Category Archives: Art

Castle Restoration – 1 in a Series

I have recently uncovered in the attic the dollhouse-size castle made for our son when he was a little boy.

The dollhouse is in 3 sections which can be easily reassembled.

The castle was made in assemblable pieces.

It’s been in the attic for 20 years. Now that I’ve rediscovered it I’m going to try and refurbish it in a series of steps since it is in rough shape.

The castle sits on a grassy base on which has been painted a watery mote.

The castle sits on a grassy base on which has been painted a watery mote.

I started with the plywood base which is painted blue and mostly unseen except for the “water” in the mote and the grassy border.

Edge of the castle's plywood base with the splintered trim removed.

Edge of the castle’s plywood base with the splintered trim removed.

The edge of the base had splintered so I removed it.

The slender strips are castle trim.

The slender strips are castle trim.

I cut (mitered) and painted screen door bead to replace the trim.

I used small nails to attach the trim -- a tacker gun would also work.

I used small nails to attach the trim — a tacker gun would also work.

The edge of the base is trimmed with painted screen door bead.

The edge of the base is trimmed with painted screen door bead.

The trim was painted on all sides then nailed around the entire edge with wire nails.

The castle erected on the dining room table.

The front of the castle erected on the dining room table.

Once the base was cleaned and trimmed I decided to set up the entire castle.

The drawbridge actually lowers over the mote.

The drawbridge actually lowers over the mote.

The water in the mote is just visible at the entrance.

Back of the castle with openings for decorating play.

Back of the castle with openings for decorating play.

I am not sure this is the correct set-up although I don’t know how else it would go together.

The tower have a room lined in gold where the crown jewels are kept.

The tower has a room lined in gold where the crown jewels are kept.

I’m sure I have an old photo in the albums in the attic that would help.

Do you start whimsical projects to keep you from progressing on real work?

Finished Saw Blade Sign

I have a small bin of used saw blades.

Old saw blade before being cleaned.

Old saw blade before being cleaned.

I tried my hand at painting a sign on a saw blade. I prepared the used blade here and gave some details on my method and products here.

My design for "Bespoke Rope Belts"

My design for “Bespoke Rope Belts”

I made a full-size design on paper and then transferred it to the blade with carbon paper.

The liquid white goes on easily but also smudges.

The liquid white goes on easily but also smudges.

 

After the paint sets up I'll give it a second and may third coat.

After the paint set up I gave it a second coat.

SawBlade

Although not yet totally dry I presented the saw blade to our friend and originator of the rope belt idea.

I enhanced the rope design with some hash marks.

I enhanced the rope design with some hash marks.

When the liquid white is well-dried I might clean the edges up with a razor blade.

We spent much of Saturday using "bespoke" in a sentence.

We spent much of Saturday using “bespoke” in a sentence.

Oh, yeah! I’ve got another one planned.

Do you do a fun craft? Does it have to be slick when you’re finished?

Yes, Milady

We have a dollhouse that was made especially for my son when he was a little boy.

The dollhouse is in 3 sections which can be easily reassembled.

The dollhouse is in 3 4 sections which can be easily reassembled.

For the past 20 years we’ve been storing it in the attic.

The roofers cut our the rotten wood which casued all sorts of debris to fall into the attic on top of everything that is stored there.

The roofers cut out the rotten wood which caused all sorts of debris to fall into the attic on top of everything that is stored there.

When the men put a new roof on the house last year the attic became very dirty with debris from the roof.

The castle sits on a grassy base on which has been painted a watery mote.

The castle sits on a grassy base on which has been painted a watery mote.

So the castle, which had been shoved to the far corner, is grimy and dirty and broken.

The keep is a two-story structure with an A-line roof.

The keep is a two-story structure with an A-line roof.

I have officially rescued it and am going to get it back to the condition it was in its glory days when young boys played knights of the round table within and without its walls.

The public rooms of the castle look like barbarians have ransacked the place.

The throne room of the castle looks like barbarians have ransacked the place.

I had forgotten the details that we had worked on when the castle was new: flooring, wallcoverings, carpets, and furniture .

Even the drawbridge is off its hinge.

Even the drawbridge is off its hinge.

My plan is to display it in the conservatory after it is renovated. Do you find forgotten treasures in your attic?

Saw Blade Sign – Midway in the Project

I have a Pinterest board called Jo’s Projects with 219 pins.  My featured pin is a painted saw blade by Zachary Smith.

Old saw blade before being cleaned.

Old saw blade before being cleaned.

I decided to try my hand at a similar painted saw blade. I prepared the used blade here.

The proprietor of the rope belt factory.

The proprietor of the rope belt factory.

This blade is slated for our carpenter friend who always jokes (in a deadpan way) about his rope belt factory.

My design for "Bespoke Rope Belts"

My design for “Bespoke Rope Belts”

I made a full-size design on paper and then transferred it to the blade with carbon paper.

Silver Sharpies detail the blade with a pale but visible mark.

Silver Sharpies detail the blade with a pale but visible mark.

It left a clear outline on the saw blade which I enhanced with silver Sharpie.

Oil-based liquid white.

Oil-based liquid white.

Then with a small can of Bob Ross’ “liquid white” and a skinny brush I painted over the letters. Since I couldn’t finish at that time I picked up the blade and smeared the paint.

The liquid white goes on easily but also smudges.

The liquid white goes on easily but also smudges.

Sheesh! The lettering was pretty much ruined so I wiped it all off and cleaned the blade again with finger nail polish remover.

After the paint sets up I'll give it a second and may third coat.

After the paint sets up I’ll give it a second and may third coat.

The next day I started again.

SawBlade

I’m not sure how long the liquid white takes to dry but it definitely needs a couple more coats and some detailing.  Maybe, as I practice, I’ll get steadier.

Do you have a summer project? Or are you taking a trip?

I Pinned It – Now What?

I have a Pinterest board called Jo’s Projects with 219 pins.

Love and simple this is.

Love and simple this is.

My featured pin is a painted saw blade by Zachary Smith.

A used saw blade has some resin on it from cutting wood.

A used saw blade has some resin on it from cutting wood.

We have a bin of old saw blades of different sizes that I just can’t bear to throw away.

The saw blade after using sandpaper.

The saw blade after using sandpaper.

First the blades need to be cleaned off. I started with some sandpaper to get off the gummy stuff.

This adhesive remover took off some of the dark spots on the saw blade.

This adhesive remover took off some of the dark spots on the saw blade.

Then I applied adhesive remover and moved it around with some steel wool.  I washed the adhesive remover off with soap and water and dried the blade with a towel.

Saw blade after adhesive remover.

Saw blade after adhesive remover.

I don’t want a new shiny blade; I like the rustic appeal of the used teeth.

Pencil didn't work well on the blade and blue Sharpie was too permanent.

Pencil didn’t work well on the blade and blue Sharpie was too permanent.

I was going to try to draw directly on the blade with pencil which didn’t work great.  Then I though a light blue Sharpie would work better.  Not better.  I cleaned the Sharpie off with nail polish remover.

I didn't measure anything because this is supposed to be rustic.

I didn’t measure anything because this is supposed to be rustic.

I decided I should make a full size design on paper and then transfer it to the blade.  My plan was to darken the back side of the paper with pencil lead and then draw on the front so it would come through. This didn’t work very well.

Old fashioned carbon paper that had been used in a typewriter.

Old fashioned carbon paper that had been used in a typewriter.

Happily I had a vintage piece of carbon paper. (Do they even make it any more?)

The carbon paper left clear marks on the saw blade.

The carbon paper left clear marks on the saw blade.

It left a clear outline on the saw blade by tracing over my lines with the carbon paper between the pattern and the blade.

Check back to see the full design and progress.

What are you pinning?

Froggie Hooking

Back in March I hung a grouping of iron frogs on the wall in the conservatory bathroom near where the toilet is slated to go.

Looking from the shower through the bathroom into the conservatory.

Looking from the shower through the bathroom into the conservatory before the door was installed.

I hadn’t hung it well and, at the time, even thought it wouldn’t be a convenient place to hang things — towels and robes — I hung it there anyway.

The conservatory bathroom door opens into the conservatory, away from the bathroom.

The conservatory bathroom door opens into the conservatory, away from the bathroom.

As I was thinking about hanging hooks in the upstairs bathroom I got the notion that hooks on the back of the door would be welcome. (We didn’t have doors back in March.)

The conservatory bathroom door is  a 36

The conservatory bathroom door is a 36″ wide traditional 6-panel door.

The conservatory bathroom door is a full 3 feet wide.

I made pilot holes with a small nail and inserted small (so they would go through to the other side) screws to hold the hooks.

I made pilot holes with a small nail and inserted small (so they wouldn’t go through to the other side) screws into the pressed paper door.

I measured the eye-level rail for the support screws and screwed them into the pressed paper product door. (Ick — one day I might get a REAL door.)

The hooks are large enough for a robe or towel, even a backbrush or loofah.

The hooks are large enough for a robe or towel, even a backbrush or loofah.

The door still needs to be painted as do all the interior doors in the house.  When I decide on a final color I’ll need to remove this rack of hooks to paint.

Come on -- let's get this project finished.

Come on — let’s get this project finished.

Until that time it’s useful.

One of these two walls which already need touch-up paint will get a cabinet or art.

One of these two bathroom walls which already need touch-up paint will get a cabinet or art.

After the toilet is installed we’ll need a cabinet or some art for the bare walls.

Do you move stuff around even after you’ve made holes in the wall?

Bloggers Meet Over Broken Dishes

Last week one of the blogs I regularly read, Cape of Dreams, started a new project.

Jessica has started a mosaic on the foundation of her house.

Jessica has started a mosaic on the foundation of her house.

Jessica is covering the foundation of her house with a broken-dish mosaic.

You know I'm a dish lover.

You know I’m a dish lover.

She solicited more dishes from her readers who live nearby.  Little did I know when I offered some dishes she was already in my neck of the woods (Maryland).

Jessica, Jo, and Jessica's mother.

Jessica, Jo, and Jessica’s mother. (Where’s my smile?)

Jessica and her mother stopped by The Glade on their way back north. They’re cheery and chummy.  I hope you get to meet them one day, too.

Each of these dishes had a chip or crack.

Each of these dishes had a chip or crack.

She took a box of dishes which I hope will become part of her mosaic.

I hope these mostly white with green accents dishes will work into Jessica's color scheme.

I hope these mostly white with green accents dishes will work into Jessica’s color scheme.

In the meantime it was so great to meet someone I feel I already know after reading her blog posts.

Have you ever met someone long-distance then met them in person?