Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Recent Project

I recently completed a fun acrylic project.  I used to do LOTS of these wall plaques, and other acrylic tole art projects along with lots of wall murals.  Because styles have changed, this one was enjoyable as it brought an 'old' craft form into a 'new' look, more in line with contemporary designs.  (most tole painting is traditional or folksy, which is fine too)

So the project was at the bequest of my step-sister whose baby girl was turning one.  I had painted plaques for her 2 other girls who are quite a bit older (in their teens).  Baby Sofia's room is in a pink and brown asian theme, featuring a damask crib quilt of intricate cherry blossom design.  Here's what I came up with...

First I scoured the internet for Asian themed fonts and graphics.  I printed out my choices, seen below.  Then I sanded the plaque and sealed it with an off white acrylic base coat. 

                            (click on photos to view larger, if desired)

Next I sanded the sealer coat and painted another coat of base color on (this one a soft golden beige by Cremacoat, which I prefer.  I used the Plaid brand for the sealer coat).  Then I drew the designs on the plaque with transfer paper.  And began painting the blossoms, like so...

First light pink, then adding darker shading and highlights...

Next I used a dark brown acrylic to paint the stems and letters...  (several coats required, here's the first layer)

You can see the transfer lines here and there, so the next step is to use a soft eraser and get rid of them all.

Since the baby's crib bedding had a frosted gold satin finish, I added some metallic gold highlights to the flowers and a thin glaze of frosty gold acrylic (Cremacoat) over the whole plaque.  I painted the birds eyes with gold and repainted their wings with brown, to stand out from the frosted bodies.  Here's a close up...

Lastly I painted the beveled edge of the plaque pink, and coated the plaque with several layers of clear acrylic top coat.

The whole project only took a couple days, working intermittently, and was fun.  My lil sis loved it, and that's the most important thing.   Hopefully Sofia likes it too!  She's the cutest baby... almost as cute as the grand-darling.  ;o)   (now, if I could just get some inspiration to finish that huge asian landscape I'm doing for Jesse's room!)  Hope you enjoyed my little project.  Bye for now.

Monday, May 17, 2010

artichokes are beautiful

artichokes are beautiful, originally uploaded by Az~Kate.
Another picture from my visit to the Botanical Gardens last week. This was in the herb garden...the artichokes are blooming, isn't this beautiful? I guess an artichoke is just a giant thistle. :) Now that I've discovered this flickr 'blog this' link, maybe I'll have more posts with my photos.

Have a good day!

April gone, May well on her way!

So, here it is already the second half of May.  And, no, I haven't posted for a month..tsk tsk.  The past few weeks have been super busy.  I went to CA for 4 days to visit mom and go to my sister's baby's first birthday (live in VA, so haven't seen each other in a L O N G time).  Then the past couple of weeks we had out of state visitors over 12 days (5 people altogether) to take part in various activities.  Jesse starred as the Cat in the Hat for his highschool production of Seussical the Musical, then came Mother's Day, and then our 30th anniversary.  We flew Jared and his girlfriend, Joi, in to be with us... so amazing to have all our boys together at the same time!  After cramming so much activity into a short week, stressed and tired I got pretty sick with a viral attack that I'm still recovering from.  Here are some pictures from late April and May...

I have been trying to get to the Botanical Gardens more regularly... that one was from April when the wildflowers were AMAZING!  In the past weeks I've gone again with Ron, then we went with our friends the Brackman's, next I took daughter-in-love and the grand-darling to see the butterflies, that was magical! (if I were allowed to post pictures of the most wonderful grandchild on earth, they'd be here, but I'm not)  Then I went again last week with my Dad and Judy.  Here are a few pictures from those various visits...

Flowers, the butterfly pavilion, dad and me, nest in saguaro with a couple dove fledglings & the last is of a mama round-tailed squirrel and baby (there were 5 babies, so cute!). 

Jesse as the Cat in the Hat... he was hilarious.  His director allowed him to ad-lib and improv quite a bit, so he took full advantage of it. The last shot is from Mother's Day when I was surrounded by all my boys and other family's been a very long time since this has happened. 

Sorry this is such a boring post... maybe I'll get back later and 'spice' it up!