Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Studio Floor and Shelves!

Andrew put in the new floor last night,
right over the old, trashed, wood parquet
floor that was original to the house.

Studio Floor - BEFORE

Of course, to refinish the floor would
have been the preferred option, but
a professional floor finishing was
not in our shoestring budget, so we
went with a Home Depot sheet vinyl
flooring in a tile pattern.

We chose a floor pattern that ties in with
the rest of the house's old-world, bohemian
style, which will continue in this room, as well:

Our hallway with the faux finish I did a few years back.
The studio is the door ahead on the left.
That is a copy of Leonardo DiVinci's self-portrait
between the doors. He is our greatest influence.
Our bohemian bedroom, with Queen Muncher on her throne.

In addition, it is easy enough to pull up and replace the single
vinyl sheet if I end up ruining it with paint or any hundred
of other art studio mishaps that can happen unexpectedly.

Studio Floor - AFTER
I'm quite happy with it!

The one storage space the studio was crying out for was
shelving for my extensive art book and magazine collection.

Andrew accommodated me by building heavy-duty
shelves for the magazines in the closet, adding an
additional counter for even more work space. The internet
connection is a bonus, as we are not sure yet what 
we will end up using the counter for.

Magazine Shelving & Extra Counter Space

On the adjacent wall where the work counter will
be, is over 25 feet of shelving to house my book 
collection, which includes art, crafting books
and my favorite novels (I adore vampires!)

Below the shelves has been kept open for
my mood boards, which I need to inspire me.

New Shelving
Everything has yet to be organized by subject, size, etc.

More later in the week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Cartooned Myself! Tutorial

I had some fun today converting my usual
avatar of myself to a cartoon version.

What do you think?

It was really simple, actually. 

I brought my current avatar into Illustrator.

I set the pen tool to a magenta outline
with a transparent interior
to be able to see the outline easily.

I traced all the contours of my head and features.

Then made adjustments where necessary,
using the direct selection tool.

When I had it pretty much how I wanted it,
I went to simplify path and set it in the 90's range
and simplified the outlines just enough so that
they became smooth and cartoonish, but still
resembled my original image.

I then created an eps, which I colorized in
Photoshop with the bucket tool.

Fun stuff!

Elegant Lady Drawing

I have been working on some new artwork.

This portrait of an 18th Century young lady is one.

Colored Pencil

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Art Studio Storage Ideas!

I love clever storage! I love to find new and unique ways
to store all my art supplies and crafty doodads.

Baskets, tins, cigar boxes, wine boxes, pretty ceramic cups and
pasta jars are all great ideas for craft and art supply storage.
click to enlarge
Cigar Boxes Hold Almost Anything!
Great for dusty pastels!
Perfect for small watercolor tubes too!
With this always in the back of my mind, each time I
browse a yard sale or the Goodwill I keep an eye
out for more storage possibilities.

In this way I have collected an eclectic
range of boxes, bins, jars, vases, cups, mugs, pots,
and baskets to hold all my treasured art supplies.

This fine wood box once held gloves. I added the
black cigar box to replace the missing drawer.

As we near the completion of the ceiling and walls
of the studio renovation (for the step-by-step tutorial 
on my wall treatment process this weekend!),
I have begun to organize and re-organize my
supplies as they will be set up in the studio.

This velvet lined box will be a great place to
store my vintage jewelry collection.

I have gathered a cross-section of the different options
for storage to show you that sometimes it just takes a
little imagination (and occasionally surfing the
web for ideas!) to create fun and funky storage.

My Nana's vintage 1920's paper mache box holds jewelry findings
You can't go wrong with the photo boxes you can
find on sale for a few dollars at craft stores.
Wine boxes are a larger version of the cigar box and
have the added bonus of a rope handle.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Art Studio Make-Over Wall Treatment

This weekend we finished the walls of the studio!


I am so happy to be able to move on and work on the next step.

The walls were done to look like old-world plaster
using a tissue paper and paint technique.

Here is how my husband Andrew and I did it:

Attach tissue paper to wall with wallpaper paste.


I had a huge pile of un-used tissue paper hanging around from
shipping orders for the family belt-business back in the 80s.
Wanting to spend as little money as possible on this project,
I knew it was the perfect material to use to simulate plaster.

I began by rolling a 1 ft x 2 ft section of the wall with wallpaper
paste. I then placed a 12" x 24" sheet of tissue paper over the wet
paste, allowing the paper to wrinkle up and crease naturally.

Using a very light touch I painted another layer
of paste over the tissue to seal it.

The plan was to cover the whole wall in this manner
and then paint it with a left-over yellow paint we had from
another room, but after completing one wall this way, I
came home from work on day 2 of the wall project to find
that Andrew had done another section of a wall by rolling
the yellow paint directly on the wall, placing the tissue
paper over that and covering it all with another layer of paint.

It turns out that my wallpaper paste step was not necessary.
That is why he is called Handy Andy, after all.


The next step was to make the painted, crinkled paper
look like plaster by painting on a glaze. I had done a brown glaze
throughout the living room, dining room and kitchen two years ago
and a lavender Bellagio glaze (below) in our main bathroom.

I decided to keep the small studio light and use what was left of
the Bellagio glaze over the yellow for a fresco look.

My design style throughout the house is old-world european
and for the studio I am going to go for an old-world style with
bohemian flavor. I long to feel like I am in a Parisian garrett
like the pre-raphaelites or the impressionists.
How cool would that be?

Faux Bellagio Wall Glaze

The oatmeal looking glaze is brushed on a 3' x 3'
section, left to set for 15 minutes and then troweled over.
When the glaze is troweled, beads of white
pigment break up to look like smeared plaster.

wet Bellagio glaze

troweling the glaze

the dried fresco glaze

Andrew also took the fan that was hanging in the master
bedroom and moved it into the studio for really bright lighting.



we replace all the moulding,
paint the radiator
and add a lot of shelves!