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Creative Casey's Blog

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Decorative Cabinet Knobs

Originally when trying to decide what kind of knobs to put on my arts and craft center my research showed that knobs/cabinet pulls are pretty darn expensive (especially when I needed 9 of them). So the most inexpensive way to have new hardware was going to be to purchase wooden knobs (found in most hardware stores- in this case HD) for a dollar each and paint them however I desired. After purchasing the wooden knobs, I ended up using a resourceful method which aided me in being able to purchase the old fashioned clear glass knobs that I had really wanted for the arts and crafts center. Thus, leaving with with lots of wooden knobs.

I still wanted to paint the knobs just not for the arts and craft center. I decided to create two sets of 4 decorative wooden cabinet knobs. I primed the knobs first, then used acrylic paints to create the desired designs and finished each knob with 4 coats of semi gloss varnish. The set with the multiple rings of circles on it was fun and fairly easy just took time and patience. The other set I was originally going to paint a fun bird on each and put glitter on the birds but opted for a different design which I thought would be easier but was NOT! That set was somewhat frustrating but turned out well in the end.

Now what will I do with these knobs...hmm..... not quite sure. I started researching opening a shop on and trying to sell the knobs and the mixed media paintings along with whatever else I create in the future. Stay tuned to see what I decide...

Mixed Media Paintings: Birds, birds and more birds

Last week I felt like putting all other duties aside and painting. There was nothing in particular I needed as far as creating for a space. I went to Michaels with a 40% of coupon and ended up finding a package of four 6x6 canvas's and decided to purchase them. By the time I got home I decided the paintings I would create would have a theme to them and I would use them for the faculty/staff art exhibit (of course this isn't until Feb. 2012) but it gave me some purpose and vision moving forward. It also worked out that the sizes are 6x6 so that I will be able to donate the artwork to the 6x6x2012 fundraising exhibit at ROCO.

I've been on a bird kick lately and enjoy quotes, so this became my theme I used. Also, for the past year and a half I've been into using mixed media when I paint. I tried out a couple of techniques on these paintings and like most things in took a couple of tries before I found an outcome I liked. I used a lot of layers, beginning with music sheets or decorative collage paper, then tended to rip some of it off and put a watered down acrylic wash over everything (sometimes so much so that you can't even see what kind of paper was used), then painted the birds on with acrylic paints, and used cut up words to create a quote which I then scotch taped on the canvas, and finally finished with a couple coats of decoupage or varnish.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Arts and Craft Center Finally Finished!

I worked for about 4 hours a day over a 5 day period but managed to get my art center completed. This was the largest piece of furniture I've worked on and as most things it had it's learning challenges. I worked on both pieces separately and never put them together until it was finished. This made it kind of dicey on how it would all come together. I decided to use the same color choice on both pieces which after finishing the second coat all I saw was smurfs or "boy, people are going to thing I'm having a baby boy". The blue grey looked a little more blue when everything was that color. The online instructions from different sources on how to create a distressed look tended to be very short and not completely clear directives, therefore there ended up being a lot of experimentation going on. I ended up sanding down corners and wear spots and then used acrylic craft paint raw sienna with a drop of black really watered down and brushed it on each piece and quickly wiped off with a white rag to the desired color/effect. I had no idea what I was doing at first and put a light coat on then wiped off almost everything I had put on. By the time I was more daring I was midway through the second furniture piece and had to pretty much go back over the entire first piece and part of the second. I loved the effect of the acrylic wash when it was finished! It ended up really dulling the blue paint and making the furniture look older (duh...that was it's purpose). The acrylic paint (hint: always wipe with the grain) fell into the crevices and scuff marks darkening them. Almost of a tea stain effect. I liked the look of using flat paint but when it came to the finishing coat of polyurethane I discovered that there is no flat version so I had to use a clear satin which turned out okay, but did make it slightly shiny.

Oh, my other advise when doing a project similar to this...stay away from detailed pieces when your first starting out. The dresser was no problem and I would redo 100 of them; the hutch however was a bear. It was extremely detailed and took a lot of time and patience.

Overall the piece was a success! I love the style, color and hardware! It is pretty full to capacity already and joyfully being used.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Other Half of Art Center

Below is a picture of the hutch that I found for $20 and will work great as the other half of my art center/bookshelf. I've researched how to create a distressed look finish at and I purchased the main color which will be "Laughing Eyes". It's a grey-blue. I also purchased clear glass octagon knobs brush nickel finish which will go on the bottom craft center drawers and cupboard. Stay tuned...