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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Make bare cement look good?

Paint it, Gold leaf it, verdigris it, weather it!

All of my fireplaces are made of pre-cast cement
and all of them have been painted with water-based acrylic paints.
I painted our very large Hall fireplace to look as if it were made of stone

I added gold leafing to the shell and painted the cement to mimic marble for our upstairs bedroom fireplace.

Dust off the dirt and start painting.  No primer necessary
This urn has been out in our harsh weather for more than 17 years...no sign of peeling or fading

Even synthetic stucco can be painted with acrylic paints

I need to finish the door surround

The upper part (Trumeau) of our living room fireplace
also made of pre-cast cement pieces and painted with water-based  paints.  A sealer (Okon) is a good idea for the hearth so you can clean it now and then

A cement garden urn painted 

 If you can wait a few years, nature is the best Artificer of them all

A little paint and a little help from the weather is all it takes. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Green Anthology - Win a Prize

My dear Blogging Friends
You are much too clever
That is why this contest is a bit more difficult

The first Blogger who identifies all 6 plants correctly will win a special prize

Please identify in the order in which they appear

If you can identify all 6 plants correctly you will win one of my extra special hand painted Tiles

Good Luck


Monday, June 27, 2011

I've been teaching, not blogging

A young Lady came from Texas to take one-on-one painting lessons

We worked hard, she was a very good student
 A Friend (?) told her that "she could not paint"
After only a day, she was painting her own designs
and coming up with all kinds of wonderful ideas.

While my student is on her way back home, her newly acquired skills will not shine until they come out of the kiln.
It is in the kiln that the magic happens.
I will show the results as soon as they have cooled

Yes, we worked hard...I wanted her to learn as much as possible in only 2 days
But there was always time to have a glass of wine at the end of the day.

I will still be teaching my regular 15th and 16th day of July workshop

more information here


Friday, June 24, 2011

I stepped out of the door early this morning

I wanted to see my Daises in the Morning Light

On the way I noticed my yellow Iris blooming

Birds were protesting loudly at the front of the house

She is supposed to be in the barn not perched on top of my upstairs window

Another hop and she would be inside our  bedroom

She sat there, waiting for the sun to reach her, not paying any attention to the outraged birds

Oh yes, the Daisies

And Verbascum on the way

I must go back inside...there is work to be done

Have a great weekend, my dear Blogging Friends


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hand Painted ceramic tiles are back

Veranda July-August 2011

Not much has changed in the making of hand painted tiles

There is no limit to the possibilities

I can give them an antique finish or they can be shiny and new
either way they will last many lifetimes

My hand painted tiles are fired to 1800 degrees, colors will never fade

 Traditional Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, French, Modern and more ...

The originals painted 600 years ago, now recreated using the same techniques and the same color pigments

Painting tiles is a lot of fun
If you don't believe me come and join my upcoming workshop
July 15th and 16th.
No prior experience necessary


Monday, June 20, 2011

Yes, You Can

Paint Ceramics

I will show you how

Join us July 15th and 16th, 2011, for an exciting workshop in Spring City, Utah

All you have to do is show up

You don't have to go to Italy because I have been there

and I will teach you what I have learned

I have given away my guest cottage to the first student who signed up

However, another guest cottage is available just over the fence and up the street ($85 a night)

Susan's Cabin

Two can sleep in Susan's beautifully restored cabin

A total of only 4 students accepted

Once you have learned how to paint tiles you can paint plates, bowls, cups, murals and more

Hope to see you in Spring City
Please contact me through my Etsy shop


Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Father was different

My Father jogged barefoot in the freezing winters of East Prussia

This is my winter, not East Prussia

He exercised every day...even into his eighties

He spit-shined his shoes every day for four years while in a Prison Camp in Siberia

He was different.  Often,  I was teased by my classmates because my Father was different

My Father was an Artist...that explained many things...

My Father was a Master Woodcarver from the Old Country

My Father would practice discipline by not looking into shop windows...very odd

When I was about 8 years old my Father asked me to come into his studio.  Fastened to his workbench was a thick piece of Alder wood.  He instructed me on how to carve a bowl.  My older sister had been given the same instructions.  She did well.  I did not, I carved a hole into the bottom.  I was not invited again.

But my Father took me on many painting expeditions.  I could paint.

My Father signed all of his work.  Once they were completed I would sneak into his studio and with one of his chisels I would carve "my mark" in an inconspicuous place.

On his 80th birthday I fessed up to my misdeeds.  He first looked at me in disbelief and then he threw his head  back and he laughed and he laughed.

My Father taught me to be different, I like it that way.

Happy Father's Day Pappa


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Books in Detail

One of my charming readers, a lover of books and a book collector,  wanted a closer look
She noticed  my books on the Hall Table from an earlier post

If you love books...the world is at your feet

When we are not traveling I can pick up a book and pretend

Design and Food is always a favorite subject 

Add a few French books and more books about Italy

Italian and French Interiors

The book in the middle, by Margaret Mee, is a very special book about an amazing woman and her adventures while painting and searching the Amazon for rare orchids

French, American, Italian, English, and Swedish, no one is safe

If you would like more information about any of these books I would only be too happy to oblige

Another favorite, second from the left, about a house in Apaseo Mexico, depicting baroque architecture of the 18th century

Books that inspire

And books that give you the Wanderlust

It's a good thing that this is a very sturdy table

Have a great weekend my dear Blogging Friends