Archive for November, 2010

Mason Jar Faralitos

Every year the holiday marketing machine gears up earlier and earlier.  I try to fight it, but I love the holidays, so I always have one eye on the greenery.  I just got this newsletter from HGTV and flipped through their 20 holiday make-it craft photos.  I really liked this one image.

mason jar candles

Click on the photo above to see the original HGTV slideshow.

It is simple and adaptable. Unfortunately, there are no directions, so I’m not sure what they used for the crystal base. It looks like it may be something like seasalt, but that would make this about $30 in candles. I will try to identify the material.  But, the reason I liked it was that it is reminiscent of the faralitos/luminarias that we New Mexicans light our pathways with on Christmas eve.

 

luminarias

I used authentic luminarias as decoration for our wedding. They were warm (both literally and figuratively) and romatic.

A faralito or luminaria (depending on what region you are in) is a candle placed in a brown paper bag filled with sand and lit on Christmas Eve. It is meant to symbolize a welcoming casa to guide the Virgin Mary as she searches for an open Inn. It makes the city magical. But, convenience has led to plastic & electrical imitations. They are still beautiful, but lose some of tradition and richness of the ritual. But, the traditional bags can be safe hazards and can blow over in the wind. These would be a nice modern and stylish compromise.

November 10, 2010 at 5:43 pm Leave a comment

Painting the Dragon on the Vanity

Here is the first how-to on the vanity.

1.  I have painted the vanity with a Krylon acrylic paint in Banner Red.  The surface is clean.

preparing work area2.  I gathered inspiring images from Google.  Search for keywords that interest you and print out your favorites.  Print out for reference.  If you’re not comfortable free-handing, you can print out images  full scale so that they print on several pieces of paper and seam them together with tape.  Rub chalk on the back and trace from the front onto your surface to transpose chalk guidelines to your tabletop.  I took my favorite elements from several images to get a Dragon and Phoenix I liked.  Have your image respond to the edges of the table top.  My beasts curl around the curves of the desk.

image showing colored pencil outline

3.  I’m using a basic black acrylic paint found at any craft/art supply store.  You can use the 99¢ bottles of crafting acrylic or the thicker tubes.  The crafting acrylic should get a less-dimensional image.  The tube paint will leave raised ridges and brush strokes.  I liked this effect since it really told you the desk was hand-painted.  Pour a little paint into a small bowl.  Keep adding water and mix paint into water until you get an inky look.  Leave some paint unmixed in the bowl so you can vary the viscosity of your paint.

image applying paint4.  Use a long narrow brush.  I like the stiffer bristles of an acrylic brush so that I can vary the width of the stroke by adjusting the pressure on the brush.  I wanted to imitate the brush-stroke kanji of the collage paper.

image of progressive painting5.  Continue filling out the details.  Begin to layer in the thicker paint on the meatier areas if you want to give the paint some dimension.  Be aware that you will be working over a large area, so you may want to start on the area furthest from your hand (I obviously didn’t do this).  I don’t rest my hand on the surface, so it’s not as big an issue for me.  But, you don’t want to accidently run your hand through the wet paint.

image showing longer brush strokes6.  Wait until you’ve developed your comfort with the brush strokes before you tackle the longer major outlines.  I definitely developed a technique and style as I went along.  Don’t be too afraid to make mistakes.  Leave a moist rag around to quickly wipe up any strokes you don’t like.  Dry the area thoroughly before repainting to avoid bleeding or feathering.  The acrylic tends to sit on the surface until it’s sealed, so you can even wash off dried paint for the most part.

more progress painting7.  Invest in textures and details.  I really liked the feathered texture on the scales.  It took a while, but really took it from a craft project to a work of art.  That being said, I also left some areas very loose and interpretive.

image of finished painted tabletop

8.  Shot of the completed top.  The acrylic dries extremely fast.  Once the thickest parts have dried, take it outside and put  several clear coats of acrylic spray paint.  Do not use lacquer as it can cause wrinkling.  If you plan to collage, you’ll apply more coats of sealer on top of the collage work and will probably have to recoat the top as well to prevent the dusty look of overspray.

This process can be applied to any theme you choose!

 

 

November 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm 1 comment


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