Friday, April 22, 2011

Dremel, Base, and Bricks

So last night in a fit of creativity, I decided to try the Dremel on the base for a moment.  I didn't realize that rounding the edges would be so quick and efforless.  I donned my protective glasses, fired up the Dremel at the very lowest speed (which was fast enough for me and the project), and within 15 minutes the edges of the base were rounded and sanded.  Wow.  Considering how much time I spent with the emery board, I was amazed that this part of the project took no time at all.

Onward to the staining part of the project.  With the Blick marker, that too was a breeze.  I'd expected to spend a half hour previewing what I'd have to do the next day and the project was already done.

So I was done with the rounding, sanding and staining.  Huh.  Time for bed?  Not yet.

The next step was dabbing the stones for the walkway with the umbers, green and ochre paints.  Well, why not?  So dab away I did.  Now I just have to put the runny gray paint on top of the dried layers and the walkway will be finished.  Onward to the next page of directions tomorrow!

At right, the dabbed walkway and the redwood base.  Done within 20 minutes.  I think I'm falling in love with the Dremel!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Starting Jake's Potting Shed

My husband has always wanted a potting shed in the backyard.  So what else could I do but get one for him?   I got this kit through The Quarter Connection from Karen Benson's Quarter Source.

Since Jake is visiting his father in San Antonio this week, I thought I would work on the kit.

The first step is to get out the directions and make sure all the pieces are there.  In the photo below, the directions are under the paints and emery board.

According to the directions, staining is the first order of business.  While Karen suggests using Minwax, I absolutely love Dick Blick's markers, so I used the Sienna one on the wooden pieces of the shed to simulate redwood.

Since the pieces that need to be stained are small, I use a medical hemostat to hold them while I stain.  As you can see by the stain on the artist pad I use as my work surface, I usually just stabilize the pieces with the hemostat and then color them on the paper surface.  I definitely don't hold them in the air with the hemostat and touch them with the marker.  They're prone to flipping into the air and then difficult to find if I do that!

The lattice sides of the shed are interesting.  Karen has cut two very thin sheets of wood which are stained and then glued on top of each other to make the lattice effect.  The two pieces at the right are separated a little so you can see what each looks like before completely overlapping.

After staining the lattice, the potting shed structure and the work bench, I move on to the next direction: to round the edges of the base.  I begin with my emery board, but this takes too much time with too little result.  I switch to my sanding block with the same result: too much time for too little result.  What to do?

Jake gave me a cordless Dremel a couple of Christmases ago, so this seems like the perfect solution!  Only I have to get some safety glasses and some sanding bits before I can begin.

So today after I get the glasses and bits (available at the nearby Home Depot), I'll round the edges and get the base stained.

In the meantime, I'll start coloring the shed's flooring.  The patterned plastic flooring is the red near square to the right of the acrylic paint tubes.  Karen gives a number of paint colors, but I think I'm going to use the three Blick colors in the tubes.

And that's my day: go to Home Depot while the Dremel battery charges, get safety glasses and sanding bits, and paint the flooring.  Great fun!

Japanese House First Floor

I've completed the first floor and primed it, but noticed that one of the first floor rooms is sealed once the second floor is added.  That means I'll have to paint or wallpaper it as well as add the flooring and any furniture before I add the second floor on top of it.

I found woven paper at Paper Mojo and now have to decide which ones I want to use for flooring.

I also found some interesting wall covering choices.  The one everyone seems to like the best is the autumn leaf print at left.  The paper is so busy, however, that highlighting anything on it wouldn't work.  So only the furniture and maybe a plant or two would be all I'd want to add to the room with that paper. 

The two floors have different woven paper patterns.  Nothing is glued since I'm just trying out the patterns at this time.

Another choice for the wall covering is the small flower pattern at right.  The leaf, feather, and flower pattern is very small and isn't overpowering in the room.  I could add any furnishings with this paper and know that the furnishings would stand out. 

Also, another choice for floors is the diagonal pattern in the hallway the room to the right of the flower papered wall.  At this point, I don't think I like it as much as the straight lines of the other paper, lines that seem to invite people into the house.

The irridescent maroon and black bleeding stripe paper is the third choice.  While it makes the walls darker, it would look nice if I put a light-color display unit in front of it.  I could display teapots on the shelves which would really stand out against the paper background.

The final choice for wall covering is a textured rice paper that looks almost like a curtain.  The advantages to this one are its versatility and texture.  I could put any kind of furnishings in front of this paper, knowing they would be emphasized, yet the wall itself would still have interest.

Which combination to choose?  Still thinking about it.  Stay tuned.