Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Mantel Project

When the Hunnie and I moved into the condo, this is what the cute little fireplace area looked like.  I enjoyed it, I really did.....but it was a little small to set anything on.  So, I got an idea to change it! 
I had the Hunnie measure it, and we once again ran to the Home Depot to get a piece of wood that would fit on the little ledge, but hang over enough so I could decorate!
Because all of our furniture accessories (tv stand, coffee and end tables) came from Ikea and were a beautiful brown with a nice black glaze on top, I had to figure out a way to make the wood piece we had cut match what was in our living room already! 
So, I basecoated the wood piece Folk Art Dark Brown, and let it dry and season a bit before I went on to my next step.
I used a palette knife to add quite a bit of Folk Art Glazing Medium to Licorice acrylic paint.  I mixed it well......

and brushed it over the Dark Brown color quickly.  I let it set up just a couple of minutes and wiped it with a soft, clean cloth.  I went back after it was dry, and re-applied the glaze mixture where it had been rubbed a bit too much, or hadn't adhered the way I wanted it to. 
The Hunnie attached it to the little mantel ledge with large screws for me. 
And this is what I ended up with when it was finished!  I'm so happy with how it all turned out.  I can set some candles on the mantel now without worrying that the man upstairs will walk too hard and they will fall on the floor causing probable disaster!  I'm a worrier, what can I say?  What do you think?  Easy project to do, and easy to remove when the Hunnie and I find another place that we can make our own. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beachy Inspiration

My youngest son made me this easy box from scraps of wood.  He's gotten himself a new job, here, in California, where he's learning carpentry.  Nice.  The Hunnie and I are still decorating the condo here, and ever since June, when I made this project for Paint Me Plaid, I've been wanting to make something with the same theme.  So, I did!
I started out painting the entire box with Butter Pecan, by Folk Art (of course).  Inside and out, and added a second coat where necessary.
I waited for it to dry, and used my favorite distressing tool, my paraffin wax, to rub along the outer edges of the box and, scattered randomly, over the sides.  I took a soft cloth and lightly rubbed away the little flakes left.  Easy Peasy!
I squirted out some Wicker White, Light Blue (my favorite Folk Art Color), and Medium Blue paint on my palette and used a large, flat brush and added a bit of each color onto the bristles.

I painted over the Butter Pecan with quick strokes, being careful not to muddy the three colors together.  I think it looked a bit like the beautiful blue sky outside that is a constant here in Long Beach.  Then, I sanded the entire project lightly, letting the Butter Pecan show in the areas I rubbed the wax.

After a bit more drying time, I grabbed my jute and wrapped it around the middle of the box.  I didn't measure here, just started wrapping.....and kept wrapping until I liked it!  Keeping it centered, and making sure it didn't slant was the hardest part here, but it was certainly easy enough.  I started and ended the jute with a drop of craft glue, the real tacky kind that holds quickly, but I finished it off by applying a generous coat of Mod Podge over the entire thing.  Thankfully, this will hold it for just about forever!
Then, I looped and looped a bit of jute, until I liked the look of it, and tied it in the center with a knot.  I also applied this with a big scoop of Mod Podge.  When it was dry, I clipped the ends of the loops with my craft knife.

I used craft glue to apply a big sand dollar in the center of the jute loopies, and let it sit for the rest of the day til I was certain it wasn't going to fall off when I turned the box right side up and shatter!  I picked this little shell up myself, on a trip with my big sister to HER condo in Destin, Florida. 

And, here it is, all finished and at the foot of my fireplace.  So happy!  I got some beautiful hydrangeas to go inside....hopefully, they'll last a bit, I've never been a great "gardener" myself.  I'm known as the black thumb in the family, but I keep trying.  Hope you like this project, and please, check out the one I did on Paint Me Plaid.  Have a great day!