Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making Project Progress

My largest stash of holiday decorations is for the Fall. Over the years, the bin has filled up and the scarecrows now need their own zip code. So many of the items come from local dollar stores and sometimes need a little help to bring out their full potential. Not a problem. With almost 120 shades of colors, I should be able to handle that. Some of the new decos are spiffed up and hanging around the house already. Often I've thought of leaving them up all year round, except at Christmas time, of course. Every year there's something new to add. This year, for some unknown reason, it exploded. Halloween (at my age!) decided to happen.

Altoid tins are fun to work on, I think, primarily because they're small, which makes them challenging. And if there's a challenge peeking around the corner, I'll grab it by it's little neck and hang on for dear life. So starts the ride of this Autumn tin.
After the basecoat of gesso was dry, I splashed on 2 coats of Linen paint, letting it dry between coats and cutting out the parts of the ribbon I would Mod Podge on the tin top.

The background color of the ribbon almost exactly matches the Linen paint, so I didn't stress too much about cutting around all those tiny vines. Actually, I didn't want to take the chance of warping the vine during placement and and keeping it attached to the pumpkin would keep it stable enough to handle easily. Feeling confident enough, I went ahead and attached the cut outs.

Until just this morning, my head refused to give me any idea for a background, but after this post I'll get right on it.

My Halloween wreath is a work in progress. All of the little bits and pieces are not complete quite yet. The larger of these two jack-o-lanterns will sit up on the bottom of the wreath right next to the gnarly tree. The tiny 'jack' is for the cap of a round bottle that I am painting like a jack-o-lantern, which will sit on a glass pedestal that's been painted in Halloween colors. This is the tricky (no pun intended) project and it'll probably be done the night before Halloween. I can be such a procrastinator.

Halloween needs tombstones like Christmas needs ribbon candy, so I plopped some clay into candy molds and made three for the wreath. Still in progress.

The Trick or Treat bags for my granddaughter and her two sisters have been, well, FUN! With everything I have on hand, they just had to be made. There are a few more tiny things to glue on them- more sparkle and glitter- and then the handles- easy to do. On these projects, I used a plain white tablecloth. After testing, the stitching stayed strong. Nothing tore. Initially, I'd been afraid the stitching would act more like perforation and any weight in the bag would tear it, but so far, so good. Here's how they look right now.

Now it was time for a break. This project popped into view early in the morning and I was glad. I needed to focus on a short project with lots of lines and painting. This poor round wood plaque had been sitting on the shelf for the longest time with a huge question mark pulsing over the top of it. So, when inspiration turned up the power, I pounced.
I love my coffee. If I could drink it all day long without pinging off the walls, I would. When I get home from dialysis, I head right for the coffee. No exceptions. Believe me, I need it. Part of my kitchen counter houses a large brew station and my faithful, but much abused brew n' go, with the cabinet above it stocked with all the essentials. There's even instant coffee (ugh) for when the power goes out. The little plaque could work well on the blank wall over the machines.
After the stencil was worked up, I started tracing.

 Earthy colors are my favorite, so picking the shade Pueblo was natural for me. But it needed a little punch.

 Using my color sheet, I matched the Pueblo with copper metallic, which would give it that little certain something on the glam side that I felt was needed. That done, let's go for some contrast.

 Matching colors again, the bronze metallic won the toss for the delicate line work. I've had a set of 20/0 brushes for a while now and really haven't put them to use- until now. My hand was into the swing, so to speak. I felt comfortable. Confidence crept in. Let's go for it! But first, let's outline.

 And the color shade? Can you guess? Coffee Bean!!! (the crowd goes wild)
Next up- a coffee break. Much needed and deserved. We're getting there.
This is my favorite part- the contrasting lines of the curves. It was one heck of a break-in for this tiny brush! And she performed superbly! Needless to say, she'll get used more on current and future projects.

Only a little more to go and there's not much to write about there. Just a small touch of color around the edge. The focus was the front of the plaque. And I liked it.
Here's a detail picture:

This project was done, well, except for the final spraying. Feeling satisfied, it was time to move back to other things. You know how that goes. The need was taken care of.
With a parting shot of the plaque, I must depart to finish the bags, the wreath, the vase, tombstones. Am I fading away yet?
Coffee Time!!!

Yes, there'll be a follow up.


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