Monday, February 16, 2015

Mantel Clock

Hi everyone.  I have been busy painting portraits. You can check out my website at

This clock was made from a Bolla wine box.  Jack, the little boy next door, threw it away years ago and I saved it.  When I decided to make the clock, there it was. It had the perfect proportions, 6x12.

I cut a hole on the front of the box for the clock movement and another one on the back for changing the battery. The wood is very thin and easy to cut with a utility knife.

I bought a clock face and a clock movement with numbers .  The thickness of the movement has to be the same thickness as the clock face.  Here the clock face is glued to the box,

I built a small box for the base of the clock. The wooden pieces came from Michaels, already cut to the right width. I only had to cut them the right length. They are made from very thin plywood.

The Bolla box is glued to the inverted base.

These are the front and back of the box sitting on its base, already primed.

This is the finished clock.  I took pictures but I can't find them.....sorry. However, not so hard to figure out. On the top, I placed a piece of wood the same size as the bottom one. I then cut pieces of narrow trim and attached them to the edges.  I used the same trim around the bottom of the clock.

Here on the bottom is a good close up of what happens behind the columns. There are two pieces of wood that I glued together and attached to the back of the box.  It looks like a fancy cut, but it isn't. The narrower piece is the same width as the one around the base of the Bolla box (painted black).

All the small pieces I used in the clock came from Michaels. The clock movement was $10 and another $6 was spent on the little bases and balls.

A strong broomstick from the garbage was used for the columns.
To camouflage the area where my broomstick meets the little base, I cut 1/2 inch pieces of cardboard and glued them on. The rubber bands are holding them until they dry. Check out the picture above.

The clock numbers were a gold color, so I used gold leaf for parts of the clock. I thought black and beige complemented the color scheme. The gold leaf was distressed to give it some character.

This is how the finished back looks.  The two small tabs rotate so you can remove the back and change the battery.

Another view of the clock. A stencil was applied to the front of the clock face. The lines under the clock face were painted using masking tape. The year 2015 is stenciled under the face. It is not easy to read.

I thought I might make clocks of many different designs......and sell them.  The number of hours I spent making this one was totally ridiculous. I would have to sell it for $200 and who would pay that much for a clock made from a wine box?  I am happy to keep it. It will become a family heirloom!

Frame for my blackbird painting.

Hi everyone. I have not posted for a long, long, long time! I hope you enjoy this new one.
I make the frames for my paintings for 2 reasons:  saves money and I get just what I want.

The wood I use is 1x3's from the lumber yard. I don't buy the most expensive since I fill holes with wood filler and paint it and cover it anyway. Here is one I made recently.  The hardest thing has been to find the right color of brown tissue paper.  I haven't yet!

I add a half-round trim to the frame. The painting sits on this trim and also gives it a finished look.  

I mix a 1:1 ratio of water and glue and put it in an empty jar

 Materials:  White primer, my cut-outs of birds from cardboard, ordinary white glue mixed with water, an inexpensive brush and Liquitex satin varnish (any varnish will do).

One note on tissue paper:  Make sure it is not the "bleeding" kind, unless it's what you want.  I used it once thinking it would look "cool", but it was a disaster.  The glue/water mixture separated the colors into green and red. Don't forget brown is made from blue, red and yellow!

ProcedureAfter my frame is primed, I place and glue my birds where I want them.  They have been painted a medium gray, a lighter value than the tissue paper.  After making 12 frames I have found this works well for me.

I cut the tissue paper in pieces slightly larger than the width of the frame plus extra to cover the sides.
I crinkle the tissue. I then apply glue to the frame with a brush and place the tissue paper over it.

Using the same brush, I go over it with more glue, making sure I flatten all the wrinkles. ( Be gentle at first until you figure out how hard to brush, or you will tear the tissue.)

Where I have to piece the tissue paper, I overlap it just slightly. Tissue paper comes in 20 inch lengths and this frame was 30x30.

Since the color is not deep enough, I apply a second layer of tissue, the same way as the first.  I get more wrinkles, of course, but they look fine.

 Once the glue is dry, I go over the whole frame with Liquitex varnish to give the frame a light sheen.

There are many ways of doing this:  painting the frame brown to begin with is another way. You need to experiment.  Good luck. My website:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A little box for a 7-year old girl

Hi everyone!

Xmas is coming and I have a few gifts to make. This year I have someone new on my list:  my niece's 7-year old stepdaughter, Riley.  I made her a little box where she can keep her treasures.

I used a wooden champagne box. These boxes have carved lettering and I filled in the small ones on the bottom with Spackle. I decided to cover the large ones.

A thin piece of plywood does the trick. I used glue to attach it. Riley loves Hello Kitty, so I decided to paint the little cat's face on it and her initial on the other side.

I first painted around the figures.  The little balls on the right are going to be the feet.

Masking tape to the rescue to finish the edges.

I thought the green added a nice touch.

The feet are screwed on from the inside.

This is the finished box. Notice that I went over the cat face and the initial with magic marker.  I then polyurethaned the  box.

Some inexpensive metal corners, a shiny hasp and lock, and you have it.  I added the polka dots with a store-bought stencil. I thought it needed a little more decoration. 

The tassel was only fifty cents at a trimmings store.  I used to make my own!  No more.  

Pretty paper glued over a piece of cardboard, covers the bottom of the box.

See you next time! Lola

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An oriental "rug".

Hi everyone.

I have been working on my rug and have not posted for a few days. It is painted on my hallway floor and it has both Islamic and William Morris designs. When I design something, I look through Google images and then adapt whatever I like to make my design work. After all the trouble I went through with this rug, I wish I had just copied the design from a real Oriental, of which we have several. I cut all new stencils for this one and I made it up as I went along! I didn't even measure, I eyed everything. You should have seen me trying to make the arabesques look like they made sense on both sides of the rug, since the spacing was off.  I doubt that anyone is going to look that closely!

This is not the first rug I have painted on this spot.  The old one, below, was painted over to make room for the new one!  I used stencils that I had used for other designs. We had it for many years and I wanted a new look.

The spider plant is painted on my kitchen door. The plant's leaves served as a decoration for this rug.

All I did was turn the stencil sideways. Another stencil that I had used in a bedroom worked well on the edge.

I started this "new" rug" two years ago, and never finished it.  Since my blog was not in existence then, there are no pictures of how I started it. However, I took enough pictures as I was finishing it so you can get an idea of how it was done.

For this rug I chose to paint the wood planks two different colors, since it looks more realistic.

 Let's focus on the red diamond below.  Each color was painted separately, the white, the red and then the green, in that order.  The different bands were not pre-planned. I just went with what looked good to me.
Of course, I decided ahead of time what colors I would use in the overall design.

Notice that the arabesque design around the red square is stenciled only on the right side. I then flipped the stencil and painted the left side.  See below.

The stencil was hard to manage because it was large, and the lines of the arabesque were thin.  I had to cut it twice since the first one tore. Notice how wide the "bridges" are.  Bridges in a stencil are the uncut pieces that connect the parts so the stencil does not fall apart.  I had to connect the pieces freehand. You do what you have to do.

 Before and after connecting the bridges in the light and the dark gray arabesques.

On another one of the squares, I had to paint a blue line and stencil diamonds on the dark green space. First, I painted the blue line using painter's tape. Then I used a stencil for the diamonds. It is the same stencil I used for the edge of the rug.

To complete the rug I stenciled a fringe on both ends. The rug is colorful and both my husband and I are happy with it!  Are you going to paint a rug in your apartment?  It does take time, but it is fun and a great way to cover a hallway.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ideas for your Home:

Ideas for your Home: Hellooo! Today I am going to share my Moroccan tables with you.  I had not done too many difficult projects before taking this one on, so...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hi again.  This is the continuation of my last blog.

The Moroccan Room

The clay lamp shade is from Nicaragua. It is decorated with moons
and stars.  It looks Moroccan!

The throw is from Turkey, a present from a friend.
 This portrait I did of my husband years ago, seemed to fit. The plate is from Morocco.

This carved jaguar head is Mexican. I mounted it on a green piece of wood so it would stand out from the wall.
 The picture under it is hard to see, but it is a Middle Eastern scene. Maybe I will make a copy of a colorful Matisse to put in the room!
The window covers and the roman blinds I made from a beautiful fabric.
This is all. I hope you were inspired by some of the items! I had a lot of fun putting the room together.  Lola

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hello you all!

I will continue with yesterday's blog showing you some features of the "Moroccan" room. The room is rather dark because it has wood paneling, so some of the pictures will not be that great. I apologize. I could have used flash, but I don't like the glary images.

The bedroom has a green beadboard ceiling, so I wanted to use fabrics that would go with it. I made the tassels from embroidery thread.

The other side of the room has a Victorian chair turned Moroccan with color, a shiny fabric and small
finials on top, which were very hard to find. I lucked out at a garage sale.  

The table is Moroccan. I had the tray and found the legs at a thrift shop. The mirror has nothing to do with Morocco, but I needed one there!

The headboard is a street find. I turned the legs upside down so it would have a more "grand" look.  The Arabic stenciling says "sweet dreams".

I will share the rest of the room details in my next blog.  I feel like Scheherezade:  come back tomorrow if you want to see more!  Adios!