A Bird’s Eye View

Paint with children. Nurture imagination. Read of artistic styles, study the work of artists. Visit a gallery.

An abstract world, as seen through the eyes of a child. Beautiful.

“If I could remove one thing from the world and replace it with something else, I would erase politics and put art in its place. That way, art teachers would rule the world. And since art is the most supreme form of love, beautiful colors and imagery would weave bridges for peace wherever there are walls. Artists, who are naturally heart-driven, would decorate the world with their love, and in that love — poverty, hunger, lines of division, and wars would vanish from the earth forever. Children of the earth would then be free to play, imagine, create, build and grow without bloodshed, terror and fear.” 

― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Peonies. Flowers with character.

Urban Walls

http://www.uwdecals.com

This tiny bathroom needed a face lift. I applied Benjamin Moore: ‘Winter White’ in flat finish. A moody white with a grey undertone, this  soft hue evokes early morning mist rising off the ocean.

With barely room to turn, I painted.  In my mind I saw a low-budget, posh finish. I waited for Urban Wall’s sale of large florals in grey-white. The photo above shows half of a half order. If you sign up to the site, you receive a discount coupon.

‘Urban Walls’ offers customers many choices of product from floral decals to graphic designs,  wall quotes, Art Prints, and full wall coverings.

The vinyl application isn’t too difficult. Plan your pattern, work slowly, and tear the thin covering on an angle. Tip: Tear small sections. This helps to keep the fussy edges  of vinyl from lifting off of the wall.  ‘You Tube’ videos on the site offer “How To’ decor ideas and tips.

The vinyl pulls off the wall with ease. Urban Walls recommends that one use a hair dryer set to ‘warm’ to make removal easy peasy.

This is a simple upgrade to a tiny room, perfect for people who rent. Sweet in a child’s bedroom.

This Queen just stepped into a jewel box.

 

 

Simple Style

Cinderella coveted

~ serve yourself

a tub tray. Therefore, she fashioned one.

You can do it, too.

Measure the width of your bath tub.

Salvage. She found a plank of discarded fencing, aged is better. Cut to desired length. Grab a belt sander (her favourite accessory) and sand off the slivers and lichen.

Apply one or two coats of White chalk paint ( Annie Sloan https://www.anniesloan.com).

Stencil a royal touch (she will find her crown).

Sand again.

Wax. (Annie Sloan Clear Chalkpaint Wax.)

~ fit for a Queen

 

my darling, may you live happily ever after”

Words and Wisdom

Quote

Certain words or phrases collect and layer. Inspirational bits of wisdom for those less than confident moments when I forget to fly and instead, trip and  fall. Which is literally what happened. Rushing up the stairs, I caught my foot on the edge of a safety gate and flew. For a brief second in time. Walls shook. The crash was not gentle.

To distract my brain from an aching body, advil and creative pursuits were necessary. That’s how it works for me- find comfort in a project.

For this project I used only what I had “at hand.” The wooden board is from Michael’s.

http://www.michaels.com/artminds-beveled-wood-parenthesis-plaque/10265841.html#q=wooden+plaques&pmpt=qualifying&sz=24&start=31

I painted the board with trusted Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint.

“Print” a quote and slip it (right side up) over a sheet of graphite paper. Pencil the letters of the quote through the graphite. Once transferred to the painted board, you’re ready to outline the quote’s letters with paint. Use a fine tipped brush and a graphite or black shade of craft paint. When dry, lightly sand.

And yes, I fall. This sign is a gentle reminder to get back up and try again.

Quote Sign IMG_0165

The Door-Part 2

 

About A Door

 

“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.”~ Eugene O’Neil

Salvaged from a shed, the door is a simple piece of architecture. That’s probably the reason it caught my fancy, once upon a time. Years later, I’m still bewitched by the simple lines and the Art Deco glass. Even the cracked ceramic “push” plates lend charm and whimsy to the vintage door.

Neglected, it weathered. Watermarks left discolouration on the grain that sanding couldn’t remove. I painted it. Lightly. Forgive me.

Two thin slips of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Pure White took the door from dull to bright. A light touch from the sanding block, distressed and smoothed the surface.  After a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax, the polishing cloth skated over the grain.

The broken panes of glass were removed using needle nose pliers (Safety Tip- wear gloves). One cracked pane remains. This glass is known as “leadlight” and is associated with architecture that is geometric in detail. Small sections of glass are supported in lead cames. Unfortunately, leadlight glass is expensive to replace and today, there are few people trained in the art of repair.

I stand before the door and close both eyes. My hand pushes upon the ceramic plate. The door leaning against the wall opens to show a wooded path. In the distance is a cottage. Rays of sunlight sparkle between the evergreen boughs. I remember.

Water tumbles beyond the cottage grounds. Hummingbirds whir. Closer still, I see wild roses in bloom and ivy inching up the crumbling brick chimney. And there you are. Seated beside the window, warmed by the stove, you lift a cup of tea to your lips. Our eyes meet.  Do you remember? 

I stand upon the threshold and wait for what seems an eternity. You smile and beckon me to enter. “I’ve been waiting,” you say. “Sit down and talk awhile.”

 

“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.”
― Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

 

 

About A Door

FullSizeRender-3

Years ago I discovered this door at an auction. The auction site was far from the city and “Junking” wasn’t the swishy chic business that it is today. I can not explain the allure to vintage. It is a portal to the past. Perhaps “old”appears truer, faithful, stronger. Or do certain pieces conjure an emotional response? Mirrored moments of love lost, coveted memories, and poignant sorrow from regret. That which we toss or lose, from people to things.

All of the above musings ring true. I also appreciate the dedication to craft, whether it be writing, painting, music or woodworking. The rewrites, brushstrokes, the sound bites, the turn of a leg or the dove tailed edges of a drawer, all suggest old world quality and showcase the artisan’s passion. Maybe it’s the passion piece that grabs, an ageless love that forever shines.

Yet what is it about a door? Throw open the door to reunion. Boot through the door in the heat of crime. Lock the door. Unlock it. Shut the door.

There is an old soul that lives in me. She flows through my eyes to show the house where the door once stood. “Open the door,” she whispers and my hand reaches forth to push upon the cracked ceramic plate. We stand in the kitchen, voyeurs of a life. She gestures to the heart of the room. A wooden table graces the centre. Flour is scattered on top,  a rolling-pin waits. We’ve come home.

***

I recall that day in the valley. The auction house was empty of people. Cast off pieces from lives lived dumped along hallways and atop sideboards. Did anyone care? The door leaned against a wall. Solid oak, it waited. Tall amidst a short pile of old metal watering cans, wooden handled rakes and a box of battered licence plates, it stood out-of-place. There was something bespoke about its simple yet majestic presence. Was it the art deco glass that elevated the door from humble to proud?

I paused, fell in love, tossed in a bid and left with a door.

Sadly, I left the door in an aging shed. For thirty years it lay on a wooden floor.  Forgotten, it languished in darkness, gathering dust. Spider egg sacs clung to the edges and nestled in the crooks and crannies. Moisture weathered the finish. It waited for someone to remember.

Until yesterday. Yesterday I wrestled it into the light. Gently, I cleaned and polished the glass, dusted off the egg sacs and sanded the oak.

Magic flowed and imagination sparked. We entered into a dance of sorts. My hands held the sandpaper block as fingers pressed and moved in step with the oak grain. I stepped away and judged. Far too lovely to lay dismissed in a shed.

An architectural piece, it will serve as a symbol of hope, “One door closes, another opens.” Its quiet presence states, grace others that stand on the threshold.

What is this door’s story?

I envision a rambling estate in the English countryside. Laughter rings from the cutting garden. Wee children flit as fairies do amongst the hollyhocks and sunflowers. A man walks the  long gravel path to the once well appointed home. He lifts his hat and knocks upon the door. It opens…

Fill My Heart With Song

Mahogany Cabinet redux~ annie sloan chalk paint
Mahogany Cabinet redux~
annie sloan chalk paint

Pink blossoms arrived through my inbox this morning. My sister has an eye for beauty and photographed these images. I poured another cup of black coffee and swooned over the screen. Gorgeous.

Sunshine and Cherry Blossoms; heaven on earth.

 

Cherry Blossom 3JPG Cherry Blossom Cherryblossom Tree 2