch" the other color (if alternating) which will also help to prevent bleed through of the alternating color.

This handy little trick can be used in all kinds of places:
  • When painting the wall but not your trim run a line of trim paint along the tape
  • When doing the exact opposite run a little wall paint instead
  • If painting everything including ceilings, trim is usually completed last so start at the top and work your way down
It might mean a small bit of extra time to allow the paint to dry on the tape line but it sure will save a whole lot of headaches when you don't have to try to touch up a finish!

February 11, 2011

Thanks for the Gifties EcoKaren!

Could all of these items be any cuter or more awesome?

I'm a teammate in the best team in the land -- EcoEtsy -- and just around Christmastime our fearless leader Karen proposed doing a little gift swap with each other.  Nothing fancy, just a nice way to connect, promote through giving and all that fun stuff.  I don't think she expected the volume of positive response she got for this super fun idea!

The basic gist was if you got a gift for the holidays that was just not your thing, or if you had an item from your shop you wanted to send out to another member, the organizers would take the list of what was available, compare it to the list of wants and "Secret Santa" set up a swap partner.

And by some stroke of luck I was fortunate enough that the gal sending me a super awesome something-something was our fearless leader herself!  Hooray!

A handmad heart brooch (so romantical!), hand bound journal (sweet!!  this writer will use that all the time!!) and adorable card (that will likely go right to my husband on Valentine's Day!) arrived on my doorstep with a hand written note inside the other card.  The one with the palm tree on it.  The one that Karen picked especially for me because she knew I needed a little sunshine and warm sandy beaches right now.

And oh how right she is, I'm living vicariously through the card right now :-) 

Thanks for running such a great team, for always coming up with super innovative ways for us to connect and for your unbelievably generous gifts that you sent Karen!  I love everything and couldn't be more excited to get this package of goodies from you!

February 5, 2011

A Friend's Giveaway

Let's take a break from faux talk and chat about all things glass.  My friend and EcoEtsy teammate Debby from Debby Arem Designs is having a giveaway on her blog!  Check these earrings out...

Aren't they gorgeous?  Well I think so and you'll have to fight me for them because I've already entered!

Click on the picture above to go to her blog and enter to win.  The giveaway ends TOMORROW (Sunday) so get on over there pronto!

Coming up on the blog...Tuesday Tip of the Day!  A new feature where I'll share some super simple tips that might make painting a little easier for everyone.

February 3, 2011

Feature Faux - This Week: Heavily Weathered

I've decided to start running a new feature here at the blog called Featured Faux.  (Can't guarantee how often it'll go up but hopefully weekly!)

Our first ever Featured finish option is the one in the picture (as well, it can be found on the right under the heading 'In the Studio') and I've named it Heavily Weathered.  Now some of you may be familiar with crackle finish where a crackle medium is applied to base paint and then another paint is applied on top of that.  When the cracks start to appear and spread out it really is like magic isn't it?

Well this finish option takes your standard crackle a few steps further. I add marks, mars and scars plus an overlay of glazing and scrapes and scratches to give an even more aged appearance.  Then I top it off with a finish coat of low VOC, waterborne varnish and give you a high five for making your home look so cool!

I just caught a finisher doing something similar the other night to a desk on HGTV's new show Cash & Cari and I was impressed that its apparently a finish in fashion because I've been doing it for years and love it!

A lot of you are probably looking at my sample board up there at the top of this post and thinking 'But Jenn does walls, I don't want that all over my walls its too much!' and in many instances (not all mind you!) you're probably right.  So where do I alternately suggest putting a finish like this?

How about on a smaller, more commercially accessible piece like a headboard, picture frame, bookshelf, stepstool, wall hanging or memory trunk?  Or why not let me do the trim in one room of your house where you are trying to get that cottage feel?  Even more fun, I'll tape off stripes and paint shadow lines to make this look like individual wainscot planks.

Okay, all that is great but what if you don't like this antique white over brown look and want something softer, or brighter even?  What if you're starting to gather concepts for your soon-to-be-here little girl's nursery and want something, well, girlie?  Folks, the color options are quite literally endless!  I can do a pink on pink using a soft pink overlay on a baby pink base.  Or maybe your daughter is older and wants fluorescent popping off fuchsia (like these gorgeous flowers inspire!)?  Let's talk about doing up some custom picture frames to house photos of all her best friends.

But finishes aren't just for girls!  Maybe you're a sports guy rooting for the Green Bay Packers in this year's Super Bowl and looking to get a one of a kind "mancave".  Why not have me apply this to a couple small tables where everyone puts their drinks on game day, only I'll do it in gold over green like any Cheesehead would insist on having!

Endless opportunities exist for the color and location options of this treatment!

Where would you like to see me put this in your house?  Feel free to get in touch to discuss custom orders today, all initial consultations are free and I'd be happy to work with shipping needs for any clients out of state!

February 1, 2011

Business Networking -- My New Favorite Activity!

A semi quick update today because it is already snowing and I want to try to stay ahead of the storm as much as possible where shoveling is concerned.  Not that I have a clue in hell where I'll put it all considering the mounds on our front "lawn" are already above the bottom sill of our front windows but you know, I'm giving it my best shot! 

Maybe I could faux it with my new paint sprayer to look like big mounds of sand...That's my husband in the photo tossing a shovel full of the stuff two storms ago.  Note the height of the mounds then, we have about another 6" compacted on top of them since.  We'll be buried inside pretty soon so I'm getting out while I still can!

Last night my mom, the uber talented owner of Judi FitzPatrick Studio (who by the way created my current company logo/avatar, isn't it awesome?!?) and I attended the Arlington Entrepreneurs meeting to discuss how to expand and / or increase our business lead potential by using LinkedIn.  Now I had heard of the popular networking site but didn't create a company profile until I registered for the AE seminar so it was all pretty new to me but with the help of Andy Winig and his engaging presentation we both left a little more knowledgeable about not only LinkedIn but initiating a pitch face to face!

Oh and I'd like to thank Margy from AE for pulling my name as one of the prize winners of the night.  The information is just waiting for me to dive into as soon as I'm done with this update!  Hooray for winning, i feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now to have won two great prizes in the same week!

So of course because of the meeting I've now joined LinkedIn as Chucka Stone Designs so if you're over there and want to see some more of my work or just connect business to business I'd love that!

I met some truly fantastic people last night and may even end up booking a couple jobs (and vice versa!) from the meeting, I handed out a number of business cards and received as many interesting and unique people's ventures from Life Coaching to Nutritionists and everything in between! 

Anyway, that's about the long and short of the night.  The cool thing about the AE group is you don't have to be an Arlington resident to join, you just have to run your own business and have an entrepreneurial spirit!  So if you're in the area I recommend checking them out.  I'd love to run into you at the next meeting!