Saturday, 24 June 2017

" a Liitle lamsy- divey" Ivy tutorials 1.2.3

When I was a little girl,
my mother 
taught me a "nonsense song" which she had learned when she was young;  

it went like this:
OH! -
"Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy 
a kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?"

this is what most people heard when they listened to it played on the radio -
"Mairsy doats and doesy doats and a little lamsy-divy
a kidlle-deedivy too- wooden shoe?"

as a child 
it took me a while to figure out what this song meant, and no doubt you're probably wondering 
what in the world I mean 
by including these silly lyrics as the intro to this post? 
The answer is pretty simple- 
I needed a working title with IVY in it, which is how 
 I came to recall this silly song.  
Funny how certain tunes can stick and stay in your head no matter how old you get. 
as you've probably figured out by now
 this particular post is all about 


so lets get started

I don't know if anyone admires
Ivy tutorial on Pequenas Cosas blog:  as much as I do. 
It is one of the most REALISTIC on the net.
I always wanted to give it a go, and since I needed some IVY for the Villa Leone window planter, I turned to her
Hiedra tutorial  

I followed Sole's instructions very closely and although I'm satisfied with my results hers look Really Real! 
even so
 here's what I did

I used wide masking tape and laid it sticky side up. 

I laid thin pieces of wire on top of it to form the stems.

I laid a second piece of masking tape over the top and outlined the stems with a ball tool to seal the 2 layers.

Then I drew on the leaf shapes with a pencil and cut them out with scissors.
Afterwards, I painted the stem brown and the leaves green.
I made
4 stems of varying lengths and left enough of a stem on the ends of each one so that I could hang them over the edge of the planter and arrange them to suit.
Well FOUR STEMS was not quite enough because my ivy looked too skimpy for the visual bulk of the planter so I ended up using some leftover leaf scatter I had in my stash to fill in some of the gaps which is what you see below-

the extra scatter really beefed them up! 
Below is how the ivy looks installed. 
I'm happy with the finished planter and would give Sole's tutorial 2 thumbs WAY UP! 

* however-make sure to make more than you think you'll need*
and thus ends Ivy tutorial #1

next up-
Ivy tutorial #2  
which came about as a result of wanting to fill up these two china pots which I'd cobbled together from some beads.
For the ivy I used a product which Fatima and I purchased on line.

if you have birch trees in your neighborhood- keep the cones then make your own!
The 2 blogs above and below are both good references  on how to use it for ivy
 here's what I did

I mixed two greens onto the birch spacers, and mixed them in with a paint brush, dragging it over the spacers so that they were evenly covered.  

It takes a while for all of the individual leaves to get painted and even when you think that they're done, many leaves will be still missing some paint, however  you can always touch up the bald spots later. 
When they were ready, I transferred them onto a non-stick surface and separated any clumps with my fingers.
This is messy and also takes a while because the leaves are very tiny. 

I made several batches of ivy leaves in different shades of green; not wishing to run out of them too soon. 

Using zaboobadidoo's tutorial, I glued the painted leaves onto a dead root salvaged from a herb plant. 
 I re-touched the leaves with more paint as required and adjusted the stems to form a shape and draped it to my specifications. 

Ta Da! 

Ivy tutorial #3

is a variation of the same as above
( in case you don't happen to have any dead roots waiting around in your stash-)
 I'm using loops of thin wire which are tied off about 1/4 inch from the end

cut through the loops and splay outward so you can paint them.

When painted brown, leave them to dry.
I propped mine up with a clothes peg

I shoved a little air dry clay ( Play-doh) into the pot and then added the painted stems, shaping them as needed.

This photo reminds me of the legs of an emerging spider- ugg!

 I used 527 glue because it stays fluid long enough for you to dip the ends of the ivy leaves into it 
then stick them to the frame. 

When I'd applied enough of the leaves, I re-adjusted the stems and then touched-up the stems with more brown stain, and the leaves with more green acrylic paint mixed with a green glaze. 

And placed the vases on the mantle in Villa Leone's Morning Room.

 and this is what they look like in place!

And although we have come to
"The End" 
I can't let you go until I give you the link to the tune of that nonsense song
 so that you can have it stuck in your mind from now on  too-

mairsy doats and doesy doats and little lamsy-divy
A kidlley-divy too, wooden-shoe? 
a kidlle-divy too, wooden-shoe."

miss you mom


Saturday, 27 May 2017

DON'T FENCE ME IN ( a stone arch tutorial)

Benvenuto indietro!
 Just to satisfy any curiosity regarding what I decided regarding the wood nymph with 3 arms; as you can see
I changed it
in the picture of the 2 dancing maidens-
the raised right arm, 
 doesn't actually belong to either of them.

but it works!

 Now on to the tutorial

I am making a stone archway leading from the entry of the Villa, 
into the kitchen 
using plastic garden fencing purchased from the dollar store.

The hard plastic fencing comes in snap together sections made up of 4 arches with center spears.  
It's available in either white or black. 
I chose white because I wasn't certain about what color I was going to finish it in.

This is what the fencing cost in Canada.

I cut 2 of the arched sections free from the fence panel
I scored the joins with an utility knife and then snapped them apart using an old pair of wire snips
The rough edges were cleaned off with a utility blade
I measured the frame for its height, and cut it down to the right size. 

Matte board was cut to fit around the arch and glued onto the frame using E6000 glue.

(The second wall template on the kitchen side, has not yet been glued around the arch, because I still can't decide on a wallpaper.)

Gaps around the frame, were filled with drywall patch

To finish the arch, I repaired any rips and blocked up the open gaps in the frame using masking tape and/or foam core board.

 I painted the interiors of both arches with black acrylic paint and let it dry.

then I wedged pieces of scrap foam board inside of one of the frames and made sure that the second arch would fit snugly over top,
 making adjustments for a tight fit, where needed. 
Then I glued the two halves together using E6000 glue and ran a bead of glue down the inside center where the two halves were joined.  
They were clamped together until dry. 

I scraped off any excess glue and painted the entire frame in a white acrylic paint.

Then using a spatula I layered on drywall patch, filling in any gaps around the frame as well.
This was then sprayed with hairspray to seal it and gave it another coat of acrylic paint.
I applied a coat of drywall patch to the front surfaces to disguise the "tooled metal" texture, hoping to make it look more like old stone. 
 I normally use hairspray to seal the raw plaster 
 I decide that there had to be a better way to get a stone effect without taking so many steps, 
so I experimented a bit and came up with a recipe which worked out much better for me; 
a type of LIQUID STONE
here's my small batch recipe: 
all amounts are in approximate measurements but are easily adjusted up or down 
 1 tablespoon GESSO
1& 1/2 tablespoons DRY WALL PATCH
[gives a transparent finish when mixed with acrylic paint,
 but in this case it serves as a sealer + binder ]
1 teaspoon OF WATER.

the products were mixed until smooth and the consistency of a Heavy Cream.
They were then troweled onto the face of the arch with a flexible spatula.

the photos below
show what it looked like after the
liquid stone recipe

If you find it too shiny after it has dried as I did, then add a bit more drywall patch and a few more drops of water.
You want it to have some gloss, but not too much.
I applied 2 coats.
any rough bits I burnished over using the metal spatula. 
The resulting finish is smooth with a light gloss
now for the color

Using an assortment of grated chalk pastels, water, brushes and sponges, I painted over the arch with a very thin, watery mix of all the above colors
 adding the color with a brush and subtracting it with a sponge.
I continued with this process
 until I was satisfied with the final color of my stone.

The white liquid stone base resists the water,

 while the powdery nature of the chalk pastels, dries splotchy,
enabling me to build up the colors with the white still showing through under the various grays.  
The more water mixed in with the chalks-the more translucent the finish; 
with more chalk than water- the more color density.

so this is what it looks like now

Not Bad
if I do say so myself :D
Hope you've enjoyed this
"trash to treasure" 

See you again soon! 
caio caio