Monday, May 21, 2012

Creating life-sized trees on your walls with plaster stencils and metal leaves

Kitty Ariza, one of my long time customers, had the most fantastic idea after she purchased our Raised Plaster Aspen Tree Stencil.

She plastered the tree stencil spanning two floors in the beautiful stair well to create real drama.

She first plastered the repeatable trunk stencil and open side branches, and then (now this is the totally COOL part), she glued gold metal leaves to the plastered tree design. Now how awesome is that????

I quizzed her about just where she got those fabulous metal leaves. She said "The craft store". None of my craft stores carried them, but I did find the following sources on line:

I'll bet you can find your own wonderful sources for metal leaves. But the above links will get you started.

Now that you are armed with yet another new idea, consider using this technique to create tree paintings on wood covered foam board to be used as wall art~

Monday, May 14, 2012

Once a Designer, Always a Designer

Having now been in my Northern Idaho mountain home for a year, the bright sun and warm temperatures took me outside after a long, snowy, cold winter.

There it was. Staring me in the face. The dreaded yard of weeds. No landscaping has ever graced this property and I decided I needed to do something about it.
First it started as just digging up the weeds. It then turned in to a complete design project.
Could I help it? NO! I'm a "designer" for crying out loud! The urge runs through my veins every day.
That undeniable, relentless urge to take something ugly and make it beautiful.
For the past month, I've dug, pulled, laid plastic, laid curves with upright flagstone and though with a tired body, I've enjoyed my designing.

Designing a landscape is no different than decorating your home. You put yourself in to it. Your personality, your style. But rather than with a paint brush, a stencil, or a furniture arrangement with accessories, you opt for colorful plants, lay outs, architectural interest and texture.

 I got the neatest idea! (Speaking of designing). To create a forest "bench".
What more natural legs for my bench than logs?

It came out completely adorable. And it was easy. Simply dig a hole a bit larger than the log round, fill the bottom with gravel, seat the log in the middle, fill completely with gravel so that the hole can drain. Then level front to back and side to side.
I sealed the tops with boat varnish to prevent rotting.
I then screwed two 12" long pieces of treated lumber to the top of each log and attached 4 foot long treated lumber decking, each separated from the other so that water doesn't collect.
My bench is solid and adorable!
I call it all my "artistic re-arrangement of Mother Nature". Certainly fitting a forest home.
Off to now design some new Raised Plaster Stencils.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Adding Decorative Touches with Plaster Stencils

The cool thing about stenciling is that there is no shortage of awesome stencil designs!

Here, Phyllis Katheder used 3 different Raised Plaster Stencil Designs to add elegant detail to her walls.

You see the detail, but you don't immediately notice that the stencil designs don't match. Because each stencil was plastered in white to match the white wood molding, it all seems to come together in a beautiful way.

Look for many wall stenciling projects and great stencils and plaster molds on the website.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Life-sized Olive Tree Stencil

It started out as just a vision in my head. And then the work began. Drawing it out, scanning each piece in, digitizing it, cleaning it up and then cutting the first tests. 

It was fun creating a large (7 foot) canvas with it....My new Life-sized Olive Tree Stencil.

I began with a mottled gray and lavender background. Heavy on the depth in the lower right corner where the tree would begin, and sponged a few pale clouds along the top.

The stenciling began. First, the trunk stencil was repeated upward.

Then the side branch and trunk top stencils added.

I used the leafy olive branch stencils in gray paint to mimic more distant branches. This not only helps to fill in the tree, but also gives the entire design more depth.

Then, I filled the upper tree with olive branch stencils in gray/green with deep, dark purple olives (mixing a little black paint with purple gives you that rich olive color).

Because each stencil is a single stencil, rather than an overlay, this Olive tree stencil goes quick! But now, deciding just where to put it in my own home is the tough one......on the walls surrounding the master garden tub? Filling the walls of my office?  I was thinking that one of the branches could be used to decorate the wooden planters I keep on my deck. Wouldn't that be adorable?

I've decided to continue with a full mural on this canvas. The focal tree is in place and now I will work on adding a faint, yet full, front garden surrounding it. Tall, spiked flowers and grasses. Besides my Raised Plaster Aspen Tree Stencil, this is now my favorite tree stencil in my collection.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Raised Plaster Stenciling in the Master Bedroom

Have you ever been faced with re-decorating a room and struggling with just what to do? What color do I paint? What pattern do I use? How will I bring it all together?

 Re-decorating becomes much easier if you choose a favorite piece or painting in your room to work around. (Or set out to find a new one!).

For my master bedroom decorating, I decided to take the colors out of my favorite print. It hangs above my bed and I show it off with a decorative curtain rod and sheer swag.

This print has soothing, yet dramatic colors of pale gray/brown and deeper brown. So in my decorating, I decided to work with those colors to coordinate with this lovely focal point.

The resulting ornamental plaster ceiling frame that I wrote about earlier, has these exact colors in it. 

I then needed to incorporate the same colors  in to the other architectural elements in the room.

Years ago, I crafted ceiling to floor wall columns that were once marbled with light, warm brown colors. They no longer coordinated with my new color scheme. 

Notice how they now have been faux finished with the deeper brown within the print and ceiling frame. I kept the existing Raised Plaster Vertical Leaf Frieze Stencil design from our stencil however. It's vertical design works perfectly on these columns.

The room is really coming together! Now just to get that crappy, dark blue carpeting changed out and I'll be a happy artist!

Visit the website for more exciting decorating projects, stencils and plaster molds to help you get the job done in a beautiful way!