musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Seeing is Be-Leafing


See all those leaves out there?

All shapes and sizes and colors just FALLing and waiting for you to rake them up.

I have an acre of Ozark forest for a backyard. . . I have LOTS of leaves. But, no matter where you are, I'm betting you've got at least a few leaves in your world.

Friends, grab some of the very best leaves and some spray paint and get ready to go "WHOA! That's cool!"

Shiny! Metallic! And so so pretty!!!! There are four colors in that photo - mirror silver, hammered iron, bronze, and antique copper. I experimented with the different brands and kinds of spray paint that I had in my stash and while I preferred the Krylon Mirror Silver - all worked just fine. The Rustoleum Hammered Iron tended to run more than any of the others and the Rustoleum Bronze took the longest to cure. But all covered and sprayed equally well and dried true to color.

To choose your leaves for painting, you want them dried out. They don't need to be 'crumbling at your touch dry', but they can't be 'fresh off the tree flexible', either. Somewhere in between is best. And while laying the leaves out is pretty cool for a photo, they WILL blow away with the slightest breeze AND it works best to wear rubber gloves and hold the leaf by it's stem while painting. Two very important tips. Trust me.

From here, it's simple - hold the leaf in your non-dominant hand (don't forget the plastic gloves - you will thank me later!!!) at arm's length away from you, and, making sure you have the breeze at your back and aiming the spray paint nozzle away from you, turn the leaf as you spray - spraying both sides. Lay the painted leaf in a box (and/or in a well-ventilated but breeze-free area like on a work table inside the garage with the door open) to dry.

and that's it!

The mirrored silver ones took only a few minutes to be dry enough to be touched and moved.

To be on the safe side, I allowed all to cure a couple hours before bringing into the house to scatter for a touch of sparkle and shine to the Autumn decor.

I have to admit, it was hard not to pick up ALL the leaves and spray paint them ALL the colors!!! And then bring them inside and just tossing them EVERYWHERE!!!

I did a whole branch too! (why not?!?! It was there just begging to be a part of the fun!)

A few of the leaves I found were just too pretty to paint a different color. A quick spray of glossy clear and . . . more un-be-LEAF-able Magic!

And, of course, another branch.

The leaves, especially the metallic-colored ones, look like, well, metal. But are deceptively light. While the painted leaves are fragile, they are more durable than unpainted ones. Will they last til next season? I would think they would last for multiple years depending upon what kind of handling they receive. But time will tell. I promise to add an update to let you know.

Be sure to share your own painted leaf pictures - we'd all love to see your beautiful creativity!!!

Have an un-be-LEAF-able Day ~
Robin Z

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Spooky Birds

I wanted some Spooky Bird Skeletons to go with my Spooky Boos-y themed decor this year. And ended up with two of something like this:

The right skeleton. . . but I wasn't fan of the color as I tend to prefer the 'aged-white' of my ghosts upon my mantle.

Off to my beloved, fully-stocked, multi-colored spray paint shelf in my garage I went! I decided three colors would gain the Just Right effect. White (I used one that has the primer built in and is specifically for plastic - so no sanding or roughing up the surface was necessary) for the base color. Then a light coat of chiffon cream. And once all that was fully-cured, A mere misting of walnut brown. I opted to use all matte finishes, though the white could have easily been gloss with the rest of them matte for the just-right effect as well.

Face down first. Let dry according to your spray paint directions.

And the super-cool thing is, in this particular project, complete coverage is not that important. Simply toning down (significantly) of the original-golden-brown is the goal. Oh! And to ultimately match my Ghosties.

Then the front.

Once dry, a Very LIGHT spraying of the cream paint.

And no need to wait to do the 'misting' of the deep brown. Get your spray started away from the bird then breeze it 6-8 inches over the surface, not aiming the spray AT the bird, but more over and around it - just let the droplets drop like you see here. Practice on a piece of cardboard first if you're unsure of the technique.

Let dry thoroughly, add a few black feathers (but only if you want) and then. . . Spooky Birds!!!!

I had originally thought of painting the eye sockets black. And then I thought about adding some smallish black rhinestones for a bit of spooky-sparkle. I didn't have any that I thought would work in my stash, so, being a bit excited to finish my Halloween Decor, I moved on. Maybe next year!

The magic of spray paint wins again!!!!

Happy Spooky Bird Season,

Robin Z

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Robin-Re-Do: Antique Embroidery Cabinet Make Over

See that Embroidery Thread Cabinet there on the right? It is a Magnificent Gift from my Daughter. ALL. The. Loooooves!!!

This photo was taken in the midst of its Make Over. . .

But let me start at the beginning of the six week Re-Do...

This cabinet had been unused in its original embroidery thread retail capacity for quite some time.

My guess is, based on stains and few 'bits' remaining, it was used as either art/paint/ink storage and/or hardware (nails and screws) organizer. Regardless, it was dirty and needed some serious cleaning and TLC to make it pretty again.

First step was figuring out how to take the dividers out WITHOUT damage. 

In the end, a fine-bladed screwdriver and jewelry wire snips were VERY helpful. 

From there, they nearly disassembled themselves. 

Gentle hammering from the inside pushed the finishing nails to the back 

and allowed them to be easily pulled.

Having the dividers removed and separated made clean up and painting so much easier!

As I wasn't wanting to risk damage to the cabinet, I opted to do, what I call, a Robin-Re-Do. Essentially, smooth the rough, cover the ick, make it happy, and protect it for the future. First step was to pull the loose paper.

Then scraping with a gentle, but effective, plastic paint scraper.

A quick vacuum of all the loose bits then some sanding with a fine grained sanding block to smooth the edges.

More vacuuming. 

A thorough wiping with a damp cloth to remove all remaining dust and it's ready for taping.

Painter's tape to protect the original wood exterior and the glass fronts. 

And now time to choose paint colors. Okay. . . there really wasn't a lot of  'choosing'. If you know me, you probably already guessed that Robin's Egg Blue was the plan from the beginning.  Spray painting commenced!!! (I LOVE spray paint!!!)

A perfect color to peek out of all four of the glass-fronted drawers.

For subtle contrast, and nod to the original color, a chalky cream white for the the 'solid' drawer and all the dividers. I worked drawer by drawer - so this pic shows the original drawer on top and the drawer interiors as they were completed below.

All the divider pieces received a wipe down with damp cloth and a couple light coatings of the chalky cream white paint.

I needed the cabinet to sit up off my workstation to allow the bottom drawer to be opened while I was creating on a work-board directly below it. So I designed a sort of  'shelf/platform' for it to sit on (and also not allow things to get 'lost' underneath.

Works perfectly!

And all my sparkly beads and parts and trinkets and bits fit beautifully!!!

I LOVE it!!!! Definitely brings a big ol' Blingy Smile to my face every single time I walk into my studio. And it makes me think of my Beautiful Daughter. Doubly inspiring.

Have a Re-Do kind of day ~
Peace, Love & Bling,

Robin Z

P.S. Wondering about the spray paint used in this project? This should help!!!

And yes. . . these are two of about four colors that I buy in multiples and make sure I ALWAYS have available in my stash!