Sunday, October 14, 2012

Peggy's Table

 Wow!  It has been a really busy summer, and I have not done much blogging, but that doesn't mean that I have just been sitting around doing nothing!  We have had a visits from son #3 the Marine, and a visit from Son #2 the Submariner, then a visit to see my son # 3 with son # 2 at his Marine Base in North Carolina, sitting with grand baby #1,  he is from Son #1, and a wedding for Step-daughter #!, so I think we are done for a while, we will see......

Peggy's Table was a commissioned project I worked on in the mean time of all the above.  Peggy is a dear friend and a long time customer, and I appreciate her faith in me to finish this project, with only the guidance of certain colors and she wanted something "Really Different". I think she got it!  She had just gotten a new sectional sofa in this beautiful Aqua color, so we matched the base color with the sofa and her paint color and went from there.  She gave me one of her dishes to integrate the other colors she wanted into the table.

This  was my inspiration:

Paint Color

and This
Her Dishes

Here is  the first coat of paint.  I think I  painted 3 coats of paint on each swirl and paisley, Whew!

On top of the acrylic paints I mixed some of my favorite stuff to use.  Premier Pigments, Pearl Ex Powders with some clear acrylic.  For the Dark Teal color I used Duo Blue-Green, the Light Blue Color I used True Blue,  lime green I used Spring Green,  the Coral Color, I used  Pumpkin Orange, the dark purple I used Misty Lavender, and the yellow, I used Bright Yellow.

My stash of Pearl Ex Pigments from Premier Pigments

This is after the Pearl Ex was applied.

After Pearl Ex was applied

Another picture after Pearl Ex was applied

The next step is to apply the glass pieces.  I used a clear glass, and nipped them in to these very small pieces.  I try to follow the pattern of the design, so that when I apply the grout, the entire design shows through and is not covered up by the grout lines.

Per Peggy's Request,  I added some of her jewels.  Some times while laying all these little pieces of glass, I think, "Kathy, are you CRAZY?", but I know it is worth it when it is all finished!

Getting ready for the grout.  I tape off the edges so that I don't get grout where I don't want it.  I can tend to be a little messy with this step!

After it is  grouted, I  applied several coats of  Clear Acrylic mixed with Pearl Ex Pigments  Interference Red to give it a nice shimmer!

Here is the finished product in her house.  One of Peggy's  Bengal Cats,  Daisy,  was checking out the new interesting object in the room, making sure it smells O.K.!

Daisy Posing for a picture!


What do you think?

She has asked me to make another table for in front of the new sofa. I think she is going to use the swirly/paisley one in her foyer.  The plan is for it to be the same base color and the top will be a mosaic of of a Peacock Feather!  Oh, Boy, wish me luck!

A special thank you to a special lady!  Thanks for the work and Thanks for letting to be creative!  


Monday, August 27, 2012

Old Door to Bathroom Decor!

It has bee a long time since my last blog post, but I have NOT  been "just laying around" this summer.  I have been very busy.  I started on this bathroom a while ago, and I think I am finished, so that is what I am going to blog about today.  When we first moved into this house my boys were age 21, 16, and 15, so I wanted their bathroom to reflect their interests.   They were into fishing and canoeing.  Now that they are gone, and have been for a while, I decided to redecorate a bit. Hope don't mind boys.....

See my ingenious towel hooks, somehow their towels ended up on their bedroom floors anyway!

 I bought this little half round table at my friends yard sale a few months ago, and then came across this old door.  The iron grate has been sitting around my garage studio since we moved here .  I believe it came out of an old bank in a nearby town.  I have another one just like this one.  I painted the door a grey color, I am into grey right now for some reason, and then streaked some white in, to make it look old and worn.   My biggest fan helped me with the door knobs a bit.  He shined up the fancy metal ones real pretty for me.  We sealed them with some spray varnish, drilled some holes for them, and stuck them in the holes, whalaaa, more ingenious towel hooks!

The half round table is attached to the door

I still need something above that shower curtain

I also replaced the knobs on the vanity with some large ceramic ones.  I bought them as bisque and glazed them this grey speckled color, and then fired them up in my kiln.  

This old mirror came off an old dresser, I think it was my "stripped dresser".  I painted it the same grey color as door.

I tried the "photo transfer onto a canvas" project I have seen on Pinterest, and discovered that some of those instructions do not work at all!  I finally got this one to come out after a couple of tries.  I may still do it over, not sure I like this one that much, it is a little too scratched up for my taste I think.  I will be doing a tutorial on how I did this one and some others soon.  I took this picture on a trip to see my sister in Sweden. I am not sure though if I took this in Sweden or on a side trip to Copenhagen, either way it was a really cool doorway!  Here is the picture.

So what do you think of my Re-deFIND Door??

Thanks for Looking,


Partying this week at:

Saturday Night Spotlight at

Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite SpecialPhotobucket

Primitive and Proper

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Copper and Pearl Ex Powdered Pigment Mirror Frame - a Tutorial

Copper and Pearl Ex Powdered Pigment Framed Mirror

I am not sure if I am the first to do this, but I kind of discovered this process by accident.  I was trying to do sort of an enameling effect, that didn't exactly turn out.  I had a few containers of Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments from Jacquard Products, so I thought that I would give that a try with the same process as copper enameling.  Being  a total novice at this technique, I really didn't know what it would do,  but was really excited about the results that I received!  So I had to run out and get myself some more colors of the Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments, because I was on to something really awesome! You can read about all of their products here.

So here is the process:

First I have to make some wooden frames.

I like to use pine 1 x's. I like for the frames to be kind of wide so there is more room for decorating. I usually get 1 x 8's or 1 x 10's.
Frame sections ready to be glued and screwed

After I have the frames made, I start to figure out what design I want to use with the copper.  While I am thinking, I paint the frame with flat black paint.  This particular frame I decided on 2 x  2 squares.  I start cutting the copper and laying them out to see how many I am going to need.  

I use the Kreg Jig to drill my holes  to join the frames - it makes things so much easier!

I buy my copper from Storm Copper Components, you can find it here.  I buy the 36 guage 2" wide rolls in the 50' lengths.  There is more than enough to do a mirror this size, and I will probably have enough left over to make a smaller mirror too.
50' Roll of 2", 36 gauge Copper 

Laying out the copper pieces

Next comes the fun part!  After I have all the squares cut, I need to take the shiny finish off of the copper, so I do that with my torch.  I have an area fixed up for this on my work bench.  I have a fire proof shield to support some fire bricks, and then under that I have a slab of marble. My dad gave me that slab of marble years ago, I never knew what to do with it until now!  Thanks Dad!   He probably bought it at an auction somewhere.  I lay out the pieces of copper and then use the torch to burn off the shiny surface.

Taking the shine off

After all the pieces of copper are torched I take them into the house and rinse them with water and then dry them completely. 

The next part of the process is to apply the Pearl Ex  Powder Pigments.  I do this by mixing the pigments with A-1 Klyr-fire.  I also decide which colors I want to use.  Actually, I like to use all the ones that I have, cause that is how I roll!  The more colors the better!  
A-1 Klyr-Fire

My stash of Pearl Ex Pigments

Here is a little tip about using the torch on the copper.  I swirl the torch around on top of the copper until I can see a  pretty rainbow color, then pull it off.  This rainbow of color will show through the Pearl Ex and looks really awesome!

The colors that I used on this mirror frame are Super Copper, Bright Yellow, Salmon Pink, Pumpkin Orange, Duo Blue-Green, Spring Green, Super Russet, Misty Lavender and True Blue.

With a paint brush I apply this mixture of Pearl Ex and Klyr-fire on the pieces of copper.  If it is a nice sunny day I set them out in the sun to dry.  The mixture has to be completely dry before you do the next step.  Don't ask me how I know that, but I do.....
Copper drying in the sun

After all the pieces of copper are dry I take them back to the torching station and fire them up again.  This time I use the torch on them long enough to get the copper glowing.  The trick is to keep the torch moving and not to get the copper too hot or it will start to melt!  After all the pieces cool off, then they go back into the house to be rinsed and dried.  Some of the pigment goes down the drain and you might think nothing stayed on the copper, but when you apply a poly sealer the Pearl Ex color's sparkle and shine comes out.
I am sure I am not the first to come up with this ingenious idea, but I use an egg crate for mixing the pigments

After all the copper pieces are dry I start to apply them to the frame.  I use an electric brad nailer.  The brad nailer doesn't push the brads in all the way so I have to use a tack hammer to persuade them in all the way.  This gives the copper a Industrial, distressed look.  Some times in addition to the tack hammer I use a small ball peen hammer for some more distressing.
Burning Pearl Ex onto the Copper Pieces

Starting to lay out the pieces of Copper
Almost finished!
My Persuader 
Mirror is attached to the back
Close up of the Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments Shining

After all the copper pieces are attached, I apply several coats of  poly sealer. On this mirror frame I wrapped the copper over the edges, so after I attach the mirror to the frame I attached a piece of felt, purple of course, to the back to cover any sharp copper edges.  This also helps in protecting the wall and your fingers while hanging!  I sign my work and it is done!

So what do you think?  Has anyone else used the Pearl Ex Pigments in this way?

Here are some of the other Mirror Frames that I had made:

The technique on this Mirror frame is a little different in this post.  On this frame I mixed the Pearl Ex with a Poly  Sealer and just painted it on the copper pieces.  This was the first Mirror that I Sold!
Same Technique as above, but the copper pieces are attached with black upholstery tacks
Close up of another design - same technique as this post
This frame I used a combination of copper with the Pearl Ex using the torch and Paint mixed with the Pearl Ex Pigments.  I also used a wood burning tool to define the different areas.
Same techniques as picture above.
Some of these mirrors are sold, but some are still for sale!

Thanks for looking!