Monday, June 27, 2011

Restored Metal Art

I got a call from a guy who had a piece of old metal art he wanted the colors restored on. (Thanks Paul, for the referral.) The piece hangs outside so it's pretty rusty and faded.

OMG!!! As soon as I saw this in the trunk of his car I knew I wanted to work on it. (We met in a Starbucks parking lot - he wanted to surprise his wife with it all finished.)

We negotiated a price and I left with it in the back of MY car. It looked like this:

 About 30" wide and a foot tall.

I had a bunch of earthy and bronze-y-orange metallics but nothing in the vibrant green I wanted for the gecko or shimmery blue I wanted for Kokopeli. So the next day (on our way to Camano Island for a vintage fair - more on that later) we went up to Daniel Smith in Seattle. Daniel Smith is a really amazing place for all kinds of art supplies. You can find them online here, but I'm lucky to have an actual store about an hour away. Really lucky, because I had absolutely no idea what I wanted, just a conviction that they'd have it. And thanks to Alice I got just exactly what the piece needed.

Here's how it turned out.

The angle and lighting are everything when I'm trying to photograph metallics, and because of the angle you can see the bling in one frame but not in another in the same pic. I intentionally left some of the rust, it wouldn't have cleaned up perfectly anyway and the piece has such a great patina. Now I just have to clear coat it and it's done.

I have the best job in the world.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Victoria, B.C.and Ziplines

We just got back from a trip to Victoria. Doubly nice because the weather there was lovely while back home in the Puget Sound area it continued to rain.

Victoria is a perfect place to do what we love to do on vacation: eat, shop, eat,  look at art, and eat. You'll have noticed a theme here, so we walk a lot, which we also like to do. And this time my lovely, adventurous husband found us ziplines!!

If you have not been on a zipline you have missed out on one of life's coolest adrenaline rushes. Of the four of us (husband, sister, brother-in-law, me) I was the only one who had not jumped out of an airplane, so I can't tell you how it compares to that adrenaline-charged 'sport.' I can tell you that it is a TON of fun. And I am known for being the wimp in my family.

We've looked into it before, in Hawaii, but this is the first time it was affordable. (Go here for the whole story on Adrena Line in Sooke Harbor, B.C.) There are 8 ziplines and a couple of suspension bridges and it is amazing. On about the 6th line when you really have it down you go through a photo op. Here is my photo:
And here is Jim's:
Now, my husband is a pilot, and among other things he likes to go upside down just about any time he gets the chance. He did not intend to have the line twist in this particular direction to the camera, but really - it's perfect.

Oh, and the oldest person Adrena Line has zipped? 94. He apparently had to go tandem with a guide, but he went!

More later on Victoria with loads of cool pics of places and stuff.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The YWCA Armoire

 Last year I had a great opportunity to be part of the renovation of a 'new' building for the Tacoma YWCA transitional housing for women, children, and their pets (this is one of the few shelters that takes pets).

After the YWCA had completed the renovation of the plumbing, electrical, and structure of the 1930s building they ran out of money. The board decided to do basic institutional necessities for the 22 units and try later to upgrade one unit at a time as funds were available.

A Tacoma designer went to the board and proposed that she recruit designers and decorators to volunteer to finish the units. The board agreed, thinking nothing would come of it. But they were wrong!

Twenty designers volunteered. Each was assigned a unit (a couple did two). They donated their time (and money) and got donations of materials, furniture, art, and labor and finished the 22 units in style. Each unit has a kitchen and a bathroom. Some are studios, some have one bedroom, some have two bedrooms. There are new kitchen fixtures, new tile in kitchens and bathrooms, new cabinets and built-ins, and each unit is furnished beautifully. I wish I had pictures of them all, they were HGTV-reveal-AMAZING! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the units. But I can show you a little part.

I worked with decorator Joyce Weir on her unit. The biggest piece I got to transform was a large pine armoire donated by a friend of Joyce's.

Here is the before:

And here is after:
I'll put the technical info in another post for anyone who is interested in how to do it. Or leave me a comment and I can get the info to you.

This is a picture (with li'l ol' me) of the armoire in the unit:

It was such a cool project to get to help out with.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You have no idea!

I just spent about two hours trying to get my layout to work the way I wanted it to. I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, but finally, for some unknown reason, the same thing I kept doing (recommended by all the internet sites I was looking to for help) WORKED! Apologies for the run-on sentence. Yay! I can now get on with my blog life.