Monday, August 25, 2014

new painting studio in august ♥

Photo:  contemplating a day of quiet gratitude

This year I have been totally consumed with building my new painting studio from scratch.  
When the studio passed its final county inspection just over a week ago, 
after a year of record-winter weather delays, local county inspection delays, 
delivery delays, and general custom construction hiccups,
I was deliriously happy, or maybe just plain delirious ...
and more than a little exhausted.
But also so grateful to have a space all my own.

Photo:  early morning after hanging the chandelier crystals

Although there are still things on order, like track lighting and the remaining window screens, 
I am so happy to share with you a few photos of the blissfully quiet and empty
mostly-finished studio -- before the storm of moving in my supplies.

Photo:  back wall of windows facing the forest

Yes, there are a lot of windows in this painting studio!
After raising 4 children during 27+ household moves within and out of the US, 
and living in all kinds of houses and climates on several continents,
I knew I needed elegant simplicity, lots of light, and serene green views.

Photo:  studio powder room

The bead board walls in the small bathroom are made from the same wood planks 
as the raised wood ceiling in the studio.  Before the ceiling was whitewashed and the 
bathroom painted white, the wood planks looked very much like a Finnish church and sauna.

Over the small back balcony that allows me to step out among the old trees
hangs a huge old brass lantern, now rewired, found in Phoenix.
Old theatre lights from Ohio were rewired to light up the entry landing.

The side entry stairs look like a runway with the county-mandated lighting on each step.

The 1920's Deco farmhouse sink sat in its shipping crate in the middle 
of the floor while it waited installation as my work sink.

To match the wide-plank white oak floor and keep the look from being too heavy,
the library nook has sturdy white oak shelving.

Finally the protective film and shipping labels were removed from the windows,
allowing the sunlight to shine through.

After months of delays, it was an all-out push to finish the studio by the end of July.
We didn't quite make the deadline, but here we were late one night,
hanging crystals on the chandeliers that drift down the middle of the raised ceiling peak.
We figured out the formula, in case you want to try:
One studio chandelier, two hundred+ crystals, two people, two hours. :)

As my friends tell me, it will take its own good time to feel moved in.
The contractor will be back a few more times with back-ordered items.
I've been pushing and shoving my old green drawers and the drafting table 
and cupboards here and there to test what works.
Meanwhile, my middle son and his young family have been living with us
while he finishes his hospital rotations.
And my youngest son is getting married at the end of August, 
holding the ceremony at my oldest son's jazz bistro, The Beehive, in Boston.

Maybe I should have had the "studio opening" while it was still
completely empty, because I love it so much that way. :)
 However, the "studio opening" as such is not yet ready to be announced.
Plus, stay tuned for local classes and guest artists teaching in the studio soon.

And may you all have the blessing of a dream coming true!

Friday, August 22, 2014

StencilGirl and Eileen Hull Inspiration Team Blog Hop

Welcome to the last day of the week-long StencilGirl and Eileen Hull Blog Hop!

All this week members of both design teams have been sharing their creative projects 
using the wonderful products from the StencilGirl and Eileen Hull brand items.

Please click on ALL the blogs on the hop list at the end of this post
to see their inspiring projects and to leave comments for the grand prize drawing!
If you have been following all week, you are here at the last project.
But if you're starting here at the end, please go back and catch up on all the great fun earlier this week.
For my project, I made a cute little art journal with Eileen's fabulous
  Sizzix Mini Album die, a favorite of mine.

Click here to see the steps for constructing this quick and simple album, 
using wallpaper and baker's twine, made while I was enduring this last fast-paced month of construction in my new painting studio.

The journal pages in the mini album were cut from white Bristol paper 
with Eileen's album die to be the same size as the journal cover. 
On these pages, I used two StencilGirl stencils in layers:
the 6" square Leaves 6 Stencil and the larger Garden Swirl Stencil.


Happily, the 6" leaves stencil is just a little larger than the 5+1/2" die-cut page,
allowing the design to float gently off the edges.

Using a Copic marker (YG03), I filled in the leaves with quick strokes
to allow for some natural shading.
It's really easy to fit the Copic brush tip in the small areas of the stencil.

Then, keeping the stencil in place, I highlighted with more Copic markers 
(YG61, B00, and Y17) on the tips of the leaves.

Next, to add some depth to the overall leaf pattern, 
I laid the leafy areas of the Garden Swirl Stencil over top, 
outlining the stencil shapes with a Derwent Metallic colored pencil 
(Green 91- looks blue), then lightly coloring in where the stencil itself was solid.

Because this was to be a background for writing,
I faded the colored pencil more by slightly erasing it, leaving the faint metallic imprint.
I know, erasing is not much fun.  But if you listen to some blues guitar, you can better 
get in the rhythm of this little life challenge. :)

Now the pages were ready for doodling and writing encouraging reminders to myself as I slowly move into my new studio space.
I used a waterproof black pen to letter and the same Copics to fill in the doodled border.
You may have to enlarge the photos to better see the effect of the penciled stencil in the background.

To see another mini album made using Eileen's Craffiti barn wood and flower wreath stamps, which I sampled when they were first released, please click here.


Such a great prize package awaits one lucky commenter on this blog hop.
Leave a comment on this blog to be entered to win.
All comments left for the entire week August 18-22 on all blogs in the hop
will be eligible for the grand giveaway prize.
One comment per blog post.
Comments will close Sunday, August 24, at midnight Central Time.
Winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 26.

Today's Blog Hop Order

StencilGirl Talk (see days 1-5)
Pam Keravuori (you are here)