Saturday, March 13, 2010

Studio / Workroom Redu

I've been neglecting painting in order to get the space I work in in order.  I been in the process of moving my studio/workroom to the largest guest bedroom but a visit from our oldest has galvanized me to drop everything else and get it done.  I've had a room dedicated to painting but it seemed like I always end up working on the dining room table.  I think I'm like my old kitty, I needed to be where the action is.  I'm hoping this redu will make me WANT to work here as well as making it easier to do so. 

One huge side effect of the move was that I was forced to go through all my craft stuff and I've seriously edited.  I've taken a load of stuff to the ARC thrift store and the car is loaded up again for another trip.  It's been a good thing to let go of a lot of this stuff.  I took a hard look at what I had and if I wasn't going to use it - out it went.  It's like wearing new underwear! It feels great!. 

I got so inspired I repainted the room.  I wanted a soft neutral taupe on the walls.  The plan includes painting my storage pieces white.  Then I would have pops of color from  art on the wall, quilts and my work  in process. I knew I would need at least 2 coats of paint - the room was a dark blue, a left over from BLBaby's high school colors.  I bought a gallon and I'm grateful it took two gallons.  I think I'm pretty good at picking colors but I really blew it on the first coat.  I know that color can intensify from what you think you are getting on the chip to actual practice on the wall.  Thinking of that I became too timid.  I remember the 80's too well, and the basic color everything was painted in was a cool off white usually called Navaho White.  I've painted it out everywhere I encountered it - but there it was on my wall.  I got the 2nd gallon much darker - Behr Pecan Sandie.  Much warmer, it reminded me of light chocolate milk and makes me happy. The white and my color pops will do great. 

The one piece that I have painted a robin egg blue is my sewing station and it will stay that way.  I never did a before on this but here is the after. 

My youngest moved into unfurnished student housing last fall and wanted the computer desk that Best Loved Hubby had rescued from work (got for free).  I had been using it for the sewing maching but I took pity on the Kid and let him take it. (Who am I to discourage a homework station).  I set out to replace it and hit pay dirt the first day all at my favorite Flea Market.  The bottom is a drop leaf table had lost one of the leaves but the legs were sturdy. It was $4.00.  I had a top to an entertainment center that had not worked out (another story) so I screwed it to the top of the table from the underneath with drywall screws.  This gave me a great worksurface and covered up all but a little bit of the half circle leaf of the table so I removed that side also.  The same shopping trip scored me the bookcase top for $8.00.  It was falling apart but some screws took care of it.  I had planned to just set this on the top of the table but BLHubby was concerned it would fall on me and insisted I get some angle brackets (Ace Hardware $5.00) to secure it to the table top.  A good idea.  I primed the whole thing with Glidden Gripper high adhesive primer. (I bought a whole gallon but have used it on some other stuff.  These pieces were just junk and were covered in vinyl laminate.  I was afraid that my favorite Kiltz wouldn't stick well.  The Gripper has done great.)  Top coat of paint - $13.50. 
Total cost - under $40.00.  Not exactly free but look at the results.

I still need to paint the storage pieces (all free over the years) white and hang art but we are in business.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Design Inspirations - Sam Gabriel and Sons

I have recently discovered some vintage children's books that I'm so in love with. I discovered the first one at the Crystal Hill Antique Mall in North Little Rock. They have a wonderful framing shop located there called Happenstance that has tons of already matted ephemera and prominently displayed was a large frame with five pictures and the title from "Funny Farm Friends on Vacation" and another with "Plump Piggies". I was in love. No, I wanted a baby so I could decorate a nursery around these pieces. Never mind that the Best Loved Husband may not want to start over again with diapers, the Best Loved Baby Boy is seriously planning for the LSAT and we decided to shoot the stork a long time ago. None of that matters when you see these pictures.
There are a bunch of these titles, and similar ones.  The Funny Farm Friends were copyright 1938 and published by Sam Gabriel and Sons.  The text isn't anything to get excited over, but the pictures!  It seems that Sam Gabriel and Sons did tons of these little books from the 1930's to the 1950's.  I've been able to find several series all over the internet for no more than $15.00 each.   They are about 8 x 7 inch soft cover stapled booklets made from a paper called "Linenette".  Linenette is a high quality clay coated paper that is embossed to look like it has a fabric weave.  It is tough and must have been hard to tear and has not corroded from acid. So many books I find this old are crumbling because their paper is so high acid and self distructs.  There is no author or, even more sadly, illustrator credited for any of the Sam Gabriel Books I have and I can't find any illustrator listed anywhere. 
This layout of the farm animals racing I adore.  The rabbit winning - sure, but the Pig!  I love, love these.  Love the rich colors.  love the fried egg daisy flowers everywhere.  I'm looking for more of them.  I'll post more scans when I get them.  If anyone knows of the illustrator or illustrators of these.  I think of them working in house for little wage but producing this.