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11  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: Cinematic Titanic/MST3K shadow box and ticket display- signed! on: April 08, 2012 05:23:36 PM
Stealing this idea. I think a teacher with a terrific sense of humor is going to inherit my classroom next year, so I'm going to leave him some Easter eggs. MST3K Smartboard and/or TV screen trim seems like a good start. Smiley
12  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: Dreamcatchers from the Wild on: April 08, 2012 05:14:09 PM
Gorgeous. I bought a similar dreamcatcher for a young friend who was scared to go to sleep because he'd been troubled by nightmares. His mom said he was so excited that he was actually looking forward to sleeping under it. Smiley
13  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: glitter holga! on: April 08, 2012 05:10:52 PM
Very cute. I love Holgas. They take the most intimate portraits.
14  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: Love the one you're with (UPDATED) on: April 08, 2012 05:08:09 PM
I think I'm in love with your car!  I'm now looking at my boring white mini van in a whole new light. 

Yes! Go for it! If you use spray paint, you'll want to top it with a coat of automotive sealer (available at the auto parts store), or else you'll have to redo it a couple of times a year after it fades. :/ Also, the craft paint made for exterior use (Patio Paint or similar) holds up really well. It costs about a quarter a bottle more than the regular stuff, but it's definitely worth it.
15  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Will work for coffee -- RIDICULOUSLY PIC HEAVY on: March 31, 2012 09:20:11 PM
One night while I was working, a girl found about seven excuses to use the mirror in the span of an hour. I think she just wanted to see how the mural was coming and didn't want me to think she was standing over my shoulder, watching me work (which, of course, she was).  Grin
16  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Will work for coffee -- RIDICULOUSLY PIC HEAVY on: March 29, 2012 10:00:41 PM
...can you tell us if you have gotten any reactions from the patrons?  I bet they love it...uh, maybe too much?  Is the line out the door a long one? Cheesy

The day after I put the chalkboard paint on the door, they covered it with sweet messages about how much they liked it. It's gotten a lot of attention, and a lot of people came to watch me work and ask questions about what I was doing.

I wasn't in any particular hurry to finish, because I remembered how people would react when I painted stuff on the lab windows at the Wal-Mart Vision Center where I worked in college. Shoppers would stop to watch for a while or walk past every few minutes to check my progress. I always got the feeling my Wal-Mart projects drew more attention when they were incomplete than they did when they were finished, because people were interested in seeing the next addition.

I figured if I could string the coffeehouse project out over several months, I could keep myself out of trouble all winter and hopefully lure people into buying a cup of coffee every few days just to have an excuse to come in and see what I'd added. Smiley
17  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Will work for coffee -- RIDICULOUSLY PIC HEAVY on: March 29, 2012 09:48:50 PM
What a wonderful redo! The bathroom looks fantastic now. I'll be the coffee shop owner feels she got the best of that bargain. I featured this project on Craftster's Facebook page. Thanks for sharing!  Smiley

Thanks -- for the compliment and for the publicity. Smiley We made the front page of the local newspaper with the project shortly after I started it. Now that it's finished, I'm hoping the coffeehouse owner can milk it for a little more media attention.
18  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Will work for coffee -- RIDICULOUSLY PIC HEAVY on: March 28, 2012 10:52:20 PM
Thanks. I had a lot of fun with it. Nice to get all that free coffee, too. Smiley
19  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Will work for coffee -- RIDICULOUSLY PIC HEAVY on: March 26, 2012 06:59:49 PM

A few months ago, I wandered into a new coffeehouse in a historic building about half a block off Route 66 in Sapulpa, Okla., to catch up on some paperwork I needed to do for school. It was a nice place, with good coffee, soft lighting, comfortable furniture, free Wi-Fi, coffee sacks hanging from the ceiling, and local artists' work on the walls.

The restroom hadnt yet received the same cafe-chic treatment as the rest of the building.

After looking at the water putty smeared on the walls, outsized mirror above the sink, and awkwardly placed shelves next to the door, I asked one of the owners what she had planned for that space.

Im not sure yet, she said.

Thats what I was hoping shed say.

After showing her some samples of my work, including my sort-of-locally-famous car (on Craftster at http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=332918.0), I told her I'd be happy to redo her bathroom in exchange for all the coffee I could drink. Given my fondness for cappuccino, that may or may not have been a good trade for her.

Given the building's history and proximity to Route 66, I wanted to use a 66 theme, with lots of local/state history. I chose lots of brown "coffee" tones to give it kind of a quasi-sepia look that would (hopefully) evoke old photo postcards, and all my subjects were people, places, or attractions associated with Route 66 in Oklahoma. Before I started, I stripped off the old wallpaper border and rag-painted the whole room in cream and gold to hide the flaws in the surface of the walls and make them look sort of like scrapbook paper, which I thought suited the postcard theme pretty well.

I started with the iconic Blue Whale in Catoosa, Okla. (The white spot in the picture is Mod Podge that hasn't dried yet. I used acrylics to paint all the pictures, then came back and sealed each one with a coat of Mod Podge to protect it from everyday wear and tear, smudges, scratches, etc.)

A restored 1930 Phillips 66 station in Chandler; the late, great Shady Rest Court in Red Fork; the Desert Hills Motel in Tulsa; the Round Barn in Arcadia; the long-closed Cotton Boll Motel in Canute; and Sapulpa's own "Guardian of the Plains" sculpture filled the rest of the space to the left of the door. Each "postcard" is roughly the size of a placemat.

The World's Largest Totem Pole, four miles off 66 in Foyil, and Lucille's Historic 66 gas station near Hydro cover the space above the door.

The space to the right of the door was a little narrower, so I covered it with vertical images: Sapulpa's own flying roller skate sign; Oklahoma City's Milk Bottle Buildling; the Glancy Motel in Clinton; "Myrtle," the giant oil-drum kachina doll that stands outside the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City; the Mickey Mantle statue from Mantle's hometown of Commerce; and the historic Rock Creek Bridge on the old Ozark Trail alignment of Route 66 at the west end of Sapulpa.

At the owner's request, I painted a picture of the Victorian Theater, which was in the building that now houses the coffeehouse. This painting and the one below it were much larger -- about 30 inches wide, IIRC. The only thing in the room that doesn't have anything to do with 66 is the back of the postcard. If you don't recognize the names or the address, Google them. They're a long way from Route 66, but the quote and its source seemed nonetheless fitting for a coffeehouse near an old highway widely regarded as the ultimate road trip. (The picture of the theater has some wonky angles, partly because the wall was too narrow for me to set up vanishing points, and partly because I was working from a photograph of a photograph, which made my source itself a bit wonky.)

This was another request from the owner. I'm not completely satisfied with the likeness, but it's about as good as I'm likely to get on a rough surface. Will's portrait is directly above the toilet, occupying a space about the width of the tank, so I thought it would be funny to paint him in his famous pose, scratching his head and grinning as if he's amused by what he sees.

I even replaced that ghastly mirror. You can get a little better idea of the layout and scale of the pictures from the reflection.

I thought I had a photo of the Roman shade I made out of coffee-print fabric to cover the window, but I can't find it. I was actually more excited about the shade than the paintings, as I'd never made one before and was pleasantly surprised when it worked. Also not pictured: the door, which is covered with chalkboard paint so patrons can leave messages or add their own artwork if they're so inspired.

The project took several months to complete, mainly because the coffeehouse has limited evening hours and is closed on Sundays, which made it hard for me to get in there and work. I've got about 40 hours of actual labor invested in the project.

Oh, and if you're interested, the coffeehouse itself is online at http://www.brewsandbytes.com/.
20  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: First post & a cute OWLY on: January 18, 2012 01:09:36 AM
Very cute! As for the sewing machine: Go for it! I was afraid of mine for years, too. I finally bucked up and gave it a shot when I decided I wanted a box-pleated skirt to wear to a dinner but couldn't find one. (Leave it to me to come up with something outrageously complicated instead of trying a simple pattern first.) The trick is to go slowly and iron the garment after each step to press in hems and pleats, flatten seams, and keep everything nice and neat. It takes a little patience, but in the end, it's really a timesaver.
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